Category Archives: Business

Why I Created A Facebook Fan Page

After over a year of thinking about it, I finally created my first Facebook fan page. Actually, officially Facebook has moved away from the term “fan” and just calls is a Facebook page. I like that also because thinking about having people become “fans” of mine, rather asking them to do it, just seemed so narcissistic; definitely not normally my style. Anyway, it’s under the name of my business site, so if you’re on Facebook and would like to take a look, check out T. T. Mitchell Consulting, Inc, which is my main business name.

Why did I create this page? After all, I’ve had to think about it for so long that you’d think anything I had to basically convince myself to do that I probably would walk away from it. That’s my normal pattern, for sure.

Truthfully, it was an impulse decision. There was some research and thought over all this time, and the truth is that I’m now looking to push all aspects of my business just a bit further than I already have. After all, with my other site, I talk about helping businesses find ways to maximize their online presence. Turns out that, for SEO purposes, creating a page to link to your business is more effective than creating a group page. I don’t know why, but there’s some history out there, so it makes some sense. Kind of like some folks and Squidoo pages.

However, Squidoo just doesn’t work for me personally; can’t really say why. I wasn’t sure Facebook would work for me either, but I have more than 300 friends there, or do I believe, and that’s more than I would have on Squidoo.

I also know you’re probably remembering what I had to say about Facebook group pages, but since the focus is much different, and what I’ll be doing is much different, I don’t really need participation on that page as much as people just seeing what’s going on with me.

What do you do? You go to a page like this, where it tells you what you’ll be getting, kind of, and then there’s a link that says “create a page.” You click that, and follow the instructions, which is to answer a few questions, and you’re on your way.

Okay, that’s not quite it. I wasn’t sure what to do with my page once it was first created because unlike a group, you can’t just start writing all sorts of stuff in free form. Groups aren’t supposed to be for advertising purposes anyway, and since pages are, they’re trying to keep you in some kind of format. What did I do? I contacted one of my friends, Shirley Frazier of Solo Business Marketing, for some assistance.

Basically, what she said was to add all my business and product links to the page so people would know what to follow and look at if they came to the page. Also, you can write something on your wall, and I also wrote a message in the discussion area. I’ve told people they can write comments, ask questions in the discussion area, and I’ll answer whatever I can. I added all my business links, which consisted of three websites and 3 blogs. I have other sites, but I’m not considering any of those business related, per se, so I won’t be adding those. I added a link to my newsletter page and my books and CD, and samples of my articles.

Then, instead of doing a blast out to all my friends, which just didn’t feel right for me to do, I wrote on my status wall that I’d created it and asked people to take a look. Yeah, I know, I get tons of page suggestions all the time, but I just didn’t want to do that back to anyone. My friend Kelvin says I’m not thinking like a business marketer, since I am talking about my business, and he’s probably right, but so be it. I’m writing about it here, I put it on Twitter, and I’ll put it on LinkedIn, and I think that’ll be enough.

Anyway, I hope you check it out, if you’re on Facebook; thanks.

Prioritizing Your Projects

Well, this is rare for me. I haven’t written a new blog post since Monday, and here it is Friday. What’s going on?

I have many projects going on at this time, so much so that I’ve neglected this blog for the time being. As some of you know, I was out of town many days last week, even though I was able to keep up with blog posts at that time. I wrote a few posts ahead of time so I could concentrate on my big paying project.


Time Flies
Time Flies

Well, this week I’ve been working on catching up on all my other projects that bring in money, along with trying to finish up the big project so I can get paid for that and move on. Many of my other projects involve writing, which means research at the same time, and while researching that stuff I was able to keep up, to a degree, with my other blogs in some fashion. But I’ve kind of missed out on this one, so I apologize for that.

However, it brings up the point of how people prioritize their projects. For me, it starts with what’s paying, and how much, and how fast. Just to throw some false numbers out, if it comes down to working on the project that not only pays multiple thousands of dollars, but faster than the multiple hundreds of dollars, even if the hundreds has been more consistent money, I’m going with the big bucks first. Next is the consistent money, because one doesn’t treat anyone as second class clients. After that you take care of yourself, because, if you’re me, taking care of myself could end up bringing in money also.

Right now where I’m lacking is that I don’t have my PDA anymore. It broke, and I haven’t purchased a new one yet. I’ve been balking because when I bought the thing two years ago it only cost me $130, and now that they’ve discontinued it, but still have it on the market, some places are charging upwards of $399 for it; no way! However, I used to use it for all my planning and note taking and portable record keeping and address book, and now I have none of that. It makes doing much of what I want to do harder to keep up with.

How do most of you handle your projects overall, since I assume most of you don’t have a PDA? Or do you just work haphazardly? Something to think about, and I’d love reading your answers.
 

Different Degrees Of Gaming The System

Suffice it to say, many of us write our blogs and hope to find a loyal audience. To get a portion of that loyal audience, something else we do is visit each other’s blogs and, when we can, we write comments on those blogs. It not only helps us in potentially getting people to follow the link back to you, but it helps them because not only are you contributing to the community, but you’re also helping their community grow. It seems that people love commenting on blogs that show some kind of activity.

If you wanted to, you could say that’s a way to “game the system”. I don’t necessarily believe it, but the truth is that it’s nice knowing there are some people who have your back from time to time.

However, I’m betting most of us can’t compare to what’s been reported about the Chinese government. It seems that China wants to change its reputation around the world in the worst way (so many ways to go on this one). So what they’ve done is hired 280,000 people to write good things about the country. Not only on their own blog, but on other websites that even mention China:vacation sites, political sites, product sites… you name it.

This isn’t new, really. How many folks remember the tale of Belkin, a company that was caught having its own employees review their products in many places, including eBay and Amazon, favorably, until someone found an internal memo and leaked it? It’s that sort of thing that brought about the FCC’s new policy on disclosure.

At the same time, who can compete with 280,000 people being paid to say nice things about you, other than India? That’s really gaming the system, and that’s just not right. I mean, almost no one here would be upset to get that kind of great press for their blogs or websites, but at the end of the day, it’s disingenuous, false, and no one benefits from it, including the person being talked about.

How do you feel about this one? Am I wrong?

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How Do You Work Projects?

First, I’d like to point to another guest post of mine, this time on Rose’s Blogger Talk blog, the topic of which is Why Have A Business Blog. Thanks for the opportunity, Rose.

I’m presently working on a big health care project. It’s a short term project, but there’s a lot of technical numerical information that I have to get through to get it completed. I actually love working on things with this kind of detail, and I’m glad to have another big project after such a long time.

There’s always the question of how people work projects. I’ve changed up from how I’ve done things in the past this time around. Usually I plow my way through things, not giving any time to anything else, until it’s done. This time around, I’m spacing things out somewhat, giving my mind some mental breaks here and there. I’m doing that because not only do I want to make sure I don’t make any mistakes, but I know there are a couple of areas that are going to take me longer to get through than other parts.

This isn’t a project of my own doing, however. In May, I’m going to be doing a presentation on customer service, one day a regular seminar, the next day a webinar on the same thing. I’ll be advertising it once we’ve solidified where we’re having it. Anyway, I had to put together an outline for what I wanted to talk about, which was going to help with advertising.

This was one of those times where, once I started, I had to get through the entire thing, and, me being me, it took just about an hour to actually write the entire outline, which was 80 lines or so. Outlines are my way of doing most things when I get a chance. When I’ve created my websites, I’ve always written an outline first, as well as sketched the design. When I wrote my books and ebooks, I went with an outline. Every live presentation I do starts with an outline.

Thing is, I know people do all sorts of things. For instance, I know a writer of fiction who, before he starts writing, always writes biographies for as many people as he figures he knows are going to be in his story. If he ends up introducing new characters, he’ll stop writing the story and write a biography on the new character.

I also know a lot of people who don’t plan anything. They just start projects and believe that things will come together. Of course, those are the people who most often end up having to start all over, but if that’s their way, so be it.

How do you work on projects? I’d really like to know if there are other ways people get things done.

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Expert, Specialist, Professional Or Hack?

Last night I went to a local networking event that turned into a presentation. It was put on by a group called Syracuse First, an organization whose initiative is to get people to buy and spend their money locally to enhance the area. Supposedly, studies have been shown that when you spend your money with local companies, they tend to put 73% of it back into the community, whereas spending money at large places such as Walmart sends money out of your state and into other people’s pockets. It’s a great initiative.

Anyway, the networking event also turned into a presentation on social media, which I wasn’t expecting, but it wasn’t all that bad. One of the presenters, a buddy of mine named Paddy (no, not his real name), who runs a company and blog called ODX Fusion, began his portion by saying he wasn’t an expert, because most of social media was new and there were so many outlets that there was no way one person could actually know them all. He announced that instead he was a professional because he helped his clients figure out how to use certain social media outlets to their advantage.

My wife was there with me and she asked me if I was an expert. I told her I wasn’t an expert, but considered myself as a specialist. However, I realized that on my SEO website I list myself as an internet marketing consultant for small businesses, and that I do a lot of what my friend Paddy does. And yeah, he’s higher than me on Google for the term locally; have to work on that (I’m higher on Yahoo and Bing, though). lol

Overall, I was thinking that, in a way, it doesn’t matter all that much what we call ourselves. There are really two things that matter. One, how proficient are we in the things we do know, so that we can tell our readers and potential customers how to use these things to their advantage. Two, can we live up to whatever perception it is that we decide to allow others to have of us, whether we say we’re this or that or not.

For instance, among my friends I’m the computer / internet / social media expert; there’s not even a question in most of their minds. Yet, I’ve never told anyone I was an expert at anything. Sure, there’s a lot of stuff I can do. I’ve fixed a lot of computers and come up with some ingenious things every once in awhile, but there are things such as never replacing a motherboard or power source that I’ve never done. I don’t consider those as acceptable risks I want to be liable for, even though I’ve pretty much done everything else. Last week my wife’s hard drive just up and quit, and none of the tricks I knew worked, including putting it in the freezer. No information retrieval, and unlike my computer hers had never been backed up; I wasn’t feeling all that much of an expert last week.

Every once in awhile I wonder how I can call myself a social media specialist when there are so many new things out there that I don’t even know about, let alone know how to use. I mean, have you checked out Ching Ya’s blog and seen some of the things she talks about? Wow!

Then I come back to the reality that I know about a lot of them, at least in passing, and made a determination that it wasn’t a direction I personally wanted to go. Kind of like in my post the other day on creatures of our generations, I’ve determined that my own sensibilities just don’t fit certain things. Yet, I do know about them, and if I’m talking to a client or potential client I mention these things, give an unbiased opinion on them unless they ask me if I use them, in which case I tell the truth, and let them make their own decisions about it.

I can build website, but I know nothing about flash. I’ve often wondered if that negates my claim of being able to do all sorts of websites until I realized that the reason I’ve never learned flash is because I’m not a designer. In other words, I can create functional websites and I can suggest colors and maybe a few different layouts. But if someone wanted a fancy splash page, or wanted a cool template, that’s beyond my mental capabilities.


Rolling Hills
Rolling Hills

As a kid, I drew two types of pictures all the time. One was my belief of what an idyllic scene would be, with a rolling hill, a sun in the corner, V-birds in the sky with a couple of clouds, a few trees, a pond, maybe a couple of flowers, and a house with one door and one big window in the middle on the second level; that’s what comes from never living in a house. The other was where I’d take my ruler and just draw straight lines, sometimes intersecting, sometimes not, then coloring each box I had left with different colors until every box had a new color. And there was a mathematical progression in it all, such that one day I put 5 of them together and was amazed at how close they all were to each other. Shame. 🙂

In your normal day, no matter what you do or how many things you do, how do you look at yourself? Do you even try to classify yourself? How do you perceive others see you? And finally, what are you ready to try to live up to?
 

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