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Updated by Listly on Jul 29, 2013
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Amber Naslund Content Audit

Meet Hope | Brass Tack Thinking

I hope you all will forgive me a HUGE diversion from my usual posts to share a super personal story. It's long, and you're welcome to skip it, but it's a story that has a big social media component to it, believe it or not, and a little something for the animal lovers out there.

Connecting On LinkedIn the Right Way

Ah, LinkedIn. I used to kind of ignore it, to be honest. It was a bit of a glorified Rolodex for me, and I only tapped it when I needed to track someone down and I didn't seem to have them in any of my conventional contact streams. But lately, I think LinkedIn has been doing a bang-up job of making themselves relevant and useful.

On Being Present In A Digital World

I've had a few discussions lately with people about the perceived differences between the online world and the "real" one. I have an issue with the distinction, really. The mechanisms may be virtual, but with some exceptions, the people at the other end of the keyboards are not. They're very real.

The Begrudging Death of the Social Media Superstar

I'm not sure what's in the water, but there's a general unrest right now with people in their jobs, careers, and industries. Especially people whose roles involve social, either officially or unofficially. Actually, scratch that. I know exactly what's in the water. Or at least part of it.

Remote Work Is Not An All-Or-Nothing Proposition

Or at least it shouldn't be. With all of the debate recently about Marissa Meyer's decision to rein in remote workers, or the impact that social technologies are having on the way we work, it bothers me that this has become a black-and-white discussion.

Are You Really Cut Out For Change Work?

People get frustrated with the process of change, especially when they're the one who wants the change to happen and they're trying to get others on board. There are a few things about progress, change, and evolution that are pretty consistent truths. Change is incremental more than it is ever sweeping and broad.

We Need More Than Just Strategists

It seems like everyone wants to be a strategist, doesn't it? Have a wander through LinkedIn and pretty much it's on everyone's bio. Including mine. In part, it's because "strategy" sounds important. We beat the hell out of the strategic drum all the time. You need to have a strategy.

Stay Tacky, My Friends. | Brass Tack Thinking

I lied to you. Once upon a time, I said I'd never write a 'newsletter'. I'm reneging on that. I wouldn't call it a newsletter, though. It's an email I'm going to write weekly, but it's not marketing to shill stuff I have for sale.

Stop This Jackassery In the Name Of Good Business | Brass Tack Thinking

It's often said that there are no hard and fast rules in business. That's true enough. You can pretty much find examples of things that "work" - technically - in many different ways. But while the rules are meant to be broken, I'm going out on a limb here and saying that there are things that fall into a pretty generally accepted camp of "jackass moves".

The No-Nonsense Guide To Getting Paid For Your Expertise

I get at least a half-dozen emails a week from fellow consultants and freelance professionals wanting help charging appropriately for their services. When I do office hours, it's by far the most common topic of discussion.

Rethinking Productivity

I think a lot of the 'productivity' set have it wrong. Or at least the messages are getting convoluted by those obsessed with their quest for inbox zero to little discernible end. Being productive isn't about wringing every last minute out of every day doing something or checking stuff off a to-do list and building a relentlessly efficient system that allows nothing through the cracks.

You Always Have a Marketable Skill

Or you can create one. I completely understand the reality of difficult job markets. They exist, they're hard on the best of people, and it's a very difficult pattern to break once you've gotten stuck in it. We holler all the time about the principles of "lean" startups and failing fast and shifting our business focus to adapt to the market.

Looking Sideways And Getting Lost

I've been guilty of paying far too much attention to what other people are doing. Specifically, I've channeled too much energy into getting frustrated at other people's behavior, or their points of view, or their approaches to problems that I would solve differently.

From Successful Social Media Blog To...Failure?

Everyone has a different take on blogging. Why you should do it, how you should do it, how to grow it and sustain it and all that jazz. Over the last five years that this blog has been around, I've shifted gears more than once.

My Battle With Content Marketing and Selling Out

I'm struggling with this. A lot. I absolutely realize I'm a stick in the mud, here. But more and more, I'm finding that I don't fit the aesthetic of the outstanding "content marketer", whatever that means.

Salespeople, I Can't Believe We're Still Talking About This

Recently, I had to purchase a rather expensive piece of medical equipment. And I needed it quickly. So, I researched online, and within a day I'd determined what I needed, how much I was going to have to spend, and was prepared to make a purchase. I contacted one company through their website.

A Few Hard-Won Lessons on Being Self Employed

If you've worked in the cube farm for the better part of your career, or even if you've lucked out with the awesome office, making the move to self-employment can feel like the ultimate break for freedom. FINALLY, you aren't beholden to anyone but yourself.

You Don't Always Need To Say It

One of the prevalent thoughts about the social web is that if you post something, you're inviting commentary and critique from the people that will see it. Many also think that opinions are the fuel for the social web. On a technicality, I suppose I would agree.

Office Hours with Amber in 2013

Update: I'm both surprised and delighted that slots through February are already completely booked. If all goes well, I'll open up dates for March in late February. Stay tuned for those on the permanent Office Hours page here on the blog. And thank you for your interest!

How Twitter Works Today...And How I'm Using It Now

I'm far from the first person to do this. Google "Twitter Unfollow" and you'll find a bunch of posts from people more interesting and high-profile than I am. But quietly and without fanfare this weekend, I unfollowed all 34K people I was following (using SocialOomph if you're interested) so that I could reset and start over.

Why You Need to Contradict Yourself

There was a time when I bought into the rosiest-colored world of social media hook, line, and sinker. I preached cliches about engagement, I raged against misappropriation of measurement metrics and ROI. I lauded social media as the thing that could finally make marketing into what it should have been all along.

Looking for a Job As a Social Business Professional?

Trying to break into social as a career? Looking to make a transition from your existing role to one that looks more like a social or community professional gig? Here are a few tips from the trenches. 1. Read the job description. In reality, "Social" in the title means nothing.

The Real Social Consulting Problem

It isn't what you think. For all of the criticism about "all" the social media consultants, there are few truly good ones out there. There may be lots of individual hacks with a Facebook account calling themselves social media advisers, or long-time opportunists who are trying to milk the early dollars out of a frantic market (and they will).

How To Build A Strong Consulting Practice

Being a consultant is the hot thing. But building a business that delivers services is difficult and unique. (My company, SideraWorks, works with companies to navigate the cultural and operational changes that are critical to social business adoption).

My TedXPeachtree Talk: Transcending the Messiness of Mental Illness

Several months ago, when TedXPeachtree co-organizer Jacqui Chew asked me if I'd consider doing a talk based on my own experiences with depression and mental illness, my initial answer was a clear and resounding That was a knee-jerk response rooted in one thing: Fear.