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business

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Hubris or Grandiosity?

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My "Goal Slide" for our upcoming Institute at the AAMFT Conference in Atlanta on October 5th. I'd doubt my own thinking except that it has already been done. We'll be training MFTs how to use our IMPACT Model as a guide to develop contracts and act as a human systems consultant with organizations and businesses.

 

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Meeting with My Social Marketer/Graphic Designer Consultant

Andrew doing a TedX talk

Andrew doing a TedX talk

So, how does an "old dog" learn "new tricks?"  I refuse to believe that I . . . strike that . . . they, the old dogs, can't. Maybe that's why I stubbornly strive to complete my training as a fingerstyle guitar player despite having limited skills and no talent . . . or it could be just that sheer stubbornness. Anyway, I digress from the point.  How can someone . . . you or I . . . learn how to use the newer forms of marketing when we were not part of the technological generation?

Consultants. In my case a Social marketing/Graphic Designer who is 27 years old.  I know. I was there when he was born.  Yes, he is my son. But he is also someone who has developed two very successful Kickstarter campaigns, professionally works for firms in this capacity and, despite his youth, has widely read on the topic.

I know all of you don't have the good fortune of having a "kid" with this background, so, in this post I am going to summarize what I am learning.

1. Everything you do on-line should have a purpose. Is it to get traffic to your website? Get more people contacting you? Check out your free resources? Sign up for a newsletter?  You should have one goal and bend everything about your on-line connections to that goal.

2. A few simple, consistent, activities are better than a complex unmanageable plethora of activities. An active website where people can connect to your email list may be the one thing that your activities should support. So creating a blog, connecting no LinkedIn and Facebook (or your own 2 favorite venues) maybe enough.

3. Providing value is key.  You need to have good content, provide real value, and focus on helping others . . . not selling. People only buy things when they perceive that it has a value to them.

4. Having an outside consultant who doesn't get bogged down in the day-to-day fluctuations of operating your business helps tremendously.  A meeting with my consulting son clarifies what needs to be done, how to do it, and unleashes my work ethic in a dynamic way that makes the time and cost well worth it.  I'm a hard-sell on this myself (some would call it being cheap!) but I have learned to appreciate the value it provides. 

So here's how it is laid out for my business . . . 

  • Create high-quality "landing pages" on my website where people can get free ebooks

  • include links to these landing pages through blog posts, LinkedIn and Facebook

  • Add people to our email list and continue to provide them with valuable emails

  • Hopefully those who have additional needs will be interested in connecting with us at a higher level . . . through our publishing, training, and consulting

And here's the connection:  Free ebook Engaging Your Team: A framework for leading "difficult" people.  As a bonus you will get to see Andrew's graphic designs in the ebook.

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What is an Organizational Behavioral Consultant?

Organizational Behavioral Consultant.  It's a mouthful isn't it?  What exactly does it mean?  Well, I'll give you my take.  First, Organizational to me means "system."  In other words and Organizational Behavioral Consultant (OBC) should have a focus on the organization as a wholistic richly cross-joined system.  He or she needs to understand the entire "animal" and how subsystems work within the larger needs of the organization.  They need to understand that each subsystem is interdependent upon the others and a change in one will effect the other subsystems.

Second, Behavioral means that the focus is on how the organizations actually "acts"--what it believes, says, and does. No grand theoretical models here!  Instead it is a practical, pragmatic, approach that focuses on real outcomes and solutions.

Third, consultant.  For me this means a collaborative partnership.  Working with the talented, smart, experienced leadership in a way that allows our "outside" perspective and experiences with the methods, processes, and tools of consulting to help influence and guide the steps to creating the most effective and successful system.

Well, that's it, I've run out of words to define.  Organizational. Behavioral. Consultant. Do you see it differently? Would you change or alter the definition? Share it. Maybe I'll change mine as I continue to upgrade and grow in my own experiential path. Thank you, as always, for sharing!

Available eBooks:

Private Practice through Contracting: Decreasing dependence on insurance.

Engaging Your Team: A framework for managing difficult people.

Family Legacy: Protecting family in family business.

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Taking your business on line.

First, I should tell you that I am not an IT expert.  However, I am fairly competent with IT (for my age). Although I the language I learned was "Basic" on a Wang magnetic-tape drive computer . . . I still have a basic handle on how computers and, simple, coding works.  Thus, in my own assessment, I'm not entirely without "an idea" but neither am I a professional.  I tell you this to help you put the following in context.

I am currently working to take much of my consulting services on line.  With the dramatic changes that continue to occur in IT it is at times overwhelming to try and sort through the "chaff" to get to the "grain" (Forgive the agricultural reference, but I am from the midwest . . .).  So here I want to tell you about the very best tools I have found. If you do any contracting (or want to) then I would encourage you to check these out.

If you are not very IT savvy, you can still go operate on line but you may need more "professional support." Once you get comfortable running, what I call a "team of teams" it becomes much easier to take on complex tasks outside your direct line of experience. This is critical in being a model leader, entrepreneur, or consultant.

All the best!

Bryan

 

The best tools I have found for taking business on line:

Squarespace:

For you website, I don't think you can do better than use this.  My IT son would probably disagree (but then again, he has had to spend a lot of time helping me transfer over information from the origin website we programmed together several years ago).  Why Squarespace?  Because it is a locked down version that allows a lot of flexibility.  

If you want to spend your time coding and creating your own very unique and specially designed website then Squarespace may not be for you.  Although you can introduce your own coding, it is purposely limited.  The upside? If you just want something easy to use, flexible, powerful, and professional looking then this is a great choice. After all do you want to spend your time building a website or building your business?

Trello

Trello is an awesome project management and organizational system. I use Trello to organize my operational tasks, as a marketing contact manager, to do project management, track my invoices and payment, create job-specific calendars for clients, share information and resources, and to promote and connect others to my products.

The primary reasons I use Trello are to build a strong brand for myself, develop products and processes that can be replicated (for myself and others), and connect clients with my business.  It truly is one of the most flexible and useful tools out there.

Gumroad

Have some products to sell?  Gumroad is a great place to set up shop and sell your physical and digital products.  Easy to use and connect to your website there is nothing out there that surpasses it as a vendor at this time.

Google Forms

Want to do a survey for a client?  Hope to set up a survey on your website to engage them and get people interested in your products and services?  Google Forms is a great way to create surveys, collect data, and display the results.

Join Me

For video conferencing (and sharing your desktop) I have found Join Me to be a friendly and useful tool.  They software is easy to learn and the basic services work very well.  The very first time I attempted to use Join Me . . . it worked with little or no struggles to "learn the software."  

I have other services and software that I use regularly but none of them live up to the satisfaction I have had with these five.  As I find other alternatives that are especially good, I'll share them here.  I hope you will share your "finds" here as well. A good recommendation is a great way to cut through the clutter and find the few jewels that will set you apart and make succeeding more likely.

Google Forms

I have used Google Forms for multiple purposes. Created my own on line surveys, signed up attendees for conferences and had the fill out a post-conference evaluation, created employee satisfaction surveys, and other sundry items.  It is user-friendly, intuitive, and can be shared with others easily.  Check it out!

If you have some on line tools you find very useful, please share them and we will check them out, and write about it as well!

Thanks, in advance, for sharing!

 

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