On this Father's Day, I have been thinking about my late father, David Hamilton a lot and, along with my Mom, how their raising me and my brothers made us who we are...good men and great dads in our own rights.
Dad had a high school education and though not overly academically savvy, he was extremely sharp with common sense and drive to learn and succeed.
His professional life consisted of starting as a shift fireman when I was a newborn and worked hard and learning on the job the nuances and technical aspects of how to be a good firefighter and, over time moving through the ranks to ultimately attain the rank of Deputy Chief in our city, where he held that position for nearly twenty years before retiring into a lesser stressful position in another city department.
While a fireman, to help supplement income he started and ran a successful painting business and also won a county council seat, which he held for four terms.
In addition to his work life he took the time to either assist or serve as head coach for the basketball, baseball and football teams that my three brothers and I participated in (there were many). All the while, he was easily a good model loving husband to my mother.
To this day, my three brothers and I are all business owners who have had success and he left an incredible legacy for his family when he passed in 2012.
I have been thinking about how much of an impact he has had on me and how much of me being a good father to my two kids and strong, loving husband to my wife is due to his watching him in action.
On top of that, my success in business, in particular in marketing and sales has also come from many lessons I learned from him...many of which I had no idea I was learning as I grew and matured over time.
Not really an eye-opening concept. If you approach your day trying to be that way and making it a priority and making it genuine, it allows you to be exposed to more opportunities. The saying 'you get more with sugar than with vinegar' comes into play here.
I fully believe the people I come into contact with daily and weekly, appreciate that.
Treat Others as they are the Most Important Person in the Room
Paying close attention to the one you are meeting or consulting with, smiling, not getting distracted with smart phones, making eye contact while conversing...all important in making someone feel important...it goes right along with the next point.
My Dad always believed that people had two ears and one mouth for a reason. I believe the same way. In sales, you have to understand that a lot of your success can be predicated on how much you key in on whom you are dealing with, asking good questions and LISTENING to their responses. Your prospect will undoubtedly feel important and know that you are there to help solve their problem.
Make it a priority to get out and meet people. My Dad had this down to a science...he belonged to numerous social organizations, he was a politician who believed in working both sides of the aisle, a coach of many sports teams who got to know a lot of kids and their parents. I fully understand that concept. I have tried to pattern myself in a similar way and now also try and expand that beyond the grassroots level with social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others.
Hard work and persistence
Never saw a person work so hard as my Pop! I feel like putting my nose to the grindstone has helped me achieve some nice things in business and life so far and I am far from done. My work ethic is very strong and I am going to keep hitting it hard. I also feel like, if you enjoy what you do and stay persistent with the goals within, success follows right along. I love helping business owners with problems!
Master your craft
Dad was not going to be limited by having just a high school diploma. His work ethic and ability to network was stellar, but he also mastered the crafts/jobs he did. Dad took classes and numerous training modules on the fire department and his administrators took notice of that when he was promoted.
He started a painting business to make extra money and became a very skilled painter in our community and his ability to network and make friends allowed him the chance to serve our community on council for sixteen years and continued to learn the nuances of his position while in office.
Today's world allows me to learn constantly about sales, marketing and general business by using newsletters, blogs, webinars, as well as attending meetings and continuing education to get better and better at what I do.
There were many other life lessons I picked up from my Dad that I use regularly, but I'll stop there. The appreciation, respect and love I have for him has grown more and more after his passing more than three years ago and I thank him for teaching me so much. I am a lucky man!
What lessons did your Fathers teach you, either knowingly or unknowingly?
Comment to let me know.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL!
I was browsing the web this morning and while looking for some information on Nonprofit advertising, I came across a wonderful source I wanted to share.
Virtually all Nonprofits that I encounter locally face the never-ending challenge of where to get funding for not only their marketing efforts, but most all of their programming.
At our radio stations in Bloomington, Indiana we offer Nonprofits a buy one, get one free rate to give them a chance to increase the frequency of their message during a campaign. The folks at Google have a killer program that allows for an organization to make a big splash online.
Google Ad Grants is a $10,000 in-kind AdWords advertising grant given every month to Nonprofits for free advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google search results pages.
There are over 3 million searches performed on Google every day, so there’s a great opportunity to capture donor traffic with this extra exposure opportunity.
If you are a Nonprofit looking for increased online exposure for you messages, it behooves you to look into this. Click on the link below to apply or learn more and view their online guide.
New Year's resolutions.
Most people make them at the beginning of a new year. Many aren't able to follow through with them.
I was pondering my own resolutions this past week...I want to lose weight (15 pounds) this year, I want to be an even better husband and dad, be less stressed. Those are attainable. The first one has a number attached to it, so it's measurable; the other two, well, I will have to put in some practices and habits to allow those to happen and my family and my blood pressure will tell me how I am doing with those.
I was also thinking about how I can resolve to be a more successful businessperson and networker this year. Success can be measured. too, in many different ways. For instance, increase in sales (10% would be nice), in my retention of business (keeping it at more than 85%), in how my sales team increases their sales under my leadership (looking at and measuring the data on reports), etc.
In addition, I thought of some resolutions in regards to my LinkedIn profile on how I can improve it, make it stronger and more useful for me and more attractive to others as I try and grow my network and sales numbers. Maybe some of these will look familiar to you:
Those were my resolutions for my LinkedIn profile for 2015. Do any of these ring true for you?
What are other ways making your profile stand out more by providing value, useful information and helpful content that make you a stronger networker and businessperson?
I recently became part of a local non-profit's Marketing and PR Committee. We had our first meeting last month and our committee members were each talking about what skills and experience we will be sharing to help with this non-profit's needs. One comment that was thrown out by another member was that she 'liked Social Media because it's free'.
My eyes opened a lot wider and ears perked up more. Really? Free? Hardly! It takes a lot of dedicated time, planning, creativity and analysis to make sure that social media efforts are implemented correctly for a business and the opportunity costs that are involved as a result...doesn't sound like free marketing to me!
That got me to thinking about some other myths about social media and social media marketing that I have seen or heard and felt compelled to write about a few of them here.
Myth: The more Likes or Fans a Facebook page has, the more successful it is.
Not true! Just because a business' page has a lot of fans doesn't mean that business OR it's Facebook page is a successful one! Remarkable content and engagement are a lot more important in building AND keeping your Facebook fans.
Myth: If we don't put our company on social media, people won't say anything bad about us!
Yeah right! People share opinions all the time about most everything...including businesses and their products and services AND how they treat their prospective and current (and former) customers. People share opinions face-to-face, on smartphones and through cyberspace and are far more likely to share opinions about a bad experience.Whether your company has a social media presence or no, they'll talk.
Why would a company not want to hear those conversations and be able to quickly address them is beyond me.
Myth: People don't really care if a company has a social media page, so why bother?
According to the Cone Company, who have conducted numerous surveys regarding companies and Social Media. They have found that more than 59% of Americans use Social Media Websites to interact with companies. In addition, 56% of Social Media users feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a Social Media environment.
Again, why would a business not want to have the ability to interact and feel a connection with customers is beyond me.
Myth: Social media is just something teens and younger adults use
Wrong again! Though it's true that over 80% of teens and younger adults use social, according to the Pew Research Internet Project, as of January 1st of this year, 65% of adults ages 50-64, and 49% of adults ages 65+ are using social networking sites. Those numbers are up from 24% and 13% from five years ago.
There are many other myths about social media and social media marketing, but these are a few that I felt a need to write about here, as they are ones that I see or hear in conversation often. I would be interested to get your feedback on these or any other myths you have come across...just add a comment below.
Are you serious about using LinkedIn to its fullest potential? Or are you using it just because you were told it’s the thing to do by a colleague or friend, without really giving it much thought or priority?
A fully completed profile is a necessity to take advantage of its networking opportunities, the ability to market yourself and/or your business, showcase industry expertise, generating sales leads, and so on. Here are a few elements of profiles that I see often enough that necessitate commentary.
I am amused by those on LinkedIn who represent themselves with the generic silhouette profile image. Nobody can be that unattractive that they don’t want their photo on a networking site, right? LinkedIn has indicated that by adding a photo or image, your profile is 7x more likely to be found in searches.
And moreover, having a quality image or photo that portrays you in a serious manner or an image that positively represents your brand gives more credibility to your professional profile.
HEADLINE/TITLE WITH KEYWORDS
Use a headline that depicts what you are about professionally and how you can add value. Your headline beneath your name defaults to your current position, but it can be customized. Instead of your default specific job title, try using Keywords, such as ‘Marketing’, ‘Social Media’, ‘Sports Marketing’ ‘Consultant’ that will make it easier for potential connections to find you within a particular industry. Also, by making yourself easier to find through keywords presents an opportunity to give your personal and business brands extra exposure.
JOIN GROUPS AND ENGAGE/INTERACT
Joining a club and then never using the facilities or interacting with other members would be such a waste of time and resources (and money). Okay, so the comparison is a stretch, but when you get a LinkedIn account and don’t take advantage of the opportunity to be part of groups of like-minded people and take part in discussions, you are wasting a very valuable resource that LinkedIn has to offer. Being able to network in this way and share is also a wonderful way to showcase your expertise in certain areas and can generate potential leads.
POSTING PERSONAL INFORMATION
Social Networks such as Facebook and Instagram are where you post that you had a great time at your cousin’s cookout yesterday, complete with a photo or two. LinkedIn IS NOT the place for personal status updates. On LinkedIn, the updates should be professional in nature. So unless it personally has to do with a career change, an article you've published, or some good news about your company that you need to share, LinkedIn isn't the place for it.
These are just a few, but there are many tips and nuances of the LinkedIn platform that one should consider when setting up and maintaining a strong profile. We're curious about what you think. Please give us your thoughts and comment on LinkedIn profile needs.
The term ‘Millennial’ pops up incessantly on blog posts that I read or in tweets and Facebook posts of people or groups I follow, and I can’t seem to get the term out of my head right now.
My wife and I watched the original ‘Star Wars’ on Friday evening with our daughter Emma who has been battling Mono and, of course, early on in the movie, you learn about the ‘Millennium Falcon’ and it immediately made me start thinking of these Gol Dern Millennials again!
Well, as a marketer and advertising professional, I have to embrace that term and those it represents, because they are becoming (or have become) my ‘bread and butter’.
Wikipedia would give a drawn out definition of the term Millennial, but it would seem that within their definition that authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, in their book Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, have given the best description of the birth year range of this group as being those born between the years 1982 and 2004.
Of course, there are other terms given to this demographic, such as Generation Y, Generation We, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, but they are all referring to those ages 9 to 30/31.
What are the tendencies of these folks and what do they want?
The list of stats can be found and goes on and on...
As an advertising guy, for me some the most important stats to look at are those related to purchasing tendencies. For instance, knowing that almost two-thirds stay updated on brands through social networks tells me that my clients need to have a multi-channel approach to their advertising and marketing, not just traditional means. Also, knowing that our world has become very mobile, tells me that clients' websites and apps should be responsive to the ever-changing landscape of mobile.
Through my reading and personal experience with some clients recently, I have come to know that this generation is very mobile and tech savvy, rely heavily on the word-of-mouth advertising of both their physical network and their electronic networks, embrace change and wants to make a difference where they can, and most importantly represent a group that is ready to spend money (according to Hanson Dodge http://bit.ly/19PiJ5e).
The last point is exactly why we have to continue to embrace Millennials,..my bread and butter now, and in the foreseeable future.
Words of wisdom and news you can use courtesy of myself and others around the internet.