Facebook Groups – Time Management

Facebook groups and time management can often present a huge challenge.

Running your own group or being part of one can be extremely beneficial for your business.

BUT…

It’s really important to be able to understand what your objective is.

It only works to your advantage if you can control how much time you spend in the group…

AND… you are really clear on your purpose for being in the group.

Identifying your WHY

In order to successfully utilise and enjoy being part of a Facebook group, it’s vital to understand why you are there.

Is it to learn?

If this is the case, make sure that members are knowledgeable and generous with sharing.

Or maybe, you are just there to learn how other people run their groups. That’s fine too, but remember that each group reacts differently and it all hinges on the personalities involved, so what is working for one group may not always work for another.

Is it to teach and share your own knowledge?

Be sure that the admin of the group will welcome what you have to share. This can cause angst if the admin is not generous in spirit and sees you as “competition”.

To find potential clients?

This is definitely the most common reason most business people are in groups – although there is some exception (like our SMART Circle.)

If this is your reason, you need to be prepared to share your knowledge in a non-sales way.

Most importantly have a strategy going into the group.

After all, you want to share but you don’t want to give so much away that no one will need to pay for your services.

Size matters

The bigger the group the more there is to keep on top of.

It’s important not to make the mistake of thinking you have to comment on every post or read everything that goes up.

Big groups are not necessarily always super active. As a general rule, there tends to be a small core of active participants with the rest being “lurkers”.

When you first join a group take the time to look around. Then write a small introduction about yourself. Chances are you’ll get a few welcomes below your post – these are the people who are, likely as not, the most responsive members.

My personal observation is that smaller groups tend to be a lot more interactive than larger ones.

Spend your time wisely

Being active in groups can be a huge time drain. The first step is in recognising and acknowledging this.

Once you know the potential for time to gallop away it’s much easier to guard against it.

1 ) Be firm with yourself

Make a rule about when you will be in the groups.  Plan this into your diary.

What works for me is to pop into the groups I am a member of first thing in the morning and then again in the evening – not every day.

Spending 5 minutes skimming through the content is normally sufficient.

Do not be tempted to read every single comment unless the subject is something you really need to learn about or have expert knowledge on.

2) Build relationships

Commenting on a few key posts rather than hitting like on a whole bunch is much more effective.

A comment is way more valuable than simply liking. By taking the time to comment you are building relationships.

Typically members ask questions in groups. They are searching for answers. Answer the questions that relate to your area of expertise.

3) Know when it’s time to leave

After a few weeks in a group, if you are not getting valuable engagement that is either helping you or your business to grow, it’s time to pull the pin. There is no rule that says you need to stay.

Use the tools available

There are some very handy tools available on Facebook that help with managing what appears in your feeds and your time in the group.

Search

Use the search function to find questions/discussions on topics that you are interested in answering/learning more about. This way you don’t have to scroll through all the posts. It’s especially helpful in very active groups or if you’ve had a short break.

Notifications

When you like or comment on a post, if you don’t turn off the notifications you can end up with a whole stream of notifications pinging your way.

Similarly, if you want to follow a post, simply because you are interested, but you don’t necessarily want to comment, you can turn on the notifications.

Copy Link

Even better than turning on the notifications – if it’s something you want to refer back to – grab the link and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet.

You can then come back to visit it later when you have more time.

Turn Off Commenting

This one is great when you have a post that is getting heaps of engagement, but it’s now way past time the subject closed. You have the option to delete your post or better yet, just turn off commenting. That way nothing else can be added but everyone can still read it.

One final tip

Limit the number of groups you belong to.

Work out how much time you can afford to spend engaging. Then count up the groups you’re in to come up with a realistic figure of what time you can actually afford without it impacting on other areas of your business and personal life.

By limiting the number of groups you belong to you’ll end up being able to offer better value and create stronger relationships.

If found this helpful let me know in the comments.

Fly like a dragonFly like a dragon

Michelle

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The next big thing in marketing?

The next big thing in marketing may just be happening on LinkedIn.

In the digital age, everything happens super fast.

Why Video Marketing?

The demands on our time are excessive and often, immediate.

Which is understandable. In the digital age, everything happens super fast.

Could this be why video and live feeds rate so highly on social media
and are given preferential (at the moment) positioning by those platforms?

That means that e.g. the way Facebook sets its algorithms determines what you see on your newsfeed.

But we do our best to flag what’s going on to our networks.

Marketing via LinkedIn Video

For instance, did you know that LinkedIn is rolling out their video offering?

I got the heads up from a connection on that platform.

Another good example of how we can all help one another ?.

Different Ponds for different marketing

It immediately occurred to me that I know of at least two SMEs who have fabulously successful businesses with business to consumer markets, and who, are positioning themselves to sell their businesses.

There’s another business ready to move to the next level and needs investors.

Suddenly, they need to be in a different pond to attract the right buyer/investor.

The business to business pond.

They’re more likely to find good leverage for their new goal from the LinkedIn network, than from Facebook business pages.

A lot of us are saying that LinkedIn has been slow coming to the visual party. Way behind Facebook for instance.

We all know how phenomenal Facebook Live has been for reaching and engaging target markets. But, hey LinkedIn, better late than never, right?

So far as Michelle and I are concerned, we strongly recommend that no one dismisses such new offerings.

You may not need it now. But like the businesses I’ve referred to, neither did they 12 months ago.

Now, it’s a whole new ball game.

You never know what the next opportunity might be! Or where, or from which platform.

So, it’s a really good idea, to maintain a presence across two or so key ones, and keep an eye on the others.

Here’s a great piece that explains what the LinkedIn offering will mean for businesses and for marketing those businesses:

LinkedIn’s new feature has the potential to be a game changer in B2B.

Fly like a dragon!

Yvonne

So You Want To Sell Online?

To sell online is the dream of many. After all, it’s a vast global marketplace and you can work from the comfort of your own home.

Making money while you sleep.  Sounds fabulous!

The Reality

All too often we start out all fired up only to discover that reality is not quite as simple as we initially envisaged.

Sure, there are a zillion guru’s who’ll tell you how they made their fortunes, that they’ll teach you their secrets and exact methods they used. For a fee.

BUT, the reality is this – it’s hard work.

There is no such thing as overnight success.

Yes, it is possible to be very successful online. It all comes down to strategy.

Regardless of whether you are an Etsy store, an author, a business coach…Before you do anything at all there 5 key areas that you need to pay close attention.

5 steps to successfully selling online

Step 1 – Identifying your target audience.  You need to be really specific because you cannot be all things to all people.

If you are too generic, you miss the mark because people do not realise you are talking to them. When you are niching down you have a much better chance of succeeding.

Step 2 – Start building your email list. This is absolutely essential. It means being able to speak directly to your target audience.

If they join your email list, you know they are interested in what you have to offer.

Step 3 – Get really clear & familiar with what you will need to deliver.

So many people start to plan an online course or product, but then, partway down the path, realise they have no idea on what is needed to deliver the finished product.

In other words HOW all the moving parts need to fit together. If the building blocks don’t fit then there is no way that sales happen. It’s definitely not a case of build it and they will come.

Step 4 – Know the costs involved in getting started.

This can be a very nasty shock and lack of funds can end up stalling your progress.

Step 5 – Create your initial campaign designed to educate rather than to sell. Your audience needs to get to know you. After all, would you buy from a perfect stranger online?

Once you have these five steps in place you are ready to start thinking about marketing your product.

The five steps outlines above are way more important than having a fancy logo or branded collateral. They are the icing on the cake that only come AFTER you have baked the cake. In other words – the solid base needs to be in place before you cn start the decorating.

As business strategists, we all too often see people make the mistake of investing far too much in the ”trimmings.”  This can be a costly mistake.

Selling online is great, but it’s a journey that you need to be approaching strategically if you want to be successful.

Understanding and developing a marketing mindset goes a long way to ensuring a successful online business. It’s not always easy, but it’s most definitely worth the effort.

Dragon Sisters runs a FREE 7 Day Marketing Challenge to help you gain a different perspective on the marketing mindset.

To enrol in the next challenge just subscribe below.



Got an opinion or question on selling online? I’d love you to share it in the comments.

Fly Like A Dragon

Michelle

 

In Your Face Facebook

Not the fastest to take up Facebook, I finally folded when several overseas friends badgered me relentlessly.

Once I did though, I never regretted being able to trade banter, snippets of news and – my favourite – photos, with folk I hadn’t seen in aeons.

Best of all, I got to find, and be found by, friends I’d lost touch with decades ago.

The World Shrunk With Facebook

The world and time suddenly shrunk.

In an awesome way.

At any time of my choosing, I could reach out, connect, reconnect. Spend an hour or a minute touching base with friends, old and new.

And those friends hand-held me through my tentative steps into social media. They gave me great advice and tips. The do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette, security and other useful stuff.

Pretty soon, I’d lost my reticence and was Facebooking like a fiend.

And having a ball with it.

Once you’re confident with something, that’s when you really start to enjoy it, right?

Facebook & Your Business

6 years ago (March 2011) we started our Dragon Sisters Facebook page.

In the first place, we did it because we thought we should have a business presence on the platform.

But it quickly became evident that Facebook for business had enormous potential for Dragon Sisters, and for our connections and clients.

Our reach became exponential

It was a pebble in the pond ripple effect, bringing in other opportunities both on and offline. In other groups. We set up our own closed-member groups for different aspects of our business. We joined and supported others’ public and closed user groups.

We cross-fertilized and fostered relationships on other social media platforms. Used new Facebook offerings and features to get the best results for our business, like Facebook Live.

And it’s all become bigger than Ben Hur.

If you’re too young to know that movie, it’s about a Roman chariot race. Which is a good simile, since Facebook (and other social media platforms) can sometimes feel like a runaway chariot, careening out of control, with you wondering how soon the wheels are going to fly off.

A lot of the questions we get for Michelle’s weekly Q&A Smarketing Spot still revolve around how to handle your business presence on Facebook. How to stay in control. How to create and maximise the opportunities this medium offers.

How to do all that and not be an In Your Face Facebook Freak?

So, I’m re-sharing Michelle’s blog from March last year.

Which includes one of our  free tip sheets- 6 Steps to Strategic Social Media Posting that will save you heaps of time.

Are we Facebook aficionado know-it-alls?

Nope.

Truth is, the platform morphs and moves too fast for anyone to stake that claim.

But we know what’s worked for us. And it can work for you too ?.

Fly like a dragon!

Yvonne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The future viability of LinkedIn and how it affects us all

Instead of writing a new post, this week I want to re-share a brilliant write by Samantha Bailey . The article is an excellent explanation of the future viability of LinkedIn and how it affects us all.

I’d urge you to follow the link and check out this very indepth and informative article.

Samantha Bailey is a highly experienced Data Analyst with an impressive range of related specialist skills, including Research, Forensic Analysis, Data Analysis and Analytics.

I’d also love to hear your thoughts once you’ve read the article.

Yvonne

Struggling to network on LinkedIn? Grab your FREE copy of our 8 Top Tips

Friends, Facebook & Your Business

I have a very dear friend, let’s call her Fiona. Unlike her fictional name, Fiona is not a figment of my imagination. I gave up that friend (Betty) when I was about five years old. Largely because Mum would not give me extra cookies for my invisible friend, being in my view, discriminatingly suspicious in her attitude towards that persecuted minority: the cookie deprived invisible; despite the hard proof of Betty’s existence, evident by the avid consumption of any, and all extra cookies, as difficult as they were to procure. To this day, I take a very dim view of discrimination against minorities.

But let’s not dwell on the noble traits of my formative years …

Fiona and I have been friends since our kids were babies. We’re as different as chalk and cheese. While I was suited and booted putting my stomp on the corporate world, Fiona was studying an environmental degree, juggling family, working with the underprivileged and volunteering her time to care of the environment. She’s so passionate about taking care of our earth that now, many years on, she’s created a business around it.

Fiona, is one of those people who walks the walk, not just talks the talk. You won’t find her lolling about with a latte bemoaning that state of the world. She’s out there, doing something about it. And when we get together we guzzle a cheeky little red, not lattes. Ah, so that’s what we have in common!

Recently, we caught up on each other’s news, well into the small hours and more than one red was had.

Fiona’s business is in bush regeneration. She’s been doing well, working on everything from private residences, community centres and kindies to government environmental contracts.

But like many SMEs, her business needs more clients. Naturally, I started banging on about Dragon Sisters, Smarketing and Fiona’s business Facebook page.

Fiona doesn’t do digital, social media or any of that stuff. Well, she does, a bit. She’s too busy with her digits digging in the earth to redirect them to a keyboard. Besides, she’s no fan of technology. Fiona frequently goes AWOL from her mobile, Facebook and Linked In accounts. I’m used to her being out of touch for tracts of time, then randomly popping up again. That never matters with good friends though, does it?

Just as the last of the red disappeared and I was thinking of doing the same, Fiona picked back up on the topic of Facebook and her business. Out came her laptop and up came her business page.

We put on some coffee and nattered into the even smaller hours. One thing I realized was that Fiona is a natural branding and word wizard. Who knew?! Yet her page wasn’t doing much for her.

She looked pretty crestfallen … ‘ ****! You mean all the followers I had are pretty much lost?’

Erm, yeah, sorry. This, on the subject of FB algorithms, Newsfeed, audience retention, blah blah blah. Suddenly the dry and the boring translated into the reality of nobody is seeing this great stuff ☹!

Fiona huffed about wasted effort and hard work. But she brightened when I pointed out some easy fixes and revitalization ideas. Fiona knows all about revitalization and regeneration, being in the business of exactly that. The parallel wasn’t lost on her.

Here’s to nurturing some new growth Fiona ? Cheers!

Fly like a dragon folks!

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.

 

How trust builds business and why the obvious isn’t so obvious!

It’s obvious that to build any relationship we need a bedrock of trust. Trust builds business.

Who doesn’t know that?!

We all know it and that it makes perfect sense.

No one is going to build a lasting and meaningful relationship with someone they trust about as far as they can throw them. That would be like cosying up to a mamba and expecting nothing more harmful than a hug – just a teeny bit unrealistic – said the mistress of understatement.

Yet that is exactly what some of us do and then we wonder why we got bitten.

That was pretty much the premise of last week’s blog about poor old Bob coming unstuck with a new LinkedIn connection.

The big question is – who can you trust and how do you know you can trust them?

More importantly, if you’re interested in networking to advance your business ethically, how do new contacts and connections know they can trust you?

With digital networking and global reach, it’s not uncommon to have people in your network that you have never actually met. Nor will you, except with the acquisition of a Lear Jet.

I don’t know about you, but at Dragon Sisters we run to the cost of a couple of company cars and that’s about it. Except for a bunch of air miles. Cattle class. Not that I’m whinging.

One of the fail-safe ways to start out on a platform of reasonable mutual trust, is to do a lot of business through referrals. Michelle and I do the majority of our Dragon Sisters’ business through word-of-mouth referrals.

Our approach

As a couple of old dragons we pre-date social media and had to rely on strong in-person networking and referrals back in the day. As a sales person, I hated cold calling and being a pest, so I learnt fast that there was a far easier and more pleasant way to meet new prospects and great like-minded people, who were immediately interested in talking to me, because they knew someone who trusted me enough to refer a friend or an associate to me.

We use exactly the same approach now that we have access to all the marvellous one-click-away contact of social media. And it is marvellous making instant connections provided you don’t lose sight of the fact that any new connection is just going to be one more digit on your vanity metric, until, or unless, you’ve forged an initial element of trust.

That’s what doesn’t seem so obvious now to many digital networkers and marketers.

Michelle wrote a while back explaining how networking and referrals can drive any business’ growth far faster and far smoother once you get the hang of it. Like driving a Ferrari! Yes, I have hankerings for speedy, expensive, transportation toys.

Right, I’m off to polish my Nissan now.

Warm Wishes,

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.

Your Reputation Matters – Check Out Who You’re Trusting With It!

Your reputation is affected by those who you surround yourself with.

I had an interesting little experience on LinkedIn and I thought I’d share it with you.

Maybe you’ve come across the same thing?

I was asked to connect with an individual on LinkedIn by another connection. This was an overt network expansion request to help generate interest in, this unknown to me potential connection’s, business.

Let’s call this individual, Larry.

Now, I’m not precious about my LinkedIn connections and who I let into my network. Ordinarily.

After all, if I can give a leg up to another business, then I’m usually more than happy to do so. That’s how networking works and our Dragon Sisters philosophy has always been to help out for no gain – the pay it forward concept.

That doesn’t mean I was born yesterday.

With many more yesterday’s behind me than I like to count, naturally I checked out my soon to be LinkedIn pal, Larry.

I’m a nosey sort and I really am interested in other people’s business.

Not in the curtain-twitcher way! (I’m not that nosey).

More in the what we might have in common way.

At first, I couldn’t figure out why my connection – let’s call him Bob – was raving about Larry.

Larry’s LinkedIn profile and information looked like he’d landed in LinkedIn Land a nanosecond ago.

Kind of the man with no past.

He’d been at the company he worked at only a few brief months. He claimed over a decade in experience and achievement in his sector, but there was nothing to bear out the claim anywhere in his summary or experience.

And I mean nothing.

With over 400 connections Larry had 4 skills endorsements and no past experience history.

Not that I count on vanity metrics, but still, given the dearth of information about the guy, that made his claims more than a bit tenuous.

His company website linked to nothing more informative than an opt-in landing site.

Oh-oh! Had Bob already parted with hard-won cash?

I had a nasty feeling he had. And Bob is a talented, hardworking, solopreneur. I didn’t like to think he’d been gulled.

So, I dug down a bit.

Actually, I drilled down like a manic mole. ‘Til the early hours, when I should have been in LaLa Land with the Sandman and a flock of supine sheep.

But I was intrigued and in full rat-up-a-drain-pipe mode.

Plus, as I said, I’m nosey.

The whole ‘curiosity killed the cat’ thing doesn’t wash with me. Not when it comes to business or handing over cash.

Larry’s claim was that he had the expertise to monetise Bob’s LinkedIn presence for Bob’s explosive business growth.

Really fast and really impressively.

Kind of like a LinkedIn networking guru who could turn LinkedIn into lots of lovely lolly for Bob.

First up, Larry would transform Bob’s profile and presence on LinkedIn into amazing guru-hood for Bob’s specific business sector. Bob’s new profile looked more gnu-like than guru-like. I was about as impressed as a kid at Christmas getting a stocking full of coal.

Bob has paid for this?! My high school kid has a better profile than poor old Bob. And that includes her Saturday job as wait staff.

Talk about being under-whelmed. Larry had done nothing for Bob’s professional reputation. Worse. He’d made Bob look like a complete numpty. And Bob is no numpty. In his field of expertise he’s a star.

My mid-night digging led me to the parent company of Larry’s business. It had been registered just last year. I dug around for the CEO of Larry’s company and that Big Cheese’s other business interests and his partners.

I looked at everyone associated with those businesses on Google, other social media sites and of course, on LinkedIn.

I checked out the company registrations. I checked out the glowing recommendations. Some of which were the same people (on various Big Cheese individual profiles) vouching for (different) businesses which hadn’t existed at the time of writing those gushing this is the go-to guy testimonials.

I found links to defunct websites (with domains registered to the Big Cheeses). To past events promising get-rich-quick schemes.

Most weird of all, was that the people in business together didn’t transparently acknowledge any relationship with each other. They all came from the same background. They all made lavish monetising promises, in different guises and under different companies over the years.

None of them had achieved rich list status themselves. And the way they were scrambling for business, like a pack of hyenas over a bone, had me worried that Bob had become the bone. Humble, lovely Bob, who had trusted his reputation to them and I suspected was on his way to trusting more of his hard-won cash to some under the radar business interests. And not in his business interests.

Spooky, isn’t it?

Dragon Sisters are big advocates of how to Connect. Convert. Sell.

There are ways to go about connecting authentically. This wasn’t one of them. Least ways, not one that works for Bob. Next time he’ll be checking out the reputation of who he’s trusting with his reputation. And money!

Warm Wishes

Yvonne

PS Do you need support deciding who to trust your reputation to? Download our Top 10 Tips by clicking the box below:

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.

How to effectively toot your own horn

How to effectively toot your own horn, and promote yourself and your business without looking like a complete self promoter is something that so many of us grapple with.

Do you find it easy to toot your own horn?

If you’re like a zillion other business people I know, then your most likely answer is going to be no. And that’s a perfectly normal answer.

Learning how to promote yourself without sounding like you’re bragging is not always the easiest thing to do. If you feel uncomfortable you are not alone.

It seems a bit braggish to be boasting about how wonderful you are. Braggish – is that even a word?

Nothing more annoying that those people who pop up all over the place telling you how wonderful they are, full of their own importance and it’s all about them. You know the kind I mean. Very rarely share anything about anyone else, just tell you all about themselves. They kind of tend to be the same in real life too – never stop to take breath or ask anyone else about how they are doing.

On the other hand, you kind of have to admire the size of their ego and the fact that they are totally oblivious to anything but themselves, their own needs and wants.

SO – how do you tell people how wonderful you and your business are without coming across as being full of ego?

Well, here’s the thing.

I have spent a great many years working in the not for profit sector. Most people in this sector are amazingly giving and generous with their time and knowledge. They do what they do for others, rather than themselves. Sure, they may get paid, but the wages are paltry compared with the corporate world.

I crossed from corporate to not for profit and now into the world of self employment.

I always found it very easy (and I still do) to promote a charity or a cause that I am working for. That’s because I only work with nice people and causes I believe in.

It’s very easy to ask for money for others. It’s easy to ask for support for a charity.

When it came down to promoting myself, that was a whole diferent kettle of fish. I had one major stumbling block.

The difficulty was…..

Making the ask for myself. When I first returned to Australia, I needed to let people know that I was looking for business locally.

It was not easy.

Up until that point, I had never needed to ask for myself.

I felt uncomfortable actively telling people about my own credentials and successes. It felt like I was bragging. I’ve never been particularly good at the me, me, me thing.  In my business successes I’ve always put my achievements down to whole teams efforts, crediting those working me for their contributions.

Then I realised that all these people I have helped, people who said they admired my work, were actually very willing to help me move ahead in my business.

The problem was…..

They did not know I needed help.

What I had to do was ask. They were not mind readers.

Ok, I had to do a little bit more than ask.  I needed to be clear about HOW they could help me and be specific about WHAT I wanted them to do.

I found LinkedIn a truly valuable tool for helping promote my business skills.  It was a place people could look me up, and the recommendations, honours and awards on my profile did the horn tooting for me.

Click here to grab a copy of our 8 Top Tips for using LinkedIn

I also honed my  pitch, so that I could quickly explain

“Dragons Sisters can help you to connect, convert and sell. We do this through strategic communication and a proven formula of Smarketing – strategy, sales and marketing.”

The team at Dragon Sisters has many talents, but it all boils down to helping clients with connecting, converting and selling.

To understand more about what it takes to connect, convert and sell  Click here to grab your copy of our FREE e-book on How to Create Engagement with Strategic Communication. It’s packed with engagement tips and information to help you succeed.

Once I started to express exactly what we do, the business stared to flow and we’ve not looked back. In fact, it’s rather nice to be in the position that we have many repeat clients and lots of word of mouth referrals.

To  each and every one of the businesses we’ve worked with – THANK YOU! It’s been a great pleasure to help you move your businesses forward.

Michelle

 

 

 

Protecting Brand YOU this holiday season

Protecting Brand YOU needs to be at the forefront of your mind as the busiest social season of corporate and employer hospitality approaches.

When it comes to the corporate Christmas party as a guest, and as a host, there’s quite a bit to be considered, not least, what not to do at the festive function.

If you’re in an environment where year-round business socialising has been prevalent, you’ve probably seen (and heard of) countless social blunders and corporate clangers, and nowhere is this more prolific than at the work Christmas do.

It’s astonishing how Brand Buffoon comes to the fore, to boot the most carefully nurtured Brand Me image off its precarious pedestal.

In the interests of fairness, I’ll ‘fess up to having been less than whiter than seasonal snow-driven slush, (or was it lush?), just so this ramble doesn’t smack of the holier-than-thou.

Back in the day when I was a newly minted sales sprog, I attended my first company Christmas party, a lavish affair complete with all-night free bar (uh-oh!).

The lessons I learned from the experience are:

  • An all-night bar doesn’t make it compulsory to drink all night;
  • Never attempt (if you’re on your ‘nth’ bubbly beverage) to converse with anyone of authority, however jolly they seem on the Bolli – it’s a trap;
  • Do not approach the tilting dance floor – you could barely stay upright when it wasn’t moving;
  • It’s inelegant to crawl up the foyer staircase – take the elevator – the service elevator (by now you can easily pass for a bag of laundry);
  • Only a complete numpty books their top prospect appointment for the morning after.

Not the most auspicious way to launch a career and Brand Me!

It was so long ago that it pre-dates handheld mobile phones, let alone iPhones and social media (thank you God!); I can only show my face on LinkedIn now because my bosses from back then have since retired or died – or have pretended to in order to avoid me.

Had there been such things as blogs at the time, I may have been saved (from my idiotic self) by Dan Miles’ Blog The Ultimate Office Christmas Party Etiquette Guide, in which he lists his #1 tip as ‘Be on brand’. A piece of invaluable advice! It’s quite hilarious, if a bit naughty …

In a more managerial vein, there’s also this article on Managing Office Christmas Parties from the legal eagles Eversheds. After reading this last one, you could be forgiven for grinching out and doing without a Christmas do … if you don’t mind being Brand Grinch.

Yvonne

PS – this post was originally published on Simple Team Meeting

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.