Dark Little Secret Or Best Decision Ever?

I wanted to write about a confusing and even controversial marketing topic today – Paid Social Media Growth, Engagement & Followers. Specifically, what it can do for small businesses and startups, and why, as a marketing professional, I decided to open a side business for it.

There are a LOT of myths and mixed reviews out there about this topic. I hope to shed some light on this topic for anyone interested and even educate those who are most curious. First – and most importantly – what is the difference between real and fake paid social media?

Fake social media and “bots” are accounts that are created in mass quantity to look like real accounts, but that do not have a true user behind them. I do not sell or endorse the use of bots or fake accounts, especially any kind engineered to promote negativity or hatred.

However, real paid social media are accounts that were created by a genuine human, with an email address that is attached to a real account, owned by a real person. Real social media accounts can include accounts that are highly visible and highly active as well as accounts that are not so active. But they are real.

Paid real social media can do a number of positive things for  individuals and businesses. But before I mention the benefits, what CAN’T they do for you?

Buying social media followers and engagement IS NOT equal to acquiring new fans and customers. You are not buying true fans, real customers or anyone guaranteed to like or buy your products or services. Some might be converted if your content is just amazing, others may never even know they follow you.

I come from the world of retail sales and leadership – with over 12 years in corporate experience –  and now I run my own digital marketing business. I subscribe to the ideology of “Customer experience/service over everything.” Customer experience is how a customer feels about your business and your brand, how likely they are to refer you to their friends and family, and often times, their “buying decision” is determined by whether or not they got a confident and strong feeling about who you are as company, or the person that was helping them. Paid social media is the tech side of this very same concept, and when used correctly, can help you grow your business at a significantly faster rate.

When you buy real social media accounts as followers/subscribers/page likes or engagement strategies, think of it really as “reputation services.” Paid social media can attract new organic real customers, (Customers – not followers – attract organic paying customers!) because when that person decided to check out your ad, your boost, your profile or your post, they were given a strong, confident feeling and felt reassured of your business because …. drumroll …. other people like and follow you too.

Yes, the world is full of or leaders and followers, but psychologically, and even on a subconscious level, people will feel more confident and positive about something that other people also like. People like to feel like they are part of the in-crowd, and not drifting off into uncharted territory, especially in business where they might get ripped off and misled.

Real paid social media on YouTube, for example, can truly make the difference in your business by applying the right keyword strategy along with applying paid likes, ranking views, comments and more. By doing this, you can take the top spots on YouTube searches when people are looking for content related to what you offer. That alone is huge! But the strategy (which you can access here in a FREE PDF Guide) is critical. You have to follow a few steps in order to have your videos rank well, not just slap on some engagement randomly.

Real paid social media can take your new small business / startup profile from 62 likes or even 1!!!! page follower to a few thousand to start, so that when you put out your first few posts about your amazing (actually amazing!) product and service, people don’t judge you and discount you simply because you are new! This is HUGE. And it happens all the time. Valid, amazing businesses are ignored because they are simply new, and its sad. It’s like when you need job experience to get a job. Help! It has to start somewhere… so, maybe you “fake it till you make it,” so to speak. Just like you might have to use your friend or parent’s business for a job reference to land that first important position, you can use paid social media to jump start your profile or a post to get others to take you more seriously and give you a chance. 

It is the difference between someone going “ugh, 23 followers? Who are they?? Are they Legit?” and instead seeing strong numbers like “5,326” and going “Oh, cool. Let me check out their website / post / service, etc.”

The Power of Advertising and Influence.

Paid social media engagement and emoticons can be added to your boosted posts and advertisements to start strong — making sure you get the best value for your ads, and so you don’t have to put an advertisement out there with nothing, hoping that one person is going to randomly give you the benefit of the doubt and give you that first “like” or comment. (TRUTH: MOST ads you see have paid engagement on them!)

MOST accounts that are managed by marketing firms and agencies have paid engagement on them — they just don’t tell the client that!) It will help STOP THEIR MINDLESS SCROLLING and think “Oh wait, this looks cool an popular, let me read it too.”

Especially with the emoticon services. Marketers will PRE LOAD laughs, loves, angry etc! to intentionally influence other people’s emotional reactions and influence them to have those same reactions. PSYCH101, people…

Social Media Influencer’s, who get paid to promote other people’s content, often throw on paid social media engagement too – even IF they have 100k + followers that will like your post, they want even more. Why? To give you and everyone else a strong, confident feeling that things are going well! To help things go viral! To make you more money, and so on.I’ve often referred to paid social media as online marketers dark little secret.  These services have been used by your favorite celebs, tech companies, blogs,  politicians, major corporations and more. However, many marketing businesses are not transparent about it. They say they will get you explosive engagement, but never tell you how.

While I fully believe in using paid social media, I don’t feel comfortable operating that way. As a communication consultant, and a someone who cares a great deal about entrepreneurs, small business owners and customer experience as a whole, I decided I wanted to be extra transparent about it. Help educate people on WHY its a good idea, and let people know that, basically, if you’re not using it – you’re falling behind and not being competitive enough.

Don ‘t Worry, Be Happy!

Again, paid social media – using real accounts – are not hurting your accounts, and they are not bots. Facebook and Instagram, for example, don’t shut your account down for doing it. They turn the other way because, unlike bots, they can see they are real accounts. They might not love the fact that servers are forcing the actions they take, but ultimately, the platforms still win. Think about it, if someone’s ad does significantly better, they will keep paying for more ads. If a video was super popular and went viral, that platform gets more traffic and more users. And so do you. So, its really a win-win situation for all.

Are you interested yet? Even a little curious?

If you are interested in learning more about how to apply a paid social media growth strategy to their accounts properly, what to buy, how/who/where/what – all that good stuff – I am happy to help you. You can access my website here, or you can send me a message via email (Katya @ dailybuzzwords (dot) com) and I can answer any questions you might have, no pressure to buy.

If you post YouTube videos, you DEFINITELY want to find out about the keyword / social ranking strategy I mentioned before. Its important.

If you want to start your own paid social media business on the side as well, I can show you how to do that too.

My goal with this post is to be a resource, and the bonus of this post is to make some sales for those who realize the power and potential of these services. But first, the barriers need to be broken down so that people can understand more about this topic, how it works, and why its important.

IF anyone got to the end of my long long post, and you send me an email message with your recent, public facebook post link, I’ll give you 100 post likes free too. (At least the first few hundred people or so, in the spirit of customer experience and giving 🙂 )

I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Any positive experiences with it, fears, worries, confusion – anything. Please share!

Wishing you all a wonderful Saturday — and a gentle reminder to go after your passion and chase your dreams!

Katya

© 2018 iflourish, all rights reserved.

Need a new website, business and marketing plan, social management or SEO? We offer complimentary strategy sessions: Buzzword Consulting 

Ready to get your social media growth strategy going? Check out Social Hype

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The Power Of A Compliment

Compliment people! Magnify their strengths!

Every day we have a fresh opportunity to build other people up. We have opportunities all around us to help someone identify a new level of confidence within themselves by simply complimenting them on a skill or behavior.

So why don’t we do it more often? Probably because we are busy, focusing on our own needs and responsibilities. But also, perhaps, because we don’t realize how powerful a simple compliment really is.

Common in therapy and communication exercises, couples are asked to compliment one another, by sharing something they like about the other or something the other person does. This exercise often leaves even the kindest minds blank, as we are not accustomed to focusing on praising other people as much as we are used to judging or criticizing them.

But compliments are much easier to come up with than we think. It just takes a little practice. There is a l w a y s something that can be said as a compliment to any person on any given day, and I urge you to test this out. For one day, make it a goal to give one compliment to every single person you come into contact with. It could be anything …

“That color looks amazing on you!”

“You have such a great sense of humor!”

“What a cool bag, what a great sense of style!”

“I really admire your hard work, it stands out!”

“Good job doing (abc), you’re really good at it!”

“I love that post / picture / Article you shared the other day, good choice!”

“I love your confidence, it really shines through in your work!”

Etc.

Your compliment could mean the difference between that person having a good or bad day, or even help that person to recognize a strength for the very first time that they can now own and recognize internally because of your calling attention to it. Compliments and random acts of kindness can change people’s lives – and often when a successful person is sharing their secrets to starting out, it includes how someone else believed in them, gave them a chance, inspired them, or because of a specific moment of time when something occurred.

I will never forget the first day I left my house alone after having my first child, and attempted a quick Starbucks drive-through coffee and walk at the park. The line was long after ordering and my son started crying in his car seat, which I couldn’t reach. I was trying to help soothe him from the drivers seat with my voice, some singing, a few rattles or toys — hard to remember exactly, but I must have seemed obviously frazzled, tired and overwhelmed because when I pulled up to pay for my coffee, the barista informed me that the woman ahead of me in line had seen my struggle in her rear view mirror and asked to pay for my coffee, to add a cookie to my order and to tell me “You’re doing an amazing job, hang in there! And — welcome to the mom club.”

It seriously still moves me to tears when I recall that experience. It was the smallest, most powerful and unexpected gift I have ever received.

Why? Because I didn’t realize I needed that extra love and words until she gave it to me. I was not aware of how deeply vulnerable I felt that day until a stranger took notice and told me I was doing a good job. She slowed down for a moment during her own busy day to recognize and honor me out of the blue just when I felt like I was totally failing and regretting leaving the house at all. It gave me great perspective and the confidence to stay out that day and walk, instead of rushing home defeated.

As I drove away (savoring that first bold sip of hot creamy coffee I had been imagining for hours), I realized for the first time that when I might be feeling alone as a new mother, up in the middle of the night nursing when the rest of the world is asleep, dragging in the morning with little sleep, crying in the shower, even blissfully singing and snuggling my little one – that I’m never really alone. I’m connected to a collective community of women and mothers everywhere in the world going through those same moments together. She didn’t judge me in my moment of car chaos, she praised me. It was completely empowering!

Her gesture was so unexpected and so small, but it truly changed the chemistry in my body and my mindset going forward.

I have a few friends who didn’t have the confidence to pursue the work or hobby they wanted to do until someone else validated them by saying they were good at that type of thing.

I’ve known customer services reps who didn’t think they could ever become a sales person until enough other people told them they had great sales skills. Strengths that they didn’t see in themselves, or if they did, they didn’t have the confidence to act on it until someone else praised them for it.

So, the next time there is a parent in line behind you at the store with a toddler throwing an epic tantrum, turn around and tell them they are a superhero.

When you notice someone looking uncomfortable, compliment them on a great outfit.

Pay for someone’s cup of coffee behind you in line.

Let the person with less items go ahead of you in line at the store.

Tell someone who seems broken that they are strong.

***And if your husband, wife or partner is just driving you bonkers, rise above and tell them something you love about them to reinforce the positive things they do. Because it’s not that hard. Because it’s important. And, because people will do more of what they are complimented on than what they are criticized for. The problem is that we don’t compliment each other enough to see that in action. Plain and simple, people are empowered by praise, and when we help each other out, we build each other up.

Compliments and kind words have extraordinary power and when you pair praise with simple acts of daily kindness – incredible things can start to happen. Help your community by taking the lead and start giving compliments left and right. It doesn’t cost a thing but a moment of your time. Plus, you’ll be surprised how great it makes you feel, too!

Ps. You made a good decision to read this blog post to the very end! Great job! 👍🏽😉

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Written by Katya J. Lerner

Oh, Hey! Do you have a small business that needs a new website, or digital marketing plan? Check out my new website Buzzword Consulting.

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#1 Most Important Thing To Do If You Want To Start Writing Or Blogging

Writer’s Block? Struggling where to start?
 
THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO if you want to start writing or blogging is much more elementary than you may think.
 
You don’t have to have a perfect outline, well-crafted arguments, or even all the facts.
 
You don’t have to have years of experience, take tons of classes, or read a million books on how to be a writer.
 
So, what do you need to do?
 
Trust the process, and trust yourself. The #1 most important thing to do is to just START WRITING.
Yep, thats it!
 
All good writers — all GREAT writers — start with humble beginnings, weak plots, even just completely terrible and embarrassing first drafts.
 
But the wonderful thing with a bad first draft, is that you have something down, something that you can move with, evolve from, and something to add and subtract from. 
 
If you want to write a story, a blog, or even write scripts for podcasts, ads and videos, you just have to apply these 3 steps.
 
1. Don’t over think it – just start writing. You can re-organize any sentence, paragraphs or pages later!
 
2. Try not to freak out and trust yourself. Self doubt is normal, but it should never keep you from getting your thoughts out of your head and into a first draft of any kind.
 
3. Trust the process. Get the words out. Fix it up, re-organize, add facts, details, and finally, fine tune.
 
A Fair Warning! Getting help from peers, friends and editors is all fine and dandy too, but be careful not to take anyone’s advice too personally, or too seriously. If you ask a million people to read your story, you might really get a million different forms of advice, good bad and ugly. Instead, enlist a few trusted individuals, or hire an affordable pro to take a peak. But no matter what, you have to trust yourself, your own words and stories above what others may advise.
 
So, just sit down and write. Write that first, possibly miserable, rough draft and clear the clutter, chaos and self doubt form your mind, in order to start getting things done.
 
We are all natural-born storytellers, and have a special gift to share with world. Don’t be afraid to share yours!
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get started!
-K.J
Hey! Follow me on facebook and twitter! 🙂

Have you fallen into this Social Media Trap?

What would you like your Social Media experience to be in 2018? I have heard many people share they want to delete their accounts or use it less because it has become a distraction to them, or worse, a negative element in their life. People crave community and attention. Most of all, they want to connect with others. While social media enables you to do this, the indulgence and addiction of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram has created the illusion of connection while fueling ones own desire for more attention and popularity. The problem with that is when people start to feel frustrated, lonely or depressed due to them *thinking* they are using social media to connect, yet their expectations have shifted from a normal give-and-take relationship into just wanting the satisfaction and pacification of attention and popularity through likes, hearts, shares and compliments.

If you feel like you have fallen into this trap of feeling less and less satisfied with your social media experience, it might be time for you to re-evaluate your reasons and align your expectations differently in order to stay positive.

Imagine being at a party. In person. Would you demand all the attention and get mad if you didn’t get it? Or, would you utilize your social and communication skills in order to exchange energy, and give and take in conversation? Online should not be any different. If you want “likes” and positive engagement, you should be “liking” and dishing out positivity in comments or messages. If you want attention for your business page, you should be supporting other people’s business pages. If you want more engagement, you should engage more on other’s posts, period.

The more everyone focuses on their own needs and desires for attention and popularity, the less everyone will get. Just like the old saying, love is something when you give it away, the best way to gain attention and love in your online world is to give it to others.

As 2018 begins, I would take a moment to reflect a little about what you want to get out of social media, why, and also, set some limitations around your usage. Use it strategically for business at specific times, vs. all day anytime. Focus your energy outward and see if you can practice contributing as much as you ask others to pay attention to you. Most of all, seek balance. Find other activities that help you spend less time online and more time away from your devices in order to let your creativity and confidence reboot.

I hope everyone finds a positive experience for their social media usage. But if you are struggling and feeling like it has become a negative area of your life, I do hope this mini-blog helps you evaluate your mindset, social goals and overall expectations. Finally, never let social media become more important then the real community around you. Behind every profile image and post is a real person, including you, seeking acceptance, attention and love.

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FLY GOALS 

We have all heard of SMART goals but have you heard about FLY Goals? 

Why are goals so important? There is nothing better than the feeling of inspiration and excitement about a new goal or idea. Without goals, it becomes much harder to achieve your dreams, no matter how big or small. 

“Set a goal that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.”

Goal setting is important and powerful on its own, but FLY goals will take it all to the next level as you work towards building your best self.

Let’s back track for a moment. What is a goal?

 “A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.”

Here are 10 reasons why setting goals are important:

1. Goals help you stay focused. 

2. Goals help you measure your progress and results. 

3. Goals help you avoid the pitfalls of distraction and procrastination. 

4. Goals help you stay motivated. 

5. Goals help you find your purpose. 

6. Goals help you celebrate success and milestones. 

7. Goals help you uncover hidden strengths. 

8. Goals help you identify and overcome obstacles in your way.

9. Goals help you evolve and grow. 

10. Goals help you achieve things you never thought possible. 

Remember SMART goals? 

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. I have always been a huge fan of utilizing this method of goal setting when it comes to coaching  and sales. 

But when it comes to your life’s dream or a big risk, I think it’s critical to push yourself beyond SMART goal reasoning and practice what I like to call, FLY goals. 

SMART goals play it safe. They make you ask if something is realistic or achievable. But when it comes to our biggest hopes and dreams many people would get to that step and begin to doubt themselves. 

FLY goals force you to take that leap of faith. 

You have a dream. A spark. An idea. You want to start a business. Take a huge risk. These are all moments in your life when basic goals and smart goals can begin to stifle you as self-doubt and fear settle in. That’s why you need to set goals using the FLY goal test. 


WHAT ARE FLY GOALS? FLY stands for: 

F – Fiercely

L – Loving 

Y – Yourself

You set a goal. A big one. A passionate one. 

Now, make sure it passes the FLY goal test. 

  • Is this a goal that was made fiercely, staring your fear in the face and saying “no way, not today!” and setting out to make it happen?
  • Is this a goal that supports the love you have for yourself, your self-worth and your confidence? 
  • Is this a goal that pushes you to become your best self? Are you pumping yourself up with YOLO’s and You Go Girls (or boys) and saying YES! 

Fiercely Loving Yourself. It doesn’t always come easily. We are our own worst critics. We love the day dream and hype but in order to make it our reality we must force ourselves to become much stronger; take bigger risks and push ourselves to withstand the inevitable case of self-doubt waiting seeping in. 

Fiercely Loving Yourself. It’s what separates you from those who do not chase their dreams. It’s the difference between inviting value and honor into your daily life and settling  

Without active goals setting in our lives (and revisiting and revamping them along the way), we risk losing our passions or purpose. 

SMART goals are helpful but may be too narrow a scope for some. Never limit yourself by applying the wrong model to what might be the most important decision of your life. 

Whether it’s trying something new, getting back into something old, or simply working on your state of mind, goals will keep you honest and on track. Add FLY goals into the equation and they will take you to the next level. 

So, what makes you feel inspired and excited? What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning? What makes you want to FLY?

Written by Katya Juliet 

Buzzword Consulting 

Communication and  Expectation 

Expectations – reality = Disappointment. 

Yet, for many of us, despite this, our hearts remain resilient and full, continuing to hope for the best and then expect the best in others, even if logic tells us we shouldn’t. 

I’ve told myself for years to expect nothing or expect less. But expectations come standard with a giver’s heart and seemingly impossibly to let go of as an eternal optimist. 

It’s not that you want to always expect something back if you have given to others, on a petty level. It’s that you expect the best in others and hope they care for you as much as you do for them and that you will be wowed buy their ability to “get you.” 

That one day, someone will sort-of just read your mind and come through for you. Yes, hope and expectations go together. They go together more than hope and denial, as I’ve heard the phrase many a time. 

Having expectations does not have to be bad. It does not mean you are ignoring or denying an alternate truth. It means you have standards and a threshold one must meet to show you they are present and listening to your needs. 

The problem with expectations is when you take someone’s failure to live up to that expectation on a personal level. When you feel so let down that you internalize their reasoning for falling short, as if it was done intentionally in order to hurt you. 
Expectations may always be a red-alert zone for likely disappointment, but it can be helped and improved ten-fold if you learn to open up and begin feeling more comfortable with communicating your expectations with others. 

A main reason others cannot meet your expectations is because they do not know what you expect of them. 

Another reason in some cases is that they literally cannot meet or achieve it. But usually it is the fore mentioned; they do not know or do not remember. 

This is true for marriage and relationships as well as in business. If a person has failed to share what he/she expects and hopes for, then it really is a long shot in the dark whether or not the other person is able to meet it. 

Imagine how much better it would be if a customer told the sales person what they expected and hoped for in the sales process, enabling the sales person to strive to meet and exceed those needs, thus, making certain to close the sale. 

Imagine if your partner told you exactly what would make them feel happy or appreciated. Perhaps it is significantly less than you would  have thought and you could simply fulfill their expectations above and beyond quite easily. 

Imagine if you could make your friends feel supported, loved and cared for, just by communicating and asking what it is that they need from you this week or month. 

But we fail to ask often enough, if at all. We fail to share and communicate honestly with others close to us and suffer from feeling misunderstood or disappointed. 

I do believe in the equation of expectation – reality = disappointment, and there may be many times where this continues to happen. But it does not have to happen as often as it does. It does not have to plague your friendship, relationship or transaction. We can do better, together, if you’re willing to give open communication a try. 

The biggest issue remains that communication is a two-way street. Both parties need to be able to communicate outward and receive. If you are bold enough to share your hopes with another and they are not listening, we are back to square one. 

So what can you do? Help get this message out. Share this blog with those you love and with those people you wish to have a stronger relationship with, free of disappointment, resentment and miscommunication. 

Tell your spouse or partner or friend what’s in your heart and what you need for them to do. 
***Remember, however, that happiness is an inside job and nobody should be responsible for keeping you happy as a whole. You have to set proper expectations with yourself as well. That’s step one. But it IS also okay to have expectations in your life and to expect from others, just don’t make them guess what the expectation is at the same time.

Thought? Feel free to share your feelings on this topic in the comments! 

Written by Katya J.

Buzzword Consulting 

State of Mind[fulness]

Sharing a wonderful quote by Marcus Aurelius: The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.

mind•ful•ness

Noun

1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

I have always believed that mindset matters. Our minds are powerful beyond measure. Getting control over negative thinking and negative self-talk is the first step towards achieving your goals and becoming your best self.

We tell each other to count our blessings and look at the positives, but it’s easier said than done. Sometimes you have to wait for the storm to pass before the sun is primed to peak through the clouds. Don’t be afraid to weather the storm. To go through the darkness, to experience the pain, to touch complete failure.

It is with those deeply tragic moments that we rebirth ourselves into stronger, more courageous, mindful and empathetic individuals.

Always remember that your pain is your gift in the world. Your journey and story matters. Stay the course. ❤️

Written by Katya J

Buzzword Consulting