One Tip for Social Media Success

by elana carter on November 16, 2010

You read that correctly – one tip. I’m sure there’s some optimal number of tips that you should have in a tips post. I don’t know what that is.

Before I give you the tip, a question.

Do you have a social media strategy?

Don’t worry it’s rhetorical. With all of the noise or conversation surrounding social media, that question can be quite overwhelming.

Let’s review a couple of things. Social media should be a part of your larger marketing strategy.

Marketing strategy? What’s that? Don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple.

Small business marketing expert, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing fame defines marketing as getting people with a need for your services or products to know, like and trust you. Yeah, just that simple, just that complex. Going further, marketing strategy is nailing your target market and what differentiates you from everybody else that does what you do.

Before diving headlong into social media, get some clarity around your target market and what makes you different. Use your marketing strategy to screen your social media decisions. For business rookies, flexibility is key because what you don’t know is…well, pretty much infinite.

You’ve probably already discovered that the tip is that big graphic above on the right.

Read the zen of social media marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani.

Who should read this book: This is an ideal read for the small business owner new to social media. If you’re easily overwhelmed, if you want an all-inclusive, step-by-step guide to applying social media to your business – get this book.

What’s it about:It’s a concise, powerful but simple guide for using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to generate new business.

What’s surprising: The video section. I’m sure you know that video is quickly moving from nice to have to must have. The book has a good video primer.

What the best metaphor:Neo of the the Matrix. You’re going to have to read the book for more!

What’s the best part: The stories – 12 social media case studies. Great stories of real businesses successfully using social media to market their products and services.

What’s the bottom line:You get a comprehensive, step-by-step template for using social media tactics, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and video as platforms to get folks to know, like and trust you.

My social media plan is based on this book. I’ll keep you appraised of how it’s going.

Now that you’re focused on marketing, here are some great resources:

My soul mate, Seth Godin. The ideas presented in his blog are a great backdrop for running your business.

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. and Robert Middleton at The More Clients Blog. Both of these guys are very systematic in their approach to marketing. Rather than marketing being separate from the rest of the business or an afterthought, it should permeate the entire business. That holistic perspective leads to stronger marketing and a stronger bottom line.


I purchased the zen of social media marketingwith money I earned working for the man. I knew of Shama before reading the book but I didn’t become an official fangirl until after reading the book.


Absence of Fear

by elana carter on November 9, 2010

So, a couple of weeks ago I was on a carnival cruise with several of the fabulous women in my family. While on said cruise, I talked my baby sister into a zip-line excursion in the wilds of Jamaica. Yeah, this is going to be good… keep reading.

The photo you see on the right is, to use a current buzzword, authentic. Note the expression on my sister’s face. This is the look of woman who is terrified but doesn’t want to appear terrified because she knows this adventure will be documented on facebook.

While standing on one of the zip-line platform slapping away mosquitoes, I had a couple of thoughts (not at the same time, I’m a linear thinker). First, I haven’t seen my sister this scared since I delivered her to her first day of kindergarten “some number” of years ago. I’m not allowed to reveal her age. Then, I look down and notice that if I move forward 18 inches, I will fall off the platform and deep into the jungle. We’re so far up, I can’t see the bottom, although it does look like a number of trees would break my fall. The thing is, I’m not afraid. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I’m safe, I’m gong to have a great time and this is going to be a highlight of the trip.

It dawned on me that I always feel this way on vacation. It’s like there’s a giant force field around me protecting me from any and everything. My spirit is light. There’s no tension, no anxiety, no hesitation, no thoughts of doing anything wrong. In fact, I feel like everything I do is right, it’s not possible to do anything wrong, everything is going to turn out great and I’m gonna’ have a blast moving through the process.

Here’s the thing. My vacations are very different from my “real” life, where I’m often gripped by fear. During the past six months, since launching my business, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been paralyzed by fear. Traipsing through the Jamaican amazon, I can’t help but wonder what my business would look like in the absence of fear. The…absence…of…fear.  


It’s hard for me to imagine but the idea is soul stirring.


You’re probably wondering what happened to my sister after that fateful first day of kindergarten. I’m proud to say that she went on to graduate at the top of her kindergarten class. As for another zip-line escapade….NotSoMuchIThink.

As for me, I’m hopeful that my vacations are a glimpse of my future “real” life – no fear.

If you’re looking for yet another blog to read, check out fearlessstories. It’s a deep dive into the ways we’re impacted by fear and offers inspiration for moving past it. They publish an outstanding monthly magazine, fear.less.


Elana Carter. Virtual COO. Now Shipping

September 20, 2010
Thumbnail image for Elana Carter.  Virtual COO.  Now Shipping

  This is the first post, the inaugural post, post emiritus, genesis post… I’ll stop now. The first post presents a huge opportunity to procrastinate. I mean, it’s the first post right? It’s got to be perfect. It’s got to be epic. If I wait on epic inspiration, I’ll be waiting until the end of […]

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Birth of a Blog

September 19, 2010

This is the post before the first post. The pre-post, the introductory post… you get the idea. This site has been months in the making (yes, I know it should have been a couple of weeks). I want to thank all of the people (or at least most of the people) that helped me. Tina […]

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