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How To Become Your Own North Star On The Internet

We're all digital strategists now.

 

In fact, if you aren't thinking deeply about how and where and with whom you appear and interact on the web, you need to start.

Today. You can and should be using your online presence as a 21st century life & work skill to connect with relevant people, information you need and enriching opportunities. I'm going to help, so you can get started today. (And the resources I'm sharing with you are completely free, so if you want to buy something you'll have to go find a different post.) I've been saying all of this for years. Doing it for years. As a content and digital publishing specialist, I've been showing people how to use their own content to connect purpose and action in digital spaces, for 5 years, both in private and group coaching environments. Along with Tara Agacayak and Tanya Monsef Bunger, I built a curriculum at GlobalNiche, a social web training company that's now shifting into an empowered digital life movement, so you can do it on your own, or in groups, wherever you are and whoever you are and whatever you do. If you are a person active online, this training will ask you the strategic questions you need to be thinking about. If you're not yet active or don't love being online, this will help you figure out what makes sense for you. Our combined 25 years of experience, including major expatriate life and work challenges, forced us to tap our backgrounds in culture, info tech, media & psychology to create this network-activating system using the backbone of the social web. We've used this method to survive. No matter who or where you are, you can use it to thrive.

I'm now making that training perfectly free, so you can take advantage of all our guidance immediately.

 

Want to learn how? It's my gift to you! Start by downloading the handbook

 

  When you download this powerful free handbook you're going to start to transform what you do, how you do it and with whom. This repeatable, dynamic six-step method will help you become your own North Star on the Internet and bring you closer to the people and things you care about. You'll emerge with inspiration, direction and confidence:

    • a vision that lights you up and goals you can measure
  • a do-able plan and digital skills you need
  • and a practice and peer group you can rely on to keep going

 

 

Here's what people who've done it say:

    • "I felt I couldn’t catch up. The way GlobalNiche describes social media – it’s about using technology to communicate naturally – clicked for me." ~ paralegal
  • “Opened my eyes to my own assets. It has given me the confidence to bet on myself.” ~ work-at-home parent
  • “I doubled my Twitter presence just by learning about good Twitter etiquette.” ~ scriptwriter
  • “I’m blown away by the possibilities. I now have an action plan. I feel a huge shift in my life." ~ academic
  • "For people who are wondering if what they have to say is valuable.” ~ financial officer
  • "Helped me to recognize and own how I am being virtually “seen” and make positive and educated changes." ~ landscape contractor

 

With this non-dogmatic foundational method you'll:

    • uncover the real value you've already created: by taking inventory of what you've been doing, detecting the patterns in your activities, gaining insight into what you're drawn to
  • put your mountain of natural resources to work for you: by acknowledging all that you’ve created and use it to gain insight into who you are and who you want to be
  • show the world how you make sense: by linking what you've done in the past & are doing today with your wider goals
  • recognize that you need to become visible to meet people you want to collaborate with, work for, hire
  • combine who you are and where you want to go with the tools available to express yourself
  • make empowered, focused decisions about how to operate online
  • go beyond managing your reputation online to using social media to represent your best self
  • meet and enter conversations with your peers, mentors and customers on the web
  • get recognized by authorities & peers in your field, recruiters, the media
  • identify how to use existing materials as building blocks for future projects
  • identify new ways to use social media, which platforms work for you (and which do not), and how to use those platforms to your advantage
  • express yourself with the best social web tools available, including how to use Google+, Quora, ScoopIt and Storify to your benefit
  • gain a new understanding of the best social media and content management and strategy tools, formats, methods to try
  • establish an interactive calling card at a site like About.me
  • learn best practices for blogging frameworks like WordPress and Thesis, blogging services like Twitter and Tumblr, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram
  • learn best uses of video and slideshow sites like Animoto, YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, email service providers
  • grasp a new perspective on yourself as a content creator, realize the energy you generate around your interests IS content
  • publish, record, remix, repackage, reformat your content
  • design and implement a do-able plan with small steps to get your creations into global circulation in alignment with your larger goals

 

Want more?

If you want more guidance, get the free multimedia curriculum which expands on the handbook with video coaching and other materials. You'll have lifetime access to the self-paced course, 24/7, on all your devices. I'm making that entire program perfectly free for you, so join with a friend and do it together! 4,700 people already cashed in this free coupon to get connected & effective. Did you? Let me know how you're liking it!

SEO Yourself By Filling Out Your GooglePlus Profile

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 5.28.42 PM

Your G+ profile page is a web-wide cheat sheet for you & everyone else.

 

And when it’s time to update your avatar, your bio, your tagline, or whenever you’ve got fresh content to share, it'll help you remember where you are online too.

By hot linking all the places you need to update you’ll make your task so much easier. Since your G+ profile is prioritized by the Google search engine, when someone searches for you, they’ll also find all the other places you exist online too.

That's from my latest guest post for Jan Gordon's Curatti: Editors of Chaos.

I've been writing a weekly series about online community building at this social business and marketing site. My posts so far have incorporated aspects of curation, storytelling, branding, content strategy, conversation, cocreation, collaboration, discoverability, persuasion, fascination and engagement -- as well as highlighting best practices and work of industry figures I see leading the way.

Some of my Curatti guest posts:

A Simple Strategy For Building A Global Network Isn't About You. Your Plan Has To Make The Network A No-Brainer For Its Users -- Not Its Builder

Which one of these is a 'simple' strategy for building a global network of people who have a range of digital abilities: a pervasive, cohesive presence with many online doors -- or one room in graveyard of the web?

Which one of these is a ‘simple’ digital strategy (true story!) of an organization that aims to build a global network from a millions-strong list of women it’s loosely associated with:

  • a pervasive, cohesive presence across multiple social networking services, a community with free flow of information -- with windows into other related rooms of your peers and corridors you can go down if and when you are ready, willing, able, that is, when are you motivated and enabled to connect and pursue what appeals to you about this gathered community,
  • OR, one room on a service known for not-loving its group functionality, a service littered with the skeletons of well-intentioned groups, a room that is 'easy' to open?

When you find yourself looking for a simple strategy to connect all your important people so they can finally get off an inert list of names and start to build closer ties, so you can ambiently be aware of your peers on a consistent basis, so you all can see each other and learn what everyone is up to, so you recognize your commonalities and your opportunities to collaborate, and so you can TAKE ACTION on your shared goals using the cost-effective, labor-saving, reach-amplifying online communication tools available in 2013, ask yourself this.

Simple for whom?

Is your plan simple for you, the community builder? Or is it simple for the community waiting to happen?

Mashable Lifestyle Features My Social Media Advice To College Students Applying To Grad School

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 12.47.35 PMThanks Mashable Lifestyle -- part of the Mashable news site for the connected generation, one of the largest blogs on the Internet-- for featuring my social media advice to college students in your new weekly Twitter chat on the digital life! Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 12.52.26 PM

Other guidance for college students applying I shared during the live tweeted #mashadvice column this week:

 

  • demo via social media (activities, blogs, commentary) strengths you'd include in your application
  • besides showing interest in a topic via social, also show *engagement* (what you DO about it)
  • Twitter, LI, any service: what's findable should reflect you/path you're on, match up w/what you present in applications
  • think about using Pinterest to create portfolios of your work (actual, or imagined-future), curate your vision
  • photos can be used as complement: to create atmosphere, demo aesthetic, show history

On the GlobalNiche Bookshelf: Global Dexterity. Reinventing You. The Impact Equation.

GlobalNiche bookshelf: Global Dexterity by Andy Molinsky

Building your global niche is a 21st century skill. For work. For life.

International business, human resources, the future of life & work bestsellers and new releases from Harvard Biz Review are stacking up on our bookshelf at Pinterest.

 

Finding cultural effectiveness. Career reinvention through social media and your own content. Achieving impact via your platform and social networks. Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset.

These are all GlobalNiche mainstays going mainstream. Click here to tweet about this.

What does it mean to be a global worker and a true "citizen of the world" today? asks author Andy Molinsky in Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behavior across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process.

It means you're able to adapt your behavior to conform to new cultural contexts without losing your authentic self.

"Not only is this difficult, it's a frightening prospect for most people and something completely outside their comfort zone," writes Molinsky, an associate professor at Brandeis University's International Business School. He straddles the psychology and organizational behavior departments.

"What's needed now," he claims, "is a critical new skill: global dexterity."

 

Global dexterity? It's what we do here.

 

GlobalNiche is global dexterityGlobalNiche is global dexterity

 

This critical 21st century skill is exactly what we've been pioneering at GlobalNiche and expat+HAREM group blog and the Expat Harem book before it, as we have striven to make the limbo state and high cultural stakes of expatriate life a strength instead of a weakness. How to navigate your surroundings in culturally appropriate ways while also honoring the truth of who you are. That's global dexterity. Thanks to Andy Molinsky for the term. Back in 2009 we couldn't find many people talking about it at all, so we came up with our own term: "psychic location independence."

At GlobalNiche we've also come to the conclusion that this approach to a dexterous, global version of yourself  increasingly works for people everywhere, whether you're 'actually global' or not. You might be in your own backyard and need to navigate your surroundings in culturally appropriate ways and have your own, distinct truth to honor. You might not have a passport but can still benefit from becoming a global operative. In fact, being globally aware and globally functional has become an imperative in today's connected world.

 

GlobalNiche bookshelf: Reinventing You by Dorrie Clark

"Use social media to build connections" is one of seven steps branding expert Dorrie Clark lays out to reinvent yourself professionally, in  Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future.

"Show what you know" is another of Clark's steps. She suggests you use your content to show the world what you care about.

Again, sound familiar? It should. Using your content online and off to get where you want to go is exactly how you build your global niche. It's why the GlobalNiche program at its heart is about content strategy. Your content and your online presence is the key to creating your place in the world.

Another title that is particularly useful for people building online presences to reach offline goals is The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Brogan is a favorite of ours here at GlobalNiche.

 

GlobalNiche bookshelf: The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

The impact of our ideas is a function of the quality and similarity-but-distinction of the ideas, our ability to reach people and be understood, trusted, appreciated.

 

Impact = C x (R + E + A + T + E)

C = Contrast – having ideas similar to existing ideas, yet different enough to stand out

R = Reach – connecting higher numbers of people to your idea

E = Exposure – knowing how frequently you connect people to your ideas

A = Articulation – ensuring that your ideas are easily understood

T = Trust – based on multiple factors, such as credibility and reliability

E = Echo – connecting to your community in a personal way

As Brogan explained in a fun January 2013 Twitter chat I participated in (#BizBookChat a virtual book club for the actionable books community by Alyssa Burkus), "The Impact Equation is about how to turn your goals into ideas, & how to get those ideas absorbed and actions taken."

 

To build a platform, Brogan says, "you've got to find how you can best tell the story and where you can reach the people you hope to reach."

 

"Start where you are," Brogan counseled us in the fast-moving Twitter chat. "But look for growth. Move your chips to the next table. Strive to reach who you need to reach."

Start where you are. That's your only option. Oh, and start your evolution today.

GlobalNiche bookshelf: The Finch Effect by Nacie Carson

 

Evolution is exactly what Nacie Carson urges in The Finch Effect: The Five Strategies to Adapt and Thrive in Your Working Life. The Portfolio.com blogger and founder of TheLifeUncommon.net says it's your best bet in today's high-pressure economy.

Traditional career strategies spell professional extinction, she writes, but the fluid new gig economy offers tremendous potential for anyone willing to adapt.

Carson's five steps for ensuring professional success are all part of the GlobalNiche mindset and skill set.

  • Adopt a gig mindset.
  • Identify your value.
  • Cultivate your skills.
  • Nurture your social network.
  • Harness your entrepreneurial energy.

Among many other notable titles on the shelf about navigating the world today is Mitch Joel's Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends On It. I hope to tackle this sometime soon. In the meantime, tell us which books on your shelf echo these 21st century life and work skills.

 

Using Pinterest As An Author

Literary agent Amanda Luedeke posted at Jane Friedman's blog about using Pinterest as an author. Anastasia Ashman's memoir in progress at PinterestHere's how I use Pinterest as an author.

I have a board for a memoir WIP which is a way to keep it active as a project (and something others can peek into the themes of) even when I am not writing.

Here's what I pin.

Comparable titles. Images of people who remind me of characters. Expressions and sayings that capture major themes. Images that capture what it feels like to be writing the book.

 

I have pinned news items and fashion pictures that would be of interest to my subject (my best friend, who's deceased).

I have pins of settings in the story, and figures she liked and things she'd be interested in today.

In this way, the project is alive. The subject is alive. The whole thing can be interacted with, now, before it has been published.

And, the transmedia storytelling is taking place right now.

How Pinterest Is More Like Twitter And Less Like Facebook

A fellow transmedia storyteller I encouraged to try Pinterest just let me know I am "flooding her stream so she has to unfollow".

I imagine an active bout of pinning by anyone you follow will put a flood of images into your timeline. That's the nature of the beast.

If you follow too few people or too few boards, you'll probably be like this woman, wanting people to post less so you don't suddenly see a ton of images of one topic or from one pinner if what you want is more variety in your timeline. (Algorithmically, perhaps, like you might expect at Facebook.)

But the beauty of Pinterest is the customizability (for instance, you can follow a pinner's specific pinboard rather than all of that pinner's activity).

And this isn't Facebook where one might be right to worry you're becoming a nuisance (to the limited numbers and strong tie relationships of most people's Facebook accounts) by posting every five minutes.

The reason we're on Pinterest is to pursue our interests -- it's a network of weak ties based on interests -- it's not connect to people we happen to know (nor are we concerned on Pinterest with making people we happen to know think we are behaving non-annoyingly on Pinterest).

The reputation I generate on Twitter or Pinterest is going to be about the quality and subject matter of what I share and interact with. I'm much less inclined at those services than at Facebook about whether what I pin or share pleases the people who follow me. That's for them to decide and adjust as necessary. But telling me not to do it, or do it less, however indirectly? Nope. Just go.

This is the exploration of my interests. You can come along if you want, but I won't be curtailing my pinning because someone who follows me can't figure out how to handle it.

Much like at Twitter, at Pinterest I usually favorite images at a fast pace then add them to my boards/share them with my followers at a much slower rate. And I consume much more than I produce. I still may post more than you can handle. At Twitter, I put high volume accounts on a list I can dip into so they don't overwhelm my feed. Pinterest could certainly use more flexibility in this area.