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  1. Norfolk Area Entrepreneurs ROUND 2: Connect w/Amazing People to Start Companies/Projects With

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    Click Here to Apply!

    Wanted to share info. about a great service that seems super relevant for this crew – FounderDating (no, it’s not romantic).  Norfolk Area of FounderDating is kicking off Round 2 of accepting applications into this private group for people looking to find a Co-Founder of their startup business!

    Click here for more info on FounderDating.com

    FounderDating (FD) is an invite-only, online network for entrepreneurs to connect with cofounders. What makes them different?

     

    • High Quality – members are carefully screened for quality and readiness (no recruiters, etc.) Applications and members’ identities are confidential, but a few of the folks who are part of the network are former founders or early employees from: stackmob, snapfish, Zynga, Loggly and Gilt just to name a few.
    • Balanced – 50% engineering & 50% non-engineering
    • No Idea Necessary – FD is about the people, so you don’t need to have an idea, just be ready to work on a serious side project

    Upcoming Round: September 20th, 2012 Norfolk Area

     

    Deadline to Apply: September 10th, 2012 Apply Now http://members.founderdating.com/application/

    If you have applied in the past and received an email about not being accepted in Round 1 you will be considered for an invite in Round 2   Zack Miller and I can  work with any type of groups like alumi associations, professional organizations, and government agencies to ensure their members know about FounderDating and can apply.   Just let us know how we can work with you to announce this round and opportunity to your club via email or other appropriate channels?  If so, I’ve included a small blurb below.  Also, we are happy to jump on the phone/skype or scheduled a face to face visit and tell you more about us or answer questions about FounderDating.com. You can read more about FD on here and here   Here are Photos from the Round 1 Members Kickoff:

    Member Building Activity

    Member Building Activity

     

    Jessica Alter of FounderDating at Hatchnorfolk

  2. Lethal combination of books for any business! #startnorfolk

    Comments Off on Lethal combination of books for any business! #startnorfolk

    Since I am heading off to #StartNorfolk in a couple hours wanted to share some info with the folks that will be there this weekend to consider picking up this lethal combination of business books as they kick off their business dreams!

    I have read 3 and half of these books (Meghan and Nancy still working on yours!) and I have come to the conclusion! If you are a business owner, getting a business off the ground, reinventing your business, and or innovating your business these 4 books have to be read together!

    Suggestions while reading these books:

    1. Take notes with a pen and paper (old school I know)

    2. Highlight and dogear the crap out of these books. You will come back to those, TRUST ME@

    3. Start constructing the what, how and why plans, strategies, tactics and metrics for your business or career development while reading.

    4. Find the patterns of how to’s and why’s between the four books – WRITE THEM DOWN! They are there!

    5. Encourage many at your company to read these 4 books together.

    6. Talk with the authors online. They are all available & very conversational!

     

    Pick these books up today if you have not already. I have made it easy and provided a link to the books on amazon and also the authors online information. Have fun!

    As Pictured above top to bottom:

    1. Rework written by Jason Fried @jasonfried Founder of 37signals

    “Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf.

    Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.”

    2. Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard @thebrandbuilder of

    TheBrandBuilder.com or additional information at SMROI.net

    “Use this book to bring true business discipline to your social media program and align with your organization’s goals. Top branding and marketing expert Olivier Blanchard brings together new best practices for strategy, planning, execution, measurement, analysis, and optimization. You will learn how to define the financial and nonfinancial business impacts you are aiming for–and achieve them. Social Media ROI delivers practical solutions for everything from structuring programs to attracting followers, defining metrics to managing crises. Whether you are in a startup or a global enterprise, this book will help you gain more value from every dime you invest in social media.

    You’ll learn how to:

    • Align social communications with broader business goals and functions
    • Plan for effective performance measurement
    • Establish clarity of vision, purpose, and execution
    • Implement guidelines and operations for effectively managing social media
    • Get started by “listening before talking”
    • Integrate social media into long-term marketing programs, short-term campaigns, and brand initiatives
    • Use social media to deliver real-time, optimized customer support
    • Leverage mobility and the “on-the-fly” social media culture
    • Measure FRY (Frequency, Reach, and Yield)”

    3. Interactive Project Management Pixels, People, and Process by Nancy Lyons @nylons and Meghan Wilker @irishgirl of Clockwork Active Media

    “As an industry, interactive is different. The work entails elements of software development, marketing, and advertising, yet it’s neither purely technical nor traditional “agency” work. Delivery methods are different, and because the industry is relatively new, the gap in understanding between the clients buying the work and the teams building it is often wide. Enter the geek girls guide. Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker don’t just tell you how to deliver digital work, they demonstrate how to think about it.

    Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process helps clients, agencies, and industry professionals better understand the critical role of interactive project management, and presents a collaborative, people-focused approach to delivering high-quality digital work.”

     

    4. The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano @readheadwriting of RedHeadWriting.com

    ErikaNapoletano.com

    “Every successful brand in history is inherently unpopular with a specific demographic. Somewhere along the way, people felt they had to be popular in order to be successful, when in fact, the opposite is true. The brands playing in the space you want to dominate have already figured out the inherent power of being unpopular. In The Power of Unpopular, you’ll discover the difference between flash-in-the-pan brand tactics and those designed to place you miles above the competition.

    • Brand Personality: What’s yours? Explore the importance of taking a stand and why brands become road kill without a distinct personality.
    • Community: It’s the number one thing that unpopular brands have figured out—learn how to build yours.
    • Brand Advocacy: It knows no scale and your fans don’t care how big you are. A guide for businesses on the proper care and feeding of their biggest asset.”

    I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Olivier, Nancy, and Meghan over the years. I know one of these days Erika and I will meet IP (In Person, looking forward to that!!!). Jason and I have only occasionally tweeted back and forth.  So there are my disclosures. In no way was I paid or asked to write this post. I just sharing great people with other great people I know!

     

  3. Join me at #ungeeked Chicago May 12th-14th & #RoastBrogan

    Comments Off on Join me at #ungeeked Chicago May 12th-14th & #RoastBrogan

    You should attend unGeeked if you are responsible for developing or managing your company, organization or client’s social media, marketing, branding, advertising, on-line community, customer service, or recruiting campaigns.

    • Branding, Marketing and PR VPs, Directors and Managers
    • CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of mid to large companies
    • Not-for-Profit Organizations – Cause Marketing Professionals
    • Recruiters, HR and Legal Professionals
    • Community Managers, Social Media Managers
    • Customer Service, Sales and Advertising VPs, Directors and Managers

    ungeeked_pointing

    The format is “open discussion” The topics focus on enhancing, positioning and leveraging both the internal and external brand. Power Points are strongly discouraged and instead, on-going and intimate discussions among Discussion Leaders (speakers), regional leaders and attendees are encouraged.

    chicago speakers

    Who is speaking at unGeeked?
    Spike Jones, Jason Falls, Barry Moltz, Heather Taylor, Anita Campbell, Olivier Blanchard, Hajj Flemings, Lou Hoffman, Chris Heuer, Amanda Hite and Jeff Willinger and more.

     

    Full list of  Discussion Leaders (speakers)

    Click to see list of Discussion Leaders

     

    Scheduled Discussion Topics

    Click to view Discussion Topics/Schedule

     

    Registrations include one admission to

    Celebrity Charity Roast honoring Chris Brogan

    #RoastBrogan on twitter

     

    brogan

     

    Hostmaster: Jason Falls

    When: May 11th, 2011Time: 5:30PM – 9PM –  Honors/Roast begins:6PM 

     

    Roasting Panel: C.C.Chapman,  Dave Murray,  Jason Falls,  Liz Strauss and Troy Janisch

    Join Chris Brogan and family, while his friends deliver comedic insults, banter, tongue-in-cheek criticism and outlandish stories along with heartwarming tributes to honor one of our most recognized social media thought leaders, while supporting the charity SitStayRead.

     

    Roast and Auction to benefit Chicago Charity SitStayRead Literacy Program. Items for auction:

    • One lifetime membership to Exploring Social Media (valued at $300 per year) – from Social Media Explorer
    • Two certificates each entitling the bearer to a 6 bottle in-home wine tasting for up to 14 people with private wine adviser for 2 hours (valued at $350 each) – from Wines For Humanity
    • Two Chris Brogan T-Shirts from Mom Pop Pow

     

    thebrandbuilder

    Newest author, Olivier Blanchard is on the forefront of spearheading theSocial Media ROI initiative.
    A copy of Social Media ROI is included with 3-day Registrations.

    Click here to Register for unGeeked Chicago

     

    SAVE When you RSVP before 4/30/2011

     

     

    Sponsors

    smallbiztrends smc biz sugar mashable

  4. The Social Business Swirling in my head

    6 Comments

    This will be somewhat of a shorter post for me. I know the novels are getting to be a bit much! So I was chatting away on twitter the other day and Bruce Kneuer and I bumped into each other and we started talking about the Social Business.  Now we only have a 140 characters so this is how the conversation went:

    @BKneuer Question

    @BKneuer Question















    So after thinking about the context that was swirling around in my head I responded with this 140 characters:


    @keithprivette response to @BKneuer

    @keithprivette response to @BKneuer


    So then Bruce kindly puts this request into me:


    The 140 That Sparked a Diagram
    The 140 That Sparked a Diagram


    So I decided to visualize Bruce’s question into a model so I can understand what is swirling around in my head.  This is a visualization to represent how much over lap we have with people, technology, and processes to interact internally and externally at the same time.  Our customers have a much much much better idea of what our companies are, how they are ran, and who is running them.

    People are curating information across the internet and basing decisions of where they place their focus, money and their time and they are not getting this information from your website or press releases…..Well enough about that! That could be another post, but no more novels in 2011, I promised Nicole Harrison.

    Here is the model that represents the ideas and what action could be taken based on interconnecting within the Social Business constructs.


    Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head
    Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head


    So Bruce thank you for prompting with your very though provoking question.  This is what I have so far.  It is basically a model to get the people, technology, and processes working together to solve and innovate. There is a ton of details that need to be filled in and I know that.  Just thought it would be  fun and educating to share and fulfill a request for information at the same time. Open to any and all comments.

    Please leave a comment below about what is missing, what you like, what you don’t like, where there is flaws, why is technology as big as the business, your cracked and stop doing this, anything!


  5. Opt-In checkbox is not 2-way, but it can be!

    2 Comments

    Currently we have this thing about customers opting in or opting out.   If they opt out most companies pine over how can we get them to opt in and continually push market in a shot gun fashion around them hoping someone will forward it to them…..costly.

    On the other side you have the people that opt in and what do businesses turn around and do, push market the hell out of these customers. No analysis done around who should get what message, when, why and then the customer gets the dreaded noreply@ email address in the From: so you cannot communicate your frustration with said business……ummm costly and annoying.

    So how does the opt in become a two way form of communication between businesses and customers. Data, yes the sexy ever glamorous darling of the businesses, Data. Yeah right who I kidding data is not sexy, but it sure is useful! What businesses need to do is partner with their customer around data.  The customer has the ability to proactively collect a lot of information about themselves now and the data the business collect about the customer has holes in it to be affective. Typically most businesses have cookies, email address and minimum information about connecting the exact purchases done by their customers.

    With so many customers collecting, storing, analyzing, and utilizing their data to make personal business decisions, like where I buy, how much can I spend, and how much I have spent. On the flip side businesses are collecting, storing, and analyzing the data they are collecting with one two pieces or really three pieces of demographic data missing First Name, Last Name, and email address tied to purchasing actions.  Missing the actual person and who they are leaves gaping holes in analyzing to take the correct actions.   Being able to line the data profile the customer is building and data profile based on a Cookie ID can lead to a powerful conversation, trust relationship and actual deepening the selling and buying between the two.

    Enter a company like Buyosphere! They are allowing customers to store and maintain all the purchases they make based on the receipts they can obtain online and eventually the receipts they receive offline, then get them to their online profile. This purchasing information is the start of the two opt-in of sharing information between businesses and customers. With the customers currating and storing their purchasing data and most businesses wanting to know their First Name, Last Name and email address on those purchases, why not have conversations about sharing this  information with each other. Businesses that are in a more brick and mortar setting need to find ways to get this purchase information to their customers!  Plus we can save a whole lot of trees by not giving out paper receipts too…

    Businesses need to invest in emailing receipts to the customer at the time of purchase, giving them a way to enter a code online to get the electronic receipt once they get online, start putting QR codes on the receipt, or maybe bumping phone to POS to get receipt record onto phone (keep in mind this only covers 30% of customers with smartphones).

    What this allows the customer to do is curate their purchases and share the data socially or privately with the businesses they are demonstrating purchasing power with said business. This is the start of the 2-way Opt-In partnership around purchasing power using the opt-in as the contract, the handshake, the trust. The businesses offering these types of services and two way opt-in relationships will be able to increase marketshare, service customers based on mutual respect based on buying and selling, and keep the customers you have long term. In business keeping the ones you have is waaaaaay cheaper than always trying to acquire new.  I do believe if the customer felt a little more in control of this opting-in action they would probably be more willing to opt-in!  I know I would!

    Now the flip side of this 2-way Opt-In relationships are the businesses and needing to earn the trust with this Customer information and not get all up in their customer’s grillz with their Pushy MCPusherton marketing and advertising.  They have to allow the relationship to build and grow.  With always checking in after sending your Customers information, like “How did that feel, was it pushy?” or “Did we hit the mark based on your activity?” This will gain trust and loyalty like nothing before.  Image the cost reductions of trying to acquire new costumers and increasing the spend by already existing customer.  Just remember this is earned in the long term and screwed up in an instant. Gut feeling is most businesses would have more fun interacting with their Customers too.  Employees would have more satisfaction about a job well done or finding new ways to strengthens the relationship with their Customers.  I see productivity gains and reducing talent turning over, which is reduction of  expenses.  When you make you company fun with happy Customers and happy employees really cool things can happen!

    So go forth and build and synthesize your data businesses and customers, the economy will thank you!  “In the form of a wholly logical data model, in the form of a buying river!”

  6. Cross Pollinating Verticals to avoid the Echo of the Chamber

    2 Comments

    So I bet you are asking yourself  “what the hell does cross pollinating verticals mean you crazy crazy person you?” I am going to explain how it came about and why it has become part of my idea to strategy to planning to action taking mantra.  Ok it did start out from a little snark and sass to address some of things I was seeing at conferences (mainly live feeds across the interwebs) and one off sessions with organizations across the web also.

    Because my day job is somewhat, well actually totally not related to social media, marketing, advertising, recruiting, communication or external customer service.  I take advantage of being connected to so many wonderful people that tweet out conference #hashtags, send livefeed links on their twitter, facebook, eventbrite, meetup and linkedin social feeds to get to some great information.

    I started to notice in presentations and presenters language many many many big words being used to explain very simple everyday actions. The word honest turned into trustworthy, be yourself turned into authenticity, people turned into human capital, and the best open turned into transparency. I do believe people sometimes think if they use big words they are more credible, believable, and intelligence.  I will agree it does show intelligence, but in a book smart way and not in a real world, street smart way.    So having a little moment of rebellion I figured if I want to be consider a thought leader I better start putting some big words in my arsenal.

    I know I know very 5th grade, but I thought let’s go with this and see where it goes.  So I was at lunch with a couple of people (probably at The Newsroom) out came “Cross Pollinating Verticals” during a conversation.   Of course I got the “What the hell does that mean?”, so I began explaining my perspective of what I was observing in presentations and conversations.   Cross Pollinating Verticals is really the basic action of talking, asking, or meeting with people that are not in your organizational, professional, or skill set vertical.   I do believe this also clearly articulates how I view my networking and professional development.  I do believe if this path was explored more and more by people, it could start creating the systemic market and people changes we need for the future (sorry no data just a gut feel).

    It seems that we spend too much time in our own industries and skill set or title.  This is not bad thing, because yes you need to keep up on the trends, people, topics, regulations, legislation, technologies, and processes.  The only drawback, focusing on your industry, you are only talking and interacting with people that agree or often have the same point of view as you.  Now with the explosion of the social platforms you have complete access to information, people, and technologies to other people’s industries! The beauty of majority of people from every industry continually sharing publicly anyone can share in the conversation.  This will only lead to enrich and enhance the conversation because you are getting it from the audience of your industry.

    For example I follow many recruiters and human resource people on twitter.  Many of the conversations are between people within the recruiter and human resource industry, which leads to many agreements and very little diversification of points of view.  Well enter a non-recruiter or non-human resource industry person, me. I am their audience, I am the people they are trying to help, I am the people they are gently trying to manage, I am a person they should hear from…..right?  This is unadulterated access to their constituency, right?  That is what every industry that has an audience wants!

    You can ask questions, have conversations, and beta new ideas, that is of course if they are interacting with their audience.  I just used Recruiter and Human Resource vertical as an example, I jump into many verticals marketing, PR, communications, etc. I even have followed a twitter chat for Student Affairs for colleges and universities!   So I encourage people while networking, viewing people to follow, having conversations, and posing questions look for people not within your industry, professional, or skill set vertical to really enhance your conversations, points of view, and “third box over” type thinking.  Being that I love finding people not like myself, it has led to finding some real and enriching conversations about problems to be solved.

    So next time when you are looking to follow a person, a conf hashtag, send request to someone on linkedin, or post a comment on a blog do it outside your designated vertical and see what happens!  What would be even better if you came back and drop a note on this post to show others real world examples of this!  That would mean you Cross Pollinated a Vertical!

     

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