3 secrets Instagram Influencers won’t tell you

Social media has made us believe we can reach extreme heights of financial success and social approval without doing any hard work.

Especially social media networks that have highly personalized visual appeal like Facebook and Instagram. Instagram particularly has become a major hub for displaying signs of living the good life. Most Instagram users post on the platform with this type of mindset. Whether for better or worse this form of content creation is leading to the rise of a select group of people who’re best at portraying this type of lifestyle.

They’re called Influencers. Visit the Instagram page of an influencer and you will see their perfect bodies, perfect homes, perfect family, exotic vacation photos, luxury cars, gourmet food etc. From the outside looking into their perfectly curated lifestyles online, you’ll think nothing ever go wrong in their lives.

Due to the importance of letting us know they’re living their real lives, the hashtag #nofilter is always at hand ready to be deployed on their post.

The seeming care-free and accessibility of the influencer lifestyle make us believe we can attain that lifestyle as well. Who wouldn’t love to explore the beautiful beach sands of Bali, drink fancy Pina Colada and drive a bimmer all day.

Designer clothes aren’t cheap so is travelling and staying at fancy hotels so we spend our time figuring how Influencers afford their lifestyles without burning a hole in their pockets.

Influencers have a source of funds

Take a look at your favorite influencers, how are they funding the lifestyle that they have?

Doing all the things your average influencers post online cost money. It cost money to live in fancy hotels, meet celebrities, go to the best night clubs etc. Given that most influencers are young millennials it begs the question of how they’re able to finance this lifestyle?

Clearly, there is a source of funding available to the influencer. Be it from family, spouses, Trust Funds or investments. Because gaining the following that warrants being called an influencer requires some significant initial investment in content creation.  

I read an article online of a photographer who creates stock images of perfectly plated food and sell them to influencers. If you do not have the funds, how will you be able to purchase these images to feed your Instagram.  

Being Recognized as an Influencer Takes Time  

There is a notion out there that to be an influencer means, you create an account, post cool photos and wait for success. This approach will be our ticket to fame and brand endorsements we dearly love and desperately seek will come to us. We then become frustrated when we do these things and nothing happens.

Hard truth is, if we’re not coming from an entertainment background where we’re already known to mass audiences the transition to being recognized as an Influencer will be slow and hard because nobody knows who we are.

Yet established influencers are always at hand to sell us one product or the other for a quick fix to become like them. What they don’t tell us is that it takes time to curate a feed, plan content, produce the content before publicizing which is basically a full-time job, bearing in mind that it requires consistency over a log period of time for this to be achieved.

Influencers use professional gear  

Influencers make it looks easy. Posing pretty at interesting vacation venues with perfect editing, lighting, color-correction etc on their images. Try recreating these images with a regular phone and it would not come out as nicely as that of an influencer.

 Influencers use professional gear or have professionals who work on their photos for them. Key reason behind professional gear is that photos of influencers have to stand out from the rest of us. The aim is to portray good, quality images and video content within their niche and any lackluster photo won’t cut it.  They invest quite a considerable amount into professional gear to have their photos coming out the way they do.

Living the Influencer lifestyle is definitely attainable but not easy, it requires finding a niche, consistent content creation and producing good content for your followers. Expecting immediate success can lead to disappointment but consistency wins.

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The Right Type of Marketing for Your Startup

As entrepreneurs, we’re eager for our targeted customers to get hold of our products and services because we’re confident our product can make a difference.

 Our excitement for the change we seek to make with our product is reflected in our aggressive marketing and brand building often at the detriment of ignoring the voices of clients & prospects who’re providing us genuine feedback. 

The approach to Marketing for most startups (especially one’s that are not well funded) is often uncoordinated, pushy, constantly in the faces of prospects sometimes borderline annoying. This form of Marketing aptly known as “Guerilla marketing” has intensified due to the ubiquity of social media.  The impression has been created that any startup founder with basic social media navigation skills truly believe they can handle marketing their brand.

As entrepreneurs, we need to recognize, marketing is the key touchpoint for building our brands. We need to be careful of making the right impression on our clients because first impressions count. Word of mouth advertising by a trusted person is even better.

We need to find the “right Type of Marketing” for our startups and by the right type of marketing I’m referring to the underlying motivations and reasons for marketing our products in the first place.

 As startup owners, we need to develop the marketing ethos for our brands that will guide our marketing strategy. Remember the 80/20 rule? If that is anything to go by, finding the right clients for our products can make all the difference and get us to our desired revenue targets sooner than a lame guerilla marketing tactic.

The right type of marketing is personal not pushy

The right type of marketing comes across as genuine and wanting to solve the problem of the customer. For a startup building a brand, it is important to have the personal connection with prospects and customers. Typically, products from young startups do not have the critical acclaim and hasn’t reached the tipping point. Therefore, for the few prospects that have taken the time to know about our business, we need to provide them the maximum attention that they deserve.

We need to create that avenue for feedback that will foster growth, understanding and knowledge of our product. Samuel, a jewelry maker writes handwritten notes to client that purchase from his startup.  One client on reading the note was highly impressed so she referred Samuel to all her friends. The revenues on orders from Samuels’ first clients were enough to provide him with the targeted income he needed for a year.

The right type of marketing is Empathetic  

One edge startups, have over established brands is the opportunity to create warmth by making transactions less mechanical and making prospects understand we care about them. Good marketing should be able to come clean to the prospect when the product cannot solve the pain of the customer and even suggest competing products if that’s what will make the customer

The story is told of a prospect that called Zappos Customer Care Line to order Pizza. As the story goes, the Zappos rep at the other end of the line assisted the prospect in getting some pizza rather than dismissing the prospect as some knucklehead who does not know what he’s about. In the book “Delivering Happiness” Tony Hsieh writes extensively on customer care that is sincere and helpful which made Zappos an outstanding business. In 2009 Amazon paid almost a billion dollars for Zappos.

The right type of marketing builds communities

Customers enjoy choosing product based on their identity and preferences. They are also open and most likely to bond with other customers who have the same preferences. That is why there are famed Harley Davidson, BMW fun clubs all over the globe. Because in the minds of these customers, sharing the joys of a product with another person provides an added level of connectivity.

As startup founders, community building is essential and key to the growth of our brands. Creating social relationships around our brands and building it is one of the best things we will ever do for our startups.  As Seth Godin puts it. “People like us, do things like this”.

  The right type of marketing is not pushy, intimidating or overbearing, but requires personal connections, community building and empathy.

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Frustrated About New Year’s Resolutions Like I Am?

It’s once again that time of the year. This is the time of the year where everyone sets audacious goals by way of New Year’s Resolution to be achieved throughout the year. It’s like we all have a clean slate to start afresh and boy!!! are we ready to use it.

 Resolutions are based on making positive changes in our lives or taking bold steps to make our lives better. Key amongst personal resolutions are the desire to make more money, build better relationships, adopt a healthy lifestyle etc.  

I recently took a critical look at my New Year’s resolutions over the past 5 years and it appears with each passing year, I want the same things.

  • Make more Money
  • Be good at my job
  • 6 – pack abs
  • Build better relationships
  • Travel more etc.

Yet, I have performed quite averagely on the above-listed resolutions, which suggest I have been pretty lousy at sticking to my resolutions. Because 5 years is long enough to have made significant progress in achieving these things or better still be on a promising path to achieving them.  

A Forbes article I read recently, states only 8% of the people who make New Year Resolutions succeed in achieving their goals. I know I’m part of the 92%.Why do resolutions fail? Why don’t we stick to our goals, hope and dreams since clearly, they are the things we want and desire. And it appears I’m not the only one at my wits end given the number of articles on the internet that teaches us how to stick to our goals.

Questioning Our Motivations

Throughout the resolution writing process, we hardly question our motivation. For the past 5 years, writing resolutions in my case had to do with wishful thinking and ideal situations. I never sat down to ask myself the tough question of why I wanted what I had written and what I’m going to do to achieve them.

Is it because that was what others wished for me?

or because having the things I claim I wanted will make me more attractive and accepted?

Or perhaps that’s what society expects from me?

We set off working on our goals without answering the underlying “why” we want the things we claim we want knowing fully well that our desires will not be handed to us on a silver platter. Every goal requires hard work, intense focus and a strategic plan of how it is to be achieved before it can become successful. Example, Living a healthy lifestyle requires a consistent work-out regimen and proper dieting.  

Over the past few years, I’ve tried my hands on quite a number of avenues ostensibly to make headway in the “make more money” department of my resolutions. In this quest, I’ve tried the following.

Day Trading (Foreign exchange): Because I learnt I could become an expert trader in weeks and be reeling in cash if I learnt the tools and tricks of foreign exchange trade.

Bitcoin stuff: Because Its crypto and it was the hot stuff 2 years ago.

Learning how to code: Read an article which said people who know how to code will snap up all the good, well-paying jobs in the future so I plunged into coding. Besides the article mentioned software engineers and web developers get paid tens if not hundreds of thousands a year to build cool tech tools and applications.

Project Management: Read an article that mentioned project management expertise could be leveraged to other avenues and industries. Professional project management experience could get you a job from computer programming to Real Estate, to services sector. I was sold.

Here I am 5 years later, not much of a Forex Trader, (I do not recall the last time I opened the trading software). Not much of a crypto enthusiast either. I actually haven’t followed developments in the crypto space for quite some time now. I don’t know how to code although I appreciate good computer programs and apps and I’m thankful for coders and developers who create computer programs.

And I do not remember a thing about the online course I took in project management 2 years ago. I don’t even recall mentioning the word “Project Management” in a conversation the whole of 2018.

These weren’t things I was truly interested in. I never questioned the motivation; the big WHY I wanted to get into those things. Sure! I wanted to make income but it goes deeper than that. In my misguided quest to make money, I got caught into any fad that came my way, no plan, no strategy, nothing!!!

Yet with writing, I’ve stuck to it. I have written anytime I’ve gotten the opportunity. I have written articles, blog posts, eBook etc. Funny enough that is what has actually made me an income but no!, I’ll rather invest my time into the latest fib that will magically transform me into a millionaire. A perfect illustration of a resolution gone awry because I wasn’t questioning my motivations.

Deep Work as A Driver for Resolution Achievement

Resolutions are based on positive change and positive change is hard, it requires strategy, intense focus and rigorous analytics to know whether we’re making headway in reaching a goal. What most of us lack is focus and intensity, the type of intensity that requires sustained interest over a long period of time.

 I was blown away by the impressive insights on the benefits of intense focus when I read the book “Deep Work” by Cal Newport over the holidays where he provides copious examples of many outstanding people in their fields who had to apply intense focus and diligence within their chosen practice to make the breakthrough that has made them the people they are today.

Whether it was Bill Gates writing the first code for Microsoft or Carl Jung hidden away working on his psychological theories, there were long stretches of deep work that yielded to the impact they have on the world today.

After reading the book, I’m really sold on the concept of deep work and have become an advocate and an ambassador. Firstly, by applying the principles of the book to myself through intense focus on my writing and career as well as other goals I’ve set that requires deep work. Secondly by sharing the principles of deep work with people that are close to me.

 For New Year Resolutions to work, I posit that it requires the same level of sustained effort, focus and concentration that can be equaled to building a multi-billion-dollar business. People do not equate new year’s resolutions to an audacious goal such as starting and running a billion-dollar company yet it takes the same energy and effort. Reading about Deep Work has forced me to have honest conversations with myself about Resolutions and what they mean to me.

 I’m I ready to apply the concept of deep work to that goal? If not then I need to revisit it again.

There are no shortcuts

Career Coach and Blogger Penelope Trunk in one of my favourite post on her blog wrote about How to Get a Passive Income Something I’ve been chasing for years now (refer to plunging into 5 different money-making avenues with no plan). Who wouldn’t like money flowing into their account whiles they chill and go about their day?

First off, she noted that she blogged for 8 Years. 8 friggin years. In other words, build expertise for 8 years. A lot of people (myself included) do not have that time to invest in building a passive income stream. Seriously, who has time for that? Yet I believe her, because it will probably take that long.

Perhaps there is the likelihood you’ve worked assiduously over the past year in achieving your New Year Resolutions doing everything right but will not see any significant progress because the big goals that require sustained focus takes longer than a year to materialize. And in building a passive income we’re talking about an 8-year skill building term per Penelope Trunk’s suggestion.

In the Book Deep Work, Cal Newport also writes about the dangers of Social Media, He suggests we quit it if we want to do deep work that is worthy of admiration. Social Media has its Pros and Cons. A con that has been a vice to many particularly with regard to achieving our resolutions is the constant search for a shortcut to reaching our goals. This has become prevalent in the world of Social Media championed by digital marketers. It appears there is a quick digital fix for every goal.  

Challenge Social Media Fix
 To Lose Weight herbal tea
To Get in shape waist Trainer
To Increase customers for business Result to growth specialist, growth hacking, growth engineering or what other fancy term there is on social media.
To get people to visit your website/watch you content Result to unproven digital marketing gimmicks that will most likely not work. Or better still buy followers, likes, views, subscribers.  

Go to Infotainment company Buzzfeed’s YouTube channel and you can watch videos titled I trained like Superman for 30 days meant for entertainment purposes yet most of us have taken this quite literally and is seen as the norm. A lot of us are watching these videos genuinely believe that’s how life goes and we can have 6 pack abs, broad chest and a chiseled torso in 30 days with minimal effort.

The people championing the hack have discovered something we haven’t. We want to be Rock Stars without working for it and they are ready to exploit it by taking our time and money. Before we can establish a surefire and effective shortcut for a process, we have to be deeply knowledgeable in that field to establish that shortcut. Trying to go for the hacks as a novice does not work because the nuances and the subtext of whatever we’re doing has not become clear to us. Which is quite ironical, because to make our jobs easier we have to do the hard job first.

The Hard Work is the Achievement

The book Mindset written by Carol Dweck, champions the Growth Mindset and how it is an effective way to develop our skills, talents and passions. Enjoying the learning process and opening our minds to the fact that our goals are a labour of love which requires constant work and input is the best way to reach our destination. In Mindset, Dr. Dweck cites examples in Business, Sports and relationships of subjects who adopted the growth mindset and eventually became a success.

Written works by Seth Godin, James Altucher, Penelope Trunk etc have stated, our early work will not receive the applause we’re looking therefore its likely I will not be getting compliments on my abs after the third week of hitting a gym. Or most likely you’re not getting that million-dollar contract in the first year of being in business. But if we keep to our plan and do the tough work that leads us to our goals deeply and consistently, we will build expertise so valuable all the hard work will not be in vain.

Measuring Progress and Accountability

 I’m genuinely frustrated at my resolutions and how I have been abysmal in achieving them. In thinking out aloud maybe I should see all my resolutions as a continuum over a long stretch of time which is basically a personal quest to move from novice to a skilled expert?

In doing so how about measuring the deep work I’m applying to these goals and effectively monitoring the short-term results?

Also, a growth mindset approach to resolutions will be of extreme benefit to enjoy the journey to reaching these goals as a time frame for growth and not something I have to suffer through.

How’re about weekly, monthly and quarterly frames to truly measure my goal and where I am on reaching them?

I also need to train myself to constantly ignore the shiny hacks and shortcuts that are used to bait me by marketers on social media.

Achieving resolutions may seem far off and a long shot but I like to think that I’m better prepared this year.

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4 Lessons I Learnt in 2018


Happy Holiday season to you. I trust that you’re having the best of the season. Wishing you good tidings and good cheer.

2018 has been a good year for me career-wise and for my personal life and I believe it has been the same for you too. This year has been the year where I was bold enough to come out of my shell and do a lot of things that I had intentions of doing but never got around to doing them. Things such as

  • My personal website
  • Writing an ebook
  • Creating podcasts
  • Starting a YouTube Channel

It hasn’t been all rosy though,the year also had its challenges with regards to productivity and giving out my best.

Living consciously and learning from my mistakes are a big part of what I do every year.

In recent years, I try to distill the key lessons I’ve learnt every year so that in moving forward I can focus on these tips and be practical about the lessons to improve my life.

Action over perfection

The right time never comes, the perfect opportunity never presents itself hence no need to keep waiting.

This is a lesson that has been deeply ingrained in me this year.

More often than not, I find myself looking for the perfect opportunity or time to do something. Waiting for money, technological equipment, time, social approval etc so I can start planning out my goals and objectives.

Giving excuses is a mental thing I do to make up for my lack of action. My favourite excuse of them all being financial constraint.

This situation became prevalent when I decided to write my first book how to start and build a side hustle. I figured, I will need the manuscripts, an editor a publisher,marketer, bookstores etc. Thinking about all these made me handicapped and left me doing nothing for weeks. Later, a thought came in my head as to why I could not draft the manuscript, list it on Amazon and publish it as an ebook.

Interestingly, when the book was published online, I got some good press for it.

I had the same challenge with launching my YouTube channel. I figured I didn’t have all these nice camera and technology that established youtubers have. That was also a self-impossed handicap, meanwhile I had a smartphone which I could record on and I have been doing so for my past videos.

It takes time

It has taken more time than necessary for me to realise that success takes time and the strive for achievement is an ongoing battle that never ends.

 To be recognized and fairly compensated for quality work is a gradual process. In this age of instant success thanks to social media, I needed to constantly “catch” myself of not falling into the trap of thinking that success will happen to me without working for it.

Attention to detail

Paying attention and being attentive became a lost virtue on me. I don’t know when It started but I observed my diligence became worse as the days went by.    Smartphone and the internet haven’t helped either. I’m surprised about the number of times my phone distracts me within a day, every day of the week.

 I noticed my productive output is not at the capacity I want it to be so I  have learnt to make drastic changes about my approach to productive endeavours.

These days, I’m very conscious of how I work and the time I alternate between my smartphone and deep work. Even if it means leaving my smartphone in another room so that I can work without getting distracted.

Being Thankful

I’m grateful for everything I have and the opportunities that come to me, I’m grateful for you and for everything everyone does for me. Sometimes life gets tough and I do not recognize and count my blessings.

This leads me wishing I had something someone else had. In 2018 I consciously told myself to stop and smell the roses when need be. To create positive energy and vibes and to remind myself that I have opportunities others wished they had therefore I should be grateful for those things.

What are some of the life lessons 2018 has taught you? Kindly let me know

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RoadTrip to Lagos Nigeria

I went on a road trip to Lagos, Nigeria for a close friend’s wedding.

I had such an awesome time on the trip. On my way to Lagos, I figured it will be fun to record the trip and share it with you. Travel Vlogging is a skill I’ve admired so I decided to give it a shot.

I whipped out my iphone and started taking footage of the various sights and sounds on our way. After the wedding, we explored Lagos city which was truly fun. My highlight of the trip was visiting the Lekki Conservation Center.

The Lekki Conservation Center is a forest reserve that has wildlife in it. I saw a bunch of monkeys and a huge tortoise. We had the pleasure of walking on a canopy walkway which was quite fear-inducing but I managed to complete it.

Other places of interest I saw was a drive through Lekki and Ikoyi (the more upscale parts of Lagos) and I saw the Third Mainland Bridge which is acclaimed as the longest bridge in Africa.

All in all, it was an enjoyable trip and I will visit again in a heartbeat.

Watch the full video of my experience in Nigeria on my YouTube channel below, all the footage was shot with an iphone6s and edited with Adobe Premier Pro. Background Music: Ojuelegba by Wizkid

It will mean a lot to me if you like, comment, share and subscribe

 

 

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Can’t Seem to Focus? Me Too!!!

Keeping my focus on any productive endeavour for a sustained period has always been a challenge.

I’ve had lot of trouble dealing with luck of focus in the past and in recent times. My challenge with keeping focus stems from the fact that my mind is engulfed with many concepts, ideas and strategies. I have many interests and topics I would like to explore and know further about. This type of varied interest in a wide range of topics is called The Multipotentialite mindset as Emilie Wapnick of the popular website Puttylike puts it.

My mind has been playing this game with me ever since I was a kid, and I guess I’m not the only one dealing with this challenge. In recent years, there has been a surge when it comes to books and resources that aim to help people keep their focus

The rate at which books on focus, doing deep work and understanding our internal rhythm has flooded the market has something to say about focus.

Attention spans are decreasing even further thanks to the advent of the internet and social media. Where push notifications are the order of the day and the race to grab our attention is further worsened because marketers and advertisers need data on how much time we’re spending on social media to advertise their products and services.

I have been finding creative ways to deal with my lack of focus and do more by doing work that counts.

 

Listing Goals and Objectives

The joy of crossing out achieved tasks from a to-do list is unparalled, try it today! List all the things you would like to achieve today on a sheet and cross them out as you achieve them. This will give you a burst of energy and invigorate your conscience to get more than. Especially after a long rest where you’re most likely mentally prepared to do the work.

 

Recognizing my Productive Hours

My most productive hours are the first 6 hours after I wake up. Hence, I make it a point to do all the work that requires intense focus within that time frame. Any work I do beyond my most productive hours loses a bit of quality and value because I’m in a rush to get it over and done with.

 

Turn off Push Notifications

Turning off my phone notifications within my most productive period has also been of immense help. I didn’t know how distracting smartphones were until I started turning putting them on silent when I require the space of mind to work.

 

Using Social Media as a Reward

Social media does not contribute to my productivity in any way, so lies I used to tell myself such as “I’m googling this topic to be more knowledgeable” does not wash with me anymore.  I’m beginning to see Social Media for what it is. An escape and an avenue to divert attention from what matters. Therefore I categorise using the internet as a tool for pleasure and space to help me relax and unwind. These days, I work hard to avoid anything social media related during my productive hours (Ninja Hours) to ensure that I’m not too distracted from what I’m doing. When something pops into my mind that must be looked up. I make a note of it to look it up later when I’m less busy.

 

Likewise, after lunch, my productivity rate cuts into half or even goes downhill because I don’t want to do anything that requires mental fortitude. All I want to do is rest or go on Youtube to view something entertaining so guess what? I do my most demanding tasks before noon to avoid the potential post-lunch slump

 

Conclusion

Keeping my focus is a battle, I’m prepared to fight and win, because in such a distracted world those who are able to sustain focus for extended hours on creative and productive endeavours eventually become the difference makers. As brilliant Author and Computer Scientist Cal Newport notes in his book Deep Work, it does not have to be about work for long hours but doing work that requires deep and sustained focus

Sustained focus on any productive endeavour has more to do with creating things of value and focusing so intensely on that the end results make all the difference.

Start a focus time today!!!  block off just 2 hours a day to do your most productive work and measure the result.

That is where you’ll see all the difference

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A Million Excuses? Combining a Day Job with a Side Hustle

I miss you!!

Yes!! You!!

How are you keeping on?

We’re gradually inching to the end of 2018. How has it been for you so far?

Mine has been topsy turvy, full of highs and lows. The “low” moments have really been low and the high moments have been high.

I appreciate all the support you give me and I thank you for consistently keeping faith with me and my website. This journey would not have been possible without you and I’m grateful for that.

Sometimes work gets in the way of our dreams which does not allow us to fully pursue what we want to do. The truth is, we all want freedom to pursue the creative things (what I affectionately call our side hustle) that brings us happiness and a sense of peace. Yet we need jobs to sustain us whiles we pursue our creative dreams and visions.

This has been my biggest challenge of the past 3 years. Finding that balance of keeping my job and doing it to the best of my abilities whiles I pursue the things I’m truly passionate about. Sometimes the regular grind takes over the creative which does not help in achieving the goal.

Because I’m at my happiest, when I’m creating, stringing thoughts together, recording videos and writing the manuscript for my second book.

To help me focus, on doing a good job of combining my creative works with the regular stuff I’m beginning to appreciate a few interventions I can do to help me reach my goal.

 

Finding the Balance

What I have resorted to doing is finding the energy and the balance to do creative works when I have the energy for it. Stockpiling the creative process and not striving for perfection. During the high moments, I make sure I put in the work in order to have a bank of articles, videos and scripts I can upload during the low moments where the regular grind has taken over. Putting my thoughts down everyday and finding a way to contribute to the creative work I strive to do has been of immense benefit.

 

Talking to People

A problem shared is a problem solved, likewise a creative problem shared with people who genuinely support you births new ideas and fresh perspectives that is unparalleled. It takes a special kind of courage to come out of your shell and let people know you’re struggling but once that is done you will be amazed at the help people are willing to give you. New ideas pop up, new perspectives are discussed and new arrangements are made for the future. Talking to people who support me has helped me figure out my blind-spots and my pitfalls. I’m grateful for those people.

 

Its not all about you

For most of us trying to create, trying to make a difference, we take things way too personal and make everything all about us, without considering the end user and the people we seek to serve. I am particularly guilty of this especially when I write based on how I feel and my emotional state at any point in times. Doing creative work based on feelings does not bring me the consistence in output that I seek.

So I have taken a step back, accessed myself to understand that doing consistent work means putting emotions aside and doing the work when it needs to be done.

We need to take a step back and consider why we seek to do the work we do, why we take the decisions we take and why choose to starve that inner voice within us because we aim for perfect time to do something. Sometimes we need to detach ourselves from the work we do and critically access it from the perspective of an outsider.

When we decide to detach ourselves from the work, we get new perspectives, understand the process and become empathetic to our end user.

I have not found the perfect antidote to this debacle of combining the side hustle with the daily grind, but anytime i feel frustrated, I remind myself of these tips.

Do you have any tips to share?

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If You’re Addicted to Social Media, It Is Not Your Fault

I recorded this video as a result of a comment a delegate made at a conference I attended. His concern was on how young people were getting hooked to Social Media and spending countless hours on the platform without receiving much benefits from it.

My response to the delegates comments was that, although people could be blamed for their addiction to social media, there was also the other hand of social media companies being good at exploiting our social vulnerabilities and taking advantage of them.

We all have

a desire to be liked

a desire to benefit from social inclusion

and a

fear of missing out amongst others

Therefore in our quest to be connected and be ‘social’ we should mind the fact that we’re aiding a grand agenda by social media companies to be better at knowing our  social weaknesses and exploiting them. Giving them the power to have more and more data on our habits, dislikes and impulses.

Enjoy this video and subscribe, like or comment

 

 

Additional resources

https://medium.com/thrive-global/how-technology-hijacks-peoples-minds-from-a-magician-and-google-s-design-ethicist-56d62ef5edf3

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Credit: Mkt-Matters
Credit: Mkt-Matters

Customer Bias Marketing: 4 Approaches You Should Know

Humans are the only living organisms that believe in stories and conceptualise over-the-top theories about the world and how things function.

Our unique brains and systems of thinking yields to certain unconscious biases we may not be aware of. These biases have been exploited by marketers and sales people for ages and will be used for several more years to come.

As a Marketer, these biases can be leveraged to make your marketing processes feel like a breeze. Marketing and advertising have deeper psychological layers few fail to notice.

Example,  have you wondered why most fast food restaurants have the colors red and yellow in their branding?

Or the fact that the design principle behind the logos of most social media networks are usually the first letter of the brand name mostly in a shade of blue?

Well the answers are that Yellow and Red are colors that stimulate the hyper active regions of the brain hence making your demand for food more intense than it needs to be. Likewise blue is a color that brings people at peace hence an inviting color. Very much like taking a dip in the ocean so how harmless can it be.

 

thedigiterati.com

These are but a few of the biases that are used in marketing and branding let me also highlight a few.

 

Social proof

Social proof is one of the most overused tactics in marketing, yet it still works. Because it is a bias that is really strong on the human conscience. The fact that everyone is claiming that a product is great makes you the odd one out if you claim the product is not that great. Nobody wants to be the odd one out because it comes with sanctions. Therefore we tow the line to fit in.

Marketers know this hence this bias is buttressed in marketing especially with expert recommendations.

You read things like

9 out of 10 dentists recommends a toothpaste

Or

9 out of 10 makeup artists recommend a beauty product.

This tactic is basically to let you know that experts who know better than you in a particular field are recommending a product hence you can be rest assured you’re buying a quality product.

Experts are used in recommending products because of their “influence”. This influence has yielded to a new form of marketing which is known as Influencer Marketing which is an extension of social proof.

Influencer Marketing has been expanded beyond experts to include popular people who have a wide social media following. Brands pick digital creatives to advertise their brand to their audiences. Since digital creatives usually have a tight-knit relationship with their audiences, they are more likely to buy products recommended by them.

 

Customers are passive (Get them to agree with your stated premise)

A lot of humans for better or for worse are generally passive, therefore making them agreeable to your marketing premise is important to getting them as customers.

It is necessary to put people in the mood when marketing. Get them to agree with you on everything and don’t break the chain. This trick was used by Legendary Ad copy writer Joseph Sugarman and it works. In his book the Adwriting compy handbook, he talks about beginning his sentence with short general sentences that forces the reader to read the second sentence.

So you can see examples such as

Traffic sucks.

We all hate being late for school

Broken tail light is a bad thing.

This is such a general statement that is inconvenient and everyone will agree with. Then make the next sentence agreeable to the end.

That is called a “slippery slope”, even if the prospect does not want the product. The purpose is to make sure they read the copy to the end. It is important to ask yourself whether you will read the ad copy you’re writing if you were the prospect.

Therefore being agreeable with targeted

Artificial Scarcity

There is a certain class of consumer who wants the exclusive, the premium and the luxury. she wants a product nobody has and usually those products come with a higher price tag. This is called The Veblen Effect, the desire for something as its prices go up.

This is a bias that works extremely well for products in the luxury goods market. If everyone drove a Lamborghini, a Mercedes or a Maybach. It would not have had the prestige it enjoys in the auto market. Therefore, for certain commodities, although the factors of production are available to produce them in large quantities, they are produced in smaller quantities to give the end user the feel of having something with prestige.

Luxury goods marketers sell products using this ideal.

In his book “Predictably Irrational”, Dan Ariely shares the story of a store that was trying to sell a necklace at a reasonable price point. Nobody wanted to buy it, then the store owner increased the price, then there was sudden interest in the necklace at that exorbitant price.

 

The Hawthorne Effect

People tend to act agreeably to stuff because they are in the presence of other people. This is where the idea of product sampling and sales come from. Especially for new products that want to make inroads in an already saturated market. Product sampling is a fast way to register clients and get the interested in the product. You can be rest assured that sales will arise as a result of this tactic especially in public places where people will most likely feel bad after sampling a product and not purchasing.

 

The marketing and sales process is psychological and emotional before there is exchange of funds for goods or services. Understanding a prospects psychological state and tweaking the sales process to suit it is imperative for achieving sales goals and targets. Critically access these biases and read further about other cognitive biases and heuristics. Question which of these biases work on you and analyse why they do. After that study your product and services and find where you can align these biases in the product/service delivery.

Good Luck!!!

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Parkinson’s Law, Time Management and Laziness

When I decided to write about the Parkinson’s Law I dedicated a full day for it.

Did I write this whole article in a day?    Yes!

Could I have written this article in a shorter period? Yes!

Apparently, that is what Parkinson’s Law is about, the law states that “work occupies the time you allocate for it”. So, if you dedicate a full day to writing a blog post, that’s the time it will take, likewise you allocate 3 years to learning how to swim, it will take exactly that.

I have seen the Parkinson’s law at play severally in my life but I didn’t know there was a name for it. Now that I can put a word to it, I’m conscious of the time I allocate to task.

The concept of time is relative and an interesting construct, because time runs fast when we’re having fun but not when we’re doing something that requires mental stimulation. Particularly tasks we hate.

In my case, writing a blog post sometimes seem like a chore and anytime I write, it appears time stands still. On the other hand, when I’m watching YouTube Videos, time passes by quickly.

Therefore, I find myself most at times underestimating the time I need for pleasure for example watching Youtube videos and overestimating the time I need for work related stuff.

 

Recognising the impact of Parkinson’s Law has helped me in diverse ways

 

Benefits

  1. Internalized Deadline

One of the reasons we procrastinate when it comes to our personal development and wellbeing is that there are no deadlines to do them. Plans to lose weight, start a business, create a product, get your dating life together, usually have no time limit or deadline to achieving these things.

We just set the goal without any timeline. When it comes to supervised work such as work commitments, our procrastination is controlled because we are being monitored by our bosses and supervisors.

 

Likewise, as kids, we could procrastinate to a certain extent but not fully because our parents will be breathing down our necks to deliver on our task, be it doing our homework or washing dishes, hence the room for procrastination becomes limited.

Parkinson’s Law benefits in this regard because when we set goals, we need to attach a reasonable timeline to achieving the goal. By this strategy, we wire our internal clock and mentally create a deadline within which to work. The effectiveness of this strategy is akin to the Zeigarnik Effect.

 

  1. Conscious Time Allocation

With the insights of Parkinson’s Law on our side, we’re trained to become better managers of our time and to be conscious of the time we allocate towards our task.

Now that I know I can write a thousand words in 2 hours given the right commitment and dedication, I will spend some time dedicating a realistic stipulated time in my writing. In a fast-paced world where technology and social media has taken deep roots and control our psyche’s attention spans are diminishing which makes doing the hard work even harder.

Time allocation is imperative for productive work hence we need properly estimate and schedule the right time for our productive duties.

 

  1. Recognise my Laziness

Parkinson’s law has helped me recognize my own laziness and unwillingness to do things. Scheduling more time for tasks that will ordinarily take a shorter time makes me question my laziness and look critically on why I’m avoiding the task.

Maybe I’m not prepared or I’m just not in the mood for that kind of task. Or there is some associated anxiety as a result of executing that task. Which means I have to sit down and ask myself the deep questions. Do I really want what I’m doing or I’m just doing it for doing it sake?

Asking myself the deeper questions and recognising this has been a game changer for my productivity and sanity.

 

Parkinson’s Law is real and has a deep effect on whatever we do. The next time we find ourselves allocating task we must critically access the time we’re allocating and why we’re allocation such time. This knowledge will come in handy in knowing the work we should do but we’re avoiding.  Parkinson’s Law is a starting point to have a deeper conversation about productivity and work.

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