Is busy a marker of importance?

I used to be busy. All the time.

I used to think that busy meant important.

I couldn’t bear to look at the signs – telling me that I had taken the wrong turn and that I was too busy.

There was only one option to me, and that was that I had to be important so I could be busier. I had to have more clients.

But busy isn’t a marker of importance.

Busy is a marker of stress. It’s a marker of thinking too much about things that doesn’t matter that much when everything comes together. The only thing important? The only things that matter when everything comes together is you, your health and your family.

 

rock on

Return on Involvement made it to the mashable.com 2013 buzzword list

return on involvement quote 1

 

 

 

 

 

Go Return on involvement! I’m so happy writing this! I hope you feel energized and ready to get going for 2013 – I sure do.

During my christmas + new year break I suddenly saw that the traffic to henrietteweber.com started to skyrocket – something that always gets an business avantgardist happy. It was because the term “return on involvement” had made it to Mashable’s buzzword list of 2013! – wowza! I have been writing and preaching return on involvement since 2008, so even though I can’t say I have directly influenced them to put “return on involvement” on their buzzword list. However I feel like it’s somewhat of an approval of my work and my danish book (entitled return on involvement). At least I pretend that it’s directly influenced by my work, and it inspires me like mad to keep going. The first thing that sprung to mind was that I have to finish the 2nd edition (and first english edition) of Return on Involvement.

So what is all this Return on Involvement fuzz about?

Return on Involvement, in it’s original danish form is a book that I decided to self-publish about social media, old structures, being epic, branding, rockbandism, “sorry I don’t do mainstream” – ness.
Written by yours truely in 2009 and now on it’s way to be published in english for it’s second version. I can safely say I am channeling my inner Naomi Klein, Eric Sclosser, Kalle Lasn and Banksy in the english version of the book.

It both has a positive business outlook for the future, but it also pinpoints some huge issues that the business world as we know today has – and it gives suggestions on how to deal with this as a CEO or a business owner.

Can’t wait to show it to you!

ps. you can read more about my process in “the Zen of Return on Involvement”

Free rock your identity e-book

I love my work – but somethings more than others. Today I feel so lucky because I get to launch my brand new e-book entitled “rock your identity”. Here. Together with the best rockers in the world.  Seriously I love launching stuff and just see how things build up.

rock your identity ebook cover

Rock your identity with the social media value chain!

It’s core ingredient is a social media value chain I posted on this blog a while back , and now I’ve been working around it with my clients in Toothless Tiger. So of course the next natural step was to write a free e-book around it and give it to you. So this is for you rockers! This is how you can rock your identity on social media, Henriette Weber style.

The Social Media Value Chain is a model that helps you define your own process around social media, content marketing and branding. The different activities in the social media value chain are done as implementable as possible. But it is in the combination of the activities that the real magic exist. I know you’re probably not going to be as excited as I am, for launching a free ebook. But I really think you should give it a shot. I promise you, it will be worth your time.

The e-book is out in Danish here and in English here.

oh, btw – the danish pressrelease is here

The story of Henriette Webers involvement manifesto

Yesterday I launched the involvement manifesto – again. I’ve launched it already once – but I don’t believe that my homemade design skills did it justice. Therefore I let Amelie from Krawatt.se play around with it and here’s what she came up with :

The involvement manifestoI absolutely adore it.

 

How to get your version of the involvement manifesto

You can go ahead and download the involvement manifesto over on Toothless Tiger press – my publishing house.

Anyway I decided to put it up here on the blog as well.

I want to touch upon how important it is to take large pieces of content and break it up and make it digestable.

The involvement manifesto is a digestible way of reading a part of danish book “return on involvement”, it’s a mini teaser for the english one as well. There are so many ways to break down large pieces of content – and it’s one of the things I love to do the most because it makes you feel so creative.

Have you done something huge?

And have you thought about breaking it down into small pieces of involvement content and spread it out like little snippets of you and your messages? It’s truely important to not only work around your business plans with HUGE books and all these things that makes your brand – because you need small snippets of freebies and information that travels fast. Like fragments of epic shit building the empire of me.

One of the things that I would actually love, was if just one person in the world thought that this was an utterly amazing manifesto, and put it up on the wall in the office and start using it. Believing so much in my thoughts about business unusual that the person would print it out and read through it occasionally. That’s my ambition for this manifesto. However I must say – I will print on canvas and put it up in the Toothless Tiger office. Because to me that poster is a stunner – the essence of the book.

Does a tiny bit of Facebook make you a social company?

 

Yesterday I saw this on the road in Copenhagen;

First I thought it was a coffeeshop called FACEBOOK. Then I read the small letters which said “find us on FACEBOOK”… (Im writing in capital letters because it really did scream to me). It was really bizarre because FACEBOOK was written right where you would look for the storename.

It reminds me a bit about this inserted on a webpage (underneat the “we-take-these-credit-cards-statement”):

Or this thrown in at the bottom of a newsletter (and then when you open it, it errors because they haven’t gotten a username for their page)

It just seems so not-very-well-thought-through. I don’t have a problem with people stating that they are on facebook – it just seems like such an empty shout and very end-of-the-90s, because back then, everybody was shouting “FIND US ON THE INTERNET” it later became a URL.

My problem with it is when it seems half-assed.

Having nothing but sales pitches and corporate speak in a newsletter and then stating “find us on facebook” is annoying the hell out of me. A tiny bit of Facebook does not make you a social company.  Having no personal contact or human reach out on your website and then putting up a huge “F” underneath your creditcard logos – is something I see as a sad attempt to be something your not. You’re trying to be hip, but you aren’t. You want to show that your shop is cool, but you haven’t quite putted in the effort. It’s a quick fix and I get the old “you just don’t get it” feeling. It literally destroys your brand and your identity for me. Sorry, but it does.

Well au contraire, maybe it’s me that doesn’t get it. Maybe Im a writing lunatic that wants to make companies into something they’re not, and something that they don’t really want to be ?

 

 

 

Creating an empire of you

Have you ever thought about – that you could create an empire of you ? Especially with the tools available on the net these days. You can become your own business (and business plan).. isn’t that just super-awesome-amazing ? I think it rocks. So here’s a snippet of the new Henriette Weber design – and it’s going to have so much more of me. Really It’s totally me, and there’s going to be more =)

Where Toothless Tiger is my workplace, henrietteweber.com is going to contain my wisdom and my wonderings given to you in a blog and newsletter format. I have even added a danish newsletter to the site – the blog will be kept in english though – as it has been for the last 5 years…

Anyway – I have a to-do list of 30 things I want to add to the site – so I’ll get on with it and let you have a rockin weekend =)

Viral effect utopia

I have, during the past week, had a lot of clever conversations with cool people about the secret behind social media. Because let’s face it, what we are really after is what the viral effect could possibly do for our brand/company/NGO – and with social media it has become a bit easier – or so we believe. But going back to before social media/communities/forums etc was mainstream I tend to believe that it was easier to stand out. It was easier to rock and be cool online – because not that many else did it – or tried to do it.

But viral effects today – is something that people believe can be attained if we start engaging on social media – well it’s both true and not true. It depends on the initiatives and the creativity, and for most companies, it’s utopia. A perfect country that is completely unrealistic.

However – every minute spend on a crazy creative idea – accelerated on social media, gathering people, not only lets you into their mindspace, but creates a momentum that is continiously updated from every tweet and statusmessage.
Meaning that people who are interested enough in you to become fans or followers or whatever you’ll call them – will actually know what you’re doing – which to me is a priceless opportunity, But it’s also an empty space – it’s what you put in there that matters, and that’s the creative anarchy of my everyday life as well.

So maybe the version of viral effects that we can attain – the realistic viral effect, are the effect of people who knows you and like you and trust you enough to become fans and followers.

I would work with the know/like/trust combined with the viral effect utopia. Oh and I would proactively get to know more people – not because they are potential fans/followers/clients – but because most people are cool and fantastic and rocks =)

Involvement needs to come from yourself.

I just wrote a picturesque blogpost on my danish social media blog on amino.dk, I normally don’t do this, but I think the blogpost was really cool so I decided to translate it and crosspost it here.

it’s about involvement/engaging people – which in my opinion is starting to get as much of a buzzword as social media is. To me it’s quite bizarre because I have been in this creative game for a long time, I have gone from people thinking that I was completely crazy talking about “community marketing” and “the power of online relationships” and how it could be used for business, and then now where everything I have been working at, for a while suddently is so HAWT and the talk of the town. I guess this is a post that is a warning on how you shouldn’t teach people to “involve” people in your brand. It’s a raised finger and a “be careful” because as far I am concerned, it’s taking the beauty and the substance out of engaging and involving people.

Anyway here goes:

There’s so many people that suddently talks about social media and involvement – it’s everywhere ! and even though it’s a joy to me I can also see it exploding in the face of business anytime- in a bad way. Im a person with a deep drive to make a difference in this fantastic and creative world of social marketing, where I earn my money for my cornflakes and my sugar everyday. There’s a lot of people that are wondering how you can use this  “social media” that in my point of view does one thing and one thing only: they get you closer to people. If these people are clients, suppliers or potential clients really isn’t the point here. It’s probably a simplistic way of looking at social media, and of course there’s a lot of creme de la creme around it so it becomes sweet and cool and hawt and iphone/facebook/twitter hyped- BUT if you think about this as the only thing that social media does – then it also becomes easier to work around as a company.

Let’s say that you (as a company) is standing right in front of a potential client. You can even see in each others eyes and it looks like a person you would be interested in having in your company network, and maybe selling a product or two. because you are so close to each other, you can hear what he says, and he can hear what you say – even though if he’s not speaking directly to you – but to his network that has the same relation to this fine gentleman as you have.

Now, normally you would be expecting that it’s you that needs to open you mouth and say something smart. But what you say is something like “come and be a fan of my facebook page/follow me on twitter and get 100 dollars discount on your next purchase in my online shop or have the opportunity to win a trip to New York (or if you see it my way what it says is “please buy something – anything really”). Maybe it even is said in a way called “page suggestion” where you don’t even take our time to write a personal note to the person receiving the suggestion – I guess  you’re super busy running your business or something. The potential client is thinking “well it might not hurt to be a fan of this company that I don’t know that well”. He get’s some totally pointless updates about a company that doesn’t provide any value whatsoever to the people receiving the update. And within a span of a couple of weeks the potentiel client, now turned “fan” is not a fan anymore – he is in fact the opposite thinking that this company is wasting his time. He didn’t any value. You on the other hand, got a lot of might and glory by adding another fan to your following of empty talk and no value, Whatever that means.

And then we rewind the tape.

Again you are standing in front of this person. you can hear what he says but it’s not directed to you – it’s directed to his whole network. You are just about to open you mouth and say something that would be “good for business” – but then Henriette tells you that you need to wait and listen to what he says first. Put yourself in his place, talk to him. comment on the things that are important to him. Support him and show him of on your blog because you think he’s super cool.  Tell him why you are following him on twitter or whereever, be personal, invite him as a guest of honor for your next exclusive champagne and cupcake party. Involvement is about how you involve people. How you become a cool brand. But the involvement needs to come from you first, in a way where you give and give and give, because it’s by spoiling your network and the people who are interested/potentially interested in you and your company that the involvement that-you-want-so-bad-it-hurts actually comes up.

This closeness with your network means that you can’t use it for business as usual. You can’t be not-personal and noisy. You have to proactively involve yourself in your network, before the people in your network will involve themselves in you, your brand and your activities. You need to earn every one of your facebook page fans or twitter followers – you need to involve yourself in them and be proactive about it. In that exact way you create the involvement that is oh-my-so-hawt-right-now. They will follow and involve themselves  because you are a company that cares and provide value for them by facilitating their interest and keep on showing them to the rest of your network.

It sounds hard – and it is! – it’s different – it’s hippie-ish it’s rock n’roll and it takes A LOT of creativity. And it’s sooo much fun..

Introducing the social media value chain

I have been toying around with a social media value chain for a while, mainly to put my own social media work into boxes.

So this is what I initially came up with:

the social media value chain developed by Henriette Weber
So as I said this is work in progress and a way for me to teach how I work around marketing and social web initiatives. If you have input I would love to hear them. I would love the internets to develop this together because I am so sure that you guys are so much smarter than me. I don’t know if you guys have been forced to analyze companies with value chains – this is my way to analyze the outcome and the progress of social media, social web and how you can identify and drive initiatives.

The social media value chain in short:

company persona: Who you are/what you stand for.

digital ressources: How many people you will have working with social media.

tendencies/media/technologies: What the internet looks like right now – opportunities and obstacles.

crowd/crowdsourcing (my personal favorite): To what extend are you going to let people impact the activites in your social media value chain?

Now to the hardcore part of the social media value chain:

Inbound content/ideas/creativity: this is where you start – brainstorming and thinking out of the box au contraire to what you normally do…

implementation/choices of initiatives: the implementation of ideas you have decided to go ahead with

tools/strategies: what tools will you use to get the idea to market ?

marketing/dialogue/involvement: start talking and start involving yourself – and how do you plan on doing that ?

service/feedback: what are people saying about your initiative, and how can you use that in the continous development of your company and identity?

In the normal value chain you have margin as a total outcome. I have simply put outcome there and added an “iteration” or a repetition – so you kind of rinse and repeat.

I look so much forward to hearing your comments on this – oh and implementing them to the social media value chain =)

a place in the sun – on engaging people and control

itisntonlyrnr

I have been giving my looks upon social marketing on a danish blog ( sorry in danish only guys) lately, I have been elaborating on it over and over again in my head and I have a couple of points I would like to discuss here on my own blog. Now if you decide to let go of the control of your brand and start using the involvement and the engagement as a marketing tool (a couple of campaigns lately has done that – without the “best” outcome for the brand – skittles, starbucks, motrin, slideshare etc.) The problem is that people on the business side of life see this as a failed marketing campaign. Heck “fail” is probably the box they normally put these things of “oh people did not act around the brand the way I expected”.

From a consultants side of the table, on of the first things I would encourage companies to is to let go of the control and start putting their content where people already where. Places like facebook, youtube, digg and one the 10.000 other social media and web 2.0 tools out there.

But seriously is it still a discussion about control ? – well not really – not in my eyes for sure. Is it about failing ? Nah. it’s about companies getting their act together and start doing cool stuff. It’s about not seeing a campaign as a failure because you achieve getting people to engage in a brand, but then they don’t engage in the brand doing only good stuff. Some of the stuff they do with your brand might be pretty scary shit for the management of the company, it might be scary for business as usual. But seriously if you can get in the attention stream of people and having them spending 10 minutes taking anti-pictures of your brand – you don’t have to see this campaign as a failure, you should see it as something that you seriously need to adress.

In my view there is no magic middle for companies to lie in the sun and make money with no opinion and nothing to stand for anymore. Motrin got their ass kicked pretty bad with their motrin mommy ad (I as a mother cannot see how the commercial could air, because in short it is offensive and disrespectful to mothers) – but if that’s what they stand for, fine by me, I just wouldn’t buy their products. Other people would probably.

My point is, that there’s no magic place in the sun – where people don’t have opinions about you anymore, either people will think you rock or they will think you suck. Sucking is to be taken seriously because it shows that some people think that your existence as a company – well basically shouldn’t be  (rockin’ is for partying hard and being cool – and do more rockin stuff and being cooler)…

Engaging people makes you wiser, for good or bad, it shows you what you really need to work on as a company – especially over time.