Thursday, July 28, 2011

How Bad Publicity on LinkedIn Can Be Your Business Downfall

As entrepreneurs, how can you grow business yet still stay under the radar? I answer this question on Mike Michalowicz's blog, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.  I weigh in on why negativity can hurt your reputation on LinkedIn. A big thanks to Mike for including me as a guest contributor. 

As I have mentioned in previous posts, online reputation management is one of my favorite topics. I've had my share of negative comments and attacks on LinkedIn. I just shake my head when I read these insulting, catty diatribes. How can these people possibly have clients? Why hasn't their competition snatched away business? Based on their comments alone, I wouldn't want to do business with them - not with that kind of negative, disrespectful attitude. It's sad that people resort to such immature behavior in the professional world. LinkedIn is about sharing and helping each other - not cutting down fellow business professionals every chance you get. If you wouldn't say it to your mother, then don't post it on your social media! 

How do stay under the radar while still growing your business? Check out Mike's blog - he offers great business tips including helpful social media information. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Marketing Tip #1: How To Handle Negative Online Criticism

After you write and publish a book, it seems like friends, family and colleagues come out of the woodwork. Hopefully, they send along kudos and congratulations. However, there are those curmudgeons who take it upon themselves to put down your successes and efforts. Unfortunately, negativity goes with the book marketing territory.

I tend to ignore the Negative Nellies and Neils of the world, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire -- in a positive way.

My number one suggestion to authors who handle their own marketing is to make sure you have a solid online presence. Maintain a strong author brand that stands out in an engaging way. You don't need to spend thousands on a website, but make sure your site is filled with positive book reviews and testimonials -- that's the best place to start.

The BEST way to handle negative criticism on the internet is to counterbalance with positive press and reviews. If you sell your book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, check customer book reviews on a daily basis and respond immediately to negative attacks. If appropriate, I recommend including links in your comments -- directing people back to your website, positive book reviews, etc. 

Remember to be respectful and courteous, even if you disagree with the person's negative comments. Everyone loves to be a critic, and people love drama. Just don't give into the drama and remain level-headed and leave your emotions out of the equation. I've had my share of online attacks and criticism, and the storm eventually passes -- people become bored and find another target. 

The reality is that NOT everyone in the world is going to love your bok. People love to state their opinions (both good and bad), so be prepared for whatever comes your way. Don't wallow in other people's negativity. I have seen this happen often with self-published authors. They become frustrated, throw in the marketing towel, and give up altogether.  They take the criticism to heart and go into hiding. 

Remember to consistently stay on top of your online reputation, and you will be ten steps ahead of your book marketing...and the negative naysayers!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Put Your Best Face Forward & 60 Helpful Facebook Tips for Businesses

I was featured as Tip #26 in Carol Roth's blog, 60 + Tips for Using Facebook in BusinessI share why it's important for authors and speakers to included a professional photo on their Facebook page. 

There are great Facebook tips on Carol's blog, so please check out the other 59 tips from business professionals. A big thanks to Carol Roth for including my tip in her article. 

Additional tips when using Facebook Pages for business:

  • Not ALL businesses or industries are a suitable match for Facebook. Facebook is primarily B2C (business to consumer), so Facebook may not be a suitable social media platform for B2B companies. Research your target markets before you jump on the Facebook Page bandwagon.
  • Remember that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to social media -- social media is merely a marketing tool and Facebook is not the end-all, be-all to social media. Join professional networking sites such LinkedIn. I've landed fantastic clients through LinkedIn.  

How do you use Facebook to promote and market your company/business? 

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Business Innovation Debate: Can It Be Too Much of a Good Thing?

Businesses are told that innovation is a must these days -- but can it be too much of a good thing? I was a guest contributor on Hearpreneur and weighed in on the topic of businesses and innovation: Is there such a thing as too much innovation for businesses? 

Yes, I think innovation is too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to technology (specifically social media). I help my clients with their social media marketing and there is one common thread I see when we work together: they feel overwhelmed with social media and are like deer steering into headlights. They are on technological overload and the supposed social media experts out there feed on business professionals' fears. They send out the message: if you want to liked and be an overnight sensation, then you aren't anybody if you don't use social media. This is dangerous as NOT every company, market or culture needs to use social media.  Technology (and social media) won't be going away anytime soon, but the attitudes and mindset towards tech/social media needs to change.

Social media is just a tool and there is NO way people can keep up with all the latest and greatest innovative internet technology that hits us on a daily basis. You do not have to be everything to everyone and although, I am a big supporter of social media tools/apps, social media is not the end-all, be-all answer to bail out a failing company/brand.

Businesses need to stop thinking in terms of instant gratification and realize that the next big innovation that Zuckerberg or Jobs puts out there on the market, while it may helpful, may just be your downfall. Companies need to return to the basics – the human touch – and take their online relationships and networks offline.

Check out the other answers on Hearpreneur. 

Do you think innovation is taken too far when it comes to business? 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Self-Published Author Randy Mitchell Shares Personal Experiences With Book Marketing

I'm lucky to work with amazing clients and have returned to my roots of book marketing/publicity in the past few months. I worked for an independent publisher in northern California, and also worked for Barnes & Noble and promoted authors and planned in-store book signings and events.

Instead of rambling on and on about why self-published authors need to market, I went straight to my self-publishing sources -- my clients, Randy Mitchell and Susan Malone. 

I asked inspirational writer Randy Mitchell his insight into book marketing. Randy recently self-published and launched his social media marketing campaign for his first inspirational novel, Sons In the Clouds.

I also picked Susan Malone's brain. Susan is a long-time developmental book editor and owns Malone Editorial Services.  Susan offers in-depth developmental book editing for fiction and nonfiction writers and publishers. Her clients' books (35 books and counting!) have been sold to traditional publishers. 

Susan, why do you think self-published authors are fearful of marketing their books? It seems authors lose momentum after they write and self-publish their books. As a result, their marketing falls to the wayside -- why do you think this happens? 

Susan: The biggest problem for authors in promoting is two-fold. One, the creative part of the writing brain is so different from the business one. For the most part, authors are just terrified to promote because they have no clue how to (and would so prefer not to have to learn!) Promotion feels like having to learn an entirely new skill set, in an area many truly hate.  

The other part is writers truly often HATE to toot their own horns. Although they may in secret believe their books to be the best in the world, they want OTHER folks to say that, not them. And promotion is all about telling the world how great a book is. Add those two things together, and most writers run for the hills!  

I then talked with Randy about his self-publishing journey. I'm really proud of Randy as his inspirational fiction novel, Sons In the Clouds, was nominated for a Global E-book award for Best Visionary/Inspirational fiction.

He's done a fantastic job of marketing his book, and has created a dynamic online presence in just a few months! Randy is proof that,with hard work and professional marketing guidance, it's possible to achieve book marketign success. 

Randy, what "in-the-trenches" advice would you give to self-published authors?

Randy: First, try to get traditionally published. That is the gold standard by which most writers are still judged. Although, my how times are a changin' with e-book capabilities! If one cannot get an agent or publisher to bite, then dive in and get your work out there.

What have you learned about book marketing in the past few months? What helpful tips do you want to pass along to self-published authors who are hesitant to market their books? 


When you self-publish you are on your own. But having a terrific editor is a must, as well as having a marketing professional (such as yourself)  to help you. I can understand why authors would be anxious about diving in, but sometimes I think writing a book is only half the battle, and like it or not, it's a business.

If a writer quits after being rejected by the traditional houses, he'll fade into the landscape. Self-publishing gives you a fighting chance, and recently more and more published authors are going ahead and just ditching the old ways because of better royalties and more control over their work.

Social media is wonderful, and I've quickly learned it's nothing to fear. Hire a marketing professional to be your coach (worth every penny) because they command a specific knowledge most people don't have -- the ins and outs of how to get the most from your efforts.

A great success story is Amanda Hocking. She tried and tried to get published and failed. She placed her books on Amazon and now, not only does she sell millions of self-published novels, but she has a million dollar contract with a traditional house. 

My best advice? Just do it! And keep your eye on the ball. The biggest challenge I've experienced? Finding the time to keep up because as you keep going, the workload increases. 

Like you said early on, sticking with your marketing is THE key. Never stop, even if you don't see results for awhile. Then one day, something happens (like my Global E-book nomination) or an agent comes calling,

Great tips and advice, Randy and Susan! 

Stay tuned - I will offer more helpful marketing tips for self-published authors in the upcoming weeks!








Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do You Take Facebook's Like Button Too Far?

Everyone wants to be liked -- it's human nature. However, has the Facebook like button gone too far? I've been guilty of going crazy with the like button. Between my sister's litter of cute kittens and pictures of my equally adorable nieces and nephew, I tend to click away.

However, do we really LIKE what we are liking? Sometimes Facebook reminds me of my high school days. It makes me wonder if we are becoming conformists as a result of Facebook's like button -- and if people harbor a secret desire to be popular. The goal behind social media is for people to follow and like us. But HOW genuine are the people who click on your like buttons? Or do they just like you so you will like them back? Has Facebook turned into one big social networking popularity contest?

Don't get me wrong. I am pleased when my friends and fans like my Wall updates. I'm happy that they are pay attention and actually read my updates. I sometimes wonder if Facebook will take the leap and create a "dislike" button. Although, that might wreak havoc, ruin marriages and hurt feelings (and there is enough drama on Facebook already). Not to mention, Zuckerberg doesn't need more lawsuits on his hands.

Do you think people have gone overboard with the like button? 

Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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