Three Tips to Master the Art of Following Up

art-of-following-up

We’re all in this together.

You know what I mean, that deluge of communication that happens across any and every platform we maintain a presence on today.

We get emails, texts, and snapchats.

We get tweets, Facebook messages, and IMs.

And we send just as many, if not more, than we receive.

As we use the internet and social media to grow our networks, we gain the ability to meet many more people than previously possible. But good networking is not just about who we can meet and make that first contact with, it’s about who we can build lasting connections and develop trust with.

One of the easiest ways to build that trust comes from following up.

No matter if you’re interviewing for a new job, working a new lead from a conference, or just looking to further a conversation, following up is a key skill that can often trip people up.

Now I know it can feel somewhat awkward, and you don’t want to be annoying or too eager, but if you haven’t made an attempt to follow up, the connection can’t mean that much to you, and you can never expect to build anything.

So how can you approach the art of following up and break through the noise to develop lasting relationships? Here are a few tips that I’ve found seem to work for me.

Continue reading

a16z Podcast: Coding as a Literacy

Originally posted on Andreessen Horowitz:

Tracy Chou from Pinterest, and Chris Granger and Jamie Brandon from Eve, discuss whether coding is a literacy (or as Granger puts it, a “superpower” ). But as software infuses every industry and much of our lives, do we all really need to start writing code? Or is a less hands-on approach — educating ourselves about what software can (and can’t) do, and the basic architecture behind its creation — the most useful way to gain software literacy for most people?

View original

The Top 10 Viral Brand Videos of 2014

The term “viral video” is one that evokes both excitement and groans when mentioned around people within the marketing world.

After all what’s viral? It means something to everyone.

Is it share-worthy? Do the masses relate?

Definitions aside, more and more videos like Shit Girls Say, or this News Anchor dancing to Where They At Doe are blowing up online and it has become natural to share these things online between friends, coworkers, and on social networks at-large.

With video projected to take up over 90 percent of the online content within the next decade, brands want in on this action.

But traditional commercials don’t cut it, which is why brands look to create these “viral” or shareable videos to achieve that same level of enjoyment to the viewer, standing out from their competitors while aligning themselves with the qualities or messages in the video.

This year more and more brands got involved with video online, be it on Youtube, Facebook, or shorter form with Vine and Instagram. Video consumption is taking off with advances in technology and availability of content.

Looking to 2015, we can only expect the number of branded videos to increase as platforms continue to mature and new ones emerge.

Below are our top 10 Branded Viral Videos from 2014, in no particular order. We tried to shy away from TV-first as much as possible and looked at their significance to the industry on the whole.

Continue reading

Featured Image -- 2489

Rethinking Work-Life Balance

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_dropcap]We all know that having a healthy work-life balance is critical for startup employees – and have read the cautionary tales of how dangerous it can be to have no work-life balance. It’s something we should all strive to achieve. [/tc_dropcap]

It’s also a worthless concept as it’s typically presented.

Everything I’ve read on the subject isn’t helpful for entrepreneurs and startup employees because it starts with the assumption that you have an evil boss forcing you to work unreasonable hours.

Usually, that’s not the case if you’re at a startup. You may not have a boss – and most of us love our jobs. Personally, I want to do mine 24/7 and I hate that that’s impossible.

Furthermore, (and this is likely exacerbated if you’re a founder and/or CEO), I experience intense guilt when I do anything that isn’t work-related. Many people (investors, team members, etc.) have put their faith in me to…

View original 769 more words

Why the Sony hack is unlikely to be the work of North Korea.

Originally posted on Marc's Security Ramblings:

GOP Image
Everyone seems to be eager to pin the blame for the Sony hack on North Korea. However, I think it’s unlikely. Here’s why:1. The broken English looks deliberately bad and doesn’t exhibit any of the classic comprehension mistakes you actually expect to see in “Konglish”. i.e it reads to me like an English speaker pretending to be bad at writing English.

2. The fact that the code was written on a PC with Korean locale & language actually makes it less likely to be North Korea. Not least because they don’t speak traditional “Korean” in North Korea, they speak their own dialect and traditional Korean is forbidden. This is one of the key things that has made communication with North Korean refugees difficult. I would find the presence of Chinese far more plausible.See here – http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/world/asia/30iht-dialect.2644361.html?_r=0

here – http://www.nknews.org/2014/08/north-korean-dialect-as-a-soviet-russian-translation/

and here – http://www.voanews.com/content/a-13-2009-03-16-voa49-68727402/409810.html

This change in language is also most…

View original 917 more words

Featured Image -- 2425

So-called “dark social” traffic turns out to be mostly Facebook

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Despite the fact that our ability to track and measure almost every aspect of user traffic has never been stronger, there has been a strange gap in our knowledge for some time — a phenomenon that Alexis Madrigal, then with The Atlantic, referred to a couple of years ago as “dark social.” In a nutshell, it was traffic — in some cases a substantial amount — that couldn’t be identified. According to an update from Madrigal and web-measurement firm Chartbeat, most of that traffic turns out to be coming from Facebook’s mobile apps.

In the original piece that Madrigal wrote for The Atlantic, he noted that according to analytical tools like Chartbeat, more than half of the website’s social traffic was coming from somewhere other than the usual suspects — namely, the top social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter — but where exactly it was coming from…

View original 674 more words

13 Statistics about Hispanic Consumers in 2014 and Three Ways to Connect with them

At #Expion14 in Raleigh, NC this year, Cynthia Ashworth of Univision discussed how their organization is digging into data to uncover new insights about the rapidly growing hispanic population in the US. After her presentation I started to dig a little deeper into some stats from Univision and other sources about Hispanic consumers in the US myself, here’s what I found:

Ashworth described some key points for connecting with Hispanic consumers in today’s ever-changing media landscape that all marketers should take note of.

1. Culture Matters

Put simply, culture matters more to the average hispanic consumer than non-hispanic consumers.

For Univision Morning show talent, wearing jerseys of their native country for World Cup coverage was just another way of expressing who they are and the connection to those who can relate. This message of expression and self-identity is reinforced across all facets of the organization, from news to entertainment and of course, sports. You probably wouldn’t see the Today Show doing something like this said Ashworth.

2. Give them the VIP Treatment

During the World Cup, Univision worked with Hyundai to create a crowdsourced documentary. They collected videos from people from all over the world clipped together with official historic footage from FIFA. The result was a full-length documentary that aired before the kickoff of the World Cup that put the fans at the center of the world’s game.

Because_Futbol_01x

“Give them a shot at stardom” Ashworth explained.

“Stardom is the gift that keeps on giving. people get excited, they share it, there’s a real multiplier effect.”

But it wasn’t just about creating one video. Hyundai used every platform where their consumers were to activate #becausefutbol among their target consumers – print, TV, Digital, Social and point of sale with local dealers.

Window clings were even distributed for fans to represent their country of choice.

Screen-Shot-2014-05-27-at-7.21.32-PMx

3. Go big on Mobile Video

Hispanics are very much a mobile-first demographic of internet users.

When creating content think about the method of consumption to make videos relatable, and also easily viewable in multiple formats.

For Univision telenovelas they released exclusive content that was delivered via the uvideos app. The content took the form of the channels they were being consumed on. Lead characters sent texts and video messages that kept viewers coming back again and again throughout the entire season for this additional content.

Conclusion

By creating and building a loyal audience and providing a platform for efficient content creation and delivery, Univision has been able to improve their stickiness with loyal viewers.

This has allowed them to carefully integrate brands like Toyota and Hyundai into their content with great success. The content was intermingled with the real content, added value to the viewer’s experience, includes the audience, yet remains relatable.

In fact, Hyundai’s #becausefutbol campaign was so successful through this approach that the brand saw 28% increase in Hispanic traffic to HyundaiUSA.com between May (pre-tournament) and July, and was he most recognized auto brand at the 2014 World Cup.

Watch Cynthia Ashworth’s entire presentation here to learn more.