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Cool Tool Alert! What People are Talking About Online

By Lori

You need ideas. 

Your blog/Facebook page/Twitter feed/Google + account needs content.

Your business needs attention from the media.

Need, need, need. But then blank-page-blindness strikes you down. You have NO IDEA what to write about, to post, to pitch.

Help is here! I’ve got an always-on source of ideas that are GUARANTEED to be hot, hot, hot.

This is a tool you can use to find out the EXACT top 20 Google searches every hour of every day: http://www.google.com/trends/. Using Google Trends, you’ll instantly have insight into the public zeitgeist, which you can use to spark topic ideas and pitch stories desperately sought by the media.

Trends help bring attention to your business.

If you can tie your business to a suddenly trendy topic with a well-timed press release, you might be able to steer the media spotlight your way. PR pros call it piggy-backing. Make it a daily habit to scan the trends and when you see an opportunity, jump on it!

Right now, a hot story is the record-breaking $540+ million Mega Millions multi-state lottery jackpot. The media is covering lottery-related stories galore. By offering an angle on this hot topic, you can “piggyback” off the public’s (and therefore, the media’s) interest in the contest.

Here are a few examples of how you can take that trendy topic and spin it into something newsworthy about your business:

  • If you’re an attorney or a financial advisor, you could whip up a short and punchy press release with the top 3 (or 4 or 5) actions the winner must take immediately to protect him or herself financially.
  • Sell luxury goods? Recommend the most popular items that a newly minted millionaire might buy in a splurge.
  • Psychologist or other mental health specialist? Write a release on “lottery winner’s syndrome” along with your advice on how to avoid it. (For extra PR credit, include some verifiable statistics.)

Your fame building assignment:

Head on over to Google Trends and find one hot topic that you can use to create content for your business. Then, schedule a reminder to check the site daily for piggybacking possibilities.

7 Questions to Solve Your “I’m stumped for Press Release Ideas” Dilemma

By Lori

Hey there smart and savvy biz owner! You’ve heard the advice that to been seen as a leader and expert in your industry, you should generate media coverage for yourself and your business, right?

It’s true. Publicity is powerful stuff. Experts typically peg the value of media coverage at 5-7 times  the equivalent amount of advertising.

So what’s stopping you from grabbing your fair share of online and old-school ink?

Sometimes it’s just not easy to see the forest for the trees. You’re deep in the trenches in your business or your practice every day, so you don’t notice the publicity gold scattered all around you.

Don’t lose hope! You can train your brain to spot newsworthy developments. It just takes a little practice.

Here is a list of questions that you can use to uncover press release topics lurking in your midst:

1. Do you have any upcoming events scheduled? Will you be speaking, exhibiting or hosting a conference, a workshop or a session?

2. Have you or your staffers pitched in to help any charities or volunteer organizations in your industry or your community?

3. Published something lately? Even if it’s on your own website, a guide, an article, a webinar or checklist is worth a mention.

4. Have you been quoted or featured on a blog, at a conference, in a newspaper or magazine?

5. Are you running a contest?

6. Have you or your clients earned an award or recognition from your industry?

7. Have you formed a strategic partnership or alliance that will move your industry forward or better serve your customers?

Now that you’ve warmed up your brain with those seven questions, I know that you can come up with even more to add to this list.

Your fame building assignment:

This week, uncover a newsworthy item about you or your business. Then, write a press release and send it to five media sources that typically cover that type of story. While you’re at it, post your news on the best free press release sites, too.

Now with Even More LinkedIn! New Follow Company Button

By Lori

LinkedIn, that navy blue suit of social networks, is stealthily adding more features that let its 150 million members promote and follow brands.

The latest? Recently, LinkedIn announced a new “Follow Company” button that brands (um, this means you!) can embed on their websites.

How does it work?

Similar to Facebook’s “Like” icon, or the “Follow me” on Twitter, LinkedIn’s Follow Company button lets your followers receive automatic updates from your company in their LinkedIn feeds. (Hmm, sounds like another tool in the Famous in Your Field toolbox to me!)

Now, the ability to follow companies within LinkedIn isn’t new. The feature has been available for a while, but this new Follow button brings the LinkedIn party to your house: your website!

And now the big question on your mind, “How can I use this Follow Company feature to build my business fame factor?”

Here are two ideas:

1.Follow companies that might be good prospects for your business. You’ll be able to keep track of new developments that will give you a natural reason to reach out to offer your services or products.

2. Add the Follow Company button to your own website. And be sure that you’re sharing regular company status updates on LinkedIn. Let your network know where you’ll be speaking, link to your latest article or media coverage and announce new services or products.

Your fame building assignment:

Hop on over to LinkedIn and get the new button right here on LinkedIn’s Developer blog.

Pop that baby onto your website and be sure to encourage people to follow your company. Add it to your email signature and your business card, too.

Increase Your Visibility with Sweet, Sweet Hootsuite

By Lori

Looking for a way to clone yourself? To be visible on social networks, while also managing to pump out the work you love, for the clients who need you?

Wow! Me, too.

You can’t be everywhere at once – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare – and still accomplish actual work. Or can you? <Evil grin>

Save yourself time and sanity with the all-in-one FREE tool that lets you post updates to all (or some) of your social media profiles at once.

Hootsuite is a handy free application designed to be your “social media dashboard” for managing Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and a handful of other social networks. With Hootsuite, you can post a status update on all networks, selected networks and schedule updates for up to one year in advance.

Red hot note of caution here:

Please don’t schedule ALL your social media updates. Actually interacting with others – commenting on their updates, responding and retweeting – is the only way to build  rapport, relationships and authority. (Must-haves to become famous in your field.)

When you’re posting across social networks, keep in mind that each has a different culture that governs audience expectations. Twitter followers (because they generally don’t read every tweet from the people they follow) expect multiple tweets per day, but on LinkedIn that same frequency would be considered really annoying.

The content that you post might vary from network to network, too. Facebook is great for sharing photos. LinkedIn? Not so much.

Got a business update like a new speaking engagement, article published or blog post? Serve it up hot across them all, but save most of your personal commentary for Twitter and Facebook.

Be there live
While scheduling a few updates per week can help you to manage your time, it’s important to “show up” regularly, too, if you want to get value from your social media efforts.

Schedule just 10 minutes per day, per network – five in the morning, five in the afternoon – to interact. Reply, retweet, share good information and add your own commentary.

Your fame building assignment:

Sign up for Hootsuite and schedule an update or two to publish each week on your favorite social network.

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