COM0015 – Assignment #5: Event Participation: Selling Without Really Selling

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Source: How to Sell Without Selling [Webinar]

The professional value derived from the webinar I chose to attend, conducted by holistic nutritionist, Joy McCarthy, founder of Joyous Health, and her business partner, husband, and co-presenter Walker Jordan, was immense.

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Source: How to Sell Without Selling [Webinar]

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Source: How to Sell Without Selling [Webinar]

The event, How to Sell Without Selling, was an hour and a half long webinar, broken down into five main sections, dedicated to discussing how to digitally connect with and grow your audience without using sale tactics and strategies.

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Source: How to Sell Without Selling [Webinar]

I became aware of this event after stumbling upon a social media post promoting it on Facebook, resulting in an immense level of excitement, as this event, presented by two incredibly successful entrepreneurs and individuals I truly admire, resulted in the opportunity to gain a greater level of insight into a brand, and social media strategy I personally admire. This event I believed would allow for the opportunity to explore how some of the concepts discussed within this very Social Media Certificate program, such as story telling, can be applied in a real word setting. Additionally, I instantly identified how immensely valuable the content within this webinar could serve professionally — for both the social media content I create for the podcast I host, and for the social media accounts I manage for the health food store I am employed by.

Attendance  

The event took place within an online webinar room, through the platform WebinarJam, with an ongoing message board throughout the entire webinar enabling the ability for audience members to interact with other participants, and Joy and Walker themselves. While the attendee list or participant count was not publicly visible, a total of 35 other users interacted through the message board.

Event Interactions 

Through the discussion board, Joy and Walker encouraged audience members to leave comments and questions as a way to promote a healthy two-way dialogue, with an allotted time period at the end of the webinar to address questions and comments as outlined in the discussion list. While I did not directly interact with Joy or Walker in the discussion section through asking a question, I did however experience positive interactions — asking questions, providing answers, and adding commentary to another participant’s comment — with a few of those interactions featured below:

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Source: How to Sell Without Selling [Webinar]


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Source: How to Sell Without Selling [Webinar]


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Source: How to Sell Without Selling [Webinar]

Through the discussion board I had the opportunity to learn about the webinar attendees. A large number of attendees are current students or alumni of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, and attended the webinar in order to aid in the success of their own health and wellness entrepreneurial adventures. One individual I did have the pleasure of interacting with coincidentally is a person whom I have interacted with in a professional, work context. Due to the fact that I work within the health and nutrition field, this interaction really solidified the versatility of the subject matter being taught and the way in which the fundamental principles can be applied to a range of specific aspects within an industry, along with how interconnected and close knit the health community truly is. This was further promoted by the general positive, eager and supportive energy from all participants present within the message board.

Novel Ideas 

Among the ‘7 Feel Good Sales Strategies’ this webinar presented as alternatives to conventional and at times uncomfortable selling tactics, there were a few notable, key ideas related to building a foundation to sell your products or services without actually feeling like you are selling anything:

  • Idea #1: In order to avoid the conventional and uncomfortable feelings associated with selling in the most traditional sense, you have to value the product or service you’re offering and feel confident in its ability to add value to others’ lives.
  • Idea #2: In order to be successful in selling without selling you have to be confident and comfortable in showcasing your value and its potential benefits.
  • Idea #3: You must believe that you are providing incredible value in fair exchange for the compensation you receive.

Quotable Quote

One extremely notable quote, and the sentiment that lead into the discussion around the ‘7 Feel Good Sales Strategies’ was that “at the core of any sales transaction is value and trust.” This statement resonated so deeply simply because it goes from describing what Joy and Walker describe as the ‘what’ of your product or service, to the ‘why’. Being able to market a product or service in an authentic, honest way builds the a sense of rapport needed to develop a deep-seated sense of trust in an entire brand and the value of its offerings, before sales even occur.

Future Seminars

While I have previously attended a business-related webinar conducted by Joy McCarthy, this webinar, as like the last, did not disappoint. I left this webinar with so many valuable takeaways and ideas that I am excited to directly apply to my professional day-to-day social media and marketing activities. Due to the fact that I am employed within a health related field and have a personal interest in nutrition, attending a business event with ties into the health field is really encouraging and enjoyable to partake in. Overall, attending this event left me in high anticipation for future professional development events conducted by the inspiring and successful Joyous Health team.

COMM0015: Assignment 5: Professional Development: “Creating Better Brand Content… All Year Long” Webinar

In today’s day and age, it is critical to be consistently educating yourself on the latest trends in technology and marketing.

I attended a webinar December 13th called “Create Better Brand Content… All year Long” put on by Annemaria Nicholson of Cision and Kerry O’Shea Gorgone of MarketingProfs.

The webinar was approximately about one hour, discussing how to plan content better in 2017, including being aware of possible legal pitfalls when posting social media content.

For social media success, it’s critical to have a plan in place. Kerry O’Shea Gorgone highlighted some key components of a good plan. This includes:

  1. Committing to establishing a timeline for promoting on all social channels.
  2. Catalog proposed projects.
  3. Examine Data & determine the bandwidth. For example, key performance indicators may include past overall performance, landing page views, downloads.
  4. Execute your vision. Plan sequenced content across channels while factoring in other calendar considerations (i.e. holidays, personal days, etc.).

Gargone argues it’s critical to have original rich content which should link back to the original website.

While it’s good to plan out content, one thing I was very appreciative about this webinar, was addressing possible legal issues.

 

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Photo Courtesy of Adam Johnston 

 

These issues include:

  1. Copyright, including posting pictures to a social media site. One example is photos in the Creative Commons. Although some photos maybe “ok” to use from the Creative Commons, the panelists argued that some of these photos may be stolen, and face copyright concerns. They recommend creating your images and video to prevent potential copyright concerns.
  2. Streaming Video: with the rise of live video platforms including Periscope and Facebook Live, it’s easy for many to create their live video show. However, there are some possible quagmires, as noted by both Gorgone and Nicholson, including, filming in a very public area, accidentally filming company documents scattered all over the table, or marking board. Both panelists suggest filming in an area where there is no company documents or company information which could be breached by live streaming video.

Unfortunately, the webinar did not allow an opportunity to connect with others but was just limited to question and answers. If there is one major concern I have with many webinars is the lack of interaction between other participants.

Nonetheless, I thought this was a good professional development exercise, which I will take to heart heading into 2017.

COM0015 – Assignment #5 – Event Participation

The event that I chose to participate  in was an online webinar presented by Outmarket called Beyond the Campaign: Engagement Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations

I chose to attend the event because Not For Profit Marketing is something I’ve been interested in for quite some time, and it’s an area I would like to potentially explore as a career path at some point in the future.
The webinar was audio-based with a dashboard that included a slide presentation, a Twitter feed where one of the moderators was tweeting key points from the presentation, a Q & A box where participants could ask questions, and the bios of the host and the moderator.
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I have never attended a webinar, and this one was was a bit different than I was expecting. I was expecting it to be video-based where we would be able to see the presenter. The presenters name was Lori Wizdo, and she is a Principal Analyst at Forrester, a research-based consulting company from Cambridge, MA.
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The presentation was well done and informative, and there were quite a few takeaways from the event. The two key points that stuck with me were:
  •  How to create valuable content cheaply. Normally NPO marketing budgets are extremely low, so they need to be efficient. It was recommended that one person be in charge of curation, to sift through online information and collect information (blogs, news items, legislation etc.) that pertains to a particular topic. Then create a top ten list to work from. There are also curation tools that will do the same thing or assist with the collection, but it is still helpful to have someone filtering the information so it is very specific.
  • The second takeaway related to the information that should be included on an NPO website. Often there is too much information about the organization, and not enough information about the constituents. The reason a person is on the site is to find out about the topic because it is one that is of concern or value to them. They are not there to find out about you. They want to know if their interests, questions, concerns and issues will be addressed, and the online content should reflect this. The other information will become more pertinent once the person decides to engage with the organization.
  •  I also liked the comparison in this slide of the difference between the Campaign Marketing Focus and the Engagement Marketing Focus:

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The quotable that I took away from the presentation was:
THEN:
Marketing is different in the Not For Profit World. Marketing has earned it’s place in the not-for-profit world. But marketing and development are not the same. Marketing is about exchanging goods and services for money. Development is about relationships – it is not about money.
NOW:
Marketing is different in the Not For Profit World with today’s buyer. Marketing has earned it’s place in the not-for-profit world. But marketing and development are not the same. (Engagement) marketing is about exchanging goods and services for money. Development is about relationships – it is not about money.
I will definitely attend another event like this one. This was my first introduction to webinars, and it’s such an easy way to learn. You can learn about essentially any topic you’re interested in, and it’s interesting to hear what different professionals have to say on the topic.

COMM0015: Assignment 5: Event Participation

This past Thursday, December 5 I had the opportunity to attend the webinar “Customer Service for the New Customer: Transitioning to Real-Time Service Delivery” hosted by SocialMediaToday.com.   With three extremely knowledgeable, experienced and engaging members of the panel I took away several key points and ideas to consider when thinking about social media and customer service.

Similar to many public companies my department within the municipal government has been slowly attempting to move to a new service delivery model that effectively incorporates multiple access points for our customers (web, phone and in person).  Previously our customers were often restricted to in-person access for the majority of our services with a limited number of services offered by phone.  Approximately 18 months ago we added an online application process and began to expand the services available by phone.  I chose this webinar hoping to hear more about how other organizations are approaching service delivery in the age of social media and how they are measuring success in those new areas.Panel photos and bios

The Panel

The panel consisted of Nathan Roth, lead for digital and social at Koodo Mobile, Wendy Lea, CEO, Get Satisfaction, and Frank Eliason, Director of Global Social Media at CITI.  In addition, Robin Carey, founder of Social Media Today was the panel moderator.

Key Message from the Event:

“Customer service is the new marketing.” Although I came away from this webinar with a lot of new ideas and perspectives I can’t possibly list them all in this short article.  So I am going to focus on the comment “Customer service is the new marketing” which strongly resonated with my own work experience and my experiences as a consumer.  In my position as an Evaluation Officer, I am often asked to support projects or programs on developing new performance measures or determining their level of customer service.  One constant challenge in my role is explaining to people why it is important to monitor and measure our level of customer service.  This quote will become the new opening statement to that explanation.  As discussed in the webinar, in the current age of social media that allows your customers to reach thousands of people before or immediately after leaving your office their opinions have become your company’s brand.  Research has shown that the majority of consumers are more likely to trust the opinions of strangers over company advertising.  This means every customer who accesses services from your company has more influence over your customer base than you.  The bottom line?  It doesn’t matter what your organization says or promotes if your customers online conversations are negative.

Webinar Twitter Feed

Networking Social Media Style

In addition to a significant amount of information and ideas from the webinar the concurrent conversation on twitter also provided a unique networking opportunity.  The event promoted their prearranged hash tag for participants to ask questions, post comments and interact with each other.  As a result of participating in the twitter conversation I have 12 new followers and have added 14 new individuals to my twitter feed who all work on or specialize in social media.  The webinar proved to be both a learning opportunity and a chance to build my network of social media experts.

Upcoming Opportunities

As a result of how happy I was with the information and discussion that took place during this webinar I am actually attending another session this coming Tuesday, October 10.  The upcoming webinar specifically focuses on performance measures and data collection in social media.  This topic is particularly relevant to the role I usually play in the development of new service access points or social media.  I hope to come away from that event with some new ideas and approaches to performance measurement with the context of online content and social media.

If you are interesting in hearing the discussion from this webinar or participating in future panels SocialMediaToday.com offers an average of two free webinars per week.  For a list of upcoming events please go to: http://socialmediatoday.com