Marketing

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.

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

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.

Screen_Shot_2017-10-06_at_09_01_58.png

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

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.

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 ‘WHY’ really the best question to ask yourself?

 @linkedin & @gapingvoid

@linkedin & @gapingvoid

We have Simon Sinek to thank for making this word famous, very very famous and now many trainers, coaches, digital marketers incorporate this question in their discussions with clients. Me included of course. It's almost like we have been infected by it when we realised that actually ‘WHY’ haven't we been asking that question of ourselves.

Simon made us realise that we spend more time promoting what and how we do things and we forget about the ‘WHY’ completely. 

‘WHY’ do you think that is? 

Well, maybe it's because it's easier to answer what and how and much and much harder to answer ‘WHY’.

I don't know about you, but I witness many things in the world, whether it's in the news, on social media, in the things that people say, their presentations, their social media posts, all the content that's floating around, the faults and strange decisions that social networks like LinkedIn make and the one word that always comes up in my head is ‘WHY’. 

I often wonder now that when I witness that something, I realise they never asked themselves the question ‘WHY’, before they shared their content. 'WHY' would anyone want to know or care about this content that I'm sharing right now?

Of course now you are wondering whether I always as the question ‘WHY’ before I create and/or share anything. And the answer?

Of course not! I rarely do, but I can tell you now, after writing this article, I will be making sure to do so from here on in.

To be true to my word, let's discuss briefly my ‘WHY’ for writing this article, specifically featuring the image that's in this article.

A number of years ago I came across @gapingvoid, the handle for the artist Hugh McLeod and was totally inspired by his drawings. I had never seen anything like it and to this day I still haven't. I subscribed to his daily newsletter, which has a new drawing every single day. I then came up with the idea of saving the daily drawings to Pinterest and now I have over 800 pins of Hugh's art. But also his cultural ideas. I'm such a big fan I even purchased some business cards through Moo.com with his art on it and some cool messages on the back. My business card is always a big hit when I hand it over. 

Then LinkedIn came out with an eBook, which contained all his art and some appropriate messages in connection with content marketing. I loved it so much and decided that each page in the eBook would lend itself brilliantly to me writing some articles and blogposts with my thoughts about each of the messages contained within it.

That is my ‘WHY’ for this article.

I'd love to hear your 'WHY', will 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 @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

 linkedinlectures.com

linkedinlectures.com

#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.

Have you changed your behaviour on social yet?

 @linkedin & @gapingvoid

@linkedin & @gapingvoid

Not sure what is meant by the question? Let's explore.

You are currently in one of 2 camps. Either you're in the massively active camp, social has become a 3-5 hours per day work and leisure time or you you're in the ‘I need to spend less time on social and I'm monitoring my own activity there’.

Spending time away from social media, in particular Facebook is becoming one of the top New Year resolutions, right up there with weight loss, stopping smoking, going dry for a month and of course more exercise.

And every time we feel compelled to move away, we are pulled back by feelings of FOMO, ‘fear of missing out’ and international events, liked POTUS (President of the US), political drama, terrorist incidents and many other ‘I must way in with my opinion’ events.

The fact is, you were never able to contribute your opinion in the past, but now kids have never known anything different have they?

They ALL have an opinion now and sometimes it's not that great either.

And if you are in the 3-5 hours a day camp, well, you're either really, really enjoying it or need to do it because it's your job or you're trying to get noticed or you have a need for more love.

After all we all have a massive need to feel loved. And this love is felt when many friends, family and yep strangers engage with your posts, your content, your shares and your opinions. That's the addictive bit by the way, the content is actually of no consequence, really it isn't.

Inevitably, and it is possible that you may have heard this prediction before, this route to feeling loved will reduce and reduce and eventually you will not feel anything any longer about social media. The next big thing will then take your gaze, your attention and your time. It might be Virtual Reality, who knows!

The engagement on social is changing, mass engagement will continue to reduce, that's why Facebook is upping the advertising game. If you have a business page, have you had the $10 voucher yet to try their adverts?

The only route left is building relationships on a one to one basis, one person at a time. No blanket emails, no massive advertising campaigns, no autobots on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook messenger. They are all interesting time saving tools but they will be easily overlooked, ignored and deleted.

So, let me ask the question again.

Have you changed your behaviour on social yet?

I'd love to hear from you and how you are changing your behaviour on social. 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 @gapingvoidhere: (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.

 http://linkedinlectures.com

#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.

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.

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?

 Infographic shared with permission from  www.nallure.com

Infographic shared with permission from www.nallure.com

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.

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.

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 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

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

Have you ever considered engagement?

The first English-language newspaper, "Corrant out of Italy, Germany, etc., was published in Amsterdam in 1620.  I never knew that and I was born there!  "Corrant", was a translation of Courante, which means running or stream.

Nearly 400 years later and we've all become publishers. Who would have thought that.  Now we're all desperately looking to find readers of our published content.  There are literally millions of us writing and publishing updates about our work, our lives and on top of that writing millions of blogposts all over the web.

Why?

There is only one reason and that is to get noticed.

We want to be found, to become more successful in our work, maybe to leave a legacy and some of us even want to be famous.  

And by publishing content we believe that we may achieve these goals one day but we often overlook the human interactions that are needed for our content to be taken seriously.  I am no longer active in LinkedIn groups because I see everyone posting their blogposts, not even asking for comments, not even asking a question about the content they are sharing. 

To believe that human interactions with your content will just magically appear by what I call 'spraying and praying' is a crazy strategy and although you may experience a couple of successes here and there, in the long-term it will fail.

By all means write content, create eBooks and even become an author and then start finding your audience by engaging with them first.  Find their content and engage with it by liking, commenting and sharing it so more readers will find it. Ask them questions about their content, you may even wish to be challenging at times or have a decent (virtual) debate about some of it. 

The other day I was chatting to Julie Bondy Roberts and we agreed that all our time spent writing and publishing content is actually a marketing expense. So multiply your hourly rate by the hours you spend publishing your content, maybe curating content and even sharing your story updates across, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, plus all the others. I reckon most are spending around 3 hours each day, 90 hours per month (including weekends). Just multiply by your hourly rate and it's a very big number!  Are you getting a return on that?

Just saying...

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/

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

@stayingaliveuk