Saturday, April 9, 2016

Wanting more out of your content?

You spend a ton of time developing great content. Whether it's a blog post, a podcast or an informative video. But do you put an equal effort into getting that material noticed by your audience? 

I was recently on a podcast. When the show was going live, the host forwarded an e-mail to me. There was no graphic, no tweetable quote to send on their behalf, not even a share button on the page where the podcast was hosted. Just a brief message that "your episode is now live" and a link.

Well whoop-de-doo. So it's now on me to come up with the effort to spread the message? For someone who wants to grow an audience, this is bad behavior. I did come up with a graphic, and some text to share it. But I assure you, I am the exception. Most folks would just compose a basic tweet (if that), let it go once and that would be the end of it.

It's probably pretty obvious, but after the host took the time to:

1) Invite me on the podcast
2) Schedule the date and time
3) Forward me the info about the episode
4) Conduct the interview
5) Edit the audio and post it online
6) Notify me of it being live

Why would you not invest the time to help promote it? Why not add a #7 - Create Promotional Content -  (and make it easy to share) to the list?

In old media terms, this person is creating Sixty Minutes and hoping someone will stumble upon it. Don't advertise it. Don't put it into a TV Guide. That it'll be so amazing, that everyone will notice. That's a massive long shot.

If you are spending time creating awesome content, and hoping it will grow legs and chase down some readers, you're wasting your time. Having compelling content will only help you to the extent that people are able to see and engage it. You have to be willing to spend time promoting your work.

How will you do that? Here are some tips:

1) Use Tweet Jukebox to share your posts on a rotating basis. Hopefully you are already doing this. If not, take your previous posts, podcasts or videos; and organize them into a jukebox of tweets. Ideally, you will then use #2 to ensure that you get the maximum bang for your posting rotation.

2) Develop eye catching shareable media, that'll get people to look at your content. This relates to my earlier e-mail about testing to see what gets traction. Use photos or visuals to draw the audience's attention. Text alone is no longer enough. Find the ways to get your audience to engage. You don't have be perfect, but you should be trying to ensure that what you do is actually noticed.

3) Beware of the trap of efficient graphics. - It's tempting to brand your posts, podcasts or other posts with similar graphics. That way you can drop in the information related to that post or episode. There's a major problem with that approach. The overall look of the graphic is so similar, that it will overwhelm the new content, and people will think it's something they have already seen. There goes the traction on that piece of shared content. Mix it up. People notice things that SURPRISE them.

Make sure you get the maximum reach out of your content. Put the extra effort into getting good distribution. It may be hard to accept that you have the double duty of both producing and promoting content, but it'll probably feel worse to create great content that doesn't reach many people.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Four Twitter Tips you need to know.

When I first joined Twitter I was utterly clueless. Being a dude, I didn't bother reading any instructions, I just stumbled around, enthralled with figuring out the how whole thing worked.

After a few weeks, I remembered, oh yeah. I have a book (Alphabet Success) that I'm trying to sell. Only then did I start to consider these four points, and it was some time later that I actually put them in place. Even now, I make changes as I see what is, and isn't, working.

If I'd been a bit more deliberate from the start, I'd have covered much more territory, much faster. So, here's four things I wished I had done when I started on Twitter.

1. Have clarity of purpose, and use that to define your approach. 

I wanted to sell my book, but I didn't translate that into my approach. Instead I was like a guy walking around New York City with a handful of books and shouting at people that went by.

Not very targeted. I also didn't spend enough time establishing any kind of expertise, didn't really follow people who were in my "space" initially. In short, I did nearly everything wrong. The good news? It can be fixed. Your purpose should define who you follow, and what you tweet.

If you're a cooking expert looking to gain recognition, you probably don't need to be tweeting sport quotes all day. While you need to put a bit of yourself out there, it's good to have a dominant theme for people to recognize. As an example. You're a cooking expert. So tweet some nice looking dishes with links to recipes used to create them. Tweet quotes from famous chefs.

You could also share helpful kitchen tips you've learned over the years. Follow other people who have similar interests, and retweet their content when you think it would be helpful to your audience. It's not super complicated, but focus matters.

2. Brand Yourself! 

There has been plenty written about the idea of personal branding. With good reason, if you're going to have a chance to stand out online, you need to sell your brand. That needs to be very recognizable.

My absolutely biggest tip? Be narrow. Very narrow. You're an expert in management of assisted living facilities in Florida. Something like that. It's much easier to have focused content, and establish a reputation in a narrow area.

When I started, my profile was a hodge podge of things. It wasn't especially clear who I was or what I did. Because I made the mistake that so many people do. I wanted to appeal to a broad audience. So in the end, I appealed to no one.

Now my profile is very clear. I'm the CEO of - and there are commonly searched hashtags as well as a link to our home page.

This lets people figure out quite a lot without ever asking me a single question. That's what you want. No ambiguity.

PS - after proofreading this, I added #SMM (Social Media Marketing) to my profile. Refinement is forever.

3. Let your content follow your focus.

If you're serious about Twitter, you'll find that you need to have longer content to support it. Sure people love an account with great shareable content. But some of it you want to direct people to your own blog, YouTube channel, or where it is you consider "home base".

That content should have a relationship to your stated focus on Twitter. Then the people who followed you on to Twitter, will in turn follow you to your blog, which will mean they'll get to know you better. You'll deepen the relationship.

Take this blog for instance. It's tips for users of Twitter. Not Facebook, Not Pinterest. For the moment, we're 100% Twitter, since that's what does. It makes it easier for me to write, and easy for people to recommend. since there is one overall topic.

It's a part of my strategy, and I stay focused on the same topic between the two places. It's not the only thing I discuss, but it's the one place I consistently go deep.

In addition, I ask people to sign up for our mailing list when they show up to read here (you likely noticed). Not so I can bludgeon them with spam, but so if I have something I think they'll find valuable I can share it with them. It's a way to stay in touch and build a relationship.

4. Post consistently and frequently.

When I first arrived on Twitter I shared when I had time. That made for slow progress. I wasn't tweeting much, and so it was very much hit or miss for me. Things progressed slowly.

People have to be able to notice you on Twitter to begin to care. So you need to make some NOISE!

Then I learned about scheduling, and so I used a tool that allowed me to schedule in advance. This was a substantial improvement. I was able to be much more consistent and post more content. The following grew a bit more steadily.

Since this was working pretty well, I would upload a couple hundred tweets at a time in order to keep the information flowing. Now we were getting somewhere. But volume was picking up, and now there were more and more people to reply to and thank.

Finally, I was bogged down trying to keep track of my different content databases, and when they had last been tweeted. Plus thanking people for mentioning or retweeting me was getting out of hand. It took ages to figure out.

Then I launched what was the beginning of Back then it didn't have a name, it was just my own personal toy. But I sure did see an uptick in activity. I highly recommend you try it. It's a free tool and it'll save you time while getting you results.
Why? Because I was able to consistently post to Twitter. If you showed up, it was only a matter of minutes before you ran into something I tweeted. That captured attention and helped me grow in ways I couldn't have imagined beforehand.

Don't do things the hard way. Take the time to do these things now, so you'll get momentum quicker.

Having some engagement makes Twitter a lot more interesting. I hope these four tips will help you get the results you are looking for.

If you have further questions, please contact me at

Friday, September 11, 2015

Seven steps to massively build your following on Twitter.

Have you ever planned a party? The kind that gets talked about for years?

The tactic for getting followers fast is kind of similar.

If you invite people to a party who are quiet and come on their own, it's not going to be much of an event. There's nothing wrong with those sorts of people. But they aren't the catalyst that makes for an epic event.

You want the kind of people that bring twenty other people with them, and are sharing details about the address on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They're noisy, and they make things happen.

To find people like that I followed people who retweeted other people's content that was similar to my own. You don't just want followers. You want evangelists. 

Honestly, in the early days I was pretty obnoxious about it. I followed people like a certifiable nut case. I was on a mission. But if you want it to work, you've got to work it.

I'm going to give you exactly what worked for me. Please take note:

1) Follow people who recently retweeted something. We're talking about within fifteen to twenty minutes. They're likely still online and will follow you back. Sound a little OCD? Maybe, but it works.

2) Pay attention to what they retweeted. If you'd never tweet something like that? Don't waste your time and your valuable follows. You want the maximum effect.

3) Don't be an impatient goofball. Give people AT LEAST three days to reciprocate. And don't let me find out that you later unfollow your followers. Completely uncool. Loyalty matters.

4) Occasionally, someone will get upset. If you want to grow a following you are probably going to annoy a few people. They'll ask something like  "Why are you following me?" My response was always, "Because you retweeted a quote I liked. I thought we might have common interests." Beyond that, don't waste a lot of time with it. There's too many great people to focus on the party poopers.

5. Be generous. Retweet other people that you follow. Show that you're happy to be helpful. That is an amazingly powerful way to make lasting friends and build a following.

6. Post enough content for people to retweet. That's how I ended up starting I wanted to have quotes going out around the clock. That gives people a chance to notice you. Check it out. It sure has worked for me.

7. Interact with people. It's called social media for a reason. So be social! The people you have followed will comment on a post, or ask a question. Take the time to respond.

Bonus Tip:  Have fun. It shows when people are upbeat on Twitter. Grumpiness isn't especially attractive. Smile. Enjoy it. There are tons of cool people on Twitter.

Oh yeah! Please share this article!

That's it folks. Here's to rapid growth.

Please let me know how it works out for you.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Why Tweet Quotes?

If you're wondering why so many people tweet quotes, it's because they are a shorthand way to tell people a little about ourselves. The quotes we select say something about us, and how we view the world.

A second, and equally important reason, is that they are super easy to share. Everything the person needs to know in order to make the decision to retweet your quote is right there in front of them.

If you tweet blog posts, people tend to stop short. If you haven't read the post, and don't know it's quality, you may not want to risk sharing something that could be embarrassing or at a minimum, simply not interesting.

Thus, quotes make a great way to create a shorthand connection with your audience. Pick them carefully and take the time to create some graphics using or Good graphics generate more engagement.

You can also download jukeboxes of picture quotes for free from, my automated tweeting site. Check it out.

Happy Tweeting!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Eggs are for omelets.

This is a very basic tip, but it gets overlooked by new people and then they wonder why their engagement on Twitter is so poor.

Don't be an egg. Get rid of that basic profile image.

Too shy? Well, post a pic of your cat, or your dog. Use someone else's cat or dog. Maybe a bird?

You're honestly best served by putting your own photo up. People like to see other people.

You'll get more engagement, and find the experience of Twitter to be much more rewarding.

All by getting rid of that silly egg.

Just go to "Edit Profile" as shown below, and follow the instructions.

It's very simple and very effective.

Try it out, and let me know how it goes.

Happy Tweeting!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Flash Tip! - Getting Your Photos Right in Twitter

Hi there,

Social media sure has a bunch of different rules and standards. Throw in a few opinions and it really gets confusing.

But one thing is absolutely certain. If you're going to post photos on Twitter, formatting them at the right size can spell the difference between getting engagement, and getting ignored.

Twitter prefers images that are 1024x512.

It will accept other photos too. But there is a problem with using the wrong size.

Often part of your image will be obscured depending on how the image is automatically cropped (resized) by Twitter.

Using the wrong image size can have some less than pleasing results, like this:

The problem is that the quote is obscured from the vision of the reader. To expect people to click on your image to decide if they like it? That's a long shot.

Plus the "tweeter" didn't include anything in the text section either. In my view, a completely wasted effort.

Since you're spending time creating the image anyhow, why not format it to the proper size and get the desired effect?

Look at the difference below:

The image conveys its entire message with no user input. They have one decision: share or not?

Sizing your photo properly isn't a guarantee of sharing. But doing it wrong pretty much guarantees it won't be.

Stack the odds in your favor. When creating your Twitter images, use the 1024x512 size.

Good luck.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Seven Rules of Social Media and why wet floors are always dangerous...

Along the way to getting over 212K Twitter followers and over 9k connections on LinkedIn, there have inevitably been questions like "How did you do it?" 

Well, in the interest of answering that question, en masse, here are seven rules to building a large audience.

Rule One - Follow your followers! 

Accept all those who reach out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

No matter how important you are, you're not more important than others. 

There's some perception that by having a big following and just a few that you follow, you've become a social media badass. I'd say it's more like jackass. Get over yourself. Follow people back. 

Rule Two - The "best time to post" is anytime a potential client is online.  

Yes, there are statistics that support that at certain times you'll get more engagement.

Yes, you should use that data, but don't become a slave to it.  

Remember: clients aren't statistics, social media isn't a Super Bowl ad, and it's harder to catch fish when everyone is on the lake.

If you get a client out of a tweet or an update, it's a win. Maybe your new client had insomnia, maybe they were on Twitter while on business on a different time zone. Who cares. Be willing to spread out your updates, and catch clients when and where they are.

The cost of an update is close to zero. So if you post one at the "wrong" time, it's not like you wasted a lot of money. Be willing to keep content flowing out. Some people will warn you that it's too much. For the record, I post over 100 tweets a day, and usually multiple updates on all platforms daily. My followings continue to grow rapidly.

When it's the best time for you to update is probably pretty darn close to the same time for the other people in your market. This means your update is vying for attention with many other people's updates. You may have a better chance of getting attention when others are more quiet. 

Rule Three - Don't Compare Yourself to Others

It's lovely to have a bunch of followers, especially if they are engaged in what you are doing. 

But it doesn't happen overnight. It takes patience, and effort. You need to provide something that people find it worthwhile tuning into. 

Nothing makes the journey less pleasurable than spending a bunch of time comparing yourself to other people. And, in many ways, nothing is more pointless.

There are people on Twitter, like James Altucher that have a lot less followers than me, but kill me in terms of actual, actionable influence. So, the numbers aren't the only story.

Have a solid message, be consistent, focus on quality and the rest will happen over time. The quality of your connections are much more important than the quantity.

Rule Four - Don't use hashtags unless they're relevant.

#Some #people #seem to #think that #more #hashtags are #better. 

Wrong! They're hard to read, and if they're not likely to be searched upon, they're a waste of time. 

My one exception to the rule is when I use them as a kind of "context" indicator. Like #kidding or one of my Twitter favorites #FunAlarm. But in that case, they're always at the end anyhow, and only used in special circumstances. 

Hashtags are a tool. Use them as one. But crowding your updates with them is pointless.

Rule Five - Don't Engage with Trolls

If you spend any amount of time on social media, you're going to encounter a troll. 

Someone who is sufficiently miserable to want to share it with the world. 

No matter how pointed or personal the attack, let it go. They don't hate you. They hate themselves.

"That tweet makes no sense", "What a stupid update". "You're a fraud". I've heard so many that I've lost count. 

They sometimes seem like they are talking to you, but usually not. They just want attention, to engage their anger with someone. 

There is no upside to engaging. You're not going to change them, and getting into an online debate is rarely pretty. 

Let it go. You'll save lot's of time and aggravation.  Devote that to pleasant people. 

Rule Six - If the content isn't yours, show where you got it. 

This one makes me kind of crazy. People so often seem to think: "If I pass this as mine, I'll be a star". Well, not really.

If people notice it, you seem like a complete goofball. Really. It's a big world out there, but not as big as some might think. Many people recognize other people's content. 

More importantly, being someone who gives attribution makes you much more likely to get engagement from the people whose content you share. That's the whole reason to do social, and the way you build alliances with people. 

Share your sources and you'll make progress much faster than people who pretend they found everything on their own.

Rule Seven - Have fun. Be yourself. This isn't brain surgery. 

There are elements of social media which warrant thoughtfulness and caution. Because once you put something out, it's not so easy to get it back.

But please, please, please remember, try to have some fun. Be yourself. You are different from anyone else in the world. The more you hide that fact, the less you seem different from others, which is makes it harder for people to decide to engage with you.

Don't just show your brag photos. Show some goofy photos as well.  Like the one above illustrating why wet floors are always dangerous.

We actually took "Earnie the Eagle" on a road trip as a gag. Important stuff.

What you think is funny may not always resonate with people. You may think that a rubber chicken being referred to as an eagle is dumb. But some people will laugh, and it shows a side of me that's not so serious, and maybe a little at odds with being a "business guy". 

Whatever it is that works for you, it'll make being on social media more enjoyable. No matter what happens, having fun is always a good thing.

In Summary:

These seven rules aren't the only ones but they will help you build a following. You'll need to post great content, engage with your audience, and a bunch of other things. But these seven are important elements. Plus, you now have a better appreciation for the danger of wet floors. Use that information wisely. 

One more Rule: 

If you want to get the most from your social media efforts, I highly recommend free Twitter tool -  it automates your posts and gives you access to top flight content. It was designed by me for my own use, but is now available to the public. Did I mention that it's free? Sign up today.