If you are in transition or concerned about your job, this series is a must for you. Author and consultant, Richard S. Pearson will be joining show hosts Chicke Fitzgerald and Tiffany Topcik to talk about the 5 necessary skills needed to keep your career on track.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
It is a good idea to start your networking with those that you know and those that you trust (and those that trust you!). Your address book is an excellent place to start.
If you use a hosted email/address book product, such as GMail, AOL Mail or Yahoo Mail, many of the social networking systems have an auto-import feature to invite those that are not yet members of their network to become your "friend".
If you use an email/address book system based on your computer, you will first need to do some housecleaning. You can then either manually go through and add people to each of your networks (we have a tool to help you - download HERE), or once your address book is updated, you can export your address book to one of the hosted email products so that you may use the auto-import feature.
Whatever your situation, don't attempt to do your updates all in one sitting. Lay out a realistic game plan and work on it for a minimum of 5 minutes per day (if you have a large address book, it may take more than 5 minutes a day, so allocate your time realistically). In any event, it should not take you more than 20 business days. I guarantee that it will feel good when you are done!
Today's five steps in five minutes will move you closer to taking full advantage of the social grid in your networking:
- Book time on your own calendar for the next 20 business days to go through each letter of the alphabet and decide who to add to what network (you can combined some letters such as E-F, I-J, O-P-Q, U-V and X-Y-Z).
- In your Facebook account (and yes, we do recommend that you use Facebook for all of your network needs) set up different lists for each type of relationship (e.g. business, former co-workers, real life friends, prospects, friends of friends, school friends, family, etc.). Go to Friends page and Create New List for each category. Then when you invite people from your cleaned up "A" list tomorrow, you'll be able to classify them!
- If you use Twitter, then consider using a product like Tweetdeck.com to separate the people that you follow into groups. I have a list for my "real friends" and my "real colleagues" versus those that I don't know firsthand.
- Choose at least one business oriented network, such as LinkedIn or Plaxo, particularly if you are in transition. Make sure you list your full work history, particularly in Plaxo, as they will search your past companies automatically for you to see if you want to connect with former colleagues. I list all the companies that I have consulted for as well as those that I worked for (with Consulting Advisor as the title).
- Write down your starting network numbers for each of your networks at the beginning of this project and see how far you advance your network at the end of 20 days!
Friday, September 18, 2009
1. First thing in the morning, open your favorite browser.
2. Open separate tabs for the social media tools that you are committed to using faithfully
3. Set up a time on your calendar every day and book it as you would a meeting to update each one of the platforms (e.g. 8am - 815am Facebook, 815am - 830am LinkedIn, etc.)
4. Use your time to post/repost/retweet, to add a few new friends/connections. Honor the time commitment in your calendar so that you don't get "sucked" in. If you need more time for one component (e.g. writing a new blog or recording a video), then set aside a special amount of time or even a special day for that activity.
5. Perform at least one random act of social media kindness (write a recommendation, compliment someone else on something they have written).
Chicke Fitzgerald | founder | Solutionz Media
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
So today's five in five series outlines 5 ways that you can place other's interests before your own. Random acts of social media if you will!
If you don't have the accounts that I refer to in each action, create one and link to some friends and colleagues on each!
1. Go to Linked in and write Recommendations for 3 of your friends or colleagues.
2. Visit a blog on a topic that you are passionate about (http://blogsearch.google.com/) and write a comment on one of the posts.
3. Watch a video on YouTube and if you like it, take the time to say something nice in the comments about the video (if you need a headstart, try www.youtube.com/chickefitz)
4. Re-tweet someone's post on Twitter
5. When you accept an invitation on Facebook, take the time to recommend some other people that they should link to.
Here's a secret - if you do this for 30 days, I guarantee you that you will see stratospheric benefits!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Have you been hearing the buzz about Twitter? Is the Pope Catholic?
If you have been afraid that Twitter will suck you in and you will become the man on the commercial "tweeting" about sitting on the deck with his teenage children rolling their eyes, watch this video and get some ideas on how this micro-blogging tool can help you grow your network, your reputation, your brand, your business.
So for those that have not ventured out into the blogosphere or who do not yet Tweet your every thought, here is where to start. While this one may take more than 5 minutes, it will be worth the investment. Set yourself a time goal and schedule time into your calendar to get established with the right foundation.
1. YOUR LOOK - Find (or take) a photo of yourself that you like - I favor outside shots with foliage or flowers in the back with a natural pose. No mug shots or standing in front of a blank wall and please please don't crop a photo of you standing with someone else. Dress according to what you want to be doing. If you want to teach surfing, a photo with a suit and tie probably isn't appropriate.Use that photo for every site you are registered on so that you are "recognizable". It becomes a part of your brand.
2. YOUR MONIKER - Decide on a name that you will use throughout the social grid and try to stick with that as your username. I started in the early 90s on AOL as chickefitz as my screename and I use that as my name throughout the social grid for sites that don't allow me to use my full name. Consistency helps you remember and others will begin to recognize your moniker.
3. TAGLINE - Think about a 3-5 word phrase that describes who you are and what you do (not your title, but what you can accomplish for someone). I use "The Connector and Growth Coach" as my tagline.
4. YOUR PROFILE - Now this you may want to modify from site to site. But I recommend writing one profile description to use as a starting point.
5. YOUR CORE SITE(S) - You can't tackle the entire Social Grid in one day. Decide on one or two core sites that you will focus on initially to begin your social media journey. If you haven't touched your profile on your "core" sites recently, review them and make sure that they say what you want to say and will accomplish your goals.
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to work on this and to lay a proper foundation for your journey. It can be fun. There is a lot to learn!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Today's Five in Five™ lays out five social media strategies that you can execute in five minutes using social bookmarking tool, DIGG.
- Link your DIGG profile to your Facebook account, if you haven't already done so) by going into Profile, Settings, Facebook Connect.
- Go into your PROFILE on DIGG (Profile, Settings, Customize Topics) and filter your favorite topics to make the home page results more relevant.
- On your PROFILE page, click on FRIEND's ACTIVITY and DIGG one of the items (news, images or videos) posted by them.
- On the HOME page of DIGG, click on POPULAR and find 3 stories that appeal to you and DIGG them
- Sign up for the Best of DIGG (promoted on most every page of DIGG)
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Today's Word of Mouth Media Five in Five™ list is for Twitter™.
1. Look at the Twitter Trending Topics in the right margin on the Twitter page and follow someone that posted something interesting on a topic that intrigues you.
2. Retweet a post from a good friend
3. Search for your own name or company name in http://www.search.twitter.com and see what folks are saying. If no one is talking about you, check back in a week after using Twitter Five in Five™ and see if anything changes.
4. Thank someone that retweeted one of your posts
5. Using @ and the person's name, acknowledge several people that followed you recently
Participating in social media doesn't have to be time consuming.
There are some very simple things that you can do each day to further your social media strategy that will take less than 5 minutes.
Today Word of Mouth media launched "Five in Five™" or in Twitter parlance #5in5. The goal is to outline five social media strategies that can be done in just five minutes a day.
Whether you are trying to increase positive word of mouth activity about you or your company, getting on the social grid really boils down to regular activity (daily if possible) that:
- avoids the two bottom rungs of the Relationship Ladder, SPAM and NOISE and
- works toward relationship and engagement.
Join our Facebook Fan page and contribute your ideas for Five in Five.
So who doesn't want to be liberated? I know that isn't a word that is used often these days, unless you are in jail in the Ivory Coast (can you tell that I watched Blood Diamond this week?). Or perhaps you are reminiscing the 70's and what it was like for a woman to actually get a full time job and to open doors for men if she felt like it.
But I'm not talking about breaking out of jail or women's lib. I'm talking about letting out the thoughts that are trapped inside your head, or even more, your heart. Taking off your shoes after a healthy rain and going for a walk and then letting the description of that walk make it out of your experience and into the blogosphere.
Well, I didn't go for a walk in the rain, but this week I published my first business book, Bootstrap Business, and I can tell you that getting to express yourself in print, along with the likes of Tom Hopkins (The Art of Selling), John Christensen (Fish!) and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) is heady stuff!
When the UPS man arrived with the 15 cases of books, it was all I could do not to kiss and hug him. I settled for giving him an autographed copy of the book! After that, what was the first thing that I did? Well of course, I published that "walk after the rain" moment. On Twitter.
So why Twitter? How liberating can 140 characters be?
Well, truth be known, it wasn't just Twitter. I use Ping.fm to reach the thousands that follow me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo and other popular social media platforms. It is all about Word of Mouth after all. And I wanted to shout on the housetops that my book was finally out! And 140 characters was enough.
But now, with a little more time on my hands (and some background work in place), I now move on to the blog behind the Tweet strategy of sharing my excitement about my book and linking to a little more information than just talking about hugging the UPS man to my network.
So the story behind the story is that there was groundwork that needed to be put down before I could take it further than just a simple Tweet. Now I have stepped back and deployed what I have learned in my social media immersion training over the past 6 months and have created a Facebook fan page for the book (which I dutifully shortened to www.tinyurl.com/fbbootstrapbusiness). I of course Tweeted about that. I posted the press release on numerous sites and Tweeted about that. Yesterday we put my book on Amazon (another thrill) and of course, am Tweeting about that. And tomorrow, I will do a couple of videos and will of course, Tweet about that. And then comes the article marketing strategy. You get the picture.
So, is Twitter the power behind the liberation? I vote yes. At least as the first step in my overall book promotion strategy! More on the other components as the week progresses!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
September 3, 2009 SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE — In the summer of 2008, Chicke Fitzgerald, consultant, keynote speaker and author, was selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Bootstrap Business; a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book is now available for sale (http://www.solutionz.com/publications.asp).
The book features best-selling authors Tom Hopkins (How to Master the Art of Selling), Jack Canfield (One Minute Manager), and John Christensen (FISH!). Chicke Fitzgerald, Hopkins, Canfield, and Christensen are joined by other well known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
As the founder and CEO of Tampa-based Solutionz Group, Chicke Fitzgerald has spent the last 13 years solving business growth challenges for corporations, nurturing early-stage companies and coaching top executives and entrepreneurs around the globe.
With 30+ years in the travel industry, Chicke is a recognized authority on distributions models, whose expert perspective is frequently sought by the investment community and media. Fitzgerald is currently affiliated with the Gerson Lehman Group and has been among the top investment advisors for the internationally renowned GLG Expert Network™.
She is also passionate about helping others master the use of technology and social media to foster growth through her Solutionz Media division. Since January of 2009 she has interviewed more than 150 authors and experts on her Solutionz Live! show on BlogTalkRadio.com and on the Executive Girlfriends' Group (http://www.executivegirlfriendsgroup.com).
When she is not coaching, speaking or consulting, Chicke enjoys spending time with her family in Tampa, Florida. She also dedicates time, energy and resources to a local organization known as Real Estate Lives, mentoring displaced employees hard hit by the mortgage banking crisis and working with the organization’s leadership to build a similar model for other industries and communities to replicate.
To discuss speaking opportunities with Chicke Fitzgerald and to order your copy of Bootstrap Business, contact:
Chicke Fitzgerald | 813-925-0789 | email@example.com or visit www.solutionz.com
Thursday, August 27, 2009
As we look back on Rung #1 - SPAM, it is accompanied by the emotion that is generated by this kind of activity - DISDAIN. And even as we move up to Rung #2 - NOISE (slightly more targeted communications than Rung #1), it can still elicit IRRITATION.
Hopefully once you have reached Rung #3 and have started getting a response, you have your audience INTRIGUED. But intrigue isn't enough to keep you moving up in engagement with your prospects.
Rung #4 - DIALOGUE gets you to a place where you can distinguish true INTEREST in whatever you are offering (whether selling a product or a service, or trying to get someone to believe in you or your ideas).
A level of COMFORT results from getting to Rung #5 - CONVERSATION. This can be comfort with your product or service or just comfort with the fact that someone cares enough to fully converse with them about what they are after versus just what you are offering.
Rung #6 is really the Holy Grail for most marketers and that is getting to a place where you can actually get the client/prospect to TRUST you.
This is also where you begin to move your own needle by getting the referral for (or conversion to ) a sale. It is also the place where if you deliver against your promise in both the product or service and the whole set of experiences pre- and post-sale, then you have a great chance of this person referring you to others. TRUST is an essential component of relationship and of continued engagement.
So this is the place that you must be if you are counting on viral marketing as a core component of your marketing plans.
Stay tuned for the last rung, REPUTATION.
Chicke Fitzgerald | founder Solutionz Media and CEO Solutionz Group www.solutionz.com
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
If you do a Google™ search on this term, you will find that it is not a new term. In fact, it was used as early as 1951 in a Los Angeles Times article on Teen Etiquette, talking about "following sporting rules with cheerful courtesy", which would yield social proof that you were indeed "growing up".
In the current vernacular, the term "social proof" has to do with the results yielded by an individual or a company's involvement in word of mouth, or social media. Put more simply, demonstrating success.
My contention is that most companies are not yet sure what proof they are looking for to justify the time spent on social media and indeed have not yet reached a stage where they themselves have "following the rules with cheerful courtesy" demonstrating that they are indeed "grown up" in their use of the range of new tools, which include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Digg, Google Friend Connect, FriendFeed (just acquired by Facebook), etc.
It reminds me of when the term "new media" became vogue in the early 90s. The Internet was still in its infancy and the term actually related to the use of "multi-media" and new platforms such as Compuserve and Prodigy to reach consumers. The proliferation of PC use in the home was what sparked the growth of this media. Eventually of course, new becomes old and we have to come up with new terms.
New media was focused on companies reaching their audiences, largely by using older mass media techniques based on traditional advertising. In traditional advertising, companies looked for return on investment, with a pure ratio between spend and sales. Ad agencies guided the way, expert in all things "new media".
Word of Mouth media isn't so simple. It involves not only companies talking to consumers, but consumers talking to consumers and consumers talking about companies and their products and services. The one thing that Word of Mouth media has in common with its predecessor is that it is a major factor in brand building, but in its infancy and in the hands of those that are not yet "grown up", it may not have a direct correllation to driving sales. So the best measure at the outset is what I have dubbed "ROIT™" or return or investment of time.
As you look at the relationship ladder that must be climbed in word of mouth media (see other posts on this blog), most companies are still on the bottom rungs (SPAM and NOISE), which relate to more traditional mass media reach - quantity over quality. Getting to the top rungs (REFERRAL AND REPUTATION/BRAND) require a much stronger focus on delivering relevant information and in fact, forming relationship.
Those are the tenets of strategy that must be deployed as you look at using social media and word of mouth as tools in achieving your goals and getting yourself or your company on the social graph.
Friday, July 24, 2009
This is my video statement about the following video as it relates to the Power of Word of Mouth Media. This viral video, that has had over 3 million views features United Airlines, but not exactly in a good light.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
This practical video series, hosted by Chicke Fitzgerald, will provide regular tips on getting on the Social Grid using Word of Mouth Media.
In this Word of Mouth Media Minute, Chicke Fitzgerald talks about the practical side of making a YouTube video. If it isn't perfect, remember "you just gotta laugh!".
Friday, July 3, 2009
Perhaps you have taken the big step beyond 140 character communication (aka Twitter or any other micro-blogging/status update) and have become a citizen of the blogosphere.
The secret there of course is saying something that people are interested and of course, working to engage them in DIALOGUE. That gets you as far as Rung #4.
So how do you get to Rung #5, CONVERSATION?
What is the real difference between online dialogue and conversation? I would distill it down to one word - ENGAGEMENT.
You can see that I've added the word engagement to sit across from the word relationship. True relationship is built over time and quite often involves "knowing" the person, either personally by meeting face to face or by talking over the phone (or Skype). Engagement can occur with people that you don't "know" in any sense other than dialogue over the Internet.
You don't normally use the term dialogue with people that you know intimately (e.g. "I had a great dialogue with my husband Michael yesterday"). No, that is a conversation.
What we are talking about here is the degree of engagement, the degree of relationship.
Stay tuned to hear about the next rung, which requires you to also add in a large dose of trust into the equation.
Chicke Fitzgerald | founder | Solutionz Media 813-925-0789
Saturday, June 27, 2009
This week I made a major decision which was predicated by coming to the realization that I was indeed spread too thin, in a lot of areas of my life, including social media.
For those that know me well, you'll understand that it takes a lot to get me to that point, as multi-tasking is my middle name.
Getting people engaged in dialogue online is getting more and more difficult. Case in point is Groups on Facebook and Linked In. Lots of people join them, perhaps to have that "badge" on their profile so people know what they are interested in, but very few people get engaged to the point where they are actually eliciting dialogue.
Dialogue is first and foremost a function of LISTENING. You can't have a meaningful dialogue if you are the only one talking. That is called monologue for a reason. So the difference between Rung #3 of trying to elicit a response and #4, DIALOGUE is how much listening you are doing versus talking.
Is your response one that is just intended to turn the attention back to you? Or do you really care about the other person's views and their needs?
One of the characteristics of true online dialogue is when it has more than a single cycle (e.g. a comment that may have a response, but no more interaction) or when someone else chimes in, having found value in your contribution.
To get to multiple cycles, well, that is Rung #5 - Conversation. Stay tuned!
Chicke Fitzgerald | co-founder | Word of Mouth Media
Thursday, June 25, 2009
You fully understand that rung #1 of the ladder is spamming and you've gotten past rung #2, noise.
You get it -- that in order to really make a dent in the social grid, you have to get folks engaged. You need to get a response -- to get noticed.
Quite often, the first step is following the big boys, the leaders of the social media pack.
You read their blogs, you comment, you try to get noticed for your clever observations. You join Digg, Disqus, Reddit, Newsvine and others and post your comments and even check that you want to "follow the dialogue". But the transom is silent.
You "retweet" their posts on Twitter. You shift your strategy to retweeting the posts of people that you know and follow.
You comment on their YouTube videos and even venture out into doing video comments.
Perhaps you are bold enough to launch your own blog or post articles on eZine.com. You even add a Google FriendFeed to your blog to give the hordes a way to signal their response.
While you are pursuing relationship and engagement, which is better than noise,
at this juncture, what you are still doing says loud and clear, "Listen to me! I matter!". It simply isn't enough to just talk or to hope that you can elicit a response.
Getting past the response stage takes time and energy. Getting to dialogue isn't easy, but the good news is that it is possible.
Stay tuned. We're going there next.
Chicke Fitzgerald | co-founder | Word of Mouth Media
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The next step up on the ladder is NOISE.
No one likes to be called "noisy", yet, this is typically the first step for someone who decides to "graduate" from email spamming or the social media equivalent of mindless autoresponders trying to "sell" your idea or product to whoever follows you on social media.
Noise in Word of Mouth Media™ is the equivalent of going to a party and walking from group to group, introducing yourself and spouting off whatever you want to say and walking away without even knowing whether anyone cared or wanted to learn more.
Engagement does NOT follow noise, nor does conversion.
One of my favorite authors is Sam Horn. She wrote a great book called POP! with the sub-title of stand out in any crowd. Trust me, it doesn't include instructions for how to generate "noise". What Sam does talk about is how to get from the place where someone "furrows their brow", which translates into not being very happy about whatever just happened, or worse, no "brow reaction", to the place where you get a positive response (or in social media terms, someone commenting on your post, your tweet or your video) that looks more like raised eyebrows, which signifies visually "Wow!" or "I get it!".
We'll talk more about engagement when we talk about Rung #3 - RESPONSE. Stay tuned!
Chicke Fitzgerald | co-founder | Word of Mouth Media
Monday, June 22, 2009
Today's post is thanks to Travel Social Media's blog by Chicke Fitzgerald
Of all of the things that I've learned in my 6 month immersion into social media, this one is the most important. It is so important, that I'm going to break it into a series of posts, each one addressing the various rungs of the relationship ladder.
RUNG #1 - SPAM
Without any training or strategy, most everyone that wants to get across a point, get people to an event, or to somehow get them into your sales funnel, begin online at the bottom rung of the Word of Mouth media™ relationship ladder.
SPAM is not just a brand of canned mystery meat, it is what happens when you attempt to have some sort of dialogue or conversation (or what you think might appear to someone as such) without any form of current relationship.
I say current, because most of us have been building our email list (aka address book) for more than a decade. We have everyone from friends and family, to business colleagues, clients, former clients, all the way down to the guy you sat next to on an airplane in 2002, but can't even remember why you thought he was important enough to add to your address book.
We've all done it. You are in a hurry, so you send out a notice of a product launch, an event, a company announcement or even a particularly funny joke, but what you forget to do is to ensure that the person on the other end will actually (a) remember you; (b) care about what you want them to care about.
- You stand to alienate people that you actually care about a great deal (either personally or professionally).
- You don't give them a graceful way to tell you that they don't care or more likely, don't have the time for whatever you want them to care about
- You don't sway them to your way of thinking (they hit delete or navigate away from your post, or worse, unfriend you electronically) before they figure out what it is you really want