December 20, 2011

ARE YOU SICK OF SOCIAL MEDIA TOO?

can't take any more
Would you attend a session on how to use an air conditioner (or question the ROI)? Stay cool when it’s hot! How about a workshop on five reasons to get a mobile phone? Make calls wherever you are! How about an all day course on how to use email? No more stamps to lick!

We take those things for granted.

Social media has become routine for me (and perhaps you?). It's part of daily business life — like checking email and answering phone calls. And air conditioning (though not in the Canadian winter).

Skeptics

If you're unconvinced about the merits of social media, maybe you’re a late adopter. Think back. How quick were you to
  • get an email address?
  • put your email address on your business card?
  • answer email from your smartphone?
That's fine. Innovation isn't for all. Not everyone wants to explore or risk making mistakes in public. Some people aren't generous.

Social media is the best tool to demonstrate consistent persistent generosity to the world. You can't fake this for long and quitters are easily spotted. When the focus is on sharing for free, does the question of ROI arise?

Converts

If you "get" the benefits of generosity, you just need to use the tools. As with exercise and diet, good habits take time to develop and discipline to maintain.

The real benefits come after mastery. The real opportunities arise after you routinely use tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Meetup and Google Plus. You can then think about what's next now that your clients' expectations have changed.

This Year

This year I wrote about social media extensively because I was doing live presentations on the "why". That was my final attempt to convince the skeptics and congratulate the converts. I've got speaking engagements for the next four months and am not seeking any more.

It's time to move on. I'm not planning any more posts specifically about social media. That's my New Year's Resolution. Let's see if it sticks.

This is the final post of 2011.

The best to you and yours during the holidays.
May your 2012 be swell, swell, swell!

Links

These posts from 2008 and later are related to social media.
  1. How can your clients find you?
  2. How to organize your events like Harvard and IBM
  3. Create your web presence in three easy steps
  4. Why Twitter finally makes sense for your business
  5. Two simple steps to endless referrals
  6. Where’s your Google Profile?
  7. A proven technique to expand your LinkedIn network
  8. How to apply consistent persistent generosity
  9. Measurement matters: Free tools
  10. The easiest way to catch up with social media as the web fades in importance
  11. Picking the best medium for your message
  12. How to hire a social media expert
  13. Make your views public to stand out
  14. LinkedIn’s Jonathan Lister discusses social media
  15. The ROI on social media, reputation and a hungry rabbit
  16. Building trust with social media (video)
  17. Arranging the perfect social media workshop
  18. Signs of the wrong social media expert
  19. Are you a parrot or a pundit?
  20. Building trust with blogging at Word11
  21. How much time does social media take each week?
  22. How many explorers discovered you today?
  23. image courtesy of Martin Walls (UK)
PS If you're not a social media master, the holidays are a great time to catch up.

December 13, 2011

HOW MANY EXPLORERS DISCOVERED YOU TODAY?

attracting explorersThe days of explorers on the quest for uncharted lands have passed. Now a search takes an Internet connection and a comfortable chair. Progress!

Now that sites encourage visitor comments, you'll discover people everywhere. You may be attracted by a particular person’s photo or message. A quick click shows you more about them. Maybe you’d like to stay in contact?

Maybe they’d like to stay in touch with you/

Found

In the beginning, there’s satisfaction in getting discovered. Over time, the “gee whiz” fades. Traffic is good but for results, you want the right explorers to discover you.

Some techniques help you get found. Analytics show you which ones. The problem is that you rarely know who your visitors are. That’s where LinkedIn helps. You can see who some of the explorers (more with a paid account) and then visit their profiles. Maybe you’d like to stay in touch with some of them.

Hello

Can you reach out to them? They will appreciate this and often say yes. I've experimented on LinkedIn and still find that over 91% of my requests to connect are accepted by strangers. What do they know about me? Little beyond what my profile shows.

If they visited my profile and then I invite them, the rate is still 100.0%. It's as if they are happy that I took the time to reach out. Some say they wanted to contact me but were reluctant. Some of these connections even led to business, though that was not the goal. It's a nice side benefit, though.

Pruning

Since my LinkedIn network has grown larger than intended. I’ve taken steps to show up in fewer searches. For instance, I’ve removed some keywords and made my profile more specific.

Since we’re judged by the company we keep, I’ve started pruning and pulling out weeds. Here are examples of disappointing behaviour that’s likely to break a connection without warning:
  • too salesy: their goal is to take money from your wallet and fast
  • lack of generosity: they don’t helping others by curating or creating original content (neither parrots nor pundits)
  • inconsistency: they start and then quit
  • incompetence: they say things that are incorrect or misleading
There are exceptions for most silent connections. They aren’t doing anything offensive. They aren’t doing much at all. Some may be strategic. Others may eventually start sharing. You may have different criteria.

What are you doing to attract and get discovered by the right explorers?

Links

PS If you’re uncharted territory, leave clues for the explorers ... unless you don’t want more business.

December 6, 2011

FIVE PRESENTATION LESSONS FROM SETH GODIN

Seth Godin autographing Poke The Box at The Art of Sales (Nov 22, 2011)
 In less than two years, I've seen Seth live four times: twice in New York City and twice in Toronto (most recently at The Art of Sales on November 22nd). That's more than I've seen any other speaker.  I didn't buy any t-shirts but did pick up five presentation lessons we can use. Here they are:
  1. recycle
  2. show
  3. give
  4. inspire
  5. follow-up
Need more detail? Read on.

Recycle

When you see Springsteen, you expect to hear Born To Run (and do). Seth doesn't have such a staple. I don't think he mentioned Purple Cow at all but he did wear a purple tie. Yet Seth reused some content and slides. That's because they are still effective.

In contrast, other presenters recycled out of laziness. Keith Ferrazzi yakked about his tough upbringing which was unmoving in his 2005 book Never Eat Alone. Sally Hogshead again used vile-tasting J├Ągermeister as mildly amusing filler (video clip). In each case, we can predict the outcomes. Wake me up when you’re done.

Seth’s content improves with age. He's building on what worked before and is still relevant for tomorrow. You get a sense of continuity and see his growth. He's certainly not in a rut or out of ideas.

Do you recycle — and for the right reasons?

Show

Seth uses lots of visuals (mainly photos) and many stories. He has the knack of connecting what seems disparate into a larger theme. That shows craftsmanship. The visuals don't always match what he's saying but add to the effect. Either the slides play by themselves (which seems unlikely) or Seth practices a lot.

Seth uses very few slides with words. Compare that with typical business presentations where the slides with visuals are rare (and rarely effective).

You'll see Seth's style in this TED Talk about the tribes we lead.


Are your presentations engaging and easy to follow?

Give

We remember generosity (and notice the absence).

Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry's was the final speaker. He talked about how giving the company was but what did he give us that a video recording would not? He could have wowed us by handing out free ice cream. That would have been unexpected and appreciated. Think of the word of mouth. How much does ice cream cost when you buy in bulk from your own factory?

Seth gave us brain food. Our souvenir was a hardcover copy of Poke The Box (Amazon.com). Isn't that brilliant? You're not going to throw the book away. You'll probably show it to others. Once you've read it, maybe you'll pass it on. In the worst case, you can re-gift it.

Also, Seth took questions from the audience for about 30 minutes. Interaction brings a session alive and shows whether the speaker is also a thinker.

How do you show your generosity beyond what’s expected?

Inspire

You need excellent content that’s fresh and delivered in a way no one else can match. Seth does research (and gives credit) but what you see is his unique creation.

In the corporate world, I used to develop presentations that the marketing team could use across the country. Since the slides were also the speaker notes and the handouts, the content was a tad bland and corporate. I then started creating presentations with zing that only I could deliver. This was much better for the company and me (except for the travelling).

Do you inspire? How do you know if you are?

The Art Of Sales schedule (Nov 22, 2011)Follow-up

The follow-up is where presenters usually flop. The messages they bring are easily forgotten, especially when they're part of a daylong speaker series. If your goal is to take the money and skedaddle, that's fine. If your goal is to truly help people, you need a follow-up system. No, I don't mean a seminar or book. Something free.

Seth blogs daily. His content is there waiting. If you're interested, you subscribe. He has no mechanism to put you on a mailing list because he doesn't have one. Seth had no slide with contact info. If you want to reach him, you must be interested enough to do a web search. Tough huh? In contrast, Keith Ferrazzi was trying to build a database via email and texting.

What do you offer for follow-up that's free and opt-in?

Overall, Seth gave another excellent presentation. I especially liked his hidden lessons on presenting.

Links

PS Which amazing speakers have you seen lately (live or online)?