Friday, November 5, 2010

Tweet for Me

Social Media Tip: Find an Urban Intern to help you with Twitter.

Maybe you’re already tweeting like crazy. Or maybe you think the concept of Twitter is crazy. Ether way, you know that 100 million plus Twitter users can’t be wrong, and now you want an Urban Intern’s help with managing your tweets. Here’s a checklist of a few easy items that an Urban Interns can help you with.

Set a Schedule – Because Twitter makes updates in real time, the more you tweet, the more often you’ll appear at the top of your followers updates. To stay relevant and on your followers’ pages think about how often you’d like to tweet. Set-up a tweet schedule and stick to it!

Add Apps – You may want to tweet ten times a day but who has the time? Instead, why not ask your Urban Intern to use a Twitter application to easily manage your account. Our favorite app is Hoot Suite. Create an account so tweets can be scheduled in advance. Automatic direct messages can also be set-up when your account has a new follower.

Find Some Interesting Folks to Follow – Now that you’re set-up, it’s time to start finding some key people to “follow”. Presumably these are folks who are notable in your industry, are always in the know, or maybe are just funny! How do you locate them? First, search Twitter for industry keywords and leaders. Next, check out their followers to find other people you’d like to hear from. Speed up the process by using Twellow, a Twitter app, that allow you to find other users based on similar interests.

Tweet Types - With each tweet, you’re limited to 140 characters, but you’re not limited by the types of tweets you can send to your followers! Here are some tweet ideas to get you started:

Updates: Let everyone know what's going on in your business. Is registration open for your new class? Did you just get in new inventory? Check out @marieforleo for more ideas.

Retweets: Use the retweet button to pass along messages that you like. Don’t forget to retweet our posts that you find helpful @UrbanInterns.

Blog Posts: Let everyone know that your blog has been updated, just like Chris Brogan, a master of social media, @ChrisBrogan does.

Customer Service: Answer your customers’ questions in real time using Twitter. No matter what size your business you can answer followers questions or troublshoot problems. @ComcastCares has this technique mastered on a large scale, but it can work for any size business.

Multimedia: You can show your followers photos and videos that you’ve taken using applications. Looking for inspiration? Businesswoman and trendsetter Tory Burch is always posting photos to her followers @ToryBurch. Use applications like Twit Pic to send your photos.

Lots has been written about twitter and strategies for effectively leveraging it as a business tool. If it seems like it’s too time consuming for you (or simply not you’re interest), you’re in luck! There are tons of people out there who love Twitter (especially on Urban Interns) and would really love to call Twitter Time a job!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Insider Tips for Finding a Great Freelancer

Hiring a freelancer for the first time is a big step for your business. You probably have a big project on deck, perhaps even something that’s mission critical, and you’re bringing someone on to get it DONE! Even more importantly you’re trusting that it will be done right. So how do you find that perfect person to work with you and your team? Read below for a few tips!

1. Shop Around – Even if you do strike gold with the first person you meet, keep looking around. Trust us, you’ll be happy you did. Why? Not only will you be that much more confident in your selection, but you never know when you’ll need some extra hands and want to pull back out the contact information of the runner-ups.

2. Play with the Pros – Experienced freelancers are business owners, too. They are responsible for managing projects with multiple people and trying to lure new clients. An experienced freelancer should be familiar with independent contractor forms and should ask you to sign a contract with payment terms and conditions along with the scope of the project. Pros also have credentials – whether it be an impressive portfolio or membership in professional associations, your freelancer should look quite nice on paper. His experience might cost more, but in the end – it’s worth your time and effort to find a professional who means business.

3. Reach Out to References – Professionals will also have previous clients that you can reach out to as references. When you’re working with an experienced freelancer, you’ll be paying for her expertise, but you’ll also be paying the credibility she has built up over time. Get in touch with your freelancer’s past clients. She’ll obviously recommend people who were pleased with her work, so ask more informative questions. What the process was like from start to finish? Are they’re things that they wish they had done differently? Learn from other peoples past experiences.

4. Simplify and Clarify – Before any contracts are signed, determine exactly what work needs to be completed, your budget for the project and your expectations in terms of communication and timelines. The more precise your expectations, the more likely your freelancer will meet them.

It's true- finding a great freelancer can take time. But in the end, when you're working with someone great, you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

4 sure-fire strategies for a successful internship at a startup

Congrats! You’ve just landed an internship with a growing company. While you look forward to your first day, you know that your daily grind will be different from your friends’ stints at Fortune 500 companies. But maybe you’re not exactly what to expect, even after your interview. Here’s an insider’s take on what you need to know to thrive in a start-up culture even before your first day on the job:

1. Think Like an Entrepreneur – An entrepreneurial mindset is always an asset, whether you’re in the office or on the go. Entrepreneurs tend to think about the big picture, while ensuring that even the smallest details are delegated. Entrepreneurs tend to always ask questions and are willing to learn from others, and you should be eager to do the same. Ask to read the company business plan, and stay up-to-date on recent trends and newsworthy events through industry blogs. See the office through the eyes of the person who started it all, and you’ll have a greater appreciation for the vision of the company, and the small details you’ll be working on to make sure success is in sight.

2. Get Organized – The one thing that all entrepreneurs have in common is that they’re always busy. Even if you’re boss doesn’t ask, send a weekly report highlighting your accomplishments for the week. Not only does this help your boss know what you’ve accomplish and where you’re at on projects, but it’s a record of successes you can put on your resume.

3. Be a Jack-of-all-Trades and a Master of One – In a growing organization, there is an emphasis on the all-hands on deck approach. Some days you’ll need to help with administrative work, and other days you might be running errands or event planning. While you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to help where necessary, it’s ok to highlight your skills. If you’re studying public relations and you can write-up a press release that gets journalists’ attention, make sure your boss knows. While it’s good to be a jack-of-all-trades, make sure your boss knows about the one (or two!) skills you’ve mastered.

4. Pitch It – The company you’re working for exists because the owners decided to take a good idea and make it happen. Your boss shouldn’t be shy to the art of pitching ideas, and neither should you. If you see an idea that can be executed, write a plan of action and pitch it to your boss. Back your plan up with research and ideas for execution.

The start-up environment is fast-paced and action packed. Make the most of your internship by being a team player, using your best skills and thinking like your boss and you’ll be a start-up veteran before your semester is over!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to Be a Good Social Media Intern (Without Even Trying!)

Put Your Skills to Work!

It’s a fact: business owners need help with social media. Companies are finding that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube are proving to be a cost-effective way for businesses to advertise, acquire customers, and generate sales.

Needless to say, many of them are looking for web-savvy interns to navigate the online social channels and take charge of their social media strategy. And that’s where you come in.

Chances are you’ve been using Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube for your personal enjoyment for years. Now is a better time than ever to put these finely tuned skills to work. But are you unsure how to translate your social media capabilities into a career? Consider these tips on how to put your pre-existing skills to work and become an effective social media intern.

Show you’re tech and social media savvy. Keep up with influential technology blogs (TechCrunch, Mashable, etc.) and always have your fingers on the pulse of the next big social media trend.

Constantly re-evaluate the strategy. Your job in social media is never done; pay close attention to the online climate and suggest fresh, new directions to take the strategy. Keep in mind they may not always get used and you might have to pitch a few ideas at once.

Create a conversation. Get online and engage your company’s audience. Listen to what they have to say, whether positive or negative, and react accordingly. Keep track of valid feedback and present it to your manager for consideration.

Show managers that social media translates to sales. Look for indisputable proof that your efforts are bringing profitable results. Use trackable links, analytics programs, and click maps to show your strategy is working. Comparative data speaks volumes, so keep track of “before and after” numbers, whether they’re the number of views on You Tube, total Twitter followers, or net sales generated through Facebook ads.

And given the growing importance of these social media sites as marketing channels for businesses, if you prove you’re worthy, you just might end up with a full time gig!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

3 Tips for Avoiding Year End Chaos (And You Know its Coming)

It happens every year around this time: inevitable “craziness” among your business operations. We’re talking about hectic holiday orders, budgetary breakdowns, and elaborate events that come with the closing of another year. Whether you’re in retail, customer service, or any field in between, it seems no matter how far in advance you plan you’ll never be prepared for the rush.

But before you gear up to trudge through another year’s end, consider enlisting the help of an Urban Intern. Capable, quick to learn, and eager to assist, an Urban Intern can help you shuffle in a new year of business with ease. To make the most of your extra set of hands, consider the following tips for hiring an Urban Intern, and learn why this time of year is better than any other to do so.

Plan, Plan, and Plan Again
Determine the scope of help you’ll need by making two separate lists; one that outlines “ordinary” jobs, and one that outlines “year end” specific jobs. Next, cross off tasks on your “year end” list that you and your staff can realistically tackle, and circle those you can delegate. Keep in mind that the goal is to save time, so chose tasks that don’t require a lot of “hand-holding,” elaborate training, or constant supervision. Read on for some specific ideas.

Put Your Urban Intern to Work
In addition to the unique year-end needs of your business, consider the following:

• Processing the increase in customer service requests
• Assisting with holiday outreach to clients (mailings, email communications, etc.)
• Additional call center and email support
• Event planning and production
• Inventory control
• Processing online returns
• Fielding product and service Q&A from customers

Start the Hiring Process Early (And that Means Now).
With college students planning on coming home for the holidays and experienced professionals looking to further their career, the end of the year is a prime time to recruit extra help. Furthermore, you’ll have a troop of helpers on hand should you need additional help to kick off 2011!

Social Media Tip: Find an Urban Intern to Help Build Your Blog

Give your blog the TLC it needs!

Do you have a blog on your website? If you're at all focused on social media marketing, you probably do. A blog with thoughtful content is a great way to build your brand and have an interactive dialogue with your business community. But like everything else with social media, to execute properly takes TIME. Here are some tips on how hiring an Urban Intern can help.

• Think of some topics for your blog. Create a quick outline with some bullet points and hand it over. While at least initially you may need to spend a few minutes editing the posts, the process will likely move a lot quicker than trying to find time you don't have to write.

• Repurpose that content! Once you have that great content, stretch the mileage. Ask your Urban Intern to include it in a weekly newsletter or a daily FeedBurner blast. You can also offer to contribute it to other sites. The possibilities are endless once you have the material in hand.

• Monitor and Respond: Once you start to regularly blog, you want to keep an eye on the reception and traffic. Did some posts resonate more than others? Were dialogues started that need a response? Add this kind of tracking to the list of blog-related tasks for your Urban Intern.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From Create Other Income Streams

We found this great post by one of our advertisers, DailyWorth, and thought it worth sharing. Enjoy! If you like this, click here for more.

By MP Dunleavey | Tuesday May 04, 2010

More than a paycheck
In today's unpredictable job market and economy, it's smart to think about developing multiple streams of income.

Whether starting a side business, becoming a consultant or learning to invest, you can capitalize on your existing skills (and time) to increase your overall net worth.

Risks and rewards
Any new income source can take years to show even a small return. Consider this conversation a seed in your mind to help you evaluate your options—and build future returns, one year, five years or even 20 years out.

Every investment is a risk. Amanda Steinberg, DailyWorth's founder, has started five businesses in the past 10 years--two of which are successful and growing. The other three were learning experiences and, well, costly failures. Do not invest time or money unless you've calculated that you can afford to lose it.

Listen up
Last week, Amanda (photo, left) interviewed Jacquette Timmons (right), author of Financial Intimacy, MBA, and CEO of Sterling Investment Management, Inc.


In this 15-minute podcast Amanda and Jacquette explore the specifics having multiple streams of income, from low-risk options like consulting to higher-risk options like real estate investment.

Your move
Do you have more than one stream of income? Share the What, Where, When, How and Why with the DailyWorth community.