Comment Booster Votre Réputation Et Celle De Votre Entreprise Avec Linkedin

//* this article first appeared in French, but the English version is coming soon. I felt that this blog should be in French too, since it’s my native tongue 😉

Les règles et façons de faire les affaires ont changées. Notre monde est de plus en plus ouvert et connecté. Aujourd’hui, nous communiquons à l’aide de smartphones branchés non-stop sur le net, pourvus d’un grand nombre d’applications –parfois installées à l’avance-. Facebook, qui est un réseau social mondialement connu, prends beaucoup de notre temps. Nous y passons environ une heure par jour, sinon plus! Nous communiquons aussi régulièrement sur WhatsApp, Viber ou même Skype. Certaines réunions, sessions de travail se font via Skype. C’est désormais un fait : les « App » sont entrées dans nos habitudes.

Le problème des applications précédemment citées est qu’elles sont souvent utilisées dans un cadre familial ou amical. Où pouvons-nous trouver une atmosphère plus professionnelle en ligne ? Envoyer un CV? Faire connaître notre entreprise ? Augmenter notre popularité ?

Dans cet article je vous introduirai LinkedIn, un immense réseau socio-professionnel. Je vous montrerai son interface principale. Dans un prochain article je vous donnerai quelques astuces qui vous permettront de gagner une forte présence professionnelle en ligne.

Les origines

Fondé en Mai 2003 par l’américain Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn est un réseau de professionnels où vous pouvez trouver et contacter les personnes dont vous avez besoin.
Il s’appuie sur
un fort principe de confiance entre les membres. En effet, on fait des affaires qu’avec les gens qu’on connait, qu’on aime et dont on a surtout confiance.

Quelques chiffres
LinkedIn est le plus grand réseau professionnel au monde, il compte 300 millions d’abonnés répartis dans plus de 200 pays. Bien plus important que son rival Viadeo, qui lui ne compte que 50 millions de membres ; on estime que 2 nouveaux profils s’y créé toutes les 2 secondes dans le monde.

La différence avec Facebook
Il est important de distinguer LinkedIn de Facebook. L’un est un outil professionnel tandis que l’autre est plus ludique et personnel. Vous ne trouverez aucun jeu sur LinkedIn par exemple. Avez-vous déjà essayé de donner votre carte de visite à votre interlocuteur sans même l’avoir salué ni vous être présenté ? Votre carte finira, à coup sûr, à la poubelle. En ligne c’est pareil ; Certains ajoutent, à tort, des contacts pour augmenter leur nombre de connexions et ensuite exhiber ces records comme des trophées. Je dis souvent que Facebook est fait pour parler à son cousin ou un parent proche qui est à l’autre bout du monde, si vos correspondants ne rentrent pas dans cette catégorie : pourquoi les importuner sur le mauvais format ? Vous ne pouvez pas appliquer sur LinkedIn les habitudes que vous avez sur Facebook. Oubliez les photos, les vidéos YouTube divertissantes, les « selfies » et les derniers ragots. Le format a définitivement changé.

Comment ça marche ?


Lorsque vous vous rendez sur le site –http://www.linkedin.com– pour la première fois, on vous demande de créer un compte. Utilisez votre adresse e-mail courante et rendez votre mot de passe complexe en y ajoutant chiffres, lettres minuscules et capitales, ainsi que des caractères spéciaux. L’interface de LinkedIn est assez sobre, mais elle offre bien plus de possibilités de parler de vous et de votre parcours de la façon la plus professionnelle qu’il soit. En fait, là réside toute son originalité.

J’ai utilisé des encadrés de différentes couleurs ; je vous indique dans les paragraphes, en gras, à quoi correspondent chaque éléments (ex : cf. cadre vert). N’hésitez pas à revenir sur cette image tout au long de ce guide.

1. Votre profil

L’en-tête sur LinkedIn représente votre carte de visite virtuelle, vous y verrez : votre photo (1), votre nom (2), et bien plus important, votre intitulé (3). L’intitulé est votre phrase d’accroche, il doit décrire ce que vous faites et quel est votre valeur ajoutée en quelques mots. Lorsque nous ouvrons notre navigateur web, nous utilisons Google et nous y entrons des mots clés ; un bon exemple de recherche serait : expert en communication et marketing /réseaux sociaux au Cameroun. Ce sont donc ces mots que votre audience recherche et qui doivent être astucieusement insérés dans votre intitulé. Bien sûr, vous pouvez à tout moment changer et peaufiner votre accroche en allant dans la modification de votre profil à l’aide du bouton « Modifier » (4). Plus vous améliorez votre page, plus vous attirez les curieux et votre nombre de vues sur le réseau. Ce qui est génial, c’est que vous pouvez disposer d’une adresse LinkedIn personnalisée (5) que vous pouvez écrire désormais sur votre carte de visite.
La mienne par exemple est www.linkedin.com/in/LioThomas . Fini donc les CV statiques et ennuyeux en ligne, distribuez votre « site web LinkedIn » à tous vos contacts !

Mettez votre photo

Il est dommage de constater que beaucoup choisissent de ne pas mettre de photo de profil. LinkedIn est taillé pour du networking, les personnes qui cachent leur visage montrent –involontairement- qu’elles ont aussi d’autres choses à cacher sur elles ou leur entreprise. Rappelez-vous que la confiance est le maître mot de la politique d’utilisation de LinkedIn. Prenez une photo professionnelle où vous souriez, sur un fond neutre et éclairé. Une photo de buste est préférable. J’ai souvent vu des membres mettre une fausse photo d’eux et la changer à la dernière minute, je le déconseille vivement. Encore une fois, ne donnez pas d’emblée une mauvaise image de vous.

2. Votre carnet d’adresse
Dans vos contacts, certains utilisent déjà LinkedIn sans que vous le sachiez. Il vous sera possible à la fin du processus d’enregistrement, et à l’aide de votre adresse mail, d’importer tout votre carnet d’adresse Outlook, Gmail, ou Yahoo. C’est pourquoi je vous ai conseillé, plus haut, d’utiliser votre email quotidien. Vos contacts figureront désormais dans l’onglet « connections » (cf. cadre vert) et seront ajoutés automatiquement au carnet d’adresse de votre smartphone (si vous avez installé en plus l’application « LinkedIn Connected »). Vous recherchez une personne et vous demandez si elle est sur Linkedin ? Allez dans la recherche (cf. cadre bleu) et entrez son nom ou sa société. Je vous recommande aussi d’inviter les personnes de votre entourage professionnel qui ne connaisse pas du tout LinkedIn à l’essayer. En fonctions du poste de vos contacts, LinkedIn vous proposera d’en ajouter d’autres similaires (cf. cadre rose). Ne cliquez pas directement sur le bouton « inviter », allez voir leur profil lisez le bien et rédigez leur une invitation.

3. Votre activité récente et votre mur
Un profil dormant n’est pas intéressant. Ne le laissez pas dans cet état pendant des mois. C’est le contenu que vous postez chaque jour, qui constituera un élément clé de votre succès sur LinkedIn. Vous pouvez créer une dynamique sur votre mur (cf. cadre orange) de plusieurs façons : faire une rapide update de votre profil, une courte publication (avec ou sans photo) ou un article de votre blog ou que vous avez trouvé intéressant.
Sur votre mur figure toute l’actualité de vos contacts, vos changements de statut mais aussi ceux des autres, vous pouvez directement « liker », commenter ou partager tout ce que vous y voyez. Interagissez généreusement et astucieusement avec votre réseau, et vous verrez des portes s’ouvrir.

4. Vos messages, notifications, et invitations
Un élément important de votre interface (cf. cadre gris), surtout sur votre smartphone ; un petit nombre rouge au-dessus du d’une enveloppe, vous indiquera le nombre de message que vous avez reçu mais pas encore lu. Sur votre navigateur web pas besoin de cliquer pour voir tous vos messages, si vous laissez le pointeur de votre souris assez longtemps dessus, un menu déroulant s’ouvrira vous montrant tous vos messages récents. Vous pourrez alors juste glissez la souris vers le bas pour y répondre.
Les notifications sont représentées par la deuxième icône que vous verrez en haut à droite de votre écran c’est là que vous verrez des alertes quand quelqu’un : visitera votre profil, commentera votre fil d’actualité, un sujet que vous avez posté dans un groupe de conversation ou aura répondu à un de vos commentaires. Des invitations vous parviendront aussi (dernière icône à droite). Pour rappel : vous n’êtes pas obligé de les accepter. Soyez sélectifs, parlez à ou lisez attentivement leurs profils avant toute décision.

Nous avons vu ensemble les bases de LinkedIn. Vous découvrirez dans le prochain article d’autres techniques ; notamment comment créer un profil pour votre entreprise, prospecter de nouveaux clients ou rédiger une invitation persuasive à d’autres membres etc. Avec internet, les frontières et barrières sont tombées. Que vous soyez étudiant, à la recherche d’un emploi, chef d’entreprise, membres d’associations, vous avez besoin de mettre votre profil en ligne et maitriser le networking. La réussite de votre carrière et parcours professionnel en dépendent. Vous pouvez être informé de ce qui se fait de mieux dans votre profession via l’actualité de votre mur, suivre les leaders mondiaux et leurs travaux, faire de nouvelles connexions, participer aux débats dans les différents groupes de discussions. Il faut un certain temps d’adaptation pour maîtriser LinkedIn mais le jeu en vaut vraiment la chandelle. Après tout, si 300 millions de personnes –et plus– s’y connectent et échangent chaque jour, pourquoi pas vous ?

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What Your Clients Will Say And Do 95% Of The Time

I never yelled at a client. It has never been part of my intentions when I first started my business. Yet, when that day came it was such a relief! As a young entrepreneur, the amount of passion, energy you put in your craft and how you care about your first clients is amazing. I dreamed big, -I still am- thinking about how I’d cater to my customers the best I could, making it the stepping stone of my company. At first, bad days were just about me being sad not making enough money to pay bills; then the reputation starts growing and you attract different type of clients. How you’re going to deal with them is important. A clear strategy is needed. Creative professionals always charge their services in two parts: the caution, to make sure everything will run well, keep the boat floating; and the final delivery payment. What happen between these two parts is sometimes drama. This is like Moïse opened the sea up and closed it at the wrong time, usually when you have the final payment invoice in your hands. Sadly our activity is more about figuring what will be the next silly idea that will pop up in our client’s mind, than the actual work on our plate. “The client is king” they say, “Long live the king” they chant… yes whatever?

//* Don’t read if you’re sensitive to spoilers // I knew a king that pissed me off so much for an entire season -or two-, and this got me wondering why somebody hadn’t kill him already. You know him well…

joffrey
When you deal with complicated clients you are always on the verge. You feel it coming. This little voice inside your head will say “You fool! What’s going wrong with you? The amount of money on the table was not worth it. Why you took it?” Wish you left it to somebody who’d be able to handle all the pressure you’re in right now. I remember reading an article about Steve Jobs, it narrated how Paul Rand – famous designer of NEXT logo- , pissed off,  banged his fist on the table saying “This is my job! I know how to do it!”. I almost stood up and gave to my computer screen a round of applause. Strange to say, clients will respect you for that. Don’t be afraid, nothing wrong will happen to you – feel the salt of the sea in your mouth already?- 😉

Here’s what clients don’t know: the process of creativity is long, tedious and hair pulling.  Strategic choices -painful ones- have to be made, time is limited. Deadlines are dreadful. We -creative professionals- are suffering, because we care about every single details that will render the big picture well. They don’t see that, let me tell you why: because cheap, careless, do-it-for-the-money graphic designers came along way before you. They serenaded awful songs to them and they liked it, thy did this awful job you are now in charge to fix!

I will write about these “design slaughters” in another article; for now let’s refocus on the designer-client love and hate relationships. This is the client’s job: lower your pricing, they are in for the “more bang for their buck”. They want cheap prices with unlimited changes, unlimited feedback’s and unlimited calls. The question to ask yourself is can you deal with all that? Here’s, in my experience, what they’ll throw at you:

“Let’s see how you do that, give us free samples to show to x, y, z decision maker in our office, then we’ll ball”
Dear client, the ball is in our portfolio. What you are calling free samples is “spec work”. We are not new to this business and if we crafted our website carefully with all our previous work in it. You should check it. Are you entering a nice restaurant and asking the chef to “get over your table in a hurry” and let you taste his/her special meal with this special sauce on it. You’d “buy if you like it. Deal?”. Not in this world. All you need to know about the menu is displayed at the front door. You know exactly what’s cooking there and you have testimonials all over internet to make a buying decision.

“We will advertise your business if you do this or that, we have an amazing network of new clients for you!”
If I could get a penny every time I hear this…
Dear client, this is not charity: I’m a creative professional. My agency is helping companies in advertising and communication fields! No one is better at self promoting than me and my business. This is what you hired us for, isn’t it? You are just saying this because you are hoping for a good rebate. Plus nothing will guarantee me that you’ll stick to your words, because nothing force you to do this in the future.
It takes time networking and promoting a business. If I’m in front of you it’s because you don’t have the time nor the expertise to conduct these tasks effectively. Here’s what will happen 90% of time: you will forget it! Few days later, I’ll be asking you “have you spread the word about my business lately?” I’ll get a vibrant no or a lie. Clients don’t have time! They are busy!  If you really want to help me, dear client, here are my business cards with my agency’s website address on it. Please do share and bring me referrals I’ll appreciate it. I’m already advertising your business on my website and at every meetings. Freely.

“Hey you owe me money remember few months ago we did so and so”
Dear client, where were you “few months ago” when we were awaiting your final payment? This is why we set up a caution. To allow us to work safely. Because we know that the business life is full of surprises. Bad ones. Just because you left a caution don’t mean we owe you money. Have you ever left a nightclub with your bottles at the bar and came few months later asking “where are my drinks? I left money here”

“This wasn’t considered as a modification to me”
Dear client, you know that in this craft we charge you for every modifications done after delivery. Why? Because we know perfection doesn’t exist. And, like us, you love perfection. We could still be on it at Christmas. Every time my stylus touch the tablet to change something for you, my time is involved. I could spend this time doing something else. Modifications are becoming downward spirals so easily when they are not restrained. We don’t want them to happen; that’s why during the process of creation we submit mockups, directions, sketches for YOU to choose. If you don’t know what you want in life it will cost you. The same goes in design and marketing.

“Could you submit other propositions for this work?”
Dear client, we are down for whatever, whenever you provide us the fuel to do so. We are running a business like you and our time -like yours- is valuable. It took us weeks to come up with a solution for you. Now that we are close to the delivery and the deadline is near, don’t ask us to work more. If you want more propositions, an additional invoice will be submitted. Fair enough?

“Are you down for the money or your client’s satisfaction?”
“Take no prisoners” type of question here. Dear client, you are playing with my feelings here. You didn’t hire me to be nice to you. I don’t ask you to like me because my work is NOT me. My ability is to build something out of the clay you gave me-client’s brief-. If I asked you the right questions, if my job has been done properly: the result is YOU.
I’m okay with client’s satisfaction. I’m always providing free tips, writing articles, interacting in forums and discussions. You could ask me questions anytime about your issues I’d be glad to answer them in my free time.
You have my number right? Let’s schedule a call anytime!

“Change the color: turn it green
Here I go “what type of green do you want? Do you have the specific code for that green?”
“Don’t know, but we know it should be green, it’s not the same green coming out of our Hp printer” they say.
“Have you calibrate your screen…? Have you consult your printer?  Do you know what will be the effects of that green to your audience? ” I reply.
“We have no clue” they snap back.
Dear client, designers are masters of colors. They know exactly how strong visual emotions go. If I chose this color charter for you, I really knew what I was doing.

Can you make the character / logo / design / illustration bigger?
How big? Let me tell you more about everything going on that canvas. In Design, elements works in harmony, they are “designed” like this. It’s how they work. When you ask something to be bigger or smaller, you are provoking the entire system to bug.

It’s 11 pm and I wanted to call you”
Dear client, you simply can’t. Like you, I have a life. If you reach me out of business hours, you give me the incentive to regret our collaboration -and hang up-. It shows me that you are selfish and self-centered. May be you think the money you engaged allows you to act like the Egyptian pharaohs?

Can you come to our office regularly?
Dear client, I came alone to this meeting but I’m not alone. I’m just the account executive and CEO as well. I’m working with a team. When you see me in your office it’s because we made our respective schedules work for that day. When I come, if you have a meeting, I’ll patiently wait in the lobby.

“Can you work with our interns on this?
Duuuuhhhh…No! We are only dealing with you because we know that your interns are not the decisions maker here. If you could spare us these useless back and forths, we’ll appreciate it very much. Thank you!

“Can I interrupt you during your presentation?”
Dear client, if you do so, my speech will be troubled. This PowerPoint presentation was gently nailed for you. We rehearsed it. Please, listen to what we are saying, it’s important. You can put your phone in silent mode, nothing is more urgent than this work we are presenting in front of you right now.

“We had your budget but it was used for another urgent matter.”
Dear client, what you are telling me here is that the work you hired us for wasn’t important. We spent time together on calls, briefs, feedbacks, and now the project’s start is rescheduled to a date you really don’t know. Next time you hire us the cost will be higher. Why? Because If we had to wait for you to be ready and in the mean time over clients came in and pay the right price for the right service.

“We could get it cheaper on Fiver or 99designs or whatever cheap sites out there”
Dear client, you don’t know enough cheap places you can go to :). It’s our business, we know very well our competition. If you want commodities, we can point you -gladly- to the right places -persons- for the job. Unfortunately, Epson, Adobe, Apple, Wacom, Western Digital, Dropbox, Internet providers and every technologies we work with on a daily bases don’t offer us cheaper products. Our employees need a pay, they have also mouths to feed.

“You are too expensive!”
Dear client, few months ago I was on the market for a new laptop. My aging laptop was bugging and that slowed my workflow and my ability to deliver. I wanted a laptop that last longer, more reliable and fast. I then made my researches online and I came to the conclusion that only Macbook Pros could give me that solution. Hell! These cats are expensive! But I know what I want. I know that I can’t sacrifice the quality for the price, I know that if I go for the cheap solutions I’ll be happy for few days / months, but when my laptop will start bugging again or I’ll change its battery regularly, I’ll surely regret my investment. What’s the point of paying the double or triple down the road, when I can pay big now? I want peace. I want sustainable solutions for my business. I want a great support. I want experts to provide me the best of their works. I’m ready to pay the price for this. No shortcuts. Are you?

“We’d like you to give us native files / codes for that project”
Dear client, you are asking for the blueprints. They worth money. We are the guardians of these blueprints. In case if something goes wrong you can fall back on us for guidance and help. Don’t ask us to give you these files because we know that you will give them to the competition or your interns, who will do -90% of time- an awful job, and after that you’ll come and blame us. As designers and creative we are responsible for every little things we put out in this world. Leave this power to us.

“We work without contract”
Dear client, a contract is not a punishment. It’s not a trick destined to trap you! It will protect you and us from those non sense conversations we will have in the future. I know that painful conversations are good and necessary. But they don’t have to be total non sense! We both agree to do the work based on common terms. The contract make sure everybody will respect his words. Please, sign this contract.

“Come on, be flexible!”
Dear client, we know where flexibility lead. You want us to work the magic out for you, that’s what we’ll do. But what about you? Are you flexible?

The path I took is not an easy one. I decided to bring my expertise to Africa few years ago. A continent where design has left -some are wondering if it has ever existed-, where all need to be done, where we are tired of non-development clichés like famine and diseases,  where people go overseas to buy great stuff they can craft locally and make it their own. Many have left, exhausted trying, some are still here because the love goes strong whenever difficulties and challenges arise. I’m bringing changes. It’s not because we are in Africa, that the sun is brighter, that we should do low level business, or flawed one. Look where it led us? Change is hard! It doesn’t happen overnight. We have stopped communicating to each others decades ago, now we are paying the price and can’t even recognize bad work when it happens. I love my clients, I really do. As a father loves his children and sometimes needs to find solutions to make them change when they go wrong. I’m not here to “play nice”, to “be nice”, may be my competition is. I go by the rule that you expect me to be real with you. This my business policy.

11 Reasons Why The Ipad Air 2 Will Be Your Next Tablet

“Apple’s latest keynote was disappointing”, “Steve Jobs is really long gone”, “Tablets sales numbers have tanked”, “Apple’s stock has plummeted”…why all the fuss? I’ve already written about the iPhone 6 and the reason why I wouldn’t go for it. But the iPad Air 2 is really full of promises. I came to this conclusion after thorough researches online, the only tablet that could have distracted me from it is the Surface Pro 3.

Skinny rhymes with portability
How tin it really is? 6,1 mm… it makes me lose my mind. As a creative, I spent 20% of my time pushing pixels in my laptop. The other 80% are happening out there, on the field, where I’m meeting with clients, dealing with objections, educating them on my craft and selling. Imagine yourself carrying your laptop, charger, sketchbook and accessories all day; back and forth. I didn’t even mention the projector and its cables  you’ve put in a separate bag. I’m definitely seeking for more portability.
bag

Amazing screen resolution
2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 ppi, the screen looks gorgeous. Retouched photos, drawings and even your videos project will ease sales pitches. Seeing is believing.

Outstanding performances
Incredibly fast, 64-bit, A8X Application Processor and 2GB of RAM. According to Daniel Eran it “smokes Android tablets”. That makes the gaming experience on a tablet a real breeze. Check the bench below:
performances
Durability
I own an iPhone 4s since 3 years now, and it just works. My PC laptop is like 4 years old and is slow like hell. I’ve cleaned everything I could, increased the Ram, it’s still clunky and bugging. I know the battery will cost me an arm to replace. With the awful experience I get in windows environment right now, how could I expect to take on the Surface Pro 3’s journey? At least I’m sure of one thing, my iPad Air 2 will last longer.

Storage
The extra 100$ for the 128 GB version is a clever investment. Remember, you are in for a long run so why not go big? Notice that the space can go up to 1Tb with a Dropbox subscription. Coupled with external drives, iCloud, you’ll get enough room to play. A tablet is not made to store all your data anyway. Once you are home, plug your iPad to your laptop and transfer them data in your hard drives. Some may complain about Apple’s restrictions when it’s about sharing, but software like iMazing are simplifying things a lot. No need for opening iTunes constantly.

M_Mobile-Drive-Mg_MacBook

Battery life

Up to 10 hours, that’s plenty enough to take it away with me in the train or in the airplane. Enough to watch a movie, or play games. Plus we are all carrying power banks which can charge our devices up to two -even more- battery cycles. Wall huger no more.

Plenty of quality apps! 
Once upon a time, I owned a Nexus tablet. Let me tell you this Android’s apps are ugly. That’s true! Most of the apps are free there but they look terrible. Publishers are catering to the iPad too: Communication Arts for example, is not available on Android, nor GoodReader (pdf reader) and Procreate (drawing app). Trust me, when you buy a tablet and you are not seeing your favorite app in the store, you’ll put it down and get away from it with frustration. Sad experience like this makes it hard to forgive a manufacturer.

Business tool
I’ve mentioned my projector lately. PowerPoint & Keynote are tools that will move your audience in a big way.
For around 9$/month you’ll get the Microsoft Office 365 experience, and it comes with 5 licenses for you to share, including tablets. The keyboard will NOT cost you -like the Surface Pro 3- 124$ more, I got mine for 19,99 $. Oh! don’t forget a Lightning digital AV adapter if you want to use your projector’s HDMI port. Good news: Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote are now free* (* for qualifying iOS 8 compatible devices with initial activation on or after September 1, 2013)
10-23-2014 12-34-11 PM

Creative tool

Adobe’s apps are living up the iPad expectations, –although Microsoft is putting its feet into the game as well– they are exclusive to iOS. Android hasn’t catch up yet; when I type “Adobe” in Google Play’s search panel, the results are saddening. I really hope Adobe will work this out, I’d like to shoot photos on an Android phone (in general they have better cameras) and see them appear in my desktop via Creative Cloud. Yes iPad’s 8 MP camera is also great, but my Canon Powershot can do the job quietly at a wedding ceremony. Lightroom for iPad is available too! So you can shoot, make quick photo adjustments, and find them all synced on your machine at home. Digital illustrator Kyle Lambert did this amazing Morgan Freeman’s portrait with just his fingers, on Procreate!

kyle-lambert-morgan-freeman-ipad-finger-painting-color

Music on the go!

Any musicians in the room with Garageband installed in their tablet? Please, stand now! Apple has instilled music in its products. They’ve nailed it. Download Ik Multimedia virtual amps, plug your guitar into the iPad, and rock away. Want a concert piano sound? iGrand Piano will offer multiple sound choices to you. With Audiobus , you can even add other inputs, Fx and outputs apps without leaving Garageband. Transform the iPad into a drum pad with iMaschine to create your own beats. Feel the great mobile digital audio workstation experience with Beatmakers 2 or Fruity Loops and upload your creations to your Soundcloud profile.
intua-web-home-05.3-540x510

Open door for app development
Creatives and business people will love the iPad, but nothing keeps you from learning code and design your own apps. Apple felt that app coding was tedious and reserved to the elite developers out there. Now, they are bringing it to the masses with their new language Swift. So now you can learn at your own pace and be the next “Flappy Bird” creator, earn your money from the iTunes store in the process.  

Conclusion
I’m planning to ditch my aging PC laptop, while waiting for my new iPad. Purchase decisions are getting harder with tech competition getting higher, It’s essential to know what to expect from a device, think out of the box and getting more creative. It took me weeks to chose between two tablets.
People are complaining because they didn’t exhaust the huge amount of possibilities a tablet can do for them. Yet some don’t even know how to sign a pdf in it. They just want to watch videos & shows, take photos, and read magazines or articles. Hence, they get bored quickly. There’s so much more left to do! I think that laptop’s extinction is not around yet. For people like me, who just bought a Macbook Pro, it makes all sense. We don’t want devices that make us forget our laptop or desktop, put them in the corner -nobody puts a Macbook Pro in the corner-. The tablets are made for doing tasks on the go: light photo adjustments, quick sketches and notes. And internet now allows you to get an access to your data anywhere. The only thing I regret on the iPad right now -and iOS 8.1 in general- is a real multitasking experience. Maybe -and I hope that- folks at Cupertino are working on it.

Why We Do What We Do

I’ll always remember the day I sat in front of a client and she said: “I don’t understand your profession, tell me how important it is to us [I.e our company]?” How important an artist is…
Website, brochures, leaflets, Newsletters are all great assets but nothing will sell yourself better than “you”. Sell without selling, by using storytelling.

I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love stories. What do we do at a dinner table? We tell stories. We laugh so hard sometimes that we let the food off our fork; the room goes silent when there’s an awful drama going around; then we start asking questions: how did it happen? Why they did it? What the hell were they thinking?

When we get to our beds at night, these questions are running in our minds. We learn lessons and are acting differently the day after. Let me tell you how I see the artists I’m interacting with on daily basis.

Photographers are not just button pushers, they are the architects of light and memories. Through their eyes we see the world differently. We keep and cherish their work because it’s the only thing left when death strikes.

Web Designers are the masters of interactivity and they know how great a user experience can be when awesome and simple code is running in the background. They also don’t forget smooth design which is rendering the whole piece so well.

Filmmakers put our hearts in motion. They are also light masters and they know every story’s beats, rhythm and paces. They are directing humans and teams, getting the best of themselves.

Illustrators and painters are the genuine hands that craft colors, shapes and forms that go straight to our eyes and activate certain areas in our brains. Their work is displayed in museum, rocked our childhood.

Musicians know that sounds can put us in a creative mood. They are the essence of our inspiration. Without music, everything we do would be dull.

Writers, imagination pushers as well. Who can decrypt a scene better than a writer? By just using few and effective words, their work go to theaters and is turned into contagious tv shows.

I think that these actors are all core elements of storytelling. Their struggles to come with something new every time is ridiculous compared to the ones they are facing when it’s about selling their services. Why? May be it’s because they forgot that selling is also telling stories. In a sense, they stopped reminding others how important they are.

Cheap prices and tough competition are giving us hard times. We need to get back to this state where we were so curious and passionate to start; when everybody and everything were holding us back and telling us that we couldn’t make it.

Please do me a favor the next time you enter your client’s room, change their perceptions at your craft: get your powerpoint, story and questions ready.

I Don’t Believe In Free…Unless…

Yesterday U2 gave an interview on french cable channel: Canal+. I couldn’t help but think about the iPhone 6 launch a month ago, and my surprise when I found their album appears in my aging iPhone few days later. I didn’t listen to it. My first reaction was like “how to delete this?”

I guess I’m like the 500 minus 33 million people who didn’t give a fly. The problem of U2 is that they are popular, you know that they exist; but you can’t remember their songs clearly. They are stuck between generations. Young people don’t care about U2, they are more into Coldplay and Imagine Dragons or Echosmith. I don’t know why Apple wanted to push that “free” album pill down our throat, but it certainly WASN’T our desire.

My mum zapped when she watched Bono sing acapella on the show “he’s singing off key, I don’t know him he’s boring” she said. That was it. No Bono tonight.

Next time we want to give something free to our audience let’s make sure that they need it and may care for it in the first place.

What about a Coldplay free album? There you go!

How To Get The Attention Of Your Mentors

I would have never imagine to be where I am right now in my career, happy and working in an amazing industry. I know it’s going to be a long road ahead, a bumpy and interesting one.
In the Advertising field, you’re always learning -sometimes the hard way- , enriching yourself and others. Getting more empathic and aware of your clients issues and challenges. You embody them. Is it all about love? Not always-watch how Jerry Seinfeld makes fun of the entire ad industry in the latest Clio’s awards ceremony.-

As you grow, it’s normal to seek recognition from your peers and mentor ship. Guy Kawasaki (evangelist), Jeffrey Gitomer (salesman), Seth Godin (marketer), Von Glitschka (designer), David Airey (designer), Scott Kelby (Photographer and teacher) and so many others:  I call them ‘my heroes’  because they paved the way I’m walking in right now. I didn’t even meet them in person -wish I did- but I know they are with me.

The first professional book I read, back in 1995, was “How To Drive Your Competition Crazy”, I was 12. Like most kids of my age,  I had absolutely no idea what would be my future job;  An  amazing thing happened to me:  I could understand what this “Guy” was talking about, as if  it was written just for me.

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Things just don’t happen in a vacuum, there’s always a reason why we do what we do at this very moment. It’s all about patterns. I always saw my dad struggle with his own company and try to learn as much as he could about the areas necessary for its success. Marketing was one of them. Actually, this was my father’s book. Years later, here I am, buying and reading all Kawasaki’s books with the same eagerness and energy.

Technology helped us out-I can now get my favorite authors’ books at a flick of my thumb in my iPhone’s kindle app-, but also brought a lot of noise! Now your heroes are hiring people who: open their mails, post their social media content, manage their schedules etc. They have no other choices: the way of doing business has evolved.

How to get their attention then?  I’ll try to answer that question by giving you a few valuable tips that helped me.


Make it short

Have you ever sat down and wrote a ‘novel-like-e-mail’ to a total stranger? Carefully choosing your words, making beautiful sentences (even added some twist of  humor)? Ever felt that anxiety when you pressed the ‘send’ button and wanted to modify it one last time before realizing it was already gone?
Then, one day, your inbox alerts you… there it is: your hero’s answer. Wait a minute… it’s just two sentences long. Duuuuhhhhh!

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Seth Godin has mastered this art of throwing ‘just-two-sentences-answers-that-will-drive-you-crazy’ at you. It’s done on purpose. The man believes that if he doesn’t work diligently on his words, they’ll lose their effectiveness and twist in your mind. He is right, nothing can beat simplicity. Truth is, your heroes got hectic schedules. They’ll certainly not have time to read your novels… sorry. You need to reboot, think and act like them. After all, short messages are scarce. They will surely appreciate your efforts of conciseness. Here lies your originality.

Master your headlines

When I get emails, I’m always looking at the headlines. And my cursor is never away from the ‘spam’ or ‘delete’ button. I even get mad at my mail browser allowing such a mess getting its way through my eyes. We get bothered everyday from people we don’t know from Adam, and they know that! They keep disturbing our peace. The hero will secretly ask  ‘Give me a reason to open your message, a genuine headline: it could be the title of my latest article, my latest interview on CNN, or the funny gig I had on Jimmy Fallon’s show. It’s all about me! Did you like my work? What you think about it? Show me.’ The ideal headline should count 5 to 6 words and…that’s it. Make it fly!

Apologize

‘You are an intruder,  you come-virtually- to my place of business, don’t you know that I should be on the phone talking to my clients instead of reading these non sense emails?’ these are the hero’s thoughts. If you apologize first, and later in the message’s body they will tolerate it. Keep your dignity thought, don’t push the excuses too far.

Shout outs

Give a nod to the heroes of your life.  They inspired you, it’s just about sending the love and appreciation back. Shout outs give you the reason to bother them in a good way. Mention the dedication in your emails, make a call to action. You can link your content into your message. Calls to action are pretty effective, they’ll give you the incentive for reaching back, use them but don’t overdo it.
I’ve drawn this portrait, years ago, of one of my favorite R&B singer : Tank. I posted it on twitter and it got an amazing positive reaction. He even noticed it and tweeted ‘Nice!’ -he’s even worse than Seth at answering… lol..but hey! It worked!-

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Ask kindly

Want a Skype session or a call scheduled? An interview for your podcast or blog?  Just ask!  Don’t be afraid of rejection.

Genuine questions…

Ever asked a question and your interlocutor paused..saying ‘that’s a great question!’. This is the effect you are seeking. I hear a lot of podcast just for one reason: their host ask a hell lot of great questions. Pull out a sheet of paper and a pen and note the most interesting. Re-use them, add your own voice to them.

It’s not about you
You have not flatten their tires -and I hope you didn’t- yesterday because they didn’t answer your email… get yourself out of the way, it’s not personal! Like I said, you can’t blame a person from being busy. When you’ll meet all the success -it’s my wish to you-  you deserve, you’ll know that it comes at a price and this precious interaction you had with your Twitter followers vanished. Now they are thousands and thousands… hard to catch up without the help of assistants.
Conclusion
I hope you’ll find your own tricks to engage your heroes in clever conversations. Don’t forget to keep it going and swinging, you’ll start to sound familiar. No answer today? Don’t worry, go ahead with your life. You might be surprise someday as you scroll through your inbox. 😉

 

10 Simple Ways To Be(come) A Great Boss

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Gladys didn’t get paid today. Five months anniversary of ‘non-payment’. She’s really having a hard time because she: can’t afford to pay her kid’s school tuition, avoids her landlord. She knows that she’ll have no lights soon. She’s late for work -again- because she had to deal with the school’s principal first.

I’m not saying that it has always been like this: the job interview was great. Smiles everywhere, new premises, warm and cheerful executives; the pay was good with possible increases. Today, her taxis expenses are unbearable. Coming to work has become a punishment. The projects are dull and monotonous, meetings and briefings keep coming but they are not relevant. There’s no magic anymore. She will sell her belongings to make ends meet. Asking for help to her colleagues? They got exactly the same issues…

‘Do they know how I live? Them, in their big cars and shiny suits? ‘ she asked herself. Yesterday ‘they’ asked her to manage the new equipment delivery, back to her desk she did a Google search and realized that only one of these items cost four times her salary, it brought her down in tears. Gladys is a graphic designer.

Do bosses know how bad they’re hurting their workers when they act like this? Why they keep doing it? How to keep your workers’ loyalty when the competition comes knocking with better salaries? Do they have great bosses? Not necessarily. How to become a great boss then?

Be accountable
We are looking for leaders to unite us around a vision, that’s you. When problems occur we want you to take the lead. If you don’t take the entire responsibility of your employees’ failures or difficulties, you will fail miserably to instill admiration and respect in your troops. You will be only good at giving orders. Problem is that the orders never walk. Do what you say and say what you do, nothing is worse than a chatterbox.
Swim with your team
The work is done, you came down there and validated the client’s project, and you went back in your office. Absent boss. You have no idea how your team will hate you for that, for not having saved everybody’s time when you could just pull a chair up and sit next to each of your team members. Get in the ‘arena’, build constant feedback. Give room for suggestions, push for improvements and if they don’t fly, take a pen and go to the whiteboard or go back to your office’s desk and come out with a rocking PowerPoint presentation.
Honesty is stronger than pride
So many meetings are beginning with new goals conversations, or those the team missed and had to catch up. The first thing to make sure of, in a room, is to ask ” Who, here, has a problem ? “. When troubles arise, it is important to speak frankly. If the financial situation is dire, tell them you will restrain the budget; tell them they will not get paid this month; SAY IT! After that, you will work on solutions as a team. Pride, taboos, hierarchy: they have no place in a team brief. The goal is to urge every players to speak their mind. Issues must be squared and resolved before even getting new clients.
Do not take hostages
It is better to reward someone in full or not at all than in thirds. I’ve often seen managers pay their team third the salary by mentioning problems of treasuries or unpaid bills. Do you really think they will thank you for that? Don’t you think they have electric bills to pay too? May be you thought that they would not be in for the money. Everybody’s in for the money when it’s not invested properly. These investments are what make people stick together.
Invest in your team
This is the truth: you have recruited people who have worked hard for their degrees and are now entering into a routine that’s boring. You, as a leader, must constantly stimulate their knowledge by offering them in-house training. Technology is everywhere and it’s easy to get lost between how to write a good social media post and crunching numbers in Excel.
Invest in your company
I think any company that does not have a quiet room with nice couches and cushions on the floor, simply should not do business. If you expect people to spend their midnight oil, collapsing in chairs waiting for the cleaning service to wake them up: you’ve missed a huge point. Make people love their work space. The interior design and spaces were carefully studied and articulated in companies like Pixar or Google, why not be inspired by them? It is true that some have family obligations, but others are willing to invest serious time in your great projects. Do not turn off their passion when it will only cost you a couch or offering catering services to them.
Limit your exposure
A day in a troubled company. Employees are expecting a raise, as they were promised, and that glorious day didn’t come. They are now stunned to see, coming out of a brand new Aston Martin, their CEO in a golf attire. Be discreet, when you know the rebellion is coming take a bike.
Avoid badmouthing
Lack of information and communication between individuals is the worst evil. If you speak ill of an employee to another behind his/her back, you will do the same on your clients/partners; you will do the same on your competition; your workers will do the same on you! The meeting rooms are made to resolve conflicts.

Be patient
Oh… my biggest flaw. I know that I’ve never been patient; I also know that I am a dog lover and mine taught me a lot about it. It is very hard to master. I remember the day when my Labrador barked endlessly in his cage, I decided to take him out and proceeded to a thorough inspection and cleaning. When you do things well, you expect quick outcomes right? Wrong! He refused to get back in. With patience, I tried several tactics but the one that really worked was linking the action to the word – I pointed the cage out and took an authoritative voice -. If I had listened to my inner voice, I would have taken this alligator’s reincarnation -my Golden Ret’ never chews…- with both hands and forced him in there. But was I aware of his real issues? Was there a snake in that cage? I didn’t know. Clients will not pay you in time -it always drives me numb-, workers will not ‘get it’ right away, people in business will owe you money. Patience is one of your greatest asset.
Forget about the money
I like to think about money as a wild horse instead of a unicorn. If it fascinates you, it will be hard to distance yourself from a greedy competition. Money can make you avaricious to the point where you’ll automatically not pay your team and use vain tricks to keep them around you. Then you’ll establish a downward spiral and cause troubles in your company. I don’t like to minimize the power of money but great relationships are stronger.
In conclusion, finding the right leadership balance is very hard. Sometimes you have to be tyrannical to get things moving in the right direction, but even the tyrants have a great heart. Dictatorship is so yesterday and people’s -especially young bloods- reaction to it is so bad. Nowadays, you have to ‘go with the flow’ without drifting away from your vision and your goals. I think that running a business is like being the eldest of a family: you are expected and forced to be in charge against your will. Entrepreneurs bring hope into the lives of their customers, but most of all: their employees. The power to make their lives better , realize their dreams, allowing them to send their children to school and have a roof over their head. This power is huge and comes with great responsibilities. If you fail, lead by your own vanity, they will blame you for it and forget everything you’ve done for them in the past. But if they watch your baby steps and get involved in the process, things will be different. Stakes are high, be a great boss by practicing these fundamentals.

Your turn. Do your employees like you? How do you keep the magic going?