Tag Archives: Google

7 Steps to Become an Authority in Your Industry/ Keep Learning !


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

How developing your reputation as a leader can help boost your business and brand.

The last point  “Keep Learning” of this article on “how to become an authority in your industry” is for me the most important factor to become and stay an expert in your field.

The original article is mainly for businesses but the concept can be applied for building your reputation to boost your career and get opportunities

For organizing and sharing interesting articles I like Scoop.it. To discuss new topics, get new ideas and feedback from other experts I like Linkedin groups. I am not using yet the new Google+ feature, “communities”,  but it seems something interesting. If you have started a Google + community, please share your experience or wait for the next post after I have learned how to use this new tool.

For organizing ideas and actually learn, I like to write in my blog. Learning by teaching is one of my favorite way to learn. I can’t explain clearly something if I did not understand it fully.

What about you ? What do you do to be known as an expert in your industry ?

Related articles

How To Network Like A Pro!


What is the Definition of Networking ?

net·work·ing, noun”:

Definition:

  1. The exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business
  2. The establishment or use of a computer network

If you are mastering the art of networking the classical way, involving in person meetings, business cards  and phone calls,  then you know how to turn contacts into connections that will help you get your next job or win your next business deal. Right ?

WRONG !  

If you are a great connector and know how to make the most of your connections through traditional in person conversations, it is not enough anymore. If you don’t know how to use social media to engage people on a personal level by being part of online communities such as Linkedin, then you are simply out of the networking game. Since 2004, when the term social media was first used, people want to do business with people they trust and share similar interests beyond work but without necessarily being in some kind of physical contact via phone, video-conference or in person.

In the digital age, aka, the internet world, you cannot be a networking pro if you don’t know how to leverage your online presence to attract the right people who will help you reach your professional and business goals as well as your personal projects.

I think today, even the most stubborn executives admit they need some kind of presence online, they might no become social media artists,  but they know that personal branding is not a buzz word and actually it is a pretty old concept that first appeared in 1997 in an article published in Fast Company Magazine, from  management guru and author Tom Peters:

“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” -Tom Peters

If you want to become a more confident and engaging person to establish effective relationships both online and off-line, start following those 3 steps:

Step #1: Create A Brand Called “ME”

What makes you unique ? In a global economy in crisis, every job seekers and businesses must differentiate themselves to stand out of the crowd. The only constant today is change and very fast change in our highly connected global world. To win the global war of talent you need to know who knows you and how you are perceived. What is your reputation online? Are you in control of what people find when they Google “your name” ? What is your unique value proposition ?  Do you know what your competitors have to offer ? What gives you a competitive edge ?

In a previous post “Me Inc, Brand Yourself and Find your Ideal Job”I have listed the five steps to help you build your personal brand .

The materials to build your brand can be identified through the same process of strategic planning used to market products or services. Make a “SWOT” analysis starting by various assessments of your core personal  values, the principles that guide your life, your life purpose or mission, your vision, what are your strengths, weaknesses ? In which environment do you thrive ? What is the type of boss or ideal client you want to work with ?

It is important to be really YOU, authenticity is key, don’t try to be someone you are not but discover who you really are using tools that uncover hidden talent and what intrinsically motivates you.

For more in-depth understanding of personal branding  I recommend you to connect with Dan Schawbel recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times and author of the #1 international bestselling career book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.or how to build a powerful brand to achieve career success. Check his Personal Branding Blog too.

Step #2: Identify Who Is Your Audience

It is tempting to be everything for anybody and everybody but this doesn’t work. As the leader of your own brand you must inspire the people you want to attract. What is it about you that is appealing to people who want to buy from you or hire you ? You need to change shoes and imagine being in those of your potential customers/employers. This is very important because the way you package your experience in your resume or select social media platforms depends on how your audience is listening and communicating about their professional and personal  interests.

If you want to learn about your target audience, start LISTENING first : search  key words used by people interested by your expertise and thought leaders.  Invite those people to connect on LinkedIn and see what they talk about and how they interact in specific groups (you can be part of 50 groups on Linkedin). Use Q&A, start a Twitter account and read other people’s  Tweets.

The same way an HR person or a hiring manager will get information about you via Google, you can learn a lot about companies by connecting with the employees online. If you want to learn about a specific country before accepting an international assignment, contact expatriates and locals who live there. Once the contact is made online, try to follow-up by a phone call or Skype or meet in person to share about your needs and how you can also return the favor by helping those who helped you. Do not hesitate to contact people you don’t know. People online are much more open to connect and talk to you even if you are a perfect stranger. Read more about How to Connect With People You Don’t Know 

Step #3 Engage your Connections Through Meaningful Conversations

Once you have an idea of what your prospects’ interests are,  then you can start defining your goals and make a content marketing  strategy to help you connect with the right web audiences. You can use any kind of platforms such as blogs, videos on YouTube, Google + or images on “Pinterest to create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, Use online content curation tools such as Scoop.it to gather and disseminate knowledge in the topics your audience is interested.

You need to choose carefully your content strategy based on the specific goals you want to achieve. For example, If your goal is to increase you ranking in search engines like Google, then maybe it is a good idea to start a professional blog and comment in other experts’ blogs. Do you want to identify and invite new contacts ? then start a debate in a Linkedin group discussion. Maybe you want to demonstrate your capability to engage consumers online as a marketer ? then build a Facebook fan page and try to attract active followers on Twitter.

Whatever you need to do, be consistent about the image you want to project. For example do not use your personal Facebook  profile to broadcast your personal life. You may use your personal Facebook page to show a more casual image  of yourself but avoid venting your frustrations, be negative in general, don’t share your political or religious opinions and keep private things that are too personal.

Always assume that anybody can potentially see everything you post online and once out there it stays FOREVER !

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If You Don’t Show Up In Google, You Don’t Exist.


In my previous post I talked about KLOUT score and how to use it to manage your content on social media

If you are a job seeker or think about changing career or starting your own business, you must define your Unique Selling Point (USP) or value proposition and then define how you communicate clearly your vision and value to attract the right people (your target audience).

Everybody use Google everyday and the very first thing people will do when they want to know about you, is to Google your name.

Do you control the perception you give about yourself on Google searches?  If you answer NO,  start with this first step about creating a personal brand online:

Step #1 : Assessment : Have you Googled “Your Name” Recently ? If not, your boss, colleagues, recruiters, potential employers, customers and competitors did.

What Is Your Online Identity ?

Click on the button bellow to find out.

I am digitally distinct! Visit onlineIDCalculator.com

Did You Like the Result ? If NOT, then Maybe it is time To Talk About Your Professional Unique Selling Point or your Target Audience .

GET A FREE COACHING SESSION TO :

  • DEFINE YOUR VISION,
  • SET SMART GOALS,
  • CREATE ACTION PLAN

Sign Up Today: clickFREE Strategic Planning Session ◄ 


Klout Score: Content Is Key !


There are sure ways to lose your audience’s trust and patience on social media: making noise and becoming lazy, stopping creating educative or entertaining content and boring people with self-selling monologues.

A lot have been said about Klout  the “standard” for measuring online influence. I am not an expert to understand how the algorithms work to calculate your Klout score but it measures influence based on your ability to drive action by creating content or engaging others in conversations. The Klout score uses data from social networks such as Twitter, Youtube, WordPress, Linkedin, or Facebook.

Even if you don’t want to, everybody who is active on social media has a Klout score.  You may choose to ignore it but if you are a small business owner your clients may take it very seriously.  If you are a self-proclaimed expert in SEO, website designer or social media guru you need to be recognized as an expert with a low klout score people might doubt you have the capability to do a great job for improving their online presence and social media marketing.

If you are a business consultant or a coach, your Klout score may be interpreted to judge how well you can help your clients by using the latest internet tools available to reach their goals. For example help them learn what works and what doesn’t for their particular needs such as marketing their services or building a personal brand and assisting them in job search.

Hopefully, most people don’t use Klout alone to evaluate your skills or capability and your ranking on GOOGLE when people search your name or business is much more important as 99% of people will search information about you via Google (check my post : If You Don’t Show Up In Google, You Don’t Exist. and take the the test.

Klout is not only a number, it helps you identify people who are experts or at least are engaging people in certain topics. You can survey what are the trends in your sector or build your expert image and brand by publishing specific content people read and talk about on social media. For example Harvard Business Review (http://klout.com/#/HarvardBiz) is influential about Management, Business and Economics. Klout thinks I am influential about Coaching, Business, Culture.

Can I cheat my Klout Score ? YES ABSOLUTELY ! Klout is not a science and you can artificially pump up your Klout score by following these advises: How to increase your Klout Score in 9 Easy Steps  The problem with following those tips is that it takes as much time as making great content and you will fool nobody after a while if you are just a boring noise maker and a spammer.

My recommendation is: don’t be obsess by your Klout score, it is just a statistic tool. Nobody will trust you based on your Klout score only, you know the saying : there are  lies, damned lies, and statistics !  You will drop points faster than you gain them if you stop being connected during weekends or vacation which I recommend you to do. Don’t be a Klout addict,  what counts is using Klout as a tool to benchmark yourself against yourself. What did you do or say that increased your audience engagement ?  How much business do you get via social media ?  What topics are hot in your fields ? Are you perceived as an influencer ?  Overall Klout helps you define a sound content strategy.

Agree ? Don’t Agree ?

Related articles:

5 reasons to worry about your Klout score, as social influence comes of age.

Do you have Klout? Or could you be out of the running? (rogueloguevogue.com)

Praise and Incentives: Are Carrots Worse Than Sticks?


How many times do you say  “good job” or  “I am proud of you” to your kids ? Do you give them money or buy them candies if they behave well or get good marks at school?

What about your employees ?  Do you give them extra money if they exceed their goals ?

The way you encourage and praise kids and adults  is very cultural.  For example in France, Japan or China praise is rare.  Those cultures think that too much praise will spoil the children and prevent them from making efforts to get results. On the other hand, in America, it is almost considered as a crime if you don’t praise your kids for anything and everything they do. Most teachers and parents think that praising children is good for their self-esteem.

Our basic strategy for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers can be summarized in six words: Do this and you’ll get that. We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in much the same way that we train the family pet.

In the famous book, “Punished by Rewards”, Alfie Kohn shows that while manipulating people with incentives seems to work in the short run, it is a strategy that ultimately fails and even does lasting harm.

On a short-term basis, praise do increase the motivation in children and adults for boosting  the performance at school or at work. However many evidence-based studies show that in the long run the motivation is actually decreasing. Those studies also demonstrated that  both in children and adults praise kills risk-taking attitude and creativity.

In one experiment, two groups of children in 5th grade  were asked to make an easy puzzle for everyone. In one group the children have been told that they were very intelligent and the other group that they worked hard. Then the same groups of students got the option to choose between doing another easy puzzle or a more difficult and challenging one. In the group who was told they were very intelligent, the majority selected the easy one  while in the other group more children choose to take the challenge of making a more difficult task.

Kids praised for being smart want to keep looking good, therefore they avoid taking risks or more challenges due to fear of failure preventing them to learn new things. They have also a tendency to be competitive and benchmarking themselves with other kids. On the contrary, the children who have been told they worked hard learned that by working harder they can learn more and preferred the challenging task.

In this article “effect of praise” there are  good tips on how to praise kids the right way.

In business, financial incentives like sales commissions and bonuses  are the most common ways used to motivate people and reward performance despite the fact that most economic and behavioral scientific studies demonstrate that  it doesn’t work. Companies like Google, Apple or Zappos  use different approaches based on intrinsic motivation rather than external rewards and get better results on how workers are engaged and creative.

The If-Then-Rewards model destroys creativity

In this video:  TED talk, Dan Pink demonstrates that financial incentives don’t work on productivity and motivation for most people working in jobs that require more than just following simple tasks. What works on a long run is employee’s autonomy, engagement, mastery and purpose

Dan Ariely and co-workers also demonstrated in experiments published in the “Large Stakes and Big Mistakes article,  that big financial incentive backfire:

Many institutions provide very large incentives for tasks that require creativity, problem solving, and memory. Our results challenge the assumption that increases in motivation would necessarily lead to improvements in performance. Across multiple tasks (with one important exception), higher monetary incentives led to worse performance.  the largest the financial incentives the poorest the performance were .

In thisvideo, Freaknomics‘s author Steve Levitt  found also lot of evidence that  giving financial incentive don’t work.

In conclusion, While most people think intuitively that too much punishment may not be an effective way to improve performance on cognitive tasks such as learning or being creative,  the negative impact of over-praising or offering large incentives is ignored by most parents, teachers and companies. Anything that stimulates intrinsic motivation such as autonomy and independence, overcoming personal challenges or problem solving is the way both schools and companies should base their incentive programs.

Related  links:
http://www.parentingscience.com/theory-of-intelligence.html
http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/newthinking/largestakes.pdf

Dear Executives: If You Are Not On Linkedin, Your Competitors Are!


This is icon for social networking website. Th...

Image via Wikipedia

This article is about executives who have a job or executive job seekers. I am not talking about how companies can create competitive advantages by using Linkedin.

When I first posted about using Linkedin, few executives were openly using it to manage actively their career. They probably thought that Linkedin was not for them … until they were fired.  You cannot ignore Linkedin especially if you never used a resume to get a job !

The average time to find a job in the US now is 8 months and if you have been unemployed for more than 6 months your chances to find a job are rapidly declining. So the message here is  start working on your Linkedin profile and make connections while you still have a job !

The most fragile people are the executives and managers  45 and more who have been totally devoted to their company for many years, sometimes at the cost of having a divorce or other family issues, and who never spent time to build a professional network or a reputation online.

One day they woke up and they have been made redundant for a multitude of reasons which have nothing to do with their  expertise or job performance. We are living in a global economy in crisis and there is a fierce  competition even for top executives jobs, around 4 to 6 candidates for one position on average.

If you don’t have a profile on Linkedin, you’re nowhere-Fortune Magazine, 2010

In the article from Fortune magazine ”How Linkedin will fire up your career” the author mentioned that  more than 60 million members have logged on to create profiles, upload their employment histories, and built connections.

According to Jessi Hempel, Senior Writer at Fortune Magazine:

  • The average member  is a college-educated 43-year-old making $107,000.
  • More than a quarter are senior executives.
  • Every Fortune 500 company is represented.

Most of Linkedin members already have jobs that is why its credibility among executive search companies is so high and why other executives are looking to recruit passive candidates even for their most senior positions.

Your contacts in your network, the way you use Linkedin, participating in Q&As, groups or showing events you attend are ways for many  potential candidates to be found without actively searching.

This work for small business owners too,  Linkedin is a way for clients to find you. If you are proactive, energetic and offer something your clients  want you get hired and if people are happy about what you did they may spread the word to their Linkedin contacts.

How do I start  ?

To build a professional image  or personal brand on-line or off-line, the very first step is to define the story that you want to communicate about you that will attract people from your target audience. Being able to summarize a 25 year career on a Linkedin profile in half a page is more than just making a resume. You must be concise, attractive and show your strengths and achievements  and most of all don’t be boring !

People spend 7 seconds on average to decide if they will read your profile or not, so the first sentence of your Linkedin profile is  key to be found by search engines, but also it should stimulate the curiosity of the readers to go further and take actions :  95 % of recruiters and hiring managers will “Google” you to find more information. It is very important not only to be found but to show consistency in what you say online. Remember everything said on the web will last forever but having an empty Google search is not good impression as well.

So wake up, your competitors were working on building their personal brand while you were doing other things and they now know who knows them and how to attract them to get more attractive career  opportunities while they still have a job!

See Anne Egros’ Linkedin Profile

Social Media Usage Across Cultures



With the globalization we have seen an increase of usage of social media everywhere.

According to Nielsen research (January 2010), global consumers spent more than five and half hours per month on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year.

However there are great differences on how people use social media  in different countries. For example Brazilians are the top social media users worldwide according to another global survey by Nielsen (June 2010). People in Brazil communicate mainly  in Portuguese. The social network made by Google, Orkut, has been adopted by 50% of Brazilians internet users but is not very popular in the United States.

For global marketers and people who want to develop both local and international networks,  it is important to determine  how people from different countries interact with social media.

There are five  main driving factors that determine the choice of platforms and content:

1. Purposes of using social media

2. How open the culture is to share information online (privacy and security)

3. Online purchasing behavior

4. Languages other than English used

5. Number and types of social media users among total population

Global Usage Of Social Media

Following points are summary and analysis of the results of large global consumer surveys  on social media conducted in 2009-2010Please see sources at the end of the article

I-Regional and country trends on purpose and ways of using social media

1-Asia-Pacific region: Social media usage has seen unprecedented growth in Asia-Pacific in the past year and is now one of the most critical trends in the online sector, online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information when making purchase decisions, behind family and friends. Japan is the first Asian Twitter nation, and second worldwide after the US, with 18% of messages worldwide according to a “geolocation” study of tweets by Semiocast

China: staying in touch with a friend is the most frequent use of social media

Japan: people use mainly social media to research products to buy. Japanese people have the least appetite for Facebook with 3% of users on it. The most popular Japanese platform is Ameba. It is visited  by 38% of Japanese people online. Blogging is very popular in Japan

South Korea: staying up-to-date on news and events was the most popular. South Korea is in the top ten markets in the world when it comes to internet population. Naver, is attracting 95 percent of the Korean Internet population.

India: researching for work topped the social media usage motivation. 70 percent of social media users in India identify Orkut as their preferred social media site.

Australia: staying in touch with friends is the most common activity. Australia leads the world in social media engagement, with the highest global average for time spent per month engaging with social media, averaging over seven hours per month. LinkedIn has seen one of the fastest growth trends amongst social media sites in Australia, with unique audience numbers increasing by 99 percent from July 2009 to May 2010

2-Europe: Facebook’s reach is the widest in Italy, (69%) followed by UK(66%) Spain(57%), France (57%)

U.K.: researching product purchases

France: staying in touch with friends is the dominating motivation

The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Russia: staying current on news and events leads the way

3-Americas:

Brazil’s motivation to use social media was unique and focused on “researching how to do things.”

The US, ranked researching products to buy as the number one motivation of social media activity. Watching video online is surprisingly low in the US compared to other regions.

II-Global Trends On Business and Personal Use

Based on the aggregate data from all the countries, the results show that 85 percent of  respondent uses social media for business use and 97 percent for personal use.

The top three reasons for using social media for personal use are:

  1. Connecting with friends and family
  2. Reading social media content
  3. Connecting with like-minded people

The top three reasons for using social media for business are:

  1. Building networks for business contact
  2. Reading social media content
  3. Highlighting personal and professional expertise on social media

Other leading reasons included job search, identifying potential leads, and finding product and service information.

III-Languages spoken on Social Media

Facebook reached 500 million users around the world and it is a good indicator of the trends on languages used on social media.

Facebook’s #1 language is English, with over 52% of the site’s total user base accessing the site in that language. Spanish is second  with a usage rate of around 15% of the total user base. After Spanish, the drop off is much sharper, French is third.

Source: http://www.insidefacebook.com: Article: Facebook Top 10 Languages and who is using them

Consumers’ behaviors are changing very fast on social media. Here’s a look at growth rates for Facebook’s Top 10 languages:

From http://www.insidefacebook.com: Article: Top languages Portuguese Arabic and Spanish lead-growth

Conclusion: On Social media, “One-Size-Fits All” content and ethnocentric (mainly USA) communication strategies  are no longer sustainable. To become truly global or even just to adapt to global forces that are shaping the world’s economy, the most important factor for developers, advertisers and marketers is not how large the global audience is but to know how to reach users in established and fast-growing markets through localization strategies including making content with cultural sensitivity, adjust to online behaviors of target audiences at country level and languages.

Sources:

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