So, What’s Your Story?

What would you say if someone asked you to tell them your story? We all have a story to tell. We all represent our own brand. But when it comes right down to it, are you able to tell your brand story. I have to admit, it wasn’t easy for me!

Everyone has a story… here’s mine.

Since primitive humans painted the first images on cave walls, storytelling has been around as one of the most effective ways to convey a message and get others to take action. I have made a career out of telling the stories of others leveraging traditional and new media.

My background is in broadcast media with two decades of experience producing for network and cable TV. For ten years, I dedicated my career to social and digital media. But whether I’m telling a story for millions of viewers on television, thousands on social or helping thought leaders and organizations craft their messaging, I am a storyteller at heart.

Schedule a time for us to chat so we can start to tell YOUR story! https://daniellericksproductions.as.me/

Five Digital and Social Media Stories Worth Reading This Week

2

Here are five stories pulled from the headlines to get you up-to-date this week on digital and social media news. I’ve done the research for you. You can thank me later.

It’s the year of the “Influencer.” IBT: In Search Of The Real Thing: Why Global Advertisers Like Coca-Cola Are Ditching Celebs For Little-Known Instagram ArtistsPULL QUOTE: It was all about selfies for Christine Adelina, until May 1, 2014. That’s when the 22-year-old student and obsessive Instagram poster from London learned her large following on the photo-sharing app could translate to some decent income. After attending a meetup for Instagram “influencers,” she switched from bedroom and bathroom selfies to artistic portrayals of the world around her, now spending at least three hours a day on the app. And brands are gawking — handing over ad dollars to Adelina and other so-called influencers, anywhere from $300 to thousands of dollars depending on the deal, to join their marketing campaigns. While some sponsorship deals simply reward users with gifts for sending out company-related Instagram posts, others are contracted. Take Nabisco’s #PuttingOnTheRitz campaign, for example. That marketing strategy to promote new Ritz Crisp and Thin crackers — to which Adelina and a handful of other contracted influencers submitted two photos for this June  — reached 7.5 million people. One post from British blogger Tanya Burr, who boasts 2 million Instagram followers, drew 110,000 likes.

It’s the latest sign that Madison Avenue and its counterparts worldwide are recognizing the pitch power of organically born social media stars like Adelina and Burr. They can be just as influential, or even moreso, as celebs like the Kardashians. Consumers, the thinking goes, may connect more readily with individuals who lead lives like their own. “For ‘Putting on the Ritz,’ we were very interested in getting people involved. The campaign seemed more real,” said Jana Soosova, social media campaign manager at London-based PHD Media.

instagram ritz

While Instagram influencer Christine Adelina’s post was not the highest traffic-driver for the #PuttingOnTheRitz campaign, Nabisco paid for and endorsed the submission as part of its marketing strategy.  – Instagram Screenshot 

Earlier this month, Instagram introduced its first ad product for businesses. The system allows companies to quickly create standard ads, target them to selected users and include direct-response buttons (like “Buy Now” as seen on Facebook, Twitter and Google). The move will spur more ads on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app — and fuel Instagram’s predicted rise to $2.8 billion in revenue by 2017.

Marketing jobs have gone digital and they are asking for a lot from their employees! MarketingProfs: The Most In-Demand Digital Marketing SkillsPULL QUOTE: The most in-demand job titles identified by the analysis were digital marketing manager and marketing manager. Those roles may be especially hard to fill given the wide range of skills required: Companies seeking marketing managers tend to look for proficiency in several disciplines, including social media marketing, SEO, PPC, content marketing, Google Analytics, and digital marketing. Other digital marketing job titles with a high volume of listings are digital marketing specialist, marketing coordinator, SEO specialist, Web developer, account executive, and social media manager.

If you’ve paid attention today, you’ll see Kanye West trending on Facebook (kill me now). What does it take to becoming a trending topic on Facebook? IBT: In Search Of The Real Thing: Why Global Advertisers Like Coca-Cola Are Ditching Celebs For Little-Known Instagram Artists – PULL QUOTE: But how exactly does Facebook decide what to put in the Trending queue? And why is it that trends sometimes show up hours if not days after they may be trending somewhere else? Facebook shows you things in your Trending line-up the same way it shows you things in your News Feed: Algorithms. It takes into account a few personal things, like where you live and what Pages you follow. But primarily it looks for two broader signals: Topics that are being mentioned a lot and topics that receive a dramatic spike in mentions. You can’t have one without the other. For example, Kim Kardashian is mentioned often on Facebook, so the total volume of mentions is always high and isn’t a good indicator of whether or not she’s part of a trending topic. Instead, Facebook looks for a spike in mentions relative to the normal chatter around Kim and other celebrities, too. Things that trend aren’t just the most highly mentioned people or topics. They have to be tied to some kind of relevant event.

Right now I’m rocking a Misfit. I ‘m using it as a replacement to my UP24 because I can swim with the Misfit. Am I missing out on not having an Apple Watch? ReadWrite: The Wearables Market Is Exploding, And Apple Is Stealing The Show – PULL QUOTE: Second only to Fitbit, Apple Watch rules the smartwatch scene.  A new report published by IDC paints an intriguing picture of the wearables market as it looks in the middle of 2015. The market grew 223% over the course of the previous year, and Apple—new to the sector and with only one wearable to its name—was bested only by Fitbit, in terms of devices sold during the last three months. That puts reports of rather underwhelming Apple Watch sales into perspective. (Apple hasn’t released official figures of its own, of course.) While the smartwatch has yet to make an iPhone-like splash so far, with nearly 20% of the market, but it’s already threatening to dominate the nascent wearables movement.

I’ll admit it, I’m developing Snapchat campaigns and have totally forgotten about Vine. Apparently, that is not a good thingQuartz: Vine is a sleeping giant (while everyone is focused on Snapchat)PULL QUOTE: A funny thing happened to Vine, Twitter’s short-form video app, after its initial buzz wore off: It kept going. If you haven’t checked lately, Vine, launched in early 2013, is still a thing. It has evolved from a social “Instagram-for-video” built atop Twitter into a unique mobile entertainment platform with its own style, format, and celebrities. And as mobile video continues its long-awaited rise, Vine has built and maintained an impressive audience. Vine serves more than 100 million people across the web every month, according to the company, delivering more than 1.5 billion “loops”—its term for video views—per day. Meanwhile, comScore says Vine reached 34.5 million unique visitors in the US in June across desktop and mobile—roughly the same as Snapchat, which has grown rapidly over the past year and is valued by investors at $16 billion.

 

5 Tips For Your Crowdfunding Pitch

3Thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign? Maybe you want to raise money for an upcoming project. Or, maybe your client needs to fund a worthy cause. Whether it’s raising money for your next CD project or a fundraiser to send a group of students abroad to study, there are a few things you should consider before you launch a crowdfunding campaign. One of the most important things to consider is the crowdfunding pitch. It’s the story behind what you are doing and why anyone would want to give to your cause. I’ve been working on a small crowdfunding campaign that is going to lead to a larger, capital campaign. Here are things I’ve learned along the way and five things to consider when beginning your crowdfunding campaign.

Any crowdfunding campaign starts with the pitch. Your crowdfunding campaign pitch is your first point of contact with potential donors. For your pitch to be effective it’s crucial to plan and include all the elements that make a compelling story.

A Crowdfunding Pitch Needs To Include:

  1. The Backstory – What is the campaign? Why will people care? Why will they donate? Talk about where the crowdfunding efforts will go and how it will help you or your cause. Show your passion, explain the impact of your campaign or explain about the people who will benefit from it.
  2. A Thought Provoking Video – Video clips give visitors a better idea of your project — they can see you or your project in action and not clicking through a series of static images. Do you have assets such as photos, powerpoint slides or digital images that can be assembled into a compelling video? If so, you’re halfway there.
  3. What You Are Raising Money For – Be specific and include your funding goal. Also include a breakdown of where the money is going and the purpose it will serve.
  4. When Will Your Project Take Place – Set a deadline, this creates a sense of urgency.
  5. How People Can Get involved – Have a multi-level donation stream offering. What will people get if they donate $1000, $50 right on down to a $25 donation? Beyond just donating money, what else can people do to help you? Outline any perks you have created.

Once all the elements for the pitch are addressed, then you much decide one of the most important details, which crowdfunding site to use.

Crowdfunding Sites– There are several crowdfunding sites. Each has their own pros and cons. Research the ones that will best suit your campaign and don’t be shy about asking others what has worked for them. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Then when you are ready to roll out share, share, and share some more.

Need help getting your crowdfunding campaign started? I’m here to help!

Five Ways To Get Your Blog Up And Running!

blogging-tipsIf you are like me, writing may not be your first love. I am a storyteller, but I’m much more comfortable with the spoken word than the written. Like me, you may have a lot to say but organizing your thoughts and putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboards may not come naturally. You may be worried that no one will be interested in your point of view. I’m here to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. We all have a voice and a story to tell. It’s not always easy to make time to blog, but the effort pays by growing your online community, setting yourself up as an expert in your field and sharing your vision and brand in a way that is engaging, entertaining, and can take clients or customers from prospects to actual business revenue generators.

I blogged for twenty-one days straight as part of my 21 Day Dream Big Challenge. I started blogging on April 4 and posted every single day, without missing a beat for twenty-one days. The goal of the challenge was to encourage readers to dream BIG and to get into the habit of focusing on their greatest desires and aspirations. Scientists say it takes twenty-one days to build a habit. We were on a journey to build a habit of dreaming big and living out loud. Little did I know that not only was I building a habit of dreaming big, I was also building a habit of blogging. After blogging every day for twenty-one days, I discovered a few things.

Here are five tips that will take the fear and anxiety out of blogging to get you on your way to telling your story and sharing your point of view.

  1. Blog Post Platforms: I use WordPress as my blogging platform of choice. I think WP is easy to use and very intuitive. For many people, WP is a bit intimidating. If you’re not worried about analytics or SEO (if you have to ask what SEO is then you probably aren’t worried one bit) there are plenty of user-friendly blogging platforms from Tumblr to Blogger that are an easy 1-2 process. If you are worried about analytics and SEO, I suggest you blog from your website and push the content out from there to your other social networking sites. This will help drive traffic to your website and, in addition, your blog will help establish you as an authority in your industry. It can also help you build your network with potential clients. Plus, I think it is a good idea to curate your content in a hub that you own. I have two blogs. One blog that lives on my website that is strictly business related and one blog that caters to my geeky, techie, lifestyle connoisseur interests. I often cross promote posts across both blog platforms when appropriate.
  2. Blog Post Length: People often think they have to write the next great American novel when they are blogging. Some people may tell you this is necessary. I would beg to differ. When you are doing a blog post, you don’t have to write a long novel. You have to write an interesting post. In fact, if the information resonates with the reader, shorter is often better. Regardless of the length, I alway cross promote my blog post across my various social networking sites. I may also share a blog several times throughout the month or share an archived article when I haven’t had time to write an original post. When I do this, I change-up the title in an effort to attract new interest. Speaking of blog titles…
  3. What To Name Your Post: The catcher the blog title, the more likely someone will click on your post. But, be mindful of how that title will translate if you have your blog set up to post to across multiple platforms. “Get Your Sexy On In Five Easy Steps” may work for Facebook or Twitter. You’ve told the reader what the subject is and what they will be learning. However, that may not be what you want to post to LinkedIn or Google Plus. A title on those sites may read, “From The Office To Evening in Five Easy Steps.” Get it?
  4. Double-check Spelling: If you are like me, grammar isn’t your strongest attribute. Look, I do many things well. I cook, I teach aerobics, I cycle all over the city and I’m one heck of a producer and storyteller. But spelling and grammar? Yeah, I think I was absent the entire time they taught that in elementary school. If you can’t afford an editor (I use one for professional documents and presentations) then use a service like Grammarly to help you edit your copy. I’m using it now. That said, don’t send me your editorial notes on all the things that need correction in this blog post. Send your notes directly to Grammarly. They are the ones acting as my editor at the moment. On a serious note, remember, these sites that have been set up to help us write mistake-free will check for grammar and misspellings. They often cannot determine context.
  5. Writers Block – Write about what you love and you’ll never get stuck on what to write about. OK, that’s not entirely true. But, as a rule, if you are blogging about things that interest you, what you are writing about should come naturally.

Once the twenty-one-day challenge ended, I was both relieved and saddened. The pressure was off to not have to write every day. But, I soon missed my morning blogging ritual. Currently, I have committed myself to blogging at least once a week or twice when I have time. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

Need help getting started with your blog? I can help you develop a strategic content management strategy that will be the most effective way to use your blog to generate leads that turn into revenue. Together we can start telling your story in a way that will elevate your brand and generate revenue. Fill out the contact form below and let’s get started.

Your End of Week Social and Digital Media News

InsertITWorld: How Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google compare on user privacy – Nearly three-quarters of people with access to the Internet use social networking sites, a number that has skyrocketed since early 2005, according to the Pew Research Center. As social networks continue to permeate our everyday lives, so do the privacy and security risks associated with our accounts. Here’s a look at how Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ stack up on user privacy and security settings, plus instructions for finding and updating these options to maintain control over your account. [ED NOTE: If you haven’t done a Facebook Privacy Checkup, click here to get started TODAY!]

Re/code: Periscope Added a Million Users in Its First 10 Days – Buried amidst the chaos that was Twitter earnings this afternoon was a small nugget on the popularity of the company’s new live streaming app, Periscope. CEO Dick Costolo said on the earnings call that Periscope added a million new users in the app’s first 10 days on the market. It’s a relatively impressive number considering competitor Meerkat was at 120,000 users three weeks after it launched. (Periscope, of course, benefitted from the buzz Meerkat generated and also the fact that it had a well-known owner to help push the news.) It’s unclear if Periscope was able to sustain that growth — when pressed for more metrics on the app and its user base, Costolo declined to share anything. Periscope launched in late March after Twitter acquired it back in January. The app is still not yet available to Android users.

NewsCred: How Brands Marketers Can Grow Their YouTube Audience – In the brand space, the leaders are Disney and Samsung, which have nearly three billion and one billion views on their channels, respectively. Not surprisingly, one of the top B2B channels is Google Analytics; it has over 11 million views and 113,000 subscribers. Once you hit your stride like these creators and channels, you can foster brand loyalty, close leads, and provide content to the people who matter the most to your company: your customers. NewsCred spoke with two huge YouTube channels, Rooster Teeth and WatchMojo, about what they did to achieve a high subscriber count, billions of views, and a dedicated audience.

MarketingProfs: Bye-Bye to These 10 Web Design Trends – When technology is ever evolving, change is the only constant. Take, for instance, the realm of Web design. Design trends come and go. Some may only breeze by while others last longer. Either way, design trends come into being and fade because of changes in technology and user demands and expectations. As long as human beings desire improvement and expect more, design trends will continually evolve. And we need to learn to adapt accordingly. Often, that means saying goodbye to design trends that are no longer working. So here are 10 Web design trends that are among the fading; you should ditch them if you want to keep with the competition and increasingly demanding audiences. [ED NOTE: Must read]

Tips to Rock Your Social Presence

Shannon Mouton leads the internal marketing and digital communications efforts for McKinney & Associates. She is a relationship marketing professional, with a passion for utilizing social technology for building business relationships, sharing information and advancing the greater good. Her 20-plus years of marketing, communications, and 12032876_10206198800663549_1037900389348578334_ocommunity-building experiences have afforded her unique opportunities to foster communities where none existed, develop and launch innovative programming and bridge generational, economic and racial divides. Shannon is a contributor to Women Grow Business and has been featured on the Digital Sisterhood Network and American Express OPEN Forum.

I asked Shannon to share some of her best social media tips with me. This is what she had to say:

1. Social media is an part of my workday as I’m responsible for the virtual marketing for the organization. We focus on social tools and platforms that allow us to showcase our expertise and experience as a strategic communications firm. Instead of spreading a little content over a lot of platforms, we do a lot of content over a few platforms. For instance, a team member will write an article, “How to Pitch to Reporters” and we post that article as a blog post and a week later we turn the article into a presentation for SlideShare. We will also post both forms of the information to Facebook and Twitter because we understand people receive and retain information differently.

2. The three social media sites the firm will probably still be using in two years are YouTube, SlideShare and Facebook. While the written word will always be important, visual communications is becoming increasingly so as a method of delivering messages to a variety of audiences. These sites focus on visual communications and lend themselves to the written (and spoken) word. We enjoy and use Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, which are visually based platforms, but they lack the strong written or verbal component that we need for long-term strategic communications.
3. My best social media tip is also a tip for living your best life: do a few things exceptionally well, instead of being adequate at a lot of things.
This post was originally shared on All Things E

Strategies for Your Business from What’s Next DC

You know how you go to a conference, rush from panel to panel, wish you could talk to the presenter one-on-one, and then have wave at someone across the room you really want to talk to but can’t approach because the room is too crowded?  Well, What’s Next DC is not one of those conferences.

What’s Next DC, a one-day marketing and communications conference that focusses on the latest and greatest innovations and trends we should focus our efforts on, is more about networking and strategizing than stale lectures.  We were treated to a series of presentations, small group breakout sessions, niche talks and one-on-one time with the presenters.  

I got a chance to chat with four What’s Next presenters who shared advice on what companies would keep in mind when thinking about “social”.

  • BBonin Bough, Senior Global Director of Digital and Social Media, Pepsico
  • Tim Mahlman, Chief Revenue Officer, Klout
  • Katharine Zaleski, Executive Producer and Head of Digital News Products, Washington Post
  • Sabrina Caluori, Vice President of Social Media and Performance Marketing, HBO

 

Special thanks to Vanessa French, President, Pivot Point Communications, for inviting me to cover the conference.  Also, thanks to What’s Next DC host, Tod Plotkin, who spoke to me about his impression of this year’s What’s Next DC.

 

Is your Brand ready for the 21st Century?

I recently spoke at the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) 2009 Professional Development Workshop to senior woman administrators, athletics, coaches, and Athletic Directors on the benefits of Social Media and the new age marketing techniques. Our agenda:

Speaking on Social Networking
Speaking on Social Networking

“THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW:  Are You Multimedia Ready? – Building Your Brand For the 21st Century”.  With technology advancing at lightning speeds, developing and marketing your own personal brand is more important than ever to maintain and thrive in today’s fast paced environment. From networking both on-line and off-line, to community platforms and professional organizations, to presentation and writing skills, today’s professional must multi-itask more than ever to create positive and lasting exposure for themselves as well as their organizations. With access to information available 24/7, building your own brand now moves past the walls of your traditional job. It also includes defining and presenting yourselves within your community as well as on the career front.

A 21st Century Success Path focuses on:
– Professional and Social Networking
– Developing strong writing and presentation skills
– Joining and becoming involved in relevant professional organizations
– Multitasking for maximum benefits
– Establishing a strong community consciousness

Let me know how I can help your business build it’s brand and forge ahead in the 21st Century!

Award
Presented an award

With Coaches

If you teach them… they will come… lesson on how to use Twitter

Busy professionals love the digital space.  So it stands to reason that on-line Universities offering advanced degrees are becoming increasingly popular.  Walden University is one such on-line university offering accredited on-line masters and doctoral degrees in everything from education, psychology, and health and human services to master’s programs in engineering and IT.  Adding even more prestige to Walden University is the fact that it is under the umbrella of Laureate International Universities, a leading global network of accredited campus-based and on-line universities.

But even with this impressive on-line menu and the strong global backing, Walden University, like many companies, is still learning how to navigate their way through the New Media space.  Last week, my client, Alumni Relations Manager, Shannon Mouton, and I presented to various members of the Digital and Marketing teams on how to use the social networking site Twitter.  There were the usual questions such as “how do I join”, “do I have to use my real name” and “what will I say” to more thought provoking business specific questions such as “if someone sends us a message about the company who should answer them” and “do we have someone who can monitor our Twitter account full-time”?  These are the kinds of questions businesses need to consider before they launch into a digital campaign.  Here are a few things to consider:
1.    What are your goals in the New Media Space?
2.    Who is your target audience?
3.    What is your mission statement or online “voice”?
4.    What will your New Media campaign encompass?
5.    Who will be the administrator of your sites, social networks and blogs?
Businesses recognize the need to be in the Social Media Space and the benefits of both instant and viral marketing.  The way we do business is changing.  Are you ready?

We are off to the races… live Tweeting!

Tweeting every detail of the NASCAR race
Tweeting every detail of the NASCAR race

One of the aspects of creating a brand presence for clients is developing a Social Media strategy.  It can be anything from setting up a client’s Social Networking page, creating a viral marketing campaign, to live Tweeting an event as a marketing or promotional tool.

Patering with Richard Montgomery of Rixstar Studios we introduced the value of social media to WHUR-FM, sponsor of NASCAR driver Marc Davis.  Davis, a 19-year-old from Silver Spring, MD is NASCAR’s only African American owner/driver. He made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series owner/driver entry at Bristol in March.  During one of his qualifying races in Virginia I did a three-day Twitter campaign live tweeting from the NASCAR cockpit.  Rick and I developed a campaign designed to drive attention to the race and to Marc Davis before, during and ultimatly, after the race.  Our efforts were successful enough to create a buzz and ultimately got the racer a write up in the Washington Post.

This is the power of Social Media and developing your brand!

(Marc Davis photo courtesy Of Harry Davis)
(Marc Davis photo courtesy of Harry Davis)

See what the Washington Post has to say about Marc Davis

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/22/AR2009052203425.html

The WHUR-FM Car #39
Moments before the race I sneak in a picture with the Marc Davis WHUR-FM Car #39

A moment before the race
I share a moment before the race with Marc Davis

Marc Davis creats the crowd
Marc Davis greets the crowd just before the race

Rick of Rixstar Productions
Richard of Rixstar Studios is always ready with camera in hand to document event

Designing Your On-line Brand Identity

daniellericks.com/production
daniellericks.com/production

One of the hottest topics these days is how to develop your on-in presence.  The critical first step in any on-line identity campaign is defining your authentic personal brand or rather, how you want to be represented to the world. Keep in mind this is not about painting a picture of how you think you should be represented but rather it’s a look into your most authentic self. In order to do this you must be clear about what you want to communicate before making a bunch of digital fingerprints that will be difficult to remove when you change your mind.

The next step is to draft a design brief and share it with your designer for input. A design that you feel proud to represent your personal brand is usually the result of a collaborative effort among you, your personal brand coach and your designer. This blog will be dedicated to how you can go about step one and two in a world where you may be over whelmed with the choices and short on time.  So, come back often as we attempt to show you how to brand yourself on line and increase awareness about yourself and your brand.