Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving

Social Media: a Tool for Relationships or Merely a Substitute?

As cell phones and social media continue to place themselves at the center of our social lives, we wonder what effect its importance has on the quality of our social life. Is the pressure to answer every tritone and whistle distracting us from meaningful human interaction? Or is maintaining contact with otherwise long-lost friends through Facebook leading to longer-lasting friendships?

Here are some of the arguments for and against social media as presented by The Wall Street Journal:

Social Media is Detrimental to Society:

  • We spend too much time on social media to build real connections: “We spend so much time maintaining superficial connections online that we aren’t dedicating enough time or effort to cultivating deeper real-life relationships.”
  • We are on our phones even when we’re not talking: “Worse, we don’t even need a beep or vibration to distract us anymore. In one study of more than 1,100 teens and adults, my fellow researchers and I found that the vast majority of smartphone users under 35 checked in with their electronic devices many times a day and mostly without receiving an external alert.”
  • Empathy is lost in emoticons: “In one study we found that while empathy can be dispensed in the virtual world, it is only one-sixth as effective in making the recipient feel socially supported compared with empathy proffered in the real world. A hug feels six times more supportive than an emoji.”

Social Media is a Tool We Use to Maintain Relationships:

We’re doing a good job of staying in touch: “Social ties that we once would have abandoned as we left high school, changed jobs and moved from one neighborhood to another now persist online.”

  • Seemingly trivial messages communicate much more than you think: “It is tempting to dismiss as trivial many messages exchanged online. But together, the small sips that come from the steady contact of social media can add up to a big gulp of information about the activities, interests and opinions of the people we connect with. They communicate mutual awareness and closeness along with information that we wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

Are we moving to an ever more interconnected society or one that will soon forget how to interact with one another? Is your social presence going to be more valuable than what you present in person? What is sure is that the way we relate to one another is changing and adapting to the way people now connect will be key to success in your business.

Click here for the full article on The Wall Street Journal

Marketing Trends for 2015: Content Marketing

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The marketing landscape is changing rapidly before our eyes. Business owners and marketers need to plan strategies for the coming year well in advance – now more than ever. One of the big marketing trends for 2015 is content marketing. But what does “content marketing” mean, and why is it so crucial?

  • Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
  • In 2015, marketers must center their content around the reader, not the product. Those who merely pitch run the risk of being ignored.
  • Show your audience you care by dedicating resources to answering customer questions and providing valuable assistance online.
  • The more a company tries to “push the sale” the less likely potential customers will spend with the business. Show passion for your product without sounding like a used-car salesman.

Stay tuned next week for more 2015 Marketing Trends!

(Information sourced from Randy Schrum, Founder- Inspired Venture Group | Business Innovator and Speaker on Conversions, Marketing, and Sales)

Pushing Beyond Comfort Zones

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Mitch Rothschild is the chief executive of Vitals , a website that connects patients with doctors and medical facilities. Adam Bryant from the New York Times sat down with Rothschild to discuss his early lessons from managing people, his leadership style, and how he hires. Here are some great points from the article:

  • Developing personal connections with your employees can be emotionally draining: “You always want to be one of those leaders who care deeply about their staff and look after them, but at some point you have to make the shift and say you’re going to do the right thing for the business.”
  • Don’t always assume that people know everything“People just have this incredible thirst to be connected, and they need multiple reinforcing points of communication. I have to remind myself over and over not to assume that everyone knows something.”
  • Seek out a meritocracy: “If you find a meritocracy and you’re highly ambitious and you want to drive your career forward, then nothing’s going to get in your way.”
  • Don’t wear “busy” as a badge of honor: “We’ve become crazy about being crazy, and I’m stunned at how many people are absolutely exhausting themselves. It’s important to figure out how to be ruthlessly efficient and disciplined with your time, and do only those hings that matter.”

To read the article in it’s entirely, click here.

Wear Your Failures on Your Sleeve

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Cassandra Phillips, founder of FailCon, holds one-day conferences for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers, and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success. Every October, 500 tech start-up websites gather with industry veterans who talk about their biggest downfalls and fails while providing constructive criticism. Failure is emerging as a badge of honor among Silicon Valley start-ups, and companies publicly dissect their own entrepreneurial failures on multiple blogs.

Of course nobody wants to fail with their business, but failing intelligently is an important skill when it comes to improving. Sometimes you have to fail first in order to succeed. In entrepreneurial circles, a start-up flop is now something to proclaim, not hide.

To read the article in it’s entirety, click here.

Deciding Where To Expand Your Small Business To Next

Deciding where to move your small business

 

Expanding your business to a new city or country is no easy task. No company, even if highly successful in its original market, is immune to the unique challenges that a new location presents.

Small businesses in particular must pursue their brick-and-mortar expansions with care and ample research. These 5 factors from the Washington Post should be examined closely by any business owner looking to expand their trading horizons:

1) Cost of doing business;

2) Growth trajectory;

3) Business climate;

4) Workforce characteristics; and

5) Transportation options.

Click here to view the entire article.

Is It Better to Be Strategic or Opportunistic?

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When it comes to business in the real world, who’s right — the “sustainable advantage” traditionalists or the “transient advantage” challengers?

This interview sheds some light on these contrasting perspectives: click here to view the full article.

Sweeping Away a Search History

Search History

 

Privacy matters for many reasons, both tangible and not, hence it’s wise to exercise control when and where you can. By protecting your online search history, you are protecting a wealth of personal information. Here are some tips to help stem the flow: click here to view the article.

27 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read from the Business Insider

Aimee Groth and Max Nisen posted this list on May 27, 2013 on the Business Insider. I would add many more books, but at least two more would be: David Sandler’s, “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bicycle in a Seminar”, and Malcolm Gladwell’s, “The Tipping Point”.

http://read.bi/19hMRqJ

The 4 Rules of Answers from Boaz Rauchwerger +1 from Michael Gansl

The 4 Rules of Answers from Boaz Rauchwerger at http://boazpower.com/ and

+1 from Michael Gansl

 

Boaz Rule #1 – An instant answer with strong words equals YES. If you ask someone, “Is this a good to you?” and they respond with “Absolutely” or a strong “YES”, there is no question about the answer. It is a YES.

 

Boaz Rule #2 – An instant answer with weak words equals NO. If you ask someone, “Does this product meet your needs?” and they respond with “Yah, it looks like it’s going to work out.”, that’s not a YES. What should you do? Ask more questions until you get an instant answer with strong words.

 

Boaz Rule #3 – A pause usually equals NO. Some people are deep thinkers, but not the majority. Ask more questions.

 

Boaz Rule #4 – Eyes darting away equals NO. I’m not talking about someone looking to the upper right or the lower right. They’re going back to their memory. I’m talking about their eyes going horizontal for a second. What should you do? Ask more questions to find out if they have another or better idea. A subset to this rule: If someone looks away from you at the point of the answer, it’s usually a lie.

 

The goal is to  SLOW DOWN. Pay attention to the tone, pacing, body language and the eyes. You may find that these rules can get you on the road to understanding people more easily. These rules will apply no matter whether you’re moving in miles per hour or kilometers.

 

+1 Gansl Rule:  –  Getting someone to say OK does not mean they agree with you.  It may only mean they  heard what you are saying. It is not to be confused with either a Yes, or a No.