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Dr. Karen Freberg, Associate Professor at University of Louisville

By Cheval John

November 15th, 2017

Today’s episode features Dr. Karen Freberg, associate professor at the University of Louisville.

She is one of the most innovative professors in higher education due to being a pioneer in the teaching of social media.

Dr. Freberg has spoken at conferences around the world.

She has build her online presence via social media which gave her insights into preparing her students for the real world.

Her #freberg17 class created and implemented a social media marketing plan for the Louisville Bats.

This episode was recorded on Facebook Live via Blue Jeans Network.

Snippet on Vallano Media TV

Full episode on BlogTalkRadio

Website: www.karenfreberg.com

Twitter: @kfreberg

Quotes from Dr. Karen Freberg on:

Being Active On Social Media

I feel like social media is a passion of mine and I absolutely love it.

I also feel like for college students, if I am asking them to do certain strategies on social media, I have to do them as well just to kind of show them like, “okay, here’s kind of the strategies that I have been able to learn through the process.

I feel like instead of being like a top-down model for my classes, I am more of a participant too.

So there is definitely strategies I can definitely articulate, share and teach my students.

I am constantly learning each and everyday new things, new trends, new ways of approaching certain softwares for social media.

ON CREATING THE SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNITY PROFESSORS FACEBOOK GROUP

I would say it actually came from a research project I was working on this past year.

I was talking to one professor who was teaching social media at a university in Utah.

He was talking about how he really wish there was a place where professors who were teaching social media could come together and share some ideas.

He said, “I go to these other conferences, but they are really just advertising conferences or public relations conferences.”

“There was really no central place where we could all share our thoughts on certain trends in social or what are things that we are facing in terms of expectations from employers about our students skills and books we were using to teach social media.”

So I got the idea of creating a group where we just came together and share our ideas.

The group started last year in October and we have over 360 members (my update: the group is now over 450 members) from around the world.

We are all struggling with some of the same questions and same concepts.

We talked earlier before the show about this perception of professors who teach social media.

We get criticized all the time with “We don’t know what we are talking about, higher education is a waste of time. We are not ahead of the trends or we don’t know what we are doing.”

So it is nice to come together as a group and say, “Okay, here’s what we are doing. Here’s how we are going to show future employers our students are getting the necessary skills and education.”

It is a very great community and I have been really happy to see everyone sharing their ideas.

I also wanted to create a place I wish I had when I started out as a professor.

ON COVERING THE BEHIND THE SCENES OF COLLEGE GAMEDAY IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

I got approached from Front Office Sports about taking over their instagram account for college gameday.

I’m like, “Great, this is so exciting”

I realized, “Oh, I have to do what I have been preaching to my students and making sure I was basically following the same guidelines and best practices.

It was a lot of fun.

It was a different mindset where you have to think about what would the audience for front office sports want to see.

I had a lot of people that were really excited to see the clemson social media team.

So I made sure I got some coverage there and then the behind the scenes of college gameday.

Always make sure you have extra battery backs for your phone.

You can leave your comments below if you like or disliked this post

Is Blogging Still Worth It?

By Cheval John

May 24th, 2017

You might be wondering if it’s worth it to have a blog after seeing these stats

There are over a billion websites in the world- Internet Live Stats

About 2.7 million blog posts are published everyday-Hosting Facts.com

The answer is yes because your blog is the home base for your website

Here are more stats about blogs:

Websites with a blog have tend to have 434% more indexed pages-Impact

43% of marketers who work for business to business tells everyone that blogging is very important for their companies-Social Media Examiner

81% of businesses consider their blogs to be an important asset to their businesses.-Search Engine Journal

Out of the millions and millions of blogs, the top hosting sites for blogs are Tumblir and WordPress (WP).

Though Tumblir host 175 million blogs, I am honestly not a fan of the platform.

WP hosts 75.8 million blogs in the world.

You might not know that WordPress has two different platforms for blogs.

There is WordPress.com, the free hosting site, and WordPress.org, the self-hosting software.

Before we get into the details of WordPress.com and WordPress.org, I want to chat about another hosting site that emerged over the last few years: Medium.

Medium was created in 2012 by Evan Williams, one of the co-founders of Twitter.

The vision for Medium was to create long form content in the manner people could express themselves more since Twitter has a 140 character limit.

People who creates an account on Medium via Twitter or Facebook will automatically increase their audience depending on the number of followers on either platform.

For example, Rachel Rofe, who is the author of 50 plus books, created her Twitter account in 2007 and built a strong community.

When Rachel started using Medium in 2014, almost 1/3 of her Twitter audience “followed” her to the blogging platform

This is an advantage for those who are looking to start blogging for the first time.

And you also keep the blog content according to the people at Medium.

With the above being said, here are the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Pros of WordPress.com:

It is free

You can interact with fellow bloggers on the platform and build a community

Your blog could be discovered

Cons of WordPress.com:

You have limited features which can hinder you from expanding your blog

Pros of WordPress.org

You have access to the plugins which can improve your website

You can design the website which fits your business

The website is yours forever

Cons of WordPress.org

You have to pay a hosting company to run your website

In reality, it is not a con because they are hosting companies which are compatible with WordPress.org and are very affordable for small businesses.

The two hosting companies I highly recommend for hosting your website using WordPress.org are
Blue Host and Host Gator.

(Disclaimer: I use host gator for my business blog and I am not getting a commission at all.)

If you have to choose between wordpress.com and wordpress.org if you are planning to start a blog, I would select the latter.

When you built an audience over the years using wordpress.com and you want to switch to a self-hosted site using wordpress.org, you will end up “losing” the total number of views for your blog.

It will also cost you between $129-$200 to transfer your content from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.

I started this blog on wordpress.com in 2011 while simultaneously blogging for the collegiate newspaper and myself during my time in graduate school.

When I was placed on probation from graduate school, I decided to buy the domain name and upgrade the blog to vallanomedia.com using wordpress.com in January of 2012.

A couple days later, I formed the company as an llc and continued to blog about sports, travel and current events.

After looking at articles from experts like Nathalie Lussier regarding blogging platforms, I knew I had to switch my site over to wordpress.org.

So on October 1, 2012, I paid around $140 to switch my blog over to wordpress.org.

I had no idea at the time I was going to “lose” over 3,900 total viewership I built before switching from wordpress.com.

In conclusion, I want to add having a blog is important because it is your main real estate.

The social media platforms are just rented land.

If you want to build your business via blogging, you must do your research on which platform is right for you.

Here is a quote from Sonia Gregory, Owner and Creative Director of FreshSparks, which sums up the importance of having a blog:

“A blog is an opportunity to shake hands and introduce yourself. You can gain a reader’s trust through quality content.”

Are you planning on starting a blog? You can leave your comments below.

Don’t Write Off Social Media

By Cheval John

The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who are willing to learn new skills that will help them to expand their business.

The above statement is true for the business professionals, professors and anyone else who are making a living for the better.

The ones who believes that they know everything are doomed to fail.

The reason is that the “know it alls” are blind to the ever changing world of technology and the changes that are happening in their respective industries.

Take the example of a statement from many professionals who “believed” that “social media is just a fad and it will go away.”

They are now losing out on quality business because they fail to see the importance of social media.

They also fail to realize that the millennial generation will not purchase a product or service if they don’t trust a particular brand.

For example, the Sacramento Kings are dominating the NBA due to their willingness to engage with their fans.

D.J. Ramirez shared her experience about taking over Sacramento’s snapchat account

Dr. Karen Freberg and Dr. Ai Zhang are leading their universities students by example by building their own audience on social media.

Dr. Zhang in particular has built her Twitter audience to over 3,000 due to her hard work and willingness to interact with their audience.

So if you still believe that social is still a fad, then I wish you luck because you will one day end up like Nokia, who end up getting acquired by Microsoft due to their failure to adapt to the changing world of technology.

Creating A Winning Culture In Your Company

By Cheval John

November 19th, 2016

The #HTownTakeOver reignited after the University of Houston (UH) football team defeated then No.5 Louisville 36-10 in front of a record 42,822 fans at TDECU Stadium on Thursday night.

The football matchup was broadcast in front of a national television audience on ESPN and a national radio audience on ESPN Radio.

This Tweet by KPRC 2 sports reporter, Lainie Fritz, who captured the storming of the field after UH’s victory.

And ESPN had one of the best live streaming thursday night viewership this season due to this matchup

The campus has been a scene of a winning culture since Houston’s coach Tom Herman took over the team in December of 2014.

Since Herman’s arrival, UH has a record of 22-3 with an American Athletic Conference championship and a Peach Bowl win over Florida State University.

What is more impressive is that UH’s success has taken over the city of Houston

City Hall is lit in Cougar red to celebrate the @universityofhouston's win over Louisville! #HTownTakeover #GoCoogs

A post shared by ABC13 Eyewitness News Houston (@abc13houston) on

In a city that has plenty of professional sports teams, UH has found a way to get their football team into the spotlight.

UH has had success under previous football coaches like Kevin Sumlin and their softball team have been extremely successful since they began in 2001.

However, the recent success of UH’s football team seems to be in another level.

One could argue that UH’s recent rise to prominence started when they achieved the Tier One Status in 2011 by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education under the leadership of Chancellor Renu Khator.

With the Tier One status, UH were able to bring in world class professors and recruit future college students who were elite in their respective high schools from around the world.

From there, they were able to secure the funds to build the 40,000 seat TDECU stadium over the same grounds of the demolished Robertson Stadium in time for the 2014 football season.

That first year in the new stadium, Houston finished with an 8-5 record.

However, the season was considered disastrous due to the inaugural home opening loss to UTSA resulting in the firing of Tony Levine.

UH administration understood that if they wanted to take their football program to the next level in their new stadium, they had to bring in leadership who would bring in a culture of winning.

That was why they hired coach Herman to lead their football program because he played a role in helping Ohio State win a national championship under the new College Football Playoff format as an offensive coordinator for coach Urban Meyer.

Coach Herman instilled a winning culture at UH and the entire university community was onboard with the #htowntakeover movement.

The average home attendance at TDECU stadium have increase from 33,980 in 2015 to 38,953 this year.

UH administrators are trying to keep their coach from leaving the football team as major collegiate football teams are trying to hire him away from their school.

University of Texas seems to be the front runner to poach coach Herman away according to this ESPN report that the Longhorn’s most powerful boosters are trying to get Charlie Strong fired

Though UH have already increased coach Herman’s salary to $3 million a year, it seems like the money will not be enough.

The UH fans can hope that coach Herman will stay due to the stability of the UH administration who only want the best for their faculty and staff.

The above story showcases that as a business owner, you must:

1. Create a winning culture in your company

2. Allow your employees to shine in their respective roles

3. Avoid a power struggle (like the University of Texas boosters) that could tear your company apart

When you create a culture that allows your employees to shine in their roles, you will end up winning in the long term because they will go out of their way to promote you.

In the same manner as UH, customers will see your company as a place where people can grow their skills and positive recognition from outside sources will find you.

Have you created a winning culture like UH? You can leave your comments below.

NDSU’s Win Against Iowa Is No Upset

By Cheval John

Teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) who scheduled teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) 95% of the time would get an easy win.

It would give them an opportunity to “practice” their football schemes in order to prepare for tougher matchups against competion in their respective conference.

Iowa thought they were going to get an easy win when they scheduled North Dakota State.

Even the analyst of ESPN gave NDSU a 9% chance of winning against Iowa.

Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, they lost to the Bison 23-21 in a walk-off field goal by Cam Pederson.

Maybe Iowa should have listened to Allie Davison.

I am not surprised that many are declaring this win by the Bison (3-0) an upset.

To be fair, it could be called an upset because football teams in the FBS has 85 athletic scholarships while teams in the FCS only has 63 athletic scholarships.

The win by North Dakota State should not be viewed as an upset because they are 9-3 against FBS teams.

They have the belief that they can beat anybody whether it is an FCS or an FBS team because they know their strength of running the football will wear them out.-

That is why it is no accident that they have won five consecutive FCS National Championships and could possibly win their 6th championship next year.

Small businesses must have the mentality that they can beat the larger corporations in the same manner that North Dakota State defeats FBS colleges.

Unfortunately, most small businesses do not have the winning attitude because they believe that they don’t have the marketing budget, the staff or the infrastructure to cdmpete against larger businesses.

If North Dakota State had went into the matchups with the mindset that they can’t win against the FBS college teams, then they would have wind up losing those football matchups.

Instead, the Bison believed in their strong work ethic and their strength of running the football and knew that they could defeat anyone.

Small businesses must understand that their strengths in building a loyal following on social media, putting out uplifting and quality content through their blogs, podcasts, live video streams and free reports can help them to stand out from their competition.

Most large businesses would not even consider putting out content about their industry because they believe they might be put out of business if their competitors find out their secrets that have made them successful.

When you have the mentality that you can succeed in your business with less resources, you will see the positive outcomes of your business.

And the masses will wonder how did you outlast the larger businesses who had the larger marketing budget to succeed.