Social Media Can Be A Mine Field

Social media is a great tool for marketing and staying in touch with people in far away places. Just remember that it can be fraught with danger!

SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE A MINE FIELD

One of the challenges with social media is that people can’t usually see our faces and body language. That means they only get about 40% of the message. Is that enough to ensure you aren’t misunderstood?

Mom&BrettI’ll use a personal example. I wrote a blog in January of 2012 about how great a year 2011 had been and posted it to my Facebook news feed. My reason for 2011 being so great was that in 2010, we almost lost our house, my mother died, my father had a stroke and my son died. In 2011, I had been in a new job for a year, we had managed to save our home with the help of friends and family, my other kids appeared to be getting their lives back on track after losing their brother the year before. When you compare the two, 2011 was a great year.

What I forgot about was that my nephew had died that year.

I received a call from my brother-in-law. He was furious. “How could you say that!”. My wife asked me to take down that blog because of the pain it was causing my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Although not sorry for what I said, I was sorry for how it made them feel and took the blog down.

If you are going to be active in social media, be prepared to eat some crow once in a while. I’m not saying not to be honest and say what you feel. Just be prepared that not everyone will agree with you and you might bruise some toes once in a while and have to explain yourself.

Social Media and Business

When it comes to business, the challenges are even greater. My brother-in-law might not be happy with what a I said a few years ago but he has forgiven and moved on. We are friends again. That took a couple of years!

criticismIn the case of business, prospects and clients aren’t necessarily so forgiving. I’m still married to my brother-in-law’s sister so he was forced to be near me and that gave us a chance to “kiss and make up”. Your followers and customers don’t have to. With a click of a mouse, you are unfollowed. If you are lucky, that’s all. With the power of social media, your followers, prospects and customers have a voice.

Look at Air Canada for example. There was an incident in February of 2017 where a plane had been grounded due to weather. It was midnight and passengers were told there was no food available as everything was closed. A West Jet pilot was in the same airport. He took the initiative to order pizza and came to the Air Canada passengers saying that “‘Hey … I am from WestJet and we do things differently. Who wants pizza?”. Facebook postings went nuts! Lucky for Air Canada, most of the commentary was positive for the West Jet pilot as opposed to directly negative for Air Canada.

Air Canada, to their credit, was quick to apologize and recognize the West Jet pilot for his efforts. Silence could have been deadly. Social media is a mine field. Tread carefully.

Have A Voice But Remember Words Matter

Question?By all means, have a voice. Just remember that words matter. Your readers may not have your language as their first language and are interpreting into their context. For example, “I’m going to the park” may translate to “I’m making a trip to the park” in a Latin language. If you’re lucky, your comments translate that well but not always. What if it’s something like “I beat my wife at a game of chess” and it translated to “I played a game of chess with my wife and I beat her”. If English isn’t my first language, I might be concerned you were beating your wife!

Words mean different things to different people. I highly recommend reading The Secret Language of Leadership by Steve Denning. Choose your words carefully but just as important, try to understand how your readers will interpret them.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for social media. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for opportunity. What are you thankful for today?

Pre-Handle Objections. Be Up Front.

Pre-Handle objections by addressing the elephant at the front of the room. Save yourself time and stress by being up front with whatever the biggest objections are.

Pre-Handle Objections

Image representing Canadian justice.What does Pre-Handle objections mean?

I’ll use a great example I heard at an Advanced Product Training with Legalshield this past weekend. Melissa Wilder was in town to address the Ontario market. As part of the agenda, the guest speaker usually delivers a business briefing. That’s a presentation of both the product and the opportunity. She noted that it’s common that the price is what is sitting at the front of a guest’s mind and causes distraction from the message. She actually said something similar very early in the presentation and briefly mentioned the price of the Canadian membership, clearing the air and allowing people to focus on the presentation.

Let’s imagine that you have someone convinced to come to see your service or business opportunity. You told them the meeting would be a little over an hour and that the group likes to go out for some camaraderie afterward. You agreed that you would pick them up and drive. Now, you are about to leave and bring them to the meeting. Because they are a half hour away, you call to confirm. The conversation could go one of two ways.

Option 1

Man giving thumbs down.Hi, this is John Doe. We spoke earlier this week about you coming to a business briefing. (Because, of course, you were up front about that and they already saw something about the service so there are no surprises!) Are you still able to come? Stop right there! You just gave them an out. It doesn’t really matter what the story is, they can make up just about anything.

“I’m sorry I can’t come tonight. Something has come up. Maybe next time?”

You can believe there is no next time. There is no sense of urgency. You didn’t say anything to indicate otherwise and the urgency is all yours, not theirs.

Option 2

photo agreeingHi, this is Jane Doe. We spoke earlier this week about the video I sent previously and you indicated that there were a couple of things that you might be able to use our membership for. I explained that you could learn more and have questions answered at our business briefing. The briefing takes about 45 minutes and after that you would be able to decide if you saw value in staying for further discussion and clarification. After the meeting we typically go for some fellowship and you would be welcome to join us or I would take you home.

Thanks for agreeing to come tonight. When we spoke last, we agreed that after the business briefing, it will be your decision on next steps. Does that sound about right? (As long as you have been up front and your statement is accurate, the answer can only be yes.) It’s kind of hard to say no when you use their own words.

“That’s great! I should be there in about 25 minutes.” And, don’t be late.

Be Honest and Up Front

Honesty and integrity is key in any business. I need to know what you are asking me for and what it’s going to cost me. Keep in mind that my time is worth more than my money. I don’t know about you but the only thing I hate more than a thief is a liar. So, don’t steal my time and don’t lie to me!

Use the Up Front Contract every time. Make it a habit to start every conversation by stating the up front contract that brought you to this point in time and be sure to end every conversation with your next up front contract, whether that is the next meeting, or agreement to part friends. The other thing is to be sure to listen and use language that everyone understands.

Will you always get people to agree to the next up front contract? Nope. But, that means you have both just saved a lot of time and energy, parted friends and can get on about your business.

People like to deal with people they know, like and trust. You will build more lasting relationships being honest and up front and the business you win sticks. Who knows, maybe no means not right now. Because you built a lasting relationship, you will get the future business and/or referrals.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great teachers. I’m thankful for integrity. I’m thankful for growth opportunities.

What are you thankful for today?

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Testing…Testing…Can you hear me now?

You should always be testing when working with social media. How else can you tell people are hearing your message?

Testing what?

Today, I want to talk about testing links. First, do they work? Second, do they work?!

First, testing your links to see if they work.

HTTP 404 errorHave you ever had that experience where someone posts about a great subject and when you click the link you get an “HTTP 404 Error”, the browser can’t find the page requested? How frustrating is that?!

If it happens once, you may click another post from that person later but if it happens too often, it’s like the little boy who cried wolf. You won’t believe you can trust them and you won’t “hear” anything they have to say again. You may even choose to “unfriend” that person. Are you testing links before you post on social media? All you have to do is open a fresh tab and paste the link you are posting before you put it in your social media communications. Better it fails you than your “listeners”.

Second, testing links to see if they produce traffic?!

You’re finished testing to make sure your link actually goes somewhere. Now, do you know if anyone actually clicked on it?

Google url shortenerI like using Google’s url shortener for this purpose. It’s free and easy to use. There are others with more in depth reporting but that’s for later when you are making enough money to cover your cost. This is a great way to get started. Using Goo.gl, I can tell:

  • how many clicks;
  • what type of device;
  • what operating system;
  • and what countries the clicks are coming from.

When you go to one of these reports, you can see how well that link is working. If you go to your initial goo.gl login page, you will see your list of links with their history. Compare the number of links and look at the types that are getting the most clicks. You can use to identify what your followers pay attention to.

This isn’t to say you should never make posts that don’t get a lot of traction. You need to be honest with yourself and your audience. Just make sure that you can identify what will get attention faster when you want it. When making posts that get the most attention, you need to take the opportunity to direct your audience’s attention where you want it. Do you have something to offer related to the post? Say so and give the opportunity to go there.

So, what should you be testing? Everything! For today, let’s just focus on testing your links. You might want to check out Pure Leverage for great marketing tools and to learn more about things like testing conversion rates, colours, etc.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great teachers. I’m thankful for patient partners. I’m thankful for every new day.

What are you thankful for today?

Home Office Technology On A Budget: K.I.S.S

Your home office doesn’t have to break the bank. Know what you need and apply the K.I.S.S. principle. Keep it simple.

Office Technology Business Needs Analysis

You have a home based business, sometimes referred to as your “Plan B”. What technology do you really need to operate?

  • Smartphone
  • Computer
  • Software
  • Internet

Think through your day. Where will you spend most of your time and what will you need to do? If 80% of your day is out on the road, can you function on a smartphone or should you consider a laptop or tablet for the road? If you use a tablet, will there be a need to transfer data to your computer? Once you decide on the hardware, what software do you need and how do you keep the cost down? I’m getting tired just setting up the scenario!

Hardware

ComputerI have to admit to a bias on phones. I believe they are mostly for phone calls and simple messaging; text, email or social media. Short and sweet. This means that as long as you can dial a number and send email, any phone will do. If it’s for demonstration purposes like running a video demonstration for a prospect, you need a tablet or laptop. An iPad would be nice but are they really worth the cost? If you are on a limited budget, visit a place like Best Buy or Canada Computers and you can find very affordable tablets that you can either access the Internet (Gotta love most coffee shops and free Wi-Fi these days!) and Youtube or load video files directly for when there is no Internet connection. Laptops are less convenient for situations like running a presentation in a coffee shop but you could get by without a tablet if you use a laptop. This would also give you the flexibility to connect to a projector for full fledged demonstrations if that is likely to happen in your world. If your budget allows, I would also keep a desktop in the home office because of their greater storage capacity. This would allow you to keep a backup copy of critical files in case of emergency.

Software

An office productivity suite will cover most of your needs. Cost has come down a lot from when I was in the computer solutions business. I remember selling the Microsoft Office Professional for approximately $900. In those days, I preferred Corel WordPerfect because it was a better product for half the price. These days you can get Open Office for nothing and it does everything most people need. You might consider something like QuickBooks to track your business financials

Will you be creating your own graphics? There are many free tools or you could consider Adobe products and alternatives like Serif.

Free Internet Marketing Coaching

Office Technology Solution Sample

This post was creating using a refurbished computer from Canada Computers, a Dell OptiPlex GX775 and my Pure Leverage suite. I paid $119 for the computer and $25/month for the Pure Leverage suite.

Dell OptiPlex 775:

  • Pentium Core 2 Duo 2.33Mhz
  • 4GB DDR2
  • 80GB Hard Drive
  • DVD ROM
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (free upgrade to Windows 10)

Pure Leverage Suite

  • Pure LeverageWeb Site and development software
  • Online Conference Room
  • Video Producer
  • Auto Responder Email System
  • Elite Coaching program

I installed a free anti-virus program, a free malware program and the free Open Office productivity suite. You can buy a printer under $50 these days or just email to Staples and have your documents printed there!

Backup

One of the easiest things to overlook is a backup solution. Typically, the cost is frightening. External drives are $100 or more and they can be stolen or fail. Tape drives can run into multiple hundreds of dollars. The challenge is that if you don’t have a backup and your computer is damaged in a fire or stolen, how do you get all your files back? Chances are your business is gone with your hardware and files.

Take a look at Got Backup. <<< Click Here

In these days of precarious employment, many find it necessary to find ways to supplement their income. Don’t let the cost of setting up your home office scare you. The cost can be quite manageable if you are willing to do a little research and work. I hope this blog helps you get started.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for informational blogs. I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful for every new beginning.

What are you thankful for today?

Backup: What’s Your Risk Management and Disaster Recovery Plan?

Backup! Backup! Backup!

When I was selling computer networks, that was our mantra. Without a good risk management and disaster recovery plan, you may as well fold up your business now.

Backup Because Disaster Happens

  • Hardware Failure
  • Theft
  • Fire and Flood

Every single person I know has lost at least:

  • their family photo albums
  • precious financial documents
  • precious memories and videos..

And did you also know (this is staggering), any company that loses their data for more than 10 days, 96% of them will file for banckruptcy within 6 months!!

Bad things happen to good people. Hard drives fail. Theft happens. When fire happens, your computer might survive the flames but will it survive the water? Be prepared. Make sure you have a good backup solution in place. Keep your data safe and secure where you can get to it when disaster happens.

Backup Options

  • Tape Drive
  • External Hard Drive
  • USB Key
  • Cloud

Tape DriveWhen I was in the computer solutions industry, the backup solution of choice was tape drives. I recommended an 11 tape rotation. One each for Monday thru Thursday (daily), 5 for five potential Fridays in a month (weekly) and 2 for alternate monthly backup. Expensive but in those days, the most comprehensive. We recommended the tapes be stored off site just in case of fire or theft.

Since then, the cost of storage has dropped dramatically. You can use an external drive bay for not much more than one tape used to cost. I would suggest setting up at least two drives to alternate on a daily basis so that you can take one home each day, if you can remember.

USB keyUSB keys are an option but are rather limited in how much you can backup and then you also have to remember to do it. Because of the size, they are easy to lose or have stolen.

And then, there is the cloud. There are multiple companies providing online backup. Let me tell you about a great solution!

GotBackup Cloud Backup

There are many great cloud backup solutions but let me tell you about Gotbackup.

Backup to the cloudIn 2011 only 7% of people used online backup, today 24% are and by 2016, 36% of consumers are expected to be using cloud storage and backup. 14% of home computer users will lose data in the next year due to no fault of their own. This is the very first true consumer product that every person needs who owns a mobile device like an iphone, ipad or android and/ or a home computer or laptop.

 

 

Backed up filesWith GotBackup you can:

  • Backup all your photos, music, emails, videos, documents & more!
  • Log in to view all of your files online from any web browser. Browse them just like you would on your PC.
  • Automatically backup your computer silently in the background to the cloud without you having to do anything.
  • Access your cloud on the GotBackup mobile site. We have apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Chrome OS and Windows 8.

GotBackup does not limit your transfer speeds or bandwidth. Their data centers have super fast connectivity. Your online files are encrypted with military grade encryption to keep them safe in our online cloud.

Are you interested in being paid to have a great backup solution?

>>CLICK HERE to learn more.

Keep your data safe and make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for? I’m thankful for my time in the computer services industry. I’m thankful for business opportunities. I’m thankful you took the time to read this far!

What are you thankful for today?