Optimize Your Online Presence in 1 Hour or Less

Optimize Your Online Presence in 1 Hour or Less

Optimizing your online presence establishes credibility, fosters meaningful connections, and enhances your digital brand.

In the interconnected world of digital marketing, your online presence is your online calling card.

Just as a savvy entrepreneur strategically chooses the perfect spot in a busy marketplace, maximizing your digital footprint can position you for new opportunities and fruitful collaborations.

Join me as I outline three simple steps to optimize your online presence one hour at a time.

1) Conduct a social media audit (15 minutes)

As a first step, review all your social media profiles. Is your industry, function, and location current on each of your profiles? Is your “offering” up-to-date? How recent is your headshot?

Think of your online profiles as setting up shop in the bustling bazaar of the internet. It’s about making your presence known, in an authentic way, and saying – “Here I am!”.

Research shows that optimizing your online presence increases your visibility and creates more opportunities, particularly for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Set aside 15 minutes to update any outdated information, including your industry, role, and location. Make sure your offerings are current, and if it’s been a while, consider updating your headshot for a fresh and professional look.

By updating your online profiles, you put yourself in the spotlight. This visibility makes you easier to find and shows your commitment to professional growth.

2) Create value-added content (30 minutes)

Now that you’ve spruced up your profiles, it’s time to focus on what you actually want to say. Quality content is critical when it comes to an impactful online presence.

Be sure to offer something valuable to your audience that keeps them engaged and coming back for more.

First, set aside a few minutes to brainstorm content ideas. Think about what your audience would find interesting or useful. What do you find interesting and useful? Consider recent trends in your industry or niche, common questions your audience might have, or any insights you can share based on your expertise. Jot down a few potential topics to explore.

Next, allocate about 10 minutes to outline and create a piece of content for just one of these topics. This doesn’t have to be detailed; just jot down the main points or key ideas you want to cover. A basic structure will help you stay focused and organized when you start writing.

Now, spend 20 minutes creating the actual content. This could be a blog post, a social media update, a video, or whatever format works best for you and your audience. Focus on delivering value and addressing the needs or interests of your audience. Keep it concise and engaging to hold their attention. Feel free to use generative AI to support your creative process, but always make it authentic.

Lastly, take the remaining time to proofread and polish things up. Check for any typos or grammatical errors, and make sure your message is clear and coherent.

By following these steps, you can quickly create and share valuable content that enhances your online presence and keeps your audience engaged. Remember to stay consistent with your posting schedule to maintain momentum and build a loyal following over time.

3) Engage authentically with your audience (15 minutes)

Once you’ve published your valuable content, it’s important to engage with your audience. Respond to comments, messages, and inquiries promptly and authentically. This shows that you value their input and fosters a sense of community around your brand. Spend about five minutes (or longer!) checking your notifications and responding to any interactions.

Think about spending 10 minutes to proactively engage with other relevant content in your industry or niche. Like, comment, and share posts from peers and influencers to expand your reach and build relationships within your community. This reciprocal engagement not only boosts your visibility but also establishes you as an active and respected member of your online community.

By following these steps, you can maximize the impact of your online presence in just one hour or less.

Remember, consistency and authenticity are key to building a strong and influential digital brand that resonates with your audience and establishes you as a credible authority in your field.

7 Secrets to an Effective Virtual Workshop

7 Secrets to an Effective Virtual Workshop

Collaboration in a global marketing setting can be challenging on the best of days. Our guest blogger, Jen Kelly of New Initiatives Marketing shares her views on how to rise to the challenge.  

Delivering a workshop can be one of the best ways to share your knowledge and get in front of your future clients. While the content of your talk needs to be relevant, helpful and insightful, you must put just as much care into the execution of the event as you do into developing the content. Over the past few weeks, my strategy partner, Pamela Campagna of Blue Sage Consulting and I presented to the small business clients of Middlesex Savings Bank. Pamela was onsite at each location in the greater Boston area.  I joined in online from Toronto, live via Skype video.

Here are some tips that helped us to deliver a polished and relevant workshop four times over four weeks. I hope they can help you deliver your next best workshop.

Open doors for others

1. Be a good partner

In our case, with Pamela in the room and me on video, it was easier for the audience to make an immediate connection with her. She said hello to everyone, was able to chat and shake hands before and after the workshop. Ensuring that we both got enough airtime in front of the audience was important. Also, it was important that we didn’t confuse the audience. We did this by scripting our presentation to be really clear in the beginning, middle and end what each of us focused on. We worked to make it crystal clear that Pamela’s expertise is strategy – work with her if you’re creating or revamping your strategy. Mine is implementation and execution – work with me if your challenge is implementing and executing your marketing strategy.

2. Be good to your sponsor

Our sponsor was Middlesex Savings Bank. Their marketing team had enough on their plate without taking on the promotion of our workshop series. Knowing this, we did our best to make this easy for them by ensuring they had all the elements (photos, bios, logos, copy) to create their mailings. We also suggested content, subject lines, times of mailing. We developed a survey to send out once someone registered for the workshop. This survey helped prepare the attendee for the content and prepared us to meet the expectations of the audience. Make it as easy as possible for your sponsor to help promote your workshop.

3. Be good to the audience

People have taken the time to attend your workshop. Ensure you have something for everyone to do next. For those who will sign up to buy right away – be ready to take an order. For those who want to try out what they’ve just learned from you – have take-a-ways like worksheet that spell out the first few steps they need to take to get started on their own. For those that need to think a little bit more about what you’ve just presented – encourage them to connect with you on LinkedIn, to download your presentation slides, and to check out the resources (industry articles)  you’ve provided to learn more. Each person will move at their own pace, be ready to match it.

Before and after

4. Rehearse

Pamela and I were both comfortable public speaking. What was new to us was working together. We put the time in to rehearsing and found out how to work with our different presentation styles.

5. Debrief

Make the time to debrief after each session. As I was on video I had such a different perspective than Pamela did. We made the time to do this the same day of each workshop so that the experience was fresh in our minds.  We’d talk about what worked well, what didn’t and what to adjust. Sometimes this was a 10 min conversation. Other times, longer. Always valuable.

Expert help

6. Get the tech right

Oh technology. We love you. Except when you don’t work – for no reason. We did our best to test everything including four site checks at each location to understand the setup and technical requirements unique to each place. We also brought Pamela’s colleague onsite to manage the tech set up, and to be responsible for any backup fixes we’d need if the wifi failed for any reason. Doing so allowed us to focus on the audience and our content, knowing we had a pro in charge of all the technology.

7. Be ready for your close-up

For me, presenting on camera was a big step.  I knew I wanted to present well and frankly was really uncomfortable on video. So I got some coaching.  Jaeny Baik who works with business leaders to get over themselves (essentially!!) was my secret weapon. She worked with me to learn how to present on video. While I have a long way to go, her coaching made me feel good. I learned some of the basics with lighting, camera angles, and scripting to look and sound professional. Without her coaching as a first step, I’d still be shy and uncomfortable on video and probably would not have agreed to do this workshop – what a missed opportunity that would have been.   More and more opportunities exist for delivering your expertise in a workshop setting. While you’re sure to know your content inside out, these tips are meant to ensure the implementation and execution of your workshop goes smoothly. Good luck!

What tip would you add to the list?

Need help with the implementation and execution of your next workshop? Contact Jen.

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Here Are Eight Things I Learned From Social Media Beginners

Here Are Eight Things I Learned From Social Media Beginners

Are you talking over the heads of your audience? It’s easy to do without realizing it.

One of the benefits of being a business management consultant is getting out in the world every day and meeting people from various types of companies and industries.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a working session with the Board of a trade association in New England.  The goal of the session was to educate the group on how to use social media business tools and social media marketing and then evaluate the best way to use them in the organization and each company.  The session was a good learning experience for the participants and a reminder of basics that are easy to overlook.

If you want to NAIL your message and make sure you’re not losing your audience, here are some things to consider:

1. Everyone starts at their own place and moves at their own pace

The most difficult part about working with a large group is that everyone starts at a different place, and tends to move along at their own pace. It’s important to be mindful of this – and when someone doesn’t get it, stop and reinforce the concept.

2. New things can be intimidating

While we were talking about technology and how to include it in business, one participant claimed that “when the fax machine came, that should have been it”. Ok, so not everyone is an early adopter. Remember the first cell phones?

 3. Change can be empowering

Some of the biggest challenges come from the ability to execute and provide real solutions to business problems using social media business tools. By the end of our time together, the creative juices in the group were flowing, and the room was buzzing with ideas.

4. If you don’t use it, you may lose it

We see this one a lot when we’re helping companies with solutions to business problems: we work with them to develop a process or to acquire new skills in the company. Unless the process is used consistently, it won’t “stick” in the company. The same goes for developing new skills. Make it a habit to take care of your online presence every day. When you continue to use these tools again and again, they’ll become part of your routine.

5. If you build it, will they come?

When you talk about introducing new ways of doing things, you inevitably make some folks uncomfortable. When we talk about “starting conversations” and “building relationships” with employees, suppliers, or prospects  … well, that can be a bit uncomfortable for some. The real point here is this: if you create a way for your customers, employees and suppliers to communicate with you, be ready to enter into the discussion.

 6. There’s safety in numbers

Forming partnerships is critical in today’s marketplace. Whether you’re outsourcing general tasks in your business, or looking for new ways to reach customers and market your products, don’t forget that there are others who are in the same boat. Find them, and look for ways to collaborate and share information with them.

 7. Value is in the eye of the beholder

Let’s say you’re trying to get your arms around a specific issue – like moving a distribution center, or consolidating a product line. The amount of energy, time and money that you want to put into solving the issue depends on how valuable the outcome can be. Keep in mind that what might be worthwhile and valuable to some may not be to all.

 8. You never know how people are going to react

The mental attitude of your audience will affect their reaction. And don’t forget: your business attitude is a choice.

Do you find that learning new things is intimidating? What’s been your experience with these? I’d love to hear your thoughts.