Facebook Algorithm Changes: 3 Things Your Business Must Do

Facebook Algorithm Changes: 3 Things Your Business Must Do

people panic over Facebook changes

Many of us woke up this week to find business owners and marketers running through the streets screaming and gnashing their teeth as the news of Facebook’s algorithm changing again came out. What will happen? Business pages will no longer be seen by anyone…ever!

Facebook calls its algorithm the “Audience Optimization Tool” and it is optimizing the newsfeed to correct its focus on paid news and more specifically, “Fake News” delivered in the past. It will be making a significant change to the way content will be shared in the newsfeed.

In a post on Facebook’s Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg said business and media posts are crowding out more personal moments. They want to encourage more “meaningful and personal connections and to do this they will increase content from friends, family, and groups in the news feed; and limit content from companies, brands, thought leaders, authors, journalists, celebrities and more. They want to “put the social back in social media.” Ask yourself right now, has your business been more social or more promotional? Are you talking to your audience or are you just posting content?

facebook changes killing business

So what does this mean for your business? Are you doomed? Should you go out and buy that CLOSED sign to hang on the door this weekend? Here’s the simple math equation that will help you solve the algorithm problem:

If a post goes out at 8am and reaches 300 people and you multiply it by 2 shares and divide by 13 likes and 2 laugh responses you will get a score of …. Oh come on …do you really think we can EVER figure out Facebook’s algorithm? Instead of trying to outsmart the Facebook brain, let’s talk about 3 actions you should be taking:

  1. Shift Your Thinking Back to Email

    Let’s all remember that no matter how many people see your posts, and regardless of the number of fans you have acquired, you are on rented land. You don’t own the platform and therefore having a million fans that see your content should never be the endgame. Your focus should be to pull people into your email list and nurture the relationships there as well. (Nurture being the keyword. Do more than COLLECT email addresses.) Social media is the tool, or driver, to get new people to your property…your email list. (Read: What is a lead magnet and why do I need them in my marketing)

  2. Create a Different Kind of Content

    Keep in mind the reason the algorithm is needed: There’s just too much content out there. We all have more “friends”, more pages we have liked, and more ads calling to us.  This algorithm change is just another filter to bring the best (or most popular) content to the top. Soooo… quality content is going to be CRITICAL. It has always been important, but perhaps now before you hit publish, you ask yourself questions like:

    • Is this unique information? Look around and see if others are posting the same stuff.
    • Does this elicit a response from people? Am I asking questions or making a provocative statement that will get people talking? There is an art to asking great questions. If you ask waste-of-time questions like, “Who wants to make more money?” “Who wants greater health?” you will get crickets (or you should). Instead, get personal. Talk one-on-one. Ask people to share what they think or what they will do with the information.
    • Am I providing content that people will find actionable and helpful? Does it give people something to ponder or do that will impact their lives or business?
    • Is this piece of content just unnecessary? You know the pretty quote overlays and the funny gifs we post to get likes? Well, those may not serve you well on Facebook any longer. Sure we may get people to chuckle and click LIKE, but unless a comment or conversation is started over it, Facebook will probably bury it 6 feet under.
  3. Get back to basics.

    In the old days, when we still had phones hanging on our walls and televisions sat on our living room floors, we used to get out and greet others on social media. We joined forums and groups where we asked questions, shared answers and formed a community. We got to know people who were not on our business pages and some of these relationships turned into friendships or business collaborations. I call it “walking about” (Read: 4 Tips for Better Social Media Management) and it will benefit you to go back in time and get social again. Build relationships on social media platforms. Don’t just post your content and sit back and wait for the analytics to show you how many people read it. It may seem like a tedious or slow process, but you will build solid relationships that will spread and who knows…you just might find your next customer or business partner.

social media community

So let’s agree that instead of wasting our energy crying over Facebook ruining our businesses, let’s get refocused and make some needed changes to our social media content and habits. I’d love it if you would share your ideas for greater connections here in the comments or of course you can jump over to our DIY Social Facebook Group and share then with us–you may just meet some other fabulous people while you’re there.

We also put together a “DO’s and DON’Ts for Facebook’s New Algorithm Changes” resource for you with actual questions and comments to use instead of the old “engagement baiting” LIKE THIS or SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS. You can download it here:

Facebook New Algorithm Changes Engagement Bait


Gina Schreck SocialKNX and DIY social


@GinaSchreck is the CEO at SocialKNX and loves connecting on any social platform to share and learn together. Just don’t send creepy private messages that just say “Hi.”

Understanding The Four Faces of Facebook in 2017

Understanding The Four Faces of Facebook in 2017

There is no doubt that Facebook is the power-tool that we need in today’s marketing toolbelt.  With well over 2 BILLION users, you have almost half of the world at your fingertips.

What started as a college connection tool has evolved into a Quad-Faced, personal networking and professional business behemoth.  Along with this evolution has come great confusion.  How to separate personal from professional use? What is the difference between profiles, pages, and groups?  Here is an overview of the four faces and how to use each.


    The mainstay of Facebook is the personal profile, and it can be used for both personal connections with family members and close friends or as a professional networking tool.  The terms of agreement at Facebook state that you will have only one account.  If used correctly, you do not need separate accounts for business and personal use.  Using the “LIST” feature you can create a list for colleagues and lists for family members or friends and then set privacy settings for these lists that will help you keep your information and photos nicely separated. When you go to craft a post on Facebook, you can select who you want that information to be shared with–the PUBLIC, FRIENDS, FRIENDS of FRIENDS, or you can select one of your groups…family only, people who live in Littleton CO, etc.
    different types of facebook pages and profiles


    The former FAN PAGE has matured into the Business Tool extraordinaire.  PAGES can do just about anything a website can do including house videos, blogs, testimonials, and more.  You can have as many PAGES as you’d like and they are created off of your personal PROFILE.  When you log into your personal PROFILE you will find a section on the left column that reads, “EXPLORE” and then PAGES. From this link, you will choose “Create a PAGE”.
    PAGES have no limit on the number of fans you may have (profiles cap at 5,000) and each post from a PAGE is fully indexed by Google and other search engines (profile posts depend upon your privacy settings).  People who like your PAGE cannot see anything on your PROFILE (unless you are connected there) and your friends are not automatic fans of your PAGE.  Facebook PAGES also offer wonderful analytic tools to help you track click-through rates, fan demographics and more.
    [Read: 7 Reasons to use a BUSINESS Page over a PERSONAL PROFILE]
    One word of caution when naming your page: You may want to put your business name or other benefit-revealing name on your page instead of your personal name.  Your friends will know the value or type of information YOU will provide but if your goal is to grow your fan base beyond your friends, your page should give an idea of WHY I SHOULD allow your PAGE information to be added to my information stream.  [See post: Unless You’re a Rock Start, Your Facebook Page Shouldn’t Have Your Name]


    This is the somewhat old and random face on Facebook.  This was to try and create a Yelp-like page for people to post reviews and photos of different locations. When a business came around to finally creating their “business page,” they would convert the PLACES page into a BUSINESS PAGE. The problem is, there are still PLACES pages being created by users who just can’t find the actual Facebook Page for the business, and then the businesses find several rogue places pages out there and have to merge them into the main page. It’s a pain and I hope these go away soon.
    different types of Facebook pages

  4. Facebook GROUPS.

    GROUPS are meant to foster discussion around a particular topic area and were initially great tools to use after a class or conference to keep the conversations flowing.  Facebook GROUPS are similar to LinkedIn Groups.  They do not have the same functionality as PAGES but have the benefit of being made private (members must be approved to join) or even secret (not even showing up in group searches).  This makes them a great tool that you are able to monitor as an individual or business. Currently (2017) a business cannot start or run a group. They must be managed by an individual profile. So I manage our DIYsocial group as Gina Schreck. SocialKNX (our business page) can promote the group, but SocialKNX cannot post or comment. I have a feeling this will change soon as more businesses are finding creative ways to use groups. To create your own GROUP, you simply log into your Facebook PROFILE and like creating a PAGE, you look for the GROUP link on the left column and select “Create a GROUP.”  After naming your GROUP and filling out some basic information you will be taken to the second page that allows you to make the group public, private or secret.

So whether you choose to take advantage of one or all four of Facebook’s Faces, it all starts with YOUR face.  Take off that mask, create that profile and let’s connect!

I would love to know which face on Facebook do you spend the most time with or find the most helpful to your business?

If you haven’t joined our DIYsocial group–pop on over, there’s lots of helpful info and it’s a place to get your questions answered.

If you are just setting up your business page, be sure to download our free GUIDEBOOK for STARTING ON FACEBOOK

how to set up a facebook business page


@GinaSchreck Connect with me on Facebook – Gina Schreck or any other social channel…I’m everywhere you want to be! 🙂

How to Deliver Your Lead Magnets and Capture the Contact Information

paper airplanes

Last week we looked at how to create lead magnets as an important step in your marketing and sales process. In case you didn’t read the last post all about lead magnets, head here to catch up. But as a quick refresher, lead magnets are those free pieces of content that you use to draw prospects in and begin to build trust and credibility, so you can convert the lead into a customer.

Expert Definition


Our goal is to get our prospects to know us (that’s the exposure that social media can offer), then to like us (likeability is a big factor in the buying cycle and comes through the type of content you are sharing and your ability to build rapport through that content) and then to trust us to be able to solve their problems and provide answers before they will buy from us.

Too many people expect to go from KNOW ME to BUY FROM ME and are disappointed when posting on social media doesn’t result in sales. There are more steps to the typical sales cycle. Not always, but most of the time. There are times I am scrolling through Instagram and see a great skirt, or cool gift idea and will click over to purchase the item immediately. When it’s a low dollar investment, I may not need to trust you or even like you, as long as I can buy from you NOW. Whether I return or not, might take a little of the likeability and trust factors. Great lead magnets offer valuable information that can build trust and even likeability.


Now that we have those great pieces of content created, let’s talk about how to get them out to people. You want to either house your lead magnet on a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Docs, or if you are using a service like Leadpages (see below), you will upload your pdf there for easy delivery.

paper airplane delivering content

To get started you need to have an email service. This is where you will gather the contact information and then nurture the relationships with these folks with weekly or monthly email campaigns. Some of these have a free option to begin but all of them are very reasonable to get you going. Here are just a few:

Constant Contact

Within the email service you can create sign up forms so people can opt-in to your lists for newsletters or lead magnets. These are not necessarily going to provide a beautiful landing page (a page that looks like a website with copy on it explaining what they are about to download or sign up for), but instead most email services can provide a lead “box” or form that simply collects the contact information, but technically you could have this form collect an email and set up an initial triggered email within the service that sends out a message with the link to your lead magnet going to the item in Dropbox or Google Docs.

You may want to sign up for a service that helps you build out simple templated landing pages, like Leadpages. Leadpages gives you templates that are tested and proven for higher conversion rates. They are set up to look more visually appealing than a plain form or lead box. They have templates for getting webinar registrations, complete with countdown clocks and information spots about the instructors on the webinar. Leadpages has a monthly cost starting at $25 a month, and if you are going to commit to building your email list, this is an investment worth every penny.

Using a tool like Leadpages, you would create a landing page like the one below, and then when the person clicks on the button to request your download, their contact information is sent directly to your email service and an email is sent from Leadpages with the lead magnet attached. All automated for you.

Leadpages template

I Have Your Email, Now What?

Now that your prospect has your wonderful piece of content and you have their contact information, what happens? As you are building your lead magnets, be sure to ask yourself this question, “Now What?” When the prospect gets to the bottom of your lead magnet or finishes listening to you on a webinar or video that they consumed, what should they do next? Put a link in the email they get with the lead magnet or put it directly on the item that is sent, back to your website, or to a blog post that they might find helpful.

Nurture Clients

And now that their email address is in your email list, you might want to set up a regular email that goes out providing additional resources they might find helpful. Tips or resources you have found helpful and want to share. An invitation to join you for a webinar or an offer for a free consultation with you and your team. Think of ways to stay in touch with the people on this list. Nurture the relationships and soon they will convert to paying customers.

Before you get to feeling overwhelmed, I want you to know that if you take this step by step, it is VERY DOABLE! You can do this, even by your little ol’ self. You don’t have to be a technical wizard, you just have to be willing to learn something new. If you get stuck or have questions on one part or another, let me know. I can point you to some resources for help.

So to recap:
1. Create your lead magnets (see last post for lots of ideas)
2. House your lead magnet somewhere—Google Doc, Leadpages, Dropbox, mostly as pdf files.
3. Set up your email service provider
4. Create your landing page or lead capture box
5. Nurture the people who are now on your email list.

If you want our simple guide to taking your strategic goal and laying out the path or plan to get there, be sure to download our cheat sheet below:

strategic planning guide

The 3-Step Formula to Ensure Your Social Media Activity Will Help You Reach Your Business Goals

social media to reach business goals

Hitting business goals with social media is like planning a family vacation: You don’t start with planning potty-stops (well unless you travel with someone who has an extremely small bladder, then you just might).

Yesterday a new client asked how many posts per day we will be sharing on Facebook and how many on Twitter. I asked her if she has ever taken a road trip. She replied, “Yes. Why?” I told her when you plan a road trip you don’t start by deciding how many gas stations and potty-stops you’ll take. You decide where you are going and make the necessary stops to get there.

Many people are concerned about whether they should be posting 4 times a day or 20 times a day on their social media channels. There are people who worry about whether posts go out at 5am or 5pm. The key is, the algorithms have gotten so good it doesn’t matter what time of day you post. If your followers are typically interested in your content, it will be waiting for them when they log in.

We are looking at social media marketing all wrong if we are asking how many posts do we need to load each day. We need to take each goal and ask, “How do we get there?” Will we need to take a plane? A train? A car? All the above? And if you have ever followed a paper map instead of your GPS, which basically tells you what to do and which route to take, you know there are often several routes you could take to reach the same destination.

You may have to identify multiple goals along the way before you arrive at your final destination. Perhaps your final destination is halfway around the world. Your first goal is getting your family from your home to the airport. Then the next goal is to get from that destination to a train station and then a rental car location in the next destination. Achieving a business goal is a lot like this family vacation. There’s a lot of planning that has to go into getting to that final and ideal destination.

road trip hipsters

Let’s be sure the main goal you have in mind is the real business goal. If your goal is to have 1,000 fans on your Facebook Page, I would ask you WHY. Why do you want 1,000 fans on your Facebook Page? Do you want 1,000 fans so you can get 500 of them in a coaching program you run? Then getting 500 coaching clients is your goal. Having 1,000 fans on Facebook might be one of the vehicles you take. Adding fans, and followers to your social channel that then come into your email list to attend a free webinar to then sign up as a coaching client might be a better route to take.

So let’s take our road trip analogy and help you create a plan.

summer road trip

The Strategic Goal: Where are you wanting to go?

Identify the goals you have, big and small. These are the destinations you want to get to. Many times, it is not a single goal, but each one will have its own roadmap and plan.

The Plan: What mode of transportation will you need to take to get there?

Let’s identify some of the different vehicles you could take to get you to your goal:

  • Social Media Posts
  • Webinars
  • Video – Live streaming or pre-recorded
  • Blog Posts
  • Podcast shows (yours or someone else’s)
  • Whitepaper or research paper
  • Tip sheets
  • Templates
  • Email
  • Facebook Ads

Now let’s work backward. We’ll use the coaching program as our example and work backward to identify the specific activities that need to take place to help us get there. You will simply tweak this to layout your own trip and plan.

GOAL – Final Destination → Getting 500 people in a coaching program

PLAN→ Host a webinar to teach the top 2 things people do to sabotage their own success and 3 steps to put a stop to that. If you can convert 20% of webinar attendees to sign up for your coaching program, you will need to have 2,500 on your webinar, or you need to host a few webinars with an average of 500 on each.

GOAL –Destination #3 → Getting 500 people on a webinar 5+ times

PLAN→ Email campaign. Send a series of 5 emails – 4 with short video tips to make changes in your life and the last email inviting people to a free webinar. Assuming you will get a 50% conversion of people who watch your videos to those who sign up for the webinar, you are going to need 5,000 people getting these email sequences.

GOAL – Destination #2→ Getting 5,000 in your email sequence

PLAN→ Lead Magnets (Freebie) with a downloadable resource guide or tip sheet for people struggling with self-sabotage. They get added to your email list when they download.
PLAN → Blog post about the destructive powers of self-sabotage with a tip sheet at the end for people to download and get added to your email list.
PLAN→ Weekly Facebook Live events to discuss one problem and one tip each week and end with a freebie off to download your research paper or tip sheet to gather email addresses.
PLAN→ Social media posts driving traffic to blog content mentioned above.
PLAN→ Social media posts offering freebie download
PLAN→ Social media posts inviting people to webinar
PLAN→ Facebook Ads using FB Live event that has an offer at the end.
PLAN → Facebook remarketing ads to those who watched the Facebook Live videos above but didn’t end on your freebie offered at the end. This ad could offer the free download

GOAL- Destination #1→ Grow your social media audience continually to keep new people seeing your content above.

PLAN→ Add specific hashtags to draw in your strategic audience
PLAN → Follow or connect with people who are interested in other coaching books, seminars, speakers, etc.
PLAN→ Create posts on Facebook that get people to identify self-sabotaging behavior they have experienced or seen in their life. Share a downloadable tip sheet after and ask people to share with others who might find it helpful

As you can see, this list can not only continue to grow but can be as exhausting as a family road trip. The key I want you to take away is this:

Stop focusing on the number of gas and potty-stops that you will make each day. Spend a little more time on the strategy and daily plan and you will get to your final destination much faster and have a much better time once you are there.

Be sure to download our cheat sheet that will help you create your own Strategic Plan!

strategic planning guide

Build Your Blog Audience and Social Followers by Getting Personal

Build Your Blog Audience and Social Followers by Getting Personal

blogger blogging

Most new bloggers worry that no one will see their posts when they first start blogging and many on social media feel the same way when starting out. “Why should I post anything when no one is following me yet?” Then when people finally comment or retweet something there is no response. It takes a little more effort to build your blog audience than just writing great content.

not responding to comments on blog or social media channels

The goal on any social channel, including your blog, is to build a relationship with people, one at a time. If you look at most social channels, it as if the goal is to broadcast how awesome the brand is or how great their lifestyle is. Not a whole lot of personal connecting going on.

While one-on-one connecting may seem counter to what most think of when using social media, you will build your blog audience and a larger following on any channel if you focus on relationships….one at a time. Most of the time brands are only focused on pushing out content and they forget the all important role of community management and growth activities.

When someone at a brand reaches out to you, comments on something that is not necessarily related to them, or they respond to something you said or a question you asked, you may just feel compelled to draw closer or take a second look at them. They show interest in you which immediately makes you more interested in them. The folks at Olive and Cocoa do this exceptionally well. They will comment or like one of my Instagram posts that has nothing to do with gifts or their brand. Each time they do, it adds a little affinity credit to their brand in my mind. I usually pop over to drool over all the fabulous gifts they have on their site and I lust after their Delancy Champagne Flutes one more time whispering, “one day you’ll be mine!”   And yes I have made purchases from them because of this relationship-building.

Here are 5 ways to build your blog audience and your following on social media channels. This will go beyond just numbers, but will build relationships:

  1. Further the Conversation

    When someone takes the time to comment on your blog or social media channel, don’t just LIKE their comment or say “Thanks” for the comment. Further the conversation. Ask them a question. What specifically did they take away from your post or how have they seen it work elsewhere? Be sure it doesn’t sound like you are challenging them. I have had people ask me why I liked their social post or why I commented on a blog post. That’s just weird! It’s like being trapped at a party with the awkward person in the corner. I want to take it back and say, “Never mind…I don’t like it now.” Your goal is to continue the conversation, not interrogate them.

  2. Make a Great First Impression

    Before blindly connecting with someone that requests to connect on LinkedIn or Facebook, look at their profile and find something to comment on or start a conversation with. Start the relationship off with more than a blank connection that just throws them into your mix of connections.

    If someone follows you on Twitter and they look interesting enough to follow back, go through a page of their posts first and retweet or comment back to them letting them know you find something helpful or interesting. Then when you follow them back, it will be more meaningful. You can add Twitter connections to a list and be sure to watch their posts a bit more closely for a while which will allow you to comment and share their content more readily.

    how to create a twitter list
    How to create a twitter list

  3. Follow Up

    If someone asks a question on your blog post or makes a comment letting you know that the content helped them, follow up in a couple of weeks (you most likely have their email from their comment) with an email asking if they have been able to implement the changes or new information you shared. See if there is anything else you can help them with, without throwing in an offer or mentioning anything promotional. If you have another blog post that you think could offer more insight or helpful information, definitely include that, but DO NOT try to promote your business here. You will go from strange and helpful blogger to spammy creeper faster than you can hit the delete key!This simple and quick act will most likely catch people off guard, after all, how often does a blogger take the time to email someone that commented on their posts? By showing you care and that you are actually interested in them, they will most likely come back and revisit your site.

  4. Buy Them a Virtual Coffee

    Do you have someone or a group of someone’s who share your content regularly or comment often on your blog? Why not let them know how much you appreciate them. Send a $5 eGiftcard from Starbucks or somewhere else letting them know you appreciate them or if you engage back and forth often, let them know you enjoy the virtual coffee chat time. Perhaps you have something of value, like an ebook or something else non-promotional that you could send them just to say THANKS!

  5. Everyday Gratitude

    Thank people for sharing your content through fun, personalized, and super simple images or gifs. Why not take a selfie holding a sign thanking the person by name or find a great gif at Giphy.com that says thank you better than just a simple LIKE on a post. I have a collection of fun THANKS FOR SHARING images or YOU ROCK photos that I like to send anytime someone shares one of my posts. It only takes a couple of seconds but sets you apart from the crowd.

    gratitude for sharing your content

Remember, people will repeat behaviors that get recognized and rewarded. Rewards can be monetary or sentimental. The smallest gesture showing gratitude or care can blossom into a life-long friendship. Don’t overlook these opportunities to build relationships that grow and turn mere readers into fans that will help drive people to your site!

If you are saying to yourself, “I wish I could just get someone to actually comment on my posts” be sure to read next week’s post— “How to Kick the Crickets From Your Blog and Get Readers and Comments” a case study and EXTREME MAKEOVER!

If you’d like some help on coming up with topics to blog about, be sure to sign up for the 15-Day Content Creation Challenge. Get a prompt for your blog or social media posts each day for 15 days sent to your inbox.

15 day content creation challenge

I appreciate you and hope you found some helpful tips to form greater relationships with your readers and social media connections. I know if you implement them you will see these relationships blossom and your numbers RISE!


Gina Schreck, social marketing

Get the Oatmeal Out of Your Marketing Content and Go CRAZY

Get the Oatmeal Out of Your Marketing Content and Go CRAZY

marketing content should not be bland


We are all drowning in oatmeal…content oatmeal…social media oatmeal. Oatmeal is BLAND content with no personality. It comes in large vats and is dished up easily to the masses. Oatmeal content is neither hot nor cold, but it’s easy. It doesn’t require much in the way of preparation or presentation. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good bowl of oatmeal, with raisins or dried cherries and brown sugar…and a side of extra crispy bacon. Clear the arteries and then clog them back up. It’s a balanced diet. But oatmeal is for breakfast, not for our content.


This week we were chatting with one of our social media management clients about trying to uncover more of her brand’s voice. We were sliding into the oatmeal zone with her content, which is easy to do when it is a common topic or an industry with lots of competition. I found it difficult to explain this concept. It was about as hard as trying to explain to someone how to speak with “passion” when presenting a technical topic. You must uncover the excitement or the frustration points in the topic, even if the topic is mundane. It’s easy to tell someone to do this, but hard for them to know HOW to actually do it. (The secret is actually to tighten your abs and then speak…Go ahead try it…instant passion!)

It’s hard to know HOW to create content that is unique and stands out. It’s often hard to formulate a personality for our brand that is truly unique. We look around at all the other brands in our industry and see “how it’s done,” and we settle into our bowl of oatmeal with them. It’s warm. It’s safe. It’s easy. If you get too crazy you might ruffle feathers and offend someone. People might think you are CRAZY and whisper about you as you walk down the halls.


If you want to see who is doing CRAZY content in a crowded space, look at Maria Cyza (aka Angie Castellano), creating video content in the direct marketing makeup space (which is extremely crowded). But look at the number of views this woman gets on her videos, and by the way, it shows not just in video views, but in sales dollars as well! Maria is BRILLIANT. MailChimp is another brand that consistently shows us their personality. (Of course, it’s easier to do when your mascot is a chimp named Freddie, but no one’s stopping you from creating a fun mascot who can do your dirty work.) Who stands out in your industry? Who do people whisper about when they walk by? What makes them stand out?

Being “out there” or crazy takes guts. We might lose business because people don’t get us, but perhaps that’s ok. The right people will. Years ago I had one of our large clients tell me that he thought I might want to change our company voice mail and contact page. He thought it didn’t have the professional image that he thought we should have (his humble opinion) should their other franchise locations contact us. I actually changed it and then a few months later realized that I didn’t want to be his kind of oatmealy professional. I wanted to stand out, be memorable, be myself. I changed it back and not only get regular comments on our contact page but have had people tell me that it was one of the reasons they wanted to work with us…because we stood out.

Maybe we all need to get a little crazier in our marketing. Maybe we need to loosen our ties and let our true personality come out a little more. Yes, it takes more time when creating content to think about how that should look, feel, or sound in each piece, but if we spend the time uncovering or rediscovering, who we really are as a brand and what makes us look, sound, or feel truly unique, it will be easier for our ideal clients and customers to find and connect with us.


If you have not identified your tone in your brand style guide, perhaps you can add a section in there showing the types of words or phrases that your brand would use and would never use. Outline elements of your brand’s style that you’d like to carry over into each area of your marketing, and if you don’t have a brand style guideline, or you have no idea what I’m even talking about (it’s not the same as Nordstrom’s style guide) download our resource guide on what to put in yours to keep your brand consistent!

How to Create a Brand Style Guide
Now let’s take care of that oatmeal you’ve got all over the place.
6 Places to Check for Oatmeal:

    Is it unique or does it convey the personality of your brand?
  2. Your EMAIL signature
    Do you have a unique signature line or is it the standard oatmeal signature line? Create a signature line that gives people more information about you and your brand. Be sure to weave your personality in there as well.
  3. Your website ABOUT page
    Maybe you don’t even call it an “ABOUT PAGE.” Perhaps your brand is more about innovation and you have another way to let people know about you and your amazing team.
  4. Your website CONTACT page
    Are there more ways to get ahold of you than just via email? Your CONTACT page is a great place to get a little creative. Show off your personality since you actually have someone looking that is interested in your brand. Maybe you can add a lead magnet or put some interesting facts here.
  5. Your BLOG content
    This is probably one of the easiest places for you to highlight your brand’s personality. Don’t get all mushy and bland here.
  6. Your SOCIAL MEDIA channels
    Now loosen the tie a little more and BE SOCIAL. How does your brand behave on social media? Are you just regurgitating blog content or are you inviting people in for a conversation? Be sure to remember that personality here on your social channels.

5 Ways to Get Out of the Oatmeal Zone and Stand Out

  1. Ask yourself, “What frustrates me about our industry or how people perceive it?

    When you write about or create content about things that frustrate you (I’m not talking about just a rant post) your true tone typically emerges. Does it frustrate you when people waste time on something or are taken advantage of? Write to fix this problem.

  2. Ask yourself, “What excites me about our industry more than anything?”

    Tell the world about something they absolutely need to know. This excitement typically comes out in your writing or content creation.

  3. Point out the questions people SHOULD BE ASKING but they aren’t.

    Most content is created to answer the questions everyone is asking. We even recommend starting with your most frequently asked questions when creating content, but what questions do people NOT ask that end up costing them time, money or frustration?

  4. Look for the edge of topics that you are writing or creating content about.

    What is everyone saying already and what pieces do you have something different to say about it or what do you disagree with?

  5. Take time to identify your brand’s PERSONALITY.

    If your brand were a person, would she be witty? Sarcastic? Empathetic? Filled with passion for justice? What would your brand wear to work? What would she drink? How would she speak if you were hanging out for lunch? Now create your content AS her!


Where else do you see oatmeal content? Have you discovered a secret to keeping your brand’s personality front and center of your content? (We want more secrets that involve tightening our abs –it’s the only workout some of us get.)

Share your thoughts with us and connect with us on our social channels…Let’s have breakfast together!


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