Social Media related posts

Are You In Banking, Medical or Insurance? Don’t Get Left Behind.

Post written by Jason Terry, Entrepreneur | Social Coach | Web Developer | Scuba Instructor | Guitar Player | Cruise Traveler | Lego Collector

JasonMany people would agree that Banking, Medical and Insurance are verticals that are generally behind the curve when it comes to keeping up with social tools and techniques. There are good and bad reasons for this reality. 

A good reason is the fact that these industries have compliance and regulatory issues to pay attention to. They have to be careful what they say in their marketing efforts, or risk being slapped with hefty fines. HIPAA and FINRA are just two of the organizations that dictate what these kinds of companies can say.

The bad reasons are statements like, “I don’t have time.”, “I don’t care what people are having for lunch.”, or “We don’t want our competitors to know who our clients are.”  These statements, and so many others that we hear on a regular basis, are an educational issue. 

If people understood the importance of being social in their business or practice, they would make time for it. 

If they understood that LinkedIn is a fantastic way to stay in touch with peers and not just a place for people to find jobs, they might change their mind about using LinkedIn more often. Read more

Social Tools, Tips and Tricks

Post written by Jason Terry, Entrepreneur|Social Coach|Shoulder to Cry On|Scuba Instructor|Lego Collector|Bodyguard for the Underdog

I’m sitting down to write this week’s blog article and just saw the date.  January 25th, 2013.  The last thing I remember is putting away decorations and beginning the process of goal setting with our clients for 2013.  What the hell happened to January?  Is it the same for you?  Now for news from Blue Gurus…

2013 – You Will See a Lot More Video

We see video being a bigger deal in 2013. Mic just found an interesting new iPhone App called Vine that lets you easily take short looping videos and post them on Facebook and Twitter.  We are in the process of adding video to our website and we might even go as far as a monthly blog video.  Why?  Video is the most popular way for people to consume content.  Our passion and energy will come out so much better in a video than through text.  We are excited about taking it to the next level!

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How Do You Get People Passionate About Your Business?

Mic Johnson, Blue GurusPost written by Mic Johnson, Social Media Coach|LinkedIn Trainer|WordPress Content Guy|Blog Coach|Rational Optimist|Jayhawk Fanatic|Cancer Volunteer

This week I had a few ideas floating around in my head for the blog, but I thought I’d open it up to our Facebook fans to see if there was anything on their minds that they wanted me to write about. (We always will gladly take your suggestions, btw. This blog, after all, is for YOU.)

Ironically, one of the topics I’d been thinking about lately was one of the suggestions from one of our Facebook fans, an innovative group called Nurses Talk. (You can find their Facebook page here.)

They asked that I write about “How to get people engaged and passionate in your work, product, etc.”

Before I share some of my thoughts, let me tell you a quick story on why I’d been thinking about the topic of passion lately myself. It’s a simple story, really. Jason and I had a FANTASTIC meeting recently with a new prospect. We talked about a new web site, we talked about blogging, we talked about technology, we talked about LinkedIn, we talked about Twitter, we talked about corporate culture, and on and on.

It was just one of those fluid conversations that happens when you get awesome people together. One of the owners said more than once: 

“It’s obvious you guys have passion for what you do. You wear it on your sleeves.”

Wow. What a compliment. I’m both humbled and thrilled by it. 

So how do you get people passionate about your brand, product, service, etc?

Unfortunately there is no magic bullet, but here are four things that I know and believe with all of my heart: 

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Beer Bongs and Blurring the Lines

Jason TerryHi friends, this is Jason with our first blog post in 2013, so Happy New Year! (belated.)

I just finished having breakfast at Eggtc. with my buddies from high school.  We meet every month to talk about family, politics, sports, religion, business and doing life well.  It’s a small group, including Chris Arnold, Mitch Flesher, Troy Reynolds, but I like it that way because we have time to get into meaningful conversations. 

Our discussion this morning was a strong reminder of how important my personal and professional relationships are to me!  And then I realized that, in many cases, those are one and the same.

Interesting Advice

Throughout my career, I’ve been told that I should keep my personal life separate, or at least at arms length, from my professional life.  Previous business partners have suggested that I can’t manage effectively if I’m trying to be friends with my team because I won’t be able to hold them accountable (or be the heavy) when I need to. 

I have heard business owners say,  “I don’t want to know too much about my employees personal lives because I wouldn’t want to have to fire them.”  Usually in jest, but always with a hint of seriousness mixed in.  And one of my favorites is, “never let them take a picture of you drinking a beer… it will show up in the KC Business Journal.”

Blurring the Lines

I’ve never agreed with relationship advice that involves putting up walls.  In fact, I’m as “open book” as they come.  As far as business relationships, I want to work with companies and teams of people that I can become friends with.  This mutual respect and ability to be friends first and clients second is the primary reason that I was able to start a company and make a living while getting to do what I enjoy doing most…teaching and helping people.

I often joke that I love to call out the “elephant in the middle of the room.”  If there’s a problem in a relationship, we might as well talk about it and figure out what to do about it.  I’m sure you’ve been in the awkward situation where someone is upset and not talking about it.  This has happened with your spouse, your staff and your clients… probably on a weekly basis involving all three.  It’s so much better (not necessarily easier) to clear the air and you will have stronger relationships as a result.

So back to the three examples I mentioned…

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Happy Birthday To Me! 41 Pieces Of Advice To My 21-Year-Old Self

Mic Johnson, Blue Gurus

This week, October 5th, is my birthday…41 years young. While my genetic blessings are few and far between, I am thankful for the baby face I was given that makes me look at least 20 years younger. Ok, maybe 5 or 6 years younger. 

When you hit, and then surpass, 40, you find yourself reflecting on your life and the future ahead of you that oftentimes seems to have more questions than answers. Some things get easier; others get harder. 

Recently on a visit to see my mom in Wichita, I was sitting on her deck, rocking back and forth on the glider (you don’t get one of these until you hit at least 50), smelling the cool, fresh air on a crisp Fall afternoon,  pondering my life and, of course, my next blog article. That’s when inspiration hit and I started to think of all the things I’ve learned to this point in my life and what I wish I could go back and tell my 21-year-old self. 

With that in mind, below is a list of my 41 pieces of advice to share with him…and you. This list isn’t all inclusive, but it’s a great start. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on what you’ve learned in your life to this point and what other words of wisdom you have for me and others that read this blog. 

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What Two New Clients Said After Their LinkedIn Training Sessions

Mic Johnson, Blue GurusIf you’re a regular reader of the Blue Gurus blog…THANK YOU! We can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate you taking the time to read, comment and share our blogs with friends and colleagues. 
 
We work very hard to keep the focus of our blog on HELPING. That is who we are. It’s in our DNA. It’s built into our culture. That will never change. 
 
It’s in that spirit that we will, from time to time, “put our pens down” and give our clients an opportunity to share their experiences. With that in mind, we recently completed LinkedIn training sessions with two young, energetic, growing companies in Kansas City: Alterra Bank and Optima Worldwide.
 
These companies are made up of great people that “get it” and who are clearly passionate about making a real difference in the lives of their customers. Personally, I can’t be around these types of people enough (remember I have an aversion to people that suck) and these training sessions were invigorating, inspiring, and furthered my optimism of the small business community in Kansas City.

5 Quick And Easy Tips To Be A Social #FAIL

There have been a few things on my mind for the last few months that I just can’t ignore any longer. I’m not writing this to point out any one person or company. It’s more of just a general observation from working in this industry day in and day out. 

We’ve worked with all kinds of businesses across Kansas City. Some of them have had real success being “social”, getting the word out about their business and expertise, blogging, building their business networks, and continuing to work hard to get through this recession and slow recovery. 

But we’ve heard about many other businesses that aren’t doing what it takes to be successful in this modern economy. And a lot of the behaviors are consistent across industries.

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Top 5 Reasons to Get a Paid LinkedIn Account

We provide on-site training for companies and show them how they can use LinkedIn as part of an effective networking and sales strategy.  We hear a lot of common questions, including “Do I need a paid LinkedIn account?”  The answer, as always, is that it depends on how you are planning to use LinkedIn. 

If you are going to use LinkedIn as a professional online profile that allows you to connect to your peers, maybe not.  If you are trying to use LinkedIn as part of your overall networking and sales strategy, I would say absolutely.

There are three types of paid LinkedIn accounts: Business, Business Plus and Executive.

You can see a side by side comparison of the features of the various LinkedIn account types here:
LinkedIn Account Type Comparison (PDF)

For videos on the features of a LinkedIn premium account, click here

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Kenton Brothers

“I so appreciate Jason’s enthusiasm and passion about what they do at Blue Gurus…his years of experience make him a well-rounded valuable resource that is always ready and willing to help.”
– Gina Stuelke, CEO at Kenton Brothers, Inc.

I have done business with Gina Stuelke, President of Kenton Brothers, for many years. Gina approached me about a new website because she trusted me from past experience and knew I would give her the right solution.

The goal was an updated look and feel and being able to easily change the content on the site. WordPress is almost always the right answer for this type of situation and Gina decided to move forward with Blue Gurus!

About the same time that Gina was talking with me about this project, I had done a general “quick tips” LinkedIn Training seminar for the sales team at Kenton Brothers. As a result, she also wanted 1×1 training for her people to help them improve their LinkedIn profiles. She also agreed with the overall strategy of updating their blog weekly and then publishing the links to the blog articles in the status updates of those same employees.

The site was done within 6 weeks and we meet on a monthly basis to add new features and functionality to the site. This highlights one of the powerful features of WordPress: As your needs grow, the tool grows with you. There are literally thousands of plugins and features that extend the functionality of WordPress, which makes it easy to keep your web site fresh and current.

Click here to visit kentonbrothers.com

House Of Diamonds

“From creating a workable website complimenting our company image to integrating our current marketing/advertising strategy with a  social media marketing plan, Jason did it all.  The passion and enthusiasm Jason injects into the project is contagious!  The results are real! I recommend Jason and the Blue Gurus to anyone who is serious about developing and maintaining quality professional relationships!”
– Gene Cullinane, Owner of House of Diamonds

I met Gene Cullinane , Owner of House of Diamonds, when I was buying an engagement ring for Trista.  Gene asked me what I do for a living and was thrilled to hear that Blue Gurus creates WordPress web sites and does social media training.  Gene was excited to hear this because he had gotten complaints for months about his web site and had no easy way to update the look and feel or even the content.  Gene also knew that he needed to get his strategy together on how House of Diamonds was going to start connecting with customers through social media.

We worked with Gene to set up new web hosting, a new WordPress powered web site, trained their staff how to update content on the site, helped them clean up their LinkedIn profiles, and helped update their Facebook company page.  We also worked with Gene, his wife Karen and their staff to set up a weekly content strategy making sure their stories were being shared consistently.  Their postings about custom jewelry (all with great pictures!) are some of their most popular posts.

Gene and I have become good friends and get together socially.  This is something we hope for… meaningful, lasting relationships with our clients.  We never want to be perceived as just a vendor!

Click here to visit mybigrock.com