Small Business Marketing Strategy & Process Development

Authenticity

Leadership vs. Management: Why It Matters to Marketing

on December 4 in Authentic Culture, Strategy, The Office | 0 comments

For some reason, I woke up this morning with an awful memory of the most negative, hard to please, fast-paced-without-logic-or-specialized-marketing-knowledge-or-metrics boss I’ve ever had. My pervasive thought was: “You, sir, are the antithesis of a leader.” The internal dialogue continued. “Although you may be deemed by some as a good manager, mostly from the ability to be hard-driving and cost-conscious (aka cheap), to me that’s not management at the level of leadership.” With that said, I brushed off the negative feeling and got on with my day. Next up: the cursory morning email check. I usually stick to opening the emails that will most impact my schedule but today’s SmartBrief on Leadership caught my eye. Oddly enough, two posts’ headlines, “Generosity is the real marker of a good boss” and “Sometimes slowing down is the best way to reach your goals,” seemed to summarize to my beef with the former boss perfectly. Essentially, when you care about connecting with people (a requirement for generosity and extraordinary leadership according to Dan Rockwell, The Leadership Freak) and are mindful about your speed and the unnecessary pressure you create as a result (especially when you’re operating with the “Ready-Fire-Aim” approach Allan Milham advises against), you can lead more effectively. Why does a marketing person like me care about leadership? Why am I even writing this post? I’m a strategist first, marketing person second. You can’t have effective strategy execution without the kind of capable leaders defined in these articles. Drilling down, all the marketing effectiveness and external brand strength in the world won’t help (it will actually be a waste of money) if the culture (as defined by leadership) does not support it. Finally, a culture can retain competitive advantages–one of which can be leadership!–by being generous with people and calculating about its efforts (thanks to the power of that pause). This is why I look holistically at businesses, to help them maximize their marketing efforts via alignment. And why I advocate having executive teams that are committed to building brand and culture at...

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What Does It Mean: Showing Up Authentically?

on November 19 in Authenticity | 0 comments

If you know me, you know that showing up authentically is something I’m passionate about. It’s at the heart of the Certified Authentic Networker program I founded. And it can be invaluable to you in making deeper connections, whatever your profession may be. Showing up authentically is owning your uniqueness and allowing yourself to fully be yourself, regardless of environment. As Wall Street executive, motivational speaker, author and gospel singer, Carla Harris says, it’s about bringing all of your selves to the table. It’s not hiding one skill or interest for the sake of another. And I believe that bringing a personal aspect to business and vice-versa allows for more collaboration, more referrals, and more happiness. Sharing your talents and experiences freely can be difficult, especially when systems and protocols set us up to be more like automatons!  But is operating within those constraints really productive, healthy, fun? Even some who might tentatively raise their hands as wanting to show up authentically might still be saying, “but there’s too much at stake to be my whole self.”  Showing up authentically is definitely easier when the folks you’re interacting with are doing it, too. That’s the whole point of building a community of Certified Authentic Networkers–everyone in the room is invested in showing and knowing all the whole selves. The take away is this: You’ll never know which of your “selves” will appeal most to the group or person you’re meeting with–so why not bring them all? Sharing your authentic self will create more opportunities for you to truly connect with others. Authentic networking can create stronger relationships with others–and yourself.  When you bring all of your selves to network, work, or play, it enriches everyone’s experience and ability to help. Plus, have you noticed how much more productive a group can be when they see each person as a well-rounded whole person? If you are in the Phoenix metro area and are: Hungry to learn about showing up authentically with ease Already showing up authentically but wanting to increase your chances of networking with those who are too Missing out on the type of deep connections and trust that a commitment to authenticity can bring Actively networking and more...

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Just in Time for Halloween: Making Networking Less Creepy

on October 27 in Authenticity | 0 comments

As an introvert and someone who values establishing real connections with people, I find most professional networking events creepy. Some people show up wearing masks. Because we can’t tell just by looking who’s showing up authentically and who’s posturing, we end up having conversations with energy vampires. This, of course, leaves me feeling depleted–and like I’ve wasted my time and money. In a worst-case scenario, I practically ran out in horror after only 20 minutes! This is the story that comes to mind when I think of why people wouldn’t want to attend traditional networking events. It was a nice evening in Scottsdale and I was at a prominent Valley networking group’s event. I had struck up a great conversation with an entrepreneur in business-to-business services who had said, “Marketing is our weak spot.” Now that’s networking nirvana right there–your ideal client type announcing they have the very problem you solve! But there was another networker (we’ll call him “Don”) who was hovering awkwardly over our conversation. I noticed he had a name tag with just “Don” written on it–no last name, no company name. It turns out he knew Ms. Ideal Client so I introduced myself, hoping to know more about this mysterious Don, but I got nothing. “Can I have your card,” he asked right off the bat. “Suuure,” I said, feeling put on the spot and not wanting to be rude, “but I’d like to know who I’m giving it to.” Handing him my card, he didn’t bother to give me a card in return. “Will you tell me what you do?,” I added. “I’m a card collector,” Don said, smiling wryly. “What do you do with the cards you collect?,” I asked. He said, “I told you, I collect them.” His short answers, this circular conversation–I could feel the energy being sucked out of me. I almost felt he was enjoying withholding information, as if it made him more powerful. Tired of this charade, I asked sarcastically, “How’s business for you? Pretty lucrative?” “Yep,” he said. That was the last straw; I was done putting up with this creep. I have no idea what he did with my card. Thank goodness he never followed up...

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The Power Poses-Authenticity Connection

on September 19 in Authenticity | 0 comments

What’s the Power Poses-Authenticity Connection? By now, Amy Cuddy’s research and TED talk are well known among many business people. What interests me is the connection between using power poses and how that physical action allows us to be more ourselves.  Cuddy captured the idea perfectly when speaking to youth at a shelter, as reported by the New York Times: This is why I advocate power poses before networking events as part of the Certified Authentic Networker program. Useful for men and women, introverts or extroverts, and no matter what our mindset prior to the action, power poses increase our ability to be comfortable and therefore more genuine. If you’ve experienced the benefits of power poses, please share your story! What Else Can You Do? Learn more about how to leverage power poses for networking; join us for the next training session. Get more tips for networking authentically, as well as upcoming training sessions, by joining our mailing list or updating your preferences after entering your email address, which will ensure you get the most relevant information. Related posts: A New Way to Network in Phoenix The Problem with “How to Network” Advice The Importance of Authenticity in Networking Networks with a Shared...

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A New Way to Network in Phoenix, Starting September 24, 2015

on September 12 in Authenticity | 1 comment

Networking events can make us uncomfortable, anxious, and frustrated. But building business relationships should be fun! The Certified Authentic Networker program allows you to make deeper connections with ease and join a community of REAL professionals. Register for the inaugural session and supercharge your networking efforts today! Did you miss the inaugural session? Here is the next date: March 30, 2016 @10 a.m. Register...

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Personality in Business

on May 7 in Authenticity, Culture & Theory | 2 comments

I love Kelleye Crane’s interview “Salty and Successful” with Jeremy Pepper, long-time blogger, PR expert, and current director of communications and social media for Palisade Systems. Crane asks important questions that, for me, point to concerns about personality and identity in business. Namely, “do you attract clients and employers who accept and embrace the real you?” Pepper says, “for better or worse, I’m true to myself.”  I guess regardless of success levels, there can be peace in that, for those who dare to be blunt.  But when it comes to choosing, I wonder if all of us have the luxury. Can you be both outspoken and successful, or do you have to be sucessful first to be able to be outspoken? Comments welcomed as...

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