Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn Groups’

ShareThisIn my last blog I talked about creating blog content. Here is more about content for you to consider. We’ve all been schooled on how to share the valuable information we find on the web. When we share, we feel good about ourselves. We think, “I know others are going to find this as interesting as I do and are already thanking me for sharing this brilliant piece of information.”

We love when others share our content!

Being an agency that helps clients with content and strategy, we love when others share the blogs and posts we have created. At the same time, we help our clients find interesting and relevant content they can share with their customers, industry and prospects. We make sure our clients understand that original content is very important when attempting to get visibility on the internet, the medium which becomes more saturated with content every day.

What are you really sharing?

Let’s talk about the perpetual re-poster. We all know at least one of these types. They perpetually share other’s content.  Allow me to elaborate.  They almost never write anything original or post content that truly defines them as an expert.  If you are following them, the company they represent or a LinkedIn group to which you are both members/subscribers, they quickly become a nuisance. As a representative of an individual, business or brand, the perpetual re-poster can put their client in harm’s way of being a big turn off to their audience. Be very aware of these individuals or agencies offering to handle your daily presence by simply aggregating other people’s content. Not to sound cliché but you need to be original. Find the time to either write your own content or get someone to do it for you. The benefits of being the expert will result in bringing value to your (or your client’s) audience.  

Wouldn’t it be nice if it happened overnight?

We all wish we could snap our fingers and have overnight success with the magical golden words we write for our audience. Like the business you are building success doesn’t happen overnight. You need to be persistent and consistent with your content strategy to be a success. Keep at it and it will grow in how it helps your campaign, presence and success.

“But how?” you ask.

Start slow and stay consistent. Keep your content simple, yet meaningful. The more in-depth the post, the more time it will take. Original content that is created for your website, blog and other social platforms will help you achieve far greater results than simply directing your clients, fans and followers to other people’s sites.

Keep your social media presence current.  Your competition is out there and you definitely want to monitor their activity and presence. Make a conscious effort to do it better than them, and it will pay off. I am purposely not clarifying the “payoff” here because the definition is different for each one of you. You don’t have time to write original content? You don’t have the time to monitor your competitor’s activity? Invest in someone who is an expert in the field [Shameless Plug: ÜberBlue Digital Media].

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Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlue Digital Media: A New Awakening for Brands, Businesses, Individuals and Agencies. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area. 

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There are people who claim that networking only became popular with the onset of LinkedIn Groups and the advent of popular social media. Others argue that networking has always been in existence and has evolved for the better, becoming more efficient.  The fact is that networking has been around for hundreds, or even thousands of years.   There are (and always have been) multiple ways to network- endless events, mixers and social gatherings to attend.  But what is networking really and where is the value in this age-old concept?

Last year I made a conscious effort to look at all of the networking I was doing and the groups I belonged to, both online and in person. I did my best to place a value on the time, money and effort I was putting into each group vs. the value I was getting out of each one. 

I quickly realized that I didn’t have a cohesive plan for my overall networking. It was obvious I needed to re-evaluate why I was attending the many networking groups and events. I decided I needed a better plan if I was to continue spending my time at many of these groups.  Perhaps I would even conclude that my time could be better spent elsewhere.

Think about these questions for a few minutes. . .

  1. Are you seeing the same people at several of your different networking groups?
  2. Do you find that you are meeting a lot of people who you will introduce to others (i.e., business referral)?
  3. Have the people in these groups or events referred business to you?
  4. Is the group “industry exclusive”, meaning that you are the only representative of your particular industry in attendance?
  5. Will members of this group view you as a potential resource?
  6. Have any of the members of this group become a direct source of revenue for your business?

If your answers were as follows: 1-Yes, 2-No, 3-No, 4-No, 5-No, 6-No.Then you are probably in the wrong group and it may be time to reevaluate. 

I can hear the potential arguments now, “But Erik networking isn’t an overnight thing. It takes time to develop a relationship.” “Erik, I need to get out there and network or I risk not being seen.”  There are many arguments for networking that I agree with completely. But I ask you again, what is the value of networking?  I have talked to a number of people recently who feel the need to determine the real value of their networking behavior. Remember it isn’t about whether you like the people at these groups. There are always awesome people everywhere. But business is business. That’s the bottom line.

Me?

How am I spending my time after my evaluation? I am still part of a number of networking groups. I am finding more time to spend on sales and strategic partnerships. I continue to stay in touch with members of groups that I am on hiatus from at this time. I am being more specific and intentional in quality referrals to my connections. Finally, I continue to refine my networking plan for what works best for me and my connections.

You?

What do you think? Is it time for you to pull back and evaluate the true value of the networking you are doing?

 Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions for Brands, Businesses and Celebrities to build their social media success. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area.

In the past, networking used to be “let’s do lunch” or “let’s play golf” or simply getting together for drinks after work. Oh how times have changed. There are so many networking groups. . .so many choices. . .so little time!

Last week I looked at the “cost” of networking for my own company. When I say cost I mean the actual dollars that I spend on networking. Next I looked at time: the amount of time that I spend networking. For a small business owner that equates to a pretty hefty investment as it relates to all of the things we have on our “to-do” lists. Finally I looked at how much of my networking dollars and time spent I can attribute to this year’s sales.

Ask some people and they might advise that you eliminate all of your advertising, marketing and public relations and have you simply network. Effective networking can create great referrals, right? Introductions to others pay dividends because the hope is for a reciprocal introduction, right? You introduce someone, they’ll introduce you, right? Business starts rolling in the very minute after you finish giving your 30 second intro, right?

In my next post I will discuss my own conclusions on whether or not networking has paid off for me and for my company.

For now I pose this question to you: what are your networking findings for you and your business? Has networking and the investment of time and money been financially rewarding?

As always I thank you for spending time reading the blog. If you enjoy these posts thank you for subscribing and sharing.

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success. He also founded the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN) in the Chicago Area celebrating it’s 3 year anniversary this December.

You are very popular. You have 500 plus LinkedIn connections, 1,000 plus Facebook friends, 10,000 followers on Twitter. These are very impressive numbers to your friends, colleagues, followers and clients. But who cares how impressive they are to others if they don’t bring value to you.

Much like we clean our houses and sort through all of the worldly possessions, we must regularly review, sort and clean up our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter connections. How often do you go through your connections and actually connect with contacts that make sense for your business? When was the last time you went through all of your connections to see if any of them recently changed jobs or added any other major updates?

In a recent call with my friend, Bob Lambert, SAMURAI BUSINESS GROUP LLC®, Turning sales mastery into a competitive advantage™, we talked about the importance of monitoring and keeping your LinkedIn connections up to date. We talked about how this should be a regular practice for everyone. By doing this you will keep in touch with your most important business connections. You will also be able to make sure you have a realistic number of connections that you can stay in touch with over the next twelve months.


A key factor for your success & the success of your business is the ability to connect with people. Even a great communicator can’t realistically stay in touch with thousands of people. Let me address that I am not talking about your many followers that find you funny, intriguing, witty, good looking and someone they follow for great advice. I am talking about the ultimate goal of connecting in person or on the phone in a conversation; connections that have a solid chance in creating business for you. If you are NOT making that connection with your connections, that is a potential problem for your business.

My challenge to you is for you to start the process of reconnecting, cleaning house (your contacts) and getting together with those the people that can help make you successful.

Important note: Make sure you are returning the favor. While you review your connections make sure you are thinking about how those connections can help other people you know.

What is your favorite social media tool for staying connected with your business contacts? What percentage of those contacts have resulted in sales from that tool?

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.

Our Wednesday Question of the Week comes from Don Jaynes, President, Ednovia Learning Solutions .

Q: “How do you, as the small business owner, balance the need to be hyper focused on your core products with the need to also always be exploring new product directions and opportunities?”

Time for your answers. . .

Have a suggestion for a future question? Email me at EHultman@UberBlueDM.com

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.

If you’re not completely satisfied with your Social Media program or solution it’s time for a change! Give us a call! But don’t just make a change for the sake of change. Understand why it makes sense first. Questions? Send me a note at ehultman@uberbluedm.com or call me at (847) 498-5494. Thank you for referring us to a friend.

Today and on future Wednesday’s I will be asking you, as business owners, questions that are designed to encourage conversation. The idea is to share with each other helpful suggestions and possibly answers to the things we all face with our businesses. First, the question, and then I will provide details about why I am asking.

As a small business owner what happens to your business if something happens to you?

More details. . .

A little over two years ago I started a group on LinkedIn called the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN). The original purpose of the group was to get a small group of my friends out to network, drink coffee and help each other with our respective businesses. Today we have 479 members. We meet once a month on the second Tuesday, network and have three speakers that present in a speed format.

A reoccurring discussion amongst our members is “what happens to my business if something happens to me?” Many of us are small business owners with very few employees (or we operate independently). If something would happen that takes us away from the office for an extended period of time (vacation, health problems, etc.) who would be the person able to assume the responsibility of running the company? Would one of our employees be able to handle the business in our absence? Could a friend or business colleague take over? Would my spouse know what my business does, how it operates, how to contact clients, how to handle everything related to my business?

We often avoid the question because we don’t want to consider the fact that we actually might not be immortal or superhuman. So I will ask the question again, this time in a slightly different way. . .What have you done to safeguard your business if you can’t be the person running it?

Time for your answers. . .Share your wisdom here and we will all be better prepared for our future!

Have a suggestion for a future question? Email me at EHultman@UberBlueDM.com

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.

If you’re not completely satisfied with your Social Media program or solution it’s time for a change! Give us a call! But don’t just make a change for the sake of change. Understand why it makes sense first. Questions? Send me a note at ehultman@uberbluedm.com or call me at (847) 498-5494. Thank you for referring us to a friend.

We recently discussed good listening skills when it comes to social media. Now that you have learned more about hearing & listening, let’s talk about responding. Yes, you do have a chance to respond and you should actually respond. But here are a few rules this time. Don’t talk just to hear yourself talk. Say it out loud with me, “Don’t talk just to hear yourself talk!”

Some of the most amazing people, authorities, experts, salespeople and others I have ever worked with aren’t big talkers. But when they say something, people listen. Remember EF Hutton?

Hopefully when you talk it will work out better for you than it did for them.

If you do respond all the time but you disagree simply to disagree or you don’t have a valid, valuable or useful point, then simply, don’t say anything at all. If this sounds like you, then your responses may be perceived by others as “noise”. There are exceptions to this rule but we have all seen (& heard from) those individuals who like to hear themselves talk. We see them coming and we run as fast as we can in the other direction.

The ability to respond to others is a fantastic opportunity for you. When you respond to others posts, blogs, tweets you are potentially bringing value, contributing and not simply being a consumer. In a recent session with a client we talked about individuals who only post products and services they offer and nothing else. These posts are not viewed as being valuable to most of us. They are viewed as spam. One promo every so often is fine. But product or service promotions each and every posting, is definitely not fine. When you are responding to others, you have the opportunity to get your name and your business out there. You also have the ability to be viewed as the expert without being one of “those” people.

Have you had a positive experience when responding to others? Has your response ultimately led to business? Share your experiences with us here.

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.

If you’re not completely satisfied with your Social Media program or solution it’s time for a change! Give us a call! But don’t just make a change for the sake of change. Understand why it makes sense first. Questions? Send me a note at ehultman@uberbluedm.com or call me at (847) 498-5494. Thank you for referring us to a friend. We sure would appreciate it if you “Like” us on Facebook.

How many times have you heard this comment? “You’re listening to me, but you’re not hearing what I’m saying”. It’s one thing if you hear this line from your spouse, significant other, friend or colleague. Typically this is not a positive statement. The real question I have for you is this: how are you listening to your clients? What are your current and future clients talking about and asking about? What are they looking for on the web as it relates to your business? How and where can you actually “hear” what they are saying?

Listening when it comes to social media is something that is often overlooked. When is the right time to start listening in the chronological timeline of social media? The answer is…Right from the very beginning! Most business owners are so eager to get the Facebook fan page and Tweets going that they miss the point.

Start by listening first, to your current clients and potential clients. What are they talking about, interested in or having problems with? How can you help them? Given your expertise and your products, how can you be part of their solution? When you understand your target audience and where they hang out on the web you will be able to effectively implement the best tools. Ultimately these tools will make the most sense for everyone, giving everyone their sought-after results.

Hear is cutting edge information on one of the greatest inventions ever made.

In the beginning as part of your social media process “listening to the web” means researching and finding individuals, groups, communities, bloggers, fans and other related people and products who can dramatically impact your business. We often hear, “I don’t have time for that.” But finding time can mean the difference between success and failure of your social media strategy. When working with our clients we always recommend and ongoing commitment to taking time for research and listening. Part of this process also falls into the reputation management aspect of the solutions. The fact is that whether you do it or we do it…don’t wait, do it now.

Even if you have already implemented the aforementioned tools (Facebook and Twitter) it’s never too late to start listening. There are plenty of tools that you can harness and find your clients so that you can listen to them. If you are unsure what these tools are (many of the tools are free) give us a call. We can help suggest ways to listen that are relevant for you and for your business.

Perhaps you are already practicing good listening habits. If so, keep it up! The web is constantly changing and is never static.

How are you listening to your customers on the web? How are you finding success by listening? Share here. . .We all want to Listen and Hear what you are saying.

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.


Yin Yang is a Chinese Tao symbol representing universal harmony and the positive balance that comes from the unity between complimentary forces.

When our lives are in balance between complementary forces like work and family, we are happy, healthy and productive. When our balance is out of whack, we are often miserable, frustrated and unproductive.

The same is true when promoting a brand, product or service. In this case, the Yin Yang or balance comes from the two complimentary forces of “Social Media” and “Traditional Marketing.”

Social media is a powerful, new force that includes Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, websites, blogs, viral massaging, behavior targeting, rich media and digital ads. When used correctly, these strategies and tactics can get your message out and increase its range exponentially. They can make your brand a national or international phenomenon. And they can provide a potent communication tool to ensure continuous dialogue with your customers, introduce geo-targeted promotions and quickly address customer service issues.

However, a sizable chuck of the population won’t know about your online presence unless they read about it in a print ad or piece of direct mail, hear your message on radio, see it on TV or maybe read an article featuring your product in a favorite magazine. This is where “Traditional Marketing” comes in. It is the “Yang” to your social media “Yin.”

Together, traditional marketing and social media techniques combine to form a perfect balance of marketing methods to make certain your company’s message is heard, accepted and acted upon. And this means more customers and profits for you. So, when creating your marketing plans, be sure to stay in balance.

A few words about the author. . .
Our ÜberBlueBlogger today is Mark Grant. Mark is Vice President of Marketing and Communications at ÜberBlueDM. Mark loves working with companies to help them find the marketing messaging, strategies and tactics they need to successfully sell their products and services. In fact, for over twenty-five years, Mark has worked with organizations in the design and implementation of powerful national, local and multicultural marketing and sales campaigns that have covered all direct marketing techniques. And, along the way, Mark’s promotions have won several awards and often broken sales records for his clients. His background includes working in several industries including Cable/Broadcasting, Financial, Education and Training.

Mark lives with his wife, son, horses and dogs. When not helping companies grow, he is a writer. His latest project is a collection of short stories titled, “Fictional Diversions.”

ÜberBlueDM is looking for individuals, groups, companies that have created or are getting ready to launch new tools for social media. Stuff that we like to call ÜberBlueÜbercool! Have you started a new community, developed a cutting edge app, gadget or new technology? Let us know what you have and we may feature it on our blog, website, fan page, tweet and all the interesting places we can share with others. If it’s NEW (or almost new) we would love to hear from you! Send us a note at info@UberBluedm.com or call us at (847) 498-5494. Please share this. . .Thanks!

So by now you might have figured out that clearly, I am a huge fan of social media and all of the tools, technology and buzz that go along with it. Connecting with people you find interesting, bringing value to others, learning new things, being entertained and creatively expressing yourself are all reasons to utilize social media. Social Media also affords you a golden opportunity to generate revenue for your business!

However, what many people are missing about social media is that it should go well beyond the screens of your computer, television and mobile devices. Consider the technology as a starting point for being social. You, your business, friends, relatives and colleagues are connecting online. It is now time to move outside of the electronic boxes. How do I do this, you ask? How am I going to be more social Erik?

Here are three ways to be more social in person while using technology to enhance the experience.


Networking

So let’s take LinkedIn and Facebook to the next social level. Great to have a lot of contacts but why did you connect? Don’t just connect to show the numbers. I know plenty of people that only strive for the number of connections they have. This is not a good reason to connect. I will use a LinkedIn example for how to be more social. Join a group or start a group. Once you are part of that group (if they have a local chapter) plan an event. I have a group on LinkedIn called the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN). We meet twice a month. The morning meeting allows people to network, connect, share leads and listen to great speakers. The evening event meets at different, fun or interesting location. Do your best to be creative, promote it and get out to really connect with your connections.

TweetUps

If you are using Twitter, then you have the ability to participate in or organize a Tweetup. Simply stated, a Tweetup is when people who tweet, meet up at a location. The location can be anywhere. The tweets usually start long before the event, but not always. While there may be a spur of the moment Tweetup, a well-planned Tweetup can lead to a much more successful event. Make it interesting, informative and add compelling speakers, along with (of course) a hip place to meet.

The event usually has a theme or topic. While everyone attends the event they tweet about it to their followers. Connecting a real person to his/her picture and tweets is fantastic. I also like the Tweets that go with the event as you never know what you might learn or who you might meet. Another favorite of mine are the Tweetups that may benefit a charity or fundraiser-what a great way to build awareness for a cause!

GeoLocation

Perhaps you are using Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook mobile http://www.facebook.com/places/. While you are out and about town you can let people know where to meet up with you by checking in. You can also get some sweet deals at the same time. If you are a business let your fans and customers know about what tools you are using for geolocation. Invite people to plan events at your location. When they attend let them know they can also get a deal.

Keep geolocation in mind when planning an event. Let people who are attending the event know that checking-in while attending will not only let others know where they can meet up but that they might get a deal for being there. Maybe your business would benefit from a few hundred people showing up at your location for an event?

I ask. . .

So how are you taking your social out of the box, to the streets, being creative and getting face time with your friends, relatives colleagues and connections?

Wanted. . .

ÜberBlueDM is looking for individuals, groups, companies that have created or are getting ready to launch new tools for social media. Stuff that we like to call ÜberBlueÜbercool! Have you started a new community, developed a cutting edge app, gadget or new technology? Let us know what you have and we may feature it on our blog, website, fan page, tweet and all the interesting places we can share with others. If it’s NEW (or almost new) we would love to hear from you! Send us a note at info@UberBluedm.com or call us at (847) 498-5494. Please share this blog. . .Thanks!

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in educating, empowering, strategizing, implementing, managing, reporting and Social Media Staffing and Temps for businesses to build their social media success.