Tag: Social media

4 Ways You Are Limiting Yourself on LinkedIn

LinkedIn claims to be the “world’s largest professional network” and it is hard to deny that.  A LinkedIn profile has become the electronic version of one’s resume. In addition to that, it allows you to highlight your personality and, as an extension of you,  is a hub for your professional network.  It allows you to create and build professional relationships and facilitates the sharing of knowledge and insight via articles and group discussions.  TheAfter5Edge - 4 Ways You Are Limiting Yourself on LinkedIn

If you take advantage of it, it is a powerful tool that can enhance your professional situation. But are you taking full advantage of it?

Here are 4 ways you may be limiting yourself on LinkedIn:

1. You’re not taking advantage of opportunities to continue the conversation

How many times do you connect with someone on LinkedIn and the communication ends there?  You press “Send invitation” or “Accept” and then there’s silence.  Networks like LinkedIn make it easy to connect with others beyond your geographic location but maintaining that relationship comes with time and effort on your part.  This is the same was with offline relationships.  Make an effort to continue the conversation with your connections by touching base throughout the year, find out what they’re up to, find out what issues they could use help with and what their latest accomplishments are. Go a little deeper than waiting for periodic updates on your homepage.

2. You’re uncomfortable selling yourself

Many of us, especially women, have been taught to be humble and to not brag.  But is it bragging if you’re simply stating a fact?  I’d agree that how tact is applied affects how the information you’re sharing about yourself is perceive.  So provided it is done gracefully, I think it is important to share your achievements. At the very least, we’re each responsible for being our biggest proponent and supporter.  If you’re not able to exhibit confidence in yourself and your abilities, how do you expect sponsors to feel comfortable vouching for you at the decision-making table? It all starts with you. And if you don’t share your progress with those around you, the world may never know about the impact you’re making day-to-day.

3. You’re unsure about when it is appropriate to interact with “professional” contacts

If you feel this way, you’re not alone.  This is especially the case with contacts who appear to be on LinkedIn strictly for business.  They may be the same ones you’ll hear making comments about the frivolity of social media.  Yes, LinkedIn is a professional network and often, it is the next step after a networking event. But sharing knowledge, insight, engaging, building relationships and creating opportunities are all part of maintaining your professional network. You just have to be mindful that the information that’s appropriate for LinkedIn may be different from what you’d share on Facebook, Pinterest, etc.  For example, interacting with your contacts around articles on leadership, industry trends and technology will likely be appropriate if it is along their purpose for being on LinkedIn.

4. You’re not participating in relevant and timely discussions 

Many people like to wait until they feel like they’re an “expert” to contribute.  While you’re perfecting their expertise, time is passing and the topic you’re passionate about is taking a different turn.  Timeliness and relevance are important when it comes to providing valuable  feedback.  Therefore, if you have a point of view that you’re able to support, it is important to share.  Your contribution may be the fresh new approach that others who have been addressing the topic may need.  If you feel so inspired, comment on articles and statuses and join the discussion in groups on LinkedIn.  You never know who you will help with your commentary or who will see your comment and feel compelled to reach out to you to continue the conversation.

Are these limitations relevant to you?  What are opportunities that LinkedIn provides that you haven’t taken advantage of?  For the opportunities that you’ve taken advantage of, how have they helped you?   

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Blogging: From Passion To Success

There is no doubt that a blog is a powerful tool.  For the blogger, it offers a platform that is welcoming of self-expression, opinions, and makes it easy to document one’s train of thought.  For the reader, it offers a place for ideas, inspiration, and solutions.  For all parties involved, a blog serves as a “hub” that sparks conversations, offers solutions and  provides value around a niche or topics of interest.

Here is a succinct video with Seth Godin and Tom Peters discussing this amazing tool:

Seth Godin & Tom Peters on blogging

Here are some additional points about blogging and how it can be effective:

  • A good blogger starts with self-awareness and embraces their passion and strengths. From there, genuinely communicating that passion to others leads to success.
  • Many question their writing abilities and whether or not they’re sufficient to start a blog.  As a blogger, you can improve your writing abilities & techniques with time.
  • When in doubt about a blog post, reading it out loud can highlight areas with room for improvement.
  • With time, you will learn different techniques and ways to communicate what you have to say.  It may be a combination of words, photos, videos, graphs, etc.  The key is to be open to creativity.
  • At the end of the day, there may not be a method to the madness.  It is your blog.  Feel it out over time and you will find what works best for you.
  • Social media is about being simply human.  Pay close attention to your readers – embrace their feedback and give them more of what they want and what is of value to them.
  • Make it a priority to connect with your readers – online and offline.  Amazing friendships come from this amazing tool that is a blog.

 Do you blog?  Why do you blog?  Share a link to your blog so we can start a conversation.

 


Innovatively Bootstrapping Your Launch With Google

Armed with a dream, the willingness to work hard, and very little in their pocket, many are preparing for their big launch.  Whether it is revisiting and revamping your personal brand or introducing your small business to the market, a launch can take various forms. Keeping costs down and bootstrapping has always been a possible approach, but these days technology and social media have made it a lot easier.  Resources, a long-existing limitation for one-man shops have become more available and you now have help in doing more with less.

To that end,  Google has developed some great products that are of little to no cost and can help you maximize your efforts.  Here are some of them:

Google Email.  Gmail gives you a lot of free email space!  This comes in handy for incoming mail from customers, newsletters you sign up for, personal emails etc.  Better yet, gmail allows you to create labels which help in categorizing all your mail.  You can even have mail bypass your inbox and go directly to the folders you create.  If you have multiple email accounts to keep up with, instead of reading each one separately, gmail allows you to forward them and respond from the email address where you received the email.  You can even prioritize your mail as they come in!  Gmail offers great options, lots of space, and helps promote efficiency since you’re able to organize all your mail in one place.

Google Voice.  Google Voice allows you to set up a phone number and account where you’re able to make and receive calls.  Depending on where you’re calling, it may even be free!  Once you set up your account, you can even have calls forwarded to an office or mobile phone.  If a call goes to your voicemail, you can access it via your Google Voice account or via email after it has been transcribed.  The application also allows you to screen or block callers or have conference calls.

Google Calendar.  Google Calendar gives you multiple viewing options – by day, week, month, etc.  This application makes collaboration easy as you’re able to invite others via email to the events your schedule or even share your public calendar and vice versa.  The calendar also offers notifications whether your preference is via email or a pop up and you’re able to schedule the amount of time prior to your event that you would like to be reminded.  If your email account is linked to your smart phone, you can also easily sync your scheduled event to your phone’s calendar.  Google Calendar is great for managing your busy schedule and it isn’t complicated!

Google Documents.  Google Docs is great if you have documents that you would like to access on the go – whether these are invoices or contracts.  You can open and edit most Office documents such as spreadsheets, word documents or presentations.  It saves your work and you’re even able to share it with others.  And when you’re back at your computer, you can easily sync your documents!

Google Alerts.  If you’re looking for an efficient way to keep up with what others are saying about you, your business, or your blog, Google Alerts is the way to go.  Similarly, you can keep up with your niche market or competitors.  You can set up key words and you can choose how frequently you would like to be emailed.  You can choose the sources of your alerts such as blogs, web searches, or news stories.  As you’re able to manage your alerts, you can always change your preferences or even add more!

Google Analytics.  If your business is engaging in social media, it is important to measure and be able to speak to your return on investment.  Google Analytics allows you to see who is visiting your site and where traffic is being driven from.  Globally, you can see where your best visitors are located and you can see how people are moving about your site.  You can see your most popular content and see at which point customers leave the shopping cart.  Altogether, Google Analytics provides useful feedback and information that you can use to better serve your customers and ensure you satisfy your market.

As always, Google provides great applications to keep you efficient as your grow your business and brand.  And if keeping costs low and bootstrapping is part of your strategy, Google is on your side as a lot of these applications are free!

Which Google products have you used and how have these added value to what you do?


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