Category Archives: Communication

A Quick Thought on Blogs

Blogs don't have to be scary.

Blogs don’t have to be scary. They don’t have to be long or long-winded. They don’t have to lecture or be too nice. And blogs certainly don’t have to be time consuming.

Seth Godin writes about a blog a day. Most are about a paragraph long. And most of his blogs are good.

That’s the key to writing blogs. They just have to be good. They have to add value to someone’s life.

Oh, and they don’t have to be for everyone.

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Be There In Five

Be There In Five (1)

No you won’t. And we both know it. It’s not because I don’t trust you. It’s because I do the same thing. I’m running late and am embarrassed that I’m running late so I text you to let you know. I tell you I’m only five minutes away, when really, I’m easily eight minutes out. Why? Because I want to believe I’m not that late.

I hate being late. But I hate being a liar more. So now, I try to be honest or even exaggerate. If I know I’m going to be five minutes late, I say 15 minutes. If I’m going to be 10 minutes late, I say 20. More importantly, I apologize and ask for forgiveness. Their time is just as valuable.

Overstating how late I am  accomplishes two things. 1) I’m honest about running late and I give myself breathing room to get to the appointment. 2) If I’m earlier than I stated, it feels like a win.

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Tough Love

-You just aren't any good at this, Bob.- (3)

As a biz owner, you have to (or should) make tough choices. Like not assigning work to team members who have no business doing that work. Which doesn’t mean they aren’t a good fit for your team, or that they should be fired. It means you recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and you work accordingly. That conversation may require tough love. “I’m sorry, Bob, but this just isn’t your strength.”

The easy choice is to just keep assigning work to team members that shouldn’t be doing that work and then beating your head against the wall when that work stinks.

An ineffective team member may be more of an indication of ineffective team leadership.

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The Bait and Switch Follow on Twitter

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.07.53 PM

The bait and switch method on Twitter doesn’t build your brand, but it does do a great job of destroying your character.

Let’s define this for clarity. A Bait and Switch Follower is a person or brand that follows you on Twitter. However, once you follow back they unfollow you. The strategy here is to grow their own followers while keeping the accounts they follow at a smaller number. This would give the illusion that this person or brand is popular, as well as exclusive: they only follow back prestigious accounts.

If you’re a pastor, a blogger, a writer, a CEO or a general good person, this method is embarrassing. You aren’t building trust, brand equity, favor or loyalty, you’re just building followers. What’s more important to you, growing followers or growing your business?

I believe in reciprocity on Twitter. If someone follows me and I appreciate their content, I typically follow back. I then monitor my followers fairly closely with Commun.it. Using Commun.it allows me to see who continued to follow me after I followed them back.

There’s no fast way to the top when it comes to social media. Buying followers or likes, bait and switch following strategies, they are all fools gold. The only real way to grow your social channels is through quality content, real engagement, and a solid strategy for growing followers and likes.

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Why Does Tinderbox Exist?

Companies, heck even people, need a mission. Most companies and organizations operate from a mission statement, vision statement, or beliefs statement.

According to Wikipedia, a mission statement “is a statement of the purpose of a company, organization or person; its reason for existing; a written declaration of an organization’s core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over time.”Our mission statement follows a formula borrowed from Simon Sinek, often referred to as a WHY Statement. To create the WHY Statement, a paragraph is constructed using three elements: why an organization exists, how the organization does what it does, and what the organization does.

At Tinderbox Consulting, we believe we can serve God by serving others. We use a philosophy called the campsite rule, leave everyone in better shape than we found them. Much like you would a campsite after a weekend of camping. This is done by working diligently to serve our clients and put them in a better marketing position than when we found them. Creating a marketing plan is one thing. Executing said plan is quite another thing. This is how we operate. Create and execute marketing plans, and leave our clients in better shape than we found them.

Tinderbox WHY

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Don’t say sorry, apologize… then ask for forgiveness

There’s a difference between saying you’re sorry and asking someone to forgive you.

Years ago, my wife and I did the Growing Kids God’s Way curriculum. In it, the Ezzos talk about having your kids apologize when they get in trouble. Not only that, but the Ezzos recommend having your kids ask for forgiveness. According to the Ezzos, and later confirmed by me in practice, this repairs any damage done by the mistake.

Back when I selling advertising, I had an issue with a client. An agency. In fact, one of the largest agencies in town. I could’ve easily blamed the client, or found some other way to blameshift, but the responsibility was clearly mine. Instead of take the easy way out, I took the Ezzos’ advice and apologized to the client. I then asked for forgiveness. The client began trusting me more, despite my mistake.

Today’s world – with cell phones, social media, instant messaging, etc. – it’s easier than ever to be a flake. Don’t flake. You’re better than that.

Don't just say sorry

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How Etiquette and Manners Can Elevate You

In a world full of crassness, vulgarity, hyper-sexuality, insensitivity, bullying, criticalness and crudeness, how can you expect your tweets, posts, blogs, or other brand messages to stand out? As a marketer or small business owner with something to say, how can you make sure your voice is heard?

You could take a short cut via a crude joke, rude humor or by being intensely critical. Or, you could be polite, avoid swearing, and say thank you.

These (online) times are filled with overreactions, hyperbole and superlatives. One way to stand out is to be truly awesome and inspirational. It won’t be easy – read my blog and you’ll see I don’t always get it right- and it won’t happen overnight. As much as we’d all love to be an overnight success, that’s not really what we’re doing here, right? As marketers and small business owners, we’re looking for sustainability and credibility, for a model of doing things that ensures long term success.

 

Negatives Positives Computer Keys Showing Plus And Minus Alternatives Analysis And Decisions

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They say before you start a war…

…you better know what you’re fighting for.

When you correct someone’s grammar on twitter, what are you fighting for?

What are you fighting for when you slam a business on Facebook?

When you gossip or spread rumors (and I’m great at both), what’s your war?

Twitter

Actual tweet. Possibly starting a war.

Continue reading

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12 Degrees… (The Devil is in the Details)

I had a pretty awesome math teacher when I was in high school in Chewelah, WA. She made math accessible and… dare I say fun. This teacher was also known to host the occasional foreign exchange student.

One year, she was getting an exchange student from an Eastern European country. While this student was planning and packing, he called and asked my teacher about the weather. She promptly replied that it can get cold in our area, sometimes even down to 10-12 degrees during the winter.

A few weeks later the exchange student showed up. A few weeks after that winter showed up as well, along with the snow and cold. Inconveniently, the exchange student hadn’t brought anything warmer than a sweatshirt. Turns out, he was thinking 12° celsius, which is just about 50° fahrenheit, and definitely not 12° fahrenheit.

Neither of them thought to ask about the temperature conversion, or more importantly, whether the other person was thinking in terms of celsius or fahrenheit.

It’s important to occasionally ask yourself, “what am I saying, what do I think I’m saying, and what do people really think I’m saying?” Each question is different. As a brand or business, asking these questions should be routine.

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