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Why You Should Ignore "Expert" Lists

Why You Should Ignore “Expert” Lists

I’m having a love/hate relationship with the social media industry right now. I’ll be a big girl and admit it.

What am I talking about? “Expert” lists.

For all the value they can bring, I love them and for the negative they also bring, well, they suck.

Before I go any further, let me say this. If you are new to the social media industry, these “expert” or “top people” lists can provide value in helping you to find who to follow to learn more. So please don’t be discouraged from what I’m writing.

Truly, I am a list person through and through. I organize my day by them, projects by them, my Twitter account by them. I could not survive without my to-do lists. So naturally I gravitate to lists giving me the best social media programs to use, best WordPress plug-ins to use, etc. and the top/best/brightest/up-and-coming in the industry. That last type of list is what brings me here today.

Being on a list is a great boost to a person and their business. It could be Forbes Social Media Influencers list, someone’s top 100 Twitter Accounts to follow or a list of soon-to-be known names. What frustrates some of my peers and I to no end is the fact that it’s almost always the same big-wig clique who always gets all the praise. On top of that, some of them are just blowing smoke and no actually doing the work themselves. There are MANY social media pros out there that should be making these lists and aren’t.

I realize there are a bajillion people working in social media these days (seriously, do a search on LinkedIn) and it’s hard to weed through everyone. If you are listed somewhere, somehow, you should be grateful (unless you are bribing people to get on a list, then you should be ashamed). I really am when I see my name pop up. However, for those who don’t make a list no matter how long they’ve been in the business, some form of self-doubt and second-guessing does creep up.

I know when people come up with lists, they devote a lot of time and energy into selecting the people they want. They cannot include everyone so something has to give. For the most part I think we need to start ignoring most of these lists or at least be very selective in what lists you give value to.

Why?

It’s just one person’s opinion.

Who I respect and follow is different from the next person. Those individuals I would put on my list probably wouldn’t be the same as Joe Schmo’s.

Some of the individuals don’t walk the talk.

Yes, it may be the same people over and over, but if you take a look at the real work they are doing, you’ll see some of them don’t deserve it. For example, if a social media “expert” is doing nothing but typing quotes into Canva and publishing it, are they really a social media “expert”? How about stealing content from other social media professionals? Trust me, there are some big names out there doing both of those.

Some of the best and brightest are not out there to be acknowledged all over the web.

I know of several pros who deserve to be acknowledged like that, but because they don’t fawn over the big names with “look at me!!” they are often missed.

If you put too much into being validated by a list, you’ll lose your way and start doubting what you do.

Let me explain. Self-doubt can be harmful for a business owner. It’s a sick, downward-spinning spiral that can totally derail what you are doing. In life everyone seeks validation and being on a list does that for a businessperson, no matter how superficial or vain. It can indicate they’ve made it or they are someone important. However, you shouldn’t judge yourself by that alone. If your business is growing year after year, you are doing something right.

Speaking of that self-doubt, we all struggle with it throughout our lives (hello, middle school?) however there are things we can do to combat it.

  1. Point out your successes. If you focus on the positive and not the negative, you’ll feel better.
  2. Use your self-doubt as a motivator. Prove to yourself you can do it, whatever it is. Show the world why you’re awesome.
  3. Use it as a self-improvement tool. Take a look at yourself and ask yourself why you have that self-doubt. Is it out of jealousy? Did someone say something?

Okay, confession time. A while back there were a few social media people lists that came out from people I talk with on a regular basis and I was not on any of them. Yes, my feelings got hurt but you know what?  I got up the next day and kept trucking. I (we) do not need to let these lists influence how we go about our daily lives and our daily business. These lists are simply opinions and we all have them.

So let me ask you – what’s your honest opinion about these lists?

50 Inspiring Business Quotes to Start Your Week With

50 Inspiring Business Quotes to Start Your Week With

 

in·spi·ra·tion
noun
the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Okay, so I know this isn’t your normal social media business post and it could be considered fluff. But I don’t care.

Lately I’ve been doing work for a client and his non-profit. They incorporate inspiration and inspirational stories into their organization and their marketing. From working with them, I’ve found and bookmarked some awesome business quotes that will get any business owner off their rears and hustling.

So out of the bajillion quotes/verses/sayings in the world wide web, I’ve selected fifty of my favorites to share with you here. Feel free to tweet them if you like!

 

There’s nothing cheap about loyalty. — Ryan Bingham {TWEET}

 

Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career. –Ryan Freitas {TWEET}

 

The value of an idea lies in the using of it. –Thomas Edison {TWEET}

 

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs {TWEET}

 

The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow. –Ingvar Kamprad {TWEET}

 

Don’t try to be original, just try to be good. –Paul Rand {TWEET}

 

If you’re interested in the living heart of what you do, focus on building things rather than talking about them. –Ryan Freitas {TWEET}

 

The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something. –Seth Godin {TWEET}

 

The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be. –Reid Hoffman {TWEET}

 

Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve. –Mary Kay Ash {TWEET}

 

Theory is splendid but until put into practice, it is valueless. –James Cash Penney {TWEET}

 

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. –Bill Gates {TWEET}

 

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein {TWEET}

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. –Mark Twain {TWEET}

 

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me. –Erma Bombeck {TWEET}

 

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. –Oprah Winfrey {TWEET}

 

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. — George S. Patton {TWEET}

 

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it. –Theodore Roosevelt {TWEET}

 

Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes. –Lewis Grizzard {TWEET}

 

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. — Benjamin Franklin {TWEET}

 

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. — Cicero {TWEET}

 

I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate. –George Burns {TWEET}

 

A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. –John C. Maxwell {TWEET}

 

There are two rules for success. 1) Never tell everything you know. — Roger H. Lincoln {TWEET}

 

Most successful people have little interest in listening to those individuals who cannot add value to a situation or topic but force themselves into a conversation just to hear themselves speak. Good communicators address both the what and how aspects of messaging so they don’t fall prey to becoming the smooth talker who leaves people with the impression of form over substance. — Mike Myatt {TWEET}

 

Do the work. Out-work. Out-think. Out-sell your expectations. There are no shortcuts. — Mark Cuban {TWEET}

 

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. — Warren Buffett {TWEET}

 

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. –Colin Powell {TWEET}

 

Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure. It just means you haven’t succeeded yet. –Robert H. Schuller {TWEET}

 

Hire character. Train skill. –Peter Schutz {TWEET}

 

What we actually learn, from any given set of circumstances, determines whether we become increasingly powerless or more powerful. –Blaine Lee {TWEET}

 

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. –Charles Darwin {TWEET}

 

Too little confidence, and you’re unable to act; too much confidence, and you’re unable to hear. — John Maeda {TWEET}

 

My goal is not to fail fast. My goal is to succeed over the long run. They are not the same thing. — Marc Andreessen {TWEET}

 

Never try to be a thought leader. There’s no value in that. Instead, try to add value. — Chris Brogan {TWEET}

 

You can’t out-spend the giants, but you can out-think, out-teach, and out-help them. — Brian Halligan {TWEET}

 

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. — Sir Richard Branson {TWEET}

 

Do what is necessary to be resilient. You will get knocked down. What matters is that you get back up. — Hillary Clinton {TWEET}

 

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, making sure that impact lasts in your absence. — Sheryl Sandberg {TWEET}

 

An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage. — Jack Welch {TWEET}

 

Success is not a straight line, it’s much more of a dance and being open to possibilities. — Arianna Huffington {TWEET}

 

You only and always have three choices in any situation: change, accept or leave. — Kare Anderson {TWEET}

 

Honesty is a very expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people. — Warren Buffett {TWEET}

 

I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big. — Donald Trump {TWEET}

 

If you’re competitor focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer focused allows you to be more pioneering. — Jeff Bezos {TWEET}

 

Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you. — Howard Schultz {TWEET}

 

Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles. — Steve Jobs {TWEET}

 

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. — Ferris Bueller {TWEET}

 

There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder. — Ronald Reagan {TWEET}

 

Now that I’ve shared 50 quotes I like, share one of yours!

 

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Do you need help using social media for your business?

It’s now 2015 and if you are not using social media in some way for your business you are majorly missing out.

Yes, social media for businesses has taken a lot of heat lately with people complaining about low reach, spending money to be seen and so forth. However, if you are using it the right way and for the right purpose you can get around all of that.

Take a look at these stats:

  • 70% of marketers have successfully gained new customers via social media (Emarsys)
  • 74% of customers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions. (Emarsys)
  • 86% of B2B businesses are using content marketing (Social Media B2B)
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those without blogs. (Social Fresh)
  • 85% of B2B buyers believe companies should present information via social networks. (Iconsive)
  • Over 70% of US online adults use some form of social media networking. (Heidi Cohen)
  • 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. (Jeff Bullas)

Most people expect a business to be on social media somewhere – it could be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. If you’re not there, your competition is.

There are businesses using social media effectively on their own, but there are twice as many who try to use it and just end up giving up. I think it’s a shame when they give up because I know how much hard work goes into setting up a social media presence.

They don’t have to give up. You don’t have to give up.

That is why I have created two new programs – social starters. One program is for business owners who are getting started or who are just simply lost on what to do. The other program is for individuals who are taking on social media management – whether it’s for themselves as a business or for a company they are working for.

I have a heart to help others and that’s what I hope to accomplish with these programs. Each program is for three months and provides hands-on training.

To find out more about our social starter programs, click here.

social starter program mandy edwards me marketing services social media marketing digital marketing

5 on the 5th Interview - Nick Kellet of List.ly

5 on the 5th Interview: Nick Kellet

I’m a list nut. As you’ve probably noticed with my blog, I love list posts and/or 3 or 4 bulleted-points like a list.

I had heard of List.ly but had really used it. Then Nick Kellet, co-founder of List.ly started tweeting with me and one awesome Skype session later, I have someone I like to keep in my little sphere of influencers who I can also call one of my social media friends.

Below is my interview with Nick – take a read and then let me know who your tiger is (you gotta read it to know what I’m talking about) 😉

 

Name: Nick Kellet

Title: CoFounder – Listly

Company: Listly

Website/Blog: http://list.ly/

Twitter handle: @nickkellet

 

Question 1: Why did you choose to work in this industry?

I love startups, but most of all I love jumping domains. I love solving the new problems that come with new domains.

I’ve worked in Fashion Manufacturing, CRM, Retail Promotion, Business Intelligence & Board Games to name a few.

So jumping into consumer-focussed content marketing, crowdsourcing and curation was just the next step. It completed my switch from B2B to B2C. Actually in reality is all just about people.

My board game was crowdsourced and curated, so when I discovered Listly and explored the idea of joining as co-founder it was an awesome fit.

Question 2: How do you keep continuing your education and staying up on all the latest trends and changes?

I loved to read (or more often listen to books). I explore blogs and content on slideshare, attending conferences and also connecting with people. You  need many data points to keep yourself connected and grounded.

I’m always listening and looking for new connections (social, intellectual and emotional).

Feeling is a big part of our growth opportunities as fully evolved humans. I’m big on intuition and empathy.

One of my favorite books is Dan Pink’s “A Whole New Mind”. I’m a big fan of the right side of the brain. I’m unsurprisingly left-handed.

I live for creating and explaining the world in terms of models. This is how I learn and refine my beliefs. Start with a straw man model and then iterate. Replace heads, arms, legs etc until you have a robust working model of your reality. That’s how I solve problems.

I strongly believe you can’t formulate sitting on the bench, you need to be in the game. Ac active player. Trying, failing, iterating and ultimately winning.

Question 3: What do you love the most about working in your industry? What bothers you the most?

Love

I love the reach, the possibility. Reality often falls short of 10 millions views, but it exists as a possibility.

So when you publish a piece of content and it gets 10k views or even 30k views that’s amazing.

You know that’ cool because when you began you were delighted with 500 views.

10 million views may be elusive (or exclusive to Madonna or Lady Gaga), but there is always tomorrow and your next bright idea.

I love the fact we can set outrageous goals. We just need to be kind to ourselves if we don’t quite achieve them. It doesn’t mean giving up. Sometimes all we got wrong was the timeline.

Bother

The internet is a bubble. Social Media is a bubble. We live listening to other people in the bubble.

Saying that feels like confessing that the emperor is naked. He is.

Real people operate at a different level and pace. They don’t and won’t care as much as you do. You offer a potential solution to one of their many problems and challenges. That’s an adjustment we all need to make.

So you need to adjusts your models and expectations to their reality and their lens.

Question 4: What is the hardest situation you’ve encountered in your business and how did you handle it?

Letting go of an idea. That is the hardest thing.

I’ve let go of a business I sold. That was like selling your 1st born. On the scale of things that’s actually easy.  You can always create a new idea.

Letting go of half-baked ideas that were just wrong (bad ideas) or too early or … . That’s harder.

I’ve also let go of my board game, GiftTRAP.  I published and promoted it and it keeps on living. It won 20+ awards including a Spiel des Jahres prize and was translated into 14 languages. It’s sold 80k copies to-date.  Today I’m no longer the active publisher. That’s been the hardest thing to let go of. That experience was a roller coaster of ups and downs. With hindsight I should have enjoyed it like a roller coaster, but instead I lived every climb awaiting the dip and every dip expecting the climb. That was a hard lesson, but one heck of an achievement.

The game always had a life of it’s own, one that I breathed into it. It kept on going long beyond my will to persist, which is possibly the hardest thing to deal with. Great ideas do have a “life” of their own, beyond the control of the inventor. Sometimes you can get too close and too connected to an idea. And sometimes you can listen to all the wrong feedback. Any entrepreneur has made all these mistakes.

Today, I try to be less connected, but also more persistent. I’m always looking for “signs of life” in my projects. Ideas take on their own being and skip to their own beat. Running with natural momentum is much easier to manage and grow.

Question 5: What is the best business advice you’ve been given and why has it stayed with you?

My old friend and mentor Harish asked me a mind blowing question. This was in my first job at French Connection’s head office. I was 21.

“What are you to the tiger?” was his question. A metaphorical tiger.

Who is your tiger? What’s their role in the world and what’s your role relative to them? Is your tiger in the wild or in the zoo.

It’s a deep and philosophical question that anyone can ask about their role in the world

It’s healthy to appreciate your role in context.

 

One for the road…

Bonus: If you could come back to life as any person from the history, who would it be?

Some kind of explorer would be good.

I’ll say Black Adder. He’s historical with a touch of fiction thrown in for good measure.

 

So… who is YOUR tiger?

Want to Use Social Media Ads- Read this first.

Want to Use Social Media Ads? Read this first.

I’m going to lay some truth on you… in order for your content to be seen on social media you are going to have to pony up some money and use social media ads.

Ah yes, pay to play. That’s what I’m talking about. Calm down, it’s not that bad – trust me. It’s actually a wonderful thing. You have the ability to reach the EXACT person/group you want to. Isn’t that awesome? Seriously, it is.

In this day and age of digital marketing, the options are nearly endless of what you can do for your business in terms of social media ads. Most businesses have taken advantage of social media, using Facebook and Twitter to get their message out to the masses. Now that requires using social media ads.

Yes, businesses can pay to play on social media and the ones that do it have gotten quite good at it.

Paying to play is pretty much the norm on Facebook. Everyone and their brother knows about Facebook’s upcoming decline in the amount of people who see your posts. Because of that simple truth & what to expect this coming year, businesses are devoting advertising dollars to that platform to make sure their content reaches their market.  Let me say though, you can do this on Twitter and LinkedIn as well – it’s not just limited to Facebook. Instagram and Pinterest advertising options coming to an account near you.

If you are going to use social media ads, here are some basic best practices to make sure you getting the most bang for your buck…

Know why you are doing it.

Simple enough, right?  Not really. I see businesses promoting Facebook posts and tweets that are honestly a waste of money and it’s obvious they did it just to do it. Like in using social media, you have to have intent in every.single.thing you do. It’s your money (or your boss’). Play it wise.

Know who you are targeting.

You may be having an event that interests only a portion of your market, so when you pay to advertise it, target only that group. That’s the sheer beauty of social advertising – targeting. You can target so specifically that you know your market is going to see it. Want to target people who live in multi-million dollar homes? Now you can. Stay-at-home moms? You betcha!

Have a budget.

I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to lose track of your money on social advertising. Yes, you may only be spending $2 per day, but if you have that plus $15 on a promoted post plus $10 per day on Twitter, it adds up quick. Keep a spreadsheet of what you are advertising, how long it’s running and how much you are planning to spend and stick to that.  Trust me, it will save you many accounting headaches later.

Don’t promote every post on Facebook.

This is a hard truth, but not everything you post is worth paying to promote. I’m not saying your content isn’t awesome (because I’m sure it is), but when you promote a post it shows up more in your fans’ news feeds and the more they see it, the more likely they are to hide/unlike/report your page for spam. A good rule of thumb is that unless it’s a contest, event or sale/special, don’t promote it. Blog posts are sometimes okay to post, but only if it’s one that is getting a ton of response or it’s something you really want people to read. I saw a social media “professional” promote a post asking people is they were ‘making their day great’. Seriously. You can’t make some of this stuff up. Talk about a waste of money and one less fan – me.

Those seem easy enough, right? These are just some basic things to keep in mind when using social media ads this year.

Do you have any best practices you use when you advertise online?

Top Posts of 2014

Our Top 10 Posts of 2014

It’s that time of year where everyone in social media ranks their top posts of the year. It’s become an annual tradition for us to do this as well. Below are our top 10 posts for 2014.

We did our list this year through Listly so please feel free to vote on your favorites below!

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | 8 Best Practices When Using Social Media to Market Your Business

As 2014 gets underway, you have probably already implemented the newest ways to connect with social media users for marketing. But have you covered all of the bases? Are your strategies the best that they can be?

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | How One Guest Post Changed the Way I Write - ME Marketing Services, LLC

I always thought I was a good writer. I would get compliments on my style and lots of social shares. Praise makes a person feel good, right? However that all changed when I got the awesome opportunity to write a blog post for Mark Schaefer and his {grow} blog.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | 5 Internet Sites to Visit When You Have Writer's Block

Sooner or later, it happens to every business blogger...the dreaded condition known as "writer's block." The good news is there are plenty of ways to overcome it. I know it's true because I have been there, too. There is not one perfect solution for getting over that hump.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | 5 Ways to Use Instagram for Your Business - ME Marketing Services, LLC

As social media platforms evolve and change what they do, marketers are forced to constantly change up their social media strategies. Many add another platform to their plan or completely abandon one for another. Let me give you one platform that should get some of your attention - Instagram.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | 3 Tips to Help you Rock the LinkedIn Publishing Platform

If you're active on LinkedIn, the chances are good by now that you're seeing more posts from people in your network. LinkedIn started rolling out long-form publishing capabilities to its members in February, 2014. Some bloggers started using the LinkedIn publishing platform right away, while others have been watching and holding out for a bolt of inspiration to hit them.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | Best Social Media Etiquette Practices - ME Marketing Services, LLC

Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them; manner is personality-the outward manifestation of one's innate character and attitude toward life.... Etiquette must, if it is to be of more than trifling use, include ethics as well as manners.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | 5 Ways Millennials Can Use LinkedIn - ME Marketing Services, LLC

As a member of the millennial generation, I have become well versed in the language of social media. So much so, that colloquial such as "hashtag" has been integrated into my speech. However the one outlet of social media that I feel my generation neglects is LinkedIn.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | Top Tip: Using Photos in Your Social Media Strategy

In today's very social world, it is easy to get lost in shuffle of the constant updates, status changes, and advertisements that have consumed our daily life on the web. However, there is no secret to why platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have grown so dynamically in this industry and are popular platforms for customer engagement.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | Why Some People Just Don't Cut it in Social Media - ME Marketing Services

I have a confession. I just unfriended people on Facebook and unliked over 400 Facebook pages. GASP! (LOL) This shouldn't come as a surprise. Most people go through their social media accounts often and remove pages and people that just do not fit where they are in life or business anymore.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 | Canva Will Make You Look Like a Pro

I'll be honest - I am not that savvy when it comes to graphic design. I joke that I took the music route because my artistic ability maxed out at stick people. However thanks to the new site Canva, I look like a pro designer.

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