Welcome to Paris

You’ve saved and scrimped and spent hours on the plane, and now you’re in Paris for the trip of a lifetime. It’s likely you’ll never be here again, and you’ve only got three days.

Question: How much time are you going to spend in the hotel room watching reality TV on cable? For that matter, how much time will you spend checking your email, grooming your social network status or browsing around online to see what’s new?

You only have three days.

Now it’s a week later, and you’re back at your desk. Consider the fact that the most interesting or most beloved or most trusted people you will ever know are sitting right next to you, or can be invited over in just a few minutes. Is it worth postponing that once-in-a-lifetime interaction so you can do a Netflix binge or watch some YouTube videos?

The world is waiting. Your turn….


Evoking online trust

Interactions rarely happen with people we don’t trust.

How is it that someone sees your website or your social media presence or your email and decides to interact? The decision to interact happens before someone actually listens to what you have to say. Here’s a way to think about the factors that kick in before the browser even hears what you have to offer them today:

  • Word of mouth
  • Direct interaction
  • Graphics
  • Tone of voice
  • Offer
  • Size of leap
  • Fear
  • Social ranking/metric
  • Tribal affiliation
  • Perception of transparency
  • Longevity
  • Mass acceptance

Word of mouth: The most effective, by far. If I’ve heard good things about you from people I know, the entire relationship changes. You get the benefit of the doubt.

Direct interaction: Have you previously touched me or interacted me in some way beyond the passive? The way I feel about that ping will alter our interaction. If this is the first time you’re reaching out, you can bet a piece of spam is read differently than something that comes via mutual introduction.

Graphics: What do you look like? What does it remind me of? With so few clues online, we read an enormous amount into every pixel, every typeface…

Tone of voice: A variation of graphics, it has to do with your copy, with your video, with the urgency of your offer. Urgency rarely leads to trust.

Scarcity: Is there a perception that early birds gain? This also hooks in with metrics, like the progress your Kickstarter has made so far, or the number of social links you display.

Offer: What’s in it for me to listen to what you have to say? Do I gain more if I listen with a sympathetic ear?

Size of leap: What are you asking me to do? It’s significantly easier to earn the trust that is required to with follow you on social media than it is to get me to give you my credit card. When you hook your new idea to an old idea I already trust, you benefit.

Fear: This is related to the leap. Big leaps are scarier, requiring more trust, and thus more skepticism.

Social ranking/metric: Results on the first page of Google are more trusted. People with a lot of Twitter followers as well, which is one reason both metrics are aggressively coveted and sometimes gamed.

Tribal affiliation: Are you one of us?

Perception of transparency: When I can see the metrics, or understand your intention, or when the message carries with it the hooks to those ideas, I’m more inclined to trust you. (This is a cultural, not a universal, bias).

Longevity: How long have you been showing up?

Mass acceptance: When I sort of hear of you from my friends, when I recognize you from a hashtag or the logo on a shirt or from a TV show, you come out ahead. TV celebrities walk in to the room with a lot of trust.

You will be judged, best to plan on being judged in the best possible light.


The easiest way to disagree with someone

…is to assume that they are uninformed, and that once they know what you know, they will change their mind. (A marketing problem!)

The second easiest way to disagree is to assume that the other person is a dolt, a loon, a misguided zealot who refuses to see the truth. Their selfish desire to win interferes with their understanding of reality. (A political problem!)

The third easiest way to disagree with someone is to not actually hear what they are saying. (A filtering problem!)

The hardest way to disagree with someone is to come to understand that they see the world differently than we do, to acknowledge that they have a different worldview, something baked in long before they ever encountered this situation. (Another marketing problem, the biggest one).

There actually are countless uninformed people. There are certainly craven zealots. And yes, in fact, we usually hear what we want to hear, or hear what the TV tells us, or hear what we expect, instead of hearing what was said, and the intent behind it. Odds are, though, that we will make the change we seek by embracing the hard work of telling stories that resonate, as opposed to dismissing the other who appears not to get it.


The Show Me State (of the art)

I could ask you to bear with me through this urgent and important post, but I’m not optimistic that many people will.

The punchline matters more than it ever has before.

“Show me what this is about before I commit to it.”

And the follow up: “Now that I know what it’s about, I don’t need to commit.”

It started with the coming attractions for upcoming movies. By packing more and more of the punchline into the TV commercial or the theater preview, producers felt like they were satisfying the needs of the audience to know what they were going to see before they bought their ticket. Instead, they trained us to be satisfied by merely watching the attractions. No need to see the movie, you’ve already seen the best part.

SportsCenter piled on by showing fans a supercut of every great or heroic play of the weekend–a sports fix without investing the time or living through the drama of the game itself.

Record albums used to require not only listening to the entire side (no fast forward on an LP) but actually getting up and flipping it over. The radio wasn’t going to play anything but the A side of the single, so if you liked an artist, you surrendered yourself to 45 minutes of her journey, the way she had it in mind.

A performance artist was on the local public radio station the other day. He didn’t want to talk about the specifics of his show, because giving away the tactics was clearly going to lessen the impact of his work. No matter. The host revealed one surprise after another, outlining the entire show, because, after all, that’s his job–to tell us what we’re going to see so we don’t have to see it ourselves.

We don’t want to organize the course or go to the lecture or read the book until we know precisely what it’s going to be about.

College wasn’t like this. You committed to four years, you moved somewhere, and then you saw the curriculum. That’s part of why it works. A huge part.

We hesitate to surrender our commitment so easily today. It’s easier to read the 140 character summary or see the highlights or read the live blog, so we can check the box and then move on.

But move on to where?

To another box to be checked? We become like the tester in the ice cream factory, surrounded by thousands of flavors, but savoring none of them.

We each have a fixed amount of time. One thing you can do is invest it in knowing the summary of what 23 people said. The other thing you can do is to commit to living and breathing and learning from one of those people. Perhaps you will get more by being exposed more deeply to fewer.

One reason an audiobook can change your life is that you can’t skip ahead. And the other reason is that you might listen to it five or six times, at the pace of the reader, not at your pace.

My full-day live seminars have impact on people partly because I don’t announce the specific agenda or the talking points in advance. It’s live and it’s alive. I have no certainty what’s about to happen, and neither do the others in the room. A morphing, changing commitment by all involved, one that grows over time.

Yes, I get that there’s never again going to be a need to buy an album or to listen to all the songs in order, that you can get the quick summary of any book you’re expected to have read, that your time is so valuable that perhaps the only economic choice is to live a Cliffs Notes version of your life.

[Oh, that’s right, Cliffs Notes’ sales are way down because they’re too long.]

In fact, you could do that, but when you do, you’ve surrendered to efficiency and lost some life, some surprise and a lot of growth.


Embody Your Dreams

Intention is a powerful force. Fueled by imagination, it brings to life the dreams of champion athletes and best-selling authors alike. Tara Lipinski was just six years old when she decided to be a figure skater while watching the Olympics on TV. When her mother saw Tara standing on a chair and asked what she

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The post Embody Your Dreams appeared first on America's Leading Authority On Creating Success And Personal Fulfillment – Jack Canfield.

Cell phone cameras repel UFOs

We’ve relentlessly outfitted just about everyone with a pocket-sized video camera.

And as we’ve done that, the UFOs have stopped visiting us.

Experience is real. It is our memory and perception of what happened to us, and it’s influenced by our self-told story of the world around us. Experience, though, doesn’t spread nearly as well as the digital record does.

That doesn’t diminish our need to experience wonder or fear or tribal connection. Digital proof doesn’t decrease a human being’s need to be an outlier (or an insider) or to flee to safety in the face of things that scare us. It doesn’t diminish our need to invent conspiracy theories or recognize heroism.

So the emotional experience moves. It moves from making up sea dragons and UFOs and the other “un-true” things others could never prove were merely made up. Instead, those emotions drive how we interpret what you sell, or what you say when you run for office, or how we interpret what happened on TV screens around the world. It changes the way we think about the things we can look up or get in our email box. Even when we can see something for ourselves, we’d often rather get a talking head or tribal leader to understand it for us. To tell us what people like us think about something like that.

Emotion isn’t going to go away when the ‘false’ legends and fables do. It’s too resilient for that.  Instead, it’s going to influence the story we tell ourselves, as it always has.

We don’t need your proof. We need your story, and what it means to us.


Karishma Tanna: Tough for TV actors to create identity in films – Indian Express

Indian Express
Karishma Tanna: Tough for TV actors to create identity in films
Indian Express
Although trends have changed, more and more TV actors are trying to get into films and are even being successful," Karishma told PTI. However, praising the reach of television, she said, "TV surely has gone beyond leaps and bounds in today's time.

and more »

The sophisticates

Every profession creates them. Doctors and lawyers, sure, but also speakers and programmers and rodeo riders.

The sophisticate is on one side of the chasm, and the hack, the amateur, the self-defeating noob is on the other.

The sophisticate knows how to walk and talk and prepare, but mostly, to engage with us in a way that amplifies her professionalism. We spend months at business school or med school or at boot camp teaching people to be part of that tribe, to establish that they are, in fact, insiders.

The people at the fringe booths at a trade show, the ones who get rejected from every job they apply to without even being interviewed, the ones who don’t earn our trust or our attention–this isn’t necessarily because they aren’t talented, it’s merely because they haven’t invested the time or found the guts to cross the chasm to the side of people who are the real deal.

It’s fun to make a fish-out-of-water TV show about the outsider who’s actually really good at his craft. But in real life, fish out of water don’t do very well.

Yes, acting like you are a professional might be even more important than actually being good at what you do. When given the option, do both.


Your permanent record

“I’m going to record this conversation, okay?”

How Nixonian! The idea of being on the record is a scary one. It’s the hot button of, “This is added to your school transcript.” Forever, it seems, you will be marked by what you did or said, a pristine record, besmirched.

Today, of course, the post-Nixon reality exists. So much is on your permanent record that we’ve all been besmirched. That video response you posted, that comment, that update. The fact that you didn’t actually work on that team your resume claims you did. The customer who left your restaurant angry and posted a negative review on one site or another.

In a heartbeat we went from special, gap-free makeup for TV stars on HD to online candid photos of every celebrity, without makeup.

If you don’t know how to speak with confidence on tape, you’ve now entered a culture where you will never be able to speak. Because it’s all on tape, it’s all online, it’s all on your permanent record.

Everyone has failed, everyone has misspoken, everyone has meant well but done the wrong thing. Your favorite restaurants, cafes and books have all gotten a one-star review along the way. No brand is perfect, no individual can pretend to be either.

Perfect can’t possibly be the goal, we’re left with generous, important and human instead.


Q&A: The resiliency of Permission Marketing

Here’s my first Monday Afternoon book Q&A. Thanks to everyone who responded

The first book is Permission Marketing and virtually all the questions were the same, best summarized by Brandon Carroll, “How do you feel like Permission Marketing has changed since the 90s when you wrote it? How can it be applied in today’s fast changing world?”

If you haven’t read it yet, here is some context. I wrote it in 1998, before YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Psy, the iPhone or the bankruptcy of Hostess.

I felt confident writing the book because there were two key shifts that hadn’t drawn enough attention:

1. For the first time in fifty years, paid advertising was no longer growing as an effective, dependable way to buy attention from the people you wanted to reach. Instead, there was an explosion of cheap and even free ways to make noise. And…

2. For the first time in history, it was possible to directly reach people you wanted to reach, presuming that they wanted you to reach them. And you could do it for free.

If anything, both of these trends have accelerated. Most big companies now spend far more time than they ever spent before on advertising engaging in its free alternative. They tweet and post and ping and poke and generally put on an ever-noisier show, all based on the self-delusion that they can actually get back to 1968 and the ability to reach everyone, whenever they want. This is obviously a futile endeavor, but it’s not stopping people who should know better from trying.

At the same time, a very rare and precious communications channel is being understood and refined. The ability to whisper. The opportunity to be missed. Replacing hype with permission, with an audience of believers who will go ahead and spread the word for you, because they want to, not because you pay them to.

And so, banner ads went from $50 cpm to less than 1% of that, because they’re not, in fact, as effective as TV ads used to be. I was being hyperbolic 13 years ago when I said that they would disappear, but they’ve certainly vanished as the next-big-thing, either for marketers or for media companies. The movement of money spent on mass advertising to mass banners online isn’t a smooth one, because it’s a shift from mass to micro, from brand advertising to direct response.

No big brand has ever been built using banners. And so, the biggest brands built in the last decade (make any list you want, from Red Bull to Google) did not get that way using marketing that Don Draper would have recognized…

The biggest mis-fire from my original book, the thing I didn’t understand well enough, is how nuanced the pursuit of permission would become. Online games and loyalty programs haven’t disappeared, but they’re not even close to the most important foundation of this asset. No, it comes down to our need to be included, to be respected and to be connected. Over and over, marketers that have touched this asset have raced to push it too hard and too fast, and along the way, lost the very permission they worked so hard to get.

The other mistake I made was underestimating how much fun it is to act like a big advertiser or a big media company, and how profitable it is to keep that industry moving forward. As a result, there are ever more techniques and ever more tools to act as if you’re doing brand advertising in the new media space, when of course, the results are a mere shadow of what you used to be able to do with TV.

For the individual or small organization, all the social networks provide you with a fork in the road. Either you can work around the edges, spamming your way to more followers and more noise, figuring out how to make some sort of make-believe metric increase as a result of your efforts. Or, you can use these networks as a new form of 1:1 interaction, making promises and keeping them. This second path means that your followers are actually followers and that your friends are closer than ever to becoming friends.

Going forward, the organizations to bet on are the ones with a tribe, with a direct connection. If it’s easy to get your Kickstarter funded, if it’s easier to get your email opened, then you’ve built something, something that lasts.