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40% Chance Of Rain: What You May Be Missing

What do you automatically think when you hear the newscaster say: “40% Chance Of Rain”?

Chances are: a curse word followed by a swift move to pick up the umbrella on your way out the door are in your near future. Here’s the thing you may be missing -  40% chance of rain actually means 60% of sunshine. Refreshing, right?

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be taking your umbrella out with you in the morning – but also, properly look at the information in front of you, and choose your perspective.

We’ve all heard the familiar ‘glass half full’ analogies, and I can honestly admit that I sometimes find them incredibly annoying – particularly when the timing is off. I’ll admit: I spend a majority of my life planning for the worst. I find that there’s great benefits from always expecting the outcome will turn out sour. It prepares your mind in advance of bad news, and if by chance it all goes well – you’re pleasantly surprised.

All of that said, there’s one important concept that can easily be forgotten. You can prepare yourself without allowing negativity or fear to take over. It’s easy to let little things distract you in life, but with a proper perspective – you can be fully prepared to embrace disruption.

When you encounter situations that you find challenging or even a test of your patience, there’s a few questions you can ask yourself to get in the right mindset.

  • Can I change the outcome of the situation? If not, accept it and make the best – sweating small stuff isn’t worth the heart attack.
  • How can I prepare myself? Think about what you can do to limit the amount of negativity in the situation, and brace yourself for the unexpected.
  • Will this matter a year from now? If not, try to figure out how to deal with the situation, and realize that the outcome won’t last forever
  • Will it reflect badly on me if I’m resistant to the situation? Chances are, the people who have positive and open mindsets are viewed as more evolved and progressive human beings.

Believe me, I know how tempting it can be to fly off the handle or jump to negative thinking. We’re all guilty of it – we’re human. Hopefully this post can help you work towards seeing the 60% chance of sunshine on the horizon, while still keeping an umbrella in your back pocket (just incase).

 

 

 

    Don’t Count Followers: 5 Steps To Measure Online Influence Properly

    Nowadays it’s very common for brands to reach out to bloggers, influencers and people who are making waves in the social community. It seems as though some people still measure a person’s influence online by quickly consulting a twitter follower count. I’m here to tell you: follower numbers are only a (small) part of evaluating someone’s influence. There are a number of ways you can measure how effective a person or brand is with their social efforts, and I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 ways.

     

     

    1. Search Their Username: Generally speaking, a truly engaged twitter user will have many mentions and retweets throughout the day. A simple and easy way to see if people are talking with them is to either search up their username in twitter’s search field – or use a simple tool like Twinitor. Remember, it’s not always the number of followers a person has, it’s WHO and HOW they’re engaging with them.

     

     

    2. Look At Their Follower Count Ratio: This can be a very telling sign that someone is using a ‘bot’ to gain followers. If someone has 12,000 followers and they’re following 13,000: you can easily deduct that they simply followed a ton of tweeps to gain the ever-so-precious follow back.

     

     

    3. Klout or Kred: These 2 sites are built to assist in measuring people’s online influence. Although they’re not the be-all end-all in scoring, they can (along with these other tips) gain you a more well-rounded perspective.

    4. Look At Their Followers: Don’t be lazy. If you spend a few minutes going through the follower list of the person in question, you’ll get a pretty good idea as to what kind of influence they have (and what kind of people they’re influencing)

    5. Fully Connect: When involving influencers and bloggers, it should be more than a couple of minutes of decision-making. In essence, these people will end up being extensions of yourself or your brand. One wrong selection could have a rather nasty effect – so make sure you’re googling, reading past blog posts, and even connecting with them personally before the moment of involvement.

    Have some other tips, or want to recommend some fab bloggers or influencers? Sign off in the comments!

     

     

      App Attack: Smart Sync

       

      This app is one that I think EVERY iPhone user would adore on their device. The concept is simple: Smart Sync lets you connect through your Facebook account, and grabs all your friends photos/status updates – and syncs them with their contact info. It’s a seamless way to always have their latest photo and recent social comments show up whenever they’re calling you – and saves you the work of having to put in any of their photos manually.

      It’s completely free, and easy to use. I’ve found that with your friend’s status uploaded on-screen preconversation, it makes for an easy conversation starter. Particularly if you haven’t connected with this individual for awhile. Have a look, and let me know what you think!

      Download SmartSync here.

        How To Cover Your Social A$$: The Precautions You Should Take

        Lately my Facebook home feed has been littered with the following posting:

        I’m here to tell you right now – that a simple cut and paste job into your status will NOT automatically re-instate your rights, or any other objective you have in your head. This paragraph is not legally binding and frankly, the fact that Facebook has gone public is completely unrelated to the privacy of your content.

        The fact is: social networks are not made for private storage. What this means for you? That regardless of privacy settings, personal preferences and the like: you should treat every photo, sentence and your shared content as though your grandmother/mother/employer/future employer CAN and WILL see everything.

        In light of this, here’s a few things you can do to clean up any questionable stuff you may have lying around in your past:

         

         

        1. Delete Questionable Photos: If you’re emotionally attached to them, save them somewhere. Regardless of the privacy settings- there are several ways these can be accessed (including by that person who just interviewed you for your dream job).

         

        2. Censor Yourself: Obviously these networks are all made for you to express yourself, but keep in mind that it’s possible that everything you say online can be publicly retrieved. Keep your controversial conversations to ‘in-person’ – it could be the difference between scoring a potential job, client or even a relationship.

         

         

        3. Download Your Facebook History: This is easy to do by going to your general settings menu (see picture). Sometimes we forget just exactly what we have listed online, and this is a resource to really go back and decipher what should be edited or deleted.

         

        4. Everyone and Everything Is A Brand: Everything you say, everything you do, and everything you endorse is a reflection of yourself online. Put thought into the future when posting in the present – you never know what tomorrow brings.

         

        Do you have additional tips or suggestions to avoid unnecessary disruption? Share them in the comments!

          Film Friday: “WP How-To” + 2 Mindsets INFOGRAPHIC!

          Today’s film is more of a resource that I think will help ‘up and coming’ bloggers get off the ground. This site was built using WordPress, and I have to say that it’s very very easy to become confused while programming, hosting, and building out your blog’s structure. I have a (small) background in building things with HTML, and took some courses many many years ago – and any knowledge I didn’t have was intrusted in Google. So, without further delay, here’s a beginner’s guide to Word Press! Forewarning: it’s long – but extremely informative.

           

           

          And finally, I found yet another INFOGRAPHIC that I’m obsessed with. It claims that there are 2 types of mindsets in which a person can adopt into their lifestyle. Personally, I think that people can mix and match the two mindset attributes, and it’s not always so black and white. That said, it’s still very interesting – and a good check-in guide to make sure you’re fully ‘embracing disruption’.

           

          As always, I love hearing your feedback. Be sure to tell me your thoughts on this INFOGRAPHIC!

           

            App Attack: The Social Radio

            Time for another APP recommendation! This week, I was taken by ‘appsolute’ surprise with an application called “The Social Radio“.

            Appcircus describes The Social Radio as: “Listen to your tweets while doing anything else? Now it’s possible! The Social Radio converts your Twitter stream into a human-friendly audio experience. Listen to your Twitter timeline, lists, trending topics, funny hashtags and searches; everything beautifully mixed with the music you love. The result? Your own perfect experience of online radio. The content you care, with the music you love.”

            The reason I love this app? It uses all my music stored on my iPhone, and plays it in the background while a (suprisingly) human voice broadcasts my twitter stream. This has come in handy while working (I like to have a finger on the ‘twulse’ at all times), but it’s also great for the walk to and from work. I have a pretty severe fear of missing content, and this app helps me stay up to snuff on absolutely everyone I follow.

            You can download The Social Radio on iPhone or Android – and for those without smart phones, relax! You can use the web version by requesting an invite here.

            Tried this app or have an app you’re obsessed with? Tell me about it in the comments!

              How To Break Out Of A Creative Rut


              I found this in my travels, and HAD to share: notice the influence on ‘embracing disruption’ or chaos. What are your thoughts?

                Embrace Hustle: 5 Best Ways to Make Something Out Of Nothing

                Whenever someone ever achieves some level of success, there’s always a part of you that’s happy for them – but if you’re like me, you want to know how they did it. Of course, there’s several ways to really achieve and make ‘something out of nothing’ as it were – and I’m going to outline 5 easy ways you can get started. These methods can be applied to a job hunt, a product launch, or even PR tactics for your new start-up.

                 

                 

                1. Embrace Your Contacts: By now, we’ve all accumulated quite large contact lists from using our Hotmail accounts, Gmail accounts, yahoo accounts, Facebook friends, and twitter followers (you get the idea). Some people forget that all these addresses lay dormant in your hands (both old and current accounts). Take advantage of the resources you have, and compile every and all emails you have together in an excel spreadsheet. Use this list (segment accordingly), and blast out to your contacts. Whether you’re hawking a product, event or yourself – someone’s bound to listen: and what do you have to lose?

                 

                 

                2. Embrace Your Shame: BROADCAST yourself in conversations! Alright, it can be hard going up to people and talking about yourself – and many find it to be an impossible task. It’s true, if you enter conversations and simply talk about YOU, the interest will dwindle quickly. The reality is: if you employ strong conversational tactics, and show a genuine interest in who you’re talking to (no matter who they are – aside from sociopaths) – they’ll tend to reciprocate and listen to what you have to say. You never know: your next lead could generate from a bout of mindless chatter.

                 

                 

                3. Embrace Your Loved Ones: No one promotes you, or your products better than the people who love you. Generally the rule of ‘ask and you shall receive’ applies with close friends and family. Just be prepared to reciprocate when the time comes.

                 

                 

                4. Embrace Facebook Groups: So, if you don’t have access to all your Facebook contact’s emails.. you can create a group! Groups are different from pages, because you select the members yourself. They’re automatically added and receive any messaging you distribute. Writer’s caution: You’re treading a fine line – don’t get annoying on your friends/acquaintances, keep the message short and sweet.

                 

                 

                5. Embrace Events: Go out! See and be seen. Often when you live life to the fullest, things start happening. If you’re a homebody, push yourself to make a change – remember that you’re only as strong as your drive. Don’t know where to start? Google events in your area- or pick up local papers and look in the listings (and don’t forget Facebook!). Talk to people, and remember to be an engaging conversationalist. Keep it easy on the cocktails though – nothing good can come out of too many.

                 

                And there you have it: 5 easy ways to start spreading the news TODAY! Have you got some other suggestions? Share them in the comments below!

                 

                 

                  Don’t Be Tardy For The Twarty: How To Make 3.1MM Listen

                  There are few things left that we as brands can really do to garner the kind of desirable attention we’re after. Simple media buying, banner ads, etc. really don’t make the cut anymore (or atleast, can’t be the sole pieces of your campaigns). The world of social media continues to evolve daily – and I’ve yet to meet someone who truly understands the ROI of their efforts. There’s so many tools and engines out there that promise to be the answer to all your social media needs, but they tend to distract from the true minimum viable product. The reality is, social networking is innately human – and when creating buzz, and drawing attention to a brand, product or subject, it’s only right that a ‘real’ person takes on the job.

                  Enter the TWITTER PARTY (Twarty for short). A revolutionary new way to engage with consumers and brand advocates alike, while effectively spreading a message across millions of viewers. I currently handle the marketing efforts for a Toronto start-up called Shopcatch. Shopcatch works with retailers to provide promotional strategies that will enhance consumer experience while driving transactions. Recently I had the pleasure of taking on H&M Canada as a client: they were looking to create some exposure for their amazing CONSCIOUS collection. I thought this would be a great opportunity to provide them with a customized twitter party, and really dive into their massive consumer base. Although this was not my first time hosting a ‘twarty’ – I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with my results.

                  I’ll let the INFOGRAPHIC do the talking:

                  As you can see, the potential for exposure is PHENOMENAL. But it doesn’t stop at retail. There’s plenty of brands, events, restaurants, openings, galleries and more that could benefit from the kind of attention a TWARTY can grab them.

                  If you’re interested in what a TWARTY can do for your business, or would like more info, feel free to reach out! I always love discussing initiatives, and helping brands/companies achieve maximum potential within the socialsphere.

                  How about you, have you ever participated in a twitter party? Tell me about it in the comments below – and be sure to include your twitter handle so I can follow you!

                    Pay Attention To These TV Shows

                    There’s a few really great business related television that I’m currently addicted to. Sure, there’s a lot of fluff out there, but there happen to be a few fantastic shows that you can really grab some great insights from. Allow me to elaborate:

                    The Pitch: A great new show brought to you by AMC. This centres around 2 ad agencies fighting for the same client – eventually with one prevailing. There’s a lot of creativity and business sense displayed within the program, and some definite learnings to be drawn from each episode. For more info, click here.

                    The Celebrity Apprentice: Ok, so there’s obviously a few skeptics on how this show is really just a product placement vehicle for a variety of brands. I’d have to agree with that assumption. However, the resourcefulness and creativity displayed by some of the contestants tends to be a breath of fresh air. Although not always applicable to real life, there’s definitely some great skill sets on display here. For more info, click here.

                    Shark Tank & Dragon’s Den: It’s obvious that there’s some great innovation and real entrepreneurial spirit within these 2 shows. I can’t tell you how much the valuation and business model discussions have opened my eyes to different perspectives. Be sure to also check out the UK version of Dragon’s Den: it’s equally as good! For more info on Shark Tank, click here. For more info on Dragon’s Den, click here.

                    The Big Decision: Follow two of the Dragons as they uncover struggling businesses and decide whether or not to rescue by investment. Unfortunately, this show didn’t get many episodes in its first season. I feel as though Arlene Dickinson may put a little too much emphasis on the ‘marketing’ component of each business, and not focus on the business model as a whole – but it’s still worth a watch. For more info, click here.

                    Obviously with any TV show, there are moments that are sensationalized for ratings. As an educated viewer, you can take what you will from these shows; and feel good that you’re not watching another mindless episode of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’.

                    Think I missed something? Tell me your favourite shows in the comments!

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