You’ve got talent; use it.

If you haven’t witnessed Jack Carroll yet, let me introduce you…

I love when he said; “In comedy, a lot of the time, you’re weaknesses are your strengths.” I believe this is true for many areas in life; that every hardship, difficulty, and disappointment in life can be turned to work itself back together for our good.

This got me thinking on how knowing your strengths as an individual, as a business, or even as a brand is crucial to achieving good success. Whilst good success is great, and many people subscribe to the dream of obtaining good success; very few are aware, or go after great success. There is a difference:

To obtain good success you must have some awareness of the value you hold, but to achieve great success you must understand how to use it, and use it effectively. …Just like Jack.

 

 

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The wrong kind of fear

Way too many people are walking around today in fear of what people think of them. I want to encourage you today, to be bold and confident in your identity. If you don’t know what you stand for yet, then figure it out.

“If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.”

One of the most problematic areas I’ve found in social media marketing today is in the mindset held by suits at the top, or those in management. There is a fear that if they equip, or empower someone else to be the voice of their brand then, they are losing control, which is semi-understandable providing they don’t hire someone to be a social media strategist, and remove all privileges of what that entails, once they are in the door. This problem still consists today, and as hard as that may be to believe given the massive leaps and bounds made within the world of internet marketing, of late, I’m not sure we’ll see that back of it any time soon. My advice is best to be aware of this, and prepare to go around.

The truth is no business, irrespective of size can afford to be living in fear of what someone will say about your product or brand. If it’s a good product then there shouldn’t be a problem. Of course there will be a small percentage of people who just don’t like your product, or idea, and that’s OK. These are not good enough reasons to go all tightfisted on your social media team, if you have one (If you don’t, you have bigger problems that fear of what people think about your product, or brand).

Rather than shying away from the world, why not train your staff on how to handle complaints, and extend your customer service arm when needed through Twitter, Facebook and the various platforms that includes for you.

Remember some of those key fundamentals to having an online social media presence are:

  • establish your online presence
  • increase brand awareness
  • engage with your consumer market
  • encourage customer loyalty

 

 

 

The Opportune Moment

The opportune moment are those moments in time that require a decision to be taken, or a choice to be made that could very well be the defining factor to that particular part of the journey you are on. Literally, you could apply this to any area. We’ve all had defining moments before, from the moment you choose your subjects in high school, to the decision you made to leave school, go to university, go on a date with your partner. We make choices every day that define our tomorrow, it’s just sometimes we don’t see the results until we’re further down the line.

 

Anything worth building in life requires a choice, and with that choice comes the understanding of a time frame that will undoubtedly take you in one direction, or another. Time frames are crucial because they determine the amount of time a project, or campaign, or dream needs in order for growth, and fruition. The thought I want to share, stir and leave you with today is; Are you prepared for those moments in life that suddenly appear? The unexpected opportunities that life has a way of thrusting upon us, demanding a decision in one way, or in another. I wonder…

Wear your brand well

For me a brand is more than just a name, term, sign or logo. To me a brand includes everything from the logo, to the connotations behind it; staff attitudes, mannerisms, and effectively how you treat people when they enter your store.

Whether you own a business that is big, small, or you just work for a company is really irrelevant. Everyone employed to be a part of any businesses should be introduced to that brand in the same way we would introduce a new customer.

The problem with many UK businesses is their attitude is all wrong, (especially those larger business) who tend to think they can treat customers and employees poorly, and still run away with the cash. And they do that because many of us are too scared to stand up and say anything that goes against the status quo.

The truth that businesses need to be aware of is that the backlash retailers received last year over a need to improve customer service, tied together with this ‘social revolution’ is not going away; as much as they clearly hoped it would. The industrial revolution is over, and people are no longer putting up with bad service.

If you want to win your customers, hint hint that is what you will have to do; wear your brand well. Be a business who doesn’t just say to their employees ‘you matter,’ then treat them like slaves. Actually care. A brand is so much more. If you can treat your employees well, you will have the best marketing tool at your disposal.

A happy workforce= A happy business

If you wear your brand well, and remain consistent. You will fulfill all the other objectives;

  • Deliver a clear message
  • Become credible
  • Build genuine relationships with prospective clients.
  • Gain consumer buy in
  • Encourage brand loyalty.

If you would like to hear more from me on branding, business, marketing and leadership; and you would like to help me fund this blog. You can subscribe to my newsletter for £1 a month, right here; http://letter.ly/thesocialexchange Thank you.

The importance of margin

I love the definition of margin, in its noun form, which says; “the space around the printed or written matter on a page.”

Other common words used in this context are: boundary, limits, perimeter, scope, room to maneuver, or space. However; for today I would like to use the word margin. I wonder what you consider the definition of margin to be, and if at all you do, apply this to your life?

Whether you’re putting together a mission statement for your business, or figuring out how to juggle life; and getting the balance of business and pleasure right. Leaving space for margin is vital.

Here’s a few thoughts on margin, and what I believe it can do for you:

1. In theory – Margin helps creativity

There is a reason why a place like Apple, Google, or Facebook are popular places to work. They leave room for their employees to create. Everything from the design of your office, to the position of each table, to the posture of staff contributes to the success of their company. An environment that creates room for growth not just for themselves, but for the people they employee, in my opinion, increases their potential to rise to the top.

2. Practically – Margin keeps you healthy

It’s true in almost anything that if you don’t create a balance between work, and family then one or both will suffer. Creating space for yourself, your family, and your work can be trying at times, but we must not ignore the importance of sleep, eating healthy, and having fun.

If you are reading this blog. I would like to thank you for your comments and participation, and for filling out your email address to subscribe to The Social Exchange. I hope your finding this useful, and would love to encourage you again to leave your comments, or suggest any topics you’d be interested in covering more, or less??

Also, if this has helped encourage and inspire you, and you think it could do so for your friends, then please feel free to share this blog across your networks too. My motivation is simply to encourage, and inspire others in their journey.

One thing

I have two words crafted on one of my wall at home;

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The key to success, I believe, is not found in quantity, but in quality.

The way that quality is quantified will vary from person to business, but the principle remains the same.

Take coca-cola for example: Through the perfection of one drink, back in 1889. Coke has grown to be one of the top successful brands in the world.

RELATE

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Perhaps this is one of the most important words for every business, marketing and/or PR Company or at least it should be, and perhaps this is the one word that unites us all together no matter the cause, event, goal or objective. No matter what business you are in, charity or otherwise, how relatable your business is to your mass market, I propose, will determine the level of success you achieve.

With only 30 days till Christmas, and only 5 weeks and 2 days till the dawn of 2012. I thought this would be a good time to post a few pointers, thoughts and questions I think we should be asking ourselves as we prepare our businesses, campaigns, products, brands and causes for the new year.

If you believe the saying that you reap what you sow and a man without a plan lacks direction, like me, then it’s only wise to take some time think, plan and write down some things you would like to improve or see happen over the next year.

Most of us should now have an awareness and participation on some level with Social Media. I hope most are now coming round to the idea that it’s not just about how many Facebook fans, Twitter followers or likes you get that really should matter to any profitable business, but the quality of what you produce and the contexts in how you deliver. This I believe is applicable to any product, brand or campaign and perhaps the most important question and point I’d like to make through this post is simply this:

Are you relatable?

Have you still got the dulcet tones of sales speak running through your organisation? Website, correspondence, sales persons speak or otherwise? If so, then please stop.

As a consumer myself, I speak from experience, I’m not interested in hearing a pre-scripted speech about why I should hand over my money to you and feel pressured to say yes to you in the process. I’d much rather reach that conclusion myself.

Yes, I am a social media strategist by day, so I have obvious passion for social media marketing and wholeheartedly believe in its value.

But I don’t say this to gloat about position, except for to give my humble opinion on where I see marketing going in 2012. Quite frankly – it excites me!

Out with the old and in with the new, is that not what they say? Forget your old push marketing methods, we’re are definitely in a pull marketing era.

There is great opportunities out there to take advantage of, without spending a ridiculous amount on TV advertising, but if you do have the cash for that – make sure you stick a QR code or Facebook Follow sign on end!

It’s time to get creative people. You have go to pull in the hard yards, branch out and think relational.

Next post I’ll highlight those who have already asked themselves this very question and adapted their strategy to win.

Do you want to win the heart of your customers 2012? The proof of your desire is in the pursuit. In other words you will never achieve what you are unwilling to pursue, (change and adapt).