Do you know the Do’s and Don’ts of Networking?

One of my favorite things to do as an entrepreneur and small business owner is to get out and network. When building a business, it’s very easy to get lost when connecting with people on LinkedIn through other social media networks but there is nothing better than meeting another business owner in person.

You’re there to meet people!

When you’re out networking your doing just that, meeting new people. It’s not the time to start selling your product or service.

When you’re at a networking event, introduce yourself and try and focus your attention on what your new friend does and who they are. They will want to know about you as well, but I like to get to know my new contact first then start to talk about myself.

After you have both chatted about each other and got to know what you each do, shake hands and then it’s time to move on and meet the next person.

All to often at networking events, people will get comfortable with friends they see or a friend they came with and just sit and talk to them all night waiting for people to come to them.

What’s wrong with this?

This one is obvious, you limit the amount of connections you could make by talking with people you’re comfortable with. This was something that took me a bit to get used to as it was a bit out of my comfort zone. As the quote goes, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there”. The next time you head to a networking event, keep that quote in mind and it just might help you like it did me.

This next one is something I can say with absolute certainty, you should NEVER do!

At a networking event I attended recently, I noticed business cards left all over the room on tables, stuck in picture frames and anywhere people would see them easily. So why is this a bad thing? It’s bad for many reasons but let’s look at this one reason, Who is the person behind the cards? You don’t know, do you? Not to mention that it’s a very pushy way to try and get peoples business.

For me personally, if I see that, the chances of me doing business with that person are very slim. As well, along those lines if you burst into a group of people, hand out your cards and then move on. That as well is something I would say to never do. Like leaving the cards, it’s very pushy and you have no idea who the person is.

With all of that said, what do you think about these examples of bad networking habits? Do you agree? If you have anything to add, I would love to hear your thoughts. Let’s have a conversation over on our Facebook Page in the comments!

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Nick Russell

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

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Me vs the world or do it together?

“If you want to go fast, go alone! If you want to go far, go together!!!”

How many of your saw our Motivation Monday post yesterday? What did you think about that?

More often I keep seeing post about me vs the world and I really don’t understand the thought process behind that. There is a saying from across the river in Detroit…Detroit vs Everyone, it was even a song by the rapper Eminem. For many years Detroit was a horrible place to live, no businesses wanted to move there, the crime rate was up, and it was in a huge decline.

That’s all changed because people started to work together to make that city great again. The same thing can happen in business. It’s no secret I’m part of an online community called Social Media united. This is a group of people and an online course all started by Rachel Pedersen and if it wasn’t for SMU, I would not be where I am today.

I will leave you with that, do you want to go fast and go alone? Getting to the top quickly and not having anything that will stand the test of time or do you want to go far and work together? Building a team of people that are as motivated as you are to help push you, teach you and move each other further in business.

What are your thoughts?

Let’s Chat

Nick Russell

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

 

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Are you celebrating your wins?

Being an entrepreneur and a social media manager, celebrating your wins, no matter how big or how small is huge!

Most of you know that I’m apart of a group of Social Media Managers run by Rachel Pedersen, called Social Media United. On top of being in this group I’m also apart of another group that’s run by AIM Social Media Marketing. In both groups, we have what’s called “Wins Wednesday”. In there we post our wins, no matter how big or how small.

The benefit to this, is that we get to celebrate our wins and accomplishments!

Why is this so important?

No matter what you’re doing or what field you are in, working hard none stop can get to you. Celebrating a win and hearing feed back from others is a HUGE motivation. Just think back to when you were a child on a sports team, when your coach gave you a pat on the back, how great did that feel? Did you want to play harder and win for your coach? Of course you did!

The same thing applies at work now that we are adults. Getting a small pat on the back is a great way to motivate us. I love reading through the comments on these posts in the groups and seeing the great things people are doing. There is nothing more satisfying than telling someone that they did a great job and hearing how much they appreciate that.

As you scroll through your social feeds this week and see a post about something awesome someone did, make sure to comment “Great job”. That comment will go a long way, and trust me, that comment will motivate that person even more!

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree?

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Nick Russell

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

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Are you using the right plugins on your WordPress website???

Some of you may have attended our Techboost workshops put on by Hackforge Windsor about Building a Simple Website for Small Businesses in WordPress. If you have, you know that I talk about some of the plugins that we use on our site.

In our workshop we touch on just a couple but our friends at Gretathemes have let us share this great article with you that touches on a few more that are great for your site. Take a look at what they have to say!


If you are looking to start a website, WordPress is probably is the best website builder out there. The amazing plugins and themes furnished by the WordPress repository make it a highly popular Content Management System. The icing on the cake; WordPress powers up to 30 percent of all the websites over the Internet.

Before you start building your website, make it a point to analyze the requirements of your website. By that, we mean to say that you need to be aware of the functions that will be served by it such as the audience it caters to, the features expected by them, its speed issues, steps for optimization etc.

So, if you are planning to start your own WordPress website, here are the top 10 plugins that you must have for a smooth and wholesome WordPress experience.

Yoast SEO

Search Engine Optimization makes your website visible to the Internet world. It is an imperative measure to help your target audience find you. To get started with your site’s SEO, you must have the Yoast SEO Plugin which is touted to be the best WordPress SEO plugin with over 5+ million active installations.

You will be able to supercharge your site’s content by exercising SEO instructions offered by the plugin through its content & SEO analysis. The premium version of the plugin gives you 1 year of free access to their support team. Also, you will be able to expand the Yoast SEO with the News SEO, Video SEO, Local SEO and WooCommerce SEO extensions with the premium version.

The Yoast SEO plugin is truly an effective and powerful SEO tool. It offers a huge scale of functions that make it a plugin for all.

Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin

If you are starting a new blog and are not already aware, Spam is a huge problem for websites and blogs around the world. Apart from being generally irritating, Spam contributes to cluttering your site’s database, making your site look unreliable, or just messing up the site’s SEO with user-generated Spam. However, WordPress offers an anti-Spam plugin that checks your site for Spam and eliminates it.

The Akismet Anti-Spam plugin checks the comments and contact form submissions on your WordPress website, filters out the Spam, and deletes them. A rather intelligent Spam combat plugin, it also lets you manually review comments and flag them as Spam/Not Spam. It speeds your website by clearing the disk space and offers a paid version for business users.

JetPack

Brought to WordPress users by Automattic, the JetPack plugin is a must-have for all WordPress websites. It powers your site’s design, takes care of the marketing aspect, and even enhance the site security.

JetPack really has tons of wonderful features to offer such as powerful customization tools, a high-speed CDN, Lazy image loading, Site stats and analytics, Brute force attack protection, spam filtering, downtime monitoring and a lot more. It even offers the option of data backup, secure login, and priority support from WordPress experts.

This plugin is meant to help you tackle your site from the very beginning to the finish. You can also take care of your site’s marketing efforts as the plugin offers automated scheduling and social media posting, best of advertising programs, etc.

It’s worth to mention that all of our premium WordPress themes are fully compatible with Jetpack.

W3 Total Cache

Implementing Caching on your WordPress site has a benefit for both your site’s SEO as well as the User Experience. It enhances your website’s performance, reduces server lag, and with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in place, it also reduces download times.

If you are looking for a website with features mentioned above, you must install the W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin. When fully configured, the plugin claims to bring about at least 10x improvement in your site’s overall site performance. It also accelerates the loading time in repeated viewing on the browser’s end so that your visitors don’t have to wait up an extra second to access your website. It also saves up to 80% bandwidth via minification and HTTP compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and feeds.

Overall a wonderful Caching plugin, the W3 Total Cache also comes with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and SSL support.

Also, when it comes to performance and speed, minimal WordPress themes are something you should consider to user for your WordPress website. They’re not bloated, lightweight and fast. The combination of minimal WordPress themes and a good performance plugin like W3 Total Cache result really fast website that your users are going to love!

WordFence Security

Your site’s security must be a prioritized task while you are setting up your site. Not an issue to be compromised with, ensuring robust site measures helps you protect your website from unsolicited security mishaps.

To keep the site’s security worries at bay, the WordFence security plugin must be your go-to choice. Its Malware scanning feature scans several points on your website such as core files, SEO spam, themes and plugins, backdoors, code injections and malicious redirects that might affect your site’s integrity.

The plugin’s security tools are designed to help you monitor site visits and any hacking attempts, in real time. This information furnishes the time and day, the origin and the IP address of the visitor/hacker.

With its premium version, you can expect a lot more: Two-factor authentication, an advanced comment spam filter, Country blocking etc.

Even if you review website builders available in the market and assess their security arrangement tools, you will find that WordFence plugin for WordPress is really a great one. Hence, if you are looking for a great site security plugin for your WordPress site, you must go ahead with WordFence security.

WP Smush

While we optimize our site’s content for a better SEO reach, we always underestimate image optimization and the benefits it can provide. However, if you are using the Smush Image Compression plugin, you are tapping that as well. This free plugin works to resize, optimize, and compress the images on your WordPress site to makes it fast to load and cut the slack.

WP Optimize

The fact that the WP Optimize plugin features over 700,000+ active installs is enough to pay attention to the need of optimization and cleaning the site’s database.

When in place, the WP Optimize plugin runs an automatic and scheduled clean-up as per the time set by you. It removes unnecessary post revisions to make space and can perform optimizations without the need for running manual queries. A powerful optimization plugin, every WordPress website must install and run this plugin to make their site run efficiently.

Broken Link Checker

A rather simple plugin, the Broken Link Checker plugin does what it says. It scans your site’s content for any broken links that are no longer working, any missing images, or redirects. It then notifies about them to you via email. Having this plugin is essential because you wouldn’t want your site visitors to come across a dead link and ruin their user experience.

Sassy Social Share

As important as other site functions, always ensure that your website and its content are well marketed for the audience to find and go through. With Social sharing plugins in place, you can take care of announcing your latest site updates for your followers and also enhance your site’s SEO.

The Sassy Social Share plugin lets you share your site’s content over 100 more social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Reddit. Its aesthetic looking social sharing icons make sure that they stand out for your visitors to see. It even lets you put your share counts on display.

It does not need a user registration to get started. Its responsive icons are good to look at even on the mobile devices. The lightweight code of the plugin makes the icons quick to load. The best thing about this plugin: it’s absolutely free!

Conclusion

The above-mentioned plugins are a must have as they take of your site’s security, speed, optimization, social sharing and a lot more. Having these plugin saves you the cost and effort off many manual tasks that could otherwise be daunting. All-in-all, every WordPress website must exploit the features of these top 10 must have WordPress plugins to ensure that their site keeps running efficiently.


If you like what you just read, make sure you check them out in the link I have included to their website. If you need help with your site, we are here to help as well!

Let’s Chat

Nick Russell

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

You mean to tell me LinkedIn is not just your online resume???

Many years ago, when you created your LinkedIn account it was used as your online resume. Once you created it, most of us just left it and forgot all about it. Things have changed just a bit in the last few years!

LinkedIn has now become a VERY powerful professional social network that is used to network with fellow business owners, potential clients, and employers.

How is LinkedIn any different from Facebook?

Facebook is a way to connect with family and friends as well as interact with other business pages. You’re able to see updates from businesses, their hours, and what they offer. LinkedIn, however, is meant as a tool to network.

How many of you have gone out to a networking event?

LinkedIn is basically the online version of networking. When you go to a local event, you interact with fellow business owners and chat with them, finding out what they do and finding out about their business.

With LinkedIn, you can search out people in your target market and connect with them. For us at Russtek, we started out local and only looked at business in our area. Business owners that we met only at local networking events. This is a great way to get your business going but there is so much more potential using LinkedIn.

How did we grow using LinkedIn?

After optimizing our profile and chatting with fellow business owners to give us a recommendation, we were ready to start connecting. The more people you connect within your target market the better. These are people that will also recommend you in all the skills you have on your profile.

After we optimized our profile, we started adding articles to our profile and with that, we were starting to get recognized.

One of the most important things you need to do on LinkedIn is be active. We make sure to post daily as well as comment and like posts that fit our business. This is a great way to get more connections.

There is so much more to LinkedIn than just what we have here. If you need help, make sure contact us and we would be more than willing to help you optimize your profile!

Let’s Chat

Nick Russell

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

Are you caught up enough with your work to take a weekend off suddenly?

This past weekend was a little different for me, I had to take the entire weekend off and hardly do any work at all.

My father had to go in for major surgery this past weekend and my plan was to bring my laptop to the waiting room and get a little work done. Also, throughout the weekend when he got his room I was going to spend time with him to keep him company all while using the hospital WiFi to get some work done.

That was the plan anyway! That didn’t work at all as planned, the WiFi in the hospital was so slow I could hardly get on Facebook to give out of town family and friends an update.

Now What???

Thankfully I had the important things caught up and just had to get to a few minor things on Sunday night done when I got home.

Are you able to do the same in an emergency?

Something I was taught many years ago, is to always be prepared. When you’re working don’t just look at what needs to be done today, tomorrow or the next day. Make sure you look ahead for the entire week and the entire month even.

If you make sure you’re ahead of the game, little emergencies like this won’t catch you off guard.

I want to know; do you look ahead or just work for what needs to be done today?

Let’s Chat

Nick Russell

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

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Were you social on the Canada Day long weekend?

What an amazing Canada Day weekend and Social Media Day…hot but amazing! We couldn’t be prouder to be from Windsor and to be Canadian.

We started off our weekend on Saturday at the 8th Annual Community Chalk Tweet for Social Media day. What an amazing event with so many community partners that are there to help each other out. We had a chance to meet some great people and even run through a sprinkler that Windsor Fire and Rescue set up. Would you like to see that crazy video? Let us know!

So why is Social Media Day so important?

It was first started 9 years ago by Mashable, a multimedia company to celebrate social media’s impact on global communication and wow has it had an incredible impact!

For a business you can’t not have social media in one way or another as the number of people using at least one platform continues to grow. Right now, there are roughly 2.4 billion users that have at least one social media platform and almost all of them have multiple.

I’m not saying you don’t need a website or a funnel for your business but how are people going to know you have a website? To find out more about why, take a look at the blog we wrote about website traffic.

Think about how you shop and what brands you’re loyal to, are they on social? Do you follow them and relate with that brand?

More and more business are using features on platforms like Instagram and Facebook Stories and using YouTube videos to help relate with their customers. The more personal you are with your customers the better it is. I don’t know about you but if I’m working with a brand I want to be able to relate with them and see who they are and how they operate. I don’t want to shell out money to a company that hides and just pushes out their products or services.

How do you feel about the brands you deal with? Do you agree and buy from a brand that is more relatable?

Let’s Chat

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

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How do you get back to reality?

Now that MOMENTUM has come and gone it’s back to reality and back to our normal routine. That means no more super late nights and early mornings, no more running all over the place with extra planning meetings and no more weekly Facebook Live at 5 videos….mind you, I really do miss those. If you liked those, we have something planned to make up for it…stay tuned!

If you remember our blog, “What are you doing today?” we talked about our daily routine and how we managed our day. Getting up at 5 and stopping for dinner at 6 and everything in-between. After MOMENTUM I think we worked a little to hard and have started to burn out a little. We have been working hard to get what we need to get done but it’s been a little more of a struggle.

With the long weekend coming up we are looking to take some time away from the office to reset and rest with friends and family and think that to help us get back into the grove come Monday.

How do you deal with burning out after a major project or planning a big event? Let us know and we can chat about it.

Let’s Chat

Nick Russell

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

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Have you ever planned a big event?

Months of planning, countless posts, ads and weekly Facebook Live videos all lead to one day…MOMENTUM!!!

Our good friend Nichole Howson from AIM Social Media Marketing approached us to partner on organizing a business conference, this conference would help small business owners and entrepreneurs get value from experts speaking about their field to help others grow their own businesses.

How were we going to do this?

We arranged for an all-star line up of speakers from all aspects of business, from our very own Nick Russell talking on Social Media Marketing, Chris Labate from SEO Bank talking about SEO, Jackie Regan from Dale Carnegie talking about problem solving, Nichole Howson from AIM Social Media Marketing talking about sales funnels, Frank Abbruzzese from the AlphaKOR Group talking about why networking is so important, Shawn Oldridge from Oldridge Accounting talking about cloud accounting, Tiffany Bauer from Bauer Legal talking about “how to get paid” and Katie Renaud from Workforce Windsor Essex speaking on hiring and retention.

Just having those amazing speakers was not enough, we couldn’t have put this all together without our amazing sponsors. Thank you to Schwabs for providing an amazing lunch, Cookies by Kathy for the awesome MOMENTUM cookies, Go Events for taking care of all of our tech and Soiree for decorating and making the hall look great!!!

Not to mention our amazing videographer Mitch from Red Cape Films for filming the event so we can provide you with the awesome replay and our many awesome other volunteers!!!

Now what?

With the first MOMENTUM in the books we are already talking about making next year’s event even bigger and better. We’re not perfect and there were things we could have done better. That’s the best part about being an entrepreneur, we all make mistakes and then we learn from them and grow. Knowing that, we are going to take what worked and build on that as well we are going to take what didn’t work and improve on that as we have learned from our mistakes.

Did you attend MOMENTUM? Let us know what you thought about it!

Let’s Chat

Nick Russell

nick.russell@russtekmedia.com

519.792.9303

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Do you wish you had all the answers when you started your business?

As MOMENTUM approaches, just a few days away now we have been working really hard to make this an amazing event for everyone. As we get closer and work harder I have also taken a step back and have started to reflect a little bit and wishing I had all the answers when I started my business. Working to make an event that will help guide business owners and entrepreneurs start and or grow their businesses it got me thinking about our start here at Russtek. After being with the Beer Store for just over 16 years and other jobs before that I really never had to worry about all the little details about running a business. As a manager with the Beer Store, there were some things I had to worry about but most of it had to be approved, so being a manager wasn’t really managing the store. It was more so a title and I did, kind of get to make my own schedule. Working through all of the hurdles and learning about running my own business has been both challenging and rewarding at the same time. I will say though, I really wish there was an event like MOMENTUM about a year and a half ago because that would have made my life a whole lot easier. Don’t get me wrong, putting in the work to learn about all aspects of the business has been fun but having an event that I would learn all these things in one day would have helped a lot and got things started a lot sooner. Learning about things like the proper way to network, accounting, the legal side of the business and so much more would have been very beneficial. Are you in the Windsor area and just starting out or thinking about starting a business? Come on out and take advantage of the recourses our speakers will be touching on, trust me…this is something you are not going to want to miss! Let’s Chat Nick Russell nick.russell@russtekmedia.com 519.792.9303

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