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4 posts from July 2009

July 28, 2009

Are you being "social" enough in your social media .... ?

Remember the old days of going down the "social" ... ? A place where the community could meet, interact, chat about things that matter to them, make new friends ....

Isn't it an old cliche that more business gets done at the golf club, than in the board room?

More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than at any other time, yet no MBA courses are given on the subject. Peter Drucker

Well, now you have unlimited possibilities to be social with a global community.

The "social" is now on-line. Shared interest communities where, if you participate consistently, you get known, you get trusted, you get advocated. Word of mouth recommendation is always better than you saying you are the best. But that has become word of mouse!

Informal conversation is probably the oldest mechanism by which opinions on products and brands are developed, expressed, and spread. Johan Arndt

Think about social networking and social media.

  • Social networking = collecting and sharing friends.
  • Social media = collecting and sharing information.

Notice the two words that are common to both: social and sharing.

So, if you want to be successful in this brave new on-line world, might that give you a bit of hint of what you need to do?

Everything starts with a conversation. Never more so than in business. Social media participation allows you to have open and transparent conversations that can be viewed by millions in perpetuity. The law of increasing returns kicks in and you will most definitely benefit from that over time.

So be social and start conversations. It may not even be about your business! Share information. Who knows where the conversation could lead? One thing is for sure, the more someone gets to know you, the more likely they are to have a business transaction with you, or advocate you to others within their network.

Start the conversations on-line - hundreds of them - and then dilute them down to off-line meetings as relationships deepen. But always keep the "social" and the "sharing" at the forefront of your mind.

The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person's needs ahead of their own.
Bob Burg

A great way to be social and share information is via Twitter, but many people struggle to understand how to build a Twitter following that can help them connect with relevant people. This will be the focus of our half day Twitter training and creative netwalk in the Surrey Hills on 5th August. You can book your place here.

And after the walk, we'll all be sharing a glass of Pimm's and networking to help and support each other's businesses and Twitter campaigns. What could be more social than that?

socialmediagraffiti - the club

July 24, 2009

Is there any such thing as an "armchair investor" and if there was, would you want to be one .... ?

I am just wondering what the Tribes' thoughts are on the term "armchair investor".

I must admit, I find it very perplexing.

I strongly believe that the best person to look after my money and my financial future is the person I see in the mirror, not a third party with a sales agenda.

I cannot understand the concept of sitting back and letting someone else take all the responsibility for my money, my investment decisions, and my financial future - no matter how trustworthy that person might seem.

I actually want to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty. I want to strive to understand my investments from every angle. I want to take responsibility for how my money is spent. I want to be on the "factory floor" dealing with the everyday running of the business so that I can grow my skills and knowledge.

If I invest my time and diligence in my property business, then there is hopefully far less chance of it going wrong than just taking someone else's word for it.

Maybe armchair investors sitting back in their armchairs calling themselves "investors" are really "armchair speculators on a third party's ability to make the right buying decisions for them".

Property is not a case of "one size fits all". If you don't want to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty, then maybe you shouldn't get involved at all ... ?

If you think of yourself as an "armchair investor", maybe that allows you to feel very disconnected from your property business? If you are not in the thick of it, then there's a strong possibility it will go off the rails.

Passive Investments, Grant Bovey's Imagine Homes, and Instant Access Properties are three high profile companies who have proved that the "armchair investor" concept is a recipe for disaster.

Yes, I can understand that if you are cash rich but time poor you might like a bit of help and support. That is understandable. However, to absolve yourself of all responsibility and "just sign papers", which I have heard someone say recently, is a complete anathema to me personally.

What do others think?

Join the discussion at Property Tribes - click here -

prop tribes


July 04, 2009

How Twitter led me to be talking property with DJ Danny Rampling ...

One tweet was all it took ...

Yesterday, we had a fantastic meeting with DJ Danny Rampling (@dannyrampling) and his business partner Simon Hinton (@simonhinton) at their fantastic eco development in St. Leonards - click here to see the development site -

Vanessa and I have been researching eco homes as a possible investment strategy. We came across Danny and Simon on Twitter and have had several meetings with them. The upshot is that Danny has now commissioned me to work with him developing his on line social media strategy for both his DJ brand and his eco property brand! Plus, we are working with Danny and Simon on Phoenix Trinity developers brand to help launch their development via social media activities.

Just sharing this, because it all came about through Twitter! It never ceases to amaze us how much cross-over their seems to be between the property world and social media engagement, and for that matter any business ...

Moreover what randomness can lead to ... !

Has Twitter had this effect on you?


July 02, 2009

Social media schizophrenia .... are you suffering from this strange new affliction?

I thought I would share with fellow ecademists some thoughts I've been having of late, prompted by my social media training sessions.

It seems that many of us have more than one business stream, and, when it comes to on-line branding and visibility, many people ask me whether they should have one on-line identity or individual ones for each business. It's an interesting question and no one really knows the definitive answer, but I have reached a conclusion.

If we consider Penny's theory of "Know Me. Like Me. Follow Me", it would seem that we lead people on this journey through our on-line activities and participation.

Know me is the first stage where we self-publish and broadcast our opinion, thoughts, and knowledge to develop credibility in our niche area of expertise. It is where we start banking "contribution currency", adding value to others, helping people, developing reciprocity, and being supportive.

Like me is where social conversations take place on-line, where we start the process of turning a stranger into a friend, and where we start to build deeper relationships.

Follow me
is the final stage where we have built enough trust to turn a friend into a customer or an advocate, and there are increased business transactions as a result. (There are on-line and off-line elements of this, and ecademy is one of the greatest tools in your tool box for this part of the process).

So, on the above basis, what we are simply doing is giving people the opportunity to get to know us, like us, and most importantly TRUST us. Business can only generally occur where there is trust so this is why it is so important to recognise that social media is the future of marketing, (but not in the way most of us understand it). If the whole world is going on-line, where do you need to be, and what do you need to do to stand out from all the "noise"?

The answer is to simply be YOU. Everyone else is taken anyway.

So if you have several businesses, I am going to put forward the theory that you should focus on one core business, the one that you feel most passionate about. Build your on-line brand, personality, and profile around that one business. Once people LIKE and TRUST you, you can then expose them to your other business activities, even if they are totally un-related.

Vanessa and I are doing this very successfully. Many of our property people have migrated across to our social media training, and no doubt some of our social media clients will be interested to know more about our property activities, particularly when the market starts to recover!

So, by being liked and trusted on-line you are actually HEDGING YOUR BUSINESS RISK. ... Because, should you ever need to change your business for un-forseen reasons in the future, your "following" have bought into YOU, not your business, so you can take them with you to your next venture.

Penny always says that engaging in social media is the only way to future-proof your business. I would take that to another level, and say that social media is the only way to future-proof YOURSELF!

Care to discuss? - click here -

P.s. Tangent: if you are a corporate wage slave, might it now be a good idea to start taking care of No. 1 and build your own brand and profile on the web?