Lunch N Learn with ZAAR Design Center

One of the great aspects of social media is the opportunity for strangers to connect through a shared interest, platform, hobby or need.  My plans to speak at ZAAR Design Center, as part of the Spring High Point Furniture Market is an example of a need, someone reaching out and plans set in motion thanks to social media.

Ruth Olbrych, the owner of ZAAR Design Center contacted me on February 12th after her friend, Alicia Connolly forward to Ruth a conversation I had on Twitter with Dana Helms, Social Media Manager at Social North. Dana is also involved with an amazing organization, WithIt.  Due to our open conversation on Twitter about WithIt, Alicia mentioned to Ruth that I may be interested in speaking to a group at the Spring Furniture Market in High Point.

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The subsequent emails and phone conversations with Ruth, has led to the ZAAR Design Center hosting a Lunch and Learn on Sunday, April 6th at their showroom in High Point. I will talk with their guests about How Best Maximize Your Social Media Presence as a Designer.  You can pre-register for the event here:   Lunch N Learn + Jewelry/Accessory Sale

How Do I, as an Interior Designer, Maximize My Social Media Presence?

The Social Media map changes at such a rapid pace it can be daunting to know where you should be focusing your energies for maximum impact for your Interior Design business. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, Google Plus, Linked In. Which portal serves you best?  Hint: Might not be what you think. What are the keystones for a Social Media plan? Yes, it can be manageable.

For me, this Lunch and Learn is an opportunity to talk about my passion, social media, as well as network with professionals within the furniture and design industries. For Ruth, it is an opportunity to showcase her Design Center and to provide the Designers in attendance with valuable information that can help their business and industry.  Truly a win-win; something I see every day within social media.

If you are attending the High Point Furniture Marketing this April, we hope you can join us for our Lunch N Learn at the ZAAR Design Center!

Thank you, Teddy Burriss

One of the most exciting aspects of  social media is how a connection can lead to a friendship, a business opportunity or just the ability to connect with someone that has shared experiences and abilities.  Teddy Burriss would fall under the categories of friend, colleague and in some ways a respected mentor.  I have been friends with Teddy for a couple of years now, after initially connecting virtually on Twitter.  Thankfully, we have expanded our social media relationship to one that has included meeting face-to-face whenever possible.  I encourage you to do that as often as you can; meet face-to-face with your connections.

Earlier this year, Teddy reached out to me and asked if I would share a social media success story for a book he was authoring.  I am no fool, of course I said YES to his request!  What followed was a book I highly recommend; and its not because I am featured in it, but because it is a valuable resource on social media and networking. Success Using Social Media hits the nail on the head:  Start By Building Relationships! 

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Click the link, buy or download the book and start building those relationships!  I encourage you to start by connecting with Mr. Burris.

Update Your Social Bio’s

A few weeks ago, I asked the following question on my Facebook Page:

“How often do you update your social media bio’s?”

Responses to the question ranged from, “not often enough” to “not lately” to “just last week.” But the response that made an impact to me was from Amanda Wright, CEO of Learning Connections. Amanda stated that she updated her bio’s the first of every month. I thought, what a great idea! Now normally I update my bio’s every month or two , but thanks to Amanda, I have actually scheduled it as a task on my calendar  month.

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Used under Creative Common License via Flickr

So, how often do you update your bio’s? I suggest you follow Amanda’s suggestion as I have, schedule the update on your calendar!

Why would you want to update them monthly?  Here are three quick reasons as to why:

1. You gain new followers and friends on a monthly basis, so make sure they have the updated information about what is important about you.

2. You may want to attract a different group of followers. As an example, if you work in education, you may want to focus your bio on your field of study to gain followers or connections in education.

3. Hobbies and interests change. If your new hobby is sailing, then use some keywords that related to sailing in your bio.

Social media, just like business, changes on a daily basis. You gain new followers, you lose followers, interests change, or your market can change. Change with your market and your interest; update your bio’s monthly.

Let me know in the comments below when you last updated your bio’s!  In the meantime, please excuse me; I need to update my own bio’s!

Own and Protect Your Content!

Other than the devastating news out of Oklahoma, the digital world is buzzing this week over the news that Yahoo has purchased blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Or as some are now referring to it: Yumblr.  It is too early in this process to know what plans Yahoo has for Tumblr, but one thing is for sure: Tumblr will change. Tumblr subscribers will either embrace the changes or they will leave. In droves.

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Image Courtesy of Slate

 

In March 2012, the headline was Twitter Buys Posterous. Many people speculated that Posterous would stay around; that Twitter only wanted the owners/management team but would leave the product alone.  Alas, that was not the case. Posterous shut down May 31, 2013.

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What Are Your Intentions?

Do you ever wonder what people’s intentions are, based on their actions? What about businesses and their intentions?
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Photo used under a Creative Commons license.

 

Intentions of Businesses
I have been thinking about how businesses approach their audience or potential audience.  How they communicate with their clients, prospective clients, referral partners or vendors. Do they approach these activities with the intention of selling something? Do they approach the interactions with the intention of building a network or as my friend Sarah Robinson would say, building a “Fiercely Loyal Community?” [Read more...]

Self Promotion Is A Social Turn Off

n Sh I enjoy working closely with the team at The Social Buzz Lab; true professionals that know their stuff! I recently published this post on their site and wanted to share it here. Do you know people that constantly promote only themselves via their social channels? Does it turn you off as much as it does the rest of us?

 

Self Promotion makes me sick! Doesn’t it you?8

If you will indulge me just a bit, this post is going to be a combination of ranting against something that irritates me along with thoughts and action steps on how to “not be that person.” Because let’s face it, no one wants to be that person!

me Self Promotion is a Social Turn Off

 

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You Can’t Please Everyone….So Stop Trying!

During a recent weekend getaway, I received a Twitter DM from a follower that stated, “Bye u ignore me so gone.” My first reaction was lthe same as most people, scratching my head and wondering why they felt like I had ignored them Since I was away for the weekend and taking an unsual break from Twitter, I decided to not respond until my rest and relaxation was over; and until I had time to think through my response to this person. In pondering how to respond, I decided to not respond at all. Why? Because if that person felt like I had ignored them, were my words going to change their mind? Probably not. At least in my opinion.

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Traveling For Business The Right Way ~ Guest Post

It’s no secret that we travel less for business than in the past. With Skype, GoToMeeting and other technological advancements, many companies have stopped traveling if possible.  This guest post from Logan Baker with Jet Charters in Knoxville, TN may change your mind.

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Photo by Andy Rusch used under Creative Commons License. 

Traveling for business the right way

 Lately it seems like business travel is getting a bad rap. Depending on your business, travel expenditures can be one of the first things on the chopping block. It’s often easy to justify cutting out the cost of sending people all over the place, but the costs associated with that philosophy can be quite significant. Travel is a great way to invest in your business, but only when it’s handled correctly. Read on to find out how you can maximize the return on your business travel investment.

Travel with purpose

 Think about your previous business travels. Why did you go? Who did you see? How much profit did the trip generate? The first two questions are probably pretty easy to answer, but that might not be the case with the third. The vast majority of business trips can and should generate revenue. You should approach business travel like any other revenue stream in your business plan. How much is it going to cost, and what kind of returns should you expect? More importantly, what does the historical data say about whether the trip is worth it in the first place? If you haven’t been analyzing your travel like everything else then now is the time to start. Every trip should include a purpose, a goal (revenue or otherwise), and proper tracking for the future. Put the analytical skills you’ve perfected to good use here!

Travel with efficiency

 You can almost never go wrong with efficiency. Making efficiency a part of your company culture will increase your returns in nearly every sector. Business travel is no different, but it often requires some creative thinking to get the job done. Many business trips are for a specific purpose. Sometimes you might be making a trip to see your best customer and reassure them that you’re doing a great job, and other times you’ll be traveling for lead generation. Whatever your primary goal, it’s likely you’re going to have some down time you can put to good use. If you’re there for your customer, don’t be afraid to go out and land some leads when you can. You could spend the extra time sightseeing, but that’s what you do on vacation. Business trips should be — not surprisingly — all business.

 Efficiency also refers to your travel time. You can probably find cheap flights if you’re willing to endure a heap of connections and layovers. Saving money is good, but not when it means you’ll be losing out on the most valuable resource of all: Time. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to get more time once it’s gone. Remember this fact of life when you’re booking your next flight and go direct. If you want total control you can even hire a private flight. Your time is worth more than any small savings you might realize by tacking on hours to your overall trip time.

 Travel with calm

Productivity and efficiency are going to suffer if the travel stresses you out. Some of the stress will disappear if you follow the advice above and book direct flights, but not all. The best way to avoid stressful travels involves a long-term commitment. You should already be practicing stress reduction techniques to increase your chances of business success. The same techniques will work when you’re traveling, but only if you’re in good practice. Check out Amazon for books and DVDs on meditation, yoga, or exercise. Your technique of choice should be something you enjoy so it’s that much easier to implement it in your daily life. If teaching yourself doesn’t work out, then hire an expert to get the job done. Any expenditure in this area will pay for itself in increased productivity. Once you’ve gotten in the habit of de-stressing then it will be no problem to do the same on your business trip.

You’ll get returns from your business travel in no time if you follow the tips above. Happy travels!

 Author’s bio: Logan is a guest writer and private air charter expert. His business trips usually depart from Teterboro airport, which is his favorite.

 

John’s Law

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If you are a regular ready of my blog, you know that I recently participated in the Orange County Social Media Summit.  The cornerstone of my presentation at the #OCSMS, and my business in general is promoting others more than I promote myself.  I still promote my own business through various channels and communities, but promoting others is more important to me. 

I believe in promoting others so much that I have developed a scheduled activity to ensure it is part of my business. I call it John’s Law.  The basis of the law is this: spend one day per week promoting others more than myself.

Let’s take a look at how I approach this:

John’s Law

  • One day per week, I promote someone from my network or community.
  • This promotion focuses on their business or a cause they are passionate about or possibly an upcoming event.
  • I enlist others throughout my network and communiites to re-share and Retweet.
  • I ask permission first, and then ask if there may be areas of their business that needs more attention or more promotion.
  • I follow up by asking them who they need to meet.

This is old-fashioned, referral based marketing. I am promoting others, after gaining their permission and finding out what they need or want promoted and then I further the promotion by introducing these professionals to my network and communities. 

You may be asking yourself, “what does he get out of this?” I’m glad you asked. I get the satisifaction of promoting others; or doing something that’s not about me. It provides my friends and associates with an opportunity to gain new contacts and potentially business opportunities while building my relationship with the person that is being promoted.

So, I ask you; Who Are You Promoting Today?

Summer Session

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We have celebrated Memorial Day and the 4th of July, which for most of us in North America means we are right in the middle of summertime.  The kid’s are out of school, the temperatures are HOT (what else do you expect during July) and plans are being made for summer vacations .For some of us, we alter our schedules during the summer months; but for others it is business as usual. I am going to focus some of my energies in different areas this summer; not taking a break, but breaking with the normal routine in some ways.  

Below are my my plans for my Summer Session. 

My Summer Session

  • Reading: I will continue to read during the summer, focusing on books & publications that are business related, as well as ones that are personal in nature. Biographical and inspirational to be exact. 
  • I will produce 3 blog posts per week. This is essential to my business, and businesses do not take the summer off.
  • I will meet with existing clients to re-visit the plans we have in place and to adjust them for the coming year. 
  • I will laser focus my social networking efforts; spending no more than one to two hours on any day on my own profiles and platforms.
  • I will swim as much as I can. Whether in a pool, an ocean, or a lake, water is essntial to my rejuvination.
  • I will review and revamp my goals for the year.
  • I will relax and take a vacation….or two. 

The reason I am sharing my plans is to hold myself accountable and to encourage my referral partners to do the same.  If it stirs some thoughts in you about your own Summer Session, that is a bonus.  Please share them below in the comments section. 

What are your plans for this summer?