Some people are still skeptical about social media recruiting, though I can’t figure out why. The success stories on both companies and individuals finding their dream match through a social media recruitment campaign keep rolling in. Stacy Lambe got hired … Continue reading
The characteristics identified as making these strategists successful at their jobs were, in order:
- “I’m multi-disciplinary and can wear many hats.” (58%)
- “I’m willing to take risks.” (46%)
- “I can rally different stakeholders across the organization.” (45%)
- “I can effectively lead a multi-faceted, cross-departmental effort.” (38%)
- “I have experience in social media.” (37%)
- “I have a long-term customer-centric vision for the program.” (24%)
- “I can communicate the ROI to executive leadership.” (16%)
- “I have been working at my company many years.” (13%)
What stands out in these numbers to me is that the key to success for these strategists has less to do with ROI or long-term plans and more to do with the ability to innovate – whether that be juggling disparate responsibilities and trying new things without the fear of failure.
I’m convinced that the connection between the two isn’t coincidental, either. Those who are able to take on a myriad of responsibilities – from creating content to coming up with strategies, analyzing metrics and adapting accordingly, spearheading campaigns, and evangelizing social media to stakeholders – are likely to manage participation in a myriad of media as well. They know how to work with varied audiences through varied channels, connecting consumers with companies adeptly, and they also know how to translate the benefits of social media into terms executives can appreciate and get behind, regardless of the executives’ familiarity with social media themselves.
Proactive social media professionals are those who are able to change and evolve along with the new shifts that come in technology. They are the ones who remain on the bleeding edge of new technologies, adopting them early and then advocating experimentation with them. These forward thinkers use the new media intuitively and find ways to extract the maximum ROI from the tools (remembering that ROI in social media is less about sales conversions and more about building relationships and brand loyalty).
Likewise, to get the most out of social media, businesses need to be willing to try new things – and to try lots of different things as well. The benefit of social media is that most of the tools are free. Not having to invest much overhead to dabble in different platforms leaves businesses wide open to experiment with new initiatives and see what resonates with their customers. Be willing to adapt to and adopt new technologies and integrate them into different parts of the business cycle – from marketing and sales to customer service – and you’ll be sure to find what works best for your particular business niche.
Creating Content People Care About “Content is king” has become a mantra for many social media marketers and website creators in today’s online environment. While this has become an undisputed point, two questions inevitably follow: what kind of content is … Continue reading
Before you join the hordes of social media neophytes who dive into the medium with no method in the madness, it’s important to step back and create an overarching social media strategy into which all of your social media initiatives … Continue reading
Are great salespeople born? Or can anyone learn the tricks of the trade that make for sales success? While certain personality traits and natural abilities translate well for those in a sales-oriented career, much of what creates a successful sales professional can be learned with proper training in three areas: attitude, ability, and action. Â
- Attitudes develop bit by bit over years. Those who believe they can and will achieve great things tend to succeed in whatever they pursue, as long as theyâre willing to couple that ambition with hard work. Switching over to a positive attitude requires effort if you tend to focus on the glass being half-empty, but in time, a can-do outlook will become second nature. Positivity isnât the only helpful attitude for sales. Other attitudes to cultivate include modesty, reliability, goal-orientation, curiosity, healthy competitiveness, and a lack of self-consciousness.
- Abilities, or skills, can be acquired, thanks to teaching, coaching, and repetition. According to Steve W. Martin of Harvard Business Review, there are four skills beyond the typical list â hard work, tenacity, integrity, empathy, etc. â that really make a difference for self-made salespeople: language specialization, modeling of experiences, political acumen, and greed. Language specialization requires becoming a maven in your sales field, going beyond the standard recital of a productâs benefits and features to discuss domain-area expertise â and in the fieldâs jargon, to boot. âModelingâ refers to linking similar data and experiences into predictable patterns that influence future behavior. Developing a methodology of analyzing sales calls and sales cycles helps you to learn from each interaction, successful or not, to breed future success. Using acumen to understand human behavior and actions based upon self-interests helps the salesperson to accurately map out a decision makerâs influences and motivations. Finally, greed in this sense isnât miserly or corrupt â rather, itâs a desire to be paid fairly for the time and effort invested in the sales process, pushing beyond the comfort zone to close a sale.Â
- Actions are the measurable steps you take to execute a sales strategy. These require planning as well as follow through and reporting. While the proper actions might seem intuitive to some, they can be learned by reading and studying from the plethora of sales advice available online and in print. Some actions to incorporate into your business cycle include setting sales goals in writing, tracking progress, reconnecting with customers every 30 to 60 days, and preparing scripts to overcome potential objections. Donât overlook the importance of continued education and professional development. Dedicate a set amount of time to researching your customerâs industry, attending sales training courses, or meeting with a corporate coach to improve your value as a sales professional.
Keep in mind that someone could have all three areas understood, and if they donât have an environment thatâs conducive to what theyâre selling, then theyâll still find an uphill battle. Those circumstances are rare, however. Once you learn the proper attitudes, abilities, and actions, youâll be on your way to sales success.Â
How do you establish a connection with someone youâve just met? A crucial element to kicking off any relationship is building rapport based on trust, understanding, and commonalities. Power networking works best when you can build rapport quickly and genuinely. … Continue reading
An old adage says that 80 percent of success is just showing up. But how do you accomplish that other 20 percent â particularly following a networking event like a tradeshow or membership meeting? What comes after collecting a stack … Continue reading
In todayâs fast-paced, digital world, it gets easy in the hustle and bustle to overlook the human aspect of a business relationship. âThe foundation for successful networking and relationship building is making a good connectionâthat initial contact with someone rooted in mutual interest or experience that breaks down the wall that exists between us,â said Randy Haim, managing partner of Atlanta-based Bell Oaks Executive Search. âThese connections should emanate from your genuine desire to learn about the other person and determine what you have in common.âÂ
In his whitepaper âConnectingâ¦ The Forgotten Art of Social Interaction,â Haim outlines 10 connection-building skills to develop before your next big networking opportunity. Here are a few:Â
- Ask questions â This may be one of the oldest pieces of networking advice, but it holds true: you are more interesting when you ask questions. People love to talk about themselves, particularly to someone they can tell is listening with genuine interest. As you get them talking, listen actively, looking for common ground.
- Get personal â Weâre often trained to avoid personal information in business conversation. However, conversations are human interactions, and those personal components â faith, family, values, perspective â are what make us who we are. Donât shy away from sharing your values and talking with someone about theirs. However, getting to this personal level is uncomfortable for some, so gauge the reaction you receive and proceed accordingly. When done well and with a warm reception, this is a powerful way to an authentic, deep dialogue that can lead to a strong relationship.
- Use humor â Laughter is one of the easiest icebreakers. Jokes veer toward awkwardness, but when you use humor by making light of a situation or poking fun at yourself, it can build an instant â and positive â bond.
- Connect through content â Donât be afraid to take the next step in showing someone youâre genuinely interested in what they have to say by putting that interest into action. If your contact mentions struggling with a professional development challenge and youâve recently read something on the subject, go ahead and send them an email with the link to the article or a review of the book. This creates a point of discussion and follow up for future interactions.
As you work to better connect with new contacts at a personal, human level, youâll be surprised at how naturally and easily networking becomes. Focusing on individuals as people, not stepping stones to success, forges a deeper bond that may sustain beyond the business at hand.
Networking is undoubtedly an important professional activity, but could you use it for marketing â or even as your sole means of marketing? By harnessing word of mouthâs power while providing a quality good or service with potential to help … Continue reading
In todayâs world of social media, it seems like everyone and their dog has a blog. (No, really â Iâve seen âdog blogsâ!) However, blogging can and should be valued as a platform for differentiating yourself from peers and competitors. Not only is it a space to opine, but itâs also a way to find and create opportunities you never knew existed. Here are a few ways that blogging could lead you to bigger and better things:Â
- Build a personal brand â A blog provides a platform in which you can share your personal passion and expertise, whether that be related to your profession or not. Some hobby bloggers have gained such followings that theyâve made blogging a lucrative full-time gig, like Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman. Reeâs quirky personality and killer recipes made so many fans that sheâs gained sponsors, national exposure on morning shows, and even her own series on The Food Network, not to mention publishing a cookbook. Her success is one in a million, but it showcases how much people connect with passion and stories, no matter in what specific area. If youâre an avid golfer, tell some of the experience that stand out from your time on the course. Draw analogies between your golf game and business or life in general. Help your personality shine through. Many bloggers have made their way to the corporate speaking circuit or the realm of consulting.
- Increase your network â One of the interesting dynamics of todayâs online world is that perfect strangers can find one another by connecting over content, whether it be vigilance over car-seat safety or a shared interest in bird-watching. Place relevant, engaging content in the blogosphere, and then take the time to find bloggers with a shared passion. If you comment on their blogs and engage in a conversation â not merely trying to direct traffic to your own blog â then you will be able to find like-minded online friends. Increased connections up your chances of professional opportunities, either from focusing your blogging energy on a professionally relevant issue or by making new friends who might know someone with the ability to get you to the job you need.
- Keep current on whatâs hot (or not) â Blogging can be a great way to learn what connects with people. See what people are talking about in the blogosphere, and notice what posts you write draw the most comments and debate. Donât shy away from being a little controversial. Donât purposefully incite a fight, either â but if you have strong opinions on a particular subject, be bold in stating them. Listen openly to those who counter, and respond thoughtfully. Not only will everyone benefit from a reasoned discussion, but it will also help frame you as an individual who is willing to take a stand.