What are The Right Questions and how does strategic planning link to decision making and achieving goals?

So, having established in previous posts some of the backgrounds behind The Right Questions and an idea of their importance, we can now get an overview of The Right Questions and how they are applied to strategic planning and achieving goals, both in a personal or business context. The questions come in an order of sorts but the process of asking The Right Questions is also iterative and cyclical. In other words, the answer to one question is likely to inform an answer to another, and even after we have worked through all the questions we will generally go back and revisit the others to refine our answers.

It is beneficial to explore the questions in two broad groups. The first is comprised of the where, what and why, and these encompass the strategic framing of a situation. The second group is made up of the questions how, when, and who and these help us develop a specific plan within the aforementioned strategic frame.

The two groups are joined by ‘which’ as this question deals with the concepts of options and risk. After looking at the overall strategic picture we use ‘which’ to explore courses of action from which we can choose an option to develop into a more detailed plan. We then return to this same question to weigh the risks as the plan progresses. Looking at these options and risks are the key decision points and can lead us to return through the strategic framing or planning loops again.

Taken all together these seven questions create a template for strategic planning and also become a decision-making process that follows a figure of eight cycles, as demonstrated in the diagram below.

The-Right-Questions-Decision-Making-Cycle.001

STRATEGIC FRAMING

Where? (Situation and Vision)

‘Where?’ is the present location and the future destination, the situation and the vision. We look at whence we have come from and whither are we going as our journey is bracketed by these ideas of ‘where’. When you get out a map the first thing you do is identify where you are and get your bearings; only once you have done this do you plan to move. And when you move, you don’t want to wander aimlessly (as movement in itself is not progress), there needs to be a destination, something we are aiming for. This destination is the dream, the thing that stokes our passion and gives us our drive.

What? (Mission)

‘What?’ represents the mission, the reality of what we are going to do. The mission is the bottom line, the tangible measured difference that we are to make. To work out the mission we need to define success so that we know our finish line. We can then sum this up in a pithy and memorable way to get our mission statement.

Why? (Values and Priorities)

The ‘Why?’ represents our values. Our values are our identity; the things at our centre that define why we have the vision in the first place, why we do the things we do, why we attract certain people. They are our beliefs and worldview. These are often things we hold in to common with others at one level but the particular combination and application of the values makes them unique to us. Knowing our principles shows us what we value most and therefore it also helps us to prioritise and make good decisions.

PLANNING

How? (Strategy, Goals, Planning and Resources)

‘How?’ is the method or plan by which we achieve the mission. The overall strategy consists of goals and activities that are needed to propel us towards our dream. Breaking down the route into manageable steps gives us the basis of an action plan and makes the dream an achievable reality. Once we have worked out the detail of each task it is much easier to assess the correct resources we need for each step and therefore, by adding up these resources, we can get a better estimate of the total resources we need to achieve the whole mission.

When? (Timing and Programming)

It is no surprise that ‘When?’ refers to time. Timing is critical. Timing makes the difference between success and failure and it takes an equal measure of planning and wisdom to know when to implement strategies, to go for goals and ultimately achieve missions. Timing is key to planning and is the one truly limited resource. As we overlay our plan with time we create a programme with milestones that help us to measure our progress towards our goal.

Who? (Roles, Team, Structure and Network)

The ‘Who?’ is primarily about the roles different people fulfil, the makeup of our team, the structure of our organisation and the people we connect with in our personal network. Sometimes we have a mission and then we go out and put together a team and therefore we need to know what we are looking for. At other times we may need an existing team to adopt a new strategy. In this case we need to know how best to place people as we re-structure the existing team. Even if we are operating alone, not having a specific team or organisation, we always have a unique network of contacts to draw upon. People are always involved one way or another on our journey and they are the most important resource that we can draw upon.

Which? (Options and Risk)

We have to choose which way to go and therefore ‘Which?’ deals with the idea of selection. First we have to generate a range of courses of options we can choose from. This is a creative process, requiring divergent thinking, and taking time to step out of the purely logical process in order to examine unorthodox ways of problem solving. Generating these options is something we can do before looking at the how, when and who questions. We are generally faced with various strategy options and we have to select a route by assessing all the factors.

One of the major factors affecting a decision is risk. If a venture is deemed too risky it is the surest thing that will stop us acting, no matter how attractive the option first seemed. Therefore risks need to be identified, assessed, mitigated and managed so that we are in the best possible place to make our decisions. Capacity for risk varies between people and situations so it is important to remember that this is an on-going process of management. At the same time we don’t want to become defensive, timid or risk averse; achieving bold visions means taking risks. We just need to make sure we have counted the cost before we commit ourselves. Therefore it is good to revisit the ‘which’ question at the end of the process and delve more deeply into risk before fully committing to a project plan.

Now that we have looked at an overview of The Right Questions we will look at each one in greater detail in future posts. Do leave a comment and let me know which question you would like to know more about.

Written by

Reference: http://www.therightquestions.org/what-are-the-right-questions-for-decision-making-strategic-planning/

Behold, The Last Gasp from the Republican Party

 

Evolution

This is it. The last gasp of breath from the Republican Party. The long standing cancer plaguing the party has finally overcome all the remaining vestiges of conservatism and replaced with a group of media hungry side show freaks. Enamored by their antics and hurting from being passed over in the new economy, angry and under-educated people of the U.S. flock to the loudest and most obscene of individuals because they are just desperate for a change. Sick of being talked down to and with the realization that the fruits of their labor will never be rewarded in this lifetime, many have nothing left to lose as they have already lost their American dream. This current situation should not be a surprise to anyone who has paid attention in the last decade to the advancing drumbeat of anger after the election of President Obama alongside a Libertarian undercurrent.

Columbia Daily Tribune

So how did the Republican Party get here? The 2008 election of Barack Obama stunned the Republican Party and shook it to it’s core as the outdated polling mechanisms predicted a win for Mitt Romney. The hard-line focus on socially conservative values and oppressive stances left many bored and uninspired within the walls of the party. Licking their wounds after the election, the Republican plan was to obstruct all federal government activities and to take on libertarian causes at the behest of the loudest factions of the party. In a true Machiavellian fashion, far right libertarians then asserted their power over the party through the intimidation and threat of establishment party leaders.  Enabling  libertarians to speak for and through the Republican establishment allowed the sentiment to get stronger as anti-government claims were repeated through conservative echo chambers on the internet and within the free media outlets catering to this narrative. This allowed the disease to fester and gain political ballot legitimization and momentum under the protection of a lifeless and gutless party. The Republican Party could have evicted these extreme members and their ideas and forced them to find their own platform and party ticket for discourse, but alas the Republican message was non-existent and over time a new conservative narrative was written for them.

Libertarian factions in the Republican Party have steamrolled members of the establishment.

The Tea Party Patriots, Minutemen, 9/12 groups, Birthers or the Sovereign Citizens have now taken over the Republican Party and devolved it into an Libertarian movement with lots of guns and whole lot of anger. This is no longer just a Libertarian movement, it may further devolve into Fascist revolutionary movement where the cult of personality of a single leader is actively encouraging the overthrowing of democratically held positions through threats, intimidation and violence. These are not just coming from a few fringe characters anymore, these are widely discussed topics about how to remove democratically elected people from public office. These Machiavellian beliefs where the ends justify the means are dangerous to democracy and to anyone who stands in their way, including other established members of the Republican Party.

With the changing demographics and global mindset of the electorate, the Republican Party may no longer be able to actively compete in national elections for president. Essentially, the Republican Party has been castrated from within because they fed a terminal cancer for years and now party insiders wondering why the treatment is not working. Go ahead and bring forth the priest for the last rites of the Republican Party. Behold, the last gasp.

 

Team Ruckus

When is the last time you went fishing?

When is the last time you went fishing?

9 REASONS YOU NEED MORE FISHING IN YOUR LIFE
How to Reconnect to Your Heart, Your Purpose, and More

Fiahing

Ever since I was a boy, I’ve enjoyed fishing. But the older I get the more I realize I don’t just enjoy it. I really need fishing.
Working full time and studying for my MBA I don’t have the time I would like to follow my passion of fishing. Last year, I was lucky to go with my best friend Steve at our secrete fishing hole right there between Astoria, Oregon and the I-205 bridge, “you didn’t think I would actually tell you where our secrete fishing spot is, did you?” It was fun, restorative, even magical, and oh yeah, we caught a lot of fish in those three days.

Some of my favorite moments in nature have been on the water with a rod and reel. I just love being outside, testing my luck, and hooking my lunch. It might sound like a humble time, but there’s hardly anything better.

“I enjoyed fishing as a boy. Today I don’t just enjoy it. I also really need fishing.”

I’ll be the first to admit it’s not for everyone. But I’ve found even people who come to it late in life love fishing more than most any other hobby. Why? There are a least nine reasons most of us—leaders, entrepreneurs, really anyone—need more fishing in our lives.

  1. It gives you a chance to really detach from your work. I almost totally unplug when I’m fishing. And one of the thing that lets me disconnect is stepping out back and throwing a line in the lake. I get lost in the experience, and work feels a million miles away.
  2. It enables you to shift your focus to the present.The thing about fishing is that you’re doing something—but not much. Whether it’s stringing a hook or casting a line, fishing can draw your mind away from past and future and bring you fully into the present.
  3. It enables you to reconnect with your heart.When we’re anxious or consumed with work, it’s hard to attend to our hearts. At least that’s true for me. But once I get fully present, I start hearing my heart again. Solomon’s advice at the end of Ecclesiastes is that we remember God. For me that’s always easier when I’m fishing. I’m reconnecting with the natural order of things.
  4. It enables you to reconnect with your childhood.When I was younger my dad would take my little Fishing Youngbrother and me to the river to catch trout. I started my daughter out fishing at a young age. We started in the trout ponds where she was fascinated by the experience and into her teens where we now have a natural competition about who is going to catch the biggest or the most fish. It was like reliving part of my childhood. But the fun thing for me is that fishing always helps me reconnect with those years and build a unique bond with my daughter.
  1. It enables quality time with your buddies.I don’t get to see my buddies that often because of work, school, family and life, but I truly cherish doing the thing I love best, outside with my friends while reconnecting with my soul. Once we’re detached from work and more connected to our hearts, I find we usually talk about the things that matter most.
  2. It gives you time to think.What if you’re not with your friends? If you need to get time to think, there’s almost no better place than while fishing. It can be a powerful time for reflection and meditation. When I’m alone by a stream, my mind and body relax, and I’m free to connect ideas, follow random trains of thought, and dream. To clear my mind, reconnect with my soul and really be alive.
  3. It provides an opportunity to put things into perspective.Part of what comes with all that think-time is perspective. When we’re in the thick of life—rushing deadlines, finalizing products, closing sales—it’s easy to lose perspective. But when we’re finally off the treadmill, it’s easy to reconnect with the big picture.
  4. It provides a different set of challenges.We need to be challenged, but if we’re always challenged by the same thing—like work—it can wear us down and burn us out. The great thing about fishing is that it calls on other skills and demands something entirely different from us. We get the satisfaction of rising to the occasion without flexing the same set of muscles.
  5. It provides a singular focal point.Reason No. 9 just sums up the first eight. As Arthur Boers would say, fishing is a focal activity. It “centers, balances, focuses, and orients one’s life.” If you’re feeling distracted, lost, or disconnected from your purpose, fishing is a simple way to get back on track.

I’m not saying fishing will solve all your problems. But it’ll sure take care of a bunch. We already know about the tremendous benefits of being out in nature. Fishing magnifies the experience and the benefits.

Reference:

9 Reasons You Need More Fishing in Your Life. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2016, from http://michaelhyatt.com/more-fishing.html

 

Take a few moments to read some of the other past Blogs from SocialMBAs team Medellin

A Marketer’s Guide to Content Curation

Digital Marketing and the Mobile Platform – It’s Always On

The complete guide to optimizing the content marketing lifecycle

Free From Fear

Elon Musk teases new master plan for Tesla

Google Analytics: How to Know If Your Marketing is Working : Social Media Examiner

Leveling the Paying Field for Track and Field Athletes

5 Ways to Improve Customer Loyalty With Social Media : Social Media Examiner

Equal Pay for Men and Women in 2016? Keep dreaming.

A Marketer’s Guide to Content Curation

Here’s how marketers can get started with content curation to improve lead generation, increase trust, and reduce content development costs.

Here’s how marketers can get started with content curation to improve lead generation, increase trust, and reduce content development costs.

Have you been sold on the benefits of content curation and decided to make it an integral part of your content marketing strategy? Welcome to the club. After all, curation is an excellent way to augment content marketing investments and supplement original content assets. Content curation accelerates marketing initiatives, increases trust, and improves lead generation, while also reducing content development costs.

When making the transition from theory to action, what is required to curate content? There are five key steps for successful content curation:

  1. Identify the topic area
  2. Find relevant sources
  3. Curate assets
  4. Share results
  5. Analyze outcomes

Let’s highlight what each step entails.

1. Identify the Topic Area

First, it is essential to identify a relevant topic area. It should be related to your area of expertise, as well as your target market and value proposition. When identifying the types of content to curate, focus on three perspectives.

  • Audience interest: The best place to start is to consider your audience, and what you consider relevant to meet your customers’ and prospects’ needs.
  • Content: Consider the overall landscape, and make sure there is sufficient third-party content in a topic area to be worth the effort to organize it.
  • Competitor landscape: Consider what your competitors are doing. You want to ensure assets are curated in a relevant area that your audience finds valuable and that competitors have not (yet, or adequately) addressed.

Curation allows anyone to bring in the best content industry experts have to offer. The topic area should be broad enough to encompass a range of perspectives, while also sufficiently focused to address key concerns.

2. Find Relevant Sources

Once the topic is selected, identify relevant and trusted sources as candidates for content curation. Sources can include:

  • Trade publications
  • News sites
  • RSS feeds
  • Industry blogs
  • Electronic journals, and more.

With a well-chosen topic, it should be easy to identify at least a dozen sources by reviewing content you already consume. Be prepared to add new sources, particularly if you are part of a fast-changing marketplace.

Curation exploits the link power of the web, so link to related articles on an ongoing basis. Provide a balanced mix of experts, dissenters, and up-and-comers (different views and perspectives) in order to optimize value for your audience.

3. Curate Assets

Curating entails organizing content assets and adding value to them. Curating content is, by definition, a human process. Think like a librarian when setting up your categories; tag and group assets, and develop indices about the collections.

Remember, unlike physical collections, digital collections can be organized according to multiple criteria. In addition:

  • Be sure to add value to curated collections.
  • Annotate individual items, analyze trends, summarize, ask questions, and provide both insights and guidance.
  • Always attribute sources and provide the links so your audience can easily access them.

Set up a process and task somebody with reviewing sources on a periodic basis—daily or weekly, depending on the frequency of your curated postings. This can be quite simple when using one of the many tools available for automating your curation process. Crowdsourcing may also be relevant. Curation is more efficient and effective when your organization considers it a cross-functional practice instead of the exclusive domain of the marketing department.

4. Share Results

The next step is sharing results with your target audience, utilizing whatever communications channels they prefer. Remember, they have choices. Different segments of any target audience consume content in different ways.

  • Some people go to their inbox first thing in the morning or choose content to read through a newsletter in their spare time.
  • Others rely on Twitter, LinkedIn, or a feed reader to stay abreast of current events.
  • Web sites and microsites that focus on a particular topic are also relevant. Often people will want to browse through entries and summaries to find relevant information.

As a content curator, find which channels best suit your audience’s content consumption habits and preferences. Often it pays to invest in a multi-channel strategy, optimized for the strength of each channel. For instance, trends can be summarized in a tweet, and the audience referred to the complete article on a microsite.

5. Analyze Outcomes

As a content marketing strategy, content curation is unique because it relies on third-party content developed by external parties. As a result, audience behavior is different from traditional online marketing campaigns where all content is consumed within a brand’s online properties.

When it comes to websites and blog posts, it’s still important to track page views and visitor growth to determine the size of your audience and whether it is increasing. But total site visits and length of site visits may be misleading. This is because a few people with a passionate interest are more valuable than many people with a general concern. (highlight to tweet) Similarly, if audience members are clicking through to the third party content, their time onsite does not reflect their actual interest.

Similarly, subscriber growth rates and click-through rates are important metrics for email newsletters. Open rates are less relevant, as they do not capture all activity.

There are many social media metrics to watch, including followers, fan growth, and retweets. These help to gauge popularity. By using these metrics to assess the performance of content curation initiatives, they can be ranked in terms of reach, conversion, and ROI against your specific business goals.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.convinceandconvert.com

 

WWII Vet Gets High School Diploma 72 Years Later

Watch this WWII vet receive his high school diploma 72 years later here.

72 years later, WWII Vet receives high school diploma
72 years later, WWII Vet receives high school diploma

Don Meneau of Two Rivers, WI left high school 73 years ago to fight in WWII with only one year left to graduate. When he came back home he needed to provide for his family, so he never got the chance to graduate. Now he has been given the opportunity to live out a life long dream of getting his high school diploma.

This is near and dear to my heart as he is my father-in-law’s brother, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving. Don is a man who is full of life and always has a smile on his face. I never thought he needed a diploma to prove he was an intellectual man and can’t think of anyone more deserving!

Don Meneau, receiving high school diploma
Don Meneau, receiving high school diploma

How to Support Local Artists

I am not a particularly crafty or creative person. I am not good at coming up with witty and artsy designs but one thing I can do is support artists that do that unique sense of design. Being an artist isn’t easy. Making a career out of being an artist is even harder. It’s especially harder when larger companies take advantage of struggling artists by offering them unreasonably low profits on their designs or even worse, when the larger companies completely disregard the artists and take copy their designs.

Take Urban Outfitters, for example. They are a larger, well known company…. That is also notorious for stealing others’ designs since 2010. They have had multiple accusations float to the surface. It is hard to be a struggling artist when a big fish such as Urban Outfitters is out there taking credit for someone’s designs.

sold out

It’s not just Urban Outfitters disrespecting the artists whose creativity is being taken advantage of. Currently, Zara has been copying an Indie artist’s designs and has gone as far as stating that essentially since Tuesday Bassan’s (the artist) worldwide reach is significantly smaller than theirs. So what they are saying, it’s okay to steal from someone who is smaller than you. Interesting.

 

Zara has been establishing themselves as thieves, beyond that of Tuesday Bassan’s artwork. When Tuesday Bassan spoke out online about her struggles with Zara, multiple artists spoke out about their own interactions with Zara.

Tuesday Bassan has spent $2000 in legal fees, just to have her lawyer write a letter to Zara. She is trying to stand up, not just for herself, but for other artists that are not able to stand up for themselves. Fighting a legal fight is not cheap and many artists are not able to defend themselves and their work from the Urban Outfitters and Zaras of the world.

What can you do to help?

First off, don’t support Urban Outfitters, Zara and any other company that is taking artists’ work and claiming it as their own.

 

Secondly, buy local. By going with local products, you are not only supporting smaller businesses which feed directly into your community, you are also taking away from the larger conglomerations that take advantage of the underdogs. Go to the Saturday markets. You can find a plethora of local businesses, especially in the summer time. Check out Etsy. Etsy is filled with independent businesses. Use your money to help build up the artists of the world.

 

Speaking of supporting local… Take a few minutes to read a couple of posts from a few local Oregonians.

Nike’s Newest Unique Marketing Venture: BIKETOWN PDX

The Jeep Wave, MPGs, and a Culture at Risk

Good Marketing Blogging: Kissmetrics

 

Sources:

http://jezebel.com/zara-copies-indie-artists-work-then-says-shes-not-famo-1783970547

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/urban-outfitters-steal_n_867604.html

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/33/22/all_urbancounterfeit_2010_05_28_bk.html

https://www.instagram.com/tuesdaybassen/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/28/urban-outfitters-spires-copyright-infringement_n_5403244.html

 

 

Digital Drinkers’ Runnin’, Stretchin’, Sportin’, Home-Buyin’ Week in Review

An ode to Sarah Palin -suddenly sane sounded member of the GOP.

sarah

Enough gun-totin’, rally-goin’, Trump-lovin’ politics.  We had a great week running, stretching, traveling and writing. Get in formation and get ready for an awesome review of our group’s content this week!

 

This week, Melissa followed up with a list of stretches to achieve flexibility and expanded her approach to marketing. Learn how you, too, can bust a split! 

 

Lauren is still running toward her goal, finishing the Disney half-marathon and gives us all a good primer on starting a personal blog. Unsurprisingly, she can’ t Dory. 

 

David gathered some useful insights from industry leaders about how to market your business during times of crisis or tragedy.  Learn how to avoid massive social media mistakes that could cost your company millions. 

 

David also posted a second article in his series on how to successfully invest in real estate – part 2 is here!  Start with his series if you’re interested in buying homes as investments. 

 

Finally, Sophia spoke with Jeff Garcia and Chelsea Mojo on their approach to digital marketing and growing their respective businesses.  Absolute must reads! 

 

 

 

A PLAYFUL RESPONSE TO 5 PRACTICES TO EMBRACE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

download

GET SMALLER

There was a time when one of the primary goals of social media participation seemed to be growing large followings. In fact, we bought likes (how did that turn out), we gamed Twitter, we competed to add people who had no interest in our products and services to fan, follow and circle us.

Response: (Ok, did you not watch the most recent Silicon Valley, clicks go far when you are pretty low on usage. Did you see how much money they could have received from a VC? Seriously, most people reading this wouldn’t consider a first round of a few million in funding worth skipping town for a nice beach?)

 

Taken from John Jantsh’s article “Why Social Media Isn’t Working And What To Do About It”. Posted at https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/social-media-works/

This seemed logical, I mean everyone knew you needed a big email list, why not a big Twitter following. In fact, services like Klout attempted to use follower metrics to measure influence and thereby create scorecards for people building and seeking influencer status.

Response: (I’m just going to say… Oprah)

Well, it appears that Kevin Kelly’s proclamation to artists trying to stand out in the long tail digital world was both true and prophetic – when it comes to social media use for most small businesses the goal is to embrace and nurture 1,000 true fans or 100 true fans and not the shifting universe of Twitter devotees.

Response: (Ok, did I not say Oprah earlier. Hell, there was a TV program that was devoted to her influence. Overnight millionaires because she is a walking massive Twitter campaign. She is so powerful that Tom Cruise fears her, and most of the world fears Tom Cruise, well at least Scientology. Those dudes are scary influential. Hahahahaha, joke, if Mr. Miscavige is reading this.)

 

Stop following and start listening, sorting, engaging and conversing. Focus on the social streams of your customers and hottest prospects. Eliminate the noise from social media and get your streams to a place where they can be useful.

Response: (Be careful to not cross the streams, unless Gozer is coming for you. In real life it can be difficult to know what stream is driving traffic when you have multiple going and they can create a cumulative effect. Reallocating your resources to different streams can sometimes be better than increasing the overall budget)

TELL STORIES

Stories have always been an important form of communication, but never more than now.

Stories help make the complex understandable, and they help people connect with emotion – the essential ingredient for attraction, loyalty, and referrals.

Response: (We’ve all seen the Princess Bride, we know how a story can get even a little brat to pay attention to Grandpa)

But, in the current state of social media clutter stories also help you stand out, they help people get what they turn to social media for most – to fight boredom, be entertained, and, what the heck, be social.

Response:(So then why all the hate on Pokemon Go? All these things sound pretty awesome to me)

Here’s the thing about stories – they don’t have to relate to your product or service, they don’t even have to be about you – good stories simply have to help people enjoy or understand some aspect of who they are or aspire to be.

The storytelling palette in a focused social media initiative can include your ads as well as your posts and updates – in fact, it should.

Response: (These last two paragraphs sound like what you get on a Tinder date. Show them something enticing, and then boom, switcheroo. Are there any ethical implications with directing traffic via this type of method? Be sure that your storytelling methods and traffic driving methods don’t get your business equated to the free vacation weekend for a timeshare speech)

SHOW YOUR FACE

Social media has become increasingly visual.

The most engaging posts and updates today come with stunning visual content. Visual platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat continue to grow at a stunning pace.

Response: (As of this writing more images are shared on Snapchat than any other platform including Facebook.) (Can anyone explain to me how any of these apps are different? Or have I already hit the age of no return? Now that is an interesting thought, how old is your targeted client?)

 

With the introduction of live streaming video platforms such as Periscope and Blab and the rollout of live video on Facebook, there’s never been a better time for people to meet and see the real you.

Response: (Update, the term “face for radio” is still very relevant for some of us)

I know a lot of social media folks are jumping on these visual platforms as a way to create more buzz and more following as early adopters and thought leaders and that’s okay – but for the typical small business with a focused following, there’s still a great opportunity here.

Use the more visual platform to let people see behind the curtain, let them see you at play, let them see how the product is made, let them see a day in the life.

Response: (Let them see cats. Whoever can find a way to incorporate cat videos into everyday marketing and be able to drive traffic with it… Oprah move over, you’ve been replaced with the new god of influence. Keep in mind, showing your face or adding interactive material is great if it applies to your industry. This can be a time intensive process, know who you customer is and whether a greater digital presence is warranted. If you customer is like me and hit an age where they don’t know the difference between SnapChat and Instagram, then you are just yelling into the void)

HAVE CONVERSATIONS

This one might be the hardest of them all because now I am going to suggest that you put in the time and actually care about what you are doing. Yikes, I know, tall order.

Once you have your 1,000 true fans, it’s time to start having meaningful conversations with them about what they want, what they don’t have, what they fear, what brings them joy.

Response: (Of course, you can do this via email and at the next networking event as well.) (Hey guys and gals, tell me what you fear, and I will market directly to that! Please fill out this online survey and I’ll make sure that Pennywise gets the results. You remember that guy, the clown from IT)

Here’s the trick though – a real conversation happens naturally – it doesn’t flow like a qualifying script.

Response: (Unless there is booze, and as far as I know there is no electronic booze delivery system yet)

Even if you only have ten minutes a day to dedicate to this activity start asking individuals – not followers – about things. Get very, very curious about helping people and, here’s one you might not have thought of, about how other people can help you.

Give people more reasons to talk to you, ask for feedback at every touchpoint, and don’t shy away from conversations that start on negative terms – those are how you learn, how you get better – and those are the only conversations you can’t fake.

Response: (This isn’t even meant to be a joke. This honestly seems like it would take forever if you have multiple clients. What small business has the resources to do this without increasing staffing or hiring an outside firm for a nominal fee? See what I did there? Found a way to plug your site Ducttapemarketing.com. You who are reading this, see the links at the bottom! You should take an assessment of what resources you have available to you on an internal and external basis when attempting to undertake extended face interaction time)

MAKE IMPACT

My last point has to do with money – or perhaps more accurately – revenue.

When you follow points one through four, you start to realize that all this focus, storytelling, personality sharing, and conversing turns into something meaningful – a relationship or two.

Response: (Or maybe just a Tinder date. Or are you suggesting after all this buildup we are closer to Eharmony level? Does anyone know if dating apps count as social media? I’m pretty sure Tinder tried to hook me up with a movie the other day… knew I should have swiped left)

And out of these relationships built on paying attention and being genuine, you can start to recognize ways that you can make a significant impact on someone’s life or business. You’ll identify mutually beneficial opportunities that lead to customers and sales and if you keep at it, repeat sales and referrals.

Yes, I’m on record here to tell you that you can sell through social media if you take the time to help people. So you see, social media isn’t dead, and it’s no different than any other sales channel – those who care, those who educate, those who provide utility – win.

Response: (Ask yourself whether social media is something that can positively impact your business. A traditional widget maker may say “no”, but just because you don’t use that medium, your customer may. Or like a I said before…. Cats! Can’t lose with cat videos)

 

5 Ideas taken from John Jantsh’s article “Why Social Media Isn’t Working And What To Do About It”. Posted at https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/social-media-works/   Follow him @ducttape