Category Archives: Social Media

LinkedIn’s Top % Award – What It Really Says About You

seal_in

Love it or hate it, this is a clever little bit of marketing that has divided LinkedIn members.

With LinkedIn now with 200 million profiles – notice that I didn’t say users – LinkedIn decided to reward their most active subscribers with a formal badge of honour.

Look at me! Oh wait hang on a second….

Let’s quickly do some sums here though to understand what it actually means. I have seen several subscribers proudly displaying their “I’ve in the top 10% of LinkedIn” so I thought it was worth breaking down what this actually is.

20% of 200 million = 40 million received these “awards”

10% of 200 million = 20 million received these “awards”

5% of 200 million = 10 million received these “awards”

1% of 200 million = 2 million received these “awards”

To give this a little perspective on this:

20 million people live in New York, California, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio and Dallas……combined.

Or

40 million people is the total population of Argentina

Here Come The “how to be as successful as me on LinkedIn” Services

So why have so many people posted this accomplishment? This has routes in our deeper psychology and self image. We all want to be respected and acknowledged for our contribution and without LinkedIn naming publicly the most viewed profiles they have given their subscribers to do the job for them.

This makes the top percenters feel somewhat exclusive – part of an elite on LinkedIn. It can also have the effect of those who did not receive an award a sense of desire to achieve this badge of honour.

As with all awards it often presents more questions than it answers. For which there is always a market. I expect that there are already some savy social marketers who have started work on their new product “how to be a 5%er on LinkedIn”.

Social proof

And this is why social media will continue to grow. One of our natural mentalities is that of belonging to a pack. In the psychology of influencing social proof is one of the most effective forms of influencing someone – “how many twitter followers do you have?”, “how many LinkedIn connections do you have?” etc. We are hard wired to believe to go with the majority. Social proof isn’t just psychology – it’s biology.

Without getting too scientific our brains evolved over millions of years – developing our use of social proof. It is only in the last few thousand years that the prefrontal cortex developed to provide rational, cognitive thought. And those who say “I’m not swayed by what everyone else does” is engaging this part of their brain.

There are other aspects of influencing psychology that this campaign develops upon very well. But these will have to wait for another time.

Finally consider this:

I was reminded this from a friend high up in the entertainment industry: “Don’t believe your own hype”. Be proud of your accomplishments, your achievements, your contributions and your successes. But be proud of the right ones for the right reasons.

Why Is Your Content Marketing Not Working?

Content is King Bill Gates Ross Kingsland

Content Marketing is consistently poor.

There are many discussions over what good content actually is, however most of it is unfocused, psychologically unsound and poorly executed.

So where is successful content marketing implemented and demonstrated? Rarely is it in large organisations. And they are not to blame for this. It is endemic. Content Marketing in the digital age has only just begun to be exploited. And most senior marketing managers have no experience of it.

But there are those of us out there who not only understand psychology and internet behaviour patterns but use them to our advantage to make content meaningful.

If you take one thing away from my post please let it be this.

All content marketing starts with this mindset: “You can have everything you want, if you help everyone else get everything they want

…….and I dont mean discounts for your “loyal” subscribers.

For a quick start on content marketing – get someone who is an expert on psychology. And I don’t just mean that they have read a book or two. Or partner up with someone who is.

The Content Marketing train is already pulling out of the station – don’t be left behind

How Are You Growing Your Business During A Recession With Limited Budget?

Grow Your Business With Limited Budget

One of the questions that I have received a lot in my inbox since 1st Jan 2013 is this:

“How can I grow my business significantly with little investment?”

I spoke with one of my clients only this morning who was facing this dilemma. He runs a small coaching consultancy, is in the process of writing his first book and wants to launch a seminar to his local community of businesses.

He recognises that his spend on marketing and advertising is limited and wants a good return. I should point out that he is highly intelligent and keen to make a positive impact on the world through sharing his message.

Here are his 2 biggest problems:

  1. His budget for the seminar and it’s marketing is limited
  2. He acknowledges that most companies and individuals are reducing expenditure

Do these problems sound similar to the issues facing your business today?

Let’s tackle these problems in reverse.

Companies and individuals are reducing expenditure

Every time there is a recession two things happen. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It’s an interesting statistic that there are more millionaires created during recessions than at any other time of an economic cycle.

And this isn’t even the domain of the millionaires. High income families always maintain their lifestyle during recessions.

This may sound implausible, so understand the car market which reflects the buying power of our demographics.

Sales of luxury cars are up (and increasing) sales of middle value hatchbacks are continuing to fall (by the way, the car market is the litmus of the confidence of the economy which is why it is always featured so heavily on the news).

The second consideration for “reducing expenditure” is this. The psychology behind companies and individuals reducing expenditure belies a hidden opportunity.

Those companies and individuals are in pain as a result of their perception of the recession. If you are intelligent you can develop a solution to their pain that will help them, not only survive, but thrive during the recession.

If your business is struggling I urge you to seek out someone who is successful during a recession. Anyone can make money during a boom, intelligent growth specialists succeed no matter what.

My budget is limited

Most people fall into this common mindset and are then limited in their thinking of what a solution may be.

I have been sought out for my innovative approaches to business models that leverage relationships so that everyone benefits.

How can you do this?

Strategic Partnerships

Going back to my client he was hoping to land a celebrity keynote speaker with no payment by saying that a percentage of the profits would be donated to his chosen charity.

As you can imagine being on the television he gets many requests like this and when asked, he politely refused.

So when we started working together I approached it in a slightly different way.

I asked my client to approach the celebrity and the charity at the same time, including the individuals on the same email. We worked on the tone and language of the email so that it eloquently put forward a proposition that was beneficial to the objectives of the charity and the celebrity.

As my dad always used to say “what’s in it for the other fella?”

We formed a partnership between us, the celebrity and the charity that would meet their needs ahead of our own.

Outcome

As you can imagine all three partners gained significant local press coverage and we were able to leverage the brand of the celebrity and the charity through a joint marketing.

This didn’t fill the seminar.

What did fill it was the 12 strategic partnerships that we were able to form with other suppliers using this same model.

I hope you use this model and have at least 10% of the success that my client.

Ross

ross@inceptionbusinesssolutions.com

Guest Blog: A Framework To Create A Digital Marketing Team

Digital Marketing Team - Ross Kingsland

Guest blogger, Simon Swan, provides a framework that you can follow to create your own Digital Marketing Team. Simon Swan is a digital marketer who has worked with start ups and large government organisations to develop and instagate strategic digital marketing strategies.  Simon has a wealth of experience and hands on knowledge that has seen him become a trusted advisor in his field. I hope you enjoy it.

http://www.swan-e.co.uk/

@Swanny_s

A Framework To Create A Digital Marketing Team

The rise in digital marketing has created a wealth of opportunities and at the same time, removed barriers to entry to a number of sectors where a start-up, sole trader or large corporation is now competing with one another globally.

So what does this all mean?

For marketers and businesses alike, the rise in digital marketing is changing the business landscape, this means embracing new business models, test the status quo, question the Hippos (Highest Paid Persons Opinion) in your organisation, understanding new marketing tactics and changing yours and the  business mind-set (e.g. not being afraid to trial out and fail on new strategies to connect to your customer, or prospect or community) and more importantly harnessing the right frame of mind to embrace this new world of digital.

But changing your mindset and embracing new strategies is easier said than done and therein lies the problem…

Lack of relevant digital qualifications

There is a distinct lack of digital marketing “qualifications” to support the growth within universities, colleges and schools, all not offering academic options that are aligned to digital for students wanting to specialise in digital communications and marketing (e.g. social media, affiliate marketing, search engine optimisation).

Go and visit a number of organisations and they will claim they “do” digital – unfortunately
that means it’s a dept siloed off in a corner of the organisation, with a small select team to get on with the job. So how can more companies embrace digital? Well below is a handy framework that can be used to understand whether you’re recruiting the right type of skills

Introducing a Digital Marketing Framework

This was taken from a book called Inbound Marketing by Halligan & Shah, and is called theDARC framework.

  • D – Hire Digital Citizens – An understanding of the online environment and can display a working knowledge. It is important your team and individuals understand digital tactics and can display examples. This doesn’t mean having a Facebook account and tweeting random comments but they’re are using digital to support their own interests and hobbies e.g. can demonstrate they have their own blog, they have edited, created and posted videos on YouTube.
  • A – Hire for Analytics – Understanding of digital trends and have a curious and analytical approach to what impacts product sales or why there has been an increase in traffic levels to a specific web page. They should also have a good understanding of spread-sheets and be able to interpret trends.
  • R – Hire for Web Reach – They can display examples of how passionate they are on a subject area through promoting online, perhaps their hobby or interest through a blog, social media and can display examples of how they have increased traffic to their website or blog using  SEO or paid search or retail products through affiliate marketing
  • C – Hire Content Creators – The importance of good content on a website can be a key USP over your competition so look to hire someone with good writing skills and more importantly can write for the web to engage with users. The internet has removed the barriers to creating content, anyone can now create content and publish it to the world. The skill is not necessarily writing content but how your content can stand out from the crowd, what USP can you offer that no one else can and more importantly can you create your own niche?

3 Step Formula For Selling Anything Online

So, let’s imagine that you have developed a trusted relationship with your clients. You have led them through a process of demonstrating trust in your services or products but they don’t know what to do next.

All modern marketers live by the philosophy that you can always improve the effectiveness of your marketing through split testing.

And this is because the market changes so rapidly that we have to keep testing to find what works.

The biggest problem in online selling

Business owners and marketers have struggled with how to “pitch” online with variable results.

Worse case scenario: they have no strategy how to write an offer.

This is dangerous. You usually only have one chance and you can never go back and take the client through the process again. You are losing money at the final hurdle, the last step and it could be easily avoided.

This formula works consistently and across every industry because it is based on psychology. Don’t let the simplicity fool you. It works.

  • Here’s what I got – state what your product or service will do for them
  • Here’s what it will do for you – benefits on a superficial, psychological level and at a deep meta message level
  • Here’s what you need to do next – specific instructions coupled with psychological influencing strategies.

I have mentioned psychology several times during this because the formula without psychology will work. Add psychological influencing principles and your conversion rate increases considerably.

But do not read this idly. Test it against your current page. Only through split testing your web pages can you develop the most converting page for your website.

There Are Only 3 Ways To Increase Revenue

I was working with my personal trainer the other day who came to me with a problem:

“How can I grow my client base?”

One of the principles I learnt very early on in my career was that the first question that someone asks you is rarely the real question they want answered. What he really wanted to know was “how can I make more money?”.

While this question obviously has a lot more depth behind it, for the purpose of this blog I will tell what I told him.

“There are only 3 ways that you can increase your revenue.

1. Increase the number of clients you work with

2. Increase the revenue per transaction per client

3. Increase the frequency that they purchase”

That’s it. Now, the secret to this answer is this. Each principle can be ranked according to how easy it is to achieve.

Increase revenue per transaction per client.

This is by far the easiest principle to implement. You set out an up front “contract” of the service that you will deliver against how much it will cost the client to achieve that result. Once you have a client in your system they develop loyalty to you (if you are genuinely providing an outstanding service) and will stay with you even if your fees increase.

Increase the frequency that they purchase

If clients working with you they are predisposed to give you money for your services. Why not – they are already doing it so there is already implicit trust established and bonding the two of you. As their trusted advisor, coach, mentor, trainer if you recommend something they are much more likely to purchase this based on the trust that they already have in you.

Increase the number of new clients that you work with

By far the “hardest” of the three as you are going out into the marketplace to attract new clients to you. This is where most marketers spend most of their time looking at new ways to reach a niche with the latest technologies. When marketed exceptionally the results are very high, executed good to average the results are average at best. Competition is too intense to be anything less than exceptional – long gone are the days when just about any form of marketing and advertising worked.

Assess what principle you are currently using. Assess what principle the best in your industry are using. I guarantee this. Most of the top names in most industries communicate more to their own customers than they do trying to attract new customers.

Why? Because they recognise the power of word of mouth and viral information in our world which is more powerful than any marketing message that they can craft that might meet some of the wants and needs of new customers.

How Do You Develop A Relationship With Clients On Email?

 

When I ask business leaders, CEOs and Managing Directors where does most of their business come from the reply, 99% of the time, is the same.

From our existing customer base.

Yet very few businesses have a strategy on how to continutally engage, upsell, cross sell or sell more to our existing customers. Instead 80% of budgets and usually more, will be spent on attracting new customers.

So let’s turn that on it’s head.

How do we leverage our customer base so it is generating revenue at an optimal level.

The psychology behind increasing sales from within our existing customer base is that they have already bought from you, or at the very least are on your mailing list. You have a dialogue, and from that you can start to build trust.

You will, of course be segmenting your lists of customers to establish at what stage of the customer cycle they are at and how you want to move them along.

No? Well let’s leave that for another day. In the meantime let’s focus on developing a relationship with a client.

Newsletters are dead

Just because it is news to you doesnt mean that anyone else cares. In the 3 second world we live in today, unless your communication instantly speaks to your client they will ignore – or worse – unsubscribe.

The Trust Bank Balance

Trust in you is very low. First you need to start increasing that trust through thought through, deliberate trust building communication. As you repeat this their level of trust in you will slowly increase. Then when you are at a stage where they trust in your AND see the results then ask them for the money.

If you do it before this you are likely to wind up the same as every other company out there – shouting at the customer to try and get them to part with their hard earned money.

There are several ways to do this which I will share with you in a later blog.

Why Isn’t Your Marketing Campaign Working?

Tell me if this sounds familar.

You have read all the books, gone on the courses, maybe even invested in some marketing “experts” to help with your marketing.

And for a while it worked. You started to see some return on your investment. Sales increased. Then things slowed down and you were back to where you were.

And it’s not your fault. The marketing “experts” used to be “experts”. But in the marketing landscape of 2012, those techniques no longer work and here’s why.

Traditional marketing follows the theory that if the market wants something then if you put something out there in that space and position it correctly people will buy it. This just doesnt work anymore for a reason.

People are predisposed to ignore you. They have to. There is so much information flying in their direction that they make decisions in nanoseconds to just keep up.

So marketing experts then said “you need to stand out more! Differentiate yourself!”

The only problem with this is that people diversified and differenitated themselves so much that it went full circle and now no one is differentiated.

What is the purpose of all marketing messages? To connect with someone for long enough that they will not click “back” or throw you in the recycling bin. And how do we do this?

By first speaking to the indiviudal on a personal basis.

Here I mean approach your prospective clients as you would a friend. As a person you respect.

Here’s the test. Imagine you are checking your emails and you see an email from your best friend.

You know they’ve got something of interest to tell you and you trust them to not send you spam. You then open the email and read what they have written and usually respond to thank them at least.

What has been your experience? Amongst all the noise and shouting of people trying to get your attention the person who speaks quietly and get’s through.

There are a lot of ways to do this. Firstly become an expert of understanding human psychology – afterall it underpins everything we ever do – or at the very least find someone who is that is.

Is the decoupling of number of facebook users and share price a concern for us all?

Emperors New Clothes?

Social media. We all talk about how important it is. We are all aware of its impact on society. The question is really – Is it actually going to grow my business?

I am always amazed at people who proclaim social media to be critical to the growth of their company and revenue. Well again here is the biggest example of that NOT being true. Facebook has over 1 billion users and yet it’s share price continues to fall as revenue projections consistently fail to materialise. Bigger is not better.

And maybe we can see this already closer to home. I have attended several networking events with social media “experts” and “gurus”. Thing is, anyone can call themselves a guru or expert last time I checked there was no certified body handing these qualifications out. Anyway, they are all stood around plying their trade to desparate companies who are trying anything to keep revenue coming in.

My concern with this is this: if you are so good at social and online media – why are you even here? All of your business should be coming through your online activity?

Talk the talk or Walk the Talk?

How can you immediately find out how “good” they really are? Go to their twitter account or facebook page and check how many “likes” or “followers” they actually have. You will be very surprised.