7 highlights from the New York Social Media Week Panel

SMWUSTeamThis week, I had an opportunity to attend the New York Social Media week sports panel hosted by Blue State Digital “You Won. What’s Next? How to keep your audience engaged after the big moment.”

The panel featured Olympians and NBC Broadcasters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir;  Joey Maestas, Head of Social Media at the US Olympic Committee; Ashley Ramirez, Senior Account Strategist @ Twitter; and Evan Moody, Senior Media Strategist at Blue State Digital and Mitch Germann of FleishmanHillard.  It addressed the topic of “how you can keep your audience engaged after the big moment – whether it’s your athletes taking the global stage, a major legislative victory, or after a breaking news story hits. Because when the world isn’t watching, how do you stay relevant? ”

The video offers my seven highlights from the social media panel that apply to authors, experts and speakers.  After you have written a book, launched a program or a course, or had your big PR moment, how do you keep the momentum going?

P.S. You are invited to our first Cyber Soiree. Join us and learn how to create your perfect cyber cocktail:
    Mix your favorite brand ingredients;
    Stir by putting your brand message in motion;
    Create buzz 8 seconds at a time.

We’ll demo a few of our favorite things.
March 4th, 8:30pm EST/7:30pm CST/5:30pm PST. Click HERE to register.

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25 Goodie Bag Ideas for Your Book Launches, Readings, Signings and Other Promotions

book bag
Image credit: Hammer & Thread

Goodie bags are not just for birthday parties anymore. Just like companies give goodie bags filled with small presents to promote their products, authors can fill goodie bags with little literary treasures to excite and delight the hearts and minds of book lovers. You can use them as gift bags for your VIP clients and strategic partners, as well as prizes in giveaways and contests.

Everybody wants to feel special, and with a little imagination, you can put together your own signature goodie bag to make your readers and clients happy. Here are 25 bookish goodie bag ideas for your book launches, readings, signings and other promotions:

  1. Your book autographed by you (Duh!);
  2. Bookmarks: check out some cute DIY felt ones on our Bookphoria Pinterest board or turn your photo collage into a bookmark with an added quote ;
  3. Reading lights;
  4. Fabric book covers;
  5. Pens custom-branded for you;
  6. Calendars with illustrations or quotes from your book;
  7. A set of cards featuring illustrations and quotes from your book;
  8. Stationary, such as notepads, cards and envelopes, custom-branded for you;
  9. Magnets with quotes from your book;
  10. A set of printed library cards that can be used as gift tags, invitations, records of book exchanges, or little notepads (see examples here);
  11. Gummy worm candies for bookworms;
  12. Book-themed mugs;
  13. Feeling crafty? Make some DIY Tile Photo Coasters or pick from the existing styles, colors and shapes, add your words, and then personalize your coasters with your own photo or art.
  14. Favor containers personalized with your quotes;
  15. Recipe cards if your book contains any recipes;
  16. Fortune cookies with your book quotes inside;
  17. A pack of custom heart candies with your clever sayings;
  18. A spice jar filled with your favorite spices and a label with your quote;
  19. A whimsy literary charm to mark a drink glass, like this set of 6 double-sided Fairytale Wine Glass Charms that include Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella;
  20. Copied book pages to wrap small items;
  21. Bookish socks, like Curl Up With a Good Bookworm Socks or Typewriters: “Your feet will want to tap, tap, tap the day away in our fun Typewriter women’s crew socks!”
  22. Origami made out of paper with your printed press releases, book reviews and other marketing materials that look impressive but not salesy in a cute origami form;
  23. A flash drive with audio files of your interviews, book readings, etc.;
  24. A DVD of your public appearances, talks or presentations;
  25. A custom designed library tote bag to hold your creative goodies.

What bookish gifts have you enjoyed giving or receiving? Share in the comments below.

P.S. Want our opinion on how you can multiply your impact and income?
Click here to join other experts invited to our free rapid fire mentorship session.

52 blogging ideas for authors and experts, based on their book content

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Many authors choose to publish a blog as a way to stay connected with their readers, promote books, build their brand, share ideas, grow and engage their readership. A blog helps you stay visible and relevant to your audience. Publishers look for authors with active, buzzing and growing communities of readers and a robust social media presence.

If you have just written a book, you may feel like you have exhausted your creative potential and squeezed every original thought out of your head. What else could you possibly write about in a blog? Don’t despair! Get your blog publishing calendar out and start filling it with these 52 blogging ideas. If you publish once a week, they will give you the whole year worth of material!

  1. Things that didn’t make into the book, such as background stories of the characters, descriptions of people and places, or details of the events;
  2. Your personal elaborations on the characters and the plot;
  3. Your motivation for writing the book;
  4. Your mission, goals and inspirations as an author;
  5. A brief video introducing you and your book to your audience;
  6. Alternative plot developments that could have happened;
  7. Questions that you struggled with as you were writing the book;
  8. Your answers to the readers’ questions;
  9. Your responses to the readers’ reviews and comments;
  10. The summary of benefits your readers can expect when they study and implement your ideas;
  11. The summary of pain points that your book addresses;
  12. Lessons, case studies and examples of application of the ideas in your book;
  13. Your personal favorite or least favorite parts of the book and why you chose them;
  14. Anchors, such as catchy phrases, memorable metaphors or anecdotes that can improve the recall of your book content;
  15. Tests and assessments that allow readers to evaluate their knowledge and skills;
  16. Your questions to your readership;
  17. Photos of any physical artifacts that became a part of your book or helped you in the writing process, with your commentary;
  18. Recipes of any food or drinks mentioned in the book;
  19. Sharing of how you implement your own ideas – live your truth – your personal successes and failures along the way;
  20. Your habits as a writer and your creative process;
  21. Guide questions and activities for book clubs that want to discuss your book;
  22. Your own interviews about the book;
  23. Interviews of other people who have read and used your book;
  24. Stories, scenarios, problems that build on your material and encourage readers to apply the strategies in your book;
  25. Additional activities and exercises to help your readers implement your ideas;
  26. Daily observations and spin offs that relate to your book content;
  27. Giving voice to different characters in your book by writing a post from their perspective on a situation or interviewing them;
  28. A collection of quotes from your book that can be easily shared on social media;
  29. A collection of quotes from book reviews;
  30. Endorsements of your book by other distinguished writers and experts;
  31. Press releases about your book signings and other public appearances;
  32. Unfolding a passage of your book with additional thoughts, illustrations, etc.;
  33. Making your characters and places come alive through drawings, cartoons, maps, photos, etc.;
  34. Creating and sharing an infographic or visual illustration of your book content;
  35. Commentary of the news and current events that can be related to your book content;
  36. Guest posts from your readers or other writers;
  37. Reader contests where you ask your readers to submit some content, such as their stories, reviews, designs, for a chance to win a prize;
  38. Participating in a blog tour where other bloggers get to interview you about your book;
  39. Clips from newspapers, magazines and other publications about you and your book;
  40. How-to lists based on your book content;
  41. Before and after photos that illustrate the implementation of your system or strategies;
  42. Reader “makeover” challenges where you follow and write about some readers who are using your book to improve their lives;
  43. DIY projects based on your book content;
  44. Crossword puzzles based on your book content;
  45. Reviews of other books with complementary topics;
  46. Product and service suggestions based on your book content;
  47. Recap of your social media activity with most popular tweets, Facebook updates, LinkedIn discussions, readers’ comments, etc.
  48. Brief audio or video tips based on your book content;
  49. Teasers of your upcoming books;
  50. Brainstorming future book ideas with your readers;
  51. Asking readers’ opinions on your titles, book covers, etc.;
  52. Sharing your work process and progress if you are writing another book.

What do you write about in your blog? Share in the comments below.

U-Quotable: How to find the ideal location for your book quotes

authors wanted

There is no such thing as an unquotable book. As an author, you have spent many days stringing words together, so it’s natural that you want to be memorable, sharable and remarkable. You want people to quote you, don’t you? After all, people quote other authors all the time! You see those quotes on social media. There are even websites that categorize and publish quotes. How do you make your words of wisdom shine in all their brilliance? We, here at Bookphoria, want to help you become more quotable by following the real estate mantra: location, location, location. To illustrate our point, let’s take a look at the example of one author who uses this principle with much success.

Dallas Clayton is an American author and illustrator of children’s books whose quotes amazingly appear in all sorts of places, all well documented on his Instagram account to the delight of his many readers and followers. Here are some examples:

On the pavement:

pavement

On a plate:

plate

On a billboard:

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On a street poll:

street pole

On a tree:

tree

On a human body… One of his followers even got a tattoo of his drawing. Now, that’s a commitment!

tattoo

We are not suggesting that you should start copying Dallas Clayton’s ideas. Rather, use him as an inspiration to come up with some unique ways to showcase your quotes. There are many possibilities:

Share in the comments your ideal location for quotes.

And whatever you do, make photos and share them on social media to make your projects shine across various media channels.

We even created a Pinterest board just for you to pin your quotes and to view other authors’ quotes! Do you want to become a contributor to our U-Quotable board and share your pearls of wisdom with the world? Click here to fill out the form or email info@bookphoria.com, and we will send you an invitation to join the board as a pinner. Not on Pinterest? No problem, just send us your image with the quote and the proper attribution, and we will post it on your behalf. If your quotes get lots of repins, we may even send you a mug or some other physical artifact with that quote to celebrate! Happy pinning, U-Quotables!

P.S. We can help you design your visuals with quotes to share on social media. Click here to set up a free rapid fire mentorship session with us.

5 ways to generate compelling visuals for your content marketing and e-learning

collageAs the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words… well, maybe not a thousand, but 1.5 words at least. We do remember pictures better than we remember words. Studies by Paul W. Foos and Paula Goolkasian shed light on the difference between memory for pictures and words. They found that pictures were correctly recalled about 1.5 times as often as printed words. Researchers at the University of Iowa James Bigelow and Amy Poremba have found that when it comes to memory, we don’t remember things we hear nearly as well as things we see or touch.

Since visuals win the memory challenge, it only makes sense to incorporate them in your content presentation if you want it to be memorable. I once received an email from a member of a LinkedIn group after I posted a comment on one of the discussion threads. Something in my comment triggered his memory of an image I had shared in the same group many months before. He wasn’t sure but thought I might be the one who had shared it, so he emailed me to see if I could give him the source of that image. This illustrates the fact that visuals are memorable and that your expert brand can be associated with and reinforced by the content you share. In order to be effective, your visuals need to reinforce your message, be unique, and be able to stir some emotion or reflection in the viewers so that they could connect to your content on a deeper level. How do you find or create such visuals?

1. Stock up. There are numerous websites where you can search and legally download Creative Commons (CC) license or royalty-free stock photos. Always make sure you understand the restriction on the use of such images. Here are some of those websites:

Wikimedia Commons is a database of 23,769,240 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.

Flickr is another popular site where you can use an advanced search to find CC images.

Microsoft Office offers visuals you can use.

freeimages has a gallery containing over 350,000 quality stock photos by more than 30,000 photographers.

Getty Images now allows to easily embed and share its imagery at no cost for non-commercial use on websites, blogs and social media channels through their embed tool.

While stock images can get the job done, don’t underestimate your ability to produce your own visual content. Just pick up a camera, even if it’s your smart phone camera and begin to look around. Our surroundings abound with the rich and complex material that can help you tell your personal expert brand story. Train your eye to see it. It is easier than you think. Here are a few tips to get started:

2. Organize your existing photo collection. Chances are you already have plenty of good, funny, personal images tucked away somewhere on your computer drive or in photo albums. They all tell your story. Take time to go over your collection with an eye to possible future business use. It is a fun thing to do. Plus, it can trigger memories that may result in new stories to tell about your personal brand and your business. We did just that with our Halloween post when Marina found an old photo of us dressed up for Halloween.

3. Start taking pictures – lots and lots of them. Get in touch with your own sensibilities. Look at other photography sites and photo sharing platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest. Notice what appeals to you and why. What moods, styles, colors, patterns resonate with you most? What makes you laugh, think or inspires you? Start capturing those “snapshots of the moment” – often mundane but also funny, puzzling, memorable aspects of your reality. Notice patterns and disruptions. Our brains constantly search for patterns and make predictions to make us comfortable in our environment. Studies show that bizarre and grotesque images are especially effective at grabbing attention. People tend to spend more time on such images as they try to figure out what is going on in the picture – their brains are busy deciphering the pattern. Be ready to capture anything surprising, bizzare, humorous, unusual – such images are likely to provoke thoughts and appeal to emotions. Analyze your own work just like you did with other people’s photos. Use Flickr or Instagram as a way to filter and store the photos you like, get feedback from your followers and grow your own collection of visuals that can be later used for various projects.

4. Turn your content into a collage. Here’s how it works. Pick the key elements and relationships that describe your concept. Then, find images that you associate with those elements. You can browse magazines if you want to make it low tech or find images on the web if you want to create your collage in a digital format, or maybe, you can sketch them yourself. After you are done collecting your visuals, arrange them in a collage trying to reflect the relationships among the underlying elements. The benefit of a collage is that it allows you to see the concept as a whole whereas the verbal description can only be sequential. Collages can serve as visual metaphors, allowing for personal interpretation. Visit Creativity Portal to explore various collage resources on the Internet.

5. Get moving with video marketing. Videos offer a great way to promote yourself as an expert, speaker or author. According to comScore, website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video. In addition, visitors who view videos stay on the site an average of 2 minutes longer than those who don’t view videos. People have short attention spans and tune out easily. Keep your videos under 3 minutes in length. You can do a series of videos on different topics. If you use a webcam to record your videos, make sure you position yourself in the center, look into the camera, choose an appropriate background, and have light facing you. A webcam does not have the energy of a live audience, so you have to bring your own energy up through your body posture, smile, and variations in your pitch, tempo and volume. The good news is that you can re-record any number of times you want, so you get the result you like. Whenever you upload your videos onto video sharing platforms, such as YouTube or Vimeo, make sure to use appropriate keywords and links to your website to build traffic and subscriptions to your email list.

Ready to package your expertise online? Sign up for a FREE consultation with Marina and Anastasia!

Don’t let Negative People Scare the Living Bejeepers Out of You Online!

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Whether you run an online business, are very active on social networking sites, date, or study online, you will inevitably meet people who will send you negative messages or leave unpleasant comments on your site. Often negativity online is expressed even more intensely then in face-to face situations because of the so-called “disinhibition effect”, according to which people express themselves more freely online than in a traditional setting because of invisibility and delayed response. Today we will give you 2 “don’ts” and 3 “do’s”  to help you raise your energy on this scary pre-Halloween Thursday.

#1  Don’t bring in “the Terminator”

It is very easy to get pulled into the negative energy and start acting on the same level as the offender. We believe that there is nothing more destructive that you can do for your own reputation (and your own sanity!) than escalating into a flame war (term created by Anastasia!). In the end, nothing is resolved and everyone walks unhappy.

#2 Don’t sink and sulk

Don’t let the negative comments affect your self-esteem and your overall happiness. Unfortunately, humans are wired to skip over or disbelieve the praise and hold on to the criticism. We, women, often let negative comments affect us on a deeper level and remember them for a long time. However, learn to see negativity as a sign of your success. The more you rock as a business woman, the more negative comments you will receive!   Nowadays, I look at such remarks and tell myself that I must be doing something right and even thank my negative guests for contributing to my SEO optimization. (Hey, the more comments I get on my posts, the higher up my website goes in the search engine!)

#3 Use “Love never fails” strategy

I usually try to remember this wisdom and respond with gratitude to any negative comment. I thank the writer for taking their time to express their opinion and promise to take it into account. You will see that this works like magic, and your “so-called” offender may become your #1 fan!

#4 “Build a Finesse Sandwich”

If you really need to stand your ground and defend your point of view, remember to do it with class by creating a “finesse” sandwich.

First start with a “thank you”– you need to neutralize your opponent.

Then prove your point and end with best wishes.

 #5. Use ‘0 tolerance’ rule for bullies

If you are a target of cyber-bullying, do not respond. Do not give it ANY of your attention… nothing, zero, NADA! Block the bully, unfriend them, or ban them from your site. You can also use reporting tools to show offense online.

Now, in the comments below tell us how YOU deal with negative people?

 Ready to package your expertise online? Sign up for a FREE consultation with Marina and Anastasia!

Explainers: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Whether you are trying to assemble a new kitchen table or learn a new program, you have to deal with instructions. Reading instructions is rarely fun. They are often boring, confusing and full of jargon. We’d rather jump in and tinker with things to figure out how they work. That is why our Bookphoria team favors an interactive, audience-driven approach to explainers.

In recent years, short explainer videos have become popular in business to introduce and explain the functions and benefits of various products and services and educate consumers. These videos are definitely more engaging than just text. An expainer video can also increase conversion rates by around 15% to 50%. However, even with explainer videos, viewers still remain passive and their attention can drift away.

Continue reading Explainers: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

How to Stand out from the Crowd Online?

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Being different is no longer a recreational pursuit for experts, authors and speakers; it is a matter of survival for your business. In a world of 8 second attention spans, you must stand out from the crowd, or you will disappear in the ocean of information in a matter of seconds. So how do you get noticed online? In this post I will share five tips that will help you capture the attention of the click’n’go generation, and boost your online presence.

Continue reading How to Stand out from the Crowd Online?