How Do You Do It?

If there is one question I consistently get is “how do you manage to stay up-to-date on all the information about social media, websites, and digital marketing?” Those who know me understand that I am an entrepreneur running a virtual marketing agency which also means I have to wear multiple hats as part of my role. As such, I have had to rely on some tricks and resources to assure I can keep up-to-date on my own learning and to stay sharp.

I thought I would take time to share “behind the curtain” tips on how I keep current. The following is a list of some resources and tools I turn to:

    1. Scanning Articles from Trusted Sources
      While most leaders and professionals will tell you that being a voracious reader is key to learning and retaining new information, I have found that I need to do more scanning and absorbing rather than true reading. I use a tool called feedly.com to aggregate a few hundred industry blogs to review on a regular basis. Part of my social media strategy is content curating, so it forces me to review this on a regular basis. I scan the articles to get the main points and then save them to Evernote for later reference. One of my favorites: Media Post’s Engaging Teens.  Here is a link to some of my collections on Feedly.
    2. Business Reading on Kindle
      I also utilize the Kindle app on my iPad Mini to read all business books digitally. That allows me to use the kindle.amazon.com website to later review my notes and highlights for all of my books. This allows me to review and recount passages that I might want to share or do additional research upon.
    3. Ask Questions: Google Search
      Sometimes, I might just start with a question: “What are current social media statistics for 2015?” Google will return some good article, and even better videos. Check out this one that I have made a part of my presentations:
    4. Periodicals
      I also rely on traditional periodicals. I subscribe to the following that helps me discover new information on a regular basis:

      Indianapolis Star
      Wall Street Journal
      The Chronicle of Higher Education
      Entrepreneur
      Wired
      Fast Company
      Mental Floss (for creative thinking/ideas)

    5. Social Media
      I also regularly pay attention to Twitter and LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn Pulse to review new articles as well as the regular updates in my feed. While I don’t use Twitter as much as LinkedIn, I sometimes open Tweetdeck to follow industry hashtags and thought leaders.
    6. Idea/Research/Investigate
      I also keep a project file in Nozbe, my task management software, that is an Idea/Research project. If I get an email or come across an idea, I’ll often create a task to follow-up on later to investigate more.
    7. Talk to Generation Z
      I also regularly engage my teenagers in conversation about what they are using…Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. I ask them what their friends are using and why. This helps provide some insight to the market that I am serving.

These are just a few of my “behind the scenes” of how I stay up-to-date. What are some ways you stay up to date? Leave a comment below!

Image by melpomen via 123rf