If you’re just getting started with your SEO strategy, then producing content may seem overwhelming, foreign and hugely time consuming. While it is time consuming, it is possible to fit the responsibilities in your daily work flow by developing good habits and using a social collaboration and project management platform.
Take a listen to my most recent webinar with SEO.com, “Social Collaboration: SEO and Content Marketing’s Missing Link.”
A little coopetition can go a long way. Small businesses have limited resources, and, if you’re a solopreneur, there are even less. You can maximize your media efforts, while minimizing time collaborating with others. Why?
- Save time spent managing media resources;
- Increase efficiency in your efforts to garner media attention; and
- Decrease the number of emails, browser window and over tools used to produce content.
How do you do this? By building a team of social collaborators (3-5 people)!
You have two choices for who you ask to be part of your team. Either gather three to five peers in the same industry who don’t overlap geographically or three to five non-competitors with the same size business.
These should be people who would like to generate more awareness for their brand and have limited resources.
Now, invite them.
Who to pick? Simple. Only include those people who are do-ers. The people who get stuff done (#gsd). You don’t want to create a never-ending funnel of media tasks, but rather focus on those things which are achievable and executable by those involved. The do-ers in your network will be more likely to ensure the success of this team.
Invite them in whatever way is appropriate to you. You can either go the email route, or invite them directly from your fave collaboration platform (might I recommend Tracky).
Not sure how to ask someone to collaborate with you? It’s as simple as copy, paste and personalize:
Dear <insert name>,
You’ve got a lot on your plate. I’ve got a lot on mine. Not sure about you, but that means my PR efforts are often put on the back burner. I’m creating a small group of superstar <non competitors> who are in the same situation. I want to help us work better, together (and, hopefully, garner some media attention of each of us).
The Social Collaboration Team <insert link to group> is a place we can combine efforts to rev up our individual PR by helping one another by sharing:
- Industry research
- Media contacts
- Story ideas and pitches
- Social media releases
- Social editorial calendars
Why recreate the wheel, right?
So, what does this look like? It means we share resources we’ve created and leverage the power of those in our group. The thought is if we all share a few resources we’ll buy back some time. I’ve already created my first Pitchengine pitch <insert link> so you can see what it looks like.
Our first project is to research a media list and populate a one-month editorial calendar. <insert your own task>
Are you in?
What should you work on?
Here are a few tool templates to get you started:
- Editorial calendar template (This is used for planning story topics)
- Social Collaboration Team template (via Tracky)
- Pitch example (via Pitchengine, see below)
- HOW to write effective tracks within Tracky
More to come…
***DISCLOSURE: I am currently serving as the Chief Evangelist for Tracky. Any reference to them in any post is part of my mission to spread the word about social collaboration.***
I promise, if you take 20 minutes to model what I share below it will improve the public speaking experience for you and your audience.
One of the reasons I love working with Tracky is that it changed the way I professionally speak. It is my staple when interacting with audiences (large or small) to: make the experience collaborative, allow more time to stay focused on the presentation and encourage ongoing dialogue after the event. How? I’m going to share my not-so-secret secret with you.
***NOTICE: I am currently serving as the Chief Evangelist for Tracky. Any reference to them in any post is part of my mission to spread the word about social collaboration.***
Go to Tracky.com and sign up. Then, create a new group. The title of your group should reflect the conference name or your specific presentation. If it’s for a presentation you will give multiple times, go with that name as opposed to the conference so you can repurpose it.
Edit your group preferences. This only takes a few moments and makes a huge difference in how you can collaborate with attendees:
- Create a custom screen name to make the URL easily memorable. (Regardless, you can share the URL with anyone once your group is created.)
- Enter in your location (if people use the coordinating iPhone or Droid app they can find you by “groups nearby”)
- Enter your contact information to make it easy for people to get ahold of you. Your email address isn’t public, but anyone can email you by selecting “send message” at the top of the group.
- Decide whether or not you want the group to public or private. If you do not select private, the group itself is searchable within Tracky.
- Add in all of your social profiles. They become visible in the upper right hand corner of your group page making it easy for people to find you online.
THIS IS HUGE! –> Put a form on your website. What does this mean? In preparation for your speaking event (or after), you can include a form on your site or blog that allows people to share information that directly populates a track within your group. You can use as a way to manage backend requests and respond to them within Tracky, thus eliminating multiple emails or an email chain. (If you need technical assistance this, don’t worry. We can help.) Here’s an example of what happens when someone clicks on “contact us” from Tracky’s homepage:
Populate your group. If you know the email addresses of those who will be in your speaking engagement, simply “add users” to the group via the email option and add a personal message. If you don’t know who will actually be in your presentation, share the public group link before, during and after your presentation.
Now, start populating your group with tracks.
SUPERUSER TIP: Don’t forget to make sure each track is marked as “public” so that it can be viewed by anyone (as long as your information should be public). Once it’s public you can share the URL anywhere for anyone to view.
First, create a track explaining how people can use the group (it’s probably their first time). I’m including text (below) you can easily copy and paste for yours.
“How do I use this during [insert your name]’s presentation [click here and view discussion]”
In the discussion include four to five tips to help people get started. My recommendations include:
- “Click the ‘arrow’ next to the ‘globe’ located in the upper right hand corner in any track to easily tweet or post to Facebook (or send via email).”
- “I’ve archived lots of great reading for you to reference after our discussion. Visit the track when your brain isn’t as fried.
- Get a copy of today’s presentation. I’ve attached it here (see: attachments) and will also upload it to its own track. Feel free to archive or share.
- The upper right hand corner of the screen has a direct link to [insert twitter handle]’s Twitter feed, [insert event hashtag] event hashtag and [insert website] conference website.
As people join your group, you can drag and drop their avatars in this track to make sure they see it. It’s up to them whether or not they want to check off if they’ve read it. Last (and this is important), if you choose to make this track public (see: how to below) tweet a link to it with the event hashtag prior to your presentation.
Next, create a track called something like “SAVE TIME! Tweetable moments for today’s presentation”
You have an option to create subtracks. USE THEM! Each subtrack should include a 140 character-ready tweet with your Twitter handle and event hashtag.
Upload important content to appropriate tracks. Things to think about:
- PDF copy of the presentation
- Hi res images like headshot, screenshots…think any media a blogger or journalist might want to use to write about your presentation
- Additional content that supports your presentation or benefits the audience
Offer an opportunity for people to ask questions within a track. Yes, I dedicate an entire track for questions. It offers one more place for people to connect with you after your presentation.
Create the “info” track(s). This should contain websites, bios, Twitter handles, social links — anything you reference during your presentation. I even break these into separate tracks, like, “People and brands I mention during my presentation.” Just copy a URL into the discussion box and it pops up with a display preview. It helps to eliminate time spent by audience members searching for names, companies and others you mention. (Less time searching means more time listening and interacting.)
One of my favorite opportunities for audience collaboration –> the shared notes track. People can use this track in a few ways both during and after your presentation.
Here are a few ideas:
- Create a Google Doc for shared note taking. Tracky allows people to update Google Docs realtime from within the platform — so no worries about uploading an old document.
- Let people share their notes in the discussion section of the track. It will be a real-time streampeople can use.
- Let people share their notes in subtracks of the track. It’s a real-time stream, plus each subtrack is available to tweet, post to Facebook, email, etc…
- If people want to take their notes in their own platform they can simply drop a link into the discussion or in a subtrack of this track.
After your presentation simply drag and drop group member avatars into this track to remind them to share or read others notes if they haven’t done so already.
Now what? After your presentation…
This is where it gets really fun. No need to collect business cards or remember the Twitter handles of everyone who tweeted you. You’re already set up to collaborate via Tracky. You can continue interacting with these new connections (and they with one another) long after this one moment in time.
A few tracks to think about after the event (don’t forget to drag and drop people into the track so they are sure to see it):
- Solicit feedback or ask what additional information people would like.
- Close the sale. If your speaking engagements are a platform to help you sell your book or land new clients, follow up with people in the group.
- Thank audience. Write a thank you message within a track.
I wish you best of luck! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me as part of day job as Tracky’s chief evangelist at sarah [at] tracky.com.