Socialtunities-Leveraging Social Media Opportunities for Business and Career

I am walking my talk and it has been life changing!  My new Gen Y partner and I have teamed up and are creating workshops, products, and tons of high energy ideas all around social media.  Social Media is changing our lives by the way we get our news, our information and the way we are connecting to one another.  This is just the tip of the iceberg and I am so happy that I decided to jump on the Social Media Wagon three years ago. It has helped me market my speaking career, learn and grow my topics, and connect with leaders and others whom I might never had had the chance to meet!

Question: What do you get when you add 1 Baby Boomer-Karen McCullough + 1 Gen Y- Crystal Washington + Social Media?

Answer: The coolest, clearest, “Get you  up -and-running in Social Media” workshop ever, called Socialtunities. If you are ready to really get into social media, Now is the Time! If you are a beginner or you are “kind-of-on” Linkedin or Facebook and thinking, “I’m in, now what?”

Hands-On Social Media Workshop- Houston June 9,2011                                                                                                                                        8:00-11:30                                                                                                                                                         The Council                                                                                                                                 303 Jackson Hill -Houston, Texas 77008                                                                              $59.00

You can register Here (Limited Seating)

How Are You Doing with Your 2011 Socializing? Are you in the Social Media Game?

In a world where everything is changing…some things never change. Today as in the past, every business and every individual needs two things in order to be successful- Marketing and Sales- It’s all about getting the word out about you and your expertise and then selling your value to a decision maker.

Not that long ago, spreading the word about YOU required you going out and socializing.  Do you remember all those early morning, lunch-time or after hours networking events that you felt you  had to attend?  Back then business socializing meant that you had to  show up at  tons of networking events, pass out your business cards out  and then CALL  the contacts…UGH!!!

Thank goodness for Social Media!

Today socializing is important and we do it online and we call it Social Media.

How are you doing with your 2011 socializing? Are you in the Social Media Game?

Are you active, or are you still thinking about it? Are you not sure or even  overwhelmed?

It’s not too late to jump in!

I jumped in the social media game a few year ago when I decided to speak on the generations.  I was studying Gen Y and how this younger generation was changing the way work and do business.  I was Goggling  “Web 2.0”  and I came across a Youtube video of a young social media Guru named Gary Vaynerchuk. I watched the video and that day Gary changed  the was I saw how to market and sell myself.  He said that the day of the “gatekeeper” was over and that Social Media was the connector connecting us directly to the decision makers!  All you needed was Passion ~ Persistance~ and Patience! I had all  three, now all I had to do was learn about social media.

First thing I did was create a new website that  had an interactive component… My blog! Blogging is the best way to get the word out about your expertise and point of view.

Next, I hopped on Linkedin and created my professional online resume- and I made it a lot of fun.  That was easy… Youtube followed and I quickly learned the value of posting all of my videos on Youtube.

Facebook was next but I needed help and my daughter Meredith was a great teacher. She created the fan page for the book we co-authored together, The Seven Women Project.

Things were going great and then they got a whole lot better! I got on  Twitter and it changed my world.  Twitter is the fastest way to spread your expertise, learn about what’s hot in your market, and connect with people you may never in a million years have connected with, like my hero, Guy Kawasaki! Twitter has Rocked my world and my business! Several speaking engagements have come from Twitter.

If you want to learn more about selling and marketing you through social media just jump in!  Read about it, get help from the younger generations, take a class, or contact me.

I have decided to do some workshops here in Houston on social media. Stay connected for date and times.
One last thing…. Please think of social media as an opportunity that opens many doors, some you don’t even know about.  Social media is a lot of  fun, and it  allows you to play with others.  Social media  builds awareness around YOU, builds your brand, differentiates you from the competition and it helps market and sell YOU and …

you don’t have to leave the house!

Karen McCullough’s Video Friday-Social Media 2010

Last night I presented a program to business owners here in Houston that focused on using social media as a tool to grow their brand and their business. I opened with a video that I first saw about a year ago on the Social Media Revolution by Eric Qualman. The video was updated just a few months ago and it is my #1 tool converting people to opening the mind to the idea that social media  is creating  a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. We need to all be a little more flexible, curious and adaptable! Enjoy and share and BTW the music is Right Here Right Now by Fatboy Slim. Love it!

You’re on Facebook…Now What?

I have to admit that I am hooked on Facebook. When I first hopped on back in 2009, I didn’t know the value of the platform and how it could help me communicate both personally and in my business.

I do now!

Facebook has connect me to not only family members, and long forgotten friends, Facebook has also connect me to meeting planners, conference executives, and every day people  who are spreading the word about keynote speaker, Karen McCullough!

I think that the key in using Facebook as a tool to grow your brand is consistency. So I now  have a morning “Facebook Ritual” that I would like to share with you. It takes me about 15 to 20 minutes each morning and here’s how it works:

1. Each morning go into Facebook and update your status, keeping your brand in mind.

2.  Scroll through a couple of pages scanning the live feed. Here’s your chance to add interesting, relevant and fun comments.  People love it when you add comments to their posts.   This is on-line relationship building!

3.  While you are scrolling through the pages, hide the people you are not interested in following. For me it’s the ones who post a gazillion updates and posts that do not interest me.  I am not a big fan of Mafia Wars, Farmville and anything to do with Vampires.   If you hide a few people each day,  your “Top News “ will be filled with people that matter to you.

4. It’s now Birthday Time.  On your Home Page in the upper right side of your screen you will see the birthday list of all your friends who have a birthday today! Send those you know or who you want to know better a Happy Birthday message. Say more than just Happy Birthday. Congratulations! You are building more relationships.

5. Now, go to the little red boxes at the top of the left side of the screen and click on the Friend Requests. I have a policy that the friend requesting must have a photo.  I do not friend suggestive or strange photos, logos, or non-photo requests.  Also, I check and see how many friends we have in common.  If I decide to add this person to my list I sometimes write them a little note.  If you are asking someone to be their friend make it a habit of writing a brief message in addition to the friend request ( I learned this from Women in Business Radio Host Michelle Price).  Always remember that you are building relationships.

6. Take a look at your event invitations above the Birthday List, and accept or reject events.

7.  Go back up to the red box at the upper left top and check out all your notifications.  See if there is anything there in your notifications that you may want to comment back on.

8.  The last thing I try and do is go to my profile and read all the comments and see if I need to respond.

I have to admit that I did not do all of these 8 things on Facebook when I first started.  I now see that Facebook is a fantastic way to get to know people better and build relationships.  I hope that these 8 steps have helped you see how to use Facebook each day to grow your brand and grow your relationships!

Generational Collaboration- New ways of thinking and doing

teamThe Seven Women Project, was launched last weekend and several people have e-mailed me complimenting the site and commenting on how “with-it” and fresh it looks. One colleague asked me how I stay so relevant wondering how I come up with such creative ideas.

Here’s my big secret! Ask someone from a younger generation to help you. I tap into Gen X and Gen Y creativity and know-how.     It’s all about generational collaboration.
Ben McCullough was my very first web-designer way back in 1999.  Some of you might remember back that far when we had our kids designing our websites.  Ben actually built my first computer and gave me a few start-up lessons back in the days of Netscape.

I have had several great web designers since then (Punch Interactive) but Ben is the developer of the Seven Women Project website. Ben and I have figured out how to work together: We both listen and we both trust. Ben suggested that we create a Facebook Fan Page  and the response has been awesome.  Hey join us!
Today, if you want to become the best that you can be you have to let go of the idea that you have all the answers. Be open to saying show me, teach me, help me.  Yes, it takes a degree of humility.

Baby Boomers Discover Social Media! Not Just for Gen X and Gen Y

When My Space came on the scene in 2002 most adults thought that is was a way for the “kids” to flaunt their stuff. Back then, social media was considered a teen-age fad. Well, today those “kids” make up over 60% of our population and every day that number is growing.  I just read the by 2010 Gen Y will outnumber the baby boomers and 96% of them are on a social network. If you haven’t noticed, social media is growing at warped speed.

To put things into prospective, it took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users-the radio 38 years, TV 13 years, the internet 4 years, and the iPod 3 years. Today Facebook reached 100 million uses in less than 9 months! And it isn’t the just kids that are joining Facebook. The largest segment of the population joining Facebook today is comprised of women between the ages of 55 and 65.

Linkedin is the business-oriented social media site that is mainly used for  professional networking. People that know how to use Linkedin use it to gain an introduction to someone they wish to know through a mutual, trusted contact. 80% of companies are now using Linked in as their primary tool to find and research new hires.

Not only are we using Twitter to share ideas, follow thought leaders, and connect with friends, today we are also sharing our customer experiences on Twitter. 80% of all tweets come from mobile devices.  That means that people are using twitter all the time, wherever they happen to be.  If you are upset with Comcast because your internet and phone have been down for hours, you can tweet about it!  If your bed at the Westin was lumpy just tweet away, and if your service was simply remarkable at your Toyota dealer remark about it on Twitter. Twitter is allowing the consumer to take control and share their good and their not so good experiences. Marketing and traditional advertising is changing!

There are over 200,000,000 blogs out there and bloggers are posting their opinions about everything from government healthcare debates to that delicious pizza they just ate and over half of them post their blogs on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

It is clear that social media isn’t a trendy youthful fad.  It is becoming  a fundamental way we communicate and spread the word. Even my older sister Patty has come on board.  Last week she created her Facebook page.  She said it’s the only way she can communicate with her 13 grandchildren.  Now if I could only convince her to stop writing in all caps.  She says it’s the only way she can see the type…