Build a Badass Business Podcast #21: How to get comfortable with social media, eBook publishing, Twitter, and blogging

Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane SanfilippoIn this episode, I talk about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, naming brands on your blog, publishing an eBook, and getting Twitter to work for you.

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Build a Badass Business: Episode # 21:  How to get comfortable with social media, eBook publishing, Twitter, and blogging

Coming to you straight from her basement home office in suburban New Jersey, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey guys! Diane here back with another Q&A episode for you. In this episode, I talk about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, naming brands on your blog, publishing an eBook, and getting Twitter to work for you.

Dr. Scott Mills: Anne Marie says: “Hi Diane! Love the podcast and all the information you’ve shared. It has really been helpful as I’m planning for and building my business. Could you please share some strategies for how to most effectively use social media to build and promote a business, how to build an email list, and how to become more comfortable using social media? Right now, I am just getting my business off the ground, and I struggle with knowing what to post to Instagram and Facebook, and how often I should be posting. I am self conscious about posting selfies of myself working out or cooking; or paranoid about people thinking my posts are dumb or irrelevant. I realize this is something I need to work on, accepting that I can’t please everyone. Any tips or insights would be much appreciated. Thanks again for all the knowledge you’ve shared; it’s been very helpful and inspirational to me.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, Anne Marie, you actually kind of answered your own question in the question. So for starters, I’m not going to answer all of this question because it’s way too much for me to tackle. The question of how to most effectively to use social media to build and promote a business and how to build an emailing list. I’m going to have to cover that stuff in different ways, maybe through a series of episodes talking about using social media and talking about building a list.

But what I do want to focus on, because I think this is the most critical part for you; it’s how to become more comfortable and confident with using social media. Quite frankly, the way to become more comfortable with it is to just do it. Keep posting, don’t worry about what people think all the time. The best way to post something that you think will be well received is, do you think it will be helpful? Do you think it will be entertaining? Do you think it will be educational?

Post something that adds value to somebody else’s life. So when you post something, it’s different when you are sort of well known, and people like seeing these little glimpses of randomness. I think it’s crazy that sometimes I post pictures of my manicure, and I’ll get more comments or questions or likes on a picture of my nails than I might on a meal that I posted. But at this point, if that’s what people like to engage about, then that’s what people like to engage about. What I think is really the most helpful thing that you can do, and the thing that will make you more confident and more comfortable is posting things that you think will be helpful to people.

Now, what to do about Facebook; heck if I know. I’ve been hearing, I’ve been listening to Gary Vaynerchuk, and what he talks about, one thing he’s been mentioning lately is long form Facebook posts. That means almost a mini blog post; and I actually did find that that was pretty successful. What I did, I find myself typing these long Facebook posts, and then I actually copied the Facebook post and put it into a blog post after the fact, because I kind of wrote a lot. I wrote a couple hundred words, and it was worthy of a blog post, so I put some images to it and threw it on the blog.

I think you just have to test and try different things. Don’t be worried too much if you’re not getting a ton of engagement on Facebook. I think Facebook is in a different stage right now where it’s very tricky to navigate; I don’t have all the answers for you on Facebook. But I do think that making sure you post something that’s useful, educational, entertaining, engaging, something that if you saw it posted you would like it, or you would comment and tag a friend, or you would answer a question that you’re asking you and comment back. What can somebody post that’s going to get you to respond? So, post things that are like that.

Dr. Scott Mills: Jillian says, “When putting out an eBook do you have to go through a publisher, like a physical book, or can you publish it yourself? If you can publish it yourself, how do you go about getting it out to people? Thanks so much for your help!”

Diane Sanfilippo: Jillian, the very first version of the 21-Day Sugar Detox I wrote was written in Microsoft Word, and I went to the top of the menu and I said, File, Print, Save as PDF. And that is how I published it. All I did was I put it behind a purchase system where, I think at the time it was a Google Checkout, which I don’t think Google Checkout even exists anymore, somebody correct me if I’m wrong {laughs}, but you could click a pay button, and I think I had it in the Thank You email that you would get a link to download it. So that was the super rudimentary way that I did it in the beginning.

What I do now is I use a system called Clickbank; there are others out there, Ejunkie is one. I just like Clickbank because I’ve used it the longest and I’m comfortable with the whole set up. And also Clickbank will pay any affiliates you have for you, so they take a certain percentage out in order to fulfill that service, but I personally don’t want to worry about having to do any calculations or writing checks to people, it’s just something I care not to do.

In order to get it out to people, really you need to find a way to collect payments, and you can set that up, as I mentioned, through different affiliate networks, and then the way that you land people on a Thank You page, that’s all written within the affiliate network that you sign up with. So if you sign up with Clickbank or Ejunkie, you can go into their help documents, and it will tell you how to set things up.

Now, if you want to publish an eBook somewhere like Amazon, you’ll need to hire someone to help you convert a PDF into what’s called an Epub file, and unfortunately those are; if you have a graphic designer create this PDF for you, or you use a word document that you create as a PDF; you just pop some images in there, just make it look nice. We don’t have the ability without somebody who is skilled or trained in creating Epub files. You can’t just go in and say “Create an Epub” it might be kind of wonky, like the pictures might not align right. So you do need to hire someone to do that.

I know a lot of people who are using online services like ODesk or some of those to find people, and I’m sure if you come comment in the Facebook group for Build a Badass Business, we’ll have folks who will be able to respond and tell you where they’re getting that done. I’ve hired individual designers to do that for my own eBook, and then for my main published printed books, the publisher does handle that for me so it is an upside to having someone publish the book. But generally when you’re talking about your first eBook or something like that, you do need to figure that all out on your own. You’ll be able to upload those files right to Amazon, and go through the process where you fill out the forms that they have in order to get it listed on the Amazon Marketplace.

Dr. Scott Mills: Jen says, “I’m in the very beginning stages of learning the ins and outs of blogging, which can all be so confusing. Your podcast has been so helpful along the way; thank you so much for all you do here and on the Balanced Bites podcast. I started writing a blog post recently about reading ingredient labels, and was going to refer to two companies as example of healthy-sounding products, but they may actually contain questionable ingredients; one good, one not so good. I realize I don’t actually know what we have the right, or what the smart thing to do is, as far as naming brands. Can you give me tips on our rights and limitations? Thanks again!”

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so preface this one by saying I’m not an attorney, so I can’t tell you exactly the legal ramifications of some of this, but you’ll notice on my website I’ve definitely named brands, and my take on it and my understanding is as follows: If you’re being factual and you’re simply listing, here are the ingredients, and then you say, here’s what I recommend and don’t recommend that you eat, and here’s why, you’re not doing anything but stating facts of the product, and then you’re opinion on what people should either do or not do with it. So if you’re not essentially slandering the brand, or the product, or making false claims about it, or making accusations, I think you should be fine. But in terms of high level legality, I don’t know for sure, but I’ve not had an issue.

That’s absolutely not a reason to say, ok, write whatever you want, but I would just keep it factual and say, here’s what these products include. I would cross check it with the manufacturer website as often as possible; I would not take those ingredients from a random other food calculator or something like that, I would make sure that you’re checking that against what’s actually stated by the manufacturer. You can find that information also on a lot of grocery store websites; like Wegmans.com or Shoprite.com. Some of these sites where you can do online grocery shopping, that’s one place that you can find ingredient lists pretty easily. Sometimes the manufacturer websites are really tough to navigate and tough to find ingredients on. But that is my approach, and let me know how it goes.

Dr. Scott Mills: Lastly, Heather says, “Hi Diane! Loving the podcast. My question is quick. I’m having a really hard time using Twitter for my blog. It’s a paleo food blog, and Twitter just doesn’t seem to work for driving traffic to my food posts, and my best tweets only get a couple of retweets or favorites. Any Twitter tips? Keep up the awesome work!”

Diane Sanfilippo: Heather, I think my number one Twitter tips is going to take things back kind of old school on Twitter, and that would be to spend some time on Twitter engaging with people. Maybe look at some hashtags; what hashtags were originally meant for, and when Twitter was first becoming popular, what I was using Twitter for, I was following the paleo hashtag and answering questions about it.

Now, of course, the paleo hashtag is going to be pretty flooded with lots of information, lots of autoposts from people’s blogs, all that stuff. But I think you can throw things out there now and then where you ask people; hey, are you new to paleo, do you need some help? I’ll be online answering questions or, you know, hey you can tweet me any time. Essentially become a resource to people and let them know that they can ask you questions, so that you can create more activity on your account.

If somebody notices that your Twitter account is only ever just autoposts from your blog, then they may not know that you’re even ever there to engage with them. So make sure that you’re replying to everyone. If somebody retweets your post, reply to that person and say, hey thanks for the retweet! If you see somebody talking about something that’s a similar recipe to yours that you’re like, hey if you’re interested in seeing how this is made paleo, or again, just check a paleo tag or paleo recipes or a hashtag that you think could be relevant to you. Become a resource, answer questions, don’t just let your blog autotweet for you. Don’t just let Facebook autotweet for you, and that’s one way you can really become more valuable on Twitter.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

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