Podcasting Roots Run Deep

I’m researching a bit of information for a Social Media Club – Philadelphia talk I’m doing (on podcasting naturally) and couldn’t remember which event I did my “Women in Podcasting” talk at. To my knowledge it’s the first talk of the subject to happen, and I’m THRILLED that more and more convos are taking place around it (women in media/podcasting.)

We have a lot further to go… “Serial” doesn’t *fix* it all.

Lynette Young

Take some time and flip through CC Chapman‘s old Flickr album from PodCamp NYC 2007. So many AMAZING people there. The PodCamp NYC event was the start (or continuation…) of something that would shift digital communications globally. I’d been podcasting for THREE years at that point and an early member of the New Jersey Podcasters Association and created bonds and friendships that are still strong today.

We were fresh faces and brilliant minds not yet aware of the way we’d change the world. Startups and agencies and yet-to-be authors with best selling books. Game changers. Hell, we didn’t change games. We INVENTED them.

My roots are DEEP here. We changed the world. Now it’s your turn to make something meaningful.

How To Suck Less on Valentine’s Day Professionally (and Personally)

Let me make this declaration before you read any further:

I do not like Valentine’s Day.

How To Suck Less On Valentine's DayAs you might expect, there is a reason why I tend to wear black and shy away from people on the 14th of February every year. The story can be wrapped up to say as a very young woman I was dumped two separate years ON Valentine’s Day BY THE SAME GUY because I was naive enough to give him a second chance.

I’m also the type of person that, in the past, attracted romantic partners that appreciated my extremely “low maintenance” personality. They would express joy on how I didn’t require so much as a card on my birthday because previous girlfriends expected flowers, gifts, jewelry and trips on holidays and milestone events. It seemed to my young self I was being taken for granted because of my un-materialistic heart. For a long time I felt that if I truly deserved flowers, candy and gifts I would receive them and should NEVER have to ask. That would be selfish and self-centered to assume I deserved anything.

Silly me.

As my heart matured and my professional personality started becoming a more dominant force in my life, I started seeing patterns from old beaus to new business relationships.

They both sucked.

Boyfriends that didn’t find it necessary to show appreciation (regardless of the form) where replaced with clients who didn’t find it necessary to show appreciation (regardless of the form.) What does that look like you wonder?

I’m not proud to admit that for a long period of my newly-minted entrepreneurship journey in the early 2000’s I was quite willing to take on clients for greatly reduced (and delayed) fees. Blew your entire $30,000 budget on an “expert,” under a crushing deadline, have nothing to show for it and now your job is on the line? Sure, I’ll help out – I really wanted them to “like” me. The thinking was if I could help you save your job, you’d hire me for what I’m worth later on. I’ll let you guess how that inevitably works out…

Okay, I’ll tell you. The boss was thrilled with the work and rehired the “expert” again because my contact swept me under the rug as he was too afraid to tell his boss he made a bad call in the beginning. There was now zero chance of me ever working for that client again – I use the word “client” loosely because I never did get paid, that would have exposed me as the actual talent. After that there were a few very nice lunches and meetings in fancy conference suites that landed me exactly $0 in new work. And never even so much as a “thank you.”

I was professionally “friendzoned” after delivering the goods. (OUCH.)

For a long time I felt that if I truly deserved to actually be compensated fairly and on time for my work I should NEVER have to ask. That would be selfish and self-centered to assume I deserved anything.

Silly me. Again.

It’s no surprise that over the years I’ve come to be quite an observer of personal relationship and professional networking protocols. Mostly I’m intrigued on how closely the habits, rituals, faux pas and successes of one can be gleaned from to help the other.

So, on this overly retail-heavy guilt-ridden day expressly designed to demand love and appreciation, I share with you my thoughts on how to make your Valentine’s Day suck less – both personally and professionally – and it comes down to just ONE thing:

Don’t hold back communicating your love, appreciation and gratitude to just one day a year.

Professional Situation: Don’t “save up” all your communication or attention until you want something from a client or contact.

Professional Solution: Business relationships should be nurtured and cultivated all the time, not just when it’s time for more money. Find ways to reach out and contact not just your current customers (or employer) but your extended network “just because.” How do you do this? LinkedIn, yes. But I’ve found a better way.

Try keeping professionally connected by using a great program I’ve found called Contactually. Find an article about your local Double-A sports team you know the woman you met last spring at a business mixer would love? Email it to her. Send it to her via Twitter. Remind her that you 1) still exist 2) remember her and 3) value keeping in touch even when it’s not with your hand out.

Have top A-Lister contacts you need to make sure you stay top of mind with even if you aren’t currently working with them? Take a peek at the calendar reminder list in the personal section below for some ideas. While I’m NOT suggesting you send a sexy note to a business contact, I am suggesting you think about reaching out above and beyond digital communication. Need ideas? How about:

  1. Sending a fruit or snack basket to your contact and their TEAM
  2. Offering up a set of sport or entertainment tickets
  3. Making a donation to an organization they support in their name
  4. Writing an old-fashioned hand written note and put a real stamp on it
  5. Taking them – including their partner or spouse – to dinner

Need more pointers on how to properly grow and feed your network? Check out Jessica Levin’s new book (aptly for sale on Valentine’s Day) Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People. Above all else, give to others first without expecting anything in return. Ever.

Personal Situation: Giving flowers, candy or presents (or saying “I love you”) ONLY on Valentine’s Day.

Personal Solution: In my opinion this could be construed as “forced appreciation.” You run the risk of the recipient feeling that you are ONLY participating because the Hallmark and Kay Jewelers commercials say you HAVE to. It’s really no way to grow and thrive in a relationship. Of course there are plenty of ways to show you care for someone OTHER than flowers and gifts. The point here is that if your partner desires and appreciates these things (such as an occasional bouquet of flowers or an unexpected “I love you”) then you need to find a way to do it.

What if your partner IS the type of person that appreciates random tokens and reminders of your affection (and there is NOTHING wrong with wanting someone to treat you this way, I will have no shaming here thank-you-very-much) and you are about as excited to do this as stripping wallpaper? How do you meet in the middle?

First, set a recurring reminder in your calendar for an odd number of days, say 11 or 19 or 29 or 41, so it doesn’t appear completely calculated (like the first of every month or every other Friday.) In that calendar reminder keep a list of  ‘spontaneous’ events like:

  1. Sending flowers (not just roses)
  2. Texting sweet emoji-filled messages
  3. Planning a ‘date-in’ night (a great sci-fi movie, a bottle of red and a cheese plate that takes up the largest serving platter I own is top on my list)
  4. Hiding a steamily-worded sticky note where only they will find it
  5. Planning a weekend getaway that you can choose from

The idea is to break out of the routine of saying “I love you….can you put away the laundry” or “it’s the third Friday of the month, I guess we should go out.” If your partner absolutely HATES the idea of any of these things then I would assume (or HOPE) that you would take that to heart. Not everyone wants or appreciates physical gifts, but I’m pretty confident that everyone wants to be made to feel loved and appreciated by the people they care about.

In my own experience I would rather receive nothing on Valentine’s Day than ONLY get those things on Valentine’s Day (it feels forced, and again, I’m still carrying a bit of guilt that if I deserved it I would receive it.)

Summary: Gift don’t have to cost anything. Real romance isn’t about giving – or receiving – gifts and it should not be “saved up” for or begrudgingly given on February 14th. Real business relationships aren’t about only calling on them when your hand is out. The effort counts, trust me.

Better yet, buy YOURSELF those things not only on Valentine’s Day (but really, I mean the day AFTER because it’s all on clearance) and all the times during the year you feel that you deserve or desire it. And professionally, ask for what you want and accept nothing less. If that means payment up front, or a raise, or acknowledgment – tell those you interact with what you want.

Hoping someone (professionally or personally) will figure out what you want is unrealistic to them and disappointing to you.

Don’t gauge your value on someone else’s ability to demonstrate appreciation to you. (Click to Tweet!)

For the record, I WISH I could fall head over heels in love with the idea of Valentine’s Day. While it would be great to get a few dozen roses, a massive box of candy and a weekend trip (dear heavens someplace WARM!) on February 14th, I would much rather get small tokens often throughout the year. I’m going to take my own advice and set a calendar reminder for every 16 days and do something amazing for myself… and that starts tomorrow when all the candy is on 80% clearance!


About Lynette: Lynette focuses in working in the digital media marketing space specializing in B2B, Technology & Lifestyle Brands. She is a professional speaker and entrepreneur coach.

Brand New Beginnings

I have pretty big professional news to announce. Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of people I know announce new positions at great companies, and today is that day for me.

After leaving “corporate” life in 1999 and founding Purple Stripe Productions in 2006, I have made the decision to take the leap to full time employment. The industry I have thrived working in – digital marketing and social technologies – has significantly matured over the last few years. In order for me to continue to stay ahead of the curve, it was right time for me to move on as a solopreneur at Purple Stripe Productions. I am happy to announce I am now working at AWeber Communications as the new Content Marketing Manager.

Now that the big ta-daa! announcement is done I can chat a bit about where my professional future is headed. Why did I leave my own company? Why AWeber? What will I be doing at AWeber? Who should you work with if I’m not taking Purple Stripe projects any longer? It took me quite some time to come up with the answers to those questions and I’m happy to share with you what I know.

Why did I leave my own company?

Because it was time. Think back to what “social media” and “digital marketing” was back in 1997. I know, you are thinking it didn’t exist, but it did. That’s when I first started moonlighting from my corporate job (network engineer) and built blogs, email lists, message boards (BBS), and learned how to market small businesses on the Internet. Times have changed, and the same type of clients that would hire me as a consultant to get them involved in digital marketing now have internal teams or working with outside agencies. It had gotten to a point, for me, that I was spending much too much time on getting business and not working on business. Could I have “staffed up” and become a proper agency myself? Sure. But that isn’t the path I wanted. What I realized I was missing was the ability to work on a project and stay working on the project. Normally once things were running smoothly and the staff trained, I transitioned out and never got to see the end result.

After a long process of looking at what I wanted to do, I narrowed down the type of role that I wanted to pursue for a full time position. That left me with a good deal of companies to think about, but there was still something missing from my list. What I really wanted was to find a company that fit my core beliefs on how a company should be run, and how well they treat their employees and customers. In addition, it was critical to find a company that fit into my “professional comfort zone” of marketing, technology, and small businesses. The list was narrowed to exactly ONE company. AWeber Communications.

Why AWeber? What will I be doing at AWeber?

The “why” work for this particular company is a really easy answer, it is an AWesome company (no lie). Besides, my history with AWeber actually goes back pretty far. Years ago I was a co-organizer for PodCamp Philly and AWeber stepped up and was one of our first sponsors. The PodCamp team used the email marketing platform to build and grow our email list both locally and globally. I’ve seen the company grow over the years and move through several buildings just to keep up with the staff increases. I’ve also seen how their customers have grown their own businesses using AWeber email marketing solutions. Now that I’m working at AWeber, I’ve seen how every single team member practices what they preach(The slide and cafeteria in the building don’t hurt either…)

Being that I’ve only been at my new job a week, it’s a bit premature to say exactly what I’ll be doing in the role. As Content Marketing Manager my primary focus will be to help small business owners learn as much as they can about AWeber’s email marketing platform and use it in a productive and profitable way to grow their own business. If you are a business that wants to learn how to leverage the power of email marketing then I highly recommend taking a look at my company’s blog and resource guides. We are here to help!

Who should you work with if I’m not taking Purple Stripe projects any longer?

Since I’m no longer “on the market” (my husband of 14 years would agree as well) I wanted to give recommendation for other companies to contact in my professional absence. I’ve worked with the founders of both companies and have no reservations pointing you their way.

  • True Voice Media: Jeff and his team is the best place I can think to recommend to anyone wanting to work with a team that offers similar services (and results) to what Purple Stripe has offered.
  • Double Good MediaIf you are looking for copywriting with focus and purpose, my friends at Double Good Media are the digital scribes for you.

What’s Next?

The sky’s the limit! I’m excited about a new chapter in my professional career, new responsibilities, a new team, and the opportunity to work for a company that values small businesses and wants to help them become successful. I’m expecting bumps in the road with my ability to juggle my previously very accessible social media presence with the responsibilities of my new job, but Twitter is a pretty sure-fire way to get my attention! You can also keep a lookout for me on the AWeberLife Tumblr or follow #AWeberLife on Twitter.

Other questions that seem to be popping up are:

  1. The book I’m in the process of writing “The Most Important Content Marketing Question EVER” is still on track for this summer
  2. I will remain co-owner of my husband’s company ClaimWizard and help as the Sorceress of Marketing & Education
  3. I may entertain doing speaking engagements outside of AWeber only if they serve a higher purpose within the women entrepreneur and technology space (chances are these will align with AWeber so feel free to contact me regardless)
  4. No, I haven’t been down the slide yet, but I am sure I’ve already gained the AWeber 15 from the amazing cafeteria

Thanks so much to everyone that has cheered me on during this journey, it’s been one wild ride!

The last thing I have to say is… Yes, AWeber is hiring!

.

Social Media Marketing World San Diego 2014

Social Media Marketing World  2014

I’m excited to be heading to San Diego California (again!!) to present at Social Media Marketing World 2014 (Virtual Ticket now available) for a session on Google+. I will be in town from March 26-28, 2014 and hope to see you at the event!

How to Build a Strong Google+ Presence in Only 30 Days

Are you wondering how to get started with Google+ without headaches or mistakes? Are you looking to take your Google+ marketing to the next level? In this session, Lynette Young, author of Google+ for Small Business, reveals a step-by-step actionable plan to get your business successfully running with Google+. You’ll discover how to use the many functions of Google+ so you experience real results, real fast!

 

 

 

* Affiliate link used for Social Media Marketing World. If you would rather use a non-affiliate link to purchase a ticket, please click here.

Keynote Speaker at New Media Expo Vegas 2014

It’s GO time! Now that the holidays are over, I can turn my attention to New Media Expo – I’m the opener keynote on Saturday (no pressure).

My plan at New Media Expo is to share stories and what experience I have about working in new/digital media for 25 years, what it takes (and means) to be an “overnight success” … and why that idea is complete bunk.

While some might know me for my Google/+ knowledge, many of you have known me longer than the past 2.5 years. Maybe you remember my work Mar/Tech with MySpace, Second Life, Blogging, Podcasting… or maybe even enterprise technology. Maybe you’ve seen me talk at any of the nearly 100 events I’ve attended in the past two years alone. But let’s be completely honest, you probably have never heard of me and never seen me speak. But you know what? That’s okay. I work under the waterline, in the trenches, behind the scenes. With you. Gettin’ it done.

Want to connect at New Media Expo? Email me at media@purplestripe.com or find me on Twitter. Find my New Media Expo schedule online: http://newmediaexpo2014.sched.org/LynetteRadio (subject to change, of course!)

Keynote Description

The Myth of the “Overnight Success” : How to Build an Iceberg in 25 Years or Less

NMX Keynote Notes Lynette YoungThere is a myth in the online space about lucky people that become an “overnight success” out of nowhere. It’s bunk. Or more specifically, an iceberg. However you look at it, it takes a lot more than showing up to the party to achieve success. Lynette Young has been a technology and marketing professional for 25 years, one of the earliest bloggers and podcasters, and now a huge Google+ fan. Find out how it took her so long to become an “overnight success” – including how to dig deep and find your own version of instant stardom.

 

UPDATE: Seen.co has a great compliation of the Twitter stream of content around the keynote. Thank you again to New Media Expo’s amazing team and to every person that attended. You are all my 90%.