5 Ways To Make Your Online Brand Stand Out From Your Competitors

5 Ways To Make Your Brand Stand Out From Your Competitors

If you’re not standing out, you’re just blending in. Learn 5 ways to make your online brand start SHINING online today!

There’s a time to blend in, and there’s a time to stand out. When it comes to your online brand and your social media presence, you need to do everything in your power to stand out from your competitors, and not fade into the background. To get started, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my brand look and sound like every other brand that does the same thing as I do, in my industry?


  • What makes my brand stand out among a sea of other dancers, artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses who offer the same products and services as I do?


  • What is my value proposition, and have I made it clear to my online audience?


  • What’s one thing I do differently, when it comes to my social media marketing, or online video marketing, that makes my brand stand out from the crowd?

5 Ways To Make Your Brand Stand Out From Your Competitors

On location, for my dance tv show, “Inside New York City Dance”

Here are 5 Ways To Make Your Online Brand Stand Out From Your Competitors (no matter what industry you work in):

1. Tell your story. Share your personal story, your background, and why and how you got started. Share what inspires you, and what your mission and purpose is. Share your unique qualifications, education, and professional experience, and what makes you a trustworthy and knowledgeable source, in your field. Make it personal. Let your online audience get to know you on a more personal level. This builds trust.

2. Make your content about them, not about you. What type of content are you posting on social media every day? Is it the type of content that gets your fans and followers talking/commenting? Is it helpful? Is it entertaining? Is it informative? Is it educational? Is it funny? Is it motivating? Your online content should be 80% about them, and 20% about you. That’s how you begin to stand out.

3. Go above and beyond what everyone else is doing. If everyone in your niche industry has a blog, then you need to go hard with podcasting. If everyone has a podcast, then you need to go hard with videos. If everyone has a YouTube channel, then you need to be going harder on Facebook and Instagram live. Do you see a consistent theme here? It’s also not just about doing random videos, but it’s about the types of videos you choose to put out there.

Do creative concept videos, interviews with industry experts (HUGE), do how-to videos, do Q&A videos, do behind-the-scenes videos, document your journey of building your brand, tackling a specific project or task, auditioning, choreographing a dance piece from scratch, or overcoming a fear that you have. Don’t just create, document. Let people see who you are, what your process is, and what your daily life, journey, and operations look like. Then, you will not just have fans and followers on social media, but a loyal community of people who know, like, and trust you. Those are the folks that end up investing in your business long-term, and becoming your best, new-client referring customers.

4. Show up consistently. People like routines, and people like to know what to expect, in their personal relationships, and with the businesses/artists/blogs they choose to support. Be consistent. If you say that you’re going to publish a new blog post every Monday, do it. If you say that you’ll be live on Facebook, every Wednesday at 8 pm, be there! If you promise to offer a freebie, or special discount to your e-mail subscribers once-a-month, deliver on that promise, every month. This is they key to building trust with your online audience, and standing out from other brands who essentially do the same thing as you do. Plus, you need to stay at the top of people’s minds, otherwise, they will simply forget about you. So make sure you show up consistently on social media, every day.


5. Build real relationships, not just a large number of fans and followers. It’s so important that you really connect with people, in a personal way, on social media. These are real people (well mostly…bye Instagram bots lol), that are liking and commenting on your posts. Don’t treat them like they’re just another number. Get to know your fans and followers. Ask questions, reach out to them and offer them help, suggestions, resources, support, and motivation when they need it. Don’t just be another random brand that they’re following on social media. Be their friend, their colleague, their resource, and a part of their support system. Follow up with people, send them private messages (or DMs), go out of your way to help them, and show them that you see them, and that you care. Whenever you have the chance, take advantage of any opportunity to meet up with people in person too. Nothing will ever replace one-on-one, real life interaction. Nothing!


If you want your online brand to truly stand out on social media, and differentiate yourself from other individuals/businesses in your industry, you have to go above and beyond the call of duty, and do more. It’s not enough to just do the same thing that everyone else is doing. That will not get you very far.

So talk to me in the comments below and tell me, which of these five tips are you actively using to grow your online brand, and which one(s) do you need to improve upon? Let me know in the comments below.











How To Dramatically Improve Your Social Media Strategy In 10 Simple Steps

How To Dramatically Improve Your Social Media Strategy In 10 Easy Steps

 Take your social media strategy to the next level, starting NOW!

If you have a social media strategy in place, but you know you could get better results with a little help and direction, this post is for you. 
If you don’t have a social media strategy in place right now, then this article is a must-read for you! So I’m glad that you’re here!



It’s all fun and games on social media, until you realize you’re spending a ton of your time online, with nothing to really show for it. This is why you need to have a social media strategy, and not just any strategy. You need a strategy that is focused on getting measurable results for your brand, and that ties into your business and financial goals.


Let’s dive right in!


How To Dramatically Improve Your Social Media Strategy In 10 Simple Steps



1. Get more specific about your target audience. Every successful business owner, and experienced marketer will tell you that you need to speak to an audience of one, even on social media. Having a customer avatar, or customer profile in mind, is crucial to how you create posts to share on social media, and also, what hashtags you choose to use. If you’re too general, your ideal customer will overlook your message, because it doesn’t speak to them specifically. Remember, everyone is not your target audience. The more specific you can be, the more effective your social media strategy will be.




2. Create a high-value lead magnet. Not only do people love free stuff, but nowadays, we’ve come to expect to get something for free, before we even make a purchase. As you focus on getting your fans and followers from social media, onto your e-mail list, come up with a really fantastic, free, incentive for signing up. What your free lead magnet should be, will differ, depending on your industry, products, and services. But whatever you do, make it GOOD!! Make it so irresistible, that people are excited to give you their e-mail address, so they can get immediate access to this amazing, FREE bonus!



3. Promote your free lead magnet, EVERYWHERE!! Your free, lead magnet should be in a prominent place on your website, and one of the first things people see when they visit your website. But, what if people are not on your website? How will they know about your amazing free gift to your new e-mail subscribers? You have to promote it! Don’t be shy! When you’re offering something of value to people, that you know will benefit them in a big way, you should never feel uncomfortable about sharing and promoting it. Create a unique link to your website, where your fans and followers can access the gift, and post it on all of your social media accounts. That way, you can track how many clicks you’re getting on that specific link, and be able to evaluate the effectiveness of this campaign. On Instagram, be sure to put this link as the one, clickable link on your profile.



4. Recognize your weaknesses and where you need help. In some cases, you may already know where you are struggling on social media and why. In other cases, you may feel like you’re doing all the right things, but still not getting the results you want. That’s when it’s time to take a step back, and evaluate where there may be holes in your strategy, that are slowing you down.
Ask yourself some key questions:
  • Are you posting consistently every day?
  • Are your post images/videos/content high-quality, and visually-pleasing?
  • Are you sharing things that are helpful, motivational, and value-driven for your online audience?
  • Are you using the right hashtags?
  • Are you focusing on the right social media platforms, where your specific target audience is most active?
This is a good place to start to find out where your weaknesses lie. Then, you can take the proper steps to focus on improving and getting stronger in those specific areas.



5.  Invest in professional help. When it comes to social media, there’s only so much that you can do on your own. At some point you’re going to need to connect with someone who’s more knowledgeable than you, in order to grow your online brand and business, through social media marketing. The longer you wait to do this, the longer it will be before you start seeing the kind of results you desire through your social media presence. Make the investment to get help from a social media professional, and expand your knowledge and strategy as soon as possible. Time is money.


#SocialMedia tip: There comes a point when you have to invest some money into your social media presence. Whether it’s through hiring a consultant or an agency to help you, or through taking online courses or reading books, you have to invest money at some point, in order to grow your knowledge about social media. Free information and resources will only get you so far. Let me tell you a little secret: I take things that I spend money on much more seriously than the free stuff. When I invest my hard earned cash into something, I know that it’s up to me to ensure that I get a return on my investment. And I like to get a BIG return on my investments. How about you? #shineonsocialmedia #socialmediamarketing #socialmediastrategy #branding

A photo posted by Ashani Mfuko Social Media Tips (@ashanimfukodance) on

6. Create a Strategy. Having a strategy in place means that you have a set goal (gaining more customers or clients, increasing your e-mail subscribers, increasing the attendees at your events, etc.), then you create a list of action items you need to do, every day, in order to make that goal happen. What marketers refer to as a “Sales Funnel”, is the process by which you take a new customer from being a “cold lead”, meaning, someone who’s never heard of you or your business, to becoming an actual paying customer for your business. Using social media, it usually goes from a social media post (or ad), to a free offer to join your e-mail list, then from your free lead magnet (free offer/incentive for joining your list), to your website, to a purchase. But there has to be lots of added value for the potential client or customer throughout that entire process.




 7. Add value. Become a master at helping people, offering solutions, and lifting people up. There’s a reason why motivational quotes perform so well on social media, across the board. You can’t just get active on social media when you have something to promote. You have to be sharing valuable, helpful and motivational content every day. You have to give, and you have to serve. Stop tagging people on Facebook all willy nilly. Stop being lazy, and trying to take the easy way out. Stop adding people to groups without their permission. ADD VALUE & EARN PEOPLE’S ATTENTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA. What you earn, you keep. Put in the work. Stop looking for shortcuts!

Success online through social media marketing is Simple, but NOT Easy. Here are the 5 C’s of Successful Social Media Marketing: 1) Compelling Content 2) Consistency 3) Care & Concern 4) Conversation 5) Community ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ But remember, one of your ultimate goals should be to get the people who are connected with your brand on social media, to then go to your website or blog, and join your e-mail subscriber list. Then, you have direct access to their e-mail inbox, which allows you to connect with them on a more intimate level, on a regular basis, whether they see your social media updates or not. There is power in your list. Start building it now, and let that be one of your main goals within your social media strategy. Build that list!! #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #socialmediastrategy #branding #businesstips #digitalmarketing #entrepreneur #dancer #blogger

A photo posted by Ashani Mfuko Social Media Tips (@ashanimfukodance) on
8. Upgrade your visual content. You have to post quality visual content on social media if you want people to engage with your content. It needs to be clear, eye-catching, vibrant, have a message that people can relate to, or that sparks curiosity, etc. You can’t post low-quality images, and expect people to take your brand seriously. But you don’t necessarily need to invest a ton of money in order to do this. My favorite tool to create visual content for social media, from my computer, is Canva. It’s a free tool that you can use to create professional-level, branded images. If you decide you want to use one of their pre-designed templates, or stock photos, it’s only $1 per/image. You can’t beat that! Another idea is to do one photo shoot with a professional photographer, and get tons of photos that you can use, and re-purpose for social media.


9. Be consistent. Create a social media content calendar. Create your visual content in bulk, in advance. Schedule your content in advance, to keep your brand’s pages and profiles populated and active though out the day and evening. Share and be active even when you don’t have anything to promote. And when you do have something to promote, remember the 80/20 principle. Share, give, and add value 80% of the time, and promote your product, service, classes, or event, 20% of the time.


#SocialMedia Tip: Became a master at helping people, offering solutions, and lifting people up.▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ In order to be successful on social media, you have to give, and you have to serve.▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ Don’t be lazy, and try to take the easy way out. Add VALUE, and EARN people’s attention on social media. What you earn, you keep. ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ Put in the work. Stop looking for short cuts. Nothing worth having comes easily.▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ If you need help with upgrading or enhancing your social media strategy or presence, I’m happy to help you. Send me a DM, and let’s chat! 😎 #SHINEonSocialMedia

A photo posted by Ashani Mfuko Social Media Tips (@ashanimfukodance) on

10. Have a clear brand message. Make sure everything you post online has a purpose, and ties into, and represents your brand in the best way possible. Add a watermark, or your social media handle, and website to your photos and videos, so that people recognize it as original content that your brand created. Use a consistent color scheme in your images, that tie into the visuals on your website, so that there’s a cohesive look, all around.





Engage! You have to engage with your fans and followers online if you ever hope to be able to convert them into paying customers. Building trust and relationships with your target audience online can only happen through daily engagement. Comment on other people’s photos and posts, in your target market, and always reply to all of the comments you receive on your social accounts too. Don’t miss out on this key step to success and optimal results on social media.


Remember, help people, and offer solutions to your audience, through social media. People like it when you’re helpful and relatable. That likeability factor can be what determines whether someone chooses your brand over another person, or company.



Growing a successful brand or business through social media marketing is simple, but not easy. If it were easy, everyone on social media would be a millionaire. Don’t look for shortcuts. Put in the time, effort, and investment required to build a successful business or personal brand through social media, and you will get the results you want.


Where do you struggle the most when it comes to social media? Let me know where you need help in the comments below, and I’ll be glad to offer you some advice to help relieve your frustrations, and get you moving in the right direction.


Video Master Class Series - Your 4-Week Plan To Build An Online Brand That Pays

Renew. Refresh. Reset.

Learn how to build an online brand that pays, in only 4 weeks! It’s time to whip your online brand into shape!
Get full access to my 4-part video master class series today! This online branding bootcamp is your opportunity to work with me one-on-one, to catapult your online branding, social media strategy, online video presence, and sales to new heights! CLICK HERE to sign up!

The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them)

  The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them)
Social media can be quite frustrating when you’re working so hard to keep your profiles updated, grow your brand, and garner support and results, to no avail. You may wonder, “What am I doing wrong?” Well, I’m here to tell you, you’re not crazy!



There may be one or two simple things that you’re missing, which are causing you to not get the kind of results you’re aiming for on social media.



May I digress for a moment?



As a Professional Dancer, and Dance Teacher by trade, I know that one little tweak in your execution of say, a pirouette (a ballet term, for a turn), can make or break you. Meaning, if you adjust just one thing while you’re turning, i.e. straighten your standing leg, spot, or engage your core, your turn can go from disaster, to dynamic!



The same is true for social media. You’ll be surprised at how much of a positive difference you can make in your social media strategy and online presence, by simply tweaking a few things here and there.



So let’s delve in to Part 3 of this series. Oh, and if you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you should definitely check them out. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. Some major eye-openers!!



The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them) – PART 3



20. You don’t have a website.

It’s hard to believe that in this day and age there are actually individuals and businesses that don’t have a website. If you are working a regular 9-5 job, you may feel like you don’t need to have a website, and maybe you don’t. Maybe your Linkedin profile is enough. Or maybe it isn’t. Any way that you can highlight your expertise and your value, and differentiate yourself from others in your industry is a win-win. Having a separate website allows you to do just that. If you’re an artist, blogger, entrepreneur, or business owner, a website is a MUST! It is not optional.


Not to mention, if you’re blogging regularly, or selling your products or services, your website can be a revenue-generating tool for you to use. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be making money from your website while you work? Now you’re starting to understand the importance of having your own website. Establish one place for people to go to learn more about you, your background, your story, and what you have to offer professionally, or business-wise. Make it easy for people to learn more about your expertise, and find you online through search engines, in a strategic way.



21. Your website isn’t optimized for social media, and hasn’t been updated in the past 6 months to a year.


For the most part, people tend to visit your website once, never to return again. This is no good. One of the ways to combat this problem, is to have your social media links in a prominent place on your website, so that your website visitors can easily follow you on social media. That way, they will have a reason to come back to your website, as they see your blog posts or other links posted on your social profiles. But that’s not all. You don’t just want people to connect with you on social media, you want them to share your content on social media too. That’s where social share buttons come in.


Make sure they’re on every blog post, and on every page of your website, so your website visitors can easily share content from your website on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Lastly, update your website regularly. I would recommend at least every 90 days. Tweak your about page, your products and services pages, add new photos, videos, press features, etc. Keep the content on your website fresh and up-to-date, at all times.



22. You’re not building your list.


The second way to combat the problem that I mentioned above (people visiting your website once, never to return again), is by building your e-mail list. This is one of the most important components of any marketing strategy, and crucial to your success online. By building your e-mail list, and getting direct access to your target market’s inboxes, you’re able to build trust, thought leadership, and relationships. It’s through this process that you convert your fans and followers into paying, loyal customers, and brand evangelists.



Choose whatever service you like. There are many great options out there like, Aweber (my personal choice), MailChimp, Constant Contact, and many more. Whatever you do, start building your list NOW! The sooner you start doing this, the better off you’ll be, and the sooner you’ll start seeing tangible results from your social media efforts.



23. You don’t post a call to action with your social media updates.


What do you want people to do when they read your social media updates? Do you want them to post a comment? Do you want them to like it, share it, tag someone, or click on a link? Be intentional and specific about what step you want people to take next, when posting your social media updates. Ask questions, encourage conversation, and add a call-to-action to your posts, to increase your engagement. Check out a great example below, from the amazing, Kim Garst!


Seriously, right? If God is for you, who can be against you. #FaithInBiz

Posted by Boom Social with Kim Garst on Saturday, May 16, 2015




24. You don’t send out an e-newsletter on a regular basis.


I think we are all guilty of getting off track with this from time to time. Lord knows I am! But consistency is key! When you send out an e-newsletter on a regular basis, people get used to opening your e-mails, and start to actually expect them, and look forward to reading them. Remember, they joined your list for a reason. So be consistent with your e-newsletter, and make it worthwhile to read. Every time your subscribers read your e-newsletter, and gain something of value from it, you build trust with them, and authority within your niche market.

A targeted e-mail subscriber list drives sales, and drives businesses to success. Don’t treat your e-newsletter like a place to just share company announcements, personal updates, or events. Make it personal, valuable, and useful. Put your readers first. Make sure they’re walking away smarter, wiser, more informed, and empowered after they read your newsletter. Your success online depends on it.





25. You don’t reply to people’s comments in a timely manner, interact, engage, or say thank you when people share your posts, mention you, tag you, etc.



You’ve heard it a million times before, “Social media isn’t just about having a large following, it’s about engagement”. So if engagement is what drives success on social media, why would you not make it a priority to interact with your fans and followers regularly? It’s so important to show people online that you care, and that you’re listening, and paying attention. It’s something so simple, but many people fail to do this. Trust me, it makes a huge difference in how you’re perceived online. I worked with a major client who’s online perception and reputation was terrible, simply because they never replied to people’s comments or questions on social media. No one likes to feel ignored. If you’re going to be active on social media, people expect you to respond and interact with them.



When you have people who consistently engage with you online, make it a point to highlight them in some way. Share one of their updates or blog posts, shout out your most engaged blog reader, or Instagram follower. Show your gratitude, and get social with your fans and followers.



This is Part 3 in my series, “The Top 25 Reasons Why You”re Not Getting Results On Social Media, and How To Fix Them”. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2, if you haven’t already. I promise that it will give you some great insight on how you can start getting better results on social media, starting today!



Did any of these points resonate with you? Where have you innocently slacked off in regards to social media in the past? Post your comment below. I’d love to hear from you!



If you found this post helpful, be sure to pin it, like it, and share it on your favorite social media sites! Sharing is caring! 🙂


Ashani Mfuko, Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, Dance Magazine's "Media Maven"


If you’d like to learn even MORE about how to grow your brand and start getting REAL RESULTS on social media, I invite you to join my new Facebook group for entrepreneurs, artists, small business owners, bloggers, writers, dancers, and media professionals.


CLICK HERE to learn more about my secret Facebook group, “How To SHINE On Social Media With Ashani Mfuko”.



The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them) - PART 2

The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them) - PART 2
Social media is so time consuming! I just don’t have the time to manage all of this stuff!
No matter how many updates I post, people are just not engaging with me.
Do people really make make money from being active on social media? It certainly hasn’t worked for me.
Just when I think I’ve got one thing down, another social media platform gets thrown into the mix.
I’m so over Facebook, and all of their constant changes. How am I ever supposed to get more fans and engagement, if they keep changing the rules?



Sound familiar? These are the frustrations of many people every day, when you talk to them about social media, and it’s completely understandable. Social media is a beast, especially once you start using it for the purpose of growing your business, or personal brand. It can get overwhelming in about 2.5 seconds!



But there’s hope!



In my last post, which was Part 1 of this series, I shared 11 reasons why you’re not getting the results you want on social media, and offered some solutions to help you fix them. Today in Part 2, we’re delving even deeper into what may be preventing you from getting real results on social media.



I’m actually creating a Part 3 to this series, because I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too much information in this post. So read below, and then look out for Part 3, coming your way shortly.



The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them) Part 2


12. You don’t have a blog.


In today’s market, one of the best ways to build your brand’s recognition, and highlight your expertise in your niche or industry, is through blogging. Blogs allow you to contribute to the conversations going on in your industry online, and share your unique perspective. You’re able to offer useful tips, advice, interviews, personal stories, industry trends, and more, which help you stand out from your competitors online. Blogs provide a unique opportunity for you to connect with your target audience locally, and worldwide. If you’re not blogging, you’re missing out on many great opportunities to showcase your competitive edge, collaborate with industry leaders, get press and media coverage, and increase the online reach and revenue for your brand.

13. You have a blog, but you don’t update it regularly.


I know, blogging ain’t easy. Coming up with compelling, creative, useful, and valuable content, on a regular basis is no easy task! Then optimizing it for search engines and social media, and developing a marketing strategy to promote it, and get it in front of your target audience, can seem daunting. Things happen, life gets busy, work gets crazy, family stuff takes over,  you get burned out, and before you know it, you haven’t updated your blog in a month, or more! But here’s the thing, consistency is the ONLY way to get the kind of results that you want from blogging. You can’t build an audience of loyal readers, if they don’t know when to expect a new post from you, or if you only update your blog when you feel like it. That won’t work. If you want to build a successful blog, one that significantly helps to propel your brand to the top spot in your industry, you have to update it on a regular basis. Period.



14. You don’t like, share, or comment on other people’s posts.


If you want to get results on social media, YOU have to be social! You can’t just sit around, pumping out posts and updates, hoping and expecting people to interact with your brand, when you never actually interact with anyone. On Facebook, like, comment, and share other people’s posts as your page (not your personal profile), for added exposure. Be genuine. Be friendly, and show your love to other people’s content on social media. If you want people to engage with your posts, YOU have to engage with other people’s posts as well.

15. You’re all work and no play.


Your social media updates consist of your blog posts, other industry-related articles, industry news, and blah, blah, blah. Fuggetaboutit! It’s time to get personal! No one wants to read updates from any brand that are all work, and no play. Share photos and videos from your recent vacation. Share a funny photo, that you know your fans and followers will enjoy. Share a personal story that touched you in an emotional way. You’ll be surprised at the response you get from people online. People love to connect with other people who are real, vulnerable, open, honest, and show that, yes, they are professional, and business-focused, but also an emotional human being, just like everyone else.



16. You’re not doing anything innovative, fresh, or creative.


The same old, same old gets old really quickly! I see it all the time in the dance industry. So many dance studios doing the same exact thing in their social media marketing. So many dance companies doing the same exact thing on social media. It’s as if everyone went to the same conference, and learned the same techniques, and no one stepped out of the box to to put their own creative spin on it. BORING! With so many things online to distract us, you truly have to be doing something that is exceptional, innovative, eye-catching, and cutting-edge, in order to grab people’s attention. That’s why it’s always great to hire a professional when it comes to your social media marketing strategy. They will see opportunities that you don’t see, and come up with fresh ideas that may have never even crossed your mind. If you want to stand out online, you have to get away from the norm, and what everyone else is doing, and try something new.



17. You’re not relatable.


Well, maybe it’s not that you’re not relatable. But you come across that way, because you never share anything about yourself. Your online audience doesn’t know who you really are, how you got into your business or industry, what drives you, what challenges you’ve faced, etc. What is your story? What are your passions? What do you do for fun? What types of food and music do you like? Who inspires you? These are all of the things that make you relatable to other people? Just think about some of the most famous, and successful people in the world (Oprah, Tony Robbins, President Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Steve Harvey, Ellen, Tyler Perry, and many others). One thing they have in common is, you know their story. You know about their struggles and challenges, and what it took for them to reach such an incredible level of success. You can relate to them because they’re not just brands, they’re human. If you want to grow a successful brand online, no matter what type of business you’re in, you have to be relatable.


18. You don’t have an actual social media strategy.


Strategy. That’s a four letter word to some people. Do you need to have an actual social media strategy? You know, one that’s written out on paper, and outlines your goals, your daily plan of action to reach those goals, and a specific method for how you’ll track and measure your success? YES, you do! Social media is simple, but it’s complicated. Does that make any sense?


What works is simple: Create great content that people like to see or read, lead and participate in conversations with your target audience and key influencers in your niche, and offer something of great value. Then connect with people online to build relationships, so that they will get to know, like, and trust you. Once you’ve done that successfully, people will try what you have to offer, buy it, become loyal, repeat customers, and refer all of their friends. Simple right? Not so much. Here’s where the complicated part comes in.


HOW exactly do you accomplish all of these things? How do you get people to like, share, and comment on your updates? How do you get people on your blog? How do you get people to see the content that you’re creating, and get them to your website? How do you even come up with all of this content in the first place? That’s where your social media strategy comes in. See how important it is to create an actual strategy? You need to answer the following questions within your strategy:



  • What are my goals?


  • How will I accomplish these goals?


  • What are my tactics, and daily actions to help me reach these goals?


  • Why do I want people connect with my brand on social media?


  • Where will I connect with my target audience online (On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, etc.?)


  • What type of content will I post every day on social media?


  • What do I want people to do once they connect with me on social media?


  • How will I build relationships with my target market online, and transform my fans and followers into paying customers?


  • When will I post my social media updates, and how often will I update my accounts, and my blog?


  • Where will I go to find great content, and create my own, original content to share on social media?


  • How will I track and measure my success?


  • Who will help me create, implement, manage, and monitor my social media strategy?




19. You have a social media strategy, but you haven’t updated your social media strategy in the last 6 months to 1 year.


Social media marketing is an ever-changing landscape. Each social media platform has different rules and best practices, and even those continue to change and evolve every day. For example, there was a time when YouTube video links performed really well on Facebook. Well, if you’re someone who actively shares videos, and stays up-to-date with what’s happening on social media, you know that that is no longer the case.


For some time now, outside video links on Facebook have gotten very low reach and engagement in the news feed. On the other hand, Facebook favors native videos, uploaded directly to Facebook, which they also play automatically in the news feed. So if your strategy from 6 months ago involved posting videos from YouTube or Vimeo to your Facebook fan page regularly, and you’re still doing that, then you’re in trouble. This is just one example.


Your strategy needs to be fluid. You need to stay on top of the trends, and all of the latest changes on each social media platform, and then adjust accordingly. There are also always new tools, apps, and plugins becoming available every day, to help make your social media strategy more effective, and easier to manage. Take advantage of these tools. Some of my favorites are Buffer, Canva, Postplanner, Simply Measured, and WordPress SEO (to name a few).




I’m going to stop here and save my last 6 points for Part 3 of this series, because I don’t want to overwhelm you. Take some time today to contemplate all of these points, and determine whether or not one of these things may be what’s holding you back from getting the results that you want on social media.


Once you know what the problem is, you can come up with an action plan to fix it. Bada bing, bada boom.


Have a question, comment, or something to add? Post in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!


If you found this post helpful, be sure to pin it, like it, and share it on your favorite social media sites! Sharing is caring! :)


Ashani Mfuko, Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, Dance Magazine's "Media Maven"


If you’d like to learn even MORE about how to grow your brand and start getting REAL RESULTS on social media, I invite you to join my new Facebook group for entrepreneurs, artists, small business owners, bloggers, writers, dancers, and media professionals.


CLICK HERE to learn more about my secret Facebook group, “How To SHINE On Social Media With Ashani Mfuko”.

The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them) - Part 1

The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them) - Part 1
What is the secret to gaining more fans and followers on social media, and turning those fans and followers into paying customers? Is it really possible for you to grow a successful business or personal brand, and increase your revenue or income through social media?


These are two questions on everyone’s mind!


Many of you have been active on social media for so long, but you fall into one of two categories:


  • You’ve tried to grow and promote your brand using social media, but haven’t gotten the level of results that you really want.


  • You’ve only used social media for your personal profiles, not for the purpose of promoting or growing an actual business, or personal brand.


As a result, you’ve probably made some of the mistakes below, simply because you didn’t know any better. But it’s okay. Knowledge is power! Today you’re going to find out why what you’ve been doing may not be yielding the types of results that you desire. Or, you will learn in advance what NOT to do, once you start using social media with professional or business goals in mind.


Let’s get started!


The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them) – Part 1


1. You’re not posting often enough.

Posting once or twice a day on social media, is the equivalent of eating healthy once or twice a week, and expecting great results for your physical health. It ain’t happening! Just like with anything in life, real results require hard work and much effort. So if you want to experience significant results on social media, you have to be committed to posting anywhere from 4-10 times a day (depending on the social network), in order to get anything out of it.



2. You’re not consistent.

This is one of the most important aspects of getting real results on social media: Consistency. If you only update your accounts regularly when you have something to promote (your events, a crowd funding campaign, a special sale, a contest that you’re participating in, where you need people’s votes to win, etc.), people will take notice. If you’re only posting on social media when you need something from people, this is a NO-GO! Consistency is key. Don’t be active one week, then drop off the face of the earth (so to speak) for two weeks. Post regularly every day, so people get accustomed to seeing your updates, and so that your brand stays at the front of people’s minds. You can’t build a successful brand on social media if you’re not consistent with your updates. Make sure that you’re consistent in the types of updates you share as well. Don’t veer off in another direction from what resonates the most with your fan base online.



3. You’re too promotional.

No one wants to read posts from you every day that are strictly about your events, products, classes, or services. That gets old really fast! Share updates that enlighten, inspire, educate, entertain, motivate, encourage, and empower your fans and followers consistently, throughout the day and evening. Then it’s okay to throw in some promotional posts here and there. That’s balance. Be consistent with your posting, and post regularly, even when you have nothing to promote or sell.



4. You’re not engaging in conversations with your audience online.

How often are you actually having conversations with your social media audience? How often are you replying to other people’s tweets on Twitter, commenting on photos on Instagram, and starting conversations with your fan base on Facebook? If you’re only posting updates, and never actually engaging in conversations with your followers on social media, then you are truly missing the mark. Conversations and engagement drive people to your website, to join your e-mail list, and build trust with your brand online. Online conversations are what help your brand to grow on social media. So my question for you is, who are you talking to online? Are you only talking to your friends and family, or are you engaging with your target audience in meaningful ways? This makes all the difference.



5. You never share anything personal.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being active on social media over the past 6 or 7 years it’s this: people connect more with your personal stories/experiences than they do with anything else. If you really want to build trust with your audience online, and make genuine connections, you have to get personal. It’s up to you to choose just how personal you get, but in the least, share your personal photos on social media, from time to time. People love to be reminded that you are a regular person, just like them, going through the daily craziness of life. Anytime I share a personal photo, video, or experience, I ALWAYS receive a ton of engagement, from my community on social media. See example below.





6. You only share updates related to your products, services, or events.

We get it. Your products, services, classes, and events are stellar. They are top of the line. They are the BEST in the biz! They’re exactly what we need, and what we’ve been looking for! But listen, have you ever had someone who’s interested in dating you, constantly tell you why you should date them? They’re charming, they’re ambitious, they’re fun to be around, yada, yada, yada. Who cares?!!! The truth is, no one wants to be sold to all day, every day. Eventually, we will either unlike your page, unfollow you, block you, or simply start ignoring your posts. Don’t be one of “those” brands. Promote, promote, promote, and sell, sell, sell, DO NOT work well on social media. A word to the wise.


7. You never post any videos.

Videos are where it’s at folks. If you didn’t know this, now you know. Videos get more engagement across all of the top social media networks, than any other type of content (including photos). With sites like Facebook giving videos (uploaded directly to Facebook) priority in the news feed, with auto play, it’s so crucial for you to take advantage of the exposure videos provide for your brand on social media. Not to mention, people simply connect more with you when they see you in a video, than they do when they see a photo of you. It’s more personal, more real, and it’s more interesting to watch. Videos MUST be a major component of your social media strategy if you want to expedite the process of growing a large and engaged fan base on social media.




8. You don’t post enough personal photos.

Not everyone is comfortable posting personal photos. But the truth is, people will connect more (and engage more) with a picture of you and your kid, than they will with a picture of your office, studio, event, or your employees at work. Remember, people are generally active on social media to stay connected with and updated on what’s happening with their friends and family members. So personal photos like this help you to fit into that realm of what they already enjoy seeing online. Plus, it makes you more approachable, and more relatable. I don’t know about you, but I’m always inclined to support a business where you can feel a personal connection, and relate to the owner.




9. You never ask questions.

When you see a question posted on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, what are you inclined to do? Answer it of course! It’s human nature. Someone asks a question, we want to answer it. So why don’t you ask more questions on your Facebook page, or other social media profiles, if what you want is to increase the engagement on your page? Try it. Not only will it increase the engagement on your page, but it will show your fans and followers that you are actually interested in their opinion, and what they have to say. People LOVE to offer their opinion and feedback on any given topic. So ask a question today, and be sure to post an interesting photo along with your question, to help catch people’s attention, and really drive the engagement on your page.





10. You post too many links.

I see it all the time, and just shake my head. I visit a company’s Facebook page, and as I scroll down, all I see are links, links, and more links!! Eeeekk!!! This is terrible! Who wants to visit your page, and just see a bunch of links to articles on your page? Can you say, BORING?!! You have to mix up the media. You should be sharing LOTS of photos, videos, motivational quotes, asking questions, and sharing a few links here and there, in between. Your entire Facebook timeline, should NOT be filled with a bunch of links. Particularly on Facebook, links are going to get you the least amount of engagement. So don’t fill your page with links, just because it’s easier to post links to articles, than it is to actually create compelling graphics, videos, quotes, and original content. Get to work, and start sharing things that will actually grab your audience’s attention, and get them liking, sharing, and commenting, on your posts.




11. You don’t offer any free incentives for staying connected with you online.

We discuss the importance of e-mail marketing, and creating the best lead magnet (free incentive for joining your e-mail list) quite often, in my private, social media marketing Facebook group. If there’s one thing you need to do on social media to truly build long-lasting relationships with your target audience, and transform your fans and followers into paying customers, this is it! Build Your List! People love free stuff! So if you’ve already done a good job of connecting with people on social media, and getting them interested in your brand, the next logical step is to get them to join your e-mail subscriber list. That’s where the real magic happens. Offering a free incentive is your way of saying, “thank you for joining my e-mail list”, and also a way of motivating people to sign up, because they want this high-value incentive that you’re offering. This is what it’s all about folks. Thousands of fans and followers on social media is great. But thousands of people on your e-mail list is even BETTER!



Social media is really about connecting with people, and building relationships, so focus on genuinely engaging with your audience every day. Post updates that inspire them and motivate them throughout their day, and encourage them to engage with you on social media. When people enjoy the updates you share on social media, it motivates them to share your posts, like, comment, and engage with you. That’s how you start building relationships, and get people more interested in what your brand has to offer.


This is part one of “The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them)”. Read Part 2 here, where I delve even deeper into this topic, and help you finally start getting the results you truly want, on social media.



Have a question, comment, or something to add? Post in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!



If you found this post helpful, be sure to pin it, like it, and share it on your favorite social media sites! Sharing is caring! 🙂


Ashani Mfuko, Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, Dance Magazine's "Media Maven"


If you’d like to learn even MORE about how to grow your brand and start getting REAL RESULTS on social media, I invite you to join my new Facebook group for entrepreneurs, artists, small business owners, bloggers, writers, dancers, and media professionals.


CLICK HERE to learn more about my secret Facebook group, “How To SHINE On Social Media With Ashani Mfuko”.

How To Completely Change Your Perspective On What Success Means On Social Media (3 Things You Need To Remember)

How To Completely Change Your Perspective On What Success Means On Social Media (3 Things You Need To Remember)
Do you want more fans and followers on social media? Why?


Do you want them just for show, so that people will look at your social media accounts and say, “Wow, look at how many fans and followers you have”?


Are you actually prepared and able to manage a large following on social media?


A large fan base on social media comes with a LOT of responsibility!


You have to:
– Reply to comments in a timely manner.
– Reply to mentions (on Twitter) in a timely manner.
– Mediate negative feedback and complaints.
– Connect with your fan base in a personal way, on a daily basis.
– Filter through the noise to get your ideal customers onto your e-mail list.
– Track conversations going on about your brand on social media, and participate in them.


As you can imagine, replying to 2 or 3 comments on your blog or Facebook page is much easier than responding to 70 comments and mentions, on 4 different platforms (70 x 4 = 280)!


I experienced this sense of overwhelm (in a good way) recently for my birthday. I don’t allow anyone to post to my personal profile’s wall on Facebook, so I posted a cover photo directing people to go to my fan page to give me a birthday shout out.





I also posted a photo on my Facebook page announcing that it was my birthday (for those who didn’t know), to give people on my fan page an opportunity to send me some birthday love.





I was overwhelmed by the amount of birthday wishes, private messages, posts on my wall, and comments that I received on Facebook! You guys sure know how to make a person feel special!


I received lots of love on Instagram as well!! Made my day!!


But then I said to myself, “Oh boy, now I need to respond to everyone who sent me a birthday shout out to say thank you. Oh no!! That could take hours! But I want everyone to know that I appreciate them taking the time out of their day to wish me a Happy Birthday.” What to do?


Option 1: Post one, generic thank you message for everyone who sent me a birthday shout out.


Option 2: Reply to over 300 birthday messages and comments. Wowza!


I think that I will opt to do both, and just reply to 20 or so messages a day, for the next week, until I’ve replied to everyone’s birthday shout out. Done!


So what does all of this have to do with you?


You say you want more fans and followers (doesn’t everyone?), but with that comes a LOT of responsibility, especially when you have a presence on multiple platforms. Just imagine having to manage 50 comments on your blog, 100 comments on your Youtube video, 60 comments on Facebook, 30 mentions on Twitter, and 75 comments on ONE Instagram photo!



Are you REALLY ready to handle more fans, followers, and engagement on social media? Do you have a team of people assisting you with your social media presence, or is it just you?



You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s all about engagement” millions of times. So if that’s the case, and you’re getting lots of engagement, then it’s your responsibility to engage in return. Can you handle that?


How To Completely Change Your Perspective On What Success Means On Social Media (3 Things You Need To Remember)


1. The quiet times are when you learn the most.

With only 250 -1,000 fans and followers, you learn very quickly what resonates with your fans and followers, and what doesn’t. You’re also able to make mistakes, and have them go practically unnoticed. You can easily connect with your fans and followers, because there’s a manageable amount of people that will engage with you online each day. Take advantage of this time to find out what your fans and followers like to see, read, and hear from you, and make sure you share more of that specific type of content every day. (Read 3 Proven Ways To Increase Your Facebook Page Reach and Engagement here.)



2. The more fans and followers you have, the more haters you have too.

You probably won’t get too many negative comments on social media when you only have 500 or 1,000 followers. It’s when your numbers grow significantly, and you are clearly (based on your social media numbers) a person of influence, that you start to get the haters and the trolls online. They typically come around just to stir up trouble and bring negativity to your space, for the purpose of getting the attention that they don’t get for themselves in real life. Either way you look at it, these folks are an inevitable part of growing your social media fan base, so be prepared to start navigating your way through lots of negative comments, via the high road, on a daily basis.



3. Be careful what you wish for.

A large following on social media is a HUGE responsibility, and can be very time-consuming. People WILL get angry if they feel like you’re ignoring them, or not responding to their comments in a timely manner. So if you’re already overwhelmed with just updating all of your social media accounts on a daily basis, creating high-quality, shareable content, blogging, and creating your own branded images to post on social media, beware! You may want to shift your focus from “More Fans, More Followers, MORE, MORE, MORE!!” to creating high-quality, valuable, expert content on your blog or YouTube channel, and getting that traffic onto your e-mail subscriber list. You’re much better off focusing on building your e-mail list, and creating a powerful e-newsletter that converts, rather than getting 10,000 fans on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, just for show.


Large numbers on social media are naturally impressive to us as humans, because we always believe that more is better. But don’t underestimate the power of a small, engaged, and loyal online community. You just might end up with less stress, more valuable connections, and surprisingly, more money. Remember, thousands of fans and followers does not automatically equal thousands of paying customers.




Keep things in perspective, and show the people in your online community that they matter, and that you care. Stop focusing on getting more fans and followers on social media, and start thanking God for the manageable level of influence you currently have, and serve your online community well. Build tight-knit connections with them, and watch how they will take care of you, support you, and even mediate for you, as your numbers begin to grow on social media.


Are you guilty of focusing on getting more fans and followers, not realizing the responsibility that comes along with it?


What part of this article resonated with you the most?


Post a comment below, and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you!


Please like and share this post on your favorite social media sites. Sharing is caring!

Ashani Mfuko, Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, Dance Magazine's "Media Maven"


If you’d like to learn even MORE about how to grow your brand and start getting REAL RESULTS on social media, I invite you to join my new Facebook group for entrepreneurs, artists, small business owners, bloggers, writers, dancers, and media professionals.


CLICK HERE to learn more about my secret Facebook group, “How To SHINE On Social Media With Ashani Mfuko”.

The #1 Key To Success In Social Media, Plus Why You Should Know About The 1 = 52 Equation

The #1 Key To Success On Social Media, Plus Why You Should Know About The 1 = 52 Equation

The #1 Key To Success On Social Media, Plus Why You Should Know About The 1 = 52 Equation

What you do consistently, day in and day out,is what gets you from where you are now, to where you want to be. Once in a while activities don’t bring about the same results as daily, consistent effort. This is tried and true.


Eating healthy every day, has more of an impact than the one slice of cake you had at a party over the weekend.


Exercising 3-5 days a week has a positive effect on your health and well-being because you do it often, and on a regular basis.



My Strategy for 2015


As I was preparing my plans, goals, and business strategy for 2015, God gave me a revelation. He spoke to me during my time of prayer and meditation one day, and told me this:


1 = 52


What the heck does 1 = 52 mean you ask? Let me break it down for you.


I know for a fact that consistency is the #1 key to success when it comes to social media marketing, and growing a successful brand or business. I’ve seen the results of consistent, strategic effort in my own career, business, and personal brand.


But my question for 2015 was,


“With so many social media platforms, and so much work and effort required to get results on social media, how can I manage it all successfully, especially with a family?”


That’s when God spoke to me and said, “1 = 52”.



What that means is, there are 52 weeks in a year. If I do something once-a-week, for 52 weeks, I’ll have 52 of whatever that one thing is.


1 new blog post per/week = 52 new blog posts at the end of the year

1 new video per/week = 52 new videos at the end of the year


Now that’s doable!


See, sometimes when you think of doing something once-a-week, you feel like, “what’s that really going to accomplish at the end of the day?” But when you look at it from the perspective of a year, it looks a little different, doesn’t it?


How would you feel if you had 52 new clients by the end of the year, just based on your strategy of acquiring one new client per/week?


How would you feel if, at the end of the year, you had 52 new blog posts on your blog, that you could then turn into an e-book, and sell online?


Now you see the power of the 1 = 52 equation.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I started a new mommy YouTube channel at the beginning of the year, and I really want to build that channel this year with some great content. I also have two blogs, one here on my website, as well as my Let’s Talk Dance blog. So, just those three items alone, can be a lot to maintain. Not to mention, I have a dance channel on YouTube, a weekly e-newsletter, and daily updates to post across all of my social media accounts, PLUS social media strategies and management for clients.


Did I mention that I  have a 1-yr old daughter, and also teach dance classes, choreograph, and perform from time to time?


Now you see how a person can start to feel overwhelmed!


But God, in His love, faithfulness, and simplicity told me, “Ashani, if you just update each of your blogs, and your new YouTube channel, once-a-week, by the end of the year, you’ll have 52 new blog posts on each blog, and 52 new videos to show for your efforts”.



The thought of that got me really excited!


Remember, in life, and on social media, consistency is key! If you have a blog, people want to know that they can count on a new blog post from you every week, or every day, or twice a month, or whatever schedule you choose to create for yourself. If you have an e-newsletter, people expect to receive it from you once-a-week, or once-a-month, consistently.


Motivational Quote on Consistency


That’s what’s lacking for most businesses and personal brands when it comes to social media marketing: consistency. When you look at those people or businesses that are HUGELY successful on social media, you’ll notice that they update their blogs consistently. They post on social media 3 to 6 times a day, every day, consistently. They send out a daily or weekly, or monthly e-newsletter, consistently.




If you want to get positive results on social media i.e., new clients, more customers, more recognition, more donors, press and media coverage, increased sales, etc. you have to be CONSISTENT! There’s no way around it!


Motivational Life Quote - #AshQuotes
Finally, you have to decide now that, you won’t let anything get in your way and stop you from being consistent in your efforts this year. Unexpected challenges, obstacles, and unplanned emergencies are guaranteed. But don’t let that get in the way of 2015 being your year for positive results on social media, and making significant progress towards your goals.


At the end of this year, I want you to feel proud. I want you to feel accomplished. I want you to feel empowered! You can do this!


What can you commit to doing once-a-week this year, that will positively change your business, personal brand, or even your personal life, in 2015?


Reply in the comments below, and make a declaration to make great things happen in your life, career, and business this year!


Did you find this post helpful? If you did, please like it, and share it on your favorite social media sites, and motivate someone else to reach their goals this year!

Ashani Mfuko, Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, Dance Magazine's "Media Maven"


If you’d like to learn even MORE about how to grow your brand and start getting REAL RESULTS on social media, I invite you to join my new Facebook group for entrepreneurs, artists, small business owners, bloggers, writers, dancers, and media professionals.


CLICK HERE to learn more about my secret Facebook group, “How To SHINE On Social Media With Ashani Mfuko”.



How To Host A Successful Twitter Chat In 10 Easy Steps

Learn How To Host A Successful Twitter Chat In 13 Easy Steps! No Fuss, No Muss!

When I started hosting my first tweet chat, the #LetsTalkDance tweet chat, I did not really know what I was doing. I knew that it was a good idea, and a great way for me to connect with other people in the dance community, and build awareness of my #LetsTalkDance radio show, that I was hosting at the time. However, I did not know about all of the tips that I’ve listed for you below. I learned through experience, and trial and error. Luckily, you will be able to avoid the mistakes I made, and have a much shorter learning curve, when starting your own Twitter chat.

When done properly over time, a tweet chat can:

Increase your Twitter followers.
Build lucrative business relationships and opportunities for collaboration.
Highlight your expert status in your niche.
Build brand recognition and trust with your target market.
Establish you as an authority in your industry.      


But wait, in case you were wondering…

What is a Twitter chat?


My friends over at Hootsuite explained it perfectly!

“A Twitter chat, or Twitter live chat, is when an organization or individual uses Twitter to talk about a common interest with others during a predetermined time. A Twitter chat is led by a designated moderator who will ask questions and facilitate the discussion.

A Twitter chat will almost always include a designated hashtag so that members can find the chat and follow along easily. Each time you Tweet or respond to a Tweet within the chat, you simply have to ensure that you include that chat’s hashtag—that way it’s linked and easy for other chat participants to find. If you’d like to find a scheduled chat on a topic you’re interested in, you can check out the Tweet chat directory.”


You know that you’re hosting a successful tweet chat, when this happens….


Connect Your Facebook Fan Page To Your Twitter Account By Following These 3 Simple Steps!

Connect Your Facebook Fan Page To Your Twitter Account By Following These 3 Simple Steps!

In this video tutorial, I show you how to connect your Facebook fan page to Twitter, so that all of your Facebook page updates are automatically sent to your Twitter account. It’s so easy!


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