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Business Unusual

7 things about visionaries who puts purpose before profit

7 things about visionaries

– Visionaries does, almost by definition, sell more in the long run, compared to those who are all about profit.

– Visionaries can be woken in the middle of the night and answer the question “what are you fighting for” in one question- where some people can only give you their value statement.

– Visionaries knows that creativity is the most rebellic thing ever – together with creativity’s just-as-equal right hand: action.

– Believes in the power of relationship instead of cold (dead?) canvas when it comes to sales.

– Stays curious and is eager to learn new stuff

– Look at problems as opportunities for growth

– Know that babysteps will get you there too

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Business Unusual

Social media value chain: the brand is human

value chain social network

In this age of social media and networking, people are reaching out rather than merely waiting for brands to approach them. As a result, discoverability is important – a brand and its offerings need to be discovered with ease on every platform. This is one way of putting your name and brand out there, in social networking.
But making sure that your brand is discoverable is not enough. Today savvy marketers are adopting the full measure of how people consume information and create buying decisions. Audiences are consuming media in different ways – through all kinds of screens, phones, tablets and computers. They have more control of when, where, and how they engage brands making the landscape for marketing so chaotic. But as a brand you should not only navigate the chaos, you should be enjoying it, because it’s so much more creative and exciting At the same time, advances in technology have also made relationship marketing and content marketing more effective.
Marketing based on relationship should make sure that all involvement channels are focused to advance prospects from awareness to consideration to purchase and use so that they become brand advocates. Is that the social media value chain ? Yes it is. I have even published a free downloadable ebook about this, called “Rock your identity” or “rock din identitet” (in danish) which is consisting of my value chain for social networking called the “social media value chain”.
To engage effectively in social media, it is essential to know where all those relevant conversations are taking place, what is being discussed in those conversations and who are the most influential conversationalists. Before you dive headfirst into those conversations, it is important to know that it requires full transparency – identifying yourself and your affiliations – and brands that have tried underhanded tactics in social media such as pretending to be someone else other than they are have generated negative reactions from the communities, often extreme ones.
But transparency is easy – it merely requires simple acknowledgement of who is joining in online conversations – “Hey, I’m from brand X, I hear you talk about this. Here’s our take on this topic.” Or even, “I see you have some concerns about the technology. I think this is where our technology fits in.”

You have to be careful not to engage mindlessly into any conversation, plastering sales pitches all over the place. If you enter in conversations that don’t have natural and immediate connections to what you’re dying to say, don’t bring it up. Just go with the conversation flow, participate based on what the community members are talking about, and stand out from the crowd by making thoughtful and intriguing comments.
By providing valuable insights to the topic at hand, brands can gain the respect of the community. And later, when the context is perfectly relevant, you can bring out your pitch, Or even if you’re lucky they will ask for your pitch themselves.

Surely, this will generate more of a positive impact on your brand by showing the brand is involved, that the brand cares, and that the brand is human.

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Business Unusual

Business Unusual: create the best viral videos and make your message stronger

I have for years and years been a huge fan of ImprovEverywhere and the work of Charlie Todd.  I’m psyched because it seems like the happenings shakes the status quo for a lot of people (in particular the people in the videos).  I mean if I would have been in one of them, I would surely see the world as more creative and as a place where everything can happen. Well I already do. I think it’s awesome that some people are committed to this instead of watching TV. I loved how they staged a fake U2 concert in the middle of NY Anyway here’s a few of my personal favorites from ImprovEverywhere:

Best Buy uniform prank:

 

Open Mini-Golf tournament:

And an oldie but a goodie: “Look up more”:

You can’t stop smiling watching these right ? There’s a ton of them over on ImprovEverywhere’s Youtube Channel. And if you’re in need of inspiration I would suggest to go in and pick a random video and watch it. You will instantly feel better. But enough of the fan-whoring. Here’s some of the commercials I think is largely inspired by ImprovEverywhere and they grabbing attention as well as some of the best viral videos.

So What makes them into the best viral videos?

Well first of all they have a huge element of surprise. Something is completely out of context.

Then they have a huge involvement of people and community they are both very staged and very planned. Almost in a flashmob kind of way, but then again not quite.

They give the spectors a huge experience with a strong message. I can almost guarantee you that everyone of the people who experienced either the action happening or the stop traffiking happening will tell their friends about it.

They are shot in one take. And you even feel that when you see them on social media and in casestudies afterwards.

I think that’s what you have to aim for to create the best viral videos – here’s two of my favorites:

 

A dramatic surprise on a quiet square campaign:

Stop the Traffik viral campaign:

I love how these campaigns are inspiring and how they speak strong. But I am wondering how the people who where watching the actual events they felt ? I mean do they go ” oh it’s just a campaign” – well it’s not just a commercial message, it’s a viral video! and even though the actual event only have taken maybe 5 minutes to record think about how many times it’s going to be looked upon on the internet.

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Business Unusual

Business unusual: Becoming a relatable company in tiny steps

Ever since I was an activist teenager rebelling against the world and myself, I have been a sucker for change and companies- my definition of business unusual. I guess it was one of the things I learned most from hanging mentally out with Naomi Klein and Kalle Lasn and staying a whole summer in super rebellic Montreal, at that point in time where you could actually buy a coffin up there to sleep in (hello electronic goth days!). But I can get into total handclapping spasm if a company actually does something to better the world around them, or better themselves to be a larger part of the world around them. And I can as quickly grasp my pen and paper and write columns to the local newspaper if I think they are doing something wrong. Like when I was a teenager, I got so furious because the first thing you see when you enter my hometown Helsingør on top of a hill suddenly wasn’t the beautiful coast of Sweden but a gigantic McDonald’s sign (that was my first column and my mother vetoed me sending it to the local newspaper).

When I was a kid, if the teacher asked us to draw a company or a business we would draw a factory with smoke coming out of the chimney and wastewater coming out of a pipe in a lake and a couple of fish with x’ed out eyes (so they were dead). I wonder what people would draw now if you asked them to draw a company. Some would draw brands. But one problem that a lot of companies encounter is that they are not relatable. This is a HUGE internal problem for a company doing business in a world where business is largely personal and social. I see these companies as standing on the sideline of a football match saying “hey, why won’t you play with us?” and the companies and people playing shouts back “Because we don’t know you well enough”.
We all know that the conditions for business have changed. From business as usual to business unusual. Today the pace of society has made it hard for companies to brand themselves, not only on the aspect of technological pace but also more about how our buying behaviors changed – largely because of the internet and the closeness that social media has brought us together as overall societies. You can’t really do a standalone brand value chain anymore because it has become so incredibly disruptive.
When I get lucky and get hired into a brand brainstorming session, an advisor role or a concept building role (which could happen more you business people out there with a lot of money!) with a new client, I tell them that step one in making your brand more “cool and filled with substance” is to make sure that every touchpoint they have with their surroundings has a person attached to it. Normally the management hesitates for a second and then burst out: “But that would mean every person in our organization would be some sort of personal brand.”

Yes it would. And that’s a good thing. Yes, I want you to do personal branding galore. No, it’s not enough to create personal branding solely for the CEO because normally he doesn’t have a lot of time to talk to people. No, you can’t keep personal brands as a part of your organization if they leave. It’s personal. It’s something that creates legacy for the person who has the brand, and better their chances of getting a job someplace else. See it as employee maintenance. But what if every piece of information going out from a company has a sender attached to it. What would happen if Mr. Larsen asked to talk to Betty every time he has a problem, and Mr. Jensen would ask for Sandy because they became the one to one face of a given company? It would mean that the trust of the company would increase. What if everyone in the company had their name as email addresses? Would you rather write betty@giganticboringcorp.com or BCM57@giganticboringcorp.com? The same on social media – what would happen if everybody knew the blogger/twitter/facebook/instagram team of company xx? It would turn a tiny part of the company from unrelatable to relatable.

Try it out and show the rest of us who you really are.

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Business Unusual

3 ways to break down Word-of-Mouth

We have long known the value of word-of-mouth. While word-of-mouth has always been done the same way since we’ve learned to talk and socialize in such forms as a person-to-conversations as in the city square’s since forever, or over-the-phone interactions since 1961, the internet has provided a much faster way to share our opinions about the stories from people or brands that touches our emotions, needs or demand.  However: even today offline Word-of-Mouth consists of more than 90 {5efe2dfab989fd5e1401261f36f469c26e78ec7db6dd6d3e4b43ca097ae6fc54} of all conversations.

The rise of social media where people are sharing their opinions and others’ opinions the agree or disagree with, or are inspired by,  in close-knit communities is changing the context of word-of-mouth from the primary social interaction between two people who knows each other well and trust each other, to engagement between total strangers, or between people who only know each other online.

However, I don’t personally regard the online and offline word-of-mouth as an either/or situation – even though only a dismal 10{5efe2dfab989fd5e1401261f36f469c26e78ec7db6dd6d3e4b43ca097ae6fc54} are happening online, this is where a lot of my work is done and inspiration found. And those 10 {5efe2dfab989fd5e1401261f36f469c26e78ec7db6dd6d3e4b43ca097ae6fc54} gives an extremely good outlook for the remaining 90 {5efe2dfab989fd5e1401261f36f469c26e78ec7db6dd6d3e4b43ca097ae6fc54} (business talk: enormously large focus-group anyone ?) I have always regarded the digital world as an extension of the real world. Each complements the other. You hear from a friend about this product holding great promise and then you read reviews of it online before you make your purchase. Or someone from your social network forwards you a great viral advert and you showed it to your hubby over dinner. Or you walk into a clothing store, find a great pair of sneakers and go home and buy them online. Yeah that happens a lot these days.

I think the only reason why this online vs. offline debate continues to linger is because online word-of-mouth is much easier to measure than the offline. We’ve got tools to track brand mentions from brand conversations to following word-of-mouth on social networks so companies can gauge consumer sentiments – whether positive or negative – on 24/7 basis. On the other hand, offline measurement of word-of-mouth is so much harder to obtain and, it usually relies on asking people to remember conversations on a certain brand they have had, a costly and time-consuming endeavor within the time-compressed virtual world..

Given the inherent advantage of measuring online word-of-mouth as opposed to the overwhelming dominance of offline word-of-mouth in terms of sales, I have tried to tame the tiger and identified three forms of word-of-mouth that business leaders should understand in order to have a fighting chance – experiential, consequential, and intentional.

I think the most powerful and common form of word-of-mouth is the experiential as it results from consumers’ direct experience from brands. It is worth noting that people rarely complain or praise a brand for performing what’s expected but will go out of their way when the experience deviates from the expected. Criticisms when airlines lose luggage are classic instances of experiential word-of-mouth (United breaks guitars anyone ?) negatively affecting brand sentiment and reducing the effect of positive word-of-mouth from other sources. Of course, positive word-of-mouth resulting from exceptional service will generate windfalls for the brand.
But marketing activities can also trigger word-of-mouth, the most common of which is the consequential word-of-mouth. It occurs when people are exposed to traditional marketing campaigns, such as t.v., pass on messages about the ads or the brand they broadcast. The impact of these handed down messages is often more compelling than the direct effect of the advert as marketing campaigns that trigger positive word-of-mouth have relatively higher campaign reach and influence.

And the least common form of word-of-mouth is intentional as when business use celebrity endorsements to generate excitement around the brand. Before the advent of social media, only a few brands ever invest in intentional word-of-mouth because its effects and execution are hard to measure. Today, however, the shift of power from the brand to the increasingly opinionated consumer has forced the companies to look for brand advocates to amplify the brand within a given community.

At the end of the day, the vast expanse of opportunities that brands have to connect with their peers to boost awareness, appreciation and conversation with the goal of increasing sales doesn’t occur in the online world as many marketing pundits would have us believe. I like to emphasize that, sure, online is also important. But where the real sales are created – that’s offline. It’s where real stories are created and lived because that’s where we live and breathe.

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Business Unusual

Babystepping your way to make a living off your passion

Is it even possible for ALL of US to have our passions be our main source of income?  Can you make a living off your passion?

Sure, we’ve been hearing a lot of stories about the few lucky people striking their pots of gold, sometimes making us bright red with pangs of bitterness, but is it really possible for the average you and me? Or are those who made it to their promised land really have the grand scheme of the universe going for them?

Well, after years of doing business unusual, I have good news for you…

I’m sure that there’s something that you love doing, or even business ideas you’d been developing that someone else would be happy to pay top dollar for, right at this moment. But if that’s the case then why is it that 80{5efe2dfab989fd5e1401261f36f469c26e78ec7db6dd6d3e4b43ca097ae6fc54} of the working people are resigned to jobs they can barely swallow?

Why?

The simple truth is that it’s not easy. And most people aren’t really prepared to give up their salary…

Yeah, rockers, following your passions and trying to make a living out of it means not working for those stable employers (though it’s possible) and getting your regular paycheck every two weeks. Instead, you got to figure out how to make money on your own. That’s the hard part. This is why most people would just grudgingly settle for the paycheck.

Of course, I know the why of it all still remain unanswered. Why can some people invite the sort of enviable success, a fortunate few even jumping seamlessly from one passionate venture to the next, achieving all sorts of achievement, while the unfortunate majority can’t even take that first step to find their passions, and build the same profitable careers out of it? Is there some voodoo or mystical mantras behind it all?

As it turns out, passionate people live not by their passions alone but they seem to possess the uncanny ability to know what’s actually possible. They have an open, wide view of the steps they need to take, so they just dive headfirst to whatever creative idea that excites them in any given moment.

But the rest of the world seems too absorbed with bills to pay that the most spectacular ideas are often smothered inside the creative minds of the average Joe without ever seeing the light of day. It’s sad, and it doesn’t have to be this way.

You agree?

Let me start by telling you that you don’t have to give up your day jobs just so you can pursue your passions. By all means, keep your jobs to pay the bills but delegate enough time to tinker around. After all, if an idea or product evokes so much emotion, then you won’t even notice the amount of time you spent perfecting whatever it is that inspires you.

The next step lies in removing the barriers within your mind.  One of the most common hurdles stopping people from living off their passions is the wrong sided belief that you don’t know something well enough to get paid to teach it to somebody else. That’s a lot of bulls—t – you know more than you think. Expertise is largely based on perceptions, and it is always relative.

To my mind, the last and greatest burden is purely cultural. We grew up in a society conditioned to believe that it’s not possible – and downright impractical – to build a career around your passion. I think the only way to get around this negative, collective mentality is to hang out with people already living comfortably by creating value out of their passions. If you spend enough time with people living squarely off their dreams and insanely proud of doing it, then the impossible becomes possible.

Try this; the shift in psychology will rock your world….

Start by doing one small thing to build the empire of you. I started out by booking a lot of unpaid speaking gigs around blogging. It made me aware that I was too geeky in my approach to the audience (but I became known as the danish blog girl).

Then I hit upon this (great) idea of turning companies into rockbands, which I spent 14 nights writing an ebook around that I gave away for free – and later people could purchase it by opting-in to my newsletter.

An empire of you is built on babysteps. Take the first one now. If you should do one tiny step in the direction of having an empire of you in a couple of years, what would that be ?

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Business Unusual

Get your own personal business mojo going, rockers

Oh, I know the whole drill. And I want to consider putting some serious effort into your business mojo.

As a business-owner, sometimes you have a great product that you’re super-excited about, and you just can’t wait to present it to the Whole Wide World. Your nights are filled with wonderful dreams about how people will line up to buy your product, and your days are loaded with ideas on fine-tuning and making this product greater still so nothing can go wrong.

get your business mojo going

 

Then you got yourself a wonderful website, your virtual shopfront a showcase of everything and anything you can think of about this product. You got every base covered, and you started waiting in anticipation for the cash to settle in….these are good times.

Then reality settles in with a loud thud…Nobody seems to notice your website, everybody seems to go past your shop door. On good days, a few trickles in but stays only on your homepage before going away – forever.

Slowly, your days become full of self-doubt, and your nights are filled with nightmares straight out of a horror movie… You feel like an outcast, and the pain just won’t go away…these are bad times.
Sounds familiar? Yeah, I know the feeling of being an outcast, a social pariah. I have been through that before, on a more personal level. But I have overcome the stigma, of which I have celebrated in this blogpost.
In hindsight, perhaps the reason why I chose a career in marketing, specifically, in that super niche world of advising company boards, start-ups, web shops, and design companies was because of my innate desire to celebrate myself; that I can still create value while being a rebel. I even give personal marketing advice to CEOs of really big companies. And I do speaking gigs on the side, initially in protest to my stage fright, but I’d come to totally enjoy these gigs now.
Having gone through the same experience as you do, I know I can help you. Yeah, whatever product you offer must be great. Perhaps the only reason why nobody cares is because nobody knows your product is there.

The biggest mistake you can make in your business is waiting for your intended consumers to notice you. You should reach out to them. They are just out there, waiting for you. But you should initiate the contact. They are just too busy.

So, get that business mojo going and start market yourself in all kinds of quirky shapes and colours!

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Business Unusual

How I build strategic relationships on social media

strategic relationships on social media

Strategic relationships on social media is only an introduction away

Have you ever thought about that people, in most cases, get a whole new world of leads and strategic relationships opened up to them when they connect with someone on social media? Ah! the smell of lead generation in the morning.

If we pause our hectic world for a minute, I think it’s in order to celebrate that business tools are working so much better for us than they did 40 years ago. Mainly because they’ve gotten the whole online part developed as well.

And I love the combination of online and offline.  What I love about building strategic relationships on social media (driving a b2b business and all) is that you can actually get introduction to people who doesn’t know you yet in there. From people who really digs what you do.

It’s a business unusual sales approach for most companies.

One cool thing I have done, is that I have identified 100 people in my network, who happens also to be on linkedin, who would be likely to introduce me to other people from their network, because they love what I do. I have put them on a list in my CRM system and I look that list over once a week to see who I can hook up with who.

If you don’t have a 100 people who can introduce you to other people, start with 5 people and see if you can get one introduction from each. Get those strategic relationships/ coffee meetings going and build on your network.

If you’re thinking : oh but that’s shady Henriette, I beg to differ, it’s not shady, it’s business. Like in a 50s movie where two chainsmoking bourbon drinking executives they meet in a bar and one of the says “let’s do business – I have a proposal for you”.

I would never meet with people to pitch them, but I do meet with them to interview them for my websites or newsletters, with the purpose to get to know them better.

What I really like about this approach is that it has helped my own insecurities as a entrepreneur that also has to do sales sometimes. Instead of being terribly confused around sales I identified what actually worked for me. And strategic introductions and coffee meetings do.

After getting this thing in order. I hired Denmarks coolest manager; NiNi Biilmann to help me structure my sales proces. I also got really inspired by the work of salesdivas.com and Kim Duke who has a down to earth practical approach to sales.

I can’t tell you what a relief it was for me, to actually put all my sales confusion on hold because I just took a hard look in the mirror and said “this is what I am good at” and “this is what I don’t want to do”. So instead of using time cracking your own sales codes, get out there and talk to people.

Ps. also I made my strategic relationships-building into a win-win situation by telling people that I will of course give them an introduction the other way around. I have a whole map drawn up around who I want to introduce to whom in my network.

Pps. there’s nothing BETTER to me than a email from a dear friend saying “you guys need to hook up” with an introduction – it something that can make my day – anyday. So get those emails going and start sharing some strategic relationship love.

 

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Business Unusual

Corporations as concertplanners

I am getting real fed up with corporations who wants to be concertplanners to promote themselves. ( come on, in the end you want to have a part of our brains)!
Yesterday was a day to remember because White Stripes played in Copenhagen together with the raveonettes.. ( and they were fantastic). the arrangement was made by “TDC” a danish telephone company..
the venue was extraordinary, the sound was great.. it was just too bad you couldn’t see the band.
Literally… I saw them for about 5 seconds at a time.
My boyfriend who is about 1.90 meter tall – couldn’t see them that much either.
I missed Jack White playing on his guitar and his stage act.. buhu

the stage was probably one of the lowest stages I have ever seen..

so next time ( when you want to arrange a concert).. do it properly !

I wont say I’ve wasted 400 kr on a ticket.. but my concert could have been 50 times better…

So, Meg and Jack, I hope to see you again sometime soon… and this time on a proper stage.

me before I knew how I was going to feel after two hours of standing on my toes

a picture of me at the show… before I knew how my legs were going to feel after 2 hours of standing on my toes.

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Business Unusual

thought of the day

the best way to secure worldpeace would to have every single person in the world to sing “all you need is love” by the beatles 4 times each day…