social selling

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?

http://www.globaladdiction.org/dldocs/GLOBALADDICTION-Scales-InternetAddictionTest.pdf

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.

https://www.comparitech.com/internet-providers/technology-internet-addiction

You might also enjoy an article I wrote back in 2013 title: 'Do Social Networks Sell Drugs';

https://www.stayingaliveuk.com/blog/2013/06/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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Do you contemplate and consider carefully the content you create, curate and share?

Social Media encourages all to be spontaneous, to share something instantly and above all to be expectant of the reactions that we may receive as a result. 

So why do we need to contemplate and consider carefully the content we create every single day?

Because in doing so you are sharing with the world who you are, what you believe in, how you wish to be seen and above all how you wish to be judged. When we decide to be active on Social Media, we are developing and portraying ourselves as a ‘Personal Brand’. Yes indeed all of us are now ‘Brands’, so you better take that responsibility seriously.

As most of us on here (written for LinkedIn) are business professionals, either employed or running our own businesses, our companies are using marketing strategies and tactics to be seen and to encourage buyers to purchase from us. You know the saying, ‘buyers buy you first’.

This is where ‘Content Marketing’ as a strategy comes into play. If ‘Content Marketing’ does indeed cost 62% less than traditional marketing then this must be very attractive to all of us. I've never done any traditional marketing, as I've always believed it was too expensive for a very small business like myself. And maybe I'm not that good yet at ‘Content Marketing’ either as I haven't experienced the true benefits yet. But then again how do I truly know, because I'm not measuring it that well either. I must do more on both fronts. 

There are so many platforms these days to publish your content to.

I'm experimenting by using the following channels.

  1. My own blog. Receives very little interaction, although It’s a must these days, everyone needs to have their own hosted blog with its own domain.
  2. LinkedIn Publishing. A feature that was started for business influencers and then rolled out to the majority of members. Had massive traction in its early days and nowadays publishers hardly receive any likes or comments, unless you send your article to your contacts and ask them to like, comment and share. A strategy being promoted by many LinkedIn experts.
  3. Medium. Personally I believe the most exciting platform around today.
  4. Facebook notes. Only in the past few weeks have I started to experiment with it.
  5. Apple News. Publishes directly via my blog.

These channels are probably more than enough to be sharing original content on. And yes I do duplicate and no I'm not al all worried how I may get penalised by Google as a result, which some SEO professionals might suggest. 

How about you? What are you using to create, curate and share content across the Social Web?

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

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

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

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

Originally published on Medium

Do you really believe you’re getting better at it?

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

@LinkedIn & @gapingvoid

Depends what you’re talking about right?

Well, I am talking about the quality of your content. If the stats are right and I have no reason to believe they are not, then you and me are checking our phones 110 times a day.

I seriously can’t think of 110 things that I have looked at on my phone, can you? I certainly haven’t shared 110 things. The other day my darling wife Clair received her year in review by Facebook. I don’t get one by the way, because I’m not active enough there! Anyway, her most interesting stat was that, over the year, she had liked 13,500 posts. Averaged out over 365 days, that is 37 posts each and every day and that means some days she will have liked much more and some days much less.

If you are a Marketer, a Social Seller, a Writer, a Digital Native, a Coach, a Trainer and more, you undoubtedly be looking at the Social Web to get noticed, to be heard and be searching for engagement.

Just consider the attention span of your readers. They essentially have about a split second, like a ‘Formula 1’ racing car split second to make up their minds, whether your content is worth engaging with.

I bet you haven’t even read this far. And if you have do tell!

I’m wondering if you’ve even realised how quick you check your phone and ‘thumb’ through the content. How much do you actually retain and what grabs your attention to want to engage with it? Not much right? So have a think, what does actually make you stop and read further. Is it a video, a great image, the crafty and sneaky headline, the compelling question or the incredibly useless tip list? Or maybe it’s just good old regular dogs, cats and food. Yep food is a strange one, really it is, but obviously it’s something we’re totally consumed by, food!

Right then did you get the answer yet? What engages you?

I’d love to learn and I am sure you would to, so help me and all the other marketers out there, share your answer below.

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

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

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

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

Originally published on Medium

Do you really think your content is so special?

Think again! I call it the 'Falling Tree'. There is a tree falling over in a forest somewhere on the planet. In fact there are probably many trees falling over in forests right now, maybe thousands and nobody is there to witness the event, nobody.

This is probably happening to your and my content right now. Our content are just trees falling over and nobody is there to witness it. So why do we spend so much time creating, perfecting, worrying and measuring? Because everyone tells us to?

 

There are so many coaches, trainers, authors, storytellers, SEO experts, influencers, copywriters and any other title you may care to conjure up, who are advising us to create more and more content, to pick the right times, the right days, the right platforms, the right demographics, the right advertising campaigns and all just to get our content noticed. 

You may have come across a term that is often used in the world of learning, 'Sheep-dip'. We are all being 'Sheep-dipped' by the experts who tell us what we should be doing.

Is it because we wish to achieve mass market domination? Granted probably only in your sector right, your Niche (Neesh or Nitch)?

I believe it's time to think about a different strategy, to think authentic, to think personal, to examine a different approach. 

What would it take to start a campaign in your organisation, no matter how big or small you are, where every single person who works for you calls a specific customer, a named individual, in your customer's company and asks them personally whether you're doing everything that they would expect from you? 

That would be different right?

No survey, no customer service call, no external company making the call. Every single person in your company.  And if that means it's only you in your company, then that's perfect too.

And there is only one question. Let's repeat it.

"Are we doing everything that you would expect from us"?

Can you think of some other non 'Sheep-dip' approaches that might get you to stand out from the crowd?

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

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

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Have you located your company’s Holy Grail of ‘Engagement’ yet?

With everything that's being thrown at us how are you truly differentiating yourself to ensure that your prospects, clients and readers (let's call them ‘engagers’) do actually wish to ‘engage’ with you?

We're all witnessing an amazing revolution in media. With media, I'm suggesting everything from the Press, TV, Entertainment, Online Video, Online Learning, Blogs, through to Social Media and beyond.

There has never been a more important time to truly understand how and where your future audience will be engaging with content. 

To start with, the producers of content are usually the ones that are engaging with it in the first place. That means you as a producer are always researching where the most engagement will take place with your content. By researching it, you will be engaging wit the content there. For example if you decided that you want to use Medium to post your blogs, you start producing content for that media channel and it's inevitable that you will be engaging with other content whilst you are opening an account and doing your research.

I call this ‘Empty Engagement’. Content producers looking at content produced by other content producers don't really engage with that content as such. They are just scanning it, to learn from and how they can best borrow the ideas and concepts for their own content production. 

In addition platforms have created clever bots that suggest what content producers you should be following, they may even auto follow categories and as a consequence the authors too. Clever stuff and ‘empty’.

Nowadays your process for obtaining engagement means you have to get close up and personal. This means reaching out in a personal way to your audience and engaging with them one person at a time.

I've been noticing how @buffer do this really really well. For the past 2 weeks, I jumped on their weekly #bufferchat. There I noticed that they respond to specific tweets by the contributors. Not just liking or retweeting, they do actually mention the individuals and respond very directly to their answers to the questions in the chat.

Pretty impressive actually. It confirmed for me that this personal touch and direct communication, one to one is truly the only way to get engagement growing with your audience.

I hope this gives us all something to consider, reaching out to specific audiences and grow engagement on a very personal level, one ‘engager’ at a time. 

I would love to hear what's working for you with growing engagement. Thank you so much.

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

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

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

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. 

Why?

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: 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

Do you have questions about Social Selling and LinkedIn? - *Updated Weekly*

Top left: Brynne, Top right: Michael, Bottom left Ted, Bottom right Bob

Top left: Brynne, Top right: Michael, Bottom left Ted, Bottom right Bob

We (Michael de Groot, Bob Woods, Brynne Tillman and Ted Prodromou) hold a weekly Blab on the subject of Social Selling and LinkedIn. You can join us and get your questions answered. To join the Blab you will need a Twitter account.

Just visit SocialSellingWednesday.com to subscribe to the next upcoming episode.

Takes place weekly at 8am PST, 11am EST, 4pm BST (3pm GMT), 5pm CET

In the meantime you can always catch the previous episodes below as a YouTube video replay or a Mixcloud audio podcast.

For more in-depth discussion and free information;

  1. Follow our showcase page on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/social-selling-wednesday
  2. Join and contribute on our Slack Community Channel: https://slofile.com/slack/socialsellingtips
  3. Ask to join our Social Selling Discussion Forum.

Social Selling Wednesday Replay Playlist on YouTube


Social Selling Wednesday Replay Podcast on MixCloud


Did you know LinkedIn has been removing features for years?

If you have been an active LinkedIn user for a number of years you might remember that LinkedIn removes features on a regular basis from their platform. At least one per year I would say.

Who remembers ‘Events’, ‘Polls’, ‘Reading Lists’ and many more retired features? And then there are features that just stop working without any warning, like 'Reminders', but that's another story altogether.

Share your favourite ones!

The reason sited always is that features are removed because they are not being used as much by members and therefore are retired to the internet abyss.

Below is an image of an email confirming their latest such action.

This particular feature, saving a profile to your contacts, which is being retired at the end of February 2016 is a handy little shortcut when you are searching for individuals that you wish to connect to.

You can (for now) save them to your contacts by clicking the star underneath the profile header or you can click the dropdown on search results and save them that way.  Especially handy when you have saved a favourite search for Lead Generation. See the images below on how this is allowed to be done currently. But not for long.

Maybe I’m a little suspicious.

I am a premium member and recently my premium account got a fantastic free upgrade. ‘Sales Navigator’.  A brilliant and very useful tool for Lead Generation and Social Selling. Really I mean it, it’s great and very useful. So now I don’t actually need to save anyone that I find on search to my contacts, I just add them to Sales Navigator and I am able to do much more with those profiles in Sales Navigator compared to the regular LinkedIn.

But there are lots of folks that are not on premium and have no intention of upgrading, but still would like to do some interesting stuff,  like saving and tagging people on LinkedIn without having Sales Navigator. 

Could this action by LinkedIn just be a ploy to promote Sales Navigator to us all?

I know, I know, actually not many of you realised you could do this anyway. I agree it isn’t very obvious at all and no-one actually advises you that you can do this, apart from LinkedIn Trainers.  And this is the reason, I guess, why LinkedIn are retiring it.

So my question to many of you is, ‘if you had known about this feature would you have used it or not?’

Be honest because this is like my straw poll to see what responses I get and maybe just maybe we can ask LinkedIn to reverse their decision. Now to help me,  please share this with your own network on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

Answer just 2 questions below.

I really appreciate your help with this.

Success!

@stayingaliveuk

Image credit: @gapingvoid

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’

 

Will Social Selling create a global economic revival?

You will probably get bored of hearing that people do business with people they know, like and trust! Actually I believe a better sequence would be trust, know and like, because by using social channels and especially LinkedIn we have the perfect opportunity to build trust first. I know it doesn’t roll of the tongue as well, but in my humble opinion it has to come first each and every time.

But how can you build that trust

By being active and by being interesting and interested. With 400 million (and counting) professionals on LinkedIn it really has become super easy to find the exact and relevant contact (buyer) for you to get in front of.

And most still get it completely wrong, because most of what I see and experience on social media and especially LinkedIn are promotional posts (adverts) and impersonal invitations to connect. 

Definitely not ’interesting’ and not ’interested’.

If we have a desire to see global economic revival on the planet then you need to start changing your behaviour on social media, especially LinkedIn and take a few minutes out of your busy day to think through and formulate a detailed strategy.

Here are just 3 quick things you can adopt to move in the right direction and set the right intention.

  1. Decide specifically and in incredible detail your ideal buyer (client). Identify the industry sector, the location, their seniority, their age, personal ambitions (assumed), interests, skills, sports team and anything else that will assist you to narrow down a shortlist of individuals. You have to become laser targeted. Being general is so from the previous century.
  2. Develop search and alert criteria on google, twitter and LinkedIn to explore and potentially uncover the individuals that match up with your ’ideal buyer’ profile. Keep looking daily, weekly, monthly until you become totally absorbed with who that person is, so much so that you can understand and predict their behaviour. LinkedIn is totally the best network to do much of this on, especially now with their Sales Navigator tool. It has never been a better time right now to access data for your research.
  3. Develop and curate appropriate and great content that will be super interesting to your ‘ideal buyer’. Over time you will develop a reputation for sharing great and ‘interesting’ content and your network will start to realise and appreciate that you are the person they are interested in learning from.

In addition LinkedIn have just released the ’Social Selling Index’ for every English speaking LinkedIn member. Have a look at my index below. You can see that this is a great measurement tool to help you and your teams drive forward and develop ’trust’ on LinkedIn. A better title would probably be the ’trust’ index.

Go ahead and grab your index via https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi

I have also shared below details of how the index is calculated, which confirms that by being active and developing the right strategy you will develop more trust. Trust leads to interest, interest leads to a conversation, a conversation leads to a meeting and a meeting leads to business.

"Taken from LinkedIn's Sales Navigator support section as at August 2015"

"Taken from LinkedIn's Sales Navigator support section as at August 2015"

Just imagine if LinkedIn professionals focussed on getting their index higher they automatically will be seen more, develop more trusting relationships on LinkedIn, gain greater exposure and develop more opportunities.

Now just think for a moment, if just 1% of the 400 million LinkedIn members adopted a great professional approach for developing their network, do you think this would make a difference to the economic prosperity of individuals around the world?

By you and I changing the way we behave on social channels, especially on LinkedIn, I believe we would collectively have a major impact on the global economy. Not just by developing better and closer relationships with our networks but also by growing our enterprises, whether we are micro, small, medium or a large enterprise. 

Now it's your turn.  Please share below what your views are on Social Selling, Trust and the Global Economy. I'd love to hear your stories.