Facebook Fatigue? Start Your Own Social Network

I think I have a slight case of Facebook Fatigue… If I get one more group message inviting me to an event 4,000 miles away I don’t really want to say what I will do, it’s not polite for ladies to say such things (as my mother would say).

Please (she ducks) don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me just yet…I think Facebook is still the most “fun” social network for business I’ve ever seen.

It just also has the ability to quickly fritter away MEGA time (a nice way of saying “time-suck) if you don’t have what my friend Kevin Nations calls a “Profit Strategy”. In other words, a real business model, with a sales system that can turn all that socializing into bottom line dollars and cents – eventually, after you’ve established your social hierarchy, trust and likeability.

Because at the end of the day, we all know that people buy from people they know and people they like – and how can you not like someone who has the audacity to throw Paris Hilton at you? (umm, yep, I’m talking to you Rodney Rumford, FaceReviews Guru ;-))

It’s been my observation over the past 4 years of working with mega-entrepreneurs (John Assaraf, Les Brown, Scott Martineau, most recently, Jerry Conti, my Purpose Posse over at HUB – Humanity Unites Brilliance) that the truly successful 7 & 8 figure + business owners create the sandbox and invite others to play with them, not the other way around.

In other words, they throw the party (or seminar) and collect 50% from the people they put on the platform in front of their audience.

Or better yet, they are the ONLY ones speaking on their platform, it’s their platform, and they aren’t afraid to use it. When you think of it, when have you ever seen Tony Robbins share his stage with someone else? VERY seldom. And if he does, they’re usually delivering his programs, not theirs.

There’s something to be said for continuity and a gated community.

I’ve been quietly playing over at Ning.com, where you can create your own social network with ease.

Now I’m “easing” several of my clients into developing their own private online communities where it’ll be all them, all the time. And, as Lady Fortune (or Law of Attraction 😉 would have it, my “Diamond Rolodex” delivered the ideal connection once again – a client introduced me to my new best friend, who is a “Ning Ninja”, and very good friends with Ning.com co-founders…if that isn’t attraction in action, I don’t know what is!

What’s really cool about Ning is the fact that you can private label it for your business – use your own domain name, display your own ads, and even remove their branding. The main consideration in setting it up is what your strategy will be to:

  • Get people to come (for what will they come?)
  • Get them to engage (why will they stay?)
  • Get them to come back
  • Get them to tell their friends
  • Get them to buy your stuff

Another way to use the private label function is to use it as your own membership site – I know of at least one very well known spiritual teacher who is doing this with great success. She charges a monthly subscription that includes weekly audio, a monthly teleseminar and ongoing access and conversations.

And she gets their full attention, because they’re paying her for what she has that they want. Can we say “social network profit model”?

Works for me. What say you?

Update: I’ve since launched a consulting package called Instant Platform 2.0 to strategize and launch niche social networks/online communities for experts, and help them get their first “1000 True Online Fans”.

Here are a few of the ones under way…

http://www.SocialNetworkingSalon.com
Training wheels playground for my Social Networking Boot Camp for Women Entrepreneurs to learn how to play in the social networking scene in a supportive environment. Will start to conduct ongoing teleseminars with experts in social networking and social media, also business experts.

www.ContributionNetworkingParty.com
Virtual companion site for a live event that happens every three months)

www.TheSingerLink.com
Goal is to link hundreds of thousands of singers around the world, and meet at live Choirfest events that host up to 22,000 singers at a time!

www.WakeUpGirlCommunity.com
Author community built around the topic of getting over a bad-breakup: “Wake Up Girl! From Break-up to Wake-Up”

Launching Soon:

Business Black Belt Network – an online community for JIAN.com business planning software company with 180,000 existing customers.  This will allow customers to network and will have a nice Marketplace to list services/products.  If you are a consultant who works with small business owners, email me to find out how you can participate.

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Social Media Live Lab: How To Turn Your Expertise into an”Experience” That Pays Off

I saw this blog post titled “How do you turn your web ideas into experience?” and it’s very timely – it generated the title for this post. I’ve been meaning to get a post up for about a week now, and the reason I haven’t is because I’ve been deep into being a “social media practitioner”, helping 3 women entrepreneurs turn their expertise into web ideas then into social media experiences. (And into profits sooner rather than later). Yeah!

Key word here is “experience”.

In the new Network Economy and increasingly networked, always-on world we live in, it’s not enough to think that you can join a social network and take, take, take before you give. You really have to step up your game. In other words – Commodities are out, Dynamic Value is in. (ask Marshall Thurber – he rocks the DyVal concept in his Success Secrets for the 21st Century seminar)

I’m seeing the same old marketing tactics slapped on a “new” Face(book) page and it was getting really tiring. It’s what triggered my post here on Facebook Fatigue.

Examples are better than precepts, so here’s a few from my email inbox (it’s kinda like The Twilight Zone – same emails, different day, week…)

  • A friend sent me a “Buy my social media marketing “system” link being sold by a person I’ve never heard of before, and as much as I read about this topic daily, researching what’s working and what’s not, that’s saying something. Gotta hand it to him though, he’s got one helluva sales letter, complete with “social proof” his “system” is the one to get (don’t get me started about the “S” word – first, I’m a systems-thinker, and second, systems, the real ones – the ones that good ol’ W. Edward Deming taught – are hard to come by. There are about 4 bonafide systems marketers I know online who actually know what a system is, maybe 5 if I count myself and I don’t market myself as a systems marketing person…yet)
  • The ubiquitous free teleseminar offered by the latest person trying to catch up and jump on the social media bandwagon cuz they are on the “late freight” (oops, 70’s lingo slip – I’m dating myself again ;-). And on the line are the same people over and over and over…(like The Neverending Story or Twilight Zone). Now, I love free teleseminars as much as the next life-long learner, and even paid ones. Just not ones that look like they might be the sames ones I just saw or maybe even listened in on the other day (week).
  • You are cordially invited to my event in Australia or New Zealand…or Kansas or the U.K. Facebook makes you join a network geographically – I guess people don’t know that I’m in Sunny Southern California and not likely to fly 20 hours to get to your event. (even if it is the first, last, only time it’s happening). Or even better – attend your YTB Travel Business Opportunity Meeting– isn’t everyone on the planet a YTB Travel Agent by now?

But keeping hope alive…(note: as a general rule hope is NOT a strategy for business) I revived my own interest when I inspired myself – I turned my dis-interest into a question…

“What IS a better way? How can you turn what you know, your expertise, that special thing that people pay you for – into an experience that creates curiosity, attracts interest, and generates desire to engage and connect?” which then has the opportunity to turn into profit for your business, provided you aren’t a one trick pony.

As luck would have it…when opportunity meets preparedness – I am fortunate to have a live “social media” lab – my expert colleagues and clients. (“Hahaha!” she rubs hands together and cackles diabolically as the palm trees wave outside her window in Sunny Southern California)

So without furthur suspense, I’ll introduce you.

Here is the first of the three expert women entrepreneurs I’m working with to turn her expertise into ideas for social media experiences that lead to business…I’ll blog the others later this week. This turned into a really long post…sorry, you’ll probably thank me for it soon.

Michelle Price’s Social Media Lab Experiment #1: Face Reading for Facebook

Lynn Scheurell is arguably one of the most *interesting* women entrepreneurs I know (inside joke, Lynn and I both share the same meaning for *interesting*).

She has “the gift” of intuition that she has chosen to use to help entrepreneurs who are more creative and soul-driven vs. the other kind we won’t talk about here (you know, greedy, mercenary and soooo last millenium). And we don’t call her the “Woo-Woo Guru” for nothing. Seriously, she has some really cool tools to help get you unstuck and moving your energy for business. Even if you don’t believe there is a Secret Behind The Secret. Behind THAT Secret is Lynn.

Take the ancient art of face reading. The first time I ever met her, we sat in a Starbucks for hours and she read my face, eyes, ears, nose, read my Tarot, read my energy and it was just so much fun. And had real value because the information she gave me was all right on target. I used it to launch a new direction for my business and it’s paid off, literally.

She even told me that this little notch/bump I have had on the top of my right ear ever since I can remember, came from a traumatic event that happened when I was TWO. Funnily enough, I immediately thought about the fact that my baby brother was born at that time and I stopped getting to be the youngest…(I have a brother who is 6 years older). It put me in the middle instead and you know what that means – the peacemaker and fairly invisible – except, I was still the only girl so that helped a bit ;-).

So remembering that experience, when we were chatting on the phone about how she could be leveraging social networking (she was resisting to say the least) to find more soul-driven entrepreneurs to join her tribe, when conversation turned to Facebook, this huge light went off in my head… “Lynn, FACEbook, FACE reading – get it???”

Nowhere on earth will you find more faces to read than on social networks, and Facebook being the popular kid on the block right now…hmmm.

Plus, I’ve seen some faces only a mother could love on there, and it’s amazing how many sane business people will put up ridiculously cheesy pics and think they pass muster. For a minute we laughed at what she could do with that.

Still, how to execute and make the experience real for people? That’s where I come in with MY web 2.0 social media toolbox – there are so many delicious ways you can combine and layer web 2.0 in combination with your social networking to transform your expertise into an experience. YouTube, Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, YouTube Box for Facebook (is your head spinning yet? ;-)).

In this case, video is the obvious choice! Plus, video is really hot online now too…

Yes. Facebook and YouTube + online video distribution to increase Googleability – our 1-2-3 knockout combo for this idea.

Anyway, we quickly came up with a 10 step plan for how someone could vicariously experience Lynn’s face reading and what it can tell you, that can help you accelerate your business, the first 3 are below:

1. Lynn finds 3 friendly faces to read – clients who already say “yes”.
2. Also pick out some high-profile faces to read
3. Fire up her web-cam and get to reading those faces. Short 3-5 minute clips.
(4-10 not included – made the post way too long – maybe I’ll share in another post later after results are in)

11. THEN, perhaps you might want to get a longer more in-depth face reading of your own – 60 minutes of pure focus on your beautiful unique mug, instead of only 3-5.

Will it work? I don’t know, you’ll have to be the judge and tell us. It’s working already to get curiosity and attract interest from some pretty good influencers.

Here’s the Intro to Face Reading she recorded, to explain what it is and why it’s invaluable:

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s my Face Reading on Facebook, watch it, then go befriend Lynn on Facebook, tell her I sent you, and see if she picks your face next!

YouTube Preview Image

Update: At the time of this posting, it’s only been 3 days and she’s already been profiled over on Entrepreneur.com by someone in the network – our mutual colleague Michelle Anton (who just got active on Facebook and saw what Lynn was up to without either of us saying anything to her at all!) was intrigued enough to want to interview her about it – you can read that here:

Face Reading Is Busting Loose on Facebook

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Social Media Live Lab: How To Turn Your Expertise into an"Experience" That Pays Off

I saw this blog post titled “How do you turn your web ideas into experience?” and it’s very timely – it generated the title for this post. I’ve been meaning to get a post up for about a week now, and the reason I haven’t is because I’ve been deep into being a “social media practitioner”, helping 3 women entrepreneurs turn their expertise into web ideas then into social media experiences. (And into profits sooner rather than later). Yeah!

Key word here is “experience”.

In the new Network Economy and increasingly networked, always-on world we live in, it’s not enough to think that you can join a social network and take, take, take before you give. You really have to step up your game. In other words – Commodities are out, Dynamic Value is in. (ask Marshall Thurber – he rocks the DyVal concept in his Success Secrets for the 21st Century seminar)

I’m seeing the same old marketing tactics slapped on a “new” Face(book) page and it was getting really tiring. It’s what triggered my post here on Facebook Fatigue.

Examples are better than precepts, so here’s a few from my email inbox (it’s kinda like The Twilight Zone – same emails, different day, week…)

  • A friend sent me a “Buy my social media marketing “system” link being sold by a person I’ve never heard of before, and as much as I read about this topic daily, researching what’s working and what’s not, that’s saying something. Gotta hand it to him though, he’s got one helluva sales letter, complete with “social proof” his “system” is the one to get (don’t get me started about the “S” word – first, I’m a systems-thinker, and second, systems, the real ones – the ones that good ol’ W. Edward Deming taught – are hard to come by. There are about 4 bonafide systems marketers I know online who actually know what a system is, maybe 5 if I count myself and I don’t market myself as a systems marketing person…yet)
  • The ubiquitous free teleseminar offered by the latest person trying to catch up and jump on the social media bandwagon cuz they are on the “late freight” (oops, 70’s lingo slip – I’m dating myself again ;-). And on the line are the same people over and over and over…(like The Neverending Story or Twilight Zone). Now, I love free teleseminars as much as the next life-long learner, and even paid ones. Just not ones that look like they might be the sames ones I just saw or maybe even listened in on the other day (week).
  • You are cordially invited to my event in Australia or New Zealand…or Kansas or the U.K. Facebook makes you join a network geographically – I guess people don’t know that I’m in Sunny Southern California and not likely to fly 20 hours to get to your event. (even if it is the first, last, only time it’s happening). Or even better – attend your YTB Travel Business Opportunity Meeting– isn’t everyone on the planet a YTB Travel Agent by now?

But keeping hope alive…(note: as a general rule hope is NOT a strategy for business) I revived my own interest when I inspired myself – I turned my dis-interest into a question…

“What IS a better way? How can you turn what you know, your expertise, that special thing that people pay you for – into an experience that creates curiosity, attracts interest, and generates desire to engage and connect?” which then has the opportunity to turn into profit for your business, provided you aren’t a one trick pony.

As luck would have it…when opportunity meets preparedness – I am fortunate to have a live “social media” lab – my expert colleagues and clients. (“Hahaha!” she rubs hands together and cackles diabolically as the palm trees wave outside her window in Sunny Southern California)

So without furthur suspense, I’ll introduce you.

Here is the first of the three expert women entrepreneurs I’m working with to turn her expertise into ideas for social media experiences that lead to business…I’ll blog the others later this week. This turned into a really long post…sorry, you’ll probably thank me for it soon.

Michelle Price’s Social Media Lab Experiment #1: Face Reading for Facebook

Lynn Scheurell is arguably one of the most *interesting* women entrepreneurs I know (inside joke, Lynn and I both share the same meaning for *interesting*).

She has “the gift” of intuition that she has chosen to use to help entrepreneurs who are more creative and soul-driven vs. the other kind we won’t talk about here (you know, greedy, mercenary and soooo last millenium). And we don’t call her the “Woo-Woo Guru” for nothing. Seriously, she has some really cool tools to help get you unstuck and moving your energy for business. Even if you don’t believe there is a Secret Behind The Secret. Behind THAT Secret is Lynn.

Take the ancient art of face reading. The first time I ever met her, we sat in a Starbucks for hours and she read my face, eyes, ears, nose, read my Tarot, read my energy and it was just so much fun. And had real value because the information she gave me was all right on target. I used it to launch a new direction for my business and it’s paid off, literally.

She even told me that this little notch/bump I have had on the top of my right ear ever since I can remember, came from a traumatic event that happened when I was TWO. Funnily enough, I immediately thought about the fact that my baby brother was born at that time and I stopped getting to be the youngest…(I have a brother who is 6 years older). It put me in the middle instead and you know what that means – the peacemaker and fairly invisible – except, I was still the only girl so that helped a bit ;-).

So remembering that experience, when we were chatting on the phone about how she could be leveraging social networking (she was resisting to say the least) to find more soul-driven entrepreneurs to join her tribe, when conversation turned to Facebook, this huge light went off in my head… “Lynn, FACEbook, FACE reading – get it???”

Nowhere on earth will you find more faces to read than on social networks, and Facebook being the popular kid on the block right now…hmmm.

Plus, I’ve seen some faces only a mother could love on there, and it’s amazing how many sane business people will put up ridiculously cheesy pics and think they pass muster. For a minute we laughed at what she could do with that.

Still, how to execute and make the experience real for people? That’s where I come in with MY web 2.0 social media toolbox – there are so many delicious ways you can combine and layer web 2.0 in combination with your social networking to transform your expertise into an experience. YouTube, Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, YouTube Box for Facebook (is your head spinning yet? ;-)).

In this case, video is the obvious choice! Plus, video is really hot online now too…

Yes. Facebook and YouTube + online video distribution to increase Googleability – our 1-2-3 knockout combo for this idea.

Anyway, we quickly came up with a 10 step plan for how someone could vicariously experience Lynn’s face reading and what it can tell you, that can help you accelerate your business, the first 3 are below:

1. Lynn finds 3 friendly faces to read – clients who already say “yes”.
2. Also pick out some high-profile faces to read
3. Fire up her web-cam and get to reading those faces. Short 3-5 minute clips.
(4-10 not included – made the post way too long – maybe I’ll share in another post later after results are in)

11. THEN, perhaps you might want to get a longer more in-depth face reading of your own – 60 minutes of pure focus on your beautiful unique mug, instead of only 3-5.

Will it work? I don’t know, you’ll have to be the judge and tell us. It’s working already to get curiosity and attract interest from some pretty good influencers.

Here’s the Intro to Face Reading she recorded, to explain what it is and why it’s invaluable:

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s my Face Reading on Facebook, watch it, then go befriend Lynn on Facebook, tell her I sent you, and see if she picks your face next!

YouTube Preview Image

Update: At the time of this posting, it’s only been 3 days and she’s already been profiled over on Entrepreneur.com by someone in the network – our mutual colleague Michelle Anton (who just got active on Facebook and saw what Lynn was up to without either of us saying anything to her at all!) was intrigued enough to want to interview her about it – you can read that here:

Face Reading Is Busting Loose on Facebook

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How One PR Pro Used Facebook to Connect Hungry Journalists to Hungry Publicity Seekers

Talk about moving the free line!

Peter Shankman didn’t start out thinking that he’d be giving the well-known PR service ProfNet a run for their money when he decided to post emails he was already getting from reporters asking if he had sources for their stories to his Facebook Page. He decided to call this free service “Help a Reporter” – it helps hungry reporters looking for sources connect with hungry sources looking for publicity.

What is interesting is that he was already getting reporters emailing him to help them find sources, so he has some credibility and influence with this audience. They have recognized that he is skilled using a new resource – social media – which makes him attractive to say the least. (Let’s face it, besides us information marketers and life-long learners, most people would rather not learn something new, they just want the answers.)

So he decided to take action to help them by exposing them to his existing network, using his already existing Facebook profile. Free to use, simple to execute – reporters emailed him their queries, and he posted them on his profile. A lot easier than answering them all one on one.

Then word hit the street – freelancers (who obviously must have been a part of his network) started telling friends, then publicists (also probably already in his network) realized these were prime opps for additional ways to spread the word about their clients. He created some buzz by buzzing it on his own blog, shankman.com. An A-list NY Times blogger wrote a nice post (notice, at this point he still hasn’t asked anyone to actually help him promote this service)

The free service got so popular he had to move it off of his Facebook Page and onto it’s own site at www.HelpAReporter.com.

Now, here’s where the story takes a counterintuitive twist…because it’s STILL FREE!

He clearly could have monetized it, because it’s clearly meeting a huge want in the market – which he says doesn’t surprise him that reporters are seeking an alternative to ProfNet. He says they get tons of queries from their posts there, but so many of them are “misguided”. (and he firmly says he will dump list members who don’t send a response that is on target in his welcome email)

Reporters report that they get a lot more on-target answers from Shankman’s list. Another plus is they get fresh faces from many of the smaller PR folks and even entrepreneurs themselves who can’t necessarily afford the pricey ProfNet service.

Maybe at some point in the future he will start to charge. However, my guess is that he’s getting a lot more visibility and more business doing what he really loves to do anyway this way.

There’s a lot more meat to this story here:
Tired of ProfNet? Start Your Own PR-Journalist Service

What could you do that would provide a similar effect to your target audience? I’ve got some ideas now myself that would help my expert authors…stay tuned!

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How to Become a World-Class Facebook Psychologist

This just in my inbox from my friend Ben, (oops, I mean Howard Campbell).

I told him I thought it would be fun to share and I was going to post this onto my blog. Hey, where else could you get a $4,000 Stanford University syllabus for Facebook for free, become a world class expert on the psychology of Facebook, AND audit the class using their Facebook group, BUT online?

That’s why I love the internet.

Here’s the email:

Michelle,

Can you keep a secret?

This is a $4,000 course and I’m
letting you in the back door…

Psychology of Facebook
is being taught at Stanford

“For ten weeks we will focus
on persuasion psychology in Facebook.”
~BJ Fogg, Stanford University

If you put together
a college-level course
on social networking
what would you call it?

At Stanford, they call it Psychology of FaceBook.

Get the Stanford syllabus here…

( MP: Better look quick, before they find out)

If you are already a member of FaceBook,
then you can join their group online…

Join the Stanford class group on Facebook Here

The kids in this class paid roughly $4,000 each
and you can audit the class for free.

If they ask, tell them Howard Campbell
told you where to look. :-) Shhh.

Ben
aka Howard Campbell

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