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Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Category: Content Marketing (page 1 of 2)

My Top 7 Top Marketing and Business Books from 2013

People are always asking me what kind of books I read (usually right after presentations) and I try and rattle off the ones I can remember in the moment.

So this post is mainly for me so I can remember which books I recently read and loved – then I can just direct people to the post so they can easily buy them.

I’ve also got a saying on my desk – I ripped it a long time ago and changed it slightly to meet my needs but it goes like this.

Learn From Everyone
Follow No One
Watch For Patterns
Work Harder Than Everybody

These books helped me learn. They also preach about “not following”, which to me means, don’t copy people. They gave me insights into the patterns and a lot of these guys work extremely hard.


The Age of Context


The Age of Context – Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

Great book on what’s coming next.  Robert is also the guy you see all the time with Google Glass on. I’ve got my own but can’t seem to engage with it as much as he does.






Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary’s new book is great because of all the examples he gives. He takes the time to point out what works and what doesn’t in social media. Quick read. And I’m really into boxing right now so I love the metaphor.







Youtitlity – Jay Baer

Jay’s a good friend but I would still recommend Youtility even if he wasn’t. Marketing is changing dramatically and if you provide someone a benefit with your marketing it can last a long, long time. Great examples – it’s about help, not hype. I’m a firm believer in that type of communication.






Hierarchy of Contagiousness


Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness – The Science, Design and Engineering of Contagious Ideas – Dan Zarrella

Many people think that storytelling is strictly an art form. That there is no way to break it down so people can who don’t naturally get it can produce it. In Dan’s book, he breaks it down so normal people can produce great stories. It’s a very quick read as well.





The Story Factor

The Story Factor – Annette Simmons

I’ve been using Annette’s book for years – even since a boss made me read it back in my agency days. It’s really shows the depth at how stories can be recalled and how to produce them. Well worth the time.






Trust Me, I’m Lying

Trust Me, I’m Lying

The funny thing about Ryan’s book is that I think most people know they are being manipulated and they just don’t care. But Ryan does and he breaks down how the system works. It’s so fascinating yet frustrating to be in this marketing industry. I also love that he doesn’t really have answers on how to fix it.





Growth Hackers

Growth Hackers

Another great book from Ryan on how marketing is done in the tech world and how traditional marketers might learn from it. Good stuff.

So what have been your favorite business / marketing books of 2013?

What are the best tips on using Pinterest for your farm or business? – Pinterest 101

So now that you’ve got your pinterest account up and running (if you haven’t set up a pinterest account yet – here’s how to set one up), how do you make the most of it?

First, we should change it over to a business account.  Click the image below or the link to do it.


This is very simple to do and your followers won’t know the difference. The biggest benefit for you is to be able to see analytics on your page. It’ll be under the drop down on your name at the top right.

Just click the “convert” link on the page.

You’ll have to fill out some business information but then you are up and running. Simple as pie.

If you have a website (and you know I believe you should have a website), you’ll need to verify it. Depending on your website, this could be a little more complicated. I have a wordpress website so it was as easy as adding a trusted plugin and the code.

You’ll want to add the “Pinterest Follow Badge”.


I added it to my blog that if people roll over an image.

I also added a plugin for Rollover on Images so people can easily pin them to pinterest.  Below is a sample of how the rollover looks when people touch an image with their pointer.


But when it comes to using Pinterest strategically, you need to have a plan in place. So what’s the first thing you need to do?

1. Make sure you are pinning what your customers want.

When it comes to dairy, there are several interests from consumers.

You can show off your products (if you sell direct or if you know exactly what your milk is being used for) but it is better to put them in the context of what your audience wants. For example:



TIP – Rich Pins offer more information (like the recipe information above) for your pins but also require some work by your web developer. Here’s more information on rich pins via social media examiner.


Cows and farm life


People really love to see what happens on a farm (this is Brenda Hastings farm and she does a great job with pinning about the farm) – they love cows and the barns. You can give them what they desire by pinning the photos you take of the landscape and the animals.

TIP – Make sure that you are posting these photos to your website first – and not just straight into Pinterest. You want the photos on your website so you can drive traffic there. And it will also keep you safe if Pinterest decides to change how their system works.


Farm Tour


People love farm tours and to visit virtually 24/7 is not a bad thing. You’ve given probably hundreds of tours but if your tour lives in the digital space you may be giving tours to hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. Not just the people that can make the drive to your place. Sterns County, Minnesota did a great job here with this farm tour of Groetsch Dairy Farm near Albany.
Home / farm remedies


Pinterest is a very useful search engine when it comes to practical advice and partnering that information with pictures and links back to your website can really generate a lot of repins, comments and likes.  Check out this one on Gout.


Interesting facts about dairy


There are many things that just aren’t communicated about the farm, your animals or your products. Here’s an opportunity to get out quick facts along with great photos or infographics.  And they don’t all have to be serious – Hiland Dairy is showing humor, fun factoids and animal care.




While videos aren’t very new to pinterest, they definitely aren’t posted as much as other content. I would recommend posting more video if you can since it generates more repins, likes and comments because it is more of a novelty.  Washington State Dairy Council was passing along a YouTube video of our Fuel Up to Play 60 Program for kids.




Pinterest is definitely a social network where people are looking to be inspired from the things they want to have like clothes and houses to the things they want to do like exercise and eat right. Since dairy is part of a healthy diet and the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, pinterest is a perfect fit.

TIP – Images that are taller are likely to be seen more. Use good fonts when putting text on images. If you are looking for an easy-to-use image manipulator or free design program, I recommend picmonkey.com or Over App.  There’s also a great design application for pinterest called Pinstamatic. You should check that out as well.


2. Keep your important boards near the top.


You can easily arrange your boards in the order that makes most sense to your audience. Whatever you want them to see first when they come to your page, you should put first and organize from there. BTW, when you add a board it will automatically be put at the bottom.


3. Put your pinterest link wherever you can.

Integrate your Pinterest Page with your other social media profiles/pages like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, YouTube, etc…


4. Be careful of copyrighted images.

Don’t steal. Give credit where credit is due. It’s better to create your own if you can. And if you are linking to an image on a website, make sure the source is legit. Click through the links. Bad links can damage your reputation as a trusted source.


5. Remember this is a social network.

Follow other interesting users and definitely other farmers and ag supporters. Repin those your wish to influence. They will get notified if you repin, comment or like dealing on their email notifications.

Here’s a list of people I follow in farming. If you want to add to it, just send it to me and I’ll add them.

National Dairy Council
Brenda Hastings
Midwest Dairy Association
Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc.
Hiland Dairy
United Dairy Industry of Michigan
Social Silo
Cabot Cheese
American Dairy Association Mideast
Mid-Atlantic Dairy Spot
Dairy MAX

And here’s some great tips from ohsopinteresting.

She always asks these questions before repinning.

Will my followers find this pin valuable?
Are my followers likely to repin this?
Who am I repinning from? Could they have an interest in my business and be a potential follower?
When pinning from an account with a large following how many times has it been repinned?

She goes into detail on each one of these questions so I would definitely check out her blog post on this.

Comment and Like other people’s pins.

You can use usernames and hashtags when you are pinning as well to notify people of interesting pins.

And, of course, don’t forget to thank them when they repin your information.


6. Call to Action or Pinterest contests


If you have something to promote, it’s really easy to use Pinterest for contests or putting in a Call to Action.

So what are your best tips for using Pinterest for your farm or business?  Let me know and I’ll add them to it. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out.

Oh and I wanted to add this infographic from Amy Porterfield.  You should definitely check out her blog.  The 10 Commandments for Pinterest is easy to understand and looks great.  Enjoy.




What should you be posting on Facebook Farm Page? Top ten tips on what you should post to Facebook.


What does the other 98% think about farming?

So if you know that most of today’s U.S. population is disconnected from farming, then giving them an inside view is important. Notice, I didn’t say “educate” them on farming – it’s not what they want and definitely not how they want to hear it.

They want to be insiders on how farming works and they want to know farmers (farmers are still one of the most respected industries in the nation – check out the latest Gallup Poll) so they can ask questions directly.

When you look at it from their point of view, what do you think they would like to know?

How cows are milked? How hay is cut? What do dairy cows eat? Where do they sleep? How long after the milk leaves the farm does it take to get to my house? Are dairy cows treated well?

You can answer these types of questions easily. But instead of just answering, think of showing them and telling them a story around the answer.

If you’ve got your smartphone with you, then think of how you would answer questions on farm life using photos and videos.

Here’s a top ten list of things to post on your Facebook Farm page…

1. Post photos of farm life

Photos are half of all posts on Facebook and are the top shared posts. If you want your status update to be shared a lot, your best shot is with a photo.  Table Rock Farm and Hahn-Way Holsteins does a great job of showcasing a photo with insider information.


Top Tip – use a photo program like picmonkey.com or Over app for your phone to put text or your farm’s logo on the picture. This keeps it from being misused or stolen and it helps your brand.


2. Post videos of farm life

Videos are the next best thing to a photo and you can get more of the story of what you are doing. The only problem with video is that it takes more effort from the user to actually get the story. YouTube is the most shared website on Facebook so if you can put together a short video (2 min) then you’ve got a good shot at getting your message across.  Dairygood posted several videos on sustainability and dairy farming.


3. Answer questions without them asking

If you ever want to know what people are searching for answers, simply use the Facebook search or a Google search and read the autocompletes. These are the top searches in your region.


Type in your search and see what Google displays for you – make sure you log out of Google.

4. Get fans to engage and participate

You can ask people to help name calves, give them insight into how does modern farm equipment works, or just let them know what happened today on the farm.

This post by Dairy Carrie does a great job at getting people involved with naming a calf and showing how calves look when they are born.


5. Give farm tours virtually

LeCows Dairy gives insight into silage, what it is and why they use it along with photos to engage people.  This takes time but the engagement is high and people love it.



The Farmer’s Life also gets a question in this picture asking about what these tractors are used for.  It’s a great way to answer a question and engage someone not familiar with farming.

6. Ask them what they want to know.

Sometimes all you have to do is ask and people will let you know what they want to know.  Now you will always have people that will be distractors.  The main thing here is to engage when people really want to know vs. people just trying to get you to fight.  If that happens, you can check out this post on arguments and what to do.


7. Share the best photos, videos, status updates from other farm pages.

When Redhead Creamery started its kickstarter campaign, they needed help from everyone – including other farm pages to spread the word.  Dairy Carrie stepped up to help and got the word out.  I’m sure Redhead Creamery will return the favor.  This should be the Golden Rule for all farmers on facebook.  Help spread the word and it will come back to you.


8. Treat other pages like your page – post comments and share on their walls.

When Al Roker of the Today Show visited the Hatcher Family Dairy,  DairyGood tagged them in the post to let them know that they were talking about them on Facebook.  This also encourages the other pages to comment, like or share the post.


Tagging other pages lets them know that you are talking about them.

9. Be active at least once a day

It’s hard to argue when you are getting information directly from the source.


If you can post more than that, it’s ok. Just don’t go too crazy.

10. When you share on your page, make sure to share on your profile as well.

So should be a no-brainer, but many people fail to do it.  You can easily switch to your page and then back to your profile via the desktop version of facebook.  With the Facebook Page Application, you can do it on your phone as well.

Ray Prock of Ray-Lin Dairy is very good at pushing his blog posts through Twitter, his Facebook Page and his personal Facebook profile right after a post.


BONUS TIP – Use hashtags to reach new people

Will Gilmer of Gilmer Dairy uses the hashtag #dairy to reach people who may be using Facebook’s hashtag search to find out more about what people are talking about when they talk about dairy.  Don’t use more than three hashtags per post.


So what are your best practices for posting on your family farm page?  I would love to add them here.

How do you set up your Facebook Page for your family farm?

So why in the world do you need a Facebook page for your farm? You probably already have a website. Isn’t that good enough?

Well, a website is still very important. The most important thing in my book because it’s your home on the internet but a Facebook page for your farm is an easy way to get in front of people who might not even know your farm exists.

Millions of people are logging into Facebook all the time – just to see what is going on – and if your farm is there then they have a better chance to see it, maybe even pass along your great photos and videos of farm life (which they probably don’t know much about).

But if you’ve never set up a Facebook page before you might be worried that it’s a lot more complicated than setting up a profile. Actually, it’s not. If you’ve got your own profile page, then you’ll be very familiar with setting up a page.

So let’s begin.

1. Log into Facebook with your profile

Dairy MAX Facebook Page

Go to any Facebook Page in Search

I don’t recommend setting up a Facebook page without having a profile. You can do it, but I’m not a fan. I don’t think you’ll use it if you don’t have a profile, too. Plus you are probably going to need more than one administrator so you’ll need Facebook “friends” (wife, kids, husband, etc…) to control it.

Search for any Page on Facebook and then in the top right hand corner you’ll see, “Create A Page“.  Click it.


Select either Local Business (regional) or Company.

2. Choose “Farming/Agriculture” from the drop down


Select Farming/Agriculture from the dropdown

You need to make sure you do this, because it will help with Graph Search. Then put in the company name – Schindler Farms – for me.

3. Add Your About Information


Fill in the description and add your website. Then select your easy to remember URL.

The About Page allows you to add great information about your farm. This description is crucial for their graph search and will help the page rank in search. Use keywords that will help your farm be found like “dairy farm producing milk from dairy cows”. Seems silly but these keywords are what people type into search to find you. Make sure you add your farm website. The Facebook web address is very important and it will be what you putting on all your flyers and business cards so choose wisely. Once it is set, it can’t be changed. If you don’t have the name you want, really review the different options.

After you set your name, they will ask you questions about your farm being a real organization, school or government? You can say “Yes” and then it will ask you about being authorized and official representation of this organization, school or government on Facebook? This is legally binding statement regarding the authenticity and representation of this Page. Click “Yes” on this as well.

4. Add a profile picture


Add your profile pic – this doesn’t have to be your logo but it will show up very small in everyone else’s newsfeed

Images help people to see what the business is that they are visiting. Having good photos helps a ton but you don’t need to wait until you have only perfect photos. What people are looking for with farms is authenticity and scenery. Remember that their lives are probably well removed from the farming lifestyle so animals and landscapes are normal for you but not for them. Good photos get shared a lot and you’ll be wanting to add and change them out all the time.

Also this photo is going to be very, very small on many other people’s feeds.  It can get as small as 25 x 25 so if it’s your logo – be prepared that people might not even see it.  It might be better to use cows or faces.

5. Add your Farm Page to your Favorites


Add to your favorite’s so you don’t have to hunt for the page later

This way it’s easy to access via the Facebook navigation. You don’t want to have to be constantly scrolling down the page and looking under the Pages tab to find your farm page.

6. Don’t add a Payment Method

You don’t need to do this right now – maybe down the road – but you can “Skip” this for now.

7. This is your Farm Page

It looks a little scary with the Admin Panel showing right now but you don’t need to concern yourself here. The main thing is understanding what you are looking at.


Facebook page with Admin Panel Open

  1. Notifications on top left – this is what you’ll be paying attention to once the page is running and you are getting shares, comments and likes.
  2. Messages is top right – these are from people reaching out to the farm via Facebook. Other people will not be able to see these messages – just you and the people on the message.
  3. Get More likes in the bottom left – just advertising. No worries there right now.
  4. Insights in the center – these are your analytics for how the page is performing. How many people are seeing what you are posting and the demographics of the people who “liked” your page.
  5. Invite Friends in the bottom right – this is to get you to invite the people you are already connected to on Facebook to “like” your page.

With all this open, it’s kinda hard to see what is going on, so let’s close this panel by click the “Hide” button on the top right.

8. Add a cover photo

Facebook Cover Photo

Add a large photo. You can also have text here.

Again, like I said before, photos are very important in Facebook. Over half of all posts are photos. So let’s change out the cover photo with a large horizontal photo of the farm – get some cows in there or something along those lines.

9. Edit Page – Update Page Info


Add in as much information as you can as this will help you in search.

This will get all of your pertinent farm information on the page. Even though it’s a long page, you’ve already gotten a lot of information filled out.

10. Change the Settings


You can change your settings and notifications.

If you want to unpublished the page until you are ready to display, you can do that here. Things that I would bring to your attention are the Profanity Filter (you should turn that on to at least medium) and you turn off other people’s posts but that would limit your reach if people can’t talk on your page.

11. Add one more than admin


Add another admin besides yourself.

While it’s great that you are committing to doing this, you’ll want a back-up.  The only people you can add are people you are friends with and make sure you trust them – this is a highly visible communication vehicle.

12. Now you can start adding content!

I would keep the page unpublished until you have a couple of posts in and are really ready to add this page to your daily marketing.  In a future post, I’ll talk about the different things you’ll want to be posting on and then how to handle comments from fans and others.  Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

How do you set up a goal in Google Analytics? – Simple SEO

So what’s the best way to set up and use Google Analytics to get more out of your website? Answer one important question and you can be well on your way to understanding more about how your website is working for you and how to adjust it for the future.

Why does your website exist?

If you say, “because people need to find us on the web.” Well, they can do that if you use Facebook, or Twitter or Linkedin.

No, I think your website was meant for more. I consider a website my home base on the web or my “death star.” I have full control (and it is always under construction) and no social network founder can change how it functions for me for the betterment of users.

If I have full control, then I should be able to put up a “Call To Action” on the website, and be able to measure if it is being successful for me. Whether the call to action is getting their email or selling a product.

Now that I know what my goal of the website is – getting their email or getting them to buy my product – then I can set up a goal inside of Google Analytics to be able to track the success of my goal.

How do you set up a goal in Google Analytics?


First, go into GA and select your website.

First make sure you have added Google Analytics to your website.  If you have, then it will appear in the list here when you log in.  If you haven’t added Google Analytics to your website, here’s a post on how to add GA to your website.

Select your website and then select the button at the top called Admin.


Select Admin at the top right – then you should see Goals on the bottom right hand list.

Then on the bottom right hand list (there should be three columns), you will see “Goals”.  Click on this.


Click on “Create A Goal”.

Once you are on the Goals page, you can create up to 4 goal sets with up to 5 goals per set for a total of 20. – You can’t delete a goal so don’t just create them willie-nillie.  You can adjust goals as well.

You’ll want a mix of both your macro goals (large goals – capture email, buy stuff) and micro goals (smaller calls to action – watch a video, download an info graphic, share on social media).

You can set up for a destination – specific web page.
You can set up for duration – a time on site.
You can set up for pages/screens per visit.
You can set up for a specific event to happen – watch a video or download an ebook or share on social media.


This is a destination goal – I want to track after people sign up for email.

Once you have some goals set up – if you can put a money value to these goals all the better but that takes knowing what an email is worth acquiring – then you can actually start measuring how your website is performing.  We’ll go over the Google Analytics dashboard and which reports are worth watching and making adjustments for in upcoming posts.

Do you have any favorite goals for your website?

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