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Teodora Petkova

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Mark Crosling

By | Featured Member, Google Plus | No Comments

Mark Crosling believes currently we are witnessing  the beginning of a new Chapter in internet history, where Search and SEO are just one part of the process which is Content Marketing. An entrepreneur, investor, and strategist, Mark’s main interests are content marketing and social media and how the combined result of them is changing search results. Mark is also a photography fan and on Pinterest you can find a lot of great curated by him photographs.

Meet Mark!

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

I’ve always admired Google for experimenting with product development by just putting it out there and seeing whether it sticks. When Google+ was released, I was on the sideline until my first post early December 1, 2012:

Reuters – Best photos of the year 2012

I look at that post some 2 years later and I’m thankful it wasn’t a straight link drop – at least it had a caption!

I was initially drawn to Google+ by the simplicity of the stream and how visual many of the posts were. In part this was due to the photographers that embraced the platform very early.

What followed was my “ah ha!” moment when I realized that every Post had its own URL and was searchable. For me this was very powerful. The icing on the cake was the generosity of people giving advice on how to do this and that on Google+.

What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

The people I follow on Google+. What they post and share. It’s a kaleidoscope of many thoughts and interests which fascinate and inspire me. My disappointment is the impossibility of consuming all the content that’s provided.

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

As soon as I began to understand the culture on Google+, it made posting and participating a lot easier. It gave me confidence to voice an opinion in a thread, or Post something which I believe would resonate with people that followed me.

I read a definition on culture recently as being “that’s just the way we do things around here”. This is so true of Google+.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

  1. The starting point is to understand what you want to achieve by participating on Google+. It can be for any reason or interest, but your experience and enjoyment will be greatly enhanced by understanding your reason for being on G+
  2. Spend time and thought fully completing your profile on the “About” page.
  3. Knowing what your objective is on Google+ enables you to find the Influencers and commentators in your field of interest. These are the people you want to follow.
  4. Before you post anything, get a feel for the culture and dynamics of Google+. Spend this time learning some basic skills like formatting a post and basic etiquette.
  5. When you feel comfortable, start engaging, commenting and sharing Posts. People you follow will start to notice you, and in turn, may follow you back.
  6. Start posting your own content as well as continuing to engage with other peoples posts.
  7. Take it slowly and enjoy it!

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

I have a small number of Influencers and people whose opinion, commentary or photography I don’t want to miss.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

Hangouts On Air (HOA) – hands down! Originally Hangouts were a feature of G+, but over time have morphed into the overall Google ecosystem.

As a content marketer, Hangouts accelerate the “know, like and trust” in building relationships, which means businesses can reach their customers quickly and with authenticity.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

Apart from getting to know and bond with fellow Academy members, the PYB Academy has fine-tuned my understanding of certain features on Google+ that I’d taken for granted. In particular, Circle Management and the tools available to optimize Circles.

How did G+ shaped your professional life?

As a strategic content marketer, Google+ has enabled accessibility to Influencers in an industry or niche. This is extremely valuable, and if done correctly, gives your content a far greater reach.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

I’ve never been afraid to ask and always ask if I don’t know something. I believe you can ask the most esoteric question on Google+ and you’ll get an answer, probably many. Try doing that on Facebook.

What do you think is the most effective bridge between Google Plus and Content Marketing?

That’s an excellent question.

Content Marketing starts with your customer or potential customer who may not even know you. Google+ enables you to find these people and Influencers with the help of Circle management tools. Posting relevant content that engages will be shared and that leads your potential customer back to where you want them – your web site.

The other huge bridge between Google+ and Content Marketing are Hangouts. Without the ability of being face to face with your potential customer, it’s Hangouts that can accelerate the trust and authenticity to enable a transaction. And it gets better because they’re free and have an endless shelf life on YouTube.

Because it was Christmas Teodora Petkova was interviewing herself and asked:

What was your first thought when you heard about Google +?

I wasn’t dismissive but thought “oh, another Google product”. It wasn’t until Google started prompting integration of YouTube, Google+ and Gmail accounts that I started paying attention and took action. That’s when I aligning my accounts, completed my “About” page and observed what was going on. I was quite taken by the comradery on Google+ and have not looked back!

Thank you Mark!

If you’d like to connect with Mark you can find him on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit his websites: StrategicContentMarketing.co and markcrosling.com.

With this Mark’s interview, our PYB journey called  PYB Academy Featured Member is over. We hope you enjoyed the series and see you all in the PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Teodora Petkova

By | Featured Member, Google Plus | No Comments

You never step into the same river twice. So, here’s myself, the Pathfinder-to-be, answering questions my Trailblazer self came up with, back in August when Martin Shervington and I were launching the series called Featured Member Friday. Since we started interviewing PYB Academy members, to be honest, I’ve always secretly hoped that some day I will sit and answer these questions.

It’s Christmas time now, dreams are coming true. Plus, the PYB community are also Multiverse fans, so let’s say there’s nothing wrong with talking to myself today.

All the interviews with the wonderful PYB Academy members whom I met in the series are available here: PYB Academy Featured Member, and are a real treat for everyone interested to know more about the PYB community and the spirit of the PYB Academy.

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

My boss and teacher, now only teacher, Ognyan Mladenov of SEOM. His exact words were: “Go, figure out Google +, the posts there are indexed right away… :)”

My first post, as I learned thanks to Peter Lunn, was a picture in front of a jazz club here in Sofia along with another on the same day of a U2 video. Looks like I trusted Google + from the beginning 🙂

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

The understanding that I don’t “have to” do anything, I just need to create and reinforce the beautiful connections on the platform.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

Enjoy the ride! 

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

80.

Now I’ve limited the number to only 10, just because I need to focus more intensely on creating rather than consuming for several months. I miss a lot all the posts and people I am not “hearing” from and I can’t wait for the time when I will have the mind space to get back to them.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

The text chat and the emoticons there. Especially the dolphin.

My second favourite thing is this thing on the right-hand side of the email you receive from someone who is on the Plus – their recent posts.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

It taught me how to build a sailboat and showed me where to find wind to propel my vessel. And all this with shiny happy PYB colleagues aboard.

How did G+ shaped your professional life?

I met a lot of wonderful people who are great professionals in their domains. As part of the PYB team I worked with great authors and with the impossible-to-describe-with-one-word Martin Shervington. I also started helping David Amerland who was so kind to ask me to be a moderator of the Google Semantic Search Community. This brings so many perspectives and teaches me something new about the Semantic Web and the Googleverse every day.

It won’t be an exaggeration if I say that thanks to all the minds with which I had the opportunity to exchange ideas, I was able to create the structure of my website teodorapetkova.com and to be brave enough to start following my dream: working for myself and writing the content I believe needs to be written in the age of semantic search.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

Why The Writer are not active on Google +? Seriously…

You wrote a Metaphysical guide to Google + which resonated with many people back in the summer of 2014. Why are you so abstract when it comes to Google +?

You, you mean, I 🙂

I guess I am “so abstract” when it comes to Google + because this is how I treat everything that I like. I try to always stick to the basics and keep the sense of simplicity fresh, fruitful and true.

In her interview Monika Schmidt asked:

What would you like to know more about in order to use it to improve your business?

I want to know what is the best way to stick to your Content Plan for Google + when there are so many curious things out there?

And now, it’s my turn to ask the next PYB Academy member a question:

What was your first thought when you heard about Google +?

You can find me on Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or come visit my Mind castle at teodorapetkova.com

Thank you PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Monika Schmidt

By | Google Plus | No Comments

Double language conversation is a challenge keeping your mind open, told me Monika Schmidt. Empowered, I boldly started researching her social media profiles which are in German. It was a challenge. But Google Translate did help me to find something that describes Monika well, her tagline on Google Plus, saying (translates GT): There is nothing good, unless you do it.

Passionate for Google Plus conversations, Monika is a social media geek who apart from German, speaks English and little bit of Spanish. She has been an elementary school teacher for 30 years, after which she moved to the university and started  teaching students.

What you probably don’t know about her is that in her free time she indulges in several interesting hobbies among which playing flute and also playing drums in a samba group.

Meet Monika!

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

I’ve heard about Google inventing a social network like Facebook, but different. So I was waiting for it to be released and to jump in immediately. As my children have been on Facebook, I did not want to bother them there, and found “a network of my own” in G+. One of my earliest posts has been a hangout with my daughter.

What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

I’ve learned a lot about giving credit to others and creating a kind of enthusiastic atmosphere together with other people. Engaging with them voluntarily and keeping in touch though you do not know them in real life was a completely new experience. You find many people interested in the similar topics and create relationship with them all over the world.

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

Very useful tools like Circlecount and NOD3x help to keep your contacts and circles clear and assorted.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

Engage with people you feel familiar with. Plussing commenting and sharing is the gate to a rich variety of contacts. Find the fields you are interested in and create good content. Have fun and enjoy 🙂

Monika Schmidt

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

These might be around 200 or so.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

Meeting people in hangouts and get to know them better is one of the highlights on G+.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

Learning different ways of collaboration and giving support to each other is like making up a huge collection of knowledge being available for all the members – a mind blowing experience!

How did G+ shaped your professional life?

There is always somebody to find you can ask for help or advice. This knowing, it provides an atmosphere of ease to your life 🙂

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

I’m not afraid about asking anything but curious where the journey is going, with lots of changes coming along steadily.

Monika, what is the challenge to communicate in two languages and have followers who speak either German or English. Do you have separate languages circles?

Yes, the contacts fall apart into two groups. Depending on the language I post in, different people are responding; not very clearly divided but like a trend. Amazingly the content follows these trends. For example for the topics, concerning skills, tools and content around PYB or social media, the plusses and comments come in English and are very few compared to cat content or all other contents.

As in Germany everybody has to enjoy English education at school I do not see this being an obstacle for posts. And Google Translate is helping out at any time. So double language conversation is a challenge keeping your mind open.

In fact the challenge for me is to learn more about the technical and business related language, “the big data”, and I’m growing with it. I’m so grateful for all the kind and supportive people in this community: THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

In her interview Louisa Chan asked:

What would you do with your knowledge of G+ now?

I’d like to help out anybody who is looking for support. And I’d like to pass on my knowledge to young startups in order to open the doors to a growing audience and “make them relevant”,  as Troy Mc Laughlin pointed it out 🙂

And now, it’s your turn to ask the next PYB Academy member a question:

What would you like to know more about in order to use it to improve your business?

Thank you Monika!

If you’d like to connect with Monika you can find here on Google+, PinterestTwitter, on LinkedIn.

See you all in the PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Louisa Chan

By | Featured Member, Google Plus | No Comments

Lousia Chan helps coaches, corporate trainers and educators build authentic heart-centered businesses using digital marketing and social media.  Her mission is to empower people to build rewarding and purpose-driven businesses as they tap into technology to impact more lives and bring about more positive changes.

An author of the book  Teach Online: Multiply Your Talents, Make A Difference With Your Heart-Centered Business, Louisa is truly devoted to the concept  “heart-centered” and believes in building sustainable businesses that are here to stay.

Meet Louisa!

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

I kept an eye on development in the social media space. When G+ first launched, I was not sure if I should get on board. I set up an account but was not active. My first public post came in Oct 2011 and it was about using Google Local.

That first public post was with a former G+ profile which I no longer use. Gee, so much has changed since then!

What on or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

As an content creator, I like that I can easily write longer form article on G+ with the possibility of showing up on personalized search. The regular round ups and discussions from fellow plusers provided me with helpful updates.

My experience on G+ has been influenced by the features Google continues to release as well as the people that interacted with me. I am thankful for helpful plusers who have pointed me to useful resources, chipped in on discussions or interacted with pluses, mentions and shares. G+ would be an inert platform without the many vibrant communities and topical discussions.

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

A supportive environment in my early days certainly helped me navigate the waters without too much drama. Lots of regular updates and tips keep me updated. Discussions and comments by others help me ponder from anglesI may not have considered on my own.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

Google+ is a great platform that is evolving and growing. There’ll be lots to learn and to adapt to, so take it a step at a time. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

What’s important is to implement what’s relevant to your business and not be discouraged with wanting to know everything. Keep moving forward towards your goal and build your online assets. It’s a long and winding road and results will show with perseverance and consistent effort.

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

A handful of Influencers, peers and those who need special attention.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

I like that G+ comes with the entire system of tools from private communities to integration with Hangout and Live Events on YouTube. It makes it very feasible for small businesses and solo-preneurs to collaborate and build online events and deliver training tapping into G+.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

The training, discussions and hangouts have helped me understand the G+ ecosystem better as well as get a better grasp of the intricacies involved in social relationships. This translates into benefits for my consulting clients.

I’ve met people who have inspired me with their vision, enthusiasm and energy. There’s always someone posting about new discoveries, updates or new ways of doing things. For one, Martin’s vision brings us to the horizons beyond. I’m glad he continues to charter new frontiers and lead the way for the PYB Academy.

How did G+ shaped your professional life?

I think it is great that G+ is weaved into so many areas of our online presence. It makes putting the total identity together much easier, as David Amerland would say, it helps to connect the dots.

G+ is a component I have incorporated into my overall marketing initiatives and something I am introducing to clients. I’ll continue to experiment with the different aspects of G+, including social seo and Google local.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

I’ll continue to post questions as they pop up.

Louisa Chan

When it comes to heart, no formulas apply. However, when helping people build heart-centered businesses, you must have a process which is proven to be effective. Would you please share some of its pillars?

The heart-centered marketing I refer to is an approach to doing business that is guided by the heart. I guess subconsciously this may have evolved from an earlier business where I promoted a holistic approach to living with “Work With One Heart” back in 2008.

 To answer your question:

I don’t run any processes to help clients become heart-centered or build heart-centered businesses. I help heart-centered professionals and businesses build and grow purpose-driven businesses according to their intent, respecting core values they subscribe to.

The term “heart-centered” dates back to at least Aristotle’s time where he championed the cardio-centric model. The heart is understood by some to be the seat of consciousness, intellect, will and emotions, and that it even rules the brain. Today, the debate continues as to whether the brain or the heart rules. 

So a heart-centered approach is a holistic approach where business owners are guided by the principles of consciousness and values, intuitive to them.

Today, terms like “authenticity” and “empathy” are buzz words, and these are attributes heart-centered entrepreneurs would embrace. And intuitively, we know that it is the heart that feels with the clients; it is the heart that connects people and builds meaningful and longer term business relationships.

I’d like to think that many business owners operate at the heart level, avoiding manipulation and hype.

Heart-centered businesses are not after short cuts or short term gains which compromise on values. We believe in building sustainable businesses that are here to stay; building rewarding businesses that we are proud of. 

The business owners I work with have causes they champion; they are in the business of making impacts and changes and I particularly enjoy helping them achieve this with new media and online marketing.

The 3 pillars I use for working with my clients include:

  1. A business building mindset (where I incorporate some coaching to lay the foundation for being creative and staying resilient)
  2. Customized strategy – without which businesses grope in the dark and hope for the best, but generally feel frustrated
  3. System and processes, where technology and automation helps businesses be efficient and able to scale

These are discussed in detailed in my eguide, “The 3 Essential Pillars for Growing An Authentic Heart-Centered Business.”

In his interview Nick Rink asked: 

On average, how much time each day do you spend here on Google+?

It really does vary. There are days when I am speaking or training and may be tucked away with little access to internet connections. And there are days when I am able to spend a little more time catching up on posts, updates and hangouts.

I am generally moving toward using fixed times to do these catch up sessions.

And now, it’s your turn to ask the next PYB Academy member a question:

Which feature of G+ would be most helpful to your business

If you’d like to connect with Louisa you can find here on Google+, LinkedInFacebookTwitter or visit her website: www.louisachan.com

Thank you Louisa!

See you all in the PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Nick Rink

By | Featured Member, Google Plus | No Comments
Nick Rink’s mission is to get every eligible business in the UK on to Google+ as well as to make sure that Google Maps is accurate, so that when you look for a place you can actually find it in real life.
Why?
The shortest answer to that question is: Because he can!
Nick’s business is Smart Local Marketing, a digital marketing company based in Wimbledon, south west London. On a daily basis his work is related to helping businesses with their local search marketing and increasing their online visibility in their local community. There are golden nuggets on every corner, says Nick Rink about Google +. And if you ask him, it all starts with Google My Business.
Meet Nick Rink!

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

Back in 2009 I was using Google Wave and was amazed at what you could do there. From that point on I’ve been keen on trying anything that Google throw at us, so when Google+ came around I couldn’t resist. I can’t remember who I managed to snag my invite from but I got in on 1st July 2011 and here’s my first post. At the time I was mostly using Facebook and Twitter, so the cleaner design and more collaborative attitude here was a definite plus!

What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

After my first few months here I’d become quite frustrated as I didn’t really understand how to use Google+ effectively, either personally or for my business. When Google Places got rolled into Google+ back in May 2012, that was when I knew I had to figure this place out. I started to invest a bit of time looking for engaging Communities and trying to figure out where everyone was. Luckily I found a couple of great ones with some incredibly helpful people and I haven’t looked back since.

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

Couple of things: my Circles became a complete mess pretty quickly, which all got sorted once I discovered the magic of Circloscope! The second thing would be Communities. No matter what you’re interested in and no matter what questions you may have you can always find someone in a Community somewhere with the answer.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

Take your time. Google+ is a massive platform with many things to try and figure out. Look for Communities where you can learn and don’t be afraid of asking lots of questions.

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

I currently have around 40 people in my Notify Circle, but also have notifications turned on for a handful of Communities where I don’t want to miss anything.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

Hangouts. They’re super duper awesome! They cover everything from simple text chat all the way up to live broadcasting and the crazy thing is that it’s all free! The potential for collaboration, content creation and more is just amazing.

Nick Rink

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

Beyond ensuring that I’m doing the basic stuff right, it’s made me think a little more strategically about what I’m doing here on Plus. It’s also enabled me to connect with some simply wonderful people here in the UK and around the world and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

How did G+ shaped/changed your professional life?

Luckily my work is all about helping businesses with their local marketing and Google+ is a very important part of that with Google My Business. Most of my clients were pretty close to my base here in London, but Google+ has helped to open the whole world, which is awesome! It’s also opened up all kinds of potential for collaborating on projects, something which we do quite a bit of in the PYB Academy.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

Question for Mr Jingles: does he ever take a holiday? 

Google + Local becomes increasingly important, how do you think this will affect the content creation and even the customer service businesses are providing?

For any business wanting to attract customers from their immediate community, local has always been important. When Google Places rolled into Google+ the added social element provided local business owners with a way to communicate directly through Google. It’s a very powerful tool and I think any business that is using it effectively right now is ahead of the curve.

Local content is an important factor, so the ability to feed it direct into Google’s search index through posts on Google+ is highly valuable. The fact that customers can leave reviews on a local G+ Page makes them a vital customers service tool also. Responding to positive reviews and dealing with negative ones can have a big impact on how the public views that business.

In her interview Peper Oldizey asked

Do you feel that cosmic force pulling you into this whirlwind of relationships here that is driving you with so much excitement you can no longer stay away? Does your hand keep reaching for your phone to find out what is new every moment of the day? Do you feel the family here like I do?

Not sure whether it’s a cosmic force or the lure of Mr Jingles but yes! The people that I’ve encountered here on Google+ and the relationships that I’ve been able to build are very special. That word “family” that Pepper uses in her question is pretty accurate and it’s not something I’ve been able to replicate on any other social platform. The amazing content that folks share here, the kindness you find in Communities, the insights that you see in Hangouts On Air all make Google+ a very easy place to spend your days.

And now, it’s your turn to ask the next PYB Academy member a question:

On average, how much time each day do you spend here on Google+?

If you’d like to connect with Nick you can find him here on Google+, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and at work.

Thank you Nick!

See you all in the PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Pepper Oldziey

By | Featured Member, Google Plus | No Comments

It’s all about love is what Pepper Oldziey begins the About section of her website with. It’s all about emotion, continues Pepper, the feelings you have when you see the page, hold the book, glimpse the poster, or land on the website.

When I think about Pepper the first thought that comes in my mind is: I simply love the purple design of Peppergraphics Design Studio. And the second thought is more of a feeling: it’s the joy and curiosity with which I  followed Pepper’s articles, based on David Amerland’s book Google Semantic Search, among which: Is Your Website a Secret Island?Build a Business Dream Team on Google PlusYou are an ENTITY not a KEYWORD.

Pepper Oldziey is a graphic and web designer. Currently she works as a Web Presence Strategist at Divers Alert Network. On Google+ you will see her posting and engaging about design, photography, creativity, Google+ tips and helpful ideas, and ideas for using it effectively to connect people.

Meet Pepper!

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

Mark Traphagen in person here in the Raleigh SEO meetup and his monthly sharing of his experiences in person with me after the meetup talks – his joy of discovery was infectious – summer fall 2012

What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

As a gift to Mark Traphagen Vic Gundotra sent Gopi Kallayil to speak here in Raleigh on Google Plus as our keynote speaker at the DMFB (Digital Marketing For Business) conference. His talk opened with asking my name as I sat in the front row. He then directed each statement he made about Google Plus to me personally by name for a presentation that featured hangouts with the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. It was electric in the way it affected me was as if I was being personally directed to the system which would revolutionize and give us new world communication – by name. I can’t fight a directive like that and from that day forward April 16, 2013 I was electrified and moved to pursue this daily as the next passion of my life. Ok so you may say this is a pretty wild reaction to a conference talk. I did not see it that way – it changed my life – I pivoted on the spot. I was not to be the same ever again. I knew what I had to become passionately driven to understand.

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

Personal guidance and training from Mark Traphagen – he soon began trying to give formal trainings and I was the first person to sign up for the first training. I have literally followed him to every conference I could (until they got too far away for me). He also gave me the guidance to read a very special book “Google Semantic Search” by David Amerland. And that book answered my questions and has guided my life’s work since.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

See this as the potential for your career future. Read, post, try everything you can. Adjust your vision of the future to this potential world communication as reality.

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

I’m not sure now, but for a while it was about 20 people for whom I wanted to study every post – Martin – Mark – David Amerland – Jesse Wojdylo my other first in person local guide (until he went from 10,000 to 500,000 plus followers)  . . . and a few others,  until there were some 75 posts daily from these few people and I had to stop that and branch out. Now maybe a hundred or so now, a limited group, and the rest of my circles are more, standard, less and the rest are off so I can visit them separately.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

The beautiful photos and the Apple apps as I am 98% of the time on phone app.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

Clarity and confidence. I get this. It makes sense. I understand the logic. It is approachable. I can do this.

How did G+ changed your professional life?

Completely. After 44 years of design, print and web, and 10 years of web coding and featuring clean code for SEO for my clients, I understand now from David Amerland how it all really works with Semantic Search. Now through Martin and PYB I understand how we are here to build relationships and not sell stuff – so that the most important and the most fun thing to do is focus on building friendships and create working relationships with others here as we travel the journey together. My professional life has always been guiding people, friends, clients and training people. This is all I want to do here.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

Martin Shervington and Mark Traphagen and Ronnie Bincer have really answered everything I wanted to know and more.

Pepper, as far as I remember, in the 70s you’ve been working on a robotic hand. Would you please share a bit more about the future that you’ve imagined back then.

At Carnegie-Mellon I was working on the first “greyscale” image recognition software. Others worked on the robotic hand. I have been driven by the future for decades. Almost anything is possible. We just need to be guided by our Creator to invent it. Listen . . . you can hear it calling you.

In the previous PYB Featured Member interview Georgi Koprivarov asked:

What is the first thing that comes to mind when G+ is mentioned?

This I want to answer: David Amerland and our semantic search engine Hummingbird and all my fascinating friendships here.

And what would you like to ask the next PYB Academy member?

Do you feel that cosmic force pulling you into this whirlwind of relationships here that is driving you with so much excitement you can no longer stay away? Does your hand keep reaching for your phone to find out what is new every moment of the day? Do you feel the family here like I do?

 Pepper on the Web:

Google+ profile

Website: Peppergraphics Design Studio

Thank you Pepper!

 See you all in the PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Georgi Koprivarov

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Georgi Koprivarov is one of the youngest Google+ Enthusiasts in the PYB Academy. A Bachelor of Business Administration, Georgi is currently working in the domains of Content Marketing, SEO and SMO. Georgi also helps the PYB team with the Weekly Roundup of Plus Your Business! Community. In his spare time he likes to relax with football, snowboard, and computer games.
Meet Georgi!

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

Well a friend who deleted his FB moved to G+. I like communicating with him and discussing  on the web. I liked the platform. I think my first post was about the “Next big thing” commercial and was shared exactly with this friend.

What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

I was impressed by the PYB Community. First I made a community about extreme sports and it was without no reason. When I started interacting with the people from PYB team, I found G+ a lot more attractive and useful. About offline experience … I don’t know maybe snowboarding.

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

Again this was the PYB Team. People here are very kind and helpful. I usually spend a lot of time searching on the web for solving and issue. Here you can just ask and surely you will get a good understandable explanation.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

Be patient. I love the quote: “G+ is not a sprint, it’s a marathon”. I will tell them to pick wisely their audience and the people they interact with. The most important thing on G+ is to find the right people for your goals.

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

About 10.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

This is a hard question. Everything is very useful and interesting. I think most valuable are circles.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

Well I met awesome people here. This is the most important thing for sure. Now I know so much more about this platform and how it works. The knowledge form PYB made me confident.

Georgi Koprivarov quoteHow did G+changed your professional life?

So far I can’t say it changed my professional life. I hope I will be able to use the things I’ve learned here in the future and I will combine my work with G+.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

Is this some master plan for overtaking the world?

What’s your master plan for overtaking the world, Georgi and does it have to do with the little information you tend to share about yourself :)?

We live in the information era and it’s praiseworthy that I’m not so exposed (just joking). When I’m asked I don’t hide anything about myself, but I’m not the kind of guy that will shout out loud personal stuff.

About the masterplan…. hmm. If I tell you this it won’t be a plan anymore. (This thing with the plan is from one of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid: “Pinky and the Brain” and each episode began with: What are we going to do tonight Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!

In his interview Greg Cooper asked:

Who would you most like to circle you back?

I’m not sure Richard Branson or Shaun White

And now, it’s your turn to ask the next PYB Academy member a question:


What is the first thing that comes to mind when G+ is mentioned?

Georgi Koprivarov on the Web:

Google+ profile

 

Thank you Georgi!

 See you all in the PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Greg Cooper

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Greg Cooper is a marketing coach and LinkedIn trainer who fell in love with Google + from the second sight. The first time, he says, he didn’t get the platform, but then in his second life on it, he found G+ to be the most wonderful platform to reach out across borders and oceans.

From 1990 to 2011 Greg ran Martrain Ltd, an award winning direct marketing agency which worked in the IT sector with clients like SAP, SAS and IBM. Currently owns Front of Mind Coaching, providing B2B marketing coaching and social media training to SME businesses with a particular focus on LinkedIn and Google+.

Meet Greg!

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

For 25 years I ran a tech marketing agency working for leading IT companies. I loved working in the tech sector as there was always something new to learn. When I sold that business in 2011 I had some time off which gave me time to think about what I did next. I realised that I loved to learn new things. With my background in marketing and training social media was the obvious next place for me to go. I was already familiar with LinkedIn and Twitter and to some extent Twitter so I was aware that Google Plus had launched and being Google it was a platform I needed to learn.

I don’t remember the first post I made but I do remember the first person I met on Google Plus. It was Martin Shervington who was also in Bristol at the time. I knew him a little as I had been on some NLP training courses run by his company. Martin was very enthusiastic about Google Plus!

What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

This is my second life on Google Plus. I didn’t really get it the first time round. What really made a difference for me was finding a community of people I resonated with, then things really took off and I began to see the potential of Google Plus.

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

The willingness of others to help.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

Find a guide(s). I watched dozens of videos that Martin Shervington had made which really helped me in the beginning.  The Plus Your Business Community is a great resource.

Greg Cooper quote

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

I have about 300 people in circles I get notified about.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

My favourite G+ feature is hangouts both the text chat – which is really useful and non-intrusive way to communicate – and the video versions. Currently I am in at least 2 hangouts every day.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

Well first of all I have met some great people and built friendships around the world. In relation to Google+ itself I would say I already knew the basic mechanics of Google+ when I joined but now I have a much better understanding of the psychology of Google+ and by extension other social platforms too.

How did G+ shaped/changed your professional life?

I subscribe to the school of thought that says the best way to learn something is to teach it, so I decided to start running Google+ workshop because then I really would have to learn it! I am also a LinkedIn specialist and I believe that LinkedIn and Google + together are a great combination.  I regularly share connections and content between the two and encourage my clients to do the same.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

What is the etiquette about plus mentioning someone you know is very busy?

As you have insightfully pointed out “No professional athlete would dream of competing without a coach. It’s my belief that every successful business  needs a coach ”.

Would you please elaborate on that a little bit and share more about the psychology of mentorship?

What we achieve in our personal and business lives is to a large degree determined by what we can  imagine and what we believe is possible. Many times we sabotage ourselves with self limiting beliefs, often without even realising that is happening. One of the key roles of coaching/mentoring is to open our minds again to new possibilities by pointing out and challenging the thought patterns and beliefs that are holding us back.

In her interview Lucie Nolette asked:

Which new interest or passion did you discover or explore with Google Plus?

Google Plus has changed my map of the world. I love meeting and working with people from all over the world. It has shown me the potential for working in a different and much more collaborative way. I believe the Google+ culture is a model which will eventually move into the mainstream and benefit society as a whole in ways we can’t even imagine.

And now, it’s your turn to ask the next PYB Academy member a question:

Who would you most like to circle you back?

 

Greg Cooper  on the Web:

Google+ profile

LinkedIn profile

website: www.frontofmindcoaching.co.uk

Thank you Greg!

 See you all in the PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Lucie Nolette

By | Featured Member, Google Plus | No Comments

Lucie Nolette is a Google+ enthusiast who has spent 25 years in the Cruise Industry as a District Sales Manager. In 2011 she left a 65-hours working week behind and started business on her own. Currently she not only runs two own businesses – a vacation rental company (Phoenix Vacation Condos ) and an event planning company (DNL Events & Logistics) but also manages to follow her passion – G +. When Lucie is not involved with her companies, she helps business owners with their businesses across Google’s social platform.

Meet Lucie!

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

Well about 18 months ago, I was searching for an architectural photographer for our Vacation Rentals in Phoenix Arizona, +PhoenixVacationCondos, so I asked our Real Estate Agent Christie Ellis if she had somebody to refer to us.  Christie referred me to Mark Spomer a Google Certified Business View photographer. Then during the photo shoot, I questioned him about Google Certified, Google Plus etc…He told me about his friend Shannon Hernandez who was a Google+ Specialist. So, I signed up for Google Plus and started following Shannon and also went to one of his seminars. The rest is history! My Google Plus learning adventure started!

My first post was with my page +Phoenix Vacation Condos on 26 May 2013 and then I realized the importance of the human touch, so I created my personal profile and posted as Lucie Nolette on 29 Oct 2013.

Lucie Nolette first post on Google +

What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

I love to learn and there is much you can learn on Google Plus. What I find amazing is all the people who are sharing their knowledge with E-books or video tutorials. I have this file of things I want to read and learn,  and I find I will never catch up!

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

Martin Shervington shared with us a great trick:

“To Create your own private community in which you share you own content”.   So I created:  Lucie’s Private community where I am saving posts, articles, ideas, photography, videos to watch, future posts for pages I manage, things to read later etc..

Prior to that, I tried different tools i.e. Feedly, Pinterest etc… and I was still unable to get organized and do some time management in regards to finding future content or simply finding things I had saved.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

To join the PYB Academy for sure and start learning.

It took me a while to learn about all the great people on G+ who are sharing their knowledge and helping you learn Google +. I would recommend to look at my list of  6 TOP Resources to help you learn Google +  and start with that.   It is a list that I still refer to on a regular basis.

6 Top Resources to Help You Learn Google Plus

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

About 150, I have used Martin’s trick of creating the following circles:  Notify, Flow1, Flow 2 and Flow 3.  One thing that I am doing to expand on this great system is:  after I have checked their profile and their posts, if I find them very interesting and worth looking at everything they are doing, I then put them right away into my Notify circle and for 2 weeks I see what they do and then decide if I leave them into my Notify circle move them to another one.  I only do that if they have really catch my attention.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

Anything to do with visuals.  As they say Google Plus love Photographers.

I love the big images and also love  what you can do with the banners, from GIFs, GIF slide shows, Auto-Preview of videos, Auto Awesome etc. I love how images can be used and how powerful they can be. I thought it was very cool that I could created the following G+ banner.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

Getting to know and work with people from all around the world.  Also helping me as a person, when I first started on Google Plus, one thing that stuck me the most was how friendly and helpful people were.  Many people were willing to help perfect strangers.  So I have started doing the same. I am now helping more than I did before and I believe in:  What goes around comes around.  

Lucie Nolette quote

It also made me discover a skill that I did not have the time to explore in my previous career.  Graphic Designing which I love and enjoy doing. Now Solutions VA offers Social Media Graphic Services.

How did G+ shaped your professional life?

It has helped me clarify the direction of my business.  It has also brought me to refocus and decide which direction I wanted my company Solutions VA to go.

I still offer Social Media Services, but decided to specialize and focus on 2 things:

1) Helping Small Businesses get started on Google+ and sharing my knowledge

2) Social Media Graphics Services.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

What is the best way to handle Google Plus in 2 languages?   In Montreal we do business in both French & English, so it is a challenge to do this on G+

When you are not involved the World of Google Plus,  you enjoy running two businesses. Would you share an example of how Google Plus has helped you with them (i.e. raised brand awareness, attracted loyal clients, more leads etc.)

Yes, for google.com/+Phoenixvacationcondos, Google Plus and being part of the PYB Academy has increased our brand awareness for sure.

From an occupancy point of view, we are having our best year ever.   At this time, we have 145 followers, so for me there is still a lot of work to do and we are far from where I would like to be.

But as they say, not just the number that counts!

Being in the Travel Industry/Hospitality, the use of images for marketing is very important and I have enjoyed using different ways to feature our rentals. From Slide Shows to GIFs to beautiful photos of Arizona.   In the past 90 days, we have increased the actions on our posts (up to 10)   and we have reached up to 1014 views in one day, which I was pleased with.

In his interview Bern Rubel asked:

At a rough estimate, how many members of your family, RL friends, neighbours, colleagues or schoolmates are *active* on G+?

Probably 10-15%, so you do feel a bit lonely at the beginning when you first join Google Plus, but at the same time it is a great opportunity to get to know new people.  I have enjoyed the journey very much !

And now, it’s your turn to ask the next PYB Academy member a question:


Which new interest or passion did you discover or explore with Google Plus?

Lucie Nolette on the Web:

Google+ profile

website: www.solutionsva.ca

LinkedIn: Lucie Nolette

Thank you Lucie!

 See you all in the PYB Community!

PYB Academy Featured Member: an interview with Bernd Rubel

By | Featured Member, Google Plus | No Comments

Bernd Rubel is a teacher, a speaker and a freelancer, specialising in Social Platform Strategies and Techniques. His native language is German, but “for some inexplicable reason”, as he puts it, Peg Fitzpatrick and Guy Kawasaki selected him as a beta reader for their book “The Art And Science of Social Media”.

A few months ago Bernd wrote an awesome post with tips and advice on Google Plus: How To Not Be a Sheep on Google+ which got 247 shares. Numbers however are not important, what matters is something else, and Bernd knows it very well. By the way, Bernd also knows how you can transform your G+ posts to RSS.

Bernd Rubel quote

 

Meet Bernd!

 

What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?

I’m not sure what brought me on G+, but it was rather likely idle curiosity. I run a few blogs and use a lot of Google Services like Youtube, Gmail, Maps and, of course, Search everyday, so it was just a matter of time that I wanted to know how this platform works. I liked the circles concept immediately, and the clean and structured interface.

My first post was probably a link to one of my websites, I can’t remember. I know that I tested a few things several times, and that I deleted a lot of posts and also suggested contacts a few days later.

What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?

The absence of my friends and family :-). Yes, seriously, definitely the awareness that Google+ can open the doors to completely new levels of cooperation and exchange of ideas or thoughts with other, “unknown” people around the globe, just because this platform forces you to think outside the box.

What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?

Months ago I started to use a few third-party tools like Circlecount, Circloscope, Nod3x, Friends+Me and Buffer and I would never want to use G+ without them again. This platform is really fun, but if you use G+ more or less professionally, you should establish your “individual system” or routines to manage your time and effort.

What would your advice be to newbies here?

RTFM – Read The F-ing Manual ;-). Period. Make yourself familiar with the interface on desktop and mobile and try a few things, like organizing your circles, sharing pictures and videos or formatting a post or comment with *bold* or _italic_ text. I wish I found something like the PYB Quickstarter materials, Mike Allton’s tutorials or Denis Labelle’s Google+ Tips earlier. This would have saved me and others a lot of time and headaches. Then, search for interesting topics and try to find a few interesting pages and people, so that you have a reason to use G+ regularly. Keep your eyes open, don’t be a sheep.

How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?

My notification circles contain approximately 150 people, but not all of them post daily.

What’s your favourite G+ feature?

That might sound strange regarding a Social Network, but my favourite G+ “feature” are the comments. I’ve seen thousands of posts on G+ with eye-opening, haunting, touching, interesting, hilarious or continuative discussions. Honestly, I think I found my most important contacts on G+ just by reading comments and visiting their profiles.

What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?

Knowledge, a ton of precious contacts and a completely different approach to Social Media, in general. In the beginning the PYB Academy demystifies G+ and shows you *how* to use this platform, but then, going down the rabbit hole, you also realize *why* this makes sense. Even if you consider yourself a social person, the continuous communication with people who, for example, really “live” the idea of being helpful changes a lot.

How did G+ shaped your professional life?

The “density” of this platform is incredible, one person knows another person who knows another person that can – and will – help you to find the answer to almost any question. That’s awesome.

What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?

I’m not afraid to ask questions about G+. But I’m still afraid that I couldn’t answer questions about G+, that drives me crazy ;-).

Bernd, apart from the many cool things you are doing business with (on your own playground:)) you know markups and Structured Data. These gradually have become buzzwords or soon will be very popular, as they are really helpful concepts for the Semantic Web. So, 

If you had to explain that to someone who has never heard of anything beyond H1 tag how would you do that?

Imagine your website as a flip chart. With markups and structured data you’re able to write informative notes all over the page, which help a robot/crawler/interpreter to *understand* the meaning of the data on your page. You’re able to draw separation lines and connecting lines between your data or to frame various connected sections on your site, you can use different colours or place dozens of red arrows to emphasize the important parts. You draw a sort of map of your page, a list of contents and an organigram, all at once. –>

Or imagine your website as a disordered, indefinable puzzle with thousand pieces. With structured data all the pieces have a number on the backside, from 1 in the upper left corner to 1000 in the bottom right corner. Flip the pieces, order the pieces by number and if you watch the front side you get the whole picture.

In his interview Wayne Brett asked:

Which social media network do you think best compliments your Google Plus strategy?

Phew … currently twitter. But I run a project for a client with a lot of graphics and pictures, so Pinterest is the first choice in this case. Actually I still count Youtube as an independent Social Network, with its own rules and possibilities and the most obvious overlaps to G+ and Hangouts … let’s say, the lines and differences between the networks blur, more and more.

And now, Bernd, it’s your turn to ask the next PYB Academy member a question:

At a rough estimate, how many members of your family, RL friends, neighbours, colleagues or schoolmates are *active* on G+?

Bernd Rubel on the Web:

Google+

markensysteme.de

Twitter

Thank you Bernd!

 See you all in the PYB Community!