5 Tips To End Social Media Overwhelm For Your Business

tips to end social media overwhelm (Blog)

It’s a Tuesday afternoon. I have to leave, like, NOW to pick up my toddler from preschool. My old black lab has just laid his face in my lap and given me the “Shouldn’t we be walking right now?” eyes.

But I’m stalling because for the last hour, I’ve been staring at Twitter, trying to come up with clever tweets. I pull up Facebook and immediately feel less-than. I click over to LinkedIn and then close it again.

Sound familiar?

Social media overwhelm is an absolute epidemic with my clients. And I used to struggle with it, too!

So much of our social media overwhelm comes from
a) not really understanding where we should put our energy and marketing dollars
b) “spraying and praying” across every social media platform

Of course we’re overwhelmed. We’re spreading ourselves thin, spending hours and dollars on things that don’t work, and getting demoralized by fewer likes and shares.

I get it because I’ve been there. After lots of trial and error, I’ve kicked my social media overwhelm to the curb and I’m going to show you how to do the same!

How to beat social media overwhelm in 5 relatively easy steps

  1. Figure out where your people are
    If your people aren’t on Instagram – what luck! – you don’t need an Instagram account. If your ideal customer spends hours pinning recipes and inspirational quotes, then you can direct your time and energy towards crafting the perfect Pinterest strategy.

    Of course, there are overlaps between platforms. Moms who care about fitness use Pinterest
    and Instagram. Creative entrepreneurs use Facebook and Twitter. But if you can narrow down your focus to two social media platforms you’re more likely to reach your people and see results. As my friend Sarah says, “It’s better to be good at two things than bad at seven.”

    Here’s a great, up-to-date report on
    which demographics favor which social media platforms.
  2. Figure out where your traffic is coming from
    If you’re reading this, I imagine you already have a few social media profiles. And maybe when you started using Twitter four years ago it was sending you a lot of traffic! Is that still true today?

    Social media changes a lot from year to year. Remember Periscope?! What was working in 2015 might not be working now. I’d hate for you to pour time and energy into a platform that isn’t bringing you traffic or clients.

    Here’s how to figure out where your social media traffic is coming from:

    1. Install Google analytics
    2. After it has gathered data for a few weeks, go in and see which social media platform sends you the most traffic
    3. You find that info under Acquisition > Social > Overview
tips to end social media overwhelm

It is worth noting that social media traffic can be a bit chicken-and-the-egg-y. If you put a lot of effort into Facebook, it’ll probably send you traffic. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, it’s unlikely you’re getting much Pinterest traffic. But if you use two or more social media platforms, it’s good to know which one is most effective so you can direct your efforts accordingly.

3. Figure out what type of social media you actually enjoy using
Let’s say you’ve discovered that your ideal client uses Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest in equal measure.

Now, let’s say you hate using Instagram. You’re constantly disappointed by your photos and you have no idea what’s going on with hashtags.

Meanwhile, you genuinely enjoy using Pinterest and you’re all over Facebook. You understand retargeting ads and clone audiences. You can do that stuff in your sleep!

You don’t need my permission, but here it is: you are absolutely allowed to put your time and effort into social media platforms you actually enjoy using. It’s going to be hard to connect with clients on a platform you hate using.

4. Figure out which types of posts are the most effective
There are different ways to connect with your people on any given platform.

On Facebook, I can

And when I look at the analytics within Facebook, it’s pretty easy to see which of these is the most popular!

Not sure how to mix things up on your social media platform of choice? 

After you’ve experimented a bit, you’ll have a better idea of what works for your platforms and your readers. You can do less of what doesn’t work and more of what does. Overwhelm? What overwhelm?

5. Now that you know what works, schedule updates for the next 2-3 weeks!
So you’ve figured out where your people are, where your traffic comes from, and how you feel about each social media platforms. You know which types of posts perform the best.

Pour yourself a glass of something delicious and after you finish it, do something with that information! Schedule a bunch of social media posts to your platform of choice so you can “set it and forget it.”

I like
Buffer for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Tailwind is great for Pinterest and Later or Planoly is good for Instagram.

Social media is not only a great marketing platform – it plays a crucial part in the sales process, especially when it comes to social selling. See the social media platforms throughout the years and how social selling has evolved, in this post by Zopto.

Learn how to grow your social media following in this great article by the good folks at Don’t Panic.

I want to know what’s working for you! Are you overwhelmed by social media? If you’re one of the few business owners who isn’t overwhelmed by social media – share your tips with us over on Instagram or Tweet me!

Are you giving too much away?

Don’t be afraid to give them a taste

Recently, someone wrote to me and asked: 

“Maria, how can I differentiate my services without actually ‘giving it all away’ in the marketing and sales process? It’s literally like pulling people out of The Matrix: unfortunately “no one can be told what the Matrix is – you have to see it for yourself.” So I spend all this time ‘explaining the disrupter’ to explain and  differentiate myself – but then I’ve given everything away.” 

Trying to understand how to give away “valuable content” (aka, content marketing) to get your audience to know, like and trust your brand can be confusing. If I share all my secrets, you worry, why would they even need to pay me? 

It might feel like you’re telling them everything, but if the only expertise you have to offer can be given away in a few posts and free eBooks, I’m worried that you may have chosen the wrong profession! True experts know there is so much more they can possibly share. It’s okay to tempt with a few tasty morsels. When you do, you create more trust in your brand and expertise. 

Here’s what is actually going on: You feel like people already know “the basics” of what you do. So you may think you have to give away the good stuff. Au contraire.  

Don’t discount sharing the basics as part of your content marketing strategy. What is basic for you is a revelation for others who are not as skilled in that area. People will realize there is SO MUCH more that they don’t know – and they need your help. 

Here’s a very personal example: I wrote a book, Branding Basics for Small Business, that gives entrepreneurs and business leaders a DIY, bare-bones version of my consulting process. They can build their own brand strategy using some of the actual questions I ask. 

But I still get paying clients. For a few reasons: 

1. As I said, this is bare bones. Working with me is a richer experience, we dive into deeper questions, I probe further, and we deliver polished recommendations and messaging (they have to come up with that on their own with the book!) This will be true for you, too.  

2. There is always a volume of clients out there who think they want to DIY but then can’t/won’t. They know they need the experience: the hand-holding, the accountability, the creative insight and wisdom that only YOU bring. So they buy the book – and then they might hire me anyway to get things DONE. (PS, I am that person) 

3. There will be those who will never buy from you anyway. Great. They can take the free stuff and not waste your time. But then there will be those in #2. So give them a taste and they will want to engage more deeply with you and benefit from your focused attention. 

Don’t be afraid to give away a piece of what you do to better explain your work and offer a taste of your style, philosophy, and smarts.  (TWEET THIS!)

You have a lot of expertise and knowledge. Years. Perhaps also years of education, certification and lessons-learned.  You couldn’t possibly give it all away, even though you think you might be. And even if you reveal some goodies, your ideal client wants you to tailor your advice and coaching to their needs – so, in the end, they will hire you. 

How to Write Copy That Converts to Sales with Betsy Talbot

Do you have trouble writing for your business?

Maybe it’s a blog post idea you can’t seem to get from your brain to the keyboard.
Or a sales page that makes you feel like a carnival barker.
Or even an email to an influencer, potential client, or journalist—the kind of person who could help your business if only you knew what to say to them.

And don’t even get started on case studies and testimonials—it takes too much bravery to even ask, much less guide them on what to say! Right?

What would it feel like if you knew the basic framework to confidently write the blog posts, website pages, and emails to grow your business?

No more stress.
No banging your head against your keyboard.
And no more worrying you’ll say the wrong thing.

Today I’m interviewing Betsy Talbot, my go-to copywriter and straight-talking campaign strategist. Betsy and I have worked together for years because her words spur action. And that’s what you want your words to do for your business!

Get your notebook ready, because Betsy’s sharing the kind of info that can save you hours of work and get you more sales. And I also asked Betsy to share her entrepreneurial advice on how to let go of a business when those sales are just NOT converting.

Um, we also talked about how strippers and spies can make compelling content. So, yeah, you need to check this video out.

If you want to write copy that attracts and converts more browsers into actual, paying buyers, please click below to watch the video interview!

YouTube video

Highlights include:

How to launch a brand from scratch and quickly see revenue (2:30)
Making a hard choice about when to close down your business (3:56)
Why you need to ditch the “hope and growth” strategy and what to do instead if you want to be profitable – including avoiding the mistake of DIY-ing everything in your business (4:35)
Betsy’s best advice for turning interested prospects into paying clients: Lead the client (8:26)
When to DIY versus hire a copywriter + the mistakes to avoid when writing your own sales copy (17:16)
The most important tips to make writing and content creation easier for yourself and more effective (22:02)

“Document your solution. You have to explain HOW you specifically help people. They do not know otherwise.” (Tweet This!)

My juicy blog writing tip to add more sizzle. This is where the strippers and spies come in! (23:54)
Why selling is NOT sleazy and how to EDUCATE rather than sell and OFFER rather than ask (27:20)
How to “actively solicit” or “cold call” the right way: What to cold-email a target prospect, the media or a “famous” person so he endorses your book! (31:54)

Don’t miss Betsy’s practical tips on how to write clear, compelling copy that will actually convert to sales. And with all of this advice, heed Betsy’s wise words:

“There’s a place for learning but you have to follow it up with ACTION!” (Tweet This!)

Are you not getting the results you want from your copy, but don’t have the budget to hire a copywriter? Well, then check out Betsy’s Pocket Copywriter Program right here. And use discount code: redslice” for $100 off per month!

How to Make Good Habits Stick: A Chat with Sarah Von Bargen

Have you ever committed to a productive or healthy habit only to have it all fall apart and revert back to status quo within a month, a week….or an hour?

Yes, I’m talking about that daily afternoon scone I said I would give up forever, but by 2 pm had already scarfed down. Please don’t judge.

We all have. We’re human.

It’s so easy to talk about productivity habits, or “hacks” (I abhor that word when used for anything other than computer espionage) but it’s an entirely different thing to make them stick.

Which is why I was thrilled to talk with the charming and wise Sarah Von Bargen, lifestyle blogger at YesandYes.org and creator of the Make It Stick Habit School.

Sarah graciously spent some time talking to us about the mental game of why we flake out on good habits, how we can ensure we don’t, and which habits have worked for her in running her business more efficiently and profitably. (Hint: Steal these!)

We talk about everything from procrastination to guilt to time management to, heck, healthy habits for content creation, analyzing your analytics and networking. And how to make them such easy habits, that your day will feel strange if you DON’T do them.

The best habits are things that are incredibly fast and very, very doable. (Tweet this!)

If you feel like your work or time is running YOU more than you are running it, please grab a notepad and click below to enjoy this video:

YouTube video

Highlights include:

How to be successful without getting overwhelmed:

  • People who were simultaneously successful and not overwhelmed are people who put good business habits on auto-pilot…Because they put these good business habits on autopilot, they removed the stress from it. 2:48

What causes us to abandon good habits so quickly:

  • If you are constantly looking outside of yourself for solutions, buying things you don’t use, procrastinating and over researching, you are going to have a hard time moving forward 7:52
  • If you can associate the physical feelings, stress headache or stomach aches, with these bad habits, you will develop a distaste for them. 11:20

Sarah’s success habits that can work for you, too (P.S. Llama farm is optional, but seriously, why would you want it to be?!):

  • In a perfect world, you will know your best work times. So if you know when you’re most strategic, you can block out your calendar for these habits. 15:45
  • I swear up and down by writing retreats. Once a month, I go to the same Airbnb, and I do 90% of my writing in 2 nights…I still write every day, but the bulk of my writing is done in two nights at this llama farm in Wisconsin. 17:49
  • Being a happy and successful business person is knowing your strengths, knowing your weaknesses, outsource properly and knowing what success looks like for you. 21:27

Powerful business success habits that you can start TODAY:

  • [Networking emails] You have to do it so often and so much that a) your day feels weirdly incomplete if you don’t do it and b) you send so many emails that you loose track of who does and doesn’t respond. 24:53
  • Once or twice a month, look at your website analytics to determine where your traffic is coming from and what things you are publishing are the most popular. 28:12
  • Updating old blog posts and re-promoting them. 29:40 

What good habits are you committing to? Drop me a line over on Twitter or the Facebook page and let me know!


Sarah is a writer, blogger, lover of cats and cheese… and creator of online courses that make your life and work happier and more productive. Read her incredible lifestyle blog, which attracts more than 14,000 visitors daily, and find out more about her courses, including the Make It Stick Habit School at Yes and Yes.

Content Marketing Success. Part 3: Tips and Tricks to Make Content Marketing Easier

Enjoy this special three-part series on how to find Content Marketing success! If you missed it, head back to check out Part 1 and Part 2.

You’re all bought into that content marketing is the right way to attract the right clients and customers, showcase your expertise and build a long-term relationship.

Fabulous. Now, how the heck can you possibly get it all done?

Boost your brand with content marketing. But be super smart + efficient about it!  (Tweet this!)

Here are some of my favorite best practices and tools ensure you can be efficient and more importantly, effective, with your content marketing efforts. 

  1. Make Content Shareable: No use creating all that luscious content if folks don’t do some of the sharing for you, right?
  • Use Forward to a Friend or Social Share Buttons on your website and emails.
  • Pre-write posts to share. My favorite tool is ClicktoTweet to enable your audience to share with the click of a button.
  1. Use Images and Infographics: Two very important data points for you:

When people hear information, they are likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (LifeLearn, 2015)

Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. (Buffer, 2014)

  • Use Free Images: Here are some of my fave free image resources. Be sure to add a photo credit, depending on rights agreement and terms.



Flickr Creative Commons

  • Optimize Images for Each Social Network: Each network has its own size requirements so make your image comes out crisp and clear otherwise, there’s no point. Bookmark this Page! It’s an always- updated image sizing guide for every social network. How can you resize for all the right dimensions if you’re not a designer? Easy….use these free image editing tools:

Canva: Get every template you need, pre-sized and with compelling imagery. They have templates you can use or you can upload your own images.

PicMonkey: Re-size images to any size you like and add eye-catching banners, effects, titles, etc.

Milanote is a tool for organizing creative projects into beautiful visual boards. By design, it feels a lot like working on the wall in a creative studio – visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy – Milanote is a great fit for designers who work in teams remotely.

  1. Batch And Pre-Schedule Content: Be super efficient by cranking out a bunch of content, whether blogs, videos or podcasts, all in one sitting, maybe for the next month or even six months and scheduling it to publish over the long haul. Many successful bloggers operate this way.
  • Pre-schedule content delivery in advance so you can set it and forget it:
    • Blogs: WordPress https://wordpress.org/ enables scheduling posts in advance
    • Email Platform: All of them have the ability to schedule in advance
    • Social media: Popular scheduling tools include Hootsuite, Buffer, Meet Edgar, and you can use Tailwind specifically for Pinterest and Instagram
    • One caveat: If pre-scheduling to a Facebook brand page, only use Facebook’s native scheduler, not a third-party tool. Otherwise, the Facebook algorithm will not show the post to as many of your fans.
  1. But…Set Aside Weekly Time For Live Engagement: You can’t just quite “set it and forget it.” Remember, social media is SOCIAL so make sure you are active within the platform
  • Schedule 15 minutes per day to dip into social networks and interact, even if you pre-schedule content.
  • Follow proper etiquette for each network. They all have their own rules so make sure you know what you’re doing. This is a great book on that.
  • Respond to comments, give shout-outs, thank people, share valuable content from other trusted sources, promote complementary businesses or organizations if applicable
  1. Recycle and Reuse: You’ve put so much into your content. As your audience grows, many of them may not have seen your earlier stuff–or frankly, they may not remember it. Plus, people like to consume content differently. Avoid reinventing the wheel and repurpose what you have.
  • Spruce up old content for use again
  • Repackage into other forms: A blog post becomes a media pitch; an article becomes a podcast or video. A series of blog posts becomes a free guide.
  • Find at least three uses for every piece of content
  1. Gather Continuous Feedback: Keep polling and interacting with your audience to figure out what they want and need. Do they want to see more of a certain topic? Do they have questions? Use this info to keep delighting them.
  • Monitor social media for questions, comments
  • Provide mechanism to solicit content ideas
  • Ask clients about your content efforts when they come in for appointment
  • Poll your audience annually

How Can I Get It All Done?!

  • Create a plan so it’s easier to divide the workload. This is why an editorial calendar is super useful.
  • Hire a full or part-time content marketing manager
  • Hire a skilled freelancer on Upwork,  Fiverr, or Airtasker
  • Hire a virtual assistant specializing in content marketing/social media from somewhere like Worldwide 101.
  • Contact a local college or university and bring on an intern who is studying marketing, communications or journalism to build the plan and execute the content. You may be able to do this in exchange for course credit rather than pay!

Remember the most important tip: Have Fun!

This is your opportunity to showcase your unique brand personality and voice. Get creative! If you’ve never done video before, experiment with simply using your phone. If you’re a closet artist or photographer, create and capture unique images. The more you can have fun when creating content marketing, the more engaging the content will be to delight your clients, as well as attract new ones.

Missed the entire series? Check out Part 1 and Part 2.

BONUS!  Download this delicious free Content Marketing Cheat Sheet that outlines everything we’ve covered in this three-part series.

Content Marketing Success. Part 2: What Content to Create?

Enjoy this special three-part series on how to find Content Marketing success! You can read Part 1 right here. And Part 3 here.

Great! You’ve created your Content Marketing strategy as discussed last time and you’re ready to create some mind-blowing content to delight your ideal audience.

Only you can’t think of anything to talk about.

Maybe you think your business is not sexy enough: How creative can you get when talking about accounting services, you think to yourself? Or maybe you think writing is just not your “thing.”

Relax. You are the expert in your field and this didn’t happen overnight. You have years of rich wisdom and important information to share with your audience.

‘Oh, everyone knows that.’ No, they don’t. Share your wisdom!  (Tweet this!)

Content marketing comes in many forms: videos, blogs, podcasts, newsletters, emails, social media posts, free guides, tip sheets and more.

In your content marketing strategy, you determined in which vehicles you want to invest. Maybe you love to write or hate being on camera. Maybe your audience adores podcasts and you love donning headphones and interviewing people. Pick what works for you and your target audience. Remember to only choose one or two things and do them really, really well rather than try to create everything under the sun!

You still need topics and ideas, though. So how do you determine what you should talk about? 

First and foremost, survey your clients. I can’t believe how many business owners miss this obvious source of delicious information. What do they want or need? If you don’t have customers yet, find your ideal customers and interview them.

You’ll get oodles of content ideas. No topic is too basic. Remember that your “basics” could be mind-blowing insights for your audience.

Here are six more content ideas to get your brain in gear:

  1. Answer common questions you get all the time.
  2. Comment on hot trends or current news and give your professional take.
  3. Share important advice you know your clients or customers need to know. Even if they don’t know they need to know it!
  4. Interview other experts that may be of interest.
  5. Curate, don’t just create! You don’t have to create everything from scratch. You are also a trusted curator. Share interesting articles, community events, links to great resources.
  6. Poke around on social media or do Google searches and see what questions people are asking and for what they are searching.

Now you should have at least a page, if not more, of content topics. Enough to fill up the entire year. Build an editorial calendar and slot in the topics by date to keep yourself organized. This way, when you’re not feeling the inspirational buzz, you can just look at your calendar and instantly start creating, rather than staring at a blank page for too long.

In Part 3 of this series, I’ll show you my favorite tips and time-saving tricks to make content marketing fun, effective and efficient so it won’t consume your time and life.

In the meantime, download my delicious  free Content Marketing Cheat Sheet with tips, tricks, and best practices to attract new fans and convert more sales.

Some past posts that may be of interest as you come up with content ideas:

3 Tips to Make Blogging Easier

7 Simple and Stunning Blog Post Ideas to Keep Your Ideas Flowing (this can apply to blogs, videos, podcasts, eBooks….the works!)

5 Inspirations to Spice Up Your Content Marketing

Want to better define your ideal audience so you can understand what content they need and how and where they want it? You’ll love my Brand Bootcamp digital course – self-paced and stress-free!

Content Marketing Success. Part 1: Create A Sensible Strategy

Ready for a free mini-course on this blog? This is Part 1 of three-part series on how to master content marketing, create the right content, and manage it with ease. Oh, and a goodie for you at the end: A free Content Marketing cheat sheet full of tips, strategies and best practices. Delicious! 

Sales has changed. You don’t just pitch your offering cold and shout “Buy Now!”  Unless you have an infomercial. And then it better be damn good!

Most of you offer creative, value-based work to discerning audiences who are not buying solely based on price, whether you put on events, sell cheese, write books, design websites or coach executives.

These audiences greatly differ, but they all expect you to take them out on a first date and court them before they invest in you. You must prove your value and expertise before anyone spends a dime.


I’ve talked about content marketing before and it’s not even close to new (remember free DVD’s and brochures if you “call right now?”) but technology has expanded the ways in which content can be created, delivered and consumed.

Good, consistent content will boost your visibility, attract your ideal customers and make your brand irresistible over time.

#Contentmarketing helps you woo your audience before you ask for marriage! @redslice Share on X

Content marketing helps you woo your audience before you ask for marriage!  (Tweet this!)

But where to start? And how do you do it right?

In this three-part series, I’m going to share how you can make good content an effortless and integral part of your brand-boosting efforts.

Part 1: How to Create a Sensible Content Marketing Strategy

Before going on any trip, you need a map to get you there. Don’t just dive into tactics without a strategy.

First, as always, start with your brand strategy and story. Clearly determine your audience, your value, and your personality. Then build your content marketing strategy based on that.

A content marketing strategy lives above any specific vehicles, topics or dates. It should drive all of your efforts.

The strategy includes:

  • What are my content marketing objectives?
  • What does my audience want? What do they need to know?
  • What will I create?
  • Will I have monthly themes and seasonal topics?
  • Which vehicles will I use? What does my audience want AND what do I enjoy creating?
  • How will I measure success?

Taking a step back before you start cranking out blogs, videos and newsletters to answer these questions will guide your efforts for the rest of the year.

A word of caution as you plan: Don’t go overboard! Are you really going to write a daily blog, post three times a day on Instagram, film a video every week and whatever else you dream up? I get it, marketing is fun, but you still have to do your actual work and sleep, eat, spend time with your family, etc. Start small. Make it doable.

You want to make this easier on yourself, right? Take a few hours to unplug, pour yourself a latte and craft your content marketing strategy.

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll tackle how to come up with brilliant content ideas and topics.

In the meantime, download my delicious free Content Marketing Cheat Sheet with tips, tricks, and best practices to attract new fans and convert more sales.

Some past posts that may be of interest as you build your strategy:

The ABC’s of Good Content Marketing

The Art of Seduction: 5 Ways to Woo Your Audience With Good Content

Want to dive even deeper on how to actually create great content and attract more customers, visibility and sales? You’ll love the MOMENTUM Pro digital course – self-paced and stress-free!

Image Credit via Réginald Sion

How To Be Seen as an Expert…Or Increase Your Influence If You Already Are One

There are two common challenges people claim when trying to build an expert, influential brand. Do either of these sound familiar?

People don’t listen to my ideas or see me an expert even though I know my stuff really well because I lack credentials/the right degree/level of experience.


Everyone says they’re “experts” these days, but I really am one! I’ve earned it. But I can’t break through with all these upstarts and savvy social media players out there claiming to be experts.

It can be hard to rise above the “expert pollution” out there. It seems like any young upstart with an Instagram account, an IPhone and YouTube can come along and claim their “expert status” in an instant, while your years of hard-won experience or valuable content fall on deaf ears.

Conversely, there are many people without fancy degrees, huge followings or gray hair who really know their stuff. They have valuable insights and advice to share but are dismissed because they are not “well known.”

In both cases, it’s just downright frustrating when your authentic expertise and true talents are not recognized by others. That’s why it’s so important to intentionally cultivate an “expert brand” in order to grow your business.

Branding expert and author Dorie Clark states:

“In a world where too many people claim to be experts, it becomes even more important to be one, and ensure the right people know it.” (TWEET THIS!)

She wrote two wonderful topics on this subject that I think you’ll enjoy:

As Dorie says, “When you’re just starting out in a field, or lack blue-chip affiliations, it may be hard to persuade others to listen to your ideas, even if they’re groundbreaking and valuable.” She offers four strategies to help you get people to listen and make an impact.

  • If you’re already an expert but want to expand your influence even further, please check out her article, “3 Rules for Experts Who Want More Influence.” Chris Brogan weighs in to this article on the vital importance of your email list in increasing your ”recognized expert” status!


Photo credit: Jason Rosewell, Unsplash

Do you face challenges in not having your expertise recognized by others, or do you have questions on how to cultivate your expertise to grow your business? Would love to hear what you think!

6 clever ways to make your content super shareable

6.23.15 Making Sharable Content (Blog)

Your content is so sexy.

It’s polished. Dazzling. Useful. Funny. You cracked yourself up writing that last post. You made your videographer cry when you shared that poignant story on camera.

So why is it just sitting there?

There is nothing more frustrating than creating something wonderful, pouring your heart and soul into it, putting it out into the world and hearing….crickets. I know. I’ve been there, believe me. Years ago, I had a fabulous little blog going for many years that delighted me – and no one else for a long time. And don’t get me started on the time I finally, finally, published a very personal and heartfelt essay that had been tucked away for years only to get zero response.

When you create something useful, heartfelt + true, you must do whatever it takes to share it with the world (Tweet This!)

Put down the vase you’re about to throw in anger and wipe away your tears, Buttercup. Here are 6 sensational tips to make your content more shareable.

  1. Create Good Content: Thank you, Captain Obvious. But seriously. This is not the only reason content gets shared (the Internet is littered with great content that went no where) but it’s a start. We don’t care about your cat, or your kid or your fabulous multi-million dollar business unless we get something out of it – even it’s a good laugh. What’s in it for your audience? It’s great to share personal stories and reveal a bit of behind the scenes about your work and life. But always have “Why should I care?” in mind as you create.
  2. Create Good Content, Part Deux: Make sure it looks good. That does not mean it has to cost thousands of dollars to create. It means pay attention to aesthetics and details. Spell check, make sure the photo is clear, ensure the camera is steady and that we can hear you. Whatever your medium of choice, do it well.
  3. Make Sharing Easy-Peasy: The easier your content is to share, the more people will share it. If you make people take multiple steps in order to share your content, they won’t do it. Like you, they are too busy, no matter how much they want to help spread the word. Shorten URL’s or create customer ones with sites like bit.ly. Use Click to Tweet (my personal fave) to pre-write Tweets that they can share with…well, a click. Ensure your blogs or content have Share buttons so people can share on their social media platform of choice. And make sure they work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to share a cool post by clicking one of those icons, only to find it broken or that it auto-creates a post/link that is too long for the platform anyway so it never gets shared.
  4. Use Stream-Stopping Images: This has been a game changer for me, thanks to the wise counsel of Sarah Von Bargen. You’re scrolling along in your feed when you absolutely have to stop and share based on a cool image that stands out. Photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes. Tweets with images get 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets. Make sure you choose an eye-catching image for all your content and size it correctly, as it differs for each platform. Check out this handy guide for social media image sizes. Personally, my VA and I use PicMonkey to resize my images and add a cool caption (like the ones you see on my blog). Where do we find them? Places like Unsplash and Yay Images for starters, but there are lots of royalty-free sites you can use.
  5. Invite People to Share: Marie Forleo is a hugely successful online marketer and coach. She has a massive email list. Her weekly videos get hundreds, if not thousands, of comments each week. She gets a bajillion people signed up for her B-School every year. And yet…at the end of every video, she STILL invites people to like and share her content. You’re never too big to ask folks to do what you want.
  6. Craft Clever Titles and Posts: If you’ve been here a while, you know I try to shake up both my blog post titles and the social media posts promoting that content. Lists work really well (ahem….like 6 ways to…) but so do intriguing titles that invite curiosity. If you follow me on Twitter, (please do!) you can see that I play around with wording to promote the same post. You can use the actual title of your content once or twice, but how about a sexy, cool, funny or intriguing statement instead? This of it like an ad headline. Now, I’m not talking about disgusting Link Bait that dupes you into thinking you’re getting something you are not  – and I despise Link Bait for actual journalism. But for content, you can play around with intriguing variations that draw people in, such as (totally making this up, as it depends on the content itself):

I like Tip #4…what do you think? (LINK)

If you just followed 3 of these tips, you may hit 6 figures this year (LINK)

This baby has the best grandma in the world (LINK)

Why dogs make great yogis

This is as good as chocolate dipped in chocolate, smothered in chocolate with a side of mmmmm…(LINK)

Which of these tips will you put into place right now to make your work more shareable? Do you have any other tips to add? Please share in the Comments below!

What Content Do I Need to Create and How Can I Make a Plan?

6.9.15 ContentMarketingCommittment (blog)

You’re a one-person business owner and you need to be 500 places at once. You’re the accountant, the website admin, the account manager, the marketer, the janitor, IT, and – lest we forget – the person who actually has to do the work your business provides.

Given all of these demands on your time and budget, does the mere mention of “content marketing” make you want to curl up in a ball and sob?

Let’s take a deep breath and exhale together. I’m going to share my journey with you.

Even though I’m a writer and marketing addict, content marketing almost destroyed me.

“Whaaaaaat?! But Maria, you manage to blog almost every week! You, like, live on social media.”

Yes. And this is how my breakdown started. And why I’m making changes. And why I want to help you do the same.

I recently told my entire audience that I was retrenching to work on my content plan.

Creating content brings me joy so I’m going to stop treating it like a one-night stand and make it a long-term commitment. (Tweet This!)

So I took a step back and have been working away, my friend. Seeking counsel from others. Spending time in coffee shops thinking about you and what you need. Marrying that with topics I’m passionate about and thinking about how to structure things.

Not sure what content you need to create for your audience or how to create a solid plan? Here is an 11-step plan to determine your content strategy. You should know I am following each and every one of these steps myself right now so I feel you:

  1. Determine Your Goals: Before you create a stich of content, what is your goal with it? Are you trying to walk prospects down the sales funnel? If so, you might need to create 2 or 3 pieces of content to get them hooked. Do you simply want folks to sign up for your email list? Then you’ll need some sort of opt-in freebie or guide. Do you want a regular weekly audience on a global basis and to interview various experts? Perhaps podcasting is the way to go? What are your goals? There is no one right answer for WHAT to create, but the answer gets a lot clearer if you know WHY you need it.
  2. Revisit Your Ideal Customer/Client Profiles: Remember all those times I’ve told you how creating ideal customer profiles is the single most important part of your brand strategy? Here’s Reason #972 as to why. To create the right content, you need to know your audience. What do they need, want, desire, fear, worry about? What type of info do they like to consume? What are their lives like? So dust off those ideal client profiles and update them or flesh them out if need be.
  3. Start With Your Wheelhouse: Good, now you know who you’re talking to. Before we dive into the format of your content, let’s focus on the content topics. You want to cover topics around your area of expertise and what your business provides. Sounds simple, right? But you have to be organized about it. Write down every topic associated you do for people and all associated areas that it touches. Are you an accountant? Those topics would be money management, bookkeeping, tax tips, expense tracking, budgeting, record-keeping. Are you a life coach for women? That would be work/life balance, love, relationships, goal setting, stress management. You get the idea.
  4. Layer in Your Joy: Which topics do you enjoy talking or writing about? Download all the things you love. Now, compare your lists and see if there is any overlap. Can you talk about website design AND wine? Graphic design AND dogs? Career advice and Walking Dead? If you can find ways to weave these passions into your content, you will enjoy creating it more – and people will enjoy engaging with it more.
  5. Bucket Your Topics: I’m going through this exercise right now. Of your laundry list, are any of the topics related? Can they be grouped together or do they overlap? I have advised many clients on this approach but it wasn’t until I consulted with and took a course recently with social marketing expert Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social that I finally did this exercise for myself. We are indeed our own worst clients, aren’t we? Create your “channels” or categories or magazine columns or whatever analogy resonates with you to organize this vast list.
  6. Ask Your Tribe: Yes, you will actually have to ask your target community what they would like to hear from you before you go out, guns blazing. Revolutionary, isn’t it? I recently sent a dedicated email to my list asking them to tell me their biggest challenges, obstacles or pain points and I have now turned those responses into a list of content ideas (of which, this post is one!) If you don’t have a huge list, ask former clients or customers or simply contacts that fit your ideal customer profile.
  7. Brainstorm Content Vehicles: Now that you have an idea of your topics and “buckets” you can spend a dreamy afternoon thinking about how to package these up. Do you like blogging? Maybe they are a year’s worth of blog posts. Do some topics lend themselves to demos or lengthy explanations? Make those videos. Are some topics so rich you could write a short eBook or create an ongoing podcast? Don’t think of vehicles that are absolutely painful for you to create – you will never do them. If quick visuals or tweets are your things, then maybe you just create Instagram-worthy images with captions around each topic or craft short tweets on each topic. At this point, you could also ask your audience again how they prefer to consume information, but I bet you’ll get a thousand different answers so may as well stick to what you enjoy creating!
  8. Create Your Calendar: This is the part I struggle with, to be honest with you. I try to make pretty little calendars only to go off-road as soon as my attention wanders. I’m like a dog that sees a squirrel. But it’s a place to start, right? Look out 6 months (or 3 if that’s less scary) and plot out what you can talk about when. This will save you time and energy when you’re not sure what to create or are staring at a blank page. Be ruthlessly realistic here. Don’t say you’ll blog or create a video every day if you won’t. What does a realistic schedule look like for your life and sanity?
  9. Make Space to Create: Of course you need to allot time to create all this great content so be realistic. That first video won’t go live tomorrow. So map the efforts into your personal calendar. And then schedule meeting on your calendar for when you will write/record/design – whatever. Not just 15 minutes but 2 to 3 hours worth of dedicated time each week if that’s what you need.
  10. Gather Your Resources + Outsource: I’m a good writer, but not a designer. If I want to create eBooks, I need to partner with a cool designer. So think ahead about who can help you create each of these content pieces. Do you have a VA who can upload and format your finished blog posts and find a good image to go with each of them? Can you pre-schedule Tweets or posts with Buffer? Do you know a good designer who can help you with all ten of the eBooks or free guides you want to create? Have you priced out a videographer for your video series (or are you simply planning to use your iPhone and send it to an editor – or DIY). Consider all of these once you determine your content plan, get everything lined up and then you can just press play and start cranking out content. Turn to resources like the ones I blogged about last week!
  11. CREATE! Start at the beginning and work your way down. Time to start doing. See your list from #10 above and start assigning out work – to yourself if appropriate or to one of the resources you’ve gathered. If you need to write raw content, can you hire a copywriter to polish your rough drafts? Can you get an intern to write the social media posts? Can someone else conduct the expert interviews for you?

Ready to plan for and create all that killer content without losing your mind? Make sure you’re on the Red Slice email list down below to find out the next time I’m offering  Bring Sexy Back to Your Blog, In this on-day virtual course, we talk about how to bring sexy back to all your content, not just blogging and you’ll leave with an actual plan and sample content piece, plus tons of feedback from me and others.

Image Credit: Matt Biddulph via Flickr