7 Qualities That Make Mark Zuckerberg An Ace CEO

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Mark_ZuckerbergOn the eve of Facebook’s IPO, as I finish my copy of “The Facebook Effect” by David Kirkpatrick, I have learned a lot about Facebook’s young CEO and got many insights into what makes him the formidable leader he has grown into.

So I thought I’d put down the things that impressed me most about Mark Zuckerberg.

1. He has a vision

His vision was that of a more open and connected world. And throughout the growth of Facebook, he has stuck to his vision of a product that offers value while connecting people and building a world with more empathy.

Right from the beginning, the frugal-living Zuckerberg was never in it for the money. He had a larger vision and not only thought ahead to where he wanted to take Facebook, but pushed himself and his team to put all their creativity into their work.

2. He goes beyond his comfort zone

To be a good leader, to go places, you must be willing to go further than others have and do things others won’t. He worked his ass off, did things he was uncomfortable with (like travelling across continents to speak to audiences about his vision) and did what had to be done to build his company.

3. He is willing to make mistakes

From the privacy fiasco to the newsfeed, Zuckerberg was willing to take risks, and often had to backtrack on changes that did not work. But that did not dampen his appetite for innovation and part of Facebook’s philosophy is to innovate, so we can safely assume that he will continue to do things that don’t always go down well with some of its users.

4. He is willing to face criticism

While many young people would have withered in the face of the very public criticism he took, including having a rather unflattering movie made about him (The Social Network), he took it like a champ, even taking the staff for a screening of the movie.

5. He adapts to situations quickly

When he faced growing criticism over privacy allegations, Zuckerberg caved in to public opinion, giving users more control over their privacy. He learned quickly how much user experience mattered and adapted his decisions to be more inclusive of them.

6. He doesn’t need to control everything

A lot of innovation at Facebook happens with the interaction of the users, as in the translation application, which happened without Zuckerberg’s direct influence. He knows when to guide policy and when to give up control. That is what has made Facebook a network created in part with the help of user interaction.

7. He builds the right relationships

From someone who had few friends (as portrayed in The Social Network), to hobnobbing with the likes of Peter Thiel (LinkedIn) and Sean Parker (Napster), Zuckerberg has, from the start, built connections and relationships with the bigwigs of Silicon Valley. If you believe that you are the sum of the people you are closest to, then Mark Zuckerberg is certainly in very good company.

© Priya Florence Shah is a published author, editor and online publisher, and business blogging consultant. Get access to her free business blogging webinar and learn how to use blogs to brand yourself and your business.

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5 Reasons Why Blogging Can Advance Your Career Prospects

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writing a blogIn the current scenario, for every job position that is open, there are about six or even more than six job seekers.

These days, looking for a job has become quite challenging.

You cannot expect to secure a position unless you show an employer what makes you special and why you deserve to get the job.

Starting a blog is one way you can do both. A blog can also boost your career prospects in many other ways.

While blogging has become a marvelous hobby, blogs are also turning out to be a splendid tool to impress your future employers. Ten years ago, professional blogging wasn’t even a career, but now new businesses and careers can be built by even casual bloggers.

These days, you can effectively captivate the attention of a target employer with a blog. There are a number of ways that blogging can boost your career prospects and help you get a great job.

1. A blog will present you as an expert

Your target employers will see you as an expert in your field if you have a blog, and you are blogging about your profession or your favourite topics on a consistent basis. If an employer sees you as an expert, you will be more likely to secure a job, and your expert status will come in handy when you decide to ask for a raise.

2. A blog can showcase your resume

The job market of today is extremely competitive. You can effectively set yourself apart from other job candidates by using your blog as an extension of your resume or even putting up your portfolio and resume on your blog.

Linking to your social profiles, like LinkedIn, can also help potential employers contact you easily. Along with learning that you are an expert in your field, potential employers will also get to assess your skills and experience all in one place.

3. Having a blog means you are current

You cannot continue blogging on consistently and regularly, unless you are up to date on the current trends and news. So, if you are blogging regularly, it will show employers that you are motivated about staying relevant in your field of interest, and they will most likely hire you based on this.

4. A blog serves as a testament of your passion

Having a blog shows that you are passionate about your field and profession. Through your blog, the whole world can share your passion, and that includes potential employers. Employers are always in search of passionate employees who demonstrate commitment and dedication, and you will ideally fit that criterion if you are maintaining a regularly-updated blog.

5. A blog can help you foster contacts

Publishing a successful blog will give you the opportunity to connect with others in your industry. Again, to foster as many contacts as you can, make sure your blog is also linked to your social media accounts. Through your network, you will get access to potential job offers and valuable career advice.

The employers of today do not merely look for a degree and a resume when interviewing a potential employee. They intend to hire someone who stands out from the rest and through your blog, you can showcase to potential employers your unique personality, passion and skills.

Some things to keep in mind when blogging to boost your career prospects are:

• Let your sense of humour shine through
• You don’t need to be politically correct all the time, but…
• Stay off controversial topics like sex, religion and politics
• Keep your focus on your strengths, your interests, hobbies and career

Priya Florence Shah is the author of “Blogging For Small Business: How to Use Blogs & Content To Grow Your Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) ,” available on Amazon.com and other online bookstores. She is also the publisher of Naaree.com, an online magazine for Indian women.

4 Business Blog Benefits That Will Leave Your Competition In The Dust

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Brands with blogs attract 97% more links and 55% more website visitors than brands without blogs. ~ Jeanne Hopkins, HubSpot

If you ever had any doubts about the benefits of blogging for business, the quote above should banish that.

There are many advantages to starting a company blog. Here we elaborate on just four blog benefits that will take your business light years ahead of the competition, in terms of visibility, positioning and profits.

1. Get published in print

When journalists research a story, the first place they look is online (read, Google). Now if that story is about your industry or your company, you definitely want to be one of the top news sources in the search engines.

Having your own blog not only catapults you to the top of the search engine results pages, but also ensures that your opinions, sometimes even your entire article, are reproduced in the print media, making you a power player in the eyes of your audience.

To businesses that are interested in media coverage, this translates into beating your competitors hollow in terms of media hits and visibility.

2. Become a trusted authority on your subject

They more you get quoted in print media, or have people read the well-written and informative articles on your blog, the more easily it will position you as an authority on your subject in their minds.

Having your own blog can help you achieve this goal with relative ease, as compared to the efforts involved in sending out press releases and courting journalists.

The third-party endorsement you get from the media positions you as the “person-to-go-to” when your customers need a solution that you offer. It also tells your customers that you’re a more trustworthy choice than your competitors.

3. Build a list, build influence

Smart companies understand the power of permission marketing through email updates, and know the power of having a list of blog readers that they can market to again and again. Writing a blog regularly gives your readers and potential customers an incentive to subscribe to your posts.

The earlier you start blogging and building a list, the greater will be the benefits that accrue from having a large list of subscribers who opt-in to read your posts. A large list also gives you the advantage of social proof and makes you more influential than your competitors.

4. Boost traffic and profits

Having a list of readers to whom you can send out regular updates about your latest products and offers brings them back repeatedly to your website, which can boost your traffic and sales. This decreases your cost of advertising for acquiring new customers and puts your traffic generation efforts on autopilot.

© Priya Florence Shah is a former journalist, editor and online publisher and content marketing consultant. She runs a business blog consulting firm that offers blogging services to help you brand yourself and your business online.

7 Qualities Of Incredibly Viral Content

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Remember the video of the guy who stood at a busy intersection offering everyone free hugs? The Free Hugs campaign was started by Juan Mann on December 1, 2004, when he began giving out hugs in the Pitt Street Mall in central Sydney.

That little video not only notched up millions of YouTube views, but also started a movement, known as the Free Hugs Campaign.

What exactly makes a simple, amateurish video like that go viral? And what are the qualities that define viral content – the holy grail for marketers who want to promote a brand or product on social media?

Although there are no guarantees for making your content go viral, I believe that, like the Free Hugs video, virality is created by a number of factors that work together to appeal to a large portion of humanity.

Here are the 7 qualities that I believe viral content must have.

1. Has global appeal

Like the concept of free hugs, a viral creative must appeal to a large portion of humanity. It must transcend boundaries of race, creed, gender, income and religion to appeal to humans at a very basic level.

2. Triggers a primal human emotion

Content goes viral because it triggers a very primal emotion in human beings. Love, compassion, laughter – these are all emotions that touch a primitive chord in us, making us want to share the content with other humans.

Fear also triggers a primal response, but I believe people are less likely to share a message that triggers negative emotions than one that triggers positive feelings.

3. Is humourous/moving/entertaining/fun

Viral content has a number of emotional triggers that make people want to share it with others. Content that elicits laughter, moves you to tears of joy, is inspiring, or is just plain fun and entertaining is content that gets shared.

Fun and entertainment, in particular get a large number of shares and eyeballs. Just check out how many views those videos of cute cats doing silly things get online.

4. Makes us believe in the goodness of human nature

We all want to believe that people are good at heart. That is why content that demonstrate a person’s compassion, heroism or attempts to create peace between warring factions gets a whole lot of love.

5. Makes the sharer look good to his/her network

We all want to look good in front of our friends and fans. Ever read one of those little Zen quotes or stories that seem to get so many shares? People love to share them, not only because it makes them think, but also because it makes the sharer come across as wise and profound to his/her audience.

6. Tells a story

Stories have been used for thousands of years to promote ideas and concepts. They have a very basic appeal and are engaging enough to make people want to read them in totality and share them with others.

7. Plays on popular memes

If you’ve ever seen or created an image based on the “Grumpy Cat” meme (the cat who hates everything and everyone), you know what I mean.

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Content based on popular memes gets shared very quickly and widely because people immediately relate it to something else they have seen online. Just make sure your brand message has some relevance to the meme you use, or it will backfire.

Now that you know the 7 qualities of incredibly viral content, put on your thinking cap and work on your own ideas to take your brand or business further than it has ever gone before.