Social Media 101 – Part 3 – Your LinkedIn Profile

Why Use LinkedIn?

LinkedIn Profile - Resume of Today
Your Digital Footprint

Sometimes I feel like an evangelist when it comes to one’s LinkedIn Profile. It seems I tell the same story over and over, from slightly different angles, but is it the same story. For those who want the summary – Get your LinkedIn Profile in top notch shape. Clean it up as if your were going on that ultimate interview. Polish it until the shine is so deep it is a mirror. Your profile is your meal ticket. LinkedIn is where many recruiters go fishing. LinkedIn is where references are checked, Your LinkedIn Profile is where the rubber meets the road for jobs, referrals, and references. LinkedIn is the Human Resources Department of the future. This may sound a bit extreme for some, so lets look at real world claims an see what we can bring to light. Continue reading “Social Media 101 – Part 3 – Your LinkedIn Profile”

Open Source Software

Open Source

As software has been a sizable investment for many companies it is quite important that we address the open source software programs and their capabilities. Imagine being able to do all things required to run your home or business. Well you don’t have to imagine  for long as the software is here and available now. The savings per PC are nice however, when you multiply the savings throughout an office the savings are huge.

Open Source Programs and Open License Software


Recommended Open Source Software

  • WordPress – for creating websites
  • Open Office – for word processing – spreadsheets – presentations – data bases
  • Gimp – for photo manipulation
  • Filezilla – for FTP (File transfer Protocol)
  • Android – for cell phones and tablets
  • Audacity – for audio manipulation
  • CutePDF – for creation of PDF documents
  • VLC – for playing movies and media

This list is always under update and is part of our support for Open Source which delivers wonderful function software for all applications without the cost of licensing.

As Always, Charley

Author - Charley Carlin
Charley

About the Author: As a Social Media Guide empowering others on the Internet is a passion. Charley lives in beautiful San Luis Obispo County on the central coast of California. Charley is regularly seen every December in a full red suit and hat.  Clear Thought, Clear Vision, and Consistent Action are his mantra. He and his wife, Anet,  travel the southwest extensively.

Social Media 101 – Part 2 – Fundamentals

Social Media Fundamentals

Social Media Fundamentals
Social Media Fundamentals – How To?

Today we’re going to look Social Media. Social media seems to be today’s buzz. The hottest newest marketing thing, but really it is something you been doing all along. You interact with people, you engage them, you talk with them – remember that phrase talk with them – you mix all that up and people do business with the people they trust. This is important. This is the way business has been done for a long time.

Now for the question that is always going to be asked. A question that is going to be asked and seems to be asked over and over again is  What’s in it for me?

What’s in it for me?
I’m doing fine. If your business is great and you want to keep it just the way it is, then maybe you would be best to move along because you don’t need to change. Yes, for some businesses this can be totally ignored. That is a personal choice and small businesses, especially in smaller towns, or smaller markets just Continue reading “Social Media 101 – Part 2 – Fundamentals”

GIMP – Photoshop for FREE! Even Better!

Wilbur – The Gimp Mascot

GIMP – Graphic Image Manipulation Program is the open source equivalent of Photoshop for Free. For most people GIMP can do everything, and I mean everything you need. From photo re-sizing, re-sampling, changing colors, removing red eye, cropping, layering, making collages, converting from one type to another, and so much more. With all those options available it can be a bit overwhelming, however driving the space shuttle would also be overwhelming. So, target whatever you want to do and learn a few controls and features at a time. As with any good software, a bit of training can go a long way. The people who say “I will play with it and figure it out” will have varied degrees of success. For best results I recommend training, with someone who knows GIMP, with the GIMP site and GIMP Quickies, or YOUTUBE training videos.

So what are the cons you ask? Continue reading “GIMP – Photoshop for FREE! Even Better!”

Social Media 101 – Part 1 – The Buzz

Social Media Beginnings, The Question is what is it? Where do I start? It is the Buzz of this year (and probably several years) is the phrase Social Media. Everyone is an expert. Speakers everywhere are casting their nets to rake in clients. Webinars promise the answer. Social Media secrets are being revealed by executives and movement leaders everywhere.

Each guru has their set of ‘secrets.’ The desire to find the magic bullet can be so intense that the research can go on and on and on. The list of things to do, sites to register, pages to write, search engine optimization tricks, branding , site metrics, return on investment, and a hundred more items seem to be beckoning to consume every minute of your day. What is one to do? Continue reading “Social Media 101 – Part 1 – The Buzz”

What is OpenOffice?

OpenOffice.org Writer is a full-featured word processor. It features unique tools such as the Navigator and Stylist. These make changing the formatting throughout a large document easy as 1-2-3.

OpenOffice.org Calc is a full-featured  spreadsheet. It has a vast number of statistical and scientific functions. It can
create pivot tables, charts and more.

OpenOffice.org Impress is a full-featured presentation tool that allows the user to create and modify diagrams and pictures right within the application.

OpenOffice.org has support for various databases, including open source databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL. This combination allows users to do tasks that used to be done with Microsoft Access.

OpenOffice.org Draw is a powerful drawing tool. It has support for both vector and bitmap images. With the Connectors tool you can create complex diagrams and
charts.

OpenOffice.org has a one-click PDF export feature that lets you create PDF files. This feature 

makes exchanging documents in a standard read-only file format a simple task. The creation of PDF files normally requires third party add-on tools. With OpenOffice.org this feature comes built-in.

OpenOffice.org can export presentations and drawings to the Macromedia Flash format (.swf). You can view your presentations in any web browser with the Flash plug-in. Now recipients do not have to install any special viewer in order to view your presentation.

All these features coupled with a zero price tag make Open Office a very intelligent choice for the future.

Thanks, Charley

Author - Charley Carlin
Charley

About the Author: As a Social Media Guide empowering others on the Internet is a passion. Charley lives in beautiful San Luis Obispo County on the central coast of California. Charley is regularly seen every December in a full red suit and hat.  Clear Thought, Clear Vision, and Consistent Action are his mantra. He and his wife, Anet,  travel the southwest extensively.

Social Media Foundations – Step ZERO

Social Media Foundations - Charley Carlin
Foundation Is First

Social Media Foundations

 

With the catchphrase of Social Media circulating wildly about, I find definitions vary all over the map. Rather than tie anything down or take anyone on about the best definition, I like to think of Social Media as simply communication. Communication with friends, prospects, customers, clients, vendors, suppliers and family. Social Media has been around for thousands of years, just under a few different names. Sitting around the campfire, people would tell stories about what was important to them. Whether it was their family, the local hunting grounds, their history, the weather or the encounters of the day it was Social and it was Communication.

Early Socail Media - Charley Carlin
Early Social media

Moving forward in time travelers were a source of stories and communications from far away places that most would never visit. Social Media in a later era is the newspapers that were inhaled from front to back to see what else might be happening in the town and other far away places.  Move to another era and the radio was a key source of the communications about happenings and prospects for the future. Magazines, newspapers, television, satellite, and internet now bombard many with so much communications that people are completely overwhelmed and often freaked out by the volume and the constant pinging. So what is one to do?

Work on the basics first. As simple as that statement sounds over and over again I encounter people ignoring the basics.

Announce your intentions. Tell everyone you know, encounter, run into, or do business with of your intentions. For the small business this is so critical, especially since your customers may be only in your town, or neighborhood, depending upon your business.

Simple Encounter One:

I tell the story of one fellow who upon simply telling his Facebook friends a tiny bit (a single posting) about his business to be sure they all knew. Well his business had been a bit slow, and then . . . a small flood of requests for work poured in. He got several comments – ‘I did not know you did that’ – concerning his service. Note this was an auto detailer. Since that initial single posting, He has had a nice increase in business. Oh was that simple and easy. Looking for a piece of instant upgrade and no cost. That one is hard to beat.

Simple Encounter Two:

 While I was working with an insurance salesman who was desiring more business and he knew he needed this ‘Social Media’ thing and he wanted work done upon his Facebook and twitter accounts. He had set up accounts over a year before, and they have only languished. I had encountered him before and asked if he had my card. He said yes and started looking through a giant piles of business cards. Are those leads I asked? Yes they are he replied. I said call them all first and add them to you address book properly grouped and get back to me if you still need help.

Woman-with-a-Broom-100x

An old Russian proverb is:

If you want a clean world, clean your own doorstep.

To translate this into social media lingo, clean up your connections, tell people you are in business and follow up with all your current leads first, meanwhile lets start to build your digital footprint. Lets install your Social Media Foundations!  See you in my next posting on Starting Your Social Media Profile.

As Always, Charley Carlin

Author - Charley Carlin
Charley

About the Author: As a Social Media Guide empowering others on the Internet is a passion. Charley lives in beautiful San Luis Obispo County on the central coast of California. Charley is regularly seen every December in a full red suit and hat.  Clear Thought, Clear Vision, and Consistent Action are his mantra. He and his wife, Anet,  travel the southwest extensively.

How Does Your Business Rank?

What Customers Say Can Affect you Business
Want to Find Out How Your Business Rated ? One of the oldest adages is ‘The Customer is always right.’ Is it still true in the context of todays’ social media? Lets take a look at the effect of what customers say can have on your online profile. Lets further look as to how this can have an effect on your business.

When chatting with your customers, it goes without saying to listen to what they have to tell you. If they are raving about your service or product the it is the right time to simply tell them you are on YELP, and TripAdvisor. They already know what to do! You don’t have to ask and some of the fine print in the social websites discourages fishing for ratings.  So, encouraging them to rate your business on YELP.comTripAdvisor.com,  and Google.com is really not necessary.  When you ask customers directly about how you are doing, or did, be prepared for feedback. there are always some customers who will only tell you what is wrong, and some who will carry on until they find something that they can tell you to fix. All of the feedback you receive can be digested and used to improve your operation. Often it is just continuing to do what you are doing! Look for those customers who tell you you did a great job. It seems that the questions you ask and the tenor in which you inquire can be very helpful.

First ask your client if you did a five star job. If they say yes, thank them and tell them you can be found on the web. They know what to do! Thank them.

If the customers says it was not a five star encounter, then ask them what steps you need to make to create a five star experience. You do not have to ask them to rate you on the internet. Instead ask them how you can improve, take notes (even if you are going to throw them away), thank them and make whatever adjustments you think need to be made.

The ratings on these site is important to your business. Trip Advisor is very important if you have international customers (especially Hotels, Restaurants and Bars). They are scoured by people outside the United States and affect their decisions where to stop, what to see and what to eat when traveling in the USA.

A note on Yelp Ratings, Google Ratings, TripAdvisor  ratings for you. You will over time collect ratings for your business. Hopefully they will all be good, however, some people use these sites as a place to post complaints. As business owner you can respond to the complaints and this shows you care and are responsive. Be Creative.  You can find a way to say something nice the the complainer and be able to show the others who read this that you are and engaged business person. Some business people use this as an excuse or reason not to use these site. Whether you use them or not, they are there and the world is using them. With this in mind you must leverage these sites to your business advantage. If your have 99 wonderful ratings and 1 garbage rating, don’t worry too much as people tend to see that the complainer has usually only done one rating and has no friends on the given website. Additionally the 99 wonderful ratings will leave your overall average very very high. If you only have 3 ratings and some are up and some are down, your overall rating will suffer. On most of these sites the business owner can sometimes respond to the rating and give it an answer the problem and respond to it straightforward and compassionate fashion can actually shows true concern for all customers. So check your ratings often, respond to any perceived problems, and move forward. Likewise you can thank people who rate you highly, as this help encourage them to do more good ratings.

Now in the town where you live and do business (whether the same or different) there are businesses you deal with and some you like, maybe some you don’t like as well. Here is an important tip. Sometimes people think it is important to complain about competitors, or other people you may not care about. My take is simple. Rate the ones you like. Rate the ones you want to stay in business. Say something good or move on. As the old adage goes, ‘If you can’s say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’ or in the words of Dale Carnegie from “How to win friends and Influence People” ‘Don’t criticize condemn or complain.’ Help the businesses you love, like, and want to stay operational. Your ratings count and we all need to do our part of the rating system as well. The world and other businesses needs our opinions too! More to come.

Following many of these tip and your answer to How is Your Business Rated ? will surely be looking up.

Author - Charley Carlin
Charley

About the Author: As a Social Media Guide empowering others on the Internet is a passion. Charley lives in beautiful San Luis Obispo County on the central coast of California. Charley is regularly seen every December in a full red suit and hat.  Clear Thought, Clear Vision, and Consistent Action are his mantra. He and his wife, Anet,  travel the southwest extensively.