Monday, March 31, 2014

#BizHeroes with Ekaterina Walter: How to Market Your Business with Visual Storytelling

Khalil Gibran once said that "next to hunger and thirst, our most basic human need is for storytelling".

But in today's world where your consumers are faced with more content than ever before, how do you break through messaging noise to reach your audience and tell your story?

Through visual storytelling!

This week on #BizHeroes Chat Social Media trailblazer, co-founder and CMO of BRANDERATI and WSJ best selling author Ekaterina Walter joins us to talk about how you can effectively leverage videos, image and social media to market your business.

Ekaterina will share her research, strategy, tips, tactics and jaw-dropping stats from her new book The Power of Visual Storytelling.  (You definitely want a copy of this book on your shelf. It's golden!)

BizHero: Ekaterina Walter
Date: Tuesday, April 1st
Time: 8PM Central European Time, 11am PST, 2pm EST

Update: 14 million impression! View the chat transcript here!

Topic questions:

Q1. What is visual storytelling?
Q2. How does visual content strengthen a brand or help grow a business?
Q3. What are the essential elements of visual storytelling?
Q4. How can marketers (with any sized budget) get started?
Q5. Where do I need to be? Which platform and what type of content.
Q6. Ekaterina success tips: what’s your advice on getting started

Join us Tuesday for a knock-out power chat with @ekaterina. She's as awesome as she is knowledgable. You don't want to miss this chat!

See you Tuesday!

Monday, March 24, 2014

This week on #BizHeroes: Blogging for a global audience w/ @cendrinemedia

For author Ernest Hemingway, writing came naturally. "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know”, he once said.

Sounds pretty simple, right? The truth is we don't all have Hemingway's ease with words and putting thoughts together may not always be the simplest of tasks. But, whether we want to teach something, share an opinion or document part of our lives - we all have a story to tell and very innovative tools to help us share it with the world.

This week on #BizHeroes, blogger, author, journalist and owner of Social Media Slant, Cendrine Marrouat will be  discussing "Blogging for a global audience". Join us for a enriching conversation about best blogging practices, inspiration and tips that can apply to everyone, from beginners all the way to advanced blogging gurus.

Our BizHero: Cendrine Marrouat, Blogging for a global audience
Date: Tuesday, March 25th
Time: 8pm Central European Time, 12pm PST, 3pm EST

Follow the transcript here

Chat Topic: Blogging for and building a global audience 

Q1: How do I determine my potential audience?

Q2: Is writing for a global audience different than a local audience?

Q3: Where do you find inspiration and ideas for your articles?

Q4: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Q5: How often should I blog?

Looking to get your blog in top shape and wonder how you can drive traffic to it? Well, if you haven't yet purchased Cendrine's ebook, The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips, I suggest you do. It is a truly fantastic deal and it has just been revised. It includes valuable information on generating traffic for your blog.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Why you should curate content: #BizHeroes TweetChat with @evrenk

We live in the era of content overload where "getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant" as Mitchell Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation once described.

How can we keep the valuable content and toss away the rest? What is the role of the curator and are they helping us tame the content jungle and navigate content shock?

This week at #BizHeroes, Content strategist Evren Kiefer will share his ideas, best practices and tips on the value content curation brings and why we need to be curating content before sharing it.

Our BizHero: Evren Kiefer, Content Curation
Date: Tuesday, March 18th
Time: 8pm Central European Time, 12pm PST, 3pm EST (day light savings! Check here for your time)

View the chat transcript here!

Chat Topic: Content Curation

Q1. Why do you curate content?

Q2. How do you know when a piece of content is relevant?

Q3. How can we evaluate content quality?

Q4. What content do you feel can safely be dismissed? What have you decided not to pay attention to?

Q5. How do your curation efforts communicate your (or your brand’s) values and does it really elicit trust?

Q6. What are the most effective tools for content curation?

Image licensed under Creative Commons by Will Lion

Monday, March 10, 2014

This week on #BizHeroes: Small Business Team Building with @kNoeledge

One of the greatest feelings as a business owner is quite possibly the day you can hire team members to help grow your dream.

But bringing a new dream team up to speed can add unforeseen stress and complexity. Subtle factors such as personality, cultural diversity and current work or life experience can all have a major impact on the success of your team...

So how can you ensure your team's a success? For starters, begin with solid team building.
"But there's only a few of us in my company!" you say... I hear you, but don't let the numbers fool you.

A team can be as small as just you and a partner or involve numerous people. Small business owners are putting an increasing emphasis on team building activities to improve productivity, increase motivation, foster problem solving and encourage creativity -- and with outstanding results. 

Ready to get started? 

This Tuesday trainer, coach, team builder and Small Business owner Noel Gray joins us on #BizHeroesto talk about what it takes to get a winning team off the ground and move past surviving to thriving!

Our BizHero: Noel Gray, owner of kNoeledge
Date: Tuesday, March 11th
Time: 8pm Central European Time, 12pm PST, 3pm EST (day light savings!)

Chat Topic: Small Business Team Building

Q1. Is there a process for team building, or does it happen on it's own?
Q2. What (or who!) can get in the way of team building?
Q3. What's the role of the team leader?
Q4. How can you offset conflict in your team? 
Q5. How can we use social media to help team building?

Looking for some pre-chat reading? Here's a post highlighting the four phases teams go through before they can succeed: forming, storming, norming and performing. We'll definitely be talking about this on Tuesday!

Bring your curiosity, team building tips and team spirit and join @kNoeledge@MagdaATQ and myself, @kdhungerford for #BizHeroes!

If you can't make the chat you can view the transcript here.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New! dashboard, optimized mobile experience and a fresh new look

Today we are thrilled to announce the release of new version of This latest release is designed to bring publishers numerous benefits such as increased efficiency in curation, promotion and customization and deliver an optimized viewing experience for readers across tablets and mobile devices.

The new version of sports an all-around cleaner, more streamlined and modern look and feel. We're really excited about these new features and think you will be too.

Publishers using the free service have been automatically switched to the new version and any papers created from here out will also boast the new look and feel.

All existing Pro publishers will have thirty days to manually switch their papers over to the newest version of You can read more about making the switch here.

New sidebar menu, increased productivity

The biggest boost in this release is the complete redesign of the publisher's dashboard with time saving forefront and center.  Now publishers can add a source, edit content and customize a paper without ever leaving the front page of a If you've been publishing with us for any amount of time, you'll appreciate this improvement.

A simple to navigate right-hand side sidebar menu gives you access to all your paper's settings in once place and a left sidebar provides access to your account settings, favorites and papers.

This new logic not only provides better transparency over settings and options, but helps you publish content easier and faster, shaving minutes off your daily routine.

Mobile optimization, stickier reading experience 

While most publishers use the desktop app to curate and edit their papers, close to half of daily readers visit Paper.lis from mobile devices. We expect this figure to grow blow through the roof this year so we've begun the first of a series of improvements for mobile readers. 

For phones we've redesigned the experience to draw readers to your strongest content, your headline articles. Topic section content easily accessible via expandable sections and video and image viewing has been vastly improved by displaying them to readers with a horizontal swipe instead of a vertical scroll. 

On tablets our responsive design allows for optimal viewing across all sizes of screens and the new sidebar menu offers ultra simplified access to paper settings. Now you can curate and promote with ease on the go.

Fresh look and feel, cleaner design

With our last paper refresh taking place well over a year ago, it was time for a paper "pick me up".  You told us that you'd be open to changes without changing the overall look and feel too much, so we made some subtle changes to give your paper a visual boost.

So what's new?

The overall layout of the paper has been updated to carry a softer, more modern look and feel.

One of the most noticeable enhancements is a new "sticky" topics bar that displays all papers sections for that edition. The topics bar remains in a fixed position as your readers scroll down your page, guiding your readers better through your content and lending to an overall better reading experience. 

Share buttons have been relocated to the lefthand side of your paper, making it faster and easier for readers to share your paper.

We've also put more emphasis on the publisher profile and ad units have been readjusted to align better down the right hand side of the paper. Take a look and I'm sure you'll find some other nice enhancements as well.

Let us know what you think!

We're really excited about this new release and we're curious to hear what you and your readers think. Your feedback, ideas and opinions help shape the service so don't be shy! Leave us a note below or Tweet us @Smallrivers with your feedback or questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Achieve your dreams with actress and entrepreneur @NatashaYounge on #BizHeroes

Confucius once said "choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." We know sometimes it isn't that easy though. It takes a lot of strength and determination to follow personal dreams and professional goals. Have you made your dream job happen yet? 

With three Shorty Awards under her belt for The Younge Hollywood Blast and a thriving digital niche in the world of entertainment, Natasha Younge, a London-trained actress living in Los Angeles, comedian, entrepreneur (and publisher) is doing just that. 

At the next #BizHeroes Natasha will share her expertise with us how entrepreneurs can reach their dreams without losing sight of the end goal -- and how social media can help you get there.

BizHero: Natasha Younge
Date: Tuesday, March 4th
Time: 11am PST, 1pm CST, 20h CET

The chat transcript can be found here! 

Topics for this week's TweetChat:

 Q1. What's the first step in realizing your dream? 

 Q2. What's more important when building a business - productivity or creativity ?

 Q3. How do you harness creativity on a daily basis? 

 Q4. As an actress, what platform do you use to show your true self to the world?

 Q5. How can you steer clear of falling victim to your fears?

Q6. How does your online community help you achieve your goals?

Follow Natasha on Twitter @NatashaYounge and get to know her better by visiting her site and reading my interview with her. See you tomorrow night!