life lessons

Six Life Lessons Your Parents Taught You About Blogging

It’s a very frustrating reality in life as we age when we realize that we are more like our parents than we think. The life lessons our parents taught us while growing up that we denied as truth seem to start flowing out of our mouths later in life to our own children, and we begin to take the advice as actual wisdom.

Some of these ideas and concepts can be applied to your blogs marketing approach as well! Let’s take a step back, look at our marketing techniques and make sure that we’re behaving the way our parents wanted us to:

Do Your Homework!

Homework was probably one of the most annoying aspects of school. You go home from school to do more schoolwork. The truth is, however, that when we go home and work on a subject that we learned about that day, we are more likely to solidify the knowledge of the subject and be prepared for the next lesson. Throughout each day, give yourself homework assignments or little 10 to 15 minute to-dos for each area of marketing that you handle. If you are an internet marketer, look for new information released throughout the day to study on the changes in the industry. Better yet, set up Google Alerts to inform you of these things and then go through them each day. It is also vital to learn about potential new keywords or marketing techniques that you can apply in the future. By simply researching topics for 10 minutes a day, you may just come across that one idea or target that expands your company twofold.

If you are in Social Marketing, study some of the trends you have to constantly keep up with (politics, celebrity news, hot topics, trends in your niche). If you are in a specific niche like law firm web design, study up on other law firms or trends in similar sites. You could also be looking for new, innovative widgets. It is so easy to be distracted by the actual work that you have to do throughout the day and forget to develop your knowledge or solidify what you have learned at the end of the day.

There’s a reason #hashtags are used, however, and it is to everyone’s benefit. First, if you are a company that constantly wants to be in the limelight, #hashtags are a great way to stay there. By researching what the world is talking about, you can put the spotlight on your company by jumping in with the rest of the world. Incorporate tags that are appropriate, and throw in some that can help you tap into different types of markets. Just know that at the end of the day, your goal is not to sell, it’s to woo your clientele in your direction and snag their interest so much that it compels them to buy your product or service.

Make sure at the end of each day you are putting the finishing touches on all of your social media profiles. This means all statuses are updated, tweets tweeted and re-tweeted, blogs commented on, forums replied to, Instagrams posted and videoed, emails dealt with and content developed. The most difficult process of handling social media is making sure there aren’t any holes. Your social media profiles are the face and personality to your company, and by keeping it up, you are allowing the world to have a clear view of who you are and the kind of business you are. If all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed on your social media profiles, how much more would your company’s product be in the eyes of the public?

Clean Your Room!

Why did Mom and Dad make us clean our rooms? Maybe it was so we could find things? Perhaps it was because we calmed down? It could have been to get us out of our parents’ hair for a little while. At the end of the day, having a clean room keeps us organized, less-stressed and focused.

It is vital that all of the profiles for your social media profiles are networked together and up to date as already discussed. If you have a multitude of contributions to sites listed on your Google+ page and not your LinkedIn page, you need to make sure that they are connected. If you have multiple aliases, connect them up! You have to make sure that any person getting connected with you will be able to be directed to the necessary sites and areas that you work with. Too many people have choppy social media profiles. You must standardize everything down to the picture that you use on your profile.

One of the fun aspects of cleaning your room (if you have a really dirty one) is to go back and look at the things that have been piled under other, “more important” things. All of those old pictures, journal entries and art projects that never found a permanent place but still have a level of importance are cherished and remembered. Go through your old content, ideas and posts to expound on and develop in a new, fresh light. You never know, it may be some of your oldest content that sparks your greatest ideas.

As a business owner, there is a more clearly defined reason to clean your room, however, and that is to stay focused on the business plan that you have developed for your company. Let’s face it, there are many times that a company tries tactic B because tactic A failed but tactic B doesn’t work so well with tactic D because tactic B & C just doesn’t work well together, and before you know it, you’ve got a company headed in multiple directions. By staying organized and focusing on the larger plan at hand, you will be able to eliminate much of the useless work that has to be done as a result of not staying on task. Make sure to evaluate your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals to ensure you are constantly on the track to success.

Think Before You Speak

Arguing is a part of development. There’s a right and wrong way, however, to do it properly. You can tactfully say what needs to be developed during a debate or argument online (which is where credibility is often developed or hurt), and sometimes it can be the very thing that drives future customers or connections to your site. It is vital to make sure that everything that you share on the internet is done so with good intentions, education and as a direct representation of who you are and what your business stands for. Represent yourself and your site well.

Remember that Kitchen Nightmares episode with Amy’s Baking Company? This is a perfect example of what not to do even if your company is what it says it is:

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They just took more and more heat as a result from the public.

If you have done your homework, then you should know what your customer wants (and doesn’t). When marketing your company, you have to constantly be on your toes thinking of creative ways to answer the continuously lingering question, “what does my client want to see next.” Maybe a sale isn’t what your potential customers want to see, but a giveaway would be. Perhaps a comedic message being sent to your audience would be better than a serious or “salesy” message.

Take Skittles’ Facebook page for instance. Skittles does it right. Yes, candy is a bit more fun to sell than an eBook, innovative plumbing wrench or SEO services, but Skittles converts sales through their Facebook page. Although this isn’t truly able to be measured, it is safe to say that a company that averages 50,000 interactions and has 25 million likes is doing well for itself. If you travel down the Skittles timeline, very rarely can you see a post telling their followers that they should buy a pack of Skittles and that they’re 2 for $1.00 at the gas station. No, you’ll see them post statuses like: “Every time you like this, the like counter goes up by one. Try it if you don’t believe me.” That earned them an easy 26,000 likes. This is considered “viral.” What does a young person (Skittles’ average target market) want to do most? You guessed it – challenge authority. That’s exactly what Skittles took advantage of. They thought before they spoke, and they won.

Always Say Please and Thank You

Saying please and thank you is certainly referred to as a “southern charm” sort of style of living, but being polite and using your manners is critical to securing and maintaining relationships. The key in working with internet relationships is to be overly thankful.

There are plenty of ways to make this happen:

  • Give a shout out on Twitter
  • Endorse a colleague on LinkedIn
  • Like and share something from someone’s Facebook page
  • Write a post of gratitude on your blog
  • Pin some content on Pinterest
  • Give a coupon code to a great customer
  • Send a hand-written thank you note or even a basket of goodies

Although some actions that you take would not be considered direct “internet marketing,” everything that you do to secure future relationships and expand your relationships with important figures is critical to helping growth continue in the future. The day that you stop being thankful for customers, handouts, retweets, etc., is the day that you close the door to future marketing options.

When dealing with your customers, always, always, always make sure that they have been thanked at least once in an email. They should never have to question your desire to have their business or the privilege of handling their order (whatever that may look like). You will also find that by staying thankful, it keeps a positive spin when keeping in contact. If you have a customer who is a bit of a complainer, which everyone has these, sometimes by staying thankful and positive is the best way to keep the focus on getting the job done the way you know how to and moving onto the next customer.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

Sometimes, you have to swallow the big pill and realize that you made a mistake. Don’t ever try to get yourself out of a situation by making a potentially foolish mistake. Follow rule #3, and think before you speak. Take this perfect mistake done by @KitchenAidUSA

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It’s not exactly the fact that Kitchen Aid apologized for this mess that their employee got them into, but it was the fact that they tweeted over and over and over that day saying how sorry they were about the comment made by their Twitter manager. Sometimes it is best to just make one comment and move on.

On another level of internet marketing, it is really important to make sure that you are testing and measuring everything you do. Many companies repetitively fail in a certain area of their marketing campaign because they are failing at the same things over and over and over. Unwillingness to take a look at the very things that may be causing problems can truly inhibit your company’s ability to expand. This also falls into the lesson of “doing your homework.” Taking daily evaluation of the marketing approaches that you have taken is the key to making sure that you have marketed your company to its fullest potential. Don’t make the same mistakes over and over because you failed to take a simple look at your marketing campaign.

Your Friends Are Just Jealous

That’s right! Mom was right the whole time! Those people in school who picked on you and called you names: they were just jealous of your amazing talents, looks and style. Let’s face it, nobody really knows the best way to market their company. Companies try new solutions and styles of advertising all year, always looking for the best conversions. At the end of the day, your techniques are being watched and evaluated by others. They are being assessed by the people in your market to see if they are approaches they should try. They want your popularity, your resources and your connections, and they’ll do anything they can to tap into them.

The key is to make sure that you are constantly creating new content, are in tune with what is currently popular and creating your own spins on it. Keep people laughing and interested in what you are bringing to the table because with the creativity that you share, your credibility will become stronger in the public’s eyes. Take advantage of photos, videos, and other sorts of media. Constantly take your site to the next level, and apply all of the rules that your parents taught you when you were young.

Finally, don’t be afraid to learn about new tools and sources for marketing. Sometimes by simply spending a couple of minutes looking at new social media platforms or SEO approaches, you can enhance your efficiency, expand your horizons and have greater conversions in your niche. You need to be the company that sets the bar for other companies, and you can’t do that by being a follower but a leader. Take charge of your industry and listen to what your parents told you to do!

By Guest Author – Gerrid Smith is a blogger, law firm SEO expert and law firm website designer. His company Black Fin Marketing provides law firm web design services to help build sustainable, profitable, driven law firm websites. You can find Gerrid on Google+.

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Six Life Lessons Your Parents Taught You About Blogging
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