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A couple of month back I was invited to do a KEA talk on “return on involvement = return on investment” at Copenhagen Commerce Academy. It’s kind of like their own version of TED talks and I really digged it. I decided just to be me and let things come to me naturally knowing that the universe had got my back. The feeling I had after the talk was amazing and that’s always how I deem my success as a public speaker on digital tendencies and strategies, branding, involvement and social media. If I don’t feel amazing or good afterwards then I’m not pleased.
Return on Involvement = return on investment
Public speaking has always been a mystery to me. Seriously, it was one of the reasons I started Toothless Tiger. Suddenly companies was calling me to hear me speak on blogging (like 9 years ago). But I never really liked it much as a business artform, I liked writing much better, but I know that you need to do both to generate as much content around you as possible – Online as well as offline.
I met a fantastic lady at a private event a while back and she was telling me that one of the talks I did, that I thought was the worst ever (really I think it was so bad) she said that it had been a highlight for her. I told her that, in my opinion it was rock bottom when it came to public speaking for me. It could only get better from there.
Somewhere after that I decided that no matter if I was nervous or I thought I did amazing, the messages came across really well and people loved it.
I decided to be me and channel whatever was coming through me, this time on the subject of involvement. Doing some sort of structure in my head and go with it and not attach myself to a presentation. Because that’s not my thing. It confuses me more than it does me good.
“As active co-creators of our own future we cannot wait for others to make the decisions for us. We must start with ourselves, by making conscious choices on an everyday level and by trying to live and work in accordance with our values. With the danger of being ridiculed and criticized. With the danger of stepping out of line and being imperfect.”
Picture by Luca Sartoni Me. an official blogger. I guess it doesn’t get more official than that title. I have been blogging from digital conferences for a long while but during the 3 last years it has been as an official european blogger – running around at conferences like mad, producing content like videos, interviews, pictures and articles.
The content is produced around what’s happening at the conferences and what kind of key takeaways I have. (my blogger partner-in-crime during the last couple of digital conferences has been Annika Lidne, but also Erno Hannink and Adam Tinworth are some of the ones I see on, well, a more regular basis than my friends).
I blog for work purposes because I think it’s a vital part of my creative social web studio to stay ahead, but also to be around cool people from the sphere. Denmark (and in particularly Helsingør) can become a bit narrowing over time. (and I normally compile some of the key takeaways in my tendency reports – here’s the latest one for you =)
Anyway if you’ve been reading this blog for the past couple of weeks (or subscribed to my danish or english newsletter) you will be knowing that for the past week I have been in Berlin – first for re:publica and later for NEXT berlin – I decided to round up the bloggers in our group on the internet and ask about some piece of advice that I could post on my blog so you could see what really makes an official blogger happy!
The official blogger happiness list
Have a blogger list where every blogger is listed.
We’re all curious about who else is going to cover your conference. – A blogger group or mailinglist – we used a facebook group for Next Berlin – it has worked really well and the activity is still buzzing in there.
Get roaming and wifi through all of the stay for the bloggers
– heck do it for all the participants. Often a Telecom is one of the sponsors and this will not only keep the internationals super happy, they will also create more data around the conference (I remember being at a LIFT conference in Geneva at one point where we got wifi and roaming all over the city – it was a blast. –
Put the livestream of the conference on youtube instantly after the talk is over
I’m still waiting to see the alexander bard speech again – one that I think will be covered here in several blogposts – it was nothing short than fantastic =)
Connect the bloggers to the startups before the conference
we can take more input before and it could be that we could plan more interviews and articles at the conference if we had a plan before we went to the venue.
Wifi is essential
Really, you get pissed bloggers without wifi.
A blogger suite at the conference is also nice
We need a place with fatboys, coffee to edit our stuff. I said suite – not a couple of tables in a corner – the nicer suite the happier bloggers. The best one I’ve experienced was sponsored by Yahoo at Le Web in 2010.
A recording studio overlooking the venue for interviews/videos
It will make your conference appear more professional, and also it makes bloggers happier because they don’t have to use hours finding a somewhat remote location to shoot their videos – without the noise of 700 people in the room. Basically some places where we can talk to people/record video without interferences. Over the years the main form of content production has gone from being articles to be video and sound. So this is really important.
Special blogger/speaker events (some of them should be combined
there was one the day before the next berlin conference sponsored by moccu and adtiger – it was cool, however not a lot of bloggers was in the city at that point, so maybe one during the conference as well ? – Bloggers and speakers should be together – maybe a joined area for both and the a speaker and a blogger suite attached ?
A few fixed meetings for bloggers or an official contact list
accessible to anyone who would like to meet the blogger crew.
h2>Team to take care of the bloggers and help them with requests – pr-ip did an AWESOME job taking care of us around NEXT Berlin they have a top recommendation from me, they where omnipresent and super helpful and fun to be around =).
Accommodation options for Bloggers
pr-ip hooked some of the bloggers at Next Berlin up on AirBNB with an apartment – it was awesome).
Do everything you can to facilitate interviews between speakers and bloggers
Again – you have some of the coolest content producers present give them EVERYTHING to feel they are important.
Some sort of consensus on what it is you want from us would be awesome
Make it clear how much you expect from them. Literally there are some bloggers that covers a conference in 1 post and some that covers it in 50 interviews. Also mention what language preference you have. Thank you to my fellow official bloggers at Next Berlin (Fredrik Wass, Dimitris Kalogeropoulos, Sèbastien Flury, Anja Rauch, Luca Sartoni and Erno Hannink – ) for helping me out with this list.
So Next Berlin has begun and the first session here was Réne Obermann, VD för Deutsche Telekom telling us that prices go down and traffic goes down – but connectivity matters and that was where he saw the future of the Deutsche Telekom post-digital. However I was thinking and thinking that it’s quite ironic that there’s a speaker from Deutsche telekom on stage, talking about how much connectivity matters and in the meantime:
-In the audience no one (about from the ethernet tables in the back) could actually get on the wifi.
– You need a password to get on the wifi
– Roaming charges are still costing a fortune if you go outside of your own country. There’s none of the foreigners that are covering Next Berlin that are actually connected around the city.
I personally think there’s an irony in having the VD of Deutsche Telekom talking about connectedness and simplicity and security and transparence when it seems like that you can’t even go to another city 1 hour away from Copenhagen by plane ( because it’s in another country) without using your connectedness. I think it’s an important subject and I agree that it’s where telekom should make their money in their future. However I would love to see some action on userlevel behind those words.
It was in great contrast with the second keynote which was George Dyson about going from analogue to digital and now being on the way back to analogue values again, but with digital connectedness on top of that. And to make that happen we basically needs some telecom companies that are willing to taking down barriers – for their own sake, for the future and lastly for my sake, because I want to have the choice to be connected whereever I am =)
As you’re probably aware of, there’s a large part of my business life that is driving on a very special fuel: rockn’roll. It’s something that I’m super happy for, especially that other people are inspired by, and are using as means for more inspiration in business and (rockn’roll) leadership. Something I wouldn’t do without , and something that divides the waters around me – either you love it – or you think is kind of silly. It’s something that makes me love the rockn’roll fuel even more – because it’s narrowing my group of people down for me, which is awesome.
I love the edge that rockn’roll brings to business (I wrote about it in my free eBook called “why every company should be a rockband”) and it can move and shake everyone basically. Mainly because, that if you start to look at your business (or your board even) as a rockband and structuring your workday as a rockn’roll would you get instant gratification from the surroundings – you get more creative in your approach, because that’s what rockn’rollers do – they create, they display their art and then they go party.
However, what I call “rockbandism” (a company’s ability to rock) has changed over the years. Because of one thing actually: technology. How you navigate technology is key because you have to constantly figure out where the market (aka. the people is going) and adapt.
So what am I saying here – well that they ways you can display your business is growing by the day. You need to have somebody out there (both at networking events but also on your chosen social media) that can help your message come across to the people that potentially would really love your work.
Okay so more and more platforms Henriette, how do I navigate that ? Well first of all you need to prioritize some of them. And set up a system so you are aware of the rest of them – and potentially prioritize them in the future.
Also you need to get creative and see a content side to everything you do. Could be that it’s just a picture snap or a tweet – maybe something broader like a videoshow or an e-book around a great idea you have.
Then you display your business content to your audience, just get it out there 20 times a day.
And then you go party. ( I will do that later today as a part of my work as an official blogger for Next Berlin)Which mean talk to people. At networking events (preferably you’ve been working on some ingenious idea to capture these people in your business loop). Sometimes you can even go party online – BUT Im convinced that nothing really beats getting people to see you rock it off in real life=)
I have an advisory board (funnily enough – they are all LADIES!) in Toothless Tiger/Henrietteweber.com – and I love them to pieces – however there are a couple of people who I want to have on my advisory board, but they don’t have the time. They are busy doing other things which I totally respect!
So I did something really smart (I think) I told these people – whom I respect enormously, that they where a part of my “skype trusted power posse”, meaning people I skype with from time to time – when Im going crazy having my own business and I don’t know if there’s anybody in the whole world feeling like i do.
The Power posse is not formal, but it’s reaching out to people who I can talk to about anything.
You know what? Most of the times there is people out there feeling the same way as I do. Yesterday I had written an email to Martin telling him some very personal business stuff that I have going on about succes and you know.. “getting there” as a business owner.
Well knowing that I am already “there” and I have achieved a 100.000 things in my time running Toothless Tiger. I think I want the structure and the calmness of feeling that I am succesful. It’s an over-ambitious uncertainty of mine. I feel the whole world is further ahead than me. Anyway Martin said these words (and I quote:) “Puke on success. Seriously. Fuck it.” I took them in, success is now puke-able to me.
Instead he said “focus on creating value” all the time. I get that. I love to make people happy. I love to share the love. Send an email to that prospect hearing them out how they are doing. Talk to your suppliers. Forget about the hecticness of social media. Just reach out to people and create value – and set up a structure where you ensure that they get that value over and over again. Succes is hereby banned from my vocabulary, it has such a negative effect on me=)
Pressphoto of Cindy from Cindygallop.com
A couple of weeks back I was at the London Web summit- a day conference in London about the web and everything related. I was really lucky to get to talk to the iconic Cindy Gallop about her field of work : Action branding – Something I myself am wildly inspired by. I think it’s so important, especially if you’re on a quest to make the world a bit better day by day, from your point of view and as a business unusual activist.
Cindy did an amazing talk at the summit, on her work with her make love not porn startup – a website you have to visit and an utterly important message to both incorporate yourself, but also to teach the children of tomorrow.
Anyway I wanted to talk to her about her work with action branding and her company if we ran the world. Before heading off to London Web Summit, I read up on her, and found out that she, amongst other things was deemed one of the most accomplished and authentic people by Leslie Bradshaw in this 8 page long article for Forbes ( it’s a must-read peeps – trust me=)
According to Cindy – what makes a brand sexy is it’s willingness to take chances. She believes that business being driven by personal philosophies is viable strategy for the economy of the future- which, if I may add 2 cents of Henriette Weber – also brings my beloved substance to a brand. If you take chances and drive your business by personal philosophies, you’re actually being the change you want to see in the world. Cool n’est pas?
Right now we have a lot of human and corporate good intentions that never gets put into action – for the sake of running a business. We’re so busy running businesses, and yep, running a business is an artform in itself, but we need to have the good intentions incorporated – as actions- naturellement.
If you listen to Cindy (including reading up on her amazing body of work, I’ve listed my favorite links in the bottom of this article) you quickly figure out that her message is to make “good intentions put into action” a huge part of the core of the business. In fact, I take that back, it’s not “just” a message, it’s more of a directive for survival of your company.
We need something she calls micro-actions – the equivalent of 140 characters, but where you don’t just talk – in addition to the talking you actually act on something. It give me a feeling of “enough of co-creation – let’s start to do some co-action” instead (which Cindy also mentioned)- it’s a much more powerful tool – and a tool that I personally think we will see being much used in the future.
So if you where to take it from Cindy – what parts of your personal philosophies could you implement at the core of your business and create action and branding around ?
I’ve checked up on the core of henrietteweber.com and Toothless Tiger myself and even though I think it’s well aligned, I think it’s a checkup that everybody should do of their business – you always find something- right ?
Anyway here’s some more Cindy rockn’roll:
I love my business contacts. So much that in a lot of cases I call them my business rockers. Today I want you to meet Yohanna Idha – a friend of mine.
Pictures fromÂ yohannaidha.se
The first person I want you to meet is a fine lady. So fine that she’s even won “best actress” at the stockholm film festival this fall. Her name is Yohanna Idha and I have been so fortunate to work with her a couple of years back on some projects and now she is a Swedish moviestar taking over the world.
here’s her answers to some questions I asked her:
What are you working on right now ?
I am performing and producing the theatre play “truth motherfucker” which revolves around lifting the feelings and experiences today’s youth carry. We are gathering 5000 stories on the Internet to tell the truth about how people really feel and to show that they are not alone. From those we will chose 50 stories over the course of 3 yrs which will be performed and end in a festival 2014. A bold project which will hopefully change the way we deal with “problems”.
I am also rehearsing the Hamlet Machine which will premiere in May and is a collaboration with French director Clyde Chabot.
So you received the best actress award from Stockholm film festival for your part in Katinkas Kalas – how has that changed your life ?
First of all it was a confirmation for myself. It is so easy to start doubting your own ability. winning this award will forever be a reminder for
Myself that my work and passion is of value to someone else. From a business point of view The price helped put me on the map as an actress.
You’ve always been digitally curious and I have been so lucky to work with you on some projects, are you thinking about any changes to your digital brand, marketing and identity as it is now ?
I am constantly reflecting about marketing tools and the way I present myself on the Internet and in person. It becomes even more important when People begin to recognize who you are…
can you list 5 tips for anyone out there who wants to work the movies like you do ? What has been pivotal for you ?
1:Â education and training. Being an actress is being a tool the same way being a dancer is. As Actors we need constant training to develop ourselves and our emotional range.
2: Find a safe place within yourself. Being subjected to constant rejection and judgement can drain you and alter your personality in ways that aren’t constructive. Find a place within yourself where you feel mentally safe and go back to that place when things feel rough around you.
3:Take care of your body. Be prepared
For whatever challenges you may encounter. Taking care of your body is essential to be the best you can be and being healthy and happy.
4: be professional. Be on time, learn your lines, be prepared and act professional towards EVERYONE You meet. Small mistakes can lead to great losses!
5: work, work, work.
Noone Else will do it for you! The sooner you start realizing that you are a company and that all companies need lots of work – the better you’ll do for yourself.
I’ve included the link to the trailer of Katinka’s Kalas you can see Yohanna in action here.
My “personal brand” kind of snook up on me in the middle of the night. When I started henrietteweber.com back in 2005 I had no intention of turning it into a brand – as little as I had intended for it to be read by anybody else than my english-speaking friends.
It kind of grew on me, to a place where I know that people come to me for advice, launches Â and strategies around marketing, branding and identity – because I am – well- Me. When I saw that I myself was the core reason for people to purchase my services both here on henrietteweber.com and on Toothless Tiger, I started to get strategic around my brand – or myself. So here’s a small recap what I think I’ve done well -and what I could have done more of.
Here’s what I wish I would have done more of:
Seeing it as a business Â and have been more targeted in my content.Â
Henrietteweber.com didn’t start out as a business – but it fast became a way for me to rant and vent about stuff I thought was wrong with the world. I wish I would have written 2 blogposts a day and build on it all the time. I wish I would have identified what it should have been about and stuck to that instead of doing things that might not fit with the brand – but I thought was cool.
Set up the newsletter from beginning
I wish I would have set up my danish and english newsletters from the beginning because they make so much sense for me to publish, They come out every 2nd week and they are filled with stuff I love and stuff I think is valuable for people who reads them. However they have only excisted for 2 years or so, because I, naive and curly as I can be, chose to stick to the blog for a long while. The point is, that where the blogformat reaches some people, newsletters reaches some other people. Everytime I send out a newsletter I get requests for something. Everytime I write a blogpost people send me emails saying how much they like them. Two very different but important things to keep me going and making me feel love and blessed with cool people around me. thank you!=)
Interview more people and get more guestblogposts from my network on henrietteweber.com
Very early on, I decided not to get guestblogposts from people I didn’t know well, but I think I should have interviewed more people on here for the blog – around digital marketing, branding and identity.
Create more videos.Â
I love to create videos and I wish I would have done it more and structured it more, normally it became some really cool return on involvement videos, that was captured really fast, but where the message could have been stretched and made more creative.
Things I think I’ve done pretty well
I showed up at the events in my area of work:
For the first couple of Â years, one of the heavy things on my budget for Toothless Tiger was conferences and large european events in the field I wanted to work in, with the people I was inspired by. and let me tell you how many people there are doing awesome things in digital – A lot. So here I was
I did events myself:Â
Geekdinners, Barcamps, Geek Girl Meetups, Social Media Club meetings, I have done them all =) and I love it, but it’s a lot of work=)
I published blogposts that spoke my mind
It made people Love me or hate me – which is how I would like to have it. It’s so important to me that I don’t feel like people are indifferent about me.
I spoke at a lot of events
Sometimes really cool events, other times really bad events. However It made me structure my talks a lot and it made me have a large amount of people who knew what I wanted to do with the world and where I came from.
I transformed ideas into blogposts into e-books, books and manifestos
I knew that my way to make this fun for me, was to keep adding my own 2 cents – not just linking to other people. So I made up maps in my head and put them out there in the world. Like my ebook: why every company should be a rockband, which was a blogpost on toothlesstiger.com, then a talk at the Shift Conference in Portugal, then an ebook, then another talk, then a part of my danish book Return on Involvement, and now one of the pillars of my work around involvement.
And you ? have you been here for a long while ? what would you have liked to see me do more of ? what have you liked in particularly ? any ideas or comments are greatly appreciated =)
Be guys – just Be.