Category Archives: Communication

Focus and the Need for ‘Craft’

You’d definitely need a plan to get up here….!! (it’s the Matterhorn if you’re interested)

He’s hairy, American and passionate about his subject….! Brad Frost tells it how it is. He calls it bullshit and he might be right…

A great presentation with some quite incredible facts about how the internet and its content is building every day. And the need, in the context of such a quantity of information and data, to simplify and condense our messages and activities. The conclusion – what sets professionals apart from the other 90% – is the term ‘craft’. People are starting to appreciate craft, things that make things easier, simpler. Things that are of high quality and useful (without bullshit). Products, services and messages that are simple and more effective and engaging as a result. The future is about focus he says  – maximising the signal and minimising the noise – word of mouth will spread things more effectively than broadcasting through numerous over complicated channels. And the way to get word of mouth working is to provide craft..

Maybe it’s exactly the same with business planning and strategy development. The process of doing it has to be simple, and the output simple too. To quote Lou Pritchett – ‘people support best that which they helped to create’. When I work with teams to build their strategy and develop their business plans the overriding theme throughout all exercises is to keep it simple and clear. Craft something that everyone can use, understand and be part of. And to climb the Matterhorn it’s simply a need to climb carefully and well, with craft even.

Take a look at your latest business plan – has it been crafted carefully and simply so that it works and you are actually using to take the busines forward?

Now enjoy Brad on bullshit:

creativemornings.com/talks/brad-frost/1

 

Superb Marketing, a Great Example of ‘Doing it Right’

I like finding good practice and excellent implementation – the DOING. I particularly like people and businesses that really get it right. Here’s a great example of some great marketing – I promise you won’t be disappointed!

When you’re selling a service which depends on you as the main deliverer, the key thing you need to sell is yourself – but how do you do it?

In this fantastic example of identifying his target market, telling you about the very specific service he provides, and with a tempter to get you to sign up (aren’t you desperate to know the 6 1/2 Secrets??) Darryl sells his business to you effectively right from the off.

Using video (he’s selling himself remember), and smiling all the way, he tells you what you want to know about what he does and how he does it. Notice how he points to the right parts of the website as he’s doing it…..!

The copy on the site is exactly matched with Darryl too – good chap, dependable, trustworthy, someone you would be happy to have in your house.

What else do you need to know? I’m a happy chappy. Like one sugar in my tea or coffee. Support West Ham United. Prefer XFM or Radio 6, but if Radio 3 is your bag, no worries. And I always tidy up after myself.

So if you need a bright sparky who’s competent, confident and smiley, call me on one of the numbers above or drop me an e mail. A site visit and free, no obligation quote will be in your hands in no time.

Check out the testimonials too – what better way to sell your service than to get a quick 30 second video and upload it to the website. And what is the best source of leads for a business like this? Referrals…you may not listen to Darryl but you’ll listen to his satisfied customers, particularly if they’re saying it to you directly and not just quoted. You can’t fake one of these easily!

I also happen to know that if you want to work for him you have to send him a video CV of why you should (he’s selling personality remember and you need to fit in) AND he sends his customers postcards from his holidays – a great personal touch, but wow, what a way to keep him in the front of your mind for when someone you know says ‘I need a good electrician’.

As I say –  a masterclass – enjoy.

http://www.bertelectrics.co.uk/

(And thanks to you too Darryl – we’ve never met but I couldn’t have written this without you!)

My Kind Of Graffiti

Business Graffiti – I like lists, top tips and wisdoms that sometimes help you do your job, often with some hidden gem that somehow rings a bell and makes sense (see my Leadership Musts and Shoulds too). Problem is always how to present them. Now I know that this is not graffiti but hey it gets the message across!

In this world of ‘work smarter not harder’, ‘removing  suboptimising’, ‘cross functional deployment’ and generally blinding business-speak, it is nice to come across a list that is down to earth and simply suggests ‘How to Work Better’, with practical, and frankly doable things that just make sense….don’t need to say much more!

How many out of the 10 are you doing today or will try to do tomorrow?

(and yes the little bit of OCD in me did spot the Say It Simple – *Simply…).

 

aand SMILE!

 

Leadership and The Art of Persuasion

Rhetoric

Most people only know about rhetoric when it is ’empty’ – could you, hand on heart, say what it actually was? Until I read a book just recently I didn’t quite understand how important the mastery of this could be for leaders and managers too (and I don’t mean the mastery of empty rhetoric!). The book, ‘You Talkin’ to Me – Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama’ by Sam Leith, is a fantastically good read http://amzn.to/vE1jMg . It helps you to understand the basics and more importantly what you can do to get better. A fundemental skill reqiured for good leadership too.

Rhetoric – the art of persuasion: the attempt by one human being to influence another in words. Simple isn’t it. And isn’t that something that every single day we have to do, in almost every part of what we do as leaders or managers of teams? We don’t work in businesses where people simply follow orders. We have instructions and requests, and things that we want to have happen to get things done, but almost all of the time our conversations with people involve some sort of persuasion.

Would you mind….? How about if….? I know how you might be feeling about this as I’ve been there, but..;What you need to do is not only talk the talk, but walk the talk…. We all have our styles and methods, some good, some (very) bad! The book is great in describing what exactly is going on when we use these words and phrases, with the terms and names, if you want to learn them (- I didn’t), and by doing so can teach you loads.

Example: ‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears…’ – an appeal to Ethos – ‘I am like you, we (friends), are together and you should really listen to me…..’ If you only learn about Ethos, Logos and Pathos you will be well on your way!

With famous speeches from Churchill, Obama and many others, as well as lesser known examples, Sam Leith takes you through the whole thing. I highly recommend it as almost essential reading for leaders and managers who need to persuade people, and those like me who, from time to time have to get up and speak to bigger groups or teams……Isn’t that all of us though?

(P.S. Have I persuaded you?!)