5 Best Practices of Thought Leadership

mitchell-levyThought leadership is a hot buzzword, however, there are many definitions and misconceptions about what a thought leader is.

I’d like to offer a definition that may be slightly broader than what you’re used to. Once you’re comfortable with the definition, I’ll share five best practices.

Who is a Thought Leader?

A thought leader is an individual who is recognized as an expert in their own space, and is referred to for help on various matters. In other words, the key-to-go person who can give an appropriate path to attain best results in the field and geography they specialize in. For a more robust definition, check out this 2×2 showing a definition of thought leadership as audience by content .

The Top Five Best Practices for Thought Leadership are:

1.      Visibility to the Employees and the Management Team:

Due to the accessibility and abundance of numerous product reviews on the Internet, traditional salespeople have become obsolete and ineffective. The new salesperson is Google and is playing a big part in providing a perfect way to review products and services with utmost ease.

Potential customers search on your organization, they want to see “real” people sharing authentic, transparent and trustworthy information. Every employee represents the brand, and they must look good. Particularly, the management team.

On the “About us” page of many organizations today, you not only see a small photo or bio of the executive team, but also links to their individual social accounts (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter). This way, the customers and future advocates get an opportunity to see how the management team represents themselves and engage with them, if appropriate.

[info]Make sure and participate in Mitchell’s FREE live webinar at Social Buzz University on Thursday, November 20, 2014! CLICK HERE to register now![/info]  Continue reading

Social Media Build Your Tribe – Entice Engagement By Giving Your Followers Success

Social Media engagement starts a cocktail-party style encounter amidst streams of clever quotes and cute critters.

Twitter - the local Social Marketing ToolYou have a chance to say ‘hi’ with a smile, you may have a chance to chat, and sometimes there’s a click-through. Engaging followers on social involves learning the techniques of a specific type of charm.

When you meet people in person you have visual clues for engagement success. Everyone likes to hear that they look good, though it’s wise to avoid a loaded word like ‘beautiful’ because there are so many ways it can make someone uncomfortable.

Instead, use a less threatening comment like “that’s a great color.” Women are often susceptible to shoes, so wearing great shoes and commenting on great shoes both provide opportunities for interaction. Many people can respond comfortably if you ask how they came to be at your location – unless you’re sharing a police lineup.

Most loaded words and awkward situations in posts can be avoided with mindfulness. Intelligent writers may forget that followers could be intimidated by language or ideas. Does that mean you should dumb down your posts? Would changing your language to be more accessible to readers be dumbing down, or would it be giving your followers an opportunity to engage?

People like to feel successful.

Every time you give them an opportunity to succeed you are giving them a chance to feel good about engaging with you. As well as sharing quality information, invite your followers to engage with topics that they’ll find easy.

popsicleSometimes it’s surprising what people find welcoming – I got a high response to a post that asked people their favorite flavor of Popsicle.

It can be just as surprising to discover what people may find uncomfortable. Often people will react to a trigger and withdraw, skipping past your post without even realizing they didn’t read it.

Subconscious programs that affect relationships have all sorts of hidden triggers. People may withdraw if they feel evaluated, judged, or if they feel there are unmeetable requirements.

How could a post contain unmeetable requirements?

Here’s a quick check to determine if you could inadvertently have an unmeetable requirement in a post: have you ever asked someone to do something that they did not complete the way you wanted it done?

Like most people, you’ve probably found yourself explaining something you thought was obvious (how could anyone think the kitchen was clean if the dishwasher wasn’t loaded) or found yourself describing how to do something that you learned by yourself (it’s not rocket science, you figured it out) or frustrated that a person didn’t understand a deadline (when the meeting is Wednesday, that means the slides have to be ready for Wednesday, why would you have to say that?)

Sometimes a person is confused because they don’t have all the information and context that’s in your head. Sometimes they’re confused because they have different values or ideas that cause them to draw different conclusions from the same information. Sometimes they don’t care about what you care about, and they aren’t going to give it the same attention, interest, or effort.

When you send a post into the stream you’re going to interact with all sorts of different perceptions. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your ability to give your followers a positive experience. It’s easy when you know how, and becomes part of your usual mindful awareness.

Does a post even have requirements?

Here are a few examples of requirements routinely included in posts:

Call to action
If your follower doesn’t feel ready to act you can avoid triggering withdrawal by offering more information and an opportunity, instead of a ‘buy now.’ Would you rather entice them towards a purchase or trigger withdrawal with an unmeetable requirement?

Links, videos and images
Double up your posts to ensure your followers can succeed. What if they’ve got a terrible data plan and avoid images? Maybe they use an app on their tablet that makes follow-through challenging. Share your post both with and without images to give your followers opportunities to engage.

New information
Wait a minute, aren’t you supposed to offer quality information? Absolutely, and the best way to allow your followers to absorb new information is with pacing. New information is introducing something they don’t know, so it’s hard for them to feel successful. It could even contradict what they currently believe, which could feel as if you’ve called them wrong!

In order to avoid these triggers, use what they already know as a nonthreatening introduction before introducing the new information. With pacing you get to agree with them and give them something – two feel goods in one.

Build Your Tribe: When you allow your followers to succeed, you become a source of positive feelings

When you’re inviting followers into a tribe it’s important to provide clear requirements so they can feel they belong in your tribe.

If you’re looking for followers on a page called ‘Everybody who turned fifty in 2014’ then you’re made it crystal clear who belongs. Maybe you want all the followers you can get, so you don’t want to specify requirements. How would people know if they can belong to your tribe if they don’t know how to succeed? There’s a reason American presidents start speeches with “My fellow Americans.”

Unmeetable requirements trigger withdrawal. Meetable requirements give people a chance to feel successful.

What is a meetable requirement?

Meetable requirements:

  • are measurable
  • have objective requirements definitions
  • have an objectively defined finish line

A measurable requirement can be evaluated by both parties, and by an objective third party.

‘Do better’ is not a meetable requirement.

‘Finish the report before five pm today’ is a meetable requirement if the person has what they need to complete the report on time.

Check your posts to ensure any requirements, including language and tone, allow your follower to know if they are succeeding.

A requirement has an objective definition when a stranger can understand your meaning. Could a stranger understand ‘paint this red?’ It could be expensive to discover what red means to a stranger – or to someone you’ve worked with for four years.

I have to admit, sometimes the only way to spot the assumptions in a post is to ask someone else to read it! Another option is to train yourself to spot your assumptions by having a teenager, as they’re brilliant at demonstrating assumptions.

A finish line is a critical element for success. Have you ever had that feeling that your work is never ending? Never ending is definitely not a successful feeling! You and your followers will feel a lot better with finish lines that allow success and validation of your accomplishments.

Try it out: when you get to the end of this post, notice that you’ve achieved a task and learned something new and give yourself a pat on the back.

Give your followers a task they can finish by inviting them to comment, and a way to succeed by asking them what they know : I know I’ve had a good day because I’ve had an opportunity to provide these tips for Enticing Engagement. How could you know you’ve had a good day?

‘You never talk to me’ or ‘you don’t give me the information I need’ are unmeetable requirements for an employee, partner, parent or offspring.

When you’re rephrasing a requirement to allow your relationship to succeed, you’re avoiding sabotaging your own relationship. If you’re interested in a good relationship, it’s not just worth the effort – it’s essential.

Some people love a face to face discussion. Other people need an activity, and side by side interaction. Go for a walk instead of sitting in a meeting room, do a task which the other person feels competent doing together, go for a drive – all of these create an atmosphere that encourages comfortable conversation. Start a conversation with a topic that is comfortable for the other person to allow the flow to begin. Learn to come at topics sideways to avoid provoking threat reactions.

Often the biggest problem is that you have made assumptions that the information you want is obvious – it isn’t. Even in a workplace, a person can have different interests and priorities than you do. You may consider the schedule the top priority, and they may consider the quality of the result the top priority. Learning to motivate someone who has different priorities than you do is a valuable skill.

READ MORE about Meetable Requirements and Engagement Skills from Patricia…

 

Why Finding Your Tribe on Social Media is Essential

tribe1Life just works better when you, and the people around you, fit together well.

Seth Godin popularized the concept of our “Tribes” as being the people with whom we have the greatest resonance, groups with which we have a natural fit.  When it comes to finding your ideal customers, it’s important to look for customers who are part of your Tribe because you’re likely to enjoy working most with those people and have the best and most effortless connection. 

Many people have perfected their skills of finding their Tribe in the real world, but stumble when it comes to Tribe-finding on social media and end up getting frustrated.  There’s a better way.  Continue reading

What Grandma Can Teach You About Social Media Marketing

grandmaMy grandma taught us to behave well, to be kind, and to address our peers as well as our superiors with respect.

She taught us how to embrace our unique personalities and talents, but to be polite, thoughtful, and considerate at the same time. Grandma showed us to pay attention to details and she never forgot to say please and thank you. 

With her help, we learned the value of writing hand-written thank you notes and even today, I still write those knowing that they are a rarity in an age of e-mails, text messages, and hashtags.

Even though your grandma might not be savvy on the newest Facebook and Twitter trends, she can still teach you a lot about social media marketing.

Today, we live in a world that is saturated with the newest online conversational piece. Electronics are truly the go-to when it comes to marketing yourself or your small business and it can be easy to dwell on the numbers you’re trying to reach, while forgetting about the actual people that you are marketing to.   Continue reading

All You Need is a Wee Bit of Passion – and You Too Can Make Money with an Expert Interview Series

Experts sell. It’s that simple.

But how do you sell THEM?

If you look around, you’ll see that many successful businesses, Social Buzz Club included, use expert interviews to attract new followers, enhance relationships with their subscribers, and build their bottom line.

Why? Because it works.

Think about it – even Oprah made her name simply by interviewing others!

When I started my weekly expert interview series “The Business Success Cafe” (that’s an affiliate link) it just sounded like a good idea and kind of fun…but I had no idea how successful an interview series could really be…or that it would become the cornerstone of a highly successful business.

The perfect coffee break for busy business owners, each Business Success Cafe  (that’s an affiliate link) event is only 20 minutes long and, although it’s completely FREE, and is monetized at least 4 different ways!

Now, after 2 years (do the math – that’s over 100 expert interviews!) the system behind the “Business Success Cafe” has been tweaked and tuned and is running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, I’ve been called the “poster child” for what can happen when you find a marketing strategy that generates amazing results, and you create a system around it…so the results keep pouring in week after week with very little effort. It’s a beautiful thing!

I get a lot of questions about how, and why, an expert interview series works so well. And, I’m often asked whether or not it can work regardless of skill level, list size, or target market. The answer is “YES”!

Even better, you don’t need to be an expert…in anything! If you enjoy talking to people, and you have interest in a particular area…then you have what it takes to launch your own expert interview series.

When YOU host your own expert interview series…you can realize at least 8 BIG benefits. These benefits include quickly building a list of highly targeted prospects, a wide-variety of lucrative monetization options, creating relationships with the top influencers in your market…and much much more.

Do you want to learn how YOU can launch and run your own lucrative expert interview series? Do you want to find out what the 8 big benefits are…and how YOU can use an expert interview series to explode your business results?

Join Cathy Demers, Founder of the Business Success Cafe, for “Make Money from an Expert Interview Series” an exclusive webinar for Social Buzz Club – Coming up July 18 – Register Here, it’s free when you attend live, or by becoming a member you get access to all our replays!