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Organic Marketing How to Leverage your Social Sphere - InSights

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					Table of Contents
  Table of Contents ........................................................................ 2
  Forward ....................................................................................... 3
  Chapter 1 – When in doubt, Write a book ................................... 9
  Chapter 2 – Organic Marketing Inspiration ............................... 11
  Chapter 3 – Square Five: YOU at the Center ............................ 15
  Chapter 4 – Square Three: Your Target Audience .................... 22
  Chapter 5 - Square Seven: TLC (Think Like Your Customer).. 25
  Chapter 6 – Square One: Connections ....................................... 27
  Chapter 7 – Square Two: Your Social Networks ...................... 34
  Chapter 8 – Square Four: Your Energy Signature ..................... 57
  Chapter 9 – Square Six: The "Stuff" ......................................... 62
  Chapter 10 – Square Eight: Your Alliances .............................. 65
  Chapter 11 – Square Nine: Your Online House ........................ 67
  Chapter 12: Your Blog, the Keystone of Your Online House ... 70
  Blogging and Playing the Game ................................................ 73
  Chapter 13 – Playing Tic-Tac-Toe ............................................ 75
  (rambling per Gary) ....................Error! Bookmark not defined.
  Appendix: .................................................................................. 77
Forward                                                                 Preface: The Story of the InSights Group
    Marketing as we know it has changed...dramatically. With the            To understand the InSights Group, you need to understand the
dawn of the social network, how we engage, interact and build our       story of how it came to be. In 2007, we had an idea for a business
relationships has undergone a profound and irreversible shift. So       that would bring people together to motivate, inspire, and uplift each
how does a business owner or professional begin to play in the social   other. Our focus was on small business owners, although you didn't
sandbox?                                                                have to own a business to benefit from the motivation and the
                                                                        philosophy, and you didn't have to even have a business yet; we
    You need a process to help you do just that; a simple to use and
                                                                        welcomed aspiring entrepreneurs, or anyone with a desire to dream a
incredibly powerful tool for defining your marketing goals, creating
                                                                        little bigger.
an authentic and energetic online presence, and managing your
interactions. We call it Organic Marketing.TM We start with a               We had a vision to create a place where people came together
common tic-tac-toe concept, and use each square to flesh out your       and formed a sense of camaraderie, sharing insights and inspiration.
online signature, your connections, your social sphere, your            We'd throw in a strong educational component, and wrap it all up
customers, and six other critical elements that make up your overall    with a sense of fun and community. We didn't know it at the time,
marketing strategy. By methodically working on each square, you         but we were on the cusp of creating a new Tribe.
become comfortable in playing the game, making those "three
                                                                            The first logical step was to figure out what we should call this
across" connections and using social media as a powerful business
                                                                        business. We wanted the name to conjure up the essence of the kind
tool.
                                                                        of experience our members would have – not an easy task as no one
    There is no doubt about this: you need to be there. Show up with    was having any actual experiences yet! There was no space, no
authenticity, with consistency, and with a clear understanding of how   building, no community, no business plan, and ―no thing" in the
to connect the dots. When you put the right pieces in place to          truest sense of the word, except for that compelling and intriguing
leverage your social sphere, your business will grow organically, and   vision. We spent hours poring through dictionary and thesaurus,
you will love the results!                                              researching Latin to Greek to Sanskrit and Hindu for anything that
                                                                        might somehow express what this new "thing" was to become.
    Finally, Sandi spoke the magic word..."insights." This rang true,        we took possession of the space. Keep in mind, we also had no
as it identified exactly what we were doing; we were giving people           budget. There was no money set aside for this, nor did we go to the
insights into their business lives, into their personal lives, into          bank or an investor to get any money.
personal growth. And so, the InSights Group was born.
                                                                                 We believed in this concept so strongly that we knew the means
    With our name decided, we needed a location. Originally, we              would be provided; we were called to do this. We hit every Home
thought something with 1,000 square feet of office space, plus               Depot and Lowe's in the county and bought every can of $5 "oops"
parking for about 30 cars, would fit us well. We estimated maybe 30          paint we could find. We started, without a plan or a sketch or a
people at a time gathered for meetings, trainings, and get-togethers         finished vision in our heads, to paint. From the start, the whole
on any day of the week. After viewing several sites that weren't quite       philosophy was about organic inspiration and growth. Let's do this
right for various reasons, our broker said "You know I have got              without a traditional methodology or a large budget, and let's do this
something available across the street. Why don't we go take a peek?"         because we are simply and passionately inspired to make it happen.

    We walked into the building, occupied at that time by a tool                 We began to create InSights' new home. Every morning we'd
supplier. There were piles of greasy tools in a warehouse-type               come in and look at what had been created the previous day, and
atmosphere, and it was six and half times bigger than what we were           often into the night, before and say "what's next?" Over the course of
looking for. Under what we can only assume was divine inspiration            17 exhausting and exciting days, the entire building was painted,
(which may seem a little crazy to the outsider) we decided to jump in        decorated and furnished. When we opened in January of 2008, we
with both, or all four, feet. We signed a six-figure lease for 6,600         had created an amazing space. We heard comments from people just
square feet of office space and the InSights Group had a home.               admiring what we had put together, saying things like "Wow! They
                                                                             must have (insert large amount of $$ here) into the furniture here."
     Now realize, at this point, we didn't even know what the
                                                                             Al and I would look at each other and smile and say, "If they only
business was going to be. We took over the space and knew we had
                                                                             knew," because again, no budget, no traditional financing.
to start somewhere … we had to do something: paint the walls, get it
                                                                             Everything we did to create the physical space for the InSights
cleaned up, get it ready, fill it with furniture, and make sure that it is
                                                                             Group came from a "what's next?" approach. We simply asked: What
ready for opening day, which was a short month away from the time
is the next most important thing that we need to do to pull this idea        As we've traveled through each day and through each season of
together? Then we did it. Inspired action.                               the InSights Group, we have learned how to communicate that
                                                                         message more clearly. Since our first marketing pieces included at
    At some point, we both realized that this was absolutely
                                                                         the InSights Group, we promoted the idea of "chasing your bliss."
supposed to happen. If we had actually put this all down into a
business plan and run the numbers, we may have never started. It             Today, the InSights Group has grown into a national coaching
would have been crazy to do this; it would have made no sense. By        and consulting firm, continuing to serve individuals and small
leaving the traditional approach aside and instead simply taking a       businesses, through a spirit of embracing bliss and sharing insights in
logical "what's next," approach at each step along the way, we           the areas of organic marketing and social media. Sandi was recently
entered that stream of effortless allowance. It flowed. We envisioned    asked, "What was the social media strategy for the InSights Group?"
it, said we would make it happen, and trusted that somehow it would      The answer she gave may surprise some. The InSights Group is a
work out.                                                                product of social media. It exists because social media has become
                                                                         such a strong force in the marketing world. In the early days of the
The Early Days                                                           InSights Group, we were doing everything we could to get people
    Early on, we needed to help people understand what the InSights      interested and introduced to the concept of what the InSights Group
Group was. We tried many ways to define the concept and tell the         was about, and share the concept of the tribe. We started using social
story of what was happening here at the InSights Group. We wanted        media before it was cool, and free. As a result, or perhaps a
to be the place where people got the help they needed to "chase their    byproduct, it grew into so much more.
bliss," where they could find support for their dreams in a variety of
                                                                             Our initial efforts had created a tribe of people; supporters of the
ways. At InSights, we provided open meetings with guided
                                                                         philosophy, our members began to call themselves the InSights
discussions, including Master Minds, business theory and book
                                                                         Enthusiasts. Insights defined a new culture, where people from all
discussions. It began as an intellectual business person's club house,
                                                                         points along the business path visited to find comfort, support and
where relevant topics were discussed every day. An early mission
                                                                         inspiration.
read: "to harness the positive energy of our members, to translate
life's insights into individual success in all aspects of your life."
                                                                          most amazing ideas they could ever come up with and then starting
The Spirit of InSights Today
                                                                          thinking and strategizing at the next level. Of course, there is always
    As we write this, much can be said about the current economy,
                                                                          a shoulder available for the days when someone needs a little extra
especially here in Southeast Michigan. Let me tell you a little secret.
                                                                          help or a push to keep going. Business does have some ups and
There is huge potential in the world right now, if you know how to
                                                                          downs. The amazing energy of the supportive, entrepreneurial, and
leverage your social sphere. Small business is often called "the
                                                                          business community extends to individuals who are in transition,
backbone of America." Small business owners employ more people
                                                                          seeking new opportunity, or even those who work for someone else.
overall than big business, but big business gets the press. When a
large company opens or closes, we all hear about it. What happens             Companies in industries that are experiencing economic slow-
when a small business opens? Typically, no one hears about them           downs are also finding solutions with the InSights philosophies and
unless they begin to make some noise and get some recognition.            approach to social media. One dental office owner who attended an
                                                                          Organic Marketing strategy-setting boot camp expressed that, in the
    Enter the InSights Group, where business owners find support
                                                                          past year, they had spent over $70,000 in marketing for their local
and inspiration, instead of feeling like they are doing it all alone.
                                                                          dental office, and this marketing was not working. During boot
Right now in Brighton, Michigan, and across the country, Insights
                                                                          camp, she realized the potential exposure using social media, which
Enthusiasts are having such abundant success that you would never
                                                                          has very minimal cost when done in-house, is huge. Even more than
know they may have once felt alone. Any individual or company
                                                                          the potential is the renewed optimism and energy that comes from
looking for answers has an eager support community ready to help.
                                                                          thinking bigger. In her case, it was the realization that, using social
The spirit of positive optimism and encouragement can be felt from
                                                                          media as the vehicle, she will soon be trading her knowledge for
the moment someone steps into the InSights clubhouse. This is
                                                                          money and income rather than her time. By adding certain social
where someone shares with their weekly Mastermind group the
                                                                          media-friendly elements to her website and attending regular training
craziest, loftiest dream they could ever imagine, and their group
                                                                          based on her subscription to the on-demand resources available at the
members turn to them and say they can do it, but the goal should
                                                                          InSights Group, she has created an income stream that flows 24
probably be bigger since they will be able to accomplish this one so
                                                                          hours a day. The common sentiment from individuals who have
easily. This encouragement and support helps people to have the
                                                                          learned about the InSights Group‘s Organic Marketing philosophy is
that everyone can benefit from the strategies shared as a part of the
Organic Marketing process. The members are able to benefit from
the insights (pun intended) provided by the InSights Group as well as
from fellow members. Our events and meetings include people from
high-tech computing and interface solutions to multilevel marketing
individuals, from consultants to construction workers, and every
individual is celebrated for their life's experiences and attitudes.

    From the screen printer who quoted tens of thousands of pieces
of product to a national brand, to the local cake creator who takes
orders from around the world, the success stories here due to Organic
Marketing philosophies happen at an incredible rate.

    Businesses are booming, business owners are happy, and at least
in this one part of the world, with the influence it shares, lives are
happier because of this community. The secret is that there is no
waiting period required to attain success. The time is now, and it
starts with a decision. If you need help making the decision, support
in striving for your goal, or a good kick in the pants to get started
moving in a more productive direction, everyone exposed to the
InSights Group philosophy is here to help. The only prerequisites are
an open mind, a desire to grow, and a window that is even the tiniest
bit open. The rest will sort itself out, and you will be amazed by the
results.
                                                                            I call this concept the "Law of Effortless Allowance." In
The Law of Effortless Allowance
                                                                        the Buddhist belief, it's known as stepping into the river right
   Allan Curtis -- Al is the "philosophy guy" around InSights, and
                                                                        where you are. In our culture, we are programmed to try to
has coined a term we embrace called the Law of Effortless
                                                                        go against the current instead of stepping into the river and
Allowance.
                                                                        allowing it to take us in the natural path that we should go.
             We get so busy in what we do, we know so much about
                                                                            Choose your business idea, work your business idea,
       it, that we think everyone needs to know everything about it.
                                                                        believe in it, live it, breathe it, smell it, be it, and then allow
       For example, take a coach and his team. They practice and
                                                                        it. If we don't allow it, we will feel pain; pain from always
       practice and practice, and they know the moves, they know
                                                                        trying to second-guess ourselves. If we allow it, magic
       the plays, they know their routes, they know everything they
                                                                        happens. When you are not attached to the outcome, you can
       need to do. Still, come game day, they do not always perform
                                                                        be there in the moment and you can enjoy it effortlessly. We
       at the level at which they are capable of performing. I
                                                                        have heard the old adage many, many time, that life is not
       believe this is because the coach and the players continue to
                                                                        the destination, it is the journey. Likewise, there is no
       try to orchestrate their lives and their movements as they do
                                                                        destination in business; it is the journey. Let go and
       in practice, with controlled, comfortable actions.
                                                                        effortlessly allow it to unfold, and you will enjoy the process
             When faced with the reality of the game, outside of the    so much more. The result is never the end; it is just another
       practiced rehearsals, they forget to simply allow. Allow the     step on the journey, so enjoy the process all along the way.
       game to unfold around you, and trust that you know what to       This is the secret behind the "Law of Effortless Allowance."
       do. Simply allow it to happen. It is effortless. You simply      We put it into practice when we created the InSights Group,
       realize you are there. You let your natural instinct take hold   and we live by it to this day.
       and go forth. You practice and you practice and then you
                                                                                --Allan
       allow. Instead of worrying about it, instead of being attached
       to the outcome, just allow it to happen.
Chapter 1 – When in doubt, Write a book                                         Social Media is blending the best of both worlds -- our personal
                                                                            interactions and our business lives – in an entirely new way. The
    It's no secret that we are huge fans of Seth Godin. When Seth
                                                                            secret is in finding the balance. Take our InSights Group for
defines a new concept, he writes a book about it. We thought we'd do
                                                                            example: some of our best meetings have included games of Duck-
the same with Organic Marketing, and his inspiration is the reason
                                                                            Duck-Goose or Twister, played on the floor by business people
you are reading this book right now.
                                                                            ranging in age from 20 to 70. The same holds true for social media
    Everything we do here at the InSights Group is not just for one         interaction. When business is truly fun and engaging, business grows
person or one type of improvement; it's for the good of everyone            and changes as the people behind the business get out their ruts and
involved. As a result, the pieces fit together. We've grown                 expand their possibilities.
organically, much the same way social media does when it works.
                                                                                Social media allows us to cross borders, think bigger, and find
    We've come to learn that leadership is needed to create a               resources at our fingertips. We have an incredible opportunity to
community of enthusiasm, of spontaneity, of people who are willing          surround ourselves with people who are positive, forward-thinking
to jump in with both feet. The world of social media mirrors a              and supportive, and who share our belief that anything is possible.
business environment; you have to expect the unexpected. The
                                                                                That‘s the spirit of the new media. Embrace it!
physical part of things – the furniture, the arrangement of the space,
the décor, the site, the people, and the function of your favorite social
                                                                            Live in the land of “what if?”
media site -- is continually changing, so don‘t get complacent and
                                                                                If social media is about stories and connecting people, it makes
don‘t get too comfortable. The people, the leaders, the followers and
                                                                            sense to start with a discussion of ―what if.‖
the relationships you build with them, are your foundation for a great
platform.
                                                                                The question that started our journey at InSights Groups was
                                                                            "How can we just help people?" That, my friend, is also the key to
    Social media requires people to think outside of their norms, to
                                                                            social media.
be creative, and to have a little bit of fun.
    If you enter the social media conversation asking how you can
help, you‘re in the greatest power position you can imagine. When
you care about what people are doing, you can be anywhere in the
world, and people will pay attention to what you have to say.
Stopping in to visit you online could be just the thing that they
needed to feel good, get inspired, learn something, or create a new
way of thinking.

    Be open to the possibilities that new media opens up for you.
Become part of a community that you want to grow with. You will
become more like the people you associate with, so be sure to
associate with good people. As Charlie Tremendous Jones, in his
book Life is Tremendous says, "You will be exactly who you are in
five years with the exception of the people you associate with and
the books that you read."

    Read good books, read good blogs, share your message,
surround yourself with good people, and think bigger than you could
possibly ever have imagined.
Chapter 2 – Organic Marketing Inspiration                                your business. So what's the secret that is locked in the layout of the
                                                                         Marketing Tic-Tac-Toe board? Simply put, Tic-Tac-Toe breaks
    One of the important aspects of the InSights Group from the
                                                                         down your marketing efforts into three categories -- personal,
beginning was the concept of "Masterminding." Gathering a group of
                                                                         business and universal -- that when placed in a certain order in each
like-minded, enthusiastic and motivated business owners together on
                                                                         axis of the tic-tac-toe board; define the squares in relationship to
a regular basis, to share, brainstorm and support each other, this has
                                                                         each other. By placing the axis on the board, and discovering the
been a core feature of our philosophy.
                                                                         corresponding squares, you are able to create a visual short-hand to
    It was during one such Mastermind meeting that the Organic           help you understand how to reach new audiences, build new
Marketing concept crystallized out of thin air. As it happens            relationships and grow your business, within an easy framework.
sometimes in a Mastermind meeting, the mind wanders and is able to
                                                                             In our both our online and in-person trainings, we are often
tap into pure inspired thought. Sandi was in the zone, downloading
                                                                         asked how social media is so different from traditional media. Here‘s
some inspired ideas directly from the business cosmos. She put her
                                                                         the secret; it‘s not that different. Social media is not about using a
pen to the journal she carries into each meeting, and began drawing.
                                                                         new media in an old way. It's about using the new media to
    Then she silently rose, went to the front of the room, drew her      communicate with people in the way they choose. Understanding
vision on the whiteboard, and sat back down.                             this makes all the difference in the world. It’s about relationship
                                                                         building, which is and always has been at the heart of effective
    Of course, everyone in the room wanted to know more. The             marketing.
initial explanation took no more than a few minutes. There was a
moment of stunned silence, and then a chorus of "brilliant!" Organic     A Note about Marketing and Advertising
Marketing and the Marketing Tic-Tac-Toe concept was born.
                                                                             The   words    marketing    and      advertising are   often   used
                                                                         interchangeably. We‘d like to make a distinction. Marketing is the
Marketing Tic-Tac-Toe Style                                              process of a sharing a message with people; the purpose of that
    The concept looks deceptively simple. It lives in a tic-tac-toe      message is to shorten the sales cycle.
board, with each of the nine squares representing a part of you and/or
    Advertising is placing a specific message in front of someone to
get them to purchase a particular product or service. Advertising is
often less personal in scope, versus marketing which is based on a
more personal, relationship building concept. An advertising
campaign is often a single part of a larger marketing strategy. When
we talk about advertising within Organic Marketing, the actual
advertisement may be a piece of paper, a page on a website, a
postcard, or even a business card that is used to encourage someone
to do something.

    A good marketing strategy creates awareness within people
about a product or service, influences their desire, and results in an
inspired action. A good marketing strategy can influence this in the
mind of the prospect, in a subtly motivating way.
The Marketing Bubble                                                    sphere of influence. In the world of social media, the goal is the

    To help conceptualize marketing, let‘s discuss the concept of the   share. You really, really want people to be sharing your messages

marketing bubble as explained by Al. Close your eyes and picture        with their own social networks.

your ideal client in your mind. Next, picture a giant bubble around
                                                                            An effective marketing campaign will have everyone who is
your client. This bubble isolates your client from anything that they
                                                                        separated from you by their bubble vying for position trying to get a
haven‘t decided to pay attention to yet. We are exposed to more than
                                                                        glimpse of what you have going on. As a result, instead of selling
50,000 marketing messages each day. All these messages bombard
                                                                        anything to them, they are selling themselves on you, before you
your prospect every day, and most just bounce off their bubble. Your
                                                                        even have to start the sales process. If advertising is targeted towards
greatest challenge is to get your message inside of their bubble. You
                                                                        the eventual sale of a product, think of your marketing as creating the
want to be noticed by your ideal target client.
                                                                        awareness that you exist, whether you are in a bubble or not.

    Rather than pierce the bubble by force (popping), good
marketing softens the edge of the bubble. By getting your message in    Organic Marketing and Navigating the Tic-Tac-Toe
front of your client as often as possible, perhaps by pulling up        Board
alongside the bubble unobtrusively, or being in the periphery, the          With a better understanding of what marketing is all about, let's
person inside their bubble might begin to take notice. Hopefully they   see how this applies to the Organic Marketing Tic-Tac-Toe concept.
get closer to the edge of the bubble to peek outside. Maybe you get     By using this strategic tool, you gain a clearer perspective of your
them so curious that they will take their bubble even closer to your    marketing activities and understand why you are doing them. Let‘s
bubble. (Think bumper bubbles, that‘s pretty cool!) The more            lay out the board that can be used as the basis for all of your Organic
curious your prospect becomes, the more of your message you can         Marketing efforts moving forward. As you become familiar with this
share. Craft your message in a way that helps them identify their       process, you will also begin to see a variety of other applications.
need for your service. Once you have a prospect in their bubble         We‘ll keep sharing examples of these applications along the way.
paying attention, the marketing and advertising that you put out will   Each square on the marketing tic-tac-toe board is independent, and at
more likely result in an action; it could be a purchase, a book mark    the same time, they are all connected.
for a later purchase, or sharing your message with people in their
    We lay out the board starting with the axis on top and down the
side. Across the top is personal, business, universe, and down the
side is personal, business, and universe. We then fill in the board
from left to right starting in the top left square. The squares are:

     Moving from left to right, and starting at the top, the squares
contain the following concepts:

Square #1: Connections
Square #2: Relationships
Square #3: Your Target
Square #4: Your Energy Signature
Square #5: YOU
Square #6: The “Stuff”
Square #7: TLC, or "Think like your Customer
Square #8: Strategic Alliances
Square #9: Your Online House

    Just as in playing a real tic-tac-toe game, there is an order to the
squares and a strategy to be used to win the game. To give you a
winning strategy, we‘ll start in the best strategic position, the center
square, where the odds are in our favor for a very successful game.
From there we‘ll move into the next most important squares, and
you‘ll finish your travels around the board, implementing a strong
understanding of how all the elements work together. In this game
you aren‘t playing against an opponent; you are playing with
yourself and your business. This process will help you create a
winning strategy.
Chapter 3 – Square Five: YOU at the Center                                 groups, discussions, forums and other online conversations. They are
                                                                           there by choice, and so have fewer barriers to the messages they are
    Social media is the new social trend (and it's here to stay) that we
                                                                           seeing.
can use to communicate with our friends, family and our prospects
and customers. While we are having conversations online, social
                                                                           Personal Mission/Vision
media is a natural outlet for those people to talk about us, spreading
                                                                               Your mission is an important component of the center square.
the message about who we are, what we do, and how they can do
                                                                           We typically think in terms of mission statements for business, but
business with us. Unlike traditional methods of businesses talking at
                                                                           it's just as important, maybe even more so, to have a clear personal
people, social media is a way for businesses to talk with people and
                                                                           mission and vision for your life.
engage in conversations. Ask yourself, does it have more of an
impact if your best friend recommends a product or service, or if the           A mission statement for a business typically addresses what an
sales person at the store tells you that this is what you should buy?      organization is all about. It answers the questions: What do you do?
Most time, we would tend to go with the recommendation of our
                                                                           For whom do you do it? What is the benefit? Think about these for
friends and family over that of a salesperson. There are times, of
                                                                           you personally as well, and perhaps as it applies to your place in an
course, when the expertise of a salesperson is needed to close the
                                                                           organization, or as a solo-preneur.
deal; but to get your foot in the door, to get inside the bubble, and to
get you into the position to buy, the recommendations of the people            You define your mission statement, but just as importantly, your
who you know, love, and trust have weight.                                 mission statement helps to define you. The mission statement
                                                                           identifies your core values, the reasons you do what you do, and it
    Social media provides an opportunity to engage with a wide             identifies your intentions. A solid mission clarifies what you bring to
audience, adding to a new, natural social conversation. This is a
                                                                           the organization or to the world and identifies why you would want
departure from the traditional ―interruption marketing‖ that, by
                                                                           to bring it.
definition, interrupts what we are doing, watching or listening to.
Interruption marketing has given way to what Seth Godin calls                  When we put these together, our personal mission and our
"permission marketing," in which people choose to participate in           business mission, we can have a clear, defined path of what we
would like to be doing, and where we will make a difference in the       on all of those elements working together. Without that, the rest of
world. With this clear in your mind, you have a compass point to         the squares will not fill in properly.
stay true to your mission in the day-to-day operations and decisions
                                                                             The core of Organic Marketing is YOU, and is the most
of your business, including your marketing strategy.
                                                                         important element on the board. Make sure that you have clarity in
    Through the Organic Marketing strategies, in the subsequent          this square. Without that, no matter how good the flyer is or the
squares, you are going to develop a message to share your unique         newspaper or website, the rest of the message is lost.
abilities and talents with the world and learn from other people who
share theirs. Use all of these elements to enhance your ability. There   Social Media and Persona Branding
is not one component that can stand alone, but when we look at               If you are solo entrepreneur or small business owner, the Center
everything that goes into the identity we possess and our persona, we    square is you, personally. If you are a large corporation, that center
can truly create awesomeness (yes, awesomeness is a word ;o). We         square identifies the culture of your company, the persona of the
have all the tools at our disposal to make sure that we have the         brand, your mission, your vision, and your message.
highest probability of success.
                                                                             Your persona brand will include your face, your name, and title
    If you have a team working with you, make sure you include           or tag line (your catchy marketing phrase). It is not so much a
input as you build your team's vision. If you have ten people, you       personal brand as it is a persona brand. The difference between
have ten personalities; you have ten ways of thinking, and ten           personal and persona is that your persona brand is how your
different types of motivation to consider. Taking a personality          represent yourself to the outside world. It takes on characteristics that
assessment at this point would be extremely helpful. As we move          you decide deliberately to share, versus everything that is you on a
into the next squares in the process of developing and navigating the    personal level. When we balance personal with persona in business,
board, understanding how personalities tie into the process is a very    we are able to share the best, most effective parts with our business
important element. All of those things need to be considered to          connections, and keep our personal details off the radar. This is the
create a cohesive marketing team. That center square of you is based     biggest   question,    and    often      hindrance,   to   social   media
implementation that we hear. To help you frame your persona brand,             Marketing process. As consumers, people want to know
start by giving some thought to these questions:                               what is specific and special about you and your business.
                                                                               This is your greatest asset (and your secret sauce!)
        What is your intention? What is the reason that you are
        doing what you do? What is the intent that you have for         Here are a few more questions to further your persona development:
        people who will ultimately work with you? What is your
                                                                               On what core values do you center all that you do?
        "why"?

                                                                               What are your innate abilities and talents? What are those of
        Taking this further, is your purpose on purpose? Is
                                                                               your team?
        everything that you are doing in the day-to-day marketing
        and operations of your business on track with your personal
                                                                               What is your play-to-work quotient? Not everything has to
        mission and your personal vision?
                                                                               be a walk in the park, but make sure that, interspersed among
                                                                               the harder moments, you have those lighter moments. Do
        What is the culture of your business? When people think of
                                                                               you take time for fun? Do you create a break for yourself?
        doing business with you, do you have a strong culture, or
        business essence? Is your culture fun and exciting or is it a
                                                                               Would you be your own best friend?
        little bit melancholy and boring? Are people drawn toward
        you? Obviously if you are not quite as fun and exciting as             Are you able to enjoy what is happening within your
        you'd like to be, you have some room for growth.                       business without any outside influence?

        What elements of your personality, both individually and as            Finally, how are you using all of these elements to enhance
        part of the team, must be a part of your persona brand? If             your passion and ability?
        you or your company has some signature traits, you can bet
                                                                               Finally, and most importantly when it comes to motivation,
        that those are part of your persona. Allow those to be
                                                                               are you chasing your bliss? You know the answer is yes
        represented and encouraged when it comes to the promotion
                                                                               when no matter what you are doing, time seems to stand still
        of your business culture and identity in your Organic
        and it‘s almost effortless to be doing what you are doing.                Why is this organization participating in social media?
        Strive to create and experience more of these moments. It
        will translate into business success. We don't always take the            What are the types of conversations we are going to have on

        time to appreciate those, and it is so very important that we             behalf of the company?

        remember on a daily basis what makes us blissful and what
                                                                                  What are the types of conversations that we will be taking on
        makes us the happiest.
                                                                                  ourselves when personally interacting with people?

    These questions may be easy to answer and define if you are an
                                                                              We can‘t stress enough how getting the center square right is
entrepreneur or solo-preneur. If you have a team of people working
                                                                          critically important. If you understand who you really are and what
together, the company persona will be influenced collectively by the
                                                                          your message is, it is so much easier to share your story. A solid
personas of each person within the organization. This is a great time
                                                                          center square starts with understanding the company's mission and
to check on your team to make sure you have the right people on
                                                                          vision, and why it is important that you use them within this media.
board. Define your culture, and make sure everyone in the
                                                                          Effective social media engagement requires transparency and
organization fits within that culture.
                                                                          complete authenticity, coming from every voice speaking on your

    Let‘s take the next step in our persona brand development, and        behalf. You need a clear, uniform message going out into the world,

relate it to social media. To build the social media foundation of your   based on your culture and persona brand.

brand, look at your mission and your vision and how you will
                                                                              Create a centralized landing page on the blogging website that
incorporate these into your social media presence.
                                                                          talks about the team and each of the individual members of the team,

    As a member of a larger organization or company, you may need         and then as that is automated out to all the individual social media

to hold some Organic Marketing strategy and focus meetings on how         sites, you still need a common element developed from your persona

you craft a persona for the company, so that everyone is on the same      brand strategy that will weave those together, so that the synergy of

page. As you utilize the strengths within your organization to help       the organization is still represented.

support your social media strategy, make sure that every individual
understands the focus of the company. Be sure you all understand:
    When the culture of your organization is shared effectively in          photo with the brand recognition of the company logo. Entrepreneurs
your social media, it will leave a lasting impression of who you are.       can use this to their benefit as well when they are communicating
If your culture is fun, exciting, different, bold, new, fresh … that will   online with a subliminal brand, or company name that does not
stick in people's minds. Culture means everything. Make sure that           overpower the message.
your culture reflects how you feel, your mission, vision, and all of
                                                                                   The history of human communication includes both words and
the elements we have discussed in this section, so it all works
                                                                            visual cues. Before electronic communication became the norm, we
together having a great culture, and empowering the personas within
                                                                            learned as much with our eyes as we did with our ears. With social
your people creates a great organization.
                                                                            media, where we don't have the visual cue of the actual person in
                                                                            front of us, the importance of social interaction and human
Plogos and Physiognomy
                                                                            connection through pictures is even greater. Since marketing is about
                                                                            creating relationships, using a photo with a logo lets you accomplish
    A "plogo" is a concept we developed at the InSights Group (with
                                                                            the best of both worlds.
a little help from our friend @toddlist) during one of our Social
Media sessions. We coach business owners, entrepreneurs and teams                  As social creatures, humans are innately drawn to other human
that, to be visible in social media and form solid relationships with       faces. Physiognomy is the study of the human face, and specifically
people, they need to have their photo on all of their profiles. Many of     the study of how facial features represent our thought processes. As
our clients raised the legitimate concern that they also need to            we go through life, the process of how we think literally becomes
represent their company online. Enter the "plogo," a photo and logo         etched on our faces. The human brain picks up on subtle cues on
used in combination to represent both the company, and the                  faces, and helps us understand people from a visual level. Our face
individual person.                                                          helps people gain a better understanding of us. Physiognomy is
                                                                            innately understood by the brain, whether we are conscious of it or
    Just imagine how effective this is for teams of people. Using the
                                                                            not.
company logo, combined with an individual photo, each person has
their individual plogo they can share on Twitter, Facebook, and in                 In the new economy and its dependence on online connections
email signature. This combines the relationship-building power of a         for relationship building, we must stretch the boundaries of our
communication and think of new ways to truly create a human                                  Does your art mature with time?
connection. The easiest way is to use our most human asset -- our                            Is your business maturing?
own face.                                                                                    How much is it worth? Is the value increasing
                                                                                             and becoming more valuable over time? Is it
    Facial recognition starts building neuro-pathways in our brain
                                                                                             enriching? Enriched does not necessarily mean
and creates a sense of comfort. We form a sense of knowing and
                                                                                             is it monetarily worth more, but is it enriched
common ground when we meet someone in person after seeing their
                                                                                             and fulfilled and has it created a culture and a
picture online. The relationship builds even if we never meet in
                                                                                             belief and a change in the system?
person, as so many of our relationships will exist only in cyberspace.
                                                                                             Does your artwork take its viewer on a journey?
Marketing is about finding and building on common ground. When
                                                                                             From the client perspective, we are buying from
someone shares our social space, and we have glimpsed their life
                                                                                             you because of the experience.
through pictures and videos, we feel a sense of connection with those
people. Our brains, because we put a photo with it, engage at a              Finally, place yourself in the artwork.
higher capacity and we have a sense of greater connection. Being the
social creatures that we are, once we‘ve seen someone's face, we feel                        Where are you as an individual within the piece?

that we know them on a personal level.                                                       How do you feel as an integral part of the art
                                                                                             that is your business?
Marketing as a Work of Art
                                                                             Answering these questions will help you gain a whole new
    Here is a great exercise to determine the culture of your
                                                                         perspective on the culture that your business creates.
business: pretend for a moment that your business is a piece of art.
What do you see? How does it feel? Pay attention to the background,
                                                                         Confidence in your persona
the foreground, and the essence of the piece. How does your artwork
                                                                             Confidence is essential. When you feel you are on top of the
impact the world? When people see this piece of art, how do they
                                                                         world, or on top of your game, and nothing else matters, you will
feel? What would they say if they were to describe it to someone
                                                                         master anything that you decide to do.
else? Does your artwork have any intrinsic value?
    Let's look at an example. Sandi's son plays indoor                    needed to do to be successful. At halftime, the coach had a
soccer, and he was on a team that was made up of 8 year                   talk with the boys, and he decided to put the last two men
olds through 12 year olds, playing in the 11- and 12-year-                back on the field. Instantly, the confidence level changed.
old age group. They were put together as a skilled,                       They started scoring goals --five in a row without even
competitive team, and they did win every single game they                 without thinking about it. The only thing that had changed
played during the season. Toward the end of the season,                   was their perspective. Their skill level had not improved.
when the championship wasn't really a factor, the coach                   Their tactics and abilities had not improved. It was the
decided that he would like to challenge these boys; he would              simple factor of their perception in their confidence that
help them bring up their skill level. Instead of putting all of           made the difference.
them out on the field, he pulled two off, so they were playing
                                                                      How confident are you in your business? Do you let outside
the first half of the soccer game two men down.
                                                                  influences change your perspective? Do you look at the competition
    The coach knew that the boys had all the skills and           and see somebody else that is bigger, that has more tools or more
abilities they would need. He wanted to make the game a bit       abilities, and let that affect you? You have all the tools and abilities
more challenging by making them work a little bit harder.         that you could possibly need. You simply need to focus on the
Naturally, the boys weren't as confident as they had been         confidence that you have within. Just like the boys on the soccer
when they had all their men on the field. They started            field. Don‘t stop to think that the odds are against you. Dig a little
making small mistakes. They were not working together as a        deeper. You have what it takes to be successful; you simply need to
team, and for the first time all season, the score was            recognize that.
reversed. They didn't score a goal the entire first half, and
the other team scored on them repeatedly.

    From the sidelines, the parents could see what was
happening, and the coach could see it too. He wanted to help
the boys find that inner confidence and figure out what they
Chapter 4 – Square Three: Your Target                                     will immediately understand who you are, what you do, why it is
                                                                          important to do business with you, and how to hire you.
Audience
    In the overall plan of Organic Marketing Tic-Tac-Toe, it's            Who is Your Target Customer?
important to target within your universe. You need to define your             Let‘s tackle these first two questions regarding your target
target customer, their personality, and discover where to find them.      audience:

    Taking the time to define your target -- the person who is                1) Who do you want to talk to?
ultimately going to buy our product or service -- is the best way to
determine which marketing decisions to make. When you create your             2) How should you put your information together so that you can
marketing plan with this in mind, you can develop each future square      interact with that target via each of the other squares?
directly for the benefit of reaching your end consumer. This serves
                                                                              We often sit down with clients to talk about marketing strategy,
you in a couple of different ways:
                                                                          and quickly realize they have no idea who they are really marketing

    1) Your message will be specific and relevant, so the person who      to. There aren‘t many businesses that can truly market to everyone.
receives that message understands what you do, and what to do next.       Your business has a target audience, a sweet spot where your
                                                                          message and your mission will resonate. That audience may be niche
    2) Your materials will build bridges. Some of the people who          market or it may be a large segment of the population. You must
intercept your message are going to be connections or bridges to          become very clear about who your target really is. In this way, you
your final customer. They need to know, by looking at that                increase your odds of success and you can laser focus your
marketing piece, who to direct it to. They should be able to see it and   marketing efforts and your message.
recognize who they need to connect you with.
                                                                              To identify your target market, ask yourself these basic
    3) Well focused messages will help your ultimate customer             questions:
understand that they need you. If you have targeted properly, they
    Does your product or service appeal most to men or women?               When considering the target personality, who is the most likely
Who tends to buy your product the most? Next, consider the age          target? Typically, women are the ones who inherit the family
demographic. What age range most often buys from you? When              furniture passed down through the generations. If we were targeting
you've identified even these simple trends, you can see how you can     to the entire universe, we are wasting half of our efforts. In this case,
begin to make choices based on this. For example, if you sell to        marketing efforts need to be geared toward women. When we take
customers aged 75 years old and older, social media probably isn't      the time to focus on targeting the client and determining their
the best place to focus. On the other hand, if your product is          personality, our marketing is more efficient. We don't waste time and
marketed to people between the ages of 20 to 50 years old, social       energy marketing to people who really do not need the message.
media has a lot of potential for you. You can then narrow the
                                                                            The personality of someone who would be the ideal client in this
segment even more. Define the age range even more. Are they 35 to
                                                                        case is someone who is sentimental, someone who has a tie to the
50 years old? Are they 30 to 40 years old? Is the target audience
                                                                        furniture, probably somebody who would like to showcase these
more likely male or female? What are some common characteristics
                                                                        items in their home. This client would most likely have some
of your client mix? That will help you identify exactly who you are
                                                                        discretionary income. Furniture restoration is not an impulse
speaking to.
                                                                        purchase. This is going to be a personal decision, where they really
                                                                        feel that doing this will add some value to their life, to their family,
A Personality Study
                                                                        to their home, for personal and sentimental reasons.
    If Square Five is all about identifying "You," Square Three is
about determining your target client and target audience personality.       The antique or inherited heirloom furniture itself has intrinsic
                                                                        value to the client and they are willing to invest in its restoration.
    We recently worked with a furniture restoration company. To
                                                                        More than likely, the target audience of women would be middle-
begin the process, we looked at their target audience. Who is the
                                                                        aged or older. They are reminiscent about good times spent at
consumer? Who is the typical client who would actually hire a
                                                                        grandmother's house, sitting on that chair, and they may be more
furniture restoration company?
                                                                        sentimental. Using the personality discovery process, we narrowed
                                                                        our audience from the entire universe to women, to age specific
women, to lifestyle specific women. Then we honed in on that
market and specifically targeted our message to them. That
eliminated a lot of wasted time and energy spent going nowhere and
allowed us to focus tightly onto a target that would be accepting of
our message.

    How often do we, in our over exuberance about our company
and service offering, try to share as much information with a
prospect as we possibly can? Do we sometimes share too much? Do
we answer the unasked questions and try to justify our position even
before we have learned what our customer is looking for? It is in our
nature to share what we know and explain it, sometimes in technical
terms, with way too much detail, and raise issues that are important
to us. (Note that we said things that are important to US, not
necessarily important to our customers). Take the time to listen first
and ask questions. Don‘t answer the unasked question. The ideas and
opinions of the customer are more important than what we think they
need to know.
Chapter 5 - Square Seven: TLC (Think Like                                  they are miserable, so you'll want to target part of your social media
                                                                           strategy toward those types of people, taking into account how would
Your Customer)                                                             they interact and how would you interact with them.
    How much time do you spending thinking like your customer?
Square Seven is all about learning to do just this. In thinking like our       The Phlegmatic (Laid Back) type represents almost 40% of the

audience, we need to think about specific ways that they would like        population. These folks are slow to convert, so you must be available

to be communicated with. This is based largely on the classic              to them in many ways, times and places so that when they are finally

personality theory based on the work of Hippocrates of Cos (460-370        ready, you are there in front of them.

BC).You can find plenty of information online by searing for
                                                                               Why is it so important to understand your target personalities?
"Hippocratic personality types." There are plenty of resources
                                                                           It's critical because all four personalities like to receive information
available to study the four basic personality types: the Driver, the
                                                                           and use social marketing differently.
Detail person, the Fun Lover; and the Laid Back relaxed type.
                                                                               Most websites built today come from the perspective of the
    The Choleric (Driver) wants information quickly, concisely, in
                                                                           website owner, not the end user. This is totally backwards, and a
bullet points; you must make it easy for them to find the info they
                                                                           good web development company should help you avoid this common
need, because they are on the move. You need to be aggressive and
                                                                           error. Technically, it has nothing to do with the person who owns the
sharp to capture this buyer.
                                                                           website; it has everything to do with the end user. When you

    The Melancholic (Detail) person wants to absorb all of the             understand who your client is, you gear everything toward their

criteria and all of the information before they make decisions, so you     perspective, and that way, you start thinking like them.

must cater to them differently. You must have all the information
                                                                               Are your customers mainly high-powered business people?
they may need, and then some, available to them.
                                                                           Think like a Choleric Driver, and make sure the info is presented

    The Sanguine (Fun Lover) just wants to have a good time,               quickly, easily and concisely. Deal more with Melancholies? Then

regardless of what they are doing. Their whole purpose in life,            you should have detailed information, white papers, case studies,

everything they are about, is having fun. If they are not having fun,      facts and figures to ease their transition to the buy. Sanguines want
the sales process to be engaging, amusing, and fun, so be sure to
build your social campaign around this if you target these types. For
Phlegmatics, think consistency, and appeal to their pragmatic nature.

    We also need to understand where each of the different types of
personalities will want to spend their time. When you start with your
blog as the foundation for your social media strategy, you have the
ability to put that information in front of your audience in whichever
of the social media sites they prefer. Each of the personality types
will have their own favorite. They will have the site that resonates
with them the most and where they enjoy spending their time or find
value in their time spent.

    Begin by thinking like your customer, by asking questions, and
listening to your customers' answers. They are already telling you
what they need. All you have to do is tune in. Social media is a great
place to do this. You can unabashedly eavesdrop on your prospects
and see what they are talking about, needing and asking.

    Revisit this all the time; what are their needs at present, and how
are their needs changing? Listen to what they are asking for and fill
that specific need with information and solutions. Remember, they
don't want to know how the watch works; they really just want to
know the time. It's an old cliché, but applies in the new media more
than ever.
Chapter 6 – Square One: Connections                                        Social Media offers a great place to build a tribe, a following of fans
                                                                           and friends, and to share a continual stream of information and
    Connections are a major factor in your Organic Marketing
                                                                           engagement.
Strategy. Your prospects and customers form a tribe in the new
marketplace. Seth Godin explains the concept brilliantly in his book,          Keep in mind that it's not enough to gather followers and friends
Tribes.                                                                    on Facebook and other social media. To truly make a tribe, you have
                                                                           to give back. There has to be value to the tribe mates, or they'll look
    Every tribe needs a leader. When you are marketing your
                                                                           elsewhere. You can provide this value by giving back, staying
business, keep this leadership role in mind. When you truly have a
                                                                           connected, "liking" their business pages, commenting on their new
tribe, your followers will be inspired and excited to share your
                                                                           threads, and building their network. Whenever appropriate, make
message with others.
                                                                           online introductions between members of your tribe. Business
    When we created the InSights Group, we didn‘t realize at the           referrals are a fantastic way to do this, and to give back to the people
time but we were forming a new tribe. The members went as far as to        who support you.
call themselves InSights Enthusiasts, people who believe in our
                                                                               Let‘s be clear about the difference between a tribe and a crowd.
message, who are excited and inspired by what we have created.
                                                                           Let‘s look at a circus. At a circus, you'll find a group of people who
They have become members of our tribe; believe in the organization,
                                                                           are going there to have fun and be entertained. That‘s a crowd. On
and in their relationships with each other. Our tribe mates are willing
                                                                           the other hand, if a specific event is targeted to a group of "fans" like
to share our message with others. They want to be involved with the
                                                                           a musical concert, the people attending will be excited about that
community and with individual members.
                                                                           particular musician. This is where you might find yourself in the
    When we can't be face to face with the members of our tribe, we        middle of a tribe. They are there for the common good of the
stay engaged with them on Facebook and in our blog. It keeps the           experience. They are more invested in and excited about the event.
relationships growing all the time. This is a part of the cultural shift   They ―believe‖ in it. A tribe is a group of people who are willing to
that is happening, due in part to social media‘s ability to connect us     move in a single direction based on the leadership of that tribe.
in new ways. It is also living proof of the power of our social graph.
    Your tribe is where you will find where so much of your new           know your name, they might know a little bit about your family. You
business leads. It's important to constantly identify and build your      don't quite have the confidence in them yet as you do your A-Listers,
tribe, and lead them in the direction of sharing your with others, and    but you are comfortable dealing with them and engaging them.
doing business with you!
                                                                              Your C List will be the rest of those people on the list who know

    Creating your ABC list (for entrepreneurs)                            you by name, even if only distantly. They may not even remember
                                                                          what you do, but when you say your name or they see your face,
    How do we identify and create this tribe that will help support       there is some connection.
our business efforts? The number one thing that we all need to do is
create an ABC list.                                                           A large company or small business can identify this through
                                                                          various spheres of influence, including client lists, email lists, and
    1. Sit down, by yourself or with your team, and write down            general inquiry lists. It will also be helpful to consider your partner
every person's name that you know, whether they are close (true           lists, business associates, and employees.
friends and family), distant (you happen to meet them at a
networking event and get one of their cards), or somewhere in                 Creating your ABC List will take a little time; put some effort

between (neighbors, classmates, the mom in your PTO group, etc).          into it and really think this through. Don't overlook your alumni
                                                                          connections, your old neighborhoods, home town, past employers –
    2. Break it down. Assign every name an "A" "B" or "C" value.          all of these can be gold mines of people who know, like and trust
Your A List contains the people you can call on today who will come       you.
to your aid, who will help you out, who already believe in you and
what you stand for. For your business associates on your A List, you          With your ABC List complete, it's time to start marketing. Begin

would be comfortable referring one of your clients to them and know       with your A List. The members of this list have the strongest

beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would take care of that client.      connection to you. These people can help leverage more business to
                                                                          you. Next, begin to connect with your B list with the intention of
    Your B List includes the people who know what you do, they            getting to know them better; with the intent of moving them from the
know a lot or a little about you, they speak to you on the street, they   B list to the A list. Connect more closely with them, earn their trust,
and learn more about them. Social media is a great tool in making         and money to connect with the people on your list. With social
these connections closer and stronger. Remember, you are building         media, when you have grown your sites appropriately, with the push
your relationships, not selling directly.                                 of one button you can interact with those people instantly, when it
                                                                          may have taken hours of phone calls before.
    Finally, you'll move on to address your C List, and begin to work
them onto your B list. In this way, your list is always evolving,             Which site deserves your time? It depends on what you
becoming more viable and more effective.                                  decide in your target audience square, that helps you determine

    Other methods of ABC movement can happen through several
                                                                          where your customers are. Each social media platform has its

different media--the Internet, phone calls, and one-on-one meetings.      particular strengths, and attracts people who enjoy the
The bigger the A-List, the stronger your business. It really is that      interface. If you are dealing with B2B contacts, Facebook,
simple...                                                                 LinkedIn and Twitter are great. They each let you interface
                                                                          with your customer as well.
Making Connections via Social Networks
     Square One is all about connections, and social media is the             If you start your social media strategy on a blog platform,
perfect avenue to enhance these relationships via connections. You        (we recommend Wordpress), you can easily publish and
want to meet and connect via social networks where you can identify       automate your posts to all of your social media sites. This way
your friends, and friends of friends; this allows you to seek out and     you can spend time interacting on the sites you like, and still
communicate with new people who do not know you and you may               have your message in front of the people who frequent other
not have met before. In this square, it is also critical to think about   sites.
reconnecting with the people who you already know, and may have
fallen out of touch. To the people who say that, "I don't have any            You can also find out some information about the
time for social media," consider this: you have been using traditional    demographics of each of the sites. What is the age of the
methods of contact to reach out to your existing client base, whether     average user? Using the Facebook ads system you can find
via snail mail or phone calls. You spend a lot of time, effort, energy,
                                                                          how many men vs. women are within a radius of a zip code and
craft messages specifically to those users. It would make sense          Once we meet face to face, the feeling is like reconnecting with an
to create a strategy, considering who your target customer is,           old friend you haven't seen in a while, rather than meeting someone

and who the bridges to those customers will be. That can help            brand new. This is powerful business networking.

you determine what sites may need some more of your                          When you are making connections in the social media world, be
attention.                                                               on the look-out for new strategic connections. When you create a
                                                                         significant sphere of influence, people listen to what you have to say
    Who is your customer, and what is your favorite site to interact
                                                                         because they think you are relevant, entertaining, and informative.
with them?
                                                                         You have credibility, you have influence. Find others with similar

    Your connections may not always see your message the first           influence to yours, begin talking about each other, and suddenly you

time around; nor will they see every note that you post. If you are      have the ability to create a new sphere of people who will learn about

consistently present on the sites you use, they will have a higher       both of you. Surround yourself with strong connections with

likelihood of seeing your messages than they would have had you          influencers, and share your influence with them.

sent them something in the mail or tried to get them on the phone. A
                                                                             Those individual spheres of influence are the critical elements in
common misstep people make when thinking about this square in the
                                                                         leveraging the messaging power of a large organization. A CEO of a
social media philosophy is that social media is all about new
                                                                         company has his/her own sphere of influence. When he or she sends
connections. It's not … it is just as important in re-establishing
                                                                         a message it out via their connections in their sphere, a certain
contact with the relationships that you already have. I can show up to
                                                                         amount of people will hear that message and find out about it. That
a networking event or group that I have not been to before, and I will
                                                                         message can then be packaged and travel via all of their team
likely already know three, four, or ten people in the room. Many
                                                                         members' social media sites. Individual spheres of influence are now
times, I have only been introduced to them via social media, but it
                                                                         exponentially more powerful and can reach infinitely more people.
feels like we already know each other. In the social media world, we
have been able to share enough information with each other,
                                                                         Our Gary Vaynerchuk Story
including our photos for facial recognition, bits of our personal
stories, and this has helped them get to know our persona brand.
    Sandi: I am involved with a variety of sites in social   connected to her on Twitter. I was able to visit her
media. I was introduced to somebody who I would not          website, leave a comment on one of her posts, and offer
have otherwise met via online media, and its great           some support for her free hugs campaign.
connect ability. I received an email one day from a local
                                                                 About a week later, I was reading the book Tribes by
contact who sent me a link to a keynote presentation by
                                                             Seth Godin. In the book, Seth Godin profiles none other
Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV. He sent this link
                                                             than Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine Library TV.
because he thought I‘d be interested in a comment from
                                                             Coincidence … it was pretty interesting. That prompted
the audience at the end. Gary was giving a keynote
                                                             a new blog post telling the story of how I had gotten a
speech in Las Vegas about monetizing some aspects of
                                                             link from a friend to Gary's presentation, the tie in to the
online businesses. In the audience that day, there was a
                                                             free hugs campaign, and coincidental mention of Gary in
woman who was launching a free hugs campaign. She
                                                             Seth's book.
was raising money for charity to travel around the world
and deliver hugs to different countries. While they were         Within about six hours of publishing that blog post ,
stopping, delivering these hugs, they were going to          the woman who had been in the audience at the
donate to various charities in the different places. After   presentation left a comment about her campaign and
the keynote presentation, she stood up to ask a question.    thanked us for linking to it and showing some support. I
She asked Gary what was one of the ways that she could       now have a connection with a woman who is bringing a
use social media to promote her free hugs campaign.          free hugs campaign around the world. If I decided that I
This is when my contact thought of sending this to me.       wanted to meet up with them in Istanbul, I would have a
                                                             connection; we have already broken the ice. I know who
    We have our own story about free hugs here at the
                                                             she is and she knows who I am. We have a connection
InSights Group, and this friend of mine thought that I
                                                             that we would not have otherwise had through social
would be interested to check this out. I went to the
                                                             media.
website of the woman who spoke on the video about her
free hugs campaign; as it turns out, I had already
                The rest of this story gets even better. Planning a trip   in contact with those that they met. It took effort to stay in touch with
            to New York to see Seth Godin, we decided to send              people once you left a job or moved to a new state.
            Gary an email to say that we‘d be in town, and find out
                                                                               The ability to remain connected has radically changed the way
            if he‘d have some time for us. He said yes, and we spent
                                                                           we relate to people throughout our lives. Through their social
            an afternoon touring Wine Library and talking with Gary
                                                                           spheres, now, the next generations start building their sphere of
            about his perspectives. It was a great time, and we
                                                                           influence at an early age. They will take that sphere of influence with
            wouldn‘t have made that connection if not for Social
                                                                           them throughout life. Imagine if you were still in touch, in some
            Media.
                                                                           way, with just about everything you ever met. This generation will
                                                                           be. The power that this has in our future business and personal
Social Media and Your Career
                                                                           endeavors is incredible.
    We have seen the beginnings of a cultural shift in the way
marketing is done, and the way people are communicating. We have               The time is now to begin building your sphere, wherever and
also witnessed instances where social media has become one of the          whenever you can. You don't have to start from the beginning and try
leading criteria in the hiring process. Employers are increasingly         to have everything in place all at once. We are proponents of leaning
interested in how you are represented in the social media. They are        into the process. Wherever you find yourself today with social media
looking at the amount of influence you have in your industry, your         is the right place for you to start. If you have people around you who
region and your larger community. Whether you are an entrepreneur          are not yet using social media, this is the perfect time for you to help
or a future college grad, developing your sphere of influence is an        educate them as to why it is so important and help them discover the
essential part of today‘s world, and it is all about making                importance of working on their own social graph.
connections.
                                                                               Have a clear social media strategy, especially if you‘d like
    Consider this: children today are growing up with Facebook
                                                                           to be effective in business communication. Here‘s a suggestion
accounts. Until this recent generation, most people would go through
                                                                           of what not to do from Sandi:
their lives—schools, cities, careers—without a method of remaining
    We‘ve all seen the requests: change your profile picture to
a favorite cartoon from children, a flower, or an animal.
Sometimes these requests come wrapped in a "cause;" other
times it's just for fun.

    I am all for supporting worthy causes. What I am not so
interested in is seeing the peer pressure generated by social
networking sites that encourage people to change their photo –
thinking that it is going to do something. If you want to really
support a cause, share a link to that cause via your social media
sites, where someone can click a button and DO something --
donate money; sign up to volunteer, sign a petition. Really,
anything other than just changing a profile picture would be of
benefit.

    I will not change my profile picture this week to my favorite
canine friend, in the guise of helping animals. I do support a lot of
cause sand, when appropriate, share them via my social media sites.
Think twice about following your peers, and be sure that if you
choose to follow along, it fits your energy signature and your overall
strategy.
Chapter 7 – Square Two: Your Social                                        about me.‖ He is now a recent college grad, looking for a job, and is
                                                                           probably wondering, "Hmm … I wonder why it is a little more
Networks                                                                   difficult to get in the door?" The answer lies in his connections, or in
    Square Two is all about your social networks. Your social              this case, obvious lack of them. We can all write a resume and give
networks include your online and offline networks. These can               our credentials to try to get into the door the old-school way. But
include sports clubs, social clubs, political organizations, and many      understand that the easiest and more effective way to be introduced
more. We will spend quite a bit of time discussing the trends of           to a company or an organization in this new economy is through
developing online social media networks, but don‘t short change            your sphere of influence. Beyond that, an employer today is also
your in-person networks as well.                                           going to look up a persons' social media profile to get a real-time
                                                                           understanding of their character and how they interact in the world.
The Power of Social Relationships                                          Jobs are being found (and opportunities are being lost) every day
     Social relationships can take any number of forms. While              based on this.
perhaps the most common way we relate is via our Facebook
                                                                               Those who get involved now, create authentic profiles, and build
"Friends," we have to expand the definition of "socializing" to fully
                                                                           large spheres of influence will have a much easier time in the future
integrate the concept into an organic marketing strategy.
                                                                           because they already have a base to operate from. If someone tries to
    The profiles you create on social media sites are a significant        get a start later on, they will be that much further behind that if they
piece of this social relationship. If your profile depicts you as a        start right now. Be a timely adapter, create those relationships, and
person with strong interests and a solid, consistent persona, it gives     begin to leverage them in everything you do from here forward.
you credibility. If you think, "I am just going to throw a profile up on
                                                                               There are many, many sites where you can become involved
all of these sites because it is something that I have been told to do,"
                                                                           with social media. You do not have to have a profile on every single
your results will be less than stellar.
                                                                           one, and you do not have to spend time on every single one. Once
    Al has a nephew who said, "You know, I don't really want to do         you become more comfortable with social media, you can add sites
that social media thing … I don't want people to know anything             as you go, and automate and streamline the experience. For now, we
recommend you start with the Big Three: Facebook, LinkedIn and           happens when you reward people for building a social media sphere
Twitter.                                                                 of influence? We can certainly see a future in which raises will be
                                                                         based on this sphere of influence that you create and your
    Think about this: if you start today to build a larger sphere of
                                                                         willingness to share brand with your networks. Conversely, we can
influence in the social media world, what will you have in five
                                                                         see your employer making strategic team decisions and deciding they
years? If you do a little bit today and a little bit tomorrow and you
                                                                         may not need you anymore if your social sphere remains small and
connect with people from your past and you connect with all the
                                                                         doesn't help spread the company's message.
people you are associated with in "real life," where do you see
yourself in five years? How much social clout could you command?             Start today to create your sphere. If you take some time every
How could you influence opinions, be a leader, or act as a change        day to build your connections and social relationships, you will
agent?                                                                   create a powerful sphere. Let's say three years from now you decide
                                                                         to try something new and open a new business venture. You now
    Let's say it's five years from now, and you are looking for a new
                                                                         have a ready-made sphere of influence you can leverage in the
job. The hiring manager says; tell me about your social media
                                                                         future. They already know, love, and trust you, and they will be
network." If you have been building your sphere for the past five
                                                                         willing to listen to what you have to say. When you decide to bring
years, you could easily say "Well, I have 100,000 connections on
                                                                         out a new product, share a new service, or promote your brand
Twitter, 3,000 connections on Facebook, and I am LinkedIn with
                                                                         expansion, you have a built-in audience.
1,500 people in my industry." Your potential employer knows that
you have spent your time building a sphere of influence, which               The companies that create a great strategy (and we are working
creates tremendous potential for them. Not only that, if that employer   with some of them right now), that can subtly grow their social
sees that you will be loyal to the brand and you will leverage your      media to the point where it is influential, will softly create a market
social media presence on behalf of the company, you've got a             through the process of leveraging their social graph without having
winning combination.                                                     to scream out to the world, "Hey, buy from me." If you start to pay
                                                                         attention to the psychology of how it is used, any corporation,
    Let's explore leveraging a social network. A company takes on
                                                                         whether small or large, can tap into this amazing potential.
social media and commits to creating social media presence. What
Social Media Campaign                                                       Picture a Friday night and you have been invited to a social

    Once you have created your profiles (starting with FB, LI and       event. Maybe you know people there; maybe you don't. You show

TW), you can begin to implement a strong social media campaign          up. Are you showing up to sell yourself to people? Are you hoping

based on a strategy for interaction. You have to start with a good      they will buy something from you tonight? Or are you showing up

grasp of what you want to accomplish on social media. Are you           there socially, to meet new people, have some fun, to interact, and

looking to build your ABC List? Do you want more fans? Are you          build stronger relationships? Most people going to social events are

hoping to spread your content virally? Are you looking for new ways     there to do exactly that -- socialize, just get together and talk and

to talk to your customers? Knowing why you want to engage on            have fun and meet new people. Social media is the same way, except

social media is the first step.                                         this is an online party, with millions of guests.


    The most important thing to remember is social media is not             Once the party is over and you met someone who you think is

about your company; social media is about you. Refer back to the        interesting or cool, the question becomes how to get to know them

center square and what we referred to as persona branding. Good         better. What should you do? What‘s the logical next step? It would

social branding begins with building the brand of you, including your   be to invite them to the party at your house next.

name your face, who you are, and what you do. Your ―why" of what
                                                                            In getting to know them, you extend an invitation to your party,
you do should be included, and put together it comes across as a
                                                                        which is the social world is your online house. This can be your
complete package. Rather than leading with your company name, it
                                                                        website, your blog, your Facebook profile or page; any place they
is leading with your face and leading with your name, because that is
                                                                        can visit to learn more about you. Your new friend can then decide,
the most memorable part; that is what people remember, and that is
                                                                        "Am I interested in this person and what they are doing? Would I be
the person with whom they are ultimately doing business.
                                                                        willing to share them with my network?"

Social Media is like a Party                                                Let's look at the psychology of this for a moment. If we take this
    To help people understand how to begin to interact effectively      time to help people learn about us, but not sell them anything, you
via social media, Al relates how social media is like a party.          may be asking, how does this help our business? The goal with social
                                                                        media and organic marketing is that we want people to talk about
who and what we are, so when the prospects faces their pain (their        possibly un-friend you. Be aware of protocol and expected behaviors
need for our service or product), we are already in their trusted and     on each site so you can maximize your impact and minimize what
known close circle.                                                       may not be popular behavior.

    Your social presence needs to draw people's attention. Online,
                                                                          Facebook in Real Life: Insurance
you have very few moments to capture someone's attention. We live
                                                                              Here‘s a great example of how a local insurance agent has used
in a busy world, and this online space moves like a freight train. This
                                                                          social media to his advantage. InSights hosted a social media
is why your online house needs to get people engaged in your
                                                                          presentation for a local Chamber of Commerce. In the audience was
website, quickly and repeatedly.
                                                                          a gentleman who has been involved in the insurance industry for a
    A good social plan is lived "out loud." Share your conversations      number of years. He was planning some new marketing, and
that can contribute to your online persona brand out loud. If you         planning to send a let letter to his contact list. For many people this is
belong to a group, and you plan to meet someone there, mention it         a default marketing behavior. We‘ve all heard the advice before,
beforehand via a post on their wall or a status update. Mention the       when you are ready to tell people about something new, go to your
events that you have been going to, and who you met there. Talk to        friends and family list and mail everybody a letter. This agent was
your friends about the type of business that they are in, the type of     getting ready to send out this letter, but he was having reservations
clients that they service. You can ask some of those leading              about whether it was the right thing to do. He had about 700 names
questions that will encourage people to talk about themselves.            on his list, and he didn‘t feel quite right sending out the letter. He
Instead of putting out the reasons why people should do business          didn‘t want to cross a line with some people, and come across as a
with you, wait until you are asked or hold those conversations with       ―salesperson.‖ He didn't want to be the guy who sent them a letter
other people. When someone asks, "So what is it that you do?" you         just because he wanted to market his business to them. He had real
now have permission to put that information out on your wall. If you      relationships with these people, and he didn't want them to be afraid
just start putting your information out on pushing sales content, it      he was trying to sell them something the next time they saw him
doesn't always come across in quite the right way. If you do too          coming.
much promotion, chances are that people will tune you out, or
    Based on what he learned at the presentation, he left class and       this effort, he was able to share "this is who I am, this is what I am
immediately started his Facebook account. Within about a week, he         doing, and here I am if you would like to do business with me.‖ The
had reconnected with old friends from high school, college buddies,       results were fantastic. In about two weeks, he had prepared 18-20
and people he knew in the local business community through                quotes (which for a two week period and a new marketing effort was
organizations and networking events. He started to follow the advice      a great success!) By using social media and using it in a smart way,
he‘d just received in class. Instead of saying "Hey, I am really cool     he was able to get people interested, intrigued, and it led to great
… I can get you insurance at a great price," he used his wall in a very   things for him.
smart way. He started saying things like, "I am working late at the
                                                                              One of the most challenging aspects of social media is how to
office today," "I just saved money for one of my clients," and "It's a
                                                                          measure the ROI (return on investment). In the case of the insurance
great day to be a small business owner." Soon people were asking,
                                                                          agent, the investment was some time, and no money. The return on
"What are you doing working late today?" and "How are you saving
                                                                          his time, both in learning social media and participating in it, was
your clients money?"
                                                                          huge. Consider the alternative. Seven hundred letters could have
    Those questions gave him permission to share more information.        been sent out; with an average direct mail return rate of between one
He could tell people, "I am an insurance agent. I own my firm here in     and three percent, he could have expected between seven and 21
Michigan, and I work really hard to help my customers save money."        requests for quotes. Add to this the costs and time involved in
It wasn't long before people started saying, "Why don't you quote my      creating the letter, putting the mailing together, adding postage, and
insurance, It is coming up for renewal," and "Oh, really! Could you       running to the post office. The return in this case speaks for itself:
look at this for me? "These folks were already over the traditional       18-20 quotes with no financial investment, and a growing and more
barrier to doing business with someone new, because they had an           robust social presence? We'd say that‘s a good return.
existing relationship. This agent capitalized on new media. Instead of
                                                                              An important piece to remember is to set measurable ways to
sending out that letter, he used his Facebook profile to expand his
                                                                          recognize your ROI. You can measure how many people call for
ABC List and let people know what he was doing. What was the
                                                                          quotes based on a marketing campaign. It can also be how many
beauty of this? He didn't have to sell a thing. He connected with
                                                                          visitors spend time on your website, or Facebook Page. Even more
people in a genuine way, focusing on the relationship first. Through
importantly, you can see how many people visit your website by way
of your Facebook profile or business page. Once you define some
measurables --say I want to get this number to my website and this
many coming from Twitter and this many from Facebook-- you can
now check the demographics. You can also begin to redefine your
efforts based on what you can observe from the statistic. You can
determine your impact from posting at various time of the day. When
you begin to understand how people are motivated and responding to
your marketing, you will see traction in your social media strategy.
Social Relationships on Facebook                                              Why is a headshot so important? It comes down to a scientific

    Facebook is like a 24-hour news channel and People Magazine           understanding of how our brains function. In general, when we look

all rolled into one, and it‘s all about the people we know. When we       at text, our brain processes the words as information. When we see

create our online sphere of influence through our various accounts,       pictures, we add more bridges between the information and the

we open a portal into people‘s lives. This can be personal or             relationship. To prove this, just look at a class photo from your

professional, and it often bridges both. It can cover business, or        elementary school years. Chances are you'll remember who in that

recreation, and often many aspects in between.                            group you counted as your friends, even if you can't remember their
                                                                          names. Allow people to create a relationship with you, whether you
    As the largest and most popular social media site today,              are there in person or not. Your picture will help to make you real. It
Facebook blends people's personal and professional interests in a         will make you more engaging, and by nature, someone will want to
new and intriguing way. Through our connections, we get a glimpse         find out more about you. Chances are that they‘ll remember more as
of the personal side of people with whom we do business. At the           well.
same time, we learn more about the careers of our friends and family
members. Our profiles incorporate both the brick and mortar aspects       Facebook Profile or Facebook Page?
of our business lives, and the more warm and fuzzy elements of our            Your Facebook profile is your personal space; the information
personality.                                                              that you share in your profile should be done so it helps people find
                                                                          out about you. You don‘t want it to read like a business brochure. On
    There are definitely some things you want to keep in mind if you
                                                                          your Facebook profile, an under-utilized area for business
are using Facebook for business promotion. First and foremost is
                                                                          professionals is the "information section. Use the space. Instead of
your profile picture; make sure it's a good one. Post a clear head shot
                                                                          talking about enjoying walks on the beach and sunny days, put
that features your smile, your face, so that people can quickly and
                                                                          something interesting or catchy in there about your business. When
easily see who the profile is about. We call it "leading with your
                                                                          someone run across your status update or a comment on another
face" and it's an important aspect of good persona branding. Post the
                                                                          post, what you've said may grab their interest. They'll go to your
family dog photos and the vacation pix in your albums; keep that
profile picture just about you.
profile to learn more about you, and this is a great space to utilize to       If you have a Facebook page or profile, be present every day.
help build your business identity.                                         Once a week just isn't enough to truly build relationships in your
                                                                           social sphere. Even a couple times a day might be warranted,
    Another important section is in your information tab. Fill it out
                                                                           depending on your audience, to connect with an even greater group
as completely as possible. Add your phone number, email address
                                                                           of people. If you take the time to plan a strategy, you can put the
and a live link to your website or blog. We are always surprised how
                                                                           elements together so they work for you 24/7.
often we meet someone via social media, and try to find their contact
information only to realize it‘s nowhere to be found. Don‘t be that
                                                                           Facebook: Events
person.
                                                                               The Events feature within Facebook can be a great tool for
                                                                           business promotion. If you are a speaker and you have a seminar
Facebook: Pages
                                                                           coming up, it is a great place for you to advertise. What about if you
    While your Facebook profile is your personal space, your
                                                                           are not a speaker … if you are not somebody who would typically be
Facebook Page is for your business. Pages are a great place for you
                                                                           holding an event? Let‘s use the example of a homebuilder who
to create that landing page within the Facebook system that serves as
                                                                           created an open house at home he was building. Tell people that you
a home page for your business. You can post pictures from recent
                                                                           are going to be at the house at 123 Main Street, of course with the
events, display your logo (or ideally, your plogo), and share
                                                                           permission of the owners. They can stop in on Monday from 2-4
information on what types of projects you are doing and with whom.
                                                                           p.m., come and ask questions, learn something new about home

    A huge benefit of social media and blog post automation via an         building, maybe pick up a hammer. It doesn't matter if anybody

RSS feed is that you can link your blog to your Facebook pages and         shows up to that event or not. Chances are you will get a couple

to your Facebook profile. As you publish a post, it publishes onto         people, but more importantly, your friends on Facebook will see that

Facebook seamlessly this way. This creates a continued avenue for          you are active. They will see that you are doing something. They will

you to gain top-of-mind awareness. Strive to create a balance of           know that you are present in the business world. Sharing via social

business posts to personal conversation starters. Develop a ratio that     media is all about marketing. It is sharing what we are doing, where

works for your readers.                                                    we are, and where people can find us. Understand the tools so you
can use the tools. Events services are a great way for you to do some     5 Facebook Rules of Engagement
of that type of promotion.
                                                                          Rule 1: Know the difference between Profiles and Pages
    Another way to leverage Facebook is to find information that
                                                                              Set up a Facebook Page for your business, and use your Profile
you can share with your contacts. This doesn‘t have to be
                                                                          for personal connections. This is one of the most important things for
information you originate, it can be sharing messages that are created
                                                                          people to do. Don‘t create a personal profile and then forget to be
by other people, brands and organizations. Share, re-share and re-
                                                                          personal. You especially don‘t want to name it ABC Company and
post the messages that other people are posting that you find
                                                                          try to use it that way. For starters, it‘s against Facebook policy; not
interesting. If you are hosting an event, send out a note to your
                                                                          only that, but people won‘t pay any attention to you if you try to
friends, "Please share this … please visit the events tab and post this
                                                                          handle it that way. If you do have a Page for business, you still want
to your profile." The speed of information delivery is growing
                                                                          to allow as many people as you can (Facebook allows up to 5,000) to
rapidly. We are learning incredible new things every day based on
                                                                          feel like they know you by having the opportunity to be your
interesting things that other people come across that they share with
                                                                          ‗friend‘. They‘ll feel more connected to you here than if they just
us: new trends in social media, new websites that are starting up,
                                                                          ‗like‘ your page. So let them. It‘s good for business.
new products that are on the market, new videos that inspire us to be
greater; be on the forefront of where people are sharing and engaging         Also, make sure you add your website to your business page, and
this information.                                                         your personal profile. When people are clicking around to get to
                                                                          know you, make sure they can follow the trail to what you do for
    Here‘s one of the most important things to remember about
                                                                          business. It‘s also going to be good for Google and the search
social media, especially on Facebook. If you do too much promotion,
                                                                          engines to recognize this link.
people will shut you down. It is regulated by the people using it, and
the dreaded "unfriend this person" is just a click away. Engage,          Rule 2: Pay attention to your connections, make small talk
share, inform, communicate....and do not sell. If someone asks, you           Whether they are your personal profile friends, or the people
can answer, but do not use Facebook, or any social media site, as a       who like you on your business page, make sure you take the time to
place to pitch.                                                           make conversation.
       Think of your online presence like a party, and people keep           adhere to yourself, consider spending your time on Facebook in the
coming and going. Stop by each group and engage for a moment or              evening – you‘re likely to bump into more of your friends that way.
two. Ask a question, pop in with a short story, share a photo. The
                                                                                 Your business page will probably see more daytime traffic than
more you are chatty, the more they will be too. That‘s great for
                                                                             evening or weekend as well, so think out some well placed updates
relationship building, top of mind awareness, and it‘s a lot of fun
                                                                             to share, and keep them early to mid-day. Most people will pay more
too!
                                                                             attention to business matters the earlier in the day that they see them.
       Pages typically take some getting used to. It‘s easy to head over
to your profile page, visit the feed and see what your friends are up        Rule 4: Mix it up!
to. It takes initiative on your part to also visit your business page, and       If you only share text posts and say the same thing day after day,

take the time to make a comment. By nature on Facebook, users                your friends will notice – or worse yet, stop noticing! Keep it fresh.

want to interact with people, not just a logo, so know that it will take     Vary your content by using videos, text and photos. There are plenty

more work to replicate the personal feel on your Facebook page. Be           of status update ideas out there. You can share content from your

deliberate about the things that you post, and try to make it feel like      blog, other blogs, YouTube, a host of other video sources, fun facts,

you are there – in both your profile and on your page. If you have a         figures and pictures. If variety is the spice of life, think of your status

team that is generating content for your page, feature them in the           update section as a rotating spice rack. Mix in the variety!

photos you share, and especially in the photo of the page. It will help
                                                                                 Pay attention! Some of your content will get better engagement
– trust me!
                                                                             (more likes and comments) than others. Watch for trends, and share
                                                                             more of what is popular. You should also realize that some people
Rule 3: Be a Timely Poster
                                                                             are lurkers. They will watch and read everything you post, but may
       Your connections will each have their own online preference.
                                                                             never comment. That‘s okay. Just realize they are thinking of you
Watch for trends. When are most of your friends available to chat?
                                                                             when they read your updates, so think of them when you post!
Do you see more on during the day, at night, or on weekends? If you
schedule posts to automate from your blog, consider having it post at
                                                                             Rule 5: Be Smart about how you promote
peak hours. It‘s more likely to be seen. If you have a schedule to
    You can create amazing new relationships on Facebook, and it          creating conversation, viewing interesting new things, even
can be especially good for business. The open forum is a great place      commenting on the photo albums of your old high school buddies.
to engage with one person, sharing stories, or results of the day, only   This is a good thing potentially for you personally, though it may not
to be overheard by another person who could really use your               be the most productive time you can spend for your business.
services.                                                                 (Unless, as you remember, you take after the insurance agent, who
                                                                          was able to leverage beautifully becoming re-acquainted with people
    What not to do: say ―come buy my stuff‖ or any variation of that
                                                                          in his sphere.) It is critical to have a sound strategy in place so you
theme.
                                                                          understand where your efforts should be focused, and when you have

    What to say: ―helped another awesome client today,‖ ―loved            time to be on your own time. It‘s essential that you know exactly

networking to meet new business professionals in my community,‖           what it is that you would like to accomplish, and to stay on task.

thank a colleague for help you got on a project. Give a shout out to      Don‘t go chasing after "the shiny stuff."

your graphic designer for help on the new marketing piece you have.
                                                                              Of course, the shiny stuff can be a lot of fun. You can learn a lot
Share your excitement for what you are working on. People are
                                                                          of new things. When you are working within social media for your
curious. Once they ask, feel free to share. You‘ll figure out how to
                                                                          business, you set the strategy. Sometimes you find amazing things
finesse these posts with practice. Just make sure when you start you
                                                                          and new concepts in the shiny stuff, that yes, you can leverage for
are very mindful of the balance you are trying to keep.
                                                                          your business. If you are limited on time and resources, however,
                                                                          don't let the shiny stuff distract you. If you are on focus, this is a
The Shiny Stuff – Keeping Your Focus
                                                                          huge tool, and there are incredible possibilities.
    Let's take a minute and address one of the key objections busy
business people have with Facebook and social media sites in                  If you need that time to play with the shiny stuff, set specific
general. It can be a huge waste of time. It's important to understand     chunks of time aside. Recognize this is your personal time, and not
the distraction potential when we get involved in social media. It is     part of your social media strategy. Set some time aside in the evening
fun. It‘s easy to connect with people who we have not seen in years       or whenever it is best for you, but while you are here for business,
and to look around with curiosity. We can spend countless hours just      make it be for business. You can still have fun, just stay on task.
Social Relationships on LinkedIn                                        like an online resume, a digital story of your career and your

    LinkedIn is the most professional of the social media sites         professional background. When you are creating your LinkedIn

available. LinkedIn originally was started as an online Rolodex, as a   profile, make sure that you include some "keywords" that relate to

way to connect with your connections' connections. Say you have 10      your career, so people can find you by what you do. For example, if

business associates, and they each have 10 associates. LinkedIn was     you are a certified tax accountant, you want those words to appear in

created as an easy platform from which to make introductions and        your work history, your educational experience and your groups,

expand your own network through referrals and personal                  associates and interests. This helps other people find you by those

recommendations.                                                        words when searching LinkedIn.


    Here‘s an example of the numbers with Sandi‘s account. She is       LinkedIn Profile Building
connected to roughly 1,500 people in her first-level connections,           When building your LinkedIn profile, include a professional
meaning that she has requested to be linked to them or they agreed to   headshot, and make sure that you have completed your work history,
be linked to her based on an existing relationship; they are a direct   the schools that you have gone to, and the different groups and
first level connection. Of those original 1,500 people, she requested   organizations that you have been involved with. We have come to
to be connected with everyone in their first-level, about 515,000       learn through our work with professional recruiters that they often
people. So Sandi's sphere of influence of 1,500 just went to 515,000    scan a resume from bottom to the top. Make sure that you spend as
plus her 1,500 original connections. LinkedIn takes this one level      much time making the end of your profile as interesting, relevant and
further, to a third-level connection. The third level is where the      informational as the top. Use keywords well. Focus on the
power of the tool becomes huge. In this example, the third level        experiences that will be sought after information, and in LinkedIn,
connections bring Sandi to 11 million additional people she can         don‘t be afraid to go into extensive detail. It will help you with long-
contact.                                                                tail keyword searches, and the people trying to find you will
                                                                        appreciate it.
    As LinkedIn is one of the most ―professional‖ of the social
media sites, there is not as much warm and fuzzy information on              Once you have your profile up and running, you will want to
LinkedIn compared to Facebook. Typically, your LinkedIn profile is      take some time to research the question and answer section of
LinkedIn, as well as look for different groups and associations that            Hold some of those "Getting to Know You" conversations,
you can join or that you can belong to. In LinkedIn, your sphere of             whether those happen online, via telephone, or in person. A
influence is based on the connections that you have. It is also based           great approach is to let people know the reason you are
on the groups and the associations that you have built within the               seeking the connection, and that you think you could be
LinkedIn system. Even if you are not connected with somebody one-               great resources for each other in the future. Put your prospect
on-one, if you have a group in common or if you have become                     at ease by letting them know that you are not expecting
involved in a discussion, the door is now open for you to make that             anything from them right now, but want to help each other.
new connection.
                                                                            When we are in the process of building relationships or trying to
    One of the best ways to use LinkedIn is to strategically look for   sell our product or market our product, common ground with that
people with whom you want to build a relationship. . LinkedIn is not    person sitting on the other side of the table is what links us together.
as much about getting to the end user who will buy your product or      "I found you on LinkedIn," is a type of permission for that person to
service as it is about connecting with people who know the people       at least give you a few moments of conversation. This is a huge tool
who will buy your product or service. Keep that in mind when you        if used properly. If you are calling on a company and you are looking
are making connections.                                                 for someone in the HR Department, if you don't have a name, your
                                                                        likelihood of getting through is relatively slim. If you can find the
    Some strategies for LinkedIn:
                                                                        direct contact via LinkedIn, your odds of getting in the door go up

        Target select companies that you would like to do business      dramatically.

        with, research the people who work there, and make a point
        of setting "Get to Know You" appointments. These are not        LinkedIn: Research
        sales calls! Simply make connections. I found you on                Within LinkedIn, one of the most powerful tools is the ability to
        LinkedIn. I would like to get to know you better. We might      research people. LinkedIn groups the information and makes it
        have something in common.                                       readily available for you to find out how many people work at a
                                                                        company, who the direct contacts are, and how you can
communicate with them. It is a great place to find work if you are            the people in your company. Creating a video can be a relatively
looking for a job or know someone looking for employment.                     simple process. Using a digital camera, or the Flip Video, it really is
                                                                              simple to capture, edit and upload clips for use online. As a general
     The key, though, is in understanding that you need credibility; if
                                                                              rule of thumb, keep an introductory video short. Typically, 30 to 90
you lack credibility, people will be reluctant to be involved with you.
                                                                              seconds fits the attention span of most site visitors. If you are
LinkedIn makes gaining credibility very simple, by asking for and
                                                                              creating a how-to video or tutorial, it can be longer, but generally the
giving recommendations. Recommend people who you have done
                                                                              shorter the better for info videos.
business with. Recommend people who you know. If you tell the
world about this person, it is third-party validation, and the more you           Remember, just like your website is not about you, your video is
can do that, the more likely people are to do that for you as well.           not about you either. It‘s about the person viewing the video. Your
That credibility factor is huge. The more we know about a person              job is to make it easy for them to get to know you, and help reinforce
and the more we know that someone else talks about that person in             your relationship. Videos are great for increasing the recall rate of
such a way, the stronger the relationship will be.                            who you are, what you do, and why we are visiting your website.
                                                                              The more ways that we interact with visitors on our websites, the
Social Relationship on YouTube                                                more traction we can create in their top of mind awareness. The more
    When building your online presence, it would be a great idea to           memorable we make ourselves, the more likely we are to be
post a You-Tube video on your site's home page. It can be simple –            remembered when the next opportunity comes along.
just introduce yourself, thank people for visiting your website, and
                                                                              If you find this intimidating at first, don‘t worry, just get your first
give them a little taste of what they'll find. Your site visitors are there
                                                                              video done and posted, and it will get easier each time. Once of the
to interact, and video is a great medium for this. (Tip: allow your site
                                                                              beautiful things about video is its self-contained aspect. It is its own
visitors to click on the video to play it; instead of having the video
                                                                              package, entirely. When someone else shares your message with
start automatically. auto-play can be annoying!)
                                                                              their friends, there's no room for misinterpretation. They see what
    In this new marketplace, we do business with people, not                  you said. It is as simple as that.
companies. Video is a great way to let prospects get to know you and
Editing Your Videos                                                        Communicate Your Ideas – Share your message on video and
    With all the advances in video technology, everybody has their         it's sure to be listened to. Share announcements for events,
ability to be a movie maker. These days, the good stuff is the good        product launches and more!
content; no matter if the lighting‘s a bit off or someone misspoke.        Produce Case Studies -- Share case studies of clients. What was the
While this authentic style is effective, don't overlook editing. No        issue that you helped to solve? What are the steps involved in
every uncut vlog (video blog) or off-the-cuff introduction is worthy       working with you? What are some of the tangible and measurable
of posting. Watchers have the ability to click away if something does      results?
not please them, so their attention span is much shorter than it used
to be. Good editing is key. No special effects are needed, just a bit of   Share Behind the Scenes -- Use video to show behind the scenes at

good judgment on what should and should NOT go into a video.               your company. If you show what goes on day to day, people can get

(Good: Dialogue or images pertaining to the topic. Not-Good: Wild          a better feel for your company and how it works. We love to know

filming that transitions from one room to another, irrelevant graphics     how you do what you do, and show everything from the order

or slides, or rambling completely off topic, unless it‘s amusing or        process, to manufacturing and more. These don't have to be

will serve to make a point).                                               professionally produced, but they do need to be interesting and fun.
                                                                           Think about what you could give customers the insider view of, and
    You don‘t need Final Cut or other expensive editing software.          share it via online channels.
Most computers come with an easy to use program built in, no
downloads necessary. (On your Mac, look for iMovie; on Windows,            (Your Name Here TV) -- Set a schedule and record a regular TV

open Windows Movie Maker. If you don‘t have these, try the online          segment to broadcast online. It‘s a great way to communicate with

editing software available in your YouTube account.                        your audience. When you watch someone regularly you feel like you
                                                                           get to know them, you recognize them by face and by voice. Hmmm,
    The idea is to create a video strategy to engage with your             wouldn‘t it be great if your customers all recognized you, and looked
customers by using video in creative ways that will strengthen your        forward to your program every week?
brand, and allow you to have a bit of fun in the process. Let's look at
some specific ways to use videos to engage your audience:
Mini Documentary -- Create a story about your company, product,              Share a profound video message about a cultural trend. Share a
service, or event. Share a behind the scenes look at filming your        "what if" perspective, or something with a warm and fuzzy
videos that you are sharing. Document the process of working with a      component. You‘ll gain respect for sharing things that people feel an
client, share your thoughts and combine several of the elements on       emotional connection to, especially if the message resonates with
this list for a unique look at your story.                               your company culture and energy signature.

News and Commentary -- Use video to offer commentary on                  Product Tours
trending industry topics or news and share them via your social              Give a tour of your product via video, especially if it‘s an online
media sites. This will help your clients understand you are aware of     product. What if it‘s not? A walk through of a live demonstration of
your industry and pro-active about sharing.                              your offline product can be a lot of fun as well. Show real people
                                                                         using the product, and seeing the benefits.
Screencast -- To demonstrate a point, or instructions for how to do
something online, create a video using screencasting capabilities.
                                                                         Training
Jing is a great one to try; it will record your computer screen, with
                                                                             Video sessions are a great option when live training would be
voice-over if you want to add it, for up to five minutes. It's a great
                                                                         cost prohibitive or unnecessary. You can perform them live, or you
way to record instructions and FAQ answers for people using your
                                                                         can record for future playback. Try to create short segments so
website or product.
                                                                         viewers don‘t have to sit through 60 minutes to get to the content

Dear Diary style -- Tell a story, talking to the camera and sharing an   they need. Ustream can be used to broadcast and share live events.

inside look at your company values, motives or the story of how the
                                                                         Client Reviews
company got its start. You can also offer simple and short tip videos,
                                                                             Turn the camera on your clients and ask them to create videos in
answer commonly asked questions, or give an update of something
                                                                         response to yours, or as a product review for your product or service.
trending in the news.
                                                                         Some will be super excited to share, and you can capitalize on their

Reach Out                                                                enthusiasm. Real people. Real Opinions. We might be on to
                                                                         something here.
Have some fun with it!
    Some of the best videos that companies share are when the staff
is having fun. Don‘t try to be serious all the time. Allow some of
your fun company culture to come through. This allows for
showcasing what you do, and will put your audience at ease so they
don't feel like they are watching an infomercial.

    Interviews -- Interview your customers, interview your
employees, take a note from fun video creation and try to interview
yourself. This offers a great way to share your message with a q/a
format that people can tune into.

    Fun fact: Forrester Research shares that ―A website with a video
is 53 times more likely to come up on the first page result on Google
than the exact same page without video.‖


Interviews with Influencers
    Who are some of the key people within your industry? Interview
them. Share a video that they‘ve been in to help make a point. If
there is not a video out there, ask them. Flattery will get you
everywhere.
    Where to Share Your Videos                                          Vimeo has a fun interactive playback screen so Sanguines will love
                                                                        this.
Email
    Send a video in an email. Just make sure you send a brief           Facebook
description so people feel okay to click on it. Some email programs         Videos shared on Facebook are likely to show up on someone

allow you to embed a video (this works if you are using HTML            else's news feed. Think about using Facebook to share a company

formats such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird). You          video, testimonial, or anything fun and exciting. Videos can be

won‘t have such luck with web-based programs like Gmail or              uploaded directly into Facebook, or linked over from YouTube. In

Yahoo.                                                                  some cases, you might want to put your video in both places. Know
                                                                        your strategy, and create a strong video library. Users love videos, so
YouTube                                                                 it‘s extremely beneficial for businesses to continue to add to their
    Share your short video on YouTube (typically 10 minutes or          library.
less). YouTube is a great place to gain exposure; it is searched
                                                                            The blog All Facebook recently reported, ―Nearly 47 million
almost as much as regular search engines, and is a great way to have
                                                                        people in the U.S. watched videos on Facebook in February 2011.
your information found. Search engines can‘t yet see into your video
                                                                        That puts the site in fourth place on the comScore Video Metrix
to read keywords and content (although that feature is coming) so
                                                                        ranking, two spots higher than it ranked in January.‖
make sure to include a good description of what the video is about,
including your keywords. In some cases, a transcript of the video is
                                                                        LinkedIn
a great idea to include.
                                                                            LinkedIn‘s company pages make it possible for your company to
                                                                        add a video for your products and services. When you add a video
Vimeo or Viddler
                                                                        clip to your page, your visitors are highly likely to click play to see
    Two of our favorite sites for sharing video are Vimeo and
                                                                        what you are all about.
Viddler. We recommend Viddler especially if you are doing website
screen shots with text; the resolution seems to be maintained better.       Skype
    Use Skype to do video calling via your computer, iPhone or
other capable mobile phone. Group video calls can be a lot of fun,
and allow for screen sharing with your associates.


Livestream or Ustream
    Offer days and times when people can get online live with you
and your company for a real-time discussion. Record the session for
future playback, and post it on your blog or a landing page.


Apple’s FaceTime
    Apple‘s FaceTime has created a new option for video calls, on a
Mac, iPhone or iPad2. Salesforce.com even has plans to use
FaceTime as a way to provide face-to-face customer support.
Video Production Hints                                                          to know that for?" The next one that came through said, "I
                                                                                was driving to work today and, boy, the sunrise was
                                                                                beautiful." Again, it made no sense to me. I put Twitter on
Authentic Voice -- Share your authentic message, in your authentic
                                                                                the shelf for a while and thought, well, I must have missed it;
voice. Over-projection or over production is not a good idea. When
                                                                                there is nothing there.
you are talking on video, make sure you project so the device can
record you and your viewers can hear you, but try to avoid artificial               Slowly, I started realizing the psychology behind
accents or over exaggeration. Just your normal, awesome, wonderful              Twitter. Let's go back to the first tweet. "I took a shower."
self will do. Don't act...speak!                                                That's probably a good sign that this person has some good
                                                                                habits. The second thing was, "I'm heading off to work."
Can we hear you?
                                                                                Well that little statement, "I'm heading off to work," means
    While your videos don‘t have to be professionally produced, you
                                                                                this person has a job. If they have a job, they probably have
do need to pay attention to important aspects like sound quality.
                                                                                money. If they have money, they might be willing to buy my
                                                                                service. I learned a lot about this person: got good hygiene
Social Relationship on Twitter
                                                                                (that's great), but more importantly, they are working, they
    Twitter is a micro-blog. You have 140 or few characters to get
                                                                                are active, and they are a potential client. So that is when I
your message across. It functions like a blog, except for the size, so
                                                                                got re-involved with Twitter and recognized it is as a huge
you have to be very quick and concise in telling your story.
                                                                                tool to learn those snippets of things about people and share
                                                                                your message with an awful lot of people with one post.
    Here‘s a micro story about Allan‘s understanding of Twitter.

                                                                            Twitter differs from some of the other social media sites in that
             ―When I first caught wind of Twitter, I didn't understand
                                                                         you don't have to give permission for people to follow you. Within
        anything about it and the first "tweet" (that message you
                                                                         Twitter, there are followers and there are people who you are
        send out is called a tweet) I read said, "Just got out of the
                                                                         following. When you first sign up for a Twitter account, your
        shower … heading off to work." I read that on my computer
                                                                         numbers are zero; zero followers and zero people following you.
        screen and said, "So what? Why do I care? What do I want
Twitter Philosophy                                                          The next step in your Twitter strategy is to find interesting

    A key to building a following on Twitter is by standing out from    people to follow. You can follow people in a specific industry, for

the crowd. Al‘s persona on Twitter is philosophical: questions of the   example. If you are in a certain geographic location, you can narrow

day, passing on information, just getting people to think about who     down the scope of the people you follow based on their location.

and what they are and where they are in their busy lives and how        When you first start following people, make sure that you are

they can slow down and calm down. Mixed in with that are book           looking for people who tweet with some frequency. If people are not

suggestions, blog posts, sending people to the website, and getting     posting very often, there is not going to be much information that

people involved and engaged with what we are. Using that balance        you can learn and you can get from them. If you follow active people

has created interest for Al, and as he‘s discovered, if you create      on Twitter, you will be able to share your message with others

interest, you get traction.                                             effectively. You will also learn a whole lot by paying attention to
                                                                        what other people have to say.
    Twitter is texting on steroids. By sending out a message with the
click of a button, it goes to many, many, many people. The best part    5 Top Tips for Using Twitter
about Twitters is that if your message is good people will either RT
(retweet) or share your message with their friends. If you are          1. Identify why you want to use Twitter; once you have a goal,
consistently good, or someone is interested in finding out more, a      you can work out a Twitter plan, otherwise you might use all of
well designed Twitter account will lead people to your online home      your time surfing and playing, without getting closer to your
(your website).                                                         purpose. Are you hoping to connect with friends and family?
                                                                        Do you want to promote your brand or blog? Do you want to
    Create messages that are unique and interesting so that people
want to visit your online home. The easiest way to do this is to have   meet new people? Use it for networking? Keep tabs on your

a link on your profile. Another way is to automate your blog posts to   brand, image, or company? All of the above, and more, are
your Twitter feed and create interesting headlines that compel people   great reasons to use Twitter.
to click on the link to read more.
2. Tweet! Jump in with both feet. You will build a great             links and information. Be the person at the party that listens as
Twitter network through your activity. If you post interesting       well as they talk.
things, people will be inclined to follow you. Share useful
information, fun facts, and add some of your personality.            10 Great Social Media Status Updates
That‘s what it‘s all about! Give people a reason to follow you.          You‘ve been sitting in front of your computer for what seems
                                                                     like an eternity. You want to write a status update, but you are not
Be interesting, rather than self promoting.
                                                                     sure what to do. Here are 10 great ideas for social media status
3. Follow other Twitter users. Follow people because of their        updates. (I tend to write about Facebook, since that‘s my favorite

interesting posts. Target conversations near you if you are          site, though they could apply to any of the social media sites).

looking to grow in your geographic area. Expand your reach if
                                                                         1.     Do a friend shout out: @enternamehere, thanks for the
you have a farther-reaching goal.                                               help with (project, service, advice)
                                                                         2.     Talk about something amazing that happened in your
4. Reply, Retweet, and have those conversations! Reach out,
                                                                                day.
share information, and let others know that you find them                3.     Share a random quote.
interesting. Asking questions is a great way to get some                 4.     Find a post from a blog that you enjoy, and share it with
answers! Respond to others. Use the reply feature or the                        your friends.
@username to have those two sided conversations.                         5.     Find a blog post from YOUR blog that you enjoy, share
                                                                                it with your friends.
5. Practice restraint and Twitter Etiquette. Avoid spam.                 6.     Head over to YouTube, search for something cool -- the
Promote content that is interesting. Don‘t bring in the band and                most popular video of the week, your favorite song, or
banners declaring yourself the next best thing since sliced                     how to do something -- and share it with your friends.
bread. Insert your personality, interests, and yes promote               7.     Stop by Twitter and check out trending topics. Find a
yourself, but do it in balance with everything else. Share others'              post, and share it on your wall
    8.    Mention an event that you are going to, @namehere,            make sure that your content mix is good. Add some personal
          can‘t wait to see you at the (Event name here) on             insights, interesting ideas, and great resources for people to find, so
          Thursday. Let‘s catch up. (If it‘s a meetup event or on       that you are interesting.
          Facebook and the public is invited, share the link so more
          friends can RSVP.)
    9.    Ask for help. ―I‘m working on updating my social media
          status, what is the best status update that you‘ve seen
          shared on Facebook?‖
    10.   Ask for a referral. ―I‘m looking for a good drywaller,
          who do you recommend.‖ (I‘d use this one if you really
          have a need –if you got in the habit of asking for
          something different every day people might begin to
          wonder what you are up to.)


Automation
    With the social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter), it
is possible to automate your blog to feed out to your profiles.
Automation of your blog to Twitter is a great idea. Keep in mind that
you will want to make sure that your tweets are interesting. If
everything that you tweet about is business promotion, leading
people back to your website, people are going to tune you out
because they are not going to see you as having new, fresh, relevant
information. With a strong Twitter campaign, you do want to have
your blog automatically feeding over to Twitter, but you also need to
Chapter 8 – Square Four: Your Energy                                     energy. Your positive energy signature brings more long-term
                                                                         benefit than anything else because it can be present even when you
Signature                                                                are not. If we make sure that we craft our message and our energy
   One of our favorite squares in the entire Marketing Tic-Tac-Toe       signature that people want to pass it on, it creates a better potential
process is the Energy Signature square. It lives in Square Four on the   for us, our company, and our brand. If we don't do a good job
Organic Marketing Tic-Tac-Toe board. We all know someone who             crafting our message we just add to the confusion and noise that
just lights up the room with energy as soon as they enter. Their vibe    exists when so many people try to get attention. If our message is
seems to swirl around them and pick everyone up. Likewise, we all        good and our persona is good and our energy signature is great, we
know those people who can bring a room down just by their presence       have a winning combination. The person receiving our awesome
in it. This is their energy signature, and we all have one, whether we   message can understand it, and in the best case scenario, they will
are conscious of it or not.                                              pass it on to their people as quickly, concisely, and precisely as we
                                                                         did. A well packaged message with a strong energy signature will
    In terms of organic marketing, we are talking about the energy
                                                                         allow the message to stay uniform and come across strong.
you bring to your work, to your connections and social relationships.
When you are not in the room, what are people saying about you or            One strategy when developing an energy signature is to be just a
your organization or the way you do business? This energy signature      little bit mysterious. Share information that will tease people into
is critical in creating a marketing strategy that works. In all of       wanting to know more. Create a sense of curiosity. Whether you are
Organic Marketing, you want people talking their best about you as       working on your personal, professional or company energy
often as you can get them to talk. So make sure that your energy         signature, be consistent. Avoid the shotgun approach to social media,
signature is positive, is upbeat, exciting and worthwhile to share.      where you shoot a little of this and you try a little of that and you do
                                                                         a little bit of this. You‘ll get exactly what you put into it. A very
     When someone walks into a gathering of people and the air feels
                                                                         haphazard message is fragmented and confusing. Be consistent, with
lighter and brighter and excitement happens, that is a great energy
                                                                         a strong energy signature, and people will be drawn to engage with
signature. When you craft the persona of who you are as a company,
                                                                         you.
make sure that, when you are not there, people are remembering your
Energy and Your Relationships                                           circle of friends, clients, and contacts? What are the emotions that

    An important key to your energy signature is the relationship       your product draws out of people? All of those are pieces of your

building that we do with others. This is where we express our           energy signature. The great news is that once you recognize the

persona and our personality, share our message, and inspire and         pieces that are at work, you can influence how your energy signature

influence those around us. This includes many of the activities that    comes together.

we have talked about to this point, connecting with people, working
                                                                            Take the time to really get to know your energy signature, and
within our spheres of influence, and working within our social
                                                                        make every interaction count. Telling your story effectively is a great
networks. It involves meeting new people, and it involves the
                                                                        way to reinforce your energy signature. An effective story will create
introduction that other people will make for us to people who they
                                                                        an emotional response in the reader or listener. People make
know. The energy signature comes through in everything that we do
                                                                        decisions based on emotion; that is basic human nature. Use this tie
online, in person, and through our stuff (Square Six) including our
                                                                        in to create the emotional connection with someone. Your chance of
leave behinds, business cards, billboards, videos or sound bites. Our
                                                                        doing business with them, being referred by them, and in general
energy signature exists in thoughts about us, and in the materials we
                                                                        having a great relationship with them depends on this connection.
produce. Any time that somebody thinks about us, our energy
signature is engaged.                                                       Be a motivator within your sphere of influence. The energy
                                                                        signature of a motivator is drawing others in, encouraging them, and
    Make some time to reflect on your energy signature. Think about
                                                                        helping them to get somewhere that they would like to go. When you
the impression that you leave with people once they have met you.
                                                                        leave people in a position that is greater than yourself at the end of
How is yours working? When you walk into a room, do you brighten
                                                                        your interaction, you have the strongest energy signature possible. In
it up or does it become a little dimmer? (If you don‘t know the
                                                                        Steve Farber's book Greater Than Yourself, Steve shares just how
answer to this, consider asking a focus group of some of your
                                                                        you can help create long lasting and powerful relationships based on
objective friends and business connections). When someone thinks
                                                                        this connection.
about you, what is the first aspect of your persona brand that comes
to mind? Do they think about you with positive thoughts? Are you
                                                                        FREE HUGS – An Energy Signature Story
uplifting? Are you a go-to person? Are you a resource within your
    Allan:   Sandi has a compelling story about how Free Hugs            more like a "big sister" to my brothers than I had been. Since my
became an integral part of the InSights organization. She is             teenage years, we hadn‘t been all that close or warm and fuzzy. I
somewhat reluctant to share the story, but with a little convincing,     decided (in line with my new active persona and energy signature)
she has agreed to share it with you here.                                that it was time to make a huge deal out of reconnecting with my
                                                                         brothers. During this particular trip home, any time one of my
    Sandi: I would love to talk about Free Hugs, which has been so
                                                                         brothers came into the room or left a room, I would jump up and run
instrumental in my life, my professional growth, and in my speaking
                                                                         over and give them a big hug, making a huge deal out of the fact that
career. The Free Hugs concept came about because, as I was
                                                                         I was getting to see them.
growing and changing with the InSights Group, I was growing and
changing personally. With the concepts and the ideas that we had             My kids, who were about 8 and 10 at the time, were watching
been masterminding at InSights, I was going through a lot of             this and are looking at me like I was a little bit crazy. My brothers
changing and a lot of growing, appreciating the small things.            were not quite sure what was going on with their crazy sister. I kept
Through this growth, I was reflecting on my childhood and growing        this up throughout the holiday, and at the end of a visit with more
up as the oldest of five children, the four others being my younger      hugs than normal, I headed back home. Nothing was really said
brothers. Our childhood was typical, and I do remember in my             about the experience by my brothers, and I wonder if they were just a
elementary years being a bit of a tomboy. Once I got to high school,     little bit relieved that the extra attention was gone.
of course like any normal teenager, I spent less and less time at
                                                                              A couple weeks later, I opened my email, to find that one of my
home. After graduation, and being the first out of the house, I lived
                                                                         brothers emailed me a link to a You Tube video. There was no
out of state and moved around for a number of years. I missed many
                                                                         accompanying message, nothing saying, "I thought of you today.‖ It
family holidays in the years after high school. As I became more
                                                                         was just a simple link. The link was to the Free Hugs campaign in
established as an adult, I was able to make the return trips home, and
                                                                         California, where there were people standing on the street corners
I‘ll fast forward you to where the story picks back up.
                                                                         with their sign, giving away Free Hugs and recording the footage so
    The same year we opened InSights, I took my children back            that they could share it with the rest of the world.
home to my parents' house to celebrate the holidays. My goal? To be
    Well that is the day that my markers came out, and I created my      started thinking, "What can I talk about … what can I talk about?" I
own Free Hugs sign. I decided that, I would start carrying the sign      looked over at my office, and it dawned on me … Free Hugs!" So I
around the office, and we would see what kind of culture change it       walked over and I picked up my sign, and they called me up to the
might create. I didn't necessarily want to carry that sign with me       front of the room. I still have the copy of that very first speech,
every day (it sometimes seemed like work), but somehow I did for         where I spoke for 8 minutes extemporaneously on the story of Free
the first couple of weeks. Things began to change, and the reactions     Hugs and how they had come to the InSights Group. When I was
to holding the sign were priceless. After that, even if I didn't bring   done speaking, of course, I was a little bit insecure. It was not a
the sign with me, people asked where it was. They wondered why we        prepared speech, and I was not sure how I did. Well here are people
were not starting out the meeting with a hug. It started the change of   who are participating in the public speaking world to a caliber that I
the culture here at the InSights Group, thanks to that message from      haven't even aspired to, and they were giving me feedback like it was
my brother.                                                              excellent. They couldn't believe that I had never given a speech
                                                                         before. One of them even said the speech should be made into a
    My speaking career and the ability to get up in front of people
                                                                         children's book!
and spontaneously deliver a message can also be attributed to the
Free Hugs story. We had been hosting a group that was aspiring               That one experience launched my confidence and my ability to
public speakers. They would come into the InSights Group to              command the presence in front of the room. From that day on, to
practice, everyone would give a short speech, and then the rest of the   enhance the culture of organizations that we were participating in, Al
members would give suggestions on ways to improve. My mission            and I would often bring Free Hugs signs with us, whether it was an
was to be supportive and sometimes lead discussions, but not             outside networking event or somewhere that we were brought in to
necessarily get up and give keynote presentation. That was really        speak about social media or business. Those Free Hugs signs were a
Al's role as the "Orator." Well I had shown up on a Saturday             great conversation starter and they were a great relationship builder.
morning to one of the public speaking meetings, and I was asked,         We have met so many amazing and supportive people, simply
"Would you like to give a speech?" I figured, sure, why not. I am        because we carried those signs with us.
always up for something new, and I had no idea what I would talk
about. I had about 5 minutes before it was time for me to get up, so I
    From there, we printed Free Hugs t-shirts, and handed them out
at the Brighton Fourth of July Parade. They were such a hit. The
parade itself was a blur; all I remember seeing were people running
back and forth and hugging each other down the main streets of
Brighton. What an amazing concept and an amazing community all
with beginnings of a simple video shared by my brother. One of the
greatest moments relating to this experience was when my brothers
each donned a Free Hugs shirt for a photo.
Chapter 9 – Square Six: The "Stuff"                                        Leave Behinds with a purpose
    Square Six is about the giveaway, and the leave behind, the                There are incentive offers, and then there's the "leave behind.

"stuff" that we have printed and produced to leave with prospects out      The leave behind is an item that is produced in hard form to leave in

in the                                                                     a prospect's hands, or in their minds. These include everything from
                                                                           print advertising, flyers, cards, to your radio, your television, and
     When a business decides to market, they focus almost                  your billboard ads. There are so many media choices. You need to be
exclusively on the "stuff." A business owner will decide to start          able to navigate it all. To plan a media campaign, you need to
marketing, or promote a new product, and their very first activity is      determine: Who is your customer? Where can you find them? How
to figure out how to make a new brochure to give out to people. If         can you communicate your message to them? Take the time to look
you‘ve been following along at all, what might you have noticed            at where your clients are and intercept them in their lives. Some
about the Organic Marketing process? How about the fact that we            businesses will find good results using the Internet. Some businesses
don‘t get to the ―stuff‖ until we‘ve been through quite a few other        may find better results via word of mouth. All of this stuff, all of the
squares. Stuff can be highly effective, as long as it‘s the right stuff,   different media choices, should be taken into consideration. You can
for the right audience, with the right call to action.                     evaluate, "Is this a method that will be effective to meet my end
                                                                           client or is this a method where I can reach people who can put me in
    The first step in determining how to create your stuff is to
                                                                           touch with my end client?"
consider the purpose of the stuff. It is very important that all stuff
have a reason for being. Don‘t just create it because you think you            In designing your "leave-behinds" (those things you leave with a
need it. Most marketing materials have a clearly defined purpose. A        prospect, like your business card, flyers, postcards, etc) think about
brochure can be created to share information, create top of mind           why you are creating it and leaving it behind. Just leaving it because
awareness, or result in an action being taken. A radio advertisement       you are supposed to leave something is not a good enough reason to
can do the same. As you begin to pay attention to marketing media,         do it. Have a leave-behind, a brochure, a tri-fold brochure or
you‘ll notice in some cases there doesn‘t seem to be any real reason       something, that serves a purpose. Have a specific goal in mind when
for the message you heard or saw. Understanding your purpose               you create it. What is the call to action? What do I want people to do
before you develop it will prevent this from happening to you.
if they get this leave-behind? What is your reason for making that       card, a brochure, or a postcard, when someone looks at it they should
piece?                                                                   be able to determine what to do next. Do you want them to visit your
                                                                         website to find out more about you? Would you like them to call for
     The media selection you choose has a lot to do with the targeted
                                                                         more information? Are they supposed to file it? Set an appointment?
reason for the piece. A leave-behind or a print advertisement needs
to be measurable so that, when somebody has that piece, they are             A common result of ―stuff‖ is getting people to visit our website.
inclined to do something, and you can measure the results. If you run    Once we get them there, we should also have a plan for what
an ad, is there a call to action? Is there a phone number that prompts   happens next. In most cases, you want to try to capture their email
people to call? The purpose of a flyer might be advertising an           address.
upcoming event. Someone will get it, look at it, and then decide if
                                                                             By asking for their email address, in exchange for something that
this fits in their schedule or not. The ideal action with a flyer
                                                                         our visitor wants, they are essentially giving us permission to market
promoting an event is that they will take the information and they
                                                                         to them in the future. In this exchange, we are offering them
will put it into their planner, and maybe pass it along to someone
                                                                         something of value – an e-book, a special offer, an incentive to get
else. Informational pieces have a time and place, but if there is no
                                                                         them to sign up to an RSS feed of our blog – something they find
call to action, it is hard to gauge how effective those really are.
                                                                         valuable enough to trade for their email. In developing your
    Even your business card should have a purpose. Do you just           incentives, ask yourself how you can engage people to do something
want people to have your contact information? Or do you want them        with you, so that their visit to your site is an effective tool, and that it
to visit your website, or maybe follow you on Twitter? Ask for that      results in an action that can be leveraged in the future. Some
on the card, and give the complete URL they can use to find you          incentive ideas are informational documents, a download for a free
online. Understanding why you are leaving something behind is the        book or industry insider report. The key is to make sure you are
best way to spend your money wisely when choosing media for a            getting something of value from them (email address) and they feel
campaign.                                                                they are getting something of value from you. As you move forward
                                                                         and develop your email marketing strategy, there will be more to
    If you are doing any type of printed leave behinds, what do you
suppose the most important aspect of it should be? Whether it‘s a
consider to continue to make this a valuable exchange for both
parties.

    As you develop your Organic Marketing strategy and you build
your ABC List of people who are paying attention to you, you can
begin to market to them on a continual basis through an email drip
campaign. You have just created the ability to keep talking to them,
and successfully added them to your C List. This is where you create
long-term marketing relationships, and ideally move them up to your
B or even A List.

    A word of caution… Once your visitor gives you an email
address, don‘t start spamming them to sell your stuff! This is the
time to slowly ―drip‖ new to them of upcoming new products up,
your new services, tips and tricks, events you have going on, give
them a place to interact with you, and make it worthwhile. If you are
just spamming them with information, they are going to run away.
You will sell something every once in awhile because you will catch
someone in a buying cycle, but it is not going to be something that
will build and sustain long-term relationships with your prospects.
You must think long-term in this process. Make sure that you are
capturing their email information, and that you are trading something
of value in order to obtain this information, and continue to do so
time and time again.
Chapter 10 – Square Eight: Your Alliances                                 piece of the equation. Your wholesale contacts want you to succeed
                                                                          because your success breeds their success. If you are purchasing
    Square Eight is all about strategic alliances, a critical component
                                                                          from them, if you are selling their products for them, they are more
to a successful Organic Marketing strategy. Strategic alliances are
                                                                          likely to want to help you do that. We oftentimes don't go there
associations that you have with other people, organizations and
                                                                          because we think, "Well, we are just one little fish in a big pond."
businesses. Creating strategic alliances is one of the best things that
                                                                          Stop thinking that way. Build relationships there and co-promote
you can do for your business. Some of the best alliances can be with
                                                                          things with them.
people within your industry. We may have looked at people as
competitors at one time, but we really need to retrain ourselves in           When you are looking for strategic alliances, think about your
thinking that everybody is a creative resource for us. In this new        target customer. Who are they? What is their personality? What is
human-based economy, we are all collaborators.                            the age demographic? You may be able to find a relationship with
                                                                          another company or organization that is talking to the same end user
    If we are looking to create alliances with other people and
                                                                          you want to reach, but you may have think you have absolutely
businesses in our industry, we need to look on a broad scale and
                                                                          nothing in common. Think of some creative ways to make
recognize there are enough clients for everyone. Don't be afraid to
                                                                          connections with people who are serving the same audience.
talk to those people who once were your "competition." It doesn't
                                                                          Consider making connections with people who have similar
apply now. Build relationships with them. Share information with
                                                                          messages to yours so you can share your lists (if your email policy
them. Co-sponsor a webinar together. Invite them to guest author a
                                                                          gives you permission to do so); you can share your information; you
piece in your next newsletter, or guest post in your blog. The key is
                                                                          can promote each other back and forth. When you do this, everybody
to think outside the box of the traditional alliance. You can have
                                                                          wins.
alliances with people who do the exact same thing you do because
you are going to have different energy signatures. These alliances            One of the things that really leverages the time we spend in
broaden your sphere of influence and build your credibility.              social media is the ability to work together toward a common goal. If
                                                                          your target demographic which you identified in square number three
    Create alliances with suppliers and wholesalers and go to them
                                                                          is, for example, age 35- to 45-year-old women; find someone else
with creative ideas on how you can work together. That is a huge
who has that same demographic target. This can be in a totally            clarifying your message, and sharing it with others will make a big
different industry, but same demographic because you can share your       difference.
people with them and they can share your people with you because
                                                                              One last task in Square Eight is to find someone who can filter
you are not competing against each other. Find those alliances where
                                                                          information for you. In the social media realm, so many things are
you can cross-promote your product. You can work together to
                                                                          happening that you cannot possibly keep track of it all, but there are
cross-promote into the same target demographic. One of the things
                                                                          plenty of filters. There are people who spend a lot of time in this. At
you can do to leverage strategic alliances via social media, is to
                                                                          the InSights Group, we have become a filter to many of our
create a Twitter club. You could make the criteria be having to have
                                                                          community members, much like our mentors are filters who pass
5,000 followers or 10,000 followers. Once someone qualifies for
                                                                          information onto us. Create some filters of your own so you are not
your criteria for the club can begin to leverage the club for
                                                                          out there chasing it all by yourself. A strategic coach can help you
promotion. For example, say you have 10 people in a club who each
                                                                          identify and put in place the right filters.
have 5000 followers. Every day, you share a message or two on
behalf of each of the members in the club. If these 10 people in the
club, each with 5,000 followers, share each other every day, each of
you has the potential to get in front of 50,000 people each day as
third-party referrals. That is building an alliance and leveraging
social media to build a strong referral system.

    You can do this online, and you can build a strong referral
system that works face to face. A good strategic coach can help you
identify alliance opportunities. We get so involved with our own
stuff; we think our message is clear and compelling. We really need
someone else to look at it and say, "Are you sure that is what you are
trying to say?" Because it is not what you say; it is what people hear.
Having a strategic coach to help guide you through the process of
Chapter 11 – Square Nine: Your Online                                     so readers can sign up for your newsletter or special messages. We
                                                                          can actually craft the funnel that so we can logically move people
House                                                                     from learning about us to doing business with us and then sharing us
    Square Nine is where Organic Marketing all comes together and         with others. From email marketing to affiliate marketing, events,
it‘s centered on building a foundation with our online house. In most     videos, and a whole host of other services that are available via
cases, your online house will be your website, including your blog.       social media, they can all be centrally located on your blog and act as
The blog is critical to be able to leverage social media, the power of    an ongoing resource for people who have met you online.
automation, and the recognition from search engines that you have
relevant and timely information by sharing something new every            All Roads Lead to Your Online House
day. Your blog serves many purposes, depending on the aspect that             All roads lead to your online house, your website and your blog.
you are addressing. From the perspective of the user experience,          Whether it is print copy, whether it is when you are networking and
your blog is the place where people can read your story and find out      handing out a business card … everything you are doing should point
about you. What is it that you do? What are you thinking about            to that online house. This will be the place where people can learn
today? What are some of the thoughts that you have had in the past?       more about you. At one time, the only way that they could find
These present a wealth of information, and terrific opportunity to        information was to call you. Today, clients want to be self-educated
engage your visitors. The blog is the perfect place for you to begin to   about you before they make that phone call, and the best place they
experience the shift we are seeing online today: trading knowledge        can find your information would be on your blog and your website.
for money.
                                                                              This is a great place for you to have communication with your
    Start by writing your story, a little bit of it every day. You will   consumers, with your strategic alliances, with the relationships that
be amazed at the results that you will begin to see based on putting a    you have created online and offline. Make sure that your online
few simple methods into practice. On your blog, share your ideas,         house is easy to find, recognizable, personal and welcoming. The
your opinions, and some education. Make this the place where              elements of your energy signature and who and what you are need to
people come to receive some of your information and your insights.        be present in those places. Blogging is a strategy that every business
Consider putting some kind of an email sign-up form on your blog,         should use as part of a greater social media strategy.
What makes a website a destination?                                       lot of buttons? Do they enjoy the shiny stuff? Would they like to see

    Some of the things that make websites engaging and interesting        pictures of you, read stories about different things that are going on

are audio clips, short videos, interactive widgets and the ability to     with your business and with your life? Keep those things in mind,

leave comments on blog posts and other content.                           and your customers will have a unique and enjoyable website
                                                                          experience.
    Look at your current website. Consult with a website designer,
and talk to somebody about website usability, to help you understand      Your Digital Profile
the experience from the user's point of view. Many businesses                 Behind your blog and website, your digital profile is the larger
haven‘t actually taken the time to figure out who their site visitor is   online house, your sum total of everything you post online. Social
likely to be, and what features they would be looking for. Look at        media is a huge way for you to increase your digital profile. Your
your website while thinking like your customer to make this concept       digital profile is the primary contact that you have with consumers
come to life.                                                             worldwide. Think about when those consumers are looking for a
                                                                          product or service. Where are they going to go first? Chances are
    The key to great visits to your website comes down to the user
                                                                          they are going to either ask a friend, or do an online search.
experience. Add features to your website that you audience is
                                                                          Statistically most of us go to Google.
looking for. Make sure that they are engaged when they get to your
site, they can find what they are looking for, and they are guided            All of the different social media sites help to build up your
through your funnel process to take an action before they leave. Just     Google rankings. This is without paying a dime for search engine
because you love something, or information put together in a certain      optimization (SEO). Through your social media connections, through
way, does not mean your client feels the same way. If you love            your profiles, you can actually increase the chances that your listing
certain colors, or if you love Excel spreadsheets, you really should      will come up near the top of Google.
step back from your website and consider your user. Evaluate the
amount of time it takes to navigate to certain areas of your site.            We recommend that you do a Google search for your name and
Consider if your user has a lot of time. Do they want to read a lot of    your company name. Find out what sites come up near the top of the
technical information? Are they somebody who would like to click a        list for you. Social media sites generally rank pretty well, so don't be
surprised to find your Facebook Page listed in the top 10. Make sure     Of course include your phone number, make it quick and easy for
that you have complete profiles and good information on the sites        people to find you and connect with you online. If you are emailing
that come up near the top of the list.                                   someone, provide that easy way for them to learn more about you.

    Google is in the business of making recommendations or making
referrals. If your name or your business doesn't come up on the first
page of Google, it is like running a business with an unlisted phone
number. With social media, the more profiles that you put up out
there and the more active you are, the more relevant you become in
the eyes of Google and more likely to be recommended; therefore,
your name works its way up the rankings.

    Once you have put all these social media profiles together, make
sure that they are pointing back to your online home in your blog.
Your home is your website; your home is your blog. Make sure those
roads from your website or your blog also lead back to your profiles
on social media.


Email Signatures
    Leverage your social presence, and get people to your website
and social media sites by effective use of an email signature. Use
whatever options are available in your email client to create a
personalized signature on each email. Add a hyperlink to your
Facebook profile, to your Facebook business page, to your Twitter
account, and to your blog. If you are active in LinkedIn, add that to.
Chapter 12: Your Blog, the Keystone of Your                               take an action as a result of having seen something that you have
                                                                          posted, written, or recorded.
Online House
    One of the major benefits to blogging is that the search engines      How Often to Blog
will get used to seeing new content on your website every day, so             We recommend that you blog every day. If that‘s not possible,
they will become conditioned to sweeping through your site on a           then aim for at least several times a week. Remember, the more
regular basis to see what‘s new. Another benefit is that you will         frequent the posting, the more the search engines will visit your site,
begin to gain some keyword rankings, if your blog is centered on a        and your content will have a better chance of appearing in searches.
specific topic. This becomes very important when people are trying
to find you online.                                                           Wordpress makes it simple to time-release your blog posts; if
                                                                          you have a block of time, you can write several new posts in one
    When you blog, you may be tempted to start a blog on a free           sitting, and schedule them to publish once a day. This is a great
website, wordpress.com or blogspot.com. We recommend that you             strategy if you plan to travel, or have busy times at work when you
own your real estate online, by purchasing a domain name and              can't spend time blogging. Not everyone is a writer. No problem.
running a self hosted Wordpress blog. Typically, a hosting service        You can also hire some great content writers to share your message.
will have a one click installation for your Wordpress blog, so the        You will want to work closely with someone who can communicate
initial setup isn‘t that challenging. You may want to bring in a web      in the voice of your company so that you are represented online well.
developer to help walk you through some of the set up and                 You can also video blog – maybe you would prefer not to write, and
customization, depending on how much time, effort and energy you          are completely comfortable in front of a camera. This can be very
want to put into the process.                                             effective as well – just make sure it‘s worked in as a part of your
                                                                          overall strategy.
    There is a lot to be considered when you are putting together
your blogging strategy. Clarify your goals, the method that you will          When we start a blogging strategy with our clients, we often
use to share your message, and how you best package it to put it in       choose several topics of interest they would like to blog about. We
front of people so that they feel compelled to share it with others and   set a theme for each day of the week. This helps clarify what to write
about each time you begin to write a post. If we just sat you in front          1) Your blog posts need to be interesting and engaging to the
of a computer and said now blog, chances are your mind would go             reader. Your visitors are not robots; they need stories and things to
blank immediately. Instead, we suggest you frame your topics so that        keep their attention.
you know every Monday you are talking to a certain audience about
                                                                                2) The other criteria are keywords. Identify a few key phrases
a certain topic; this lets you pull your content together much more
                                                                            that a search engine user might type into Google to find your service,
easily. Eventually, you may deviate from your original plan, and
                                                                            or information on the topic you are blogging about. These keywords
that‘s okay. The more comfortable you become with blogging, the
                                                                            should be added to your posts, but not obviously. It should flow with
more likely you will get to try new things.
                                                                            the theme of your posts.

What to Blog                                                                    3) Readability is important. Blog posts should be relatively short.
    The content strategy on a blog is really one of the most critical       A reader will land on a page and spend only seconds deciding if they
parts. The site needs to be interesting, at a glance, to your reader.       are interested in the information. A couple of paragraphs, often with
Typically, a new visitor will spend just seconds on the site to             bullet points or a numbered list, will help the reader get to the
determine if they are in the right place and if they can find what they     information that they need quickly.
need. The argument can be made for a blog site versus an older
―static‖ type of website that once someone visits a static website,             Blog posts can host a variety of content. You can have written

what compelling reason is there for them to go back? When you have          posts, photos, audio, video or any combination of the above. When

a website that is structured as a blog, it is an indicator to people that   you are writing blog posts, we recommend you add a photo to the

there will always be something new, something fresh, and a reason to        post because it gives the eye somewhere to land on your page and

come back to read more.                                                     immediately engage. This is important for allowing just a moment
                                                                            for comprehension to set in.
    When creating your content two criteria should be considered:
                                                                                Think about why you would like to start a blog. Start it because
                                                                            you have something to say and you have a message that you would
                                                                            like to share with the world. Start a blog because you have social
media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and you would          readers. Share this as a resource about what you have found that your
like to have relevant information posting to them on a regular            readers may find helpful. Keep your post informative. Make your
schedule. If you decide you would like to try blogging and are            readers aware of various events, industry happenings, and news of
planning to only post once a month or so, blogging is probably not        interest. After you have been blogging for awhile, look back on some
right for you. People visit your blog is to read new information, fresh   of your blog posts. Is there information that you could update, that
information, ideally every day. For your blog to truly become a           you could make new again by adding a new opinion or another
resource, people must know that they can stop in tomorrow and they        element? Look at what you have written about, and expand on that
will find something new, unique, and interesting. A goal of a good        information in new posts.
blog is to be so effective in the message that you share that people
want to get updates on your content, in some cases every day, by          Blog Content Tips
subscribing to your RSS feed. RSS stands for "really simple
syndication," and is a way for a reader to subscribe to the content on        1. Use short headlines that will entice your readers to click to

your blog, and have it delivered either to their email in box, or their           get the rest of the story.

preferred blog reader.                                                        2. The first sentence of your post is critical. It‘s what people
                                                                                  will see you automate your posts to publish on your social
    Getting the ideas for blog posts comes from many different                    media sites. Make it compelling.
sources. Do some research in your industry. Find out what some of             3. Tell a story in your post, with relevant keywords.
the trending topics are, and what people are talking about. Look at           4. People like quick bullet pointed lists; it makes the content
the blogs that you follow -- how are those authors creating content               easier to skim.
that is interesting, and what keeps you coming back? Post your                5. Be positive and inspiring. That gets huge response and share
opinion as comments on some of posts that you read on other blogs.                rates.
Become engaged in conversation. Share helpful links to other                  6. If you have a new post, share with the words: ―new post‖ or
sources of information. Add your opinion -- why you find it a helpful             ―this just in‖ to let people know that it‘s not something
resource -- or not; add your thoughts and comments. You can also                  they‘ve seen before.
review products and services that would be of interest to your
    7. Share at the times of day when your audience is likely to see       series of posts released one day after the other. Don't try to cram a lot
        your content. Early morning, evenings and weekends can be          of content into a single blog post. Let the story continue. Ask the
        good, but your audience might have their own trends.               readers what they thought. Have them share their story. Ask for
    8. Share appropriate content at appropriate times. Business            feedback. Make sure that, when you have asked for feedback from
        news early in the business day, inspiration and entertainment      your readers, you revisit your blog to comment back. Once they have
        in the evenings and weekends.                                      made a comment to you, make this a two-way conversation.
    9. Inspire, inform, educate and repeat.                                Blogging is all about conversation, so make sure that you are reading
    10. If you want comments on your post, ask for them. If you            what your listeners have to say as well.
        don‘t ask, we don‘t answer.
                                                                               Allowing comments is one of the scariest parts for people who
                                                                           are not currently blogging. What if someone says something

Blogging and Playing the Game                                              unfavorable? What if someone becomes controversial or belligerent?
                                                                           Realize that you, as the blogger, can control what comments are
    Let's take a minute to develop your personalized blogging
                                                                           made live. Now granted, this isn't all about you and about having it
strategy. Start with your website. Figure out the best way to
                                                                           all show favorably to you; that is not its purpose. If comments come
incorporate a blog into your site. Maybe the site that you are using
                                                                           back that are not favorable to you, but they engage people into
has an application that you can add to start blogging. If you're not
                                                                           conversation, it is okay to be a little bit transparent and vulnerable.
sure, talk to your web designer to see if incorporating a Wordpress
                                                                           Recognize that it is a growth opportunity when you can engage
blogging platform makes sense for you. Whichever way you do it,
                                                                           people to talk about whatever the subject is. Discuss their different
once you start writing your first post, make sure that you have an
                                                                           opinions. Just don't get nasty or snarky...you'll lose readers if you do
attention-getting headline. Make it interesting.
                                                                           that. There are enough controls built into most blogging platforms
    When you get into the body of your post, keep it short. Two            to allow you to monitor, ban users if necessary, and be able to put
paragraphs is a great length to inform quickly and get immediate           your best foot forward for your company and for your blog site.
reads. . If you end up writing a post and it turns into three, four, and
five paragraphs, you have probably got enough information to do a
    Increase your engagement by taking the link for your blog and
posting it in specific places. If you have answered a question that
was covered well on another blog, you could link over to that post
answer, as an additional resource. This is also a great thing to do
with other blogs that you find interesting. Share other people's
information. Post about them on Facebook. Share it with a Twitter
post. Make sure that you are letting the world know the posts and the
blogs that you find interesting and relevant.

    Another way of gaining readership is to ask people to review
your posts as they go live. Simply ask the question, "Would you
mind reading this and tell me what you think?" As long as you are
open and willing to listen to the opinions of what people have to say,
you will find people who will follow your blog and read your posts.
Ask your friends and your family. Ask your colleagues and people
closest to you what they think about your blog. Is it interesting? Ask
key people in your target audience what they would like to read
about. If you do that, you will find that you have a lot of content, you
have a lot of possibility, plus you have a lot of resources to go to
when you are looking for inspiration. There are a lot of people who
are willing to help.
Chapter 13 – Playing Tic-Tac-Toe                                         with you. This organic approach to marketing allows you to flow, it
                                                                         allows things to change, it allows you to look at your overall strategy
    To recap Organic Marketing and the use of the marketing tic-tac-
                                                                         day to day and be able to adjust it as you need to in order to move
toe board, the element of you is the most important, that center
                                                                         forward in the future and create all the success that you are looking
square. Focus on that center square all the time and be the student of
                                                                         for.
that center square. This process is organic, and it is continually
changing and growing. Personal growth and business growth both                  As you get more comfortable with the idea of the tic-tac-toe
center on you.                                                           concept, you'll start to see new ways to connect, new places to
                                                                         strengthen your online persona and built your list. You'll begin to see
    As you focus on your center square, get involved in your social
                                                                         new ways to engage and build those online relationships. The main
networks and building relationships there. Use this to begin to better
                                                                         thing is to get started; looking at the squares in the order we have
understand your target market, your clients, their personalities, and
                                                                         spelled out in this book. Just get started, and you'll be building your
your energy signature – the indefinable "thing" you leave behind
                                                                         marketing strategy in an organic and authentic way.
wherever you are, either in person or online.

    Then, look at the "stuff," all the different media--print copy,             Case Studies and Organic Marketing Examples
television ads, billboards, newspapers, business cards, CDs, and         InSights recently performed an Organic Marketing Review for
other types of media—and the message they behind.                        a client using our tic-tac-toe board. The company was
                                                                         considering taking on a partner product line and was
    By thinking like a customer and build your tribe by creating your
                                                                         considering a complete a re-brand. Part of their arrangement
ABC list and work continually to create a successful business.
                                                                         was to add their name to the other company, abandon their
Leverage your alliances with those close to you, within your
industry; anyone who can help you and you can help them in return.
                                                                         domain, and direct all their traffic to the new site. In exchange

Last but not least, create a strategic online presence, with a website   for this redirection and assimilation by their nationally-
that is efficient, that transitions people into purchasing from you,     recognized partner, the new partner would provide any leads
finding more information, and making it easy for them to interact
that come into this company's territory, for a price of $100           look at your entire marketing process when making decisions
each.                                                                  for online marketing including social media and websites.
   As we progressed through the review, we came to the
website and online house square. A quick peek at Google
Analytics for the site showed well over 1,000 hits per month on
this domain, with at least 450 in Michigan where the company
is located. . We encouraged the company to keep their domain,
and not redirect traffic to the national site. We even suggested
that they sell leads to the national site, since the site was
getting decent traffic for a specialty niche product.
   We did the math. By keeping their domain themselves, they
are going to keep the traffic that is already coming in because
of previous marketing. Any leads that come through the
national site, they are willing to pay for. At a promise of three
leads per week @$100/lead, we‘re talking an average of
$1200/month.     Multiply    that   by   12   and       you‘ve   got
$14400…just think what would have happened if they
redirected all their traffic and had to buy back all the leads
from their site averaging over 1000 hits. They could have
ended up buying what they already got on their own!
   The Organic Marketing Review was relatively inexpensive
and saved the company from making a big mistake…it pays to
Appendix:                                                                      Visit Daily/15 Minutes
                                                                               "Like" other pages
                                                                               Comment on friend‘s notes
Facebook Engagement Strategies
                                                                               Comment on every response to your posts

  1. Post at least once a day – automating your blog is great, then
                                                                           Profile – it’s personal
      you need to share an additional post that doesn‘t automate
      from your blog                                                           set a goal for your # status updates/day/week
  2. Write your posts in everyday language rather than technical               make sure your profile shows your Photo Only
  3. Use proper grammar, punctuation and style. . Don‘t shorten                Invite Friends
      too much and don't write like you are texting -- gr8, u 2, or c          Automate blog posts to your Profile
      u later are not going to set a good impression.
  4. Post when your audience is likely to see it or when most of           More About Your Business Page
      your friends are on. Typically, this is going to be evenings
      and weekends. You can watch this by checking how many                    set a goal for your # status updates/day/week

      people are available for chat at certain times of the day.               You should use a PLOGO as your page logo picture

  5. Include a picture (thumbnail) with your link to posts –                   (Photo/Logo Combo)

      especially when content comes from your blog. We are                     Increase likes by promoting to friends

      visual, we want to see pictures.                                         Encourage friends to invite their friends to ―like‖ your page.

  6. Visit YouTube occasionally and find something fun to share.               Do contests and offer incentives

  7. Respond back to every comment that you get. If someone
      takes the time to say ―I thought about you.‖ Take the time to
      say ―I appreciate you‖ back.
                                                                           If you have a business that has a page on Facebook, you‘ll

  New to Facebook? Try These Activities:                                quickly find out that people need a reason to find you, and to
                                                                        ―like‖ you (which substitutes for the old terminology of
becoming a ―fan‖). The lingo is different, but the concept is the        Send out an invite to your email list and invite them to be a
same. You‘ll need some creative ways to influence the ―liking‖        fan. Remember to include your WIIFM (what‘s in it for me)
of your page.                                                         proposition. Some will like the page just because they like you.
                                                                      Everyone likes a gift or special incentive. Get creative and gift
   One of the quickest ways to get a few ―likes‖ of your page
                                                                      them something for taking the action. The greater the incentive,
is to use the "suggest to friends" link directly under the logo
                                                                      the larger the response!
(hopefully you‘ve included a plogo (photo/logo) combo in the
box. This will send out a message to all your friends suggesting         Add the Facebook Logo or a badge to your newsletter,
they like your page. If they don‘t click in, don‘t over abuse this    and have the hyperlink go directly to your page. There is
tool. Once or twice is fine. Then move onto one of the other          nothing worse than hitting a Facebook button that just heads
methods listed below.                                                 over to Facebook.com without getting us to the final
                                                                      destination.
#1: Embed the Facebook Widget on Your Websites
                                                                      #3: Add to Your Outgoing Email Signature
   Select from a number of the new Facebook Social Plugins
and place them on your website and blog. The Like Box can be             Just as you would include a link to your personal profile in
added to your page, so that visitors to your website don‘t have       your email signature (or if you are close to your friend limit),
to leave to click and like your page. It will also display a few of   include a link to your fan page in every email you send out.
your fans, adding faces to the people who follow what you are         If you use web-based email, check out the Wisestamp signature
up to.                                                                add-on.


#2: Invite Your Email Subscribers and add the Facebook                #4: Get Fans to Tag Photos
Logo or Badge to your Newsletter
   Take photos at events, have fans tag themselves in the         contest won. The cool part, a voter had to like the page in order
photos. If you sell cookies or cupcakes, take a photo and let     for the like an individual photo function was possible. Get
people know the first person to tag each treat can stop in and    parents encouraging people to vote for their page – it works
pick it up for themselves. Share a picture of something related   wonders!
to your business and follow the same strategy. An amusement
park also used this technique by taking an aerial photo of the    #7: Link to Twitter
rides, giving a free ride to each person who tagged the ride
                                                                     Link your Twitter account to your Facebook fan page
first. That’s a whole lot of WIIFM!
                                                                  and automatically post your Facebook content to Twitter.
                                                                  You can edit what gets posted, choosing from Status Updates,
#5: Try some Facebook Ads
                                                                  Photos, Links, Notes and Events.
   Start small, and boost your likes by using a social ad. To
get to the advertising section, scroll to the foot of any page    #8: Get Fans to Join Via SMS
inside Facebook and click the link at the very bottom that says
                                                                     Text message your fans with great WIIFM posts and
―Advertising.‖ From there, it should walk you right through the
                                                                  specials. Start with a campaign to get at least 25 likes, then you
steps to create your ad to your target market.
                                                                  can secure your username. Then, to join your fan page,
                                                                  Facebook users just send a text message to 32665 (FBOOK)
#6: Run a Contest
                                                                  with the words “like username.”
   Get creative with ways to have people like your page to be
                                                                     This feature is great if you can share it live and in person at
entered for cool prizes. This one should be quick and easy! A
                                                                  an event, conference, trade show or radio advertising.
car dealership ran a cutest baby contest where users emailed in
photos, and the picture with the most likes at the end of the
                                                                  #9: Show it on your stuff
   Look at every piece of print media that you have for your       #12: Add a Badge/Button to Your Profile
business that we fondly refer to as ―the stuff‖. When you
choose your username for the various sites, be as consistent as       Using an app like Profile HTML or Extended Info, you can

possible so once people know your call sign they can find you      create your own custom HTML, including a Facebook badge

wherever they look.                                                and/or graphic embedded. Follow the instructions in the
                                                                   Facebook "Help" section for step by step how-to's.
#10: Display a Places icon at your business
                                                                   #13: Use the Share Button
   If your business is run from a physical location, share the
fact that you are a Places location on Facebook (or Foursquare)       The Share button is all over Facebook and is a very handy

so they can check in from their mobile phone. Let them know        feature. Periodically go to your fan page, scroll toward the

the WIIFM so they can join and show your staff to receive their    bottom left column and click the ―Share+‖ button. Encourage

incredible incentive offer!                                        the people who like your page to do the same.

                                                                      Add a compelling comment along the lines of exciting
#11. Add a Link on Your Personal Profile
                                                                   news, recent changes, special incentives, etc., happening on
   In the ―write something about yourself section of your          your fan page and invite your friends to join if they haven‘t
personal profile, add the link to your fan page. This is           already. If you‘d like to Share content from the web on to your
especially important if you are close to your ―friend‖ limit, so   fan page vs. profile, we highly recommend using the Hootlet
people can still be in contact with you.                           bookmarklet tool at HootSuite.com.


   Be sure to format the URL with http://; it will not be          #14: Use the @ Mention
clickable with just the www‘s.
   As long as you’re a fan of your own fan page, you can               8. People love bullet lists of information, 10 tips to a better…5
“@ tag” it on your own personal profile wall.                              steps to…Add your commentary to posts you RT,
                                                                           ―awesome, check it out‖ or ―You will want to read this!‖
   From time to time, let your friends know about
something happening on your fan page by writing a
personal status update that includes tagging your fan page
with the @ tag.
   Engaging Your Audience on Twitter

   1. Be concise, and save room for people to add the RT so they
       can easily share your tweet ( ―RT @[your handle] ―)

       120 Characters is a good length to allow for the space to RT


   2. Use keywords without being overly technical in your tweets
   3. When you have loyal followers, ask for RTs and Comments!
   4. Tweet with full words; maybe I don‘t know what the
       abbreviation is, so the content will be lost on me
   5. Tweet at the right time to engage your audience – mid
       morning    for   business   posts,   evenings/weekends    for
       inspirational and entertainment based posts
   6. If applicable, use words like insights, analysis, and opinion.
       Posts with these words get more views and links.
   7. Write to your audience, and run it through the you/me filter
Allan Curtis, Orator                                                       social media, organic marketing, and blogging. With over 20 years'

    Allan Curtis is the orator and co-founder of the InSights Group,       experience as a backyard water recreation creationalist, designer

although sometimes we refer to him as Superman. Al is your                 and artistic water shaper, he has worked with bringing images to

philosophy guy. No one does a better job with big picture to               life. A graduate of Northern Michigan University, after exploring

relatable story concepts designed to liven livelihoods, make a             artistic and creative studies, he finds himself with a degree focus of

statement, and find the mojo in your motivation. He is a sought-after      physics and math. Without a doubt, the InSights Group would not

speaker on creativity, organic marketing, and social media. His life's     exist as it does today without the visionary excellence of Al Curtis.

dreams include reading 10,000 books and holding his breath for 3           He is a continual source of inspiration in my day-to-day life because

minutes, which he has checked off his list. As the orator of the           he helps to keep it all going.

InSights Group, Al faces daily philosophical responsibility.
                                                                               Sandi
Shouldering this responsibility well, Al's aptitude for listening and
storytelling earn him a place of reverence in the minds and hearts of
the community. Al believes the storyteller given the floor should lift
the audience up and out of their seats, take them by the hand on a
journey, and return the audience to their seats at the end of the story.
He does this each and every day when he adds his philosophy and
his insight to our discussions.

    With his gift of communication, Al has his hands full. Handling
new concept origination and explanation detail, he ensures that
every experience at the InSights Group runs smoothly. Luckily for
InSights, Al's artistry also graces the building and creates an
ambient décor that co-working enthusiasts enjoy. As if that isn't
enough, Allan has been a featured persona of a national brand
campaign and can currently be found on Amazon.com explaining
                                                                          unbelievably talented at knowing how to leverage it. Sandi is the best
Sandi Maki, First lady
                                                                          co-founder I could ever ask for and I get to call her friend.
    Sandra Maki is the much loved first lady and co-founder of the
InSights Group. Sandi loves adventure. When she is decides to get             Allan
into business, be sure that it is going to be an adventure; she
wouldn't have it any other way. A former "domestic domicile deal
broker" (aka real estate broker), she also ran the all-female
swimming pool crew for a company while working her way around
offices managing several businesses. Her degree in psychology and
in business administration is put to good use daily. She has done
core conscious transformation work, and is a certified Reiki master.
She has got the jump-in mentality. She is the epitome of the OSM, as
coined by Steve Farber (if you don't know Steve Farber and his "oh
shi*. moments," look him up. She is real. She is honest. She is open,
and she has a strong personality. Really, her mentality is, "Let's just
go have fun and get this stuff done." In a very real and tangible way,
she changes people's lives, and she does it in an unorthodox way.
When you meet her, you are likely to see her in jeans and flip-flops,
and she loves it that way. She is most comfortable in her "wish I was
at the beach attire," although she's been known to unleash her
feminine power and rock the little black dress. She has the perfect
voice for voiceover work and for communication, and probably one
of the greatest things about her is her marketing message abilities.
She is most creative when it comes to creating new marketing ideas.
She has social media wrapped around her little finger, and is

				
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