Mark Shaw, The Anti-Social Speaker
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My favorite comment from this episode:
"If you want to lead the orchestra, you have to turn your back on the crowd."
Eleven years ago Mark went from being invisible to highly visible as one of the UK's leading authorities on Twitter and social media - with ZERO budget.
Mark has done 200+ TV and radio interviews, spoken at different venues and trained hundreds of business owners on how to be effective and get more business with social media.
A lot of people every day posting about being authentic - and most of them either 1) don't know what it really means or 2) aren't actually being authentic.
Mark's definition of authenticity: How you are ONLINE is how you are OFFLINE. You will have the same persona no matter where you are.
People copy other people because they've run out of content to put out there. They don't have anything else to say so they say what others are saying and think that's being authentic. When you do that, it's meaningless.
He references Seth Godin's book Purple Cow and how no one notices the black and white cows we see in the fields every day - they are invisible to us. BUT if you change one cow to purple, now everyone's talking about how remarkable it is to see a purple cow. Why? Because it's different, it stands out and it's talk-worthy.
No one goes back to the analogy and says "OK, now that all the cows are purple, what happens when we see a black and white cow?" It's now the NEW remarkable cow.
So what most people DON'T do is go back to the beginning, take a step back and evaluate your business. What's unique or different? Question why you are doing video, or Facebook or a podcast - WHY? Are you doing it because someone told you to do it, because you think you should since it's the new platform or new thing to do, or because it makes sense for YOUR business?
That's the point: most people just 'DO' instead of 'EVALUATE' and 'DO WHAT'S BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS'. When you do what everyone else is doing, you are no longer remarkable.
You are in a SEA OF SAMENESS.
Challenge the Status Quo
We live in a world where the whole universe is on social media. What are you doing that's unique to your business that is driving sales?
Are you considering traditional marketing - right now it's the Purple Cow. Has it worked historically? How do you know? Have you tried it?
The Point: Don't get stuck in 'social media' mode when there are SO many other options. What are you doing that's generating sales?
Even if your goal is to raise brand awareness, your ultimate goal is to create sales. Are you? If you aren't making sales via your time, effort, dollars on social media, what are you doing there?
He's not saying to not be on social media; what he's saying is to look at your time and resources. If you can't write content and you're rubbish on video, what's the point of being on those platforms? Find a better way: pay someone else to do it or don't be on that platform.
If you’re there for more business, and you’re spending time on social and you’re getting warm and fuzzy feelings, but no business – do something else. Get on the phone!
People now on social media are what he calls “social media middlemen” – they have no opinion. They just share other people’s stuff. There's nothing wrong with that but if that’s all you do, why would he hire you if all you’re doing is sharing someone else’s stuff? Why wouldn’t he hire that other person for the stuff you’re sharing? You aren’t the go-to person, he wants to hire the top banana, the opinionated person, with strong views, who demonstrates their knowledge and experience.
That’s the missing ingredient.
If you want to lead the orchestra, you have to turn your back on the crowd.
If you want to lead the gang, you’ve got to be different to the gang.
Be opinionated, have a view. It doesn’t mean you’re view is right – but it means you have a view.
"What do you think, Vicki, on this topic?" Tell him what you think. You are supposedly the expert in this field – tell him what you think." That's what he wants to know is if he's going to hire you.
If you want to embrace social media – stand for something. Stop worrying about upsetting everyone.
YOU WANT TO BE MEMORABLE. Are you?
No one cares what you do or what you say you do. Say something memorable that captures their attention.
That's why Mark goes with "Anti-Social" - it grabs attention and it starts the conversation. It's memorable!
At the end of the day, you want to move to the next step: is there a connection, something to talk about. You can't get to the clever stuff if they don't remember you.
About Social Media Engagement
After being off LinkedIn for two years, someone asked Mark "Why did you come back to LinkedIn?" His response: LinkedIn has the greatest content distribution going. Bar none."
He has done two posts since returning. With the first post he had 40 followers and had ~75,000 views at the time we did the interview. The second post: 180 followers with views ~165,000.
It's not about the connection - it's about the content.
It's not about how many times you post or what time of day is 'Best' - it's about the content.
It's not about doing a video because that's the latest media to use - it's about the content.
Interesting content gets the engagement. The emotions and and thoughts triggered by his content is what gets engagement. This type of content gets the engagement - and the reaction or action you want.
Engagement is what drives views. Views drive engagement. Engagement drives memorable. Memorable drives sales - not 'nicey-nicey' content with 'Likes' on a puppy picture - that doesn't generate sales! It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but it's not going to generate business.
The world doesn't need more noise and more content. They need better targeted content. That's it.
ONE Key Insight from this Episode:
Do an audit on yourself and look at your social media posts. Your last 10 posts. Did it move the needle?
If it's not working, spend the time and money on SEO or something else that may work.
People's job isn't to be amazing on social media - it's to be amazing at their business.
Social media is just one of many ways to share your greatness. Have a great business, deliver beyond customer expectations. Don't worry about being on social media - do great things for your customers and they will be on social media FOR you!
Do something that's unexpected and get your customers to be your greatest advocate.
A question Mark always asks himself when he's posting:
How does this content demonstrate your knowledge, your expertise and your business?
If it doesn't do any of those things, how does it drive me to hire you or pay for your services? Do something unique and stand out.
Two (2) Take Aways:
If you like what you hear, follow Mark on LinkedIn
Think about your business. Turn your phone off and evaluate what you've posted over the past six (6) months. If you're getting business and it's working for you, carry on. If what you're doing isn't producing any actions or real business, it's time to re-evaluate.
Book reference: Purple Cow by Seth Godin
You can connect with Mark via LinkedIn:
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