December 19, 2014

Four ways to create more fans from your content (without creating more!)

4 Ways to Create More Fans from your ContentHere’s a depressing fact: too many creators leave their content to languish on their website, alone and forgotten.

And once, it’s published, they never. look. at. it. again.

Noooo! Don’t abandon your brilliant creations, just because you finished them a week ago. Only the tiniest fraction of people have actually seen that piece of content. You must share it, repeatedly.

You owe it to us.

Here are four simple, but powerful ways to get more readers, viewers and fans for your message:

1. Put it where there are already lots of eyeballs.

Sounds obvious, right? But a surprising number of people with great content think that they can only publish on their own website, their own YouTube channel, or their own email newsletter.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

There are millions of site owners who’re scrambling for material and would be delighted to publish something from you.

So instead of hoarding your mind magic, polish it and publish it on a more popular website as a guest post.

Or, as an article in a colleague or association’s newsletter. Or in a trade magazine.

Publish it on LinkedIn.

(Bonus: When you’ve been published somewhere else, you get the credibility boost of being ‘As seen in.’)

2. Get more eyeballs (traffic) to your website.

This one takes more work on your part, because you’re trying to expand an audience, rather than getting your message in front of one that’s already established. But you can do it!

There are the obvious tools. I’m talking about social media:

  • Tweet about it, with a link.
  • Post a link on Facebook.
  • LinkedIn Status update – write an interest-piquing update and link to your post or article.
  • Share it in LinkedIn groups.
  • Post an image on Instagram and write the link in the caption.
  • Share it on Google +.
  • Pin it on Pinterest.

Don’t forget to ask people to share it! Twice as many people will, just because you made the ask.

3. Promote it more.

Re-promote your content after it’s been published. Some small and solo businesses believe that once a blog post, article or other content has been published, it’s old news and everyone has seen it.

Not true! Only a tiny section of your audience actually noticed your gem. And if you don’t promote it, most of the people who need to see it will miss out. *Sad face.*

We tire of our marketing loooong before anyone else does. Fact.

Derek Halpern, blogging expert and founder of SocialTriggers.com, talks about the 80/20 rule:

“Here’s the truth:

It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more.

Or, in other words, create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created.” [http://socialtriggers.com/80-20-blog-building/]

If only a few people have seen it and there are hundreds/thousands/millions who would love it, let them know that it exists! Perhaps a mention and a link?

  • If you regularly only post it on your website, send it via email to your friends and fans.
  • Add it to your newsletter: include links to your 3 most recent posts, your most popular posts over the last year or of all time.
  • Send it to strategic partners who’d be interested. (Let other people grab eyeballs for you.)
  • Find interested affinity groups (groups of people who share a common interest or occupation) and email a link to their leaders, accompanied by a gracious, helpful message.

4. Re-purpose. Re-purpose. Re-purpose.

Reap the dividend of your intellectual and time investment, people. Get your content out there in different forms. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really much less than constantly creating new content from scratch.

Think about it: individuals have different preferences for how they absorb information. When you offer yours in different formats, you’re able to reach a broader audience.

Just what could you do with a single piece of content? Check this out:

Let’s say that you give a presentation. And you’ve put a pile of hours into preparing that, right? Don’t let it languish, with your brilliant ideas only heard once by the captive crowd.

Starting with your presentation slides, you can:

  • Upload them to Slideshare.
  • Embed the Slideshare viewer on your website so visitors can enjoy those babies.
  • Add it to your LinkedIn profile (LinkedIn owns Slideshare, so those two platforms play together like BFFs.)
  • Write a blog post around it. I like to use the Slideshare embed code, then add an opening and closing paragraph, as well as a few bullets. Bada bing, bada boom, done.
  • If your presentations are big on visuals but light on text (ahem, which they totally should be!) you can make your message less cryptic by adding your talking points on new slides. Voila, you’ve got yourself an ebook!

Want to get really fancy? (It’s actually easy-peasy, but you don’t have to let your fans know that.)

  • Record yourself giving your presentation using a free tool like Audacity or Apple’s Garage Band and you’ve got a podcast or Soundcloud file you can post on your website.
  • Use Google’s free Hangouts tool to create a video recording of you, delivering your material. (You can even share your screen to show slides! Plus, it’s automatically on YouTube, the third largest search engine in da world.)
  • Take snippets from your presentation and post them to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ using a visual quote maker, like Recite, Quozio, Pinstamatic, Pinwords, or Share as Image. (Visuals more eyeballs than plain text, yo.)

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

This week (and maybe next!), do not create one thing from scratch. Instead dig into your digital archives and get your content in front of more eyeballs. Pick one idea from the list and MAKE IT HAPPEN. You’ve totally got this.

The surprisingly simple secret to getting noticed

Want the secret to success and happiness? Want to know how to stand out in the crowd? (Spoiler alert: It’s a major part of becoming famous in your field.)

It comes down to this:

Know your strengths. Show your strengths. Believe in your value.

Boy playing with pilot´s hat and cloudy background

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin

You may already know your own strengths. Or you may not recognize them and believe that your unique abilities are available to the general population, something everyone has.

Not true. Inside you, there are special talents that others covet.

Want to uncover your special skillz?

I’ve got two resources you’re gonna love, people!

VIA Survey

VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS), formerly known as the “Values in Action Inventory,” is a psychological assessment measure designed to identify an individual’s profile of character strengths.

The VIA-IS is comprised of 24 character strengths. Each of us have our combination of these strengths that make up our own unique profiles. It’s your secret sauce, yo.

Know your character strengths with the VIA Survey

Know your character strengths with the VIA Survey

“The strengths are universally valued, encompass our capacities for helping ourselves and others and produce positive effects when we express them. Knowing your constellation of character strengths is the first step towards living a happier, more authentic life.” ~VIA Institute on Character

(You can take the FREE VIA Survey here.)

Strengthfinders

The good people at Gallup (yup, that Gallup) created an online test that uncovers a person’s natural talents. The “father of strengths-based psychology”, Donald Clifton developed the Strengthfinders on the idea that every one of us has natural talents.

Discover your innate talents with the StrengthFinder test.

Discover your innate talents with the StrengthFinder test.

“From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.”

The message of Strengthfinders is to flip that formula! When you know your natural, in-born talents, you can focus on doing what you do best. Every. Damn. Day.

What’s funny is that you may not even recognize some of your own talents as strengths. You take them for granted, because they come so easily to you.

My own BFF helped me to recognize something I do naturally as a talent that other people value. My top strength on Strengthfinders is INPUT. (Sounds totally lame, right? I thought so.)

It means that I’m inquisitive. A collector of information.

But when I read this in the Strengthfinders 2.0 book, I got chills:

“You might naturally be an exceptional repository of facts, data and ideas. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to position yourself as an expert. By simply following your Input talents, you could become known as the authority in your field.”

YES, PLEASE.

And it explained why I love to help people become known as leaders and experts in their industry.

It’s the same for you: whether you’re self employed or working within a business or non-profit, you have unique talents that you can leverage. You just have to discover them.

Knowing (and using) your special strengths has three powerful benefits:

1. You stand out from the crowd.

“No one is you and that is your power.” Dave Grohl. Philosopher. Foo Fighter.

Get on Dave’s level, please! When you recognize, use, and OWN your strengths (and by “own”, I mean letting other people know about them), you become distinctive.

2. You are more effective.

When you shift your work to suit your talents, your performance improves. We’ve all struggled to perform tasks that we’re not just not good at…and it sucks. But when we work from our natural strengths and talents, time flies, and we become energized. Work is a joy.

3. You are more confident. 

Confidence is believing that you can do something. It’s what spurs you into action.

Confidence comes from playing to your distinctive strengths and values. And you want to do everything you can to boost your confidence levels because studies show that confidence trumps IQ when it comes to predicting success.

Your fame boosting assignment

Take both these tests to uncover your unique combination of strengths. The VIA-IS is free, but the Strengthfinders 2.0 test requires a special code that you get when you purchase a book. Believe me, the $15 bucks or so that it costs is totally worth it!

Knowing your one-of-a-kind brand of awesome will fire you up with confidence and energy, attracting followers and fans like a magnet. Time to unleash your special kind of magic, friends.

Three ways to make your audience fall in love with you

“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and, lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.”

Alexander Gregg

Famous in your field tip: 3 ways to make your audience fall in love with you

Famous in your field tip: 3 ways to make your audience fall in love with you

What do we tend to focus on most as a speaker? Our material. What to say, how to say it.

But the reality is, before you can send your message, you first have to establish a connection with your audience. Here are three ways to create a bond with your future fans:

1. Get to it. 

Cut the corporate speak.

DO NOT start out by telling the audience “a little about your company.”

(You’ve heard this at the opening of many a presentation…”Before I get started with today’s presentation, I want to tell you a little bit about [company name.] We were founded X years ago. We’re a full-service [business type], located right here in [city name], we specialize in [laundry list of service offerings.] Ughhh.)

What kind of harm can this do? More than you think!

When you fail engage your audience at the beginning, they mentally ‘check out’ until you get to something relevant to them. But the big risk is that they become so absorbed in their email inbox/Twitter feed/text chat at the beginning of your talk, they never engage with you. You’ve lost them forever. *Sad face.*

Your audience wants to be educated and entertained. Get into the good stuff right away.

Here are a few stellar ways to get started:

  • Tell a story that’s concrete and real-world. (Not real as in exactly how it happened to you; real as in ‘could potentially happen in real life, but some of the details are altered/eliminated to make it work better in the presentation.’)
  • Ask a question.
  • Introduce a problem
  • Share a quote or a statistic

2. Stick to three points

I know that you’ve got mountains of material and you are so damned excited to share it all with your audience that you exhaust and overwhelm them. (I may or may not be speaking from experience here.)

It’s natural to want to share all your good stuff and to feel as though you are cheating the audience by not downloading every. single. thing. you know to them.

But I want you to flip that thinking.

Your audience doesn’t know as much about your topic as you do, and it’s your duty to give them only what they can reasonable remember and put to use immediately.

Realizing this has been painful to me. When I’m speaking, I’m so eager to give people every strategy, tool and trick in the book, I nearly leap out of my skin. C’mon, I think, “I can give them a framework, proof that it works through my stories, a list of the can’t miss resources, and a litany of mistakes to avoid.”

Ahhhhhhhh! Audience overload!

The way that I’ve reshaped my talks is to think of my major premise.

Then, I talk about the three elements of the famous in your field process. Instead of packing the talk with information about my three elements, I’m using more stories and a few targeted exercises for them to get emotionally involved and get a result on the spot.

I’m slashing the material with a machete. (Even though it hurts me. Bad.)

Here’s a quick tip:

Save most of your advanced information for the Q & A session. Someone who already has a strong foundation in your topic will likely ask a question and you can wow that person an answer that’s appropriate to his or her level of knowledge, while subtly letting your audience know that you’ve got advanced level material, too.

3. Watch what works.

During your talk, pay attention to your audience and notice what they respond to.

Did you get unexpected guffaws from a throwaway line? Add that to your stash to use next time, too!

Is that dude in the back smiling and nodding along with you or did he pick up his phone to text today’s lunch plans with his friends?

If you see the tops of heads, inject a little energy by asking the audience to do something:

“Raise your hand if you’ve ever [something that relates to your next point.]”

“Say the first word that pops into your head when you think about [something related to your topic.]”

The best outcome of using these audience engagement exercises is that once the audience members realize that you are going to be engaging them, they remain involved, anticipating the next exercise.

Your fame boosting assignment:

Like a lot of public speaking advice, these tips are solid gold for networking events, company or client meetings and everyday conversations, too.

Pick just of one these tips and put it to work today! Board room or ballroom, it’s up to you to steal the show. Where ever you go.

How to get published when you aren’t famous (yet)

Wondering how to get published so you can be known? And do you really have to be almost famous first?

Celebrity, photographers 2

I’ve been getting fantastic questions from new A-Listers, which makes me sooo happy. Today’s is pure gold, because so many of us who want to be famous in our field wrestle with this chicken-and-egg syndrome.

Denise says:

I am trying to get my works published and I keep being told that I need to become known first. Others tell me that before I can be known, I need to be published. Which is more important?

I hear you, Denise. The hardest part about publishing usually isn’t the actual writing, it’s getting our work onto the sites and publications we covet.

(And book publishing? It’s h-a-r-d to get a traditional publisher to sign a new author. Typically, publishers look for well known names, celebrities, CEOs and people who’ve built a platform. Numbers vary, but I’ve heard book “coaches” suggest that 20,000 combined followers from social media and email subscribers is the minimum a traditional publisher will consider.

Plus, you’ll do the marketing, not the publisher, so don’t think of a publisher as a fairy god mother who’s magic wand will wave all your marketing woes away. Buzz kill over.)

Here are three ways to get published before you become known:

1. Start small

Publish locally or in a niche, like a trade magazine. Trade magazines (industry-focused publications) and local newspapers both struggle to produce content with limited resources, and often welcome help from experts like you.

2. Be your own publisher.

Write for your own blog.

Guest blog for other websites.

Why? Because editors need to see examples of your ideas and your writing. It reduces their risk by showing that you’re credible and a good communicator.

Plus, it lets you hone your ideas and material. You know your topic even better once you’ve explained it to someone else, in writing.

3. Get onto the big sites through the “back door.” 

Have you dreamed of seeing your name as an author on big name websites like Huffington Post or Forbes.com?

It can boost your fame factor like nothing else:

A study from Nielsen, shows that expert content—credible, third-party articles (earned media)—is the most effective source of information in impacting consumers along all stages of the purchase process across product categories. (Source: Chad Pollitt, via LinkedIn)

To put it plainly, people trust what they read when it’s on a reputable website or in a magazine. 

The best part is, it can be easier than you think to get your name next to the business celebrities on Forbes, CNN, LifeHacker and Business Insider.

A number of the most popular sites on the web are also what are called aggregator sites. This means that they post articles from contributing websites on their site. (That’s what’s called syndication, in the media biz.)

Here’s what that looks like, in the wild of the interwebs:

Forbes_Search

Notice what’s circled? This article was contributed from another site, YEC Women. If you click on YEC Women, you’ll see this bio:

YEC Women contributor bio for Forbes

YEC Women syndicates articles to the Forbes.com website. And this is good news for you, because it’s often easier to get published on a contributing site.

Now, let’s reverse engineer this, baby!

On the Forbes.com website, you can cruise the various articles, or use the search function to find articles in your area of expertise.

Searching “Small business”, I found articles contributed by:

  • Next Avenue
  • NewTek, the Small Business Authority
  • My Say
  • Quora
  • HBS Working Knowledge
  • Capital Flows

Then, I headed over to the Next Avenue website to do a little digging. It turns out that NextAvenue.org is a website focused on active and engaged seniors. The site’s tagline is, “Where grownups keep growing.”

In the Contact area of the website, there’s a form to send a story idea, article or resource. Boom! Slow clap, fist bump, etc.

Your fame boosting assignment:

Pick one of the three approaches – local/trade magazine, your own website or going through the back door – and spend the next 10 minutes making it happen. Now you’re on your way to turning that signature into an autograph!

Your surefire cure for the “I don’t know what to say” blues

Do you struggle to come up with new ideas on the reg?

You’re out there every day, trying to build your fame factor and doing valuable work. Generating a stream of new ideas is one more chore you don’t need.

I hear you.

The grind of creating content can tucker an A Lister out. (“Tuckered out” is a phrase straight from my Granny Nash. Weave it into a conversation today and watch people tilt their head and mouth “awww” at you.)

That’s why I want to let you in on a fun – and free! – tool you can use to spark ideas, create headlines and inject a little humor while you’re sharing your expertise.

It’s called Portent’s Content Idea Generator. You’re going to like this one, people.

Content_Idea_Generator_-_Portent

Portent is the brainchild of Portent, Inc., a digital marketing agency that’s worked with brands you love, like Kate Spade and Getty Images.

How it works

The way the Portent Content Idea Generator works is dead simple. You just log onto the website and enter your subject into the field. And boom! Out comes a title.

Don’t like the first one you see? Click the reload icon to ditch it and get another one! Let’s look at all the genius ways that you can use this tool:

  • Try it for generating speech ideas
  • Or presentation titles
  • Or blog posts that people actually read
  • Or articles (on line and in print)
  • Or webinar topics

For fun, I put “public speaking” into Portent. And here’s what I got:

“The 7 biggest public speaking blunders.”
“Who really uses public speaking”
“Why public speaking ain’t as good as it used to be”
“The unconventional guide to public speaking”
“How public speaking can get you your heart’s desire.”

So. Much. Goodness.

Watch Portent in action

Test topic #1 – taxes

If you are a money expert (accountant, business coach, —) and you wanted to offer advice to young people just starting out, you might be tempted to write articles or title your talks things like, “Top 10 Money Mistakes Millennial Women Make.”

And that’s not bad. Not bad at all.

But when I plugged the word “taxes” into Portent,  it spit back this gem, “What Jezebel should write about taxes.”

Now I’ve get something with a bit more sizzle. (If you’re not in the know, Jezebel is a website aimed at women’s interests, under the tagline “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing.” It’s fun. It’s sassy. It’s snarky.)

By using Jezebel in the title, I’d already capture the target audience’s (Millennial women) interest, along with other readers sucked in by curiosity at the mention of Jezebel.

Topic #2 – Business

I plugged “numbers” into the topic field. (It’s a nice generic term.) Business experts often throw this topic around. It’s the subject of articles, book chapters and speeches.

Portent Content Generator

“When your numbers send you running for cover.”

This topic idea is solid gold! It gives you a framework to lay out what kinds of number problems send you running for cover and WHAT TO DO when your numbers send you running for cover (hint: contact you, the expert for help.)

Just for fun, I clicked the reload button and got this:

Portent 5

“Why small businesses are scarier than Tyra Banks.”

(I had to include this one just for the “Smize, bitches” comment.)

Soooo much good stuff to work with here! Instead of the same ‘ol spouting of stats about how many businesses fail, you can inject humor. Comparing it to a reality TV competition like America’s Next Top Model is the perfect way to make some scary business realities interesting and relatable, not preachy.

Use with caution

Portent’s isn’t foolproof “out of the box” every time. You can get some clunkers, like “How Meditation Changed How We Think About Death.” Meh.

Portent also gives a few pointers for when the words just don’t sound right:

Portent Content Idea Generator: For Best Results tips

Your fame boosting assignment:

Put this tool to work. Pick a topic that you could write or speak about and come up with a list of five ideas you love. It’s time for you to get found in the crowd!

These 3 simple questions will improve your outcome in any situation

Lauren works in the tech sector and is launching a speaking career on the side. Her speaking topic is red hot right now, popping up in the media daily.

Famous in your field: ask yourself these 3 questions

Famous in your field: ask yourself these 3 questions to improve the outcome in any situation

But when Lauren speaks, she gets a lukewarm response, not the rave reviews she’d like. She knows that she’s one of the leading experts in her field, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference to the audience.

It’s a situation I see over and over, across professionals, authors, speakers and entrepreneurs. They have great information – ideas and topics that interest people – but these would-be leaders just don’t make the impact they want. 

Here’s the bottom line:

You can work day and night on your content.

You can polish the words of your speech until they sparkle.

You can agonize over each syllable in that magazine article or blog post.

You can spend hours carefully crafting each minute on that meeting agenda.

But information alone won’t move hearts and minds. It can still fall flat.

Some of the smartest people on the planet can’t keep an audience of one interested for 60 seconds. And what happens? No one listens to them. The real tragedy is that their brilliance doesn’t impact anyone else.

What can you do to guarantee a better outcome, to have more impact, in whatever you’re pursuing?

It’s simple. Before you go into any situation, ask yourself three powerful questions:

1. What’s my energy level?

2. What do I want to make sure happens here?

3. How do I want that other person/audience/reader to feel?

Let’s take each of these questions, one by one, to see why the heck they pack such a powerful punch.

1. What’s my energy level?

A truly ridiculous amount of your success in life is determined by your energy. Fact.

And no, I don’t mean whether you run or do Crossfit. I’m talking about the energy you give off during interactions. Energy in this sense boils down to how focused you are on the people you’re interacting with and what is happening in that moment.

When you’re distracted, or multitasking or carrying mental baggage from this morning’s minor road rage incident, your energy isn’t working for you.

I know, it sounds a little woo woo, but stay with me here! Energy – good or bad –  is something that even the most left-brained among us respond to (even when we’re not aware of it!)

Think about it…isn’t there someone you know, who, just by being in his or her presence, makes you feel smarter, taller and better looking?

And then someone else who makes you feel exhausted every time you interact with them? That’s energy, baby!

And before you start ranting to yourself, “I’m not one of those loud, chirpy, manic people,” hold up! Energy doesn’t mean someone who’s boisterous and effusive. Energy can be quiet and intense, or calm and soothing.

It’s about being 100% engaged in what you are doing and who you’re with.

2. What do I want to leave the audience with?

This question is pure genius, no matter what situation you’re going into. And it works, even if your audience is one.

Here’s why: asking myself what I want to leave the audience with forces me narrow all my wide ranging ambitions and decide What’s Most Important. And then to structure everything else to meet those goals.

It’s easy to get distracted by details…the specific words you’ll use in your presentation or making d@$%@% sure your coworker doesn’t outtalk you during this morning’s meeting.

But the danger is that you lose sight of your bigger goal. That’s why it’s important to focus on what you want to leave your audience with – what’s the big idea?

When you focus on the big idea, you’ll think and act at a higher level. You won’t be distracted by things that don’t matter.

3. How do I want them to feel?

The most popular speakers and the most beloved leaders share something in common. It’s not that they say the most brilliant things. It’s that they make other people feel brilliant.

When you focus on how you want your audience to feel, rather than simply talking at them, you’ll make a bigger impact. And when you make others feel good, you’ll share much stronger connection. They will have a much more pleasurable association with you or your business.

Take your cue from Apple, which boasts the most profitable retail stores in the world. And all because they designed their entire experience around the question, “How do we want customers to feel when they walk into the store?”

Your fame boosting assignment:

Ask yourself these three questions when you’re prepping for a big presentation or speaking engagement.

And ask yourself these questions when you’re creating an agenda for an upcoming meeting.

And – sorry for blowing your mind here – ask yourself these questions when you’re just going to meet someone for coffee.

Today, pick one interaction and ask yourself these three questions. BOOM, you’re done! How easy was that? Fist bump, slow clap, etc.

Anatomy of a great LinkedIn publisher post: steal these 7 killer elements

Months ago LinkedIn opened its Publisher platform beyond the small group of big-name Influencers. Publishing on LinkedIn can be a total game changer, but only when you do it right.

So, let’s look at someone who’s definitely doin’ it right.

It’s career expert, J.T. O’Donnell and she’s got all the right junk in all the right places (LinkedIn-wise!)

Famous in your field tip: anatomy of a great LinkedIn Publisher post

Want to create LinkedIn Publisher posts that build your fame factor? Follow these tips!

(Wanna see the actual post on LinkedIn? Click here.)

Published back in June 2014, this baby has gotten some eyeballs.

Over 700,000 views

Over 2000 likes

Over one thousand comments. (And they’re still pouring in!)

This post is building the author’s fame factor 24/7 because:

  • It includes internal links within the post to relevant posts and pages on her website.
  • It has a call to action to Follow her and visit her website to solve specific problems.
  • It includes her book and a link to buy it.

Let’s break down the individual elements of this superstar LinkedIn post:

1. “Read me NOW” title.

5 Reasons You May Not Want to Work for Google

This one hits so many hot buttons:

  • It includes a number. (We loves our numbered lists.)
  • It’s counterintuitive (what? Why wouldn’t I want to work at Google? I must know now!)
  • It uses a well-known name (Google, duh.)

2. Easy-on-the-eyes layout

The article itself is clear and organized. It uses lots of short paragraphs, with some bold subheads mixed in, for variety.

And content-wise, it’s a winner. After explaining her five reasons, she offers advice on what to do instead. That gives the reader a concrete action, beyond just bursting their lifelong fantasy of joining the Googleplex.

But look toward the end of her post. This is where brilliant marketing (and fame boosting) comes on like a freight train…

3. She includes links to relevant posts on her own site.

And mixes advice with a subtle – and relevant – offer.

“Just a friendly reminder: don’t start networking with your Interview Bucket List until you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile.”

Follow that enticing blue text and you’ll end up on her website where she (surprise, surprise, surprise) offers a paid service optimize your LinkedIn profile. Genius!

4. Tell the reader what to do next. 

She asks for comments with a specific question. (People are more likely to comment in response to a specific prompt, rather than a generic request to comment.)

5. Entice the reader to connect with you

This post could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. When you publish on LinkedIn, encourage readers to follow you. And invite them into your home on the web.

Invite your readers to get more of your good stuff.

Invite your readers to get more of your good stuff.

See how J.T. invites the reader to follow her on LinkedIn and lists two other links to her website? Do that.

6. Demonstrate credibility

Ready for more magic? Check out how J.T. shows an image of her book (with a link to Amazon, natch) along with a subtle promo for it. She knows that being a published author gives her credibility as a career expert.

LinkedIn Publisher Post 3

7. Offer free resources

At the end of the post, J.T. clearly tells readers how to connect with her on LinkedIn, plus puts it right out there that she isn’t available for free consulting. (Which is a smart timesaver!)

Then, she closes with a link to the free resources on her website. Brilliant.


Your fame boosting assignment:

If you’ve been invited to publish on LinkedIn, steal these fame-boosting ideas and let your post make you famous on Google!

And if you’re still waiting on your invite to publish on LinkedIn, guess what? These tips are perfect for blog posts on your own website, too. Start sprinkling some of your magic on us, superstar.

Unlock your super powers: why what you know is less important than who you are

SuperpowerFIYFWhen it comes to being famous in your field, your personal brand matters more than you know.

When I talk with future A-Listers, I hear two objections over and over.

1. I can’t become famous in my field until after I…

Or:

2. I can’t be well known as the expert on [topic] because someone else already is that expert.

Let’s tackle Objection #1.

This is one particularly plagues those in a technical or knowledge-based industries, like information technology, engineering, architecture, and law. These stars-in-the-making spend too much time and energy waiting “until they know more.”

Recognize any of these symptoms?

“…after I take this program on x.”

“…when I know more about my topic, I’ll…”

“I really need to have two more years experience and then I can [go for my big dream/do what I want/call myself a leader or an expert.]”

Don’t get me wrong. You’ve gotta know your stuff.

But when you see “knowing the most” as the only way to stand out, you’ve set yourself an impossible challenge. Because there will always be someone who started before you did, knows more than you do, and there will ALWAYS be more information to learn.

Your super power is the ability to explain things simply and put your ideas in a framework that works for your audience. That’s what people want and need – for you to be their “easy button.”

And now to Objection #2, or what I like to call the “that seat’s taken” syndrome.

Wondering if you might be suffering from this syndrome? There’s really one dead giveaway:

You don’t pursue opportunities to share your ideas about the subject you’re most passionate because you believe that the big name gurus already “own” the topic or that it’s already been said.

If that were true, we’d only have one Italian restaurant, one shoe store – *gasp*, one song…you get the idea.

So what does matter?

Instead of knowing the most, or believing that it’s all been said, focus on sharing your information and your ideas from your perspective.

It comes down to two things:

1. Your personal brand

2. Your point of view

Your perspective and your framework are valuable in the marketplace. There’s no new information. Only new ways of saying it, conveying it.

And there’s someone out there struggling, stressing until they hear it from YOU. Your language. Your way.

Never be afraid of disagreeing with the conventional wisdom on your topic.

Inspiration time! Here are two examples of the same ideas and information being shared in entirely different ways. (Hint: it’s all about personal brand and point of view.)

Message: Women should be ambitious and ask for what they want.

Messenger A: Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In movement.

Source: SheKnows.com

Source: SheKnows.com

The Lean In message encourages women to believe in themselves, be ambitious, and take the lead, rather than waiting to be noticed for good work. Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, first shared her message in a 2010 TED talk that boasts 4.6 million views.

Messenger B: Alex Hayden Hernandez and the #BossBabe movement.

Source: Instagram/BossBabe.Inc

Source: Instagram/BossBabe.Inc

Since launching six months ago, the #BossBabe movement has racked up more than 30,000 followers, mainly through its Instagram account, which combines Beyonce worship with business savvy advice.

At the core, the #BossBabe message looks a lot like Lean In. BossBase followers are urged to dream big, have confidence in themselves and to ask for what they want.

The difference is in the movement’s brand and the perspective. Lean In is earnest, corporate and professional. #BossBabe is sassy and sharp, with an urban vibe. The Instagram description is, “A digital girl gang of badass, sexy, millennial established & aspiring business women.”

Example #2

The world isn’t short of people giving personal finance advice. Names like Suzy Orman, Jean Chatzky and Jim Cramer pop into your brain before you can say, “Mutual fund!” Here are two guys who’ve built empires teaching people to become better at money.

Message: Become financially savvy, so that you enjoy a great future.

Messenger A: Dave Ramsey

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

Ramsey preaches a radical solution to debt problems. Create a budget, cut up your credit cards, pay cash for everything and be frugal for your long-term financial security.

Messenger B: Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich

Source: Forbes.com

Source: Forbes.com

Ramit’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich approach to financial management is even more radical, when you consider the conventional wisdom: scrimp and cut out daily luxuries to build your financial future.

Sethi’s philosophy is that you can live a rich life by automating the big things that impact your financial situation so that you can really enjoy the smaller things that give you pleasure, like lattes, $200 jeans and drinks with friends.

Ramsey’s work reflects his Christian perspective.

Sethi calls himself “your Surrogate Asian Father” and boasts about his magnificent eyebrows.

Bottom line? Both are strong advocates for financial education, but they have very different personal brands and points of view.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Stop “waiting until” and start taking action on your big ideas today!

Contrarian advice or approach? Don’t bury it, bring it!

This week, think of three ways that you can inject more of your personal brand and point of view into your business. There’s a crowd out there, just waiting for YOU to hit the stage.

6 ways to make money as a speaker

6waySpeakerIf you hang around at public speaking seminars, in forums and LinkedIn groups, there’s one question you hear over and over:

“How can I get paid for speaking?”

Starry-eyed speakers dream about becoming a millionaire-speaker, gracing stages across the country.

Traveling via limo from one awe struck audience to another (fresh from a bouncy blow out or hot shave backstage, natch.) Like 80s supermodel Linda Evangelista, they won’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.

The reality? Slightly less glamorous.

Corporations and event organizers have felt the recession squeeze and cut speaker’s budgets to keep their events in the black. Professionals are staying home, rather than enjoying company-funded junkets like the good old days.

Here’s a more likely picture of today’s professional speaker: schlepping a pull cart full of materials from one Radisson ball room to the next, earning fees that work out to slightly less than minimum wage when you include travel and prep time.

But don’t despair! These challenges mean that you might have to get a little creative in order to make bank as a public speaker.

Here are six ways to get paid for speaking:

1. Charge a fee.

Pretty straightforward, right? Set a fee for your time and get it.

For a lucky few, this is reality. Event organizers and corporate contacts already know your reputation and are willing to pay to have you share your message with their audience.

The reason this is challenging for many speakers is that conference organizers reserve the five figure fees for the keynoter – a well-known name (New York Times bestselling author, former athlete, political figure, CEO.) These headliners are expected to draw attendees, based on their name and reputation alone.

The breakout session speakers get paid in “exposure.”

To get a fee for speaking, you have to build a reputation as someone who delivers strong value during your sessions (testimonials and referrals required, people!)

Then, find the organizations that pay speakers. (Psst, here’s a list of ways to find speaking opportunities.)

2. Get a company to sponsor you. 

Sponsorship is a way for companies to get their name and message in front of a very targeted audience.

You provide the content, the sponsoring organization pays your fee – everybody wins!

3. Speak for free and “enroll” audience members into your marketing funnel, where you’ll eventually sell your services.

This is the approach that consulting firms and bigger ticket service providers tend to take. If you’ve signed up for a webinar sponsored by, say a webinar service like Citrix, you know that sooner or later a sales representative will call you to ask about your webinar service needs.

You can do this, too. But to make it work, you have to have a solid system for follow up. It’s most effective when you have a bigger ticket offering, because it may take weeks or months to get a new client from the event.

Savvy organizations use speaking as part of their long term strategy. Having company representatives speaking at meetings and conferences promotes the company’s name and image and keeps it top of mind for potential buyers.

4. Sell services from the stage.

If you sell a service, whether it’s consulting, coaching, website design, accounting or legal advice, you can make an offer to the audience.

A colleague who’s a fantastic speaker does something super simple: at the end of her speaking sessions, she makes a very low key offer (it’s delivered in 60 seconds or less) for a discounted coaching session.

The offer expires at the end of the event, creating urgency. She typically gets 5 to 15 takers, depending on the size of the event, which makes speaking profitable and it brings people more deeply into her message and her business.

5. Sell a book.

A book is that magical tool that does double duty: being a published author helps you snag the speaking engagement in the first place and provides you an income boost after you speak.

When audience members get value from hearing you speak, they want to extend that experience by taking a little piece of you home with them.

6. Sell a product.

No doubt you’ve heard a speaker give a talk and then offer a training program on six CDs. This happens most frequently in the motivational and personal development worlds, but don’t rule it out for your topic. Whatever you do, you can create a product that will help audience members who want to learn more.

Maybe it’s a guide, a set of checklists, an interview series or a training that goes deeper into your area of expertise. There’s no better time for a person to buy than when they’ve just heard you speak.

What’s the best choice for you?

Here’s the answer we all hate: it depends.

On you.
What your business or movement offers.
What you have created or can create.
What’s comfortable for you.

My advice is to give yourself options and be flexible. You may not be able to sell your products at an event, but you can find a way to collect information and follow up (immediately!) afterward. You do you.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Go through this list and pick one way that you’ll make money as a speaker.

Think through the steps, and make a list of what you’ll need in order to put that option into action.

Then step onto the stage, superstar. Your fans are waiting.

Want to jump start your public speaking? Start here.

The no cost tool that gives you an unfair fame advantage

When you’re busy becoming famous in your field, you should use all the shortcuts you can find.

Why spend hours creating blog posts, videos, podcasts and newsletter content that languishes, alone and ignored?

It’s a beast to get your message to the masses if you don’t have the speaking gigs lined up.

And getting the attention of someone who’s already talking to the audience you want to reach? Priceless.

Luckily for you, future A-Lister, you can find out what’s popular, where the speaking opportunities are and who’s already talking to your perfect peeps. All in 10 minutes or less. For free. 

And free is always a beautiful thing.

This little miracle is BuzzSumo.com, a service that’s so good, I wanted to keep it all to myself. Just like online marketing expert, Larry Kim said:

I was initially a little reluctant to write this review, because BuzzSumo has become nothing short of my secret weapon when it comes to keeping on top of what’s going on in our industry. 

Here are three ways to use BuzzSumo to boost your fame factor:

1. Find the most popular topics

If you pump out content on the reg, you might find yourself struggling for something new to cover on your blogs, videos or podcast episodes. That’s where BuzzSumo can help.

Type your topic in the search box.

You can filter by type (handy!) which separates articles, infographics, videos, guest posts, interviews and giveaways.

BuzzSumo shows you the most popular (most shared) stuff online.

What can you do with this genius information? So, so much people! When you know what people already like, you can do more of what works.

Need an infographic for an article you’re writing? Bam! There it is. And you didn’t have to spend $1200 or 36 hours creating it. (Just be super cool – give proper credit and links.)

Example: find catchy headlines and create your own material using one of those as a model.

Use BuzzSumo to find popular content & great titles

Use BuzzSumo to find popular content & great titles

I searched for the topic, “public speaking.” Check out the #1 most popular article above, “What To Do 15 Minutes Before A Presentation” on the site, BusinessInsider.com. Because I already know that headline was popular, I can use the headline formula when writing my own post.

“What to do [time period] after a [event]” becomes…

“What to do 24 hours after a Presentation.”

“The one thing you must do 3 Days Before Your Next Speaking Gig” 

“What to Do One Hour after You Book a Speaking Opportunity”

2. Find speaking opportunities

How to find speaking opportunities with BuzzSumo

Find speaking opportunities with BuzzSumo

If you’re a speaker, this is huge: you can get speaking opportunities delivered right to your web browser with BuzzSumo.

In the search bar, enter phrases like “Call for Speakers” and “Call for Presenters” and your topic. You can filter the results to get only the most recent or collect them all to build your own roster of events.

3. Find influencers

BuzzSumo also lets you search for influencers – people who are active online, talking about your topic and have a big following (of your exact right people.)

Use BuzzSumo to find influential bloggers, companies and journalists in your topic area.

Use BuzzSumo to find influential bloggers, companies and journalists in your topic area.

Start by clicking on the big Influencer button at the top of the screen.

Enter your topic (I chose “public speaking.”)

Again, you can filter by type to see only the bloggers, journalists or “regular people” (love that one!)

For each result, check out their online stats and profile – is this person a public speaker, a trainer? Does she specialize in a particular niche, like real estate? There’s so much gold here!

Let your influencer stalking befriending begin!

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

This week, check out BuzzSumo. (Relax, there’s no commitment – you get 10 searches before you even have to register for the free account.)

Pick one of the three tips above and take action today. In 10 minutes you could have your next three blog post titles, have applied for a speaking opportunity or connected with an influencer who will change your world.

C’mon, superstar. Get on this ridiculously valuable tool and use it to shine, shine, shine.