Hustle yourself larger

eurythmics hustle

Since I read this story I have meant to write about it here on henrietteweber.com.

I love a good marketing hustle, but I also love Eurythmics. When I started out in Marketing in London at the beginning of the 00s, it was on a budget that was a big zero. The startup I was working for didn’t have much money, and the first thing to be eliminated from the budget was the marketing and branding. I was told that they could afford my wages, but they couldn’t afford anything more than that.

What’s a girl to do? Hustle. I hustled myself larger. I (almost) begged to be invited to invite-only industry parties. I was super active in forums, and I discovered a gem: Blogs.

Relationship building online without having to meet for coffee all the time. Where you could make your brand larger than life. Where you could express everything around your company, and if it was remotely interesting to people, you would get a comment. Then you would write some more. And then people you met in the industry knew what you were up to. But it was all a big hustle. And then all of a sudden it became real. We didn’t have to hustle anymore.

We can all hustle. We don’t have to make things from the ground up. We can find a freelancer on odesk or fiverr or even hire a virtual assistant who can help us grow. Reach more people and build an empire. Just like Eurythmics.

How to market your creativity

how to market your creativityThere is one aspect to creativity that’s an, in particular; hard nut to crack.

It’s when it’s supposed to meet the world.

When it’s supposed to stand on its own, tall and beacon-like.

When we take it to market.

Like a stamp to your brand.
Like a developed sellable concept.
Like a painting ready to be sold.

It is at that moment that we as artists, writers and entrepreneurs are most vulnerable. It’s when we show our work to the public. With a blog like this, we do this bit by bit every day. But sometimes we develop something larger. Something to make us thrive even more in this beautiful world in which we exist.

You make your creativity consumable by labelling it.

By calling it names.

By adding “buy now” buttons all over it.

By making it bigger and more product-like.

And this is where the real challenge lies for creatives. Because we have, add an aspect to our creativity that some of us don’t have. That we have to develop and teach ourselves.

It can be a huge frustration, but it can also feel like the ultimate success if we crack this hard nut and make it consumable. Purchasable.

One of my absolute biggest takeaways from running a company for ten years is that labelling and packaging are, if not everything, then 80 % of creativity. It’s how we make our creativity ready for consumption that defines how well we’re going to sell our ideas and our creativity.

Here you go! here’s my rockin’ best identity development tip

Have you seen this before:

Picture found on pinterest
When you talk about identity, marketing and branding, one thing that’s really important is to know what you have to give away. I have always been inspired to do one of those so I did. A Henriette Weber version with the stuff I want to give away: it looks like this:

I think it’s a great exercise and really important in order to prioritize and develop your identity.

Am I ready for some Data Love ?

So this minute I am sitting on the early train from Copenhagen to Berlin for some Data Love. Im heading down there for some days to do some intensive product writing, and participate in Next 11. – a conference I have been to before (next09/2009 where I did a speech about rockbandism, derived from my e-book”why every company should be a rockband” and later my book “return on involvement”). Anyway, the conference has moved – from Hamburg to Berlin since last time, and I wonder how much it will move me. I really dig their subject – “data love” but to say that I love data makes me sound geeky beyond anything =). I also loved their subject last time I was there; “shared economy” – something very relevant these days due to my evercontinious work with Coworkingboat Pan and the launch of the danish crowdfunding site booomerang.dk (where Pan is one of the first projects – YEY !) But the “Data Love” subject to me is so huge, that I am afraid that people won’t be able to reflect on it. When I think about it through and through, teaching and preaching data is what I live off and by – but still I like to wrap it up nicely, because the word “data” to me is very mathematical and not very creative at all – I’ve done some reflections on it, from an identity, marketing and branding perspective and here’s what I came up with:

Data is the mother of “Content” – Creativity is the father These two determinators makes up the whole world of the internet and digital, as I see it. Great content is one of the building blocks to enhance your identity, marketing and branding online. You can’t really have data without creativity,  when you talk about digitalizing. Data is something tangible because it has already been done, where creativity is very intangible.

Data provides the structure Data is such a huge topic that everything digital or mobile or coded has some sort of data. I mean to me it’s something huger than the internet – so I am wondering how the elaboration and the moderation is going to be afterwards. How do you take the subject of data and make it digestible ? I hope I become wiser on that subject at Next.

Data is the digital building block of – well everything Making a conference about Data and your relationship to it, is kind of like making a conference about the whole universe – or what started the universe.

Data has changed the way we rock live Everything can now be documented because of data and it has changed the way we live. It’s not just a minor change, it has changed the whole world – including everything. It has forced businesses to come to terms with, that every step is documented and the reaction to that: transparency and the need to show the world that we as businesses are doing epic worldchanging shit.

That being said, I hope that next will reach philosophical data heights – and I hope to become smarter on the data subject.

What makes an entrepreneur rock ? clearing the unclear path.

Tara is a fantastic femme that I have run into over the last 7 years, both in Europe and in the US. She did a talk for TEDxConcordia a while back about being a startup entrepreneur – a new opportunity for her to conquer, after being one of the coolest and smartest authors and marketers that I have ever met. The talk is entitled “the unclear path” and it made me think hard about my own path as an entrepreneur and as a business owner.

One of the things I personally struggle a lot with, is that I don’t think I do enough as an entrepreneur. There’s not enough hours in the day to have me do everything I want to do. Also the financial insecurity kinda sucks (as fx. now where we have two rents because we haven’t sold our apartment in CPH yet (oh and if anyone is interested in the coolest new yorker apartment 12 km outside of CPH you can see it here and you can buy it from me =) It’s the space where I’ve build Toothless Tiger and written my book so it just oozes with curly  creativity =))

The thing two rents has taught is to not be lazy and to think smarter. So as I see it the unclear path is a freedom to me – and also the path that without a doubt has taught me the most. I feel so rich in experiences and everytime the clients from hell doesn’t pay on time and I want to throw it all away and it doesn’t work out, I think about what a 9-17 job would mean to me and my family and I feel like a caged tiger. And I quickly change my mind again and I’ve realized there’s no way Im going back.

So what makes an entrepreneur rock ? For me it’s both to take the unclear path and make it more and more clear as you go. Getting more and more people in with different expert areas and grow the vision in that way. (ps. I wrote a free ebook a while back called “why every company should be a rockband” – you can get it here)

I’ve teamed up with amazing people. I have some kickass advisors and a fantastic partner in Toothless Tiger who is giving me structure and helping me out driving my dream forward, it’s something I realized I needed a while back because I was driving myself down like the struggling artist I am, thinking “I don’t do enough, and I don’t manage the business well enough” Well I found someone who can manage the business, My business backbone as I call him, and I can focus on my art: the art of marketing, branding and identity.

And YES I see marketing and branding and identity as art. It’s the art of the glorified word “virality” and it’s something that needs constant planning and taking-care-off.

It’s my art and I am an artist who thinks bigger and crazier and more curly than most other people. It’s how I see that I save the world and make it a better place day by day, especially since I only want to work with people who wants to make a difference.

 

Do you use personas when you strategize ?

If not… you should!

When you do business development you tend to create a lot of strategies based on your target group(s). When you strategize around the web you should make the core of your marketing strategy the product. I always make them the perspective of the strategy because it’s a fun way of working, basically it starts out really close to make-believe, but then you keep getting adding more characteristics to the personas, and most of the time they end up being pretty accurate, if you use your logical sense and combine it with a couple of casestudies. I see personas as a narrow generalization and a semi-market-segmentation that is really important for the virality of your message.  Also, It will also make you be closer to the users, if you tailor and align the message with the specific group of people you’re want to love your message or product or whatever…

So, in Toothless Tiger after an analysis (and after reading the book “the user is always right“, we found out that we needed to target people with the same driving force as ourselves, it makes a lot of sense to me, because I can literally take my own drive and opinions and use them for developing the internal strategies for Toothless Tiger, which is awesome.

So – start using personas when you strategize, it will make you’re work more creative and practical. I love to be able to say “if I was a part of this and this targetgroup I would do like this and this and I would feel this and this way about that and that”…

 

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 =)

why you don’t want your brand to be seen as inhuman online

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This is something that touches me very deeply and it’s a constant annoyance for me even though it’s a minor detail, and then again, it’s not.

Inhumanity online.

The perfect example is an event on facebook where you are hosting as a company but it has a personal mailadress attached. Another great example is when a person sends out a mail from a personal emailadress and signs it as a company. Or somebody who makes a personal profile in a forum and then insist on making your forum identity a corporate one.

And the internet these days is made to be some kind of human, meaning that even though you are an online identity somewhere by a handle (a name you pick out yourself, but not the same as your real name) or your identity is the same as your inreallife person (with your own name you also use on the streets =).

I would claim that the social media today is builded in a way that you need to state who you are in person. You need to be human, and not a company.

So stop stating your a company in a social media if they haven’t build a specific company profile (facebook has. f.eks with their pages).

The same on Twitter – you can be a company, but it’s better that it’s one person that is actually being the company (and the other people on twitter actually knows who it is, instead of just communicating with a brand.

I would communicate with a brand, but the marketing perspectives of choosing the inhuman touch to social simply makes your possibilities within the communities too limited.

the difference between twitter and facebook – or why should I be on both ?

iheartcommunities

So I have been wanting to write this for about 2 weeks. Mostly because my email is flooded with questions about the “new” twitter thing. Yep twitter has gone mainstream in Denmark as well by now. So to all you wonderful people out there I have decided to explain a couple of things about twitter, how it differs from facebook, and how you can use it for marketing and branding.

If you look at facebook and the actions there (be it companies, profiles, groups or events) facebook is excellent at creating a social tail. A tail defined by your actions in facebook (and also a fragment of your online presence – supplied by RSS). This is what facebook does and is excelling in at this point. Interacting and exploring other people on behalf of data they themselves put out there.

Now Twitter is different – and it doesn’t have the same kind of social tail. Twitter is like small social raindrops of information more frequently and more impulsive than facebook is. Twitter seems agile, where facebook seems huge.

You can explore people on facebook. You can explore people on twitter. But where facebook is great to find out a lot of stuff about people based on a context, Twitter is great at exploring people based on conversation and interactions.

So you can actually follow people on twitter that doesn’t have to follow you back. You are being continously updated on people and brands you think are interesting – both on mobile but also on the web.

Furthermore you can actually import your twitterfeed to facebook and have twitter run as statusmessages on facebook – which also makes twitter a transitional community (the way to go in my Point of View),

Why should you be on both twitter and facebook ?

Because it’s two different kinds of interactions going on in facebook and on twitter. If you want to you could see twitter as “yet-another-social-media-distribution-channel”, otherwise you could see it as a valuable talk/feedback mechanism. Facebook is so social all the way, but I am afraid that its not where the cool kids hang for that much longer. Not when you have tools like twitter to supplement a part of it. from a marketing point of view you really need both these days.

oh and a couple of companies I think are doing one hell of a job on twitter.com

http://twitter.com/zappos – Tony the CEO of Zappos.com has a great twitter voice

– the same does wired magazine http://twitter.com/wired

Basically if you want to toy around with twitter as a part of your marketing, remember no salespitches and don’t be rude or stupid. if you are posting stuff on twitter remember it has to be relevant information for the people following you. I suggest you head over there and try it out – Im here if you need me =)

A pill of rockbandism for your social marketing

socialmarketing

In a combination of a blogpost by Seth Godin about Authenticity, a post about “best recession marketing investment: relationships”, and a further rockbandism clarification from yours truely, in danish – I decided to write a bit about rockbandism again. I think this is dead important people, so listen up.

Social marketing is not just something that people accidently catch up on, when you want to market something socially. If you’re lucky, and the thing you market is really great and remarkable, this will truely happen – and that is a really great thing. But for the rest of us, it’s hard work. It’s business unusual.  I mean there is no naivity of the internet. Don’t underestimate your audience by thinking that if you decide to make social marketing a part of your overall marketing strategy, that your brand will go viral. It won’t unless you create rockbandism.

I wrote an ebook about rockbandism a while back, in my opinion you should read it if you want to do anything with social marketing or with being business unusual.

Rockbandism is the step before the social marketing proces, it’s the step where you define how you brand and product will feel on the internet and IRL – with autenticity, trustworthyness, remarkability and with substance. it’s the step where you invent the reason for people to involve themselves in your brand and make your brand go a bit more viral.

If I am to be completely honest with myself, this is not a question of marketing and appearance. It’s a question of inventing, building and creating something so genuine, authentic, thrustworthy and remarkable for your company that it can used as marketing. It’s about being human and a company people can relate to, on the internet. Inhumanity is what rockbandism is fighting. It’s about being a business unusual and a rockband. truely.