LinkedIn Business Growth Bootcamp 27 - 31 March 2017

I will be covering 'search' on LinkedIn and Sales Navigator

I will be covering 'search' on LinkedIn and Sales Navigator

I am delighted to be taking part in a 5-day long bootcamp with 24 other LinkedIn Coaches, Experts and Trainers from across the globe.  We have all been interviewed by Adèle McLay who hosts all the experts to reveal their top tips, insights and techniques for mastering LinkedIn.

This event is FREE for the whole week.  Plan in some time to watch as many of the Bootcamp as you can as I know you will get some amazing value from it.

I will be covering the topic of search inside LinkedIn and Sales Navigator, a massively valuable tool to exploit if you know how.

Make sure you sign-up to learn as much as you can for FREE to get your LinkedIn process up and running for getting exposure to more leads and business opportunities.

Sign-up via: http://styin.me/linkedin-business-growth

Here's my Mind Map of all the areas that I will be covering.

@stayingaliveuk - LinkedIn and Sales Navigator search topics

@stayingaliveuk - LinkedIn and Sales Navigator search topics

Here is a link to a twitter list featuring all the coaches, experts and trainers.

https://twitter.com/stayingaliveuk/lists/linkedin-bootcamp-experts

Promotional poster detailing all the profile photos of all the LinkedIn coaches, experts and trainers.

Promotional poster detailing all the profile photos of all the LinkedIn coaches, experts and trainers.

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 4 - The END

@stayingaliveuk

@stayingaliveuk

Now you know that everyone thinks in stories and that we all love them too. What do you think a marketer should be creating when they are promoting their product or service?

Correct! You guessed right... they tell stories.

Then there is just one final thing you need to be aware of and that’s ‘VAK’.

V stands for Visual

A stands for Auditory

K stands for Kinaesthetic

When you listen to or watch a story you are either taking in visual cues from the story or you are literally creating your own visual representation of that story. You will often relate it to yourself, i.e. you put yourself in the story as if you were experiencing it.

If the story has any audio, in the case of, say, a radio programme, a movie (video) or a podcast, then you’ve got an additional way to absorb the story more meaningfully. When you are reading a book and they describe sounds, then more than likely you will create that sound in your brain without actually hearing it. Do you ever wonder when you read a book, whose voice do you actually hear? In fact whose voice do you hear right now when you are reading this? Okay, I’m probably getting a bit deep now, let’s move on.

Kinaesthetic refers to learning something by doing it or feeling it. When it comes to storytelling it refers to how it makes you feel after hearing or engaging with the story.

Take all three together - Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic - and you have the best possible formula for the viewer to engage with your story. Tell an engaging storythrough visual graphics, add a voiceover with some music and ensure the story itself leaves them feeling an emotion and the story will literally wire a new neural pathway in their brains.

The END

Do you have any great examples how storytelling has won you business?

You can download the full story by clicking HERE.

#storytelling #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy #digitalmarketing #storyteller #visual #auditory #kinaesthetic #nlp

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me (https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/discovery-call/). I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

How do you really know that your community is engaging with you?

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

In June 2013 I wrote an article for ‘The non-significant journal of business & consumer psychology’.

The title of my article was ‘Do Social Networks Sell Drugs?’

Nothing has changed, we’re more addicted to Social Networks then we were in 2013. Sure, you do hear about the odd unplugging campaign and of course the Mindfulness movement, but it’s not really working is it? The overwhelming addiction is very well established and will only grow to mammoth proportions in years to come.

See image below for the forecasted growth of social network users by 2020.

Okay, so it's here to stay and you want to maximise your presence for business reasons. After all everyone has told you for years that you can promote your services for free. But really is it? Seeing as Facebook is by far the biggest social network on the planet, more businesses are using Facebook advertising as a method to get in front of their ideal buyers. So something that has been free for years, getting noticed means you now have to pay. Just have a look at how much Facebook is going to earn from mobile advertising in years to come. Breathtaking!

 

And all to get more engagement with your content. Is it worth it? Making Mark Zuckerberg the wealthiest entrepreneur on the planet might make you feel a tiny bit sick in your stomach. 

Is the answer coming off Social Media altogether? Well, maybe!

Watch the TEDx talk by Dr. Cal Newport called ‘Quit Social Media’.

 

Many of us believe, really believe that having thousands or maybe even millions of followers is the answer. Some of us are made to believe that receiving likes, comments and shares are social proof that you or your business is popular, appreciated, meaningful, ahead of others and beating the competition. 

In truth what you believe is that you are being ‘loved’.

After all this is what you crave the most. 

So how do you create engagement that means something, really means something?  At any stage of the buying process nothing happens until the person trusts you or your company. Your work is only ever about developing trust, nothing else. And trust can not happen unless you touch your buyer at a very deep emotional level.  They literally need to feel loved by you. Instead of you needing to feel loved by them.  Do you get the difference?

I'd love to hear from you and how you are making your buyer feel loved, totally, completely and unconditionally. Use the comments section below to share your thoughts on engagement and content strategies.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: (http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/)

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy #distraction #purpose #relevance #trust #love

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me (https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/discovery-call/). I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 3

@stayingaliveuk

@stayingaliveuk

It is said that narrative thought creates stories that are coherent of particular experiences, temporally structured and context sensitive (Baumeister & Newman, 1994).

On a day to day basis you take in millions of bits of data and in order to make sense of it all you literally develop your own daily story with all that data. 

You are actually the biggest storyteller yourself.

This means you are already very accustomed to stories and therefore anything that comes your way in the form of a story, you will accept quite readily and weave that into your own story with its own characters, outcomes and timeframes.

Let’s take your trip to the gym. Some of you go daily, 3 times per week or just at the weekend and some of you may not have made it yet.

However, we all have a picture of what a gym looks like. Lots of exercise machines, weights etc., maybe a pool, a cafe and many other amenities.

When you think about going to the gym you almost certainly create a short story in your brain. You see yourself getting up, doing whatever you do, changing into your gym wear, travelling there and doing whatever you like doing the most and travelling back.

You may not include the travelling part, you may just see yourself doing the exercise. Just enough to get you motivated to follow through.

Everything you think about, well nearly everything, develops in the form of a story.

What have you been thinking about lately? Share your answer in the comments below.

You can download the full story by clicking HERE.

#storytelling #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy #digitalmarketing #storyteller

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me (https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/discovery-call/). I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Do you clearly articulate your purpose in your content?

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

In the image above, the part of the sentence that grabbed my attention is ‘we stand for something meaningful’.

Deciding what content to write and publish is the easy bit. Seriously it is becoming easier, because there are so many great content writers out there, which means our subconscious is absorbing it and eventually this comes out in our own content.

The tougher part is making it connect to your purpose, your passion and making it meaningful. 

Most content nowadays is forgettable, even the headlines are so sensational that they are becoming a massive turn off. The professional media is trying desperately to get our attention.

Whether you are in employment or running your own business, you have a desire to feel valued, for your contribution to be meaningful and deliver something that will have an impact on people’s lives. Most of us have those desires. And even if we don't have those desires for our business, we will have those for our family. 

There is a meaning, a purpose to all our lives and maybe you are not fully aware of it yet, it is vital that you understand what it is when you are writing content.

If your content is just about what you do and how you do it, i.e. selling yourself then you are, sorry to say, going in the wrong direction.

Simon Sinek is a master at teaching us how to become better at defining our purpose, our WHY? I have included his best video to explain this below. It's only had 30+ million view so far, so he must be on to something right?

Our ‘why’ has to be evident in what we say, what we write and how we market. Basically all our content.

The reader has to feel a connection with you beyond the words, the facts and the content. She needs to be convinced that you are congruent with your content and have written it with the right intention and with purpose and meaning.

If you are not clear on how to do this, start with thinking about why you do what you do? What you love about what you do and how you would like to make an impact in the world or maybe closer to home in your community. Once you start getting clarity about this and portray this through the content you write or share, your audience will feel a closer connection to you, a deeper feeling of trust will develop and a greater connection will emerge.

Defining yourself by metrics alone is never enough. Awards and league tables are the result of ego and self congratulations. You can only ever measure yourself, your business, the impact on your community, by the amount of change that is taking place as a direct result of your purpose.

How are you articulating your purpose in your content?

I'd love to learn and I am sure others would to, so help us out and share your answer below.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: (http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/)

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy #distraction #purpose #relevance

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me (https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/discovery-call/). I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 2

@stayingaliveuk

@stayingaliveuk

Telling stories isn’t always that simple though is it? Let’s take the scenario of a product or service.

This is what most people believe.

  1. You have to share what the product/service does.
  2. You must share how the product/service performs.
  3. You’ve got to demonstrate, through testimonials, how the product/service has helped others.
  4. You’ve got to give people an incentive to purchase your product/service.

Wrong! Your buyer will think, ‘so what? My problem is unique, nobody has my problem, I am the only one with this problem and I can’t see how your product/service will help me.’

The reason they come up with these objections is the fact that they haven’t emotionally connected with your company or product yet. The only way you can create emotion in anyone is to have them buy into your story first. This could be about you personally, your company or your product.

How interesting would it be if you told the story of how your product was created and road-tested. Even more powerful would be to share who was involved in the product creation and how long it took you to come up with the idea, prototype it and then manufacture it. How you got consumers of the product involved in testing it and giving their feedback. How the feedback made you shape the product/service and made it even greater.

You may remember Apple’s iPhone 4 ‘Antennagate’ a few years back where consumers had reported that the signal was poor when your hand obscured the antenna. In the end only 0.55% of buyers complained but Apple gave everyone free bumpers to stop them from obscuring the antenna. In an unprecedented move Apple showed us a strange room where the iPhone was tested. Not everyone will have seen it but it’s the only internal room that I have seen in Apple. It gave me a fabulous insight and increased level of trust in them. Apple never shared how the product performed, they just shared with us a story of how it was tested. Do you get the difference? 

You can download the full story by clicking HERE.

#storytelling #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me (https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/discovery-call/). I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 1

@stayingaliveuk

@stayingaliveuk

Because it takes us back to our magical childhood. Even before we could comprehend what was being said, our parents read stories to us. They took us on a journey, where anything was possible, where we could imagine anything with the use of our brain. We created mystical characters who did not exist in the real world but, as far as we were concerned, they were as real as you and me.

Hollywood have always known that we all LOVE stories!

When we watch or read a story we start creating images in our brain to fill in the missing parts. Let’s take the following paragraph.

“Jane, who drove too fast in her red sports car down the busy highway, was excited about the prospect of meeting up with her friends, who were waiting for her. They were waiting for her in her favourite restaurant at a table by the window with a view over the lake. Sundown had just started and the light was bouncing off the water, which was still and sparkling in the remaining light. Ducks were drifting peacefully on the water, heading towards their night retreats. Jane was running late”.

You just created several images in your brain taken from your library of images which are stored in billions of neurons. More than that you emotionally connected with Jane: we’ve all been late for appointments and know what it feels like to be rushing to try and get to our destination faster. You also love being able to get a table by the window in a restaurant, especially with a view over a lake. Oh wow, just imagine that. And who doesn’t like seeing ducks drifting on a lake at sundown?

This means that you didn’t just imagine Jane’s journey and destination, you actually wished you were Jane. Or John, of course, if it was a guy who featured in the story.

So, if we emotionally connect with stories what do you think the best marketers in the world do? Correct! You guessed right...they tell stories.

You can download the full story by clicking the link HERE.

#storytelling #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me (https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/discovery-call/). I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Right then, what's actually causing you to be so distracted?

I'm sure you have heard that little voice in your head, you know the one that tells you that you should have done something when you haven't, the one that NEVER shuts up.  Oh and it's never positive, it's ALWAYS a negative commentary.

Well it's the same one that talks to you when you are writing, posting, liking and commenting. Constantly evaluating what you're writing, questioning whether you should have done it differently, said more or said less and even if you should have said anything at all.

Should you tap the like or the love emoji on Facebook and tapping the angry one when someone is complaining or the sad one when they're sharing some personal heartache. Is tapping the emoji enough or do you add some comments too. But what if you say the wrong thing. You’ve only got 10 seconds to add something.  Look at all those other comments, should you even bother or should you just like one of the other comments you agree with, but oh some of those other comments are dreadful, should you say something back or should you just move on. But you may be enraged with it all and your inner dragon can't resist it.

All of those voices are happening instantly and in split-second succession and you don't even know it's happening to you. And it's very likely that you were being distracted by the next post,  the next notification on your mobile and your need to write and post the next article or blogpost.

We are convinced that the distractions are outside of us and in fact they are all in our heads. We are the ones who allow ourselves to be distracted, it's never anyone else’s fault, really it isn't.

So how do you manage to stay focussed and on topic with all the thousands of opportunities for distraction?

BETTER HABITS

You are never going to drown out all those distractions but you can train yourself to develop better habits.

Better habits means getting organised around when, where and how you engage with all of the thousands of distractions that you have to face and all the tasks you have to perform. It means being organised and you decide when you allow yourself to be distracted.

Examples:

  1. Notification to say someone's tagged you? You schedule a reminder when you know you have time to look at notifications.
  2. You need to write an article or blogpost? Again schedule a reminder and block time in your schedule when you will have time to write it.
  3. Ideally you'd like to have a steady flow of posts going out to your social channels. Use a social media scheduler like Buffer or Hootsuite and there are other schedulers too.
  4. You need a source of interesting and exciting content to learn from and to repost to demonstrate your thought leadership. Investigate using RSS aggregators, like Feedly, Flipboard and others.

I have found by using the Apple reminders app and scheduling the reminder for specific days and times I am able to be far more productive and disciplined in developing better habits. It's an ongoing journey and with practice you can and will develop a better habit in reducing the amount of unnecessary distractions.

I can highly recommend The Habit Guide by Leo Babauta, who has some excellent tips and strategies to develop better habits. He also writes a great blog zenhabits.net.

What strategies have you developed for reducing the amount of distractions?

I'd love to learn and I am sure others would to, so help us out and share your answer below.

---

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: (http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/)

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me (https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/discovery-call/). I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

So how do you create more relevant content?

I really and honestly haven't got the answer, if I did I'd probably be on a beach somewhere during the freezing winter months.  Are you feeling cold right now?

If you do think you can answer my question, please skip to the end and I'd love to hear your perspectives and of course we all need to know, urgently.

What I will do is share what content personally turns me off and what attracts me. And in the words of Tony Robbins we are either 'moving away or moving towards something', this could be pain or pleasure and in this case content.

Turn-offs (no way a complete list, but what comes to mind for now an I may continue to add as they come up in the future).

  1. Too many adverts saying 'buy me'.
  2. Self congratulations, which portray a message to say, 'aren't we clever?'
  3. Newsletters, I just don't get those anymore, they're such a complete and utter waste of time nowadays.
  4. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat and even more multiple repeats of the same content.  I'm guilty of this too!
  5. No context around someone else's content you are sharing. Just sharing for sharing's sake. Ouch!
  6. Live video here, live video there, live video here, there and everywhere. Too many notifications to suggest that everyone is joining the bandwagon. Although I have to say the Instagram version is attracting me a little!
  7. Autobot messages via 'commun.it', oh dear what is everyone thinking?  Autobot messages are so 2014.  Stop them, stop them now!
  8. Articles with the top 5, top 10, top 25 and even the top 50 of suggestions we really never take action on. Do share if you ever have please.
  9. Adverts that have animals starring in it to jolt our emotional brain neurones into saying awwwwww and apparently remembering the product for longer.  And now even giving away toys of said animals if you purchase the product.  Readers in the UK, will know exactly what I'm talking about.
  10. Re-marketing ads.  They are really, really doing my head in, because unfortunately you can't get them out of your head. I bet a very clever psychiatrist at Google suggested this one.  Aaarrrggghhh!

Okay that's enough for now, turned out to be a bigger list than I had expected.

Attracts

  1. Videos that are educational.  Ted-talks and Ted-Ed are brilliant and I could watch them all day long.
  2. Content that answers my question when I search on Google for the answer to a problem I need to solve.  Thank you to all those amazing trainers, coaches, educators out there, we appreciate you! 
  3. YouTube. For making my home feed relevant to what I like watching, coming up with new suggestions or ideas and allowing me to scrap them if I wish. Also making the list of new videos from my subscribed channels easy to navigate around.  I love YouTube, it's visual, engaging and quick.
  4. Animated GIFS, as long as they're funny and clever.  I've even started to have a play with producing them myself.  Great fun!
  5. Comedy.  Who doesn't like having a good laugh, there isn't enough laughter in the world and social media can be a real tonic for the soul.
  6. Real-live stories.  In the last year I have seen more real people stories coming through even on LinkedIn and as you would expect they are stories of overcoming adversity in some way.  They are hugely motivational and at the same time make your so-called stresses seem so small.
  7. Content that provides great learning for where you are in that moment and time, whether it be your personal or business life.

Right then do you have the answer?  What content inspires you?

I'd love to learn and I am sure others would to, so help me out and share your answer below.

---

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: (http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/)

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling #sales #empathy

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me (https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/discovery-call/). I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

 

 

 

Is ‘Empathy’ a thing that you can measure?

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

Unfortunately most of us are in a flight and fight status. This means we come from a place of needing to be heard instead of a desire to listen.

True empathy will only arise when you place yourself in selfless position to listen.  When you are an active listener you learn things you would never have learnt if you remain in a position of needing to be heard.

An example I share often is the first meeting at a networking event or maybe even a party. Almost in the first sentence spoken is the question, ‘what do you do?’. My advice always is to avoid answering the question and instead say, ‘why don't you go first?’.

And when they do go first, you follow it up with more questions, placing you in a great position to listen and learn. Often the speaker will even forget to ask you again what you do. They are so wrapped up in the moment of sharing their own story, loving talking about themselves and appreciating you for asking inquisitive and probing questions. Just nod knowingly and avoid responding. The speaker will feel listened to and you come across as having empathy.

The same approach is advisable for the social web.

Listen and ask more questions rather then transmitting your stuff in order to be heard.

Twitter is losing its shine and I wonder why? If you look carefully it's all about transmitting and needing to be heard. The social web has had enough of being transmitted to. We are naturally curious beings and as such the platforms, which have moved towards stories are on fire, because when your stories are being appreciated you feel that your viewers are displaying empathy towards you.

And actually ‘empathy’ = ‘love. 

What we want more than anything in the whole wide world is to be loved.

I wonder if you could answer just one question in the comments below please?

What's the one thing you love about being on the social web?

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone’s ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don’t really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me. I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Originally published on Medium

Do you contemplate and consider carefully the content you create, curate and share?

Social Media encourages all to be spontaneous, to share something instantly and above all to be expectant of the reactions that we may receive as a result. 

So why do we need to contemplate and consider carefully the content we create every single day?

Because in doing so you are sharing with the world who you are, what you believe in, how you wish to be seen and above all how you wish to be judged. When we decide to be active on Social Media, we are developing and portraying ourselves as a ‘Personal Brand’. Yes indeed all of us are now ‘Brands’, so you better take that responsibility seriously.

As most of us on here (written for LinkedIn) are business professionals, either employed or running our own businesses, our companies are using marketing strategies and tactics to be seen and to encourage buyers to purchase from us. You know the saying, ‘buyers buy you first’.

This is where ‘Content Marketing’ as a strategy comes into play. If ‘Content Marketing’ does indeed cost 62% less than traditional marketing then this must be very attractive to all of us. I've never done any traditional marketing, as I've always believed it was too expensive for a very small business like myself. And maybe I'm not that good yet at ‘Content Marketing’ either as I haven't experienced the true benefits yet. But then again how do I truly know, because I'm not measuring it that well either. I must do more on both fronts. 

There are so many platforms these days to publish your content to.

I'm experimenting by using the following channels.

  1. My own blog. Receives very little interaction, although It’s a must these days, everyone needs to have their own hosted blog with its own domain.
  2. LinkedIn Publishing. A feature that was started for business influencers and then rolled out to the majority of members. Had massive traction in its early days and nowadays publishers hardly receive any likes or comments, unless you send your article to your contacts and ask them to like, comment and share. A strategy being promoted by many LinkedIn experts.
  3. Medium. Personally I believe the most exciting platform around today.
  4. Facebook notes. Only in the past few weeks have I started to experiment with it.
  5. Apple News. Publishes directly via my blog.

These channels are probably more than enough to be sharing original content on. And yes I do duplicate and no I'm not al all worried how I may get penalised by Google as a result, which some SEO professionals might suggest. 

How about you? What are you using to create, curate and share content across the Social Web?

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone’s ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don’t really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me. I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Originally published on Medium

Do you really believe you’re getting better at it?

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

Depends what you’re talking about right?

Well, I am talking about the quality of your content. If the stats are right and I have no reason to believe they are not, then you and me are checking our phones 110 times a day.

I seriously can’t think of 110 things that I have looked at on my phone, can you? I certainly haven’t shared 110 things. The other day my darling wife Clair received her year in review by Facebook. I don’t get one by the way, because I’m not active enough there! Anyway, her most interesting stat was that, over the year, she had liked 13,500 posts. Averaged out over 365 days, that is 37 posts each and every day and that means some days she will have liked much more and some days much less.

If you are a Marketer, a Social Seller, a Writer, a Digital Native, a Coach, a Trainer and more, you undoubtedly be looking at the Social Web to get noticed, to be heard and be searching for engagement.

Just consider the attention span of your readers. They essentially have about a split second, like a ‘Formula 1’ racing car split second to make up their minds, whether your content is worth engaging with.

I bet you haven’t even read this far. And if you have do tell!

I’m wondering if you’ve even realised how quick you check your phone and ‘thumb’ through the content. How much do you actually retain and what grabs your attention to want to engage with it? Not much right? So have a think, what does actually make you stop and read further. Is it a video, a great image, the crafty and sneaky headline, the compelling question or the incredibly useless tip list? Or maybe it’s just good old regular dogs, cats and food. Yep food is a strange one, really it is, but obviously it’s something we’re totally consumed by, food!

Right then did you get the answer yet? What engages you?

I’d love to learn and I am sure you would to, so help me and all the other marketers out there, share your answer below.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone’s ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don’t really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me. I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Originally published on Medium

The New LinkedIn vs the Old LinkedIn

LinkedIn, is about the change.  I thought it would be good to show you the upcoming differences.   If you are using the LinkedIn mobile app, you will be pleased to learn that it's very close in user interface to the app.  At long last!

Do you really think your content is so special?

Think again! I call it the 'Falling Tree'. There is a tree falling over in a forest somewhere on the planet. In fact there are probably many trees falling over in forests right now, maybe thousands and nobody is there to witness the event, nobody.

This is probably happening to your and my content right now. Our content are just trees falling over and nobody is there to witness it. So why do we spend so much time creating, perfecting, worrying and measuring? Because everyone tells us to?

 

There are so many coaches, trainers, authors, storytellers, SEO experts, influencers, copywriters and any other title you may care to conjure up, who are advising us to create more and more content, to pick the right times, the right days, the right platforms, the right demographics, the right advertising campaigns and all just to get our content noticed. 

You may have come across a term that is often used in the world of learning, 'Sheep-dip'. We are all being 'Sheep-dipped' by the experts who tell us what we should be doing.

Is it because we wish to achieve mass market domination? Granted probably only in your sector right, your Niche (Neesh or Nitch)?

I believe it's time to think about a different strategy, to think authentic, to think personal, to examine a different approach. 

What would it take to start a campaign in your organisation, no matter how big or small you are, where every single person who works for you calls a specific customer, a named individual, in your customer's company and asks them personally whether you're doing everything that they would expect from you? 

That would be different right?

No survey, no customer service call, no external company making the call. Every single person in your company.  And if that means it's only you in your company, then that's perfect too.

And there is only one question. Let's repeat it.

"Are we doing everything that you would expect from us"?

Can you think of some other non 'Sheep-dip' approaches that might get you to stand out from the crowd?

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Have you located your company’s Holy Grail of ‘Engagement’ yet?

With everything that's being thrown at us how are you truly differentiating yourself to ensure that your prospects, clients and readers (let's call them ‘engagers’) do actually wish to ‘engage’ with you?

We're all witnessing an amazing revolution in media. With media, I'm suggesting everything from the Press, TV, Entertainment, Online Video, Online Learning, Blogs, through to Social Media and beyond.

There has never been a more important time to truly understand how and where your future audience will be engaging with content. 

To start with, the producers of content are usually the ones that are engaging with it in the first place. That means you as a producer are always researching where the most engagement will take place with your content. By researching it, you will be engaging wit the content there. For example if you decided that you want to use Medium to post your blogs, you start producing content for that media channel and it's inevitable that you will be engaging with other content whilst you are opening an account and doing your research.

I call this ‘Empty Engagement’. Content producers looking at content produced by other content producers don't really engage with that content as such. They are just scanning it, to learn from and how they can best borrow the ideas and concepts for their own content production. 

In addition platforms have created clever bots that suggest what content producers you should be following, they may even auto follow categories and as a consequence the authors too. Clever stuff and ‘empty’.

Nowadays your process for obtaining engagement means you have to get close up and personal. This means reaching out in a personal way to your audience and engaging with them one person at a time.

I've been noticing how @buffer do this really really well. For the past 2 weeks, I jumped on their weekly #bufferchat. There I noticed that they respond to specific tweets by the contributors. Not just liking or retweeting, they do actually mention the individuals and respond very directly to their answers to the questions in the chat.

Pretty impressive actually. It confirmed for me that this personal touch and direct communication, one to one is truly the only way to get engagement growing with your audience.

I hope this gives us all something to consider, reaching out to specific audiences and grow engagement on a very personal level, one ‘engager’ at a time. 

I would love to hear what's working for you with growing engagement. Thank you so much.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

One day we will all just be 'OLD'!

I agree it's a dreadful thought or is it? When we get closer to visiting our Maker, we start to forgive those that have done us wrong, we ask for forgiveness for what we may have said to or about those we did wrong, realising that actually we only have a few hours left on this planet. 

One day that is exactly what will happen to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. What they have said to each other will have hurt the other at some level, whether it was the truth or not, it doesn't matter. Throwing verbal abuse at each other is massive negative energy and will affect the other individual. Just think back to when someone verbally abused you. How did it make you feel?

Hillary and Donald are supposed to be the top leaders of the western world, they are supposed to be role models for other leaders, for teenagers and for children who aspire to achieve greatness themselves one day.

Many adults (we're all leaders in our communities by the way) around the world joined in with the verbal abuse, whether it was on TV, the press, Social Media, all of us showing younger people how to behave when things don't go our way. And the abuse continues and will continue for many years to come. This election will NEVER be forgotten, because we will be reminded of it, when every day the media will scrutinise every tiny little detail of Trump's Presidency. 

Can we truly look at ourselves in the mirror and honestly say to ourselves that we are outstanding leaders in this world of ours? Truly?

Watch this fascinating video interview with Simon Sinek, who stated that Donald Trump is a reflection of us. Ironically this interview was posted on YouTube on June 23rd, the day the UK voted for Brexit!

For me what the US Presidential Election of 2016 has shown me is that we as leaders have a very very long way to go to realise what true leadership is. And often we become great leaders when we reach a very mature age, an age when you realise how fragile this life is, an age when forgiveness comes easy, an age when you realise what you did and said wasn't actually that great. And by the way that age is obviously not 69 (Hillary) or 70 (Donald). 

One day we will all just be 'OLD'.

@stayingaliveuk

Are you really being heard?

When LinkedIn first released the functionality for all members to publish articles, the amount of views, likes and comments of those articles were in the multiple hundreds. It's very likely that this article will get less than 30 likes and probably less than 5 comments if any. Now, in order to get seen by the many, we're asking colleagues, connections and complete strangers to like, comment and share our content.

It's not that your content is less interesting or less useful, it just means that the amount of content being written, shared and distributed across all Social Media is colossal. All of us now scan news feeds in lightning quick fashion. We are attracted by images, videos, Facebook Live and other ways that Social Networks are experimenting with us to get our attention.

Just scan this Infographic below to learn how much data is being generated every single minute. There's just no way that anyone can absorb even a nano-second of all that data. Sorry there's no date on it, but it's likely to be around 12-months old, which means it's probably gone up by a third at least. Shame, no LinkedIn data!

All marketing departments in all organisations are searching for the Holy Grail called 'Engagement'.  In trying to locate it, they are all pushing out MORE content not LESS.  Every time a new platform joins the rat race, they're all over it, until of course it dies a slow painful death.  RIP Vine. Have you heard of Woo Woo? Watch the video below!

Really it's not about MORE, it should be about LESS, a lot LESS and also SLOWER a lot SLOWER. When you restrict the amount of content, the likelihood is that your audience will want more. When you are sharing with abundance, they will switch off. Scarcity is actually a strategy used often by many marketers when they are selling their products, so why not with content? Just saying...

The message here is all about taking care, a lot of care, when we create content and making sure that we are crafting a message that can truly be heard. When you take the time to do this, you won't have time to firehose content to your channels, you have to review what you're creating and be proud of it. 

So it's time to review what you're doing, what you're sharing and how you would like to be heard? And that goes for me too!

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk

Are you practising Mindfulness?

There is an issue with the word ’Mindfulness’. It sounds like ’Mind-full-ness’. It should be called ’Mind-emptiness’

As I viewed my Apple News app for my daily fix of world headlines, I’m totally blown away by almost every other article talking about the US Presidency. Whether it's tapes, emails, quotes, the constitution it's all over my News app. There's almost no space for anything else. I really should stop looking. 

But that's the problem, it's hard not to. We're so wired-in to streams of content from all directions, that trying to ignore it is almost futile. 

It really is like living inside a Star Trek episode featuring The Borg. 

This is their quote:

“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” 

Seriously that's how I feel sometimes. And when someone says to you, ’did you see...’ and I act all clueless, they look at you as if you've committed a crime. So does that mean we all get sucked in to mindlessly having to read, watch and absorb content that we'd prefer not to?

Being distracted by so much content is becoming a task in itself. How to decide what to read, what to watch and how to relax is now as stressful as work. I'm convinced that there will be a new career in helping people to switch off from ’content overload’. Helping them to identify the real things that are truly important in their lives and will move them forward in achieving their goals and dreams. One thing’s for sure, spending mindless time on Social Media and watching TV is not going to deliver that for us.

So what advise should I give you? I haven't a clue yet is my honest answer, as I've also been assimilated. However my goal is to chunk my time in 20-minute slots. I now even teach people what to do on LinkedIn each day in just 20-minutes per day. Feel free to have a browse through the slides below.

When you chunk your time in say 20-minute slots you will not feel as overwhelmed by it all. If you do need your daily fix of news and social media, just spend 20-minutes per day on it, that's it no more and no less. 

Test it our for a day. 

  1. Catch up with the news for 20 minutes in the morning.
  2. Sit down for breakfast for 20 minutes.
  3. Catch up with email in the office for 20 minutes.
  4. Perform some of your outstanding tasks for 20 minutes at a time.
  5. Attend or chair a meeting, make it last just 20 minutes.
  6. Spend some quiet time during the day, take 20 minutes.
  7. Maybe go for a walk for just 20 minutes.
  8. Spend some time with your kids, even if it's 20 minutes.
  9. Catch up with the news in the evening for just 20 minutes.
  10. Workout for a power exercise session again just 20 minutes.

And I could go on. Chunk it down into 20-minute slots and you will be surprised how much you can achieve. Be patient with yourself, experiment and try it out, even if you don't apply it to everything. You could never watch a film in 20 minutes and that's okay. Just try it out on a few things, especially Social Media. I'll be doing the same!

Let's share how you're getting on and enjoy the process.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk

Is anyone in love with Your Brand yet?

Shakespeare was way ahead of his time and he was maybe and probably THE best storyteller that ever lived. He didn't focus on his brand, maybe he didn't even know what his brand was. 

But he knew that people loved stories.

You may not even realise it, but you are the biggest story ever told. Everything about you, your journey, your experiences, your challenges, your failures, your successes and breakthroughs, your experience of love and of not love. All of it has made you who you are today. One BIG story. You are your own biggest brand.

I have a phrase that goes something like this. 

With the advent of Social Media you have now become a personal brand. You'd better take that responsibility seriously!

And why wouldn't you take that seriously? The way you show up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. tells the viewer a story about you. One thing's for sure, they will judge you in an instant. Some positive and of course some negative.

It's no surprise therefore that every Social Network is focussing more and more on STORIES. 

Why?

Because they know that every single one of us crave stories. We search for them every single day and you don't even know you're doing it. We're literally hard-wired to look for stories. Not sure? Okay, this is what you might be doing every single day:

  1. Wake up and pick up your smartphone. Look for any news, check-out Facebook, Twitter and maybe even LinkedIn. It's not that much will have happened overnight, it's the stories that are breaking first thing in the morning. And guess what, all the news media have been working the previous day and also through the night to make sure that fresh news is there for you to satisfy your daily appetite.
  2. Some of you, although it's becoming less, will pick up a newspaper that the paper girl or boy left in your mailbox in the morning. Or you pick one up on your daily commute to the office.
  3. Even before that, you may be eating breakfast or drinking your daily fix of caffeine whilst watching the news on your TV news channel of choice.

On average you are spending one hour per day on Social Networks. You may be sharing your stories through photos, videos, live transmissions and on top of that you are reading even more stories. Stories that inspire, stories that make you laugh, cry and feel disgust, stories that will make you unfriend someone, stories that will make you judge. 

And all because you LOVE stories.

To be a great storyteller you need a great canvas. Your canvas are the Social Networks that you are part of and appear on. To begin with you can do a quick self audit with these key areas and ensure some consistency across all of them:

  1. Are your Social Network handles all the same?
  2. Is your profile photo the same across all of them?
  3. Is your strap-line or headline the same across all of them?
  4. Is your long description broadly similar, I know they all have different allowable character counts.
  5. Is your header or banner image the same across all channels, I know they all need different sizing, but the same is always best.

Whether you run your own business or whether you work for a great organisation, developing yourself as a great personal brand is the best story you can create for yourself. Success!

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk

Have you installed THE BEST Customer Service message button yet?

Twitter has given us all a brilliant gift.

‘A button for our websites to receive direct messages via Twitter.’

Twitter direct messages is very under-used I feel.  The only way Twitter users are utilising it is by auto-messages when you follow them. I’m sorry but that’s a massive turn off for me. It’s not personal, it’s not intimate and it’s not engaging. I have stopped responding to those, because I know there was no real individual involved in sending those.

If you are a business, no matter how small or large, you must be on Twitter and you must have a direct message button on your website. In my experience, I have sent countless customer service tweets to companies, which have resulted in a fantastic response and outcome. I really value it when companies respond to me using Twitter, it’s way better than the email, way better than the voice-automated call routing and usually far more personal.

And now that we can add a direct message button it means the customer doesn’t have to send those bitter tweets publicly, they can message you direct without all that embarrassment.

‘Provide your customers with a direct message facility and you will be able to jump on those questions super fast and privately’.

Right then some instructions on how to do this, because it took me a while to figure it out. Twitter’s instructions are not that crystal clear.

Go to your Twitter account. Desktop only. Click on your profile photo top right and from the drop down, select ‘Settings’.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-01_at_16_06_31.png

 

Select ‘Security and privacy’ from the left hand menu.

Scroll down in the right column and at the very bottom of the ‘Privacy’ section, there is an item titled ‘Direct Messages’. Select by ticking the box next to ‘Receive Direct Messages from anyone’.

This is THE most important step, as without it nothing works.

Stay inside the same screen (Settings) and select from the left hand menu, one from last on the list ‘Your Twitter data’.  Underneath Account history is your Username and User ID (I have blanked mine). You already know your own username and please make a note of your User ID. You will need both.


Visit https://publish.twitter.com/#. Enter your Twitter handle in the box below ‘What would you like to embed?’ Click the arrow or press enter.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-01_at_16_15_09.png

Next you will scroll down to 4 options for embedding Twitter code on your website. Please select ‘Twitter Buttons’.

This will generate a pop-up with 5 options. Please select option 5 ‘Message Button’.

This will generate a second pop-up. Please enter your Twitter Handle and User ID from item 5 and click ‘Preview’.

Next are some customisation options, for example you can pre-fill some initial text and decide whether you’re like a large button. Click Update and a preview will be displayed below, together with the HTML code that is needed to supply to your webmaster or you can copy yourself and add to your website, maybe on the contact page.

Now it's your turn, go to your Twitter account and start grabbing the information you need from there and then head to https://publish.twitter.com/# 

And if you enjoyed this tutorial and it worked for you, please send me a DM via Twitter. Success!