Taking it on one spoonful at a time!

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5 Things I love about the new LinkedIn set up

linkedinIf you haven’t seen it yet, LinkedIn has a brand new look! The new layout is closer to what we are accustomed to seeing in our use of sites like Facebook and Twitter. The old layout was what I would consider choppy and a bit distracting.  Ad’s and suggestions consumed a large portion of the pages and quite frankly derailed a users focus to the point of coming up for air an hour later wondering what it is you came for and what you actually accomplished.

The new layout makes visual sense and seemingly has a much better flow.  The annoying ads and suggested contacts are now in one place.  Now I come and actually achieve what I set out to get done.   Five of the the new layout features that I really like include:

  • “Always on top” Navigational menu at the top menu bar.  This menu doesn’t disappear if you cease to hover over it and sub menus don’t just pop up.
  • Improved navigational set up making it easier to see and search your network.
  • Clear count of your connections.  The old layout of the network connections page didn’t list how many connections you had not to mention you had to keep turning the page for the next 10 people.  The new layout is a continuous scrolling list that make it easy to find someone, message them or disconnect from them.
  • The job list for the companies you follow and for the preferences you set up are easy to see, change and save.  Also, the “Post a job” feature is in a place where it finally makes sense.
  • All of the notifications are easy to see, respond to when YOU want to respond to them instead of taking up real estate on the side bar of your profile page.

Long story short is that I approve of the new layout.  I find it easy to navigate around and it is inviting.  It takes your mind off the choppiness of the layout and puts it on finding what you came for.  Bravo LinkedIn.  It’s about time you caught up with the times.


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Practice Makes Perfect

Recently we have been working on a video that will be shown to our new hire employees.  This is a big undertaking and involves many people within the organization.  Producing a video is a time consuming project that takes quite a bit of organization and cooperation to complete.  This is a project that really shouldn’t be thrown together in an afternoon.  As we are finding out the 5 P’s really do apply to creating a quality, well organized video.  As you may be aware, the 5 P’s are:

  • Prior
  • Planning
  • Prevents
  • Poor
  • Performance

Everyone has a different way to get ready to record a video.  Some people like to have notes handy. Other people need every word on cue cards and some people prepare while rehearsing in the mirror.  The point here is that you need to prepare and give a significant amount of thought to what you are about to put together.  Here is a helpful article with some great tips to help get you started.



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Not So Spam-tastic!

According to Wikipedia, spam is nothing more than junk mail sent via email which is unsolicited and many times unwanted.  Sending unsolicited email is nothing new to marketers, it’s just a new format designed to try and elicit new sales and net new business.  If you are anything like me, you pretty much hate the influx of strange emails.  I go so far as to set up email filters for the really annoying ones that pulls it out of my inbox and into my trash before I can even lay eyes on it.  I have enough to do without worrying about spending time reading email for products and “solutions” that I have no intention of buying.  Although I can spot spam a million miles away, not everyone can and that can be very dangerous to your pocketbook since some of these criminals sending such emails are cunning and very convincing!  Here are a few tips for recognizing and handling email spam and those sending them.


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videoSo you’ve decided to create a video.  Good for you!  The first thing you need to do is to craft a plan with a clear focus that outlines how you intend to reach your audience while achieving your company’s goals and objectives.  It doesn’t need to be rocket science but it does need to be laid out in a clear and simple plan that is easy to understand and gets right to the point so as not to lose the attention of your audience. When outlining your video it is important to identify what you want the viewer to know or do and design the video around this message. It might be necessary to do so in a multiple video series to make your message easier to digest. If you are new to video, start with a simple message and don’t get fancy until you’ve done a few and have the resources to do so.

A few rules of thumb when it comes to video creation are that it must be 1) entertaining, 2) educational or 3) emotional in order to have an impact on your intended audience. When you are crafting your video concept, start with a few of the simplest things while brainstorming.  Some ideas that can prove to be a good starting point from which you can build on can be:

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Proper product usage
  • A look behind the scenes of your organization
  • Company Philanthropic efforts
  • Holiday good will messages

As you brainstorm make sure to write down all of the ideas that are thrown out on the table.  You may not use all of them now, however, you could certainly come back to them another time.  Don’t throw out any suggestions.

Organizing your video

  • If you have speaking roles in your video, create a script for people to follow.  Impromptu messaging can be lengthy or take more time than you may have to get completed on time.
  • Rehearse with your equipment.  Write down details of where your camera should be placed for optimum video footage.  Take into account the time of day, sun streaming in windows, clutter background noise and make sure your filming location is as optimum as possible at the time you shoot your video.
  • Give some thought to how long you want your video to be.  Most successful videos are two minutes or less. If the video is too long, you may lose your audience’s attention.  This will effect scripting and the number of people that you can include.  Write out your entire plan before you begin filming.

Video is a great way to reach your target audience and it can be a creative and fun project to grow your marketing efforts.  Remember; Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.


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Are You Missing Out on 82%?

Social Media is an ever evolving tool for business. Keeping up can be challenging but not as challenging as not participating at all. Are you using social media as part of your business plan? If you are then you know how much work it can be. The work it takes to engage your clients socially is absolutely worth it if you do it right and are consistent, responsive and playing in the right arena for your target audience. If you aren’t using social media, why not? If you are looking for a good place to find and engage with prospects, overlooking social sites is a big mistake. Here are some of the top reasons NOT to pass up social media as a business tool and some do’s and don’t s when using it.


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Don’t Be Social Media White Noise

Spower of social mediaocial Media is a wonderful way to share who your company is, what you sell, what you do within your community and for those you serve to share with their friends.  Make no mistake about it, it is work.  Every day there is monitoring and planning that goes on about what you are going to share, which platform you will share it on, what medium it is delivered by and when it should go out.  Without thought to this you are just speaking into the canyon and the only one talking back is your echo.

Social Media is just that, social.  It functions just like the great art of communication where there is a sender, a message and a receiver and communication happens both ways.  You need to be out there every day looking at your news feeds and spending time commenting and liking and sharing and re-tweeting your clients news and updates.  You want to get noticed as someone who is paying attention to be included in the reciprocity that will launch you into cyber success.  You want to be where people are watching and talking about brands and sharing success’.  People love social media as proven by the growing number of platforms that companies are taking on to reach their intended audiences.  As fast as one becomes popular, another one might emerge and become the new hot trending tool.  You have to stay current and you have to purposefully put yourself into the fast lane to be part of what is trending and who the masses begin talking about and to.

Set some time aside everyday to see what is going on in your business social network and Like, Share, Re-Tweet, Comment and post away.  It will take some time but it won’t be too long before you’re part of the conversations happening around you.

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Five Friday Fun Facts

computer tricksSometimes you just have to share quirky things.  There are a few computer keyboard tricks that well, just amuse me.  This knowledge has been out there for a while but since it’s Friday we’ll keep it light and fun.

  • Fun fact #1- By hitting “CONTROL + ALT + one of the arrow buttons= you can turn your computer screen sideways or upside down.  Good prank on April Fools Day or just as a fun shenanigan on a quiet day.
  • Fun fact #2- By hitting the Windows button + TAB = you switch between windows.
  • Fun Fact #3- By hitting Ctrl + Plus= it magnifies the window you’re currently in which is good for those of us progressing in age
  • Fun Fact #4- Pressing Windows button + Space bar= If you need to take a quick glimpse at your desktop
  • Fun Fact #5- Press Shift + Win + Left/Right Arrow= if you are using multiple monitors, this moves a window in the right monitor to the left monitor, and vice versa.

FYI:  as a side note, if you use any of the screen tilting options and your computer times out while the screen is upside down or sideways, you can’t right the ship so to speak before logging back in.  Logging in will be challenging since your mouse movement is also backwards.  A fun trick but I wouldn’t leave that poor person alone for too long because they’ll go crazy trying to figure it out!

So, there you have it.  A few quirky little tricks that probably took up too much work time sharing but sometimes you just have to have fun and share the wealth.  Happy Friday!