Books, Books, and More Books.

This post has links to my Amazon Account and I do get paid if you use those links to purchase these books. Even if you don’t use my links, get these books and read them, they are a goldmine of information!

Books are a great way to bring up your knowledge and get better at any business you choose to go into. I am going to talk about my top five books and why I think every business owner and entrepreneur should read them. My top books shifts all the time, but these are my usually my go to recommendations.

#1 Smart Marketers Toolbox by Eric Schulz.

I had the privilege of being in some of Mr. Schulz’s classes in college and they were always eye opening. This book is all about marketing taken from real world examples and practically applied. Veteran marketers won’t see anything they haven’t heard before, but I still recommend it to them because the layout of his techniques and the simplicity in which they are used will help streamline anyone’s marketing campaigns. For beginning marketers this book is the gold standard, it is a must read and will help guide you with effective and practical marketing.

#2 Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson

The go to book if you are trying to market and don’t have the budget to compete with the big boys. This book talks about way to maximize your impact no matter what your budget is and each new addition provides even more value. This book is full of ideas and real world examples to help you push your marketing beyond what you thought possible for your budget. A must for every business book shelf.

#3 Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

I am a big supporter of Content Marketing and this book has a lot of the techniques I use. It’s the perfect primer to getting you started writing great content and using that content to grab customers and create fans. From blogs and podcasts to videos and webinars this book shows a you how to do it well. Content marketing can be used for almost every business which is why I highly recommend this book to almost everyone.

#4 Influencer by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler

This book is so powerful and a must for leaders and marketers alike. How to influence people is a key skill needed if you are running a business or you are doing marketing of any type, including just marketing yourself. This book teaches you the skills and strategies of creating change and bringing other people along with your vision.

#5 Bootstrap Business by Rich Christiansen and Ron E. Porter

Financial mistakes are dangerous for any business but even more so for new businesses starting out. They don’t usually have the capital reserves to overcome errors or to waste money at any point in their growth. This book shows you how to avoid those pitfalls and get your business profitable faster by not spending too much too fast. I love all the practical advice and tips that have kept me out of financial trouble.

6 Essentials for a Productive Team

Building a real team is hard work and most give up after they formed a work group. A real team can produce amazing results and is worth the effort to build.

Common Goal
For team alignment, the team needs a common goal. It should be crystal clear what the goal is. It should be stated at every meeting, posted on the team board. Without a clarified goal there is no reason for a team to exist.

Communication and Collaboration
The first few meetings will be all about learning how to communicate with each other. Constant communication and the accompanying collaboration are vital to the teams success, don’t neglect it. 

A team needs ownership and control over all decisions, processes, and activities that are made within the team, and that ultimately affect their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Without control, the team is just a workgroup.

Positive Conflict
The team needs to have conflict but in a positive way. Without conflict, you risk group think and the team will be less effective. As long as the group processes differences in opinion in a positive manner they will resolve the coflicts and have better solutions

 The organization must empower and support the team as a whole. The team also empowers its members. Key elements of this are that leadership and responsibilities must be shared. Everyone must share the same vision

A diverse team is an effective team. Diversity helps prevent groupthink and promotes a healthy range of ideas. Sometimes it’s hard to form a diverse team but make the effort to create as diverse of a team as possible.  

Why Teamwork Matters

Teamwork is essential for a company to thrive however 39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough. It was found that only 14% of companies have workers who understand the company strategy, goals and direction. It is a known problem as 97% of employees believe a lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project and 96% of execs cite lack of collaboration of ineffective communications for workplace failures. Here are some stats as to why teamwork is important.

Lack of teamwork costs a lot of time. Employees spend 20% of their time looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues or help. The average time spent in the office trying to contact customers or colleagues is 74 minutes. 25% of employees frequently go outside their department to look for knowledge.
28 hours a week is spent writing emails, searching for information and collaborating internally. Poorly managed work groups are on average 50% less productive.

Teams that work together well (teams in the top 25%) incur lower healthcare costs. 64% of Millennials would be happier making $40K a year at a job they enjoy, rather than making 100K a year at a job they find uninteresting.

Employee turnover costs a company time and morale and lack of teamwork is a major factor causing an increase in employees leaving. 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Businesses with effective communication are 50% more likely to have lower employee turnover. 75% of employees are leaving their job because of poor management. 27% of employees who plan to leave within the first year cite feeling “disconnected” to the organization. 

So it’s clear Teamwork is critical to business success, so this week we will talk about the ways to get your teams working together.

Social Media Marketing for Business Class

Social Media Marketing for Business Feb 13th, 11am – 3:30pm

Social Media for Business is a comprehensive class that teaches you how to effectively create and execute a social media marketing campaign. We will talk about the why and how of social media including step by step how to make your social media easy and effective.

Social media strategy, content creation, tracking results, producing ads, and getting real audience engagement will all be covered. Take a look at the full list of skills you will be learning and sign up today. Space is limited.

Facebook Marketing: 9 Ways to Increase Facebook Engagement

Engagement is the key metric you should be watching as you market your business on Facebook. The higher your engagement the more people are listening to what you have to say. I’d rather have 100 people listening to me than 10,000 ignoring me. Here are 9 ways to get your engagement higher. 

Post at the Right Time 

Post when your followers are most active. Post consistently, your followers should know when to expect new content. Every industry has a different time when their posts do best, it all depends on the audience. You can look up the most popular times to post on Facebook and start there, adjusting as you see the times your audience is online.  

Don’t Just Post Ads 

How often do you log on to Facebook hoping to see some ads? Everyone else is the same way, even ads we interact with are interruptions to the reason we are on Facebook in the first place. If all you post are ads people will have no reason to follow you or engage with your content. Post content related to your brand. News, stories, events, funny content, anything that you think your audience would like to hear and keeps within your brand personality. So, what are your followers looking to see while they are on Facebook? 

Get Visual 

Visual content rules on Facebook so make sure yours pops. Don’t post the same pictures over and over, keep your content fresh and visual. Use different looks that are consistent with your brand image. If you aren’t as skilled in graphic arts use a program like Canva to give your page a professional look. Image is everything, make sure yours says the right things. 

Analyze What You Did Right 

Look over your most popular posts and figure out why they did well. Improve on that and you keep improving your engagement. You can test content to find out what makes it better, was it a color, a certain call to action, a specific subject. Always be looking at the insights tab on your page, it gives you all the clues you need to grow your audience and get them engaging with your page. 

Tailor Your Content to Facebook 

What’s trending? What are people looking for? How-to guides, heartwarming stories, quizzes, surprising stats, and bold opinion pieces tend to dominate the Facebook landscape. Every brand is different and not every type of content will work for you. Keep your brand personality consistent, if it’s a serious reserved brand it could look bad to post jokes. Watch other brands and see what works for them, they might have the market research resources you don’t. 

Reply Back 

This is Social Media, with emphasis on social. If someone takes the time to comment, respond. Engaging with followers creates more engagement on your page. Many brands just fire and forget, never chatting with their audience, don’t be like them. People like interacting on social media, the ones that don’t like interacting would have never commented. It’s ok to delete inappropriate comments but the rest deserve your attention. 

Call to Action 

Consistently use calls to action. Like my page. Follow us for more content like this. Share this with friends. It encourages them to engage and interact and to bring others onto your page to interact. Likely people interested in your page know people like themselves who would also like your content so encourage it as much as you can, just don’t get carried away. 

Keep it Short 

You can post longer articles on your Facebook page just don’t expect as much engagement. A lot of people want quick, bite-sized content or they are on mobile, so they skip the wall of text. If you decide to post longer form content make sure there is plenty of quick, visual content as well to keep the mobile users happy. If your audience is predominantly on the phone you may want to save the long post for your blog. 

Post Video 

Put your video directly on Facebook. You shouldn’t be surprised that Facebook prioritizes its own content over sending someone to another page to see a video. You can post links to your video channel in the description or comments if you are trying to drive traffic that way. Video links are ok but if it’s your own content post it direct for a boost in visibility and engagement. 

Facebook Marketing: 7 Things to Make Your Facebook Marketing Strategy Effective.

Facebook is still the largest social media platform so if you are doing your marketing without a strategy it is very easy for your message to get lost in all the noise. So how do you create a strategy that will help you get your message into the hands of those you need to hear it? Here are seven things to get you started and rise above the clutter. 

Set your goals for Facebook. 

Don’t leave Facebook to chance Know what and why you are posting Have measurable goals to accomplish what you want to happen. This is the first step in creating an effective strategy. If you don’t know where you are going you could end up anywhere and waste both time and money. In 2018 Sprout Social Index found that marketers on Facebook had these top goals in mind: 

-34% wanted to increase brand awareness. 

-21% wanted to increase community engagement. 

-11% wanted to increase sales and lead generation. 

If you don’t already know where you want to focus these are a few good places to start. You may also want to consider increasing sales, recruiting, providing better customer service, and adding value for your customers. 

Know Your Audience 

Do your research and make sure you know who you are talking to. Different demographics communicate in different ways. Taking a look at the Pew Research Center’s research on Facebook demographics is a good start, but more importantly is looking at your customer base and finding out more about them. Questionnaires, one to one conversations and other market research can teach you a lot about who you need to talk to. 

Engage Your Audience 

Social Media is about communication. Get your audience talking, bring up subjects that interest them, ask and answer questions. Better engagement should always be your goal because then your audience is listening to you and not just skipping you page or promotions. Facebook suppresses organic content from businesses but if you build an engaged community you can turn that algorithm in your favor. 

Schedule Your Content 

Consistency is key. Make sure your audience knows when to expect posts. Make sure it comes out in intervals when your audience is most active. Every audience is different, but you can get a good start by looking at Facebooks own research. These may not be the best times for your audience but it’s likely they are close. Here are the best (and worst) times to post on Facebook for most industries. 

-Wednesday is the best single day to post. 

-11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday gets the most engagement. 

-The best general time to post is on weekdays between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

-Sunday gets the least engagement. 

-The least recommended times include early mornings and late at night. 

Create an Ad Strategy 

Your ads on Facebook should have a strategy as well. Use it to further your overall goals. Don’t spend a lot until you find an ad that performs well. Never use the boost button, it wastes your money. You can get good responses with it but if you set it up as an ad you can target the content better and get higher engagement for the same price. Always do small sample tests, see what works for getting your audience’s attention before you spend a lot of money on an ad. In general, several smaller ads give you more bang for your buck, but it takes more time to make them. Of course, make sure your ad goes along with your Facebook strategy you decided previously. How does it help your goal? When making your ad consider: 

-Does it relate to your company and effectively showcase your product or service? 

-What do the viewers get out of it? It could be a deal, discount, promotion, whitepaper or an industry guide? 

-Does your content maintain the same tone and feel across your entire Facebook page? 

-Your content must create action. This goes back to your goals. A clear and specific call to action is best. 

Encourage Employee Advocacy 

With good company culture, your employees should be your biggest supporters. Get them involved with your Facebook presence and make it fun. According to a Sprout report, 72% of people said they felt more connected with a brand when its employees shared information about it on social media. Also make sure the management is engaged. In that same report, 70% of consumers feelt more connected  when the CEO was active on social media. 

Track and Analyze Your Results 

If it’s not measured, it’s not managed. Keep track of your Facebook stats as you learn and progress so you can tell what is working and what needs to be improved. This is one way of making sure your efforts on social media are a good return on your investment (ROI). Impressions, followers, engagement, are all good numbers to follow to see if your brand is trending up or down on Facebook. 

Facebook Marketing: Getting Your Message Out on Facebook

A perfectly crafted message doesn’t do you any good if you can’t reach your potential customers with it. So how do you get your message out there so you can start growing your business? There are thousands of ways to get a message out to the masses but in this post, I will be talking specifically about Facebook. Here are 6 methods that work for getting eyes on what you have to say.

Cover Picture

An often overlooked avenue to getting a message out there is the cover picture. This is the large picture at the top of your business page. You can show your brand personality through pictures, quotes, or statistics, whatever gets people to stop and pay attention. You can also put your call to action here, getting your customers interacting with your company. This is in addition to your call to action button on your page so this gives you the ability to have 2 different calls to action.

Posting on Your Page

This should go without saying yet a lot of businesses still don’t post regularly. Don’t just post ads you won’t create engagement if all you do is sell. You should post information your customers are looking for, show that you are the expert in your field and can solve problems and pain points for them. Content marketing is still big and it’s effective at gaining new customers.


The basic Facebook ad is a powerful tool that businesses neglect. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. I have seen $10 ads create big impact. Show and give value, present a clear call to action, don’t spend big money until you know you have an ad that works. Ads work best when you use them in conjunction with page and group postings.

Post in Groups

There are 620 million Facebook groups so the likelihood there is one containing your ideal customers is high. If the groups you find don’t allow ads that’s even better because there is less noise to contend with and you can become known as a trusted resource and use that to drive traffic to your page. Show you are an expert and be useful to the members of the group.

Form Your Own Group

Do you have information customers need? Form a group and you can advertise to a captive audience. Let people ask questions, pose problems, help each other and build community. Set the expectations from the beginning and stick to it. Make sure the group stays active with good content and not just spam.

Facebook Messenger

More commonly used to spam by businesses and bots, you can use this tool to bring in more customers and business if you use it right. Don’t message unless they request it and primarily focus on helping rather than selling. Don’t be spammy and don’t over use it, still one more tool in your box if you use it right and bring a personal touch.

Facebook Marketing: Setting Up Your Page

With 2.7 Billion monthly active users Facebook is too big for businesses to ignore. Some businesses can manage their entire structure on the platform from marketing and lead generation to order fulfillment and customer support. Setting up your business page is an important first step. These are the seven steps I feel are essential for every business. I still see a lot of businesses skipping these easy steps and I know it can cost them business so make sure your business page has its best foot forward by following this guide, it really is the minimum you should be doing.

  1. Create your page. Decide what type of account you want to set up, your choices are either a Business/Brand account or a Community/Public figure page. This of course depends on your company structure and how you want to connect with your audience. Most businesses set up a Business or Brand account because that most closely aligns with their business structure and goals. The Community pages are for organizations to spread information to members of that group and the Public Figure pages are for influencers, artists and similar businesses where on person or a small group is the brand. As you are setting up your page make sure you choose carefully since changing the name and URL is a troublesome process.
  2. Add some photos. Specifically, you need your profile photo and your cover photo. A good idea for your cover photo is to put your business logo there as most brands do. If you have something unique and recognizable about your business you could put that as your profile photo like a mascot or specific building. The cover photo should express your brand personality or be a second place to express your Call to Action (CTA). Many businesses put up a generic picture as the cover photo and are missing an opportunity to speak to your audience. Of course there are lots of ways to show brand personality or deliver a call to action, make sure whatever your cover picture is that it aligns with your goals on Facebook.
  3. Add a short description of your business. This description will appear on the side of your page as well as in search results when people are looking for a business like yours. There are two things your description should do, first explain what your business or at least this page does or what it is for. Second, to show off your brand personality. After reading the description people should have a good idea what they are going to find by looking further. Of course you have to keep it short, under 255 character, on top of all that. A good description takes a while. Get something on the description and improve it late if you have to, something is better than nothing.
  4. Create your business name. This is the name that will appear in your URL and will be how people tag your page. Make it logical and simple so people will remember it easier, most likely you will just use your business, group, or artist name. If your preferred name gets taken you have to get creative probably by adding something to your name. As an example, “the real”, ‘the original”, “the best” are some ideas to get you thinking about how you can get your Facebook name to stand out. Make sure to use it as you promote your page by placing the @ symbol in front of it every time you tag your page (remember, no spaces when using this method).
  5. Set up your page roles. If you are the only one in the business this is simple but the more people who help with your marketing the more roles you need to set. Each level, Admin, Editor, Moderator, Advertiser, Analyst, and Jobs Manager each have different abilities to manage your page. Remember that if you make someone an admin they can do pretty much whatever they want on your page. As the owner you can still remove them but only give the level of access your team truly needs and make sure you trust who you add to roles on your page.
  6. Set up your notifications. In the settings, you can set up what type of notifications you want to receive, how often and where you want it sent. Keep in mind this is how you will keep track of and interact with your page so make sure you are receiving enough notifications to easily run your business page. Some notifications are critical and depending on how hands on you will be with your page you may get multiple messages per day.
  7. Add your call to action. One of the most important things is your call to action (CTA). A call to action is when you encourage the visitor to your page to move to the next step in becoming a client. Usually Facebook isn’t the final destination of your clients journey, you need to get them to your webpage, email list or some other place to turn them from a visitor to a paying client. Make sure your call to action is clear and they understand what will happen by clicking the button. Being vague or misleading will result in not only fewer clients but fewer people interacting with your Facebook page. Not everyone is ready to be a client yet, but if you are clear and honest when they are ready to engage your business they will be more likely to do so and become your customer.

Why Aren’t You Podcasting?

Podcasting is one of the fastest growing yet often overlooked ways to do content marketing. The key to good content marketing is educating potential clients and the main reason people listen to podcasts is to learn something new. Three out of four podcast listeners tune in to learn and be inspired.

Another good reason to be podcasting is that people who listen to podcasts are more likely to buy products advertised than other forms of content marketing. They are interested in the podcast and if the products being sold are relevant to the audience they are very likely to at least take a look at the website.

Being a guest on a podcast builds credibility as well. Just talking about what you know and how you can help people will drive traffic to your website if you are speaking to the right audience. Conversion rates are also higher, in fact 4 times higher than regular brand advertising.

So get out there and podcast, or find the right podcast to be a guest on. Most podcasts (including ours) are looking for guests to help create great content and talk to their listeners. Get podcasting!

LinkedIn Profile Best Practices

LinkedIn is a little different than other social media platforms because it is more formal. If you treat it like Facebook or Twitter you won’t get good results and my end up standing out in a bad way. Here are some tips and tricks to successfully navigate the world of LinkedIn.

1) Complete your profile
Personally, I would hope this goes without saying, but fill out your profile as
completely as possible. There should be very few things on your profile
that are blank. It’s not always possible to fill everything out, but you should
make the effort.
• List all the jobs or positions you’ve held, along with descriptions of your
• Have 5 or more skills on your profile.
• Write a summary about yourself.
• Fill out your industry and postal code.
• Add where you went to school.

2) Add an updated profile picture
Profiles without pictures seem sketchy. Even when it’s someone I know I
am very cautious about connecting if there is no picture. Also, make sure
your picture is up to date or within a few years. It is unsettling and
unprofessional to have pictures on Linkedin that don’t look like you.

3) Network. Network. Network.
This is the key to making Linkedin work for you. There are two strategies
here. Connect with everyone or connect with only the people you actually
know. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

4) Personalize connection requests.
Don’t send the standard Linkedin connection request. Personalize the
request to the person you are sending it to. It is more professional and it
shows you care about connecting professionally with that person.

5) Grab your name
Courtesy: Ken Krogue, Forbes Writer.
Did you know you can get your own name as your linked in profile instead
of the alphabet soup you were randomly assigned? This makes it look
more professional on your emails and resumes. It also makes your
Linkedin page easier to remember. Go to the profile edit page and an edit
button is available at the end of your Linkedin URL.

6) Never SPAM!
Another no brainer. It is possible to spam and get one or two leads, but at
the cost of potential relationships. No one likes being spammed. Just don’t
do it.

7) Edit or Remove Endorsements.
Your endorsement section is out there for everyone to see. Sometimes we
are endorsed in ways we don’t want. Sometimes we are endorsed and it
looks biased. You can remove endorsements on your profile edit page.
Trim up your endorsement to keep your best foot forward.

8) Freely give and receive recommendations.
Someone asks for a recommendation, give it. Don’t have a
recommendation, ask. This is a way to let others know what to expect from
you. People like a second opinion.

9) Join industry and local LinkedIn Groups.
Groups are a great way to learn information about subjects that interest
you professionally. Many industry leaders post in these professional
groups. If you have some insight, post it. It gets your voice out there and
could lead to some great connections.

10) Vet a group before you join.
Groups are great in general, but some are just ads in disguise. Pay
attention to who the members are and what topics they are discussing.

11) Use 3×3 analysis when connecting with people.
Courtesy: Steve Richard of Vorsight
Meeting someone you can find on Linkedin? Spend 3 minutes and learn 3
things about them you can use as talking points. It shows professionalism
and attention to detail. People like talking about themselves so it helps you
build rapport quickly.

12) Use InMail strategically.
Don’t use Inmail like your regular email. A good practice is to only use it for
business that is being facilitated on Linkedin. An example would be asking
for an introduction to another Linkedin connection. Use your email for
normal correspondence and Inmail for Linked in business.

13) Use Follow effectively.
Follow industry leaders. Follow businesses that interest you within your
industry or related industries. This will get your profile more exposure and
you can meet interesting people in your field.

14) Use “Tags” to categorize your connections.
This is especially useful when you have a lot of connections. You can keep
track of where you met each person and how you know them.

15) Ask for referrals through LinkedIn.
Looking for a new job? Looking to connect to a company? Find out who
you know and ask for a referral. Make sure you follow good business
etiquette so Linkedin remains a great place to get your referrals.

16) Browse LinkedIn privately.
If you are looking at a lot of peoples profiles and businesses,
browse privately. This way you don’t seem like a stalker. It is the polite
thing to do.

17) Add media.
Put up your blog posts. Link articles. Post videos. In general, get yourself
on the Linkedin feed. This can create top of mind exposure and help with
your other Linkedin business.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or drop me any questions you have.