11 Helpful Tips for Becoming a Better Networker [Infographic] by HubSpot

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This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

My freshman year of college, I had a roommate who participated in an internship program in Washington, D.C. At the end of the internship, the students in the program attended a networking event with alumni in the city. She told me that she and the other interns competed to collect business cards — the “winner” was the one who ended the night with the most.

Hopefully, this isn’t the way you’re networking.

Of course, it’s important to close a conversation by getting the person’s contact information, but treating networking with a “gotta catch ’em all” attitude is a mistake. 

Networking isn’t about franticly gathering business cards and phone numbers as fast as you can and then hitting up your new “contacts” for favors. It’s about establishing mutually beneficial relationships — and to do that, you have to do more than speed through a conversation.

Being strategic about the people you meet is more important than attempting to strike up a rapport with anybody who comes across your path. But don’t limit yourself to only those people more senior than you — meeting professionals at every level and across industries is critical to truly diversify your network.

If you’d like to hone your mingling skills, check out the infographic below from Business Insider for 11 handy tips on how to network like a pro.

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What are your best networking tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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Hard-Core Career Advice For A 13-Year-Old

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teenjobladder I’m ashamed because I felt the need to brag to my 13-year-old. But she asked for it. My daughter Mollie had a homework assignment for her guidance class that had her ask me what I do for a living. This put me in a weird position. I do a lot of things. I didn’t know how to tell her. Read More

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A Fundraising Template Every Entrepreneur Can Use

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funding Raising massive rounds these days is so commonplace that most of us tune out fundraising news altogether. The fundraising environment has changed so dramatically over the past four years, it’s almost incomprehensible to those of us who lived through it. Read More

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Berlin And Tel Aviv Should Work Better Together

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tel aviv skyline “Germany is the fourth-largest GDP in the world and only an hour timezone away from Israel, and yet most Israeli entrepreneurs strive to collaborate with San Francisco, with 10 hours difference, and 20 hours flight. This is silly,” Eden Shochat recently said to me during a coffee in Herzliya, the “Palo Alto of Israeli Silicon Valley.” Read More

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The Founder And The Inferiority Complex

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inferiority I’m a serial entrepreneur with an inferiority complex. I was diagnosed by an overly-cheerful psychiatrist about a year ago as I was getting help for anxiety and depression, which were a result of this underlying disorder. This is how I’ve overcome it. Read More

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7 Easy-to-Use Interactive Content Tools You Should Explore by HubSpot

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This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.

Imagine that a couple of your friends convince you to give speed dating a try. 

“It’ll be fun,” they insist. 

The next thing you know, you’re sweating your way through a seemingly never-ending carousel of two-minute dates. And when the hour finally winds down, you find yourself left with two options — accept a dinner invitation from the person who wouldn’t let you get a word in edgewise or the person with whom you had a good back and forth.

The answer seems obvious, right?

Aware that the one-sided approach is less than desirable, why do marketers continue to pump out the content equivalent to this all-too-familiar bad date? 

In a landscape where many organizations are increasingly focused on pumping out volume, companies that stand out are those that refuse to pile on. Rather than task their audience with consumption, and consumption alone, innovative companies are using interactive content to earn the attention of their audience and increase engagement. 

To give you a better idea of what we’re talking about, we’ve pulled together a list of seven easy-to-use tools for creating more dynamic content. 

7 Easy-to-Use Tools for Creating More Interactive Content

1) Guides.Co

Guides.co’s mission is to “connect people who know with people who want to grow.”

In an effort to accomplish this, they’ve created a platform for users to create and share interactive guides on whatever they’re passionate about. The guides employ text, images, video, and embedded files to create a rich, participatory experience for the reader.

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By including a comment field within the guide, readers can share feedback and ideas to fuel meaningful discussions. This feature aims to promote a sense of community and open up a line of communication between guide users and consumers. 

2) ThingLink

ThingLink is an interactive media platform that allows users to bring their photos and videos to life through the inclusion of rich media links. 

By adding multiple engagement points to a photo or video, users are able to create a unique experience that encourages the user to interact with the content for longer. 

To demonstrate, take a look at how New York Magazine enables mouseover points to make additional content easily discoverable in their weekly roundup:

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This approach is not only interesting, but it works to reduce high bounce rates by providing readers with multiple content options that are related to the content on that page.

3) Ceros

Ceros is a platform that provides users with the powerful tools they need to create high quality, interactive content without having to rely on developers. 

Through the use of a drag-and-drop functionality, Ceros enables users to create six different types of content:

  1. Shoppable Catalogs
  2. Lookbooks
  3. Magazines
  4. Infographics
  5. Nanosites
  6. Ebooks

All Ceros designs start simple and come to life through the implementation of interactivity and animations. To get a better idea of what to expect, take a look at these screenshots from an ebook made with Ceros:

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Through the incorporation of elements like video and interactive buttons, transforming a static piece of content into something more dynamic is quite simple. 

Unlike a traditional ebook, an interactive approach makes it easier for you to guide your readers through the content in its entirety with the hopes that they walk away from it feeling more educated and sales-ready. 

4) ContentTools

ContentTools is an interactive content platform aimed at helping businesses generate leads, drive website traffic, and increase social engagement.

Much like Ceros, ContentTools offers seven different types of interactive content:

  1. Personality Quiz – Engage your audience with personality-style quizzes similar to those Buzzfeed and PlayBuzz publish. 
  2. Trivia – Challenge your audience with trivia-style quizzes.
  3. Polls – Survey your audience with our opinion-based polling tool.
  4. Ranker – Collect crowdsourced rankings from your audience on any topic from politics to entertainment. 
  5. Can You Guess – Challenge your audience with informative, numerical-based quizzes. 
  6. Caption This – Encourage your audience to caption an image with this interactive competition.
  7. Contests – Collect valuable information about your audience with giveaways from your site.

Here’s an example of what you can create with their Caption This tool:

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Hosting a caption contest incentivizes your visitors to hand over a bit of contact information and establish and strengthen your relationship with them. 

If you’re thinking about implementing this, consider using a candid office shot to humanize your brand and invite more personal engagement. 

5) Brackify

Want to facilitate both social sharing and repeat site visits?

Enter Brackify

While it can initially be difficult to imagine anything other than sports tournaments taking shape within a bracket, marketers have found a number of innovative ways to use this interactive tool. Here’s a look at a creative bracket that helped BostInno score some viral success:

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Looking to crown Boston’s hottest new startup, BostInno was able to drum up a bit of friendly competition by creating this highly-shareable bracket.

Before you get started with Brackify, it’s important to note the difference between the two types of brackets — Complete and Round By Round. While The Complete bracket allows users to fill out a bracket in its entirety with no round restrictions, The Round By Round bracket has specific start and end times for each round, meaning that users can only cast their vote when the round is active. 

6) Zaption

Zaption is an interactive video tool designed to engage learners (of all types) by prompting them with clarifying questions throughout an educational video.

This is how it’s typically formatted:

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While this tool is geared toward teachers, it’s perfect for anyone looking to provide and reinforce information and instruction.

This tool can be used as a great method of training. Whether you’re looking to walk a colleague through onboarding a new software or easily explain a new marketing technique or approach, this type of video-based learning is designed to differentiate instruction and keep it interesting. 

7) SnapApp

Looking to build a dialogue and drive more engagement for your brand? SnapApp is an interactive content platform that enables users to create and analyze nine different types of interactive content assets:

  1. Assessments & Personality Tests
  2. Calculators
  3. Knowledge Tests & Quizzes
  4. Polls & Surveys
  5. Interactive White Paper
  6. Interactive Infographic
  7. Contests & Sweepstakes
  8. Brackets
  9. Galleries 

Below is a compelling example of a SnapApp quiz created by Development Dimensions International (DDI):

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This piece of content is effective for a couple of reasons. First, it helps DDI uncover insights regarding the participant’s knowledge level, which can be used to create more relevant marketing experiences moving forward. Additionally, it creates a sense of competition, as the copy encourages participants to share their results on social to see how they stack up against others. 

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Should Your Uber Driver Know Exactly Where You Are? They Could Soon

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uber-location “Where are you? I’m outside. Do you see me? Where should I meet you?” These kinds of frustrating calls with your Uber driver could be a thing of the past. Today Uber updated its privacy policy, saying it will now ask to pull people’s exact location while the app is running in the foreground or background.
You’ll have to decide whether that’s helpful or… Read More

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Salesforce Acquires Smart Calendar Startup Tempo, App Will Shut Down On June 30

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tempo.ai My favorite calendar app Tempo just announced that it has been acquired by Salesforce.com.
The company was incubated by SRI International, the birthplace of the voice-powered (and Apple acquired) assistant Siri. When Tempo launched two years ago, founder and CEO Raj Singh pitched it as another type of assistant, one that automatically brings up relevant information for your meetings. Read More

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Bold Knot Is A Cute Top-Up Charger Built By A Startup From The West Bank

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Bold Knot The Bold Knot is a neatly designed top-up battery pack aiming to prevent smartphone users from running out of battery towards the end of the day. It offers an end of day boost (equivalent to three hours’ extra talk time) as an alternative to carrying a hefty full-size power pack. Read More

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8 Interesting Charts on How the Internet Is Changing by HubSpot

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This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.

This week, Mary Meeker, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, released her annual Internet Trends report. It’s the 20th edition in a series spanning back to 1994 — the year Yahoo launched and three years before Google.com was registered.

This year, internet growth rates are slowing down, but the re-invention of how we use the internet is accelerating. For example, the report reveals how much mobile has been changing internet usage. The services we use to buy our homes, rent cars, order food, get a hotel room, and shop are inherently mobile. 

In addition, she also highlighted how the internet has changed the way we work. Freelancers and on-demand workers are a growing segment of the workforce — up to 34% — and this flexible workforce has fueled the internet-based service economy. Etsy, Uber, and eBay provide a platform for a person to become a business.

The deck is an impressive 197 slides, and while the entire presentation is worth a read, we’ve selected the most interesting stats and charts that highlight how the internet is changing.

Overall Internet Usage Growth Is Slowing, But Mobile Video is Accelerating

Consumer internet usage growth rates have slowed down — up 21% in 2014 versus an increase of 31% in 2012. This slow in growth is also reflected in mobile internet usage. 

But global video usage rates continue to accelerate — both for internet video and mobile video. Video accounts for 64% of internet traffic, and mobile video traffic accounts for 55% of all mobile traffic, which is an increase from 50% in 2012. 

mobile phone growth

Mobile Usage Has Outpaced Desktop

Usage of mobile devices is increasing while desktop use remains stagnant. People now spend 2.8 hours accessing digital media using a mobile device, while only 2.4 hours a day using a desktop or laptop computer. 

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Ad Spending Doesn’t Align With Media Consumption

The amount of time people spend consuming media to the advertising spend is disproportionate in some areas such as print, which has a ratio of 4% consumption time to 18% ad spend. On the other hand, 24% of media consumption is spent on mobile, but media spend only accounts for 8% of total internet ad spending.  

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Internet Ad Spend Is Down

As we saw in the above chart, mobile advertising is an opportunity brands need to take advantage of while the market is still maturing. Mobile ad spend saw 34% growth over the previous year, while desktop ad spend only grew by 11%. However, overall internet ad spend is declining. 

internet advertising spend 2015

Vertical Viewing Is In

Vertical viewing accounts for 29% of view time, up from 5% in 2010. This trend is a reflection of the rise in popularity of mobile video consumption on social platforms such as Snapchat. The ephemeral social sharing site has even asked advertisers to use vertical videos, as these are viewed to completion nine times more frequently than horizontal videos.  

vertical viewing stats

Visual Content Is King

Marketers looking to target and engage with millennials or Gen Zers and have not invested in visual — either image- or video-based communication — should pay attention to the below chart. Usage of Facebook and Twitter for those ages 12 to 24 has decreased, while usage has increased on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and WhatsApp. In addition, teens value Instagram above all other social networks. 

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Pinterest Isn’t Just for Women Planning Weddings

Pinterest is gaining traction with men. Pins related to cars and motorcycles saw a 118% growth rate, and men’s fashion pins were up by 96%. 

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Industry-Specific Opportunities Exist

There are still sectors that are in their internet “infancy.” Opportunities in the fields of education, healthcare, and government exist, and companies in these industries could reap the benefits of making more information and services available online. 

industry by internet impact

View the full Internet Trends Report below:

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