Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shared Needs = Leads

PROskore is an online business network that uses professional reputation scoring to organize and rank the worlds professionals.  What makes our platform more effective than any other social network in the world is our ability to generate real business opportunities for our members by matching them up with one another based on shared needs.  We call this professional matchmaking system 'PROskore Leads'.  Here's how it works:

When completing (and updating) your profile, indicate WHAT YOUR BUSINESS SELLS and WHAT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS.  Our system will then use this information to match you up to other members based on shared needs.  In other words, for a lead to be generated in PROskore their MUST be a mutual opportunity for both people.

PRO+ members are given first access to new leads and are encouraged to respond to each opportunity through our internal messaging system.  Lead messages typically have a much higher rate of response than a typical invitation to connect due to the strong possibility of actual business being generated based on the shared needs.

Here are the Top 5 Tips for how to use PROskore as a lead generation tool for your business:
  1. Complete the Profile Wizard and indicate up to five (5) categories of business that you provide.
  2. Complete the Profile Wizard and indicate up to five (5) categories of business that you are in need of.
  3. Increase your score. Higher scores get first crack at new leads as they're generated. Ways to improve your score include:  1). linking all of your social networks, 2). entering your professional background, 3). getting recommendations from other members, and 4). verifying your profile by becoming a PRO+ Member.
  4. Login on a weekly basis, check your lead inbox, and follow up with each lead.
  5. Continue updating your profile with new 'needs'.
Start using PROskore for more than just networking and reputation management... use it for what your business really needs... LEADS!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Video Series Part 1: What Is PROskore?

Last week PROskore launched our first in a series of fun videos designed to teach our members how to benefit from our innovative online business network.  To kick off the video series we thought it would make sense to begin by answering the most basic question... "What Is PROskore?"  (see below).  

Every few weeks we plan to create similar videos in order to:

  1. highlight new feature announcements
  2. answer common questions
  3. provide updates about industry trends.  
It should be fun.  Stay tuned...

Lastly, major kudos to actor
Joey Panek and the gang at Hub Studios for putting this video together on such short notice.  Joey was actually wrapping up another shoot when we sprung this little script on him as he was trying to leave the set.  Not bad, huh?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Opt-In vs. Opt-Out

There's been a lot of conversation in recent weeks concerning the responsibility of social measurement companies like PROskore and Klout with regards to privacy.  The extra attention we receive is due in large part to the fact that we're in the 'sensitive' business of rating people.  How we choose to collect and analyze data in order to quantify a person's 'worth' as a human being shouldn't be taken lightly.

Some of the biggest debates are over whether these new social platforms should be what the industry describes as 'Opt-in' or 'Opt-Out'.  For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, here's low-down:

  • Opt-In:  Having the ability to choose explicitly whether to join or permit something.
  • Opt-Out:  Having the option to remove yourself from something, regardless of whether you ever chose to opt-in.

With so much public facing data available to developers these days, the ability to pull data from multiple platforms to create a profile about a person whether they like it or not is quickly becoming easier and easier.   Information once available only to the largest data centers in the world is now available through the API's of public networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to name a few.  Much of this data can be manipulated and re-formatted in masse to create an entirely new online 'community' out of thin air.  The implications are both exciting and unnerving to many.

PROskore (which measures professional reputation) is one of those companies that has elected to pursue the Opt-In approach to building it's community.  Meaning, every person who has a profile on PROskore has chosen to create it.  Subsequently, each person is also fully aware that they have a PROskore (score) while also having the opportunity easily Opt-Out.

There are a variety of reasons why PROskore has chosen to be 100% Opt-In.  The reasons go beyond the respect we feel people (and their reputation) deserve.  They are also based on the fact that PROskore is first and foremost an online business network designed to help professionals generate business. For this to work effectively, every person on the network must be authentic and engaged.  Allowing people to decide to be a part of the network (i.e. Opt-In) is the obvious first step in making our platform work.

An example of the Opt-Out approach is to take a look at what Klout is doing. Klout, which measures social influence, creates profiles and scores people without their knowledge or permission.  Klout does this by scraping public facing data found on other networks like Twitter and Facebook. Once the data is scraped, Klout assigns a 'social influence' score to the individual based on their popularity on those particular networks regardless of whether the person is actually using those accounts.  To date, Klout claims to have scraped and scored over 100 million profiles.

Unlike PROskore, Klout is in business primarily to sell advertising.  For them, the goal is to assign a score to every human being based on the perceived influence each person has on other social networks.  Similar to Nielsen ratings, Klout sells this information to advertisers and corporations who have an interest in selling products and services.

Opt-In vs. Opt-Out.  Which do you prefer?  

On second thought... Don't bother answering that... you may not have a choice.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

PROskore: Keeping score for 4,000+ Business Associations

As we continue to grow, our ability to dissect and make sense of data for practical purposes continues to evolve.  Case in point, we now have over 4,000 business organizations loaded into the PROskore platform, each displaying every member of the network who claims to be a member of each organization.  Not only that but, we're now able to rank all of the members in each of those 4,000+ organizations based on their PROskore.

This has real world implications for how people network with other members in these organizations.  For example, a member of BNI (Business Networking International - the world's largest business networking referral organization), has the ability to quickly see who the top ranked BNI members are in his/her city, state or country by simply searching 'BNI' on PROskore.   The same can be said for countless other types of business organization such a chambers of commerce, leads organizations, and non-profits.

In addition to improving the efficiency of networking within these organizations, PROskore can also show you how you rank among the other members.

If you haven't already added your affiliations (organizations), make sure you do.  The more ways people can find you, the better!  Login and see how you measure up. 

Up Next:  Scoring and Ranking Alumni of every college in the world.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

PROskore Top 25 Twitter Accounts as of November 28, 2011

Part of what makes running a social network like PROskore so interesting is the ability to analyze large amounts of data.  As mentioned before, we've added PROskore Labs to provide insight into some of the trends happening on our network.

When deciding what to write for this blog post, I decided to run a quick report showing me the total number of Twitter Followers for everyone on our entire network.  Needless to say, I'm already impressed with the overall reach of our collective network. It's an impressive number (well into the tens of millions) and undoubtedly something we will showcase on PROskore Labs in the coming days.

For now I thought I would have some fun and rank the current Top 25 PROskore members who have the largest Twitter followings. Although you won't find Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga on this list, you will discover some fairly influential small business professionals who have the potential to directly impact your business.

PROskore Top 25 Twitter Accounts as of November 28, 2011:

Denny Ch Pratama from pepatahDenny Ch Pratama
Jakarta ID
Chris Latko from latko.orgChris Latko
Bradenton FL USA
Jason Ramsey from Jason Ramsey
Wig Superstore
Edney Souza from boo-boxEdney Souza
São Paulo BR
Bill Austin from Arizona High Tech Talent PartnershipBill Austin
Arizona High Tech Talent Partnership
Scottsdale AZ USA
Petteri Tarkkonen from Finn-ID OyPetteri Tarkkonen
Finn-ID Oy
Vantaa FI
Randy Gage from Prosperity Factory, IncRandy Gage
Prosperity Factory, Inc
Trent Partridge from 10EdgeTrent Partridge
Ft. lauderdale FL USA
Charles Lauller from Agency 323Charles Lauller
Agency 323
austin TX USA
Rami Kantari from Meirc Training and ConsultingRami Kantari
Meirc Training and Consulting
Jason Yormark from Strategies 360Jason Yormark
Strategies 360
Seattle WA USA
Don Macleod from Ideas4Rent Marketing,LLCDon Macleod
Ideas4Rent Marketing,LLC
Chatham NJ USA
Oleg Ilin from Web-Feed.comOleg Ilin
Boston MA USA
Lucas Wyrsch from Swiss Business ClubLucas Wyrsch
Swiss Business Club
Zollikerberg CH
Michael Q Todd from YabbaMichael Q Todd
Michael Stewart from Michael Stewart
Jericho Technology
Stacie Connerty from The Divine Miss MommyStacie Connerty
The Divine Miss Mommy
Atlanta GA USA
Andy Nathan from Andy Nathan
Social Media Blog
Kevin Henney from Wayfire MediaKevin Henney
Wayfire Media
Half Moon Bay CA USA
Lori Ruff from Integrated AlliancesLori Ruff
Integrated Alliances
Charlotte NC USA
John Jantsch from Duct Tape MarketingJohn Jantsch
Duct Tape Marketing
Kansas City MO USA
Terry Rota from Web ResultantsTerry Rota
Web Resultants
Auckland NZ
Alex Lawrence from StartupFlavorAlex Lawrence
Salt Lake City UT USA
Donna Marie Antoniaids from ShesConnected Multimedia Corp.Donna Marie Antoniaids
ShesConnected Multimedia Corp.
Boston MA USA
Paul Steinbrueck from OurChurch.ComPaul Steinbrueck
Trinity FL USA

Note:  Twitter popularity does not directly translate to a high PROskore score.  Remember, PROskore measures much more than social media popularity and includes important aspects of a professionals life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Next?

One of the questions that keeps popping up in my inbox from new members is the question of 'What Next?'  Meaning, now that they've completed their PROskore profile and established a baseline score, what exactly are they supposed to do with it?

That's a great question, and perhaps something we need to make more obvious on the website. One of the challenges we face with building our platform is information overload.  On the one hand we want to make the sign-up process as simple as possible, while on the other hand we want people to understand all of the reasons they should be doing it in the first place. It's tricky.

Above all else, your #1 goal should be to use your score
to generate new business for yourself.

Here are 5 things I would do right now:
  1. Build your LOCAL professional graph.  Begin identifying people you know who are already on PROskore. We've made this process easy by suggesting the Top PRO's in your region.  By spending a few minutes determining who you know and don't know, you'll quickly build your professional graph locally. Remember, most business is done locally.

    'Knowing' someone on PROskore is our version of 'connecting'.  When you say you know someone, they receive an email notification asking them to confirm whether they know you.  Once confirmed, you are both in each others network.  The more people in your network, the larger your footprint inside of PROskore.  The larger your footprint, the more recommendations you are likely to receive.  The more recommendations you receive, the more your score is likely to increase.

    Also, invite people you know outside of PROskore to join you on PROskore.  Again, the larger your network (footprint), the more people there are to recommend you, and so on.

  2. Tell the PROskore community what you NEED.  Think about the types of services you are in the market for (or industries you typically partner with) and we will match you up to other members who do waht you need AND who have also indicated that they need what you sell.  Each time there is a 'match', PROskore will send you an alert letting you know that there is a LEAD waiting for you.

  3. Follow Up with LEADS.  The whole idea of joining PROskore and establishing a score is to help yourself generate business.  Dont' sit back and wait for opportunities to come to you.  Login everyday and use PROskore as a sales engine.

  4. PROMOTE Your Profile.  Share it with your colleagues on other networks.  For example, when you earn a badge highlighting an accomplishment (e.g. Top 100 PRO), Tweet about it!

  5. VERIFY Your Profile.  Consider verifying your profile by becoming a PRO+ Member.  Doing so, establishes additional credibility in the eyes of other PROskore members by confirming your authenticity.  Also, we'll do some nice SEO work on your profile to get it ranked on Google - which has the potential to market your business outside of PROskore.  This is a great way to improve your reputation across the Internet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Learning Is Fun

Last week we were discussing a creative way to educate our members about how our scoring system works.  As our production team finalizes a short video tutorial due to be released next week, we thought it could be effective to do something fun. Enter PRO vs. PRO.
PRO vs. PRO compares two former titans of business to determine who has (or would have) had the higher PROskore.  For our first match-up we've created PROskore profiles for Dave Thomas (Founder of Wendy's) and Ray Kroc (CEO of McDonald's).  

As with every profile on our network the foundation for the score begins with analyzing past (and current) work experience and educational experience as well as business related social media influence (Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, YouTube channels, etc.).  This left us with the third aspect to our score - PROskore activity and recommendations.  To accomplish this aspect of the scoring, we're leaving it up to the PROskore community to vote (recommend) who they feel was the bigger PRO.

Heading into the voting stage, Ray held a 3 point lead over Dave due in large part to McDonald's social media advantage over Wendy's.  That being said, Dave did create the 'Where's the Beef?' campaign that to this day still goes viral. But, will that be enough to overcome Ray's fast food dominance?   Go Vote!

Up Next:  Sam Walton vs. Walt Disney

Monday, November 14, 2011

Introducing PROskore Labs

This weekend we decided to hack away at some of our data to learn more about our users.  In the process, we realized that there will be many more opportunities in the future to share our data (and other internal projects) with the public.  For this reason, we've added a new section of the PROskore website aptly titled, PROskore Labs.  To view what's happening behind the scenes at PROskore, visit the footer of our website and click on 'PROskore Labs".

To begin, we've built some cool infographics that offer up some basic insight into our current user base.  Check back in a few weeks to see which new projects are happening behind the scenes at PROskore Labs.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

PROskore Badges: This Is Not A Game

Late last week we unveiled our first wave of PROskore badges.  The badges are designed to highlight member accomplishments  both past and present.   The purpose of the badges are two-fold:

  1. Badges Bring Context to a PROskore.  For example, when viewing the profile of a person with a 'Twitter PRO' badge, it's safe to assume that they are influential on Twitter.  Or, if someone is listed as a 'Networking PRO', one can assume that person is very connected.

  2. Badges Bring Credibility to a Profile.   Much like a decorated military official, badges offer a great way to make a positive first impression.
Unlike the typical 'fun' badges that can be earned across other networks, PROskore badges have been designed to be straight-forward and professional.  PROskore badges can also be shared across other networks, websites, blogs and more.  Below is a list of the first 8 badges that can be earned.  We plan to create more in the coming weeks.

Earn a Facebook PRO badge by having over 2,000 Fans on your Fan Page
Earn a LinkedIn PRO badge by having 500+ Connections on LinkedIn.
Earn a Twitter PRO badge by having over 5,000 Followers on Twitter
Earn a Klout PRO badge by having a score of 70+ on your Klout Profile
Earn a YouTube badge when you have 1,000+ subscribers to your channel
Earn a Networking badge when you've connected to 100+ PROskore members.
Earn a Top Local badge by being ranked in the Top 100 for your city.
Earn an Ambassador badge for inviting more than 100 people to join PROskore.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

PROskore Power Rankings - November 2011

Below is our second Top 25 list of the top PROskores on our network.  These 25 members have the highest scores across the entire network of over 125,000 members (currently). 

This list has changed dramatically from our first Top 25 list in October and includes some 'heavy hitters' including:  Dr. Ivan Misner (CEO of BNI - the largest business and referral network in the world), John Jantsch (author of the Best Selling book, 'Duct Tape Marketing'), and Jason Grilli (current relief pitcher for MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates and marketing guru).  Interestingly, 88% of the Top 25 are male with 20% doing business in California, USA.  

We suggest taking a minute to connect to these influential people.

PROskore Power Rankings - November 2011

Ivan Misner from BNIIvan Misner
Upland CA USA
Paul Green from paulgreen.bizPaul Green
Finedon UK
Kim Beasley from Social Media Tool CoachKim Beasley
Social Media Tool Coach
St. Louis MO USA
John Jantsch from Duct Tape MarketingJohn Jantsch
Duct Tape Marketing
Kansas City MO USA
Jamshed Wadia from IntelJamshed Wadia
Singapore SG
Justice Mitchell from Big Block Studios, Inc.Justice Mitchell
Big Block Studios, Inc.
Orlando FL USA
Charles Lauller from Agency 323Charles Lauller
Agency 323
austin TX USA
Marty Bennett from EducationUSAMarty Bennett
Washington DC USA
Jason Knight from Human Capital StrategiesJason Knight
Human Capital Strategies
Trent Partridge from 10EdgeTrent Partridge
Ft. lauderdale FL USA
Dionisios Favatas from Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & AssociatesDionisios Favatas
Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates
Washington DC USA
Jason Grilli from Perfect Pitch Marketing GroupJason Grilli
Perfect Pitch Marketing Group
Orlando FL USA
Victoria Kamm from Viclen LLCVictoria Kamm
Viclen LLC
Toledo OH USA
Steve Wiideman from Enterprise SEO ExpertsSteve Wiideman
Enterprise SEO Experts
Phyllis Zimbler Miller from Miller Mosaic, LLCPhyllis Zimbler Miller
Miller Mosaic, LLC
Beverly Hills CA USA
John H. Lee from Bizivents.comJohn H. Lee
Philadelphia PA USA
Cusic Daniels from Charter One Hotels and Resorts, Inc.Cusic Daniels
Charter One Hotels and Resorts, Inc.
Sarasota FL USA
Steven Groves from Social Marketing Conversations, LLCSteven Groves
Social Marketing Conversations, LLC
Englewood CO USA
Alexandre Inagaki from Alexandre Inagaki MEAlexandre Inagaki
Alexandre Inagaki ME
São Paulo BR
Gerard Corbett from Redphlag LLCGerard Corbett
Redphlag LLC
San Bruno CA USA
Mike Cadogan from iMeducate.comMike Cadogan
Perth AU
Antony Williams from Royal Society of ChemistryAntony Williams
Royal Society of Chemistry
Wake Forest NC USA
Fred McMurray from Mediavine MarketingFred McMurray
Mediavine Marketing
Chicago IL USA
Gregory Panos from Panos CreativeGregory Panos
Panos Creative
Malvern PA USA
Michael Johns from Michael JohnsMichael Johns
Michael Johns
Deptford NJ USA

Honorable Mention:  Toni Patton, Edney Souza, Michael Novilla, Chris Thompkins, Andy Drinkwater, Jason Yormark, Jacqueline Renner

PROskore also ranks members geographically.  Local networking is the heartbeat of business.  Login and see how you stack up against your local competition.