Do’s and Don’ts in Social Media

For most start-ups Social Media is the most important marketing platform. It is mostly free, easy to use and very powerful. However, it also so easy to get it completely wrong and not to get the results you might expect. That’s why I started this series of videos, podcasts and blogs to help you get it right. I am talking about my own experience in marketing the Entrepreneur Academy and the experience of my clients marketing their businesses.

Let us know your experiences with your Social Media campaigns and sign-up for an interview to talk about it live. I work hard and learn every day to help you get your business of the ground and this channel is part of it.
Tell us your thought below and ask your questions in the comments section.

How I do my Social Media Planning

How I do my Social Media Planning

I don’t know if you’ve found your perfect Social Media Planning and Management tool, but I have been searching for the right tool for quite a while now and have not been able to find one.

Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of them out there, but none of them worked for me or they were so expensive that I couldn’t justify the costs.

I almost gave up, when I decided to create my own system. I started by making a list of all the features I need and by looking for the tools that might cover all or some of them. I’ve set myself a target of max. 30 Euro per month for everything and after 10 days of research and some trial and error, I came up with following solution:

Google Calendar (free)
Evernote (free)
Buffer ($10/month)

Then I set out to get it all organised to work together without loosing myself in complexity, but still be in control of my planning. To understand the process, have a look at my planning table:


For the actual content I created a Google Calendar for each media and added the headers for each item. This allows me to plan ahead and see what has been done already in a very easy view. By giving each category a colour and assigning the colours to the content, I can see if I overdo-it with a specific category or if one is not represented enough.

I use Buffer to schedule all my posts and I also use Buffer for re-tweets or shares by using the Buffer plugin for browsers. This adds the share to the list to be published at the defined times. All times are set in Buffer. Buffer also informs me if a media has no more content to avoid any inconsistency.

Buffer gives me some basic stats and the rest I get via Google Analytics. I use those stats to re-publish well running posts and add them manually to my Google Calendar into the right media (falls under shared media). So, if I run out of ideas or time, I can create re-tweets fairly quickly (no stress there )
For my posts, I use Evernote to write everything. I can just create a list of headline ideas and whenever I feel like it I can write the post. When it is time, I can copy it to my blog and finalise it. Doing it in Evernote makes it very easy to include research, voice, content from other sites and all of it is fully searchable and indexed. Can’t be better.

I also have a list of sayings I really like and I use those for posts as well.
To create nice images with the sayings, I use Pablo by Buffer. Its free and quick.

For my other images, I created some pre-sized templates for each media in my graphic program. It already contains everything important (size, logo, copyright, etc.). All I need to do is use a photo as background, add some words (if necessary) and save. Takes 2 minutes.
For images I use Shutterstock or Fotolia.
For my Videos I usually cut out a frame and use it as background.
However, I am thinking of experimenting with plane colours or simple backgrounds, putting the emphasis on the category name (word) instead of the photo. I see this more and more and it would save a lot of money.
I also re-use my photos as much as possible. Sometimes all it needs is to apply a filter and it looks completely different. Worthwhile playing with.

When it comes to time spent on Social Media, then that depends on your way of working. I currently spent about 50% of my time on social media (creation, posting, planning, etc.). By doing so consistently for a few month now, I was able to double my likes, followers and friends on almost all channels. This has led to an increase of visits to my site by almost 60%. My connections on my main platform (LinkedIn) has risen by nearly 70% in the last year alone. My EA Facebook page is slowly working towards 1000 likes and my personal Facebook page is running at 2500 friends at this stage.
This is all from natural traffic, not me trying to connect or asking people to like my page (I did this at the beginning, but I found it more harmful than worth it).

The video part is fairly new to me, but is the only platform (YouTube, Patreon, Dashburst) that actually might create some direct income.
I believe video becomes more and more important on all platforms. Even Twitter started now.

As you can see, I was able to stay under my budget, but I heard that Buffer is planning to increase their prices. Even so, I think It will still be okay.

I hope this helps you and points you in the right direction.

For most businesses Social Media is too important today to just not do it or to do it badly. But at the same time it is the biggest time waster there is. It is so easy to get caught up once you’ve opened Facebook or Twitter. That’s also why I like Buffer. I can now dedicated one hour a day (after I’ve done my work) to go through the profiles and be social, responding to questions, show my interest and create new bonds and make friends. Suddenly everything becomes so much easier and I saved a lot of money.

I would like to know how you are managing your Social Media. Just drop me a line below, I am always willing to learn something new 🙂

How to manage (Micro) time

Are you struggling with the time you have available during the day? Want to improve how you prioritize and organize your day and become more productive? Then this video is a great place start turning things round – especially if you’re creating a start-up.

How to use Social Media effectively?

How to use Social Media effectively?

It really doesn’t matter in what kind of business you’re in today, you won’t get around using Social Media in one way or another.
Social Media has pretty much replaced most other Marketing and Advertising channels.

To understand how Social Media works we need to identify what it actually is.

Social Media consist of many channels in which people exchange information about anything you can think of. It is like a window to the rest of the world and anyone can access it without leaving the house. It allows interactions without forcing you to do so. It provides information of anything you might be interested in and provides a way for you to tell your story or talk about your interests to anyone who wants to listen. All of this is made available mostly for free for anyone to use.

Something like this has never existed before and it has risen so fast that most of us running our own business struggle to understand how it works and how to use it effectively.

Traditional Media Channels like TV, Radio and Print are suffering heavily from the Social Media phenomenon and right now it is looking very bad for the OLD channels.

As mentioned before, Social Media consists of many different channels and each channel attracts a certain type of user. The most known channels are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, but there are many more (just Google it). Every month I hear of a new channel starting up and of another channel closing down and the landscape is constantly moving.

Let me give you some numbers to better understand what we are talking about here:

Total user by Social Media channel (over 100 Million users/2016) based on

Each channel has its own type of user and most users interact on multiple channels. Most of the channels are multi-lingual with a very strong English speaking base (Weibo being the real exception). Depending on the language you work in, the numbers might be different.

How Can You Use Social Media For Your Business?

Lets assume you clearly identified your target market (if you don’t know how, contact me and I will point you in the right direction).
The important thing now is to find out which of the channels your target market utilises and how they interact on it.

[bctt tweet=”The important thing is to find the channels your target market utilises and how they use it.” username=”entr_academy”]

Because there is no real structure in place, you can get lost very quickly. The best bet is to select 1 or 2 of the most obvious channels and learn how your potential customers interact on these channels. That means you need to become part of the community. It is like going to a party. There might be some potential customers at the party, but you’re not going to bombard them straight away with an offer or only talk about your products or services and try to sell it to them. They came to the party to have a good time and enjoy themselves. It would be much more effective to present yourself to them and become part of it, enjoying yourself and leaving a positive impression that ensures that they will remember you.

[bctt tweet=”Social Media channels are not sales channels, but they are what it says ‘Social’.” username=”entr_academy”]

The secret lies in becoming part of the Social infrastructure and providing value to the tribe. If anyone is ready to commit to the next stage they will come to you. They know you, trust you and believe that you’re the right person to spent their money on.
To do this most effectively, you really need to be clear on your target market and have it cut down to the smallest possible group (niche). It is much harder to find the right people on a party with 1000 participants then on a party with 20 participants.

Of course most of the platforms provide you with the option to advertise your services and products to its members and in that they are not really different to other medias out there. But in my mind this misses the point. It is like using old business methods on a new medium. Of course it might work (it has to, as it is the only way for most channels to make money!), but I would suggest to actually use the power these platforms provide and disregard the old methods.

Think about it! Starting or running a business is much more then just advertising. It is about identifying problems in your market you can or want to provide a solution for. It is about market research to understand how your customers use your products and services and what they like or don’t like. It is about identifying changes in the market and being able to adjust and stay competitive. All of this requires interaction with your potential or existing customers.

Social Media platforms provide the base for all of this and if you are serious about your business you will have to work on this (becoming Social) anyway.

Once you identified your perfect channel(s) (1-2 at the most) you start creating your follower base. These are not any followers, but people you have provided value to and are happy to recommend you to anyone who wants to listen. That is the power of Social Media.

It is very well know that a recommendation from a customer is the most powerful sales tool ever and Social Media is

THE Platform for Recommendations

You might think that you don’t have the time to spent on the Social Media channels all day just to stay in contact with your potential or existing customers. If that is you, you might want to think again. What is your business without customers? They’re the ones paying your bills, but if done correctly you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) spend all day on Social Media. There are lots of tools out there to help you manage that part, watching your conversations and listening in to other conversations where others mention you or your products and services.

Here is a list of the currently best known I investigated:

All of those concentrate either on a specific part of Social Media or on a specific channel.

To sum it all up:

[bctt tweet=”The best way using Social Media today is to become part of it, interact and provide value.” username=”entr_academy”]

If you are not sure how to implement this into your business, get someone in or dedicate someone in your company to help you with this. There are many Social Media Coaches out there who might be able to help you. Like always choose wisely and embrace the change you will have to make in your company to stay in the forefront.

Let me know your experiences, ideas and problems using the comment section below and if I can help I will 🙂

The Twist that will make your business

The Twist that will make your business

Lets say you are running your business and you worked hard to get where you are today. You’ve established yourself, you know your competitors, your clients and your position within your market. However, you are struggling to grow. You’re doing everything the big and the small guys in your market do, but you just don’t get the results you’re hoping for and you’re starting to wonder if you should even bother to grow and just accept the fact that you are where you are and you should be glad to have made it that far.

This is the typical box trap most business owners fall into, specially when they’ve been in business for a while. Because they’ve concentrated so much on their own market and the players inside that they don’t see what others are doing. In such a case I go with my clients through what I call a “Twist Session”.
A process developed by Julie Cottineau. Julie is a branding specialist with experience in many global organisations like Richard Branson’s Virgin Management.

Since I followed Julie’s ideas and applied them to my own and my client’s businesses, we managed major positive changes and many of my clients have moved their business to amazing levels. The main idea behind it is about identifying your core services and products and applying new ways to offer them to your clients. Giving them a twist that makes you stand out from the crowd and create new interest from potential customers. We are not talking about a special promotion or a discount here, but something far deeper then that, something with a Twist.

To make this Twist happen for yourself you need to step back and widen your view. Look at the brands, organisations or companies outside of your market. I am amazed by Apple, Levis, McDonald, etc. I might not like their products or services specifically, but they are very big and successful brands. I am also stunned by my little corner store, they’ve become like family and an amazing source of information about the area I live in (no gossiping here 🙂 ).

The next step would be to figure out what it is that makes them so successful. What stands out for you? What are the first things that come to your mind when you think about them?
My corner store is family, personalised services and source of information.
When I think about McDonalds, I think about fast, Happy Meal, child-friendly, family oriented, children playground, birthday parties, etc.
With Apple I think about amazing and stunning looking products, prestige, excitement, design, expensive, etc.
With Lewis I think about cowboy, leisure, great fit, cool (sorry, it’s my age 🙂 ), right for every occasion, etc.

Now apply these points to your own products and services. What could they be? Of course it depends on your market, but with a little imagination you can almost apply all of those points to any product or service, giving it a little twist and let them stand-out from the rest in your market.

In the end it boils down to having fun with your business. To play a bit and discover new opportunities. For that to happen, all you need to do is open up and look at everything around you. This is what your customers do. For you your products or service are centre-point to your business and very important, but for your customer they are just one point of many. Mixing things up creates new interest, establishes your brand as unique and exciting and brings you new customers on the way. All that with a little twist.

But most of all, it also creates a twist in your mind. Making you see all the great opportunities ahead and having the fun of your life.
In the end, that what’s it all about.