Archive for the ‘Is it really that simple?’ Category

This came from surratech.com

This came from surratech.com

If you aren’t familiar with Dr Frasier Crane, his infamous line is, “I’m listening.”

I haven’t been doing enough of this lately. Have you?

Last month I passed the 4,000 follower mark. Today, I was asked how I did it.

“It’s simple,” I replied. “I’m just me.”

There was never a point to my @Wendy account. It’s my personal account. I remember @mello76 asking me once what I was trying to accomplish with it. There were tweets about social media, random thoughts in my head, photos – really anything I found interesting.

“Nothing,” I replied. “It’s just me.”

People are often surprised to find that the Wendy they meet in person is the one they’ve gotten to know online. Apparently, that’s not all that common. This baffles me, because it’s the easiest possible way to get through life. There’s no need to keep track of much if you’re just being you.

Five years later, people are surprised when I tell them my personal account has more of a following than the @yelpcalgary account that I manage.

Are you really that surprised?

Sure, one account’s got a couple of years on the other… but still…

Successful social media is about being as much of yourself as you can be. Because you’re interesting and real. All by yourself.

Don’t believe me? I triple dog dare you to come up with 100 reasons you’re incredibly boring.

Ready? Go.

Listen to an audio recording of this blog post here:


IMG_3604 1

Oh what a view!

A couple of weeks ago, I was staying in this ridiculous mansion out at Sylvan Lake. No, it wasn’t mine (someday!). I had been invited out for the weekend by a friend to enjoy some time off lakeside. As is my custom, I found myself in a debate with one of the other house guests. The topic? Relationship selling.

See, the conversation began around clubs, networks and the likes and your reasons for joining them. Are you in a networking club just so you can “sell”  your goods or services? Are you there to meet friends and like-minded people? Her point, relationship selling doesn’t work. My point, the only way human beings function is through relationships, so of course relationship selling works. It’s all “relative” anyway. To which she responded, “So, everyone is in a relationship with somebody or to something… that advice doesn’t help anyone.”

She’s right of course, that piece of information isn’t something immediately actionable by anybody. But for me, it IS the key to understanding the intricacies of relationship and just how subtle successful relationship selling is. (Tip: social media/relationship selling… same deal). It’s the most important point to understand. My goal was not to provide the magic formula for relationship selling, it was to communicate that everything we perceive about our world is only done in relation to something else. So in that sense, we are in a constant and evolving relationship to one another.

I used to cringe when the word “sales” came up in a conversation. To me, it meant trying to convince the person in front of me to purchase my goods or services in this moment. It was my job to onboard you. If I couldn’t close in the short-term, I had failed. You can imagine the inner turmoil when I thought of bringing that style of selling into my relationships. It’s very easy for friends to start looking like walking dollar signs. It’s why network marketing often has a bad rep.

I run into a myriad of people who still hold that perception of sales. Get rid of it. It won’t help you today, tomorrow or the day after that.

Relationship selling is simple, it’s just not easy and it takes time. It requires a consistency to your approach and doesn’t stop when you leave the office. It consists of building a genuine rapport with the person you’re speaking with, caring enough about them to establish whether your goods or service will be helpful and being confident enough to accept their answer of yay or nay without making it about you. Oh, and we can’t forget timing. But that’s not always something we can predict.

The other side to this is that your relationships follow you everywhere. Relationship selling doesn’t stay at the office. It’s how you approach your clients, your friends, your family, your networking groups, your online interactions – everything. It’s knowing that you can never predict when a business relationship will collide with you at a personal event. Or when your friend refers you to a client. Or that guy you’re working in the kitchen with up in the oilfields ends up as the business partner you didn’t even know you were looking for.

See, relationship selling is all about the impression you leave with people. It starts the moment you converse. It also requires being clear and upfront about your intentions. Successful relationship selling leaves room for either party to say yes or no and to have their decision respected. And it’s an approach that works with friends, family, coworkers, current and potential clients and any other person you come into contact with. Just rinse and repeat with every relationship and you’re golden.

How do I know? It’s how I’ve learned to operate sustainably. And it’s working.

That’s it. So, if you aren’t haven’t much success with relationship selling, consider:

  1. Re-evaluating your sense of what it means to “sell”. It may not work in terms of relationships.
  2. Do a self-audit on the relationships in your life. Are they supporting you? Or are they hindering you? Oh, and sometimes relationship selling is about ending the relationships (or at least changing their terms) when they aren’t serving you or the other party.

Takeaway: Be genuine. Be transparent. Be helpful where you can be. And always look for the opportunity that is mutually beneficial. Added emphasis on mutually.

Whether it’s on Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, Google or some other mobile check in platform, if you’re a business owner, there’s no way in hell you should ever be checking in to your own business. Why?

It’s lame.

You’re there everyday. Say hello to us, comment on our check ins. But quit stealing our thunder.

Check ins. Highly social. Very much a game. I fight other users for my dukedoms on Yelp. And it’s cool, cuz we’re on a level playing field. But the minute a business has its owner or one of the employees as the duke, mayor, whatever other “winner” of the game, I stop checking in. And when I stop checking in, I stop telling my friends where I’m frequenting the most. It’s cool to be the most “regular” of regulars at the shops I love. It’s shitty when I have to compete with business owners, employees and anyone else that has an ulterior motive. And frankly, as innocent as it may seem, I put it in the “black hat” social media tactic category.

So if you’re in the habit. Please stop. A better alternative? Become a player yourself. Check in to the businesses you love… but here’s the real kicker… make sure they’re ones you aren’t affiliated with. Then you’re one of us, we trust you and we’re all better off.

There’s a post over on ProBlogger today debunking the use of traditional SEO practices (like putting keywords in your page titles, page descriptions, headers, etc.) in blog posts. They’d gone to town researching Google’s algorithm and the correlation between many long-standing SEO tips and tricks. The findings? Call in MIB, it’s time to erase your memory.

The advice? Focus 100% on your audience and visitors. Who’s reading your blog? What’s a great takeaway? What will they find useful? The Wendy-ized version of the three tips suggested are as follows:

  1. When it comes to blogging, ignore the SEO experts and focus solely on creating the best damned content you can offer.
  2. Make new friends. As in… linking was, is and always will be the best way you can build your audience base and search ranking. But don’t go on a spamming link building spree. Think this through and make connections and links to other blogs that make sense for you and your readers. Look at you adding more value!
  3. Don’t ignore the SEO experts when it comes to your domain name. That shit still works. Pick one keyword, then find a domain name that works for you.

Care to read more? Check out the original findings and explanations as posted on ProBlogger’s Forget Everything You Think You Know About SEO by Mark Collier of DropMining.com.