Doing Business during a Pandemic

Remembering that we are all in this together, can help bring us closer.

online marketing and video conferencing

Authentic, every-day faces of clients and business partners  –  sometimes kids and pets in the backgound  – is a reminder that we are all in this together.

As an Internet Marketing Consultant with a home office, the initial stay-at-home order didn’t immediately change my daily routine. But it did quickly change the way I interacted with my clients and the marketing campaigns we worked on.

One of the biggest changes I’ve seen with my clients since March 2020, was the amount of online leads coming from social media. People are spending more time than ever on the platforms.  One client, a home builder, stepped away from their polished, corporate messaging and let their staff do Facebook live tours of the model homes for sale, so potential buyers could engage from the safety of their own home. Sometimes the WIFI would shut down in the middle of the live stream, sometimes the video would be shaky, or they would stumble on their words, but it showed they were real. Real people. In a real company. As a result, the response from the audience was more positive and engaging. (Click here for some tips on Facebook live)

My other client, a B2B company, found a dramatic spike in leads (mainly from LinkedIN) by promoting educational webinars. While we had been marketing webinars before the pandemic, we would only get maybe 40-60 sign ups. In April, they had more than 200+ sign up for each of their webinars!

In fact, according to this recent eMarketer article, “The disappearance of in-person events, and a pause in the use of traditional tactics, has led to significant digital growth” with LinkedIN expected to secure a fifth of all B2B ad dollars in 2020.

B2B digital spend 2020

“Search, virtual event sponsorships, podcasts and spending on LinkedIn are replacing TV, print, out-of-home and in-person events” – eMarketer

This pandemic has forced everyone to slow down. People are attending more online courses and watching longer online videos. Instead of rushing through their day.

Before the pandemic, I used to hate video calls.  I found them extremely distracting and taking away from getting the work done. But now, they can reveal a human side and an opportunity to build a closer connection. I can now see the authentic, every-day faces of my clients and business partners  –  sometimes unshaven working from their kitchen table, kids or pets in the background – rather than a stuffy, perfectly arranged office.  Although video conferencing calls are not new, the “new normal” of having the entire family at home during the day adds to the realness of the people you are working with.

I understand not everyone’s business and lifestyle can adjust to this new normal and many businesses and families are seriously struggling.  I have a friend who is a financial planner and explained that a zoom call just can’t give him enough of a read on a client’s true feelings about the strategies he recommends. He misses seeing the full body language. This leads to the recent National Geographic article on zoom fatigue and a study that showed how seeing someone speak to you in a tiny box on a screen in more taxing on the brain than a regular phone call or in person meeting.  “The brain becomes overwhelmed by unfamiliar excess stimuli while being hyper-focused on searching for non-verbal cues that it can’t find… That’s why a traditional phone call may be less taxing on the brain, because it delivers on a small promise: to convey only a voice.“

Each of us is experiencing different struggles as we navigate doing business in the face of a pandemic. But if there is a silver lining, it would be the idea of breaking down the guarded wall, and realizing that we’re all real people in this together. We are going to see your messy house or dog bark in the middle of the zoom meeting. And the WIFI just may go out during your live video stream or webinar. And I hope that makes us all feel a bit closer in this new world of social distancing and remote working. After all, we are all in this together.

Holly Berkley is a professional Online Marketing Consultant and author of eight Internet Marketing books. She focuses on helping all size businesses increase online sales and dramatically boost web site traffic through proven online marketing concepts. Berkley’s newest book is “The Social Media Advantage – An Essential Handbook for Small Business” Learn about her latest books and marketing services at


#1 Mistake Social Media Marketers Make


As a professional social media marketing consultant, I’ve been cringing each time this paid advertisement has shown up on my Facebook feed this week. (Note: The company name has been removed, as I’m not writing this article to make the company look bad, but to show the importance of strategic and timely social media marketing management)

The first thing I noticed was the super familiar stock photo – the same model I’ve seen so many other companies using. For one, stock photos scream “interruptive advertising” and most people scroll right past them. Choosing an image that looks like a “real” person, similar to what you would see on an actual friend’s post, is more likely to gain attention.

But the primary thing that is making me cringe is the unending super negative comments this ad is getting. Someone at this company is actually paying to have these negative comments and real customer reviews in front of their target audience. No one from the company is watching this ad. It continues to show up in my newsfeed 2-4x per day… and each time I see more and more negative comments come with it. Well over 200+ when I decided to write this blog. And some of these negative comments are several weeks old! No one from this company is listening!

The number one mistake social media marketers can make is to put a post (or ad) out there, and not watch it. It is our job as social media marketers to not just create targeted ads and posts, but to step in as customer service agents to help resolve issues/question and even address complaints that may come up. And the faster we step in, the less likely a post will spiral with others chiming in with their negative stories. And if all else fails, and you can’t make the negatively stop, at least pull down the advertisement. Try again with new messaging.

Social media advertising is not like buying Google AdWords or display banners. It is an evolving medium that can take on a life of its own if not managed. People comment, share and respond in real time. So, as a reminder to anyone involved in social media advertising, if you launch a social media ad, be prepared to manage the comments.

Holly Berkley is a professional Online Marketing Consultant and author of eight Internet Marketing books. She focuses on helping all size businesses increase online sales and dramatically boost web site traffic through proven online marketing concepts. Berkley’s newest book is “The Social Media Advantage – An Essential Handbook for Small Business” Learn about her latest books and marketing services at


San Diego Technology Spotlight: On Demand Staffing for your Office

1 Click StaffingAs an Internet Marketing Consultant for more 20 years, I’ve worked with a lot of San Diego start-ups and new technologies. My clients are very often local entrepreneurs who identify a problem and provide a much-needed solution. This is exactly what my latest client 1Click Staffing has done. The business plan and technology is on-point with tapping into a need to fix the current (very outdated) hiring/job search process.

Let me explain. Say you find out your best employee is going on maternity leave. Or you just landed a big client and have piles of research and paperwork to file. The typical hiring process takes 29 days, and 84% of new hires don’t work out. Something small business owners can not afford.

While Millennials (and even many Gen Xers and Boomers) are depending more and more on apps and web sites to help them get matched with dates, friends, drivers and more, why hasn’t the same technology been applied to those seeking employment? I’m not talking about another job board or resume blaster. But an actual web site that matches skilled, background checked people looking for work (part time, full time or contract) with open San Diego jobs in real time.

That’s where 1Click Staffing steps in. The job matching platform already boasts hundreds of skilled, background checked office admins, assistants and customer support staff ready to work. Businesses can post a job need and quickly get matched with available talent.

As a business owner, having immediate access to vetted workers when you need them is invaluable. And because technically the workers are 1Click Staffing employees, it minimizes your risk as an employer. Wages and all payroll burden taxation are paid by 1Click Staffing requiring no wage taxation or benefits to be paid by you. You can essentially test-run a full-time person before you hire them.

And just like Uber, Lyft and other matching technologies, employees and employers rate each other. So, both sides begin to build a reputation.

Whether you need extra staff part-time, full-time or for an upcoming project, I invite my fellow San Diego business owners to post a job opening free at I welcome your feedback about this new San Diego technology.

Holly Berkley is a professional Online Marketing Consultant and author of eight Internet Marketing books. She focuses on helping all size businesses increase online sales and dramatically boost web site traffic through proven online marketing concepts. Berkley’s newest book is “The Social Media Advantage – An Essential Handbook for Small Business” Learn about her latest books and marketing services at






3 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Video …. And Yes, you can afford it!

Using video in your digital marketing strategy is no longer a “nice to have” element, but critical to helping your company reach customers and stand out from the competition. Here are 3 quick reasons your small business needs video now, plus a special offer to help get your video started.

  1. Video helps your customers find you online.
    Videos on YouTube play an important role in SEO. Since search giant Google owns the video network, it gives extra weight to well-optimized videos in organic search. Creating a video (and ensuring the title and description include information about your key business services) can help you show up ahead of the competition when customers are searching online.
  2. Video helps you stand out on Facebook.
    Facebook’s recent algorithm change gives even more priority to friends and family posts. This means your business Facebook post has even less chance of reaching followers and fans in their news feeds. However, uploading your video content directly to Facebook gives you a higher priority in the algorithm. After all, Facebook is attempting to rival YouTube in video offerings, and wants to reward people (and businesses) for uploading direct content. Video will help you stand out (and show up!) in your customers’ news feed.
  3. Video helps you capture (and keep) people’s attention.
    Our attention spans are growing shorter. A Microsoft consumer study found that today’s average human attention span is 8 seconds! That’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish! Video helps capture attention longer, and convey more information faster than most written words.
Calvin Berkley

Calvin, my son (and newest intern!) has spent the last two years training with talented industry professionals, and learning how to plan, film and edit videos. 

Yes… You can Afford a video for your Small Business

So why don’t more small businesses take advantage of video? The primary reason is cost. Video can be expensive.  Corporate videos can cost thousands. However, as someone who has supported San Diego’s small businesses and wants to see them thrive, I’d like to offer an option….

Calvin, my son (and newest intern) has spent the last two years training with talented industry professionals, and learning how to plan, film and edit videos. While he has his own YouTube Channel full of fun skits and music videos, he is hoping to gain professional experience filming for businesses. He will create your video for $50 – $100 (only pay if you like the video and use it online). Contact Me if you are interested.

Here are a few examples of his videos:

Drone footage / Music Video:

Drone footage of  secret “pop up” K.Flay Concert in South Park:

Client Testimonial for San Diego Rescue Mission:


Contact me if you are interested in helping Calvin build up his professional video portfolio while enhancing your own business marketing efforts.

holly berkleyHolly Berkley is an author, educator, speaker and professional Internet Marketing Consultant focused on helping all size businesses increase online sales, strengthen their overall brand, and dramatically boost web site traffic through proven online marketing concepts. Berkley’s newest book is “The Social Media Advantage – An Essential Handbook for Small Business” Learn about her latest books and marketing services at





Quick Tips for going Facebook Live

I’ve had a lot of clients asking me about Facebook Live lately. How it can help their business. How they can best prepare. As a result, I pulled together a list of key tips to help them get started.

Group Of Five Mixed Race Students Sitting Together Surrounded WiContent Tips:

  1. Have a compelling description of what you’re going to talk about ready to post, BEFORE you go live. This description will be what people read alongside the video post.
  2. Promote the Live Video event a few days before via blogs, social posts and email.
  3. Plan to have company advocates and key staff online to leave comments and post reactions during the live video. More active live engagement will help the video show up in more newsfeeds faster.
  4. Have a list of talking points ready, and be prepared to answer questions during the live feed.
  5. If you are planning a more formal demo during a live video, it’s a good idea to have an extra person helping you read the comments/questions, so you don’t get distracted.
  6. Say “Hello” to commenters by name when you respond live.
  7. Expect lots of comments to happen after the live video has ended as well.
  8. Suggested Length of Facebook Live video – about 2 – 5 minutes. You don’t want it to be too long – yet long enough to give people time to see it in their newsfeeds while it’s actually live. If your live video is getting lots of engagement, keep it going!
  9. Signal the end of the broadcast by using a closing line like “Thanks for watching, we’ll be going Live again soon…” If you already know the next topic or date of Live Video, mention it.
  10. After the live video is complete, download it, then upload to YouTube. Once on YouTube, you can share the video again via emails, blogs, other social media.

Technical Tips:

  1. You must be an ADMIN or EDITOR of the Company Facebook Page to do a Live Video.
  2. Live Streams can be done from your computer’s camera or phone while logged into the Company Facebook Page.
  3. If doing a live video with your phone, be sure to film horizontal (this way, it will look better on YouTube or other social media you may upload it to afterwards).
  4. Practice making the video before the live event, so you can see how it looks and sounds. Speak clearly, and make sure the environment is distraction-free.
  5. Be sure you have a strong internet connection before you go live. (Live videos can get fuzzy and hard to hear very easily, if connection isn’t super strong.)

holly berkleyHolly Berkley is an author, educator, speaker and professional Internet Marketing Consultant focused on helping all size businesses increase online sales, strengthen their overall brand, and dramatically boost web site traffic through proven online marketing concepts. Berkley’s newest book is “The Social Media Advantage – An Essential Handbook for Small Business” Learn about her latest books and marketing services at


7 Key Take-Aways from this year’s Social Media Summit

Social Media Summit

Representatives from Hallmark, Ticketmaster and Guinness Book of World Records were among the many marketing professionals who shared social media success stories during the recent PRWeb Social Media Summit.

I had the privilege of attending this year’s PRNews Social Media Summit in Huntington Beach, California last week. I’ll share more of what was discussed over the next few weeks. However, for now, here are some quick, yet critical take-aways from Day 1.

  1. Focus on Shared Experiences
    Rather than always getting caught up on how to reach Baby Boomers, Gen X or Millennials, create social media campaigns that bond people around a shared experience or belief.
  2. Traditional, Digital and PR teams must work together
    As digital, PR and traditional marketing roles blur, its critical to collaborate with each other. PR teams must coordinate with digital media professionals to build longevity and greater reach of messaging and media mentions.
  3. When it comes to metrics, business outcomes still come first
    Be a business person first. Social Media (and PR for that matter) is not about how popular you can be online or how much exposure you can create for your client. It’s about the bottom line. What are you ultimately trying to accomplish. How will you measure success of a campaign? CEOs don’t care about impressions or spikes in web site traffic, they care about the business outcomes.  How will you measure what is important to the business?
  4. Data Story Telling
    Look at the data (Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, etc) and see what’s working. What do your current customers and potential customers consider newsworthy? What is shareworthy? This will give you a deeper understanding of your customers’ motivations. Then build your digital content strategy around those stories that drive customers to take action.
  5. Paid Social isn’t the Driver, it’s the Vehicle
    With Facebook’s most recent algorithm changes, businesses have to pay more to be in front of consumers. Don’t just boost posts to boost them. Be purposeful. Define your goals and create the content your audience wants to see. Then make sure the technology is in place to measure the business outcomes of that boosted post.
  6. Journalism Skills Still Apply
    Don’t lose the ability to write. Journalism still has its place. The medium may have changed, but you still need to write well to communicate quickly and efficiently in the digital world.
  7. Think beyond the obvious paid social ads
    Everyone wants to invest in the top 4 – Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Instagram. Think about other ways your audience is consuming content. BuzzFeed? Blogs? Consider Influencer Marketing strategies to have others help tell your company story in an authentic way. Think of core influencers as your content creation workshop with peer to peer influence beyond what a company can say on their own.

holly berkleyHolly Berkley is an author, educator, speaker and professional Internet Marketing Consultant focused on helping all size businesses increase online sales, strengthen their overall brand, and dramatically boost web site traffic through proven online marketing concepts. Berkley’s newest book is “The Social Media Advantage – An Essential Handbook for Small Business” Learn about her latest books and marketing services at

My son the YouTuber + what he Learned about Social Media Engagement Rates

What can we, as online marketers and content creators, learn from this budding YouTuber story? Read on…
Mcalvin1y 12 year old son recently started a YouTube Channel of his own and has been obsessed with building his subscribers and views.

He relentlessly studies other famous YouTubers popular within his age group, like Ryan Higa, jacksepticeye (cringe…) and of course, PewDiePie– the 27 year old with more than 53 million subscribers and earning more than $15million.

But this post isn’t about young YouTubers making crazy money off of cringe worthy irrelevant videos. Or even about PewDiePie’s recent fall  after some poor judgement.

This is about what it takes to get fan engagement and what most content creators can expect.

Over the weekend, my son’s YouTube Channel hit 100 subscribers. Excitedly, he created a video thanking his fans, and asking them to vote on what challenge he and his buddies should take on in their next video.

“What’s it going to be?” he excitedly asked his fans, “Mannequin Challenge? Chubby Bunny? Ice Bucket challenge? I can’t wait to hear what my fans come up with! Comment below!” he tells his viewers.

I immediately got online and made my recommendation, “How about the ‘clean the house’ challenge!” I wrote.

“Mom! Stop!” he said as he waited for the comments to roll in.

To his disappointment, he only received 2 other comments. “Why is no one commenting!?” he asked.

I explained to him that it doesn’t mean his fans weren’t watching or supporting him, its just the nature of social media – not everyone feels comfortable commenting or even “liking” what they see online. In fact, 89% of people passively watch and listen, but will almost never make a comment. This means that you have to have a significant following to expect a large amount of comments or engagements.


Here’s an except from my latest book,  Social Media in Action further explaining this phenomenon .

 “No matter tsocialmediabook1he size, every online community has its loudest voices. And these voices make up only 1% of the total community. But they are a powerful 1%. This 1% are essentially the “creators”. They are the ones who start conversations and therefore tend to influence the attitudes and energy of the social group as a whole.  

Even though it may feel like a social network is not active, or no one is listening, this is because of the small percentage who actually creates content.  10% of a community is what is known as “editors”. These members will post and contribute to conversations started by the “creators”. They are the ones who will simply “like” something on FaceBook, or contribute a “me too” type blog comment.
So what are the remaining 89% of the members doing? Listening

So although you may think no one is listening to you, they are.  Social media provides a voyeuristic view of what’s happening in your community. The same reason reality television took off, social media offers a chance for people to listen in, see your ideas, and hear what’s going on. “

So, I told my son that getting 3 comments, and 5 likes on his video was actually industry standard. That’s about a 10% engagement rate on his 100 subscribers.

So what can we, as online marketers and content creators learn from this budding YouTuber story? Build your online audience before expecting engagement – this goes for planning online contests, expecting customer feedback or even asking questions. Finally, the lower the fan count, the easier you need to make the engagement activity for your customers and followers.

In summary, continue to create quality content for your target audience, build your followers, and have realistic expectations on engagement rates.

10 Tips to Grow Your YouTube Channel

My 12 year old son was looking for a way to make some extra holiday cash and offered to help me with my Internet Marketing Company. I told him I would pay him to write a blog for me about how to increase video views on YouTube.

“Mom! Nobody reads blogs!’ he told me. “Everyone just uses YouTube.” So instead of writing a blog for me, he made this video. What do you think? Have any advice for this budding Internet Marketer? Any YouTube marketing tips he should have included in his top 10 list?



Using Social Media to Maximize Engagement

By Sophorn Chhay, Guest Blogger

When it comes to building a strong connection with consumers, social media is one of the most effective tools at a brand’s disposal. Here are some inbound marketing tips to help you maximize customer engagement using social media.

Happy young blonde casual caucasian woman working with laptop co

1. Be consistent with the platform’s culture.

Consumers use different social media platforms for a variety of reasons. Twitter, for example, is a more common choice among users who want to be up-to-date on what’s happening in their social circle. Pinterest, on the other hand, is all about inspiration. Be aware of the purpose of each platform you use and create content that is appropriate for the platform in question. Otherwise, users may become frustrated and break their ties with your brand.

2. Be friendly and engaging.

Social media is all about building warm, friendly relationships. Consumers don’t want to feel like they are interacting with a company when they are on social media. Instead, they want to feel like they are connecting with a trusted friend. Keep your social media posts and messages personal and welcoming at all times.

3. Use imagery to capture users’ attention.

Visual content goes a long way on social media. Use pictures, videos and graphics to engage your connections and hold their attention. Good quality visual content is also more likely to be shared.

4. Improve efficiency with automation.

Managing multiple social media platforms can be challenging, especially if you have a large base of followers. Use mobile marketing automation to reduce the burden as much as possible so that you can focus your resources on creating quality content.

5. Connect different platforms.

The more ways you connect with a consumer, the more likely it is that he or she will become a loyal customer. Develop an integrated mobile marketing strategy that incorporates various social media platforms, mass text messaging service, email and any other method of communication you want to employ. Make sure that consumers are aware of all of the different ways they can connect with you, and encourage consumers to connect in more than one way.

6. Offer customer service via social media.

Social media is an excellent customer service outlet. Consumers can express their concerns or ask questions at their convenience without calling your company and being placed on hold. Consider offering a customer service option via one or more social media platforms. If you choose to provide this type of customer service, be sure to respond to all communications in a timely manner.

7. Track your progress.

The effectiveness of your social media marketing plan can always be improved. As you continue to use social media to connect with consumers, track your progress and look for ways to optimize your strategy. If you aren’t sure how to track your progress, consider consulting a marketing agency for assistance.

Sophorn Chhay is the marketing guy at Trumpia, the most complete SMS software with mass sms messaging, smart targeting and automation. Jumpstart your business by grabbing your free copy of his powerful Mobile Marketing Success Kit. Watch Trumpia’s 5-Minute Demo on how to execute an effective mobile marketing strategy.

3 Reasons Your Business Needs Online Videos Now

By Suzanne Svahn, Guest Blogger


No stock photos here! Food Bowl Market’s social media outreach includes short videos featuring real products, loyal customers and long-time employees locals have come to recognize and trust.

Here are three quick, yet critical reasons your business, no matter what size, needs to include video in your social media marketing plans.

Videos Increase Purchase Intent
For companies looking to increase traffic to their website and social media, video content must be  a top priority in their marketing plan. Enjoyment of video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand association by a mind blowing 139%!  A whopping 90% of mobile users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process.

Videos help capture the attention of Mobile Users
People are becoming more and more impatient and are an easier target for distraction while on their mobile phones.  Businesses need to find ways to capture a consumer’s attention for a few seconds, 3-6 seconds to be more exact, before they lose attention and move on to something new. Video content allows businesses to deliver a message with less distraction. Per Facebook’s benchmark, only 26% of the viewers continues to watch the video after 3 seconds and only 4 percent will watch with audio. It’s only with strong video content you can captivate your viewers after the 3 seconds,  and keep in mind 96% of them don’t even watch with the sound on!

Your Competition is most-likely Already Using Video
Did you know that 87% of online marketers use video content?  This is a number that is constantly growing!  In order to stay competitive in our digital world, you need a strong media presence on the internet.  Research shows that 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others. This statistic gives you leverage to stay competitive and and be one step ahead of your competition.

suzannenSuzanne Svahn is currently working with Holly Berkley Consulting, LLC to help create social media marketing campaigns designed to help San Diego businesses reach more customers online. Visit to learn how custom video content can help increase your brand awareness online.