Five steps to humanise your business

3:07AM | Friday, 22 March

The web represents huge opportunities for start-up entrepreneurs to humanise their organisations.   This makes us much more likable and trustworthy than the bigger corporates we may face as competitors.   International speaker Jay Baer was the social media keynote at the recent National Growth Summit and he introduced a brilliant concept called the ‘humanisation highway’.   It is simply a five-step journey that we go on where we gradually humanise our businesses:   1. Ignoring   This what most companies are doing right now. Nearly everyone has heard of social media but most simply don’t use it yet. It may be fear, anxiety, lack of time, lack of resources or simply lack of interest.   Or perhaps you have set yourself up with social media accounts but they are lying dormant and neglected.   2. Listening   All this involves is setting up Google Alerts and logging into your accounts on a regular basis to see what is going on. If you’re at this stage of the journey you are likely to be following a handful of people you like of Twitter, Facebook and you may follow certain blogs.   If you simply listen, you’re putting yourself ahead of most of your competition because at least you know what is going on. This stage can be very exciting because you can see the power of the community and you’re possibly thinking about taking the next step.   3. Responding   This is where you stop lurking and you get involved. It’s often the scariest step mentally because you’re no longer anonymous and you’re putting yourself out there for all the world to see.   It’s also the shortest stop because you realise there was nothing to worry about. It’s actually quite fun and the business benefits are enormous. Tools like Google Alerts and Twitter Search make it really easy to keep track of what people are talking about, so you are in the position to respond to conversations, which normally means replying to tweets or leaving comments on a blog.   4. Participating   If you have a blog and you use all the usual social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn on a regular basis, then you’re a rock solid participant. The key difference with this phase is that you are ‘contributing content’.   The rule of thumb online is that 90% lurk, 9% respond and 1% contribute. Congrats on being in the top 1%.   5. Story Telling   The final and ultimate stop on the ‘humanisation highway’, and it is where you are actively contributing and sharing compelling stories. Stories that take the shape of blog posts, YouTube videos, e-books, podcasts, emails, infographics and webinars that people simply ‘have to’ share with their friends and colleagues.   This is how you earn your true fans, and the reward is that they start spreading the word for you via tweets, Facebook likes, email forwards and blogging. When you become a master storyteller, then you’ve well and truly humanised your organisation!   For more information to guide you on this humanisation journey, you may like my free e-book Web Strategy Secrets. 

Don’t ever let tech jargon cloud you over

3:24AM | Thursday, 14 March

The other day, Old Taskmaster met an entrepreneur whose view of the cloud was somewhat up in the clouds, to say the least.

Launch a new product like it's the Samsung Galaxy S4

3:10AM | Wednesday, 13 March

In the next few days, one of the largest consumer electronics firms in the world will launch arguably its most important product for the year.

Mix tapes with a modern twist

3:41AM | Thursday, 7 March

Ever wanted to create a mix tape to woo a loved one but didn’t want to go through the hassle of finding an actual cassette tape and a dual-deck tape recorder?

Five social media stuff-ups you need to avoid

3:33AM | Wednesday, 13 March

As we outlined recently, Twitter is the fastest growing social network in the world, while Facebook is still picking up considerable numbers of new users despite seemingly reaching saturation point.

How to define your target market and get inside their heads

3:45AM | Wednesday, 13 March

Marketing your business without your target market properly defined is like driving with a blindfold on and hoping for the best. You might get lucky a few times though chances are you won't get very far.

Stopping corporate culture from strangling your start-up

3:49AM | Wednesday, 13 March

A lot of entrepreneurs come from a corporate background, which often stands them in good stead when they launch their start-up.

Entrepreneurialism is AlwaysOn in Australia, says leading US entrepreneur

2:07PM | Wednesday, 20 February

High-profile American entrepreneur Tony Perkins has highlighted US investors’ increasing appetite for Australian companies, ahead of Australia’s first-ever AlwaysOn conference.

Which social media platform best suits your business?

2:28AM | Wednesday, 20 February

I had lunch with some close friends of mine who own a gym.

Bling makes shoes twice as nice

3:00AM | Wednesday, 13 March

Not many couples come up with a business idea on their honeymoon, but Sharmeen Arain and Rax Huq are not your average couple.

From a YouTube clip to global distribution deals

3:17AM | Thursday, 14 March

After winning the Best Green Start-up title at the 2012 StartupSmart Awards, John Cross quickly returned his focus to his product, the Plastic Bottle Crusher.

Twitter's new video service: How Vine can help your business

3:24AM | Monday, 11 March

Small businesses are being tipped to keep an eye on Twitter's new video service, which allows users to film up to six seconds of video and post it to their social feeds without the use of a third-party uploading service like YouTube.

Start-ups strut their stuff at CES 2013

3:19AM | Monday, 11 March

The 2013 International CES, the largest in the tech show’s 45-year history, has wrapped up, with start-ups ranging from the Pebble ‘smartwatch’ to a device that informs people if they haven’t taken prescribed medication grabbing attendees’ attention.

Choosing your online revenue model

1:41AM | Wednesday, 9 January

We know that starting an online business can allow for a faster launch than traditional bricks and mortar businesses.

THE NEWS WRAP: Coalition crows about government surplus backflip but economists welcome move

12:33PM | Thursday, 20 December

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has said that he cannot guarantee the Coalition will bring the budget back into the black, despite calling the government’s abandonment of the surplus as “humiliating.”

How to safely scale your start-up in 2013

12:14AM | Monday, 17 December

Mike, Jodie and I are often asked how we persuaded ourselves that it would be okay to quit our jobs to start Shoes of Prey and how we managed to self-fund the business without overstretching our resources.

Gumtree, Coles and ASOS top Google’s Australian brand rankings

3:30AM | Monday, 11 March

Gumtree was the most searched for local brand in Australia this year, Google’s Brand Zeitgeist reveals, while Coles’ “Down, down” campaign was the most searched for advertisement.

AANA prescribes regular social media monitoring

3:31AM | Monday, 11 March

Businesses are still responsible for comments made by the public on their Facebook pages, after the Australian Association of National Advertisers resisted pressure to change its definition of advertising in its latest guidance.

Getting a return on your social media investment

11:17AM | Tuesday, 27 November

Businesses large and small are rushing onto Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to engage with customers.

Microsoft unveils instant language translation

11:31PM | Tuesday, 20 November

New technology flagged by Microsoft lets you converse in any language instantaneously in your own voice.