Even a Superhero needs Help

“If I could be a superhero
I would be… Awesome Man
I’d fly around the world fighting crime
According to my awesome plan
And if I saw criminals trying to lie
Hurting other people and making them cry
I’d haul them off to jail in my awesome van
‘Cause I would be Awesome Man”

— Stephen Lynch, “Superhero”

I read a blog post a few days ago entitled ‘you are your own superhero’. In the post Chris Brogan talks about how you do not have to wait for someone else to save you. You can and should save yourself.

I have been thinking about that post since I first read it. It really spoke to me and the fact that I am in control of my destiny; just as you are in charge of yours. As I was contemplating my superhero status (probably reveling is a better word) my household erupted into a dog fight, literally.

With my new found superhero status, I swooped in to save the day! Dunt da tad-a dah! Except the dogs were unimpressed with my superhero status. After three days of mayhem, I realized that my superhero status does not mean I am a super human! I needed professional help!

Sometimes in life, we get so caught up in the ‘I can do it’ mentality, that we forget we are not super humans. I can not do all, be all, know all. Sometimes I need help!

Part of being your own superhero, is knowing when you need to push harder and do it yourself and when you need to let go and bring in assistance.

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You Can’t Choose Others Thoughts but Can Own Yours

Today I am taking a few days off to celebrate my 14th Anniversary.

I still want to leave you inspired. So head on over to Chris Brogan’s Blog and read about untangling you life from those around you.

As Chris says ‘We can’t choose how our relatives feel about us. We can’t choose how our loved ones think about us and react to us. We can’t alter how those people at work speak about us when we’re not there. None of that is ours.

YOU OWN YOUR HEAD

What you can do, however, is work on yourself, is accept yourself as you are right now, is start to fuel your own personal inner fire of belief without any external sources. It’s not that you don’t value the thoughts of friends and people you love, but instead, that you accept them as simply that: thoughts and input from the outside world. If every time you speak to a group of people, they yawn and look away, accept that maybe you’re boring them, but don’t take it any further than that. Don’t read minds. Just take that information and decide what you want to do about it.’

 

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How Relationships Improve Sales (post from Chris Brogan)

How Relationships Improve SalesJanuary 2, 2010 · Comments

glynne soaps I was in the shower yesterday morning and found myself thinking, “we’re almost out of Glynne soaps.” Now, what’s weird about this is that Glynne soaps sent me review products last summer, and it was good, but let’s think about it. It’s soap. I can buy soap very easily at my grocery store, where I go all the time. Why should I have Glynne Soaps in my mind? Why should I buy them?

 

Relationships Help Sell

It doesn’t hurt that the product is really good, but what made them come to mind was all the times we’ve chatted on Twitter, and/or seeing their social media conversations unfurl on Facebook and other platforms. They’re friendly. They’re part of the story. They’re here.

It’s not enough, obviously. Being around and chatting with me on Twitter doesn’t help if your product stinks. But here’s where it helped: when I realized that I was almost out of soap, they were top of mind. 

How Do You Stay There?

I think this is the meat of most marketing. How do you stay top of mind with your customer? Let’s stick with soap. I’ll presume you use it daily (or mostly daily), but it’s not something that you think about.

In the old days, advertisers kept a brand top of mind by repeatedly pushing ads into our vision. Axe spends tons and tons convincing me that their products will make women go wild if I use them. Dove tells you that you’ll be very beautiful if you use them. Soap, of all products, is well known for working hard on staying top of mind. Remember the “soap” in “soap operas?”

To stay top of mind in the modern space, I think you have to be there. You have to be one of us. At least part of it is that. I can’t see Ford throwing away their campaigns and just count on Scott Monty to build relationships (though he’s definitely wearing the Ford colors in a powerful way). But it has to be both. 

The Difference Might Be the “Both”

If you’re Glynne Soaps, you can’t pay for full spread magazine ads and soap operas. You can spend time on social platforms meeting people, talking to them about their stuff (and not just soap). Maybe you don’t pick up the ad campaign for a while, but that would be at an inflection point.

If you’re big, you do both. Ads alone don’t cut it. If you’re Pepsi, you maybe do the campaign, but you also put the humans in the game (like Bonin Bough and team).

It depends on the product, I believe. There are “commodity” transactions where I don’t care. But the other thing is, we all have different opinions on what we care about or don’t. For instance, I don’t really care who changes the oil in my car, but because of my conversations with Sullivan Tire on Twitter, that’s where I’ll probably go because they’re top of mind. 

What Can We Do?

I think it’s a choice. I think that if you’re a bigger brand, you have more to think about. If you’re a smaller brand, this almost feels like a “must” at this point, trying out social media conversation channels. You might not get the mix right. You might have to experiment until you find what gets people to respond and take action in a relationship-minded way. But without starting to experiment, you won’t find it.

Will soap companies that make relationships on Twitter clean up? I’ve got a hunch they’ll do better than not. But is it all just a matter of working us up into a good lather? I don’t think so.

Start by observing other brands in other verticals and how they’re getting it done. Then experiment. Try making relationships before trying to sell. And be ready to apologize. You will likely make mistakes. But I think there’s some gold in this, done right.

Want some people to observe? On Twitter, check out:

@Glynnesoaps
@RSHotel
@SullivanTire

And maybe you. Are you a smaller brand building relationships one at a time? Brag it up in the Twitter feed.

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The Golden Compass

Traditionally this week, the week between Christmas and New Year, is the time business is expected to be slow. Many businesses will shut down completely for this week. For some of us it a week of reflection on the year past and a week of making plans for the year to come. I’ve never been one to make resolutions; however, I am a huge fan of goal setting. I like to look at the big picture of where I want to be and think about the avenues for making those goals reality.

While I can not say this year is really different, I did read an article a couple of days ago by Chris Brogan which has made me think in a different direction. Actually, since reading the article I have thought of little else. The crux of the article is that you choose three words which will serve as ‘compass points’ to guide you through the coming year. (I make no claim to do the concept justice – really, just go read it).

I loved the concept and have decided to adopt it for 2010. The hard part has been finding my three words (three is such small number). My first word was an easy choice. It is quite literally a life or death choice for me. The prevailing word for me in 2010 is HEALTH. The last year has seen my size grow, my chest tighten (and not in a good way), my blood pressure rise, and my blood sugar spin out of control.

My second word may not seem as important, but it is what I have forgotten to include in my life. It is really what make is all worthwhile, FUN. I am looking forward to finding my golf game and giving my pool a workout. After all, all work and no play has made Gayle a dull girl.

Lastly, but by no means least, I have chosen FAITH as my third word. The obvious first connotation of this word is of a spiritual nature, and I am not down playing this aspect. However, I also chose the word because I have struggled with my faith in mankind. I have developed the heart of a cynic and I am having faith that by choosing faith as a compass point for 2010 I can again feel hopeful for the future.

I am calling these three little words my Golden Compass for 2010. They may not equal the traditional Golden Parachute but I am anxious for the ways they will not only enrich my life but enrich the relationships of my life.

What three words are you choosing as your compass this year?

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How Can I Help

We all have experts we trust. Whether it is your uncle Joe, a Teacher, a Mentor, or just some person you know through the internet. We all have those people. Hopefully it is a group of people and not just one person. One of my trusted advisors is Chris Brogan. I have been a faithful and dedicated reader of Chris’ Blog for quite some time. I also follow Chris on Twitter.

If you have read my about me page, you know I own a business which makes All Natural Soaps (actually, it’s now skin care as we have lotions, body scrubs, etc in addition to our soaps) anyway, back in the spring I send Chris a DM (direct message via twitter) and asked him if he would use my soap, if I sent him some. It was a new product for us, Beer Soap. Evidently, I peaked his interest and he agreed to use our soap. He subsequently wrote about our soap and more importantly our social networking via his blog. This single act solidified my love of social media.

Since that time, my soap business has grown. My social networking has increased. I had reached a point where others were seeking my advice. Then I was presented with an opportunity to assist other small business owners with using twitter and facebook in their own businesses. I have the attitude that anything I can do to help a fellow traveler would help me, even if just for the joy of sharing knowledge.

I see Biz Buzz Social as a means to help other small business owners overcome the hurdles associated with learning a new means of communication. This may take the form of consultations, help getting set up and started or actual maintenance of accounts.

Let me know how I can help.

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