TO HATER OR NOT TO HATER

Is it possible to NOT have haters? And if so…what is the secret formula to living a hater free life?

Well, in my short (or long, however you want to look at it) 36 years I’ve encountered my fair share of haters. I’ve seen haters in action more times than I can count and I have occasionally and shamefully dabbled in hate. (Masked as gossip)

I think to crack the code you first have to answer the age-old question:

What makes haters hate?

Google anyone in the history of the universe who has ever done anything out of the ordinary and they will have their share of haters. They could’ve graced every cover of sports illustrated, they could’ve won 12 Oscars, they could’ve given billions to charity…they have haters.

It’s a fact.

It’s human nature to hate those who have what we wish we had. Be it money, looks, power, success, health, blessings, a great spouse, fame, popularity, happiness….if we feel even a bit lacking in any of those departments, we open the door to hate. And we take it out on the nearest person who catches our attention.

We disguise hate with gossip, a favorite way to raise our shaky self esteem. If we put down who we are intimidated by or jealous of, we appear bigger, better, smarter, cooler….

So to avoid haters it’s easiest to avoid being anything other than average. Don’t dress too well, accomplish too much, live too large, give too much, be too smart, have too many friends, be too successful.

In other words be bland, boring, devoid of opinion and passion. Do not make a difference in this world. Do not do anything noticeable. In fact it’s best if you stay in your small modest home and avoid all people. Do not ever ever ever take any risks. With risks come rewards and haters hate when you are rewarded with attention or success. Don’t do too good of a job in your hopefully menial job. BE AVERAGE.

But…don’t be too average, or boring, or ugly, or bland. There are haters who like to pick on those unfortunate too. It makes them feel big. Stay neutral. Don’t make eye contact. Limit all contact with the human race.

Now if all this is too hard for you to do and you have this uncontrollable desire to live this short life we are given to it’s fullest. If you think you actually have something to offer and want to leave some sort of an imprint in this world. If you are blessed with a talent or trait that is above average and want to make the most of it…then you have no choice but to welcome the inevitable haters with open arms.

Understand they come with the territory of being anything above ordinary. They are like flies…part of this world. They buzz and occasionally bite. But they are small…annoying yes…but small and ugly. And they in no way have the power to take away what makes you worthy of haters. Unless you let them consume you. Or you become them. They want you to stoop to their level. It levels the field for them. But do your best to stay above them. Swat them away…ignore their buzzzzzzzzzz

Eventually they’ll move on. And you will remain above ordinary. While they remain…well flies.

Now a warning: If you do choose to be your extra-ordinary awesome self, be aware that everyone has the capacity to feel jealousy…. Even you.
Every time you yourself fall into that gossipy fly-like trap, you lower your extra-ordinariness to the point that no matter how pretty, skinny, rich, kind, successful, AMAZING you are…you have turned into AVERAGE. You have turned into a hater.


So decide if you prefer a hater free life or a hater filled life and live your life in that manner. No regrets. No turning back.

Accept the haters BUZZZZZZZZZZ

or stay home ZZZZZZZZZZZ. 

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Aug 13, 2012 / Musings

TOP TEN WAYS FOR A BUSINESS TO SUCCEED OR FAIL ON FACEBOOK

by Michal Weinstein

Over the past few years SOCIAL MEDIA (particularly Facebook) has become a big part of the services my company MLWDESIGN offers. It was a natural progression considering how it works hand in hand with web design and requires at times customized graphics. So it’s safe to say, between personally being a facebooker and administrating dozens of pages, I have become quite expert in all things FACEBOOK.

This morning, approximately 5am, I woke up and started my day as I usually do…checking up on all my PAGES. I like to see if they went up in fans overnight and if anything new is going on. Because I am able to see behind the scenes of many pages, what works and what doesn’t is very obvious to me. So based on my experience, I’d like to present the top ten tips for a business to succeed on Facebook. 

Now I think it’s safe to assume that as a business owner, your number one goal when delving into the world of social media is to increase awareness of your brand, ultimately leading to an increase of your bottom line. In order to successfully accomplish that goal it’s imperative you understand Facebook and it’s nature before jumping in. Your social media strategy should keep the following ten tips in mind in order to succeed, otherwise you will languish with few fans and waste a lot of time and money.

 

1)    DO NOT BE AN ANNOYING TELEMARKETER!

SELL! SELL! SELL!
NOT! Let me ask you a question. Imagine your phone ringing 4-7 times a night and each time you answer it an annoying pre-recorded voice booms messages loudly such as this: “Quick!!!! Our cars are on sale today only!!!! Come to our showroom and get a great deal while you can!”  or  “Just got in a great dress, perfect for the beach! Must see!!!”
Eventually you screen your calls carefully or even stop answering your phone.  Now imagine the calls were different. It was from an actual human being. Maybe someone you know from the neighborhood establishment you frequent.
Could be Raphael the hairstylist from your salon or Warren the Shihan from your local dojo.

“Hey. How’s it going? Can you believe this heat? How you handling it? How are the kids now that schools out? Oh, you feel overwhelmed? I hear you. Well feel free to drop them off at the Dojo anytime. We are having a camp thing going on this week.”

” Hey just checking up on you. How’s that smoothing treatment we did holding up? Great! So glad. After the summer you will need to do it again but for now enjoy your friz free hair. “

This my friend is the difference between a successful sell and a massive fail.

Facebook works the same way. People are not on Facebook to buy buy buy. They are there for the social experience. To connect. To keep up. To bust boredom. To see how others live. To learn more. To laugh. In a nutshell to be entertained! So do you understand now the approach you need to take to be successful? Do not be that annoying telemarketer.   Give your clients what they are seeking and as a result they will become more loyal and your bottom line will increase.

2)    BE A FRIEND!
Let’s talk about a few of my most successful FB clients and friends. Bits of glitz, an online costume jewelry store that sells great, glitzy, fun, glamorous, costume jewelry. Owner Chaya is a mom working from home and she has managed to amass almost 7,000 fans. That’s right you heard me…7,000! She did not do this overnight. She worked hard for her fans. As a fan of her page you feel like you really know her. She is her brand and her frequent posts reflect that.  She doesn’t just sell sell sell. She posts sayings, inspiring images, funny quips. Her personality oozes through her choice of words. And when she does sell you are already hooked on her and it feels like its coming from a friend.  A friend you want to hang with.  Hate to break the news to you but FACEBOOK is a popularity contest with the most interesting, cool, hip, fun, funny, pretty getting the followers. Don’t be a wallflower. Don’t post nerdy things. Don’t pick your nose while posting either…..just be friendly and try and make friends.

3)    STIMULATE YOUR NEW FRIENDS!
Yes giveaways help you get more fans. The bigger the better.  However rather than ask your Fan to just like and share to win… Yawn! Why not do interactive giveaways that allow your fans to utilize their creativity and brain power. People like that. They feel like they are working for their prize and it s much more satisfying than just sharing and hoping you get lucky. It’s like the difference between winning a scratch off lotto ticket vs. winning an academy for your work and having the world acknowledge your brilliance. A great example was a campaign I helped run for JEN K DESIGNS where fans had to guess the number of stones in a jar. Or 100% kids current campaign asking people to come up with a new name for their company. The interactive responses are amazing and the numbers of fans going up don’t lie.  So be creative and don’t jut take easy way out by asking your fans to share.

4)    STEAL
The Internet is ripe with great images and quotes and funny thoughts. Become more aware of things your fans would appreciate and share it. Remember this is all part of being entertaining.  You don’t have to be computer savvy. You just have to know how to save images, cut links and paste. Very Basic skills.  If you don’t know how…time to ask your kids to teach you.

5)    BLOG
Take advantage of blogging. Ideal scenario is for your company to have a blog for the sole purpose of search engine optimization. Google loves blogs because they are rich with great key words. The more you update your website with these rich key words the higher your ranking on google. Blogs are great too because they give you a platform for selling but in an informative entertaining way. Similar to Facebook but the only difference is people have to come to your blog whereas your fb posts go to your fans. So sharing your latest blog articles on Facebook or if you don’t have time or skills to write your own, sharing someone else’s blog article (giving them credit), is a great way to entertain and provide a service. Note: Make sure those articles are geared towards your audience. A fashion site does not want to hear about nuclear science advances.

6)    DONT FORGET YOUR ROOTS!
Fashion-isha, AKA. Sharon Langert, a dynamic mom from Lakewood is an example of a blogger who uses Facebook magnificently. She too has a healthy number of fans in the thousands. It is obvious she started blogging about fashion and lifestyle for the refined woman because of her passion to share her knowledge and talents. Along the way businesses noticed that when she writes people listen and so her blogging has opened up many great business opportunities for her. But it is clear she has not forgotten what brought her here in the first place. Her blogs continue to be entertaining, meaningful, educational, peppered with her promoting things that target her market. As a fan I always am interested in the latest shoe company she discovered or event she’s involved in because she’s offering me way more than just trying to get me to buy. It’s no different than a magazine that sells ads but provides juicy content. That’s my friends is what Facebook is all about.

7)    BE IN IT TO WIN IT!
If you are not in it than don’t expect to succeed. How on earth do you expect to understand Facebook and what works if you are not on it yourself? And if you are against being on it than do yourself a favor and hire someone else to run your page or get a relative or employee who is on it to do so. But I will warn you: nothing replaces the real owner. People are not stupid and can feel the diference between a hired company that tries to post personable stuff vs. the real deal.  So if you are the business owner I strongly suggest being more hands on.

8)     DUH! TELL PEOPLE YOU ARE ON FB.
This one is obvious but you’d be surprised. Add your FB page to your business cards, website and of course promote it in your place of business. Let people know you are on FB. I recently came across a great site that sells clothes that I love. Naturally I fanned them because I know if I don’t I’ll forget about them. Your customers will want to be your fans, but sometimes you have to remind them or nudge them. Also if you are on FB push your friends to FAN your page. Even if it means inviting them frequently. If they’re your personal FB friends they should want to support your page…otherwise you might as well DEFRIEND!

9)    YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND  ILL SCRATCH YOURS.
Give frequent shout outs to others on FB who please you be it the place you just did your child’s party at (SHOUT OUT TO BREEZY’s WHO DID A FAB JOB ON MY DAUGHTER’S BIRTHDAY PARTY!)  or the beautician who gave you a great facial (SHOUT OUT TO LEAH’S BEAUTY CONCEPTS!) . By sincerely complimenting others you are spreading goodwill and in return you may just get a shout out too. And that’s the best form of advertising. Unsolicited shout outs!

10) FINALLYTAKE A CHILL PILL!
Stop complaining that it’s hard and that you don’t have enough fans. Understand that nothing is without effort. Sure you can buy fans… There are services for that. For $25 you can get 1000 fake fans to boost your numbers and make you look more important. But let’s be real…nothing compares to building quality fans one by one and developing a connection with them that will both give you personal satisfaction and ultimately lead to an increase in your bottom line.

And isn’t that what it all comes down to in the end?

 

Michal Weinstein is owner of mlwdesign, a full-fledged web design and graphics firm that specializes in social media.  If you’d like to reprint this article you can do so by giving credit to michal weinstein of mlwdesign.com..

Jun 22, 2012 / Blog / Musings

How Businesses are Using Social Media

Posted by: Biserka Anderso

Social media has become the de factomarketing tool for companies of all stripes and now we have stats to back this up – 94% of businesses now blog, tweet, pin and post, according to MBA Programs who have visualised the data in this nifty infographic.

But while blogging is businesses’ fourth most favourite social media tool (unsurprisingly, after Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), it looks like it is in decline in the business world, with the share of companies with blogs dropping from 50% in 2010 to 37% in 2011.

This is a worrying trend, not least because it brings to the fore all the opportunities non-blogging businesses are missing out on – raising brand awareness, increasing online visibility, establishing their reputation as thought leaders, to name a few. It also goes to show that while they have grasped the need for social media in general, some businesses still don’t understand the massive value a regularly updated company blog can bring to a business or brand.

Check out the data contained in the infographic and tell us what tangible benefits you’ve seen from corporate blogging. We particularly recommend the six mini-tips at the bottom of the infographic  –  worth printing, cutting out and pinning on your office wall for reference.

Social media is going corporate.

Jun 20, 2012 / Blog / Musings

5 Proven Techniques for Building up Your Facebook Page

As a small business owner you are probably pulled in a thousand different directions running your business and are wondering why you should devote precious moments of your time to social marketing on Facebook. Here are a few key items to consider when deciding how to prioritize your time:
  1. Lots of potential for new business – There are over 900 million (and counting) users on Facebook today.
  2. Your existing and potential customers are already on Facebook – With such a high number of users, your current customers are already on Facebook and you can start marketing to them to strengthen your relationship with them.
  3. Match/Exceed your competitors – Your competitors are on Facebook too. If you are not using Facebook to promote your business, you might actually be losing business to your competition.
  4. Numbers don’t lie–  According to Facebook’s February 2012 data:
    • 51% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or brand after liking them on Facebook.
    • 80% of consumers are more likely to try new things based on friends’ suggestions made in social media
    • 74% of consumers are more likely to encourage friends to try new products.
    • Social Media is becoming more influential at each phase of the connected world.
  5. It’s not that hard! – Not to toot our own horn, but tools like Pagemodo are constantly evolving to make social marketing on Facebook a snap, even if you don’t have any technical skills.

If you are just getting started utilizing Facebook to promote your small business here is a quick checklist to help you create a strong social presence and build up your Facebook fan base.

5 Proven Techniques for Building up Your Facebook Page

  1. Select a vanity URL –A vanity URL describes a custom website address you can create for your Facebook fan page. It usually looks like www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname instead of a default URL assigned by Facebook. Please note you will need to have at least 25 fans in order to be eligible to create a vanity URL.
  2. Set your cover photo & profile photo – Once your business has a new fan page and a custom URL, it’s time to start thinking about your branding. One way to convey your brand and what it stands for is by taking full advantage of available cues: cover photo and profile photo. Think about posting imagery that helps to tell the story about your business.
  3. Add milestones & key moments – Potential customers want to conduct business with companies that they trust, one way to create trust on your fan page is by adding and highlighting important dates and events for your small business. If you can, try to make these milestones as visual as possible to help them pop when visitors are scanning your page. Learn how to add milestones.
  4. Get your customers to Like your page – Timeline does not allow page owners to default the landing page on which visitors land, but that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage growth of your fan base. One way to grow the number of your fans is by providing valuable information that existing and potential customers want (for example a coupon code) that can be accessed once a user becomes a fan of your page. You can achieve this by adding a “Like Gate” that hides your content: It is important to note that growing the number of followers on your page should not be a only a numbers game.Quality matters more than quantity – target potential customers so that you can engage them. Don’t stop here – email your contacts, and tell them about your Facebook Page. Make sure you add a link to your Like-gated page.
  5. Engage fans with quality content – Now that you have created and customized your page it’s time to make sure you are posting quality information that your fans can interact with. Here are a few pointers to think about when creating content for your fan page:
    • Posting visual and timely updates increases fan engagement and also increases the virality of your Facebook Page, potentially attracting new fans
    • Post on regular basis – try to post at least 2-3 times a week
    • Interact with your fans by responding to posted comments and questions
    • Don’t be afraid to be yourself and showcase your personality
    • It is okay to ask questions (remember we can all learn from our customers!)

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May 14, 2012 / Blog / Musings

5 Ways Social Media Can Increase Your Revenue From Existing Customers

By Nichole Kelly
Published May 10, 2012

Are you using social media to keep your existing customers happy?

Do you want to figure out how to drive revenue from existing customers through the social channel?

This post will give you 5 tips to gain more revenue from your existing customers using social media.

Why Focus on Existing Customers?

For many companies, connecting with their existing customers is a natural fit for social media. These companies are seeing conversations about their brands, their competitors and their industry that provide them with an opportunity to engage others in dialogue.

The value of the customer base for companies is substantial. We’ve all heard that it costs more to get a new customer than to keep your existing ones. So it makes sense that we would see more companies developing strategies to engage customers with the social channel.

Social media represents a low-cost way for companies to engage customers in two-way dialogue and develop deeper relationships. Relationships are a benefit that is difficult to achieve with other marketing channels. One often-overlooked opportunity is to use social media to strategically drive incremental revenue from existing customers.

Tip #1: Give Customers Incentives for Making More Frequent Purchases

Whether you are in a service- or product-based industry, you have the ability to increase revenue by encouraging customers to make purchases more frequently.

For service industries, this may mean promoting add-on services, upgrades or premium offerings. For product industries, this includes encouraging customers to come back more often. How can you do this with social media?

You can offer deals and specials that are exclusive to your social media followers based on the level of customer or the frequency of purchase.

For example, if you are a software company, you could offer exclusive discounts to your user conference for social media followers based upon the number of software licenses they are using. Or if you are a product company, you could do a coupon for social media followers that provides a 50% discount off their fifth purchase.

fan only specials
Wine of the Month Club offers fan-only specials.

Tip #2: Give Customers a Reason to Spend More at Each Purchase

The second way you can drive revenue from existing customers is to get them to spend more at each purchase. So if your average transaction is $35, the goal would be to get the customer to spend $50. This can also be accomplished by exclusive deals for social media fans and followers.

You’ve probably seen coupon campaigns many times that are designed to achieve this. Coupons such as $25 off a $100 purchase are aimed at increasing the amount spent at each purchase. Why do they work? In consumers’ effort to get to a $100 purchase, they tend to spend more. This works well for product-based companies, but what about service industries?

Service industries can look to promote package deals for their services that bundle offerings together. In this case, the social channel is used to drive awareness of the offerings with a clear call to action, versus promoting deals or coupons like we typically see for product-based industries.

31 bags discounts
31 Bags gives Facebook discounts for spending more money.

Tip #3: Combine Email Marketing Offers

Keep in mind it’s important to maintain a balance of content on your social channels. The general rule is less than 20% of your content should be about your company. Therefore, a mix of your own content with information from relevant third parties is important.

The last thing you want is to have a social channel that is flooded with deals and promotions with very little customer engagement.

It will be important to think through why a customer would be interested in buying what you are offering and what the process is for them to actually make a purchase so that you can optimize the path to conversion from the social channel to the sales funnel.

Tip #4: Educate Your Customers about Your Other Products and Services

Another important element of increasing sales is to make sure customers are aware of the other types of services or products your company offers. You can do this by featuring a product or service profile of the week, which provides you with the opportunity to highlight premium services and explain what they are and why customers should care.

Don’t be boring; combine the types of content you use to educate the customer with blog posts, photos, webinars and videos.

under armour promoUnder Armour cross-promotes product lines on Facebook.

Tip #5: Provide Consistent Value

At the end of the day, it’s difficult to keep an audience engaged if you’re constantly running another promotion on your social channels. Therefore, it’s important to find a way to balance your content and provide value to customers.

If your customers find value in the content you produce for your social channels, they are far more likely to keep coming back for more.

InfusionSoft, a small business customer relationship management system, has done an excellent job of providing value to their customer base. They recognize that they have sales and marketing expertise inside their company that the small businesses they serve may not have.

infusion soft resource center

Therefore, instead of promoting a bunch of features their software offers, they position themselves as business advisors to their clients. They provide tips, resources and tons of information that their clients can use to grow. Ultimately, the more their clients grow, the more InfusionSoft grows.

As you consider how to grow your customer base through the social channel, it’s important that you create a win-win situation like InfusionSoft has. If you are only there to serve your own needs, customers will recognize your attitude early. Instead, find a way to combine your desire to increase revenues with the thing that motivates your customers the most.

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May 10, 2012 / Blog / Musings

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