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Social Media Training 101

Step 1: Decide which audience you need to target.

Step 2: Start Networking – Socially!

Step 3: Keep at It!

by Craig Rice, President Redlands Power Partners Chapter

By Jessica Stillman

Maybe you’ve heard, being constantly busy is bad for your brain. “Many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime and other forms of rest during the day,” claims a Scientific American article rounding up the research on the subject. Doing nothing now and then is required to replenish motivation and attention, and to form stable memories, science shows.

It’s also required for maximum creativity, according to new research.

Your cluttered mind is a creativity killer.

The study comes out of Bar-Ilan University in Israel where researchers Shira Baror and Moshe Bar asked a group of volunteers to complete a creativity-gauging word association task. For instance, if the researchers said ‘white,’ the participants were asked to name whatever related word first popped into their heads.

Now here’s the twist. The participants had to do this while carrying various mental ‘loads’. Some were simultaneously asked to remember a string of seven digits, while others had to commit only two to memory. How did their performance differ?

“We found that a high mental load consistently diminished the originality and creativity of the response: Participants with seven digits to recall resorted to the most statistically common responses (e.g., white/black), whereas participants with two digits gave less typical, more varied pairings (e.g., white/cloud),” writes Bar in a New York Times article explaining the research.

That was true no matter how long the participants took to respond, so it wasn’t the case that those with a lot on their minds were simply slower to come up with answers. And this finding isn’t just relevant in the lab. It’s important to understand how this effect plays out in real life too, Bar insists.

“In everyday life, you may find yourself ‘loading’ your mind in various ways: memorizing a list of groceries to buy later at the supermarket, rehearsing the name of someone you just met so you don’t forget it, practicing your pitch before entering an important meeting,” he writes. “These loads can consume mental capacity, leading to dull thought and anhedonia–a flattened ability to experience pleasure.” In short, your cluttered mind is a creativity and happiness killer.

Takeaways?

To clear some space for creativity, Bar offers a simple (and incredibly common) prescription — try meditation. That’s no doubt a great suggestion, but there are plenty of other less structured, everyday ways to unclutter your mind as well (personally, I go in for running).

And there’s always the most old school fix of all – simply seize control of your schedule and guiltlessly do nothing for an hour, a day, or even a week to get away from all those grocery lists and presentations, giving your creativity space to run wild.

Plus, New York Magazine’s Science of Us offers another thoughtful takeaway from this research. “The originality–or lack of it–that came with mental load demonstrates how creativity isn’t entirely a fixed, inborn trait,” the blog’s write-up notes. It’s a helpful reminder that you are largely in control of your own creativity.

by Melanie Deziel

It’s a question you hear at the start of a meeting, while lingering in a waiting room, in line while waiting for coffee, and hundreds of times at conferences and networking events.

The dreaded “What do you do?”

It has some close relatives, like “Where do you work?” and “What’s your role at Company X?”, but no matter the variety, these glorified “What’s your job title” questions are a huge missed opportunity to have a genuine conversation.

And if your goal is to connect with someone, find common ground, and potentially explore a way to partner with them, then these types of surface-level questions will consistently fail to elicit the response you are likely looking for.

For most people you meet, a job title or day job may not be representative of the things they are most passionate about, interested in, dedicated to, invested in, or motivated by. As the intro of The Side Hustle Show, one of the top digital marketing podcasts, says: “Your 9-to-5 may make you a living, but your 5-to-9 keeps you alive.”

This is especially true for those with an entrepreneurial streak, a creative spirit, or a dedication to a cause. By asking them what they do for work, you’re effectively asking how they pay the bills, versus inviting them into a conversation about what’s really important to them.

When you swap out you standard “What do you do?” questions for a more open ended inquiry, you create the space for someone to share a passion that may run deeper than their profession, and increase your chances of making an authentic connection.

Some alternatives to consider:

John Lee Dumas is host of Entrepreneur On Fire, a daily podcast featuring interviews with successful entrepreneurs, and because the goal is for guests to share the intimate details of their entrepreneurial journey and experience with the listeners, Dumas has never once asked “What do you do?”

In keeping with the show’s titular theme, Dumas always ends his show by asking his guests “What’s the one thing that’s got you most fired up?” which often leads to a surprising and impassioned answer, offering a snapshot of the guest’s priorities in life and giving them a chance to share something personal that a “strictly business” conversation might not allow for.

But throughout the show, Dumas invites his guests to “tell a story” about their best moment, or their worst, or an “aha moment” that was transformative for them. Questions like these allow respondents to choose the depth and direction of the conversation, and Dumas’s #FireNation listeners benefit from his approach.

“Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint,” Dumas said in an email interview, “and those who find success have passion co-mingled with expertise, allowing them to add value to an audience that is growing to know, like, and trust them a little more each and every day.”

You may be asking…why?

Why wouldn’t we want an outside speaker coming into a chapter meeting to speak?

Won’t they provide great information to our members?

Doesn’t it “change up” the meeting to bring someone in to take up the speaker(s) time slot?

Isn’t TEAM all about providing great business education as a part of the TEAM program?

The short answer to these questions is yes and no.

The “yes” part is, certainly most speakers (or those who speak to promote their business) aim to provide great content; and the routine of a weekly meeting could get predictable; and TEAM loves to bring business education to our members.

Let’s dig a little deeper about the “no” part – most chapters take 3-6 meetings off per year due to major holidays. That leaves approximately 47-48 meetings per year.  On average a chapter of 15 has one member as the featured speaker per meeting, that means a member would give their presentation about 3-4 times per year.  This doesn’t include adding new members too, which might make your opportunity to speak closer to 3 times per year.

Your speaker time slot is a big part of what you have paid for in your TEAM membership.  It’s the time allotted for the focus to be on YOU, what YOU do, what YOU need next in your business. Do you really want to give that time away to someone who is not interested in bringing you referrals and may (or may not) deliver good content?

In fact, most outside speakers want to present to your chapter for one reason – they want to SELL you something.  Does it really make sense to give up your marketing and relationship building time to a stranger who wants to sell you something?

TEAM members want to give awesome, compelling presentations.  Help each other grow in their speaker skills by getting as much “face time” with you as possible! Don’t give it away to a stranger.

We really believe in great business education. It’s why we do workshops, Lunch & Learns, Success Series and the annual BIG Event.  We also invite our members to special events produced by other speakers and organizations that we know provide great information and are friends of TEAM.

So, the next time you hear about a speaker who “really wants to come to your TEAM meeting and speak to all your members”… let them know how much you would enjoy introducing them as a visitor at your chapter; that you have a great group of professionals you network with weekly that they can meet and consider joining your TEAM.

Membership has its privileges!

By: Brian Tracy

Entrepreneurship is the art of finding profitable solutions to problems. Every successful entrepreneur or business person has been able to identify a problem and come up with a solution to it before someone else did. Here are the five rules for success.

1. Find a Need and Fill It
Human needs and wants are unlimited. Therefore, the opportunities for entrepreneurship and financial success are unlimited as well. The only constraint on the business opportunities available to you are the limits you place on your own imagination.

2. Find a Problem and Solve It
Wherever there is a widespread and unsolved customer problem, there is an opportunity for you to start and build a successful business.
Once upon a time, before photocopies, the only way to type multiple copies of a letter was with carbon paper places between sheets of stationary. But a single mistake would require the typist to go through and erase the mistakes on every single copy. This was enormously clumsy and time consuming.
Then a secretary working for small company in Minneapolis began mixing flour with nail varnish in order to white out the mistake she was making in her typing. Soon, people in other offices began asking for it. The demand became so great that she quit her job and began working full-time manufacturing what she called “Liquid Paper.” A few years later, the Gillette Corporation came along and bought her out for $47 million cash.

3. Unlimited Opportunities
There are problems everywhere. Your job is to find one of these problems and solve it better than it has been solved in the past. Find a problem that everyone has and see if you can’t come up with a solution for it. Find a way to supply a product or service better, cheaper, faster, or easier. Use your imagination.

4. Focus on the Customer
The key to success in business is to focus on the customer. Become obsessed with your customer. Become fixated on your customer’s wants, needs, and desires. Think of your customer all the time. Think of what your customer is willing to pay for. Think about your customer’s problems. See yourself as if you were working for your customer.

5. Bootstrap Your Way to Success
Once you have come up with a problem or idea, resolve to invest your time, talent, and energy instead of your money to get started. Most great personal fortunes in the United States were started with an idea and with the sale of personal services.
Most great fortunes were started by people with no money, resources, or backing. They were started by individuals who came up with an idea and who then put their whole heart into producing a product or service that someone else would buy.

Action Exercise
Look for business opportunities everywhere, develop, an entrepreneurial mind-set, and continually be open and curious about the needs not satisfied and problems not solved.

One idea is all you need to make your first million.

by Lolly Daskal

Unless you’re naturally gregarious, meeting new people is a challenge–and anetworking event, which is all about meeting new people–can be downright grueling. You want to sound intelligent but you don’t know what to say, and you dread the thought of a long awkward silence or a statement that falls flat.

But if you can get people started talking about themselves, you’re off to the races–and they come away thinking you’re an excellent conversationalist.

Here are 11 smart things to say at your next networking event:

  1. “What’s your name?”
    A polite introduction is important, and you do best by keeping it simple. Walk up, hold out your hand, and introduce yourself.
  1. “What do you do?”
    Remember, people enjoy talking to people who are interested in them, and they enjoy talking about themselves. When you ask a question, don’t let your attention wander. Stay focused and curious, because you’re most interesting when you’re interested.
  1. “I can’t believe we both . . . “
    If possible, try to find some common ground, an interest or professional affiliation you share. (This may be easier at a conference based on your profession or geographic setting than at a more general event.)
  1. “Can I ask you more about . . . ?”
    Work to have an open mind and be genuinely curious. If you’re standing with a group of people, don’t zone out but think of a question can ask to help the conversation progress.
  1. “I really like . . . “
    Give compliments, but only if you mean it. if you feel uncomfortable keep it generic. You can almost always find something good to say about the food or the setting, if you feel you have nothing to compliment the person about.
  1. “I recently read that . . . “
    At most networking events, there are multiple conversations going on at once. Make a point of listening and thinking about how you can contribute something of genuine interest.
  1. What do you think about. . . . “
    If you’re surrounded by people who are experts in interesting field, remember that people love sharing opinions.
  2. “It’s funny to me . . .”
    A sense of humor is a great way to connect. Many people at networking events are nervous. As long as it’s appropriate and well-timed, a joke will put people at ease and make you memorable.
  3. Did you see the game last night?”
    Sports is a winning topic that connects people and lets you talk about events without the risks of discussing politics.
  4. “Can we exchange contact info to schedule a time for us to finish our conversation?”
    When you meet someone who seems like a valuable contact, make sure you exchange information before you part.
  5. “We recently met at . . . and I wanted to follow up with . . .”
    Make sure you do follow up, in a timely and appropriate way. Email or text

Even beyond networking, building good conversational skills is one of the best things you can do for your career and your personal life. Even if you rely on memorized starter phrases at first, get over your self-consciousness and jump in!

By Barry Eisen

Below are 24 great ideas designed to give you back your time and life. Managing time, rather than letting it manage you is an art form. Little changes can make huge differences. Look at what is offered below and incorporate 1 or 2 ideas that make sense to do. You can always come back to the list for more when you’re ready for more.

  1. Get Ready the Night Before. Get it out of your head. Plan out your next day by writing a “killer” To-Do list and prioritize A, B and C business and personal priorities. You’ll sleep better too.
  1. Focus on the Important Things.
    Less is more. Commit to doing the A things on your To-Do list. Stop randomly playing games and surfing social media. Focus on what’s important. Here’s the procrastination-be-gone formula: Do the important stuff first. No “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts” – do it.
  1. Remove the Clutter. Much of our “visual noise” is caused by stuff. Practice a three-part clutter rating system that will help you prevent and remove clutter:

♦ It’s important now. Use it and then put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be).
♦ It will be important. Put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be).
♦ It’s not important. Get rid of it: Toss it or if possible, consider donating   it.

  1. Get Organized and Stay That Way. Pick an organizational system, execute it, and stick to it. Your new system may feel foreign at first, but it will eventually form into a habit. If you slip or feel like you’re ready to give up, recall the benefits of being organized and pick up where you left off. When necessary, make adjustments, but avoid switching to new organizational systems or you’ll lose the benefits.
  1. Keep One Calendar. Whether it’s a Week/Month at a Glance appointment book, wall calendar, smartphone app, etc. – keep ONE calendar. First, keep track of the usual calendar events: birthdays, and appointments. Second, use your weekly calendar to keep track of bills, plan menus, make appointments with yourself to write or read, etc. This will help prevent the scenario of sifting through bills, notes, and multiple calendars.
  1. Focus on What’s in Front of You. Of course, not all tasks require 100% focus, but for tasks like prospecting or writing, never multitask. Lots of studies have shown the inefficiency of juggling tasks. If you refocus your attention on another task, it can take more time to refocus on your original task. Don’t do it. Stay focused. Turn off your phone and disconnect from the internet during tasks, like writing or studying, to focus. Don’t drop what you’re currently doing to address something you just thought of or remembered. If you think of something completely unrelated to what you’re working on, jot down a few quick notes (a word or two to jog your memory will suffice). Keep up momentum: FOCUS.
  1. Execute Decisions Faster. If you find yourself hemming and hawing over a decision, make a decision then and there. If the task has a lot hanging on the outcome, seek/ask for more information if you need it, but the key is: make a decision now.
  1. Delegate and Learn to Love It. We can be greedy with our workloads. Drop the, “if you want things done right, you have to do it yourself” mentality. If it can be done by someone else (more effectively) and it’s not an important task, delegate it.
  1. Just Say “No.” Stop agreeing to take on things for which you don’t have time. If you don’t have time for it or it will take your focus away from other priorities, say no.
  1. HELP Is not a Dirty 4 Letter Word. Ask for help. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes is all you need to get back on track, but be sure your plea is directed at the right person and is respectful of their own priorities.
  1. Time Activities. We all can get swept away by television, social media, internet browsing, article reading, and games. Allot yourself an amount of time for online activities and playing games. Set an alarm. When the time is up, stop the activity.
  1. Time Your Conversations and Meetings. I’m not recommending that you don’t socialize or be rude. I’m recommending that you don’t allow conversations or meetings to completely disrupt your day. Allot yourself time. For “water cooler” talks, give yourself 5 minutes and keep them infrequent. For meetings, estimate how much time you’ll need to address the needs of those involved, come prepared, and if there isn’t already an agenda, propose talking points to squeeze more value out of the meeting.
  1. Call, Don’t Text. Text messaging is supposed to be quick and to the point…not long, drawn out conversations. For anything beyond a quick yes or no question, call. For example, call for emergencies and all of those “how are you?” and “what ‘cha doin’?” questions. If it goes to voicemail, don’t worry. Most people have access to visual voicemail anyway, so it will be like a text. Either way, trust that they will get the message.
  1. Turn Aimless Browsing Into Growth Opportunities. Create an ongoing list of questions, curiosities, or things you’ve always wanted to find out more about. When you sit down to browse the internet, start looking for answers. You might surprise yourself with what you find.
  1. Do Your Errands at the Same Time. Schedule time to do errands and plan a route ahead of time to ensure you’re not wasting time bouncing back and forth across town.
  1. Filter Your Email. How much time do you waste in your inbox?    Filter your email:

♦ Create rules for recurring emails that don’t require an action to be    archived in a particular folder.
♦ Set rigorous anti-spam settings to block unwanted email from reaching  your inbox.

♦ Form a habit of touching an email once: If you open it, you have to  address it (e.g., respond and file).

  1. Automate Responses. If you find yourself replying with the  same or nearly identical responses for clients keep a template to  quickly copy/paste the response and tweak it as necessary to  personalize the message.
  1. Automate Bill Payments. For any recurring bills that you have: AUTOMATE. Not only will this save you time, it may even save you money and raise your credit score if you’re the forgetful type.
  1. Sort the Mail in Your Hand. When you get your mail, don’t let it sit in a pile. Sort out the junk right away and then prioritize other items respectively (see weekly calendar). If possible, go green by electing not to receive the hard copy.
  1. Avoid Rush Hour. Do you commute to work? Negotiate a work schedule to travel during non-traffic delayed times. You can easily turn a 60-minute, traffic-jammed commute into 25 minutes by getting ahead of the traffic or waiting it out. Online apps, like Waze, do a good job informing of traffic problems so you can adjust accordingly.
  1. Keep a Running Shopping List. Create a policy that for whoever squeezes the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, kills the mustard bottle, etc., they are responsible to write it down on the shopping list. In doing so, this will save time from taking inventory as well as keep your shopping trip quick – get into the store, grab what you need, and go (rather than meandering down aisles).
  1. Cook for Tomorrow. Double the amount of what your cooking and refrigerate/freeze the leftovers. It may take you a small amount of time to double what you’re already making, but it will save you much more time making your next meal by not having to start from scratch.
  1. Learn While You Workout. When on a treadmill, elliptical machine etc., listen to news, pod casts, and audiobooks rather than music to keep up with trends in your niche, current events, books, and learning at large.
  1. Exercise More Effectively. Exchange moderation for higher intensity. You can have a more effective and efficient workout by putting more effort into a 30-minute high-intensity workout than 90 minutes of low-to-medium effort.

barryeisen.com

barryeisen@LA.twcbc.com

By Kelli C. Holmes

 

Networking // Pronunciation Key[net-wur-king] (as defined by the Small Business Glossary):

 

Developing business contacts to form business relationships; increase your knowledge; expand your business base; and serve the community.

 

Wow – I don’t know about you, but I think that is an AWESOME definition of networking! 

 

Let’s break it down and review how to be really effective in our networking:

 

Developing business contacts…

Lots of us do this ALL the time.  We are out at networking events in our community, meeting people, collecting business cards, making connections.  Then what?

 

…to form business relationships

Oh, you mean actual RELATIONSHIPS!  Developing relationships takes time and effort!  You need to reach out to those you want to have a relationship with!

 

…increase your knowledge

Peter Drucker, that sage of business management said “if you’re not growing you’re dying”.  That not only applies to business, but to our minds as well.

 

…expand your business base

We must be continually adding to our prospects.  We need a constant source of new business possibilities in order to increase our opportunities!

 

…and serve the community

This is the really important part and often the overlooked part of networking.  We all have a responsibility to give back to the community we take from.  Why not incorporate it into your daily marketing activities?

           

Effective Networking –

by Helen Langan

For some time, marketers have suspected that certain opinions matter more than others when it comes to swaying consumers’ buying habits. Influence is far from a level playing field, but it isn’t necessarily for the reasons you might expect—fame, fortune, and celebrity status. Influence is about authenticity, access to information and the drive to empower others.

Micro-influencers are not traditional celebrities, but rather individuals who work in their category or are truly knowledgeable, passionate and authentic and are seen as a trusted source when it comes to recommendations for what to buy. Micro-influencers may not have the flashy appeal of celebrities, but they have something even more valuable: their audience’s trust. But how much and to what extent, exactly? The answer to this question isn’t well studied or known. Experticity commissioned Dr. Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of the bestselling book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, and Keller Fay Group, the leading authority on word of mouth marketing research, to examine how micro-influencers are driving buying behavior by measuring the volume and impact of their recommendations on consumers.

So what is the power of a micro-influencer versus the general population, and are their recommendations worth more than those from the average consumer? We challenged Berger and Keller Fay to find out. They conducted a study specifically designed to examine how and why micro-influencers are more influential than the average consumer. This unprecedented study format randomly surveyed Experticity’s unpaid network of micro-influencers from across the United States about the number of product-related conversations they have with consumers each week compared to a control group of average consumers. Researchers then surveyed consumers who received those recommendations to measure the weight of the recommendation and the outcome.

One of the most interesting study findings was that according to the data, these influencers have up to 22.2 times more conversations each week regarding recommendations on what to buy versus an average consumer. If this stat reflects a week of time, imagine the media channel a given influencer represents over the course of an entire year. And consider how many average consumers you would need to have spreading your brand message to represent the power of just one micro-influencer. Demonstrating the high impact of these recommendations, 82 percent of consumers who were surveyed for the study, reported they were highly likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro influencer.

What’s the takeaway? Start thinking about micro-influencers as an ongoing media channel. Don’t cut your influencers short by just measuring their one-off posts. Brands need to engage in continuous dialogue, build engaging content, and empower influencers as strategic partners and content contributors.

Additional key findings from the study included:

With the concept of influencer marketing quickly growing from a buzz word to a full-fledged industry, the results of this study will be important to marketers struggling to find a more holistic view of how micro-influencers directly impact consumer buying behavior and shows that micro-influencers are a reliable and credible channel that has real impact in swaying consumer behavior.