Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 List of Indianapolis Area Networking Recommendations

As the marketer of a small business, I have found many ways this year to get my business known. To help those that may need some direction, or are just looking for something new, here are my recommendations:

Social Media:
~Blog. Don't know what to write? Set up Google Alerts and check your email outbox.
~Smaller Indiana and other Ning sites relative to your business. The interaction is priceless.
~Twitter. Twitter. Twitter. If you don't think you should do it... You're wrong.
~Facebook-It's not just for friends. You can also create fan pages for your business and charities.

Local Offline Networking:
~BNI-International Networking. Chapters meet weekly and pass referrals with each meeting.
~Rainmakers-Meetings around Indiana nearly every day of the month.
~NOWIB-For Women only, and has great special interest groups.
~Chambers of Commerce-Local businesses networking. Monthly meetings with other after hours events.

Service Groups and other groups that make our world a better place:
~Find events that are accepting of in-kind donations for sponsorships. If you don't have a large budget, offer your services or product in return for the level of sponsorship you desire.
~Kiwanis-Groups of business people that genuinely care about making a difference in children's lives. Host events and carry out service projects to raise money for children's needs and other family and community catastrophes. There are also branches of Kiwanis for the youth to join; Key Club, Builder's Club, and K Kids are a few.
~Boys & Girls Clubs-These clubs provide a safe place for children under the age of 18 to come after school and receive homework help, participate in sports, and to learn how to interact with other youth under the supervision of approved staff and volunteers.
~Girl Scouts-Everyone has heard of Girl Scouts. Most have eaten Girl Scout cookies. If you have been wanting to make a difference in a girl's life, Girl Scouts is the best way to have a direct effect on a group of girls. So many girls don't have positive influences in their lives, and if you can provide that for one to twelve girls, you will have a whole new outlook on life.
~Local Schools-So many parents are working full time jobs these days, which leaves the classrooms and PTO's short of volunteers. Contact a school near you today to see how you can help.

My biggest recommendation is to utilize social media in every way that you possibly can. Social media is the cheapest and most effective way to connect, stay connected, and stay on people's minds. You must put in the sweat equity to make it work for you. Just having a blog or just having a Twitter account won't cut it. You HAVE to work it.

After you attend events and get those business cards and exchange that first phone call or email, take it to the next level; connect via at least one social media platform. You will learn so much more about your network and their needs if you stay connected online.

If you have questions about anything written here, please contact me:
nicki at

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blog Posting From MS Word 2007

Right now, I am creating a blog post using Microsoft Word 2007.

How is it done? When Word 2007 is opened and you click on the MS logo and select "New", you are presented with the option to create a new blank document or a new blog post. From this screen, click "New blog post".

The next screen you'll be presented with looks like this: My images did not transfer.

You can select your blogging platform from a list of blog platforms. You enter your user name and passwords, hit enter and you are ready to blog!

Other than the images not transferring, it worked pretty nicely!

Sphere: Related Content

Chip In To Your Favorite Cause!

Recently, I was looking for a widget that would allow an entire online community to set a goal for pounds lost. The community is Twit2Fit, which by the way just hit over 260 members! What I had hoped for in this widget was that it would allow us all to set a goal for the site, say 300 pounds between the 260 + members, set a date for the weight to be lost, and show a graph or a meter that tracked the pounds lost.

What I found in my research was something close. Research will continue, but what I found is Chip In. This free widget creator can be used for any type of fundraising-non-profits, special causes, getting that new desk in your office, etc... Since I wanted to test it out, I tried to think of something that would be beneficial to my well-being; a VACATION!!! So, below, you'll see the widget raising funds for the vacation that I'm hoping to take in February!

If I've helped you in any way, or would just like to see some great pictures, videos, and blogging from a warm place, feel free to Chip In! :)

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, December 5, 2008

Twitter Basic Info

I've realized recently, from a new friend, that what regular Twitter users know is not common knowledge. Here are a few basic how-to's for those of you that are just getting started and need to know how to have conversations-private and public. This information is for those that are using the Twitter web interface, and not a third party application.

If you go to and check my blog post about Twitter, that should also give you some great insight.

Blog post:

To reply to a Tweet, if you hover in the lower right hand corner of the Tweet you are wanting to reply to, there is a small arrow that appears. This puts @ and the persons name in the reply box, you type your message hit send, and it goes to their @replies box. To see people that have replied to you, click on @replies on the right side of your page, and voila! there they are!

For direct messaging (DM), which are private, that person has to be following you. You can DM a couple of ways:

1- Go to that persons profile and on the right side you will see a link that says "message". Click that and type the message, and they will only see it. It will be in their Direct Message tab. 2- Another way is to click the Direct Messages tab on your profile, and select a name from your list of friends, select the person you want to DM, type your 140 characters, and hit send!

When you Tweet either an @ reply or a general message, the entire Twitter network can see it. That is one of the awesome things about Twitter! It's a great PR tool. If you want to have a private conversation just make sure it's in the form of a direct message!

You can also use your phone to text message Tweets. From your profile, click the Settings link.
From there, click the Devices tab. Enter the information, and your
phone is now set up to send and receive messages! You will get a text from Twitter confirming your phone number. Be sure to save that number in your phone as "Twitter" so that you don't forget the number and can Tweet when you are away from your computer!

A tool that I use A LOT is the Shareaholic FireFox add-on.
If you download this add-on, you'll be able to share links without having to visit Twitter, you don't have to worry about shortening the links with Tinyurl or, it does it for you! It is a must for those of you that enjoy social bookmarking or link sharing via Twitter.

Hope this helped!

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, December 1, 2008

Today is World AIDS Day (#WAD08)

Facing AIDS - World AIDS day 2008

Today, bloggers take time out to research and write about a global pandemic: AIDS.

In the world, there are over 33 million people living with HIV. In the United States, there are over 1 million people with it. There is no cure. There is no vaccine to prevent AIDS. The only thing you can do is be aware of how it is transmitted and protect yourself.

Do you want to contribute to finding a cure? has some great programs listed. Also, before making normal purchases, including your daily Starbucks, check out Product Red to see if any of your purchased can be made through their partners that offer contributions toward finding a cure.

Use your social networks to help you stay informed on progresses made, and what you can do to help;
MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook all have campaigns.

And most importantly, GET TESTED!!!!!!! Click here to find a testing location nearest you.

Sphere: Related Content

Skydeck Helps You Charge For Your PhoneTime

How many phone calls a day do you make? Are the majority of the phone calls to or from your clients? If so, you should check out a free application called Skydeck.

Skydeck allows you to upload your cell phone bill details and edit each number. How does this help? Well, each time your bill lists a text message or cell phone number that you have entered a contact or company name for, you are able to see how much time you are spending on the phone with them, and if your company is one that bills for phone time as well as actual project time, this will provide you with a great way to track and bill for your phone time!

It also integrates with Freshbooks (which I LOVE), to help you with figuring up how much you are owed, as well as Dial2Do which allows you to import Gmail or Outlook contacts, and your top 100 Skydeck contacts and utilize the talk to text or email functionality to save you typing time and keep you safe on the road!

Sphere: Related Content