5 Best Practices of Thought Leadership

mitchell-levyThought leadership is a hot buzzword, however, there are many definitions and misconceptions about what a thought leader is.

I’d like to offer a definition that may be slightly broader than what you’re used to. Once you’re comfortable with the definition, I’ll share five best practices.

Who is a Thought Leader?

A thought leader is an individual who is recognized as an expert in their own space, and is referred to for help on various matters. In other words, the key-to-go person who can give an appropriate path to attain best results in the field and geography they specialize in. For a more robust definition, check out this 2×2 showing a definition of thought leadership as audience by content .

The Top Five Best Practices for Thought Leadership are:

1.      Visibility to the Employees and the Management Team:

Due to the accessibility and abundance of numerous product reviews on the Internet, traditional salespeople have become obsolete and ineffective. The new salesperson is Google and is playing a big part in providing a perfect way to review products and services with utmost ease.

Potential customers search on your organization, they want to see “real” people sharing authentic, transparent and trustworthy information. Every employee represents the brand, and they must look good. Particularly, the management team.

On the “About us” page of many organizations today, you not only see a small photo or bio of the executive team, but also links to their individual social accounts (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter). This way, the customers and future advocates get an opportunity to see how the management team represents themselves and engage with them, if appropriate.

Make sure and participate in Mitchell’s FREE live webinar at Social Buzz University on Thursday, November 20, 2014! CLICK HERE to register now!
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What Grandma Can Teach You About Social Media Marketing

grandmaMy grandma taught us to behave well, to be kind, and to address our peers as well as our superiors with respect.

She taught us how to embrace our unique personalities and talents, but to be polite, thoughtful, and considerate at the same time. Grandma showed us to pay attention to details and she never forgot to say please and thank you. 

With her help, we learned the value of writing hand-written thank you notes and even today, I still write those knowing that they are a rarity in an age of e-mails, text messages, and hashtags.

Even though your grandma might not be savvy on the newest Facebook and Twitter trends, she can still teach you a lot about social media marketing.

Today, we live in a world that is saturated with the newest online conversational piece. Electronics are truly the go-to when it comes to marketing yourself or your small business and it can be easy to dwell on the numbers you’re trying to reach, while forgetting about the actual people that you are marketing to.   Continue reading

I Have A LinkedIn Profile, Now What? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Reprinted with Permission from Melonie Dodaro (http://topdogsocialmedia.com)

The last infographic I shared about LinkedIn showed you how to create the perfect profile but you may have been left wondering what comes next. I like to give practical, methodical tips that can easily and quickly be put into action so I took that as a challenge to give you the next step in your LinkedIn marketing strategy.

A great profile can help attract prospects to you but business often requires you to be more proactive then that, so it’s important to establish a lead generation system. You’ve made this fancy LinkedIn profile, it’s about time you put it to good use!

LinkedIn Marketing: Creating Opportunities

LinkedIn isn’t a place for chatting about the weather; it’s a place to do business. Think of it as a cocktail party for a giant business conference where every room is a different targeted niche to interact and build relationships with.

When building this new infographic I wanted to think of an easy way to remember the key steps to LinkedIn marketing and lead generation. My solution?

Meet the four E’s of LinkedIn marketing success:

  1. Explore Opportunities
  2. Expand Network
  3. Engage Connections
  4. Establish Relationships

I swear by this method and it is the foundation to the exact same LinkedIn marketing strategy I implement for my clients and for my own business.  This exact strategy continues to generate more than 70% of my business and a network of over 20,000 connections. The best part is that this is not rocket science and anyone can do it!

Learn more from Melonie in her exclusive free webinar for Social Buzz Club – Coming up May 2 – Register here!

Feel free to share this infographic anywhere on the web as long as you reference the source and hyperlink it back to this blog post.

LinkedIn Marketing Infographic: Generating Leads Online

linkedin marketing strategy

Thanks so much for checking out our LinkedIn marketing infographic. Do you have any questions or an idea you would like to see in our next infographic?  Leave a message in the comments below.

Say This, Not That: Essentials of Social Media Manners

Or… how to make a good electronic first impression

small_3256859352Technology has given us the capability to navigate on a global scale, download and upload information instantly from almost anywhere, text, send emails along with a full menu of digital options including thousands of “apps” to manage our lives with. Though we each have nearly unlimited capabilities as powerful transmitting stations, when it comes to processing and accurately discerning the intent of personal communications, we are often feeble receiving sets. In our haste to increase our technological fitness, we have allowed other aspects of meaningful communication to atrophy.

Psychologists say that non-verbal communication represents two-thirds of all communication.  Experts even assign “channels” to non-verbal communication such as gestures and touch, posture, facial expression and eye contact.  Others important aspects of communication include voice quality, rate, pitch and intonation.  Think about this: every single one of those cues are absent in Social Media. The keyboard delivers the message, so we no longer even have the benefit of seeing someone’s handwriting.

That’s why social media etiquette should be a required course, not an elective, for everyone. From  young people creating an immutable digital footprint to businesses communicating the essence of their brand,  there are things you MUST know. The future of your online reputation depends on it.

The Hot Spots

A challenge in learning Social Media Manners is that the channels are proliferating like rabbits, and each channel has its own protocol.

To simplify, let’s consider a brief description of the largest channels. I compare the atmosphere of these channels to social situations you are familiar with.

Twitter is like an outdoor concert. It’s “come as you are”, noisy and busy.

FaceBook is like a big backyard barbecue. Dress is casual but you’re likely to encounter anyone from your grandmother to your boss.

Linked In is a virtual business convention. It’s rather formal; business attire & behavior expected.

Google Plus is like a trip to Starbucks. It’s popular with many, but not everyone hangs out there.

Pinterest is an art show. Some are there for pure art, some are there to make money and lots of people are just lookers. “Eclectic” describes this channel.

Instagram is like a photo shop where everyone is showing their favorite pictures.

Each of these varied environments come with expectations and protocol.  The rules aren’t hard to learn. I’ll leave you with a few that apply across the board.  Build the foundation well and then you can go as far and as high as you choose.

Start with the ABCs

As you arrive, take time to observe.   Get a feel for the “room” rather than barging in boisterously.

Be yourself. Your best self.  Take time to check grammar and spelling. And I may sound like your mother, but leave your cuss words at the door.

Caution is necessary regarding automation.  It’s tempting  to take shortcuts like services that post automated updates and allow you to buy followers.  Not a good idea.

Learn the practical guidelines for Social Media Manners  from A to Z by joining us for the next Social Buzz Club Webinar…….March 28


Beverly_LEWISBeverly Lewis of BeverlySpeaks.com is a thriving entrepreneur, internet marketing strategist, speaker and business coach. As a creative and resourceful business growth expert, her goal is to help others develop and express their best gifts. She specializes in relationship marketing and has provided workshops and seminars on success & leadership for over 25 years. As CEO of BeverlySpeaks (Chief Encouragement Officer), she wears several hats, including “Joyologist”, Treasure Hunter and Mountain Mover. She lives in Florida with her husband of 34 years and loves to spend time with her family, including romping with her 3 young grandchildren.


illustration credit: Rosaura Ochoa via photopin cc

6 Social Mistakes That Will Cost You!

6 Social Mistakes That Will Cost You!

Depending on who you talk to, social media is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or it’s the biggest waste of time imaginable! So why isn’t it working for everyone? Why do some people seem to hold the key to success while others are still struggling? The answer may surprise you!

Although there are many reasons why some people aren’t seeing results for their social media efforts, we’ve identified 6 common social mistakes that brands don’t even realize they are making. These will cost you BIG TIME!

1. Leaving Out a Key Piece

Have you ever worked a puzzle and found that the last piece wasn’t in the box? The end result is never as pretty as if you’d had the entire series of pieces working together to form a lovely image. Social media works in much the same way.

Very often businesses find once piece of their strategy distasteful or unfamiliar and so they decide not to do it. They are willing to do Facebook, but they won’t let people comment on their wall. They will open a Twitter account but they won’t share anyone else’s content. They want to ‘do social media’ but they aren’t willing to share anything of themselves online. These are all missing pieces to a very intricate and profitable puzzle.

Imagine trying to drive a car without oil. It might run for a bit but it won’t run well and it won’t run for long. Imagine baking a cake and refusing to use any type of sweetener. It might bake and your guests might take a bite but no one is going to ask for seconds!

Does this sound like what you’ve been experiencing with your social media strategy?

2. Trying to Do Too Much

There’s a very common phrase businesses use when they come to us to manage their social media strategies. Very often we hear, “I want to dominate the space!” Becoming the expert in your industry is an excellent goal! Becoming the only person to have a profile on every social site in existence is not!

Every social site doesn’t necessarily fit with the goals of every business. Some simply don’t support overall objectives and offer no real benefit for that individual client. If you’ve been spending time on sites that aren’t producing results for you then it’s time to reevaluate your strategy. Are your social sites getting you in front of your target audience? Are they offering you quality visibility? Are they helping you to be found in the search engines?

If your web traffic doesn’t reflect your efforts then you are throwing away valuable time and effort you could be using on more productive activities!

3. Thinking Too Small

Recently I received a call from someone who was interested in hiring my team. During the course of the conversation we followed each other on Twitter, friended each other on Facebook and connected on LinkedIn. We had a lovely conversation but ultimately we decided that they wanted a solution that we just couldn’t provide.

I had found some of the services they provided fairly intriguing so later that evening I was reviewing their website again. I decided to re-connect with them and inquire about retaining their services. Just a few hours after the call I found that I had been unfollowed and unfriended.

I decided to reach out online anyway and ask about one service in particular that they offered. They never responded. I imagine they decided that since they didn’t need one type of relationship with me that I could be of no further benefit to them. They ignored my communication. They lost a potential client. They lost someone who would have shared their content. They lost someone who may have referred further business to them. All because they were thinking too small. They didn’t consider the future benefit of a full scale business relationship with another entrepreneur.  They didn’t get what they initially wanted from me and so they moved on.  So did I.

4. Not Engaging In Conversations

Networking is all about building quality relationships with potential clients, partners and alliances and identifying mutually beneficial opportunities. Social networking is a two way street.

Using sites like Twitter and Facebook to blast your message to the masses is NOT an effective strategy. Identify people on each site that you would like to interact with. Reach out and say hello. Share their content. Engage them in conversation. See where this path of relationship building leads you!

If you own a business then chances are you already know how to network. Simply consider sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ tools that will allow you to network with far more people than you ever could at a physical event! Get out there and talk to someone! Listen to them too! Act on what you’ve learned and you might be surprised by what happens!

5. Ignoring Balance

Most entrepreneurs these days have had at least one social media class, attended one free social media webinar or read one or two free articles about social media strategies. They typically end up taking away one really good idea to implement.

The problem here is that one really good idea by itself is just that. It’s one really good idea. It isn’t a strategy. It isn’t a carefully crafted plan that is intended to produce the exact results you are looking for! The end result is a business that blogs three times a week but doesn’t promote their content effectively. It often also results in a business owner who chats endlessly online but doesn’t create content for their own business. In addition brands can end up using automation tools in a way that do more harm than good, using sites that don’t support their goals and connecting with large numbers of people who will never buy from them.

Too much of a good thing is never a good thing! Moderation and balance along with a complete understanding of how it all works together, go a long way towards producing quality results in a reasonable timeframe.

6. Believing You Already Know What Will Work

Of all the social mistakes you can make, this one can prove to be the worst.

  • Do you think you already know how to implement a successful social media marketing strategy?
  • Do you think you understand content marketing?
  • Do you believe that you already know where you need to be online?
  • Are you confident that you are already communicating in the right way with your target audience?
  • Then why aren’t you more successful?

No matter how far along you are in your marketing efforts, there is always more you can learn. Sometimes only a nugget of new information that you implement can make you thousands of dollars. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of doing something old in a new way.

There is an old quote that says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Are you open to new ideas? Are you willing to admit that there could be a new way of doing things that could catapult your business to the next level? Are you willing to change your preconceived notions and let go of what you’ve been doing in return for bigger and better results? If you want to see changes then you’d better be ready to make changes!

By now you may have realized there are some holes in your social media marketing plan. If you haven’t been getting the desired results, consider the items above. Are you making any of these social mistakes? Is your strategy well rounded? Does it include content creation as well as promotion? Does your strategy involve actually meeting new people online and having conversations? Do you have a strategy at all or are you just moving through the tasks?

Once you’ve identified the areas where you are challenged, the picture becomes much more clear and you can begin to identify ways to make your social media strategy complete. Results are sure to follow and soon you’ll have an endless supply of new contacts, new partnerships and new business!