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Posts from the ‘Leadership’ Category

Convince & Convert — How to Get Your Leadership Team To Blog More Effectively

Convince & Convert

June 6, 2014

By John Bonini

Writer's blockAs a marketing director, I slip in on calls with prospective clients from time to time.

This call was like most calls – a successful yet struggling marketing manager was up against bosses who wouldn’t give a real content strategy a chance. When Matt, one of our consultants, asked her why her strategy wasn’t working, her exhale said it all.

“My bosses won’t give it a chance. They have all this expertise they could be sharing, but they just don’t think blogging works from their experience.”

It’s an all too common tale: Executives that denounce the practice of business blogging because it hasn’t worked for them. And here’s why.

They’re doing it wrong.

But their often conservative nature and propensity for avoiding time wasters means they haven’t taken the time to hone the craft.

As a marketing manager, we need to understand it’s not their job to hone their craft.

It’s our job to create an opportunity in their very busy lives to meaningfully contribute to the marketing strategy you know will work. 

Here’s how you can help them.

Clarify the Process

When it comes to finding content online, people derive value from one simple metric: being helped.

That’s why the best blog posts are clear, easy to consume, and above all else, helpful.

In order to get your executive team in line with this method of blogging, here’s what they have to do.

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Inc. – 6 Things the Most Influential People on Social Media Do

Inc logo

April 25, 2014

By Larry Kim

people-on-laptops-1940x900_36154Influencers are among the most magical, powerful creatures in social media.

Within specific niches or across large audiences, they have the power to shape how people think about an issue, start important conversations, make businesses stand up and take notice, and more.

Outside of having a large following, how do they do it? And how did these influencers amass the following they have in the first place?

The ability to stand out in noisy social circles helps influencers build their audience and connect with them over and over again. It keeps them relevant. It keeps them influential.

Here are the six things influencers do to stand out:

1. They’re Superconnected and Almost Always On

Brand advocates, superfans, loyalists–influencers of all stripes–are hyperconnected to their audience. They have a passion for their topic of choice, which means they’re always on and use multiple devices to ensure they’re connected throughout the day.

Influencers use tools such as Topsy, Trackur, and Social Mention to find interesting conversations, stay on top of breaking news in their niche, and help them manage and schedule content for maximum exposure.

Influencers treat social like their j-o-b. (and sometimes it is). They get it; you have to invest time and money in yourself to help you scale if you are going to stay superconnected and become an influencer.

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LinkedIn – Your ‘Brand’ is the One Sentence People Say About You Behind Your Back


April 19, 2014

By Mark Drapeau, Ph.D.

056a192Not too long ago, Lululemon was a revered brand. Now it’s not, and sales have declined accordingly. Not so long ago, Apple could do no wrong. Now people wonder out loud if it’s innovative anymore. With constant connectedness and infinite information, consumers have never been so fickle about their choices.

According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers.” That sounds like something from orientation day at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. What does the term “brand” actually mean in practice?

A brand is essentially the one sentence people say about you behind your back. This practical “street” definition based on actual human interaction applies equally well to people, products, and companies. For example, someone might describe Lululemon to their friend as “absolutely the best place to buy yoga gear, ever” or they might say “people say Lululemon great, but I’ve bought a few things and they fall apart, totally overrated.” Someone might describe you to their professional acquaintance as “the smartest person in New York on things related to creativity in advertising, you must talk to them” or “too cerebral and academic, I’m not sure they’d be the right fit for your advertising company.”

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Harvard Business Review – The Indispensable Power of Story

Harvard Business Review

April 18, 2014

By Anthony Tjan

TjanSome people have a way of making the complex clear.  They know who they are, why they do what they do, and where they want to go. Because they have internalized all this, they are able to sharply crystallize ideas and vision. They speak in simple, relatable terms. And they can get a lot accomplished.

Making your words understandable and inspirational isn’t about dumbing them down. Instead, it requires bringing in elements such as anecdote, mnemonic, metaphor, storytelling, and analogy in ways that connect the essence of a message with both logic and emotion. Almost everyone leading or creating has a vision, but the challenge is often expressing it in ways that relate and connect. Quick, think of some former Presidents of the United States and presidential candidates. Which ones are most memorable? Which ones are most likable? Which ones won?  The leaders who stick in your mind are likely the ones who humanize their message and deliver it in ways that connect with everyone at some level, in turn inspiring others to relate to them while better appreciating the mission at hand.

I have enormous respect for poets and writers who are able to touch our souls and enhance our understanding of concepts and ideas by writing simply and straightforwardly. Take, for example, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman — the tale of a tragic hero, Willy Loman, whose fallibility lies in his lack of self-awareness. The play’s enduring power comes from its straightforward telling of the human story — our aspirations and disappointments and how we deal with them. There is something in it for almost everyone to relate to.

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MarketingProfs: The Complete A to Z Guide to Personal Branding [Infographic]


April 9, 2014

by Seth Price


Ever since Tom Peters laid out a modern “personal branding” road map in Fast Company in the late 1990s, the concept has been in full swing. The revelation was that we could be an individual powerhouse, separate from the corporate umbrella.

So much has happened since: blogging, social media, the advent of online video, and the explosion of content marketing.

Nevertheless, nearly two decades later, most companies require a strict separation of business communication and personal branding, with the job of social interaction relegated to a few chosen spokespeople or PR handlers.

Meanwhile, those brands are missing out on the collective connections and expertise of the very people they’ve hired to be a crucial part of their team. But all that is about to change. Those who fail to embrace the empowered individual brand will miss out on the positive impact that employee advocacy has to offer.

Like most marketers, I spend a lot of time trying to do more with less. Lately, though, I’ve become more aware that I’m surrounded by a team of super-smart professionals who were recruited and hired because they can add value to our startup. This realization got me thinking about what it means to empower the individual brand in concert with a company mission.

I found lots of great examples, such as IBM; its 300,000 employees are encouraged to share and publish online, and MarketingProfs, where individual subject-matter experts are invited to share with and teach an audience they may not have been able to reach without the power of the community. That is what building a brand is all about: mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their members.

To explore this topic further, I recently collaborated with online powerhouse and fellow MarketingProfs contributor Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative to create “The Complete A to Z Guide to Personal Branding” —to help people and companies dive into the wonderful world of personal branding.

See full infographic here: