Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Communication is at the Core of Social Media

 

Today is Book Lovers Day and is celebrated each year around the world on this date. It is an unofficial holiday that celebrates reading and advises people to put away their smartphones and all other tech distractions, and instead, pick up a book to read (of course, people CAN read books on their tablets). Closely aligned with books is the world of communication, and thus, this appropriately-themed Q&A.

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Rich Perry and invited him to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Rich Perry is a Communication Strategist. He helps to build brands that customers will trust. He co-authored Bankroll Your Mind (an International #1 Best Seller) and was a contributing author in three books focusing on personal development. He is currently writing a book for Freemasons that will focus on leadership and personal development; and he's also a writer for Entrepreneur and other online publications.

QUESTION: What attracted you to the field of communications?

RICH PERRY: I’ve always been interested in communication, as far back as my teenage years when I was an active Boy Scout. I was the one volunteering to take speaking roles at camp, train the new scouts, or create a presentation. In college, I became active in the college radio station, which took on a different mode of communication. It has continued to grow from there.

I love being able to connect with people to share ideas, meaningful messages, or inspiring stories. I also like helping people to share their important messages with others. This could mean helping someone launch their branded business blog, provide tips that enable someone to rock their first podcast interview, or offer coaching to empower someone to deliver an impactful presentation in a professional setting.

There are so many forms of communication. There’s the spoken word or a message written down. We can communicate through video or podcasts. Plus, social media and its many new features allow us to connect and share ideas in ways that weren’t possible just a few years ago.

QUESTION: In a post for Entrepreneur, you explained five ways to build digital trust. Of the five, which do you consider the most important, and why?

(Read the full post here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/379903)

RICH PERRY: I consider them all to be important, each for a different reason. But if I had to choose just one, then I’ll go with the first item which is to be trustworthy.

Spend a decent amount of time online and you’re sure to come across internet marketers and so-called gurus or experts who want to show you pictures of luxurious homes, fancy cars, and of course, snapshots of impressive bank accounts. But if you do a little digging or you’re in the right social circles, you learn that it’s just smoke and mirrors in many cases.

Being trustworthy is an important part of establishing and building healthy relationships. This is especially important in business. It’s the same whether we’re talking about relationships with customers, employees, colleagues, stakeholders, or viewers in the digital world. We should always conduct ourselves properly in word and deed to earn and maintain the trust of others.

QUESTION: What are your favorite brands, and why?
RICH PERRY: Here are two:

(1) Star Wars: This brand has not only created its own universe for fans to find enjoyment but its own culture as well. On the surface, the masses in the general public loved the movies. But below that, the die-hard fans had an ever-expanding world of content that included novels, comics, and games. Once acquired by Disney, the brand has been creating even more content for the Disney+ streaming service that has had fans sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the newest installments.

(2) Marvel: Much like Star Wars, this brand has decades worth of content that has kept fans coming back after each new story and asking for more. One of the things I love about this brand is the amount of attention they put into their releases, the level of detail, and the fan service paid to their loyal supporters. Marvel knows what it takes to make their fans smile, and they’re willing to go the extra mile (and even farther!) to please the people.

QUESTION: What's your favorite social media marketing campaign, and why?
RICH PERRY: I’m not sure if this would classify as a campaign, but a few years ago the “ice bucket challenge” took social media by storm. It had everyone participating, and soon afterward, everyone was hopping on the bandwagon to create their own challenges. While they didn’t create the idea of online challenges or interactive campaigns to raise money, they absolutely made an impact, and everyone wanted to duplicate that level of virality and success. This is proof that you don’t need a huge budget to create a successful campaign or movement.

QUESTION: Which social media platform is best for brand-building, and why?
RICH PERRY: That all depends on the brand, where their audience spends the most time, and how they want to communicate information to the intended audience.

If you’re a B2B brand, then a good choice would be LinkedIn. But if you’re B2C or your brand is more fun and visual, then something like Instagram or Snapchat is probably the better option.

The most important thing is knowing where your audience is spending time online and understanding how they like to receive information. Then communicate your information accordingly and encourage them to join the conversation.

Remember the first word in “social media” is social, so it’s important that you create engaging content that your audience will want to interact with. Treat social media as a two-way conversation when you design and execute an online marketing strategy.

TWEET THIS: Know where your audience is spending time online and understand how they like to receive information. ~@CoachRichPerry #SMTips #DebbieLaskeysBlog


How will you celebrate Book Lovers Day? What book will you read today - and what is your fave book of all time? Chime in and share.

Image Credit: AbsolutVision via Unsplash.


Check out Rich's sites:
Website: https://richperry.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CoachRichPerry
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coachrichperry
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachrichperry
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/richperrycoach
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coachrichperry 

Monday, August 1, 2022

How Do YOU Connect on Twitter?

 

Today is World Wide Web Day, a global celebration dedicated to web browsing and other online activities. Post a selfie, express your opinion with a Tweet, or share a photo of beautiful flowers. But whatever you do, make a connection and be social.

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Jennifer Montgomery and invited her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Jennifer Montgomery is the Managing Partner and Director of Learning & Development at Blue Door Group in Nova Scotia, Canada. An award-winning educator, strategist, and development expert, she is a champion for life-long learning and proficient in guiding strategy and policy development across sectors. Her unique combination of business development, entrepreneurial, and teaching experiences help her clients implement meaningful and lasting growth strategies that impact all levels of business - transforming businesses into dynamic and innovative learning organizations. In addition, creating meaningful connections is at the core of Jennifer’s personal brand which she has leveraged to create and co-found the "40 Cups of Coffee" community; a network of professionals that has now spanned North America through online engagements.

QUESTION: Since we met through a TweetChat, and your Twitter profile includes "Follow to learn: how to network with purpose," what's your favorite thing about Twitter?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: Twitter is the most community-oriented social platform in my experience. The engagement there is a lot higher which means you get to build more meaningful relationships than on other platforms. The Twitter community I have experienced has been educational, supportive, and inspirational while also being a fun way to get to know others from around the world.

QUESTION: How did you come up with your Twitter handle: @40CupsofCoffeee?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: 40 Cups started as a joke when my business partner @StephClarkBDG and I had our first coffee meeting. I went home, wrote it on a sticky note and then put it on my vision board. I knew it spoke to the experience I wanted to share with others about how Networking With Purpose (having those 40 Cups of Coffee) can inspire your growth through connecting with others. Think: 6 Steps to Kevin Bacon only career focused - if you want to land a new job or score a particular contract, who do you need to have coffee with to get introduced to the people who will help make that happen for you? Each “coffee” is a actually just a metaphor for connection; a part of your 40 Cups of Coffee Journey. After 40 Cups, aka 40 connections, you literally can trace your growth through the power of each of those connections, if you are willing to be open to learning from them.

Now, 40 Cups of Coffee has become our second business journey together and we are working on bringing the teaching and resources of 40 Cups together to help more professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders achieve their goals through building meaningful relationships through effective networking.

QUESTION: Who are your some of your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: I don’t like to categorize my favorite people to follow because there are so many. What I can say is that the 5 best characteristics of my favorite accounts to follow are those that are community-focused, positive, supportive, educational, and of course, love to share coffee GIFs, jokes, and quotes. You can find these people by searching for these hashtags: #launchandfounders, #ginnsquad, #leadloudly, #tweet100, and #Ship30.

QUESTION: I'm from California and have been on Twitter since 2009. You're from Canada and have been on Twitter since 2020. There is no question that Twitter makes the world smaller and brings people together. With this in mind, what are some of your favorite uses of Twitter?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: Building and contributing to communities with the goal of learning from one another has been my favorite part of twitter. I’m an extrovert and love to meet new people and learn about their superpowers! Twitter has been a great tool to expand my network globally and has helped 40 Cups of Coffee grow to include community members from around the world and not just where I live.   

QUESTION: Lastly, thinking about the famous OREO Tweet during the Super Bowl back in 2013, what is your favorite Tweet?
JENNIFER MONTGOMERY: It's hard to think of one Tweet that's a favorite, but I think Tweets from Wendy's are pretty funny. I love Tweets that provoke conversations as well.

TWEET THIS: I love Tweets that provoke conversations. ~@40CupsofCoffeee


My thanks to Jennifer for sharing her social media insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: Joshua Coleman via Unsplash featuring quote by @ValaAfshar on Twitter.

Check out Jennifer's links:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferamontgomery/
and
https://bluedoorgroup.ca/
and
https://40cupsofcoffee.com/

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Is Customer Experience Different Around the World?

Do you know what today is? If you guessed "Get to Know Your Customers Day," then you're correct. Designated as the third Thursday of the beginning of each quarter, it's an opportunity to leave your desk, office, or home office during the covid era - and get to know your customers.

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Michael Brandt and invited him to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A about customer experience marketing and management. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Based in Lugano, Switzerland, Michael Brandt is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) with 25 years experience in B2B customer facing roles. He is also a founder Member of the European Customer Experience Organization (ECXO). His main focus areas are Voice of the Customer and Loop Closing, Complaint Management, and Customer Journey Mapping.

QUESTION: Those of us who live in the marketing and customer experience worlds have heard the Jeff Bezos empty chair story many times, whereby an empty chair represents the customer in all meetings. What does this story mean to you?

(Read the post: https://www.inc.com/john-koetsier/why-every-amazon-meeting-has-at-least-one-empty-chair.html)

MICHAEL BRANDT: I think the Jeff Bezos empty chair story is mentioned at most of the CX events that I have attended! For me, it basically means that in every decision that a company makes, at whatever level, you need to take the customer’s interests into account. To be honest, in a company in which the culture is already that way inclined, the physical customer chair should not be necessary.

For some years I worked with a company in the USA, Baldor Electric, after they became part of the ABB Group. Their mission statement started, “To be the best (as determined by our customers)” and it was lived throughout the company. Each meeting started with a recitation of the short company mission statement. A survey done by an HR company showed that well over half of the company staff felt that “customer happiness” was at the top of the company’s priorities, and they identified with that. It was also very visible when dealing with this company that this was strongly reflected in the company culture and work ethic.

TWEET THIS: In every decision that a company makes, at whatever level, you need to take the customer’s interests into account. ~@CxExcellence #CX #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Since March 2020, which brands have stood out by providing excellent customer service during the covid pandemic?
MICHAEL BRANDT: That is a difficult question to answer. I think that local brands in many countries have faced the challenge that the covid pandemic represented head on and have come out of it much stronger. Many of the global brands that I deal with have attempted to plaster over the cracks and make the best of a bad job, which is not the same as doing a great job.

It cannot be that two years after the start of the pandemic, organizations are still asking customers for patience, using covid as an excuse for slower or more inefficient service. They have had the time to redirect resources and adjust processes but, in many cases, just haven’t done so.

One great example of a company that did react well was, in my opinion, Česká spořitelna, a Czech bank. When the covid vaccination programme got under way, they realised that older customers were having difficulty managing the technology required to make appointments. Their contact center was tasked with assisting older customers in making the necessary appointments. I think this is a brilliant example of a company that used its resources for the benefit of the community. This is worth mentioning in an age in which so few companies have a social conscience.

QUESTION: What customer experience metric should every brand use, and why?
MICHAEL BRANDT: If you use Google to research customer related metrics, you get titles with “The XX customer metrics you need to measure.” Replace XX with any number between 5 and 20! And to be honest, that is nonsense. Nowadays, customer surveys are so flawed (design and execution), that, in most cases, they should not be relied upon to place big business bets. Also, track too many metrics and you end up with data paralysis, not knowing what to act on first.

You really need to be looking at customer behaviour: how they actually behave as opposed to how they tell you they will behave. Look at your churn rate and renewals. If people are leaving your brand, find out why. Do a detailed analysis and work on correcting the issues. If you are a company that has the resources to carry out strong data analytics, start becoming proactive. Ascertain what the signs of vulnerable customers are and act accordingly. And most importantly, don’t stop listening to your customers, whether it is through surveys, through the contact center, through social media, through complaints, or through whatever channel your customers may use.

TWEET THIS: If people are leaving your brand, find out why. ~@CxExcellence #CX #BrandExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog


TWEET THIS: Don’t stop listening to your customers. ~@CxExcellence #CX #BrandExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Which three customer experience books should every marketer read, and why?
MICHAEL BRANDT: For the person starting out on their CX journey, I would go with Ian Golding’s “Customer what?” I think that it gives a great overview of CX without becoming too complex. It’s a great book with which to get a solid CX foundation to build on.

For the more experienced practitioner, I would go with Jeff Sheehan’s “Customer Experience Management Field Manual: The Guide For Building Your Top Performing CX Program.” It’s like having a Swiss army knife on your desk. It has most of the answers that you will need when practising CX and is a great reference book, giving you most of the facts that you will need at your fingertips.

Finally, to round things off, I would go with the latest book by Annette Franz: “Built to Win: Designing a Customer-Centric Culture that Drives Value for Your Business," but her earlier book: “Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the "Customer in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business)” is also worth reading.

QUESTION: To quote Marilyn Suttle (@marilynsuttle on Twitter), "The secret to providing exemplary customer service is making it the priority and part of every employee’s job description." Sounds easy on paper, but difficult in execution. How do you execute this?
MICHAEL BRANDT: It isn’t actually that difficult, and I don’t agree that it is something that needs to be in every employee’s job description. It’s a question of culture and example set by senior executives. If senior management shows that exemplary customer service is important to them, it will filter down the rank. But they have to walk the talk and lead by example. No exceptions. I’ll go full circle, back to the example in the first question of Baldor Electric. Staff there know that Customer Happiness was a priority to the company because senior management not only said it was, but they also acted like it was. Employees will follow the lead set by their managers. It really is that simple.

QUESTION: Similar to the stories I shared in a blog post about amazing customer experiences (link is below), what’s your favorite customer experience story, and why?

(Read the post: https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2018/04/want-your-brand-to-soar-above.html)

MICHAEL BRANDT: It happened during my time in Japan. I spent seven years in Yokohama with my family from 2000 to 2007. At some point, we had purchased a foot spa. It wasn’t a particularly wise purchase because our feet were probably far bigger than the norm in the local market. Anyway, it found its way into a cupboard where it remained for a few years until we started cleaning out. Disposing of electrical equipment was fairly expensive, so we took it back to the store to ask them to dispose of it. We certainly were not expecting any kind of refund.

The store assistant called a manager, who asked us whether we had a receipt. I said that we hadn’t, but that we really only wanted them to dispose of it. After 5 minutes working his computer, he shocked us by giving us a full refund! He explained that it didn’t really matter that the foot spa was no longer under warranty, it was inconceivable to him that we had purchased something from his store that we were not satisfied with. My wife and I were left speechless. We were used to the “rolling eyes” that we would generally get in stores back home. This experience was on a completely different level.

The whole customer-centric culture in Japan was what really got me hooked on Customer Experience. That was only one example, but there were several others that I could have also listed. There were any number of things that they could have used to turn us away empty-handed, not least the language difficulty. But it just never happened. These experiences, in my opinion, just would not have happened with the same frequency in Europe or North America. Or at least, not without serious effort on the customer’s part. I’m sure that it does happen sometime, somewhere, but it is more the exception than the rule.

My thanks to Michael for sharing his customer experience insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: 123rf.

Visit Michael's links:
Website: www.cx-excellence.com
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/michael-brandt-ccxp-9512a33
Twitter: www.twitter.com/cxexcellence
Instagram: www.instagram.com/Brandt_CX

Monday, July 18, 2022

Tips to Avoid Extra Noise When Speaking in Public

 

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with John Bowe and invited him to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format to talk about public speaking. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Based in New York City, John Bowe is the award-winning author of I Have Something to Say: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking in an Age of Disconnection (Random House, August 2020). He is a speech and presentation consultant specializing in corporate and individual presentations; and has worked with entrepreneurs and executives from all over the world, as well as students, activists, and charity leaders. John contributes regularly to CNBC about public speaking and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and GQ, among other magazines, and is the author, editor, and co-editor of numerous books. His work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times; and he has appeared on CNN, The Daily Show, with Jon Stewart, the BBC, and many others.

QUESTION: In your cover image on Twitter, you wrote, "I have something to say - mastering the art of public speaking in the age of disconnection." Can you please explain?
JOHN BOWE: While working as a journalist, not a speech or communications expert, I accidentally discovered that speech training accomplishes what many people seek through psychiatry, therapy and meds. It teaches people the mental and verbal techniques for connecting to others. It’s a simple technical skill, but it has a huge emotional payoff.

I followed my curiosity and discovered Toastmasters, which led me to the ancient Greeks and Romans who invented speech training. In their own pre-scientific way, they’d found this amazing way of educating people to interact and socialize better than we normally know how to do without training. The payoff was huge for individuals, but it also had a beneficial effect on society. Speech training became the core subject of higher learning for 2,000 years, the key skill for anyone planning to work in an organization. And now we don’t learn this stuff, and shockingly, people don’t know how to connect very well with one another. I put our lack of speech training at the root of modern speech anxiety, isolation, partisanship, lack of trust on every level, and it suddenly looks like a potential remedy for a lot of modern problems in America and everywhere else.

QUESTION: Why do you think most people fear public speaking?
JOHN BOWE: People fear public speaking for the same reason that they fear flying airplanes, because they’ve never been taught to do it. I think most of us ascribe it to some kind of mental or psychological problem. “I’m speech anxious.” “I’m shy.” The problem is me. It kills me that we don’t teach speech in school anymore. Ten hours of education, and I think at least half of all people would get over half their problems with public speaking. Once you see it as an art form that you can learn, it lifts a huge emotional burden. It’s actually relatively easy to learn.

QUESTION: What is the most common error that people make when speaking in public?
JOHN BOWE: People want to seem smart when speaking to a group. So when we get on stage, the Zoom call, the job interview, etc., we tend to rattle off a bunch of facts and data and slides and blah blah. And it’s boring. And disconnected. And the talk ends, and no one feels very good or enlightened or smart.

The best way to be smart in public speaking is to be clear, focused, brief, and relevant. It’s counter-intuitive for modern people, but thinking about who you’re talking to - and why - is the primary plane of focus. Facts come afterwards. It’s the easiest thing in the world to figure out, but it’s so obvious, most people can’t see it.

TWEET THIS: The best way to be smart in public speaking is to be clear, focused, brief, and relevant. ~@JohnFBowe #PublicSpeakingTips #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: You wrote a post for CNBC entitled, "Avoid These 5 Types of Words and Phrases that Make You Sound 'Immature.'" Can you provide a recap?
JOHN BOWE: My definition of public speaking comes from Aristotle, so it’s weird by modern standards. Public speaking basically just means translating your thoughts from inside your brain to the world outside. Whether you’re talking about small talk or a TED talk, the same principles apply. It’s all about paying attention to your audience and their needs.

To a degree, the root of authority comes from being able to give people the information they need without constantly, unconsciously inserting yourself. And immaturity is kind of the opposite.

When you talk too much about yourself or water down your message with tics, you seem unprofessional. If you repeat stuff with your mouth that you’re already displaying on your slides, you’re wasting people’s bandwidth. When you use too many filler words like, “you know” or indulge yourself in too many unnecessary asides – same deal. Making apologies like, “Oh my god, this deck is such a mess. I’ve been so busy. My mother-in-law was visiting” – you’re just presuming someone wants to hear it in the middle of their busy day! Business jargon, “low-hanging fruit” and all the rest — it doesn’t make you look smarter; it makes you look pretentious.

So, as always, it really comes down to being able to give people what they need without a lot of extra noise.

(Read the full post here: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/14/avoid-these-words-and-phrases-that-make-you-sound-immature-says-speech-expert.html)

TWEET THIS: Give people what they need without a lot of extra noise. ~@JohnFBowe #PublicSpeakingTips #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Which three people alive today inspire you with their public speaking presence, word choice, and delivery?
JOHN BOWE: Dave Chappelle, Michelle Obama, and Oprah. This isn’t a racial commentary. I just don’t know of anyone else who comes close to them.

QUESTION: When I was in graduate school two decades ago, a guest speaker did something memorable. He taped a ten dollar bill to the wall at the front of the room. As people entered the room, their eyes were drawn to the money, and everyone wondered why the bill was on the wall. Once the speaker began his presentation, he explained that there was a typo in one of his slides, and the first person to catch the typo would get the ten dollars. Everyone paid attention to the presentation and read the slides. And one student got the ten dollars. What are some secrets you'd like to share?
JOHN BOWE: Visuals are powerful. People often remember them even if they forget the rest of a talk. But I think the only way to find those visuals is to focus on the basics first. If you really, really hone the purpose of your talk, whatever it is, and you organize your ideas really clearly, you’ll find great visual ways of demonstrating your ideas as you practice. I think the same is true for humor.

My thanks to John for sharing his public speaking insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: Giulia May via Unsplash.

Visit John's links:
Website: www.johnfbowe.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnFBowe
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/johnfbowe/

Monday, July 11, 2022

Do You Lead with the Greater Good As Your North Star?

 

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Cynthia Trevino and invited her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Based in San Diego, California, Cynthia Trevino is a marketing mentor, content coach, recovering corporate staffer, small dog mom, self-published author of an Amazon #1 best seller, blogger, wife, evil stepmother, and espresso lover. She went from working 70-hour weeks as a marketing director for a Silicon Valley startup to, along with half the company, being unceremoniously laid off. As she explains, "Without a plan, (which I don’t recommend) I dove headlong into starting my own consulting company. Hey, it’s just like they say. Build the plane as you fly. After tons of bumps, fumbles, and hard-won lessons about marketing myself and enrolling clients, I became a happy, busy, self-employed consultant for small businesses and startups. [But] sadly, in 2018 I uncovered enraging statistics about the earnings gap between women and men entrepreneurs.The well-documented corporate America gender earnings gap, is alive and well amongst entrepreneurs. In just one study (Freshbooks), women business owners earned 28% less than men did for the exact same services. That was unwelcome news! [So] to do my part to level the playing field, I shifted from consulting to mentoring, teaching, and coaching women entrepreneurs so they can better market their businesses to ideal clients. At the time, I fervently wanted more women to close the entrepreneurial earnings gap. And that’s still my biggest mission today."

QUESTION: You wrote a post on your blog entitled, “9 Ways to Improve Your Blog Writing Skills (So You Can Engage Coaching Clients).” What were your three favorite ways, and why?

(Read the post here:
https://shemarketsmentor.com/improve-blog-writing-skills-so-you-can-engage-coaching-clients/)

CYNTHIA TREVINO: Here are my three favorite ways:
FIRST: Write the way you speak.

Here’s the deal, as a business owner, your primary goal when creating content is to engage dream clients, right? So remember, you’re not creating your blog post for Harvard Business Review, you’re writing to let dream clients know that you understand their pain. That you believe in them. That you know they can become the better people they want to be. Avoid writing your website pages, your blogs, or podcasts like you'd write a college term paper. The truth is, you want to be conversational when writing anything for future clients.

Pro Tip: To tap into your dream client's mindset, write as though she’s sitting across the table from you.

SECOND: Adopt the best copywriter's favorite rule: “The You Rule.”

The ability to talk with your dream clients in your written (or recorded) content is the holy grail. It means you’re re-creating what it’s like to have an in-person conversation with potential clients. In order to do that, be extra-intentional about using "you" in your content. That includes you, your, you’ll, you’re, yours, etc.

THIRD: Make your posts long enough so you can engage your readers.

Online marketing experts say that search engines prefer blog posts with at least 800 to 1200 words. Experts also say that posts with 2,000 words or more are shared most often.

It breaks my heart when coaches, looking to get their voice out, write super short blog posts (less than 500 words). What if the website visitor doesn't know you yet? Are you sharing enough in blog posts about who you are as a coach, so potential clients are fascinated to learn about your services? Will website visitors, blog readers, remember you after reading your post? Will blog readers be engaged enough to subscribe to your list?

No question, you can break the rules and write short content. After all, you’re the boss. As you decide which rules to break and which to follow, consider this: You want future clients to think this, after reading your blogs and website content: "Wow, she understands where I'm coming from. I love how she explained my problem. Wonder what her packages are like."

QUESTION: You wrote a book entitled, “She Markets.” What are three take-aways you hope readers have?
CYNTHIA TREVINO: I loved writing my book and followed the marketing advice I share with women entrepreneurs.

Take-away #1: Always create content as though you’re sitting at a table, having coffee with your dream client. Think of your dream clients as the North Star for your business. Develop your content, your marketing, your website, and your programs based on the problems your ideal clients want to solve. Imagine that she’s just poured out her heart to you about a huge struggle. What do you say? What baby steps can you share to give her hope? How do you share snippets of your expertise to guide her?

Take-away #2: Don’t leave marketing and content creation to chance. Put together a plan for creating your unique content, publishing it, and sharing it online.

Take-away #3, is a bit like the first one: You don’t have to become a marketing expert to bring in dream clients and grow your business. You only have to be the expert in who your dream clients are. Invest your energy in discovering what are your specific ideal clients’ fears, hopes, dreams, and challenges.

QUESTION: If you could dine with three women leaders - from history or business - who would they be, and why?
CYNTHIA TREVINO: Here are my three:
(1) Oprah Winfrey because she’s a trailblazer at starting amazing movements and businesses. And she does it all with empathy. Oprah is a powerful leader who is an incredible audience (community) builder. She knows where her community is going, what we’re going to be fascinated by next, and helps us make sense of the constant moral dilemmas that the fast-moving world dumps at our feet.

(2) Sarah Blakely, founder CEO of Spanx, not just because she’s on tons of “Most Powerful” lists, a philanthropist, a relentless supporter of startups founded by women, but because she was turned away by every hosiery company in North Carolina when she initially tried to introduce Spanx. Happily, she persisted.

(3) Tina Fey because she makes me laugh, and I'd like to have some humor added to the moment. She’s hugely talented as a performer, author, writer, and a producer/entrepreneur, so she’s developed the business side as well.

QUESTION: When President Obama introduced Janet Yellen as the new Federal Reserve Chair in October 2013, he said, "Janet Yellen is a proven leader who knows how to build consensus, the kind of person who makes everybody around her better." President Biden celebrated this when he nominated her as the first woman Secretary of the Treasury, and today, she serves as the 78th Secretary of the Treasury. What three characteristics do you think are necessary to create a consensus-builder?
CYNTHIA TREVINO: The truth is, our community, our country, and our economy needs every last consensus-builder we can get. Three characteristics necessary to create a consensus-builder are:

(1) Listening skills must be their top superpower. Everyone at the table deserves to have their voices not only heard, but taken into account as organizations explore potential approaches and execute the optimal solution.

(2) Empathy. My hope is that we all tap into our abilities to infuse empathy in our lives, government entities, and businesses. That means spending time “walking” in our customers, clients, constituencies, and family’s shoes. And as Scott Cook, the founder of Intuit, famously said, “First we must take off our own shoes.”

(3) Leadership that prioritizes both listening and empathy. Consensus-builders must have the kind of leadership that sets aside our own egos and self interests and places the greater good above all else. I love women and men who behave and lead with the greater good as their North Star.

QUESTION: What is your favorite quote from former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and why?
CYNTHIA TREVINO: My favorite Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote is one that I’m going to paraphrase because I can't recall it exactly. It was I believe when she was arguing a case in front of the Supreme Court.

The Ginsburg quote is this: “He’s never been a 13-year-old girl.”

The context was when a male justice had asked a decidedly non-empathetic question.

My backstory for this quote is that when he posed the question, the patriarchal, male justice did not for one split second, consider the impacts to the victim. He simply could not/would not put himself in another’s shoes, even for a moment. Not even in a child’s shoes.

(Read the details about this case from 2009:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/09/25/ruth-bader-ginsburg-case-13-year-old-girl-strip-searched-school/)

QUESTION: One of my favorite leadership quotes is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): “Leadership doesn't require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others.” What does this quote mean to you?
CYNTHIA TREVINO: This quote highlights the need for empathy, again. Blocking and tackling for others means to me that, as leaders in every situation, we owe it to everyone to be on alert for times when under-served people need us to hold space for them. Or when the people who aren't in the room, still need their rights, needs, and interests considered when decisions are made for an organization of any kind.

Blocking and tackling for others particularly applies in public sector situations where those with entrenched power rush to preserve the status quo, because it benefits them.

As leaders in ALL sectors of our society, the under-served need us to create space for their viewpoints to be heard. We must constantly create space for their problems to be acknowledged and a fair hearing for the ongoing issues of women, children, and People of Color to be elevated to a level where they can be solved. I wish schools and colleges taught blocking and tackling leadership skills!

TWEET THIS: As leaders, the under-served need us to create space for their viewpoints to be heard. ~@ConnectUrGenius #LeadershipTip #DebbieLaskeysBlog


My thanks to Cynthia for sharing her inspiring leadership and equality insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Check out Cynthia's links:

Blog: https://shemarketsmentor.com/blog
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthiatrevino/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaTrevinoMentor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cynthiamentor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConnectUrGenius  
Book: https://shemarketsmentor.com/she-markets-book/

Monday, July 4, 2022

What Brand Stands Out to You on Independence Day?

What brands come to mind that symbolize or embody Independence Day?

Here are some brands featuring the word “American” that you might recognize: American Airlines, American Broadcasting Company (ABC), American Eagle Outfitters, American Express, American Fireworks, American Freight, American Greetings Corporation, and Bank of America.

There is no doubt that these brands can, and do, celebrate more brand awareness during the days leading up to July Fourth as well as on the day of the annual holiday itself.

They may align their logo, email messaging, social media posts, and/or advertising with the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag. They may also include some form of “independence” theme in a tagline or logo. But they should never lose sight of the competitive positioning that they’ve worked hard to achieve over the years.

Does your brand’s name align with a national park or national monument? If yes, then your brand has a head start on brand awareness. Consider the effective branding if your brand name happens to be Mount Rushmore Cement Company or Yellowstone Coffee or Liberty Bell Music Store.

In all of these scenarios, the first goal of all marketing campaigns has been achieved: There is immediate brand recognition.

However, remember, the buzz of the moment should NEVER overshadow your core brand promise, brand story, and mission.

So what brand stands out to YOU on Independence Day? Please chime in and share.


Image Credit: Swapnil Bhagwat via Unsplash.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Lead, Inspire, and Continue to Evolve

 

To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for almost 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Nathalie Gregg on Twitter and participated in one of her inspiring TweetChats. She interviewed me about leadership and the employee experience - what an honor! To return the favor, I have invited Nathalie to appear here on my blog in a Q&A. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Based in South Carolina, Nathalie Gregg is a Change Agent, Enterprise Leadership Strategist, Adjunct Professor, and Speaker. She empowers women to become their own economic engines. Online, she is a digital superstar and is the founder of the #LeadLoudly movement and Twitter Chat, where she inspires women to be bold, confident, and fearless to drive real results.

QUESTION: What attracts you to the discipline of leadership?
NATHALIE GREGG: I am attracted to the discipline of leadership because it begins with the drive to lead yourself before you lead others. It is about envisioning what could be and continuing to ask what if.

TWEET THIS: Leadership begins with the drive to lead yourself before you lead others. ~@NathalieGregg #LeadershipTip #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: What advice would you give to new leaders?
NATHALIE GREGG: Here are three:
(1) You must have a vision. You must know were you are going.
(2) You must have courage. You must be committed to do the hard things well.
(3) You must have a community. You must bring a team! You can’t do it alone!

QUESTION: You host a weekly TweetChat on Twitter using the hashtag #LeadLoudly. What are a few take-aways you hope participants have at the end of each week's chat?
NATHALIE GREGG: The #LeadLoudly Twitter Chat is a mini masterclass to accelerate growth and community. My community has the opportunity to learn and leverage cutting-edge information and resources to growth their businesses as well as their brands. Our international guests serve as mentors, sponsors, and allies to build robust collaborations and strategic partnerships.

QUESTION: You are a passionate advocate for women leaders. Who are some women leaders (from history or business) that provide inspiration to you?
NATHALIE GREGG: I am always inspired by women who decide to #LeadLoudly! They have decided to be bold, confident, and fearless. They are visionaries and innovators who drive change - realizing that no is NOT an option. The only option is to move forward.

That said, my inspiration comes from Margaret Thatcher, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Handler (Barbie creator), and Frances Hesselbein (former Girl Scouts CEO).

QUESTION: One of my favorite leadership quotes is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): "Leadership doesn't require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others." What does this quote mean to you?
NATHALIE GREGG: An inspirational leader must have knowledge of personal mastery while possessing these four critical skills: visioning, influencing, implementing, and executing. Leadership is a continual process of inspiration and transformation from the inside out!

TWEET THIS: Leadership is a continual process of inspiration and transformation from the inside out! ~@NathalieGregg #LeadershipTip #DebbieLaskeysBlog


My thanks to Nathalie for sharing her leadership insights and for appearing here on my Blog.


Image Credit: Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash.


If you missed the #LeadLoudly chat hosted by @NathalieGregg featuring Debbie Laskey on January 27, 2022, here's the link for all the Tweets:
https://wakelet.com/wake/cnlKF4y3TFK-hLrnKGQgS