The second edition, with Dan and Jade. Enjoy and thanks for the great support on part one.
Answer this key question, and you unlock the potential for your blog to lead you to your dream life. Novus Asia’s Andrea Edwards, Daniel Seifert and Jade Alphonsine Tuan discuss the concept that finding your core reason for blogging can help you achieve your dream life.
Recently we kicked off a discussion between Jade Alphonsine Tuan, a Novus Asia client services manager, and Andrea Edwards, our director of content marketing and training. (Check it out here — and get ready to mediate for 60 seconds.)
Jade is looking to start a blog, but is unsure where to start. Andrea will guide her — and all you other would-be bloggers out there — through the process. They are joined by assistant editor Daniel Seifert.
Andrea: So Jade, last session you mentioned that your goal in life is to lift people up, empower them and help them see their own light. So the next point is your whys; which is also really critical. Why do you want to do this? There are so many reasons, as we can see from a presentation slide I recently delivered on becoming a blogger and influencer. Your why commits you to action. It’s the reason you’ll blog and get active on social media every day, so it’s critical.
Me? I want to change the world. I believe that social media has the ability to lift business into a new place – a better place – but it can also lift humanity up to the next level of consciousness. This means all of humanity is better off. That’s what drives me. That’s my core why. Also getting companies to tell better stories is part of that.
So, think of it in that context when you blog. Focus on your why. Jade, Dan; you are both young in your careers. So this can support your ambitions. If your ultimate goal is to do something in the wellness space, blogging can get you on that journey.
Jade: How so?
A: Look at your personal brand as a tool for your future, whatever that future looks like. Use it to create the career and life you want. As an example, a fabulous lady, Nicci McShane, who currently works at RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) attended a recent personal branding session I ran. Nicci is awesome and her dream is to go to New York. She doesn’t know how she will get there, but her ambition is massive and I absolutely believe she will achieve her goal. However, one action she is taking is focusing on building a personal brand that will help her achieve her dream. Personal branding really is that powerful and I think most people miss this bit.
Your personal brand is your tool to build the future you want.
J: Let’s say I don’t have enough time to blog regularly. How do I fill in the gaps?
A: A big part is identifying content online that speaks to your voice. Because you can’t just share your own content if you want to have a strong, regular presence on social media. You just don’t have that time. So where do you find great thought leadership or news that maps to your story? What are those sites for you? Identify them, subscribe to their emails, check them regularly.
Find a combination of sources to whom you are loyal. Create a folder in your email to file that content. And on the weekend, sort through them. Schedule them on an automated social media platform, like Hootsuite [a platform that lets you pre-schedule social posts] so you can push stuff out regularly.
Daniel: And with each link you share you’re adding your opinion, right?
A: Right. It is a completely waster opportunity to just share content other people are creating without adding your opinion. Tell people why you are sharing it. Tell them why the content touched you or changed how you think. It is a missed opportunity when you don’t add your opinion, and trust me, more people will value your shares if you do this. For anyone sharing links without an opinion, I do not click on what they share. I’ve got too many choices today; I want people to guide me to the best stuff. If I respect the person sharing, they become valuable to me.
But equally, always be kind. There are enough trolls out there and I really believe that we don’t need to be arses. So I suggest that you never criticise anyone. You can disagree, but always do it respectfully. It’s really important to give commenters a space to open up a discussion, because having conversations is what it’s all about. Some people argue a point and stick to it. That’s not a conversation and it’s boring. Definitely respond to people commenting, but if they’re not having a conversation, just shut it down within 3-4 comments. You can’t change people’s minds on social media if they don’t want to go there. And don’t forget the giving economy.
J: What’s the giving economy?
A: It’s the idea that you share and help your community. When I link to something you have done, I give you access to my followers, so there’s a greater chance people will read your content – especially if they trust and value what I share. Personal branding is about lifting people up, helping them be successful. Because when your turn comes, that’s when people return the favour. If you can focus more on the giving than the getting, you’ll be awesome, because your community with value and appreciate you.Here’s a quick breakdown, eight actions to successful blogging. What do you stand for? Really be clear on that. That should be the summary in your Linkedin profile too, what you came up with. Number two: make a commitment. Don’t be random, be regular with your uploads. Be consistent. And make sure whatever you’re doing on social media you’re taking advantage of visuals: “No eggs” means, avoid the blank egg template you get when you don’t input a profile photo in Twitter. There is no excuse for not having a photo.
Point four is as we discussed above – don’t ever just share content. Always always add your opinion. As readers scan through LinkedIn, if 15 bloggers share a link and but only one tells me why to read it, you always gravitate to that one. It’s natural.
A: The basic rule is: it’s not about you. It’s about the value you are delivering. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes. If you want to lift people up, Jade, focus on that. Everything you share becomes about that. You’ll be known for that. People will tell you, “I really like what you shared about meditation, it really helped me.” And you’ll be thinking, “Now I’m achieving what I want to achieve.”
Just be sure to work out your own voice. Somebody once asked me to ghost write for them in the style of Seth Godin. I was like — what? Why would you want to sound like him? The reason he’s successful is that’s his voice. It’s him – 100 percent authentically him. Writing like him isn’t going to achieve the same thing. So I really encourage you to leverage your own voice. Be you. Be authentic. Don’t be scared because fear is useless. Just get started.
J: So how can I discover what my voice actually is?
D: I think that idea of just starting, getting words on keyboard, is how you discover that voice, sentence by sentence. As you start to write your preferred word choices and the phrases that flow naturally, it will help you discover what tone you want to own. Do you want to be sassy? Serious? Heartfelt?
A: At the end of the day, just believe in yourself. That’s the toughest battle. And start. Start writing. Practise writing. Make mistakes. Pick yourself up and keep going. If you attach the process to personal goals it will be more powerful and you’ll be successful at it. Blogging is hard. It takes commitment. If you attach meaning to it it’s not a chore. That’s why I focus on that so much.
J: Thanks guys. Watch this space: I’ll have a think and write my first blog soon!
That was fun. Thanks Dan and Jade.
You can read more Novus Asia blogs here.
PS: if you like this, I’d love a comment, a discussion or share your favorite weekend activity? Why not! Of course, please also feel free to share with your communities. That’s what this is all about today – sharing and giving to each other. If you like my style and what I talk about, feel free to follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter or on Facebook. Thanks for reading.