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troy mc laughlin
Be you: as No One else can do it better.
Be you: as No One else can do it better.


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So you took the plunge you jumped on Google+ but it’s a little overwhelming and it feels like everyone else knows what do, but you. Good news, there is help. And there are resources and people to help you on your journey. To help get your feet planted . To help you connect with others. And to introduce you to this great place we call Google+. 

I'm glad you've joined us. I'd like to help you navigate your way around this ship we call Google+

A couple of years ago my wife and I were privileged to cruise for the first time. We were excited but we didn't know what to fully expect. You might also be excited to join Google plus. But like my wife and I when we boarded the ship we were a little lost. It took us awhile to learn how to get around the ship. To find out where everything was, to feel at home.

You probably have some of the same feelings about joining Google+. Excitement, and a sense of not knowing what to do, or where to go. But you'd like to know.You would like this new place to be familiar, to feel like home. The good news is you can. It just takes some time and a bit of work.

What now?

Here are some questions you may have. Where do I start? What do I do? What are circles? What's a Hangout? How do I get people to follow me? All great questions let me answer some below.

Whether you're a business or individual you start in the same place at ground zero. Google has given you a place but it's your job to name it. It's your job to start to cultivate the ground so to speak and begin to engage.

Even if you're a business starting with Google+ you should approach it like an individual. Here’s a great Quick Starter Guide to Google+ for your business 

Google+ is the social layer of Google. +martin shervington says it this way "Google Plus is Google". If you picture it this way, you begin to see the power of this platform.

Where do you start?

First watch this video on Google+ by Martin Shervington. It's the best overview you can get about what Google+ is and how to get started.

Building the foundation.

As a teen I did a good bit of construction. Every home we built had a foundation. When you built the foundation you made sure it was true and flat. Because the foundation affected the whole house. A good foundation meant the walls were straight, sturdy and true. A good foundation ensured the building would last a long time and would prevent future and unnecessary repairs.

So how do you build a foundation in Google+?  You start with the Profile page. But before you build your foundation you need a plan and an understanding of what you're building. A set of blueprints so to speak. Did you watch Martin's video from above if not, it's time. This video is like a blueprint for your house. It's a blueprint for what you do on Google+. You'll thank me after you view it.

Set up your Profile Page

Here's a great example of one here . It's +Stephan Hovnanian's  about page . People want to get to know you. Tell them here. Show your human side. If you're funny, put some humor in it. Serious, be serious. The main thing is be you. You want others to get a glimpse of who you are and what you're about. Tell them a bit of your story and help them connect with you. But Troy this is work. Yes it is but if you spend a little time now doing it, will pay dividends later. The good thing is you can always go back and edit and update this page. Here’s another great post by +Marilyn Ritter  explaining about your profile page being a "gold mine." 

Put up a profile pic

Don't leave it up to Google+ and be a "blue head". That's the default icon Google+ uses for your profile pic. Sure if you want to remain anonymous then don't put a profile pic up. Let me put it this this way; Halloween, movies,and costume parties there's an expectation of you wearing a mask. Not putting up a profile pic in Google+ is liken to wearing a bad mask. People want to relate to you and one of the best ways is by showing your lovely visage. We connect with faces. It's who we speak to in social settings. When was the last time you watched a movie, news cast or were in a one on one conversation and were not looking at the persons face? 

Put up a cover photo

Your Google+ page is telling a story. Putting up a cover picture is another way to do that. Is it as important as a profile pic, no. But it does help others get a better sense of who you are. One caveat, use pictures you have permission to use. The first would be your own. Here’s a great photographer +Thomas Hawk who allows most of his pictures to be used for non commercial use. There are plenty of places to find high quality pictures that you can use legally and many that are free. Here’s a great list of sites with free images put together by +dustin stout.

Now go have some fun. Engage with others. 

Join a community. If you own a business join Plus Your Business. It’s one of the best. Whatever interest you have there’s probably a group with that interest. Introduce yourself when you join a community say "hi", connect, comment,  and ask questions. 

How else can I engage?

There are 3 major ways to engage on Google+. Well, 4, Hangouts and Hangouts on Air.
➤Plus 1 a post.
➤Comment on a post.
➤Share another’s post. 
➤Hangouts and Hangouts on Air

Plussing a post

Because you like it. It connects with you. You agree etc.

Commenting on a post

+Ryan Hanley  says it this way, “if you're new to Google+ comment like a fiend.” This is a social network so communicate. Use the same rules you would in any conversation. Be polite, nice, thoughtful, positive. I like this statement about how others view us. "Are others happy to see enter a room or happy to see you leave?"  Which do you want to be?

Sharing others posts

This one takes a bit more work. Yes you can push the share arrow and share it along. But it’s better to write an intro say why it matters. Or how it connected with you. Here’s a great post  by +Ana Hoffman on how to gain attention from influencers, but it also tells you how you should share others content. She writes about gaining influence through making others content better. Follow her tips in this post, and you can share with the best of them.

Thank others when you share their posts by “hat tipping” them. Here’s what you do.  At the bottom of a post after you've described why this post was so epic. Write “h/t and plus the persons name who shared the post. 

Hangouts and Hangouts on Air

The best place to start is +Ronnie Bincer's  Hangout Helpers Community Ronnie is known as the Hangout Helper. He probably knows more about Hangouts than some who work at Google. 

So there you have it. For those who just scan. Here you go.

1.Watch this video by Martin Shervington
2.Set up your profile page, use a picture of you, give a quick bio and put up a cover photo.
3.Join a community
4.Engage with others by, plus ones, comments, and shares 
5.Try doing some Hangouts 
6.Have fun!
Oh and here’s a small group of great people to follow on Google+: There are many more, but you can't go wrong with any of these folks!

+martin shervington  +Larry Fournillier 
+David Amerland      +Mike Allton 
+Peg Fitzpatrick       +Jesse Wojdylo 
+Michael Bennett    +Lee Smallwood 
+Guy Kawasaki      +Mark Traphagen 
+Dustin W. Stout         +Ronnie Bincer 
+Gina Fiedel              +Jason Frasca 
+Cherie Manifest     +Jeff Sieh 
+Sanjiv Manifest     +Trey Ratcliff 
+Stan Bush            +Ryan Hanley 
+Denis Labelle                 +Jason T. Wiser 
+Christine DeGraff     +Les Dossey 
+Chef Dennis Littley         +Wade Harman 
+Mia Voss              +Stephan Hovnanian 
+Rebekah Radice     +Mick Sharpe 
+Jay Baer                 +Jaana Nyström 

#pybacademy   #gettingstartedongoogleplus  

Photo by Barbara under (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) text added
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