It’s common practice in the social media space to be transparent with respect to your clients and vested interests. I’ve wanted to write this post for some time. It’s part disclosure and part ode to some of the remarkable people I call clients – and friends.
My work with the following individuals and organization spans a wide range of services – from social media training and coaching, to blog design and content development, to online personal branding and content marketing. Some engagements have been modest, while others involved more significant time and resources. In all cases, I feel I’ve received as much value as I’ve (hopefully) delivered.
Tom Bradley heads up a mutual fund investment firm called Steadyhand that is quietly showing other financial services firms how to leverage social media to build their reputation and profile.
One look at the Steadyhand website tells it all – clean and crisp in look and feel, as well as messaging. Tom is a gifted communicator who knows how to simplify complexity without seeming to talk down to the investor.
Tom is thinking about his reputation long-term and building for the future. You can tell this just by looking at his website and blog and the type of content he produces.
Here’s how you can tell:
1. The website – www.steadyhand.com – It’s clean, uncluttered and works very well. The design is friendly, yet professional. The fund information is easy to read and not buried in PDF files. There are some nice interactive tools and calculators that add value to the site. There is even some personality and a touch of humour, so you get a sense of who these folks really are.
2. The blog – www.steadyhand.com/blog – Tom writes regularly for the Globe and Mail and repurposes these pieces for his blog. Tom has been blogging for four years already and, as you can see, he has become quite good at it. He and his colleagues at Steadyhand consistently produce high-quality investment information and analysis that helps make them stand out in the online world.
3. The videos – www.steadyhand.com/podcasts - Tom has started producing short video pieces in which he has a conversation with one of his fund managers. These pieces are not slick, over-produced ads – they are simple conversations in which investors get to see Tom and the fund managers talking about their approach and some specific holdings. This video interview of Steadyhand’s small cap equity fund manager creates a sense of transparency allowing the investor to get behind the numbers and see the personality of the fund manager and, therefore, the fund itself. It’s not riveting video – unless you are considering investing in the fund.
4. The social media - twitter.com/Steadyhandfunds – Steadyhand has a Twitter account and uses it to alert followers to new content postings or special events. Not all users want to receive their information the same way: some like being on email lists, other don’t; some like subscribing to blogs with a feed reader, others have no idea what that is; and some like using Twitter as a personalized data stream into which they can jump for a few minutes between engagements. Using a variety of social media channels allows the consumer of your information to choose – and consumers always love choice.
So, Steadyhand, keep up the good work. Your social media and content creation efforts are leading the way into the future of communications for investment firms.
Of course, a few old farts scolded me for reading business books on vacation. (It was a driving vacation and I wanted compelling audio book material to pass the hours.) But I also got a lot of good suggestions. Here is the list in the order that I am working my way through them:
1. Trust Agents (Brogan and Smith) – This is a must read for anyone wishing to get into the social media space. Whether you are a practice professional, consultant, writer, etc. – whatever you are – if you want to build influence online, this is the book for you. (Thanks, Penelope.)
2. What the Dog Saw (Gladwell) – A collection of essays and articles covering a wide range of topics, Gladwell is an exceptionally entertaining and though-provoking writer – if you like to think about things and why they are as they are. While his insights tend to be presented in particular social and economic context, he is fascinated with disruptive, category-changing ideas and the complex processes that give rise to them. In many ways, this is a business book in disguise.
3. Think and Grow Rich (Hill) – Back in the 1930s, Napolean Hill wrote this classic of business thinking and, in a way, gave birth to the modern motivational speaker/guru movement. The book reads like it was written last year which is such an incredible accomplishment in itself. Yet, it also contains nuggets of wisdom that are universal in their truth. Think of “growing rich” in the broadest possible sense when you read this one. (Thanks, Anne.)
Basically, this is all I got through so far this summer. But the list recommendations continues and I’ll be working through some of these others over the coming months:
My eyes have definitely been opened. Now, on to changing the game.
So, what have you been reading lately that has shaken your world?
I can’t help but jump on the Old Spice bandwagon.
I saw this TV ad for the first time during the World Cup:
I laughed. So did my seven-year-old son. I wanted to smell like him – shit, I wanted a body like him.
The ad is part of a series of Old Spice ads by marketing agency Wieden + Kennedy and actor Isaiah Mustafa. Check them all out on YouTube.
The coolest part of the story is the social media component. Not only does Old Spice have a YouTube channel, a http://www.facebook.com/OldSpice, and a Twitter account but they are now responding to questions posted by users of those social media in advertisement form. They’ve posted dozens of videos on YouTube featuring the actor responding in his Old Spice character to actual questions and to actual respondents on a first name basis. According to this article, they produced 87 videos in one 11 hour days in response to the comments and questions received from the social media campaign.
Some responses are directed at famous online personalities and others at regular joes. Here is one response directed at Demi Moore who asked Old Spice a question:
I love this guy. I love the writing. I love the strategy. And I definitely want to smell like him.
I like my current deodorant, but I’m picking up some Old Spice next time I’m at the store.
We recently migrated the Talmud Torah web site to a WordPress platform and have been actively managing content on the site, such as posting event updates and pictures/video from school events. Daily traffic to the site has grown considerably aslready as word-of-mouth has spread among parents who want to keep up with what’s going on in their children’s school.
Over the coming months, we will be using this site as a small case study to examine the benefits of improved web site content.