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Episode #21: Periscope For Solopreneurs + Growing Brilliant Facebook Communities

Periscope

In this episode, I talk about how Periscope and facebook groups can help you grow your biz.

Well, hello, gorgeous podcast people, it’s Jo Gifford here, the Dexterous Diva, and this is episode 21 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

Today I have a couple of subjects for you. The first I want to talk about is scoping, and for those of you who haven’t yet discovered Periscope, you are in for a treat. I’m sure most of you have, it’s the app that’s taking the web by storm at the moment, and Periscope is available both on Android and iPhone.

What it’s all about essentially is viewing the world through somebody else’s eyes.

You use your phone to show people what you’re seeing in front of you to have live interaction with people, and equally you can join in other people’s broadcasts, which is what we’re calling these live streams.
I’m hooked, guys, I’m not going to lie, it’s amazing!

Periscope is owned by Twitter, so when you join you log in with your Twitter ID and it’s super easy to set up. You enable your microphone and camera and just jump in and do your first broadcast.

Ready Made Audience

Admittedly at first it feels kind of weird, but the great thing is because it’s native to Twitter, it shows all your followers that you’re broadcasting live, so if you already have an audience on Twitter you can use that native audience to show people that you are broadcasting and that you’re online and available to be talking or doing stuff.

What’s interesting about it at the moment is watching how the early adopters are using it, and there are some really interesting things starting to shape up that are particularly of note for solopreneurs, so let’s just walk you through ways that you could use this tech for your business.

How it Works

The way it works is that essentially this:

  • choose whether to tweet out your live broadcast as well, (basically saying what you’re seeing)
  • call your broadcast the title of whatever you want to talk about or whatever you can see
  • jump on and get going!

What happens is that people can interact with you in real time, so you will see text updates and comments from people and if they like what you’re saying, you will see loads of hearts. This is a screenshot of me this morning:
Dexdiva Scoping

People can click the screen, a little bit like Instagram, and every time they press the screen it sends you out a love heart which gives you some feedback as to whether people are enjoying what you’re showing them.

Re-use, Recycle, Repurpose!

After a broadcast has finished, Periscope only keeps it online for 24 hours, but you do have the option to save it to your camera roll on your iPod or iPad and you then have a video that you can use.

You could upload it to YouTube, you could have it transcribed and made into a blog post or you could even extract the audio and use it for a podcast.

It’s kind of exciting what you can do with this content creation, and what I particularly have been using it for has been to jump on and do some live Q&As with people about blogging for business and about Brilliance Ignition, my current programme. You KNOW how I love to repurpose!

It’s been great just to be able to jump into the Facebook groups and say,

hi guys, I’m going to be on Periscope in ten minutes

and I will literally just broadcast from wherever I am.

I can reach hundreds of people at one time and it’s really nice, because it feels like I’m adding value by being able to be there live for people. They’re getting real interaction with me, they’re able to ask questions that I can answer on the spot, and it’s been a lovely vibe so far.

The downside is that there are a lot of strange people online, so because people can have live interaction with you in real time you get people asking questions that really are not appropriate!

I love the fact that we don’t have to plan this, it’s not like a funnel of, here’s my opt in, here’s my webinar which is on such and such a date, so I’m not using it as a list building thing. I’m using it to interact with people and have a chance to get to know some of you guys some more. It’s really exciting!

So please come and check me out on Periscope @dexdiva, and my plan is that I’m jumping on daily to have a chat with you guys about something. If you’re not on the programme, by the way, you can find it here, where we’re talking about igniting your brilliance and creative thinking as a solopreneur, and how to inject some real brilliance into your work.

Still Not Sure How to Use Periscope?

Stick with me! It’s interesting and it’s really one to watch, and for those of you who are interested in how you can use it for your business, I happened to write a blog post on it, don’t you know, so head over to The Guide to Periscope – Everything Solopreneurs need to know to read all about it.

I go through everything from what Periscope is, how to use it, getting started, the interface, how to broadcast and interact, how big brands are using Periscope, ideas for marketing with it, how you can use it for your business, what it means for your business, tips for using Periscope and future predictions for it.

I’d be really excited for you guys to hop on over and join in the Periscope conversation, and also of course to jump onto Periscope and follow me @dexdiva. It’s a really exciting platform and I think that we’re going to see a lot of brand interaction on it.

Who Else is Scoping?

As solopreneurs we are our brands, aren’t we? so by showcasing our brilliance, our quirks and our behind the scenes, you guys get to know us and your audience can get to know you. I’ve seen some estate agents locally who are using it to show people virtual tours of the house they’re trying to sell, so it will be interesting to see if it changes the way that the estate agent industry is working. I’ve seen the beauty industry being really on it by doing live demos and things like that.

It’ll be really interesting to see how other big brands jump on board with this technology and use Periscope. It’s amazing, we’ve gone from visual content being really important to video being really important to live streaming video being really important, and it works really well for me.

Those of you who follow me and who know my work know that I juggle a few chronic illnesses as well as my family and running my biz, and so for me, if I plan a whole webinar, live call chat thing, I don’t always know that I’m going to be alright to do it, but I can just jump onto Periscope and be there live when I feel fine, and it’s a great way to add value and to meet you all.

Do check out my post, The Guide to Periscope for Solopreneurs.

Facebook Groups

I had a couple of questions I wanted to jump on in today’s episode, and I’m now recording these every Monday to go out on a Friday and am open to your questions. You can leave me questions by tweeting me @dexdiva or by leaving a message on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/dexdiva. You could also leave me a voicemail if you want to, so head to dexterousdiva.co.uk and on the right hand side there you’ll see a little widget that says ‘send voicemail’. If you just click on that tab you can send me a voicemail with your question or with some feedback and I can jump on it in a future episode.

The one I wanted to respond to today was a question from Daire who says,

“How do you create such brilliant Facebook groups?”

A brilliant question to dive into!

I’m really proud of my Facebook groups, I have to say. For some time we’ve had The Dexterous Divas and Dudes Facebook group which has been my main tribe, but we’re now moving everybody over to the Brilliance Ignition group because that’s really my signature work.

In the 18 months or so that I’ve had The Dexterous Divas and Dudes group it’s grown to such an amazing community of people, it’s so exciting to see. I have the main tribe group and I also have The Blogging for Business Bootcamp group, which is everyone working through the Blogging for Business Bootcamp programme. Obviously I’m also growing the Brilliance Ignition one and I also use Facebook groups for the pop up Pinterest courses I’ve done.

So let’s start with Divas and Dudes. That grew up to about a thousand people in just over a year and there are a lot more people than that on my list, but I think the main user base of the Facebook group are people who love to be in there.

The How

The way that I grew that first and the way I tried to develop an open culture of sharing and support was to give prompts on certain days of the weeks. On a Monday we have a kind of, hey guys, what are you planning for the week shout out, on a Wednesday we have the ‘pimp your post and your products’ thread, so people can jump straight in and let us know what they’re doing, and on a Friday we have a round-up of the week, what’s been good for you, what’s been bad, let’s share it. I think having those daily prompts to work around gives a framework for people to have discussion.

What’s also been really important is to lead with the ethos of the group, so I was quite clear that I didn’t want the group to be one in which people are just pitching all the time, even disguised pitching. What I mean by that is quite often people in a Facebook group might have a status update or a thread in there that’s kind of like, hi, could you have a look at my sales page, and yet there’s no real reason to have a look at the sales page, just literally, please go to my sales page, but in a really cloaked way. Urghhhh, no thanks!

So we’ve been clear when growing the Divas and Dudes group that we just want it to be somewhere that’s really supportive and a safe place to be. As solopreneurs and entrepreneurs we need somewhere we can go and rant and rave and share our wins and ask questions. There are people with different skills in there and it’s place to ask for support, advice and feedback and to share what you’re up to. It’s really grown into such an amazing place!

The Challenges

The challenges with it have been spammers joining the group and people not adhering to the group rules, and as that’s got much bigger, the challenges have been in moderating that and making sure that people are still having a happy experience.

What I did with that was I got some people on board to help me and I asked key members of the group if they’d like to moderate for me because I’m not online all the time, you just can’t be. I’ve had my trusty team of peeps helping to moderate the group and I’m super grateful for them.

They know my work really well so they’ve been able to shape discussions around what I’m up to and they know the vibe of the group as they’ve been there since the beginning. If anyone is jumping in spamming or in there asking for sign-ups to their webinar on a day that’s not a ‘pimp your post’ day, then we just deal it with that way using the team.

Meanwhile Over In The Other Groups

Over in the bootcamp group there are far fewer people and at the moment, as of June 2015, there are just over 100 people who are doing the Blogging for Business Bootcamp. It’s a smaller group of people and I’ve found as that reached a critical mass of just over 50 or so, the group started more to look after itself. I’m in there with advice, with leading questions, with challenges and stuff, but the group has also begun to kind of splinter off and do its own little challenges.

A while ago someone started a 21 day blogging challenge to go through the stuff again and stay accountable to people. A lot of it has been creating a framework again to talk around, so I’ll schedule prompts and images in the group to get people inspired and talking, and then they go from there. It’s almost like giving enough material for people to know the ethos and the culture of the group and to be there myself, but to then allow people to take it on themselves and shape the group a little bit.

The Pop Up Pinterest Facebook groups I’ve used for my five day Pinterest courses have been a similar thing. Again that’s a more intense thing that’s only there for five days and only exists for that course, and so as people work through the materials they again have prompts scheduled in there and then me jumping in, in real time.

What has made the groups really exciting, certainly in the Dexterous Divas and Dudes, has been having a weekly workshop. I invite somebody from the community or even go in myself to run a workshop every Monday, so there’s a free thread in there where someone’s sharing their skills.

It feels like a really supportive, encouraging place, and it takes a bit of work to keep it like that, but building a team around you, when the time is right to help moderate that, be it a VA or some Facebook moderators or whoever you need, is really key.

Be Crystal Clear

Be clear about what you want from your Facebook group. Is it somewhere where you want people to be able to pitch? Do you want it to be pitch free? Do you want to have a certain day where people can go crazy and share what they’re up to? How do you want the vibe to be? If you’re clear from the outset how you want it to be, you can kind of shape the group discussions around that and make sure people are aware of how you roll.

Other challenges I’ve discovered from running large Facebook groups are that people message you a lot via Facebook Messenger. I’ve built some boundaries around that and let people know to email me because I can deal with email and file it better and make sure that things don’t get missed, whereas if I’m receiving some private Facebook messages I can’t keep up with all the messages and things get lost.

As you’re growing your business and using Facebook for biz, if you don’t want to receive things via Messenger, just let people know that and build it in as part of your culture. People will come to respect that.

I love the Facebook groups I’m in as a member, I love mine because I just adore the vibe people have in there and it’s such a supportive culture. Just figure out what you want from it.

Running a Facebook group does take time, it takes vision, it takes some effort, but while a Facebook page is fantastic for finding new people and for marketing and all that sort of stuff, a community group that’s run really well and is a great place to be reaps so many rewards. People become loyal to you, they know your work, they know each other’s work, they’ll support each other, and I’ve found it to be a fantastic tool for my business.

Over to you

So over to you guys, I’d love to hear what Facebook groups you’re in that you love, which ones have you found great, what problems have you found yourself in running a Facebook group? Are there any problems that you discover when trying to create and run one? I’d love to hear, so you can tweet me @dexdiva and use #episode21 for the chat, or you can follow me on Facebook, www.facebook.com/dexdiva, or you can leave a comment below this podcast on the blog.

If you have any queries or questions or things that you want to add in for next week’s podcast recording, then drop me a line. I can’t wait to hear your questions and get your feedback. That’s it for today’s episode, thank you so much for listening. If you have enjoyed the show, please head over to iTunes and leave a review, and also do send me either a voicemail through the website or you can find me on my Facebook page. I can’t wait to hear from you. Alright guys, be brilliant, have a brilliant week and I’ll speak to you soon.

Skillshare | how to access perpetually free learning

image

Skillshare is an amazing platform. The social media driven, peer-educated portal has made learning from the experts accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Before setting up my own class on Skillshare – more on that process in a later blog post –  I began taking some classes myself. I love to learn and make it a personal mission to keep doing new things, so I have dipped into fashion illustration by Paper Fashion, Brennan Dunn’s class on Doubling your Freelance Rate, Bob Gill’s Design as an Idea (yes, THAT Bob Gill, you know, the guy behind Gill Sans), and Jessica Hische’s Introduction to Lettering.

The quality of courses and expert teachers on Skillshare is phenomenal; you can access lifetime learning content at the click of a button from major industry figures, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. From iPhone app development to Photoshop skills, SEO, marketing, calligraphy, fashion design, crowdfunding, fashion advice, make-up, it’s all there, which actually blows my mind.  Skillshare run a rigorous process to ensure content meets their standards, so any course delivered on the platform has met their quality criteria (oh, and they also run a class on how to teach a class. Of course.) Read more

Links of love 9.4.2013

Linkslove

Today is Tuesday 9th April, so happy birthday Papa Pete Diva! My lovely Daddy is always the main man for me :)

So, some links today that you I think you will enjoy:

 

• Marie Forleos’ amazing episode today about passion, creativity and life.

Do small businesses understand the CRM systems they buy? Via the New York Times.

• Fabulous Tumblr blog all about collaborations.

Gif reactions – a fabulous site for those Gifs you are looking for to illustrate a point on your blog. (via Swiss Miss).

• Do you truly value yourself? (via The Daily Love).

• Flavourwire’s Amazing book filled bars, somewhere to blog and be inspired?

• How teenagers and smart phones are changing the world. (via Read Write)

10 annoying social media habits you must stop doing.

• Is Whatsapp worth billions? 

Freelancing: social media outrage and tips for non-payment

money

A very good friend of mine, an eminent writer and fabulous blogger is in a quandary right now.

A “publication” (and I use the term loosely as it sounds far too professional), has engaged her services and is avoiding very overdue payment. Not only this, but their Twitter timeline is full of banter with other writers engaging their services, boasts of extravagant nights out, and how a new app is being developed for their “magazine”.

Read more

Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!

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