Archive for January, 2013

40 Social Media Tips for the Over 40s

Posted on January 27, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Well, these are actually tips for anyone, yet I thought 40 tips for the over 40s had a bit more of a ring to it!

And here we go… Oh, why do this?  Well there seems to be a bit of confusion and a heck of a lot of fax pas/mistakes/errors/blunders about social media and I think that there are some straightforward strategies that can help people,

1. Social media is a public domain – what is said/written on social media stays there. Forever. An old rule of thumb I used to use was to ask myself how I’d feel if what I was about to say (or write) ended up on the front page of the newspaper and read by my Mum.

2. The title says it all: social (so it is about networks and communities) and media (which is about reputation and brand) What you say in front of, to and about a community is part of what creates people’s impressions of you. There is no “oh but what I really meant” Too late! If in doubt, refer to point #1.

3. Why should I do it? For business people, my response is that if your target market or customers hang out on social media and you want to be part of their group, then that’s where you go too. For personal social and friend interaction – like minded people hang out together.

4. Do not try to have both personal and business accounts together. Yes the business account needs to have a personal touch and a sense of who you are.  Trying to combine business and private lives hasn’t worked well for many people in the past, so why should doing it on social media sites be any different.

5.Choose your connections/followers/friends carefully.  Just like in real life – people form impressions of you based  (in part) by the people you are seen in the company of.  Before you connect with someone on LinkedIn check out their profile and connections. Follow people on Twitter who you have an interest in. Always be aware that their posts/comments will be seen on your page by your connections.

6. There are a heap of tools to help – bit.ly shortens links so you can meet the 140 character limits on twitter, tweet deck and hootsuite allow you to schedule posts and track trends, etc

7. Be original – people connect with you, not your ghost writer or staff. Sure it’s OK to re-post things you like from others, just make sure that your “voice” is still there.  Otherwise it’s like calling your best friend and staying on the phone with their brother. It’s ok, just not why you called.

8. Check out the rules and guidelines for each mode – and follow them.  There are some great video guides for LinkedIn, facebook is clear and public about its rules.

9. Manage your time – these sites can be amazingly good at chewing up hours of your time. From a business perspective, is that how you want to spend a day a week? Not really. For the social amongst us – remember that humans crave contact so still make sure you hook up face to face and in person with your friends.

10. Social media communities are like any group – there are moods and trends, and people joining need to build their credibility and our trust before they start asking for loads of stuff.  Otherwise someone who asks lots and gives little, or nothing, may find themselves ostracised.

11. Trying to be all things to all people never works. In person or on social media.

12. Stay aware that what you say and do is a reflection of you. Is this really what you want people to see of you?

13. Be grateful for and appreciative of your friends, connections and followers. Treat them appropriately.

14. Be ready to disconnect or unfriend if folks do things that are uncomfortable or inappropriate for you. Yes it can be hard, yet someone who posts lots of swear words (for example) is not who I want to be connected with. In real life or on social media.

15. Tell stories and share. It’s like a conversation.

16. Remember that a picture tells a thousand words – be prepared to share images as well.

17. Be present. Like our real friends, you cannot create or be part of a soclal media community and pop in once a year. (some of us have families where we do that!)

18. Keep up to date and be current. Especially if you are online for business purposes, make sure what you are posting is up to date.

19. Put your face to what you say and do – unless you have a separate and distinct personal account which you do not want linked to your business or work life. (I have friends who have two profiles because they wish their private lives to be private – and open with those in that circle. That’s cool with me.)

20. Select the pictures of you that are posted with care. How appropriate is it for a senior staff member to have pics of them drunk on a site where they can be seen by colleagues and/or clients?  Remember, that this creates an impression.

21. LinkedIn is like a business version of facebook – and therefore the nature/type of content posted is more professional and less about the personal.

22. New platforms are developing all the time – check them out.

23. Join only the ones you want to. And the ones that you can dedicate time to maintaining.

24. Keep your profile info up to date. It gives people something to talk about!

25. Understand how the connections work – many sites will send an update to your connections if you make a change. It’s a quick way of updating and staying in touch.

26. Have some fun, show your personality.

27. Put something in – contribute, share your expertise and comments. Be nice.

28. Be respectful of others. Just because there is a keyboard and not a face in front of you does not mean you can slang off at people. Bullying is bullying whether typed or said.

29. Remember that google thrives on information. The more presence you have on social media the more “hits” google will have when it searches. That can be a good thing if that is what you want.

30. It is a truly global community – or can be. Remember time zone differences and also language. We Aussies have some terms that are unfamiliar to many others, and we also use the same word to mean different things. Be aware of this.

31. Do not expect to make money directly from social media. Some do, not everyone does.

32.Post regularly yet avoid overwhelming or spamming people. Remember the phrase too much of a good thing.

33. Think before and as you post – most of us have seen some truly cringeworthy posts by others. (And the newspapers have also had a field day with a couple of CEOs who forgot that their social media site was in the public domain)

34. Research – google your name and check out what comes up. Without logging in, just look at what you can see about yourself online. Or google someone you know and look at how much is open to anyone to read.

35. Stay safe. Be wary of how much personal information you provide. There are stalkers around and there are people who will steal your identify. There are also people who pose as others online. Take care of yourself.

36. Don’t try to friend everyone – you’ll find it really hard to keep up with their posts and updates if there are too many.

37. Remember that we are all different – there will be times where someone does something that seems odd. Like any friend, you might check in with them to see that all is OK before cutting them off, or changing your view.

38. Relax and have some fun. Yes that might seem inconsistent with what I’ve just been saying about safety etc. Take it easy with social media, take it slow and tread thoughtfully with a smile. It could be a heap of fun.

39. Go first where most of your friends or clients are already. Then decide if you want or need to create other social media profiles and activities.

40. Social media is for anyone anywhere. You can choose to ignore it and you’ll survive, as long as you have other channels for connecting with friends and clients.

Well, there you have it – 40 tips.  There are many specific things I could say about each of the platforms, but these principles apply across the board.

This is really important folks.  Several of my clients have come to me after having challenges at work because they have mismanaged their social media profile. I’ve guided some of my clients in their careers before they hit those problems using some of these tips. I hope they help you too.

Happy to help individuals or teams to navigate the waters of social media and reputation management.

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When Something Going Wrong is Actually Something Going Right!

Posted on January 22, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Don’t you agree?  There are times when things “go wrong” and when you look back on it you realise that the “wrong”thing was actually the “right”thing, or the best thing that could have happened.

OK, I realize this could be a little confusing.  Let me explain…ok

Have you ever had something planned, or been doing something – like having a conversation – and things just don’t go to your plan?  For example the conversation goes off on another tangent that you hadn’t anticipated – but it opens up a whole new thinking and action process for one or both of you. Or it gets you onto a topic that you never knew you had in common and hence a friendship is formed or strengthened.

Have you ever had that happen? That’s what I mean by something going “wrong” is actually OK.

Initially it can feel disappointing and frustrating and then you realize that it was actually better that way.  Usually.

An experience of mine last week certainly fit the bill of being a better outcome!

biker in gearI had decided to travel by motorcycle to a client meeting.  We’ve been working together for a while and parking is usually difficult around her place of work, and so I thought  “yay, a chance to get out on the bike”  I was also meeting with a newer client and there was a little doubt in my mind about her reaction to the motorcycle (and the associated protective gear that I wear – very different to my usual corporate wardrobe!)

And then there was the weather – it had been forecast as a very hot day – so I was going to have a severe case of “helmet hair” (flat and sweaty from the 40 minute ride) as well as a probably red face from being hot. My protective riding gear is great but it does make you feel hot and sticky. I’ve overcome these things before and I decided I could do it again. (For we women that is where make up and perfume come in really handy!)

Then there was the fact that the bike was low on fuel.  But I believed that I was on the reserve tank and would be ok.  I left home a little later than planned and rather than fuelling up near home and possibly being late, I thought I could make it to the meeting and fuel up on the way home.

Guess what, I was wrong! Very wrong.

I used a major arterial roadway to get from home to the meeting.  There was a lot of traffic due to an earlier truck break down causing things to bunch up and it was about 1.30 in the afternoon. I was about 3 or 4 kilometers from my exit (about 6 kilometers from my destination) when the bike gave me signs that it was out of fuel.  At the time I was riding in the middle lane at about 8o kilometers an hour. With traffic all around me.

The signs were very strong that I was out of fuel and I immediately looked for a gap and pulled left into a space and then straight into the emergency stopping lane. Where the engine died. No power whatsoever. Nothing. Just as I had got into the emergency stopping lane.

Rats says I.Or words to that effect!

Stranded.     Stuck. bike stuck Worried about the streams of traffic flying past while I am in the emergency stopping lane. With nothing that I can do – there are no footpaths beside major arterials! And nowhere to walk. It’s designed for four lanes of traffic.

Grr, I’m going to be late or need to cancel.

I called for support and a roadway vehicle arrived, with fuel which got me started and able to head off – and home for a cool shower.

In the time I was waiting I emailed (from the smart phone of course) and rescheduled both meetings quite easily)

So it all worked out OK, kind of. And then I started to think about what had happened.

So what’s the good thing you might be asking? Well there is more than one!

First up was the fact that I made it to the safe side of the road without being hit by another vehicle.  Which given the speed with which I used my last fuel (remember that it was a hot day which may have helped some fuel evaporate, as well as the fact that I could only guess how much I had because I only have a main or reserve fuel tap, with no actual gauge to measure just how much or how little petrol is still in the tank.

In addition, the next day when I was driving that section of road I saw that where I stopped was the last safe stopping area for the next 3 kilometers.  Yes, the emergency stopping lane that I pulled into was quite short and ran out about 200 meters ahead of where I pulled over.  If the bike had run for even 200 metres more I would have been toast. See the opportunity

Then there was the fact that it actually got hotter later in the day so I would have been really sticky and uncomfortable for my meetings. Not the circumstances that usually allow you to perform at your best. And then having to ride home in the heat and peak hour traffic would have been really tough.

Finally, the fact that I went home earlier than planned opened up some time that day where I was able to tackle another issue and resolve it – so a problem was solved and thus off my mind. Cancelling those two meetings gave me a gift of time – during which I took a call and signed up a new client!

So I had a very lucky escape.  Sure I was (and am) embarrassed about running out of fuel.  In the 20 years I have held my license this is the first time I have run out of fuel.

What I also want to reinforce here is the choice I made. (yes, beyond the one not to fuel up before I left hee hee)

choice signI had the choice to be down on myself and angry about missing those meetings.

I had the choice to run late (I got going in time to be half an hour late for the first one).

I had the choice to hang on to those feelings and the situation being “wrong” or not what I’d planned.

I had, and took, the choice to accept it.  To look for what positives I could take from it.

And yes I have learned that pushing the limits of the reserve tank has big risks. I learned that I am a very lucky lady because I safely came out of what could have been a serious if not fatal crash. (I had limited ways of signalling to traffic behind me that I’m stopped on a bike – hands in the air means no control over the handlebars and also relies on the driver behind to see me, recognise that I’ve stopped and be able to stop themselves in time before they hit me. Same for the vehicle behind them!)

I learned that rescheduling meetings is OK with people – when you have and share a valid reason and when it is not a regular occurrence. It also gave me a little more time to reflect and deeply prepare – although I had done that already, I took the extra chance to check over things one more time in my mind.

curious not judgemental

How many times do we judge events and ourselves based on what we planned as opposed to either how we responded/adapted or the outcomes we achieved?

Which do you really think is more important?

Really?

As Walt Whitman says, “Be Curious, not Judgemental” about ourselves as well as about others.  I chose to be curious about how I could make an initially awful situation into something different and better. As you can see, it didn’t take long. Can you try that for yourself?

If you lead a team of people, can you apply anything from this to your team?

I’d be curious to hear how you go.

 

 

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New Year time for a change?

Posted on January 2, 2013. Filed under: my career, personal leadership |

New Year new ideas?

New Year new ideas?

Happy 2013 – well that’s usually how we start a new year isn’t it?

Feeling happy about the opportunity for a fresh start.

Excited at the prospect of new beginnings.

Inspired to put a year behind us that perhaps did not work out the way we planned or hoped.

Feeling t hat this year is going to be your year!

Well, I think that all sounds great.

One question though – if we want change, we must be prepared to do something different. Because if we keep doing the same things and expecting different results, well I think I’ve quoted Einstein on that one before! 🙂

And that is, I believe, where many of us stumble – we know what we want as the end goal, yet we may not be entirely clear on how to get there or what we need to do to get there. That’s usually where a coach comes in handy by helping us to plan out what we need to do in order to achieve our goals.

In fact, sometimes a coach has a different role – to tell us what we need to do differently rather than just what needs to be done.

You see there are times where people are doing the right thing, just going about it in a way that is not going to generate the desired result for them.

It is what you do and how you do it that counts

It is what you do and how you do it that counts

Let me use an example.

Most of us have been through a gym or fitness program that incorporated weights. And one of the first things that a good coach/trainer/instructor teaches is the “form” or technique to use – so you work the targeted muscle groups and do it in a way that does not injure you or create undesired results.

And that is one reason that group programs work well – because you have a cost effective way of seeing how it should be done (by watching the instructore) as well as how others are doing it. For some people this is precisely why group coaching does not work because they watch others rather than the instructor and get distracted by the technique or questions of other people. Or the pace and weight use dby others – for those of you who have a competitive streak I’m sure you’ll understand exactly what I mean!

Returning to my New Year new idea/time for a change theme – if you have decided that you want more or different things from your work (whether it be your business or your career) in 2013, then you need to think about how you are going to make that happen.

Do you need to do new things?

Do you need to stop doing some things? (anyone who has looked at the “new year, new body” articles that seem to be everywhere you’ll be thinking of stopping or cutting down on your alcohol intake. And in fact that may not be a bad thing career wise either – too many people have drunk too much at a business function and later regretted something they said or did.

Do you need a coach to help you clarify what you need to keep doing, although in a slightly different way?

Some of my coaching clients have been doing the right things – just not quite enough of them – or (more often) not quite doing the right things. One of my clients decided that having an active  social media profile would be a good thing. Trouble is she got a little cuaght up in the social side of things and started to blur the lines between her work and social life.

Once it's said, or typed, the words can't be taken back

Once it’s said, or typed, the words can’t be taken back

Please understand that I’m saying here that social media is good – it’s just like any tool and needs to be used with thought.

This client had built a good range of followers – some influential people and good relationships – but she also had

followers of a social nature. As you can imagine the type of posts made by friends are very different to those made by work colleagues.

And it started to have a negative effect on her career. Because the sort of things that friends discuss are often not appropriate to be discussed in front of or with work colleagues. Let alone senior people who you are trying to influence in order to take your career to the next level. Or ideal prospective business associates.

There have been some recent blunders made in business terms – think of the sponsorship that was refused from Energy Watch because of their CEOs comments. What about the CEO of GoDaddy who lost some business because of his hunting of edangered species? Sure, both of those examples were of comments that would not really be acceptable to friends either.

As you plan ahead for how to make 2013 your year – consider who may be able to help you along the way.

Do you know someone who can give you some finesse and fine points on making better choices?

Do you know someone who will say to you what others may shy away from saying even though it will help your career? I once worked with a young lady who dressed quite provocatively and could not understand why she was unable to get a role in her desired area of audit. It was one of those “everyone knows why” situations yet I was the only person able to say it to her – and in a professional way – so that she understood that the dress code for a professional office environment needed to be different to that of a social outing.

If you want 2013 to be your year, and you’d like some support please give me a call. We can chat briefly about your goals and if I can help, because I just may be able to assist you to fast track your career success. And wouldn’t that be a great way to start the year?

fast track your career in 2013

fast track your career in 2013

career fast track men

fast track your career in 2013

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