In my recent blog post about visiting Boston, I mentioned hanging out with Socialnomics creator, Erik Qualman. During our time together, he shared his successes/ challenges with me on writing and publishing books. He also gave me valuable advice on writing my own book. He was kind enough to bring me several autographed copies of various books he’s written including his latest book, What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube.
This is a must read! He discusses the role of digital technology on privacy where he states that “privacy is dead.” This book is short but an extremely impactful quick reference guide to living in a digital age. I read the entire book during my 9 hour flight delay from Boston back to San Diego. I absolutely love how clear and concise Erik is on getting important points across.
What Happens in Vegas, Stays on YouTube focuses on NEW rules for business, personal and family reputation. It’s structured in an easy to read list format. Each chapter focuses on a different topic such as protecting your identity, top reputation tools and business & team resources with rules related to the topic listed in the corresponding chapters. There are many examples and case studies that make the rules much easier to grasp. It’s all of your favorite tips found across dozens of places on the web, condensed into one powerful book that can fit in the palm of your hand.
I practice, teach and believe in so many rules in this book already but was still able to learn new things that I’ll be incorporating into my business and personal life. It was also refreshing to read affirmations on so many rules I live by. Here are 3 of my favorite rules/ points in the book.
1. 100% LinkedIn Profile- “LinkedIn profiles show up high in Google search results. This is particularly helpful for those who do not have a substantial digital presence.” I have been stressing the importance of having an optimized LinkedIn profile for this exact reason and many others for years! Your LinkedIn profile is your digital resume and it’s where potential employers and business partners get a glimpse of your career history and success. Since it has such a high search engine ranking, it will most likely be one of the top results when people search for you on the web. Taking ownership of your LinkedIn profile is a great step in building a positive online reputation. I am quoted for saying that I personally won’t consider hiring someone if they don’t have a LinkedIn profile and I know many employers who feel the same way.
2. Use Strong Passwords for all online accounts-Passwords have been around since ancient times. A password is definitely not something new. However, hackers are always coming up with new ways to retrieve your password. I loved reading this rule because I have been teaching people about how to create strong passwords since 2008 when I was hosting Internet Power workshops yet I still know so many people who have passwords that include their name, their pet’s name or an easy number sequence such as 12345. I personally have a different password for every single login. That may sound like it’s impossible to keep track of but it’s not as difficult as you think. I recommend choosing a pattern to create a password for each login, then adding a standard sequence of characters that stays the same. Here’s an example with different steps that you can repeat for different logins.
- Step 1: Create a pattern unique to the individual website. For examples, take the last letter and second letter of the website, in this case it’s nm
- Step 2: Add another letter in between such as “p”. Now your password is npm
- Step 3: Add your own sequence of characters starting with a capitol letter that’s the first letter of the website. Now your password is npmA
- Step 4: Think of a sequence of charters you’ll remember. You can choose the first 3 letters of the city you were born and the date. If you were born in San Diego on October 13, you can use san@1013. Now your password is nmpAsan@1013
- Step 5: Repeat the same steps for every new login. So if the website is Ebay, your password would be ypbEsan@1013
The intention is to choose a pattern of steps that after you use once, you’ll remember. At the same time this will make your password different for every site and hard to figure out for anyone who might get a hold of one of your passwords. You can read another example on creating strong passwords in Erik’s book.
3. Digital Stamp- Digital Stamps are a new concept for me. As described by Erik, “A Digital Stamp is a permanent collection and culmination of your digital footprints and digital shadows. Your digital stamp matters 5 seconds from now, 5 years from now, 50 years from now and 500 years from now.” He asked companies and individuals to submit digital stamps and he shares some of them in an entire chapter dedicated to digital stamps. Erik’s digital stamp is this: “Be a digital Dale Carnegie by motivating others to their best life, leadership & legacy. Honor my family & God.” Check out the image below for a sample of other digital stamps.
Since I only shared 3 things I enjoyed in this book with you, I’m now giving you a chance to get your very own copy.
WIN YOUR VERY OWN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS ON YOUTUBE. PLUS YOU MIGHT BE FEATURED IN ERIK’S NEXT BOOK! Here’s how to win:
1. Create your own digital stamp and share it in the comments section of this blog post. This counts for one entry.
2. Earn an additional entry by Tweeting / Sharing this blog post on Twitter. Make sure to tag me @MyMelodie
3. Last but not least, whether you win the autographed book or not, your very own digital stamp could be featured in the next edition of What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube. After you have created your digital stamp and shared it with me here, email it to Erik: email@example.com. He’s going to be adding more digital stamps to his upcoming books and you could make your mark by being published!
The winner will be chosen Friday August 22nd, 2014 at noon, pacific time. The winner will be asked for a mailing address to receive your prize of one autographed copy of What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube. Good luck and I can’t wait to read your digital stamps.
I’m excited to announce that on Tuesday August 26th, 2014 I’ll be hosting a Social Media session at the 2014 Community Health Institute held right here in American’s Finest City. The healthcare industry is making huge strides to connect on social media. Last May when I presented to a group of veterinarians at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital Symposium, I was thrilled to see so many professionals in the medical industry embrace social media as a positive tool for their business. So when I received the invite to speak at the Community Health Institute, I was happy to accept.
As Erik Qualman of Socialnomics says “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it?”. His quote is very fitting as many businesses that previously did not seem like a fit for social media (such as businesses related to healthcare) are realizing that social media will now be a part of your business no matter what. I’m privileged for an opportunity to help people effectively integrate social media into their marketing mix!
Here are the details of the session I’m leading at the 2014 Community Health Institute:
Date: Tuesday August 26th, 2014
Time: 8:30am- 10am
Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt
Registration: Click here to register
I will be teaching healthcare professionals how to navigate social media in a field with many rules and regulations are in place. I will go over strategies for using different social networks and I’ll be hosting a Q & A to answer additional questions. If you’re a healthcare professional or are interested in this industry, you are welcome to register and attend. Also if you work in this industry and have any success stories using social media, please share them with me and you might be included in my presentation.
I look forward to this upcoming speaking engagement. Speaking and teaching others is one of my favorite things I get to so if you are a business or organization who wants learn how to get real results with your marketing and social media efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can learn more information on hiring me to speak here.
The primary reason for my most recent trip to Boston was to attend the National Eczema Association’s patient conference. I love exploring new places and really making the most of my time when I travel. So in addition to attending the conference, here are some other great things I got to experience during my week Boston.
My first AirBnB experience- I have known about Airbnb for years. When I needed a place to stay in Boston, I decided to try it out. I found a nice house with my own room that wasn’t too far from my conference so I went for it. Although I only saw my host when I checked in, he was very nice, explained all the keys, got me logged in on wifi and provided me with fresh towels. Sometimes when you rent on AirBnB the people renting to you are still home, so you have to make sure you’re ok with privacy. As for my case, no one else was ever home when I was there so I enjoyed my own space and had access to the entire house. I definitely recommend Airbnb as a hotel alternative when traveling. You can find a place that has a full kitchen, you can rent an entire house and often times you can save money. Here is $25 off your first Airbnb if you want to check it out!
Special screening of Boyhood and meeting the actors- I was invited to a special screening of Boyhood. This movie was filmed over 12 years with the same cast. The drama charts the rocky terrain of childhood. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between come together. The film is both a nostalgic time capsule and an ode to growing up and parenting. There are many moments in the film that will make you think of your own journey. It was amazing to see the actors grow up in front of my very own eyes on the big screen. After the movie we all got to meet the stars of the film Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane. They graciously stayed for a Q & A session which gave me even more insight into the unique experience of creating a movie over 12 years.
Watching entertaining improv shows, YES….and…! - I’m intrigued and inspired by the concept of improv. I have personally taken improv classes and feel that they have helped me significantly in my business. You learn how to think on your toes, adapt quickly to any situation and craft answers that address tough questions on the spot. If you have ever considered trying improv you can check out 10 reasons taking an improv class will make you happy. My good friend since high school, Lauren Magnuson is a great improvisor and regularly performs various improv formats in front of live audiences. I personally love watching improv performances because they are hilarious and I always learn something new. Whether it’s a new word, phrase, pun or fact, I love taking in new tidbits of information while being entertained. I had a chance to watch Lauren perform at Improv Boston and then again at Comedy Sportz. Comedy Sportz is an improv competition between 2 teams where they play games based on audience suggestions. I love the interactive nature of this improv format and thoroughly enjoyed both shows.
Autographs and Apps with C.C. Chapman- I had the honor of meeting C.C. Chapman and getting my books autographed by him. We connected on Twitter a few years ago so it was great putting a face to the Tweets. In addition to teaching marketing classes at National University I am also in charge of course development. I created a course called “Interactive Campaigns” and searched for books that touch on this topic. I came across C.C.’s book, Content Rules co-authored with Ann Handley and knew it was perfect for my course. There are many specific examples of successful businesses creating unique content tailored to their target audience. I highly recommend reading this book if you want inspiration to develop content that really connects to your customers. C.C. and I had a great chat sharing our favorite apps (He recommended I download Trip Advisor and I recommended he download NextDoor), discussing speaking engagements and the latest tech gadgets.
Getting Social with Socialnomics and Erik Qualman- Another successful entrepreneur I look up to (and literally because he’s tall!) is Erik Qualman, the founder of Socialnomics. I was grateful for an opportunity to hang out with him. Despite his busy schedule of just getting back from DC and then heading off to Kenya in just a few days, he graciously took time out of his day to connect with me. He inspired me with many ideas to write my own book and gave me tips on getting started. Erik is the genius behind the Socialnomics video series, the most watched videos on YouTube about Social Media. Back in 2009 when I was teaching Marketing and Communications classes at Platt College San Diego, I introduced social media to my students through showing them Erik’s videos. They provide a clear, concise and fun way to understand the power of social media. Erik has now created the 5th version in his Socialnomics video series. You can check it out here and I guarantee you’ll appreciate learning this valuable information.
Lunch with Lillian’s Test Kitchen- I had a chance to spend time with the lovely Lillian of Lillian’s Test Kitchen. Lillian and I connected on social media a few years ago. I love her cooking show which focuses on delicious food that’s gluten, dairy, cane sugar and soy free. One of my favorite recipes is her cauliflower rice dish. We caught up over lunch at an amazing organic, vegan restaurant, called Life Alive (so good that I came back the next day before I had to catch my flight) where we shared cooking and health tips. Then we walked around Cambridge/ Harvard Square during the World Cup which was being shown outside on a giant screen. There was definitely a lot of great energy from everyone who was rooting on their team.
An abundance of yoga in Boston- Yoga plays a significant role in my life. I recently have been dedicated to getting stronger in my practice both mentally and physically. One of my favorite things about yoga is that there’s an abundance of yoga everywhere. Even though I’m thousands of miles away from San Diego, being on my yoga mat always makes me feel at home. I set an intention to make time for yoga while traveling and despite my busy schedule, I was able to take 5 classes, one of them being acro yoga! I recently started playing around with acro and love that it adds variety into my regular yoga practice. It builds strength, trust and looks cool! Most of my classes were taken at Karma Yoga. They have 3 locations and a variety of awesome classes to choose from. I highly recommend dropping in for a class when you’re in Boston and enjoyed every yoga class I took during my trip.
That’s my week in Boston in a wrap! Social Media has really enhanced my social life in real life. 3 out of the 4 people I spent time with in Boston were due to a social media connection. One bonus during my trip is that the weather was great! It was nice, sunny, mostly in the 70s with no humidity. I like to think that I brought the awesome San Diego weather to Boston during my stay! This was my 4th trip to Boston so if you’re ever planning a trip there, feel free to ask me for more recommendations on things I enjoyed. I’m so lucky that a conference took me to a city where I’m connected to so many amazing people who all went out of their way to make my trip “wicked” (I have only ever heard the term “wicked” in Boston) awesome.
I recently had the privilege of attending the National Eczema Association’s Patient Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past I have shared my challenge as an adult with Eczema. I have also shared my dedication to helping find a cure. Attending this conference in Boston has given me a new positive perspective about a cure coming very soon. There were general sessions related to different medications and treatments, allergies, medical breakthroughs in Eczema and my favorite topic, alternative therapies.
The understanding from everyone at the conference was heartwarming. To be surrounded by so many others who completely understand what it’s like to live the itch life made me feel a support that I had never experienced before.
I attended the patient support session: How do you cope with Eczema? This session was a group discussion where everyone had a chance to share their story. My favorite part of the session was when we all shared one positive thing that’s come from our Eczema. It’s easy to focus on the negative but focusing on the bright side makes everything better. Here are some positive things the adults shared:
- I am more compassionate
- I have learned how to cope
- I am more conscious of my healthy in general
- I am grateful for NEA (National Eczema Association)
- I am resilient and strong
- I am a comedian and can add jokes about Eczema to my stand up routine
- I appreciate my family being there for me
- I have more self control
Everything on that list is awesome! The conference had a Kid’s Camp where the kids got to learn, make new friends and just have a good time with other kids without having to feel self conscious about their skin. On the last day we had a general session with both the kids and adults. The kids had a chance to share some positive things about Eczema and the conference too. Here’s what they shared:
- I get to make new friends
- I get to see my photo featured on the NEA magazine
- I get to travel to new places
- I am itching for a cure
I am amazed at how smart and aware all of the kids are. The list of positive things from both the adults and kids is a great reminder that even when experiencing something challenging such as Eczema there are many things to be grateful for. I mentioned that I really enjoyed learned about alternative therapies. I avoid pharmaceutical medications as much as I can so I was happy to hear doctors recommending other things to try. Dr. Lio, the founder of The Chicago Integrative Eczema Center gave many suggestions on alternative therapies. He did let us know that with alternative therapies there haven’t been studies done to prove they work. Here are new things I learned:
- Oil pulling- This is a tradition in Ayurveda medicine. I have heard about this before but not for Eczema and it wasn’t recommended specifically for Eczema either. It’s a way to cleanse and pull toxins from your body through your mouth. At first the concept seemed odd but I’ve been doing it consistently for over a week with coconut oil and if anything, my teeth feel cleaner than ever!
- Acupressure- I can’t tell you how many times people have recommended I try acupuncture for my Eczema. My answer has always been that I don’t want to use needles to puncture my skin since I’m already so sensitive and I just don’t feel comfortable doing anything that will further irritate my skin. People don’t really understand this response and always tell me how “small” the needles are and that I won’t feel it. Well when you have Eczema, you feel everything! Dr. Lio recommended acupressure instead. Without me even saying anything about my concern with acupuncture , he started off by addressing my exact concern! I was so happy to hear someone finally understand why acupuncture is not right for most people with Eczema. He taught us how to do acupressure on ourselves and recommended we do it for 3 minutes, 3 days a week.
- Sooth skin with oil before moisturizing- Emu oil was recommended for Eczema. Some people also use olive oil and coconut oil. I have tried olive oil and coconut oil but never emu oil. I will look into emu oil, it does not seem very common.
- Hypnosis- This one seems odd, but I have actually tried it before! My friend Christian Wasinger is a Hypnotist in San Diego and made me a recording over a year ago. Listening to the recording is very relaxing and similar to meditating. I had not listened to my recording for a while, but last night I found it and will be listening to it regularly again. I definitely notice myself not scratching when I’m listening to the recordings.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Baths- I rarely take baths but it was recommended to place one cup of apple cider vinegar in your bath water. I am open to trying this the next time I take a bath.
- Get Vitamin D- I’m lucky to live in San Diego so I have plenty of access to natural Vitamin D from the sunshine. Vitamin D supplements can also be taken.
- New Products- In addition to learning about new alternative therapies, I received dozens of new products to try. I am going to read the ingredients very carefully before trying any of these, but the sponsors were very generous with their giveaways. The photo below only shows a few products, by the end of the conference I had more than triple the amount of products pictured.
Overall I feel very grateful that I was able to attend the conference. One of my favorite things is the luncheon with a doctor at each table (I chose Dr. Lio’s table). Getting this one-on-one time with Dr. Lio was extremely valuable. I also enjoyed the opportunity to share our positive thoughts both in our sessions and on camera. Julie Block, the CEO of the National Eczema Association shared that now, more than ever there is more research that’s focused on Eczema. This only means we are closer to finding a real cure. I’m excited to see more developments in Eczema research and look forward to staying positive.
When I tell people that I’m a Marketing Consultant and my job is to help your business generate more revenue, I get mixed reactions. The reactions are usually positive in a sense that the person I’m talking to understands how important it is to effectively market their business but at the same time they don’t necessarily know where to start.
“I really need help with my marketing, that’s the one thing I don’t get.”
“I made sure my business is on social media but I’m not sure how it works.”
“I definitely need to start marketing my business more to get new customers.”
Do any of these lines sound familiar to you? If the answer is yes, read on. Marketing is one of the most important elements in growing your business and generating more revenue, yet it’s also one that gets the least attention. What if marketing your business was fun? What if you could make a direct correlation between your marketing activity and impact on your bottom line? What if your marketing efforts automatically made more customers seek you out and want to work with you? Once you start seeing the positive results with your marketing, your attitude about this dreaded activity will change. You’ll stop making excuses and you’ll grow to love marketing your business. I’m going to discuss the top 3 excuses business owners and entrepreneurs give for not marketing their business and ways to overcome these objections. After each solution I list a specific action item that you can do today to start accelerating your marketing efforts.
EXCUSE #1- I’m too overwhelmed with all of the marketing tools out there, I don’t know where to start. Digital technology can be both a blessing and a curse. With all of the new apps, programs and social media sites out there, it can be very difficult to know what will work for your business. It’s very easy to just ignore everything we see and hear about how we need to use the latest app/site/program but it’s even easier to understand what tools to use to start making money for our business.
SOLUTION- First, let’s take a step back. Rather than focus on what tools we need to use, it’s important understand the measurable goals you want to reach. Feeling overwhelmed with your marketing is often a result of not knowing what you’re measuring. Therefore your efforts may feel like a waste of time because you don’t know how to track your success or figure out which activities to cut out that aren’t providing value. Set SPECIFIC and measurable goals to track your marketing activities. I promise this will help with the “overwhelming” feeling you’re getting.
Examples of measurable goals
- Sign up 30 new members each month over the course of 6 months (180 new members total).
- Generate $100,000 in donations to our charity over the next year.
- Sell 200 packages over the course of 6 months (1200 packages total).
Examples of goals that aren’t measurable
- Get more visibility for our business.
- Get new customers to sign up for our programs.
- Spread the word about our new product.
Once you know what goals you want to reach, you can figure out how to incorporate your goals into your marketing activities. If you want to get new members, make sure you’re promoting your membership program when you’re out at an event. Make sure you mention membership benefits on your social media updates and emails.
ACTION ITEM- Write out 1-2 measurable goals for your business. Take a look at the current things you’re doing in your marking strategy and see if they connect back to your goals.
EXCUSE #2- I don’t have the time to focus on marketing right now. This is a popular excuse because most business owners feel like they’re doing many random marketing activities that aren’t adding up to new business. If this is the case, I certainly wouldn’t have time for marketing either because I would associate it with wasting time. Let’s focus on making sure our marketing efforts are reaching the right audience who will turn into customers. Otherwise we will waste a lot of time marketing to people who will never turn into customers.
SOLUTION- Understanding your audience will provide you with a solid foundation for marketing your business. You’ll know the behaviors of your audience, which will help you narrow down which tools to start with. For example, if you’re marketing to teenagers, perhaps you know they’re into the “Selfie” craze so you may want to use Instagram for a Selfie promotion. If you’re marketing to stay at home moms and know that there is a big blogger community for moms, you can write a guest post on some popular mom blogs. Think of who your audience is and where you will find them, then make sure you’re there too. This will save you a lot of time, make your marketing efforts more efficient and you’ll find that you have more time because you’re generating more revenue.
ACTION ITEM- Create a profile for your ideal target audience. Don’t just say “moms” or “men between the ages of 25-49″. “Moms” is still broad because a mom can have a grown adult child or a toddler. Here’s an example of being more specific “I am targeting moms who have children between the ages of 6-12 years old. These moms have a household income of at least 150K per year. They are tech savvy and manage most of the activity planning for their children.” You can even be more specific by listing out some of the hobbies these moms might have or some of their family values. Now that you have a profile for your target audience you’ll spend less time marketing to the wrong people and more time connecting with people who will become customers.
Excuse #3- I don’t have enough money to invest into my marketing- You don’t need a lot of money to start marketing, but you do need to market your business to make money. There are many free marketing resources that you can take advantage of if you understand how to use them properly. The ultimate goal is for your marketing activities to make you more money than you spend. Soon you will feel comfortable with having a mindset that money spent on marketing is an investment in your business to generate even more revenue.
SOLUTION- Stop looking at every dollar you invest into marketing as a waste and start seeing it as an opportunity to grow. This requires some due diligence on your end to learn about which tools are free but also learning how to use them properly. Just because a tool is free tool doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea. You still need to invest time into creating content. You will save a lot of money by only focusing on the marketing channels that help you reach your goals and only marketing to the right audience (This is why overcoming excuse #1 and #2 are so important.
ACTION ITEM- Write a list of as many free marketing tools you can think of. Many of these tools will be social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, review websites, etc. Choose 1 tool to focus on. Figure out ideas on how you can create content to reach your measurable goals and connect with your target audience.
My intention is to teach every business owner how to love marketing their business. I promise you’ll enjoy marketing if you can make more money from your efforts. If you enjoyed learning how to over come these common marketing excuses, I want to help you even more. I am currently offering complimentary 30 minute marketing consultations. You’ll have 30 minutes to speak one on one directly with me to get all of your tough marketing questions answers. I will also give you more action items you can implement immediately. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, I need to get to know you first so I can figure out the best way to help you during our consultation. Fill out the form below so I can get to know you. After your submit the form, I’ll contact you to set up a time start working together. Good luck and happy marketing!
CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED WITH A COMPLIMENTARY MARKETING CONSULTATION. You have no excuse not to start!