Santa Clara University

Lecturing at SCU: online social networking as a contemporary business practice

Name a company, professional person, business or brand that you follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or get email newsletters from. How did you come to follow that source and what do you like about being in touch? How do you interact (customer service, community, feedback on product, promos, education, entertainment)? What brand or business are you aware of on social media not doing it well or otherwise making big mistakes? These are some of the questions I asked two business classes at Santa Clara recently.

IMG_4811 In fun, interactive hour and a half sessions, I encouraged the students to become independent scholars on the topic of digital marketing and social networking since it's a topic moving at the speed of light and will never be able to be covered properly at the pace of traditional textbook publishing. IMG_4817

To supplement the student's rudimentary and out of date textbook chapter on this subject -- MySpace was listed first in section about social networks -- I shared my favorite cutting-edge sources for all things social networking and digital marketing:

  • tools like Slideshare and Twitter chats like @MarketingNut Pam Moore's #mktgchat,
  • relevant ters like content marketing, social curation, social discovery and double opt-in, and
  • thought leaders in the space who produce free newsletters, webinars and other content that the students can subscribe to and learn as it happens: Brian Solis, Bryan Kramer,  Jay Baer's ConvinceandConvert, Chris Brogan, Derek Halpern's Social Triggers, Shelly Kramer, ConversationAgent, Chris Garrett, Sonia Simone, Olivier Blanchard, Tara Gentile, Meghan Biro and Brian Clark.

I suggested the students can also make a Twitter list of digital marketing leaders and easily dip into what these players are discussing and with whom.

Thanks for the invitation to lead the digital marketing discussion for two of your business classes, Tanya Monsef Bunger! Your students are inspiring. Several have fledgling businesses, and many are aware consumers watching closely which businesses engage them online in meaningful ways, and which companies are failing to use digital tools to foster closer connection with their market.

Was pleased to be able to award a very participatory student, John, with a signed copy of Porter Gale's Your Network is Your Net Worth. Enjoy it!

And extra thanks to all the students of Contemporary American Business Issues for your participation and feedback, including Cindy, Armand, Jerica, Liv, Anabel, Brynn, Mariam, Meaghan, Alex, Marc, Paulina, Alec, Nicholas, Josalvin, and Ashley.

2014 Marks 2 Years Of Offering The GlobalNiche Program: An Update & Shifting Of Gears

An update from me, my GlobalNiche cofounder Tara Agacayak, and our team member Tanya Monsef Bunger. 

Today over 3000 are taking the course, with 13 study group leaders working to bring the program to their own communities of artisans, expats, servant leaders, writers and academics, and women entrepreneurs.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 10.36.28 AMIt’s been a privilege and a pleasure to have worked full time on this endeavor for the past 24 months.Today we’re excited to share what we’ve achieved -- as well as how we’re shifting gears.

Back in 2009, we envisioned a professional alliance of people connected online sharing ideas and supporting each other’s work.

 

We began speaking to groups about how to use social media to develop professionally by building an online web platform. We conducted on and offline seminars and workshops, masterminds and community-building programs.

By committing to work in community, we evolved the GlobalNiche program as an easy, systematic, iterative way to build a platform for opportunity to happen. We realize that our individual platforms open us up to opportunity -- not by magic, but by connecting us with our global community via the social web.

In the past two years, we’ve won an award for our global community-building methodology, hosted 20+ live web conversations with emerging thought leaders on cutting edge GlobalNiche issues, designed, created and delivered email tutorials, program pilots, a self-study workbook, a high-touch 6-week coaching program, on-demand multimedia programs, 2 online study groups, a peer study group training, supported 3 peer study groups with more on the calendar and published a Kindle handbook. We’ve also provided our platform building tutorial to the Global Tech Women conference, become a LeanIn platform partner, spoken at numerous events and broadened the GlobalNiche network to include women leaders, content creators, social business people and entrepreneurs everywhere. We’re proud to have contributed to, participated in, and added GlobalNiche’s definition and practice to these global life/work movements:

  • every-day entrepreneurial thinking and acting, creative entrepreneurship as a solution for everyone
  • location independence and lifestyle design in populations beyond expats, travelers and life hackers
  • recognition of the importance of digital identity, personal branding, digital footprints and online social networking for personal and professional development
  • re-envisioning the future of work with online collaboration and co-creation
  • the adoption of global communication best practices
  • the tidal wave of online content marketing
  • the rise of the transformational consumer and transformational online communities

Working on GlobalNiche educated us in what it takes to build a business. We’ve gained a new appreciation for what we know, as well as identified gaps in our own knowledge, skills, abilities and experience.

Our early stage founder experience took us into the startup world. We opened and maintained profiles at accelerator and incubator application platforms like Gust.com, Angel.co, and F6s.  We attended founder events, applied to accelerators, got VC training for elevator pitches, learned the investment landscape. We learned about the role of mentors, advisors, and equity positions.

We tried our hand at investor presentations, worked toward that elusive thing called “product-market fit”, learned about choosing vendors, designed logos and website look & feel, investigated shopping cart and affiliate network solutions until we ran screaming in the other direction.

We worked on what seems like a lifetime about brand messaging - writing taglines and elevator pitches on a weekly basis (and still not there yet).

We discovered what it means to be a globally distributed team managing a variety of time zones, test driving collaboration software.

Looking back on all that we’ve achieved and learned, we realize that we’ve reached our 2009 goal of building an online global support alliance. More than that, we developed a curriculum that teaches people the skills they need to do this for themselves.

Now we’re turning the method over -- to you, and to your communities, and to people far beyond those in our current networks -- to let it grow.

2014’s shift toward a community-based movement not only makes the method available to more people but it also allows the founding team to focus on applying what we’ve learned, what we built, and the skills we developed on new projects and in ever wider communities. This is the next chapter for GlobalNiche thinking and methodology. Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 5.03.33 PM Tara is leaving her position with GlobalNiche. She is putting her strategy and analytical skills to work doing market research for a London-based company and she has been contracted as project manager on an upcoming socio-cultural book about Turkey.

Anastasia continues to lead the GlobalNiche movement by holding the vision and on-going operations. She has taken a community-building position in a new social storytelling startup being incubated at RocketSpace in San Francisco. As a speaker and consultant, this spring she’ll be talking about platform at the Exceptional Women In Publishing conference, and leading a workshop with Tanya about the GlobalNiche Method at Women’s Startup Lab.

Tanya is continuing business development related to the GlobalNiche movement. She is working with female founders/entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley to accelerate their businesses and has also accepted a professorship at Santa Clara University where she’s exploring opportunities to use the GlobalNiche curriculum. She will act as director of the Global Fellows program.

As we shift gears, we’re grateful and proud of what we’ve created together, how the GlobalNiche movement continues to support our growth through the principles we’ve established in the program and using social technology.

And as ever, we appreciate being on this journey with you.