The Struggles with Being “You” in Your Business

“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.”  – Steve Maraboli.

 

Easy enough, right?

 

A while back I wrote about how to be more “you” in your business. Now that you’ve found a way, I imagine you might be finding an element of struggle with it. Being yourself in your business is not an easy task. There are roadblocks you are going to come up on and unpleasant discussions will creep up fast. Despite any bad there may be in being yourself, nothing can trump the feeling that comes with knowing who you are, knowing you are being genuine, honest and authentic in your business. There are four struggles I see with being “you’ in your business –

Struggle #1 – Will I be taken seriously?

This is something all business professionals deal with. Depending on the industry you work it, if you’re too rigid, then you’re a <expletive>. If you’re too fun or out-going, you’re seen as a flake. What you need to do is look at who you are. Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not – you will only end up miserable. Do keep in mind your workplace – you want to be taken seriously, so you still need to conduct yourself in a professional manner, but you can do that and still be yourself by –

  • Being honest – don’t EVER lie.
  • Have fun, but still be serious and get the work done.
  • Respect those in authority positions. Don’t treat your boss like he’s your drinking buddy (even if he/she is after hours).

 

Struggle #2 – Will it be seen as “bad marketing” and hurt my brand?

There are some individual brands (think: celebrities) that attempt to “be themselves” to the point you can see right through the publicity stunt. Being yourself will only attract the ones you want to work with and deter the ones you don’t want. If you are genuine, people will see that and work with you because of it. Rarely is being yourself seen as “bad marketing.”

 

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”  – Bernard M. Baruch

 

To keep being yourself and not have it backfire or hurt you, keep these things in mind –

  • Be tactful.
  • Be conscious of who you are and what you represent. Don’t ever waver from your core beliefs.
  • Watch your language. You can still be yourself without using cliches and foul language.

 

My friend Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media wrote a great post about when being yourself could be seen as “bad marketing.” I suggest you check it out.

 

Struggle #3 – Will people find me offensive?

This is something I struggle with personally. There are things I want to say or discuss publicly, but I won’t because I know I’ll offend people. Petty, yes, but you do not want to alienate your community. You can still be yourself and interject your thoughts and beliefs without offending people.

 

A typical cop-out is when someone says “I don’t mean to offend, but…” Almost always an offensive sentence follows. Don’t post that. Ever. I’ll be honest – when you are yourself, you will offend someone. It’s going to happen, but how you react says a lot about you as well. Don’t apologize for standing up for your beliefs (whether it’s political, religious, parenting-related, etc.), just recognize that sometimes people just have to agree to disagree. I’m not going to touch on offending someone by posting slurs and other slanderous statements. There simply is no place for that online or really, anywhere.

 

“Never complain, never explain. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or make excuses.”  – Brian Tracy

Struggle #4 – How do I keep from crossing the line of “too much”?

We’ve all seen the celebrities and athletes who share pictures that probably shouldn’t be shared, in the name of personal branding. Being online, there’s a temptation to reveal all. You shouldn’t, not because of bad business, but because of personal safety. It’s risky putting yourself out there – however rely on your instincts when it comes to being yourself. You’ll know what feels right and what doesn’t.

 

To keep from crossing the line, do the following –

  • Ask yourself if the post helps to further your business.
  • Ask yourself if your grandma would be okay with it.
  • Sense what your gut is telling you – are you leery about posting it? If you feel the slightest off about it, don’t post it.

 

It’s tricky to be yourself in your business. I see it as walking a tightrope – you have to be open, yet guarded. Open-minded but not abandoning your beliefs. I think I’m doing a fairly good job at it, how about you? What do you struggle with in being yourself in your business?

The ME Marketing Content You Loved in 2017

It’s that time of year again – time to look back at the content published on this site that you kept coming back to!

 

I personally appreciate everyone who takes time to read the content we publish and share it across social media. We are here to help you, the business owner, and make your marketing a bit easier.

That being said, let’s take a look at the 10 top posts published in 2017…

 

#10 – Using Your Millennial Target Audience as the Face for Your Company

Using Your Millennial Target Audience as the Face for Your Company

In this post by one of our former interns Drennen Saunders, she shares with us some tips when using millennials as the face of your company or brand.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/millennial-target-audience/

 

#9: Facebook Marketing 101: Where Do You Begin?

Facebook Marketing 101- Where do you Begin

Facebook Marketing can be daunting regardless if you are a pro at it or if you’ve never done it before. In this quick and easier primer, we will get your strategy off on the right path.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/facebook-marketing-101/

 

#8: THIS is the Facebook Content Your Fans Want You to Post

THIS is the Facebook Content Your Fans Want You to Post

In this post we shared research from Facebook and Sprout Social that showed what types of Facebook content fans want businesses to post. And you need to be ready to engage.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/facebook-content-fans-want/

 

#7: Bringing Creatives Together with Influencer Marketing

Bringing Creatives Together with Influencer Marketing

This post gives 15 items to consider when either participating in or managing an influencer marketing campaign. A recap of James Ford’s talk from the Southern C Summit.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/bringing-creatives-together-influencer-marketing/

 

#6: If Work/Life Balance is a Myth, How Do We Manage?

work life balance

This one took LinkedIn by storm! Work/Life Balance is a myth. Not everyone can balance it all to perfection, so how do we manage? Here are tips to manage your professional & personal lives.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/worklife-balance-myth-manage/

 

#5: Making Facebook Advertising Work for Your Business

Making Facebook Advertising Work for Your Business

Last year, I was honored to lead a Facebook Advertising Workshop at The Southern C Summit (this year myself and Louise Pritchard of Pritchard Volk Consulting are leading a joint branding and social media strategy one!). This is the summary primer of that session.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/making-facebook-advertising-work/

 

#4: Your Business Needs a Social Media Marketing Strategy Right Now

What to Expect When Using Social Media to Market Your Business

Your business needs a social media marketing strategy before you start actively using social media for you business. Here’s why – & the data to back it up.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/social-media-marketing-strategy-now/

 

#3: 26 Social Media Statistics to Back Up Your Strategy

26 Social Media Statistics to Back Up Your Strategy

This was originally a guest post for My Social Game Plan that I was able to post on my site as well. Given are 26 social media statistics to help support any aspect of your social media marketing strategy.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/26-social-media-statistics/

 

#2: 8 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes & What to Do About Them

8 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes & What to Do About Them

In this post we take a look at eight common social media marketing mistakes businesses make and our suggestions about what to do to help overcome them to get your business on track.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/8-common-social-media-marketing-mistakes/

 

#1: 20 Facebook Statistics for 2017

20 Facebook Statistics for 2017

Go figure a post about Facebook would be #1! When Facebook hit 2 billion monthly users in the summer of 2017, we took a look at 20 Facebook statistics that shape the world’s largest social media platform, connecting the world and businesses.

 

Read it here: https://memarketingservices.com/20-facebook-statistics/

 

In 2018, we hope to bring you more content related to your marketing and social media strategies. Some may be long, some may be short, but our goal is to help YOU.

 

What was your favorite post on the ME Marketing blog this year? Share with us below! We’d love to know!

 

An Online Etiquette Refresher for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

An Online Etiquette Refresher for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

As of 2016, 88% of American adults use the internet and 69% of online adults now use at least one social media site. Yet, probably more than a third of them act like a buffoon online – business owners and entrepreneurs included.

When you are a business owner or entrepreneur, what you do and say online can have positive and negative ramifications on your business. Yes, you can post freely, however when you are attached to a business or you are your business, the spotlight is on you more.

I decided to update and refresh some of my online etiquette rants and considering that state of the country (and world) right now, a little reminder doesn’t hurt, however this still has a business slant to it.

So, what do you (we) need to do?

Do not ignore people.

Much like how you wouldn’t want to be ignored in real life, don’t ignore someone online. If someone takes the time to respond to something you have out there – a tweet, a Facebook post, acknowledge it. People want to feel like they matter and ignoring them tells them they don’t. Same goes for blog comments. Even if it’s a simple thank you, you’ve acknowledged it. Something else to consider – I know we all cannot stand the generic LinkedIn messages, but if someone requests a connection with you and you do not want to accept it, it’s okay to respond and tell them why.

True story: About 5 years ago, there was a local restaurant here where I live that my husband and I wanted to eat at. I looked them up on Facebook to see their hours (they didn’t have a website – I know!) and saw they were open so we went. When we pulled up, they were closed and there was a different set of hours on their door. Needless to say we weren’t happy. Being the social media person I am, I went online and left a post on their Facebook page’s wall letting them know what happened and asked them to correct the hours on their page. 24 hours later – no response. 3 days later – no response. 4 days later I went back to their page and the post had been deleted. No apology or acknowledgement, it was deleted. Talk about being mad. Up until the day it closed (which was a couple years ago), we never set foot in that restaurant. We were potential customers that they lost out on.

Moral of the story: Respond! Had they responded with something, we would have gone back to try them out and become customers.

Do not steal other people’s work.

Seriously. Plagiarism happens every day on the web. I’ve had it happen to several of my blog posts and a couple of my graphics. Friends have had theirs stolen multiple times too. Google doesn’t like it and we don’t either. There are proper ways to go about reusing published content. Contact the author and ask about their republication policy (we all have them and they aren’t all the same). It adds value to the relationship when you ask first and it shows appreciation on both sides.

True Story: I have a client who is a high-end portrait photographer. She had a fellow peer in her industry have photos she (the peer) took and posted on another photographer’s website. This thief had a family see the pictures and hired them to do their photos. When they showed up, the photographer (the thief) was asking them to help her with her camera and posing – stuff she should have already known had she taken the pictures. The family quickly found out she didn’t take the photos she saw and found out who did and hired the original photographer (my client’s friend).

Moral of the story: When you steal, you will be found out and like pop! goes the weasel, pop! there goes your business.

Act your age.

I really shouldn’t have to actually type this out, but if you’re 35, 55 or even 25, act it. A lot of people try to use social media to make themselves bigger than they are and it comes back to get them (social media professionals included). Acting your age and showing your maturity will earn you respect and authority.

A good tip to keep in mind for yourself and your staff – if it would make your grandma blush, don’t post it.

This applies to content and language. There is absolutely no place for cursing online. Same applies to language that could offend someone (i.e. racial slurs, name-calling). Think of grandma – what would she say? We’re all adults here and we need to act like it (see above). Same applies especially to business owners – there is no place for an owner to respond with that type of language to a post on their business account. Trust me, you’ll end up like Amy’s Bakery in Arizona (read about it here).

Don’t assume.

This applies to just about everything. When you see something online don’t always assume it’s real or legit. There’s a lot of spam out there and do your friends a favor and check it out before sharing it, especially on your business account. We won’t even go into fake news. It’s everywhere and you have to really check your sources because social platforms and Google are wising up to this.

This also applies to tone. In writing it’s so hard to determine the tone of the writer from mere words. For example, I could type “That’s not funny.” and mean it as either a laughing “that’s not funny” making light of something or a harsh “that’s not funny” really getting onto someone. If there is something posted you do not understand, just ask. Ask for clarification. It will save hurt feelings or misunderstandings.

Try to keep things vanilla enough that your readers/fans will understand your tone. If it’s something that may be confusing, make a video and post it!

Selfies.

Okay, enough with the selfies. Personally, I cannot stand them. Professionally, I just don’t get it. If it’s a part of your personal brand to post 10+ selfies each day, fine. If selfies are something you want to do for your business, just make sure they relate to why you are using social media in the first place. You do not want to hurt your brand by over-posting these. And also be careful what types of selfies you post as well. We don’t want to see a bathroom stall.

Spell check! Please!!!

There is nothing more unprofessional than misspellings and incorrect grammar. Proof everything you write BEFORE hitting the post/tweet/publish button.

I know we will all make a type here and there, we’re human, it’s going to happen. It never hurts to have a second set of eyes look over something before it goes online. Not everything has an ‘edit’ button.

Ross Gellar from “Friends” points out a popular one… (sorry, had to!)

via GIPHY

To be honest, I could write another 3000 words about social media/online etiquette. How you (and you staff) act online says a lot about you – your character, your beliefs, even your business practices.

In a day where the negative spreads MUCH faster than the positive, we all have to be careful with what we do. say and publish online. The internet is world of mouth now. How well does your actions reflect on you as the business owner or entrepreneur? If it’s not what you want, it’s not too late to change. Take some time and look at what you are doing and write out some proactive steps to shape your actions the way you want them.

Now it’s your turn – what are best practices for social media etiquette that YOU would share?

 

7 Easy Ideas to Improve Your Blog

7 Easy Ideas to Improve Your Blog

If you are not blogging for your business, you are missing out.

By publishing fresh, new content on a consistent basis, you are giving people a reason to come back to visit your site. The more people to your site means more traffic, which means more opportunity to convert them into loyal fans and one day, customers.

Of course some blogs have all the bells and whistles they install while some are very plain and simple. You need to go with what fits your business’ personality and branding. No matter what you do, you need to always be working to improve your blog. Here are 7 quick and easy ideas you can implement now…

 

Idea #1: Add Click to Tweet.

Click to Tweet is this great site (and plug-in) that you can use to make lines or points you want to make tweetable. This gives your readers an easy way to share your blog post along with a snippet from it. See below.

Click to Tweet is just 1 of 7 ideas you can use to improve your #blog. Click To Tweet

 

Idea #2: Display your social shares.

Social proof is a valuable measure in content marketing. People want to see how many times your content is being shared to validate that it’s something worth sharing. Companies and influencers look at the number of social shares when determining what content to share or who to work with. If I get approached to guest post on a website, I look at their social share numbers before deciding if I’m going to do it. Content worth sharing gets shared. Period. (Hint: it’s all about the quality)

 

Idea #3: Add a Call to Action (CTA).

Including a call to action at the end of your post is a great way to encourage your readers to respond and engage. This could be a question or a prompt to sign-up for an email. Not matter what you choose, you need to prompt your readers to give a response.

 

Idea #4: Use lists and infographics.

Lists make longer posts easier to read. Infographics are a great way to display a lot of information and data in an easy-to-understand format. Most readers will leave a post before they reach the end if it’s nothing but long paragraph after paragraph. Breaking it up into listed bullet points keeps them there. Creating a list post such as “Top 10 Ways…” or even a post that ranks something will see more traffic than others (trust me, I’ve seen it first-hand).

 

Idea #5: Include a pinnable image.

You (should) already know to have a visual in every post you publish. Having an image that is pinnable to Pinterest helps as well. The recommended size for these image types is 735px x 1102px. You can easily make these in programs such as Canva or PicMonkey or you can get more custom with Adobe InDesign or Photoshop.

Here is an example (image has been sized down for display purposes, but was created to the specs above):

7 Easy Ideas to Improve Your Blog

Idea #6: Link to influencers.

We all have people who influence us. And occasionally we like to mention them or talk about their work. When you do, make sure to link back to them. That will usually bring it to their attention you’ve mentioned them. You won’t always get a response from them, but sometimes you do. Also, when sharing that post on social media, make sure to tag them on the platform you’re sharing on.

 

Last but not least…

 

Idea #7: Make sure your content is something people want to share.

Maybe this isn’t so much an idea as it should be a rule of thumb. Good, quality content gets shared. That’s the type you need to be publishing. In the age of content shock, fluff content won’t cut it. I could write a whole post on this, so for time’s sake, I’ll just leave it here.

 

Any writer and incorporate these easy 7 ideas into their blog if they are not already. If you were writing a list of ideas like this, what else would you include? Share with me below!

 

 

The ME Marketing Top Posts - What You Loved in 2016

The ME Marketing Top Posts – What You Loved in 2016

Blogging took a backseat for me in 2016.

 

Now that you’ve picked your jaw up off the ground and recovered from shock that a successful social media professional admitted that she intentionally did not put a priority on blogging, let me explain.

 

Professionally, 2016 was an amazing year. We did a record amount of business, worked with some amazing clients, and did some beautiful work. However personally, 2016 sucked. Royally. The first six months was fine, but it all came to a screeching halt on June 16 when I experienced a deep personal loss that threw the next couple months into a tailspin.

 

Thus, writing on this blog took a backseat to the rest of my business as I prioritized what needed to be done. I love writing and I miss writing consistently. I know I need to get back into doing this (just like I need to get back into the gym – another thing I miss desperately). Life happens and sometimes you have to take a hard look at what truly makes your business tick and go from there.

 

As much as I love my blog and I appreciate each and every one of you that reads this, my blog does not make me money. My blog does not bring me business (that I know of). It’s my work product, work ethic, and word-of-mouth referrals that does. So when push came to shove and I had to make a choice, my beloved blog got pushed to the “when I get to it” list. Thank the good Lord I have my blessed assistant Jenn Hanford who contributes otherwise there wouldn’t be anything new sometimes!

 

Despite everything that has happened this year, we still had more pageviews this year than last and I have you to thank for that! I cannot thank you enough for supporting me and my business and this blog. Every Twitter share, Facebook like, Instagram like…I see them all and I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

That being said, let’s take a look at the 10 top posts published in 2016…

The Case for Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

case for smm

This article came as a result of a statistic I had read that stated that the majority of small businesses base their social media success on the number of views a post gets. Intrigued, I went down the rabbit hole to find the source and this post was the result.

The 5 Best Resources for an Entrepreneur

The 5 Best Resources for a New Entrepreneur

This post, written by Jenn Hanford, gives any new or newish, entrepreneur five great resources to use when starting their own business.

Quit Being Desperate for Facebook Likes

Quit Being Desperate for Facebook Likes

This was a fun rant to write. It was inspired by a client email I had received where they were frustrated that a competitor was using some not-so-ethical means to gain Facebook likes.

Quality over Quantity a Trend for 2016? Are You Kidding Me?

Quality over Quantity a Trend for 2016- Are you kidding me-

Another rant post. I had read an article that stated a trend for 2016 was “quality over quantity.” Since this is something I have been preaching since day 1 of my business, I took a little offense.

3+ Easy Ways to Create Brand Awareness

3+ Easy Ways to Create Brand Awareness

In another popular post written by Jenn Hanford, she shares with us some easy ways new business owners can create brand awareness. And the best thing is that they’re free!

Social Media Tips from 3 Wise Southern Women Entrepreneurs

Social Media Tips from 3 Wise Southern women Entrepreneurs

One thing I have loved over the past couple years is being involved in The Southern C – a community of Southern women entrepreneurs. The community and camaraderie of these women is something I value and I have made many friendships through this group. We’ve all learned from each other and love watching each other grow. In this post, I interviewed three of these fabulous ladies.

A {Short} Beginners Guide to Instagram Strategy

A {Short} Beginner's Guide to Instagram Strategy

I love Instagram. In this post, I took the time to put together a short primer for those who want the Cliff Notes version.

21 Social Media Facts You Should Know Right Now

21 Social Media Facts You Should Know Right Now

I am a statistic nut. If you follow my business social accounts, you know barring the rare occasion I share one every Friday. In this post, I shared 21 social facts that I thought my fans and followers should know.

Digital Marketing Strategy 101 for Boring Brands

Digital Marketing Strategy

Jenn Hanford wrote this great piece that got a lot of traction in just two months because there are a lot of businesses who think themselves ‘boring’ – financial institutions, insurance, law firms, etc. In her post she gives us some fantastic ideas on how to lighten up your tone online so you can truly be effective.

… and #1

10 Marketing Facts You Need to Know Going into 2016

10 Marketing Facts for Your Business Going Into 2016

Another stat post and this one tops the list for the year. I started off 2016 with this post, sharing marketing facts that we could all use to start off our marketing plans on the right foot.

 

In 2017, I hope to get back to more consistent blogging, bringing valuable content to your inboxes each week. What was your favorite post on the ME Marketing blog this year? Share with us below! We’d love to know!

 

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