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Taking action and why this is the barrier you face.

Taking action and why this is the barrier you face.

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Any of you who follow me on Linkedin will know that I post pretty often. I comment and share a lot, but at least twice each week I post either a video or an article or something which highlights a point I want to discuss at the time.

Because I post often (but not too often), I get quite a lot of engagement on my posts. A video for example might get upwards of 5000 views, and 100 likes, comments and shares. My videos invariably encourage my followers to take action as this is what I believe is the key to success – actually doing something. That action might be to go off and write a blog or shoot a video of their own for example.

Of the comments usually about half of them are people saying that they think that’s “very dangerous from a corporate perspective” because those messages may not support the brand or might perhaps not show the company in a good light.

So, I would like to make a couple of points about this.

  1. actually getting people to take action is extremely difficult, so it’s not like all of the staff are going to immediately run-off and start writing blogs.
  2. (perhaps this point should be i) rather than ii) but, many organisations still believe that they own the narrative today as they did 20 years ago, and they don’t. So much has changed.

The main problem that organisations face is that their staff already have full diaries and they don’t want or need anything else to take up their time. Unless their job is “content creator” you are effectively asking them a favour… “in addition to the things you already do, please will you create content that helps improve the marketing/sales/pr of the company” and in most cases that’s a big ask. So to expect them to write your message rather than theirs is unlikely to happen.

However, if you give them the freedom to write their own…they just may, and in this new digital world you need all the coverage you can get.

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Shooting video for your Linkedin feed

Shooting video for your Linkedin feed

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Firstly, let me say that there is a place for professionally shot video content. It can make you look more credible and more polished, but…there is a place for handheld selfie videos too.

The problem, always, with professionally shot video is that it absolves people of the responsibility of producing content. The videographer is coming in next week…so I’ll wait.

That’s bad.

Why wait? Why not shoot it now AND do it when the videographer comes in.

The key thing that you need to be able to do on camera is communicate. Writing a script and learning it is extremely difficult if you’re not an actor (even good actors sometimes seem wooden) but still people seem to do it. I know many people who are good in front of an audience but as soon as you point a camera at them they fall to pieces. Show shoot your own, shoot it often and be relaxed…as you would be in from of a client.

But above all, don’t wait. Here’s a video that I shot whilst I was staying at Tim (my co-founder)’s house for a few days over the summer. It’s 90 seconds, we shot this and a load more one afternoon in his lounge…and we just basically talked at the camera about things that seemed appropriate at the time. This one had received over 8000 views, 150 likes and 75 comments in just 48 hours. It didn’t go viral, but it did place my thinking in front of 7k people that otherwise might not have remembered who I was (or even know me) and it just happened to be posted at the right time to achieve this. It may have received similar success if I had waited for the videographer…but possibly not. Either way it was hugely more valuable to me posted on LinkedIn rather than sit-in in my head or on my laptop.

Those load of videos Tim and I made, I have been drip-feeding them out ever since we shot them. Currently (as I write this) I have had just a whisker over 50k views of them as well as 650 likes and over 300 comments that’s an awful lot of coverage and interaction for a cost of 60 minutes of my time…don’t you think?

People who read this article also read these:

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4 Tips For Writing For Social Media For Business

4 Tips For Writing For Social Media For Business

Guest Post written by Stuart Cooke, Digital Marketing Manager at

Believe it or not, a successful social media strategy is achieved with one core element, and that is excellent social media writing skills. As a business, it can be tricky to navigate writing for social media. It’s all too easy to come off as a sales robot, when instead you should be writing with the intention of making the reader feel something, learn something, or take action. But how do you do it? In this post, we’re detailing some important tips to take note of.

  1. Hone your brand voice

First and foremost, to start writing for social media you must hone your brand voice. Who is your target audience? Who are you actually speaking to? What is an appropriate tone for them? And what are your brand’s values? What do you stand for, and what kind of message do you hope to get across? You should take all of this into consideration every time you craft a post on one of your social platforms. This is also where we tell you to ditch the tedious jargon, because jargon and business terms say little, and actually require much more work on your readers part. They have to make the effort to read between the lines to understand the message you are trying to convey, and why would they do that when they can just go elsewhere? Even if your brand is serious and corporate, softening your tone and making it more casual across your social platforms will resonate with a much wider audience.

  1. Adjust your tone for each platform

If you manage multiple social platforms for your business, it’s important to be aware just how differently each one works, especially in terms of the tone of voice that will best resonate with the types of users on the platform. For example, what works in LinkedIn, which is made up of mostly professional users, may not necessary be received in the same way as a more casual and less professional platform such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Don’t make the mistake of simply sharing the same message across all of your platforms for the sake of posting something, instead, understand that each platform should be approached differently.

  1. Be personal

To put it bluntly, addressing your readers from a high corporate tower just isn’t going to cut it. If you are trying to build meaningful connections and boost engagement, you must write to the reader, in a personal way, as though you are speaking directly to them. Not only that, but (and, this one stings, sorry) nine times out of ten, your reader doesn’t care much for what you’re doing. What they really care about is what they can get from you, or how your product or service can benefit them. If you can craft words that paint a picture to show your reader how their life will improve when they choose you, then you’ve hit the nail on the head.

  1. Write with a purpose

One thing to keep in mind at all times is that when you are writing for social media for your business, you are writing with a purpose. Underneath it all, the number one goal with your social media strategy is to get your product or service out there in front of the eyes of your target audience, and ultimately, your intention with each social post is to generate leads. Does this mean that you should constantly churn out robotic, overly promotional posts? Absolutely not. However, you do still want your readers to take action, in some shape of form, whether it’s to learn, to discuss, to share, to buy – you want them to engage with your brand. Each time you craft a social media post, remind yourself of the purpose behind it.

People who read this article also read these:

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How to fix the problem

How to fix the problem

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

So, if you have clicked through from my previous “rant” about my book parody then hello and welcome back, if you haven’t, you might want to read it here.

So, how can this be an easy problem to solve.

Well, the theory goes like this…

People buy from people. People (generally) don’t trust corporates as much as people, so an audience is never going to be as engaged by the company as by the people within. If you doubt that this is true as yourself this. Do you have a friend that works for a large company? If the answer is yes, do you believe him/her more or less than the company they work for?

See what I mean? You trust them because they are your friend.

When your friend posts something on one of the social networks are you more likely to read it is it is something they have written or something that they have shared?

See again? The important thing is that THEY are the reason you’re engaging.

Now think about this. Let’s assume that a reasonably smart person you know works for a large company, perhaps EY, or Accenture, or IBM or one of those kind of businesses and that they are on Twitter and have 500 followers. That’s a reasonable assumption because they have some smart opinions and have won the trust of their audience because of who they are. Let’s also assume that half of the employees of this company are in a similar position.

So the number of followers is:

employee count / 2 x 500 = 91,500,000

(Based on an “average number of employees for these three companies of 366,000)

By comparison these organisations’ headline Twitter account has an average of 397,000 followers.

I’m sure that even the most cynical amongst us can agree that 397k is a long way away from 91.5m even if the basis of the calculation is floored (which it isn’t). In fact taking the message to market through the staff gives a 230x greater reach should be pretty compelling in itself.

Now think back to a couple of paragraphs ago where we (sort of) agreed that people buy from people and therefore the individuals are more likely to be read, believed and trusted than the organisations…then the 230x actually represents a far larger value than that in terms of getting the message out there.

This is all, let’s be honest, pretty obvious stuff.

The arguments are not based on fiction but based on human behaviour and simple maths.

SAP as an example have only really dipped their toe in the social selling water and are already publicly saying that the can attribute €1bn of pipeline to social. We see organisation that we work with absolutely flabbergasted by the difference that going to market through social channels makes for them.

So, with 2019 approaching my suggestion is that you should try something new. Put in place a social programme across the organisation and see if you can empower and mobilise your staff to be better in this respect. Now is the time to do it because the general standard of social presences for both companies and individuals is woeful so there’s a great opportunity for you to appear head-and-shoulders above all your competition.

We are NOT an agency. We do not take your money and do your work for you. We teach you how to do this for yourselves. we empower your staff to go-out and advocate for you r company and be seen as the go-to person in their respective industries/sectors/regions.

In reality this is the only way forward.

Someone once said “this is a lesson that everyone needs to learn – you can learn it the easy way or you can learn it the hard way…but you will learn it!” That sounds like a perfect quote for this situation!

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The Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) – Marketing Flywheel


I would write 500 blogs…

I would write 500 blogs…

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Well, actually I wouldn’t personally, but we have as a company.

Digital Leadership Associates is just over 2 years old and today we published our 500th blog on our site and I personally think this is quite an achievement.

Well, 500 blogs is not altogether true… in addition to the 500 blogs we’ve published on our site we have produced several guest blogs for Kogan Page, our most recent book publisher (yes we write books too), various clients and also to support some of the speaking events where we keynote. We also have written 250+ individual articles on our LinkedIn profiles, Tim has produced 75 TimTalks Alex has produced over 50 #AskAlex videos and Phil has created countless memes (of and I’ve created 60 short videos too) so when you add all this together we have created and published over 1000 pieces of content in 2 years…and there are only a handful of us!

Why? How? I hear you ask.

Why? Well, because we can! No, I’m kidding, we do it because it’s our way of prospecting. We do it because every day that goes past we grow a bigger and bigger footprint on the internet. When a visitor comes and looks at our mountain of content and then looks at one of our competitors who have perhaps created 100 pieces of content (blogs/videos/podcasts combined) we look like the obvious choice because we have something to say and loads of original thinking.

Why? Because being good at creating content just takes practice like anything else in life and we have practices a lot so now we have a way of doing this which is extremely efficient.

One of the key things we teach our clients to do is exactly this – become a content publishing machine. This is an important element of what we do because if you think about your business – perhaps you have 1000 staff. If we can activate just 50% of them to write and publish a short blog each month this means that you can create 6000 pages of content per year and if the marketing department guide the staff to write based on certain keywords and topics you can very quickly dominate your marketplace.

I know, you’re thinking that your staff will never write marketing content for your business…but they don’t have to. They just have to write. The thing to remember is that YOUR life partner doesn’t read what you write about your company because they love the company, they read what you write about the company because they love YOU. Every single person within your business is an influencer within their own network and leveraging this is they key to creating true visibility.

It isn’t possible to get my staff to commit to this? Yes it is, because we do it every day and to prove it can be done…we do it ourselves and this is a crucial point. A social media “expert” that tells your company tow produce content every day and doesn’t do this themselves is like the fat personal trainer or the business improvement consultant with holes in their shoes…someone who understand the theory but is not able tout it in to practice and therefore merely a pretender.

If you want to talk to us about how we can get all of your team willing in the same direction to help you to dominate get in touch, then you won’t be walking 500 miles but will be writing 500 blogs too!

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Top Ten Most Watched #TimTalks Videos #podcast

Top Ten Most Watched #TimTalks Videos #podcast

If you didn’t know, here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we run a Podcast called #TimTalks.

Simple format, our CEO (that’s me, Tim Hughes) interviews somebody for 20 minutes.  Key thing is that subject matter has to be educational, there are no sales pitches.  You invest 20 mins of your time and walk away with some knowledge you can implement back at office. 

If you are not aware of it then there is a link here please drop by and subscribe.

As we approach our 60th episode, I thought I would look back on some of the great interviews.

We’ve had some great social media celebrities including Tony Hughes, Dan Disney, Jaz Greer, Nick Toman of CEB now Gartner, Larry Levine, Darrell Amy, Graham Hawkins, Joanne Black, Robert Caruso, Scott Brinker, The Tweetinggodess, and Katie King.

As well as Social Media royalty Jill Konrath, Mark Hunter (The Sales Hunter) Mark Schaefer talking about their new books.

Here at DLA we were pretty amazed that we had only been going 12 months when Top Sales World https://topsalesworld.comshorted listed as in their top sales podcasts to listen to, voted by out listeners.  Thank you to everybody that voted for us!

So who and what were the ten most watched videos of the last 24 months?

The top 10 most watched videos to check out are as follows:-

Tony Hughes @RSVPselling Is the rise of the silent sales floor killing business? via @YouTube

Dan Disney @thedandisney 3 Ways to use Humour in Sales via @YouTube

Daryn Mason – Customer Journey Mapping – Big Impact or Waste of Time?

James Muir @B2B_SalesTips on The Perfect Close

Michael Labate of SAP Shares 3 Golden Nuggets of Social Selling Success

Laura Wheeler @laurawheelers Techniques on How to Engage with Challenging Communities

Lollie Moore – In Business, Social is now the First Handshake

Richard Young – How to use Social Selling When Selling to an Enterprise

Simona Pop – Step by Step Social Selling with @Sim_Pop

Paul Johnston – Digital Disruption in Small to Medium Enterprise – Case Study

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The new LinkedIn algorithm is the kick in the pants I needed