5 Ways Being a Public Speaker Can Help Your Ethical Business

5 Ways Being a Public Speaker Can Help Your Ethical Business Lynn Serafinn discusses the down-side of public speaking, and explains how you CAN benefit from a speaking career when it is part of the bigger picture.

As thought leaders, our commodities are information and ideas. We are driven by values, and we want to share those values with the world. That is why so many service-oriented professionals these days – such as coaches, consultants, therapists and health professionals – dream of becoming public speakers. Some are content to speak to small, targeted groups, while others aspire to land a gig on prestigious platforms like TED or TEDx Talks or even have aspirations of becoming a full time speaker.

I’ve done a lot of public speaking over the years. Lately, I’ve also been getting a lot of requests from my marketing clients to help them develop their public speaking platform, write their scripts, organise their timelines and create their visual presentations. So, as public speaking has been at the forefront of my mind these past few months, I would like to share what I have found to be true time and again. Becoming a public speaker can often seem like the most logical – if not the most glamourous and exciting – means of bringing your value-driven message to the world. And it can be. BUT it can also be disheartening if you go into it blindly or start by asking the wrong questions.

In my experience, the majority of new speakers start by asking the questions ‘Where?’ and ‘When?’, i.e.

‘Where can I get speaking gigs?’

‘When/how soon can they book me in?’

While these might be the first questions on your mind, they are actually the last questions you should be asking. Before you do anything else, you need to ask the much more fundamental questions: ‘Why? Who? What? and How?’

‘WHY do I want to do this?’

‘WHO is my audience (and WHY would they care)?’

 ‘WHAT is my core message?’

 ‘HOW do I organise and present my ideas?’

Without first answering these questions, the ‘Where?’ and the ‘When?’ are moot points.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at the first of these questions: ‘WHY do I want to do this?’ Then, we’ll look at 5 practical ways public speaking can benefit your business when – and only when – it is positioned correctly within your business and marketing strategy.

But first…a scenario from my past that can help demonstrate what I want to say about this topic.

The Starving Artist Syndrome – Lessons from a Former Freelance Musician

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, I was a music tutor and freelance musician in Texas and Arizona. For two decades, my survival was dependent upon getting enough students and gigs to pay the bills. In terms of finding gigs, my easiest time was when I managed to get on the musician’s union rota through my orchestra. Because I had a good track record and they knew I was a good sight-reader, I got called many times a month to play gigs. I didn’t need to find gigs; they found me.

Later, in the 1980s, when I had my own band, the hunt to find paying gigs was a constant preoccupation. During those years, I spent more time on the phone and sending out press kits trying to find the gigs than I actually spent playing music. And the results were wide-ranging in terms of what we gained from them. Sometimes we played at restaurants or nightclubs where we were paid in dinner and tips. Other times I landed us a gig at a music festival, where we might earn anywhere between $500 and $2,000. Some of our pay came from back-of-room cassette/CD sales (which, on a good day, could add several hundred dollars to the coffers). Sometimes, a member of the audience approach us to ask if they could hire us for a private party or business event.

During that decade, I was constantly in ‘survival mode’. I lived from month to month, always looking for the next gig. This is the classic ‘starving artist’ scenario – not setting clear boundaries, and accepting whatever happens to come along. As a result, things didn’t really progress until many years later in the 1990s, when I finally understood what it meant to have a ‘target audience’ and the importance of having a clear plan of what I wanted to gain from being a musician.

In short, I finally learned the importance of seeing my art as a business, including what it meant to market myself as an artist.

Getting Clear About WHY You Want to Be a Public Speaker

Setting yourself up as a public speaker is really no different from being a freelance musician. And the motives most people have for becoming a speaker are often the same:

  1. They’d like to get paid to speak.
  2. They like the idea of being known/famous/respected/appreciated by others.
  3. They like the ‘rush’ of being on stage.
  4. They believe that speaking will help spread ‘their message’.

Sadly, many are attracted by the glamour of standing in the spotlight, only to see those lights grow dim after six months of having to constantly chase up potential leads. They might have had visions of being able to support themselves through public speaking, but after a year of living hand-to-mouth, they realise they have landed themselves on a never-ending treadmill of searching for the next gig. And as far feeling the rush and spreading the message goes… well… it all starts to feel a bit futile if you find you’re speaking to the wrong audience, or the turnout is less than stellar.

Let me make it simple. For most of us independent business owners:

A public speaking career needs to be part of a larger business.

Your public speaking needs to be a means – not an end – to specific business goals. While it might be the thing you most love doing, in terms of business function, it needs to serve ‘the greater good’ of your business. Apart from your own enjoyment, what does it do for your business? Let’s get clear about one thing: the sporadic payment you might receive for your speaking services might be nice, but it does not constitute a business.

The key question you need to ask is:

WHAT will your business gain from your public speaking?

For the moment, let’s…

  • FORGET about getting paid for gigs.
  • FORGET about making a ‘name’ for yourself.
  • FORGET about feeling the adrenaline rush of standing in front of an audience.
  • FORGET about ‘getting the message out there’.

While all of those things are fine (and valuable), let’s consider these five tangible (albeit less glittery) things your public speaking might be able to do for your business, such as:

  1. Selling books or other merchandise.
  2. Promoting an upcoming workshop or training event.
  3. Getting new clients.
  4. Getting hired to speak at other paying gigs.
  5. Building your contact list.

Let’s take a look at these five potential benefits, and analyse how they work together.

Understanding the FLOW of the Relationship with Your Audience

Many service professionals I know turn to public speaking thinking it will be a means of getting a steady stream of private clients. While getting private clients via public speaking does happen, it’s actually less common than you might imagine. The reason has to do with the dynamics of the relationship you have with the audience during a public lecture. In a public event – especially one that has been organised by a third party – many of the members of your audience are likely to be unfamiliar with you. If you understand the way relationships work in the 7 Graces Marketing Funnel, becoming a private client requires a much deeper level of trust and commitment (and more money!) than buying a book or signing up for a group workshop. You might be the best coach in the world, but until that connection has been established, people will be unlikely to commit to working with you privately. In my experience, those who benefit the most from public speaking are those who have created a foundation that can tick all of the above boxes – especially the FIRST two on the list, i.e. merchandise and training. Here’s how and why this is so:

  1. Selling books or other merchandise

Books, CDs or other reasonably priced professional merchandise are often the starting point for building your relationship with your audience. They’ve just heard you speak, and a well-written book on the same (or related) topic is often the most practical and economical way for them to strengthen and deepen what they’ve learned from you. It requires no long-term commitment from them. Yes, it can provide extra income for you (sometimes a lot of income, if you have a wide variety of merchandise), but the primary reason for selling your goods should be to deepen your relationship with your audience so that the most motivated of them will progress to the next level (i.e. workshops and training).

  1. Promoting an upcoming workshop or training event

I believe the best time to give a talk is shortly before you are offering a workshop or training event in the same, or nearby, locality. I’ve seen many speakers make the mistake of doing a speaking gig with the idea that they will do a workshop the next day only if enough people enrol from the talk. As a marketer, I think this is backwards thinking. The best results will happen if you set up and plan your workshop well in advance, and then plan your speaking engagements around the time/date and location of the workshop. Then, in your promotions for the talk, you also mention that there is a follow-up workshop the next day (or whenever), with information on how to register. That way, people will arrive at the talk having already decided: a) they will do the workshop, b) they won’t do the workshop, c) they might do the workshop if they enjoy the talk. Of course, if your entire talk is just a thinly disguised promotion for your training event, it is unlikely you’ll get many takers! Make sure your talk has real substance and value. We’ll be looking at how to do that in the next article.

  1. Getting new clients

As I said, the average person sitting in your audience will not be ready to become your private client, especially if they’ve never heard of you before. It is important to be able to see where your public speaking ‘sits’ within the greater context of your wider marketing strategy, and that it works with all the other elements of your platform. If people attend your lecture, they might decide to attend your workshop. If they do, they will have taken one step closer to you, and will be more likely to approach you as a private client than when they were sitting in your audience. Of course, if you’ve spent a few years developing your marketing platform through books, blogging , social media or mainstream media appearances, the chances are greater that many members of your audience will already have come to know and trust you. Then, you can actually get new clients from your public speaking; but don’t expect it to happen often until you have reached that ‘tipping point’.

  1. Getting hired to speak at other paying gigs

Being asked to speak at other events can sometimes be simply the result of good luck; but it can also be the result of good planning and good ‘targeting’. To get invited to other gigs, you need to speak at events where there are other decision makers, i.e., heads of department, event organisers, committees from relevant organisations, community leaders, etc. Not only do these people need to be decision makers, but they need to be influential within the realm of your ideal customers or clients. For example, let’s say you are a health professional who is not looking for new patients, but has created courses to train other health professionals. In this case, your ideal ‘customers’ are those health professionals – not potential patients. Unless you are selling merchandise (or still looking for private patients), there would be no real business advantage to doing gigs where you are speaking to the general public. When you agree to give a talk, be sure it has the potential to reach and expand your target audience. If you simply say yes to whatever comes along, you’ll end up like the freelance musician who is continuously looking for the next gig.

  1. Building Your Contact List

Another benefit public speaking can bring to your business is the growth of your list of contacts – especially your email list. An email list is a good way to share new content, and keep people informed about other events, publications or services you might have in the future. Your email list is also a way to cultivate the budding relationship between you and your new audience, by gradually giving them a chance to know more about you and your work. In short, a good mailing list is a way to continue the dialogue between you and your audience after an event is over. Unfortunately however, most of us these days are inundated with way too much email, and signing up to a mailing list has become less and less attractive. To make sure your mailing list doesn’t go belly up, it is important to be sure to:

  • Give people an incentive to sign up (like some sort of downloadable resource).
  • Tell them what they should expect from you (i.e. the kinds of things you will send them and how often you will write to them).
  • Stay true to your word and respect their boundaries once they have signed up.
  • Always think ‘What’s in it for THEM?’ when you write to them. In other words, don’t email them to sell stuff to them. Always give them something of genuine value.

SIDENOTE: Be sure to ask people to PRINT their contact information clearly! It’s so frustrating when emails bounce because you can’t read their handwriting.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this article has got you thinking about how public speaking sits (or could sit) within your business. If you’re a public speaker – or you’re thinking about creating your signature talk – and you’re looking for help getting focussed and structured, I’d be happy to have a chat with you to see if/how I can help. Again, just send me a message via the contact form at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/contact, along with a brief description about your business and your aspirations, and request a free 30-minute Skype consultation.

And finally, if you’re looking for help building your online marketing platform so you can make yourself READY for the next phase of your business development , check out our business and marketing services on our ‘Work With Us’ page, and then drop us a line to discuss how we might be able to help.

I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to leave comments or questions about this article in the box at the bottom of the screen.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
24 March 2016

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Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project .


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller  The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

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10 Steps for Turning Your Blog Content into a Book or eBook

10 Steps for Turning Your Blog Content into a Book or eBookBlogging & marketing strategist Lynn Serafinn explains why repurposing your blog articles is good for business, and offers 10 tips on how to do it properly.

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you might have caught the ‘writing bug’. For many, this means making the shift from simply being a ‘writer’ to a published ‘author’.

Having a published/self-published book can be deeply satisfying on a personal level. But on a practical level, it can also help you expand your ideas and reach a wider audience. A good book has ‘shelf life’, i.e. the potential to make sales over a longer period of time. But earning additional income from book sales should not be your primary incentive for repurposing your content into a book. Rather, you should see your book as an extension of your marketing. In other words, your main practical reason for repurposing your blog content is to attract more clients/customers – not to make you rich or famous.

But repurposing your blog content is not a simple matter of compiling your blog posts, slapping a cover on it and calling it a book. While your articles might provide the foundation for information you will deliver within your book, they will need to be edited, expanded, proofed and formatted so they make sense within this different medium. Here are 10 steps to guide you through the process.

  1. MAKE AN OUTLINE. Even if you will be drawing your content from many of your past articles, the first thing you should do is create an outline of the structure of the book. Then, splice your articles into appropriate chapters. This will give you a better idea of the flow from beginning to end, and help you see what might be missing (or redundant) in your articles.
  2. DELETE, DELETE, DELETE. A good book is comprised of 100% CONTENT. You cannot simply copy and paste your articles into their respective chapters and leave them as they appeared on your website. Many of the conventions essential to a good blog post – such as teasers, calls to action and any self-promoting references to one’s services – are inappropriate within the context of a book and will need to be taken out. I think one of the biggest turn-offs is when the flow of a book is interrupted by constant self-references to the author’s products and services. This is not to say you cannot draw from your professional experiences as ‘case studies’ to illustrate a point; but don’t try to sell to your readers while you are making that point!
  3. TOP AND TAIL. After you’ve taken out all the blog-specific elements, go through the chapters and write an introduction and conclusion for each one.
  4. MOVE STUFF AROUND. Next, read through the book from beginning to end to see if there is any repeated material, or if any of the content seems out of order. You might need to move (or remove) things to ensure they make sense.
  5. FILL IN THE BLANKS. Once things are in roughly the right order, go through the book and see where it might need ‘linking sections’. A linking section or statement might be something like, ‘Back in Chapter 2, we talked about x, y, z,’ or, ‘We’ll be looking at a, b, c later in Chapter 15.’ This helps the reader follow the flow of the book.
  6. WRITE YOUR BOOKENDS. Once the book has a shape, it’s time to write the ‘bookends’: the Introduction and Conclusion. The Introduction (appearing before Chapter 1) should tell readers the basic premise of the book and give an outline of what will be covered. It should also engage readers from the start, and make them WANT to read more. Then, in the Conclusion, sum up what you’ve discussed, and guide readers towards the next steps they might wish to take after finishing the book.
  7. BACK PAGES. After the Conclusion, you will need to construct your ‘back pages’. This could include your references and/or index (if you are using one), as well as a few pages for self-promotion, where you talk a bit about your business or services, and links to your website, social media, etc. Keep this simple, and resist the temptation to turn it into a blatant advertisement.
  8. AUTHOR BIO. At the end of your book, dedicate an entire page to your author biography. Be sure to include a good headshot (i.e. one that wasn’t taken with your cell phone). Writing an effective author bio is an art unto itself too lengthy a subject to go into in this article. However, you will find a comprehensive guide to writing a good bio in Chapter 4 of my upcoming book The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging.
  9. USE A GOOD EDITOR. Even if you are publishing a 10,000-word eBook, don’t be stingy and try to publish it without the use of a good editor/proof-reader. ANY book, no matter how small, should be put into the hands of a skilled, reliable editor. This person should have experience in editing books (not just short pieces) and know how to bring flow and cohesiveness to your text. If you don’t know an editor like this, ask other authors in your field to refer one to you.
  10. GIVE CARE TO FORMATTING. After you and your editor/proof-reader decide the book is ‘done’, you will need to format it. Don’t take formatting lightly; it is an integral part of the reader’s experience with your book. Good marketing and a good cover might entice people to buy your book, but bad formatting might prevent them from feeling like reading it after they’ve bought it. Also, be aware that formatting for paperback is significantly different from Kindle/eBook formatting. You cannot simply upload a PDF of your paperback version to Kindle and expect it to look right. If you don’t know how to make your format work, hire someone to do it for you. Again, I recommend you ask other authors in your network for referrals, rather than hire the first person who comes along.

The ideas in this article are adapted from ‘Chapter 19: Repurpose Your Blog Content’ from my upcoming book The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging, which will be coming out later this year (2016). More than 500 pages in length, that book is an amalgamation of everything I know about blogging, including all the technological, business and marketing strategies I have used with my own clients over the past eight years.

CLICK HERE if you’d like to receive an alert when
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that can attract loyal readers to your website.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you are a business owner seeking to develop your platform through blogging and social media, or an author (or aspiring one) seeking to develop your writing into a brand, I invite you to contact me to discuss how our team might be able to help you.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
15 February 2016

P.S.: Don’t forget to subscribe to the 7 Graces blog for more practical business and marketing tips, and inspirational ideas for how you can make a difference in the world through your ethical business.

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

OR… US and UK readers can get this blog delivered DIRECTLY to your tablet, smartphone or Kindle device for $0.99 a month. Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LWU95X
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NhOmJU

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

 

Posted in Blog, Blogging, Book, Business Tips, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, Product Development, Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Speaker Agreements Are a TERRIBLE Idea

Why Speaker Agreements Are a TERRIBLE Idea
Business and marketing strategist Lynn Serafinn explains why asking your webinar or telesummit guests to sign a contract can do much more damage than good.

Webinars. Teleseminars. Telesummits.

Whatever you call them, they’re all fundamentally the same in that they are online events used as promotional tools for products offered by the event organiser. Typically, the public can listen to these events for free, but there is inevitably some kind of ‘upsell’ (i.e. a sales pitch) during the broadcast for the product being promoted.

Sometimes they take the form of teaching or training sessions delivered by the event host. Other times, the event is comprised of a series of interviews with various experts on a specific topic. Over the past decade, I have organised dozens of these kinds of events, for my clients as well as for my own business. I also get asked regularly to be a guest speaker on other people’s online events. On average, I’d say I get about 20 requests a year.

It’s in that capacity that I wanted to share some thoughts I penned this week when writing Chapter 17 of my upcoming book The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging. This chapter is about using your blog for marketing campaigns. In writing it, I found myself getting really involved in the subject, as I was expressing all my thoughts and feelings about product/book launch campaigns – both as an organiser and a participant in other people’s launches.

While writing it, one of the things I realised I REALLY hated about being asked to be a guest speaker on other people’s events is being asked to sign a…

SPEAKER AGREEMENT

Speaker agreements are essentially disclaimers, where the speaker agrees to participate in promotions and acknowledges that they waive any rights to the recordings of their interview.

When it comes to marketing, I’m a big believer in the Golden Rule: I don’t do to others what I hate being done to me. I loathe it when an event organiser asks me to sign a contract to speak on their online event. Hence, I never ask speakers to sign a contract for an event I am organising. You might disagree and think it looks more ‘professional’ to have such a contract. But if you look beneath the surface and consider its impact on the relationship you have (and are building) with your speakers, you’ll see how pointless and potentially damaging it can be to ask your speakers to sign an agreement.

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

    • It’s unnecessary. No experienced guest speaker is going to ‘steal’ your recordings. Conversely, just because someone signs a contract saying they’ll promote your event, this doesn’t mean they’ll actually do it.
    • It’s nonsense. There is nothing legal about such an agreement because it’s completely unenforceable. In the unlikely event that someone doesn’t abide by the terms of the contract, to whom are you going to report it? How would you receive compensation? Even if there were a way to take them to court, what are you trying to receive as compensation? What are the actual damages? Would they even come close to covering the legal fees of taking someone to court?
    • It is incongruent with the relationship you have with your speakers. Your speakers are not your employees. They are your PEERS. In fact, they might even have a much more established profession reputation than you. Requiring them to sign a contract suggests you are taking a superior position.
    • It shows a lack of respect and trust. The reason you invited your speakers is that they are revered in their field. Some of them might have done many more such events than you have. Asking them to sign a contract is kind of an insult, and shows you don’t trust them to do their bit.
    • It shows a lack of gratitude. Always remember this: by agreeing to speak on your event, your speakers are doing you a favour! Chances are you have much more to gain from their appearance than they do. Asking them to sign a contract implies they should be grateful to YOU.
    • It is a sure-fire way to sabotage your event. Ironically, asking your guests to sign a contract agreeing to promote your event is more likely to have the opposite People only promote other people’s launches when they feel motivated. Taking a superior attitude, and showing a lack of respect, trust and gratitude, will only demotivate your speakers, and they will be less likely to put much energy or authenticity into your promotions.

I think, rather than asking your guests to sign a contract, simply explain all the details clearly and transparently in an email. Don’t make it too wordy – and do NOT make it demanding! For these kinds of events, their written email confirmation to you is all the ‘contract’ you should need. It is never their responsibility to support you, and if you take this attitude with your speakers, you are bound to destroy whatever relationship you might have had with them. Rather, it is your responsibility to ensure they have all the information and motivation they need to make it easy – and pleasant – for them to support your promotions.

To me, it’s all about the bigger picture. Whether we’re talking about business or life in general, people are always more important than ‘things’. Losing the friendship and rapport with your speakers is, in the long-term, a much greater loss to you, your business and your reputation than a few paltry sales you might make in the shorter timeframe.

Ok. I’ve shared my two pence worth on the topic. Now, what’s your view? I look forward to hearing your comments below.

Stay warm and close to those your love during the upcoming holidays. And feel free to drop me a line via the contact form on this site if you’d like to talk about how our business and marketing services at the 7 Graces of Marketing can help you deepen your relationships with your audience, your colleagues and your business in 2016.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
18 December 2015

P.S.: Don’t forget to subscribe to the 7 Graces blog for more practical business and marketing tips, and inspirational ideas for how you can make a difference in the world through your ethical business.

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

OR… US and UK readers can get this blog delivered DIRECTLY to your tablet, smartphone or Kindle device for $0.99 a month. Take a 14-day free trial at:

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Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

Posted in 7 Graces, 7 Key Relationships, Blogging, Book, Business Tips, Collaboration, Events, Invasion, Invitation, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, New Paradigm, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Our Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Set Up Twitter ‘Follow Rules’ in ManageFlitter

How to Set Up Twitter Follow Rules in ManageFlitter

Social media strategist Lynn Serafinn shares her strategies for finding followers on Twitter, using ManageFlitter’s Remote Account Management feature. Pt 2 of 2.

Part 1 of this 2-part series on using ManageFlitter was entitled ‘How to Use ManageFlitter to Get New Followers on Twitter’. If you haven’t read it, you can catch up by clicking HERE.

In that article, I explained that the best way to gain new Twitter followers is to find your ideal follower and follow them first. I introduced a programme I use called ManageFlitter, which has a range of search filters that enable you to set up complex rules for locating and selecting the people you want to follow or unfollow. I talked about how Twitter no longer allow automated following and unfollowing, and how a feature called ‘Remote Account Management’, or ‘RAM’, (where you can hire the people at ManageFlitter to follow/unfollow on your behalf, using the parameters you have selected) is a viable and time-saving alternative to having to do it all yourself.

Finally, I explained how setting up your rules is a 3-step process, where you define:

  1. Which people you want to unfollow
  2. Which of your followers you want to follow back
  3. Which new people you want to follow

In Part 1, we looked at how to set up your rules for people you want to unfollow.

Today, we’ll complete our tour of ManageFlitter by looking at the remaining two sets of rules: your follow-back rules and your rules for following new people. We’ll also look at the very useful ‘copy rule’ feature on ManageFlitter, as well as the very important topic of setting up your follow/unfollow RATE.

TRANSPARENCY: In this article, I am using my affiliate link (https://manageflitter.com/try/8Pxtwc6z) to ManageFlitter. This means I will earn a small commission if you happen to purchase their services after clicking my link. However, I am not an ‘affiliate marketer’ and I only ever use affiliate links for products I personally use and recommend without any ethical reservations.

STEP 2: Set Up Your Follow-Backs

Before you start looking for new followers, it’s important to ensure you are following BACK legitimate Twitter users who are already following you. In fact, if you don’t make this a regular practice, your followers are apt to unfollow you over time. If you haven’t gone through your followers recently, you might discover hundreds (or even thousands!) of people who are following you whom you have never followed back.

Depending upon how long ago they followed you, some of your followers may no longer be ON Twitter. Also, it is important to ensure you’re not following back irrelevant accounts. Thus, to organise your follow backs, I recommend setting up a ‘follow back’ rule that incorporates all of these filters:

Follow back rule on ManageFlitter

(NOTE: The screenshots in this article are taken directly from ManageFlitter’s dashboard. They contain some errors in spelling and grammar, so forgive the awkward wording!).

  • They are already following you.
  • They have a profile image (as opposed to the generic Twitter icon).
  • They post primarily in English (if you do NOT normally Tweet in English, choose the filter that says ‘Non-English’).
  • Their account is ‘unprotected’ (this is just my personal preference; you might choose not to check that box).
  • They are unlikely to be offensive (i.e. not likely to be porn).
  • You’ve never followed them before (this prevents you from inadvertently following back people you’ve unfollowed in the past).
  • They have Tweeted in the past three weeks (you can make this number smaller if you want; this prevents you from following inactive accounts).
  • They have a ‘spam probability’ of less than 12% (this figure is a bit arbitrary; I tend to set it to above 10%, as some newer accounts might show up as probable spam when they are not).

NOTE: The other two filter parameters (‘no pending follow request’ and ‘not saved for processing’) are standard filters that prevent ManageFlitter from processing redundant or conflicting commands on the same account. In other words, they won’t do things like try to follow back someone you’ve rejected in the past, or follow and then unfollow the same person, etc. It’s a good idea to keep the boxes for these parameters checked.

If you have set up your follow-backs before, it might take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for ManageFlitter to go through your list. Once they have all been sorted, however, you should see only a handful of new, pending follow-backs every day. This tells you your account is on its way to being fresh and current.

STEP 3: Set Up New People to Follow

Once you’ve sorted out your rules for unfollows and follow-backs, it’s time to give your attention to looking for NEW people to follow. Of course, the key to identifying people you want to follow is KNOWING who your audience is. This is something I work on intensively with my clients – it is an ever-evolving process that is beyond the scope of this article. However, assuming you do have a good grasp on who you want to reach on social media, there are some basic guidelines on how to use ManageFlitter to find them.

The first guideline is to have more than one rule for finding new people. Each rule you create should focus on a different angle. For example, you might have rules that focus on one of the following key parameters:

  • People with certain keywords in their Twitter bio
  • People who have Tweeted on a certain topic
  • People who follow a specific Twitter user
  • People followed by a specific Twitter user

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Following People with Certain Keywords in Their Twitter Bio

Typically, if someone has a certain word in their Twitter bio, it means they have either a professional link to or a long-term interest in (or connection with) the topic. For example, if someone has the word ‘writer’ in their bio, it’s likely they will be a writer of some kind. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a professional writer or published author, but it means that they identify with being a writer in some way.

The problem with terms like ‘writer’, ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘marketer’ is that searches could potentially produce tens of thousands of results, few of which are viable leads. That is why it’s important to utilise more than one filter when setting up your ‘follow’ rule in ManageFlitter. Here’s a screen shot of how I set up ManageFlitter’s search parameters to find people with the word ‘entrepreneur’ in their Twitter bio:

Follow people with word 'entrepreneur' in their Twitter bio
The first few and the last two filters in the list above are similar to the ones we set up in the follow-back settings. However, if you look at the fourth line, you’ll notice these settings:

  • Have more than 525 followers
  • Have 100,000 or less followers (it should say ‘fewer’, but grammar isn’t always perfect in software!)
  • Have 525 or more friends
  • Listed 5 or more times

Notice I’ve specified the range of followers and people they follow, i.e. Twitter ‘friends’. The number 525 might seem odd, but it was the closest to 500 I could get when I was using the sliding tool on ManageFlitter’s dashboard. The reason I have chosen all these settings is it increases the likelihood that I will find real people (as opposed to spammers) who might engage with me and follow me back. The reason I choose 100,000 or fewer followers is to eliminate the ‘celebrity’ accounts. By ‘celebrities’ I don’t only mean famous people, but also large companies/organisations, media, newspapers, magazines, publishers, etc. There is no harm in following these kinds of accounts if you are interested in what they are Tweeting about, but they are highly unlikely to follow you back or engage with you. The ‘real’ people (for me and for most of my clients) lie in the middle range, being neither too small nor too large.

Following People Who Have Tweeted on a Certain Topic

It is also possible to set up people who have Tweeted on a specific topic. However, it’s important to remember that just because they use a word in their Tweets, this does NOT mean they are particularly interested in the subject matter, or that they even used the word in the way you might use it. Thus, when setting up rules using this kind of filter, you’ll get better results if you use either a hashtag OR a multi-word phrase rather than a single word.

As an example of what I mean, here is a rule I set up, one for the hashtag #SocEnt (Twitter shorthand for ‘social enterprise’):

How to follow people who have Tweeted about #SocEnt on Twitter

Notice I have set the frequency to ‘Tweeted less than 1 week ago’. I’m not sure whether this means that the actual TWEET containing the search term is less than a week old, or that they mentioned it SOMETIME in the past. It would be nice if it were the former, as the more RECENTLY someone has Tweeted a relevant term, the more likely they will be interested in that subject matter. I will have to ask ManageFlitter which of these is the case.

Following People Who Follow or Are Followed by Other Twitter Users

Some of you might query the logic of setting up a filter to follow people who follow or are followed by other Twitter users. While you might think it’s just too easy – and not very ethical – to ‘poach’ someone else’s contacts, from experience it’s not nearly as effective a strategy as you might think. People on Twitter have no real control over who follows them, and unless they are judicious (as you will become) about whom they follow, this list can end up looking quite random. You might also discover a large percentage of their followers are inactive accounts or spammers.

Still, if you start by saying you want to follow the followers of (or those followed by) a specific user, and then qualify it with some of the other filters, you might end up with a list of good leads. On this topic, one thing you might not have thought of is following people who follow one of your other Twitter accounts (if you have more than one). For example, recently I set up my @7GracesMarketng account to follow some of the people I follow on my @LynnSerafinn account. Here’s a screenshot of the settings I used:

How to follow the followers of another Twitter user.
Even though I have close to 58,000 followers on my @LynnSerafinn account, this search resulted in only a few hundred people. One possible reason for this is that I may already be following them (or have unfollowed them) on my other account. The other reason is that my filters here are very strict, narrowing down the results to only the most active accounts.

You might ask WHY I would want to follow some of the same people on more than one of my accounts (I also have a third account @SpiritAuthors, which is ONLY for things related to writing, publishing, book marketing). Am I not being redundant here? To understand my reasoning, bear in mind that I don’t Tweet exactly the same content on my accounts; nor do I Tweet at the same time on all three accounts. This means if people follow one or more of my accounts, they will be more likely to see something I’ve posted. Furthermore, they are more likely to see something of interest to them. Of course, this only worse if I’ve got a lot of diverse content (otherwise I’ll drive my followers crazy with too much repetition).

If you do set up a rule to follow the followers of one of your own accounts, or the followers of someone else in your niche, be strict with your filters. Otherwise, you’ll end up following thousands of accounts that will serve no purpose, and you’ll only end up unfollowing them next month.

Using the ‘Copy Rule’ Feature on ManageFlitter

As you use ManageFlitter over time, you’ll probably find that you tend to use the same (or similar) filter settings over and over again. Fortunately, ManageFlitter has a very useful option to copy a rule you have set up, eliminating the need to set up all your parameters from scratch when you want to create a new rule. Once you’ve copied the rule, you can tweak the parameters as needed and save it as a new rule. This is a tremendous time-saver that helps ensure you don’t leave out an important setting.

Setting Your Follow/Unfollow Rate

One of the most important things to set up when using RAM in ManageFlitter is your follow/unfollow RATE LIMITS. These numbers will determine the MAXIMUM number of actions applied to your account per day. Here’s a screenshot of the rate limits for one of the larger accounts I manage:

how to set your daily follow and unfollow rate on ManageFlitter

These numbers are completely customisable. Also, if you haven’t set up any actual rules for muting, blocking, etc., the limit numbers will be irrelevant. That’s the case for the account shown above; I’ve only set up follow and unfollow rules for it, so the other limit numbers won’t be used. That means there will be a MAXIMUM number of 200 RAM actions on this account per day (6,000 per month). The actual number is likely to be lower, as I probably won’t need 100 unfollows per day.

How do you decide which numbers to put in these boxes? Well, it depends on two factors:

  • Your budget
  • The number of followers you CURRENTLY have on Twitter

Budget is easy to talk about. If you have the potential to rack up 6,000 RAM actions per month, you need to make sure you have accounted for them in your marketing budget. If you feel the return you are getting is not validating the expense, you either need to lower your rate OR you need to rethink how you’re using Twitter!

The next factor – the number of followers you currently have on Twitter – is more complex. The particular account from which this screenshot was taken currently has about 38,000 followers. Thus, following 100 new people a day is not particularly abnormal. However, if you’re just starting out and you only have 100 or so followers, you should NOT be following 100 new people a day. A better figure would be between 10 and 20. Even if you have between 3,000 and 5,000 followers, following 100 new people a day could flag up Twitter’s ‘aggressive account’ warning bells and put a limiter on your account (meaning you can’t follow more people for a while). In fact:

Twitter rules state that
you cannot follow more than 5,000 people
until at least 5,000 follow you.*

* NOTE: This limit used to be 2,000 followers, but has recently been increased. See Twitter’s article at https://support.twitter.com/articles/66885# for their latest information on following limits.

That is why it’s crucial for you to monitor your follows and unfollows, so your account is balanced. Ideally, you want to end up with slightly more people following you than you follow. You can only do this by regularly unfollowing inactive accounts, and ensuring you only follow the most relevant and active people.

How You Can Help Yourself – And How We Can Help You

I hope you found this 2-part article series on using ManageFlitter to be useful. If you have any QUESTIONS or COMMENTS, I welcome you to share them in the comments below. Bear in mind that using a programme like ManageFlitter to help grow your following is only part of the formula for business success on Twitter. True success comes not only from having a clear idea of how to reach your intended audience, but also on having high-quality, relevant content that your followers will WANT to read. If you want to help yourself grow on Twitter, work on both of these aspects of your business: Twitter growth AND quality content creation.

If you’re at a stage in your business where you feel the need for support in either of these areas, we at the 7 Graces Project can help you. We offer a 13-week Platform Building Package where we help you with your blogging AND your Twitter growth. In that package, we help you identify your audience, choose the perfect blog topics, optimise your WordPress blog, edit/proofread and publish your blog articles, write your Tweets, distribute your Tweets to your social networks AND continuously grow your Twitter following. And, yes, we use ManageFlitter (and other software apps) to help facilitate that (you don’t have to do anything or learn anything, as we do it all for you). To read about our Platform Building Package, see our ‘Work With Us’ page here on the 7 Graces site.

For those who don’t feel the need for all the blogging support, we also have a standalone Twitter Growth Package where we manage your following/unfollowing, as well as your Tweet posting. I haven’t yet set up the information page for this package, but you can write directly to me if you’d like to know more. To set up a free 30-minute Skype chat to discuss how either of these packages could help your business, drop us a line via the contact form on this website.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
11 November 2015

P.S.: Don’t forget to subscribe to the 7 Graces blog for more practical business and marketing tips, and inspirational ideas for how you can make a difference in the world through your ethical business.

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Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

Posted in 7 Key Relationships, Invitation, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, Platform Building Programme, Relationship with Audience, Relationship with Our Audience, Social Media, Tech Tips, Tweep-e-licious, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Use ManageFlitter to Get New Followers on Twitter

How to Use ManageFlitter to Get New Followers on Twitter

Social media strategist Lynn Serafinn shares her top tips on how to grow your audience on Twitter using ManageFlitter’s Remote Account Management feature. Part 1 of 2.

In my Twitter book Tweep-e-licious! I talked about a programme I used called Tweet Adder, which gave users the ability to set up queues of people they wanted to follow on Twitter. However, some months ago, due to repeated violations of Twitter’s terms of service, Tweet Adder went out of business. To say I was disappointed with the way the folks at Skootle (the company that owned Tweet Adder) communicated with their customers during these events would be a gross understatement. In fact, their lack of care for their customers made me sorry I had ever recommended them in the first place.

Since the demise of Tweet Adder, many of my clients and blog readers have written to me asking whether I’ve found an alternative software programme that can help them grow their Twitter audience. I am happy to say that I have. It’s called ManageFlitter.

I’ve been using ManageFlitter for all my clients’ Twitter accounts for almost a year now, and I have been extremely happy with the results. Every day, my clients’ followers are growing steadily at a healthy rate (i.e. one that is compliant with Twitter’s API). I am also impressed with the level of responsiveness ManageFlitter offers their customers (which, after my experiences with Tweet Adder, counts for a LOT). For these reasons, I now feel confident about recommending it as a product/service here.

Setting up ManageFlitter so it yields the results you want might be a bit of a challenge for some people. This article will provide you with a short tutorial on how to get the best from this programme, so you will see your Twitter account blossom with relevant, responsive new followers.

TRANSPARENCY: In this article, I am using my affiliate link (https://manageflitter.com/try/8Pxtwc6z) to ManageFlitter. This means I will earn a small commission if you happen to purchase their services after clicking my link. However, I am not an ‘affiliate marketer’ and I only ever use affiliate links for products I personally use and recommend without any ethical reservations.

The Logic Behind Finding Twitter Followers

Attracting and keeping the right kind of followers on Twitter happens as a result of four actions on your part:

  • You find and follow your ideal followers before they follow you.
  • You Tweet regularly.
  • Your Tweets share high-quality content (i.e. your blog articles) that are relevant to the interests of your followers.
  • You engage with your followers on a regular basis.

In this 2-part article series, we’ll be focusing on the first of these four actions. The reason for following your ideal followers before they follow you is simple:

Most active Twitter users are likely to follow you back if you follow them first.

Because we tend to follow back those who follow us, several software programmes in the past would follow back new followers for you automatically. However, over time, automated follow-backs became a nightmare as many of us found ourselves unintentionally following spammers, porn sites and all kinds of undesirables. That is why Twitter banned the use of automated following and unfollowing systems in 2012. The upside to this is that we now have greater control over who we want to follow, resulting in higher quality Twitter followers overall.

However, the DOWNSIDE is that manually following and unfollowing on Twitter takes time…a LOT of time…time that few busy business owners have. It also requires the ability to identify and filter exactly who you want to follow and unfollow without having to sift through hundreds of thousands of Twitter user profiles.

This is where ManageFlitter can help you.

Overview of Search Filters on ManageFlitter

ManageFlitter is essentially a highly sophisticated search engine. It enables you to search for people on Twitter that meet specific, detailed criteria. You define these criteria using ‘filters’. Once you have set the filters the way you want them, you save them as a ‘rule’. These rules can specify which people you want to follow on Twitter as well as those you want to stop following (‘unfollow’).

Some of the many filters you can specify on ManageFlitter include:

  • How recently someone has Tweeted
  • Whether or not the person is already following you, or has unfollowed or mentioned you
  • Their number of followers and/or people they are following
  • People who follow a specific person (or are followed by a specific person) on Twitter
  • Words appearing in a person’s Twitter bio
  • Words people have used in their Tweets
  • Whether they have a profile image or protected account
  • Whether they Tweet primarily in English
  • Whether they are likely to be offensive (i.e. porn) or have a high spam probability
  • The age of their account (i.e. how long they’ve been on Twitter)

The thing that makes ManageFlitter’s filters so powerful is the fact that they can be used in combination with each other. You can also set up multiple follow/unfollow rules, using different combinations of filters. This enables you to create extremely precise sets of rules for who you want to follow and/or unfollow on Twitter.

SIDENOTE: The one filter ManageFlitter does not yet have (but they told me it is something they are working on) is the ability to identify people on specific Twitter user lists. I anxiously await news of them including this in their search parameters in the near future.

Power Mode vs. Remote Account Management

The filters on ManageFlitter can be used two ways: via ‘Power Mode’ or ‘Remote Account Management’. The difference between these two options is simple, and depends on:

  • how much time YOU want to spend following/unfollowing people, and
  • how much money you are willing to pay someone else (i.e. ManageFlitter) to follow and unfollow people for you.

Power Mode is where you use ManageFlitter to set up your filters/rules and then click, click, click to ‘follow’ or ‘unfollow’ yourself. You can take advantage of this (with some limits on the number of actions you can perform) even with their free plan (click ‘Plans’ on their home page, and you can compare them).

However, if you’re like me and you really, really, REALLY don’t want to click all day (and your virtual assistant isn’t really that keen on it either), you can purchase what ManageFlitter calls ‘Remote Account Management’ or ‘RAM’. RAM is when you purchase a bundle of actions that ManageFlitter will perform for you.

Simply put, a ‘RAM action’ is a follow or unfollow applied to one of your Twitter accounts. For example, if you have one Twitter account and you want to follow 50 people a day, and unfollow up to 50 people a day, that would be up to 100 actions per day. I say ‘up to’ 100 actions because your ‘unfollow’ queue might not always contain 50 people you want to unfollow, while it is likely your ‘follow’ queue will (we’ll look at how to set these up in a minute). Over a 30-day month, you would need to pay for a maximum of 3,000 RAM actions on your account. Of course, if you have more than one account or require more actions, the number would be higher.

You could buy bundles of RAM actions ad hoc on one of ManageFlitter’s Pro account options, OR as a monthly subscription on their Business account options. For example, depending on my client load, I use either their Business Plan that enables me to manage 10 Twitter accounts with up to 40,000 RAM actions each month, or the one that allows me to have 20 Twitter accounts with 70,000 monthly RAM actions.

The good thing about the paid accounts on ManageFlitter is that they have no long-term contracts. They are pay-as-you-go and you may cancel at any time. You can also upgrade or downgrade your account between plans at any stage. This flexibility has proven to be handy for me whenever my client numbers increase or dip throughout the year.

IMPORTANT: Once you purchase RAM actions, they have to be used up within the next month and do not accumulate over time. So, it’s a good idea to log into your account every month and make sure you’re actually using all your purchased actions. We’ll look at this later in the article when we discuss how to set up your ‘follow/unfollow rate’.

Setting Up Your Rules – A 3-Step Process

Setting up your rules on ManageFlitter is a strategy. It requires some care and forethought in order to produce beneficial effects for your business. There are three fundamental sets of rules you will need to set up:

  1. Your rules for ‘unfollowing’ people you currently follow
  2. Your rules for ‘following back’ people who already follow you
  3. Your rules for following new people

Each of these sets of rules is a contributing factor in the efficacy of your Twitter. Today, we’ll look only at the first of these – your unfollow rules. Next time, in Part 2 of this series, we’ll look at the second two sets of rules, which define who you want to follow on Twitter.

SIDENOTE: It is also possible to set up rules for ‘blocking’ certain kinds of accounts from ever accidentally getting followed. I don’t tend to use this (I had one client who requested it), but it’s there if you need it.

STEP 1: Set Up Your ‘Unfollow’ Rules

To keep a nice, clean account, knowing who to STOP following on Twitter is just as important as knowing who to follow. For example, let’s say you want to declutter your account by unfollowing people who aren’t contributing much to your Twitter experience. You might set up various ‘unfollow’ rules that say you should unfollow everyone who:

  • has unfollowed you,
  • hasn’t Tweeted recently (e.g. in the past month), or
  • is someone you’ve been following for some time (e.g. one or two months), but who hasn’t followed you back.

Here’s a screen shot of THREE different follow rules I’ve set up on one of my client’s accounts:

Example of 'unfollow rules' on ManageFlitter
Each of these rules refreshes on a daily basis, thus keeping the information current (you will see the current numbers to the right of each rule when you log into your account). You then can either click on a rule, go through the results and manually unfollow all those who appear on that list, or you can purchase RAM actions from ManageFlitter so they can do this for you.

TIP: When you use RAM actions, ManageFlitter will go through each of your rules in the order in which they appear on your screen (you can easily move them up and down to reorder them). This way, you can prioritise the way you want the rules to be applied.

Coming Up Next Time

In Part 2 of this 2-part series on using ManageFlitter to grow your Twitter following, we’ll be looking at how (and why!) to set up your follow-back rules, as well as various ways to find relevant new people to follow on Twitter. I’ll share my best tips for finding potential followers through bio searches and Tweet searches, and show you how to ensure you don’t end up following ‘dead’ accounts or those that do not have the potential to follow you back. We’ll also be looking at using the ‘copy rule’ feature on ManageFlitter, and how to set up your rate limit, so it complies both with Twitter policy AND your marketing budget.

To be sure you find out about that article when it comes out in a few days, I invite to you subscribe to this blog via the form on the upper right side of this page (you can also subscribe by clicking this link).

Until then, if you are using (or trying to use) Twitter for your business, and feel you could use a little help, I encourage you to check out my free 90-minute Twitter audio class (based on ideas from my Twitter book Tweep-e-licious!), which you can find at http://tweepelicious.com.

If you feel you need a more personal level of support, we at the 7 Graces Project offer a 13-week Platform Building Package where we help you with your blogging AND your Twitter growth. We also have a stand-alone Twitter Growth Package where we manage your following/unfollowing as well as your Tweet posting. To read about our services, see our ‘Work With Us’ page here on the 7 Graces site. Then, when you’re ready, feel free to request a free 30-minute Skype chat to discuss how either of these packages could help your business by dropping us a short message via the contact form on this website.

Happy Tweeting!

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
6 November 2015

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

OR… US and UK readers can get this blog delivered DIRECTLY to your tablet, smartphone or Kindle device for $0.99 a month. Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LWU95X
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NhOmJU

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

 

 

Posted in 7 Key Relationships, Invitation, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, Platform Building Programme, Relationship with Audience, Relationship with Our Audience, Social Media, Tech Tips, Tweep-e-licious, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog Visitors – Just HOW Engaged Are Your Top 10%?

Blog Visitors - Just HOW Engaged Are Your Top 10%?

Pt 2 of ‘Blog Statistics – A Guide for Small Business Owners’. Lynn Serafinn shows how statistics can shed light on whether our readers like our blog content.

In Part 1 of this 2-part series on blog statistics, we looked at a few of the most fundamental types of statistics that can help you understand more about your blog, your content and your readers. If you missed Part 1, you can read it by clicking here.

In that article, we defined ‘visits’ (or ‘visitors’) vs. ‘unique visitors’, and took a look at page views and bounce rate. We discussed how it is not uncommon for the majority of your visits to be ‘bounces’, i.e. visits that resulted in only one page view before the visitor clicked away. Finally, we performed a few calculations and came to the conclusion that only 10-20% of your reading audience are likely to be engaged with your online content.

An ‘engaged’ reader is someone whose behaviour demonstrates a genuine interest in what they find on your blog. While there is no way to peer into people’s minds, what we can do is measure the amount of time people spend on our site and how many pages they read while they are there. Thus, in Part 2, we’ll be looking at the parameter ‘Time Spent on Site’ to see how the information it give us, in combination with the other statistics we’ve already explored, can provide us with a much more accurate picture of the success and breadth of our blog marketing efforts.

As in Part 1, the ideas in Part 2 are taken from a much more detailed discussion you’ll find in Chapter 16 of my book The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging (coming January 2016).

Time Spent on Site

As the term implies, this parameter measures the average time your readers spend on your website. This statistic can be one of the most informative, if not occasionally disconcerting! Why? Because studies have shown that, in this information-saturated world, people don’t tend to spend a particularly long time on a website – ever. Somewhat depressingly, one study looked at 2 billion visits across the web over the course of a month and found 55% of visitors spent fewer than 15 seconds on a page.1, 2, 3

If that makes you want to throw in the towel, it might be a consolation to know that this study mainly examined news sites, rather than content-driven blogs like yours. The point made, however, is valid:

Human beings tend to make snap judgements.

This truism does not merely apply to web browsing, but to our behaviour in general. In fact, author Malcolm Gladwell wrote an entire book, entitled Blink, on this very topic. While we might like to tell ourselves we are considerate and thoughtful entities, all human beings evaluate what is happening around them within seconds (or micro-seconds) of its occurrence. It doesn’t mean they won’t rethink their evaluation later; that’s where being ‘considerate and thoughtful’ enters the picture. But long before we reach that thoughtful stage, we’ve already made many measurements and judgements. This doesn’t mean humans are inevitably prone to bigotry, prejudice and close-mindedness; to the contrary, it means we are adaptable. The ability to make snap judgments has been vital to our survival as a species.

This is why I have always stressed the importance of having an effective blog title and including a ‘teaser’, summarising the article, at the beginning of every blog post. These two elements help your readers make a more accurate snap judgement. Without these elements, people might dismiss (and click away from) your article within those crucial first few seconds, solely on the basis that they cannot evaluate it. Rather than complain about this human tendency to judge, we have to learn how to work with it and make it easier for our readers to come to their own conclusions.

Different analytic tools will provide different levels of detail regarding the amount of time your readers have spent on your site. For example:

  • Alexa and Google Analytics give you only the average visit duration of all your visitors.
  • Piwik gives you the average visit duration, as well as the total time your visitors have spent on your site.
  • AWSTATS gives you the average visit duration time plus a detailed breakdown of how much time your visitors spent on your site. I have found this to be a fantastic resource that can provide you with a much better picture of how engaged your readers actually are.

Here is an example of an AWSTATS ‘visits duration’ table for this site back in 2014:

Number of visits: 476,576 – Average: 707 s Number of visits Percent
0s-30s 328,537 68.90%
30s-2mn 10,690 2.20%
2mn-5mn 8,864 1.80%
5mn-15mn 16,367 3.40%
15mn-30mn 20,360 4.20%
30mn-1h 42,112 8.80%
1h+ 49,517 10.30%
Unknown 129 0%

The ‘bounce rate’ for the site during this period was about 70%. That is consistent with the information we see in the first two rows, and possibly a portion of the third row. Things start to turn around in rows 4-7, as people who stay on the site for more than 5 minutes are likely to have viewed more than one page.

While the ‘bounce’ figures might seem really high, take a look at the people who stayed on the site for 30 minutes to an hour or more. You can safely assume that 20-25% of the visitors to this site do read the content. Not only do they read it, but they really read it. Clearly, these people are actively engaged.

The Shape of Our Stats

What I find so fascinating about these statistics is that they form an inverted curve:

Chart - Time Visitors Spent on Site

While perhaps not a true bell curve, it’s a curve nonetheless, with a dip after a sharp decline, and then a significant rise at the end. What is interesting is to see how the largest percentage of visitors are those whose opinion of the site is clearly obvious:

  • 70% are definitely disinterested (leaving the site within 30 seconds)
  • 25% are definitely interested (staying on the site for 15 minutes or longer)
  • Only about 5% could be classified as ambiguous or undecided, (staying on the site between 2 and 15 minutes)

To me, this demonstrates something I would call the ‘Marmite Factor’: most people either LOVE or HATE the site when they come to it.

Let’s look at these figures another way. If we ignore the 70% who are definitely disinterested – who are either spammers or people who are clearly disinterested and unlikely to return another day – and subtract them from our monthly total, we are left with a total of 137,349 visits. Of those 137,349 visits, 111,989 of them (about 82%) are comprised of people who stayed on the site for 15 minutes to over an hour. This shows that an overwhelming majority of people who actually READ our content are very engaged. In fact, among those engaged people, the LARGEST percentage of spent over an hour on the site.

In my eyes, if you’re a small business owner, WHO CARES if you have a 70% bounce rate when nearly 50,000 of your readers spend over an hour per visit to your site, and over 100,000 stay more than 15 minutes (and obviously read multiple articles while they are there)? The important thing is to maintain this level of high engagement, while steadily increasing your overall traffic.

Always remember:

Statistics aren’t just about quantity.
Their ultimate purpose is to help us understand the quality of your audience’s experience.

The Bigger Picture

I say this many times in Chapter 16 of The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: to understand your statistics in context, you have to watch how they change over time. Look for improvements in how they work together. For example, since these stats were taken, the bounce rate on our site has decreased by 4% and the average time on the site has increased to 2.33 minutes. Even if the quantity of visitors had not increased (which it did), it shows a significant improvement in the quality of audience engagement. Better engagement is a sign that we are reaching the right audience with the right content.

I hope these two articles have given you a new perspective on the value of statistics when it comes to blogging success. If you liked them, I invite you to register for a reminder for when The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging comes out in January 2016. When you do so, you’ll also get instant access to a free 5-page blog article template, with many tips to help you structure your blog articles so they become effective marketing pieces without actually marketing.

As always, I value your comments and questions about this article below, and invite you to drop me a line via the contact form on this site if you’re interested in working with us on any aspect of online marketing for your ethical business.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
2 October 2015

References

  1. Haile, Tony. 2014. ‘What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong’. Accessed 22 September 2015 from http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-web-is-wrong/
  2. Soskey, Ginny. 2014. ‘55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on Your Website. Should You Care?’ Accessed 22 September 2015 from http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/chartbeat-website-engagement-data-nj
  3. Haden, Jeff. 2014. ‘2 Web Metrics You Should Be Watching All the Time. What’s more important: average session length or repeat visitor ratio?’ Accessed 22 September 2015 from http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/web-metrics-average-session-length-vs-repeat-visitor-ratio.html

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

OR… US and UK readers can get this blog delivered DIRECTLY to your tablet, smartphone or Kindle device for $0.99 a month. Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LWU95X
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NhOmJU

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing Jan 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

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