Adventures in Visibility – Power Up for Profits and Online Visibility

Adventures in VisibilityIn this episode of Adventures in Visibility, I invite my long-time friend and colleague, Kathleen Gage, to discuss her new book and how you can build massive online visibility.

Kathleen Gage recently launched her latest book, Power Up for Profits, and in it she provides proven solutions for how to quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively establish a strong presence using many online tactics.

During the interview we discussed some of the strategies Kathleen used to get visibility for her book launch, as well as what it means to have an online business today. Attitudes and beliefs have changed a lot since I started working online in 1996 and we discuss how those changes affect our businesses today.

Scroll down to post your comments and questions about our conversation below. If you have a specific question for Kathleen, I’ll let her know.

About Kathleen Gage:

Kathleen Gage, Power Up for ProfitsKathleen Gage is the “no-nonsense, common sense” online marketing strategist, speaker, author, product creation specialist and owner of “Power Up for Profits.” Kathleen helps entrepreneurs make money online. Her clients are driven by making a difference through their own unique voice.

Kathleen’s mission is to help people understand that their business is merely a means to get their message out to the world. She teaches that it’s not just about what you do, but the reasons behind why you do it.

Her newest book,Power Up For Profits; The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketingis the perfect resource for any author who wants to reach more of their market in the fastest, most cost effective methods possible. For a very limited time when you order the book through Amazon youreceive Kathleen’s report “How to Make Your First $100 Online” and “Sell Thousands from Any Platform” at no cost to you.Click here for full details.

To get reminders about when Adventures are scheduled and when replays are posted, you can get on the list and follow me on Google+. Be sure to let me know you want to be added to my Adventures in Visibility Notification Circle so you get the invitation directly through Google+.

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Adventures in Visibility Hangout – Pinterest Tip [video]

Adventures in Visibility HangoutsTa da! Introducing the first Adventures in Visibility live hangout…

In this Hangout, I experimented with the screen sharing tool to demonstrate a simple way to promote your events on Pinterest, and the one mistake you do not want to make with your images. There were also questions about using Google+ Hangouts which I answered in the second half of the video.

Sites mentioned:

What tips and topics would you like to see covered in future Adventures in Visibility Hangouts? Post them in the comments below. Thanks!

What Have You Got To Lose? [Audio]

One minute presentation on what I love about Peru.

One minute presentation on what I love about Peru. Photo by Steve Cozart Photography.

Previously I mentioned I had been challenged to give a TED-style talk at a mastermind meeting. It was optional, but in keeping with my new approach to life, I took up the challenge. And it was a challenge for me.

When it came time to present the rough draft of what I’d written, my mentor challenged me again to go without the script.  It was uncomfortable, but I did it.

There is no record of that presentation, so I recorded and posted it here for you. I chose a small moment on one of my recent trips to Peru, to illustrate personal growth that can happen when one tiny decision is made, and how it can apply to marketing your business on the Web.

(7:26 min)

Text of audio (with pictures!)

Like many people, I’m a mix of cautious and curious. I like to think things through before I act.  I’m also introverted and have a tendency to social anxiety.

If I feel anxious about an outcome or like I may make a fool of myself or things may not turn out as I envision in my mind, I’m apt to say no without trying and move on to situations and activities where I have more control or skill or comfort.

Have you ever felt that way?

I know I’ve missed out on a lot of potential experiences because I’ve been too concerned about what other people may think of me. Or, I don’t participate because I’m afraid I’ll stand out and people will notice if I say something stupid or look silly.

I stand to the side and observe instead of participate.

In the space of three months, my life changed when I made one simple decision about how I wanted to experience my life.

I’m here to tell you that I have learned what it means to say “What have I got to lose? Give it a try”.

When I stepped off the plane in Puerto Maldonado, it was about 90 degrees and 80% humidity.  Walking across the tarmac to the tiny terminal felt like pushing through a wall of heat and my clothes were damp by the time my friend and I picked up our duffle bags.

Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Puerto Maldonado, Peru, on the Tambopata River

Carlos, our driver was there to greet us. With relief we climbed into the cool mini van.

My friend and I had arrived at the gateway of the Amazon rainforest in Peru and were expecting to begin our 3 hour journey to a lodge in the heart of a protected wildlife reserve on the banks of Sandoval Lake.

Instead, we were informed that we had a 4 hour delay while we waited for a couple who were on a flight coming in from Lima.

“Since we have some time, would you like to go to el Serpentario?” I was asked.

The what?

A sanctuary for rescued snakes.

Rescued snake sanctuary in Puerto Maldonado.

Sanctuary for rescued snakes in Puerto Maldonado.

Uh, I guess so, I said, without enthusiasm.

It’s really interesting, Carlos told me.

My first thought was that I don’t like snakes.

Then I remembered the pledge I made to myself at the outset of my adventure.

Ok, let’s go.

Little did I know that “snake” really meant “boa constrictors” and “anacondas”.

To me those were scary snakes that poison people or squeeze them to death.

In that oppressive, tropical heat, Carlos took us on a tour, showing us other rescued animals, an owl, a blind feline that looked sort of like an ocelot.

Blind feline.

Blind feline.

Then, we got to the building with the serpents.  I saw many big and small boa constrictors. Admittedly they are beautiful creatures when you study the patterns on their skin.

Then Carlos asked me, “do you want to hold one?”

What????

NO! is what I said in my head. No way!

Again, I remembered the pledge I had made before I left Los Angeles.

Denise and boa constrictor

Denise trying to relax with a boa constrictor.

I stool still as a statue while Carlos took a 6’ boa constrictor out of its cage and put it around my neck.

I wondered if it was like other animals and could smell my fear.

What if it wrapped itself around my neck and strangled me death?

I tried to relax.

I touched its skin. It was cool and smooth.

I held its head in my left hand.

I was still trying, somewhat unsuccessfully to relax. I look pretty silly in the pictures my friend took.

But I did it.

I said “yes” because I had promised myself that I would say yes to everything that I didn’t think would put me in mortal danger.

I said yes, because I had said “no” and stood on the sidelines for too long.

I said yes, because when I thought about it rationally, Carlos was not going to suggest I do something that was dangerous. He didn’t want me to get hurt any more than I wanted to get hurt.

I said yes.

Plus, I had the words of my “glamour technician” aka hair stylist who I’ve known for 10 years, running through my head….

“If you don’t go, you won’t know.”

I added “if you don’t go for it, you don’t know”

Two trips to Peru changed my life.

The first trip reminded me how much I love adventure and showed me I can meet any challenge I set for myself.

The second adventure showed me how much richer life can be when I say “yes.”

Being a solo entrepreneur, I couldn’t help but equate a lot of what I discovered to business and my clients.

In fact, in my business life, on the Web, I’m more extroverted and adventurous than in my “real life”. I experiment and try new tools and marketing tactics all the time .

But a lot of my clients don’t feel that way and when I put the spotlight on how I behaved in my private life, you know, more cautious, less willing to put myself out there, I felt so much empathy for the men and women I mentor.

I think this is a common experience…

Have you ever had an idea or big goal you wanted to achieve in your business? You imagine what it will be like when you’re there, how great it will be, how beautiful and perfect and simple to achieve?

And then you start thinking about the details, what it will take to make it happen. How hard it might be, how uncomfortable.  That you’re going to have put a great deal of time and attention into marketing your thing?

You start feeling anxious and maybe a little fearful. What will people think of it? They’ll think I’m crazy or stupid. They’ll judge me. What if it doesn’t work, or I don’t make it. I’ll be a failure.

You think, “Maybe I’ll just skip it.” It’s too hard and complicated and it probably won’t work or I won’t be able to pull it off.

And nothing happens. You move on, feeling disappointed maybe, and also relief because you didn’t fail or make a fool of yourself. Right? You ever feel that way?

I have. And I’ve missed a lot of opportunities as a result.

What would happen if you said “Yes, what have I got to lose?” !

My passionate belief is that you can be successful building an attractive, powerful presence on the Web when you let go of fear and doubts and embrace uncertainty. When you say “yes” to trying and experimenting, even when the outcome is uncertain… when you open up to the fun and joy of sharing what you know and do so well, with those whose lives you can transform for the better… the results may surprise and delight you.

I said yes and I discovered that boa constrictors don’t eat people and they aren’t venomous.  It’s highly unlikely that a human would be killed by a boa. I surrendered to the experience and it’s now a special memory from my Peruvian adventure.

When you say yes to the prospect of revealing yourself on the Web and embracing a new path to more visibility, you may discover more fabulous opportunities than you ever let yourself dream of.

What have you got to lose? Give it a try… just say yes!

Have you ever said “yes” to something you would have normally said “no” to? What happened?

Online Visibility – Is There a Fast Path to Building Your Presence on the Web?

speedometer - slow to insanely fastNot surprisingly, when clients sign on to mentor with me, they’re often looking for a fast path to building online visibility.  I understand the desire to see results fast, yet consistency over time is what leads to success overall.  That means, creating content consistently week in and week out, will build a solid presence over the long run, leading traffic and activity back you day in and day out.

Keep in mind too that content isn’t just restricted to blog posts. Content also includes:

  • Video
  • Audio
  • Images
  • Status updates on social networks
  • Slide shows
  • Live chats
  • Google+ hangouts
  • Teleseminars and webinars
  • Sharing content on social sites

That being said, there are actions you can take to accelerate your visibility, especially if you want to build some buzz for a book, product or webinar, for example.  To go the accelerated route, you’ll have to ignore my previous advice on building visibility and go all in for a little while.

Here are 5 ways to accelerate your visibility on the Web:

1. Post more frequently on your blog. Yep, you read that right. When you have more blog posts, you have more opportunities to share them on your social networks and so do your visitors.  More visibility on social networks can create more traffic. More traffic means more readers. More readers means more amplification of your posts and more subscribers, more visibility, etc.

2. Find and follow influencers and ideal prospects in your niche. This particularly applies to Twitter and Google+. Often those you follow will follow you back  and you increase your exposure to new people. Make sure you’re sharing great content so your new followers notice and get value from you.

3. If you don’t have a Google+ Profile, set one up now (it’s also important for seo). Post your content on Google+, find cool, interesting people to add to your Circles, then start doing Google Hangouts. Hosting a weekly live Q&A session for your fans and friends will raise your profile quickly. If you set it up as a live Hangout on Air, the Hangout is recorded and automatically posted on YouTube, thus building out your video channel at the same time.

hangout

4. If you’re not comfortable with video, then host live teleseminars on a regular basis. When I first started The Blog Squad in 2005, we hosted free weekly teleseminars called Conversations with Experts, interviewing experts in a variety of marketing-related industries.  The first Conversation had about 20 people on the line. One year and 54 shows later, we were getting hundreds of participants every week. Consistency built awareness and awareness built the audience.

5. Are you willing to spend a few dollars? A sure fire way to get more visibility on Facebook is to use Promoted Posts. Be strategic about what you promote. Consider the path you want to lead your new fans. If your goal is to increase engagement, ask a question or create a poll and promote it.

promoted-post

I was very successful using a Promoted Post to give away a product I usually sell (link goes to the promoted post). My goal was to build a highly targeted list of people who were interested in a specific niche. I spent $10 and built a list of more than 350 people interested in digital publishing. I don’t consider giving away the $57 product a loss. It was an investment to uncover a select group who may be interested in attending my digital publishing event.

You may be looking at this list and thinking, “No way, this is not a fast way to build online visibility.”  And, you’re right. These are generally long term strategies, AND, if you apply your time and energy to two or three of the tactics over the course of a couple of weeks, you will see more activity which is a direct result of more visibility.

Pick the tactics you know you can sustain over time and implement them over and over. One hangout or teleseminar or promoted post isn’t going to get you very far. On the other hand, one hangout every week for a month will get you more attention.  A weekly promoted post with a poll question related to your book, product or event, will attract a lot more people to your Facebook page. You get the point, right? [If you need some help putting your plan together, contact me.]

OK, now it’s your turn…

What is one action you would advise an entrepreneur to take in order to boost their online visibility? Please post your tip in the comments!

What Blogging Can Teach You about Yourself

My journey to increase my business’ visibility started three months ago when I signed up for Denise’s “Online Visibility for Introverts” class.  It promised to teach me how to build my email list, get on board with social media, and increase my online visibility.

One of the first habits Denise encouraged was “consistency,” or doing the same thing on a repeatable schedule, to help build your visibility.  And since the blog is the hub of a business’ online efforts, that meant I needed to start blogging consistently.

This was a big challenge for me. Up to that point, I blogged when I found time and posted every few months. At best.

But I vowed to change my ways. Here are some advice and insights from my blogging journey that might help you. I struggled with blogging at first – and at times still do. But I was surprised at how it’s not only helped my business grow, but it’s helped me grow personally, too.

  • The more you blog, the easier it gets. Really. There’s something about forcing your brain to write a 200 or so word article on any topic you want (and, hopefully that your target audience will also find interesting) that gets easier each time you do it. 

As you write more posts, you’ll start to cultivate a flow and rhythm that makes it quicker and easier. You’ll also develop your voice, which can take some time to evolve. Once you have those things in place, you’ll find writing posts is a much smoother process.

  • Trying for perfection eats up a lot of time. One big block I had to writing posts regularly was the expectation each one needed to be 100% perfect. This was a tough nut for me to swallow, because I’m a copywriter. I’m supposed to be picky with my copy.

But it was causing me to take forever to finish a post.  I’d edit over and over, critique from every angle, and decide it still wasn’t ready for prime time. I was stalling based on the fear it wasn’t quite good enough.

I once had a boss who said “It’s better to take something that’s 80% perfect and get it out there, than try for 100% and it never sees the light of day.”

Very true. While you do want compelling content, you don’t want to spend so much time on a post that you never publish anything, or you spend an inordinate amount of time polishing it. That won’t go far in building your online visibility. Try for “pretty decent” or “good enough” and then publish. You can always go back later to edit and add more.

  • It’s far easier (and quicker) to blog if you plan in advance. I’m a copywriter, so I often write in my head. If I know what my next blog topic will be, then my brain starts percolating away. And then when I starting writing, the words just flow.

The most difficult posts were ones I didn’t plan in advance. They forced me to stare at the computer screen, think of a topic, and THEN write.  That’s too many steps to do in one sitting. Do yourself a favor – make a list of your next 10 post topics and assign a date to each (also known as an editorial calendar).

  • Schedule the time on your calendar. And stick to it. If I don’t schedule blogging time, then client work creeps in or other business activities. Before I know it, it’s 5 pm on Friday and I have no post for the week. So I grudgingly get up early on Saturday morning to get the job done.

Here’s my fix: I schedule two hours first thing Tuesday morning to write the post, edit, and publish. If I do it early in the week (and early in the day), then I can spend the rest of the week promoting it.  Pick a day that works best for you, schedule a recurring appointment in your calendar, and stick to it.

  • Blogging consistently is strangely gratifying. Around week six, I had a startling revelation: writing my weekly post was surprisingly cathartic.  Business blog posts normally don’t share intimate, personal revelations like a diary (or at least mine don’t) but, still, committing your opinions and thoughts to electrons that can be read by anyone, anywhere makes them more real and concrete.

There’s also something gratifying about taking the risk of publicly sharing your opinions. You’re putting yourself out there. And that’s the first step to being seen as an expert by others and, even more importantly, by yourself.

What are your stumbling blocks to blogging regularly?  Has blogging taught you anything about yourself that surprised you?

About the Author
Kim Gusta is a copywriter and content marketer who creates powerful content for high-tech companies. Visit her blog at www.kimgusta.com/blog .