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MarketingMel talks LinkedIn with Tim and Carl on WJCW Radio

MarketingMel talks LinkedIn with Tim and Carl on WJCW Radio

Recently I had the opportunity to go “on the air” with Carl and Tim on their “Thinking Out Loud” morning program on WJCW Radio. We covered everything from trends in social media to LinkedIn tips for business people.

Here’s our podcast link: click the audio link at the top of the page.

I’ve also copied my notes below for those who prefer reading to listening.

Mary Ellen Miller, MarketingMel, teaches LinkedIn workshops for business professionals and for college students. She recently taught a hands-on workshop for the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors and she conducts a workshop for Milligan College Seniors each semester.

Why would our listeners care about LinkedIn?

Your listeners are business professionals. This is the network for business professionals. The demographics are truly a gold mine: 364 million members, average age 42, average income 100,00+, well-educated, professional, skews male…if you want to change jobs or think you ever might consider changing jobs…this is the place to be. Furthermore, it’s the place to reach the decision makers.

What times are people on LinkedIn?

Time on 8 and 5 pm.

What can our listeners do immediately to boost their LinkedIn profile?

Your listeners can do three things to boost their LinkedIn profile.

  1. Use a professional head shot – profiles with head shots get 11 X more views
  2. Use keywords to describe themselves (example: conference speaker, author,etc.)
  3. Provide occasional updates. (I suggest at least once a week.)

Have you seen these tips actually help people?

A student at Milligan College credits the workshop I teach there once per semester with providing him tools to find a job at Baylor.

Tell us what your LinkedIn tip is that helped you get
904 views, 98 likes and 17 comments?
Published a post about Peyton Manning’s Leadership Tips from Leadercast! Nothing like Star Power
What are the Trends in social media?

Facebook is graying….the fastest growing demographic on it is grandparents. With over a billion people it is a force to be reckoned with. Now it is more and more a “pay to play” network in terms of business presence there.

So where are the young people? Instagram, Snapchat, Watching Vine and Instragram videos, etc. My 13 year old has not one time asked for a Facebook! He loves his Instagram. Watch young people in order to watch trends and see where we are heading in the future.

Do you have comments to add in terms of your own experiences with LinkedIn for business?

 

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“People don’t want to buy a quarter inch drill they want a quarter inch hole.”  Professor Theodore Levitt

SnickersTake a healthy dose of sociology, psychology and marketing, mix them liberally and serve up a marketing presentation to the Northeast Tennessee ADFED.  That’s exactly what Bite Interactive’s Chief Technology Officer, Brant DeBow, did recently in talking about his company’s “Jobs to be Done Theory.” He used the professor’s quote above to introduce the concept of discovering what consumers really want. Focus groups are not always the answer. Neither is blanket targeting of demographics. Instead his team uses a system of in-depth interviews to determine the functional, social and emotional reasons for purchasing a product. “When you purchase a product you change your behavior,” he says.

“People are bad at knowing the future,” he said. “But they are good at telling you what’s going on now and about the past,” he said. “Correlation is not causation.” His example was the Motorola 2007 Razor phone. SMS was barely on the scene and that slim, little phone did its job as a telephone extremely well. Who would want something bulky with a large screen back then? (Little could they imagine the iPhone!)

Netflix vs. Blockbuster was another example. Blockbuster mowed down the Mom and Pop video stores offering a better in-store experience. Netflix however offered a completely different model; what the customer really wanted — entertainment in his/her own home.

DeBow said four forces are involved in purchase decision making: push, pull, anxiety and habit.  The first two move us toward the new product and the second two keep us maintaining the status quo.

4Forces

DeBow’s team launched a clever campaign for Snickers after determining that Snickers, unlike Milky Way, was used to curb hunger. They deliberately mis-spelled words related to Snickers in their online ad campaign and then purchased associated mis-spelled keywords, attempting to gain the hungry and tired 3 PM-need-a-candy-bar crowd. “Snickers is now the most successful candy bar as a result of the Jobs to be Done reorganization of the brand,” said DeBow. “Who do you compete with? For Snickers it was hunger, so it was actually other snack foods. It was not Milky Way, as they originally thought, because Milky Way was perceived as a guilty pleasure, a reward and something people didn’t want to share.”

What examples have you experienced where a company has completely met your needs as a consumer? When did someone serve you the “quarter inch hole?” instead of making you buy the “quarter inch drill”? Please comment below.

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Be sure the CEO has media training.

Be sure the CEO has media training.

Human Resources Directors can suddenly find themselves on the front line of a crisis battlefield during the course of a routine workday. Just take a look at any newscast or twitter feed and you will find companies in crisis from cyber attacks to corporate takeovers and workplace violence.

This week a client invited me to speak with her regional Human Resources Directors group about the steps to take in a crisis. Here is the presentation that I gave. The HR Directors particularly enjoyed the interactive scenario at the end in which three teams created their own crisis communications plans within a short time period.

Do you have additions, questions or comments about what you would do in a crisis? I would love to hear from you before I present this again to our Chamber of Commerce leaders later this month.

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Sometimes we just want to erase crises.

Sometimes we wish we could erase a crisis.

Recently I had the distinct honor of spending one hour on the phone with “America’s crisis guru”™, Jim Lukaszewski. I had recently wrapped up some crisis communications work for a client and eagerly wanted to do more. After listening to Jim on a recent webinar about the Brian Williams scandal, I decided to “learn from the master.”

Here’s what Jim shared about crisis communications (which he defined as “people stopping, reputational stopping, show stopping, product stopping, victim creating and sometimes high profile work.”)

1. Call it Readiness Review. No boss every wants to believe they will have a crisis. Generally speaking they are correct. As Jim says, true crises, such as violence in the workplace or an executive caught in an untruth are few in number. So ask the boss “What are you ready to handle? What are you not ready for?” Make a list of things that can be done better.

2. Tell a Story. Jim said that stories are the second most powerful way of learning. What’s the lesson in the story? Boil down the lesson into teachable elements like numbered lists.

3. Put Yourself in Their Shoes. Say something that matters to the other person from their perspective. Remember, it’s less and less about “me.” Focus on the person. Be interested in them and their perspective.

4. All Problems are Management Issues. Is it a management/leadership problem or a followership problem?  No one knows the business like the boss – it’s their business. What are the options? Communicators are really option providers as opposed to solution providers as some professionals call themselves.

5. Ask Good Questions. What would the boss tell his/her mother? Jim said most great leaders have a close relationship with their mothers. That’s why this question is one of Jim’s favorites. No doubt it brings any matter to a simple truth. It’s certainly one question we could all use in business more often.

What are some actions you would add in a “readiness review?”

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The Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2015 class

The Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2015 class

Today I had a fascinating round table discussion with members of our Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2015  class. Since I only had a brief time to meet with them before they headed out on their “Technology Day” I shared the latest Equalman Socialnomics video. These videos are always professionally done and the fast-paced, statistic-packed video served as a great conversation starter for my question:

How has your business (or you personally) been positively or negatively impacted by social media?  

Here is a quick sample of the leaders’  answers:

1- Smart Phone Stress: Are we ever “off?”- One leader said, “I now feel like I have to work from the deer stand.” With smart phones he asked, “when can we manage to turn it off? When do you stop and decompress?”  The same man said that he deliberately left his phone behind when he went to Ireland for nine days and when he returned he had 1,600 emails to return. “I paid for it,” he said of his time “unplugged.” Others commented that if they are up at 3 AM texting they expect others to do the same. Our work cycle has moved toward 24-7.

2- Power-full: Representatives (and customers) of the power board mentioned how handy it is now to gain real time information about power outages. One class member and customer said how very appreciative she was of the regular updates from our power board versus other places she had lived.

3- Increasing student enrollment: A representative from the Gatton College of Pharmacy mentioned how she deliberately engaged students before they attend the school on Facebook. She welcomed them as “members of the class of 2018″and gave them a sense of belonging and engagement. After this type of outreach, enrollment numbers went up.

4- Everyone’s a publisher: Conversation was lively concerning the “double edged sword”; the ability to publish but also the ability to move quickly and not take time to check the facts as in certain well publicized recent news stories.

5- Checking out future workers and colleagues: The leaders cited the ability to go onto LinkedIn and quickly assess people to see their resume, their connections and more.

6- Not EVERYone is online: Two leaders who work in the highly regulated financial services industry two  said they are extremely limited as to what they can and can not do digitally. “Everything must be recorded” said one leader. “Even our instant messages have to be recorded.”

7- Go Paperless (Really): One Human Resources director said she really enjoys the elimination of paper work in both the job application process and recruiting thanks to the digital workplace. “An applicant now never touches a piece of paper until they come to work for us,” she said.

How have you as a leader been impacted by social media and our digital society for good or for bad? I would love to hear your story.

 

 

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The following is a guest blog post by Curt Henry, an executive coach and friend who’s supported me in my business since I started MarketingMel over five years ago.

As business owners, we often fall into the trap of doing tasks ourselves rather than delegating to our team. What I hear most often from my clients is “I can do it faster myself” or “no one can do it as well as I can.” Though perhaps both may be true, you are missing an opportunity to grow your business and empower your team members.

CurtHenryReview the pie chart above which shows an average work week for a sample business owner or manager. Now fill in your own information. Most owners for example would be working much more than the 54 hour work week shown. If this is your life today what would it look like if you had a 20% increase in sales? What would that do to your pie chart of activities? You may not have to increase all items in proportion to the increase in sales but let’s say you go from 54 to 60 hours.(less than a 20% increase)

Add hours to our pie chart. (OK, but how long can you keep this up?)We really have three choices when faced with the enviable increase in our business:

  1. Don’t add hours but continue to “do it” ourselves. This means we will short change our customers, employees or others. (Also not a good idea.)
  2. Take a section of your pie chart and give it to someone else. (Put it into their pie chart of responsibilities.)

This really gets back to the question from Mr. Stanley’s wife but which I will rephrase;

As you increase your business what will you NOT do?

The business will have to do more; more invoicing, more shipping/delivering, more lots of things. But, what will you now delegate to others? At what point in the growth of the business will you recognize the need to get help from the folks you hired to provide services?

Consider the impact of rebalancing your role in the business. Planning or working “on” vs. “in” the business will multiply how quickly the business expands and improves. Sean Covey in his book The Four Disciplines of Execution talks about the conflict between the “whirlwind” and the “Wildly Important Goals (WIGs)”. He defines the whirlwind as those many urgent activities that demand our immediate attention. All things being equal, the whirlwind will win against the goals every time. As the business owner, we need to maintain our focus on the goals which move the business to new and higher levels or we stagnate. Even worse, if we are so focused on the immediate we may be passed by our competition and end up losing market share or profit potential. (More on goal setting and execution in a future BSF Update.)

I was the Vice President and General Manager for a manufacturing firm. While understanding the need to delegate, I always tried to make myself available for the workers on the production floor. My willingness to “get my hands dirty” by getting in and helping them made them feel more important. It was not that I was doing their job, but rather that I was willing to do what was needed to help them.

You may be able to do whatever “it” is faster and better than team members now. However, with a little training, the team may be able to do it just as well and allow you to focus on expanding the business or even getting to take a day off with the family every now and then. Do you remember back when you were able to take a vacation and really enjoy it?

Curt Henry Curt Henry is a seasoned business executive with seven years general management       experience and over 20 years in domestic and international marketing and sales. In 2000, Curt was chosen to lead the turnaround of a local manufacturing company with struggling product lines. Over the next six years, Curt and his team increased revenues from $9.3 to $16.2 million, improved both profit margins and cashflow significantly, and increased both productivity and product quality. Curt’s leadership resulted in improved employee morale and a significant reduction in personnel turnover.

 

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Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 4.26.53 PMSometimes busy executives can feel overwhelmed with all of the social media channels out there and what’s important and not important to know about. This week I assisted a client who’s re-entering the traditional workforce after years as a self-employed international consultant. In a one-hour session, we navigated the current and ever-changing landscape of digital communications.  This client was given a highly customized one one one tutorial using GoToMeeting (since she’s in D.C. and I’m in Tennessee). Her pre-submitted questions were as follows:

  1. Hashtags – Quite simply a hashtag is a way to “focus in” on a particular topic. It’s a really quick research tool to see what’s trending. One fascinating question that she had for me was “Can you own a hashtag the way you own a domain name?” I told her not to my knowledge and if someone with the same hashtag wants to use it they are certainly free and welcome to do so.
  2. LinkedIn– The client mentioned that her new colleagues immediately invited her to “LinkIn” with them once they knew they were going to be co-workers. Using LinkedIn in today’s business world is as common as a shaking hands. It’s a great way to see a summary of the other person’s credentials. Unlike most other social media channels LinkedIn has slightly more men. She asked why. My thought: Because men are more interested in “the business” (portraying resumes online and building a network) than women who are known to spend more time in relationship building. That’s my theory anyways and I’d welcome your ideas! Of course I showed her LinkedIn groups and shared that there really IS something for every business niche there. In her case starting her own private LinkedIn group (or Facebook group) for some of her key constituents could be a valuable way to stay in touch on a regular basis. It’s also important to give and to ask for written recommendations on LinkedIn. Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 4.16.43 PM
  3. Twitter– We reviewed the importance of social media tools such as Tweetdeck, Twitter Lists and Hootsuite when keeping up with the ever-flowing river of tweets. I likened twitter to a live mic in a broadcast booth and urged her to view every tweet as a public address. She should use these tools to see what she wants to see when she wants to see it. We talked about the changing demographics of twitter which originally started out as a 35+ channel, until the celebrities jumped on board. Now it is skewing younger. I personally love twitter because it reminds me of the AP “wire machines” that churned out news when I first began my career in broadcast journalism. If you want to know what’s happening in the world today, jump on twitter!
  4. Instagram– Extremely popular with the “tween” set, it’s been great fun for me to watch how the generation who are my son’s age (11/12 year olds) are embracing this social media channel. And they are NOT just posting photos. They are only too eager to make and share a variety of videos and use a variety of video apps to do so . I think what makes Instagram so fun is the fact that there are so few words and it’s all about images (and hashtags of course!)

I suggested she download all of these apps to her mobile devices in order to be able to access these channels on the go. That was a lot to cover in an hour for a re-entering C-Suite Executive. What are some of the things you would discuss or emphasize if you were training an executive on key social media channels and trends?

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