Be careful who you follow on Twitter

I’m probably not one to educate the masses on Twitter best practices since I use my account for both business and personal purposes, but I do want to share one thing that’s been on my mind lately.

I’m one of those folks who will not only check out your tweets, but the list of who you follow as well (Stalker-like? Possibly). I’m a fan of guys like Chris Brogan and Michael Hyatt, so I find a ton of value in checking out who they are following. It’s helped me find other folks similar to them who are worth a follow.

So here’s the deal: Be really careful about who you follow. Don’t follow back just anyone who follows you. Sometimes they are bots, sometimes they are spammers, etc. Someone like me is going to see that and instantly associate you with that person or brand whether you intend it or not, because heck, a follow comes across as an endorsement.

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Intentionally putting myself out there more

The past year has been a time of stepping back a little bit. I’ve barely blogged. I officially stopped updating AnywhereMan.  Brian Casel and I decided to end our Freelance Jam podcast early last year. I haven’t participated in as many of the conversations or events that are part of my profession (WordPress, design, etc.). I’m still tweeting, instagramming, etc, but my foot has been off of the gas pedal.

One reason is I’ve just been really busy with client work and the day-to-day of running my own business. But even when I’m busy, I usually find time to do the things I want to be doing. I’ve intentionally given myself a chance to examine what I’ve put out there publicly in the past.

You know what? I need to get back to putting myself out there more again. And not just with things that relate to my professional life, but with a lot more of the personal stuff, especially hobbies.

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The importance of being challenged

One of the things I love about what I do is that no two client projects are ever the same. I learn so much with each one.

Sometimes that can be super challenging and I’ve said “I have no idea how to do this but I know it can be done” on an almost daily basis. After more than ten years of continually figuring out the “how” side of that statement, I feel like my skills toolbox is in good shape and my brain has stayed relatively sharp (though tired at times!).

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Terrible Customer Service and Amazing Customer Service All In The Same Morning

I use a terrific app called FreshBooks (affiliate link) for my company’s project time-tracking and invoicing. I’ve been using it since 2007 (which is around 30 years in web-years, right?) and in my mind they are the best in the business.

My clients receive their invoices via email and are able to pay them online through the merchant provider of my choice which is currently PayPal. I get charged the regular PayPal rate of 2.9% + $.30 per transaction for credit card payments. In addition, FreshBooks has a really nice option that utilizes PayPal “Business Payments” for clients in the USA. If clients pay their invoice online with a PayPal eCheck (i.e. direct from a bank account) or PayPal balance, I only get charged $.50 for that transaction. For example, on a $3000 invoice, I get charged $.50 instead of $87.30. That’s a huge savings for me. It takes a bit longer for Business Payments to clear but the savings is worth it.

Well, this morning a recent “Business Payment” cleared my account and I logged into PayPal to transfer the money to my bank account. To my surprise, the payment was showing a fee of $80.05 (2.9% + $.30 of a $2750 invoice), not the usual $.50. I took a deep breath and started the process of contacting PayPal customer service and getting this thing resolved.

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