The transformational nature of social media is something that we couldn’t possibly have envisaged even 20 years ago. That’s something I can’t stop talking about (if you’ve met me you’ll know what I mean!). So, let me tell you about where I’ll be in the next few weeks if you fancy a chat – and let me get in a bit of a plug as well.
I’m speaking at the BIP in Australia next month, in the Blue Mountains (just outside Sydney) on 13/14 September. Then I’ll be at Torquay (just outside Melbourne) on 21/22 September). There are still tickets available for what is a truly outstanding business development event organised by Alec Blacklaw.
I’m currently arranging meetings in Sydney and Melbourne around these two events so if you’re around and would like to sit down, grab a coffee and talk about a world of opportunities, then please message me!
Anyway, as I’m sitting at my desk at home, looking out across the garden in leafy England I have been contemplating how the internet, and more specifically social media, has had a transformational effect on my life and my business. A transformation effect that I never could have envisaged and which can have the same transformation effect on your life too.
I don’t know if you’ve read the book “Funky Business” (Ridderstrale & Nordstrom pub FT.com) published way back in 1999? It’s a fantastic read. It talks about the transformational effect of the internet, the realisation of “the global village”, and the idea that your niche should be as narrow as possible because, with the internet, you are selling to a truly global audience.
It doesn’t really matter how many people there are in your town who will buy what you’re selling because the world is quite literally your marketplace. If you can get a copy of the book you should do because it’s as relevant today in terms of shaping your thinking.
It’s all about trust
My business Digital Leadership Associates is expanding in to North America, Australia and Africa, as well as mainland Europe so we are becoming a truly global business. I never would have imagined that I would be part of a small organisation which such large aspirations, and I certainly never imagined that these opportunities would be driven my circumstances rather than by a burning desire to travel!
But, that’s the way things happen in a connected world. Your “fame” spreads from person-to-person irrespective of where those people are, rather than street-to-street as it used to do. This means that opportunities also appear in far-flung places because people have heard about you from people that they know and trust and, even with the advent of the internet, business is still largely based on trust.
To capitalise on social media all the pieces of the puzzle have to be in place
- You have to be open to new ideas, new opportunities, new relationships and new ways of doing things. As the saying goes, “minds are like parachutes, they work best when they’re open”, and the “serendipity engine” that is the internet certainly multiplies the chances of being in the right place at the right time.
- You have to believe that you have something to offer. So often businesses (and people) think that they’re nothing special, that they are a commodity, and the reality is that if you don’t have confidence in yourself there’s very little chance that anyone else will. So you need to believe that you’re really good at what you do and if you’re not “really good at it” you need to get better so that you are!
- You need to work really hard. The internet provides you with a limitless amount of free connectivity, an almost infinite number of people to talk to and ways to promote your strengths to a global marketplace. For many years I wondered at how some people were successful and other’s not. Often it isn’t based on talent, but based on application. With LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and all of the other social platforms you have the chance to talk to people as often as you want, but I bet you don’t. I bet you don’t write a blog every day? Or Tweet every hour? Comment on someone else’s post every 30 minutes? Make a video every week? But you could, if success really mattered! People who are truly successful in the online world tend to be workaholics.
- Be open. I know this was in point number one, but it is so important. Connect with everybody you can. Everybody you meet. Everybody you want to meet. Connect with EVERYONE (you can always un-connect if they spam you) because you never know where the next opportunity or “champion” will come from.
- Be professional. Everything you do needs to be as good as you can possibly make it. That doesn’t mean that you do nothing until everything is perfect, but you need to assume that people who see you will be critical about what you do. So, give them as little as possible to criticise. Spelling, grammar, quality of photos, subject matter. Everything you can possibly control you must.
- Share everything. The internet is the greatest information distribution tool since the invention of the written word. The more good stuff you put out, the more chance there is that it will get shared and that someone will see it, be impressed and make contact as a result. But those wonderful ideas, that great methodology, those fantastic infographics do you no good whatsoever when they’re locked in your desk drawer.
One of the things we so often see is that even clients that work for large, global enterprises fail to see the vital nature of having a global network. We work with them to help change this mindset. We work with them to help them see not just why becoming a social business/businessperson is so vital, but how they should do it. How they can use their skills, how they can use their resources and how they can increase visibility, increase reputation and increase sales fast.
So, come to the BIP and get a sneak preview from me about how you and your business can embrace the power of social media and rocket your business forward.
I hope to see you there!
Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.