Social Media Marketing Author, Speaker, Trainer, Educator and Consultant Krista Neher

Krista Neher is the CEO of Boot Camp Digital, a bestselling author, international speaker and a respected authority on social media and internet marketing. Neher has written 3 books on social media marketing including a leading textbook (which was one of the first on social media). She is also the creator of one of the first social media marketing accredited certification programs, and has worked with leading clients like P&G, GE, Google, General Mills, Remax and many, many more.

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Krista Neher is the CEO of Boot Camp Digital, a bestselling author, international speaker and a respected authority on social media and internet marketing. Neher has written 3 books on social media marketing including a leading textbook (which was one of the first on social media). She is also the creator of one of the first social media marketing accredited certification programs, and has worked with leading clients like P&G, GE, Google, General Mills, Remax and many, many more.

What I learned from my Toddler about Sleeping #PrioritizeSleep

I have a 1.5 year old (and a 3 month old). If any of you have had a young child you probably immediately know how to spot the signs that they are tired: crankiness, poor balance (constant tripping) and a general lack of ability to function.

In a child it is easy to immediately spot the signs and send them to bed.

But what about in an adult? How does lack of sleep impact us?

This week we flew overseas and had a 6 hour time zone change. Nobody slept well and I was exhausted.

My signs of sleep deprivation were less obvious than my toddlers, but they were definitely there.

  • Lower productivity
  • Snappiness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lack of focus
  • Inability to concentrate (wait, did I say that already? I’m so tired today!)

The reality is that lack of sleep impacts adults too. Poor sleep in adults has been linked to:

  • Accidents
  • Health problems
  • Lower IQs
  • Low sex drive
  • Depression
  • Bad skin
  • Bad memory
  • Weight gain
  • DEATH (I kid you not)

It isn’t obvious, but the effects are there.

When adults are tired it isn’t obvious, but the effects are there. As an entrepreneur with a demanding schedule and 2 young kids I can’t afford to be off my game for very long.

It is time to prioritize sleep

If I cancelled a team meeting because I needed to sleep, my team would probably think I was uncommitted, crazy or just lazy. The reality is that by getting sleep I can function better all day. Investing in 2 hours of extra sleep can mean the difference between a productive and unproductive day.

Sleep is one of the best investments I can make for myself.

After a remarkably unproductive few days this week I’ve decided it is time to prioritize sleep.

#PrioritizeSleep

Confessions of a Frequent Business Traveler – It Isn’t as Sexy as You Think

As a frequent keynote speaker and social media trainer, I travel a lot.

I love what I do and I wouldn’t trade it for the world… helping people through speaking is the best job I could have dreamed of.

People often comment about how cool it must be – setting off around the world, exploring new cities, gaining new experiences, staying in amazing hotels….

We Post the Best on Facebook, not the Worst

My Facebook friends in particular often see the glamorous side of my travel – Checking out a music festival in Brazil, exploring India, spending an evening on a sunset cruise in Newport RI, enjoying a day on Daytona Beach in December, checking out the sites of London and Paris or skiing at Whistler Mountain in Vancouver. Don’t get me wrong, these are all amazing experiences — and the things that make traveling fun and enjoyable.

But the reality of business travel is the side that doesn’t get posted to Facebook:

  • Running a full-day workshop after 3 hours of sleep
  • Waiting in an airport for 10 hours and not knowing if I’ll make it home
  • Flying for 10 hours and then driving for 4 hours to get where I need to be on-time
  • STRESSING over missed connections
  • Staying in sketchy hotels
  • Forgetting my contact case or glasses for the 500th time
  • Not being able to get into a diet/exercise routine
  • Working super-late hours to get everything done
  • Annoyingly trying to get wifi in airports, on planes, at hotels to get work done
  • Missing meetings/calls because I still can’t correctly calculate time zones
  • Forgetting my phone charger in the hotel and scrambling to find something to charge my phone so I know where I’m going

While there are some huge perks to traveling, those perks are probably only 10% of the travel time. 90% of it is stress and hassles.

Over the past year I’ve gotten much better at traveling (maybe that will be the next post – how to travel like a pro)….

 

Don’t Buy Into the Illusion

Most business travelers make travel seem glamorous, but it really isn’t (most of the time) unless you make the effort to really enjoy it….

My first 5 – 10 years of business travel were hell – until I learned (from other frequent travelers) how to enjoy it.

Now I love travel.

The Secrets to Loving Business Travel

Here are the top 5 tips that have allowed me to love business travel.

  1. Reduce Stress – Accept that you have no control. A friend once told me that once you get to the airport you have no control. Accept this and it will reduce your stress about delays or other issues.
  2. Splurge for small pleasures – Buy the $10 fresh fruit drink. Airport prices on almost anything are crazy high, and if you are frugal (or cheap) like me you may feel like things are a rip off and not indulge. Travel is MUCH more enjoyable if you allow yourself a few small pleasures (regardless of the cost) – an airport manicure, a glass of wine or a healthy snack (if you can find one).
  3. Give yourself plenty of time. I always book flights so that I can miss at least one flight and get to where I need to be on time. This helps with #1.
  4. Pack Light. Travel is easier  if you aren’t hauling a ton of stuff across the airport. Get better at packing and only travel with what you need.
  5. Invest in good luggage. Good luggage makes it easier to get you and your stuff around the airport. Cheap roller bags are harder to pull and cheap handbags can break or are less comfortable (with cheap shoulder straps, etc). Get good luggage – it will last forever and make your life easier.
  6. Bring a refillable water bottle. Almost all airports have water refill stations and I drink a TON of water. I always bring a refillable bottle and try to drink a full bottle before boarding then I bring a full one on the plane. Nothing is worse than travel dehydration.
  7. Pack snacks. I always realize I’m starving when I get on the plane. Travel is energy draining. Keep your energy high with healthy snacks.

What Makes a Great Digital Marketing Keynote Speaker?

I’ve been speaking professionally for over 10 years now, and as a speaker I find that I learn the most by watching and learning from other speakers.

Today I had the opportunity to watch 17 different speakers as a part of a Digital Day event with a client, and I wanted to reflect on my observations and share them with you.

So, What Makes a Great Speaker:

1.  Delivery over Content

Delivery matters more than content. Some of the people with the best content didn’t get much traction because their delivery wasn’t great. Most people spend 90% of their prep time on content and almost none on delivery. This should be flipped.

2. ENERGY

Most speakers are just LOW ENERGY. They are smart, well spoken and know their stuff but they don’t seem energetic or enthusiastic. Get some energy (or fake it). Seem passionate and excited – it is contagious.

3. Don’t Look Back at Your Slides

When you present your slides are usually behind you. Don’t look back at them. It looks strange and reduces your connection with the audience. You can occasionally point to slides or draw attention to them, but don’t stand and look at the slide while you are talking.

4. Presence

Work on your presence. Be big. Take over the stage. This isn’t the time to be small (and I’m not speaking about height). Own the stage with big posture and gestures.

5. Move around

Don’t stand in one place. Use the stage.

6. Jokes and Laughs Score Big

Get some jokes in your presentation. It can be some funny slides, a few jokes, whatever it is. Get people laughing and watch comedians for delivery. Pause to let people laugh. If they don’t laugh turn that into a joke. Humor matters.

7. Engage and Interact

This was missing from most of the presentations that I saw. When people sit for an entire day they get bored. No matter how great you are. Get them involved. Do a survey. Have them vote. Get someone up on stage. Plan and experiment with some interactions.

Professional Speaking: Delivery Trumps Content

Professional Speaking: Content Trumps

 

I’ve been a professional speaker for many years now, and I’ve also seen thousands of speakers – both amazing ones and not so amazing ones. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing speaker feedback – both my own and that of other speakers, and there are a few surprising things I’ve learned along the way.

First, I’m not saying content DOESN’T MATTER, but it doesn’t matter MOST. Too many speakers spend all of their time on content and no time on delivery. There is a huge disconnect between what makes a great speaker and where speakers spend their time.

1) Delivery Matters Most

The speakers who seem to get the best reviews are the best entertainers. I’ve seen speakers who are highly entertaining get rave reviews, even though they didn’t really have a lot of helpful or actionable content. At the same time, some of the smartest people I know don’t get rated well as speakers because they don’t have great delivery.

If you are a speaker (or want to be one) focus on your delivery. Build in energy and entertainment if you want to get rave reviews.

2) Audience Participation

I sometimes struggle with getting the audience involved… it can be hard because as a speaker we want to focus on our message. Getting the audience to engage and participate gets them much more engaged with the presentation than just talking.

Plan your presentation to get your audience involved – whether it is in big ways or small ways – and you’ll notice an improvement in your feedback scores.

3) It Isn’t About You

There are some speakers who are funny and have decent content, but they make their presentation too much about themselves, and not enough about the audience. Inside jokes or references to how smart you are don’t win people over. Instead, be relatable and try some deprecating humor. Build bridges based on commonality and your audience will relate to you better.

Always focus on them.

Can Disconnecting Increase Stress?

Disconnecting

I’ve read a lot about “disconnecting” and with summer in full swing, many people are taking breaks where they have little to no digital connectivity.

I recently had one of these – 5 days with no cell phone reception or wifi (confession: I cheated once and went into town for wifi).

Some of you may think “great – time to relax and recharge”.

I say absolutely not.

Not being connected was stressful and actually limited my ability to relax.

It was stressful knowing that IF something came up that there was no way for anyone to get in touch with me (and our sites went down for almost 24 hours while I was out of touch which could have been quickly fixed if I had been available).

Being in touch actually helps me to relax. Checking in for 30 minutes a day to handle any urgent or high-value emails helps me to relax, knowing that everything is running smoothly in my absence and I can quickly help with anything needed. Plus I actually like my job and knowing what is going on – work isn’t this big negative thing that I have to deal with.

I don’t need to enter a no-connectivity zone to disconnect, relax and ignore work either. On weekends I often go most of the weekend barely checking my phone. I’m not fully out of touch, but I’m not connected to the point of distraction.

My final verdict: Figure out how to relax and recharge during your life without fully disconnecting. Maybe some people find value in fully disconnecting electronically – for me, it added stress instead of reducing it.

 

I Hate you With the Fire of a Thousand Suns….

I hate you with the fire of a thousand suns

I was listening to NPR today (on a 10 hour car ride from Toronto to Cincinnati) and the guy on the radio was talking about a terrible experience he had with United Airlines. The experience made me laugh – as a frequent traveler, I’ve had far worse experience and remained much more calm many times.

As I was listening to his anger I realized something – it wasn’t so much that they screwed up (airlines screw up all the time), it was that they didn’t care.

Most big businesses – airlines, cable providers cell phone providers – bring out the worst in people – we hate them with the fire of a thousand suns.

I was on a Delta flight that was 4 hours late – when they announced the delay they offered free beverages and snacks and you could almost feel the frustration level decline. For less than $1 a passenger they made their customers happy.

By contrast, I had issues with American Airlines (where I have status) and have had my anger level escalate dramatically – not because of the actually issue but because of the rude and uncaring attitude of the employees.

When people get really mad at a company (mad enough to leave a bad review for example, it isn’t just because the bad experience. It is because they simply don’t seem to care.

As a company, apathy can be your worst nightmare.

Social Media Excellence is Like Weight Loss – THERE IS A MAGIC PILL!!!!

Excellence 07092015

No.

It doesn’t work that way.

With weight loss or social media.

There are so many supplements and products promising that you can lose weight while eating whatever you want and never exercising.

It reminds me of some social media “gurus” promising amazing results from social media with just a few secret tips. As though changing one or two things will take you from 0 to amazing in only a few days.

The reality, however, is that if you want to lose weight (and keep it off) you’ll have to actually work for it. You’ll have to watch what you eat and exercise.

Supplements and “magic pills” may help a little – but the big factor (and it isn’t a secret) is to watch what you eat and exercise. It isn’t a secret. It is a strategy that produces results over time.

The same is true of social media. If you’re looking for that magic pill that will suddenly get you amazing results, you are focusing on the wrong thing.

Like weight loss it takes work and effort over time to produce sustained results. Sure there are little tricks that can give you a boost, but in the long run, it takes a good strategy and consistent application of best practices to get real results.

Next time you see the magical secrets to getting thousands of followers or massive social media success remember that success is hard-earned. If it was that easy, everyone would be rich from all of their amazing social media marketing success.

Social Media is Easy When You Love What You Do (Seriously)

Love 07022015

I work with hundreds of businesses on their social media each year, and one of the most common questions is “How do I make time for all of this?????” Updating status multiple times a day on Facebook and Twitter, writing a blog and keeping up with LinkedIn sounds like a TON of work.

Here is the thing.

If I got up every day and said to myself “man… I need to come up with some things to post on Twitter” I would spend some time racking my brain, then I’d have to visit news sites, find some things to share and it would probably take me an hour or so to get my Twitter updates done.

I actually love what I do. I’m always thinking about it and I actually read industry news first thing (while I’m still in bed) most mornings. Since I’m already reading the news (because I love what I do) it only takes me an extra 30 seconds to post on Twitter.

When I go to an event (even a concert) I look at their marketing and use of social media and branding. This sometimes gives me even more inspiration for blog posts and social media. Because I love what I do and I’m always thinking about it, social media only takes a few minutes here and there to share my thoughts.

That is my point. If you are already deeply engaged in your business, social media should be easy. All you should have to do is incorporate it into your work processes.

If, on the other hand you aren’t already involved in your industry or company, you’ll find that you have to spend a lot of time researching and coming up with updates.

If you love what you do, and you are always thinking, social media is very easy.

Entrepreneur Tip: The Last 10% Matters Most

Entrepreneur 06262015 REV

I was recently at the Grand Canyon and we decided to go to a lookout point to watch the sunset. It was freezing and windy, and there were a lot of people there.

The sun went down and 95% of the people left.

Then the magic happened.

You see the beauty of sunsets is that the magic happens about 5 – 15 minutes after the sun sets when the clouds are lit up with stunning colors creating a surreal look.

The thing was that most people went all the way there, waited out in the cold for the sunset but then left before the best part.

Watching this reminded me of business. It is those who put in that little bit extra who are rewarded. It isn’t a huge effort, like scaling a cliff, it is just the small effort – that extra 10%.

I interviewed a number of successful entrepreneurs last year about their business and found that most of them didn’t do anything spectacular. They just stuck around when everyone else left. They put in that little bit more.

They were consistent.

They were disciplined.

They were dedicated.

They stuck around and did a little more when most people would have left.

Do you leave as soon as the sun goes down, or stay for the magic.

How to Travel Like a Pro

how to travel like a pro

I just got back from a month of travel – I was home for about 5 days the entire last month….

As a speaker and trainer I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, and I’ve developed some strategies to make business travel more enjoyable. I used to dread the hassles of flying – now I actually enjoy my time at the airport and in the air.

Since I’ve spent so much time on the road lately I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped me to make the most out of traveling.

  1. Always bring a water bottle. I bring a large water bottle that can be refilled. Most airports have refill stations and staying hydrated while on the road is one of my biggest challenges. I could probably spend $50 per trip on airport water – so instead I use a refillable bottle.
  2. Get premium lounge access at airports if you have long layovers. You can get lounge access pretty inexpensively. With a credit card from the airline it is usually $30 per visit, or if you travel a lot you can sign up for a credit card that gets you access (usually about a $400 – $500 annual fee). This may sound steep, but the silence, free drinks and healthy snacks makes it easily worth it. A quiet place with good internet makes layovers much less challenging.
  3. Pack smart – carryon only. Bring as little as possible. I only bring carry on for most trips so that I don’t have to worry about checking baggage.
  4. Invest in good luggage. Great luggage will last forever, bad luggage will ruin your trip. I recently had a 2 week international trip and the wheel on my suitcase broke the first day. It sucked. You can get one REALLY good bag for the price of 2 – 3 cheap ones, and a good bag lasts forever and makes traveling better.
  5. Bring healthy snacks. You can bring fruit through security. You never know how long you may be stranded on a plane or at an airport. Bring good healthy snacks so you aren’t starving.
  6. Charge everything in advance. I hate having to try to get a power outlet at an airport. Charge everything in advance, or invest in a portable phone charger.
  7. Dress comfortably. Some people say that you can make good business contacts at the airport so you should always dress professionally. I personally prefer to dress comfortably. This makes traveling much more comfortable, and if I’m meeting a business contact at the airport I can always quickly change when I get off the plane.
  8. Book with the assumption that you’ll miss a connection. I used to get super stressed out about missing connections because that would often mean that I wouldn’t get where I needed to be in time. Now, I have lots of buffer time – I always assume that I’ll miss at least 1 connection when I book travel, so if my flight is late I don’t get stressed out.
  9. Have a backup plan. When things start to go wrong, or if my flight schedule cuts things close I always have a prearranged backup plan. This helps reduce my stress. For example, on a trip recently my connection was delayed by 5 hours, but the airport I was at was only a 3 hour drive from my final destination. If the flight got cancelled I could rent a car.
  10. Accept that you have no control. This changed the way I travel. When flights were cancelled or delayed my stress level would immediately escalate. The reality is, once you are at the airport you have no control. Accept this. Make your time there as productive as possible and accept that you can’t control what will happen – you can only control how you will react.