Posted tagged ‘business’

How do you feel about digital memories?

September 14, 2009

digital ageListening the OnPoint, the topic is whether it is possible to create a “total recall” for all our memories of our lives. With all the social networks like Twitter and Facebook–not to mention the plethora of others–should we as human beings be recording all the minutiae of our lives to be retrieved at a later time?

Should we supplement our memory with the digital gadgets like cell phones, iPods, social networks or other aids?

Is there anything to the argument that the more you memorize, the more ability you have to memorize other things in the future? With children, it’s clear that the more you stress their brain with input of classical music or shapes/colors, the smarter the child will become and the faster her brain will be able to process new input.

What do you think? Should we record things that we don’t “need” to remember in our lives?

Accountability: Becoming the person you want to become

May 7, 2009

AccountabilityIn starting this recent chapter of my blog, I decided to create some sort of accountability which would hopefully “encourage” me to write on a more regular basis. Each week, I’m making a (seemingly) feasible goal of action.

This week, I have aspired to make contact with people in the mainstream (traditional) media, since I’m working to become the next generation of “new” media. So far this week, I have endeavored to for connections with 15 people from Facebook who work for CBS. Several have responded, but the rest have either ignored my friend request or haven’t taken action. Should I move on with others, or should I keep asking those who haven’t replied?

My second goal from my last post was to become more accountable by making more frequent blog posts. That’s an easy one. By doing just this, I’ve taken action to make it happen.

My third goal is to use my time more wisely: I accomplished this goal by implementing the use of a timer when using online aps on Facebook.

A friend sent me this Youtube video which I found sadly true and a bit amusing:

After watching it, I started making a list of my goals for next week:

  1. I need to have a business plan, something to fall back on when I get into a funk. I have never written a business plan, but I understand that by writing others’ business plans, it can be very lucrative, but first I want to have one of my own. Any advice from those who are more seasoned in business than I would be much appreciated.
  2. I intend to continue making connections in the traditional media.
  3. I will begin/continue trying to sell my services and those of others via social networks and the Relationship Economy.

How ’bout it?

Why We Should Use Link to Nashville

September 9, 2008
Ever wonder why we should connect?
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 – Link to Nashville is a great networking opportunity in itself, but why should someone use LTN rather than — or even in addition to — other networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or MySpace? In this article, I will explain to you some of the innovative services provided by Link to Nashville and reveal some of the pitfalls which commonly occur to owners of such networks.
We have all been somehow invited or interested in Nashville because we have joined the social networking platform called Link to Nashville. However, for many of us who don’t fully realize the potential of having our own networking website nestled right here in middle Tennessee, using the site feels rather cumbersome or awkward — almost like a burden. But Link to Nashville can be the next wave of the future of business in Nashville, if WE make it that way!

Here are some advantages of being a member of Link to Nashville:

Benefits for both the personal and professional user:

  • Network with other professionals in the Metro Nashville Area
  • Utilize Link to Nashville to find out about current job openings and business opportunites within the Nashville Metro area
  • Utilize network when considering a career change into a different industry
  • Network with LNT for personal friendships within a given discipline whether retail, medical, academic, healthcare, music, insurance, etc.
  • It’s Local

Benefits Corporate Users Will Find:

  • Recruiting for open positions locally
  • Networking within groups to discuss best practices or policy
  • Increase Brand awareness for their own business within local professional newtork
  • Advertise local corporate events or activies
  • GOLD mine for metro small businesses (advertising is cheap)

I hope these points help bring more interest to Link to Nashville, and we hope to see you there! If you think of other benefits of Link to Nashville, feel free to leave a comment for everyone to see. You may also contact me if you are interested in advertising on LTN or have questions.

Why Many Businesses Aren’t On the Social Web

January 2, 2008

social-networking.jpgAgain, Jay Deragon is on the mark with his analysis: “If businesses want to succeed in a “social network” they must engage, exchange and connect with people in order to reap any benefits of social commerce.”

What many businesses don’t realize is that the social web is not just “social” anymore. People conduct business, gather leads and research potential clients via the “social web.” Not only are businesses ignoring the fact that the social networks are more than a way to have fun while wasting time, but they are missing the point that the key to success is building relationships. What better way to do that than a little time online at various social networks every day?

No more will it be possible to hang a shingle outside your door to establish yourself as a business. The world is getting smaller, and the social web brings customers from half-way around the globe to your front door. The key, when someone knocks on your door, is to open it and find out what he or she needs.

Continuing the metaphor just a bit longer, if someone from a distant place comes to your place of business, you don’t start forcing them to try out the latest gadget or gizmo like a door-to-door u salesman. First, what you (hypothetically) would do is to find out what the visitor wants or needs.

In many department stores, the potential customer is asked by several salespeople, “Can I help you?” Or “Do you need any help?” In the store, you are in control: you have the knowledge of what you need. It is only after you give them that information that they take a pushier approach: “Let me show you this…” or “You’ll like this…”

It’s the same online. Businesses need to find out what is needed before closing the deal or making the sale. Unless the big corporations begin engaging the social networks and establishing relationships, they won’t be able to profit from The Relationship Economy.

How ’bout it?

The Communications Factors: The New Order of Business

November 5, 2007

7-step-business-planning.jpg

Today, I was truly inspired when I read networking strategist, Jay Deragon’s blog on the New Order of Business. I had a bit of an ah-hah! moment. In order for businesses or people, for that matter, to fully engage in The Relationship Economy of social networking, they have to use the Communications Factors to increase profits.

Deragon writes that improving a business is a never-ending task, and businesses must take seven steps in order to improve:

  1. Branding within specific channels
  2. Customer Relationship Management
  3. Supplier integrations and communications
  4. Employee orientation, training and communications
  5. One to One Marketing
  6. Media Relations
  7. Market Relations

Without the Communications Factors, businesses, unable to take any of these steps, would be destined to remain in the status-quo, or worse, fail trying.

Branding:

Without the Communications Factors, it would be next to impossible to brand yourself and your business in today’s world of multi-media distractions and demands on your customers’ or clients’ attention. But with the Communications Factors, virtually anyone is able to become as much a household name as Walt Disney. Just look at Hannah Montana and Britney Spears.

Customer Relationships:

Suppose you’ve established your brand and have a dozen or so clients. What happens when there is a question or problem with your service or product. There needs to be a way for your customers/clients to contact you immediately. With the invent of cell phone and blackberries, staying in touch with clients is easier than ever before. But you need to establish relationship with clients if you hope to stay in business. You should either call them, send them a letter or an email letting them know you are interested in more than making one sale. Social networks enable this process easily.

Supplier integrations and communications:

Once you establish yourself and have a relationship with customers, you need to be able to communicate with your suppliers. What if you get a box of widgets that are faulty, thereby making your product not work correctly? You need to be able to communicate with the supplier the problem. Then you need to communicate the desired solution. Ultimately, your customers should have the problem communicated to them, also.

Employee orientation and training:

This is where the hammer hits steel. You have to use the Communications Factors to convey what you want the employees to do and how they need to act during business hours. How do you want them to answer the phone? “Hello,” or “Thanks for calling On the Mark Writing. this is Mark. Can I help you?” You also need to train your employees about your product. Nothing is more irritating than asking a salesperson about a product and having them tell you they don’t know.  Period. Do you want your salespeople to say, “I’m not sure about that, but let me go find out?”

These are but four steps which must be included into the effective management of the growth of any business.  Future posts will focus on other steps businesses must take to be profitable in The Relationship Economy.

How ’bout it?

The Communications Factors: Using Them to Your Betterment

November 2, 2007

In order to grow your business in the emerging Relationship Economy, you need to get yourself noticed. Actually, if you want to grow personally, you need to get noticed. The best way to generate leads, contacts and clients/customers – essentially income – for your business is to utilize the Communications Factors. But how???

web20.jpg

I contend that the easiest and most effective means to provide yourself with the credibility required to have a lucrative business is to maintain a blog, research current topics others find interesting, and get involved in at least one online social network. (With LinkedIn, Link to (whereever), plus many others – too numerous to name, and now Google’s networking site, there’s no shortage of options.

Maintain a Blog.

I said you should maintain a blog, but if you don’t type that well or you don’t really enjoy writing because you’ve forgotten those pesky grammatical rules, you can do a podcast. You can also, so I’ve heard, do a video-cast or vlog which will take the place of writing with Web 2.0.

Research current topics of interest.

One of the coolest things to do when you can’t think of anything to write or say, is to go to Technorati and click on WTF (that’s Where’s the Fire). When you click on the button, you see what the hottest blogs, or vlogs, are. Then you can vote on specific sites to help it achieve higher ranking in the WTF page, thereby giving it greater visibility to search engines. And even if you don’t vote, sometimes you can find something which speaks to your muse, as they say. If you don’t believe me, check out yesterday’s post.

Get involved in online social networking. nashville-skyline.jpg

One of my favorite online social networking sites is Link to Nashville. Link to Nashville is a social networking site which is geared for the business-minded person. Sure there are fun things on the site, but it’s not really like Facebook, soyou don’t have people throwing sheep at you.

Specifically, LTN is designed to enable people from all walks of life to collect, collaborate and share with others – no matter what their industry is. There’s no requirement of residency to join Link to Nashville, so I encourage you to come check it out!

How ’bout it?

Communications Factors: How The Recent Posts Fit Together…

September 28, 2007

As I have written about the Communications Factors and their roles in the Relationship Economy this week, some truths became evident to me. The Communications Factors come together to form a synergistic effect on the ability of the world to convey information – whether we intend to send that message or not.

Gutenberg’s press of the 1400s created revolutions which took centuries to be fully realized and understood. Likewise, the effects of the shift in thinking, caused by the internet and the constant emerging technologies, only now has become the focus of the major players (companies) in business and not considered merely a fad which will gain momentum in the coming months and even years, but then will fizzle when the novelty of the technology has worn off.

 We can only begin to imagine what the world will be like in the next 25, 50 and 100 years with the vast advances in the communications industry which keep happening, day after day, month after month! It’s kind of like a snowball effect. It takes a little bit of effort to get it going, but as it rolls downhill, it gathers more snow and more inertia, causing opposing forces to be either sizeable or squashed in its path.

currency.jpg

In the Relationship Economy, the “currency” which will be of the greatest value will be the number and quality of the relationships a person has. Having over a thousand contacts on any one social network will not be as valuable as say having 200 quality relationships – if they are properly maintained. That point is key. Maintenance of the relationships will become (if they haven’t already) more important than the mere number of lower-quality acquaintances.

The “business contact” about whom I wrote in an earlier post failed to realize this fact. Because we didn’t have a relationship, what he said to me shut the door on the possibility of our doing business together in the future. If someone else – a friend, perhaps – had used the same words, I would have taken what was said as a painful, albeit accurate, truth. Because we didn’t have a relationship other than over the phone, the contact made his point, but in doing so, slammed the door on any future ventures or collaboration.

The same thing can be said about the employees at BestBuy. Because they don’t have a relationship with the customer, when they act like something is wrong with the person who doesn’t want to opt in for the extended warranty, they are ruining the chance to make a life-long customer. Sure, they may not use verbal communication to ask, “what’s wrong with you,” but it is in their tone of voice, body language and even facial expressions.

With the newest inventions enabling communication more cheaply and more easily, the message needs to be crystal-clear, or we will risk ruining the relationships we have painstakingly endeavored to create. It’s just like the physical relationships all of us have: When we are dating our significant other, we open doors, refrain from foul language, and actually talk over dinner at a restaurant while eating out; after marriage, or years of dating, the manners go out the window, and we can get away with it because of the value to the relationship we contribute.

How ’bout it?