An Analysis of Zeb Welborn’s Leadership Practices | by Andrew Kramer

The following is a research paper written by Andrew Kramer for his Leadership in Organizations upper level course at the University of La Verne:  Zeb Welborn’s Leadership Practices

Chapter 1:  Introduction

Zeb Welborn grew up in Southern California in the beautiful city of Chino Hills.  He lived with his mother and father, brother, Rocky and his sister, Lacey.  He just recently moved out to Chino and is renting an apartment so he can have a place to get some work done.  He still maintains a good relationship with his siblings and actually has his sister running the photography for his business and building websites.  He participates frequently in marathons with his brother, Rocky and golfs regularly with his father, Larry.  Growing up, Zeb loved to play all kinds of sports.  He mainly focused on golf and soccer with soccer being his greater passion.  He played three years competitively on the golf team and still to this day plays soccer in an outdoor and indoor league.  I had the pleasure of getting to play on the same soccer team with Zeb for a full season.  I first started to notice Zeb’s leadership qualities when he became a substitute teacher at the high school I was attending at the time.  Not too long after that he became a full time history teacher at the school as well as being an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team.  It was clear that Zeb exemplified the leadership skills necessary to perform the jobs at hand.

Immediately after school Zeb attended Cal State University, Fullerton and got his degree in History, which he taught in high school.  Not too long ago he started his own business working for numerous companies managing their social media.  He named the company, Welborn Social Media, and that is how we came in contact with each other.  I work at Los Serranos Country Club where Zeb grew up playing golf and just recently made them a Facebook page in an attempt to gain exposure through advertising and keeping up with the market trends.  Zeb noticed I had created the page and together we turned in into a great project.  We got it passed by the board of directors and currently get paid to run the social media for the golf course.  This isn’t the only company that Zeb works for Scrapbook Expo, Wirespeed Systems, System 1 Interiors, Technology 4 Medicine, DLT Growers, Creative Scrapbook Source, Big Time Golf, Somerset Apartments, Krazy Kreations, Creative Minds & Visions, It’s Cheaper than Therapy and Mormino & Associates.  The number of clients continues to grow as he is experiencing success in a number of different sectors.  The duties that are expected of Zeb and his company are designing, managing, writing for and updating blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn pages, YouTube pages, and Google+ pages.  also responsible for designing website, logos and promotional materials.  Zeb’s company is also responsible for managing Google AdWords campaigns and implementing strategies to increase search engine optimization including on site optimization and link building.  Zeb also creates email marketing campaigns and manages the reputation of companies on ranking websites like Yelp and Angie’s List.  These are just a few of the things that Zeb is responsible day in and day out and only a true leader can handle these kind of situations.  The needs of every company is unique, but Welborn Social Media can work with any company on any budget to help build their own brand.

Zeb uses the experience from prior jobs to lead the group of people that now work for him.  He has about four or five of us working under him and makes sure that everyone is happy with what they are doing.  Zeb uses the three-skill approach, which depends on three basic skills:  technical, human, and conceptual.  Skills are what leaders can accomplish, whereas traits are who leaders are.  I believe that after Zeb’s work in many different areas and working with many different people, he acquired the leadership skills necessary to manage people under him.  Technical skill is knowledge about and proficiency in a specific type of work or activity.  Zeb has a profound knowledge with computers and has done his research and taken courses on managing social media websites.  Human skill is knowledge about and ability to work with people.  Human skill is actually quite different from technical skill because human skills are people skills.

Chapter 2:  Leadership Practices

Leadership vs. Management

Zeb has many traits that make him a great leader.  I would definitely have to say that he is more leadership oriented than management.  A few of these traits are obviously intelligence about the field that he works for, self-confidence in the work he does, and determination to continue to make his business grow and expand.  Out of all these traits I believe that self-confidence is the most important one because it gives him the confidence and the ability to be certain about his competencies and skills.  This also includes self-esteem and self-assurance and the belief that one can make a difference.  To be a leader you must involve influencing others, and there is nothing better than feeling assured that his attempts to influence others are appropriate and right.

Relationship Orientation vs. Task Orientation

When dealing with relationships and task orientation I believe that Zeb excels in both of these subjects.  He must maintain a good relationship with his customers and people he is working with, and a good way to do this is by staying task oriented.  He gets the details from his partners on what needs to be accomplished and sets out a schedule on how to get it done in a timely manner.  I would definitely have to say that these two matters go hand in hand and are equally important.

Goal Orientation and Performance Evaluation

Zeb stays very goal oriented in the way that he stays on top of things by staying organized.  We have a clear mission of what we need to be doing and the harder we work, the more we will be rewarded.  For instance, every business that I recruit to get started under, “Welborn Social Media” I get a raise and a certain percentage of what the company pays Zeb to do.  As someone who works for Zeb this motivates me to find as many businesses that I can so I will get paid more.  This is a key factor for many businesses and leaders.  The more you reward your employees for good hard work, the more they will attempt to do the best work that they possibly can.  The more Zeb stays goal oriented, the more his business will prosper.

Control vs. Delegation

I communicate with Zeb a few times a week and we meet at least once in that week to review and see how work is coming along.  When we do get together we brainstorm and think of ways to stay innovative and on top of the current trends.  We discuss also ways to improve our marketing and advertisement, basically in a sense how to get more exposure.  We communicate via email, text messaging, and even sometimes through Facebook.

Rewards, Incentives and Punishment

Like I stated earlier, the way you will be rewarded is on how much work you are willing to get done.  There are no punishments just lessons learned.  Basically, the more work you get done and the more businesses I get to sign under the business the more i will get paid.  It is a simple process that works well because it keeps us motivated with all the incentives at hand.

Communication

Since we run a social media company most of our communication is done over the computer.  I would say that Zeb’s style of communication is passive, his social perceptiveness is the insight and awareness into how others in the organization function.  For example what is important to others, what keeps them motivated, and how they react to change.  Social perceptiveness means understanding the unique needs, goals, and demands of differences within the organization.

Chapter 3:  Analysis of Leadership Practices

The situational approach is based on the idea that the employees move forward and backward along the developmental continuum, which represents the relative competence and commitment of subordinates.  For leaders to be effective using the situational approach, it is essential that they determine where subordinates are on the developmental continuum and adapt their leadership styles so they directly match their style to that developmental level.  “Once the leader has identified the correct developmental level, the second task is to adapt his style to the prescribed leadership.  This is the one-to-one relationship between the developmental level of subordinates.” (Northouse 93) Some strengths of using the situational approach is that it is recognized as a standard for training leaders.  It is also a very practical approach, which means that it is easily understood and easily applied.  The situational approach sets forth a clear set of prescriptions for how leaders should act if they want to enhance their leadership effectiveness.  This approach also recognizes and stresses that there is not one best style of leadership, instead leaders need to be flexible and adapt their style to the requirements of the situations.  When in regards to the five major leadership theories, the one that stand out to me are of course the situational approach, the transformational approach, and team leadership.  Transformational approach of course has a strong emphasis on followers’ needs, values, and morals.  This kind of leadership involves attempts by leaders to move followers to higher standards of moral responsibility.  This type of leadership sets it apart from the other four styles because it has a moral dimension.  A leader very similar to the transformational approach is called servant leadership.  This leadership emphasizes that leaders should be attentive ot the concerns of their followers and would emphasize with them, they would take care of them and nurture them.” (Northouse 385)

Leadership Style of the Leader

I would say the best kind of approach to describe the leadership style of Zeb would have to be team leadership.  Zeb excels through the people that are working for him.  Therefore, he must use team leadership to coach his team members in interpersonal skills.  Collaborate with others by including and involving his team members in discussions.  Using team leadership one must manage conflict and power issues while avoiding confrontation and questioning ideas.  Build commitment by being optimistic, innovative, envisioning, socializing, rewarding, and recognizing other peoples achievements.  Lastly, to excel at team leadership you must satisfy the individual needs of the members you are working with by trusting, supporting, and advocating them.  You model your ethics by your principled practices by being fair, consistent and lastly, normative.

Compatibility/Incompatibility

The organizations goals go hand in hand with the compatibility of Zeb’s leadership style and practices.  The goal of the organization is to get as many clients to start using, “Welborn Social Media” and once we have them to perform everything we possibly can to satisfy their needs.  At this time I have no recommendations for Zeb because his business is growing at such a rapid pace that I do not know what else he can be doing.  If I did have one thing to say I would think that we should maybe get together more than just once a week to have a weekly report on how things are going.  Sometimes I feel a little bit lost on what is going on or what we should be doing so maybe meet twice a week.

Chapter 4:  Analysis of Leadership Practices:  Delegation and Developmental Levels

Necessary Conditions for Effective Delegation

According to leadership styles I believe the most effective way for developmental levels is that there must be high commitment and high supportive behavior.  In order for the sufficient amount of work to be completed an employee must stay committed and dedicated to the amount of work level he is inputting.  Zeb encourages to stay committed to the mission within the organization.  In this sense, Zeb uses the supporting approach that requires him to take a high supportive – low directive style.  “The leader should not focus exclusively on goals but uses support behaviors that bring out the employee’s skills around the task to be accomplished.”  (Northouse 93) This includes listening, praising, asking for input, and giving feedback.

Developmental Levels of the Followers

At this point in time the amount of employees are at a minimum so I would have to say that the levels are still in the developmental stage.  D2 would probably be the most accurate description because it is still moderately low.

Delegation Practice of the Leader

The way Zeb delegates his tasks and responsibilities is by creating the sky is the limit approach.  By saying this, I mean that he does not delegate many responsibilities to his followers because it is up to them to do as much work as they want.  There is always room for growth in the type of business we are in so you get as much work done as you want to in a sense.  But the more work you do accomplish, the more you will be rewarded.

Compatibility/Incompatibility

The delegation practice that Zeb uses is very compatible to the developmental levels of the followers.  Everything is still in the developmental process, but the business continues to grow at a steady pace so he must be doing something right.  It has been a great learning experience to work with a true leader like Zeb and be part of a wonderful company with a passion to excel.

Recommendations

At this point in time I have no real recommendations besides the one I stated earlier.  Scheduling meetings has been quite difficult with how busy things are so maybe just set a time that we can meet on a weekly basis.  In other words, the level of communication must begin to increase as the company continues to expand.

Chapter 5:  Conclusion

After writing this paper I realize that I am working with a genuine leader that I can take many thing away from . . . not only in the business world, but in every day life.  The way Zeb works with people is truly the proper approach and getting to see it first hand is a blessing.  Working with Zeb was a life changing experience because I can now apply the lessons I learned from his leadership qualities and apply them in every aspect of my life.  I plan to practice the same approach that Zeb uses because I have seen first hand on how it functions and the results have been good.

 

Would you like to learn more about Zeb Welborn’s leadership practices?  Visit some other sites created by Zeb Welborn – 19th Hole Media created to help golf courses get more customers and the Defining Success Podcast created to change the way we think about success.

How to Turn an Unhappy Customer Into a Raving Fan

The most frequent question I get from potential clients is, “What happens if somoene posts something negative about us?”

The truth is that if people are upset with your business, they will find a way to get the word out about your unfair service.  If you’re worried about people posting negative comments about your business, then you might want to re-think the way you’re conducting business in the first place.

Today, businesses are being held more and more responsible by their customers.  If one customer feels upset about the way they were treated they can tarnish the reputation of a business.

Everyone’s heard the saying, “A happy customer tells a friend.  An unhappy customer tells the world.”  The greatest thing about the Internet is that it’s changing that relationship.  The new way business is done is, “A happy customer tells its network.  An unhappy customer tells the world. And an organization demonstrates how it treats its customers.”

Before the Internet, if a customer was unhappy, they would leave your store, never come back and tell all their friends about what bad service they received.  The worst thing for a business would be to lose customers and not know why they were losing customers.  Knowing your problems and confronting them will help any organization retain customers and acquire new ones.

Today, businesses have an exciting opportunity to REALLY understand what their customers want based on reviews they leave on a variety of websites.  They can then implement strategies to address the needs of their customers and provide exceptional service.  Some organizations understand the value this can bring to their business and others do not.

Organizations can do one of two things when a customer complains, they can hide from it and hope it goes away or they can react to it and confront the problem head on.  Here are two examples of how organizations react to customer feedback.

Before I begin my story, and tell you about how to turn an unhappy Customer into a Raving Fan, let me say that I’m not in the habit of complaining about organizations, but when I do it’s because I genuinely enjoy my relationship with the business, but they do something that makes it feel like they are trying to cheat me out of something.  These are the only two complaints I’ve had against any company in the past 10 years, but these companies handled them in two distinctly different ways.

#1 – Big League Dreams in Chino Hills –

The Comment:  “Dissappointed.  I played softball and soccer here since the park opened.  I used to love playing here.  The place was packed and although pricey was still a fun place to get my exercise in for the week and release some stress.  After adding up the seasons played here I’m estimating I’ve spent around $4,000 or so.  On Thursday nights play has gone down from 30 games a night to around 12 and they’ve decided to raise prices . . . I came into the pro shop on the third week of the season to pay my player fee because my coach forgot to mention it to us and it slipped my mind.  The response from the proshop was either you pay a $10 penalty making it $40 or you can’t play.  Considering I’ve been a loyal customer for nearly a decade I expect some allowances to be made for this type of situation.  Not only were they forcing me to pay an additional $10 which made me feel like I was being taken advantage of but they were also condescending and accusatory in blaming me for the oversight.  I go to their park to relax and have a good time, not to feel cheated.  This is my last season at Big League Dreams.  I used to love playing here and I hope they realize that making their customers happy is their number 1 priority.  Deleting comments to Facebook only add to the misguided efforts of their business.  I hope they can turn it around.  I would love to see Big League Dreams be great again.”

The Response:  I originally posted a similar comment to their Facebook page and after many of my friends began liking the comment and reiterating how frustrated they were the administrator deleted my comment adding to my frustration.  I never received any response from Big League Dreams and as a result me and my entire softball team decided to play at another venue.  In addition this comment and others left by frustrated players were left up for all to see.

The Outcome:  Just from our team, Big League Dreams lost close to $4,000 per year in happy, satisfied customers who would have continued to use their fields and be happy to do so.  Yet, when the opportunity arose to fix a minor problem by their staff we felt mistreated and so, we took our business elsewhere.

#2 – 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport – Ontario

The Comment:  “Unhappy.  Tell me if I’m missing something here.  I’ve been a member of 24 hour fitness in Chino Hills for years, my brother and I wanted to join the gym and he gets quoted a price of $39.99, meanwhile, me a loyal customer for years gets quoted at $69.99 because I’m already a member at another gym.  And they won’t let me cancel and renew my membership under this new plan.  Common sense would tell any organization that you treat your customers well . . . instead giving me an ultimatum, pay up or cancel my membership.  I’ve enjoyed my experience at the 24 hour fitness in Chino Hills, but feel angry and dissappointed that an organization as big as 24 would work so hard to try and stick it to their current, loyal customers.  I hope things in the organization change.  Other than that it looked like a nice facility, but you can be sure I will never use 24 hour fitness again.”

The Response:  Within the hour this posting, I received a call from the same individual that gave me the ultimatum to cancel my membership saying that she had worked out a way we could stay at the club for the agreed upon price for my brother.  Two days later I received another email from the Club Manager asking if there was anything she could do to help me become a part of the club.

The Outcome:  24 Hour Fitness could have missed out on $960 per year from my brother and I.  After posting my original comment, I was committed to never using 24 Hour Fitness again . . . Today, I am telling YOU what a great organization 24 Hour Fitness is.

24 Hour Fitness gets the power of negative reviews, social media and the Internet and will continue to thrive.  Big League Dreams in Chino Hills does not and will continue to struggle.

Review sites, can be extremely valuable to any business.  Most people won’t post negative reviews about a business, they will just refuse to go back.  I wrote those reveiws because I enjoyed spending my time at both places and wanted to continue our relationship.  One company made it easy to do so and the other did not.

The Internet is changing the way business works.  Today’s successful businesses will embrace negative comments as feedback and attempt to fix the problems that upset their customers and not try to hide those comments.  They will embrace them and then work to come up with solutions that will make their customers happy.

Happy customers make frequent customers. And frequent customers make happy businesses.

24 Hour Fitness Super Sport in Ontario

By the way, I revised my Yelp Review for 24 Hour Fitness to read as follows:

“UPDATE:  I received a call from 24 Hour Fitness shortly after posting this comment.  They listened and worked hard to correct the problem.  We are now members of the 24 Hour Fitness in Chino and are thankful that the staff at 24 Hour Fitness took the time to handle our situation in order for us to become customers at 24 Hour Fitness.  While our initial experience was less than ideal the staff, in particular Caren, worked with us to ensure our happiness.  Thank you 24 Hour Fitness and Caren.”

24 Hour Fitness knows how to turn an unhappy customer into a raving fan.  Do you?

At Welborn Social Media we can help turn unhappy customers into raving fans.  We can help monitor what people are saying about you online so you can take action to make sure you retain customers and bring in happy new ones.  Contact Zeb today to find out how Welborn Social Media can help improve your online reputation management and marketing efforts – (909) 973 – 9089.

 

Brassies, Niblicks and Mashies as Featured in Southland Golf Magazine | by Zeb Welborn

I attended a hickory golf tournament at Los Serranos Country Club a couple months back and wrote an article about it that appeared in Southland Golf Magazine’s December issue titled Brassies, Niblicks and Mashies.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Read the Southland Golf Magazine article: http://www.southlandgolfmagazine.com/t-News-Hickory-Golf-Tournament-Golf-Collectors-Society-12-12.aspx

Brassies, Niblicks and Mashies by Zeb Welborn in Southland Golf Magazine

Brassies, Niblicks and Mashies

Want to learn more about Zeb Welborn and how he’s helping golf courses reach more customers and encouraging golfers to play more often at local golf courses?  Find out more about Zeb Welborn golf by visiting 19th Hole Media.

Are you interested in success?  See how Zeb Welborn is changing the way we think about success by listening to the Defining Success Podcast.

Gotcha Covered | Take Your Windows from Ordinary to Extraordinary!

Gotcha Covered of Chino Hills

Gotcha Covered of Chino Hills offers free in-home consultations to discuss the needs you have for your windows.  Gotcha Covered is partnered with Lafayette, Hunter Douglas, Graber, Wesco fabrics and many more.  They can treat any window specific to your needs.  They also offer their services for residential and commercial customers. Let Gotcha Covered take your windows from ordinary to extraordinary!

Theresa Mastroianni has been educated in the fine art of beautifying interior spaces.  Window coverings designed properly can accentuate the warmth and elegance of a home.  Theresa designs window coverings that enhance the character of each clients home.  She uses the juxtaposition of different materials, such as, wood, iron, and fabric to create a harmonious design balance.  She guides her client through the creative and technical process of window treatment design.  Each client gets to enjoy participating in the design process with her guidance and expertise.

Cindy Domino has been in the home textile design business for 15 years. She had the pleasure of working with Kathy Ireland, Alexander Julian and Donald Trumps design teams for their fashion bedding programs. She also worked with major department stores creating bedding and window treatment programs.

We are helping Gotcha Covered reach out to new customers by helping them rank higher in the Google search results using search engine optimization.  We highly recommend their services as they are extremely passionate in what they do.  They’ve been able to help many happy customers as evidenced by the high recommendations they’ve received from others.

Gotcha Covered provides draperies, window coverings, wood blinds, shutters, window and interior design services in Chino, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, Claremont, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Anaheim Hills, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and the Inland Empire

If you have any windows that need a little something extra, contact Cindy Domino at Gotcha Covered – 909-855-0779 or Theresa Mastroianni at TheresaMastroianni@GotchaCovered.com.

A Content Marketing Hub Every Marketer Must Have | by Niveen Salem

Niveen Salem – Elite Marketing Secrets

A Content Marketing Hub Every Marketer Must Have

What is a content marketing hub every marketer must have?

Sonia Simone, an author and one of Copyblogger’s co-founders calls it a “content hub – a centerpiece for your content marketing”. You probably figured it out. Yes, it’s a blog!

What is a Blog?

A blog is a online educational center about your business based on value offered. In marketing terms, it’s called attraction marketing. It’s simply your real estate piece of land on the internet. It’s a place to interact with your potential customers. But before you start a blog you need to understand your audience. This will stem from having a strong niche. Only then you’ll be able to research their problems, issues and concerns and help them find the solutions through writing a content marketing strategy about the problems. It’s the foundation of all social media tools.

But, wait a second: I thought social media is Twitter and Facebook?

Social media outlets are great to start a conversation but ultimately you want to bring your visitors back to your home base – your blog. Creating a social media marketing plan for your blog is essential in promoting your content. Here comes the importance of all social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube and Pinterest.

Why Blogging – 10 Benefits to Start your Own Blog?

  1. Thought Leader: When you blog you’re perceived as a thought leader and an expert in your industry or niche. People will start coming to you for questions, concerns and problems that they need answers for. It creates a conversation rather than a one way monologue.
  2. Trusted Source: When providing valuable content in your blog, your readers will build a trust relationship with you which turns into a lead and a lead turns into a sale.
  3. Blogging Sharpens Your Saw: When you’re blogging regularly, you’re forced to read and educate yourself about your industry. Eventually you’ll become more informed and educated than your competitors. Your presentations will become better, your problem solving abilities and skills will enhance and your tool and resource systems will grow. You’ll simply become a better teacher who have an answer to every question. All this from blogging!
  4. Freedom: A blog gives you an incredible amount of freedom where no one can tell you what to promote or not. You have total control over your content and your audience. No one has the right to flag your content as inappropriate or decide suddenly to cancel your Facebook Fan Page or delete your LinkedIn group discussions. One of my LinkedIn group discussions was suddenly deleted after reaching 42 comments in a few days!
  5. You have 100% control over the look, design and functionality of your site
  6. Blogging Traffic: Statistics show that blogging creates 55% more traffic and visitors to companies. Source: Hubspot.
  7. Build a Tribe: Blogging creates a tribe of followers, fans, readers and build relations with potential customers
  8. Your blog is a great way to generate leads. You can always make money blogging by monetizing your blog if you’re in the affiliate marketing industry
  9. You can include many sources of content marketing in your blog (not only writing) – such as a video or a podcast.
  10. By 2013, it is projected that 128 million people in the US will be blog readers. Source: MyMarketingDept.

There are 100’s of other statistics that you can search online to find out more benefits of blogging.

How to Create a Blog?

Nowadays creating a blog became a very simple process as 1, 2, 3:

  1. You need to choose and create a domain name
  2. Then create a web hosting account
  3. Then use a simple WordPress blog theme

How to Blog?

I know the objection as I was there before you: ” But I’m not a writer! What am I going to write about?” There are 5 reasons why you can become a killer blogger. How to blog is very simple once you follow these steps:

1. Write about your passion
2. Offer valuable dynamic content and avoid putting your readers to sleep with these 6 ways.
3. Use marketing tactics and strategies when writing a blog post. Here are 3 valuable tactics:

  • Be the Resource Your Customers Really Need
  • Answer the Unanswered Questions
  • Find the Questions Your Customers are Asking

4. You’ll always need to improve your blog post using these 5 tips

  • Plan your blog post before you start writing
  • Give examples of how and what to do, not only why
  • Always end your post with a call to action
  • Edit your title, introduction and conclusion
  • Use easy formatting

5. Content curation is a well known concept in blogging which allows you to write a blog post about something you’ve read online. THE RULE is to refer to the author’s name and article link in your post. When I first started blogging on my blog – Elite Marketing Secrets – I used this method a lot until I was able to create my own content.

6. You can find blogging ideas to create your own content using these sources:

  • Other blogs (curating content)
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Movies
  • TV
  • Forums
  • Friends
  • Real life story
  • Success / failure stories
  • Google
  • Social media
  • Reviews
  • Interviews
  • Best of…..
  • How to…..
  • Case studies
  • Solve a problem
  • Your blog comments

7. Humanize or personalize your blog posts with your personality. Nothing is more boring than reading a blog post on a certain subject without feeling the author’s personality involved in the post. Mention your experiences, likes, dislikes, others experiences or stories. Storytelling is the #1 reason for grabbing your audience attention. It’s key in content marketing. If you master storytelling, then you mastered marketing and that is what 99.99% of marketers lack.

8. Here are a few more good blogging practices and tips:

  • Be consistent
  • Be organized
  • Be specific
  • Make it about your audience not about you (be interested not interesting)
  • Write a compelling headline
  • Engage your readers
  • Respond to your comments
  • Promote your content
  • Optimize your post
  • Join a blogging community
  • Share your expertise and others

Free Blogging Book

I’d like to offer a free blogging book here as an added value. Inside the book, you’ll discover how to blog your way to the top of your home business organization. The concepts in this book can be applied on any business.

Click here to get your free blogging book from Elite Marketing Secrets

To Your Success,
Niveen Salem

27 Tips on How to Build a Vibrant Twitter Community

@WelbornMedia

Building a Twitter community is the most important skill to develop when starting a Twitter campaign.  Fortunately, building a strong Twitter community is easy to do.  Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to establishing a thriving Twitter community:

  1. Tweet, Tweet Often and Tweet with a Purpose – Before you start your Twitter campaign begin by thinking of your purpose . . . or generate a mission statement.  Our mission statement is to help business owners share their passion with others.  We work with passionate business owners to help them increase their exposure, build their businesses and become positive examples for their communities.  Every tweet we send out is aligned with our goal of helping business owners become successful.  You won’t see tweets from us about what we had for dinner or our plans for the weekend.  Be true to your mission, tweet, and tweet often.  The more active you are on Twitter the faster your community will grow.
  2. Provide Value – Everyone says you need to provide value, but I never really understood what that meant.  Value is an ambiguous term, but it still applies.  My understanding of value is offering something to someone else that is a genuine effort to improve their lives.  Many people online, and on Twitter post what I call, “look at me articles.”  The greatest way to give value and create a more enthusiastic community is to genuinely try to help others.  It helps by addressing specific people’s issues and concerns and then sharing those issues with others.
  3. Actively Listen – The coolest thing about Twitter in my opinion is the search feature, type in any word into the bar at the top of the Twitter page and every single tweet that had that term in it will show up.  This provides marketers with an amazing opportunity to reach out to people who are actively communicating on Twitter.  For our clients we actively look for users who are communicating about their product or service and we reach out to them . . . we listen to them and we alter our strategies based off of their responses.  Listen actively and you will have a more engaged community.
  4. Don’t Sell – Don’t post “Look at Me” articles . . . most people get on Twitter and constantly post tweets that sell . . . buy this or buy that.  Do that and be sure to create a non-existent Twitter community.  No one wants to constantly be sold to.  So, don’t sell . . . be helpful and sales will come.  Use Twitter as a way to generate relationships first . . . trust second . . . a whole bunch of other things between and sales last.
  5. Follow Others – Follow others who post tweets that resonate with you and engage with them.  The more you engage others, the more likely they are to engage with you.
  6. Use Your Face as Your Profile Pic – People connect more to other people so be sure to use a profile picture that shows your face and preferrably a happy face at that.  We personally use a logo for our business twitter account, @WelbornMedia, but I usually connect with more people using my personal Twitter account, @ZebWelborn which has a picture of my beautiful face.  It always feels nicer to know who your talking to and easier for people to develop an emotional connection with you . . . thus making your community stronger.
  7. Look at Other Peoples Lists.  Once you find people to connect with and people who you enjoy communicating with, check out the lists they’ve created.  Chances are there will be more people like them that share their passions and interests and you can connect with them thus building your Twitter community.
  8. Jump into Conversations – Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet.  Conversations are happending all over Twitter all the time.  Twitter chats are a great way to get involved.  But, most importantly, don’t be afraid to respond to people . . . most people love getting responses to their tweets, so don’t be shy and meet more people.
  9. Followers Don’t Matter.  Active Followers Do. – The amount of people following you will not matter when it comes to making sales . . . the amount of engaged followers will.  There are tons of automatic following programs and Twitter has a large amount of users who don’t use the service on a regular basis, meaning a follower who is no longer using Twitter is no longer seeing your Tweets.  Building an engaged following is much more important than building numbers.  Don’t be obsessed with numbers, be obsessed with relationships.
  10. Be Consistent – I heard an analogy once that being a Twitter user is like being a farmer.  Few people have the patience to be a farmer, to plant the seeds, to tend to the plants all year long and then to harvest the plants at the end of the season.  A farmer can’t be absent during the process . . . if he does not tend to his crops, his crops will die before it’s time to harvest.  Twitter is the same way . . . You plant seeds by initiating conversations with different people.  You cultivate those relationships on a regular consistent basis and, then, and only then will you harvest the fruits of your labor.  If you ignore your crops they die.  If you ignore your Twitter followers they will not become your customers.
  11. The Tutoring Solution – http://www.thecatutoringsolution.com/

    Share Stuff – As the owner of The Tutoring Solution, our mission was to help inspire students to become successful in and out of the classroom.  To develop connections with other groups similar to ours we began sharing messages from other members of the #EdChat group, as a result they learned about our programs and our goals and began sharing our stuff.  We then, worked together to promote our missions and our community grew.

  12. Use directories like Twellow, Twubble, Twits Like Me, etc.  There are numerous Twitter directories that has influential Twitter users in your field, you can then use those directories to follow people who share your interests and in turn may follow you.  At the least you’ll see what influential people are doing to make an impact in your community.
  13. Follow those who follow you.  If someone follows you and they’re an active Twitter user, follow them back . . . not only should you follow them, but you should also reach out to them and thank them for following you.  I feel honored every time someone new follows me and I want to make sure my Twitter users know how honored I truly am.
  14. Develop a Strong Bio – Often times, Twitter users will check out your Twitter bio to see if you’re someone they would like to follow.  Be sure your Twitter bio is compelling and lets Twitter users know exactly what kind of person you are and what kind of relationship you will be creating with them.  Optimize your Twitter account . . . be sure to include target keywords, links to your website, add your location and give users a reason to follow you.
  15. Use a Strong Brand Name – Your name is important.  Use your own personal name, a name that goes with your brand, and one that Twitter users will want to connect with.
  16. Create Lists – You can create lists on Twitter which will help you when you start to follow too many people to keep track of.  I’m involved in many Twitter discussions:  SEO, Google AdWords, Social Media, and Education just to name a few.  By putting your followers into groups you can then jump into their discussions by accessing the list you have created for each group.
  17. Introduce People to Your Followers – As you communicate with people its important to share them with others.  If you know two people who share the same passion, connect them with each other.  Twitter is all about building relationships . . . Help people build relationships and they will help you build your community.
  18. Follow People from Different Niches – Everyone has their area of expertise, but that doesn’t mean you need to limit the users you follow.  If I only engaged in discussions with people who associated themselves with “Social Media,” I would be missing out on the potential to connect with new customers.  As a result, I look for niches where my services could either be used or easily referred by and connect with people there.
  19. Reciprocate – If someone does something nice for you . . . return the favor.
  20. Try to Connect with Twitter Friends Offline – While working for Los Serranos Country Club, I am frequently trying to connect with golfers offline.  Often, they will tell me they are headed to the golf course and I will connect with them.  This gives me an opportunity to meet them and get a face to the name, but it also enhances the bond we have with each other and the golf course.  I’ve always told businesses that one of the benefits of attracting people that use social media is that they have access to much more people, the people who I have met at the golf course have sent positive messages about Los Serranos Country Club to their lists of friends on Twitter, Facebook, through email and in person.  If you can build those connections you’re on the right track.  Check out this video of a user we connected with offline from our social media campaign – Louis Castillo on Golf at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills.
  21. Build Up.  Don’t Put Down. – Nobody likes a bully.  Being negative and angry is not conducive towards building a strong community.  Everyone loves people who make them feel good about themselves.  Be a person who makes people feel good and your community will grow.
  22. Use Twitter Tools – There are enormous amounts of Twitter tools you can use to  help manage your Twitter account(s).  Do online searches or ask other Twitter users how Twitter tools have helped them.  I’ve personally used HootSuite, TweetDeck, TweetAdder and TweetChat at different times to help me manage my Twitter accounts, but there are lots more.
  23. Learn the Lingo – Do you know what DM, @, RT, MT,  Tweet, Tw, # mean?  Ask the people on Twitter and they’ll tell you.  (I can’t tell you everything)
  24. Pay Attention to @ Replies – (Ok, I’ll tell you this one)  @ Replies are when people mention you directly in a tweet.  Respond to all @ replies in order to generate a discussion and build a stronger relationship.  @ replies is where I spend most of my time on Twitter . . . when you build a big enough community you will spend most of your time there too.
  25. Add Your Twitter ID to All Signatures – As with anything you’re using, be sure to let as many people know you’re using Twitter as possible.  This means including it in any documentation you may have, in your email signatures, on your Facebook page and anywhere else you can think of.
  26. Read the Bios of Those You Follow – You can develop an understanding of what makes people tick by reading their profiles and then develop more meanginful relationships as a result . . . the more you care about their interests, the more they will care about yours.
  27. Know Who the Players Are – Know who the leaders are in your industry on Twitter . . . Follow them, learn from them and try to connect with them.  By reaching out to people who are perceived as the experts in an industry you are associating yourself with the experts . . . and who knows . . . if you follow all these steps you may become the expert yourself.
  28. Get a Personality – Get creative with your tweets . . . the more creative you are, the more you’ll stand out and the more people will want to follow you.

    Scrapbook Expo Tweet

The most important thing to remember when building a vibrant Twitter community is that it takes time and effort.  You must work at it, but that is what makes social media so amazing . . . the small business owners have the same opportunity for success as the big guys and in some cases, when done right, can outshine the largest of competitors.

I am always happy to educate anyone who is interested in learning more about how you can use Twitter, Social Media or the Internet to reach more customers . . . If you would like me to discuss how Twitter can benefit you or your business, please send me an email – Zeb@WelbornSocialMedia.com or call me at (909) 973 – 9089.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team GB vs. New Zealand: The Kick-Off

Karen Bardsley

Having never been to Cardiff before I didn’t have any preconceptions of the city, stadia or the people but sure enough we were greeted with open arms. Cardiff was a beautiful town and we had the good fortune of staying at a hotel in the middle of the city, directly across from the high street. It was so nice to be able to wakeup in the morning and walk to the local Starbucks and get a lovely coffee in the morning. A barista asked us to sign some coffee cups, he was dedicating a shelf to all the Olympians that were visiting and to be fair he had quite a few from various nations. He also asked for our twitter handles so he and his co-workers could follow us – pretty cool! We also had an interesting dinner while in town, when we were in Middlesborough with the Men’s team someone spoke with Craig Bellamy. Being Welsh he knew quite a lot of good places to eat in Cardiff so he recommended an Italian restaurant, naturally we assumed it would be a treat but it turned out to be a little bit of a nightmare. A few of us ordered the seabass and it was quite different then what we expected, it certainly sounded delicious on the menu but when it was delivered it was literally a fileted fish, complete with eyes, head, and tail. It was stuffed with lemon and a few herbs sprinkled here and there. Sorry Craig but it was not my bag, they must really like you!

Kit

In preparation for our matches we did a lot of training but as the matches drew nearer we allotted more rest and recovery time. Players do a lot of different things to aid their recovery: ice baths, massages, walks, jogs, bike rides etc. but how do we stay entertained? Usually we find various ways to entertain ourselves or each other but one night in particular we felt like going to the cinema. We did the usual, we rounded up the team in the lobby and asked who would be interested in going but this time the manager on duty at the hotel overheard us and said, “I know the manager at the Cinema, let me give him a call.” We waited a few minutes and he came back to us with times for the films. A majority of us wanted to see “The Dark Knight” so we walked over and we were greeted and escorted to a theater. We sat there for about 15 minutes and the theater wasn’t filling up at all, we thought it was a bit strange but didn’t take much notice. A few people walked in a few minutes later and sat down mid-level but an usher quickly scurried in a asked them to follow him to another showing! WHAT?! Hang on a second. Were we having a private screening? We couldn’t resist tweeting about it.

The build up to the first match was great; not only were we full of enthusiasm, the whole city was buzzing with excitement too. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go to the opening ceremony but we did get to watch it together in our private viewing room (hotel meeting room) dressed in our snazzy opening ceremony outfits! We went down to dinner in our “spacesuits” and some of the girls paraded around the lobby, dining area and bar to rousing applause: the team made quite a scene. The following day we had the opportunity to visit Millennium Stadium and walk the pitch, it was a beautiful ground, the grass was immaculate. Unfortunately due to Olympic regulations, teams were not permitted to train at the stadium in the group stages so we had to go back to our training ground and get on with business as usual.

The following day was match day, Team GB v New Zealand. The most awesome thing about match day, especially on a massive stage like the Olympics, is the energy. As soon as the team woke up we could feel the energy and excitement exuding from every single person in the squad. It carried on all throughout the day: to Millennium Stadium, where we were escorted the last few kilometers by Police on horseback through a crowd of supporters, to the changing room and on to the pitch as we began the warm up. People were chanting our names, chanting Team GB and making up songs. The match hadn’t even started yet! It was definitely a feeling we will never forget. New Zealand were a very dangerous team, they were very fit and physical. They put us under some immense pressure at times, especially in the first half. The occasion may have got the better of us but in the end we came together as a team and secured our first three points and Team GB’s first official victory.