Wendy Glavin, CEO & Founder, Wendy Glavin Agency
Most people have public and private personas which they portray based on their surroundings. Personas are about creating perceptions. Typical examples of those who maintain public identities include: politicians who use various facades to get voters, actors that play to become the characters, lawyers who must advocate for their clients, doctors who withhold personal feelings when speaking with patients, and others, like celebrities, writers, business people, public figures, and individuals.
Often, people don’t reveal their true selves because they want to be liked, fit-in, are afraid of taking risks, have unresolved issues from the past, are perfectionists, introverts, are anxious, insecure and have built-in defense mechanisms. But, research proves that when we merge our professional and personal individualities, it’s empowering and freeing.
“In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive, uncomfortable, even dangerous sometimes. Without question, putting ourselves out there invites a far greater risk of being criticized or feeling hurt,’ said Brene Brown, Ph.D., research professor at the University of Houston, visiting professor in management at the University of Texas, and author of five New York Times bestsellers, including Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
She explains, “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives, and that nothing is as dangerous, uncomfortable, or hurtful as standing on the outside looking in and what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena.”
A Transformative Period
I don’t want to share news about the novel coronavirus since people are inundated with daily articles and broadcasts. Since we can’t control our external environment, we need to control what we can, and focus on managing our thoughts, feelings, emotions and reactions. As business leaders, how are you helping people stay motivated, connected and valued?
Before this crisis, PwC research showed that 59 percent of global consumers surveyed felt companies had lost touch with the human element of customer experience, and 75 percent of the customers surveyed preferred to interact with a human versus an automated machine.
As a result, what customers care about most right now might be changing. Brands with the best price, coolest product, or most memorable marketing campaign might not have an advantage compared with those that exhibit emotional intelligence and communicate with care, honesty, and empathy, and build trust as a result. – World Economic Forum, April 2020.
Focus on The Other Person’s Feelings
Throughout the last several months, I have been checking on people regularly and others are doing the same with me. Daily, I receive cold calls, emails and invites from salespeople on LinkedIn. Typically, it’s to build their network or try and sell their products and services.
Before reaching out to prospects, do research on the individual and their company. Effective marketers identify their target audiences, specific needs (or “pain points”), tailor their messaging to reach the right person, at the right time, and in the right way.
In 2013, Gary Vaynerchuk , authored “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.” His lessons are particularly valuable today. He said, “Thanks to massive change and proliferation in social media platforms, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. While communication is still key, context matters more than ever.
It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices—content tailor-made for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.” We need to do the same with Twitter and LinkedIn.
Keep in-mind that people are being bombarded with messages, content, Zoom calls, Skype calls, virtual meetings, online classes, webinars, emails from pharmacies, doctors, companies, stores and more.
“The deluge of marketing emails that many Americans have been receiving has, meanwhile, become something of a running joke on social media. Less sensitive messages — like clothiers spinning quarantine as “the perfect opportunity to get dressed up” — have yielded reactions such as “made me want to set my laptop on fire.”
“Brands are really going to be judged for a long time by how they behave through this,” says Strother, who has been advising his clients, as an exercise in good morals and good PR, to take care of their employees first. If companies react in superficial ways, industry insiders say, they do so at their own peril.” — Time, April 2020.
Instead of Working Behind the Scenes, Show-Up
Most of us are worried about our job security and money. While others, like entrepreneurs, boutique marcom agencies, and small-businesses are scared about the ability to make money and get clients. Others are finding new ways to operate.
Take Simon Sinek, world-renown speaker, trained ethnographer, a bestselling author of Start With Why, among others is best known for popularizing the concept of WHY in his Ted Talk in 2009, one of the most watched talks of all time on Ted.com. In March, he did a video called, “These Are Not Unpresented Times.” In it, he speaks about reinvention, and the need to change and having infinite mindset. He said, “How do I put myself out there when I don’t have a stage? This is entirely new for me. I’m not worried about what I do, but why do I do it? If I have to, I’ll make a job.”
How Can We Do What We Do Differently?
Another person who stands-out because of his mission is Brian Schulman. In my 30-years of working, I rarely meet people who are so upbeat, helpful and caring; particularly in these times of crisis. Known as the Godfather of LinkedIn Video and one of the world’s top video marketing experts, Brian is a Forbes Featured Entrepreneur, LinkedIn Top Voice and the Founder & CEO of Voice Your Vibe. Named a 2019 LinkedIn Video Creator of the Year, Brian is one of the pioneering Top LinkedIn Video and LinkedInLIVE Creators in the world, and is a sought-after international speaker.
Brian teaches Founders and C-Suite executives who don’t know how to find their voice, how to voice their vibe, attract their tribe, and tell a story that people will fall in-love with on LinkedIn, through video.
I met Brian last year at the largest global LinkedIn industry event in history, where he spoke. We stayed in-touch and several months ago, I came across Brian’s LinkedIn Live Video, #ShoutOutSaturday #VoiceYourVibe #inittogether. The event was positive, upbeat, fun, and inspiring. I called Brian to understand more about what he does and why?
We spoke on Facetime and Brian encouraged me to do live-streaming. I told him that I didn’t want to be promotional; I’m working from my bedroom with two of my three grown boys at-home. I feel like I’m in a frat house. Brian said, we are all sheltered-in-place dealing with the unknown and everyone can relate.
Seeing him with his baseball cap was relatable and engaging. I said, maybe I’ll do a video wearing a baseball cap. Since my colleagues, friends and clients have never seen me in this casual way, it will make people laugh. I took Brian’s suggestions, put on a baseball hat backwards, and said, “Welcome to Glavin’s frat house.”
As the weeks went by, I started participating in Brian’s weekly #WhatsGoodWednesday and #ShoutOutSaturday shows on LinkedIn, which was a beacon for me. Thousands of people worldwide join and give shoutouts to people they’re grateful for and who inspires them.
When Brian kept hearing about social distancing, he tried to think about how he could bring people together, with a more positive and fun atmosphere. As a result, since Covid-19, Brian created #socialdisDANCING for participants to dance virtually along with Brian and his crew each Saturday. Interestingly, people, like me, walk away feeling better.
During his show, Brian does an incredible job of multitasking, thanking everyone, sending positive vibes, emojis, and expresses words of gratitude to everyone. It’s an incredible feat to manage a live show while speaking, dancing, and making people happy.
I want to be clear. Creating that one video of me was hard. Like many other marketers and communications people, we work behind the scenes to advocate for our clients. Many of us find it’s difficult to advocate for ourselves.
What I learned from Brian and his shows is although he puts himself out there, it’s always about the other person and never about him. This is an important lesson. Despite what you do for a living, now, more than ever, we need to help others by showing up, speaking up, sharing joy, appreciation, compassion and love. It doesn’t all have to be about making money.
A Time of Opportunity
I chose to move beyond my comfort zone and create a live video of me on Facebook Live. Then, I shared it on Instagram and LinkedIn. You can easily do the same to get you started and eventually, become a LinkedIn Live Video Creator.
We all have different stories to share. Practicing and becoming more proficient will help you build a framework for video creation. In a time where digital is the only way most businesses can show up, you need to be seen and heard.
With 675 million business professionals on LinkedIn (up from 660M in Nov 2019 as reported by LinkedIn – adding 15 Million in just three months), 250 million “active” users, and 1 percent creating content, LinkedIn is a huge organic and underused platform.
Recently, Hubspot did a study that explained, 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from brands and businesses they support. Further, it’s predicted that video will account for 70 percent of all mobile traffic by 2021.
Brian said, “It’s the heart of it all that matters. I believe the growth of video as part of a brand’s heart-centered content marketing strategy will continue to increase, with a concentration on LinkedIn. In 2020 LinkedInLIVE will come out of BETA. I predict more and more businesses will find their voices, voice their vibe, and attract their tribes by including live and native video in their marketing strategies on LinkedIn.”
Instead of sharing and posting passively on LinkedIn, here are some tips to become a top LinkedIn Video Creator:
- Show up and be human
- Engage and support others
- Build a community and shine your light on others
- Start creating video content
- Be consistent
- Collaborate with others
All of us have a story to tell and a voice that can positively impact and inspire others.
Talk about what you’re interested in, what you’re excited about, your passions and interests. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you’re uncomfortable (if you are) when you create your first video. With anything, the more you practice the easier it will be.
Always remember, “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” — Jay Danzie
About the Author: Wendy Glavin is Founder and CEO of Wendy GlavinAgency; specializing in marketing, executive writing, PR and social media advisory. Based in NYC, Wendy is a 30-year veteran of corporate, agency, consulting and small business ownership. Her monthly technology columnist for Equities.com is “Glavin‘s Tech Talk.” and a featured contributor at CommPRO. Wendy‘s Linkedin Group is Tech Talk: “From Newbies to Savvy.” Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.