Joyce Feustel – Boomers’ Social Media Tutor

Joyce Feustel, Boomers' Social Media Tutor on the Thriving Solopreneur Podcast with Janine Bolon



To Learn More about Joyce Feustel, [click here] to view her Media Kit.

Janine: Hey, welcome to the Thriving Solopreneur. This is Janine Bolon and today, I have a guest by the name of Joyce who is with us at the age of 61, never say it’s too late to do anything. This woman totally busted out of the box. She founded the Boomers Social Media Tutor. She went full-time with her business in 2013 after she retired from a seventeen-year career in sales. She was delighted to have finally found her professional calling. Through her tutoring and training services, she helps business professionals and job seekers to use social media, especially LinkedIn and Facebook more effectively and with productivity. People who are 50 and older are especially drawn to her services as she is a baby boomer.

Her tagline is: “Making social media simple easy and fun.” Joyce attributes her business success to her training as an educator.
Her leadership and public speaking experience through Toastmasters and her extensive experience in writing and editing. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, with degrees in business and education, Joyce has lived in the Denver area for over twenty-five years. You can reach out to her at
Joyce, thanks so much for being with us on the show today.

Joyce: Yay! I’m so excited that sounds so nice and you have the full entry [inaudible] like wow. You make me feel like I am somebody, yeah, Joyce Feustel, Boomers Social Media tutor. Yes, thank you for doing that.

Janine: Honestly, everyone who comes on this show is somebody special and like I share with a lot of the solo entrepreneurs out there, you are someone special, why? Because you are taking all the risk, you are looking towards your future and saying, “You know what? I am going to make this business happen and they are making it happen. And so one of the things that I was very excited about having you on our show, was the fact that you make no bones about it. A lot of people give a lot of negativity about if you are a boomer or if you are a millennial, and all that kind of stuff and you are like, who cares? Let us have some fun on social media, can we? Can we bring the fun back? So talk to us a little bit about bringing the fun back to social media.

Joyce: Well, what is fun for me as much as anything is to see the connections between people. Like recently, I introduce my friend Patrick Baker who is helping older people say, fifty and up with their technology. Introduced him to Marisa Hudson-Houston… With their name, right?[?] Who has– is now a podcaster like you. And it was just so great to see them, this compulsive matchmaking in me, not like lovers kind of matchmaking but in business and I just think it is fun, makes me feel like I am back when we are[?] Wisconsin population one thousand where I grew up. So that– that is fun.

And there is just a certain lightheartedness to a lot of what I see on Facebook and Linkedin, even LinkedIn, there can be and it delights me. So just the other day someone said, “Oh, they are always spamming as those people you have got to block.” There’s a whole art in blocking if people– why don’t you have a little tip from me, we can have a– just a free on me, Zoom session, tutoring for fifteen-twenty minutes and I will tell you what I have been doing.
I want to get rid of the riffraff. Then you will have more fun.

Janine: I think that what I like to share with my demographic which are a lot of times, millennials and younger is, I like to share with them, look, there is a lot of fun to be had. You just have to train your AI, right? You have to train the artificial intelligence that is running all those connections and if you do not train it right, it is like a bad dog. You know, the dog itself is not bad it behaves badly because you have not trained it appropriately.

And I had to start training and it started with myself, of course. Because I am fifty-six. It started with me learning that blocking was not necessarily a bad thing. So, let us back up the truck a little bit before we get too much into the details. Tell us a little bit about what on Earth helped you understand that this was your calling at the age of sixty-one, I still love that story, share that with us if you do not mind.

Joyce: Oh, my favorite story after how I met my husband which you know, our wedding anniversary is Thursday and is forty-nine years. But at any rate, so here is the deal. I had gotten into Facebook in 2008. Invited by a Toastmaster friend of mine and around that time I thought, “I think I am on something kind of familiar. It must be that LinkedIn thing I do.” Which course, certainly Facebook seems like more fun let us be honest here.

So I started looking into LinkedIn again I got involved Toastmasters as public speaking and leadership organization as mentioned in my intro. I found a group on LinkedIn that I just resonated with. So that is how I got to using LinkedIn more as well as Facebook really, a more personal use. Well, about a year or so went by and at my company, our marketing department had decided it was time to roll out social media. It was January 2010. So think where you were back in that time all you listeners out there.

Were you on LinkedIn? Maybe, Facebook? Probably. Twitter? Maybe. So we got all three of those going at our company and our manager challenged us on the inside sales team that we were to really chat up social media with our clients and even potential clients and they would track because they have a whole system there for that, who was working with which person who like the Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and would pay us five dollars even for that kind of social media engagement. And month after month after month, me at sixty-one, oldest on the team even, would always come out on the top of that little incentive heap and filing after my–about three months, my manager said to me, “Well Joyce, I have been thinking, since you are so good at getting our clients to engage with our social media. Have you ever thought of helping other people especially Baby Boomers, like you to understand social media like you do.

Keep in mind, he was thirty-five. And I was telling the story the other day and someone said what a wise thirty-five-year-old. Like yeah, I had always thought it from that standpoint that he would say, hey here’s an idea for you and I am like, wow, I often say the skies parted and angels saying, you know, God just like channels up right there that day through Brett because honestly, I have all this energy and enthusiasm for life. And what would I do if I was retired probably go to too many Toastmasters and become a full-time rotarian[?] or something. No, this is really fun. And I love that. I have eight years since I went full-time after I retired of the best years of my life. Because I get to really do what I love doing so much which is helping people learn things.

Janine: And I think sometimes when we do not have the AI set up right, when we have not blocked the correct people. Facebook can be kind of a hole of Hades, you feel like you are into Tardis and you are down there with all the demons because you are just seeing stuff you do not like and one of the things that I talked to my friends about is, I only see really cool stuff, but then I have really cool people in my life, you know? And I have all these guests that are brought on to my shows and we make sure we connect and all that. So, I am like you, I started off on LinkedIn and move to Facebook at the behest of my students because I was a professor at college during this period of time, it was 2008.

So that is where I was. 2008 I get on Facebook and the kids that are on Facebook are telling me, “Janine. I think you are too old for this Mrs. Bolin. I do not think maybe you should be here, this is like really social media..” and I am like, it is not like Twitter, is it? Because remember Twitter started off as a very private thing that kind of exploded and anyway, and so they said well, this is why we can talk about it. Facebook is like a coffee shop where everybody kind of talks to everybody else they said but LinkedIn is more like the library.
Everybody kind of tiptoes around and is more polite and I have used that a lot since then because that is how my students talked to me about it.

So let us chat a little bit about how you work the AI. Like say, you are in a mess with your Facebook account or your LinkedIn account. Maybe you have changed jobs on LinkedIn, who knows? Maybe a lot of the connections you have are no longer appropriate. So let us start with Facebook first. How do you go about retraining the AI on Facebook and then let us talk about LinkedIn and how you go about retraining the AI online.

Joyce: You know I think I am going to have, you have to define a term for me and my own… maybe eight. How do you define AI? So can you just broaden that for our listeners? So that– in case they’re a little… because I know artificial intelligence I presume you are referring to that but I am sort of at a loss for how to answer that in this context. Can you help [crosstalk]

Janine: I will be happy to. Artificial intelligence is the one that determines who is talking to who, and it tracks what your interests are based on the ads that you will tap into, the type of people that you will tap into, and so one of the really quick ways that I learned to change what I was seeing on Facebook was by starting to block friends or request that they no longer show up in my feed if they were highly polarized people. Meaning they were over-the-top passionate about a specific topic that I did not want to hear about, I would not unfriend them. But you know, how you can put a pause? [cross talk]

Joyce: Well, you can snooze them right? [crosstalk]

Janine: There you go, thank you. That’s the word.

Joyce: And then you can unfollow them.

Janine: Yeah, so that is what I am talking about is I knew you this stuff. You know what I am talking about I just had to frame it differently.

Joyce: Thank you.

Janine: Talk to us a little bit about how you manage your connection so that you see what you want to see instead of seeing all that stuff you do not want to see.

Joyce: So let is just parse this out of it let us start with Facebook. So with Facebook, you can– and same with LinkedIn you can be connected to someone but not follow them. So that is easily done by going to their page and just changing the setting there with them or even if they pop up yet again with that same picture, of that same old puppy as cute as he is and you are tired of the puppy– maybe not a good example, but you could click on the three dots and then you could snooze them for say, thirty days I think it is or you can simply unfollow them, but you can also re-follow them.

So that is one thing another thing to think about with Facebook at least, in your friend section, you can go through a friend by friend, by friend and you can determine who is a close friend. And those are people you for sure you are going to see their stuff. You can also make people who are called an acquaintance. So when you go to post coming from the other direction and say your dog died speaking of dogs, well, you do not necessarily even care to hear from all these peripheral people, you cannot even remember who some of them are, so you can set up that particular post, an audience that is only just regular say Facebook friends or maybe even just close friends. So you can control who sees what you are saying on Facebook.

Also, you can if you comment on somebody you are more apt to have their stuff show up. So that is another thing. So if you think I
never hear from Amy anymore. Well, maybe you have not commented I mean on Facebook things you are not interested in Amy. Or you go and make her a close friend. Those are some tips you can do on Facebook. Now on LinkedIn, it is not quite that nuanced really there, as far as I know, you are just really following them or not. I mean they may have added some things that I have not found lately.

So that is another way. If you maybe is a business connection and yet they go all kind of extreme on you even on LinkedIn. So again, just do not follow them but periodically just go over to there– say their profile, and you can still see what they are up to. Maybe once a week or twice a month or something. I would Janine, I wonder what she is doing up late and if there are some posts you are more interested in, comment on it or share it. But just in general, just stop following that person if they are really problematic on LinkedIn as well.

Janine: Well, you said it beautifully that is exactly right. Commenting, a lot of people do not know that just hitting the like button is not as powerful anymore that is really not anywhere you want to be. If you really want to keep these people in your life, then you need to say a heart or an emotion of some kind and– if like you said, and then comment. If you comment on something even if it is just thanks or I agree or just something silly like that, will help you with that. That is for Facebook. LinkedIn, one of the things I absolutely love about what is going on with that is because you can put on your tagline like for me, with my financial stuff I am known as ‘Financial First Responder’ and then you can add, how you help people, you know with the sixty – forty principle or something like that. Every time you comment, it is also a little bit of free advertising.

So talk to us a little bit about how someone can get a little more familiar with LinkedIn because there is a lot of misconceptions about LinkedIn and you talked to this very well. So share with those, Obi-Wan.

Joyce: Yeah, you are right. Well, get my nine ways to stand out on LinkedIn e-book. You can get it right for my website. There is a symbol, you know, thing to suggest Boomers Social Media Tutor, go over there download the e-book and then you will get that and also you will be on my mailing list, which then you can get tips for me on a regular basis.

I think that so much of LinkedIn is really learned by doing and going in there and following a lot of the same principles as Facebook like you just said, to go in and comment, to tag people like say, after this today even before this episode drops, I was recording it a little bit ahead of that time, right? I could go and say, “Wow I can not wait for my next podcast interview with Janine– solo entrepreneur we had so much fun.” and then I would tag you, I could tag your business name and when I do that, I bring your people into… they will see that post that I put up again, very similar to Facebook, Instagram, whatever and that is a great way to get more energy around a post.

People are always saying to me, one of my post get any[?] reach? I just do not feel like people are seeing it the way we really want to see it. Or maybe you need to start tagging– not… I just want to go she will take like twenty of us at one time. To me, that is a little problematic and then I feel sort of weird. Like I am going to… should I say something or not? That is a whole another kind of nuanced conversation.

But I think that by putting a little @ sign, the person’s name, first name and the last name, they will come in the drop-down list and I think that is another thing you can do. So I think that… also go and see what other people are doing. An interesting thing Janine, about LinkedIn, is it is a completely open book which is good and bad, right? It is good because you can go in and really, I have something to say stalk someone you could research them, really well by going into their activity section. You can see not only their post and their articles, you can see what they have like, what they have commented on, all of that. We see on Facebook that is not exactly easily done, in terms of all that extraneous activity. But on LinkedIn you can. So that is why, sort of words of the wise, you want to be careful about what you say on LinkedIn. There are different points of view.

Someone just asked me, just today, do I get personal on LinkedIn? I am like, not too much. I may have a political point of view. Do I share it on LinkedIn? Never. Never I do not want to go there. Somebody else, maybe they are big, and women and leadership, and they are going to be more oriented toward post and commenting around, “Oh, we have a woman vice president, yay.” I mean, things like that and that is who they want to attract and they don’t care if they are going to be potentially a turn-off to a certain group of people because they do not want to serve them anyway. So that is such a personal call. Those are just some of my thoughts.

Janine: Well and I like what we were talking about before about how when it comes to LinkedIn, since it is such an open book and if you really know your demographic as a solopreneur if you know your demographic forwards and backwards, then definitely talk to your demographic. However, not all solopreneurs have only one niche that they are serving like your example, the lady who was doing that. I was kind of lucky enough to be able to chat with somebody who is running for Senator. And so they were catering all their marketing and everything to a very specific ideology as well as what their platform was. So, of course, they came off very much on one side of a lot of these issues.

However, you are a solopreneur or you are an entrepreneur, you want to make sure that you cater to what you want to attract for sure as far as your clientele and your demographic. So you also, not only do you have this wonderfully e-book about the nine misconceptions on LinkedIn, but the other one that I like is how you talk about what the essential things are that you should be doing on LinkedIn every week. Do you mind sharing a few of those gold nuggets with us, please?

Joyce: Oh, I would be more than happy to. The first thing is, get on LinkedIn once a week and a minimum of twice a week would be better every day is ideal but people go, “Oh my God, I will not do that.” So let us just say it is once a week. Go and see who wants to connect with you because that could be a potential client. And what is tricky is sometimes of course, they do not even send you a note because they are going to treat it like Facebook and Twitter where you get or Instagram, where you cannot write a note. They go, “Oh a note that is a thing?

So then if they do not write to you, you can write back to them and say “Hey, thanks for the invite, Janine. What prompted you to reach out to me?” Okay, now the conversational ball is back to them. So you want to go through and it really deals with those pending invites and not let them stick around for weeks. I have seen longer, even.

The next thing you want to check your messages. There could be something important in your messages. They are not all going to be, in e-mails[?] and Linkedin wants you to do, this and that. There are genuine messages in there very often. So respond to those messages. I had one guy, he had like a five hundred dollar deal and he lost it because he was not checking his messages. So that is an important thing.

Another thing that is good to do, I think is to go to your notifications. Go to your notifications and lot of people are already intuitively know to do this, look for those job changes a new job, a work anniversary. That is a schmoozing opportunity. Just “Hey Janine has it been ten years since you started your podcast? Oh my God. I remember when it was just a gleam in your eye.” And you know what, if you do it in front of everybody sort of like, clicking on the words of the notification, You are right there in the flow of all the other admirers of Janine.

It is sort of like, commenting on somebody’s post so to speak. You are there and could be noticed, who knows? So I think those things are really critical and then, put up a post, get brave say something, or at a minimum share from somebody else’s. Like I say, you can go to the activity see what is up buy something you think it would be of value to your people, then share it.

So I am hoping I am not forgetting something really important, but those are the main ones that I think of especially those impacts in the messages. I hate to see them just language.

Janine: Well, and I wanted to share with you. I had a gentleman who ended up becoming a client of mine because on the messages, he did not know that you could go and this is LinkedIn again. He did not know that you could filter your messages to unread to where you are only the unread messages pop up on the top. And so I shared that with him. The next thing I know I have, not only a best buddy, but he is saying, “How can you coach me? Business-wise” and I was like, “Well, these are my rates blah, blah, blah. And so I just wanted to re-emphasize what Joyce is saying here, definitely make sure that you talk to those people who want to connect with you, ask them what prompted them to reach out to you, then you can cater your further communications with them and it is all part of that beautiful thing that Joyce talks about over and over and over which is relationships, relationships, relationships. Do not sell on the first couple of messages.

Joyce: Never.

Janine: You care to share about that one, dear?

Joyce: Oh my gosh, you know what? If I see one more of these I will get to you a six-figure income. Well, screw that I am married to a guy with a pension. Her house is paid for. [laughter] I do not need that kind of money. I have no interest in that. So when I see that in their headline or kind of smell it out in their invite I go directly go block.

And usually, I do not even care if they know that I looked at them and block them because they are kind of dead to me anyway, right? So that is how I figured, At only one time, actually got bitten about with that one, where someone did not– an introduction to me and this gal we are like sitting like this, and I had my LinkedIn up and it was like and could not find her. Maybe she finally said, “Well, you could possibly unblock me and I am like, “Oh dear.” so I go over to my list of block people, I scroll through my two hundred and fifty-nine or whatever it was by that point. There she was, right there plain as day, I am like, oh, excuse me, there you are. So then, I unblocked her, and then actually she did accept my invite.

I was getting a lot of mileage over asking these little personal questions that would get her gigs doing people’s online courses for them. So far as she is probably going to keep asking those questions. I do not think she will stop. But I thought they were just kind of nosy, a question. So I blocked her. Well, I thought I would say, if only once in two hundred fifty-nine times, am I embarrassed about doing it. I am going to keep using my system.

Janine: That is what I share with people all the time. I know when I hit my exceptions and it does not matter what system whether I am doing social media or it is my system for how I gained podcast guests I do not care. I have systems in place, right? And if there at one time, there is an exception. I do not go and change my entire system because my system works that is why I have a system because it works and it is effective but to that exception, I apologize and I say, this is why I have a system XYZ and I move forward. So yeah, there are misunderstandings, and most people, they get it.

I mean, when I share with people that every day, I am getting anywhere from five to twenty depending upon what is happening request for connection. I am sorting, right? I am sorting through that and there are reasons why I have systems in place. Is there any other little gold nugget you want to share with us before we go? I mean, I do not want to take up all your time. You have places to go.

Joyce: Well, here is what I think about. Let us just stick with LinkedIn for a minute. Do not outsource it. Do not think that some twenty-year-old kid in any country, this one or anywhere is can be you. They do not know who you went to college with if you went to college, they do not know who you worked with, twenty years ago. They do not know who to schmooze with. They do not know what we do not like.

Someone come up. They might accept your former sister-in-law, you never liked in the first place. So you got to think this has got to be you, it got to be genuine. Maybe you can outsource some posting. But then for the commenting, again, how are you going to have them comment? And it should be you and your voice. So LinkedIn does not have to be a lot of work, a little bit of time on LinkedIn goes a long way.

That is another really key point I want people to keep in mind. So not to be intimidated. I would be happy to help you. I have, you know already raised[?] and all that good stuff, but the main thing is,
read that e-book and then reach out, I am happy to answer questions.

Janine: Well, thank you so much and I do want to say, because of the e-book that I just downloaded from Joyce’s website. I wanted to let you guys know I really took it to heart when she said it does not take a lot of time and so I spend two hours a week on LinkedIn and those two hours, I am commenting, I am uploading an article. I am seeing what is happening with the people I care about, the consultants that work with me, and my power partners.

If you do not know what power partners are you can email me later, but these are things that are necessary. It is a part of my marketing platform for my business. And so if you do not have a strategy, or a marketing platform of any kind, please go chat with Joyce. Even if you are not a boomer, even if you are brand new to the Thriving Solopreneur kind of process, go to You teach her what you know is the youngster you are and she will share with you how to do that relationship marketing that gets you higher dollar because you are growing your business organically. Anything else you want to share Joyce before we sign off?

Joyce: I just do not want to make any assumptions. Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and I am born in 1948. I throw that out there because my age is part of my shtick as you know. I just thought in case someone was wondering that is what I am talking about in those– those are my sweet spot people. You know who you are out there.

Janine: Right. You know who you are out there. Thank you, Joyce. [crosstalk]

Joyce: You can testify here.

Janine: I know, right? So thank you so much for being with us today. It was a pleasure being able to chat with you and keep shining that star that you are, okay?

Joyce: Thanks. Thanks so much, Janine.

Janine: And this is Janine Bolon with the Thriving Solopreneur. And thank you so much for joining us for this episode. I want you to make sure that you do this one thing for yourself today, no matter
what is going on in your business, no matter what is happening. Take a deep breath, relax, and remember, you were doing something courageous. You were doing something that normal people do not do. So when you think you are going a little crazy, just wanted to let you know you are right there with the rest of us crazy people who are running our own businesses. Have a great day today and do stay in touch.