Networking Groups – What Should You Expect?

Networking groups are a great way to get yourself “out there” but what should you expect?

Networking Groups

networkNetworking groups are like minded people getting together to share ideas, learn and expand their circle of influence. They can take the form of:

  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Themed Meet Up Groups
  • Groups based on faith
  • School groups

and the list can go on. You can find a group for almost anything you can think of where you can be involved and make new friends. The thing to remember is it’s a two way street. Don’t get involved expecting to get something if you aren’t willing to give something.

What Can You Expect

  • Education
  • New ideas
  • Friendships
  • Connections

collaboration imageYou get the idea. When we join a group of any kind, we are expecting something from it. I find groups where I meet like minded people who are willing to share ideas and a place where I will learn something new every day. In many cases, we are risking exposing our feelings to others, especially if we want them to be honest with us and we are honest with ourselves. This can lead to making new connections that lead to lifelong friendships.

We have to remember that we don’t always get what we expect and may have to consider changing groups until we find the best fit. Sometimes, we join a group and, over time, it becomes stale or no longer meets our needs. In some cases, we may need more than one group to fulfill our needs. Try new groups when you get the opportunity and find the ones that work for you. Note, I indicated ones, not one! The other thing to consider is whether the group is getting what it needs from you! Always show up with your best you.

What May Be Expected From You

  • Referrals
  • Honesty
  • Financial contributions
  • Teaching

junkBe honest and be willing to give referrals. Don’t give them just because you are expected to, make sure the people you refer deserve it. Just as you need to make sure you deserve referals.

Remember that networking costs money and be prepared to give your financial support when needed. For example, there could be a membership fee to help support things like printing costs or you may be asked to contribute regularly to help cover the cost of a room. I’m not saying to bankrupt yourself trying to be part of a group but don’t expect someone else to carry you.

Although you may be new to a field of expertise, there is probably something you can teach others. Think about other areas of your life and transferable skills. Or, there may be an opportunity to share something not related at all, but the group shares an interest. Be giving and not always taking.

Now, get out there and make some friends!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for networking opportunities, chances to learn and chances to teach. What are you thankful for today?

Collaborating With Google Docs

Collaborating with colleagues or students can be expensive and technologically challenging. Google makes collaboration affordable, accessible worldwide and cross platform.

Affordable and Accessible Collaboration

Collaboration with Google Docs is Free!

CollaborationNot only is collaborating with Google Docs free, it’s accessible in most of the world and works cross platform. Whether you are using an Apple, Windows or Linux computer, Google Docs will work for you as long as you are in a more recent version of most web browsers. I personally tested in Windows 7 using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and FireFox. All of the browsers are free to download and use. I have used those browsers in Ubuntu as well but haven’t personally tested Google Docs in that environment. I admit an assumption that there wouldn’t be any issues collaborating with Ubuntu and iOS users.

Collaboration: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Google tools are free and accessible to anyone with an up to date internet browser
  • Tools easily convert most Microsoft Office, rtf and Open Office (odt) files.
  • Changes can happen in real time.
  • Participants can make comments that become part of the file history.
  • Participants can communicate with each other in real time chat.
  • Documents can be stored in the Google drive and remain available.
  • Anyone with access to the document may be able to share with others via print; emailing a direct link to the file or downloading a copy and emailing.

Cons

  • Participants must have a Google account to make changes to documents.
  • File conversion occasionally requires fixing some formatting.
  • Anyone can make changes if given editor status.
  • Anyone with a Google account that was invited to participate will have access to the comments.
  • Real time chat may require moderation and could potentially require removing individual access.
  • There are limits to the Google drive storage space. (15GB)
  • Access rights may need to be modified once the collaboration is finished, to prevent changes to the document. This won’t limit what can be done with files that may already be downloaded.

Share Documents

Document Types

  • Word Processing
  • Slide Shows
  • Spread Sheets

Documents can be created from scratch and saved in multiple formats. ODT, XLSX, PPTX, DOCX can all be created or uploaded from existing documents. (Caveat: There may be a need to make minor formatting corrections after uploading. When importing video in Google Docs, it has to be from Youtube.)

New documents may be created from scratch with similar functionality to the Microsoft Office or Open Office programs. All documents can be shared at any point either by invitation, limiting access to specific individuals or they can be left wide open to the public. The document creator makes those choices.

Once a document is shared, multiple people can participate at the same time, in real time. Changes are tracked and visible. Participants can leave comments for response or can open a real time chat window where ideas can be shared but these chats are not saved unless manually copied into a new document.

movie projectorWhen you want to share a finished document with people outside of your group, you can email directly from the document and it will be converted to PDF and attached to a Gmail. Alternatively, you can save the document into an appropriate format. For example, a slide show can be saved as PPTX and then downloaded to your computer to send using another email system as an attachment. Alternatively, you can just make a copy of the Google Doc to share publicly and email a link to the people you want to see the finished product without them being able to download or modify.

Learning Curve

Learning curves are different for everyone. It’s easy to say it’s easy when you have experience with productivity software on a regular basis. I can only say it’s easier than most programs are to learn and it’s likely that someone in your group will be able to help figure out how to take advantage of Google Docs for collaboration.

If you have an open mind and are willing to learn, Google Docs may be the answer to your collaboration tool needs. There is no cost but your time and efforts to try.

Have fun!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for technology. I’m thankful for open minds. I’m thankful for God given talents.

What are you thankful for today?

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Is your blog being found? 5 things you can do to attract attention.

You did a great job on your blog. When people read it, they will be thankful for the information. Is your blog being found? There are five things you can do to get the word out.

Blog and Shamelessly Promote

Your blog may be found by accident, but not likely. You need to do a little shameless promotion.

Most of us want others to achieve success for themselves. Your words are important. Whether you spent minutes or hours writing, you did so because you had something to say that you believe can help others. Think about this, if you stand all by yourself and deliver a moving speech in the middle of the forest, will it have any effect? Probably not. You need to invite people to your party!

5 Things You Can Do

  1. Self Host Your Blog
  2. Social Media
  3. Email
  4. Pinging
  5. Public Engagements

Self Hosting

authorityBlogWhen you want people to show up at your party (your blog or website), it works better if it’s easier to find. Think about this, if we met and you couldn’t remember my web site, you would probably search my name. You will likely end up on one of my domains. People tend to be curious and will try to get to the root domain. If you don’t own it, they end up leaving your site and may very well end up buying from someone else. By self hosting your own domain, they will just end up deeper in your territory!

Social Media

You have your own domain but people still aren’t finding you. Did you invite them? This is where social media can really help. Let people get to know, like and trust you. Then invite them to your web site.

Email

Spend some time creating your content and then start marketing your site. Be careful with your messaging, we all have different filters, but make sure you spread the word that you have something of value to offer. I don’t know you are selling something if you don’t tell me. Make use of your auto-responder to get your message out.

Pinging

I was watching a Smart Marketing Coaching (SMC) webinar and Mark Call told us about pingler.com where you can ping your blog and let the search engines know you exist. Sure, Google, Yahoo and Bing may find you eventually but use Pingler to “shout it from the rooftop”. This may help speed up the process and increase the likelihood of you showing up higher in the search results.

Public Engagements

Get out in public and do some networking. Join your local chamber of commerce. Get involved in community service. Internet marketing and webinars are a great way to reach out internationally.

Meeting face to face adds another dimension and you develop friends that you can ask to read and share your blogs. This extends your reach even further.

Your success is just a stone’s throw away but you need to take action. Life will start for you when you start it for yourself.

Do you have the stones to succeed?!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my faith in mankind. I’m thankful for GVO and Pure Leverage. I’m thankful for you.

What are you thankful for today?

 

 

http://www.pureleverage.com/amiya/video-and-email-join-the-big-leagues/

Pinging

http://www.pureleverage.com/amiya/your-success-is-a-stones-throw-away/