How to make a great information product

 

how to make a great information product

It’s hard to live off your creativity. There are so many things that you take into consideration when you take the job as creator and decide to stick with it. Not only do you have to create – but you also have to convince people that you’re one of the best in the market of creating.

For me, it’s about creating products that need to stand out at first view. But these products also need to leave an experience of ‘great product’, so the good old viral effect and word-of-mouth sets in and the product starts to sell itself.

The key to a great information product is to be very aware of the benefits – and maybe not just listing them, but also communicate them extremely well – to different kinds of customers.

You shouldn’t only be looking at the product and how it’s build – it’s even more essential to look at the experience and outcome that your potential customers get by purchasing your product.

You need to focus more on how you want your potential customers to feel after they’ve tried your product.

How do you make sure your product is so great that it exceeds expectations?

Start by building an information product roadmap. A product roadmap you define what processes you want your potential customers to go through. Showing initiatives, processes and how you want your product to launch, communicate, and succeed. There you will also find your way through pitfalls and discussions.

Make the experience of the product and the outcome for the potential customer top priority.

Most of the time the key is how much value you can put into an information product. That’s all good and well, but in my experience one of the things that you also need to do is to keep thinking ‘customer experience’ and ‘outcome’. For example a lot of information products have a Facebook group where everybody who has purchased the product they meet up and connect afterwards.

Sometimes you, as an information product owner,  ask them if you can keep their email so you can send them new information when something new is coming up in the field.

There’s a lot of tricks to information products, but one of the things that has worked for me is to find  products that you can benchmark up against. How do they communicate? what do they promise? what are the outcome and how does the product exceed expectations? Why do people refer to them? Do they have an affilliate programme or something similar?

Enjoy building rockers!

rock on

 

How to develop a hashtag strategy

how to develop a hashtag strategy

Have you ever thought about adding a hashtag strategy to your digital marketing plan?

A hashtag strategy is where you’re mapping down the hashtags you’re going to use for your content on social media. You have to ask yourself if you’re going to use hashtags for measurement or community building (or maybe a bit of both).

So how do you develop a hashtag strategy?

There are several different layers to it. The first is to figure out what hashtags are the most used on a global level based on which social media is being used. Here you can see the most used hashtags on Instagram and Twitter (in my opinion the two places where hashtags are used best for brand building and community building).

After you’ve printed these hashtags in your mind, it’s time to get closer, especially if your content is localised, and you’re not communicating in English on Instagram or Twitter. Try to have a look around on both Instagram and Twitter and see if there are any hashtags that are localised that people use? Localised can also be within a certain theme or subject. I have done a bunch of work for a record label lately (community building and digital strategic consulting). For a record label, some of the best hashtags aren’t #love #instagood or #tbt. Those hashtags known to be the biggest, but they should rather use hashtags such as #nowplaying and #listeningto that people use to find new music suggestions. So even though you know what hashtags are the biggest, they might not be  relevant for you and your brand.

You can also develop your own hashtags. It’s a great way for people to hook up with each other if they are at the same event, or if they are interested in certain topics. Even if n you want to create movements and get people to post images or tweets about certain discussions or on certain days. Hashtags are a fun way to engage, and a great method to build digital communities and have people connect offline at events as well.

When you’re done researching hashtags, and have created your own – you can always keep track of the impact they have on a service such as hashtracking.

All in all hashtags are a community builders game out there, but it’s such a creative thrill to work with them.

rock on

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should you use CAPS LOCK in your online communication?

One of my absolute horrors in business, is when people use capital words to emphasize how strongly they feel about something . How wild it makes them feel. How much they want you to do something for them.

I get a nervous fit everytime I see it.  To me it’s like two people standard across from each other, having a conversation and then a really annoying person comes over and starts to SHOUT at them. Something not in context. Something really important to the person, but that the two other people don’t really care about. You wouldn’t do that at an event, but apperently some people feels like it’s ok to shout at other people on the internet. Please don’t be that person.

It isn’t ok to shout at people – especially if you don’t know them that well.

Because I feel so strong about this, I decided to do the “league against the use of capital words in communication”. Everybody who’s in say “Aye”!

ps. the answer to the question is a HUGE no! use your creative communication skills instead of pressing Caps Lock if there’s something you feel strongly about.

pps. I am thinking about doing a “only speak in caps lock” day as a part of this process – what do you think? good idea ?

Why you need a social media agency: taking social media from tactical to strategical

So there’s a lot of “why you don’t need a social media agency/strategy/something” going on in the blogosphere . As always these things amuses me, mainly because I see them as fingerpointing in a world of content. Where what is called bullshit upon isn’t necessarily people in general but “types in general” aka. kind of like when “social media experts” calls bullshit on other “social media experts”.
So if you don’t need a social media agency or a social media strategy I really must beg to differ. Well, it would crazy of me not to, since the agency/strategy/community/viral effect thing has been my bread and butter for the last 6 years.
Let me be frank: in my opinion, you need a social media agency and a strategy (and I want you to choose Toothless Tiger as said agency… cough… personal sales pitch… cough).
But besides that – I believe that a social media agency really can help you by structuring your activities on social media, tie them to a strategy, help you figure out what content is best for you, and then implement it side by side with you.

The real important part in the social media agency/strategy thing is the “back again” (in the title). I focus 20 % of my time with a client on the strategy and 20 % on the research and the analysis then the remaining 60 % is to implement the strategy, and not only that, but to make sure that they are dressed up for a longer period of time.

I like to say that what a social media agency do is, they are help you to build a map. Or a driving plan for a given project (in the business world you would call this the strategy and action plan for something) and then they help you implement it.

We, as social <insert something here> agencies, are an outsider minority in the world of business – and we bring value, because to most companies these thoughts on the digital side of their business is priceless when they are being implemented, because it gives so much back to them. I’m not talking about generalizing or buzzwords, I’m talking hardcore implementation in co-creation and cooperation with the clients.

As always I will leave the buzzword talking to the “social media experts” the ones who care about whether or not facebook has done a new group dynamic thing or if twitter has a new design –  I honestly don’t – but I use the tools and the functionalities in my maps and implementation for my clients.

What makes an entrepreneur rock ? clearing the unclear path.

Tara is a fantastic femme that I have run into over the last 7 years, both in Europe and in the US. She did a talk for TEDxConcordia a while back about being a startup entrepreneur – a new opportunity for her to conquer, after being one of the coolest and smartest authors and marketers that I have ever met. The talk is entitled “the unclear path” and it made me think hard about my own path as an entrepreneur and as a business owner.

One of the things I personally struggle a lot with, is that I don’t think I do enough as an entrepreneur. There’s not enough hours in the day to have me do everything I want to do. Also the financial insecurity kinda sucks (as fx. now where we have two rents because we haven’t sold our apartment in CPH yet (oh and if anyone is interested in the coolest new yorker apartment 12 km outside of CPH you can see it here and you can buy it from me =) It’s the space where I’ve build Toothless Tiger and written my book so it just oozes with curly  creativity =))

The thing two rents has taught is to not be lazy and to think smarter. So as I see it the unclear path is a freedom to me – and also the path that without a doubt has taught me the most. I feel so rich in experiences and everytime the clients from hell doesn’t pay on time and I want to throw it all away and it doesn’t work out, I think about what a 9-17 job would mean to me and my family and I feel like a caged tiger. And I quickly change my mind again and I’ve realized there’s no way Im going back.

So what makes an entrepreneur rock ? For me it’s both to take the unclear path and make it more and more clear as you go. Getting more and more people in with different expert areas and grow the vision in that way. (ps. I wrote a free ebook a while back called “why every company should be a rockband” – you can get it here)

I’ve teamed up with amazing people. I have some kickass advisors and a fantastic partner in Toothless Tiger who is giving me structure and helping me out driving my dream forward, it’s something I realized I needed a while back because I was driving myself down like the struggling artist I am, thinking “I don’t do enough, and I don’t manage the business well enough” Well I found someone who can manage the business, My business backbone as I call him, and I can focus on my art: the art of marketing, branding and identity.

And YES I see marketing and branding and identity as art. It’s the art of the glorified word “virality” and it’s something that needs constant planning and taking-care-off.

It’s my art and I am an artist who thinks bigger and crazier and more curly than most other people. It’s how I see that I save the world and make it a better place day by day, especially since I only want to work with people who wants to make a difference.

 

Should companies focus more on facebook than their own site ?

my i heart communities logo

This is a question that I get a lot when I speak at events and with my clients.

To what extend should companies focus their activities on facebook instead of their own site ?

I think facebook is really cool in some cases and not so cool in others… I love the fact that the interaction in there is a gamechanger for the whole internet…  But Im not fond of their ever changing terms basically saying what you can and cannot do, with your content on facebook. I think in general that terms are good and they are needed with facebook. but fx. facebooks promotion terms is not just a law to me, it’s more a creative restraint and a dictation.

So for the sake of the creative restraint and the dictation, I don’t think you should focus more on facebook than your own site. I hate when people tell me what to do, and I want the total freedom of the web and I don’t want my identity to be owned by some megacorporation in the US. To me, only to have your website on facebook would be to sell the chaos, anarchy and freedom of the internet to somebody else.

This is what I think you should do instead:

Make your site the one-stop platform for everything you:

Everything goes on there so you create more of a universe of you, than a website. This is important because we tend to hide behind the screens a bit – but a wise woman told me that I needed to burst out.. So I have around a 50 page addition on my to-do to henrietteweber.com that is going to be added along the way. Yes I am going to be full of myself here and this is where you will experience me. This is also where all the writings and videos will be. This is where you need to go to find me =)

Make social media, proactivity and other blogs your embassies:

I see my two facebook pages as embassies for henrietteweber.com, my twitter profile as well. Linkedin ? yep. Conferences ? embassies.

I see my danish blogs on erhvervsbladet.dk and amino.dk as embassies. I see my newsletter as an embassy. Comments on other blogs are embassies. Books and e-books are embassies.
By that I mean that I draw people into the henrietteweber.com “country”, and give them every reason to stick around. Because I want them right here, so I can continously inspire and convert you to buy some of my stuff so I can do more cool stuff for you guys

You can also see it as you’re own personal spiderweb.

Be specific on your embassies – state what people can expect from them and what you expect from people

My personal facebook page is for all my writings – both english and danish blogposts (on henrietteweber.com you only get the english writings)

Twitter is where I interact with my underground community aka. people within my field. I know twitter is huge in the US but not so much so in Denmark or Scandinavia even. It’s more a closed club – but a very fun one.

And so on and so forth.

But it’s a spiderweb for the magical kingdom of Henriette Weber, so I can get you here and measure your traffic and give you more good stuff…  a’right ? Henrietteweber.com is a way for you to be inspired, and for me to become better at giving you what you want from me.



Should you “like” your own stuff on facebook?

Two days ago I got a lot of traffic on the “should you “like” your own stuff on facebook” sentence. I thought that it would be cool to elaborate a bit on it in a blogpost. So here goes:

My take on liking your own stuff on facebook is that it’s a big no no. It sends a desperation signal that I don’t want to align my identity with. I like to share stuff and I love to get shared, but Im not desperate.

Also if you’re the first who likes the shared stuff on facebook and not one of your peers, I would firmly believe that the likeliness of the content being liked by someone else is decreasing. It’s a personal thing and I can’t really tell what other people would do, only from my own perspective. To me liking your own stuff first on facebook, is like being the first to comment on a blogpost you wrote yourself.

Now that we’re at it, let’s talk about people who retweets when they are being retweeted. Sometimes if the retweet from a person adds something new to the discussion, I would retweet it to my network. I for sure wouldn’t do it as a religion and retweet everytime someone mentions me. I don’t see this a lot in the danish twitterstream, but it has occured from some of the profiles I follow.

so liking my own stuff on facebook, to me, is a no no.

Retweeting a retweet can happen, if it has added value to it and it brings something new to the table=)

Tools you need to DIY your facebook page (and save a gazillion dollars)

So  how many of you business owners out there have thought about getting some agency to set up your facebook page? Maybe a ‘welcome’ tab under your facebook page, saying that people should sign up for a newsletter?

I don’t do stuff like that. I don’t tell people to have a welcome-tab. I sell a lot of “turning the social web (hereby also facebook) into a strategic creative tool for you, as well as giving you a detailed plan for how to use it and add to your company identity“.

Don’t get me wrong I love facebook pages, but I don’t like the “welcome – ad” because, in my humble opinion I think it’s destroying the flow of the facebook page experience. That is a really bad thing on facebook, basically because it introduces something that is ad-like in a space that is ad-free and filled with interaction (yes I know that people are posting links and that there’s ads in the sides) but not in the middle where the news feed is.

Now if you could turn that ad-welcome tab into something awesome and cool – I would roll with it all the way.

But – I haven’t seen any great welcome-tabs on a facebook page (and I’ve checked out a fair ammount of them, which is why I decided not to have one on my own facebook page.

I decided to get a facebook page for me and my writings because it gave me an opportunity to exist in the “like’rs” newsfeed, and therefore get more traffic to my blog. I think a facebook page welcome tab should call for interaction on facebook instead of sending people off, to be lost on some webpage in the middle of nowhere. And that’s what I see them doing. “go to our website” – “sign up for our newsletter”. Stuff like that.

But – I think the whole design part of a facebook page, is so limited and so “ad” like, that I would rather set a designer loose on a real webpage and then direct the traffic there via links to valuable content in the newsfeed. Continiously. Hard work, and damn creative!

I also believe that if you can’t communicate what it is that people are seeing in less than 30 words in the info box on a facebook page – you have a communication problem.

Anyway that’s just my humble opinion. I don’t like facebook ad-tabs. Get it? I like the creativity and the strategic approach to facebook. I have a whole rant coming up about the mainstreamness of facebook for businesses in a blogpost tomorrow.

But if you should have a facebook page – I think you should make it madly creative and toy around with it. If you make it flow probably and end up by enhancing my facebook experience of you instead of interupting it, I would love to see it =) (drop a link in the comment section – please?)

Here’s two tools I toyed around with, that could help you create a facebook page for yourself:

Shortstack – custom facebook tabs in minutes.

Pagemodo – design your own facebook fan page for free

And a couple of facebook page links :

How to add a video to your facebook page

How to get a custom facebook webadress

The difference between a facebook page and a group (coming to you from the almighty facebook themselves)

Im looking forward to see what you come up with.

Be creative!

How to rock social media for strategic sales

In October I wrote a piece for my blog on amino.dk – that was wildly popular. So I decided to translate it into english and post it here as well – enjoy =)

I have made an ally with an advisor in my business Toothless Tiger
(she’s cool, she rocks and she’s called Mercedes), and I have found out that it might have been her that was the business backbone of Toothless Tiger instead of me. That’s just not an option, because I had to be a large part of the business backbone myself.
She has however, been a lot of value. Kicked my sweet behind and inspired thoughts about my business, and that’s just super cool.

She had me define my sales funnel, something I haven’t been using a lot since I left business school. I know it’s really important, but it’s just not something I have prioritized a lot. 
Now a sales funnel is an interesting tool – especially for me if you do a funnel based on social web – which is my god given metier. When I look at a sales funnel as a model, I see it as a model that’s both really good at defining where you are in your sales process, but ALSO a tool that’s really important if you want to get people closer to your company (warning: social media rant alert =))

(This sales funnel I have borrowed from http://www.getentrepreneurial.com)

Well, what should we use the sales funnel for on social media then? We should use it to get “top of mind” when people need a person in your EXACT field.

Let’s walk through it and start “above the red field” on the model. That’s where you’ll find twitter. Twitter is a promised land to make new contacts (and eventually get new leads). You just need to make it strategically targeted (a good way to start out is to find 5, 10 or 20 people that you really need in your future network, and after that you put aside 1 minute a day to talk to each one of them), no sales-pitchy bullshit; just genuine human conversation.

Between the red and the yellow field is facebook. Facebook is for people who are interested in you, and you want to hear from as a continous part of your network. I see facebook as a bit closer to you than twitter, because people also get access to other information about you (pics, more info), to me, facebook is more about a universe for your current social network, where twitter links to a more “formal” part of you – your webpage or someplace else where there’s a part of you that you want to sell =)

Where it get’s really interesting business wise, is at the beginning of the yellow area: where the newsletter and the blog lies. The newsletter and email are generally fantastic ways to convert social media into something closer to a sale.

So how do you get people from twitter and facebook over on your newsletter or your blog?

1. You ask them 1 after 1 in a context where the initiative is on them. If there’s someone on twitter asking a question about something and you know something about it, then it’s really ok for you to write the answer to them, and then afterwards write “I write a lot about that in my newsletter, would you like to receive it?”. It’s a pretty resource-demanding thing to start out on.

2. Create flagship content (as Chris Garrett would put it). An eBook, a guide, a how to. Something that isn’t available for everyone unless they “pay” for it, either with cash or with an email signup or something. If you want to receive Chris’ eBook about flagship content, you have to sign up to his rss feed on his blog, and in the bottom of the blogposts in the feed you’ll receive a secret link so you can download it. In Denmark I would change the RSS feed subscription with a newsletter subscription, because even though RSS is on it’s way up here, then there’s a lot of people that don’t know what it is – yet.

You get people to download the eBook by writing out about it a couple of times a day in different settings, where you will either generate more content about it (blogpost, video or something else) or take the quotes or comments about it. It shouldn’t look like a sales pitch, because basically people hate to be told what to do (also in a social media context). What you can do is to become active with other things than your own stuff and messages on facebook and twitter. I would say that you need to be 5 times as active in other places/in other conversations as you post things yourself.

Ok, we need to get to the green part of the sales funnel, and we do that through the newsletter (by writing great valuable newsletters, together with good offers – we do that on a weekly basis). When people have recieved the newsletter over time, it would be ok to add them on facebook or twitter or throw them an email and get people into a CRM system where the contact is closer.

Keep constant contact (in most CRM systems they can tell you who you haven’t talked to in a while). You can also add some keywords to contacts in a CRM system. Then, once in a while you go through it all and add tags to those who are potential clients and those who are close to becoming clients (now we are in the beginning of the blue area of the salesfunnel).

At that point the relation is nurtured to the point of knowing what color people like to wear, and they invite you for family birthdays (just kidding).

No honestly, it doesn’t need to be that close, but you could easily write them and ask if they would consider buying your stuff, and they can always answer no. And ta-da! – people from the internet converted into potential clients.

making “adding a game layer” more delicious for companies

Last week I did a video for my Return on Involvement page on Facebook. It went a little something like this:

I was inspired by the video “the game layer on top of the world” that Heidi Harman had send to me some days before. I think “adding a game layer” would be an excellent “next thing” to strive to – when companies get tired of opening facebook pages and twitter accounts. A game layer would create substance in a brand. And it didn’t have to be a whole game around your company, for some it would be more eatable if it was simply to start thinking outside the box. To make it more delicious for companies, I would call it “adding “play” to your brand” instead of a game layer…

I really dig the “playing with brands” – I’ll find a way to expand on it some more…

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