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Directing People To Your Blog

I wrote this post because I needed to learn something about the value of Social Media in my business. There was no ignoring the wealth of expert advice on the topic. The following post is a collection of ideas from several entrepreneurs or businesses and I will be implementing them during the next few weeks. Reporting back in the New Year.

No matter how you are selling books or generating leads, people will check out your Social Media links to see if they like you and what you are offering. If they like what you share, they will follow you and their friends are introduced to you through their posts. In that sense, Facebook is a great platform.

People want to know who they are doing business with, they want to see who you are and what matters to you besides your business. We were born inquisitive and despite our school years where inquisitiveness takes second place to supplying answers, many of us hold onto our inquisitiveness and it needs feeding. Don’t be afraid of stalkers; share your vision, experience, philosophy.

Everything you do on Facebook, your posts and how you present them, matters. People are watching. When you are chatting with people on Facebook, they are checking your profile. Even when you generate leads on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or Email they will check you out. When you attract a new customer or partner, they will especially look to decide whether to stick with you longer term.

It might be argued that authors need no more than positive reviews to attract people. There are millions of books out there so we need to find a way to stay in the minds of our readers.

If you take a look at the Facebook walls of many home business entrepreneurs, they shout, “I’m an amateur” and put people off, according to sources. I found a few that are indeed questionable and when they post something there is little in return, no comments, likes and shares.

If you work on your Facebook strategy, you can generate sales and make friends along the way. I’ve researched my mistakes and how to avoid them.  In this post I’ll share with you what and how to post on Facebook to increase engagement and direct people to your blog.

Common Mistakes

What not to do. This will be fundamental and common sense for many, but common sense is not always common practice.

Your profile picture—Post a smiling and happy face that is easy to see, because people love to associate with happy people.

People have other images as their picture but, who wants to do business with a chocolate gateau?

2) Your cover photo—Put an image that will show who you are, what you are all about, your personality, your brand, your core message, your slogan, your motto, your lifestyle, social proof.

An image of the products or the company you promote isn’t a positive way forward. Facebook are encouraging that but it shows the world representation of a company. People prejudge and think you want to sell them a product. As we shall see, Facebook is not the platform for sales.

3) Posting links to capture pages and sales pages on the profile—People don’t usually go to Facebook specifically to buy your product. Don’t try to sell on Facebook. The best way to sell on Facebook is to not sell on Facebook. Direct people to your blog instead.

You can occasionally post your link to a capture page where you offer more value, but don’t do it blatantly. Instead, share a story with value and mention the link to your capture page as a, “by the way; if you want to know more . . .”

4) Not completing their profile—this is basic but complete all the information about you; where you live, what you like, etc. Don’t mention the name of the company on your profile.

5) Posting negativity, news, complaining, politics—People want to associate with positive people. If you are going through tough times and challenges, don’t post it on Facebook if you want to grow your business. If you want to attract negativity and get no results, don’t post negative… Share The Love, light and positivity in the world!

Story lines To Share On Facebook

Look at your Facebook profile as your own reality show.

A story line is a motive; a theme of what you post that is similar in nature and gets people to respond.

Once you develop your story lines, you will no longer have to guess what to post on Facebook. You choose from a story line.

Your Lifestyle Pictures

People are attracted to lifestyle and want to see that you are living your dream and having fun. A picture of how you are having fun with the kids in the park on a Monday afternoon will get people wondering how they can do it.

Post a picture with a story of how you went on holiday that you paid for with the money you earned at home. Talk about how much fun you had. Share pictures from your trip and travels, images of the snow you didn’t have to fight through to get to work. It can be so many things but it’s all about your lifestyle!

Inspirational Images & Quotes With Your Unique Stamp

People love to get inspired and motivated to do something in their life. You can save an image of a quote you find or make a new one and then comment with your own thoughts. Be inspired, share a concept or idea and encourage people to think.

Ask questions, engage with them. Ask often for their feedback and thoughts.

Share your unique philosophy, beliefs, attitudes, a story that makes a point, something personal to inspire people.

Your Normal Life

People want to see you are human and real just like them. Share things about your interests and your hobbies. What you are passionate about? Share how you are playing a sport or going to the gym, performing in a band, or running every day.

Share how you are having fun with the family. Share something from your everyday life.

When you are posting images on Facebook write a couple of sentences to describe what you are experiencing and feeling. Don’t just post an image and go.

Stories Of Struggle AND Victory

People resonate and connect with you much more when they hear a story. Your story often comes hand in hand with the next story line which is social proof.

I recently shared a few personal stories and didn’t expect the wonderful responses.

Share a story of your struggle but always at the end share the victory and a happy ending. Don’t just share your struggles, it’s not going to inspire anyone to take any action but feel depressed. Share your frustrations and how you banged your head against the wall trying to work things out. How you didn’t have money to eat . . . Share how you sat for hours in front of the computer making no money, how you couldn’t sleep and burned the midnight oil. Share your feelings as you were going through all of this. The more vivid you can describe the struggle the better.

Then tie it in the breakthrough you had, the victory you experienced, the success you found. There is something you discovered along your journey and now you are willing to share it with people so they may learn.

It doesn’t have to be a victory with major results or success. Any shared positive story helps.

Social Proof

Social proof comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be about how much money you made. There are other ways to show social proof.

1) Income results—The obvious one is to share how much money you have made, royalties, commissions, sales . . .

Attach a story of struggle to your results, so people know you worked hard for it. They will relate to the struggle and now it’s inspiring.

2) Leads generated—your results can come in the form of how many leads you have generated. There are many people who don’t know how to generate leads and they would love to learn from someone who does.

3) Success of your team—if you have a team and one of them succeeds, congratulate publicly and share the results. People will see that you are a positive leader who helps others get results. It will be flattering to your team member and get them more results.

It can be just welcoming new team members publicly. It can be even the success of people not directly in your team, other authors . . . You can always find inspiring stories.

4) Pictures with leaders–post pictures with great leaders and successful people in your field. It shows that you associate with leaders so you must be a leader too. Their success and credibility will rub off on you.

5) Lifestyle, Holidays and Fun–This is another way of social proof. There are many ways to say that you are successful without saying it. Pictures having fun and a positive lifestyle provides social proof too.

Your likes and comments, the amount of friends you have is also a form social proof, don’t forget that.

Post a video

There is nothing that creates more trust faster than people who didn’t know you before watching you on video.

When you are able to be yourself, be vulnerable, be honest, look directly at the camera and open up your heart, share your message and share who you are; everything changes.

Video will be easier with practice like everything. Keep them short, practice, record and talk for 3 minutes. I’m sure most of us can talk for longer than that!

Videos show you to the world. They allow people to catch up on nonverbal communication, to see who you truly are.

There are so many things you can do with video. You can share all of those story lines. Try writing a script. It’s not as difficult as it seems.

GIVE VALUE, that’s a huge point. Whatever you are posting think about if it will improve someone’s day, uplift and give value.

Bridge To A Blog Post

This is the big one. How do you share your blog posts on Facebook?

Don’t throw a link to a blog post with a featured image and hope people will visit. There is just an image, a title and a few words that represent the first sentences of the blog post. It’s not enough.

You can get better results if you BRIDGE your Facebook post to your blog by sharing a mini post or story. I will be doing exactly that before I post this from my Word document to blog.

You can take a unique angle. An excerpt from the blog, share a story around it, share value and a concept. At the end of the post you can include a link to your blog post!

You can take inspirational quotes and tie it into your blog; you can take pictures of your girlfriend with you and tie it somehow to your blog post at the end.

Your blog is your home online that you will invite people to over and over again to read your story, get value from you and become your subscriber. Your job is to get people from Facebook and other social media to your blog.

Finally

You can do other things besides from posting on Facebook.

Start conversations with people who are engaging with your posts. When somebody likes or comments on your post, it gives you permission to talk to this person. There are chances that a long term partnership will arise from these conversations.

Comment and like other people’s posts because they will come back to you and often reciprocate too.

You can promote your Facebook posts on other social media sites to drive more friends to you. You can even mail-shoot your email list with a link to your Facebook post.

Always be you and show your leadership and character because that’s what people are attracted to.

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Reaching Out

I’m surrounded by conundrums. I close my eyes and they float around in their little boxes with tags floating on the breeze of my mind. I dismissed a few during this mornings meditation because they are not important enough for action just yet. Some of those remaining are vexing. Challenges are fun but sometimes I hold up my hands and say, ‘I am not defeated but I could do with a few pointers.’

I will return to my need for pointers soon, one thing I find very exciting about writing is that I often find the answers to my questions as I write. The universe responds; it’s beautiful.

My publisher will not like this but I walk through a sticky mire in the dark and they don’t seem able, or willing to offer a helping hand. So, my philosophy is to reach out, discover where to go, and plot the course. Thanks to many wonderful people I’ve met on my journey as an author, I know where I need to go with some and the routes are planned. I use friend maps and they don’t lead me into any one-way streets.

Back to the conundrums . . . I must get my work out there and have identified several ways. Perhaps you can help?

  • I live in France but originate from the north west of England. Should I try to organise signing events in that part of the world or, go elsewhere? I’ve not lived in the north wet since 2003.
  • Waterstones and WH Smith say, ‘don’t contact store managers,’ true / false?
  • Does anybody want to talk to an unknown author?

 

Enough about my challenges, let’s move on to this weeks dusty file from an unknown author who I would love to reconnect with. I was a founding member of a writers group called, ‘Phoenix Writers’ in Blackburn, Lancashire in 2002/03. I’ve no idea how this file ended up on one of my hard drives but it’s a positive example of creativity with the potential of something great. All I can tell you about the author is her name was Pippa although I am sorry to say I don’t remember a Pippa back in 2003.

Anno Domini: 640

‘I never wanted to come here!’ He rubbed his stiffened hands, knuckles swollen by the  ‘Elves’ Curse’.   Now I’ m going to die here, Ithamar.’

Outside the wind whipped the rain against the wooden walls.  No hangings kept out the draughts, not even the vestige of a fire in the brazier warmed the bare cell.  I struggled to conceal my shivering. The hem of my sodden tunic dripped little puddles among the rushes and my leather boots squelched with every step.   On a peg by the door I hung the cloak I had clutched around me as I dashed from the nave where I was trying to teach some of the younger monks to achieve harmony in the alleluia magnus dominus.  I wiped my nose   on my sleeve, wincing as the rough fabric rasped across the flaked skin.  But it was always this way at Winterfylleth, getting soaked between church, refectory and cells, when even the pent roof around the cloister gave scant protection.

‘You’ll go back to the Holy City soon, Bishop.’  But I knew my words sounded hollow.  The old man looked frail.  The grey hair around his tonsure was sparse   and his long face was haggard making the big hooked nose more prominent than ever.  He breathed with a harsh rattle.   He’d never be able to withstand the rigours of the journey at this time of year.  The roads would be too clogged with mud for the ox carts to make much headway and even if he could reach the coast, no boat from the estuary would dare to set out in such rough seas.  It would be the same at Sheppey. Thanet and Dover.  The gulls had moved inland and stayed on the ground facing into the wind, a sure a sign of storms.    Even from Canterbury only a score of miles away there had been no messenger for a sennight.

‘And what’s worse I’ll never get my work finished. It’s too cold to write and too dark to see except for a few hours at midday.’  He gestured despairingly to the heaps of vellum strewn across the wooden trestle and underneath at the two iron-banded chests with large locks filled with even more.  For a man who denied himself every comfort, he was extravagant when it came to his books.  He trained a score of young monks every year to keep the craft alive and he had made me learn it a long time ago.   His love for learning was stronger than any of the Romans I’d known.   He’d brought the gospels of John and Mark for our church of Saint Andrew, but here in his cell he had all kinds of manuscripts, histories of his people, works of their philosophers and more and knew them all by heart; better than any scop with his lyre telling battle tales in the King’s hall.

Then there were all the ones he’d written himself, a record of all the doings of The Mission.  And of course The Book; he was the one who persuaded old Ethelburt to have his law-code written.

‘To be a truly Christian King you must have your laws codified.’   But it was the thought of having something no other king in these islands had that appealed to the old trickster.  It was hard work because he agreed to write it in the folk tongue.  He could write the script of the Book language so fast that that his hands flew across the page like the wind blowing across a cornfield but he had to find ways of putting our sounds down.  ‘Yours isn’t a civilised tongue, it’s a pain in the throat, he used to joke! He even used some of our runic shapes but I don’t think he knew about their magic.

‘I must finish my history.  I promised….’ A bout of coughing interrupted him.

‘I’ll get the women to prepare you a draught elderberry and horehound and put in some juniper to ease the pain of the elf arrows that slice into your joints.’

‘As you wish, but first you must help me, Ithamar.’

‘Father Paulinus, what can I do?’

I’d known this man for nigh on forty years, almost from the day he first came to our land.  If it hadn’t been for him I’d still be scratching a living in some woodland clearing, or dead of starvation these many years.

‘You can write the Book language almost as well as I can.  I can’t use these wretched fingers but at least I can tell you what to put down. ‘He clutched at the strangely carved cross hanging round his neck.  Where it came from I knew not but it was precious to him.

I thought of all the tasks that awaited me.   As second in command of all the monks in our little settlement of Rochester, most of the organisation fell on me, reading the Offices, preparing for the services, attempting to convert more of the locals and the administration, seeing that there was enough food, dealing with the messengers of the King    I had precious little spare time.  What he was asking of me was no small task.  Obedience Ithamar!  I reminded myself again of the Rule of Benedict, acceptance without complaint.

And as always curiosity got the better of me.

‘The facts are all recorded in the chronicles on the Easter Tables in Canterbury.’ I began.

‘Facts, yes!  But those are the bare bones of what has happened like the branches of winter trees.  If you just see those, you do not understand what the trees look like in the full splendour of summer, decked with the thousands of leaves that dance with the wind.  So it is with the lives of men.  Facts don’t tell of the feelings, the motives of men.    He taught me that.  He could tell a tale that could make you catch your breath with wonder.  I swore to him I’d set it down and the people we knew deserve that.  We can’t let the memory of what they dreamed, fade.’  His voice trailed off.

I was a plain man, never one to miss an opportunity if it would help me to be the first Jute to become a bishop.

‘If I will scribe for you then I’ll need more light and some warmth to keep my fingers from stiffening.   I’m not as young as I was.  We need a room with plenty of wall sconces and hanging bowls – and a decent fire.’

‘So be it.  Whatever you need.  The great darkness is coming.  The Lombards still threaten the Holy City of Peter and the Huns push ever westward. The lands where Our Saviour walked seized by the follower of a new prophet from the sands of the desert.  We must tell our story.  Why else are we here?  To show the good deeds of men as an example and to the wicked as a warning.’

He looked at me with a desperate expression.

‘Besides I must finish it and give it to her.  I must see her once more before I die.’

And I did not have to ask whom he meant.

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