Who are you a fan of, who gets your attention, have you told them, if not, do it, tell them in as many ways as you can. We all look for validation, it doesn’t matter from whom really, we’ll take the praise from people we may never know, we just need to feel important, what’s sad about this need is, we’re already important!
Something we should be doing, giving away, and not waiting for someone to give it to you, we should be helping others get what they want, by giving recognition, and making sure they are aware that they make a difference in your life. It doesn’t matter how they make a difference, as long as they do, and it’s positive and helps you hold your head higher.
I’m a fan of a number of people, sometimes for what they do, but mostly for who they are, I look for the deeper person, I’m always assessing the heart. With that in mind, I thought I would share some of my fans with you, some I know personally, some I have yet to meet, but they all touch my world on some level that makes me want to do more, and I feel better about myself.
I’m calling this the Fan Series, these precious few, and in no particular order, the first does not mean I like them more than the others, I’m just sharing in a very random order : ) I have not told any of these great people I’m writing about them, I’ll let you do that : ) I hope that covers any angst.
Teri Conrad – Conversations That Matter!
MAD love affair with IDEAS, Brand, Debate and Exploration; Culture; Digital Strategy, Sociology, Media and PR. Passionate about genuine connection and the power of ’enchantment’ and having #ConversationsThatMatter! Social Media / Business Strategist / Connector / Speaker / Facilitator / Real Estate / Over Thinker!
I’ve known Teri a few years, we’ve met many times, but I’m certain she has no idea how she makes my world a better place. It’s possible, she has no idea how I feel towards her, but I value her as person first, and hopefully a friend second (I’ll let her decide). I’m always watching her online presence, and she provides great ideas and content (I like the ideas more, cause she’s smart). Teri is a very passionate person, she’s very infectious, you can’t help but be drawn in by her laugh and wit. I hope you all get the opportunity to spend time with her, more importantly, if you ever get the opportunity to work with her as a client, you’ll be in awe of how she does what she does.
You can find Teri on almost all the mainstream social networks, constantly sharing, connecting, and setting the example of how to use branding and PR. I urge you to take the time to reach out to her, and begin a very special relationship. I am proud to say, I am a fan of Teri Conrad.
Rather than rip her BIO and details, I’ll just give a link to her website, you can do your own assessing: http://www.tericonrad.ca – let her know you read about her on my blog, I think she would be surprised and pleased. Thanks Teri for being who you are, you are making the world a better place, I pray you stay true to yourself. Keep making your art!
It amazes me how afraid business owners are of giving something of value away, that fear of loss prevents them from learning something special about themselves and their customers. Typically, if they aren’t afraid, they are trying to dump a loss leader item that is costing them money, not because it adds value to their customer base. It’s a way of justifying a bad buying decision, let’s just get rid of it, rather than invest in it and do something special for our customers. If that’s you, why not rethink how you can bundle that bad buying decision and turn it into something customers could use and actually want.
Maybe you’re not one of those businesses trying to dump a product that didn’t sell like you thought it would, maybe you’re just trying to figure out how to bring up the bottom line during a down cycle in sales. It doesn’t really matter what or when, it does matter how view and think about incorporating FREE into your business. The benefits of free are mind-boggling sometimes, there are examples of business, large and small, that took the risk and came out looking like the most amazing company ever!
From very large organizations, to individuals, people who saw the value in their customers, not their wallets. The by-product of the interaction and free, was in the end, customers opening their wallets…or they became your largest PR & Marketing machine. You know, the kind of advertising you could never buy or afford.
Most of you know who Gary Vaynerchuck is, he gave away his Wine Library TV content, most of you know who Seth Godin is, he opened up Squidoo, and you get to use it for free, they both practice the Open & Free Business Model, in their own unique way, but that’s the they’re selling advantage. They gave content away, good content, and or provided a service that didn’t force you to open your wallet. They also did it for a considerable length of time, they built credibility. WestJet over Christmas used FREE as a way to not only show they value customers, but they did something no one saw coming. The setup a kiosk where you scanned your boarding pass and Santa appeared asking what you wanted for Christmas, hours later when those who participated landed, Westjet presented each of them with the gift they asked for by sliding it down the baggage carousel for them to pickup. It was brilliant, it was dubbed a #WestjetChristmas, and it was risky too. It doesn’t matter how much they spent on the gifts, they got it back and then some with the PR that came from it.
Watch the video:
No, not everyone can do what WestJet did, but you can do something. And no, not everyone needs your product or service, but someone does, and they’re looking for you, online and off. Keep in mind, what you think should be given away for free, may not be of value to your customer base, it’s a double-edged sword if you get it wrong. You must know your client base, understand some of their basic needs. You must have some data to work with to get the strategy right, to make sure it succeeds. Don’t just give something away for the sake of giving it away, make sure you think it through, and build something around it that makes it engaging, people want to be a part of it. Hire the right people to help you, don’t rely on your own brain power, get outside help, they will see your business from a different paradigm.
The Future of Business is leading people on a journey, giving them something they didn’t really need but wanted, to be a part of what you are doing anyway. Plus, your product or service actually solved a problem, or helped them get to the next level. You provided value because you valued them first. The Open & Free Business Model is a way to make a difference in your business, to make a difference in your customers view of you and your business. Use your business to make the world a better place.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. We’ve all heard it before, and we’ve all said it, and yet we expect different results. That’s the definition of insanity right? Doing the same things over & over again expecting different results. We know it’s true, we tell people this all the time, and yet we don’t change our habits, worse yet, we don’t change our thinking.
If technology is changing the world, and changing the way we move products & services, why do we practice the same connecting exercises? Why do we still hold on to old ways of thinking? We hold networking events, we hand out business cards, we shake hands, eat lunch and then never really stay connected. Many attend networking events because they truly believe this is the way to build a business. For small tiny businesses and MLM’s, this will be the normal way of building business, the rest of us have to start paying attention to the way business really is, and how it’s changing.
The problem is business, it’s you. Most of us claim we like change, but when the metal meets the meat, we’re not totally honest with ourselves and those around us. It’s easy to spot, you say it, and then 5 years later, nothing changed. You might be thinking, Owen sure is being hard on me, you’d be right. This blog and my work is about you, to help you see business differently, to make you think, and most of all, help you change how you view business, how you think about your business. Clearly, I’m failing on a massive scale, I apologize for that, I’ll keep trying harder to find ways to reach the very depths of your hearts and brains.
If the problem wasn’t you, things would be different, right? The innovators would never innovate the same thing twice, you would never practice the same bad business practices twice, it would all be different. You’ll notice I didn’t say better.
I challenge you to sift through this blog, read much of the content, and then….make notes on how you see your business, I’ll bet it’s different. I’ll bet you find yourself a little uncomfortable, and wanting to stay in the comfort zone you’re in, that would be a mistake in my humble opinion. You should embrace the change, you should be excited about the future of business and how it will be different than the way you were taught. The problem will always be you, you can never point the finger at someone else.
If you keep using old networking practices, you will continue to reap the same results, and you will notice, you will be shaking the same hands at every networking event. Change your scene, move up a level, start networking with people you don’t know….better yet, start networking with people that have money. If you have to network, doesn’t it make sense to be with people with money, people with influence, people who don’t think or do the same thing twice. This alone will scare the daylights out of most of you, but I challenge you to try it, just once. You might feel energized by it.
You don’t have to be the problem, it’s better if you get out of the way, your business will thrive if you step out of it’s path.
The good news is, you have the power, you can get out of your businesses way, you can meet new people, people with money, people who see opportunity. The very people that fired you, are the very people you can make money from. It’s a matter of perspective, it’s changing the way you see and do business. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it, it’s not personal, it just feels that way, it’s business, get out of the way and build a business that makes the world a better place. You have the power, you just have to decide to do it.
The more you analyze your fear, the more you discover you are the problem….shed the fear, and stop being the problem.
By the way, I’m no different than you, I have to do the same things, I’m not so special that I don’t have to constantly change, at 55 it get’s harder and harder, but I must change, or my work and business will be forgotten : )