Marketing Entrepreneurship Business Blog for SMB's

Marketing Entrepreneurship Business Blog for SMB's

Date: August 2012

Today is my birthday. I have finally turned 39, a number that I have been using for quite some time, just to get use to it.

I woke up unexpectantly at 3am and have stayed awake ever since. Instead of going back to sleep, I looked out my window and soaked up the view of the parkland. I don't think I have ever seen it at 3am before. It was beautiful, peaceful and the perfect setting to the start of a new year in my life.
Published in Mellissah Smith
Yesterday at a breakfast hosted by Business Chicks, hundreds of women tweeted quotes from guest speaker Ita Buttrose.

The hashtag was #businesschicks and #itabuttrose. It's impact was for all to see, as the event was trending somewhere in the social media sphere and people who had never heard of Ita Buttrose from all over the world, were joining the 'trend' and retweeting tweets related to her speech. Such is the power of a #hashtag and of course, my favourite social media platform, Twitter.

What is a hashtag?

A #hashtag is a symbol or a metadata tag used on microblogging social networking sites Twitter, and Google that is followed by a keyword phrase without spaces. It ties the conversations of different users into one stream, which you can find by searching the hashtag in Twitter search or by using a third-party monitoring tool like HootSuite.

All tags are case insensitive and can become trending topics if enough people start using it and virally spending the 'word'.

When trending goes viral

A hashtag can go viral very fast. Take for instance the re-launch of Big Brother. The tweeting went ballistic on Twitter and many popular tweets were displayed during the show. The hashtag #BB trended through the entire episode. Just like when #thevoiceau was on. It trended as did all of the judges. Who didn't tweet something about #joelmadden #keithurban #seal ?

What can small businesses do to get their messages across on Twitter with hashtags

It's hard to judge, but popular hashtags for small businesses are: #smallbusiness #entrepreneur #inspiration #success - make up your own one but make sure it is clever and you never know where it may go.

The reality is that on Twitter or any other medium it is not critical to 'trend' on a topic. What is important is the information that communicate and the story that those 160 characters tell.

Ita Buttrose is not only one of Australia's highest profile businesswomen, she is someone that I think most women would love to sit down and have a coffee with, me included. Starting her career as a coffee girl for Women's Weekly with no grand plan and no real aspirations, Ita Buttrose was the first to do many things other women before her had not done. She was the first woman to be appointed to the News Limited Board and was the Editor for Cleo magazine, the first offshoot for the Packer empire.

This morning she was the keynote speaker at Business Chicks, a networking event founded by entrepreneur Emma Isaacs. As I sat at a table hosted by PWC and next to two inspirational women; Melissa Bridge (founder of GXY Search) and former Jimmy Choo CFO and now an executive at PWC, Chelsie Harris, I was interested in what Ita had to say. Having not watched the telemovie about her life, Paper Giants, I was aptly impressed by her wit, self-depreciating mannerisms and intelligence.
Published in Mellissah Smith
Daunted by the prospect of another year clicking over, yet excited by the adventures ahead of me and what presents itself as opportunities and fulfilment of lifelong dreams. A birthday they say is to be celebrated, yet I am not sure that many feel the same way year after year once we pass our age-old milestones.

Yes, I will be considered a year older in a matter of days and it is reason for reflection.
Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Do we all wake up the same way?

I am not sure about today. You know, when you wake up and your sleep wasn't particularly restful, then you go to work and for a second, you have to remember why you are actually there.

Published in Mellissah Smith
There is absolutely no rest for the wicked!

An action packed weekend, filled with laughter, good friends, great food and a few bottles of french Bordeaux, it is fair to say, I am ready to get my teeth sunk in to the week ahead.

While it may seem all fun and games, it isn't always and is definately dependent on how you look at it.
Figures released last showed the worst retail growth in fifty years as consumers deserted shops again in the end of financial year sales.

The 1.6 per cent annual rise in spending is the worst result since 1961-62 - an era when there were no credit cards and shoppers used pounds, shillings and pence.

The Bureau of Statistics revealed sales for the normally strong month of June had fallen by 0.1 per cent, following an 0.6 per cent drop in May.

Here's my take...
I am not sure about you, but Jodie Foster is one of my all time favourite actresses. For me, she is an actress with integrity, talent and professionalism. Never has she sold her soul for a role and she is always the first to stand up for her friends. First it was Mel Gibson, then it was Robert Downey Jnr and now it is Kristen Stewart.
Published in Marketing
It may appear on the outset that Marketing Eye doesn't need a business turnaround specialist, and to some degree we don't. We make money, we continue to grow and enter new markets and we provide a service that small business owners need.

In fact, things are going so good, that this week alone, we achieved $79,480 worth of sales through our use of social media networks linkedin, twitter and the company marketing blog which you are reading right now. Not bad for a 3-hour a week investment!
I don't know about you, but egomaniacs scare the 'b'jesus out of me'. I am terrified of them, but still I find myself sucked into their web of soul destroying destruction.

As much as they are charming, good at 'selling a story' and surrounded by people, they are manipulative, obsessive and bullies.
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By definition (Wikipedia), egomania is an obsessive preoccupation with one's self and applies to someone who follows their own ungoverned impulses and is possessed by delusions of personal greatness and feels a lack of appreciation.

More likened to the clinical narcissistic personality disorder, there are egomaniacs in all walks of life, but its important to be aware of who they are in yours and know which way is the best way to deal with them.

In my profession as a marketing consultant, I am surrounded by egomaniacs. In life, many of my friends also have a healthy sense of ego, but the true egomaniacs are best to keep 'on side' but do try to steer away from them. Here's why:

1. If you are not on their side, they will stomp on you and make sure no-one else is either. Given that egomaniacs are also charming, be aware, they can charm the pants of someone - literally.
2. They won't accept rejection. Rejection in any form, comes with a pay-back clause.
3. They are always right and if you dare to not think they are right, they are good 'campaigners'.
4. They have to be liked, so their passive aggressive behaviour may stomp on you and belittle you to others with untruths. But don't be surprised if in no time, they come back to you with something they think you cannot refuse. Like earlier this year, I cut ties with an egomaniac, and after being a bully and horrible, a week later he sent me an email saying that he has a "billionaire to invest in my business". This is typical egomaniac behaviour. Never fall for this bait as its their way of trying to be 'liked' and feeds their passive aggressive behaviours.
5. They will do absolutely anything to get their own way and to get people on-side, if you have fallen off-side. Anything includes using whatever means they have to woo people.

It's not all doom and gloom. Egomaniacs exist in the world. I have just finished reading Simon Cowells book and he is out there and proud to be an 'egomaniac'. He's successful, so many egomaniacs believe that it is ok to be 'who they are' because that is what 'stars are made of'.

Why is being an egomaniac bad for your personal brand?

1. Most people don't like the drama associated with being around an egomaniac, so while they may not say anything, they are thinking it. To them, you are plain 'weird' and mostly they see through your passive aggressive behaviours and 'feel sorry for you'.
2. While people may let you think you have won, you have gone down in their estimation - big time. Don't be fooled. You will never be in their top handful of friends.
3. Other egomaniacs won't like you and many of the world's top business people and superstars fall into this category. Your pool just gets smaller and smaller.
4. You won't learn, because you are not open to learning. You will never be a better person, because you are not open to be a better person - you already think you are.
5. Ultimately, people don't want to be close to an egomaniac. When an egomaniac burns someone, people are smart and they see it. They may not say anything, but they know and its another strike against you.
6. People will be scared of you and they will have seen your bullying and never wrong attitude. They may appear on the surface as friends just to pacify you but your friends will be less and less as years go by.

Here's how I have learned to deal with egomaniacs.

1. Check your own ego at the door: We all have egos, but hopefully its just a healthy amount. When you come face to face with an egomaniac, know that they are not worth your time and energy. Think about how you can reduce your interaction with them. If they have a point of view, don't challenge it, excuse yourself and go to the restroom. By challenging it, they will feel the need to win and you will lose or face the fate of their behaviours.
2. Get perspective: Life is short and we will always come across people with quirky personality types. Why its important to understand elements of an egomaniac is because they may go through stages of influence on how you view the world or certain people. Egomaniacs are self-serving so their opinions quite frankly don't count. They are communicating only what they want for you to buy-into.
3. If you are on the receiving end of an egomaniacs tantrum of need for control over a situation, be assertive. Don't let bullies win.
4. Understand where they are coming from. Most egomaniacs didn't have enough love growing up, or their fathers left their mothers early on. No-one paid attention to them. They just want to be loved and appreciated and to be liked. They don't know how else to act because no-one has taught them right from wrong and that you don't need to win a fight to win. No-one has taught them compassion and kindness. They are after all, just big babies looking for approval.
5. Distance yourself. It's a great psychological trick. If they are past 40 years of age, they won't change. Keep them in small doses and when they get under your skin, just walk away... you don't need to see them for another six months.

Why is a marketing blog on egomania important? I am writing this as it is a conversation I hear a lot about. Egomaniacs live in everyone's life. We have to deal with them and the fact of the matter is that they often are in roles of authority. Knowing how to deal with them, will assist you in not being bullied by their antics, or seduced by their charm. It will make your life much happier - trust me. Talking from experience. As marketers, we do need to understand our audience.
Published in Management
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