Archive for the ‘Personal Branding’ Category

Decency, Manners, Legends and Losers

October 19, 2017

Legends and Losers

I met him in a hotel in Dublin one morning to discuss the possibility of working together on a few projects – our service offerings didn’t overlap but they could be combined making a powerful package for clients.

When I got there he had already arrived and had his laptop open and was sipping on a water.

I ordered a coffee and another as we chatted for quite a while making sure that we both understood each other’s offerings so we could best explore how to package the combined service.

He seemed like an ok guy and besides the work we actually did, we spent some time chatting about our teams, what motivates us and our general philosophy about business.

All was going well and after about two hours of in-depth discussions it was time to wrap up our meeting.

I went to pay and I asked him what he had ordered so I could pay for him as well “Don’t worry about me he said, all I had was tap water” he said.

An alarm bell went off in my head and a thought struck me …You miserable thing, sitting in their premises for hours, using their WiFi, using their space and having the audacity to order something for free!!

You had no problem taking from them without giving anything back, not even a tip to the waiter.

I paid my bill shook his hand and thanked him for his time and made a flash decision that I never wanted to do business with him as instinctively something felt wrong to me. To this day I have never contacted him again.

Was this me being stupid, unreasonable and quite dumb, walking away from a business opportunity because of what I perceived as a gesture of meanness?

I always look for decency and common courtesy in people – do they hold a door, let someone else go first, acknowledge the waiter, behave respectively to the receptionist, offer to pay?

In business do the personal traits of the people you deal with matter, as long as they are good at what they do – isn’t this the most important thing?

Legends and Losers

I was listening to another brilliant podcast by Christopher Lockhead and in this particular episode he was chatting about decency and character and ‘purpose before profit‘. When I heard the conversation it made me think of the meeting I had with my ‘tap water’ friend.

In this show he spoke about a business contact that he had met for lunch and how he distrusted him because of the lousy tip that he had left for the staff even though there was no issue with the meal. For him this was an important warning sign.

He mentioned the importance of good character in people as he found from his vast experience that ‘these people’ would always end up leaving you down when the going got tough and you needed them most.

Always listen to the signs – they rarely let you down!

Check out the fantastic and inspirational podcast series Legends and Losers  where Chris has the most captivating dialogue with business leaders each week.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Simple Courtesies and your Reputation

August 8, 2017

thank youMany thanks Greg,

Thank you for your time today and for all of this information. I’ll discuss with a colleague early next week and will be back in touch afterwards.

Warm regards,

 

You are so nice and you must work for a great place I thought …

This was an email I received today from a prospect I had chatted to on the phone – after our chat I put a brief proposal together and emailed it to her.

You might think there was nothing special about her email that warranted me feeling so positive about it?

I did spend time assessing what their business needed and giving her advice and I did spend time working on a proposal – surely, this warranted some acknowledgement?

Of course it did!

Unfortunately, I find this basic level of courtesy has disappeared from business. In extreme cases we have met a client, spent a lot of time with them to get a firm grasp of their requirements, spent the best part of a day writing a plan, spent a few hours presenting to them and then….nothing.

It drives me bonkers – reply to my email, return a phone call. If you don’t want to want to work with us for whatever reason, that’s fine, but at least respect the amount of time, enthusiasm and work that we have done by replying and being courteous.

This speaks volumes about you and your organisation and it can be turned really easily with a tiny “thank you, we appreciated the effort but…

Your reputation can often be about the small things as much as the big things!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

 

You look good!

July 31, 2017

I’ve just received a connection request from a person on LinkedIn.

I don’t recognise the person’s name and they describe themselves as being the General Manager of a company.

On the face of it, maybe a good person to connect with?

But….

..the person’s profile pic (not that young) is a selfie of them wearing shades and a baseball cap, pictured alongside another person. They are clearly having fun at some event and in their eternal wisdom have decided that this pic was a good one to use for their profile.

I am fascinated by LinkedIn and must admit that most users seem to have figured it out, and are quite good at putting their best foot forward.

However, I am still seeing oodles of accounts with typos, all lower case for their name, no description of what they do and really poorly chosen photos – holding a pint at a function does not make a great business photo!

LinkedIn is your personal, business website – it’s not Facebook!

Think carefully about the image you choose for yourself (and those in your team) as we all tend to judge each other by how we look.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion Communications offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Expressing what you think of others..

July 3, 2017

Trump

Sometimes when you make your feelings known about others it can end up saying even more about you than it does about them:

Trump tweets

Be careful what you say online..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Did you just press the “Accept” button?

July 14, 2016

I accept your connection request

I know, you are busy just like me.

You are burning through your emails and you see those ‘invitations to connect‘ on LinkedIn, emails.

You’ve decided that you are happy to ‘connect‘ so you press the ‘Accept’ button and you continue with your other work.

Pressing the ‘accept’ button is not connecting!!

Next time press ‘accept’ and send that person a message – You might: thank them and ask them how their business is going?

Oh my god ….people actually communicate on this platform, don’t faint!

It might even surprise you that they might reply to you and you find that you are well on the way to nurturing a new connection without even lifting your bum off the seat ..magic.

The worst that can happen as a result of that extra 20 seconds is that you have stood out and they might think that you are a nice person.

So..stop pressing those buttons online and start connecting!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Raising your head above the Parapet

June 27, 2016

Head above the parapet

My buddy Jonathan tipped me off that a particular guy on Twitter was having a right ‘pop’ at the “Power You”, Advanced Social Media Programme that I had recently put together and was promoting.

This guy was careful enough not to name or mention me so I didn’t spot his post initially but eventually I found it as well as the reaction some of his followers had towards it and his interaction with them – he loves me!

My new “friend” was having great fun – he was obviously quite curious about the peer to peer advanced programme that I had put together, which is targeting ambitious individuals who don’t want another social media course but one that can potentially elevate them (they can do it with my help) to the point whereby they could become a ‘Digital Influencer‘ in their field.

Power You - Advanced Social Media ProgrammeThis guy took a pop about the price (it’s 10 sessions, one to one mentoring and delivered in a small group), he challenged my qualifications to deliver such a course (I have been delivering training and consultancy in this area since the earliest days of social), he claimed I was using words I didn’t even understand to an audience who would not understand either (I am trying to achieve something quite different through this programme), he wondered about what big clients and campaigns I had worked on to justify my ‘status’ to deliver such a programme (unlike him I’m guessing)…and there was lots more!

I obviously stood on a sore toe with this fella and Power You upset him for some big reason – was he sorry he wasn’t running a programme like this himself (he works in the area) or maybe he thought what I was doing was pure rubbish!!

I was hurt and angry to see someone having a right go at me and my creation. I put a lot of time and attention into this and from my experience there is a real training gap in the social media market, which no one is addressing.

I was about to put on the boxing gloves and jump into the ring ..come on, “lets be having ya, Mr Smart Ass“..bang, bang, wallop..take that!! I felt like it, I promise you..

Before pressing ‘fire‘ I took a deep breath..

Do I ever criticise things that I don’t agree with? ..Yes.

Do I ever criticise new initiatives that I think are silly..Probably?

Do I criticise in a personal, nasty way – I hope not, but any criticism of you ends up feeling personal.

I put my head above the parapet with Power You but I have to accept that when any of us do that it is fair game.

When you do something new it will be judged, it will be criticised, those who compete against you will take a “pop” but then again some will hopefully like it and buy into what you are trying to do. Some might even buy!

This “new thing” of yours may or may not work but it’s important that you keep trying, keep doing new things and let yourself open to that criticism – it’s all part of it so don’t be getting upset!

And most importantly keep “Raising your head above the Parapet

The Power You Programme is starting in Dublin in the middle of July – click here for details!

p.s. This blog is for Daragh – Instead of boxing gloves I tweeted him “Thanks for giving my programme a plug

Thank you for reading!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

 

Do Good and do Good Business

May 28, 2016

Simon - Bringing breakfast to the homeless

I was asked to give the new Dublin Chamber of Commerce member, Ian Hannon of Activate Sales Training, two minutes at the beginning of the Business Owners Network session (we hold these every second Friday at 7:30am) to introduce himself to the group and briefly promote a training programme that he was running shortly.

I was determined that I would give him about a maximum of 2 minutes as I had a busy “Let’s do Business” session planned.

I was chatting with him during the pre-meeting networking over coffee and croissants and I let him know that I would introduce him at the very beginning of the session. During the course of our chat he explained that he had been up really early because on Fridays he volunteers for Dublin Simon Community and he does a ‘breakfast run‘ before his days work.

Basically he delivers breakfast packs to some of the homeless on the streets of Dublin.

Ian became a different person to me.

At the start of the session when I was introducing Ian I asked him to first tell the group what he did earlier that morning. The group hung on his every word as he spoke about the different characters, the guys he sees regularly, the guys who are still asleep, the guys who are on the streets for just a few days.

Ian became a different person to everyone in the room.

When he got around to speaking about his training programme everyone listened attentively – we liked him, respected him and trusted him. He spoke for a lot more than 2 minutes – Ian will do well!

Do good and do good business.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Corporate Social Responsibility consultancy from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

 

Acknowledge and Engage with your audience

February 17, 2016

Stephen Donnelly - Social Democrats

Stephen Donnelly of the Social Democrats did really well during the General Election Leaders Debate on RTE this week. He comes across as an articulate, intelligent and impressive individual and his performance was one of the things that many people were talking about after.

He won over some of the audience!

While he is very impressive it is very hard to buy into a manifesto that wants to keep taxation high and let the state use those funds. If I thought the public service was capable of spending this money wisely and efficiently there might be some merit in his arguments but this just isn’t the case.

Also this high personal taxation philosophy is a huge deterrent for human talent to work and live in Ireland. Sorry Stephen – people want to be able to enjoy the spoils of their labour and will move to more favourable regimes such as the UK to make that possible.

However, Stephen did impress..

My other half, Deirdre Waldron said as much on Twitter (I would consider her to have a lot of influential followers) and effectively she gave his performance a big ‘thumbs up‘ publicly. She wasn’t the only one who did this I noticed.

The Golden Opportunity

While this online endorsement is great for Stephen it leaves a huge ‘Opportunity‘ door wide open for him to walk through. Of course it’s up to him and his team to grab this opportunity.

What if he could do something really simple to grab this tangible goodwill and take it to a higher level?

What if he could do something really easy to take this positive feedback and convert it into a supporter or a fan even?

What if he could take a few little seconds and grab a simple chance to show an online audience that he is a really great and very popular guy?

What if he decides to do nothing?

Do does nothing ..

Dee is thinking …hmm, I said something complimentary and it wasn’t even acknowledged. That’s not very nice, I won’t do that again.

That positive impression has wilted a little

He likes the post..

Dee is thinking…hmm, It’s nice to see that he acknowledged the positive thing that I said. He is one of the good guys.

That positive impression has been reinforced and she might even repeat the positive posts about him in the future.

He engages with the post..

This is the ‘Holy Grail‘ of social media and it is the big prize, the gift, the one thing that is waiting there to be easily plucked from the tree.

Stephen tweets back: “thanks a million” or even better “thanks a million Dee, I appreciate the positive feedback” or even better again “thanks a million Dee, our campaign is really connecting with people

Dee is thinking..hmm, this guy is the real deal, he would be a great person to have working for us in Dail Eireann. I’m going to follow him and listen carefully to all of his proposals and arguments and I might take his local candidates more seriously.

Now Stephen has won her over and one vote turns into two and so on..

Why is it not happening?

Maybe this very sharp and intelligent guy who is out there giving it everything, just doesn’t get this simple trick? Maybe he just doesn’t have the time? – I’m sure he doesn’t but he can surely get someone who understands his message intimately enough to assist him with his Twitter account.

These are easy wins for Stephen and so many of the other politicians who have positive momentum. If they are serious about getting each of those precious votes then grab the golden opportunities by jumping in – Acknowledge and Engage.

For the rest of us the argument is exactly the same with our online communications:

  • Acknowledge your nice posts
  • Don’t be afraid to have a conversation
  • Say thank you!

The opportunities are there …grab them!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

 

Do you need a fighter?

June 11, 2015

Dr Martin Luther KIng

I was part of an interview panel recently for a client and during the course of my pre-interview preparation I did my usual checks online with the various candidates.

This normally reveals a lot – you can see how strong their presence is online, you can see how good their communications skills are and you can see the things they care about.

Often what you discover from their social media activity can confirm what they have described on their CV’s, it can further illuminate who they are or it can even bring everything into question – is this a different person?

I love the LinkedIn profiles in particular and the great ones have genuine recommendations written for them supporting the work they did in particular roles, which makes it really easy to assess them.

You can also see other evidence of their lives, their blog posts, the websites they are listed on and even some media coverage they have been mentioned in…all very interesting.

Unfair dismissal

In one individual’s case I quickly found a newspaper article whereby they had taken and settled a constructive dismissal case against a former employer!

According to the article the case was settled on the steps (of course!) and both sides were quoted as saying “they were happy with the outcome” – no doubt a cheque was written and this person backed down.

The unfortunate thing about the article is that this person was the only person named (the organisation was named but not the individuals involved) and as a result they have this against their name for people like me to find on a simple Google search.

Their CV obviously didn’t mention this incident – how could you even go about presenting this information to a prospective employer in a positive way? The CV told a different, quite positive story.

My immediate reaction was alarm bells – is this person trouble and are things not so rosey in their garden?

And then I reflected – maybe this person was bullied, maybe they were one of many in the organisation who were mistreated and instead of quietly moving on just maybe they were the ones who were strong and brave enough to stand up for themselves and make sure that this behaviour stopped?

Maybe they did this to ensure the practice of bullying stopped within the organisation?

Instead of being a huge negative maybe this incident gave a huge hint that this person was a strong person with high principles who was prepared to stand up and fight for what is right, even if it had the potential to make them look bad. In this case you could definitely argue that it did.

Isn’t it possible that a person like this is a rare gem and not the ‘troublemaker‘ we first thought?

The unfortunate truth is that in most cases this person won’t even get as far as an interview because we do jump to conclusions quickly so what can that person do?

Taking control

They most take control of their ‘story’ online – make sure LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook tell a really positive story. Get those recommendations from previous employers and other people in business who will enforce the good stories.

The other big thing that person can do is to start self publishing online – start blogging, start guest blogging, push that expertise and passion out there and quickly that Google space will be filled with their own material and those old articles will gradually get pushed down the ranking and will not be found.

If they get to interview and the ‘topic’ comes up they should be prepared to tell the real story.

In this case the person had withdrawn from the process even though we were quite happy to interview them.

If they are a fighter they also have to fight for their own online presence and reputation!

A fighter could be the very person you need ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Ireland from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

 

Recommendations Rock!

April 21, 2015

Recommendations

Do you remember the old days of the “reference“?

That magic piece of paper from a previous boss or the parish priest that says you are a great person and someone who can be trusted to do a good job!

These pieces of paper were little treasures that we kept safe and produced when required on interview day.

Even now whenever any of our team move to pastures new (why anyone would ever leave Fuzion is a mystery to me!) they ask us for a ‘reference‘.

They clearly don’t need it for the job they have just accepted but they might end up using it for the next role they go for. More than likely whenever it will be used it will be at least two years old.

This reference is written in the knowledge that it will only ever be shown privately in very specific circumstances.

For me the ‘real’ references are the recommendations that appear on your LinkedIn profile.

As far back as April 2010, Fortune magazine in an article about LinkedIn were advising that “if you were serious about your career then you should be proactive about getting recommendations“.

LinkedIn recommendations

These are much more powerful that the traditional ‘reference‘ in my view. This is someone going on record for everyone to see that “Greg is a great fella“. A good recommendation on your LinkedIn profile by a credible person speaks volumes about you as a prospective employee or as service provider.

Furthermore a bank manager, a landlord or a supplier might find such a recommendation just as beneficial.

I get asked a lot by people about how to go about asking for a recommendation. If you have done a great job for a boss or a customer then it’s appropriate to ask and mostly they will be happy to oblige (they must be a LinkedIn user).

Ironically one of the best ways to get a recommendation is to first give one. This is a powerful gesture between you and that person – there is nothing wrong in recommending your boss (a very fair person, who I thrived under, who gave me fantastic direction etc) or a customer (a pleasure to deal with, very professional and fair) .

On LinkedIn once you recommend someone the question is then asked of them “would you like to recommend Greg“.

I must practice what I’ve been preaching and write a few recommendations

Who is first? …

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork