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Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Tag: training (page 2 of 5)

Is public trust of farming and agriculture going up or down?

how-americans-feel-about-farming Using a new tool called infogr.am, I created this quick little interactive infographic to see how long it would take to build an interesting set of stats.

It only took a few minutes and I’m happy with the results.

So what do you think, up or down – to me, it says farming and agriculture is an industry I trust. They feed me several times a day and while sometimes there are food recalls, I’m not scared of anything in my kitchen.

Great job, farmers. I really appreciate the hard work you do along with the food industry.

All data was taken from Gallup Polls. Great company, good data.

Why aren’t you using these top six simple headline techniques?

six-simple-headline-techniques

Jersey cows (brown cows) produce white milk – not chocolate.

Copywriting doesn’t have to be hard but it can definitely seem hard at first.

By following some simple techniques it can get a lot easier.

Here are some of my favorite headline tips.

1. Should you write your headline first? No. Wait, yes.

what-do-cows-eat-brenda-hastings

What Do Cows Eat? by Brenda Hastings

That doesn’t make any sense. Now I know that this can be counter to what you might have been taught but your headline is the most important part of your writing.

If you don’t have a compelling headline, your post won’t be read. So spend some quality time crafting your headline and then knock out the body text.

If you want to gauge it with time, spend twice as much time on the headlines as you do on the content. Simple as that.

Here are some examples:

What are the top ten things a dairy farmer does that you didn’t know?

What do cows eat?

2. Who needs a keyword? The reader or the search engine?

is-my-milk-safe-ray-prock

Is My Milk Safe? by Ray Prock

Your headline needs to have the common keywords for your subject.

Now back in the day, this was all about SEO (search engine optimization) to manipulate the search engines and try to get your post found by users.

But now the keywords are actually the terms your searchers are using to find your information. You need to think about which words people would use to search for the topic and then test them in the search engine and see what comes up and then incorporate those keywords in your text.

Here are some examples:

Is my milk safe?

How do farmers take care of their dairy cows?

3. Who reads a list? Everyone. We love them.

top-five-dairycarrie

Top Five Reasons Farms Are Getting Bigger By DairyCarrie

Buzzfeed is one of the most popular websites on the Internet. Why? Because list posts rock. Why do they rock? Because people don’t read on the Internet. They scan the internet very, very quickly.

So get your list-hat on and make some great lists about your farm, your job, your cows, whatever. You make it into a list and it will rock.

Here’s a couple of samples:

Why is cow’s milk so awesome? Here are the top five reasons.

Bet you didn’t know you could do these five things with cow manure.

4. Should I make my headline a question? Yep, yep. Double yep.

chocolate-milk-dairymax

Chocolate milk from brown cows? by DairyMAX

Where do you want your headlines to show up? In search. What do people type into search engines? Questions they want answers to. Google matches the headlines and body copy (along with a lot of other factors) to pick out the best answers.

But there’s also another reason. People can ignore statements but they can’t ignore a question. Your brain will answer the question whether you want to or not. And that simple pull could get them to click through to your post.

Here are some examples:

Got milk? You don’t? Maybe that’s another reason you are having trouble losing weight.

Does chocolate milk come from brown cows? The answer might surprise you.

5. Why make a promise in your headline?

farm-life-the-udder-side

This must be a factory farm by Farmer Ryan Bright

Because people will read your answer – even if people are just skimming the content. Using the terms “why” and “how” can get users to engage and that’s the whole point, right?

But when you make a promise you better fulfill it. You don’t want to break the promise to the reader by not answering or by having a vague answer.

Get specific and to the point. People don’t dilly-daddy on one website when surfing the web.

Here are some examples:

What’s life really like on a dairy farm?

What are the biggest secrets that happen on the farm?

6. Simple is as simple reads.

forrest-gump-movie-clip-screenshot-run-forrest-run_large

Run, Forest, Run! via Forest Gump – Paramount Pictures

Write like you talk to a best friend – use simple language that is clear and everyone will enjoy.

When you use terms that are outside of the reader’s vocabulary you will break the flow.

It’s okay to use some industry jargon if you explain what it is but don’t get carried away.

Here are some examples:

Are dairy products healthy?

The top five reasons I drink the milk my cows produce.

You know the answers to these questions.

google-autocomplete

Try typing into Google and autocomplete will appear.

BONUS TIP: And if you need help, just use Google’s Autocomplete and start answering the questions that people ask Google.

What’s autocomplete? When you start typing into Google, it’s the text that appears on screen. It’s also the top searches that are going on around your keyword topic.

Someone is going to answer it and it might as well be the expert with the most experience (that’s you!).

BONUS BONUS TIP: Try Keywordtool.io for more keyword tips.  Great tool!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to hit me up in the comments, via email or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

What are your favorite headline writing techniques?

Why should you be using LinkedIn as an executive?

Most people would probably question me about why I’m so passionate about technologies that many people would consider old-fashioned in the digital age. Like LinkedIn and blogging.

But let me explain why I believe that Linkedin still has a lot going for it. Even more than many other networks (looking at you Facebook and Twitter).

Relationships are everything in business and digital relationships count now.

Back in the day, you had to look someone in the eye and shake their hand to make a deal. That was before the lawyers decided that it was better to have a signed contract in case someone didn’t hold up their end of the deal.

Now I would say that I’m more trusting of a person who I can observe digitally – if I can see what they’ve done and who they’ve done it with.

The business world has shifted slowly into the digital realm (definitely not as quickly as consumers) and I now trust the relationships I have on LinkedIn even when I haven’t met the person face to face – why? Because over time, I’ve made a lot of handshake deals and heard about a lot of deals done through Linkedin. It’s a relationship I can count on even if it is digital.

Your rolodex needs to be in the cloud.

When I was first in business, I couldn’t wait to get my new business card. I passed them out like candy. Here I am – make sure I get in your rolodex – I’m a legitimate part of the business world.

Now I can never find my own business cards. I feel bad to when someone asks for my card. Why? Why do you need it? Isn’t this just an obligation now? You are just going to forget it in your bag when you get back to the office. Just Google me and you’ll find my information (on LinkedIn). But as a marketer I understand that the business card is a takeaway and a reminder to connect with me via LinkedIn.

Nowadays I try and link up on Linkedin with everyone I’m going to meet ahead of time if I can. Why? Well, I can see their face and be forever connected to them; therefore, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get their card.

dairy-foods-linkedin

Dairy Foods Magazine has a Linkedin Group

Food production conversations are happening, where is the dairy industry?

When it comes to finding the dairy industry on Linkedin, it’s pretty easy. Just do a search on the company you are looking for and you’ll discover new connections through your network.

Why so few? I’m not really sure here. Maybe the industry is just slower to adopt new technologies (hmmmm…that’s not really true when you look at how dairy is processed today – they love technology for making the product safer and easier to process).

The dairy industry is full of wonderful leaders with category breaking ideas. By joining Linkedin and connecting with the Dairy and Food Groups that are out there, you can meet up with others in the industry, to share ideas and learn new things about the future of the dairy industry.

But you have to be there first. Signing up is free – dedicating a small portion of your time (like 20 minutes a week) to LinkedIn could get you a partnership or product. You just never know. But what will happen if you don’t join? Nothing. Simply nothing.

don-schindler-google-search

What happens when someone Googles you?

When someone Googles you, where is your professional bio?

So who have you Googled recently? A speaker for a conference? An ex? A celebrity who just did something racy?

What happens when someone Googles you? You need to logout of Chrome or Firefox first. Or even pick a different browser before Googling yourself.

What comes up? Anything? What does that say about you?

LinkedIn is a powerful website and if you put content into it about you there’s a good chance that it will show up on the first page.

And if that person Googling you is looking for your business acumen, then you can guarantee they are going to research your profile. Here’s a chance to put your best foot forward and also have some control over what Google says about you.

don-schindler-recommendations

Recommendations can make or break your reputation.

Others vouch for your reputation.

Getting recommendations isn’t the easiest thing to ask for but LinkedIn makes it about as easy as it can get. By just clicking a few links, you can send a recommendation email (they even halfway write it for you).

Then once you have your recommendation, anyone visiting your profile can see. Your recommendations are always there and they are tied to the other person so they can be asked about the recommendation they gave.

If you want recommendations, the best thing to do is give a few out. There are people you’ve worked with that have done some extraordinary things for your career. Let them know and you are likely to receive in return.

You can meet others outside your industry.

When you go to industry conferences, it’s doubtful you are meeting with a lot of people outside your industry (you know, besides vendors who have very different intentions meeting you).

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to meet people over topics (I really like the Marketing Over Coffee LinkedIn Group and my Notre Dame Alumni Group). And since it is on Linkedin, the conversations are geared more to business than groups on Facebook or Google+.

Smart job searches start with connections not search engines.

Jobs of the future don’t have much to do with résumés. A résumé is still a requirement but many HR departments will head straight to your LinkedIn profile to get a more thorough look at your career as well as check to see who you are connected with.

Don’t you see how this will be the same for our kids – in fact, your connections might be the ones that get them a job.

linkedin-pulse

Personalized business news from Linkedin Pulse

This is where business news is shared.

Tired of digging through various newspapers to find good business articles? Use LinkedIn Pulse and you’ll see business news that is focused on your tastes – not on the general business public. Mine centers on technology and communications business – imagine that.

ted_talks_logo

Every thought leader is judged against TED.

How can you call yourself a thought leader and not be digital?

This seems like a no-brainer but if you want to be a mover-and-shaker in the dairy industry and you aren’t using your social tools to communicate, I believe you are making it more difficult for yourself to be trusted as an industry leader.

LinkedIn is the first step and probably the easiest one to take.

Mentoring happens both in person and on the web.

You can teach the next generation of leaders how to be leaders – via the web.

Many leaders I know say they don’t have time to use things like LinkedIn yet they usually want to mentor the younger generations on how to be better leaders.

If you use LinkedIn and connect with these younger leaders you can mentor many of them at once. Your updates can be tidbits of how you do leadership, sharing articles, and engaging with them.  You can mentor them on how to interact with people both online and offline via the tool.

We need your professionalism and opinion on these networks so younger leaders have someone to follow beyond their peers.

So how do you get started using LinkedIn, here’s a how to set up a Linkedin profile.

Do you need help with your personal branding, I can do that. Just hit me and we’ll go through the process of setting up your brand.

Why should you use Instagram for your farm or business?

Are you kidding me, Don? Another social network I have to pay attention to.

Yep, sorry. But actually this social network is pretty easy to use and is actually fun.

And definitely doesn’t have as much drama as Facebook.

There are lots of good reasons to join.

1. Instagram focuses on photos and videos.

Let’s face it. People love farm animals and landscapes. You have that in abundance so why not give the people what they want. Cows, cows and more cows. In fact, make sure you tag your cows – #cowsofinstagram

lesaclark-new-heifer-calf-instagram

Lesa Clark’s New Heifer

2. Instagram’s not controlled by an algorithm like other networks.

When you post something, it’s seen by those that follow you (if they are on the network). They can easily go back an review your old photos as well so you get a lot more power from past posts.

dairyfarmer4life-driving-tractor-instagram

Love seeing the road from a farmer’s POV

3. Instagram is mobile first.

Instagram was built as a mobile app and then made for the desktop. You don’t have to go back and use your computer to do anything if you don’t want to. Just download the app, follow your friends or new people, and just post pictures.

moefarms-elsie-borden-cow-instagram

Chuck Moellendick from Moes Farm hanging with Elsie the Borden Cow.

4. Instagram is where the younger people are.

You know that you don’t see a lot of millennials or Gen Z cruising around Facebook. Why is that? Because you are out there and they would rather not be posting where Grandma can give them a hard time about what they are posting. They are using Instagram to converse and share their lives.

ryangoodman-irrigation-system

Ryan Goodman using Instagram to engage and answer questions about farming.

5. Instagram has no ads…yet. (NOT TRUE ANYMORE – BUT THE ADS ARE SPARSE AND TRUE TO THE NETWORK)

At least for right now, which means you have just as much a chance at being followed and given some love and comments. Businesses and people are treated the same by the network. BTW, Facebook owns Instagram.

cabot-cheese-farm-landscape-instagram

Cabot Cheese isn’t trying to sell products but showcase where their products come from.

6. Instagram allows you to post directly to Facebook and other social networks.

Instagram allows you to easily post to several networks at once. Every time I post, I almost always post directly to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr but there are over 50 networks you can post directly to. That’s a lot and it can save you some time.

indymilkmaid-cow-caption

A great place to show personality and have fun.

So how do you join Instagram? It’s pretty simple and I’ve got a How-To in the next post.

Why did you join Instagram? Do you have another good reason to join?

What Can YouTube Do For Your Farm or Business?

peterson-bros-youtube-channel

Peterson Bros. are famous for music parody videos

So what’s the second largest search engine in the world?

Where do people go when they need a “How To”?

When you see a video on Facebook, what platform is probably hosting that video?

When you do a Google search for anything, if there’s a video there where’s it coming from?

You guessed it. YouTube.

More than 1 billion people worldwide use YouTube each month on their computer and mobile device. YouTube is in 61 countries and languages, allowing you to view stories from around the globe.

And you don’t have to be a videographer to post a video to YouTube all you need is a camera (or your phone) and some time.

So how can YouTube benefit you and your farm?

It brings people closer to the real thing.

It’s more than just a photograph and text. Seeing a calf walk for the first time is definitely different than just reading about it. Especially if you don’t think you have the words to describe that kind of joyful experience. Brenda Hastings, The Dairy Mom, gives a farm tour in just five minutes.

They can “see” how you keep milk safe.

Your “how we keep milk safe” video can show the great lengths you go to make your product. Or maybe you want to show how the cows are cared for or give your audience insights on a new farming technique you learned.

It’s another great way to be found (and help control your digital profile).

For instance Dairy Carrie has done a great job of using her brand name across all her platforms. She is easy to find on YouTube and all of her videos give insight to her as a brand personality while still getting the message across that she loves dairy.

One of her top videos received over 73,000 views and was under 2 minutes long.

You don’t need a big budget to make a big impact.

You can show the fun side of farming with music and graphics like the Peterson Brothers. With humor and parody, they are getting across a message to a younger generation (that really like the 1-3 minute format) and build that relationship. It’s all about trust and if they can see you, hear you and laugh with you, you’ve got a good chance of earning that trust with them.

 

Your audience is out there waiting to see what it’s like to live on your farm – why don’t you show them?

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