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Quick Tweets from the CAPS Conference

This past weekend I was at the annual CAPS Conference (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers). This year it was in Toronto – which would be awesome if I didn’t live in Toronto.

I love travelling to NSA and CAPS events. And when I have to go home at the end of the day, I know I’m missing a huge part of the experience.

As an exhibitor, it was a great opportunity to put faces to names and meet some really interesting characters.

But there was also a lot of time, when I was left at my booth for hours at a time.

My options were to see how many levels of Angry Birds I could conquer or engage with folks as they participated in sessions.

I chose the latter. And I did so with a series of tweets that I sent out over two days. Some of these I’ve talked about before. But some of them are new.

So without any further delay, here are some useful tips, doled out 164 characters at a time:

  • Turn your book into an ebook for iPad & kindle. Check out Smashwords.com #caps11
  • Try using feedburner.com to push out your blog to the world. #caps11
  • Get your book distributed internationally as POD. Look into lightningsource.com #caps11
  • Grow your Facebook fan page by exporting your contacts from LinkedIn. #caps11
  • Don’t be afraid to outsource your web development. Look into scriptlance.com #caps11
  • Connect your YouTube account to automatically update your Facebook fan page. #caps11
  • My mom doesn’t care how good of a speaker you are so I’m not going to Like your site. The most important share button for business is LinkedIn. #caps11
  • Google+ might be a pain in the ass, but it actually counts for SEO. Just build the business page and complain like the rest of us #caps11
  • If you’re using a personal Facebook page for business, you’re missing a lot of opportunities to connect with clients. Move them to a business page. #caps11
  • How does your site measure up? Get a quick and dirty snapshot @ websitegrader.com #caps11
  • Sign up for a Google Webmasters account and submit your site map. #caps11
  • Chop up all those videos you’ve got in a box beside your desk and create a YouTube channel.

Quick tips to improve your marketing

Back in December, I was an exhibitor at the CAPS Conference  in Montreal and as part of my follow-up, and as a thank you to everyone who attended, I’ve been reviewing sites and passing along recommendations to help folks improve their online marketing efforts in 2011.

I’ve noticed a lot of speaker sites need exactly the same things and so I’m putting this out there to help everyone in the group kick-start their marketing in 2011.

The first thing I’ll tell you is that I’m not recommending anything you can’t do yourself. I’m even including links to help you access the tools I’m talking about.

Obviously. I’m hoping you’re far too busy and you’ll hire me to do the work. But if not, at least you’ll have a pretty extensive to-do list .

The first thing I noticed is folks aren’t maximizing all the free Facebook integration tools.

There are 500 million folks on Facebook and it is one of your best opportunities to find more clients.

To do this you can:

  • add a Facebook “Like” button to every page on your site. This allows folks to share your site with their friends.
  • create a Facebook Fan Page that integrates your Linkedin profile, Twitter feed, blog and e-newsletter feeds, and display that fan page box on your homepage.
  • replace the default comments on your WordPress blog with Facebook Comments. This will eliminate spam and comments will appear in visitor’s status, so all their friends will see a link back to you site.

If you’re currently you’re using a profile instead of a Fan Page –  it’s a mistake I’m seeing over and over again as I do these reviews. There is a key distinction. With a profile page, you never know who is going to see your updates, but with a Fan Page everyone gets a notification.

Here is a link to grab the Facebook code:

http://developers.facebook.com/

Your books and audios

I recommend setting up an account with LightningSource.com and moving them to Print on Demand. Lightning Source is owned by Ingram, so your books will be available around the world through their catalogue as well as Amazon.com – USA, Canada, UK, EU.

Why POD? Very simple. If you are taking care of fulfilment yourself, Amazon is probably only taking 5 or 10 copies at a time. This means your books are probably showing as “Usually ships with 3-4 weeks.” With Lightning Source your books are always “Ships within 24hrs.” And that’s in Canada, US, UK and EU!

PDF e-books are great – or at least they were 3 years ago. Have you thought about offering your books as e-books for the iPad, Kindle and other readers? All you need to do is set up an account at Smashwords.com. Did I mention it’s a free service? In addition to being able to sell your books on your own site, your ebooks will also be available on the iTunes store, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

As for your audios, if you sell cds, why not create downloadable MP3 versions? Are you selling them on iTunes? Why not??

Videos/podcasting

As a speaker, you probably have boxes of videos you aren’t using. Why not chop them up and create a custom YouTube channel? Or use them for a Podcast distributed through iTunes. All you need is an xml file and some content!

Quick onsite changes:

Have a look at this tool and see what keywords you should be using in your copy to get more visits: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Set up a Google Webmaster (www.google.com/webmasters)  account and submit your xml site map. –

There’s obviously loads more, but if you just get the Facebook stuff done, you should see some real benefits.

Send me a note if you want a more personalized free consultation.