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Sunday, December 21, 2014

New Year, New Facebook Changes

     There are some big changes coming to Facebook in 2015
Facebook has determined that a lot of content people see is too promotional so they are switching things up yet again.  The news feed has controls for ads people see and the quality of those ads but those same controls have not been as closely monitored for promotional pages. Until now. Facebook is bringing new content controls for promotional posts in the new year.
Posts considered too promotional have been categorized under these three guidelines
    Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
    Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
    Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
It will once again be changing its algorithms most businesses rely on for driving traffic through these campaigns. So how can you still see success in your campaigns without Facebook? Socially stacked has these suggestions.
Use good old fashioned email marketing to promote your latest products and milestones. Email marketing is still the most successful form of organic marketing for business. 70 percent of people say they always open email from their favorite companies.

Host contests, promotions and other campaigns on your website instead of on Facebook. As I have mentioned before your website is under your control, no one else. You can’t say that about other social networks. A simple embed feature drives users to your site, where you want them anyway. Visitors usually stay longer on your website than they do on your Facebook page.
    Place ads on your website and blog for no additional cost.  You can run all sorts of free ads on your blog and website, things like hello bars, display ads, pop up notifications and so much more. None of these cost any additional advertising dollars to run. You may need a graphic designer and web help to upload them to your site, but you get all the benefits. Try Canva to create your own graphics.
     Use share features from your website or blog to share content instead of relying on Facebook. Share features give your visitors six different way they can share a campaign, Via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest Google +, Linked In or manually.
    Explore other networks instead of relying too much on your Facebook page. There is a big wide social networking world to conquer. There is a good chance your clients are seeking out your services on other networks, so join the conversation.

     And last but not least don’t forget about traditional media to make promotional announcements. The press release is not dead.  Reach out to media connections you’ve built relationships with, or if you don’t have any, build some.  Don’t panic about these Facebook changes for 2015. Spread around the social media love, because that’s smart marketing.   Read the rest of the story here. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What's Your 20 Mile March?


     This past week I watched a DVD of a leadership summit with Jim Collins as a featured speaker. You know, the guy who wrote Good to Great and Great by choice. There were many parallels in his talk about why some people and companies are successful and others are not. It made me think of Ashley Craig, the $100,000.00 winner of Nail’d it.  She shared many of the disciplines Collins shares in his book.  What are they? 
     First off you must have what he calls level 5 leadership behaviors, whether you are leading yourself, or a team. The x factor of great leaders is humility combined with will. Given you already have great leadership qualities what are these other factors that separate the good from the great?

   Fanatic Discipline- Collins calls this the 20 mile march.  This 20 mile march came from a story he shared about two teams on an expedition to reach the South Pole.  One team was successful, the other, perished. Dutch explorer Amundsen successfully led his team 20 miles every day, day in and day out. Not 25 on a good day and 5 on a bad day. 20 miles, day in and day out. Consistent forward progress, every day. It’s also just as important to know to not overdo, and leave yourself vulnerable to unforeseen situations. Managing yourself and your team in good times so you’re strong for bad times. When Ashley spoke of creating a home for herself and her daughter she knew she would have to build a career so she enrolled in Nail school. From her interviews it’s clear she was persistent , attending day in and day out, inching toward her goal.  What is your 20 mile march? What do you need to do today to set the conditions to hit your mark, consistently, whatever that mark may be? 

    Empirical Creativity – Discipline is not enough, we must create new things, take risks on new creative ideas to improve our work. How are you innovating differently than those around you? The key to this is in empirical. Creativity must be based on testing and experience. Placing the big bets, the big risks better be based on something you know is going to work. Collins recommends the bullets to cannonball theory. Fire small bullets at the target until you have a line of site before you load the big cannon.  Have a direction, some success before you go all in. You must blend creativity and discipline, when we do this it amplifies our creativity rather than destroys it. Ashley already had a string of wins before she entered this competition, a line of site, a proven winning formula she amplified with discipline.
 Goes Against My Instincts
     Productive Paranoia The only mistakes you can learn from are the ones you survive. Yes you have to be optimistic, but also be aware things can get hairy. You may look at the glass as full but are keenly aware it may shatter at any moment. Successful people have reserves from the time they are small, it is not a luxury just for the bigger companies. Most success is due to this conservative start that they fiercely maintain as they grow. Take that paranoia and translate it into buffers, built in reserves in case disaster strikes. It is what you do before difficult times come, the discipline you have in good times that make the biggest difference in your success, so you can be strong when people need you.   Collins uses the analogy SMaC. Specific, Methodical and Consistent. The greatest danger is not failure; it is being successful without understanding why you are successful in the first place. Ashley was consistently aware that there were talented competitors on her tail. Yet she dug deep into her talent reserves and delivered great work. This is such a great big topic and there was so much more I could share, so I hope I have stirred your interest to learn more about it. Read more about Jim Collins research. Find your 20 mile march and follow it!            
Jim Collins - Great By Choice (3) - Things to Learn
Jim Collins

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stand Out in a Crowded Beauty World

     I came across this article on my news feed and thought it had some great points to consider for building your business. Nothing earth shattering, yet worth reminding ourselves. The article featured a hairdresser that is a solopreneur, much like many of us. Working on and in her business.  The author asked her these questions.
1.       What makes you unique in your industry? She said she is consistently focused on her clients. She keeps up with trends, learning the latest to bring to her guests. She considers herself unique because she has been fortunate enough to train in London, Milan and New York. So are you keeping up with the latest trends? Colors? I often pick up a new color or art technique at shows and let my client know I had them in mind. Treat yourself to an amazing education event, soon!
2.       How do you promote your brand? Since she is an independent contractor she took the initiative to create a website and promotes that website through social media. How’s your website coming? Still don’t have a Facebook page, website or Instagram account for your business? Looks like that will be on the top of your list for 2015.
3.       What three tools help you find new clients?  Still on top of the list is word of mouth, it is as important as ever. Her positive reviews on Yelp have brought in several new clients and she adds her website to her newsletter, business cards, Pinterest and Facebook. I recently added my Styleseat link to my Instagram account as well. Linking your social media accounts to one another is key to engaging current and future clients.
4.            Do you need to be Tech-savvy to maintain a website? This stylist is smart enough to know to leave this to the experts. She engages the help of a friend and what takes this tech savvy friend an hour would steal much more precious time from her schedule.
5.            How do you know when to ask for help? When her schedule is 85% books she brings on an assistant to pick up the slack. This allows her to focus on the client. I know this seems like a dream to many of us, but assistants can pay for themselves. If you bring on a licensed assistant she can upsell services like paraffin dips or extra nail art that she can perform. A non licensed assistant can help with taking payments, booking appointments and keeping things clean and organized throughout the day.  Even if you bring one on for your busiest days they are worth the time and effort to train them. 

                   How do you maintain a work life balance? This savvy stylist keeps things under control by working 4 days per week with two of those being 10-12 hour days. I have to admit I do this too. I’d rather work longer days and be busy than more days. This leaves two days off per week to attend to business affairs, spend time with friends and family or just take a day for you. Try to attend to business during business hours as well. I know many times it is so easy to just answer one text or email, but when you do your clients expect to hear from you 24-7. Because you’ve trained them that way. Try and put the computer away during family time and on time off, if you must,  let them know you check at designated times like 10am and 5pm. Anything else can wait. As a recovering workaholic I can tell you this is a big one. Let your clients know they are certainly important, but so is your life.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Marketing a Positive Mindset


Marketing is a mindset, all actions begin as thoughts. The better your thoughts, the better your actions.
I was stuck by an article on my feed this week called 7 habits of chronically unhappy people. You can’t have a positive life surrounding yourself in negativity. So I took the liberty of applying these traits to your work life for some inspiration.
1.       1. Your default belief is life is hard. Unhappy people see themselves as victims. If only I worked in a better salon, if only I was in a bigger town. Yes building and sustaining a business is not easy, but thousands of techs do it. How? Find a way to persevere. Take responsibility for where you are right now and focus on where you want to be. Figure out the steps to take and take one step at a time to get you there.
2.       2. You believe most people can’t be trusted. Unhappy people can become an island not networking with anyone else, cutting themselves off from community. Reach out and meet new people, develop new networks and your business can’t help but grow.
3.       3. You concentrate on what’s wrong in the world instead of what’s right. I made the conscious decision years ago to stop watching the news. If you can’t change it why put it in your head. So what do you love about your business? Your skill set? Concentrate on that.
4.        4. You compare yourself to others and harbor jealousy. This is a bit of a repeat from last week, which tells me my thoughts are on target. What’s meant for you can never be taken by another. No one else’s success diminishes your own. Believe you carry your own unique GPS that leads you and keeps you on track. Comparing yourself to others is wasted energy so believe in your unlimited possibilities. There are plenty of clients out there just for you.

5.       5. You strive to control your life. You are manager of the universe. Happy people have goals and work on them but understand they can’t control everything life throws at them. Sometimes happy accidents are there for you to go with the flow. Take the detour and create new possibilities.
6.       6. You consider your future with worry and fear.  Not one more day was granted anyone through worry. Consider all the thoughts you have renting space in your head and give those negative ones an eviction notice. Are there actions you can take from preventing what is worrying you to happen? Then take them, if not don’t let fear take the reins. Think of all that could go right and give fear and worry the boot.
7.       7. You fill your conversations with gossip and complaints, another repeat from last week, confirmation. Don’t live in the past and fill your conversations with life’s hardships. I heard it once said you can visit pity city but you can’t move in. Can we always be upbeat and positive all the time? Certainly not, but the next time you want to wallow remember those people in your life that are always complaining and ask yourself, would you want to be around someone like that? Clients come to us to unburden themselves, take time out of their world. The last thing they need is to be dumped on. Have a positive energy that’s contagious, live in the here and now and dream about your bright future. Be an inspiration that others want to be around. Because smart thinking is smart marketing.
Read the whole story here