Raising your profile with Social Media

In these tough economic times we need to use every advantage we can get to raise  our profiles whether we are a business or employed, however when networking the traditional way I have noticed that many people are not using social media to raise their brand awareness…professional or business

When I meet leaders I always have a look at their Linkedin profile, website and if they have a blog because 1. I am genuiely interested in people and what they do 2. If / when I meet them again I can have a more informed chat with them 3. Steve Jobs always reccommended looking outside your own industry for inspiration 4. I am nosey!

Some trends have struck me

  • Linkedin – No photo or sometimes worse a horrendous one (I am a photographer as well, so I always unintentionally critique photos),or the profile hasn’t been updated in ages with what they are doing, skills, description, no recommendation’s etc. A Linkedin profile is like a CV – one that the world can see!
  • Websites – They take too long to load (you have between 3 – 5 secs before someone will give up on your website). Bland, uninteresting or hard to navigate. If you had trouble getting into a store and couldn’t find anything, would you go back? Lack of pictures, I am a visual learner so pictures are a must for me
  • No Blog – If your website is your virtual market place, then your blog is the voice of your business. People buy from People… always. Your blog gives you a virtual personality.
  • Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc People tell me I don’t have time for all these, well if you set up your blog correctly it will update some of these automatically. Imagine for a moment that most people on Facebook have between 20 – 500 ‘friends’ if they like your facebook post then think how many people that could reach. It costs nothing, but a little time

If you are currently employed you maybe thinking, I don’t have a business, this doesn’t affect me, well something to consider is

  • Most recruiters will search on the web for applicants, if a recruiter searched for you what would they find…
  • Research has shown that potential recruiters are actually suspicious of people who don’t have a web identity
  • How safe are anyone’s job these days, it better to be ahead of the competition

As part of a stand alone package or as part of a coaching package I will help you increase and enhance your social media profile; please see my page https://mcdougalldevelopment.com/social-media-raising-your-professional-business-brand/

email me at mcdougallmartin@aol.com

Still need convincing watch this youtube video

http://youtu.be/1aconjR6uH4

Oh in the spirit of this post, please feel free to contact me on Linkedin, Like my Facebook page at the bottom of the home page, tweet, wordpress – like / press this or share in any other way! 😉

Linkedin hints & tips

http://www.informationweek.com/thebrainyard/news/social_networking_consumer/231900330

Let me know what you think about using social media

Entering the matrix

 

The world of business is changing rapidly with more and more companies

  • Cutting back on travel
  • Manager’s having ‘virtual teams’
  • Training  conducted by webinar or YouTube style training video
  • The rise of teleconference and video conferencing

All of this makes sense in the tough economic times we live in; however, how often are people receiving training not only on the technical side but the behavioural side of using virtual meeting technologies?

Being competent in using the software isn’t enough e.g. PowerPoint was launched in 1990… nearly 22 years ago, how often do you see really good presentations using PowerPoint?

Running an effective meeting face to face is a skill and requires real leadership to keep people engaged, feel comfortable to speak up and share ideas, ultimately reach the objectives of the meeting and leave motivated.

So I thought I would share some tips for virtual meetings

  • Start with a small team in the company and give them the support and development to become really effective at using the software and the identifying the behavioural aspects that really work; then let it go viral in your workplace
  • Have short, concise objectives for the meeting and display these throughout so that the attendees know what’s next and how much progress you have made. Send these out before hand to allow time for preparation
  • People’s attention will waiver after slide 3 on a webinar so make it interactive with polls, questions, whiteboard etc.
  • The chairperson should be there 15 minutes before the start and know how to mute and unmute
  • Facilitate discussion by using open questions followed by people’s names
  • Be aware when some delegates are one room together and the rest are virtual e.g. the whispered side chat in the room is distracting and can create them and us mentality. If there is silence in the room full of people narrate what is going on
  • Set expectations or ground rules if its the first time everyone has got together using this medium e.g. everyone gets a chance to speak, participation,use your name when joining the discussion (webinar / teleconference)
  • Be aware of background noise
  • Stay out of emails and turn mobiles of, unless you would normally do this in a normal face to face meeting?

These are only a selection of tips, please feel free to add any amusing anecdotes, pet peeves or tips in the comment section

Listen your way to success

You are probably thinking that I have lost my marbles with the title of this post, however stay with me.

We put so much emphasis on clever pitches, presentations and influencing people (all important) in meetings or waxing lyrical to our partners and family about our day that we tend not to consider our listening skills.

Are we truly listening or are we just waiting for our chance to put across our point of view that matches our agenda / objective, maybe even satisfying our ego?

Test yourself; do you do any of these in

Important meetings

  • Think about the amount of work you have already on your desk
  • Think about the previous meeting that didn’t go so well
  • Check your blackberry etc.?
  • Concentrate solely on what you want or your ideas
  • On telephone conferences put yourself on mute and work your way through emails
  • Take copious amounts of notes

At home

  • Talk about your day in front of the telly, computer or whilst doing something else

If you have mentally ticked yes to any of these then you may not be ‘living in the moment’ and truly listening and have the potential to miss important chances to communicate or influence someone in the most effective way. You may be treating symptoms not the root cause and so they are less likely to see the merits in your solution. Switch off any ‘interference’ that can affect your listening.

‘I have so much work and so many meetings that I need to multi-task’ is a common objection to this, however this is more about saying yes rather than no which I will cover in future post.

Listening effectively will help time management as you will not have to cover the same ground again; you have closed the sale or articulated your point or feelings in a persuasive way.

Stephen covey said ‘seek to understand before being understood’ – 7 Habits of Highly Effective people. https://www.stephencovey.com/ (his new 8th habit is great too)

He talks about listening with your ears, eyes and heart

5 levels of listening

5. Empathetic – as active however, you are putting yourself in their shoes, noting body language, tone, pace and volume of speech

4. Active – Verbal and non-verbal nods, asking pertinent questions, recapping offering relevant insights or challenges

3. Selective – Hearing what you want to hear

2. Pretending – Nodding dog syndrome

1. Ignoring – off in your own wee world – lights are on but nobody is home

Ok so sometimes I am in the zones of 1 – 3 (clothes shopping springs to mind!) I am not perfect. It does take hard work and effort to listen well

If you have an important meeting then you need to be in zone 5 as sometimes… what is not being said is as important as what is.

Ever heard someone say ‘I dont need solutions or help I just want someone to listen’

So my challenge is to practice empathetic listening at least once a day and record how you get on. You might want to start with family members or friends, remove any distractions TV etc. sit down and ask them about their day and stay in zone 5!

Feel free to post results in the comments box. Hope you are having a great week

Important Numbers in Life – the clock is ticking

 

29500 Average life span in days of a woman in the western world

26500 Average life span in days of a man in the western world

100,000 estimated hours you will work in your lifetime

Now some people will argue with my math, however, in this instance my grasp of figures doesn’t need to be perfect, so whats my point?

29500 & 26500 where are you on that scale? life is short and the only certainities in life are death and taxes as Daniel Defoe eluded to.

So what are your goals? Life & work? the clock is ticking… right down 3 that you haven’t achieved and want to.

Now pick the most important to you.

Now your probably saying yes, but… I can do that when I retire, I have a family to support etc

Have a look at this article about top 5 regrets taken from Bronnie Ware who worked in palitive care http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.html

Makes you think…

You don’t have time for regrets, we have all made the best decisions we could, at the time, either that or we wouldn’t have made that decision. Let go and move on

What I am not saying is give everything up this instant, what I am asking is for you to consider is how you can make changes in your life to help you achieve your goals.

So ask yourself; what is the reality of your situation, opportunities,challenges, current skills, desire to attain these goals?

How do you enchance the pro’s and mitigate the con’s?

So what can you do about it? what are your options for taking things forward? Which is best for you now?

Ok, what are you going to do first, how can you plan the steps you need to take, to stop it being overwhelming? How do you know your getting there? What is it going to feel like when you reach each step and ultimately you end goal?

Be honest with yourself, whats stopping you?

Finally, thinking about 100,000, its a hell a long time to do something that you hate doing but it will go in the blink of an eye if you enjoy or do I say it love your job!

Congratulations… (not just for reading as far as this in my blog!)… If you have answerred the questions above, then you have had a short coaching session with yourself. If you would be interested in knowing more about coaching please contact me at mcdougallmartin@aol.com

I know January is nearly finished and so will many resolutions, however if you read through this article and you want to tackle your career here is 5 things you might want to think abouthttp://www.linkedin.com/share?viewLink=&sid=s842636350&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eforbes%2Ecom%2Fsites%2Fdanschawbel%2F2012%2F01%2F23%2F89-of-new-hires-fail-because-of-their-attitude%2F&urlhash=Cb_j&pk=nprofile-view-success&pp=1&poster=54966038&uid=5567707556568104960&trk=NUS_UNIU_SHARE-title

photo credit <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1526″>Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>