JUNE’S BEST – LinkedIn, Trust, and Making The Most of Your Content

July - Celebrate!

July – Celebrate!

July is upon us, and we here in the States are getting ready for our annual tribute to patriotism, fireworks and barbecues!
June was a bumper crop month for quality content across the digital marketing industry, and I’m only too happy to share the top articles I’ve read:

LinkedIn Ninja Tricks!

LinkedIn Ninja Tricks!

 

 
Facebook seems to get the attention from online sources (granted, cracking the 2 billion users mark is noteworthy…), but many of the businesses I speak with are still kind of scratching their head when it comes to LinkedIn. This top list of tips and tricks from Melonie Dodaro will get you to that next level of skill in using this great professional channel.

Sincerity

Sincerity

 

 
Sincerity and Trust have been the key components for strong customer and business relationships since forever. Building them online isn’t impossible, but it is different. This article introduces some areas of consideration about communication and how you do this. The line between communication and action is pretty clear.

Credibility

Credibility

 

 
Beyond getting found, your website needs to build and maintain your professional credibility. If you’re wondering how a website can do that, then you will find this article Laura Forer of MarketingProfs very, very valuable.

My Community

My Community

 

 
When I speak about online relationships, I refer to the mental model I call VACC (Visitors / Audience / Customers / Community). In this insightful article, Irfan Ahmad digs into how a business can approach this with Facebook Groups, an underutilized resource for most businesses. If you take this on, you’re ALREADY in the lead, since chances are your competition ISN’T doing it!

Social Media Posts

Social Media Posts

 
 
So, that post from last Tuesday blew the doors off in Shares and Comments! WOO-HOO!!!!! Now, how can you leverage what was obviously a Great Piece of Content again and take advantage of it’s quality and virality? Here are 5 ways to look at….

 

Reuse That Content!

Reuse That Content!

As a follow-on to the previous article, how do you take that premier article you’ve written and reuse (or “slice & dice”…) it in such a way that you can make the most of it. Here are nine ways you could repurpose it and reach oven more of an interested audience. Remember, everyone has a preferred way of communicating, and by doing this you are making practical use of that fact!

Business Critical: Listen-To-Understand

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Listening-to-understand

Listening-to-understand

I wrote an earlier article called Listening is Visual that was about a trip during my last corporate job to Florida to meet with some technical community leaders there. I had planned to do “the usual”: I had created a PowerPoint presentation that represented the bullet points I would talk to and would help guide the discussion.  However, there was no projector and no real place to project, anyway. So much for the presentation and what seemed like control of the meeting.

What originally looked like a standard meeting became much more valuable! The real listening, the responses, the dialogue that took place was really wonderful and very valuable. I came away with a great understanding of their passions and concerns.

Since that time I have made listen-to-understand my goal in every meeting.

…I cannot emphasize this enough…

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Can We Save This Conversation?

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conversation

Have the Conversation

The events of this past week and my ongoing focus and interest in conversation and communication converged in a big way. Can’t ignore this one….not that I’d want to. The challenge and opportunity are too big.

The direction that America takes impacts us all as citizens and as business people. No one enjoys uncertainty, but it seems that uncertainty can provide an opening for conversation. Without going into details and the innumerable permutations that this provides, it is safe to say that, despite anyone’s expectations, things will likely turn out differently than any of us suppose at this time. Establishing and building upon conversations, we can begin to mend the trust so horribly lost over the past months and years.

The day after the US election I got to experience an election of a different sort. I am honored to report that I and 5 more of my colleagues have been elected to the Board of Directors of our local Chamber of Commerce. In this context, the first question that came to mind was “What does the national election mean for the business climate in our area?” One of the terrific things I’ve noted about the area in which I live is the ongoing, strong focus on the community. I’ve seen what I’ve come to call the Venn Diagram of Local Involvement. How this manifests itself is that I see many of the same people involved in numerous business, community and non-profit organizations. Not ALL the same people in every one, but of the community that I come in contact with, I see many of them participating and leading. These folks really CARE about each other, and, not only is that good for the community, but it’s good for business too.

TOP POSTS for October – Crammed with Proven Treats!

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With October comes the oncoming onslaught of the Holidays! This brings into focus how to get the most out of your social media and digital marketing so your business can go seriously into the BLACK for the season. The top articles for the month cover everything from SEO to Facebook Referrals and, in the season of BUYING AND SELLING, whether caring really matters.
Optimize Video

Optimize Video

Unless you haven’t been online in the past, oh, ten years or so, you are aware of just how popular to users and critical to businesses video is now. There is much more to leveraging video for you business than a quick snippet taken from your phone or a flash report on Facebook Live. Since video is so pervasive, you need to optimize your content….and one size does NOT fit every channel!

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How Do You Focus To Listen?

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Listen-To-Understand

Listen-To-Understand

There is a budding resurgence taking place concerning the importance of Conversation in life and business. Not that a lot of the words aren’t just hanging out there, dissipating in the wind. A lot of businesses grab the “shiny thing” when it comes to the latest discussions and thinking around whatever can keep us growing, or at least “safe.” I still experience an enormous amount of Telling and Broadcasting instead of Conversation and Engagement, both online and off-line. Even conversation has numerous forks in the concept, the largest two seem to be “listening-to-reply” and “listening-to-understand.”
A few years ago I wrote an article about the abundance of LIKING-type behavior online in comparison to the actual conversation taking place. Businesses were still trying to figure out this new paradigm where the customers actually controlled the brand perceptions, and NOT the BRAND controlling them. Along with the immature capabilities for measuring real engagement and the misunderstanding surrounding the actual meaning and value of a LIKE or a FOLLOW or a “+1” meant that the definitions of success were too fuzzy, and likely incorrect.
Things are different now.

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FOCUS: Does It Really Matter If You Care?

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Caring

Caring

Caring is “we” not “I.”

In life and business, caring is the assessment that you have the other persons’ interests in mind as well as your own when you make decisions and take actions. Of the four aspects of trust I’ve written about, this is in many ways the most important. Others may believe you to be sincere, reliable, and competent, but if they believe you’re “only in it for yourself”, they will limit their trust of you to specific situations or transactions.  They will not fully TRUST you….

A state of limited trust can infect the other areas of trust. If others feel you don’t care, they begin to doubt your reliability, sincerity and competence. At the very best, they put conditions on trusting you. This will not deepen or strengthen your relationships with anyone.

It leads to this kind of thinking:
  • I may be able to believe what she says
  • She may do what she commits to
  • She may be competent
But…
  • I’m not going to trust her to do anything beyond the exact thing we’re working on right now.
  • I won’t let her get close to me or know what I’m thinking.
  • I’m not sharing ANYTHING about what I care about with her.

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FOCUS: Is Your Competence “Fake It ’til You Make It”!?

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competence

Competence

What kind of reality do you live in?

This is more than a philosophical or existential question, reaching past any famous figures “Reality Distortion Field” or the stories we tell ourselves, good or bad. As regards our true competence, the role we fill in our business lives, it is more about the difference between APPEARING competent and our ACTUAL competence. Wanting to display ourselves as knowledgeable, “Fake it ’til you Make it!” can get you into big trouble.

Feltman defines competence as, “the assessment that you have the ability to do what you are doing or propose to do. In the workplace this usually means the other person believe you have the requisite capacity, skill, knowledge, resources and time to do a particular task or job.”

Sometimes we have to battle the “brightness effect.” This causes others to believe that since you are associated with competence in one area, you are also competent in another area. I experienced this a lot when I worked for Microsoft. Many I know (a LOT of family members…..) assumed that, since I worked at Microsoft, I could fix whatever was wrong with their computers. Granted, I lived in a PC-centric world for many years, but that didn’t turn me into a computer engineer any more than standing in your garage turns you into a car! An example of this in business is a high-performance individual who is promoted into a management position. As many of you know, managing others is likely a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SKILL from whatever the individual specialized in. The best you can do is be clear about what you know you can do, and what you have yet to learn. Then work with your management to get the resources to better your chances of success in your new role. Try very hard not to let them get away with “just figure it out.” Your success and the success of your team hinge on your becoming better.

 

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