What to Do When You Absolutely, Positively Must Know if Your Content Will Rock

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on June 29, 2011. We’re running it again today to honor DIY media and the endless possibilities for your business when you’ve built a loyal audience.
Ever had a great idea, and then started to doubt yourself?
Or maybe you’ve already executed on that great idea, but you’re hesitating to launch. Maybe it’s an article, or an ebook, or a new product or service.
How can you be sure it will work? Should you ask for feedback?
I’ll answer both of those questions in this article, but first I need to tell you a couple of stories from the nutty worlds of music and film.
Let’s start with a band called Wilco.
Wilco gets the shaft
In 2000 and early 2001, Wilco recorded a selection of songs for a fourth studio album.
Signed to Reprise Records (a subsidiary of Warner Music), the band was continuing to shift away from its “alt country” roots toward a more experimental alternative rock sound.
This made the folks at Reprise nervous. After a shakeup at the top executive level of the label, a guy named Mio Vukovic was assigned to monitor the progress of the new album and offer suggestions.
Let’s just say that Vukovic wasn’t much impressed with what he heard, and Wilco wasn’t much impressed with his suggestions. This resulted in the band being unceremoniously canned by the label.
Wilco negotiated its contractual divorce from Reprise. Part of the deal allowed the band to keep the master tapes and full

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The Proper Way to Automate Your Social Media Activities (and 5 Other Best Practices)

Let’s face it. Social media is one of those warm, fuzzy, but murky activities that exist in the business world.
It can be a conversation — a cocktail party — or a content distribution channel.
For some, it’s both. And more!
Regardless of how we choose to use it, we naturally have to ask: What’s the return on our investment?
I think Gary Vaynerchuk said it best when responding to a CMO who demanded to know how to determine the ROI of social media:
What’s the ROI of your mother?
Gary’s got a point. Sort of.
When it comes to social media activity, Gary is a force. A freak of nature. He even wrote a book about it. Seth Godin, not so much.
Seth Godin’s active Twitter account is an RSS feed. A pure distribution channel. His personal account is just a placeholder.

So which marketing giant gets it right?
Tough to tell. There are no hard and fast rules. Just best practices.
I have to be honest: I have a love-hate relationship with social media.
Yes, I get giddy like a school girl when people retweet, favorite, or like my content. But some days I’m tempted to simply delete my accounts so I can focus and get some work done.
Every writer needs distraction-free time. The novelist Zadie Smith uses the software apps Freedom and SelfControl. Me, I just schedule my tweets to give myself a break from the Internet.
This practice, however, can raise some serious protest among the purists. Dan Shure vows never to

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8 Harsh Truths about Social Media (and 1 Pretty Awesome One)

Saying that the Internet isn’t working for us is like saying the solar system isn’t working for us.
It’s our job to learn how it works, and then learn to be smart about working with its nature.
In this episode of Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer, host Sonia Simone talks about some lessons she has learned from being on the social web for 26 years now. Which is, yes, a pretty darned long time to spend fooling around on the Internet.
In this 28-minute episode of Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer, host Sonia Simone talks about:

Why “digital sharecropping” is so dangerous
Why you don’t own the conversation — and how you can benefit from it, if you’re smart
Why outrage is like meth
How the room is bigger than you think it is
Why everything on the web becomes 100 percent visible just at the moment you don’t want it to be
Why you should never get into a flame war (but what to do if you need to defend yourself)
Why personality matters, but train wrecks die broke
How to use natural disasters or other terrible events in your marketing (spoiler: You don’t)
The awesome way that social media can make you a much, much better writer (or artist, or musician, or whatever you happen to be)

Click Here to Listen toConfessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The

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How to Build a Profitable Email List with Social Media Advertising

Your email list is the most valuable asset for an online business. There’s a lot to consider when maximizing the number of people who sign up, but sometimes you have to also focus on getting enough people to see your opt-in in the first place.
Noah Kagan has spent over $2 million on Facebook ads while building his business AppSumo, powered by an email list of over 700,000. A bold move, but you have to also realize that Kagan was employee number 30 at Facebook and helped build their ad system.
Needless to say, Noah has vast experience and can share exactly how to do profitable ad spends on Facebook for list-building. So who better to have on the show for another free consulting wisdom-seeking episode of New Rainmaker?
In this 29-minute episode of New Rainmaker with Brian Clark, Brian and Noah Kagan discuss:

Why you should focus on fundamentals instead of Facebook
Is Facebook now a pay-to-play platform for marketers?
How to convert social traffic into email subscriptions
A longer (more profitable) view of social media advertising
What you should do if an ad spend is profitable
How to make sure your ad campaigns will work
Why he suggests using retargeting for product-based campaigns
Which social ad platforms have performed best for him
How to successfully advertise on Twitter
Two surprisingly successful recent ad campaigns

Click Here to Listen toNew Rainmaker with Brian Clark on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from

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Why I Don’t Give a Damn about #TheDress

Six months (or six days) from now, maybe I’ll come update this topic with the latest trending topic. Because #TheDress, the latest distraction-of-the-moment, will feel utterly tired.
One reason that earning attention isn’t the same thing as earning business is that the Internet is prone to these little waves of irrelevance that hook everyone in for a few moments.
CMO.com did a nice job talking about who “won” the war for the attention created by the trending topic #TheDress.
And I don’t care. Not even a tiny bit. Here’s why.
Conversations about how giant brands leverage the “volume of social conversation” just document a pitiful attempt to strip-mine attention.
Which is fine if you’re a huge company with more money than you know what to do with, and no real business objectives you need to focus on.
Ethically, it probably beats frightening people with imagined inadequacies so you can sell them toothpaste.
CMO.com makes the case that Adobe “won” that particular round with a clever retweet that mentioned one of their products.
I think it’s perfectly great that Adobe has smart people on their social media team. I would kind of hope so. Adobe’s products fuel a huge chunk of the creatives on this planet, so you’d expect them to attract some clever, socially adept folks to pay attention to the Twitter stream.
And I think it’s kind of wonderful that it’s someone’s job to be smart about what to retweet, and get paid by Adobe for it. It’s one of those

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Are You Overlooking Any (or All) of These 7 Ways to Build Online Authority with LinkedIn?

Flash mobs.
People are attracted to these spectacles. We drop what we’re doing and gather around to watch, but then we leave.
We go back to what we were doing before we were interrupted. No one really knows who orchestrated the performance. The entire experience is short-lived and doesn’t make any profound impact.
Now, imagine performing at an opera house, such as the Ellie Caulkins Opera House pictured above — the venue for Authority Rainmaker 2015.
An attentive audience becomes fascinated by your performance and applauds you to show their appreciation. You know they’ll be back for more.
You can have that same type of interaction with your audience on LinkedIn when you properly position yourself on the platform.
LinkedIn is for content marketing professionals
While some may think of LinkedIn as only a job search or recruitment portal, it is evolving into a lead generation and publishing hub for content marketers.
Content pages on LinkedIn receive seven times more views and have six times more engagement than job-related activities.
And since Pulse and SlideShare are part of the LinkedIn ecosystem, it’s an ideal center for professional content sharing.
This is the LinkedIn Opera House, and you have an opportunity to take the content stage.
Here are seven ways to help you build authority on LinkedIn.
1. Complete your profile
Get stage-ready for your performance. Sloppiness won’t cut it.
You can’t command attention or earn trust if your LinkedIn profile is incomplete. It needs to thoroughly represent you and display a professional-quality headshot. Unless you’re participating in a

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Rainmaker.FM: Has Social Media Killed Consumer Trust?

This week, Robert and I put on our commentary caps to take on subjects that have been in the news. Plus, we reveal what’s in the very near future for Rainmaker.FM (think big).
The main story this week is all too familiar … short-cut marketers are the reason we can’t have nice things. Now, apparently, they’ve destroyed trust in social media, as consumers assume everyone is on the take.
As you might expect, we have an answer for that one. Plus, we talk podcasting for content marketing, revenue models for podcast networks, and heartily agree with some advice given by Gary Vaynerchuk.
In this 39-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:

The big, new project that we’ve been hinting at
3 business benefits of producing a podcast
Revenue models for your podcast
A key content marketing trend we’re riding
How marketers have destroyed social media
The second coming of word-of-mouth marketing
How to grow your audience when momentum is flatlining

Click Here to Get Rainmaker.FMEpisode No. 28 on iTunes
About the authorBrian ClarkBrian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

The post Rainmaker.FM: Has Social Media Killed Consumer Trust? appeared first on Copyblogger.

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