Should a Holistic Health Coach use a Blog? Twitter? Facebook? Social Media Marketing (and a surprise healthy recipe!)
Book #2: Secrets of Social Media Marketing by Paul Gillin
I went to Barnes and Noble last weekend looking for a book to read for my holistic health coaching business and this blog. I thought to myself, .there are three categories that I need to read about to get myself educated, start a business, and “hack credentials” for becoming a health coach entrepreneur.
The 3 categories are:
1. Social Media- learning about and using all sorts of technology and social media to market myself and make connections
2. Running My Business- the actual practice of coaching others, money management, booking clients, etc.
3. The Actual Health/Nutrition/Wellness Aspect of My Business- learning about the areas that I want to focus on in my practice- cancer patients and survivors will be my main focus, but I also want to become a wellness consultant for corporations and maybe even schools. I also want to coach people who have concerns with weight management, digestive disorders, and time management. This sounds broad, but what can I say? I’m interested in so many things Plus many of them are very interrelated.
Here’s how I currently feel about the 3 categories:
1. Social Media- I’ve had a Facebook account for a while now, but it’s fairly inactive, and, uh, that’s pretty much as far as I’ve gotten. I recently started this blog and opened a twitter account, but so far, I haven’t advertised either of those things. I don’t really have a product yet, so I’m waiting until I do before I start advertising “Hey everybody! Look at me!”
2. Running My Business- IIN, the health coach training program I’m in, incorporates much of this in the lectures I listen to each week. I don’t know if reading extra books on this topic will be necessary, but I do plan to keep blogging about what I learn from the lectures.
3. Health/Nutrition- this is the area I know the most about going in to this whole thing. I’m perpetually reading and deepening my knowledge on health and nutrition, but even right now I’d consider myself and expert in most aspects of diets and nutrition.
Looking at the 3 categories, I decided to look for a book on social media marketing, since it’s the one I know least about. Let me just say- HOLY SHIT. I expected to find a few books, but there’s damn near a whole section of Barnes & Noble dedicated to this! I mean, it makes sense- this is the new way businesses are marketing, and it’s something anyone can teach themselves, so it’s got to be a hot book market these days. But damn! there were a ton of books. Here is the one I chose, and what I got out of it:
Secrets of Social Media Marketing by Paul Gillin
After reading Seth Godin, I felt really good that this book complemented his theories about the shift from old (advertising) based marketing, to new (technology and social connections) based marketing really well. Since I’m new to this, it was comforting to have these two books complement, rather than contradict, each other. Gillin’s book was especially helpful in the following ways:
1. It was a good overview of many different types of social media: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, vlogs, Podcasts, Customer Review Engines, and a host of others. Gilian lays out what the strengths of using each type of social media are, depending on the nature of your business. There is a cool chart in the book that asks the reader to identify their business goals, and then identifies which social media tools are most appropriate for them. On his list, I identified the following business goals:
- Build customer Community
- Customer Conversation (people talking about your service, “spreading the word” about you)
- Generate Website Traffic (for my forthcoming coaching blog, not this self-education blog, although they will probably become connected at some point)
- Humanize the Company (the company being ME!)
- Market research/focus group testing (this is basically feeling out what services my potential clients need)
According to Gillin’s chart, the following types of social media are the most compatible with my goals:
- Video (can be posted on blog/website)
- Customer Review Engine (like consumerist.com…not sure if I agree that this will be terribly useful for me)
Since I’m still in the early stages of researching my business, let alone getting it off the ground, it’s a little early to start employing these tactics. But it was a good use of time to get my feet wet learning a bit more about them. Which leads me to the second way Secrets of Social Marketing was helpful to me:
2. This book was full of tecchy-vocab that I had never heard, or had seen before but glossed-over (I’m not too tech-savvy, although I’m getting better!). Here’s a mini-glossary of the words I terms I learned from this book:
(Note: These are taken verbatim from the glossary in the book, which Gillin copied from whatis.com)
Banner ad: a graphic image advertisement used on Web pages. When a visitor views the ad on the page, it’s called an impression. If the visitor clicks on the banner and is sent to the sponsor’s website, the event is known as a click through.
Blogswarm: an event in which thousands of bloggers comment on the same story or news event, usually with strong opinions. A blogswarm can become the “hot topic” of the day in both the blogosphere and the mainstream media.
Category: in blogging software, a feature that allows a blogger to group posts together by topic. Categories can be labeled by short descriptions called tags or elements.
Del.icio.us: a social bookmarking website that allows members to store, categorize, annotate and share favorite Web pages.
Feed: push technology used to syndicate Web content. Users subscribe to feeds through an aggregation program, which periodically polls all the servers in the user’s feed list and downloads new content
Microblog: a form of weblog consisting of short entries, often posted via a mobile device
PageRank: a Web’s page prominence in Google search results determined by Google’s proprietary algorithm. The formula is a secret, but is known to include factors like page title, keywords, and the number and prominence of other sites that link to a page.
Podcast: digital audio or video programming that can be streamed over the Internet or downloaded to a portable device. Podcasts differ from streaming audio or video in that podcasts use a subscription mechanism- RSS- to deliver content to subscribers.
RSS- Abbreviation for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a publish-and-describe mechanism that delivers information to a subscriber.
Tag cloud: A visual representation of a website or blog’s content as determined by the number or tags assigned to that content. Frequently used tags appear larger than other tags, making it easy for a visitor to determine what topics the author covers.
Trackback: A protocol for an Internet program that lets a blogger know when another blogger has linked to his or her posts. Software that supports the protocol will display a Track-Back URL at the end of east post.
Wiki: A server program that allows users to collaborate in forming the content of a website. With a wiki, any authorized user can edit that site content, including the other user’s contributions, by using a regular Web browser.
OK, I know this isn’t quite a page-turner of a blog post. But what can I say? Sometimes, when you’re in the trenches of a LEARNING ADVENTURE, you just gotta stop and learn some vocab. I think it’s helpful. To spice things up at the end here, here’s my favorite guacamole recipe of. all. time. Enjoy!
The BEST guac:
2 ripe avocadoes
juice of 1 whole fresh lime
3 garlic cloves, raw, chopped up small
some purple onion, raw, chopped up small
a little jalepeno, chopped up really small (include a few of the seeds if you like it picante!)
a big pinch of sea salt
….mash it all up and eat with chips! If you are gluten-intolerant, I recommend Beanitos chips, original flavor. They have a great black bean taste and hold up really well in guac. I’m not g-intolerant, but I still prefer them!