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Building Brand By Creating Valuable Content

Get Results: content is king graphic
Get Results: content is king

Why Content is important

You’ve probably heard the term “content is king” countless times, and it’s ever more important in today’s internet-centric business environment.

The aim of content creation should be to allow your business to stand out from competitors, and help prospective customers get to know, like and trust you, so that they will, in time, consider doing business with you.

In other words content should be used to build your brand!

If you try to transact your prospects every time they interact with your brand, you will find you have to compete with all your competitors doing the same thing, and that can get expensive in terms of advertising costs.

Using advertising to first grab attention, then trying to convert prospects via a landing page or over the telephone is a big ask, and prospective customers are very guarded against slick sales messages. They will only consider you if you make the right first impression and are able to build trust quickly.

Consider an alternative solution, which is a longer term strategy but can  prepare the ground by building trust and goodwill with people that are not quite ready to buy just yet, but who might be in the next 30, 60 or 90 days. This is called content creation.

When it comes to creating content you should be looking to give visitors something for nothing, to provide value to them without asking for something in return. You should try to help your prospective customers get to know more about your brand, to get to like how you do business and allow them to build up trust in you.

So, create content that prospects want from the page they arrive at. Make sure your adverts or links from adverts or social media posts are clear, and informative and accurately reflect what you’ve promised them. Don’t promise something that you fail to follow through on, just to get them onto your website. That is the surest way to ruin your reputation and destroy trust.

Once they are on your page you need to understand who the prospective customer is, what is their desire? What solution are they seeking? What possible questions are they asking and wanting answered?

To provide value for them, you need to answer these questions effectively, thoroughly and as uniquely as possible. Don’t just regurgitate the same old information, that everyone else is doing. Instead do it in your own voice.

Some content ideas…
1. To build awareness on social media use ENGAGEMENT POSTS – any format, to get comments or a reaction (clicks) – this pushes up in news feed and can include questions, funny memes, photos with a question
2. To grow authority – Encourage testimonials, case studies, speaking engagements, you in action doing what you’re trying to sell – honoured rather than boastful
3. To get clients – leads (email list sign up or phone) and clients attraction. Questions, graphics, videos, gifs

To provide value;

  • Be relevant – You must have content that interests your prospective customer, otherwise why would they be interested in what you have to say.
  • Be contextual – formatted for each channel specifically. Try to reformat your content to suit where you want to be found. Vertical video works better on Facebook than it does on Youtube.
  • Facilitate access,
  • Be transparent – builds trust,
  • Be authentic – be true to yourself,
  • Inspire interaction – build community,
  • Be current – so that you resonate with your audience today,
  • Aim for connection – It’s better to be narrow and deep than wide and shallow- 100 loyal fans better than 10,000 none engaged followers.

Content should be made up of:

  • Opinion,
  • Expertise,
  • Information,
  • Insight,
  • Access,
  • Passion.
Get Results: content is emotional intellectual graphic
Get Results: content is emotional intellectual

There are only 3 types of content when you boil it down.

Escapism and entertainment

Escapism – being removed from our mundane real life situation for a short time, to forget.

  • humorous,
  • clever,
  • insightful,
  • interesting (aligned with audiences interests),
  • create a knowledge gap and fills it,
  • curiosity,
  • unexpectedness,
  • surprise,
  • inspirational,
  • emotional,
  • highlights a threat,
  • challenge plot, creative plot, connection plot.

Information and utility

Providing information that will help prospects in some way to improve their understanding, increase their knowledge or make life easier or better in some way.

Core information your customers need to know about your products and company before they’ll include you in their consideration set.

  • Product information,
  • Customer FAQ’s,
  • How – to’s,
  • Styling,
  • Customer ratings and review.

Ancillary content – This is the supporting and additional content. Think of ancillary content like the bonus tracks on a DVD.

  • Take prospects behind-the-scenes,
  • Let prospects get personal with your employees,
  • Encourage customers to share photographs using your product.

Re-imagined content – Plan different versions of your content to ensure it’s contextually relevant to each specific platform. Again, this is best planned in advance to maximize resources and include it in your content creation contracts.

Provide Commentary – This is the related content and comments that your employees, customers and fans create in coordination or as a result of your core content.

Commentary works best when your audience creates it out their desire to share with their circle of friends and social connections such as Facebook and Instagram posts.

Internal content curation – This is where you maximize the value of your own previously published content by using it in the creation of new content and the re-promotion of old content, giving it new life. It has one or more of the following attributes.

  • Make content contextually relevance,
  • Extend content into a new format.

Some additional ideas..

  • Target a new audience for old content,
  • Provide access to a location, a person, an institution,
  • Curation of other peoples content,
  • Provide insight,
  • Chart your own progress in some relevant endeavor,
    • Your journey to build your business – moving your business online,
    • Your progress in a new job,
    • Learning a new skill,
    • Put sales techniques into practice,
    • Sell something different every day testing your sales skills.
  • Current niche trends,
    • Current trends/techniques,
    • Software trends if relevant,
    • Explore the topic more freely and in-depth,
    • Cover local issues,
    • Real estate – local amenities, history of area – reasons why it’s good living here,
    • Local relevant events.

Social

Connect people and community, to share ideas and stories.

Coming up with content ideas

Here are the 33 prompts that you can use to write just about ANYTHING… feel free to copy and paste them into notepad so you can use them every day when you sit down to write content.

  • Ask a question,
  • Reference current events,
  • Create your own terms,
  • Reveal news (new/introducing),
  • Tell the reader to do something,
  • Give stats,
  • Make a comparison,
  • Promise useful information,
  • Direct offer,
  • Tell a (quick) story,
  • Make a recommendation,
  • State benefits,
  • Use a testimonial,
  • Arouse curiosity,
  • Promise to reveal a secret,
  • Be ultra-specific,
  • Target section of your audience,
  • Time-based headline,
  • Stress urgency,
  • Scarcity of savings/value,
  • Deliver good news,
  • Challenge the reader,
  • Highlight your guarantee,
  • State the price (as benefit),
  • Set up (seemingly),
  • Contradiction,
  • Address reader objection/concern,
  • “As crazy as it sounds”,
  • Take them to the promised land,
  • Demonstrate ROI,
  • Reason why headline,
  • Stress cost saving and value,
  • List / answer questions,
  • State / deliver on reader’s goals,
  • Highlight cost of mistakes.

Use this website for content ideas http://answerthepublic.com/ enter a keyword and it will suggest content ideas

Types of content

  • List pages,
  • Check lists,
  • Resource lists,
  • Lists of lists,
  • News lists,
  • Demonstration,
  • Series,
  • Infographics,
  • How-to guides,
  • Researched statistics,
  • Timelines,
  • Did you know,
  • Flow charts,
  • Whitepapers,
  • Research,
  • Trends,
  • Topical guides,
  • Beginner overviews,
  • Downloadable guides,
  • Live Blogging,
  • Event coverage,
  • Covering fast changing situations,
  • Live Q&A’s,
  • Round ups,
  • News round-ups,
  • From around the web,
  • Summing up events,
  • Q&A’s,
  • Q&A session,
  • Q&A for interviews,
  • Q&A FAQ,
  • Informal Q&A,
  • Opinion pieces,
  • Controversial posts,
  • High level breakdown,
  • Forecasting trends,
  • Deep dive,
  • New angle,
  • Interviews,
  • Industry leaders,
  • Innovative companies,
  • Topical expert,
  • How to’s,
  • Content curation,
  • Case studies,
  • Charts/graphs,
  • Ebooks,
  • Email Newsletters/Autoresponders,
  • Cartoons/illustrations,
  • Book Summaries,
  • Tool Reviews,
  • Giveaways,
  • FAQ’s,
  • Webinar,
  • Guides,
  • Dictionary,
  • “Day in the life of” post,
  • Interview,
  • Lists,
  • Mind Maps,
  • Meme,
  • Online Game,
  • Helpful Application/tool,
  • Opinion Post,
  • White Papers,
  • Vlog,
  • Videos – screencasts, talking heads, illustrations, graphics, film roll,
  • Podcasts,
  • Templates,
  • Surveys,
  • Slideshares,
  • Resources,
  • Quotes,
  • Polls,
  • Podcasts,
  • Pinboards,
  • Photo Collage,
  • Original Research,
  • Press releases,
  • Photos,
  • Predictions,
  • User Generated Content,
  • Company news,
  • Announcements,
  • Timelines,
  • Meme – Meme Generator and Quick Meme,

Even more..

  • Social equity – introductions, access to contacts (interview, insight) – Leverage status (fame), membership (masons), contacts, relationships.
  • Guides – A guide is a detailed and fairly long piece of content. Think of it as an epic blog post. It goes beyond the length, style, and approach of an ordinary blog post.
  • Book reviews – A book review is a simple discussion of a book plus your take on it. You recommend good ones, critique not-so-good ones, and share the value that you glean from them. Book reviews are great because they help to position you as a thought leader.
  • Opinion post (rant) – This style of post is substantially different from your typical blog post, mostly due to its tone. You may be used to publishing a careful and researched discussion of a topic. The rant or opinion, by contrast, may be stronger and more expressive. The more vociferous your position, the more it’s going to get read and shared.
  • Product reviews – Like the book review, a product review can help establish authority and leadership in your industry. Every industry has its unique array of products, software, and services. When you engage key developers, manufacturers, or service providers, you gain recognition and respect. All you need to do is share your experience with the product and provide your recommendation.
  • How to.. The how-to is one of the most popular types of content, especially in my niche. On my blog, I write a lot of how-to guides. How-to articles have awesome long tail search potential due to these popular long tail query introductions: “How to…” and “How do I…?”
  • Lists – Lists have endless appeal. We’re wired to love them. Chance are you’re going to see or read an article today that involves some sort of a list — “5 Security Breaches You Need to Know about,” “17 Ways to Rank Higher in Google in One Month.” Hey, you’re already reading an article with the title “15 Types.”
  • Link pages – link page is simply a post that provides links to great resources around the web. The great thing about link posts is that they spread link love to other sites, provide your own site with authoritative SEO signals, and assert your thought leadership within your field.
  • Ebook – An ebook is long content packaged in a different format, usually as a PDF. Ebooks are often a downloadable product, available for free in exchange for joining a mailing list. Producing an ebook helps to strengthen your authority within a field, and it makes for a powerful method of sharing your knowledge with others.
  • Case study – A case study explains what your product or service is and how it helped a client. The case study basically says, “here’s what we do, how we do it, and the results we get.”
  • Podcast – Podcasts had their phase of popularity, and they’re still a great form of content. Plus, they’re not hard to create. Many people listen to podcasts during their commute or exercise. You have a chance to spread your message farther and better using this format than a lot of other formats.
  • Interview – Every field has its leaders. When you’re able to interview a leader, you can garner a lot of respect from others in the field, not to mention huge amounts of traffic. Interviews are unique. No one else has this information — only you.
  • Research and original data – Most of us work in data-intensive fields, where numbers and metrics hold a lot of value. Sharing your findings with others is a powerful way to drive traffic, build trust, and establish your authority. When you do the research, which is hard work, people respect that. What’s more, people share it.
  • Contextualising,
  • Communicating,
  • Digesting info and regurgitating/repackaging and presenting it to your audience in a new package,
  • Content curation and Content aggregation, where you filter good quality content for your readers, this adds value for them and saves them having to troll through low quality content,
  • If you don’t have anything to say, DOCUMENT! – easier than having to create new content,
  • If you’re not an expert in your niche you can become a well informed commentator (share stories from niche – curate content made by others and add your own commentary).
  • Inspire,
  • Connect.

Look after your readers

  • Always reply to comments or messages,
  • Say thanks,
  • Use names and tag people,
  • Share things – if you come across something you like share it,
  • Be an investigator – Google Alerts – gives you news about a chosen keyword(s),
  • Check out the results, go to a page and leave a comment as a nice gesture,
  • Make navigation around the site easy,
  • Decrease page load times,
  • Get rid of annoyances on site such as pop-ups and distracting ads,
  • Surprise audience – give something for free,
  • Include transcript with podcasts or video,
  • Use high quality audio and video,
  • Skip the sales pitch – the best sales pitch is no sales pitch at all,
  • Reply with a video,
  • Invite participation – reader challenge, ask for opinion, calls to action – get people involved,
  • Be honest,
  • Be passionate,
  • Get personal – infuse your personality and life to get deeper connection,
  • Provide unique content such as provide case studios, experiments, income reports etc
  • Proof read content before you post it,
  • Remember who you are and who your serving,
  • Always over deliver,
  • Write post which is potential vehicle for income. Good quality, unique, have affiliate links in sidebar so on every post and in text,
  • Create a visual representation of the information you are talking about to help you and your audience remember it,
  • Transformation – what’s the transformation you want your audience to go through. Another way of putting it is what’s the purpose of your article. What’s the goal,
  • Start with in this episode we are going to talk about x. by the end of this you will be able to Y using your Z,
  • Tell them what you’re going to tell them, Tell them, Tell them what you told them,
  • Reverse engineer the transformation. Work backwards. What supporting content do you need to include to achieve the transformation,
  • Write down all possible objections and include a reply to each of these in the supporting content,
  • Tell stories (more memorable) or Include case studies or Research and data. Always include the professors full name and qualifications include accurate data to the penny,
  • Subdivide the article so that it is easier to understand and follow. Subdivisions could be steps, tips,
  • Make the beginning and end memorable,
  • Ending should have a call to action, get audience involved, show how what you have talked about actually works, surprise audience in some way (must be relevant),
  • Beginning should have a video or high impact beginning,
  • Aim for Consistency,
  • Talk like a human being,
  • You shouldn’t be vanilla – take a point of view,
  • Don’t talk at your audience, talk with them. connection, interaction.

So as you can see there is a lot to consider with regards  to your content. The best advice I can give is get stuff out there and see what works best for your audience.

BRAND As An Acronym

Get Results: Branding acronym graphic
Get Results: Branding acronym

Branding is a key function that will allow your business, product or service to stand out and mean more to the prospects you hope to turn into customers, as well as to your existing customers, so that they keep coming back to you, rather than the competition.

If you’re not a brand, you’re a commodity.

We love to use the acronym B.R.A.N.D. to remind us of the essential elements of a successful brand.

Bold

To stand out, above the competition, your brand has to be bold. Vanilla brands just aren’t going to cut through the noise from all your competitors messages.

Get off the fence and take a position. Have a strong message that resonates with your  prospects and customers. It’s much easier to get into the customers mind if you have an emotional connection with them.

Relevant

To make an emotional connection with prospects and customers, you’ve got to be relevant. If you and your message isn’t relevant, you’ll be ignored and overlooked.

The human mind is conditioned to pay attention to things that mean something to it and filter out everything else. People go about their daily routines in a trance-like state, and grabbing attention is only possible if your message is relevant enough to pull your prospects out of that state and give your message some consideration.

Advantageous

People are always looking to improve their sense-of-self, via some type of perceived increase. Increase of knowledge, increase of valuable connections, increase of property, increase of standing in the community. At their core people act to seek pleasure and avoid pain, it is the driving force of the human race, and most other species.

So your brand should act to help them do this through your brand promises. Mercedes helps customers tell the world how successful they are and that’s the promise their customers are willing to buy into and pay for.

Your brand has to do the same to be successful.

Notable

Your brand needs to be worthy of attention by being as close to remarkable as possible. This will help you stand out and be remembered more easily. Marketing guru Seth Godin will tell you to “Make things better by making better things.”

However it’s not enough to just be remarkable, the key is to make sure you tell your story in such a way that your prospects and customers buy into it.

Different

Being different means positioning yourself uniquely within the market you operate in. Branding requires you to own a unique word or have a unique meaning in your customers mind.

To do this you have to position yourself away from competitors. No two brands can own the same word or meaning if they are going to be successful brands. Think about how you position Mercedes and Ford within the automotive market, or how you position Tesco from Aldi from Asda within the supermarket space. They all occupy unique brand positions.

Different isn’t a nice-to-have element in branding, it’s arguably the most important one.

For more about BRANDING, click here.

Get Results: brand acronym full version graphic
Get Results: brand acronym

Influencing Opinion Of Your Brand

Get Results: branding components graphic
Get Results: branding components

Successful branding is about controlling the perception of your business/ brand in the mind of prospects and customers alike. It’s made up of …

Impression

The impression people have of your business is going to heavily influence whether they are going to consider buying from you or not.

Being perceived as credible, likable and trustworthy, is particularly important with regards to people who have had little or no previous experience of your business/ brand.

Perception is a dance between impression and reputation. As people get to know more about your brand/ business, reputation becomes more influential, but even then, people’s impressions can still be altered through ongoing interactions. In the same way you can go off people, you can certainly go off brands and businesses depending on new information. There is no such things unconditional love, with regards to branding. However people tend to be more forgiving of bad experiences, or bad publicity if they have previously built up positive history with you.

Reputation

Your reputation is about what people say about you when you’re not there.

Always be looking to strengthen your reputation through all customer touch points for new and returning prospects, and customers. Reputation is spread through word of mouth and technology that performs in the same way as word of mouth. If you have a bad reputation, you need to take a serious look at what is going wrong, having a strong brand with a bad reputation is the worst place possible to be.

Remember this point; If you’re not strengthening your brand, you’re weakening it, there is no middle ground here, so ensure you’re strengthening it at every opportunity.

Throughout the customer journey, there are a number of touch points they are exposed to your business/ brand in some way. You should look very carefully at each of these points and consider how they impact your reputation, and influence impressions of your  business/ brand.

Some possible touch points might include..

Social media channels

  • What are you posting about?
  • What value are  you adding to prospects and customers?
  • Are you constantly trying to sell or are you adding value  in other ways? Consider Gary Vaynerchuk’s jab, jab, jab, right hook principle, otherwise known as build brand, build brand, build brand, push offer.
  • Are you’re communications giving the impression you want them to give, through the imagery, copy and other media?
  • Are they driving your brand promise home?

Search engine listings & website

If your customers are searching on search engines for the solutions that you provide, you must make sure you can be found there, either through SEO, or PPC.

What pages are you being found through?

Are people finding your page, but not clicking on your link? If not clicking on your link, why not? Are you not giving them a reason to click?

Are you communicating the right messages on those pages, once they click through?

Are these pages helping to build your brand, through the copy, images and other media?

Are you demonstrating enough social proof through reviews and testimonials, case studies and the likes.

Premises and signage

Is your premises and signage giving the right impression of your business/ brand?

Is it all ON BRAND?

Your people and value delivery

Your people include your Customer service reps, Receptionists, Employees, Leaders, and sales people. Your brand promise is not just something you just say, it’s something you live from and in. All beliefs and values, and the subsequent behaviours that come from them, should be aligned to drive you brand promise forward. Branding starts within your business and is then communicated out through what and how you do the things you do to bring value to the market.

Control OPINIONS

At the end of it all, you are trying to control the OPINIONS of your prospects and customers, and indeed, everyone else that comes across your business/ brand.

They have to KNOW, LIKE and TRUST your business/ brand.

To KNOW you

They can only know you, if they see you, so been visible. Share your story with them, let them see you in action with behind the scenes content or  a 247 like backstory. Be as personable as possible, don’t hide behind a corporation persona, because people prefer to buy from people.

To LIKE you

Think about the people you like and why; generally people are attracted to people who are like them. People who they feel they are on the same side as, and have things in common with. We learn this through interaction, and sharing, so your business/ brand needs to do the same kinds of things, by sharing and caring.

To TRUST you

To build trust, you must be AUTHENTICTRANSPARENTCONSISTENT and GENUINELY want to look out for best interests of your customers.

Without these, people will see through you and your intentions.

Summary

It’s vital you control the narrative and story around your business and brand.  Make sure the reception of your message is as intended, during the transmission of it. Otherwise you might mistakenly misread what people think about your business /brand, so keep communication channels open both ways, to ensure you’ve got a good handle on the opinion of the people that matter; your prospects and customers.

Make sure your message is simple to understand and easy to remember, emotionally meaningful from the point of view of prospects and customers, and further strengthens your brand promise.

For more about marketing, check out our marketing guide, here.

Check out our branding series, here.

Types Of Income

Get Results: types of income graphic
Get Results: types of income

When it comes to earning a living, there are so many different options, but if you want to be really wealthy, as in having lots of spare dosh, what’s the best way to go about it? For a more in depth guide, check out our wealth guide, here.

We’re keeping the discussion limited to income options in this post, but our wealth guide talks about dealing with expenditure as well.

#1 LINEAR income

This is the option of providing value once, and getting paid once for it. It’s the route the majority of people go down, trading time for money, as in working for a salary, or a fee, if you’re a freelancer. This is considered the least expandable, because there is a limit to the number of hours you can work and the income you can make. Sure you can, if you’re say, a sports star earn incredible income from your work, but it’s still limited to some extent. Many sports stars earn extra income from merchandising or other deals that take advantage of their celebrity.

#2 PASSIVE income

Create or buy assets or provide value once, and get income from it over and over again. This could be achieved from buying stocks and shares, and getting dividend payments year after year, or royalties for say music or art that you own, or licencing of intellectual property that’s yours. If you’re thinking of charging for say a video course, you film it once, and get paid over and over again for it, if it’s considered valuable enough.

Some other examples of recurring income

  • Affiliate sales
  • Property income (rent) or profit made from buying and selling
  • Marketing activities that attract paying customers
  • Royalties from intellectual property (art, photos, ideas, writing, music)
  • Licencing fees (ideas, inventions, IP)
  • E-books sales
  • Book sales
  • Pension income
  • Stocks and shares income
  • online courses (videos, e-books and email automated)vert
  • Peer to peer lending
  • Rent out a room in your house (Airbnb style, or to a student, or lodger)
  • Lead generation website – supplying leads to local businesses
  • Online store selling products that can be drop shipped
  • Youtube videos that are popular and have advert placements on them
  • Pay Per Click adverts on website
  • Property renting out advertising space (car, building, fence)

#3 RECURRING income

Recurring income comes about by providing ongoing value or owning assets that you get regular payments for. This would include things like memberships or subscriptions for magazines or websites that you own, or from rent, if you’re a landlord.

#4 LEVERAGED income

Last but not least is leveraged income, which involves making income from other peoples resources, such as their money, time, effort, assets, skills, or popularity. You can do this if you own a business and employ people for instance, you get them to use their skills to make you money. You can also leverage other people’s resources via partnerships or joint ventures.

Other examples of leveraged income include

  • Owning a franchised business
  • Network marketing (avoid these)
  • Being a talent agent
  • Owning a freelancer service website where you earn a commission

So there you have it, I’ve tried to keep this post as short and concise as possible, hope you got some value out of it.

Get Results: buy and sell assets graphic
Get Results: buy and sell assets

Marketing: The Story Of The Lottery Ticket

Get Results: marketing quotes battle of perceptions
Get Results: marketing quotes battle of perceptions

A teacher stands in front of his class of business executives and holds up a lottery ticket. He says to the audience,

“This ticket was an unsuccessful match for numbers two weeks ago. It cost me £2 for it. Will anyone give me £2 for it?”

None of the class responds.

“I’d happily take the best offer you’re willing to give for it, anyone?” asks the teacher.

Again, none of the class responds.

“I’d happily take 20 pence for it, last chance!”

There is a nervous shifting in chairs as the audience look at one another confused, but again none of them responds with an offer for the ticket.

“Okay”, says  the teacher. “Well, if I tell you this ticket didn’t win anything two weeks ago, because I only actually purchased it for the lottery this coming weekend. What would you give me for it now?”

There is a number of humorous exchanges between audience members before one of them shouts out “I’ll give you a £1 for it.”

The teacher asks “Any better offers?”

Another audience member shouts out “I’ll give you £2!”

“Okay!” says the teacher, “I think I’ll keep hold of it in that case, because this ticket wasn’t purchased for this weekend’s lottery, it was purchased for last weekend, and it was a winning ticket for the £30 prize!”

Now the audience members responded with some laughter and a realisation they have been fooled.

The teacher asks “Now what will you give me for this ticket?”

One of the audience says jokingly “I’ll give you £2 for it!”, but then offers £20

Another says “£25!”

The teacher hands the ticket to the person who has offered £25 and says “It’s yours”, the person gives him the £25 after checking that the ticket is a genuinely winning ticket, he realises it has in fact won the £100 prize, not the £30 as stated by the teacher.

The teacher asks, “So this person has got herself a £100 prize which has cost her just £25! How silly do the rest of you feel now lol?”

The audience agrees they have missed out on a great opportunity, and congratulate the woman who had got herself a great deal.

Now this story is used to illustrate the perception of value and how it can be manipulated.

When the class are led to believe the ticket was a failed attempt from a couple of weeks ago, it is valued at zero. None of the audience perceived any value in it at all, and why should they?

When the ticket is described as actually a ticket purchased for the upcoming lottery draw, audience members value it more, in fact £2 is offered for it, which is the face value of the ticket anyway. Why has the audience member offered this? Well because that is the market value  for a ticket in an upcoming draw, and the person may think they have a chance to win something with it, as they would if they purchase the ticket themselves. In fact they were going to buy a ticket anyway for this weekend’s draw and think the opportunity that has presented itself may be a lucky omen.

When it is revealed the ticket is in fact a winning ticket, the offer goes up to £25, which still provides a surplus of £5 for the winning offer, which of course is still a good deal.

When the audience discovers the prize is actually £100, much of them feel quite envious of the winning bid, because they have missed out on an even better deal.

The ticket is the same ticket throughout this whole scenario, the only thing that has changed throughout, is the story the teacher is telling the audience, about the value of the ticket and the subsequent perception from the audience.

The value of the ticket isn’t wrapped up in the material it’s made of, after all it’s just made of paper! It’s not wrapped up in its cost, the cost of the ticket is the same in all the proposed situations.

The value of the ticket is perceived to be in its winning potential, in its reward value.

If I told you I could guarantee you £2 for every £1 you spent with me, would you not spend as much money as you could get your hands on, if you trusted me to deliver on that promise?

Of course you would!

That’s what marketing is all about, the promise of a reward that outweighs the cost of that exchange. The rewards don’t have to be just monetary gains either, psychological gains are often even more important. Having more money is only valuable because of what having more money means to you; more money equals more freedom, more choice, better or bigger possessions etc.

If you can genuinely provide more value than you take in return (in the way of money), and make sure the audience perceive that value, you’ll be a successful marketer.

But remember great power comes with great responsibility. Use your marketing powers for good, and keep your  promises!

Otherwise  you’re not a marketer, your a scammer.

Check out our marketing guide, here.

Deal With Rapid Change

Get Results: rapid change
Get Results: rapid change

The modern world is fast moving, and we are, more than ever, required to try to keep pace with it. This requires the following…

To have a big enough WHY – If you’re not driven towards something, you’re going to struggle to find the motivation to learn what needs to be learned, and to do what needs to be done. Aligning your inner purpose with your outer purpose is a sure way to commit to the cause.

Ensure there is NO RESISTANCE – let go of the way things are, release any fixation you might have on the way things are or have been and open yourself up to the new, which brings me nicely onto the next point.

Open your mind to new ways of working, at least to the actual way things are now, today and keep one eye on where things are heading.

Keep looking forwards – stay ahead of the curve. The pace of change  might scare you, because often change means risk and uncertainty, but with the right mindset, it also presents opportunities. Position yourself to take advantage of the way things are going to be. It’s going to happen, whether you like it or not, so better to make the most of it, rather than burying your head in the sand and pretending it’s not happening.

The next point is to become a FAST LEARNER! The skill that is going to future-proof you is the ability to learn new things as fast as possible. This starts with having the right mindset; be a lifelong learner, a master of what you know and an apprentice of what you don’t know. The fastest and most effective way of learning is by doing. You really can’t beat experience and purposeful practice.

Keep bureaucracy to a minimum, that of you or your organisation. This includes any regulations and rules you might operate within. Use just enough to get the job done. We can take a lead from nature with regards to this. The impressive flying acrobatics of Swallows runs on 3 simple rules; avoidance, direction and distance. Complex communities like that of Ants is based on simple rules that don’t rely on mountains of regulations, paperwork, check sheets and meeting about meetings.

Give yourself a a GOAL, and use it to gauge general direction, rather than it being a rigid, fixed, non-movable destination. Remain open to accidental discoveries and serendipity, but be wary of temptations and distractions that gets in your way and damage productivity and progress. There’s a fine balance to be struck here, which can only be fine-tuned through trial and error.

Finally use the getresults framework to ensure you KNOW – WANT – DO what’s necessary to get the results you’re seeking. Sign up for our newsletter to learn more.

 

Healthy Eating: Baked Salmon With Prawns and Veges

Get Results: healthy eating: baked salmon
Get Results: healthy eating: baked salmon

Today is fish day

Baked salmon with prawns and veges

Pre boiled baby potatoes

Sliced onions and red peppers

Cherry tomatoes

Fine beans or any of your fav. veges.

Season salmon and veges with salt and pepper and put everything together in your baking dish.

Add a knob of garlic butter and half fresh squeezed lemon juice, chopped parsley and drizzle with olive oil. Baked at 200°C for 25-30mins. 

While you’re here, why not check out weight loss guide, here

Managing Organisational Change To Get Results

Get Results: nothing changes if nothing changes
Get Results: nothing changes if nothing changes

Managing organisational CHANGE

Change is hard for one person, doing it yourself can be really difficult, let alone managing the change of a whole organisation.

Everyone is different, motivated by different things, with their own personal insecurities and fears.

How is it even possible to manage what is essentially a very personal thing, but on a one-size-fits-all basis, as you would with a large organisation?

We have one thing in common, in that we all want to improve our current situation, to feel we are improving in some way. This can come about through…

  • Feeling more valued
  • Feeling we are contributing more through our job function
  • Learning new skills
  • Our ability to make use of our talents
  • Being trusted more to use our judgments and skills
  • Not feeling like we are being exploited and used without any of the benefits
  • believing we can move forwards or upwards within the organisation
  • feeling we are not getting caught up in unnecessary politics within the workplace, and being supported when flare ups occur

It’s important we don’t over pander to employees, instead treat them as adults, with responsibilities, but be supportive, when required.

Get Results: the process of transition
Get Results: the process of transition

There are lots of frameworks that lay out the step by step stages people may pass through, throughout the change process; feeling anxiety, happiness, denial, then fear, guilty, depression, hostility, and finally acceptance (as in the illustration above). These kinds of frameworks can give us some appreciation of the possible stages our employees may go through, but they aren’t going to help us actually manage the change process, because they fail to account for the complexity of individual employees and the fact that employees have different fears, and motivations, and will be going through different stages and emotions at different times and for different reasons.

Let’s now look at the possible objections employees might have to any organisational change.

Get Results: emotional and practical
Get Results: emotional and practical

Why employees resist CHANGE

They may fear losing something from the  current status quo.

They may just be indifference to the change process and/or destination the organisation is hoping to move towards.

They just can’t see or don’t agree with big picture vision of what the organisation is wanting to do.

They don’t agree with the path forward and the possible discomfort they might have to endure while making the transition, or they might just think there is a better solution available to the organisation.

They might feel they are already overworked and don’t want more workload on top of what’s currently on their table.

They may feel ignored or excluded in the decision making process.

They may fear a loss of face, responsibility, job security as a result of the change process.

They may be suspicious of some hidden agenda – fear a devaluation at some point – lack of trust in those who yield power.

They may feel change will be slow or it might prevent some self interested increase  or advancement further down the line.

They may fear they will lack autonomy going forward or fear extra responsibility in future, which they are uncomfortable about.

Now not every employee will have such objections, others will have some or all of the above. A one-fits-all solution is not going to be an effective approach to implementing change because of such complexities.

The way ahead for long lasting CHANGE

So the question becomes, how do we effectively manage change, taking all these concerns and complexities into consideration?

Well you would have to first ensure that the organisation goals and change process are aligned to the inspirations of employees whilst actively managing their fears on a one to one basis.

This could be achieved by ensuring they feel more valued, have more autonomy, learn more skills, are trusted to make decisions, are able to contribute more etc.

The change process will only be successful, if employees are involved, are part of the process, and benefit from the changes.

Take employees through the getresults.org.uk framework, and improve their self awareness, improve their ability and willingness to take responsibility, ensure they are open minded and able to see possibilities rather than risks, help  them be more committed to the process of change, by dealing with their own fears, discomfort and conflicts with the support of the organisation, at every stage.  Sign up for our newsletter for more info.

Change requires employees to acquire the necessary knowledge to make progress, be more motivated to seek improvements and learn better techniques and methods, and embrace the opportunities to improve productivity.

The organisations leadership should be like a gardener, preparing the ground, the space, to make it easy for nature to do it’s thing, rather than being like the carpenter, who tries to control every aspect of the work, shaping it to his/her wishes.

If your method for change doesn’t align with the natural instincts of employees, and doesn’t take advance of human nature, you’re facing a path of conflict and struggle.

In his book “Brave new work”, Aaron Dignan uses the following method for organisational change.

Get Results: the transformation loop
Get Results: the transformation loop

This is an inclusive, persistent, continual process of evolution rather than revolution, where employees are empowered to remain involved in the evolving process permanently. It breaks away from a linear process, one step, then the next, and instead involves looping through a cycle of noticing Tension, Practice and Experimentation. I’d recommend checking out his book for more about this approach.

For more info about getting results and the methodology we use, sign up for our newsletter, or look through the information on this website.

 

Be Creative and Connect With Something Deep Inside

Get Results: creativity is just connecting things in a new way
Get Results: creativity is just connecting things in a new way

Connecting with your creative instinct can provide you with a deep sense of fulfillment. Creativity has a way of directly touching something in our soul. Personally I find it rejuvenating, fulfilling and even spiritual.

Be more creative!

For efficiency we tend towards path of least resistance, often this is the path taken before; routine, habit, structure.

We have to dig deeper to get more creative.

Get off the path of least resistance, and try something new, a change of direction.

Step out of your comfort zone and learn a new skill.

Specialisation is rewarded by society, but it is binding and narrowing, whereas trying lots of different things, means a greater variety of inputs, more influences, more diverse experiences.

To do new things, you have to be confused and frustrated, at least to start and to be creative, to think outside the box, you have to be willing to be wrong.

Brains are novelty seekers, they gets bored easily.

We have to push boundaries.

If we go too crazy, too far out, nobody is going to follow us there. The secret is to explore the range of possibilities, pushing boundaries  everywhere to figure out what works and push the limits of creativity.

Our brains can interfere with the creative process, we fear failure. Don’t be afraid of failure – success rises from the ashes of failure. Embrace the possibility of failure as an opportunity to try and learn

You don’t have to invent something completely new to be creative, use an old idea in a new way. Blend different ideas into new ideas, different things into new things.

Develop a creative mindset, take risks and try something new TODAY!

Healthy Eating: Grilled Chicken and Orange Salad Couscous

Get Results: Healthy Eating Grilled Chicken and Orange Salad Couscous
Get Results: Healthy Eating Grilled Chicken and Orange Salad Couscous

Simple and easy meal to make. If you fancy a bit different taste to usual BBQ chicken flavour, why not try this?

Grilled boneless thigh chicken marinated in fresh
Juice of 1 whole orange
Juice of 1 whole lemon
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
A little bit of salt and pepper.
Done.
Serve with couscous and salad. I made leaf lettuce, spring onions, peeled oranges and salt and pepper for my salad.