Social Media Group Dynamics: Don’t Be The Passive Aggressive Putz!

Social Media Group Dynamics: Don't Be The Passive Aggressive Putz!

Are you part of a Facebook group or a Google+ community?

They can be a fantastic resource when they’re full of like minded individuals all intent upon bettering the experience of all involved in the group.

However, whenever you get a group together you’re going to face occasional upset and some snarky comments when one or more group members believe that other group members aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.

She’s Not Doing It Right!

Inevitably, when a group’s intent is to increase the social media visibility of its members, you’ll find that a handful of that membership don’t necessarily take the idea of reciprocity to heart.

And, again, inevitable, you’re going to have some well meaning group members chiming in that said lack of reciprocity isn’t fair. And they’re right. But it’s the way they go about “voicing” these opinions that is the meat of this article.

Neither Life Nor Social Media Promised You Fairness

It’s hard enough for a group owner and moderator to deal with the bad habits of spammers and those who don’t read the groups rules, regulations and terms of service before plugging themselves and their services at every opportunity.

They’ve created these groups with the greater good of all members in mind and they’re putting in a lot of time and effort to make the group work, and work well, for all involved.

So, when passive aggressive Paulette starts whining about “someone” who is liking her post rather than sharing it, it’s just another reminder to the group owner that he/she is dealing with the infantile and illiterate.

We Don’t All HAVE TO Share Your Shizz!

As stated previously, many a Facebook group is created with the intent to increase the visibility of its membership.

Some group members, incorrectly, immediately assume that this intent to increase visibility mean all of their shizz will get shared by each and every other member of the group.

That ain’t gonna happen!

Generally speaking, the group owner sets the rules on how the sharing activity should roll out. Usually, when you hope to share your own goodies, you’re expected to share two to three items from the group.

Two to three, not every flipping item. We get to be choosy. Maybe your items don’t fit in with our niche. Maybe we don’t think the content you’re sharing is as valuable as you believe it to be. Whatever the case may be, sometimes your stuff just isn’t going to make the cut.

Whining that you share every group member submission, but don’t see the same sharing of your own submissions, doesn’t make anyone want to share your shizz! It shows that you aren’t very discerning and you’re only looking for shares for sharing’s sake, rather than shares that add value to your business and your audience.

Positive In Public, Passive Aggressive In Private!

If you’ve ever been part of a structured networking group like BNI or Powercore, you know this mantra. And it’s just common sense.

Veiled and cryptic complaints don’t add to or enhance the group experience. They detract from it and put the focus on you, when the focus is supposed to be about the collective “we.”

Don’t Do It!

For the love of Pete! Pretty puh-leeze cease the passive aggressive whining and complaining when you believe a social media group member is failing to play by the rules.

You don’t look like you’re looking out for the group in these instances. You simply look like a whiner.

Positive in public, but take the negative to the group leader via a private message or email. Let them deal with any infractions in the way they see fit. It’s their group. You don’t need to be the passive aggressive police.

Your opinions matter, but not when they take away from the collective group experience.

Social Sharing: Reduce Rants When You Actually Read!

Social Sharing: Reduce Rants When You Actually Read!

I just got an email, from a “sad” marketer, sharing their sorrow after the accusations and not-so-nice comments they received upon sharing an article that didn’t actually convey their opinions and beliefs.

My initial thought? That happens.

Then, as I continued to read the tale of woe, I realized the “sad” marketer hadn’t actually read the article. She chose to share it based on the title and the image, then unplugged for the weekend. She came back to a shit storm in her comments.

My second thought? Sounds like she got what she deserved!

When You Share By Rote, You Get Rants!

There’s a reason that click bait has become a buzzword. Titles tempt us. They also, far too often, fail to deliver on the idea once you get past the title and into the meat of the read.

To suss this out, though, one must ACTUALLY read the article.

I think we need to coin a new buzzword, or buzz activity might be a more correct moniker … share bait. It’s the title and feature image that screams, SHARE ME.

When social sharing becomes a compulsion to share for the sake of sharing, rather than the careful selection of suitable reads for your peers and prospects, you’ve got a problem!

Can You Back Up The Share?

Consider this. Some of those who see what you share in your feed are going to take action. They might give you a favorite  or like (also not a smart thing to do without ACTUALLY reading that “favorite” content), they might share it too, and they might comment!

Here’s where things can get sticky. If you get called out for the share and you haven’t actually read the article, you’ll get egg (or something worse) on your face my friend.

Being prepared to back up what you share on social media is a topic that should be discussed more openly and often. It goes along with the trust and transparency that have long been lauded as crucial to the social experience.

How long do you think your audience will trust you if you fail to vet and verify the value of the information you’re sharing?

Unsure Share? Don’t Unplug!

The scenario I shared detailing the woes of the “sad” marketer was only made more untenable when she shared a dodgy read and then unplugged for the weekend.

If you read and can relate, before you share, you’ll probably not have any issue. But you might still share a “hot button” article that gets your following a little hot under the collar.

If you’ve taken the time to read and can smartly formulate a response that allows you and your readers to agree to disagree on the specific issue. No read, no real way to get away without admitting you screwed up!

You can’t wander away and leave a potentially hot topic on your social space. You wouldn’t leave candles burning and then leave the house for a three day weekend. You’d worry about fire. Why would you leave a shared article to ignite on your unmonitored social platforms?

Read, Relate & Reap Benefits … Not Rants

Don’t bust out the tired, but tempting, excuse that you’re just TOO BUSY to take the time to read what you share.

It takes minutes to read an article. There’s no measuring the amount of time it will take you to regain the trust of an audience you alienate with a stupid share.

Ever faced the fire after a poorly perceived share? How did you handle the blowback?

Busy Is Just A Buzzword …

Busy Is Just A Buzzword ...

Have you ever met someone who constantly calls on you to lament or laud the fact that he/she is perpetually busy? These individuals just never have any spare time to smell the roses, to spend time with family and friends, to take a few seconds to sit down and simply savor the fruits of their labors.

I’ve known quite a few of these people. And funnily enough, I found many of them to be the least productive people I’ve ever met, despite their constant hustling and bustling and busy buzzing.

Busy Is NOT A Badge Of Honor!

Busy is, plain and simple, a buzzword. But it’s one that needs to be retired, and fast.

Busy is often incorrectly linked to productivity. Actually, the two terms are mutually exclusive and here’s why I say that:

Busy is about bustle and bragging. How often do we hear certain individuals boasting about how very busy they happen to be?

Yet, if you actually look for the fruits of their very busy labors, you’ll find the harvest surprisingly small, the payload never delivered.

Productivity is tied to things actually happening, projects delivered, deadlines met. You know, actual shizz getting done.

When Busy Becomes An Excuse …

Ever called on someone to take part in a round-up post, a Twitter chat, or possibly an interview for your blog or podcast? Of course you have. It’s part of being connected, being influential and part of creating and maintaining our online reach.

I’m willing to be that you’ve often been turned down with the phrase, “I’m sorry, I’m just too busy to take part right now.”

Here’s the deal. We could all easily use the buzz of busy as an excuse, but it’s a cop out. All business owners, if you fine it down, are busy. We all, every day, engage in the activities entailed in the management, maintenance and growth of our brands and business.

Thus, using busy as an excuse is bogus. Entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, even the lowest of lowly underlings can, and DO, make time for tasks, projects and ideas that matter.

Thus, when you tell me you’re too “busy” to take part, rather then providing a legitimate reason for your lack of excitement when asked to be included, I can only assume my request really doesn’t matter to you. And that’s A-OK hunky dory. but I’d really rather you just bust out and say so, instead of hiding behind the cult of busy.

It’s Time To Bust The Busy Myth!

At some point, in the annals of marketing history perhaps, being “busy” must have reaped rewards and brought a bounty of benefits to those who put it to use.

Today, not so much. It’s a term that’s been used, abused and, when used today, can cause groans, grumbles and snorts of derision.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Busy is simply bluster, a bid to buoy importance. It can’t be measured with benchmarks.” quote=”Busy is simply bluster. It’s a bid to appear more bountiful, a bid to buoy clout and importance. Busy can’t be measured with benchmarks.”]

Focus too much on appearing busy and you’ll fail to take part in the activities that can actually benefit you, your business, your brand AND, especially, your paying clients!

Busy Works For Bees, Not Brands & Businesses

It’s time to realize that tossing around busy brings little benefit to your brand or business.

At best, it makes you appear a little boastful, as if you’re bragging. At worst, it can appear as if your brand and business fails to find the requests and queries of customers and peers all that important in the greater scheme of things.

Have you ever been brushed aside with the buzz and bluster of busy? How did it make you feel?


Thank You: Appreciation And Acknowledgment Rock!

Thank You: Appreciation And Acknowledgment Rock!

We all like to feel that our thoughts, our actions, our concerns, our ideas and more … are appreciated and acknowledged. We hope that our questions will receive an answer. We all just want to feel like we’ve been heard and that a response is on the way.

I’m taking a slightly different direction with this week’s Music & Marketing article, looking at the idea of appreciation and acknowledgment and how much they both matter to customer experience and social media satisfaction.

Complaints, Queries & Kudos All Require Response

No matter the method nor the motivation for any social media mention, it needs to be acknowledged. Be it a customer complaint, a warranty concern, or a thank you for great customer service online or in store, it deserves a response.

I’m often surprised how quickly what could be an ugly and disruptive social media complaint can be diffused with a smartly stated show of appreciation regarding the problem.

Acknowledgment and appreciation of the frustration felt when a product or service doesn’t work as promised is a key part of customer service and experience. I’ve seen such situations escalate quickly, becoming ugly, spreading ill will for brands and businesses across the social space.

It doesn’t have to be like that. Taking a few moments to craft a response specific to the initial customer query or complaint is crucial. Canned, copied and pasted, thanks for contacting us messages aren’t going to cut it.

Specific complaints deserve specific acknowledgment. As do specific questions, product and service reviews and even congratulatory messages.

Thank Those You Already Know, Too!

Once a connection is made there’s a tendency to feel safe and secure that nothing can cause a disconnect. But you can’t take your connections, your followers, your online friends for granted.

I’m not saying I expect my connections to thank me every time I mention them. That would be excessive, especially since many of my connections are prolific publishers and often create killer content worthy of sharing.

It’s not about allowing thanks to take over your day. It’s about showing that you’re listening.

Even a quick favorite shows you’ve noticed a share. Being social is about more than scheduling shares. You actually have to engage and even interact with your following. What better way than to thank someone for sharing your articles. It’s simple and it’s smart!

You never know when a connection could lead to a collaboration, right?

No Dead End Thanks In The Social Sphere

It might seem small and insignificant, but each thank you can do so much to enhance your social status. A quick favorite, like, share, pin or repost can be such a boost to an individual’s day.

Just as you sharing another author’s article shows you appreciate their writing skill, your thanks when someone shares your content shows that you appreciate their skills as a content curator and sharer of smart and savvy information.

Ditch The Robotic And Go For Real!

Automation can be a great thing. It can certainly make things like sharing curated content a breeze. But, despite some statements to the contrary, you can’t automate appreciation or acknowledgment. Not without it appearing scheduled, automated and a bit robotic.

Responses targeted to real people, with real needs, are always appreciated than automated blips with anonymous initials tacked on to make it appear we’re speaking to an actual human being.

Ever Feel Unappreciated Online?

Your turn. Ever feel like the authors of the content you’re sharing just don’t get the reality that you’re actually helping them, not just yourself, when you share their content?

How do you show appreciation when you’re mentioned online? How do you acknowledge customer complaints vs. client kudos?

Has failing to acknowledge a social media or other online mention ever come back to bite you in the butt?

The Truly Successful Don’t Slap You Across The Face With It!

The Truly Successful Don't Slap You Across The Face With It!

I’m soooooooooo busy. I barely have time to breathe. I don’t know how I’m going to fit that in.

We’ve all heard it. The busy buzz. If it were a dance it would be called the pseudo-success strut.

Because, let me tell you something, the truly successful don’t have time to pander to the public by repeatedly touting how very busy each minute keeps them.

Success Screams Silently

I decided to move this topic to the top of my publishing queue after a smart, and somewhat snarky, discussion took place on Daniel Newman’s (Broadsuite, Millennial CEO) Facebook wall.

Daniel’s premise? It’s easily summed up with this short snippet from his Facebook post:

… over the years, the people that have impressed me the most have never had to report their amazingness.

Innovators Park Ego At The Curb!

When you’re involved in a project, even one for which you are getting paid, the end is supposed to be a solution, an end to a pain point, the fulfillment of a need. Not accolades. Not applause. Not even a write-up on the Interwebs.

While solutions are sought, that must be the focus. How can you truly innovate, or even put together a carefully crafted fix, when your current intent isn’t on the delivery of that solution.

When your intent is to increase your own perceived clout and increase your own sense of importance, you’re no longer focused on your client or the collaboration.

When you seek only innovative ways to implement your own importance you’re no longer putting client needs first.

Wins Are Wonderful …

And you should celebrate them. You should share them with your followers and peer group.

Trust me, I hate losing as much as the next guy. We all want more wins than losses on our score card.

But real winners are those who learn from the losses. Real winners can take a hit without whining and don’t have to flaunt every point scored. Real winners dance only briefly in the end zone and get back to the game before a ref has to throw a flag for excessive celebration.

Real winners know that a single touchdown isn’t enough if you don’t get back into the game and keep playing.

I’m not really sure how I managed to tie this to football, when I generally hit on tennis or mountain biking when I compare business to sport. But it worked, so I guess I’ll just roll with it!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Real winners, especially in business, don’t flaunt every point scored!” quote=”Real winners, especially in business, don’t have to flaunt every point scored!” theme=”style4″]

Showcase Rather Than Shout From The Rooftops

Building a portfolio that showcases your talents and successes seems a smarter use of your time and energies, don’t you think?

[clickToTweet tweet=”When you too often shout your successes, you become part of the noise.” quote=”When you too often shout your successes, you become part of the overwhelming noise.” theme=”style4″]

But when you carefully showcase your successes, keeping in mind that the real success came when a problem was solved, you have the opportunity to create a connection with others currently dealing with that same problem.

Subtle Succeeds!

C’mon, we’re all in this to win. To win clients, win some extra dollars in our wallet, and occasionally even an award. But when it comes to social wins, dare we say social sales, it’s all about subtlety, careful nuance, and the proper intent and purpose.

If your intent and purpose is to toot your own horn, so be it. But eventually shouters find that those around them will plug their ears and seek out a more subtly tuneful song.

Shout Or Showcase?

Which makes you seek out a connection? Which have you found to be more successful as you build your own business and brand?


Stop Asking Stupid Social Media Questions!

Stop Asking Stupid Social Media Questions!

We’re often told that there are no stupid questions. In general, I agree. Sadly though, when it comes to those grasping to wrangle every possible bit of reach and engagement possible, I’m forced to beg to differ.

Please, if you truly want to do what’s right by your audience and by your business, STOP asking ridiculously inept and inarticulate social media questions in a cheap bid to get the easy answer in order to up your numbers and make it look like you’re the king or queen of engagement.

Dare I Share A Stupid Social Media Question?

You bet your sweet bippy I’m going to share several that I’ve seen shamelessly slathered across my various social media feeds.

1. What’s the best social media platform for a beginner just starting out?

Of course this was followed with the expected list of various social platforms. The problem? There’s no context to the question.

What’s the beginner after? Is the beginner going to post as him/herself or as a brand/business? If for a brand, what does that brand do/sell and what types of buyers is the brand looking to reach?

Is the beginner a writer, well versed in the well-used word? Or is the beginner a more visual person, capable of creating and sharing vibrant thoughts and concepts through graphics and photos?

There’s no correct answer to the question posted above. Without the proper context and background information any response is solely based on the preference of those providing the answer. The context is necessary to even begin to come up with an answer that will work to build brand recognition, help create an audience and stay true to the intent and purpose of the brand’s message.

Please, May I Have Some More?

2. What are you using to read this post?

This one seems to crop up at least once a week. I follow a lot of social media marketers. Most of the time, that’s a good thing, as I get to read some great articles and take part in some smart and savvy discussion. It’s not so great, however, when these “gems” get posted in the name of increasing reach and engagement.

Rarely, dare I say never, is the answer to this lamentably lame question ever actually tallied or totaled and presented in a white paper or research article. It’s simply asked in a bid to get a quick answer.

An answer that does little to:

  1. educate/entertain your audience
  2. showcase your expertise
  3. alleviate pain points
  4. create a call to action
  5. lead the way to your sales funnel

Any answer to this question is simply that, an answer. Tick the check box for one comment on your post. Woo hoo, don’t you feel successful? Of course you don’t!

Pointless Doesn’t Pay The Bills!

Trust me, I get the idea behind asking a simple question in a bid to bolster conversation when your reach and engagement rates plummet after an algorithm change.

But simple questions can still stay true to your brand message, your carefully crafted persona, your business intent and purpose.

But, but, but … you ask silly random questions to the guests on your podcast! This is true, but I’ll explain how it’s different.

Those random questions are asked of a single person, our interviewee, to round out our show on a fun note. They’re not a bid to rev up our reach. If you’re listening to the podcast, you’re doing so because you’re interested in what the guest and/or the two hosts have to say.

Now, if on the podcast Facebook page, you saw this:

3. Chocolate or Vanilla?

That right there? Stupid question. A bid for easy engagement. In no way does knowing which of the two flavors you prefer benefit a business. Nor does it benefit your audience.

Will the answers to that question help you with a future article or upcoming product launch? Not unless you’re a baker, ice cream maker or own a candy counter.

Create Engagement That Continues To Create!

You can ask seemingly simple, fun and easy to answer questions that benefit your brand and your audience.

If, for example, I ask my social media audience about their current favorite bands, I am looking for answers that might prompt a future Music & Marketing article.

I could also ask, if one were forced to choose between two TERRIBLE social media titles, diva or guru, which would be chosen and why. And guess what? An article about taking care with titles is born! The answers nurture the topic and allow me to engage in purposeful conversation with my audience. Even while we’re all having a bit of fun.

There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun on Fridays, or keeping things simple on a slow Saturday or Sunday. But when you use the stupid question tactic too often, you’re setting yourself on a dangerous path.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When you chase reach, rather than relevance, you’ll lose audience seeking authenticity.” quote=”When you chase reach, rather than relevance, you’ll eventually lose audience that’s looking for authenticity, awareness, education AND entertainment.”]

It’s certainly not easy, but the best brands strike a balance. You can, too.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Send the stupid questions to File 13 and create conversation that converts!” quote=”Send the stupid questions straight into File 13 and start conversations that will help you continue to create engaging content.” theme=”style1″]

And, in case you care, I’m a vanilla kind of girl.



Ewwwwww! Let The Spam Stop With You!

Ewwwwww! Let The Spam Stop With You!

Reply All and Spam …
NOT a match made in heaven!

We all deal with spam. Probably on a daily basis. It comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s delivered by so many different means.

But, a few of you are adding to the time suck and rolling eyes. Maybe without even knowing it.

Don’t Feed The Animals, Especially Not Spam!

C’mon people. Use a little common sense and stop spreading the spamsanity. Yes, that’s one of my made up words, but I think it’s quite fitting. It perfectly describes what I can only hope is the mindless and hysterical spreading of spam through silly clicks and response tactics.

None of us want spam. Anywhere. It infiltrates our in-boxes. It taunts us in Twitter DMs. It makes us listless about Linkedin. I could go on and on.

Spam wastes our time and it negatively impacts our productivity. We have to monitor it on our websites, in the comments and via our contact forms. We have to clear it out of our inboxes. Even if we have systems in place to catch it, the final delete is something we have to deploy.

So, it’s all the more annoying when the spam cycle is continued with a ridiculous reply-all response.

Stop Aiding & Abetting

When you reply-all to a spam send, you’re adding to the trash. That’s one more email, one more message, one more notification I have to address.

Whether your response is positive or negative, when you regularly reply-all, you show me you don’t value my time any more than the initial spammer.

It’s bad enough when you have my email for a reason. It’s absolutely heinous when you use a social media platform (I’m calling you out Linkedin) to deliver spammy service offerings to the unsuspecting and uninterested. When you hit reply-all to an obviously spammy send, I’m going to inform Linkedin that your response is spam, too.

Sound harsh? Too bad. No one wants to see a single spam send turn into a spam thread.

Respond To Spam The Right Way! One-on-One!

If you’ve ever taken part in any formal, regimented networking you know that have a rule, which I’m paraphrasing here:

… positive in public, negative where no one else is listening.

When it comes to spam, especially spam sent out to multiple parties (I’m looking at you again, Linkedin), all responses should be private.

While the spam send might be the exact silly service your business needs, you don’t need to let the rest of us know! We don’t care! We don’t know Y-O-U!

As for letting the spammer know it’s not super-duper? I give them one chance. I reply, privately, that what they’re doing doesn’t work for me (and plenty of others). If they repeat spam? Report!

Spam Sucks!

Together we can stop the spamsanity. Really! If we stop reply-all ridiculosity we’re already adding to the calm, rather than creating a cacophony that clearly benefits NO ONE!

Stop Assuming Connections Need Your Help!

Stop Assuming Connections Need Your Help!

Be it via automatic DM or a Linkedin reply, I’m getting pretty tired of the assumption that by choosing to connect with you, I somehow need your help. Nine times out of ten I don’t require your assistance, nor do I desire to pay for your services.

My Connection Just Might Help Y-O-U!

There are a variety of reasons why I might be prompted to follow you. Just a few include:

  1. I like your bio.
  2. We work in the same industry.
  3. I’ve checked out your blog and you publish some great content.
  4. We take part in the same group activities (Google Hangouts, Tweetchats, etc).
  5. We share a hobby or passion (coffee, craft beer, music, etc.).
  6. I think you’d make an interesting podcast guest.

While I’m hoping to gain a connection, I’m not going in thinking you’re going to be my next big client. I don’t have a Twitter list titled “Hot Prospects.”

Stop to think. If I’ve connected with you because I think you’re a great writer, I’m probably going to share your stuff. It’s a mutually beneficial connection. I have a new source for share-worthy content and your content has the chance to be seen by some new eyes. In this instance we both win a prize!

Gee, Could You Stop Being So Generic?

How may I help? Put a lot of time and effort into that incredibly individualized response, did you?

C’mon now. If I’m connecting with you, there’s a good chance you’re some sort of digital marketer. Color me unimpressed when you can’t come up with anything more exciting than that!

Did you take the 30-90 seconds to read my bio? Did you take a moment to peruse my latest publishes, to seek out my latest shares? No. You just assumed that the only reason for the connection was your own awesomeness. I must need you or your skills.

Would you want to hire someone who boiled everyone down with the same generic formula? I wouldn’t.

Connect With Intent & Purpose

I’m coming back to one of my favorite phrases. I really need to hashtagify that bad boy, #intent_purpose.

Each connection starts with a specific intent. But the purpose just might change over time. I may connect with you because you tweet terrific when it comes to oatmeal stout, but as we continue to build that connection, through conversation, I may find that you’re also a stellar proponent of podcasting or something else that interests me.

People, like diamonds, have many facets. Or maybe we’re like onions and have many layers. Whichever analogy you prefer, we’re all different. We can’t be cut from the same cloth. We can’t be helped by one-size-fits-all generic solutions.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Consider your intent when you connect and when you respond. #SMMsmarts” quote=”Consider your intent when you connect and when you respond to a connection.” theme=”style4″]

Is your response or follow-up valuable to the individual or is it catered to the masses?

Meet & Greet Before You Mine For Client Gold!

Relationships, even those between prospect and provider, take time. Lots of time. Engagement doesn’t happen in minutes. Sales require subtlety. I’d like it if you took your time and sorted out whether we’re a good match before you pitch me.

And, yes, an unsolicited, too early, “How Can I Help You” message is absolutely a pitch. Not a good one, certainly. But we can see the dollar signs in your eyes, and the lust for acquisition in your heart.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Connections aren’t acquisitions. We’re people. Treat us like individuals! #SMM” quote=”Connections aren’t acquisitions. We’re people. Treat us like individuals and you’ll soon see that connections more readily build into relationships.” theme=”style4″]

Resting On Your Laurels Does NOT Rock!

Resting On Your Laurels Does NOT Rock!

Just over a year ago my tennis club hired two new tennis pros. Many of us were ecstatic, looking forward to new energy, new drills and new ideas.

But there were a few naysayers in the crowd, too. A handful of older, “country club” women didn’t like that one of the pros, a Brit with a dry wit, dared to actually tell them what they could do better. They didn’t care to get better, they just wanted to get an hour or so on the courts, wear a cute skirt and say they played tennis.

Happily, all but a small few of these naysayers have been won over by the fact that they are now playing better tennis, thanks to the careful, but absolutely constructive criticism shared by these pros.

What happens when this behavior moves into the conference, convention and event sphere?

Are You Reaching? Or Resting?

I’m in the process of prepping for WordCamp Atlanta, which I’ll be attending this weekend. As I make some small tweaks to this website and wait with baited breath for my new business cards to arrive (on the truck to be delivered, WOO HOO), I’m also seeing a lot of posts from Social Media Marketing World 2015.

Derek and I, Derek especially, love WordCamp. But, as with any event that repeats year after year, there are some frustrations. One that I find gets me a bit up in arms is the presenter that’s simply phoning it in. Yes, though they’re actually speaking in person.

Too often repeat speakers don’t take into account that repeat attendees deserve something new. Presenting the EXACT same material year after year, with little to no research into the changes in our industry or the changing needs of our audience is unacceptable.

I wrote about idioms yesterday, and I’m sharing a new one today: Rest on Laurels.

Here are a couple of my favorite “definitions” of the idom, as per The Free Dictionary:

… to stop trying because one is satisfied with one’s past achievements.

… to be so satisfied with your own achievements that you make no effort to improve.

The professional speaker that stops trying and simply presents the same tired and sadly dated information, event after event, is resting on his or her laurels. Event and convention planners need to take steps to keep this from happening in future. But, that’s another topic for another day!

Push The Envelope, Paper Cuts Be Damned!

I get it, it’s safer to repeat a speech or presentation that’s already gone over well. But as a speaker or presenter, you have to look beyond yourself to your audience.

Have they heard this spiel before? Are you speaking to beginners or seasoned veterans? You can’t just assume and speak. You’ve got to put in the time and effort. How?

Talk to the event promoters/owners. Research the attendees engaged in discussion using the event hashtag. Reach out and ask what it is they’d most like to hear.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Push the envelope … paper cuts be damned! #entrepreneur” quote=”Push the envelope … paper cuts be damned!” theme=”style4″]

Take the time to discuss your topic with your trusted peers. Ask them how they might take it to the next level.

Because you have to take it to the next level if you want to continue to engage a specific event audience. Want to dazzle digital marketers? You can’t share the same shizz over and over. or they’ll snore through your presentation.

No matter the audience, nor the event, you’ve got to strive to be fresh, exciting, interesting and on top of your topic. Otherwise, what’s the point? Another event you can list on your “I’ve been here” page?

Past Victories Are Great, But Future Wins Await!

We should, all of us – me included, be proud of our past achievements. But are those glory days enough to sustain us through the next ten, fifteen, twenty years in business, in sport, and life?

Keep striving, keep bettering yourself, keep reading, keep discussing and keep connecting with new voices in your industry. Stop resting on your laurels and take the steps to keep you business, your brand and message fresh, while still on topic. It can be done. It should be done!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Past victories are great, BUT future wins await! #smallbiz #entrepreneur” quote=”Past victories are great, BUT future wins await!” theme=”style4″]


Sing Your Story With Your Own Unique Voice

Sing Your Story With Your Own Unique Voice

I love music as much, if not more than I love digital marketing. It’s probably safe to say that I’m an absolute music nerd. This comes as no surprise to anyone who regularly reads what I write. I’ve shared articles referencing R.E.M., Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, and many more. I often look back to my 80’s music influences when I’m generating my music and marketing article ideas.

What some of my readers might not know? I’m an indie rock kind of chick! That’s right. A hipster. But hopefully not a hipster dufus (yes, I love to add pop culture and Seinfeld references to my writing, too).

So, I’m more than excited to publish a music and marketing article that shares several songs that fit with my more indie listening leanings!

Frightened Rabbit: The Modern Leper (EXPLICIT)

It’s pretty safe to say that my favorite singers wouldn’t fare well if they took their singing talents to a “reality” TV show intent on creating slick and seriously engineered pop stars. I can perfectly picture Simon sneering as I imagine it.

I choose my favorite songs and those who sing them based on two things:

  1. The story told
  2. The emotion shared

That’s really not much different from how I choose those marketers and digital storytellers whose posts I look for in my feeds.

A song about a leper isn’t destined to rise to the top of the pop charts, but it absolutely catches my attention with a strong and standout story. And, even better, it makes me think. I look for the same in content and social media marketing.

Jeff Mangum: My Dream Girl Don’t Exist

My ex-husband couldn’t stand Jeff Mangum’s voice. Words like whiny, grating and even caterwauling were thrown about with abandon.

But the voice that fronts Neutral Milk Hotel digs deep and does something for me. I’d trade passionate for whiny, gripping for grating and maybe yearning for caterwauling.

I often stress that if we all liked and sought out the same things, the world would be a very boring place. The same goes for the digital marketing and social media sphere. We seek what sings to us. If your story sings to me, I’ll share it. You can’t expect everyone to hum along or dance in place.

Modest Mouse: Doin’ The Cockroach

The story in this song sings to me, and I think no other voice but Isaac Brock’s would do it justice. But, it’s an acquired taste. Like learning to drink coffee or wine, it’s a passion that develops over time, through repeat sips (or listens).

Social media marketing is about acquired taste, too. You have to choose the platforms that best allow you to sing your story in your own unique voice. For me those channels are Twitter and Google+. I didn’t immediately fall in love with either platform. It was through repeat listens and learning to love each as I spent more and more time engaged in conversation and discussion.

Handsome Furs: Hearts of Iron

I’ve chosen to share this song for two reasons. First, Dan Boeckner’s voice is an acquired taste. But the second reason is the one I’d really like to stick.

To make it in our field, digital and social media marketing, you’ve got to have a heart of iron. Heck, you’ve also got to have a soul of steel and you’ve got to be able to roll with the punches … some directed below the belt.

I got called out this morning, on Twitter. I was called lazy for using the term “moron” in an article and title. I laughed, shot off a response that didn’t engage in name calling and went about my day. You have to be able to do so.

I carefully chose to call out unnamed individuals as morons, and I don’t intend to change that practice. To do so would mean I’m trying to hide my voice. I have no intention of ever doing so.

Superchunk: Hyper Enough

My unique voice, the one I use to share each story I think worthy of sharing, could probably be described as hyper. Some might say edgy. I’m pretty sure I’ve even been called manic.

I’m sure Mac McCaughan and the rest of the Superchunk gang were often told that they played too fast, were woefully out of tune (on occasion … OK, maybe a lot), were perhaps not exactly what a venue manager was looking for in a music act.

I’m not a perfect fit for every job. There are many prospects who aren’t a perfect fit for our company. But I’m hyper enough (meaning I’m dedicated to hustling and moving forward) to keep looking for that right prospect, that fortuitous fit.

Are You Singing Your Story?

Your voice might not suit everyone. But it doesn’t have to. You’ll find harmony and resonance with a group that suits your goals, your message and your intent and purpose. Don’t fall prey to the auto-tune mentality and lose what makes your voice unique!