Many of you know that I am traveling with my family this week, to the “Big Easy”, New Orleans, to see my youngest daughter graduate from Tulane.  How exciting it is to be with both of my daughters who make me so proud!

With expanding your brand so important to growing a business, I decided to devote this week’s newsletter to using Twitter, to make an impression and get noticed in a crowded marketplace. As part of a professional network that I’m involved with, I’d like to share this article: Five Tips for Twitter, written by Grace Lavigne, from PRnewsire.com.

It’s informative, and straight  from the Experts.

Let me know what you think!

Five Tips for Twitter
By Grace Lavigne, PRNewswire.com

Your Twitter Bio: The Chance to Stand Out

“The bio for an individual should be ‘pro-fersonal,'” says Kelly Lux, the online communication and relationship manager for the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. “Basically a mix of professional and personal.”

“People generally want to know what you do for a living or where you go to school, and what you’re passionate about,” Lux continues. “Strike an air of business acumen and friendliness, especially if you are job-searching.”

“Try to say as much about yourself with as few words as possible,” says Michael P. Grace, founder of Virallock, a social media monitoring and management service. “Be witty and creative without being corny or cliché. This is your chance to stand out.”

Maybe include some fun facts, suggests David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision. “We had a technology firm and one of the many things they included in their bio was that nobody who worked there was taller than 5’5″. People actually mentioned seeing that when they contacted the company.”

“If your bio says something to the effect of ‘father, coffee lover and social media addict,’ that doesn’t really set you apart from the crowd,” says Lux. Stay away from words like guru, ninja, rockstar, etc.

“Browse around and see how others describe themselves,” advises Grace. “Don’t copy others, but pay attention to users who have had a Twitter account for a longer timeframe.”

Hashtags, Handles, Links

“Use hashtags in your bio so people with similar interests can find you,” says Lux.

Jonathan Rick, digital and social media director at Levick Strategic Communications, says that if you want to be publicly associated with your employer, don’t write: Director at Levick Strategic Communications. Instead, write: Director at @Levick.

And if multiple people manage a company account, call them out either by their full handles or their initials, says Rick. For example:

  • @Poynter‘s bio lists handles: School for journalism & democracy, with tweets by @juliemmoos, @myersnews, @mallarytenore, @jeffsonderman, @abeaujon
  • @AmericanExpress‘ bio lists initials: Follow Amex’s Mona Hamouly (MLH), Matt Burton (MB) & Amy Tokarski (AT) for insider news, offers & more. Chk out our Favorites page to turn Tweets into savings!

Also, definitely include a link — not in your bio — but as part of your profile, says Lux. “Many people link to their personal website or blog, or LinkedIn profile.” The link allows people to find out more about you than they can from the 160 characters allowed in the Twitter bio.

Adding links helps describe and reinforce who you are, and drives traffic between all of your social media vehicles, agrees Grace.

Expert/Company Bios of the People Quoted in This Article:

Here is the text from the Twitter bios of the experts (or their companies) included in this article (links not included):

  • @LevickLevick Strategic Communications is the world’s leading crisis communications firm. We are unparalleled in building brand equity and protecting reputations.
  • @KellyLux#CMGR & SM Strategist @iSchoolSU / Borg Queen of #NEXIS / Co-founder #CMGRchat / Opinionated Wine Connoisseur and +1 Dog Lover / Instagram Fanatic
  • @VirallockVirallock evaluates, optimizes and monitors social media profiles to help students and young professionals avoid negative perceptions to their personal brand.
  • @StratCommunCommunication consultant. Marketer. Social media explorer. HR/management coach. Teacher. Golfer. Reader.
  • @DavidJohnsonSVCEO of Strategic Vision PR Professional Republican consultant Facebook: DavidJohnsonSV

Profile Picture: Say Cheese!

The profile picture is probably the most important component of your Twitter presence, says Lux. Your profile picture should be YOU — not a cartoon avatar; not a picture of your dog or the San Francisco skyline; and not a picture of you with your kids, spouse, pet, etc.

“You need to appear approachable, which, in this sense, means: smiling,” says Lux. The picture should be distinctive enough that people recognize it as they scroll by it in the stream.

“You want your Twitter avatar to reflect you as you write about yourself in the bio,” adds Lux. For example, unless you are a business consultant, stay away from the suit-and-tie look.

Johnson once worked with a romance author who wanted to be known as the “Queen of Naughty and Nice.” “She wanted to use a professional headshot from her Wall Street days, but we told her that her photo needed to convey the image she wanted branded in her book,” he says. “So we added a more racy photo.”

The picture should also remain fairly stable, says Lux. Don’t change it as often as your Facebook profile picture, but do change it often enough that the picture still actually looks like you (i.e., more than once every decade!).

Linda Pophal, CEO of Strategic Communications, notes that if a Twitter account is for an organization, rather than a person, then the company logo works well as the profile picture. For example: @ProfNet

Wallpaper: Keep It Simple

Trying to establish a perfect Twitter background shouldn’t be the main focus of designing your profile, says Grace.

“I don’t believe the Twitter background is all that important; I’ve never made a decision on who to follow or not follow based on their Twitter background,” agrees Lux.

“That being said, you don’t want to make it look like you’re selling too hard!” she continues. “If your Twitter background is a bunch of pictures of you, your latest book, your Facebook page, etc. — you’re trying too hard.”

“Use a consistent pattern that is not distracting,” says Grace. “Twitter provides a handful of design options that are decent, but feel free to explore colors, patterns and textures that may create a more pleasing aesthetic to viewers.”

Make sure that your wallpaper is consistent with all aspects of branding, like color schemes, adds Johnson.

Rick lists four approaches to wallpaper designs:

  • The Visual Way: employs big pictures that immediately communicate the brand, a la @Disney@Staples or @WWF
  • The Logo Way: uses the company logo as the background, a la @Ford or@LinkedIn
  • The Informative Way: lists contact info and links to other social channels in the wallpaper itself, a la @Intel or @mashable
  • The Product Way: displays Photoshopped pictures of the company’s key wares, a la @Pepsi (can of Pepsi) or @LAYS (bag of Lay’s potato chips)

Overall Look and Feel: Be Consistent

Your Twitter profile should be designed for the audience you are trying to reach and the image you are attempting to convey to them, says Johnson.

Profiles should reflect the individual or organization’s brand identity and communication strategy, agrees Pophal.

Approach the profile from the standpoint of crafting an “elevator speech,” Pophal continues. What is it that you do that represents value to your target audience?

“Every profile on Twitter has a voice,” concludes Grace. “Always consider how you want your voice to be represented to those who haven’t met you, and let your personality shine through as much as possible.”

Gracie

I submitted this story to a blog. It was published at http://blog.ziprecruiter.com/2012/05/11/mothers-day-mom-influenced-career  and I thought I would share it with you.

My Mom, passed almost three years ago, but she began her entrepreneurial career at the age of 22, and inspired me to live a freedom based life and to take advantage of opportunities, as they came up.

Before public kindergarten existed, she opened a private nursery and kindergarten north of Boston.  She was a recent college graduate (the only one of 7 siblings) and came from a first generation Greek Family, who resisted higher education, especially for women.

Sleeping three to a bed, and insisting on a better life, my Mom became a teacher.  With a year under her belt, in 1953, she opened up “Musical Nursery and Kindergarten” and catered to parents from better neighborhoods who could afford $15 dollars a week for a full time program. Loving the piano, she had a musical curriculum, made everyone play an instrument, and offered door to door pick up service for students.  I remember mapping out the route in our station wagon, Fridays as prize days, and the swings in the back yard of the school.

My Mom had her business for twenty years, and we enjoyed summers off, skiing vacations and trips to Filene’s Basement. She had no problem taking us out of school for an unexpected opportunity or travel, and from time to time, let us eat ice cream for dinner, because it was OK.

Perhaps an entrepreneur by default, with inspiration from my Dad, we knew no other life. Up, down, and everything in between; it’s the life of an entrepreneur.

It’s no surprise that I’ve followed in her footstep, and my Dad’s. And, I was inspired to raise my two daughters the same way with a love for freedom and the flexibility it affords.

I’m honoring my Mom, Aphrodite (who was indeed a Goddess of Love), with this story.

You would have loved her.

Happy Mother’s Day,

Robin

PS – Attention: Entrepreneurs who want to be noticed! Take advantage of a new service I’m offering as part of my Press without Stress program. Tell me what topics you’re interested in, and I’ll find press opportunities that are available from reporters worldwide. I’ll answer HARO Ads, and reporter’s requests, on your behalf, in your voice. Getting publicity is good for business.  It gets your name out there, boosts your income and helps you Stand Out In a Crowd!  Email me at Robin@LetsMakeYouShine or call (617) 921 – 3448 to find out the details of this affordable program. It’s working for me, so I’m offering it to you!

Today, I had the fortune of meeting a post office worker in my home town, while on my Make Money Monday Tour.

We sat down for a bit, over a coffee, and I found out that he had a love of music so BIG – that he in fact has over 10,000 Rock CD’s in his library. Not only that, he searches blogs for 3 – 4 hours at night to find out about music that other “experts” have commented on, that are not currently part of his collection.

When I asked what his perfect life would look like, (he’s ready to retire soon) he sat for about 5 minutes not really sure. But he did say one thing. He loved music.

What proceeded next was magical. As I looked in his eyes and told him that HE was the expert — and that he could comment, recommend, and share his knowledge about music to others who didn’t have his passion – he was speechless. He could have a blog (we came up with a perfect name, sorry can’t share that yet) and it was available. More into the conversation, he mentioned
wanting to help those with cancer, and that was important to him. We talked about having an event utilizing Rock Music (from the Beatles, to today) with funds to benefit the Cure for Cancer.

This lovely man who has served my community for years, delivering mail in the rain, snow and shine is an expert, with such a gift, that he was himself, in awe.

He never thought of himself in that way. No one ever told him such a thing. Do we ever know what gifts we have?

This moment made my day. So today’s tip is quite simple. That deep down passion you have is real. Make a decision to do something with it. Your life will never be the same.

Next stop today is The Speak Your Mission telesummit to talk about How to Use your Brilliance to Boost your Bottom line.

I’ll be joining nine other amazing entrepreneurs for a week long telesummit on spotlighting your message to make a difference in this world.

Boy, Mondays are great, aren’t they?

If you weren’t on the call with me this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing my dear friend and colleague, Nikki Incandela, a celebrity photographer from La Jolla, California. She spoke about the importance of putting pizazz in your picture, and what your image says about you in branding.

Nikki and I have been working together informally for a couple of years, but recently – she has started to POP! BANG! And bring on the FIREWORKS!

For quite some time, she had an idea for a luxury T-shirt line, Your F’exy — and I was lucky enough to witness the birth of this new fashion division. From concept to logo, from sketches to production — in just three short weeks. And where did she debut? At the Sundance Film Festival, of course.

Nikki got a website up in just two weeks (with the right team behind her). She had celebrity photographs posted on Facebook, and on her blog. And now, she’s in business, taking orders for her Your F’exy line. Mind you, this was all while she creating amazing photography for entrepreneurs, small business owners –and clients from the red carpet to royalty.

Nikki added another profit center to her already successful business. She took a risk for a potential reward – which aligned with her fashion sense, and her core beliefs. She knew before she started that she could do it.

What’s particularly exciting for me, is that right after our call on Tuesday, Nikki let me know she was asked to go to LA this weekend, to not only shoot at the Oscars, but also to get fitted for a couture dress to wear on the runway.

The Lesson I’m offering? No risk, No reward. Go for it. Don’t wait for someone to discover you. Put yourself out there and celebrate your BRAND.

For now, pretend it’s bigger than it is. If you do what it takes, you’ll grow into your new shoes.

Nikki works at her public image using networking, social media, and she is a fabulous photographer. She also aligns herself with who she is, and where she wants to go!

Friends, where do you want to go? What courage do you need to get off the bench? What guidance will help you with your idea?

You don’t have to be a celebrity photographer. You can be a budding author, a publicist, a realtor who has it all together, but holds back.

In prior years, I held back. But why? Probably the same reason as you.

Now, what the heck. I’m going for it – and, in a big way.

For Nikki, it’s her first fitting for a couture dress. I can’t wait to see her next year’s performance – or yours.

Thanks to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur Blog for featuring my post (#34) in their listing of Bucket List Ideas for Entrepreneurs

What’s one thing that I would love to put in my bucket list as an entrepreneur?

That’s easy. Buy a airline ticket around the world! You got it -Bucket shops in London sell them, and last time I checked, some major international airlines sold them.

Here’s the deal. You just have to go in one direction. That’s east to west, or west to east! You can make multiple stops in favorite cities along the way, and go right around the globe.

That would be a dream come true!

Thanks to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur Blog for featuring my post (#132) in their listing of The Biggest Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know

What’s the #1 tip every entrepreneur needs? It’s not a MBA, it’s not an international ad agency,it’s not a Facebook Fan page with 5,000 followers.

It’s You — Being You, in a big way.

Forget about what other people think. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s your BUSINESS–and,you need to SHINE!

Put your photo and branding out there. Make a splash. Shine your bright light. BE your business and show the world your charisma.

Pretty much, you’ll be unstoppable.