Today I wanted to share a 6 step plan for regaining charisma in stressful situations from Olivia Fox Cabane’s “The Charisma Myth”:
- Take a deep breath and shake out your body to ensure that no physical discomfort is adding to your tense mental state.
- De-dramatize. Remind yourself that these are just physical sensations. Right now, nothing serious is actually happening. This only feels uncomfortable because of the way your brain is wired. Zoom out of your focus to see yourself as one little person sitting in a room with certain chemicals flooding his system. Nothing more.
- De-stigmatize. Remind yourself that what you’re experiencing is normal and everyone goes through it from time to time. Imagine countless people all over the world feeling the exact same thing.
- Neutralize. Remind yourself that thoughts are not necessarily real. There have been many times when you’ve been certain that a client was disappointed, only to discover that the exact opposite was true.
- Consider a few alternate realities.
- Visualize a transfer of responsibility. Feel the weight of responsibility for the outcome of this situation lifting off your shoulders. Tell yourself it’s all taken care of.
Have you tried any of these techniques yourself? How did they work out for you?
Our marketing team meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. We’ve been doing social for about 4 years.
During each meeting we count our followers and the number of clicks our content has generated.
During these meetings we’re seeing a surprising trend. The content we’re putting out is not engaging with students. The clicks are declining. Forget about retweets!
We need a voice. We need a persona. People need to sense that a real human being with a real personality made up of intense likes and diverse interests lives just behind the @.
Who talks more like students than students?
“Welcome to the Twitter Challenge! Youʻre going to have 5 minutes to market our Pocket Workshops via Twitter,” I announced to the student employees at a student staff meeting. I had created a fake Twitter page and put it up on the server.
“Whoever comes up with the best tweet to market these workshops will get — the respect of their coworkers.” I messed up and didnʻt have a prize to give away. Too focused on the code. Remember prizes for next time.
“Ready,” I placed my left thumb on alt key.
“Set,” my left pinky searching for the tab.
“Go!” and I slammed down the key combination revealing the bit.ly url to post on my fake Twitter.
They killed it. In 5 minutes they were able to generate 21 solid engaging tweets that did not sound like business-speak.
Students are here in the office. They talk like students. They know what matters the most to other students. Let’s have them do the talking. Let’s have the students create context for our content.
Create artistic beauty
Artistic beauty is ephemeral. Create something that is easy to look at. Create something that begs you to interact with it.
Create emotional beauty
Emotional beauty comes from our multiple senses hitting simultaneously to elevate the experiencing a viewing work of art.
When asked how he created such a beautiful statue, Michaelangelo said that he saw the statue within the marble block, carved it out, and freed it. He saw the potential of the block of stone and pulled it out.
The fact that we know the story behind this beautiful piece of art is what makes the it that much nicer. One block of stone, and this marvel comes out.
True mastery of craft, with applied focus, reveals art by connecting the narrative story with the object that has been created.
Craft a satisfying narrative
Travis Kalanick and his friend had an idea for a taxi service that would allow people to hail a taxi with their phone.
No one thought it would work.
Instead of listening, he got to work testing his idea.
First he drafted up a simple app in a weekend that would allow his friends to hail a cab from anywhere in the city. Then he hired a driver to respond to the requests. Then he gave the app to 10 friends.
People used the service once.
Then he found that all of them were reusing the service.
Kalanick positioned Uber in a small guy roll that makes the success of the company that much more satisfying. Kalanick’s moves were different from what society told him would work. Positioning himself as David to the Taxi Industry’s Goliath makes the current success of the company that much more satisfying.
- Discuss the kiosk idea at the next full time staff meeting
- Discuss problem observed
- Discuss baby-steps to testing solution
- Scale solution
- Draft up flowchart of how it will work
- Gamification is possible with this thing
- Build it out!
What keeps bringing us back to the websites we love? Is it the beautifully designed header images? Does that design make us feel more like we have a design ideal? Maybe it’s the witty writing of our favorite poster?
No, it’s all about content. Or, so we’ve been told.
Fresh content no longer guarantees more views
We keep going back to our favorite websites because they always have fresh new content. We check our Facebook feed for new content. We check our Twitter feed for new content.
When was the last time you went on Twitter to find an old post? You ended up scrolling through the newest content instead didn’t you?
We don’t care about historical information. We want to know what’s happening now!
We’ve been hearing that content drives users to websites. For a while we had a hard time finding the websites with the content we wanted. Then Google came along and created an interface for us to get directly to the content we’re looking for. Google even ranked the results by helpfully placing the most linked pages at the top of the search results.
Now that we can find the content we’re looking for, and there’s so much of it, we’re suddenly more interested in the content creators than the content itself.
If I can get the same content from Bill and Suzy, I’m going to get the content from the person I identify with, respect, and believe in.
I love Paelo. If I know Bill is crazy about Paleo and I know Suzy isn’t, I’m going to go to Bill for my content.
How transparent is your supermarket?
Before I go on explaining the content versus context debate, allow me to make a comparison between websites and supermarkets.
If we don’t know exactly where our food comes from we don’t know which supermarket to support.
We venerate food when we know it comes from a sustainable source. It seems to just taste better when we know it as been grown, produced, and cultivated ethically.
We can get the same kind of food from all the other supermarkets around our house. But we do the extra research to find out how the food is made, how it gets to where we are, and who is affected positively and negatively by our food consumption.
Supermarkets that go out of their way to provide us with a narrative of how they grow their greens, how they bring them to us, and how much of a carbon footprint they require, get our business.
Shoppers vote with their dollars
Armed with this information we vote with our dollars by buying produce from locations that avow that their goods harm the world as little as possible.
This production and transparency of context gives us the ability to vote with our dollars and support those businesses with the most sustainable and ethical business practices.
We are seeing this context over content shift come to the websites we choose to visit because these websites are front-facing stores for our money, our ideals, and who we identify ourselves with.
This craving for transparency about where our food comes from bleeds into all of our social and economic outcomes. We vote and tally our beliefs by our actions regarding what we use our money to buy and support.
Users vote with their attention
If your users don’t know who you are, why would they choose you over your competitor? If the difference between your products and your competitors products is minimal you absolutely need to differentiate yourself.
The easiest way to differentiate yourself is to tell your story. What makes you different? Narratives must be lived to become fact.
We know you have the content, what’s your context?
What’s your story?
“There’s a reason why boxing is called ‘the sweet science.’ Critics dismiss the sport as mindlessly barbaric, but where they see violence, those of us who understand and respect it see strategy. In fact, boxing is often compared to chess for the amount of strategic thinking it requires.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Marketing and boxing are similar. They both require long term commitment. And both require knowing your competitor.
“A boxer spends a lot of time analysing his own technique, but spends an equal amount of time analysing his competitor’s technique, too. Even when two fighters meet in the ring for the very first time, months before the match, in addition to their regular pre-dawn training in the gym and practice ring, the competitors spent hundreds of hours studying each other on film.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Long term commitment means trying out new methods and tracking progress through Google Analytics. We have Hootsuite installed on our social media accounts to keep track of how many students like or friend us on social.
The thinking here is to take the next step and start tracking the numbers of our opponents. Something difficult emerges here. Who are our opponents? Who are we challenging?
“Like great boxers, great storytellers are observant and self-aware. A great storyteller is keenly attuned to his audience; he knows when to slow down for maximum suspense and when to speed up for comic effect. He can sense when he’s losing people’s interest and can make adjustments to his tone or even to the story itself to recapture their attention. Online marketing requires the same kind of audience awareness, which we can achieve thanks to the tremendous data mining opportunities at our fingertips.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
The people who stand out as our opponents are those who seek to take away our resources.
I believe that our opponents are all the online clearing houses of unvetted employment opportunities.
Unfortunately the jobs are not vetted before they are posted on these online job boards and the students who seek out these jobs are ultimately disappointed. They only find out what they’ve gotten themselves into after they’ve signed all the paper work and have actually started the job.
Let’s find out more about our competitors to find their weaknesses and exploit them to drive up our numbers, make our customers aware of our competitive advantage, and provide our customers with a heart-warming story of obstacles, hard work, and solid employment.
“The average video on YouTube is about 3.5 minutes; after that amount of time, people start to lose interest and click away. The longer the video, the more difficult it is for people to pay attention all the way through.” – Joseph McCormack
Video is a powerful tool. But with so much content it’s difficult to watch all those training videos and marketing studies and still have time to make great work.
Users immediately check the duration of a video before pressing play. In a world where clocks tick by in microseconds, a 10-minute video is an eternity. And your customers will abandon your marketing masterpiece for a quick scroll through Vine, Snapchat, or Instagram.
The content might not be as great but at least they know they can dip in and dip out fast.
Studies show that whereas we remember only 10 percent of what we hear and 30 percent of what we read, we remember a whopping 80 percent of what we see. – McCormack
As a content producer you don’t want to take up too much of your users’ time. It’s an impossible ask, almost like jumping into a pool and hopping out without getting wet. But it is possible with this superpower…
Speed up the playback of your YouTube videos
Watch the video below to learn how to speed up the playback of YouTube videos. Now you can watch twice the content in half the time.