The Power of Brand Storytelling and 24 Other Lessons to Grow Your Business

Bizapalooza StageMagCloud is excited to be part of the first virtual small business “rock festival”, Bizapalooza!  It’s a free 3-day on-line conference July 16-18 where business experts share their strategies, secrets and power tools that will take your small business as high as you want to rock it.

On Tuesday July 16 at 5 p.m. EST, I’ll be representing the MagCloud team and discussing the power of tapping into your brand story.  MagCloud publications are all about telling great stories through words and images in print and digital, so it’s a subject near and dear to our hearts. We’ll dive into how small and medium businesses can take a lesson from leading media companies to build brand awareness and create deeper customer engagements . I’ll also share how to cost-effectively develop a multi-channel content strategy that takes your brand story across print, digital and social channels to drive more sales and leads.

To register for Bizapaloooza or find out more about the conference click here: http://bit.ly/18BpHgn.

Follow us at on Twitter (@MagCloud) and join the conversation during the webinar using hashtag #MagCloudSMB. Join us!

Until then, check out some of these teaser lessons from the rest of the presenters:

  • Jon Ferrara– CEO of Nimble – Transform your shallow social media connections into thriving business opportunities.
  • David Fishof – Founder of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp- Don’t let your fears get in the way of your success.
  • Donna Cravotta – CEO of Social Sage PR– A great media list is worth thousands of dollars (she’s going to give you one)
  • Brenda Horton – Co-Creator of ActionPlanr – Take the time to focus, plan and eliminate overwhelm.
  • Susan Payton –  President, Egg Marketing –  Press releases have SEO super powers.
  • Steve Wilkinghoff – Author of Found Money – First decide your financial outcome, then design a business that delivers.
  • Adam Byrnes – International Director of Freelancer.com – Freelancers will grow your business.
  • Jim Kukral – Speaker and Award Winning blogger – You can make more money and leverage your brand by self-publishing.
  • Tim O’Connor – CEO of Marcademy.com – If your online marketing expert or agency doesn’t follow these rules — ditch them.
  • Chaitra Vedullapalli – CMO of Meylah – 63% of small businesses aren’t online!
  • Sabrina Parsons –  CEO of Palo Alto Software – Your financials tell a story –that you write.
  • Erik Koto – CEO of QuestionPro – Run a survey, do nothing, make more money.  Really, there’s a study that proves it.
  • Deborah Kagan – Sensual Lifestyle Specialist – Mo Mojo = Mo Money = Mo Fun. Mo Life.  You get the picture.
  • Melinda Emerson – Smallbizlady – Talk to people on Twitter, do it every day grow your followers and influence.
  • Share Ross – Bassist for Vixen and Founder of Video Rock Star University – Stop being scared of video – and start attracting more clients and customers.
  • Shawn Pfunder – Godaddy – There’s no good reason for a bad web site.
  • Mariano Andres Garcia – Design matters even though content is king.
  • Bridget Weston Pollack – Marketing Director, SCORE – You can get million dollar consulting and experience — for FREE – why aren’t you?
  • Anita Campbell – Small Business Trends – Blogging is easier than you think.
  • Tina Forsyth – There is more to automating your systems and process than using technology.
  • Matthew Goldfarb – Corporate Renegade –  Stand for something – get more clients and customers who will pay you more for who you are.
  • Aseem Badshah – Founder & CEO of Socedo – Social media can actually make you money.
  • Anum Hussain – Hubspot – Inbound marketing is the science of turning web site visitors into prospects and prospects into customers.  Hubspots power marketer, Anum Hussain takes you through the basics and gets you headed on the pathway to profitable customers.

Lots of great speakers on tap so I hope you’ll join the conversation.

For the full agenda and to register visit the Bizapaloooza website.

If you do attend we would love to hear about your experience and favorite sessions in the comments section below.

March Madness Bracket Poster

bracket_imageMarch Madness is in full swing with tip-off just hours away for this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.

So whether you are a tourney stats master, like to pick based on your favorite mascots or simply want to show support for your alma mater, show-off your picks with a cool Bracket Poster.

To get started you can either order a print copy of our blank 18″ x 12″ Bracket Poster and  fill it out with your lucky picks when it arrives.  Or if you already feel confident in your picks download a Microsoft Word template and create your custom poster bracket. Once you’ve finished filling in your picks in the tempate, be sure to follow our software-specific instructions to export your MagCloud-ready PDF:

Click here to download instructions for Microsoft Word for Mac  |   Click here to download instructions for Microsoft Word for PC

Once you’ve exported your PDF, upload your completed bracket to MagCloud and order a copy of your custom poster, picks and all.

MagCloud Posters are just $2.00 for a full color front and back professionally printed poster that will look great in your office cube, dorm room or on the fridge, so you can track your team’s road to the Final Four.

Share who you are pulling for in this year’s tournament or other ideas you have for MagCloud posters in the comment’s section below.

Ringing in the Holidays with a Meet-up and Twitter Chat

Hope you’re all enjoying December so far and that you’ve got those final MagCloud orders in for the holidays!

For your viewing pleasure, below are a few shots from our recent holiday meet-up at the Press Club in San Francisco. Be sure to follow MagCloud on Instagram to see the latest and greatest from our team. We look forward to seeing you at our next meet-up in the new year!

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MagCloud’s Chief MagClouder Andrew Bolwell and
Marketing Mixologist Patty Tulloch at the MagCloud Meetup.
 

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All the awesome MagCloud publications at our meetup!
 

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Hooray for new MagCloud fans and friends!
 

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Delicious food and wine from the Press Club
at the MagCloud Holiday Meet-up.
 

We also had a memorable Twitter Chat last week with Kyle Menard, editor of BRINK Magazine. There were quite a few inspirational tweets that we wanted to share with you. Below is a brief excerpt from the Twitter Chat – feel free to read our entire Twitter Chat via Storify.

  1. MagCloud
    Q1 – To start things off – @BRINKmag, how did you get started in publishing? #MagCloud
  2. BRINKmag
    Started with a vision & to create a guide for young professionals RT @magcloud how did you get started in publishing? #MagCloud
  3. MagCloud
    Q3 – Do you see a difference in behavior/interest between your print and digital readers? #MagCloud
  4. BRINKmag
    @MagCloud It’s a challenge, but readers want that hard copy AND the instant download of the latest issue. MC lets us provide that #MagCloud
  5. BRINKmag
    @MagCloud Definitely. Big digital numbers when an issue debuts, but it tapers off. Hard copy somewhat sustains through the year #MagCloud
  6. MagCloud
    That’s great to hear, @BRINKmag. Digital offers instant gratification while print gives longevity – makes it easy to go back to. #MagCloud
  7. MagCloud
    Q5 from @TONE_DOPE: “When will @MagCloud begin offering subscriptions & an oversized 10×13 print copy option? #MagCloud
  8. MagCloud
    @TONE_DOPE We’re looking at subscription models and new product types. We do offer 11×14 today. #MagCloud
  9. MagCloud
    Okay, @BRINKmag. Jumping back to you with question from our community, how do you see #mag publishing evolving in the future? #MagCloud
  10. BRINKmag
    @magcloud There will always be a place for print, but with trends, it seems essential that a publication have an app #MagCloud
  11. MagCloud
    Last question from our team, @BRINKMag – what advice do you have for magazine publishers starting out? #MagCloud
  12. BRINKmag
    @magcloud It comes down to being on top of your game (in whatever you do), being a leader in what you believe in & staying current #MagCloud
  13. BRINKmag
    Lay the groundwork, be prepared (cont) RT @magcloud – what advice do you have for magazine publishers starting out? #MagCloud
  14. BRINKmag
    Also, (turning the tables) what advice do you have for publishers? RT @MagCloud Do you have any questions for Andrew? #MagCloud
  15. MagCloud
    Answering your 2nd Q: Listen to your customers, focus on innovation, embrace change, and don’t be afraid to take risks. #MagCloud
  16. BRINKmag
    BOOM —> RT @MagCloud “Listen to your customers, focus on innovation, embrace change, and don’t be afraid to take risks.” #MagCloud
  17. BRINKmag
    Definitely going to be quoting some of that for the next few weeks @MagCloud! Great stuff. #MagCloud

MagCloud Holiday Meet-Up and Twitter Chat

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Hey Bay Area! Help us celebrate 2012 at the MagCloud holiday meet-up in San Francisco with our Chief MagClouder and his team. Hear about all the latest MagCloud products and services, and learn what’s in store for next year.

  • Who: Fans of MagCloud – from new to seasoned publishers and all our social media fans!  Not sure what MagCloud is? Stop by to find out!
  • What: Learn about what the MagCloud team is working on, ask questions, share feedback and win prizes!
  • When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11
  • Where: Press Club, 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA 94103 (View Map)
  • Cost: FREE! Light appetizers and drinks will be served
  • RSVP: Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing in the comment section below!

If you can’t join us on Tuesday evening, you can still discuss all things publishing during our next Twitter Chat with one of our MagCloud publishers! The hour-long Twitter Chat kicks off at 10:00 a.m. PST on Tuesday, December 11 on our MagCloud Twitter handle (@MagCloud) and will feature our Chief MagClouder Andrew Bolwell and BRINK Magazine editor Kyle Menard.

What are Twitter Chats? It’s simply a discussion conducted on Twitter, where you get to Tweet live with our Chief MagClouder and Kyle about, in this case, publishing as well as any other MagCloud questions you have on your mind.

How can you participate? Starting now, submit questions for Andrew and Kyle by either tweeting them to @MagCloud using the #MagCloud hashtag or ask them right here in the comments section of this blog post. We also encourage everyone to join our Twitter Chat from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. PST on December 11 where Andrew and Kyle will respond to your questions live.

As an added incentive, all fans who ask a question will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a $25 Paypal MagCloud gift card perfect for you, your colleagues, friends, family, etc. to purchase your favorite publications on MagCloud.com during the holidays. The drawing is open to residents in the United States only. For the complete rules, see below.

Here’s a little more info about Kyle:KyleMenard

Kyle Menard sets his sights on achievable goals while keeping the big picture within his scope. After launching his own award winning magazine in 2009, BRINK, he continues to explore fresh and innovative channels to reach a bigger and broader audience while keeping the current audience engaged. He thrives on spreading the message of entrepreneurship, attainable goals and staying dedicated to a brand – the ultimate message of BRINK Magazine.

Don’t forget to follow our Twitter handle, @MagCloud, for the latest MagCloud news and updates, and ask those questions using #MagCloud or in the comments section here! Look forward to seeing you in-person or virtually next week!

The giveaway opens on Thursday, December 6, 2012. Entries must be submitted by 10:00 a.m. PST, Tuesday, December 11, 2012 and the winner will be announced via Twitter and our blog on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. The prize will be one (1) $25 MagCloud gift card and one (1) winner will be selected at random. All entrants agree to be contacted by Hewlett Packard for prize fulfillment. The drawings are open to MagCloud blog readers, Twitter followers and Facebook fans that reside in the United States and are at least 18 years of age at time of entry. No purchase necessary to enter or win. There is no limit on the number of entries from any entrant, but each entry must be submitted separately as a Tweet using the hashtag #MagCloud on Twitter or as a blog comment on this blog post. Anyone found to be in violation of any of our rules or third party networks will be ineligible. Entries in this contest will not be carried over into subsequent giveaways or drawings.

Vote for MagCloud in the SXSW PanelPicker – Ends Friday!

SXSW 2012 is prepping to bring the most captivating speakers, interesting topics and creative panels to film, music and interactive enthusiasts attending their Austin, Texas gathering March 9-18, 2012. Once again, they’re giving the public a voice by opening up the SXSW PanelPicker and letting YOU cast your vote for your favorite panels.

The MagCloud team has entered two great panel submissions to the PanelPicker featuring MagCloud publishers.

We hope you’ll vote for us in hopes we can bring these presentations to the biggest interactive conference in the U.S.!

Print Pioneers in a Digital World is about capturing the attention of your customers and getting your story heard by those who really matter. The panel will feature Roseann Hanson of Overland Expo and ConserVentures, Atlanta-based editorial photographer Zack Arias and Paul Lips of online children’s wear retailer ToobyDoo. For more on this panel and to cast your vote, go here.

The PB&J Effect: How to Publish in Print & Digital is about the perfect combination of print and digital and how perfecting that balance will help you reach a bigger audience. Joining us on the panel are Gizmondo’s Senior Reporter Mat Honan (also known as one of the editors behind Longshot Magazine), well-known photographer Trey Ratcliff and graphic designer/illustrator Craig Frazier who recently debuted his new Living Letters font. For more on this panel and to cast your vote, go here.

If you like what you see, all you have to do is create a free account (it’s easy!) and hit the thumbs up button on our panel pages.

Want to help spread the word. Tweet or Facebook about these presentations:

 Hurry! Deadline to vote is 11:59 CDT on Friday, September 2.

Tell us you voted by leaving a comment below.

MagCloud – On a Mission to Influence Small Businesses

We’ve always seen ourselves as an integral part for any small business’ marketing efforts, but it’s humbling and exciting to be recognized by others. Recently, we were nominated as one of the 2011 Small Business Influencers. This prestigious recognition honors companies, organizations and people who have made a significant impact on the small business industry. Paired with our recent Webby nomination, it has definitely been an exciting year thus far to see our name mentioned along with so many other notable industry organizations and professionals.

We’re in the next phase of the Small Business Influencer Awards and would love your help to reach the Top 100 by August 9th. If you feel that we’ve helped make a meaningful and lasting impact on small businesses, simply place a vote! Yes, you can even place a vote every day. :)

For more information on the 2011 Small Business Influencer, be sure to follow the folks behind this initiative – Anita Campbell (@smallbiztrends) and Ramon Ray (@ramonray). Please leave a comment below if you voted so we can thank you!

Get Publication Inspiration Through Networking

Looking for inspiration for your next issue, advice on how to create a branded publication or tips for creating a killer portfolio?  Consider increasing your networking time to socialize and exchange ideas with those in your industry or with common interests. Networking can be easily done in-person or virtually through association meetings, conferences, forums, NING sites, community websites, etc.

One example of combining the virtual and live worlds is Meetup.com – a site that launched after 9/11 and boomed. It now hosts 79,000 local groups in 45,000 cities worldwide! A whopping 250,000 “Meetups” occur each month on topics ranging from design to publishing to small business owners to marketing and just about any subject matter or topic you may be interested in.

We believe that there is great value to be gained from spending time with people in your profession or who share your love and interest in creating world-class publications. Meeting to exchange ideas, resources and best practices can lead to expanding your skill set and even to new business opportunities. Say you’re looking to find people to start a new cycling publication, check out these meetups with other cycling enthusiasts. Looking to get inspired by or for tips from other designers check out Behance Network’s Tip Exchange.

Below are some other opportunities to meet-and-greet, exchange ideas and network with your peers.

Marketing

American Marketing Association – Local Chapters
American Society of Association Executives – Communities Section
Business Marketing Association – Local Chapters

Creative Professionals

AIGA – The Professional Association for Design – Local Chapters
Adobe InDesign User Group – Local Chapters
Professional Photographers of America – Calendar of Events
Behance Network – A Creative Professional Platform

Magazine Publishers

Editor & Publisher  – Upcoming events around the world
Folio – Magazine publishers grouped by interest, location, field, etc.
Magazine Dojo –  Social networking site for magazine publishers

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Share more of your favorite networking opportunities with us in the comments section below.