Anyone can have a platform

Blog 8 of my mini series…

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At the end of February (feels like a life time ago now) I traveled to Belfast to attend the Only Just media Summit.  This was just as Corona Virus was starting to become a ‘thing’, before Social Distancing had become a ‘thing’ and the week that Northern Ireland had just had their first case.

The event was a full day of speakers, all experts in their fields, talking to a room full of bloggers, Vloggers, content creators and brands.  My plan immediately after the event was to write some blogs on the speakers and my key takeouts.  Life then got in the way, CoronaVirus exploded and took up all my time at work and this idea got left in the notes section of my phone.  Until now.

Today is the blog eight of ten where I want to outline my key take outs for the day.

Why?  To be honest it’s probably multipurpose (like that kind of cleaning product you but to clean the kitchen and bathroom if like me you are not a ‘Mrs. Hincher’.  Partly I think it will help me solidify the key points I took away from the day, because although I’ve not written about them here until now I have started to take action.  But also because I think you as the reader could also benefit from these takeouts.  You might not be interested in branding or social media or content creation but some of the ideas I took away could just be useful for your approach to your job or you life in general.

So introductions over today’s blog will focus on the talk given Melanie Murphy, a YouTube creator and best selling author from Ireland.

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Melanie talked about brand and how to make yourself a successful brand.

The thing I took from this talk that I want to share here is that anyone can have a platform.  Whatever you do or are interested in or would like to talk about, you can create a platform that suits our personality and find an audience.

When we think of brand we think of business, logos and slogans.  Of course big brands have all of those things but as I have mentioned repeatedly over this mini series in the current age of social media (and even more so during this lockdown period where life takes place online) we are all our own brand.  Our beliefs, principles, ethos creates ‘us’ whether we are a business, self employed or not.

So if your interest is cats or books or Olympic weight lifting or Harry Potter or anything else, there will be people who are interested in what you have to say, so if you start a blog or podcast or youtube channel there will be people who will watch.

This brings me to the second point on this.  If you start a platform to put content out on, every view counts.  Whether you have an audience of 5 or 500 if you are talking about the things you are really passionate about you will find satisfaction from this.  Ironically this is also the best way to grow over time.

Inevitably it can take time to build an audience and the key is not to be disheartened at the beginning when it feels like you are talking to yourself.  When you care about your subject it’s a lot easier to keep pushing.

Right now if you’ve got a bit more time on your hands and a passion why not try and start a blog or podcast or something where you can develop your passion, it could be a brilliant Covid-19 legacy!

Putting Your Face Out There

Blog 7 of my mini series…

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At the end of February (feels like a life time ago now) I traveled to Belfast to attend the Only Just media Summit.  This was just as Corona Virus was starting to become a ‘thing’, before Social Distancing had become a ‘thing’ and the week that Northern Ireland had just had their first case.

The event was a full day of speakers, all experts in their fields, talking to a room full of bloggers, Vloggers, content creators and brands.  My plan immediately after the event was to write some blogs on the speakers and my key takeouts.  Life then got in the way, CoronaVirus exploded and took up all my time at work and this idea got left in the notes section of my phone.  Until now.

Today is the blog seven of ten where I want to outline my key take outs for the day.

Why?  To be honest it’s probably multipurpose (like that kind of cleaning product you but to clean the kitchen and bathroom if like me you are not a ‘Mrs. Hincher’.  Partly I think it will help me solidify the key points I took away from the day, because although I’ve not written about them here until now I have started to take action.  But also because I think you as the reader could also benefit from these takeouts.  You might not be interested in branding or social media or content creation but some of the ideas I took away could just be useful for your approach to your job or you life in general.

So introductions over today’s blog will focus on the talk given by Video Marketing Manager of Purple Dot Media, Niamh Macauley.

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Niamh focused on Linkedin, what we tend to see as the business world Facebook and I think for a lot of us a bit of a ‘little bit pointless’ platform.  But as I mentioned in the second blog in this series it’s a potentially valuable source for those of us that want to promote ourselves online.

This talk focused on using videos on LinkedIn, something which I’m terrible at on almost all platforms to be honest.  I have poor filming skills and am not overly keen on how I sound or look on camera.

But people prefer seeing faces, videos with your face in it will get more interaction so if we want to progress ourselves as a brand, whether that be for your business or your own personal brand for employment getting over the idea of putting ourselves online is something we need to do.

The second biggest tip I got from this talk was when you’re trying to provide value for people with your posts (which all posts should do, pointless posts are, well, pointless) don’t assume everyone knows what you know.

Videos or posts with 3-4 tips on a topic can be really useful to people.  You may think well these tips are obvious so where’s the value.  But if you are posting about your topic of expertise the tips might be obvious to you, that doesn’t mean they are to everyone else.

So as we all think more about our online branding as Lockdown progresses, seriously consider getting your face out there online more as a tool to allowing you to provide valuable content that gets people engaging with you and allows you to build authority within your field.  I truly believe that this doesn’t just apply to self employed people or business owners right now, those of us that are employed can apply it also and show case our professional abilities and our company’s brand on sites such as Linkedin and increase our value to that company as we all quickly become more digital due to circumstances.

When Learning Is Pointless

Blog 6 of my mini series…

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At the end of February (feels like a life time ago now) I traveled to Belfast to attend the Only Just media Summit.  This was just as Corona Virus was starting to become a ‘thing’, before Social Distancing had become a ‘thing’ and the week that Northern Ireland had just had their first case.

The event was a full day of speakers, all experts in their fields, talking to a room full of bloggers, Vloggers, content creators and brands.  My plan immediately after the event was to write some blogs on the speakers and my key takeouts.  Life then got in the way, CoronaVirus exploded and took up all my time at work and this idea got left in the notes section of my phone.  Until now.

Today is the blog five of ten where I want to outline my key take outs for the day.

Why?  To be honest it’s probably multipurpose (like that kind of cleaning product you but to clean the kitchen and bathroom if like me you are not a ‘Mrs. Hincher’.  Partly I think it will help me solidify the key points I took away from the day, because although I’ve not written about them here until now I have started to take action.  But also because I think you as the reader could also benefit from these takeouts.  You might not be interested in branding or social media or content creation but some of the ideas I took away could just be useful for your approach to your job or you life in general.

So introductions over today’s blog will focus on the talk given by Creative Director for Ryan Serhant, Adrian Vasquez.

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Adrian talked about brand and his experiences around this, something which I’ve mentioned lots over the last few mini blogs in this series.

Your brand is your reputation. If you can do things differently but also consistently you can help your brand thrive.  Lot’s of ideas were cemented for me.  Yell out your wins, enthusiasm/ passion for your product converts to sales, try things and see how they work out, trust what you are doing even if others don’t understand.  These things allow you to build your reputation (your brand).  These are useful lessons.

My biggest take out from his talk however –

Learning only matters if you put it into action. 

I went to this summit and left planning to write these blogs.  It took me a month to get started.  I left with that take out ringing in my ear and ignored it.

Now to be fair – that’s mainly because as well as Covid-19 creating an immense amount of work for me soon after, I was starting to put into action actual products I wanted to create as a PT.

But the blog posts on this summit I wanted to produce were as part of my Virtual PA role.  they were content that would be useful to that part of my brand.  As much as the products I started to create were useful to my business (and I was acting) they were covering a different aspect of my brand (the fitness element) and I was leaving content for my VA branding hanging.

Coming back to the idea that learning is great but action is what matters has given me the kick up the bum needed to start taking that action.

This meant two things.

Firstly, planning my time better.  I have several roles – fitness roles and Virtual Assistant roles and then roles which merge the two together and overlap.  I know I can’t always focus on both equally – I’ll always need to be more focused on one to move something along but need better planning to know the others to continue ticking over whilst I do that.  This week quite simply I wrote a list of things I need to do for all roles.  Some things will take focus but nothing will be ignored.  I took some action.

Secondly, for me it meant just jumping in and doing things, not waiting for the ideal circumstances and times, being willing to change my overall plans to react to circumstances better and to take advantage of opportunities rather than sticking to plans already in place at the risk of missing opportunities.

In the last few weeks I’ve done a lot of this.  Everything I’m doing is still within my ethos, my brand, but what I thought I’d be working on at the start of Lockdown is not what I’m actually doing now.  I’ll come back to those projects – but there are things that make more sense to do now – both in terms of short term and long term value to me and my business.  From all the education and mentorship I’ve had in recent years I know this, even though I’m someone who doesn’t really like deviating from plans once set – If I don’t act on this knowledge, having attended all those seminars, days of learning etc will have been wasted.

The message that learning means little if you do nothing with the knowledge is universal to all of life.  Putting ideas in practice, being a doer.  Whether it’s your fitness, your job, your business, your relationships you want to apply it to – learning new skills is something we should all try to do but we must look to apply the learning to benefit from it.  That might mean I have to do things right now that feel like a deviation from what I’d planned, and I might be uncomfortable with that but I’m applying what I’ve learnt to my situation right now.

Toxic?

Blog 5 of my mini series…

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At the end of February (feels like a life time ago now) I traveled to Belfast to attend the Only Just media Summit.  This was just as Corona Virus was starting to become a ‘thing’, before Social Distancing had become a ‘thing’ and the week that Northern Ireland had just had their first case.

The event was a full day of speakers, all experts in their fields, talking to a room full of bloggers, Vloggers, content creators and brands.  My plan immediately after the event was to write some blogs on the speakers and my key takeouts.  Life then got in the way, CoronaVirus exploded and took up all my time at work and this idea got left in the notes section of my phone.  Until now.

Today is the blog five of ten where I want to outline my key take outs for the day.

Why?  To be honest it’s probably multipurpose (like that kind of cleaning product you but to clean the kitchen and bathroom if like me you are not a ‘Mrs. Hincher’.  Partly I think it will help me solidify the key points I took away from the day, because although I’ve not written about them here until now I have started to take action.  But also because I think you as the reader could also benefit from these takeouts.  You might not be interested in branding or social media or content creation but some of the ideas I took away could just be useful for your approach to your job or you life in general.

So introductions over today’s blog will focus on the talk given by Gabriel Desanti, a content creator and influencer from New York.

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Gabriel talked very honestly about his own experiences and Fulfillment versus Cost.

He spoke about how the concept of a toxic environment is very real and can have a negative effect on your whole well being.  Your environment can both assist in making you feel happy and also unhappy.  Now, perhaps surprisingly for a social media influencer, he stressed that isn’t to say corporate environments are always going to make you unhappy and working for yourself is the goal for everyone, rather its finding the environment and balance that works for you.

Initially this sounds like a weird topic to bring into a blog series about personal branding / social media branding.  However if you recall my recent blogs have all focused on the goal that whether you are branding yourself or a business you need to be authentic and that is going to be very unique to you.  If you find yourself funneling yourself into a particular environment because you think it’s the right one for where you ‘should’ be, and it makes you miserable then that will not benefit you’re professional progression.

Your happy place may not seem ‘right’ to other people, but that is ok if it suits you.  A lot of people do not understand why my current working situation works for me, perhaps some people think I could earn more than I do.  But I know that what I do suits my purpose, makes me happy and I enjoy the balance I have and the mix of ‘corporate’ and self employed.  Removing toxicity isn’t always about removing people which is what we tend to automatically think about when we hear the word toxic, your environment is also important, potentially more so, not just the walls which you are within but the model you work within, so you need to find a way of working which works for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you on TikTok?

Same intro as the last two blogs!

At the end of February (feels like a life time ago now) I travelled to Belfast to attend the Only Just media Summit.  This was just as Corona Virus was starting to become a ‘thing’, before Social Distancing had become a ‘thing’ and the week that Northern Ireland had just had their first case.

The event was a full day of speakers, all experts in their fields, talking to a room full of bloggers, Vloggers, content creators and brands.  My plan immediately after the event was to write some blogs on the speakers and my key takeouts.  Life then got in the way, CoronaVirus exploded and took up all my time at work and this idea got left in the notes section of my phone.  Until now.

Today is the blog three of ten where I want to outline my key take outs for the day.

Why?  To be honest it’s probably multipurpose (like that kind of cleaning product you but to clean the kitchen and bathroom if like me you are not a ‘Mrs. Hincher’.  Partly I think it will help me solidify the key points I took away from the day, because although I’ve not written about them here until now I have started to take action.  But also because I think you as the reader could also benefit from these takeouts.  You might not be interested in branding or social media or content creation but some of the ideas I took away could just be useful for your approach to your job or you life in general.

So introductions over today’s blog will focus on the talk given by Joel M, an illusionist and TikTok influencer for Norther Ireland.

So I’m pretty new to TikTok – I’ve done a few videos, mainly lip syncing.  It’s fun, it’s kind of a way to pass the time for me (especially now we are in lockdown and housebound!).

This talk made me think more about how I use different social media platforms.  In terms of education, real content I largely focus on this blog and my podcast.  Facebook and Instagram come second where I mix useful content with just random things I like.  Twitter I’ve long used as a source of simply holding Northern Rail to account for their terrible service!  TikTok for me doesn’t have a purpose as such, it’s been something to play on.

Here perhaps lies the potential of TikTok.

It’s fun.  You can be silly.  But if you can make your content good – catch people’s attention, have a twist to videos, you can get eyes onto you.  And people seeing you can allow you to direct those interested in what you do to your other platforms.

In this sense rather than simply playing with TikTok, this talk made me think that I could use it to serve me in the same way other social media platforms can.  Not in exactly the same way but still in a way.

 Right now I’m still learning, getting better at videos, finding something that suits me (because you still need to be you as with any social media platform).  But simply being aware of what platforms can do for you is a good start with branding and marketing yourself or you as a business.

And if you aren’t on TikTok becauase it seems a bit pointless for you- perhaps you should reconsider.

P.S. You can find my exceptional lip syncing skills at @heathersherwoodfitness

 

Slagging off Slimming World doesn’t help people

On Sunday I’ll be appearing on Ricky Long’s podcast talking about the fitness world in general.

One of the things we talk about is Slimming World, I myself did Slimming World before I became a fit pro and feel like I have a decent understanding of it from many angles because of this.

This wasn’t the focus of the podcast so I went into a lot less detail that I could have so I wanted to delve a bit deeper into a point here – it’s not enough as fitness professional to say what’s wrong with slimming clubs – we need to look at what we ourselves can do to help people who may otherwise have turned to such clubs

I did a podcast last year which you can listen to here, where I spoke about my own personal experience of Slimming World and what I think is wrong with the system.

Rather than rehashing that here I instead want to talk about something I’ve touched upon both here and in my upcoming podcast.

Slagging off Slimming World doesn’t help people.

When I needed help I went to Slimming World, I didn’t go to a PT – the idea intimidated me and didn’t feel accessible. All these perfectly nice people I know now would have intimidated me- me now would have intimidated me. I wouldn’t have gone to a fitness event or gym because I’d have felt like a fraud like I didn’t fit it.

Sliming clubs felt accessible for me. That’s why I took that route.

I eventually found training and with it learnt about nutrition and left Slimming World and am where I am now. BUT for that to happen took PTs and group ex instructors who didn’t criticise the route I’d chosen to take, they didn’t point out in distaste all the things that were wrong with Slimming World. They educated me within a framework that allowed me to see why Slimming World can work on a energy in / energy out basis and allowed me to come to the realisation that I didn’t need the club and see the faults for myself.

There weren’t Facebook groups back then for Slimming World but to be honest if there had been and some people had come into them and attacked what was, at the time, working for me I’d have probably defended Slimming World and I wouldn’t have felt like I wanted to go to those people for advice.

In short – as Fitness professionals I think we need to find a balance between exposing myths and educating people without making them feel stupid for trying to reach their goals. How I see this…

That PT thinks everything about Slimming World is stupid

I do Slimming World

So they must think I’m stupid

I’m not going to them to help

In attempting to help there’s a real danger we actually alienate without meaning to.

Now actually Slimming World can be successful in that it creates habits that lead to a calorie deficit. It’s not unsafe or faddy as diets go.

It doesn’t educate.

But you know what – I played rugby for a while, no idea of the rules I just ran at people.

Would I have been a better player if I knew more – yes. Did I still play? Yes.

I honestly don’t know how the best way to go about it is, but I feel like supporting and understanding peoples choices creates an environment of trust that might convince people away from Slimming World and into training and understanding basic nutrition more than simply laughing at the notion of syns, body magic and star weeks ever will.