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The buzz you need to know about Google +

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseThere is a lot of hype on the internet, and every product launch brings its advocates and critic’s.  The launch of Google+ is no exception, (read as Google plus).  I am a huge advocate of social media and online networking. When a giant internet player like Google says, they are launching a social media platform, my ears perk up, and I pay attention.  This article provides a quick synopsis of what Google+ brings to the table.  It will show what is different about Google+ verses the current leader Face Book.  It will also give you an overview of some of the cool features that only Google+ provides.

The battle of Social media giants
First, Google+ is new, and new services from a giant internet player like Google are always news and always require some level of attention.  Google is a powerful rival of Face Book, and this new entry will be a direct competitor to Face Book and the other social network contenders.  Face Book is currently more than three times the size of it’s next competitor.  In my opinion, competition is healthy for any industry.  Google+ has the real potential to compete in the social network arena.  Google is one of the world’s largest corporations, and they change the rules of any sand box they chose to play in.
Facebook Notifications Management (Mark as Spam!)Image by @superamit via Flickr 
Don’t get me wrong, I like using Face Book, LinkedIn and even Twitter.  I joined these social media networks early on when they were at the beginning stages of widespread distribution.  I wanted to see if they could rival the face-to-face networking I had been engaged in for many years.

On the other hand, it has been my experience that when companies mature and reach high profitability, they stumble.  They enter a period of naive thinking that lends itself to a culture of arrogance, and the belief that they can do no wrong.  Face Book has been  implementing many changes to their network over the last six months without consulting their subscribers. These changes have angered a lot of it members.

Social networkImage via WikipediaHaving said this, Face Book is still on top.  Any current disillusionment that has surfaced  hasn’t slowed the rush of people who continue to join Face Book in record numbers. In fact, I recently read that they had reached the 750 million-subscriber mark this year.  That’s up about 250 million subscribers in about a year and a half (depending on whose numbers you believe).  I am only bringing this up because member disillusionment may be the kink in Face Books armor.  This discontent may give Google+ the chance to make inroads into social networks market place.  Something that Google has not been able to do in the past.

Why Google+
Whether Face Book is showing weakness or not, here are several reasons why Google+ will make inroads this time around, (even if it’s only taking market share from other networks).  First, they have made Google+ very easy to join and use.  If you are a Gmail subscriber, it’s a matter of a few clicks and filling in your basic profile info.  You are not required to fill out your complete profile. This process only takes a few minutes to complete, (especially if you are cutting and pasting from face book).

Gmail Subscribers Welcome.
Image representing Gmail as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBaseIf you’re a Gmail subscriber, some of your contacts will automatically be  imported for you, and you don’t have to have any technical knowledge of CVS files or data exporting.  Some of names in your contact list will automatically show up and begin the process of creating your circles of influence.  You will simply drag and drop people from your list into predefined circles or create circles of your own.

Circles, Circles Everywhere.
Speaking of circles, one of the coolest features of Google+ is their circles grouping feature.  It seems much more intuitive and easier to use than the one provided currently by Face Books.  This interface allows you to organize your contacts into groups that appear as circles, literally.  There are a few predetermine groups, but you can customize them all you want and people can belong to as many different circles as you desire.

Google+Image by Magnet 4 Marketing dot Net via FlickrCircles also allow you to filter your news feed  (called the stream in Google+) so that your circle selection becomes your stream feed control. In other words, the circle you select can determine whose post your watching. It can limit your view of which posts  are streamed into view.  Changing your view is easy and intuitive. Some of the clean simplicity that Google+ demonstrates is by design.  Some of its clean and uncluttered look is because Google+ is new, and it is unencumbered with all the trappings that come with a mature social media site.  Either way, I appreciate the clean, easy to use, and fun interface Google+ has to offer.

Do you like to Hangout?
I'm doing the family Google+ Hangout from work...Image by colmmcsky via FlickrSpeaking of other fun features, Google+ has two worth mentioning.  The first is Hangouts.  Google+ provides a video Chat room for groups of people.  You can video chat, share You Tube videos, invite others and have a real online video conversation with several people. This is a face to face conversation. You need a video camera and microphone attached to your computer to use this service effectively. I believe this will be a standard feature on most if not all computers. Most laptops and tables computers come with this as a standard item so that the user can engage in video chat. This is a cool feature which I am sure it will get lots of use.  I believe the maximum number of people that a Hangout session will hold is probably limited by your screen size and the speed of your internet connection.  I believe between six to nine people will probably work well.  After that, it will probably seem crowded.  I suggest you check this feature out and start thinking of all the cool ways you could use this service.

Did you say you wanted acclaimed games?
Another feature that I genuinely like is the games Google+ includes.  Unlike the games used with Face Book, Google+ has a game's menu built in.  The variety of games they offer is extensive.  It includes 18 games like Anger Bird,  Bejeweled Blitz, City Ville, Diamond Dash, Dragons of Atlantic, Crime City, Sudoku Puzzles, City of Wonder and Zynga Poker just to name a few.  All of these games are designed to be shared socially.  Even Angry Birds, let you share your score so you can play against your friends.

Google Plus One stickersImage by quickonlinetips via FlickrSo there you have it, a quick overview of the buzz surrounding Google+ and how it compares to Face Book.  Google+ is still extremely new, and it currently does not offer the number of subscribers, features and maturity that Face Book or LinkedIn offers. Having said that, Google+ is extremely user friendly, easy to navigate and provides several new, innovative features’.  Features like circles, hangouts and the integrated games provide a high cool factor for most users.  Add to this all the other Google applications and
properties you have access to, (Google is prodigious), and you have the beginnings of a social media contender.  It may not be a Face Book or LinkedIn killer yet, but its innovative approach and connections to Google’s vast library of applications and internet properties will help it to receive rapid adoption and meteoric growth. If you would like to see a video about this subject click here.

That’s my Opinion, what’s yours?

Hector Cisneros has been an entrepreneur for 25 years, a veteran of BNI for 18 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Internet advertising, Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is the president of Website Know How, Inc. A holding company for his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, health and wellness product sales, consulting for non profits and Adventure sports.  To learn more about Social Media, Internet Advertising and Word of Mouth Marketing visit the Networkers Apprentice workshop http://www.networkersapprentice.com or http://www.60secondstosuccess.com



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Four Principles That Use Leverage to Market Your Business and Produce Powerful Results

twitter y macworldImage by juque via FlickrThere seems to be a huge cloud of mystery that surrounds the whole industry of social media marketing and Internet networking. I see business people flailing around with all manners of marketing techniques that are supposed to help them grow their networks. However, most people are attempting to "go it alone" without investing the time needed to learn the basic marketing principles that will provide them with success. In this article, we will focus on the principle of leverage. We will cover how it is used to make your work easier yet help you produce great results. By using leverage properly, you will receive results that exceed the sum of time, effort and money you invest. The dictionary says that leverage "produces a mechanical advantage". As a business owner, you want this advantage. It also defines leverage as, "The power to influence a person or situation to achieve a particular outcome." In essences, leverage is a means by which you can multiply your work and amplify your results. In marketing, we mean that leverage produces a result far beyond its intended run, even when the original advertising has ended.

I often hear business people say that they can't keep up with social networking because it is too time consuming. This is true, if you're not using leverage. It's very easy to get engrossed with social networking. You are busy inviting friends, answering post, uploading your latest information and posting your own messages and pictures. It is common to hear someone say, "I sat down at 8 o'clock, and before I knew it, it was 3 AM." It's no wonder that business people say that social networking consumes too much time. This article will provide you with useful marketing tools and techniques that will leverage your time, efforts and resources. These techniques may seem simple; however, they will save you many hours of work and increase the shelf life of your marketing message. Use these to develop your social network, get more leads, receive more referrals and grow your business.

Leverage Principle #1 Make it easier for people to find you.


If you use twitter, always use hash tags within your post to extend your reach. Hash tags make any word that is tagged searchable. By tagging specific words with hash tags, you make it easier for 200 million Twitter subscribers to read your message. Hash tags turn your words into key words. That's right, instead of it just being shown to your 283 followers; all 200 million Twitter followers can look it up by just typing in your key words.

An example could be where you tag the words ecology and green in your post that said something like "check out the newest #green technology, it helps the #ecology." The hash tags will turn the words ecology and green into key search words that can be found by millions of subscribers. No doubt sending a message to potentially 200 million subscribers is a great example of leverage. It's definitely would provide more leverage than sending the same message to just 283 people.

Leverage Principle #2 Regular posting raise your ranking.

YouTube videos and Tweets show up in Google's searches! They also have high organic ranking in many cases because they are often current and relevant to someone search. Most businesses today have a website. One of the biggest concerns of any businesses is that people won't be able to find their website. Their concern is that the Internet is so vast, that it will be lost in the crowd. I have heard customers say that their website is like a billboard in the desert. A good way to make sure people can find your website on the Internet is to leverage your social networks by having all of them linked to your primary online presence.

Google ChromeImage by thms.nl via FlickrAnything that is posted to Twitter using hash tags or YouTube is added to Google search mix. If you often post consistent messages to YouTube and Twitter, your post will start to show up on page one organically in Google and other search engines, (assuming the prospect types in your key words for their search). People like their information to be current, short and relevant. Tweet and videos are often current, short and relevant. Tweets are 140 characters or less in length, and most videos average five minutes or less. They also include many current events. If your prospects search key words match the key words in your short marketing message, (i.e. your tweet or video), your message will rise to the top of the search page listing. Google pays particular attention to key word matches being exact, current and relevant. It also places an emphasis on video since Google owns YouTube. It is no wonder that YouTube is the number one destination on the Internet today.

Leverage Principle #3 Back Links are like magic for ranking.

Creating "back links" to get exposure and to increase your organic search engine position is a powerful method that only requires an investment of time. A back link can be defined as any link on the Internet to leads back your website. Google places a high emphasis on back links. The total number of back links pointing to your website will have a big impact on your page placement.

Google Webmaster Tools Shows 12,041 Inbound Li...Image by Frederick Md Publicity via FlickrEvery location on the web that contains your business name should list every primary URL you own and all your contact information. This will make it much easier for people to find you. It also increases the number of links pointing to your primary website. This includes Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn, My Space,
Four Square, Google +, Merchant Circle, the Yellow Pages online, profile websites and literally hundreds of others not mentioned here. These links are a type of back link to your primary web address. Don't forget review sites. Review sites that list what people are saying about you, your company, your product or service also count. These can be extremely valuable, especially if your customers are providing you with recommendations and testimonials. Review sites can also hurt you if you're not taking care of your customers.

Link exchanges are the best-known type of back links. You can create lots of these types of links by participating in link exchanges. Contact like-minded companies and agree to exchange links with them. By participating in link exchanges, both businesses will benefit and improve their reach and search engine rankings.

Another type of back link is a URL link listed as part of a bio for an article that gets published on the Internet. This includes articles published on your blog or in article database like EzineArticles.com. Most article sites provide a place where readers can leave comments on the articles they have read along contact information for the person leaving the comments. This contact information usually includes your name, email address and a web address. These comment areas become back links to the URL you list on them. If you read lots of blogs and online articles, make sure you leave lots of comments and always include your website URL.

Leverage Principle #4 Make your Marketing material Go Viral

Use effective web links in all online marketing material. This includes Internet ads, banners, directory listings, articles, blog post and eBooks. By including links to your landing pages and website, you increase the chances that your marketing piece will go viral.

twitter logo map 09Image by The Next Web via Flickr
Make sure that the URL listed is a landing page designed to close business or capture prospects information. If the URL is just your home page, it will not have a big impact. If you don't provide a reason for the customer to leave their contact information, they just will move on to their next destination. Give them a reason, a gift so to speak for visiting. Your landing page will be ten times more valuable to you if it's more valuable to them. How much does it cost you to buy their cooperation? Is it a free white paper, eBook, discount coupon? Find out what will persuade them to provide you with their contact information, and you will really start to take advantage of your online presences.

A great way for your message to take on a life of its own is to produce a marketing piece that has lots of useful content in it. Give this item away as a gift. Make sure you include lots of back links to all your web URLs, especially landing pages. This will allow you to close more business and more capture leads. The item you give away could be a useful document, an educational video, audio recording, a white paper, a donation to their favorite charity or any item that is perceived as useful and valuable, etc.... It can even be a combination of things. Get your gift out to as many people as possible. If you make your content useful, entertaining, and easily copied, it will be passed around even more.

People want information that's entertaining, relevant to them and ultimately meaningful in some way. Your gift must have intrinsic value. Anytime, you provide a gift, make sure it is designed to allow others to re-gift to their friends. Doing so will ensure that it will be copied repeatedly. The pasting of your gift from friend to friend will create a viral message that can often produce a flood of new business. Viral marketing is a great tool for social networking. Just make sure your message doesn't look like any kind of scam. It must provide some form of value to your prospect. If your gift has no perceived value, it won't be passed on to others. If it looks feels or smells like a scam, it won't produce anything at all. It must provide a gift of knowledge, fun or other useful information. If it does, it will produce big results with little effort on your part.

There you have it, four principles that use leverage to market your business. This article has introduced you to four marketing principle that did not exist before the beginning of the 21 century. These leveraging techniques will make it easier to do business on the Internet and with your social networks. Use these techniques every day to minimize your work and time investment. Use them to amplify your message and use them to create marketing messages that acquire a life of their own. By doing so, you give up working late, and losing sleep. On the other hand, gain the profits and marketing results, you seek.

That's my opinion. I welcome yours.

Hector Cisneros has been an entrepreneur for 25 years, a veteran of BNI for 18 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Internet advertising, Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. He is also a partner in a new company called Successful Campaigns LLC. This company provides training and support for nonprofit organizations helping them with their marketing efforts, growth, retention and sustainability. To learn more about Social Media, Internet Advertising and Word of Mouth Marketing read my other article on the Networkers Apprentice workshop. To visit my companies website visit http://www.Websiteknowhow.com. To get a free preview or find out about my new book http://www.60secondstosuccess.com.
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Three Internet Marketing Techniques That Use Leverage To Produce Great Results

SAN ANSELMO, CA - JANUARY 27:  In this photo i...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeWe all know that internet marketing is vital for the sale of many types of products and services. It is also very important for the growth of many businesses. We live in a society that is seeing rapid change with completely new market segments cropping up in what seems like over night. As a consultant and small businesses owner, I need to keep up with these rapid changes. A marketing, management and learning principle I have always adhered to for staying ahead of the game is leverage. The principle of leverage allows you to do something once and then repeated it several times without having to add more energy. In essence, it allows you to do more with less effort. This article will discuss how to use the principle of leverage on the internet and in social media. Although there are numerous ways to use leverage for internet and social media marketing, this article will focus on three examples that any business can implement. Although this article will only provide three examples, it will become a nice down payment for understanding and using leverage to get results from your social media marketing.

Leveraging Technique #1 Link Your Networks

linkedinImage via WikipediaUse the linking applications built into most social networks. These applications are usually free and are often included in the setting section of social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Face Book, MySpace, Google + and others. These applications let you automatically share the same post on multiple networks without you having to retype anything. These applications are free and usually have the approval of the social media host providers. They also work even when you are posting via your smart phone, table or web browser. Enter your post once and it is share to multiple social networks.

Leveraging Technique #2 Use Aggregator Software

Another way to achieve leverage is to use third-party aggregator programs that are not directly connect to the social media networks. These applications allow you to post to several networks simultaneously just like the "built-in apps" but the also allow you schedule your post at some future time. Another important feature of aggregator programs is that "you can pick and chose" which social networks sites receive your posts at the time you make your entries. The "build-in apps" generally don't allow changes after the fact. It's an all or none type post. Again, this allows you to leverage your communications, your work and your time. You can actually enter two dozen post today that are scheduled to be released over the next three or four weeks. Two good examples of these are Tweet Deck and Hoot Suite. Both are available as free downloads of as commercial applications.

Leveraging Technique #3 Make it Easy for People to Find You

Any time you're in the public eye, make sure these potential customers can connect with you. If you're posting information, make sure you include some kind of contact information. It can be your phone number, business address, your web URL, or email address. Email and URLs are easiest to remember so I often include these. Now this is not appropriate for all social network sites posts. For example, both Face Book and LinkedIn users would frown if you posted your contact info with every message. They already have your contact information as part of your profile and it is not necessary since your connection is automatic.

Having said that, all your email communications, business cards, brochures etc... should include your contact information. All your printed ads should include references to your social network URLs, website and more. In other words, all your regular advertising should invite people to connect with you through whatever means they like.

I use Twitter quite a bit. It definitely lends itself to including URLs in every message. Your web address can be used as a mere link, or as a push link with an added enticement. The point I am making here is this. Always make it easy for people to find and connect with you, the way they prefer to communicate. The more way a person can find you, the higher they likely hood they will.

There you have it, an introduction on how to use leverage in social networks. These three techniques are just the tip of the iceberg when compared to all the different leveraging techniques you can implement today. The sole purpose of using leverage is to do more work in less time and these three techniques deliver by multiplying your message and amplifying your work it in a viral way. By doing so you give up the countless hours of late night posting and prodding of tweets and comments that so many entrepreneur complain about and trade them in for a good nights sleep while your marketing leverage works for you.

That's my opinion. I welcome yours.

Business Network InternationalImage via WikipediaHector Cisneros has been an entrepreneur for 25 year, a veteran of BNI for 18 years, and was a BNI director for over 5 years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several Businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of internet advertising, Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, books sales, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. He is also a partner in a new company called Successful Campaigns LLC. That provides training and support for non profits organizations. To learn more about Social Media Marketing, Internet Advertising and Word of Mouth Marketing explore The Networkers Apprentice workshop or visit us at http://www.Websiteknowhow.com or http://www.60secondstosuccess.com. Friend us on Face book by clicking here.
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What's The Difference Between Conventional Advertising And Internet Advertising

AdvertisingImage by Wrote via FlickrSometimes, my correspondence with a friend or coworker yields interesting information about our rapidly changing world. This article was created from an email sent to a friend who was confused by all the changes going on in advertising today. He was especially troubled with how social media could fit into his advertising strategy. Here, is the answer I gave my friend who asked, "What's the difference between conventional advertising and internet advertising?" I hope my answer to him helps you, as well.

My Answer

How to Get Ahead in AdvertisingImage via Wikipedia
We live in a world, which is in constant flux. Rapid change is the norm. I was fortunate because I got involved with computers early on... when our world started to move at a much faster pace. The computer industry has forced me to learn something new every day. It has forced me to embrace change as a way of life. Do not get me wrong, I actually don't like lots of change. However, whenever there are massive changes in society, many opportunities go with it, (and fraud).

A Viral Factor Speeds thing up

Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - ...Image by DavidErickson via FlickrMost of the principles of Internet advertising are the same as other media. One of the primary differences is that Internet advertising has a strong viral factor to it. In regular advertising, we call this factor word of mouth. The viral factor is a free form of advertising where people pass your information on to others. The Internet was created to make it easy to pass information from one person to another. This attribute of the Internet amplifies the viral factor and greatly increases its results. This also affects the speed at which the message travels. The Speed at which your message is passed on is also one of the big differences.

Free Venues

Another difference is that the Internet offers many "free venues" for putting the word out on your product or service. Some example offered on the Internet includes your ability to leave comments and web links on articles sites and blogs, (these become back links to your website). You can also collaborate with other who have a similar customer base by swapping website links, (these are call link exchanges, another type of back link). You can even produce short videos and post them on YouTube as a form of free advertising. By adding your website links and contact information, you create even another type of back link to your primary web presence.

Social Networking

English: Description: Social Networking Source...Image via WikipediaThen you have social networking. In many ways, social sites are "word of mouth" manifested electronically. This venue is all about connecting, sharing, entertaining, and having fun. Social networks are built on trust. If a trust relationship is not established, then no positive transactions take place. However, this does not mean that negative information will not be shared. On the contrary, if you make a customer mad today, their ability to bad mouth, your product or service is amplified and spread at the speed of light. People join social networks primarily to connect with others, share interesting and entertaining information. Your ability to build a trusting relationship with them is based on how well you are fulfilling their needs. If you do a great job, they will refer you to their friends. If you try to "hard sell" them, they will disconnect you from their "friends" lists, and you will lose a customer.

Pay Nothing or Pay and Expert

Word of MouthImage by Intersection Consulting via FlickrToday, a person who has learned how to take advantage of this medium doesn't have to pay anything for Internet advertising. They just have to invest their time by creating back links, entering comments, and posting useful content. Unfortunately, most of us don't have unlimited amounts of time to do this. Instead, we swap money for time and pay others to take care of the "free" advertising medium we have access too. The good news is that with some background checks and a little research you can find people who are honest and will do a great job. For many business owners, this is a trade worth making so they can spend more time with their families.

There you have it, my reply to the questions; what's the difference between conventional advertising and Internet advertising? Obviously, there are other differences I left out just because of time restraints. There are many books written about these differences. If social media marketing is high on your advertising priority list, go to the library and check out few books on this subject and read them. In the meantime, follow these suggestions and keep on learning, it's your best defense for staying ahead in the 21 century.

That's my opinion. I welcome your.

Hector Cisneros has been an entrepreneur for 25 year, a veteran of BNI for 18 years, and was a BNI director for over 5 years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several Businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of internet advertising, Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, books sales, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. He is also a partner in a new company called Successful Campaigns LLC. That provides training and support for non profits organizations. To learn more about Social Media Marketing, Internet Advertising and Word of Mouth Marketing explore The Networkers Apprentice workshop or visit us at http://www.Websiteknowhow.com or http://www.60secondstosuccess.com. Friend on Face book by clicking here.

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How to win friends and influence people in the 21 century

Social Media CafeImage by Cristiano Betta via FlickrEvery business I know love referrals. In fact, they all say that word of mouth is the best type of advertising you can get. Wouldn't it be great if you could produce that kind of word of mouth advertising on a regular and consistent basis? You bet it would be. What would you do if I could show you a formula that will produce, recommendations, referrals and testimonials 95 percent of the times it's used. Does that sound interesting? Well here's how to create recommendations, testimonials and referral on a regular basis without lying, cheating, or having to give away the farm. Read on and learn "how you to win friends and influence people in the 21st century.

Discovering the Magic Formula

Word of Mouth - VisualizedImage by mvellandi via Flickr
As a businessperson, and 25-year veteran of word of mouth marketing, I live and breathe the concept of "Givers Gain". That's right, I believe what goes around comes around. This principle is also known as the law of reciprocity. This principle is the magic that makes my formula work. When I say my formula, I am really referring to the use of this principle. Every chance I get, I go out of my way to provide, you guessed it, recommendations, referrals and testimonials to as many like-minded business people as I can.

It wasn't but a few years ago that most of my testimonials were in the form of letters, emails, verbal recommendations, thank you cards and short blurbs on business website. I even occasionally rated products reviews so that others could see how I felt about those products.

However, in the last three years I have discovered that using social media is like magic for helping others. The converse of that is also true. It is also magic when the law of reciprocity works in kind for you.

Were to use the Magic Formula

LinkedinAnswersImage via Wikipedia
Most social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Ecademy and Foursquare offer some kind of mechanism for you to easily thank your fellow referral partners. There are literally hundreds of social media venues available to you. If the person you're looking to help uses Merchant Circle or Angies List, make sure you post your recommendation there.

I don't limit my recommendations to just my referral partners. I also go out of my way to recommend and thank, business associates, clients, family members and the companies I like using. Most social media sites have a mechanism for you to do this, without you having to jump through lots of hoops.

For example, in Face book you can just post a thank you, a recommendation or even a testimonial. You can upload a picture of you letter of recommendation. Provide a link to a testimonial letter etc... You can also do this for a business Fan Page, as well.

In Twitter, you can just Tweet your recommendation. You can re-tweet someone's post as a way to thank them. It's also easy to include a link to your testimonial letter or to their website in your tweet. You can also tweet about how great a referral was, all without breaking a sweat.

facebookImage by sitmonkeysupreme via FlickrFoursquare is almost made for recommendations. However, I sometimes see it used as a double edge sword where people dining out do the opposite of recommending the restaurant or it's food. Here, a second principle is at working. The principle I am referring to is the law that states that bad news travels much faster than good news. Bad news use to travel fast. With the advent of the internet, it now travels at the speed of light! Anyway, I digress, back to Givers Gain.

Ecademy, LinkedIn and some others social media sites actually have a recommendation function built-in them. I use LinkedIn quite a bit. It's built-in recommendation function is designed like a reciprocating tool. When you recommend someone, it in turns ask your recipient, if they will return the favor and recommend you.

Increasing the Magic Formulas Effectiveness

Social Media CafeImage by Cristiano Betta via FlickrMy recommendations and testimonials are usually specific, providing examples of why I am making my recommendations. The same is true when providing a testimonial or when provide a referral. I always mention specific reason why I am recommending that person or business. Being specific carries more weight for the reader than being general. This is because general recommendations don’t risk any ones reputation. They don’t really say any thing about you as a person.

I also don't qualify or limited my recommendations. I either endorse them fully or not at all. Obviously, you cannot recommend everyone equally nor should you try. Strive to be honest, positive, specific and unequivocal in your recommendation. Finish by providing your contact information if you feel strongly about the value they provided. This sends a very clear "Thanks you" message to your recipient and it makes your gift even more powerful. If you really can't recommend someone, be honest and share with them your reservations. Don't compromise your integrity but also don't try to insult someone who ask for your help. Find a way to help them to fix their issue, so you can then recommend them.

A few last notes on providing testimonials, recommendations and referrals

Pacejka Magic Formula CurveImage via WikipediaMake sure your writing is proof read several times and that the spelling and grammar are clean and professional. Nothing dilutes your gift more than bad spelling or grammar. Last but not least, make sure their names are spelled correctly. This kind of mistake will all but make your recommendation null and void, (ask me how I know).

I have been using the law of reciprocity to help others for a long time now. In turn, this principle has provided me with more recommendation, testimonials and referral than I though possible. I now know that the law of reciprocity is alive and well in the 21 century and that you should use it as part of your formula for success. As a businessperson, it makes sense to follow business principles. Following this principle will increase the number of recommendations, referrals and testimonials you receive and it will help you grow your business.

That's my opinion, what's your.

Hector Cisneros is an entrepreneur with over 25-year experience. He is a 18-year veteran of BNI, and was BNI Director for six years. He is a firm believer in the BNI philosophy of "Giver Gain". Currently, he manages three businesses, writes and coach's business people in the art of Word of Mouth, Social Media and internet marketing. He has several intl. published articles covering word of mouth, social media marketing and how to improve your 60-second presentations. His new book "60 Seconds to Success" is aimed at helping business people make great first impressions and make more money through referral and word of mouth marketing campaigns. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, Social Media, Internet Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing visit http://www.60secondstosuccess.com or the Networkers Apprentice Workshop at http://networkersapprentice.com/ To contact Hector, write him at hecisneros@gmail.com
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Five Powerful Techniques That Attract Twitter Followers

tweets logoImage via WikipediaYou hear it all the time. To be successful in today’s economic climate, you have to be efficient with your marketing. This often means using the Internet and social media as a big part of your marketing plans. I like using Twitter too quickly reach lot’s of people in a very short period of time. I also like the viral nature of twitter where people re-tweet other post giving your message a life of its own so to speak. In this article, we will explore five powerful yet simple techniques that will attract twitter members to follow your address. Follow these rules and reap the benefits of successful twitter marketing.

Powerful technique #1, Tweet Often But Relevant
A golden rule of social media is that people look for useful, relevant and entertaining information. Your posts have to fit into these three categories. Even if your selling something, your post has to be perceived as either useful, relevant or entertaining or you’re your gone. Break this rule at your own peril.

Frequency is also very valuable because it keeps you top of mind. Combining frequency with a steady stream of useful, relevant and interesting tweets, will quickly build a following, just because of all the activity.

Powerful technique #2, Check and Double Check Your Posts
P yes greenImage via WikipediaAlways be cognizant of what you write. Once something is posted, it can’t be undone. You can get away with a lot of short hand on twitter but netiquette rules still holds true. Remember that being nice begets nice. Being courteous begets courtesy back. If you post often and useful information you’re following will grow. On the other hand, if you post commercials, controversial links, curse a lot and act in a contemptuous way, expect the same in return.




Powerful technique #3, Leverage your tweets
Fran├žais : Some many tweets for the Communicat...Image via WikipediaAny time you post a tweet, also post that tweet to other social media venues. Link (or post) your tweets and re-tweets to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Buzz and any other social site that is linkable. This allows you to leverage your communications and cross-pollinate several social media mediums at once.

There is one draw back to this technique. Make sure that your tweets are relevant to your audience. Send the wrong or irrelevant information to all of your social media sites at once can cause you to be un-friended and un-followed just as quickly, especially if you are posting your commercials’. Social media participants look for useful, relevant and entertaining information. Break this rule too often and it will cost you. Remember that once something is posted, it live and can’t be easily changed.

Powerful technique #4, Make Your Content Searchable
Another way to get more leverage is to use hash marks. This will allow others to easily find your tweets. Tagging information in your tweets with the # sign, (i.e. hash mark sign) makes that word searchable and increases the number of people who will likely see your tweet. For example if you want the word ecology tagged, you would write it like this, #ecology. Using hash mark tags is a powerful way to reach people out side of your current following. Us them with every tweet and watch new followers flock to your address.

Powerful technique #5, Use Thank You Tweet to Increase Re-tweets
Twitter live search "on" GoogleImage by bertboerland via FlickrSpeaking of re-tweets, here is another simple yet powerful technique that produces big results. If someone re-tweets your post send them a thank you tweet. If you're using, “Tiny- URL” or “Bit-ly”, you can easily track who is re-tweeting your posts. However, the important part is this; it’s thanking them for re-tweeting that gets you more coverage. The more you thanks people for re-tweeting your post the greater the likelihood they will do it more. This is a great example of how common courtesy, (i.e. thanking people) goes a long way in gaining respect, trust, creates leverage and produces a greater following on twitter.

There you have it, five powerful techniques that will attract and keep twitter follower without you having to go out and buy some fancy programs or pay a consultant to build your network. Use these techniques often and religiously and you too will soon be seen as a tweet mister worth following.

That’s my opining, what’s yours?

Hector Cisneros is an entrepreneur/businessman with over 25-year experience. He is a 18-year veteran of BNI, and was BNI Director for six years. He is a firm believer in the BNI philosophy of "Giver Gain". Currently, he manages three businesses, writes and coach's business people in the art of Word of Mouth, Social Media and internet marketing. He has several intl. published articles covering word of mouth, social media marketing and how to improve your 60-second presentations. His new book "60 Seconds to Success" is aimed at helping business people make great first impressions and make more money through referral and word of mouth marketing campaigns. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, Social Media, Internet Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing visit http://www.60secondstosuccess.com or the Networkers Apprentice Workshop at http://networkersapprentice.com/ To contact Hector, write him at hecisneros@gmail.com
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Six Simple Yet Powerful Rules That Help You Build Your Twitter Flock.

Follow me on Twitter logoImage via WikipediaAs a professional advertiser for an online marketing company, I am often asked, how can they can get more people to follow them on Twitter. When asked this question, I usually answer it with this question of my own. "Who are you looking for as follower", (i.e.…. who do you want to follow you)? The answer to this question will always get you started you in the right direction. This question can act just like a compass does when you’re looking for one of the cardinal direction points. However, knowing the right direction is only half the battle. You also need to know the rules of the road. Here are a half-dozen simple, yet powerful rules that keep you on track and make sure you don’t stray from the direction you want to travel. Let me explain...

Simply Powerful Rule #1
So here is a simple yet powerful rule to start with; always follow those who lead your field of interest. If, for example, you’re looking for followers who love scientific novels, or those who are environmentally conscience then you go look for the leaders of those fields. More than likely the leaders in any field of endeavor with have lots of follower. In fact, this rule leads to my second rule.

Simply Powerful Rule #2
Now let’s look at simple rule number two; always follow the followers of those who lead the field. Simply put, “following other like mind subscribers so they will in turn follow you”.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
Understand that some will follow you and some will not. In general, many will follow you as a courtesy if you follow them. This is especially true if they are not famous or have few followers. I usually follow anyone who following me unless I dislike what they are saying, selling or doing. However, if they do not follow me back, I have to make a choice whether I want to continue following them. If I like what they are posting, I will probably continue to follow them. However, if they look like they are only trying to sell something or are just looking for followers I un-follow them within a few days.

Remember Twitter set limits on how many you can follow in a session and how long you can be online. These limits are there to try and keep people from gaming the twitter system and to try and keep the spammer from using the system.

Simply Powerful Rule #3
English: A pie chart created in Excel 2007 sho...Image via WikipediaThis leads me to my third simple yet powerful rule; Stay within a 1.5 to 1 ratio of following to followers. You will always need some room to add people you want to follow. In turn, this will also give you room to follow people back who just decided to follow you because of your tweets and not because you just followed them. If your always bumping up against the 2000 follower limit, you will have a lot of trouble growing you’re following.

Simply Powerful Rule #4
My next cardinal guideline is simple and powerful rule number four; “always thanks people for following you”. You will be surprised how powerful being courteous can be. A simple thank you for following goes a long way. In fact, it’s even better if you show your gratitude by providing a token gift like a free white paper, coupon or cool link, as a little bonus. So this simple rule is just that; give your followers a reason to follow you by offering them a gift. This gift does not have to cost you anything and gifts can go a long way towards initially getting people to follow you when your connection is new.

Simply Powerful Rule #5
twitter y macworldImage by juque via FlickrSimple rule number five is related to number four because it also has to do with giving thanks. When sending a thank you tweets, always include links to connect with your followers via other means. For example, add your face book, website or blog URL to your tweets. When you combine your other contact URL’s with the gifts I mention early, you have a powerful means of connecting with your new, found follower.

Simply Powerful Rule #6

The last simply powerful rule I will mention in this article is; to be sweet, re-tweet. Another way to give a gif
t to your followers is to Re-tweet something they’ve tweeted. Re-tweeting their articles and links shows them that you feel what they are saying is important, cool and worth sharing. It also increases the chance they will continue to follow you. Indeed, Re-tweeting can be sweet, for you and your business.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseThere you have it a half-dozen simple yet powerful rules you can use to grow your twitter following with out spending a dime on fancy programs that try to game the system. Following these simple yet powerful rules will quickly add to your rank of followers. My next article will provide another set of cardinal rules to help you grow my flock. Until then, that’s my opining, what’s yours?

Hector Cisneros has been an entrepreneur for 30 year, a veteran of BNI for 18 years, and was a BNI director for over 6 years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several Businesses in Northeast Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of internet advertising, Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. He also partners with a new company called Successful Campaigns LLC. This company provides training and support for non profits organizations helping them with their marketing efforts, growth, retention and sustainability.

That’s my opinion, I want to hear yours.

Hector Cisneros is a writer, has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, is a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Online advertising, Business Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. Hector's new book 60 Seconds to success, teaches business owners how to get the most from word of mouth marketing by using great 60 second introductions. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, Social Media, Online Marketing or Word of Mouth Marketing visit the Networkers Apprentice workshop http://networkersapprentice.com or my book website at http://www.60SecondsToSuccess.com
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Part 4 of a four Part Series, Common Mistakes Made During a 60 Second Presentation

Sometimes you have to do things in reverse. If you're trying to understand how to create great 60-second presentations. You may just have to first understand what not to do when you're presenting instead. This is part four of a four part series discussing common mistakes made during 60-second presentation. In this last of my four part series, I will discuss five more mistakes that are common from my top 20 list of mistakes. These last five complete your arsenal of mistakes to avoid. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to avoid the pit falls so many networkers make. Each article in the series stands alone in teaching you what not to do. However, I do encourage readers to go back and read the first three parts of this series if they haven’t done so. With all four parts combined, you will be able to avoid 99 percent of all the mistakes networkers make when performing their 60-second presentation. Avoiding these mistakes bring you that much closer to presentation nirvana. It also brings more referrals and the opportunity to make a lot more money. So without any further delay, let's get started.

Common mistake #5 Being asleep at the wheel
I’m always amazed when people hurt their credibility because they are not paying attention at a networking event. We are there to network and give our message so that others can bring us referrals or buy our products. So why is it that someone in the room will not be ready when it’s their turn? Not only are they not ready, they don’t even have a clue that it is their turn! The cure for this is to “be here now,” so to speak. Pay close attention to what each player’s is saying. If you’re following what they are saying, you will notice that the turn is coming your way. Stop fiddling with your cell phone or iPad and get ready. You only get one chance to look good when it’s your turn.

Common mistake #4 Using acronyms
We live in a world that loves and hates acronyms at the same time. Acronyms are great for saving time and space when speaking, reading and writing. However, this is only true if you know what the acronym means. Nothing makes a person feel left out (or worse, stupid) like not knowing what someone meant. Using acronyms is an easy way to make your audience feel “NOT OK”. It will also keep you from getting any referrals. Make sure you don’t use any acronyms; they are bad for your 60-second presentations and bad for business.

Common mistake #3 Cramming 3 minutes into 60 seconds
I can always tell when someone is either new or unprepared to deliver a 60-second presentation. The presenter will rattle off a long laundry list of products or service they provide. You will often notice that they are in a rush. This really becomes apparent when the timekeeper starts to flag them with the 10 seconds left signal and they abruptly stop, then close out their presentation without asking for a referral. Cramming is analogous to try to stuff 10-pounds of rice into a 5-pound bag.

A simple way to fix this problem is #1; prepare by creating several commercials of varying lengths and #2; stay focused on a single subject. Trying to tell your audience everything you do in 60-second is like trying to fill your drinking glass and forgetting to stop pouring once its full. Don't come across as if you’re reading a disclaimer; take your time by using strategic pauses and only talk about one product or service in any one 60 second presentation. Focus will improve the power and clarity of your message. It will also make it much easier to stay within the 60-second time frame.


Common mistake #2 Not asking for a referral
It's quit common to see networkers focus their message entirely on the feature and benefits of their product or service. They will give a wonderful example of how they are different and better than the competition and forget to tell us who they are looking for. The easiest way to help your audience find you a referral is to tell them exactly who you are looking for. Telling your listeners what you do for a living won't get you there! To fix this mistake do what Steven Covey calls "begin with the end in mind". When creating your 60-second presentation, start with the "persons name or profile" you will be asking for. Then create the rest of your presentation with all the parts of your 60-second commercial. Make sure that all the other elements in your presentation leads your audience to bringing you that referral.

Common Mistake #1 Forgetting to empower your listeners
Never make your audience do more work than they want to do. If you’re asking for a referral, remember that 90% of your audience just wants to recognize your request when the opportunity presents itself. However, this is not enough to help your audience take the next step. You want them to introduce you personally. You must tell them how to get your foot in the door. You have to give them specific conversation starters to get you into their (clients/friends), conversation otherwise; they will not act on your behalf. Your referral partners need to know exactly what to say and what to do other wise they will do nothing.

My current 60-second presentations ends with, “Give them my card and ask when I can call.” I also like to ask my listeners to mention any specials I currently have or to talk about how my product/service help someone else in their industry. Other things you can say include directing your referral partners to give out your brochure, website address or to set up a lunch date for the three of you. By being specific and telling your referral partners who to look for, what to do and say, you will greatly increase the chances that your referral partners will act on your behalf. Not being specific will most likely ensure that your audience does nothing. Empower your listeners and get more referral.

This article covers the last five common mistakes from my top 20 list. The 20 common mistake covered in this series constitute the bulk of the most common mistakes made by both beginners and seasoned word of mouth veterans. To avoid making the mistakes listed in this article follow these fixes. Make sure you’re mentally and emotionally present when attending a networking event. Avoid using acronyms; most people don't know what they mean anyway, and it’s a fast way to lose your audience. Prepare a focused 60-second presentation covering only one subject. Focus improves your message and increases your chances of getting a response. Always ask for a specific referral and always use empowering phrases that tell your audience how to get your foot in the door.

I hope this series has been useful to you and your business. If you can think of other common, (or some not so common) mistakes made during 60-second presentation let me know about them. Be sure to leave your comments and tell me your thoughts.

That's my opinion, I welcome yours.

Hector Cisneros is an entrepreneur/businessman with over 25-year experience, is a 17-year veteran of BNI, and was BNI Director for six years. Currently, he manages three businesses, writes and coach's business people in the art of Word of Mouth and internet marketing. He has several intl. published articles covering word of mouth marketing, social media marketing and how to improve your 60-second presentations. His new book "60 Seconds to Success" is aimed at helping business people make great first impressions and make more money through referral and word of mouth. To learn more about Social Media, Internet Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing visit the Networkers Apprentice workshop at http://networkersapprentice.com/ To contact Hector write him at hecisneros@gmail.com
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Part 3 of a four Part Series, Common Mistakes Made During a 60 Second Presentation

While working with BNI members I am often asked whether I should tailor my 60 second presentation for the specific venue being attended. My answer is yes. You should always tailor your wording, approach, dress and actions for the specific event because this will allow you to be more effective. However most networks do not have the skill or are will to take the time to thing through what they need to do differently to be more effective.

This Third installment of the series on common mistakes made during 60 second presentations cover these elements. This segment of the series brings to the forefront 5 of the most common mistakes dealing with venue and appearance. This articles lays out the 5 problem in a list format and at the same time provide the reader what they need to do to void committing these mistakes. Following this prescription the reader will improve their over all presentations moving then in the direction of getting more referral and making more money. Let's get started.

Mistake#1 Using your 60 second presentation in social networking.

There are two problems with using your business presentations' as a social message. First and most foremost, people in your social networks don't want to see commercials in that venue. That is not why they joined face book and twitter. Second your message will not translate word for word as it would in a live presentation (unless it's a video of your presentation). You have to choose your wording carefully and in general it has to be a softer sell. Social networks are more about sharing not selling. The more you sell to your social network the greater, the chance you getting blocked or removed from their network.

Mistake #2 Using the wrong wording for a specific venue.

What I am getting at here is the mistake of using highly religious statements in a total secular venue or the reverse, using secular language in an all religious venues. A similar mistake could happen when addressing an all female audience while exclusively using masculine wording. Words like men, him, his, and he carry gender exclusive connotations. Woman with strong feminine beliefs don't take kindly to the exclusive use of male gender only statements. The reverse is also true. If you're a Woman presenter and you are speaking to an all male audience, using all female gender language will hurt your credibility. Whenever possible make sure your language is appropriate for the venue. At the very least make sure it is neutral so you don't inadvertently offend your audience.

Mistake #3 Bad Posture
. This mistake can be related to poor delivery and can be tied to your mood and well-being. It is important that you maintain good posture when you speak. Your posture directly affects your delivery. Sometimes I see people sitting when they should be standing or hiding behind a podium or another person. Hiding does not add to your credibility either. Being too casual or appearing slouched does not portray you as being confident. Your body language will be a dead give away. Through your shoulder back, stand tall and look people in the eye. Act confident, stand confident and you will be seen as competent!

Mistake #4 Inappropriate Dress for the venue.
The last item that I will be discussing is also about body language, although it more about what's on your body then the way it moves. I'm talking about looking your best. It is my opinion, it will never hurts your credibility to be the best dressed person at any event. (Unless you are wearing a tux to a beach party). Many networking venues have dress codes and not wearing the proper attire can easily get you embarrassed or worse get you ejected. If an event is Business attire or business casual, ask what that mean. I will usually wear at least a sport coat and most often wear a suite and tie. Ladies should also ask what is appropriate. Many times the dress you're wearing looks stunning but distracts from your message. Also remember that your suite or dress has to fit right. If your attire is not fitted properly, you risk being classified unsophisticated, cheap or just plain ignorant. You don't want to be classified as anything other than professional! It's better to be a little over dressed than it is to be under dressed. If an event is labeled casual, it still won't hurt your credibility to be the nicest casually dress person there. I never wear jeans in any business setting unless the venue calls for jeans! Be appropriate for your industry and for the venue. Try to always look your best. Looking your best help you feel confident and help you carry your message to your listeners.

Mistake #5 Not Being Prepared.
It amazes me when people come to me complaining, saying their not getting referral yet they have not done any preparation for their moment in the spot light. When I see poorly or hastily prepared infomercial's, the person usually looks rushed, out of sync, and unprofessional. The number of "um's and ah's" used as words sky rocket. They often read from hastily written sheets of paper which even make them look more unprepared. A professional does not read a script. They know it. There is no substitute for preparation. A good way to be prepared is to practice often. A good way to practice is to ask people your meeting, (i.e. your referral partners) to listen to your 60 second presentation. This could be done when meeting a person for lunch or coffee. If you are in a networking organization like BNI, practice during your 1-2-1 meetings. Remember practice moves you towards perfect. The more you say your 60 second presentation, the better it will be. Doing this on a regular basis will increase your credibility, get you more referral and make you more money.

Eliminating these mistakes from your 60 second presentation makes you look professional and adds to your credibility. It increases your chances of getting more business because people want to buy from the most credible source. Ignoring these mistakes usually cause the reverse. Make sure you eliminate these mistakes and your well on your way to getting more referral, making more money and becoming the source that fulfills your clients needs.

That's My opinion, I welcome yours.

Hector Cisneros is an entrepreneur/businessman with over 25 years experience, is a 17-year veteran of BNI, and was BNI Director for 6 years. Currently he manages 3 businesses, writes and coach's business people in the art of Word of Mouth and internet marketing. He has several intl. published articles covering word of mouth marketing, social media marketing and how to improve your 60-second presentations. His new book "60 Seconds to Success" is aimed at helping business people make great first impressions and make more money through referral and word of mouth marketing. To learn more about Social Media, Internet Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing visit the Networkers Apprentice workshop at http://networkersapprentice.com/ To contact Hector write him at hecisneros@gmail.com
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