May 22, 2014

Top Secret of Entrepreneurs who Succeed in Social Media You know what to do, it is just how to do it. You read. You listen. You learn. You know the mechanics behind the success of other brands....yet, you are still frustrated about how to power your brand forward. Often the difference between success and failure in business is belief. True, honest belief. Belief based on strong ideas, clarity of thought and knowing that you will have failures but failure will be a gate to improvement not a barrier to progress. However, there is a problem with the word 'belief'? Anyone spot it? There are two different vowels and three in total and yet it is spelt without the most important one...U! U need to believe in your brand - no compromise, only checks to ensure that it remains relevant and fresh. A brand without belief is not a brand, it is a dream. U need to believe before your customer will believe. Belief is contagious. U need to create the reasons - and believe in them - of why you are different and why a customer should choose you. Belief comes from knowing and understanding your work. U need to believe that social marketing will work IF you keep doing the right things for the right reasons to the right people....over the medium term. This is not a short term fix; it is an ongoing philosophy of putting the customer first. U need to believe that social is not a digital revolution but a mindset revolution. Belief comes from persuading your mind first, before turning to the minds of others. U need to believe in your customer or potential customers. The more you believe in their voice, the more they will believe in your brand. Without belief you will not succeed. Others may doubt and that is good! They can act as a check on your thinking. Blind belief is as bad as no belief! Belief is the missing ingredient between how social megastars feel about their brand which makes them want to be social....and how the ordinary folks who create because they feel they have to .... Belief is the glue between your business and your social content. Without belief you write without passion, without belief you think about product and service .....with belief you talk passionately about reasons rather than mundane specifications. Belief is free - however it is expensive. Expensive because you have to invest your time to truly understand why you do believe, how to explain your passion and remove the blocks that prevent your belief running through all that you do. Those blocks act like a dam, holding back that belief from becoming flowing down to customers. Those dams need your attention. Now. Today. Not tomorrow. Those dams need to be removed quickly because their removal frustration will posion your belief over time. So ask yourself - do I really, really, truly believe in what I do? If I don't why? Deal with anything on the list. If I do, how do I find...
What Business Can Learn From UK Elections Speak the truth not spin. Speak in words we understand. Speak as if you have lived rather than studied. European and local elections have been held in the UK this week and irrelevant of your political views, it is another sign that people just don't do spin. Why is the voting so unpredictable? Why is there anti establishment movement? Listening to people about why and how they voted, people are tired of the constant soundbits, the evasive answers, the collective message rather than the party line. They are tired of being manipulated by messaging and brands need to recognise this is not just happening in politics.... media is your customer's voting system. Liken that to customer service and brands can learn some key lessons Listening does not mean what the "spin doctors" think people are means listening from living in the world rather than your business world. If you make a mistake, just say sorry. Just tell the truth and deal with it as openly as possible. Policitians across all parties don't seem to want to admit mistakes, yet we all make them. Admit them, move on and work hard to put them right. Values are important. If you don't hold yourself to the standards you espouse, no one will ever believe the words you say. That means losing great people, it means removing friends which is tough....but without hard decisions on individuals you risk the welfare of the whole. Answer the question asked by your customer rather than giving the line that has been agreed by your brand. Being successful in the past is no guarantee for the future. You biggest competitor....complacency. The value of the truth. People see through lies, no matter how well you think you have hidden them. Words have the power to change the world. Imagine if Martin Luther King had said "I have knocked on doors and understand your issues. From that we have created policies. If I was in power, then I would have a mission which will be tracked by key performance indicators" People demand honesty. People demand an answer. People demand accountability. Therein lies a business opportunity.....because the brands that can ACTUALLY deliver their promises, ACCEPT when they fall short, ADDRESS what caused it and APPEAR human whilst they do all this...will be way ahead of their competition! Do you have the 4 A approach to your customer?

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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