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DANiEL WiLLiS, blog


Your new start up has passed the concept and planning stages and you are excited and energized and looking to launch, When is the time to engage your online marketing? Don't wait until you are turning over the open sign to begin the blogging and public relations push.

As soon as you have a name for your venture or your new product, you want to brand your presence on the social media sites as well as your own blog and of course your website. Your accounts should be easily recognized as your own property and even though no-one may ever type your branded YouTube,con URL into an address bar, it will appear when customers are visiting your page on the site. Your branded social media sites are also neater and less unwieldy when you are creating links and registering analytics.

There are the top 7 social media sites, then there is everybody else, really. If nowhere else, create:

There is a chance that yourbrandname will be taken already so be prepared to modify. Using relevant abbreviations are easy to incorporate without watering down your meaning. Adding a number is not always the best but extending the name can help. I'll be setting up my brand names this week an expect that I may need to take some of my own advice. I'll use "PUBLICITA" first, all caps is my preference, then PUBLICITAONLINEMARKETING, if necessary. Then a combination of PUBLCITA and the platform name. I have already scooped (YES!) but expect that on LinkedIn I may need to resort to or a variation. While I am at it I may just register www. to go along with

In any case, I am ready to open my start-up and branding my social media spaces is number one on my list for online marketing.

That you have a cat is one thing. That you have a cat with a deep appreciation for 60's style blaxploitation films is another. The former is not blog worthy, the latter most definitely is. Even if it is really you writing from the cat's perspective, you should be writing a blog.

Everyone is passionate about something and the blog is a great place to share that passion with the world. If you are in business, blogging is an important part of your public facade. It used to be that a select few "experts" would be given space in public journals to write about their passions and the credibility that those written pieces bestowed upon the writers and publishers was immense. Just think of Randolph Hurst and Conrad Black for instance.

To score a newspaper column or to publish a best selling handbook is a goal worth reaching for, but sometimes not accessible. Two things come to mind immediately. The blog has the recurring structure of a column and has the space to contain all the information you need in a handbook. Second, a blog is credible - so long as it is not about your cat.

If you have twitter and facebook but no blog, you are missing a central feature of your online existence. Facebook and twitter are the extension of a blog and all the activity there should gently coax people to your blog. There you can share in more detail and one on one.

Blogs have a terrific shelf-life - more so than a newsletter or a tweet or an facebook post. You can update your blog at any time from any where and edit content that becomes outdated or (hopefully) raises a fuss.

The software is usually free and easy to use when you start and fees are nominal when you decide to bring a blog under a domain name. For small businesses, a blog is easier than keeping a website up to date and your frequent updates will drive positive traffic.

Finally, people expect something for nothing in our highly connected world. A blog satisfies the consumers’ expectation for free information and helpful tips, while providing you with the credibility to be the one-to-call when it's time to get down to business.

The fear of speaking in public (glossophobia) is ranked ahead of death for most people. It is closely related to making a fool of yourself in front of a crowd, hence speaking to people publicly creates quivers and queasy stomachs for most all of us. For some, they just love the attention, and even making a blooper on stage does not faze them; they move on.

Practice really helps to ease the jitters. Knowing what you will be doing and saying.

On The Big Bang Theory, in one episode, Wolowiz is chosen to toss out the first baseball because he is an astronaut. He knows his limits with his tossing arm, so he employs a MARS Rover to deliver the ball to the batter. His nerves are a bit shattered, but he is a wreck in front of the crowd when he discovers the Rover moves at a snails’ pace. This annoys the crowd and he is loudly booed.

Humiliated, he realises he should have tested out the idea before going into centre field. All in the name of comedy of course and it is a very funny and well-played scene; but it emphasizes the need to rehearse before going on stage.

Your apprehensions will not dissipate just because you practised, but you will feel better and in turn relax your audience to the point of their heightened enjoyment of your presentation whether just to an audience or to a televised live stream.

The key points to remember are being well dressed and groomed. You simply feel better about yourself. Check a mirror or ask a confidant – “How do I look?”. Never drink too many liquids prior to going on stage, because nerves tend to exaggerate the need for a bathroom break and that cannot happen once you walk on. Under bright lights, it is tough to see faces, but do your best to look around as if talking one to one. In fact, you are! We all hear differently what is being said when we are listening. Take breath pauses. They help to calm you and the audience gets a second to digest what you have just said. Tell stories where at all possible. We are raised on stories as children and that enjoyment stays with us into adulthood. Speak convincingly. Not as easy as it sounds and may require practise, but people admire anyone on stage that has conviction of their text. If using a visual aid such as PowerPoint or Keynote, do not read verbatim. The audience can do that. Use points you can expand on instead of sentences. (Pictures too enhance the audience experience!).

A teleprompter is a tremendous help, but very few of us ever have that luxury. You know that they are being used on television and live streams by the pros, Presidents and Prime Ministers. If you do get one, you still need practice. If you have ever watched an awards show, you have witnessed celebrities butcher lines on a prompter, because they likely did not know or rehearse the lines they had to do. It is awkward and leads to embarrassment and likely more mistakes along the way.

Try not to lean, slouch or grip the podium as it may impede your diaphragm.

It is okay to think of all members of the audience as being naked, to help ease your tension; but that old adage might just be more distracting for you and your train of thought just might not ever make it into the station.

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