Archive for the ‘Personal Marketing’ Category

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

 

Business Social Media – What should you be doing?

March 9, 2017

Twitter for business

Social media continues to evolve with users switching from one platform to another, so where does that leave us today for anyone personally using it for a Business to Business audience?

If anything this has become more straightforward than it was before as Google+ has become irrelevant and most of the new social media activity has happened with the “youth” platforms, which can be ignored for now.

For anyone in business I would recommend the following:

The Basics
You should at a minimum maintain a ‘sparkling’ LinkedIn account that puts your best foot forward at all times. You should treat this as your personal website ensuring that all details are up to date, that you have a professional photograph, that you try to get meaningful recommendations and that you use it proactively for connecting with other people in business.

A big health warning here is that if you are not going to maintain your LinkedIn account properly then it might be wise to delete it – anything that does not paint you in the best possible light should not be allowed.

For example I had one client who was ignoring connection requests for over a year – he nearly had a heart attack when he realised that many of those looking to connect with him were his clients!!

Basics with more ambition
For someone with a little more ambition I would encourage them to add Twitter into their social media mix and I would advise posting on both LinkedIn and Twitter to “make some noise” and let the right people know what they are all about. When posting try to use visuals where possible as nice pictures help posts to get more attention!

Twitter as a platform seemed to be fading away a little but our good friend, Mr.Trump seems to have reversed this trend!

As part of this “making some noise” strategy I would recommend following and interacting with relevant accounts on Twitter and doing the same with LinkedIn including relevant groups – try to pick groups where you will find prospects, not other people in your industry.

Trump loves twitter

The Avid User
If you really want to embrace social media you need to incorporate it into your working day, everyday.

A regular piece of advice that I give to clients is that social media is not a full time activity but it is a full time mentality – effectively, you are always “on” looking for natural opportunities to connect, start or join a discussion that demonstrates who you are and what you do.

You will have succeeded here if people in your sector recognise you as a prominent social media user. Even more evidence of success, is when journalists who are prolific online recognise you and contact you for commentary on topics relevant to your sector.

Pro Tip– When you are posting try to use a few relevant #Hashtags frequently so that after a while they become synonymous with you.

The Publisher
The real social media “guru” is the person who publishes their own material online.

Basically I am talking about those who are writing articles and opinion pieces frequently that are relevant to the sector that they work in. These pieces would demonstrate their expertise and personality and they can be hosted on their own blog or else published within their LinkedIn account (or both). These pieces can then be used as social media posts – if posts are not time sensitive they can even be recycled over time.

For those who are excellent in front of a camera or engaging into a microphone, then video (open your own YouTube account) or podcasts are others ways to capture their expertise and personality and these can also be shared as social media posts or incorporated into their blog posts.

What about Facebook and the new social media platforms?
You might be wondering why there has been no mention of the other social media platforms – in truth I don’t think that they are relevant for the B2B audience BUT …there is always a but…

..all of your social media activity demonstrates to the outside world who you are so you must be careful that you don’t do anything detrimental to your self image by what you post and how you behave online.

While I consider the above platforms to be the ones relevant for business you will often get a business contact sending you a ‘friend request‘ on Facebook or following you on Instagram or Snapchat.

In many cases you may feel obliged to accept that ‘friend request‘ but once this happens you do need to realise that all of your “personal” posts will contribute to others forming an opinion of you.

Other developments
One of things that I have observed in the last while is that the ‘reach‘ of posts (how many people get to see the posts) across all platforms has disintegrated in favour of sponsored or promoted posts so you have to work even harder than before to get noticed and create an impact.

The other trend to note is “live” video which is becoming a big feature on both Facebook and Twitter – while you can probably ignore the feature on Facebook (for the B2B audience) it can be quite relevant for Twitter, as long as the content is clever and interesting.

Facebook have threatened developing their own B2B type platform for a while as they want to dominate all social media but we haven’t see any evidence of this yet.

To summarise I would advise everyone in business to jump in at some level and try to push it to the next level over time, I will guarantee you that you will see results but like everything else in life you must stick with it.

For the naysayers who still think that social media is a big waste of time, I would like to say a big thanks for leaving an even bigger opportunity for the rest of us!

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

 

 

 

 

Tiny thing, huge thing

June 1, 2016

Team bonding

This was a tiny thing..

It was a busy day and I just finished a great social media session with a client. As per usual it went on longer than planned as we really got deep into the strategy and explored exactly how far we could change the public perception of their company by using social media in a clever way.

Jonathan was the only one left in the office and he told me that the presentation for the prospect we were meeting the following day was done. I asked him to press print on two copies as it would save me a little job the following day.

While I was tidying up the meeting room I spotted Jonathan at the binder and he was binding up the presentations for me.

There’s no need to do that

Not a bother, what else would I be doing” he answered.

That wasn’t true – it was a gorgeous evening and he had a family to get home to.

Jonathan is our Creative Director, our head of design and without a word he jumped in to do this tiny thing for me.

At Fuzion we talk about having a Win Happy ethos. Helping and supporting each other is a big part of this.

What he did for me wasn’t a tiny thing, it was a huge thing – thanks Jonathan!

#WinHappy

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

Snapchat and feeling like a dinosaur

April 7, 2016

feeling like a dinosaur

My two buddies were all excited about Snapchat and insisted on enthusiastically showing me how it works.

You take a picture of your face you press this button and then you choose an effect … Open your mouth and a tongue flies out, raise your eyebrows and water gushes out of your eyes, click here and you are wearing shades and a cop uniform. This is very strange ..

Ok …..What then?

Well you can put that out as a story for “all your fans” to see or you can send it directly to a chosen few.

How do I find people to follow, how do they find me…?

They show me posts by people they are following and it all seems a bit odd.. Most people seem to be messing around with nothing at all decent going on. Some of the people that I followed seem to be convinced that they are celebrities and keep talking to the camera about their day. You are not a celebrity!!

I must admit I quite admire the guy who records himself jogging…try taking a selfie mini movie while running! I’d like to see that on the claim form – how exactly did you fall into that pothole?

One woman I know quite well keeps posting from her bed, telling us how tired and sick she is (this is done with full make up by the way!) and moaning about all the married men who are coming on to her. Really (I feel like calling her and having a quiet word)??

snapchat-headphones

I find one US politician, Cory Booker who seems to be using it in a semi intelligent way and of course Kim Kardashian is offering us another version of her reality TV life. Social media guru and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has effectively become an actor and this is another platform for him to do his thing – he likes eating bananas, I’ve discovered!

When you open up Snapchat the camera on your phone is automatically looking at you….Ok, you can take a picture or film yourself. What do you say?

Is it like Facebook…not really, Twitter….Definitely not, Instagram…The most like it but the posts just stay for 24 hours.

I don’t like it, it seems incredibly egotistical and I’m really uncomfortable because I don’t really know what I’m doing and I haven’t quite figured out how to use it..but I will!

This is good … I train and advise people on using social media all of the time so this is a really great learning for me.

I now know how they feel – I had forgotten what it was like to feel like a dinosaur!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

Candidates …Help Me!

February 21, 2016

Voting in 1943

It’s that time again when we get the chance to shape how our country is run by either running for election or by choosing who we want to represent us in Dail Eireann.

Even though I am quite interested in politics and have been living in my area for many years I can honestly say that I don’t know the first thing about pretty much any of the candidates. All manner of literature has been pushed through the letter box (most of this has been quite generic) and election posters decorate the lamp posts on most routes and in the housing estates.

In less than a week I will be expected to cast my votes so between now and then I must make up my mind who I will give them to.

My wish list..

As a business person I will want a pro-business candidate and I do believe that high taxes are a huge demotivator so I will also look for a sensible reduction in taxes. I personally hate the water charges but I detest even more the cohort who are protesting against them.

I believe that everyone in society should be expected to work but that we should look after the elderly and the vulnerable. Finally we shouldn’t have a fear about getting sick in this fantastic country of ours.

Once the politics align with my core beliefs and I believe in the candidate then they have my vote.

I am interested in my own thought process towards the candidates and I have been observing the factors that are influencing my preferences:

Knowing the candidate – My first big observation as I note the different names appearing on the posters is that unlike other constituencies I know none of them except for one candidate!

I find it is incredible that none of the candidates except for one has interacted with me in any way before the election – all candidates are therefore relying 100% on their posters, flyers, canvassing, advertising and late PR to convince me.

Shirley Griffin 1

Professionalism – My second observation is the obvious professionalism and budget that Renua have with their campaign. This is a pre requisite for any party. Their large posters were the first up in the area and there is a huge quantity of them. This would make me consider them a little but the only problem once again is that I have absolutely no idea who Jason Fitzgerald is.

Fitzgerald - Renua

Mickey Mouse – My third observation is how shocking some of the posters are. In my view poor candidate posters are a reflection of themselves and there is no way on earth you could even consider them as your representative.

Shirley Griffin slogan

Shirley Griffin stands out with her second phase of posters, which look like a bunch of kids did them and even worse was Jerry O’Sullivan who definitely won the first prize for amateur hour. Both of these candidates make it very easy for me to dismiss them totally.

O'Sullivan

Personal Bias – My fourth observation is the clear bias that I hold against certain parties and for that reason no poster, flyer or face to face canvass would sway my opinion in favour of them. This for me puts a line through any Sinn Fein, Anti Austerity, People Against Profit or Communist Party candidates.

O'Donnell

Canvassing – My fifth observation is the power of canvassing. I found myself feeling quite positive towards a candidate I would not have considered beforehand due to the pleasant, coherent and polite manner of the person representing them. This surprised me as I always feel the candidate is the person you should meet.

Like many people I am very slow to open the door these days so I suspect this may not be as effective as it used be.

Party Performance – My sixth observation is the power of the TV debates and all the discussion before and after these. Not only do the media evaluate the performance of the parties in detail but it is also becomes a popular topic with people you deal with on an everyday basis.

A strong TV performance for a Party leader will quite possibly have you looking favorably on the local Party candidate who you have never heard of before and vice versa. While I disagree with the high taxation philosophy of the Social Democrats I believe Stephen Donnelly’s TV performances could sway votes for candidates around the country.

In our constituency there is no candidate so all his hard work is a waste this time round!

Social Media – My seventh observation was how invisible most of the candidates in our constituency were during the campaign and during the last few years. Guys…wake up!!!

This is a lot easier than shoe leather and attending endless funerals and is a very effective way of reaching large numbers of voters.

Nothing Changes – My eight and last observation (phew you say!) is that while everything has changed, in many ways nothing has changed and the job of chasing votes is pretty similar to how it always has been.

When I was a kid, I used live across the road from a school that was one of the polling stations. I remember vividly the excitement around voting day and the build up. We were fascinated by the colourful posters and I even remember bringing one home with me. On the day of the elections we used help the guys to hand out last minute flyers for the candidates – I’m sure we earned the odd chocolate bar for our extreme efforts.

Last week while walking “Honey” (the dog, who has since run away again for the third time!) late at night we came across a bunch of kids on their mid-term break who were marching around with an Aine Collins poster. They even stopped so we could photograph them with their favourite politician!

Nothing has changed..

Aine Collins poster

As it turns out Aine Collins, our Fine Gael TD is my favourite as well and she will be getting my No 1. Vote. She is the one that I have got to know quite well over the years and in my view is an intelligent, straight forward, honest, hard working politician who has made a big difference both locally and nationally on quite a number of issues.

She will be the first to admit that things aren’t perfect but I do trust her when she tells me she will try her best to improve them.

I sincerely believe that campaigning is a very tough, expensive and exhausting job and I would genuinely congratulate and thank all of the candidates for putting themselves forward and letting us judge them on the 26th February.

Before we give out about our politicians we must remember that we are the ones that vote for them and if we are not happy with the calibre of who is in front of us then we all have the option of running ourselves (next time!)

What factors are swaying you this time round?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services 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

 

 

 

 

Honesty and Truth in business

February 14, 2016

Jack O'Rourke - Smarter Egg

I attended a really interesting event recently hosted by Aodán Enright as part of his Smarter Egg series at the White Horse in Ballincollig, Cork.

This well attended event was all about the “Music Business” and Aodán had assembled an interesting collection of speakers to chat about various aspects of the business. All of this was after a delicious bowl of curry and a craft beer of course!

The speakers dealt with the impact of emerging technology on music, music PR, the life of an emerging artist and the lucrative business of concert promoting.

The young and enthusiastic Cork singer/songwriter Jack O’Rourke totally engaged with the audience with his presentation. He took the stage and admitted he felt very nervous, awkward and unqualified talking about the music ‘business‘.

He felt he lacked the skills and experience in this area but he did present his simple philosophy about business:

You should be honest and truthful in everything that you do

This pure and simple advice was delivered with personal stories including a very powerful story about the importance of being ‘true to your self‘, which was captured beautifully in his song ‘Silence‘ which he performed for the privileged crowd.

Make sure you check out Jack performing this powerful song on the Late Late Show at the end of this post.

Aodan Enright and Peter Aiken

This was followed by an interview with successful music promoter Peter Aiken who engaged us with many interesting stories about his early career, his dad, Rory Gallagher, the Marquee gigs and the Garth Brooks fiasco.

He spoke about the nuggets of wisdom that his father had engrained in him – you should honour all of your agreements as your good name was a precious commodity when you are in business. This would ensure that you did good business in the long run and not just short term wins.

He shared a story about how one of the bands he had booked actually returned significant money to him as they knew the gig was not a success and Peter would have lost heavily on it.

Honesty, truth and the importance of acting honourable at all times – these are simple and yet powerful pieces of advice for everyone in business to follow.

Gladly from my experience I feel these things are mostly present in business but I am still quite amazed as I unfortunately see the total opposite and in a few cases disappointingly from people I would have totally trusted. Sadly, nothing surprises me.

Honesty and truth in business …what do you think?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork