Why do I do anything?

Cant see the video? Watch on YouTube

Want to understand out how to motivate people or how you can motivate yourself?

Think paying someone more money will get better results? Think again.

People want autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Watch this video to learn more.


Best business video since @SimonSinek

For a long time I have appreciated Marcus Sheridan and his approach to marketing and business. I read every one of his blog posts, I listen to his podcast and have read his free ebook on inbound marketing.

His honest approach gave me the purpose and inspiration to quit a well paid, well-respected job to launch my company ItIsWhatIt.Is.

Not content with being on the front page of the New York Times business section this amazing guy has joined the elite thinkers in the world and given us a TED talk.

Simon Sinek changed my world when I saw his TED talk. Marcus has also changed the way I think and sums up all that good stuff in these 12 minutes.

If you do one thing I ever ask you, watch this video. Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself. It might just be the start of a new chapter of business success in your life.

Trouble viewing? – Go direct to view on YouTube

Read Marcus’ own blog post about the Talk

How can blogging help you sell?

Do you want to know how blogging can help you sell?

Are you sceptical if it will work in your business niche/sector/industry?

Are you trying to figure out if you should start a blog?

Then read on…..

While on holiday in Thailand I saw this article pop up in my Flipboard.

7 Dynamic Ways Businesses can Blog for SEO, Brand-Building, and Thought Leadership

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build trust - falling man caught by team

How to create a business case for a social selling

£20 note fanned outDo you work in sales?

Are you passionate about how social can help your organisation sell more?

Do you want to know what role content marketing and content creation will play in the future way you will  communicate with your potential customers?

This post explains how you can build a business case to help change the way your business sells it products and how your sales process works.

In my previous post on how to sell in a social era I explained some of the differences between a traditional sales person and person selling in the social era. I mentioned that up to two thirds of buying process is done before you speak with a salesperson. With this post I want to go into a bit more depth and help you demonstrate the return on investment to get buy in, so you can focus in this area. This post will give you some ideas how you can demonstrate the concept to the following people:

  • CEO
  • CMO
  • Managing directors
  • Sales directors
  • Sales managers

It will allow you to spend more time in your current role or create a new role so you can help your company do it better.

For the purpose of this post

I define social selling as using the social web to help you sell your products or services

I define content as information which conveys a message, such as a blog, video, podcast, ebook etc

Teaching vs selling

abc writing

There is a phrase which I learnt from a post called assignment selling. The higher the value item you sell –  the more relevant this is.

The concept works like this. When a salesperson goes to a sales appointment they spend a great deal of their time trying to inform the prospect what their product does and why they must have it. If the prospect doesn’t know this information before you visit then you risk wasting time your time with a prospect, who is never going to be a customer.

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£20 note fanned out

How do you sell in the social era?

Are you looking to improve or modernise the way you sell?

Do you want to learn how you can use the social web to help you sell more?

In this post I will discuss both the traditional and the new ways salespeople can work.

After reading this post you will have an insight into what the future of selling will look like. Hopefully you will start to see that there are alternative ways of working that will help you to help your customers more, which in turn will help you hit your sales targets.

A salesperson is often one of the highest paid people in the business. I believe unless salespeople change the way they work, they will lose their influence over the sales process, which warrants their high compensation packages.

£20 note fanned out

What does a salesperson actually do?

Wikipedia explains the verb describing what a salesperson does:

Selling is offering to exchange an item of value for a different item. The original item of value being offered may be either tangible or intangible. The second item, usually money, is most often seen by the seller as being of equal or greater value than that being offered for sale

Basically a salesperson attempts to convince a potential customer that there is more value in what his company is trying to sell than what they are charging for it.

Imagine a world without salespeople? The world of business would stop. Right? Continue reading

Why you don’t need a social media strategy from #smwldn

Speaking at social media week

I have had a busy week this week, having spoken at four separate events. Yesterday I had the privilege of being asked to deliver a presentation at Facebook’s London office as part of Social Media Week 2012. I had a room full of people for an hour to share my views about social business.

It was a great experience to take my thoughts and ideas and share them with a room full of people and get instant feedback. It is similar to me writing a blog but with instant comments from more people. I would take 50 people in a room over 50 page views any day.

I wanted to share with you my slide deck, the video recording of the event and some key insights from my presentation from the people in the audience.

Slides from the event

TROUBLE VIEWING? Click here to go direct to slideshare

Video on demand

The event was streamed live and recorded so you can watch on demand below


Tweets from the audience

I went through the event hashtag (#SMWSTRATEGY) and took out the things I spoke about which people felt warranted sharing with their networks. I thought it was great feedback for me as to which points people found most valuable.

What is social media?

Social Media means so many things to so many people,  I thought I would add my 2 cents.

I want to start by agreeing with Gary Vaynerchuk in saying that there is no such thing as “social media”. Social media is just a term to describe the current state of the internet. Just in the same way web 2.0 was the phrase a few years back. This is explained in more detail in the video below.

Watch on YouTube > >

I believe the term social media will disappear and people will talk about “social business” instead. Eventually the word social will be dropped and the ideas and methodology in social will just be part of the way people do “business”.

The Wikipedia definition is:

Social media includes web- and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” When the technologies are in place, social media is ubiquitously accessible, and enabled by scalable communication techniques

Social media, in my eyes is a mind set not a tool set. It is not just Facebook or Twitter, it is a whole new way of looking at the world of business and a whole new way of operating in it. A company needs to make it part of their culture and not just their strategy.

Today the majority of businesses are just trying to use it to force marketing communications down people’s throats as if it were a TV commercial. They don’t get it and they are missing a trick. Social media is an opportunity for you to communicate with the people who touch your business and give them a service currently reserved for royalty and rock stars.

Social media has the opportunity to touch so many different parts of business: sales, R&D, customer service, public relations, to name but a few. I cannot think of any part of a business which could not make use of social media in some way. Whatever part of a business you are involved in, you could use social to communicate better and to work more effectively as a team. Even if you work alone, you can use the social web to learn how other people in your industry do things and to help you develop your approach and find other people who you can work with.

If you remember one thing from this post, make it this:

“It is not about having a social media strategy, it is about aligning social to your business strategy”

If you want to figure out what you should be doing with social media,  go to see your CEO and ask him what his or her top three priorities are and then go ask a few “social media” companies how they can help you achieve them.  If you cannot see a correlation between what you want to achieve and what they want to sell you, then find someone else to talk to. It might help you to read my post on What is the future of social media.

And just incase any of you don’t believe me about how important social media is, check out this presentation below.

View on SlideShare > >

I agree with almost everything said. I believe that you should not be looking to just create a social media strategy. You should be looking to align social to your business strategy. Instead of thinking what can I do with social media,  you should thinking about how social media can help you do something you are already trying to do – just in a better way.

I think the people who make the most of social media will be those people who figure out how to utilise social media data to build mutually beneficial relationships with the people who touch their businesses. I share some more thoughts on what I think the future holds for social media here.

Your turn

What do you think social media is? Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Do you agree with how I have defined social media?

Other posts you may be interested in

Whose job is social media in an organisation?

How to find ideas to write in your blog

Can social media replace email?

How @itv2 could make more money from advertising from #towie using #socialdata

How @itv2 could make more money from advertising from #towie using #socialdata

Screen shot of the hashtag on screen or the picture of one of the people holding up the twitter sign on the trailer

I was walking down South Woodford high street (in Essex) with my girlfriend and her friend suddenly a girl came chasing after us. She wanted us to be extras in the latest episode of “The only way is Essex” (TOWIE). As it happened I couldn’t make it but I was a bit gutted!

I might lose all my credibility by admitting guilty secret, that I watch TOWIE. It makes me cringe every time I watch it but I can’t help watching the next episode. There is something I find interesting about a cheesy almost-reality show set in your high street where the people go to some of the places you go (not the tanning shops I want to point out!)

The show is quite unique in some respects with something which is out of the control of the producers in that the audience pay a part on the story line. A lot of the people on the show in relationships talk about people on twitter who are not on the show telling them that their partners have been cheating on them.

Officially I am in the target audience for ITV 2 but I dont know if a I do not know if a 30 year old male (me) is in the target audience for the show.

ITV do a great job of encouraging social media activity with shows likes TOWIE, X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. I am sure they have goals based around viewer engagement and are probably doing quite well against those targets. I am sure it has helped contribute towards TOWIE achieving its status as ITV2’s second most popular show.

I have had a look around ITV’s advertising site  and see no signs that they are using social data in advertising. I wrote an article a few weeks back on Future of social media in television but I wanted to elaborate more upon how social data could be used to make ITV more money from advertising.

Although most people appreciate it is a necessary evil to support commercial television, there is a fundamental problem with advertising. It is disruptive and gets in the way of people doing what they want to i.e. watch their program.

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV, who together represent over 90 per cent of the commercial TV market in the UK through their owned and partner channels. They say the use of personal recorders increases the viewing figures for the people for people who couldn’t watch the show live. They published some research on the use of digital TV recorders. They put a positive spin on people fast forwarding the ads or “speed watching” them as they call it.  Although this is true I still feel that the way advertising is sold and consumed is not personal enough so people don’t want to watch it.

Imagine a world where the people who watched TV shows were just as interested in the advertisements as the content? Imagine if people would pause the adverts so that they didn’t miss them rather than disappearing to make a cup of tea during the break in corrie?

What I think is possible today
You do a great job of encouraging your viewers of your shows to get involved with conversation on social networks. I think you could take this to the next level by using the data that could find out about your audience from their engagement to personalise the ads. You could analyse the people who are actually watching the show to give more specific demographics for the audience. You could identify on a personal level who is actually watching. You could analyse what that person has been talking about in their tweets or Facebook statuses. What brands they like and what products they talk about. You could use this data to say to advertisers we know a specific number of people in our audience either like your brand or have talked about their products in the last 6 months. This data could be used to offer the advertisers a whole new level of targeting based upon more specifically who is watching and what they want to watch.

What could be done in the future
These ideas would require the way tv is viewed and broadcasted to be changed. I am sure there is some technical bod out there in your company or out there somewhere who could tell you how this could work.

Using the ideas suggested above you could understand who is watching and what they are interested in. If you knew who was watching and on what device you could serve them an advert specific to their own personal interests and preferences.

Imagine if the person watching had tweeted about their interest in a specific company or brand or liked the brand on Facebook. Given this preference information, if you showed them an advert for that brand, do you think they would be more interested or pay that add more attention?

Your turn

It costs £55,000 for a 30 second slot to advertise during TOWIE, do you think you could generate more money if you could target the audience better? If you could guarantee you could serve an advert for a brand where that individual or a vast majority showed an interest in that brand?

Why @o2 failed with their promoted tweet about #blackberrysale

I log into hootsuite today and I see a promoted tweet as below:


This annoys me because O2 as a company should be better at this kind of thing. Let me tell you why.

I used to be a loyal Nokia customer but ever since I bought an iPhone I can not imagine owning another device. A previous employer gave me a blackberry for work when I had a Nokia for personal use. The blackberry was great because my Nokia made it almost impossible to use the internet or emails. I thought the blackberry was amazing. However, as soon as got the iPhone I made it my mission to tell everyone with a blackberry how much better their life would be with an iPhone. I would never say never but Apple would have to make some serious bad moves for me to look elsewhere. I now have two iPhones and two iPads.

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What is the future of Social Media? Part 2 – Retail

This post is part two of my “What is the future of Social Media” series. I am creating and curating some predictions around where I believe social media could change the way we do business. Each article will focus on a specific industry sector.

You can find part one which discusses The future of Social Media in television here

This is a collection of ideas drawn from inspirations I have had over the last few months including a video from corning glass and an idea from C&A Brasil.  I have tried to take my knowledge of the technology, social media and evolve these concepts.

Find your most influential customers

Nina who is 21 and loves shopping, walks in to her local high street fashion shop (New look, Top Shop, Forever 21 etc). She hunts around the store and finds a complete outfit which goes together really well. A lovely dress, killer pair of heels and bag to match. She buys the outfit and on her receipt their is a unique QR code. She scans the QR code and which shares the outfit she has bought to her Facebook wall and to a central Facebook brand page for the store. Once she has shared the outfit she bought, her friends and other customers can “like” the outfit. The outfit that gets the most likes goes into a leader board. The outfit with the most likes per week or month could get rewards/prizes/incentives. Over time, the store would build up a league of the most stylish and influential customers. These are the people who can become your brand ambassadors or super fans. The store could identify these keys influencers and perhaps offer them free clothes because they know they will talk about them online. They could be invited to your fashion show launch events for each new range or be brought in to give feedback on possible trends for the coming seasons. The gamification of shopping could create customers who want to share the latest trends first so will be happy to sign up for alerts.  That new item they received an alert about might inspire them to put forward a new outfit for rating. The customer has an incentive to share the store’s new look. More people see that new dress Nina has just bought. More people will visit the stores which in turn increases sales.

The competitive element of the way the system works would encourage the desired action of consumers to benefit both the consumer and the store.

Crown sourced recommendations or recommendations from your friends

When you have the most liked outfits, you could use this insight to help drive cross sell opportunities. For example:

“1,000 people who bought this dress also bought these shoes to go with it. We have them in stock in the right colour and in your size”

It would not be perceived as the store trying to sell you something else but as a personal recommendation. How about if on your receipt it says

“Thanks for buying this dress Sarah. Your friend Nina bought the same dress and she thinks these shoes would go really well with the dress. We have one pair left in stock in this store today in your size and if you buy them today here is a 20% off voucher thanks to Nina”

If Sarah does buy the dress then why not send Nina some extra points to help her get to the top of the stylist leader board. You could even send her a gift voucher thanking her for her recommendation.

In this fashion retail example, having a friend that has the same dress could be perceived as a bad thing i.e. two of you turning up with the same outfit on the same night. You could turn it around and inform Sarah that Nina has the same dress in the same colour so maybe you might like to choose a different colour or style. If Sarah still decided to buy the dress at least she would know to check with Nina before she plans what to wear on Saturday night! Using Facebook data a fashion store app could know when Sarah and Nina are both going out together and if they bought the same outfit send them a notification so they can check they are not wearing the same outfit.

The recommendation model could work in a non fashion store such as a pharmacy or a music shop:  a recommendation for a specific brand of moisturiser or the music your friends are listening to. It could even work with the new Google glasses to show you who and how many people like each product you are looking at in store.

Personalised shopping experience

Nina walks into another store: they know who she is and the store offers her a personal greeting. “Good afternoon Miss Lewis, we haven’t seen you for a while, how are you?” If all the clothes in the store had a chip in the label, imagine the possibilities. As you pick up an item the changing room would know what you have taken in. It would be able to bring up information  such as where the garment was made, who it was designed by or a story behind the collection. It could show you the magazine features and any celebrities that have been spotted wearing the garment. It could show you if any of your friends liked or have bought that item.

It could suggest other items which would go well with the trousers you are trying on. Imagine you are trying on the trousers and up pops an augmented reality view of how you look in the complete outfit including matching shoes and jacket.  You look at the compete outfit and think it looks good so you press a button and the assistant hands you the items to complete the look.

The changing room shares a picture of you trying the outfit on in the store to your chosen social networks. In real time your friends reply are shown on the display. “It looks great,” they say. So you buy the outfit.

Real life social sharing

In another shop Nina sees an item of clothing she likes but can not afford to buy it till pay day. Imagine you could scan the item bar code and “like” the item on Facebook. This would show your friends how good you are at finding great fashion and it would help the company promote that item.

What if Nina had a specific friend she thought would really like the item she found. She could always take a photo and message it to them but that probably won’t show the item in the best light. How about if Nina scanned the bar code on the label and:

Posted the item directly to her friend’s Facebook wall including a link to the web page for that item


Sends her friend an illustration of how they would look wearing that item

If Nina could super impose the garment onto a virtual replica of her friend, do you think it would make her friend more likely to buy the item?


For retail stores to survive in the age of internet shopping where everything is usually cheaper and more convenient to order, retails outlets have to go the extra mile to provide a better customer experience. These are just a few of the ways social data can be used to improve the customer experience for somebody going into a retail store.

Your turn

Do you feel as a customer you would like this level of personalisation?

If a store gave you a personal service that you couldn’t get online, do you feel it would be make you more likely to spend money in that store rather than on the web?

Why complain using social media?

Why should a new employee use social media?