A “how to” solution for life-changing messages

You suddenly get an email, LinkedIn or Facebook message, a DM on Twitter or, better still, a Whatsapp message regarding a life-altering project, conference or idea. You know the one; the train that only goes by once in a lifetime (even if you receive “life-changing messages” of the sort every day!) The thing is: this is the project of a lifetime if you’re willing to do it selflessly. Oh well!

solution life-changing messages

Answering a life-changing message

I offer you a series of tips, questions and issues to mention whenever a “life-changing message” arrives in your inbox:

1. Formality: “Thank you [person’s name] for thinking of me for such an opportunity. I feel truly flattered. I find your proposal really interesting [that is, if you really find it interesting; otherwise, you’re better off ending your message soon in a direct, yet polite and elegant manner.] I have a few questions that could help me to better understand it.”

2. Intro: “What you propose sounds really good and I’m willing to get on board. However, in order to focus my energy on your idea I need something other than a simple goals-based incentive. I need to see that you believe in me as much as you say you do. What would you call that trust, interest and passion for me and my work?”.

3. Attack: “If possible, I’d like you to get into the following issues in detail:”

  • What can you offer me that can be of interest to me?
  • How would this help me strengthen what I’m currently doing?
  • What do you know about me?
  • How do you know that what I do can strengthen what you’re looking for?
  • What would my goals be exactly?
  • How will you assess whether or not I meet those goals?
  • Besides what I stand to gain if I accept, what else would I gain if I meet the goals?
  • What would be my specific objectives and responsibilities were I to become a part of your (company, event, etc.)?
  • What is the duration of the project / idea / collaboration / workshops?
  • What resources would be available to me (team, transport, expenses, equipment, budget, etc.)?
  • Can I count on the people I work with?
  • Can you send me a contract with everything we’ve talked about?

4. End: “I think that once these issues are clarified, if we’re on the same page then we’ll be able to get down to it and start whenever you’re ready.” (Here’s where you include the final greetings).

And then…

There are two options after this. Firstly, you never hear from that person again. Secondly, they get back to you. If their answer has nothing to do with your questions or, simply, if they don’t answer them directly, then you can politely say ‘thanks but no thanks’ and move on to something else. If they do answer specifically and to the point but you’re not interested, then same again. Otherwise, if you’re interested, get on with it!

This post is yours. Copy it, save it on your Evernote, on Del.ici.ous or in your notes. You can use it as a template whenever you feel like it. It will save you time and bother every time you get one of these life-changing messages.

Was this a useful tool?

Photo credit: Will Lion.

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8 Ways to Increase Engagement of Facebook Posts

Brands have always accepted Facebook as a key marketing tool to generate engagement and branding. The question is whether Facebook creates more engagement, visibility, traffic and experience than other tools. Searching for an answer to this for some time leads to understanding how the different attributes of Facebook posts have an impact on the number of “likes”, comments and “shares” that a post gets.

How to Increase the Number of Likes in Facebook Posts

Below, I identify 8 ways to increase the number of “likes” a post receives:

1. Focus. Stay up to date. I’m talking about messages that relate to holidays (Christmas), festivals, gigs, world issues, relevant events, anything related with current affairs. Perhaps they won’t be directly related to the product’s or company’s essence but they will be perceived as something more personal and, hence, better accepted (more so, even, than promotions.)

2. Express yourself through photos. Every picture tells a story. A photograph communicates something personal in a fast, easy way. You also have to make an effort to match a suitable text to the picture. Images from your company’s product catalogue generate greater engagement than other types of content.

3. Share what we love. Sharing success stories and also failures, achievements, prizes, apologies or thanks make you more human, accessible and familiar to your community. Many will also identify with the brand. When they “like” a post, they’re telling their network of friends why they identify with the brand.

4. Branding. Don’t hesitate to promote the brand and its products. When your customer visits your Facebook page, they should leave with a good impression of your brand and products/services. The public will visit the walls of the brands they’re interested in.

5. Humour rocks. Laugh and everyone will laugh with you. We all enjoy a laugh. Make your posts fun as funny posts get many “likes” and will be shared a lot. For instance, funny pictures. Being funny is an art.

6. Humanise the brand. Inject emotion to it. Brand communication starts by using the “human” side of social media. The community loves messages that turn a wall into a living object that expresses human emotions in the form of videos, images, or real-time personal statuses, for instance. Facebook is a communication platform rather than a production channel. Shar0ing posts that contain emotions helps connecting with the community. In turn, they share these emotions with their network.

7. Educate and equip. Create content that is informative. Brands sharing content that is useful to their audience get greater exposure and engagement –more “likes”–, especially in the case of information designed to improve and enrich the brand’s fans. This education could include the company’s history, the product creation process or the state of the market, for instance. When fans interact with this type of content, they’re creating educational content which is shared in their network.

8. Ask to be “liked”. Ask and you will receive. It’s simple. If you ask to be liked, like for instance Veuve Cliquot does in their posts, you’ll get more “likes”. Ask in a polite, fun way, and don’t overdo it; otherwise, the cure may be worse than the disease!

What other ways can you think of, do you know of or do you implement to increase Facebook engagement?

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13 Quick Tips To Optimise your LinkedIn Profile

1. Set a personalised URL with your name. The same name you use with other profiles: your brand.

2. Create a unique extract. Can you summarise everything into a single sentence that makes you unique and special, something that sets you apart from everyone else? I bet you can!

3. End in a clear, direct and powerful way. End each section in your profile with something that really makes an impact on the reader; we always remember what we read last better than what we read first. It is quite common to start strong and end weak. Remember, go against the current! No one else does.

4. Achievements and tasks. One of the best profiles I’ve read lately has been the one set up by Víctor Ronco. His way of listing his achievements and the tasks he was in charge of is sensational. Of course, you do need to be a doer and a tryer for that!

5. Media. You can create a media section showing all your appearances in the media in a Presentation/PDF (slideshare plugin).

6. Skills and expertise. Don’t mention your management, business and consulting skills only. Include also something more personal: your human skills, abilities and characteristics… as it happens, this side of things is mainly what’s missing in our environment right now and rarities have an added value. Think about what you’re like as a human being, that’s the key!

7. Interests are key words through which you may be found. Catch the drift?

8. A blog makes your profile much more attractive and powerful.

9. Recommendations. Ask for recommendations from people who may have something interesting to say about you which is valuable.

10. Have you taken any courses that expand, improve and prove what you can do? Include them!

11. Move forward! This involves taking part in groups, setting up your own blog –did I mention that earlier?- and reviewing your profile for 10 minutes every week to streamline it.

12. Show what else you do. Do you have online presentations? Are you showing them?

13. Header. The header is the best opportunity available to position yourself. There are already too many experts in social media, senior community managers and marketing directors. If you’re doing what everyone else does, in what way are you standing out for me?

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Thoughts About Facebook Open Graph, Road to the Semantic Web

The basic premise of Facebook Open Graph is that, information about the user is shared and disseminated as it was IDs, which are connected to different platform sites. This sites translate this information into preferences, likes and habits depending on their purpose, and interpret them as a recommendations and suggestions based in what users have in their Facebook profiles.

Facebook Open Graph establishes a link between the objects represented in the graph (people, notes,photos, events, links…) and the connection to them (people you may know, tags, familiar/friend relationships, shared content…) Every time we say “I like” (new form of “become fan”) we’re giving to the Facebook graph API information that will spread virally among sites  as Pandora, Glue and sites we have never heard about it.

Facebook Open Graph seems to state that, it’s the formula to engage with users tailoring their wants, desires and likes, so they can deliver an “overwhelming interactive experience.” Facebook with the Open Graph, clearly opens a straight path towards the semantic Web(that’s to say 3.0) , which describes the relationships between things (like A is a part of B and Y is a member of  Z) and the properties of things (like size, weight, age, and price) integrating applications as Facebook Open Graph.

My main concern is, to what point is it beneficial for “us” that Facebook – or in a near future the semantic Web, shares all our personal information across the online world? To what extent is it beneficial for users that Facebook can collect information about likes or preferences and spread through the Web? Are they owners of our privacy? Are we at the doors of a new era where everybody can access to our personal information through social networks with ease? Is it truly woth it? Or on the contrary, will we be enjoying of a better tailored-user experience each time this sites adjust its content to meet our needs and likes?

What say you?

What is your view about the recent Facebook’s move? What will be the impact of this API graph? Is this the way towards the 3.0 Website?

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Social Media Framework

Have you ever thought in your social media framework? Since I’ve been here in the States – Oh! Did I mention it before? So yes, I’m in the United States researching and studying about social media trends, expanding my knowledge and gaining new ideas and approaches – I’ve thought in how I could empower other people by architecting and disassembling concepts and ideas for maximize their reach, build influence and harness the power of global communications and build relationships within a social media marketing perspective. So, I thought that explaining how you can manage your social media framework would be a good start, right?

To me, the social media framework aids comprehension of workflow experiences by describing their components, it also optimizes my social media workflow in an easier way since a framework may include components that are applicable to them all.

Why do you have to care about? because badly designed processes lead to slow and inefficient response of your audience, ineffective communication, wasted time, disappointing experiences and poor degree of engagement. Not to mention driving yourself to nowhere.

This is how I’d do it – Actually, it’s how I do it –

  • Did I mention the word sharing? Share news resources, tools, best practicestips and guides through social bookmarking platforms.
  • Rock with Twitter: Use it heavily for different purposes such as, RT useful linksWOM, spread the news, share insights with professionals, learn what is hot now, real-time conversations, gain more affluence and traffic in your social networking platforms, support interesting initiatives, building an outstanding reputation being taken into account in the field I work on, promote your blog, look for trends topics , getting ideas and enlightening tips from brilliant people.
  • Your effort and sacrifice deserves being showed and shared for the benefit of others: Posting papers, concepts, frameworks, reports, projects, strategies, marketing plans or campaigns I’ve developed, so the job people can get insights from them.
  • Knowledge don’t belongs to you nor me, but to the universe: Spread what you know, share what others shared with you, teach what you’re good at, learn from everybody, write about how you put in practice these campaigns or explain how you reached that conclusion, which made you successful, but above all, quote your resources!
  • Fall in love in a “long-term relationship” with LinkedIn: Use it insistently for giving and receiving feedback, reading interesting posts, commenting on them, find your key connections and engage with them, share ideas in the groups discussions, also participating in Q&A (either giving advice or receiving it). Should increase your visibility, it will improve the chances of being contacted.
  • Have a break and have some fun on Facebook: Aim it to talk and engage with your friends. Create lists to giving different degree of permissions to your crowd and segmenting the information according to the content you usually share with them.
  • Don’t make waves, ride them: Use Google Wave for a collaborative tasks, develop projects, exchange ideas, brainstorming, conceptualize campaigns and seeing how others can enhance your work.
  • Grease the hub of your timing belt: Your blog, Do you love it? No? You must, because it’s the place where all your efforts, time, money and even romantic relationships are going to end up. All you do on Social Media has being meaningful to your blog. If not, I suggest you may want to reconsider your strategy. Give him a personality, a sense of humor, a purpose, a regularity,  a bottle of Möet if he wants it and you’ll have your reason to give the very best of yourself in this URL.
  • Managing and optimizing:  As I explained in my last post about the social media resolutions for 2010, it’s essential define your strategy, set your goals and  monitoring your results but, it’s vital not being overwhelmed by its magnitudes. Hence, write down every procedure, pattern or system you follow to implement your social media workflow and start developing a schedule with all the tasks you performs every day, together with the time spent, the activities, the allowance, restrictions, and of course, deviations.
  • Plan for failure: If it doesn’t work, try changing and adjusting things to your needs. I know how it works to me, for you instead it can be slightly different. Be aware that you need to have hundred of bad ideas to have 1 or 2 great ideas. Do you get the idea?

Does it works for you? How would you enhance it? What would you add? Do you have your own social media framework? I’d like to know your thoughts…

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How Facebook Benefits your Business

facebook - human media

Have you ever suffered of a friend or relative that posted something corny, embarassing or even a photo that you wish that your current and prospective customers never see??

I think everybody who has a Facebook account it has passed through this at anytime. When this occurs is when we start looking for a way to keep our business safe and isolated from our personal life. Having a Fan Page on Facebook for your Business could be the solution. Here you have my 10 commandments

1 – Ease of  linking

From your fan page link directly to your website. Embed a fans badge on your web page allows visitors to instantly become a fan of your business. This also has an extra advantage with search engines because the visibility of any Facebook page (by the sheer power of Facebook ) is much higher than your website.

2 – Fans approval

People could follow your Facebook page without having been approved first (as with a friend on your personal profile on Facebook). This saves you plenty of time and makes it easy to build your tribe.

3 – Unlimited amount of fans

You have an unlimited amount of fans. At this time the number of friends on your profile limited to 5000. Nevertheless, you can have an unlimited amount of fans.

4 – Community

Because fans can comment on your posts and join in any initiative you embark, it creates a sense of community where they can share their thoughts and opinions. In addition, they can also post if they logged publish.

5 – Instant Mailing List

You can instantly send an update to all your members about special offers, events, releases, articles, etc..

6 – Disclosure daily

People connect and check Facebook every day. So have a fan page allows daily interaction with your readers. And unlike e-mail updates, you never have to worry because your message being caught in spam filters. That’s a big advantage!

7 – Relevance and Control

Fan pages let you keep your business communications fan page and personal updates on your homepage (profile). This would not upset your mother with information on the special 50% discount this weekend. And your customers do not have to read news and see pictures of your children dressed for Halloween.

8 – Increased exposure

Fan pages are public. All search engines and people can see them. This dramatically increases the potential for exposure.

9 – Viral Marketing

Even if your fans do not take the initiative to recommend your page to their network of friends and acquaintances, in the pages of all your fans are going to see your page. This greatly opens the exposure to other potential customers.

10 – Take precautions so you do not close the account

The Terms and Conditions of Use of Facebook explained that any commercial use of a personal account is cause for deactivation.

Broadly speaking, these are my “test=results” reasons of how Facebook benefit your business. Certainly, there are many more important reasons why you should create a fan page on Facebook for your business..

What is your take?  your reasons?

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