Your Values Reveal Your Truth

This morning's #BrandTribe chat (where we discuss best practices in brand creation and communication every week on Twitter at 9am PST) was extraordinary!  Andrea and I introduced the subject of values and how that relates to your brand.  Apparently talking about values really gets people revved up cause for week 3 we had some huge engagement!

Before we got started I was flagged about Jeff Turner's blog Behavious Is The Truest Form Of Communication and he refers to Marc Davidson's 1000 Watt blog post Who Are You? Jeff and Marc both lead by example and tend to address the tough questions cutting through the crap and getting to the heart of the matter.

Jeff acknowledged many people struggle with identifying their values and suggested that your values aren't just words...you don't just pick some pretty sounding words and post them on the wall.  Our values guide all our decisions and our behaviours reflect them.  Its something more intrinsic and not necessarily always something positive.

Here's the thing....I feel a shift happening. Maybe you do too?  I have tagged it #feeltheshift and I'm starting to see it EVERYWHERE!  The rich conversations have moved away from money and prestige and ego....into far more positive realm...its like we're all starving for more meaning in our lives.  We want to attract people into our world that are more aligned with our values.

For me that means integrity, ethics, having conversations that actually matter and drive to do 'good' like Andrea with her new company Brands For The People.

This is a company I WANT to partner with.  I want to get behind Andrea and promote her to my sphere because I BELIEVE in what she stands for and I BELIEVE she's doing the GOOD work.  Its no cooincidence that we're also friends.  It's her values, vision and principles that draw me to her.

So grab a piece of paper...take some time...go deep....be honest and ask yourself: What do I stand for?  Truly.


What's Your "WHY"? #BrandTribe


The REAL Truth About Social Media and Eric Harr

The REAL TRUTH about "The Real Truth About Social Media" author Eric Harr's latest book, is it's a Dynamic Read for anyone new to Social Media!

I introduced you all to Eric Harr, Founder and President of Resonate Social Media (a boutique agency in California) last month when he reached out to me and asked if I'd review his book. I was so impressed with his approach that I wrote about it here: True Appreciation and Genuine Intent. (and am now a bona fide fan!)

I received the book as promised and I spent this weekend inhaling it! "The Real Truth About Social Media" lays out all the basics for beginners who have accepted that Social Media is NOT a passing trend but a cultural revolution and its time to jump on the bus or risk being run over by it!

Eric explains in plain english how to use the tools while attacking the
"Monumental Myths" and breaking it down into "Timeless Truths" for both personal and business.
Loved this:

Monumental Myth: Social Media is Media. 
Timeless Truth: Social Media is Relationships. 

Can I hear an A-to-the-MEN!

Eric explains why you want to be in the space and how to best use it for your purposes.  I'm guessing he chose 'truth' in his title because I believe that Truth is one of his most treasured values. You've likely been navigating through the mass rhetoric out there from an onslaught of newly self-appointed Social Media Gurus.  How do you discern whose advice to heed?
Eric on the "Bay Sunday" local CBS news program discussing Social Media (notice his comments to me :) )
Like anything else in life, I usually follow the advice of people I respect and admire.
Eric's genuine approach to business leading with integrity and shining a light on his own principles and values is WHY you should read this book. Eric lives his life at a level of excellence across the board with an ever focused eye on doing Social Good…all part of the movement that I regularly refer to as #feeltheshift and Eric encourages everyone entering the social space to operate from a place of 'giving'.

The "Thank You Economy"was coined by Gary Vaynerchuk (one of my favorite Social Media Revolutionaries, author, speaker and business consultant) and was referenced in this book.  According to Gary, social media requires "humanity, humility, respect and reverence"…Maybe that's why I love it so much! We're cutting through the bullshit! No longer are the ones who stomp their feet the loudest automatically the ones that are heard.

"We ARE the media" message was hit home.  The revolution has levelled the field for most of us…You have a story to tell? Now you can on FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr...YOU can build your audience!  Just remember the key theme ~ INSPIRE and share awesome! In reference to one of Eric's favorite YouTube videos he said this:

"Ten years ago the story would have stopped at the local newspaper - but YouTube helped him to inspire the world. YouTube was merely the tool; the story was the thing."

I love how Eric advises to connect with your "Why".  I'm a huge Simon Sinek fan who wrote "Start with Why" and suggests that 'people don't buy what you do…they buy WHY you do it" its your WHY that inspires so make sure to get clear about it!

Loaded with great case studies like how one blogger vented about his 'lemon of a DELL computer' and lack of customer care when he complained….That post resonated with the masses! We've all been betrayed and left fuming with inadequate service. But DELL wasn't listening and it's a good lesson to all companies. I often say: You don't HAVE to be in the space, but the customer is having a conversation about you anyway. Wouldn't you rather be part of that conversation and have some influence over your own reputation?

Eric pointed out that not every blog goes viral: 3 things must be present: Reach (large audience which takes time to build); it has to be compelling and it has to resonate. It has to strike a chord with us.

At the end of the day Eric says "you better be throwing a rocking party or people aren't going to stay long" ~Amen Brother! As Eric pointed out...the best parties are the ones where the host circulates, makes sure everyone feels welcome and their glasses are always filled.  Be a better listener and take a genuine interest.

Eric also touched on the C-suite reluctancy to jump in the space because of the silly and trite names like 'twitter' 'Plurk' 'Ning' and 'Bebo' …try and get an exec to say the word 'tweet' - they literally squirm!  They're going to have to get over it....

"I sit, mouth agape, in a semi-drooling state of bewildered awe, when companies say to me, ''We don't have the time or resources to dedicate to social media.' Befuddled, I wonder, To what are you allocating your time and resources? There are hundreds of millions of people - your past, current and future customers - who are defining your brand, making product recommendations and influencing one another's purchase decisions more broadly and more rapidly than ever before. One satisfied customer can bring a huge number of new customers to you in a single post. One scathing review on Yelp can prevent hundreds, or thousands, from ever doing business with you. You don't have the time or resources to dedicate to this? Um, hello?"

He touched on a point that I get passionate about! Retaining your current customers which is so much more cost effective than sourcing new ones! Rewarding your loyal customers and bringing them into the fold is an awesome strategy often overlooked. Engage with your brand advocates - acknowledge and reward them!

Metrics matter! Hell ya! But the RIGHT metrics! Love how Eric mentioned not to get hung up on "the bright shiny object" of number of followers.  He said "I would rather have10 highly influential and engaged followers than 10,000 people who aren't listening." (I wrote about this very thing when my mentor and very good friend Jeff Booth CEO of Build Direct gave me a shout out in his key note address during the Enterprise 2.0 Summit Social Media Week - THAT was cool! :)

Finally ~ Eric clearly understands the power of social ~reaching out to others he sees as influencers and who have "reach" to share his book :) I'm one of the lucky ones and I'm eternally grateful! I've said it before and I'll say it again:

The true beauty of social is the ability to connect with amazing people that you otherwise would never have the opportunity to meet! 

Connecting is powerful stuff!  Of course, be clear ~ Eric sees me as his "Marketing Maven" and he's counting on me to to engage my audience and promote him! Talk about genius marketing…but hey ~ all it took was a a genuine connect, a copy of his book AND we get to 'feel good'! Now THAT's ROI! (Return On Investment)

Eric suggests we shouldn't be asking ourselves "What is the cost of engaging in Social Media?" but rather "What is the cost of NOT engaging?"  The trick is: You ACTUALLY have to CARE!

Special thanks Eric for sharing your knowledge. I agree with literally EVERYTHING and that's THE REAL TRUTH! You saved me from having to write a book ;) Cheers my online friend until we meet IRL!

Purchase your own copy of The Real Truth About Social Marketing here: http://www.fastpencil.com/publications/3048-The-REAL-TRUTH-About-Social-Media?tid=bookbuy


1st EVA #BrandTribe Chat


Adversity Is Just Change

A remarkable and inspiring message from Aimee Mullins (a Paralympian/model/actress with both her lower legs amputated) about not just overcoming adversity but in fact learning to embrace it and lean into it for the gift that it is.

Eloquent, graceful and lovely Aimee recounts her childhood doctor "delcaring" her strength and power and how important it is to empower and bolster the human spirit... to recognize the unique power that every one of us is gifted with and drawing it out. To recognize that we as human beings have a remarkable ability to adapt and that "Adversity is just change that we haven't adapted ourselves to yet."

(I wrote about how Change Is Good here as well.)

You will be forever changed after watching.  #feeltheshift

Engage Engage Engage!!

Thanks to Hubspot for yet ANOTHER awesome infographic ~ why its SO important to amp up your engagement!

Act Big To Get Big

HubSpot Marketing Automation Software


Change is GOOD!

I had the privilege of being invited to join my amazing friend Debra Trappen to her church services a couple of Sunday's ago while I was in town for a visit in Bellevue, WA.

A little background is required here...I grew up going to very traditional church services where we sang hymns and bowed our heads in prayer and wore our 'Sunday Best' to services.  It was very Reverent, Conservative and Comfortable.

Skip ahead to my experience at Debra's Church (Champion Centre in Bellevue)...Kids....This ain't your Mom and Dad's Church experience!

From the moment I arrived I was keenly aware...THINGS HAVE CHANGED!!
Upon entering I notice everyone is pretty casual...I spy lots of jeans and sweaters and the church itself has a built in coffee house and book shop ~ very urban and contemporary and conducive to great visiting :)  I take my place in the front row. No hiding for me ~ Deb has placed me front and center so I can cheer her on when she's singing on stage.  Now when I say singing, we're talking Rock n Roll baby! The AMAZING band (lead and base guitar, keyboard and drums) got us good and revved up with an instrumental rendition of Michael Jackson's THRILLER (it was Halloween weekend)! It was truly awesome!  

Then the singers (including Debra) joined the stage.
Arms waving up in the air...Not bowed in prayer.  Loud rock style music...Not Reverent.  
Everyone in the church standing (everyone except me that is)...I'll admit it. 


Then eventually the music subsided (although there was gentle background music even during prayer) and Pastor Kevin's (apparently we go first name here) sermon (more like a keynote) was broadcast on the big screen. 

Here's where it got really interesting.  This guy can preach! Or rather NOT PREACH! This was a  motivating, 'even-if-you-don't-believe' message that was truly awesome! (And from a Branding perspective - I LOVED it!)

Pastor Kevin spoke about A.B.S. = Audacious Believing and Speaking! In other words...be bold ~ See it BIG and Speak UP about it! What a great message for anyone!

So what' your point Teri?

Ok ~ here goes:  I was on a Google+ hangout with Debra and Michael McClure (who's about to launch a total game changing business in RE ~Stay tuned!!) discussing our upcoming  panel presentation at Inman Connect in New York in January (WHOOHOO!!!).  All 3 of us share a passion for Raising The Bar in the Real Estate Industry and we'll be speaking to Optimizing the Consumer Experience.  We often discuss how reluctant some people in our industry seem to be toward 'change'...and that's when I had an "Aha Moment".  It suddenly dawned on me that there is a very strong parallel here!

Religion VS Real Estate
Stay with me here......

It seems to me that whenever CHANGE is in the air ~ we all tend to get a little uncomfortable.  

I mean ~ I liked my Traditional, Conservative, Reverent Church experience.  The hymns and the quiet bowing of heads is very familiar to me...almost comforting.  It's the way its always been done.  But is the new style really so bad? I'll bet Debra's Church attracts all kinds of new generation disenfranchised church goers who are feeling more and more of a disconnect with traditional religion and prefer a more contemporary, open and progressive one.

The same could be said for today's Real Estate Industry.  I see a major shift happening.  With today's new technology and social media and the savvy consumer having access to way more information, the industry has no choice but to loosen the grip and open up to change.  The consumer is demanding it.  

I see Brokerages bleeding, Realtors® abandoning their careers in frustration...I see disconnected Associations and Boards and a lot of scared people trying to hold on to what used to be.  


I also see a lot of opportunity! I see new technologies allowing us to connect in a way we never could before! I see room for growth and new ideas and different ways of doing things.

Whenever there's change there's always some growing pains....but as my very dear friend Debra posted today on Twitter: 

HELL YA! That's ABS for ya! Audaciously Believing and Speaking!

 (BTW ~ Side note: Deb has since been nominated as one of this year's Inman News' People's Choice for Real Estate's MOST INFLUENTIAL so you should listen to her!! So proud of her!)

I know we all have a natural tendency to protect what we know, resist change and hold fast to what is comfortable, but I encourage all of us (yes even me) to be more like Deb and EMBRACE CHANGE!  

I see amazing things ahead for our industry.  Let's work together to improve the experience for the Consumer, Realtor®, Broker Owners and everyone else!


How Steve Jobs Saw The World

If I've learned anything from Steve Jobs is that the world and how we exist within it is not limited. It is vast, full of opportunity and we have the power to create change. I personally plan to erase my limiting boundaries that I imagine are there and think BIGGER!

In honor of my father: S.I.B.K.I.S= See It Big. Keep It Simple.

The only thing holding me back is my own imagination.

Imagine it. Create it. Accelerate it. (Thanks Debra Trappen for your leadership, friendship and help in creating that powerful statement!)

(This is an extraordinary biography produced for PBS. It is 1 hour long but well worth the watch.)

And from Steve's sister ~ read "A Sister's Eulogy for Steve Jobs" ~ deeply moving...insightful and profound.


Halloween Jib Jab JOY with The #PowerWomen

Thanks to Suzanne Roy for giving me the best laugh of the year! Featuring #PowerWomen Suzanne Roy as Dracula; Laura Monroe as the Witch; Inna Hardison as The Mummy Me as Frankenstein and Debra Trappen as my DJ wife! :) #sidekick

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!