The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

We’ve all had the experience of being at an amusement park, wondering which ride to try next. The carousel? No–that’s for little kids. The Zipper? No, that one always smells funky (and when you see it, you know why!). Ah, but there’s always one ride where people are screaming and laughing their heads off! That’s the one you want!

The Roller Coaster

My favorite ride always seems to be the roller coaster. Even though it’s also the scariest ride and is over fast, it is, hands down, the most fun. The Giant Dipper at Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a wooden one, and the creakiness of the ride makes it scarier, for some reason. You feel like you could be thrown off at any moment and attacked by seagulls.

Post with Fun in Mind

My brother always went for the fun in life. He ran after it, and created fun wherever he went. That’s how you should think about posting on social media, too. Make it fun for everyone. People will want to stay, talk, and share if you make it fun.

Hashtags Make it Fun

One reason, in my humble opinion, that Instagram has become so popular is not only because it’s simple, but because it’s fun. Part of that fun is the way that people use hashtags. By the way, if you haven’t read about how to engage on Instagram, you might want to check it out. You can use hashtags in other places such as Twitter, too, but the over-the-top way people use them on Instagram? Priceless!

Memes and .Gifs

Yes, as a business you’re not “supposed to” use memes and gifs. But if they get people talking, why not? If you’re on Twitter, you can easily attach a .gif and send it to a bunch of friends. Again, it’s simply and silly. These days, silly has become an endangered species on social media.

Post with no Outcome

Sometimes it’s ok to post without expecting anything. You might want to share a favorite Netflix show, for instance. By the way, have you seen the Netflix original series Abstract: The Art of Design? Really fantastic! But I digress. Sure, you’re always supposed to have a Call to Action (“CTA”), but maybe your goal is just to connect with people.

What Tricks Do You Have for Making Your Posts More Fun?

Let me know in the comments! And thank you.

Startups: The Five Cs of Success You Need to Know

Startups: The Five Cs of Success

Startups: The Five Cs of Success

 

You’ve just joined a new startup. The world is an exciting place and you’re right in the middle of all that innovation and newness. Your friends are envious, and your mom has no idea what you do during the day. How do you know that your startup is heading in the right direction, though? After all, according to Forbes, 90% of all startups fail. Will you be among the 10%?

Here’s a playlist of social media articles for startups:

bio tech photo

Customers

Real customers use your services. At first, it’s the warm leads, the friends and family, who sign up. Later, you reach out to the companies who need the services you provide. At first, the sales team is anyone who has free time to make a phone call. Later, there’s a concerted effort for everyone to pitch in. Next, there’s a real-live sales person. And eventually, an entire team, all coordinated. After all, you can’t legitimize your business without real customers.

Here’s a great article about landing your first customers on a shoe-string budget. Hint: Follow-up is key.

Confidence

Confidence can be anything from a fearlessness about asking questions to the ability to tackle changes in direction. At first, being ambitious might feel uncomfortable. But after awhile, confidence has its own momentum. Getting an entire team into the habit of being involved and committed also creates its own momentum.

As Jacqueline Whitmore outlines in her article in Entrepreneur, there are Six Actions You Can Take to Build Your Self Confidence. I particularly like: “Positive energy leads to positive outcomes…”.

bio tech photo

 

Commitment

When everyone who works at your startup is excited to get to work, that’s a sign that you’ve got a good thing. During the first couple of years, that pre-launch drive translates to overwork and insomnia. Sometimes, sending an email or text at midnight and getting an answer back within minutes, is thrilling. When you’re committed, and prepped for success, the orders come in. Having “skin in the game” is a common pathway to that commitment.

Paul Graham says in his article What Startups Are Really Like (still as true in 2016 as in 2009, when he wrote it):

“What people wished they’d paid more attention to when choosing cofounders was character and commitment, not ability. This was particularly true with startups that failed. The lesson: don’t pick cofounders who will flake.”

Coworkers who are working at more than one startup will often not have the energy to get a startup off the ground.

Communication

If you have transparency from the founders and your team, you’ll be able to know what’s happening from top to bottom. Often what’s said out in the hallway or between meetings is the really important. But the critical thing is knowing that you can discover what’s happening quickly if you should need to know something.

You might want to consider a Communication Architecture, as Unreasonable did, which dictates the way your team talks. And the standing meeting ensures that meetings stay short.

It’s important to have a structure for your team’s communications. While more meetings are necessarily positive, regular meetings ensure that everyone’s aligned.

bio tech photo

Celebrations

Nearly every day, something good happens that is worthy of celebrating. While there is still a lot of hard work to be done, there are also a lot of high-fives, impromptu bottles of wine and champagne being opened, and smiles. Being supportive of one another, although it might sound corny, goes a long way to making people want to stick with the crazy work hours. There are many ways to celebrate success, from a brag board to a morphing trophy, as recommended by American Express.

Is There a Sixth “C”?

Please leave me a comment and let me know what other signs of success I might have missed! And thank you.

world class photo

 

Ten Ways to Tap Into Your Inner Daredevil

Ten Ways to Tap Into Your Inner Daredevil

Ten Ways to Tap Into Your Inner Daredevil

Fearlessness Leads to Great Learning

Richard Branson once said “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” With that in mind, here are ways that you can tap into that most enviable of business traits: fearlessness. Failure and fearlessness are intricately linked. For more on failure, you might want to read my previous post What if Failure Didn’t Exist?

 

Hero Vs. Psychopath

Hero Vs. Psychopath

Hero Versus Psychopath

People often think that daredevils are psychopaths. When Batman jumps off a tall building with no regard for his own life, we’re all rooting for him. (Not the Ben Affleck Batman, though. We’re not rooting for him.*) Some measure of risk is important to a solid business; fearlessness in its pure form of boldness is what people need.

*With apologies to Ben Affleck

Get Through Tough Times

Get Through Tough Times

Get through Tough Moments

If you were brave in the forest and no one was watching, would it count for anything? Probably not. But what about when you have to speak in front of 600 people with no script and explain your startup’s mission? Being fearless, if only for an hour or two, would be no small feat.

It's Lonely At the Top

It’s Lonely At the Top

It’s Lonely At the Top

Being fearless might necessitate taking “the road less traveled” more often than not. Indirectly, this could lead to a lonely existence. However, this is 2015. Surely there is a closed Facebook group where daredevils of all sorts could congregate.

Lets You Be the Boss

When someone threatens to eat your chicken tenders, you’re going to have to fight back. Slap that chicken thief right across the jaw and show him who’s boss! Whose chicken is it anyhow?

Chicken or Egg?

Chicken or Egg?

Chicken or Egg?

Being a daredevil in business involves taking on more risk. But what if fear itself is what’s keeping you from taking on that risk? You could theoretically “fake it til’ you make it” and pretend to have the confidence needed, charging ahead and shoving that fear aside in a temporary show of bravado. Stepping up when the risk is great doesn’t always result in success, so your being fearless will surely be appreciated by all the chickens. (Do you “get” that one?) And you might like to read my post Six Amazing Social Media Startup Secrets, by the way.

Confidence Emerges Once Fear is Stripped Away

Confidence Emerges Once Fear is Stripped Away

Confidence Emerges Once Fear is Stripped Away

Tony Robbins encourages participants in his Unleash the Power Within seminars to walk on fire as a metaphor for facing and overcoming personal fears. He gets the crowd ready by having people chant, stamping out fear with positive thoughts the way Smokey the Bear would stamp out a forest fire. Robbins says “In order to get people to know that the techniques they are learning work, I like to use a physical metaphor that tests them to be able to take action in spite of fear.”

Drunken Scorpion

Drunken Scorpion

Drunken Scorpion

People talk about committing to success like it’s easy. It’s similar to my yoga instructor who bends into a crazy ball and stands on one arm. I think the pose is called “Drunken Scorpion.” The point is, once she’s halfway there, she might as well go the rest of the way.

Fearlessness is the Ultimate Joy

Fearlessness is the Ultimate Joy

Fearlessness is the Ultimate Joy

Thich Nhat Hanh says that fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. We might not go so far as to make friends with a murderer on our daily walk as Thich does, but it’s something to consider, if only for the sake of overcoming our fear.

Deep Thoughts

Deep Thoughts

Deep Thoughts

What would you do if you had no fear? What would your business look like? Would you want to expand and outsource some of the chores that don’t interest you? Please leave a comment!

 

 

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One

 

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You're Looking for One

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One

Your startup has finally gotten some funding and you know that you have to find a social media manager (“SMM”). Where do you start? You could ask a few friends, or you could look on the Internet, but how do you make sure that you’re getting good value? Here are some questions that I wish people would ask me!

What is Your Philosophy About Engagement Online?

This question is designed to weed out the “post-and-go” people. Some social media managers are more in the “broadcasting camp.” That is, they’ll find the most efficient ways of blasting out your message without thinking about your audience. And that’s not very social, is it?

Who Answers Questions or Comments on Social Platforms?

Some SMMs expect you, the client, to do that. It’s good to have a strategy in mind before you need one. Will they call you when clients ask questions on your social media platforms? Will they text you? Will they answer any questions? How much knowledge do they have about your field or product?

Do You Have a Favorite Platform?

These days, many SMMs specialize in a particular platform. They might be great with Pinterest, or use Twitter, but dislike Facebook and Instagram. So ask if that SMM has a favorite to see if they might have a strength.

What’s Your Least Favorite Platform?

Top Ten Questions to Ask Social Media Managers

Top Ten Questions to Ask Social Media Managers

If the SMM says they “love all of them” that’s kind of like a waiter saying “all the food is great.” Maybe it’s true that they love all platforms, but the “least favorite” question could get you the answer you’re looking for. Nobody likes to say they have a “weakness.”

How Do You Work with Your Clients?

Some SMMs like to do everything with no input from their clients. Others like daily, weekly, or monthly input. Some expect to meet in person and others won’t ever want to meet in person. Find out what the expectations are.

What Topics Do You Suggest That We Avoid?

For starters, I usually suggest avoiding politics, religion, and sex. But if your startup has a dating app, you will want to talk about sex. So make sure that you’re on the same page with the SMM that you decide to hire.

What If There’s a National Emergency?

Companies of all sizes, including startups, get in trouble when there’s an emergency, such as a school shooting, and the SMM doesn’t know what to do. Make sure that everyone knows what to do. I suggest posting something sympathetic–if anything at all–and then going silent. Nobody cares about whatever you’re selling when there’s an emergency.

What Happens on Weekends and Holidays?

Some brands stop posting on weekends and holidays. Others post even more. Your business might be a seasonal one. Let your candidate know what you would like.

What Does Success Look Like?

To be successful, your social media strategy needs to be specific enough so that you can measure it (such as a minimum number of daily posts), but not so specific that it squashes all the motivation out of your SMM. Learn how to demotivate employees in my previous blogpost.

Questions?

Are you an ambitious startup looking for a social media manager? Because I know someone (*ahem*) that you might like to talk to!

 

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed