I'm a featured expert in the recently released Digital Citizenship Techniques. It's a book on keeping kids safe and productive online. My best advice? Keep it balanced with both study time and "fun" time. Check out the full book on Amazon:
My current work routine entails driving to San Antonio twice a week to fulfill an adjunct faculty role at Palo Alto College. The campus and the students keep me both energized and creative in my various pursuits in business and academia.
Logistically, the 80 mile drive - or 160 miles each day - could be a strain on my productivity as a communications consultant who has her hands in more than one creative project.
But I see my travel time as a learning opportunity, much like Laura Vanderkam's concept of "car schooling." During my lengthy drives, I digest multiple podcasts on various topics: marketing, entrepreneurship, story-telling, and so forth.
Lately, I've been particularly engaged by podcasts outside my normal industry of interest. Here are my top five favorites:
1. S-Town: Part murder mystery and part treasure hunt, S-Town explores the unique landscape of a rural Alabama town, within the context of a heartbreaking story. This podcast made me think about how people much different from me see politics, global issues and even morality. I inhaled this narrative in two days.
2. Women of the Hour: Lena Dunham's podcast highlights women who are making their mark on the world in a variety of ways. I love that this show refuses to exist within normal feminist tropes. As host, Lena chooses to seek out many stories not currently told in popular culture. It's now in its second season and can be easily enjoyed by all gender identities.
3. Sword and Scale: A dear friend shared this podcast with me, and I've been obsessed ever sense. Claiming "the worst monsters are real," Sword and Scale delves deep into true crime stories, from current news headlines to those confined to history books and horrific memories. It's NOT for the light of heart and might keep you up at night.
4. Distraction with Dr. Ned Hallowell: Dr. Hallowell is the foremost expert on ADD and ADHD, as well as the author of several best-selling books on managing to focus in a modern world. His podcast discusses everything from how meditation can help people of all ages to dealing with our fast-pace reality.
5. The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey: I came to Jamie Ivey by way of Jen Hatmaker, and I've loved her weekly (and sometimes bi-weekly) episodes ever since. Jamie reflects true, authentic passion for women in all stages of life. In each episode, Jamie interviews a female speaker, author, business owner, or industry leader about their world. As a women in business who has her hand in multiple projects at once, I love learning from Jamie's guests each week.
Now I'd love to hear from you. What are your favorite non-business podcasts on rotation? Share with me here or on Twitter.
Interested in getting free advice from me on digital narratives, including social media industry trends and updates? Sign up for my quarterly communication.
Earlier this month, Entrepreneur asked for tips on creating freelance contracts. I was only too happy to share a few lessons learned.
(One of my favorites? "Get absolutely everything in writing." Truer words were never spoken.)
Catch the full article over at the Entrepreneur website.
I've had the privilege of working with several dozen law firms over the course of my career. From corporate law to personal injury attorneys, most legal industry clients have a similar question at the beginning of our relationship:
Do I really need digital marketing?
It's a fair question. After all, legal firm clients typically won't sign a retainer agreement due to a Facebook post or set of tweets. Legal retainer agreements require time, expertise and a personal relationship. I get it. But here's a question I ask prospective clients in the legal industry:
How do you currently gain new clients?
Most of the time, the response is: "Our reputation and through referrals."
Absolutely. To which I reply:
What if we could double the power of your reputation and referrals?
Digital marketing for law firms isn't primarily about gaining new clients. Its focus should be finessing an already stellar reputation through quality content, dynamic announcements and sophisticated industry monitoring.
If you're an attorney or work for a law firm, let's chat. I'd be glad to send over my top three digital marketing tips for legal firms - free of charge.
Until next time,
Back in October, Bloomberg interviewed me about my favorite procrastination tips. I had a great time sharing how I sing to relieve stress, including a funny anecdote from my first apartment in Austin.
For those near me, I'd love for you to attend the next Women Communicators of Austin luncheon next Wednesday!
I'll be moderating a panel on digital trends for 2017, including a look at tips, tools and tactics all strategic communicators need in their arsenals for next year.
Interested? Here's all the info you need.
Fun fact: Most communications professionals are active on at least two social media platforms.
Whether you're into tweeting rants about The Walking Dead or simply enjoy posting selfies to Facebook, it's difficult to make sure each social media channel represents you and your personal brand well. At its core, social media is meant to be fun, right? Absolutely.
But as communications professionals, social media also acts as a digital calling card to potential employers, clients and our greater network in general. The problem? We're all busy!
With that in mind, I complied my top five social media profile fixes that take five minutes or less to implement. Here we go:
Minute 1:. Update your bio.
Take a minute and switch up the language on one or more of your social media bios. Add in a new interest or even spice up the current copy with an emoji or punchy adjective.
Minute 2: Follow two new people.
Log in to a selected social network and follow two completely new people. Love fashion and beauty? Follow a few new influencers or brands on Instagram. Go crazy for self-help? Follow your favorite author on Twitter or Facebook. Do this 1-2 times a month to keep your social media channels fresh and interesting to the most important user - YOU.
Minute 3: Mix in a new hashtag.
Some hashtags are just tired and overdone. If you've tagged #yolo until your fingers feel numb, it's time to mix in a new hashtag on Instagram or Twitter. Need inspiration? Check out hashtagify.me to see what the cool kids are doing. Then use what feels right to you.
Minute 4: Think of a live video idea.
Live video stands out as the major trend of 2016. But it's not a medium to jump into lightly. Platforms such as Facebook Live and Snapchat now store live videos for a set amount of time. So, plan ahead for a better future live experience. Take a minute and jot down a few ideas for a live video. Then bring it up in your next marketing meeting (or post it yourself!)
Minute 5: Link to evergreen content.
Take 30 seconds to look over your personal blog or social media accounts. Have you linked to something awesome you accomplished lately? If not, take the second 30 seconds to post a link to a previous "win." Avoid the humblebrag and go for gold by being direct and to the point.
What quick social media fixes do you love or recommend? Tweet them to me @nataliebid.
You've been on LinkedIn a few years - maybe even a decade. You log in from time to time to get a break from the craziness on Facebook. Perhaps you reach out to your contacts or post a job update, illustrating your expertise or portfolio. Sounds good, right?
When I work with clients on updating their LinkedIn profile, I rarely tell them to post more often or share more information. My top discussion points tend to be the various mistakes - or missed opportunities - made on the platform. Here are my top three:
1. Your profile picture is a car selfie.
Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing a seat belt strap across the torso of a professional on LinkedIn. Unless you're a car salesperson, have a friend or colleague take a basic picture of you from the shoulders up.
2. Your "Summary" section reads like a purpose statement or professional objective from your resume.
Allow the "Summary" section of your LinkedIn profile to showcase your personality and a few "teasers" of your experience. It may be the only content someone reads, so make it count.
3. Your LinkedIn inbox is overflowing with connection requests and messages.
If you're active on more than one social media platform, adding in messages from LinkedIn can feel superfluous. But these ignored messages are likely not an invitation to play Candy Crush Saga. They may be potential job opportunities, clients or new contacts.
True story: I've encountered several career-changing moments specifically through LinkedIn.
Need help with your LinkedIn profile? Let me know in the comments below. Happy LinkedIn-ing!
Here's a snippet from their blog:
Independent digital and content marketing strategist Natalie Bidnick Andreas tells me that she “uses PicMonkey on a daily basis for both my clients and my own purposes… I absolutely love it.”
Be sure to read the full article, which includes pros and cons for each platform, on Capterra's website.