Month: July 2016

Is your business struggling?

In times of an emotional crisis, where do you turn? Do you call your parents? Maybe a friend? The point is, you turn to someone. Yet, things are different when you are faced with an upset business. You need and should find experts. Business is hard and you need all the help you can get.

You are aware of my shift from property to serving others. I’ve become fully aware of my marketing skills (or lack of). Good content is all well and… errr… good. But, without marketing, you’ll be left with your Mum being your only fan. Hi, Mum.

Well, today I attended an event on digital marketing. That’s The Way To Do It. On ‘Silicon Beach’. Never heard of it? Nor me. It is a cute name Bournemouth has come up with. Apparently, we are the next Silicon Valley. So, in today’s article, I am going to share with you how you can learn to sell in a digital landscape.

Mike Hawkyard – Amuzo

Left with the difficult task of opening up. He demonstrated a game he had built especially for the event. He made it very engaging.

Take homes:

  • Move from the web and go mobile
  • Engagement Theory (specifically to an app game):
    • Make a challenge with measurable success
    • Make it social
    • Ability to try again, repeatedly
    • Think about mobile moments roadmap (when does someone reach for the phone)

Think about gamifying what it is they do

Fiona Anderson – Rocktime

Fiona discussed marketing briefs for when you come to have a website built or if you are building them for clients.

Take homes:

    • 5 things to do before writing a marketing brief for web design:
      • ASK the audience what they want. What problems have they got?
      • Build personas. What characteristics do these users have?
      • Define the user’s intent. What terms are users using to find your site?
      • Unique Value Proposition. Solve a problem and make each landing page unique to the users
      • User content audit. Constantly update or remove outdated content
      • Think about user experience. Get into their eyes
      • Develop a conversation with your content
      • Build brand trust

Build your site for future learning of the user

Mark Masters – The ID Group (podcast: Marketing Homebrew Podcast)

A personal fave. He may kill me, but he felt like a wise Seth Godin. Better looking.

Take homes:

  • We are missing out on a better understanding of our audience
  • Where can you add value?
  • Can you foster a community with your audience?
  • Think of ourselves as a ‘channel’. Be more compelling and have a purpose
  • 8 things to think about:
    • You need people to connect with the audience on an emotional level
    • Live the life you lead in the eye’s of others
    • You have a goal to share and the obstacles that come in the way
    • Accept that you need to find better ways to communicate than ‘read our latest blog’
    • You can create platforms that you can put a stamp on that no one can replicate
    • Realise you can build unwavering trust
    • Give people what they want rather than what you think you need
    • Find your space so you can become comfortable with it

Everything starts and ends with serving an audience

Paul Hamblin – Treehouse Digital

Cool presentation. He owns a production company and I will be having a meeting with him later. Expect to see some unique offerings soon.

  • The web is not just cat videos
  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text
  • 10 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention on a video
  • Why you suck at telling stories’:
    • You’re not honest about your budget
    • You don’t know what you want to achieve with the video
    • You don’t spend time coming up with a good idea. Pre-production
    • Things I wish you know’:
    • A bad video is damaging to your brand
    • Bad sound is unforgivable
    • Filmmaking is organic
    • Audiences are fickle (except everyone over at Jamie G Ward!)
    • Be brave

You complicate it and shoe-horn crap into it

Phillipa Hale – Open Limits

Phillipa was brave to take the lunch time lull slot. Nice change of pace. Talked more about strategy than technicalities of digital marketing

Take homes:

  • We are teaching smart people to change
  • People are driven by emotions
  • We have to get the customer to a place where they can be an ambassador for our business
  • Kotter’s 8 steps’:
    • Establish a sense of urgency/excitement
    • Form a credible leadership team
    • Create a vision
    • Communicate the vision
    • Empower others to act on the vision
    • Plan for short wins/interactions/get agile
    • Consolidate improvements/capitalise
    • Keep scanning the horizon. What’s coming next?

100 micro conversations persuade people to change, not corporate announcements

Richard Spender – A Thousand Monkeys

Very relevant to me. He teaches you how to write text/blogs. He touched on some punctuations to use/avoid. I’ll follow up on one of his events.

Take homes:

  • ‘.’ using these more makes content a lot more digestible
  • ‘-’ makes people suspicious jargon is being used
  • ‘?’ use in headlines to provoke in engagement (hehe look at the start)
  • ‘Gary’ find your inner gary (I loved seeing this given Jamie Gary Ward). The point was to find someone or something that can connect with your audience
  • Use. short. sentences.
  • Make text more conversational. Feels human
  • We/you balance… focus on the YOU, the audience
  • Avoid jargon

Read out loud after you write it

Andy Headington – Adido (The Attention Agency)

It was good to see Andy touch on the dark side of marketing. As a nonmarketer myself, I felt a little uneasy throughout the day. Ethical marketing is a must. I was delighted when he started talking about regions of the brain. I immediately thought of my article ‘How Game Of Thrones Destroys A Winning Mindset’.

Take homes:

  • The attention problem:
    • We’re addicted to checking our phones
    • Goldfish attention span 9 seconds. Humans, 8 seconds. Ha
    • Average American has over 31 hours of activity a day. Prize for the person who works this out in the comments
    • The consumer is there to be respected. Don’t just grab their attention
    • Is it devaluing the content they are reading
    • Numbers are bullshit:
    • Numbers don’t tell the real story. Think about exit polls at the election
    • Communicate your WHY. Links to our emotional part of the brain
    • Think of Apple talking of ‘why’ rather than their features
    • Advertising in gyms… captive audience

Be utterly simple with your messaging

Event take homes: Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Focus on them and not myself. I hope I already do this but this has encouraged me to deliver the best I can for you guys.

Many Thanks to Matt Desmier for putting on the event. Be sure to check out his other event, ‘Silicon Beach’. I shall see you all there.

Access A State of High Performance: The Life Event

Can you remember the last time your boss screamed at you in front of everyone and it took you an entire week to shake off the embarrassment? Do you have a sibling you see at a family reunion that always ends in a huge fight, splitting the family apart for another six months? Have you ever bolted off stage in the middle of your presentation because you lost your nerve (guilty!)? Maybe you can’t seem to muster the ‘energy’ to finally go for that run you have been putting off since you made your New Year’s Resolution list?

Well, these precious moments that determine the course of all our lives come to one thing. State. In this article, I am going to share with you same take homes for a truly life changing event.

What is state?

State is the ability to be resourceful in any given situation. Much of our life’s decisions are dictated by the will of others, emotions that we cannot control and the environment that surrounds us.

What if you could access an altered state of consciousness that gave you the superpower to call on the exact resources you needed to make the best decision at any given moment. What would that world look like to you? Try to imagine how that would feel. Those resources could be a world free of procrastination, broken relationships and missed opportunities instead a life full of great decisions and world class performance.

These states are often called ‘peak states’, ‘states of high performance’ or ‘flow state’. I feel this use of language can be limiting as it presupposes it relates only to that in a sporting, or a typically adrenaline inducing, situation. Peak performance extends to all areas of our lives such as the decisions you are making from the comfort of your sofa at home.

How To Access Resourceful States: The Life Event

Thanks to three extremely talented and engaging speakers, we now have the tools to access these states: Darryl Scott (NLP developer), Leon Taylor (Olympic Medallist) and Mike Weeks (change agent ‘provocateur’). Each one of them had truly remarkable journeys of their own that they openly share with the participants in order to invite the mind to attach the practical elements of the day to some very vivid stories.

The Life Event is exactly that, practical. So many times I have attended seminars, courses or workshops and they have you sitting there for hours nodding like zombies. I’m sure you can remember from your school days the strategy of sitting in a room while someone dictates facts right are you is not the most conducive for learnings – and these guys recognize that limitation and do everything they can to avoid the pitfall. They even had Jamie G Ward up and dancing.

Physiology

They teach about the power physiology has on our state, completely poo-pooing Descartes notion of ‘the mind-body split’. To emphasize this point right now, I invite you the reader (who may be scrolling down to see if we are near the end yet) to sit bolt upright, shoulders proudly back and your arms up above your head in a ‘Y’ shape, whilst flickering your fingers. Now begin to take some deep breaths, through your nose, that reach right down to your body. Have your head looking up and begin to feel that breath reaching every cell, even the one in your little toe, to feel this shift in energy. Sounds pretty simple right? It is. So, what’s the reason we do not use our body to our advantage when we need to invoke a change in state?

Here is a great TED talk by Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are that talks on this exact topic. The Event goes into many great little ‘hacks’ on ways to harness your body to serve that of the mind.

Disassociation

This is arguably the most powerful resource I have ever come across. I utilised this tool before The Life Event as I had studied under Daryl’s, Mike’s and Leon’s mentor some time ago.

What is disassociation? Disassociating in a given context is being able to remove oneself from that of your own perspective (i.e. how you are now, looking out at the world through your own eyes) and shifting to a point in the room that allows you to look back at yourself from the third person.

This gives you the ability to move away from the feelings associated with being IN the situation, to being able to give yourself feedback from a position of objectivity (i.e. you are looking at the facts of the context rather than being sucked into the emotional baggage of that situation).

I use this for procrastination a lot. One time, I was in my hotel room and I sat down to my laptop to type up notes to a book I had read (I am a keen reviewer of notes). As I sat down, I did the typical thing and opened up every social media website I have plugged into. The thought of writing up notes was so boring that I even logged into LinkedIn to see what my bank manager was up to. As I caught myself, I physically stood up and took three paces back and look back to where I was sat. I then began to review the situation from a disassociated perspective. I then sat back down and looked up to where I was just stood, listening to the feedback my alter ego was delving out. I then smashed out the book notes.

The Live Event does this a better service than I have just written. The event also shows how you can do this without having to physically move, which may be more relevant when you begin to see yourself losing a negotiation in a board room, or you begin to feel angry whilst driving.

No-nothing state games

A huge theme of the two days, are games that allow us to slip into a different realm, something you will hear me refer to as a ‘no-nothing state’. If you drive you can probably think of a time you reached your destination and wondered how you had just arrived without any recall and safely. This was you entering a ‘no-nothing state’ that removes all conscious awareness, handing the steering wheel over to your more sophisticated unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is far more powerful than our conscious mind, so any opportunity to hand the realms over to it the better.

The event presented many of these games, which I will leave you to explore by going to see for yourself, rather than attempting to write up descriptions. Mike Week’s also has a book, ‘Un-Train Your Brain’ that explores these games along with a free accompanying app.

Whilst learning the games is useful and fun, they are irrelevant without the framework. Have you ever meditated, or gone for a relaxing walk along the beach, leaving you floating along like a zen master? To then only to go lose your marbles when you read a text/email? Well, that’s because you haven’t been shown techniques of how to anchor the state you achieved in meditation to the real world. Essentially, you had just escaped reality for several minutes.

Leon, Darryl, and Mike show you how to apply these ‘games’ to contexts where you want more or higher quality choices. If you are struggling with a situation at work, with a spouse or even in your own head, the structure they provide gives you a way to call in a more resourceful state.  By taking a proactive approach, applying a little bit of work before the context rears its head again.

Summary

Above all else, the event is great fun, an experience I got to share with like minded people (to any of them reading it was a pleasure meeting you and please stay in touch). If you attend events like these, please do take the time to engage with others as you’ll be left making some beautiful connections, like I have this time (I spoke about this in my review of the biohacker summit I hosted).

As many of you know, I try to put as much back into the mind as possible by reading, engaging with experts and attending courses such as The Life Event. When I read about the growth mindset, realising learning and growing don’t stop when you leave school, my life turned upside down for the better. This is why I was delighted when Darryl Scott closed the event by saying:

We’re not done yet, we’re still a work in progress

I took a lot away from this event, which came with impeccable timing. The day before I had had my most difficult client to date and I feel I did not serve her to the best of my capability. Going over some of the techniques I had learnt before presented a solution right before me.

If you’d like to find out more about their future events then please head over to their website.