Episode #96 1/2- BONUS TOASTMASTERS EDITION!  Work Hard & Start!

Welcome to a special bonus edition!

I had the opportunity to speak at my Toastmasters club meeting and had a blast sharing the importance of social media as it relates to “owning your corner of the web”.

My talk focused on the main question, “Have You Googled Your Name?” – my point being, if you have not… you better get out there and find out what’s being said about you.  More important, you need to start controlling what is being said about you!

Becoming a Subject Matter Expert is a great way to brand yourself.  You bundle your awards, honors, education and experience in one location and quickly showcase your expertise.  This is important both or small businesses and or those that own their job.  The reason is because developing yourself as a Subject Matter Expert creates credibility.  It makes you authentic… you suddenly become a real person.  This doesn’t have to be in your area of business, either.  Again, I work in the marina industry, but my expertise comes in baton twirling.   In my speech I used the example, if your passion is in baking you may develop an apple pie fan following at your accounting firm!  Haha

The source of your messaging is grounded in the principal of “Fame vs. Fortune”.  You are working on this corner of the web to increase your money or your name recognition.  Often it’s both, but when you start focus on one.  I use “fame and fortune” as the catch phrase but I’m talking about the real world… of credibility and an extra revenue stream.

Regardless of your messaging in the “fame and fortune” decision, you need to develop an audience.  If you create the most awesome message about apple pies, and no one hears it… it’s kind of like that tree falling in the forest (you know the question, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it… did it make a sound) well, right from the start of your message development, work for collecting and creating your own audience via email.

Finally, have fun and do not get caught up on the technology!  Toastmasters have the greatest advantage when it comes to social media.  The organization teaches leadership, crafting a message, and delivering the message.  You need all three of these skills in social media success.  So what I did was show how “easy” it is to create a podcast.  (Remember a podcast is just today’s version of a radio program).  My Podcast is called the Two Minute Commute, because it takes a small business owner about two minutes to walk from their kitchen to their home office (haha) – but really, the commute is much shorter for all of us in the “world of small business”.

It was really fun to have an audience when I recorded my podcast via my iPhone in the front of a group of Toastmasters!  I hope you have fun listening to it… and make sure to visit your local Toastmasters group – they’re everywhere!  (Toastmasters.com) — and remember, “the man on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there!” V. Lombardi, Jr.    Get out there and work!

Action Step
1- Look into Toastmasters it’s a great way to improve and practice your speaking and leadership skills — two skills vital to your small business.  Go attend a meeting, here’s the Find a Club locator.
2- Invest the time in becoming a Subject Matter Expert!
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #96 1/2 (Bonus Toastmasters edition) of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Episode #81 – Become a Subject Matter Expert – Find Your Cat by Bundling Your Knowledge and Experience!

Yesterday I saw a great tweet from Sean Gardner… It is the photo I used on this post.  The three photos represent Knowledge, Experience and finally Creativity.  Knowledge is the scattered circles… experience shows straight lines connecting the circles.  However, when you combine the circles in a creative pattern you get a cat.  Today, find your cat!

I’d like you to think creative for a minute.  If you take your knowledge and experience and bundle them together in a nice package you become a subject matter expert.  This is one of the building blocks you need as a small business.  When you package yourself as a subject matter expert you are owning your corner of the web and allowing yourself to be found!

Content is produced ever minute on the internet, for example, this blog post didn’t exist yesterday… and tomorrow there will be another.  Well, multiply that by everyone posting on Facebook, adding pages to websites, or photos.  Just stop and think of photos!  There is a whole lot of noise out there and you need to cut through it.

This is where creativity is essential.  You need to position yourself as a subject matter expert.  I have an article on my website, BigFishIdeas.com that explains it in detail.  Essentially, you start as an order taker, you become a sales person, and then you are a subject matter expert.  Subject matter expert is using education, knowledge, experience, and honors, to elevate your status above the noise on the web.

You can do this in your field or business area… or you can do it in your hobby or passion.  For me, I’m in the marina industry, but my hobby/passion is baton twirling.  I competed for 17 years, I’m a former national champion, I have taught/coached and I’m currently a judge.  I created an app with a following of over 4,000 and boom… it has nothing to do with boats.  But if someone who is looking for our marina finds my baton information, they learn about me.  I break through the noise.

My other passion is small business marketing!  (Thanks for reading my blog!)  Focusing and breaking through the social media clutter for small businesses and showing how the tools can be utilized to produce results is exciting to me… because I do this for our business.  Now I share my experiences.  I enjoy speaking on the topic. I enjoy writing on the topic.  Again, nothing to do with boats, but it does build my web presence.

This is vital in an increasing internet.  Look at your knowledge and experience in a creative way… find your cat!  Connect your dots to position yourself as a subject matter expert.

PS: if you love my post… give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Read my article on Subject Matter Expert
2- Decide to position yourself as a subject matter expert
4– Install our app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)


Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Listen to Episode #81 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast


Day 4 – Test Your Website (regularly)

After going through my assessment of my websites I found several things to change now and a list of things that need to improve.  The easiest thing was to start with my header.  I decided “out with the old” and although I like the color teal, I just decided that the photo needed to change – also the website for my blog is not exactly the most mobile responsive technology out there.  That’s an important point.  You are ultimately responsible for your user experience. Sure, you may have a company that does your internet design, etc.  But at the end of the day, you need to test your site.  Make sure to test on a desktop/notebook, tablet, and mobile.  Since we’ve long passed the 50% mark on mobile as the preferred internet use method, testing your site for mobile is essential.  I had no idea mine was acting goofy… what was happening with mine is that the sides would narrow, but the photo would not.  This left my image cropped to the middle, odd.  The words also put a hyphen in the middle.  It’s proper grammar, but it looked dumb.  Now it creates a much better user experience on mobile.  If you’re reading my blog on a desk top the photo is right in the middle and slightly smaller.  Might seem small… it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a good solution.

Also on Day 4 I rebranded my old “brite goal” Instagram account to Profit Center Coach.  Since I’m using it the same way as an inspirational site, the previous audience won’t be affected by the messaging. That’s important.  If you are creating social media sites and then you change your focus, or pivot, make sure to consider your audience in the process.  If your new message is very different from your old one, just start a new site.  There’s no use is making angry followers because in the end that could hurt more than help.

I also started working on my Freemium!  This will be a neat ebook that is nearly ready to go.  When it’s ready, I’ll let you know.  You need to develop a freemium for your site, too.  This is a product that you typically email to your customer upon request.  The goal is to collect an engaged customer that is willing to trade you an email address for your free offer.  Once you receive an email you are able to stay in contact with them.  I say “typically email” sometimes it can be quite effective to mail the product.  It depends on how much your end product is, the higher priced your retail product is the more likely a customer is to give you a mailing address early in the sales funnel.  For our family marina I’ve used the mailing technique quite successfully.  In fact that’s how I won my second “Best Profit Center Idea” title at the International Marina and Boat Yard Conference.

Your Action Steps

  • Is your website mobile responsive? Test it on a desktop, tablet and mobile phone!
  • What type of freemium can you develop? Brainstorm topics and write a 2 page give-a-way!
  • Get one friend to follow this blog! (You could be your own friend… hint, “click follow”)

Thanks for joining me!

How Old is an Expert?

How old do you have to be to be considered an expert?

I was at Disney World earlier this year… Yes it was awesome.  I simply love walking around the stores, trying to figure out what the next big thing will be… 

While browsing, I began a quest for something  to bring home for my niece.  I stumbled  upon Duffy (the stuffed teddy bear) which has been in the parks for a while, but now there are clothes to dress the bear in. 

Here’s a little insight, I’m controlled by the overwhelming need to be the coolest aunt… I have two others to compete with (wink).  But I do like to bring things home that elevate my status from “nerdy old lady” to “I’m not embarrassed to be around you oh beautiful hip aunt”.  Let’s be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever achieve that… But while pondering my purchase two very nice girls stopped at the display.  I’m guessing they were 9ish.  So resorting to “not quite nerd” but “just clueless enough old lady in the store” so as not to evoke the need for “safe words” I ask… “I’m sorry to bother you ladies, but will this fit an American Girl Doll?”  As I held the pink princess gown in front of them.

My goodness… They took it from my hands, held it in the air, went into some girl speak about how it would fit with a slight adjustment to the waist but that it would look amazing on Julie, although it’s not her style – but Maryellen… Yes, she’s definitely wear that” — my head was spinning.  Fortunately, my niece had both of those dolls so I could agree, again, trying to maintain “cool”.

And there it was.  My experts, at that moment in time, were 9. years old.   They had the knowledge of any marketing and fashion expert. They understood branding – remember Julie wouldn’t wear it… They sized the garment… Offered suggestions on proper fit and as quickly as they entered my life.  Poof they were gone.  

This just goes to show you that you can never discount the input of your customers.  Even the small ones… They see the world in an entirely different vantage, and you know what – they get it!