On how being grateful serves me…

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On this episode, I talk about being grateful. I have written multiple times about gratitude and the importance of deploying it personally and professionally and I continue to be impressed by the power and impact it has on my mind and day to day interactions.

I added a gratitude journal to my life in 2018 and I think I first got the idea from Tim Ferriss. For me it helps me set the stage for a great day and reflect a little on the day, week, month or even life prior to that day. This helps me shift gears and get my new day into focus. I can tell you that when you begin the day with some gratitude reflection, you are pushing away from shore with some real wind in your sails. As an entrepreneur, this is even more important because you need to be as focused as humanly possible to navigate the rough waters that come with being your own boss.

Only positivity comes from it and I tend to get more done and allow less to really upset me or take me off my game. So not only does it feel good to stop and give thanks, but it actually helps yield better business results. If you are like me and are always seeking ways to get an edge or productive ways get ahead, then this is a smart move for you.

In my case, by appreciating the employees and clients who put me where I am, I find that I am a better leader and more empathetic in most situations. Trust me, I still get frustrated and aggravated by silly things, but much less so than I used to. I use my daily journal as a way to reset and not let the things that were annoying me from the day prior linger for too long. Remember, I am grateful to even have clients and employees to be annoyed about…

Does that make sense?

 

 

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On Hump Day Hype

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Every Wednesday I send an email to my team to make sure they don’t succumb to the malaise that can come with “Hump Day.” Most people are going thru the motions at work and I find the day they are most susceptible to the lure of less work or checking out is Wednesday.
The best way to get them to be motivated is not to yell or mandate, but to light a fire in their belly and encourage them to want to be great for themselves and not necessarily for me or the company.  If they see it as serving themselves, they can be selfish and own the effort rather than being told to and potentially resenting it or tuning me out.
During the interview process, I try to hire awesome candidates who seem to have more curiosity than apathy in any aspect of their lives. People who are seeking self-improvement and constantly learning new things are the types that work best for me and who will take a reminder to be great and internalize that message the right way. At least that is the hope…
Today’s message:
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It is the middle of a rainy work week and it is easy to be a step slow and a little unenthused. Dont fall victim to that mentality and dare to be different than most.
 
If you develop good habits you can maintain high productivity levels, despite the temptations to do otherwise. The foundation can be laid by me, but the mindset and effort lie with you.  I (and your clients too) am counting on you to be better than the rest.
 
We are all different people with varied origin stories and backgrounds, but all of us should share the interest in being our best selves.  Today, that is all I ask of you.  
-Adam
Let’s see how it plays out.

 

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On supporting retailers with paid social tactics…

On this episode, we talk about the importance of supporting your retail relationships with smart paid social media tactics. Landing a big order with a retailer is awesome, but once there you need to spring into action to make sure you stay there. We have talked about different ways to influence velocity reports before and it is a major factor in a brand’s success.

You cant just post an announcement and then hope and pray. You need to create compelling assets highlighting the partnership, push that content out via paid social and influencer support and create awareness that drives foot traffic into your partner’s store(s).  Plan ahead and have a campaign ready to launch as early as possible to have an immediate impact. Remember it is not about just getting on shelves, it is about staying there!

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Sircle Squad Profile: Ilana Strauss

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We just hired an amazingly talented new content creator after she won us over during her trial internship. We love to hire via our farm system and when a talented young recruit stands out, we know we have a real winner.  She just joined our squad and we wanted you to get to know her too. We sat down with her this week, and this is what we found out:

Full name/nickname: Ilana Strauss. No nicknames really (we are working on that!)

Age: 22

University and Major: Towson University, Class of 2017. Major: Art + Design with a concentration in Photography. Minor: Mass Communication

What made you choose Sircle Media?: I chose Sircle Media for several reasons. First, by working here at Sircle, I am able to combine two of my passions: photography and social media. In school, I majored in photography where I learned all about the art form from the technical aspects, to the history of photography. Simultaneously, I was studying mass communication where I learned about advertising, marketing, and even took a class specifically on social media and branding. Sircle Media allows me to take everything I’ve learned over the years and apply it to the real world. Another reason I chose Sircle, is because of the company’s culture and work environment. I am able to work alongside an amazing group of creatives that offer their unconditional support and guidance. With their encouragement, I have been able to step outside of my comfort zone and experiment with different projects.

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here?: One thing I learned quickly from working here is how different each and every day is. One day I could be on my hands and knees, styling potato chips for a photo and the next day I could be shooting at a restaurant on the other side of Manhattan. I love how no two days are exactly alike.

What is the best part of your internship?: The best part of this internship has been Sircle’s team environment. Since day one, everyone has made me feel like I was an integral part of the team and that my ideas and opinions were valued just as much as anyone else’s.

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor?: The person I work most closely with on the team is Reid, the Media Director. I’ve learned so much from working alongside him. From walking me through new editing techniques in Photoshop to giving me full responsibility and creative direction over several different projects, Reid has been an awesome mentor and I look forward to working more with him. I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know Adam, the President, over the past several months. Adam has been an incredible leader and continues to inspire me. His motivational emails remind me of the importance of not only working hard at this job but also focusing on improving myself as an individual. He is also extremely approachable and I know I can go to him with any idea, question, or concern.

The advice you would give to a future intern?: The advice I would give to a future intern is to truly take advantage of everything Sircle has to offer. You are sitting in a room full of talented designers, photographers, and social media managers. There is so much to learn and everyone at Sircle is willing to help you grow.

Bonus Questions:

Three songs that never fail to get you hyped: September – Earth, Wind & Fire, Kill the Lights- Alex Newell, Jess Glynne & DJ Cassidy and I Wanna Dance With Somebody- Whitney Houston

What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?: I played goalie for my intramural and travel soccer teams for 8 years

What cartoon/movie character were you inexplicably afraid of as a kid: I really loved the movie E.T as a kid until my parents brought home an E.T toy for me, unaware that its eyes glowed in the dark. After that, I was terrified of the character and could never watch the movie again. (I hid the toy in my closet.)

 

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On using Twitter Search to your advantage…

On this episode, I talk about using Search.Twitter.com to your advantage more for business. I think brands have given up on Twitter and/or have really demoted it in favor of Instagram (proper and Stories) and Facebook. That is fine, but it most certainly should not be abandoned.

Whether you use it personally or not is irrelevant, what matters is that a ton of people do use it religiously and are often using it to seek information and recommendations about a range of topics. The search feature is incredibly powerful because within seconds you can take a peek at what conversations are happening and chime right in.

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A simple search for “Vegan Protein Powder” will give you a breakdown of all people who are talking about that topic on Twitter. Not only can you find other brands to collaborate with, competitor brands to monitor and influencers to engage as secondary benefits, but more importantly you will find customers looking for advice.

For a brand looking to sell a product online and to introduce something new to a niche market this is everything.  As you can see below, these are three inquiries for recommendations on this exact topic in the past week.

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For me, this is gold. I can easily see who is talking about the itch that my product can scratch and I can chime into the conversation from the comfort of my own home?  Sign me up…

 

 

 

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Facebook Advertising hacks, for April 2018…

On this episode, I talk about Facebook Advertising in April 2018. With all the news and concerns about Facebook as a platform right now, we are seeing some excellent pricing on Ads and really solid metrics across the board.  Our suggestion is to lean in when others seem to be leaning away and reap the benefits.

I break down two types of Ads that are really performing very well right now. One is a Video Views campaign, which is fairly straightforward. Create some simple, but catchy videos and then run them on Facebook with the intent of targeted reach and consumption of that video as the engagement metric. The second is re-targeting users based on having engaged with your Instagram Account. This is no longer new, but I have found it is underutilized by any brand I work or speak with. Some tips:

Head over to the Facebook Ad Manager and go to the ‘Audiences’ tab. Once you’re on the Audiences screen, you’ll need to click the blue ‘Create Audience’ button and select ‘Custom Audience’.

Select ‘Engagement’ from the list of Custom Audience types.

Instagram engagement ads

You can choose to either create your new Custom Audience based on people who have engaged with your Instagram business profile, OR who have watched one of your videos on Instagram!

Instagram business account engagement or video engagement

Choose the ‘Instagram Business Profile’ option to create a re-targeting audience based on people who’ve interacted with your Instagram account. Facebook gives us a range of options to choose from when it comes to targeting our Instagram audience.

You have the choice of creating an audience of Instagram users including:

  • Everyone who engaged with your Instagram profile (this includes visiting your profile OR engaging with your content or ads)
  • Only people who visited your Instagram profile
  • Only people who engaged with your content or ads
  • People who sent a message to your business profile
  • People who saved any of your posts or ads

I suggest you allocate some funds and experiment with all of these to see what works best. If you have spent time developing your Instagram profile and that is where you are seeing the most engagement and awareness, then this is a way to really leverage it across platforms and see additional benefits.  Get involved!

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On communication between clients and agencies…

On this episode, I talk about how clients and agencies should treat the courting process more like interviews to really get a better sense of what it will be like working together.  Of course, the skills and knowledge should be assessed, but the attitude, tone, and communication approach are of equal importance.

Clients should really try to smoke out how agencies roll in those areas and conversely, I think it is so important for the agency to get a sense of what the client is like and how they want to be communicated with. I try to do a real level setting up front, as well as ongoing temperature check-ins to see how we are faring throughout the relationship. I can say very confidently that the clients who openly communicate and are transparent with their thoughts and feelings about our approach and service all outperform those who do not.

We are experts in navigating social platforms, managing paid social ads, working with influencers and effectively running social media for brands, but we are not expert mind readers.  Just as open and honest communication internally between employers and employees is the key to success, so too is the need to follow suit with your agency relationships.

Tips:

1- Be straightforward and never passive aggressive. 

2- Be brutally honest and always fair. 

3- Don’t allow frustration to mount and allow a molehill to become a mountain.

4- Don’t assume the agency knows exactly what makes you tick, guide them.

5- Allow the relationship to evolve and do level setting reviews from time to time to point the compass for all parties involved.

Invest the time and improve your client-agency relationships, because if you do that you put your brand in a better position to win.

 

 

 

 

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On trusting your “trainer” when it comes to social media…

I wrote a blog post last year about sometimes feeling like a personal trainer when doing my job as the owner of a Social Media Strategy. The post actually received some positive feedback and I wanted to get into the topic again. On this episode, I took it a bit deeper and added my thoughts via voice which is a more popular format it seems these days. However you choose to consume it, I think it is a simple yet important one to hear.

If you are hiring a trainer for something as serious as your health OR an expert for something as serious as your business’ marketing success, it is imperative to choose a good one and then let them do what they do. Dont second guess or undermine along the way, especially in areas you might not be super well versed in.  Remove the hedge, follow blindly and see what comes from it.

I know for certain it will lead to better results with Sircle Media…

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On contradictions and how they can ruin your social media strategy…

On this episode, I talk about how contradictions will kill your social media efforts.  It is mission critical to figure out what you want to have happen and then hire someone (internal employee or agency partner) that you feel knows what they are doing to implement. Then it is wise to get out of their way and let them do what they do. Stating KPIs or needs and then putting roadblocks or hurdles in place that make those harder to hit is just not good business.

We encourage brands to really think about the creative direction they want to go in, the engagement style they feel good about and the growth KPIs and metrics for success they feel are right and then clearly articulate them up front. Then they should turn the wheel over to their trusted partner and let them do what they do.

Why hedge? Go all in and reap the benefits…

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Fault vs. Responsibility – in a service business.

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At Sircle Media, we are a service-based business working within the social media industry. I tell my team that we all have a responsibility to ourselves, to our company and to our clients to take ownership of any situation and deliver hard work and great service at all times. It doesn’t mean the customer is always right and in fact, they are often wrong in their approach and treatment of situations with us.

The reality is that most people struggle with managing their own work, let alone people under them or agencies that are serving them. Most people don’t respect authority and don’t know how to be their best selves or to deploy empathy and understand the other side of the conversation. If you want to be “a boss” when it comes to customer service, then you need to dare to be different.

I encourage my team to lean into the issues and never shy away from them.  To be vocal and confident and not cower and acquiesce just to play nicely. We work hard to make sure our clients are happy, but at times the path to happiness might be bumpy and unpaved. Some clients don’t want to be told what to do or that they need to improve on their end and as a result, they have a high churn rate with agencies. They won’t change and so the vendor is the one to go automatically. They place fault on the outsider rather than taking responsibility to fix it.

It is on us then to dig deeper, be even more solid in our work product and communication and to win through taking responsibility and owning our own actions.  When we do that, we are on the right side of history with each relationship and we will win much more than we lose. Those are just the facts.

I love this little rant about fault vs responsibility from Will Smith. I think it applies to our work with clients and is a great guide for life in general. Things happen to you personally and professionally all the time. The question is, how will you respond and fix the situation?

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