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I am often fascinated how two people can view the same thing and have two (often viscerally) different reactions to it.
For example, the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic personal development book. It’s well respected, and selfishly, it made a huge difference in my life. So when I went to find the reviews on Audible for this classic, it was amazing to me that it had 599 1 star reviews! These people not only did not love the book (as I did) but went out of their way to tell everyone that they should not read (or listen to) it.
You see the same thing in the development of communities. As I talk about in this video, people can look at the same exact project and view it totally differently. Is it progress? Is it a mess? Is it investment or is it another step back? What you see is often entirely up to your perspective.
That brings us to Election Day.
Today is Election Day across the country, and millions of people that view the world differently will head to the polls to vote. We have people from different religions, ethnicity, genders, and political affiliations heading to make their voices heard. And while we often focus on the frustration and vitriol of the whole process, I do love that we each get the right to make our voice heard. It’s a true blessing.
So here are two quick thoughts as we head to vote…
Action > Keyboard Activism
The lead up to any Election cycle can be tough. We have voices from both sides shouting as loudly as they can to get their voices heard. It’s annoying, for sure, but it’s their right. But all of that huffing and puffing mean very little if you don’t put that voice into action. If you want to have a “real voice,” you need to vote. Put down your phone and go do that.
We all have our windows that we view the world from. Our reality is not the only reality (as hard as that is to comprehend). Some people love the movie “The Princess Bride” and some people don’t. So if we can agree on something as simple as that (you are wrong if you don’t like it), then of course we might have differing views on the greater world around us. Just remember that every debate should not create a new enemy. Oh, and no one has ever changed their mind after being insulted.
It Will All Be Okay
Finally, just know that tomorrow this will be over and it will all be okay. So much of the messaging is created around telling you the worst case scenario of every outcome. But tomorrow, the sun will come up and it will be up to the rest of us to get to work…and make the world better.
Let’s start that work today.
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I really enjoy creating. It most often takes the form of some kind of content. We do video, podcasts and blogs that we hope will provide value, and then promote what we are trying to do. It’s my version of art. It’s what I create.
Recently, however, I took a short break. I spent September traveling a lot, and I decided to “give myself” a break from this blog. I still created videos (you can find those here on my Youtube channel) but I decided to take a breath on writing. I even took a break from the He Said She Said podcast (we came back yesterday). The idea was to refresh, re-energize and re-focus. This was my mental vacation…and that makes sense, right?
This break was good…for a short time. After that, I noticed a few things I did not expect.
Creating Is a Muscle
When you set out to write a blog nearly every day, a huge concern is that you are going to run out of ideas. I was certainly concerned with that. That is why, when I start on a goal like this, I like to have a few topics or blogs done. It gives me a “head start.” But what I found was almost the opposite. The more you create, the more your brain sees ideas for content all around you. You see a lesson in your interaction with your kids, or your team, or the cable company. Ideas for content are suddenly everywhere. Creating becomes a muscle that you can strengthen. Rather than running out of energy or ideas, you suddenly find yourself with more.
And just like a muscle, when you take TOO long of a break, the muscle gets weaker. Your brain gets a bit lazier. It misses those signals. Sure, you pick up on the big moments, but you miss the day to day. The fallacy is that you will run out of ideas. The truth is, the more you create, the stronger you get.
Where Do I Put That Energy?
The other thing I found out about myself is the act of creating is actually cathartic for me. This is where I take the time to push out value and good in the world (often first thing in the morning). The activity of writing (or editing or whatever) helps to frame my mind in a positive and productive way for the rest of my day. When I don’t do that, I have this pent of energy that needs released. And recently, I feel like I am releasing it in the form of complaining. I am still editorializing on projects, activities, elections and more. I am just doing it in a more negative and less productive way. I talk about why we all need to STOP complaining immediately here.
It’s time to be more intentional of where I put that energy. Without that, the energy will come out in other ways that might not serve me as well.
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(Coshocton, OH)—Coshocton based marketing firm and promotional products distributor Hasseman Marketing & Communications is growing again. Hasseman Marketing is excited to welcome Justin Mullens to their team. Mullens joins Hasseman Marketing after working for the last ten years at Spectrum Cable and will take over a new position called Digital Brand Manager.
“We are so excited to welcome Justin to the team,” says owner Kirby Hasseman. “He has a great personality and I am excited to have him start working with our clients to help them grow their brand.”
The Digital Brand manager is a new position for Hasseman Marketing. In his duties here, Mullens will work with clients that utilize marketing services and social media management from Hasseman Marketing. He will manage social media accounts, create video content and work to “story tell” online.
Justin has been a resident of Coshocton County his entire life. Justin Mullens has completed his third studying Digital Marketing and is starting his senior year at Full Sail University. Fueled by his outstanding work ethic and desire to learn more, he enrolled into an accelerated bachelor’s degree program. Throughout his high school learning, Justin worked at the local bowling center developing the communication and personable skills required to work with the public. From there, he became a technician with Spectrum Cable and has obtained superior communications, leadership and problem-solving skills in high pressure situations.
“It is an honor to be joining Hasseman Marketing, and I am excited to work with such a wonderful team. The “Marketing Joy” Kirby and team delivers is second to none, and I am excited to surround myself with that energy. As a team, great things happen, and great things are ahead at Hasseman Marketing!”
Hasseman Marketing headquarters is located at 432 Main Street in Coshocton, Ohio. They can be found online at www.HassemanMarketing.com. In addition, you can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hassemanmarketing.
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Okay, so maybe that was a bit of reverse psychology. If you are reading this, though, it must have worked. But I promise there is a point to this exercise. Many of you know that we have been creating content for quite some time now. I have created hundreds of podcasts, probably over 300 videos, and well over 500 blog posts.
I have committed to the idea of creating value through content, because it’s the right thing to do. (And it’s working). But one thing I have yet to REALLY learn is what will work. I talk about this a bit here.
What I mean by this is that sometimes I write a blog that I think is really good. I am excited about the topic and I think it will add value to a lot of people. I am fired up to push publish…and…nothing. Often, those sure-fire hit blog posts don’t seem to resonate. Then, especially as I was committed to writing a blog every day, I might crank out a quick one with very little thought and BOOM, that article takes off.
When I blogged about this in the link above I got quite a bit of feedback that I needed to see what my audience was passionate about, and stick with that. So I tried. I noticed that sometimes I wrote specifically about a marketing topic, and that did well. For example, this blog about how to deal with Haters online was read quite a bit. So I decided to write another article like that. Here is a one that discusses treating social media like a cocktail party.
The results? Meh.
Okay…maybe it’s about “real” stories and authenticity. This is a word everyone throws around a ton, so that must be true! I wrote this article saying “I am NOT for everyone” and it was one of the most read blogs of 2018. It was written out of a moment of frustration.
So what if I shared those moments more? I wrote this blog about being overwhelmed and…well…the results were okay. I have had the same results with video. I am excited about my Day in the Life videos. For example, this one where we lost our Drone got over 500 views pretty quickly. But we have others in this series that (it feels like) no one watches.
Just currently, I am excited about this video we created that’s a little more inspirational. It’s gotten some great feedback, so I am thinking of creating more things like that. The point of all of this exercise is that it’s a work in process. Even the best content creators have pieces of content that flop.
It happens in Hollywood all of the time! The best studios, producers and actors team up on a project…and no one cares. So if it happens to the best, don’t worry when it happens to you. It’s important, I think, to just keep showing up. Keep pushing out your message and your value into the world. You probably won’t know when something will flop.
But you also might be delighted when something really takes off and makes a difference. Oh…and the same is true for sales too. You never know if THIS will be the sales call that helps you break through. Go get it.
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I have heard Twitter called the Cocktail Party of social media. Though I think that has merit, I don’t think it takes it far enough. I think Social Media is the new Cocktail Party. “Ok,” you might be thinking. “Why does that matter?”
It matters, because I think it really does give us a roadmap for how to behave online. The more I have the chance to speak to groups and organizations around the country on the topic, the more I am convinced. We hear all of the time that social media is different. It’s making people act differently. And, certainly, in some cases that is the truth.
There are the “keyboard activists” that you hear about all of the time. There are trolls. But those people are around us every day…not just online. My contention is social media is VERY much like the three-dimensional world. We try to make it different. But if we treat social media just like real life, we would be better off! Here are a few similarities I see between social media and a cocktail party.
Don’t Lead with Politics: If you just moved into a new neighborhood, and you were invited to a cookout, you would probably not introduce yourself to your new neighbors with political vitriol. You might not like the current President (or the last one), but you probably would not LEAD with that. And even if you did, you would not continue to say it all night long. We all know that person that posts 8 times per day about his or her political rants. I guess you might do this, but you would not be invited back.
Less Mean…More Good: If you (and the rest of social media) communicated as if they might see people later that day, we would all get more civil. Here’s the thing, we might still have the same opinions, but we would say them differently. What your mom told you years ago is still right. “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”
Don’t Sell ALL of the Time: I am looking at you businesses and salespeople! You would never walk up to every person at a cocktail party and try to sell them your product without knowing anything about them! Sure, you might want to sell to them…but not at hello! But businesses do this all of the time! You go to their pages and all it says is “Buy from me. Buy from me. Buy from me.” Just like it real life, people are saying “I have to go over here” to get away from you.
Make People Laugh: People who are fun to follow online are very much like people you want to hang out with in real life. They make you laugh. They make you feel good about you. They inspire you. In a world where everyone seems to be all about snark and cynicism, make people smile. That transcends any platform. So if you (and your team) want to be better on social, stop treating it differently. Start treating it just like your next networking event. You might be surprised with your results.
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Let’s address a “hypothetical situation” that happens all of the time.
You have taken the time to create a social media presence. Your Facebook page is solid and you post valuable content regularly. You are providing good information and engaging with the growing audience. You are killing it with your social media marketing.
Then one day, you get a negative comment. A customer came to your location and had a bad experience. They might have had an actual bad experience…or maybe they are just a difficult person. Their coffee was cold. Or their server was slow. Or their customer service representative was rude. Whatever the reason, they have decided to let the entire world know via social media!
What do you do now?
If this does not sound familiar yet, it will. The reality is, with the internet, everyone has a voice. And when people feel they have been wronged, they want to share that experience. The thing is, this is not a new thing. People have always shared their negative opinions. Now, everyone just has a larger audience. So what do you, as an organization, do when you get one of these negative comments online?
There are a couple steps to take (and they are outlined in detail in the GREAT book by Jay Baer “Hug Your Haters.“) But before we get to the simple steps, let’s reframe the discussion. We need to look a bit differently about the feedback. As I mentioned above, these conversations have always happened. But now you get to be a part of them! You get to address (the sometimes) very real issues with your service so that future customers don’t have the same experience. This is incredible intel to make your organization better! You need to start by looking at it that way. Don’t get defensive…get pro-active to fix the issue.
Now onto the simple steps.
When you receive a negative comment about your company, product or service, I recommend you respond to the comment by doing three things. Apologize. Empathize. Take it offline.
Regardless of the issue, you don’t want your customer or prospects to have a bad experience, right? So apologize for it. “I am so sorry you had this experience.”
This is when many of us feel the need to “give a reason” why this happened. This “reason” often comes off as an “excuse.” No one wants an excuse. They want to know they are valued.
Take if offline
I recommend you give them a number (to a real person) to call to discuss their issue. First, this shows you really want to handle it. Second, it keeps you from getting into an argument online…NEVER a good idea. This can be an incredibly effective technique. Often, you won’t ever get the call from the person. They just wanted to vent. But by responding, you not only responded to that customer, but everyone who knows them SEES that you responded. It shows you care enough to try and fix the issue.
And as customers, we know that caring can go a long way.
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