Jayne and I learned a really good lesson yesterday.
When we were planning this holiday, we both really wanted to reach the summit of The Cobbler, a mountain in Scotland, but not to the detriment of our health or life.
When we set off it was a glorious day the sun was shining and the weather warm. As we progressed up the mountain it soon became clear that this wasn’t going to be as easy as we’d first thought and that we would have to take it steady, but we weren’t in any rush and we had plenty of time.
So about three quarters of the way up the weather changed and it became quite gloomy and threatening and eventually started to rain. Out came the waterproofs, we got to the foot of The Cobbler and noticed that some of the more experienced guys were turning around, some weren’t but they were foolhardy or so a few of the not so printable comments said.
After a bit of a natter and a check of the weather, yep still raining and still blowing a hoolie, we decided to turn around too, “the hill would be there for another day” said one guy, quite right.
As we made our way back down we were not despondent because we hadn’t reached the summit, in fact we were quite pleased that we had made it as far as we did, and it would be the perfect excuse to come back and try again, plus, guess what, the bloody sun was shining as we got to the bottom. A great day all-round we thought.
Total time out, around 5-6 hours.
So, the moral of the story and why I’ve posted it here.
I hope you can see a very similar pattern of our walk to starting and running a business. Its exciting when you set off and your goals are in place, reaching the top, but something always comes and buggers it up, the weather, but you keep going as far as you can, but if you have to alter course you do for the sake of your health, in this case, and your business.
Remember the vision is always the same: We want to climb to the summit of the Cobbler
The strategy might and will change: We were beaten by the weather,this time, but we’ll be back to try again.
Have a great day and keep climbing.
So, your trying to attract the right client to your business and you think that because you have a website and maybe a blog that people are just going to flock to your website or Facebook page? Wrong, on so many levels. You need a strong personal brand.
You have no doubt read the books that say you should build a sales funnel and sit back and wait for people to show up and buy your stuff, wrong, well not entirely, let me explain.
If I mention a name, say Richard Branson, you know who he is and that he owns Virgin Everything, right, right.
But if I mention Dell, the guys who make computers, it’s really hard to think of anyone’s face you might know or recognise if you saw it.
You see Branson has spent his life building his personal brand, where DELL have spent years building a company.
The days have long since gone when a company can survive being just a faceless corporation trading on logos and colours.
Its true that today companies live and in some cases die by the personalities they employ and who represent them. Today people WANT to know who the owner is and what he or she stands for.
The really successful companies build and promote the personal brands of the people within. I am sure you can think of a few personalities from the companies you know, like and trust.
You can pretty much guess that once RB puts his name to something its really going to take off. Elon Musk is exactly the same, you might not know everything he’s involved in but you have heard of him.
So how do us mere mortals get to the stage where people know who we are even when we are not in the room. Personal branding that’s how.
First off you don’t have to aim that high, all you have to do is build a community that likes you and what you stand for and what you stand against of course. This can be though videos, podcasts, Facebook pages and groups, blogs…in fact a whole host of things.
Personal brands are truly the most powerful brands, why, because people do business with people. Its so much easier to trust a person rather than a company or organisation. It’s how we are ‘wired’, to connect with people.
I have found that when you build a trusted personal brand people will naturally recommend you.
This also makes sure than when people talk about ‘you’ when you are not present they know who you are and what you stand for.
This is seriously powerful stuff and of course what they know and perceive about you is really up to you to determine and influence.
So, do you want to remain ‘faceless’ or do you want to build a strong personal brand where people know, like and trust you?
It really is down to you to decide but let me leave you with this thought:
Do you have enough, or more than enough, clients right now? If you do great you have a strong personal brand, whether you know it or not.
If you could do with more clients then you need to work on your personal brand because it’s not strong enough.
Have a fab day!
So let’s imagine for a moment you’re the owner of a luxury hotel, but this could be any business it’s just that luxury hotels suffer more than most from what I am about to take you through, and you’re posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram, occasionally on Twitter and results are not what you expected or hoped for, what can you do about it?
It could be that you have 20,000 or more followers but if engagement and shares are poor then it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have if they are not engaging with you.
Let’s take a look and see if we can remedy this.
I have been monitoring high end businesses for a while now, especially luxury hotels, and what’s happening is they are getting lazy. Some have this idea that just because they have a lot of followers its ok to take their eye off the ball, believe me it’s not, because customer experience is everything these days.
Let’s take Facebook as a case in point, Facebook is by far the biggest and most powerful social channel and it should be used to not only promote your hotel but to give your visitors, both old and new, the best experience you can. Facebook is fantastic for telling your story but many don’t, it’s the same bland updates day in day out.
What can we do?
I want you to think about why people flock to Facebook before any other social channel, escapism pure and simple. People go to escape, reconnect and connect with friends and family but because we can search and see other people posts we get a fantastic snapshot of their world. People want to see content that’s relevant, fun and useful. Most of what’s out there from high end businesses is the exact opposite.
This is where your hotel, especially if you have a luxury hotel, can really make a massive play.
For most that visit Facebook we know it’s aspirational and more than likely they will never be able to stay the hotel, but because they are thinking about it and drooling we have to think that it’s not impossible, you never know. But that should not stop you from connecting and maybe answering a few questions, should it? No this is the perfect excuse to connect with potential guests and it will help you ‘get the word out’ that you listen, you are respectful, helpful and the place to be.
Most hotels, and other businesses are missing a massive opportunity to connect and have people share their content.
This example is typical of what I mean:
Click image for full size view
This is just pure laziness on someone’s part. I haven’t included the name as the person/s responsible could be in trouble and that’s the last thing I want, but come on this is lazy marketing at its worst.
What could be better?
- The post mentions awards but where are the images to help the viewer decide who to vote for or at least engage with the viewer
- This post should be full of fantastic images or at the very least pictures or even better, videos of last year’s event
- There should be ‘calls to action’ CTA on what to do next, with links but nothing
This isn’t the only incident, this is something that goes on a lot, especially on Facebook.
So what can you do to increase engagement?
Simple, it’s not enough to upload fantastic images and video, although it certainly helps, you have to engage with your audience. The viewer has to feel part of the ‘community’ and be included, it’s not to ask a question or make a comment and then be ignored.
I speak to quite a few hotels on digital marketing and most come back with the same answer, “we don’t have time” or “we missed the comment”. You, whatever your business, can’t afford to miss either as this is reputation damaging on a major scale.
“The social phone is ringing. Are you picking up?” – Marcel Lebrun, founder of Radian6 (now Salesforce Radian6) coined this important phrase
So what’s to be done?
There’s a lot that can be done initially, monitor your feed for comments and shares, thank the person who commented, create a content calendar, blog with passion and reply within a reasonable time.
NLT is a concept by Keith McMean to help you break out of the old way of thinking when it comes to your business and how to grow it successfully. If you have any questions or thoughts on traction we can talk them through in the comments, this way if you have a fantastic idea I can give you the credit you deserve and if I use it in a future post you’ll be right there with me.
I could never understand why there was such a fuss made about advertising on Facebook and having to pay for it, when you think what you get in return for what is essentially a small amount.
A full set of statistics to tell you who’s interacted with your advert and a whole load of other useful information that you can’t get anywhere else, well maybe that’s not strictly true but for marketing purposes not many come close to Facebook when it comes to stats and reporting on advertising spend. (more…)
Just let me add a little context to this post. Social Media marketing is a term that’s used to describe the following:
“Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.” – Wikipedia
I think we all know that it’s much more than that today.
The reason for this post is to explore a few misguided myths surrounding social media and its role in marketing and sales especially for businesses.
One of the great things about marketing and sales is that it’s been around since the beginning of time and we are familiar with the terms and their meanings. We promote or market our service or product and through that marketing/promotion we make a sale, easy peasy.
We all get that. Right?
Then along comes social media to really throw a spanner in the works, “social media, WTF is social media and what does it mean to us?” (who first coined the phrase “social media”?) This and many more questions are still being asked by most businesses and it seems the larger the business the less they know the answer.
Well to many it means the phrase quoted above but what does it mean to you and your business? Well in the context of marketing and sales, of which it’s mainly used in the business world, it’s still as unclear today as it was back in the early 1990’s when I first heard it used.
So let me tell you what it means to me and hopefully it might become a little clearer.
To me its immediacy, its always on, its communication, its community, its engagement, its opportunity, its culture and most importantly its customer experience and customer loyalty. It’s a lot of other things but you get the picture.
So why then does it cause so much confusion and panic throughout the business world? And why is it still a mystery to most when it comes to its use and importance.
I still hear things like “not sure why we need to have it”, “it’s for kids”, “what will it do for us?” and my favourite “we never had it in the old days, why do we need it now?”
Now I’m not here to tell that you or your business or organisation needs social media, even though it does, but what are the ramifications if you don’t use it? Loss of sales, sub standard marketing and promotion to your audience the list is endless.
But what about good old newspapers we have been relying on them for years, radio is another, brochures and flyers are all good ways to reach your target audience of that there is no doubt.
Let me ask you a question my friends. Look around your desk, car, office or home, if you work from home and tell me how far away from you is your Smartphone? Now, have you got the radio on even in the background? Can you see a newspaper? How many brochures or flyers are within touching distance? I can bet my house on the fact that you’re Smartphone is within 3 feet and the rest are nowhere to be seen or at least not in touching distance…be honest now. This is no different for your target audience, they are just like you.
That’s the true power of social media and that’s the power of your Smartphone or portable device. But I still think we are missing a trick and here’s why. We are still calling it ‘social media’ we aren’t seeing the bigger picture, which is, social media is now marketing and sales, it’s as much a part of marketing and sales today as newspaper and radio, more so in my opinion.
The fact that we still have to refer to it as ‘social media marketing’ proves that we still aren’t comfortable referring to it as plain old marketing and sales. Most organisations still see it as ‘social media’ and until that stops it will always be on the periphery for some and never really thought of in the same terms as ‘traditional’ marketing and sales, when actually its outgrown the them in less than 10 years.
Well, today I want you to think about and look at how your organisation views and uses social media and how often you use it to market and sell your services or products or even use it for brand awareness purposes, let’s face it that’s just marketing but without the sale. Mark it down on a spreadsheet each time you do and tot up the score at the end of the day.
Find ways of using it every day and soon you won’t be referring to it as social media marketing it will become just plain old marketing and it will become part of the culture of your business. Go on…give it a try and let me know how you get on?
NLT (Next Level Thinking) is a concept by Keith McMean to help you break out of the old way of thinking when it comes to your business and how to grow it successfully. If you have any questions or thoughts on traction we can talk them through in the comments, this way if you have a fantastic idea I can give you the credit you deserve and if I use it in a future post you’ll be right there with me.
Until next time have a fab day.
I get asked this question a lot and my answers are always the same.
Here is a rundown of what I think makes a successful consultant and it doesn’t matter if you’re in marketing, social media, engineering or bio chemistry this applies to all types.
1 – Clients
Most think this a strange one to begin with and to be at the top of the list, but let’s face it without clients a business won’t survive, its dying before it get the chance to start. A lot of consultants hate dealing with clients they find it hard work and really challenging. Get used to it quick as it’s the only thing that will keep your business afloat. (more…)