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Social Networking – The Line Between Work and Play

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We love hearing from people in the Bigg Success community and recently, Rupa, one of our newsletter subscribers, sent us an e-mail with two great questions.

She said that Generation Y wrestles with the blurred lines between their private, public and professional lives. So colleagues in their professional world have access to personal information.

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Young professional

Which leads to Rupa’s first question is, “How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?

Rupa continues by saying that we’re now a very visible society and are encouraged to share our information online. But she’s not thrilled segmenting who can see what by setting up different privacy settings.

So her second question is, “Should we – as a collective society – consider redefining ‘professionalism’ as we've always known it? Is it outdated?"

In the interest of full disclosure, we should tell you that we know Rupa. She is a very professional young person. That’s why her question carries even more weight with us.

Back in the day …

For the sake of simplicity, we'll use Facebook, the most popular social network right now. Generation Y users began using this social media service when it was just a place for Gen Y.

Back in those good old days, your boss wouldn't be on Facebook. Today, he or she may be. Back then, a colleague you met at an event would contact you via email. Today, that colleague may ask to friend you on Facebook.

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marylynnI think all active social networkers wrestle with this to some extent. I have a friend who holds a highly visible position in her community. We were talking the other day and she said that she originally got on Facebook to keep track of her kids. Her family joined her. It was mainly a personal space for her. But now she is getting a lot of requests from people she knows in the community and she worries about the same thing. I think you have to find a happy medium when using social media. Make it not too much personal and not too much professional.

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georgeWhen you create your profile on Facebook, they ask you to fill out all kinds of things. But you don’t have to. For example, I don't include my religious or political beliefs on my profile page. However, I also don’t walk around with those labels stamped on me when I network in person either. That’s something I only share with close friends.

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“How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?”

We think you can do one of two things:

  • When a professional colleague asks to friend you on Facebook, reply with: "I would prefer to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" and provide your link.  
  • If you do add them to your Facebook friends and you are concerned that they might see something you don’t want them to, then you don’t have a choice – you have to use privacy settings.

This can be done by creating a "Professional" friend list and applying specific privacy policies to that group. We found a fantastic article that lists some useful privacy settings for Facebook along with instructions on how to configure them.

Privacy settings allow you to present yourself in a youthful way to one set of friends and as a professional to another group. Don’t we do that, at least to some extent, in the real world as well? Imagine all of the people you know in one room together!

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george
I went too far with my privacy settings. Now, even I can’t see what I’m doing!

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Maintaining privacy settings may be a little bit of a pain but your efforts will give you peace of mind – especially if you are in Gen Y and used Facebook for its original intent but you’re now integrating your professional contacts too.

Is social media creating the need to change the definition of professionalism?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Acceptable behavior hasn’t changed. People still hold each other to pretty similar standards as before.

What is different, and Rupa said it clearly in her e-mail, is the visibility. In other words, you’re more likely to get caught, we say tongue-in-cheek!

Because of that visibility, you have to be more careful about how you portray yourself online. For instance, let's say you are having a bad day. As a professional, you wouldn’t yell out, “I hate my job,” for everyone in the office to hear.

By the same token, it might be wise not to post that sentiment on your Facebook status, especially if you have co-workers in your network of friends. If you want Facebook to be a place to share the "authentic you", and you friend co-workers and managers, then it’s best to set up some privacy settings!

Your brand image

The bottom line is to remember that you are a brand. Your brand consists of your personal life and your professional life. Social media allows you to share both sides of your life with people in a public arena. You have to control your public brand image.

Thanks so much, Rupa, for your thought-provoking questions and for giving us permission to use them!

What are your thoughts about Rupa’s questions?

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Marketing in Tough Times: Part 3

marketing3 We wrap up our conversation with John Jantsch on today’s Bigg Success Show. John is the author of the fantastic book, Duct Tape Marketing – The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide. So far, we’ve discussed:

Part I: getting closer to customers and building your business with strategic partnerships

Part II: how to add value to improve customer loyalty

Let’s continue …

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marylynnJohn, what if you’re a business that’s been around since … 1942. You’ve gained trust, you’ve been reliable, but you notice customers trying out your new competitor. What do you need to do?

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johnOne thing that’s happening, just like you described, is that the way in which people are finding companies and the way they are getting information has forever changed because of this little thing called the Internet. I have found that companies may be doing a great job, but they have not embraced the new ways in which people want to get information – the Internet, blogs, search engines, e-mail marketing, and mobile marketing. If you’re not at least trying to understand how your market is changing, you probably are going to get left behind. So when people ask me what they should be doing in 2009, I typically say to embrace the web and create web presence as opposed to thinking that the web site you put up five years ago is good enough.

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georgeIt’s interesting … I was talking with a business owner not long ago whose customer base is 45 and older, very well-to-do and educated. His perception is that his customers aren’t on the Internet because they’re older. But that’s no longer true.

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johnNo, and another misperception, of course, is that “I’m just selling stuff here in town. I don’t need to sell stuff on the World Wide Web.” I read a statistic out of Forrester the other day that said that 83 percent of adults are now going online to search locally for products and services. That’s shoes, legal services, and the plumber across town … as opposed to buying a sweater at some online store across the world.

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georgeIn times like these, advertisers are hungry for that revenue too. With your competition cutting back, isn’t this an opportunity to really stand out in a way you can’t in good times?

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johnWell, I think there are a couple of opportunities. One is that there are deals to be had in print and broadcast advertising. I’m not saying that we want to prey on bad times necessarily. But there are opportunities to buy some lower cost advertising right now, to the tune of ten cents on the dollar. But the thing that I would focus on, in addition to getting closer to your customer, is building a systematic approach to converting leads. In some cases, this doesn’t cost anything. But in most cases it pays the greatest dividend. One thing that happens in good times is that the phone is ringing a lot. You get a little bit lazy. Sometimes you say, “Hey, I could be there on Tuesday … maybe” or “Call me back again. We’re a little bit busy right now.” We get some bad selling habits, bad lead conversion habits. When the number of leads starts drying up, then it becomes really, really important – when you do get those opportunities – that you turn them into customers. I’ve found that, by creating a systematic approach that really focuses the entire brand on making every sales and marketing touch a positive one, it can dramatically impact the percentage of leads that you’re closing.

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marylynnAnd you have all sorts of systems that small business owners might be interested in – from how to get more referrals to creating a marketing system.

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johnYeah, in essence that’s what Duct Tape Marketing is. Duct Tape Marketing is a brand that is meant to represent very simple, effective and affordable marketing tips, tactics and tools. Essentially it is a system that says, “If you follow these principles and go from Point A to Point Z – then decide that you’re going to do it again next year, but you’ll do it bigger and better – small business owners start to realize that marketing is a system. It’s not an event or the idea of the week, which is how most people treat it. We also have a network of coaches that use our system and actually install our system into small businesses. With a foundation and a set of principles, marketing doesn’t have to be that creative or expensive. It just has to make sense. It has to work and you have to work the system consistently. Once small business owners understand that, then marketing doesn’t seem so hard.

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george
And marketing is everything … all the time. That’s what you’re saying.

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johnI tell people … it doesn’t matter what your business makes, ships or sells … that you are essentially in the marketing business.

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We thank John so much for sharing his time and wisdom with all of us. Learn more at his site, Duct Tape Marketing.

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And we thank you for spending time with us today. According to some people, Monday is the unhappiest day of the year. Join us next time when we discuss how to escape the Monday blues. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00310-011609.mp3

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(Image in today's post by duchessa)

What's Hot in 2009: Threats

maple_leaf_foods_logo This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’re taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we continue the five-part series by looking at threats.

We recently posted an article where we shared seven threats facing us in 2009. We’ll discuss two of them today.

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Downturn expected to hit higher and harder

The first threat is the recession. It is now expected to be deeper, longer, and different than any other downturn that we’ve witnessed in our lifetimes. As with any recession, layoffs will be part of the mix.

In the past, layoffs have occurred mostly at the lower end of the career spectrum. What makes this recession different, and the reason we feel it’s important to emphasize this to the members of our community, is that this recession is expected to hit hardest at the upper end.

It was recently suggested in an article on Harvard’s site that this recession be dubbed “The Great Disruption.” It certainly has been disruptive, hasn’t it? It appears that volatility is something we need to get used to going forward.

Moving out is moving up

Another important threat is continued outsourcing. This is also something that we feel may disproportionately affect the people in our community in the coming year.

We’ve already witnessed it, but jobs outside manufacturing are now at risk. It was interesting to see manufacturing start coming back onshore as the price of fuel rose. With the digital revolution, the cost of moving information around the world costs practically nothing. So white-collar jobs may be the most at risk now.

We’ve seen that already with lower skill jobs. Now it seems that some higher level careers may also be at risk. We see two factors in jobs that are safe:

  • an on-site presence is necessary to perform the work
  • face-to-face contact produces better results

The article also mentions a great resource that describes occupations that are and aren’t likely to be moved offshore as well as the other five threats. Check it out!

We like to think positively, but it’s also important to realistically assess those impediments to achieving our goals. We call that positively real thinking … that’s what it takes to succeed bigg!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success when you
subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE

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We’re really grateful that you took time out of your day to read our post today. Join us next time when we look at some questions which will help you tie the opportunities and threats to the right career or business for you. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00303-010708.mp3

Related posts

What’s Hot in 2009: Careers

What’s Hot in 2009: Businesses

(Image in today's post by MISHA)

What’s Hot in 2009: Threats

maple_leaf_foods_logo This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’re taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we continue the five-part series by looking at threats.

We recently posted an article where we shared seven threats facing us in 2009. We’ll discuss two of them today.

___

___

Downturn expected to hit higher and harder

The first threat is the recession. It is now expected to be deeper, longer, and different than any other downturn that we’ve witnessed in our lifetimes. As with any recession, layoffs will be part of the mix.

In the past, layoffs have occurred mostly at the lower end of the career spectrum. What makes this recession different, and the reason we feel it’s important to emphasize this to the members of our community, is that this recession is expected to hit hardest at the upper end.

It was recently suggested in an article on Harvard’s site that this recession be dubbed “The Great Disruption.” It certainly has been disruptive, hasn’t it? It appears that volatility is something we need to get used to going forward.

Moving out is moving up

Another important threat is continued outsourcing. This is also something that we feel may disproportionately affect the people in our community in the coming year.

We’ve already witnessed it, but jobs outside manufacturing are now at risk. It was interesting to see manufacturing start coming back onshore as the price of fuel rose. With the digital revolution, the cost of moving information around the world costs practically nothing. So white-collar jobs may be the most at risk now.

We’ve seen that already with lower skill jobs. Now it seems that some higher level careers may also be at risk. We see two factors in jobs that are safe:

  • an on-site presence is necessary to perform the work
  • face-to-face contact produces better results

The article also mentions a great resource that describes occupations that are and aren’t likely to be moved offshore as well as the other five threats. Check it out!

We like to think positively, but it’s also important to realistically assess those impediments to achieving our goals. We call that positively real thinking … that’s what it takes to succeed bigg!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success when you
subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE

___

We’re really grateful that you took time out of your day to read our post today. Join us next time when we look at some questions which will help you tie the opportunities and threats to the right career or business for you. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00303-010708.mp3

Related posts

What’s Hot in 2009: Careers

What’s Hot in 2009: Businesses

(Image in today's post by MISHA)

What's Hot in 2009: Businesses

maple_leaf_foods_logo This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’re taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we continue the five-part series by looking at business opportunities.

In the last quarter of 2008, we witnessed some significant shifts in consumer behavior. We’ve written an article on hot businesses for 2009 after doing extensive research on how these shifts will affect businesses.

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You gotta know when to hold ‘em

One of the things we learned is that people are holding on to what they have longer. So if your business idea involves replacing something old, think again about starting up in 2009.

But if you know how to repair something, or can partner with someone who does, 2009 is a great time to get started. For example, one of the hottest businesses in the country right now is shoe repairs. People are repairing, rather than replacing, even the basics.

Every second counts

Somewhat related to repairs, if consumers have to replace an item, they’re often looking for something used. Businesses that sell second-hand items are thriving right now. Resale clothing shops are reporting record sales. From kid’s clothes to wedding dresses, consumers are buying previously worn garments.

Used office furniture suppliers are also doing well. While buyers are feeling stingy, they’re finding it hard to resist some of the premium quality furnishings flowing out of financial institutions these days.

Used book stores are also reporting strong sales as people return to reading as an inexpensive form of entertainment.

It’s a small world after all

The overwhelming majority of businesses are really, really small businesses. They consist of one or two people, in many cases operating from their home. It appears that these tiny businesses – which have been dubbed micro-businesses, are only going to continue capturing a larger share of the total business pie.

What special skills do you have? What are you an expert at … or could you be an expert at?  Thinking along these lines may help you discover your opportunity. A lot of the best opportunities are businesses you rarely hear about because they’re small niches within a larger category so they’re hardly newsworthy.

Just like other consumers, businesses are looking for ways to save money. If they can contract for needed services, rather than hiring an employee to provide them, they don’t have the costs that go with a full-time employee. They can also maintain more flexibility to adapt in a rapidly changing world, which is worth money to them.

From your perspective, look at it this way – instead of a job serving one employer (think of your employer as your only customer), would you feel more secure if you had ten employers (since it’s your own business, you’d call them clients)? If one of them stops doing business with you, you might only lose ten percent of your income.

It may sound crazy to many people to even think about starting a business right now. But keep in mind that many of the most successful businesses began in a downturn. You may discover it’s the perfect time to find your bigg opportunity! 

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success when you
subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE

___

Thanks for reading our post today. Again, check out the article we've written for more information on businesses that will be hot in 2009. Join us next time as we continue this series by looking at threats to be aware of in 2009. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00302-010608.mp3

Related posts

What’s Hot in 2009: Careers

What’s Hot in 2009: Threats

(Image in today's post by MISHA)