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Anna Farmery
Leeds, United Kingdom
Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model
Interests: I love thinking, writing and creating truly social business models. If you want to see my full profile, you can see my life story at https://plus.google.com/117370659306066821697 I run The Engaging Brand. I speak on social business models and I am host to The Engaging Brand podcast. I have a 1st class law degree, a Chartered Accountant and an MBA in marketing.....so one mixed up individual! Though is a great background for understanding how to engage, how to track social performance and doing it all within the legal frameworks. If you are looking for a speaker, a workshop, a coach..the give me a shout at [email protected]
Recent Activity
How great is the web? Yes, it can overwhelm us. Yes, it can be frustrating at times. Yes, it can be a great time waster IF you don't develop strong focus and a degree of self control BUT just think of what it brings into your life..... Simple, easy connection with the world; a world full of products, people and places. Simplicity and ease of use have one main drawback, they can make us lazy. You see... when hyperconnectivity is at our fingertips, we need to remember it needs hypersensitivity to work for us in the business world. Not the hypersensitivity of emotional ups and downs but hypersensitivity to "how we make people feel". Who do we forget in our personal lives? Who do we get angry with when we can't get angry with our boss or our customers? Who do we promise never to take for granted, only to fall into the trap over the medium term? Yes, our family and close friends - the people who forgive our human failings. The people who love us despite ourselves! But the web is not so forgiving..... On the web our business connections can become like our family. It is so easy to sell rather than value, so easy to connect rather than develop a relationship. We can take those connections for granted. We promise with our mission statements. We promise with our words and then our actions over time destroy that promise. We send general invites, we send spammy emails, we collect rather connection people. When something is easy, you need to recognise the problem; the problem that easy can lead to a disregard for the deep thinking required. We need to be sensitive on a grand scale. We need to be human. We need to think of others before ourselves. We need to be emotionally intelligent to connections, to feedback and to how our words, video and audio express our personality. The question is.... do we all think deeply enough about the 'how' of benefiting from hyperconnectivity? The question is... do we all think deeply about how we build value into those connections, to move them from connections to relationships? The question is... do we all think deeply about how hard hyperconnectivity truly is......it demands more of you, it demands more of your brand. It needs a time investment. And what is more...that is good news! It is good news because differentiation is key to sales and marketing....and by investing in a little thought of how we connect....then the return on this type of interest can be exponential! Want more challenges to your thinking...here are 30 days of questions that will get you thinking about your hyper-sensitivity! Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Engaging Brand
The Engaging Brand podcast covers social marketing, business ideas and brand marketing tips. Remember as a subscriber you can download 30 Lessons on Social Leadership Powers - the new ebook for just 99p using the discount code ilovebob. This week Anna Farmery speaks with Mike Sansone about how he supports business leaders and entrepreneurs to develop the right business model for profitable growth. A technique he uses as part of Small Business Tracks The canvas for Business Model generation. Here is a link to a YouTube video on how it works - and a link to a free model site. The why, what, who and how of starting your own business. How social media means entrepreneurs must have a greater focus. The two sides of business - the emotional and the rational. How to start your own business. How to decide what is your market. How a business model flows from these two important questions How to use a canvas to lead a happy personal life. And finally the listener of the week is Sandi Andersson from Sweden - a goodie bag is on it's way to you to say a BIG THANK YOU! For your chance to win just share this post! (Tweet this) 1) You can listen now If you use a different podcatcher then you can subscribe using the following RSS Feed or visit iTunes. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Engaging Brand
Do you ever feel that life is a balance of wish and regret? I look around and wish that humans could learn to live in the present. After all that is all that we have.... Yet so many people spend their time wishing they were someone else, wishing they could buy something more, wishing they could be somewhere else.... Then there comes a time, often a significant life event, that we regret not being somewhere else, not helping someone more, not spending enough time on.... The truth is .....wish and regret are useless, wasted emotions. Life is here. Life is now. Yesterday's life has gone. Tomorrow may never come. (Tweet this) Today we have what we have and are lucky enough to be here to enjoy it. The irony is that when we run a business we make it ten times worse. We wish and we regret actions, decisions, hires and investments. But again, I ask - "what do regret and wishes achieve?" Nothing..... Now if we replace wishes with a vision of what we want to do today to make tomorrow better and use the learning to help us get there.....then we "are smokin" as Jim Carrey would say! Many of us have some time this weekend to recharge, enjoy our precious personal time.....make one promise to yourself..... No matter what happens, you will live the moment. No matter what you don't have, be grateful for what you do have.....and you will Live today towards the vision for tomorrow. (Tweet this) Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Engaging Brand
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Social is everywhere. From your fitness gear, to interactive shopping, from in car gadgets to gaming....and everything in between. Social is no longer a 'thing', a 'tool'...it is embedded into life. It is no longer an add-on, no longer something you use...it is the way that we live. Social is not a topic to learn but a mindset to live by....(Tweet this) When I was 12 I had to move schools; I hated my new school. I felt a total misfit. I felt isolated and I didn't want to go to school. At my previous school, I had loved it. I had loads of friends, member of sports teams and was always laughing.... I was miserable. Then Dad took me aside and said "It isn't the school. It isn't the students. You are still you. It is your mindset, you won't be happy until you let go of the other school. You won't be happy until you embrace the new school" He was right. It wasn't the new school that was not social, it was me. My mindset had changed because what had felt so natural, now felt forced. Socialising was something I was trying to do, rather than just being me and living a social life. Once I realised that...I fell in love with my new school and yes, loved it more than the previous one as it had so much more to offer in terms of sports and academic subjects. It is a similar situation when it comes to business today. Business are trying to force social into their business rather than embedding social into their culture. When they do that...they are miserable too! When you embed social into the culture, the business lives social rather than does social. (Tweet this) When you embed social into the culture, the business owns social through each and everyone who works there, rather than seeing it as a function. Consumers have already embedded social into their life. They don't think about 'doing social', they just live with social tools, to make their life as easy as possible. When we are thinking about our social in a business context, we need to adopt a similar mindset. If we need see it as an add-on to what we have traditionally done, then it won't work. We need to see it like the customer sees it, embedded in all that we do....then it will naturally engage the customer. It won't feel forced, it won't feel uncomfortable...it is just how our brand lives in the marketplace. To live social you need... The right people who believe in the uncompromising vision, passionately sharing it with others. That doesn't mean that you need all right brained or enthusiastic talkers or born optimists. Some of the most passionate people I know are academic researchers who share through their words or one of my former colleagues who spoke quietly and infrequently...but when she did everyone listened intently. Now that social is embedded in all that we do, we need... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Engaging Brand
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You are busy, your list of things to do is huge and that feeling of frustration from being overwhelmed just won't go away.... So you think "What the heck!" (Or something similar!) and you start cutting a few corners believing no one will ever know.... And for a while no one does but worse that that....the decision you took to cut those corners has moved from one isolated incident to a way of working. Worse of all you don't even realise it half the time! When you are tempted to cut corners....STOP! Take a minute and ask why are you having to cut corners? Ask...(Tweet this) If too much to do, PRIORTISE in line with business goals. If too many problems, ACTION the source. If too little sales, FOCUS on who your customer truly is and their true need or desire that you need to appeal to... If too little profit, CREATE value rather than products. (Tweet this) Now people in coaching sessions say, I don't have time to do that.....I argue that you don't have time NOT to because you have to take time to create time (Tweet this) If you don't then you will be chasing problems rather than opportunities. If you don't then you will be ticking off actions rather than creating actions that will grow your sales. If you don't then you will be cutting your career short rather than cutting corners to get your job done. The problem is that cutting corners destroys your personal brand, your corporate brand and the reputation of both. Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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Problems are annoying. They give us extra work, they side track us from our everyday work and they sap our energy. That is one way of looking at problems however I prefer a different way.... Why? Because problems abound and if we take this view then we will spiral into a negative mindset and a negative mindset is the worst possible outcome for anyone in business. So....I prefer to see problems as opportunities for no other reason that this...THEY ARE! Problem 1 - the customer has a problem with your product, service, quality etc These are the best kind of problems because these are a TRUE opportunity to increase customer loyalty. If you see this as an opportunity to show HOW you are different to the competition then you will win the heart of your customer. So how you can react differently? How can you surprise them? How can you get them talking to their friends about the service they received? Problem 2 - you don't have enough time or resources in the day. This can feel overwhelming but here is the thing...it is an outstanding opportunity to review what you NEED to do in order to ACHIEVE your goals. Not what you have to do because it is on a list BUT what you have to do because it will move you towards your goal. In business we often get caught up in busy-ness rather than working on our business. (Tweet this) Problem 3 - "you don't seem to be able to trust anyone to do their job properly". Again an opportunity to sit down, listen and understand what is the actual problem. Do they not understand the objectives, the values, the importance of their work? Have they got issues at home that are affecting them? Do they need training? Or do they need a more formal performance related meeting? Problem 4 - sales are tight and no matter how hard you work on increasing sales, the only technique that works are heavy discounts. This is a sign that your business is acting like a commodity - what opportunity exists to differentiate yourself? Are you trying to be too many things to too many people? Have you a clear plan of who you are, what benefits you offer and to which specific market sector? And if so how well have you communicated it? On this weeks podcast with Jeff Goins we talked about the power of words and by using the word opportunity you will see how this transforms your reaction. A problem is an opportunity, an opportunity to shine when everyone else whithers away. (Tweet this) A problem is only negative if it becomes contagious. Don't let problems reoccur by treating the cause at source. Problems highlight weakness in your offer, system or business model - react positively and address them early. (Tweet this) Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
In Bob's Guide to Social Leadership Super Powers, there are 30 days of challenging business questions to help you grow your business. Why questions and not answers? Simply because there is no ONE answer for all business types. It is a fallacy to think there is.... The art of business is knowing which questions will lead your business to the answer that is right for you. Here is one chapter from the Guide which may help you think differently today. Are you a Good Parent to Business Ideas? I see leadership and management neglecting a creative business culture. Ideas are not just for Christmas they are for life! Too often business ideas are treated like a to-do list - we need ideas so let’s have a meeting, we need ideas so today we are going to brainstorm, etc. Ideas rarely just happen; they are rarely prompted through embedding a meeting culture. Business ideas flow from a dynamic mindset, which nurtures them from little germs of ideas, to growing and flourishing in the market. I like to think of ideas as almost childlike. Why? Well... 1. Having a constant flow of ideas which are ready to germinate, is a business lifestyle choice... just like you choose to become a parent, you choose to foster an idea culture... ok accidents happen but in the main you need to make a choice that you want to be creative and be a wonderful business parent to ideas. 2. When an idea is small it needs nurturing, it needs looking after - it needs feeding, protecting and growing into a commercial product or service. 3. When the idea starts to develop it can become troublesome - it may not fit the present business process, it may challenge previously held mindsets... that is an idea just finding its way to market. Allow it to challenge the status quo, allow it not to conform to your processes. You can always develop the process to fit the idea. 4. There are times when you just have to say NO! Yes, ideas need a chance to grow but at some stage you need to focus on ideas that will work commercially. 5. When an idea is set free at a product launch then the ‘brand parenting’ doesn’t stop there... it needs your support, it needs guidance, it needs to learn to adapt and get even better. Are you a good parent to business ideas? Or are your ideas like latch door kid? Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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The Engaging Brand podcast covers social marketing, business ideas and brand marketing tips. Remember as a subscriber you can download 30 Lessons on Social Leadership Powers - the new ebook for just 99p using the discount code ilovebob. This week Anna Farmery speaks with author and speaker Jeff Goins. We discuss How writing is 'words with intention'. How writing requires intention for the 'why', the 'what' and who you are writing for. Who should you write for.....yourself or your audience. The Writers Manifesto. How writing for your audience is like writing a love letter! How to frame your writing yet retain its originality. Does the delete button work against great writing? Why you have a responsibility to charge for elements of your writing. How to fall back in love with writing. And finally the listener of the week is Twocentsmedia - a goodie bag is on it's way to you to say a BIG THANK YOU! For your chance to win just share this post! (Tweet this) 1) You can listen now If you use a different podcatcher then you can subscribe using the following RSS Feed or visit iTunes. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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How on earth do you keep up to speed with everything on the web? You can't! That is why focus is absolutely key to your social marketing strategy. You can't be present everywhere.....however....you can be present in each moment on the web. (Tweet this) Even in everyday life away from the Internet, we cannot visit each potential customers house or join every conversation....but when a customer rings or you meet someone at a networking meeting then you can and will devote your full attention. The web is the same. It is true that you cannot possibly be on every site, engaged in every conversation. But on the social media sites that reflect your brand the best, on the sites where you want to connect and engage, on the sites that you identify as the right places to connect with the right people for the right reasons...then you can be present every time that you are on them. Being present in every moment is more important than having presence on every site. (Tweet this) An excellent question to ask yourself or of others is this..... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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Blogging is an undervalued tool yet it is also overvalued in terms of expectations. What do I mean? Blogging is a wonderful platform. It is a fabulous platform to show your personality and your ideas. However..... The clue is in the sentence....it is a platform. If we equate social marketing to the oil industry then we demonstrate how blogging can help you reach people BUT it doesn't guarantee striking oil. Think about the oil industry and relate it to social marketing Research is required to see where there is potential for oil. Do you research your market, your customer....and even yourself; yourself to understand who you are and what you truly offer? Resources are required to bring that oil to the surface. Do you create time for people to connect to their market? Platforms are a means not the aim of oil companies. So often in social marketing you hear we must have a blog, without knowing if they are blogging on the right subject, reaching the right people and suggesting ideas for the right reasons. Blogs are platforms to connect from; they don't guarantee connection. However without a platform you will never find and capture the oil! Pipelines are needed to bring that oil to shore. Finding oil is great but if you don't capture it and send it to shore...what is the point of connecting to it? So often with content marketing....they spread ideas, they connect to consumers AND THEN forget to convert to sales. Refining turns the raw material into different consumable products. Refining your ideas is a MUST to continue to bring value to your readers. Suppliers then expand your reach. In social marketing finding ways to share your content, to encourage sharing from your customers, to invest time not just in creation but in delivery is so often neglected. Blogging is still a great connection tool BUT more than that...blogging is a wonderful way to focus your own thinking. Blogging needs you to be consistently thinking about what the customer needs, what you offer and how you are different from your competitors. Blogging may seem old hat compared to instagram etc However, radio is old hat compared to television and smartphones; yet radio is still a popular medium. Blogging can be the collection of content from which you 'feed' the newer, different tools. Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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Marketing can be hard. Marketing will be hard if your business foundations are not in place. Businesses need to be extremely clear about three questions Why are you in business? What made you start your business? What problem are you trying to solve or what pleasure are you wanting to deliver? Who is your target market? When marketing is hard the answers become To make money. Not that this is not a worthwhile cause but this should be the outcome not the goal. To sell widgets. The product is the form not the function - what does your product/service deliver? Everyone. If you try and please everyone you will please no-one. When marketing is seen as a way of spreading ideas rather than selling your wares then it also becomes easier. Easier because if you have the basis of 'why' from understanding your business, then marketing is a way of demonstrating, explaining and spreading your ideas to improve the life of your customer. Marketing is a vehicle for ideas. If your marketing is hard, ask whether you are clear enough about the idea behind your products/services/business? Marketing is not about YOU. It is how YOU demonstrate that it's about the customer. (Tweet this) To help little Bob has put together this graphic for you to ask yourself, ask your team and even maybe for the bravest...your customers Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
Cast your mind back to your childhood.....remember how important stories were in your life? Cast your mind back to the last night out with friends.....how many stories did you tell each other? Stories are the way that people share experiences and make personal connections with each other. When I think about my Dad, he was fabulous with stories...not just telling them but he always asked questions when he met someone new. He asked questions to give people the chance to tell him a story......tell him their story, that way he could find something or someone that he could build on to create a connection. Stories have that effect; listen at a networking event to people meeting for the first time over coffee, they do the same..... Brene Brown has a wonderful expression about stories "Stories are data with soul" And in that sentence lies the key reason....they add soul. When I think back to learning history and learning about World War 1, I can hardly remember all these years later any of the lessons from school.... But what I do remember is my grandad talking to me about being a soldier and on the front line. He showed me the horseshoe of his horse and told me about how this horse had saved his life...losing his own in the process. I remember the tears in his eyes when he was remembering lost friends, the pain of war....Suddenly the facts that I had learned came alive.....soul was added to that raw data. I felt closer to Grandad. I felt I understood him a little bit more....I even loved him a little bit more because of his pain and how despite those horrific memories he had always been the most positive person that I had...and ever....known. Social marketing needs stories...not thousands of words....but lots of soul. The problem comes when stories are used as a way of giving data....without the soul. That is like my history lessons compared to those fireside chats whilst devouring my Friday night Fish and Chips with Grandad. You can't force stories; stories come from listening to customers, from living your brand. Stories don't emerge from a department; stories are created through the experiences of people. Everyone has a story. Every brand has a story. Each part of your social marketing is like a chapter or a paragraph of sharing that story. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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As the web continues to grow, gaining the attention of customers becomes harder and harder. Imagine if you NEVER had to worry about gaining attention anymore, imagine if attention just happened...and it came whilst you slept, whilst you were busy living life and you never had to worry about attention again.... Sound great? Well, the secret of gaining more attention is by not making attention your goal. Let me explain because this appears counterintuitive to all that I have blogged about before.... When you aim for attention the reader can feel that in your writing, in your videos, in your podcasts. Attention should not be your goal; just the outcome of great social marketing. (Tweet this) Social marketing at its best is customer centric; It puts the reader, the consumer at its core. When you produce content marketing based around the need of the customer, it attracts not just the eye but the heart of your customer. Attention is something that the customer gives you IF you earn it. (Tweet this) The problem comes when business believe they are so great, that they offer something so great that all they have to do is tell people about it....and they will give it attention. Wrong. Attention is a scarce resource; it needs to be mined from the customers mind. (Tweet this) Attention mining is like mining for gold. You need to put yourself in the right places. You need to filter your content for that tiny nugget that will shine so brightly it will attract the eye. You need to understand what is truly precious to your customer and create content to appeal to that precious need. When you focus on attention as the goal, you focus on the quantity rather than the quality of the attention. When you see attention as an outcome of great marketing you focus upon the content. So remember this little tip from Bob.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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The Engaging Brand podcast covers social marketing, business ideas and brand marketing tips and as a subscriber remember you can download Bob's Guide to Social Leadership Powers - the new ebook for just 99p using the discount code ilovebob. This week Anna Farmery speaks to Eric Karjaluoto of SmashLab about The Design Method We discuss How design is not about romance but about a repeatable process. Why design is seen in a too visual way. The relationship between function and form. How you need to think much more about what needs to be done. An iterative approach to prototype, test, refine, and produce design that works. How you need to remove ego from your website. How the only ego allowed in the room, is that of the customer. How design is built out not built in..... The question you should always ask yourself when looking at design. And finally the listener of the week James Neville - a goodie bag is on it's way to you to say a BIG THANK YOU! For your chance to win just share this post! (Tweet this) 1) You can listen now If you use a different podcatcher then you can subscribe using the following RSS Feed or visit iTunes. Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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You read each day that 'you must find your voice' but how do we find our voice for social media? It seems an obvious statement until....you attempt to say how....how do you find your voice? I mean you use it everyday. So why do you need to find your own voice...I mean your voice is your voice right? Let me talk to you about the first dozen shows of The Engaging Brand podcast. When my friends listened to them they all said "That isn't you! Why are you trying to sound like a BBC radio presenter?" This sentence hit home hard; hard because they were right. I come from the North of England and have a strong Northern accent that I was attempting to hide. I felt that to produce a global show then I needed to be someone who sounded like the a BBC presenter. Then something else happened.... Three listeners wrote separate emails saying that "they loved the British accent and that it was fabulous to listen to someone who sounded so grounded". They loved the thing that I was trying to hide - and clearly failing to hide! The thing that I was trying to be, was diluting my uniqueness; a uniqueness which was the reason some people subscribed to the show and yes, a reason that some people didn't....and that is the point! The business lesson for me was this... "Trying to be something you are NOT is hard work and remember uniqueness sells" (Tweet this) Finding your voice on social media is not about adding anything, it is not about learning anything.....finding your voice is about stripping YOUR expectations away. (Tweet this) To find your social media voice Strip away what you think people want and be what you want to be. Strip away the jargon and speak in your own voice. Strip away the sales benefits and imagine the customer saying 'what is in it for me'. Strip away the what you think Google needs and think what does the customer need. Strip away what you think people expect of you and be you. Strip away the need to be loved by everyone and focus on being loved by someone. (Tweet this) Strip away the desire to be professional and think about being human. (Tweet this) Strip away the need to sound intelligent and let your content demonstrate it. (Tweet this) Strip away the desire to go viral and embrace the desire to be kind, kindness is incredibly viral. Strip away everything you have read how to do it.....and just do it.....speak, write, be yourself...your learnings should shape not own your content. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
There are some podcasts that annoy me; they are some blogs that really grate on me. Indeed I would go as far as saying they make me want to scream because I don't agree with them. So why don't I unsubscribe, why don't I remove them from my daily or weekly schedule? Because it is that content that makes ME Learn what I DO believe in. It is in this annoyance that I find my true passion (Tweet this) Keep looking in my mirror to ensure I am not falling into the same habits. Expand my thinking from my insular world. Feel uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that my fight for what I believe in stays strong. The strength of social media is the different ideas and approaches. The weakness of social media is that we can shy away from this difference and withdraw into our own comfortable world; a world in which all our friends agree with us..... The blogs and podcasts that make me want to shout, the media that annoys me, the social marketing that grates so deeply that it inspires writing a blog post.......is as valuable, more valuable than the social media that affirms my ideas. (Tweet this) So here is my challenge to you: What do you read, what show do you listen to, what visuals do you look at....that annoy you? If not, why not? Being comfortable is risky....being comfortable means you are not firing that flame in your social media fire.(Tweet this) If you listen to The Engaging Brand podcast or subscribe to my weekly letter...or even read this blog because it annoys you....FABULOUS.....I have total respect for people who want to feel outside of their comfort zone! Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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A pitch starts a game of baseball, right? A delivery starts an over in cricket, right? Therefore your sales pitch is the start of the sales process......No and here's why..... Any game of baseball, cricket etc needs two teams who want to play the game. It needs people coming together at one place, it needs the teams to agree with each other they want to play and it needs two teams who respect the rules of the game. Business is the same; to earn the right to pitch you need to earn the right to be asked to play. (Tweet this) The sales pitch is not the start of the relationship; the start is gaining the respect to be asked. (Tweet this) So how do you gain the respect to be asked? Respect is gained by showing your knowledge. Respect is gained by giving without the need for a return. Respect is gained by consistency of values over time. Respect is gained by showing empathy and understanding to others NOT because it works BUT because it is the right thing to do. Baseball, cricket and every team sport has star players yet it is not the key to success. It is the strength of the team as a unit not the strength of each individual. Business is just the same, to earn the right to 'pitch' you need to invest in the ethos of the team. Social marketing can be part of earning this respect. Can be.....because unless your social media is based on gaining respect rather than pitching to people then yrou social efforts will fail. Social is part of the marketing process; a chance to spread ideas and providing reasons of why you deserve a chance of being asked to the game. If your social media is not working ask "Am I seeing social media as the first pitch or my invite to the game?" (Tweet this) Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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Doing social media is tiring. Being social is tiring. Whenever you have to "be" something it is tiring; ask any child who doesn't want to go somewhere and "be" polite! Imagine if you didn't have to "be" anything...imagine if social media was just something that you do rather than something that you tick off a list. The joy.... Two lessons here... "Being" social is harder than living a social life. (Tweet this) Everyone can be social in the right social context; If it is hard you lack passion not time. (Tweet this) The result is that some people love social marketing. Why? Because they have found the perfect match.... What they like being social about, in the social context they enjoy are both in sync. They don't have to "be" anything.....they are social. If you are finding it draining, if you are finding it hard to think of ideas......if you are finding it hard being conversational.....you are not in sync. To be sync ask yourself - "Is it social media not working or is it a lack of real passion for talking about your subject" Sometimes we need to re-find our own passion. We are so busy doing our job that we forget why we love what we do....(Tweet this) Social marketing can be the trigger to rekindle your love for what you do....if you find "being social" hard....book time for a date night with your topic and remember why you change people's lives, how you can change people's lives and what value your can offer to the world.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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The Engaging Brand podcast covering social marketing, business ideas and brand marketing tips has a wonderful new episode. Anna Farmery speaks to the wonderful Carmine Gallo about his research into what makes a great Ted Talk. Carmine talks us through the key aspects of delivering an emotional talk that resonates and captures the mind of the audience. Before getting into the show, don't forget to check out Bob's Guide to Social Leadership Powers - a new ebook on bringing out your leadership potential use discount code ilovebob and you can grab this book for 99p! We discuss How to write a book like a great journalist. How to create a story through understanding the details. Are Ted Talks great or dumbing down topics from an academic point of view? How to be persuasive in order to sell an idea. Why 3 is the magic number in presentations. Is a business presentation comparable to a Ted Talk - one audience is there because they have to be and the other is there because they want to be.... Should leaders be judged by their great speaking skills How a listener needs to stay objective to a great speaker? How a talk needs to be both novel and emotional - how to create an emotionally charged event even when you are talking about widgets! How to create a showstopper to finish your presentation. Link to the Talk Like Ted slideshare presentation. Check out a previous interview with Carmine on how to deliver insanely great customer service like Apple. And finally the listener of the week Melanie Davis - a goodie bag is on it's way to you to say a BIG THANK YOU! For your chance to win just share this post! (Tweet this) 1) You can listen now If you use a different podcatcher then you can subscribe using the following RSS Feed or visit iTunes. Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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If the answer is yes then read on.... I have often been asked for an ebook on my thoughts on social leadership...well, I have asked cartoon Bob to put together some of the most popular blog posts over the years and he has obliged! Now, although they are based on blog posts the 30 articles are based on concepts of social leadership and then challenges you to 30 days of questions that will help you lead in this social age. Interested? Well, as a subscriber to the blog if you enter ilovebob in the discount code you can grab the PDF for just 99p.....over at The Engaging Store. The ebook will give you 30 days of inspiring challenges that will help your business grow. 30 ways of succeeding as a leader in this social business environment. 30 thoughts that will inspire you to develop your leadership potential. Remember to use discount code ilovebob and you will get it for 99p - Buy Now Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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So your business understands the need to embrace content marketing and social media in general. The problem is that you cannot see the social element to what you do? I mean how interesting can widgets be? The reason you are struggling to create content for the web is that you are looking at the product (or service) rather than The need The problem The desire The outcome Purchase decisions are based on one of these things. We don't really want 'things', we don't really need services. No we want the feeling from the best purchase decision. So we want to be seen as great by our bosses, stylish by our friends, beautiful by a potential suitor....comfortable, educated, happy, respected.....etc etc Now ask yourself how does your customer want to feel? How can you create content that can takes them to that feeling.... How can you engender confidence that you understand what they want to feel? How can you demonstrate how that feeling will be achieved? The social element needs thought and understanding ahead of creating the content. It reminds me of this lovely Bob-o-graphic which relates to any business Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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You get back to your desk and the next load of problems are already waiting for you. You sit back in the chair and just wish that you had a moment to yourself, you think why does leadership have to be this hard..... You watch Ted Talks were leaders seem to take problems in their stride...you talk to other leaders at networking events who seem to be so much more in control.... Well, let me share a leadership secret. Successful leaders are not more in control; they are more in love with NOT being in control. (Tweet this) We all have our struggles but successful leadership is because of this struggle NOT despite of it. (Tweet this) Why? Our struggles, our problems are tests of our leadership; they test how much we want to be a leader and how much we understand leadership. They test whether you can see, whether you can understand the causes and accept the challenge of leadership. Successful leaders know this and love taking the test. They look past the problem or the struggle to see the cause....are the problems symptons... That the team need more leadership and less management? That the team need more talent management and less thought leadership? That the foundations of serving the market are not strong enough? That the values and goals are not clear enough? That there is a dissonance between what you think you offer and what others expect? That you have become too insular - that a distance has been created between what you think happens and what actually happens? We all need to learn to love leadership because of these problems and struggles because as soon as we do, we approach them with a different mindset. We see them not as barriers but gateways to success. Problems are an invite from the world to see if really want to be a leader. (Tweet this) Problems are an invite from customers to see if the brand really is a leader. (Tweet this) Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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"Start a conversation" they say. "Start a conversation on the web and they will come....." You start the conversation and no one comes. What is wrong with you? Are you too boring that no one wants to engage with you? Your energy level drops and your creative mind dries up...you retreat back from social media and declare "It's a fad and doesn't work for our brand". The problem is that when you think about starting a conversation, you forget one key thing: "The customer is already having a conversation in their mind; success depends on you connecting to the those thoughts" Social media is not the start of THE conversation; it's your request to join. (Tweet this) What do I mean? Well, when a customer has a need or a problem....a conversation has started in their mind of how to solve it. Your social media needs to act as a trigger...a value trigger showing the customer how you can add value to their own conversation. (Tweet this) So how can your social media create a trigger? By showing that you understand the problem or desire they are thinking about. By providing an opinion, a question, a review, information, insight, a solution. By adopting the conversational langauge of the customer's mind NOT our own corporate language. By understanding that triggers can be visual, audio based or through the written word. By speaking to the desires and/or problem NOT your solution. Social media is a trigger to a longer, more personal conversations.(Tweet this) If you see it as this kind of trigger then your social media becomes more focused, more emotive and from the customer perspective. Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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The Engaging Brand podcast covering social marketing, business ideas and brand marketing tips has a wonderful new episode. Anna Farmery speaks to Mark Schaefer, one of her favourite experts on all things social media. You can check out his wonderful Marketing Companion podcast and blog here. Also my own new e-book on social leadership will be coming out this week and for subscibers to the Engaging Times you will get it for just 99p! You will receive a social business pdf today and then on Wednesday get the chance to grab the book for just 99p! We discuss Why does social media need to be explained? (Mark's Social Media Explained Book) Is social media a cultural rather than technological revolution? How social business is about unlearning marketing techniques. Have our expectations of social media been too high or too low? How measurement of social media needs to change. What is content shock and how we need to start thinking about the competition for the attention of our customers. How we need to challenge ourselves to produce the right quality of social media rather than just a quantity of social media. Personal branding - how to move your connections from weak to strong How social media tools are easy but the social media mindset is hard. How And finally the listener of the week Pierre Stanley Baptiste - a goodie bag is on it's way to you to say a BIG THANK YOU! For your chance to win just share this post! (Tweet this) 1) You can listen now If you use a different podcatcher then you can subscribe using the following RSS Feed Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2014 at The Engaging Brand
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Well, I will admit it. It's not just children who rebel against being told what to do. Being controlled feels annoying BUT that doesn't mean that you can't get people to do want you want them to do! I had a great boss who has this knack of getting you to do exactly what he wanted you to do. He used to say he was an awful sales person for the company; yet he was the person who brought in more sales than anyone else..... He taught me an interesting insight into human beings; they like to be persuaded in a that they believe it was their choice. He used to say.... Indeed leadership is about 'leading' people to their own decision that 'happens' to be exactly what you want! (Tweet this) Social marketing is exactly that, social leadership is exactly that...being social is not persuading, it is not selling, it is not even marketing..... Social is about leading people to their own decision to buy from you.(Tweet this) Leading them to their own decision needs you to... Know where you are leading them to....... Why you are leading THEM there.... Creating reasons how and why they will trust your guidance.... Understanding what they need to make the purchase decision... Social is not passive, social is about leading followers to a destination that creates value for both of you. (Tweet this) Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at The Engaging Brand