New to Social Media? Tips and Guidance to help you

I’m a huge fan of social media and have been active on Twitter since Jan 2009. I’ve got quite a few friends who have only recently joined so I thought I’d share some old blog posts here which might help them and anyone else who’s fairly new to social media.

There might even be some nuggets of goodness to people who have been on social media for a while too.

I hope you find these useful.

PLEASE NOTE: As some of the posts are a few years old, some of the content is out of date. The different Social Media platforms are always evolving so it can be pretty hard to keep up!

How Does Facebook Measure up Versus Ad Agencies [Infographic]

Gravatar – Your Globally Recognisable Avatar

Why you Should @ reply on Twitter

Twitter Spam and how to avoid it

I’m So Sorry I don’t always notice your Retweets!

I don’t have Time to use Social Media!

How to Use LinkedIn Effectively for your Business

2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

It’s NOT about me – it’s all about YOU!

So you want to start blogging?

Twitter ReTweet Advice

My Twitter Presence

The Social Media Train Journey – What to do Once You’re On Board

My first Mobile Blog – Twitter Search Nearby Function

Social Media – Why you need to be on board

Social Networking – Are you just a card dealer?

Yes to Facebook in the Workplace!

Follow Me on Twitter

Personal Domain Names & Why you Should Own Yours

Get your personal domain nameIt still surprises me the number of people I meet who do not own their personal domain name. I own:
dickiearmour.com
dickiearmour.co.uk
dickiearmour.uk
dickiearmour.me.uk
richardarmour.co.uk
richardarmour.uk

and my wife and daughter have their personal domain names too.

A domain name is a finite source. There can only be one dickiearmour.co.uk and once it’s been registered no one else can get it, as long as I renew it at the time of renewal, or I forget to renew it! You never know when you might want to use your own domain name and if you haven’t protected it by registering it, then you could be disappointed when the time comes that you do want to use it and try to register it.

The obvious two main uses of a personal domain name are for:

  • Email
  • A website

You Don’t have to use your Broadband email address!
When you get broadband you automatically get an email address from your broadband provider. So if I was with BT or Sky my email address might be dickie.armour@sky.com or dickiearmour134@btinternet.com. Now that’s all well and good but what happens when I change broadband provider to say Orange? I lose my old email account and have to set up a new email address with Orange and then go through all the hassle of telling my friends and family, many of whom won’t remember and will still continue to send emails to you at your old email address!

With your own personal domain name this doesn’t happen. I’m with Tiscali – now TalkTalk – for my broadband and even though I do have a tiscali.co.uk email address I never use it. I don’t need to. I use an email address on my personal domain name – dickiearmour.me.uk. So if and when I change broadband providers it makes no difference to me that TalkTalk will delete my old tiscail.co.uk email account because I don’t use it. And, I won’t have to bother telling my friends, family and business contacts because they all use my dickiearmour.me.uk email address already.

My wife rides dressage horses and has represented GB on numerous occasions; in March 2007 on The Spanish Sunshine Tour, August 2007 at Hickstead and May 2009, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. She’d had a personal domain name which she uses for email for a while. A couple of years ago she was considering getting a website designed and as a rider she wanted to use her own name for the website because like most sports people they promote themselves using their brand – their own name. So she had no worries on that score because she’s already had her own domain name!

My wife competes in her maiden name and her website is www.nicolacooper.co.uk

Perhaps there will come a time when you want to set up a website on your own personal domain name. You might want to start blogging and use your own name for your blog or perhaps you are a business coach or a consultant or a trainer. It makes sense to use your own name as your business and therefore a personal domain name would be needed.

If you haven’t yet got yours then click here and check today to see if it’s still available.

babyhandsfeetA personal domain name for new born babies
The other area where I’m a huge advocate of getting a personal domain name is for our children. I bought the .co.uk and .com in our daughter’s name and I’m really pleased I did. She is already beginning to use it with friends at school and even had to send her maths teacher an email of some photos of shapes last week. He was so impressed she had her own email address! I bought her domain names soon after she was born. It appears there is a Doctor in the Midlands with the same name. After a year or so I got a phone call from her asking if I was prepared to sell my daughter’s domain name as she wanted to use it! There can only ever be one version on any domain name extension and my daughter has all the main ones for her name. I politely declined the doctor and so she’ll have had to look for alternative domain names.

In America there has been a trend of buying domain names for newborn babies since about 2007. See this article from the Fox News website – Parents Rush to Register Newborn Babies’ Internet Domain Names and I’m surprised more people here in the UK don’t do this. The children of today and tomorrow are going to be living and breathing the Internet and will no doubt have websites and blogs of their own. The other thing you can do with your own domain name is point it to your FacebookTwitter or whichever social network page of your choice. With the younger generation embracing these social networks I think we’ll see a lot more of this in the future.

Don’t worry if you haven’t yet grabbed the personal domain names for you and your family; you’re not alone. I recently asked a few people who work in the domain name industry if they had bought personal domain names for themselves and their family. I was surprised to learn quite a few of them hadn’t!

So protect your’s and your children’s Internet identity today and get your personal domain names before someone else does.

Is your approach to Business Networking wrong?

I gave a talk at a business breakfast a few years ago about some of my insights on business networking.

I joined 4Networking in Bristol in 2009 and got my approach all wrong to begin with. The talk shared some of my early experiences and some hints and tips on how to get the most from business networking.

1. Your Attitude & Approach

Don’t go networking to sell, go along to listen and see how you can help people. Nobody is there to buy. Every one is there to market and promote their own business, products and services. So if everyone is there to sell, there is nobody there to buy. So stop selling and start listening.

2. What’s your Story?
You need your elevator pitch. If you were in a lift with Richard Branson and you had one minute could you tell him what you do and what your products and services are?

We recently did a deal with Warner Bros and we’re now offering email services for Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry! How cool is that?!! :-)
I got the deal from a random approach I made at a brand licensing show in London just over a year ago. I walked up to the SVP of Warner Bros Consumer Products and I had about 30 seconds to explain what we did and to grab his attention enough that he would agree to meet with me.

My pitch was this, “Hi, I’m Dickie Armour from MyBrandEmail and we have a system….” The SVP interrupted me and said he didn’t have time as he was heading back to his hotel. But thankfully, I ignored him and continued… “We have a system that enables a brand like Warner Bros to sell email addresses to their fans. My daughter is 11 years old and she would love to be steph@hogworts.com”. The SVP smiled, told me he liked it and gave me his business card and said “Come to Paris for a meeting and tell me more.”

So you have know your story and have it clear in your head just in case you need to grab the attention of someone important to your business.

3. You’ll see the same people
A lot of people worry that they’ll just see the same people each week at networking events. But I love that! It’s unlikely you’ll do business together the first time you meet. People buy people, but only after they’ve got to know each other. And at most meetings there might be 20 or 30 people in the room. You can’t get to know all of them during a 2 hour meeting. So it’s good you’ll get the chance to see them again and again.

4. Friends? From a business networking event?
One of the amazing discoveries for me was that over time some these new business acquaintances would become friends! I hadn’t seen that coming. I was there to get business. But seriously, you will make friends from business networking.

5. Find new suppliers
There will be new suppliers who you will buy products and services from. If I now need anything for our business I can turn to 4Networking. Recently I needed some graphic design and a recruitment company and I used people I know from having met them through 4Networking.

6. Motivation & Confidence
You have to stand up and talk about your business each time you attend a meeting. This is really scary to begin with but over time yo get confidence and more motivated.
There’s nothing like a breakfast meeting with like minded people to get you motivated for the rest of your day.

7. Follow Up
Like with everything in life, you must follow up on any action you’ve said you’ll do. You might meet a new business contact at the next networking event you go to. If they say they would like information about your products and services then make sure you follow up. Get back to them the same day or by the end of play the next day at the latest.

These are just 7 of the insights I discovered about business networking.

I highly recommend joining 4Networking. It’s a national UK business network with over 5,000 breakfast meetings which are held 5 days a week, so they’ll definitely be one near you.

You can watch the full talk I gave on business networking below.