Category Archives: Featured
The team at Trendr Inc. is out to transform the way you live your professional life. The Montreal Start-up launched their mobile app to facilitate face to face meetings – as people dive deeper and deeper into social, they maintain, there is no substitute for meeting face to face when you’re doing business.
I’d been following Trendr for a while, but had not yet had the chance to really see the app in action. The Trendr team invited me out to their Meeting Zone at the Montreal Grand Prix to check it out first hand, here’s my review.
How does Trendr Work?
Using data from GPS and your LinkedIn contacts, the Trendr app provides a full suite of possibilities for connecting with the people in your network face to face. With a full array of options for visibility, requesting meetings, or simply seeing who is near by, the natural advantage of this app comes into play when you’re at major events.
Setting up easy access points for meeting at major events:
The Trendr Meeting Zone
Before this event, I had looked at Trendr from an individual user perspective. It was interesting to see how far my contacts were. When travelling in different cities, I always enjoyed seeing who in my contact list was near by. It made it easy to identify who I should set up meetings with and oftentimes it reminds you that some people you haven’t seen for a while are closer than you think. In a world of business travel and constantly moving people, it really helps to connect with people who are there, now.
A Totally New Approach : Meeting the People You Want to Meet at A Sporting Event
At events where there are hundreds and thousands of people, it is often difficult to connect up with the people you want to see. When I went to the Grand Prix yesterday, I knew there were tons of people there I knew – but connecting would have been difficult.
Peter Davison, @OurManInMTL, CMO of Trendr Inc, walked me through this newest release of Trendr, and I immediately saw the advantages. I knew who was around, I was able to invite friends to join Trendr and invite them to the Trendr meeting zone.
The meeting zone provides a place for people to meet and discuss business. Rather than bumping into people or finding them in the stand where they are focused on the event, it allows people to not only connect face to face, but have a spot to mix a little business in with pleasure when they are ready.
Show Me The Money: Do You Really Get Business Out Of Social Apps?
If you engage in social media tools to sell, or do so to simply advertise and promote, then it is likely you wont make any money. No body wants to connect with a streaming advertisement, or follow someone who is always broadcasting pitches. Apps like Trendr , or involvement in social networking allow for one thing, getting to know people, learning about people – and for those who are truly genuine business people, this leads to relationships and also learning about how you can help others.
The folks at Trendr reached out to me a couple of weeks ago about their insurance, that was business. At the site yesterday, I had a great discussion with the people at Kutoto, I had never met them before, but after a while of conversing, I liked them, and I liked what I learned about their products, that will lead to business. Not only did I learn about them, but I was able to connect them with some projects I thought they might enjoy.
I heard a lot of business going on at the Trendr tent. For people looking to make new connections and build collaborations, I can say (without revealing the details) I heard some serious business going on. Put yourself at the middle of the action in the VIP zone at the Grand Prix, or any other event, you are going to meet like minded business people. Business and pleasure do mix, and they mix well, because you aren’t there for a pitch, you’re there to enjoy, learn, share and converse. What better way to build ideas, collaborations, and explore possibilities?
— Jiri Bindels (@JiriBindels) June 8, 2013
So to the nay-sayers and those who doubt social, I want to confirm to you – if you do social right that means:
I liked the Trendr app and meeting zone for this. It was pretty cool, and I definitely see some bottom dollars coming from it from everything I heard and experienced myself.
What about privacy?
No problem! If you worry that all of a sudden you’ll be inundated with meeting requests when at these events, Trendr also worked in an invisible option and allows you to control whether or not you have your GPS on, as well as set availability and do not disturb times.
What are you waiting for? Go out and start meeting your connections today!
I’m headed down to the Trendr meeting zone again today at the Grand Prix , to say hello and keep meeting contacts face to face. Yesterday I met the great folks from Whopaid.it and Kutoto, some great people from Australia, and of course the Trendr team! There’s no telling who will stop by the Trendr Meeting Zone today, but if you’re nearby, stop in and say hello because nothing beats a face to face meeting when it comes to doing business and building relationships.
Not sure where the Trendr Zone is, or need help with your app, just send me a tweet – let us know you’re checking things out – The best part of social media is, we’ll see it and connect from there! There’s no better way to put a face to the name.
See you soon!
Oftentimes when you give a formal name to something, the initial concept which it is based on grows into what seems to be a heavier, more complex issue. Content marketing is a huge case in point. The term has become so important in online marketing success, that people are often intimidated by the concept.
- What are we going to write about?
- What kind of “content” can we use?
- We don’t have the time, how on earth will we figure this all out?
What does it take to be engaging?
The answer is simple, it doesn’t come from hours of sitting around meeting tables writing content topics and editorial calendars. It comes from taking the issues and interests of your target population, listening to your employees and your customers and simply extending responses to the online world.
Java U, a Montreal based coffee shop had an awesome example of “real” content that makes for great community engagement. Aside from having great coffee, the staff who works at the Ste-Catherine Street location are always friendly, and quite “engaging”.
They smile at you, they remember your favorite drinks, and when you talk to them, they are genuinely interested. They make it pleasant to come and see them. They take the time to know you. Does this sound the the recipe for success when managing a brand online?
Brilliance & Authenticity Come Naturally
A few months ago I noticed something new at their cash. Instead of having a simple tip jar, they started putting out two tip jars, and on each one they would write something different. What they chose to spotlight often allowed for some expression of personal taste or style. The first one I really noticed was “IronMan” or “Batman” (see photo in the collage below).
Where did this idea come from? Was it a long meeting where the top officials at Java U sat down and drafted hundreds of options? Or had a long discussion on how to come up with some “engaging activities”? Was it out of a marketing book? The idea has been in the franchise for years, and the weekly topics come from Phaedra, one of the Java U employees who so obviously cares and loves her job. With simple execution and leadership values that not only allow for but appreciate & encourage creativity at work, this totally fun and easy idea keeps clients smiling.
I asked Janet Lane, inspiring leader and General Manager for all the Java U stores about the initiative, here’s what she had to say:
“This is why I love hiring artists in the cafes – they are always full of creativity and know how to spark customer relations…..Phaedra who comes up with the weekly ideas is awesome!” She also added, “Bimal Das, is doing an awesome job of managing that store and always comes up with customer centric ideas, like keeping the loyalty cards on the wall so customers who don’t want to carry them around, always have them nearby.”
Sometimes the best examples of strong content marketing & outstanding service come from the simplest ideas.
So what’s the recipe for success in business which also carries through online? It’s simple:
- Hire people who care
- Create an environment where creativity is not only appreciated, but encouraged
- Spotlight your employees and your customers (notice how Janet attributed all this success to her awesome barista & store manager?)
- It doesn’t have to be complicated, if it makes your customer smile – you’ve won.
- Encourage participation with your efforts – but don’t make people go out of their way! The tip jars show clients you car about their opinion, their choice – yet don’t ask them to do anything out of the ordinary.
- Provide light entertainment and a possibility for discussion.
- Be consistent. The tip jar topics change every week. I for one look forward to seeing what Phaedra comes up with! It always makes me smile. Do something that keeps people coming back and having fun.
Yes, there is a lot more to content marketing than just one campaign, but the lesson from this very simple idea is as solid as they come – it doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to relate to your clients and give them some value.
Next time you are racking your brain struggling to think about what you can write about, take a moment, look around ask the people on the front lines of your business what they think. Take the pressure off – a little creativity and fun might just solve all your problems and win the hearts of some new fans.
Giving that little extra:
Want to be inspired by what some other businesses do to make their customers feel special? Check out Stan Phelps’ excellent book: “What’s Your Purple Goldfish: How to Win Customers and Influence Word of Mouth“ The Ebook is free on Amazon, today only and a great place to get inspired.
It’s the little things that often make the biggest impact.
What do you think? What kinds of small gestures or ideas have you come up with in your business that yielded high engagement or results?
“Your job is to make me look good.”
The first time I heard someone say that, I thought, what an obnoxious saying. Lately, the more I think about it, the more I see it is true. The phrasing is a little rough, but the reality is there, all of our jobs are to make someone look or feel good. If we do this, we will have success.
I’ll take care of you, you take care of me.
- Your clients want you to make them feel valued and while you are at it save them or make them money and help them be successful.
- Your employees want the same thing
- Your company wants the same
- Your Facebook fans and Twitter followers also want this – give them something to share that makes them funny, smart, helpful, compassionate…or smile.
You get the picture.
At the end of it all, you want this too.
You need to surround yourself with people who “make you look good”.
As I was thinking about this, I came across this tweet from tonight’s “Lead From Within” twitter chat:
A10: The people we surround ourselves with make the difference between failure and success! #leadfromwithin
— LaRae Quy (@LaRaeQuy) April 10, 2013
The quote is right on.
Forget about the Jargon : Focus on Community
Forget about marketing, about objectives, about all the jargon that leads you to read more about how to be successful online (and off) and stop for a minute and think about how powerful it is when you have a community around you who cares, who supports you, who believes in you and essentially through all that makes you feel good, which in turn makes you look good.
I am thankful for my communities, for these people every day.
If a brand accomplishes this, then I am beyond “wowed”.
How often do you think about that, and how often are you focused on making people look good?
Focus on that. It’s a two way street, and if you focus on your side…the rest just follows.
What do you think?
- When you think about the people around you, about your success, what are your keys?
- More notably, what happens when we don’t make the people around us look good, when there is no support, when people are out for themselves? Isn’t that what really drives the differences between success and mediocrity?
We are living in an interesting time, where social media allows us to live in this environment where people & brands who work as a team, who share and are giving and who recognize others see success – it’s not unlike the “real life world” – it just is a little harder to see. If you take a close look whether it’s in the workplace or in circles of friends, it’s those groups who have the confidence and generosity to spotlight those around them, who provide opportunities and share freely, who create cultures of success and creativity.
It’s not about social media. It’s about leadership, life and curating positive behaviors that attract & keep positive people around us – cultures of success.
The core of your business: Your Employees
People often spend so much time trying to figure out how to reach their customers, grow sales and use social media for these purposes that they are at risk of forgetting the key members of their community: their employees.
Video is a powerful tool for employee engagement. People often think “video” then limit their thinking on what they can do with it. Companies should not limit themselves to focus on product or service offerings when they have a whole cast of stars within their team.
Here are 5 Ways to use video to spotlight your employees
…and in the process increase their engagement and create opportunity for your community to also get to know your business better.
The term social media is largely misused and misunderstood.
You can’t have one social media strategy, or just decide to “do social media”. You have to realize what the term represents, that’s the first challenge I see when I speak with most people considering social for their businesses.
The Basis of Media
When you are speaking about using social media as an outreach tool in the general public the first thing you have to realize is that none of those people are reading “these” articles – the dialogue we all have about it on-line , its of no interest to them.
The people you are trying to reach are living their lives. Reaching them becomes marketing – just as you try and do in magazines or radio ads or newspapers. That’s the media part of the term.
In turn, from a business owner’s stand point, making decisions about social media use has to come from understanding deeper objectives and being in touch with your organization as a whole. Social media is not a new marketing strategy or sales vessel. It’s not a substitute for customer service. It’s not about broadcasting a new logo or flooding a channel with messages, it’s about a mindset.
What is the “Social” Really About?
Social is about this ability for consumers, employees, and all people to be connected. People using the on-line space to further their knowledge, interact with others, do research, play games, express themselves, grow, laugh, be entertained and of course throughout all this to share… The social part is about where you are reaching them and it’s the entire basis of all these pillars of social marketing success.
I think sometimes businesses, people looking into social and marketers forget the why of why you have to be genuine, or why the goal is
The underlying theme for much of what I have been seeing lately seems to have it’s roots in fear.
Online and offline, people everywhere seem to be stunted by fear. This not only hurts your business, but it closes doors. The worst part about fear is that not only is it hurting you, but I think in many ways it is obvious to those around you, and one must give some thought to the concept that people can “smell fear”. When the environment is fear, people adapt and start to alter their behaviors to their own detriment.
Success is bred of confidence – even if that confidence is in the fact that when you take a risk, something may go wrong (fear) however you will not let it stop you because you know you can make something out of it. Amber Osborne wrote a beautiful post that covers this idea here.
Leadership, Marketing and Culture
The greatest ideas in the world and the most innovative changes do not come from those who fear. They come from those willing to put themselves on the line, who face realities, who respond, and who also take a chance.
In the workplace, fear of speaking up can hinder and organization by eliminating the opportunity for members of the community to drive positive change by sharing ideas. Often it’s the collaborative perspective of people at all levels that add to the ability for a company to change with the needs of the consumer and to increase efficiency.
My friend and Social Media Consultant, Linda Bernstein came up with a good question on her Facebook status, she wanted to know if people friend people whom they do not know. It’s a great question that many people have varied perspectives on. Some people think of Facebook as a place they are building a community, whereas others keep it simple including only “real life” friends, in some cases, colleagues and co-workers.
Facebook is a very particular social network, and the way one handles it, should be different in strategy as compared to a Google +, Linked In, or Twitter.
Who will you let into your inner circle?
In this post, I am going to focus on the Facebook question as it pertains to individual accounts and not pages.
The first thing I want to clarify here is that Facebook has privacy settings that allow you to keep your information private. Facebook also allows
Your World Isn’t “The World”
If you want to know the value of social media and social networking for business, you need to be able to agree that your world is limited. That without social media, you live “in a box” – maybe it’s your box, but a box nonetheless. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
You need to understand that to be the best at what you do, you need to be educated and knowledgeable about what is happening in your field, in the world, with your consumers and your competitors. Surely, you agree with me here.
Take a few moments with me right now, in this post I am going to share with you exactly why social is critical to the leaders in your company. Why taking advantage of the opportunities in social media is critical for you. I am not going to discuss the marketing aspect here. What I am talking about here is personal development, innovation and the tools to always stay on top of your game.
Blogging effectively takes a lot more than just writing.
If I asked you what the top most important things in blogging are, what would you say?
I’ll bet you’ve heard those all before. What if I told you, yes thats important, but that being sharable and creating the easiest ways for people to interact with you and follow you are important factors to building your audience and having an impact?
A knock came at my door about an hour ago while I was having a good and valued discussion with my daughter… My daughter went to look to see who it was, coming back to report she thought it might be some religious group. I got up to check for myself – I don’t really appreciate people knocking on my door – mainly because of special times like this, having a good discussion – then someone tries to just step in.
Usually I would have ignored it, but when I saw the girl on the other side, I could tell it wasn’t a “religious intervention” visit, and thought, let me see what she wants.