Busy is not an excuse!!

Busy is not an excuse! Everyone is busy and you will always find time for the things you want to do however you probably don’t prioritise time on what you should or need to do.

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It is amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. So instead of making the ‘I’m too busy’ excuse, be proactive and break down some of these ‘need to do’ tasks into 5-minute chunks of time. So I challenge you to see what you can do in 5 minutes. (and you have lots of 5-minute breaks where you do this, no matter busy you think you are).

Here are some suggestions on what you can do in 5 minutes:

  • Answer some emails!
  • Watch 2 videos to learn something new
  • Sign up to a new digital platform
  • Make a list of potential blog articles
  • Create a To Do list
  • Schedule some of these tasks in your Email calender
  • Read an article or Fact Sheet
  • Update your LinkedIn profile
  • Send a thank you note or card
  • Retweet 3 relevant tweets to your audience
  • Claim a social media profile on a new channel
  • Make a social media post
  • Research a new digital topic
  • Subscribe to 2 or 3 newsletters of interest
  • Read 1-2 EDM’s sitting in your inbox
  • Book tickets to a new event
  • Book a meeting with your digital manager to start that digital strategy

Imagine if you took 3 x 5-minute breaks a day to do this, how much you would actually achieve. If you want to find the time, you will. So stop with the excuses and put some priority around building your digital visibility, before you need to use those 5 minutes to find a new job!

#makeithappen

 

 

 

 

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Activate your employees to increase your brands digital visibility.

Your staff is one of your biggest untapped resources. Most staff have some sort of digital footprint or presence on social media and other digital channels so doesn’t it make sense to tap into that and leverage it for the company and your staff’s personal development? It is like a sleep giant, just waiting to be awoken.

Tips to activate your employees you need to have these ingredients as a minimum:

  • Create a brand Employee Engagement Program – it all starts with creating a formal program that gets your internal influencers, social media lovers and driven employees on board to work together for the greater good of all involved
  • Get buy in from your team, particularly the influencers – you want to clearly articulate why you are implementing the program and get buy in from key staff and influencers.
  • Provide training – don’t just set up and expect tour staff to know what to do next, you need to provide ongoing training and support, especially in the early stages of the program. Don’t make the big mistakes of setting up then not putting any effort into the next phase.
  • Make it easy and create a Content Gallery for them to access – provide approved quality content, video and images that your staff can access and share. Make it easy for them and this overcomes another obstacle in the path to success.

There are many benefits for you as a business and your staff to get involved:

STAFF BENEFITS

  • Your company provides training which gives you new skills
  • Position yourself as a thought leader
  • Be seen by your C suite and senior manager as being a positive and active employee
  • Future employees can see have initiative, are a team player and driven to improve
  • Looks great on your resume
  • Reach new prospects and create personal opportunities

BUSINESS BENEFITS

  • SEO and more visibility to prospective clients
  • Creates a positive company culture
  • Leverage an existing asset
  • Get more exposure from your marketing campaigns
  • Increase your eyeball count and digital visibility
  • Be seen by new networks, potential clients & other stakeholders
  • Be seen as an innovative company that leads and doesn’t follow
  • Become an employer of choice
  • Inexpensive to implement

With nothing but upside, collaborating with your own staff, can be a very smart initiative to put in place, no matter how big or small your business is. It works for everyone if done the right way.

Get in touch to talk about how we can help you create the best strategy, tactics and tools for your Brand Employee Ambassador Program

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Banning your staff from social media is the most ridiculous thing you can do!

I understand that many companies and managers think that social media is a massive time waster and unproductive distraction. Been there done that – we have all logged into our social media accounts while we are work. Banning from them using it doesn’t actually stop it (they can check on their smart phone). Putting strict policies in place is just ridiculous. Have you ever thought about using this to your advantage? Most of your employees already have their own online social networks & digital profile so how can you as a business, leverage these and work with your team to help you achieve goals and KPI’s?

But here is the BIG KICKER – it can actually add massive value if you use it correctly. So why is there value in social media? Here are 4 massively untapped opportunities that you need to consider ASAP

  1. Create a Brand Employee Advocacy Programs

Your staff are your biggest asset and by empowering them you can take advantage of their networks and digital profile. Making your employees your advocates is a massive untapped opportunity that costs little when done well but allows massive amplification of brand messages across new channels. The reach of your employees combined can easily span beyond your current brand reach and adds authenticity, trustworthiness and trust to the communication equation.

Sounds simple enough however before you jump in head first you need to make sure you implement an Employee Brand Advocacy Program the right way, or it will be doomed to failure. Take time & engage a specialist to put this in place.

  1. Use Social media & digital channels for prospecting

Social media is a great tool for getting to know your target audiences, understanding what they like & don’t like, what products they might be interested in, how they spend their free time and so much more. Their profiles actually create an ideal persona and you can get to know your prospects from afar. Being about to digitally stalk them (in a good way please) means you can find commonalities, ways to connect and get to know them much better than ever before.

  1. Actively use Social media for customer service

Don’t make the mistake of thinking social media is all one sided. It is not. Customers reach out on social media channels to get help, ask questions, make complaints and give praise and positive feedback. If you are on social media channels then take it further and encourage your customers to connect with you to provide additional service. They are a lot of ways this can be done so get creative and see the value in the engagement this can provide.

  1. Use Social media for internal team communication
    Social media is a hugely underutilised tool for internal communication. If you don’t have an intranet site then using different social channels for pure internal team communication can be cost effective (mostly free), productive and efficient ways to engage and connect your teams from multiple locations.

There is massive value for your business in harnessing the power of social media. So think 2,3 or 4 times before you ban your staff from your using social media. You could be cutting your nose off to spite your face!

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If you need expert advice with any of these areas, start the digital conversation with me (we specialise in just this)

Why many recruiters have a sheep mentally? (and why it is hurting you)

As a digitally savvy entrepreneur with an interest in the industry, I see the same mistakes being made by nearly every recruiter. Worst of all, nearly everyone is doing the same thing and afraid to push the boundaries. It’s what I call the sheep mentality. Let’s just do what everyone else is doing as it seems to work and we get ok results. Comments like “we have always done it like this” will soon see some recruiters redundant if they don’t change their ways and embrace the digital world.

So how do know if you are guilty of this sheep mentally? Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do I reach out to candidates on Linked In only when I want to interview someone for a role I am trying to fill?
  • Am I really using Linked In effectively to elevate my personal and business brand?
  • Have I fully optimised my LinkedIn page to make it searchable?
  • Do people compliment me on my digital visibility?
  • Is my social media stream mainly full of job ads?
  • Do I write articles that don’t offer my clients or candidates any value at all because they are too sales focused?
  • Do I understand how to leverage my brand across traditional and digital platforms?
  • Am I taking opportunities to leverage my companies content?
  • Is my content focused on me rather than being focused on client and candidate outcomes?
  • Can I name 3 things that I’m doing that no one else (or very few people) in my industry do? (be honest)
  • Do I keep up to date on the latest digital trends, tools & platforms in order to stay ahead of my competitors?
  • Am I overwhelmed by digital and don’t know where to start?

I guarantee your digital visibility isn’t being optimised to its full potential which equals missed opportunities.

Digital provides a massive opportunity for recruiters to create valuable and networks that are engaged and not just sit on a database.  Using digital channels you can find, communicate and build relationships with clients and candidates Australia wide (or across the Globe if that’s your goal). You can join in with various communities, show your expertise, share your brand culture, find prospects, build long term relationships and have two way communication.

Digital has changed the way you should be doing business. But you need to start thinking differently and find ways to use your digital channels to innovate. This video on looking outside your industry might help to get you started.

What is your digital footprint and the true cost of using the internet

 

Your digital footprint is all the stuff you leave behind as you use the Internet. Comments on social media, Skype calls, app use, browsing websites and your IP Address form part of your online history and can potentially be seen by other people, or tracked in a database.

digital footprint

So how do we leave a digital footprints? Here are a few examples:

Browsing websites & online shopping: Retailers and product review sites often leave cookies on your system which can track your movement from site-to-site, allowing targeted advertisements that can show you products you’ve been recently reading about or looking at online.

Social Media: All those Retweets, and Facebook comments leave a record.  Make sure you know what the default privacy settings are for your social media accounts, and keep an eye on them. Sites often introduce new policies and settings that increase the visibility of your data.

Mobile Phones, Tablets, or Laptops: Some websites will build a list of different devices you have used to visit those sites. While this can often be used as a way to help secure your account, it is important to understand the information being collected about your habits.

The web is listening every time you use it! It’s important that you understand what you’re leaving behind when you visit a website. There is no apparent cost to view a website, read a blog, watch a video or join a social network however we are paying indirectly. If you’re paying for the product, you are the product. If you don’t pay a subscription fee for a service that service must be funded by monetising information about you. You are trading your eyeballs for their servers, network and content is the economic bargain underlying most of the internet.

The commercial side of the internet has capitalised on the opportunities your digital footprint provides. Marketers use your digital footprint to target their products at the most appropriate audience, track users & customise content. They allow brands to observe, link & mine data.

Online services collect data about what you do. Some of it is used to directly improve your user experience like language settings and other data is built into a profile of you and that information can be sold to 3rd parties and used to decide what ads are most likely to influence you.

Advertisers want to customise ads to their audience and publishers want to track buyers & maximise commercial return. And this raises the issue of lack of anonymity and security issues. Online linkability means advertisers can link huge amounts of data and link it across multiple contexts

So do you think the internet is free? What does your digital footprint say about you?

Source: Internet Society

This article should come with a warning “Honest user experience within”.

If you don’t want to hear the truth about my digital experience with your brand, then don’t read any further.  I have an issue! One that I usually whine to my husband about but today I am sharing this with my wider audience. The issue does not just affect me. It impacts many other consumers and the businesses that are getting it wrong.

User experience on your digital channels is vital to creating sales and giving a positive impression of your brand. Over the past week I have been keeping track of the many digital experiences I have had, just like we all have every single day to share the good, the bad and the very bad.

These are real examples that share how what you are doing on your digital channels has a direct impact on your results.  So what does a week in the life of this digital consumer look like? So many businesses (large & small) do not understand their customer journey and as such are losing sales every single day and this is why…..

DAY 1

McDonalds: I bought McDonalds for lunch and not only did I get home to find the wrong burger and half empty fries but then couldn’t find the local stores Facebook page so send a tweet (in fact sent several) and got no response at all. TIP: DON’T BE ON TWITTER IF YOU DON’T RESPOND.

Ancestry.com: I wanted to order a DNA Kit and found the process very easy on their website. I didn’t finalise the order as I got distracted. The next day I got a reminder that I had an item in my shopping cart which prompted me to finalise the order. GOOD TIMING AND NICELY WORDED REMINDER PROMPTED ME TO BUY – WELL DONE

DAY 2

Lite & Easy: I noticed a Lite & Easy ad on TV and thought I would give it a go. I jumped onto their website and couldn’t figure out where or how to order. I got frustrated, mentioned it on Facebook to my friends who suggested trying You Foodz. I also sent Lite & Easy a Facebook message and the response was very poor. TIP: WASTED AD $$ IF YOUR WEBSITE DOESN’T REFLECT YOUR MESSAGING AND MAKE IT EASY TO ORDER.

You Foodz: I got onto the YouFoodz site and ordered some fabulous meals in minutes. They made it easy and answered all my questions on their website – got it right and I will order again. TIP: MAKING IT EASY TO BUY WINS MORE BUSINESS. THESE GUYS HAVE IT RIGHT.

DAY 3

Petbarn: We were out running errands and I wanted to know if they were open. I searched them on my iphone and tried click to call from their website which didn’t work. Plus the phone number was wrong so couldn’t get in touch with them. TIP: PEOPLE ARE BUYING FROM YOUR MOBILE CHANNELS SO MAKE SURE YOUR LINKS WORK.

MavSocial: I was setting up this new social scheduling tool and had a few set up issues. I emailed them and didn’t get a response for 2 days so emailed again. Then I got a call from their CEO apologising and walking me through the issue. Was so impressed that the CEO took time out to call and address the issue. TIP: YOU CAN TURN A FRUSTRATED NEW CUSTOMER INTO A FAN WITH ONE CALL.

DAY 4

Telstra: I have constant issues with getting local help from Telstra. Biggest pet peeve is when I tweet them and get generic responses that send me to a link unrelated to what my issue is. TIP: TRAIN YOUR SOCIAL TEAM ON LISTENING SKILLS AND DIRECT PEOPLE TO THE RIGHT PAGES.

Darling & Co: Local Brisbane restaurant that I was making an online booking for a business lunch. I made a mistake so emailed them and had a call back within 2 hours. TIP: CUSTOMER SERVICE EXTENDS ACROSS BOTH TRADITIONAL & DIGITAL CHANNELS.

DAY 5

Ashy Bines: One of the worst experiences I ever had with a fitness brand. I saw a Facebook ad which prompted me to go to their website and get some more details. I had a number of questions before I signed up so emailed them. Still had no response after 3 days so emailed again. No response so sent a Facebook message and was told they will respond within 4 days. I managed to get hold of someone and was told that if I email again within the initial 4 days my query goes to the back of the queue.  TIP: 4 DAY RESPONSES TIMES ARE RIDICULOUS. IF YOU ARE SPENDING MONEY ON FACEBOOK ADS, RESPOND TO QUERIES IN A TIMELY MANNER. P.S AND DON’T CALL YOUR CUSTOMERS BABE OR HONEY WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW THEM.

Missing Lett_R – I signed up to a new blog scheduling platform and as part of the welcome process got a call from the CEO in the UK. TIP: GETTING A CALL FROM A CEO CARRIES A LOT OF WEIGHT AND IS GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR BRAND.

DAY 6

Booktopia: I order an ebook on my laptop then downloaded the app to my iphone to read it. Experience across both devices was positive. TIP: WE LIVE IN A MULTISCREEN WORLD SO ENSURE YOU MAKE THE MULTI SCREEN EXPERIENCE SEEMLESS.

Microsoft: I was having issues on my laptop since downloading Windows 10 and tried to schedule a call from their website however it kept saying my phone number was invalid. Had to get onto Live Chat and they told me I had to schedule the call on the website (which it wouldn’t let me do). Again instead of using common sense, they just wanted to read from their script and didn’t understand it was a technical issue on their end. TIP: TEACH YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAMS TO USE COMMON SENSE AND TAKE INITIAVE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS. AND GET TECHNICAL ISSUES FIXED QUICKLY.

Hootsuite: I got an EDM about a free upgrade to my account. After clicking on the links, it didn’t work as they suggested it should so emailed them. Then was sent incorrect details on how to upgrade with a promotional code TIP: TEST YOUR EDM LINKS & INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE SENDING.

DAY 7

Brisbane City Library: By far the worst experience of the week. I downloaded an ebook from the library on my laptop. The download would not open as it was an odd format and there were no instructions on their website telling me what the process was , what app I needed to read the ebook or where to get it. I called the library and they told me I then needed to go to the library website on my smartphone and go to the ebooks section, download the app from there. I found two apps that supposedly would let me read the book and guess what – still no ebook anywhere to be found. Most ridiculous & frustrating process ever! TIP: WHEN YOU INTRODUCE NEW TECHNOLOGY EDUCATE YOUR AUDIENCE BY PROVIDING DETAILED INFORMATION AND MAKING SURE YOUR STAFF KNOW HOW TO USE IT.

Popcherry: I saw a Facebook ad that had one top in 4 colours. I jumped onto their website to find it but it wasn’t available in all 4 colours so I was far from impressed. TIP: DON’T USE IMAGES OF PRODUCTS YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE IT, PARTICULARLY WITH FASHION.

Cineplex – I was getting movie times and saw an advert for new Deluxe cinema on their website but couldn’t click on the ad to get any details TIP: LINK YOUR ADS TO THE URL THAT GIVES CUSTOMERS THE INFORMATION YOU TALK ABOUT IN YOUR AD.

Pacific Fair – They have been promoting the new centre so we decided to check it out only to discover half the new designer stores were not open at all. Simply putting Coming Soon next to their names on their website would’ve totally changed our experience to a positive one. TIP: MANAGE CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS AND ENSURE YOUR WEBSITE INFORMATION IS UP TO DATE AND CORRECT.

The purpose of this blog is to highlight how the simplest things when missed, result in lost sales & bad customer experiences with your brand. Digital is an experience you take with you from screen to screen.  Seriously look at your user experience and the path to purchase and consider are you making it easy and does it flow like it should. Put yourself in your customers shoes and look at it with fresh eyes. Stop spending thousands of dollars on advertising until you get these basics right. (otherwise you are just wasting them). Your marketing efforts should start with your customer so make it easy from them to buy from you.