Day 24: Whole Brain Approach

So I am behind on my blog  due to computer issues. You gotta love Technology. (Well I actually do love technology) But as I always say there is only one constant that is guaranteed with technology.

It will eventually go down

OK enough with the whining. Day 24: Whole Brain Approach! What does that actually mean? I mean we all know about the Left Brain Right Brain.

This was Einstein’s take on the left brain right brain phenomena. Left brain is the serious side and right brain the wild and crazy side. But there is sooooo much more. A gentleman by the name of Ned Herrmann worked for a little company called GE where he used one of the GE inventions to create the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, HBDI. Which I personally use, or try to use, in every presentation and discussion. Why should you care?

Well Ann Herrmann, who is Ned Herrmann’s Daughter and now CEO of Herrmann International (and a good friend of mine) and I have had several conversations lately about the next steps for the Whole Brain Approach. It was used in creating the game Kinect Adventures for Xbox 360.

Again why should you care? Because it allows you to reach your entire audience when you are trying to be persuasive.

Now what makes this different from DISC or Myer Briggs or the many other personality tests that are out there? It is not a personality test. It actually measures your “Thinking Preferences”. With the other tests you can take them and a month later take them again and get different results. With HBDI you take the assessment and if you take it 10 years from now you will have a very close if not exactly similar result. Unless you have a major traumatic experience in your life, i.e. divorce, death of a loved one, or have a child….

So that’s the history. I have been in sales and leadership for over 25 years and after discovering the “Whole Brain Approach” I use it almost every day. It allows me to reach my entire audience whether I’m giving a presentation or keynote speech, talking to a group of people, trying to persuade them to buy my services or become a partner, and even in casual conversations.

I know my own “Thinking Preference” and if I just spoke or addressed others in the way I think, I would not reach a third of my audience. You probably never thought about the way you think and how it affects what you say and do and how you relate to others. But if you take the time to think about it you realize that not everyone thinks like you, and no they are not STUPID, they just have a different thinking preference than you!

So now that you know. You might start seeing the world differently. Realizing that your spouse may have a different thinking preference, your employees, and the most important one: Your Audience for your product or services.

The next time you come across someone who thinks differently than you do, don’t try to persuade them with more information on how you would be persuaded but present the subject in a “Whole Brain Approach”.

If you would like to know what your thinking preference is or want more information on this subject please email me @ or call 770.656.0399

Have a very Whole Brain Day!

Les 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




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Day 10: Develop 30 second Commercial

So on day 10, I am re-developing my 30 second commercial.

So what makes you unique? Who are you? What company are you with? And how do you creatively explain what you do?

Being a business development consultant that specializes in Social Media Strategy and Whole Brain Approach has been difficult this past year. (No, I’m not complaining just stating facts.) Every time I say what I do, someone inevitably states, “We do the same thing”.

When I first started working with “Social Media”, around seven years ago, there were very few people who knew what “Social Media” was. Let alone its value to business and how it would change the way companies do business. Or they only knew a few of the players and had no idea about Second Life or Kaneva. Virtual worlds that have become more conducive to business interaction in the last few years.

Anyway my point is that when I started the words “Social Media” were unique enough to draw interest. Now I’m just another fish in the sea and everyone has jumped on the social media bandwagon, from PR companies to Advertising and Marketing agencies.

So how do I set myself and business apart? I go back to the basics. Here is the exercise.

Adapted from Jeffrey Gitomer, “Sales Bible”

Instructions:  Fill out this exercise below. Read it from top to bottom. Add a few personal pronouns. Time it. Practice it. Study it. And voila!

My Name:

My Company Name:

These first two are pretty self-explanatory.

What I do:

Now don’t make the mistake of saying you print materials or you provide business development consulting. I love what Timothy Ferris from “the 4-Hour Work Week” says when asked this question, “I’m a drug dealer”. This is usually a conversation ender but I thought I would share it anyway because I love the answer. Go read the book and find out why he answers that way.

OK, so what should you say? You should say something that involves action items and makes the person look at what you do differently. I’m still working on mine but it goes something like this:

We help companies draw new talent and new customers by creating a Whole Brain Approach to their business development strategy.

Notice I am getting away from the words Social Media. Although what we do in the message above is help them with their Social Media Strategy as part of the business development strategy.

My Power Questions:

“When formulating your power questions for your commercial, ask yourself these…questions.”

  1. What information do I want to get as a result of asking these questions?
  2. Can I qualify my prospect as a result of the question
  3. Does it take more than one question to find out the information I need?
  4. Do my questions make the prospect think?
  5. Can I ask a question that separates me from my competitor?

You need to ask questions to be able to close your 30 – second commercial with a call to action. Make sure there is a closing statement or question that ensures another contact.

I personally am not a big fan of lists of questions, I prefer a guide to be able to respond to the person’s answer from my previous question.  So here is a quick guide:

Situation – What is the current situation (of their business related to what you do)?

Objective – What are their objectives? (Usually to better the situation, this can be more sales, more talented employees, larger sales, better communication, and so on.

Challenge – What challenges are they having in reaching these objectives?

Impact – What impact is this having on them? (Make sure you ask about the impact to them. The answer they give will tell you a lot about the person you are speaking to.)

Trial – So in order to reach your objectives you need to (fill in the blank) Example: So in order to gain new talent you need to improve the current employee environment of communication to the Executives?

There is a lot more that goes into the above guide, but it is a good place to start.

My Power Statement:

How Can I Help?

Why Should The Prospect Act Now?

Have a call to action statement that gives the person a reason to act now.

Example: I specialize in reaching new talent and helping businesses communicate to their employees, vendors and customers in a way they want to be communicated with. I know you can’t afford to be sending out messages that don’t reach your Whole audience in these times. So let’s meet for breakfast and discuss your latest objectives and how you are communicating those objectives to your customers. If I think I can help you, I’ll tell you. If I don’t think I can help you, I’ll tell you that too. Fair enough?

I know this is getting too long-winded, but I want to end with How to Deliver the 30 – second commercial:

  1. Be brief
  2. Be to the point
  3. Be remembered
  4. Have power questions and power statements ready
  5. Get the information you need
  6. Show how you solve problems
  7. Pin the person down to the next action
  8. Have Fun!
  9. Time’s Up – (When you have delivered your message, made your contact, and secured the next meeting or action – move on.)

Lot’s of information to digest. Sorry for the lengthy Blog.

Les 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


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Day 8 & 9 The Weekend! Prioritize for the Next Week!

So I am combining Day 8 & 9 as it was the weekend. October 8 & 9 Since I missed Monday all together. I figure I’d give you a 2 for 1 day article.

Day 8 (Saturday) Rest and time with family. Also Saturday is a good day to organize your office, re-visit your goals, and do something fun with your wife and kids if this is applicable. Otherwise if you are single go out and have fun!

Day 9 (Sunday) I found the best explanation of Sunday and something for you to remember for the week.

Sunday is also a good day for reflection, rest and quiet. At the end of the day it is a great time to get prepared for Monday.

  1. Make a list of contacts to make.
  2. Make a list of people to follow up with.
  3. Get prepared for the upcoming week.
Special Note:  How to Prepare A Prioritized Weekly Action List
Step 1. Identify high priority goals in the Weekly Action List.
  1. Of my long-range and intermediate, high priority goals, which should I work on this week?
  2. What projects will give the highest return for time invested?
  3. What projects will be the greatest threat to my survival or that of my company if I don’t do them?
  4. What projects does the boss or you consider most vital?
  5. Which items in my previous Weekly Action List should I work on this week? (What to carry over)?
  6. What do my goals and unifying principles suggest?
  7. What has not been considered that will help yield long-term significant results vs. short-term satisfaction.
-Adapted from Time Power, Charles Hobbs
Thanks for joining me on this 30 day journey! I look forward to hearing your results and sharing mine at the end of the 30 days.
Les 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
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Day 5: Motivation

So Day 5 in the 30 day journey to “Live Outside the Comfort Zone” is MOTIVATION. You need to find what motivates you personally. It is different for everyone.  For some it is Money, others Success, others Fame and for some just to be able to Provide for their Family. Find out what motivates you and then find books, videos and other things that motivate you every day.

A friend of mine Jennifer Dunphy, VP of Sales and Marketing at Vayu Media once told me she makes sure she has meetings scheduled in the morning so she get’s up and starts moving. Like most people, including me, if you don’t have something scheduled you might end up sleeping in or turning on the TV. You need to have what works for you to motivate you to get out of bed in the morning.

Steve Jobs gave a great commencement speech with many motivational statements:

If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right. It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?  And whenever the answer has been No for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something….

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose…. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs

Another great motivational tool is visualization. That is where you truly sit down and close your eyes and visualize what you want to achieve or the person you want to become. The mind is a powerful thing and if you visualize your perfect dream your subconscious will work very hard to not make a liar out of you and help you achieve this dream.

Find what works for you. But find something that Motivates you and gets you out of bed in the morning, every morning!

Les 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



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Live Your Dream

Last 5 Signs You Have Strong Social Media Consultant or Agency

 Social Media is a strange and bizarre world for some. When reaching out for help from a Consultant or Agency how do you determine who is good and yes who is bad and everything in between?

Hopefully we have given you some insight into determining a Strong Social Media Consultant or Agency.

Today we are going to give you the final 5 signs.

Here we go:

Are you ready?

“21. Understands the difference between social media tools and communications strategy 

So Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Tweet Deck, Hoot Suite, Vocus, Radian6 and other tools are just that tools. (some Great tools, though). A communications strategy relates to your audience and presents a cohesive message that causes action or discusses vital information open to dialogue among your employees, customers, prospects and vendors. So beware any organization coming in and saying you need to start posting on ….(name your tool) if they first don’t understand your company Objectives, who your Audience is and what you want that Audience to do.

“22. They won’t recommend blogging as a first step into social media Social Media’s Ferrari Has Flat Tires and when you are ready to begin they consult you on how to be successful”

Blogging has had some bad press lately,  but it is not the first step in your social media strategy. Remember it is about your audience and your objectives and developing a strategy around those two factors. Your strategy is unique to you and your organization. Blogging should never be your only strategy for social media.

“23. Doesn’t allow clients to be affected by Shiny New Object syndrome

I once had a client who kept trying to get me to recommend the best monitoring tool out there for Social Media. I kept telling him that it is not about the tool but what you do with the information you get from the  monitoring tool/station/software.

Companies will always come out with a new shiny app, platform or other tool. Remember that whatever you use it needs to help you implement your strategy to your audience. Therefore your audience needs to be able to be reached by any new tool or shiny object you use.

“24. Understands that social media is more than just creating and delivering content or regurgitating existing promotional copy

This is vital. If you are looking for someone to create content for you, you should go to an Ad Agency or marketing person that writes professionally (that is not social media). Remember it is about the conversation. Join the dialogue and join in your audiences dialogue. Even if they are discussing your competitor in a good way.

Remember social media is not about you, it is about your audience and their thoughts and opinions.

“25. Understands that social media isn’t the sole terrain of marketing or PR, and helps clients educate internally to other departments” 

Social Media, beyond all the fun shiny new objects, is a way to build trust with your audience. This audience should include all employees, all customers, all prospects and all vendors- or at least be open to all. This goes well beyond PR and Marketing. SM consultants are currently facing a struggle in education and there are a lot of companies getting hosed by Marketing and PR firms claiming to do Social Media.

I tried to add examples where I could and also add some additional insight to the original “25 Signs..”. My strong hope is that this helps you the next time you are looking for a ‘Strong Social Media Consultant”

LA_ retouch glassesLes Adkins CEO and Founder Orange SMS, Serial Entrepreneur, Adventurer, and co-founder APocket (coming to your mobile device soon)  #LikeAPocketonFB #ChangeTheWorld

Facebook Orange SMS and APocket

Follow @Orange2Social and @theAPocket

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Live Your Dream

Do you have a Strong Social Media Consultant?

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction Albert Einstein

I wonder what Albert Einstein would of said about Social Media today? His quote above is appropriate because Social Media Consultants, strong ones, tend to go in the opposite direction of accepted, traditional,  business practices.

So continuing with our next 5 Signs “You’ve Got a Strong SM-(Social Media) – Consultant or Agency”  Please see the first 15 signs of 25 in previous blogs on Orange SMS

Here we go:

“16.) Listens to you when you are discussing your challenges”

This is a very important one. Make sure that the consultant is using a methodology similar to POST created by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff  that can be found in the book Groundswell.

P eople = audience

O bjective = what do they want their audience to do, what behavior change?

S trategy = the strategy to affect a behavior change and action and build trust

T echnology = implementing the strategy where your audience is.

The only way you can do this effectively is to listen to the challenges and truly listen through active listening, not waiting for someone to stop talking so you can sell you their platform.

“17. Helps and guides clients so that they can understand the benefit of social media and implement it properly (themselves)”

This one goes against what most so-called consultants are telling you, but the goal of a strong consultant should be to build an internal team around them that allows the company, or organization, to implement and maintain any social media strategy themselves, internally.

They should work with those currently involved in the company’s social media implementation and help them improve or focus what they are already doing into a true strategic part of the companies communication to employees, vendors, prospects and customers.

“18. Knows that social networking works best when they are conversing, sharing, and being human (i.e. doesn’t self promote)”

Remember there are other ways to promote your organization and business. Social Media is more about building Trust, and this involves adding value to your audience without self promotion.

I was asked the other day about companies that do Social Media but provide a proprietary platform. My thought is that although some of them may provide great knowledge their ultimate goal is to sell their own platform whether it fits your needs or not. Beware the platform based Social Media pitch.

“19. Educates clients on understanding that they no longer own or control their brand and educate them on how to create customer evangelists”

This is a hard one,  but one that any strong consultant should be conveying to their client. As we have said previously it goes against that old traditional business model of control, control, control and protect your brand.

“20. Won’t act as your social media ‘voice’ or ghostwrite for you”

This debate is continuing as I write this, as there are several agencies doing this and making quite a lot of money. The question is really of time and resources for the company. I do agree with #20 very strongly and if you must have another agency or someone else write your posts, make sure they are writing “on your behalf” and that is stated clearly. Don’t let them make it look like it is coming from you!

Work with a consultant to define your audience, form your message and strategy but ultimately you or your internal staff need to do the actual implementation. You can always consult but beware having someone else do all of it for you.

Tomorrow we will disclose the final 5. Have a great day!

LA_ retouch glassesLes Adkins CEO and Founder Orange SMS, Serial Entrepreneur, Adventurer, and co-founder APocket (coming to your mobile device soon)  #LikeAPocketonFB #ChangeTheWorld

Facebook Orange SMS and APocket

Follow @Orange2Social and @theAPocket

Connect on LinkedIn Orange SMS

Live Your Dream

Do You Have a Strong Social Media Consultant?

When it comes to Social Media do you have the right consultant? Seems like you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who claims to do “Social Media”. Do you have someone who listens and more importantly will champion your social media strategy and not implement their own? We went over the first 5 signs you’ve got a strong SM (Social Media) Consultant or Agency previously. How to Pick a Strong Social Media Consultant.

Sorry in advance for the length of this blog it’s longggggg.

The next 10 Signs You’ve Got a Strong SM Consultant or Agency 

 ” 6. Understands that Radian6 and other monitoring tools are vastly superior tracking tools in comparison to Technorati (which really isn’t an indicator of much these days as technology keeps improving and tools keep getting better).”  

I do agree that in order to create a powerful Social Media Strategy you need to have a strong monitoring tool for Social Media, there is also Vocus and several others on the market now. It’s what you do with the information you receive and how you interact with those mentioning you by name or asking for help.

“7. Will tell you that there is no magic bullet for determining social media ROI and that you need to go further to accurately monitor, measure and determine the effectiveness of social media.”

Nuff said!

“8. Understands that social media is an important part of the larger word of mouth marketing principles. ”

After looking at the example I highly recommend taking some time to fully read it. Personally I believe that social media should be integrated into an organization from a holistic perspective meaning that it is used for all communication. Marketing and word of mouth marketing is just one component. Work with someone who has partners to integrate social media fully into an organizational strategy.

“9. Others cite this person/agency’s work”

Also look at their LinkedIn recommendations and ask around at your networking events for who people would recommend. This is a new enough industry that the “so-called” leaders are changing daily and new ones, that are good, are taking their place.

“10. Realizes that search engine optimization represents an absolutely crucial part of social media.

SEO is changing on a regular basis based on different algorithm’s being written. Companies like Vayu Media who understand SEO and keep updated on the latest changes plus a strong SM Consultant who can help incorporate that into an overall strategy is vital. Beware those who use the words SEO and Social Media as equal.

“11. Understands that social media expands beyond search engine optimization tactics that lead to Diggs, Stumbles (StumbleUpon) and link baiting”

See above statement regarding SEO.

“12. Integrates brick and mortar events with social media activity”

Make sure that the SM consultant understands the value of brick and mortar events in association with social media. Face 2 Face is an important aspect of connecting through Social Media.

“13. Has and continues to work on notable social media projects”

Agree! There is a lot of new talent out there that is just starting so they may not have as much experience as some others but if they meet the majority of the above they are probably worth working with.

“14. Understands that conversations are the starting place and not the end game. And though ROI is critical, knows that without conversation you’re not going anywhere”

They have to believe in the conversation, that is dialogue back and forth, both good and bad, and how to deal with and react to both.

“15. Understands that social networking and conversation is more than collecting followers and subscribers”

You’ll notice some of these examples go all the way back to 2008, but the information is still relevant and vital.

Well sorry for the lengthy blog. I hope this is helping with your decision to hire an agency or consultant. See you soon!

LA_ retouch glassesLes Adkins CEO and Founder Orange SMS, Serial Entrepreneur, Adventurer, and co-founder APocket (coming to your mobile device soon)  #LikeAPocketonFB #ChangeTheWorld

Facebook Orange SMS and APocket

Follow @Orange2Social and @theAPocket

Connect on LinkedIn Orange SMS