Guest Post: How I Got 11,000 Likes on My Facebook Page in Six Months

One World Likes

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.”   ~ E. B. White

tim emersonWhat do Trinidad and Tobago, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, Uganda, Singapore, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sudan, Vanuatu, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have in common?  

I’ll give you a few moments to ponder. 

A month ago I wrote a guest blog post for Tad, “How I added 8,000 Facebook fans in 5 months,” outlining how I went from a static 623 fans at the beginning of February to 8,921 in July.  

In that piece, I explained how I got clear about my page’s purpose and message, paid attention to what got positive response and adjusted, worked out a simple system for keeping the page active while spending very little time on it, and resisted selling, except for limited free offers.  To this last part, as it seems counterintuitive, I added how Facebook generates 1/3 of my email list subscribers and fills my free teleseminars, from which I enroll new clients, particularly in my higher end offerings. 

By the way, I could add to that list Zimbabwe, Tuvalu, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Sudan, Somaliland, South Africa, Samoa, Rwanda, Palau, Nauru, Malta, Kiribati, Kenya, India, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.  Found the connection yet?   Be patient – it took me a while too. 

I also added to that piece that while I’m not a fan of Facebook advertising overall, I have found that a small, quirky ad, with an eye-catching image, in keeping with your point of view and strategic purpose and with a severely limited budget, just a few bucks a day, would generate around 40-60 new fans daily, combining click-throughs with new organic likes from shares.  

One nice thing about Facebook advertising is the ability to carefully target ad audiences.  So when my 50 new fans each day started to trickle down to barely 20 a day, I took a look at these targets, to see if maybe I could freshen things up a bit.  

At first, nothing much.  I had hit every related interest I could think of, and I didn’t want to expand my age demographics, as that would probably be counter-productive.  But then I looked at countries. 

Originally, I listed all the English speaking countries I could think of quickly.   You know—the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand…that’s it, right?  Well, Belize I guess, but it’s so small, what’s the point. 

But I’ve been working a lot with intuition for the past few months, and something flashed into my head about Belize.   Maybe not so fast.  So I Googled “English speaking countries” on a hunch, and found…88 of them.  88!  That’s 82 new audiences, all ready to experience for the very first time!  

So I added Mauritius, the Marshall Islands, Malawi, Liberia, Lesotho, Jamaica, Guyana, Grenada, Ghana, Gambia, Eritrea, Dominica, Cameroon, Botswana, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda – Facebook limits you to 25 countries at a time.  But my likes spiked THAT DAY from 20 to 200.   And just like that, I’m at 11,250 fans.   Sure, it’s starting to slow…down to 150 a day now, though, still three times what I was seeing before, and with the same budget.

What does that mean, the same budget?  Two things:  (1) I’m getting a LOT of new organic likes from the sharing from the new traffic, and (2) my cost-per-click has dropped by more than 50%.  Seems a lot of people don’t market to countries like Fiji—so my competition is apparently quite small.   I haven’t been doing Google Ads for a while, but now I’m curious what affect targeting these markets would have on click rates there.  Next time, I’ll try it. 

What happens when my 150 daily likes finally slows again to 20?  I’ll remove the markets already exposed and substitute new ones, and I’ll be able to do that at least three more times.   This will give me a much larger market when promoting my next teleseminar—I already have clients in six countries (the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, and Saint Martens).   

Don’t overlook non-sovereign places either, like Anguilla, American Samoa, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guam, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Pitcairn Islands, Puerto Rico, Saint Helena–Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sint Maarten, San Andrés y Providencia–Colombia, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Kwan Yin Healing helps the spiritually-conscious who are struggling with life path or health and are ready to move forward and find peace.  The Four Pillars of healing and transformation are Clarity (life is supposed to be abundant, and now, when we get out of our own way), Connection (we are part of a continuum from earth to the divine), Coherence (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and awareness energies need to vibrate harmoniously), and Change (if you want something you don’t have, you’ll need to do things you’ve never done).   I love the beautiful illustration this example gives – the instant results from connecting to what already exists in a coherent way with one simple change.  We live on one globe, one people, one human energy—and we can easily forget that imaginary borders are only in our nationalist mindsets. 

I’m already delighted to be helping people jump start their paths and thus accelerate how they help still more people through their work throughout the US and Canada, as well as a bit in the Caribbean, the UK, and Australia.   If you’re ready to find what’s holding you back from living your dreams fully, visit, look around, and sign-on for the free starting package.   I’m happy to start you along your path.  

And if you happen to be from Spain, Malayasia, Germany, Israel, the US Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, British Indian Ocean Territory, Ethiopia, Russia, East Timor, or any of the many other places where first-language English speakers live, or if you are one of the many people who speak English as a second or third or fourth or fifth language, I’ll be happy to make your acquaintance.   It’s all one world, one people, on one road to peace, harmony, unity, health and happiness. 

Love and Joy,

Tim Emerson
Kwan Yin Healing

Guest Post: How I added 8,000 Facebook fans in 5 months


Tim Emerson is a graduate of my Niching for Hippies course and someone I did a case study on a while ago. He’s also a big believer in the power of slow marketing.

When Tim told me that he had over 8,000 fans on his facebook page whereas I only have a half of that, I was extremely curious as to how he did it and asked if he’d be kind enough to write up a guest blog post about it. I think you’ll really appreciate his ideas here. 

You can read it below . . .

Full disclosure—I am not a fan of social media.  It’s scattered, busy, a distraction, a time sink.  Further, I’ve spent a fair amount of time pissed off at Facebook.  So I’m an unlikely author for this blog post.

Nonetheless, I went from being “stuck” to adding 8,000 fans to my page,, in just five months—and more are still coming.   This page has also become one of my key promotional strategies.  Here’s how that happened.

I actually didn’t mean to open a Facebook fan page.  I had constructed a simple website with, and one of the options was to publish to Facebook.  So, on April 6, 2012, I figured “Why not,” and clicked it.   Voila.  Kwan Yin Healing had a Facebook page. 

It slowly added a few fans.  Then a few more.  And a few more.  This would take patience.   I saw the various “How to get 10,000 fans” promos, but while I’m sure these guys know their business, it’s the anti-thesis of the calm, peaceful image I wanted for my business.  Nobody’s going to come rushing to Kwan Yin Healing because my opt-in box is bigger, brighter, redder, and in your face before we get past “hello” – and if they did, the fit would probably not be good.  I’d just have to be patient. 

Facebook, however, is not patient, and likes to change the rules frequently.  One of these changes was deciding that just because fans like your page doesn’t mean they should be seeing your posts in their feed.  Unless, of course, they’re teenagers, and compelled to like or comment on virtually everything.  My fans…aren’t, and don’t.  So my fan count, at 623, sat their at 623, and the “talking about this” number dropped to around 20 a day.  Facebook offered a solution—pay to have your fans see your posts!  As you might imagine, this didn’t make me the happiest of campers. 

But then something happened, and that day, my page started climbing again.  It continued to climb, daily, and still continues to climb—it’s at 8,921 as I write this. 

What changed?   There are four key elements to my strategy, and I also have a few points about ads, as well as how I use Facebook to attract clients.   So let’s dive in.

1)  I got clear about my page’s purpose and message.  

Without this, nothing else matters. 

Understand that no one comes to Facebook to buy stuff.  They come to relax, to see funny or inspiration quotes and pictures and videos, to interact with their friends.  So not only are they not there to buy, but they resent attempts to sell them.  Imagine you’re at the park, on a walk, enjoying a show, and people interrupt you to sell their products and programs.  “Leave me alone,” right?  And they will leave you very alone instead.  

For Kwan Yin Healing, the cover photo, a forest waterfall, the same as on my home page, sets the tone for the peaceful, flowing feeling I wish to create, and one very compatible with my point of view about healing, about my work, and about me.  The posts on the page are all inspirational quotes and related material that fit with this theme.   Things I like but that don’t fit this energy, I post on my personal page instead.  It’s encouraging, reflective, helpful, inspiring, peaceful, and fits nicely within my Taoist/Buddhist perspective, without being spiritually dogmatic.  There’s no agenda here.  It’s a place to relax.  That’s why people follow the page. And that’s why they trust me.  

Nor is any of this mere theory.  This is what my own clients tell me.  “I like your page—it’s consistent.”  Yeah.  It’s hard to trust someone you can never quite rely upon.   You know what  you’re getting when you like my page. 

2) I paid attention to what got positive response and adjusted.

What’s nice about Facebook is that you can see how many likes and shares each post gets, and a report about the “virality” of each post.  The big losers here are text posts.   People already see a sea of text, and skim it at best.  Plus, at a glance, all text looks the same.  

Pictures are the rule on Facebook.  An inspiring quote with a corresponding image gets—literally—ten times the virality. According to Edgerank Checker, the median Facebook virality is under 2%.  My page’s posts typically hover around 20%.   Facebook is a visual medium.  

And just having a photo isn’t enough—the text must be part of the photo.  Typically, content creators post this over the face of the photo.  When I create content (which I do rarely), I use InDesign to create a matching box above or below (or both) the photo with the text.   But either way—this way the photo and message get shared—many times more than otherwise.  Including your site link on the graphic is a good idea as well.  While shared photos are credited by Facebook automatically, links can get buried. 

Every so often, I’ll share something I think readers would like—free Eckhart Tolle talks, or Louise Hays, or Wayne Dyer.   And they always fall flat, with virality around 2%.   This surprises me.   It’s why we look at numbers.

3) I worked out a simple system for keeping the page active while spending very little time on it. 

There’s a joke that floats around periodically:  How to be more productive on Facebook?  Delete your Facebook account and get to work. 

While I sometimes create content, most of my page is repurposed from other pages.   When I see something I like, I check out their page, and if it fits well, I’ll like it, and add it to my Interests list.   Every day or two, I’ll quickly scan down the Pages feed for appropriate things to post.   If it’s great, but too small to read, I’ll pass it by.  The other pages appreciate the shares, and I’ll just add a short comment and my webpage.  That’s it.

I’ll also check out the comments, and like most of them, so people know they were seen and heard.  Every week or so, I’ll check the Insights report (though just the likes and shares on the page are a good indication).  Once in a while, a post will get multiple comments (like 30-60 comments), and I’ll know I’ve accidentally stumbled across something to consider later strategically. 

And that’s it.  Five to ten minutes.  Done.

4) Resist selling, except for limited free offers. 

And even then, you’re pushing it.  So here’s what works for me – curiosity.  “Hey!  Sign up for my free offer!”  No.   But after seeing several cool posts with above them, after a while, some people click on it…and sign up for my free offer.  It’s not big numbers…but it is steady.  My list (which last year was at 35) is at 620 – and just over a third of those came from Facebook.   But that doesn’t make them clients.  It’s a poorly qualified group. 

But Facebook DOES serve me in one major way—a source of free teleseminar attendees.  A nice graphic with the copy embedded and a sign-up link will bring 60-80 new people to my list.  20-30 will show up for the call, and 4-10 of them will become new clients. When those new clients are signing on to the Kwan Yin Journey, my signature program, a single teleseminar can make a month’s income.  So Facebook does bring clients after all, through the free teleseminar and enrollment route. 

Which brings me to advertising.

At first, “promoted posts” were great—I could reach friends of friends for $10.   Then Facebook realized their generosity, and jacked the price up more than one hundred times, dolling out only a limited number of people reached for each new level of investment—$1,000 still won’t buy what $10 did only a few months ago.  

It’s ridiculously steep for three reasons.   First, the response isn’t great. Second, people HATE promoted posts.  The posts say, right on them, “promoted post,” and virality drops to near nothing.  Some people even send nasty grams, letting page owners know how much they resent someone else footing the bill for their free Facebook.  It’s too “in their face.”   Literally, the SAME post NOT promoted will get a better response.  And third, Facebook won’t allow more than 20% of a graphic to be text, severely limiting advertising options.  

So if I have something to promote, I use a few tricks.

I’ll let a post run organically at first.  Once that slows down, THEN I’ll promote it, but only within a limited budget, which depends on what I’m promoting.   And if I don’t need to reach a lot of people, I’ll sometimes design what I want and run it anyway—it will run for a few hours until a Facebook person has a chance to get to it and stop the promotion for violating the rules.  The posts that have run already remain visible.  But that’s not a great strategy for anything I’m seriously promoting.  A web link to a press release with a graphic works reasonably well.  Message sent.

Then there are the ads with links on the side. 

Advantage—people don’t mind these the way they resent promoted posts.   They see these as not so “in your face” and not an interruption, but rather something they can check out if they please, unlike content “forced” into their feed.  And Advantage Two, these ads can be amazingly well targeted to specific audiences defined by a wide array of parameters. 

Disadvantage—they are expensive and not particularly effective.   You can’t say much, and you can’t really send them where you’d like.  Dead end.

With one exception I’ve used to good effect. 

Create a quirky ad, with an eye-catching image, that still is truly in keeping with your point of view and strategic purpose.   I ran, for example, one saying “Healing isn’t Magic,” with an image from a video of me in my car with an appearance by my curious husky.   The video includes a core piece of my point of view, and the ad links to a post featuring the video, where I can say much more.   This lands on my Facebook page.   I pin the original post to the top of the page, so that the landing is relevant (which must be redone every couple of weeks, as pins expire), and presto—the curious eyes are now on my page.  

I severely limit the daily size of this budget, just a few bucks, with a carefully targeted audience.   But it will bring in better than 20 new people (i.e., other than friends of friends) who become engaged in the page.   The ad doesn’t get stale, because it’s being seen by people who haven’t yet seen it. 

Slow and steady.  But altogether, worth 8000 new fans in five months, like opening a valve at the end of January, and it’s been flowing ever since. 

My plans from here are to maintain the status quo, at least until Facebook changes the rules again, and to concentrate on the teleseminar strategy.  I would also like to build a network of affiliate partners to help promote the Kwan Yin Journey.   If that might be you, check out and then drop me an email if this looks like a good fit for your clients – tim at kwanyinhealing dot com.

I’m also completely redesigning my web page to focus on synching my strategy and free offer in a clear, authentic, step by step path more friendly to curious visitors, and to then build relationship more strategically with my email newsletter and blog than I have been. 

And I’ll next turn my attention to my YouTube page,, which has, like my Facebook page, worked surprisingly well, largely by accident—but in this case, I actually get clients calling who found me on YouTube.  Time to focus on a strategy there—but that will have to be another blog post another time. 

Wish me luck!

Tim Emerson

Kwan Yin Healing

obama’s ad makes his case

President Obama recently released an ad (you can watch it at the bottom) I thought was worth commenting on – all politics aside. First of all, it reminds me how far the world has come that now video marketing and social media has become so ubiquitous in both politics and business.

Here’s where I think it’s strong.

During the last weeks of this campaign there will be debates, speeches and more ads. But if I could sit down with you in your living room or around the kitchen table here’s what I’d say:

First off he acknowledges the oncoming onslaught of debates, speeches and ‘more ads’. He let’s you know, without collapsing, ‘I get it. It’s ridiculous. I’m with you, I don’t want these either.‘ He’s positioning himself, subtly, as being on ‘our side.’

Then he expresses the desire to connect more personally with people. Where President Obama excels (and Romney struggles) is connecting with people. When Obama says, ‘but if I could sit down with you in your living room or around your kitchen table – here’s what I’d say.’ it immediately evokes warm feelings.

Clearly, sitting down with every American isn’t something he can do, but sometimes just expressing our desire can build a connection itself because it tells the other, ‘I value you.’ You don’t have to be perfect to be in business.

Seventh Generation (the eco cleaning company) has won a lot of credibility points over the years by not pretending to be 100% sustainable. And they’re honest about that. But they let you know they’re still trying.

If you were at a seminar and they said, ‘We would honestly love to give this away for free but we have so many staff with families to support and we charge this much because we need to. If we charge less it’s not sustainable for us’ it can still feel good to have them acknowledge the desire to do more rather than to hear them brag about how much money they’re making on you.

Romney has struggled, especially early in his campaign, to not come across as wooden and stuff. It’s the same challenge that Al Gore had in the 2004 elections. We want to feel some warmth and connection with our politicians, to believe they care. This is where President Clinton excelled. He demonstrated a profound amount of presence and empathy that was palpable.

And specifically, sharing the desire to connect in their home evokes very warm feelings. It conjures up images that are comforting.

When I took office we were losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month and were mired in Iraq. Today I believe that as a nation we are moving forward again. But we have much more to do to get folks back to work and make the middle class secure again.

He then acknowledges the struggles the country was in and that there’s more hard work to do. Where politicians can lose all credibility is when people get that they have no firm grasp on the reality of the situation. If President Obama were to say, ‘Hey, when I got in office things were hard but thanks to me we’re 100% back on track.’ and then didn’t acknowledge that there was more to do – he would lose all credibility.

Billy Blanks of Tae Bo fame gained so much credibility in his infomercials for leveling with people, ‘it’s going to be hard. it’s going to take a lot of work. this won’t be easy.’

The famous Shackleton voyage posted an ad (read it to the right) which said a similar thing. It’s okay to admit it’s going to be hard as long as you make sure they understand it’s doable and that there’s a plan. Which President Obama now begins to do . . .

Now, Governor Romney believes that with that even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy and fewer regulations on Wall Street all of us will prosper. In other words he’d double down on the same trickle down policies that led to the crisis in the first place. So what’s my plan?

Then contrasts his point of view with Governor Romney’s. Remember people vote for you (with votes or with dollars) because of your point of view. What does any American want from any President? Largely the same things – security, health & prosperity. So, if both candidates are promising the same result, how do you choose? What if you have 100 people in your city saying they can help you get rid of your migraines? Who do you choose? And how?

We choose – in large part – based on whose point of view we resonate with most and trust the most to get us where we want to go. But for most businesses their point of view is unclear. More to the point, it’s unclear how it’s different from their competitors. And since your point of view is so central to your platform (which is ‘what you’re known for’) it leaves people confused – and a confused mind says ‘no’.

First, we create a million new manufacturing jobs and help businesses double their exports. Give tax breaks to companies that invest in America, not that ship jobs overseas.

Second, we cut our oil imports in half and produce more American-made energy, oil, clean-coal, natural gas, and new resources like wind, solar and bio-fuels—all while doubling the fuel efficiencies of cars and trucks.

Third, we insure that we maintain the best workforce in the world by preparing 100,000 additional math and science teachers. Training 2 million Americans with the job skills they need at our community colleges. Cutting the growth of tuition in half and expanding student aid so more Americans can afford it.

Fourth, a balanced plan to reduce our deficit by four trillion dollars over the next decade on top of the trillion in spending we’ve already cut, I’d ask the wealthy to pay a little more. And as we end the war in Afghanistan let’s apply half the savings to pay down our debt and use the rest for some nation building right here at home.

I think his ‘four point plan’ bit is brilliant.

He’s drawing his map for people.

He’s saying, ‘look. here’s how we’re going to get from Island A to Island B‘. Your customers want this too. They’re desperate for it. They’re tired of people claiming they can get them the result and not backing that up with a plan that makes sense.

And most people like numbered lists: four point plans, the seven habits of highly effective people, the five stages of grieving, the three stages of the heroes journey. It helps give people context for where they are in their journey. It gives a reality check and hope that the journey is possible. And a goal with a plan to back it up is so much more believable than one without it – this is true if you’re trying to win votes, customers, volunteers, donors, financing etc.

In my mind, this is where Romney is failing. He’s saying, ‘which tax loopholes will I close down? See me after the election.’ But the whole, ‘trust me’ argument is what people hate about politicians. We don’t want to just trust an offer we want to see the plan that backs it up.

It’s time for a new economic patriotism. Rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class. Read my plan. Compare it to Governor Romney’s and decide for yourself. Thanks for listening. Read the President’s plan: http://OFA.BO/SAzDgd

And lastly, he makes a call for action. He invites you to do something. Most ads don’t do this! Most ads might feel good but then there’s nothing for you to do. If you have a welcome video on your homepage I think it should invite visitors to do something (e.g. sign up for my email list). If you send an email out about a workshop, it’s ‘click on this link to read more’. That seems so basic but I can’t tell you how many ads I see that have no call to action. Or have too big a call to action – they ask for too much.

Like, if you saw a poster for a meditation workshop at the organic grocery store and it was a $5000 retreat and the poster was asking you to sign up. No way that will ever work. But, if it offered something ‘free’ you could check out – some kind of ‘pink spoon‘ sample of the ice cream they’re selling, you might just try. No yoga studio will ever sell you on signing up for their teacher training without you first coming to the studio first – so offering free passes is smart marketing. It’s helps people to feel safe in trying you out.

President Obama isn’t asking for you to vote for him – he’s asking for you to just click on the link to read his plan. Smart.

louis c.k. hates twitter

Everyone will tell you that you need to get on social media. Except Louis C.K.

And maybe he has a point.

You can click here to watch.

(This is super funny.)

51 examples of content for blogs, social media and newsletters

When I do my workshops, I often get people to brainstorm the types of content they might use to stay in touch with the people on their lists. And people come up with great ones.

So, here’s the harvest from my past few workshops. I hope it inspires you with ideas. Notice how many of them express a really clear point of view and how the ones that focus on a particular niche are particularly cool and useful.

If you’re feeling stuck on what kinds of content you could create read the below and then go and answer these questions. I promise content ideas galore.



Mortgage Broker:

– monthly interviews with realtors, home inspectors, lawyers, title insurance brokers about the marketplace and their expertise in buying a new home.
– niehgbourhood spotlight: putting together a package of coupons for that area, doing a walking tour of the area for folks interested, introduce them to local businesses

Massage for Cancer Patients:
– interviews with cancer survivors who’ve had massage and valued it
– interviews with doctors and nurses who are open to massage
– directly addressing myths: cancer can’t be spread through massage

– movie screenings of birth related movies
– youtube videos of people interviewed
– website reviews
– articles you’ve already written
– top ten things you DON’T need that people tell you you need when having a baby

Blaire Finney:
– top ten tips for supporting a family member who’s been hospitalized in a psych ward
– nutrient dense foods for addicts (that are easy to absorb)
– top five complimentary modalities for addicts

– How to set up a birth pool.

For: office workers
– top five strategies to deal with that person in your office who drains your energy
– ten yoga poses you can do at your desk
– top ten meditative songs to have in your ipod at work

For: parents
– tips for parenting kids at different stages

Energy Workers:
– showing the science behind the woo woo. sharing the studies and results.

For: divorced parents
– how to do homework in two homes
– 5 things your kids are saying about you at school

For: LGBT women in Toronto suffering from anxiety or depression caused by issues around discovering their sexuality and coming out.
– how to get through the holidays
– coming out stories
– the top ten ways to come out to your family and friends
– top ten WORST ways to come out to family and friend (funny)
– top ten ways to come out at work or school
– top ten ways to pick up a chick

For: women with breast cancer looking for alternatives
– how to handle your doctor and get the experience you want and need out of your appointments

For: menopausal women.
– video of older women doing cool stuff (e.g. grannies skydiving or mountain climbing)

For: women suffering from headaches
– top five foods to lighten your toxin load

For: professionals
– top ten questions to help you decide whether you need a career change
– top ten career books

For: those who’ve been traumatized by sexual abuse
– how to protect your child from abuse

For: pet owners whose pets have behavioural issues
– info on upcoming expos and shows focused on behavioural issues

For: smokers who are trying to quit
– 10 minutes of yoga to combat nicotine craving
– list of physiological changes that occur after quitting smoking (broken down chronologically over a year)

For: cancer patients who are choosing alternative treatment options
– book reviews on anti-cancer and The China Study
– list of how homeopathy can help with specific side effects of chemo

For: people with digestive issues
– how to organize your kitchen and recipes for simplicity in cooking

For: parents with children with Autism and ADHD
– answers to top question faced by faced by families with autistic children and strategies on how to deal with them
– current research and study
– videos for common treatments that seem daunting until you see them in action or try them yourself

For: socially awkward young adults.
– tips on how to use improv lessons to improve your life

For: people who are overwhelmed and stressed and craving silence in their lives
– articles on the benefits of silence
– artwork and poetry that evolved out of silence

For: sensitive and powerful men
– “The Man Box” – lies and myths about men
– VIDEO: “Real Moments of Power” – real men sharing a moment where they were powerful that weren’t hurting anyone. 2 minutes each.
– VIDEO SERIES: “Instant Warrior Practice” – practical exercises for vitality, focus and confidence.

For: People with life threatening cancer
– top five ways to look after yourself when you’re struggling with feelings around your cancer

For: Health conscious pet owners with animals that have chronic problems
– biggest feeding mistakes
– why pets need detox too


Do you have any cool examples of content that you’ve seen or created that you want to share? Just write them below.

six marketing lessons from a recent facebook note

I just wrote a facebook note that got a school two new perfect (and much needed) teachers in less than two weeks.

And it reminded me about some important marketing principles.

A couple of months ago, I got to reconnect over drinks with two old school mates Rachael and Netta (pictured right).

We went to a Waldorf  School together.

Waldorf is an alternative school that based on the idea of educating the whole child. It was a beautiful thing for me.

And then a few weeks later Netta emailed me asking if I knew anyone who might be a good candidate to be a Waldorf teacher. No one immediately came to mind but I thought I might if I really sat down and thought about it. I looked through my calendar a began to feel that stress you feel when you really want to help someone but can’t find the time. She needed a teacher in two weeks.

“Could you come by the school while we do work on the new building and we could talk about it then?” Netta asked.

That worked. Anything that combines things is usually a win for me. I get to hang out with an old friend, see the school I’ve meant to visit for the past three years and felt immensely guilty for not checking out and help her out.

The next week she came and picked me up and as she painted walls I busted out my laptop and started plowing through my facebook friends list looking for potential candidates. In the end, I came across 15 potentials and one I was ridiculously excited about.

So I created a facebook note (see below), posted it and tagged the people in question.

Within two weeks they had their teachers (including the one I was most excited about).

Here are the six marketing lessons I want you to get from this:

1) Social Media: Word of mouth works best when things are easy to share. That can mean everything from a simple URL, to tickets people can pass on, to a simple story that can be easily repeated. Or it can be a facebook note that’s easy to share. Social media has made sharing things so easy. One of the teachers who got the job was my friend who I tagged. The other was someone with whom this note was shared. Someone I’ve never met.

2) Hubs: If you want the word spread about something important, it’s worth it to do whatever it takes to get hubs to help you. They are already well connected to and well respected by people in the communities you’re trying to reach. Netta might never have reached these two teachers by herself. And they might have been more suspicious and unsure if the endorsement hadn’t come from me. If you’re struggling to reach people, stop struggling – take a hub out for coffee. You might know know how to reach the people you need to reach, but there are people who are. And it’s worth treating them to dinner, paying for their time for their contacts. It will save you so much time and money.

3) Headline: Notice this headline is not “can you help out my friend?” or even, “teaching job”. I am speaking right to the person reading it. The headline’s ONLY purpose is to get their attention and establish relevance. Period. So, first, I name WHERE it’s relevant to since it’s on facebook. Then I name that it’s a teaching job at an alternative school and that the money is good (important!).

4) Is it a fit?: I think any kind of sales letter or notice or homepage should have a piece about ‘this could be a good fit if . . .’ where you list the criteria. I did this recently on my new workbook on how you can get more people on your email list. Carrie Klassen talks about doing this on your homepage in her new workbook about creating a homepage your ideal clients would love.

5) Tell a story: I told a story to give people the feeling of the school. Most people don’t use stories enough in their marketing.

6) Ask for the action: At the end, I explicitly ask them to take an action. I ask them to spread the word. I give them the email of the person to reach. Als0 – here’s a subtle bonus distinction: don’t always write your promo pieces asking the reader to sign up. Sometimes I think it’s even more effective to say, ‘do you know anyone who wants _______?’. I think there’s less pressure in that approach and less assumption – but anyone reading it for whom it is a fit will still resonate with it.


Here’s the note:

EDMONTON: Want to teach at an amazing alternative school for good money?

by Tad Hargrave on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 7:46pm

Do you know someone who’d like to teach at a progressive, alternative, whole child focused kind of school?

Maybe you?

I grew up going to a Waldorf school from Kindergarten (which I took for two years because I was special) until grade 6. It was amazing. It’s the school I’d want to send my children to.

If you’re reading this – you’re the kind of person I would have loved to have as a teacher.

The Edmonton Waldorf school is figuring out who will be their teachers for next year, right now. They’ve moved into a new building and it’s all very exciting.

This could be a wonderful opportunity for you if:

– you have a bachelors of education

– $60,000/year for the full time positions sounds great

– you have a pioneering spirit and are excited to be a part of a wonderful, growing community

– you’re excited to familiarize yourself with what Waldorf is all about (I think you’ll kind of love it). That might mean traveling to go to various workshops and intensives where you’ll meet amazing people and learn a lot about yourself, teaching and childhood

The teaching positions available:

– Kindergarten (half time, four mornings per week)

– Grade 1-2 (full time)

What was Waldorf life for me?

In kindergarten we would sit carting wool, then spinning it and then knitting our own recorder cases. I was, possibly, the only child at my school who never really learned how to play.

We learned Greek, Roman and Norse myths in elementary school, having Homer’s Osyssey told to us by the teacher from the front of the room. We would bake our own bread in class, play capture the flag in Mill Creek ravine and somehow consistently persuade our french teacher to let us play soccer during french class (“Okay! But you guys need to speak in french while we play!”).

My best memories are the Summer Solstice bonfires at Hawrelack Park where are the families and children would get together for a big end of the year picnic and celebrate. Then, when it was dark, we would gather around the fire for stories. So many happy memories from those times. The school, to my immense heartbreak, collapsed when I was in grade 6 due to politics I have never fully understood.

In short, a part of my life I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Do you know anyone?

If you know someone like this – can you let them know today? They’re making final decisions in the next ten days. I just found out.

And share this with anyone you can think of. Post it on your wall. Hire skywriters. That kind of thing.

For more info email Netta: netta (at) wese (dot) ca


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backstage pass: how i write blog posts

Just had a chat with my pal and colleague Jaime Almond (pictured below) about the behind the scenes of how I write a blog post and thought you might find it interesting.

I just had an idea for a blog post for you


you know how we were talking about how you turn everything into a blog? well look at this break-in you could do a inside look on how this turned into blog posts it started with posting on Facebook…


then you turned the experience into a blog about what you learned then you posted questions about backups on Facebook this might not be the best example, but it’s interesting

which i will then turn into another blog post about ‘online back ups’


i think what it hilights for me is the dynamic between my blog and facebook.

yeah, and how you blog about everything… also I love how I can say “you should turn that into a blog” and you do you really listen to others. seriously Tad, I bought 2 new hard drives on Saturday because of you I’m backed up! What a relief

i am constantly struck but the overwhelming amount of content there is. i think part of the challenge is most people don’t have a place to capture their ideas. every good comedian i know has a little back pocket book where they can jot down their funny ideas. and i think every serious blogger (and entrepreneur in general) should have a place where they capture good ideas. I’ve got 616 potential blog posts jotted down right now. plus fifty or so half written on my blog that i’ve not yet published. like when we were chatting in Toronto, I’d get an idea, jot it down and then forget about it.

it also highlights the power of word of mouth marketing. so i get my stuff stolen, put up some facebook posts, realize it might be a good facebook post and then someone writes a comment about how they use online back ups. that inspires me to do it. so i go to sign up for the service they recommended and thought, ‘wait. maybe there’s a better one out there. let me pause’ and so i posted a question on facebook asking, ‘what’s the best online back up service you know?’ and that will almost certainly turn into a really useful blog post for my crowd itself. so it becomes this neverending conversation. and i get to hear word of mouth recommendations from people i trust. this feels so different from trying to sell people. or ‘trying’ to engage them. i’m asking questions i’m genuinely curious about and then i harvest and share the learnings.

i think people think that they have to come up with all sorts of original content – and you don’t always. sometimes you can just gather up all the flowers and arrange them in a beautiful bouquet. you don’t need to grow them all yourself. or create some new flower no one has ever seen.

absolutely! it’s such a great way to learn too because you aren’t the expert in everything. you crowdsource. plus it cuts your research time down by a lot

so it feels like three main parts (in no particular order):

1) using social media to engage conversation and get different perspectives, ideas and suggestions or just express where you’re at.

2) my blog where i gather it all together and offer the synthesized versions back to the community (and often get even more corwdsourced wisdom) and

3) a place to capture ideas that come up through these conversations.

yeah, and then it helps you develop your content etc

can i turn this convo into a blog post?

of course

(for more of my thoughts on blogging click here)


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kyle mcneil talks facebook and blogs

I met Kyle McNeil a few years back through various entrepreneurship circles.

He invited me to connect a few times but I was so busy and didn’t know him well enough to prioritize things. And then we ended up attending a weekend workshop together and had a three hour drive of bro time back to Edmonton. I felt really refreshed by Kyle’s genuine openness and curiousity. He spoke about how much he was loving blogging and getting into it.

And the more I got to know him the more I was curious about his approach to blogging and facebook. So I asked him if I could do a blog interview. He agreed and the interview follows.

what do you see as the three biggest mistakes people make on facebook?

a) throwing up quotes and ideas from other people. As good as they are, we can all find the Napolean Hill quotes from Think and Grow Rich on our book shelf. In an authentic age, un-original content is the equivalent of spam. My hope is these people will get real and share their “real” with others.

b) thinking being “authentic” includes being completely irrational and potentially rude. For example swearing and complaining as a regular dose of content to share with others is not cool! I’m not suggesting to sugarcoating life if it’s tough. But instead of swearing and complaining, to be respectful and authentic in writing something like “today I’m disappointed and angry, because … ” and take some responsibility for the situation or circumstance. There’s enough static out there, facebook is an opportunity to lift others up with our words.

c) being the pushy sales guy or woman, but on facebook. It’s scary to me when the only thing people post are discounts and sales for their business, completely by-passing the fact that facebook is a place for personal interaction.

what do you see as the three biggest mistakes people make on their blogs?

a) they don’t write often enough! Ironically enough I’m personally guilty of this, but also contributing to a second blog (Beneath The Cover), gives me some fudge room right? The dream of “I’ll blog when I get more time” just isn’t good enough, because that day will never come. Good reminder for me too!

b) it’s either WAY to long, or WAY to short.

To long — means they’re not getting to the point, often getting lost in the details, and pushing readers away. A good rule of thumb is 500 words or less.

To short — in my opinion this means bloggers are trying to cast their fishing line, but they’re provided no bait for their audience to clamp on to. Just because Seth Godin writes in 70 words or less, doesn’t mean it will work for you. People want something with substance. It’s hard to do this in 2 sentences. A good rule of thumb is at least 300 words.

where are the top three places or ways in which you have found facebook most useful?

a) having people keep up with me. Lately people that I haven’t talked to in months have a context from where I’m at in my life, and entrepreneurial pursuits because they follow me on facebook. I think that’s just amazing, and accelerates the depth and quality of our actual conversations.

b) the feature for setting up events and inviting people to them on facebook is really smooth! Especially events that are more focused around socializing. It’s so easy to invite people, handle rsvp’s answer questions on the group wall, etc.

c) creating a personal connection, or deepening the connection with new friends, clients, and/or prospective clients. It’s amazing to log onto facebook and learn how Maria is holding up in the New York snow storms, even though we haven’t talked in weeks, or how Leslie (a new client from Hawaii) is finding results through her blog and proactive nature, and being able to celebrate with her by pointing it out on my wall.

where are the top three places or ways in which you have found blogging most useful?

a) creating an ongoing reference point (housed in a static url) where people can go to uncover something of value to them. For example my friend John was feeling blocked in his blogging/writing process, and found my blog post “Blogging for Introverts & Why to Start” and left this comment …

Kyle, thanks for this post. It really helped me get unstuck last week as I was working on a new blog. The accuracy was uncanny — it’s like you somehow knew a lot about me… anyway, I’m still waiting on the increase in hot dates and coffee requests. That comes soon, right? ;)

It’s amazing that we can add value to someone without even being there!!

b) Relationship building on auto-pilot – people can build relationship with us while we sit on a hill, spend time with friends or sleep. 24/7 people can learn about you and connect to your business, dreams and life! And they can do so at their pace and on their time.

c) sharing my authentic voice and message with those who want to read, with a simple click of the “publish blog post” button. That’s the biggest one. There’s a direct correlation between when I started blogging 22 months ago, and 1) the size of my network now and 2) how much my network “knows me”, which is huge, because I believe business and life is all about relationship(s).

d) another HUGE one, is building an audience. Blogging is a magically leveraged, personable, and interactive way to grow, and deepen the relationship we have with our audience. I know you only wanted the top 3 Tad, but this one HAD TO make the list :)

give me a list of all the different ‘types’ of blogging formats you can imagine. sometimes people get stuck on ‘what kinds of things should i post?’ and they all become essays and people stress over what to write?

Here are a few:

* video blog post
* Q&A style blog post (like Tad is doing right now)
* sharing a story or experience (my favourite type to write)
* proposing an idea and asking for feedback
* providing an update about your life or business
* posts between 300-500 words
* posts for different personality types – this is big more high level, but good to know about, because it ramps the blogging process up.
* “how to” blog
* gratitude or appreciation blog directed towards other people.
* the “get real and authentic post”, like this one I wrote about my dad and I …

One of the biggest things, is ONE idea per post, otherwise it confuses people. We’re all loaded with content and info, so give people one thing!


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Fifty Two Kick Ass Blogs to Inspire Your Blogging

Sometimes people ask me ‘what’s a blog?’ or they feel stuck and uninspired in thinking a blog has to done in only ONE way.

Well, here are fifty blogs I’ve collected from friends.

I asked them all: “What is the most kick ass blog you know of. Not one that’s ‘okay’ or ‘cool’. One you read all the time. One you often forward to your friends. One that inspires the hell out of you.” And these are the fifty I got (with some of my own additions) divided by category. The comments next to them are from the people who sent them in.

Blogs are a powerful social media tool, powerful in positioning you as an expert and helping you become a hub and building trust.

Who knows – you might just find your new favourite blog in here!


Nine Recommended Business & Career Type Blogs:

  2. – my absolute favorite is Seth’s Blog – mostly because it is always short, sweet and to the point – his comments always totally relate to topics I’m interested in, he’s very quotable,and his site is beautifully laid out for referring back to older posts – I like everything about it and refer people to it all the time. Thought provoking blogs that give new perspectives on crowd psychology, being an individual, and “different” marketing. And the guy can get more thoughts in a paragraph than most people put in a book.
  5. always inspire me to actually get off my ass and do cool/important shit.
  6. – Copyblogger. It’s lucid, informative, focused, and often funny.
  8. Mark Silver
  9. Suzanne Falter-Barns

21 Recommended Personal Blogs:

  1. my friend Ted has a lovely blog about his dances with life and truth. I love his candor, and he always makes me feel less alone with my struggles.
  3. . Brilliant, simple, funny, thoughtful and all about thankfulness.
  4. Being a mom, I’m biased about my preference. I love sassy mom blogs like this. I understand that there are a lot of amazing people out there doing amazing things but I think I prefer to read about them in full scale articles. For my daily dose of something to accompany my coffee I greatly prefer those who can eloquently write about the things I wouldn’t dare say out loud, or those who can lend nobility to making mistakes, being human, and learning from it along the way.
  5. – is socially relevant
  6. – The parenting this woman does blows my mind, PLUS she is awesome. I love this blog.
  7. – awesome sexuality resources for poly and kink, really interesting person. wish she updated more.
  8. – best astrology ever. thorough, accessible, relevant.
  10. – Leo’s got inspiration and living a beautiful life down to a regular 200-500 word blog post. 1. My heart sang when I first saw his minimalist lay out and clean design. 2. His excellent writing about letting go of stuff, and simple living speaks to my soul. 3. And he walks his talk — he has a policy of “copy free” for everything he writes, meaning “go ahead and use it however you want” (he believes in the art of giving and receiving). And, finally when he sends his newsletter out his links don’t include any tracking – a minor point, but sort of floored me and reminded me that you can let go of the “rules” that no longer suit you and pare down to what really matters for you.
  11. it’s a crafting blog but it has ongoing amazing ideas, projects and links to tutorials and more for kids and adults.
  12. – New, off-the-beaten-track music every single day, and wacky little stories.
  13. I spent hours reading it and watching all the videos yesterday- ridiculous, but awesome.
  17. Personal Development for Smart People. He is brilliant and talk about things people would rather sweep under the carpet. He has over 2 million subscribers to his blog and he did it by just being straightforward, no SEO gimmicks or anything.

Five Funny Blogs:

  1. – Eccentric, hilarious commentaries about pretty much anything. Some of it could be a bit notsuitableforwork.
  2. – Web comic
  3. Fantastically unique and humorously tragic:
  5. makes me land others laugh every day

Five Food, Local Food and Farming Related Blogs:

  4. and – They’ve both changed my cooking life. Not even kidding.
  5. – she’s a fab writer and insightful as hell and I love that she started off with something completely different – the universe took her to such a cool place “I named this blog “Hitchhiking to Heaven” because what I meant to write about was the quirky, unexpected stuff we encounter along the road to a thoughtful, satisfying life. Then — surprise! — what I encountered was a lot of jam and jelly”

Ten Political Blogs:

  2. – David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary – he is a very experinced journlaist and political activist who takes you behind the scences of power making in this province, very smart, witty and always very relevant for those who seek to understand the context of politics in alberta.
  3. is probably the single best, fair and balanced look at Alberta politics on the interwebs. Wherever you fond yourself on the political spectrum, that blog will provide you with some great information on what is happening in your province and how your tax dollars are being used or misused.
  4. dispatches from the youth climate movement
  8. detroitblog has some of the best stories anywhere of what it’s like living in a dying city:
  9. – It’s not fancy or incredibly well designed but it has my absolute favorite content:


So, what’s YOUR favourite kickass blog?

(please share the URL and why you think it’s so amazing below)


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how do YOU use blogging and social media to create the Know, Like and Trust Factor?

Today I’m being interviewed by my colleague Bill Baren about how I use social media and blogging to build the Know, Like and Trust Factor in my business.

And it had me wondering – what do YOU do?

  1. What kinds of things do you post in your blog or on facebook?
  2. Have you come up with any super cool strategies that have worked to help you grow your business?
  3. What things have you posted that have had the biggest response?

Leave any brilliant ideas below and let’s see what we can all learn from each other.

I promise to compile all of these ideas and put them together in a blog soon. Just check back or subscribe to my blog on the top right of this page and you’ll see it soon.


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.