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By Nancy Sheed

Behind the Seens with Nika Stewart

Behind the “Seens” with Nika Stewart of Ghost Tweeting

 

Learn how this social media guru builds trust by going LIVE!

Social media trailblazer, national speaker, and CEO of GhostTweeting.com, Nika Stewart has built a reputation for turning entrepreneurs into social media superstars. Her company builds social communities and helps amplify the visibility of celebrities and those who should be. Recently, Nika has been maximizing her exposure and leveraging her clients’ profiles with the magical power of live-video streaming. Let’s learn more!

What has been a game-changer for growing your audience?

“Well, putting my money where my mouth is and truly walking my talk is what grows my audience. In other words, I use all the Ghost Tweeting tools and programs to expand my visibility, grow my audience, and help me get sales from social media. When I recommend any of our programs, it’s because I know they work!”

What are you favorite social media networks or platforms?

“I love Twitter. The culture fits my style – quick thoughts, fast connections, a way to experiment while sharing information. I have found Twitter to be the best platform for growing Thought Leadership in business.”

What are you doing differently this year to reach more people?

“This year, I’ve personally become more active on LinkedIn. And Ghost Tweeting is being more consistent with email marketing. We’re also adding new ways to get in front of our target audience: videos, live-streaming, webinars, and coaching programs.

This May, my partner and I launched a weekly live web show for entrepreneurs, Small Biz Cafe.”

Nika note: I don’t think anyone should add another network until they are extremely proficient and have built systems on the networks they are currently on. Otherwise everything becomes watered down, and nothing is effective.

What’s your stellar secret in connecting with your peeps?

“I seem to be good at building trust on social media. This comes from consistently sharing value, plus daily engagement. We all need to spend time each day personally reaching out and acknowledging our audience. It’s the only way for people to get to know us, like us, and trust us enough to spend money with us.”

Can you share some stellar stats?

“I have a verified Twitter account with 72K+ followers. I get paying clients from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.”

What do you do to disconnect?

“I love spending time with my family. I enjoy walks with my husband, playing games, and watching Doctor Who with my daughter, and reading mysteries. But honestly, coming up with new business programs and marketing ideas is wildly fun for me.”

Want more?

If you want more information about Nika and GhostTweeting, here’s where you can find and follow her: website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Check out our Facebook LIVE interview where we get the more “behind the ‘seens'” scoop.

Behind the Seens with The Novel Neighbor

Behind the “Seens” with Holland Saltsman, a neighborly bookstore maven

Find out how Holland Saltsman, owner of The Novel Neighbor book and gift store, became a mini-celebrity with book enthusiasts well beyond her St. Louis neighborhood.

What has been a game-changer for growing your audience? 

We were very lucky because we had a loyal following before we even opened the doors thanks to the success of our Indiegogo fundraising campaign (we raised $20K!) and our advance Facebook outreach. I also believe it was critical that we chose the right community in which to open the store.

More recently though, my “numbers” have increased exponentially, from social media followers to new people coming in the store whenever I am featured on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s website or podcast. It’s amazing – we have actually become a destination for people who have heard about the store when mentioned or interviewed by Anne. So what started as an innocent coffee meeting when I was a “fan girl” has turned into a very strategic relationship.

What are you favorite social media networks or platforms?

Novel Neighbor on Instagram (opens in new tab/window)Initially, we were focused on using Facebook as our primary social media platform – sharing our events and mass quantities of information (articles, lists, and fun community news). We were also using Twitter to engage with authors and influencers and the community.

In the last four months, however, we’ve gotten much more consistent and strategic, and getting more response from Instagram, and are now actually able to sell products, books, and other things right from our Instagram account, so we are really trying to post there on a daily basis.

What are you doing differently this year to reach more people?

Visit the Novel Neighbor (opens in new tab/window)After reviewing the Novel Neighbor website analytics with my SEO expert, Patrick Powers Digital, we decided it was time to make the website work more efficiently, particularly with regard to visibility of and engagement with our EVENTS. We also wanted to optimize LOCAL SEARCH opportunities for being found in the area.  So we have just re-launched with a new look for our website this past month!

What’s your stellar secret in connecting with your peeps?

St. Louis is a strong literary place. We are extremely lucky to have four independent bookstores supported in the area, but we are all very different.  Our most “secret sauce” is that we know KID’S LIT! We have an incredibly strong reputation with the community, with publishers, with authors, and most importantly, with the kids – that we know our stuff in this genre.

Also, I believe we create the unique experience of helping people find the perfect things they didn’t even know they were looking for. We have truly developed a sense of community and engagement, both in person and online, that is consistent for our neighborhood customers. Heck, we are now carrying branded Novel Neighbor stuff (bags, mugs, candles) because our customers were asking for more Novel Neighbor!

Oh yeah – we’re also pretty funny – on the verge of snarky! It works well with the kids (and the adults who still act like kids).

Can you share some stellar stats?

>Indiegogo – Raised $20K
>Facebook – 5,034
>Instagram – 1,932

What do you do to disconnect?

My first and best escape is to TRAVEL whenever I can. It’s getting easier now than it was when I first opened the store. I still love to READ, when it doesn’t feel like homework. It’s also fun for me to GET OUT LOCALLY to support my other community neighbors in their businesses.  And, of course, the odd music festival with my sisters is a pretty good reset too. (Editor’s note: I agree, follow #SaltsmanSisters)

Want more?

If you want more information about Holland and The Novel Neighbor, here’s where you can find and follow her: website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Also check Holland (and me) out on this recent Facebook Live video from Book Expo:

Should you make the pilgrimage to the store in St. Louis, please let them know that Holland’s big sister Nancy sent you! Also, if you are enjoying this series of “Behind the Seens – How Do They Do It?” let me know in comments and tell me who you would like to learn more about.  I love going behind the “seens”!

Business bucket list

What’s On Your Business Bucket List?

We’ve all been asked the question—probably at a dinner party, “What’s on your bucket list?” Even the most introverted of people usually have some BIG, HUGE item on their bucket list. Risky, against the norm, and FUN!  Why not give your business the same big, lofty goal with a business bucket list?

It’s easy to slip into the day-to-day activities of running a business. It’s also easy to avoid doing anything “risky”. Remember, with risk can come reward.

Things to add to your business bucket list:

What BIG idea do you have – written down somewhere, maybe on a Post-it note?

Is it:

  • an idea for an online course?
  • writing a book?
  • speaking?
  • taking a class or going to a conference?
  • doing a video?
  • getting a new website?
  • starting a blog?
  • hiring an assistant?

It’s time to dust off that “someday” note and figure out how to achieve this goal. You’ve written it down for a reason. Map it out.

Often, our big ideas don’t come to fruition because they get stuck somewhere right after, “Wow, what if I (fill in amazing idea)?  Oh, that’s going to be hard to do…”  As soon as you realize the scope of the project, procrastination and doubt kick in.

Here’s a tip:  Work backwards!

Fast forward to the end result and write that down. Here’s an example:

“Standing on stage presenting a Ted Talk”
What has to happen just before that to make it happen?

“Write an amazing Ted Talk Presentation”
Go back one more step…

“Apply to be a TED Talk speaker”
Keep going until you get to the very first step. You have mapped out the high-level to-do’s that will get you on stage giving the biggest presentation of your career!  It’s not so scary when you have it laid out!

Put yourself out there

At the top of many people’s business bucket list is figuring out how to get out, connect, and tell their story. What’s the best way for you to personally get in front of your audience? How can you create that human-to-human connection?

People follow and buy from someone they trust. How can you step out of the automated, bot-world and build trust and make a difference in your customers’ lives?

It’s time to shine

Live streaming video has become the fastest way to connect with an audience, share wisdom, and give the world a better idea of who you are.

It can be uncomfortable to think about being live on camera for everyone to see. Do it.  Put yourself out there and try it. There is nothing to lose! You can always delete it.

It’s not easy at first, but over time, it will not feel as difficult. Chances are, your peers or competitors are doing it, so if anything, use that as motivator!

What to talk about on video (or podcast, if you are really camera shy):

  1. What questions does your ideal client ask you all the time?
  2. What’s trending in your industry that your audience would want to know about? Is there a new app that’s hot? An exciting update to a program? A delicious new recipe that they must try?
  3. People LOVE rants: Is there something in your industry that bothers you? Can you offer your own viewpoints on the topic? Example: “Everyone says eating fats is bad, but there are good fats your body needs.”
  4. Lessons learned: Did you experience something in business that taught you a valuable lesson? Share it.
  5. Latest book you’ve read.
  6. Anything that lights you up that you feel you need to share.

TIPS When Starting:

  • Put on the DND (do not disturb!) when recording.
  • Write up some bullet points to talk about and stick in a place you can see it. You’ll much more at ease if you have those reminders there.
  • Internet connection matters. If you are in a low cell area, the connection will probably cut in and out. Test if first.
  • Use a tripod if you can, to keep the camera/phone stable, and consider a good quality mic.
  • Don’t stress too much about hair and make-up.

Is it time for a break?

When was the last time you took a day off? I mean, a REAL day off. Running a business can take over your life. There is no 9-5 when it’s your own business… it’s constant: days, late nights, weekends, holidays.

It feels constant because we are managing everything alone. It’s hard to take time for ourselves when the whole business relies on us. Why not put some more “you” time on your business bucket list?

Take a look at your systems and operations. List answers to the following:

  1. Things I LOVE doing
  2. Things I HATE doing
  3. Things that ONLY I can do (this is your special magic)

Look at the list. The goal is to have “things you love doing” and “things only you can do” overlap. The things you hate doing should be hired out, to get those energy drains off of your to-do list. You will be far more successful (and happy) if you can focus on just what you love and are amazing at. Tasks you dread doing will only drag you down and suck up valuable time.

Change feels uncomfortable

Just like skydiving, change and stepping out of our comfort zones sounds great at first, but stepping to the edge of the plane is terrifying.

Pick one of the list items above or something from the top of your “business bucket list” and start there. First, become the master of delegating, then go out and get that book deal. Or hire that VA so you can take the vacation you’ve dreamed of.

Whatever it may be, reach for those goals. Dream a little bit bigger. Share some ideas/items from your business bucket list in the comments below. You got this—and your life and work will be all the better for it!

Stuck on how to move forward and take your next big step? Let’s schedule a clarity call, and maybe I can help you cross an item off your business bucket list!.

image credit Samantha Sophia