Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Social Networking for Busy People - It's a crazy world out there!

I've been talking about social networking for busy people for many months now...the problem is this: I, like you, have a crazy full calendar already and adding time to keep up with all the sites and new mediums can be overwhelming.

After hosting a panel for the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce in December I was encouraged again to invest time researching how to help my readership of busy people use these outlets for business development, branding, and increased visibility. Watch the video - we really get started about 3 minutes in

Even though I had a million things to do in December...I actually took the time over the holidays to figure out how to decide where to show up from those who know and implement tools (recommended by those who know) that make keeping up online easier for those of us time challenged. Do I have your interest yet?

  • Twitter - Is it "tweeting" really the hot new thing? Take a few minutes a read these interesting perspectives.
    Biznik-ite Joe Hage's observations on his Twitter experiment and why YOU should Tweet.
    talks about Twitter
    Barry Hurd, 123SocialMedia.com gives the best review of
    Twitter How-To's
    You can follow me on Twitter www.Twitter.com/kathienelson
  • Keeping up with blogs. Hey, I know keeping up with my own blog takes time so how am I supposed to keep up with others I want to follow? It truly is a great way to keep up with trends in thoughts and ideas. I'd been hearing about aggregators for the last year or so but never had the time to figure them out...I decided to do so over the holiday. I am using Google Reader since I use Google more and more but others have been recommended as well.
    Biznik-ite Elge Premeau wrote an excellent article on How to Blog without Having a Blog and recommends her favorite, Bloglines.
  • Keeping up with Social Networks (or even choosing what to add with all the invitations you get). I jumped into social networking many months ago to test and report back where and how to best use the medium for business development. I was expecting a very straightforward process with easy to report results. Guess what...it was not straightforward due to the nature of the medium. The audience (us) is constantly morphing the medium by our use and new providers join the race all the time. It can be a little maddening for those of us who like to learn things once and move on!
    Article on
    Social Networking Strategy
    Excellent Article on
    What You Need to Know Today about Social Media by Barry Hurd, 123 Social Media
    Article on
    Ways to Get Involved with Social Media in 2009 for those just jumping in

Hey, I am a slow adapter of technology or tools until proven they are a good investment of time. I think Social Networking and all that it entails is here to stay. It can be crazy but start by managing the time and how to best use to meet your goal to make the difference for you.

  • For Social Networking Newbies - I encourage you to browse around. Ask your peers how they use their social networks. Best case, find a blog you like that provides truly helpful information and subscribe!

  • For those of you who are Portland, OR based I am anchoring a series for the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce of "How-to" classes on the 2nd Wednesday monthly. In addition to learning social networking strategy you will hear from experts on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, & Plaxo in a computer classroom setting. I hope to see you there! Easy registration here.

If you have favorite Social Networking blogs, sites, or articles please share with us!

Happy Networking!

Don't change for change sake! Do what works.

I joined a new marketing mastermind team last month. I found Bernadette Doyle of Client Magnets by referral from Jenny Hamby, SeminarMarketingPro.com.

I find it interesting the gems of wisdom that show up when I reach out beyond my own backyard. In Bernadette's monthly call last week I was reminded of some key principles in creating change.

As I listened to Bernadette share her nine key strategies to her best year ever in 2008 I reflected on my own results. While my business revenue increased overall I sure had a roller coaster year recovering from my adventures in 2007. (Don't know about what happened to me in 2007? Read my
blog posts.)

What I learned is that I didn't even know what I didn't know when it came to recovering from a major accident. Reflecting back and wrapping up 2008, I intend to create a different kind of change in the upcoming months. I am not talking about change for change sake...I don't want change just so I have something different because this year was rough. I am talking about following proven practices and pursuing change in areas that WORK. I've already made and plan to continue implementing incremental changes that will create a BIG difference in my life and results in the upcoming months.

What about you? Want to take charge of "being the change you want to see in the world?" (Ghandi) Again, not talking about change for change sake but change on purpose with results!

Unleash some of these common truth principles to create uncommon change:

  1. For something to change...some things have to change. We live full lives doing things that produce the results we see today. The truth is basic...if we want something different, something has go. What are you ready and willing to give up to make a change in 2009? What am I changing? I am giving up some of my volunteer work and a few of my networking organizations. Curious? Watch for upcoming teleseminars on how to choose where to show up.

  2. If you don't know where you are going...anywhere will do. Without a clear goal, short or long term. It is easy in this unique period in our business economy to become distracted by fear, the media, our peers, our emails...you name it. Wham. Our eye is off goal. The basic truth is that we will be doomed to mediocrity and will not excel without clear compelling goals. What am I changing? I plan to work with my mastermind group and continue re-connecting with my vision to energize, accelerate, and pull me forward.

  3. 80% of your best business comes from 20% of your clients, network, and efforts. Conversely 80% of our time is spent creating 20% of our results. The Pareto Principle clearly illustrates the basic truth that not all efforts produce equal effect. What am I changing? I plan to launch 2009 focusing on the highest payoff activities, clients, and network to make best use of time and energy.

It seems like I am always preaching about getting back to basics but the basics are what work....in any economy!

Do you have some basic truths or principles you use to drive your business? If so, please share!

Many things possible in 2009 and a renewed focus on time and energy seem in order. I am moving forward with an eye open for potential and opportunties and looking for others who are doing the same!

Happy New Year...Happy Networking!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Attitude is Everything. Are you "Open for Business"?

I know you are probably as sick as I am of the news, negativity, and general hand-wringing. Here is what I know. Attitude is everything.

I spoke for a small group of focused individuals at the Portland Business Forum yesterday on the topic, "Networking Strategies to Recession Proof your Business". As I was preparing for this short 25 minute talk, I was reminded of the power and simplicity imbedded in smart business practices and a focused mindset. The content was so well received I wanted to share it with you.
If you haven't noticed, talk of recession creates constriction. Physically, emotionally, and psychologically. That constriction subconciously causes us to withdraw. If you are in business or sales, you can't afford to withdraw at this critical time! Being seen and trusted is essential.

Here are 3 keys to get grounded, stay connected and move forward in challenging times.
  • First, find your faith. It is easy to lose confidence in yourself, your service, or product anytime there is a shift in the market. Compound that with the media and peer conversations and you are left with a huge load of self doubt and fear. Go back to what you know. Your customers need a voice of reason during this volatile season. You have a passion, talent, or product that serves a market segment. What is it? Find the positives in your industry. Communicate that hope with confidence and understanding. Don't lose sight of what you do well.

  • Next, get focused. Focus applies to the three key areas that affect your profit and sales.
    1. Stick to your core expertise. If you choose to expand your scope, look at strategic partnering, joint ventures, sub-contracting, or refer. You can't afford to be distracted doing things you don't do well and can't be profitable. This may require repackaging your core expertise to appeal to the buyers mindset but stay true to your offering. Don't chase dollars.
    2. Stick with your bull's eye. Target prospects and customers who value your service and product and have need for what you do in the near future. Don't know who that is anymore? Go back to basics.
    3. Don't waste energy. Watch who you hang out with, where you spend your time, and what you read. Be selective. You can't afford to the roller coaster of emotions and maintain your position as a leader. Focus on finding like minded people who are not participating in the recession mindset, who are moving forward, and who are adapting.

  • Lastly, follow up. Your customers need to hear from you. Not just to sell them something but with sincere interest to see how they are doing. Your professional network needs the same type of contact. The follow up is where you will learn key information on buying trends, needs, and opportunities.

I am not promoting the ostrich approach! This is not about putting your head in the sand and ignoring what is going on. There is a basis of truth in the negative reports and some industries are hit harder than others. But opportunties still abound.

Bottom line, business is still being done. It is being done by those who are reaching out, engaging in conversations, and filling the gap with a voice of reason. That can be you. Decide to be "Open for Business".