Why You Should Avoid Digital Sharecropping

In the bad old days, some folks were trapped in a poverty-inducing cycle, farming land they could never own. Rich landowners allowed ("allowed" !) tenant farmers to work the land in exchange for a share of the crop. The rich landowner, simply because he owned the land, received a share of the crops as well.

The sharecropper could never make enough to buy the land. The system was designed to keep the rich rich and the poor poor.

Eleven times a week I hear questions about "the best blogging platform." And I read recommendations of, not only various free blogging tools, but even folks who consider their Facebook page or other social media presence to be their online marketing.

If you don't own the land, you're sharecropping, building someone else's empire.

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Audit Your Social Media Accounts

Audit Your Social Media AccountsYou want to be sure your social media accounts are updated so they always have your current information. Now is a good time before the start of the new year to audit your social media properties.
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Freelancer Interview: Cindy Snyder

Cindy Snyder

I first connected with Cindy through a mutual connection on LinkedIn when I was looking for an additional transcriptionist. She is now also an account manager on my social media management team. Here is my interview with Cindy.

When did you start your freelance business?

I started working as a freelancer early 2013.

Why did you choose to work from home?

I became permanently disabled around New Year's of 2012. I knew I'd never be able to work an in-person job again and I wanted to be able to contribute to the household income. I started researching what I could do from home. I started out slow and as my health improved I was able to take on more clients and expand into different areas.

What advice would you give those who want to work from home?

I'd tell them to thoroughly do their research beforehand and make sure it is something they can really commit to because it is very hard work! It is also highly rewarding and I'd definitely encourage them to go for it. Just be aware of exactly what you're getting yourself into.

What resources have helped you in your business?

There were a couple of forums and websites that were helpful and in the beginning I got most of my work through freelance sites such as Guru and Elance. 

Share something about yourself.

My hobbies are reading, writing, watching movies, playing video games, and spending time with family and friends.

Links to online profiles:

Elance: https://www.elance.com/s/csnyder83/

Guru: http://www.guru.com/freelancers/cindy-snyder

I've also recently written a book about freelancing which you can find at all the major retailers. The social media page for it is https://www.facebook.com/pages/CJ-Snyder/918229991574263.

Using LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups can be a great source of connections, information, and a way to showcase our expertise. You can join up to 50 groups; however, I suggest you concentrate on no more than five to get started. Choose groups that have lots of recent activity.

using LinkedIn GroupsOnce you've joined a group, take advantage of the Discussions. Participate by adding valuable comments. This is one way to showcase your expertise without promoting a specific product or service. Start your own discussion. Ask a question that encourages interaction and builds a conversation.

Grow your network by connecting with other group members you're not yet connected with. Send a personal message, something like:

Hi [name of group member],

We're both members of [name of group]. I enjoyed your comment in the discussion [name of discussion]. I'd like to connect with you.

Your Name

Make it a goal to invite one new group member each day to connect and you'll find your network grow quickly.

Images a Growing Trend in Social Media Marketing

Images a growing trend in social media marketingAs social media networks like Slideshare and Pinterest grow, the use of images in social media marketing is a growing trend. We all know that old adage, "a picture's worth a thousand words".  Images can convey valuable information. A well-done graphic grabs a viewer's attention quickly.

The words we use in our marketing will always be an important part of online marketing. However those words are more likely to be shared with others if they are found either on an image or in the description of an image.

Tips for Using Images in Social Media Marketing

  • Be sure to include an image in every blog post
  • When you upload images to your blog, be sure to include keywords in the title of the image, the description and the alt text
  • Use Pinterest and 'pin' all blog posts to Pinterest. When you do so, be sure to include a detailed description using your keywords
  • When posting to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter, be sure to use images in your updates

As you can see in this post, I've created an image that includes text on the image. This text is also used in the description, title, and alt text. I will pin it to Pinterest and use it in all my social media posts.

How will you use images in your social media marketing?