Archive for the ‘Amplified Influence’ Category

18th

First a quick shout-out to my new client – you know who you are. You guys are off to a great start working through the 12 Step Process. And while we’re on the topic of CEO’s, your progress is in no small way a credit to your CEO, once he saw the real deal via the Boot Camp. Kudo’s all around. 2014 should be a really good year for you…

Source Article via Linkedin: Top CEO’s using Social Tech

Yes, it’s great to see two insurance executives on the list. That at least gives us something to talk about.

In digging deeper at the two profiles and their associated companies Read the rest of this entry »

2nd

First, remember the folks in NY/NJ. Donate to the ARC here.

All right. I’m going to let out a big secret. Ya’ ready?

Physiognomy

What do you see?

That’s it!

The incredible thing for a sales person, really anyone, in the era of Social Tech is that people are sharing a close-up picture of their face in their Social Profiles. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter – they all feature a headshot. Look beyond the surface. It’s stunning, amazing, and helpful if you know what to look for.

I can’t believe I just shared one of my best secrets.

That’s all I’m gunna say.

Happy to answer questions and share more insights if prompted. Better yet: Come to one of my Boot Camps. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Cheers.

29th

Continuing the conversation from last week, (albeit a little one-sided for my taste), the question is how is Social Technology a Game-Changer in business? Here’s 5 more to consider…

The Next Five:

8. Reputation Management

I rarely shoot weddings...

I rarely shoot weddings...

Who hasn’t “Google’d” a person or brand that they were unfamiliar with? Most Boot Camp attendees I ask not only raise their hands,but further say they did it with ME! We all do it – often. So what do people find about you or your enterprise. Do you care? Absolutely. And what if there is a negative mention on the first page of your results? Can you use Social to knock that item down to page 2 of the results? Absolutely.

9. Environmental Influence

Here I’m not referring to the green movement. Instead, this is about impacting your personal sphere of influence. You see, once you have established the connections with your network, how to you leverage those for influence. For example, we’re seeing this in a big way on Social with the 2012 election in the US. We are also seeing it with “Frankenstorm” and Hurricane Sandy. One insurance agency that does a nice job with Social, The Murray Group in Albany, NY, is putting out some solid content right now on Hurricane preparedness. Obviously there are so many other ways to exert environmental influence – notable sales and marketing.

10. Work Spaces

Many thought-leading companies are starting to use virtual work spaces that leverage Social Tech in an effort to improve efficiencies with time, money, and real estate. Working ‘virtually’ from a home with ubiquitous broadband internet is a great way to improve productivity – of course depending on the home situation. But we’re starting to see more and more executive suites being used to distribute work spaces closer to the home so as to reduce travel time, expense, and drain on productivity. And I’m just touching on the surface here.

11. Efficiencies

I tell you what – one of the greatest efficiency gains I’ve seen in recent times is the powerful HTC S1 droid I’ve been using. I can do SO much with this device, anytime, anywhere. I’d imagine the Samsung Galaxy 3 is similarly powerful. As I’m coaching busy executives, that’s the first thing I go after, especially if they are on a Blackberry. But iPad’s as well. And let me just tell ya – the Macbook I bought almost three years ago now has been nothing short of brilliant when it comes to speed and efficiencies. Technology is a big key – but also getting right to the point in communications. I think that’s another benefit of Twitter, blogging, public speaking – they force you to be extremely efficient with the written and spoken work – saving time and money.

12. Cost of Doing Business

We all know by now the story of Netflix and Blockbuster. While that was more of a pure technology versus real estate issue, it seems fair to say that Social definitely helped spread the word about Netflix faster than Blockbuster could unload its real estate and adapt. But clearly eWord-of-Mouth is reducing sales and marketing costs. Crowdsourcing is reducing IT development costs. Linkedin is reducing recruiting costs. We are only bound by our creativity here.

I will ask the questions again:

How is Social impacting your day-in-day-out activities?

What’s the next big thing?

What are your comments and questions, barriers and obstacle?

Perhaps I, or another reader, can help answer them.

25th

The more I watch, study, learn, and interact with others on the Social Web, the more convinced I am that Social Technology is a Game-Changer in business. Now I know that some of you will say, “Well, of course you do, Mike. That’s your business. You’ve got a vested interest in saying that…” Yes, that’s a true statement. I AM driving revenue for my little enterprise. But a statement like that is yet another example of very simplistic and dismissive brush-off’s that executives and business leaders at all levels are making – one that completely misses the point of emphasis. A few more:

  1. “Why would I use Twitter? What do I care what Charlie Sheen had for breakfast?!?!”
  2. “I don’t want my people using Facebook at work – it’s a waste of time.”
  3. “YouTube is nothing but a bandwidth problem on our network. We shut it down.”
  4. “I’m on Linkedin, but I’m just connecting with people. I have no idea what the value is.”

    Pick your Social Network

    Pick your Social Network

  5. “Show me the ROI of Social Media and I’ll be more than happy to use it.”
  6. “I can see using Social Media if you sell consumer products. But we’re B2B.”
  7. “I can’t keep up with email. I can’t imagine keeping up with Social networks, too!”
  8. “I just don’t have time for all that nonsense.”

Let me get right to the point of how I’m seeing Social Tech accomplish business goals. The following is a VERY brief list of 12 undeniable ways smart companies are leveraging Social Tech. Remember that, as I say in Boot Camps and Keynotes, Social Tech boils down to this statement: “The goal is to 1. build your Social Networks through which you can 2. share Social Media and thereby 3. amplify your Social Relevance and influence.” In other words, build your connections, develop and share helpful stuff, and drive your business objectives, whatever they may be. Just like you can’t mail people stuff without mailing addresses, you can’t call people without phone numbers, you can’t email without email addresses, you can’t reach people via the Social web until you make the connections. And with ALL of them you have to have a solid , meaningful, and compelling message. And the holy grail is word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations that amplify your efforts. Pretty basic stuff. Social Tech is just making it a whole lot easier – and trackable.

1. Recruiting – Linkedin is so incredibly powerful, even the novice is finding utility with it. If you know how to get up to 4th and 5th gear in the system, holy cow! And that’s just one tool, not to mention others like Twitter and hashtags, Online Reputation Management, Viral Video’s, e-Word of Mouth, and more.

Laptop or Smartphone?

Laptop or Smartphone?

2. Information Gathering and Education – Who hasn’t used Google to feed their brain on some topic? Well, the same concepts apply to Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, RSS, and a host of other tools that can be positioned to feed your brain on any topic you want – on an automated basis. In my humble opinion, this is one of the best kept secrets of Social Tech savants – and will be the key differentiating skill for employees in the years ahead.

3. Customer Service – Many, many smart companies are using Twitter and Facebook as customer service channels. Why? The vast majority of Americans are using Social Tech at some level. And they often use it to solve routine problems – as efficiently as possible. That’s a big reason why they are following their brands and business partners across the Social web. FAQ’s?? OK. But at the same time as your customer service rep sees the tweet, the crowd also sees it, and maybe has had the same question and already has the answer. And this concept will only grow.

4. Relationship Management and Nurturing – Man, once you get someone on board, don’t you want to keep them there? Of course. So how do you do that while at the same time getting more people on board – all as efficiently as possible while keeping overhead low? Create reusable, sharable content and make it easy for your fans to share it with their networks. Create useful content – stuff that answers questions, expands the utility of your gear or services – blog posts like this, video tutorials and aids, in-depth e-Books, real-time and archived Webinars, Tweet-ups, infographics that educate, inspire, and otherwise communicate. People want to business with people that help them, not just sell them.

5. Sales – The Social Web was practically MADE for sales people. Man, if you’re in sales and you don’t know how to leverage Linkedin yet for warm referrals, just like you might at an industry conference or networking event, get on Google and start feeding your brain. Social Tech can feed the pipeline, shrink sales cycles, improve close ratios and competitive advantage, and of course generate referrals to feed the pipeline. If you do it right, it’s Revenue on Demand, no matter what business you’re in.

6. Marketing – Inbound marketing to drive leads is where it’s at. I’ve got one word on that – HubSpot. Beyond that, Social Tech helps enterprise marketers with Reputation Management, Organizational Voice, Advertising, Public Relations. How many times have you Google’d an unfamiliar person, brand, or product that you needed to know more about? Every day is a common answer? So what makes you think that people aren’t doing it WITH YOU??? Don’t you think it’s thus kind of important to have a powerful presence across the various Social Channels?

A Socially-enabled Conference

A Socially-enabled Conference

7. Getting things done – Crowdsourcing is simply a huge, largely unknown and untapped opportunity in American business, especially in the insurance space. Sites like LogoTournament, PopTent, TopCoder, and Chaordix are huge opportunities to help companies increase their velocity. One insurance company I’ve mentioned before leveraged PopTent for video content – and accomplished something in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost, and with a terrific end result. You know the dreaded IT Project Priority List? Use TopCoder for the bottom third that will likely never get done, or be too late, off-target, and hastily made. How about product innovation, creative writing, adjudication, the list goes on and on. Yet sadly, most executives are at 0 or 1 on a scale of 10 relative to Crowdsourcing. Yikes. Huge opportunity for the competition, eh?

Well, that’s all the time I have for right now. I’ll get back to this list later.

The Next Five:

8. Reputation Management

9. Environmental Influence

10. Work Spaces

11. Efficiencies

12. Cost of Doing Business

How is Social impacting your day-in-day-out activities?

What’s the next big thing?

What are your comments and questions, barriers and obstacle?

Perhaps I, or another reader, can help answer them.

What d’ya say?

20th

At dinner last night, I had the pleasant opportunity to dine with James Obregon and his wife Alessandra. James runs a niche insurance agency, Trinity Risk, that specializes in protecting independent truckers with various types of insurance products. As we spoke about the event sponsor, Fairmont Specialty, that brought us together, James gave them kudo’s for their wisdom in orchestrating the event. He said, “I appreciate rounds of golf and rides on boats – I really do. But this is the gift that keeps on giving. I hope to walk away from here with knowledge that I can immediately apply to my business and ultimately write more business.”

Fairmont Specialty Boot Camp

Fairmont Specialty Boot Camp

I couldn’t agree more with James! The perplexing thing about this is that I’ve literally been talking to insurance companies about doing something like this for almost three years now. A private Social Tech Boot Camp for Insurance Executives, sponsored by the insurance company, exclusively for their top distribution partners. Congrats to the team at Fairmont Specialty, led by Gary McGeddy, encouraged by Lauren Woods, and endorsed by the managing underwriters. They caught the vision.

So the purpose of this post is to demonstrate the effectiveness and reach of a Blog. I am crafting this content from 6:30-7:30am this morning and will publish this afternoon, Live, in the Boot Camp.

Here’s what you, the reader, can do. If you were at the Fairmont Boot Camp (or other previous ones), what are your Comments about the Boot Camp? What was your favorite part? Would you recommend the concept of a private Boot Camp to other insurance companies? Would you encourage other agencies to attend? Why?

And then share the post across your network. Post it to your Linkedin status update, your Linkedin company page, your favorite Linkedin Groups, all the while asking for readers to Like, Comment, and Share. Same thing with Facebook and Twitter. Let’s just see how far it goes, with that little amount of effort, and people’s good will.

To wrap it up, in a week or two, I’ll share various stats from the effort. In the meantime, I’ll moderate the Comments. Oh and by the way, the Comments don’t necessarily have to be good. Like any conference evaluation, there’s always room for improvement. That’s a great takeaway for me! So thanks for being candid.

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