Do You Hate Monday? Do Something Different.

Do You Hate Mondays blog post

If you hate Mondays you have the wrong job.

When I worked for a big company I dreaded Monday. My coworkers and I would get together Sunday night and watch Grey’s Anatomy and commiserate about the coming week.

I had a pretty good job. It wasn’t awful. I didn’t love it though.

Now I love Mondays.

I look forward to the possibilities and potential of what I can accomplish.

If you hate Mondays, start working on your escape plan.

Most Marketing is Insane.

Most Marketing is Insane blog post

The definition of insanity = doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

I look at a lot of social media plans, and one of the things that constantly surprises me is how long businesses continue to do something that doesn’t get them results.

They know it isn’t working.

Maybe they don’t have the path to success, so they continue to push along… getting no results from something that doesn’t work.

Sure, sometimes it takes time & consistency to get results (especially in social media). But if you post 5 similar status updates that get no engagement, you probably need to find a different kind of status update to post. Posting the same thing will probably produce the same result.

Don’t be insane.

Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Use the information you have to adapt your strategy.

Social Media Not Working? It is Probably Your Fault.

Social Media Not Working blog post

I evaluate tons of social media executions a year… for clients, people in our trainings or just for fun. While I don’t have all of the answers, one thing has become clear: Most businesses that don’t get results from social media don’t to it right.

Blogs are great examples. I heard a stat years ago that most corporate blogs fail. Most of the corporate blogs that I look at suck. Why?

  • The content isn’t strategic.
  • They have no strategy.
  • The headlines are mediocre.
  • They don’t post consistently.
  • The posts don’t have great visuals.
  • The posts aren’t structured well.
  • The content isn’t very interesting.
  • The audience isn’t clearly defined.

These are just a handful of reasons – most blogs suffer from many of these.

It is easy to say “we invested in a blog, wrote on it for months, but blogging just doesn’t work for us”.

No. Mediocre blogging doesn’t work for you.

The bar is higher in social media than ever before. If you don’t write great stuff, people won’t pay attention.

Do it well or don’t waste your time.

In almost every industry there are companies using every social media tool and getting great results. If you aren’t one of them you are probably doing it wrong.

It isn’t that social media doesn’t work. You aren’t doing it right.

Spend the time and effort to build a solid strategy and learn best practices.

Mediocre won’t get results and won’t cut it. You can’t afford to not be great any more.

The Secret to AMAZING Marketing Results

The Secret Amazing Results

If you do the same things the same way as your  competitors, you’ll get the same results as them.

You don’t get ahead by doing the same thing, the same way as everyone else.

How do you get ahead?

How do you get amazing results?

Do things….

  • Better
  • Faster
  • Smarter
  • Bigger
  • Smaller
  • Cheaper
  • Cleverer
  • Interestinger
  • Surprisinger

…than your competition.

If you want to get ahead, out-think, out-smart, out-execute….

For many businesses status quo is good enough. That won’t get you ahead.

Professional Speaking: Delivery Trumps Content

Professional Speaking: Content Trumps

 

I’ve been a professional speaker for many years now, and I’ve also seen thousands of speakers – both amazing ones and not so amazing ones. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing speaker feedback – both my own and that of other speakers, and there are a few surprising things I’ve learned along the way.

First, I’m not saying content DOESN’T MATTER, but it doesn’t matter MOST. Too many speakers spend all of their time on content and no time on delivery. There is a huge disconnect between what makes a great speaker and where speakers spend their time.

1) Delivery Matters Most

The speakers who seem to get the best reviews are the best entertainers. I’ve seen speakers who are highly entertaining get rave reviews, even though they didn’t really have a lot of helpful or actionable content. At the same time, some of the smartest people I know don’t get rated well as speakers because they don’t have great delivery.

If you are a speaker (or want to be one) focus on your delivery. Build in energy and entertainment if you want to get rave reviews.

2) Audience Participation

I sometimes struggle with getting the audience involved… it can be hard because as a speaker we want to focus on our message. Getting the audience to engage and participate gets them much more engaged with the presentation than just talking.

Plan your presentation to get your audience involved – whether it is in big ways or small ways – and you’ll notice an improvement in your feedback scores.

3) It Isn’t About You

There are some speakers who are funny and have decent content, but they make their presentation too much about themselves, and not enough about the audience. Inside jokes or references to how smart you are don’t win people over. Instead, be relatable and try some deprecating humor. Build bridges based on commonality and your audience will relate to you better.

Always focus on them.

Can Disconnecting Increase Stress?

Disconnecting

I’ve read a lot about “disconnecting” and with summer in full swing, many people are taking breaks where they have little to no digital connectivity.

I recently had one of these – 5 days with no cell phone reception or wifi (confession: I cheated once and went into town for wifi).

Some of you may think “great – time to relax and recharge”.

I say absolutely not.

Not being connected was stressful and actually limited my ability to relax.

It was stressful knowing that IF something came up that there was no way for anyone to get in touch with me (and our sites went down for almost 24 hours while I was out of touch which could have been quickly fixed if I had been available).

Being in touch actually helps me to relax. Checking in for 30 minutes a day to handle any urgent or high-value emails helps me to relax, knowing that everything is running smoothly in my absence and I can quickly help with anything needed. Plus I actually like my job and knowing what is going on – work isn’t this big negative thing that I have to deal with.

I don’t need to enter a no-connectivity zone to disconnect, relax and ignore work either. On weekends I often go most of the weekend barely checking my phone. I’m not fully out of touch, but I’m not connected to the point of distraction.

My final verdict: Figure out how to relax and recharge during your life without fully disconnecting. Maybe some people find value in fully disconnecting electronically – for me, it added stress instead of reducing it.

 

I Hate you With the Fire of a Thousand Suns….

I hate you with the fire of a thousand suns

I was listening to NPR today (on a 10 hour car ride from Toronto to Cincinnati) and the guy on the radio was talking about a terrible experience he had with United Airlines. The experience made me laugh – as a frequent traveler, I’ve had far worse experience and remained much more calm many times.

As I was listening to his anger I realized something – it wasn’t so much that they screwed up (airlines screw up all the time), it was that they didn’t care.

Most big businesses – airlines, cable providers cell phone providers – bring out the worst in people – we hate them with the fire of a thousand suns.

I was on a Delta flight that was 4 hours late – when they announced the delay they offered free beverages and snacks and you could almost feel the frustration level decline. For less than $1 a passenger they made their customers happy.

By contrast, I had issues with American Airlines (where I have status) and have had my anger level escalate dramatically – not because of the actually issue but because of the rude and uncaring attitude of the employees.

When people get really mad at a company (mad enough to leave a bad review for example, it isn’t just because the bad experience. It is because they simply don’t seem to care.

As a company, apathy can be your worst nightmare.

Social Media Excellence is Like Weight Loss – THERE IS A MAGIC PILL!!!!

Excellence 07092015

No.

It doesn’t work that way.

With weight loss or social media.

There are so many supplements and products promising that you can lose weight while eating whatever you want and never exercising.

It reminds me of some social media “gurus” promising amazing results from social media with just a few secret tips. As though changing one or two things will take you from 0 to amazing in only a few days.

The reality, however, is that if you want to lose weight (and keep it off) you’ll have to actually work for it. You’ll have to watch what you eat and exercise.

Supplements and “magic pills” may help a little – but the big factor (and it isn’t a secret) is to watch what you eat and exercise. It isn’t a secret. It is a strategy that produces results over time.

The same is true of social media. If you’re looking for that magic pill that will suddenly get you amazing results, you are focusing on the wrong thing.

Like weight loss it takes work and effort over time to produce sustained results. Sure there are little tricks that can give you a boost, but in the long run, it takes a good strategy and consistent application of best practices to get real results.

Next time you see the magical secrets to getting thousands of followers or massive social media success remember that success is hard-earned. If it was that easy, everyone would be rich from all of their amazing social media marketing success.

Social Media is Easy When You Love What You Do (Seriously)

Love 07022015

I work with hundreds of businesses on their social media each year, and one of the most common questions is “How do I make time for all of this?????” Updating status multiple times a day on Facebook and Twitter, writing a blog and keeping up with LinkedIn sounds like a TON of work.

Here is the thing.

If I got up every day and said to myself “man… I need to come up with some things to post on Twitter” I would spend some time racking my brain, then I’d have to visit news sites, find some things to share and it would probably take me an hour or so to get my Twitter updates done.

I actually love what I do. I’m always thinking about it and I actually read industry news first thing (while I’m still in bed) most mornings. Since I’m already reading the news (because I love what I do) it only takes me an extra 30 seconds to post on Twitter.

When I go to an event (even a concert) I look at their marketing and use of social media and branding. This sometimes gives me even more inspiration for blog posts and social media. Because I love what I do and I’m always thinking about it, social media only takes a few minutes here and there to share my thoughts.

That is my point. If you are already deeply engaged in your business, social media should be easy. All you should have to do is incorporate it into your work processes.

If, on the other hand you aren’t already involved in your industry or company, you’ll find that you have to spend a lot of time researching and coming up with updates.

If you love what you do, and you are always thinking, social media is very easy.