Monthly Meeting

The Breakfast Club NJ Presents: “Money Saving Strategies during a Career Transition: Health Insurance, Taxes, College Costs, and Investment Fees”
Presented by Bill LaChance

Saturday November 11th, at 8:00am ET

Synopsis:

Please share this with other groups you may be in. Join us on Meetup.com at: http://www.meetup.com/The-Breakfast-Club-NJ/ to RSVP for the meeting.

RSVP

Presentation:

“Money Saving Strategies during a Career Transition: Health Insurance, Taxes, College Costs, and Investment Fees”

Bill explains
This presentation will cover a number of strategies to consider to help with cash flow during a career transition. The focus will be on those strategies that may not be well known or understood. Topics will include: Medical Insurance through the Affordable Care Act, tax implications of 401k/403b rollovers and withdrawals, tax deductibility of job hunting expenses and strategies to take advantage of shifting marginal tax rates during a transition.

About the Speaker:
Bill LaChance

Bill LaChance is an independent financial advisor based in Chatham NJ. Bill offers a unique flat fee program and focuses his practice those going through or contemplating a career transition. Prior to launching his financial planning practice, Bill spent twenty two years in corporate finance in the retail industry and before that was a CPA with a large accounting firm. Bill has a B.S. in Accounting from Bryant University, an MBA in Finance from Indiana University and completed the Financial Planning Certificate program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Bill is also an Enrolled Agent authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS and also provides tax consulting and preparation services.

Bill can be reached at 973-216-8748 or you can visit his website at http://wjladvisors.com

About the Meeting:

Networking begins at 7:30 am, meeting starts promptly at 8:00 am.

There is a $10 fee at the door to cover the cost of the room.

Be sure to tell your friends and bring them along. Be a part of our growing network of Job Seekers, Hiring Managers, Recruiters, Career Coaches, and people who want to be able to help themselves and each other.

Event Location:

Days Hotel Conference Center

195 Rt. 18 South, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

732-828-6900

Meeting Format:

7:30 to 8:00 – Registration & Open Networking

8:00 to 8:15 – Welcome and housekeeping

8:15 to 9:15 – Presentation by the guest speaker – Limited to 60 minutes

9:15 to 10:15 – Elevator Pitch – 30 Seconds about yourself, who you are, what you are looking for, target companies (3-4), how we can help you, how you can help others. Follow the rule of the Three B’s of Public Speaking: Be informative; Be brief; Be seated.

10:15 until you choose to leave – Open Networking, follow up with people you are interested in meeting following their elevator pitch, exchange business cards, peruse the library, arrange follow up meetings, etc.

The Breakfast Club NJ – 10 Points for Good Member Citizenship

1) Attend meetings regularly to keep group strong and help pay back to others (meeting logistics on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)

2) Keep anti-virus on your machine up to date and run scan regularly

3) Review messages and if request for assistance please help whenever possible

4) Once you have received your invitation and joined our linked in group, connect to other members directly(questions see Gerry Peyton -gpeyton@ptd.net)

5) Join groups Facebook group, Google +, and connect to other members directly (questions see Adrienne Roman – adrienne1204@optonline.net)

6) Join groups twitter account (questions see George Pace – keeppace@gmail.com)

7) If you run across someone in transition invite them to join our group and sponsor them through process (details on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)

8) Sunday mornings listen to our radio show, “Your Career Is Calling”, at 8am ET either on radio at 107.7 or via internet 24/7 live or on demand at www.1077thebronc.com (as this is a call in show your calls help make it successful)

9) If you are in transition put your elevator pitch in writing to group, ask for help with job search issues or connecting to people at target companies, regularly post job opportunities (from email you joined the group – send email to thebreakfastclubnj@yahoogroups.com)

10) Help fellow members whenever possible

  1. Attend meetings regularly to keep group strong and help pay back to others (meeting logistics on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)
  2. Keep anti-virus on your machine up to date and run scan regularly
  3. Review messages and if request for assistance please help whenever possible
  4. Once you have received your invitation and joined our linked in group, connect to other members directly(questions see Gerry Peyton -gpeyton@ptd.net)
  5. Join groups Facebook group and connect to other members directly (questions see Adrienne Roman – adrienne1204@optonline.net)
  6. Join groups twitter account (questions see George Pace – keeppace@gmail.com)
  7. If you run across someone in transition invite them to join our group and sponsor them through process (details on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)
  8. Sunday mornings listen to our radio show, “Your Career Is Calling”, at 8am ET either on radio at 107.7 or via internet 24/7 live or on demand at www.1077thebronc.com (as this is a call in show your calls help make it successful)
  9. If you are in transition put your elevator pitch in writing to group, ask for help with job search issues or connecting to people at target companies, regularly post job opportunities (from email you joined the group – send email to thebreakfastclubnj@yahoogroups.com)
  10. Help fellow members whenever possible

RSVP

We look forward to seeing everyone let’s make this a great meeting for our members that are in transition and welcome those that have landed

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Keeping Safe from Computer Hacking

Computer hacking is identifying weaknesses in computer systems or networks, and to exploit those weaknesses to gain access. People who engage in computer hacking activities are called hackers. While many hack out of simple intellectual curiosity, some have less noble motives and are interested to steal or change information, or conduct destructive activities.

Who Are the Hackers?
Computer hacking is very common among teenagers and young adults, although there are many older hackers as well. Many hackers are true technology buffs who enjoy learning more about how computers work and consider computer hacking a kind of “art” form. They often enjoy programming and have expert-level skills in one particular technology. Their intentions are not nefarious.

Some hackers are professionals hired by organizations or governments. Their role is essentially to commit acts of espionage or disruption against other organizations or governments.

Some companies actually hire computer hackers as part of their technical staff. These individuals use their skills to find flaws in the company’s security system so that they can be repaired quickly. In many cases, this type of computer hacking helps prevent criminal hackers from gaining access to the company’s system.

Why Hackers Hack
Hackers hack because they can. For some hackers, breaking into someone’s computer is simply a challenge. They may not specifically intend to do damage to the computer. The thrill of simply gaining access is often enough. Some are eager to gain notoriety by demonstrating they can defeat a computer system. While others have criminal intentions, such as stealing information which they can sell or to cause damage systems.

What I need to Protect from Hackers
You need to protect your data. If your computer is hacked and the contents of the hard drive are deleted or destroyed, you can always reinstall the operating system and other programs. Your data is most important, and you must protect that accordingly.

Ways to Prevent Hacking

  1. Update your operating and other software from the manufacturer frequently, if not automatically. This keeps hackers from accessing your computer through vulnerabilities in outdated programs.
  2. Download up-to-date security programs and associated security definition files, including antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware.
  3. Implement a strong password policy:
    • Use the 8+4 rule for your passwords. That is, the minimum length of your password should be 8 characters. Plus, include at least 1 of each character in these 4 categories:
      • Upper-case letters
      • Lower-case letters
      • Numbers
      • Special characters (e.g. !, @, #, $…)
    • Change your passwords often – about every 60 days.
    • NEVER share your account user ID or password with anyone.
  4. Use 2-step authentication for any online service that offers it:
    • The first step is entering your user ID and password.
    • The second step is that the service you just logged into will send you a random code to your personal device (e.g. phone, tablet, or laptop). Once you receive the code, you will enter that in the appropriate place on the screen. That means a hacker would need both your user ID & password and your personal device to access your account. Adding two-step verification adds only a little time to your log-in process, and could potentially save you a lot of trouble.
  5. Look out for suspicious emails. A lot of hacking attacks are performed through malicious email. “Phishing” sends victims seemingly innocuous emails that will lead victims to fake websites asking to update their personal information. Check the email address from the sender to see if it matches the website you think it’s from. For example, emails from Microsoft typically end with “…@microsoft.com”. It should not look like “microsoft@another-domain.com” or “…@mmicrosoft.com” (extra character), etc.
  6. Keep sensitive data off the cloud. When your data is in the cloud, the security is managed by the cloud storage company. Don’t assume their security protocols are as diligent as you need. When using cloud storage solutions, use those that offer encryption. Encryption encodes the data which can only be decoded with a specific key. Stealing encrypted data files is virtually useless.
  7. Don’t download email attachments (e.g., pictures, games, electronic greetings) unless it’s from someone you know. They may contain programs intent on causing harm.
  8. Backup your data regularly. If a hacker accessed your computer and decides to delete or encrypt your data. You can recover your data from your backup.
There’s no way to 100% prevent your computer from being hacked. Hackers continue to hack and look for computers with vulnerabilities. However, being vigilant and diligent will greatly reduce your risk, and keep your computer and data safe.
Click here to contact me regarding this or any other blog topic. Also, I welcome comments, which you can post below.

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How Millennials Adapt to Change Quickly

Companies are not permitted to discriminate in hiring based on a candidate’s age, because such discrimination is illegal. And yet they do it every day. Why? Why are younger people considered more desirable in the workplace? The simple answers are that they require less compensation; they’re hungry because they need to accumulate wealth for future […]

The post How Millennials Adapt to Change Quickly appeared first on Landing Expert Career Coaching.

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Monthly Meeting

The Breakfast Club NJ Presents: “LinkedIn: It’s About Being Found”
Presented by Alex Freund

Saturday October 14th,at 8:00am ET

Synopsis:

Please share this with other groups you may be in. Join us on Meetup.com at: http://www.meetup.com/The-Breakfast-Club-NJ/ to RSVP for the meeting.

RSVP

Presentation:

“LinkedIn: It’s About Being Found”

LinkedIn: It’s about being found. In today’s market, a LinkedIn profile is a “must have” for any professional or job seeker as more than 90% of companies use LinkedIn to identify or vet a candidate. But having a profile isn’t enough — it’s ALL about being found. Alex Freund, The Landing Expert, will be featured in an insightful and highly valuable presentation for any professional: “LinkedIn: It’s About Being Found.”

This highly interactive session is designed to help you understand the dynamics of LinkedIn and how to position yourself for success. If you cannot be found, you cannot be considered for a position. There are a number of reasons why your profile might not appear in a search. Alex will reveal how to break through these impediments so that YOU make a recruiter’s search list.

And, not all components of your LinkedIn profile are created equal. In this presentation, you will learn which elements of your profile weigh more heavily in searches and which sections require your attention first. Alex will provide tips and easy-to-use tools that you can use right away to optimize your profile giving you a distinct competitive advantage.

Few spend much time cultivating their “headline” often inserting their last job title. But this important piece of real estate is how viewers define you – often within seconds. Learn how to structure a strong, compelling headline that has the viewer wanting to learn more about YOU.

During this event, participants will:
• Evaluate the role of LinkedIn in a job search
• Understand how to structure their profile to be “found”
• Learn how to address job transitions and unemployment
• Experience a recruiter’s view of a candidate
• Distinguish an optimized profile from a poor one
• Acquire free tools and techniques to create a “stand out” profile

About the Speaker:
Alex Freund

Alex Freund

I am a Career Coach and my specialty is Interview Preparation. I’m known as “The Landing Expert.” My clients are 90% job seekers in transition and 10% those who contemplate a career change.

Known as “The Landing Expert,” Alex Freund helps his clients land new positions and promotions through effective interviewing. As a former director at Honeywell, Sanofi and Tyco International, Alex has hired hundreds.

Currently, Alex is career coach with expertise in improving interviewing and making them confident and comfortable in the interviewing process. Alex has helped more than 700 clients ranging from managers to senior executives and CEOs in a multitude of industries.

Alex is well-known via his volunteering in several job-search networking groups where he is a frequent presenter, conducts workshops on interviewing, effective resumes, and LinkedIn in addition to publishing a blog written specifically for job seekers. Alex also teaches a course for people in transition via the Princeton Adult School and publishes The Landing Expert List, a free directory of job-search networking groups via his website at landingexpert.com.

Alex is a graduate of Cornell University and speaks five languages.

About the Meeting:

Networking begins at 7:30 am, meeting starts promptly at 8:00 am.

There is a $10 fee at the door to cover the cost of the room.

Be sure to tell your friends and bring them along. Be a part of our growing network of Job Seekers, Hiring Managers, Recruiters, Career Coaches, and people who want to be able to help themselves and each other.

Event Location:

Days Hotel Conference Center

195 Rt. 18 South, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

732-828-6900

Meeting Format:

7:30 to 8:00 – Registration & Open Networking

8:00 to 8:15 – Welcome and housekeeping

8:15 to 9:15 – Presentation by the guest speaker – Limited to 60 minutes

9:15 to 10:15 – Elevator Pitch – 30 Seconds about yourself, who you are, what you are looking for, target companies (3-4), how we can help you, how you can help others. Follow the rule of the Three B’s of Public Speaking: Be informative; Be brief; Be seated.

10:15 until you choose to leave – Open Networking, follow up with people you are interested in meeting following their elevator pitch, exchange business cards, peruse the library, arrange follow up meetings, etc.

The Breakfast Club NJ – 10 Points for Good Member Citizenship

1) Attend meetings regularly to keep group strong and help pay back to others (meeting logistics on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)

2) Keep anti-virus on your machine up to date and run scan regularly

3) Review messages and if request for assistance please help whenever possible

4) Once you have received your invitation and joined our linked in group, connect to other members directly(questions see Gerry Peyton -gpeyton@ptd.net)

5) Join groups Facebook group, Google +, and connect to other members directly (questions see Adrienne Roman – adrienne1204@optonline.net)

6) Join groups twitter account (questions see George Pace – keeppace@gmail.com)

7) If you run across someone in transition invite them to join our group and sponsor them through process (details on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)

8) Sunday mornings listen to our radio show, “Your Career Is Calling”, at 8am ET either on radio at 107.7 or via internet 24/7 live or on demand at www.1077thebronc.com (as this is a call in show your calls help make it successful)

9) If you are in transition put your elevator pitch in writing to group, ask for help with job search issues or connecting to people at target companies, regularly post job opportunities (from email you joined the group – send email to thebreakfastclubnj@yahoogroups.com)

10) Help fellow members whenever possible

  1. Attend meetings regularly to keep group strong and help pay back to others (meeting logistics on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)
  2. Keep anti-virus on your machine up to date and run scan regularly
  3. Review messages and if request for assistance please help whenever possible
  4. Once you have received your invitation and joined our linked in group, connect to other members directly(questions see Gerry Peyton -gpeyton@ptd.net)
  5. Join groups Facebook group and connect to other members directly (questions see Adrienne Roman – adrienne1204@optonline.net)
  6. Join groups twitter account (questions see George Pace – keeppace@gmail.com)
  7. If you run across someone in transition invite them to join our group and sponsor them through process (details on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)
  8. Sunday mornings listen to our radio show, “Your Career Is Calling”, at 8am ET either on radio at 107.7 or via internet 24/7 live or on demand at www.1077thebronc.com (as this is a call in show your calls help make it successful)
  9. If you are in transition put your elevator pitch in writing to group, ask for help with job search issues or connecting to people at target companies, regularly post job opportunities (from email you joined the group – send email to thebreakfastclubnj@yahoogroups.com)
  10. Help fellow members whenever possible

RSVP

We look forward to seeing everyone let’s make this a great meeting for our members that are in transition and welcome those that have landed

Posted in Monthly Meeting Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Should I Open a Presentation With a Joke

Steve Martin
An “ice breaker” is an activity in public speaking that is designed to immediately engage the audience and to get them ready to hear what you’re about to say. Many presenters attempt to “break the ice” by starting their presentation or speech with a joke. So, let’s examine if that’s really the best thing to do…
Why a Joke?
There’s a good reason that the established wisdom around public speaking tells us to begin with a joke. The right joke can get you off to a roaring start. It establishes common ground between you and the audience. It relaxes the audience and gives them permission to participate in the discussion. And it relaxes you. 
Getting a big laugh at the beginning of your presentation is tremendously reassuring. However, your audience will be made up of many people with different experiences and sensibilities. It’s possible that some may take the joke out of context. In that case, the misplaced humor can come back to hurt you and your presentation.

Jokes NOT to Use
Sarcasm – This is generally used to mock someone or to give pain. Since that is typically not the primary goal of your presentation, do not use sarcasm in your presentations.

Offensive jokes – These are generally meant to offend and upset people. Because your audience is not attending your presentation to be offended, you should not make offensive jokes.

Jokes that require long, complex set-ups – If you have not yet bonded with the audience, they may not be willing to listen to a long set up. In some cases, these can confuse your audience, who may start wondering what your presentation is actually about.

Jokes That Can Work for You
Modest jokes – A light chuckle is often better than a failed belly laugh, especially at the presentation’s beginning. Don’t feel like you have to bring the house down right way. Especially since you are actually not giving a presentation meant to be a big laugh.
Self-Deprecating jokes – These allow you to poke fun at yourself, and can work well at the outset. They express a certain level of trust you have in your audience, and you can show that you are accessible to them.

Gentle, topical jokes – Find a joke that relates to something that will already be on the minds of audience members. Jokes about the venue, a minor technical issue with your presentation, the theme of your topic, or a timely piece of pop culture should go over well.

In Summary

Humor is extremely powerful when used effectively. A good joke can loosen up your audience and make them more receptive to you as a person as well as to your message. Be aware that humor can have a negative impact on your audience. A bad joke can be worse than no joke at all, which can cause you to lose your audience before you really get started.
Click here to contact me regarding this or any other blog topic. Also, I welcome comments, which you can post below.

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5 Steps to Outshine Your Competition in a Job Interview

An interview is a business transaction wherein the objective of the hiring manager (the person who has the authority to hire) is to make a selection among job candidates called in for interviews. A candidate has two challenges: first, to convince the hiring manager that he is the ideal candidate for the position, and second, […]

The post 5 Steps to Outshine Your Competition in a Job Interview appeared first on Landing Expert Career Coaching.

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Monthly Meeting

The Breakfast Club NJ Presents: “What to do When you can’t do What you Used to do” Presented by David Schuchman

Saturday September 9th,at 8:00am ET

Synopsis:

Please share this with other groups you may be in. Join us on Meetup.com at: http://www.meetup.com/The-Breakfast-Club-NJ/ to RSVP for the meeting.

RSVP

Presentation:

“What to do When you can’t do What you Used to do”

It may be that your former job function or industry has changed and requires professional skills you do not have. Or, you cannot keep up with the physical rigors of your old job. In these cases, you may not easily be able to find the job that you have previously done for so long. This program examines why you can’t do what you used to do, and discusses ways to leverage your professional expertise in order to move forward in your career.

About the Speaker:
David Schuchman

David Schuchman

David Schuchman

David Schuchman is an Information Technology professional with a true passion for technology implementation, as well as applications design, development and IT operations. He is a seasoned Informational Technology professional where he spent the most recent 14 years of his corporate career as an IT leader in the financial services, transportation and healthcare industries. Presently, David is an Information Technology services, training, and management consultant with his own company, Princeton Technology Advisors, LLC. Princeton Technology Advisors offers support, quality of service and the desire to learn the in-depth knowledge of each client’s marketplace, organization and culture.

David is a successful topical blogger. In his blog, “TechTopics4U”, he shares his opinions with readers on a variety of technology & management topics. In addition, David provides IT training classes in email marketing, blogging and social media, and he offers individual training on a variety of IT subjects.

David is an active leader in the job seeker support community. He is the current Executive Chair of the Professional Service Group of Mercer County in Princeton, NJ. In addition, David is a co-facilitator for New Jersey Job Seekers in Princeton, NJ. And he is on the boards of The Career Support Group at St. Gregory the Great in Hamilton, NJ and The Breakfast Club of New Jersey in East Brunswick, NJ. Additionally, David is often requested to present topical programs to business groups, job seeker support groups and public libraries.

About the Meeting:

Networking begins at 7:30 am, meeting starts promptly at 8:00 am.

There is a $10 fee at the door to cover the cost of the room.

Be sure to tell your friends and bring them along. Be a part of our growing network of Job Seekers, Hiring Managers, Recruiters, Career Coaches, and people who want to be able to help themselves and each other.

Event Location:

Days Hotel Conference Center

195 Rt. 18 South, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

732-828-6900

Meeting Format:

7:30 to 8:00 – Registration & Open Networking

8:00 to 8:15 – Welcome and housekeeping

8:15 to 9:15 – Presentation by the guest speaker – Limited to 60 minutes

9:15 to 10:15 – Elevator Pitch – 30 Seconds about yourself, who you are, what you are looking for, target companies (3-4), how we can help you, how you can help others. Follow the rule of the Three B’s of Public Speaking: Be informative; Be brief; Be seated.

10:15 until you choose to leave – Open Networking, follow up with people you are interested in meeting following their elevator pitch, exchange business cards, peruse the library, arrange follow up meetings, etc.

The Breakfast Club NJ – 10 Points for Good Member Citizenship

1) Attend meetings regularly to keep group strong and help pay back to others (meeting logistics on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)

2) Keep anti-virus on your machine up to date and run scan regularly

3) Review messages and if request for assistance please help whenever possible

4) Once you have received your invitation and joined our linked in group, connect to other members directly(questions see Gerry Peyton -gpeyton@ptd.net)

5) Join groups Facebook group, Google +, and connect to other members directly (questions see Adrienne Roman – adrienne1204@optonline.net)

6) Join groups twitter account (questions see George Pace – keeppace@gmail.com)

7) If you run across someone in transition invite them to join our group and sponsor them through process (details on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)

8) Sunday mornings listen to our radio show, “Your Career Is Calling”, at 8am ET either on radio at 107.7 or via internet 24/7 live or on demand at www.1077thebronc.com (as this is a call in show your calls help make it successful)

9) If you are in transition put your elevator pitch in writing to group, ask for help with job search issues or connecting to people at target companies, regularly post job opportunities (from email you joined the group – send email to thebreakfastclubnj@yahoogroups.com)

10) Help fellow members whenever possible

  1. Attend meetings regularly to keep group strong and help pay back to others (meeting logistics on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)
  2. Keep anti-virus on your machine up to date and run scan regularly
  3. Review messages and if request for assistance please help whenever possible
  4. Once you have received your invitation and joined our linked in group, connect to other members directly(questions see Gerry Peyton -gpeyton@ptd.net)
  5. Join groups Facebook group and connect to other members directly (questions see Adrienne Roman – adrienne1204@optonline.net)
  6. Join groups twitter account (questions see George Pace – keeppace@gmail.com)
  7. If you run across someone in transition invite them to join our group and sponsor them through process (details on our website www.thebreakfastclubnj.com)
  8. Sunday mornings listen to our radio show, “Your Career Is Calling”, at 8am ET either on radio at 107.7 or via internet 24/7 live or on demand at www.1077thebronc.com (as this is a call in show your calls help make it successful)
  9. If you are in transition put your elevator pitch in writing to group, ask for help with job search issues or connecting to people at target companies, regularly post job opportunities (from email you joined the group – send email to thebreakfastclubnj@yahoogroups.com)
  10. Help fellow members whenever possible

RSVP

We look forward to seeing everyone let’s make this a great meeting for our members that are in transition and welcome those that have landed

Posted in Monthly Meeting Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Social Media: A Real World Success Story

Who do you think recently is the most successful user of social media for professional promotion? Politics and political issues aside, I offer that President Trump is that person. Primarily, he uses Twitter as his platform of choice for communicating directly to his audience. However, 2nd to him might possibly be me!
I was recently interviewed for the “Secrets of College Planning” show on Princeton Community TV by Anthony Uva, the show’s host. We discussed Information Technology topics that would be helpful to high school aged students looking to enter a college or technical school after completing high school. The broadcast date for my appearance was Friday, May 19, 2017. Since the broadcast, I learned that my appearance twice registered in the Top-10 list of broadcast views for Princeton Community TV shows in June and July. In fact, my appearance was the station’s number 1 show for July. Why was that?
Princeton Community TV is a local television station with a dedicated following of viewers and show hosts. Being local community television, it of course has a relatively limited broadcast range and limited viewership. However, they do post their programs on their own Princeton Community TV Vimeo channel, making the shows available world wide via the internet. Vimeo is an internet based video hosting website which allows users to upload and share video content. That was my key to getting my show robust attention.
I used several social media platforms to announce my appearance on the show. My platforms of choice, which I regularly use professionally, are LinkedIn, Twitter, Email Marketing and blogging. In LinkedIn, I posted that I appeared on the TV show to my network connections, and to each of the LinkedIn groups where I am a member. I emailed my entire list of over 1,600 email contacts, and I tweeted. The result of my social media campaign increased viewership to my appearance on the show via Vimeo, I generate additional traffic to my own website, and I even received a few requests asking of my availability to speak with prospective clients.

Social media is a tremendous resource for growing your professional brand awareness and your business. When you have a presence on social media you are able to promote your professional brand by quickly sharing content with a wide audience. In addition, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you. Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares & likes you receive, the higher your search engine (SEO) ranking will be.

Social media is a big topic and there are many relevant platforms. If you are new to using using social media, it may even seem overwhelming to start. But, it does not need to be. Think of the old joke, how do you eat a 1,000 pound elephant? The answer of course is, one bite at a time. So, start using social media in the same way. Start with only one platform. Use that for a while and until you get comfortable with it. When you are very comfortable, add another social media platform. As for which social media platform to start using, use the one that you determine your audience members (prospective customers) use. Also, look to use the one that your competition uses the most since they are already communicating with your prospective customers.

Click here to contact me regarding this or any other blog topic. Also, I welcome comments, which you can post below.

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Search Engine Optimization: On-Page vs. Off-Page

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy focused on growing visibility of your website in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings and increase awareness in search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to your website on the web. Let’s begin to look at On Page and Off Page SEO…

Why Your Website Needs SEO
The majority of web traffic is driven by the major search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, and Yahoo!). Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most internet users. Search engines provide traffic to your website from people looking for what you offer. Traffic to your website can provide income, exposure and promote your brand. If the search engines cannot find your website, your website is functionally irrelevant. Thus, you miss out on the opportunities to drive traffic to your website.

How Search Engines Search
Search engines perform two major functions: crawling and index building. The result of crawling and index building is what allows the search engines to rank websites and match users with the most relevant results to their search:

  • Crawling – Search engines have automated robot programs, called “crawlers” or “spiders”. The purpose of these programs is to run all the time to reach the many billions of web pages and documents. Then, it sends the information it finds back to the search engines.
  • Index Building – Once the search engines receive the web page information from the crawlers, they decipher the relevant information from them and store that in massive databases to be recalled when needed for a search query. Index building is the process of organizing and relating all of the information in the massive databases.
Keywords
Keywords are the words and phrases that internet users type into the search box of a search engine to find websites that match for what they are looking. They are very important for every website since they drive targeted traffic to your website. When done well, using the right keywords can greatly increase website traffic.
On-Page SEO
On-page SEO refers to the content on your actual website pages. Your focus is the act of optimizing different parts of your website with relevant keywords, which will affect your search engine rankings. Some of the the biggest factors in On-Page SEO to consider are:
  • Title Tags – Put your targeted keywords in the title tag of each page on your site. 
  • Headings (H1 tag) – Headings are usually the largest words on the page, and for that reason, search engines give them a little more weight than your other page copy.  Work your target keywords into the headings of each web page. But, make sure you accurately reflect your page content.
  • URL Structure – Put keywords into your web page URLs if possible. However, do not change any of your current web page URLs just so they have keywords in them. That’s because the SEO you have already earned will become broken.
  • Alt Text For Images – This is text that isn’t visible to the website visitor. Search engines crawl images as well as written content. So, inserting some relevant keywords that accurately describing the image will help search engines understand your web page’s content.
  • Page Content – The content on your web pages needs to useful to people. It needs to be easy to read and provide value to the end user. Be sure you create content on your website targeting the keywords that will be relevant to online searchers and search engines.
  • Internal Linking – Linking internally to other pages and documents on your website is useful to website visitors, and it is also useful to search engines.

On-page SEO ensures that your site can be read by both potential customers and search engine robots. With good on-page SEO, search engines can easily understand what your site is about, navigate the structure and content of your website, and rank your site accordingly.

Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is the process of getting other website to link to your website. Those links are called back links. When search engines find back links to your website, it increases the relevancy of your website in the search engine index.

Do I Start with On-Page or Off-Page SEO?
Don’t choose between on-page and off-page SEO. On-page and off-page SEO work together to improve your search engine rankings in complementary fashion

On-page SEO is typically quicker and easier to implement. The reason why is that you should have the ability to change any of the visible and hidden content on your own website. So, start with on-page SEO. Ways to build back links to your website for off-page SEO are:

  • Add your website link to your social media pages (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.).
  • Ask friends, business associates and vendors to add your website link to their websites. In exchange, offer to do the same for them.
  • Promote your website via social media and other digital marketing platforms to create interest. Encourage those content readers to add you link to your website.
  • Offer to write content, articles or blog posts for other website. In your provided content, put a link to your website.
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