Upcoming Classes in Freeport, Worcester and Online!

I’m excited to share three upcoming classes I will be teaching in May and June. While two are in-person classes in the New England area, the third is a free online webinar I will be offering through Sverve. I hope you will join me for at least one of them!

If you like the sound of these classes feel free to drop me a line. I offer private workshops and am available to speak at local and national conferences and events. I’m always open to offering online classes as well. You can view my classes and workshops page for a list of topics I typically cover.

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Using Your Social Media Influence for Social Good: Online

I am excited to partner with Sverve once again for a webinar dedicated to those interested in using social media for social good! 

We work hard at building our blogs and growing our social media networks. Most of us strive to provide good content and engage with our readers. We might even earn some cash from time to time from our blogs and social media channels. Why? Because readers, brands and public relations companies understand that our words mean something. That people are listening to what we have to say.

Imagine what kind of change we can make in the world if we used our social media influence for social good. Not only do we empower our readers to become advocates for the causes they care for, we also feel good about giving back.

Read the full description

Register for Using Your Social Media Influence for Social Good for FREE! (registration is required to access the webinar)

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Business Blogging 101: Freeport, Maine

This local blogging class is being offered through RSU5 Recreation and Community Education, which covers Freeport, Pownal and Durham, Maine.

Writing and maintaining a blog for your business is a great way to keep in front of customers or clients on a regular basis while positioning yourself as an expert in your field. A blog is also a great way to drive traffic to your website and rank you higher in search engines. In short, a blog is an extremely inexpensive way to market yourself, your products and/or services.

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When: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Where: Freeport High School, Room: 102, Holbrook Street, Freeport, ME 04032

Price: $30.00 (residents),  $35.00 (non-residents)

Registration: Online or print the Course Registration Form and mail or drop off the form locally

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Marketing Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Recovery Programs: Worcester, MA

This class will be offered at the 45th annual New England School of Addiction Studies and the 14th annual School of Prevention Studies. The program will take place at Worcester State University in Worcester, MA from June 9 – 12, 2014. My class will be offered as part of the Operational Management: Addiction Field Concentration track. Check out the full course list and course descriptions and register.

Most substance abuse treatment, prevention and recovery programs do not have the luxury of big marketing budgets or even a designated staff marketing person. Coupled with the stigma that comes along with substance use disorders, marketing and branding an organization becomes challenging, to say the least. Managers are tasked with promoting programs on shoestring budgets and little education on the intricacies of marketing. This course will examine various concepts and strategies for developing an integrated marketing communications plan – that includes traditional and social media strategies – within your organization.

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What classes might you be interested in taking?

How to Set Up a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should

Today, I’m the guest blogger over at A Dish of Daily Life. You may remember Michelle from when she wrote a post for Philanthropy Friday about her experience with the Fresh Air Fund.

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I’m talking about Google+ Hangouts. How to set one up and why I love them. Here’s a taste of the post:

Google+ is quietly becoming my favorite social media platform. As I become more active on it, I realize the benefits it brings me as a blogger and an entrepreneur.

For one thing, posting on Google+ helps with my search engine rankings. Because it’s Google! I’ve also noticed the network has become much more active lately. More people are “plussing” and sharing posts, and I find I’m networking with more bloggers, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations on a regular basis.

Google+ is the second largest social network in the world, behind – you guessed it – Facebook. I’ve even heard some people predict that it will surpass Facebook by the end of the year. (That would be impressive, considering Facebook’s numbers, but you never know.)

But one of my favorite features of Google+ is Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts allow you to talk with friends and colleagues via video or message. The best part about a Google+ Hangout is that it’s free!

To read the rest, please visit A Dish of Daily Life. While you are there, you might want to peruse some of Michelle’s other posts. If you’re new there, she’s got some great articles on organizing photography, social media and being a soccer mom.

Read: How to Set Up a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should on A Dish of Daily Life

Thanks, Michelle!

Are you on Google+? Are we connected yet?

[Find me on Google+]

aDishofDailyLifeMain

p.s. Speaking of social media, have you noticed my new social media page? You can see what I’m sharing over all my social media channels in one place. It’s powered by RebelMouse. Very cool stuff!

Listen to Me Talk Social Media and Blogging on Mind Your Own Business Radio

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I teased you a bit on Wednesday with my “on the air” Wordless Wednesday photo of a microphone. I had recorded an interview on the Mind Your Own Business Radio show, where I talked about how I use social media to inform my small business.

As I write this, my part of the show has already aired and Nancy Marshall, Maine’s PR maven, is talking about branding.

Since many of you expressed interest in hearing the show, I promised to post links to the audio. You can find them in this post: Social Media for Business. There are options to download the first hour, the second hour or just my interview. (I’m the first guest in the first hour, in case you’re wondering.)

Oh, and at the end of the interview, Debi always tells her guests to “Mind your own business!” And the guest is supposed to say something witty or snarky or fun. Well, I messed that one up because I had already said what I was going to say. So, when you hear Debi say “Mind your own business!” picture me saying: “If I did, I wouldn’t have anything to blog about!” OK? Thanks.

Have you ever been on the radio? Did you like it?

My formula for writing, publishing and sharing blog posts

Chemistry Lab EquipmentWhen I work with business clients in the writing lab, I often tell them to pay attention to the questions they get asked all the time. The answers to those questions make perfect blog posts.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been explaining my process of writing, publishing and sharing my blog posts quite a bit lately. So, it seems appropriate to blog about it. It’ll save me from explaining the same thing over and over again. I’m also hoping that other bloggers will share their formulas as well.

My formula for writing, publishing and sharing blog posts:

  1. I have a regular blogging schedule.

    I typically write my blog posts in the evening because that’s when I have the most time. During the day, I’m meeting with and writing for clients. At night, I’m more relaxed and can crank out posts pretty easily. Blogging at the same time each week helps keep me consistent. I usually take weekends off from blogging, unless I’m really inspired.

  2. I schedule my posts to publish in the 5am hour the next morning.

    Chances are, my blog post is ready to go some time after 9pm. I could hit the publish button then and be done with it, but I like to consider when my readers will most likely read it. I find early in the morning works best because many people scan email on their smart phones when they wake up or right when they sit down at their desk for work. If people get my posts via email, I have it scheduled to go out between 7am and 9am. If I post after this time, the email won’t go out until the next day, and the post may not be timely anymore. If they’re reading posts via an RSS reader, it’s ready to go when they wake up.

  3. I amplify the post on social media at specific times during the day.

    If you want to reach people who aren’t already subscribing via RSS or email, you need to share your post on social media. I have my post automatically publish to my personal Facebook page using NetworkedBlogs, so it’ll go out in the morning when people are scanning. I like to manually share my posts on my Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and StumbleUpon because it allows me to say something about each post, in the language that’s most appropriate to the social media channel (read: what you say on Facebook doesn’t always translate the same on Twitter and vice versa). I try to do this before 9:30am. If I can’t share before then, I wait for lunchtime, another good time for social media scanning. Depending on the post, I might wait until the evening between 6pm and 8pm to share. That’s when my mom followers are usually winding down.

  4. I comment on other blogs.

    I skipped this step in my early days of blogging. Who has the time to scour the internet for blogs to comment on, right? Well, I have a number of blogs I’ve found through various sources that I read regularly. I comment on their blogs, and they comment on mine. This helps me gain readers and find new bloggers to read. I also add my posts to Wordless Wednesday “linkies” and participate in the SITS community, where a different blog is featured every day. The featured blogger is then showered with comments. I’ve found some wonderful blogs and blog readers this way. The secret is the support, people.

  5. When in doubt, I schedule it out.

    I sometimes schedule posts to share automatically on social media using tools like NetworkedBlogs, Hootsuite or using the new Facebook page scheduling feature. I’d rather have a less personal message go out from a third party than not share at all. And, sometimes, I like to take a vacation. Or, I’m just stuck in meetings. Yes, I do have a life outside of blogging.

So, what is your formula for writing, publishing and sharing blog posts?

Photo Credit: sheepfur via Flickr

Using Social Media in Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

I had the pleasure of presenting at the New England School of Addiction and Prevention Studies yesterday. I talked for 3 hours about using social media in the addiction field.

My throat hurt afterwards, but it was pretty fun.

I started using social media for business / marketing purposes back in 2006 as the communications specialist at Crossroads, a substance abuse and mental health agency based in Portland, Maine. Though I’m not an employee anymore, I still manage their social media and marketing efforts, and they are my biggest client in the writing lab. I was pretty lucky in that they allowed me to experiment with different ways to use social media as a platform to educate people about substance abuse and to tell stories of treatment and recovery.

I say lucky because no one else in the field was doing much at all with social media at the time. More in the addiction field are using social media now as a way to share stories of recovery, educate teens on the dangers of experimenting with drugs, or by just having a presence so that when someone needs treatment, he or she knows where to go. We need more voices from the prevention, treatment and recovery field out there in the social media world.

Following is my presentation from yesterday. Tonight, I’m doing a shortened version for an even bigger crowd. My hope is that at least one person will take something from the presentation and use it to fight the stigma of addiction, break down the barriers of treatment, and prevent a few teens from going too far with their drinking or drugging.