Social Networking Outskirts

I checked out and filled in the blanks on a couple different social networks today.  Each has a particular unique slant on social media.

about.me is a site that creates your own online profile/persona – a summary so to speak of all you are online.  It links your other social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites into your about.me profile.  It also allows you to link your own blog and add url’s from your other sites (work, etc).  They are also having a contest to put your profile on the big screen in downtown New York City!

The second social network on the outskirts of the main stream that I took some time to add a profile was on Klout.  Klout’s unique angle is to measure your impact in the online social world.  Klout will give you a rating based on what I assume is a 100 point scale (I only came in at 23).  When reviewing other people within my network (yes it had me connect to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) there were almost no one over 50.  A few in the 40’s  – lots in the 20’s and many in the teens or lower.

Klout uses some nice graphing features to show your score analysis over time.  They also show your network influence (engagement), the probability of amplification (generate actions and discussions) and your true reach (size of your network).

There are many other social networks on the outskirts of social networking.  Each have their place and their unique angle on social media in today’s world.  Think of them as similar to the myriad of hang-outs, bars, coffee houses and more in the real networking world (with Facebook being Tim Horton’s, Twitter being McDonalds, and LinkedIn being your office lunchroom).

 

EvolveSSX Website

If you have a minute – check out the EvolveSSX website.  I just put it up today.  It is a WordPress site that includes the front page as a blog showing the latest posts – and two menus featuring static content about the various programs and activities of the Evolve Ski and Snowboard Cross Club.

The head coaches (one each for ski and snowboarding) wanted a site that they could easily update with limited tech knowledge.  They also wanted the social aspect of the blog on the main page.  I set them both up as editors in the WordPress user admin area – therefore they have full access to the WYSIWYG editor for both blog posts and pages.  The full administration access was not needed for them so I kept it for only myself.

As well we put in a Facebook box on the main page connected directly to the EvolveSSX Facebook page.

Crossroads in Life

In your business life or career there are times when you come to a crossroads – where you must decide which path to take.  As an entrepreneur, life is full of small crossroads that we take almost every day, but still there are larger crossroads that set us upon specific journeys.

One of the largest decisions to make as an entrepreneur is to commit to a long term working relationship with another business.  This may be the act deciding to forego our business dream and take on a job – that one that you just can’t resist.  Or it may also be about aligning your business with another business in some contractual working relationship.

I recently read an article by Stephen Covey that discussed synergy vs. compromise.  Compromise is when two parties come to a consensus and move ahead – BUT in most compromises – things are given up so that 1 + 1 = 1 ½ .  On the flip side – synergy is when two parties work together to create something even better than what either could create.  1 + 1 = 10 (or maybe 100, or 1000).  You want to be able to create synergies, and not compromise your values, your dreams, and your vision.

So as you come to the crossroads in your career, your business, your life – look for opportunities to create synergies.  Do not compromise!

Synergy can be created when both parties drop the blame game.  When they accept the other party view as valid (do not have to agree with it – simply accept it). Both parties must work hard to understand the other.

Synergy also must factor into account what each party brings to the table – and must honour what they bring.  These are not only physical resources and or skills and talents.  This also includes the vision, the dreams that the other party has for the future.

Synergy needs both parties to drop their guard and to be open to new ideas.  The truly amazing synergies come not from following the best path originally proposed – but rather from following a new path neither could imagine until after both parties came together and began the process of visioning and brainstorming.

Finally – synergy must be built on respect and trust.

So when at a crossroads in your life – choose the trail that is built on synergy – and avoid the compromise.

Work Smarter for Sales Success

Is success in sales a matter of inputting activity and outputting dollars?

Many sales managers will tell you that is the case.  Put in the work – and the output will be a successful career.

While I do not have anything against hard work, and I have done my fair share of it – I like to now try and work smarter rather than harder.  I enjoy my time for many other pursuits – therefore I believe to make the best use of ‘Sales Activities’ one should use their mind.  The chief argument for this is that if your strategy for success is based on outworking your competition – well you have a limited framework to succeed in.  You are limited by your time available.  You can only do so many calls, so many sales related activities.

If on the other hand you want to use your mind – there is limitless possibilities!

A couple key strategies that I believe are important for any sales persons.  First is to build your personal brand – build up your reputation within your industry.  This can be extremely powerful.  A good image or brand can open doors, get people to accept your calls, ease the referral process and even have prospects calling you.  Personal brand building can be done through networking, social media, connecting with the right people, writing articles and getting them published, having a business related blog and many other strategies.  Find the one that works for you and start building up your image in the eyes of your prospects.

A second way to work smarter than harder is to use creative tactics.  Find unique ways to carry your message, introduce yourself or your product, or create touches with your prospects and clients.  Yes I am talking about marketing.  Good marketing can be extremely cost effective and can produce excellent results.  It can ease the sales process and even have people calling you.

The last way to work smarter rather than harder is to use the tools available to track and build better customer relationships.  I have always been a proponent of using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system in your organization and have taught classes on CRM usage and set up CRM systems for my clients.  I feel that a good CRM system is one of the most underutilized tools in business today.

Don’t back away from work – sales results do take effort.  But use some of that time and effort that you have to find ways to work smarter rather than simply work!

Linked Alberta

Many people are using social media in various ways.  Kim Kerr is finding a way to not only benefit her personal image and brand online, but also to help others.  Kim realizes that although the internet allows us to interact with people all over the world – we still have our closes relationships with the people that are geographically close to us.  And at time we need help to build these relationships.  To that end Kim has created Linked Alberta.

Linked Alberta is a group on LinkedIn.  But really Linked Alberta is more than that.  It does have a website, but again that is not its true essence.  Linked Alberta is a concept – that the citizens of Alberta business community should work together to grow and succeed.  And to that end Kim has used various social media to allow connections to take place.

Whether this will be primarily on LinkedIn, or whether it will grow in other directions is not the major factor – whether new and sustainable connections will develop and the idea of Linked Alberta will take hold is the key.