Sunday, June 01, 2014

Do you Communicate or Connect?

John Maxwell's book "Everyone Communicates Few Connect" is a must read and be reflected upon by anyone who uses social media and content marketing to communicate and connect with their leads and customers. Got this book last year and found it helpful.

(Click on the worksheet image for the full view)




It made me reflect on a lot of the challenges I have. This includes:

The need to communicate and connect regularly.

With a growing number of new faces in the industry today, being relevant requires having a proactive mindset in connecting to people and giving something of value. Accepting the reality as well that there are some whom you won't be able to connect to and some will outgrow you faster than you expect.

Can I inspire others?

Although awards and recognitions can boost a person's credibility, but it can't be denied that it can also be exaggerated. It is embarrassing when someone points out that a person's claim of an award or recognition was not really genuine - it is only a certificate of recognition issued as it was requested. Or a prominent sounding award but it requires payment and/or presence, otherwise it would be forfeited.

Proof of work can also be seen through personal success story sharing. However, caution needs to be made as it would be misleading to claim credit for one's person success - as you are just one piece of the puzzle. Hence, I feel, the best testimonial stories are naturally given or shared. Written on their sites or online presence rather than on yours.

I have my share of making audiences feel great at events where laughter can be easily sparked among other "follow-me" or "do-what-I-say" activities. However, as more speakers do the same, I still believe that the essence of what you have shared, if they are able to resonate, is what will make you relevant to that specific person.

Moreso, if the gist of your sharing is to help the person you are connecting to.

Building skills to connect one-on-one, group, and audience.

As John Maxwell summarized in every chapter of his book, connecting to people on a one-on-one, at a group, or a large audience requires different depth of skill sets. I guess this is the reason why some speakers are at their best when with a large audience while some do better at small groups or one-on-one. However, I feel that they are all necessary. 

Most of my training programs are designed for one-on-one especially those done online. For face-to-face boot camp sessions, this happens in a group size environment. But if a participant doesn't open up and share their concern, I may also miss out in serving their needs. For online , this is where getting an assistant who will track and help out became an absolute necessity.

The discipline to follow-through

I have a LOT of back log for the things I want to do and finish. This is the reason why I have less activities this year as I want to complete all of my back log. If I will get to do it again, getting help is something that I would not hesitate to invest early rather than later. Could have been more systematic in my process of keeping in touch with students and club members.

Do you communicate or connect?

Although most of us are communicating but only a few of our messages are connecting. There are many methods to go about this. Hope you can buzz me and share your thoughts on this article piece.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Join the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2014 Writing Project #emergingblogs2014

Hello everyone. Welcome to the 8th year of this writing project that seeks in identifying new and emerging blogs who are making an impact to its readers in 2014. These are blogs that started anytime from August 2013 to the present.

These blogs are gradually gaining a considerable amount of readership, following, influence and fascinating the reader in various ways.

The bloggers behind them established the blog for various reasons such as expression of thoughts, sharing of knowledge and insight, building a movement, events reporting or coverage, and some for profit.

Who can join?
  • Any blogger in the world. Only one entry per blogger.
    • Blog or website owner profile and e-mail is accessible or visible online.
    • Blog is at least 3 months old by the time one joins the writing project.
    • Blog used to submit an entry must have no less than 10 blog post since its creation.




To join this effort, please do the following:

1. Write a blog post and pick your choice of at least five (5) to ten (10) emerging influential blogs.

2. Submit an entry by filling up this form and let us know about your entry. Only one entry per blogger.
 Cut-off date and time for submission of entries is on August 31, 2014. After the said date, the submission form in this page will already be removed. 

Complete entries (cited 10 qualified blogs and sponsors mentioned) received on or before May 31, 2014 will get a slot in our Digital Creators Boot Camp (online class starts on June 18, 2014).

3. On September 1 to 10, I will:
  • Make a final review of posts. A COMPLETE ENTRY MEANS, THE BLOG POST ENTRY HAS:
    • Link to the writing project page (this blog post)
    • 5 qualified blogs cited with an explanation on why they were chosen.
    • For those who want to attend our September 13 event and get included in the raffle, you must have cited 10 qualified blogs.
  • Note that we have the right to disqualify entries and the citations they made, if we are not able to confirm or authenticate the blogger's identity on or before September 3. This is especially true to blogs with anonymous identities and those with pre-dated entries (versus its blog date creation).
4. On September 13, we will do the following:
  • Recognize The Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2014 based from entries received at the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit happening at SMX Convention Center this September 13, 2014.
  • Pick ten writing project entries in random who will get one hundred dollars (US$100) each.
    • Only those in the raffle entries master list and with link to sponsors shall be included in the raffle. 
    • Only those with complete 10 qualified blogs mentioned shall be included in the raffle.
    • Prizes are given in cash during the eyeball event or transmitted via Paypal.

SPONSORSHIP

The sponsorship fee for this writing project is ten thousand pesos (P10,000) that entitles them to a mention in the writing project announcement and participant writing project entries. 

    • We only have 10 sponsor slots.
    • Kindly contact me if interested. 
    • The sponsorship fees are to be used for the end of writing project prizes, winners announcement, and site maintenance.

Join the #emergingblogs2014 Writing Project

Joining a writing project has its own benefits that includes:
  • Getting link love.
  • Meet bloggers.
  • Receive traffic (especially to those who join early on) from current and prospective participants.
  • More than anything else, you will also be supporting a worthy purpose of spotting and promoting new blogs that are making great waves out there.
Please don't forget that this is a writing project - not an award. Who gets included in the final 10 is based on the total number of mentions by all qualified writing project entries.

As all writing project entries url link will be posted in the comments section, anyone interested can check and make their own independent count.

I hope you can join.



For further inquiries, contact Janette Toral at http://twitter.com/digitalfilipino or via Facebook private message.

Many thanks to folks who submitted an entry. Results will be announced on September 13 at the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Bloggers as Internet Historians #iblog10 #phnet20

I had the opportunity to present my point of view on how to move forward with the use of the Internet as it turned 20 years old last March 29, 2014 at #phnet20 event. Purposefully focusing on how to use it to build online success. Thankful to TenMinutes.ph for the opportunity. Presented its original form in a JCI Manila learning session last March 25. My calibrated thoughts shared further at the 10th iBlog: The Philippine Blogging Summit #blog10.

As an Internet user, I learned that you need to be willing to stand, speak up for your beliefs, take action, and avoid the "entitlement" mindset.

You can use the Internet as a starting space to build a community and be of relevant service to others. Where your imagination and determination to get things done is your limit.

The Internet has empowered Filipinos by providing a neutral platform where they can realize their potential online.

BLOGGING WILL EVOLVE

In the recent DigitalFilipino Web Awards, I have seen more blogs penetrated the top 500 websites in the Philippines. Bloggers were able to wield influence and particularly attractive to entities who can't afford mainstream advertising. Also relevant in terms of discussing issues and in shaping mindset of their acquired audience.

Although there are also social media influencers, but the changing policies of the platforms popularly used only prove that is important to invest in one's online presence through a blog.

BLOGGERS AS INTERNET HISTORIANS #nethistoryph

When I published the Philippine Internet Review 10 years ago, I was purposeful in getting two writers to focus on writing the timeline as I don't want my being subjective to get in the way with the report.

I remember there was a debate on two persons - one referred to as the "father" while the other is a "grandfather". Then I said, if you are the grandfather, then you are the father. Debate ensues through the years on that topic - even until today. It is subjective indeed.

Part of it is also vindictive. I know the feeling when the hard work you have done was not being recognized by "historians". But in reality, it is unlikely for a person to be on top of everything that is happening.

But moving forward with Philippine Internet history, bloggers have an important role to play in documenting developments and serve as reference later on. More so for bloggers based in the provinces as how the Internet has evolved was hardly known. Although companies, entrepreneurs, social media users can also do this task if they will actively contribute information to these efforts and even write them.

I hope that our country's Internet history and developments in the years to come will be written by bloggers both from a point of view of being knowledgeable on what happened and as a consumer witnessing events as they unfold. Perhaps a good start will be allotting a blog post a month specifically for a documenting Philippine Internet history on your space using the hashtag #nethistoryph


Start-ups will propel e-commerce adoption in the Philippines

The future of e-commerce in the Philippines will be shaped by start-ups. This is the reason why we need more bloggers writing start-up developments. More than just earning from blogging on your own blog, bloggers should also consider being part of a start-up and become technopreneurs.

Be on top of the mobile game

Filipino Internet users are one of the most active users of mobile devices in terms of posting event coverages, photo uploads, video taking, blogging, application testing, among others. Bloggers should actively try new apps, blog about their mobile experiences, and give suggestions on how can it be further improve - from app usage to Internet surfing experience.

Customer relationship is the name of the game

With more entities and entrepreneurs marketing online, it will be quite expensive to keep up in terms of marketing cost. Focus is needed on sustaining and maintaining that tight relationship with the customer. It is easier said than done. But those who will be able to do it well are the ones who will keep on growing without necessarily being noisy online.

Work from home

With transportation, weather, and infrastructure issues we are confronting in metro areas, it is likely that more entrepreneurs and businesses will work with freelancers - doing their work from home. But with more individuals getting into this space, the market becomes competitive too. Focusing on continuously building your skill while providing customer satisfaction will help a great deal in having regular projects.

Government regulation

Filipino Internet users will need to join groups that can allow them to vent their concern on issues such as fair taxation, better Internet connectivity, monitor power rate hikes, improving transportation infrastructure, general elections, lobbying for freedom of information,  and proper implementation of the Cybercrime Law and Data Privacy Act.

E-Learning and Membership sites

I personally believe that the next 10 years of the Internet will lead to more e-learning programs be launched and more of it from various educational institutions. More companies and government offices will also embrace it for internal and external training.

Communities will thrive

The ones that will make a difference are those whose purpose is bigger than themselves. Those who have significant impact to their location, industry, or target market segment.

The most "shareable" wins

Marketing of products and services should be balanced with useful content that has long term value. It should be relevant enough to encourage people to share, write, search, and talk about it.

Diversity wins

If you are working alone, start building a team. Get more stuff done. No matter how good you are, a great team will always perform better than you.

If you are part of a team, work on building your skills, maturity, strength, endurance, speed to contribute significantly to your team. Be an asset rather than a liability.

As long as you have one goal and one dream, celebrate and embrace your differences. Diversity wins!



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Embracing your Uniqueness

Nike Running badge given last
Chinese New Year
For the past two weeks, I find myself in a situation sharing my point of view about the Cybercrime Law and online taxation. The cybercrime topic was tough as I hardly knew or heard of a private sector publicly that shares the same point of view I have. By focusing on being informative and factual has allowed me to glide through this topic without getting into any heated debate from those who look at the said policy otherwise.

In the case of online taxation, it seems very few are open in sharing their thoughts on the topic for fear of being harassed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and have been warned repetitively about the risk I am taking. 

But I always believe in the element of good faith. That all of us - no matter how different our opinions are - act in good faith. 

Our realities are shaped by experiences and what we are exposed to. We just need to accept the fact that we can always learn something new from another person and realize sometimes - that some of what we know all along was right - may also be wrong.

Pursuing such type of humility while mustering courage to take ownership on insights requires balance. But if you learn to embrace early on what makes you different, unique, and interesting for people to listen - the more you can use it to standout and in building relationship with others.

Speaking up on issues is equally important as ignoring or playing on the safe side of things does not resonate well in real life.

Be memorable

I have been speaking in events since 1995 and doing such to pursue my e-commerce advocacy. Through the years, I have met many speakers and most of them I could hardly recall what and how they present.

I noticed, the most memorable speakers are those who are able to give life-changing insights. Those that puts you in a moment of epiphany. 

Although there are those who made us laugh and feel good for the moment. But those that stayed on are the most genuine, real, and was able to influence our ideas - one way or another. 

Building the Connection

Follow-through is equally important. Few will invite you to connect with them, build relationship gradually, and make them part of your journey. Those who sees you as a hero in the making rather than a person where one can profit from in the future.

Be Real

To build that connection requires being real about who you are. Bloggers have used their blog and social media to share their personal side. There is that temptation to over-project or make yourself larger than life. But then again, I feel it is better to be real and true to who you are.

Use your uniqueness

Who you are is that unique you. It is not perfect. Not everyone will like it. But if you use it to serve or delight others consistently, I am certain that those who were able to resonate and benefit from you will remember, prefer, and recommend you to others.