Weekend Reading for Online Entrepreneurs – August 11, 2017

In this weekly post I curate the best of the content I found and reviewed for online entrepreneurs.
Image of StrongStart.fm - Design, Automate, and Outsource the Technology of Your Online BusinessI just launched the StrongStart.fm podcast! I am delivering a weekly episode and focusing my content on helping you design, automate, and outsource the technology of your online business.

Current episodes focus on building a WordPress platform for your business, live streaming, home studios, and much more. Head over to https://strongstart.fm/podcast for details.

Develop Your Expertise

The articles in this category are about self-improvement and learning.

How to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories (and 10 Amazing Templates to Use)

https://blog.bufferapp.com/instagram-stories-templatesMore than 15 million businesses now use Instagram worldwide and over half of those businesses are creating Stories every month. Stories are an incredible way to connect with your audience in fresh and authentic ways. Who knows, maybe they’ll even… How to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories (and 10 Amazing Templates to Use)

Great article by the Buffer team on how to create well-designed Instagram Stories. The article has many examples plus there are templates for each of them that you can customize inside Adobe Spark.

I've not had the time to get into the Stories format but am looking for ways to add that to my platform eventually. Usage is picking up quite rapidly among both individuals and businesses according to statistics that Facebook released.

Build Your Platform

The articles in this category cover your personal and business brand, your online presence.

Live Video Tools: The Best Apps for Going Live

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/live-video-tools-best-apps-for-going-live-ian-anderson-gray/Are you planning to start a live video show? Want to know which tools you’ll need to broadcast live? To explore the best live video apps and software to produce your own live show, I interview Ian Anderson Gray. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from [… Live Video Tools: The Best Apps for Going Live

This is the best article I've seen to date on the different ways to go live and what I call the professional level: where you are going live from your computer with a planned show where you might do interviews, screencasts, etc.

Ian Anderson Gray breaks down all of the app and software choices from free to paid, web-based to locally installed.

It is now quite easy for anyone to do these higher end or more complex show formats without expensive hardware or software.

How to Grow Your Facebook Following: A 6-Step Plan

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-grow-following-6-step-plan/Looking for new ways to grow your Facebook audience? Have you considered targeting prospects by interests that are related to your product? In this article, you’ll discover how to grow a specialized audience on Facebook in six steps. #1: Analyze Broad Target Market Characteristics The first step is to identify a target market that will [… How to Grow Your Facebook Following: A 6-Step Plan

This article is a step-by-step process for identifying niche audiences related to your own and creating targeted content for them to drive engagement with your Facebook page and grow your audience.

It mentions both organic and paid methods such as boosting well performing posts. The latter can be done down to almost any budget, even as low as a few dollars a day.

Grow Your Business

The articles in this category cover online business topics such structure, legal, accounting, and so on.

7 Brands Already Using Chatbots in Their Marketing

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/brands-already-using-chatbots-in-their-marketingBy now, you've probably realized that the bots have us surrounded. If recent success stories like Arby's hilarious pizza slider bot are any indication, the future of brand awareness as we know it just might rest in the little digital paws of chatbots…. 7 Brands Already Using Chatbots in Their Marketing

Chat bots are all the rage in marketing circles right now. This post shows some high end examples of what can be done with them to engage with an audience or customers.

For folks in doubt, while relatively new in the US, chat bots and interacting with them for all kinds of different purposes including commerce has been going on for a while in China, South Korea, etc. Look there for trends likely to repeat in the US and Europe.

The 25 Top Social Media Management Tools for Businesses of All Sizes

https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-management-toolsHow do you stay on top of all your social media marketing tasks? From creating and publishing content to analytics and reporting, it can be pretty overwhelming to think of all the jobs social media marketers have to complete every day. Thankfully… The 25 Top Social Media Management Tools for Businesses of All Sizes

Another tool list. I've mentioned this before that I collect these and review them periodically. This one has a list of social media management tools ranging from free tools accessible to the solo entrepreneur all the way up to enterprise solutions used by large corporations.

At first I thought this was a traditional list post but the Buffer team went a step further and made a spreadsheet with pricing and other info for each of the tools. Something to think about for your own list posts that would put them a step above the rest.

Not Segmenting Your Audience? Big Mistake if You’re Chasing Conversions

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/not-segmenting-your-audience/You’ve done your best to find your target audience, but if you’re treating each of your leads the same way, you’re basically throwing conversions out the window. Even though your audience shares an interest in your brand, they’re not all at the same stage of getting to know you. So speaking to them as if… Not Segmenting Your Audience? Big Mistake if You’re Chasing Conversions

This was a timely article for me as I've been going deep on planning and implementing audience segmentation and personalization. I'm working through Ryan Levesque's Ask Method Master Class right now which is all about asking your audience questions via surveys then segmenting them and serving them based on their responses and needs.

The simplest example is applying interest oriented tags to the segments in your email service or CRM. In my case I use Drip, and as I learn things about my audience like blog posts in particular topic categories that they have read, I apply and interest tag to them for that topic. Later if I create more content on that topic, I can send directed messages.

I'm also working on some more advanced scenarios like literally changing the text on pages of my site such as landing pages and sales pages to tailor my messaging to the specific person based on a number of different factors. I'm trialing a few different tools and processes for that. Such personalization is the wave of the future for marketing.

That's it for this week! Let me know in comments if you found any other interesting content this week!

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