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#1

Almost isn’t good enough by Wayne Elsey.

#2

Branding Yourself by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy.

#3

UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. by Scott Stratten

#4

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion  By Gary Vaynerchuk

#5

The Thank You Economy By Gary Vaynerchuk


Fine Print: These are in no particular order. I have not received any money for my endorsements. I did receive my copy of Branding Yourself for free because I hassled Erik to death about it:) The Links are to my affiliate Amazon account.
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I’ve been reading Almost isn’t Good Enough: The Human Connection Changes Everything. This isn’t  a book review. That will come soon. This book is written to people who are running or involved in not-for-profit work.  The author is standing the world of not-for-profit on its ear and challenging some long standing traditional view of how a not-for-profit is run, and how it takes on the basic clear task of following a mission.

As stated, this is not a book review.  Wayne Elsey is a proven man in the world of for-profit business and not-for-profit organizations. He “gets it” on such a deep level.  I’m reading this book because of my interest in both worlds. So let’s look at some takeaways that I’ve gathered so far from this book that can be applied to any business.

Making a difference
When teaching in the corporate world, I ask companies about their philanthropic works. I often suggest that they strategically support those not-for-profits and the community with their online influence.

“Making a difference in the life of someone else, though, is something that everyone has the capacity to do, regardless of where one is in life and career…

It will create energy around you that will attract others, change lives and offer the opportunity to leave a legacy of change in the midst of a culture of access. “

Clarity

“Success, wealth, and impact are not philosophical ideas to be debated within the halls of academia. They are characteristics grounded in a focused effort over a long period of time that lead to transformation.”

Many times we associate the words mission statement with not-for-profit, but a business should have one too. If you’re not clearly focused on achieving that mission, you’re just working.  If you find the clarity of your mission and follow it, you will be on the path of success, wealth and impact.

Valuing People


Janet Effron wrote a great post called: Company Policy in there she asked

“Is it your practice to hire stupid people?”

That stuck with me. When I work with companies, I often ask to train, not only upper management, public relations,  marketing, and sales people to use the tools of social media, I ask to train support staff, and a variety of other positions within a corporation.  Why? Because, people are what make your company strong. It is the people that you have trusted to represent your brand in the real world, that make your company shine. You should trust that they will make you proud online too, with proper training of you policy, goals, and a clearly defined strategy.

It is our “belief that everyone is at the table because they bring something of value. To that end they are expected to bring that value everyday” You want to “create a culture of empowerment…

It’s vital that we not create barriers to conversations but empower the experts we retain to perform at their highest levels.”’

Are you creating a culture of empowerment, and valuing the people you have chosen to be a part of your business? Do you give them a platform in which to express their knowledge of your product or service, and to become branded themselves as an expert in you field of business; and thus your business is branded thru them? Or do you simply let the PR guys get this new media stuff?Wayne “gets it” no matter if you are talking for-profit or not-for-profit :

“It’s all about the people.”

Southwest Airlines has long been a leader and innovator in social media. They do things differently and are not afraid to step out to try new things; to be the first guy on the dance floor, if you will.  They are known for their antics and humor online, in the terminal and in the air. But how do they deal with serious issues? With style and grace.

Does every complaint matter on Twitter? @SouthwestAir says ‘yes!’

The above article outlines the story one man’s response to a major renovation in the airline’s rewards program. This one man made a stink and he was not shy about publicly letting Southwest know that he was not happy about it.

Who was this guy?

It wasn’t Scott Statten, who’s lead some very successful campaigns about how airlines treat their customers, with only a few tweets and his army of almost 77 thousand social savvy followers of his @unmarketing twitter account.  It was @SJCsouthpaw With is 106 107 followers that were genuinely upset with the company’s new program. He wasn’t the only one, but Southwest chose to answer him. Why? Because at Southwest “Our strategy is every customer matters, every customer’s opinion matters.”

Was that the right move?

Critics wondered.  Frank Eliason,  senior vice president of social media for Citi, says the airline made the right move, viewing Twitter as a customer service venue, not a PR podium.

“The number of followers is meaningless,” he says. “Today, every customer is an influencer.  If your concentration is follower count, then all you’re doing is managing a PR situation.  In this case it would appear to me that they are servicing their customer.  Nice job, Southwest.”

Are you responding to influencers?

Frank couldn’t have said it better: every customer is an influencer. If your company ism’t monitoring and responding to your brand on twitter, you are not responding to an influencer.

Many companies today use only Facebook campaigns to promote their brand. They delete negative feedback to protect the brand. What they’re missing is that all social media can be used as a powerful customer service tool. If your brand is one that practices the above and uses it only as a promotion tool, or your brand is on twitter, but it is linked to your Facebook, and you’re not responding to comments or complaints on twitter, remember @SJCsouthpaw and @unmarketing – If you delete them on facebook, they are still influencers on twitter, where they can carry on the conversation about you – good, bad, and ugly.

You have a choice in how you use your tools in your tool box… use them wisely.

 

Now you know why I am itching to be back with you all, enjoying your company, teaching, speaking, laughing and loving the life that is mine.

I underwent the procedure to remove my stents today. The CT scan

was inconclusive so the hope was to remove the stents and see if that was the problem. As I mentioned before this is too soon for them to cone out. There are still lots of stone fragments that need to come out. Without

 

the stents this will be a painful process. I came home with aspirations of reading. I have three must reads in my possession.

Content rules by CC Chapman and Ann Handley.

Almost isn’t good enough by Wayne Elsey.

Branding Yourself by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy.

What I have managed to do is bend the binding, mark myself up with my highlighter, and place a sleep scar on my face in the impression of a book corner. I have tried to read, but the medication has other plans for today.

So now I bid you all good night. (This post was written quickly before I fell asleep again and on my iPhone. )

*
DISCLOSURE:I borrowed the book Content Rules from our local Library, I purchased Almost Isn’t Good Enough from Amazon, and I was sent a free copy of Branding Yourself, because I bugged Erik to death, and because I will be reviewing it for our local Business journal.  The Links to each book are in fact affiliate links to my Amazon account, where if you click that link and purchase the book I am suppose to receive a small percent. (Big deal. Google it, order it from your local book seller, who cares as long as you invest in one or all of these books to enrich yourself.)

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