You Ready To Fail At Social Networking

Come on fail at social networking! I triple dog dare you to fail! I mean you were not really planning on succeeding were you? Oh you were? Did I dash your hopes and starlight dreams?

Did this make you mad? Perhaps you thought I went a little crazy (obviously you do not know me well enough if it was just a “little”)? What the heck are you talking about that you will fail at social networking. Why would you be so mean? You make me want to cry or “Shout!” Hey Ey Ey! Shout! Here is what I realized recently in one of my moments of thought. They happen rarely, so catch the gem. Most people will fail, because they do not believe, do not exert enough energy, or do not stay long enough to reap the rewards of social networking.

The fact is that this article is going to be half diatribe and half useful information merged into one gigantic “diamation” of a post. That is what happens when you merge a diatribe with information.

Social Networking DiamationSocial Networking Visibility Clear

First, I want to be clear. I am not going to tell you that 95% of business owners will stop using social networking before it is useful or that until you read this article you were part of the problem and not the solution. However, that would make compelling copy for the future. Noted!

What I will tell you is that in my humble observations social networking does not work for the caffeine induced “do it now” crowd that completely fills our corporate corridors with misguided folks rearing for the next big buck in order to fulfill the corporate dreams of world domination in the C suite. Or it will not work in the lowly small businesses where the “dream” of tomorrow has to actually happen today to stay around.

It takes time to use social networking. And perhaps this is just not for you if you do not want to spend time developing relationships through social networking and posting something of value that does not go kaching-kaching to your wallet on day one.

Second, I think most people need to understand how to have a relationship offline before they ever try and replicate it online. Imagine being born and then asked to run a marathon the next day. Your legs are just not developed enough to do that and more than likely any baby will fail at running a marathon. While that might be a little extreme, how are we supposed to teach people to interact online if they do not have the words and communication skills to do it offline.

There is nothing wrong with taking offline skills online, but the unfortunate reality is that we need to make sure that we can clearly communicate our ideas and what we want before we get online. Otherwise, you have a written testimonial lingering forever online to you inability to communicate.

Therefore, my recommendation is to actually do offline networking before you go online. There you will have the chance to meet people face to face. Actually see their reactions to you information, your pitch, and your ability to communicate. The hardest part for me when I first started using social networking was not reaching out to new people or building relationships. Instead, it was reading what they wanted from their posts. You might want to go to some toastmasters to develop this skill.

In fact for me it was not the fear of communicating to others, but how to read their reactions without seeing them. One of my first webinars I was extremely nervous, because all the attendees were muted out and I realized that I could not tell if I made any sense. Still wondering some days. Maybe I should develop a “Schmoozer” translator one day so the world will finally hear my brilliance. Ah, but I gloat!

social networking and blogging starts earlyThird, they go willy-nilly into social networking. My favorite are the shot gun social networkers.  They will have a flurry of activity for a day or two and then disappear for weeks at a time. Then reappear as if woken from the dead, write a blog post, and tweet it out to the world before being fully submerged again, not to rear their head for another three months.

On the other hand, people always ask me how I can blog everyday. My answer is simple, how can I start a day without blogging. It is so ingrained in my schedule that it is the first thing I start thinking of when I wake up in the morning to prepare my business.

I am constantly thinking, “Oh that would be a great blog post, we should tell people that they are going to fail at social networking” or some other ancillary thought. The fact is that for me, my blog is a playground of ideas, testing, and consistency that I need to continually build my business and make my client’s business better. It brings the chaos to order for my business.

That is what you need, consistency. Something that you can do everyday to stay on top of your game with social networking. There are days when I might not check my LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter account. However, a day without checking my blog once is sheer terror! What is something went wrong? Maybe I have something cool to share today.Eh! Maybe not! You get my point.Think of something that you can do everyday or every weekday that will move you forward.

The other thing is that once I have completed my morning blogging ritual I can approach the rest of the day feeling like I have accomplished something of value. I might check a few accounts throughout the day, but for the most part I will be working on client articles and other projects.

Fourth, and there are the 4:30 nappers. These are the people who stay up all night to see the sunrise and fall asleep 30 minutes before it happens. They miss the most beautiful part of the morning, because they could not stay…awake..ahh..another.miiinuutee…ZZZ…

These are the people who stop just short of actually succeeding with social networking. The people who think in days when they should be thinking in terms of weeks, months, and in some cases years. That is not to say that you need no successes along the way. That is to say that you need to

Social Networking Failure Or Quitter

So, we have reached the end of this diamation and I just want to add my last thoughts on this topic, before I start to hear your thoughts. The thought is this, “If you try and stop, then try and stop again. Is that worse than ever starting in the first place? Or is it a learning lesson, where you can finally succeed on the next attempt.”

The reason I bring this up is because I have never got anything right with social networking the first time around. There were many head banging sessions before I learned what I needed to do. However, every time I thought of giving up it sickened me more than the thought of continuing on this journey. Let me know how your social networking journey is going?


Social Search: It’s A Bird, No It’s Seo, No Wait It’s Social Media…

It Is Social Search! Ta Da!

As you might be surprised to hear about, I thought it would be good to delve into social search. Now, I have discussed this a little in the past with Google Plus and how it affects search engine optimization. Today I thought we could dive in headfirst into an empty pool to learn about how we can use social search safely and effectively for your internet marketing needs.

That being said, how do we actually get social search traffic?

Social Search Traffic Secrets…Shhh!!

  1. Google+ is important in our discussion, because Google will definitely be wanting their new baby to have a big part in the social search revolution. That means making sure that you have a Google +1 button on your site is important. Which reminds me, I would not be opposed if you +1 this blog post. Just saying!
  2. Find a few other social networks that you use regularly to start getting additional social proof from the site. So, for example: While I do get some traffic from Facebook and LinkedIn, the majority of social traffic comes from Stumbleupon and Twitter.  That means that I am more concerned with getting Stumbles and Tweets than Facebook likes. Not to say that I do not want any of the aforementioned items. Having a few social networks showing your information is proof that you information is relevant. In other words quality over quantity. Sorry for my long winded elegance of prose.

    social search

    Ah! Found You! Now, Let Us Be Social!

  3. Make your site more interesting to comment on, because Google wants to see interaction.  Obviously make the content interesting. If you might notice, I sometimes use humor. Occasionally!
  4. Additionally, I also make sure that my commentators are rewarded with a do follow link which helps them with their search traffic. Another thing is that I use is the commentluv plugin to give another link going back to their latest blog post.
  5. Now, here is the part where I tell you it is easy when you stop working by yourself. For the past eight months I have been part of TSA and about a month ago I also joined Triberr (If you are interested in Triberr email me using my email on the sidebar). These two groups have an amazing bunch of people who work with me to share my content when I share theirs.

Now, with the power not vested in me, go out there and do social search proud. Make sure that you are getting people to engage with your through social networking and by having comments on your blog. Then combine that with the power of search you get the full effects of social search.

Augmented Reality Business Basics

As I continue to learn more about Augmented Reality business opportunities I want to start sharing these opportunities with you. That way you can see how powerful augmented reality can be for your business. Therefore, I want to spend some time going through the different opportunities here for you to get involved with using augmented reality for your business.

Augmented Reality Business Basics

First, I was thinking of this for sales people. Specifically those who have to contract with different business for services and products. Imagine using augmented reality in order to find qualified prospects in the area that you can do research on as you approach their business.

Second, for retail stores this is a great way to have locals view your pictures, reviews, and specials through augmented reality. With your business focused on how to get local clients, it will put you at a tremendous advantage to have your customers interacting with you through augmented reality.

Third, this will eventually start to bring videos to a whole new level of mobile. With the ability to have interactive videos you increase customer engagement and also the ability to convert more customers.

Fourth, with augmented reality you are putting videos in the palm of your hand. Imagine popping out with a 3D video that actually is found through augmented reality.Youtube is currently testing out 3D videos on their site. I did a practice social networking video to test it out.

Therefore, if you have 3D glasses check out the cool me that just pops into your life. I believe that while this is a nice test video, 3D video combined with augmented reality will start driving a lot of traffic in the future. The only thing that has to happen is for the technology to catch up, so a wide enough audience will keep up with the change to make it commercially viable.

In the meantime, we can explore the world of augmented reality business together as this new realm enters the public consciousness.



Chicago Business Neighborhoods, Villages, and Towns

Today we are going to talk about the Chicago business neighborhoods, villages, and towns that make up not only Chicago proper, but the entire Chicagoland area. It is amazing how much different each area of Chicago is to itself and how much those differences translate into different marketing strategies. So, for our final foray into the Chicago Business Week we are going to take a look at these little havens.

Chicago business neighborhoods

Chicago Business Neighborhoods

First, let’s break down the hallowed Chicago neighborhood. Chicago neighborhoods have been around for decades. In the 1970’s Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development went door knocking in order to determine what neighborhood everyone in the city was living in. While not exact they broke down these answers and the modern neighborhoods that you see today were created(See map to the left).

Within most neighborhood’s you will find that they each have their own neighborhood chamber, and more importantly a very distinctive feel. It is hard to describe if you have never been to the Windy City, but if you go into the South Shore neighborhood you will find a completely different look and feel to the neighborhood then in Lincoln Park.

Or even a different feel between Lincoln Park or nearby Bucktown. The difference between these two neighborhoods is just a mile, but they feel a lot further away in the feel to them. You have some of the yuppies in Lincoln Park, while Bucktown takes on a more artistic, community feel to it.

What this also means is that you have to do business in these two very distinct neighborhood your entire look and approach needs to be different. In Lincoln Park you might consider dressing up a little bit to network versus Bucktown where depending upon the crowd you are looking to reach slacks and a dress shirt might be overdressed.

However, these differences in Chicago business are just beginning when you also factor in the nearby villages and towns that make up Chicago’s suburbs.

Chicago Business In The Suburbs

Quick what is the difference between Oak Park and Oak Forrest?

If you answer is one has wild vegetation and the other is maintained than unfortunately you would not be correct in this instance. One is at the heart of the near western suburbs of Chicago and the other is in the South Suburbs. Actually, Oak Park has almost as storied a past as Chicago. It is the birthplace of Ernest Hemmingway and has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the world.

Now, as to the different Chicago suburbs keep in mind that they are generally broken down by area. So, you have the South, Southwest, West, Near West, Northwest, and North Suburbs. A Northwest suburb, like Arlington Heights where I went to high school is not surprisingly northwest of the city.

What you will find is that the suburbs are generally more alike to each other in how they operate. It is more universal how to approach the different suburban networking groups whether in the West suburbs of Naperville and Wheaton or the south suburbs of Orland Park and River Forrest.Plus, all of the different villages and cities have their little main street core where the town was founded. All the little shops will be around there. Then you have the chains spread throughout the town.

Either way, suburban or city, you need to know who you are connecting with others for business, because it does make a difference to the many different neighborhoods, villages, and towns that make up Chicago business.

On a final note, I hope you enjoyed this tour of Chicago Business. I know it is a little bit different than our normally scheduled program, but I thought a week in the life of the city where I was born, grew up, and live right now would be a fun adventure. So, next week no more Chicago business, because we are strictly back to the fun world of social networking, internet marketing, and SEO.

Chicago Business: Face To Face

Chicago business handshakeChicago business owners have a much higher insistence on doing face to face business than other business owners in other parts of the country. Now, this is not to say that all business must be done face to face. However, a large part of the Chicago culture is meeting with someone to discuss how they can help you with their XYZ product.

That is why in this installment of the Chicago Business week series we are laying out today some strategies to get additional clients through a face to face effort. Everything from how to connect with the person over phone or email to setting up appointments and finally connecting with them face to face.

Chicago Business

Face To Face 5 Step

Here is a five step process that you can use to connect with prospects in Chicago. I have done this before successfully myself. The key is to build a profitable relationship, not to make a sale.

Step 1: Connect with someone via LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Build a relationship with these connections via social networking. Then after you feel that the two of you have a good relationship ask to take the connection offline.

Step 2:  Have a phone conversation. Especially if it is two people in Chicago then this is a local call.

Step 3:  During The Phone Call set up an appointment to meet face to face.

Step 4: This when you can start selling the person on your products and services. However, it will not be much of a sales process at this point, because if you have created any level of connection at this point it will be more of a conversation.

Step 5: Once the sale is complete you might have to stop in from time to time, but with a lot of industries you will not have to be there to sell them every time there is a new product, because it is a conversation you can figure out over the phone.

And that ladies and gentlemen is how you take social networking into your Chicago businesses on a face to face selling scenario.