You're A Professional, Act Like One!

This is a rant. I will admit it right off. I have been hitting a lot of new folks in various writing and social media communities recently and they are driving me nuts. I go to an author’s site or maybe their twitter profile or a fellow Gravatar Profileblogger, what they are saying interests me, and then I try to find out more about them. Dead end. These folks, as well meaning as they may be, are trying to present themselves as professionals without taking the basic time to create a professional online presence. I am not talking about stuff that costs a lot of money, but stuff that has a big impact on how easy it is to find you and how you are perceived when people do find you.  In marketing speak part of this is branding. In business speak a lot of this should be common sense.

Branding and consistency are what help your customers, readers, users, fans or even friends find you on the web, find what you are doing and what pertains to you, and also know that the you they find really is you! Think of it as not trying to convince people what an honest reputable person you are while selling watches out of the back of a borrowed car in a vacant parking lot. Also think of it as not handing out business cards that are missing your phone number, address or email.

So, with very little money, how can you clean up your act? Well, here are ten cheap and easy steps.

1) Make sure you have your own website. Yours. Not part of Facebook or LinkedIn or Google+ site (though you do want those). WordPress.com is ok for now, but only because they let you export everything in the future. This site will be your home base. You want somewhere that you control and that the Lords Of Facebook can’t change the look and feel, and advertising, of without your input. (Cost: $0 to $10 a month – or somewhere in between. Your choice!) [Recommendation – WordPress.com if you want to go free, DreamHost if you want a bit more control and are willing to pay a small amount for it.] Continue reading “You're A Professional, Act Like One!”

Who Is Using Your Facebook?

Breaking In To FacebookDo you know who is using your Facebook account? Here is a good exercise to do every now and then….

  1. In Facebook go up to “Home” drop down up there in the top right corner.
  2. Drop it down to “Account Settings”
  3. Once in account settings, choose “Apps” from the list on the far left.
  4. Look at all the applications, websites, and such that you have authorized through you FaceBook account and that may have access to post as you, have access to all your friends and their information, have access to all your photos, etc…
  5. Get rid of all the ones you don’t recognize. Heck, get rid of a bunch you do recognize! If you need them back, you can reauthorize them later.

Seriously, with sites such as LinkedIn and Last.FM getting hacked – you are only as secure as the weakest link in the chain.

Review: Uprising by Scott Goodson

Uprising: How to Build a Brand–and Change the World–By Sparking Cultural Movements by Scott Goodson promises to help your master the tools of social media and the new global communications market place to start a movement behind your cause. Well, in this case, most of what Goodson addresses is commercial marketing as a cause.

Uprising by Scott GoodsonWhile much of what Goodson teaches is useful, there are some glaring flaws in his arguments. This first problem I had is that he uses the Occupy Wall Street movement as a successful case study of a grass roots movement affecting change. The difficulty with this, at least at the moment, is that while the OWS movement exhibited a lot of sound and fury, but has seemingly not accomplished much. I wonder if this was just a view I had, but I asked a number of friends, most liberal like I am, and they all had to admit that while the OWS was a great idea, it seems to have accomplished very little. Well, unless you could trashing parks as an accomplishment.

Secondly, to defend his argument that these types of movements can be motivated towards brand marketing, he holds up Apple as an example. Just as I was an OWS sympathizer I am also an Apple fan boy. But, Apple is a special case and is not an easily replicable example. Just ask Microsoft. While people will line up for hours waiting for an Apple store to open, I can’t remember anyone ever lining up for the release of a Microsoft product. Maybe the Xbox or Halo video game? Perhaps the only other store that has people lining up for its opening is Trader Joe’s or Chick-Fil-A. But neither one of those has a stock cap of over $600 and the international brand recognition of Apple. And in Chick-Fil-A’s case it is because they are bribing the first 100 people with free meals for a year. Take those meals away, and no one would line up.

This is not to say this is a bad book. This review is coming off extremely negative, and for that I am sorry. I really enjoyed the book and the object lessons Goodson writes. The examples and methodologies it contains are valuable and they are easy lessons to read and grasp. They are harder lessons to carry out however. And more importantly, they are methodologies and viewpoints that are very hard to instill in an organization unless they were there from the start – and were there as the raison d’etre from the beginning. Steve Jobs did not retrofit his goals to the company. He set out from the beginning to change the world.

So, read the book. Take it to heart. Pass it on to others in your organizations. But don’t expect to be the next Apple unless you already have implemented everything in the book before you even read it.

Note: The publisher gave me a copy of this book for the purpose of. There were no strings attached, and that gratis review copy in no way swayed my opinions towards this work.

Let's Talk About Podcasts

Podcasts are similar to radio programs. Their formats can be talk shows, call-in sports shows, Podcast Subscribeaudiobooks, poetry, music DJs, news, sightseeing tours, and much more. Of course, in our case, our podcasts are mainly our Sunday sermons and the occasional special event. Podcasts are different from radio in that a podcast is a series of audio files you get on the Internet and you don’t have to be tuned in at a specific time.

Most websites provide on-screen controls for you to listen to our podcasts. But, the best thing about podcasts is that they can be downloaded to your own computer or audio player device. This lets you listen to them anytime – such as in the car or while on a walk or maybe doing those household chores.

You can subscribe to podcasts, just like a magazine. In the same way a magazine arrives in your mailbox when a new edition comes out, a podcast uses software on your computer called a podcatcher to automatically download new shows whenever they become available. To subscribe and download podcasts requires that bit of podcatcher software and perhaps your audio player device. Below are some instructions to help you with that.

Continue reading “Let's Talk About Podcasts”

Review of Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen

Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)
by Dave Kerpen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent book for those looking to get started in social media, gain a better understanding of it, or understand why it is important. The examples that Kerpen gives are spot on as to the value that lies in the new, but oh so old, form of interaction.

At its base, social media is not much different than all the communication that we have all been doing for years; that the human race and consumers have been doing forever. What is different about it is the immediacy, the permanence, and the reach. Kerpen illustrates this very well with examples of how social media has been used to help companies and causes, or ignored to the peril of those on the wrong end.

As one saying goes about social media, “your customers are already talking about you, don’t you want to be part of that conversation?” Likeable Social Media helps you to understand how to be part of that conversation without being a pushy salesperson or an overpowering know-it-all. You want to be liked. You want to be the person that others gather around at the cocktail party instead of the one they all avoid.

You don’t have to read this book cover to cover, in fact your don’t even have to read the chapters in order. In that way it is a great desk or bedside reference to just pick up from time to time to get a quick bit of inspiration.

If social media bewilders you at all, this book is highly recommended.

Note: The publisher gave me a copy of this book for the purpose of. There were no strings attached, and that gratis review copy in no way swayed my opinions towards this work.