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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.

Social Media Not Working? It is Probably Your Fault.

Social Media Not Working blog post

I evaluate tons of social media executions a year… for clients, people in our trainings or just for fun. While I don’t have all of the answers, one thing has become clear: Most businesses that don’t get results from social media don’t to it right.

Blogs are great examples. I heard a stat years ago that most corporate blogs fail. Most of the corporate blogs that I look at suck. Why?

  • The content isn’t strategic.
  • They have no strategy.
  • The headlines are mediocre.
  • They don’t post consistently.
  • The posts don’t have great visuals.
  • The posts aren’t structured well.
  • The content isn’t very interesting.
  • The audience isn’t clearly defined.

These are just a handful of reasons – most blogs suffer from many of these.

It is easy to say “we invested in a blog, wrote on it for months, but blogging just doesn’t work for us”.

No. Mediocre blogging doesn’t work for you.

The bar is higher in social media than ever before. If you don’t write great stuff, people won’t pay attention.

Do it well or don’t waste your time.

In almost every industry there are companies using every social media tool and getting great results. If you aren’t one of them you are probably doing it wrong.

It isn’t that social media doesn’t work. You aren’t doing it right.

Spend the time and effort to build a solid strategy and learn best practices.

Mediocre won’t get results and won’t cut it. You can’t afford to not be great any more.

2 Tips to Make Reading Books Actionable

Reading post it notesEveryone has different tips when it comes to how to make the most out of the books that they read. I’ve written 4 books now (WOW – How did that happen?!?!?!?) and read tons of books.

Once of the challenges with reading books, as with training is how to take all of the interesting things that you learned and translate them into ACTION. At the end of the day, if reading a book doesn’t inspire you to do something differently, it isn’t generating a result for you.

There are 2 strategies that I use when reading books to really drive myself into ACTION.

1) Post it Notes

I use Post It Notes to write down the KEY THINGS THAT I WANT TO DRILL INTO MY HEAD. For example, I was reading a book with tips about speaking. They key takeaways that I wanted to build into my social media presentations in the future are on Post It notes infront of my desk. I look at them every day in the morning and before I leave to get them into my head. As I notice that I am implementing them, I remove the notes.

I reserve postit notes for action items. Not every interesting point warrants a postit – only content related to behaviors I want to change or create, or new mindsets that I want to adopt. The frequency of seeing them makes it easier for me to remember and build habits.

 

2) Single Sheet for future reference

I also create a one-pager for future reference. Some of the tips in a book are things that I’ll want to refer back to at a specific point in time. For example, the book The Tipping Point talks about the motivations that drive people to share. When I’m in content creation mode I sometimes refer to this to determine if my content is sharable, or if it is reaching the motivations around why people share.  Taking key notes on a one-sheeter allows me to easily access the key points when I need them.

I sometimes create page references (if relevant) for concepts that can’t easily be translated into a bullet point. That being said, my goal in reading and absorbing the book is to really take-it-in. If I can’t summarize it simply, I may not have yet internalized the idea.

For me, highlighting a book is useless because it requires me to go back through the book to find the information. This makes it more time consuming and less actionable.

How do you make the most out of the books you read?

$1 for Social Media Training Is Too Good to Be True…. Right? Wrong!

Social Media Training ProgramSometimes it seems virtually impossible to always stay up-to-date with the latest social media tools, strategies, and news articles. That’s why Boot Camp Digital created a social media membership program that does all the work for you.

Boot Camp Digital’s Masters Circle is a membership program that offers monthly webinars on the hottest topics in social media. Past topical webinars have included Pinterest for Business, Advanced LinkedIn training, Creating Killer Content, and more. There are also monthly webinars on Social Media Tool Reviews, and Q&A calls with social media expert Krista Neher.

We created this program because we know how difficult it is to continuously stay educated in the ever-changing world of social media marketing. Our Masters Circle does all of that and more. A membership guarantees you:

  • Exclusive Monthly Webinars: Every month you’ll get a 75-minute training program on the most current and influential topic in social media, such as Facebook, Google+, Mobile Marketing, Pinterest, and more.
  • Social Media Tool Review: This webinar covers the latest tools that can help improve your social media and digital marketing strategies.
  • Q&A Call: During this webinar you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered on the spot by our lead trainer and social media expert Krista Neher. You’ll also get the opportunity to listen in on other frequently asked social media questions.
  • Bonus Social Media Resources: We have an entire library of social media resources, included checklists and presentations, that you can access and use while developing your social media strategy.
  • Downloads and Templates: Get instant access to our library of downloads and templates that will help you implement what you’ve learned for your business.
  • Archived Webinars: For any webinar that you’ve missed, or ones that already occurred before you joined our program, you can still access the recordings on the Members Only portion of our website.

This is an amazing program that will guide you in your social media marketing efforts and keep you up-to-date on what you can do to increase your business through social networks!

While most programs like this cost upwards of $1,000, our Masters Circle costs just $27. But because we are so confident that this is a fantastic product that will launch your business ahead of the competition, we are offering the first month for just $1! After the first month, you can pay just $27 a month to continue to get exclusive and top-rated social media training, or you can cancel with the click of a button, no strings attached!

The first month is basically free of charge – this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. You can get more information on our Masters Circle sale and register by clicking here. Be sure to register immediately, because we are only offering the $1 trial to the 1st 100 registrants.

The #1 Thing You Need to Do for Your Online Personal Brand

Now that Boot Camp Digital launched our new personal branding training course called Launch Yourself, we’ve been sharing tons of personal branding
 tips and resources for our fans and followers.

When another professional wants to learn something about you in 2013, the first thing they’re going to do is Google you. If your online brand isn’t impressive – or worse, if you’re basically nonexistent online – you’ll be missing out on thousands of opportunities, connections, and more.

So what’s the most important thing you can do when it comes to improving your online brand? Google yourself!

If you want to know how you appear to other professionals online, look yourself up on search engines. First impressions no longer involve your resume personal branding and proper business attire for an in-person meeting. First impressions are the first 1-10 links that show up in a search engine when someone types in your name.

Google yourself to see what social networks you’re showing up on, and think about how your brand appears to other professionals. If your online persona is much less professional than what your real-life persona is like in the workplace, you have a lot of work to do!

Start getting active on as many social networks as you can – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, blogs, and more. This is the perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate that you care about what you do, and that you know what you’re talking about.

Share articles related to your line of work, and write blog posts and post videos that will be helpful to followers, fans, and colleagues.

After you’ve spent a couple of weeks becoming more present or just improving your online brand, Google yourself again. You’ll be surprised at how much more impressive your brand is after just a few days and minimal effort. If you need more help (which most serious professionals do), then check out our personal branding development class, Launch Yourself!

 

Join Me at the YWCA Women of Achievement luncheon May 15!

YWCA Women Achievement awardsThe YWCA Salute to Career Women of Achievement is an amazing event that was established nearly 25 years ago to promote support of women in the work force. This year I am thrilled to be attending this luncheon on May 15th as one of the guests at the Media/Blogger table.

The goal of this event is to spread community awareness and appreciation for the growing contributions of women in the work force and in the local community. It has blossomed into the YWCA’s largest fundraising event of the year. It’s now sponsored by 150 companies and organizations every year! The best part is that the proceeds directly benefit YWCA programs that are aimed at eliminating racism and empowering women across the globe.

This year there are some fantastic and very impressive women being honored at the event, including:

  • Kathleen S. Barclay – Senior Vice President, Human Resources, The Kroger Co.
  • Saba Atiq Chughtai, MD – Physician Owner & President, Saba Chughtai MD & Associates
  • Alandes Eure-Powell – Operations Director & Senior Vice President, Citi
  • Tamara Harkavy – CEO & Artistic Director, ArtWorks
  • Heidi B. Jark – Managing Director & Vice President, The Foundation Office, Fifth Third Bank
  • Crystal Kendrick – President, The Voice of Your Customer
  • Deborah Platt Majoras – Chief Legal Officer & Secretary, Procter & Gamble
  • Mary Miller – CEO, JANCOA Janitorial Services, Inc.

The annual Women of Achievement luncheon is a great way to learn more about what our local YWCA does to help women and their families in and around Cincinnati. As  you can see from the list above, this event honors some truly accomplished women who are paving the way for the female workforce. This is the largest sit-down luncheon in Cincinnati, and it generates much-needed funds for the YWCA so that the organization can continue to improve the quality of life for hardworking females in Cincinnati.

I’m so excited to hear this year’s speaker – Diana Nyad – talk about how she overcame barriers and obstacles to attempt to swim the nearly impossible 103 miles between Cuba and Florida… without a shark cage!

What it comes down to is that this is an incredible event that will not only be moving and inspirational – it will also make a difference in the lives of hard-working women all over Cincinnati! I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Duke Energy Convention Center
12:00-1:30 p.m.

You can learn more information by clicking here! Be sure to REGISTER HERE asap!

3 Tips for Social Media Reputation Management

social-media-keynote-speakerLast week, Krista worked with GE to present at the University of Dayton’s “Campus to Career” special event program for about 200 female students. She gave a really well-received presentation on how to handle your personal and professional reputation online in 2013 – especially now that there are dozens of social networks out there and it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of yourself online.

Krista shared her presentation from the event on SlideShare and it’s embedded below, so be sure to look through it and make sure you’re doing everything you can to appear in the best possible light online. I’ve narrowed down some of the most important things to look out for when it comes to building your brand and managing your reputation online, so check out these tapes and make sure you are making the right choices on social networks!

#1: Google Yourself

In 2013, when you apply for any kind of job or internship, or set up a meeting with an important professional, the first thing they’re going to do is google you – do you know what’s showing up when a search is done for your name? You can control this by creating a LinkedIn and Twitter account, and perhaps a personal website or a blog. The ideal situation when a person googles you is for the first several links they see to be links to pages that you have control over. So make sure you have a solid foundation online that will demonstrate your talents and skills to people who are trying to learn about you.

#2: Assume Everything is Public

There have been too many horror stories to count of people publishing something on a social network about a client, coworker, or company and getting in trouble when it’s discovered. Even if you’re talking about your company and don’t directly mention their name or reference any of their social network accounts, people can always put 2 and 2 together. Everything you post online is public, and people WILL find it. So if you had a bad day at work, or have something to say about an interview you just went into, keep in mind that chances are, recruiters/bosses/companies/clients/colleagues/friends will always see it. Treat everything you post as if every person you know or have any connection to will see it.

#3: Set Expectations with Your Friends

Even if you are careful about what you share and post with the world, you also need to keep an eye on what your friends are sharing about you. If they tag you in a photo or a Facebook status, make sure it’s something that won’t put your professional life in jeopardy. You never know who’s friends with who and who will share what, so if you’re applying for jobs, or just trying to make your personal brand look more professional online, have a talk with your friends about what they’re sharing about you.

Following these 3 tips isn’t going to change everything for you online. It’s just a small step towards building up the right sort of reputation for yourself online. Remember to check out the rest of the presentation and think about what you should keep in mind from now on when you’re thinking about managing your online reputation!

3 Ways Professional Speakers & Meeting Planners Can Use Social Content to Build Their Brand


Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 4.17.34 PM

These days, when it comes to social media marketing, it’s all about content. With the amount of people and businesses that are online today, you are
going to have no hope of getting your brand heard unless you post content that is relevant and interesting to your fans and followers.

Creating the right sort of content can be particularly difficult for professional speakers and meeting planners – no matter what kind of conferences you speak at or plan. So since we have plenty of background experience in this area, we’ve put together a few tips for you to keep in mind when it comes to using social media content to grow your brand – turns out content marketing isn’t that hard if you plan out the steps!

#1: Use Descriptive and Visually Appealing Pictures on Your Website and Blog Posts

The way people share your content and information about your website today is through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular networks. And the only way people are drawn to those links is through pictures. When it comes to Pinterest, if someone is going to re-pin one of your articles, they’re going to want to match it up to a picture, and the same goes for Facebook. If you use a memorable image, or have a picture that explains what your article is about (like the one we use here) your content is much more likely to be shared and read – therefore, building up your brand and spreading the word about you!

#2: Engage With People on Visually Focused Sites Like Pinterest and Instagram

It seems like everybody these days is hopping on the Pinterest and Instagram bandwagon. So if you’re going to use these sites to build awareness for your speaking business or your upcoming conference or meeting, you need to build a following. People aren’t just going to follow you naturally… you have to be active on these networks by following, liking, and commenting those people and brands whose interests are similar to yours. Then when you start building your own content, you’re much more likely to have a loyal band of followers who will want to help promote you!

#3: It Should Be All Show and Not So Much Tell

If you want people to know you’re great at what you do, your instinct is probably to probably shout it from the mountaintops (and by mountaintops in this case, we mean Facebook, Twitter, and the like). But people aren’t just going to automatically believe you’re great at what you do. So if you’re a talented speaker and you present at huge conferences across the country, upload photos to your social media channels and your website to prove it – people are going to be much more impressed that way. If you are planning an exciting conference or upcoming meeting, post pictures of ones you’ve planned in the past or of upcoming speakers or presenters! Get people excited by showing them what you do!

If you follow these easy steps, you’ll definitely be off to an incredible start when it comes to using content to build up your brand. But obviously it’s not that easy, and we’d love to help! Check out our social media content marketing training to learn the simple steps to building a results-oriented content marketing plan!

 

My Latest Book: Visual Social Media Marketing: Harnessing Images, Instagram, Infographics and Pinterest to Grow Your Business Online

 

Visual Social Media Marketing by Krista NeherI am really excited to announce my newest book is NOW AVAILABLE –  Visual Social Media Marketing: Harnessing Images, Instagram, Infographics and Pinterest to Grow Your Business Online.

I recently began to notice a trend emerging in digital marketing – images were the most engaged with and popular content on almost every social network.  Image based social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest were gaining traction.  Flipboard, a visual news site was the #1 application for the ipad.  All of these signs point towards the importance of images and visuals in online marketing.

And it isn’t just about getting heard on social networks.  It is about driving traffic, leads and sales to your website.  As your site is shared across the web, images on your site are increasingly the focus of how websites are shared.

If you don’t have a strategy for images on your website and social media, then you are missing out.

I created this book because I wanted to make sure that businesses had the opportunity to learn about this trend in social media and take advantage of it before their competition.  This is one important aspect of digital marketing that you can’t afford to ignore.

This is my third book – in 2010 I wrote the (now bestselling) Social Media Field Guide.  In 2011 I coauthored a textbook called Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach.  So I am very excited to kick off 2013 with this amazing book.

What you’ll get in this book:

  • LOTS of case studies and real world success stories for you to learn from
  • A checklist to show you exactly how to get started
  • A short read (only 115 pages)
  • Lots of examples to give you creative ideas to build your plan
    Krista Neher with her book Visual Social Media Marketing

Why you should buy this book:

  • You can start taking advantage of this trend before your competitors
  • Generate traffic, leads and sales to your website
  • Get quick results from small changes
  • Take advantage of the hottest social networks
  • It is less than $10

Get Your Copy now:

Print Edition

Kindle Edition

 

BIG THANKS to those who helped make this possible:

  • Alex Webb editor
  • Kim Quindlen for editing and actually getting the book done
  • Joe Busam for visual design and being awesome
  • My mother, who gave me life
  • All of those who contributed examples and case studies

 

View the book trailer here!

 

International Social Media Speaking: The Training Program I ran In India

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to run a social media business training program for an IT consulting company in Chennai India.  During the 2-Day training program I had the opportunity to share digital marketing strategies, tactics and tools and also get to know the Indian culture.

While when we think of social media there is often a perception that social media marketing is different in different geographies, and this is true, to a certain extent.  I’ve also presented in Latin America, Asia and Europe, and while there are definitely differences, there are also significant similarities.

Here are just a few observations that I wanted to share about the similarities in social media marketing:

  • While the sites and tactics may be different, the overall strategies are still similar
  • When trying to connect with people on digital and social, the general approach and opportunities are similar across geographies
  • The business social media planning process is the same – the tools and executions might be different
  • Facebook is emerging as the international social network that connects us all
  • Twitter also has mass adoption as the primary microblogging site across most geographies
  • Mobile marketing presents some of the biggest differences across geographies

At the end of it all, perhaps we are more similar than different.