Not So SMART!

Michelle and I were really excited to start a new closed Facebook Group – this one – The SMART Circle.

It’s a lot of fun kicking around anything new, big or small, and we finally settled on how we wanted the page to run and on our cover shot for the page.

I say ‘finally’, because we did ping back and forth between us quite a bit. We like pinging, it’s a creative little process.

So, we finally agreed and the page was good to go; just needed its cover photo finalizing. We both had a lunch time deadline – mine was a piece of work going to print, Michelle’s was a routine health check-up then a client meeting.

She was rushing off for an appointment at the hospital for a stress test (to see how your heart’s going). But we really wanted to put the page up this morning and two minutes before running out the door, Michelle got it onto Facebook.

Michelle had made me an administrator on The SMART Circle page. I spent a happy few minutes over my lunch sandwich dinking around with it a bit.

Not So Smart after all

I thought I’d be helpful and tidy up a couple of things. Then I got carried away.

I deleted the cover photo.

Oh cripes! How did I do that? Searched for it, but it was good and proper gone.

What if Michelle was sitting in the hospital waiting room, fiddling with her smart phone, merrily inviting peeps onto the page?

The page with the now broad hint on it: Personalize Your Group.

The page with a generic blue blank where seconds earlier there had been a lovely colourful cover photo.

She was going to kill me.

Or I was going to kill her. After all, she was waiting to go in for a stress test on her heart.

Would steam coming out of her ears affect the test result?

Hmmm … maybe … probably.

Then again, she’d be a lot madder if she invited folk onto our now boringly blank page. Better ‘fess up that one of my lofty Page Administrator digits had slipped. Inadvertently. Onto the delete button. Including the yes I am sure I want to delete that button.

The perils of putting a putz in a power position.

What can I say? It just went to my head.

Deciding that I’d cause less trouble if I owned up immediately, I fired off a quick text to Michelle:  It was great. (Past tense). You’ll kill me. I deleted it by accident Better tell them at stress test (So the inexplicable spike in your stress levels can be explained – as in, it’s not a medical problem. It’s my sister – she’s the problem).

Michelle: Deleted the page???

Yeah, just as I thought, she was hovering over her phone until they carted her into the clinic. They ought to surgically remove that device off her while they had her in there.

Does three question marks denote a bit of stress … ?

Anyhow, turns out it wasn’t a big deal. Clever Clogs breezed through her stress test (she’d been doing that for years, living with a constant source of stress – who me?) and she put The SMART Circle page back all pretty.

Michelle: No problem, I can replace. I’m going to change your status to moderator not admin then you can’t do it again!

Me (AKA Facebook Fool): Yeh not SMART enough lol

So, I have been demoted.

Like being bumped down from Head Girl to Hall Monitor. (The shame of it.)

This is me now: You’re Now a Moderator!
Moderators are like admins, but with limited controls.

Limited controls – like not being able to get out of control with a stab-happy-delete-digit.

I expect anyone who joins our group will find that a relief. Michelle does!

Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.




LinkedIn Networking – The Missing Link

Love it or not, LinkedIn has been a standard bolt-on tool to business networking for long enough that it’s now an expectation.

Maybe, like me, you buckled under the expectation of peers, colleagues or clients, and ended up on LinkedIn because it just said too much about you not to be.

Like, ‘Really, you’re not on LinkedIn?!’ accompanied by the sort of facial expression reserved for inspecting fossils and other oddities from antiquity.

I’m enough of a dinosaur to remember the advent of cellular phones.

That was back when the first mobile phone (the ‘transportable’) weighed a ton, cost the earth, and was commonly known as ‘’the brick” for its unlovely looks and hefty weight. I expect you can still find one in a museum somewhere.

As a fledgling Vodafone sales rep it was my job to convince the reticent that they could not do without one. Never mind that lugging one of those things around gave you arms the length of an orangutan’s.

A day now without our mobile feels like a limb is missing and we can barely function.

Can we function without LinkedIn?

Sure. And quite happily.

The last thing a busy person wants is one more digital platform to keep pace with. Who really wants an already bulging to bursting in box pinging with new notifications that someone has checked out our LinkedIn profile, changed their profile pic or has worked at ABC Inc. for exactly 12 months today (should I send flowers, a cake)? Not me!

Yet I’m on LinkedIn. I may have landed on there simply to shut up my eye-rolling business associates and to disprove the theory that I’m a relic from the Land that Time Forgot, but given enough time, even a curmudgeonly crustacean like me, has to ‘fess up and say that it hasn’t been all bad.

OK, so it’s been more than worthwhile, once I’d sussed out the Missing LinkedIn Link. Because once you get a handle on LI it does open doors. No apologies for the pun.

What’s the Missing Link in LinkedIn?

To be fair it’s not missing. But it’s easy to miss amongst all the self-promotional fluff and flannel on there.

To get the most out of LinkedIn, you just have to use it, using good old fashioned networking skills. That’s the missing link to LinkedIn networking and opportunity creation (and not just for yourself).

These networking skills are a lot different to just mouse clicking like and periodically up-dating your profile brag sheet. Not that you shouldn’t have a great brag sheet. You should!

And you should be supporting your network with likes and comments and contributing with shares and posts of your own. But that’s just maintenance of presence stuff. And if that’s all you want LinkedIn for that’s fine. At least folk can find you if they want to.

I’m a salesperson so I expect a better ROI on my time and I want to be a bit more proactive than simply waiting for someone to fall over me.

I’m also an authentic person and I don’t want to engage anyone, however strong the connection, in any way that’s not authentic. I want to enjoy my connections.

Otherwise, it’s just too boring. LI doesn’t need to be a deep and meaningful experience for me. But it does need to be meaningful to be worthwhile – and that’s where the true value lies within LI.

Never lose an opportunity

Over the years, LI has proved to be a source of some choice opportunities that would not have come my way, had I not had a presence on that platform.

The alternative – not being on LI – would have simply meant that I’d have been unaware and unavailable to those opportunities and introductions. And that’s a key point – I’d have been ignorant of what I’d missed out on.

Ignorance may be bliss, except when it’s costing you an opportunity. A state which results in looking on (green-eyed) at your peers and competitors and thinking “she has all the luck”or “how does he get all the breaks” or “I can’t believe that dufus got that job/contract/client ….”

If you’re already on LinkedIn and thinking “Huh, it’s been as much use as a chocolate teapot” in terms of opening doors for you, it’s possibly because you’re not actively using the medium to its full potential. Maybe you haven’t found the Missing Link to making it work for you.

It’s kind of like having a membership to a club and never using it or turning up to any functions and then deciding it’s useless because you haven’t met anyone.

When Michelle and I started out with Dragon Sisters, we used to run networking workshops (we still do). It was never a surprise to us that successful, competent business people, were just as cowed by the prospect of walking into a room full of strangers, as the less experienced workshop participants.

It just didn’t come naturally to go in cold and to engage, interact meaningfully and to come away with a value adding experience from in person networking events or functions which presented networking opportunities (in our book anywhere anytime is an opportunity to connect and network).

On line and off line the same networking principles apply, and that includes using the LI opportunity effectively. Putting in the missing link in how you use LI means you never lose an opportunity.

The Bigger Picture

Don’t be vain about who you invite to, or accept at, your LinkedIn table. Remember that helping out youngsters and start-ups can be rewarding in many ways.

Focussing only on a certain level of professional connection out of a sense of self-promotional reflective kudos can be counterproductive, as can the obsession with the number of connections you have.

Michelle and I have always believed in paying forward. We were lucky that seasoned professionals helped us when we were green, young and didn’t know what we didn’t know.

My LinkedIn connections include bright young things who have worked for me. Anytime I can give them a leg up I will.

Funnily enough, I sometimes get offers from companies reference checking my past employees, and even the odd synergistic new connection from those managers and directors.

One day these bright young things will be directors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders themselves. That’s the bigger picture. Exciting, isn’t it? If you’d like our 8 Top Tips on how to get started on the missing Link to your LinkedIn experience, just click here and we’d be delighted to send you a copy. Have fun networking!

Yvonne Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

7 Top Tips for Using Facebook Live

If you’re a journalist (or a politician!), you’re probably used to going live to camera. But for the rest of us, it is not something we’re so readily at ease with.

Facebook Live has been around since earlier this year in Australia. It’s a warts and all, live to camera experience. It’s kind of scary.

From a personal perspective as a smarketer, it’s very important to be on top of what is trending, and Facebook Live is definitely hot!

You’re feeding into Facebook in real time. Whoever is following you, will see you in their feed. Sure, you can edit it a bit later and post to other channels, but it did actually broadcast live at the time!

My very first effort was rather harrowing, and I had issues with the internet connection dropping out! It took 3 lots of Live to finish my message.

I have since discovered that you can switch the privacy setting to “Only Me” and that way no one will see the video except you. A good way to have a practice – or you can just go for it like I did!

Spontaneity, with mistakes and gaffes, makes it all more authentic, and audiences do love to see the real deal. That’s why those bloopers at the end of films are so popular.

So how exactly does it work?

Well, first of all, it’s really important to understand that you can only do this from your smart phone. It cannot be done on a desktop.

Open Facebook on your phone, and click Post. You’ll see there is a little pink icon with ‘Go Livë’ .  If you can’t see it readily, it’s below the Photo/Video icon.

Click the Go Live Icon.

If it’s your first time using this feature, Facebook will, very helpfully, prompt you on what to do. Once your phone is ready, it will flick up a blue button saying Go Live.

Once you cFacebookLive Anywherelick that blue button, the countdown timer will start to roll. It’s just like in the movies! 3, 2, 1 and then you’re the ACTION.

Yep, you’re the producer, star and director all at once!

 

7 tips to enhance your experience with Facebook Live

Tip 1– Make sure you have a fully charged battery and a good internet connection.

Tip 2 – If you’re broadcasting to people who don’t know you, or may not know where you are, make sure that you repeat where/who you are through the video. That way, if people join in part way through your feed, they get the picture pretty quickly.

Check out this feed on the Darwin Waterfront Warriors page and you’ll see how often the name was repeated.

You’ll also notice that there was a call to action, a shout out to those in other points of Australia and a thank you to the marina management.

It was just a very spontaneous decision to go live, but it got amazing results. This is what smarketing is all about – seeing an opportunity and grabbing it.

Tip 3 – when you are the person holding the phone or in front of it speaking, it’s very hard to see the comments – in fact, it’s impossible for me to see.

If you are using Facebook Live for business and want to interact and engage with your audience in real time, here’s a couple of tips for getting around this issue:

1. Make sure you have a computer logged into the same Facebook page.

2. Position it so you can see the larger screen during the broadcast.

3. Get a helper to answer comments as they pop up, and to flag you when you might want to do a shout out.

Tip 4 – the longer you are live, the better the chance of people finding you in their feed and interacting.

Naturally, you need to be mindful to be providing interesting, useful, informative or entertaining content. It’s not just about YOU – it’s about the viewers experience.

Tip 5 – Remember when you come off the Live to save the video to your camera roll. That way you can reuse it, load to YouTube, edit, etc. Another thing I didn’t know when I began!

Tip 6 – Check your lighting (as per tip below) – and sound.

I’m slowly getting better at this thanks to the tips from Ludwig Linnekogel, which I have been sharing on our blog.

Tip 7 – Nail your message.

To grab a copy of our very soon to be completed e-book on creating engagement through strategic content leave your details here and we’ll make sure you’re the first to receive it.

To your success!

Michelle




Do you control your inbox?

Do you control your inbox or does it control you?

If you’re ending up your week with a backlog of things you plan to get around to reading, a host of emails to reply to and a bunch of “look at later” stuff your inbox is out of control!

Living in a digital world it’s all too easy to lose control. Unlike a physical pile of paper you can see, with emails, it’s so easy to hoard them “just in case” or “I’ll get back to it later”.

How it happens

It sneaks up on you.

Scrolling through your emails and not actioning them is easy to do.

Similarly, if someone has a really great advertisement, you might be tempted to click, hand over your email in return for some kind of giveaway.

If you’re growing your business, starting to get your head around concepts and new ways of doing things or working in sales and marketing, then you’ve probably signed up for a cheat sheet, e-book or something similar.

But then…WHAM!

Email Overload

You’re inundated with emails.

Like every couple of days.  Or even every single day.  Worse still, a couple of times a day from some of the really aggressive ones.

It’s out of control.

I mean, I’m all for email reminders of an event I registered for, but not for a daily blast trying to sell something or telling me how I’m missing a great opportunity.

Have you also noticed there are a number of  “experts” all busy cross-promoting each other? Some are excellent, but most are pretty average.

There were a couple of people I really liked. I enjoyed their newsletters but then they overloaded me with messages cross-promoting stuff from another expert, then another.

The result? It turned me right off.  Instead of turning me on to their product, which I had been considering buying, they actually sent me heading for the hills!

For a while, I hung about watching on in fascination at this bombardment system. I wanted to see how far they would go.

It was basically overkilling, out of control emails.

No way in the world was I going to have time to read everything being sent. At least, not if I planned to get any work done!

Taking Control

Your inbox can and must be controlled.

  1. Unsubscribe from all the email lists that you do not have the time to read, or no longer have an interest in.

You’ll be freeing up more time for working on your business and concentrating on important stuff.

2. Concentrate on moving yourself forward, not whittling away the time absorbing what everyone else is doing and saying.

You must TAKE ACTION!

Let me be really clear – action does not mean reading all the guff that pours into your inbox.

Action means dedicating time for your own activities and avoiding electronic rabbit holes. Check out my post  7 Tips for Maximising Your Business Day

You’ll find that by adopting these two simple tips you’ll have more time. Precious time to spend with your family and on looking after your own sanity.

If you’re already on one of our lists you’ll notice we don’t send out too many bulk emails. We use our blog (the one you’re reading right now) and Facebook to share stuff  – allowing you to choose when and what you’d like to read from us.

Michelle

RECORDING SOUND ON PHONE VIDEOS

Wondering how to manage great video sound quality when recording on your phone?

Our clever friend, Ludwig, is sharing some advice for how to best to deal with video sound issues. It’s so simple, but not necessarily what we’d think of first up. Everything is easy – once you know how!

As I always say, ask an expert and things suddenly seem so much easier.

Now, if you’re wondering about the difference a microphone makes to your video sound, check out this next little snippet. It’s Ludwig practising what he preaches ie. just being natural and quickly recording a clip to share with us – no editing!

If you want to take the brave step into using video – just do exactly this. Follow the tips and go for it!

I’ve been taking these tips on board too. On Sunday I recorded a quick clip while out on the dragon boat.

If you’d like to check out what I get up to most Sunday mornings, click here to see exactly how it came out. You’ll get a glimpse of beautiful Darwin Harbour where we paddle – and we even saw dolphins this week, but I wasn’t able to record that very well.

I have no idea how to edit, and didn’t have my glasses on, but I’m pretty pleased with the results – it came out okay!  At least I think it did. What do you reckon?

Love to see what video’s you are inspired to make! Feel free to share a link in the comments box if you’d like to blow your own trumpet.

Michelle

PS – Ludwig has a private Facebook group you may like to join. Just follow this link to sign up – it’s free and full of valuable tips and ideas.




The Only 3 Essentials You Need for Great Video

Do you ever feel you can’t get started on something because you don’t have the right equipment? I know that I always thought making a great video yourself was hard.

I mean I can hardly take a selfie!

How on earth was I going to make a video of myself, let alone a great one?

I have tried to use my smart phone to make videos of family stuff before, but I wasn’t exactly satisfied with my result – they were not what you’d call great video! Sure, the phone is smart, but I was not so smart. I needed to find an expert.

Well, Ludwig says there are only 3 essentials that are required to make great video yourself. Watch the video below and discover what they are.

Next week we’ll be sharing some quick tips on:

  • how to look great and appear relaxed
  • different kinds of video
  • how to sound natural
  • scripting

If you have a burning question about making your own video, feel free to drop us a note or leave a comment. We’ll try to come up with the answer.

On a personal note, I am really enjoying this learning curve. There are some really wonderful tools available that do not cost the earth, but are so helpful when trying to jiggle your smart phone and film yourself at the same time.

When I first filmed myself for Facebook Live, I pinned my phone to my corkboard because I couldn’t figure how to get it to hold stead. Needless to say, I have improved since then, and thankfully my phone didn’t fall off the board! That would have been a very expensive exercise.

If you’re finding these tips helpful, I’d love you to leave a comment. Of course, it goes without saying that you are most welcome to share with any others that you think would benefit from these handy tips.

Michelle