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Welcome to another weekly digest of material from my website grahamjones.co.uk. Enjoy. So what is the answer? Thankfully new research has just been published that tells us what to do. Go to Facebook. It turns out that just checking your own profile on Facebook can significantly increase your self-esteem. But there’s a catch…. If you look at your own Facebook profile and feel good as a result you are likely to under-perform in subsequent tasks. One of the elements of what we do each day is the boost it provides to selfesteem. We try, subconsciously, to do our best in our daily work because it makes us feel good about ourselves. But if you have just had a boost to your self-esteem, you tend not to try so well in any subsequent tasks – you don’t need to because your self-esteem is already running high. So, what should you do? Only check Facebook when you don’t have to do anything important AFTERWARDS. Otherwise you will not do it so well.
Forget Googling yourself, check your Facebook profile
Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/grahamjones/~3/MWjkRU3LV6Q/ forget-googling-yourself-check-your-facebook-profile.html
People just expect you to respond to email
How many times have you Googled yourself this month already? Many people Google themselves regularly to see how they are doing in the search engine rankings. For some people, with a rare name, they are in luck and they are top of the results. For others, with a more common name, they could well be out of luck if their namesake is better at the search engine game. Last week I met a chap who has a rare combination of first name and last name from two different languages – when he Googles himself he has the entire first 10 pages of results. But if you have a more common name, like Graham Jones for instance, you have to work hard to do well in the search engines because there are plenty of people with that name. (I am the real one, of course…!) For some people, looking at the Google results for their name can be depressing because other people dominate and no matter what they do, they just can’t seem to beat them. Indeed, for many businesses that is an all-too-common feature of their daily life online. Regardless of what they do, their competitors beat them in the search engines. Self-Googling can be upsetting, annoying and stress-inducing. For many people, all it confirms is the fact that someone else is “doing better”.
Check the calendar – it is not 1st April, OK…! But I kid you not – the Fire and Rescue Service in Oxford was stunned the other day when someone reported a fire via email, rather than using the familiar “999# emergency telephone number. Luckily, five minutes after that email was sent, someone else called the emergency number and the fire was dealt with. Had they not done so, the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service would not have seen the email “alert” until the next day – way too late…! The incident commander at the fire wanted to remind people that calling 999 was probably better than sending an email….!
However, we should not be surprised. Email is so ingrained into our daily life that people use it almost as “second nature”. If they want to complain about a company, they resort to Twitter and if they want to get the latest special offers they head over to Facebook. For many people, gone are the days when the telephone or perhaps a nice handwritten letter were the way of getting in touch. These days, people resort to electronic means first. It is so “obvious” to many people that they even send an email to report a fire. The individual would expect the email system to be “live” and constantly monitored – except in the case of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, it isn’t. When people complain about a business on Twitter, they expect it dealt with almost instantly. When they send your business an email, they imagine it will be opened straight away and a reply will be winging its way to them within moments. And when they “Like” you on Facebook, they expect a “thank you” pretty soon afterwards. Instant communication is the world which your business inhabits. So are you geared up for it? Unlike the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, would you notice an urgent email that is sent to you right now? Could you respond to a complaint on Twitter within moments? Can you get back to people who “Like” you so quickly they like you even more? Few businesses are actually geared up for “real time” communication. Yet, research shows that the companies which do work “real time” are the ones that have increased their profits and their share price in the past few years. Organisations that are not “real time”, however, have seen their finances falter. The email to the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service may seem daft, but it is a reminder that our customers are more likely to resort to electronic communications first – and we need to be geared up to deal with all of the channels all of the time. No longer can we just have “our” preferred method, such as “999#; we need to be set up to accept a multitude of communications methods and be able to monitor and respond to them all in real time.
If you don’t believe in your website, how can you expect your visitors to do so? Every day I meet people who say “We’re not very happy with our website, but it does the job for the moment”, or “My website is just a holding site really until I get something better”, or even worse, “We don’t do as much with our website as we should, but we just don’t like it ourselves.” Oh dear. Goodness me. And other statements of wonder. Get real. If you and your colleagues do not “buy in” to your website and what it is trying to achieve, then you may as well not have a website. New research confirms the importance of “believing” in something. The study from the Brigham Young University, Utah, USA, found that in the workplace the true believers are the ones who get on. People who did not truly and deeply believe in their company’s strategy tended not to get promoted. They also had fewer friends within the business and generally just did not “get on”. The research underlines the importance of belief. When you “believe” you change your behaviour. If you believe in your company’s goals, you tend to do things which help achieve them. If you don’t really believe in them, but see it as “a job”, you do what you need to do, take your salary and go home. When you believe, you also commit yourself to that belief and undertake activities which help confirm that belief. In other words, “believing” changes what you do. That, in turn, leads to a change in the results you get. If you believed in your website you would behave differently with it and towards it. You would do different activities, such as more Tweeting or Facebook posting to bring your website to the attention of more people. But what you say in those posts would reflect your belief and passion for your website and that would lead to more followers because people like believers. As a result, you get more people interested in your website which confirms your belief in it which makes your behaviour even more positive, confirming you were right to believe. If you want true website success, you have to believe in your website. So the question is, have you seen the light?
You have to believe in your website
Email is wasting your time – enter the new Gmail
Your website is fantastic, right? You really believe your website is brilliant, agreed? Your are in no doubt that your website can change the world, yes? Oh…maybe not a resounding “yes” for these questions, then. Whoops…!
Email is a time-waster. Fact. If you are “average” then you spend one hour every day simply sorting through your emails. And if you are also “average” you spend an hour a day in “attention shift” where your brain switches off for moments as you move from one
task to email and back to your task again. This means that the typical office worker is losing two hours a day to email. If you didn’t have email you’d get more work done. Except, of course, that email is the preferred way of sending information to each other. Besides, it is faster and more reliable than ordinary “snail mail”. Plus it is the fuel for much global business – international companies simply could not cope without email. Whatever business you are in, email is essential. But does it have to rule your life? We need to accept that the vast majority of email we receive is unnecessary. Apart from the typical 150 spam messages that most inboxes get each day, there are also the never-ending list of promotional messages asking you to buy something you don’t really need or want. Then there are the “CYA” (Cover Your A %*se”) emails where you are cc’d “in case” you need to know – you don’t…! On top of this, there are messages alerting you to things you have already seen on your social networks – how kind of them to let you know twice. Er…not…! Typically, most people receive only about six email messages each day which are real messages that require action. The rest can be ignored. Yet, we wade through the detritus because we think that is work. Productive, efficient workers tend to check their email inbox just once every day – usually first thing in the morning. They look at their emails and do one of three things: 1. Immediately delete the dross 2. Answer anything that will require less than two minutes of time 3. Make an appointment in their diary to deal with those messages that will take longer than two minutes to answer They also tend to have filters and “sub” inboxes, or separate folders, where specific messages get diverted. For instance, if you have messages from a specific customer that you want presorted you can have an inbox just for that company, with filters diverting any emails from them into that special folder. You can then immediately see vital emails that require your attention. Sadly, though, the vast majority of people only have one inbox and do not set up special automated filters. This wastes time, increases brain processing activity that drains attention from real work, making people feel as though they are working and being productive, when they are not. Enter the new Gmail. Coming soon to an inbox near you is the latest incarnation of Gmail which essentially forces you to have sorted inboxes that will make you more productive. The video below gives you an insight into what the new Gmail will look like. It looks like it could save you a great deal of time. Of course, you could do all this yourself with filters and folders – but the reason most people don’t do that is it is such a faff. With the new inbox from Gmail you are much more likely to be efficient because the ability to pre-sort your email is easier to achieve.
Why we all need an Internet Routine
Sometimes we have to face facts. • Fact One: fat people are usually fat because they eat too much. • Fact Two: fat people can lose weight by eating healthily and exercising more. • Fact Three: fat people have just the same degree of self control as thin people. Being fat is nothing to do with self- control. Rather it is due to habitually eating too much of the wrong kind of foods. Changing those habits, changes weight. Here are some more facts. • Fact A: businesses that don’t earn as much as they want are usually doing the wrong activities. • Fact B: businesses can turn themselves around if they do more of the good things. • Fact C: doing badly in business has nothing to with poor luck. Rather it is due to habitually doing too many of the wrong things. Changing those habits, changes profits. Do you see the similarity? Some people might dispute these facts, of course. Some might say that being overweight is to do with willpower and the inability to self control. Business owners say similar things. They tell me that they cannot do as well as they would like online because they “have work to do” rather than all that “online stuff”. That’s the same as saying “I haven’t got time to diet”. Recent research from the University of Southern California shows that when it comes to eating healthily, willpower and self-control have little if anything to do with success. Instead, what matters is routine. People who set a healthy eating routine do well, those who don’t have a dietary routine tend to lose in the healthy eating stakes. In other words, once you set habitual behaviours, they tend to stick. Indeed, that’s rather the definition of a habit. So, in order to gain online success, it isn’t really a matter of trying to “fit in” the odd bit of blogging, the occasional social media outpouring or the infrequent comment on someone else’s content. That’s rather like trying to “fit in” the odd bit of healthy eating while the rest of the time you have haphazard eating arrangements. It can only lead to one thing – failure. The most successful online businesses have routines. Indeed, many of their routines are automated – Amazon’s database, for instance, or Google’s search algorithm; these are updated routinely. Similarly, those businesses that blog every day, that
produce their newsletter every Wednesday afternoon or update their Facebook page every Monday, are the kinds of firms that do well online. Leaving your online activity until you “get a moment” or “when you feel the inspiration to blog” is the route to inevitable failure. Imagine if the BBC only produced the Ten O’clock News when “it felt like it” or “when they had some time to produce it”. The BBC succeeds because of routine. Online success is equated with routine. You can set any routine that works for you and your marketplace – but a routine is what you need. However, in order to be truly successful that routine needs to become a habit. And research suggests that habits only set in, once your routine has been used for around 21 repetitions, without fail. So, in order to achieve true online success for your business you need to establish a routine that works for you, which you repeat and repeat and repeat until it becomes a habit. As the study form the University of Southern California suggests, an established routine is the way to win. Daily Emails Blog LinkedIn Twitter Weekly Monthly Quarterly Newsletter Blog Run a planning webinar Guest blog Guest blog Produce a planning podcast Check Write White Keyword analytics Paper Analysis Check Website Investigate AdWords repairs new services Autoresponder YouTube Speak at Video events Pr/Media Generate ides Edit Social Profiles Attend live events Annually Revise web design Write an ebook Review hosting Create niche sites Attend industry conferences
that’s not how the world’s most popular sites do it. Indeed, consider Google or Amazon too. Did you know about them somehow in advance, or did they materialise some way online and you clicked on a link and went “wow, that’s interesting, I have never heard of them before”. Face facts. The most popular and most profitable online businesses have achieved their notoriety offline. They are omnipresent in traditional media, they are talked about down the pub and they are mentioned in business meetings up and down the land every single day. Their success is based on word of mouth and offline branding. This is confirmed in recent research which shows that the only people doing well out of Facebook marketing are big, wellestablished businesses. Starbucks, Dell, McDonalds, Coca-Cola – they are all doing very well on Facebook. But you knew about them before they had a Facebook page. Less well-known firms are struggling to attract people on Facebook. Indeed, the study shows that the vast majority of businesses – 63% – don’t appear to be getting anything out of what they put in to their Facebook activity. People go to Facebook to engage with brands they already know in the “real world”. If you want to use Facebook in your business the first step is to get known in the real world. To make the most out of this social network you need offline branding and recognition. Hang on a minute, that’s just what Facebook did to achieve its success. Copying their model works – it has worked for Google and Amazon too, remember. Making the most out of Facebook marketing means spending more of your activity offline, not online.
Facebook marketing depends on your offline presence
Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/grahamjones/~3/aRkvFvm0xkw/ facebook-marketing-depends-on-your-offline-presence.html
Pause for a moment and think where did you first discover Facebook. Did you click on a link or perhaps a pay-per-click advert for it? Did you search for “social network” and find that Facebook had used SEO to get to the top of the search results? Or did you just somehow “know” about it? Most online businesses use a combination of link building, search engines and pay-per-click to attract people to their website. But