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I Tried Bumble BFF For 7 Days. Here’s How It Went

Remember when it was easy to make friends?

When we were much younger, we were able to go up to someone in our kindergarten class, sit down beside them (maybe hold their hand?) and immediately become best of friends. No icebreakers, no coffee meetups to get to know each other. Genuine friendship in an instant.

Those were the good ol’ days.

bumble bff

Photographer: Victoria Stacey from Florals and Teacups

I can’t help but reminisce on how making friends used to be so natural. It was so effortless that we probably never thought twice about it. Fast forward to our adult years and well…making friends is now just like any other task on our to-do list. It’s now something that we actually have to work at.

Well, networking apps like Bumble BFF seem to be on a mission to make this easier. We’re all busy with work and other priorities that finding like-minded friends can be difficult.

Having had prior success making friends on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, I instantly became intrigued by Bumble’s new foray into the friendship arena (it originally started as a dating app).

In case you’re not familiar with Bumble, it’s a social and dating app that is changing the way that people date and make friends. You’re able to view different profiles and ‘swipe left’ to pass and ‘swipe right’ to connect.

After continuously hearing about it, I decided that I would try the app for myself for 7 days. By the way, this post is not sponsored in any shape or form. I genuinely was curious about whether I could really find friends through the app and thought it would be worth a try. Other than your usual social media apps, I’ve personally never used any type of social or dating app to connect with people. I met my husband before apps like Tinder came on the scene so downloading Bumble BFF was completely new territory for me!

Here’s how it went:

Creating my account

Like any social app or site, upon signing up, you’re prompted to set up your profile. What’s interesting is that you have to have a Facebook account to sign up as your information is pulled from your Facebook profile. I believe it’s also a way that they can verify your authenticity. My name, age, previous school, location and job title were all pulled in from my Facebook page so that I just had to fill in the gaps – photos and a short bio.

I never thought that I’d struggle with writing my bio but for some reason, it made me nervous! I wanted to be able to explain what I do while also describing what I’d be looking to get out of a friendship. After a few minutes, I finally settled on something I was happy with and moved on to uploading photos. Your profile photo from Facebook is pulled into the app but you have the option to add any additional photos. I quickly went through the photos I had on my phone to find a few decent ones and added them to my profile.

Curious to see my final profile? Here are some screenshots:

Swiping for matches

Once my profile was finished, it was time to get swiping! Remember, this was my first time ever using an app that allows you to swipe for matches so I found myself taking it really seriously. I wasn’t able to just nonchalantly swipe left or right (well, unless they had a really strange photo) but instead I found myself really reading people’s profiles to see if we really had something in common. I’m not sure if this is the case on dating apps but I should also mention that even if you ‘swipe right’ on someone, you can’t actually connect with them unless they ‘swipe right’ on you too. Eventually, I really got into it and then my husband became intrigued and started to give his feedback on who I should swipe right with!

If you’re wondering what I was looking for in a potential friend, that’s a good question. I didn’t exactly have any criteria in mind when I began swiping. However, after a while, I began to figure out somewhat of a pattern in the type of people I would be interested in meeting up with. I wanted to find females in my local area (in or near the city of Toronto) that were either a side-hustler like myself or a full-time entrepreneur. Not to say I’m not interested in being friends with anyone who doesn’t fit that profile but there’s a sense of relief that comes over me when I find people that are going through similar business experiences as me.

One weird thing I did experience though – even though I had selected in my setting that I was interested in matching with female BFF’s, there were a number of men that ended up in my selections! I’m not sure if that’s because they didn’t indicate their gender on Facebook (because remember, that’s how your profile is set up) or it was just a glitch. I don’t have anything against male friends (although I don’t have very many of them) but at this time, I was simply interested in finding a few cool females to hang out with.

bumble bff

Photographer: Victoria Stacey from Florals and Teacups

My conversations

So, how many matches did I end up making? I don’t have the exact number but I think I had about 10-15. Not bad, right? But want to hear the strange thing…I didn’t really end up connecting with them! On Bumble BFF, after matching with someone, if no one initiates the conversation within 24 hours, you can no longer contact each other. I found that I was always the one attempting to break the ice which was a little bit frustrating. I did have a few ladies that reached out right away but for the most part, unless I made the first move, the connection didn’t happen.

I found that a lot of people were really interested in the fact that I run a blog and host networking events. Almost immediately after the usual “Hey, how are you?”, I was asked about my site and how I got started. It was a helpful icebreaker for me so I would recommend finding some unique things that you can put in your bio that will intrigue potential matches.

There were actually quite a few people where after a short conversation, we decided that we should meet up for “coffee”. I had set a date and time with two separate people but both meetups fell through! I was given excuses from being sick to being double-booked so I never ended up meeting anyone in real life. I’ll admit – at first I was really annoyed but I haven’t completely given up on the app’s potential and I continue to swipe every couple of days to see who I’m matched with.

Conclusion

Overall, despite my failed attempts at meeting up with a few women, I still found myself liking the app. I genuinely enjoy learning about what businesses or passion projects that other women have and I liked being able to read different profiles – even if we didn’t end up matching. I actually found that if people had their Instagram handle in their bio, I would make an effort to look at their Instagram profile – sometimes I even followed them.

I know that many people would say that connecting online is a lot easier than when you’re face-to-face. I’m not sure if I can say that I find one easier than the other. Both can sometimes cause me a little bit of anxiety, especially in the “break the ice” phase. However, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s definitely value in creating a diverse networking strategy for yourself. In other words, you can’t just meet people solely online or in-person. You have a much better opportunity to connect with different types of people if you take a diverse approach to how you meet them.

If you haven’t already and this post has intrigued you at all, I encourage you to try Bumble BFF out for yourself! It doesn’t cost you a thing (except for your time) and you never know, maybe you could make some valuable connections! Just make sure that if my profile pops up, you swipe right! 😉

4 Ways to Effectively Use Social Media at Conferences

With conferences these days getting more and more expensive, when we do decide to make the investment, it’s safe to say that we want to get the most possible value out of the experience. The best way to do this? Use social media.

social media at conferences

To listen to an audio version of this post, click below!

It may sound like a way to be anti-social, after all, you are there to connect and network with people in real life! However, by using social media the right way, you can end up making even more in-person connections and strengthening your personal brand at the same time.

Here are 4 ways to effectively use social media at conferences:

Track and use the conference hashtag

Most conferences these days will create a unique hashtag that encourage attendees to use in their online conversations. Don’t just wait until the day of the conference to start using it! Not only should you search the hashtag on Twitter or Instagram before purchasing a ticket to help you determine whether to attend but even after purchasing your ticket – regularly check the hashtag to connect with your fellow attendees! You can make plans to meet up and you’ll find that you feel much more comfortable as you’ll already know a few people!

Join the conference Facebook group

Some conference organizers like to create a Facebook group where attendees can get to know each other before the event. If this is an option – definitely take advantage of it! Use the opportunity to introduce yourself to do others and learn more about your fellow attendees. I was able to join the ‘Girlboss Gang’ Facebook group after purchasing a ticket to the NYC Girlboss Rally and have found it to be a really great experience. Especially as someone who typically attends conferences alone, I’ve been able to connect with some awesome like-minded women and it has made me even more excited to attend!

social media at conferences

Live tweet during sessions

For me, live-tweeting continues to prove itself as a valuable networking tool time and time again. There are a number of reasons for this: 1) You can easily connect with other attendees and foster conversations around the session topics 2) It enhances your personal brand as you continually share insights during the conference and in turn, you position yourself as someone worth following.

Another helpful tip? Engage with the conference speakers online! If possible, before their talk begins, ensure that you have their social handles and you’re following them so that you’re not scrambling to find it mid-tweet. While they are speaking, tweet out insightful learnings and direct quotes, making sure that you quote them correctly and attribute credit by tagging them. The benefit of this? The speaker(s) will more than likely see your tweets after and either like or retweet them for their entire audience to see. Your tweets will not only help your brand but it will help theirs too – it’s a win/win! You can also add a little extra to your tweet by including photos and/or videos as they get much more visibility and engagement online.

Create follow-up content

When the event is over, don’t let your online engagement stop there. Use the post-conference momentum to create an insightful wrap-up summary that reviews the event and highlights your key takeaways. This can take the form of a blogpost (on your own site and/or a post on Medium), video, podcast or a single post on Instagram or Linkedin. Wherever you choose, share it across all of your networks, tag the conference and any mentioned speakers and whatever you do, don’t forget to include the conference hashtag to ensure maximum exposure!

In a nutshell, using social media will help you to get the best possible experience and value out of the conference. Be sure to update your social profiles before you attend (bio, headshot and website link, if applicable) as your social media activity will bring lots of eyeballs to your profile – I’m sure you want to make the best possible impression!

6 Tips for Effectively Using Direct Messages for Networking

Some of my most meaningful connections, friendships, career opportunities, event sponsors all share one thing in common…the relationship started with a direct message (DM) via social media.

Crazy, right?

For those who may be unfamiliar, a direct message (most commonly referred to as a DM) is a private message sent to a user via any social media platform. You can send DM’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

The thing is, DMs often get a bad rap. 

Photographer: Gooseberry Studios

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These New LinkedIn Updates Will Up Your Networking Game

LinkedIn has been an important networking platform for years but over the past few months, they’ve made some significant updates to their user experience to help us taking our networking to the next level!

Here are 3 important updates you should know about:

Easily meet up with other members

Have you ever been out of town for a conference or meeting and wish you had the opportunity to connect with people in your network? Well, now you can! You have to opt-in for this feature in order to make your current location public but I can definitely see it proving itself useful for those who “never eat alone”. P.S. If you’ve never read the book, Never Eat Alone, it’s a must-read that will completely change the way you view networking.

Photo Filters

Bring your Instagram skills over to LinkedIn because you now have much more options to to edit your photo from cropping to a wide array of filters. Don’t forget – your photo is the first thing people look at when they land on your profile so you should always ensure it’s high-quality and the best reflection of you!

Message connections from anywhere on LinkedIn

Connecting with someone on Linkedin is easier than ever as you can now access the messaging tool from wherever you are. Found someone interesting you want to learn more about? You don’t even have to leave their profile to send them a message! Plus, Linkedin now provides message prompts to help you construct the perfect message. We’ve all been there – we want to send a short but intelligent sounding message but we have no idea what to say. Looks like Linkedin understood our pain and has pre-written messages that you can either use word-for-word or simply just use them as inspiration for what you would like to say.

If you haven’t been spending much time on LinkedIn lately, head over and check these features out. Happy networking!

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open source blogging platform and CMS (content management system). As of 2016, WordPress powered close to 30% of the websites that are currently on the web. That’s A LOT of websites! WordPress started off as a blogging platform and has transformed over the years into a powerful website builder for websites like ours as well as networks like CNN, Playstation and The New York Times. However, did you know that there are two types of WordPress platforms that you can use for your business or blog?

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5 Lesser-Known Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

social media job search

When we talk about social media, we don’t talk enough about how beneficial it can be to your job search. With the job market being extremely competitive, it’s necessary to find unique ways to learn about potential job openings and stand out among your competition. We already know about the tried and true methods such as simply searching on job websites or asking within your network but what if I told you there are some you may not even know about?

Here are 5 lesser-known ways to use social media in your job search:

Run a Twitter Search

This is such a quick and easy way to check for current job openings in any city or country!

  • Visit search.twitter.com
  • Let’s say I want to look for current openings in Toronto, in the search bar I would type in hashtags #hiring and #Toronto
  • I would also try another search with “hiring” and “toronto” (the difference is that this will bring up tweets that simply mention those two words – the first search would only bring up tweets that use those specific hashtags)

Not only is this great to search for jobs but it’s one of my favourite methods to search for local networking opportunities!

Use LinkedIn’s ‘Open Candidate’ feature

This relatively new feature is a favourite for people who are currently employed but actively looking for a new job. By simply clicking a button, you are able to turn on ‘Open Candidate’ status for your profile which will privately indicate to recruiters (it will not show up on your profile in any shape or form) that you’re looking for a job. A huge disclaimer though: LinkedIn can not guarantee that you won’t show up on the radar of recruiters for the company you’re currently working at – chances of this happening are slim but still if you’re not willing to take the chance, this may not be for you)

Create ads on social media and/or Google

Although this method comes with a cost, I think this is such a creative way to get the attention of employers in your field. You can pay to create an ad that targets particular people and/or companies with some messaging convincing them to hire you. I personally love the story of a copywriter in the States that purchased the names of his favourite creative directors on Google AdWords. With the assumption that they regularly Google their names (which you should be doing regularly!), whenever they did so, his ad would come that said “Hey, [creative director’s name]: Goooogling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too” with a link to his website! And yes, he did land a job from this!

Use Facebook (with caution)

If you haven’t heard, Facebook announced last week that you can now apply for jobs on Facebook! I’ll be honest – I’m still not sure how I feel about using such a personal platform for job hunting but hey, it may be something you’re willing to try. This new feature allows you to not only search for jobs but apparently if you see a posting you like, you simply hit “Apply Now” and you’re taken to a pre-populated page with your name, educational and employment background and basically any other information you have made public on your Facebook profile. Your application is then sent to the employer in a Facebook message where you can directly communicate with them. I highly recommend using this method with caution and doing a long and thorough audit of your profile for anything that may paint you in an unprofessional light.

Share your expertise through content

You know what they say…if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. One of the best ways to get on the radar of potential employers is to showcase your expertise online. You can do this through simply sharing articles with a small personal commentary or you can write your own unique articles highlighting your expertise in a particular industry. Whatever you choose to do, be consistent and professional and you’ll find that this will greatly increase your visibility.

Happy job hunting!

 

5 Ways to Maintain an Active Presence on LinkedIn

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When was the last time you were on LinkedIn?

Be honest! If you haven’t been on it in the last month, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Almost every week, I end up having a conversation with someone that just doesn’t get LinkedIn. Sure, they have a profile set up just to be present on the platform but they have not made any effort to have their presence known. They barely have information on their profile, if any (perhaps their profile photo is a selfie – you can’t see me right now but I just cringed as I wrote that) and they simply do not make LinkedIn a priority.

You see, there’s a very big difference between just having a dormant profile and actively maintaining your profile. The former does absolutely nothing for your personal brand while the latter actively builds your brand familiarity and expertise.

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How Instagram’s non-chronological timeline will impact brands and bloggers

Instagram

Instagram announced yesterday that they will soon go the way of Facebook and switch to a non-chronological timeline. What does this mean? No longer will we be able to see posts in the order they are posted. Instead, according to Instagram, “the order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

I mean, we kind of all knew it was only a matter of time before this happened. Just like years ago, when Instagram was ad-free (hard to remember, isn’t it?) but we knew that eventually sponsored ads would take over.

The thing is, there was something about Instagram maintaining a chronological feed that made it feel so…special. You knew that if you spent enough time scrolling that you would eventually catch up on everything. With a non-chronological feed, it’s now very likely that we’ll miss a lot of posts.

There is a very important silver lining to this announcement though: QUALITY CONTENT.

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How Twitter Chats can help you build your personal brand

computer-keyboard

It’s only recently that I discovered how powerful of a resource Twitter is for professional development. I’ve been on it for years, yet I find that I was using it to “creep” and read articles but wasn’t really taking the time to engage with other people. About a year ago, I decided that I wanted to participate in Twitter chats. For years, I’ve watched other people on my timeline engage in a number of chats but yet, I just never felt compelled to participate myself.

I don’t know what it was exactly that encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone – but whatever it was, I’m thankful. Since that day, I haven’t looked back.

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