Digital You

Hello dear readers,  today we have a guest post on the topic of the business card.  Is it still important? Do you still carry one? 

If you’re networking to establish lasting work relationships, even a business person with a veritable army of LinkedIn connections will acknowledge that nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. Given that understanding, why would that same skilled networker compromise their ability to be remembered by a potential new work connection?

Technology may simplify life, but used indiscriminately, something seemingly helpful may actually not work in our favor. Take, for example, the app ‘Bump.’ The eighth most popular free app of all time on Apple’s App Store, Bump allows Android and iPhone users to simply tap their phones together to exchange contact information. PhoneBump

Terrific idea, right? Yes, mostly. In plenty of situations, Bump is a terrific timesaver. Just met a girl at a bar? Bump her and see where it takes the conversation. Need to get an old friend’s new telephone number? Bump away.

But what about the attorney you just met via a mutual friend at dinner? He offered to call you next month and look over your business’ incorporation papers. It sounded like he could save you a bundle, so you’ll want to make sure he remembers you. 

Unfortunately, you ‘Bumped’ him. Sure, he’s got all of your contact information compactly stored in his phone — along with thousands of others. Hopefully you made a truly memorable first impression and he’s a man-of-his-word, because you’ve passed up the invaluable moment when he’s quietly at home and pulls your business card out of his pocket, or the ‘Oh yeah, I need to call that guy’ recollection when he finds it in his wallet a week later. All for the ease of a Bump.

Bang-For-Your-Buck Marketing

There’s a reason paper’s stock has grown for 22 consecutive centuries. When you need to convey information that will be shared and remembered, there’s still no better medium. 

Let’s think for a moment in marketing terms. Why do you think that businesses still hire people to stand on street corners and pass out flyers, despite all of the digital displays surrounding them? 

You’ve got something to sell, and you need to get the word out to as many people as possible for the cheapest price. Perhaps a billboard (electronic or print) costs $1,000 a day, and 20,000 people are expected to view it in that time. That’s a cost of .05 cents per person. Alternatively, a bulk flyer might cost as little as .03 cents a copy and be cut into four copies. For less than a penny per person, you’re guaranteed to be directly reaching any customer who takes the flyer. 

The traditional business card does even better. You’re not blindly handing out your card on street corners are you? Chances are, each person that received your card at a cocktail hour or trade show looked you in the eye, gave you a warm smile, and shook your hand.

Whether you’re simply promoting yourself or representing your business, that’s irreplaceable marketing that won’t soon be replaced by a digital bump. 

Standing the Test of Time

Marketing trends shift faster than the gears on a rusty bicycle chain, and are equally hard to keep up with when they’re rolling. 

Just a decade ago, a prime time television spot was the best (and most expensive) method to promote a product. Print media, from newspapers to magazines, still held major clout as well. Although those mediums are still viable, the most successful ad campaigns spread themselves online. Remember last year’s Old Spice ‘Smell Like a Man’ campaign? With millions of hits for each of its videos, it generated buzz that even a 30-second Super Bowl spot would drool over.

Social media allows smart marketing to travel on its own legs, and there’s no reason your business card shouldn’t do the same. Cards now include Twitter handles, Facebook links, and even QR codes. Ideas for incorporating myriad social media contact info are abundant, and why not? Before the advent of the ‘bump,’ being memorable had as much to do with what was on your card as the fact that you had one at all.

The point is to stay up-to-date with emerging technology while keeping a firm foothold in what’s tried-and-true. ‘Traditional’ business cards haven’t lost their pound-for-pound marketing power just because digital alternatives have arrived. Keep them up-to-date with the latest social media, and a print card still carries more weight (both literally and figuratively) than its cyber-substitute. 

Looking for a real one-two punch? Follow your ‘bump’ with a paper chaser, and you’re bound to remembered. 

Do you disagree and think that paper’s days are numbered? What other ways do you ensure that you’ll make a lasting impression when networking? 

Senior executive Anita Brady is the President of 123Print.com, a leading provider of high quality customizable items like business cards, letterhead and other materials for small businesses and solo practitioners.

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When New Tools Require New Rules: Text Etiquette

Saturday, 24 March 2012 12:03 PM Written by

Have you ever noticed how differently people text?  Or, how they respond to texts?

Some people write so much you wonder how they can crank out all that copy on a little phone.   Others simply reply with a curt note.  Yet others, use such a modified version of the English language you wonder what all their acronyms mean.

I personally wonder about those who “simply reply,” are they having a bad day, are they upset about something, or, why are they being so cold?

A New Lexicon

Those that over acronymize (acronym + economize) really aren’t making our text convo anymore efficient when I have to ask them what MIL (mother-in-law) might mean. Phone_Text_Msg

When I discuss this with my husband he thinks I’m reading into things too much but it came up the other day with my girlfriends and the conversation was very different, so I got to thinking about text etiquette.

There is actually a website entirely on the topic of text etiquette and it has an exceptional lexicon of abbreviations entirely alphabetized.  One of my new favorites is BBQ meaning “be back quickly.” I would have definitely confused that with food and grilling.  I also found this one WDALYIC  “who died and left you in charge” which is clearly used by the disgruntled, experienced texter.

What Would Emily Post Say?

Marie Claire has an article called, “5 Rules of Text Etiquette,” dedicated to the topic  of texting at the beginning of a romantic relationship or involved in a relationship.  How great that text etiquette niches exist too! For those of you who don’t click through all the links in a blog post here’s the most important nugget, “If you like a girl, ALWAYS text the day after the first date.” Along with don’t text before ever meeting in person unless it’s too arrange the details of a date.

For deeply detailed and even more niched information on post-dating etiquette a must read can be found on How About We on a post appropriately called “Post First Date Text Etiquette.” Unfortunately dear readers, one of their first rules counters Marie Clair’s, Under no circumstances should a man plan his second date with a woman through text.” So read up on the rules young lovers.

Who can write a post on etiquette without mentioning Emily Post, who by the way, loves texting! For those of us that feel that a text requires an immediate reply Emily says to reply either by phone or text as soon as you have a chance.

What's Your Text Personality?

When I think of my own texting habits and those of my fellow textees’ it becomes really clear that there are various personalities of texters.  You can really tell a lot about a person based on how they text.

I have one friend whom I can never reach for a live call. She only texts.  Sometimes I call her when she’s texting me but still no pick up.  To her defense she’s a mother of 4 less than 7 years of age so how could she have time to actually talk?

Girl_Texting_BicycleAnother friend will just randomly talk about her intimate feelings, physical conditions and any other thought or drama of the day via text.  The funny thing is she is just like that in person too.

Then there are those who use Siri (Apple concierge) to help them text and their messages may not exactly come out they way they intended.

I have relatives who randomly send me a single word text as reply to something I asked, emailed or sent days earlier.  The text “Thanks” on my phone 3 days after something I’ve done always leaves me thinking “huh?, for what?”

So keep one thing in mind when texting – keep it simple, but provide some context.  That’s how to keep it efficient for you and your texting friend. BBQ!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sizzling Hot Internet Trends

Friday, 09 March 2012 10:48 PM Written by

Each day the web is becoming more information packed.  Social media is crowded, contents in all shapes, colors and sizes exist, websites are a dime a dozen (maybe even cheaper) and YouTube has enough video content for some unfathomable calculation (ie: enough video footage to circle the globe 10 times).

So, how can you stand out on the web? How can you make a lasting impression?  I recently returned from an amazing Internet marketing conference run by Yanik Silver and learned about the latest and greatest ways to build your brand online.

Gamification – It’s all the rage. Millions and millions of games are downloaded daily.  Think of ways to make things fun and entertaining – it makes things more memorable.  Think about your day – those customer loyalty cards you’re using at your local coffee shop – gamifying your latte!

Video – Video is the new "black" on the web. YouTube (owned by Google) is the second largest search engine inthe world.  What does that mean for you? It means that your video will rank high in Google search results, and it's yet another great space to start building your content and credibility. Use video people – it's the best way to build your brand online because it’s as holistic as you can communicate on the web.

Mobile – The iPad 3 was released yesterday.  Sales for iPads are through the roof, and Android devices too.  Tablets andmobile_phone phones of all kinds are outselling computers already.  Make sure your online content is “mobile friendly.”

SEO – Here’s a little bonus for you. It was discussed at the conference and then again yesterday on a webinar with Chris Brogan and Lewis Howes – get on Google+ - it’s a fantastic way to build your SEO (search engine optimization) and build your brand in a very smart way.

If you would like to know more about any of these tools and trends drop me a note via email at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or send me a tweet @RachelGogos.

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Put Your Facebook Real Estate to Work For You

Monday, 06 February 2012 11:55 PM Written by

After the Kardashian's and Mitt Romney, Facebook is probably the most written about topic lately.  But there is just so much going on there! For starters, they have filed for an IPO (Initial Public Offering), which, in my humble opinion is only going to make them stronger - not because they will be flush with even more cash (it helps) but because they will be under closer scrutiny and held more accountable.

Mobile Ads?

In more recent news Facebook will be launching ads on its mobile apps, which will be annoying for some but even more lucrative for them since half their users are mobile users.

But this article isn’t about their valuation or how an IPO will impact Facebook’s culture, it’s about a fairly new feature that you may have already heard about or noticed called Timeline.

Take Advantage of Your Facebook Real-Estate

Timeline gives you lots of space on your profile page – it’s a super banner the entire width of your page and about 3 inches high.  It’s a lot of real estate so use it wisely.  You can upload a jpeg of a photo collage, one large image or design but whatever you do take this opportunity to communicate more about you and what you stand for.

It doesn’t have to be overt – subtle and subliminal work too. Just like a logo on your website or your clothing during a job interview the Timeline banner gives you an opportunity to communicate with your audience. Timeline_on_FB

It also tells “your story” in a more visual way.  You can learn all about it here. 

What will happen on February 29th?

As of February 29th Timeline will roll out to pages.   Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and business owners take note and be ready to use this real estate to tell the world about your business, your products or your passion depending on the purpose of your page.

You can read more about Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages in this article on SimplyZesty.com.

Add an Image to Timeline

If you want to upload a new image to your Facebook “super banner” simply place your mouse over the area at the top of your page where your banner will appear and you will notice a button that says “change image.”  Click on the “change image” or “upload image” if you don’t have one there yet and follow the simple steps.

Some examples of great personal branding on Timelines can be found here:

How can you personalize your Timeline to reflect who you are?  Have questions?

 

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Web Censorship in the USA?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:54 AM Written by

Is it possible that the United States government can start censoring the web similarly to the Chinese government? It is!  Two bills exist in the US Congress that are gaining lots of support.

The first bill is in the Senate and is called the Protect IP Act, the second, in the House is Stop Online Piracy Act.

Learn more about these bills by clicking the below links or viewing the following infographic (courtesy of  (provided by Stop American Censorship) and a video, by Fight for the Future. Also, take action by clicking on this link.

Many US based companies are taking action today by participating in an Internet blackout.  Companies like Wikipedia, Google, WordPress and many others listed at SOPA Strike.

Courtesy of Kikolani.com, this extremely informative infographic; learn more by clicking on her site link. Here’s a partial view of the Infographic.

SOPA_Internet_Blacklist_Bill

I urge you to take action by filling out this form – it will take you 5 seconds or less!

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Planning Tools for Your Digital Business

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 12:43 AM Written by

It’s that time of year again where people set their goals, their resolutions and their strategies for the year ahead.  Some might be personal and others professional.

Over the last few weeks I have found some excellent resources to help you goal set, meet your resolutions and work on your various strategies.  Below I’m going to share links to some of the best resources I’ve seen on the web (no affiliate links are listed below – just sharing some worthwhile resources):

Help_with_a_Mouse

Goal Setting & Planning

An unusual approach that I really like is Chris Brogan’s three words.  Ever since I read about the “three words approach” a few years ago I try and do it myself.  The concept is pick three words to guide your goals and actions vs. making one or two lofty resolutions. My three words for this year or Laser, Heart and Write.

Marie Forleo has put together some easy to use tools to help you plan out your goals for the upcoming year and to help you focus on accomplishing your most important thing as well as a nifty yearlong action-planning tool.  I love the simple planning template because you can use it for various aspects of your company – editorial calendar, marketing tactic calendar, networking check-ins and much more.

Media, Marketing & Social Media

Derek Helpern’s, How to Get Major Media Coverage with No Connections is excellent! Check out his free Social Triggers Master Class called Social Media Insider – it’s entirely web-based but so far, has some great content.  Derek’s high energy and no-nonsense approach makes him easy to listen to and learn from.

A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation is a pretty hefty report prepared by Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group.   The focus is to help you get control of your social media before you get overwhelmed and oversaturated.  Haven’t read through this in it’s entirety but Altimeter is an excellent group.

If YouTube and video creation is a big part of your marketing this year then definitely check out James Wedmore. He’s making a splash with his YouTube marketing business but he also passes along lots of great advice via his blog posts.  And given that Google owns YouTube – your time with James will be well spent. You’ve probably noticed that Google is indexing video more and more and higher and higher on its search results!

The best all-in-one free marketing course out there is by Copyblogger Media.  These guys have their game down to a science. Sign up for the course and receive it right in your email inbox.

Business Growth

A former client of mine, Ashley Acker, recently launched her terrific new business called Entrepreneur Jungle.  If you’re starting a business or need marketing help check it out.  There are loads of free things that can help you get moving in the right direction. Ashley’s content is extremely well thought out and packaged. You can learn so much just from seeing how she markets her own work.  But start with her Jungle Survival Kit or by enrolling for her free Wednesday webinars.

There is lots of incredible content out there for free. You can learn so much just by investing some time, if you have it!  If you’ve stumbled upon some other great resources, because I’ve merely touched on a few here, share them through the comments section.

Have a wonderfully happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.

 

 

 

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The Future of Internet Marketing Careers

Sunday, 18 December 2011 08:48 AM Written by

According to Miniwatts Marketing group, as of March 31, 2011 there were a whopping 2,095,006,005 Internet users worldwide. With that kind of a number, Internet marketers have plenty of opportunities to make big bucks for themselves and even bigger bucks for their clients. To get some insight into the job opportunities out there for Internet marketers, I interviewed three experts in the field.

Hot Internet marketing jobs

In a telephone interview, Robby Monk, an Internet marketing analyst for Full Media, a leading Internet marketing firm, told me social media is the hottest career field right now. He believes social media increasingly plays a bigger role for many companies and organizations. He also thinks organic optimization skills are in demand.

Regarding hot Internet marketing jobs, Mark Stevens, a popular guest in mainstream media, author of "Your Marketing Sucks," and CEO of MSCO Media, bluntly stated the importance of "Expertise in actually monetizing Internet marketing. Everything else is just window dressing." He believes some of the highest paid people in Internet marketing are "Those who have developed systems that generate revenues/leads from social media."

I also spoke with John McCarthy, the Senior Director of Digital Strategy at WebMetro, a leading digital marketing company. He agreed that social media is a hot area. He believes public relations experience in social media - shaping the message but not controlling it - is a skill in high demand. According to McCarthy, Internet marketing companies seek candidates with good Web analytic skills.

McCarthy believes mobile marketing strategy is without a doubt a hot career right now, and Google seems to support his belief. Recently Google announced its initiative focused on driving innovation on the mobile Web. Jason Spero, Director of Mobile for Americas at Google, stated, "While consumer usage continues to explode on mobile, the quality of the sites on the mobile Web hasn't yet caught up. Web sites that aren't optimized for mobile deliver a bad experience for users and, in turn, lead to missed opportunities for advertisers and businesses across the Web." Become an expert in mobile Web marketing and you might be able to write your own ticket!

Where exactly are these Internet marketing jobs? McCarthy believes there are more of them at Internet marketing firms than at companies with an Internet presence. Regarding salary, he told me e-commerce manager positions are lucrative jobs, typically providing a six-figure income.

Is a bachelor's degree in Internet marketing worth obtaining?

The three experts basically agree on this, although Stevens is the most emphatic. He stated, once again bluntly, "No. Get out, get your hands dirty and find your own way to make it work. All the great tech biz people passed on school for a reason. The marketplace beats professors as teachers every day." Monk stated, "Experience trumps any degree," while McCarthy said, "An Internet marketing degree shows initiative, but experience is more crucial." He also believes the Google AdWords certification is more valuable than an Internet marketing degree.

How to enter the Internet marketing field

Monk told me one of the best ways to enter the field is by reaching out to Internet marketing agencies and asking for an internship or a volunteer position. Some of Full Media's interns have been working for the company for more than a year, acquiring the knowledge and experience they need to make it in the world of Internet marketing.

McCarthy believes obtaining experience through an internship or volunteer time demonstrates to prospective employers you have the skills they need. McCarthy suggests that when seeking an unpaid Internship or a volunteer position, learn a lot about the company and, most importantly, show the employer how you can add value to the company. Besides gaining skills and experience, you have access to valuable networking opportunities and if you dazzle them, you just might land a job with the company.

So here's the bottom line - Internet marketing firms are looking for people who can demonstrate success and provide a good return on a firm's investment. Social media marketing and mobile marketing skills are in demand and with our increasingly Web oriented, mobile world, it's highly likely this demand is going to increase.

 

Guest post was written by Brian Jenkins writes about a variety of different career fields for BrainTrack.comBrainTrack is a higher education and career resource with worldwide reach. It features a directory of the world's universities and colleges with over 10,000 institutions listed from over 190 countries. The site is the oldest (since 1996) and largest directory of universities and colleges on the Web. BrainTrack's goal is to help visitors make better decisions about their education and careers.

 

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Over the weekend I mentioned to you that I’m working with Amy Porterfield on my own Facebook business page.  Good news, If you’re interested in hearing Amy do a webinar on her product, FB Influence, then I would encourage you to sign up for this free one with her. You can sign up here. 

How to Make a Fan a Super Fan

Here's what our guest speaker and Facebook Marketing thought leader, Amy Porterfield, will cover:

• Super Fans: What They Are and Why You Need Them

• Essentials of a Facebook Marketing FoundationFacebookInfluence

• Smart Strategies to Grow a Lucrative Fan Base

• Quick Tips to Get Your Fans Talking and Engaged

• How to Move Your Fans Up the Ranks to Super Fan Status

 

Register Here: http://www2.onlinemeetingnow.com/register/?id=a82b203327

You may already be spending some of your time on Facebook chatting with friends, uploading pictures, and staying in touch, but with Amy’s help you can leverage Facebook the right way so you can reap the benefits of it from a business point of view as well.

Build Your Business Using Facebook

Amy is one of the top Facebook Marketing experts in the world. She has worked with Tony Robbins, Harley Davidson and most recently the SocialMedia Examiner to build out their brands with Facebook.

This webinar will show you exactly what you needto do to create more fans on Facebook and how to turn them into action-taking Super Fans!

Make sure to register for tomorrow’s webinar – seats are limited and you won't want to miss out!

Register Here: http://www2.onlinemeetingnow.com/register/?id=a82b203327

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