Always Publish An E-Book, Too

Writing-With-Verve.jpgSelf-publishing a book in whichever format comes first is a wonderfully tedious, exciting, disturbing, and mind-boggling experience. I know this to be true because I just did it — with many trials, tribs and nail-biting.

Today, I’m so pleased to present:

Writing with Verve on the Blogging Journey e-book for $3.95 via Amazon Kindle.

If you download the e-book, and find you just can’t live without the soft-cover to hold in your hand, you can get this nifty little business book shipped to you, as well, for the price of $12.95.

There’s an entire system of pricing you have to consider when setting yours. Because I used a hybrid publisher, they get a portion of every sale and so does Amazon. Hopefully, your first book is an experiment in the discovery of the process and not a get-rich-quick scheme (‘cuz I hate to break it to ya, that ain’t gonna happen).

My Biggest Mistake

I was so hell bent on publishing the manuscript for the soft cover to debut mid-April at the New South Digital Marketing Conference, that I neglected the e-book.

I was exhausted after writing the book, proofing, fixing, proofing, seeing comps, building a presentation deck, traveling, and ohmygosh where did the time go…that I put aside that e-book.

When I went to tackle it, apparently, I couldn’t add the hyperlinks to the hard copy template. Something about InDesign vs. Mobi files…?

So, I created a spreadsheet with 40 hyperlinks that needed to go into the document on a respective page on a respective line and for a respective word phrase.

After two weeks, I got a file to proof and check those 40 links, and then I got another file and then I got another file to check those 40 links. So, if your analytics shows me pinging  your blog for two seconds, you’ll know why — Jon Buscall, Danny Brown, Dino Dogan, Gini Dietrich, Adam Toporek, The Jack, New England Multimedia, Ralph Dopping, Kaarina Dillabough, Laura Click, Erica Allison, Fire Pole Marketing, 12Most.com., Steamfeed, and others.

My Best Move

Embarking on self-publishing is a mine field. Just hook into any thread on a LinkedIn Group or Google+ Community oriented to the topic, and your head will spin. There are about 24 gazillion pieces of software you can use to publish, and if you’re just an author/content marketer as I am, you’ll drown choosing the right fork in the river.

That’s why using Greyden Press was the best move I made. As a hybrid publisher, they help you with any aspect of the self-publishing journey from proofing/editing, designing the layout and cover, publishing the e-book, adding a QR code, and printing the hard copy. It even has a storefront on its website featuring a variety of little known authors writing on a breadth of topics.

Interested in working with a publisher like this? Try them; see my Soulati Media On The Street With Greyden Press interview right here. David Braughler is top dog in my book.

And, speaking of “my book,” please do get your copy in any format you wish right here, right now. Thank you, world, for waiting patiently as I schooled myself in the self-publishing arena. A special shout out to Jon Buscall, who ALWAYS supports, shares and ‘raderies moi and Roho, aka Rosemary O’Neill, president of Social Strata and Hoop.la, for that awesome review of this book.

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I Am App Challenged

via soulati

via soulati

Really cool bloggers write about really cool apps. They talk about how they use Scrivener (Gini Dietrich) and MarsEdit (Geoff Livingston) and Evernote (Susan Silver) and Trendspottr (Danny Brown) to automate, improve productivity, enhance performance, and any number of other awesome results-driven tasks.

I cringe in shame when I read these lists and tools and apps, for I am app challenged. I can’t get beyond the manual jotting down of headlines for blog posts or tearing out stories from the 37 periodicals that come to my office monthly or putting everything into my brain to organize.  I was never a great Day Planner or Steven Covey organizer, although I love those binders with all sorts of ways to organize and anticipate the date your hair needs coloring.

I am a manual sort of girl, and I really wish I could automate and graduate to the app world.

What’s wrong with me?

Wait, I think I know…it’s all about time. Taking the time to learn how to use another app better than scratching the surface means I have to spend hours doing so. Those hours are critical for me for writing content, working on billable deliverables for clients, and trying to keep the work flowing.

How do people find the time to be an app maven?

I need to learn video production, podcasting, how to install plug ins on my sidebar, manage my blog’s API, and read everyone’s books.

Would learning an app really enhance my productivity? Yesterday, in a frantic search for a new tweet chat tool, I turned to OneQube, a product of Internet Media Labs. While the tweets got sent, the stream never loaded so I had to resort to HootSuite for my 90-minutes as guest of #ConnectChat by @ProfNet, and there was a delay significant enough to cause me distress.

Which apps do you really love and use every day? Convince me to see the light!

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Triberr Is Blogger Treasure

Since the earliest days of Triberr, I have been on board. Triberr is one of the best and most-needed blog sharing tools around; in fact, there isn’t any other.

Bloggers can elect to join a tribe of nine bloggers or join multiples of tribes as I have. What happens to the tweet stream, though, when you’re in more than 25 tribes, like me, is chaos. Some of those tribes consist of 100+ members that connect me with 5 million folks? (Don’t think that’s really true, but OK.)

121217- Digging Into Triberr

121217- Digging Into Triberr (Photo credit: Rogier Noort)

Sound stupid? I agree, of course, but there is a method to my madness and insatiable thirst for knowledge and curiosity.

I have received several direct communications via Twitter and someone even filled out my WuFoo contact form that my tweet stream is too full of retweets. It has become annoying because of the quantity of content loading into my stream. I was asked to set up another Twitter account for retweets of Triberr content (which is totally impossible due to the RSS feed, branding and outreach). Others have said how boring it is to see the same tweet from a variety of bloggers (they’re obviously in the same tribe).

I understand all of the concerns from the folks who are not professional bloggers and who don’t realize the merits of Triberr.  I’m going to share why I continue to accept tribe invites and why I pay $10 monthly to Triberr so I can share more blog content faster. Besides, for any platform the likes of Triberr, they deserve my $120 annually to continue to innovate at the speed they have for the last three years.

Reasons Why Triberr Matters

  •  Founders. As I’ve joked with Dino Dogan, founder and front man of Triberr, the fledgling company is like Two Men and a Truck. They fly by the seat of their pants, but anytime you speak with Dino or Dan Cristo, the energy to innovate is palpable. I’m including a link here for my Soulati Media On The Street chat with Dino Dogan at Social Slam in April. Energy? Uh-huh.
  • Innovation. In the three years since the launch of Triberr, back when Dino and Danny Brown were gaming Klout with sheep (yes, that really happened), Triberr has launched about a dozen new tools to help bloggers automate shares. And, that word “automate?” In this case it’s not cuss.
  • Tribes. Being in multiple tribes means you comb for the cream of the crop.  You can mute bloggers not in your genre, and you can meet new bloggers publishing leading content. You can also launch and join an atomic tribe; one blogger with unlimited followers. I have learned so much from my peers on the ‘sphere, and the only way I can reasonably do that is via Triberr. I save productivity time being on one platform with ~500 bloggers at my fingertips on a given day.
  • Reader. Triberr has become my new reader. You see folks on the quest to find the next best Reader after the demise of Google’s and the migration to Feedly. Triberr works wonders for me; not sure I’m going to find any other blogger not already in a tribe I belong to. In fact, if I do, they get an invite to join my tribe.
  • Content. A newer feature called reblogging allows bloggers to republish content from another’s blog with the original author featured. This is one aspect of Triberr I don’t yet care for; when I read peoples’ blogs, I want to read their content primarily. If I see only reblogs happening 90% of the time, I’m discouraged visiting. For bloggers who want to post more frequently and don’t have time to post consistently, then re-blogging works; just not for me. I reserve the right to change my mind.
  • Reading. I love being able to read blogs from Triberr without going anywhere. I can quickly scan and see if the content is worthy of going to the blog and leaving deeper tracks. This has helped me be more share aware; there are so many who still say, “don’t share unless you read first.” That’s one issue for me being in so many tribes; I can’t read everything and have to trust the authors’ credibility which I’ve vetted already once they’re in my stream the first time.
  • Commenting. The new Triberr dashboard now allows easier reading of blog posts right on Triberr without having to go to a blog. What this means is not good for bloggers (because traffic isn’t recorded on the blog), but it is convenient for readers and tribe mates. An email comes alerting me that someone commented on my blog on Triberr. Comments are up 50% since the guys fixed all the glitches. I have seen some bloggers using the Triberr comment system along with another system like Google. Interesting.
  • Content Marketing. The best reason to use Triberr is to review the content and topics others are writing about and with what angle. It helps to know what’s new and trending and it also provides fodder for your own writing.  Topics can get pretty boring quickly when you see all the bloggers writing on Facebook hashtags and photos in comments, for example. That’s when I have to select one only and ignore the rest. It becomes an echo chamber and I know my Twitter followers don’t want that.
  • Shares. Shares are down with Triberr. Even with the ridiculous numbers of tribes I’m in, I have fewer shares of my blog content. Regardless, without Triberr (when it was down for an extended period), traffic is nearly zilch.

 When you add up all of the above, bloggers need Triberr. For those on the receiving end of the tweet stream for bloggers in massive numbers of tribes, patience is the virtue. It’s my responsibility to share my tribe mates content; in fact, if I don’t, they don’t share mine. So, I apologize to all of you not blogging and invite you into my tribe so you can experience what I’ve just shared.

 

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Soulati Media On The Street: Why Conferences IRL Matter

randy-bowden.jpgSoulati Media On The Street brings Randy Bowden, of Bowden 2 Bowden Marketing, to the screen from the New South Digital Marketing Conference May 17, 2013 in Myrtle Beach.

Randy makes it his goal to attend as many conferences within driving distance as possible. Why? You can find that answer right here when you listen to Randy’s answer as Jayme tries to act a bit southern and fails.

Meanwhile, don’t miss Randy blogging right here and also his own foray into G+ hangouts on “Marketer 2 Marketer” where he just featured two prominent influencers, Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella, who just published their book, Influence Marketing!

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We’re Drowning In Marketing

It’s daunting being a marketer these days. The lexicon in how we market has widened into an array of confusing methods to attract better brand positioning, growth, ROI, influencer authority, social this and that, and consumer loyalty.

The latest favorite is influencer marketing. Last week on this blog, we took an angular look at Google+, Google Authorship and Influence Marketing.

Buy Influencer Marketing Books

Several books written by peers in my own social circles are must reads to keep us thinking strategically and visionary.

You may pre-order Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing (Que Biz-Tech) written by Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella.

Influence-Marketing-BookThey have been writing it up with a large amount of content on blogs, Google+ Communities, and in comments all over. It promises to be a must-buy and read.

 

 

Meanwhile, a dear colleague of mine, Mark W. Schaefer, has written a quick read,Return on Influence, The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing, his second book that has hit the corporate world (IBM recently bought 500 copies) and the social media sector by storm.

Mark-Schaefer-BookBecause I know all three of these peeps and vouch for their own cred and influence, you ought to consider purchasing these books for your reading pleasure.

Now, back to the topic at hand…If some marketers think they’re drowning, how does a company cope with that?

Does every marketing team need to know every aspect of marketing, or can they learn in a steady trickle?

The good news is, everyone is in the same boat absorbing knowledge and learning new tactics at the same time. How marketers execute on these evolving techniques is how one differentiates.

Here are my thoughts on how companies should stay the course with these basics and never mind the marketing buzz until prepared to address them head on:

Five Marketing Basics

1. Set up a solid team of people with the right mix of marketing for various types of organizations, someone in PR, another knows email and inbound marketing, a copywriter, a social media enthusiast, and someone familiar with advertising for all media.

2. Assess and solidify brand and dust off that mission statement! It’s critical to revisit this to ensure the company is growing in alignment with founders’ goals and vision.

3. Hire Jayme Soulati (shameless, I know) to do your message mapping exercise. No matter if your company is established or just starting, message mapping charts your company’s communication course.

4. Build a responsive website. I’m not talking about a website that looks good on a mobile device; I’m talking about a scalable site that conforms to smart devices and positions calls to action and contact information on the top of the screen followed by all the rest of the goodies. When your company keeps a website that requires visitors to slide windows back and forth, then the message you’re sending is pretty much, “We just don’t care.”

5. Pay attention to social media and engage already. You have to; you just do. In this post-social media adoption era, there are still companies without the basics in place. Companies owe it to consumers to connect via social media channels. If all we get is a direct mail coupon with no other channel, that is grounds for negative online reputation.

Confused about any of the above? Please ask me, I’m right here.

By Jayme Soulati

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