Planning for 2016 Success Using Your Google Calendar

Hello again –

This is an update on the very successful 2015 version with a few added insights into living a calendar-based life.

  • How to use goal-gating to be more productive in 2016
  • How to use your own Google Calendar to organize all your projects for the year
  • How to dissolve those internal blocks to living a calendar-based life.
  • Learn time management techniques you can put into play right away.

 

And as an extra bonus –

Here’s a fun interview with two of my favorite people from Australia; Loren Bartley and Fiona Redding where we deep dive into this whole idea of living a calendar-based life. I think you’ll enjoy it when Loren has a great AHA moment. 

 

2016 Predictions with Phyllis Khare and Andrea Vahl | #blab Audio Version

I went back and checked.

 

I’ve been offering up predictions for the upcoming year since Dec. 2011. In Internet years that’s 50 years (5 x 10 speed of light – 50) Yes, I was an A+ student, except for Math :-)

Here are my previous predictions, if you want a little trip down memory lane (ELLO anyone?).

2012  2013  2014  2015 and now this one for 2016

Our Predictions for 2016

Andrea Vahl and I sat down for blab, this time around, for our predictions. You can read her post about the blab right here.

We narrowed it down to seven predictions:

#1 Streaming Video Use Will Increase
#2 Facebook Live Will Change the Game
#3 Facebook is Still Where It’s At
#4 Podcasting will Grow
#5 More Companies will Reach Out to Influencers for Marketing
#6 Audiences Get Smaller But Are Engaged
#7 Online Training Isn’t Going Away

Andrea really expanded our discussion on each of these ideas, and I highly recommend you read through her post noted above.

I’d like to dive into this idea: Online Training Isn’t Going Away. 

I’m kinda banking on it.

Andrea and I recently sent out a POLL to everyone on our list and hundreds completed it. And surprise surprise surprise. What the number one way people prefer to get more information about a subject? eBooks. What? Not webinars and blabs and blog posts and podcasts? eBooks. OK. I can do that. One other thing I want to share from that POLL is that people really prefer online training with lifetime access. Well, that’s the reason we designed our Social Media Manager School  the way we did. Lifetime access creates lifetime fans. 

Knowing these two things, and in looking at our predictions, my personal goal for 2016 is to focus on my online training programs. I have so much to share.

Enjoy the audio version of our blab – it’s a little experiment into the podcasting arena. Do you like hearing us discuss these types of topics in audio format? Love to hear your impressions. 

The cool thing about posting a Soundcloud audio, is you can share JUST the audio from within the player above (see that share link?). Or PIN this whole post using the image below. Thanks! See you in 2016!

2016 Online Marketing Predictions from Phyllis Khare and Andrea Vahl

Giving You What You Want — 7 Years Later

Phyllis Khare

Seven Years Ago…

Nobody online knew who I was… including YOU!

 

Since then I’ve written two “Dummies” books, been featured on high profile blogs and training programs, and listed on all sorts of cool Twitter lists for Authors. ALL because of the wonderful connections and friendships I am honored to experience.

I’ve also, with the fantastic partnership with Andrea Vahl, built the Social Media Manager School (in its 4th year) and the Social Media Managers Directory (NEW).

I took the hard lessons I learned about time management, packaged all that up in TimeBliss.ME, and shared it with the world (with some raving fans!).

((Hang with me – there’s a very personal reason I’m tooting my own horn))

I’ve either enjoyed personally, or been a part of, several 6-figure online launches. I’ve been in front and behind the camera on so many marketing videos and programs I’ve almost lost count, AND I have several other amazing gizmos and programs in the works for 2015!

 

But here’s the deal – Someone asks me a question like this almost every day:

“How did they do that?”

 

They want to know how their industry peers and competitors organized their email capture, which system they used for video editing, which landing page theme did they use, how are they recording their webinars, and about a hundred other very specific questions about tech, marketing tools, and processes.

I also get asked how to set up a sales funnel for specific industries, how to do “re-targeting ads” in Facebook, how to plan a book launch or product launch, how to organize a blogging schedule and how to utilize the best keywords.

 

Guess What?

I have answers for all of those
(and about a zillion other) questions.

 

Do you have important business questions I can answer? 

 

I recently opened an Application for Mentorship in order to help as many people as possible with personal mentorship, consulting, Group Masterminds, and recommendations.

 

There’s so much involved with giving business advice, so I’m very careful when choosing people to coach and mentor. It’s important that we are a good match and I can provide VALUE for where you are – right now – in your business.

I invite you to take a look at the application and see if this is something that can help you push forward in your business this year.

P.S. That happy image of me above is from the last day of a workshop I gave for the David Lynch M.A. in Film students on how to build a social platform. Yes, I teach at the University level, too. I love it. Got a college or University program I need to contact? Let me know by using my contact form or through any of my social accounts. Thanks!

2015 Predictions and a Few Opinions on Facebook, Ello, tsu, MeWe and Online Marketing

Phyllis Khare

Looks like I have a little history with the “prediction” posts. I wrote my first one in Dec. 2011 and posted it in Jan. 2012. It wasn’t much to read and was more of a curated list of other people’s work. The second prediction post was posted in Dec. 2012 and I tried to be a bit silly with saying I got it all from a psychic grandma. I guess I wasn’t feeling so bold that year… And then in Dec. of 2013 I got a little more professional about the whole process. I consider my 2014 prediction post my first real post about the future of online marketing. THIS year I think I want to make a small “prediction” and then tell you how I feel about a whole slew of topics.

 

This is what I predicted LAST year…

2014 WILL BE THE YEAR OF… REARRANGING.

Yeah, not so snappy, but I think people and businesses will be examining their time and attention — and MONEY — and rearrange where they spend those precious commodities. 

 

Turns out this is exactly the current topic of countless conversations on the future of Facebook for businesses. I think it’s a mixed bag on Facebook right now. There are certainly things that work for promoting your good products and services and causes, but you’ll have to pay for that exposure now. I think Facebook is very clear on what they think about online marketers. Pay to Play baby. So, the topic of “rearranging” is certainly in the air at the end of 2014. Many businesses and managers are rearranging where they are putting their marketing time and attention. They are trying to find that holy grail of free advertising that Facebook provided for so many years – somewhere else. 

 


 

 

My Prediction for 2015!

2015 will be the Year of… Exploring!

 

In many ways, this is just a continuation of last year’s prediction. I think leading-edge social media managers will be scouting new ways to provide exposure and connection in places other than Facebook in 2015. If you know me at all – you know I certainly have opinions about everything. I always try to stay educated and current on as many topics as possible, but I usually have some gut feeling about certain topics that just need to be expressed. And here are those gut feelings  — in no particular order.

 

 

Facebook

Everybody wants to know what everybody else thinks about Facebook. What do YOU think about it? What’s the first social site YOU look at all blurry eyed first thing in the morning? I was on a panel in a room of 500 women and when I asked that question — 90% said Facebook even though this was a conference about Pinterest! It’s an addiction we can’t seem to give up.

Those who have shed the Facebook addiction end up on G+ – proud and relieved. Even using all the tricks of the trade: Interest Lists, timers, only visiting Groups, and removing the app from my phone… it’s still the stickiest, most time-sucking social site on the planet. I hear the young people are leaving in droves. I wonder when the people of my generation will follow? Do they have the will to try something new? And I’m not talking about tsu and ello.

This is what I think will happen in 2015 with Facebook: Every 6 weeks something will change – something will “roll-out” and some people will be upset about it. That’s one of those “duh” predictions, as that’s Facebook’s pattern for the last two years. I do think Facebook will become many different things – continuing the trend it’s on with Messenger, and the Groups app. The ease of purchasing from within a post will be GOLD for marketers IF they can figure out how to get their posts in your newsfeed. I’m SURE marketers will be spending loads of money on newsfeed ads (just like they are right now). Start saving your advertising dollars now – you’re going to need it as the second wave of marketers take the guru’s advice and try their hand at Facebook ads. Which means vying for eyeballs will cost more money.

I don’t want you to think I completely dislike Facebook. I have said many times I have a love/hate relationship with the beast. The LOVE part is simple. The people I have met, the people I care about, the people I want to help, the people who care about me — that’s the soul of Facebook – and that bit I love. The hate part is how Facebook seems to gloss over the needs of the small business person in many of the changes they’ve brought on in the last few years. I used to jokingly say that Facebook didn’t have a real business person on their development team. I still think that. They seem out of touch. Prove me wrong Facebook.

Facebook Gut Feeling: Less posting, more advertising, demographic shift from young women (teens) to older women (boomers)

 

Ello

ello ello ello What can I say about ello? Of course I have a profile there, but do I ever actually GO there and hang out? Nope. And I just checked all my online marketing buddies who were so curious that they opened an account there, too. And guess what? Only ONE person is posting there (once a week) and that is Guy Kawasaki. Everyone else posted 2 or 3 months ago. I see no reason in going there unless Facebook completely disintegrates – and then – well a better choice would be to go to Instagram (more). 

Ello Gut Feeling: they will try one more big launch and then fade away

 

Instagram

I have found myself opening Instagram first thing every day. When you live in Iowa (and the last 30 days have been cold and grey) you have to find images from beautiful places all over the world just to maintain your sanity. Favorites are National Geographic, onderkocaSefa Yamak. And yes, I follow all the social experts there, too, but I prefer the show-me-your-real-life photos of which Chris Brogan is the KING. There are many brands and businesses on Instagram. The ones that show the behind-the-scenes real-life images are (in my opinion) doing Instagram marketing correctly. The ones that show a image of their product hanging on the beach with 30 non-focused hashtags – are not. There is an art to marketing on Instagram – it is NOT Facebook. Please don’t turn Instagram into a mirror of the Facebook newsfeed. Please. 

Instagram Gut Feeling: more users, more active users, more terrible marketing by brands thinking this is Facebook, more in-stream ads, growth of users and growth of complaints

 

tsu

tsu tsu tsu — Gesundheit. :-) I had an account. I asked them to delete it. I feel like there is too much potential for gaming the system with this site. If you don’t know what tsu is – think back many years to Squidoo. Do you remember Squidoo? You created a page on a topic and revenue would be shared from your traffic. Yep – sounds familiar. People worked really hard creating pages that would pull interest. Squidoo is now HubPages and you can still gain income from traffic to your HubPage. So, in so many ways, tsu is nothing new. But it is now styled after a Facebook newsfeed, so there you are – right back to Facebook. 

tsu Gut Feeling: land of the network marketer, goes the way of hubpages, not viable for small businesses

 

MeWe

I really like the POTENTIAL of MeWe. It really could be something cool, but it still has to overcome the invisibility cloak it has developed. This social site is Facebook without the creepy crawl. If you want a complete social site without being targeted for advertising – you now have a home. Or you can just continue to complain about Facebook. Funny how just complaining about Facebook will probably win. Sad.

MeWe Gut Feeling: will continue to get amazing press, will find some good niche markets that need small private group settings

 

Banana Farms in Costa Rica

This is where we all need to be. It’s my way of saying – LOCAL business is where to be. Think about it. I’ve been thinking about it a long time. Maybe 2015 is the year I put my feet directly in the ground and build something new. Join me?

Banana Farm Gut Feeling: more people will either invest in local markets to try to create a kind of urban utopia or start businesses themselves, functional local apps will skyrocket

 

 

My Thoughts about 2015 – In Summary

2015 seems to be setting itself up to be another interesting year for online marketing. Almost everyone I know is looking at every social site and seeing if they should move their time and attention there or not. I think there will be some experimenting and testing on YouTube, G+ and LinkedIn. I know businesses who don’t play on Facebook anymore and still have a profitable experience. I also think “Fusion Marketing” (using traditional marketing with your social media marketing mix) will continue to be explored and put into play.

And like I said at the top of the post…

 

My Prediction for 2015!

2015 will be the Year of… Exploring!

 

 

Click –> Here’s another GREAT LIST of  Predictions for 2015

 

P.S. If you are looking for an easy way to organize your marketing ideas and thoughts around 2015 – you are invited to join me in an a 30-minute training webinar where I show you exactly HOW to get mighty productive in 2015. I’ll see you there?

Webinar | 3 Simple Mindset Adjustments for Increasing Productivity

Phyllis Khare timebliss.me

 

3 Simple Mindset Adjustments

8 Favorite Features of Google Calendar for Entrepreneurs

phyllis khare

I work in an industry that is notorious for burnout and being overwhelmed. Staring at a computer screen for 10-12 hours a day can do that to someone, unless, of course, they are extremely organized. 3 years ago I was not organized and I was deep in the grip of “overwhelm.” I was staying up past midnight trying to finish my work and stressed over the work I still needed to find to pay the bills. It was not fun. And yet I was in an industry I loved and had given me a new start – a new career.

I might need to back up just a bit and tell you about the phone call I got one day in 2011 from my editor at Wiley. She offered me a second book (yay!) for a good amount of money (double-yay!) but I needed to write all 300 pages in the next 30 days (not-yay). Oh no.

For those of you unfamiliar with writing Dummies books, you need to know that it generally takes about 1 hour to write 1 page.  Not only do you have to do the research and write the page, you also have to do the all the formatting. Yes, the formatting. And the Wiley people are very serious about their style and function of each little bullet point and paragraph.

I needed to write 300 pages in 30 days. That’s 10 pages a day = 10 hours of writing per day, every day. And I needed to do this on top of having a day already filed with social media management clients. What to do? Well, at first I dropped into deep pit of “overwhelm.”

That’s when I started to use my Google Calendar in a very specific way. And over the last three years I have developed a way to manage my time so I get things done and I don’t fall into that horrible place again. Google Calendar saved my sanity and allowed me to stay working in this industry… even though that banana farm in Costa Rica still sounds charming…. (right Andrea?).

If you use GCal as a time-management system (instead of “dentist appointment system”) there are many features. My favorite 8 are;
 

1. One calendar or layers of calendars

If you are a solo entrepreneur, you probably only need one calendar. If you have many clients you might want to create a calendar for each client with just their information on it and use it as a journal of your work for them. I highly suggest you turn all of these client calendar layers on and move around the work (see drag and drop below) so there’s no overlapping in the global view. That way you will get more work done with less stress. Trust me on this one. Overlap = overwhelm.
 

2. Color coding

I don’t know about you, but I love color-coding. I have developed a system that works for me. I can quickly scan my calendar and see which things are phone calls, which things are online tasks, and which things involve my home office so I know when to kick out my grandkids. :-)
 

3. Drag and drop and expand or contract

One of the nicest features is the feature to drag and drop these time blocks you create around. You can move them up and down in the day and week view and from day to day in the week and month view. But here’s a tip. If you find yourself moving a time block of a certain task over to the next day and then over again and again. This is your calendar telling you to outsource that task or learn to say NO to those types of tasks. And when you first start to use your calendar you might find you create a time block for 2 hours but it really takes you 4. If you go back to the time block and expand the amount of time it takes up (in the day and week view) your calendar will be teaching you to be more realistic about your time.
 

4. Sharing calendars

This is a great feature if you have multiple clients who want to look over your shoulder and see what you’re doing. Or if have a joint venture, you can put the timeline of the launch on the calendar so everyone knows when everything is supposed to happen. The last function is quite handy in my world. In fact, I transposed a complete mind-map of a product launch into time blocks on a calendar and it made my life so much more relaxed because I knew everything I had to do had a space on the calendar where it would get done. 
 

5. Public calendars

If you want to put one of your calendars, maybe your book signing tour dates for example, on your blog. Just use this function and get the embed code. There’s a lot to this feature, too much for this post, but an excellent feature for many people.
 

6. Multiple types of automatic reminders

This is a big one in my world. Once I start doing something online I pretty much lose track of time. You, too? I have reminders set up for each time block in my calendar. 10 minutes before the next item starts I get a popup notification. It breaks my flow enough to cue me to complete what I’m doing and get ready for the next thing. Or I can go back to the calendar and move things around to make time to complete my current task. These reminders are completely adjustable to suit your brain; email or notifications or both, minutes, days, hours, or weeks in advance, and on multiple devices!
 

7. Mobile sync

Amen for this integration. This one feature allows me to be out and about when I want and not miss anything.
 

8. Integration with other apps

If you use appointment systems like ScheduleOnce (or any number of systems) having it integrate with one or more of your Google Calendars is a great time saver. You can sync it with your calendar and send the link to your email list for scheduling appointments with you. You don’t even need a third party system for this, but that’s another post for another time.
 
This is the short list of what I consider some of the best features of using Google Calendar. If you are a busy entrepreneur, learning how to use Google Calendar will increase your productivity and give you some powerful lessons in managing your time.

 

If you are still making little To-Do lists (that don’t get done) or if you feel controlled by time (I don’t have enough) or you feel overwhelmed, do yourself a favor and just try this one step: put everything you have to do today on a calendar. Everything. Seriously everything. Create time blocks for each of those things and you’ll see very quickly the realities of time. And then listen to what the calendar is telling you (outsource, say no, give to a team member, learn to let go, go play with your family).

I enjoy this subject immensely, so please feel free to reach out to me. Let’s talk about it. I can’t wait to read your comments!

If you want to dive deeper into using Google Calendar for your own time management woes, check out TimeBliss.ME.

9 Steps to Research a Hashtag BEFORE you use it! {{Checklist}}

Phyllis Khare Andrea Vahl

 

So you think you’ve come up with a fabulous hashtag for a new campaign or want to piggyback on a hashtag you’ve found in a Trending List. WAIT! Better do a little research before you start using it all across the social web. Here’s my personal process for doing the research on hashtags. Download this list to use it right away!
 

RESEARCH

 

Straight-up Google Search
A Google Search on your hashtag will bring up results from Twitter and other social sites, plus great tools that have hashtag search features, like Tagboard. Click through the top 10 items and scan through the rest. If Bing is your thing, then use that search engine for this work.
 
Search Images
Still on that original Google Search results page, click the tab for Images. This might be very eye-opening if you are researching a hashtag that’s been in use for a while. Click an image and see how it’s presented on a website. Remember, you can add hashtags to the ALT text in an image, so that might be the reason an image comes up in the search.
 
Search Twitter
Even though Twitter comes up in the first Google Search, I always go directly to Twitter, too, for the next part of the research. Put the hashtag in the search field once with the # and then without the #. Not only will you see people who are using the hashtag, but also people who have used it in the name of a Twitter List they’ve created. Spend a lot of time researching here, since this might be the social site where you use the hashtag the most.
 
Search Facebook
Use Graph Search on Facebook to see any recent posts that include the hashtag. You can also search for Groups that have the hashtag in the name.
 
Tagboard
Tagboard is one of my favorite places to do a search for a hashtag. It pulls in social posts from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook (if they are Public posts), G+, and Vine. It pulls in text and videos and arranges them in a lovely grid format. The Bonus with THIS site is – if no one is using your hashtag, you can “register” the hashtag and design a page to represent it. Like you see here. You can add a header image, descriptive text, and associate your social accounts. Lovely.
 
TWUBS
If I remember correctly, Twubs has been around the longest in the category of hashtag research and registration. I really love this interface for checking out a new hashtag, registering it, and branding a page for it. There are also live event widgets and a lot more. As far as research goes – try this one.
 
Hashtagify.me
This service is the fanciest system for doing research on hashtag usage. The free portion of this system lets you see related hashtags and the data on influencers that use the hashtags. You can compare hashtags using this system, too. It’s a little techy, so be patient as you explore it. If you are creating a report for a client I would certainly recommend you spend a lot of time here. Try getting the embed codes for some of the dynamic graphs – you will look like a rock star. The paid part of their services is for those of you who specialize in this type of research for clients.
 
Check your Social Dashboard System
In my list of 9 Tools You Need as a Social Media Manager, I talked about having a great social dashboard. More than likely the one you’ve chosen has a built-in search feature for hashtags. Use those built-in systems to do your due diligence before adding that hashtag to your tweets and posts.
 
Urban Slang Dictionary
Yep. Better check there, too. Turns out that the very popular social media marketing hashtag #SMM means something else in a more urban sense…
 
If you go through these simple research steps you should be clear about whether or not to use your desired hashtag. As in all things Internet, you can only be about 80% sure you are in the clear. If you find yourself in trouble for using a hashtag (for example, one that is already in use with someone else’s product or services, or you find yourself using a hashtag that has a different definition that you thought it did), always default to your friendliest self and work through the problem J. Join us over at Social Media Manager School for more on this and all the topics around social media management!
 
 

Client Expectations – a Vital Conversation for Success

I found out about client expectations a long time ago from a very good friend and a former client of mine. I’d like to pass some information along to you. Being one of the co-founders of Social Media Manager School I found that having a real clear client expectation contract is important to work with a new client, even good to have with old clients – to re-circle and come back and have that conversation again.

 

On the Same Page

It’s really important for everybody to be on the same page so to speak for a couple of different topics. So normally I create these videos and I talk about client expectations for solo entrepreneur. But today what I’d like to do is expand it and talk about it if you work with a team. Maybe you work inside a business and you’re doing a social media management work inside that business.

 

Let’s use the team idea and for this I think what I’m going to do is use the example of a social media management team inside of a University.

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