A common ground that we entrepreneurs, business owners, and other professionals share is that the fact we all grew up playing various types of games. These were learned in school, out on the field, and on the home computer/console. Fast-forward to today, and even in a serious and competitive business environment, many of our communications tasks mirror games that we played in the past.
In fact, there are transferable skills that can be used today in the Communications Game that happens in our business world. Here are a couple of my favorites tips that can get ahead in the game:
How to organize a contact list and maintain consistent communication
SKIP THE OFF SEASON FOR ORGANIZATION: the best way to stay organized is by doing “spring cleaning” every season. I wouldn’t consider a contact “new” anymore once you’ve already had a casual conversation, exchanged a couple of emails, and/or collaborated on a successful project. The contacts that deserve jumping to the priority box are the ones that have untapped potential (ex: no sales yet) and incomplete information (ex: no follow-up in place to strengthen connection).
This is similar to doing a daily Puzzle game: you’re always figuring out the best way to fit all your network pieces together, and making sure no valuable individuals are disconnected and lost.
A program that would help with this is SalesForce. Sometimes, you just need a live dashboard to illustrate “red” areas that are opportunities to connect and do better. Also, ditch the stack of business cards and use LinkedIn, as it will update itself when your contacts switch companies.
BE PROACTIVE IN COMMUNICATION: build a reputation for being Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to reaching out to people. Everyone is busy with the daily grind, but don’t let that be an excuse for you not to extend a virtual handshake. As the saying goes, you really don’t know what opportunities there are to build bridges with until you ask.
One game that comes to mind is Basketball: constantly passing and receiving the proverbial ball and getting others involved to score on new opportunities.
Check out an app like Google Calendar, and start putting in reminders to reach out to specific people down the road. You don’t need a reason like a new contract signed or a deal gone bad to foster solid communications – always be thinking a couple steps down the line.
How to streamline social media communication without looking lazy
STAY CURRENT AND FRESH: It doesn’t take a detective to see a personal or business social media account that’s slacking in the creativity department. Instead of the normal “just ate breakfast, now getting in the car…” post, stay current with industry news with a site like Mashable. Use the latest events or big announcements as conversation pieces.
Imagine you’re playing Super Mario Brothers: the core goal is the same at every turn, but the changing landscape is forcing you to stay fresh and on your toes.
Would you like to make this process easier? Look into HootSuite (for all medias) or TweetDeck (for Twitter). Also, if you don’t have a full-time social media manager, use administrative to ensure the social media posts stay relevant.
NEVER SETTLE FOR CHEAP: regardless of which social media channels your business is focused upon, keep raising your standards. This means striking a balance between relevant and creative posts and visuals while staying timely and agile. With single text messages at 160 characters and tweets at 140 characters, you’re forced to think quality over quantity.
I can remember playing Monopoly and realizing the only way to win was to build upward in the limited space (to bankrupt my opponent). Change that media house standard to a media hotel, and build that media hotel into a media empire.
Creativity doesn’t come from an algorithm. If you’re looking to challenge yourself to do something better (which can affect your thinking and social media input), check out DailyFeats, or ask someone your trust what it will take to improve the content.
Now, bring your speedy communication, awesome social media, and business high score to the professional arcade.
Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!
What communication methods and social media strategies are you focusing on this year? Leave a comment in the section below.