Who is an influencer and how do you define them?

Who is uses their Circle of Influence to be your Influencer?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #TheSocialPiggy #The-Social-Piggy #Influence #Influencer #Engage #Engager #2014

People kept asking myself:-

  • who do you know?
  • why do you follow them?
  • bet they don’t even know who are?
  • they don’t care about you!

All the above are just some of the common points made and during 2012, I started to actually question what these people actually did for me. What I then did, was that I started looking at these “Top Influencers”, “Key Influencers” and “Top Inspirers” and actually I was surprised and made me question what these people are all about.

Take for example Zig Ziglar (who died 28th November 2012) or Seth Godin who yes you can say are influencers and inspiring people from reading their books or listening to their Podcast’s but is this not just one way traffic? Yes there are many books, tapes, CD’s, Podcast’s and videos of many different people (including the likes of Seth and Zig, and the only reason for mentioning them, is that both their names are virtually always mentioned by when asked about influencers) but you may be learning and picking up tips, but how much is really relevant to you? Isn’t this all just one way traffic?

So, taking this further, I sat down and looked at everyone I was advised or told to follow and I looked – guess what happened? Virtually (I would probably say more than 95%) nothing happened! It was all one way traffic of them posting information out constantly, emails been sent, sales promotion sent – effectively, wanting to sell me their story and buy from them! There was a very small percentage who occasionally replied to people and some, if they did, it was to the same inner circle!

Thus, I went through 2013 looking and taking notice of who I engaged with and seeing what happened. Was it an auto message? Was it a cut and paste? Did they engage in conversation?

By the start of Quarter 4 in 2013, I actually identified the people who you could engage with and talk to, with them replying back on the topics raised or being discussed. Once, I had this, I had a starting point and then I started this blog and with the discussions it created, I realised many felt the same. With the list formed, I went ahead and released it on 28th of November 2013 and it again, it created so much comment as people completely understood where I was coming from.

So, for me, my list of influencers will no doubt keep growing as people I discover and engage with expands; and should I think they will be like this in a wider circle, I will then add them to my list….

In summary and as a quick recap:-

Thus my reasons for this list is that too many people:-

  • post/tweet the same things or old information
  • don’t both to do anything new, update or provide informative information
  • provide which is new and possibly ground breaking information, applications or products

Thus, the criteria I have used for producing this list is:-

  • Engage – these people actually communicate with you or re-tweet your tweets and take part in the dialogue on your posts or blogs
  • Futuristic – these people are forward thinkers and look at emerging products, projects or technology based products and projects
  • Informative – these people actually aren’t just restricting themselves to their profession but providing information on other professions too with their thoughts on those areas
  • Influential – their Circles of Influence are people who can you help further plus they are happy to introduce you to their connections within their circle
  • Inspire – These people actually offer words of wisdom and inspiration whether their own or sharing them from famous Inspirational People
  • Networker’s – these people actually do take part in networking whether on-line or in person as well as hosting events or attending them

I will keep updating as we go, but here they are so far:-

For further information, on myself Ian Calvert or to contact me directly, please click here, or simply complete the form below to raise any points……

The images contained within this article here were taken via a word or terminology search on www.google.com and images found via the images tab

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Are you a taker? Do you ever share? Are you Engaging?

Are you really an Engager?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #Social-Engagement #Listen-Share-Engage

If I asked your clients or followers – would they say are a Giver, Taker or an actually Engager?

So when trying to educate yourself – do you use Social Media?

Facebook? Google+? LinkedIn? Twitter?

One of the key things about establishing yourself or your company via any of the Social Media platforms, is to create “Engagement”. This interaction called “Engagement” is a two-way thing, however, within the Social Media environment it can be one-sided, none more so than when people seem to reach the top and become “Influencer’s” or “Expert’s”!!

I thought I may just explain about “Engagement” and how it can (or should I say) work. When “Engagement” takes place, it is because two people interact between each other. The interaction is where you make exchanges and communicate, thus “Engaging” in discussion on a variety of topics. The “Engagement” process is directly between two people directly thus creating a partnership….

However, within the medium that is Social Media, the process of “Engagement” seems to take two strands, depending on where you are and what you are doing. Let me explain this via a split explanation:-

– When you are small (ie you have ten’s or hundred’s of followers and you follow them back (ie matching one to one of followers to following), you talk and exchange information regularly. You may not do it on every point, but if you are on-line ( or if using lists* ) then you interact with these people in real-time based on the messages or status updates you see. This is just like  “Engagement” and is at the top – so you could first layer interaction. You may even get some comments from the connections of your first layer – thus these are your second and third layers. Thus, the more and more interaction, the better you can gain rankings through platforms like Klout** and Kred** to increase your scores. Most people with good interaction always levitate between 45 and 60 using Klout** scoring.

OR

– If you look at the larger people with the Social Media industry, (i.e people with thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers), have you noticed how many they follow back? Sometimes it is less than 2,000 but most of the time 1,000. Or in some cases, some of these “Influencer’s” or “Expert’s” actually do follow back one to one. Now the way most of these people engage, is by sharing information with you which you then share and then your connections share too. Thus the first, second and sometimes third layers share this information which is creating their “Engagement”.

Now, the interaction of the lower layers circulating and sharing the information is creating the “Engagement”, which leads to creating positive influencing scores on Klout** or Kred**. Furthermore, whilst you maybe following them (and they might be following you back), have you actually noticed if they ever re-tweet or comment on your posts? Yes, it could be said they have many followers and can’t reply to every message, but how many do they actually reply to? Take a look, look at some of the people you follow and their timeline, how many of their messages are Re-Tweets or replies to people? Is this really “Engagement” if they are not interacting? Isn’t this one-sided?

So what should be thinking or doing?

The process of “Engagement” is the main key to getting everything set in place is to help you and your business grow. The main key is “Engagement” – you must engage to develop and keep being fresh. Too many people just constantly post, re-post and never engage – just think of doing that in your business, what would happen if you just communicated one way and never listened to your clients or prospective clients? You wouldn’t have a business at all – do you know of or can name a business with no interaction that is in business?

Whilst following influential people on Twitter or liking and following their pages on Facebook, may provide nuggets of information which are educational and help you to learn things, is this the right way forward? Did you ever learn anything at school, college or university by being just spoken too or receiving dictation without being able to ask questions back? No you didn’t – so the real position is to make sure you surround yourself with people you can communicate with on a regular basis – after-all communication is a two-way street……does this remind you of something?

“Engagement”

So, whilst it may not always be possible, let me give you a few helpful hints and tips:-

Facebook:-

  • When people start following your page, always send them a thank you
  • If people like a comment, you may not be able to thank everyone back, but post a thank you message so the interaction is seen and they know that you are seeing the likes
  • Comments, try to reply to the comments on the post that people put there. As after-all they could be your next paying client or through the exchange of comments, you may learn something which can help you grow and succeed more.

LinkedIn:-

  • When people start ask to connect with you, when you accept, send them a thank you and introduction message explaining about yourself
  • If someone ask’s to connect with you, wonder why they are doing it? They are obviously wanting to connect for a reason but why? So, why don’t you accept them and then send them a message, thanking them for asking to connect with you and why they wanted to connect? When they reply, you can then make the judgement as to whether to retain them as a connection
  • When you see a post that you like or find interesting, why not share it with your connections, as if you find it useful, they may too. When you share this, be sure to include the name of the person you are sharing it from. This creates “Engagement” and shows your connections where you are learning from
  • If your sharing something or you find it of interest, like it and/or comment on it as this will create “Engagement” with that person and their connections will see you and may wish to connect with you – these connections could become your connections and future clients

Twitter:-

  • Twitter is all about posting and sharing information – so if people share (ie Re-Tweet) your posts, thank them thus you are creating “Engagement”
  • If people comment on one of your posts, then reply to them and start engaging
  • If people follow you, always thank them for following and it shows you are communicating and engaging with them

All these points I have mentioned are all about communicating and thus you are creating “Engagement” with your audience which is your first layer and become to form part of your Circle of Influence.

So, if you are wanting to expand your Circle of Influence and develop further interaction with your audience, then start the interaction process and communicate.

You will have noticed (and probably said, not that word again) but look at the title – Are you a taker? Do you ever share? Are you Engaging? – this whole post has been about “Engagement” which is the key buzz word and what you should be doing during. Therefore, make sure you start 2014 by……………..

ENGAGING

Note:-

* – For more information on lists, please complete the form below and I will go through this with you

** – For more information on Klout and Kred, please complete the form below and I will go through this with you

If you have any questions either contact myself via here or complete the form below:-

Are you Showcasing?

So does your business Showcase?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #LinkedIn #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #ShowcasePages #Showcase-Pages

With LinkedIn launching Showcase pages recently, have you implemented these into your business strategy yet? If not – why not?

The real benefit that many people have not seen or grasped yet, is how you can really develop so much of other parts of your business that you have or offer but people aren’t really aware of.

Showcasing enables you to allow people to really drill down into various ares of your company and can offer whilst you are able to promote aspects of your business you are always doing or offering but you just do or offer as a matter of course….

What are people missing?

What is there that a Showcase can offer?

Why should I have one?

Simple – it is you having the sole unique method of claiming what everyone is looking for via LinkedIn. When people are after something or looking for a service/product, they then search and what will they find? Your LinkedIn Showcase which gives you the advantage. Furthermore, your Showcase is showing not only about your services, offerings and products in a unique way but provides the latest news and information that details everything to your audience and your Peer’s too.

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #LinkedIn #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #ShowcasePages #Showcase-Pages

So what do you need to do? Firstly you need to have your Company Profile which is where you want everything, so when they require more information, people can see everything your company does and also, all information about the company too. If this is going back to a different section or part of your company, you may wish to consider setting up a separate Company Profile to suit your needs that you are promoting.

Once you have the Company Profile set up, then decide which area you want to promote and inform you audience about. (Remember, if you want to Showcase many areas of your business, you can have up to 10 Showcases attached to your Company Profile – should you wish more, then you can ask LinkedIn to release more). Your Showcase is effectively the landing page for what you are wanting to promote and circulate.

For example, let’s say you are a recruitment company and have your company page. You can have a Showcase on temporary employment and this will be your landing page about this. On your temporary employment Showcase, you will be able to post articles on everything to so with this, ranging from what is the latest laws, what is happening with regards to your rights, items that have been in the news relevant to temporary employment, etc, etc – furthermore, you can have an article on what to look for when looking to register with a recruitment company.

At the end of the day, you are not promoting your company directly but highlighting a part of your business by showcasing this area with the latest news and information on this topic. This helps you to develop much further as an Engager and Influencer, thus creating another level of credibility. Thus, in summary, you are highlighting an area of your industry which your company is well versed in and thus, subliminally guiding them back to your company.

Some examples of Showcase pages include:-

To understand more on Showcases why not speak to Service Address here to see how they can help you with their LinkedIn Services and how it can help both you and your business or alternatively, fill in this form below:-

Where are you with defining yourself? How are you showing yourself?

In the fast-moving world of Social Media, what are you using to put yourself in the Shop Window?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #SocialMedia #Social-Media

With the many different platforms of Social Media that exist, but which ones are the right ones for you? The situation of sharing the items you want to, can fall between personal and business. But which should you be using? So, to give you some ideas for making sure you are ready for 2014, here are some for you to consider:-

Personal:-

  • Facebook more and more people are using Facebook but at the same time, it would seem (according to many recent reports) that the under 28 age group are using Facebook less and less, so consider whether Facebook is pure for your family and close friends
  • Flickr is a photo sharing website owned by Yahoo which enable you to have an on-line photo album which can be set to Public or Private or a mixture of both
  • Foursquare gives you the opportunity to “Check-in” at your chosen places of interest or locations where you make your purchases and in some cases receive rewards too
  • Google+ is now becoming a format where you need a G+ account to enable to do more things with Google products than just view such Google Hangout’s, Google Maps / Earth and YouTube to name a few together with also becoming the host for your emails like gMail
  • Instagram is a mixture of photo and 15 second video recording sharing platform which is used by both personal and business and heavily used by the under 28 age group
  • Klout gives you the opportunity to link all your Social Media applications together in one place, which then rates your interaction with people to give you a score based on your influencing interactions
  • LinkedIn is a professional networking platform where you are effectively showing your work history and sharing business information with a wider audience with the business community. This year has seen the age of entry being lowered from 18 to 13 to help the teenage generation with their careers and interact with companies and universities and colleges
  • Path is becoming a more used platform by people wanting a closed group for sharing information with especially as it is secure and limited to only 150 connections hence why the under 28 age group using this more and more
  • Pinterest is a platform where you can create on-line scrap-book showing shared photos of your likes together with uploading images you discover on-line
  • Snapchat is fast becoming one the most used platforms for sharing photos and these are only viewed once before disappearing based on a viewing time of 3 to 10 seconds especially being used by the under 28 age group
  • Tumblr which is owned by Yahoo is becoming more and more the use of the under 28 age group together combing the similar applications of the likes of Blogging, Facebook, Google and Twitter
  • Twitter a platform that can either be personal or business and giving you the opportunity to share your views with famous people, celebrities and companies
  • Vine is a 6 second recording video site where you can share your videos there or send then out to a wider audience via Twitter
  • WordPress gives you the dual ability of having either a website or a blog and both combined if you wish and sharing your dates via the site or with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Twitter too
  • Xing is one of the main networking platforms for senior professionals and senior management personnel along side CEO’s and board members across Europe with a major focus around the Benelux region of Europe plus Switzerland too

Business:-

  • Facebook via pages facility give you the opportunity to either give yourself a Public profile or a business page to promote you in a profession aspect away from your personal profile. Also, by providing a “Page”, you are enabling your clients and prospective clients to interact with you
  • Foursquare if used correctly is a good marketing platform for your business as well as a rewarding platform too
  • Flickr is a photo sharing website owned by Yahoo where you can host your photos. Many companies are using this site a s a way to host their photo albums for their website
  • Google+ is your personal website giving you the opportunity to log in and access platforms for your business needs but ca also be the security back up access for platforms such as your business email account and YouTube for example
  • Google Hangouts gives you the opportunity to host or take part in video conferencing or seminars
  • Google Places is page where by displaying your business allows people to locate where you are. In certain cases this is being provided by your G+ page above interacting with the Google on their mapping facility
  • Instagram allows you to host your business promotional photo material together with promotional videos
  • Klout shows what your interaction across all your Social Media applications and platforms can achieve and the level of influence you have created across your Circles of Influence
  • LinkedIn allows your company to have Showcases, Company pages and Company Groups too, to promote not just your company but specific aspects of your business also
  • Pinterest allows you post all your promotional photos and other information on a dedicated business page
  • Snapchat I foresee if used correctly will be one of the biggest marketing platforms of 2014
  • Tumblr is a combination of blogging and a website which aims to allow you to post information either as a quick update, photo sharing, a blog and or as a website depending on your needs 
  • Twitter is a great way of providing an interface to your prospective clients and clients together with providing information to what your company is doing
  • Vine via a 6 second video clip you can promote your company or your products
  • WordPress gives you a website that you can build, develop and update yourself and if you then want to get a professional company to take it over, then they can with losing all the words, photos and articles you have done. With being able to share this with Facebook, FacebookGoogle+LinkedInTumblr and Twitter – you can provide updates and releases in one go

Whilst there is many more you can use, these will give you the basis to start in the Social Media arena or take you to the next level. Yes you can add other platforms that brings information  together or allows to cross promote or schedule, but the main thing is to get yourself going and get things right before extending into other areas.

So, make sure you get yourself involved with these platforms for the start of 2014 so you can start the year on a professional platform that gives you a depth of platforms and new audiences when you post on these applications.

When we speak to people – we communicate, but do you on-line?

There you are about to walk through or exit a place via the door and people are following you or entering in the other direction, you hold the door open for them and you exchange comments thanking each other…..

You bump into another person and you apologise……

Someone does something for you and helps you, you say thank you because they have assisted you

You do something for someone to help them or acknowledge what they have done by congratulating – a word or two of thanks is exchanged…..

Someone says hello and introduces themselves to you and answer back…..

Just four examples of what we do in our lives each and every day, we show our manners and are polite due to the way we have been brought up in society – so, what do you do on-line? Do you operate in the same way? If not, why not?

With the increasing use of Social Media and how we operate – are you behaving properly? Whilst there maybe not be defined rules as to how operate on-line, why don’t you replicate what you do in your normal day on-line? So let me ask two questions:-

  • You see something on FacebookTwitter, Google+ LinkedIn or Xing to name but a few, yet what do you do? You like the item, share it, re-tweet it, favourite it, Plus 1 it or comment on it – why do you do this?
  • Whilst using these platforms, you write or share something and in turn you get people who like the item, share it, re-tweet it, favourite it, Plus 1 it or comment on it – so why do you not thank them or acknowledge what they have done every time?

As I mentioned before, in normal every day life you do the first question as a matter of course and the second question, you do this automatically, so why can’t you do this on this on-line?

Just a simple piece of etiquette can go a long way and helps you to start on the road to:-

  • Engage and/or engagement
  • Interaction and/or interaction
  • Influence

Just by developing the mirroring of off-line and on-line of your activities, you will start to engage with your audience and thus starting to create interaction between you both. Once this interaction starts to take place, you are both starting to exert influence on each other. Once this influence starts to grow between you both become members of each other’s Circle of Influence – thus you are each other’s Key Person of Influence.

Should you be wanting to develop yourself, your work and/or your company on-line, you truly have to create the correct on-line presence and develop your credibility thus, your Circle of Influence will help you and hence why it is important that you interact.

Whilst the last few paragraphs seem to hint and revolve around the same points, you need to understand why this is crucial. In today’s fast-moving world of the internet, your presence and your performance is key.

Let me leave you with these four little tips, which whilst maybe little, but in the on-line community that is the internet and Social Media, these little tips are very powerful and crucial:-

  • Treat any part of Social Media like you would when applying for a job. The Curriculum Vitae you would handover or the Application Form you would complete, you detail everything and tell the truth – so why would lie or be false on-line?
  • As pointed out at the start, off-line you always thank people and exchange messages – so do the same on-line. When people engage with the items you share on-line, always try to acknowledge. Whilst you may not be able to answer every single comment, like or share made about your article, at least comment on it, thanking people as this will show that you are engaging with your audience.
  • When you are communicating, make sure you are doing this right and with the correct intention in mind as well replication too. For example, many people send tweets which are up to 140 characters and the reason for this, was that it was a facility to share and update your audience with what you are doing. So when writing your tweet, endeavour to keep it below 100 characters, so when people re-tweet it, at least it will a) have name in it so you get credited and b) the tweet is re-tweeted in full. Also, when you share items, say from Facebook to Twitter, make sure the message is there, two people send the message but it is just a link and people tend to skip this in the majority of occasions due to issues over the links being not secure or they can’t be bothered as they are scanning quickly over these messages.
  • What are the rules? Make sure you obey to stop you getting into trouble. Take the two most important Facebook rules – a) you must be over 13 (but many parents allow their children on below that age) and b) Facebook is personal, so have your page for personal use and create a business page. If you use a personal page and treat it as a business, Facebook will close it down and you have lost everything which can’t re-activated. The latter also applies to LinkedIn too.

So, I hope this article and the four points above have been of interest and help you with how yow behave, engage and interact with your audience on-line in the future…..

MLM – is it an opportunity or a scam?

At the end of the day, there are many MLM opportunities but which is the right one for your family or friends?

So what is MLM – an opportunity or scam?

What do people perceive about you?

In essence there are two areas of MLM – a credible one or a potential scam one – most importantly, it is down to you and how you come across…..

For example, one type of MLM is a straight forward one like Avon or Betterware which is very credible but why? Easy, you receive catalogues, you take them, you deliver them and them collect them with potential completed order forms. Very simple, straight forward and very credible! No pressure, no need to involve your family, friends or connections within your “Circle of Influence”.

Where a MLM network maybe considered a scam is where you have to sell a service, product or saving. Why can this be considered a scam? Simple, what do you do first when you join? You offer or introduce it to your family, friends or connections – these are your “Circle of Influence”, your “Key People of Influence”. So, if your MLM opportunity is not going as well as you hoped or desired, then you look for the next opportunity and then another and then possibly another….

I am not saying, stating or hinting that this a scam but asking you to think what your “Circle of Influence” think……

Which ever opportunity you choose, make sure it is the right one and stick with it as if you keep swapping and changing, your “Circle of Influence” will start to lose trust in you or begin to think that you have got involved with another scam – and there is that word…..

So, just make sure you choose the right opportunity that is right for you and if you aren’t sure which one is right, then ask the question or seek support as credibility is what you need and desire. This credibility leads to giving you the confidence to introduce or share this opportunity within your circle. So, with this air of confidence, you are able to share and influence your circle with is opportunity but with no confidence, this shows and people can see this, thus losing that introduction….

Scam or opportunity – only you can make that decision – but the rewards can be potentially huge. Once you have that confidence within this group, your ‘Circle of Influence’ will do one of two things, (a) buy from you or (b) ask to join your network – or if you are really lucky both!

So, to make sure you have that confidence within your “Circle of Influence” then seek advice and support. One person that can help you here is Carol Wildgoose or a group that can, is Smart Incomes Online via their website or via their LinkedIn Group