Professional Spotlight: Robert Basso

On Tuesday, November 15th, a group of everyday entrepreneurs who have proven track records from building their own successes, came together to share how they had achieved those goals on their own terms.

Some attendees included:

  • Joe Corcoran, Founder of Joe Corcoran Productions
  • Selena Cuffe, President of Heritage Link Brands
  • Jeff Hoffman, Co-founder of family of companies
  • Steve Davies, President, The Alternative Board – Nassau
  • David Becker, President, PhilippeBecker

Robert Basso, the author of The Everyday Entrepreneur, is a well-recognized business leader and advocate. With an entrepreneurs eye for spotting opportunities, Rob has a long list of achievements from founding investor in Empire National Bank to owner of Advantage Payroll Services. Rob frequently contributes on Fox Business as well as other national programming such as Entrepreneur. Rob has also submitted to interviews with USA Today, AP, and CNN Money. Rob also hosts a web program called Basso on Business which features businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Everyday Entrepreneur

The Everyday Entrepreneur is loaded with powerful strategies and important objectives for defining, setting, and achieving goals for your own entrepreneurial success. Revealing how its readers can learn to apply their own ambitions to their desired goals and gain an understanding on how to proceed on their own, this book provides realistic goal setting ideas that can lead to successes that may have eluded you so far.

The Everyday Entrepreneur is unique from other available books on the market in that it supplies palpable entrepreneurial strategies for business owners. The contributions of The Everyday Entrepreneur allows for business owners to build their own wealth, financial freedom, and success regardless of age.

In The Everyday Entrepreneur, Basso explores other innovative entrepreneurs like himself and discovers what encouraged each one of them to push the limits and find their own genuine successes on their own terms.

You can also expect to learn:

  • Valuable lessons regarding how to drive business growth
  • How to best hone entrepreneurial instincts
  • How to reawaken your sense of adventure in your business endeavors

So much more is covered here but we can’t share it all. The Everyday Entrepreneur provides a roadmap allowing readers to follow the success stories of a variety of individuals who all hail from very diverse backgrounds. Take a walk with Basso as he shares the stories of each entrepreneur while they find the answers to achieving their own successes and surpassing goals unimagined.

My Take on Robert Basso

In a room full of professionals this picture speaks but a touch of the moment and what Robert Basso conveyed as an Entrepreneur, Professional and Parent. At the start of the event Robert thanked a few people, something you expect from most at such an event, but the moment to see Robert’s character came forward when he called his children to the front of the room.

“You might not quite understand this yet, but it’s my hope that you will someday” Robert Basso told his two children.

A moment that was so passionately about a father conveying an important message to his children that he had to be instructed and nudged by others to turn so they could get the photos they wanted. One could try and say that this was possibly staged, but if you had seen it first hand, you’d know the sincerity was without question.

My short interaction with Robert leaves little to argue about the long term experience of knowing or doing business with this professional, but if how he cares and treats his family is any indication, then clearly he is a professional worth knowing.


Published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Publication date: October 24, 2011

$24.95; Cloth; 175 pages; ISBN: 978-1-118-10644-0


Google+ Pages Open the Doors for Brands and Businesses

This past June, immediately after Google launched it’s highly anticipated Google+ social network, internet savvy businesses like Ford, Dell and rushed to create pages for their brands. Only to have them removed a few days later. Google’s announcement soon followed: “In the meantime, we ask you not to create a business profile using regular profiles on Google+. The platform at the moment is not built for the business use case, and we want to help you build long-term relationships with your customers. Doing it right is worth the wait. We will continue to disable business profiles using regular profiles. (Christian Oestlien Ads project manager on Google+)

One hundred days later Google delivered on its promise. On November 7, 2011 Google+ announced the grand opening of Google+ Pages worldwide.

Google+ Pages allows businesses, brands, and organizations create their own page and establish a circle of like-minded people who enjoy the brand and want to talk about it. Not only does the page allow having a conversation with brand representatives in a way of personalized customer service, it also allows the group of followers to have a conversation with each other.

As Google+ puts it, when it talks about the customers: “…we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands… this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world. And by adding them to circles, we can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most.” (Google’s blog)

Not only brands and businesses are involved. Google+ wants to enlarge the circle of users to local business, products, corporations, institutions, organizations, arts and entertainment, sports teams and more. They have been working with businesses since the launch in June to understand the needs and requirements of brand names. You can see the pages of these businesses already active:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Macy’s
  • Pepsi
  • Toyota
  • Anderson Copper 360
  • X games
  • Zen Bikes
  • The Muppets

Having pages for brands and businesses is nothing new, but Google+ has a few advantages over the competition:

  • People can recommend the brand easily by pressing the +1 button, and start sharing immediately.
  • A brand can have more than one page. A car manufacturer, for example, can have a page for each of its models.
  • Although Facebook has over 500 million users, and Google+ has, so far, about 50 million, the biggest advantage of Google+ has to do with the billions of queries made every day on the search engine, most of them looking for businesses or services. Google will include Google+ pages in its search results.
  • Direct connect – The easiest way to find a band you like to follow or a product has been amended as well. Typing the sign + before the query will take the searcher straight to the brand page. (Try it with + Angry Birds)

The official announcement on Google’s blog ends with these words: “With Google+, we strive to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. Today’s initial launch of Google+ Pages brings us a little bit closer, but we’ve still got lots of improvements planned, and miles to go before we sleep. So stay tuned.


Summify Your Social Media Networks

Keeping up with the most vital information in your industry was never made easier than with the inception of so many options in social networking. However, if you, like many others, find reading your Facebook and Twitter feeds to be increasingly more difficult as your network grows, it may be time to consider some of the options in news feed aggregation.

What is Summify?

Integrated Ease

Instead of actually trying to keep up with lightspeed tweets and Facebook shares, the best thing you can do to save time, energy, and frankly frustration, is to head over to Summify and use their one-click integration options to log in via Twitter, Facebook, or Google.  You can choose to use only one network, or you can easily collaborate all three with a few more clicks.

From there you can configure how your summary is generated or you can sit back and wait for it to arrive in your inbox.

Inbox News Updates

Summify will determine by taking notice of your “Likes”, your trending topics, and the information in the industries you have the most influence, and make a daily progress report for you that is sent directly to your inbox. Users can choose to have this sent several times per day if desired.

Top tweets and the most often shared content will also be displayed along with those users names. See others in your fans or followers networks who have showed the same interest and utilize quick one-click buttons to add them to your network instantly.

View it as an email or as a webpage. Using the webpage option will give you far more interactive options.

Benefits of Summify

A very obvious benefit that makes Summify different is that this update will be sent to you per your desired frequency and will require no more effort on your part to configure than your original choices.  However, when you receive your emails you are given the chance to further refine your selections. Further benefits include:

  • Time Saving
  • Filtering Unneeded Info
  • Multi-Account Capability

When you receive emails from Summify you should open your articles from there. When you do, you are given the option to select a thumbs-up, or a thumbs-down option. Selecting the negative will prevent this type of content from being aggregated for you in the future.

Who Uses Summify?

Summify has seen a huge jump in user numbers in the last three months. Currently ranked at #5069 in the US, this aggregation option is beginning to be used widely on mobile devices due to its smooth compatibility with most options.


LinkedIn: Updates on Ads & LinkedIn Today

LinkedIn is a free, business and social network which was built on the idea that personal recommendations in today’s global village is was people really need. Hence, they created a way for people to connect on a professional level, and create a circle of acquaintances, or Connections as they are called. Somewhere, in the people you invite to connect with you, there is a connection to another circle and group of people you might know as well or want to connect with. That is called 2nd degree connections, and from here on, it can grow exponentially.

From this network people can receive personal recommendations, look for employees and search for jobs. LinkedIn has a privacy policy wherein all the connections have to be mutually agreed, so no unwanted connections will be formed.

With over 100 million users, from 200 countries around the world, available in many languages, LinkedIn is a force to be reckoned with.

There are a numerous programs that have been added throughout the years, to make LinkedIn more social and more interactive:

  • Paid Accounts offers more possibilities and tools to find people.
  • LinkedIn Answers allows users to post business related questions that anyone else can view.
  • LinkedIn Ads – LinkedIn has a paid service of ads called LinkedIn Ads, where users can create a small ad to be shown on the side of the prominent pages on the site, in a similar way to Google’s Adwords. The ad directs people to the website of the advertiser. The advertiser specifies which LinkedIn members will be able to view the ad by selecting a target audience. The payment for the ads is done in a CPC (Pay per Click) method or CPM (pay per 1,000 impressions). There is a bid and a maximum price that the advertiser is willing to pay for each click is set. LinkedIn is now testing social recommendation based ads; they are trying to target advertising based on the keywords in a profile and conversations.
  • LinkedIn Today – In March 2011 LinkedIn added another service called, LinkedIn Today. It is a social news product for business people. The news is aggregated from different established sources like The Wall Street Journal, CNN, NPR, Bloomberg, Huffington Post etc. and is customized to match the industries you and your connections work in. The articles in each industry are organized by how popular the story is and how many times it has been shared on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Most of the success stories with LinkedIn Ads come from job seekers and professional services. B2B is also represented in their ads and businesses claim to have success with creating new connections and receiving orders.

Back in January 2011 LinkedIn filed for an IPO, offering the first glimpse into its finances. In the first 9 month of 2010, LinkedIn turned in a profit of 10.1 million on revenue of $161 million. “We do not expect to be profitable on a GAAP basis in 2011” the company said in its filling.

Four months later, in May 2011, LinkedIn became a public traded company. Its shares went for $45 a pop.  That means the company is estimated to be worth $4.3 billion. Reid Hoffman, the co-founder and former CEO of LinkedIn retained 21.7% of the stock which is worth more than $1.6 billion. (Hoffman is one of the founders of Pay-Pal). The shares soared out of the gate to $87.05, and have reached over $100 for a short period before settling in the high 90’s.

Goldman Sachs, an investor, sold all its shares and quadrupled its investment in 3 years.

Read our article when we did a first look at LinkedIn in Nov 2010 and also our article on the LinkedIn IPO.


What Could Be Better Than a Weekend in Vegas? A Free Weekend in Vegas @Palms

How about a weekend in Vegas that you do not have to pay for? Usually I am a firm believer in ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is,’ but not this time, not at Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. In opposition of those many ideas that were in fact, too good to be true, Palms has determined that tapping out a Tweet or sharing Palms offers with your friends may make this a very legit opportunity to reap huge rewards for very little effort. 

Of course, if Facebook sharing or Twitter usage is too much work for you, this may not be the ideal opportunity either, but if it sounds doable, continue on.

Easy Registration

Users simply visit the Palms Social Rewards site and enter their email address, along with a chosen password. The next page offers quick click integration with the users Twitter account, and they are off and running. Once signing into the social rewards page, users will then be able to see their current Klout scores, along with available points, and account profile options. On the right-hand side, there will be many offers and opportunities that can be Tweeted, re-Tweeted, or even Facebook shared.

While users get points for each offer they Tweet or share, they also receive the added benefit of bonus points if their Tweet or Share leads to a purchase of one of the advertised opportunities.

Rewards Vs Effort

Aside from the primitive reward of getting something spectacular for very little effort, are the rewards that Palms generously doles out to those who help spread their word on social media networking sites.

  • Free Deluxe Room
  • Free Fantasy Tower Room
  • 2 Tickets to a Playboy Comedy
  • Palms VIP Passes
  • Dinner for Two at Simon – Little Buddha
  • Free Drinks

These are fairly hefty rewards considering that they entail everything you require for a fun weekend in Vegas, all the way down to your room and drinks. Meanwhile, users are building their Klout score which in the future may help them reap even further rewards once reaching the check-in desk at the Palms.

Maloof just gets it…

The Palms is a Maloof Company, and clearly they get it…

AdrienneMaloof seems to be the one carrying the Klout in the social aspect of the business, but with Klout adding LinkedIn and soon Foursquare, the Klout social influence may have a new look.

The Maloof Companies owns and operates hotels and casinos. It also engages in banking, food and beverage, and transportation businesses in New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada. In addition, the company operates gaming properties; owns interests in NBA basketball team Sacramento Kings and the WNBA basketball team Sacramento Monarchs, as well as ARCO Arena; and distributes beer and liquor in New Mexico. The company is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Disclosure: I recently was a guest at Palms Casino & Resort in Las Vegas, however I was not paid or compensated for this publication in any form. The research for this article came about as a follow up to a previous set of articles.
  1. Klout Measures You Clout On LinkedIn Social Business Network
  2. A look at how important Twitter is to customer service: Palms Casino, Las Vegas


ReferralKey Can Help to Grow Your Business

Tapping into the largest referral network available, ReferralKey has previously been described as a skillful collaboration of Angie’s List and LinkedIn, the social business network.

This system of referring business owners, among business owners and consumers allows users to build a network of contacts while building list of reputable businesses with reliable contractors and other professionals.

ReferralKey focuses on one prime element: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. It also relies a bit on depending on others to have as much net etiquette as you do. While users build a network of contacts, they also refer those they know. Hopefully, those who get referrals will be kind enough or happy enough to promote you in your industry in return. In this manner, everyone is able to enjoy the benefits of this simple but valuable exchange.

Sign Up for ReferralKey

Signing up for ReferralKey is easy and requires no more than the basics. Once signed in users are brought swiftly to their dashboard where they can make decisions on elements of ReferralKey such as:

  • Profile Creation
  • Adding Colleagues
  • Setting Rewards for Referrals

When first visiting the dashboard users should select their settings options and choose how to receive alerts, as well as profile and other privacy options.

Users can also advertise their businesses, by location and industry on ReferralKey. Doing so will also register your listing with several search engines. This will also increase the odds of other consumers finding the listing.

Although users can create their own free profiles and accounts, users are only allowed to receive three referrals before they are prompted and required to purchase a paid account. There are different plans depending on user choice.

The light plan, referred to as the Silver Key, is $10 USD per month, the Gold Key plan cost $20 USD per month. Users should study the difference in plans before making an educated decision about which would be best for their small or growing business.

This service can be solid and quite successful if the referrals help a user’s business to generate a lucrative amount of revenue. With the easy-to-navigate and use site, while providing a great deal of helpful information regarding your own contacts and in your industry.


Social Media For Recruiting

It wasn’t long ago that social media was defined solely as a way to learn how a friend just ate at a great restaurant or who was getting engaged.

However, social media continued its evolution and became particularly useful for companies to locate, recruit, and learn about candidates for open positions. Using social media for recruiting has quickly ignited a hiring fire, lighting the way for many. While sites like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace are still often used for ‘fun’, as well as business, others like LinkedIn have become known as more ‘serious’or ‘professional’ space.

So how does a company effectively search and target potential candidates from such a large pool though?

Recruit from Your Own List of Friends and Followers

Using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can all be useful in recruiting by being able to distribute information about open positions quickly and efficiently to large number of people. Recruiters know they’re distributing information to candidates who will take notice, especially since jobseekers are turned off by sites like which have become filled with spam.

There are a number of free resources available. On most social media profiles, companies can use their status box in order to announce open positions, and of course good old fashioned networking is the best tool of all. On LinkedIn, after building connections of industry peers including co-workers, clients, and local companies, one can browse the profiles of each other’s connections, and then ask for introductions.

Link Up with LinkedIn

Another useful way to recruit on LinkedIn is by joining relevant groups and staying active within them by participating in the group’s discussions and keeping their eyes open for those who are active and knowledgeable.

While similar tools are available on almost all social media sites, LinkedIn gives recruiters the ability to not only view a candidate’s resume, they can also see any recommendations the candidate has received from their peers. The ability to give and receive visible recommendations is a tool that’s not as ‘visible’ and specific on other social media sites. Additionally, recruiting companies on LinkedIn can post available jobs and sign up for LinkedIn Talent Advantage, basically a toolbox for recruiters, both for fees.

There’s no reason to be afraid of approaching candidates. A recent survey on found that almost 80 percent% of respondents didn’t mind if a company made contact about potential opportunities, so now is the time to make use of the many tools social media has to offer.


LinkedIn IPO: LinkedIn Hits the Stock Market

As I mentioned in a previous post on the social networking site LinkedIn, this business based site allows users to connect to past, present, or future business contacts in effort to exchange ideas, knowledge, or perhaps even new opportunities. It also helps users to build a working portfolio that is supported by the very companies, or the leaders of the companies, that are listed on your LinkedIn profile.

One of the best available sites for career recruiting and networking, increasingly more and more often, it has become less unusual for prospective employers to ask for a link to a LinkedIn account than ever before.

Stock Market Stalled

At an initial public offering of LinkedIn stock, shares were priced at $45 on Wednesday night, by the time the stock market opened this morning, the stocks had risen to $83 per share. Within just a few hours, LinkedIn (LNKD) stocks had risen by 131% to be $104.02. This brings the current value of LinkedIn to over $9 billion dollars.

This offering of 7.84 million shares is hands-down, the biggest net IPO since GOOG, or Google, went public in the summer of 2004. This goes to further show that somewhere lurks an immense group of investors who believe that smart money rest in social networking. One firm reports that LinkedIn may now be the most expensive stock in the country. With a current price that is around 275 times more than its earnings in the last four quarters, this certainly indicates that those groups of investors may, in fact, be right on target.

Sign of the Social Media/Networking Times?

As the LinkedIn IPO is being gauged for effectiveness by other social networking giants such as Facebook, Groupon and other similar social networking sites, others believe the IPO has also been controversial as many on Wall Street as well as those in Silicon Valley believe that some investors have been taken in by an Internet bubble.

Some investors are simply just confused about how we should value any companies that are debuting online. Although others, like IPO analyst like Scott Sweet, say that LinkedIn’s spectacular market debut was a great sign for other social networking companies.

Who Uses LinkedIn?

Alexa gives LinkedIn an impressive global ranking of 17 with around 14% of their referrals coming from search engines. Most users are females between the ages of 25 and 64 who are highly educated and more often than not are browsing from home. The site is listed under the Social Networking category.



How Online Customer Preferences and Feedback Has Changed

It has only been a couple of years since integrated log-ins began to creep into our everyday tasks online. Although it began on a smaller scale, such as the 2008 integration of Yahoo and Google ID’s with Zoho, from this small test in integration preferences, an entirely new beast grew.

Logging in via third party is no longer a delightful surprise in most cases, indeed, the lack of integrated log in can actually deter visitors from signing up, or logging into your site, especially when there are like options elsewhere that have the nifty one-click integration option. This type of log in integration is referred to as a type of social log-in service. Although Google came out strongly by quickly adding early integration for all of their available applications, it seems that the wind in Google’s social log-in services sails may have shifted.

Facebook Takes the Lead

Janrain, a web company that tracks social web data, states that since the first time they began reporting on these statistics in January 2010, Google has been overtaken. During the first quarter of 2011, 35% of users chose to use Facebook as a log-in option over all others. In the last quarter of 2010, the number hung around 27%.

However, this may not be indicative of overall users. When given the option on 350,000 different sites, users will choose not to integrate their Facebook account, but will choose other methods, or manual log-in instead, at a rate of 65%.

How is This Changing the Consumer Voice for Business

It may be difficult to determine who benefits the most, even though this new aspect of social media marketing seems to have perks for all. Social log-ins are appealing to businesses as they can help to personalize content, interactions, and brand awareness. Social log-ins are an attractive option for users who seem to love the feel of interacting with those of whom they make regular, or significant purchases from.

While Urban city guide sites like Yelp give consumers the ability to review products or services of any company on site, it seems most users these days prefer to simply Facebook ‘Like’ a fan page to show their loyalty to brands they enjoy, as well as to gain benefit by keeping more up-to-date on sales, or enjoy social chatter on the latest in the industry.

A recent study showed that while 20% of people claim they prefer to click a Facebook Fan pages ‘Like’ button to show their preference for local businesses, only 13% report being willing to write a review for the same business.

Turning the Tide

Although this may indeed turn the tide a bit on how users will begin to review local businesses, this is certainly not now nor likely to be the end all spot to find all of the pertinent information that users may be searching for.

The same study also showed that 52% of adult users under 35 will still check three or more websites when researching products or services locally or online. The main site still searched is Google at 63%.

At this point, the type of business will still rank high on the users list of what sites need to be searched. While those considering larger purchases may prefer the interaction that Facebook provides, users who may just want to check out how good a restaurants’ dishes are may still prefer the detailed review style of Yelp.


GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar and ShowMyPc

Remote viewing or remote connections have been an imperative part of the technical support world for many years. However, in more recent years, developers finally found other great formats for remote connection that also has plenty of benefits.

  • Web Meetings and Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Web Training

 Along with other useful aspects, these are some of the reasons why remote connectivity software or programming has become more popular in recent years.


GotoMeeting offers their customers a solid package for the price of $49 USD per month. This fee includes integrated VoIP, telephone conferencing service and a single license for unlimited web meetings with up to fifteen participants. With their software package users will be able to:

  • Schedule regular or reoccurring meetings
  • One-click meetings
  • Transfer the mouse and keyboard controls to meeting participants
  • Access to desktop and selected applications
  • Clean screen
  • Instant messaging
  • Activity time-outs
  • Meeting recording

GoToMeeting also allows users to create Webinars. If you are not familiar with the term, think of it as being allowed to attend a large conference from the comfort of your own home.

GotoWebinars allows users to harness the same power of remote meeting interaction but on a much larger scale. Webinars created on this service can accommodate up to 1,000 people and can bring the power of influential interaction, literally, to your fingertips.

How Can A Webinar Benefit My Business?

Using Webinars to market your products or services can offer great benefit in many aspects of your day-to-day business planning by:

  • Reducing travel time so you can focus your efforts on the most important elements of your business.
  • Generating more high-quality marketing leads at lesser cost.
  • Presenting your marketing campaign to up to a thousand people from your home or office computer.
  • Helping to save on the bottom line in travel cost, and other forms of audio conferencing such as international calling. 
  • Reaching locales, niches and regions that you may have been previously unable to market to due to other restrictions.

 Alexa shows that GoToMeeting is ranked globally at #381 while the U.S. shows the highest traffic ranking of #132. Users are predominately Caucasian and African-American women with some college education who use the program from work.


In comparison, ShowMyPC is another remote connection service that can help to improve productivity and profitability for your business.

Although it offers the same functions as GoToMeeting it also offers a bit more, as well as the flexibility to choose a package that provides only the features you need. Different packages and capabilities include:

  • Remote Meeting Support – Conduct or attend meetings online.
  • Access Home or Office PCs – Remote viewing and access for technical support activity.
  • Privately Hosted Servers – So that users have the option of their own server for conducting secure meetings or simply secure connections on remote access.
  • Broadcasting Presentations or Classroom Planning – If you have a business that involves training and education this is likely the best option for remote access viewing and interaction.

Considering the packages are separate elements on their own, this is likely the more cost efficient option for those who are just launching this type of web conferencing campaigns while GoToMeeting would provide a better value for those who may need to use all of these aspects of remote viewing in their common activities.

ShowMyPc has attained a global ranking of #41,268 and statistics show that most users browse from work and are predominately educated males between the ages of 25 and 45 with incomes ranging from 30 to 100k USD.


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