Trust

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

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?

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 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’.

Are you practising Mindfulness?

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

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

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

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

This is their quote:

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

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

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

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

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

Test it our for a day. 

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

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

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

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

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

@stayingaliveuk