Janine Marin - communications expert
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How to manage negative comments on your social media page with less risk and less stress

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“Many would-be entrepreneurs are obsessed with shipping something that’s perfect, and they take too long,” Guy Kawasaki at Wired for Wonder 2015, Sydney. 

Wise words from Guy Kawasaki – former chief evangelist for Apple in the 80’s and current evangelist for design company Canva. I was fortunate to watch him at the Wired for Wonder event this week and, boy, was he inspirational.

For current and will-be entrepreneurs, here are Guy’s 10 tips to master start-up success:

Ask simple questions: ‘therefore, what? Is there a better way? Great companies start with very simple questions. Apple didn’t start with a grand vision reflecting where it is today. Start asking simple questions.

  1. Make an MVVVP (minimum viable valuable validating product): to expand on the Minimum Viable Product concept, Guy urges you to also test your idea for value, i.e. does it solve a problem? With Viable, does it validate your vision?
  2. Get going: ship it early rather than late. “Do something cringeworthy” & “find commentary soul mates – find someone to make it and someone to sell it. Everything else is bullish*t”.  To help get you going, create a mantra; 2-3 words that roll off your tongue and keeps you focussed.
  3. Define a business model: Remember you have to make money, so be specific. Be so specific that you have the name or the title of the person who has your money in her pocket. Also keep it simple: you want a business model where it costs you $1 and you sell it for $10.
  4. Weave a MATT  (Milestones, Assumptions, Tests and Tasks ): Milestones (celebrate things you’ve done/finished/sold), Assumptions (test the assumptions of your business, e.g. a bottoms up analysis), Tests (ship your product and launch), Tasks (do things that constantly test assumptions).
  5. Tell your story: make it personal and ask yourself, is your competition saying the opposite of you? Also embrace the 10-20-30 rule for presentations: tell your story with 10 slides in 20 minutes using no font smaller than 30 points.
  6. Hire infected people: ignore irrelevancy, “If you find someone with perfect educational background and perfect work experience, but does not love the product, I would make the case that work experience and background are irrelevant.” Also hire better than yourself – ‘A’ players hire ‘A+’ players.
  7. Socialise: use social media to network and provide value – marketing is fast, free and ubiquitous for entrepreneurs. You must also perfect your personal brand online.
  8. Seed the clouds: think the impossible and test drive your product. Find your influencers and build relationships. “Throw stuff against the wall, see where it sticks, go up to the wall and paint the bullseye around it.”
  9. Don’t let clowns grind you down: Guy isn’t talking about trolls online or jealous people, he refers to those ‘clowns’ that are successful and give you bad advice. “Just because people are rich and famous, doesn’t mean their advice is right.”

    Guy’s new book The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything is available now.

What steps will you do in the next 30 days? 

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image showing signposts leading in different directions - this way, that way, and confused

I’m in a corporate job during the day, growing a small business after hours: should I have two different roles on my LinkedIn profile?

This golden nugget of a question has popped up a few times and so I thought to share my view on it as I’m in the same boat! LinkedIn is a powerful social media tool and if used strategically, it can generate not only leads for your business but also help you build valuable relationships that grow your social proof and equity. Considering LinkedIn surpassed Twitter in Australia for Unique Australian Visitors last month, it’s not surprising why many small business owners are expanding their online marketing beyond the three social-media-amigos: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

So, what do you do if you’re in a corporate job during the day and are a budding small business owner at night (during lunch breaks, on weekends, when there’s a spare minute!) and want to use LinkedIn to help build your personal brand AND that of your business? I say, include both your day job and your dream job on your profile because it increases your social proof.

If you’re concerned what colleagues or your boss of your day job may think if they find out, promote both of your ‘business hats’ strategically.

By this I mean, rather than stating a specific job title in your main headline, include a description of your skills, passion and expertise. I’ve done this on my profile and included my specific job positions further down my page.

Also, keep in mind that the majority of LinkedIn users notice the headline first and lightly skim further down your profile page as they go.

A marketing tip for your LinkedIn profile: when you decide to edit your main heading, LinkedIn kindly offers you suggestions of what other people are using in their headlines. Nifty, isn’t it?

screenshot of LinkedIn headlines sectionTo do this yourself:

  1. Log in to your LinkedIn and press the pencil icon against your name
  2. Write three skills you’re great at and/or industries you’re passionate about.
  3. You can click ‘show examples’ if you want LinkedIn to offer you suggestions on what to write
  4. Update your work experience with your corporate job and your own business. (Remember you control what others know about your business, so only tell them how much you’re confident with)
  5. Voila 🙂
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image showing the words repeat after me, I can do this.

It took me three years to launch my own business as a marketing coach, not because of lack of finances or ideas (on the contrary, I had too many ideas!) it was my lack of self-belief. Actually, to be completely honest (and vulnerable) with you, it was my lack of self-worth that I believed I deserved a successful business, and that I have the brains and the balls to do it.

Con-fid-ence.

It isn’t a foreign word. And if you’re a female entrepreneur or dream of being one I’ll bet my 5kg jar of Nutella that you have wrestled with understanding this concept, feeling it and, even more so, living it. And there isn’t much I’d gamble that jar of heaven on!

In my ‘I need inspiration to launch my own career’ reading crusades I came across my confidence bible called the ‘Confidence Code’. Two female journo’s (Katty Kay and Claire Shipman) launched a crusade of their own and researched the scientific origins of confidence with a focus on the difference between female and male confidence. I was surprised, though mostly relieved at their discovery.

They found that our confidence is indeed partly influenced by genetics, yet it is something that we can intentionally change. Praise the Lord!

And it gets better. Contrary to what I’ve read countless times over, you won’t shift confidence by thinking positive thoughts or by standing tall and faking it. You’ll find confidence by making an intentional choice to find it. What does this look like? Well, it means less worrying about people-pleasing and aiming for perfection and more about taking action, risk taking, and fast failure.

In their research they found these common confidence mistakes women make AKA mistakes we should aim to avoid!

  1. We think too much. We think a lot more than men and this excessive rumination stunts our confidence to take action.
  2. We believe failure is a failure. Oh em gee, I. Hate. Failing. Yet, when I think about it, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and still standing strong. And failing is in right now, you know? That’s how you get a head of the game — try something you (or anyone) have never tried and learn from it!
  3. We carry criticism around with us far too long. Why is it men can brush off criticism and women can’t? Well, we can if we intentionally toughen up, let it go and remember that criticism doesn’t define who we are.
  4. We never leave our comfort zones. Screw perfectionism! Sh*! I can’t believe I wrote that but it’s so damn true! Remember, in order to shift our confidence we must take action. Get to it or else it will never get done and your confidence won’t grow.
  5. We won’t speak up, and too often, we use upspeak. Katty and Claire describe it as a habit we all recognise: “raising the tone of your voice at the end of a sentence in a way that suggests a question rather than a declaration. Try these: “I think we should go with the on-line marketing strategy.” “I think we should go with the online marketing strategy?” One professor told us he thinks women use upspeak in an effort to seek approval. Lose the questioning tone, and boost your confidence.”

If there’s one thing I want you to takeaway from this is jotting down or reading one of my favourite quotes out loud:

Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t as all.  You can be discouraged by failure  –  or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success.

~Thomas. J. Watson

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