Lani & Allen

Agents of Change Conference

At the 2012 Agents of Change Conference. Clockwise from top left: Conference host and presenter Rich Brooks; Lani and Allen with Amy Porterfield; Allen with Elijah R. Young; Lani with Chris Brogan and Rob Hatch of Human Business Works.

What do you think? Is attending conferences your thing? Have you cut down or ramped up on attending in recent years?

Here’s our take. We’re choosy about which ones we attend, and we do our best to make the most of them to boost our own business. For example:

1. We post, tweet, and get pics and video, using the event hashtag for maximum visibility and networking, as well as sharing the best of what we learn with our own social media channels.

2. Speaking of networking, we either know who we want to meet in advance, or we go in with the intention of meeting exactly the people we need to meet…and make it happen!

3. We consider professional development to be one of the most important investments in our business. With business evolving as rapidly as it does now, small businesses that do their own marketing may need to spend more on marketing training than they spend on the actual marketing tactics.

Last year, we had the pleasure of attending the first-ever Agents of Change Conference, and we were so happy with the experience that we’re going again this year. Early bird tickets are on sale now through August 1, and you can either attend in-person or online with a digital all access pass. The lineup is bigger and covers a wider spectrum of topics than last year, and after looking at the list of currently confirmed presenters and attendees, we can tell it’s going to be a fabulous sophomore year.

Join us for the Agents of Change Conference on September 20th in Portland, Maine, and if you can’t make it in person, grab that digital pass option, and look for us waving into a camera at you!

What happens when leaders, creatives, and go-getters from Southern New Hampshire UniversityFast Company‘s 12th Most Innovative Company in the World in 2012 – get together with us, Lani and Allen Voivod of Epiphanies, Inc., for two days of brainstorming, gamestorming, innovating, and radical collaboration?

In a word: MAGIC.

For the second year in a row, key managers and strategists from SNHU’s Marketing, Admissions, Transfers, Student Involvement & Career Development departments brought their A-games to the table to discover and reveal deeper audience understanding, surprising new places to build relationships, & cutting-edge strategies revved up and ready to be activated for the next school year.

We feel so extraordinarily lucky to be trusted with guiding the vision and possibilities of such a respected, game-changing educational institution. For the weeks leading up to the adventure, we had so many passionate discussions about what would most benefit the SNHU team, and how to leverage their time and talents for maximum results. It’s a challenge and a joy, and pushes us to think bigger, dream bigger, and leap out of our own comfort zones for the sake of our client’s ultimate success.

Admittedly, it’s not an easy thing for any of us to step out of the hustle and bustle of everyday and join forces with colleagues from other departments to share insights and perspectives. A lot of the process of brainstorming and exchanging ideas is downright messy. Demands from the outside never stop, wrestling for  our attentions from all directions, including inboxes, mobile devices, bosses, and even family responsibilities.

And yet, when it’s all said and done, the consensus is always the same: THIS TIME TOGETHER IS PRICELESS.

Once a year. Two days. It really isn’t that much, and somehow, it’s EVERYTHING.

Want a glimpse inside this year’s Visioning Sessions? Check out the highlights according to Instagram and Twitter via the event’s Storify story, and watch the one-minute video snapshot below (or here on YouTube)!

 

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Looking for a lovely summer night out of the house, into a cool, air conditioned room with lots of fellow business owners, passionate professionals, and community building organizations?

Lani Voivod on PR for Seacoast Women's NetworkExcellent – we’d love to meet you at one…or even two! Next Tuesday, June 25th, Lani is speaking for the Seacoast Women’s Network in Portsmouth on Powerful PR Tips for Busy, Mission-Driven Women. The details:

You’re passionate. You’re talented. You and your biz deserve to be seen by your target audience! Learn how to turbo-charge your PR efforts and become a media darling at this down ‘n dirty PR and marketing workshop led by Lani Voivod, Chief Chick and Ally in Possibility of Epiphanies, Inc.

In this hands-on workshop, you’ll:

  • Discover PR secrets that’ll help you leverage your time
  • Learn specific ways to streamline your marketing messages
  • Find out how to connect more powerfully with those who matter

Hailed as ”visionary” and ”two of the most creative thinkers in the industry” by the NH Division of Economic Development, Lani and Allen Voivod share powerful PR, online visibility, and social marketing strategies through speaking, events, workshops, and their online channels. The resourceful duo handles all their own PR, and their company’s events and news releases have been featured in major print and online media outlets in New Hampshire, including the Union Leader, Business NH MagazineNew Hampshire Business Review, NHPR, and the Portsmouth Herald. Last year, the primary news release for their annual “A-Ha!” Social Business Summit was picked up by affiliates of all four major broadcast networks and hundreds of business publications online.

Bring your PR goals and boldest intentions as Lani Voivod walks you through the exact process they use to create attention grabbing press releases. By the end of this session, you’ll have a snappy press release drafted for your own business or organization.

And on the following day, Wednesday June 26th, Allen is speaking for the new Enterprise Center in Plymouth on “The State of NH on Facebook.” Here’s the deal on that one:

Join us for this informative two hour workshop to learn how NH residents, and your customers, are using Facebook and how to better reach them with your marketing efforts.

Allen Voivod, co-owner of Epiphanies, Inc. in Gilford, will share his years of experience and research into this popular social media platform to answer the questions:

***Who is on Facebook?
***Where do they live?
***How do they use Facebook?
***What are their activities and interests?

…and most importantly

***How do I reach them?

As a small business owner, Facebook is a free, online marketing tool used to help reach customers in your own town, state, and beyond. Learn strategies to help you reach those customers where they interact with friends and family…on Facebook.

This workshop is free, but seating is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Hope to see you at either or both!

Summer Social Media Series

Stats, resources, and what-not about Granite State Facebook users to give NH businesses a big “A-Ha!” about their target audiences! Understand the New Hampshire audience on the Facebook platform – who and where they are, what they’re sharing, and how much of that information is available to professionals trying to reach their audiences in new and effective ways.

It’s all part of “The State of NH on Facebook” workshop, our session that kicks off the Summer Social Media Series for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce next week. If you can’t make our opening session on June 5, 2013 from 12-2pm, head over to our Facebook Page and download your copy of the presentation, and the “State of NH on Facebook” report that inspired it!

And thanks to the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce for inviting us back for the third time in four years to be a part of this series. You folks are awesome!  :)

Lani and Allen here – hope this finds you enjoying your first month of Spring, wherever you’re spending it!

If you manage one or more Facebook Pages, this post is going to be tremendously valuable to you. It’s about our new Facebook Business Accelerator program – here are the details at a glance:

Facebook Business Accelerator highlights

  • Advanced Facebook training starts 5/ 7/13
  • 6 interactive video sessions over 3 weeks
  • Covering: Leverage, Visibility, Promotions, Advertising, Analytics, Apps
  • Access to Private Facebook Group, moderated by us daily
  • Peer Support and Networking
  • Early-bird is now, save 50%
  • Get it now!

Check out the full program, after you see these 6 reasons why the Facebook Business Accelerator is the best investment you’ll make in your Facebook success for 2013:

  1. Save time. We’ll show you how to work your Facebook mojo faster and more effectively, so you can relax and enjoy your ride to strategic, proven results.
  2. Cut through the chaos. Thousands of resources are published about Facebook marketing every month. How do you keep up with it all? Answer: You don’t – we do! Stay focused on what matters to your business, and take advantage of this interactive training program purposefully designed to help busy professionals like YOU.
  3. Boost your visibility. Want more people to see your awesomeness on Facebook? Discover how to: inspire more shares, likes, and comments; rock your Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories; and stand out in News Feeds!
  4. Build your buying audience. You need the right Likers. Learn how to attract and engage Likers who will buy what you have to sell, because you’ve become a trusted brand and resource for them.
  5. Get the support you need to succeed. With the Facebook Business Accelerator program, you’ll have access to a Private Facebook Group moderated by us personally, on a daily basis. You’ll also get high-caliber networking, insider secrets, and peer support for customized feedback. Imagine…all your questions, answered by passionate, knowledgeable professionals!
  6. It’s ultra-convenient, too! The Facebook Business Accelerator is designed with your busy world in mind. All the sessions are recorded, so you can watch live if you want, and re-watch them again at your own pace, wherever and whenever you want. It doesn’t get more convenient than that!

The Facebook Business Accelerator. Fast, focused, fierce…and all about RESULTS.

It’s super affordable, and it’s the best advanced Facebook training investment you’ll make all year. So get it now! Go to AhaFB.com for more details and take control of your Facebook fortunes.

To your success!

Lani and Allen Voivod

Your Allies in Possibility at Epiphanies, Inc.

P.S. The window for the early-bird discount – a whopping 50% off the full price – is running out. Please, take advantage of this unique, ultra-affordable, and terrific opportunity to turbo-boost your Facebook knowledge, know-how, and results.

Don’t wait – register for the Facebook Business Accelerator now!

As of March 2013, New Hampshire has nearly 700,000 registered users on Facebook. That’s approximately two-thirds of the state’s age-eligible population, and the number continues to grow.

The State of NH on Facebook - New Hampshire Stats

Businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and passionate professionals looking for valuable data about the NH Facebook audience can now download a new special report, “The State of NH on Facebook: Insights Into Granite State Activity on the World’s Largest Social Network.”

The report, created by Gilford, NH-based social marketing company Epiphanies, Inc., is available for free from their Facebook Page, at http://aha.to/NHFBReport.

“One of the most essential principles for business success is understanding your target audience,” says Allen Voivod, co-owner and Ally in Possibility at Epiphanies, Inc. “This report is designed to help New Hampshire businesses and entrepreneurs understand the New Hampshire audience on the Facebook platform – who and where they are, what they’re sharing, and how much of that information is available to professionals trying to reach their audiences in new and effective ways.”

“The State of NH on Facebook” breaks down the state’s Facebook population by top cites, by age and gender, mobile device usage, activities and interests, and more. The report also includes a summary of the six goals for any organization using Facebook to further their message, mission, and vision.

“The niche information available through Facebook is astonishing, “ said Lani Voivod, Chief Chick and Ally in Possibility at Epiphanies, Inc. “The way people interact and go through their days has changed entirely in the last five years, and it’s not enough to just be on Facebook anymore. Businesses have to find new ways to stay relevant with Facebook users, and we hope this report provides some powerful insights into the New Hampshire audience.”

The report also includes information about Epiphanies, Inc.’s upcoming “Facebook Business Accelerator,” a comprehensive six-session interactive video course beginning May 7th. The course digs deep into the most important and value-rich aspects and opportunities of Facebook, including advertising, strategic integration, analytics, promotions, News Feed Optimization, and 3rd party applications. Designed for Facebook Page Managers in NH and nationwide, the course also includes access to a Private Facebook Group for networking, peer support, and questions and answer sessions.

Download the New Hampshire Facebook report for free from Epiphanies, Inc.’s Facebook Page, and find out more about the Facebook Business Accelerator, at http://aha.to/NHFBReport.

About Epiphanies, Inc.

Hailed as ”visionary” and ”two of the most creative thinkers in the industry” by the NH Division of Economic Development, Lani and Allen Voivod share powerful social marketing strategies through speaking, events, workshops, and their online channels. Their company, Epiphanies, Inc., engages leaders, inspires entrepreneurs, and helps redefine what’s possible for bold brands, innovative businesses, and mission-driven organizations. Join their Facebook community at http://facebook.com/AhaYourself.

In case you didn’t know (and folks are often surprised to learn this), I used to be an internal auditor for two different banks, prior to leaving Corporate America and co-founding Epiphanies, Inc. with wife and biz partner Lani.

bankAs odd as it might sound to the average person, I have a fondness for banks, and particularly the small local banks. I started out at the former Washington Mutual, moved to a $4 billion commercial bank, and much preferred the experience in the local bank environment. We were more connected to the community, and we were all pulling together in ways that WaMu never was or did.

Fast-forward to today, with our own company’s focus on helping entrepreneurs, global brands, and mission-driven organizations use social media platforms to ramp up their visibility, competitive edge, community, and results. Let me be perfectly frank: I would love to work with a state-chartered New Hampshire bank to help them grow their customer base, assets, and loan portfolio with social media.

Why is it so important for banks (to say nothing of other businesses) to build their social media presence? Because that’s where the audience is going. The esteemed Forrester Research predicts that by 2012 at the latest, traditional web-centric customer relationship management will be dead, replaced by customer-centric social relationship management. Facebook just reached 350 million users, about 100 million of them here in the US. This platform is simply too big for ANY business to ignore.

For NH banks, here’s the challenge: Franklin Savings Bank has a six-month lead on just about EVERYONE in the state. In the social media world, six months is huge. Of the top ten NH banks by assets (according to the New Hampshire Business Review‘s 2009 Book of Lists), FSB is the only bank with a Facebook presence.

And just so we’re clear on who we’re talking about, the other nine are:

  • Ocean Bank
  • Laconia Savings Bank
  • Northway Bank
  • Merrimack County Savings Bank
  • Meredith Village Savings Bank
  • Bank of New England
  • Centrix Bank & Trust
  • Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank
  • Claremont Savings Bank

Below them on the asset list, Hampshire First Bank, at #17, has been on for about a year and has definitely ramped up their activity in the past few months. The Nashua Bank (#18) has a closed Facebook Group – but under the “Admins” header, it says there are no administrators left in the group. Hmmm.

fsbfacebookadHow’s Facebook working for FSB? Well enough that they’re now putting up billboards like these. I’ve seen two of them so far, and I’d bet they’re not the only ones. I don’t know a heck of a lot about billboard marketing, but I’d guess these cost in the five figures, at least, for placement and production. Nobody spends that much on a marketing tactic these days – especially not a bank – unless it’s getting them some serious results.

Other NH banks can do it too – and gain a HUGE advantage over nationwide chain banks like Citizens Bank, TD Bank, Sovereign Bank, and Bank of America. Because their national corporate-level offices have to control the messaging coming out of their companies, their local branches can’t interact with local clients on Facebook in the same way state chartered banks can.

You catch that? Big banks are simply unable to build the same kinds of relationships on Facebook that little banks can. Specifically, the kinds of relationships that ultimately drive business growth!

We have space to add a couple of clients in 2010, and I’ll tell you right now, I sincerely want one of them to be a bank. Specifically, one New Hampshire bank.

So….who’s it gonna be?

–Allen (603-524-5248)

P.S. A few links to useful resources on social media for the banking industry:

Interviews 2.0 on Visible Banking

Business Banking Leaders Pioneer Social Media

Social Media, User-generated Content and Liability

Social Media: Year of Crisis Converts Small Bank Skeptics (American Banker subscription required)

5 Ways Banks Are Using Social Media

line

Here’s a question for you:

Where do you draw the line?

In our work today, we talk to businesses and organizations about “Social Marketing and Success Strategies.” Technically speaking, these are two very different topics. “Social marketing” is all about engaging with your target audience with the new and ever-expanding palate of social media tools out there. (And note the word “engaging,” as opposed to simply “broadcasting” your message.)

Then there are “Success Strategies,” which are more about the mental game of being in business for oneself, deciding to become a lifestyle entrepreneur, or being the leader of a mission-driven organization. It’s about who you are, how you evolve, the risks you take, and the commitments you make.

As it happens, there’s overlap between the two, and a lot of it happens at the “A-Ha!” intersection.

Since re-branding in 2006, we defined the “A-Ha!” as “Bold Insight + Joy-filled Action = Powerful, Profitable Results.” The fact is, you can’t separate the feeling from the action. And the results you get often reflect the balance between them. Feel bold, act scared? Usually weak results. Feel desperate, take massive action? Usually no results. Feel bold, act confidently? You’ve got better chances than either of the other two for success.

Even if success doesn’t come walking in the front door, look over to the window. Bound to be a pleasant surprise over there.  ;)

So ask yourself today, “Where do I draw the line between how I feel and what I do?” Don’t be surprised if you can’t tell for sure where you end and the work begins.

It’s always great to get an email that says, “You two rock!” It’s even better to get it roughly six minutes after the end of a free teleclass you’ve just delivered.

nilesmediaThat’s exactly what happened this past Wednesday, when we held the “6-Step Social Media Kick Start” call (you can access the call replay here). Hilary Niles of Niles Media dropped us a line with some very kind words, just as Lani and I had gotten a couple glasses of water and sat down to breathe post-call.

She also generously said “Yes” to our request to be allowed to share her full-blown thoughts and impressions with you (thank you, Hilary!):

I’d say first and foremost I just love how clear it is that you two operate as a team.  Picking up each others’ thoughts, complementing each others’ styles, spreading the focus of your message between the two of you.  That’s what I heard, anyway, and I loved it.

I also appreciate that you make the whole realm of social media feel accessible.  You position yourselves as the experts, but not by divination or some secretive method.  By trial and error, you have amassed an enormous amount of knowledge, and it appears that you continue to do so.  I suppose it just boils down to being human, being happy to admit it, and making that a measure of success rather than excuses.

Another great comment that cannot be overstated—although nothing could be more simple or obvious—is that learning these social media tools is a matter of simply investing in one’s own professional development.  And that development, for the serious professional, is ongoing.

Finally, I’m left with the impression that you both are really just being yourselves.  Lani said something to the effect of encouraging everyone else to do the same—to find your core and stand firmly in your talents, passions and expertise.  I love that, and again it’s a message that is so fundamental and obvious, yet often gets overlooked.

And this was the second email she sent to us, after we asked if she’d elaborate on what resonated with her from the call.

Thank you, Hilary. Honestly, I don’t think we could have been gifted a better testimonial even if we had written it ourselves.  ;)

We can’t help but be excited about where business marketing is going in 2009 and beyond. Social media tools are here to stay, they’re growing in power, popularity and potential, and they put everyone on about as level a playing field as you could ever hope to see in the business world.

Considering all that, and based on our own passions (as well as the needs of our clients and friends), we’ve begun building the training side of our social marketing & success strategies business. The following program announcement is big news for us in that regard.

Also, on a side note: We’re aware that the “A-Ha!” blog in recent weeks has become a bit “me-me-me,” which on the one hand is great – we’ve had some wonderful news to reveal and tremendous opportunities to share. On the other hand, we realize it’s going to get boring fast if we continue in this vein without ramping up the non-promo content as well.

So let me just simply say “Thank you” to everyone who’s expressed kinds words of congratulations and encouragement these past few weeks, and know that you can still count on the”A-Ha! blog for tips, tricks, ‘n strategies to boost your visibility, reach, competitive edge, and results.  ;)

Six Week Social Media Program Helps Businesses Get Strategic, Virtual Training on Web 2.0 Marketing
LACONIA, NH (PR.com) – Social media is becoming a must for all businesses, regardless of size, no matter who their customers are, and without waiting to see which platforms will be around five years from now and which ones will be gone this time next week.

But as increasing numbers of entrepreneurs, corporate professionals, and key players in mission-driven organizations consider the realm of social media, there are choices they can make to speed up their learning curve, leverage their time and resources, and make concrete, rapid progress with their efforts.

To help these forward-thinking professionals, social marketing firm Epiphanies, Inc. is launching the “Social Media Kick Start Virtual Boot Camp.” The series of six webinar-style learning modules will be released weekly starting Monday, July 20th, 2009.  Registration for the Virtual Boot Camp is $197, and the registration form with event details is online at http://www.EpiphaniesInc.com/6StepSocial.

“We’ve been inspired by feedback from people we’ve met at networking events and speaking engagements, plus the inquiries we’ve received from clients, partners, friends and fellow business owners, to create this program,” says Lani Voivod, co-owner and Content Lover at Epiphanies, Inc. “The Social Media Kick Start Virtual Boot Camp is designed to help you start using social marketing platforms powerfully, practically, and with confidence that your efforts will deliver tangible results.”

Lani, along with her husband and business partner Allen Voivod, will also hold two live question-and-answer sessions by teleconference during the six-week program. Boot camp attendees can submit questions in advance, and will receive digital recordings of these Q&A sessions, along with lifetime access to the webinar-style modules.

“We’ll start with a Social Marketing 101 session that provides an overview of tools, tips, and tactics for success with social media,” Allen says. “From there, we cover the four platforms that are indispensible to any professional’s social media presence – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

“And in the last module, we cover implementation and integration strategies. These are the most powerful ideas in the whole series – covering the ways to reach multiple audiences in the places they want to be reached, without requiring you to spend your entire day lost in the social media atmosphere just to keep up.”

Attendees of the Social Media Kick Start Virtual Boot Camp will also receive a Boot Camp “Starter Pak,” micro-guides for each module, plus templates and checklists Epiphanies developed for social media success in their own business and their work with corporate, government, and small business clients.

About Epiphanies, Inc.
Lani & Allen Voivod, the Content Lovers of Epiphanies, Inc., help entrepreneurs, global brands, and mission-driven organizations learn and use social marketing and success strategies to boost visibility, community, competitive edge, and profits. Get their Free 19-page Special Report, “37 Easy Ways to Boost Biz Visibility, Revenue, & Results With Twitter,” at www.EpiphaniesInc.com/twitter.