Tag Archives: Linkedin

Free ebook: LinkedIn For Dummies

3 Oct

LinkedIn For Dummies, 4th Edition ($13 Value) FREE For a Limited Time

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Infographic- Post Smarter: The Best Times to Use Social Platforms (Via Entrepreneur.com)

1 Apr

#thriveorsurvive.

No one goes to the Olympics for silver.

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Must-Have Free (or Almost Free) Apps for Growing Businesses (Via LinkedIn)

24 Aug

Must-Have Free (or Almost Free) Apps for Growing Businesses

Small businesses can have big problems — but not always the big budgets needed to solve them.

In the early days of my company, we were always on the lookout for affordable technology that would make our jobs easier. Unfortunately, poor user interfaces and inadequate support meant most business apps were often more trouble than they were worth.

Over the years, however, I’ve found a few that I truly can’t live without. These five are easy to use, cloud-based, and scalable, so that they’ll grow along with your company. Best of all, each app has a free or nearly free version for businesses just getting off the ground.

1. Zendesk

Zendesk simplifies and streamlines customer service. The app consolidates all customer communications — email, social media, websites, and even phone — into individual “tickets” that your entire team can access and respond to. You can automate standard responses, store customer histories, and create product forums where customers can interact and answer each other’s questions.

Zendesk offers a special “Starter Plan” for up to three users for $20 per year. Regular monthly plans start at $24 per user.

2. Google Drive

File-sharing is a critical part of a growing business, and Google Drive makes it nearly foolproof. Multiple users

can collaborate in real time, creating, editing, and commenting on documents in the cloud. Revisions save automatically, and, most importantly, you can access your documents from any device. All of this represents a huge productivity leap over the old-fashioned approach: attaching documents to emails and sending endless iterations back and forth.

Individual users get 15 GB of free storage. Monthly business plans start at $5 per user and include 30 GB of storage.

3. Evernote

Say goodbye to sticky notes. Evernote is an indispensable vacuum cleaner-style app that sucks up all of the random data you encounter on the Internet and in your real life. Whether it’s excerpts from websites, photos, voice memos, documents, or handwritten scribbles, it all gets stored and organized in the cloud as individual “notes.” These notes can then be sorted, tagged, edited, and even shared with colleagues. All of this information is in turn accessible across all of your devices and automatically synced.

Individual users can upload up to 60 MB of content per month for free. Evernote Business ($10 per user per month) offers 1 GB per month.

4. MailChimp

Image representing MailChimp as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

While social media has proliferated, old-fashioned email marketing remains a critical way to reach clients and build connections. MailChimp is a no-nonsense, intuitive tool for creating email lists and keeping track of which customers are opening messages and clicking on links. You can easily import contacts and even segment your lists so subscribers receive only relevant emails. MailChimp also includes basic A/B testing features, for comparing which subject lines and send times work best.

Free users can send up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers. Unlimited plans start at $10 per month.

5. HootSuite

Disclaimer: HootSuite is my company, so I’m not impartial. But I’m also not the only one who thinks it’s a valuable tool. Seven million people and thousands of small businesses use HootSuite to manage their social media communications. A web-based dashboard lets you access dozens of social networks in one place. You can set up streams to monitor keywords and specific followers, as well as access detailed analytics reports showing who’s reading and responding to your posts.

HootSuite’s free plan allows tracking for up to 5 social profiles. The $8.99 per month pro plan offers tracking for up to 50 profiles and advanced analytics.

All of these business apps have stood the test of time and have healthy, growing userbases, which means they’ll be around for the long haul, with regular updates to keep things fresh. Apart from being mobile-ready, they also integrate seamlessly with desktop browsers. Google Chrome users, for instance, can add extensions that boost the functionality of all of these apps, enabling you to save web content directly into Evernote as you browse, for instance, or instantly share URLs on social media with HootSuite’s Hootlet. (Google has compiled a very handy list of the best small business apps for Chrome here.)

Did you like this post? To read my weekly insights on social media, leadership, and tech trends, just click the ‘follow’ button at the top of this page.

For more social media insight and to learn more about my company, follow HootSuite on LinkedIn.

 

7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Productivity Steve Tobak

6 Aug

7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Productivity

Feeling overworked, overwhelmed and overloaded? You have way more control over your time and productivity than you realize.

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We’re always complaining about how little time we have and how overwhelmed we are. We whine about all the interruptions and communication overload. We spend all sorts of time reading books and searching for ways to improve our time management and personal productivity. It’s ironic, I know.

Well, get this. Most of your productivity drain is your own doing. You give in to social media distraction because you crave a quick fix for attention. You spend too much time in your inbox because it makes you feel important. You waste ridiculous amounts of time doing things that don’t really matter because you choose to do them.

You know what you need to do: Work. Provide for yourself and your loved ones. And you know what matters in life: Having fun. Spending time with family and friends. So do all that. Don’t do the other stuff, or at least separate them so you’re aware that you’ve chosen to waste your time.

Here are seven ideas to help you get started:

1. Don’t tweet during the day. I don’t know about you, but for me, alcohol is off limits until after 5. Why? Because it destroys your productivity. Well, guess what? So does social media. Do your tweeting, blogging, posting, status updating, whatever, after work, like while you’re watching the tube.

2. Quit organizing. You know all those different methods for organizing stuff like your emails and files? I’ve never done any of that. Okay, maybe I do a little, but the absolute minimal amount. I have the biggest email inbox you’ve ever seen. It goes back years. So what? You need to find something? Use search. PC isn’t good enough? Get a Mac.

3. Use hard stops. I had a lunch meeting the other day. At the start, my associate announced that he had a hard stop at 2pm. That drove the meeting. And guess what? We were done at 2. It’s called a deadline. Deadlines force discipline. That’s why deadlines work. Use them.

4. Don’t do more; do less. It’s called prioritization. You know, what we all used to do before self help, time management, and personal productivity became big business. Decades ago I learned to classify To Dos as priority A (time critical), B (important), or C (everything else). When your As are done, take on the Bs. After a few years you learn that you never get to the Cs. And you know what? It never matters.

5. Learn to say no and never say maybe. I like getting attention. I like helping people. It’s always been a big motivator for me. When I realized that saying no was a bigger disappointment for me than it was for whoever was asking me to do something, it got easier to say. Don’t know what to say no to? If it’s not a goal, a priority, important, or fun, say no. And never say maybe. That’s just being controlling and self-important.

6. Mute your devices. When you’re supposed to be working and getting things done, close your email application or mute your PC or Mac so you don’t hear the chime. Ignore that tug to respond right away to every request. If you really want to do it right, set aside a small chunk of time the same time every day to email. Also, never answer a call unless you’re expecting it or have time for it. Even if it’s your boss.

7. Work at home. Most executives spend their days in meetings. Carving out significant chunks of time to get any real work done is a challenge. So I got in the habit of doing presentation and budget work at home. A lot of my strategizing and thinking, too. If you’ve got young kids running around, though, that can make it tough.

Here’s the thing. What used to be our priorities, the things that made our careers successful and fulfilling, our lives meaningful and happy, have somehow become optional.

The long term benefits that come from working, playing, thinking, feeling, exercising, eating right, and sleeping, now take a backseat to the instant gratification of distraction, addiction, self-importance, attention seeking, and minutiae.

To fit all that in, our lives have become overloaded and overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way. You set the priorities. You make the choices. You have way more control than you realize.

IMAGE: Paul Bradbury / Getty
Last updated: Jul 19, 2013

STEVE TOBAK is a management consultant, an executive coach, and a former senior executive of the technology industry. He’s managing partner of Invisor Consulting, a Silicon Valley-based strategy consulting firm. Contact Tobak; follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
@SteveTobak

Quick Tip To Grow Your Social Media Presence

1 Feb

It’s 2013 and by now we all know that a strong social media presence can be a game changer.
Twitter and Pinterest took the world by storm and drew millions of visitors and hits every hour.
And as we all know that equals traffic galore. And more traffic means more conversions, sales, partners et al. Everyone wants results and many people I know are following one path only to get there.

As we all know blogging is my avenue of choice. However I don’t rely on a few words on one blog to do all the work. Initially I started with a Tumblr blog. And it was awesome. The app was easy and I liked that it would post to my twitter and facebook as well. I increased my social media range and saved me time. Every post hit 3 different locations in the social. media realm. I effectively tripled my reach while reducing my efforts. And hey folks, who doesn’t need more time?
Not long after I realized a mentor used WordPress and decided I’d try it. It was my secondary blog so I just duplicated there manually. After about a month two things happened.
1. Tumblr became buggy.
As in it didn’t work right and then was yanked from blackberry so what was left on my smartphone was effectively wasted kb’s.
2. WordPress had so much more to offer.
The app was crisper and more fluid. It also had vastly more options like statistics, easy link adding, Bold, Italics, and I could add and or buy a .com and hide my info- All from my Dashboard.
I’ve preached on knowing your stats before and if you didn’t read it just know that you need to know where you are to get where you need to be. Good statistics and analytics will show you what works and what doesn’t. Let’s say you have a linkedin account that gives you zero traffic, but your twitter gets you 400 views a month. Well folks now you know where your efforts are paying off. You know where to put more emphasis for the greatest reward.

Lastly, WordPress also had the ability to post to Google+, Twitter, facebook, Yahoo, Linkedin, and TUMBLR.
Now I could not only keep my tumblr but have my reach exceed its grasp? Was that clever or did I muck it up? Either way the point is salient. WordPress provided better tools, better advice, and a better app. And they support blackberry as zealously as android or iphone. So I’m not short changed, I’m simply blessed.

As I write this blog post on my blackberry I’d like to say this isn’t a paid endorsement just an example of the provider who suits my needs. I get nothing for this collection of thoughts wrapped in a WP Post. What I did get was a way to expand my social media presence simply and professionally. More time, more money, more happy. I won. So folks find the way that puts you in the winners circle too.

#thriveorsurvive.

Thoughts? Concerns?
Questions? Think I’m wrong?
Let’s chat.
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Want to learn how to invite?
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Tony@Changeinadvance.com
@changeinadvance
http://www.changeinadvance.com
Or simply reply to this article.

Social Resume [Infographic]

23 Jan

In 2013 the most effective resumes extend far beyond your dad’s one-sheet-of-paper rule since most employers look to social media to find the right candidate.

Looking to jumpstart your career search using social media?
Then this infographic from OnlineColleges.com provides quite a few amazing ideas on how to promote your personal brand so potential employers will take note and make that call.

#thriveorsurvive.

Thoughts? Concerns?
Questions? Think I’m wrong?
Let’s chat.
Need ideas?
Want to learn how to invite?
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Tony@Changeinadvance.com
@changeinadvance
http://www.changeinadvance.com
Or simply reply to this article.

Linkedin Tips and queues for Business

6 Dec

Linkedin Tips and queues for Business

A lot of people use Linkedin. A lot. To the tune of 187 million plus. So with these kind of numbers its obvious you need to be on Linkedin. As the premier business community online I can’t think of a better social media outlet for you to join.
That being said I’m going to break down a few tips here for my readers.

Let’s start with 10 words NOT to use on your Linkedin profile:
•Creative.
•Organizational.
•Effective.
•Motivated.
•Extensive Experience.
•Innovative.
•Analytical.
•Responsible.
•Track Record.
•Problem Solving.
You wouldn’t say you were messy or irresponsible right? So stop using words that amount to nothing more than wasted space. Across seas these three word choices were found to be ditch-worthy as well:
•Experimental.
•Multinational.
•Specialized.

These words sounded good on our resumes when we were young and the internet was in its infancy. However these days we have to get ahead-and fast. Scrub your Linkedin profile clean of these words. Get out in front of the ball folks. If you are recruiting, outsourcing, or just plain need help- you attract the best by being the best.
•Skip these two words/terms as well: Dynamic and Communication skills.

Now here’s a few way to make that Linked in Profile Irresistible:

Update your Photo.
Nothing works as well as a new photo. Just make sure its professional. Also not a group shot or blurry or that tee you don’t wear to work.

Update Your Summary as Well.
Change what’s there. Add the biggest accomplishment(s) for 2012. The Summary is the place to get the word out folks.
Didn’t do one before- DO IT NOW.

Showcase your Recent Volunteering Experience.
Actions speak louder than words folks. Let people see who you are when you aren’t in front of the camera. Haven’t volunteered much lately? Time to start. is a good place to check.

Build that skills list.
Time to change it folks. The Linkedin Skills Search Box will help you by narrowing down what you type in and showing you similar terms and how popular they or others are.
Edit that profile. And don’t forget to include those skills you used volunteering (see last post).

try the Endorsement Feature.
Linkedin has added a cool feature dubbed Endorsements. Use it to give a “thumbs up” to the exceptional people within your network. At your page bottom you will see faces by your skill list- well they gave you a thumb up too. Nice feeling right?

Follow a few new “thought leaders”
This new feature let’s you follow the executive thought leaders- think Henry Blodget. Their posts will show up on your page and will show you the big topics in the year to come.

I will add more Linkedin tips soon folks.

#thriveorsurvive.

“The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.”
-Irving Berlin

Thoughts? Concerns?
Questions? Think I’m wrong?
Let’s chat.
Need ideas?
Want to learn how to invite?
Let’s chat.
Want a mentor or maybe the guy who will bounce ideas back and forth with you?
Let’s chat-
Tony@Changeinadvance.com
@changeinadvance
http://www.changeinadvance.com
Or simply reply to this article.

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