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What Is Clubhouse and Why You Should Check It Out

Resources to Help You Understand and Better Engage on Clubhouse

Yes, Clubhouse is Another. Social. Media. App.
Cue the eye roll and know that I did not want to engage either. I don’t need another thing to do (or distract me) and was happy to sit this one out. But I can’t (I’m blaming Jen Lehner) and I don’t think you should either.

It’s so accessible – audio-only – no video or no carefully crafted, beautiful, witty, meme-type posts. You can come and go – there’s no feed where people can see where you have been or what you have posted. They can only see if you are in a room in real-time (or maybe see when you were last active).

[Want to know more about how it works or how to get started check out: Clubhouse App: How To Get Started from Social Media Examiner.]

Think of Clubhouse as a virtual event or conference where you can go wherever you want, where you can listen, learn and meet like minded people and industry experts from around the globe. It’s also possible to chat, ask questions and even collaborate with peers and celebs.

You can be as passive as you want – listening in on rooms; or as active as you want – raising your hand, getting on ‘stage’ (not as scary as it sounds) or even hosting rooms and starting clubs. How you choose to use Clubhouse is up to you.

For those of you interested in learning and connecting; or focused on growing your community or sharing your expertise or thought leadership. I really think it’s worth your time to check it out.

[Need more convincing? Check out this excellent piece I wish I’d written: How to Use Clubhouse to Grow Your Reputation from Social Media Examiner.]

Yes, you can get sucked in and lose hours of time mucking around. Yes, there are loads of people on there who are shameless self-promoters and hustlers who take up too much time and space on the platform – or as A.J. Jacobs put it “It’s like a bad podcast: poorly edited and only available on single speed.”

But for every bad experience, I’ve been equally blown away in other rooms by the generosity of the moderators and speakers to share not only their time, wisdom and insight (for FREE) but to graciously offer connections, opportunities, collaborations and sometimes even work!

In truth, the rooms I’ve enjoyed the most (besides the ones I host with my indie bookstore owner sister Holland – see more below) are the rooms where I don’t really know the subject well or I’m curious to learn more or go deeper on a subject.

And that’s why I’ve been recommending Clubhouse to clients and friends (and you) because it’s a way to share your expertise and make connections in an intimate, easy engaging way! No flying to a conference to be on stage, no complicated video prep or production and no glitches trying to do collaborative virtual LIVE meetings.

[Interested in how to make Clubhouse work for you? Check out Clubhouse App for Business: What Marketers Need To Know, another great article from Social Media Examiner.]

Is it for everybody – not necessarily! But I really believe for many that Clubhouse is an innovative platform worth investing some time and strategy, especially while it is still in its relatively early stages.

At this point, Clubhouse is “invite only” and only available on iOS (Apple). I’ve got invites I can share! Let me know (email or DM) if you’d like one or go ahead and download the app to get on the waiting list. It will notify your friends who might also have invites to share.

Then come on in! I co-host a “room” every Thursday at 12:30 ET / 11:30 CT with indie bookstore owner, sister Holland Saltsman where we chat about “Books, Business & Beyond” and love to welcome folks new to Clubhouse. Here are upcoming links:

March 18th: https://www.joinclubhouse.com/event/m2QgR5e9
March 25th: https://www.joinclubhouse.com/event/m2n7bNlA

And follow us on Clubhouse to get notifications for future rooms!

I’m also thinking of offering a “Clubhouse Concierge” service or class. Would you be interested? I’d love to hear what you think about Clubhouse, if you need help figuring it out, technically or strategically – or if you’re looking for a co-moderator to help you get started!

I’m here! Set up a time for us to chat now! In the meantime, I’ll see you in ‘da club!

What’s Your Planning Style?

Are you like me and the idea of resolutions makes you a bit queasy – especially talking or thinking about them before January? Join the club – and celebrate that January is just a month like any other. If and when you are ready to make some plans for your new year, then take a look at some of my favorite resources and experts below.

I basically take a little bit from each one of these approaches to mosh up “my plan” that feels good and aligned with what I want to accomplish and how I want to feel at the end of this year.

Kate Hanley / Better Than Resolutions Week – check out her episodes 89 – 94 of her “How to Be a Better Person” podcast. Each less-than-5 minute episode gives you an easy task to get started on planning and goal setting.

One Word – yes, there is actually a book and helpful approach to finding your “one word” for the year. I always think I know what it is going to be until I actually go through the process and then I am always surprised when my word finds me. The year it’s PRESENT.

Laura Vanderkam / Best of Both Worlds: Goals 2020 – This annual episode provides helpful insight on how to map out what you want to and actually put some time frames and accountability around it. Laura’s approach also helps to prevent the overwhelm that comes when you front-end your goals, but instead shows you how to pace them out over the year in simple categories.

Patty Lennon / Marketing Planner For Coaches & Consultants – If marketing is where you get stuck, then check out Patty’s easy and simple 5 Step Planner to take the overwhelm out of promoting yourself and your business.

Miriam Schulman / Art Journaling – Call all creatives who hate the idea of planning. Take advantage of Miriams’ FREE (for a limited time) Art of Journaling video series. Yes, doodling really can make you productive.

Jen Lehner / Content Planner – Another favorite of mine is Jen Lehner’s Content Planning System. Her holistic yet very tactical system ensures your content actually sees the light of day. It’s one of the many many overwhelmingly valuable tools she shares with her Front Row CEO group.

Nancy Sheed / Content Planning templates – I also have simple, customizable content planning templates to help you bring structure and schedule to your content and marketing planning. You can download them for free here – and learn more about how use them here and here.

Happy purposeful and productive planning!

3 Key Takeaways From A Writers Conference To Help Build Your Online Platform

As a first time attendee to the ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Writers Conference, I didn’t exactly know what to do expect – especially since I am not officially a writer. But many of my favorite clients and authors regularly attend this gathering, so I figured there had to be some value in spending two days in NYC with very prolific people.

And value there was, not only in the sessions and the keynotes (more below), but even more so in the warm, welcoming and very engaging group of people who organize it and attend the conference. Yes, there is networking, but it doesn’t feel like a shark fest of schmoozing, much more like a reunion of family and friends. Everyone asking about each other, their work and helping to make connections.

But I digress, and now want to share the three most valuable things that I heard at the conference that are critical concepts to people strategically building and growing their online platforms:

Being a thought leader is NOT the same as being an expert. From a panel of publishing gurus, Janet Goldstein, Nancy Peske and Dan Gerstein, who work on “big name” books, we were guided through their respective definitions of a thought leader.

Their combined basic premise is a thought leader is an expert who:

  • Has a brand and a point of view
  • Has fresh and original ideas
  • Is making a contribution in her/his sphere of influence
  • Is recognized and seen by others as a thought leader

This distinction is critical because many experts get caught up in their expertise, jargon and industry that they neglect to distinguish themselves with a clear voice, point of view or brand. On the flip side, there are many self-proclaimed thought leaders today, that might have big brands and even be recognized, but they are short on point of view or fresh and original ideas.

Takeaway tip: Making sure you tick all of the boxes for thought leadership is critical for building your online platform.

Having empathy for your reader can be more important to Google than keywords. Yes, this sounds like common sense, but many of us in the content world have been led to believe that keywords are king (or queen) and nothing else matters. Experts Tom Gerencer and Miral Sattar. While, advised while you shouldn’t ignore keywords, it is even more important to think about your readers’ pain points and reasons for looking for you. When writing your content or copy put yourself in their shoes, and think like they would when they need or want to find you.

Takeaway tip: Think about what people would “Google” or what they would ask “Alexa” if they were looking to find you. Make sure your content is being found for and is answering those questions and queries. Also, train your readers how to find you, especially on smart speakers.

The path to getting published is not always direct.
According to author and keynote speaker, Camille Pagán, there are no right and wrong decisions in your career journey. What’s more important than the perfect path, is your following your passion with persistence (lots of Ps!). Camille gave several examples from her career trajectory from journalist to novelist where her decisions and results might not have been what she had planned. However, they all served to the greater good of helping her get where she is today – writing a book a year!

Takeaway tip: Don’t get fixated on the traditional route or doing what everyone else does or says you should do. Stay faithful to what you believe in, get your content out and surround yourself with people who will support you on the journey.

If you are stuck in your own way of your expertise or your passion or can’t figure out how to get your best content out into the world, let’s set up a call and see if I can help. And I most definitely would recommend the ASJA Writers Conference – maybe I’ll see you there next year!

Behind the “Seens” – Podcasting Advice from Phyllis Nichols

Phyllis Nichols of SoundAdvice Sales and Marketing is an amazing master of messaging and crafter of content. We’ve worked together on all things digital marketing and helping people get their message out for the past several years. On the heels of a record-breaking year launching podcasts for clients, Phyllis shares her advice about why you should consider podcasting and how to get started.  

Nancy: What is the difference you’re seeing in the type of client work you’re doing and in terms of content marketing in general?

Phyllis: Podcasting has been a game changer for us and the business obviously. It’s also been a game changer in how people can think about putting content together. Content marketing has a place and when it’s done well you get a good return but it’s a long game.

For some people depending on their team and their bandwidth and the way they like to communicate, creating content can be hard. Podcasting makes it easier. Most of us communicate much better verbally. We’re much more comfortable with that. We also come across better and more interesting than we might in written form. I could write an article with this information, but you and I having this conversation is ultimately much more interesting than anything I could ever write.

Nancy: What do you say to the person who’s says “I could never podcast because there is too much tech and investment involved.”?

Phyllis: The technology part was a legitimate issue a couple of years ago when podcasting was newer. In the early days of podcasting that was kind of true. You had to have some decent equipment and you had to understand some technology but today that is not true. You can start podcasting with your phone or with your laptop and a web-based app that doesn’t cost anything. Financially you don’t have to spend anything.

Nancy: Can people get into podcasting without having years of voice lessons or speaking lessons?

Phyllis: Podcasting is a really forgiving medium because it’s not live. You can sit down and record and you can pause, you can stop. You can redo it or you can edit it. Editing also takes out um’s and ah’s and pauses and background noise. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to say everything just right because it’s not a one take situation.  I could do it two or three times until it sounded just the way I wanted.

Nancy: How do you help your podcast clients look professional or how do you help them go from recording a podcast to showing up on iTunes?

Phyllis: I started podcasting a couple years ago and I figured it all out on my own. We’ve figured out all the steps you have to do in the very beginning. There are a lot of things you have to do once. There are a few steps that aren’t complicated but have to be done right – in a specific order. It’s about getting your foundation set up right. Most people don’t have the expertise because it’s just a one-time thing. We help people get all that set up done.

(Ninja note!) Here’s something else I want I mention. iTunes is the biggest platform but it’s not the only one anymore. There are almost 30 when I last researched it. We put people get on multiple platforms. There’s a specific process to follow to get your podcast on iTunes etc. It’s not hard but it has to be done they way they want it. It’s the same Stitcher and Spotify and Google. Once you have that set up then every new podcast in the feed automatically gets uploaded to all of those places.

Nancy: People are already doing social media and blog posts so they wonder why do I need to do a podcast?  But as we learned from Laura Vanderkam, one of our mutual author clients, she attracted a completely different audience than she was capturing on all of those other platforms. It’s become a new way to meet people who process information differently.

Phyllis: There are people who will listen to podcasts who would never read a blog post and may never read your book. There’s also a really cool connection factor too. It’s a singular experience. When I’m listening to somebody on a podcast it’s just me and them.

One of our podcasters went to an event not related to her podcast. Somebody behind her heard her talking and recognized her voice. That level of relationship building is powerful. It can be done in other ways, but it would be much harder and certainly much more expensive. Think about what it would take to speak in front of 20 intimate groups. It would require a lot more money and time and energy.

Nancy: What do you say to people who say it’s too late – everybody has a podcast?

Phyllis: It’s just not true and this isn’t me saying this. It’s industry people and people who track trends. Recently, Spotify announced they are planning to invest five hundred million dollars in podcasting in 2019. They want to be the place to go for all audio content. Adweek is tracking marketing dollars and comparing it to early stage internet advertising. They think this is just the beginning. So it’s not too late.

Nancy: What are the trends in podcasting and audio content?

Phyllis: One of the big drivers are the home devices like Alexa and Google Home. You can listen to podcasts there now too. You don’t even have to own one of the devices. You can use the app on your phone.

Amazon announced that over a hundred million of the devices have been purchased and are being used. That doesn’t count the people just using the app. That’s 100 million new people and these devices are in our home. Audience potential is crazy big and keeps growing.

Nancy: What if a person wants to test the water first, and be interviewed on a podcast? How does one get on a podcast as a guest?

Phyllis: With new podcasts being started come opportunities for conversations. Look for podcasts that are going to cover topics that you would like to talk about with an audience that’s similar to your target audience. Not competing interests but overlapping interests. Listen to the podcast to make sure you’re a good fit. Then pitch them an idea. Many podcasters have a form on their website for you to fill out if you want to be a guest.

A lot of podcasters are actively looking for interesting guests to talk to and most will appreciate a well thought out idea. You could take one or two hours once a month and identify four or five podcasts you’d like to be on and either fill out the forms or send a nice email. Think how cool it is to expand your network. It’s a really great way to expand how we’re connecting with people.

Nancy: And how often should people create and post their podcast? Also, is there an ideal time length?

Phyllis: Frequency and consistency help, so once a week is a good place to start.  As for length of podcast it should be however long it takes for you to be interesting and get your point across in a good way. Also be aware of your audience and where and how they listen.

Nancy: What’s the best way to find you? What’s the best way to learn more about getting started with podcasting?

Phyllis: If anyone is interested and want to find out a little more information you can go to the website SoundAdvice Sales and Marketing and download the Getting Started Guide. It will walk you through all the things related to getting started. Feel free to reach out to me there or on Facebook

If you know you want to do a podcast, I would encourage you to start recording. You can share info on your own or start having a few good conversations and hit the record button. The more you do it the better you get at it. The more fun you have and the more you do it, the easier it’s going to feel to you.

Nancy: Ultimately, it’s great advice to just get started. I want to see more people creating these conversations in more intimate ways and podcasting is a good way to go. Thank you for helping people do that.

Phyllis: Thank you Nancy! Someday, I hope that I’m going to be able to hear your podcast!

Nancy: Watch this space . . .

 

Are you interested in podcasting? Have you already started or been a guest? Want to learn more or plan out your content? Let’s connect and figure out how you can take your expertise to the next level with new audiences.

Behind the “Seens” with Jenn Grace of Publish Your Purpose Press

Jenn Grace is the founder of Publish Your Purpose Press. She and her independent publishing team serve authors that are looking to make a difference in the world. They are CEOs, entrepreneurs, and others that have an important message to share. Publish Your Purpose Press helps these authors amplify that message by independently publishing their books.

Jenn and her PYP team (of which I was happy to be a part this year) help people find a way to integrate their book, and their message into their business model. It’s always interesting to figure out how to help get an author’s message out using the book as part of what they do as their career or calling.

In this Behind the Seens conversation, you will learn all about the types of writers and authors that are suited to the independent publishing model and how Jenn and her team are strategic and supportive throughout the entire process.

 

What does a budding author need to know or bring to you to begin the project? What is the catalyst? Is it the same every time or are there variations?

There are usually 2 camps or types of authors that come to us. One is a person who is already a speaker or consultant. They have been doing their work and are often asked about their book, or if they are going to write a book. They don’t see themselves as writers, but they realize that getting a book written and out to the world will increase the number of people they can serve and impact.

That person may not be a writer, but they still have amazing content and information that can truly be transformational – they just do it other ways. They are often speakers and are already an expert in their field. They have content that they’ve created and developed as part of their work.

We’ve seen that once you have a book, it really takes the business to the next level no matter what type of business you are in. We see speakers raise their fees once they have a book, or someone who has never been paid to speak can now get a nice fee for speaking.

Share with us the profile of the other type of author. What do they look like? Can you give us an example of that? I feel like it’s not as common or harder to see.

Someone who is looking to write a book in a new space to change their path. They might be working in a field that no longer fits them. They know that by being a published author they can break into a new field and be recognized as an expert much more quickly.

For example one of our authors does trainings for automotive companies. She travels 40 weeks a year, training at dealerships and she’s great at it. She loves it but it’s not what she’s most passionate about.

She wrote a book in the law of attraction genre and we are helping her transition out of this very corporate training type of job into something else. Her new focus is more about healing and it’s very different and she’s not known in that area.

She knows that having the book means she can share her story and articulate her thoughts and expertise to help her gain credibility faster in her new field.

If we fast forward through the writing and editing of the book, what are the mindsets around marketing the book? There is no one size fits everyone, so what are the directions you give for marketing?

I have a masters in marketing. I’ve been eating and sleeping marketing and I don’t think it’s a dirty word. But many people do, even those who are in business. I want people to know that marketing your book isn’t sleazy and doesn’t have to feel that way, ever. It can be very authentic.

With that understanding, we have some authors who are natural-born marketers. Everything they say and do is in alignment with their brand and it’s just how they show up, so we don’t have to worry about mind-set. We just tell them what they need to do. Essentially give them a checklist and they get it, they run with it.

Then there are others who are on the other end of the spectrum. They have some resistance to the idea of marketing so it’s a bit harder for them. Most of our authors fall somewhere in the middle.

Every strategy for marketing is tweaked depending on the author and what they are comfortable with and what they feel good about doing. We do that because we don’t want any of our authors to feel tenuous about marketing their book.

Many book marketers have a list that they use. You do A, then B and so on without variations. But there are now cookie cutter approaches or one-size fits all plans that work for everyone.

Here’s what we know. The average book sells 250 copies in its lifetime. That’s including traditional publishing, self-published – all of it.

Our authors sell an average of 410 copies per year. Some sell much more, and some don’t sell many at all but that is our average with all of the authors we’ve worked with.

We see greater success with our marketing efforts because we do tailor them to the authors. We also pay attention to what’s working, and review strategies with each new author we work with because things change.

Let’s talk about publishing options. We know there’s a big difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing. What would you point out to those who are looking into independent publishing?

I will talk to anyone who is interested in non-fiction or memoir publishing. That’s what I know. Fiction isn’t in my area of expertise.  I talk to anyone and advise them as best I can, even if they aren’t a fit for us. Many people who come to us feel that they can get a traditional book deal. I try to help re-frame that conversation with them.

We know that there is a lot of work that goes into getting a book deal. More than there has ever been and the advance on royalties is lower than ever. The financial considerations are usually where I start the conversation. I let them know that they will likely pay the same amount of money if they self-publish, work with a publisher like us, or go the traditional book-publishing route.

I try to let people know what to expect financially. I want them to understand so they know up front not matter what they decide to do. I also try to make them aware of mistakes that can happen, like choosing the wrong editor, or the wrong cover designer and things that can add to the costs because the process is much more complicated than people realize.

I explain that we are beholden (best word I can think of) to our authors because from the very beginning we want to be sure we know how the book is going to support them. We understand what are the goals and how can we help them get there. If you self-publish, no one is looking out for you and if you go with a traditional publisher, they have no interest in your business, or other goals outside of getting the book published.

We choose to focus on this because we don’t want people to get misled. We want them to accomplish their goals as it relates to their business.

It sounds like you are thinking much longer term – beyond the marketing and publishing of the book alone.

Right. In our world publishing the book isn’t the finale, it’s just the beginning. Once the book is out there, we are focused on consumer marketing. Selling books to individual consumers.

If our client is a business owner, we are also looking at events months in advance to support them in a business environment. How can we help them sell their books and advance their other priorities?

A traditional publisher is all about the initial push to get on a best-seller list. That’s the game for them. Our push is way beyond that and for a much more sustained time frame.

I’m not saying our authors can’t get on a best seller list. Many of our authors do hit Amazon best seller lists, which is nice. But we don’t stop there. We have a much longer view for our clients.

What do you see happening in the next year for your business and for your authors? What is on the horizon?

I’m not sure I should say this but you asked – you’re hearing it here first. One of the things we see our authors struggle with is the speaking side of things, so we will be testing some additional support services for our authors around this. I don’t know how it’s going to look, but we know our authors so well, we want to help them get additional exposure and new ways to support them from the speaking side of things.

Publishing the book is just the beginning. We know that a well-written book can have a long shelf life and we want to keep helping to find ways for our authors to understand how to keep promoting their book and their work.

For those who aren’t familiar with independent publishing and with you how can people find you and learn more about Publish Your Purpose Press?

You can go to meetwithpyp.com and that will take you to my calendar where anyone can schedule a call with me personally and I will happily chat with you about your non-fiction or memoir book or you can go to the website link: http://publishyourpurposepress.com/ and all our contact info is there as well.

Our next Authors Academy starts in January and that gives you the whole landscape about how to publish. It teaches you what you need to know if you want to get your book published.

Here are all of the other links to connect: Publish Your Purpose Press website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

If you are interested in another conversation with Jenn and me, you can catch this quick video where we talk about how to use to your compelling content for marketing and building your platform.

Check it out: