• "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..."

The KISS principle is an acronym for Keep it simple, stupid! The principle promotes simplicity.

I’ve been working in Web, marketing and social media for about 10 years now. One of the most consistent factors of success is keeping it simple. If you have the resources to develop great Facebook or smart phone applications, great, go for it. It’s easy to get caught up with all that is glitz and glamour – This Facebook page, has a great new app or they have a fantastic mobile campaign. Ultimately, what is going to move your product or service or increase your brand’s reputation is building those relationships.

Facebook apps can give your brand or product great wings, but if it isn’t backed up with some longer term plan, it will most probably only give you temporary fame. It can give you great buzz until the next flashy thing comes along, but a great relationship can last forever. Mobile is where the web is headed, an iPhone or Android apps can have great value, but as Seth Godin recently pointed out,

[t]here’s a little worse than a one in a thousand chance that your app will appear in front of someone interacting with the store at the first level. […] Once again, the lesson of the long tail is this: you can’t count on the gatekeeper to do your promotion for you.

In other words, it’s up to you to move the needle. Social media is all about relationships so work on those before worrying about shiny new tools. Bells and whistles are fun, but don’t forget to connect in a personal way with people that truly love your product.

(Photo credit: clevercupcakes)

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Social media can help you attain many different objectives. It can help you please your customers, it can help your business or it can help you find a new job. Here are a few pointers on how to use social media to help out with your job search.

  1. Start BEFORE you need a new job
  2. Complete your LinkedIn profile
  3. Join and contribute to relevant groups on LinkedIn
  4. Answer questions in the Answers section of LinkedIn
  5. Connect with others in your field or in the field you would like to go into
  6. Give others references and ask for references in return
  7. If you have a blog, keep in up to date with relevant posts even if it’s not directly related to your professional experience, work or even your field
    1. If you blog about music, stick with that, you might land a great job at a local radio or TV station or even in a print or online publication
  8. Comment on other’s blog. Focus on other blogs in the area you want to work in and move outwards. It’ll build your reputation there first
  9. Update your Facebook profile and connect with friends and acquaintances
  10. Like, Comment and send messages regularly to stay in touch
  11. Complete your Twitter profile. It’s only 160 characters so it shouldn’t be too hard
  12. Connect with people of interest in your industry and others
  13. RT great messages and keep in touch with @ replies and DMs
  14. Tweet great posts you see around the internet
  15. Don’t shy away from other networks such as Flickr and YouTube if photography or video is your thing
  16. Don’t ignore meeting people in person. Grab a coffee or a bite to eat just to chat
  17. Help others in your network
  18. Continue. Continue, even after you’ve found your next opportunity

Notice how I’ve never mentioned selling yourself. The closest to selling yourself should be through blog posts… only once in a while.

If it seems like a lot of work, it isn’t. If you start before you need a new job, you only need to put in a few minutes a day. When the time comes, people will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. After that, it’s still up to you to kill it at the interviews.

What do you think? Anything else to add?

(Photo credit: MacJewell)


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Social media is all about relationships. You’ve probably read, saw or heard this time and time again. The importance of your relationships is unfortunately usually evident only when you need them; not before and not after. You need a new job, you need help on a project; if you’re a company, your sales might be down or your site visits are decreasing or you might be launching a new product.

Before social media came along, you stacked your Rolodex. Guess what? The same is still true. Social media just makes this easier because you’re always connected to somebody. What’s always been important is building relationships before you needed them – being there “before the sale” as Chis Brogan and Julien Smith taught us in their book Trust Agents (affiliate link).

Now that I’m looking for contracts and maybe a new job, I’ve turned to my network – both offline and online. I’ve used Facebook to get in touch with old bosses, Twitter and LinkedIn to look for new opportunities and I’ve had lunch with friends and acquaintances about other opportunities.

Social media makes it easier to stay in touch and build relationships, so use it. Spend some time building these relations. Research shows that weaker social ties are more important when it comes to career changes than friends, so take some time to write on walls, “like” statuses and send messages; @reply, DM and RT; comment and forward; send emails just to say hi.

Forget about the lingo and new concepts – do great work and focus on the relationships, one day you’ll be happy you’ve put in the effort.

What do you think?

(Photo credit: Johan Larsson)

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In my recent series of posts on change, I outlined how I think change is vital and should be embraced. Furthermore, I’ve announced how I took on two new projects – ambassador of TEDxMcGill and moderator of the LinkedIn group Vie Montréal. There’s one big change that I’ve wanted to talk about. My contract at Astral as a social media consultant is coming to an end. Back to looking for work.

I’m leaving on great terms and I’ve met some great people there (I’m not going to name anyone, but you know how you are!!). I don’t think social media is the job of one person as I had previously explained so my objective was to plant the seeds of social media at Astral: Respect and earn the trust of the people that give you their time by visiting their site and watch their TV stations. Notice how I didn’t use expressions such as “target market,” “audience” or even “visitors.”

What’s next?
That’s a good question. I can decide to go down two roads: find another job or go the consulting route. I’ve met with some great people for opportunities at other companies and I’ve met with new potential clients for myself. Both options really interest me. But it got me thinking, how do we answer the question “What’s next?”
Open doors and windows or blueprints

One way you can answer the question is by letting all the windows and doors open and let the opportunities find you. Once you have enough options out in front of you, make a decision based on the one that feels best for you. On the flip side you can operate with a blueprint. Know exactly what fits where. What comes next will vastly depend on what you had planned.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Letting all the opportunities pile up will give you great opportunities “right now” but not necessarily what’s best down the road. Having a plan might lead you where you want to be, but you’re leaving out any unplanned opportunity that might bring you in a great new direction.

The road map: Plan and believe
A third way to answer that question is by thinking of it as a road map – plan for where you want to go, but be open to side roads and detours and even a new destination. The job at Astral was a contract so I wasn’t planning on staying there forever. Because of that I had a plan for what comes next. I wanted to look into working on my own and I’m doing that. But I still wanted the safety of knowing I could land a great opportunity at an established company because I have the right skills and experience; and I have that.

You should embrace change, but plan ahead and believe that you have what it takes to execute that plan. Plan by figuring out where you want to be and work backwards. What are the steps you need to achieve your goal? For example, if you want to work at a local ad agency. What are the skills they are looking for? How can you develop these skills? In your current situation, can you develop these skills or do you need to go elsewhere before? If you need to move, do you need a financial cushion first so that you can go to school to learn what you need?

That’s what I did anyway – I pretty much know where I want to be down the line. I don’t look at the destination as being VP, CEO or entrepreneur. I look at the destination as having the best possible family life I can have and that includes a fascinating career. You can’t plan forever and you need to believe that you can make this happen. A great plan will help you feel more confident. So keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities, work on executing your plan and new opportunities will come.

What do you think? How have you prepared of change?

(Photo credit: sidewalk flying)

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Guest post by Frédéric Harper

First of all, let me thank Fabrice for giving me the opportunitiy to write a guest post on his blog. Second thing, my English isn’t so good, so please be indulgent.

Fabrice asked me to talk about my experience with the social media vs my new way of life: freelancing! Social Media like my blog, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn (sorry all in french) are in my life as if they have always been there. I use these a lot in a day to read, but also to create content on the Web. Since I’m on my own in the mobile development, I still use it for personals things, but now, more for business. I have more than one way to see the help of social media tools (they are not in any order, all of these are important for me):

  1. Promote me: since i’m a freelancer, my company is me, so people need to know me. Never underestimate the power of contacts in real life or on the Internet.
  2. Promote my service offering: it’s not enough that people know Frédéric Harper, they have to know that I do mobile development for any major platform (Android, iPhone/iPad, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry). This way, if someone needs a mobile application or see an opportunity that could interest me, they know I’m the man for the job.
  3. Share: I want to share my expertise, but also anything that I love that could help others. For example, my blog is not only about businesses, but about people, about my opinions, about how I feel and the most important, to promote people that do great jobs. I think that a company should not be only there to take money; they need to give to the community.
  4. Communicate and fill my social needs: in french, people always tell me that “J’ai une grand yeule et que je suis une bébitte sociale”. That means that I talk a lot and that I’m very social. Social Media helps me talk to people, communicate, exchange with them… I like to meet new people in life or online. I do it on my own, but in the end, that could help a lot my business too.

So these things that I do with social media is not the absolute truth but my own way to use them. You, how do you use social media? What benefits do you think that businesses have to gain from it?

(Photo credit: deanmeyersnet) 


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Guest post by Simon Hénault, founder of Linked Québec and LinkedIn trainer.

Linkedin a déjà 7 ans. Curieux n’est-ce pas, puisque sa popularité semble récente… du moins au Québec. Au fait, au cours des 12 derniers mois, le principal réseau social d’affaires au monde a doublé sa taille, passant de 35 M à 70 M de membres, dont 2 M au Canada et 500 000 au Québec. Bon, c’est encore peu comparativement aux 500 M d’adeptes de Facebook. En revanche, le profil de ses membres est tout autre. Le membre moyen de LinkedIn fait plus de 100 000 $US par année. Dans ce cas, branché ni signifie pas fauché. Plus important encore, LinkedIn est un réseau d’affaires avant tout. Oubliez donc les photos du week-end et les commérages – les gens font réellement des affaires sur LinkedIn.

Pour la majorité des gens, LinkedIn n’est qu’un répertoire de C.V. en ligne. Pour la majorité des gens également, ils font partie de ce réseau parce qu’ils ont reçu maintes invitations. Dommage, puisque LinkedIn offre de très nombreux bénéfices, et ce, tout à fait gratuitement :

  1. Communication externe
    • Oubliez les adresses courriel erronées, les CRM et les applications de campagnes de courriels – LinkedIn a tout simplifié et tout intégré.
  2. Communication interne
    • Démarrez un groupe réservé aux employés de votre entreprise. Bénéficiez de leurs contacts, partagez vos connaissances et soyez averti de tout changement.
  3. Développement des affaires
    • Rehaussez votre visibilité et soyez trouvé par des milliers d’utilisateurs. Trouvez vos clients et partenaires potentiels, et renforcez vos relations d’affaires.
  4. Emploi
    • Ciblez des entreprises, demeurez au fait des postes à combler, rejoignez les recruteurs ou tout contact au sein des entreprises visées.
  5. Expertise
    • LinkedIn est un annuaire riche d’experts. Grâce à la recherche avancée, trouvez un spécialiste de n’importe quel sujet, secteur, entreprise ou région.
  6. Formation
    • Obtenez les réponses à vos questions, lisez les commentaires des membres et prenez connaissance des contenus de vos contacts.
  7. Intelligence d’affaires
    • Demeurez au fait des embauches de vos concurrents et des nouvelles au sein de votre industrie. Posez vos questions à vos contacts, aux membres de vos communautés ou aux anciens employés de vos concurrents.
  8. Recrutement
    • Plus de 80 % des recruteurs utilisent LinkedIn. Rien de surprenant puisque cet outil vous donne accès à la feuille de route de millions de candidats.

En somme, si bien utilisé, LinkedIn vous permettra de :

  • réduire vos frais d’exploitation
  • améliorer votre efficacité opérationnelle et
  • rehausser vos ventes… gratuitement !

À propos de l’auteur

Fondateur de Linked Québec, Simon Hénault est un formateur LinkedIn (formations en développement des affaires, solutions de recrutement et développement de communautés). Il accompagne aussi les professionnels et les entreprises B2B dans l’élaboration et l’implantation de stratégies de développement des affaires Web, notamment par la réalisation de contenu percutant et leur mise en valeur par le biais de LinkedIn.

Sa mission : convertir 1 million de québécois à l’utilisation active de LinkedIn et leur offrir une plateforme de communication gratuite et bénéfique (Linked Québec).

Il vous invite à vous joindre à la plus grande communauté d’affaires au Québec – le groupe LinkedIn Linked Québec (eBook), lequel inclut le sous-groupe Vie Montréal dont Fabrice est modérateur.

Simon vous invite aussi à écouter la eformation LinkedIn qu’il a co-produite, laquelle est la plus consultée dans la francophonie :

   1. Pourquoi utiliser LinkedIn ?
   2. Comment remplir votre profil LinkedIn ?
   3. Comment créer votre réseau LinkedIn ?
   4. Comment optimiser votre présence dans LinkedIn ?
   5. Comment effectuer une recherche dans LinkedIn ?
   6. Comment gérer la confidentialité de vos informations ?
   7. Comment trouver un emploi par le biais de LinkedIn ?
   8. Comment trouver des clients par le biais de LinkedIn ?

(Photo credit: mariosundar)

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I’m living through more changes these days. A while back, I decided to become a TEDxMcGill Ambassador. More recently, I have accepted to be moderator for the LinkedIn sub-group, Vie Montréal. It’s part of the group Linked Québec.

The Linked Québec group is the most popular group in Quebec, so the opportunity to moderate one of its sub-groups about life in Montreal was a no-brainer for me. We’ll be exploring both the corporate side of life and the fun side of life in Montreal. So please come join the discussion with us (posts will be in both French and English).

What do you like about life in Montreal? If you’re an out-of-towner, have you ever visited? 

(Photo credit: nan palmero)

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As mentioned before I have some changes coming my way. One of these is that I’ll be an Ambassador for TEDxMcGill. I called this post, Small changes, but this is pretty big for me. I’m very, very excited about this. I’ve been a huge admirer of TED and what they stand for so when I heard that my old Alma matter, McGill University, was holding an independent event, I had to be involved in some way.

I met with Jan Florjanczyk and Lindsay Simpson and they seemed more than happy to have me be part of the process.  I’ll be helping them out with some digital communications advice and I’ll try to put them in touch with some relevant people. In all honesty, I want to help out in any way I can.

They’re looking for a few people to help out, sponsors and media contacts. If you’re interested, get in touch with them via email and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or even simply leave a comment here. You can also read their blog.

The next event will be held on November 20, 2010 at Marché Bonsecours. The theme will be Relentless Curiosity.


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This is a guest post by Eugene Nicolov.

This week Fabrice is happily vacationing in New York. He offered me the opportunity to write a guest post for this blog, and I eagerly jumped on the occasion to pen something under my own name. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

It’s hard to write for somebody else; I’ve gotten used to writing (anonymously) about whatever passes through my head, with little concern about the actual relevance or eventual reader.

But I did come up with a source of inspiration: when Fabrice and I get together around a pint at the Burgundy Lion, we often discuss the Internet, where it is going and how it is used. For this post, I’ll share an observation that I would have otherwise shared with Fabrice in private.

I am a fan of public radio. I think it plays the fundamental role of providing quality content radio, un-influenced by the financial constraints that corporate radio is shackled-with. CBC Radio 1 is my favorite public radio station and I enjoy the afternoon Montreal show Homerun, because it gives me all the local news I need.

But there is something Homerun journalists do and that I couldn’t understand for the longest time. They are always refereeing to their Facebook page, encouraging listeners to visit it every few minutes.

Thinking with my old webmaster mentality, I thought: “Why would anyone encourage its audience to actually visit another webpage than its own one? This is just lost traffic.”

But upon second thought I got it. CBC Radio is running on tight budgets and offering local shows in many Canadian towns, big or small. There is no way that the CBC will be able to finance the building and maintenance of a quality Web 2.0 platform, where every show could have its page and where listeners could interact with the journalist and each other. Basically, instead of re-inventing the wheel and building their own webpage, Homerun is saving a bundle of money and using the free platform provided by Facebook.

And I was wrong in my old way of thinking: sending listeners to Facebook was not just lost traffic, because the actual user of Homerun is not a web-user but a radio-listener. While you’re driving and listening to Homerun, you won’t tune-off from the radio to visit Facebook. But while you’re at work, you might tune-off from a random webpage and visit Homerun’s Facebook page. Now Homerun has engaged with its users and made them active contributors to the show.

That’s a good example of cross platform (radio to web) pollination. For Homerun, the web is a secondary platform wisely used for reinforcing the link with its users/listeners.

There are many more examples of such strategies; care to share one that you find clever?

(Photo Credit: Tomás Fano)

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As some of you may have noticed, the platform I use – Posterous – was down over the last week. It’s now back up and running. They sent me an email to let me know what was going on as well as kept us updated on their blog. It was nice of them to keep us in the loop.

I’m still on vacation, but I have some more content coming your way – including a great guest post – so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!


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