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Content creation and Twitter tips from WEN Meet-up

One of the best parts about speaking to groups about social media and online marketing is that I always learn as much as I teach.  Not only do I get the opportunity to hear about the current challenges entrepreneurs and business professionals face but everyone shares best practices for solutions.

This past Friday was no exception when I spoke with the Westchester Women Entrpreneurs’ Network (WEN) on “Best Tips for Getting Connected Online.”    This dynamic, super-smart, well-connected group of small business owners, wellness practitioners and marketing professionals taught me a few things that are well worth passing along:

1)   Creating content with ease – If you are in need of some writing help with your business blog, WEN organizer Kathy Perkal recommended using Zerys, a content marketplace for writers and marketers.

2)   Twitter tracking – To more easily track your Twitter reach, Suzanna Keith of TechandTravelMom, suggested trying either TweetReach or HashTracking for insight, analysis and reports of Twitter campaigns and activity.

3)   LinkedIn resumesLiz Dowling of Sweet Marketing Associates shared the advice that profiles on LinkedIn shouldn’t show time gaps.  It is better, she advised, to note a career gap with details of volunteer and unpaid work than to show nothing at all.

If you are in the Westchester area, I highly recommend you check out this network of movers and shakers.   Next month, they will be hosting Emily McKhann, co-founder of The Motherhood, a digital PR and marketing agency with a network of thousands of highly influential online moms.  To make it even sweeter (pun coming), monthly meetings are held at Chocolations in Mamaroneck.  Yum!

Curious – What networking groups do you belong to?  Do they meet in real life or virtually?  What do you find most useful?  Please share with a comment – thanks.

Why you need to get out from behind your computer

Because you meet totally cool people, like Guy Kawasaki.  Guy is serious social marketing guru, content management master and a serial author and now publisher.  Check out his newest book: APE-Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, How to Publish a Book.  We crossed paths yesterday at the Book Expo America (BEA), the big confab for the publishing industry and book peeps.

Even if you don’t meet people like Guy all the time (I certainly don’t), it’s important to get away from the grind and the never-ending to-do list at work and make sure you make time for yourself, build your network and invest in your career.

Here are a few terrific articles about the value of networking:
How an introvert learned to love networking – Laura Vanderkam
How to network to get clients – Fabienne Fredrickson
The importance of networking – Rishi Chowdry

Now, step away from your work and go meet some new people!

Use your network

It’s right there in front of you – or at least on your phone in your contacts list or on your email server (or even in your old fashioned address book).  Right there – your network of friends, family and fans – who probably haven’t heard from you in a while and would be very interested (maybe surprised) to hear about your new business, project or accomplishment.

You don’t have to be boastful or bragging, but it would behoove you to make sure that you connect with your peeps on a regular basis.  Pick up the phone, send them a note, post some news on Facebook, accept a request on LinkedIn, or consider a fun email campaign (yes – there is such a thing as a fun email campaign).  You never know what they might need or who they might know or what great ideas they might have unless you make the connection.

Further tips and ideas about staying connected:
Get out there in a BIG way with warm letters – Fabienne Fredrickson
* 6 Ninja Referral Tactics – Natasha Vorompiova

So before you spend loads of time, energy and money tracking down new customers or clients, make sure that you are fully engaged with the ones that you already know!

Step away from the screen and pick up the phone

We are so lucky to live in this modern age of technology where we can communicate with the ease of texts and email and even social media.  It gives us the freedom to connect on our terms and in ways that don’t interrupt others’ very busy lives. But there are times when calling someone would be a much more effective and often times more productive way of getting in touch.

Consider the picking up the phone if you find yourself in any of these situations:

1) If you are in the 3rd or 4th email exchange trying to set a date or appointment.   Yes, email works well especially if you are trying to get a large group organized.  But sometimes, you can spend as much time in the back and forth emails, that dates and time options slip past and you end up back where you started.  Also, being on the phone usually forces all involved parties to commit on the spot without time delays.

2) If you are putting off an email or text because you don’t quite know how to word it or the effort is simply too much for a written message.  This usually involves a situation where you need to explain a complicated matter or may need to “take the temperature” or “get the read” on something – or simply need to start an exchange of ideas on a project.  Talking it out may result in quicker, better and collaborative solutions.

3) When you just need to make a personal connection — good or bad, positive or negative.  Sometimes you just need to hear the other person’s voice – or they may need to hear yours.  Whether you are sharing great news or bearing bad tidings, communicating by phone (or even in person) leaves less to interpretation and reading between the lines.

It may seem a contradiction to be advocating the use of the phone with the myriad of technological options for communicating, marketing and messaging, but if you think about it . . . picking up the phone is about as online as you can get. (Tweet this)

And as a society and culture we seem to have forgotten how effective the phone might actually be.  Check out these recent articles about the lost art of using the phone:

Why I silence your call even when I am free – New York Times 
Bosses say “Pick up the phone” – Wall Street Journal

So who will you call today?  Let me know in the comments or call me – I’d love to hear your voice!