“I’d like to connect” – LinkedIn Story

I was first introduced to LinkedIn back in 2006 when I was being made redundant from my last permanent job. I attended one of those work-related workshops on “what next, after redundancy”. The trainer invited us to LinkedIn and recommended that we should connect all connect there. I soon found friends, former University friends and people whom I have worked with on the site. I saw LinkedIn originally as a place to post my profile, my Curriculum Vitae. And here comes day 5 of the Suitcase Entrepreneur social media challenge.
Social media Challenge
How are you using LinkedIn to establish your credibility, build your professional rolodex and attract new clients, partnerships or business?

Personal Profile

My personal profile is a starting point on where I have been and where I am now. For years my main focus was on selling my skill set to a prospective employer. This all change when I started to do interim work; became a consultant. My role was to go in, bring things up-to-date, streamline and perhaps suggest different process improvements. Therefore I had to think of my profile as brand, a business. In terms of LinkedIn training, I have read materials and also attended training webinars. From one of these webinars I learnt the importance of using keywords, not just titles. This enabled me to feature on the top of the list of people who had certain skills. I also have a summary, which I wanted not to read like, ” I am a person originally from a corporate background”. This is because there are plenty of people out there with the same “job title”.

Self-Marketing

The amazing thing about LinkedIn is that you can use it to maximise your profile. Not like the Curriculum Vitae (CV) where you list titles and achievements. You can share your portfolio, even your manifesto through a slideshare. From the profile you can be headhunted. I have had people approach me direct about from finding my profile. As it is a great marketing tool, I must make sure that I am maximising my profile.

Company page

I tested out having a company page for ProActive Vision Training, and it has been a great training in terms of building a microsite for a business. I will be doing more training on this. I intend to create a new one for my recent start-up GoGetterMe.

LinkedIn Group

I am a member of a number of groups in LinkedIn. Some I joined as they were linked to my areas of expertise. Others I joined since I was interested in the topics, for example being a blogger. I also learnt that being part of a group, or having a group, could be a great way to not only share interesting material and engage; I can also make people aware of my projects.

Future

To keep my personal profile updated with my projects, and to make sure that I am people are hearing about my best work, so that they can trust my brand.

 

Twitter is were it got started

It is interesting how in day 4 of the suitcase entrepreneur challenge that it is to about Twitter, the place where my social media journey began. It is also where I created the Avatar SophiaWorld, as I was looking for a shorten title to my full name Sophia Husbands. I later followed with creating my website with the same name. So here is the question for the social media challenge:

Social media Challenge

How are you using Twitter to build your brand, engage with your community and find new customers?

Although I spent some time hanging out in Twitter before launching my website, I really started off in FaceBook. This was to socialise with the people who I already knew. Then I got hooked in Twitter. I tell you what I loved about Twitter, how I can engage with anyone. It was not just restricted to the people in my own network. I can find topics that were interest of me. I never forget back in 2010, coming across the now defunct website on how single people were not necessarily dead. I saw the humour, even wrote my official first guest blog post “Snail v Predator”. In a sense, one might argue that was the real inspiration for starting the blog website SophiaWorld.

What I also like about Twitter is how it made me aware of events, and people with similar mindsets. I have made friends were we have started off initially chatting on Twitter, then seeing each other in the real-world.

SophiaWorld 2013

In FaceBook, I have learnt how to increase interest in my Fanpages from the likes of Amy Porterfield. This was a start. But in terms of Twitter I have not done any training. This has had an affect of my Twitter numbers. One celebrity life coach once said to me, after meeting me face-to-face; and by the way we started our relationship in Twitter: “why is it that your following is low”. After meeting the brand SophiaWorld, she was thinking people will follow you. I am so happy that I took part in this social media challenge, as I am learning about the best features of the different social media platforms. As I am writing this, I am testing out #TwitterContest which helps me with my employability business. Is it not great to get answers within 140 characters?

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 10.58.43

 

 

 

I want some more Likes

When I originally launched SophiaWorld, it was mainly for a creative output. I did not see it as a business; a way of monetization. 3 months later, I was still enjoying the writing and was building up my regular readers. One editor of an e-zine, described me as a “life-style” writer. I then had the thought, “I can do big things with this website”. During this time, my website template was the  wordpress twenty eleven  design. I decided then and there that there will be a re-design. This did happen and on June 22nd 2012, there was a re-birth. The new re-designed website was launched. It was also a great day, as it was also my birthday. My web designer, also created an official SophiaWorld FaceBook Fan page. Day 3 of the suitcase entrepreneur social media challenge is all about FaceBook.
Social media Challenge

How are you using Facebook to build your brand and business?

Everyone seems to be chatting about their “Fanpage”

When my web designer first created a fan page for brand SophiaWorld, she created a nice cover picture which tied in beautifully with the website. I liked the page and she too Liked it. Then nothing was added to the page for nearly 6 months. I admit now, that I did not understand the importance of having a fan page. In terms of networking with new people via social media, I was using the medium of Twitter. I found that it made it easy for me to send a message to the President of America (not that I have attempted to contact President Obama). At the time I thought Facebook was more for socialising than actually keeping in contact with my potential customers.

It was when I was having a conversation with my friends the English Sisters, it became evident that FaceBook was important. They mentioned how they have generated a lot of business through FaceBook. I, could not ignore the potential pound (£) sign. Using FaceBook must be a useful tool.

“I need some Likes”

It is interesting, the people or organisations that pop up in your FaceBook timeline. One of my discoveries last year was Amy Porterfield, who can be described as the Facebook guru. I attended one of her sessions where she talked about increasing your page “Likes”. One way was through advertisement, so for a week I placed an advert to increase my page Likes.

“I  like some conversations”

I like to post comments on what inspires me, what I have been up to, plus share information that may be useful to my FaceBook fans. I have sometimes had Question Mondays. I will in the next year work at increasing engagement with my Fans, and attracting the audience who are interested in my work. This includes my lifestyle blog, my life series books, my programs and future shows. As I say over in my newly created club, I am a go-getter and intend to make things happen.

Going where my customers hangout

It’s all about social media these days, you can not ignore it. I have even designed an introductory course to  deliver in colleges; highlighting the influence of social media in not only your personal life, but also your business and work life. And here arrives day 2 of the suitcase entrepreneur’s social blog challenge.

Social media Challenge

Question: Who is your target market, which social media sites should you be focusing on and why?

My ideal customer

It always begins with who is your ideal customer. And so often, people begin with the product or service – I have a great idea route. I have been guilty of that, especially since I did not come via business school route, although I do have a background in accounting and law.  I am person who has projects which are targeted to different people. In my latest new venture GoGetterMe, this is aimed at the person who wants to go out there and achieve their life and business goals. So if they want to be travelling around the world, why not. If they want to be transitioning careers, what is stopping them. For GoGetterMe, I see my main customers hanging out in FaceBook and LinkedIn.

Hanging Out

Building relationships is always about building trust as highlighted in Know me, Like Me, Follow Me. I like to share not only my articles which will have my findings on certain topics, but other resources. I know people who do similar stuff to I, and I have already started to talk to them about collaborating. They helping my audience with a problem. To me it is a “win, win”, as you can achieve more with partnerships and teaming up. My audience is happy as they are obtaining further support in becoming a go-getter!

Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me

 

People to People: “how I cannot ignore social media?”

“These days people want to know the person behind the brand, not just the official company face”.

So here I am on another blog challenge created by the Suitcase Entrepreneur.

Social media Challenge

The question for day one of this social media blog challenge was as follows:

What are three ways you can improve your current social media strategy today?

Keep the brands distinct
Currently I have four social media profiles: GoGetterMe, SophiaWorld, Miss Law Tutor and ProActive Vision Training. To some this may feel overwhelming when describing what I do. They may ask who am I. I want people when coming across these brand to see them as distinct and strong on their own. Not that this is one of many projects from Sophia Husbands.
“Don’t forget that I am serving a customer”

It is so easy to tell my life story, at the same time people are wanting to know that you can “listen” to their needs. Where they may be needing help. I do already like to share my resources and tips that can help people move forward. When for example posting in FaceBook, I would like to increase my engagement with the audience. From listening I can learn a lot about what is important to people, help find resolutions.

Give more FaceTime

I like to invite people to chat to me, get to see my personality. I would like to use social media to invite people to my group webinars and chats. Maybe once a month do an open Skype chat session or google+ hangout.

Becoming the savvy traveller

It is nice to receive deals when they are presented to you. Sometimes you may have to be “active” and go out and get them. This leads me to day 27 of the suitcase entrepreneur blog challenge:

30 day challenge

Name 2 ways in which you’re going to become a savvy travel hacker in the next 6 months

1. “It’s all in the planning”

It is always in the planning, knowing where I want to go and when. So I can start looking at my route as soon I have decided that I would like to go to a destination. See what deals are available at the time. Perhaps, add in another country to visit during my itinerary. It is fun the unexpected and, sometimes going out of my comfort zone: visiting new places and meeting new people.

2. Finding the awards

I like the awards systems, whereby by recommending and getting people to sign-up you get air miles, as demonstrated by Scott Brills, the entrepreneur and adventurer. Some credit cards for some time have been awarding air  miles for frequent flyers, or it may be for making a purchase. I can even get creative and maybe get sponsored for part of my trip. On this very day of writing this post I was having a Skype Chat about going on an adventure. How about doing the world in 30 days, or as much countries as I can. As I write this, I’m thinking it may be fun to do it in 90 days – what fun this would be. Part of doing something successfully is really going out there, and adding that extra ingredient. This is also how people stand out.

30 day challenge

Living like the minimalist

When I was young, my mother told me that when she moved to the UK from the Caribbean how she travelled light. She came out with the phrase, “those who travel light, travel fast”. I was quite amazed about this story, thinking: how can you go somewhere and not pack too much items? Fast forward some years, and I admit that I hate to be weighed down with lots of stuff. Hence why I loved it when I purchased my MacBook Air last year. This leads me onto day 26 of the suitcase entrepreneur blog challenge.

30 day challenge
Could you live a minimalist lifestyle? Why or why not? OR What does minimalism mean to you in the context of your ideal lifestyle?

What core things are important when I’m travelling?

After having the passport and the money, I would say clothes and business equipment. This is the equipment like having a smart phone, my MacBook Air and good Internet connection.

Can I live with less weight?

Yes I can. I find that sometimes having possessions can weigh you down, as you can become very attached to them. This is not only the physical weight, but also the emotional weight. For example you can keep holding on to that beautiful coral dress that you do not wear. Therefore when looking at packing items, I will need to ask myself “am I going to really be using this?”

So for my planned freedom lifestyle, I intend to be travelling with just one suitcase. This takes out the stress on when you have to be on the go, of worrying about if I packed something. Talking about packing, it is great to have a list of the core items. Perhaps separate the clothes from my business attire, as demonstrated by Natalie Sisson also known as the suitcase entrepreneur.

Living the minimalist lifestyle

I like entering spaces where it is not too cluttered. I eventually plan to have some permanent basis or hubs, dotted around the world. My beach haven is calling me! I can imagine there will be a few home comforts, treasures that I may have collected whilst travelling. But for the other temporary places, I like to not be carrying too much weight and stick to: the area being safe, the place being clean, and having good Internet connection.

As my mum says, “those who travel light, travel fast”

30 day challenge

“It is all in the routine, structure”

As much as I like the idea of living the “freedom lifestyle” I will get bored and may end up unhappy if I felt that I had no structure or purpose. This leads me to day 25 of the suitcase entrepreneur challenge:
30 day challenge
What skills do you need to build or refine to be a happy Suitcase Entrepreneur?

Starting off the day on a positive note

How I begin my day effects how the rest of the day will be. If I wake up feeling bright and positive, then this gives me the boost to go out there and make things happen. I have also read some tips from other motivators on daily practices that you can do. Here are some of them:

  1. Read a book early in the morning for perhaps 30 minutes, on an area of self -development. This can be for improving your skills, or to give you a boost. I like to read books linked to improving your lifestyle, my current read is the suitcase entrepreneur, as I am working on building a freedom lifestyle.
  2. Do meditation. I for one was a bit of a novice on mediation. Listening to relaxing music – this can be instrumental – plus doing your stretches can help to energise you.
  3. One that I came across very recently was watching a funny video, or TV show can help boost your mood.

Projects

When I was away recently, I was speaking to a family relative who specialises in helping fledgling business persons on creating business plans and doing their feasibility testing. One thing he said was to make sure that I always have a “project”; and it did not matter if I may not have the end customer in-hand already, at least, once it was completed then I be ready to sell it.  With the online business structure that I have, I will be offering products and resources for sale. In this ever changing world, this will mean creating new products relating to the need and demand at that time.

Organisation

It  is good as I opened to have structure in your life. Organising myself via iCalendar or other project management programs gives direction. Plus it is good to keep track with meetings.

Self-love

It is good to take time out, and self-pamper, as it can become very easy to work and work. There needs to be a balance of fun, spending times with friends and family.  Talking about friends and families it is also important to note: who is it that is around me? I am talking about people who may not be supportive, or understand why what you do is important. I have a friend who does an “audit” ever so often and she eliminates people who are toxic.

Breathe

It is also important to take breaks, maybe do Pilates, which is one past time I like to do, as well as walking. Sometimes it becomes difficult to take time out when we are feeling overwhelmed. The important thing is to enjoy the now.

 

30 day challenge