Catch People Doing Something Right

How We Lead

When was the last time you praised a direct report, a colleague—or your boss? I’ll bet many of you can remember when you praised a direct report, but you may have to think long and hard to remember the last time you recognized the efforts of a peer or leader.

Catching people doing something right is a powerful management concept to use with direct reports. It can also be a great way to build trust and camaraderie with others. Think about the last time you were recognized for your efforts. I’ll bet you felt pretty satisfied and encouraged to keep up the good performance. No matter what your role, you have the power to ignite that same reaction in others.

Keep in mind that the most effective praising is specific. Don’t just walk around saying “Thank you” to everyone, or even “Great job.” Those phrases become relatively meaningless when people…

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How To Catch Content Stars Using the Pocket App

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Every time I save something to Pocket, I’m reminded of one of my favourite childhood songs, “Catch A Falling Star” by Perry Como. My Grandma Ruby would play it on her old record player (yes vinyl) and we had the actions down and everything. The memory always makes me smile.

And I’m still smiling today when I see an interesting article on the web that I want to Read Later, because I can very simply add it to the Pocket app. Did you know Pocket was originally called the “Read Later” app? Makes sense.

Once you have the Pocket browser extension installed, you can use the Pocket icon on your bookmarks toolbar to save articles. Alternatively, you can right click on a link for an article on any page and select the Save to Pocket option. It’s that simple.

When you save a page, there’s a prompt to Add Tags to help categorise pages, eg: Marketing, Tech, Social Media. It’s optional, but very useful. I like to use a #BlogIdeas tag to remind me later of content that sparked an idea for writing my own blog post.

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The option to “View List” is also available from the Pocket icon and that will display all your saved pages. From here you can use the menu to Archive or Delete Pages and choose to display pages via Tags you added earlier.

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One feature I love about the Pocket app is the inclusion of “Recommended” pages based on what you have saved. If a recommendation is no good for you, it can be hidden. Otherwise, you can Save a recommendation into your Pocket list.

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This really is a time-saver, as content is coming to you based on your preferences, rather than having to find it for yourself.

I think the Pocket app is worth considering if you are frustrated with unending bookmarks and notes to yourself about good sources of content. It’s certainly a much better way of catching your content stars. ✨✨

If you are using it already, what do you like about the Pocket app?

 

Twitter Chats To Join in 2017

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Twitter chats are a great way to gain exposure, grow your following and engage with your audience.

During a chat you get to interact with experts on a set topic and network with other professionals in your field.

What sets a Twitter chat apart from say, reading an article from one contributor, is that anyone who participates gets to contribute their knowledge and you can thereby pick up many valuable tips from multiple sources.

Most chats are hosted regularly at an allotted time, so you can also become a regular contributor and offer your expertise. This gives back to the group and shows you as someone of influence people will want to connect with after the chat.

There are plenty of chats to choose from, for every interest there’s a chat, however these are some of my favourites in the digital marketing / social media space:

#ContentChat – Mondays 12pm PST / 3pm EST

#BrandChat – Wednesdays 10am CT

#AdobeChat – Wednesdays 1pm PST

#PinChat – Wednesdays 1pm EST

#BufferChat – 2 x sessions. Wednesdays 4pm AEDT (Sydney) / 9am PST (San Francisco)

#TwitterSmarter – Thursdays 1pm EST

#HootChat – Thursdays 12pm PST / 3pm EST

#CMGRHangout – First Friday each month at 2pm EST (also on YouTube)

Look for the hashtags on Twitter and create lists to help you follow the chat feeds and follow up with participants.

You’ll notice that most of these chats are hosted in the United States, though people join in from around the globe. Make sure you convert the timezone to your own before setting your alarm clock!

You might also like to try out tools like twubs.com and tweetchat.com that can help you manage and participate in Twitter chats.

Do you like contributing to Twitter chats? Which ones would you add to the list?

The Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends for 2017

This article is my response to the question “What are the top 3 digital marketing trends you see being most important in 2017?” raised by Gareth Daine, to a panel of 53 professionals in the field. Gareth is a digital marketing influencer and the Founder of Affinity Cloud UK and Content Sleuth.

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1. Live Video

Live video is something that is popping up everywhere. From Facebook’s Live feature and Instagram’s Stories to Twitter’s native integration with video and Periscope.

The major social networks have all caught on to what marketers have known for a long time — visual content is more appealing and makes a much bigger impact than text.

4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it.
– Animoto.com

Live video takes this to the next level by offering communities an authentic view of a business or brand’s story and instant interaction with them. It enables business to engage and grow their audience in new ways.

Social networks are moving with the trend by regularly improving live video features. They even alert all your followers automatically when your live content goes out. That’s powerful stuff.

2. Native Advertising

The future of social advertising is native, particularly in the mobile space. Consumers have developed a mistrust and ‘blindness’ to traditional banner ads and are turning instead to things like recommendations and sponsored posts.

Native advertising will account for 63.2 percent of all global mobile display advertising by 2020, reaching $53.4 billion.
– Adweek.com

Social networks have jumped on that and offer various ways for business to promote content natively within their applications. They can be Google paid search results, promoted listings on Twitter, sponsored updates on LinkedIn or even content-recommendation engines at the end of articles.

Facebook has it’s own Adverts Manager where you can create campaigns based around boosted or sponsored posts. This is great for local businesses wanting to build their social media audience, as the campaigns are easy to set up and relatively cheap compared to other forms of advertising. Not only that, the business gets social proof, ie metrics on each campaign that informs the next round of ads.

There is still a place for organic reach in advertising and yes, content must resonate with readers. A sponsored post with little organic traction will do poorly, so look instead to promote social media content that is already popular for more exposure to a wider audience.

3. Social Selling

Businesses are now building on the consumer information they receive through social by engaging with customers at each stage in a sales funnel and leading them to buy directly from within a social media app.

Pinterest has done this very successfully, being seen as the place for ideas and shopping. Partnering with major commerce platforms, they launched Buyable Pins in 2015 so people could buy products without leaving Pinterest.

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Buyable Pins – a shopping bag you can take anywhere

Reaching the milestone in 2016 of 150M users each month, 87% of them have made a purchase after finding a product they liked. Some companies have reported double their usual sales since using Buyable Pins.

Instagram has also launched a direct buying feature by partnering with commerce platforms and offering a “Shop the Feed” link through tools like Have2have.it.

Especially useful for the beauty and fashion industry, it’s a great way to showcase products, style them and allow buyers to achieve the same look. In this age of ‘get it now’ consumerism, social selling through online engagement with customers and direct buying will only grow in 2017 and beyond.

I hope you find this information helpful, please email me if you’d like to take advantage of any of these strategies to advance your digital marketing in 2017.

This content has also been included in “53 Expert Insights & Awesome Digital Marketing Trends in 2017 (and Beyond)” by Gareth Daine.

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Opportunities Don’t Happen, You Create Them

Do you want to be at the right place at the right time? People who enjoy consistent success know what it takes to make great opportunities happen. Adopt these habits to make sure opportunity comes knocking at your door.

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1. Pay attention

Value curiosity and collect information. Make a habit of interacting with your environment. Notice things that happen around you. People who notice things know more than people who don’t. Develop a habit of noticing developments in your area, new businesses, facilities, community groups, etc.

2. Think of your work as important

No matter how uninteresting, or seemingly useless the project, assume a higher purpose is driving it. Bring your best talents and most dedicated attitude to it. What you think changes how you feel and what you do. People will respond to the importance you place on the work that you’re executing. Develop a habit of honoring your work. People will place more value on the work you do and start to look for opportunities where they might use your higher-level abilities.

3. Be aware of the potential of your impact

The way you look, the smile you give, the way you answer on your cellphone—each causes a response in someone that you might never be told about. Everything you do has an impact. When you make decisions, think them through to understand how they will affect other people.

4. Imagine opportunities everywhere you look

Lucky people know that opportunity is always present. Look for ideas and trends that match your interests and your skill set. Bend and twist those ideas to make them uniquely yours. Develop a habit of looking at everything to see how you might improve it—how you’ll make it more fun, faster, cooler, friendlier, easier, quieter, more musical, lighter, more exciting, more inviting, more anything. If you choose opportunities that benefit other people, they will support your endeavours.

5. Make yourself a magnet for jobs you do well

Be generous offering your help and counsel. When people help you, suggest your best skills as a way you might return the favours. Be on alert for the tiniest ways to match your best work with what the people around you might be doing. Talk about your favourite projects. Develop a habit of letting people know how much you love doing what you do well. People get impressed by folks who love their work and want to help.

The flip side to this is learning to resist the desire to help with projects which aren’t the best match with your skills. You cannot do everything and offering, but not delivering will do more harm than good. You may be able to refer someone better suited or more available and you will become known as the ‘go-to’ person for positive connections.

6. Decide and take action

When an opportunity is set before you, don’t hesitate. Take the opportunity and use it to grow the skills that got you that far. You know which opportunities fit your interests and skills and which don’t. Develop a habit of taking on new opportunities as a way of growing. Be clear that you’ll always be noticing and learning and people will feel secure in offering you opportunities that grow with you.

So if you want to be lucky, you can make great opportunities happen. Start developing these positive habits and you might be surprised by what comes your way and who wants to help you.

Inspired by the following quote:

“Opportunities don’t happen. YOU create them.”

-Chris Grosser

Keeping Instagram Safe: New Comment Control Features

The founders of Instagram have always been quite vocal about their commitment to keeping Instagram a positive place for self-expression.

In September they introduced a keyword moderation tool that lets you list words you consider offensive or inappropriate. Comments with these words will be hidden from your posts.

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Comment Settings

In an effort to keep building features that safeguard the community, they have just launched two more features to improve this experience.

Yesterday it was announced you’ll soon be able to turn off comments on any post. Previously this was only available for a small number of accounts, however it will be rolled out to everyone over the next few weeks.

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They will also be adding the ability to like comments by tapping a heart icon next to any comment. Liking lets you show support and encourages positivity throughout the community.

I was happily able to use this feature today in Australia and of course, shared the news immediately. ❤

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Going forward, Instagram will provide the ability to remove followers from private accounts and anonymous reporting for self-injury posts to maintain Instagram as a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

To learn more about these tools and others, check out the Instagram Help Center.

You are not a mess, you’re brave for trying

I recently joined a conversation on Facebook about a brave woman who published her story of a violent attack on her, after many years.

She talked about the humiliating process of being examined and interrogated and the scrutiny she faced during the subsequent court proceedings. Though she wanted to forget the attack and hide from life for a while, she sought justice, and not for herself but so it would not happen again.

After such a harrowing experience, she should have received comfort and support but instead faced doubt, accusations and indifference. The trauma has left it’s scars and we, Facebook friends and associates, were trying to counter some of the damage.

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It made me think about how often this is the same experience for so many people who continue to be brave, long after they need to. Our very nature seems to call for suspicion of anyone causing ripples in society, even if they are a victim of that society.

I recall my own stories, told with sincerity and sadness, that were met with questions about my memory of those experiences and the certainty that I was surely exaggerating. “Isn’t it time to get over it?” is really one of my favourite responses (not).

It leaves you with a feeling that you are the one with the problem and that somehow you are making more of a situation. You are labelled ‘a mess’ and the people you think you can count on, just fade away.

The isolation compounds the problem and it becomes almost impossible to claw your way back with no support structure.

So, I write this for all of you who are struggling, not because you are weird or less in some way, but because you were handed a deck of cards you are now ‘dealing’ with. Please know you are not alone, many more are battling and quietly being brave, and would hold your hand if they could.

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This is for all the girls and all the boys trying and testing things out so they understand more about life.

For the women who have experienced violence, loss, indifference or neglect but are determined to provide a better life for their children.

For the fathers who lose, but get back up again and keep trying to win for their families.

This is for everyone who looks like a mess from the outside, because they are trying to be extraordinary on the inside.

My hope is that if we all speak for the victims out loud, rather than about victims behind closed doors, it will help them get through the healing process and out the other side with less scars. They will be able to claim their power once again.

Love,
Nicolina

P.S. If you would like to read the original story that inspired this one, you can find it here.

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Grabbing Life By the Throat: Dezi Slusher on taking back her health

I found this story in one of my favourite Australian fitness magazines and thought it would make a terrific #MondayMotivation post.

Deziree Carmen Slusher, an inspirational cancer survivor, took back her health — and her life — with the power of fitness.

So says Deziree, who faced a terrifying wake-up call after years of devastating dietary habits: stage III throat cancer.

She had spent 14 years as an emotional eater, binge eating and drinking and was eventually diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Dezi said that at the time she wasn’t ready to change, so she took her prescribed medication and continued the bad habits.

In 2012, reality hit with a thud when during a checkup, a lump was discovered in her throat. The lump was successfully removed but Dezi was still overweight and decided that it was time to get serious.

The following year she made some huge lifestyle changes and gave herself 12 weeks to turn herself around. In one year, she lost 60 pounds and was in the best condition of her life.

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Read more of Dezi’s story on Oxygen Magazine and keep up with Dezi’s fitness journey on dezifit.com.

Congratulations Dezi!

Frosty Mint Smoothie with Chocolate

Yummy Yummy, Get in my Tummy! It’s a warm day here and this naughty but nice smoothie would go down a treat, sourced from the ThisRawsomeVeganLife blog.

Enjoy!
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FROSTY MINT SMOOTHIE with CHOCOLATE

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Smoothie:
2 frozen bananas
1 orange
1 teaspoon chopped or dried mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder
1/4 cup walnuts, preferably soaked in water for 4 hours then rinsed
1-2 cups water or vegan milk

Raw chocolate:
1 tablespoon cacao powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
Water, if needed

To make the smoothie: blend all ingredients together until smooth, sweet and green! Adjust according to taste. Add more spirulina if it’s not green enough for you. Add more liquid if it’s too thick.

To make the chocolate: stir together the ingredients until you have chocolate sauce. Decorate the inside of a glass with the chocolate using a spoon.
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Note: If you’re a protein fiend, add in your preferred powder for extra oomph.