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Creating A Time Budget

Time Flies!You can tell your friends that you aren’t doing as well as you could with your business because you don’t have as much money as your competitor.  That may be true.

You can convince yourself that the reason you’re not the best in your industry is because you don’t have as many employees as the other guys. That may be true also.

You can even try to explain to those around you that if you had gone to this school or that, or if you had only acted upon your gut way back when, you would be ahead of the game right now. Again, this might be accurate.

The one thing you cannot hide behind, however, is lack of hours in the day.  You are given the same as everybody else.  In this area, nobody can out pace you or buy more than you, we all work with the same 24 hour clock.  It’s what you do with that time that is important.  I’m telling you this because it’s something I have to remind myself of almost every single day…I am bombarded by emails, phone calls, content calendars, sweepstakes rules, legal department hurdles, Facebook advertising optimization and a hundred other things every day.  When you add to it the fact that I actually like spending time with my family at home (yes, all four kids), I realize that it would be very easy each and every day to complain that I don’t have enough time.

That’s a ridiculous complaint, however.  I do have enough time, I have just as much as you do, and my competitors have just as much as all of us.  Instead of praying for a 28 hour day, it’s time to accept the fact that we all need to work with 24 hours; so more isn’t the answers, but efficiency and prioritization are.  It may be time for you to make a  “time budget”.

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The Art of Decision Making In Social Media

Making business and social media decisions requires proper timing but not hesitationThe way people approach decisions is fascinating. Not all decisions are created equal of course; there are those that require immediate action or opportunity will be lost, while others are best decided after careful consideration and research. The weight of each type of decision varies, as do the repercussions for acting quickly or being too slow.

In business, the majority of people tend to flip-flop the decision process. Sometimes easy questions or calls to action come about, and usually they can be handled simply by giving it a little thought and making a decision. However, most people tend to slow these down by moving the decision to be made to a larger group…emails are drafted, many people are CCd and doubt is dispersed in many forms, including questions like “what do you think we should do?” and the single-word pass-off, “thoughts?” Unfortunately, making mountains out of mole holes is commonplace in today’s business world.

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I’m All In For The City of Hope


I was approached by the City of Hope in Los Angeles and asked to do a fifteen second video about why I’m “all in” for the fight against women’s cancers. I said yes without hesitation, and as we were talking about it, I was flooded with memories of the women in my life that have been affected by cancer. I used to joke that “death runs in my family”, but really it isn’t a laughing matter. Practically every woman that I am related to has been diagnosed with some form of cancer, and most of them have died.

It’s time to end this madness, it really is.

Below is my humble contribution, I would appreciate it if you would watch it (again, it’s only fifteen seconds) and then click the “like” button right here:

If you or a woman you know has been affected by this horrible plague called cancer, a “like” will be stating that you are “all in” also.   All in for a cure.  All in to end the suffering.  All end to save our mothers, our daughters, our wives and our friends. I’m not asking you for money, or time or anything else that requires a lot of effort…just awareness. I believe in the power of social media, and how quickly a good message can spread around.

Please watch this video and share it with others.

I’m all in. Are you?

6 Things You Need To Know About Running A Social Media Program: Yourself

This is part 6 of 6 in the series “6 Things You Need to Know About Running A Social Media Program”. You can read part 1 “The Client” here, it has a full introduction. Part 2 “The Product” is here, part 3 “Your Audiences” is here ,part 4 “The Channels” is here and part 5 “Other Professionals” is here.

I’ve created this list of “things you must know” mostly based upon very positive experiences I’ve had, but also from negative ones…things that I’ve either experienced myself or seen others do.  This isn’t a tactical post, I think I write plenty of those.  Instead, this is my advice to those that are going to lend their expertise to others, and hopefully by checking these off you will avoid some common mistakes that often result in unmet expectations, from one side or the other…or both.

Know Yourself

I bet you weren’t expecting that one, were you? Let me explain what I mean by this: simply put, you need to know your own strengths and weaknesses, and you need to know your work flow and financial needs; this is especially true if you are consulting. Since most of us actually do know our strengths and weaknesses, maybe a better way to word this is be honest with yourself.  I saw a quote online recently that really rang true with me. Unfortunately I haven’t always followed it.

Work for full price or work for free, but don’t work for cheap.

As I applied that to many situations in the past that I have had to deal with, I see how true this is.  I could probably write an entire series of posts about why this is so important, but for now I’ll just let you ponder it and apply it to your own situation. In knowing yourself, you need to be honest with what your needs (or those of your organization) are, because sometimes…no matter how much you need the work…it’s better to say no to a project.  

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6 Things You Need To Know About Running A Social Media Program: Other Pros

This is part 5 of 6 in the series “6 Things You Need to Know About Running A Social Media Program”. You can read part 1 “The Client” here, it has a full introduction. Part 2 “The Product” is here, part 3 “Your Audiences” is here and part 4 “The Channels” is here.

I’ve created this list of “things you must know” mostly based upon very positive experiences I’ve had, but also from negative ones…things that I’ve either experienced myself or seen others do.  This isn’t a tactical post, I think I write plenty of those.  Instead, this is my advice to those that are going to lend their expertise to others, and hopefully by checking these off you will avoid some common mistakes that often result in unmet expectations, from one side or the other…or both.

Know Other Professionals

It’s important that you don’t get yourself into something that is not a good use of your time.  Know your strengths and weaknesses, and if part of a package deal is to provide a service that you aren’t strong in…hire it out.  I’m not kidding.  Hire it out, no matter how big or small you are.  Believe me, in the corporate agency world this practice isn’t just commonplace, it’s expected.  Think about building a social media program like building a house, and you are the general contractor. It’s your job to make sure the work gets done, and you may even pick up a hammer and hop in to help.  Leave the plumbing to the pros and focus on the big picture.  I know the temptation is to try to do it all yourself so that you’ll get paid more, but in my experience 9 times out of 10 this doesn’t work out quite as expected, and unmet expectations abound on both sides.

I’ve heard it said that the day you get a client is the day you start losing them…this idea is reinforced quickly if you try to do work that is outside of your scope of expertise.

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6 Things You Need To Know About Running A Social Media Program: The Channels

This is part 4 of 6 in the series “6 Things You Need to Know About Running A Social Media Program”. You can read part 1 “The Client” here, it has a full introduction. Part 2 “The Product” is here, part 3 “Your Audiences” is here.

I’ve created this list of “things you must know” mostly based upon very positive experiences I’ve had, but also from negative ones…things that I’ve either experienced myself or seen others do.  This isn’t a tactical post, I think I write plenty of those.  Instead, this is my advice to those that are going to lend their expertise to others, and hopefully by checking these off you will avoid some common mistakes that often result in unmet expectations, from one side or the other…or both.

Know The Channels

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Ustream, blogs, forums and all of the other communities in social media each have a different feel, and as such have different rules and therefore different results should be expected.  I’m going to go on record as saying that, in my opinion, trying to target all areas is a big mistake unless you have an incredibly well resourced team.  For most of the Fortune 500 companies that I work with we target a handful of channels based upon the brand needs and expectations…I don’t think there is such a thing as a cookie cutter social media program.  Why?  Because the need of every client is different (remember that part I wrote about knowing your customer?)  That said, there are a few basics that should be covered, but once you have established those you’ll want to match specific needs with specific communities.  If you try to be all things to all people you’re going to get spread too thin.

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6 Things You Need To Know About Running A Social Media Program: The Product

222-facebookThis is part 2 of 6 in the series “6 Things You Need to Know About Running A Social Media Program”. You can read part 1 “The Client” here, it has a full introduction.

I’ve created this list of “things you must know” mostly based upon very positive experiences I’ve had, but also from negative ones…things that I’ve either experienced myself or seen others do. This isn’t a tactical post, I think I write plenty of those. Instead, this is my advice to those that are going to lend their expertise to others, and hopefully by checking these off you will avoid some common mistakes that often result in unmet expectations, from one side or the other…or both.

Know The Product

I think this is the single biggest mistake that I see over and over and over again…lack of product knowledge when you are doing work for somebody else.You may be running a campaign for a durable good or a service. Sometimes it’s just brand awareness so there is not one thing you are pointing to, just the brand. No matter what it is, if you don’t know the ins and outs of what you will be marketing you are doing your client, their customers and yourself a huge disservice. I’ve been invited in to too many conversations that go something like this:

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140Smiles TWTRCON Pre-Event

operation-smileWhen Adventure Girl Stef Michaels invited me to the 140 Smiles event I knew I couldn’t say no.  140 Smiles is the official pre-event for TWTRCON and is designed to raise money and awarenes for Operation Smile, a 501(c)3 organization that helps children all around the world.  I’m going to ask for your help with this (just scroll down a little if you want to get right to it), but wanted to share with you a blurb about what this great organization does.

Since its founding, Operation Smile volunteers have treated more than 130,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities and the organization has a presence in 51 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.

To know me at all is to know that I am extremely sympathetic to groups like this and have personally worked to help people (particularly children) around the world in different ways for most of my life.  I know that most of you feel the same way, so I want to ask you for your help.  It’s really quite simple, you’ll make a huge difference and you get to play around with Twitter! What could be better?

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Excellent Job Seminar In Santa Monica

resume-bucketI know the folks down at ResumeBucket in Santa Monica, and I’ll vouch for them, they have an awesome thing going.  If you are a job seeker in Southern California they are hosting an event this Thursday night and you won’t want to miss it.  Here are full details, do yourself a favor and make a point of being there.  If I weren’t out of town consulting a client I wouldn’t miss this…so go for me, and take good notes!

WHEN: Thursday, May 21 – 7:00pm to 8:30pm

WHERE: The Santa Monica Library, Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium

ResumeBucket.com, a local Internet company that specializes in helping people find jobs with free online resume posting, is holding its first “Get Hired 2.0” — a free event that will provide insight into the current job market for local jobseekers. A panel of top hiring managers and HR professionals from successful companies will be advising attendees on the best practices of getting a job in this unique economy.

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How To: Prepare For A Pitch Over The Phone

dsc_0124I advise companies about how to optimize social media for brand exposure, adoption and support.  Because of this I am constantly talking to potential clients on the phone, discussing their goals and desires for an effective online campaign.  If you are in the business of consulting or are thinking about moving in that direction I’ve put together a short list of tips and tricks for preparing for that phone call, because as I’ve learned the hard way, if you aren’t prepared you’re not going to get the job. With the economy in the condition it is, every call is critical.

  1. Know the client.  There is nothing worse than being asked a question about the company that you are pitching and not knowing what they are talking about.  I’m not talking about obscure facts, this is about their core competencies.  Make sure you have done your research, have at least a general familiarity with the key leaders, products, services and areas of operation.

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