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How to turn your Twitter into a valuable industry resource

If you already have a Twitter account, no doubt you already know the great value of this social media platform. But did you know that you can turn your twitter into a valuable resource for your industry? It’s true; you can, and there are plenty of reasons why you should want to do this. Creating an industry resource with your Twitter builds your reputation and helps you gain influence. Here are the steps to follow to make this happen.

1. Make a list of influencers 

Carefully construct Twitter lists of the people you’d like to emulate. These can be leaders in your industry or field, people unanimously respected in the industry, or new up-and-comers who are rapidly gaining popularity in your field. Also, you can look at other influencer’s lists, such as Robert Scoble, to find ideas of people who should be on yours. You can even subscribe to public lists of other people on Twitter.

2. Start curating 

Great industry leaders such as Maxwell Systems collect or ‘curate’ resources that will be useful for their followers. Maxwell has become well-known in the construction technology sector for being so good at finding great resources to share with their followers. So how do you find this great stuff to share? You can start by sharing the best snippets of content from the blogs that you’re already reading. In addition, you can frequently find good material from your Twitter lists.

It’s also a good idea to keep a close eye on news headlines. Watch for any breaking stories with relevance to your field or industry, and share them on your Twitter. Subscribe to newsletters that you find informative and like pages on Facebook that post interesting content. Be a student of your industry or field and make a conscious effort to always be learning.

Read books and magazine or journal articles written by experts in the field, and listen to podcasts by experts. Attend webinars and conferences, and always have a pen and paper ready to take notes. You never know when you’ll come across some inspiration for great content.

While you’re curating this content, there are two important things to consider. First, always give credit where credit’s due. If you’re using content created by someone else, be sure to acknowledge them for it. Also, try not to just pass along this information. If you’re really serious about using your Twitter to become a valuable industry resource, you should make your own contributions to the wealth of material that’s already out there.

This means that you should expound upon the material that you’re curating. Why is it so good? What makes it valuable? What are some important points that the original creator might have failed to mention? Think about and explain these things to your audience.

Another important tip to keep in mind: you should be using a tool to schedule your tweets. Buffer and HootSuite are two good ones worth checking out.

3. Build a following 

Once you’ve found great influencers and have started to accrue some great content, the next step is to build your own following. One of the brilliant minds behind Tweet Smarter, Dave Larson, says that the answer to building a following on Twitter is finding a ‘Super Advocate.’ And you find this, Larson explains, by becoming a ‘super advocate’ for someone else.

This means that you do everything you can to support that person, from retweeting their tweets to commenting on their tweets and giving shout outs that praise them on your own Twitter. Why is this strategy so effective? It all goes back to the golden rule: do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. Endorsing someone else on Twitter makes it much more likely that you will be endorsed on Twitter. Remember, what goes around comes around. It pays to be nice.

Becoming an industry resource on Twitter is an essential part of establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. With the right influencers, a curation of great content and a good following, there’s no limit to what you can do!

Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and social media marketer who loves picking apart social campaigns to see how they tick. To see more of her work, follow @adrienneerin on Twitter or visit her blog.

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The applied learner’s key to success: Entrepreneurship

Richard Branson has built an empire around the phrase “Screw it, let’s do it.”

The multimillionaire says that, when presented with an opportunity, many people say “no” or “let me think about it” because they are “overcautious” or “suspicious” of new ideas — or they simply need time to think. Branson, on the other hand, is eager to dive in headfirst and figure out logistics later.

“What is worse,” Branson asks, “Making the occasional mistake or having a closed mind and missing opportunities?”

As most born entrepreneurs would agree, the benefits of trying new things far outweigh the risk of making a mistake.

Conceptual vs. applied learners 
Whether he realizes it or not, Branson is describing a fundamental difference in the way people learn. People who “simply need time to think” are conceptual learners — that is, they approach knowledge from an intellectual vantage point. Conceptual learners are great readers, and they do well with hypothetical examples.

Branson, on the other hand, is the very personification of an applied learner. He learns by doing. An applied learner doesn’t hesitate to get her hands dirty; she’s less concerned with feasibility and analysis than she is with taking action. Applied learners jump off the cliff and build their wings mid-air.

It’s not surprising that applied learners make the best entrepreneurs. Like swimming, entrepreneurship is not primarily an intellectual endeavor. It requires a combination of determination and fearlessness. A skilled entrepreneur is eager to get in over her head and figure things out as she moves forward.

If you’re an applied learner, entrepreneurship could be a powerful tool for unleashing your inner potential.

How to determine learning styles 
When you’re learning something of little practical value, do you find yourself bored? And when you learn about something exciting, do you have the urge to try it out immediately?

Bonus question: When Elvis sings, “A little less conversation, a little more action please,” do you feel like he’s speaking directly to you?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may be an applied learner. And if you haven’t considered launching an enterprise, you should.

It’s not an easy path, though. According to the Small Business Administration, abouthalf of all new businesses survive five years or more, and only about one-third survive 10 years or more. In the face of rapidly changing markets and technologies, an entrepreneur needs to make strategic decisions quickly and effectively.

Tenacity, flexibility and the ability to think on your feet are skills that can be explored in a classroom, but they’re only mastered through real-world application.

How to get started 
If you feel ready to try your hand at entrepreneurship, there’s nothing stopping you. Develop your idea, then dive right in. As an applied learner, you’re already comfortable with learning through execution.

Here are some guidelines for leveraging your learning style into entrepreneurial growth:

  • Put your baseline knowledge to use. If this is your first entrepreneurial endeavor, the learning curve will be steep no matter what. Therefore, familiarity with a particular industry — even if it’s just basic knowledge — can be a real asset. Choose a sector based on what you already know. A head start can go a long way.
  • Treat everything as a learning experience. In launching a business, you’ll face a constant barrage of challenges, failures, and curveballs. It can overwhelm even the most seasoned entrepreneur. But remember this: Every fork in the road is a lesson. Even if you fail outright, you’ll have acquired new skills, knowledge, and networks. This makes you better prepared for whatever comes next.
  • Find the right mentors. As an applied learner, the benefits of finding a mentor — someone with frontline experience — are tremendous. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, and a pillar of emotional support. He or she will hold you accountable, connect you with critical resources, and help expand your network. Keep yourself open to your mentor’s criticism and feedback. This relationship can accelerate your journey as an entrepreneur.

The adventure of entrepreneurship 
Not every applied learner is a born entrepreneur. For some, the risks are too great. There’s little stability or job security in entrepreneurship.

But for people who choose to launch their own enterprises, the primary goal is rarely a stable lifestyle. Entrepreneurship is a chance to blaze your own trail and create something out of nothing. It’s a stimulating, fulfilling adventure.

If you’re even remotely interested in becoming an entrepreneur, go for it. The path may be challenging, but it’s filled with opportunities to learn and grow.

David Zheng is the co-founder and CEO of Klout Fire, a digital marketing agency that helps brands drive revenue by acquiring customers and establishing brand awareness through inbound marketing strategies. 

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