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Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Tag: training (page 1 of 5)

How to set up Periscope for you or your farm / ag business

Why would you want to do this? I give you five reasons you want to use Periscope for your farm or ag business in an article but here are the headlines.

  1. Your customers want to see real dairy farming.
  2. Your customers like farm animals and want to see them.
  3. Your customers have questions about dairy farming and you are the best person to answer them.
  4. Your customers don’t know everything you do.
  5. Your customers are new to Periscope, too.

So you’re convinced, let’s start live streaming using Periscope.

1. Download the app.

Get it for your iPhone or your Android phone.

2. Login with Twitter.

periscope-homescreen

If you don’t have a Twitter profile, you’ll need to set one up. Here’s how to do it.

3. Enable Notifications.

periscope-notifications
This is entirely up to you but if you want to keep up with the live broadcast of the people you follow, you’ll need to enable this. Continue reading

4 tips on how to make a good presentation – or at least make it suck less.

oratium-presentation-training-tamsen

Oratium’s Tamsen Webster presenting at Hubspot.

If you follow my blog or social media feeds, then you know I have a low tolerance for bad meetings and presentations.

But I think bad presentations are the worst. They are probably the most evil way to kill your co-workers and clients.

Why are they worse than bad meetings?

Because with a meeting, I can always chime in – try and move it the way I want it to go – or at least I can engage.

But with a presentation, I’m a hostage. Many times I’m staring down a 70-page fully loaded deck with bulleted 12-point fonts, unreadable charts, nasty clip-art and cartoon transitions.

I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere. I can try and sneak a peek at my phone or act like I’m taking notes on my laptop while I’m really checking Instagram, Facebook or email. But I can’t escape the stock photos of business hurdles and diversity handshakes. My eyes….my eyes!!!

So last week I traveled to Boston to check out the team from Oratium, Tamsen Webster and Jonathan Dietrich, Presentation Training.

They promised me that I would look at presentations differently. That I would have, as Tamsen so eloquently put it,  “a framework to work within” for my future presentations.

Let me tell you. I was skeptical.

I’ve been presenting in front of crowds since 2006 – I’ve read a lot of books and have done my fair amount of research on how to give good presentations. I’ve gotten great reviews – in fact, I pride myself on the ratings and the comments. I even get laughs, which always surprises my wife. Guess I’m not too funny at home.

But then Tamsen and JD showed me a real presentation framework, broken down into easy steps that would help me make my presentations so much better.

Now I can’t give you all the details. Sorry.

Come on, it’s their intellectual property and they’ve made a good business of helping companies and their salespeople get much better at this.

What I can give you is some of the framework and a place to start along with Tamsen and JD’s contact info so you can get in touch if you want. I highly recommend it especially if you have salesforce that needs to be selling a whole lot more.

Their big idea was pretty simple.

Presentations should “powerfully land a small number of big ideas.”

Let me say that again because this is usually the opposite of many presentations I see (and have made).

POWERFULLY LAND A SMALL NUMBER OF BIG IDEAS.

Such a great way to think about your presentations.

oratium-handout

Oratium handouts you get with the training.

So what tips can I pass along on how to do this with your presentations:

1. Stop being you-centric and be audience-centric.

Cut out the crappy, bulleted “my company” slides or the “who I am” slides (I’m guilty of this and it stops today) at the front of your deck. If you really want to get the audience’s attention – start with their problem as quickly as possible.

But, Don, they won’t know who we are and we need to be credible. We debated this, too.

First, you are in the room so you must be credible to someone to get there.

Second, they aren’t going to care about anything you say – they are focused on them and not you. You want them to pay attention to you then talk about them and their problems. You can work your who we are into the back of the deck when you are presenting the solution.

I know this sounds like commons sense but I’ve seriously used the same presentation in front of one audience and then turned around and used it on another without changing much but the opening slide.

Because my slides were about me – not them.

2. Have a clearly defined ACTION that you want the audience to take at the end of the presentation.

This is how you measure whether you are being effective or not.

This made me laugh.

I’ve defined my measurement in the comments I received after or the fact that audience members would come up and want me to speak at another event.

But did that solve the audience’s problem (which I don’t even know if I really defined well) and did it help my company’s goals (in a vague way – maybe).

Let me tell you that their pyramid system to help you define the action is worth the investment.

3. If you are going to get the audience to take an action, then they must “believe” something different than what they currently do.

Another tip that hit me like an ACME safe. JD repeated this statement a couple of times to get it to really sink in.

“The audience will think differently about you if they first think differently about themselves.”

I never thought that the only way I could get an audience to believe in me is to first get them to think differently about themselves.

Of course I thought that the audience trusted me – look how awesome, smart, interesting, passionate, prepared (sometimes) I am – BTW, those are the examples we came up in class of what we tell ourselves about how our audience feels about us.

What a crock. We have no empirical evidence that our audience thinks this but we do know with lots of evidence that they are thinking about themselves a lot. Just like you are doing right now.

Until I focus completely on them, their problems, and lead them to a solution that they can visualize and own – they aren’t going to think too highly of me.

Did I tell you that Tamsen and JD didn’t pull any punches on us? It was some serious tough love I needed to hear.

4. To get people to believe something different, then you need to give them the knowledge to back it up.

This is your data and illustrations. But you can’t beat them over the head with facts and figures. You must deliver the knowledge in a way to have emotional pull – you need to appeal to both sides of the brain because people make decisions irrationally (right side of the brain) then justify the decision rationally (left side of the brain).

If you’ve never read “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely, I totally recommend it. Great book and backs up this line of thinking on why people do what they do.

Now these are just four tips from an all-day workshop – I wish I could give you more but I promised I wouldn’t in a public way.

The framework they gave us, the online tools I can start using, the insights into how the audience’s mind works are invaluable and I recommend that you reach out directly to Tamsen and JD to schedule some time to chat with them about helping out your team.

I was blown away by how polished and thorough their presentation program was and will be recommending them in the future.

Good luck in your future presentations but if you really want to take your talks to the next level then get in touch with them.

 

 

Is blogging dead in 2015?

No, it’s alive and well especially in agriculture.

Blogging isn’t dead even though the big names in marketing and tech claim it to be almost every year. Here’s one from 2012 / Fast Company.

blogging-is-dead-fastcompany

Blogging is dead via Fast Company

And then this year, supposedly it’s doing great.

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Blogging is Alive & Well via GigaOM

Of course the company, GigaOM isn’t. But that’s beside the point.

When it comes to reaching out to our customers, farmers want to know if they should spend time blogging. I get this question a lot from farmers when I’m on the road teaching digital marketing.

My answer is always the same. Yes. Yes, you should.

“Why?” asks the farmer.

I have a lot of answers to that. But for this post I decided to reach out to ag bloggers and see what keeps them blogging and doing this kind of digital outreach.

Here’s one of the biggest reason of why you should be blogging.

People go online looking for information about farming if they don’t get it from us, who will they get it from? The number of people who want simple agricultural information is astounding and I personally want it to come from credible sources.
Janice Person – http://janiceperson.com

The farmers are credible sources of agriculture information.

Other reasons to be blogging is that all that time you spend in social media is great but you should be housing all of your photos, videos and longer text format in a place you control. Facebook’s posts and Twitter tweets are fleeting and get lost in the ether.

Why would you take all that time to craft something so beautiful to let it be lost?

Another reason is that the search engines especially Google still love blogs and give them a lot of credibility. Blogs are workhorses of the search industry. Many of the major news organizations nowadays were once just blogs (and are still structured that way).

“OK,” the farmer says, “I’m convinced that a blog is the way to go. What should you write about?”

Ranchers/farmers don’t necessarily see their daily lives as unique, and sharing the simple things of country life tend to be overlooked, but I can’t tell you how many times readers have asked how far to the grocery store or gas station, how do all the vehicles keep running or why do we have so many, can I get take-out? Lots of the daily stuff is worth blogging about, just because we understand it’s an hour to town, doesn’t mean the readers do! Sure moving cattle is a highlight, but most of the year, it’s Life that takes up my days.
Carol Greet – http://reddirtinmysoul.com/

 

I don’t think you need to just focus on the farm…snippets of the life of a farmer are good, because it draws in more of the non-ag audience. It’s good to write about things they can relate to, and to build relationships…that’s when you become their trusted source.
Carolyn Olsen – http://carolyncaresblog.com/

I’ll bet you that when you attend a city event and people find out you’re a farmer you get a barrage of questions.

  • What’s the difference between conventional farming and organic?
  • What do the cows eat?
  • Why do you take away the calves from their mothers?
  • Why do you live on a farm?

If you are looking for blog topics, you can also just use Soovle and it will help you see what people are searching for around your topics. Soovle will pull the auto completes from Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, etc…

Then the farmer asks, “How do you go about starting a blog?”

I’ve got a quick “how to blog” on my blog and some 13 best practices  but there are many different ways to start a blog and tons of people writing about how to do it.

But some good advice came straight from the farmers.

I suggest that anyone who wants to start blogging have 10 posts wrote before they launch. That way when they get busy they can use something they already wrote to keep their momentum going.
Plus if they can’t get 10 posts wrote in the first place, they can decide if maybe blogging isn’t their thing after all.
Carrie Mess – dairycarrie.com

 

Find a good blogging planner. My resolution for 2015 is 2-4 posts a month and I’m hoping a planner will get me there!
Brooke Behlen – http://meetyourbeef.com/

 

Your own blog helps you write about your passion. It will keep you interested in blogging.
Judi Graff – http://farmnwife.com/

 

Do something simple. Don’t worry about making a post the definitive post of all posts on the subject. Non-farm people are often fascinated by things we thing are mundane.

Brian Scott – The Farmer’s Life

But if you’ve tried blogging and it just wasn’t working out, don’t just give up on online communications. We definitely need your voice out here.

Are there other things besides blogging – yep! Try video or images.
If writing isn’t your thing, think of moving to YouTube. The second most utilized search engine is YouTube. Find YOUR way and don’t think you have to follow others.
Katie Pinke – http://thepinkepost.com/

 

Visual definitely makes a difference. Sometimes just a photo, sometimes photos illustrating, sometimes just a photo along with the article. I usually aim for 1 if under 400 words, more if over to ‘balance’ it or if needed to explain something.
Jan Hoadley – https://slowmoneyfarm.wordpress.com/

Again, blogging is a powerful tool to connect with your customers. You can pass along insights about life on the farm and how you farm as well as the commonalities you share with them.

Your farm voice is one of the most important communication tools ag has and without it other voices will fill the void and the imagination of our customers. You can set the record straight and build strong relationships with the people that trust you to grow their food.

If you have any questions about getting started or getting back into blogging, please let me know. I would be happy to answer them. You can leave a comment below or just hit me via Twitter or Facebook.

How do you find broken links? Simple SEO for 404 Pages

Search engines don’t like broken links because they think that you are not maintaining your website.

Going back and correcting these links is good website maintenance.

How do you find broken links?

There are several tools out on the market as well as you can set up Google Webmaster Tools and it will tell you.

I’ve used Xenu for PCs and Integrity for Macs.

Once they have done a scan of the website, they will give you the page and the link that is broken. Usually you will get a download into an Excel file.

Fixing 404 Broken Links

Just go into your CMS and fix the links.

Just go into the CMS and correct the link.

Do you have a favorite tool for checking your links?

Can tech save your relationship?

bridge

Bay Bridge by David Yu (flickr.com CC)

I’m a big believer in marketing technology and social media. But I hear a lot of naysaying when it comes to building real relationships with people. They say they wish people would put those devices down and start talking to the folks around them.

Now I agree that we all need a break sometimes. I get a crick in my neck sometimes from starting down at my phone too long.

And a text messaging conversation isn’t the same as sitting down with someone and chatting over coffee.

OK, I’ll give you it’s missing the body language – an emoji just isn’t up to par.

But how else are you going to talk to your customers directly?

Are you going to take the time to drive into the city and find them?

Do you think they would stop their day to chat? (They might. A lot of them really like farmers.)

Throes of people are moving to the cities and out of the country. Most people are three or more generations removed from the farm and food production.

In the past, people were deeply connected to the farms around them because this is where they got their food and where some of their relations lived – but that’s not the case anymore.

Recently there was a New York City farm tour where farmers came into the local groceries to talk directly with customers – I applaud that. It’s great. Is it scalable? Does everyone have the time to drop what they are doing and make the case?

Or can you pull out your smart phone and connect via social media to your customers?

Granted it will take more time to form a trusted relationship but you can do it. Just be yourself and telling your story can do a lot – but remember to listen to their story as well.

Be open and answer their questions. And they have quite a few.

These computers in our pockets (over 2/3 of Americans have them) are the driving force of daily information.

Did you know the average worker checks their email 9.6 times an hour?

If it is going to be in their face, why don’t you be part of what they are looking at? BTW, they love looking at animals – cats, dogs, cows, pigs, horses.

kjerseykids-cow-fair

Karen Bohnert from Kansas shares pics on Instagram

And you are the expert in farming, right?

You know your farm. You can tell them and show them what’s happening right now.

The relationships you have with your animals. The time you spend in the field and the barn. The struggles and the success. All to help fuel them so they can do what they love – which might not have anything to do with food production.

Tech can bridge the gap that is building between city life and farm life. Now it’s up to you whether you want to cross it or not?

If you go, we’ve got plenty of help for you via training and one-on-one advice. Just reach out, we are here to help.

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