Monday, March 29, 2010

The "Help Me, Help You" Concept

A colleague of mine recently posted this video on his you tube page.

The basic idea of this is to connect with his clients and ask them what they want. It is the “help me to help you” motto. It really got me wondering why we don’t do this more often?

I spend at least an hour a week (usually more) in meetings or conference calls around what our clients want. We look at statistics, what typically works well and often simply speculate at what it is our clients want. Very rarely do we take a moment to simply ask them directly.

I am not going to write on and on – as I think we all understand what I am saying here.

I am curious to know though - What do you think of this video? Should we be asking clients directly what they want?  As a client, is this helpful to do or frustrating for you?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Company Culture - What's Your Vote?

“No matter what your business, the only way to generate enduring profits is to begin by building the kind of workplace that attracts, focuses, and keeps talented employees.” - From The Service Profit Chain, by James Heskett, W. Earl Sasser & Leonard Schlesinger

I have a close friend who has recently been going through the “ups” and “downs” of job hunting. Through out her journey we have chatted around each interview she had, the type of companies, what the people were like, what did the company do, etc… One topic that continued to surface around each potential job was the culture of the company. At the end of the day, weather or not it was a good job, paid well and had great hours – it needed to be the right cultural fit for her.

This may seem obvious to those of you reading this, but to me – I was reminded of just how amazing the culture at my company is. I feel that often we can all take for granted to culture of the companies we work for. We get bogged down with the daily issues, and forget just how great things really are.

What is corporate or company culture? When I began to examine what made up the culture in a company, I came up with the following list; values, leadership style, internal language, procedures, routines, the definition of success. This obviously creates a wide variety of cultures that can surface from company to company. Not every company has a culture that is the right fit for me, but my company may not be the right fit for many people either.

I believe that the “norms” for any company define how the employee’s interact with each other and with outside clients or vendors. The culture of a company has the potential to lend a “human” side to the corporate environment. For example, at the company I work for Eagle’s Flight, it is the norm to take a 2 hour break once a month and participate in a company wide “fun” event. This is a time for all of us to get together, no matter how busy the past month may have been, and just have a little fun! We get to know each other outside of our roles in the company and see who everyone is as themselves.

At work I am allowed to have a goofy gadget on my desk to entertain not only myself, but those I work with. I have learned that work can be fun while still being productive. I would argue that we are MORE productive because of our fun and relaxed environment. We have an entire stair well dedicated to the signatures of everyone who walks into it. Not a typical corporate office, but it is FUN and we all LOVE IT! (I have put pictures below to show you just what I mean).

Every employee at Eagle’s Flight is focused on the common goal of making the company better, faster, top of our field, etc… We pride ourselves in being “The Best at Making People Better”. This is not a goal forced upon anyone, but something that each employee believes in. Because of our culture we are a team – and no one wants to let their team mates down. Because of our culture we have a stronger drive to achieve our common goal.

I would love to hear your thoughts on your company culture, on company culture in general, or just on this entry. Leave a note below!

Until next time,


p.s. here is a short video clip focused on our company culture here at Eagle’s Flight. Take a look!

Enjoy a few pictures of our Eagle's Flight culture in action!

<- My husband and I got Whip Cream in the face at last year's all company summer bbq lunch!
<- one day my team decided to each wear a differant costume from each of our Eagle's Fligth programs... just for FUN!
< - sometimes you need to let stress out! 
<- we go all out for Rock Band competitions at Eagle's Flight
<- Love to wear my Eagle slippers to a long day of work at Eagle's Flight
       < - parts of our signed walls in the stairwell 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Do you have to have face-to-face meetings to create real relationships (and eventually opportunities)?

Ahhhh relationship seems to be a trend for many this year. I am not talking about relationships in your personal life (although I will admit that making more time for my husband was a resolution this year for me). I am focusing on relationships within social media. I am shocked at the amount of people that don’t realize the relation ships they are building or destroying through their use of social media! This is a very important aspect to what you are doing with social media – so pay attention!

I recently had someone try and convince me (in regards to business) that … “Unless you meet someone face to face, they don’t care to remember you no matter how often you converse online. Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Linked In, they are all a waste of time and energy. Everyone likes the face to face meeting!” I have to admit that at first I was slightly taken aback… how could anyone think social media was a waste of time (perhaps I am slightly addicted and took this far more personally than I should have, but still)?! I started looking them over and taking mental note:

- Young – so the issue isn’t a generational gap

- On all social media sites frequently – obviously not an issue of not knowing how to use them

- Engaged and has many friends – can’t be a fear of connecting with others

- Reads my blog – must know my thoughts and can read why it works and how

I was lost – how on earth could someone that I would profile as being the ideal user of social media for business be standing here telling me it is all a waste of time!? Then it hit me, this person is the youngest employee at a firm of people at least 20 years their senior… BINGO!

“Is that what your boss told you? Because I know you used it all the time at your old job and you use social media every day for your social life.” I pointedly asked my question and I was right. It seems that my dear friend had been told by their employer that relationships in business can not be made using social media and that phone calls weren’t enough either. It has to be a face to face meeting to have a relationship – end of story.

Now I am not suggesting that everyone who is “older” (please define for yourself what age “older” should be) are against the use of social media. I have met many individuals whom are extremely knowledgeable in the area and I would consider them “older”. I am also not suggesting that those of you reading this (and it applies to) tell your older bosses who dis-regard the value in social media to jump off a bridge (unless you are looking for a reason to change jobs?)… but I will say that when you partner Social Media with the phone calls and face to face meetings, you can create double the opportunities.

It brings me to my question - Do you have to have face-to-face meetings to create real relationships (and eventually opportunities)? I have been lucky enough to experience both ends of the spectrum (and many in between). I have been successful and sold to individuals whom I have only connected with on Linked In and I have sold to people who I have called, chatted with and met face to face. In my opinion it is about the person you are connecting with, not the right or wrong way to do it!

Let me explain – imagine for a moment that my friend’s boss never received a phone call or another meeting invitation. Those trying to reach him would not be successful and ultimately lose out. Now, same goes for those who rely solely on the internet as a way to connect. There needs to be a marriage of the 2 in order to make it successful. The secret to success is finding the right balance for your clients and business… there is no secret formula to it (I will continue to look though, and if I find it I will send it along).

I recently asked a wide age range of my clients their thoughts and there was no rhyme or reason to the answers. Some like e-mails and LinkedIn, others liked meetings and snail mail… some liked it all.

At the end of the day only you know your business and purpose for using social media. Perhaps for my friend, in his company, social media does not yet have a place (although I still think they are missing opportunities by shunning it), but who knows…

Until next time –


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Twitter – Are there really any golden rules you should follow?

I have read so many articles on the “how to’s” of twitter. Authors who feel they have found the golden rules when it comes to the Twitter world. How to gain followers, how to tweet properly, how to un-follow others, how to make money from it, how to’s for everything Twitter! I am often asked if I know which “how to’s” are the right ones; are there really any golden rules for how to twitter successfully?

My thought is that a lot of people are jumping on the Twitter train hoping to make a quick dollar as a Twitter genius. Others have valid advice and just want to share it. No different than any new fad through out the years…

Many twitter advisors are right in the field that they are using twitter for. From my experience, I feel that there are a few things that should be followed when it comes to twitter. Everything else is personal preference. Twitter “how to’s” all depend on how you want to use it!

Here is my list of questions to help you identify why you are using Twitter and what will work best for you. Give them a read and I am positive that you will be twittering with a purpose in no time!

1 – Who do you want reading your tweets?

The answer to this simple question will help guide what you Tweet about. Here are a few common categories and some food for thought on what to write about:

• Is this something for your friends and family to keep them informed? If so, keep your tweets personal and interesting for those who love you most. Pictures of your daily life can be uploaded easily to your twitter through this site (
• Are you trying to sell a product? If this is your reason to tweet, make sure you are adding value to your readers. You never want to come across as sell, sell, sell… although; we do all need to make a living. Think of Twitter as a tool to keep you and your product “top of mind”, a daily reminder that you are still alive and kicking. And don’t forget to link your tweets back to what you are trying to sell. Twitter is not detailed enough to do the work for you.
• Do you want to become a Guru in your field and gain recognition? For this, you should always be adding value to those who follow you. Links to useful tips and tricks, current information on what you are an expert on, etc. Always be sure that your Tweets are correct, current and thought provoking. There are a lot of gurus out there – so you need to stand out!

2 – What are you interested in?

An easy question helps you to determine who to follow and who will follow you!

• Keep it interesting for you! If you are using twitter for something that you are not interested in, you will quickly lose purpose and focus. What fun is constantly sending updates to others on things that you yourself are not interested in? Being passionate about what you type will keep your tweets sincere and interesting to others.
• Follow people who interest you. They will likely want to follow you back for the same reason. There is no use in following people who are of no interest or value to you. What a waste of time to go through all those updates each day.
• Stay true to yourself, regardless of your reason to tweet… someone else is reading it. By this I mean, do not let the pressures of fads dictate what you write about and who you follow. When you follow those who do not interest you, it is like removing the spam blocker on your e-mail… all you get is junk!

3 – How often are you able / willing to tweet?

• Keeping constant with your tweets is important. Too often or not often enough, you need to be conscious of how often you want to tweet. There is such a thing as too much twitter! Those who are updating every moment of every day are often deleted. This is simply because their followers want to hear from others too! If you tweet too often you fill your follower’s pages with your updates and they get frustrated quickly!
• On the same note, if you don’t twitter often at all – you will likely also lose followers. We all often look through our follower lists and delete those whom we don’t know or are not of interest. Stay top of mind – be remembered so you aren’t deleted.
• Those who really follow you will check in during the times you normally post – so be sure and update what you have to say at the same frequency and time each day.

4 – Spell Check!

• No one likes tweets that are full of spelling errors. Yes, it is only 140 characters, but please be kind and read before you post! All too often simple spelling errors will take away your credibility and followers (do you really want to follow someone who can’t take a moment to spell check?!).

I believe that is enough of my twitter thoughts for now… Twitter seems to be continuously evolving and changing; so don’t doubt that I will be back again at some point on the twitter subject!

Enjoy your twitter account, have a blast with it and don’t forget to send me your twitter name so I can follow you and see what you have to say!!!



Feel free to connect with me in other ways too…

Twitter -  
Facebook -
Linked In -
You Tube -

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 - Happy New Year!

Happy New Years Everyone! I can not believe how quickly 2010 has come… time for resolutions, new beginnings and a unanimous feeling of fresh beginnings! Funny how a single stroke of midnight can cause such feelings in people across the world… regardless, I wish each of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I truly hope that 2010 is a wonderful year for all.

Now, onto my passion (and the reason for you to be reading this blog) – social media!!! It seems that I was quite busy in December and failed to update my blog… New Years resolution #1 – Write More!

As with most things in a year, your social media goals should be determined at the beginning! I am not saying that you need to make a detailed and permanent plan – but your goals, vision and actions for the next year should be some what pre determined (or so I think). As always, none of this is “the law”, simply my thoughts on what works best for me. So, here is my list of things to think on as you head into 2010.

1. What worked and did not work for you in 2009?

a. Seems obvious, but I often find that I too soon forget what went “wrong” and do it over and over and over. Something going “wrong” doesn’t mean that it blew up or cost you money. It can be as simple as not achieving the results you desired, or it took too much of your time, etc…

b. On the same note, I find that what went “right” often gets forgotten. Funny, as this is how we succeed… but I feel that sometimes we become content with where we are and not with what we are capable of achieving. Aim high! It is a new year!

2. What do you want to accomplish in 2010?

a. Something as small as acquiring 10 new qualified Linked-In contacts this year or as ambitious as becoming the #1 in your field. Keep this goal top of mind in everything you do!

3. What new Social Media outlets would you like to try (or not) this year?

a. Many people are content with the outlets they are using… and that is GREAT! At the same time I know (first hand) that there are so many social media outlets available it can become overwhelming. You either try too many at once to keep up, or avoid using any at all…

b. Perhaps you would rather consider how you are going to juggle the social media you are currently using? Using a Blackberry or IPhone more? Pre-writing articles, updates, etc…

c. Like many people I have spoken to, you may even decide that in 2010 you are going to stop using some outlets for social media. Regardless of what you decide… it is the thought that is important. Remember that your social media presence is your face on the internet. Make it true to who you are and how you want to be seen!

Well, there are my 3 main thoughts as we venture together into 2010. I know that there are always a zillion more things that can be added to each topic I write about. Please feel free to put your thoughts here as well… I know others will appreciate it as much as I do!

I am always learning something new… Resolution #2 – stay humble and never stop allowing yourself to learn!

- Rebekah