Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'It's a nerd . . . it's a brain . . . No! It's Idea Guy!'

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Last night I spoke with a publisher about writing an e-book, and he could not say 'no' to the offer I made him. This particular publisher also holds annual writing conferences here in San Diego, and the focus is on self-publishing. He is holding the next conference in November. I did not know if he needed someone to speak about Social Marketing for authors; though, I hoped he would open a slot for me if I told him I would speak for free.


Then, always trying to get something for nothing, and being a strong proponent of people connecting with people through ideas, I told him I wanted to have an e-book ready for the conference. I suggested that since I had already said I would speak for free, rather than paying extra self-publishing fees, he and I could split the profits. DEAL DONE! He was on the road, so he said he would call me back; though, like me this particular colleague of mine is an idea guy.


If you're not an idea guy or gal, that's completely okay. Though, if you're working on a project, starting a business, or an employee, I would recommend you find idea people and other people who are not like you. It's easy to stay stagnant and just connect with other people just like us; though, it takes all sorts of people to make the world go round.


Before you connect with others, in pursuits of long term goals, it is important to understand what type of person you are. I look at the big picture and notices patterns. After I see those patterns, I come up with and implement strategies to make the overall organization or plan stronger.


One example I like to use is that of social marketing and SEO content. At the beginning of this year ('09) I read quite a few bloggers argue back and forth about whether SEO content or Social Marketing was the wave of the future. I thought about it, decided that they complemented one another, and launched my website http://www.seobridges.com. Now, many of those same bloggers who had argued over which would be more important are starting to realize that people like me were right.


So now, I am forming partnerships with people who don't always think like me. The publisher I spoke with yesterday is an idea guy; though, whereas I am a strategist, he evaluates the bigger picture and implements a plan of action.


Throughout this next year, don't surround yourselves with people who are just like you. Step outside of your comfort zone, think outside of the box, and see how much more you get done when you try to paint your future with an entire pallete instead of just one color.



Keep Connecting,



Erick

http://www.seobridges.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Time to Reflect

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Christmas is almost here. It is a time for friends and family to connect with each other. Some just connected with each other last month, and others will connect for the first time in years. This time of year seems to bring people back together for the holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukah. Whether you believe in the religious symbolism of Christmas or not, the story of Christmas is a story of people travelling from afar to connect with other people.

While this time of year seems to be a good time for people to connect, people we’ve missed connections with are the most missed. It is that time of year when we notice that place at the table where Dad once said family grace, or the spot on the couch where our favorite Aunt or Uncle always watched the big game from or fell asleep on. This time of year fills voids for many, yet it makes many others lonely. Whether this time of year brings glad tidings and joy or the memories of holidays past, this time of year is a time for reflection.

In the story A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is given three choices as to how he is going to look at Christmas time and his life. He is visited by four ghosts (the first being the ghost of a business partner who died several years ago and warns Scrooge that if he doesn’t listen to the coming ghosts he could be doomed to roam the earth aimlessly).

When the ghost of Christmas past takes Scrooge back to his childhood, we see what made Scrooge the type of person he is. His mother died, his father blamed him for his mother’s death and dumped him off at a boarding school, and person after person abandons him.

After the Ghost of Christmas past reveals those hidden parts of Scrooge’s life that turned him into a miser, the ghost of Christmas present shows Scrooge the happiness and joy of his assistant Bob Cratchit’s family. And they experience that joy despite their son’s (Tiny Tim) disability.

By the time the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come reveals the mourning of the Cratchit family after Tiny Tim’s death to Scrooge, he is ready to change his ways. He has seen what will happen to him if he keeps moving forward by looking back. He sees that he will die alone, and those he once stole from will steal from the estate he leaves to no one.

So no matter what this time of year brings for you, be that type of person you want to attract. If you want to attract goodness in your life, be a good person. If you want to attract kindness, be kind. If you want to attract smiles, smile. A former employer of mine once said, “Just because you’re having a bad day that doesn’t give you the right to make other people have a bad day.” Life has taken it’s toll on all of us, at one time or another, but we each only have one life to live. Smile and live yours the best you can.

Happy Holidays,

Erick

www.seobridges.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Social Networking and Business Partnerships

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This last week I received an e-mail from a lady who wanted advice about her social networking efforts. She had set up a Twitter account, and she wanted to take her two business international. For the past several years she has run a manufacturing company, and this year she started a counseling service.

On the site for her counseling business she advertised her services as a place where people who had no one else to talk to could come and talk to her privately. I found this kind of odd and responded that she advertised her counseling as a place where people could come and talk to her privately, as all counseling should be. Twitter was counter productive to her goal to remain private, because Twitter is a platform in which people follow other people publicly.

She did not have a site for her manufacturing business that I could find (she wrote to me on a business networking site); though, a site would give me no more information than I needed. She had said in her profile that she was seeking partners to take her business international.

Again, Twitter is not the platform for that. Twitter is a great way to connect with people; though, it is what it is—a virtual water cooler. If you run a blog, e-zine, or some other sort of news service that does not require people to go to a physical location, Twitter is great. If you own a restaurant, grocery store, or some other similar place of business, and you want to get word out about a sale or a coupon code, Twitter will help you do that. If you want to connect with people, you want to earn their trust, and Twitter is not good for that.

So, now the question is what is good for connecting with potential business partners? Good old fashion shaking people’s hands is the best way to look for business partners. Of course, that can start with social networking; though, as I said last week, the best social networking is followed up by actual smiles and hand shakes.

Start a conversation with people you befriend on Facebook, get to know them; if you’re in the same area or will be at some time, take that person out to lunch; get to know that person some more, develop a relationship with that person, and then go from there.

Neither Twitter, nor Facebook, nor any other social networking site can or should supplement a friendly smile or firm handshake. Of course, anything can happen, and anyone can connect in anyway; but when you set out to connect with people, think about how you would want them to connect with you.

If you want to start connecting with people today, take a look at my Website. I can help you with your social networking efforts. And come start a conversation with me on Facebook, Twitter, or my blog about the best of the Internet's Open Source sites.


Keep connecting,



Erick

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Keys to Social Networking

Follow us on Twitter! @agentspayforward

Wow! It’s been a couple of months since my last blog. I needed the time off to reassess, reorganize, and readjust. In my last blog, I talked about a couple of people whom I asked for help from. Well, both of those colleagues have since brought me business. I have since worked with clients of one of those people. And I am subcontracting with the other person.

During this recession, which I think is technically over, partnering with people over the Internet is Golden. Though, there is a right way and a million wrong ways to market yourself over the Internet. Of course, it would be easy for me to tell you to find as many social networking sites as you can and put up profiles on them. I don’t recommend that at all. In fact, I recommend not doing that. Once you put up profiles people expect you to maintain those profiles. So, my first word of advice is to not spread yourself thin.

At the same time, while not spreading yourself thin, choose your channels wisely. Last week, in my other blog, SEO Bridges Blog, I talked about a Website call Techrigy. It offers a social media monitoring service called SM2. Don’t put a profile on MySpace if it won’t do you or your business any good.

For me, I have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (I am less active on this on purpose), but all of my other profiles are more obscure sites. The reason for that is that I am interested in networking with two types of people: Web designers, other content writers, etc; and people in the San Diego area. For that reason sites like MySpace, Hi5, Friendster, etc. have little value, so I don’t put profiles on them.

Now, I mentioned Twitter, which has value for me; though, it may not have any value for you. Twitter is conversational, so have something to contribute to the conversation and take part in the conversation. The key is to figure out what kind of conversation you want to take part in, follow people who are part of that conversation, and contribute to that conversation. Follow people you are likely to reTweet, don’t follow everyone who follows you, and don’t be afraid to unfollow people.

Before I follow someone, I review their profile, including their previous Tweet and their Website (if they have one). If I find that that person’s Tweets have value to the conversation I want to participate in, I follow that person. If their Website about an Internet program that will help you get rich in 90 days, give you the secrets to finding Twitter followers, automating your Twitter stream, or something else along those lines, I don’t follow that person.

After someone starts following me, I send them quick note thanking them for the follow. Think about when you’re at a party, talking with a few people about last week’s football game, or your latest business venture, and someone walks in and joins the conversation. It’s considerate to acknowledge their presence, so they don’t feel like the fern in the corner of the room has more value than they do. In the same way, it’s considerate to do the same thing on Twitter.

Okay, I could go on about Twitter, as well as Internet marketing; though, my last word of advice is to follow up on your Internet marketing. This is the hardest part. Connect in person with those people you market with online. Meetup is a great way to meet other like minded people, whom you may know from Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking sites. And for those you don’t know, they can become friends and followers of yours on those sites.

That’s it for this week. I’m going to start blogging on here weekly again, so keep coming back. And for information on great free and open source products that will make your life easier, read my other blog. And if you need assistance with your SEO or social networking, please visit my site for more information. I offer various packages, as well as I work by the hour, and discounts to NPO’s. I will also donate a portion of my fees to my chosen NPO’s via Agentspayingforward.

Keep connecting,

Erick

 

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