Confused About Marketing On Facebook Try This Advice Today

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Have you been told that Facebook marketing is a must for your business to survive? If you’re a bit confused here, no worries. This article will break down all there is to know about Facebook marketing.
Facilitate regular interaction with your followers so you understand their needs and interests. Make sure you notice when people make posts on your page. Many businessmen that are successful have received great marketing ideas that work from the general public. When someone posts on your page, make sure to respond to them.
Coming up with a giveaway is a wonderful idea to help your Facebook marketing campaign. Encourage new subscribers by offering free products. Let people know who won by announcing it on your profile, and use this strategy again if you wish to get additional subscribers later on.
Create a custom tab for your Facebook page. You can use custom tabs as a welcome locale for all of your new Facebook visitors. It’s a great place to promote your current offerings, products, and services. Plus, it’ll give a little personality to your Facebook page which is always a plus.
Make a group rather than a page. A group allows everyone to interact and feel like they know one another. You could also use a group and a page to get maximum benefits from Facebook marketing.
Create a contest on your Facebook page that only fans of your page can participate in. This will make them excited to come to your page. They may even tell family, friends, or co-workers, meaning you will have more visitors coming to your page. Of course, more visitors means more business!
When you utilize Facebook Offers, you are able to promote freebies and contests you’re running on your site. Set up your offer and switch it to Promoted Post via your Wall. If the offer is extra special, you can promote it to people that aren’t fans as well.
Offer something in exchange for signing up on your Facebook page. Having visitors register on your page lets you engage them in ongoing dialogue about your business. Offering them something, such as an entry in a sweepstakes, makes them more likely to register on your page and provide your business with valuable leads.
Creating content for Facebook can be tedious and frustrating. If you have a Facebook business page, you need to post new content every single day to engage your audience. Can you afford this type of time commitment? If not, use targeted ads instead to bring your message to your target audience.
Try using Facebook ads. Paid ads via Facebook can help your business because they let you target your audience in various ways. You are able to specify the gender, age group, location, and more of your audience. You can be as narrow or broad as you like when specifying their needs. Set campaign budgets and bid prices to test as many headlines, images, and ad copy as you like. If your campaign doesn’t work, you can stop it right away so that you don’t overspend on it.
Use photos in every Facebook update that you do. People love looking at photos on Facebook. The more visual a post is, the better chance it has of actually becoming a bit viral. So don’t let any opportunity to get visual pass you by, even if your trying to get a post out quickly. Take the time to make it visually great.
With all of these tips, you now are ready to tackle some Facebook marketing. Go to your Facebook account now and begin using the valuable tips you have learned. The sooner you use Facebook, the sooner you can attract customers. So, get started right now!

Howard Martell is the Owner of <a href=””></a>. Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter. Check out Niche Flipper ->

Build Your Social Media Marketing Expertise With These Important Pointers

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Business owners across the world have been discovering how social media marketing can help them increase the number of customers they serve. If you are ready to join them, read this article for some tips to help you understand this exciting form of marketing. You will be pleased with the results.
If you have included Twitter in your social media plan, make sure your tweets are valuable, relevant and vary in content. Send tweets that contain suggestions and informative tips that are relevant to your business. Your subscribers are more likely to maintain interest in your content when you mix these tweets in conjunction with ones that you use to promote your products and services.
If you are using social media then you will want to market by inviting all the people you know to those pages. What if they’re not going to purchase from your business? That’s fine. You won’t have to worry about that. As long as they’re inside of your network, your business will be advertised on their network. So you will receive views by simply having them around.
Be sure to link all of your social media sites to one another for the best results. Include links if you have a blog where your consumers can see you on Twitter, YouTube and also if they want to like you at Facebook. Add your blog address and Facebook link to your Twitter account. Linking all of your social media profiles together maximizes your revenue-generating potential by converting new customers.
To make sure your social marketing campaign is reaching your customers, find out where they congregate. Are many of them on Facebook or do they prefer Twitter? Depending on your niche, you might be better off looking at LinkedIn or even YouTube. Poll your customers and find out where they spend their internet hours. Pitch your tent there.
Social media is a great tool to build trust and relationships with your customers. When marketing your business on social media, you have to be honest and always communicate with your customers. Listen to what they are saying and learn from it. You are not giving up control of your business to them, but you can learn from what they are saying and adjust your business to be more consumer friendly.
You can get your followers’ attention by posting something in a format that makes reading easier. For instance, try coming with a list of top 10 tips or writing questions and answers. The visual aspect of your article will make it more appealing and your readers will be more likely to share it.
You should find different ways to interact with customers on a personal, as well as professional, level. For example, respond to other users’ notes, statuses, images and updates. Be sure to keep any conversations that you do have professional and pertaining to your business.
Things move very fast in social media, and your company will have to adapt quickly to the changes as they come. Just, a few years ago, tablet computers and smart phones did not exist in a mass-produced and publicly available form. Keep an eye on the new technology so that you are better prepared for the changes to your marketing.
If you are going to use a microblogging service, try getting as many followers as possible. Interacting with people and responding to comments on a microblogging service is much harder when compared to using social networking websites, mostly due to the number of updates that microblogging users get in their feeds. Post updates regularly and always look for new followers.
Now that you have gained a better understanding of social media marketing, you can begin to implement it into your business plans. These suggestions are certain to aid you in developing the next step as you diagram your marketing needs. Treat yourself and your customers to the fabulous world of social media.
Howard Martell is the Owner of <a href=””></a>. Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter. Check out Niche Flipper ->

Ooh, I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew.’ The president, his health care catastrophe, Mrs. Merkel, the honor of la belle France. ‘A man ain’t supposed to cry/ But these tears I can’t hold inside.

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by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.
Author’s program note. Friends and neighbors, are you perplexed, confused,baffled, and irked by the avalanche of bad news emanating from the capital of these United States? Well, join the club. We all need help sorting out this plethora of information that ranges from the usual garden variety nonsense to whole new ways to upset us and rend the body politic.In all seriousness we need a friend like “That Was the Week That Was”,a satirical television comedy program-me on BBC Television in 1962 and 1963.
It was devised, produced and directed by Ned Sherrin and presented by (Sir) David Frost, whose usual impeccable timing for delicious scandal,gossip and tittle-tattle deserted him this time.Sadly, he died just the other day (August 31), thereby missing these imperial pratfalls and hi-jinx which he loved so well and which no one knew better how to present for maximum impact than he did. How he would have savored the bumper crop of idiocies of just the last few days and the melt-down of the Right Honorable Barrack, who has descended from the heady heights of”We Have Overcome” to taking cue and counsel from Marvin Gaye’s grapevinewhere “a man ain’t supposed to cry”.TWTWTW (whose American counterpart ran on NBC from 1964 to 1965 and also featured Frost) had sharp-eyed, tone perfect fun with the best and the brightest,people we are supposed to venerate and admire but whose constant goofs and cosmic errors are just too good to pass by, no more so than in the last week, where the mistakes were hilarious, astonishing, truly awesome, slap your knee and LOL;that is until you stopped and considered who would have to pick up the pieces and carry on…. that would be you and me, the guys from the morning after the hysterical night before. With such an embarrass de richesse, where to start… there is so muchto choose from, relish, and enjoy.Scapegoats wanted.
Please apply to B. Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for details.Unless you’ve been living in a cave (and maybe even then) you know that ourerst while president has nailed his tattered colors to the mast that is universal health care. It was supposed to cover millions hitherto without insurance, with benefits (if you pay close attention) ranging from astonishing to miraculous,not least being the remedy needed to resuscitate and resurrect the careers of lame duck presidents, one in particular. Problem is, even if you want this coverage(and millions do), you can’t get it at any price because the computer program that’s supposed to handle the matter is screwed up to the max. See for yourself at”Computers are so literal.
“This is my mother’s take on computers and pretty well summarizes the Lant family’s approach to the matter. You tell these often infuriating machines what to do…and they do just that… and nothing more. Apparently Barrack’s mother didn’t tell him this and so with his complete disinterest in the annoying and boring details of everything, including his marquee program, he now finds himself in a mess that absolutely 100% of fifth graders assigned to solve the matter could handle withelegance, speed and total accuracy, without sweat or muddle. Big problems right from the start. Richard Nixon, of all people, told newly elected president Bill Clinton not to tryto reform America’s health care system (one seventh of the GNP) all at one go;instead to phase it in. Clinton, of course, being Clinton didn’t listen and did exactly what the more experienced Nixon advised against. The result was a Republican landslide in the next congressional elections and plenty of egg on his excellency’s fleshy jowls, not an edifying sight.Obama learned absolutely nothing from this disaster, more reminiscent of the suicidal charge of the Light Brigade (1854),”C’est magnifique mais c’est pas laguerre” than practical (read do-able, win-able) politics. Thus, instead of creating a model program in a medium sized state (think West Virginia, Indiana or Oregon) hewent for the whole hog, a huge mistake that is plaguing him right now.Except for arrogance and bragging rights, there was never a need to do all theuninsured in every state all at once. But there was (and still is) the need to createa system that’s simple and easy to use, which is most assuredly not what we’vegot now, a Rube Goldberg machine that promises everything and delivers nothing but chaos, confusion and embarrassment. For make no mistake about it, thepresident and his disgraceful computer system has show cased America all right;as a nation of bumblers, inept, unprepared, a brigade of “can don’t” nerds and programming “skills” no better than a joke. And this, mind, in the nation’s strongsuit, state-of-the-art technology. No wonder Obama’s poll numbers are now infree fall. Hail to the Chief.
What should he have done instead? Well, for openers, like any good business person he should have tried (and regularly, too) to order his own product, thereby helping to test and perfect the system on which he had staked so much.Of course, we now know he didn’t do that or anything like it. And so he got onopening day October 1 not kudos but confusion, outrage and fully justified attacks on his competence which have only gotten worse as the problem has exacerbated. It was a bad day for ObamaCare and the people who so need it; another black eyefor the Great Republic.What’s more, when he was told that his system wasn’t ready for an October 1 opening, he should have been sensible and postponed until he could get the desired results, KISS. Sure, there would have been gibes but they would have been as nothing when compared to what’s being said right now about him, his presidency, and his health care “system”, and not just by Tea Party nutters either.It ain’t pretty… and it is accurate.
As if this weren’t enough…As if his woes were not abundant enough October 23 the German government announced that it had received confidential information that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone was under surveillance by US intelligence services and thatshe had phoned President Obama to deliver the strongest possible disapproval.She also cited the great and long-lasting friendship between our nations, makingit clear friends don’t spy on friends. Barrack might give lip service to this pointof view, but he’s an information freak and cannot be trusted.Thus as expected he soothingly said no surveillance had been authorized or occurred but Mrs. Merkel, who knows him well was apparently neither persuaded nor placated,an indignant wet hen closely approximating her mood and demeanor. This was not surprising given the fact that her brush with the president’s global party-line closelyfollowed another jarring story in the Le Monde newspaper. It reported that US intelligence had collected data on 70 million communications by ordinary French people in a 30-day period late last year and into January. I suspect our spooks wanted to know what every Frenchie gave and got for Christmas. French PresidentFrancois Hollande expressed his “extreme reprobation” and marched down theChamp Elysees waving the Tricolour and listening to a recorded version of Marvin Gaye’s greatest hit, “I heard it through the grapevine” (1968) on his cellphone,and this telling line, “You could have told me yourself.” Indeed. And that was the week that was. TTFN.
About the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. at, providing a wide range of online services forsmall and-home based businesses.To see Dr. Lant’s blog go to http://www.jeffreylantarticles.comDr. Lant is happy to give all readers 50,000 free guaranteedvisitors for attending his live webcast today. Visit Worldprofitfor details. Your response to this article is requ

Son of a gun. The murderous bullets of Sparks. Monday, October 21, 2013.The ineradicable shame of a great nation, knowing what must be done, unableto do it. And Mozart. who turns our tears and rage into the majesty of Redemption

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Author’s program note.
This is the story I didn’t want to write about. Didn’t want tohear
about… didn’t want to think about… didn’t want to deal with in any
way… but all to no avail. This is a story that demands the telling…
insists upon our honest rendering… and calls upon us for anger!
Outrage! Enmity! Fury! Impatience! Indignation! Ire! Resentment! Gall!
And above all for action, swift, thorough,complete, grossly overdue.It is
a tale that demands to be told with the unmitigated clarity of Mozartand
the masterpiece that carried him from the light of the life he loved unto
theunimaginable darkness of darkest death which all approach with awe,
resignation,and hope.For this universal situation which touches us all,
we need the genius of Mozart who took this great fear called death, the
great fact of life, and gave us, alwayswith God’s love, absolution; the
thing we all desire but only God may give…Thus for this article of
sharp, sickening pain and terrible loss, the more terrible because
unnecessary I give you the necessary antidote, the Requiem Mass in D
minor (K. 626), written in Vienna by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791
butunfinished at his death in December of that year. Find it in any
search engine. Turn up the volume and be glad this work of genius,
empathy and compassioneases the universal way into the eternity into
which we all progress and forever abide.
Amen!The city of promise.The people of Sparks, Nevada, numbering 90,264
in the 2010 U.S. Census Bureaucount are the very essence of America. They
believe in God… the Great Republic…family… and their right and
responsibility to seize the imperfect present and create the always
better future. They are proud of the good life they have fashioned for
themselves since the city’s founding in 1905, transforming the previously
searing and inhospitable land called “snow clad” (“nevada”) by the
Spanish hidalgos whowere the first Europeans to tread its immensity.
Their civic motto is “It’s Happening Here!”… and so it is … for good
and now with bitterness and rue for ill.For the sad fact is an
overwhelming majority of these people of the sierras adheres,and
adamantly too, to their right to keep and bear arms and to use these
arms, therebypaying the terrible price, now regarded as the “cost of
doing business”.
In such circumstances what does it matter if a few children and their
teachers are gunned down, dying in their own blood, in their once amiable
classrooms? Yes, it’s just thecost of doing business after all; a mere
bagatelle.The facts.Before the opening bell on Monday, October 21, a
student at a Sparks, Nevada middleschool opened fire with a semi-
automatic handgun, wounding two 12-year-old boys and killing a math
teacher who was trying to protect children from their dangerous
anddetermined classmate.The still unidentified shooter then killed
himself with the gun after a rampage in frontof 20 to 30 students who had
just returned to school from a weeklong fall break. As news of the
shooting got out 150 to 200 police officers responded, including some
from as far away as 60 miles. The two wounded students were taken to
hospitalfor treatment and are now listed in stable condition. One was
shot in the shoulder,and the other was hit in the abdomen. Students from
the middle school and neighboring elementary school were evacuated to the
nearby high school, and classes were cancelled.The middle school will
remain closed for the week so that the scene of grim carnagemay be
scrubbed clean and be pristine again… as if that were even possible…
or desirable. For we do not need to forget. Instead we need to remember,
that is the thing of utmost necessity, for only memory can help us solve
this problem, now seen by many as inevitable and unsolvable, no longer a
conundrum to be unraveled but an immutable factof life in our murderous
age where there is nothing odd or even noteworthy about a 12-year-old
blowing his former friends and beloved teacher to Kingdom Come. But of
coursethis is not merely odd but a chilling abomination and profound
moral outrage.To accept evil as inevitable when it can be eradicated is
evil itself, not a fact of life, but a fact of death, mayhem, and our
descent from grace. Michael Landsberry not only knewthis, not only lived
by this but died by this. Thus he woke up Monday a math teacher…
butended both day and life an American hero, the victim not just of the
child who pulled the trigger but the larger society which enabled him to
do so, failing to act to prevent such predictable and periodic
slaughter.”Mr. Landsberry”.Just 45, a man in his prime, Michael
Landsberry was a contented man, a manrespected by his peers and grateful
community for his actions in war and peace;loved by an affectionate
spouse and even by his two step-children, a success not given to every
step parent; admired and looked up to by his eighth grade mathematics
students and by the young people he coached in soccer and basketball with
strict guidelines and an unyielding belief that while winning the game
was important, playingit with enthusiasm, integrity, heart, and honor was
the real objective. This is the trueSemper Fi and Michael Landsberry,
once a Marine, always a Marine, was its unwaveringexample and proud
ideal.Michael Landsberry, the man who survived war, only to be cut down
in the peace that is no peace.This modest and unassuming man was a
dedicated and caring leader, his gruff demeanor fooling absolutely no
one. He did his bit… more than his bit, including twotours in
Afghanistan. Thus when the pint-sized angel of death entered Landsberry’s
classroom intent on inflicting maximum pain with a gun he had so easily
taken from hisparents’ house, the good teacher did what he taught others
to do… doing the right thing, the valorous thing, the most perilous and
sublime thing; interposing his own body between gunman and his adolescent
targets. In this way did Michael Lansberry die in the most righteous
fashion of all. Thus washis bald head, which students loved to touch for
luck before a big game, dappledwith the blood of a hero. Thus did the man
who posted on his drole website his “one classroom rule and it is very
simple: ‘Thou Shall Not Annoy Mr. L’ ” expire, the most honorable of men,
the noblest of deaths and the most unnecessary for we all know what needs
to be done, don’t we, though we seem, from the very White House itself
unable to change courses, to move a single inch towards necessary
solution…Thus more children, achingly young, must die tragically…
more families must sufferand grieve their loss through the long days and
longer nights… innocence no shield… the most worthy of professions
and the most important of work affording no protection what so ever. So
much pain is sure to come, the unarguable result of accepting “businessas
usual”, convinced by nay sayers that what is is what must be, despite the
little we havedone to solve a problem which was not so very long ago
unthinkable, a challenge for the Great Republic to be sure, but surely
not too great for our collective mind and capability.Or have we indeed
sunk so low that we not only tolerate such a matter but accept it as
given, understandable, unfortunate to be sure, certain, tolerable,
tolerated, an occasion for a president… a governor… a mayor to send a
formulaic message and prattle futile generalities about “an isolated
incident”, then disengage from the matter as soon as possible, while
everyday people leave teddy bears and home made signs about love and loss
at the death scene, nothing accomplished, absolutely nothing; no progress
made, or even a beneficial discussion about what must be done, at once,
with commitments, not platitudes. Thus are we condemned to repeat this
maddening process over and over again, less consideration given to this
outrage than to the one before; less consideration given tothe next
outrage than to this one, whilst people, good people, die, along with our
high ideals once sacred guidelines for our purposeful endeavors, now
flagrant ironies mocking who we were, who we are, and the widening chasm
between these glaring, irreconcilable realities.”I fear I am writing a
requiem for myself.” Mozart, 1791.
In such an unsatisfactory, worrisome situation we need hope, we need to
believethat things can be better, that we can make them better. We need
Mozart who on the very threshold of death wrote a stirring tribute to the
glory of life and the possibilities which exist to its very last moment
before eternal repose. “I fear I am writing a requiem for myself,” he
wrote as he worked day and night on his last great labor… and so he
was… for himself, for you, for me, and for the victims of Sparks,
especially a hero named Michael Landsberry whose work at its unexpected
conclusion was as tragically incomplete as Mozart’s requiem… left for
us, the living, to finish, a matter of the utmost necessity for us and
what we owe our honored dead whose ranks are sure and unnecessarily to
grow apace if we fail to act as we have failed to act for so long.
About the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit,
Inc. at, providing a wide range of online
services for small and-home based businesses.To see Dr. Lant’s blog go to Dr. Lant is happy to give all readers
50,000 free guaranteedvisitors for attending his live webcast today.
Visit Worldprofitfor details. Your response to this article is requested.
What do you think?


by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

I was out early today. Even before dawn’s first light, I was up and about and soon on my mission… to find the first bunches of lilac, and drink in their unmistakable scent with the pristine dew.

What passersby (not too numerous so early) must have thought to see the flowers held against my face, though gently so as not to crush them, I cannot say. I did not care. The lilacs that I love to excess have returned to Cambridge… and with them every memory of this most evocative of flowers and their flagrant, haunting fragrance.

Beloved of Russian empresses…

One day the great Empress Catherine of all the Russias (1762-1796) went walking in her garden of Tsarskoe Selo and found a branch of lilacs, so perfect she was sure it would be picked to amplify the bouquet of some lovelorn lad to his much desired lady… so she stationed a soldier next to this lovely branch. In 1917, a soldier was still stationed where the plant no longer flowered or even existed. But then Tsar Nicholas II wasn’t surprised… for his wife Alexandra, called “Sunny”, loved lilacs to distraction, too… and created a room in the most palatial of palaces where everything was in a shade of lilac. It became, in due course, the most famous room of the empire…

My grandmother Victoria had this same tendresse for her much loved and coddled lilacs. She craved their scent and their colors, too, in every shade of purple… heliotrope, mauve, violet, lavender, puce, and all the other variations. Even my grandmother’s perfume, Muguet de Bois by Coty (launched 1941) featured lilac… and lily-of-the valley. Proust-like, that scent brings her back… as does my mother’s Chanel. Lilac is like that. It will not be denied and can never be resisted.

And now the lilacs are in rampant bloom along Tory Row on Brattle Street, breathtaking, sensual, glorious. The Loyalists would have remembered them for all the rest of their long lives; the merest hint of their scent would trigger the painful memories that come with unending exile.

A few facts about lilacs.

You may be surprised to learn (I was) that syringa (lilac) is a genus of about 20 to 25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family (Oleaceae) native to woodland and scrub from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia.

They are deciduous shrubs or small trees, ranging in size from 2 to 10 meters (6 feet 7 inches to 32 feet 10 inches) tall, with stems up to 20 to 30 centimeters (7.9 to 12 inches) in diameter.

The leaves are opposite (occasionally in whorls of three) in arrangement, and their shape is simple and heart-shaped.

The flowers are produced in spring and are bisexual, with fertile stamens and stigma in each flower. The usual flower color is a shade of purple (generally a light purple or lilac), but white, pale yellow and pink, even a dark burgundy color are known. Flowering varies between mid spring to early summer, depending on the species.

The fruit is a dry, brown capsule, splitting in two at maturity to release the two winged seeds that have within them everything that produces the lustrous magnanimity of the lilac and commands your eye and reverence.

The poets irresistible attraction to and understanding of lilacs.

Poets, including many notable poets, saw lilacs and wished, in words, to produce the lyric quality of their scent. The scent, the unforgettable scent, swept them away. It was exuberant, excessive, a warning to the dangers of immersion in a thing so powerful, so rich, so cloying; a thing that draws you away from the little duties and miseries of life and whispers of pleasures you want beyond reason. Too much of this unalloyed richness gives way to madness… and exultation.

Amy Lowell (1874-1925) knew the potency of lilacs. She wrote

“Your great puffs of flowers
Are everywhere in this my New England…
Lilacs in dooryards
Holding quiet conversations with an early moon;
Lilacs watching a deserted house
Settling sideways into the grass of an old road;
Lilacs, wind-beaten, staggering under a lopsided shock of bloom….”

And then….

“You are everywhere.
You were everywhere.”

Lilacs know their power and seduce you with it, every wind wafting the scent into your brain and memory. They offer you the same terms that a beautiful woman offers the man distracted by her — none at all, just surrender. Lilacs are the sorceress of blooms, enchanting, elusive, sharing their magic for an instant… leaving you longing for what you fear you will never have again.

The flower of elegy, mourning, decay, death.

Lilacs are the flower of remembrance. After the fall of Tsar Nicholas II and the entire structure of tsardom, the ex-emperor and his wife Alexandra found themselves prisoners of the new regime, forbidden even to walk in the magnificent park at Tsarskoe Selo. Alexandra looked out upon an ocean of lilac, once hers, now as distant as the moon. Her haunted look, beyond mere dismay, touched the heart of a simple soldier. He gave her a sprig. His officer saw this as “fraternizing with the enemy” and had him shot.

Amy Lowell, too, saw lilac as an accoutrement of death.

“The dead fed you
Amid the slant stones of graveyards.
Pale ghosts who planted you
Came in the nighttime
and let their thin hair blow through your clustered stems.”

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) also knew the immemorial association between lilacs and death, and he gave us the simple words that bespoke the greatest tragedy:

“When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.”

He picked a sprig of lilac and thought of the passing into eternity of Abraham Lincoln, “Night and day journeys a coffin.” It is unbearably painful for him, only the simple words – and the lilac — with its promise to return — giving solace, for that is within the power of the lilac, too, which Whitman knew and relied on:

“Copious I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes,
With loaded arms I come, pouring for you,
For you and the coffins all of you O death.”

But this cannot be the last word on lilacs, not this.

Think instead of Lynn Riggs’ 1931 play “Green Grow the Lilacs”, the basis for the libretto of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma,” a musical about real people and their real concerns. They brought lilac seeds with them to beautiful their often difficult lives because they couldn’t bear the thought of life without its beauty, comfort and serenity. And I cannot either.


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Do you know how to produce content that gets people worldwide to respond — FAST? Read this and you will! The Master reveals his secrets!

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by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.
Author’s program note. I’m going to do something quite different in this article; something unique, unprecedented, unheard of until now. I’m going to share — for the first time ever — my trade secrets about how I produce the best and most responsive content anywhere; the content that gets people like you to stop in your tracks, whatever you’re doing, no matter how important, read what you’ve written… and respond to it.
Once you learn how to do it, you’ll use this invaluable skill over and over again… becoming more and more proficient each time, until you become a master too, a brand name, a recognized authority, someone people want to know about, pay attention to; quite simply the consummate master of your craft, constant deference, increasing rewards, recognition and admiration your part, and rightly so. Of course, we’ll need a little magic to make this happen; such magic is useful at any time. Now repeat after me…
” Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo/ Put ‘em together and what have you got/ bibbidi-bobbidi-boo”.
These are of course the words of my colleague Fairy Godmother, from the 1950 Disney production. She was, you’ll recall, the kind-hearted, sympathetic darling who, in record time, organized everything necessary to rush a radiant Cinderella to the ball… and her prince.
You’ll find the song in any search engine. Play it to yourself two or three times… sing it out loud. But don’t share it with anyone just yet. After all, they may be a certified scoffer, gruff, dismissive, unhelpful… and that will never do. Bibbidi-bobbidi- boo. “It’ll do magic believe it or not.” Believe… it’s the first and crucial step to achieve.
Pick your subject.
Creating content that gets maximum response starts with your subject, what you’re writing about. Here are some suggestions: It should be timely, of interest and importance to the kinds of people you want to respond (future customers!), and most of all be a subject you either know something about already or one you are prepared to research, to add depth, resonance and layers of meaning.
The last article I wrote just yesterday (one of over 1000 I’ve penned in the last three years or so; all available at was on… marigolds. Does this seem to you to be an unlikely topic to knock out of the park? Dubious? Then think again! There are millions of people worldwide who grow marigolds, use health and beauty products derived from marigolds, and honor them in their obsequies and solemn rites of passage into eternity, particularly along the great river Ganges,1569 miles long, its muddy waters flecked by the bright brilliance of golden marigolds, beloved of the Virgin, the gift of countless pilgrims along the way.
Outline your content.
To write superior content, content that motivates response, you must create a superior outline. Here’s how to do that. Brainstorm just what you want in your content; then do a preliminary outline. Don’t worry too much now about whether the points you want to make are in the right order. Worry instead that you have written them down. Never, ever trust to imperfect memory. . Once you have all the points you wish to include, arrange them in the right order, the order that builds your case. To see what I mean, go to and peruse several articles there. As you do, think on this. This teeming site, content capital of the world, now gets over 1,000,000 hits a month and should be a “must” destination for anyone who understands the importance of content and wishes to master its every nuance, profiting accordingly. That would be you, right? Bibbidi- Bobbidi-Boo.
The joy and necessity of careful research.
I am a trained researcher with a Ph.D. from Harvard University. It took me seven meticulous and arduous years to achieve. I had to identify, travel to, work in and rely upon the arcane resources of dozens of private and public document depositories in several countries. My life was a demanding and insistent process composed of passports, tickets, incomprehensible pre-Euro currencies, strange accommodations with lumpy mattresses (and too often voracious bedbugs). As for food… I can even now remember, and luridly recite if you like… the various collywobbles to which I gave way en route to being elevated into the peerage of learning.
That was then; this is now.
These days my continuous researches are vast, detailed, up-to-date, best of all the work of minutes, with nary a plane to (wait for) and catch… or odoriferous train, the malfunctioning toilet making its noisome problem known to all and always over shadowed by one frightening question, “Have you seen my typewriter and my notes!” “I thought you had them when we changed trains.”
In our wired age research is easy, universal, distinguished by its celerity, thoroughness… and a researcher who now never looks like he slept in his clothes in the Iruna station, assaulted by fantastic mosquitoes and suspicious border guards, the jack booted minions of Generalissimo Franco, a man whose sole idea about intellectual endeavors of every kind (and the research on which they were based) was to crush, curb and curtail them.
The Internet has changed all that forever… and I, for one, am profoundly glad.
Now it’s time to write.
My mother, bless her soul, had a million pet sayings, each one a little gem of pithy insight. As for writing, she’d say, for she was a scribbler, too, “Having written is better.” What she meant, of course, was that the business of writing was often hard, frustrating, exasperating, not infrequently infuriating, and always something demanding full heart, soul and brain. In short, writing is never a piece of cake you can do half asleep and hung over from the night before.
Such writers, who take the demons of people like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jack Kerouak as their inspiration and models, talk a good game about writing… but are more notable for their volubility on the subject than their productive output. You need another point of view, more practical, utilitarian, productive not to mention profitable.
Write every day, every single day… without fail or “reason” why you didn’t.
People who understand the power and potency of content are people who do the necessary every single day to create it. That would be — me… and is why in the past three years I have, remember, written and published over 1,000 articles, available for you and the world to see and use at How did these articles get written? Easy.
Yes, I wrote on days when it was blistering hot. I wrote on days when my nimble fingers froze, sticking to my computer’s chilly keys. I wrote on days of national triumph… and on the many days of national confusion. In short, I wrote, no excuses, no special pleadings, no reasons why I couldn’t, shouldn’t and mustn’t.
In short, I wrote on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays… on all the days. Thus with near military efficiency as I wrote words, so I wrote the superior content that got better and better still, the more I wrote… silky, smooth, sleek, the champaign of money-making language.
Will you do as much? You certainly won’t with the poor habits you now evince in the high and important business of creating content that sells… for what you produce is directly related to the habits you have and yours are nothing to write home about.
“What me worry?”
Years ago “Mad Magazine” featured on its cover a lout named Alfred E. Newman. Everything about him was obnoxious, irritating, an affront to good parents everywhere and their goody goody rug rats. To these good people Alfred E. posed the question of the centuries, “What me worry?” It was impertinent, insolent, and wildly popular with other louts. (It also made the copy writer who coined this golden phrase a millionaire many times over.)
However YOU are not a lout… and you do worry and rightly so. Fortunately you have not only a useful friend in me but you have a direct line now to Fairy Godmother, who’s no mean shakes in the content department, just ask those mice transformed into the most magnificent of coach horses. She has magic for you and to spare. I think I see her pointing her magic wand at…… you… Oh, yes, she is. Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is the author of over a dozen business books, several ebooks about online marketing, and over one thousand online articles on a variety of topics. Republished with author’s permission by Howard Martell <a href=””></a>. Check out Niche Flipper ->


HOME The chic elegance and sophistication of marigolds, beloved of the Virgin,their eclat, their unrestrained colors, their militant aspirations, their bitter altercations, their

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Author’s program note. I noticed them right away, of course. I would. There they were, a startling and astonishing range of oranges, from burnt to bright, from brilliant to bombastic, each alluring.
There was nothing shy or hesitant about their presentation. They stood in pristine glory before the world with adamant certainty, sure that they would be noticed, scrutinized, and inevitably complimented, extolled and desired, found wanting in absolutely nothing.
These were the marigolds, lordly flowers indeed, perfection in any bed or border even when, as here on Waterhouse Street, they had too little space in which to arrange themselves to their strict, precise standards, impeccable, daunting for others, so seemingly effortless for them.
At last.
So, the Christian Science church’s caretaker had at last taken my advice and bought a box of these confident flowers… like so many aristocratic ladies in bespoke perfection posing for the world, sure in every manicured leaf that they were worth your sustained glance and admiration. That caretaker should have taken my advice earlier, for these extremely self-assured marigolds were certainly to the manner born. I stepped closer, bowing low to get a better look.
The flower bed was instantly on the qui vivre, for what I meant as nothing more than curiosity, well-bred courtesy, an act of exquisite politesse and gentility, was at once misinterpreted by the recipients as expected deference and complete adherence, a partisan… but to whom? About what?
For now there was pronounced agitation as what had first appeared to be uniform gave way to unmistakable faction, turmoil and agitation; what had just a moment ago been serene and calm was now anything but.
Petal pandemonium.
The bed writhed with purposeful activity, as every loyal flower marched to its assigned station, this moment anticipated, planned for, rehearsed, now executed. It was a scene of breathtaking awe… and terrible purpose. The brigades of Tagetes Patula massed for their high and dire business. Every heart beat fast… the marigolds were surging now, their colors all unfurled, each row in perfect cadence and array.
There were tears, of course, how could there not be as kith, kin, friends and neighbors would be uprooted, perishing along the way, desiccated, withered, radiant no longer, the more honored, precious withal; jolting evidence of what success entails … but above all there was pride, pulsating, uplifting, the flower of the flower of the Virgin.
And so the French marigolds, showy, thrilling, sublime, riveting every eye, marched forward, forward, forward… nothing more perfect and precise ever seen… nothing more perfect and precise ever desired, the notes of their eerie chant de guerre “Marigold” (released by Nirvana in 1993 and found in every search engine) floating in the crisp air of perfect autumn…
“He’s scared ’cause I warned/ He’s there in case I want it all/ He’s scared ’cause I won.”
Then the celebrated “Six color pictures all in a row/ Of a marigold”, pictures sung about but never shown to or seen by the unworthy and unregenerate.
Written in 1992 by American rock musician Dave Grohl, it was the only song released by Nirvana not to include any contribution from frontman Kurt Cobain (1967-1994). He had demons enough of his own already, and they were already savoring the fast-evolving catastrophe; “He’s there in case I wandered off”. He would need marigolds and the Virgin’s comforting touch… but not yet.
Quo vadis?
And so the ranks of awe-inspiring marigolds, this time of the French variety, impressed, dazzled, and caused every life of whatever kind to stop, watch, and be glad that such a host of puissant warriors was not on this day marching towards them… determined to achieve this mission, as they have achieved every such mission down the ages (or so they say, believe and propagate), no matter the foe, its size, or their numberless ranks.
The marigolds, you see, are not what you once thought and often said upon seeing them in the verdant park of some great chateau, “Oh, the little darlings!”; thereby insulting them and exposing your own expansive ignorance They were neither little nor darlings… thus making yours a mind and opinion they meant irrevocably to change this very day, in a shower of their flashy panache.
Thus they annexed terra firma, inch by inch, until the wide world awoke to their astonishing presence and what might happen by overlooking Nature’s “little darlings”‘ and misunderstanding them so.
And so the marigolds, tireless, determined, resolute, recognizing no obstacle as even remotely powerful or sufficient to delay their adamant purpose marched on and on, their chant de guerre known to all and everywhere… for the marigolds carried nirvana in their stylish kits, never a petal or a stem out of place, certain of who they were, where they were going, what they must do and the ineluctable victory and supreme achievement which must be theirs and for all to praise and forever remember.
“Welcome to Calendula.”
Then there it was… a giant billboard with this adamant declaration, “Welcome to Calendula, home of the REAL Marigold. Accept NO substitutions” and a picture of the Virgin holding a sprig of Calendula Arvensis, the field marigold; a flower that looked like a daisy, not at all like the brilliant, ostentatious French marigolds, their elegant uniforms a la mode designed on the Rue de la Paix.
These swaggering flowers were now arrayed in their thousands before the great fields where Calendula Officinalis held sway; the rich flower from which a staggering number of renowned herbal and cosmetic products named “calendula” (from the Latin, meaning “little calendar”) inevitably derive, each balm to a troubled world; a world which cannot get enough of this plant, its soothing properties, its gift for uplifting, refreshing and reviving.
This is what the world needs; this is what they give the world, all welcome, no one ever turned away, an unequalled place of empathy, of kindness, of unstinting care, of tranqulity and unconditional love… except for Tagetes Patula. Tagetes! Their unqualified Nemesis! Tagetes! Usurper of the very word marigold!
Tagetes! Insolent! Condescending! A by-word for arrogance! Hubris! Unceasing disdain! Their greatest and most tenacious foe… their own cousin, close related, their very similarity augmenting, fermenting their abiding contempt for each other.
“Hear this, O World. I am the REAL marigold, the one true marigold!”
Thus did two great and unreconcilable hosts stand before each other on the plains of destiny, malice on their minds, mayhem at the ready. “Attention!,” said the resplendent Tagetes officer, his golden epaulettes shining. “Eyes forward!”, shouted his Calendula counterpart. Then both together, “March! Forward march! Engage! Engage!”
So in their thousands and their tens of thousands did the magnificent marigolds move against each other, no parley, no compromise, no moderation possible, risking absolutely everything for just one word.
The morning after.
“Father, father. Look what I have found! I found them at the top of the hill, all uprooted, their stems cut, leaves covered with dirt. I didn’t steal them, I promise. They are so beautiful.”
The father knew where they had come from and why they were there. “I know you didn’t, son. We shall take these flowers with us to Ganga Ma, Mother Ganges for each must be cleansed in the perpetual waters beyond time, for even flowers, things of sacred life and destiny, must have their sins washed away and go pristine into the great forever.”
Thus as the sun rose, they chanted together “Ganga Mata Ki Jai!” –”Victory to Mother Ganges!” — whilst they threw the marigolds into the timeless waters and watched their unmatched splendor drift away in the muddy eddies, enriched by the ashes of the faithful and chips of their bones, their undimmed radiance accompanying the dead on their final journey, amrita, nectar of immortality. Dedication.
For Earth maven Patrice Porter, a woman of great heart and tenacious spirit. Here is your inspiration… build your burgeoning empire upon it, helping all. >From your friend, the author.
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is the author of over a dozen print books, several ebooks, and over one thousand online articles. Republished with author’s permission by Howard Martell <a href=””></a>. Check out Niche Flipper ->

“It had to be you”. The gift of duende, the most elusive and special quality on Earth. You either have it… or you most assuredly don’t.

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by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.
Author’s program note. This article was inspired by not one but two recent restaurant closings in my neighborhood, two places packed with memories of every kind. I couldn’t, just couldn’t, let them go without a fond embrace, some auld lang syne. After all, they were both in their time important to me… not least because in one of them I almost died… whilst the other was the very epicenter of my rip-snorting youth… To neglect them, either of them, would be to slight myself and my youthful jaunts and jollities, and that would never do. But first the tune…
“It Had to Be You”.
In 1924, if you had any pretensions to style and class, you were prepared to dance a broom around the kitchen if you could croon this sultry number of aching wistfulness. Isham Jones composed the music, Gus Kahn wrote the lyrics. Almost a dozen top artists recorded it that year and you loved them all. “It Had to Be You.” And because you were sure, absolutely positive your deflating younger brother wasn’t anywhere near, you could bend and gyrate in ways you were sure no one on this spinning rock had ever duplicated or even imagined; you let fly with all that goofy adolescent magic, high octane charm and killer smile… at this moment, perhaps only for an instant, you were closer to duende than you had ever been before, or might ever be again..
And it only got closer still when flipping through the ads for the latest automobiles you saw the one that was put on this planet just for you. It was the latest Stutz Bearcat (a steal at $65,000) and your heart leaped because you and that baby were born for each other. It had to be yours….
No one had to tell you what to do, what to wear (white ducks never out of fashion), the right speed (fast enough to lose the hicks, slow enough so they couldn’t miss a single feature of your dazzling progress)… or the perfect, totally aloof demeanor, hundekissen for naughty countesses with time on their manicured and caressing hands and Long Island heiresses like Daisy Buchanan, who smelled like money and were just too alluring to miss whatever the consequences. You just cannot help yourself. And that is duende…
Duende, an attempted definition.
Duende is the thing you know when you see it; the quai in the je ne c’est… the words with which you try to describe charisma (but cannot)… try to explain chic to the person who calls it “chick” and not “shiek”. Duende is the compilation, the expression, the knock ‘em on the derriere quality that contains spirit, silk, raw animal magnetism. It is more appealing than sex appeal, something you might see on the silver screen… or as close as that girl behind the check out counter. Oh, mama, those eyes… And they, too, are duende. For you see duende can occur anywhere and under any circumstances.
You might go through a lifetime struggling for a single magic moment… while the little leaguer next door age just 12, already has the knack and proved it when he struck out, leaving the bases loaded in the last game of the series. The crowd first jeered and laughed. Then when he doffed his cap and bowed, graceful, smile wide and all inclusive, exhibiting a riot of golden curls, they changed their tune and started to cheer and shout; the boy bowed again… and the crowd roared. He was one of them, one of the people who tried hard and muffed it; practised hard, then failed the test.
They were celebrating their often awkward and confused lives and they were grateful to their new young member for helping them see it clearly and in perspective. He had known failure…. but with a smile and completely graceful nonchalance he had risen above it, a bad patch that became a glorious moment. We might lose, we might stumble, but we could never be defeated.
That moment of duende put the boy on the front page of the New York Times. The captain of the winning team got a nice trophy. That wonderful lad who struck out got immortality and a stamp in his honor. Duende’s like that.
George Frazier.
The man who knew duende better than anyone was George Frazier. “For nobody else, gave me a thriil with all your faults, I love you still.”
It is now time for you to meet the man who spent a lifetime determining which people, experiences and events had it and which didn’t. His name was George Frazier (1911- 1974) and while you may never have heard his name or read a single limpid word or trenchant line he ever wrote, the journalists you respect, particularly the commentators and columnists, surely have, over and over again. You see, Frazier is a journalist’s journalist, the place these writers go when they want to read a man who was consumed by words, their artful manipulations, their arcane mysteries.
Frazier looked the part. He was spare of figure, lived (or rather killed himself by inches) wreathed in blue smoke, always a clever phrase of sarcasm and wit poised and ready for launching; the hint of liquor on his breath (but only the best brews) and the lingering scent of some lady of quality, her monogrammed handkerchief in his pocket.
We can picture that woman clearly and the look she gave him. It was how Ingrid Bergman looked when before leaving Casablanca she turned to look at Rick for the last time. It was a moment of duende in a film of duende, and we are not surprised to learn the actors had no script when they filmed; that the script only was made after the filming was completed. It was duende, completely duende, duende at the highest level… and when we saw it, we knew it was magic and would probably never happen again. And it never has.
Frazier went to Harvard, graduating in 1932. Harvard got the better deal. They needed Frazier and his incomparably sharp observations. He didn’t need Harvard… or Yale… or Princeton. They were predictable and prosaic. He was anything but… as Boston came to know when he decided to stay and give her the pleasure of his unequaled company; acid, chalk on a blackboard, the sound and smell that comes when a car turns the corner too fast and dangerous.
Frazier peddled his unique mixture of honesty, integrity and lyrical torture to all of Boston’s then flourishing newspapers, finally at the Boston Globe, which in proper Puritan pukka considered itself the acme of words. Thanks to Frazier they probably were. “It looks like snow, he said, and it was all there, all the sadness and all the silveryness in a single sentence.” Frazier earned his place on the Nixon enemies list and wore it like a boutonniere, flagrant, proud, in your face and I’ll be damned if I will.
Andy Frazier.
It was during his time at the Boston Globe that I should have met George Frazier. It would have been ridiculously easy. My bartender of choice, Andy, was Frazier’s nephew and Andy liked me… Andy was born to tend bar (though he had the usual high flying aspirations people brag about when they are never going to achieve anything). He made the bar at the Hasty Pudding, older than the Great Republic itself, next door to where I lived on Holyoke Street, a Cambridge venue of choice. I was a member, but only because the club needed the extra revenues. As far as I recall I was the only graduate student allowed.
I went most every day at 4 p.m. or so. Drinks were a quarter apiece, but more often than not Andy “lost” my initialled chits or possibly assigned them through his unique bookkeeping “system” to the sons of rich alumni, which I was not.
Thus, the club empty but for Andy and me, I sat day after day in a comfortable, boy-battered leathered corner, the best English novels in hand, the best daiquiris available on Earth, presented on a silver platter. It was plate, of course, but Andy delivered it with the panache of a royal footman. And then the stories would begin… of people we knew in common, about the Irish in Boston, about the Kennedys, dissimulating cardinals, frisky priests, ladies no better than they should be… about who was sleeping with whom; who wanted that fact known… and who didn’t. Marvelous stories… stories that missed truth by a mile; stories that you hoped weren’t true but you knew were vouched for by God.
All that was missing was Uncle George and his surgical knife edge. I should have accepted Andy’s frequent invitations to meet him, but like all the young I thought I had forever to conjure with. I was wrong. We all were wrong. I figured that out soon enough on my own; like I also figured out there was some kind of estrangement between Uncle George and his nephew. You see, George Frazier was a snob; jealously protective of his growing fame. Andy was that most embarrassing of pot boilers, the shabby, disreputable relative. Andy loved talking about the man whose columns on duende were read at the White House and the Harvard Faculty Club… but introducing me to the man was never in the cards. Andy’s recommendations were probably suspect from the start.
Dinner at the Pudding.
In due course, I’d read enough, drunk enough, munched enough. It was time to find a dinner companion. He’d be bright (no problem there; the best and the brightest were readily at hand), merciless, funny as all get out, and just as ready to use you, as you were to use him. With any luck he’d be keeping a journal of his life at Harvard, and we’d mention en passant that we could compare passages a half century from now when we were both famous, petted, spoiled, the toast of a dozen great cities and their fastidious elites, completely blase’. The parameters of the search went like this:
“Some others I’ve seen, might never be mean/ Might never be cross, or try to be boss/ But they wouldn’t do… It had to be you, wonderful you.” And so the evening passed away comme il faut for every Harvard student had two sets of manners: 1) for people not of the university, who needed to be treated just well enough but no better and always put and kept in their places and 2) Harvard students who would be subtle but thorough in their review of you and your future worthiness… whilst you, of course, were doing the same to them. No duende here, just the necessary and serious business of networking and getting ahead; that being the reason for going to the world’s greatest university in the first place.
It had to be me. Chez Henri, Shepard Street.
It was a daiquiri, pale green like the goddess of envy, so sweet, so tart it set my teeth on edge, one sip fuel enough to swagger and posture like a grandee of Spain. I was dining with my niece Chelsea Victoria. It was the first time this new prep school graduate and I had ever been alone together. I lifted my frosted glass, gave her a grandiloquent and hearty toast, and quaffed. “Chelsea,” I said, “I need to get some air.” I turned towards the door and then I felt myself flying into an exalted pyramid of cocktail glasses, hundreds of them stacked neatly so, ready for my Olympic stunt.
I woke up on the floor, piles of shards sparkling in the soft light, one gentleman holding my left hand; one holding my right; Chelsea looking on like a ghost. I was a tad groggy but my comments were spot on, “But, gentlemen, I hardly know you.” And so as these two doctors dining in the restaurant checked my vital signs I still had pluck enough to know this was my moment of duende and behave accordingly, for no one in history was ever dressed so well, cut so little, and so artfully displayed amongst the shower of slivers and luminescent chunks on the floor. And if that isn’t duende I’d like to know what is.
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is the author of over a dozen printed publications, several ebooks, and over one thousand online articles. Republished with author’s permission by Howard Martell <a href=””></a>. Check out Niche Flipper ->

4 Little-Known Secrets to Better Networking

4 Little-Known Secrets to Better Networking

Sports are always a good icebreaker. Did you know that there’s a website to bring you up to speed on individual teams and sports categories?

Everyone has heard the phrase: “It’s not what you know, it’s whoyou know.”

While this saying will always hold merit, the concept of networking is different today than it was 20 to 30 years ago. With the help of the internet and social media, we are more connected than ever and able to efficiently interact with massive numbers of people.

As an entrepreneur, you may find the early stages of networking incredibly difficult. The name of the game is identifying the right people to get acquainted with and then talking with them with a healthy dose of assertiveness about relevant subjects .

Here are four tips to keep in mind when building your network from the ground up.

  1. Start by listening.

Just as happens with any business venture, yours will find that  success depends heavily on planning. When you’re looking to network with potential customers or other businesses, you need to be up to speed on the goals and concerns you share.

Knowledge is power. Learning what issues matter to the people you want to form relationships with is crucial for planning your approach. Regardless of whether you’re meeting potential clients/partners at an in-person event, or online, you need a firm understanding of relevant topics to make a good impression. Prepare talking points beforehand.

For example, say you are marketer attending a mixer for startups. You’ll want to go into the event knowing exactly what the relevant issues are and how you can help. As an example, the problem might be search engine rankings resulting from a major Google algorithm update. This could be a huge topic of interest and an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise.

Social media is a great resource to get a feel for common obstacles businesses in your category face. Using tools like Mention, you can keep tabs on certain brands, keywords or entire industries to learn what is trending. From there, you can glean the proper insights to come up with the answers people are looking for.

Related: The Top 10 Behaviors to Avoid When Networking

  1. Get involved.

One of the most fascinating things about the business world is that valuable connections can form just about anywhere. It’s only a matter of getting out there. The best way to do this is by immersing yourself in groups that play to your, or your prospective contacts’, interests.

Become active in different groups or organizations and contribute valuable material. This will show that you truly have wisdom to offer, even as you build an extensive network. The internet has made this process easier than ever. Why not take advantage of it?

Apps like TagFi are great for finding social groups you can relate to and add value. The app enables you to meet up with like-minded individuals and bond over shared interests. From leisure activities to business endeavors, you can find clever ways to engrain yourself in all sorts of communities.

  1. Make meaningful small talk.

The value of small talk is an underrated factor in networking. Generally defined as conversation about topics that are not of great importance, small talk can do wonders to create rapport.

“Small talk cannot be dismissed as peripheral, marginal or minor discourse. Small talk is a means by which we negotiate interpersonal relationships. This is a crucial function with significant implications for ongoing and future interactions,” said Justine Coupland, an expert on sociolinguistics and author of Small Talk.

Whether it’s personal or professional, small talk can serve as a bookend for comings and goings while allowing smoother transitions between roles. Aside from simplistic icebreakers like: “How is your family?” or “Nice weather we’re having,” the trick is finding topics outside of professional talk that lead to meaningful conversations.

Depending on your network and location, a great place to start is with sports. For example, say you are looking to do business in Chicago and are meeting with potential partners or clients. Starting a conversation about the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls or Blackhawks will likely result in some casual, quality small talk.

However, if you choose to go this route, you must be well educated on the topics to start a conversation. Chances are, if you run into a die-hard local fan, they can talk for hours about that person’s favorite team. Do your research! Apps like Kroo Sports allow you to select any professional sports organization and stay up-to-date on all related news.

Small talk is all about forming friendships. Before talking business, be relatable on a personal level.

  1. Stay in touch.

Networking events tend to have a strong energy, causing people to get wrapped up in the moment. After the event, it’s easy to get sidetracked and forget whom you spoke with. It’s important to realize that the goal of these mixers is to build long-lasting professional relationships.

Do your best to get connected as soon as possible. Send a LinkedIn request or email letting people know you enjoyed their company. Try to personalize the message. Include a small tidbit from your conversation. This is simply a way to add professional contacts and a means of further correspondence.

Make frequent efforts to keep in touch. Even something as simple as forwarding a relevant article shows you have a sincere interest in maintaining contact. Social media makes this process easy. Use it to your advantage.

Related: Entrepreneurs, Beware This Terrible Way of Networking on Social Media

As an entrepreneur, realize that your product or service is just the tip of the iceberg. Your ability to spread important information throughout a variety of networks is what will determine the life or death of your business. Don’t be shy; instead, get your name out there!

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