Digital Thought Leadership – What is it and why is it important?

In the world of thought leadership, especially our “digital thought leadership” we need to be more conscious than ever about everything we have online rather than just our website or LinkedIn profiles.

In our recent surveys and polling of industry leaders, we have found on average 70% of professionals seeking new business lose referrals from lack of a consistent digital footprint. What does this mean? This means we must be aware of everything that we have online that includes our company's name or our name on it. When someone hears about our company or our people, the first thing they do is Google us. We are all one click away from rejection, and it happens more than we think. We are being judged and scored all the time based on what people find online. It truly is a brave new world.

We also now know the impact of things like user generated content, employee advocacy, digital thought leadership, social selling, influencer marketing and other areas that have evolved in our short digital lifetime.

But one thing that has not gone away is our digital reputation, which is built by our digital footprint. In fact, my first company was MyEReputation.com, launched over 12 years ago because we saw it happening then. We even saw our university students not getting admitted or losing scholarships based on what the admission offices found online.

My interview from 2010, this is not new, it’s just worse.

digital thought leadership

And for those of us in business, it can impact brand credibility in ways we cannot even see, market share, recruiting, retention, sales and yes most importantly the one thing most of us rely on, referrals.

Digital Footprint – Definition

I thought it would be prudent to start with this since many people ask us what a Digital Footprint or Digital Shadow is. Not a new term to our world, but maybe to yours. (Thanks Wikipedia)

Digital footprint or digital shadow refers to one's unique set of traceable digital activities, actions, contributions and communications manifested on the Internet or on digital devices.[1][2][3][4] On the World Wide Web, the internet footprint;[5] also known as cyber shadow, electronic footprint, or digital shadow, is the information left behind as a result of a user's web-browsing and stored as cookies. The term usually applies to an individual person, but can also refer to a business, organization and corporation.[6]

There are two main classifications for digital footprints: passive and active. A passive digital footprint is data collected without the owner knowing (also known as data exhaust),[7] whereas active digital footprints are created when personal data is released deliberately by a user for the purpose of sharing information about oneself by means of websites or social media.[8] Information may be intentionally or unintentionally left behind by the user; with it being either passively or actively collected by other interested parties. Depending on the amount of information left behind, it may be simple for other parties to gather large amounts of information on that individual using simple search engines.

Tony Fish expounded upon the possible dangers of digital footprints in a 2007 self-published book.[9] The closed loop takes data from the open loop and provides this as a new data input. This new data determines what the user has reacted to, or how they have been influenced. The feedback then builds a digital footprint based on social data, and the controller of the social digital footprint data can determine how and why people purchase and behave.

Public vs. Private

Before we move forward, it is important that you understand what we mean by public versus private. In our definition, when we say public it means that anyone can find that profile or your data simply by searching on Google. It's open, it's available, they can read it, they can see it, they can find it. Private means you might have an account, or some data locked down someone either needs a password to access that platform or they need your permission to read it, keyword permission. It's important that you understand which accounts you and your employees have that are public or private.

digital footprint

Facebook starting the trend in the cleanup

You might have heard recently that Facebook has activated the “Clear History” button. This is the beginning step to allow you to start cleaning up your digital footprint, but it's only the beginning as both Forbes and Facebook stated in the article: the best person in control of data is you.

dean delisle social jack influencer

Article from Forbes: This New Facebook Tool Reveals How You Are Being Tracked Online

Next Beginning Steps

Let's take these steps in order so we can get in shape. When we start a new client account, the first thing we do is look at the digital footprint of the organization and what we call ‘customer facing employees’, which could be sales, customer service, operations, finance or however your company operates when interfacing with the outside. While reading this, you should even take an inventory of those most critical departments and or employees. This is why employee advocacy is so critical. We start with a scan, then clean up recommendations and then provide a step-by-step process of how to get it done. We continue on to train people on how to appear online and really be seen as thought leaders on behalf of the organization– even at the smallest roles.

Step One – Google Your Company

First, simply Google your organization’s name. Analyze what comes up, who's connected, which competitors come up, maybe even see which competitors are advertising with your name, what sites do you have that you forgot about, and so on. Take an inventory of these results so you are aware and can begin the cleanup process. This is the first critical part of your bounce rate on referrals. I bet most of you don’t even have your Google Business Page up to date, or maybe you don’t even have one at all.

thought leadership business

Also note if your content is relevant to what you are selling today, are your employees represented accurately  and are they relevant to how you're positioning them as experts to service your clients? Remember: this is what people are finding.

Step Two – Google Your Employees

This is probably one of the most common pieces we find that is overlooked. We spend a lot of money doing head shots and writing bios for employees that we list on the website, especially the customer facing ones; However, we don't go to the next step and actually Google those employees to see how they look online or even if they show that they work at the organization. We find that 75% of employee profiles are outdated both in position and representation of skills on behalf of the organization.

We once had a prospect that came to us and lost a 4-million-dollar project they were in the final running for, and the last critical step was that their employee profiles on LinkedIn matched the website but did not match the proposal. I'm writing this at the beginning of 2020, which means we are probably all launching new products, services, programs, and maybe even new divisions of our organization. That means we have talent or our talent has been updated to service those areas, is that being represented accurately, rather than like everyone else?

digital thought leadership courses

In our digital thought leadership courses, we train how important it is that we are all individuals that have stories, skills, and experiences that make us unique. When these qualities are towed properly and properly connected to the brand, it will not only accelerate the credibility of the brand but humanize the brand so that it's more approachable. Please note: we discussed this in great detail in our webinar called “7 Steps to Rock Your Personal Brand Online” on our Social Jack platform that you can access it for free by going to Social Jack and searching for content. There are hundreds of relevant classes and materials here to help.

how to be a digital thought leader

Linked to this recording: CLICK HERE

Step Three – Take Inventory and Score

It is important that once you know this information, you take inventory and even score or rank your findings. We have a scoring system for this, and if you would like to contact us we can coach you on how to do this part. The important thing is to keep it simple, this is a true awareness exercise for your brands overall credibility.

There are many apps today that can be used to track, score and will fit any budget or level of sofistication. The screen above is an Employee Advocacy Platform that scores the engagement and interaction of your employees online as an example. This platform is called GaggleAmp..

gaggle amp thought leadership

Step Four – Game Plan

Now that you are aware, it's time to set a game plan to create a more credible digital footprint. We have a process we call the “Rapid Launch Plan” when we do this for companies. You may have your own planning system, but keep in mind that now what you want to do is understand how your organization is sharing content and representing themselves from a digital footprint perspective, ultimately inserting this newfound knowledge and awareness into that plan.

As you can see below, the net effect of this isn't just referrals and new leads, but it affects retention, market share, recruiting, culture, and many other things in either a positive or negative perspective. This is your opportunity to really put 2020 on a great track for you and your organization.

thought leadership coaching

Step 5 – Training and Coaching

In the diagram you'll notice at the very bottom it says training and coaching. We have this as Step 5 as part of the cleanup process because many times, marketing will take over and just clean things up without involving the individuals, and all they're trying to do is help the brand. This is great, except people have to take ownership of their own personal digital footprint or this will never work. It will also create failure in any attempt to implement employee advocacy programs, which we have seen time and time again.

lead gen training and coaching

Now, we can have an entire blog just on training alone and what you should train on, however, we have listed some of the common areas above that are covered in our employee advocacy programs and areas that we know that are important to increase necessary digital skills for your employees, collectively helping the brand.

Summarizing Digital Thought Leadership

The most important thing is to involve your people in the entire cleanup process. Have them take ownership in their story, personal brand, influence, and their digital thought leadership. This process alone will allow you to not only have a stronger more connected culture, but really increase the credibility, visibility, and viability of your brand in the marketplace. It will also humanize your brand and make it feel more approachable to those considering doing business with you.

I hope you find this useful, and please leave comments below that you believe will help readers to learn from your journey so we can continue to help each other and make this a healthy digital business world for all of us.

To learn more about digital thought leadership as well as other content, blogs, videos, training and classes check out Social Jack.


If you have ever received a referral for a job or new business, you know how critical your online personal brand can be. People are only one click away from choosing you or moving on, and many times you will never know.

The Social Jack™ Team has helped thousands of business professionals develop their Influence and have put together a quick, easy to follow recipe to get on the right track. To make sure that people click on you when making that critical choice for a professional, read on.

Looking at Social Media as Events:

Although we aren’t supposed to “play favorites” we all have a social media channel we use the most. Some of us are Facebook, some are Twitter and others are Instagram. Regardless of what your favorite is, you should be looking at them as an “event” that you are going to. When you’re at an event, there will be times you really enjoy it and want to come back, and other times when you think it could be better (we’ve done hundreds of events, so we definitely understand!). You can apply this to you clients, as well. Every client has a different “event” that they like. To help your client, you need to find what “events” they like and help them refine it even more.

Influencer Marketing Pro Tip: Companies you want to “bring to your event” (aka social media) usually like to hire social media experts who are experts of multiple disciplines, or channels. Take the time to experiment with different channels. The more you can master, the more likely a company will want you for social media execution! 

Define Your Goals:

To get the most out of your social media, you need to figure out what your goals are for your social strategy. Maybe you are a Thought Leader who wants to get your name out there as an expert in your field. Maybe you want to bring more personality to a brand or event, or even advance your career. Developing your personal brand can achieve ALL of these goals. Once you have a clear idea of your desired outcome and learn the basics, you can build on your brand and reach those goals. Make sure that your goal is quantifiable and realistic! If you need help, we have plenty of worksheets in our Social Jack Academy to help you get started!

Tell Your Story

A brand is more relatable and personal when you bring your own story into it. Your personal accounts and the content you create tell this story, so it is important. To do this, think about some of the biggest turning points in your life. People want to know what got you to THIS moment, so you should be telling them the most defining moments in your life. Write things down over time so you can figure out the key points in your life that brought you here. When you write these down, you can also define the “theme” of your brand. This theme is your main idea – the thing you want followers to know about you. The key points are the roadmap of your personal brand; how you explain your journey from point A to Z. The more you write down, the more of your story you can use to execute your person brand.

Influencer Marketing Pro Tip: When writing things out, do what we call a “mind dump”. This simply means that you just write down whatever comes to mind about yourself. Do not leave out a single detail. From our experience, we’ve seen people come up with their own theme from even the tiniest details of their experience. More details, more personality for your brand! If you enjoy writing, think about taking up journaling.

Know Your Digital Impression:

When people come visit your profiles on social media, you want to give them the idea that you are approachable. If you have any pages that talk about you in third-person, it can be a BIG turn-off to people (aka potential clients) because it makes them feel like you are not personal or approachable. This is where you start to Google yourself. Google yourself. Do it. It’s not vain- it’s imperative. Make sure you go at least three pages back and see what is already out there for your personal brand. This search shows your “digital footprint” so you want to make sure it is as clean as possible! If there are any outdated profiles on you, make sure you fix that information ASAP and keep it current. This is especially the case for LinkedIn. If you need help, our Influencer Development Program has several modules that help you build a professional profile.

Your Profiles are Your Professional Brand

While it is quite clear that your profiles show your professional brand, many people forget to make sure those profiles are completely filled out. While this can mean having your most recent position listed, having a (recent!) profile picture, and updating your bio, you are more than your title. When people visit your page, it should start a conversation with people and answer how you can help and why you are the expert in your profession.

Influencer Marketing Pro Tip: Feeling limited by the character limit of your LinkedIn headline? If you need more space to develop your personal brand in your LinkedIn, the mobile app extends the character count by 80 characters. Make them count!

The Power of Your Connections

A major thing to help you better connect with individuals and expand your network is constantly developing and updating your profile so you appear in searches. Your current and prospective connections may already be looking for someone with your specific experience, but if you give a generic title or headline they won’t be sure of your abilities. When your connections see a defined headline, it makes you more credible and trustworthy. They will also be more likely to view your experience and want to work with you.

Influencer Marketing Pro Tip: Remember, you may have only have 300 connections on LinkedIn but you actually have more thank you think. Your connections can lead you to other connections so make use of your network! When you connect more, it helps you build your personal brand.

Power Move – Add Other Influencers

Once you lock down and develop your brand, you should strengthen your network by adding more Influencers!  If you want a better network, you want to attach yourself to powerful individuals in your industry. This will help you not only find kindred spirits, but also help you find people to speak at events or even work with.

Power Move – Conversation

You should connect to others, but don’t JUST connect – engage with your connections! You should be having conversations with these individuals, which can spark conversations with more individuals. This is what we call “social teaming”. When you have a good conversation with Influencers, you can boost your likes and engage with others. You can also see who else is talking about the posts and make a plan for what you should say. When you engage with someone in your field, they will see it and their connections will ALSO see it.

Measure Your Goals

You’ve updated your profiles, enhanced your brand and made use of those power moves. Now what? The only way you will see your improvements by measuring your results. This is what we meant earlier when we said to make these goals quantifiable. If your goal was to get more sales, keep a record of how many you made thanks to your social media presence. If you want to build more connections in your network, LinkedIn will show how many connections you have and how many people like what you post. When you measure your success, you will EASILY see your results.

In Summary

Remembers that your profiles tell your story. Our unique stories are what differentiate us from others. Use your profiles to bring your story to life and show people why they should work with you.  If you need further resources, check out our Free Resource Center at Social Jack. You can access our Free Resource Center by signing up for a Basic Social Jack Account plus browse the worksheets and classes currently available.

We will see your profiles online!

We hope to see you in one of our next classes! Check out the full list at www.socialjackflash.com


Last week’s edition of the Influence Factory brings you the latest industry news and lets you hear from Industry Experts! Last week’s Influencer Guest, Michael Angelo Caruso, talks about how he has built his Influence through the use of Events.

When speaking at events, there are certain connections that you make at them. As speakers, we tend to just come in to an event and then leave. There are thousands of opportunities to network with other attendees when you present. You want to find ways to make your material connect to them. We will go through the key points Michael discussed during the webcast here so you can present like an Event Influencing pro!

The Power of Cognitive Speaking

The way we affect our audience during a presentation can be boiled down to a simple science. Cognitive speaking sounds like a new scientific term, but it has always been in the art of presenting. In our webcast, Michael spoke about how Brian Tracey utilized this psychology to understand how leaders and presenters influence others. Cognitive speaking usually involves having a bias. This can be an optimism, pessimism or even confirmation bias. When leaders talk, they can use this to sway an opinion and even sell someone on an idea. You also want to use what you say to show people that you are passionate about your area of knowledge, something that further enhances engagement. Cognitive speaking requires a human approach so make sure you do it!

“When you can show us what you care about, it makes you seem more human.”

 – Michael Angelo Caruso

It’s All in The Details

One way to gain influence when speaking at events is to pay attention to the details (AKA your audience). This seems like an obvious point, but so many people rarely utilize it to its fullest extent. In these days, we are more invested in ourselves than we are with other people. If you want to see how your audience is reacting to your material, Michael said you “should look up at your audience once in a while.” In doing this, you are able to see what they are doing, AND you make your lesson more personalized. This is simple math: Eye contact plus addressing the audience = engagement.

Influencer Marketing Pro Tip: A “ride along” can be helpful when you are doing a presentation. This means that someone watches your presentation and can tell you things that you miss or do not realize that you are doing. We can become too invested in a presentation that we fail to change the way we address things to people. When we are told what we miss, we can be more aware of it so we can adjust the flow of a presentation for our viewers.

Watching your language

There are half a million words in our language and it can be a challenge to find the right words for a response. We may be able to anticipate some things our audience might say but we really need to think on our feet about the words that will create an impactful response. We do this by using word substitution. When you practice, you may find yourself using words that don’t give the presentation impact. By subbing out those words, you can find other words that give your speech a boost.

“While complete perfection is not possible, you can get very close to it when crafting a presentation.”                    

 – Michael Angelo Caruso

Influencer Marketing Pro Tip: You can make speeches more effective during preparation by having a deep vocabulary. There are websites that often do a “Word of The Day.” If you want to deepen your word bank effectively, finding websites that do this can be a HUGE help. Michael recommends Wordsmith.org as a personal favorite.

Build a Good PowerPoint

Unfortunately, PowerPoint has become a bit of a crutch that many people are overusing in presentations. The best presentations will have certain restrictions for PowerPoints. If you are to use one, use it in the middle third of a presentation. The first third should be used to develop a relationship with the audience and the final third should be your “call to action.” A presentation should also use oversized text (limiting how many words are in a slide) and no more than one photo. Remember, people will turn their back to the audience if all their points are in the presentation. You want to make sure your audience is engaged and that cannot happen when you have your back to them.

“The fastest way for leaders and salespeople to excel is to master the art of the presentation.”                                                                                                                        – Michael Angelo Caruso

Knowing The Colors of Personality

While it’s important to dress your best for an event (and try to highlight the colors of your brand in your outfit), you should be MORE aware of the different personalities in the audience. There are four personalities – the thinker, relator, socializer and director. You should get an idea of which of these personality types are in the audience during a presentation.  Once you learn WHO is in the audience, you can then tailor your word choice and presentation to them. This will maximize impact and keep people engaged in what you have to say. You’re using color, but just in an unconventional sense.

Get Feedback and Stay Relevant

This is the most important part of any presentation. The biggest metric of success is seeing what people say about your presentation. You should be asking people about your presentation to see what they got out of it. By learning this feedback, you know what you need to cut out or even add.

“When you want to find out what people think about your presentation, ask them what they took away from your speech.”                             

– Michael Angelo Caruso

On your social media channels, relevance is EXTREMELY important. You want to show your audience that you are up to date on current happenings in the world and your area of expertise. When you post relevant information, it keeps your audience interested in what you have to say.

In Summary

While it seems like a lot to give a successful presentation, these tips are very easy to apply. Remember that using cognitive bias will help you sway your target audience and get them interested in what you have to say.  Once you have done that, you need to be aware of your audience and pay attention to reactions and their personality types. Don’t be too reliant on a PowerPoint as you want to keep eye contact with the audience, NOT give them your back during a presentation.

Influence Factory live episodes air Wednesdays at noon central . Register here.

You can also subscribe to previous and upcoming shows on the Social Jack website.

We hope to see you on our next Influence Factory!

 

 

 

 

 


Influence Factory Brings Influencers Topical Industry News in an Exciting Way.

CHICAGO, February 12, 2018—Social Jack jump-started 2018 with a bang launching their new, free online webinar to podcast offering called The Influence Factory. The show airs live every Wednesday at noon CST as a webinar, but unavailable viewers can catch the episodes at a later time on YouTubeiTunesGoogle PlayStitcherSoundCloud and other channels.

Influence Factory, Where Leaders Assemble, features a wide variety of up-to-date segments compacted into a concise hour. Segments include an Influencer lesson of the week, a Special Guest interview with an Industry Business Influencer, updates on the latest industry news, and “Ask the Experts”. “Listeners” are encouraged to participate through polls, questions, and a Q&A segment and at the end of each episode the viewer with the most engagement receives a special prize. The goal of the webcast is for aspiring Influencers to engage and share new business ideas and learn from industry experts.

Each week Influence Factory features a different guest influencer to answer viewers’ questions pertaining to their area of expertise. Past guests include Google SEO Expert Joe Karns, Social Media Speaker Spencer X. Smith, Microsoft Storyteller Miri Rodriguez, “The Video Jedi” George B. Thomas, and Nimble CRM founder Jon Ferrara. Interested viewers can watch past episodes on Social Jack’s app, or on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOySYhhhgqoAtKpLXPWmxhQ

Viewers can also listen to past episodes on the go in podcast form on iTunesSoundCloud, and Google Play. The best way to catch The Social Jack Influence Factory is by subscribing to their weekly Webcast, and ensuring you don’t miss an episode, at www.myinfluencefactory.com

About Social Jack:

The Social Jack System is an Influencer Development platform that combines the power of people, social teaming and today’s social networks to create Business Influencers and develop a targeted loyal following and achieve influence in your world. Social Jack serves organizations, executives, professionals, top producers, speakers, and they even have Influencer Event offerings.

About Dean DeLisle:

As Founder and CEO of Forward Progress, Dean leads his core team to provide digital marketing solutions serving over 2,000 corporate clients for the past 15 years. In 2015 Dean created and released a Business Influencer Development Platform known as Social Jack™, and they have successfully trained over 100,000 professionals on Social Selling and B2B Influencer Marketing. Their curriculum and programs are used globally by Fortune 500 companies, Associations, Conferences and Universities to instill best practices related to the effective use of social networks.


 

How to Rock Your Personal Brand – The Start of Your Influence

If you have ever received a referral for a job or new business, you know how critical your online personal brand can be. People are only one click away from choosing you or moving on, and many times you will never even know. In our Social Jack Influencer Development Classes we teach the fundamentals to make that shift to be found and chosen first by your network. Let’s cover some of the core principals.

In our 8 step process, we start with a core story to build your personal brand. We first want to make sure we understand the desired outcome of our professional. Everything should drive to that destination or outcome.

Know or Define Your Authentic Self (Your Story)

We want to know the “what” our professional subject is going for and “why” being known is so important. We want this information as part of their story and to begin the creation of their persona and personal brand. Sometimes we have professionals and executives who are working on their career, so they may want to get to a certain level of career advancement or promotion. Some are looking for executive presence and thought leadership. Whatever goals you are wanting to accomplish, it is important to know this before you begin to work on yourself or with someone like us.

Knowing your story is critical, but it is perfectly okay to start with a draft and adjust along the way.  Some people wait years to even begin writing their story; the key is to pick a point and simply begin. Find trusted allies that will provide feedback, and even some subject matter, and experts to help you as well. Generally speaking, people are very willing to help. You may also have colleagues you work with that might have gone before you. Ask yourself this question: “What do you want to be known for?” Use your answer to craft a short narrative, typically 300-500 words. Catch yourself: you will want to tack things on as you go, which is fine, but make sure they are relevant. Stay targeted. Keep your focus.

Watch our latest class on establishing your personal brand HERE

When writing and building profiles and bios we look at the story as a whole, analyze the target audience, and determine which words people will use to find you on the internet and how you want to be found. Sometimes the keywords are not always what you would choose, however, they are what people would use to find you. Keywords and phrases are typically made up of 1 to 3 words and the ideal profile has 10 keyword phrases. If that seems like a lot right now, start small- itt is okay to start with 5 and add from there. Once you have your keywords, weave them into your story. You should do this AFTER you draft your story so you can flow with your ideas before worrying about keywords. If you need more help with keywords, we have a whole course you can reference in our Basic Social Jack Account.

Know Your Ideal Target

Think about your ideal audience: these are the people you want to attract and who you ideally want to do business with. You should be able to identify your ideal target at a very specific level: industry, title, type of company, geographic locations, size of organization, years in business, whatever matters most to you. Narrowing it down can be tough for many of us as we sometimes want to keep adding, however, the tighter you make your ideal target the better your story will be.  Plus, it will take less effort to generate new business or advance your career when your story is concrete and your target is narrow.

Even if you do not go into social selling, you should do this next step at least once a month for your own protection. First, Google your name and any variations. This could look like your name + your company name, your job title, etc. When you Google your name, you are looking for things that you are NOT aware of and making sure that all your Social Media profiles, websites and content are in alignment with your new brand (story). Look over at least the first two pages of your search results. The first things that should appear are any Social Network accounts, websites and high-traction videos. You can simply replace your old profiles with your newest profiles or update the information across platforms, but you absolutely want to delete any old, invalid profiles.

Next, set up Google Alerts with your name, brand names, company names, etc. With this free tool, you can have Google alert you at the frequency you desire (we recommend daily) any time your name pops up on the internet. I actually do this for my entire family! You will need a Gmail account to set this up, but that is also free.

Engage In Relevant Online Conversations

Anywhere online — blogs, video, pod casts, Social Media sites, online news articles, etc. — make sure you get your name and your brand attached to the content that’s most relevant to your story and that fits the keywords you want to be known for. This will take some practice. You can also engage (like, comment, share, retweet, etc.) with the content of other thought leaders. This will give you reach and visibility into their Social network, which can only be good for you. See the 7 likes and 3 comments on the post below. On average, this would reach thousands of views in news feeds as people keep engaging. Keep playing with this and have fun; it’s networking right from your smartphone.

It might seem like you have a long way to go, but remember you can start right now with these first few steps. It only takes a few hours to make basic changes and get out of the gate. If you don’t like where you’re starting from, you can make simple adjustments as you grow.  Just remember any time you make changes to one profile you should make the same changes across your other profiles, too. Also, remember to do this with others! Our goal is that you take what you have learned and someone else; you are never alone- nor should you be! If you need further resources, check out our Free Resource Center at Social Jack. You can access our Free Resource Center by signing up for a Basic Social Jack Account plus browse the worksheets and classes currently available.

We will see you (and your story) online!

We hope to see you in one of our next classes!

Join us for our next Online Flash Class: Personal Branding and Storytelling – How to Rock Your Digital Presence

Register HERE


The Key: Social Team Formation, Training, Coaching and Willingness to PLAY!

The Challenge: Help us fill our event in three weeks!

So many of you saw the previous Blog post on the Informs IMPAC 2017 show here in Chicago. Well, the INFORMS people came to us about three weeks before the show and said they needed a short, low-cost campaign to fill their event with paying event attendees at the Notre Dame Chicago Campus. We viewed this as the ultimate Social Influencer challenge: with a small budget and very little time, could we use our core network to make this event pop and possibly put some butts in seats? We took a close look at our network and talked briefly among our team; then we decided to take on the challenge and thought we would give it a shot with our Social Influencer Event System. Spoiler alert: it was a dramatic success! I have outlined the highlights of our steps below.

Strategy: Look at the impact and influence of the network 

We faced the challenge of two networks coming together. FinTech Analytics and Sports Analytics are two different groups, with two entirely different networks. Keep in mind we look at every event like a sporting event, so we assemble networks and sub-networks like “Social Teams”, where there are levels of talent and groupings based on each levels’ commitment to the organization and desire for it to succeed, i.e., corporate championship. So, our typical method is to run what we call our “Inside Out” analysis. It might be easiest to follow along with the diagram below:

Prep work: We make sure first and foremost that we connect all of our teams and brands to the teams associated with the event. We also score all Team Players on the diagram above, both professionals and brands, so we know who the strongest players are – and consequently the ones most likely to participate. As much as you’d like for everyone to participate, we find we mostly get a 50% participation rate; however, some groups surprise us with a higher level of play.

Get the Teams Ready for Play

1.     Core Team (Level One) – these were the Board Members. We were able to get agreement ahead of time for willingness to play. This is critical; without this buy-in, it does not work. So, a big shout out to the Board Members listed below who allowed us to start this machine rolling. A special shout out to Andrea Leiter who was our initial content and spark to get the troops assembled and have them agree to play with us.

They agreed to allow us to train them on how to play on social media and how to interact with our content. Our Social Jack™ Influencer Team Training purposely keeps it simple and easy for busy people to play the game with us and it’s proven to be highly effective. Board Members also agreed to connect us to the next level of the network, the Speaker Team.

2.     Speaker Team (Level Two) – The Speakers were all connected to the Board Members (Team One), so we worked to have them reach out and ask the Speakers to play with our content. We then also provide weekly online coaching sessions for all clients and subscribers so they have a place to go. Don’t forget to also include the Speakers’ brands as part of the game! On our Social Jack™ Platform, we also record all training and coaching sessions for review. We then reach out to all Speakers and invite them to participate. When we have more time, we offer our training and coaching program for Speakers; unfortunately, for this run we could not organize our training for all Speakers.

See Speakers List

3.     Sponsor Team (Level Three) – Sponsors typically are invested; however, many do not know how to play socially. We had the Board Members with the best relationships personally contact the Sponsors and ask them to participate; some even sent email blasts in addition to social posting and engagement. Most are typically invested as they too want the eyeballs on their brand — or they would not be Sponsors. We watched and helped the Sponsors boost their message as part of the process. Reciprocity is part of the success recipe here!

4.     Connected Influencer Team (Level Four) – This is our “secret sauce”: so, we find the Influencer Players in our network, depending on the type of event, audience, etc. Sometimes we have more and sometimes less. In this case we reached out to everyone — from media contacts related to sports and everyone we knew in FINTECH. We wound up with a team of about 35 people of which about 20 played nicely. There was a great variety of participation, ranging from emails to social media placement of banner ads to attendance. Too many to mention here, suffice it to say however that we could not have done it without these players in this process.

Time to Play

Once we have team connections and agreements in place, it’s really time to play! As soon as we had the board trained, we then mapped out our messaging with emails, social media and advertising. We had to move fast since we had a super short promotion window, with very little time for testing. We had to lead out with our best guestimates for the message and tweak on the fly as needed.

We created content calendars and sent those out to all the team players that were trained and those that had agreed to play with us online. As always, some jumped in right away and some needed a little nudge and still others did not show up. No-shows are a hard fact, but in this case, most showed up to play with us online and some even went the extra mile with sending extra emails and even posted their own supply of social media. The most important thing is for all team members to understand what and when you will be posting so they can interact with you, so the best bet is to have your content done in advance, let speakers and sponsors know when they will be featured and where, and then communicate like crazy on approach.

Ongoing Coaching Support

In our weekly Social Jack™ coaching sessions, we provide unlimited support for all clients and students. This means if they want to understand LinkedIn more, we teach that; if they want to play more on Twitter, we teach that. Whatever they need we are there to help them. This way they never feel alone in the game, and for many this is a new game for them. We understand that many of these people are new to this game and we want them to succeed just by being part of the event.

That Extra Reach

To continue this thought, think about if you have a speaker that only has 50 followers on Twitter, then you show them how to get another 20, then how to attach to their brand and other influencers in their world. You are now changing the game one person, one network at a time. We literally received many inquiries and orders just from this method alone.

In this case we had:

8 Board Members

7 Sponsors

13 Speakers

20 Connected Influencers

The total estimated “targeted” social reach ended up being over 75 million connections, and that is a very conservative estimate.

 

The Outcome: 85 attendees for a paid event within 20 days!

 

One More Thing

Always think of the “one more thing”: what is one more tweet, post, share or like that can be done and where. We went into LinkedIn Groups, Alumni Groups and other areas, and in the home stretch that also helped. So, remember when doing this, stick to the plan and — like you do at the gym — always go for one more thing!

There were many more things that we did behind the scenes as part of our process, but I hope this brings you ideas and thoughts of how you can bring more people to your events through Influencer Marketing. We are all Influencers and have a powerful network once it is activated, it’s just that some of us are new and just starting out. Remember that the largest Influencers started with just a few followers at some point and built up to what you now know. The cool thing is that it is never too late to start.

For many of you this seems way out there, it is new, it is growing, it is changing all the time. If you want to know more or want to get a walk-through of our system, I encourage you to visit our website or our Coaching and Training Platform.

Oh — one more thing, remember as you start your journey, you are never alone as long as you follow the Social Teaming methodology described earlier in this blog post. Please let us know how you do as you grow your brand and yourself as an influencer, we would love to feature you or maybe refer to you during one of our upcoming events. After all, our event clients are always looking for the next up-and-coming influencer!

We will see you online…. Influencing!


With all the hype of the newest features on LinkedIn — video, active status and other cool new features – that were released in the last few weeks, an old popular feature, one that was taken away with the last major release, now returns!

At the Social Jack™ Academy, we had a cool feature called “Network Diving;” this is the simple process of searching your connections’ networks. Well, this feature is now back, and better than ever because now it incorporates the new filtered search system.

We’ll illustrate how it works with an example: let’s say you are going to have a meeting with one of your connections and are going for named referrals, and you would like to have the option to filter ideal connections. With the previous release you would get a list, with no way to search like you used to. Fortunately, now this has changed back to the way it was, where when you click on someone’s connections, it now jumps you to the filtered search like it used to! This is an amazing switch. We caution here that there are a few exceptions, so read on.

You can search within the connections using all the filter options shown below.

The main exceptions here are the following:

1.     If the connection you are “Network Diving” on, i.e. exploring their connections, has their network access turned off, you will not be able to dive unless you have Sales Navigator.

2.     Those of you on Basic (Free) LinkedIn will be able to enjoy only a few selections in the search, then you will be blocked from seeing the rest unless you have Premium LinkedIn. But in my mind, this feature alone is the worth the price!

We are showing this account version chart provided from our friends at Integrated Alliances, thanks Mike O’Neil!

We hope you love this new feature and if you want to learn more of what we call “Power Moves”, please connect with us at our Social Jack™ website. If you are reading this before September 5th, then jump into our next Social Selling class at: http://socialjack.com/linkedin-complete-social-selling-course/ – this is our complete course with On Demand classes, Instructor-Led Coaching Sessions. You will learn more cool fun things like in this article.

Please let us know how this ‘old new’ feature works for you.

We will see you online Network Diving!


So you have been asked to be a guest on a podcast…Great! In the spirit of Influencer Marketing, we hope it receives plenty of traction and social reach. In our previous blog, How to be a Social Influencer, we spoke of being a “Thought Leader” and turning on the “Content Machine”. Fortunately for you, podcasting is a great way to do just that. People get to hear your voice, know your personality, gain insights and knowledge from you, and even better, you can attach the podcast to blogs like this and to social media. In fact, my previous blog references a podcast I was on — speaking about this very topic. Once you follow the steps I describe below, your podcast will also support your efforts in Personal Branding, described in another one of our blogs, Personal Branding – A Great Start to your Social Selling Journey!

With so many of you getting interviewed, we thought we should tell you what to do before, during and after the podcast. For Social Jack™, we have a promotion process for each and every production, whether it be a podcast or webcast, so the best thing to do is understand some critical information about the podcast you are working with. Examples include what is their promotion cycle, what is their timing, etc. We reference this in the following list of steps.

7 Steps to promote your podcast interview

1.    Promote on social media and other outlets 2 weeks before, if the podcast producers have a show schedule that references you. There is typically a website they have for the blog that will mention upcoming shows. You should sync the timing of this “xx” with any posting of your show. If they don’t have one, you can choose to promote a couple of weeks before, no further out than that. Once you’ve done this, you can tag and link back to that show, discussing how you are looking forward to the podcast.

2.    Notify your Team! Remember Social Teaming, it is the essence of teamwork: you’re not doing this this all alone! Tell them you are on this podcast, ask them to watch for social media, ask them to listen and provide feedback and get in the game with you! It’s collaborative, and it’s fun. You will also pick up more podcasts and speaking gigs this way too, it’s proven.

3.    Ahead of schedule, plan to blog about it, then you can have a link to the show from the blog post. This will provide good traffic between your site and theirs (and remember to use ample keywords). Also consider shooting a video talking about the upcoming podcast, or plan one for the release date of the podcast.

4.    Promote the podcast on social media the day of the show recording; some podcast producers promote as well, but others do not because it locks them into a production release schedule.

5.    Once the podcast is published, it’s time for you to go gonzo, tag your show and host, also remember all your channels. Once published, go ahead and cut lose with the blog or update the blog if done ahead of time.

6.    30 and 90 days after: (if relevant to your current business you can thank them and repost) – don’t forget use of #hashtags and @tags!

7.    Forever after…. Keep using the podcast in your content cycle as long as it is relevant!

Now, go do the next podcast interview and keep following this protocol to put yourself out there to support your influencerness (yes, I made up this word just for you!) ?

PRO TIP: Remember to always listen to your blog interview and think about what you could have done better or said better to improve your position as a thought leader. Also, listen to your competitors and colleague’s podcasts as well. You should always be looking for those nuggets to be better.

TOP RESOURCE: We recently did a full course on podcasting with top Podcaster Scott Kitun, from Technori, one of the top-rated media podcasts featured on WGN Radio, here in Chicago. Below is access to the slides; if you would like access to the full class we did, simply go to Social Jack™ and join for a 90-day free trial and you will have access to this class and over 200 others for that period — and weekly coaching, too. This is our gift to you for being part of our community.

To learn more about Podcasting, check out Podcasting 101 Marketing on SlideShare

In closing, let us know when your podcast airs and the team at Social Jack™ will gladly listen and promote your efforts. Remember, we are on your Social Team and we are all in this together!

See you online!


Recently we hosted my good friend Miri Rodriquez from Microsoft at Business Accelerator Webcast sponsored by American Family Insurance — and we learned a lot!

Miri recently shifted roles at Microsoft; from Social Media to Storyteller. Would we even think that this – Storyteller — would ever be a corporate position, and at Microsoft? This digital world really grows in fun and crazy ways! I believe she said Microsoft employs over 1,000 Storytellers.

It might seem easy and cool, but remember she had to switch from Social Media to Storytelling, which meant moving to a much more technical gig. Miri literally has to work with engineers and determine the best way to tell their story.

Let’s share a few simple things we learned from her:

 

1.     They really love to humanize the brand by sharing stories of achievement, and that’s a move I really like. What’s more, they don’t just share the glory, they share all the up’s and downs, keeping it real and totally authentic. Kudos to Microsoft. They talk about Movement, Heroism, Betterment and Destination. If you who know me you also know that I am all about the destination! So remember to keep the story real, make sure to talk about all of it, ranging from your challenges to your wins.

 

 

 

2.     Another key learning for all of us is to stay consistent through personality, tone and purpose; yes, purpose. I like this, we talk about it all the time, but think about sticking to this when at a company the size of Microsoft! When we at @ForwardProgress work on social media accounts, we practice this consistency and integration, and we have a guide for each client on this topic. Microsoft has a platform-based guide that dictates these guidelines and it is the responsibility of the Storyteller to actually read and understand any updates before the next story. Big lesson we can all earn here! Easy, practical and effective.

 

 

 

3.     Remember to build assets and share them on all channels. There are several ways to do this. You can build assets like video on YouTube and connect networks by sharing from one Social Network to another so that you can drive new users to your story. It’s really that easy.

 

4.     Remember to include influencers: just like we are telling a story here about Storytelling and connecting MiriMicrosoftAmerican Family and our brands, you can do the same thing. The goal is to tell your story and include others, don’t go it alone. As you develop your brand, celebrate it with others and allow them to celebrate it too. Remember the other key factor of transparency, notice that Miri has it listed three times above.

 

 

 

Summary with Bonus

To summarize, make sure you know your story; you can even test it with others and get feedback. Then once you have it, “Tell it Well”; it shapes your personal brand and you as a professional. Remember to build some guidelines and content to share, learn and build as you go. Also, remember to tell REAL stories of REAL people and how your company or you helped them achieve their goals. Lastly, don’t go it alone, ask others that care about your mission for help. If you are part of our Social Jack members, use your Social Team, and make sure you put it out there! I will add one thing [it’s the bonus!] as I am going through this myself now: once you land on your story, update your Social Media profiles! Do not forget!

If you would like to see a copy of this broadcast, please see the link below in the Business Accelerator Event Center. You can also get access to hundreds of other articles and previous recordings.

Access to recording:

https://www.dreamfearlessly.com/event/live-webcast-telling-your-brands-story-with-microsofts-miri-rodriguez/

I hope you found this as useful as I did, see you online soon!


Who is Your Social Competition? You Might Be Surprised!

By Dean DeLisle

 

Social Selling

 

When we are looking at organizations we get called into three primary areas with our Social Jack™ Training Programs, Relationship Marketing, Social Selling or Career Advancement. One common theme is that all areas are not only looking to excel in their area and hit their goals, but they have a strong desire to know their social competition, once they know they have social competition!

The first competitor is probably the most obvious, it’s them. They many times are in their own way, they either are holding back from two primary reasons, fear or they hold on to the wrong social network (of people). What we see is that they have fear. They fear of knowing their true identity, what to do or say and who should they connect with among others. So they simply play small or hold back, which means they are in their own way! The second part of this is that they have the wrong network of people, this at the core can be fatal. Even organization construct very unproductive social networks and forget the target customers and partners, so we often have to reorganize out of the gate more than not.

Social Selling

Relationship Marketing Competitors

Your competition here are all the prospect and customers out there on your social network platforms, and in your databases. Are you holding their attention over the competition? We also see the competition look like content and platforms such as websites, landing pages and micro sites.

Social Selling Competitors

This one might be the most obvious depending on the organization. These are also prospects and customers, however they might be in control of your accounts execs, relationship managers, customer service or no one. As an organization it’s your duty to provide structure and training to your sales force, set guidelines, boundaries and a solid attack plan to form an intentional social network so the competition can’t penetrate.

Career Advancement Competitors

Flat out this is where you are in competition with your peers and can be tricky depending on the culture. We see this from two angles the inside out and the outside in. So if you are on the inside, its best to network with your peers and really work together for each other. Unfortunately many cultures don’t allow this so they tend to breed a protective environment and dictate survival of the fittest wins and this can be unproductive and harmful to growth in most cases. It is so much better to approach this from a position of authenticity and relationship. From the outside, it’s great to be in this mode to penetrate the walls of a corporation and take out someone who is in competition for a position you desire. Then remember to shift once you get on the inside, be the thought leader here!

In my next blog on this I will get into how to really take out the competition and what we see as our best techniques used by our Social Jack™ students. Social Jack™ was developed by Dean DeLisle and his team at Forward Progress in response to an overwhelming demand for their social media training and development workshops, which are delivered both in person and online. With SocialJack.com, clients can select their professional destination, map out a plan, and access the coaching and training needed to support them to that destination. They will develop the skills they need to build and manage the social networks required on their journey.

Want to take your strategy to the next level? Join us  on Feb 10th – 11am CST: Social Jack™ hosts “LinkedIn – How to Knock Out Your Social Competition”

Are you wondering why some people are generating new business from LinkedIn and you're not? Or, maybe why your competition is getting in front of your current clients? Join our webinar and learn how to use 5 steps to take out your competition and create new business. Register Here