ken mueller

Take a Blog, Leave a Blog

By Social Media

My buddy Ken has a great post about taking the “take a penny/leave a penny” practice further — into small business and using social media.

Ken has great ideas for small businesses and I’m really enjoying his Small Business Tip Tuesdays.

Ken gave me a nice shout-out in the blog post for the blog carnival I held on my business Facebook page awhile ago, and so today, I’m opening up the page for you to share blogs that you like or your own blog. Just go here: https://www.facebook.com/JaggersCommunications and share the link and tell us a little bit about yourself, the blog or your business.

To take it even further, I’m closing comments on this post to get more of you to see the blogs featured on the Facebook page. Take a blog, leave a blog!

Advice for the College Marketing and Communications Majors

By Social Media

I was lucky enough last week to get the chance to Skype in to my friend Ken Mueller’s class at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. The class, which Ken, who is the brains behind Inkling Media, developed for the school, is called Marketing 360 and focuses on social media marketing. I got to play long distance guest speaker and address the topic of taking online interaction offline.

I shared several client examples of work that has gone from online social interaction to in person interaction, cementing relationships clients have with their customers. My favorite part of the class, however, was when the students took turns hopping in front of the camera to ask me a question. At the end of class, I asked about the future of the graduating seniors and got to hear that many of them have solid plans; jobs, even! It was fantastic.

Ken asked me to share some advice, which is funny to me sometimes because I forget how long it’s been since I was in college; that these 14 years or so of experience have added up to something. I told the class to write and to read as much as possible and to, above all, be patient in their new roles as junior staffers; that everyone has a few years of paying their dues and they will be no different; that they should take that time to think, build and develop strong portfolios and online profiles.

Afterwards, I kept thinking about that class and the other 20-somethings I know in marketing and communications and the advice I shared with one of them recently. I think the most important idea to think through is your passion. What is it that interests you most? I have a fondness and personal interest in health care and in education — I lean toward clients in these fields and find that my best work gets done in areas where I’m personally engaged. So my advice is this; focus on your passions and the rest will fall into place.

Thanks Ken, and thanks Marketing 360 class! It was great to be part of your evening.



5 Ways Social Media has Worked for Me

By Social Media

I was reading my friend Ken’s post about his community and all the amazing ways the members of the community have come together to help one another.

I have a deep appreciation for the benefits I’ve received from being a part of an online community. I know how much having a broad social network has helped me develop new business and assist others to find jobs and other opportunities. I, of course, realize the benefits of being a content creator and have enjoyed the payoff in the form of friends, great working relationships and the kind of support that has lifted me up and given me confidence, fresh ideas and inspiration.

Here are five personal stories of my social media success:

  1. One of the longest-term clients I’ve had knew me first because of my personal blog (where I used to write a lot more about social media till I had this blog). She was delighted to learn that I lived and worked only a few miles away from her business. A mutual connection in our social network introduced us and the rest is history.
  2. I am very good about keeping my online social network up-to-date, entering new contacts into LinkedIn and connecting with new people I meet at conferences and networking events as soon as I can. This practice has led to speaking engagements and the introduction to new clients. I’m also pretty committed to providing recommendations to others on LinkedIn, allowing me to also receive endorsements from others with whom I’ve worked. It’s a wonderful boost to my business to have these online “testimonials” about the work I’ve done.
  3. In a wonderful mash-up of more traditional media and social media, I’ve worked with a local affiliate of three television stations as a blogging expert and social media correspondent as well as providing guidance as a consultant to the news staff of the stations. This mutually beneficial relationship has allowed me to develop relationships with a wide local audience and helped the television media use a social presence to expand their reach and build more solid relationships with their audience, a very gratifying experience indeed.
  4. On Twitter, I have met, followed and learned from many people in my industry. A few of these have included Gini Dietrich, Jay Baer and Ken Mueller. I’ve contributed guest posts to Spin Sucks and to Inkling Media’s blog, helping me increase my reach to new audiences. Not only that, but all three of these people are dear friends whom I’ve enjoyed knowing, reading and talking to often.
  5. There’s the misguided perception among the uninitiated that is that the social media active live their lives online. Those who aren’t engaged online seem to think that those who are conduct all communication via Twitter, Facebook and other online networks. What they’re missing is the moment that two people who have known one another well via an online relationship meet in person for the first time. Kismet! Joy! Bonding! A relationship cemented with a handshake or a hug. One of my favorite instances of this is when Self-Made Mom and I kept e-mailing and Instant Messaging (this was in a pre-texting era) to find one another across a room full of hundreds of other women bloggers (“I’m wearing polka dots!”) until we spotted one another and beamed the smiles of people who were already friends.

When people wonder if social media and social networking “really works” I can answer that with real stories of my own (and these are five of dozens that I have and love to share) and those of clients with whom I’ve worked.

I continue to be surprised and delighted by the connections and re-connections formed via social media, like the opportunity coming from a high school friend and another coming in from my sister’s college roommate — don’t discount the reach of your entire network. You just never know where the next opportunity will come from.

Tell me: what are some ways social media has worked for you?

Come for the SEO, Stay for the Relationships

By Social Media

I’ve been at this social media bit for awhile. Longer, in fact, than we called it that. Long enough ago that the word blogger was whispered, like it was cancer.

I’ve adapted to new tools and the updates of existing tools and every day I’ve learned something new. One thing hasn’t changed through all of it though and it’s this: what really matters here are the relationships.

Sure, I might focus my content in a specific area to generate new visitors. I might narrow the focus again to try to attract people who might be interested in my help. But I guarantee it’s the relationship that is formed from the interaction between visitors and content producers that keeps people involved in the conversation.

I read the blog posts of people I’ve talked to on Twitter. I have followed the blogs of people I’ve met in person or heard speak at conferences. I’ve struck up conversation with people because others follow them and talk to them. I’ve been thrilled to pieces when one of the big guys in my industry have replied to something I’ve said.

When there’s something geographically, philosophically, politically, etc. I see that I think will be of interest to them, I share it. They often do the same for me. When there’s something that will benefit them, I reach out. The favor is often returned.

I’ve made real, true friends in this online space, some of them I’m closer to than my own colleagues at work (or at least interact with more often). People I admire and respect — people like Ken Mueller, Matt Ridings, Stephen Bolen (who totally had my back during kayakgate), Eric Kelley (who is totally getting some Gooey Butter Cake from me this week!), my BFF Gini Dietrich and my newest friend Paula Berg.

Today’s food for thought? Don’t lose sight of the big picture when you’re mired in SEO and content development. It’s the people you meet along the way that make all the difference.