Wednesday, December 30, 2009

True Social Media Network part 2

Blogging is different. It's somewhat of a neighborhood farm but it's online. It has to be worked and cultivated. Careful planning and continual upkeep will insure long-term results. Like a neighborhood farm, it will take some time to grow.

Amy Chorew writes that the blog should be the hub of online marketing. Daren Rouse says the same thing. He uses Chris Brogans model showing the blog at the center and other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flick’r, etc. as sites to send people to your blog for information.

Dan Iampieri is a great youtuber. Take a look at his series, "Andrew buys a House from Dan" He uses youtube to direct customers back to his blog which gives them more information about buying and selling real estate. Dan gives away a lot of information. He's building a base of people who know and trust him.

All these exmples point towards the creation of a social media network with a blog in the middle.

A True Social Media Network part 1

When I started learning about this social media stuff I had two simple goals in mind. First, I wanted to reconnect with people I knew from years before. Second, I truly felt I could gain exposure in the marketplace and become of greater service to my community. Funny, I never realized the scope of either goal.
What I have learned in achieving both my goals is fairly simple, but not limited to:
1. It's far better to give than receive.
2. Facebook is really fun!
3. I've gone a lot of places because of twitter.
4. And, blogs have more information on one subject than I can ever begin to digest.

From the business side what I've notice more than anything is that the real bloggers tend to dominate the marketplace. More than any other social media user, those who provide quality information on their blogs to their readers tend not only to have the most readers but also the greatest market share... Let it sink in... Those who give the most tend to receive the most.

Blogs and websites that actually give information are highly appreciated. I continuously return to Brian Worrell's site as an exceptional example of a site that provides quality information. Brian uses the site for residents of the subdivision to learn about upcoming community events, garage sales, lost and found items, and other pertinent information. It is a site Brian has given to the residents. And, according to Brian, through giving he receives great benefit.

Many novice social media users try their hand at facebook (it is extremely interactive). They friend everyone. Post a listing or two and wait for the benefits. After a month of no dollar return they call facebook a timewaster and then call it quits. Their failure stems from misconception. Here's a major hint: people don't necessarily want to see all your listings on facebook. They want to get to know you better.

Facebook is fun and entertaining. Use it for some information but not much. Use Facebook to connect and socialize with your FRIENDS. Use it to point to your information site, your blog.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Action Plans: Five Steps to Success

Setting goals is a great activity for not only business but in all areas of life. Many people set very realistic, measureable and achievable goals but fail to achieve the goals they set. Some of the difficulty arises from not having a plan to achieve the goals set. Use these five simple steps to create an action plan to help ensure a positive outcome in reaching goals.
1. Remember the benefits. Frank Leahy taught us, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This particularly pertains to goals because we tend to forget that reaching a desired outcome may be hard work. If that is the case then remind yourself when it is tough what are the benefits from achieving your goal? Visualize the outcome; mentally see yourself when you have succeeded. Remember why you desire the goal you chose.
2. Plan for obstacles. Not surprisingly, if you set goals that really cause you to work hard, there may be obstacles to overcome along the way. Plan for the obstacles and possible solutions so you will be prepared when these problems arise.
3. Consider also what new knowledge or skills needed to reach your goals. Are there people or groups that can help you in your pursuit?
4. Make action steps. Planning the steps necessary to achieve your goals will help your clearly see what is necessary to reach your goals.
5. Completion Date. When will you complete your goal? Setting a date is necessary. It creates urgency and a target.
Setting goals and working towards those goals can help in many different facets of life. Whether just helping organization or pushing to strive further than ever possible, goals may be more attainable when a plan is created. Planning allows a systematic approach to achievement. It enables us to work towards success.

What are your goals?

Every year this time someone, through articles or conversation, brings up this very question. Sometimes I can excitedly share my goals and vision for the upcoming year. Other years I skulk into a dark corner and hope that nobody notices that I didn’t answer the personal and prying question.
So, are you skulking, shrinking into the corner or are you ready to share? Huh, are you?
Is the structure of writing the goals the block? For me it has been. Chocolate Orchid blogged a fun alternative to the tedious chore of writing goals, suggesting creating a Vision Board to organize your goals. The Vision Board gives you the opportunity to think through your wants and desires and places them in front of you in a visual manor through pictures.
No writing necessary! Sit quietly allowing yourself to visualize your dreams. Use magazine photos, titles, and phrases to visually represent your dreams. Tear or cut out more items than you could possible use. Organize on a poster board the items into a visual statement. It’s ok to let the board sit for a while and then come back to determine if the board does actually represent your goals and dreams. Post the board in a prominent place so that you may continue to refocus your actions and thoughts toward becoming the goals and dreams you have set. Have fun!