Larry BraunerI launched my own LinkedIn group, Larry Brauner and Friends, as an experiment early last year. The group has since grown to over 800 members. We’ve explored a wide range of subjects and have hopefully demonstrated the feasibility of using a LinkedIn group for personal branding.

From the outset, I had in mind that when the time was ripe, I would begin conducting live interviews in the group with individuals who were thought leaders in their respective fields. Readers would be able to pose questions regarding a particular response or relevant to the overall conversation, simply by adding a comment. That time has finally come. :-D

Debugging Your Information Technology Job SearchI shall be interviewing over a number of weeks Janice Weinberg, a Westport, Connecticut career consultant and author of career books for IT professionals and managers. Her latest book, Debugging Your Information Technology Job Search, contains many innovative ideas for IT managers and executives through the CIO and CTO level who are seeking new jobs. The book also guides readers in identifying and correcting problems that are preventing them from generating interviews or — if they are obtaining interviews — impeding their ability to receive offers.

My questions to Janice will cover resume-writing, guidance in identifying employers likely to have suitable openings, and techniques for presenting oneself as a strong candidate in interviews. In providing her responses, Janice will draw upon her experience assisting IT managers* in obtaining computer operations, network operations center (NOC), service delivery, helpdesk, application development, program management, technology risk, and IT marketing/sales positions, as well as CTO and CIO jobs.

If you’d like to help your friends who are seeking management jobs, you may want to direct them to the interview: Advice for Managerial Job Seekers From Career Book Author

*Please note that although the emphasis in this author interview will be on providing guidance to IT managers, managers who are not seeking computer-related jobs can also expect to learn novel ideas to help them find more rewarding employment, since some topics I plan to cover will relate to general search strategies applicable to all managers.

Before you go, subscribe to Online Social Networking and “like” Larry Brauner on Facebook. :-)

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More Critical Success Factors

This time last year I posted on my blog 10 Simple Success Strategies for 2008. My strategies for 2009 are net very simple, or in any case, they’re not easy.

We were already aware that the mortgage crisis would badly hurt American home owners and the real estate industry, but few people realized that the crisis would quickly snowball into a major global recession.

While I stand by last years recommendations and believe that they are valid today, I feel that I need to add new critical success factors to the mix for 2009.

  1. Be flexible. What worked in the past may no longer work in the present economy. You may have to make some tough personal or business choices going forward.
  2. Focus on your finances. Spend less. Earn more, even if it’s difficult, and even if you have to compromise and do something that’s less than perfect for you. Pay down your credit cards, even if you have to sell some belongings. That’s the advice Dave Ramsey gives in his excellent book, The Total Money Makeover.
  3. Be cautious and use common sense. I hate to sound like a broken phonograph record, but while it is important to earn more, don’t fall prey to someone else’s hedge against recession. Before you invest substantial time or money, read Home Based Businesses Don’t Work and The Darker Side of Funded Proposals.
  4. Persevere. I noticed this year how many people failed to follow through on important plans and prematurely abandoned their blogs and social media projects they had started. Perhaps in some of the cases they should have done more soul searching beforehand, but on the whole I think people get frustrated and quit before their work has a chance to bear fruit. If you think you might lack motivation or need encouragement, create a support system for yourself or work closely with a mentor to whom you can be accountable.
  5. Reach out multiple ways. Network with people online and offline using online business and social networking sites and your local Small Business Association, Chamber of Commerce or BNI. Besides my new social networking site and other Ning social networking sites, I strongly recommend Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. Connect to me at all these sites and let me know how I might be able to help you. It might be useful to you to visit Social Networking vs. Advertising, especially if you have never before seen that post.
  6. Develop expertise that will serve you now and in the future. In The 80/20 Rule I wrote, “Expertise is a valuable asset when it comes to personal branding. As an expert you can teach and mentor others and differentiate yourself from your competition.” I went on to explain that with a medium amount of reading, studying and experimentation, you can learn more about a subject than 80% of other people.
  7. Smile and laugh as much as you can. Laughter is good for you and for the people around you.
  8. Prepare not only for the recession, but also for afterward. These tough economic times won’t last forever. Think how you might be able to position yourself down the road to profit from the many new possibilities which will emerge in a couple of years.
  9. Keep the faith. No matter how hard life gets, don’t give up hope. Persist as best you can and be ready to start over. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.
  10. Subscribe to my blog if you’re not yet a subscriber. I have a lot planned, and we can face 2009 together.

Now it’s your turn to share your ideas. Please feel free to comment.

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Larry BraunerI launched this blog to share my passion for online social networking and my experiences at social networking sites.

I never intended to assemble a catalog. There are already too many good ones out there.

Mashable List of Social Networking Sites

Consider the Mashable list of 350+ social networking sites arranged by category with a brief description of each site. It’s very well done.

Or consider the Go2Web20 complete Web 2.0 social media directory. What an undertaking!

I will from time to time point you to such lists and meta-sites to stimulate your interest and facilitate your research.

List of Social Networking Sites for Business Networking

For business networking sites, I recommend Most Popular Social Networking and Business Networking Sites. This is a short list of popular business networking venues.

You can also find helpful information and resources on the sidebar of this blog.

I will continue to focus on writing thought-provoking articles and sharing my ideas about social media marketing, social networking sites and personal development.

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After much consideration and discussion with my friend Janice Weinberg, I have decided to limit the scope of this blog to online social networking, social media, and personal development.

There are other places to promote her site and her book. Keeping a narrow focus will better serve my readers and help the search engines.

I appreciate your readership and support. I encourage your participation. Sincere comments will be rewarded with a follow-link back to your website.

Don’t miss any posts. Register, it’s easy, or subscribe to my RSS feed!

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Larry Brauner

We all like lists.

Now that I’m blogging for a few months, it’s time to list my top reasons why I blog.

If you blog, feel free to share your top reasons for blogging. If you don’t, perhaps my list will motivate you to start.

So here we go. These are the top reasons why I blog:

  1. I value a web presence, and blogging is the cornerstone of my web presence.
  2. It was easy to get started.
  3. Blogging organizes my ideas.
  4. It helps me communicate and to disseminate my ideas in posts such as Critical Success Factors.
  5. It tests my ideas.
  6. It preserves my ideas.
  7. My blog can provide value for my readers.
  8. My blog is a free sample of me.
  9. Blogging helps establish my credibility.
  10. It’s a form of online social networking.
  11. It works well with social networking sites and other social media sites.
  12. Blogging helps implement my personal branding strategy.
  13. It attracts people to me and helps me build my list.
  14. I can blog to promote people, products and services.
  15. I can blog to create viral marketing.
  16. Blogging is interactive. I can use it to share my opinions about business in posts such as The SpiderWeb Marketing System and ASD Ad Surf Daily Cash Generator and allow readers to provide feedback.
  17. Blogging endears me to the search engines.
  18. I can use it to stake out search engine keyword real estate. You can learn more about this from my Blog Marketing and SEO Training  series.
  19. Blogging anchors me.
  20. It builds my writing muscle.
  21. It’s a learning experience.
  22. Blogging helps me with my personal development.
  23. It helps me reflect.
  24. It helps me develop consistency.
  25. It sets an example for others.
  26. Blogging is cool.
  27. Blogging is fun.

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Critical Success Factors

With 2008 right around the corner let me share some simple strategies that can help turbo charge your personal development in the New Year.

Each idea stands alone. Use one or use them all. Add your comments to this post to share your own personal insights and success tips.

  1. Power down your computer. Take a break. Stop e-mailing and messaging. Tackle the important things waiting for you offline. Meet with people. Make important phone calls. Get some exercise.
  2. Prioritize. Before you go to bed ask yourself, “What can I do tomorrow that will take my business or personal life forward?” Write six or more things you can accomplish the next day on an index card and rank them in order of importance. The following day get the top six things done in the order of importance. Follow this formula for 30 days, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
  3. Acquire mentors. The most successful people know better than to go it alone. Be willing to accept advice, to stretch and to change. Your mentors might coach you one-on-one, in a group, or through their speaking or writing. Like a computer you need good programming and input to produce good output. I have several mentors and advisors including more than one close friend and a senior manager at the corporation where I work.
  4. Meet new people online and offline and really get to know them.
  5. Profit in the margins. Supposing you earn $60,000 per year which is $5,000 per month. If you can increase your earnings or cut your expenses by $250 per month that would reflect 5% of your income. However if your current savings or disposable income is $500 per month, the additional $250 would give you 50% more to work with. You can save it, pay down credit cards, or buy a new outfit.
  6. Start a home business, a sensible one, to increase your income. Choose a mentor to guide you and help you. You can only work so many jobs, so you need a way to leverage your time. As your business grows, so will the leverage it affords you. But beware. Before you start a home business you ought to read Home Based Businesses Don’t Work and The Darker Side of Funded Proposals.
  7. Exercise moderately almost every day. It is so easy to get busy and push it off. I’m adding walking to my daily list of priorities effective immediately.
  8. Be grateful for all the good in your life. Don’t let unfulfilled desires negate all the good. If you are reading this post, be grateful that you can. Take a deep breath right now and appreciate that you are alive. I appreciate you!
  9. Praise the people in your life. They need it. They crave it. Don’t criticize. Spread around more of your love, and it will come back to you with interest.
  10. Give to charity, a little or a lot according to your means. It will help you as much as it helps the receiver.

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