Business Growth

Last week I took off for a few days on a business retreat. You see, 2016 while earmarked as my growth year really wasn’t (and for good reason). So 2017 is my year for business growth and I had wanted to go on a business retreat for a while. I know it seems odd a business coach heading off for business coaching but this was more about giving myself clear space to work on my business.

So what do I mean by working on my business?

I suppose it will be easier to tell you what dedicating time to business growth is not:

  • Paying bills
  • Doing marketing, Facebook, answering emails
  • Coffee chats with friends (sorry, it’s just not)
  • Planning your coming week/month/year

These things are the nuts and bolts (well coffee dates are for me) of getting the daily grind done. Growing your business is at a ‘higher’ and more objective level.

What does working on your business look like?

Growing your business is that blue ocean, pie in the sky, if only thing where you look to where you want to be and you nut out what you need and how you’re going to get there. When I was driving a corporate desk we called it Strategic Planning and it used to elicit groans of dread and snores of boredom from around the room.

Why do people shy from business growth?

As growing businesses is what I do, it’s not something I shy from. In fact, I was the one who enjoyed the strategic planning, lining up goals through the levels of the Agency right the way down to what my staff were required to do. I loved writing papers on how to make the business unit more efficient, in fact I once wrote a paper on how they didn’t need my position and five years on the position is still vacant.

I admit, it takes a certain mindshift and mindset to move from the everyday nuts and bolts of getting the job done to the level of ‘where do I want this thing to head’.  The other issue is that it can be draining to constantly think at that level over extended periods of time.

Our brains are hardwired to find solutions, so when you spend extended periods of time looking at the broader aims, direction, & objectives; our mind is tempted to keep coming back to trying to work out the ‘how’.

What gets in our way of business growth?

We do. That’s the reason why I had to go away for a few days. I will always put my clients’ needs first and so I had to make it clear that I was out of action for a few days so I could dedicate time to my business.

Did it work? Yes & no.  I still took calls and checked emails, but in the main I achieved what I set out to.

Outside of our innate ability to think strategically, sorry some people just have it and others have to get support or work at it, the main issue I find its time. We just don’t make business growth a priority. How ironic! We want to grow our businesses but we just don’t make the act of sitting down to nut it out a priority.

How to grow your business

I give you permission to carve out time from your week to dedicate to business growth.

You read it right, sometimes we just need someone else to tell us it’s ok to do it. But here is a tip on it.

Get out of your usual working space to do it and leave social media and other distractions behind.

You can’t do something different by doing what you always do. Let’s face it, it might even be sitting in a different chair, going to a café, you don’t have to up and go halfway across the country like I did. Disrupt your normal working pattern and JFDI.

I admit that it was difficult, but I also left my phone in a different spot. My phone was not within arm’s reach of me while I was away. Why? I am easily distracted and if I am disengaged I will pick up my phone.

Get a buddy to strategise with. While I am available to mentor you through the process, I understand that that is not always feasible. However, see if you can pair up with a business buddy to work on your businesses together. It’s amazing how different someone else’s perspective can be. Sometimes you need someone else to show you the forest for the trees.

Remember that this is not a once off. Nor is it a set and forget. Like any good food, there is a recipe and procedure to get from the raw ingredients to the decadent meal. You will have to work at it. I for one have decided that I will set aside a day per week for working on my business and getting it t where I want it to be. You may or may not like that, all I can say is make an appointment in your diary & stick to it, but try to make it once a month.

So if you have no idea of where to start then I have a few tools on how to get you there:

Dreaming your ideal business

Tips on making time to grow your business

Putting ideas into action

A safe place to ask questions

Make a time to have me help you out

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Gary Vaynerchuk’s guide to attention

The other week I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s 2016 Sales Machine Keynote. In this presentation he spoke of his lemonade stand days. He had a collection of them and he had his friends staff them. He would then ride between them and as he did he would observe the traffic. He would watch where they were coming from and where they were headed. He would watch the cars and look around the intersections. What was he looking for? The perfect spot to place his advertising to grab their attention. He knew that too soon or too late and he had lost them, but pitching at the right time, place, and style had them.

In this age of digital bombardment it’s hard to get attention. Well that’s what it feels like. All this chatter we need to compete with. All those tweets, posts, and grams flying through the feed. Messenger messages and chat bots chirping away. Ads, sponsored posts, offers, optins, pixels, adwords, tracking codes. All of these are ways we try to gain our client’s attention. Do they work?

Well there’s an art to getting their attention.

Gary mentioned that part of the issue in gaining their attention came down to location and another to copy, he didn’t mention motivators or influencers.

Location and attention

I’m a firm believer in that you can not convert unless you are in the right place at the right time with the right thing. So how do you know you’re in the right place?

There are two ways you can do it. You can go to where your fans hang out or you can pull them towards you. Going where your fans hang out may narrow the field but it can stack the deck in your favour. Pulling them to you, cold, from across the internet is a tough gig.

I’m a fan of gathering, and keeping your fans, where they like to hang out. Why? They’re comfortable and you’re less likely to lose them there.  Though you do have competing distractions, they’re comfortable & generally happy. Done well, you won’t even seem like an interference.

In this example, Gary watched where the drivers looked and placed his posters on the trees they looked at the most. Perhaps it was mechanics, perhaps it was something else distracting them, but it was where they were drawn.

If we use Facebook as an example, there is a lot competing for our attention. This is precisely where Gary said the copy on his poster came into play.

How copy grabs attention

Now I am not going to go into some long winded discussion on the perfect copy and copy formula. I can write copy, but I don’t teach it. It’s just not my passion. What I do know is this… too many small businesses and sole traders write copy with the wrong intention. They think that they have the answer. Wrong! Your client has the problem.  I understand that that might seem backwards so let me explain.

Want to get someone’s attention and diffuse an argument, repeat their issue back to them so that they realise that you heard them and you get them. I don’t just know this from some text book, this comes from speaking to injured Veterans, their spouses, and their lawyers for five years. They didn’t want my pity or placation, they wanted to be heard. Your client is no different. They have a problem they want fixed and they want you to hear that.

The easiest way to grab someone’s attention, and even buy in is to repeat their words back to them. So you don’t necessarily have that luxury, but with a little research you can.

To grab attention in copy you need to:
- tell them their problem (and actually do)
- use their language
- speak to their values.

Too often businesses are stuck in the old push, ‘buy my shit’, mentality and they forget that the audience is flooded with messages and signals to buy someone’s ‘shit’. What they don’t get is someone who genuinely gets where they’re coming from and where they want to be.

So the attention getter for them it’s their motivators/influencers

So Gary didn’t get into the copy but he spends a ridiculous amount of time talking and listening to people and working out what their motivators are. When he speaks to people, he pins their motivator and problem and spits it back at them and they buy it.

So how do you understand their motivators and influencers? They tell you. They tell you in their feedback, in their reviews, their friend s tell you. If you don’t have this then you ask and research, you go to other sources and competitors and see what is being said. In one way or another, you listen. You listen to the emotions they use, the feelings they have, the problems you solve. You pay attention and then you grab theirs.

Connection as the service edge

So I’ve recently returned to the gym and I’ve started back listening to podcasts. I have recently been listening to Gary Vaynerchuk on SoundCloud. He had an incredible example of showing that you truly care, understanding your client, going that extra mile, and the power of word of mouth. The thing these all have in common is connection. I don’t know about you but I’m seeing a lot of people feeling incredibly disconnected regardless of how digitally interconnected our world has become.

Listen to the story

Here’s the thing, I highly doubt that Wine Library does that for every $117 order. I’m also fairly confident that for a while there they were questioning the practice altogether.  And then it paid off!

So what can we learn from this example?

Connections take time

I have to admit, a 3-6 month turn around on such an action and connection is quite short. Most businesses I know have a 12-24 month turnaround time. That means that it will take 12-24 months before making a connection will pay off.

I have mentioned in the past that it takes 7-12 touches to convert someone to buy from you. As you can imagine, those touches can be quite some time apart.

Connections need trust to convert

I’ve previously spoken about how we need to like, know & trust a person before we commit to connecting and purchasing. In this example, Gary Vaynerchuk was able to bypass a lot of this by leveraging the connection between the two clients.

‘But I can’t predict that Kara!’

No you can’t predict who is going to talk to whom and lead to a big sale, in part that’s why you treat all connections as if they will, but there’s a short cut. Testimonials!

A testimonial is a way that you can short cut a connection. You can do that because of the network of friends the giver has and relying on them seeing their testimonial, the other is the psychology of testimonials.

There is a body of psychology which sits behind testimonials, driving us to imply a connection and trust in the giver and thereby the service they are giving the testimony of.

The connection has to be genuine and meaningful

As Gary Vaynerchuk mentions, while a fruit basket or note is nice, it does not replace a researched and concerted smaller effort directly relevant to the receiver. What these more concerted efforts do is show true interest and concern for the receiver, not merely ticking some box because it is expected.

One way you can quickly develop a genuine connection is by livestreaming. I know I go on about it and that it can be intimidating for some, however it is the fastest way to build a genuine connection. Not only do people see you live, hear you , and watch your reactions, they can interact with you. Now that is a powerful tool.

Here’s a hint, I understand that livestreaming is intimidating, which is why I encourage members of my group to go live in the group to practice.

Value external connections

The more I stop and think, the more I feel that we have been lead to believe that word of mouth is a dirty way to grow a business and that leads are the best way. I have to be honest, I struggle to think of a business who would be better off turning their back on word of mouth in preference for new leads, unless of course, they are that bad that they lose their customers more often than they retain them!

A word of mouth client may have taken longer to come about, but it might not have, the thing is that you didn’t have to do any direct work with that client to win them over. Now consider a cold lead and the relationship building you have to do to move them into a place to buy. That can take a while.

A client gained through word of mouth can, in fact, strengthen two bonds and done well you will find you can have an exponential growth through networks rather than a linear growth through a list.

In the end

In this digital age, we have forgotten this. We have forgotten that there is a person on the other side of the screen. (That’s how we get keyboard warriors & trolls) We have forgotten that that person booking our service or buying our product online is actually a person. Hey, sometimes they even forget that we are real. We have lost that personal connection.

In the end we all have this need to feel connected to others, we all want to feel valued, we all like to feel special.

About Scarcity Marketing

Let’s get down to it. Scarcity marketing. Have you seen it? Have you succumbed to scarcity marketing? Have you used scarcity marketing in your business? Can I honestly say its never sat well with me, I’ve tried it, it’s failed and I thought it was me. I’m not so self-centred to believe that’s not the case, but I’ve been thinking about scarcity tactics a bit and a video interview between Marie Forleo & Seth Godin helped me see why it doesn’t work.

So what is scarcity marketing?

Scarcity marketing is saying things like: ‘must end 9pm tonight’, ‘must close 5pm Sunday’, ‘valid for the first x people’. It’s imposing limits around the availability of a ‘thing’. Availability is generally restricted by volume or by time available. The idea being that it elicits as sense of urgency, and don’t get me wrong a good scarcity campaign gets my heart pumping, and that is meant to drive you to take action NOW!

The last time I fell to scarcity marketing was trying to get Ed Sheeran tickets. I subscribed to the pre-sale, I tried to no avail, to get early tickets. Nada. I had FOMO, I wanted those tickets and I wanted them BAD! So when they went on sale the following week, I logged in early and I waited, and waited, and waited. Two and a half hours later I was still waiting, but you know what, I got those tickets. I was elated. But I promise, every time the ticker reset my heart skipped a beat.

The aim of scarcity marketing is to kick off that FOMO feeling. They want you to fear missing out and being left behind. Would it have actually been the end of days if I didn’t get the Ed Sheeran tickets? No, I could go and listen to him at the venue (standing outside of course) for free. I can listen to his songs I already own. But they wanted me to fear seeing him live. Um, the idea of ‘seeing’ him is actually really to hear him sing. Anyway, I digress. When you are in this FOMO fight or flight mode your body is pumping adrenaline, cortisol & norepinephrine. Now most people know that adrenaline is the one that gets your blood pumping, cortisol is the stress hormone, norepinephrine is there to keep you focused & on the ball. Wow! That’s some hormonal cocktail! You’re switched on, pumping, raring to go and you’re thinking that this thing just ‘has to happen’.

So what’s the reality?

So in the case of the tickets, I was right, there were only a certain amount of tickets, but me being inside or outside has no impact on my ability to listen to the songs. Ironically, in some locations the scarcity marketing was lost when they announced additional shows!

So what’s the point?

There rarely, if at all, is true scarcity. We are no longer trying to hunt that one lone woolly mammoth traipsing across the grassland. In fact, the internet removes scarcity. Like I said, I already have the songs. If you want tickets to an event, access to a product, see a person, the internet has untold number of options to you past the one presented to you right at that point in time. When we do come across a true woolly mammoth situation where scarcity is actually a matter of life and death, then our adrenaline, cortisol, & norepinephrine were warranted. But it’s not.

We’re being played. Manipulated. Our innate instincts are being used against us.

So what’s the answer?

Look, just because I’m not a fan doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing for you. I just want you to realise why it might not work. You are not Robinson Crusoe in your business journey, there’s a high probability your product or service is available elsewhere. Let’s face it, there’s more than one cola company around and they are able to survive and thrive. Your customers are learning, if they don’t already know, that you are not the only one and this is why they ‘shop around’. So I’m just making you aware that it might not work as you expected & this is why. I want you to consider how your audience is reacting on a cellular level to your marketing. As a consumer, I want you to understand why you react the way you do. Finally, I want to let you know that I will not use scarcity marketing unless there’s a mammoth around.

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Customers Are Always Watching You And Your Values

This week I want to chat about taking values offline and into reality. As always, I need you to think about your personal, business, & client values. Let me start with a story to help set the scene and hopefully make it a little clearer.

A couple of times a week, I drive through a school crossing. There’s no ‘guard’ on the crossing, just flashing lights before & after school. When the lights are flashing, you have to drop your speed. (Pretty normal here where I live) Unfortunately, this story is also pretty normal. I’d just dropped my kids at school, I approach the crossing, drop my speed only to have an electrician continue through the crossing at normal speed. Ok, so there was no one on the crossing, there rarely is, but that’s not the point. You see, as a Mum, I value the safety of children. It’s one of my personal values. And it doesn’t have to be just mine, it’s enough for me to think ‘what if it was my child crossing’. So, I made a mental note never to use that electrician and continued on my way.

Watch my Facebook Live about this:

Hang on, what? Yup, I will never use them because they don’t match my values. If they can’t value lives enough to slow down for 100 metres or so, then I’m not interested in giving them my money. And that business will never know that.

So it got me thinking, how often do we consider and apply our values and our clients’ values offline?

When I was working in the Australian Government these things were drummed into us. We were not allowed to take gifts, we were not allowed to drink alcohol when representing the government, etc etc. These were some of the things put in place so that we were demonstrating the agency’s values to the public. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard and draining always being ‘on’. The thing is, it worked. It wasn’t just face to face either, it also extended to any correspondence we had. In fact, one of my former bosses used to say, ‘Don’t say anything you don’t want on the front page of the local paper’. It was true. And yes, I had journalists ring snooping for information.

So what’s my point? When you’re out representing your business, you’re on. There’s no down time. And the thing is, you also have to be mindful of who’s watching. Did you read my article on the number of ‘touches’ or interactions we need to have to convert someone over into a paying client. It’s whenever they see or hear your business name, & that could be anywhere. So you want to make sure that it’s a good thought they associate with your business.

The thing about these touches is that it takes one to turn a potential client off and 7-12 to convert them over. The other issue is that the thing determining if the touch is for or against you is if your behaviour aligns with their values. If it goes against your values then you’re working uphill to recover them, that’s if you ever find out!

So, please be mindful of what you do and ensure that when you recruit, that you recruit people whose values align with those of the company and the company’s values can show clear links with your ideal client. In the end, you don’t always know where your next client is coming from and you don’t want to put them off before you even have a chance to show them how wonderful you are.

Pushing the Facebook Group

There is a push in Facebook Land towards Facebook Groups. It reminds me of when Pages first came out and then there were all of these developments Page Owners could leverage. Now they’re increasing the offerings to Facebook  Group owners and I want to not just explain them, I want you tell you how you can leverage them.

Here’s the thing… before you go throwing your page out with the bath water, you need to realise that a Facebook Group needs as much work. A disengaged group is as much of a wasteland as a postless page. It also has the same baring on your business. Facebook Groups are not the Holy Grail.

Getting people into your Facebook Group

Let’s face it, we would all like more people in our group. So let’s talk about it first.

Facebook have recently integrated a 3 question screening to Groups. This means that you can make people requesting to join your group are required to answer up to 3 questions. As the Facebook Group Admin, you set the questions and your only constraint is a 200 character limit for each question.

Entry questionnaires are nothing new, admins have been sending them out or redirecting applicants for years, however this is integrated into the Facebook Group. This reduces the time taken by Admin and saves messages being lost in that pesky “Others” folder.

The questions you ask are entirely up to you, but consider them as not just ways to screen but also ways to gather information about the content you provide and how your group is being promoted.

You can find the questionnaire under the ‘Group Settings’ for your Facebook Group.

 

The following options are being tested and rolled out. This means that they may not be available to you or they may be withdrawn. Regardless, they are worthy of mention as it demonstrates the increased push to Groups.

Ads shown in Facebook Groups

I have only ever seen one Ad displayed in a Facebook Marketplace (buy/sell/swap) Group. I understand that in the US, some advertisers have access to advertise into groups but it is not a global option.

The ad I saw was run off of a Pixel, meaning that I saw the ad because I had visited a website. This is handy for applicable pages as you can then run ads in shopping groups built around reselling your product.

I am interested to find out if you can target your own group. This would mean that you could offer specials or promotions just to your group based. This is helpful for large or highly active groups where posts move quickly.

Linking Facebook Pages to Facebook Groups

I have seen this on one of my client’s pages. They do not have an associated Facebook Group and Facebook is telling them to create one. I, however, have a group but no option to link said group. (yet)

Why is this important? Well, many pages see Groups as a way to deepen interaction. Some businesses use them as an income stream. Other businesses have them as part of their sales process. There are many reasons to link a Facebook Group to your page. In the main, it’s a community place to expand relationships with customers.

There is a lot of psychology around groups, group think, and group behaviour. It differs from a page, where it is more one-to-one. When we know we are in a group, we tend to chat more as a collective. Think of it as the difference between an email or phone conversation and a chat at the bar.

I am looking forward to using this as I transition from email to where my clients enjoy hanging out – Facebook.

Trial Facebook Group in Mobile Toolbar

I am seriously loving this change and I hope it sticks. I’m using it as often as possible to ensure the beta testing data goes back to Facebook.

Last week I updated my app, I’m an Android Facebook Beta tester, and I found that there was a Group tab to the left of the Marketplace tab. Of course I explored away.

What it does is that it shows me any outstanding notifications for the groups I am in. This is great as I am a member of far too many groups, but I love them. So, at a glance I can see if there are unread posts; best of all I can see if there is anything needing attention in my own group or groups I admin.

Under that, I can post to a group – any group I am a member of, without actually going into that group and down some mysterious Facebook Group rabbit hole. (You know the one where you’re scrolling, liking, commenting and lose track of time. Or is that just me?)

Next down the screen is the notifications. It’s a chronological (yup it is, no algorithm here as yet) list of posts and comments on posts on all the groups I elect to receive notifications on. Perfect. A one stop shop to catch up on the Group happenings.

I love this update as it puts the groups in one spot, in one app, with the rest of my Facebook – just like on the desktop. I was never a fan of the Groups app. I found it clunky and as a result, I didn’t use it. Having a way to interact with my Facebook Groups where I hang out is smart business and a move for Facebook to listening to user behaviour.

So what does it all mean and where does it come from.

This is a quote taken from the 2017 update to his 2012 letter on his Facebook Profile.

It shows that they have realised the power within Facebook Groups to drive community, the original reason behind Facebook. So leveraging this space where people again derive community is a crucial business move for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

As a publicly listed company and one entering its second decade of operation, Facebook will look to new avenues of revenue – it seems that Groups is the new frontier.

So what do I recommend for businesses? Jump into Groups if you haven’t already. Get started before the rush and your competitors take the lion’s share of a new marketing space. Hone your skills, nurture your community, and grow your business.

Why Marketing where your Clients Hang Out Matters

Ok so further to my discussion on aligning to values is this one on meeting clients where they are. This is all about marketing and the psychology and human behaviour of the tool you use in your marketing.  You see, I asked in my business group about emails and they solidly said that they don’t read weekly emails. There isn’t enough time. They build up to the point where they delete them all and unsubscribe. Totally my fear as an owner of a list and my behaviour as the owner of multiple email addresses.

Let’s face it, I should be all over this as it’s about influencing human behaviour through marketing. You see, getting someone to do something they don’t enjoy is compliance and not a good place from which to make them take the next step of connecting/purchasing/booking (essentially moving up your sales chain). It’s a big jump from complying to committing. I know you can do it through smaller acts, even things offers such as free + shipping, but it’s still an act of commitment.

So why do we do it?

Like a lot of marketing tools, we’ve been told we should. It’s the best thing. It’s the latest thing. It’s made me $X and it will for you. What a load of crock. My Dad would say ‘if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?’ Well would you?

Our success is not predicated by the success of others. Their business, personality, & clients are different. You can’t expect the same result.

A lot of the time we do it because of FOMO. But what if they’re right? What if I don’t send that email and I miss out on a sale? What if I don’t do that post on my profile and I miss out? What if… Check your stats and look at how many sales you get via the different marketing methods you use, that’s a pretty good indicator of where you need to be. But it’s only a start.

Why does it matter?

You can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do. More so, you will struggle to get them to do anything after you’ve forced them to do something.

We have different styles of learning and communicating. And yes that means we have to ensure that we cater, in some way, to truly interact and leverage our relationships with our online marketing.

We have a preferred method. This includes a place too. Some of us like email, some like Twitter, some like Facebook, some like Instagram. It depends on our learning style and lifestyle.

Here’s an example:
- I like to learn through reading and watching and examples
- I spend my private social media time (ie non-working) on my phone
- I like Facebook and Pinterest for social media

Because I spend my time on my phone for my own pleasure, I don’t like reading email. It’s difficult to read on a phone, not impossible but difficult. If I see your email come in, I might read the subject line and if you’re lucky I will go back and read it on my laptop. Thing is, laptop time = work time and your email is competing for time I could be billing clients.

So for me, I will ingest crucial information best through Facebook or Pinterest. If you have a video which is less than 5, and preferably 2, minutes long then you’ve got me. My time is precious, billable, and in demand by my competing priorities. If I’m your ideal client, then you need to match it.

What’s the answer?

Look at your stats on where your fans hang out, where you get the best interaction, where they enjoy being with you. It’s no point being somewhere where they aren’t. It’s like having a billboard in a country town when the freeway bypasses the town altogether.

Ask them! If you’re noticing a downturn in a particular area then directly ask using a different platform. That means don’t ask the about Facebook on Facebook. Go to your best one and ask there.

Look at the stats with the results of the ask and consider the following:
- am I doing the best I can to meet them?
- is there an issue with the platform I can overcome?
- can I still use the platform in another way? (I’m moving to monthly)
- am I able and better off outsourcing it to someone who is good at this platform?

Test! Change! Test Again! Yes it’s time consuming but it’s rare to stumble over the magic formula straight up. Ask for feedback on how you’re going. This online marketing needs to be of use to the person you are trying to influence.

I think that’s the key, too often we use marketing to please ourselves rather than to please our audience. This is why we get caught up in online marketing ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’. It’s why when they fail we lose heart, self-doubt, and give up. Thing is, it’s not you it’s them and if you don’t keep them happy they’ll leave. You need to meet them where they live.

Aligning values

Values, you know that little gremlin who sits on your shoulder, gnawing away at your conscience and telling you that it’s not right. It could be that you value trust, truth, family, honesty. Any of these things. But when they get out of whack with your behaviours, watch out! And business values are no different.

When I am coaching or teaching businesses on improving their online relationships I start with values. They are at the core of our behaviours. It’s very hard for us to behave outside of them. But I have and I am stopping.

You see, I was always led to believe that I should send a weekly newsletter. It’s one of those things we should do, meant to do, to be a proper and serious online business. Thing is, one of my core values is ‘not to make anyone’s life harder than it has to be’. Of late, I have been going through and deleting and unsubscribing to emails. I know I’m not alone in this either. In fact, I am wondering about the efficacy of email lists for regular emails.

So back to values… If I do something that doesn’t sit well with my values I feel uneasy, psychologists call it dissonance, it chews away at my thoughts. A constant niggle. So what about your clients?

If you try to make them do something that doesn’t align with their values

If you have kids or work with kids, you will know what it’s like to try and get a toddler to do anything it doesn’t want to do. Think tidy toys, have a bath, eat vegetables. They dig their heels in and generally go kicking and screaming to the bitter end.

That’s what psychologist call compliance.

That’s not what you aim for with a client. You do not want to drag them kicking and screaming into a business relationship with you. It’s not going to be built on the right foundation, it’s not likely to be lasting, and they are definitely unlikely to recommend you.

If your values don’t align but you’re not asking the client to do anything

Well a few things can happen here.

They will just ignore you and what you are saying and go on their merry way. Case closed, conversation ended, crickets. Hmm crickets, sound like the response you get to your social media posts?

You will get questions and this can go either way. In this scenario, a client is trying to learn more about your values and the more questions they ask, the more they want to see if you are aligned. So you can either convince them of your stand point and have them change their values (not likely and takes time), you will get compliance (as described above), or they will walk away (potentially with a bad feeling or ‘taste in their mouth’). I don’t know about you but to me that sounds like a lose/lose/lose rather than a win/win/win scenario.

When your values align with your clients

Ok, so the angels don’t descend and start singing, but something magical does happen. You see, and I talk about it in the video, I used this precise tool to motivate staff to move mountains. They were disenchanted and we had a 2 year backlog when I started and before I aligned their values. Fast forward just 3 months and the backlog was gone, my staff were happy, and they were asking for work. Just because I was able to demonstrate how their values aligned with those of the workplace.

So imagine what could happen if you showed a client how their values aligned with your own or those of your business? It works for a number of different reasons:
- the client feels understood
- the client feels a sense of kinship or belonging
- the client trusts you and your business
- the client likes you and your business.

Yes it’s incredibly touchy feely, but that’s what relationships are, good strong, longstanding relationships are like this. We feel understood, like we belong, and we trust.

So back to the email…

I don’t enjoy email for the sake of email or information. And let’s face it, that’s what my weekly emails were. I don’t want to make your life harder than what it already is, that’s one of my core values. I know it’s just an email, but I know people have anxiety over unopened emails (not me though) and I don’t want to contribute to this.

So I will no longer send my blog by email. I already publish it on my Facebook page, Instagram, & Twitter. You can find it there. I will though add it to my free business group, so you will have it personally delivered and where you can read it at your leisure of a weekend and you will be invited to share your own blog post or one you found interesting.

So when I do email you, it will be important. Most likely to let you know that I am about to do something big, different, or new. I do have some of these things in the pipeline. So you will want to be on the list, but don’t worry we can chat elsewhere. x

Guide to getting work done when you’re addicted to Facebook

The Sensis report of 2016 found that 55% of Aussies are accessing social media more than 5x a day. In particular, 95% of respondents said they used Facebook. Additionally, Facebook use averages 12 hours per week. They found that these numbers have increased over the years. It’s no wonder we feel like we are addicted to Facebook! We spend half a normal day or 1.5 business days each week on it!

So, how do I get everything done when I am addicted to Facebook?

It’s not practical to delete your account. Though the thought has run through my head on more than one occasion, I just can’t do it. Not only is it impractical business wise to turn my back on the platform that’s built part of my business, I also need the interaction & connectivity it brings. I love seeing what my friends and family are up to.

Unlike most addictions, being addicted to Facebook does not have to be an all or nothing affair – especially when your business has a Facebook page.

So what to do?

Delete

Ok, I know I said that it was impractical, but I want to offer you a range of solutions that may work for you before I tell you what I do.

If you are looking for some more drastic alternatives:

  • Unpublish your page and account for a while and just get on with things the old way, there were businesses before social media
  • If it’s the social side that sees you addicted to Facebook, then set up a new account with no friends and make it admin on your page and delete the first account.
  • If it’s checking your mobile, then only have the Facebook Pages app on your phone so that you can maintain your page.
  • Block Facebook on your laptop. Most businesses have it blocked, why not yours.
  • If Groups are an issue, only access them through the Groups app.

Not looking for a drastic alternative because, like me, you enjoy the social side of Facebook but you no longer want to feel addicted to it:

  • Set blocks of time in the day where you check it and then don’t look at it again.
  • Only have access to Facebook on one device.
  • Use a time lock app which blocks access between certain hours or for a block of time and then gives short periods of time to view Facebook
  • Be diligent when using Facebook to ‘check for something’. Don’t be distracted by what someone is doing/saying or that cute cat video.

So how do I manage my access to Facebook?

It’s hard, when you manage a number of Facebook pages for yourself and your clients; have your own Facebook Group & admin others; there is always that temptation to ‘just check’. So how do I get so much done in a little amount of time?

Groups

I rarely use them outside of my own and 3 other groups I am part of. In the main, I rely on Facebook Notifications to keep me up to date with what is happening. I have groups I am part of that I even turn off notifications and check them when I do happen to have some spare time.

Pages

I schedule all of my and my clients’ content. In fact, I schedule the majority of it on a Sunday night. I fight that night time is a good time to do this as I don’t find it takes too much concentration. My clients’ content is scheduled using the Facebook schedule option when writing a post. I cross-promote my and my clients’ content from Instagram to Facebook using Zapier and scheduling through Grum. I find Zapier & Grum to be the most reliable tools to schedule content to Instagram and then have it shared to Facebook.

Messenger

Most of my communication is done through Messenger. Oddly enough, mostly on my phone too (unless I have one of those long messages to write). I actually don’t like Messenger on the desktop and use it so that I can touch type, but I find that it blocks my view of the page (which frustrates me). So my key here is two things: push notifications of messages to my phone & my smart watch. I actually bought my smart watch for 2 reasons; firstly to have access to text when my phone isn’t at hand and secondly for Messages. Having messages delivered to my watch means that I can glance and decide quickly if it needs a response and removes additional distraction. While I understand that a smartwatch might not be to everyone’s liking, the notifications on my phone of a new message is enough to have me feeling connected without always being on Facebook.

Don’t have Facebook open

I know this one is a bit of a no-brainer, but not having it open in a browser and knowing that it’s open has had massive benefit to my productivity. I do not have the temptation to go and check Facebook just because it’s there. Yes my phone is on my desk, right next to me, but I am rarely drawn to check it.

So how to get stuff done when you’re addicted to Facebook?

Firstly, remove the distraction – which is what it is. Research states that it can take us between 10 seconds and 23 minutes to get back on a task. While this is the case, it’s more frightening to note that repeated interruptions increases the stress hormone, cortisol, and impacts on our beliefs in our ability and even increases depressive emotions.

In the main, I encourage you to be mindful as to how and why you use Facebook while you are working. Consider chunking like tasks together and using Facebook as a reward when they are completed. Turn on notifications and turn off sounds. Sounds are enough of a distraction to take your mind off of the task at hand, requiring you to refocus and reconnect with the work you were doing. In the end, your friends will wait, the world will not stop because you did not get to a notification. There was a world before Facebook & there will be one after. (No the irony is not lost on me)

Facebook is a tool for you to use, not to be a slave to. It just needs reminding who’s boss.

10 how to tips for starting out on Facebook Live

First of all, well done on deciding to use Facebook Live. Livestreaming is daunting at first. I should know, I’ve been doing it for 2 years and was involved in a record breaking 24/7 continuous livestream event. This guide is not about what kit to buy, what to say, but it is about those very first things you need to know when you are just starting out.

Safety First

Turn off location services or GPS

If you are at home or some other private residence and you are not playing tourist guide, then people have no need to know where you are when you use Facebook Live. Yes, I have seen people tracked down by their location services while live streaming. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it can also be beneficial. No, it’s not necessary to have it on while live streaming (unless you’re a tour guide and you are out and about).

I tell you this, not to freak you out but to make you informed.

Do NOT go Live and drive

Plane, train, bike, or any other form of transport (OK, if you’re a passenger and going Live that’s ok, just don’t distract the driver). Let’s face it, it’s illegal in most places in the world. There is nothing that can not wait for you to pull over and go live about. Yes, people have had accidents while livestreaming.

I will admit, I was once tempted to do it. It was early one morning, the roads were clear and the sunrise was stunning and then a massive F100 car ran a red light when my light turned green and had I not been paying attention, he would have cleaned up the driver’s side of my car.

Do not play the radio or other music

While not a safety issue, it is a legal one. People have at the least had their Facebook Live videos removed, at worst had accounts shut down and compensation orders served all because they played a song on a live stream.

Unless you own the copyright to a song or soundtrack, don’t play it. Copyright laws vary from country to country and what is ok in one might not be in another.

Technical considerations

Settings

It is preferable to use a wifi connection as Facebook Live uses a lot of data. Also, if you are using your phone, turn it to flight mode and turn your wifi back on to avoid calls and SMS interfering with or cancelling your Facebook Live.

Tripod

You do not need a fancy tripod, in fact, I started without a tripod. I used a set of boxes and books on a kids desk – that was my stand. A tripod can make it easier, but be warned that sometimes the mount for the phone actually pushes on the volume buttons and so it will take some careful manoeuvring to set up the right angle.

Microphone

Yes you could use a fancy lapel mic, but to be perfectly honest you actually don’t need one. I have only ever used phone headsets. Granted, mine are Senheisser and I bought them specifically for sound quality in live streaming; you don’t need anything more than the headset that came with your phone.

Lighting

Make sure you have ample light coming in from in front of you. This will light up your face, making you easier to see. While natural light is best, it’s not always practical. I use LED strip lights when recording my live streams.

Emojis

Don’t use them in the title of your live stream. Not all emojis for Android are on iPhones and vice versa. If you are using them to write a word or make your description understood and it’s not loaded on a viewer’s device, all they will see is an ‘X’ in a box and not your emoji. Not only is it frustrating for the viewer, it’s unprofessional.

Make up

This one is entirely up to you. Personally, it depends if I am using my LED lighting. If I am I will wear make up so I don’t look washed out. Otherwise, I go by the premise that people are watching to hear what I have to say or see what I am showing, not to look at my make up.

Scripts

Wow did I get this wrong at the start and yes everyone is different on this. I started out using a script and it was woeful. It actually made me more nervous. I have looked into the online teleprompter services and found them to be cumbersome. So, I have a few dot points, if that, and I go from there. If you have a goal for the live stream, that’s all you need. You know what you’re talking about so talk.

Have Fun!

In the end, don’t take it too seriously. You are using Facebook Live to build a connection with your clients and not deliver a high-end news broadcast. People appreciate honesty, authenticity, and a little fun. The nerves will pass, it just takes time. This is precisely why I encourage the members of my Facebook Group to hone their skills. It’s a safe environment where courage is encourage and small steps towards a goal are celebrated.

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