Snobbery with Violence

 Jack and Marion de Groot (Carter) on their wedding day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jack and Marion de Groot (Carter) on their wedding day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Snobbery with Violence

News article clipping, date unknown, but assumed to be in 1947 the year of Indian’s Independence from the UK. By Marion Carter (my mother) who was 17 in that year. I discovered it in a small book of authographs owned by my mother.

On the dawn of India’s Independence, the Anglo-Indian communities all over the country were busy with trunks and packing cases, and the air was filled with the news, ‘We are going Home’.

‘Home’! Where is our ‘Home’?

Some apparently think it is in England, I wonder what the English think of that. True, we may enter England at will, the same way as any other native of this land and on arrival we shall be received with the same peculiar welcome…the thinly disguised colour bar. (definition: a social system in which black people are denied access to the same rights, opportunities, and facilities as white people.)

Can England be the home of any self-respecting Indian? And what are we, if not Indians? We were born here, our ancestors were born here and neither we nor they have ever seen the shores of England. Yet we are going ‘Home’?

Some of us, of course, well, deserve a bit of our own medicine which will be liberally administered to us at ‘Home’. For generations we considered ourselves superior to other communities, because we could claim to some English blood. Even assuming that all the foreign blood is English, pure certified English. The Lord only knows why this should be assumed and how the Dutch, Portuguese, American and other blood managed to evaporate from our veins, why should that makes us superior and can that make England our ‘Home’?

If by the same token the inhabitants of England with mixed blood decided to go ‘Home’, what a glorious exodus that would be! The Royal Family would scatter to Germany, Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Holland and Spain. The astonished countries of Denmark, France and Italy would be over-run by returning exiles. Typical Englishmen and English-women returning ‘Home’ would become a menace to all Europe and every continent would get is share until only a few poor Celts would remain in the highlands of Scotland and in the hills of Wales. But the natives of England consider themselves English and will not desert in a hysterical flight to strange and foreign shores but will remain English and stay in England where they belong.

Why should we Anglo-Indians consider ourselves closer to a strange country than to the land which nourished almost all our forefathers. Good reasons there are none, but there is an obvious explanation. India is a land of snobbery. Everyone is trying to be ‘superior’ to his neighbours and tries to convince himself that there is something that makes him so. With us it is our mixed blood. It sounds idiotic.

 Family de Groot - Amsterdam - Marconistraat

Family de Groot - Amsterdam - Marconistraat

Colour Shame

Could there be anything more ridiculous than that a whole race should be ashamed of its own colour? And those who are a shade lighter should look with contempt on the others as their inferiors? What incentive will there be in Indian society for intellectual advance for the betterment of the mind, when what really counts is the colour of the skin? From Europeans we could expect no better, but that a colour bar should develop in India among Indians, is a disgrace to our ancient civilisation.

Those who have no light complexion to boast of, find other ways of establishing their superiority. There are those who are proud of never having done a stroke of work in all their lives. What an asset they are to their country! Some simply can not get over having been born into a high caste and consider it great condescension to be occasionally courteous to anyone a step lower. Some who made or inherited great wealth look down sneeringly on those who are poor and so it goes on.

Indians are busy snubbing while being snubbed. What nonsense it all is, these multitudinous Aristocracies!

The Caste or Parentage Aristocracy, The Much Money Aristocracy, The Idleness and Uselessness Aristocracy, The Mixed Blood Aristocracy, The Government Official Aristocracy, The Light Pigment Aristocracy, etc.

There is a superior and high caste, but not of birth or money or any of these things, but of mental quality. One who is more honest, more tolerant, more kind, more cultured, in the true meaning of the word, is the superior Aristocracy on earth. These Aristocrats can save our country, the other can only lead it to destruction.

Written in 1947 by Marion Carter (de Groot) mother of Michael de Groot. Posted on Medium by Michael in 2018, 71 years later!

Marion was born 23rd August 1930 and deceased 24th February 1996 aged 65. Marion was a heart-disease sufferer for many years. I never heard her speak much of her Anglo-Indian heritage, she was very much the European and embraced everything Dutch and English. And of course after many years in the Netherlands we did and she did eventually come to live in England, something she allegedly resisted against when you read her article. Rest in peace Mama.

When I was 15 - Daydream Fantasies

 Grandfather de Groot and Michael de Groot in Surinam 1974

Grandfather de Groot and Michael de Groot in Surinam 1974

Thank you, thank you ladies and gentlemen! That was Mike at the drums, with his own interpretation of ‘Dreams’! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Michael will you join us? We were discussing the preposition.

Back to reality and the stuffy classroom with my classmates grinning at me, while the flush of being elsewhere with my thoughts, slowly spread over my face and added to the general hilarity!

Once upon a time there was a young man who had learned to play the piano, a little, then discovered the rhythm of the beat and the joy of rolling drums. That was going to be his instrument and he worked at getting the rhythm , the rolls, the crescendo and the final crash to a perfection that finally got him the much coveted position as lead drummer in his favourite group’s orchestra. He travelled the country till he was proclaimed the star of the show, only to be banged down to reality with a preposition.

Reality! A long hard road to achieve the impossible or was it just possible that one day the tables would be turned and I would be up there taking a bow to the deafening applause, thinking I was dreaming again and that I would be brought back to the classroom where my classmates were clapping their hands to draw attention to the teacher and the work on hand!

There I go again, it is so hard to concentrate and stop this habit of using the hum of the teacher’s voice to lead me to those wonderful places away from the dull drab life that I lead. How can I learn to be interested in the uses and abuses of the English language when there is so much more excitement in the sound that I can bring forth with just a flick of the wrist on those beautiful skins? I must stop, I must stop. My passport to reality is proficiency in English which will eventually lead to making my fantasy worlds of the past, the living world of today! Dreams do come true, especially if they have been day dreams!

From early childhood, we are encouraged to concentrate and every lesson in a school classroom is directed at the student in such a way that it makes it impossible not to do so. But not all of us are blessed with those very gifted powers of being able to keep our minds on the subject that is being taught, especially if it is of no particular interest to us or the teacher is unable to hold the interest of his or her students. It is so easy to let the world of fantasy surround you with those tempting delights, which are far more exciting than the reality of the classroom, that the younger student, the less disciplined the mind and the easier the flight from reality.

The business of growing up consists of filling the mind with knowledge that will enable one to meet the demands of the adult world where what you know is more important than what you are. There is no time or need in your waking hours to dream of flying like a bird, you can fly! Or being famous, you can become famous and world renown, all you have to do is hi-jack a plane or train or kidnap a child or a businessman and you are famous! Write a book? Easy, just collect all your wildest fantasies together and fill them with enough obscene words and you can top the best-seller book list.

Day dreams are fast becoming a luxury that only the very young can participate in, or those who have suffered from the pressures of modern life and have to go to a group therapy session so that they can be encouraged to let their mind wander and enjoy once again the fantasies that have been crowded out by the reality of our world today.

Has climate any affect on national character? When I was asked this question, the first picture that came to my mind was that of happy laughing people in sunny Spain. So that I would say that as far as my experience is concerned, I do think that the climate affects the people of a country and also the character. Astrologers turn to the stars to find good and bad omens in our lives with the help of the position of the moon and the sun and we Europeans living in the northern hemisphere are certainly influenced by the changing position of the sun. When spring arrives in Europe, we look forward to the longer hours of daylight and are walking with our heads up and a smile on our faces, because we know that soon it will be time to enjoy more of the sun.

Bright sunshine, light and warmth, the ingredients for growth and happiness. Dull days, cold and darkness, the characteristic recipe for sitting together trying to discover the meaning of life. Although we in Europe have the opportunity of having the time, in winter, to think and talk of all aspects of life, we envy our neighbours in the sunny countries who have the sun all the time, because we know that the fact that the sun is shining gives them more freedom, they live a carefree life.

So my answer to the question of whether the climate affects the national character, would be yes most definitely.

From a piece of work that I submitted to my course in Amsterdam, learning how to write business English, in preparation for us to move to the United Kingdom. My mother (Marion) assisted me greatly with writing this article at the time. My dream when I was 15 was to become a drummer in a band. I did learn to play the drums and did indeed become a drummer in a small unknown, very short-lived new wave/punk band in London. We even recorded a very poor demo on my father's reel to reel tape player. I still have the recording and it pleases me from time to time to listen to my own mastery on the drums.

Michael de Groot

I've moved to Medium

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I've got 3 publications there so far. Medium allows me to be freer then I am able to be on either my own website blog or here on LinkedIn. There are other writers there who write great stuff, so I'm learning much more too. It allows me to have different publications, it feels a bit like having a book there, the book of me. I really enjoy being on Medium. Hope to see you there. https://medium.com/@stayingaliveuk

Typewriting

This is a daily blog post, quite short and to the point. It's basically about stuff I notice across the digital and the physical, which makes me want to make a statement.

https://medium.com/typewriting


Michael and Josh

This is our daily cartoon series. Well we publish on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I try and look out for topics in the daily news and take some sort of spin on it.

https://medium.com/michaelandjosh


Staying Alive UK

Well this one was basically a copy cat from this blog, so not been updating that much lately. Will have to think where this one goes in the future.

https://medium.com/stayingaliveuk


Hope to see you all there!

https://medium.com/@stayingaliveuk

Michael

 

 

 

How many leads are you really converting?

#leadgeneration.png

Current reality is likely to be fantasy. The fact is that the four horsemen, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are the winners. [Scott Galloway's book The Four Horsemen: http://amzn.to/2CWn5jv]

Their engines are huge, their pockets are even deeper and you have very likely spent a big junk of your earnings with these 4 mammoth organisations.

They are buying up all their competition whenever they pose a threat and will own the internet space for many a year to come, you might as well get used to it.

The only way you are competing on the internet is by spending on ads with Google and Facebook and at this time Facebook is the winner.

Facebook will make $60 billion at least from mobile ads by 2020, that's just in a couple of years time.

You are hoping that AI and automation will save the day and actually it probably won't. The only way you have a chance is to become super personal with your customers and potential buyers. This means spending more on the front end with training your employees to become outstanding communicators and making sure you retain them for longer.

Millennials will rage quit at the drop of a hat, so you better know what they value about your company and make sure you deliver this to them daily.

Lead generation is going to be a much hotter topic in years to come and you will be experimenting with many snake oil providers before settling down with something that you feel happy with.

Remember the customer knows when she's being sold to

The best organisations are becoming better at storytelling and linking al their teams together and sharing the same message.

Here on LinkedIn in by the way is where this can be most effective. The trouble is most organisations ignore this potential and their employees LinkedIn profiles are a mess. Sorry to be so direct, but it's true.

When your employees have to become better communicators they actually have to become better storytellers. Their own story and that of the company they work for. A perfect blend of the two will create trust and loyalty.

Better get started...

Purgatory: the place to which Roman Catholics believe that the spirits of dead people go and suffer for the evil acts that they did while they were alive, before they are able to go to heaven. Humorous: an extremely unpleasant experience that causes suffering.

Do you remember the headlines in 2017?

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 07.59.04.png

I decided to capture the news headlines for the whole year of 2017. About 3 headlines every single day. 

Why?

To illustrate how we’re all being manipulated by the daily media without us even realising it.

By March I started regretting it, but I continued and have added screenshots of those headlines to a Pinterest board. 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/stayingaliveuk/headlines-2017

I’ve captured 1,100+ headlines about an average of 3 headlines per day. 

How did I decide what to pick?

Well I basically decided that if my eye, my attention, my internal guidance system drew me to a particular headline then that’s the one that got selected. Of course I did look out for the major ones, the big news items too. Unfortunately Donald Trump and Brexit obviously feature in abundance because there was some news on both every single day. 

I used the Apple News app to tap into the daily news and locate those headlines. 

I am delighted to nearly have completed the exercise with just 3 days left and will be taking 2018 off from even looking at the news app.

Have a look through the board and some of the headlines might surprise you. 

Enjoy!

Crisis at Christmas 2017

#endhomelessness I started as an event volunteer with Crisis UK, Birmingham Skylight in February 2017. I am learning about the plight of the homeless and appreciate a lot more about what happens at Crisis UK. Their Christmas event across the UK, is the largest single volunteer event in Europe (circa 11,000 in one day) and I am really looking forward to being part of it and supporting those less fortunate on Christmas Day. If you’d like to sponsor me for Christmas Day, please donate what you can afford, even if it’s the equivalent of the cost of a Costa or Starbucks? Thank you so much!

Just click the preview below to get to the virginmoneygiving.com donation page.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/michaeldegroot

So far I have been involved with the following events.

  1. 25th April, 2017 - 50th year event in Birmingham handing out flyers in the freezing cold, whilst videos playing on a massive screen just outside St. Philip’s Cathedral.
  2. 8th July, 2017 - Hodge Hill Carnival. Manning a stand where we were giving away in return for a donation knitted teddy bears and other characters.
  3. 12th July, 2017 - Member celebration event at Carrs Lane Church near Moor Street station Birmingham. Announcing the presenters and general volunteer.
  4. 5th September, 2017 - Joined ‘Volunteer Voices’, volunteer group at Birmingham Skylight, discussing volunteering, events and better information for volunteers, like the ‘Get the help you need’ cards for discussing with rough sleepers.
  5. 5th December, 2017 - Crisis member celebration at St. Martin’s Church Bull Ring, Birmingham, general volunteering.
  6. 25th December, 2017 - Reception duty, Serving food & refreshments, Cleaning / tidying duty, Setting up before guests arrive, Chatting with guests .

I am looking forward to continuing my volunteering journey in 2018 and I have some ideas of my own to highlight the plight of the homeless.

Instead of focussing on what I can buy myself for Christmas, my focus is on how can I help the homeless better.

I am grateful to Crisis for the amazing work they do and of course I appreciate too that there are many other charities working with the homeless, big 🙌 to all of them!

Michael de Groot

Together we will end homelessness

Our definition of ending homelessness

Following consultation across Britain with more that 400 homelessness experts, including 100 people with lived experience of homelessness, we have produced a definition of ending homelessness that give us tangible targets to measure the plan's progress against:

  • No one sleeping rough
  • No one forced to live in transient or dangerous accommodation such as tents, squats and non-residential buildings
  • No one living in emergency accommodation such as shelters and hostels without a plan for rapid rehousing into affordable, secure and decent accommodation
  • No one homeless as a result of leaving a state institution such as prison or the care system
  • Everyone at immediate risk of homelessness gets the help they need that prevents it happening

Streets of London - Crisis UK - Video

Crisis UK - Streets of London.png

Crisis UK

Buy the single on iTunes

https://twitter.com/crisis_uk #CrisisXmas #everybodyin #streetsoflondon

 

Have you seen the old man

In the closed-down market

Kicking up the paper

With his worn out shoes?

In his eyes you see no pride

Hand held loosely at his side

Yesterday's paper telling yesterday's news

 

So how can you tell me you're lonely

And say for you that the sun don't shine?

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I'll show you something to make you change your mind

 

Have you seen the old girl

Who walks the streets of London

Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?

She's no time for talking

She just keeps right on walking

Carrying her home in two carrier bags

 

So how can you tell me you're lonely

And say for you that the sun don't shine?

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I'll Show you something to make you change your mind

 

In the all night cafe

At a quarter past eleven

Same old man sitting there on his own

Looking at the world

Over the rim of his teacup

Each tea lasts an hour

And he wanders home alone

 

So how can you tell me you're lonely

Don't say for you that the sun don't shine

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I'll show you something to make you change your mind

 

Have you seen the old man

Outside the Seaman's Mission

Memory fading with the medal ribbons that he wears

In our winter city

The rain cries a little pity

For one more forgotten hero

And a world that doesn't care

 

So how can you tell me you're lonely

And say for you that the sun don't shine?

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I'll show you something to make you change your mind

Crisis UK

https://twitter.com/crisis_uk

Buy the single on iTunes

How do you know if you are being authentic?

@stayingaliveuk.png

This article was inspired by my LinkedIn connection Rebecca Bell, who posted an update about the case of self-proclaimed titles, like ‘Thought Leader’, 'Influencer’ or ‘Visionary’.

See the post below.

The discussion has been fascinating and you can see how many likes and comments are clocking up on this topic, it really has never-ending opinions.

This topic has touched a nerve with many and it’s making me wonder why do we try and big ourselves up so much. Is it because we need that recognition to feel good about ourselves? Is it because the world around us has conditioned us to claim titles for ourselves, so we can be seen by others as important and they will believe in us?

Most of us have heard the saying ‘people buy people first’ and that means someone has to be in your company, face to face (or at least a video call) before this can take place. But because we now spend most of our time in the digital world, the non-physical, we are making up our own non-sense titles to impress and be bought by our connections and sometimes to manipulate search results too. 

Have you ever heard anyone at a networking meeting say. Hello my name is Michael and I’m a visionary or I’m a thought leader or I’m an influencer. Probably not. Recently I was invited to connect to someone who calls themselves a 'Business Maven'. Who encouraged him/her to use this title to suggest that they are maybe better than you or me, better qualified than anyone else to be an expert in the world of business?

A better description, title or headline for any of us would be:

'Have learnt everything I know from others and therefore thank you to all for the great lessons'. 

Because when we came into this world, we knew diddly-squat, nothing, absolutely nothing. Everything and I mean everything we know we had to learn from others. Sure we put our own spin on it and we create some amazing technology because we may think of a different approach to others, but really every tiny bit of knowledge we own, someone gave it to us.

So let's be more humble, grateful for what we know and NEVER proclaim that we are better than anyone else, NEVER!

@stayingaliveuk

What’s your story’s formula?

Every great story ever told has a formula. These days we might like to call it an algorithm, a story algorithm.

Ever since I decided to major on whiteboard animation stories as my mission, I have been attracting more knowledge from the people in my network. 

One such attraction was Michael-Don Smith (Don), someone I’ve been connected to for 7 years. We met recently again at a networking event and he mentioned Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey (1949). And no I had not heard of it, remarkably!

(The word Hero in this article is being referred to a gender neutral form, which is allowed apparently, I looked it up!)

There are other story algorithms that came after, David Adams Leeming (1981), Phil Cousineau (1990), Christopher Vogler (2007).

And when I researched it, it made just perfect sense, something I naturally had adopted in my whiteboard animation stories for clients and now I had confirmation that my story approach was 100% correct. A polite pat on my own back and I know I have loads to learn still.

I will explain briefly. Every great story told tells the journey of hero. Their quest and their obstacles and villains to defeat. Pretty much like life itself really. Maybe that’s why we can all relate so well to stories. They all follow 3 basic steps and then more steps within those as per the table below.

But for us to really be drawn into the story, it will pivot back and forth between what is and what could be. There really is no point of a story to start with the hero, starting their quest, defeating the villain and then going back home. That would be too predictable and too easy. The hero will have several obstacles to face, making us believe that it’s almost impossible to come back from those. Every time the hero overcomes an obstacle or defeats a villain another one comes around the corner. 

We all love it that the hero has an almost impossible task to achieve and somehow, some way it manages to survive and come back from the dead, in some cases literally.

That’s why we all love movies so much, especially the biggest blockbusters, whether Star Wars, Harry Potter, Avatar and many many more. 

Now let’s take The Hero’s Journey into your own world. If you are in business or have a role in sales or marketing, your mission is to become a better storyteller. If you know that everyone and I do mean everyone loves stories then you already know that your clients will love stories too, it's a given.

We already know that most of us do not like the adverts and yes some of them are clever little stories too. Not all of them though, next time you’re watching TV just observe and count how many are stories and how many are just ‘buy me’ messages.

Awareness is the first step and although most of us are reluctant to change to start with, when we finally decide to change we will conquer our fears. 

Practice makes perfect.

Start by writing a short story about your product or service. Place a hero as the main character in your story, how was your hero affected by the problem or the obstacle being faced, present a couple more issues on top of the first one and then present how your hero overcame all of those obstacles by using your product or service. 

Often there is no need to share the full detail of your product or service and how it solved your hero's issue, it is enough to just imply it. Leaving people wanting more is often a good thing.

Try it out, send me your draft and I will be happy to critique it.

Success with your new story!

@stayingaliveuk

ps. Saw this great TEDx talk titled the magical science of storytelling

Employee! Do you see any value in being on LinkedIn?

I’m curious, if you are an employee, i.e. not a business owner, do you see any value in being on LinkedIn beyond it being just your CV (Resumé)? Have fun by looking up that word (Resumé), because the internet has no idea how to spell that and neither do I!

Since I’ve been training professionals in how to get the most from LinkedIn, I’ve noticed overwhelmingly that the largest disbelievers are those that are employed and not business owners. Business owners are totally different, they understand and appreciate the power of a professional network like LinkedIn, the need to grow it and leverage that network.

The only time an employee feels they need to improve their LinkedIn profile, grow their network and be more active on LinkedIn is when they are out of a job or they are looking to move careers.

Employees are not the only ones, employers don’t get it either. If they did understand LinkedIn’s potential power they would include LinkedIn as one of their employees’ roles and objectives. They make the mistake of believing too that LinkedIn is a CV (Resume) platform. I don’t blame them though, LinkedIn still makes over 60% of their revenue from talent solutions, the hidden recruitment engine only available to those that pay handsomely for the privilege.

Anyway, employers and it’s employees need to take LinkedIn seriously for two massively big and simple reasons.

Brand consistency and Customer loyalty.

When potential customers search out company employees your brand would benefit hugely from well crafted employee profiles, great personal and business stories and brand consistency. 

  LinkedIn Company Icon (when no company page)

LinkedIn Company Icon (when no company page)

Some companies still don’t have a company page and those that do, its employees don’t know how to connect their job experience section to those company pages. Probably THE most basic of requirements on an employee LinkedIn profile. If you just see the grey building image on your profile, then you haven’t connected to your organisation’s company page, if there is one.

 
  Job experience with logo pulled in from company page.

Job experience with logo pulled in from company page.

It’s a simple error to fix, the organisation has to create a company page and the employee needs to edit their profile to locate the company page and pull the logo into their job experience section.

 

 

Finally then, we’ve all come across the saying;

‘What gets measured, gets done’. Discussing your employee’s LinkedIn profile as part of their objectives will be a great way to ensure that everyone in the organisation improves their profile for the benefit of themselves, as well as the company’s brand. 

If the employee just spends 20-minutes per day developing their profile and being active on LinkedIn, it will make a massive difference to the organisation's brand reputation and overall recognition. 

In a previous article I suggested ways in which anyone can be active on LinkedIn in just 20-minutes per day. Take the 20-minute per day challenge now!

https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/blog/2016/5/is-linkedin-on-your-job-description

Employee! Help your employer and get your LinkedIn profile looking great.

Employer! Help your employees by adding LinkedIn to their roles and responsibilities and have it as part of their key quarterly objectives.

Wishing you massive success.

@stayingaliveuk

Are you providing any kind of value?

 Image credit: @gapingvoid

Image credit: @gapingvoid

I have a love and hate relationship with funnels. I can see and love the fact that they could be of benefit to my business and at the same time I hate being in a funnel myself. 

I will share a recent experience with, let's just call him Nigel B. of 'Entrepreneur's Circle' and 'The Best of' fame. UK can probably guess who this person is.

Nigel is a very famous UK multi-business entrepreneur and has a huge amount of knowledge in this area, I have no doubt.

I was persuaded to trial the Entrepreneur's Circle a few years ago for a few months. But what happened was truly astounding, I was bombarded with not only emails, also loads and loads of paper through the post. There was just no way I could absorb all the data that was being pushed through to me, it was totally overwhelming to say the least. This was the biggest mega-funnel I had every experienced and this is quite a few years ago.

I realised I had made a massive mistake and cancelled my trial subscription, unsubscribed from all the emails and thankfully it all stopped.

Phew!

Until...

On the 24th September 2017, I received an email from Nigel, well not him personally of course, it was from support@entrepreneurscircle.org. It read as follows.

Hi Michael I put something very exciting in the post for you yesterday. It's going to your address: ...and should arrive tomorrow! Make sure you take a look. Nigel 

Actually, it is a very enticing email and maybe quite exciting, don't you think? Trouble is I had unsubscribed years ago, so how did I get resurrected? I certainly didn't remember downloading something from him recently.

Sure enough stuff arrived in the post the following day, it was totally ridiculous and over the top, loads of #fakenews claims from a bunch of his friends etc. No I don't know if it was actually fake, but it just felt like it. It went straight in the bin. I unsubscribed from the email and declared my feelings in the text box on the unsubscribe page.

I know he uses Infusionsoft and I could very clearly see that my unsubscribe was indeed successful.

Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 09.33.49.png

Then...

On the 5th October 2017, I received a text message from him, see below screenshot, I was blown away and fuming, #WTF, how did he get my number, plus I'm on telephone preference service (UK based service to stop spam calls and text messages), so he wasn't allowed to be doing this at all and definitely should have known better.

IMG_4315.jpg

And it didn't stop here...

On the 6th October 2017, I received another email, titled, "personal message..."

It was one of those video emails via BombBomb, some of you will have seen them. Believe it or not I was first introduced to this kind of video email back in 2005, even before we had broadband, needless to say it died a death then, so I'm pleased it's back, but I was not so pleased to have received this message considering I had actually unsubscribed from his database.

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Well of course it was obvious that they had transferred my details to a different database, the BombBomb database. I was not pleased. It felt like throwing a BombBomb towards Nigel that's for sure.

Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 09.01.41.png

Now you can probably understand why I say that I have a love and hate relationship with funnels. By the way full declaration here, I use Mailchimp automation, but in a very very different way. My objective is to add value to my network, not drive them into a funnel of any kind. 

AAIA_wDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAAzrAAAAJGIzODM2OTk1LWE2NjktNDJhMy04MDU3LWEwYmVmNDJjNTAzMw.png

I have learnt from others like Nigel that this is never the right approach and when people unsubscribe, that's it, nothing again ever!

As I'm writing this, I am also familiarising myself with the new EU General Data Protection Regulations update due on 25th May 2018.

Here's a link to learn more about that for EU and soon to be ex EU citizens. Yes it will still apply even after Brexit.

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr

This will mean changing all funnel approaches by all marketers in the UK (and EU), including my own little 'value automation' and I will for sure be adopting the new guidelines, I promise.

RIP The Funnel.

@stayingaliveuk

Have you been hypnotised by Apple?

Apple_Store-01.png

Watching people in the London Apple store, is like watching zombies in there ideal environment. They are all staring at screens, not speaking to anyone apart from the Apple staff, who are either convincing them that now is the best time to buy or the genius team who are telling them to switch off their device and then back on again. Ironically this happened for me when I met with one of the genius team reporting my failing notes app. It sounded just like being back with Microsoft. Oh blast! 

Anyway, I observed how these folks were being hypnotised by their surroundings and Apple’s stuff. Their ‘best ever’ devices. 

Yes I'm also a hypnotised victim, all my devices are Apple, although I do not have all the latest and greatest, still on iPhone 6s and iMac 2013, I did upgrade my iPad last year to a Pro and that’s because the old one just wouldn’t function any longer. Built-in redundancy tricks by the tech industry?

Anyway back to being a Zombie. 

Listening to a podcast by the Minimalists the other day, they mentioned that the whole reason Apple have laid out their store so that you can touch devices is that they have done extensive research that confirms that when people touch something which they desire, they have already bought it in their brain. So it will just be a matter of either convincing themselves that they want it or they just go through the process of buying having been hypnotised by having touched the device.

Although I hadn't actually considered this, when I think back how I personally have been affected by this, I can definitely see how this works. Yes I am a hypnotised victim and I’m not proud of it and being a victim means I probably didn’t have any control over it. Now that I know what happens, I will for sure be on my guard, no more watching Apple keynote announcements, unsubscribing from their announcement and product emails and unsubscribing from their YouTube channel. 

Oh my, I just hadn’t realised how I had set myself up to be hypnotised via so many different ways. It's my own fault.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy their products, they deliver immense value in my life and business, I wouldn’t have been able to be as proficient in my business without the functionality, reliability and simplicity. In the main the products and their apps work faultlessly. Inevitably as they have grown bigger and bigger with billions of devices installed around the world, I guess issues do occur. My firm belief is that IT companies of any kind are in constant BETA. That must be so tough for them.

The big lesson for me is to be more awake, less zombie-like and aware of any desires that may arise as a result of being hypnotised by big brands like Apple and others.

This Zombie is biting back!

@stayingaliveuk

Do you seek attention?

fullsizeoutput_36ac.jpeg

Generally speaking most of us do seek attention, we’ve been seeking attention ever since we were a pregnancy test. 

And as luck would have it you have probably been receiving unsolicited attention through all your baby, toddler and teenager lives until you reach so-called adulthood. I say so-called because young people believe it’s when they reach 18, parents believe it’s not until you’re 21 and science says your brain doesn’t fully develop until you’re 25. I’m with the science community. I have first hand evidence of living with a 19-year old. 

So when you’ve been receiving attention for at least a quarter of your life, it’s not that easy then to make the transition to start giving attention to others. Maybe that’s why 50% of all marriages fail? #justsaying

Anyway let’s apply this to business and brand development. When you advertise you’re basically asking for attention aren’t you?

And these days that’s what everyone is doing or planning to do. Mark Zuckerberg is very happy about this and definitely his employees, because job security is important to them of course it is. Facebook is probably going to be the largest benefactor of your need to get attention. It’s a very clever choreographed process to make you feel that if you don’t advertise, nobody will give you attention. In fact the algorithm has been changed on Facebook business pages to ensure this is the case. If you have a company page, have you ever noticed how any time you post an update Facebook follows this up at least the next day with a notification? It says that ‘when you’ve finished boosting your post X up to X number of people will see it in their newsfeed for just a couple of bucks.’ (See image example below).

AAIA_wDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAA1pAAAAJDdlOGE2Yzk4LWE5ODktNDZkMC04ZTlhLTFmNmZjOTQ3NTFmOA.jpg

Generally speaking most of us do seek attention, we’ve been seeking attention ever since we were a pregnancy test. 

And as luck would have it you have probably been receiving unsolicited attention through all your baby, toddler and teenager lives until you reach so-called adulthood. I say so-called because young people believe it’s when they reach 18, parents believe it’s not until you’re 21 and science says your brain doesn’t fully develop until you’re 25. I’m with the science community. I have first hand evidence of living with a 19-year old. 

So when you’ve been receiving attention for at least a quarter of your life, it’s not that easy then to make the transition to start giving attention to others. Maybe that’s why 50% of all marriages fail? #justsaying

Anyway let’s apply this to business and brand development. When you advertise you’re basically asking for attention aren’t you?

And these days that’s what everyone is doing or planning to do. Mark Zuckerberg is very happy about this and definitely his employees, because job security is important to them of course it is. Facebook is probably going to be the largest benefactor of your need to get attention. It’s a very clever choreographed process to make you feel that if you don’t advertise, nobody will give you attention. In fact the algorithm has been changed on Facebook business pages to ensure this is the case. If you have a company page, have you ever noticed how any time you post an update Facebook follows this up at least the next day with a notification? It says that ‘when you’ve finished boosting your post X up to X number of people will see it in their newsfeed for just a couple of bucks.’ (See image example below).

I appreciate totally that if you’re in business and you have a message or a mission you need to get people to pay attention. Advertisements are not always a great way to do this though. There are many other routes to market but here lies the problem, there are far too many routes these days and to test them all, you need a serious bag of cash to do so.

So let’s just say that someone is paying attention to you, your process, whatever that may be, actually worked. They actually clicked through an advert and you got an order. Because it worked you will repeat the process again and again, continuing the advertising paradigm and many of you will even be advocating this to others, some of you might even be making a living out of training others to advertise as well. And so it grows and the advertising barons will be raking in the cash, buckets full of them. 

Every social network depends on advertising for its survival. You can see that the vast majority of their innovation and creativity is directed towards how to leverage their advertising engine even further. More development, updates and improvements are seen in their advertising platforms compared to the social networks themselves. The updates on those are far and few between. In fact they don’t even have great customer service, it is impossible to communicate one on one with a customer service representative, you are cornered into reading pages and pages of manuals and forums before giving up in despair.

They are amongst the worst companies on the planet for their customer service, not to speak of their failures in dealing with abuse of all kinds on their sites.

I’m not trying to bash social networks by the way, I know it sounds like it, I’m just highlighting that we’ve all fallen victim to them, whether it’s the addiction to them and their consistent exploitation of companies that are seeking more and more attention for their product or service.

So what’s the solution? Well if I knew I’d probably be a billionaire by now, but one thing’s for sure paying social networks to advertise on your behalf for me is not the right way.

Instead of seeking attention, maybe we should be inviting audiences to articulate what great would look like for them. Inviting them to share in a journey, become part of the story to greatness instead of just adding their funds to ours. Minimalism is on the rise and companies will need to become even more innovative if they wish to survive the path towards all of us needing less instead of more in our lives.

I would love to hear your perspective on this. Share your comments or tweet me using the hashtag. #attentionseeker

@stayingaliveuk

Is your Intention purely Self-congratulatory or is it Selfless?

 @LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

When browsing the internet, my apple news app and the social media networks, the content speaks volumes.

The content largely is self-congratulatory, especially on Facebook. There is very little value in the content that gets posted whether by the news media, your friends, colleagues and the hundreds of strangers that you are connected to. 

Everyone is trying to distract us from our attention in the moment and engage with their story, bring us into their world view and opinions. Mostly it's #fakenews and sucks us in to express a like, heart, laugh, cry, wow or mad, and if we can be bothered, write a comment. 

 

Whether you believe the research or not, they say it takes you 25 minutes to return to the original task after only an 11 minute interruption. That is an absolute age, have you ever tried to sit still for 25 minutes? It's impossible and lasts a very very long time. 

So why do we do this to ourselves?

Don't get me wrong, I like social media, I really do, well maybe I did and I am starting to wonder how much time I have actually wasted on social channels, whereas I could have been creating some fabulous stuff and change my life for the better?

Realising that social isn't going away soon I have started to re-assess my activity there. I used to post 3 times per day via my favourite scheduling app, Buffer, but now I only post once per day. I paid for the 'awesome plan' so that I could have all my channels there and post to all of them and now I just have the free plan with only a few channels to post to. I continually had to search for new and interesting content from other channels, I even have a feedly account to locate all that content. The stress of having to keep finding content was crazy at times, when I saw my buffer of content emptying, I panicked and had to spend a few hours to find more stuff to load it up. I am feeling like a massive weight has been lifted from my shoulders by not having to do that any longer.

But did it actually work and did I get a return on my investment. I never truly know whether it did or not and my hunch is that it probably didn't. My engagement is no better or worse as a result of reducing my content sharing. 

So what about the way forward? Pretty much as the image says really.

  1. Be impartial.
  2. Inform next steps and offer guidance.
  3. Answer questions.
  4. Solve problems.
  5. Listen, respond and be helpful.
  6. Make people smile, laugh and sometimes give them pause.
  7. Design engagement and customer journeys across screens, platforms and networks so they are seamless.
  8. Create experiences that are delightful, memorable and shareable.

How about you, what have you noticed?

@stayingaliveuk

Are you aware how disappointing you are?

 @LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

As a consumer, I genuinely want to help the companies I buy from. Sometimes it comes out as criticism, but there is always a genuine intention to assist. Sometimes they just don't listen until you give them more direct and sometimes hurtful feedback. Take LinkedIn for example. I have been giving them feedback for years now on their customer service. I have even resorted to writing about it. You can find my articles here and here.

When you want to give feedback to brands and companies and nobody takes you seriously your love for them dies a tiny bit every time until one day you may turn around and say enough is enough. It's like the whole world falls in all at once, but it never did happen all at once, it happens a little bit at a time, usually over a long period of time. 

My wife and I stayed at a recent venue for a short retreat and when checking out, I wanted to give the receptionist, whose sole duty there was to check people out, some feedback on a couple of things during our stay.  Her answer was not unsympathetic but she answered by saying to include our comments on the feedback form, which would be emailed to us. Needless to say the feedback form was very impersonal, no place to add your own personal details and just one generic box to add comments. My love for them died a tiny bit. Not huge but it did hurt a little and whilst I could have been a raving fan, I'm now just a fan. It won't take many more incongruent experiences for me to no longer be a fan.

Brands and companies across the board struggle with this. I do understand, nowadays comments can be flying in from all directions. In the old days the only way you received customer feedback was when they were directly opposite you or you received a letter of complaint.  There was no mistaking how that feedback would be received. Now the comments can arrive in at least a dozen different ways and actually they will never find their way directly to you. They just exist in the cloud and potential customers find them, read them and decide their action. 

We are wired to think negatively or rather we have a survival instinct. This means that when we read negative reviews about a brand or company, we take them seriously. Even if it's just about food, which as we all know is highly subjective. Our primitive brain assumes that if the food is bad we could die, so we will avoid it at all costs. Yes people can get food poisoning however, I personally don't see that many stories of people dyeing in restaurants. When we absorb reviews about places to sleep, we too believe that we could end up feeling threatened in some way. Our physical or mental health could be under threat. 

I do get it, brands and companies lose customers every single day and it's natural to do so. You buy your loaf of bread from one outlet one day and then maybe some other outlet the next. And this is because very few brands and companies really think through the whole buyer's journey, from reading reviews, seeing their network's comments, adverts, the physical buying experience online and offline and the follow-up. How many times do you get a call from your baker to ask you if you were happy with your loaf today?  Not that many right?  It's just an extreme metaphor to make the point.

As the image suggests, true engagement is something you feel!

What's your view? Answers on a postcard or in the comments field below will do nicely!

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 #customerservice #help #feedback #reviews

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 http://styin.me/discovery-call-20mins.

So, what's it like in the Rabbit Hole?

Whilst being active on social media, our objectives are essentially selfish. Let's be honest, we can list our desires from social in a very short list.

  1. Wanting to get noticed. 
  2. Wanting to get noticed. 
  3. Wanting to get noticed.

The advice for getting noticed runs in the millions of posts across the web. It is literally deafening and equally overwhelming. There is so much stuff out there that we have gone blind. Our brains are zoning out the noise, our subconscious has been trained to ignore the majority of content that's being pushed out in front of us. The major social networks are managing to convince us that to get noticed you have to advertise, organic content isn't going to hack it.

Unless you make a conscious effort to seek content out for a particular and motivational reason, you are actually ignoring most things. Again they are hoping that advertising will make a difference to this.

However the most engaged conversations that I witness is when someone posts a controversial comment, accuses a big corporate of bad service or they say something about themselves that is deeply personal. After all we are very very curious (nosey) and interested in other people’s bad news or controversy. The, let's call it, old fashioned media have known this for centuries. The bad and controversial news about government leaders, business and celebrities is what interests people the most. Good news stories don't sell newspapers or online clicks for the advertisers.

Just pause for a moment. What was the last good news story you remember? Please do share it in the comments below, we all love hearing a good news story, there's so much bad news out there.

We are all ‘social media-holics’ in one way or another. Granted there will be people not on social media yet, but have a look at the stats, they are astounding.

3 Billion active social media users on the planet and growing every single day. Facebook has a mission to get Africa on the internet for one primary reason, allow them to get onto Facebook. 

LinkedIn has a mission to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, last count there are 3 billion of those! Their platform is at half a billion currently, so they have some distance to travel and no doubt they will do it. 

Can you imagine how much content is going to be posted on these platforms when developing nations achieve massive internet access in the remotest parts of the world?

All the social platforms know that the western world are highly addicted and eventually will start dropping of members, so they have to look at other nations in the world to keep their billions of revenue coming in.

Nothing wrong with that of course, except creating more addicts in the world, more 'social media-holics'.

If you have managed to cut through the noise and found this article, well done to you!

My advice to you and I'm only talking to you directly, nobody else. 

Reduce your social media posting to just one post per day of your own content. Then spend more time if you wish, on just one platform of your choice, engaging with your connections' content. 

And with that I mean real conversations not a link post as such. 

Just do this once per day, spend just 20-minutes researching your connections and respond to their real conversations.

That's it, it's my new minimalism social media strategy.

Looking forward to having more meaningful conversations with you.

@stayingaliveuk | #makesocialworthtalkingabout

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 http://styin.me/discovery-call-20mins.

Have you been on a Social Media Diet yet?

Well if you haven't yet, I promise you that one day you will.

I feel for parents these days. They have the toughest job, especially with addicted kids and teenagers. Addicted to their emotions and technology. I know we joke about Wi-Fi and Battery life being before Physiological needs on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but it's probably true. Try taking a teenager's smartphone away from them and they won't be talking to you for weeks, if ever. You might as well have chopped off their right arm. 

This is the opening sentence by Tristan Harris during his latest Ted Talk filmed in April 2017;

'I want you to imagine walking into a room, a control room with a bunch of people, a hundred people, hunched over a desk with little dials, and that that control room will shape the thoughts and feelings of a billion people. This might sound like science fiction, but this actually exists right now, today.'

He used to work in one of those control rooms. He witnessed that the major social networks that we love and hate are planning to make sure that they grab, as he calls it, a bit of your mind's time. So all those social networks, all of them, want a bit of your mind's time, time you never knew you had to give to them. Even when you are reading this article you are giving a bit of your mind's time to something you never knew was going to happen or even needed it to happen. By me writing this, sharing it on the internet, I am asking you to invest a bit of your mind's time into reading my article. 

I've been sucked in by all of the networks in believing that I also should be, not only investing my mind in absorbing the content, I should be creating it too so others can invest their mind's time into my content.

Tristan talks about a feature on Snapchat called 'Snapstreaks'. Here's what he says;

'And they invented a feature called Snapstreaks, which shows the number of days in a row that two people have communicated with each other. In other words, what they just did is they gave two people something they don't want to lose. Because if you're a teenager, and you have 150 days in a row, you don't want that to go away. And so think of the little blocks of time that that schedules in kids' minds'.

Watch Tristan's TED Talk in full. 'The manipulative tricks tech companies use to capture your attention.'

Kids and teenagers are addicted to the internet, fact.

And dare I say it, I am and you are probably too. Want to take the test? Follow the link below. Maybe try and carry out the test on your child and teenager, somehow?

http://www.globaladdiction.org/dldocs/GLOBALADDICTION-Scales-InternetAddictionTest.pdf

Analyse Your Results:

0-20: Not at all nomophobic. You have a very healthy relationship with your device and have no problem being separated from it.

21-60: Mild nomophobia. You get a little antsy when you forget your phone at home for a day or get stuck somewhere without WiFi, but the anxiety isn’t too overwhelming.

61-100: Moderate nomophobia. You’re pretty attached to your device. You often check for updates while you’re walking down the street or talking to a friend, and you often feel anxious when you’re disconnected. Consider a personal detox.

101-120: Severe nomophobia. You can barely go for 60 seconds without checking your phone. It’s the first thing you check in the morning and the last at night and dominates most of your activities in-between. You may need to seek professional assistance.

Read the full article: Technology and Internet addiction: How to recognise it and recover from it.

https://www.comparitech.com/internet-providers/technology-internet-addiction

You might also enjoy an article I wrote back in 2013 title: 'Do Social Networks Sell Drugs';

https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/blog/2013/06/do-social-networks-sell-drugs

Now I know that they do, as I have probably been an addict since then.

All of us for sure will be going on a Social Media Diet. And I have it in my mind to be writing the first one of it's kind. Mind you it means I will also have to try it out! Now that might be a lot tougher.

--

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 http://styin.me/discovery-call-20mins.

Are you guilty of using the ‘sheep dip’ approach?

FullSizeRender.jpg

 I am sorry to say, I'm guilty!

It's not that I'm not wishing to be super personal and to engage with one person at a time and appeal to their specific goals and aspirations.

The truth is there are just not enough hours in the day to engage with every new connection request and every new follower at a level that I would ideally like. So some automation is inevitable. I'm still experimenting too and have already adjustedsome things.

I'm not using autobots as such, but I am manually adding new connections to my CRM and an automated process and messaging them with the same template message. And no, I don't feel great about it, but it's working at the moment.

My goal is to be engaging and strike up a conversation, share some valuable content and information that is free and at the same time being careful not to pitch anything. Its totally not my intention to do any kind of pitching. Eventually I'd like to have a conversation, which I call a discovery call. And that again is to provide some value, not to pitch.

I have carefully designed this process after weeks of testing it and receiving some deeper level of engagement with new connections, especially on LinkedIn. Anywhere else it's much harder to do. Email is still one of our default go to apps each morning. I know it's Facebook for most too.

I state very clearly in my auto emails that my purpose is to engage at a deeper level and invite recipients to unsubscribe if they wish to and indeed some do, but not as many as I had originally expected. Maybe one every 2-3 weeks.

I do receive a fair bit of engagement from these new connections and I also notice a lot don't. I'm surprised because they asked to connect with me in the majority of cases, at least 95% of them are incoming requests. Usually with no reason given for wishing to connect by the way.

The real engagement occurs when after a few touch points, which are a combination of engaging with their profiles and sharing some content and information, you manage to get agreement for a discovery call. When you are able to engage in a conversation with your connections, more clarity about who they are and what their goals are means that you can start to look out for clues and understand better how they'd like you to engage with them in the future. Over the years I've come to realise that this is by far the best method.

The goal always is to end up having a conversation. I believe by phone and usually Skype with video is best. I'd like to try other methods too, like Facebook messenger with video, although having tried it twice, it's still a bit unstable.

If you'd like to skip all the automation and go straight to a discovery call then by all means go for it and head over here,

http://www.stayingaliveuk.com/lets-talk

in the meantime let me know how you're feeling about my automation and by all means share your ideas and strategies that are working for you? 

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@gapingvoidhere: (http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/)

Occasionally 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 #mastodon #why #linkedinlectures

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 it really all about politics or is it about leadership?

There are only two types of leaders. Those that instruct and those that trust.

I've never known a more exposed situation and narrative in connection with our countries’ leaders, whether it’s the USA, the U.K., the EU or further away, our leaders are being exposed for what they truly stand for. 

No longer can they be hiding in the forest and just send their troops out to face the battles. Their faces have to be seen, their words have to be heard, every move, every tweet, every bite is under scrutiny being analysed by the media and more importantly by everyone watching, the electorate, ‘The People’.

You might be watching via the TV, the Newspapers or Social Media and you're all forming your own opinions, your views on whether they are performing or not. It's like watching the latest blockbuster movie to see if it lives up to your expectations. You are literally awarding those leaders stars in your head. It's either 1 star or 5 stars, you decide. 

And then you can't help yourself by expressing your opinion via Twitter or Facebook, just like our leaders are now doing. After all we copy what our leaders do, for better or for worse. I've read some incredible debates on Facebook, where inevitably the unfriending happens and maybe ‘rage quitting’ from Facebook too. It's sad to see that colleagues and friends are falling out with each other. This is exactly what our leaders are hoping for, that  we chose one side over another and in the process fall out with each other.

Then there's the comedy, the GIFS, the stand-ups, the meme’s, the late late shows, the comedy news programmes and of course Saturday Night Live, the Russel Brands, the Russel Kanes of this world who are all joining in the discussion, the ridicule, further exposing our leaders with comedy but every time there's also a serious side behind it all. I never saw that much comedy about Barack Obama in his two terms in office, but now I see comedy every single day about Donald Trump and other U.K. leaders. The comedy is not flattery that's for sure. 

And whether those leaders believe that they are being prosecuted by the media or anyone else, they only have themselves to blame. 

The fact that those leaders are in office at the moment is a massive GIFT to the world.  Those ‘elected’ leaders are literally a mirror to all other leaders in the world. Whether we love or hate them, they are a reflection of how the top leaders in the world are treating their ‘People’. And with ‘People’, I mean the electorate, the citizens, the employees, the unemployed, the elderly, the sick, the poor, the homeless. 

And whether we like what we see or not, it's time we all take responsibility for our own actions and how we treat each other. Leadership starts at home, it starts in the office and it starts in your community. When we change our own leadership only then will our leaders change.

Does this mean there will be a revolution? Absolutely there will be. It has already started and will continue to grow. It's hidden and it's visible at the same time. There are new leaders emerging, but we haven't met them yet. They are not the ones you can see and hear in the public arena yet.  They are planning and watching in the background, creating and developing a following. I liken it to the 2nd World War underground movement. I'm not talking about terrorists although our current leaders and media (who are owned by governments) may call them terrorists. They are definitely not, their work is being done in a very peaceful way.  

Those new leaders will emerge like a breath of fresh air to most, not everyone of course will embrace them, but the majority of us will. They will speak a new truth, develop trust and put their self importance last.  It will be totally and directly the opposite of what we have in our world today.  But it will be a very very welcome change. The timing will be exactly right.

I'm for one looking forward to that day. Happy leadership! 🙌

PS. By the way, not sure if you're into numerology or not, personally I don't understand it that well, but a fun fact to consider.  When the big crash occurred in 2008, that year number adds up to 2+0+0+8=10 1+0=1, the start of a new cycle is always a number 1. Guess what 2017 adds up to? Correct it's also number 1.

Watch out for major changes in 2017 still yet to come.

We have a saying at home ‘expect the unexpected’.

How do you know if your content is any good?

And how do you know if your content is appealing to the correct audience? Data suggests that there are around 200+ million blogs in the world. I researched some data up to 2011 suggesting 181 million, so I've conservatively increased it. 

Can you imagine just for a second that all these bloggers are looking for eyeballs to engage with their content and in some cases its advertisers. That is an awful lot of competition!

Then add to that the amount of social media posts and sound bites in the form of likes, shares and comments that are also competing for eyeballs.

As of April 2017, there are 2.907 billion active social media users in the world of which Facebook owns 1.968 billion active users. All these active users are engaging with content in one way or another and that makes the job of content marketers even tougher. 

Facebook spotted the trend for companies needing to get more eyeballs on their content and that organic engagement was declining rapidly. Therefore low cost advertising is growing allowing many small businesses to get into the advertising game and getting involved with the chase for more eyeballs on their content and products.

Now big and small business are competing with each other for eyeballs like never before.

But how do you know whether you are targeting the right audience? Well advertising nowadays is so sophisticated that you are able to target every single aspect of that prospect's life! This is why Facebook ads are probably the most popular advertising platform around. 

Facebook will make nearly $61 billion per year from just mobile advertising by 2021.

Whether you are targeting Millennials, Baby Boomers or Gen X you can now do this with super laser accuracy. And you thought the ads in your Facebook newsfeed were random!

As a consequence the amount of Facebook ads consultants are expanding rapidly. Not that it's difficult to master the ads platform, the trick is to know how to write the copy, choose the right images that will appeal to that Millennial, Gen Xer or Baby Boomer and know the right keywords and all the other multiple targeting options. There is a lot to consider for sure and in the process of learning and failing you will make Facebook a little richer in the process.

Personally I would recommend that if you are serious about getting closer to your target audience, that you plan a better and more personal engagement plan. Yes it might be slower but it will potentially develop long term raving fans one person at a time. 

Experiment, experiment, experiment with ads, with email, with calls, with meetings and develop an understanding of what your audience engages with the best. 

I would love to hear what's working for you today or what you are experimenting with currently to ensure more eyeballs on your content.

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 my meaning.

@stayingaliveuk

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

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.