If you’re avoiding social media because of this, then you’re missing the point

The vast majority of the people who follow this blog are business owners (usually SMEs), and as such I imagine this post will resonate somewhat.

This week I had a meeting with a potential client who wanted to find out more about the services I offered.  Initially they were interested in content for their website, but conversation drifted to social media.  They immediately admitted they could see the upside, but the thing that worried them the most was this – what if they (i.e. their customers) took to social media to complain?

It’s entirely plausible that I’ve been doing this for too long because honestly it took me a while to understand what their problem was.

We all know that customers sometimes complain. Occasionally they complain for apparently no reason – some people just can’t be helped. No, it’s never nice to be complained about, so I get that; however, every complaint is an opportunity to wow.

Ah, but a complaint on social media could go viral they tell me.

Yes, I acknowledge, it could. However, you have 15 followers and sell a niche product, the chance is slim. And if it happened, your business would probably benefit from the publicity.

It’s not really worth the risk though, they argue.

Harumph.

Let’s cut to the chase here. Your customers will not complain because you are on social media. If they feel strongly enough to complain, they will find a way to do so.  This obsession that somehow a complaint on a Facebook page is going to destroy your business is simply ridiculous.

How did customers used to complain?  In person. The law of Sod would also dictate they’d wait until your store was at its busiest before they did so. The result? Other people would hear.

You know what impact those complaints have on your target audience? Nothing – provided of course you handle it correctly.

Online complaints are no different.

If someone complains on social media, and you address it courteously and in a timely manner, you will always come away looking better.   As a result, social media is not a thing to be feared. It is an opportunity to be embraced and one we really don’t think you should miss.

 

If you are concerned about how to keep on top of your interactions we offer a management service to take the hassle from you. Alternatively, we are always happy to provide advice if you have a specific concern when it comes to customer service.

Please get in touch by calling our hero hotline: 0161 883 2024, emailing lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk or messaging us via Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

An open letter to the Door to Door Sellers of LinkedIn

Hi

I hope you’re having a great day.

My day was going great until I got an invitation to connect from you. I admit I didn’t recognise your name so I went to your profile to see if I could find out anything helpful. It turns out we have various mutual connections, and for me, that provides you with a degree of legitimacy.

So, I accepted.

I’d barely clicked “accept” before I received another notification – you’d sent me an InMail.

Now, I’m a fairly realistic individual. I know I’m awesome to be around and am generally a good person, but even I know nobody is waiting with baited breath to get in direct contact with me. The speed with which that message comes through would give most people whiplash, which tells me one thing; you’re a salesperson.

Yes, I know we’re all “salespeople”, in the strictest sense of the word – why else be on LinkedIn in the first place? However, you’re one of those salespeople.

With trepidation I open the message and yes, there it is, the generic sales pitch.

Sigh.

Within 60 seconds of accepting your request I have already removed you as a contact. OK, so it’s a minor waste of my time, and a constant source of irritation but in all honesty, I just feel sorry for you.

Despite the fact you think you’re a hot shot with your 500+ connections, I assure you, you’re doing LinkedIn all wrong.

If you have to send a generic pitch to every single new contact without actually reaching out first, then there is something wrong.

This approach is exactly the same as the person who attends a physical networking event and spends the entire time collecting business cards and talking at other people. These people don’t get invited back for a second time, and people avoid their calls. The rest of us, who have mastered the art of conversation and relationship building talk about you when you’re not there, and warn other people to stay clear.

The simple truth is we should all treat our connections like gold. The people you spend time with, whether that be in real life or the virtual world, should be your tribe. They have your back, they cheer you on, they support you and you can learn from them. They are not simply people to sell to and then spit out once you’ve got your pound of flesh.

Spamming people on LinkedIn (and yes my friend, that is exactly what you are doing) is the modern day equivalent of traditional cold calling. I’m not naïve enough to think it doesn’t work, occasionally. For every 20 people that ignore you, one might bite and with your relentless enthusiasm you may well close a deal one day. However, I assure you there is so much more to gain by playing the long game and actually remembering to be social when using social media.

LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to build relationships, whether that be from scratch or to enhance existing ones. The only way to do that is to take your time, be useful to others and always be considerate and respectful.

If you can’t manage that, be quiet. And stay the Hell out of my inbox!

What you should include on your CV

When people know they need to write a CV, or update their old one, they tend to panic.  The reality is it’s just a short document, all about you, so in theory it should be a piece of cake to write.  Right?

 

Well, that’s the problem with theory, it doesn’t always work out that way in practice.

 

You might be writing about yourself, but none of us are that good at promoting ourselves.  We are usually too self-conscious to really shout about our achievements, or we worry we go the other way and sound like we’re egotistical braggers.

 

It is a fine line, and it’s a tough one to walk at the best of time, without the added pressure of knowing your chance of being interviewed depends on you getting it right.

 

The other issue is that most people don’t automatically know what they need to include in a CV, or if they do, in terms of headers, they’re not sure what information really needs to be included.  That’s why we’ve pulled together this quick guide to help you out.  Follow it, and your CV will already be well on the way to being excellent.

 

Start with the basics

 

The most important thing about your CV is going to be your name and contact details.  Make sure these are right at the top of the CV, and are shown clearly.  There is no need to waste space writing “CV of John Smith” or “Curriculum Vitae”; people know what this document is, so don’t spell it out.

 

Do, however, make sure that your name is spelt correctly, that you use your actual name, not nicknames, and that your contact information is included.

 

With regards to contact information, add what you think is the best format for you. Don’t put a landline down if you never answer it, instead use your mobile number.  Do make sure that you have a voicemail facility activated as well in case you miss the call. A recruiter will leave a message.

 

You might also want to consider adding your LinkedIn URL to your contact information.  The reality is a recruiter is likely to search for you anyway, so make their job easier.

 

Personal statement

 

Whatever you call it (summary, profile, objectives etc), this is arguably one of the most important aspects of your CV.  Yes, your career history is vital, but this short paragraph at the beginning is going to let someone make an immediate decision on your past experience, and suitability for the job.

 

Your entire CV should be tailored for each individual role you apply for, but this is where you can make the most tweaks.  Do make sure you keep it short and sweet though, no more than a few sentences and explain:

 

  • Who you are
  • What you can offer the company
  • What your career goals are (and how this role could fit in to those)

 

Key skills

 

Recruiters aren’t known for their patience, mainly because they don’t have the time.  Therefore, adding a key skills section, where you can bullet point and really highlight your strengths, makes life significantly easier for them.

 

In here you can list things such as your technical skills, or you might want to go for more soft skills such as interpersonal or negotiation.

 

The key here is to ensure you are listing skills that the job description/person specification is looking for, so that you can tailor your CV to the role itself.  Of course, only include skills you actually have!

 

Career history

 

It is important you list your career in reverse chronological order, so the recruiter can see what you are doing now, first.

 

For each position state your job title, the name of the company you worked for and your dates of employment (month/year – month/year will suffice).

 

Then list, in bullet points, your main responsibilities and duties, along with any achievements you gained during your time.

 

You do not need to include a reason for leaving, or you starting/leaving salary.

 

Education and qualifications

 

Again, list this in reverse chronological order, and list the name of the institution, your dates of study, what you studied (subject and level) as well as grades achieved.

 

 

Don’t forget, Time Saving Heroes offer CV reviews to help you get on the right track with your CV, as well a full CV writing and Cover Letter service.

 

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you make the best possible first impression, give us a call on 0161 883 2024, contact us via Facebook or Twitter, or drop us an email at hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk.