Category Archives: Fostering Ideas Newsletter

Attitude, Not Aptitude, Leads to Altitude

By George Foster, CBC
Chief Executive Officer at Foster Marketing

For those who know me, that’s one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite Zig Ziglar audio tapes, Winner’s Attitude (that shows how long I’ve had it). You can’t get it in CD and a cassette on Amazon can go for anywhere from $20 to $90. Yikes!

Ziglar, one of the best motivational speakers (and thinkers) of all time, passed away in 2012, but his legacy lives on in his courses and digital contributions.

There are many great stories on the cassette which, to their dismay, I made my kids listen to in the car, or what Zig calls Automobile University. One of my favorite anecdotes is Zig’s “Railroad Story” which has been repeated many times and you can find on the Internet.

The Railroad Story

In the 1950s, a crew of railroad workers were repairing track on a sweltering summer afternoon. A train came chugging down the track and pulled off on a side rail. From one of the cars – a special car for the president of the railroad – a window flew open and a voice shouted out, “Dave! Dave Anderson, is that you?”

It was; and, in fact, Dave Anderson was in charge of the work crew. “Yeah, Jim, it’s me,” he shouted back. The man on the train, Jim Murphy, yelled out, “Well, come on over here and let’s chat a while.”

So, Dave Anderson stopped what he’d been doing and joined Jim Murphy in his private air-conditioned railroad car for almost an hour, no doubt happy to get out of the broiling sun. When the conversation ended, he made his way back to his crew working on the track. The flabbergasted crew stared at him in utter shock and said something to the effect of, “That was Jim Murphy, the president of the railroad.”

“Yup, it sure was,” Anderson said.

They all gathered around and excitedly wanted to know how Dave knew Jim Murphy, the president of the railroad, to say nothing about how he got to be such good buddies with the man and on a first-name basis to boot!

Dave explained: “Well, it’s quite simple — when I started with the railroad over 20 years ago, Jim Murphy started at the same time; we’ve been pals ever since.”

Now the crew was even more astonished as much as they were confused. They wanted to know how it is that Dave and Jim Murphy started working for the railroad at the same time and Murphy rose to such dizzying heights while old Dave is still working on the track in the hot sun. How in God’s name did that happen?

Dave looked wistfully up into the sky and said, “A little over 20 years ago Jim Murphy went to work for the railroad; I went to work for a $1.75 an hour.”

What about you? What are you working for? Are you working for a pay check or a career? What are your goals? Are they ordinary or are they extraordinary? Better yet, are they outrageously extraordinary? I like this quote from an unknown source: “If you don’t have a dream that is so outrageous that you couldn’t possibly succeed unless God Himself puts in a personal appearance, you’re not alive.”

Everyone Needs a Jollytologist

My favorite answer when people ask how I’m doing is that, “if I were any better I’d be in Heaven.” You’d be amazed at the reaction that gets. That’s taking a good attitude to a new level.

Allen Klein, a self-proclaimed “Jollytologist,” has made his life’s work a mission to help people lighten up and get more happiness and joy in their life. Klein is a firm believer in the power of words – that positive words can lift our spirits while negative words can bring us down.

He says if you don’t believe that, just say the following words out loud and see how you feel after you’ve recited them: angry, upset, miserable, sad, tearful, despondent, discouraged, depressed.

Then say these words, either to yourself or out loud: cheerful, happy, joyous, jolly, exuberant, elated, overjoyed, euphoric.

Any difference? Perhaps it was a subtle one, and maybe for only a moment, but there probably was a change in your tone of voice, your mood, or the expression on your face.

If the words we speak or the thoughts we think can alter the way we react to the world, then it is important to keep them positive if we are seeking to be happier, he says.

Are You Kicking the Cat?

Nothing represents that more than another favorite story from Zig’s Winning Attitude, in fact the first one on the tape. Here is a paraphrased version of the story.

Mr. B was the top dog at a very large company. He’d just had a meeting with his staff about being on time, but sure enough one morning soon after he looked at his watch and realized he was going to be late for work.

He jumped in his car, threw it in reverse and burned rubber leaving the driveway. As he sped down the highway, he looked in his rear-view mirror. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the flashing lights. He pulled over and rolled down his window.

“Where are you going in such a hurry,” the officer asked. “I’m late for work,” he replied abruptly as the officer handed him a ticket.

That made Mr. B even hotter. “Shouldn’t you be chasing real criminals and leave me alone?” he asked the officer.

He was really late now. When he got to work, the first person he saw was his sales manager.

“Good morning, Mr. B,” said the sales manager with a smile.

“There’s nothing good about it,” barked Mr. B, “I want to see you in my office NOW!”

As Mr. B threw his coat down on the couch, he yelled at the sales manager, “You fell short of your goal last week for the second week in a row. I want to know what you’re going to do to get back on track and I want to know now.”

“Mr. B,” the sales manager objected, “We just talked about this yesterday. We have four big deals. Any one of them will put us over the top and I’m sure we’ll get at least one of them.”

“I’ll believe it when I see the reports. Get ‘em now,” Mr. B blurted out.

The bewildered sales manager walked back to his office. When he got there, the first person he saw was his assistant. He screamed at her to get the reports. She was busy so she yelled at the receptionist to get them done. And, she did.

When the receptionist got home, the first person she saw was her 12-year-old son and noticed he had a tear in his brand-new jeans. She yelled at him and sent him to his room. “I was just out mowing the yard,” he said.

On the way to his room, he saw the family cat laying on the floor. He kicked that cat out of the way!

So, here’s the question: Wouldn’t it have been much better, for everyone involved, if Mr. B had just gone directly to the receptionist’s house and kicked the cat himself?

And here’s an even more important question: Whose cat are you kicking?

This story, maybe more than any other Ziglar story, hit home with my kids from Automobile University. Any time I’d fuss at them, they’d ask: “Dad, who’s kicking your cat?”

That thought-provoking question slowed down a lot of anger.

As we start the New Year, hopefully everybody will have a positive attitude adjustment at work and a cat-kicking free environment at home. At Foster Marketing, I think you’ll find a bunch of high altitude, great attitude employees. Call us.

For more from Zig Ziglar, click on the following link for one of his attitude presentations. It’s an hour but well worth a listen: Developing and Maintaining the Right Attitude.

Contact Us

To meet with Foster Marketing and learn more about how we can help grow your business, call 281-448-3435 or email us today.

9 Helpful Tips for Mastering Trade Shows on a Budget

By Lindsay Bechtel
Account Executive & Event Coordinator  at Foster Marketing

Trade shows are the only place that can get you face-to-face in front of a pre-qualified audience, but they are also a huge challenge to budget for, with hidden fees and variables outside of your control. After handling trade show coordination for clients for more than three decades, the event coordination team at Foster Marketing has created a list of nine things to consider to help stay in budget.
 

1. Plan Early 

This can be a challenge as sometimes you do not have approval to participate until the last minute, but getting started early will always save you more money.

  • Booth Space: Book booth space as early as possible to capitalize on early bird discounts. It also allows you to get positioned in the best locations on the floor plan.
  • Travel & Logistics: Depending on the show, sometimes show management negotiates rates with various airlines and hotels to entice attendees to come to their event.
  • Groups: Sometimes group bookings offer less expensive rates, but definitely need to beware of strict cancellation policies.
  • Show Services: Contractors at events typically have a discount deadline in place for furnishings, parking passes, electrical, etc. to help them plan early for the show.
  • New Booth: Be sure to design your booth and graphics far enough in advance to avoid rush charges.
     

2. Booth Design

Be forward-thinking when it is time to begin designing a booth.

  • Rent vs Purchase: If you plan to use your booth more than three times, it is more cost-effective to purchase than to rent.
  • Size: Modular booths give you multiple sizing options and flexibility to have different layouts depending on the event. For instance, purchasing a 10×30 booth that can be broken down into a 10×20 and 10×10 saves you money in the long run.
  • Graphics – Fabric graphics have come a long way since they were first introduced to the market. They offer a lightweight, cost-effective alternative to other materials and because of the lower cost to reprint, it enables you to customize your message each show without a huge investment.
     

3. Furnishings

Below are some easy ways to save hundreds of dollars at each show.

  • Invest – Purchase flooring, tables, chairs, etc. at a fraction of the cost of renting each show.
  • Electrical – Rent an electrical outlet, but bring your own extension cord and run it to other areas that need power if you can.
  • Cleaning – Purchase your own vacuum to save on cleaning fees. 

4. Shipping

Being intentional with your shipping can offer significant cost savings at each event.

  • Cost Sharing – Ship on the same truck as other booths to split the cost.
  • Destination – Research rates provided by the general contractor and determine if it is cheaper to ship to their advanced warehouse or directly to show site.
  • Delivery – Although not always in your control, do your best to time your delivery to unload and reload on straight time vs. overtime.
  • Hanging Sign – We recommend shipping a hanging sign early to ensure it is delivered to the booth first and gives you the best chance of it getting hung on straight time.
  • Flooring – If you’ve invested in a new booth and construction is running behind, ship your carpet early so it gives your labor team something to work on while you wait for your booth to arrive.
     

5. Drayage/Materials Handling

These terms are used interchangeably. General contractors charge this fee to all exhibitors for the transportation of your crates to and from your booth during the show and are calculated by hundredweight. Weight matters, so use these tips to help keep these fees manageable.

  • Structure – Designing a booth structure and storage crates with lightweight materials is going to save you thousands of dollars at each show.
  • Machinery – Sending heavy equipment to a show? Check to see if the general contractor offers “Machinery Handling” rates which are lower than the booth material handling rates.
  • Models – A cost effective alternative to sending heavy equipment is to invest in a light weight model which saves both on drayage and rigging charges.
     

6. Labor

Strategically hiring and timing your labor is key to helping stay within budget.

  • Local – Hire local labor along with a supervisor that knows the booth and assembly to eliminate the learning curve. Choosing to avoid sending someone who knows the booth can actually end up costing you more for inevitable trial and error.
  • Early – Request early move-in if you know there is a chance your labor team may need to finish the booth on overtime.
  • Timing – Consider hiring labor to start a couple hours after setup officially begins in case it takes the general contractor extra time to get your crates to your booth.

7. Collateral & Promotional Items

Don’t let brochures and giveaways be a last-minute decision. Planning ahead can save a considerable amount of money.

  • Bulk – Purchase in bulk to last the entire year and pay less per item with the volume discount.
  • Carry – Bring brochures and promotional items with you in a suitcase as opposed to paying for shipping.
  • Alternatives – Saving brochures on USBs to hand out or sending brochure files digitally in a follow up email allows you to save on printing costs.
     

8. Presentations

In-booth presentations are a great way to communicate your message and capture the attention of attendees, but you don’t have to break the bank!

  • Platforms – There are plenty of options out there to create compelling videos with price tags all over the map. Great presentations don’t have to be expensive – sometimes PowerPoint slides with strong imagery, movement and messaging can capture the same result. Identifying clear objectives and budget will help narrow down to find the best solution.
  • USB – Have a presentation running on a TV in your booth? Try running it off of a USB to save on the rental of a laptop and avoid unsightly wires connecting the two.  
     

9. Travel & Logistics

Travel expenses can add up quickly if you do not plan ahead.  

  • Vehicle – Research ahead of time to see if it is more cost-effective to hire an Uber or taxi as opposed to renting a car.
  • Meals – Attend networking events where food is going to be served to help you spend less on food while you’re there, while also building your network.
  • Location – Stay in a hotel within walking distance to the venue to save on parking.
  • Libations – Drinks with clients? Research places with good happy hour options.
  • Packing – Try to pack strategically in effort not to pay for luggage on a flight.
  • Water – Venues are notorious for charging high rates for water. Be sure to bring a reusable bottle to refill from a water fountain.

Trade shows are great, target-rich environments, but costs can easily get out of control if you are not strategic, intentional, forward-thinking and willing to put in the time and do the research. Starting early and considering everything from the booth design, furnishings, shipping, and materials handling to labor, collateral, giveaways, presentations, travel and logistics will help put you in the best position to keep your budget in check. 

Need help with your next trade show booth? We can help. Call us today at 281-448-3435

Tapping into Media Minds: Tips to Sell Your Story to an Industry Publication

By Anna Scordos
Public Relations Account Executive at Foster Marketing

Your company is doing great things. You just developed a new technological innovation that is a step change for the industry. Or, you just got the results back from a field trial on your new equipment and the client is extremely pleased. Or, your amazing team of forward-thinkers has come up with a new and improved way of approaching problems that have foxed and foiled other industry players for decades.
 
You’re proud of what your colleagues and your company are achieving. But this isn’t the time for only quiet congratulations amongst them. If you want your clients to be assured that they’re working with an innovative company; if you want potential clients to give you a call; if you want your competitors to break a little sweat, then you need to recognize where the story is and shout it from the rooftops. Luckily, the media are there to help you do just that. But, in such a noisy environment, sometimes you need to fight to be heard.


Here are 10 tips to make sure that the media has the confidence to share your story:

1. Know the Publication

Magazines, journals, e-news – they’re all basically the same, right? Wrong. Not all publications are created equal. Some employ in-house journalists to write their stories, some only accept by-lined copy provided by you as a company. Some are looking for in-depth pieces, others are looking for short snippets. Aside from these creative differences, it’s important for you to know the readership of the publication (and the publication’s reputation), before you commit the time and effort to collaborating with them.
 

2. Know the Editor(s)

The editor is the gatekeeper of the publication and gets the final say on the inclusion of every word that makes it into print. It’s therefore very important to develop and nurture relationships with editorial representatives from the publications that most closely align with your intended audience. Once the editor knows who you are and understands your business (and is suitably impressed by the industry-enhancing advancements you must share) they are more likely to trust that future stories won’t be a waste of their valuable time.
 

3. Understand Their Objectives

Publications are businesses too, and their objectives are usually twofold: to disseminate newsworthy information and to make money. Some turn a profit from limiting access to editorial content via paid subscriptions. Others profit from the sales of advertisements. When “selling” or promoting a story, make sure it really would be considered “newsworthy” to an industry circle significantly wider than your own company – people may be paying to read it or paying to advertise next to it.
 

4. Prepare a Concise Abstract

Editors are called “editors” for a reason – they prefer brevity. In a publication, space is money and word counts rule. It is not a place to be verbose. In your initial pitch, prove to the editor from the get-go that you will not cause them a headache in the editing process. Prepare a succinct abstract of what you wish to write about: a couple of sentences to demonstrate industry context, a short summary of the “core” of the story and spell out why readers will be interested. 
 

5. Talk About Success

Aside from the fact that nobody likes a Debbie Downer, be aware that people read industry publications to learn how to improve their businesses and operations. Emphasize, wherever possible, success stories or case histories, and it will not only portray your company in a more favorable light, it will generate more readers keen to learn something from your article.
 

6. Stay Objective

In this day and age, readers are savvy when it comes to detecting vaguely disguised advertisements. Articles will usually be vigorously vetted to remove any language that betrays that the author is biased. The place for advertising is in a paid-for ad. A well-written, objective article that reports technical achievements rooted in supporting case studies is a far more sophisticated form of company promotion, in any case.
 

7. Communicate Value

The story represents a great success for your company, but so what? You need to make it clear to the editor and the potential reader how your success can be their success – how your innovation stands to benefit the reader in their operations in the Gulf of Mexico; how what you learned in your field trials has saved the reader from making a mistake in their upcoming operations in West Africa; how working with your team will save them time and money in the long run.
 

8. Be Relevant and Timely

News gets old, fast. As soon as you have the kernel of a great news story that is relevant to a current industry problem, it pays to let a communications expert like Foster Marketing know, so we can guide you into crafting the full story and getting the word out and funnelled into the right channels, quickly.  
 

9. Be Trustworthy

Publishing an article is a great way to position your company as a respected industry thought-leader, but a quick way to hurt your integrity is if the story isn’t accurate or the facts exaggerated. Whatever you do, make sure that every part of the story is verified, and that you would be happy to field any questions arising as a result of it.  

 

10. Be Appreciative!

There are a lot of companies vying for the attention of the media, and a lot of them are doing great things that are worth talking about. Each publication has a finite amount of space to allocate, so it can be quite an honor to score a spot for your story. It always helps to personally let the editor know that you appreciate them lending you their support.

Anna is based in the U.K. and has a wealth of industry experience gained as an editor with various global oil and gas industry publications, including magazines such as Oilfield Technology and LNG Industry and online publications such as EnergyGlobal.com and WorldCement.com.

Need help with your next technical article or other communications efforts? We can help. Call us today at 281-448-3435.

Staying on Track: An Athlete’s Approach Works Well in Marketing

By Beau Robinson
Intern at Foster Marketing

Being a student-athlete requires dedication and drive as well as balancing the demands of a full-time class schedule, practice, workouts, studying and, in many cases, a job. All the lessons student-athletes learn in their collegiate experience make them perfect candidates for the workforce and, more specifically, a career in marketing.

There are many similarities between life as a student-athlete and a marketer – and a few lessons to be learned:

Time Management

There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day. What exactly do those numbers mean? It means that in a typical 8-hour workday (accounting for an hour lunch break), there are only 25,200 seconds to get your work done, and it is important that you take advantage of every second.  While that might seem like a lot, fragments of a second have determined Olympic champions. A few seconds here and there can eventually add up to a much bigger chunk of time. 

Time never freezes, but we can agree that time is limited. Managing time efficiently can yield major benefits in life; not only for a student-athlete, but also for a marketer. And, with a million things on your schedule, time is of the essence. 

Everyone has heard the saying “time flies when you’re having fun,” and while true, an even more accurate statement would be “time flies when you have a lot to get done.” Time will not stop for you, so don’t lose the battle without a fight. Student-athletes don’t have much leeway on extra time, just like the typical marketer, so they must learn how to use it effectively.

Prioritize: What is the most important task at hand? Taking care of first things first will allow you to spend the necessary time not only to complete it, but to improve the quality of your work. If it is important, it should have your primary focus.

Hit the deadline: Deadlines must be met. Planning to stay ahead of your deadlines by prioritizing tasks will save you the stress of trying to catch up later.

Never Be Idle: Procrastination might offer you temporary relief, but it will hurt you in the long run. The hardest part of finishing a task is starting it. So, get to work!

Take a Deep Breath and Set Your Own Pace: If there is an avalanche of tasks to be completed and you are having trouble digging yourself out, remember this; it took Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay seven weeks to make it to the top of Mount Everest and they were no less successful for taking that long.

A Good Attitude Is an X-Factor

A good attitude is essential on the playing field and in the workplace. 

Be a Team Player: You won’t be successful without teamwork – whether the team is on a court or field or coworkers and clients. There are many moving parts that come together to make a team successful – none of which are more important than the other. 

Failing Isn’t Always Negative: You will learn more from the things you do wrong than the things that you do right. Not everything is going to run smoothly; in fact, a lot of the time it won’t. Use it as a learning experience instead of kicking yourself for it.

Bring Positive Energy: Optimism will affect others around you as well as yourself. A stressful and time-consuming task will be much more enjoyable if you approach it with positive energy. Appreciate the opportunity to be trusted with a task and challenge and run with it.

Work Ethic

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: We have all had to take on tasks we weren’t familiar with or comfortable doing. Tasks that challenge us to better our skills and expand our experience create a better-rounded person; so, take the initiative and work toward improving your skills – especially if it is something you didn’t consider a strength. Turn your weaknesses into your strengths.

Be Confident: You can do it, and you know you can do it. Confidence is key. Student-athletes and marketing managers alike must go into their work with confidence to be successful.

Pushing Past Your Limits: Limits are only as high as the barriers you set. Even you can surprise yourself. It was once thought that it was humanly impossible to run a mile under four minutes – until Roger Bannister did it on May 6, 1954.

Be Competitive and Accountable: In both sports and marketing, competitiveness will only improve the quality of your performance. Holding yourself accountable for the tasks you must complete can help you find extra motivation to finish on time and enhance the quality of your work.

Take Pride: This is something that we all have experienced. We work on a project for a long time and can look at the finished product and be proud of it. You should be proud of all the work that you do; if you’re not, then you probably didn’t do it to the best of your ability. 

Goal Setting

Goal setting is the blueprint to success. You might be able to cook without a recipe, but a recipe makes cooking a lot easier. Goal setting works the same way. Setting goals for yourself and the projects that are ahead improves focus, motivation, sense of achievement and helps clarify the desired outcome.

Plan the Work, Work the Plan – With Flexibility: Yes, a plan is extremely important, but things don’t always go according to plan. If you must stray from your plan, don’t panic. Adaptability is important when you’re setting goals for yourself. 

Be Patient: The road to success can be a long one with many hurdles in your path. You must trust the process. Your hard work and determination will be rewarded.

Whether you are a company owner, marketer or a student-athlete, sometimes it feels as if the number of tasks on your to-do list outweigh the time you have. If you find yourself lacking the time to successfully tackle your marketing to-do list, contact the expert team at Foster Marketing at 337-235-1848. We have been a successful addition to many marketing teams in our more than 37 years of business.

Beau Robinson is an intern in Foster Marketing’s Louisiana office and a student-athlete at UL.

A message from Beau: Once a student athlete’s four years of eligibility are finished, they begin to look for something else to spend their efforts on. Contrary to popular stereotypes about student-athletes, much of that energy gets transferred into their careers. All the lessons that student-athletes learn in their collegiate experience make them perfect candidates for the workforce.

Build Your Personal Social Brand

By Ambika Kashi Singh
Digital Content Coordinator

In a world where everyone from Beyoncé to President Trump is breaking their own news via Instagram and Twitter, building your personal social brand has power. With social media tools easily accessible via multiple platforms, you can Tweet from your phone, Snapchat on your tablet while watching TV or keep in touch with contacts around the world from your desk. 

Building your personal social brand is a valuable and cost-effective method to add to your online presence, allowing you to instantly connect with business contacts, build credibility and exhibit thought leadership as an expert in your field, as well as build trust for your business.
 
Social media should not be an afterthought. Building a personal brand takes commitment – and time. Make a plan for how frequently you will send out messages and engage with your target audience. Being consistent and committed to your social effort will help you build a following.

As you plan, consider what platform will work best for you and the type of messages you will share. Research which platform or platforms are best suited for you, your industry and your voice. Use your social messages strategically and integrate with real-life connections to draw in your target audience.
 
Don’t try to be everywhere at once. LinkedIn is a business must-have, although with 1.86 billion users, Facebook is still the platform with the largest user base. It is useful for reaching very specific audiences and gaining customer feedback and is becoming more and more popular for business networking.

Unless you have compelling visual or video content, you may not need to jump into YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat right away.

Alternatively, if you have mostly visual content or tend to be long-winded, Twitter may not be the best outlet for you. Once you find the best platform for you, be consistent in your post frequency, timing and personal voice. Consistency is key!

Find your niche and work on perfecting it. As with building any brand, the substance and perception of your message is vital. Decide early on what your personal brand should say to people; and with whom you want to engage. As you brainstorm content ideas, keep your personal brand mission and your target audience in mind. Once you get started and begin receiving feedback from followers, you can add different types of content and expand your focus, but always keep your audience in mind. Treat your social content like a conversation with a specific person or group to ensure you engage the right audience and grow your personal social brand. 

Be authentic. In personal branding, it is crucial to let the real you shine. Your connections and followers want to hear from you. Honesty and transparency are highly valued online, and other users can tell the difference. The trend toward live, unfiltered content is proof of this. Use your personality to your advantage. If you’re funny or creative, let your voice come through.

People associate you with your company and are connecting with you online because they consider you to be the expert and want to talk to a real human, rather than a brand.

We all crave human-to-human interaction and, as far as your bottom line is concerned, that is still how sales are made. By engaging in social media on a personal level, beyond your company’s profile, you will take your company’s online presence to the next level.
 
Listen first and be timely. Social media is a powerful source for relevant news and insightful articles. It’s an easy way to stay up to date on what’s going on in your industry because you can choose whom to follow or which specific groups to join. It’s also a space where you should share your accomplishments and what you’ve been working on.

It’s okay to plug yourself or your company as long as you’re also engaging with your business contacts and followers online. Be empathetic, like and share their articles, answer their questions, ask for feedback, start conversations with people you’d like to connect with. Respond to things in a timely manner. Social media is all about an instant give-and-take conversation; that’s how you build a following and make your personal social brand stand out.
 
Connect online and in real life. Networking and attending shows and industry events can help grow your personal social brand. Using a hashtag for an event or show can group your content and help you connect with a specific audience. Like, follow and comment on posts from others in your target audience. These interactions, if done thoughtfully, will likely be reciprocated, and help to boost your online personal brand. If you’re showing thought leadership in your online presence, chances are you will be a more likely candidate to speak and present at shows and events or to give quotes for industry publications as an expert in your field.
 
Build a network and become a thought leader. If you are an expert in your industry and have interesting information and insights to share, LinkedIn or Facebook groups are the perfect places. Seek out a handful of professional groups that are relevant to your target audience and join. Don’t join too many, so that you can actually keep up with them and contribute often.

Mid-size groups (a couple hundred to a thousand members) work best so that your posts are not getting lost in the shuffle, but still reach a sizable group of people. Some professional groups have strict rules about what to post, so be sure to pay attention to that and abide by the rules. Again, be empathetic and engaging.

When appropriate, feel free to share your own ideas, links to articles, blog posts, whitepapers, etc., and ask questions.

If you’re an enigmatic presenter or already have a podcast or webcast in the works, share relevant and interesting audio and videos. You may eventually become a leader within the group. Others will look to you and your personal social brand for expert guidance, and you’ll connect with people you may not have otherwise.
 
Building your personal social brand takes time, but it is a low-cost investment that can be extremely rewarding. With the proper planning, commitment and time dedicated to your personal branding effort, you and your company will reap lasting benefits.

Let Foster Marketing help grow your company’s social media reach. Contact us today. Call us at 281-448-3435.