September brought more content about social media and website success, and how to keep up the continuous improvement process that is your business and your own professional growth!
Every single one of these mistakes is avoidable AND crucial to a vital social media presence for your business. Knowing WHAT NOT TO DO is just as important as knowing WHAT TO DO!
I was asked recently to be interviewed on a podcast (of and for entrepreneurs and business owners…) of which I have been aware and have listened to a few times. Most of my familiarity with the content and tone of it, however, derived from my relationship with one of the co-hosts, Dan Weedin. Dan is a colleague, friend and fellow Rotarian, so familiarity bred a bit of lowered attention on my part, I admit.
Dan called recently and asked me if I would like to be interviewed for the Seattle Shrimp Tank podcast. It sounded like a load of fun, so I agreed.
Some of the things we talked about include:
Where did social media start, what’s going on with it today, and where is it going? (the short version!)
What is the importance of thinking about business goals, plans and strategies when considering digital marketing and hiring an expert to help?
How important is it to learn how to express yourself well online? What is the balance of listening, asking powerful questions, and understanding in developing an authentic and powerful online presence?
What else is there other than the “usual suspects” of social media (like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, Pinterest and the like)? Is there more there?
What’s the right frequency to post online?
…and so much more. Check out the whole podcast here, and the shorter video follow-up here. We covered a lot of great questions and concerns.
If this interview brought up other questions for you about your business and professional presence online, please reach out to me and also look for some other information that’s relevant to you on my site here.
Before you can truly get to clear communication, you need to have clear thinking.
Neither of these “just happens” because you want it to. Generally, neither of these comes complete “right out of the box”. Our society and education system do not directly reward clear thought or effective communication. An excellent education teaches you how to think, not necessarily what to think, or what bits to repeat back when asked on a test. Learning to communicate clearly can’t take place outside an environment where you can, or need, to communicate. Being around others and learning the basics is a start, but the real learning takes place when you have to express an idea or story to someone who doesn’t have the same background or beliefs you do. This makes you shelve your assumptions. Then you have to make sure that the words and phrases you use are understood the way you use them.
This is very, very hard to do.
In your life, how many times have you heard that phrase, either from someone else or your internal voice? Shutting out distractions like noise, devices or the torrent of thoughts and imagination that the Buddhist tradition has termed the “monkey mind” seems nearly impossible. We slap ourselves internally in some fashion, and try to refocus on the speaker. This can be just as jarring as the distractions themselves!
Mindful Listening is really not about attention. It’s about intention. Let me explain how I understand and experience the difference.
As an intelligent business owner and entrepreneur in the 21st century, you are already very aware of the importance of listening to your customers, prospects and audience (your Visitors / Audience / Customers / Community (VACC): you can read more about what this looks like here …..). “Listen” is, however, a word that is subject to as many interpretations as there are ears…
Going a bit deeper, what kinds of listening are there that you can leverage?
Definitions of types of listening are as varied as there are authors of articles, books and consultancies whose purpose is to guide you to a solution that works for you and your business….a solution that results in the kind of success you’re looking for: that loyalty-balance of relationship quality and profitability, with credibility overall. It’s kind of like a combination of “the right tool(s) for the right job” and a high-wire balancing act.
Since every conversation only has 100% of the time allotted for it, whether it’s 20 minutes or 2 hours or more, more listening requires less talking.
So what does more listening actually do for this relationship you’re trying to build?
It is the key to building trust.
The articles, books and webinars / workshops focusing on communication (a term that is becoming more and more vague, actually…) are multiplying as rapidly as cat videos online, frankly.
Who to pay attention to? How many are publishing because it’s a way to get clicks, a way to push a new book or membership offer, and how many are really spending time standing upon the shoulders of the giants who have come before (or who are working now…) and seeking ways to execute on the most effective thoughts and frameworks to bring dialogue into our lives and businesses that will change things? Few have the time or patience to figure this out.
I must confess to being caught up in this myself. This goes way back for me, to my early days as a musician and composer. I have always been fascinated by how music can touch that part of a human being in a conversation that goes to a deeper place. We are simultaneously very complex and very simple. Truth, trust-building, the components, if you will, that comprise a close and meaningful relationship with someone are common across us all. While music is as individually interpreted as any other form of communication, the use of words can be more of a challenge due to internally established meanings and contexts for each person.
The complexity comes with what Anthony de Mello calls “our programming”. We are each utterly unique in our make-up and our experiences. As a result, how I react or “hear” something from you is quite likely to be different than how someone else does. Hence my focus on dialogue in all walks of life.
The best way to find out what your customers are looking for from you is ASK THEM, Right?! Well, that’s the message this week.
I’ve written frequently about the importance of really listening to your customers and acting on what you hear. Now you have your chance to participate, and I have a chance to “Walk The Talk”: I am announcing the first ever survey for my blog. The objective is to provide you with more of the kind of information and conversation you actually find valuable to you and your business.
As I look at the articles for this year that have been the most read, the Top Five are: