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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

4 Steps To Your Dream Job.

Have you ever heard; "You have the coolest job!". I have too. Back when I was Marketing and Promotions Director of 102.1 the Edge, people used to always say "You have the coolest job!" Before that when I was part of the original team that launch FLOW 93.5, Canada's 1st Urban radio station, people used to say "You have the coolest job!" Well, I'm here to crush all that. The coolest job in the world may be what you are doing right now. If not, then what are you waiting for? It's out there, go get it. Here's some tips to point you in the right direction...

Step 1: What excites you? 

What are you in to? Do you love cars? Is it baked goods or toothpaste or clothing or technology? Think of some brands you are in to. Write them down somewhere... we'll get back to that later.  Think of some activities you love to do: is it shopping or eating or creating or planning or organizing? Write down some of the activities you like doing... we'll get back to that later. Consider an exercise that your high school guidance counselors may or may not have shared with you. If you could spend the rest of your life getting paid to do something, what would be? Maybe you have an answer right now or maybe your don't. Either way, it's cool.

Step 2: Who Do You Know?

Remember that list of places you think you may want to work? Brands that you're in to? So you have this list, now what? Very recently a friend told me his dream places to work. It was all related to the aerospace industry. He listed about 5 companies by name and said "It would be a dream come true to work for one them". I asked him if he had any friends or acquaintances that currently work there or have some connection to these companies. He did not have any.  

You need to build your network as wide as you can, or as focused as you can. If there are places you want to work and you don't know a single person there, then you're doing it wrong. Your network can help you. That's actually why you have said network. Use it. Do whatever you can to get a foot in the door at one of your target places. Cold call, email, try and connect, buy coffees, get meetings... rinse and repeat.

Step 3: Listen.

What are you good at? Be honest. Remember that list of 'things you like doing'? Take it out and try to assess if you are actually good at these things. You do not do this alone. You need input. Talk to the people closest to you. Friends, family, current managers & associates, along with past managers and colleagues. Sometimes the things you think you are great at may not be the things you are actually great at. Put on your big boy or girl pants and listen to what others have to say. Really listen.
Step 4: Get Ready. 

Hate to be the one who has to break this to you, but sometimes not everything is at is seems. A lot goes in to a workplace. Some of which you may not like. What you may think is your dream job, may be more like a nightmare. A work environment is a complicated ecosystem. The people, the space, the culture, the work, the politics, the hierarchy, the hours, the left-over cake in the kitchen. There are many things that may turn you off of your dream job. Just prepare yourself that anything can happen. Just because you thought this was the job for you, doesn't mean you have to stick to it. You can change your mind. It's ok. On the flip side, sometimes it does work out just fine. If so, congrats.

4 simple steps. Many of which you are probably doing already. For the record, I have not found my dream job yet. I love what I do and the people I do it with, but I'm convinced that my dream job has not been invented yet. Maybe one day I'll get around to inventing it. As always I'm Jon Sinden on Twitter if you' like to connect about this blog.

Monday, January 14, 2013

5 Content Marketing Tips

1) Everything is content.

Let's face it, you're so close to your brand that you may miss some amazing content opportunities... but relax... here's how you will never miss anything ever again. Just remember 'everything is content'. Whether you're a B2B or B2C, the stuff you do, the hallways you walk, the people you work with, the emotions you feel, the challenges you face are ALL RELATE-ABLE BY SOMEONE. Sorry for yelling. Tell those stories. Snap a photo, write a blog entry, take a video. I promise you, great content opportunities completely surround you at this very moment. The skill - which can be taught - is to recognize that everything is content and content is all around you.

As a life long Marketer I was always searching for that unique thing that would put my brand over the top. It hit me one day that I was surrounded by these things. In fact, the 'things' were endless and limitless, and through technology we can tell every single story we have. We just have to start.

2) Tools In Your Tool Belt

Are you part of a staff of hundreds whose sole purpose is to build content? Didn't think so! It's probably just you, am I right? Okay, maybe you and some others all chipping in to build up your social channels with relevant material. Marketing Mangers and Digital Marketers (like that's two different things now-a-days, right?) joining forces with Social Media Managers and Community Managers all for the greater good. Now, who does what? Core strengths I look for - beyond a person being awesome - are:

  • Social Channel Know How: I know that could mean many different things, but some brand experience is always best for me. Just because you have have a personal FB account does not qualify for anything. Well you may be qualified to be someones' friend, but that's about it. Add Me. lol.).
  • Skill in video creation, editing video, and Photoshop.  
  • The actual equipment to do each of the points in (b)
  • Ability to hold a conversation. I'm not joking.
  • Live the mantra that 'Everything Is Content' and have no fear to capture that content. 

3) Document What Your Competition Doesn't (Or just do it better)

Here's an experiment  Go to your competition's YouTube channel. Probably some cool stuff there. Most companies (if they even have a YouTube channel) put what they would consider the 'gold' up. Most stuff is highly produced, maybe even 'production house' produced. Don't be afraid of stripping it down. (Note: I am not saying you should strip) Customers, fans, clients, employees can live with a shaky video if the content is great. Show your stuff. Show what goes on in your world.  I always like to think of video as a show. Like TV shows, even if it's 30 seconds long. YouTube is just one place. There are many places where you content can live. Is your business in these places? What type of content are you putting there? What type of content is your competition putting there? Something you see everywhere now is "Behind The Scenes" content. Is yours better than theirs?

4) Swing Away!

Hit Homeruns! and Triples, and Doubles, and Singles, and Bunts, and Fouls, and just about everything else. Let's be real... If you try and hit a homerun every single time, you may strike out more than often. But that is totally okay. Not every piece of content is going to get those shares or likes or comments that you're hoping for.  Just be consistent and pay attention to what is getting traction, where it's getting traction, and when it's getting traction. Your content plan should be super easy to build next year. if you pay attention this year.

5) What's Your Plan?

I've always thought that "Awesome Stuff Gets Shared", but that just doesn't cut it in a boardroom. A plan is needed. A long term strategic plan with a tactical and itemized slant is my choice. Did that sound too corporate? Whatevs. But here's the good news: Building a plan should be super simple. Ideas are the easy part; proper execution of ideas is the hard part. Also the beauty of a Content Plan in this day and age is that it can change tomorrow. Technology changes and evolves everyday, so should you and your plan.

Hope that makes sense. As always, any thoughts or opinions on the post are greatly appreciated. I'm JonSinden on Twitter and I always enjoy feedback.


Friday, March 2, 2012

7 Thoughts on Facebook Timeline for Brands:

Hello Friends, So all brand pages on Facebook must get converted to the new 'Timeline' look by March 30. Here are some notes (7 thoughts) I made after reading all about it.

1) First Look:
The ‘Cover Photo’ look on the new pages is just like the personal timeline cover photo, so people will probably get used to it quickly. Cover photos cannot have any call to action. Most pages would have a ‘Welcome’ tab that traditionally have a little "Like Us" with an arrow pointing to where the "like" button is. You can no longer have this. The Welcome tab is no more! Back to the Cover Photo: The size is (851 x 315 pixels). It can change as often as you like. Here are the rules on Cover Photos that I cut ‘n’ pasted from the FB Product Guide. You cannot have:  

    • A. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.
    • B. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
    • C. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
    • D. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.

 ….so… put your marketing & graphic design people to work and come up with some clever ideas for Cover Photos!
2) Pin The Gold
No, not a roll-out of Pinterest on Facebook. The term Pin Post means you can put what you feel is the most important story/post to the top of your page. This is cool for timely, relevant stuff. This is awesome. In the past, some posts you’d make would get lost in a sea of audience posts. This way, you can ensure your ‘top call out’ stuff gets the placement you feel it deserves.

3) There’s An App For That: 
Apps will be featured more prominently right under the cover image, instead of along left hand rail (which was hard to find) Which, in all honestly, we know didn’t work. A static tab with no outside push,  in comparison to a tab with some marketing was not even close. If you or your team are actively selling partners into programs/contests/sweepstakes on your page, then I think these changes are amazing. Apps will be much easier to find for audience and should result in more activity. You can also mess around with the app image, so it should look really great. Also of note: the “Photo” tab cannot move. It is native and you cannot get rid of it.

4) To Screen or Not To Screen: 
In the back-end there will be a new way to 'screen or modify' posts from fans/audience. This means you can put posts in a 'queue' until an admin says it's okay. Please give this some thought as to what your brand should do. Turn this on or off? My thinking turning this feature on is NOT A GOOD IDEA. Let your audience speak their mind! But totally up to you adn what fits with your brand. 

5) Keeping It Private: 
New pages have offer the ability to Private Message the brand. Hmmm…  Could be quite messy depending on the page you admin. This could result in an overwhelming amount of messages that need to be dealt with. --- OR ---- Could be the ultimate customer service tool. A real back-and-forth based on real issues. I think Community Managers or Social Media people will like the fact that you can see an issue on the wall and offer to take it privately. Of note: Brands can’t send PM’s. They can only receive them. Also of note: People do not need to like your page in order to be able to Private Message you.  May want to gather in the boardroom to discuss this with all parties involved.   

6) Page Timeline & Friend Activity: 
What I think is super cool is that audience can see how their friends are interacting with you page. I imagine that will spur on conversations, if you actually know the people behind some comments. It will be interesting to see what Milestones brands will try and use.

7) Admin Panel: 
Really neat that Admins will have super quick and easy access to see insightful data. We can know keep a watchful eye on monitoring page performance along with every single interaction on your page.  Here’s a screen shot of the new Admin Panel: 

Hope you enjoyed my little summary. I know there are plenty of other features I didn't touch on, but these are my first thoughts on the upcoming changes. All in all, I feel the Timeline look is very positive for both brands & audience.  

I’d like to hear what you think! I’m @JonSinden on Twitter, or comment below. Thanks for reading.

Any feedback is most welcome. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Being In The Moment With Your Audience on Facebook.

The people I work closest with are probably sick of me. Sick of me saying the same thing over and over again. Let me start by apologizing to all the super smart and creative people that I'm referring to.  Marketing (for me) is about one thing: making an emotional connection. The purer the better. Nothing better in my world than a gimmick-free connection between audience and brand. If an emotional connection can be made between people and a brand then the skys' the limit. Every other metric of success (if you need to measure) can be an afterthought once a 'that connecton' is made.

Here are 2 examples of us trying to make the emotional connection using Facebook:

First, let's talk about 'Being in the Moment'. You know when you are at an event and you see someone you know. You say hello, ask 'How are you doing?" but suddenly start looking over each other's shoulders and side-to-side looking for the next person to go say hello too. This really bugs me, but it happens. We have all been there.

Then sometimes you are in the moment .... Being in the moment with a person; listening to them, replying, making eye contact, appropriate body language. Such a better feeling.  

Brands can do this too.

I've learned from my experience as a Marketing Director is the radio business  for over a decade and now in this "new" industry of Social Media. If you can 'be in the moment' then you will have success.

Here are some examples (using the Toronto Maple Leafs). I've noticed what posts on Facebook really resonate with fans, based on the three metrics of likes, comments, and shares.

This was one of the most shared and liked posts on our Facebook Wall. It was totally inspired by an internal work email from a colleague  All I did was repost the words from "In Flanders Fields" (which was in this internal email) and shortly before 11am on Remembrance Day, I also added a recent video of  the Leafs Remembrance Game Pre Game Tribute. It was a really moving tribute and felt it was a nice compliment. I posted it. No sell. No "ask". Just trying to connect with what was happening in the moment on Remembrance Day.

Another example of being in the moment. The Leafs hosted the Bruins the other night and it was not pretty. A colleague of mine (Matt Iaboni) and I had a plan to experiment with video throughout the night. It was going well, but then the score got out of hand. (If you live in the sports world then you know, you live & die by wins & losses) We had a cool concept to try and live the game experience with fans through video they may not be able to see or get anywhere else (maybe I can explain this better in another post down the road, once I compile all of the examples)  We used our Youtube channel, a video service called Keek, and TwtVideo to try and tell a story. We also planned on using pictures throughout the night to help assist in the story telling.

Here's the example: When we post a score on Facebook that involves the team winning, then it usually gets shared, liked and commented on. When we post a score that involves the team losing, then it usually doesn't get shared. Instead of making that "text" post we posted this photo. It showed the final score on the scoreboard (sorry Leafs fans for bringing up bad memories) It also showed the venue was clearing out and the Zamboni driving by. The reason I'm sharing this with you in that I believe that since it was 'in the moment' for fans it was shared, regardless of the scoreline. Also the comments were significantly higher from the norm, and I can also assume that the photo sparked this dialogue.

These are just two recent examples of a brand, The Toronto Maple Leafs, trying to make an emotional connection with fans through Facebook.

What are some other brands (sports team or not) trying to make this connection?

Have you ever been "in the moment" with a brand on Facebook?

Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 26, 2011

5 Tips for Aspiring Social Media / Community Managers.

Image courtesy of
I worked in the radio business for over a decade. It was a blast. Now that I work in this "new" industry. This Social Media industry, many have commented to me, "It must be such a dramatic change"... "How is it that you went from a Marketing Director position to a Social Media Manager position?" ... "From radio to sports" and so on.  My answer is simple... nothing has changed. I pretty much have done the same thing my entire career. All I do is try and connect with people. The tools have changed over the years but the emotional connection that one has with music, sports, friends, will never change.

Enter the Social Media person.  

Sure, I'm not a huge fan of the term 'Social Media', but it looks like it's sticking around.

Here's are 5 tips for aspiring Social Media Managers / Community Managers:

1) Your job will be 24/7: No joke. Let's say (in the future) you manage a company Twitter account and a customer asks you a question; they deserve an answer right away, right? It will be up to you and the people you collaborate with to decide what is an acceptable timeline is to reply back. You'll decide this through brainstorming and penning your Social Media or Engagement Strategy. I might suggest that if you wait more than a day, then you missed an opportunity to connect. Customers, clients, fans, friends will expect a quick turnaround and that's just the world we live in. (I'll write a full post on this topic in the future) Just know that representing a company or brand is not really 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.  If you are looking for 9 to 5 with weekends off, then maybe this is not for you.

2) Your Background & Experience: I've noticed that 'experts' come from all sorts of backgrounds: PR, Communications, Marketing, Agency, etc. That's the good news. You can come from any stream of schooling and probably do very well. Take time to learn the craft. Learn from others. Find mentors and mentor others. This new Social Media Industry does not have any standards in place for self promoting (nor does any industry, i guess) So go ahead and call yourself an expert, but be warned; a phony will be sniffed out over time.

3) Network: They are events pretty much every night. This is not an open invitation to go drinking every night. Go with a plan. Look ahead to the guest list. Pick out some people you want to meet and go and meet them. Sure some events turn into a fun game of guess the avatar, but just don't be shy! Go to enough events and soon you will be the person people are trying to meet and network with. Networking events are great relationship starters, but remember; it's just the start. After the event, it's up to you to keep that relationship going.

4) Your job (to find a job) is 24/7. Looks just like point 1, right? Think about everything you do and say. That blurry line between life/work balance is, well, blurry. Think about the successful career ahead of you and put together your plan. Your plan to grow, learn and be the best at what you do. Does this plan include ripping a major retailer online? What if they are hiring a Social Media Manger a month later? Would you apply? Yikes. Your words and actions are being documented (by you) and may live forever online. It's a scary thought, but learn to embrace it and you will have no trouble at all. Like the guy (who shall remain nameless) who rips the Toronto Maple Leafs and Leafs TV every single chance he gets. I mean, totally rips them - swear words all all. Imagine my surprise when he asks me to follow him one day so he can send me a DM. That DM was asking for a job helping me in the Social realm for the Leafs. It was a real challenge to take that seriously.

5) Be Yourself. I don't think I can elaborate on this.

Hope you enjoyed this post. I would like to know what you think either by leaving comments or connecting with me elsewhere. Like one of those networking events where I'll be drinking my face off wearing a tie around my head.

Thanks for reading.
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