Social Media

Maker Monday 29th July 2019 - Podcasting Talk

Maker Monday - BCU Steamhouse - 29.07.19 - Podcasting Talk

Thank you for allowing me to come and speak at Maker Monday about the topic of Podcasting. I have been podcasting since the end of 2016 and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey and especially my learning. I became significantly interested in podcasting in 2014, but never had the courage to get started and didn’t know what my podcast would be about, so it took me a while to get started. I fortunately came across a crash course on podcasting that was free and it spurred me on to produce my own show.

In this talk I shared some key information and stats to impress on you (the audience) that if you even have a small interest to get started, there is a way now to do this virtually for free.

Here are some of the key takeaways from my talk:

  1. Podcasting continues to grow.

  2. Smartphones drive podcast consumption.

  3. Listeners consume 6 1⁄2 hours each week.

  4. 33% of share of time of audio content are podcasts. 5. 2 million podcasts indexed on Google.

  5. 52% is on Apple Podcasts, 19% on Spotify.

How to start creating your podcast using

  1. Consider your topic, genre and audience.

  2. Guests make podcasts more interesting or alternatively discussions between two experts.

  3. 3 ways you can record, smartphone, tablet or desktop.

  4. Or record using other methods and upload to Anchor.

  5. Consider opening and closing music and possibly transitions during the podcast. Don’t go overboard! Equipment for mobile devices: Lavalier Mic + extension lead + adapter to be able to use two microphones and earphones (buds). - £76 - for phones with an ear jack - consider adapters or other mics for latest Apple phones.

  6. Share podcasts on social media, website-blog (embed audioplayer).

  7. Submit your RSS feed to after opening an account, it’s free also!

Contact me with any questions!

Download the presentation slides HERE.

Download the key takeaways sheet HERE.

Download the Guest Guide that I use HERE.

The Surveillance Threat Is Not What Orwell Imagined


Shoshana Zuboff • June 7, 2019

George Orwell repeatedly delayed crucial medical care to complete 1984, the book still synonymous with our worst fears of a totalitarian future — published 70 years ago this month. Half a year after his novelʼs debut, he was dead. Because he believed everything was at stake, he forfeited everything, including a young son, a devoted sister, a wife of three months and a grateful public that canonized his prescient and pressing novel. But today we are haunted by a question: Did George Orwell die in vain?

Orwell sought to awaken British and U.S. societies to the totalitarian dangers that threatened democracy even after the Nazi defeat. In letters before and after his novelʼs completion, Orwell urged “constant criticism,” warning that any “immunity” to totalitarianism must not be taken for granted: “Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.”

Since 1984ʼs publication, we have assumed with Orwell that the dangers of mass surveillance and social control could only originate in the state. We were wrong. This error has left us unprotected from an equally pernicious but profoundly different threat to freedom and democracy.

For 19 years, private companies practicing an unprecedented economic logic that I call surveillance capitalism have hijacked the Internet and its digital technologies. Invented at Google beginning in 2000, this new economics covertly claims private human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data. Some data are used to improve services, but the rest are turned into computational products that predict your behavior. These predictions are traded in a new futures market, where surveillance capitalists sell certainty to businesses determined to know what we will do next. This logic was first applied to finding which ads online will attract our interest, but similar practices now reside in nearly every sector — insurance, retail, health, education, finance and more — where personal experience is secretly captured and computed for behavioral predictions. By now it is no exaggeration to say that the Internet is owned and operated by private surveillance capital.

In the competition for certainty, surveillance capitalists learned that the most predictive data come not just from monitoring but also from modifying and directing behavior. For example, by 2013, Facebook had learned how to engineer subliminal cues on its pages to shape usersʼ real-world actions and feelings. Later, these methods were combined with real-time emotional analyses, allowing marketers to cue behavior at the moment of maximum vulnerability. These inventions were celebrated for being both effective and undetectable. Cambridge Analytica later demonstrated that the same methods could be employed to shape political rather than commercial behavior.

Augmented reality game Pokémon Go, developed at Google and released in 2016 by a Google spinoff, took the challenge of mass behavioral modification to a new level. Business customers from McDonalds to Starbucks paid for “footfall” to their establishments on a “cost per visit” basis, just as online advertisers pay for “cost per click.” The game engineers learned how to herd people through their towns and cities to destinations that contribute profits, all of it without game playersʼ knowledge.

Democracy slept while surveillance capitalism flourished. As a result, surveillance capitalists now wield a uniquely 21st century quality of power, as unprecedented as totalitarianism was nearly a century ago. I call it instrumentarian power, because it works its will through the ubiquitous architecture of digital instrumentation. Rather than an intimate Big Brother that uses murder and terror to possess each soul from the inside out, these digital networks are a Big Other: impersonal systems trained to monitor and shape our actions remotely, unimpeded by law.

Instrumentarian power delivers our futures to surveillance capitalismʼs interests, yet because this new power does not claim our bodies through violence and fear, we undervalue its effects and lower our guard. Instrumentarian power does not want to break us; it simply wants to automate us. To this end, it exiles us from our own behavior. It does not care what we think, feel or do, as long as we think, feel and do things in ways that are accessible to Big Otherʼs billions of sensate, computational, actuating eyes and ears.

Instrumentarian power challenges democracy. Big Other knows everything, while its operations remain hidden, eliminating our right to resist. This undermines human autonomy and self- determination, without which democracy cannot survive. Instrumentarian power creates unprecedented asymmetries of knowledge, once associated with pre- modern times. Big Otherʼs knowledge is about us, but it is not used for us. Big Other knows everything about us, while we know almost nothing about it. This imbalance of power is not illegal, because we do not yet have laws to control it, but it is fundamentally anti-democratic.

Surveillance capitalists claim that their methods are inevitable consequences of digital technologies. This is false. Itʼs easy to imagine the digital future without surveillance capitalism, but impossible to imagine surveillance capitalism without digital technologies.

Seven decades later, we can honor Orwellʼs death by refusing to cede the digital future. Orwell despised “the instinct to bow down before the conqueror of the moment.” Courage, he insisted, demands that we assert our moral bearings, even against forces that appear invincible. Like Orwell, think critically and criticize. Do not take freedom for granted. Fight for the one idea in the long human story that asserts the peopleʼs right to rule themselves. Orwell reckoned it was worth dying for.

Contact us at

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editor

How do you know if you are being authentic?


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!


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?


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

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?

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.

You might also enjoy an article I wrote back in 2013 title: '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

Are you sure you like change?

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

Seriously though do you? 

I was browsing the news app on my iPhone early one morning in the past week when I read that there is a new social media channel on the rise, like Twitter but no spam or trolls and a Tweet is called a Toot.

The new network is called And it has the picture of a cute mammoth holding a smart phone.

My first thought was, oh no not another social media network.  And I felt a heavy feeling with the prospect of having to master yet another Social Media platform. Of course I decided to investigate and was actually pleased to learn that registrations have been paused to ensure the quality of existing subscribers. Also they refer to ‘Instances’, another new language to learn. Give us a break please?!

The trouble is the digital news media have been all over this like a rash and this is what causes ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) in all of us.

Anyway no doubt if it catches on and millions flock there from twitter. Might see you there or then again maybe not.

Now back to ‘Change’.

The hardest job in that world is actually to change yourself. Just try brushing your teeth with your other hand or put your trousers (pants for my USA friends) on with the opposite leg first.

If you wish to change a habit or start a new habit it is incredibly tough, because you've hardwired your habits over years of regular repetition. The neurones in your brain are fused together forever or are they?

The good news is that your brain is plastic, a term neuroscientists came up with when they discovered that your brain can change even if its damaged and for the purpose of this article you can re-wire your habits, it just takes the same amount of repetition that caused you to develop your habits in the first place.

Coming back to why this is all important in the new digital and social landscape. 

If we want to get attention for our product or service, we have to change our learned habit of spraying and praying. Instead we have to get up close and personal. Deal with people one-on-one and treat them like individuals instead of a commodity. 

Stop email newsletters and instead send personal emails. Stop adding connections to email lists and instead tell them that they can opt-in if they wish and they can unsubscribe at any time they want. Don't cloak a mass email as if it was a personal email. I have witnessed so many bad and quite frankly stupid practices that my jaw literally hit the desk in amazement. 

Nobody by the way is waiting for your email message, your new product or service, your new book, your next blog post, your Facebook live video or even your next Social Media post inside LinkedIn and Twitter or your story in Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and no doubt others.

Why? Because everyone is overwhelmed with too much stuff. This article will hardly receive any views or engagement, because a hundred thousand other articles were posted in the same week and actually your real attention is on fear, like Donald Trump or Brexit or Syria or your own focus on getting your own content seen.

We all have to change our habits with publishing content or trying to get attention, become relevant and build relationships with real people who might if you do it right become a 'Raving Fan'

Because that is your only mission and 'spraying and praying' is not the way to achieve that.

I'd love to hear what you are looking to change in your approach to Social Media, Social Selling and content marketing. Let's change together forever.

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: (

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


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

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.

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: (

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

#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 ( I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 1



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

Hollywood have always known that we all LOVE stories!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: (

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 ( I have blocked out only Fridays each week, excluding holidays, for calls. Hope to speak with you soon.

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:

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:

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

Is anyone in love with Your Brand yet?

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

But he knew that people loved stories.

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

I have a phrase that goes something like this. 

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

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

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


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

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

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

And all because you LOVE stories.

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

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

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

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here:

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.


Have you installed THE BEST Customer Service message button yet?

Twitter has given us all a brilliant gift.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Visit Enter your Twitter handle in the box below ‘What would you like to embed?’ Click the arrow or press enter.


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

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

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

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

Now it's your turn, go to your Twitter account and start grabbing the information you need from there and then head to 

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

Are Your Suffering from 'Social Deafness'?

How many social networks do you belong to? The average person has five social network accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day, accounting for 28pc of the total time spent on the internet.

Probably a combination of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube and substituting with LinkedIn, Tumblr and Google+ (other Social Networks are available). However, most will be struggling to stay on top of them all.

It’s just too time consuming these days.

’Social Deafness’ is a phenomena that I'm describing as the reduction in our ability to take in all the social messages and content being pushed out on your social networks.

Before social media came along, our lives were already quite busy and we didn't ask for these networks to occupy our lives, but as these networks have grown and expanded it has become common place in the modern digital world for us to belong to many of them. Furthermore with the expansion of mobile computing, it’s become super easy to engage with your preferred networks through apps and on the web whilst on the move.

Much has been said about our addiction to these networks, but the addiction is not necessarily with our connections but more about what we as individuals can get out of these networks. When our connections, like, share, retweet, comment and repost, we feel loved. That feeling of love releases dopamine in the brain, which is highly addictive. We're then looking for the next hit, the next bit of engagement. I'm sure you have seen this play out on Facebook when your friends post comments that have left you wondering what's wrong with them. Comments like ’I'm feeling very annoyed’. Having no clue what they're annoyed about it causes you to ask the question and giving them some desired attention (love). Whether you think it's appropriate or not, this is current reality with social networks.

We're all looking for attention (love).

As we become more used to all the social media noise that's going on across social networks, we actually start tuning-out and developing what I call ’Social-Deafness'. It's just an abbreviation I’ve coined for describing how you are starting to ignore social media (network) noise. Even those cries for help are starting to be ignored, as we intuitively know that folks are in fact seeking attention. We all know the saying:

‘The girl (or boy) who cried WOLF’.

By the way it's not their fault, they are just copying what others are doing in their networks, noticing the attention others are getting and hoping for the same. Plus of course the networks keep emailing us telling us that we're missing out and really should be going back to our networks. Just try for 5 days to avoid one of your favourite networks and they will be in touch with you for sure.

They play on our instinct and a condition called FOMO = ‘Fear of missing out’.

When this ’Social-Deafness’ spreads across global social networks, it makes the job of marketing to us so much tougher for big brands and even Micro Enterprises. It’s much harder to get noticed and develop sustainable engagement.

This is why more and more folks are spending more and even more time publishing content to these networks hoping that something will stick and develop some sort of engagement at ’scale’ (a fashionable and trendy term used by LinkedIn management a lot!).

The only way to develop a sustainable engagement strategy is by bringing people on board one person at a time. The execution of that in reality is more time consuming and not always guaranteed, but the potential results are easier and more predictable.

The challenge is to build trust in your network over a sustained period of time, which will potentially support a level of conditioning in your connections’ brain to believe that they already know you. A feeling of trust that makes them think you've already met and they know so much about you already. This potentially (note there's no guarantee) means that when you contact them by email or even by phone they believe they are communicating with a long standing acquaintance.

This method is actually no different to what advertisers use by repeating their adverts regularly to you. Even if you think you're not paying that much attention to adverts they all go into your brain and over time you brain has been conditioned with a product or service. Ever come home from the supermarket with a product you didn't need it, had never bought previously and then wondered why you bought it?  Now you know what I mean.

Do you believe that you are suffering from ’Social Deafness’?

Have you managed to build trust with your connections on social networks and how did you make that happen?

Would love to know your perspective and your experience.

@stayingaliveuk - ’Share Your Story’


Is Your Brand Loyal?

Whenever I hear ’business’ folks talk about ROI - (Return on Investment) in connection with Social Media, I laugh. Not because I don't respect their point or their need to see proof and sales results, but because we don't demand ROI on our relationships with our friends do we?

When you have a loyal buyer, they do become a loyal friend, you share knowledge and insights with them in order build that loyalty and after all it’s easier to keep a buyer rather than having to continually find new ones.

Therefore I believe that our opinion and execution of Social Media has to improve. 

Firstly we should rename it ‘Social Loyalty’.

‘Social’ has many meanings depending on whether you’re a Marxist or not.  Wikipedia definition,

For me, very simply, it’s when individuals or groups of individuals co-exist together for their joint benefit. When we co-exist together with our buyers we are being ‘Social’. That co-existence can take place in person or nowadays to a large extend online, cue ‘Social Media’.

‘Loyalty’ has even more meanings, go and have a look,

And generally speaking most of us understand it to be that our buyers will repeat buy from us or at least give us the opportunity to bid first for a piece of work or consider buying from our website before looking at the competition. 

Usually loyal buyers will be prepared to wait for our products, e.g. Apple, or may even pay more for our products compared to cheaper alternatives, because their loyalty means more to them compared to price.

I call those folks ‘raving fans’. If you’re in business your objective should be to collect ‘raving fans’. 

In addition those loyal ‘Raving Fans' will shout about your products and services. They will tell their friends, business associates and connections. You better be amazing, because when things are not going so well, they will shout about it too.

Once we develop ‘Social Loyalty’ with our buyers, we will develop a predictable sales model. All of us have stats available somewhere that will indicate to us whether the sale was from a loyal buyer or a brand new one.

It’s possible therefore to create a ‘Loyal Buyer’ vs ‘New Buyer’ ratio to indicate the amount of sales we’re getting from those ‘Raving Fans’. I’m sure someone somewhere is already doing this and if you’re not, why not?

When we have this data only then we can understand ‘Social Media’ much better. Then there won’t be any need for ROI, just ‘ROL’ = ‘Return on Loyalty’.

Therefore when you witness your staff being active on ‘Social Media’ developing ‘Raving Fans’ you will realise that they are building loyalty amongst the ’Social’ community, which in turn will deliver repeat sales from the same buyers.

Now it’s your turn, share with us what you or your organisation is doing to create ‘Raving Fans’.

@stayingaliveuk - ‘Share Your Story’

Quick message from Staying Alive UK’s chief storyteller...

Is Your Buyer's Brain Overloaded?

Possibly, but it depends...

Recently I read that 90% of all the data that's been created on the planet was created in the past 2 years! That's an astounding statistic don't you think? The amount of data we’re consuming is growing exponentially every single second and I've just added to it by publishing this post.

Just think about the amount of social media content and blog posts you’re reading these days considering they didn't even exist just a few small years ago.

In fact YouTube didn't exist 10 years ago and now 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. 300 hours! That's about 20 days worth in a minute, (based on let's say a 15 hour awake day). And I understand that Facebook is well on its way to by-passing YouTube’s activity. 

When you consider how many users there are on social media channels and the data they’re all creating, one just can't comprehend how big those data figures are. The size of data is so large that it’s now being described in the form of zettabytes. By 2019 Cisco predicts that the Internet will carry 2 zettabytes of data, that's three times more than last year (2014). Video sharing is expected to increase to 80% from 67% currently over the same period.

So what's a ’zettabyte’? I'm sure you want to know, so I looked it up on Wikipedia for you.

The zettabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. The prefix zetta indicates multiplication by the seventh power of 1000 or 1021 in the International System of Units (SI). Therefore one zettabyte is one sextillion (one long scale trilliard) bytes. The unit symbol is ZB.

1 ZB = 10007bytes = 1021bytes = 1000000000000000000000bytes = 1000exabytes = 1billionterabytes = 1trilliongigabytes.

Silicon Valley already has problems finding data scientists to cope with figuring out the ’data revolution’ that's upon us right now!

’Customer experience enhancement’ is expected to be the largest big data business category and the one with the most growth, with forecasts saying this sector will grow from $0.75 billion in 2015 to $3.57 billion in 2020.

The biggest challenge for all marketers is how to get noticed and deliver that expected ’customer experience enhancement’, whilst everyone is sharing multiple amounts of content (data). Your messages are literally drowning in all the noise, which in the main is content (data) we don’t really need anyway! Buyers are being bombarded by millions of bytes of information every single hour. And then there's the question of demographics. Who’s more active on which platform, do I target Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn or the others? Managing this social media soup is also becoming a major headache for many marketers? Micro Enterprises are totally confused by it all.

And then we are developing love-hate relationships with all these channels too.

Why? Because they keep changing the format, the user interface (UI) and what you expected from it one day, can be gone the next. And we are still loyal to them, well most of the time anyway. That's why when a new channel comes along everyone rushes to it to see if they will get a better experience.

Advertising is losing its credibility too with the buyer as more and more of us loath being sold to.  
So what's the answer for getting noticed?

It's a tough one and I'm not sure there's one single solution to the question. But what I’m 100% sure about is that buyers want to be WOWED, they want to feel SPECIAL, they want to believe they've had the BEST DEAL ever and know that the follow up customer service will make them feel like they're the ONLY customer.

Your buyer’s brain is literally maxed out with data and there's no reprieve anytime soon.

We all need new and innovative ideas and above all we need to examine our own brains to decide what will be the most memorable way for our buyers to absorb content (data). Put yourself in the driving seat and examine the buyer’s journey through her eyes or rather her brain.

As humans we've always been fantastically curious. Curious about other people in particular, after all that's what makes us human. We have a natural empathy for others.  The only way we can develop any kind of empathy is to learn something about the other person or situation first. Without that information we can't connect with our inner self (emotional part of our brain) and develop any kind of connection at all.

So how do we currently learn about others or situations?

Through stories...

Storytelling is ancient and it evokes an emotion inside of us that leaves meaningful footsteps inside of our brains that potentially stay there forever. Well in fact they do, it just depends on how good we are in being able to recall those stories. Definitely what's true is that if there’s more emotion and feeling about those stories, we will remember it for longer.

Why is it then that most marketers are still stuck in a pattern of ’This is my Product - Buy me’?

With the amount of zeta-data spinning around the planet there's no hope for any of the old style marketing to stick with anyone, it just isn't appropriate any longer.

If we know that stories do stick, why are marketers not using this formula more often? And yes, stories do need to be targeted to each demographic, because they need to feel like you're talking directly to them. There's no point telling a story to a 60-year old expecting it to be relevant to an 18-year old.

Now over to you.

I'd love to hear whether you’re a storyteller and what success you've had  or otherwise. How are you getting or expecting to be noticed by your current and future buyers?

@stayingaliveuk - ’Share Your Story’

Image: @gapingvoid

Are You Being Spammed on LinkedIn?

Inevitably you will be at some stage. There are over 347 million profiles on LinkedIn and with 2 new people joining every second, there are going to be individuals who are breaking the rules.

I know it will be annoying to you, maybe a severe nuisance and some of you will get disheartened and feel that LinkedIn should be doing more.

I know exactly how you feel, I have been there too, but now I just take my own appropriate action, which I have learnt isn’t that clear to inexperienced users on LinkedIn.

Usually these spammers use invitations to get themselves in front of you. In fairness I haven’t had many, maybe a total of 20 in the 11 years that I have been on LinkedIn.

When you receive an offending email, like the one shown below. A real-live example, which one of my connections received.

Here are a few steps in order to deal with these spammers: (Below are images to show you what it looks like)

  1. Go to their profile and you will find a drop down arrow visible on the blue button that says ‘send jamie an InMail’.
  2. Select ‘Block or report’.
  3. A new window will open where you can select ‘block’ and ‘report’.
  4. Add some detail to give LinkedIn some of your reasons why you are reporting this individual and click continue.
  5. A warning message will be displayed to confirm that you wish to report and block this person. Confirm this step and the deed is done.

You can also do this at any time for any of your connections that may cause you any unnecessary stress for whatever reason.

Sometimes, and I have experienced this, the spammer may create another profile and send another invite. If this abusive behaviour does continue, I would advice that you contact LinkedIn support directly. Make sure that you copy the LinkedIn url of that member, as they need this to locate the individual concerned.

I sincerely hope you don’t get many of these.


Image Credit: @gapingvoid


What Does Your Logo Say About You?

I was massively obsessed in 2005 with having a logo for my new business. I didn't have a single client, not even the promise of one, but for some reason my priority was to create a logo. By the way there was no sign of Social Media yet, I didn’t even have a website and broadband hadn't been invented, I was still on dial-up or ISDN, I can't even remember!

For some odd reason I was totally consumed with needing a great logo, as this would get me noticed or so I thought. The fact was, I was only going to be using the logo on printed material, brochures, leaflets, handouts, which in the end cost me a fortune to print and the majority of those eventually ended up in recycling because I had overprinted so many to save on printing costs! As a consequence I am now very suspicious of printers.

I have also become a bit of a cynic when I see Micro-Businesses obsessed with their logos. Especially when I see individuals who are a one-person business use their logo as their Twitter profile image. I have seen thousands of examples. Just go and have a look inside the very popular #socialhours on Twitter every evening, where you can waste an hour of your time reading everyone’s adverts.

Are you a Micro-Business? A SoHo (Single office-home office)?

If you are then I want to see your face on social media not your logo. Your logo means nothing to me, it only means something to you! I know because I had the same disease. A logo makes you feel like you’re competing with the major brands. Absolutely not, you're not, you're competing with other Micro-Businesses who are after the same clients, but make themselves stand-out because they have their profile photo as themselves. A personal picture shows potential buyers that you are human and approachable. When there's just a logo they’ll feel you’re hiding something and are unapproachable.

It's not difficult, really it isn't.

If you're not convinced and still addicted to seeing your logo plastered everywhere, I suggest you ask your clients. What would they prefer to see on your Twitter, you or your logo?
Once you have changed your Twitter, go and consider where else are you overdosing on your logo?

Once you change this, I guarantee you that you will get more followers and more connections.
I've even stopped following anyone who has just a logo on their Twitter. That means I don't follow back many companies, as I'm only interested in people, not companies. Companies just advertise their stuff and I'm more interested in people and what they’re about. After all business is about people not about logos.

Should you have a logo? Sure you should, because in some places you will need one, but make sure it fits inside an icon square. Ideally the shape of an app icon. Like the one below. Yes that’s mine, newly designed a couple of years ago for the social network world. It only appears in just a few places, as overwhelmingly I have displayed my profile photo.

Now it's your turn

Let me know in the comments below what you think and whether you are now also recovering from your addiction to your logo?


Image credit: @gapingvoid