With Every Ending there is a NEW Beginning?

What is it they say? “With every beginning, there comes an end” or “with every ending new-beginningcomes a new beginning.” Just like I mentioned in a previous post “everything happens for a reason” or “it is what it is” I have to say that this so called all good things must come to an end also has to be true? Or is it? How do we know when things are coming to end then? What are the signs? Does this also apply to our relationships, education, career, etc.? Or is this saying just the cycle of life and products? Over the last week and if not the entire year, I have been asking myself this and many similar questions. Why? Well over the last year, I have started to pay greater attention to detail and the shelf life of many things including that of my relationships, career objectives, milk, groceries, vehicle, etc. Why if this saying isn’t true, do most things we purchase and consume have an expiatory date? It seems that YES, most things (if not all) have a beginning and an end? Or all good things must come to an end?

So how do we determine what exactly the beginning and/or end is? The obvious is we are born and then we die… YES? How about relationships or your career? If you are young or old you have probably noticed that, most relationships and your job, regardless of how you meet or the job you’re in all have trends. These trends usually go something like this… awesome beginning (honeymoon), an okay middle (comfort zone), and really bad endings (the dreaded unknown). In my life and regardless of whether in a relationship or career these trends seem to always go the same way but unlike the cycle of life (ending in death), I am still alive, kicking, and in the end have come out the other side as better person. I am a better father, a better man with the woman I love, and I am a better man in the job I am in. Does this then mean that we all should embrace change, new beginnings, and endings to things? Or is it just me? Do we need to give more chances to others, our partners, and career paths fostering and/or focusing more on the middle stage(s)?

uptown-girls

Let’s face it, the beginning of anything is downright scary just like my kid changing schools this year. On the flipside, the end is just as scary if not more! Starting something new or letting go of something you care about is extremely hard whether it is a relationship or your career. However, what I have learned over the years (especially raising my son, in relationships, and jobs) is that both beginnings and endings are a necessity of life, just as we are born and we die. In order for us to remain active, happy, and healthy, we must allow ourselves the opportunity for new beginnings in our relationships and jobs, just like we must allow ourselves the opportunity for endings, so we can create more beginnings. This my friends is what we must do because if nothing ever came to an end, nothing could ever begin. Without scary endings and new beginnings, I wouldn’t be the same person I am now just like I know you are. In fact, I couldn’t be happier at how things have turned out in my life with my son, my relationship, and career. Although I can’t say for sure how long I will be in this NEW middle part of my life (hopefully until I die), I can honestly say… For every ending, there is an even greater beginning. Don’t be afraid of endings and surely don’t let yourself be afraid of new beginnings.

Thoughts? If you have any, please feel free to leave your comments here, reach out to me online or in person, and/or through any of my other online mediums. Until next time my friends keep smiling, embrace those you’re with, do away with things stressing you out, and for heaven’s sake create some new beginnings already.

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Inbound Sales is ALL About Outbound Social Media? Or is it?

As the world changes, so does the way(s) we all continue to communicate with one another. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “communication” originated in the 14th century (WOW) and is defined as “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.” So then why do most people NOT consider SOCIAL MEDIA and SALES communicative and social tasks? What I mean by that is why do marketers, as well as other professionals think that social media isn’t the best tool available to communicate with others, thus increasing sales (i.e. inbound selling). In fact, I believe that customers take joy in being social over the web and would rather buy online at their own pace versus someone else’s or in-person. Am I being naive or do you agree or disagree? Whether you agree or disagree, one thing is certain and that is if you understand the role(s) of communicating and social media in general that these two combined can be paramount and vital to your personal or long-term business success(es).

How buying is changing online

With the advent of online sites such as Google, Ebay, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, FourSqaure, EmpireAvenue, Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Quora, etc people have more say “dictating the buying/selling processes” and can voice their opinions as little and/or as often as they want, thus dictating what customers/businesses ultimately buy and sell. In fact, (I believe you already may know this) but it is no longer about what a salesperson/company says or presents but instead about what a buyer says online or in person that dictates what they truly want in a (B2C business-to-consumer or B2B business-to-business) competitive environment.

Forrester, which is a leading research company recently reported that over 90% of the time B2B (in this case B2B IT buyers) are involved in some form of social media, not so much as actual purchasers but as purchase spectators. What this actually means and maybe the case more times than not in any industry is that 90% of the people or businesses that are looking for IT services or ‘YOUR services/products” are on some form of social media site. Regardless of the industry, you and/or your company cannot afford to ignore these statistics if you want to continue increasing sales over the long run. Yes, this also means that even though these people are online (i.e. social media) they maybe just there to see how you and/or your company is perceived, so they also can adjust their business strategy around what people want (i.e. again inbound selling adjustments) throughout an industry not just your company. Yes?

Not just for the traditionalists

While not too long ago and perhaps even to this day (you have more than likely experienced this) many people have/did enter(ed) into the online social sphere of things with the whole “get rich quick scheme or multi-level marketing” but as time passed we all have voiced our opinions thus we are seeing a dramatic decline in this category. That is a big relief huh? Personally, over the years I have grown to hate all these multi-level marketing schemes and am very pleased to see them fading into the night just as the typewriter of several years past. Since these multi-level schemes were and never will be credible ways of making money or advancing sales online (instead only making a few people rich) while making other people more skeptical of online buying/selling. Having a tremendous amount of prior B2B and B2C sales experience, I came into social media marketing (social media selling) with a determination to grow a community and eliminate the hard sell, since generating awareness and need for a purchase are at the forefront of sales and have always been my way of producing sales not the other way around. Let’s face it who likes that nagging sales person that calls 10 times a day or week trying to sell you something you don’t necessarily need but instead trying to sell you something they think you need in order to increase their own sales numbers, while making their boss(es) happy. Social media selling gives the customer what they need and that is relevant information that they can use to create their own need; thus, calling you (INBOUND) when they are actually ready to buy on their own terms and not yours. So, let’s say bye to all those bait and switch techniques of the past and hello to transparency of the present “gifts” that help you and your prospects make good buying decisions. An honest conversation online thorough social media and other like platforms that make your phone ring not you ringing others, thus increasing sales and creating more long-term partnerships.

Social Sales

If what I have mentioned so far hasn’t convinced you that social media is/has changed the way everyone communicates, then I ask you to think about all the people you and/or your company reach daily, weekly, or yearly to create awareness, while maintaining one-on-one contact. Do you see how or perhaps create some of the most important relationships that you or your company has/can develop online? Have you or your company closed any accounts or sales online without actually even talking to another person? If you are like most others the answer to this question should be YES (even in the lowest form you surely have purchased from EBay or Amazon)and if not then you really need to get or build your online presence immediately. If you are in sales and also answered NO to this question, you also need to start building your own online presence as well as your companies since you cannot or will not be able to rely on in person or personality only to seal more deals moving into the future.

As social media helps to continue to shaping sales by changing the old mantra of “who you know” by “what you actually know” especially what you know about others (i.e. communicative spectators). The new age of selling should demand online communication of every one of its employees regardless of position in order to enhance other purchasing decisions by adding value to an online conversation. Needless to say and long story short is that I ask you to stop convincing yourself or business that social media cannot help you and instead embrace how communication/social media can help you leverage your personal or business goals. Those people and companies that understand these concepts most and are willing to forge forward into this new business space of sales will be the ones that I will be still writing about 20 years from now.

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.

Invest Less & Network More in BUSINESS & LIFE (SOCIAL MEDIA MADNESS)

As many of you know people, businesses, and corporations are continually looking for new ways to engage with others online and in person in order to grow personally and professionally. However, if you are like most other people and companies, you may still be wondering what are the most effective ways of creating interaction without spending days, weeks, months, or years on experimentation(s)… whether online or at social networking events? Now if you own a business you definitely should have figured out that creating a mix between your personal and professional online and in-person presence is or might be ideal? Is it or better yet… how? Well, whether you agree or not social media sites such as (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Empire Avenue, FourSqaure, etc) and networking groups such as Business Networking International (BNI) is/are very cost effective tools to help you manage your personal and professional time while promoting, branding, and providing customer service whether you are interacting online or looking to chat in-person with friends, family, or clients.
In a recent study conducted by the wonderful folks over at VerticalResponse they found that 2/3’s of all small businesses (would wager this is even higher personally) are spending more and more time, energy, and effort on social media then they did a year ago. Nice huh? Agree or disagree? Needless to say, and again whether you agree or not that’s the truth! Although we (or most of us) have all come such a long way from thinking that this “Social Media” thing would become another fad and fade into the past. Just like the typewriter, beepers, or VHS you should not give up on any of these sites and if you do consider yourself warned like swimmers at the beach “swim at your own risk” or in our case “ignore social media at your own risk.”
Now back to the survey. VerticalResponse was able to identify (462 surveyed) that small business are spending a ton of time trying to stay current, while managing these social media sites much like people in general. An astonishing 42% of those surveyed said they spent 6+ hours or even more a week on social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Empire Avenue, FourSqaure, etc) and roughly 25% admitted they spend 10+ hours or more per week on these same sites.  Does this sound like you? Although this may sound excessive to many in reality, I think these numbers are low, since I see people navigating these sites along with attending networking events much more than that! Regardless of the circumstance these numbers illustrate the importance social media is playing in business as well as our personal lives and why businesses and people are spending more time and money increasing their budgets to increase their online presence thus increasing their in-person visibility.  
For all those people and businesses out there that remain skeptical, here are a few more reasons why social media makes/will make more sense to you!
·      RELATIONSHIPS– Social Media sites such as (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Empire Avenue, FourSqaure, etc) allow you to connect with others personally and professionally, while building strong bonds, which ultimately can/could turn into better customer service, increased sales, and more opportunities whether cross-selling or up-selling. VerticalResponsefound that Facebook is still the #1 site for personal of business building (some 90% are on it), while Twitter is close behind where (some 70%) or business/people are now engaging.
·      SERVICE– These social media sites allow you to inquire about other products or services, while providing others with answers to their own questions about your products and services saving you or your business time and money, which you can allocate to other money generating activities, thus quickly adapting before not reacting after a problem may occur.
·      SIZE & COSTs– These social media sites allow you to be found and get found easier “ECONIMIES of SCALE”, while helping you spend less time and money even if you hire an outside agency to help with your campaign.
These numbers are incredible and really show that people and businesses are remaining committed to interacting with others online and in-person.  Let’s face it… who isn’t strapped for time now-a-days and looking for more ways to network, while spending a little less time talking on the phone or in person? The fact is, I run a business, contract work at FedEx, am a full-time parent, Doctoral student, etc so long story short and if I can find the time you can too! Even though Facebook and Twitter remain the top two social media sites, half of the respondents admitted they also engage with others on LinkedInwhile others mentioned that they were also on Pinterest (some 29%) and Google+(some 32%), so click on the (MY) links and let’s CONNECT to grow and learn from each other even more! If you are anything like me or if I can help you or your business please don’t hesitate to connect with me here, personally, or through any of our business networking sites; otherwise I hope you enjoyed my analysis, review, and suggestions in regards to this Infographic and until next time… KEEP SMILING as it really does look good on YOU!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven] and a Contractor at [FedEx]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via his About.Me Page or any of his other social platforms.

Things to Remember When Tagging People, Businesses, Products, and/or Services on Social Media Sites

Over the last several weeks, we have been experimenting and talking with customers/businesses about “Tagging” with social media sites such as Instagram, FourSqaure, and Facebook, which allow people or businesses to share photos with one another while tagging other people or businesses with you or them. What fun huh? This can be even more fun if you are looking to meet new people or even looking for or selling new products/services, as people and companies can tag you in them if you so choose.
Well, let’s think about that? People and companies can tag you in them if you so choose, as this is extremely important and if you do not change your settings sooner or later in these social network spaces, you will get violated and perhaps even pissed off at your friends, acquaintances, or favorite brands. So, while some social media sites such as Twitter still allow you to @username (much like tagging), which you can’t control, if you are using Instagram, FourSqaure, and Facebook, make sure you make it a point to set your personal or business accounts to private or change your settings to approve tags, communicators, and followers first. That way if you are using or with people or companies that want to display something on one of your social profiles, you dictate what it is or what it is not “APPROVAL” and/or who, what, when, or where you have been.
Here are some other things to remember when using Instagram, FourSqaure, and Facebook tagging :
1.   On FourSqaureyou can now tag location and people by using a person or businesses Twitter namespace. This is NEW, so you may not have tried it but FourSqaurewill even do an auto complete during your check-in, so if you use this make sure you are checking in with the right person just like with Facebook (ANOTHER reason to set this to approval)
2.   On Instagram you can use GeoTagging, which uses a version of “Tagging” powered by FourSqaure for location or the #Hashtag for popularity (Public Posts) in the caption field or a #Hashtag in the comment field for photos you already uploaded through Instagram 
3.   If you want a more target audience (friends, family, businesses) on Twitter make sure to set your feed to private that way those people and companies can’t @mention or @reply directly to you (essentially TAGGING you), which will cut down on direct messages and @connects

While tagging has been around for quite some time, with all the different/new social media sites, people and companies are/will continue to look for ways to communicate with you. “Tagging” or @username @mention @replies @connect are a couple of those ways. Long story short and if you use any of these sites, make sure you continue to check your settings and monitor your pages for tags of people, places, and things (sometimes you are even incorrectly tagged by accident), that way you can dictate what you want or do not want to see and/or promote. Also remember that if you want to promote someone or something to properly tag,  @username, or #Hashtag the other person or business that way they know you are thinking about them.
We sure hope this post helps some of you keep your social media privacy, while sharing with others (make sure they are the right ones) things you are doing, places you are at, and products, and services you love. Now get out there visit some people/businesses, snap some pictures, connect with others, and enjoy. Otherwise, and like usual play nice and don’t forget to keep smiling, as it really does look good on YOU!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.



My Top 5 Must Have(s) for LinkedIn Success!

May 15th, 2012 will mark my five-year anniversary on the social media site LinkedIn, which is the professional social networking medium that allows you to connect with friends, co-workers, and other professionals that at one time would have been impossible, Yes- I am talking about those days before we had computers. Nonetheless and since there are still many people out there that do not have a LinkedIn profile, I thought I would create a post on our Seven Times Seven blog to relay some of the do’s and do not’s of this giant social media platform. Here are the TOP 5 rules of the road!
(1) LinkedIn is Your Online Resume… so treat it as such –– Whether you use LinkedIn for business or pleasure, make sure to update your profile with regularity just like you would your Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest accounts, as this is the first place most people head to in order to check out your credentials. The difference between LinkedIn and other social media sites is that this site is a true representation yourself, views, and of some of the important things you have accomplished, so treat it as such, or just like you would your resume… DO NOT misrepresent yourself or your company! 
(2) Join Interesting (Business or Personal) Groups –– It amazes me how few people know about LinkedIn groups, as they have been around for as long as I can remember. In order to network with other same minded individuals, make sure you join some local, regional, and global groups in order to connect, share, and converse with others about important things happening in yours or another industry. Most importantly with any group or these groups in particular is to participate! Whatever you do… DO NOT join groups just to join groups, join groups to show others you are willing to help them, not just looking for handouts.
(3) Follow Interesting Organizations –– Just like the group format, make sure you are following and interacting with companies. Almost every organization out there has created a company profile on LinkedIn, so make sure you find the ones that you can help, connect with others that work there (you can connect with people through group affiliations), and remember to be found, you have to make yourself found, which following companies will do for you! Just like with the groups, DO NOT just follow companies to follow companies instead follow those you are truly interested in!
(4) Personalize & Tailor your Message(s) –– It often surprises me at how simple this is but how many people fail at this. Instead of reaching out and connecting to others with the generic LinkedIn message to those that belong to the same groups, work at old or like companies, and/or have some of the same interests as you; instead, make sure that you tailor your message to them and give a brief reason for connecting… DO NOT just connect with people and companies to connect with them… do you see a pattern here?
(5) Inform, Revise, and Update –– The most important part of LinkedIn is to inform people of what you think is important. Whether you use this site for business or personal reasons make sure to inform your contacts of important industry trends, news, or things happening in your career or life. Revise these accordingly to those you are trying to reach and most importantly, make sure to update your profile (articles, books, presentation you given, etc) that way more people will want to connect with you and listen to things you are talking about. Whatever you do, DO NOT just set-up your profile and leave it idle, as this like most other social media sites is a social site, hence why you need to interact with others, not just set it and forget it.
Obviously, these five rules of the LinkedIn road are just a few things that you should consider if you have not already and are serious about sharing, connecting, and being a person others turn to for honest advice. Just like with other social media sites, LinkedIn is a vehicle that allows you to connect with people and companies, while engaging them, heck it evens allows you to collect pertinent real-world research (i.e. surveys), as I am doing on the behalf of my Doctoral work. We (I) don’t use LinkedIn for prospecting but many people and companies do, so if you chose to prospect here, just make sure to respect others time, as you would in person or any other site… leave the junk mail at home, as nobody likes to be pestered! Lastly, if you have other accounts connected to your LinkedIn profile, make sure that the information you are relying is information suited for your audience, as this will go a long way in other views of you. I think if you take a little time to understand how this medium works that it can do wonders for you and others you will meet here, as it has for me. I warmly welcome all LinkedIn requests, so if you are alike minded individual and would like to talk or interact, drop me a line and let’s connect. Otherwise, I hope this post helps you achieve some of your personal and business goals. Now get out there and connect, engage, and enjoy your time with others. Until next week, play nice and don’t forget to keep smiling, as it really does look good on YOU!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.



Three Things to Jump Start your Social Media & Networking Campaigns

In this new age of networking (online and in-person) what is the one question you ask yourself and others most often? Think about it? If you are like many of us, you may think the one thing that annoys you most is “pushy people,” or more importantly pushy salespeople. Yes? Have you been to a local Chamber of Commerce or other Networking event and found yourself in the middle of (10) people all trying to sell you something before they even know your name?
Well, just like with many of our other posts we continue to report to our readers and followers some fantastic ways to get your message across without having to call, email, or text another person to death! Social Media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, EmpireAvenue, FourSquare, Quora, Redditt, Digg, Pinterest, Tumblr, Scoop-it, StumbleUpon, Etc all allow us to pull other works, ideas, and statements thus increasing you or your brands exposure, which hopefully results in sales if your message was received well. Ah, yes does this sound familiar… being social huh? Anyway, you get the idea and many of you may or may not have heard of the push and pull concept before. However, we are sure, if you are anything like us, that someone in a prior job or even in your family may have introduced you to this concept or was/has tried to sell you or have you sell something extra so they can benefit. The good’ol push and pull strategy, only in this post, we are trying to emphasize to everyone the pull strategy (in content not distribution) versus the annoying push strategies (again in content not distribution) that most of us hate!
So, as more people and companies look for additional ways to attract more friends, followers, likes, etc, let’s think about how we can use networking events or social media sites to help each other versus hinder one another, a brand, or company. Great, so how you ask? This week we would like our readers to think about three simple things (REASON, CONNECTING, and FORMING ALLIES), so you can use these social networking clubs or sites to help another person or company pull their message across multiple platforms versus pushing a sale on them.
1. REASON
First, think about some of the REASONS you or your company might use the push and pull strategy(s). If you are still not familiar with these concepts, please see Push & Pull Promotional Strategy for a very simple explanation but remember we are talking about information and ideas in this post, so please also remember that. Now that you are familiar with the two strategies… what are the reasons you may want to use the pull strategy with networking or social media? Again, isn’t networking and social media about being social versus talking about yourself or selling something? Don’t friends and sales come from your ability to be social in these and other operating platforms? Besides who wants to always hear about you or something you may be selling right? Simply put, the reason you should be on any social media network or at a local networking event is to provide information, so you can give someone else another REASON to stay in contact, like, follow, or buy something from you at a later date. This is being the true industry expert and a main reason to pull people together not push them away!

2. CONNECT
While many of us find that connecting with others often involves a phone call after a phone call, follow up email after email, and annoying direct messages (more like pushing), whereas connecting should really be about connecting to others with REASON for them to help pull your message or product along just like in the distribution channel processes. Does that make since? Since we are focusing on social media and networking in this post, moving forward in your campaigns start to think about ways that you can CONNECT (tweet, retweet, like, pin, +1, etc) with others to help them spread their message(s). Simply, connecting one person to another, basically means that you are trying to bridge a gap between someone in your network (business or personal) and someone else, so everyone sees the value in the engagement or new acquaintance. Thus, both parties should see more exposure, friends, followers, and/or sales. Sounds easy enough right? So why do people continue to look to connect to others for self or company gain instead of first trying to get a message across? Start today by helping to break this mold and pull more messages through your networking efforts or social media sites and see if you can actually connect (pull) even more people into the conversation. Heck, curate something; re-pin, or retweet and see how that/these help expand your networks and/or connections.

3. FORM ALLIES
Lastly and with any networking or social media strategy as we have been discussing let’s not forget about one of the most important parts in trying to pull your/someone else’s message across any channel. Regardless of what network you are using, remember to equally share and help one another; otherwise, one party may feel as if the other party is not doing as much as they can to help the other. Consider this your marriage and form strategic alliances with allies that will help amplify your personal or business message. All too often this seems so easy but all too often it fails (just like marriage), as we forget to reinforce the value we bring to a local or online network “sharing.” If more people and companies would stop competing for friends and business and start forming allies, more friends and sales will surely follow. People and companies value partners and regardless if you are competing in the same industry or among the same friends just remember to create value that keeps people coming back for more. When value is created, more alliances are formed, and more pulling of messages will come.
Surely, by identifying a reason, connection, and ally you and/or your company will take the next step in building stronger relationships that ultimately results in more sales. As many of you know, Seven Times Seven is a consulting agency and thanks again to our clients, friends, and followers, we were able to once again provide our readers with another piece of important information that you can also pass along to your friends, followers, partners, or acquaintances; thus, increasing ours and your own value. Until next week, we look forward to also sharing your information and connecting more with you online and/or in-person. In the meantime, please drop us a line or contact David Dandaneau with additional thoughts or questions that we can help answer next week in our tip and surely don’t forget to KEEP SMILING!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.


Why you Need to Identify your Social Media Influencers and Competition!

As many of you know we (Seven Times Seven, LLC) help small business owners navigate seven (i.e. Payroll, Workers’ Compensation, Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), Wireless Devices, Social Media, CRM, and Website Design & Integration) distinct (sometimes challenging) segments required for any long-term business venture/success, regardless of the industry that you compete in. Needless to say, these seven segments most or the time make business owners want to vomit, as the commitment (time) they all require are more times than not… having you asking yourself if or how you can measure any return on your investment(s) in these things. Well, we are here to tell you that in order to produce greater profits, you need to document, make people/businesses aware of what you offer, and communicate effectively. Communication is key in all these and other segments but none more important than with social media. Before, you say you have tried it and it didn’t work for you, we want you to take a step back, and think of why or why not, as these new mediums are well worth your time and commitment(s). Here’s why!
Who is Using Social Media and What Networks are they?
The first thing you must ask about social media is who in your circle of influence (personally or professionally) is/are using these new tools effectively? Next, what mediums (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, EmpireAvenue, FourSquare, Quora, Redditt, Digg, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc) are they and what are they doing to communicate with their established networks? Once you have found similar (people or businesses) join these networks and start conversing with your influencers and competition to see if they respond to you. If they do, then you know that they are having success and understand the networks they are operating on and if they don’t respond, it’s probably because they too don’t understand how to use these medians to drive ROI and communicate effectively. Either you respond, like, or follow in return or you don’t it’s that easy to tell who is using these mediums effectively. Really, by scouring the landscape and finding others (networks they are using), will help you determine what networks you also need to be involved in… Really it is that simple!
Now What?
After you have found your influencers and competition online, now all you have to do is put together a few time slots during the week to develop, engage, and communicate with others (literally think about a few times either in the morning or evening to do this, 30minutes-1hr daily). Seriously, with almost any social media site they only take a few minutes to set up and most of the time you can also import your information from sites such as Twitter and Facebook to get going. Therefore, whether you think Twitter and Facebook (work or do not), set them up anyway, as these will make your life easier once you find out what sites you want to participate in… heck if you are like us, go for all of them! After all what do you have to lose… increases/increasing in your knowledge and/or Google search rankings?
Get Customers and ROI!
The most important part about social media is producing new customers, acquaintances, and/or ROI. If you stick to your daily or weekly updates (new material, new posts, blog posts, reposts, shares, tweets, retweets, or curated material), you should notice after a couple of weeks (our 90-day rule) whether your material is being accepted or not. Obviously, new friends, likes, followers, direct messages are just some of the ways to judge your success but also remember to watch your Kred, Klout, PeerIndex,and Share Prices to also judge success and potential new customers. Perhaps the most important thing to remember regardless of the mediums you use online is try not to post to much or too little. Instead, you need to focus on providing “VALUE” (daily or weekly industry, academic, or personal postings) to your network and competition, which will ultimately end up building your credibility and endorsements that eventually result(s) in even more friends, ROI, and new customers.   
So, what are you doing with social media online that is helping you grow your business locally, regionally, or nationally? Have you tried these methods in your business? We would love to hear more about how you use social media, CRM, or wireless devices to communicate effectively. So please feel free to connect with us here, any of our other networks (Google Seven Times Seven, LLC), or with David Dandaneau directly through his 25+ social networks, so we can all connect, share, and grow together to provide even more influence. Until next week, keep smiling and we will look forward to hearing, sharing, and engaging online with everyone soon to achieve even more extraordinary results. Cheers

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.