Everybody I talk to says Monday is the first day “back to business.” Sure, I get it, business as in “work.” My mind pictures a sea of desks, fabric covered cubicles and a steady parade of business casual worker bees scurrying back and forth performing their appointed tasks.
And then I ask about their other business. You know, that side gig they’ve got going to generate another stream of income. Now I’m thinking fuzzy slippers and old pajamas in front of a computer screen. Sound familiar? Funny thing is that most people I talk to actually do have some other business on the side to beat the rat race. And yeah, they did a little Twitter and LinkedIn with their coffee and donut this morning…
I am no exception. My current project is building the platform to launch my new book that will be released in the 3rd quarter of this year. Power Teams – Create Money Making Referrals from Common Everyday Situations, is a step-by-step system to help 36 specific popular business categories network together to recognize and make money from opportunities that are all around them every day, but are currently being overlooked.
In the process, I have been trying to get a handle on social networking, looking at all the different websites and online services out there, to help me build the platform efficiently and effectively. Blinding flash of the obvious: there’s a lot of stuff out there. And further, a lot of it is crap!
Bottom line: I quickly figured out that I need an internet guru. Someone who has already navigated the online minefield to emulate and learn from. Someone beyond good at all this social networking stuff, successfully walking the walk and articulately talking the talk.
So I Googled “Networking Blog.” After reviewing about 100 blogs and eliminating 70 for various reasons, I did a 2nd review of the 30 best with an eye on the following criteria:
1) Frequent posts – I want a guru who shares a steady flow of current information…
2) Multi Media – Is the guru a ‘product of the product?’ Are all the tools (video, graphics, links, feeds, site layout) utilized to communicate with maximum clarity?
3) Provides value with useful information – Am I learning things in a short period of time that will help me achieve my goals?
4) Strong, identifiable personality – Is this a real person I might ultimately develop a business relationship with for future projects?
And the Winner is:
Dan focuses on Personal Branding and Social Media – 1,671 subscribers – 4,340 followers on Twitter
This blog is easily my favorite. Well written, sophisticated layout (this was done on wordpress? WOW!) with fresh content daily, Dan Schawbel is a 25 year old phenom with a valuable message and awesome command of the internet.
Truth of the matter is that I came across Dan’s website before my Google search. After reviewing the rest, this guy is clearly the best! Based on the above criteria, Dan Schawbel earns high marks in all 4 categories: frequent posts, uses all the tools, shares a valuable message, and is a real person.
I have yet to talk with Dan, although we did exchange emails giving him a head’s up that we featured his blog on our final FAST180 webcast of last year.
Are you ready for a FAST180? Take my advice, follow Dan Schawbel’s exploits as he networks his way to making his upcoming book, Me 2.0, a bestseller when it is released on April 7th of this year!
Best of the Rest
I also found three other internet gurus with blogs I have also chosen to follow:
David’s focus is on social media and personal branding with excellent graphics and illustrations – 11,512 subscribers – 7,621 followers on Twitter
This blog has awesome visuals to help demonstrate the concepts discussed.
Jim is a Marketing expert with a focus on Blogging and Twitter – 15,306 followers on Twitter
This blog has a real business coach vibe – straight ahead, in-your-face expert advice on increasing sales.
Gary’s focus is generating income online with e-books – 39 subscribers – 55 followers on Twitter
This blog has more of home made feel but the information and energy behind the message is good. With a smaller following than the other gurus, this blog has potential to grow and I am interested in how it develops.
OK, that’s it for now. I am off to study the message of my new top four internet gurus. Check back soon to find out what I learned, when our adventure in networking continues… (Follow me on Twitter)