Category Archives: Tips

Leveraging Your INBA Membership: Marketing, Mobile, & Marketplace + 16 Marketing Tips

Today I’m presenting at INBA’s monthly networking luncheon. The presentation shares insights about INBA’s ability to support their members’ marketing efforts, as well as ideas and suggestions as to how business owners and professionals can leverage these resources. In addition, I’ve included a “bonus” presentation filled with 16 marketing tips that any small business owner should be aware of.

Main Presentation: The 3M’s of Leveraging Your INBA Membership
Bonus Presentation: 16 Marketing Tips

INBA is the Inland Northwest Business Alliance–the only LGBT and ally chamber in the Spokane region. I’ve served on their board over the past year and am currently the board Secretary.

Deepening Relationships & Delighting Members via Social Media #gosocialinw presentation

I had the pleasure of presenting at the 2012 “Go Social” conference on social media marketing in Spokane, Washington (located at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park). Over the past two years, I’ve built a social media program at STCU (Spokane Teachers Credit Union) and have taught classes at Whitworth University as an adjunct. This presentation is a fairly cohesive summary of the strategies, tactics, tips and resources that I’ve utilized to be successful.

Download the presentation, “Deepening Relationships & Delighting Members via Social Media”:

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment or contact me via email or Twitter (@someprtips).

3 Things that Motivate Employees more than Money

Strangely, I’ve been receiving Inc. magazine for free in the mail the past few months. I’m not quite certain why it’s being sent to me, or who may have given me the subscription. But at any rate, I finally had a chance to read though it, and it’s fairly interesting. The first tidbit that I thought I’d share with everyone: “Three Things That Motivate Employees More Than Money.”

1. Create role models. Highlight your top performers’ strengths, and let them know that you want them to be an example for others. You’ll set the bar high, and they’ll be motivated to live up to their reputations.

2. Give recognition and small rewards. Give a shout-out to someone in a company meeting. Run contests or internal games, and keep track of the results on a whiteboard that everyone can see. Tangible awards that don’t break the bank can work, too. Try things like dinner, trophies, spa services, and plaques.

3. Make your ideas theirs. People hate being told what to do. Instead, ask them in a way that will make them feel as if they came up with the idea. “I’d like you to do it this way” turns into “Do you think it’s a good idea if we do it this way?”

I must admit that number two isn’t all that original or unique, but it does work…we’ve used that method at my current workplace and it motivates our employees. I’ve seen the other methods deployed by different leaders (though not as often as #2), and they can work really well when done correctly.

Social Media for Insurance & Financial Services (NAIFA #PDX)

Earlier today a delivered this presentation to the Portland chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. I shared some ideas, strategies and tips on how they could use social media for their industries.

Social Media for Small Business 2.0

I recently held a workshop hosted by the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce on how to use social media for your small business. The workshop was designed to be at the “201 level” — getting beyond the basics, and into more about content development, strategy, campaigns and more. Here are the slides that guided are workshop, which include stats, tips and resources.

6 Tenets of Social Media

I first joined Twitter on April 18, 2008. Yes, I was not an early adopter. In fact, I only joined because I was curious about this “new” tool that some of my fellow colleagues were talking about. As for the other social networking sites, I had already given up on MySpace, I was very active on Facebook, didn’t have my own blog (unless you count my old LiverJournal account which hadn’t been used for years). So I will admit that Twitter actually re-energized my participation in social media.

And here I am, almost three years and three months later, with 13,337 tweets, 1,159 followers and 1,541 people I follow on my personal Twitter account. My “professional” account has only 469 followers; I follow 647 people and have tweeted 845 times (846 when this post is published). But enough of that small glimpse in time, let’s take a look at the fruits of my labor over the past several years: 6 Tenets of Social Media.

These tenets are grounded in professional experience of developing social media strategies and managing the accounts for institutions of higher learning, non-profit organizations, medical/healthcare organizations and a financial services industry. They are the result of the lessons learned there, as well as the knowledge gleaned from countless blogs, email newsletters, thought leaders, workshops, webinars, conferences, discussions and even academic research.

I invite your feedback and comments. These tenets are just that–guidelines–not laws to obey, but principles to use when making your decisions, formulating your strategy and implementing your tactics. They may change over time, as the technology changes, as the paradigm of social media changes, and as human behavior continues to evolve. But for now, I believe them to be fairly relevant…and hopefully, useful.

1. Be Human
  • Be conversational and friendly.
  • Be responsible; own up to your mistakes.
  • Develop a persona; have a consistent voice if possible.
  • Ask questions and engage your followers.
  • Be playful, but professional, matching your brand’s communication style.
  • Be transparent; don’t lie.
  • Give credit where credit is due.
  • Be unique.
2. Be Diligent
  • Explore the mediums; one may work better than another.
  • Get to know your audience.
  • Set goals and measure results.
  • Align social strategy with marketing and business objectives.
  • Know your tools and services.
  • Stay current on trends.
  • Have a plan for handling negative comments or crisis situations.
3. Be Relevant
  • Stay on topic.
  • Speak (and listen) to your followers.
  • Avoid automation.
  • Use appropriate conventions.
  • Don’t just regurgitate; add value.
  • Measure successes and failures.
  • Stick to your area of expertise.
  • Be a (thought) leader.
4. Be Thoughtful
  • Thank people.
  • Mention others.
  • Promote discourse.
  • Be creative and create excitement.
  • Be smart.
5. Be Timely
  • Respond quickly and accurately.
  • If acknowledging, less than an hour.
  • If the response requires research, acknowledge, then provide the full answer within one business day.
  • Post when appropriate.
  • Build buzz.
6. Be Respectful
  • Moderate the community with fairness.
  • Do not spam or inundate your followers.
  • Acknowledge positive and negative feedback.
  • Share opinions, but avoid speculation.
  • Respect privacy.
  • Disagree respectfully.
  • Think twice before posting.
Special thanks to my mentor and supervisor, Barb Richey for providing initial feedback. And of course, my sincere gratitude for further feedback and input from my social media mentor, Carri Bugbee.

Social Media & Marketing for Small Business

On Saturday, January 29, I’ll be teaching a workshop at Bastyr University for their students, faculty and staff to learn how to utilize social media for their business objectives. In addition, I have compiled a list of marketing tips for them to consider. I have posted some of this information in earlier blog updates, but some of the information has changed. Please feel free to use these resources, as well as ask questions or leave comments.

Presentation: Marketing tips for small businesses. (Microsoft PowerPoint)

Handout: 20 simple marketing tips. (Microsoft Word)

Presentation: Social media for small businesses. (Adobe PDF)

Handout: Social media resources for small businesses. (Microsoft Word)