sales

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.

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.

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 3

@stayingaliveuk

@stayingaliveuk

It is said that narrative thought creates stories that are coherent of particular experiences, temporally structured and context sensitive (Baumeister & Newman, 1994).

On a day to day basis you take in millions of bits of data and in order to make sense of it all you literally develop your own daily story with all that data. 

You are actually the biggest storyteller yourself.

This means you are already very accustomed to stories and therefore anything that comes your way in the form of a story, you will accept quite readily and weave that into your own story with its own characters, outcomes and timeframes.

Let’s take your trip to the gym. Some of you go daily, 3 times per week or just at the weekend and some of you may not have made it yet.

However, we all have a picture of what a gym looks like. Lots of exercise machines, weights etc., maybe a pool, a cafe and many other amenities.

When you think about going to the gym you almost certainly create a short story in your brain. You see yourself getting up, doing whatever you do, changing into your gym wear, travelling there and doing whatever you like doing the most and travelling back.

You may not include the travelling part, you may just see yourself doing the exercise. Just enough to get you motivated to follow through.

Everything you think about, well nearly everything, develops in the form of a story.

What have you been thinking about lately? Share your answer in the comments below.

You can download the full story by clicking HERE.

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

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

Why is Storytelling so important? Chapter 2

@stayingaliveuk

@stayingaliveuk

Telling stories isn’t always that simple though is it? Let’s take the scenario of a product or service.

This is what most people believe.

  1. You have to share what the product/service does.
  2. You must share how the product/service performs.
  3. You’ve got to demonstrate, through testimonials, how the product/service has helped others.
  4. You’ve got to give people an incentive to purchase your product/service.

Wrong! Your buyer will think, ‘so what? My problem is unique, nobody has my problem, I am the only one with this problem and I can’t see how your product/service will help me.’

The reason they come up with these objections is the fact that they haven’t emotionally connected with your company or product yet. The only way you can create emotion in anyone is to have them buy into your story first. This could be about you personally, your company or your product.

How interesting would it be if you told the story of how your product was created and road-tested. Even more powerful would be to share who was involved in the product creation and how long it took you to come up with the idea, prototype it and then manufacture it. How you got consumers of the product involved in testing it and giving their feedback. How the feedback made you shape the product/service and made it even greater.

You may remember Apple’s iPhone 4 ‘Antennagate’ a few years back where consumers had reported that the signal was poor when your hand obscured the antenna. In the end only 0.55% of buyers complained but Apple gave everyone free bumpers to stop them from obscuring the antenna. In an unprecedented move Apple showed us a strange room where the iPhone was tested. Not everyone will have seen it but it’s the only internal room that I have seen in Apple. It gave me a fabulous insight and increased level of trust in them. Apple never shared how the product performed, they just shared with us a story of how it was tested. Do you get the difference? 

You can download the full story by clicking HERE.

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

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