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Getting aTwitter About Networking

cutweetupGetting all aTwitter, we like that! We recently attended a Tweetup, which is an organized event that brings tweeters in a community together. In addition to being a great networking opportunity, we saw this as a chance to get twitter advice from our fellow tweeters. So we asked people at the #cutweetup to share their "twisdom" with all of us.

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Getting Started

Many people still just don't "get" Twitter. We think @debbyAuble shared a great analogy for what Twitter is:

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debbyaubleIt's like a spider web…a communication web so then you can reach out to all the other conversations people have, and it's simple and it's easy, and it's short and concise.

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So catch some great conversations in the web you cast on Twitter!

Andrew Timms is another great guy to follow on Twitter, @SpectraArt. He shared this advice for beginning twitterers:

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spectraArtPeople are interested in sharing what they have to say, so come to Twitter prepared to listen more than you're prepared to express. And and share value. Try to find things that you think the people that you are associated with will want to know more about.

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We think this is something to think when using all forms of social media. Listening is a key part to communication.

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marylynnI remember when I first got on Twitter, I had a hard time getting used to that 140 character limit.

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georgeYou know who's not on Twitter? Muammar Gaddafi. Maybe they should put limitations on all political speeches to 140 characters.

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marylynn
I think you are on to something, George!

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Our friend @kbfoster told us how the character limit has helped her:

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kbfosterIt has taught me how to condense my thoughts so that I can communicate with others and be brief.

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Twitter for Business

We get asked all the time how businesses can best use Twitter. We asked @mhowie, who manages the account for @news_gazette how they benefit from using Twitter:

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mhowieProfessionally for us, it's a great resource. People are very good at sending us information when there is an accident in town, when there's a power outage, when a storm is coming. We're able to pass that information along then to build this online community.

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All businesses can use Twitter to solicit feedback, to share expertise, and to communicate with existing and potential customers.

Finding People of Interest

How do you find people in your area on Twitter? @cumomOf2 has done such a good job of making local connections, she's recognized when she goes out to eat because of her Twitter profile!

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george
She's the Shaq of Champaign!

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Here's what she did:

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cumomOf2I started following people I knew like @devivo and @mrschicken. Then, I just did searches for "champaign" and used some of the online directories to find people. Lots of people in your area follow your local news organizations on Twitter, so follow them to connect with more people in your community. Think about other organizations too like your local library or farmers market…look at who they follow to find even more local people to follow.

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Another thing that is great about Twitter is how you can meet people in your profession or an area of special interest to you from all over the world. @Tricon is a pro at this and here's what he suggests:

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TriconWell now that Twitter is so focused on search, check the sidebar to find trending topics and use the search box to search for things that you are interested it and find other people that are like-minded. That's the easiest and most direct way to do it. Also when people follow you, you can see who they are talking to, so get involved in their conversations as well and make contacts that way.

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Multiple Twitter Personalities & Summoning a Tweet

Some individuals and businesses manage multiple Twitter accounts, like our friend Steve. He manages a personal account @holstein, a radio station account @wixy and his radio show prep service account @interprep. Here's the free tool he uses to manage them with ease:

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holsteinI'm using Hootsuite. I can tab between my accounts to update the individual accounts whenever I want to. Another great feature is that I can schedule tweets in advance, so I can be tweeting without actually tweeting while I'm here at the Tweetup.

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Thanks to @news_gazette and @boltini for hosting our #cutweetup, and thanks to all the tweeters who offered up their tips.

What Twitter advice would you like to share? Leave a comment.

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marylynn
Find us on Twitter, we'd love to connect! I'm @marylynn3

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george
And I'm @gkrue

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JeromeRitcheyA good friend of ours, and one of the most talented people we know, @JeromeRitchey, was able to summon the spirit of the late, great Cubs broadcaster, Harry Carey.

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HarryCareyHoly Cow! Click on the play button to hear what I said about Twitter to close The Bigg Success Show.

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00490-092809.mp3

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Get a Brand Over – Part 2

brandoverToday, we continue our discussion with John Tantillo, The Marketing Doctor. John is a behavioral research psychologist with over twenty years of marketing experience. He is the President of the Marketing Department of America and regularly appears on Fox News and Fox Business News. Last time, we discussed the difference between a makeover and a brand-over. Let’s get back to the conversation …

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marylynnJohn, let’s say you have a brand and it’s not working. You need a brand-over. How would you do that if you’re an existing business?

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johnThe first thing you have to do is reach out to your customers. This rebranding, or brand-over notion, comes from the marketing concept. It is not “build it and they will come” ala health care that’s being promoted. It’s find out what people want and give them what they want. For example, let’s say you have a car wash and you think hot wax is what everyone wants. But you’re not getting the number of people you want through your car wash. So you ask your customers, “Why aren’t you coming to my car wash?” They say, “It’s the hot wax. It interferes with my paint job.” Ah! What does that tell you? You shouldn’t be using hot wax, even though people in the business have told you that hot wax is great. Ask your customers. Stay in touch with them so you can give them what they want. How do you get somebody to like you? You tell them what they want to hear or give them what they want. That’s the secret.

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georgeThat’s how I got Mary-Lynn! Companies have kind of gotten this, John, although they don’t always deliver upon it. As individuals, isn’t it important to understand that a brand is a promise? We have to be careful about what we promise to be absolutely certain we can deliver it.

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johnAbsolutely. There’s nothing worse than promising a consumer something you don’t deliver. I’ll give you an example of this. Many years ago, in the New York area, there was a beer called Peel’s Beer. Their advertising was so clever that it generated a lot of initial sales. The problem was nobody liked the beer. They promised a great beer but they didn’t deliver a great beer. Not a good thing.

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george
Maybe they should have positioned it as the beer you drink after you’ve had a few?

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john
There you go! Are you sure not in marketing?

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marylynnJohn, you always offer a “Tantillo Takeaway” on your blog. I’d say our takeaway with you today is “know your target market.”

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john
That’s always the secret. Who is your target market?

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georgeYou recently had a great post about institutional communication versus individual. The example you gave is that John McCain now has more followers on Twitter than the White House. So the individual has power with new media that institutions don’t have.

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johnThat is correct. It’s driving the heck out of these Washington media types that the blogger, or the candidates themselves, can go directly to the voter. If we’ve learned anything today, it’s that the game has changed. You have to be on top of all the new social media. I’m 58 years old and I’m on Facebook with over 3,400 friends. I’m on Twitter and LinkedIn. I even went to my old high school web site and now I have a page there. The point is that you have to use every marketing tactic you can possibly use in today’s world. It’s funny. It’s the very reason President Obama became President Obama. He was sophisticated. Now, in the institution of the White House, maybe he feels that he has to move on or do things more traditionally.

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marylynn
He’s also more edited now than he was before.

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john
No question about it.

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marylynnLet’s talk about small business owners. We hear all the time that they don’t have the time to get out there and utilize these new media tools. They don’t even know how to get started. What would your suggestion be to them?

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johnYou have to do it. Enlist young people – high school students, college students home for break or friends of your own children. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. To give you an example, I started Facebook about a year or two ago. I didn’t really do anything. Then I went down to my favorite place in the world – God’s waiting room – Miami Beach, Florida – at Christmas time. I’d picked up a book in the library, about how to market yourself on Facebook. It’s been an increasing positive function – how do you like that, George – in terms of Facebook friends ever since. I love it. And hey, if I can do it, anybody can do it. You have to make a little bit of time. It’s a good reason to go on a vacation where you don’t think about your business, but about yourself in terms of the business. It’s a little different. I’ve found it fun and exciting. You have to make it part of your day. It’s like doing cold call sales. Nobody likes to do it. But, at one point, when things aren’t moving, you just have to go and do it. You have to make time.

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Thanks so much for joining us today. Next time, we’ll wrap up our conversation about John. We’ll discuss social media marketing tips. Please join us! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00474-090309.mp3

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Relationships and the Dog Eat Dog World

dog_daysThis is the third installment of our five-part Dog Days series. Today we want to talk about relationships. There’s that old saying, “It’s a dog eat dog world.

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It reminds us of this exchange on Cheers:

Woody: "How's it going Mr. Peterson?"
Norm: "It's a dog eat dog world, Woody, and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear.”

Dog eat dog is a zero-sum mindset. In order for you to win, the other party has to lose. There may have been times when this mindset worked. If you were in a large city or you sold nationally or worldwide, you may have been able to get away with it.

But the world is getting smaller and smaller.

Man’s best friend

Thanks to the internet, more people are connected with more people. Reputations can be built or destroyed pretty quickly. So it really pays to think win – win.

Be man’s best friend. Build loyalty by being trustworthy. Win friends by being loveable.

Those attitudes win alliances today. Your network is the single biggest asset you can have. The value of your network is the sum total of the value of each and every relationship in it.

Call the dogs off

You build value in relationships by giving. So call the dogs off.

You’re seeing this so much now as more and more people start using new tools like Twitter. They follow you; you follow them back. Then you’re immediately greeted with an auto-generated sales pitch.

As we’ve said before, the problem is they’re not seeing people. They only see dollar signs, but the dollars don’t materialize because people are turned off by the initial communication.

Of course, you can be too laid back in your networking efforts. You have to think highly enough of yourself, and what you do, to promote yourself. If you don’t, why should anyone else promote you?

Find the balance between too passive and too aggressive.

“His bark is worse than his bite”

We’ve all probably heard these famous words uttered by a dog owner. Perhaps you’ve said them yourself.

Is it a problem if we as humans exhibit this behavior as well?

Of course it is! Because we lose credibility if that’s the case.

When you choose to elevate a discussion, you have to be ready to back up your words with actions.

Barking and biting can be tools if they are used carefully. If they aren’t, they’ll come back to bite you (pun intended)!

If you never bark or bite, people may think they can steamroll right over you. On the other hand, you can use these tools too much. Then people avoid you or just brush off the dialog without really listening. They also lose respect for you.

So it’s okay to bark, if you bark occasionally. When you do it occasionally, it makes the communication stand out.

And it’s okay to bite … if you rarely do it. Sometimes you have to confront an aggressor head on. It puts teeth into your words.

Relationships. It’s hard to fully quantify them. They don’t show up on your Balance Sheet. But nonetheless, they are the single biggest asset you have. So build relationships for your bigg success!

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Thank you so much for reading our post today.

Occasionally, no matter how hard you try, you find yourself in the dog house. Please join us next time when we’ll talk about how to get out. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00453-080509.mp3

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Social Media and Karaoke Night

karaokeKaraoke Night. Some people love it. Some people hate it.

Some people sing. Some people make fun of the people who sing.

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george It makes me think of that time, Mary-Lynn, when you were still in radio and we ended up at Karaoke Night with one of my favorite bands of all time, Cheap Trick.

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marylynnYeah, I had interviewed Rick Nielsen, their lead guitarist, on my show that day. He arranged for backstage passes which was awesome. After the concert, they invited us back to the hotel bar to hang out.

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george It just happened to be Karaoke Night. A woman attempted, and I’m being generous here, to sing Pat Benatar’s Hit Me with Your Best Shot. Robin Zander, Cheap Trick’s lead singer, made a face I’ll never forget.

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marylynnI kept hoping someone would sing one of their songs, but that never happened. It was still a fun night!

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Enough about karaoke. That’s just one half of the topics for today’s post.

We talk to a lot of people about social media. A lot of people in the bricks-and-mortar world are trying to get it. And like a lot of things that are new, it seems complex.

So let’s see if we can take away some of that complexity by comparing Karaoke Night to social media. We’ll look at three things we need to make a successful Karaoke Night and apply those to social media. It comes down to 3 P’s:

Place

With karaoke, we usually think of a bar or a coffee shop. Someone has to organize it and promote it.

In social media, the place may be a blog or a site like Facebook or Twitter. They organize and promote their place so people will come there and hang out for awhile.

People

Karaoke wouldn’t be much fun if there was no one there. It’s the people that make it interesting. Similarly, Facebook and Twitter are great places to be because there are so many people there.

Performers

If no one ever sang, how much fun would karaoke be? It’s fun because of the variety of talents and interests displayed. You learn about people by the songs they choose to sing.

In social media, everybody can be a performer. Of course, there’s the blogger or podcaster. There are people who leave comments; they’re performing, too.

Every tweet in Twitter or status update on Facebook is just like singing a song at Karaoke Night.

They’re both networking

Karaoke and social media both bring people together with something in common. They both allow people to show off their talents and interests. They both allow you to meet new people. They’re both an opportunity to share experiences and build relationships.

If you pick the right song when you karaoke, everybody will sing along. If you share something people find intriguing or useful, they’ll share it too. Do it enough and you might just become a celebrity with your own group of fans!

Can you think of other ways that karaoke is like social media? Share that by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

To connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, etc. visit our About Page.

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

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We’re going to continue talking about social media tomorrow. We’ll look at some new research to discover if social networking can help you live longer. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00449-073009.mp3

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From Twitter to Star Trek – Out of this World Communication

Astro_Mike tweet.jpgYou can read our post here, but you might find it more fun to listen to today’s show. Just click on the arrow below to listen.

Mike Massimino, aka Astro_Mike, one of the astronauts on a mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, sent the social media world abuzz and made history with the first tweet from outer space.

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Hundreds of thousands of people were part of the conversation through the power of technology. Isn’t it cool that distance is no longer a barrier to communication?

This tweet came just days after the new Star Trek movie hit the theaters. So we decided to look there for examples of out of this world communication.

Miss(ed) communication

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georgeBefore we get into quotes from Star Trek, I’ve heard from several female friends that a guy on a first date should never say, “My hero is Captain James Kirk.”

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marylynn
And don’t to a Trekkie convention for your first date either! That’s not very romantic.

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georgeI think it highlights that, whether in romance or not, when you’re communicating with someone for the first time, it’s good to listen. It’s not all about you.

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marylynnTry to discover your mutual interests instead of just talking about yourself. Of course, if you do happen to be talking with a bigg fan of Star Trek, then “engage” as Captain Jean-Luc Picard would say.

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georgeThe Next Generation was my favorite of the series. I loved Picard’s leadership style and the dynamic he had with the crew, particularly #1, Commander Will T. Riker.

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“Make it so” to move to action

Another famous Picard saying. The crew would discuss the issue at hand. Picard was great at listening to the input of his team. Finally, he would say “make it so” and the discussion would end.

As the leader, you reach a point where you have to make a decision and communicate it so you and your team can get on with implementing it.

“I concur” to shorten meetings

From the Where Silence has Lease episode, Picard gives a command to abort autodestruct. The computer asks Riker if he concurs. Riker responds, “Yes, absolutely, I do indeed concur wholeheartedly!” Picard responds that a “simple ‘yes’ would have sufficed.”

This made us think of meetings. One person says something. The next person agrees with what was just said. However, they repeat everything – perhaps in different words. Nothing is added to the conversation.

It’s an important communication because it shows that there is a consensus. But instead of going on and on about the same thing, ask your team to simply say “I concur”.

Even a simple “yes” will suffice! You’ll find your meetings will be much more productive.

“Never lose you. Never.”

This quote is from The Naked Time, an episode in the original series, Captain Kirk utters these words in a room by himself.

While we may be stretching his meaning here a bit, it made us think about the most important communication of all: self-communication. You have to find a way within yourself to stay true to yourself and encourage yourself so you can keep pushing on.

All motivation is self-motivation.

Oh, but don’t forget one important rule about this one – don’t do it out loud if there are people around!

The new movie

We liked Christopher Pike’s line to Kirk:

“You've always had a hard time finding your place in this world, haven't you? Never knowing your true worth. You can settle for less in ordinary life, or do you feel like you were meant for something better? Something special."

We have a friend who says, “Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear or what you need to hear? Because I’m happy to do this either way.”

It’s not always easy to listen to what we need to hear. However, sometimes the best communication isn’t what we want to hear.

This quote from Star Trek also emphasizes that – when criticism is required – we should be constructive and move as quickly as we can to encouragement. Veer to the positive so you build up the person with whom you’re talking.

We couldn’t leave out the tribbles!

One of the most famous Star Trek episodes is The Trouble with Tribbles from the original series. Scotty explains how he finally got rid of the little creatures:

“Just before they went into warp, I beamed the whole kit and kaboodle into their engine room, where they'll be no tribble at all."

Nobody knows the tribble we’ve seen!

It’s good to inject humor into almost any conversation. Word plays are often a great source of humor. See how many ways you can use the same word or phrase to keep the laughs going!

Communication brings us, and keeps us, together. Improving communication skills is a key to being a bigg success in any world. Live long and prosper!

Do you have a favorite out of this world communication?

Please share it with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks for letting us into your world today!

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Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we take ourselves out to the ball game. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00394-051409.mp3

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(Image in today's post from Astro_Mike)