Communicating The Right Way

hands-typingSocial media platforms are meant to be a place where people can interact with each other to establish new friendships. However, just as some people are better in social settings in “real” life, there are those that need additional practice when it comes to making friends while behind a keypad.

Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have taken measures to ensure that users can’t randomly add people that they do not know. Blind online networking was once practiced by many but is now shunned because of users taking advantage of few spam filters that are available across these platforms. Now those who are caught trying to connect with people that they don’t really know are blocked, reported as spam or never given the opportunity to reach out.

social-media-seo-logosSo how should one work their way around such blockades? It’s a quite simple but often overlooked solution. Instead of just blindly sending messages or friend requests start the process with a simple introduction post or email. Find a way to connect with them in a respectful manner, rather than blasting them with tweets or Facebook posts. Many times, the individual that you are looking to connect with will be turned off by those actions and you’ve already burned a bridge that wasn’t even fully built. You may think that blasts across Twitter or Facebook to “listen to this song,” or “check out this link” will build your following but instead you will get ignored more often than not.

Another practice that one should use is to have a mutual connection introduce you to the person of interest. This way, that person can speak highly enough of you to get you into the door of establishing the needed relationship. That mutual friend can also help you learn some of the idiosyncrasies in talking to that person down the line. Many times these professional introductions can lead to opportunities that weren’t even anticipated.

The way you present yourself on social media is just as vital to the way you present yourself in face to face interactions. Messing up online can cost you a new relationship the same way it could when you attempt to talk to a new person up close. Be smart and use your resources without being overbearing. You’ll network will grow and the benefits will come your way.

“Must Attend” Industry Conferences

SXSW

When it comes to business very few things are more important than networking and industry knowledge. With both you will be able to create opportunities that would not be available otherwise. The best chance to bridge both of these areas of business is to attend industry conferences that are vital to your realm of interest. These are some examples of prominent conferences that have helped grow the status of many business people and projects:

South By Southwest

The South by Southwest, also known as SXSW, conference is a series of festivals, seminars and events that are centered around the film, music and technology industries. Held in Texas every spring, this conference has helped launch multiple careers across the industries of focus.

The film festival focuses on new directors who are looking to develop their projects from behind the camera. The music part of the festival allows for artists to perform for small stipends while linking them with prominent managers, producers and other personalities in the industry. The interactive aspect of the festival is for emerging technologies. Popular start-ups such as Four Square were once promoted at SXSW before becoming mainstream.

With 26 years of existence and nearly 10 days of events the SXSW conference is a must attend for those looking to break through in the music, film and interactive industries.

SundanceThe Sundance Film Festival

Perhaps one of the biggest conferences in the film industry, the Sundance Film Festival has long been a mainstay for industry personalities and movie critics alike. The film festival is a showcase that features work from American and independent film makers across the world. The event features both full length and short films that are placed in competition with one another. Many individuals come to this event in hopes of getting their project purchased by a major studio so it can be fully developed.

Many independent film creators such as Quentin Tarantino and Edward Burns received their first major break during this film festival. Movies such as The Blair Witch Project and Napoleon Dynamite were featured during the Sundance Film Festival as well.

Cine Gear Expo

The Cine Gear Expo is another conference that focuses on the entertainment and technology industries. Held in Hollywood, California this event brings together some of the most important personalities and experts across these areas of interest.

Not only does this conference feature networking events, but masters classes, symposiums and content development workshops are available to attendants.

If you consider yourself an entrepreneur then taking some time out to go to one of these conferences is money well spent. The long term benefits are well worth the money and is an investment that your career will need.

Follow These Leaders On Twitter

Twitter

The advent of social media has continued to impact the business world. Customers now have more opportunities to reach their favorite companies; while firms have the ability to seem more “personable” with their clients. Twitter has become one of the most valuable options for both groups as its user base continues to grow each day. Looking at the way influencers can inspire and impact, these are some of the top personalities and companies that you should follow on Twitter:

Addicted to Success: @Addictd2Success

A platform that offers non-stop motivational tips and thoughts, Addicted to Success is a valuable resource for those looking for that push to keep going. The platform offers advice, notes and recounts from some of the most successful personalities in various facets of the business world.

Sean Gardner: @2morrowknight

Sean Gardner was listed as the top social media power influencer of 2013 by Forbes Magazine. Sean is also a writer for the Huffington Post but his Twitter feed is often filled with material that will inspire any aspiring business person.

Twitter2Forbes Magazine: @Forbes

With that in mind, Forbes Magazine is also one of the most important Twitter handles to follow as well. This magazine presents some of the best information available in the business world today. Their magazine provides a wealth of information across various areas of business that would be worth a read for the new professional, someone entrenched in their career or anyone trying to make it as an entrepreneur.

The Branding Muse: @BrandingMuse

A growing firm, The Branding Muse is a developing firm that is tackling teaching young adults, students and entrepreneurs the value of developing a personal brand. Along with their founder Emmelie De La Cruz (@HerMusings) this outlet is becoming a must follow for those looking to learn how to separate themselves from the pack.

Entrepreneur Magazine @EntMagazine 

Perhaps one of the most important resources available for both growing and established entrepreneurs; this Twitter handle offers non-stop information for those interested in the world of working for themselves.

If you’re taking your social media presence seriously, these Twitter handles should be among your must follows from this point out. It’s not always how or what you post through social media; but who you interact with is just as valuable.

Creating Effective Goals

goal-setting

In the world of business it’s vital to have some sort of goals to help guide your planning. Going through the day without some sort of map will lead to the completion of meaningless busy work that doesn’t help anyone get any closer to their end game. But at the same time, it is vital to know how to set effective goals that are worth your time.

1. Create a goal that is measurable

You to not want to be vague when creating a goal for yourself, project or company. Come up with a result that can be measurable in some sort of fashion. For example, if you are a freelance writer a measurable goal could be to write 3 pieces of content per day. That way you can gauge your results against exactly how much work you have completed. Ambiguous goals leave you with the ability to put things off and not complete as much as you know you should; which in the end is very detrimental to your long term goal.

2. Set an end date

Create a deadline to get the job finished. For example if your goal includes establishing connections across a different industry for a project; set a number of contacts that need to be formed within a 30 day time frame. From that point take whatever steps are needed to build the relationships that will lead towards the completion of your goal.

3. Keep a record of progress

A visual record of your goal will help keep you motivated as your working on your project. Some companies use the standard thermometer style goal tracker when trying to reach a type of numerical goal. This example or other notes such as a “goal board” will help keep you on task. Any type of visual representation of your goal should be used to keep you on task and serve as a reminder towards your final end game.

common-goal-setting-114. Be ready to edit

Adjusting your goals is never a bad step. Needs and opportunities may change so you may need to adjust your position. In doing so, the edits should stay realistic and fall within the other measurable elements. If that means adjusting the amount of work or adding time to your goal, then so be it. The main objective is to keep yourself on the path needed towards success instead of being thrown completely off.

Any type of undertaking requires some form of goal setting process. Imagine going on a long trip to a place you’ve never been without a map or some form of directions. Getting there would be a pain. The same is said for the business world when trying to reach a new level with a standard of goals in place.