Topic: Reputation

Reputation tips and tricks

Did You Know?: Fun Facts About Sales Manager Brandon Kaminsky 0

At Main Street Hub, we Challenge Ourselves every day in order to provide world-class service for our customers. Our team is constantly pushing past comfort barriers and examining how we can improve.

Even before coming to Main Street Hub, NYC Sales Manager Brandon Kaminsky lived by those same values. When he decided to write and publish a book, he challenged himself every day until he achieved his goals.

Learn more about Brandon, his experience becoming a published author, and how his go-get-it attitude has helped him in his career at Main Street Hub:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

“I graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2015. I was working in the jewelry industry through school. A lot of my family is in the jewelry business, and I know they wanted me to follow them on that path. But, I was looking for something different.

I’m the first American-born person in my family, and I’m also the first person in my family to get a college degree. This is my first job out of college, and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. When I walked into Main Street Hub, I immediately knew I liked it. I ended up being good at the job, and here I am.”

What was the inspiration behind your book?

“My book is called Y” My Generation: Reach Your Potential by Monetizing Your Naturalness. It’s a mix of Generation Y, money-related, and motivational material.

“It’s about how there’s so much going on in our world right now that gives our generation the ability to reach a little higher, but it comes down to how much you want it.”


Buy it on Amazon!

“When I was 18, I entered an online competition for students to submit their book ideas for the chance to win a publishing deal. I worked on my idea for a while and submitted a couple different things.

“Around the same time, I lost my Pops. I was only 19, but that gave me crazy motivation to get it done for him. So, my book was a two-and-a-half year journey. I researched, wrote it, and got it out there. The competition had been over for a while.”

How did you feel when it finally got published?

“I was sending out letters to publishers before I even finished writing the book. I must have gotten around 230 nos.”

“At a certain point, I looked back at all the time I’d put into it, and I knew that I couldn’t waste it.”

“Then, conveniently, as I was finishing the last chapter, I finally got one yes. My book was published in March 2016. It’s been going great. I have 100% positive reviews on Amazon, which is cool.

What advice would you give someone looking to write a book?

“I would want them to know that it’s just like sales. You’re going to get rejected, and it’ll be hard. Once you think that you’ve put in an award-winning amount of time, you’ll be halfway. Get ready to double-down on that time. You’ll be exhausted. But, if you can reach deeper to really pull out that last half of the effort, then you deserve to be a published author. You just have to put your head down and do it. Just do it.”

https://medium.com/media/f02917950bdb174a35e462e258eb2c8f/href

What’s your favorite thing about working on the Main Street Hub Sales Team?

“There’s no other company I know of where people are so willing to give themselves to you, in terms of helping you succeed. That’s extremely special.”

What’s your favorite Main Street Hub core value?

“I have to go with Elevate Others. I love that about our company. We work together, always.”

More fun facts! NYC Sales Representative Jenn Cheng is a Food Network’s Chopped champion and VP Sales Scott Domareck is a former ski instructor!

The first step to joining our world-class Sales Team in ATX or NYC is to apply here!

Keep up with all the fun stuff going on at Main Street Hub! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!



Did You Know?: Fun Facts About Sales Manager Brandon Kaminsky was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub

Father’s Day Spotlight: Garrett Robins, Manager, Account Management 0

Ahead of Father’s Day, we’re celebrating some of our team’s awesome dads!

In the office, Garrett Robins is known as a Manager of Account Management on our Customer Success Team, but at home — he’s known as dad.

We talked to Garrett about balancing life at the office with raising his three adorable children and what he loves about being a father:

What are your kids’ names and how old are they?

“Reid (5), Juliana (3), and Elizabeth (3 months).”

Will your family be doing anything special for Father’s Day this year?

“We’ll likely go on a walk and let Reid and Juliana drive their Power Wheels Jeep down to the park. We’ve also been playing a lot of UNO! Attack lately, so we might get a game or two in of that as well.”

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

“I love being able to teach them! Sometimes it’s as simple as right from wrong, other times it’s a questions like ‘How far is the moon?’ They are so smart and remember everything you tell them!”

What are the biggest challenges of being a parent?

“When you are focused on being the best father you can be, you have to remember to be a great husband as well. Balancing everything is a challenge, but it’s a challenge I wouldn’t trade for the world.”

Can you tell us a funny story about a time that things did not go as planned with your little ones?

“The other weekend, we were running in a Mud Run out in Dripping Springs, Texas with Reid. He was up ahead of us a little bit (running well, I might add), and I noticed he suddenly stopped. At first I was worried he was becoming overheated, but I quickly realized he was using the bathroom on the side of the course! I was extremely embarrassed, but realized he didn’t understand why sometimes in the woods he could do that, and other times he couldn’t. Another learning moment!”

How do you balance your work and the demands of fatherhood?

“I try to be as transparent as possible with them as to what I do at work, and why I need to go to work (to pay for our house, food, toys, etc.). I think this is the first step in teaching them how to be responsible with their money. I also like to take them up to the office a few times a year so they get a chance to meet my coworkers and see where I spend my time. They always enjoy pointing out my building as we drive by on the weekends!”

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned since becoming a father?

“Enjoy the present time! They grow up so fast, and while it’s great to have long-term goals professionally and at home, it’s important to take time to appreciate everything that is going on in the moment.”

Garrett’s not the only father on our Customer Success Team — get to know Account Manager Patrick Parrish!

Want to learn more about what our Account Managers do? Watch:

https://medium.com/media/95dc020239f8f981207134be95a24727/href

Apply to join them!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!



Father’s Day Spotlight: Garrett Robins, Manager, Account Management was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub

CEO dismissals for unethical behavior jumped 36% in the last four years 0

In 2016, 18 CEO’s from the world’s 2,500 largest public companies, were forced to resign because they did something unethical. 18’s not a very big number but it’s bigger than it’s ever been before.

According PwC’s CEO Success study, CEO dismissals for ethical lapses rose 36% in the last four years vs the prior four years. This includes incidents of fraud, bribery, insider trading, sexual indiscretions, and lying.

It’s interesting to note that the percentage is even higher when you hone in on only the largest companies in the world. And it’s higher among CEO’s who have been with a company more than six years.

What’s happening? Are today’s CEO’s less ethical than they were a few years ago, or is something else causing the rise in forced resignations.

PwC thinks it’s more about a change in climate than a change in people. They pin the rise on several trends that are making it harder for CEO’s to escape a public flogging.

First, is the fact that the public is a lot less forgiving than they used to be. CEO trust is at an all-time low. In the past, we put our blind trust in our leaders but those days are gone. Not only are we more suspicious, we’re also less likely to forgive and forget when we learn of a CEO’s indiscretions.

Another big issue is the 24/7 news cycle and the rise of citizen journalism and social justice warriors. A slip that might have been caught and fixed before anyone was the wiser is now a viral video with a hashtag on Twitter in a matter of minutes. Once the mistake hits the fan, CEO’s often jump to explain themselves publicly, when they should be closing ranks. This leads to a second round of finger pointing that inevitably makes things worse.

Third, is the increase in digital communications, social media and automatic data storage. In 1954, it was your word against your boss’s word. In 2017, there’s a digital paper trail including emails, conversations recorded on a mobile phone, copies of hard drive deleted documents in the cloud, and Facebook confessionals.

Really, it’s a wonder any CEO gets away with even the slightest misstep in the modern world.

But let’s get back to the original question; are CEO’s less ethical than they were? Could be. We tend to think of leaders making unethical choices out of greed. They cut corners that lead to safety issues or they shave a little off the top to line their pockets. But it wasn’t financial gain that led to the most recent lapses; it was social pressure.

Today’s top companies are being asked to hit impossible goals in sales, production and customer service. When a leader is failing, through no fault of his own, he might feel the need to cross the line for the good of the company. Who’s going to notice a slight tweak in those emissions reports? So the ground beef is a day or two past the code – it’s still good to eat, right? And those sexual harassment complaints? You could fire those responsible but that’s going to lead to a loss of productivity. Who has time for that?

We’re all so very good at justifying our actions.

Here’s the problem, saying you did the wrong thing for the right reason isn’t going to protect you or your company when the world finds out. Yes, it’s tough to stand up at a board meeting and say that your exciting new product doesn’t actually work. But it’s a lot tougher to face a news camera and admit that you repeatedly lied in order to keep the money coming in.

Before you write this post off with a breezy, “that would never happen to me”, remember that we all handle pressure differently, and while you may have the strength to battle on, the people who work under you might not have as strong a moral compass.

Protect your company by carefully monitoring incentive-based goals, encouraging communication at all levels, and investigating all allegations of misconduct. And, above all else, always strive to do the right thing because the world is literally watching.


Source: Reputation Refinery

Why Use a Digital Marketing Agency? 0

Sales flat?

Lack a clear marketing strategy or the resources to execute it?

Marketing just not getting done?

Don’t have the budget to hire a marketing professional?

It might be time to hire an outside marketing firm.

But why choose a digital marketing agency?

In an earlier post, we covered the “nuts and bolts” of what a digital marketing firm can do for you:

  • Define and strengthen your brand.
  • Leverage inbound marketing tools.
  • Quantify results to improve effectiveness and ROI.

And that’s just the start! Here are a few more reasons to use a digital marketing agency:

  • Get one-stop shopping.
    Need a new website or printed sales collateral? Want to protect your company’s online reputation? Looking for experts to revamp your marketing strategy? A great digital marketing firm can handle everything from strategy development and web design to social marketing and PR – and everything in between. By allowing one partner to handle all your marketing needs, you get faster service – and better results.
  • Save money.
    Digital marketing experts help you get more “bang” for your marketing buck by: scrutinizing your marketing spend to trim wastefulness; leveraging content across platforms; automating PPC bidding based on ROI; and using metrics to analyze and improve performance.
  • Leverage the latest – and most effective – marketing trends.
    The digital marketing world is dynamic. Trends, and the technologies that drive them, change on a dime. When you hire a team of digital marketing experts, they can help you choose the right strategies and tools to stay relevant – and ahead of your competitors.
  • Get fresh perspective.
    Outside experts who are not as close to your business can offer unbiased feedback about your brand, your strategy and your competition. You can use their insights to develop new approaches and solutions to challenges.

Evaluating digital marketing agencies?

Check out everything BARQAR (bark-er) can do for you. Whether you need to revamp your strategy, protect your reputation, strengthen your brand or get higher quality sales leads, we can design a digital marketing solution that’s right for your business.

Need more info, want a demo or ready to talk numbers? Give BARQAR a call today.

The post Why Use a Digital Marketing Agency? appeared first on BARQAR.


Source: Barqar

#24 – Acting ugly hurts your employer, Uber’s desperate need for a brand lift, and what makes a great influencer? 0

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Can someone call Uber a taxi? They need to go home and sober up their reputation!

Each week, Erin Jones and I take a look at the most interesting reputation management stories, answer your questions, and share valuable ORM tactics. In this week’s episode:

If you have a question you would like us to tackle, please leave a comment below or on my Facebook Page.

Enter our subscriber contest below!

Subscribe to the Reputation Rainmakers podcast

Transcript (forgive us for any typos):

Andy Beal:                  Welcome back for another episode. I want to start off by telling you guys a story. I went out for lunch a few days ago to a place called Winston’s Grille. If you’re ever in Raleigh, North Carolina, I highly recommend it. It’s one of those institutions. It’s been around for 30 years. It’s a really popular place for lunch. In particular, business lunches. In fact, if you try to go on a Saturday, it’s actually closed, because obviously nobody is going there for a business lunch because most people are off on Saturday. It’s a really popular place for business lunches. It’s also a popular place for the church crowd, for brunches. It’s a really nice place. It’s not a rowdy, casual place. It’s a place where you go and there’s a certain expectation of behavior.

After setting the scene, we’re sitting outside and there’s a table two or three tables from us, and the guy is just super loud, super obnoxious, and foul-mouthed. He is just cussing. He can’t go a sentence without dropping an F-bomb or just saying something obscene.

What’s interesting is I’m not normally a prude. I don’t like that behavior, especially in a nice restaurant like that. If it’s a sports bar and it’s loud, then fair enough, but when you’re sitting outside and enjoying lunch you don’t want to hear that. But he is wearing a company polo shirt that is recognizable to anybody, even from a distance. I just can’t believe that this guy is sitting here having this conversation.

I don’t know whether his dining mates are cringing at his behavior, but I’m thinking to myself, “Okay, making a mental note here. If this is his behavior when he’s outside of the store, this is not the kind of company that I want to do business with based on the type of people they’re hiring.” They may not have a clue, but by his very actions of wearing this shirt, I’ve made that mental connection even though he’s off the clock. He’s not specifically representing this brand, but I just don’t think you’re ever really separated from that reputation of your employer, especially if you’re wearing the company shirt. What are your thoughts, Erin? What do you think about that?

Erin:                  First of all, I completely agree. I find it incredibly off-putting. As someone who does run a company, I would want to know if someone that I’m paying to represent me is behaving that way in public, whether they’re on the clock or not.

A good example. I worked at a ski resort for a while between my college years and my grown-up job years. We lived on the mountain and we all had employee-identifiable ski jackets, clothing. Everybody could tell if you worked on the mountain, so if you weren’t on duty, they required that you have your own clothing that you wore when you were out and about, whether you were out at the bars, or if you were skiing with the guests. They wanted that completely separated out. But even still, we had a code of conduct that we had to follow regardless of what time of day it was, whether we were on shift or not. If we worked for that company, we were expected to follow a code of conduct.

I think that it really showed that they were really forward-thinking about this, knowing that whether you’re on the clock or not, if someone has an interaction with you and they find out that you’re a representative of the company, you’re a representative of the company regardless of what time of day it is or what day it is. It’s kind of that if you see the corporate car parked at the strip club, that’s going to stick with you whether the person’s working or not. This kind of behavior strikes me as the same way. I can’t think of someone that I would want to give money to that I would be okay with them behaving that way, whether it be in my home or a service for my brand.

Andy Beal:                  It’s interesting. You could call me a prude and you could say, “Lighten up, he was off the clock,” whatever it may be, but you’ve got to consider that you are a representation of your employer. No one ever said, “You know what? That guy over there, he’s not said a single swear word all lunch so I’m going to boycott his company.”

Why not just be careful? You’re wearing a shirt. It’s bright red. You’re standing out. I can see the logo from where I’m sitting. I want to say something, but I’m thinking to myself, “Eh, you know what? I’m just going to try and ignore it.” But at the same time, I’m thinking to myself, “Okay, well, I’m not going to say anything, but he should know not to behave like this, so I’m just going to not shop at that store.” I know exactly where the store is. I’ve actually shopped there before, but not anymore.

This extends as well to your online behavior. There are so many people that have, whether it’s their language, whether it’s their political rants, whether it’s their social rants, whatever it may be, and then they think they can hide behind putting in their Twitter profile that it says, “Opinions are my own and not that of my employer.”

Erin:                  Yep. Not working anymore, buddy. You know? It really appalls me. Do people not realize how they’re acting or do they just not care? I wonder that a lot about a lot of things that I see, both in the real world and online.

Andy Beal:                  To go back to your example, the employer needs to let employees know that, “Look, your behavior outside of the office could have an effect on our business because people, maybe they recognize you because we’re a major employer in the area. Maybe you’re wearing the company polo shirt. But your actions, whether it’s online or offline, can have an effect on us. If our reputation gets damaged, that hurts our ability to keep you employed. Not you specifically, but if we start losing business, we’re probably going to have to start firing employees. Yeah, you have the right to act the way that you want, but if you damage our company, it’s going to hurt everybody, yourself and others. We’d appreciate if would just conduct yourself, or not wear your company shirt, whatever it may be.” I think that companies need to do a better job of letting employees know just what a valuable part they are of their reputation, and let employees buy into that, and have a stake in the reputation so that they want to act in a way that doesn’t harm their boss’ reputation.

Erin:                  Definitely. I don’t know which side of the table I’m coming from here, but I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t be embarrassed to realize that they are representing their company in such a horrible way. It almost sometimes feels like it’s self-destructive.

Andy Beal:                  I wonder. This gentleman in particular was an older gentleman. That’s not really an excuse. It’s not to say that if you’re over the age of 55, you don’t know how the internet works, but maybe he’s just more ignorant to the fact that there’s that association is going to be made between the way he acts, technically off work, offline, and the reputation that’s perceived for his boss.

I think that the lesson here is you’ve got to understand what’s the reputation your employer is trying to build and are you helping them with your behavior? If you work for a sports bar or if you work for someplace where there’s an expectation that there’s no need to mind your p’s and q’s, if you like, then fine. That’s totally fine.

Maybe I’m being a little bit harsh on this particular store. Maybe I’m holding them to a standard that most other people don’t hold them to. But if you work for a company that is trying to have a reputation for being polite, civil, offering a fantastic service, then certainly if you’re out at a restaurant that has that reputation … You’ve got business people there conducting meetings. You’ve got people that do their company outings. Gosh, I’ve seen people doing presentations in private rooms. You’ve got your church crowd on a Sunday morning. This is not the kind of place where you go and start dropping F-bombs.

Erin:                  Sure. There may be a time and a place. Clearly, he was in the wrong place to do that. It goes back to the whole I tell my clients a lot, “If you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother’s face, don’t say it in public, and don’t say it online. Things can follow you around a lot more easily now than they used to.” It’s just plain, old off-putting. That alone should be enough.

Andy Beal:                  Yeah. All right, well, that’s our rant. I think it’s good. We’ll leave it there, your advice about the grandmother. I think that’s a great litmus test. Unfortunately, we’re not moving onto any story that’s more of a feel-good story. We’re probably still going downhill from here because Uber is in the news again. There’s a new report out. Why don’t you go over that, Erin, and tell us what’s happening there.

Erin:                  Speaking of things you would not want your grandmother to read about you, Uber was being investigated based on some sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and really overall, in general, bad behavior claims. There were several independent investigations. I think the most popular one is the Holder report.

As a result of that report, more than 20 employees were let go from the company. It has been decided that the CEO is going to be stepping aside for a while. I’m interested to see what happens with this. He’s not being fired. It came along with a timeline. His mother was recently killed in a tragic accident, so he’s taking some personal time. It looks like they’re going to do some work to revamp the company while he is on his leave.

Andy Beal:                  Yeah. That’s sorry for him. It’s a convenient excuse that allows them to say he’s stepping aside, but they’re not firing him. He’s not quitting. The report made 47 recommendations, including creating a new oversight committee, rewriting Uber’s cultural values. Get this: reducing alcohol use at work events. Prohibiting intimate relationships between employees and their bosses. The normal stuff that most good companies have in place.

You’re asking yourself, “How did they allow this culture to be built?” To the point where even, I think it was yesterday, one of the board members said something inappropriate when they were discussing these findings, and now he’s had to resign because of a sexist comment he made just this week. It’s like the culture is just rife with this whole sexual … I don’t know. It’s terrible. I mean, I think they’re putting some more women on this oversight committee to help them there to understand normal, decent behavior.

But what’s really interesting for me is I see a lot of people talking about this. It’s really showing that Uber has almost a divided reputation. Now that runs contrary to what I always preach, but if you look at what’s going on with Uber, you’ve got journalists, you’ve got investors, you’ve got employees. They’re all really saying Uber has this terrible reputation.

But if you look at the customers, you’re not really seeing a lot of everyday individuals boycotting Uber over this. We’re still using Uber because it’s convenient and we’re getting cheap fares. There’s almost this disconnect going on where it’s the customer say, “Well, it’s not anything that’s directly affecting me. I still get cheaper fares than taxis and it’s more convenient, so eh. You know what? Let them figure it out and I’ll just keep using the service.” It’s kind of puzzling.

Erin:                  It is. It almost feels like people have, like you said, separated. “The drivers don’t go to the office. The drivers don’t interact with the board or the CEOs, so it’s okay to support them.” Or, “We’re still taking our rides because it’s easy and convenient.” Then over at the corporate offices, there’s this Wolf of Wall Street situation going on where it’s just a free-for-all it seems like.

The fact that they had to put out a press release saying that they were hiring a COO who was diverse to take over some of the current CEOs duties, why are we having to tell people that in this day? Like, “Hey, we’ve got some diversity.” Well, congratulations. Welcome back from the 1950’s. This is stuff that people are already expecting. We’re not going to celebrate you for doing what you’re supposed to do.

Andy Beal:                  Yeah. It’s really strange that we’re not holding them more accountable. I wonder if it’s because we are at least seeing that Uber is trying to do the right thing. It’s not like this culture exists and they’re not willing to do anything about it. Now, they did suppress it and they did have a terrible HR where these claims were suppressed and ignored. There was that. At least once it came to the public light, they’re saying all the right things. They’re doing all the right things. I’m wondering if that’s given them a little bit of breathing space because everybody is waiting to see, “Okay, well, how are you going to handle this? What are you going to do?”

Kind of like what we’ve seen with United Airlines. United continues to have these issues, but at least they came out with a new customer care policy. We’re waiting to see if that’s going to make a cultural difference. I wonder if we’re waiting to see that here.

But the problem is it goes back to one of the three keys for whenever you have a damaged reputation. The last one is consistency. That is you’re demonstrating to your stakeholders, your customers, employees, investors, journalists, that you are consistently improving your behavior. This was an isolated incident. Problem is when you’re announcing your plans, and your changes, and all that, and one of your board members makes a sexist comment in that meeting, you’re not showing that consistency.

Erin:                  No. I also wonder if we give these companies that started as really small startups and exploded, seemingly overnight, more of a pass than we’re going to give older companies like United that have been established for a long time as a corporation. Are we letting them get away with a little bit more because they’re still in their infancy and we see them as being run by “children”? Are they getting a chance to grow up in the spotlight? I do feel they get away with a little bit more.

Andy Beal:                  Well, that’s kind of funny because you know a friend of mine, [Dean Shore 00:15:52], put something up recently. He was mocking because they were trying to defend President Trump’s actions by saying that, “Well, he is new to all of this.” Well, that’s not really-

Erin:                  No, he’s not.

Andy Beal:                  That’s not really a valid excuse. I don’t think we can say, “Well, they’re just a startup. They didn’t know any better.” No. Basic rules of decorum, and values, and ethics should apply here regardless.

But I have worked at a startup where everything was going great. When you’re small, you don’t have these issues. But as we got larger, there was all kinds of inappropriate things happening. HR was completely at the mercy of the CEO. They were just doing his bidding.

I ended up leaving under just terrible circumstances. Not really anything for me, but I saw what was going on. I’m like, “Look, this is going to hurt my reputation personally. You guys are not looking to stop this. I’m out. I don’t want to be a part of this.” Then that company eventually had all kinds of accusations and then closed its doors eventually. I think that what happens is as a company gets larger, they realize because they didn’t have these policies in effect from the beginning, which is fine when you’re really small, everybody knows each other, you open up the keg on a Friday because there’s only 20 of you, you know, that doesn’t scale.

Erin:                  Exactly.

Andy Beal:                  Those small things escalate and expand once you become a large, multi-billion-dollar company.

Erin:                  I completely agree. I think we may have worked at the same company. I had a similar experience. It’s the same thing. You learn a lot through the process, but you definitely get to a point where you go, “Oh, I don’t know that I want my name tied to this, where this is headed.”

Andy Beal:                  Absolutely. At some point, you need to realize that your reputation is extremely important. Just as you represent part of your employer’s reputation, your employer’s reputation represents your personal reputation. It’s definitely a two-way street there.

All right, let’s move on. We’ve got a question here from [Matthew Starts 00:18:12], who asked on Twitter, he said, “Thought leaders and influencers always claim to have a “great network,” but how can you tell? How can they prove it?”

First of all, thanks for the question, Matthew. It is easy, especially for people that are on Twitter, or Instagram, or one of these social networks, to point to their numbers and say, “Look. Look how influential I am. I have this great network. I’ve got 150,000 followers. I’ve got half a million followers.” Whatever it may be.

They somehow claim that that makes them a thought leader, makes them influential, but really I’ve seen “thought leaders” that have used software that follows everybody back so that it escalates their numbers. I’ve seen people that go out and use software that follows people. Then if they don’t follow them back, it unfollows them. There’s all kinds of trickery that can happen to inflate your numbers. Heck, you can even buy followers on these social networks.

To answer your question, Matthew, one of the things I look for is engagement. First of all, I don’t care how many followers you have. How many of them are actually paying attention to everything you say? Are they engaging with you? Are they leaving comments? Are they retweeting you? Are they liking your posts? Are they sharing your posts? Are there comments on your blog post? Because I want to see that if I’m going to invest some time building a relationship with you, I don’t want you to just broadcast it out into a vacuum that nobody’s listening to. I want to see that there is a level of engagement. I want to see results, not just audience reads. What are some thoughts you have on that, Erin?

Erin:                  I absolutely agree. Actually, my first two points were to look at their interaction and engagement, and be wary of the echo chamber. Another thing that I think is important is looking at who they are engaging with. You may have somebody that’s got great engagement in the tech sector or in the online world, but someone who is a great tech influencer may not be someone who is going to influence your small-town bakery or your children’s toy store. I think it really matters who they’re engaging with and how they’re engaging with them. Are their posts genuine? Are they getting good interaction? I think if you really take a good look at it, you can start to see patterns in their communication.

Andy Beal:                  Right. There’s some services out there. There’s Followerwonk. There’s Klout. There’s lots of different services that can give you more of an idea of what topics are the influential on. If you’ve got somebody that’s a generalist with a million followers, they may not necessarily be an expert on anything.

But you could have a smaller audience, but very engaged with a lot of influence because they’re talking about gluten-free recipes. When they talk, when they share something, everybody listens, everybody shares. Yet they may only have 20,000 followers. But the amplification of that could be huge because those 20,000 followers could be influencers themselves. Of that 20,000, it could be somebody that’s got their own million followers, but they happen to be gluten-intolerant, and so they listen to everything you say and then they amplify it.

There’s that. Last thought I have on that is generally if someone has to tell you that they’re a thought leader or an influencer, they’re probably not.

Erin:                  Yes. Thank you.

Andy Beal:                  All right. On that note, we’ll leave it there. Appreciate your question, Matthew. If you guys have a question, please head over to our Facebook page, andybealORM, or head to andybeal.com. Find the latest podcast and just leave us a comment. We always appreciate you guys tuning in, listening, and leaving your questions. As always, Erin, thank you so much for joining me.

Erin:                  Thank you. I’m happy to be here.

Andy Beal:                  Appreciate you guys tuning in. We’ll hope you catch us again next time. Thanks a lot and bye-bye.

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