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Facebook: Differences with Facebook Profiles, Pages, and Groups

I have been asked this question a lot lately from business owners in my local community“What is the difference between Facebook personal profile, groups, and fan pages?” It’s a great question and very important that you understand the differences because they are not the same thing and therefore should be used for very different purposes.

One of the biggest mistakes that I see people making is that they are using personal account for business purposes.  Not only is it not best practices, but Facebook does not allow business promotions on personal accounts.  Recently, I noticed a friend of mine who manages a local retail store was using his own personal profile account to promote featured items and discounts being offered at his store.  He had all good intentions, but the right approach would have been to set up a business (fan) page for reasons that I will explain later.

I offered to help set up Facebook business page, but he said he had someone in his store taking care of that—and I thought GREAT!!   But, the next day I noticed something else.  Rather than getting an invite to join new fan page (business page) for that store, I got a friend request! Unfortunately, the person who set up the new “profile account” (not a business page)  for the retail store did not understand the key differences and advantages for having a designated business page for that store–  and unless this is done, there will be major missed business opportunities.

In this post, I will outline the key differences between personal profile, groups, and pages and the advantages for each and why it is essential to have a business page to grow your business, brand, or image.

Facebook Personal Profile:

Facebook personal profiles are meant to represent single individuals.  The reason why most people use their personal page is to connect and interact with friends and family.  However,   there are two schools of thought for using your personal account.  Some people use this account only for close circle of friends and family members while others will leverage Facebook to build a larger professional network and to develop new relationships outside of family and close friends.

Personally, I believe it is always better to grow your network so I am of the school of thought to use Facebook for both building personal and professional relationships.  However, personal profiles are not meant to promote your business—that should be reserved for your business page.    For example, my personal account and my updates are mainly about personal interests and hobbies and the content on my business page contains useful information relating to social media.

Differences with Facebook Personal Profile:

  • Personalized home page – the redesigned personal profile page creates a more social experience and makes it easier for people to see a snapshot you.   The new features display a summary of personal information, relationship, recently tagged photos,  and top interests showcased as images.
  • Closed network made up of reciprocal relationship- must mutually agree to be “friends”
  • Tight knit invitational community– personalized friend request or invite to become friends
  • More activity from friends News Feed than from Fan Page news feeds- everyone looks at their personal home page/ news feeds
  • Limit of 5,000 friends
  • Content is not indexed by Google/ search engines
  • Cannot be used for business purposes (no selling or promoting product/services)—this is against Facebook’s terms of service
  • Only allowed 1 profile page

Facebook Business (Fan) Page

Unlike the personal profile page, Facebook pages are for businesses, organizations, and brands to share information publicly with people who choose to connect with them (“Like” their page).  Similar to profiles, pages can be enhanced with applications that engage with their audiences, and capture new audiences virally through friend recommendations, News Feeds, events, and more.
Over the past several months Facebook rolled out tools and enhanced social features that allowed web users to experience a personalized version of the internet.  Today more than a million websites have now integrated with the Facebook platform and it continues to grow at a rate of more than 10,000 websites per day.

Essentially Facebook has wrapped an entire social layer over the internet–thereby creating unprecedented marketing potential and business opportunities. But, for the purpose of this post, I will stick to outlining the main differences between profile, business page, and groups:

Differences with the Facebook Business Page:

  • Open network—anyone can join or “like” your fan page.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — indexed with search engines so can increase rankings
  • Unlimited number of people can like your page—(vs. 5,000 friends)
  • Ability to run hyper targeted Facebook Ad campaigns
  • Create custom Facebook “welcome” Page— make a memorable first impression for your brand/ business which helps to increase your fan base
  • Create sophisticated marketing promotions such as running sweepstakes, contests, or offering fans only special discounts, coupons, and other exclusive privileges using third party applications.  Two great fan page examples:  1-800-flowers and Mercedes-Benz
  • Can create unlimited number of business pages (to represent multiple industries or niches)
  • Can track metrics on fan pages and analyze Facebook Insights/ viewer data
  • Ability to do direct e-commerce and build a storefront.  Two Facebook page examples to check out: JCPenny and Threadless (T-shirt Company)
  • Build Email Opt-in list directly from page
  • Market Research—Consider providing fans with exclusive content only fans can see and ask for their feedback.  Use data to refine your product or service
  • Customer service: great example- AT&T

Facebook Groups

With all the recent changes and continuously evolving features, it’s no surprise that Facebook has released a new version of Facebook groups.  In fact, the only main thing in common with the old version is virtually the name itself.

The new Facebook Groups allows members to selectively share information with a smaller subset of people with whom you interact on a more regular basis, such as co-workers, family, friends, or classmates – the new design makes it easier for users to connect with other members.

The main difference between groups and pages is that groups are optimized for small subsets of people while Facebook pages are better suited for larger audiences and public affiliations.  There are three group types:  open, closed or secret.  Groups are closed by default, but can be changed to group preference.  Groups that are designated as secret are not unsearchable in the search feature of Facebook

Differences with Groups (and new features)

  • Group Chat:   Allows members to participate in back and forth conversations real-time with the group at the same time
  • Docs: this is a shared notepad which allows members to collectively, write and edit notes with the group
  • Mailing list-style notifications:   Allows members of groups can keep up to date with email notifications about any posts in the group.   In my opinion, I think this is a great new time saving feature if you just want to send the group a quick update – such as an event invite for example.  I belong to two mastermind groups, one is secret and the other is closed.   So far, I find the new Facebook groups to be very useful and much easier to communicate and share information with other members.
  • Group Control: An important new feature is that the group is controlled by the entirety of its members.  However, one feature to be aware of with the new groups is that the creator can appoint people to automatically become members of the group without their prior permission.   I would recommend that you ask people first before assigning them to your group in case they are not interested in joining.

So you can see there are key differences among the Facebook profile, business page, and groups.  Each has its own purpose and benefits.  The way I look at it is this:  Use your personal account to connect with your friends and to build new relationships strategically with people in your niche and who are your target audience.  Discover mutual interests and commonalities to strengthen your connection.

Use your business page to engage with your fans,  share valuable content—offer important information, tips, useful articles, and anything relevant and  newsworthy for your target market.  Take advantage of the numerous tools to market your business and grow your fan base.

Use groups to communicate with a smaller subset of people. The new groups feature makes it much easier to connect and share information with other members.  For example, I’m a member of a social media mastermind group with other social media experts.  We use the groups to mastermind together; ask questions; share tips, ideas & latest news; and to help and support each other.

If you found this useful, please share with others who could also benefit.  If I missed anything or you have things to add, please share your comments below!

To your Success,

Laura DeMeo

Facebook: 7 ways To Stardom… Wine Maker In The Making

I am so excited because there is a celebrity in the making… and he doesn’t even know it yet! This guy is one of the most genuine, passionate, knowledgeable, down to earth… and just a cool person who has so much to offer!   His name is Drew Neiman and he is a wine maker in Napa Valley.  Just like a gifted artist can create masterpieces with nuances of complexity and meaning, so can Drew with his exceptional wines.

I met Drew Neiman recently on our wine trip to Napa Valley.  After tasting his wines, I was surprised that I had never heard of him before.   This is a shame because he makes such darn good wines and the rest of the world should know about it!    Though he has an excellent reputation and is well known in his community (and some of their core networks among wine people), he really has not yet built a big name for himself outside that circle.

The purpose for writing this post is to share 7 ways Drew can go from being largely unknown to becoming a rock star in the food and wine industry  & among the wine enthusiasts in a very short period of time using Facebook! The best thing is so can YOU in your niche market!  By following exactly what I am about to share with you, you too can become an authority, celebrity-like figure in your industry and build a powerful profitable business.

But before I get into the specifics, I want to first provide the context for writing this post and give you a brief background of my recent trip to wine country.  Then we’ll dive into the details.  Sound good? If you want to jump ahead to get the 7 Facebook steps now, scroll down.

Napa Valley

I was inspired to write this article from my recent trip to Napa Valley and Oregon with wine aficionado Jon Brodsky.   It was a fantastic trip that involved visits to wineries in Napa, runs and hikes, and a drive up the coast of Oregon with many cool stops along the way including Sand Dunes, Sea Lion caves, Cannon Beach, and Willamette valley (quest to find great Pinot Noirs), and finally stopping in Portland where we were supposed to run a 50K ultra run.    Jon wrote an excellent blog post describing details of trip and a thorough wine review of each of the tastings in Napa Valley and Willamette valley.   Click here read this very informative wine review— especially if you ever plan on visiting Napa or Willamette.

An Unforgettable Experience

This trip to Napa/ Oregon was  an exceptional experience to say the least—thanks to our friends Norm and Mariam who connected us with friends who were well connected in Napa and had arranged for private tastings and tours with very special people!  This was a very unique experience because we had the opportunity to meet and spend time with the actual wine makers, farmers, and vineyard owners themselves—    as a result I gained new insight and learned so much more about the wine making process – especially during this prime harvest time.

Napa and Social Media

Not only was this a very educational trip about exploring some of the best wines in Napa and pinot’s in Oregon, but as a social media marketing strategist I was also very interested from the marketing perspective.    Having been to Napa at least 7 times over the past several years, I noticed this time around that many of the wineries are now using social media to market their businesses.  Some are successful, most are not– the reality is that many businesses are not using social media…the right way.   The good news is that once you understand core concepts and strategies, then it becomes a powerful game changer for your business

It is a super competitive marketplace today, especially in the wine industry—and businesses must continuously stand out and differentiate themselves from their competitors (in a more beneficial way) in order to sustain long term success.   Just look at Napa Valley and Willamette Valley alone (the two main areas we visited) – there are hundreds of vineyards all within close proximity.

We must have visited 25 vineyards and about 3-5 really stood out (Herb Lamb, Drew Neiman, Kelly Flemming, possibly because they were private tastings and we got to develop relationships with the owners / wine makers themselves or in  the case of Duckhorn and Peju’s  general tastings, we had awesome experiences!)

So how does a vineyard stand out and attract their buyers with so many wines to choose from? Obviously to a wine aficionado, they are already going to have a preference and a loyalty to a certain brand.  But to the average wine drinker, how to you win them over?!

It is all in the marketing — whether it is word of mouth, newsletters, print advertisements, and of course social media marketing.     Obviously the product needs to be good or all the marketing in the world won’t help!

Throughout the trip, I was closely observing every single experience I had with each winery visit (and restaurants/hotels).   From a social media marketing angle, I would play a game and think to myself “If I were a wine maker or estate owner what I would do to build a large following and attract lots of new customers! The possibilities are endless… even if wine production is limited!

Now back to Drew Neiman.    I was particularly excited about the explosive potential with Neiman— here’s why:   Drew was a fairly young guy who was clearly an expert wine maker and he had passion that was contagious!  I don’t care what business you are in—if you are that passionate about what you do, you will attract the masses who share your passion.   Now combine that with the power of social media. Having a strong presence on social networking giants like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn has literally transformed businesses.

The Rising Star…

In Drew’s case, I noticed that he has virtually zero social media presence— already poised for growth!  In the next section, I am going to expose how this rising star can quickly become “famous” in the wine industry by building a powerful brand and huge community using social media.  For purpose of this post, I am going to focus on Facebook strategies and will cover a Twitter and blog approach in second post of this series.

Because of Facebook’s sheer size of 550 million users (and exponentially getting bigger), it’s viral nature, and the ability to attract a massive following of targeted people including friends, influencers, prospects and customers—Facebook is no doubt where Drew needs to be!

I just want to make a quick point; even if you have no product yet or in Drew’s situation where he has limited production of wine to sell, he should absolutely still create a fan page for his business and work towards building his followership and strengthening his brand.

This is very important because once you have built a loyal audience who gets to know you, like you and trust you they will also buy from you.   So for example, if and when Drew runs out of his supply, why not create a website and sell all kinds of wine accessories—he’ll already have a targeted audience that loves him!   Note, the purpose for using Facebook and other social sites is to build community and relationships—there is no direct selling.   You can occasionally send people to your website or some other place where services and products can be purchased.

So without further ado, let’s dive into 7 essential steps on Facebook that if implemented could catapult Drew from small business owner to celebrity-like status and authority within the wine industry—all while building a powerful brand and profitable business!

Facebook:  7 Steps To Success!

1.  Set Up a Facebook Personal Profile

Upload a Picture – Drew has set up an account, but I don’t think there is any activity.  The first thing I recommend is that he uploads a photo of himself.   This will make a good first impression and people would be more like to connect with a real person they can see.

Fill Out Profile Information— Fill out basic information including bio. , “about me” section, work & education, Likes & Interests, and contact information. The reason for doing this is that when you are connecting with friends on Facebook and building a rapport, people want to learn more about who you are and if there are any mutual interests that will help develop the relationship

Add Targeted Friends— Start adding friends in your niche market.  For example, find targeted friends on fan pages and groups that are related to the food and wine industry).   Also find friends of friends who also share common interests.  (See below for detail how to search and add target friends)

2.   Facebook Business Page (Fan Page)

Custom Designed Welcome Page–    Once you set up your basic Facebook page (you can get step by step instructions from my Facebook  training by entering name/ email in on the right side), It is very Important to have a nicely designed welcome page,  also known as landing page.  Set the default settings so that people automatically Land on your welcome page.  Welcome pages are peoples first impressions so do not skimp on it.    The important thing you want your visitors to do is join your fan page so that your content then get’s shown in their newsfeeds which is key for spreading messages through larger networks!

For Best Results, a Welcome Page Should Include These FOUR Elements:

Clear Call to action to “Like” Page—Could say something like: “Click the Like button (with arrow pointing to Like) and connect with Drew Neiman

Video Message–  Create a  90 second video introducing yourself and give a reason why people should join your fan page (for ex. Tips on food pairing, education about wine, etc).   Video will be especially important for Drew because he such a likeable guy and is so incredibly passionate about wine.  By creating a video message, his passion and genuineness will shine through and he will instantly connect with other wine lovers — and build trust and rapport with people in his target market

Written Message— On the welcome page, Drew should also include written message describing who Drew Neiman is, what he does, and the benefit why people would want to join Fan page.

Email Opt-In form– Have a way for people to enter email and subscribe to a monthly newsletter (or blog post).  Every top marketer knows that your email list is your biggest asset.  Drew should have an email contact form so he can start building his list, developing relationships with his subscribers by sharing his latest updates, news & tips about wine etc.

Next once you have a fan page, you will need to build your community.  Here are ways Drew can quickly start building his followership on his Facebook Page:

Add Targeted Friends in niche market—wine lovers, restaurant owners, sommeliers, chefs, etc).

Facebook Search Feature – Use search feature to find fan pages and groups related to wine industry.  Start adding targeted friends in niche market who are members of these groups or fan pages (relating to food & wine).   For faster success, it is key to leverage large fan pages and groups to connect with target market and to widen your audience

Just from a quick search, here are fan pages and groups that I would start with:  (there are tons of other fan pages!) (over 85,000 fans) (over 35,000 fans) (over 161,000)

For faster results, Drew should contact the Admin.  of these fan pages and group and ask them to share a message to their group sending them to his new fan page.   Also be sure to use your status updates to invite friends and inform them of new fan page.

3.   Share Good Content and Be Active— it is not enough to just have a large following.  Businesses are more successful on Facebook when they have very interactive fan page.  The better you post good content on a consistent basis, the more likely you will have a lively community that participates and comments on your status updates and be regularly seen in the newsfeeds.

Anything that is noteworthy will be shared and will spread like wildfire.    If your content is not engaging then you will virtually be invisible in the Newsfeeds. Also be sure to comment of friends updates as well.

4.   Photos and Videos — Tests have been done to determine types of content that is most engaging and are “weighted” more in terms of rising to the top newsfeeds.   Asking questions, sharing photos and Videos are among the top ways to drive those comments and likes on a fan page.

Back to Drew Neiman—Fortunately, his business in the wine industry is perfect for sharing videos and photos!  Who doesn’t want to see pictures of beautiful vineyards, harvested grapes, elegant wine bottles, luscious velvety red wine poured in a Riedel Sommelier bordeaux glass, natural caves, exquisitely prepared entrées, assortments of pairing cheese, etc.     When I was in Napa, I couldn’t take enough pictures!

As for videos, I can think of countless cool videos that Drew could create that in a matter of minutes.  Here are a couple ideas:  Create an informative “How to” videos about:

How to taste wines; How to smell wines and the different factors that influence smell; How to pair food and wine; Video describing various cheeses and how to select the right wine; Video on harvesting grapes,  Video describing the differences in grapes and different process for making wine…  Do you get the idea?

There are endless possibilities.  As I said, Drew is very engaging, extremely passionate about his work and clearly an expert in wines—He should leverage video as much as possible, as I believe he could quickly become a wine celebrity very quickly!

5.   Facebook Ads— the most hyper targeted form of marketing you can get is through Facebook Ads.  It allows you to laser-like pin point your audience by tapping into their large database of demographic and social information of its 550 million active users.

Use Facebook Ads as a strategy for building your community on fan Page.  Run an Ad targeting a wine fan page with thousands of fans.  Have a clear call to action to “like” your page.

The key thing to remember when building your network and fan base is to connect with people who are influencers and have large networks themselves and to build strong relationships with them.  This can exponentially help to grow your own network— the more interaction and comments you get, the more likely it is to show up in Facebook’s newsfeeds which will expose you exponentially to the networks of your friends who have large networks.

6.   Sweepstakes – An excellent way that Neiman could attract large numbers of people to his Facebook page is by running a Sweepstakes for a chance to win a free prize.   There is a really cool application called Wildfire that provides this platform for running Sweepstake.     It works by having visitors enter your sweepstakes and the application will randomly pick the winner.  We see this a lot with cruises… win a free cruise… just fill in entry here.

This can be done within minutes.   This is a very powerful tool and I’ve seen companies add tens of thousands of fans in a very short period of time.    Note there is a difference between sweepstakes and contest—Sweepstakes are awarded by chance (random drawing) and no skill is involved.  A contest is awarded by skill—best video, best essay, best photo—and winner is selected by judge.  For a great example, check out this fan page:

The prize does not have to be as elaborate as wining an expensive get away.  It could be something simple – in Drew’s case something related to wine.  (I’m not sure it is legal to give away a bottle of wine, but Drew’s $225 bottle of Cabernet would be a phenomenal prize to the lucky winner, as this wine is out of this world!)

There are a number of reasons why I like the Sweepstakes idea:

You can create your own requirements for entry in order to participate.  For example, they must “Like” your page and then drive them to perform some other action such as enter your email, or follow you on Twitter etc.

There are social elements to running a sweepstake. Anytime someone enters your sweepstakes, it shows up in the newsfeeds and exposed to large audiences and could become viral as friends of friends are likely to enter once they see all their friends active on your page.   It is the social proof factor that comes into play here on Facebook especially.  People are influenced by what their friends are doing.

7. Add Facebook “Like” box — This is one of the most powerful things you can do.    Facebook recently released new social elements called social plugins that tie your fan page to your website/blog.    Here’s how it works: If someone goes to your site and that someone is logged onto Facebook, their friends who like your pages show up in the like box.  The cool thing about this is it is a massive social proof feature— People are more influenced to like a page when they see their friends who like that page as well.

You can also add a like button to a blog post.  If you develop really good post that catches on, this is powerful way to attract thousands of fans to your fan page.   In Drew’s case, he has a very basic website, but not a blog.   One of the things I highly recommend that Drew does (in addition to creating  a Facebook page), is to start blog and begin building his brand by writing informative, value-driven blog posts—rich with videos!   (I will cover blogging and Twitter in subsequent posts)

With Drew’s in depth knowledge and years of experience in the wine making business, combined with his PASSION for wine, Drew will very easily and quickly build a massive, loyal following and become a major force and a celebrity figure in the wine industry!

Wow—this was a ton of information I just shared!   Do you now see the potential of Facebook as a powerful engine that drives you business? In fact, if you do not have a Facebook page, you are leaving money on the table.

If you would like more information about setting up a custom fan page and developing a marketing strategy for your business,   please contact me .    I work with a full service social media marketing firm and would love to discuss how we can help build your social media!

Finally, if you found this post helpful and valuable, please share with your friends who you think would also benefit!   This was a long post but I didn’t cover everything—please comment below what other strategies you have done on Facebook that has been successful for your business!

To your Success,

Laura  DeMeo

How Your Words Will Get What You Want

"It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear"

How do you feel when you hear these 3 words, I Get It?   Do you immediately relax? I certainly do.  We all want to feel understood whether communicating with a spouse, friend, business partner, and companies we buy product and services from.

In a fast paced, competitive marketplace, where business are vying for the attention of their target market and trying to create a loyal customer base, these 3 words alone, “I Get It”, can make or break a business.

I Get It— This is was the opening tip, technique and messaging tool I learned from a recent  interview with Dr. Frank Luntz, author of hugely influential book and personal favorite (that sits on my night table), Words That Work, It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.

Dr. Frank Luntz is also a nationally recognized, award winning corporate messaging and public affairs consultant for over 30 fortune 100 companies, helping them with navigate through this economic climate and connect more closely with their customers—something that we are all trying to do, right?

The information he shared in this interview is as practical and as real world as it gets.  And I am going to share with you these golden nuggets I learned from this paid exclusive interview.   If you will apply this in your business, you will attract and keep a lifetime of customers.

Here is an overview of the concepts we will cover in today’s post in no particular order:

  • Why having the mindset of “I Get It” will connect you with more customers, get you what you want, and explode your business as a result
  • A discussion of what your customers really want and their emotional hot buttons
  • Rules of effective language
  • Secrets to message development
  • Words that Work (key powerful words and phrases that will get you want in any situation)

As Dr. Luntz observes, there seems to be a level of anxiety, fear, and a feeling that those things that are big, elite, and in control of our lives are more distant now than ever before—that institutions we once looked up to such as government or sports teams we follow or religion we practice or the news that we read —- why are all those things we feel disconnected or distrusting of?

One single tip Dr. Frank Luntz shared immediately that made sense to me and that will help you connect with and gain the trust of your customers are the words “I get it”. As a business owner or entrepreneur, if you demonstrate to your customers that YOU Get It:  3 mutually beneficial things happen:

1.    You are communicating that you understand their needs and concerns

2.    You are lowering their decibel level which allows you to begin to communicate exactly what you understand from them

3.    You connect closer to your customer and communicate exactly what your target market wants to hear.

As a social media specialist, I can tell you that these words should be on the forefront of every one of your social marketing campaigns.

Starbucks for example has mastered this concept and has leveraged the “I Get It” philosophy in each of their social media marketing projects… it is no wonder their business continues to skyrocket and now has millions of loyal fans and customers who will spend $4.00/day on a Frapuccino!

In Dr. Luntz book, Words that Work, he says the following:

“You can have the best message in the world, but the person on the receiving end will always understand it through the prism of his or her own emotions, preconception, prejudices, and preexisting beliefs.  It is not enough to be correct or reasonable or even brilliant.  The key to successful communication is to put yourself right into your listener’s shoes to know exactly what they are thinking and feeling (what are their biggest fears, frustrations, hopes, and aspirations?  How that person perceives what you say is even more REAL, at least in a practical sense, how you perceive yourself.

So what does this mean for your business?

The words that you choose in your communications or marketing campaign will influence how our customers perceive your product or service– and will impact their buying decision.  Dr. Luntz refers to this as “return on language”

A return on language is about applying the best possible messaging at the right occasions to change the way people perceive information.

Let’s look at some examples- what sounds better?  “Drilling for oil” or “drilling for energy exploration”?  Negative attitude or “Strive to create positive impact” Or how about Facebook’s language change from “Fan” to Like”?

Can you see how the words alone can bring on a whole new perception?  How can you change your marketing messages for a more positive impact?

As an entrepreneur or business owner, using the right words or phrases will help you:

  • Connect more effectively
  • Be heard more effectively
  • Get your message out more effectively to get the results you want

How Does This Apply To Your Communications Using Social Media?

Very simply—every interaction you make on the social networks must have your customer’s needs in mind.  Whether you are tweeting on Twitter, posting on your Fan page, writing on your blog, or connecting on other social networks, ask yourself first how are you adding value or solving their problem?

As you do this consistently over time, you will gain recognition in your market, build trust, credibility, and ultimately increase your influence with your prospects so they will want to do business with you.

In later posts, we will cover in more detail effective communication strategies on the specific social networks so you continue to develop relationships, build more followers/fans, drive traffic to your sites, and skyrocket your business!

How To Get More Clients For Your Business

Your prospective customers, who don’t know you, don’t like you (yet), or trust you (yet) are focused on one primary objective:  Getting the RESULTS they want.

Your products and services come between them and the results they want.  As a business owner/ entrepreneur or service professional, you will add more value by focusing on the results or solution your customer is seeking–  Using Words That Focus On Emotional Hot Buttons.

The more you can connect emotionally, the more likely they will buy from you.   The ways you do this is to dig deeper and ask questions about their biggest fears, challenges, hopes, and aspirations.

If you are not engaging your prospects (online using social networks or in person) and being genuine and truly interested, then you will get nowhere and waste your time.

The better you understand, or “Get” your customers needs, the better solution provider you will be.   But it is not enough to know what their trigger points are, you need to WHEN it happens so you know where the solution point exists, not just the pain points.

Here are some specific examples of probing questions that I ask my clients during consulting sessions and also that Dr. Luntz uses to get inside the minds of his audience when conducting focus groups.

You can apply these same questions to better understand your prospects or clients (i.e. conduct online surveys/polls, consultation sessions etc)


What are your biggest fears and challenges?

What makes you angry?

What is happening with a product or service?

Define your challenge to me.  Explain it.

Explain what you feel that your fist begins to clench or that your feel a chemical change in you.

What causes this to happen?

This will help when, how that moment gets triggered… and what triggers it.


What are your hopes and aspirations?

What is your dream?

Think of your life at perfection—where are you?

Who are you with?

What are you doing?

Even in uncertain economic times, the product or service that is aspirational and that evokes a positive image will have a greater impact than something that is negative.

The Balm Is More Powerful Than The Pain…

All these questions are designed to help you become the problem solver.  If you have a solution to the problem you are untouchable right now.

Here are four key words that word master, Dr. Frank Luntz  gave to us in his exclusive interview… if you haven’t already taken notes, make sure you get out your pen and paper and write this down:

Why, There, So That

If you want connect with your target market and have an overall construct of the best message in 80 percent of the cases you’re in, use these 4 words:

Why Is The Problem, Therefore Is The Solution And So That Is The Impact

I’m hungry & Thirsty because I’ve been biking for 5 hours in 90 degrees, humid conditions.  Therefore I’m going to have an ice cold recovery drink so that I replenish my hydration and feel great!

That’s the why, therefore, so that.  Or problem, solutions, impact

Now you try.  Describe your customer’s problem. Then practice constructing a message that solves the problem.

5 Emotional HOT Buttons That Connect You To Your Audience

As discussed earlier, the more you can connect emotionally with your target the more likely they will buy from you.  Dr. Luntz summarizes where your customers are with these 5 aspirations:

1.    More money

2.    More Time

3.    More Choices

4.    Less hassles

5.    No worries

How To Apply These Aspirations To Your Business

In your communications–whether you are creating a social media marketing campaign, doing a product launch, giving a presentation, or networking with your prospects, you should connect your product or service with these aspirations.

By doing this, you are connecting to exactly what your audience wants—and you will attract new customers and get results

Rules Of Effective Language

When I was growing up my father always stressed the importance of having good communication skills no matter what business you are in.

Every day we are contending with a large flux of communication—whether it be advertisement, music, emails, text messages, meetings, conversations… and now more than ever–  social networks.

Social sites such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn has become the fastest growing and predominant form of communication and the most effective marketing tools for business. It has also grown noisier.  With a fast-paced social media landscape growing bigger daily—how do you stand out amid all this chatter?

Using Words That Work…

Now more than ever, the rules of communication have become especially important given the sheer volume of communication we have to contend with everyday.  The words we choose can make a huge difference and determine success or failure— and can differentiate you from your competition.

In Dr. Luntz interview and bestselling book, he shares the following 10 rules of effective communication.   The same exact rules apply when communicating online with Social media.   In my 3-part social marketing guide, “Social Media Triathlon”, I discuss the social media mindset and 10 rules to follow to ensure social media success.

To access the video training and downloadable presentation, enter your name and email on right side of the page. Click here:

These Rules Also Overlap With My Rules For Social Media Success

1.    Simplicity: use small words—it should be simple enough for an 8th grader to understand.  Examples of effective Kellogg’s Rice Krispy marketing logos: “Snap”, “crackle”, “pop”

2.    Brevity: use short sentences.  Think of a tweet where you are forced to write in under 160 characters.  Be concise and brief and think of “sound bites”.

3.    Credibility: use statistics to back up your argument or statement.

4.    Consistency:  keep your message consistent and repeat across all the social networks to maximize your branding

5.    Novelty: offer something new.  If it is original, it will be more memorable and stick in the minds of your customer.  Try creating an original marketing promotion on your fan page or create a “Sweepstakes” campaign on your fan page

6.    Sound & Texture: use words that conjure up an image; Crashing sounds of an ocean wave

7.    Aspirational: messages need to say what people want to hear.  A successful aspirational message should trigger an emotional hot button.  For example, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech—spoke of hope.  If you are sending out a tweet or updating a Facebook post, share a positive quote.

8.    Visualization: use words that paint a vivid picture.  For example: M&M’s slogan “Melts in your mouth”.    When using social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc.) add pictures and videos whenever possible. It is much more powerful.

9.    Ask a question: this is one of the most powerful yet underutilized communication tools.  Asking questions stimulates the brain to think and naturally want to answer a question—it incites interaction.  This works very well with social media—For example, the best way to engage and elicit responses with friends and fans on Facebook is to ask questions and be genuinely interested.

10.   Context and Relevance: it is important to tell them the “why” of a message to give the message meaning.  Without this context, you cannot establish the message’s value. Explain the “why” before the “therefore” and “so that”.

Are you starting to see the real power here?  You can literally skyrocket your business to whole new levels just by:  the words you use; creating the right messages; and most importantly understanding your customers’ needs and communicate by demonstrating you do indeed “Get It”.

Once you truly master these principles described in this post, you will able to apply these elements in all your communications especially in your social media marketing strategies —and become more effective and powerful as a result.

I hope you found all this information useful for your business!  I know I certainly learned a lot from this interview with communications expert, Dr. Frank Luntz.

I would love to hear from you!  What has been your experience (what has been working for you?)  How can constructing the right words and messages impact your business?

Please share with the community by commenting below!

And if you got a lot of value here, please share this with your friends and colleagues on FB, or Twitter!   They will thank you for it!

To your Success!

Laura DeMeo

7 Steps To Form A Powerful MasterMind

7 Steps To Form A Powerful MasterMind

The Power of a Master Mind

No Great Power and Success can be achieved without The Power of the Mastermind”—Napoleon Hill

In one of the most legendary books, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill explicitly describes this concept of the Master Mind as “the coordination of knowledge and effort, in the spirit of Harmony between two or more people, for the purpose of attaining definite purpose”.

This principle that two heads is better than one always made so much sense to me, but it was not until I began to study the teachings of Eben Pagan, an online information product marketing Genius, that I really “GOT  IT”.   Once I learned how to build and participate in a Mastermind (with people FAR ahead of me in business)—it became one of the most profound ongoing business and personal experiences.

What is a MasterMind?

Eben describes it is a group of people that gets together on a regular basis to support each other and to help create success.   It is a dedicated group who share similar values, perspectives, and interests, and who understand that the power of the group mind is exponentially more powerful than the sum of the individual minds.

I recently participated in a Program series called “Connected”, coordinated and instructed by Eben Pagan and Dave Logan, communications expert and author of bestselling “Tribal Leadership” and “3 Laws of Performance”.   It was an incredible program about “How To Get Access to Anyone, And Build A Powerful, Profitable Business Network”.

One session in particular focused on the art of HOW to create a Mastermind the RIGHT way.

This information is GOLD and I am going to share with you the secrets that not only did I learn, but I have incorporated into my life… and has made a tremendous impact as I started my new business.

7 Steps on How To Start and Facilitate a MasterMind Group:

1.  Find 6 other people that YOU will help facilitate a Mastermind.  The key here is to find 6 people that are at least 3-5 years ahead of where you are now in business or in your personal life.  Remember, you are here to grow to new levels.

2.  Contact each of the key players you have in mind.  Tell them you are starting a MasterMind Group and that the group will meet once a week for 1 hour or 90 minutes in person.    It is important that you tell them you are the facilitator and will handle all the administrative nuts and bolts.    Members can just show up—hassle free.

3.  Ask a key player if they know someone who they would like to invite.  Once you have at least two confirmed Anchors (or strong players), then inviting the others will become easier just by mention the names and credentials of these people.

Consider forming MasterMinds in each area in your life—not just business; for example, start a group that will support your Physical health/fitness goals.  I have several mastermind groups.

4.  Set up the time/ location.  If your meetings are virtual, set up a free conference call number.  This is an amazing free service that will host and record your calls.

5.  Let everyone know what time the meeting begins and that you will wait until everyone shows up before you begin.  This will provide some accountability.  No one wants to be that person to hold the meeting up!

6.  Choose 1 person who will be the first person to go.  Have them state their biggest challenge, obstacle, or roadblock.  THEN state their biggest opportunity.

The rest of the group takes the full hour to brainstorm on how to help that person remove their obstacle and to take advantage of their opportunity.

7.  Rotate each week the group.  Each week ONE of the members is the FOCUS of the Brainstorming his/her biggest challenge and greatest opportunity.  Over a 13 week period, each member will have gone through the rotation twice (1 quarter).   In a one year time frame, each person will rotate through the group 8 times.

It is that simple.  Participating in a Master Mind could potentially be the best action you can take to create change, accelerate growth and success that you never thought possible.

One question that you may have is:  How are you contributing VALUE if everyone else is much more evolved and successful than you?

Remember you are the facilitator and organizer of the group.    You handle every detail (keep track of time, take notes, record the cal etc) that no one else wants to bother with—that is why they have not initiated a Mastermind.   Your contribution is to carefully select the TOP minds and to make sure the meetings run smoothly and hassle free.

The Benefit to you….

You will get to absorb and learn from the brightest minds– all focused on helping and brainstorming for the other members.   Not only will this provide a profound business education, you will experience personal growth just by surrounding yourself with people who are much more successful.

A key element here is to consciously connect and associate with people who are already there where you want to go. Every day we are influenced by our peers, advertisements, news media etc.  We are conditioned to think, act, and actually be what is happening all around us.

It has been said that you are a reflection of the average of your 5 closest friends.

Odds are that your financial status is the same as the average your 5 best friends.   Chances are that your weight is the same as the average of your 5 closest friends.

You literally become who you hang out with.  So if you want to become very successful in business, then start a mastermind group with people who are already successful and are making things happen.  They will PULL you up to new standards.

So here is your exercise:  Plan and execute your own MasterMind Group.

  1. Identify 10-12 people who are 3-5 years ahead of you that are sharp, proven, and highly successful.
  2. Call each person and tell them that you are starting a MasterMind and will be the facilitator.  Tell them you are handling all the nitty gritty details – they just show up with their brain power.
  3. Ask each person if they know someone who they would recommend to join the group.  Settle on 6 people not including you.
  4. Start the MasterMind sessions and experience your own personal evolution.

I hope this is helpful for you.  Please help out the community by commenting below and share your tips for facilitating a MasterMind.   Tell us what your experience has been and how you make it better.

To your Success,

Laura DeMeo

How To Be A Social Media Triathlete Superstar

The question is no longer, Are you using Social Media to market your business? It’s, How smart and effective is your Social Media strategy?

If you do not have a targeted Social Media plan in place or if you are just dabbling in social Media with no purpose or clear strategy, you are missing out on massive opportunities that could transform your business … and they are sitting right in front of you.

If you’re like most people, you know that social marketing is an essential component to the growth of your business, but you may feel completely overwhelmed, confused, or even lost when it comes to actually implementing it.

This is so understandable! Social Media is changing so fast. New things are thrown at us every day and it truly is nearly impossible to keep up!  Unless this is your specialty, you just don’t have the time to figure it all out on your own.

The reality is that your competitors, clients, and prospects have already caught on to the social media movement and are surging ahead, passing you by as your business remains stagnant or possibly treading water because you are still stuck on ways to get started.

Imagine making a few simple shifts in your business…and, over the next several months, having a thriving business—where customers seek you out because they want to do business with you.

Would you like to get hundreds of new customers without spending a lot of your time and money– just by word of mouth…from people who already know, like, and trust you?

What about your very own social media road map that cuts through all the noise and gets results for you—no question. Would you like that?

Who wouldn’t, right? Well, it is completely within your grasp—no matter how shaky your social media foundation is right now.

The Solution:

You can now gain access to my exclusive, free, 3-part Social Media Triathlon video series that will literally catapult your business to unchartered levels of success–if you follow its training.

In this series, I give you the most comprehensive training on the big three social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  It has everything you need to know to start generating  results.

I give you soup-to-nuts instruction on the basics of getting started all the way through implementing a strategy for building a powerful business.

Over the past couple of months, I have gone to extremes to synthesize an extraordinary amount of information that would make anyone’s head spin… and distill it into digestible chunks so you can understand it and take action now. The most techno-phobic business owner can get this!!

I truly am so excited to share this training series with you because I know how much it will help transform your business.  As you get to know me, you’ll realize that I give 100 % to everything I do and with purpose.  That’s how I’ve managed to race in Ironman triathlons and qualify to compete in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii

This 3-part Social Media triathlon series is no different.

Special “Live” Bonus presentation with LinkedIn expert, Lewis Howes, shows how to build 6-figure income using Linkedin

I have to say, I REALLY raised the bar with the special LinkedIn presentation you get. LinkedIn expert, Lewis Howes, agreed to provide an EXCLUSIVE training just for my audience alone and I have to say, this is truly a special gift! I am not kidding when I say there is a waiting list of those wanting to hear how he built a 6-figure income using LinkedIn alone… and how you can too!  I can assure you he doesn’t hold back any information!

How This Social Media Triathlon Series Directly Helps You

Here are a few highlights from the training. Learn:

Twitter Domination:

  • How to build a powerful network by capitalizing on the 100 million-plus Twitter users so you establish yourself as an authority in your field;
  • How to avoid the top 10 Mistakes rookies on Twitter make that cost you business;
  • How to use Twitter to drive massive traffic to your website and increase lead generation and sales;
  • Five specific tools to manage and automate your business on Twitter without spending more time and money;
  • How to get your people to spread your business through word of mouth marketing
  • How to set up and optimize your profile and craft a killer bio, using key-rich words for brand positioning;
  • How to build your credibility and reputation by becoming an editorial source;
  • How to create and use Twitter Lists to connect with your top influential people
  • How to get started today with an action plan so you start seeing results

Facebook Marketing Goldmine:

  • Learn how to leverage the largest social networking site in the world—with 500 million other users;
  • Understand the social media mindset and see how knowing this will accelerate your success and separate you from the pack;
  • Learn how to capitalize on the latest changes on Facebook, which are fundamentally transforming how we communicate on the internet;
  • Get the most up-to-date, cutting edge information that most people don’t know for converting prospects to customers;
  • Learn to create and maximize your profile the right way, using key-rich words so you get noticed and increase your search engine rankings;
  • Distinguish the difference between personal profile, groups, and fan page and why having a fan page is essential… and why there is no more reason to have groups;
  • Learn the 7 specific steps to setting up a compelling fan page so you can start getting results today;
  • Learn 13 specific ways to promote your fan page that will result in exponential growth of your fan base
  • Learn how to add friends the right way so you build lasting relationships that may turn into customers and/ or strategic partners;
  • Learn how to use Facebook “applications” to customize your fan page that will drive more traffic back to your site;
  • Learn how to manage your network by creating “friends lists” so you stay focused, organized and on the radar of the top of the most important people;
  • Understand the importance of the news feeds and the psychological impact it has own buying decisions and how you can benefit;
  • Learn why the new “Like” Button alone can put cash in your pocket through the power of social proof
  • How to filter out the noise in the newsfeeds–especially vital once you build a large network;
  • Discover where to look for premium content that no one else is doing to strengthen your brand–so people keep coming back for more;
  • Discover what Facebook’s new open “Social Graph” is and what it means for your business–hint:  it has everything to do with your bottom line;
  • How to get started now with an action plan so you start seeing results today.

Mastering LinkedIn:

  • Get an exclusive training with speaker, author, and top LinkedIn expert, Lewis Howes, on LinkedIn- the largest professional network site in the world;
  • Learn how to position yourself as an expert on LinkedIn and build a 6-figure income from LinkedIn alone;
  • Learn how to get at the top of Google’s search-engine rankings by optimizing your profile using key words in 5 strategic places;
  • Learn to create Groups on LinkedIn, the single most important, profit generating features on Linkedin.  Lewis Howes attributes this strategy to his building a list of 27,000 people and forming several top businesses in the sports industry;
  • Learn how to use LinkedIn applications to increase your exposure and visibility online and drive traffic to your site.
  • Learn how to build a powerful professional network by creating events—a strategic tool that is often overlooked and is a key ingredient to steady business growth;
  • Learn how to indentify targeted connections and influential contacts on LinkedIn that may lead to new clients and potential, lasting partnerships;

As you see, I’ve created and designed a Social Media program that is packed with high-quality information designed specifically to get you started now; seeing results; and achieving your goals!

All you have to do to receive this training is put your name and email in the Opt-in box.  I will send you this exclusive social media video training series…and it is yours to keep!

I would also LOVE your feedback.  Please comment below and let me know how this has helped you.  And please share this post with others who could also benefit!

To your unstoppable success,

Laura DeMeo