Here’s the mistake I made.
I picked up The Now Revolution by Amber Naslund and Jay Baer around midnight, thinking I would just flip through it to get a feel for the book and then read it this weekend.
So much for a good night’s sleep.
The book is built on the premise that the world has changed and we’d all better make some shifts in how we do business to be faster, smarter and more social.
I’m guessing most of the shifts won’t shock you. What makes this book so valuable is that this isn’t so much an idea book as it is a DO book. Amber and Jay offer up good case studies (fresh ones you haven’t seen 100 times), lots of extra resources and at the end of every chapter some tangible steps to take to make it happen.
Here’s how they outlined the shifts we need to make:
Make a new bedrock: Your company’s culture is more critical than ever, more exposed to the public than ever and can be a game changer if you build a good one.
Find talent you can trust: Building a team who gets it and shares your vision used to be a luxury. Today, thanks to social media — it’s a necessity.
Organize your armies: Social media is something that will touch every aspect of your business. You need to make sure everyone is on board, knows their role — even your agency, who may be leading your efforts or just participating.
Answer the new telephone: Remember the good old days when you weren’t on call 24/7? How do you possibly monitor all of the potential places people could be talking about you? And how can you use this new expectation of instant access as a customer service bonus?
Emphasize response-ability: Who will respond? How will they respond? How can you make sure they respond in your brand’s voice? How do you arm your team with the resources so they can respond? How quickly do you have to respond? Lots of questions and this chapter has some answers.
Build a fire extinguisher: Okay, now you’re listening but what do you do get ready to respond if someone says something negative? This is crisis communication planning (on both the macro and micro level) for the 21st century.
Make a calculator: It doesn’t make sense to do something if you have no idea whether or not it’s working. So measure. And monitor. The trick is — give it time to work. This isn’t magic. It’s marketing.
My one disappointment is that they took a very cool idea — added QR codes throughout the book to give readers even more resources and made it annoying. Rather than using generic QR codes so that everyone could just use whatever scanner they already had on their smart phone — they opted to use a specific tag made by Microsoft which required me to add another app to my phone.
Bottom line for me — this is a very good read. Pick up a copy today (Amazon affiliate link).
Or…. tell me which of the 7 shifts you think would be the most difficult (and why) and you could win a copy of the book! I have 3 copies to give away. (I’ll draw commenters names at random.)
As a musician/music writer, I find myself on several plateaus surrounding this exact topic.
As a writer, I cover and analyze why certain artists can build and/or maintain relationships with their audience, as well as what is driving the radical (and truly needed) overhaul of our traditional American musical business. But as a musician who stands at a crossroads between trying to take our art full-time versus staying comfortable but never making a difference, my insights as a music writer are hard to enliven as a musician.
On both sides of my particular coin, and to more directly answer your question, I feel like of the two or three points that are most difficult to enact and maintain, “building a fire extinguisher” is my personal toughest. One must have thick skin to survive in an arts-based profession, but appropriately allowing someone to simply not like/love/appreciate your work is often juxtaposed against cheap shots on everything from one’s integrity and quality to one’s intelligence and taste. I look forward to picking up the book… or perhaps winning a copy… and getting some good insight into such a critical, yet difficult, necessity. Thanks Drew for the head’s up!
The good news is — your music is awesome, so hopefully that fire extinguisher will just gather some dust.
But you’re right — you need to have it in place!
Personally, I think ”Finding talent you trust” is going to be the most difficult for me. I have many grand ideas, many based on years of training NLP techniques, and haven’t resolved how to have solid customer support w/o having to invest the years to train the staff.
Quite likely, I’ll just have to stop making life more difficult than it needs to be (is that a talent for the new world? 😉
I’ve found that when you hire for the culture/attitude and teach the skills — the training is nowhere near as intensive or as elusive. I can teach someone how to do their job but I’m not sure I can teach them to care.
You are absolutely correct. You can train someone how to do their job, but (as I have experienced many times) you cannot teach them to care. They either will or they won’t.
As a business owner, I have also learned that no one will truly care about things the way that you do. If you find someone who is even close, you better do everything within your power to make sure they are happy and feel appreciated. Trust me…you don’t want to lose them. They may never be replaced.
Agreed — there is no training class or manual that will get someone who doesn’t care to change their stance.
And in today’s world, you can’t afford to have anyone associated with your company who can’t be empathetic.
Is it possible that some of the people you have trained along the way might be ready to join your team and teach what they’ve learned and used?
That is a great idea. I will definitely be “fishing in my own pond” next time I’m hiring.
Thanks for coming back to add that thought!
I think culture is the hardest shift to make. What you are now as a company vs what you want to be takes quite a bit of time.
No doubt, it’s a tough one. Especially if you are not the one doing the hiring or leading the vision.
Changing a culture from the middle is a long process. But, it can be done — as you know.
Hi Drew –
Just a note to say THANKS for taking the time to read and review the book. Your opinion really is valuable to me as a guy who isn’t just absorbing the hype, but needing to deliver real value to clients.
Re: the TAGs, one reason we chose them is because the URL at the back of them doesn’t have to remain static. That means if information changes or updates in the future, we can just redirect the URL, and poof! New content. 🙂 Hopefully you found it worth the additional app.
In any case, so appreciated. Thanks for your input, and for making sure someone else gets a chance to check it out.
It’s a great read and what I love is all the help you and Jay offer in terms of how to actually get it done.
Just added this to my reading list!
Two that I think are very connected and therefore will be difficult to handle will be “Organize your Armies” and “Answer the new telephone”.
This is already a significant issue for strong companies and experienced staff members. As more customers begin to use new options to talk with us as companies, the ‘organization’ and the ‘answering’ will be a significant business challenges.
Smaller companies have less human resources and therefore less ability to monitor and measure effectiveness – even if they value it and know its benefits. So, not only will this be a bigger issue for them to do, it will be challenging for them to measure it and therefore justify allocating resources to the task.
This looks to be a potential tipping point for companies…and an opportunity for others.
Thanks for making us think!
You’re right — it isn’t easy. But the good news is — there is technology to help companies listen and respond. And most of it is very affordable and easy to manage.
It’s more of a change on thinking and habit, I believe. And of course, those are the toughest changes of all.
The Fire Extinguisher idea is brilliant, but I get the feeling it might be difficult to implement. Any suggestions on how to respond to unfair or made-up criticism? 😉
Great question — how do you respond when someone is talking about you in a public place but saying unfair or untrue things.
I think first — you have a system in place to evaluate what the person is saying, where they are saying it and how credible the person seems.
Then, you decide how (and if) you want to engage in the conversation. My advice to clients is — deal with it professionally but directly. But deal with it. Don’t hide, don’t lurk — just address it.
Rather than get too detailed here… I am going to write a blog post about this = thanks for asking and giving me the blog post idea.
Thanks so much Drew. Delighted you liked the book!
Knowing you and Amber — I was pretty confident that I would long before I opened the cover. You both should be very proud of the effort and the tangible guidance you provided!
Greetings, Drew – –
I posted on FB, but I thought i would copy and paste on the blog.
I would have to say to ‘answer the new telephone’…”How do you possibly monitor all of the potential places people could be talking about you?” That seems to me one of the most difficult shifts because it is ever-changing. Between all of the social media options in today’s environment, to completely monitor all mentions of a company seems near impossible. I loved reading the review, and I am excited to read this book myself.
You’re right, listening (and responding) to all of the various social media outposts can be quite a task, but thanks to google alerts and some other free tools — it can be done.
Are you using any of those tools now?
Drew- Thanks for burning the midnight oil- great review. I’m going with “finding talent you trust” — does it ever get easier matchmaking the right person for the right team?
Honestly, it is one of the toughest parts of running/owning a business I think. Getting the right people on the bus!
What social media does do, however, is create a pretty accurate picture of who that person is and how they conduct themselves. It’s a hiring help, for sure!
I think the hardest part for us will be organizing our armies. We have jumped into the social media pool without a defined strategy other than to be visible. How visible do we want to be though before we need to establish a clear message for our company and strategy for our social efforts? There are no defined goals, controls or limits, but I think it will be something we will have to address as we become more involved company wide.
That’s a very common mistake. People think because it’s easy to open a facebook or twitter account — doing it well for your organization is also easy.
No so, as you are discovering. Far better to have the end in mind (why are you there, what do you want people to know) before you jump in.
Fortunately, it’s easy to fix. Just step back for a bit and figure out your strategy and then jump back in.
Thanks for the review Drew. For us making a new bedrock, company culture, is going to be the most difficult. Not eveyone is ready to embrace all the changes that are at hand.
I think that’s true for most organizations. It’s one of the reasons why making it a company-wide discussion is so critical.
By keeping it a focal point and slowing demonstrating small wins and successes — over time, the culture will tip in your direction.
I see answering the new telephone as a challenge for many organizations. It’s important to monitor and respond properly, but I think many companies aren’t quite there yet. It’s important to know your resources and utilize them effectively. Thanks for the book review – it sounds great!
It’s no small task but it’s one of those things we can only ignore for so long. Sooner or later, companies will need to take the plunge to, at the very least, monitor and listen.
If you have a chance to read the book — come back and let us know what you thought.
I would test what works and what does not work every two weeks. Your goal should be to close the gap where you are now and where will you be by this time in the next two weeks. Remember if you can not accomplish the small goals forget about the big goals.
No doubt about it — testing and measuring is critical. But I’m not sure 2 weeks would be an adequate time frame to see much movement. I suppose it would depend on the goals you’re setting. But since social media is more relational than transactional — you might consider bigger blocks of time.
And if you really built up those resources, that could serve your business in a variety of ways, not just social media.
Come back and let us know how that effort is going!
I think you will find lots of very doable ideas in this book! Come back and let us know what you thought!