What are the 10 Secret Benefits of Blogging? via @Jeffbullas

What are the 10 Secret Benefits of Blogging? | Jeffbullas’s Blog.

This is a fantastic read. I am never let down when I take time out to read one of Jeff’s posts.

Get the best of these ten benefits by reading the post in full.

1) You will become a better writer – Getting there slowly

2) Your video skills will improve – I havent tried this one yet

3) You will learn – For me I learn something new everyday!

4) Visibility – People will hear about you – Long term plan eh!

5) Expert status – Sounds so pompus, much prefer to be know as an explorer

6) Become a champion researcher – ties in well with learning

7) Power Networker – I enjoy connecting and chatting with people

8) Your memory will improve – its like a sieve at the moment!

9) Your creativity will increase – ive taken up knitting! (joke)

10) Synergizes and Synthesizes focus

Why Eminence Matters for Sellers

In this digital age sellers now have to take on an additional job role and become a marketeer. Creating a personal brand that raises your profile above the rest, sharing your expertise and knowledge as well as leveraging the online world to ensure that you become identified as the eminent leader in that field are all important.

So why does eminence matter?

You have called, written, called again – you believe that the potential customer should be interested in talking to you, but they never return your call. Why?
Understanding buyer behaviour is key; they have limited time and will have recognised sources of influence. It may be their boss, their colleagues or their peers – whoever it is; they are listening to them – not you.
To become heard you have to start seeing their position from their world. This was summed up by a CEO who said:
“I don’t have any time to listen to a sales pitch … but I have all day to talk to a peer I can bounce ideas off and get real insight from. If more salespeople made the type of call where I’d be willing to write a cheque for their time, they’d have a better chance of winning contracts. The product they’re selling is less important than knowing you’re in expert hands.”
The challenge you have is that the CEO doesn’t want to buy a product or service and probably isn’t the slightest bit interested that you have ten percent off today. Unless your story resonates with their challenge – then in most cases you are wasting your time.

Then we get to the second part of the challenge – why should they listen to you?

Influence through association

Perhaps the direct approach is not always the best. If we want to influence the CEO but they are not listening to us, then we need to work out WHO they do listen to. In such circumstances understanding their ‘web of influence’ may well give us a clue as to who we should use as a conduit for our message. Understanding where buyers get their influences from changes the communication process and the target audience. In your industry who are the influential bodies and why?
Perhaps the CEO is interested in thought leadership and would be interested in your companies position in a particular area. Create a web of influence and work out who you should be targeting and with what message.

Now we get to the nub of the issue.

If you are not known in your industry or product area then why should someone listen to you? You may well have the thought leadership, expertise and the skills BUT unless you are prepared to share those thoughts and become known for them, then nobody will be listening.

Being known for your skills and opinions is eminence and that is why eminence matters.

What are your thoughts?

Social Media has a Positive Impact on Sales

FACT: Social Media isn’t a fad its a REVOLUTION

This is the statement from the latest HubSpot report: 120 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts and Graphs. The below is my take out from the report on Social media and its influence on sales. We are all in business? We sell or else #WESOE

63% of companies using social media say it has increased marketing effectiveness—among other benefits.

  • Increasing effectiveness of marketing
  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • Reducing marketing costs
  • Reducing support costs
  • Reducing time to market for products/services
  • Increasing product/service innovation
  • Increasing revenue

More than 1/3 of companies say social media helps them get found online.

61% of marketers use social media to increase lead generation

The reason why you need a company profile on LinkedIn:

BOTTOM LINE : It’s time to go social.

What are your thoughts?

Gamification: Unlocking hidden collaboration potential

By Tim Royle, Guest Blogger, Executive Director, ISW

 

“If you can measure it you can improve it” is an old business adage that is easily applied to performance criteria such as manufacturing output levels or sales quotas. But, how can you apply measurement metrics to the more subjective sciences of collaboration and business success? Simple, the answer is “gamification.”

The following chart assumes an organizational performance level of 30 percent. By encouraging users to adopt social software through gamification, we have the opportunity to improve performance and drive bottom-line returns.

image

What is gamification?

Gamification is the application of game design techniques to business processes aimed at encouraging user adoption and participation. This is typically achieved by:

  • Achievement badges
  • Achievement levels
  • Reward systems
  • Leader boards

Why gamification?

The reasons are:

  • Gamification has the potential to unlock wasted talent and streamline business processes through enhanced collaboration.
  • Work processes rely increasingly on interacting with colleagues, partners, and customers in social networks; to manage performance, new performance management metrics are needed.
  • Younger and older generations alike identify with gamification and reward systems.
  • The gamification of business objectives and their breakdown into key performance indicators provides a new way for organizations to drive performance improvement.

The term gamification in some way perhaps trivializes what we are trying to achieve. Take the point of view of an inflexible or unprogressive manager: “I don’t want our people playing games on work time!” This is the same person who objected to the introduction of instant messaging saying “I don’t want our people chatting and wasting time.” The benefits of instant messaging, presence awareness, and screenshare are now universally acknowledged. So, nothing is new here, other than gamification, which simply faces the technology adoption curve.

 

How do we get started with gamification?

Go to gamification.org and to the gamification blog (gamification.co), which also provides useful reference material. IBM Connections users can visit kudosbadges.com site.

Having decided that the idea of implementing social software makes sense, next ensure that your social software strategy includes ways of measuring and rewarding users for their participation. The alignment of collaboration goals with business objectives is key. Having gamified collaboration goals, any business process can be similarly gamified.

For example, a marketing/sales process could be engineered in the following way: 500 letters – Direct Mail Badge

500 follow up phonecalls – Telemarketing Badge

50 meetings – Meeting Badge

20 proposals – Proposal Badge

1 order – Sales Badge

5 orders – Sales Guru Badge

The measurement of performance across this simple sales/marketing process may draw on data from disparate systems. For example, if the organization uses SAP, the lodgement of a purchase order attributable to the sales person will click the counter on the user’s Sales Badge. The integration of these systems is achieved through a gamification engine that displays progress in the place where it’s most needed, the social portal:

image

Organizations that are invested in business process management, Balanced Scorecard, or Six Sigma principles will have a head start in that much of the performance metrics for gamification will already be in place.

2012 gamification predictions

These are several predictions:

  • Organizations will embrace gamification.
  • Gamification will continue to thrive in the social software space.
  • Gamification will penetrate all business processes and systems.

Summary

Gamification offers a serious capability to improve organizational performance. Early adopters will benefit most; those who choose to be laggards will face increasing competitive pressure from those who embrace gamification and invest in the analysis of their business processes and structured measurement and reward systems.

Tim Royle is an Executive Director of ISW, Australian based IBM Premier Partner. ISW is an award-winning, pure-play IBM Business Partner that designs, implements, and supports solutions based on WebSphere, ICS, Tivoli, Rational, Information Management, and Cognos technologies. He has worked with IBM Collaboration Solutions since 1992 and has spoken at events such as Collective Intelligence, LCTY, AUSLUG, and Lotusphere. Tim is a member of the IBM Social Business social media IBM Redbooks team and spends his time focused on implementing successful social software solutions.

Tim is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader image Read further blogs from Tim and others here

Twitter: @twroyle

 

 

Show me the MONEY

If You Build It, Will They Come?
It is hard work as of late, convincing individuals that blogging needs to be part of their digital personal brand strategy.
Especially those that have amassed valuable knowledge over the years and even those with great ideas and opinions.
Some tend to believe that all they need to have is a static presence, say hello on Twitter or Facebook once in awhile, occasionally add connections to their network and they are set to attract clients.
The “build it and they will come,” theory.
Lets be honest, this method doesn’t work and those that are venturing into this arena can back me up.  There is no “one size fits all,” path to success.
It’s about creating relationships and you have to drive traffic. BUT it is not only traffic that is important. Unlike traditional media where today’s news is tomorrows fish and chip wrapper, the world of the Internet has staying power. So every entry into the online world leaves a digital footprint about you that can be found.
Magnetism  & Four-Letter Words
Streetwise professionals would probably also agree that publishing blog articles is like magnetising your target audience to you.  When the blog is quiet, the traffic to your blog slows or stops.
Lets take a look at some benefits:
•    Gives the writer credibility.
•    Focuses on the author’s ideas and expertise.
•    Establishes credibility in the author’s niche.
•    Attracts the reader to the author & the author’s additional content.

How awesome, right?
Who wouldn’t want that?
Ever met a salesperson that didn’t like the spotlight or to talk more about themselves?
Even so, when I say the word, “blog,”  it’s like I’ve said a four-letter word.
BLOG.

The definition of this word has also changed; with the advent of 140 character micro-blogs i.e. Twitter, the use of video blogs i.e. YouTube, picture blogs i.e. Flickr. Penning a few words can lead to engagement however the richer the content the richer the engagement.
Walking the talk
So, for some time, I’ve been pondering how I could get more people interested in blogging.  A little more exciting…more “sexy,” if you will.
It would have to be, or I’d lose my audience.
In this case:

•    Executives.
•    SME’s
•    Sales Professionals.

Individuals, that clients will make decisions about, in 2012 and future.
These days, the Internet is a haven of nifty new media.  A place where we read, play games, buy, sell, trade, socialise, and more…
Building a boat
Back to my challenge – To making blogging more attractive and enticing.  As a parent, my instincts are to put a fun slant on it.
Much like how we convince our children to take their medicine with the song, “A spoon full of sugar.”  Or inspire others to remember something with a groovy acronym.
Finding the Hot Button
So, playing to what gets people enthused I realised this is the sweet spot…the hot button.  I should find a way for them to get just as excited about their blog as they might be about “MONEY“.
The acronym…
M – More
O – Opportunity
N – Needs
E – Engagement
from
Y – You
MONEY
More Opportunity Needs Engagement from You
Oh yes, Show me the money!
What sales person wouldn’t get excited about that?  Information about themselves – about their purpose – rippling across the Internet where their target audience is hanging out!
Can you imagine what could happen with this slightly changed perspective?

So…
Pen is mightier than the sword


The 2015 roadmap will be tough.  Battles between competitors are intense, at a time when our clients need answers and solutions.
Dell are changing customer engagement with mighty mileage from social media.  From a marketing, brand and personal standpoint, a blog should be the hub of your social media and digital presence.
Technology is already changing who wins and how.
Employees  – regardless of time served, status, or experience – NEED to stop snarling their nose at penning a few words once in awhile, and start realising the benefits.
For them, and their clients.


MONEY
More Opportunity Needs Engagement from You

“The World is Hanging Up”

Written by Jeff Bullas

I was involved recently with a telecommunications company that had been operating with no web site  for nearly a year and its main form of marketing was cold calling …you know the type that call you in your office or home and offer you… that special latest mobile phone deal. So what was their target market.. every business that drew breath… and what value did they offer the cusomer except maybe a cheaper price… very little. So their marketing was made up of one strategy, cold calling.  The marketing department consisted of staff  calling for up to 6 hours per day and only booking one appointment in that time. People were literally hanging up on them. There is a better way!  Our lives are so busy now and and with so much media noise and clutter that traditional marketing is becoming less and less efficient.

So how would a company stand out from the pack by using Internet Marketing such as a search engine optimised (SEO) web site,  low cost blogs and inbound marketing instead of expensive traditonal marketing .

10 Tips To Stand Out From The Crowd In Your Industry

  1. Have a web site that helps your buyers and provides value with new interesting content  that assists your buyers.. not just a static web site that doesn’t change.
  2. Offer content that shows how to do something with step by step instructions that adds value to your customers, or potential clients.
  3. Have a video on the web site showing something interesting about your industry, this can be even a Youtube video  that you just provide the video link for.
  4. Target a Segment and really understand it by producing content on the web site that addresses their needs specifically.
  5. If you are passionate about your business, contribute to the conversations in the other blogs in your industry so you can start becoming known as a thought leader.
  1. Create a blog that keeps adding new content that helps place you further up the search engines rankings as search engines love new content.
  2. Create Links to sites that are also well known in your industry this will assist in your Search Engine Optimisation and get you up in the Google rankings.
  3. Join Twitter and start experimenting like putting links between twitter,  your blog and web site.
  4. Join a social media site like Facebook and then join groups in your industry that are part of Facebook.
  5. Offer an E-book subscription that captures email from your online inquiries so you can start engaging with your clients and potential buyers .

Ths challenge with anything is just.. doing it…  You can research  forever but just start the journey. The one thing that a company can easily do is start a blog, and add a content to that blog and update it regularly. It is easy to do you, you can go to WordPress and set up a blog for free and be up and running within a very short time frame.