Last week I posted my answers to the social media questions that members of the Halton-Peel Chapter of Professional Organizers in Canada recently asked me. As promised, this week I’m posting the rest of their questions, along with my answers.
What would be the #1 Social Media tool you would suggest to start with?
The best social media platform for you is the one most used by the people in your target market. Regardless of which one you choose, I strongly believe that a blog should be the hub of all your social media activity. If you devote a lot of time and energy to developing great content for your Facebook page, but all of a sudden Facebook is no longer popular, or your page gets deleted due to some technical glitch, it’s of no value to you. Instead, put all your best content on your blog, where it can remain permanently, and post links to it on your social media accounts.
Is WordPress the best place to blog?
I am a huge fan of WordPress.
Do you post photos onto your blog as well?
Absolutely! Photos not only add visual appeal to your posts, but they make them pinnable on Pinterest. In addition, if there’s an image in your post, a thumbnail will appear when you share a link to your blog posts on Facebook, making it more likely that people will notice it and click on it.
Would you separate your blog from your website? For example, have your business website with your domain and then your blog on WordPress.com?
You can do that, but I highly recommend that you incorporate your blog into a WordPress site on your own hosting account. Because your blog is going to be updated more frequently than your website, that’s what’s going to generate the most traffic. Don’t you want those readers to be as close to the information about your services as possible?
Do you have to pay for using WordPress?
Not exactly. WordPress.com is a free service, but you are limited to the design themes and features they offer. If you want to customize a theme or use your own domain name, you have to pay for a premium account.
Self-hosted WordPress (often referred to as WordPress.org) is free software, but it needs to be installed on a hosting account, which you have to pay for. It is much more powerful, allowing you to choose from a much broader selection of design themes, or even to have your own custom theme designed, and offers a lot more bells and whistles.
For a more detailed explanation, refer to my Website Owner’s Guide for Non-Techies.
What do you blog about?
The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions:
- The organizing products you use most often
- Organizing books you’ve read
- Answers to questions people have asked you in workshops, emails, or consultations
For additional content ideas, check out:
- Blog Energizer’s Blogging Calendar & Planner (free download)
- Professional Organizers Blog Carnival monthly themes
I don’t want to give away too much of my knowledge. What would stop people from using the information and organizing themselves?
Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your expertise! Yes, people hire you because of what you know, but it’s not the only reason. Many people lack the time, energy, or interest to carry out a major organizing project on their own.
Michelle Shaeffer wrote an excellent post about this very topic: Overcoming Secret Blogging Fears: If I Give Away My Secrets and No One Will Hire Me
Do you send out Newsletters?
I don’t do a traditional newsletter, but I do have a mailing list through which people can receive my blog posts by email.
What tool do you suggest?
I really like MailChimp. It’s free if you have less than 2000 subscribers, and you can email them as often as you like at no extra charge. It’s also one of the easiest email systems I’ve ever used.
How does MailChimp make money?
They charge for people with 2000 or more subscribers. If you use the free service, you have to put the MailChimp branding in it, but if you get a paid account, you can remove it. There are also other features available for a small fee.
Can you set up both Newsletters and a blog through MailChimp?
Yes, you can. I have one client who sends out a quarterly newsletter in addition to a monthly summary of her blog posts.
How do you get people sign up for your Newsletter?
You can put a sign-up box on your website and on your Facebook page.
Do you help others to create newsletters?
Yes, I do. In fact, I started offering VA services when I was a professional organizer and another POC member asked me to set up a newsletter for her. I help by designing templates, setting up mailing lists, editing and formatting content, and setting up RSS-to-email campaigns.
What do Virtual Assistants do?
This virtual assistant focuses mainly on blogging – including everything from WordPress installation and theme design (for both websites and blogs), developing an editorial calendar, proofreading and formatting posts, sourcing images, ghost writing – anything to help you promote your business through your blog!
How do you charge for your services?
Prices vary according to the services you require. We offer a variety of WordPress, blogging, and email marketing packages, but we would be happy to customize a package to meet the unique needs of you and your business.
Would you use Go Daddy for building a website?
I don’t recommend using any site building software that is offered by a hosting company. Aside from the limitations, if you decide to change web hosts, there is no way to transfer your site to the new service, so you basically have to start over again from scratch.
Do you know anyone who can help your website to be on the top in web searches?
I am very skeptical of anyone who claims they can get you top ranking in the search engines, as there are just too many factors. Furthermore, with personalization of search results, different sites come up for different users, depending on their browsing history. The best thing to do is keep adding new content to your site, using the keywords that your target market is most likely to enter in the search box.
Do you find QR Codes useful?
I have very little experience with QR codes, but I follow Stephanie True Moss on Twitter, and that’s all she tweets about.
Would you have any comments of benefits and ways of using YouTube?
That’s also beyond my area of expertise, but I know that video is becoming more and more important as a marketing strategy. If you’re interested in speaking engagements, it’s a good way to let people see you in action. Many organizers use it to demonstrate specific organizing products or techniques.
Big thank you to Chapter Secretary Blanka Smetana of Tidy Corners for diligently writing down all of the questions, and to Program Coordinator Michelle O’Sullivan of Saving Spaces for inviting me to speak.
If you have anything to add to my answers, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment! And if you have a question of your own you’d like me to answer in a future blog post, I’d love to hear from you as well.