So I Have Been Bad but What About You?

So let me first ask a question…. What have you been doing for the last 4 months?

Image by: Thanamat from Free DigitalPhotos.net

Image by: Thanamat from Free DigitalPhotos.net

Well?? So here is what I have been doing. I have been thinking about and growing my business. Yes you heard right “Growing my Business”. I am now on an 8 week training run for a company I partner with TIA Total Inter Action. in Australia. You’ll hear more about them in posts to come but the client I am working with is NetApp. Also my business has added several new clients and also there are some amazing things coming down the pike that I just can’t share right now. But stay tuned. Things like trips to China, Mobility,  New Platforms it’s getting crazy. One thing I can mention is a partnership with SiteMinis an IBM partner, and Aquent (I’ll let you know soon what we are doing) and a partnership with Herrmann International the Whole Brain® Thinking guys and gals.  Oh and yes there is still that pesky little thing of a book that I have been working on, and off, for 4 years. Well I have a plan for that as well. So what does this mean for you? Glad you asked. I am refocusing on helping my audience. I am taking a page from Chris Brogan and I am recommitting myself to you, My Audience. Chris loves his audience and interacts with them often and most importantly listens to what they have to say. I have to admit that I kind of am freaking out about all the stuff that is happening, but totally in a good way. My brother Steve Adkins told me the other day that busy people get more done. Haven’t seen the science on that but seems the busier I get the more work I’m at least attempting to accomplish.

So let’s recap- It’s been awhile since I wrote a blog, (my bad), but I have been working and yes making lot’s of new friends in business. Now I’m getting back to you and hoping you will share this with your friends who you think could have fun with us along the way. Learning, Growing, and “Adding Value to Humankind” yeah I’m getting back to my Twitter tag line. To use a hashtag that is going to make more since after you go to Chris Brogan’s site I’m very excited to be a #proudfreak.

So that’s what I have been up to….How About You? See you sooner rather than later!

Les and John MaxwellLes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Also two-time Tough Mudder finisher. Please follow @mysylbert  on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well. And remember thanks for being a #proudfreak

 

ROI in Social Media

So I’m back and boy has it been busy. I know that many of you enjoyed the 30 day project and thank you for all your support. I now am doing a 40 day project where I am attempting to write 5 pages a day for the next 40 days to finish my book, Get It Right Social. Wish me luck. This is happening with a group that I belong to called highachievers we are taking this journey and it is founded on the book The Ripple Effect by Doug Grady. I’ll let you know how it goes.

So ROI (Return on Investment) in Social Media.

Social Media

There has been a lot of talk lately online and elsewhere about “Does social media work?”. What does it do for our bottom line? Seems like this conversation has been going on forever but businesses are now trying to fit Social Media into a business model that generates income. Because at the end of the day all businesses are in business to make money, right?

According to a recent article by Kim Garst on The Huffington Post “Facebook vs. Twitter: The Battle for Social Media Dominance”  Kim states “…So many businesses are looking for an immediate ROI that they are not looking beyond this to the real value of building a connected community through the power of social media.”

When did businesses start forgetting about where the money comes from? We have a key learning concept in the Elite Consulting that we do for a Fortune 500 company and its stated like this:

Individuals make buying decisions. Companies and committees do not.

Social Media’s biggest ROI is in building trust and loyalty from the individuals that you interact with in Social Media. It is the companies obligation to determine what platform their audience is on and focus on those platforms in building trust and loyalty in order for them to buy their products or services.

So the ROI is the individual so here is a quick way to determine ROI. Determine the amount of money that each customer represents to your business. This can be an individual or a business (because remember individuals make buying decisions; companies and committees do not) so businesses are made up of individuals. Then determine how many customers you need to make your quarter or year. Then look at your active engagement of individuals on social media and then if you know your closing ratio you can determine if Social Media is giving you the ROI that you are looking for.

Social Media takes longer than your normal advertising campaign on traditional media to see the ROI because you have to build trust with the individual. Think of it like this. The first time you went on a date you didn’t ask the person to marry you, or sleep with you (ok you might have asked that) but chances are the answer to both questions on the first date would have been NO. So give it time. You have to build trust and you can do that by asking your audience to immediately buy your services. You have to give them information that adds value to their daily lives before you can ask them to buy something.

Audience is king. They are determining the next generation of technology, innovation and yes how you get to sell your services or products. So don’t ignore the INDIVIDUAL when it comes to determining your ROI!

0006t (1)Les Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Also two-time Tough Mudder finisher. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

 

Day 30 Review, Review, Review and Live, Live, Live! (revisited 2013)

Well folks this time it has been a crazier ride than last time. Crazy Good! As most of you are enjoying a long weekend 4th of July holiday the video that I used in 2011 is even more relevant on this 5th of July. To celebrate your freedom and Live Life Like You Were Dying!

 I am not perfect and I definitely have made my share of mistakes and moving forward I am sure that this pattern of mistakes and failures will continue but I am seeing way more successes. So thank you to all of my new followers and those who continue looking for their break through’s in life and business.  I will continue to share and hopefully you will learn from both my mistakes and my successes. I sincerely request your feedback so we can all learn from each other. A quick list of my successes since I began this 30 day journey revisited:

  • Company moved from 2 locations to now 48 locations around the world
  • Currently in negotiations with a company to become a speaker and workshop facilitator with some top named, known successful entrepreneurs. 
  • Have a very well known publishing company to who I have the opportunity to pitch my book to.
  • Speaking to CEO’s all across the world. 
  • Founding Board Member of Georgia Crowdfunding Association. 

Those are just a few of the things that have happened literally in the last 30 days. So smiley face winkbelieve in yourself and your business and truly great things can happen if you stay the course. I have been running my business for 5 years, so don’t give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and NO, it is not a train heading right for you. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Also two-time Tough Mudder finisher. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post Posted on November 15, 2011)

Congratulations on Making it through the 30 day journey to Live Life Outside the Comfort Zone. Here is a song just for you. If you haven’t made it yet keep moving forward.

http://youtu.be/XiOcW_YR1G8

So what do you do now? Well as the song says “Live Like You Were Dying”! And your saying OK, OK but really what do I do now. Well here is a few things to remember: First go back to the list of the past 30 days:

  1. Day 1: Organization
  2. Day 2: Goals
  3. Day 3: Make 10 to 20 Contacts Per Day
  4. Day 4: Follow Up
  5. Day 5: Motivation
  6. Day 6: Stop Worrying and Start Living
  7. Day 7: Review, Review, Review 
  8. Day 8 & 9: Prioritize for the Next Week
  9. Day 8 & 9: Prioritize for the Next Week (not a typo; just matching days with #’s)
  10. Day 10: Develop 30 second commercial
  11. Day 11: Visualization 
  12. Day 12: Live To Learn
  13. Day 13: Get Out There
  14. Day 14: Blog, Blog, Blog
  15. Day 15: Volunteer
  16. Day 16: Rest
  17. Day 17: Focus
  18. Day 18: Branding Yourself and Your Business
  19. Day 19: Productive Meetings
  20. Day 20: Go Against the Norm
  21. Day 21: The Power of One
  22. Day 22: Don’t Give Up
  23. Day 23: Break That TV Addiction, NOW
  24. Day 24: Whole Brain Approach
  25. Day 25: What Did I Do Wrong
  26. Day 26: Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda…
  27. Day 27: Getting Back To My Roots – Digital Presence
  28. Day 28: Specifically, What Are You Trying to Do
  29. Day 29: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes
  30. Day 30: Review, Review, Review and Live, Live, Live

Then see what has changed and what is the same. And don’t worry if you have not achieved every single thing that is on the list. Take them in groups or even one at a time. Remember it takes 21 to 30 days to create a habit!

For me my life has gotten more fulfilling and busier in a very good way. As my friend Denise O’Brien said in one of her Facebook posts;

“I love my life”

My next goal is to accomplish living a life with the principles behind the 4-hour work week. Don’t worry I will share.

So thank you for joining this adventure with me. And remember that the adventure is never over as you continue to “Live a Life Outside the Comfort Zone”.

Who We Are

Day 27 Getting Back To My Roots – Digital Presence (revisited 2013)

So we are getting closer to the end of the 30 day journey and let me tell you this one has Finishdefinitely been a roller coaster ride with all the highs and thrills included. Since I focused in on this second time around, 30 day journey, there have been some life changing events that have taken place in a very positive way.

Yes my digital presence has expanded from what it was in 2011 and it is getting ready to take another significant jump upward. (You’ll have to wait and see as I can’t share with you all that is happening quite yet.) So if you have strayed off course or need to sit down and re-focus I highly recommend you take the time to do it. Also if you have someone close to you, that you trust,  have them give you a good kick in the ass. Sorry for the language but that is exactly what happened to me and I owe my wife a lot for that one-act. So enjoy and always remember to do what your gut says and the rest will follow!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post – Posted on November 9, 2011)

SocialSo I  train others on how to create an online presence. So why do I only have 237 likes on FB, 329 followers on Twitter and  468 Connections on LinkedIn. Well there are several excuses I could give. The best one is; that I believe in engaging your audience and yes, I truly believe that Size Does Not Matter.

But building an online presence takes work and time. So I am not a big fan of excuses so I’ll just admit that I have not put the time and work into building my online presence.

So part of this 30 day journey is realizing where you need work and what you need to work on. So here are 9 quick tips for Branding yourself or company online from Bob Baker.

  1. Define your brand up front.
  2. Lead with what you do, not who you are.
  3. Use a real person as a figure-head.
  4. Develop a fan-club mentality.
  5. Make good use of words.
  6. Make sure visual elements reinforce your identity.
  7. Become a one-stop destination.
  8. Publish an e-mail newsletter.
  9. Be visible through online forums.
Go to 9 Ways to Create a Rock-Solid Brand Identity Online to go into more detail regarding the above tips.
I still believe that engaging your followers or connections is far more important than having a large following. But there is a lot of noise out there claiming that a “Social Media Consultant” should have a large following. Although I completely disagree with this philosophy and believe engagement and strategy out weigh the size of your following I need to be able to silence the voices from a position of strength.
So if you can help me out by doing one of four things:
  1. Like my FB page
  2. Follow me on twitter @mysylbert
  3. Connect with me on LinkedIn
  4. And if you are on Google + add me to your circles.
If you could help me out I would really appreciate it. After my 30 day journey I will be spending more time on building my own online presence.
So whatever industry or field you are in, go back to your roots and see what you need to work on.
Who We Are

Day 25 What Did I Do Wrong? (revisited 2013)

So I was unable to post my blog yesterday due to all the crazy good stuff that is going on with my business. Not a bad problem to have but I did hate that I missed blogging yesterday. Going through this journey again has really focused my “chi” for success and allowed me to expand my business by just doing the things that I am discussing in this 30 day journey (revisited) on a daily basis.

Hope you are seeing the same success. Enjoy Day 25 and yes we are close to the finish line,. But remember that is where the real work starts!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post -Posted on November 7, 2011)

 

So I hope everyone had a great weekend! Now getting back to our 30 day journey. If you started your daily journey when I did (October 1, 2011) you have completed your journey and have a focused outlook and more definition around:

Living Life Outside the Comfort Zone

But if you just joined us or started your journey somewhere in the middle you are still on Lifeyour journey and following these Monday through Friday daily blogs.

Businessman Thinking on StepsSo it is now Day 25, What did I do Wrong? As an international sales trainer and speaker  I focus on several things when speaking to audiences. But when discussing Sales I focus on two big things when you are in a meeting with a prospect.

#1. Executives and business people are too busy to meet with you just for the heck of it. So if you set a meeting there is something your company offers that they are interested in.

#2 If you don’t close the prospect (get the sale) one of three things has happened.

  • You did not show the value of what you were offering to their business.
  • Your service or solution did not meet their needs.
  • And the BIG One – They did not trust you or felt that you could not implement the services or solution that you were offering.

So I recently had a big presentation. I did the discovery meeting (the initial meeting where you discover what their needs are), and I did a ton of research on their industry, their competitors, and even talked with local store managers.

But- Guess What? They did not buy!

So what did I do wrong? That’s what I need to figure out for myself.

Did I not build the trust?

Did I understand the individual needs?

Did I not show the value?

Whatever it was I was asked to come back in a year. So as you can guess I was pretty bummed. But when I told one of my colleagues about what happened they made the statement:

Well at least you were able to present to them.

I thought about that and realized he was right. At least I got the chance to present to them and maybe down the road they will move toward needing or wanting the services I have available.  One of the main things is I got in front of them, many companies and sales people don’t even get the chance.

So what did I learn? I may not win every single company that I present to, but at least I was given the chance. And who knows what happens down the road.

As in life, and as in business you need to enjoy and learn from the journey. It makes you better, stronger and allows you to improve. If you won every one, you would never take a hard look at yourself and your company and ask.

HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER!

So you must always continue the journey! And always ask the question. “What Did I Do Wrong?” and then turn right around and ask “What Can I Do Better the Next Time?”!

Who We Are

Day 20 Go Against the Norm! (revisited 2013)

So it has been one crazy ride since I started this revisit of my 30 day journey that I first went through in 2011. All the things that are happening with my business and other pursuits are exploding. This is one of the reasons I’m behind a day. But it is all due to the work that has been done to get to this point. It is also a little scary how relevant the posts are to my current daily life and business. It just goes to show you what the Crazy one’s can do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post – Posted on October 28, 2011)

Go Against the Norm! What does that actually mean? Well, when I was a little boy, my parents gave me a little stain glass window that I still have that says:

If A Man Does Not Keep Pace With His Companions. Perhaps It Is Because He Hears A Different Drummer. Let Him Step To The Music He Hears However Measured Or Faraway.  - Thoreau

This sits in my office and is one of my prize possessions. It even has tape on it,  because I apparently dropped it over the years, and had to put it back together. If you can relate to that then you know that if you Go Against the Norm, you also, at times, have to put your life, your career, and your relationships, sometimes back together because you almost always go against the norm and this can cause things to not go exactly smoothly. We always hear about the successes, but very few times do we hear about those individuals still trying to succeed. Which one are you?

thinkdifferentRecently Steve Jobs passed away and if anyone could be the poster child for this motto it is him. If you read the poster to the left you will understand that he, above all, understood what “Go Against the Norm” meant.

Yes there have been others: Michael Dell; Dell Computers,  The Google Guys; Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Bill Gates; Microsoft, let’s not forget Ted Waitt, Gateway Computers, Richard Branson; Virgin and the list could go on.

Those names are the current ones but remember the Wright Brothers; first to fly, Columbus; credited for discovering the earth is round, Albert Einstein; theory of relativity,  Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb and holder of 1093 patents,  Alexander Graham Bell, phone and many, many more.

Like I said in the beginning, history remembers the successful ones or those that got credit for giving the world something they needed or wanted.  But if you read their histories they were thought of as individuals that “Go Against the Norm”. Life was probably not easy for them before their fame and in some cases even after.

I love this picture of the original Microsoft Team: microsoft

Anyway as you go through your 30 day journey just remember if you have your own business, are an entrepreneur or are passionate about a cause or anything you may be labeled one of the crazy people. You might hear things like why can’t you just fit in? Well stay strong and remember the names above.

Here’s to you the crazy ones. Those who live outside the Comfort Zone!

Who We Are

Day 14 Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog (revisited – 2013)

So on Day 14 I discovered that LIFE is what happens when you are planning and working. This alone is the beginning of a brand new blog, but for time sake I will write that blog another day. So yes for those of you keeping track I missed yesterday so today we are looking at Day 14.

Yahoo_3Several things have changed since the origination of this original blog. There are now numerous sites that allow you to host blogs and also to say it in video like Vine also Tumblr was just purchased by Yahoo and although thousands of bloggers are leaving Tumblr since the purchase it might be worth revisiting or hopping on board because you know that Cracked-Tumblr-LogoYahoo is going to put some money behind this to promote it. As usual there was no reciprocation or endorsement by Yahoo, or any others platform to mention the above.

So here we go on Blogging. It is important to say that this has been around for quite awhile, blogging that is. But it is never too late to start so what are you waiting for?

Profile PicLes Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB as well

Original Post – Posted on October 19, 2011

So if you are not blogging; why not?

If you have a business you should be blogging about the industry you are in and giving helpful information, that adds value.

What am I talking about? I hear you out there saying, shouldn’t I be selling my company on my blog? Well have you read a blog lately? Most of the good one’s give valuable information without asking for anything, and that is the way it is supposed to be. Yes you can mention your company but only in your bio at the end. Here’s why:

Home Depot was starting to lose sales to Lowe’s. They came up with a great idea. They decided to offer free workshops to the communities where they were and provided these workshops usually on the weekends. Amazingly enough most of the materials that they used in these workshops were also sold by them, but at the end of the workshop there wasn’t a “sales pitch”. They really didn’t care if you went somewhere else to purchase the materials needed. So what do you think happened? Well there sales went up because they became a trusted partner in the community.

That’s the reason. Here’s the how.

You can use a number of different free blogging tools here’s a couple.

WordPress

Blogger

Now there are a number of different free tools out there that tell you how to blog. Click on blog for a great site on “How Blogs Work”.

Your blog should be concise, short (as possible), and informative. But why should you blog and also why should you comment on other blogs.

Influence! When i write this blog it is networked and goes on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I then post it on Google + and a few LinkedIn groups that I participate in.

If you only blog and post but don’t interact then your missing the point. There have been many ‘Blogs’ written about blogging, but you need to understand that as an individual or business you need to engage with your audience and others and a ‘Blog’ is an easy way to do this.

Social media is about interacting. In order for you to grow your online influence you need to make sure you are initiating dialogue with others. Not just for the sake of selling, but to truly provide helpful, insightful, and inspirational information to others.

Happy Blogging!