The Two Faces of Your Facebook Feed

drunkFB

לחצו פה להסבר על תרגום לעברית.

I have written before about curating your Facebook feed, meaning designing your feed such that it has the maximum entertainment and positive influence on your personal and professional life. You can read that article here. 

Today, let’s talk about managing how you appear to others looking at your page. What kind of feed are they getting from YOU?

Avoid the Unfriend Zone!  

The fact is, that most of us are on Facebook. You might have a personal page and a business page. Or, in some cases, the two might blend, somewhat.  The kind of Facebooker I am speaking about today, is the page that is a blend. That’s what I do too.

Say you are a consultant or you work at a company that is fluid, meaning you network and keep yourself mobile and available for other opportunities within your field. You don’t need a Facebook page to push a BUSINESS per se – you ARE the business.  Here’s four tips and explanations of them:

Tips for Targeting Your Facebook Feed

  1. Create categories for “close friends” and “acquaintances”. Create categories that are as specific as you want. (go to your page, click on friends, next to each friend a category will appear. click on the category, scroll to the bottom and click on “new list”.)
  2. Every time you post, choose the category or categories that can see the post. Every. Time.
  3. NEVER post rants about sensitive, polarizing subjects.
  4. Refrain from too many “selfies”, by all means. Even if they are business related. It doesn’t reflect well unless you are a teenager. That doesn’t mean NONE, just watch the ratio there.

Categories and Posting

Make sure you categorize your FB friends minimally into “close friends” or “acquaintances”. If you take the time – and I know it’s really a bitch after the fact – you can create even more categories so that your business peers are in a category of their own. So that, in other words, you don’t post pictures of your weekend family picnic to your business peers, and that you don’t post (necessarily) what a great business conference you went to to your close friends.

This means you need to slow down when you post and check the box for which group of people you are posting and subsequently will see what you are posting.

Be Careful What You Post

It goes without saying that posting pictures of you drunk at a bar is not a great idea, or that posting rants about politics, religious or other sensitive topics is a very good idea either. Stuff on the internet lives for a VERY long time.

Clean Up Your Facebook Categories and Think Through Your Usage and Why

If you are a business unto yourself – and more and more of us are these days – make sure your Facebook feed is one that you have curated carefully.

Personally, I have three pages – my personal page, which by default has a lot of business peers on it because I didn’t take the time, way back, to set up another page – my business page, Stories Without Borders, which is for writers, filmmakers, start up, high tech and other creative types in business and a page for the Tel Aviv Writer’s Salon, which as you can imagine is quite focused.

I am in the process of migrating business and professional contacts that are on my personal page toward my other pages. I am newly getting into the habit of not accepting every friend request on my personal page – which is how I wound up with over 2,000 FB “friends” the vast majority of which I do not know at all.

Because I was not careful to curate my pages in the past, it is taking some time to clean that up so that only select people see what I want the to see. Sure, like you, I post hilarious pictures of my cats doing stupid things.  I’m human. And I post a lot of articles from The Atlantic about social issues and politics. That interests me. But sometimes I want to post something about where I live – Israel – that will a) only interest Israelis and b) not subject me to a storm of political comments about Israel. I just want to ask a question or point something out that is specific to this place.

If you have a lot of Facebook friends, I know this can seem daunting but take an afternoon, or a couple of them, sporadically, and look at your list of friends. Unfriend those you truly never interact with. Categorize the others. Is this truly a FRIEND, or is this a nice person you met at a business Meet Up? Ask yourself, do you want this person to see the hilarious picture of your cats? Do you want the to see your selfie while you were on a roller coaster or at the beach? Maybe you do. But make that a conscious choice.

You may not want to maintain more than one page in which case you then must be extra diligent about creating and maintaining categories. And before you hit “post” make SURE you are posting to the right group. Look, if you post a picture of yourself at a family barbecue to a group of friends that are business friends, it’s not the end of the world. You ARE a human and more and more our personal and business lives do blend. But online you are curating an image and a reputation. Too many selflies, even in a business context, too many “life is great! be positive!” pictures with horses on a beach – and you will be taken far less seriously. Trust me on this. Create a category of friends who also love motivational pictures of waterfalls with nice quotes. That way you do not annoy those who are not into these things and are not written off completely.

It’s the same as anything else in life. You don’t invite a particular friend to go to the opera with you. No, that’s for your other friend, Dani. You don’t talk about UFOs with most people you work with – but you might with Shira, because you have lunch a lot and have become close. Same concept here.

 

 

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Public Speaking 101

Did you know that public speaking is the most common fear in the world? More than sharks, spiders and tsunamis combined? For most of us, the idea of standing up in front of a group of people and talking – about anything – is like a nightmare of epic proportions.

Some of us do it regularly – I know I do. And as you might think, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Well – not easier, per se, but more normal. It’s an odd feeling to have every eye on YOU and to know that for a set period of time, you must entertain, educate and in some way please a large number of total strangers.

speakingThe difference between someone accustomed to public speaking and someone who is not is that the nervousness you feel just before speaking gets translated into high energy while speaking – rather than nerves that ruin your ability to speak. Same nerves – different response to it.  Depends on why you are speaking. Maybe it’s at a wedding, or maybe it’s a business meeting and you have a lot on the line.

Having a lot on the line can actually really make the nerves worse.

Here’s what I do:

I focus on about three or four parts of the room and move back and forth between them. If I have a friend listening and I know that, I avoid looking at them.

I remind myself that I am very good at what I do and what I know and that talking about it is no different.

I remind myself that the people at the talk or conference WANT to hear what I have to say. They are interested. They signed up. I’m already ahead of the game.

I do not practice.

But I do watch the time.

I have prepared more to talk about or do than the time allotted – just in case.

I leave time for pauses, for questions, for interactivity.

I talk to people the way I enjoy being talked to. Personally, entertainingly.

If I make a mistake or an error – I acknowledge it and keep going. I am human. Because am I relaxed about this possibility, I rarely make mistakes.

I write out bullet points only on index cards and use them as my notes. Simply writing them down is practice enough. I know my stuff.

I speak the same way to six people as I do to 1,000 people. It makes no difference, in actuality.

I love speaking and teaching. If it were torture for me, I wouldn’t do it.

If you find yourself in a situation where you HAVE to speak publicly and yet you’ve never done it or really fear it – there are some steps you can take (many of which are listed above) and I am available to coach you through your event. 

speakingHere are a few more tips:

Don’t memorize what you have to say – it will sound memorized.

Use notes as jumping off or talking points.

Don’t try to take in the whole room, narrow your focus.

Relax, you were asked to speak because you have something to say.

And some more tips about avoiding “ums” and “uhs”. 

 

 

 

 

The Difference Between What We Say and What We Mean

For Israelis in business, Americans can be very confusing. We seem to indicate one thing with our words and another with our followup.

This confusion is tripled when the communication is written. Because now the body language and intonations are missing altogether, which is very problematic when you are already dealing with cultural differences. miscom

For example, if an American says “I know you are busy”, it really translates to – why haven’t you gotten back to me?

Would you have guessed that? Maybe or maybe not.

Look, Americans value being very polite. We often couch what we are saying in order to get the best result. Rather than actually SAYING “you are busy, you never get back to me!” we just politely acknowledge that yes you are busy. But we mean something else. We want to hear back from you.

Here is a list that is meant to be humorous but that is actually very accurate, of things Americans might say in email correspondence – and what they really mean.

 

6 Things Hollywood Can Teach Start Up Nation

We talked about the lessons that Start Up Nation has for Hollywood but it definitely works both ways.  Tinsel Town has some lessons for just about everybody, in fact. It is a great place to really practice the art of persistence.

tc

It’s not personal. Your story, your idea, ergo your pitch, your innovation, yeah it’s great? But whether or not somebody else likes it is not personal. It simply the case that being on the receiving end of new ideas gets old. Your idea is not as new as you think. Trust me on this. So – don’t take it personally.

Show me the money. Show me the money, show me the money, show me the money. This is what you are after in your meeting. Show. Me. The. Money. Nothing short of that is a deal or a promise or even a hope. Be mercenary.

Give the people what they want. If this doesn’t make sense to you, you are in the wrong business – whether it’s the business of show, or the business of SELL. What do people WANT to see at the theater? What do people NEED in their lives? If you fancy yourself in any way above this way of looking at it, especially in your earlier, hungrier years – you are in the wrong business.

People want the same but different. Audiences love action films, as one example. They love them. So give them an action picture. With everything they expect – but with different details. If there’s already an app for texting? Give them another app for texting – that is different. 

But – do not be ordinary. Steve Jobs gave the people what they wanted but he was far from ordinary. He raised the bar on personal computing – forever. Do not settle for being average. Understand average and then raise the bar for yourself.

No is a beautiful thing. Why? Because it makes you more determined to do even better. If “no” makes you quit? You were not cut out for a competitive business in the first place. Make every “no” count. Use it to make you stronger, smarter, more inventive, more determined. You only need one “yes”.

 

How to Save Your Meeting

You read Your Meeting Isn’t About You – you did everything right, yet at some point during a meeting, you can tell that your listener has tuned out.

attentMostly, it was the body language. Your listener’s eyes drifted to the window. To his or her watch or smartphone. To the wall. Not on you.

It might have also been a tone of voice that changed. A flatter tone, less enthusiastic, some “uh huhs” in there.

Whatever it is, you have the gut feeling – and you are right – that your listener is just putting in time until the meeting is over.  It’s not a very good feeling.

Can you save this meeting? Maybe.

But not trying is not an option, right? You have a lot riding on this meeting. It was not easy to get. It could open doors for you.

One of two things is happening here, in this suddenly not-so-great meeting. Either a) your story, app, business idea is just not a match for the listener and his or her company or b) it could be but you’re not pitching it very well.

Without knowing, exactly, which is the case, your only option is to try to save the meeting and go for a successful outcome.

Here are a few things you can do to try to get the listener to engage once again with you and with what you are saying.

  • Shift back to the sexy meta description – the big picture.

It could be that you’re gotten down in the weeds too quickly and stayed there too long. Details are not particularly interesting to listen to anyway, so try picking up your pace and returning to the major bullet points only. Leave the details for later.

Say this doesn’t work either. The attention is just not coming back. So here’s your next option:

  • Stop talking.

Crazy, right? But no, just stop talking for a second. Then ask – do you have any questions about (something specific)? Or – is this a good time for this meeting? I know you are very busy, we can reschedule if that’s better for you. Engage your listener directly and get them to input – give them the opportunity to ask a question that might be the source of their attention drift – or to be honest and say “this is not for us”. Recently a start up friend of mine was pitching at an accelerator. Several of the listeners were texting. My friend labored on anyway, humiliated and unsure of what to do. I say – call them on it. “Is this a good time?” Get them to either say no, it’s not and reschedule OR to say look, yeah, this is not for us. To which you then…

  • Ask your listener to do some talking.

Meaning – ask them – so what is it you are looking for, exactly? Oh you already have an app or a script or an innovation similar to this one? That’s funny because MY pitch is BETTER and here’s why. This requires some thinking on your feet. But really, you already know your pitch inside and out – and you are sitting in this meeting which tells me you’ve already had the passion and the commitment to get to this point, so I have to believe that you really do believe YOUR pitch IS better than others, no? And I know you’ve done your homework – you are aware of other similar story ideas or innovations. So you know the difference between your pitch and another one. This is the time to trot those differences out. Now.

Do not go easily into the night. But don’t be a rude freak either. If your listener leaves you an opening – any opening – take it. Grab an opportunity to keep pitching and to tailor that continuation to the reason (if you got it out of them) that your listener began to tune out. If your listener is emphatically done with the meeting, thank them politely with a big smile and make your exit gracefully. Don’t let them waste anymore of your time.

That’s right – YOUR time. Because you’ve got stuff to do. You’re going to get out of there and go over your meeting and try to rethink what didn’t go so well. You’ll do some tweaking, get some advice and go right back to lining up more meetings.