COM0015: Event Participation

STARTUP GRIND OTTAWA EVENT

On November 25, 2013 I attended an event called Startup Grind Ottawa. The event was hosted by Franco Varriano (Startup Grind Ottawa Director) and Greg Isenberg (a young entrepreneur, and the CEO of the website 5By).The event mostly focussed on what it takes to be a young and successful entrepreneur. In the first part of the event, Greg Isenberg presented his accomplishments, failures, and his journey to being an entrepreneur. The last part of the event was the actual networking part.

Startup Grind Ottawa Hosted Greg Isenberg (5By): startup_grind_ottawa_greg_isenberg_2

WHY I WAS THERE

I chose to attend this event because I liked that it was more geared towards young people. Some of the other events that I had thought about attending sounded like they were for people who were already successful professionals. Since, I am still a student, I thought that this event would be more appropriate for myself. Also, I liked that the main topic of the event was how to become a successful entrepreneur. I thought that learning about this topic would be beneficial to me, especially if I plan on starting a business in the future.

Startup Grind Ottawa Hosted Greg Isenberg (5By): startup_grind_ottawa_greg_isenberg

WHO ELSE WAS THERE?

As I stated, the event was more geared towards young people. Most of the people that attended the event were fairly young, and most were students like myself. Many of these students were studying business or communications. Unfortunately since most of the people attending the event were students, I did not have a lot of opportunity to speak with many professionals. I did however, get the opportunity to speak with Franco Varriano and Greg Isenberg, Both stated that since they were young teenagers they had always been interested in entrepreneurship. They also both agreed that networking was one of the leading factors that guided their current success. Particularly, Greg Isenberg based most of his success due to his networking. He even stated that whenever he wants to meet a particular person he will attend events where he knows that one of that persons friends may be at. I thought this was a little crazy, but also a smart way to develop contacts!

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?

 Overall, I did find the event very informative. I did not realise how important networking is in the business world. Going to these events, and making contacts can really help you career (whether you are an entrepreneur or something else). Although I did enjoy the event, I probably will not attend another one in the near future. The only reason I attended the event was for this project. Therefore, unless I am forced to attend another one, I have no plans on doing so. Also, I did at times feel a little bit awkward at the event. Going alone to an event can be very intimidating, and I actually found myself really wanting to leave throughout most of the event. Either way, it was still a great learning experience!

The following image is a picture of my ticket for the event:
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The following link is a link to the Startup Grind website:
http://startupgrind.com/ottawa/ 

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COM 0015: Post 4- Out of the Box

I have always used social media as a personal tool to interact with my friends and family. Until this course, I never realised the effort businesses make to get involved in the social media world and the different ways they use the web to market their businesses. Some of the practices that I found of importance include:

–          Knowing your target audience

–          Following industry specific trends

–          Building an on-line presence

Knowing you Target Audience

In this course, we looked at the importance of knowing and understanding your target audience. We saw that can you determine your audience by conducting research. This research can include demographic information and personal information about your target audience. We also found that monitoring your audience can also greaten your knowledge about them. For example, determining other websites they may be interested in or tracking the number of sales. Finding out this information will greaten the relationship between you and your audience. Once you understand your audience, you can begin to create messages and advertisements that will attract your audience to your website/profile/ business.

Following Trends

It is always a good thing to keep up-to-date on the latest trends happening around you; especially when it comes to industry specific trends. Being aware of current trends happening in your industry (of study/ work) will give you a competitive edge in your industry. For example, an employer will believe you are more qualified for a job if you have knowledge on the trends happening in your industry. In a competitive world, it is important to be aware of your industries trends, so that you avoid missing out on any opportunities. Also knowing your trends will make you more valuable and creditable.

Building and On-line Presence

In this course, we also looked at the importance of building an on-line presence for yourself and for your business. When it comes to yourself, creating profiles on websites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and MeetUp allows you to connect or stay connected with other people. All of these websites can be used to make connections, and as well can allow you to meet with potential employers, etc. We also saw that it is also very important to create an on-line presence for your business. This includes creating a unique brand, a website that will be appealing to your target audience, and advertisements so that you can market your business on other websites (ex. Facebook).

I never really understood how important the practices listed above are to surviving on-line marketing and social media. Whether it be personal use or professional use, all of these practices contribute to making successful profiles and websites on-line. From business standpoint, understanding your audience, following trends in your industry and building an on-line presence are all great ways to achieve success in the on-line business world.

Image retrieved from:
http://pauldunay.com/four-ways-to-evolve-your-online-conversions/

COM0015 Tools and Sources

Understanding Your Audience

Determining your target audience is key when developing a website. You must determine what type of people would want to look at your website and what content may be of interest to them. You could also create advertisements that you feel your target audience would enjoy or what may interest them. Interacting with your audience will be a good tool to use when creating a successful website. For example you could have an area where your audience could comment or “like” specific content.

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Image retrieved from: http://collegehowtos.com/event-management-how-to-identify-the-target-audience-896

Develop a Brand

Developing a brand is also a good tool to use. Your brand must be unique to your company. It should be different from the brands of your competing companies. Standing out is important when using social media. If your brand stands out it will most likely receive more feedback from viewers. See the link below for ways to develop a great brand online.

http://socialmediatoday.com/syed-noman-ali/1673251/4-steps-building-credible-online-brand

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is a great source for finding the latest news and updates. It is a great website to use when looking to learn about current news about any type of topic. These topics range from politics and business to entertainment and style. The websites design is easy for anyone to use and the user can also search for content that is of interest to them. The Huffington Post is great for professional development because it allows the user to keep up to date with current news and trends. In any profession it is important to be up to date on the things happening around you.

Twitter

Twitter is also a great source for news and updates; and one that I use often. Twitter feeds keep users updated on current news and sometime within seconds after a situation occurs. Like the Huffington Post, Twitter allows the user to search for content they are interested in. The only issue with Twitter is that it has a reputation of not always being one-hundred percent accurate. The following article takes a look whether or not Twitter is a good news source:

http://thenextweb.com/twitter/2012/11/10/twitter-the-future-of-journalism-or-the-future-of-bad-journalism/

COM0015 Post #2: Strong and Weak Organizations

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STRONG ORGANIZATIONS

  1. Zappos: Zappos is an on-line retailing store. They sell a wide range of products shoes (mostly), clothing, and other accessories. Zappos has a very strong social media strategy, and has become a very popular online retailer. This company has a great page on Facebook. Having this page on Facebook allows Zappos to interact and connect with their customers. For example, Zappos will post pictures of their products on Facebook, and customers can provide feedback on the product. This interaction with customers, has led Zappos to be a well known company with a great reputation of having excellent customers service.
  2. Emmy’s Closet: Like Zappos, Emmy’s Closet is an online retail store. However this company focusses mainly on selling children’s accessories. Emmy’s Closet has a Facebook page, and this page contains a very unique feature that many other companies do not offer. This feature allows customers to browse and purchase products through Facebook. Many customers find this very convenient. Emmy’s Closet’s Facebook page also allows users to share products with their friends and family on Facebook. This can create a viral effect; if of course the product gets shared enough times.

WEAK ORGANIZATIONS

Although we have seen some organizations with a very strong social media presence, other organizations have not quite made their presence known in the world of social media. For example, Apple, one of the biggest technology companies in the world has yet to make a social media presence. Apple does not have an official Facebook page or a Twitter page. Although many companies use social media sites to increase their number of customers and sales, it appears that Apple staying away from social media is actually working well for them. However, although it appears that Apple’s lack of presence in social media is not making a difference in their number of customers and sales, creating a presence could improve customer service. If Apple created pages on Facebook and Twitter, it would give more opportunity for customers to interact with the company. Applecould advertise new products, and as well customers could comment, like, and discuss the Apple products. Other companies have proven that having this interaction with your customers, will only improve customer service and potentially increase sales.

INFORMATION RETRIEVED FROM:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/9-companies-doing-social-media-right-and-why/

http://mashable.com/2012/12/03/brands-not-on-social-media/

COM0015: Post 3 – Professional Networking now and in the future

I recently started using a social networking site, known as Meetup. This website is great for interacting with others, and it is also very easy to use. The website is designed so that users can join into different groups. These groups are each based on common interests. Not only can users interact with one another through the computer, but they can also meet members of their group face-to-face. People within each group organize meetings for their other group members to attend and discuss different topics.

As I said before, Meetup contains a large variety of different group; in which members all share a come interest. For example, there are groups for pet lovers, boy/girl clubs, singles, and much more. The site also contains many different groups related to business (that is what I am interested in). I am currently in one of Ottawa’s entrepreneur groups. We discuss a variety of different topics. These include discussions on how to start up a business, how to make a business successful, and more.

Many members within my group already have their own businesses. Therefore, they share great advice to me about business and they also have many different contacts. Unfortunately, I have not yet had a chance to attend one of our meetings, but I do plan on doing so in the future. I also hope to potentially join other groups on Meet up to further increase the development of my networks.

Image retrieved from:
http://theprovencepost.blogspot.ca/2013/10/lets-meetup.html