weekly top 5 - puppy edition
Feb 09

Weekly Top 5 for Feb 9, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

weekly top 5 - puppy edition

#1. Can Mobile Users Find Your Business? Webinar, Slide Deck, Audio & Infographic

Mobile is THE biggest trend in online marketing — but can people find your business if their using their mobile devices? Don’t miss this essential webinar for 2015 . . . http://bit.ly/1KmwkBy

#2. How to Protect Your Business from Hackers: [Webinar Excerpt]

Hacking is everywhere is the news these days. It’s not a matter of IF your business will be hacked, but WHEN. Be prepared with this prevention guide . . . http://bit.ly/1ucjP9m

#3. LinkedIn Fixes Their BIG Mistake of 2014

LinkedIn took away several features in 2014 that angered many of its users in 2014. They’ve returned an essential feature in 2015, and you can see what it is here . . . . http://bit.ly/1zMQMJ5

#4. Great Example of a Simple Business Video

Maria shared a simple one-minute video made by a small business to demonstrate how to use their new product.  Watch it in the SMOC members-only Mastermind group on Facebook here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#5. Emailing Leads from a Trade Show – is that SPAM?

This SMOC member wanted to know if she could sent an email to a large list of potential clients she collected at a recent trade show.  See Maria’s advice here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

Feb 05

How to Protect Your Small Business from Hackers [WEBINAR EXCERPT]

By Maria Peagler


Seems like everyday on the news you hear of another business that’s been hacked, with its client’s data compromised or confidential content leaked.  How can you protect your small business?

Watch this excerpt of last month’s members-only webinar:  How to Protect Your Small Business from Hackers.  Transcript is below the webinar:

 

Now what do Target, Sony, and Home Depot all have in common? They have all been targets of hackers. Most people think that hacking is something that just happens to being businesses, but actually that’s not the case. You can be hacked whether you are a business, whether you are an individual. Hackers are an equal opportunity, and they will come after you whether you have a large business, a small business, or even if you’re an individual. Today what we’re going to do is to talk about how to identify the true credible threats to your business. Not everything that you read about that could potentially ever happen but the 20% of those threats that are most likely to happen to your business and how you can prevent them from destroying your business.

The first thing that you want to do is identify what is the weakest link in my business that would allow hackers access to our computers, our website, to our data. For the majority of businesses the weakest link is our people. It goes without saying we have seen the enemy and it is us. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to security for our business for several different reasons. One is security is boring. It’s not revenue; it’s not sales; it’s not marketing; it’s not all the things that stay top of mind; it’s not a sexy topic; and it’s also something that people just don’t want to think about. It is cumbersome to secure your business. It makes things more challenging because there’s more layers to go through so it’s not quite as easy to get things done, and it makes things more difficult.

If it’s not easy, a lot of people just don’t want to do it, but it’s worth it. Securing your business is worth it, and I am going to share some examples with you of colleagues, of vendors that I know of who have been hacked who have lost a ton of data, and what happened in those situations.

Now there’s three different areas that hackers are most likely to target. The first is your email, the second is your computer, and the third is your website. We’re going to be taking a look at each one of those targets and how you can prevent a hacker from accessing any of these for your business. If you have any questions as we go through the webinar, please feel free to type them in the chat window and I will get to them at the end of the webinar. I do that so that we can keep things brief for people who need to keep it to 30 minutes, but I will stay as long as you have questions.

First let’s talk about email. This is a real scenario that happened to one of my colleagues. He had an email account that got hacked and somehow the hacker was able to access, through his email, his PayPal account. The hacker took money from my colleague’s PayPal account and told him he would give it back to him once he got a meeting with him. He basically held his email and his PayPal account for ransom. This is a real threat and email is the most likely place that a hacker is going to access your business. This is the most important layer of security that you can have.

The best way to protect your email is with a secure password. By a secure password I mean something like this. This is a very secure password. It’s not a word that you will find in the dictionary. It uses letters, both lower case and upper case, numbers, and special characters. Even though this sounds like something that you would never in a million years be able to remember on your own, I am going to recommend a piece of software that I actually use called Last Pass. It is a password protection program that generates secure passwords and remembers them for you. I literally don’t know the passwords to any of my apps. I don’t know the password for my email, for my WordPress site, for PayPal, for Amazon – none of it. Last Pass knows it and it protects it for me. This is a program that I have used for several years now. I highly recommend it. They have a free version and a paid version. They were recently voted by members and readers over at Life Hacker as the top password protection program available. If you’re using a password protection program – Last Pass is what generated this password for me – you don’t really have to worry about that.

You also want to make sure that as far as your username you’re not using anything like admin and that you’re not giving your email credentials to anyone else, anybody in your business, people who work for you, colleagues, vendors, developers. They do not get access to that. If anybody needs access to my accounts I share it through Last Pass, which has the ability to share passwords with people without them seeing it, so they get access to an account and you can see who’s accessed it.

The second way that you can protect your email is do not open attachments from unfamiliar senders. This is the number one way that hackers get access to your email and then eventually your computer, is they’ll send you an email. They make it look like it’s from someone you know. It has an attachment. You open it and it’s malware. It’s a virus that then will attack your hard drive. You don’t want to open attachments unless you know the person who’s sending it. I also recommend using an email provider that has really good spam protection. The best one out there is Gmail. I use Gmail and I just don’t ever have to worry about spam at all. I highly recommend using an email provider that’s going to protect you from spam email, because that’s where most of these are going to come from.

Now ransomware is a kind of a virus. What happens with it is a hacker will get access to your computer and it will freeze your hard drive and not give you access to it until you pay a ransom. Then once you do, you get your hard drive back. This is a real thing that’s happening. I have links here to two articles and I’m going to share one of these articles with you that is just excellent. It’s from the New York Times by Alina Simone. The article is “How My Mom Got Hacked.” I read this article and the summary of it is, this reporter’s mother was a stay-at-home mom, does not have a business. She just had basically photos on her computer and opened an attachment from someone she didn’t know. They made it look like they knew her. Ransomware, which is a virus, took over her computer and she saw a screen that said, “Your files are encrypted. To get the key to decrypt the files you have to pay $500. If you fail to pay within a week the price will go up to $1,000,” and after that all of the files on her computer would be lost.

Well long story short, this woman did pay the money. She got her files back but ultimately you don’t want it to get to that point. If it did you could use antivirus software to get this virus off of your computer, but this is a real thing that’s happening, so you want to protect yourself from this, mostly just by being very careful about the attachments that you open. That’s exactly how this mom got hacked.

Feb 03

Can Mobile Users Find Your Business? Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

By Maria Peagler

mobile website webinar Socialmediaonlineclasses.com

 

Free webinar Thurs, Feb 19 @1pm EDT/6pm GMT.  Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

  • Learn how to get your business in front of mobile users
  • Thurs Feb 19, 1pm EDT, 6pm GMT
  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic
  • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership
Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox a few days before the webinar.

Is Your Business Missing Out on the Biggest Trend of 2015?

How often do you use your mobile phone? Every hour?

You’re not alone! Your potential clients use their smartphones just as often, so how easy is it for them to find you & do business with you?

Not sure? Never thought about it?

You’re not alone!

In this month’s members-only webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • identify whether mobile users are visiting your website
  • increase your traffic by 500% from mobile users (yes, really)
  • make it easy for people to purchase from you when they’re on a mobile phone
  • and more!

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • 1:1 private coaching

#4. Get 1:1 Coaching Plus Networking with Other Business Owners

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.

Each month, members also get 1:1 coaching time with Maria where you can get feedback on your website, advice on your business plan, help with your social media marketing, you name it — it’s your time!

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your business grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Feb 02

Weekly Top 5 for Feb 2, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

Colorful cupcakes with flowers

#1. [INTERVIEW] How an Entrepreneur Gets Over 70% of Her Business from Twitter

In this 30-minute interview, Patty Farmer shares how she generates 74% of her business using Twitter (by combining it with some never-before revealed tactics) . . . http://bit.ly/1wEGsOt

#2. Brand New for 2015: Facebook Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Download your copy of the updated Facebook Marketing Infographic for 2015 here . . . http://bit.ly/163cjmZ

#3. Help! I Have Multiple YouTube Channels and Don’t Know How to Fix It!

This SMOC member has more than one YouTube channel, each with business and personal videos.  Should she start over with an entirely new channel?  See Maria’s advice here . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#4. New Private Mastermind Group for Members

This week is the official debut of our brand new private mastermind group on Facebook! Members – login to get details on how to join . . . . http://bit.ly/1D3q6Gs

#5. How to Do Business-to-Business Networking on Facebook

This new lesson in Facebook 103 shows a clever use of an ad to reach “gatekeepers” who can open the door to new opportunities for you . . . http://bit.ly/1DSvr4T

how to get 70% of your business from twitter
Jan 27

How to Get Over 70% of Your Business from Twitter: Interview with Patty Farmer

By Janice Deleon

how to get 70% of your business from twitter

Think twitter is just for celebrities?

This interview is about to bust that myth wide open . . .

Patty Farmer gets over 70% of her business from Twitter (she reveals exactly how much of her business in the interview).

Listen to the Full Interview with Patty Farmer (23 min)

Patty Farmer

Bite-sized clips are below, each about 5 minutes in length. Click on the link to listen:

 

00:03:02 MARIA: Welcome everyone this is Maria Peagler founder of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com and today I have with me Patty Farmer of Patty Farmer International. She is a marketing and business growth strategist and international speaker who will be going to Barcelona and Belize in the coming weeks. She’s an author and radio show host and, she has been awarded the “International Collaborator of the Year 2014″so, welcome Patty:

00:03:41 PATTY: It’s so great to be here.

00:03 43 MARIA: Patty, I heard you speak at a social media conference this past summer. It was a DFW rock social media and I was really fascinated by the combination that you use of social media and email marketing and, one of the things that you mention was that you get 70% of your business from twitter so, tell me what that looks like how do you turn a twitter follower into a client?

00:04:14 PATTY: That’s a good question! I love it. So, it’s 74% right now last year with 68 then its 71 and now its 74 so that’s kind of good there but here’s what I’m going to tell you. It’s really not about me. It’s really about them so, I would have to say that whenever I have twitter followers, which really interesting about twitter is unlike any of the other social media platforms it don’t have to follow your back. It’s not like one more friends we’re friends they don’t have to follow your back. So, it’s kind of like you earn your followers and I love that that’s the thing that I love about twitter so, it’s really about having great engagement not good engagement but great engagement and then, really building on that relationship and then, it’s really asking questions like you really want to have a conversation and you ask questions and then, you find their pain points and you offer solutions if it’s applicable but sometimes it’s really not applicable and then, I really tried to make myself via resource and whether that for a referral or to do an introduction for them just at least want people to know that I’m a resource for them and I think that when they see that it really isn’t about me that really serving not selling organically it actually instrument itself.

00:05:40 MARIA: For you really are focusing on not just getting twitter followers or numbers but in turning those followers into relationships in true relationships where like you said you’re serving them.

00:05:54 PATTY: Absolutely. I don’t think it’s about the number in any type of social media at all. It’s really not about the number and for me, I actually vet my followers twice a week so i actually go through I want to make sure that the people that are my followers and a way followed back are truly my specific audience which your target audience and your target market may or may not be the same thing but it really is important for people to really realize that if you’re not talking to right people at the right time it’s just noise.

00:06:34 MARIA: The other thing that I’m interested in Patty that I’m going to follow up on is you know exactly how much of your business twitter is bringing you from last year to mid-year to now so you are doing a lot of measurements.

00:06:49 PATTY: Absolutely, numbers are sexy.

00:06:51 MARIA:*laugh*

00:06:52 PATTY: Numbers really are sexy and I have to tell you I didn’t used to think so before the only number I really wanted to know about was if it had a dollar sign in front of it. I mean not to say that it was about the money don’t get me wrong but if I was looking at numbers the numbers that I was looking at was this is working and what I was tracking I was deciding whether or not it work was really about did it make me money but now I believe that you have to be thinking so much more than that it is so much more than that and I think part of that is because when you’re tracking because of the way social medial is so twine with everything that we do its not only going  to show up in one place so it’s really really important to pay attention and do your insights and to really track and I have to tell you it’s exciting. It’s very very exciting so really numbers are very very sexy.

00:07:51 MARIA: That might be the quote of the year numbers are sexy. I love that.*laugh*.Now, the other thing that I remember you mentioning at the DFW Rocks social media conference was that you built a very large email list in the course of 1 year I mean it was in the hundreds of thousands of subscribers so, how important is your email list to your business and how does that work with your social media marketing?

00:08:21 PATTY: I love that so, it works very very well and one of the things that I think I may have even said it at that conference we we’re at which just they change their names. Now it’s called Rocks Digital so that’s kind of exciting but imagine if you have all Facebook friends and your fans all your twitter followers your LinkedIn connections and your google plus circles all in your email list so that change your bottom line because really google can change your search engine rankings and Facebook and Twitter can both suspend your account but no one can take away your email list and for me, that is why I truly truly believe that the money isn’t always will be in building a good responsive list and the most important work I said there  is responsive again, just like we we’re talking a few minutes ago, in the numbers it isn’t really about the numbers just have to remember that behind everyone one of those numbers is a person so whether your B to B or whether your B to C really honestly, your P to P which is people to people so, we do business with people and even though a lot of times people will talk about no like trust factor and the no like trust factor is very very important but when you’re talking about monetizing it really become no me ,like me, trust me, pay me and there not going to do that until you built that relationship because right now in this business economy, relationship is the currency that’s being used.

00:09:50 MARIA: So, Would you say that you used social media as a lead generator into your email marketing list?

00:09:59 PATTY:I do, now here’s one of the things that I find really interesting right now, is that when I’m seeing a lot of my private clients and actually my masterminds too what I’m seeing is that people is so much into social media marketing and it is so important. I’m not saying it’s not but one of the things that I’m seeing is that a lot of people are using their websites and other things to drive people to their social media instead of using their social media to drive people to their website and I think that’s important to track as well people really need to be paying attention how their business is coming in not just where it ends but how we’re they getting so, we’re given and paying attention to those numbers that’s sexy too.

 

00:10:44 MARIA: So, what would you say for your own business is the best source of quality email subscribers for you?

00:10:55 PATTY:I would have to say that my best source of subscribers for me in terms of conversion would have to be opt ins and there several clients so opt ins meaning on my website when I’m doing freebies from when I’m speaking both virtually and in person so, a lot of times I’m an international speaker and a lot of times you don’t get yourself on the stage so, doing some type of a freebie where again you’re serving not selling and really making sure that you give something a value. I think people really love that the days “let me just give you a free report” I think people are kind of numb to that now. They really want something that’s a value really something that will help them so I think that for me if you give them something needy and you think of it as lead-gen and how you want to help them you want to give them something that after they get that they’re going to be like “wow I want more” and that’s going to continue the conversation so, I think whether you’re using social media or any type of lead-gen it’s not about “oh let me just give them this white report or white paper “it’s really about what is the start what’s the beginning of my entry level funnel that I can give them that’s kind of lead to what they may need the next time that I’ll may be able to provide to so, it’s always about serving them and so I think that’s really important.

00:12:25 MARIA: And so if someone was just starting out in email marketing and they had not yet decided on what kind of a freebie to give away or if they have something that’s working ok now but isn’t doing quite as well as they would like. What kinds of things would you recommend that go beyond like you said just that free report?

00:12:51 PATTY: Well, what I would say is the easiest, cheapest and the least time consuming for somebody starting out would be to go to freeconferencecall.com that won’t cost anything to record a 45 minutes to 1 hour on something that there expert in and then just go into word and create a some type of handout for it and then used that to download and then it’s kind of called a power pack right then they get an audio and they get something to download with it. It’s something they can do less than an hour and the free conference call actually gives you the recording of it so it’s something they could do very simply and then I think they should use their social media for that too, create custom tabs Facebook pages a lot of ways to utilize that in social media they get people to want to have it but I really really believe that they like to hear your voice too so I really believe that audios works very very well.

00:13:56 MARIA: I really like that suggestion Patty it’s different. It’s not something that you see everybody else doing and I think you’re right people do get numb to things in the same offers over and over again after a while they don’t even see them anymore like that, I like that. Now, once you have somebody who is a subscriber on your list, what types of emails do you send to them and how often?

00:14:26 PATTY: I love that question so the first thing I want to say when you’re talking about email is to really remember that the best type of email you can send is  something that’s permission base. We want to make sure that you are using permission base marketing and one of my favorite quote “Permission base marketing is the thing that is always going to build your business” always always always going to  build your business and if you build your business with service and relationship it won’t just be your bank account it will be your retirement account so, it’s really important to do that so that’s the first thing I wanted to say there I think it’s important but for me I use several types of email and send them out weekly but here’s the number one thing I do and I think this is why  I have I high open rate, a high click-through rate  and a very low unsubscribe rate because the most important thing is to segment your list and make sure that what you’re sending everybody is appropriate to them and I’ll give you example of that if you’d like for example: So I do event. I go to event. I’m a speaker so, whenever somebody opts in to my list and this is something that they can also do for free. They can send a survey out and I ask my list. I actually do it twice a year when I’m vetting them. I actually ask them. I want to honor you by only sending you appropriate email to the things that you are interested in click on the subject that you’d like to receive information and it may say speaking virtual events, list building, networking, marketing all the things that I do and I let them choose whatever they choose that’s the list they go in to so now they’re telling me what they’re interested in getting and I only send them those things.

00:16:38 MARIA: For you are really making sure first all that you  have their permission so, these are people who have ask to be on your list you’re not just something a subscriber list and you’re making sure that what you’re sending them is relevant to them according to them. These are the things that they’re asking for.

00:17:01 PATTY: That tell you’re always giving value if every time you show up its valuable so that when they see it in there inbox. Now a days people are reading there inbox with 1 finger on their delete button and it is really important to make sure that when you show up in that email box, that everything you’re saying is relevant, resourceful and it’s a value but it’s very very important that you’re serving them and that’s why it won’t seem to fail even though that a good portion of them may do business with you and it will turn to profit but you are doing it in a way that serves them.

00:17:43 MARIA: Patty, what percentage of your income would you say come from email marketing versus social media marketing?

00:17:54 PATTY: Now that’s a really good question so just cut those things earlier how much I tract my numbers.

00:18:01 MARIA: Yeah. Numbers are sexy.*laugh*

00:18:04 PATTY: Numbers are sexy, that’s right! But here’s the thing, the number one thing that you should be doing with email marketing and social media marketing is entwining them meaning that the people you connect with online, your number one goal is to how do I continue that conversation and get it offline but the people who are opting in through your website or different freebies or whatever the best place to continue that conversation is online so, the reality really is to do both so, it’s really kind of hard after a while to really know what the percentage is because such a high percentage of mine are in both places very rarely I can’t even think of anybody else on the top of my head who isn’t in both. Now, of course there are people in social media that are not on my email list yet, but that is something I work on all the time so i think it is  very very important so really social media marketing and email marketing the number one thing you will hear all the people the experts, the authorities, the influences well tell you now if they have to do it over again the number one thing they would do to be list building and growing your list is the one thing that you should do so, you should be getting the people, that your connected to on social media on your list and vice versa so, you can converse with them you could have a conversation with them and then just email them with relevant information and then have the rest of the conversation online. I think it is very very important to do both but your number one thing that you should be doing every single day and in every activity that you think about doing this is why I think list building courses after courses after course but the reason why is because that’s where people are dropping the ball and they need to do that so the number one thing they need to be thinking when they do every single activity is how was this going to grow my list. Is it going to grow my list? And if it’s not growing to grow your list in any ways perform you might want to resync it or restructure it.

00:20:20 MARIA: Ok.and what would you say Patty, the people who especially small business who say ok now I need a website and social media and now, I need email marketing, how may I supposed to do all of that?

00:20:37 PATTY: Well, the first answer would be you don’t have to do it all yourself its sounds like it’s time consuming I can see it how would I listen to say that. It sounds like its time consuming but it really isn’t so many tools out there now that can help you to automate a lot of that and, all of those things that you just talk about all should be working together list building should be working automatically with your social media and with the list building part social media should definitely  be helping you to grow your list  so, all of them are really entwine together in reality so it just sound like it’s not but really it is but if they need help they can either hire somebody if they don’t want to do it themselves but in reality really doesn’t take that much time although I’m the first person to say that we don’t really need to be looking at our own envelopes right. The thing is if there’s not something you like to do or no how to do then you should outsource it that’s the number one thing that for me is what separates business owners and entrepreneurs in getting results and getting massive results. You’re going to get massive results when you stop doing the things that you don’t really need to be doing and you step out and say “You know what, I need to be focusing on incoming generating activities and if you can spend the best part of your day doing that because I always tell people all the time there’s now money now and there’s more money later and a lot of times people like to focus on more money later and there not making now money now and the bottom line is you don’t get into business to for you to be on social media I hope. Right.

00:22:22 MARIA: That’s right, that’s right.Ok, Two follow up questions for you, the first one is, I’m a huge believer in the 8020 rule especially as entrepreneurs and small business owners you can’t do everything so, you’re to focus on the top 20% of the tactics that will get people 80% of their results when it comes to combining social marketing, what would be that 20% be?

00:22:55 PATTY: Oh.I love that! love, love love…ok so, the first thing everything should be list building so we already talk about that but I think that the thing that they need to be spending 20% of their time because this is going to get them 80% of their results as well, is that they need to be really focusing on engaging right and providing that value so it’s really really important that I think that they do that and I think that when there utilizing there social media, they need to realize that they don’t need to be selling, people want to be educated, they want to be entertained that’s what they’re looking for right that’s what they really looking  for and there’s a way to really build relationships doing that for I think it’s very very important to spend your time building those relationships and those relationships that you build those will come around and it will organically end a little bit of help it will actually help you  to grow your business so you get the profit that you’re looking for your business.

00:23:58 MARIA: In my last question is the same one to every person I interview, what is the question that I should have ask you but I didn’t?

00:24:08 PATTY: I loved that question, that’s a really great question, what is the question that you should have ask me.that’s really good! I would say that the question that you should have ask me was that if somebody was a business owner and they we’re just starting their business that’s the number one thing that they should do.

00:24:27 MARIA: Ok, and so, what would that be?

00:24:31 PATTY: So, the number one thing I think that they should do is to have a plan because it doesn’t matter what should you doing but you should have a strategy for everything you should have a strategy to your email, you should have a strategy to your social media marketing everything you do you should have a strategy so you’re not just doing this and doing this and doing this and it’s not coming together for you. I have to tell you that I see a lot of people doing that and even though we think it’s important to know how to do everything, it’s much more important to know why you should be doing it for i think that’s the most important part is to know why you’re doing what you’re doing and then, to have a strategy because I’m going to tell you hope not a strategy.

00:25:11 PATTY: Patty that is so smart..*laugh*.That is so so smart. I see so many business owner have a passion for what they do they have a vision for what they do but they don’t have a plan. They don’t have a strategy. They get in there and they dive in and there excited and then, the hard time hit and there not able to laugh at it so, I think that it just so so smart.

00:25:40 MARIA: Patty, where can people find you online?

00:25:46 PATTY: So, they can find me on my website which is pattyfarmer.com. So, pattyfarmer.com it’s pretty much everywhere you can find me on social media too. Twitter Patty Farmer and that’s where I spend most of my time is on twitter for the obvious reason and you can find me on Facebook and all the other online all the social media sites that if they just go to my website pattyfarmer.com they can see my social media places there so, I would really love to connect with them that would be fabulous and if they have many questions I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

00:26:18 MARIA: Ok, and so your twitter handle is @pattyfarmer?

00:26:21 PATTY: Correct.

00:26:23 MARIA: Oh. So simple wonderful! Patty, thank you for being with us today.

00:26:28 PATTY: You’re welcome! It was great to be here. I’ve been really looking forward to this interview and thank you so much for having me.

Top 5 at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com
Jan 26

Weekly Top 5 for Jan 26, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

#1. Brand New for 2015: Facebook Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Our most popular infographic updated for 2015 with all the changes you need to know about to do business on Facebook.  Get yours here . . . http://bit.ly/1Ek7wZp

#2. Social Media Strategy Template

Developing your social media strategy is your first step in marketing, and many small business owners are unsure if their strategies are optimized for their brands.  This new template makes developing your own strategy uber-simple . . . http://bit.ly/18hNhkN

#3. Best Books for Small Business Owners [INFOGRAPHIC]

My recommendations for my favorite 15+ books for small business owners was an enormous hit on the blog, so I put them all together in this handy infographic. Bookmark it so you’ll be prepared next time you’re ready for a good read . . . http://bit.ly/1JhAVX6

#4. Content Generation Infographic

Dread creating content? You’re not alone. Discover my “secrets” for creating content simply & easily in this checklist . . . . http://bit.ly/1A7351n

#5. VIDEO – How to Find Your Target Market

A member identified two different target markets for his products, but was having trouble nailing down where to find them online.  Maria demonstrated a powerful tactic to instantly identify where to find them in this members-only video:  http://bit.ly/1wrTqB1

Jan 23

Best Books for Small Business Owners [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Maria Peagler

Happy Friday! I’ve got a great gift for you today: an awesome infographic that wraps up the best books for small business owners (from my own list in this my uber-popular blog post).

Enjoy the infographic, and feel free to pin it to your Pinterest board as a way to remember what book to read next to grow your business!

best books for small business [infographic]

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Facebook marketing infographic 2015
Jan 20

Facebook Marketing Infographic 2015 Edition

By Maria Peagler

Facebook Marketing Infographic

I’ve updated our Facebook Marketing Infographic for 2015 to reflect the newest tactics that work in a crowded Facebook environment harder than ever to reach your fans.  I debuted the original infographic back in 2011, and it’s continued to be the most popular infographic EVER at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.

So what’s changed in 2015? Here are the 20% of the tactics you need to focus on for 80% of your results:

Attract a Targeted Fan Base

Size doesn’t matter here like it used to.  Many business pages paid for cheap fans through fan farms or uber-cheap ads that got them fans for pennies, and now their business pages are suffering for it.

The goal is NOT to attract a massive fan base, but a targeted fan base. Consider running Page Like ads to those people who are most likely to buy from you.

Focus on Reach — the Gateway to Engagement

Engagement and Reach are a chicken and egg scenario: which comes first? Both really.  You’ll never get engagement if you can’t reach your fans, but the more engagement you get, the more reach you get.  So focus on Reach first, then aim for engagement. How? Boost your posts for higher reach, but make sure those posts are ones your fans are so excited about they’ll want to share them with friends, family, and colleagues.

Add a Call-to-Action on Your Timeline (Your Most Valuable Real Estate)

The purpose of the Timeline has evolved as Facebook has changed, but in 2015 it’s the most important piece of real estate you own on Facebook.  Because the first time someone comes to your page they are curious — so hook them in with a great offer on your Timeline. Facebook released the restrictions on having a call-to-action on your Timeline, so definitely add an offer on it.  You can even put a “button” on it for people to click to get your offer.

Insights Are Your BFF

The biggest missed opportunity for small business owners on Facebook is mining their Insights for invaluable fan data. Your Insights tell you:

  • which posts are the most popular (so you can do more of them and reach more of your fans)
  • who your most valuable fans are (don’t try to please everyone — these fans are where your gold lies)
  • what days and times are best to post
  • and far more

If you’re not using Insights, you’re wasting your valuable time on Facebook by GUESSING at what works.  Analyze your Insights and you’ll know immediately what your fans want, what works with them, and how to do it.

Contests Became So Much Simpler

Facebook released the restriction on contests needing to be run from a third-party app, so that has made contests far simpler than ever before to do. Keep your contest simple and you can generate new fans, leads, and sales.  How?

  • Use great images for your contest post
  • Make entering the contest simple
  • Giveaway something people want and don’t make them jump through hoops to get it

My favorite contest? Give everyone who enters a $10 gift card toward purchase at your business. They’re happy, and you get new buyers.

Be Persistent to Monetize Your Fans

I’ve discovered that most businesses think Facebook fans will see their posts and buy from them immediately.

It doesn’t work that way; analyze your own purchasing behavior and you’ll see the same trend. It takes time to build a relationship with people, and they don’t buy from you until they trust you.

You do the same thing.

Use Facebook as a lead generator, integrate email marketing, and follow up with those leads via email.  Sales persistence is not a strong point for most small business owners; focus on it and your revenue will reflect it.

Get the Share and Open the Floodgates

The Share is the gold standard for engagement on Facebook, because you not only get more people seeing your posts, you get more fans, more clicks to your website, and more leads.  Sharing is the engagement you need to focus on. Likes are great, comments are good, but Shares are the winner.

Give people a reason to Share your content and your Facebook page will benefit. Review your Insights for what posts have the most Shares and do more of those.

Use Ads to Reach Your Business Goals

Small business owners can definitely afford a Facebook ad, as they are budget-friendly and simple to use. Start small with a boosted post to reach more of your fans, then start moving toward more sophisticated ads to reach your business goals.

  • Want more fans? Create a Page Likes ad.
  • Want more traffic to your website? Create an ad for Website Clicks.
  • Need leads for your business? Build a Website Conversion ad and follow up via email.
  • Want sales from Facebook? Create aWebsite Conversion ad for a low-priced product.
  • Want to make the most of all the above ads? Once visitors become a fan, click through to your website, become a lead or make a small purchase, they are called a warm lead because they already know of you and have likely come to trust you.  You can retarget those visitors using a Facebook ad, making the most of your efforts here on Facebook.

Need help with Facebook ads? Our Facebook classes teach you to do all of the tactics above and far more.

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weekly top 5 - puppy edition
Jan 19

Weekly Top 5 for Jan 19, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

 

weekly top 5 - puppy edition

#1. How to Protect Your Business from Hackers: Webinar Replay

Members: Watch the replay here and get all the resources with it! Learn how to protect your business from hackers in this 30-minute webinar, mp3 audio, slide deck, and infographic . . . http://bit.ly/1wE3Uxs

#2. How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing: [Webinar EXCERPT]

The MOST POPULAR training tactic here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com is social media automation. Learn how to do it the right way in this video sneak peek of last month’s webinar . . . http://bit.ly/14tHk1t

#3. Facebook Changes Post Scheduling Options

Facebook has changed . . . again! This time it’s scheduling your posts, and you have far more options now. See them here . . . . http://on.fb.me/1DSu7yM

#4. Need More Traffic to Your Website? Think Again!

Most business owners are unhappy with the amount of traffic they get to their website and always want more. But the solutions isn’t MORE traffic. Learn my solution in this new lesson here . . . http://bit.ly/1DSuR70

#5. How to Run a Profitable Flash Sale

Flash sales are all the rage: a one-day sale at a deep discount. Here’s how to ensure your’s is profitable . . . . http://bit.ly/1DSvr4T

Jan 13

How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing [WEBINAR EXCERPT]

By Maria Peagler

Here’s a sneak peek at December’s bonus webinar on How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing, which is one of the most-frequently asked questions I get at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com. Here’s how to do it correctly without losing the personal touch and “secret sauce” your brand is known for. Transcript is below the video:

 

Transcript

Maria Peagler: The most important conversation that we’re going to have is what can you automate, what should you automate, and what should you not automate. Let’s take a look at what you can automate first. Now this is a big list but this is actually what I am automating as of December 2014. I automate a lot of backend administrative and content tasks that simply don’t require my hands on. They can be done by someone else.

Now one of the easiest ways to automate this is to delegate it. If you have a colleague, if you have a team member or a virtual assistant, these are things that you can give to them. What I’m going to show you is how to even automate that process in delegating things. The number one thing that I’m going to show you how to do is how to automate your social media posting, but there are other things like sharing files with colleagues. Anything that is a recurring process that you do over and over again, even if it’s just once a month, you can automate. We create a content library here with a very simple automation process that we’re not directly involved in whatsoever. I’ll show you how we do that.

Creating a blog post, now this is not something that I recommend that you do on a regular basis but for certain instances creating a blog post automatically makes a lot of sense. I have clients, our social media service clients, who are on the road 50 weeks a year. They do not have time, nor do their team, to write a blog post. We have come up with some really innovative and exclusive ways that you are not going to see anywhere else for how to automatically create content for your blog. Again, I’ll be showing you that.

You can automatically shorten URLs for new content. You can get reminders via text message. In fact, I got an automatic reminder today of this bonus webinar on my phone. One of my favorite things to do is to dictate my to do list into my phone and it’s saved to Evernote. I have my contacts added automatically to email marketing lists so that I don’t have to do that and neither does my VA. I have actually tasked my virtual assistant with becoming an expert in this process because the more things that we can take off of her plate the more productive things that she can do, which means that frees up my time.

If you ever survey people on what they want from you, you can save their responses automatically to a spreadsheet. If you use any kind of project management tool you can create new projects. I do this as well and I’m going to show you how I do that. Every time I get a new Twitter follower I save the follower’s name, bio, and follower count into a spreadsheet. That shows me who my followers are, who has the most followers, and what they do. I can send tasks automatically to a virtual assistant and I can add content using a few keystrokes, and that’s actually one of my favorites, because anything that you type over and over again you can actually assign that to a few keystrokes and it creates a nice shortcut for you.

Now the apps that I use for automation are a lot. I don’t want you to feel like this is an overwhelming list. I’m going to explain each one of these briefly and tell you what they do. Then I’ll be giving you a little bit of a tour of each and how I use them. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are both social media posting automation tools that allow you to post to one social network and have it go to others as well. You can also schedule posts with those, but these two tools take a little bit of a different approach. Buffer is also an app that people use for that, TweetDeck, there’s a whole bunch of them out there.

Evernote is a note taking tool and for more than that. I did a blog post last week of some of my favorite productivity tools and I explained why I like Evernote in there. I’m not going to have time today to go through and demo everything but if you have not tried Evernote I highly recommend it.
I use WordPress to automate a lot of stuff I do; Dropbox, which is a file sharing application. Text Expander is one of my favorite apps, and it is a browser-based app. You download it onto your computer and it will type in things that you have to type often every day, like your email signature, a link that you have to do a lot, any kind of repetitive content. For customer support we use this a lot because some of our responses are the same over and over again. I’m going to show you how I use that. Bit.ly is a great URL shortener. Then all these social networks: Vimeo, which is for video; YouTube; Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; and Instagram. You can automate posting to all of these.

Now that does not mean that I recommend that you always post via automation. What I recommend is that you decide which is going to be your main social network and write your posts for that, and then you can automate some of the others. For example, my main social network is Facebook, and then I automate the posts the others. Pinvolve is an app that I use solely to post to Pinterest [inaudible 00:06:24]. Ifttt stands for If Then Then That. It is an automation app; that’s all it does. If there is a task that you do online it’s very likely that ifttt can automate it. If not, then another automation called Zapier can automate it for you. I will be demonstrating both of those.

Then the last one I use is Trello, which is a project management tool. I can automate projects for those. That’s a little bit about the type of task that you can automate and what my favorite apps are for automation. Now what are some of the things that you should not automate? Not that you can’t automate but what you shouldn’t automate. Because you can set up a process for almost anything. You should not automate your secret sauce, and that’s your personal touch. Social media listening: posting on social media isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t respond to people if they have a question. You need to make sure that you are in social media every day responding to people. Engagement: when people are liking and commenting and sharing you need to thank them for that and encourage them to do that. Customer support: absolutely not. That is one of the most important things you will ever do. The same thing with content creation. Your content is your secret sauce and you want to make sure that you do not outsource or automate your content creation to somebody who doesn’t know your brand.

Also anything that needs a critical analysis like social media measurement. You need to be able to analyze your analytics when it comes to social media traffic, financials, and you need to be the one doing that. You don’t ever want to automate that or outsource it. Again, content creation: that’s something that takes a critical eye, and you don’t want to automate that. Now that we’ve looked at what you can automate, let’s look at how you can automate some of these things.

 

Jan 12

Weekly Top 5 for Jan 12, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week..

Colorful cupcakes with flowers

 

#1. THURSDAY: How to Protect Your Business from Hackers – Webinar, Slide Deck, Audio & Infographic

Don’t miss this must-attend webinar this Thursday, Jan. 15 so you can bulletproof your business from malicious hackers . . . http://bit.ly/1I1Q7a0

#2. My Favorite 15+ Books for Small Business Owners

Bookmark this post! You’ll learn which books will boost your bottom line and my favorite lessons from each . . . . http://bit.ly/1HD2CIS

#3. One-on-One Coaching for Members

Last week, Pat P. and Richard H. got their 1:1 coaching and learned how to refine their social media strategies and get more fans on Facebook.  Book your coaching appointment here . . . http://bit.ly/1wxiVCe

#4. Vote for Your Favorite Version of Our Classic Infographic

Our Facebook Marketing Infographic is the most popular we offer here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, and I’m updating it for 2015.  Vote for your favorite version here . . . . http://on.fb.me/1xef4qu

#5. New Facebook Advertising Lessons in Facebook 103

Facebook ads are HOT for 2015, and you’ve got two new lessons for how to make the most of your investment . . . .http://bit.ly/1xvE6Xd

How to protect your small business from hackers
Jan 09

How to Protect Your Small Business from Hackers: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic

By Maria Peagler

 

How to protect your small business from hackers 

Free webinar Thurs, Jan 15 @1pm EDT/6pm GMT.  Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

  • Learn how to bulletproof your website against malicious hackers
  • Thurs Jan 15, 1pm EDT, 6pm GMT
  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Infographic
  • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox a few days before the webinar.

How to Protect Your Small Business from Malicious Hackers

If large brands like Sony, Target, Chik-fil-a and Home Depot can be hacked, how can you protect yourself? Do you need to?

Absolutely! Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you’re not a target for hackers, who love to take over your brand’s website, your email, and your computer’s files and demand ransom in return.

How can you protect yourself?

In this month’s members-only webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • identify the weak links in your business security so you can identify true potential threats
  • what tools I recommend to bulletproof your business’ website, computer systems and email
  • how to prevent credit card hacking to reduce your liability from consumers
  • the “scares” that are so unlikely you don’t need to worry about them

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • 1:1 private coaching

#4. Get 1:1 Coaching Plus Networking with Other Business Owners

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.

Each month, members also get 1:1 coaching time with Maria where you can get feedback on your website, advice on your business plan, help with your social media marketing, you name it — it’s your time!

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your business grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

my favorite business books
Jan 06

My Favorite 15+ Books for Small Business Owners

By Maria Peagler

my favorite business books

What’s the one thing profitable business owners have in common?

They’re lifelong learners.

After all, if you generate profits in your business year after year, you need to stay up-to-date on your industry, how business practices change, and how to stay current.

As an author, I’m a voracious reader, not only of fiction, but non-fiction business books. Today I’m sharing with you those business books that helped the bottom line of my business.

415-zyGlFSL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_1.  Less Doing More Living

Author: Ari Miesel

This book was one of my favorites of 2014. Written by a Ari Miesel, a business owner who has a debilitating disease and is the father of twins, who found a way to automate much of his business. I’m usually not a big fan of automation tactics, as they remove any personal touch your clients need from you. But Ari developed an online productivity system to automate much of the behind-the-scenes, freeing you up for the customer touchpoint tasks. I was able to save hundreds of hours and literally thousands of dollars by using his methods.  He has perfected the art of automating his business and his life so he can focus on the priorities needing most of his attention.

Favorite Highlight

“According to the 80/20 rule, I should be focusing on only the things that only I can do, like creating original content for the blog.  Everything else should be handled by someone else.”

41Qn40zaexL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_2.  The Checklist Manifesto

Author:  Atul Gawande

One of my favorite business books of all time.  I’ve recommended this book often and cannot emphasize enough how the process of creating a checklist helps me to document lengthy and complex processes and train my staff how to do them as well. Gwande shares examples of critical professions relying on checklists to avoid loss of life, such as architects, engineers and World Health Organization surgeons.

Favorite Highlight

“But finding a good idea is apparently not that hard.  Finding an entrepreneur who can execute a good idea is another matter entirely.  One needs a person who can take an idea from proposal to reality, work the long hours, build a team, handle the pressures and setbacks, manage technical and people problems alike, and stick with the effort for years on end without getting distracted or going insane.  Such people are rare and extremely hard to spot.”

download3.  Anything You Want

Author: Derek Sivers

A slim, yet invaluable book from Derek Sivers on his journey from being a music lover who coded a simple program to founder of CD Baby, selling it for over 21 million dollars.  What I love about this book is Derek’s candid story of ups and downs in his journey, and his advice on enjoying your own and not getting swallowed by sharks.  Derek has done multiple TED talks and is generous with his time, answering questions via email from readers on his website.  I asked him a question for my son about going into the music business, and we was kind and open with his advice.

Favorite Highlights

“Never forget absolutely everything you do is for your customers.  Make every decision – even decisions about whether to expand the business, raise money, or promote someone – according to what’s best for your customers.”

“It’s counterintuitive, but the best way to grow your business is to focus entirely on your existing customers: just thrill them, and they’ll tell everyone.”

51HtHc4sTvL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_4.  12 Week Year

Author: Brian Moran

I almost didn’t include this book in this year-end list because the author, Brian Moran, was decidedly curt when I reached out to him about an issue on his website.  However, I have gotten such tremendous results using this method I would be remiss in not mentioning it. Brian’s method recommends intense focus on a few goals over a 12-week period, even scoring yourself on your efforts and results.  I’ve been using his method for an entire year, and I can report I’ve gotten better results working with his method on my own than in hiring “experts” to tackle the same problem.

Favorite Highlight

“In 12 week planning, you identify the top one to three things that will have the greatest impact, and pursue those with intensity.”

515vWYjaFzL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_5.  The First 20 Hours

Author:  Josh Kaufman

A similar book to the 12 Week Year, but Josh Kaufman’s (The Personal MBA) focus is on mastering a skill in a short period of time – 20 hours to be exact.  What I loved about this book is similar to what Tim Ferriss does in his 4 Hour Chef: Josh recommends breaking down the skill set you need to learn and identifying the critical elements you need to master.

Favorite Highlight

“What feels like the long way is the shortest way. Zero-practice shortcuts don’t exist. No practice, no skill acquisition. It’s as simple as that.”

41Jl9XR0HqL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_6.  4 Hour Chef

Author: Tim Ferriss

As a gourmet cook, I didn’t read Tim Ferriss’ book to learn how to master cooking. Instead, I read it to learn how to “hack” learning, which is what Tim is REALLY teaching in this book, using cooking as the vehicle.  Tim figured out the key to quick learning early on working for Berlitz — the foreign language company — and applied those same tactics to other learning disciplines.  He distills the quick-learning principles to acronyms easy to remember like CAFE and DSSS, and these tactics help me learn quickly in an industry that changes daily.

Favorite Highlight

“The lowest volume, the lowest frequency, the fewest changes that get us our desired results is what I label minimum effective dose (MED). It’s a broad concept that applies to almost any field.”

41O9Zptxu7L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_7.  168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

Author: Laura Vanderkam

I interviewed Laura Vanderkahm on the blog here after reading her book about time management. I hesitate to call it a time management book, because I’ve decidedly eschewed those in favor of smarter approaches to life and how I choose to spend my time.  Laura’s book is an eye-opener into how much time we all REALLY have, how we spend it, and how there truly is enough time in the day to do everything you need and want.

Favorite Highlight

“Once you know what you want to do in the next year, you can break this down into what you want to do in the next month (120 – 240 hours) or week (24 – 26 hours). On Sunday nights, or before the start of your workweek, sit down and list the actionable tasks you need to do to advance you toward these goals. Then, this is the key part: schedule them in, knowing exactly how long they will take.”

download (1)8.  Delivering Happiness

Author: Tony Hsei

Tony claims this book is all about how Zappos delivers an over-the-top customer service experience.  I view it as the bible for anyone who wants to turn a boring business into a global brand that never competes on price. The shoe business was about as exciting as watching paint dry, until Tony turned it upside down with fun, great teamwork and amazing customer service.  A must read.

Favorite Highlight

“I realized that, whatever the vision was for any business, there was always a bigger vision that could make the table bigger. When Southwest Airlines first started, they didn’t see their target market as just limited to existing air travelers, which was what all other airlines did. Instead, they imaged their service as something that could potentially serve all the people who traveled by Greyhound bus or train, and they designed their business around that.”

51gn6AuFkNL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_9.  The Lean Startup

Author: Eric Ries

If you’ve heard the terms minimum viable product, pivot and lean, then you’ll understand the impact Eric Ries has had on the startup industry over the past five years.  Eric tells the story of how his failing tech business learned to stop guessing at what customers wanted and actually interacted with them and making tiny improvements along the way.

Favorite Highlight

“Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.”

10. Mastering Evernote

Author: Brandon Collins

I finally got on the Evernote bandwagon in 2012 and this small Kindle book helped me figure out how to customize my experience in Evernote.  As great a product as Evernote is, I never found it intuitive to use, which is why it took me so long to adopt it into my business toolkit.  This book finally got me using it like a pro.

Favorite Tip

Add most-used notes to the the shortcut bar so you don’t have to search for them repeatedly.

download (2)11.  Moonwalking with Einstein

Author: Joshua Foer

Summary

Not a business book per se, but a fascinating read at how regular people can develop super-memories. I’ve been able to pump up my own memory with these techniques, and help my son do so for college exams.  Not a how-to book, but a telling of one reporter’s story of covering the world memory championships, to challenging a participant to coach him in memory techniques, to winning the championship the next year. Truly a fun book to read.

Favorite Highlight

“The more we pack our lives with memories, the slower time seems to fly.”

51GWfhjxetL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_12.  The Stupidly Simple Way to Backup

Author: Christian O. Schilling

An inexpensive Amazon Kindle book that has a smart strategy for backing up your life and business (and what you don’t need to backup): personal photos, application purchases, etc.  I’ve been days away from a book deadline when my home was struck by lightning, killing all the electronic equipment in the house.  My backup saved me!

Favorite Highlight

“I save all my application serial codes within my password application. If I ever need to install an application again, I just download it from the web and look up my password in 1Password (or LastPass).”

download (3)13. The Power of Visual Storytelling

Authors: Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

2014 was the year of the image in marketing, and has forever raised the bar for our expectations of visual communication online. It’s no longer enough to have great content: it needs stunning visuals to accompany it, and Ekaterina Walter’s book talks about this phenomenon, how it has impacted business, and her favorite tools for creating images (even if you’re not a photographer or graphic designer).  Listen to my interview with Ekaterina here, then see case studies of small brands using visual storytelling here.

Favorite Highlight

 “. . . usage of visuals has resulted in a social media era that rewards creativity.”

download (4)14. Thinkertoys

Author: Michael Michalko

Michael is a genius at structuring creative exercises that get you thinking beyond the everyday. I’ve used his techniques to develop formats for my infographics, identify new features for my products and far more.

Favorite Technique

Lotus Blossom Diagramming

download (5)15.  The Ultimate Sales Machine

Author: Chet Holmes

Chet breaks down the sales process for people who don’t think they’re salespeople.  My favorite parts of his process are “pig-headed persistence,” identify your six to do’s everyday, and discovering the common characteristics among your perfect customers.

Favorite Highlight

“The key to being productive is to stick to the six most important things you need get done that day. “

illust-ebook16. Virtual Freedom

Author Chris Ducker

Chris owns a VA placement service, and often exaggerates what a VA can do in this book.  However, I appreciated much of his management and bonus strategies for VAs and have used them myself.

Favorite Highlight

“Request a list of the VA’s personal recommendations for your business. This could include potential products, ways to better serve your customers, or any tools or training that would help your VA do her job better.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of my favorite books for small business owners.  What are your favorites? Add to this list in the comments below!

weekly top 5 - puppy edition
Jan 05

Weekly Top 5 for Jan 5, 2015

By Janice Deleon

Our classes are just the start of the learning you get here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  Here are the additional resources available this week.weekly top 5 - puppy edition.

#1. How to Crowdfund Your Business

If you’ve ever considered crowdfunding for your business, don’t miss my interview with a solopreneur who raised 200% of her funding goal in just 7 days . . . . http://bit.ly/1yLPPRu

#2. NEW CLASS! Facebook Advertising on a Budget

Facebook 103 is all new for 2015, where you’ll learn how to create ads that help you grow your business . . . . http://bit.ly/1xvE6Xd

#3. New Facebook Private Group for Members

Announcing the members-only private Facebook group! Get your invitation to join here . . . . http://bit.ly/smocfbgroup

#4. Start 2015 with an Updated Social Media Action Plan

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your social media marketing. Our most popular blog post ever shows you how to create an action plan for the new year . . . http://bit.ly/1qJurck

#5. Be More Efficient in 2015 by Identifying Your Top 20%

Your social media action plan should focus on that 20% of your tactics that yield 80% of your results.  Find out how to identify your 20% here . . . . http://bit.ly/1EgEHNQ