Monthly Archives: February 2015

3 Tips for Effective Networking: Stop. Stop. Stop.

By: Dallas J. Short
What do you do? Here’s what I do. Oh, that’s your card? Here’s my card. Let’s immediately be successful together. Boom. Championship.

Wait, you mean, that’s not how it works? Nope, not even a little bit. However, this is the format or mind state of expectations that a lot of people have going into networking events.
John C. Maxwell said “your network is your net worth,” and it has remained one of my favorite quotes, in both personal and professional settings. The people you surround and connect yourself with are extremely integral to the representation and determinant of who you are and where you are going in life.

So, before you go, stop.

STOP thinking of networking as merely a required chore that comes along with business. “Showing up is 80% of life,” might have worked for Woody Allen in 1977, but that’s not going to fly these days. You need to place value into relationships. Be genuine. People do not do business with a business card, people do business with people. You do not need to meet everyone in the room and then struggle trying to remember who they are later. Focus on finding people you actually mesh with and people you could just as easily see yourself across from them in a game of billiards as you could across from them in a boardroom.

STOP just attending networking events that seem right for business. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” wrote James Howell. Have an outside interest. Positive energy is contagious, as is negative energy. No one likes the idea of working 8-10hrs and then going to a networking event where everyone is expected to talk about work for another 2-3hrs. Find something you are passionate about and meet people through that, the professional talk will inevitably ooze its way into the conversation, but after you have already established a more natural relationship. You are going to trust someone more in business that you can also trust outside of business. Diversified connections open up doors to opportunities that you might have never knew existed.

STOP expecting an immediate return on investment from business and networking contacts. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time,” words from the wise Steve Jobs. No one wants to feel used. This is not a jungle attack, where you are spotting, luring, attacking prey and moving on for the next meal. Make a solid and legit connection with someone, if there is no way for you to currently combine forces, don’t force or pressure it. Maybe that time will come down the road. Maybe it turns out you know someone they could work with or vice versa. Plug in your connections, expand the network, and do not resist paying it forward. Avoid being the guy constantly with your hand out or always running to the proverbial well until it’s dry. That’s not who people want around, ever. Eventually, things will fall into place and make sense for everyone.

“Nothing personal, it’s just business.” Wrong. Maybe that’s how Otto Berman his cohorts handled things then, but business now is more personal than ever and needs to be treated and respected as such.
As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Dove Attempting to Wash Away Negative Online Comments

By: Gina Mason

Award season is the best time of year for stargazing and I’m not referring to looking up at the sky. At each elegant affair, Hollywood’s best and brightest shine on the red carpet and show off the latest styles and trends. If you are like me than that means you are glued to the TV taking mental notes of what and who all the celebrities are wearing.

Despite all of the fabulous gowns and beautiful jewelry on the red carpet, many viewers at home during these award shows tend to share some very ugly comments about the celebrities and even make degrading comments about them online. (i.e. “What is [insert celebrity’s name] wearing?!?” “Wow! She put on some weight!” “She looks awful!” “She is looks so old!”

In attempt to wash away this negative issue during the Oscars, Dove and Twitter have teamed up to create a powerful campaign that promotes positivity and self-esteem. Earlier this week as a part of their new #SpeakBeautiful campaign, Dove released a new ad to show how negative and degrading comments online have a domino effect on us all. This powerful ad will run during the red carpet coverage of the Oscars to remind us all about how such negativity impacts us and how positivity can change that. To check out the video, click the link below:

In addition to the ad, “Dove will be making use of a Twitter tool on Oscar night that identifies certain key words — in this case, it will keep an eye out for those that mention, appearance and body image. The tool will flag negative tweets and Dove’s Twitter account — which will be manned by self-esteem experts — will tweet positive responses” according to Mashable.

A Dove spokesperson said, “Twitter is a powerful platform for building momentum around social issues, and we think it’s a good way to leverage the unique parts of the site to support things that matter. We want to help shift the conversation toward positivity.”

This campaign was in response to some staggering data that Twitter collected when it comes to social media and self-esteem:
• 8 out of 10 women encounter negative comments on social media that critique women’s looks.
• Women are 50 percent more likely to say something negative about themselves than positive on social media.
• 82 percent of women surveyed feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic.
• 4 out of every 5 negative tweets Twitter identified about beauty and body image are women talking about themselves.”

I love this idea and I think it is the perfect platform to launch this type of campaign. What better way to promote this positive message than during one of the most watched shows of the year? I applaud Dove for trying to make a positive change in the world and promote the beauty in all of us. I think we have all been guilty of unfairly and negatively critiquing celebrities and more importantly, ourselves and it is a great reminder how we need to change the way we think about ourselves. We all have our own beauty and one small positive change can make a big difference.

What do you think of this campaign? Do you think it will be successful in stopping some the negativity that goes on during award shows? If it is successful, do you think this will translate into other live events?
As always, if you like what you read, be social and share.

How to Become an All-Star: 3 Tips to Improve Your Social Media Game

By: Dallas J. Short

With the NBA’s All-Star Weekend and Trent Tucker’s Celebrity All-Star Bowling Event nearing, the term “all-star” is something I can’t go minutes without hearing, but how exactly does one become an all-star? Well, since my jump shot leaves something to be desired, I figured I could better offer a few tips on how to improve your social media game.

Practice. Yes Allen, we’re talking about practice. Getting into the daily practice of posting content, but make sure the content has value and is aligned with your brand. Social media is not a jump rope game that you can hop in and out of. You need to be involved for your following to grow and for your engagements to increase. If, for some reason, you can’t get to your computer on a regular basis, there are a number of programs to make scheduling posts easy. There are also many reports out there on how many and what times to post, but you need to figure out what works and doesn’t work for your brand. I repeat though, you do need to be posting and (if called for) responding daily. Social media is a conversation, never forget that.

Skills. Know your skills and use them to your advantage. If you’re working with a fun brand, do not be afraid to be playful and use humor, when appropriate. However, if people are coming to you for facts and data, jokes might not be appreciated. Your skills will vary based on how you establish and strengthen your voice. Your “voice” is the personality of your brand and what people expect to hear when you talk. Imagine someone who usually speaks with a deep voice, if one day it sounds like they are on helium, it will be harder to take them serious. Now apply that to how your social media voice might be misinterpreted if you make a post that goes against what you normally do. Keeping that analogy in mind should keep you on track.

Focus. Kobe Bryant once said “I focus on one thing and one thing only – that’s trying to win as many championships as I can.” You need to have a focus and purpose for being on social media, for you to win the championship. You also have to figure out what a “championship” will look like to you. It will be different depending on the brand. Establish not only goals, but develop the tactics needed to accomplish them. Strategy combined with sincerity will take you far.
Ultimately, like the NBA, it will be the fans who select the All-Stars. If you’re doing a good job, the likes, favorites and retweets will show it and help boost your status. You’re aiming to be remembered more like Jordan from the free throw line and less like Shaq from the free throw line.

As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.