marketing

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

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.

How do you know if your content is any good?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Success!

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

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

@stayingaliveuk

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

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

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.

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 https://mastodon.social. 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: (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

http://linkedinlectures.com

http://linkedinlectures.com

#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 (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.

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 4 - The END

@stayingaliveuk

@stayingaliveuk

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

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

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

V stands for Visual

A stands for Auditory

K stands for Kinaesthetic

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

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

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

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

The END

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

You can download the full story by clicking HERE.

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

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

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

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

After all this is what you crave the most. 

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

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.

Do you clearly articulate your purpose in your content?

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are you articulating your purpose in your content?

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

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

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

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

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

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

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 1

@stayingaliveuk

@stayingaliveuk

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

Hollywood have always known that we all LOVE stories!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

 

 

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

Attention is a Currency

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.

Let's do the first one, which is actually the cover and a very important one.

The sentence I'd like to examine a bit closer is;

“Why now is the time to invest in digital experiences that matter.” 

Well, my consideration here is about ensuring that we start examining our digital time spent by ensuring that we only receive information and data we actually need.

And for marketers, which I can include myself in, we should be ensuring that we know our target audience (avatars) and share with them relevant information and data that will expand their knowledge, plus improve and speed up their decision making process.

Hence the ’matter’.

Now it's your turn. I'd love to hear your views and opinion about that sentence.

To assist you further you may wish to download a couple of eBooks via:
http://www.stayingaliveuk.com/33socialtips

http://www.stayingaliveuk.com/storytelling-ebook

Or share all your comments via Twitter @stayingaliveuk

Image credits: @gapingvoid and @linkedin

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’