Meret Steves Yearbook Photo

How to Properly LinkedIn

Over the past year I’ve gotten a lot of requests to help friends, family, and coworkers out with their LinkedIn’s. Some need tips, other’s need complete overhauls, and then there remain a few that have yet to even claim their page! So here we go, How to Properly LinkedIn.

× The Ground Work

Be sure to keep your profile updated as it builds your credibility. To start, pick a professional, identifiable url address. You will only be given the option to change this once, so be sure of your decision! Other aspects of your profile needing attention are an up-to-date profile picture, recommendations, experience, skills, and even volunteer experience. These areas should be updated regularly, so try to get in the habit of checking your profile once a month to update anything that may have changed

Another tip is to make your updates work for you! You can do this by ensuring the option to notify your network is ‘on’. This will automatically publish updates about any change you make, informing your network and keeping you in their mind.

However –this option can be hurtful to your image if you are making many changes.

A good rule of thumb is to keep this turned ‘off’ if you plan to make more than 3 changes. You don’t want to spam your network’s newsfeed!

× Initiation

Once enough of your profile has been filled in, you should begin adding members to your network. To begin, look through your phonebook or contact list on another social network for people you are professionally connected to. This might include any family, friends, professors, colleagues, bosses, and clients.

Do not necessarily wait until it is completely filled out to begin this phase, as the notifications I just mentioned will not notify them.

× Prospecting

With a functioning profile, you are now able to connect with prospects! You can go about this a couple of ways. I encourage you to use a mix of them at first until you find what works for you.

1. Smart Search- This tool allows you to filter results by location, title, company, and/or keyword. By using a mix of these filters, you can dig deep into the results and identify potential prospects easily.

Paid Accounts have access to company size and seniority level filters as well.

2. Weekly Report- You are able to save your searches’ filters and opt in to receive a list of results weekly. These matches will differ whenever new candidates update their profiles and meet your parameters. By comparing the week to week results, you will be able to spot any fresh face that deserves a closer look.

3. Introductions- To reach out to prospects that are 2nd degree connections, you will need an introduction. Once you have chosen a prospect, select an ‘introducer’ you think will work best. This person is someone who is already connected with the prospect and will be the one to either accept or deny your request to connect.

With the individual selected, write them a nice note as to why you would like to connect with the prospect. It is always polite to give them an out.
Be mindful that the introducer will have the option to include your note in their introduction message to the prospect, so keep it professional and to the point. You might also wish to add your contact information, in case the introducer would like to inquire further with you.

If your introducer has not responded, you have a few options:

#Call them to check if they have received your request and have not brushed it aside.

#Make sure they know their options as to what they can do: deny, forward your request to prospect and keep you in on it, or compose a new LinkedIn message to send to you both.

#Withdraw your request, and use another introducer.

#Wait out the duration of 6 months to have your credit refunded, and try again.

Paid Accounts have an unlimited amount of credits

Another way to ensure your message is delivered is to call your introducer ahead of the request. This way they can anticipate it and are more likely to move it along.

4. In-Mail- Another advantage LinkedIn offers you is their internal email system. This allows you to get past the ‘gate-keepers’ so many senior management have that sort through the communications and requests. Sure these gate-keepers block out the spam, but there are times your message might get lost because of them. In-Mail ensures your message is delivered straight to your prospective organization’s senior management, regardless if you are connected. Be mindful that you are only given a few credits, which have a period of 7 days before they are refunded if you receive no response.

Paid Accounts have an unlimited amount of In-Mail credits.

× The Real Time Consumer

Networking is more than just growing your group of contacts, but also incorporates nurturing those contacts you have already made. LinkedIn gives you the ability to share status updates as well as engage in other’s updates. You should use this to keep your relationships healthy and growing.

Other ways to research prospects is to follow prospective organization’s pages, so that you stay up-to-date on what is happening.

Groups are also a major component of your profile. They build credibility, find things you may have in common with prospects, as well as keep you in the know of subject matter.

Another trick for LinkedIn is to ‘look back’. Your are able to view a fraction of people that view your profile, so be sure to use it! Look back at those user’s profiles, and if you find something intriguing, request to connect.

Premium Accounts have unlimited access to the full list of who viewed their profiles in the last 90 days.

Your account also comes with analytics, including how you rank in your organization, in your network, and how effective your posts have been broken down by which degrees interacted with it. Other analytics include how your viewers found you, what job title they have, and where they are in the world.

Premium Accounts can also view where they rank against other’s like them.

× Premium Accounts

I know I have referenced ‘Premium Accounts’ a lot, and you may be asking what it is! There a few different options if you are considering upgrading to a premium account. I recommend using the ‘trial’ phase to test out the one you are interested in before hand. It might not be what you had anticipated!

The one I have been referring to throughout this post, I believe, is LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You can find more about it here. Simply put, this account will allow you to focus on the right people, stay informed with insights, and build trusted relationships.

To view the other Premium Account options, check out this page.

So there you have it! I wish you the best of luck on LinkedIn and would love to connect. You can find me at For more things LinkedIn, check out these posts from Intero Advisory on Eliminating Cold Calling, The Social Media Hat’s take on How Not to Use LinkedIn, and The UnderCover Recruiter’s Infographic on How to Create the Perfect Profile. 



The New Face of Presentations – Prezi

Over the course of my college career, I’ve used Prezi’s for every presentation for 3 reasons:

1- Keeps my audiences attention -meaning less attention on me,
2- Allows me to stand out infront of my professor,
3- it’s easy!Simplymeret

I’ve often wondered why no one else in my classes or work used Prezi and finally discovered that it is due to fear. Either fear of change or fear of failure, my comrades have reluctantly looked upon Prezi as something that would disappear if they ignored it. Well here’s news to you, it’s not going anywhere, so you better learn it now or risk being viewed as dated to clients in the future. PowerPoint is not seeing any new features that allow it to be so interactive and accessible, so get on board with Prezi!


I know it seems a bit intimidating at first, and so I have created this Prezi, to ironically teach you about Prezi’s. I was asked to create it for the company for which I am interning with this summer, Arthur J. Gallagher, so that they will have the knowledge and option to use this tool if they find it suitable for the client at hand. I have created it to be generic enough so that anyone could find it helpful. You can find it here.

How to Prezi SimplyMeret

As you can see from the media above, my Prezi is linear, but not as linear as PowerPoint. It is important to keep organization in mind when you are placing Frames and Slides on the canvas, to keep the audience on track with your journey. I used arrows to show my thought process and the direction. Another approach to Prezi is more creative, and requires more time creating it. This is depicted in the Prezi below by a company, Metatron whose actual URL is, no lie.



For more information on specific aspects of this tool, I recommend visiting the Learn & Support tab on Prezi’s website. There you will find many prezi’s pertaining to your problem, with such topics being how to collaborate, import a PowerPoint, download a Prezi, how to print, and basics.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding Prezi, please don’t hesitate to comment below! I am more than happy to help. I have made it my mission to spread the word about this presentation tool and need your understanding of it to help spread it further! Let’s revolutionize how presentations are made.


SnapChat adds Texts & Videos

Have you updated to the latest SnapChat? With the new features of texting and live video calling your friends, this might be the app to app them all! The live video aspect is very innovative as it allows you switch the camera to show a selfie or what is around you by simply moving your finger to different parts of the screen.

Take a look at what The Verge‘s Ellis Hamburger has to say as he takes an exclusive look at the new Snapchat app. s

What are your thoughts about the update? Do you think it will replace basic texting / calling? Let me know in the comments below!

exclusive look at the new Snapchat app, which lets you text friends and do live video calls, but not exactly how you’d think.Ellis Hamburger takes an exclusive look at the new Snapchat app, which lets you text friends and do live video calls, but not exactly how you’d think.Ellis Hamburger takes an exclusive look at the new Snapchat app, which lets you text friends and do live video calls, but not exactly how you’d think.Ellis Hamburger takes an exclusive look at the new Snapchat app, which lets you text friends and do live video calls, but not exactly how you’d think.Ellis Hamburger takes an exclusive look at the new Snapchat app, which lets you text friends and do live video calls, but not exactly how you’d think.EllisEllis Hamburger takes an exclusive look at the new Snapchat app, which lets you text friends and do live video calls, but not exactly how you’d think.Ellis Hamburger takes an exclusive look at the new Snapchat app, which lets you text friends and do live video calls, but not exactly how you’d think.

Twitter Live Feed

74 Wonderful Tweets During the “Meet the Family” Episode of The Bachelor…

4 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Phone

When you think of Spring Cleaning, you think of going through your closet, reorganizing your desk, throwing out old makeup, and revamping your surroundings. But I bet you’ve overlooked the most impactful thing of all! You should also give your cellphone some attention.

|1 Delete Unnecessary Apps



You know why the apps shake when you hold them down? They are nervous you’re going to delete them! & They should be. Here are three reasons why deleting unused apps should be on your Spring Cleaning list:

– It will make your phone’s battery life last longer.

– Free up space for more photos

– As well as space for other apps to be downloaded.

|2 Force Close


Courtesy of Cult of Mac

Forgetting to close out of apps leaves them running in the background. This multi-tasking feature is great, don’t get me wrong, but you should be sure to periodically close them out to save your phones battery life.

| 3 Re-Org

One more thing to do is to take the apps that made the cut and organize them. There are so many different ways to do this, so let me humor you with a few:

– Alphabetical Order- either in folders of the letter, or simply alphabetical on your home-screen

– By Color- If you are really O.C.D.

– By Purpose- again, either in folders of titles such as “Navigation” or “Photo Editing”, or simply on your home-screen near each other

– Those that are Most Used- so that they will be conveniently easy to access.

– By those that are Recently Downloaded- so you can use them right away and decide if they are worth keeping

| 4 Update & Download


Besides doing away with the old, you also need to bring in the new this Spring! Go to the app-store and update the apps. While you’re there, you might as well do some shopping and be on the look-out for apps you might wish to add to your collection. Thanks to Step 1, you’ve got the memory to download them!


Jeff Dachis speaks at St. Edward’s University


Photo courtesy of KillerStartups

Photo courtesy of KillerStartups

{Listen to the Podcast}

Friday, March 21st, Jeff Dachis spoke to the Grad & Undergrad Digital Media students at St. Edward’s in Austin about his adventures through the transformation of the digital landscape. I have included a link to a podcast where you can listen, and for a summary and my thoughts, written this here blog! For a quick introduction, you should know that just recently, Jeff Dachis’ fourth company, the Dachis Group, became part of the world’s leading Social Experience Management platform through a sale of the company to Sprinklr. Today he is pumped to start a new business as he extracts value from friction he sees today (38:20). But before we look to the future, Dachis reflected on his life’s journey.


He began with his high school days; days filled with a thirst and hunger for outlets to express his ideas. He was involved in every form of the expression of ideas, including all of the school’s dramas, yearbook committee, and radio. This led him to leave Minneapolis, Minnesota to study classical ballet at Purchase College in New York. Dachis humorously explains he was “good enough to do it, and bad enough to do it never again,” at which point we all laughed.   He also mentions that during this time, all of the telecommunications and media outlets were fragmented in terms of production, distribution, and monetization: TV came over airwaves, magazines via mail, newspapers at your front door, etc.

{Post College}

Upon graduation, Jeff Dachis worked for his brother in the gambling industry, at a record company, and as a night-shift for a magazine production and distribution company. It wasn’t until he ran into his childhood friend, Craig Kanarick, that his first million-dollar idea was sparked. Craig invited him to his apartment and pulled up a file located at MIT using a ‘web-browser’. Dachis then had his aha moment, saying something like “This is it, man. THIS IS IT. This is going to transform society as we know it to be” and it was! And immediately a business partnership began, where Craig got all the money until he thought Jeff was worth half of the revenue. It exists today as Razorfish. This company revolutionized how the Internet was used as it created the first banner ad for AT&T which ran on HotWired (Wired today), as well as the first web animation ever, a blue ball that bounced around, which caused the company’s servers to crash. This shot both Craig and Jeff to the top, they had celebrities wanting to swing by their places, were on the cover of magazines, and were on CNBC every week!

Sadly, this good thing did not last. The Dot-com crash took Razorfish down from $108/share in late 2000 to $1.08/share at the end of the year. “It felt so unfair… because in a short period of time… everything was wiped out…Everybody thought it sucked.” And it was during this time Jeff and Craig were the piñata for what everybody lost from the bust. They received death threats, their property was vandalized, and clients and employees left in droves.  In late 2001, they decided to separate the personalities of Jeff and Craig with the company. Today it is the dominant leader in digital marketing solutions globally.

{New Era}

Around 2001, the next wave of the internet came. These pioneers included – Google’s AdSense and AdWords efforts in monetizing the Internet, Bloggr allowing everyone to be a published writer, Katrina Faith’s introduction of Flickr, and finally, Chad Dourle’s YouTube. These companies started to capitalize on what Dachis terms the ‘democratization of the tools of self expression‘. Their entrepreneurial efforts allows people to express their ideas for free, worldwide! What I found interesting is throughout history, the power of the sharing of the word was first reserved for the Bible through the Gutenberg Press, and then more recently by millionaires who could own magazines and newspapers to share the news and ideas they deemed important to the masses. These businesses are truly revolutionary in that they took the voice from a mass communications to today’s mass of communicators.

Even more changes came by 2007 with Apple’s gen one iPhone. This product was usercentric in that it did not come with only prepackaged apps by the carrier, but from developers of all walks. The apps developed further introduced tools to democratize self expression. When he mentioned that we are “in the largest shift in the communication landscape in the history of mankind,” my mind was actually blown. Sure, I had noticed that things have drastically changed, but I had not realized that we are in a technology revolution that will go down in history!

Being a college student, his theory of jobs being different also caught my interest. Dachis mentions that everything will soon have sensors, and in having so, Big Data will be evermore important. This will become reality as sensors are getting cheaper, and bandwidth more plentiful (as mentioned in my Google Fiber post), that all of the data will introduce new business ideas and opportunities for us, graduates. Even more radical is his assumption that industries are going to transform into things we cannot today fathom.


It is with that, that I leave you with a message. We have the capacity to direct what the next shift will be. Where do you see technology taking us? I encourage you to listen to the very end, as Dachis shares his outlook on life: If he can wake up happy, with a satisfied soul, then the money comes.

Google Fiber Coming to Austin

Wouldn’t you love if the progress bar, or loading icon, just went poof! Well, I have good news you! Google Fiber is coming to Austin in Summer 2014. I had the opportunity to meet with Mark Strama, the head of Google Fiber in Austin, last Friday. Before you even have time to scratch your chin, I have written this here blog to tell you what it means for you.

>>Leaps & Bounds

In order to portray the immensity of 1,000 Megabits per second (Mbps), I would like to bring you back in time to dial-up. For those of you who remember, there was a time when when you could only download 0.056 Mbps1! What came next revolutionized the way the Internet is used today. Broadband. This type of connection typically gives users 7.4 Mbps2 in the United States. Because of these speeds, streaming sites like that of YouTube and Netflix were brought into existence.

It is with this in mind that the extent of what Google Fiber’s speeds will allow remain incomprehensible.  Google Fiber will offer much greater bandwidth allowing it to carry more data by using, you guessed it, fiber optics. Fiber optic cables contain bundles of threads of glass (or plastic) altered into light waves to transmit data3.


Austin will be the third city to have Google Fiber competing in its cable industry, which is oddly instigated the existing providers to offer fiber optic speeds as well. In order to offer the service, all suppliers will need to replace traditional lines with fiber optic cables. Google fiber plans to lay the cables directly to a neighborhoods cabinet, dividing areas of Austin into “fiberhoods”. Kansas City, Kansas is shown below:

Kansas City Fiberhoods

Once the groundwork is done, a launch ‘rally’ will commence inviting customers “to express their interest by registering online and paying a $10 registration fee which would be applied toward their future service installation if their neighborhood is built out”4. The catch here is that there will be defined pre-registration goals for each fiberhood; but not to worry, if your area does not reach the goal all registration fee’s will be refunded.  What more is that after you have registered, you are given the addresses remaining to register. It is in this way, Google Fiber is using a build-to-demand mentality and giving the power to the people.



Google Fiber is poised for success not only with its fast WiFi speeds, but also with a competitive price, the reputation of it’s mother company, Google, backing it up, and thus reliability, as well as additional product features. These perks include crystal clear HD, up to 8 programs on DVR, a Nexus 7 for a remote, and a terabyte of cloud storage for all of your favorite Google products. To see more about Google Fiber, check out it out here.

>> Changes

During Kansas City’s debut, three start-ups joined forces to fuel votes to create the first fiberhood to receive Google Fiber in an area now termed “Startup Village”. You can learn more about Kansas City Startup Village here. Like Kansas City, Austin has an entrepreneurial spirit and I cannot imagine what companies, new or existing, will settle down in Austin. But even more am I curious to what applications will be possible with these super fast connections. In what ways do you think Google Fiber will change how we surf the web in the coming years?