How to Use PR to Build Credibility for Your Business

How to Use PR to Build Credibility for Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Gloria Chou

PRIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Gloria Chou, former TV producer and U.S. Diplomat, and founder of Gloria Chou PR.

Gloria has spent her entire career using various media to tell stories that create opportunity and impact. She often hear from founders doing incredible things that the reason they aren’t telling their story to a wider audience is because they think they “aren’t ready yet.”

As someone who has worked extensively with early-stage founders and have gotten their stories into top-tier outlets such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal before they are even funded or launched, she has discovered that this is the #1 limiting belief that stands between where they are now, and where they would like to go.

Her approach to PR is unconventional and unlike anything you’ve seen, because she created them out of necessity. She has never worked at an agency or never had industry contacts or relationships with journalists when she began, and have never spent a penny on ads or sponsored content to this day. She learned how to “hack” her own PR by cold calling/emailing thousands of editors and learned what works to create her winning methods she now teaches to early-stage founders.

Questions I ask Gloria Chou:

  • In this day and age what is PR?
  • Has blogging changed the role of accredited journalists?
  • How do you break through the clutter when pitching?
  • What role does a press release play?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • The role of PR is to build credibility
  • How to connect with journalists
  • How to tailor your pitch
  • How press releases can turn into exclusives

More about Gloria Chou:

  • website:
  • LinkedIn:
  • Instagram:
  • Free PR Master Class and PR Roadmap download:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!


SEMrushThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by SEMrush.

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Growthoid Review: A Powerful Tool to Boost Organic Instagram Followers

Here’s how Growthoid can get you more real Instagram followers and get more eyes looking at your content. It’s a total game changer. 

There’s no shortage of competition on Instagram, and with  1 billion active users on a monthly basis, there are plenty of potential followers in any target audience. 

And, to no surprise, the top accounts on Instagram these days have hundreds of thousands, even millions, of followers.

What’s their secret? 

The best performing influencers on Instagram make it look like a piece of cake, but it’s not as simple as it may seem. 

Do you think that top influencers or top accounts stay tirelessly connected to Instagram building their following for hours on end? 

Or, do they enlist a growth tool to help focus on growing their following? 

After all, their time is better spent producing top-notch content.

Today we wanted to take some time to review the best bot and automation-free growth service out there: Growthoid. It’s a game changer. 

Growthoid Review

We all know that the road to being successful on Instagram is mainly based on a healthy ratio of followers to engagement. When shopping around for a growth company, it’s absolutely vital that you focus on one that can provide this. 

Growthoid is without a doubt one of them. 

Why Is Follower Quality Important?

When Instagram growth first started, everyone rushed to buy followers. Over time, this became frowned upon and Instagram even put out some guidelines to prevent this from happening, mainly because the fake activity of bot accounts hindered the platform experience. 

Even still, you may find yourself considering buying a set quantity of followers to increase your numbers. Don’t do it. These followers hold no value and will do nothing for your account. 

Users of Instagram and brand partners or sponsors are looking for accounts that have engagement that matches their followers. It’s far more valuable to have 15k followers with a high engagement rate over 80K with just a few likes and random comments. 

When choosing a growth organization, choosing one that boosts valuable followers like Growthoid is key to success. 

What is Growthoid? 

So, you may be curious, what exactly is Growthoid? 

Growthoid is the best organic growth company for Instagram that dedicates itself to growing your follower count manually— that means they do it without bots or automation, interacting with real accounts and therefore providing you with real followers. 

While there’s no shortage of companies out there ready to offer you the world in terms of real followers, you’ll find that they actually acquire many ghost or bot followers that do nothing but pollute your account and make your insights more difficult to interpret. 

Growthoid, on the contrary, works for you, avoiding many of these issues by gaining followers manually. It’s like you’re doing it yourself, but the great thing is, they do it for you! 

Features of Growthoid 

Growthoid is the top organic growth platform because it’s productive, transparent, and trustworthy. It employs the use of a dedicated account manager for each client to take control of their organic growth by hand

Your account manager will work directly with you to identify your targets and then deliver followers in that audience.

The top benefit? Peace of mind. You know that your account is being developed by a team that is truly interested in your success and works honestly to do so. 

While your account manager is doing that, you can then turn your attention to other vital elements of running your IG account, such as post scheduling, content development, or insight and analytics.

The top features of Growthoid can be described as follows: 

  • They work according to your targeting instructions. You aren’t going to see a bunch of followers outside of your targeting rage. If you ask for male and female followers between 15-25 in the western US, that’s what you’re going to get. 
  • You have an account manager assigned to you. With many growth services, you won’t get someone to help directly with your account, and ultimately when you need help, you have to go through a general channel for a response. Not with Growthoid– they offer a designated account manager that will tackle all of your account growth and any issues along the way. 
  • Growthoid isn’t industry-specific. Growthoid works for all industries and markets, so no matter how off the wall you think your niche is, Growthoid can help. 
  • Bulk specials. If you have a need to work with multiple accounts, Growthoid can offer you a bulk special, which is great for those who are managing multiple brands or businesses.  
  • 14 day money back guarantee. You’re definitely going to like what you see, and Growthoid offers you a 14 day money back guarantee because they’re sure you will, too.

Growthoid, when reviewed in comparison with other similar services, provides the most effective organic growth services at an affordable price. 

Many services even claim to grow your account manually, when really, they use bots and automation to get any followers they can. We’ve seen it a million times, and we too were skeptical. But it’s absolutely not the case– Growthoid is the real deal.

The winning element of Growthoid is the account manager. It’s invaluable to have someone with a heartbeat actually listen to your needs and then deliver them. You have a growth partner. 

Not only that, you’ll then be able to take your focus off of reaching more followers and turn it to important things like creating high-quality content to boost engagement. 

There’s already a large group of clients that are super satisfied with the results they’ve seen at Growthoid and you can easily find their reviews online.

Can You Actually Grow Your Organic Instagram Followers with Growthoid? 

It’s good to be skeptical with so many options, as some companies don’t deliver on their promises, but yes, with Growthoid, it’s absolutely possible!

One of the main factors is knowing which companies to trust, and Growthoid is a company that actually takes your needs into account, which definitely helps them to stand out. They partner directly with you, and if something isn’t working within your targeting, they will do everything to change it for optimal results. 

The process is very easy and streamlined and won’t add any extra stress or worry to managing your Instagram account. 

Remember, follower vs. engagement ratio is the key indicator of a successful and healthy Instagram following. It’s the most important. 

Everything Growthoid does is done in connection to your target audience and without the use of bots or automation, so you don’t have to worry about any ghost followers or accounts that will skew your ratio. 

Review Wrap-Up

To be successful on Instagram, it’s important to grow your organic followers with a healthy level of engagement. 

For optimal time management and peace of mind, working with a company like Growthoid is definitely the way to go. Reclaim your workflow and let your account manager help with growing your followers. 

Don’t buy fake followers. Don’t spend 8+ hours a day trying to build your reach. Don’t use services that offer a one-size-fits-all “solution.” 

There’s no doubt that the best solution for your Instagram growth needs is Growthoid, and their user reviews back this up.

The post Growthoid Review: A Powerful Tool to Boost Organic Instagram Followers appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

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The Importance of Credibility in Business

The Importance of Credibility in Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Sharon Vinderine

Sharon Vinderine In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Sharon Vinderine, the founder of Parent Tested Parent Approved.

When Sharon Vinderine tried to launch a new baby product, she found that there’s nothing stronger than word of mouth when it comes to marketing to parents. Since founding the Toronto-based company over a decade ago, Sharon has become an in-demand guest on some of the most top-rated programs in North America, and the PTPA Seal of Approval is one of the top three most recognized awards in the U.S.

Questions I ask Sharon Vinderine:

  • How did the idea for PTPA start? 
  • Was there a model you followed?
  • What is the process of receiving the Seal of Approval? 
  • What has been the biggest contributor to your success as an entrepreneur?
  • How does your company make an impact on society?
  • How have you stayed ahead of your business over the last 13 years as the market has changed?
  • Started with kids and baby products, where are you today?
  • Are companies coming to you for a new product or is it more for rebranding?
  • What are some of the best lessons you’ve in your time in business that have made a real difference for you?

More about Sharon Vinderine:

  • Parent Tested Parent Approved
  • PTPA Awards 

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!


Gusto LogoThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Gusto.

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Why hackers love social media influencers & how to protect yourself online

Hackers hack for many different reasons. Some do it for financial gain, others do it to prove themselves, some enjoy messing with people’s lives, and some have more dangerous motives, such as stalking.

No matter what the hack’s purpose might be, some people offer a playground to hackers without even realizing it. Social media influencers are high on this list, which is why it is so important to protect yourself online with a VPN and a few other security measures.

Influencers Have Something Hackers Want

Social media influencers are people who are trusted by those that follow them. They have worked hard to build up their credibility, and it has paid off. They have a platform full of people who listen to what they say and enjoy their content.

This credibility and trust they have gained give influencers one thing that hackers crave: Access. People who trust them and follow them are typically more vulnerable to these influencers and their actions than people they do not trust.

For instance, many influencers have names, email addresses, and other private information about their followers to inform them when new content comes out or to keep in touch for different reasons. Allowing someone to have such private information is risky, especially when others can get access to it.

Additionally, social media influencers often have relationships with different companies whose products they share online. While these companies are almost certainly more protected than the average individual follower, the truth is that nothing is 100 percent foolproof.

There are several ways a hacker can cause problems for a social media influencer, and several reasons to take extra precautions:

Protect Your Privacy

Influencers must protect their privacy and that of their family. Being in front of the general public as influencers can open several doors. You could easily become the object of someone’s affection and unwanted attention. These people can become dangerous, especially if they can gain access to your personal address or phone number.

You could also become the object of someone’s rage or envy, even if you have never met them. People who live most or even just a part of their lives in the spotlight can face more dangers and threats than others. Protecting your privacy and personal information is absolutely necessary.

Protect Your Reputation

You must also take steps to protect the reputation that you have worked so hard to build. Some hackers have no intention other than to wreak havoc on their victims’ lives, which is not something a social media influencer can afford. It might only take one unfavorable post to ruin the trust that your followers have in you, so you must make protecting it a top priority.

Protect Your Content

As a social media influencer, content is your life. What you create, post, and share is the bread and butter of your business, and it takes a lot of effort. Videos might only take five minutes to watch, but it can take days, weeks, or even months to create, shoot, and edit the content.

Even with all of the effort that goes into creating content, many influencers leave the door wide open for that content to be stolen. Don’t risk it- lock it up tight until you are ready to share it.

Protect Your Followers

Again, influencers have a lot of information about their followers. When a follower shares their name, birth date, email address, or other personal information, they show a profound amount of trust in you. Be sure you take every step possible not to break that trust.

5 Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself

As a social media influencer, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your fans.

Make Strong PasswordsFirst and foremost, having strong passwords is incredibly important. Though using a random keyword generator is a good idea for everyone, it is certainly wise for anyone in the spotlight. That is because through sharing things with your followers, you will reveal certain things about yourself that a hacker can use to break into your accounts.

For instance, let’s say you choose the name of a faraway city for a password- one that you have visited or maybe dreamed of visiting. One day while sharing vacation memories with your fans, you let this city name slip without even realizing it.

Unfortunately, this slight slip may be all a hacker needs to dive in. Instead of taking the chance, make sure your passwords are nothing personal by using a keyword generator.

Use Two Layer Authentication

Using a two-layer or multi-factor authentication process is a great way to keep hackers out. Even if they guess your password, they need the second factor, such as a fingerprint or access to your phone, to bypass your security measures.

Use a VPN

Using a VPN is another wise step to take. By encrypting your data and ensuring that no one can pinpoint your geographical location, you are preventing a lot of threats.

Beware of Threats

Stay in contact with fellow influencers. If anyone has noticed any suspicious activity on their accounts, you can all learn from it. Hearing from others who have experienced it is one of the best ways to know what to watch out for.

Be Careful What You Share

All a hacker needs is one simple slip or misstep to dig into your life. When you are creating content, be extra vigilant about what you share. For instance, if you show off a document or receipt of some sort, be sure that none of your personal information is showing.

Protecting yourself online is important for every single person that logs onto the Internet. As a social media influencer, you not only have the power to protect yourself online but also to influence others to do the same.

The post Why hackers love social media influencers & how to protect yourself online appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

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Great Reviews Provide Proof That You Keep Your Promises

Great Reviews Provide Proof That You Keep Your Promises written by Jenna Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I would like to discuss online reviews.

You know those Google and Facebook first star reviews we all know and love. It’s become a crucial part of marketing these days. Let’s face it when we go to make a purchase, the presence of a lot of 4 or 5-star reviews provides us with a level of trust that this is someone we want to do business with. Something that is sometimes overlooked is the actual words that the reviewer uses above and beyond the stars.

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to get more ideal clients like the ones that are already leaving you 5-star reviews
  • How you don’t provide a service your clients had a problem and you solved it wonderfully while providing a good experience
  • How to use reviews to update your core messaging
  • How to use reviews to inspire brilliant marketing from email subject lines to Facebook ads

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

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Rising Star Jojo Tua: His Story

In the last several
years, Jojo Tua has quickly become a household name among his 113,000 Instagram
followers and other online platforms. The 19-year old is a triple threat
(singing, acting, dancing) and a rising social media influencer who is best
known for his recurring co-star role in the HBO hit series Euphoria.

Jojo has performed in
the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, opening the show alongside John Cena.
With 2020 looking no different, Jojo recently released his latest single “Space
Jams”, so we took the opportunity to learn more about the triple threat young
celebrity who’s already on the rise to stardom.

Jojo’s humble beginnings
and his fortunate future

Born in Silverdale,
Washington, the 19-year old actor kick started his career at a very young age.
After landing a few commercial gigs and starring in short films such as Street
Ships, Please Just Smile and The Deserted he finally made it, becoming Michael
Dishon in A&E Network’s documentary show Cold Case. Jojo shares his talents
alongside his younger brother Mikey Tua, who is also a singer and actor.

In 2017 he performed
at the Teen Choice Awards alongside Lil Yachty and Kyle. Jojo isn’t sitting
quietly, and as a talented singer as well, he released his first single “Sommer
Ray” in mid-June 2020 and has recently dropped his second single “Space Jams”.

What are some
of his major achievements?

Young Tua has built
his impressive resume, but  he really
stands out in his television work which has allowed him to branch out into
different ventures. “I enjoy working in front of the camera, the people you
meet, and the places you get to visit are amazing. My latest single ‘Space
Jams’ has to be one of my biggest achievements, I worked hard on it, put in the
time and effort and I know that the people will enjoy it,” Jojo shares with us.


acting, singing, and dancing, what are some other things he cares about?

“There’s so much
happening in the world right now, and young people need to be pro-active in the
movement of change. Being part of the betterment of society and helping where
you can, can bring change to our society. Having to choose is difficult, but
helping mentor those who have experienced drug abuse and poverty are two main
causes I will always support, not just here at home, but around the world in
places where it’s needed most too.”

Who inspires
him to always do better or try harder?

Jojo has built an
admirable reputation for himself, working his way up in Los Angeles and
building a successful career from a young age. Being so young and ambitious may
have its perks, but there is always someone or something that will help inspire
you to be better and do more. When asked who inspires him most, his answer is

“If I have to say, my
family, without a doubt. They’re the people you go to for advice, and the first
people you share good and bad news with. They’re the people that push you to do
more, try harder, and inspire you to become the person you want to be.”

Is there any
particular person he’s enjoyed working with the most?

“I haven’t been
acting for that long, but over time I have met some extremely talented and
hard-working people. I acted alongside my brother, Mikey in ‘Try To Smile’ back
in 2018 and had the opportunity to also work with artists like Cameo Sherrell,
Erica Denise Curry, Chuanda Mason, Sébastien Charmant, and Morgan Parsons.”

What is
something he lives by?

“I think if you
discovered what you love in life, whether it’s dancing, acting, singing,
helping other people, whatever it may be – if it gives you the ambition to do
more and better, then you know that you’re on the right track. I trust my
instinct every time I go for an audition, I do my best and keep my head high,
even if I got the part or not.”

To see more from Jojo
Tua follow his Instagram account at or visit
his Facebook page 

The post Rising Star Jojo Tua: His Story appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

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How You Can Use Short Videos to Take Your Business to the Next Level

Videos are fast becoming the norm for online content. Short videos have become extremely popular in the last decade with the boom of social media and the introduction of platforms like Tik-Tok and Instagram Reel. The low attention span of the average online user also plays a vital role in this switch.

It is also straightforward to make videos today. You can edit videos online and publish them directly with close to no-efforts. Short videos are the future of internet communication, but what makes them so memorable?

Why Use Short Videos?

1. Build Anticipation

A short video provides a sense of urgency and the anticipation to watch more. Think of these as small rushes of dopamine that helps you build curiosity about your brand. Movie trailers have been using this philosophy for generations to create interest.

2. Keeping Users Hooked.

When a user spends many hours on a single video, they tend to tune out and move to other things. The advantage of small videos is keeping them hooked and jumping from one to the next.

This involvement is why we watch only one movie a day but can binge-watch a set of episodes the whole day. It is easier to consume content in smaller and snack-able bursts.

3. Repeat Watching.

Short-form content also gets more repeat views that long-form content. Since they take less time to consume, people do not mind re-watching a small video instead of a more extended range. When users see a video more often, it also creates a long-lasting impression in their minds.

If you notice the start or the end of a show, made using an outro maker, are lodged in your brains for more prolonged times than the whole show — this is because of its short and repetitive nature.  

4. Shareability.

Short videos mean more people get to the end of each video. This factor also increases the relatability from the content, which leads to more shares. Short videos are statistically proven to get better growth when shared.

People who are regular viewers of long-videos also watch short videos when sent to them, but the reverse of this is not valid.

5. Quantity Posting.

Making short videos takes less time and effort. This gives the creator the freedom to make more videos and post more often. Some social media platforms rank your content higher when you post more often. Thus, small videos make business sense.

6. Cost-Effective.

Lastly, the most critical factor is costs-saving. Short videos can take small budgets,  minimal equipment, and basic skills to create. They can also be made in bulk, which will help protect the repetitive cost of production.  

Small videos also do not need complex editing tools like Davinci Resolve. Mobile-phone and online editing tools, which come with pre-set templates, are ideal for this fast-paced practice.  

Short Videos Ideas:

1.  Behind The Scenes

These forms of videos are easy to make and used by any brand or individual alike. BTS videos showcase the process of your production, the life of a blogger, or the working of a company. It is in its most basic form — the process that leads to the service you are selling.

These small videos show an honest representation of the brand. BTS content will help establish a face to your brand and help connect with the users emotionally.  

2. Fun Facts

Learning or informative content is one of the most consumed forms of online videos. Based on your business domain, create small videos that share intriguing facts, anecdotes, or insights. These will keep users involved and portray your brand as a subject-matter-expert.

These do not have to be about your brand but around your domain. For example, If you are a company that exports sports goods. Make videos that show the history of shoes, or the change in policy regulation in exports, etc.

3. How-To Videos.

These videos work best if you are a product-centric company. You are making small videos that explain your products’ working or another new tech in that field. This video will help your users understand your products better and also educate new users.

4. Entertaining Videos

Entertainment is a very niche-specific video type. By making videos that entertain people, you can grab eyeballs and eventually build a user base to direct sales. Products like Vine and Reels are the perfect example of this model. They are short-form videos, packed with punches.  

5. Event trailers

If you have an event, webinar, or conference coming up, use a video to build the anticipation and spread the world. A video opposed to a text-post can better encapsulate all the information and are presented better with visual aids.

You can also share videos of past events and the introduction of upcoming events as a trailer. The brief nature of the video will make them highly impactful.  

6. Product Features

Mobile companies like Apple and OnePlus have been using this trick for many years. The use of small videos to establish features of a phone, months before its launch. While long-form video reviews and unboxing are essential, they cannot be as impactful without these smaller videos.

7. Moving Image.

Lastly, if you are unsure about making high-production videos but still want to leverage the advantages of video content, make moving images. These are animated posters, looped-banners, and GIFs for social media.

While they can be a mear image or text posts, you can improve your page ranking and get better engagements by making them into videos. Tools on social media platforms like Boomerangs and online GIF makers have been created for this very purpose.  

Final Thoughts,

The more you dwell on the idea of short videos, the more you see them all around you. From Whatsapp forwards to website introductions, these videos are becoming powerful tools, and not using them would only harm any brand or business.  

The only factor to consider in making good videos is that they must add value to your user. Do not fall prey to trend-jacking and mass-hysteria. Make videos that are directed to your target-audience and solace a purpose. The results will definitely follow in due-time.  

The post How You Can Use Short Videos to Take Your Business to the Next Level appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

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Why reviews are so much more than social proof

Why reviews are so much more than social proof written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Online reviews are a crucial part of marketing these days. The presence of lots of great reviews provides a layer of proof that you keep your promises.

But often overlooked in the obsession for 5-star reviews is the actual words used by the reviewers. A 5-star review often implies that this is an ideal customer. They had the right problem, you solved it wonderfully, and they had a great experience.

Then, they voluntarily turned to a 3rd party review site such as Google, Facebook, or Yelp and told the world how great you are – effectively referring your business to anyone who cared to read the review.

You want more of those ideal customers, don’t you?

Here’s the real point – if you want more customers like the ones leaving great reviews you should pay very close attention to how they talk about your business – in particular, the words and phrases that show up repeatedly.

There’s gold in those phrases as it’s essentially your best customers telling you over and over again exactly what it is that you do that solves the real problem they have.

Here’s a real-life example of excerpts from some reviews for a local business to drive this point home.

  • “They came and worked as scheduled and cleaned up nicely after it was done.”
  • “The guys showed up on time and did a wonderful job.”
  • “In the past, we have dealt with people who don’t show up or do a professional job. Everything was cleaned up very well.”

Do you spot a pattern here? It’s not ever clear from these excerpts what service this business provides, but the clues to how they provide it are obvious.

The core message this business should put at the top of the fold on their website is – “We promise to show up when we say we will and clean up everything before we leave.”

It turns out this business is a tree service, but the real problem they solve for their ideal customers is that so few people in the home services industry are organized enough to offer appointment times and often leave a mess behind when they leave.

For this business and so many others that I’ve worked with over the years, reviews are a strategic marketing asset as much as a vehicle for social proof. Mine them for your core message and they will become a tool to help you attract even more ideal clients.

The process of review research is pretty simple.

Turn to your reviews on Google, Facebook, or any industry-specific review sites and start carefully reading your positive reviews. (Negative reviews can tell you a lot as well, but for now, that’s not what we are looking for.)

As you read the reviews start noticing words, phrases, themes, and patterns that are repeated. This is your customer explaining the problems your company solves for them, the things you do that others don’t, these are the words, phrases, and themes you need to start using in your marketing message right now.

Sometimes you’ll discover that your happy customers simply love your people or your approach. That’s great, don’t discount how powerful this can be as a message. In some cases, you’ll uncover a complete and creative core message hidden inside a review.

A few years ago we were working with a subscription-based lawn mowing service that attracted busy professionals as their ideal customers. After culling through their reviews we spotted the following in several reviews – “I just love coming home on mowing day.”

So it seems that the problem this company solved was that they were very professional, did a great job, and could be relied upon to do what was promised, but the ideal customer expressed this as experiencing a moment of joy in an otherwise hectic world. That’s kind of magic.

So they began to promise that – “You’ll love coming home on mowing day” – begging prospects to wonder if that’s true for them with their current service.

Using reviews to develop a core message of difference – one that offers precisely what your ideal customers value is how you turn a simple review into a powerful marketing strategy. But, you can also often find a handful of recurring themes that make great blog posts topics, FAQs,  emails subject lines, and ad copy for your Google Ads.

It’s all about using the words of your ideal customers to attract more of the same.

Now that you have this review thing down let’s expand it a bit. Studying reviews is also amazing for competitive research. Finding themes in both the negative and positive reviews of your toughest competitors can provide a sales advantage or spark an idea or two about some things you could do better based on some of the reviews you read.

Reviews and the words they contain are more than social proof, they’re amazing content and a path to better messaging in your marketing.

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Social Media Tips for College Students

As a student, social media can be your best friend or your
worst enemy. It can be an excellent way to connect with likeminded people and
to network. It can also be your downfall if what people primarily see when they
look at your social
media accounts is not consistent with the image a potential future employer
or graduate department is looking for. Having a social media presence is a good
idea but only if you use it wisely.

Clean Up Old Profiles

If you’re like most people your age, you have social media
profiles going back to your early teens. It’s probably time to delete some of
them. In fact, unless you are specifically building your career on one or more
platforms, it’s not a bad idea to nuke your profiles every few years and start
fresh. This doesn’t just ensure that your past is less likely to come back to
haunt you but also helps you clear out all those random people you met in class
or on spring break that you haven’t spoken to since. In the meantime, keep in
mind that privacy settings exist for a reason. While you shouldn’t post things
online you would worry about strangers, parents or future employers seeing
anyway, it’s still a good idea to lock down your accounts as much as you can.

Finding Scholarships and Loans

While you’re using databases and search engines to find
scholarships and private student loans online, you might not have considered
checking social media. However, this can be a great way to connect with
communities of other students who can point you in the direction of
scholarships and loans. You can also read reviews and find out if the
organizations and lenders you’re considering have a social media presence. This
can help you find some otherwise obscure scholarships as well as private
lenders who have satisfied clients. This can be especially helpful if you are
looking for online
student loan lenders instead of going to your local bank, where you can
talk to someone face-to-face.

Connect with Professionals

Are you considering becoming a doctor, a biologist or a
writer? Whatever your ambitions, you can find professionals on social media who
write about their work and even answer questions. This can be a great way to
learn more about the fields that interest you. Be sure that you are respectful
of the time of professionals who offer this free insight into their work.

Trust but Verify

There’s an old joke that says on the internet, nobody knows
you’re a dog, and it’s funny because it is at least somewhat true. For various
reasons, some people will go to elaborate lengths to construct an internet
alter ego. Other people are just very different in real life from their online
persona. This means that while social media can be great
for networking, you should be cautious about confiding in or accepting job
offers from people you haven’t met in the flesh. If your social media contact
is someone that no one online appears to have met in real life—or who only one
person claims to have met—healthy skepticism may be the right attitude.

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6 Tips to Build a Successful Online Business

It’s so common these days to hear rags-to-riches stories about these young entrepreneurs who have harvested the potential of the world-wide-web and made themselves billionaires working only from their phones. So if you want to follow in their footsteps and build a successful online empire, here are some tips that will catapult you to the very top.

  • Find something  you actually like

There are so many stories about people who tried to build a business out of something they know brings in good money, but they have no passion for – and failing miserably. This isn’t to say this has to be your life-long passion or something you care deeply about, but just something that you can spend a lot of time working with (because, let’s face it, this will not be a 9-5 job).

  • Look for high-paying opportunities

Nobody even became a millionaire by selling one-cent candies. If you want to actually earn a lot, you have to sell things that will earn you a lot. A good example of this practice is affiliate marketing. If you go for links that have a large turnover, but low commissions, you’ll need to work much harder to earn just a bit of money. But, on the other hand, if you go for high commissions, you’ll be earning a day’s wage with every single sale. If you’re getting in the business with the hopes of making money, you need to keep your eyes on the prize, aim high and get that cash.

  • Learn all you can

You never want to go into a situation blind. Whether you want to get into consulting, drop shipping, stock trading or any other line of online business, you’ll want to know what you are doing and learn about that area. Get all the skills you have, because like any other investment you make, you need to make smart decisions, and if you go into it without the proper skills and information, you might end up underwater and in a worse position than before you started, so make sure you’re getting it all together. Another option is to co-found a business with someone whose expertise fills in the gaps of your own, so you can build this up together.

  • Have a backup plan

When you’re investing into something like a business, you can’t just put everything you have in it. You need to hold back just a bit to make sure you’re not getting in over your head and risking it all in case it doesn’t work out. Besides a primary business plan that you’re going to implement, you need a backup plan that you can fall back on in case things don’t go exactly the way you imagined they would. This will not only protect you, but it will allow you to make bold moves that are necessary to be successful in business.

  • Use a proven concept

People have been starting and running businesses for ages. The reason why almost every business in the world uses the same model is because it works. Whenever you hear someone making it with a new-age completely different system – they are the exception, not the rule. What you don’t hear about is the thousands of others who tried to do something different and just never made it. So stick to the status quo – it’s not boring, it’s successful.

  • Track your digits

When you’re running a business, there’s just one thing that you should be concerned about: numbers. Numbers that you’re trying to hit, numbers that you are hitting and the grand potential of your work. Every penny that goes through the company should be logged and sorted so you can instantly have a clear overview of everything that is going on in the company and you can easily spot trends that are happening in real-time.

  • Bonus – Don’t be afraid to fall

Everyone fails sometimes. It’s okay. In the best-case scenario, you will fail only with a small part of your business, like one product or one month, and not with the entire business. But even when it fails, you should have backup plans that help you bounce back and start again. It’s important not to give up and to keep working hard to achieve what you set out to do. You can always seek advice from people with more experience or even openly ask them about the times they failed – every business person has a story about that to tell.

Building a business is a commitment and an investment, but with the right attitude, some experience and these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making your online empire a reality.

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