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Behind the “Seens” with Patty Lennon

Tune in for our chat about purpose and planning through the lens of marketing. This is the perfect time of year to get your plan together – but don’t make it harder than it should be. Patty has some great advice to keep it simple to make you successful.

Nancy: Patty is an amazing coach and with a special sense of woo, who provides coaching and support for women in business. She is practical and wise and incredibly intuitive. Patty, tell us more…

Patty: I work with purpose driven entrepreneurs, who started their business from a place of meaning instead of money. They are typically coaches, or consultants or other types of service providers. At the heart of what we do – if you are clear about your purpose it’s so much easier to decide what’s right for us in our business. That’s part of the soul-aligned work that I do.

But you also know I’m a crazy person when it comes to planning because almost everything we want to achieve in life is possible (exceptions are big asks like being Oprah or going to the moon!) and achievable. Getting your brain on board with this comes from having a solid plan in place.

Nancy: How do you connect? What are you doing right now in YOUR marketing? Take use “behind the seens” and share your secret sauce.

Patty: Connection is exactly the right word. To me, marketing is about finding ways to be in a relationship with the people you serve in a way that is of service to them in that process. Then they can connect with me and understand if I can be a solution for them.

Behind the scenes, I’m always trying to figure out how do I go deeper not wider. When we’re talking marketing, I’m always in favor of deeper. I’d rather see someone do one thing in person than six things online. Online is beautiful but you have to find a way to connect with someone with the online method or it won’t have the juice, it just won’t have any power.

Nancy: Is that something you’re doing for yourself and your business? Anything new that you are doing now that you weren’t doing last year?

Patty: Something super recent; I decided to open up a Facebook group. I’d been resistant to doing it because it didn’t seem like a good place to connect with people. The more I got to see some examples of some people doing it really well convinced me to launch it.

I had a private Facebook group for a community of people who were paying for it and I really liked the engagement there. But I wanted a way to interact with people in a community sense that had an easier touch factor.

I love in person, but this felt like a really good way to do that and start creating a community.

Nancy: Where can people find your community?

Patty: It’s Wealth & Purpose, and you can find it on Facebook here or go to Patty Lennon on Facebook and you can find the link there.

Nancy: Switching gears a bit, it’s the beginning of the year and people are thinking about what they want to do, maybe what they didn’t do last year. They may be thinking about their goals, and the things they want to happen. That means marketing and overwhelm. What advice would you share to help people get started?

Patty: Energetically the new year is really starting right now so there’s no need to feel behind. You are ahead of the game!

Here are the 3 key points I share in my marketing program:

  • If you feel overwhelmed it’s a sign that there is too much on your plate. You have to eliminate things. In marketing that means reduce the number of things you are selling. You are trying to offer too many variations of who you are.
  • Second, narrow down your market to one two or three options.
  • Third, and you know what I say – it has to go on the calendar. If it doesn’t go on the calendar it doesn’t get done.

Nancy: Is there a perfect plan? Do you suggest that we plan for the whole year or what is your philosophy and advice on that? 90 days and pivot, a whole year and revise? What do you teach people to do?

Patty: I think there is something helpful for planning longer term, but I tell people that if you’re going to do that it has to be at the 10,000 foot level. I think the perfect time frame for most people is 90 days. Especially if you have some kind of online marketing component as part of your process. Everything changes quickly so I feel like 90 days is perfect, otherwise you’d be re-writing your plan when what was working changes or new options become available.

It’s a little bit different if you have a team. If other people are going to be handling most of the moving parts, then you do have to get a bit more detailed.

So, figure out where you want to be at the end of the year. Then create quarterly goals that support that. You can be detailed about what you’ll be selling and how that will work and look. That also allows for longer term opportunities come up like speaking or events then you have some visibility to what to pitch as your topic or what areas of your expertise you want to highlight.

Nancy: That’s helpful. It also takes the pressure off knowing you don’t have to write the perfect plan for the entire year. This is a great teaser for those who haven’t experienced your training. As someone who has, I know how helpful it is!

Be sure to connect with Patty on her website.

Anne Bogel Modern Mrs. Darcy

Behind the “Seens” with Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

Writer and podcaster Anne Bogel loves diving in, hiding out, and creating her deep work yet still manages to be everywhere, all the time making sure the world knows about great books and better reading.

Anne Bogel is the genius behind the hugely popular Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and the “What Should I Read Next?” podcast. Followed by thousands of readers, authors, and publishers, she is a tastemaker through her popular book lists, reading guides, and stylish posts about life in general. She is also an author of two books about the reading life.

I’ve been a fan of Anne’s for more than five years when our virtual worlds brought us together in real life (shout-outs to Laura Vanderkam and Holland Saltsman here). Her ability to consistently and creatively share content that is interesting, engaging, followable and fan-able never ceases to amaze me. I was thrilled that she took some time to share how she does it!

Check out our “Behind the Seens” video – (and see the person behind the groovy voice):

Read on for highlights of our conversation: 

Nancy: Anne, I’ve always thought of you as an early adopter and a quintessential tribe builder. You were building a community online before everyone talked about how to do that. Have you always been that way?

Anne: I don’t feel like an early adopter. I always felt like I was late when I started blogging, and I waited a year to get on Facebook and Twitter. I do love to try things. Breaking things is okay with me even though my it might not be okay with my husband who is the person I call to fix them.

What has been a game changer for you in terms of growing your audience?

I can think of 3 things:

The first was changing from an anonymous blogger to being personal. It was early on and I realized that it wasn’t quite as scary online and being part of the blogosphere and I really saw a change when I started writing in a more personal way.

The second thing that happened was that other people who had influence with their audiences started sharing my blog and letting people know that they might like it as well. That was really a big deal.

The third thing was starting the “What Should I Read Next?” podcast – it’s about book talk, reading recommendations and literary matchmaking. People really connect with the medium and it’s been so much easier to make connections. With the podcast people tell me that it’s part of their day. I had heard that all this was true about podcasting, but I was still surprised when it happened.

You also do a great job of taking your awesome content and leveraging it, so it reaches the most people. I see you doing that with your reading guides, but also with your podcasts and your blog posts as well. It’s a terrific case study for others who don’t get as much traction or who haven’t been able to share their content across multiple platforms.

I’m glad it looks that way because I am doing it “wrong”. I should spend more time promoting and less time creating but I like doing it this way. I’m glad to hear your feedback.

What is your favorite social media platform? Or, if you can’t pick a favorite share with us why you love those you use and how you’ve gotten there.

I used to love Twitter, but now it stresses me out. My favorite is Instagram. It’s pretty. I like catching up with my actual friends and the book community on Instagram is pretty great.

I really don’t use Facebook personally, only for the business side of things.

And I do use Pinterest to promote things, and I do use it personally. My daughter and I recently searched for ideas because we are painting her room. I like their search function for project things like that.

What are you doing today that you feel is new?

I am making myself try on social media. I have some big long-term projects going on and my instinct is to go in my cave and work on them and nothing else. I do have a belief that’s sweet and a bit naïve; that good work will win out – that people will find it. But then I know that’s not always true. Sometimes I read a book and I’m wondering why everyone isn’t talking about it because it’s so good – and then I realize it’s because people don’t know about it. I make the effort to do good work and be on social media. Especially Instagram stories. I never wake up wanting to do one, but once I get going I’m like oh, this is fun!

Can you share with us what’s behind you on the wall in your office?

It’s a calendar of the past two and the next six months of my life. It’s how I plan out what I’m working on to make sure that everything is accounted for, and to be sure that it all gets done. I have to be able to see it all at a glance, so I taped up some calendars and used post it notes and found a way to see what’s coming up and what’s next.

What’s your secret for growing your tribe? What is it about Anne Bogel or Modern Mrs. Darcy that keeps people coming back all the time?

I don’t know how true this is in 2018 but in 2011 when I started Modern Mrs. Darcy, it was an oddball blog. Toni Morrison said that if what you want to read doesn’t exist, you have to write it. I think what also works is that it’s specific, it’s personal, and I think what works for our audience is that we are super-nerdy about books and reading. What we’ve heard from our audience is that no one is passionate about this in their personal life, so they are looking for it online.

My husband said this early on – you don’t have a niche but you do have a tightly defined demographic. And they are interested in books and reading but they also wear mascara and drink tea and I’m up for sharing that stuff too.

What do you do when you aren’t writing or posting online? How do you recharge when you step away from the laptop? Besides reading – which we know you do.

I like to walk the dog. I’ve talked about that a lot and I also like to walk alone, or with friends or my husband. I like to eat. I love to go out for a bite or a drink. We are hikers and paddle boarders – which is a new family thing. And every now and then I like to rearrange the books on my shelves. I get so many books, so when they stack up I know it’s time to alphabetize the book shelves again.

Before we go do you have anything you want to share with us? Something that’s coming up in a few months – hint, hint?

Yes! I have a book coming out on September 4th. And it’s about reading. It’s titled I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life. You can go to annebogel.com and pre-order, and we have fun pre-order bonuses. You can also go to idratherbereading.com. All those sites will get you to the right place.

If you are not already a fan of Anne Bogel, at Modern Mrs Darcy and What Should I Read Next, then connect with her here:

Your reading life will be better for it. I promise!

Behind the "Seens" Laura Vanderkam

Behind the “Seens” with Laura Vanderkam, Author and Time Management Expert

Laura Vanderkam shares how promoting books has changed and how her podcast helps her stay connected and grow her audience.

This has to be the biggest treat for my “Behind the Seens” interviews so far! Last week I was thrilled to interview author Laura Vanderkam (my client for more than 8 years!) who is a prolific writer and a time management expert. In the time that I’ve known Laura, she’s written and published at least 4 books, had 2 (more) kids, done a TedTalk (2.5 million views) and managed a family move from one big city to another.

Laura truly walks her talk and it’s been great fun to be on this journey with her. In our Facebook LIVE chat, we talked about her new upcoming book Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done (May 29th, Portfolio), as well as all the things that go into promoting a new book.

Check out the video here:

Read:

Or read on for highlights of our conversation…

We’ve been through several book launches, and each time, it feels like things have changed a bit. What would you say has been a game-changer for you in the last year or so? I know you’ve seen a shift in how you grow your audience.

Well, the “Best of Both Worlds” podcast was started in the past year, and that has been a great way to bring in new audience members and it’s also helped me cement the relationship I had with existing audience members and readers.

There’s a lot of time between books, and not everyone is a blog reader. I continue to write on my blog all the time, but not all those who pick up my book read the blog. My publisher shared that my audiobook sales are a higher percentage of my book sales than the average title.

It’s because busy people are listening in their cars. I realized it was a good idea to be there in that space and podcasting was a great way to do it. My co-host Sarah Hart-Unger and I launched the podcast in August of 2017, and it’s been really fun to watch that grow.

What did that entail? You have a lot of content and information to share, so that part might not be hard. What would you share with others who might be thinking about podcasting?

I think it’s a great idea to have a co-host; someone that you have good rapport with and that has similar interests. They can bring a different take and you will always have something to talk about.

I also think it’s easier for listeners to be part of a conversation instead of listening to me talk on my own. It’s more engaging, and we feel like we are discovering things together as we have these conversations.

We do have a lot of guests, but we don’t always have to, and that’s helpful. The fact that the two of us can create an episode with just us talking about a topic gives us much more content than if it was just me, or just her, or always having to have a guest for every single episode— and do the work that is involved with that.

Do you feel like you’re picking up new audience members, or are you just reaffirming the audience you already had?

I think that many of our listeners were readers of my blog or Sarah’s blog, but I do think that there are people listening who weren’t readers of mine or Sarah’s blog because they are podcast listeners instead of readers.

I know this because Sarah was commuting and listening to podcasts, and didn’t find any that talked about her situation—we wanted to fill that niche in the market.

What is your favorite social media network?

Thanks to Nancy, I’m everywhere – but I would have to say the two I check the most are Instagram and Twitter. Facebook was fun, but I feel like it took a turn in 2016 to be more political and divisive in some ways. It became awkward because I have friends and family on both sides of everything.

I love Instagram, because I enjoy seeing the baby and children photos and pictures of friends and family. That’s what I’d always loved about Facebook, so now I do it there instead.

Twitter is the place to be for breaking news and I find myself there reading about what’s happening if there’s a major story in the news.

You do a lot of speaking, and I think Twitter is also great for that too. It’s a good way to connect with people who are attending, and it’s great to see what people are saying about your presentations.

I always check Twitter after an event and see who commented and what they said. It’s a great way to follow new people who are engaged and interested in the same kind of information. I’ve met a lot of really cool people that way.

What are you doing differently for this book launch?

We’re definitely doing more for pre-orders, although that’s not completely new. I don’t think it’s really different, but the fun thing is that with each book, your list continues to grow.

In 2010 when I started my email list, it was about 200 people whose emails I’d managed to get and that’s how we started. Now it’s about 40,000, and that’s great. It’s cool to email them and tell them you have a book coming out. That’s been pretty fun to watch as it has continued to grow with each launch.

Shameless plug – it’s not too late to pre-order and get the pre-launch goodies here (until May 29th)!

That’s true! I am hand signing bookplates that you can put into your book, since I can’t come to your house and sign your book personally! One reader posted that she got my thank you note with the signed bookplate and was dancing around the house, which was so sweet. It’s amazing to me that people are surprised to get a thank you for buying the book.

You have some very loyal fans and I’m sure they are excited to get Laura Vanderkam swag!
What do you think is your secret for engaging your audience? To get to a 40,000+ subscriber list and to keep your incredibly loyal audience on the blog – what is your secret?

Well, you keep showing up. I blog a lot, probably 4 times a week or so, and have been doing that for 8 or 9 years. People feel like they know you and are invested in what’s going on and the things we talk about.

Adding the weekly podcast episode and showing up there every week is another big step. I do think it’s also about giving people information that they aren’t getting anywhere else. The internet is full of repackaged stuff that you’ve seen before, so with the books, I try to break some new ground.

The past two books are based on original quantitative research on how people use their time, which you aren’t going to get from other books on this topic. I like to share that, and hopefully, it means readers will find some things out and learn about how the world really works.

I also share how real people are doing this. I’m especially looking to change or at least provide an alternative to the narrative that women can’t have a successful career and a family, or if they try, then their life will be a crazy mess. I aim to be straightforward while I present a new perspective on how to do this well.

Oops – we can’t forget to give a shout-out to your “new look” online.

I have a new website! It’s great. Nancy project managed this and it our 3rd iteration. It’s good to refresh from time to time.

Since your new book is about being Off The Clock, what do you do to disconnect?

I love to read, and I talk about this in the book; how I have been more intentional and how I’ve made more time to read. I also run. Running is a great way to unplug.

Every day.

Yes, 500 days straight. I also sing in a church choir, so I have rehearsals every Thursday night and sing on Sunday mornings, and that’s been fun.

We have a viewer question – she wants to know what Laura Vanderkam book she should read first and are they all on Audible?

I believe so. There is an audio version of every book on Audible, and the new book will release the Audible version about the same time as the print copy.

I think 168 Hours is a good intro into my time management philosophy. The e-book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast is short and a good way to get started, as well.

Thank you so much, Laura, for joining me.

Thanks for having me, and for sharing the information about the books.

Here are the myriad of ways that you can connect with Laura and learn more about her approach to making the most out of your time and your life!

Follow her on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Ultimate Social Media Checklist for Events

The Ultimate Social Media Checklist for Events

Hosting an event? Want to make sure it is a big success for the organizer, attendees, presenters, and event sponsors. Using social media as part of your event marketing strategy, you have a terrific opportunity to create significant momentum and interaction.

You can increase engagement and overall awareness of your events with a solid social media plan. Here’s how:

(Download Social Media Checklist for Events here.)

Social media is a great way to promote your event to your target attendees, but it doesn’t stop there. During your event, social media provides a great opportunity to interact with your audience in real time. It also allows attendees, presenters as well as organizers to share and amplify the event presentations and overall messaging.

Post event, a social media strategy means you can use crowd-sourced photos, presentation comments, reviews, blogs, recaps, podcasts and videos about your event. If you have a regular event schedule, seeing the great comments, videos and photos is a great way to bring in new people to your next event. It’s a great after-event list building tool as well.

You also have a great way to continue the conversation. You can use feedback surveys to create a graphic about the most valued presenter, or the most commented keynote. If your presenters agree (and they will) you can share slides and commentary after the fact and compile a few of the real-time comments for a great way to generate interest in your next event.

Using social media before, during, and after your event is no longer optional.

Organizers, attendees, and presenters now rely on social media for event updates and to connect with others. Sponsors will also appreciate the chance to raise their profile at the event, and increase their visibility to those who can’t attend live via social media posting and sharing.

To help make sure an effective social media strategy is part of your next event, I’ve created a Social Media Event Checklist. It provides the plan for a smart strategy and allows you to make sure your social presence before, during and after your event supports you, your event and your attendees.

Download Social Media Checklist for Events
Behind The Seens Cindy Ratzlaff

Behind The “Seens” with Cindy Ratzlaff – Queen of Brand New, Brand You

Cindy shares real-time, tested, social media strategy advice from that you can implement now!

Cindy Ratzlaff the “Queen of Brand New, Brand You” has worked with hundreds of authors and developed the campaigns behind more than 200 New York Times bestselling books. She is a fantastic keynote speaker and marketing strategist, who has created award-winning marketing campaigns for publishers, authors, entrepreneurs, and businesses for her entire career. I’ve long admired her work and her Book Expo speeches, so I knew it would be fun (and it was!) to talk about what new strategies and trends she recommends for clients now. 

Watch:

Listen:

Read:

So what is the biggest game-changer that you’ve seen for authors? What’s changed in social for your clients?

Just recently there was a big change on Facebook with their algorithm. Here’s what I tell people, “Take a deep breath. Facebook changes things all the time.” If you’ve seen your reach diminish with the changes there are a few things you can do to get those numbers back up. We may never see the reach we used to have, but it’s still a remarkable (free) way to reach your audience without advertising.

Today Facebook cares about comments and conversation on your posts.

This is how I do it: I will post something about my personal experience; sharing that I’ve found when I use video my reach is better. Then I’ll incorporate a “call to action” to engage in an authentic conversation. I might say something like “have you noticed the same sort of results with video?”

I am always mindful about serving my audience as well – so I’ll always add that I’m happy to share tips, provide feedback or answer any questions around what the post references.

(Minute 8:50) Cindy shares her specific example of how she saw her reach go from 5000+ likes to less than 1000+ and how she used her conversation strategy to see them go back up. It’s a great real-life example.

(Minute 12:30) How to get the most from boosting a post to reignite your audience engagement.

What is your favorite social media platform? I realize it may differ for yourself and what you might recommend for clients but what do you like most, and why?

I started on Twitter before Facebook and it’s still my favorite platform. I use it more for news and information gathering rather than promoting things. I have lists that I check so I can see what type of information my favorite authors, or journalists or influencers are sharing and decide if I want to check it out, comment or share it.

It’s almost become a trend finder for me, and a place to keep tabs on breaking news. I want to be mindful of what’s happening. I’m don’t want to be promoting a new program if there’s something cataclysmic going on in the world.

Let’s talk about Instagram. Writers sometimes don’t understand why or how that platform can help them and I know you have some thoughts about that. How do you use it?

Instagram is changing, too. They are encouraging people to turn their accounts into business accounts. That will give you access to some new tools that are in the works that will allow you to be able to sell with one click from Instagram.

For my site, Instagram and Pinterest are my two biggest sources of referral traffic. Instagram surpassed Facebook when they made the recent changes.

Instagram gives your followers a great behind-the-scenes look that people find interesting. It also helps people feel like they know you, because they’ve seen photos of your dog, your home, things you like to eat. It’s an intimate way to create real connection.

Instagram lets you invite your fans into a world with you.

What are you doing differently?

We are seeing new social norms. While social media allows for great authenticity, there is also the chance that you may mis-speak or offend people with a phrase that wasn’t intended to be offensive.

I now see that leaders on social media (authors, thought leaders, influencers) have a chance to calm the conversation and create a safe space for others. We can give people what they want; helpful, meaningful information, and curate the conversation, as well. That may also mean blocking people who have a different agenda than you do.  That’s part of being on social media today and that’s new. I have not had to do that in the past.

What are your secrets for connecting with your tribe? What do you do to support your authentic approach to engagement?

I post on Facebook every morning at 6:00 AM Eastern time and have “conversations” with my followers until 7:00 AM. A few have been “chatting” with me for so long that I can ask about them specific things in their life. I always reply to comments using their name, acknowledging them personally, anytime I comment or reply to someone who has taken time to engage. It’s important to acknowledge them as a person.

My page is about happiness, and there are people who come there because they need “some happy” in their life. I really want them to get what they need, and feel good about that.

At the end of the day, your audience also wants to be seen and heard.

(Minute 34:00) LinkedIn Publishing Strategy

You can put a long-form post on their publishing network, and if they like it, they may share it with their “weekend reads” section which reaches 8 or 9 million people. It must be 1000 words or more. If you have something interesting to say putting it on that platform is a good way to potentially be seen by millions.

If your audience is on LinkedIn and you feel like you are fighting to be seen on Facebook, posting articles there may be a better option.

Let’s talk about stats. I know we both agree that it’s about “quality over quantity”. But authors looking to be published tell me the first question that they get when shopping their books around to publishing houses is “how big is your platform”? How do you address that?

Publishers want to see that you have a following—but there are more ways to demonstrate that than your number of Facebook or Instagram followers.

Think of other ways to do that. Here are some ideas:

  • Do a blog tour. If you’ve been interviewed by 15 bloggers in the past year, those posts live on forever and you can show them that reach. Show them how you can do that again – list new contacts and demonstrate the reach they have.
  • Podcasts give you the same opportunity and publishers are paying attention to that right now (either as a guest or by doing your own podcast, to gain reach).
  • Publishers like knowing that you already have 500 books sold. What corporate contacts can you reach out to for commitments to buy your book for employees or clients?
  • Speaking engagements and their reach can demonstrate your platform too.

These strategies make publishers take notice because they’ll see that you are motivated, and you understand how to engage your audience so that they’ll be eager to buy your book. Again, social media stats alone don’t always translate into book sales.

What do you think about the trend to messenger, bots and text messages instead of email. What advice are you giving?

As a consumer, I have signed up to get text messages from companies that I buy from often. They send a text occasionally when they have a sale, and I’m fine with that. I have also received unsolicited messages from other Facebook pages I follow, and my response was to unfollow them.

Because it’s a one-way form of communication, I feel that it’s going to have limited effectiveness. For some, it may be their preferred way to get their weekly tips or sale notifications. It all comes down to knowing your audience, what they want, and how they want to receive it.

What’s next for you? What do you do when you aren’t engaging on Facebook or helping your clients?

I’m focusing more on speaking these days, and that’s going well. I’ve also been traveling a lot, and when I travel, I unplug. I want to be with the people I’m with as part of my travel experience.

Where can people find you and stay in touch with you?

Brand New, Brand You” on Facebook
Queen of Your Own Life” on Facebook
Cindy on Instagram
Cindy on Twitter
Cindy’s website