Week 6 - Share Ideas and Engage
Start: Thinking With a Group Mentality
Do you remember when you were in school and your teachers had you get into groups to work on a project? No matter what the age it just seemed like the worse every time. I can’t really recall any one of my friends actually enjoying working on group projects. Whether you chose your groups yourself or the teacher assigned them it just seemed like a chore. There was always that one group member who slacked and didn’t finish what they were supposed to, and the group member who had too high of expectations and would nag at everyone else by sending friendly reminders of what the due dates and grading procedures were. You get the point. Hopefully you had a better experience than this but when all was said and done there was always the same lesson to be learned from having to do the group project. Learning to be able to work with others. As you get into the work force you may not realize it at first but over time it becomes apparently obvious that regardless what field you work in, you have to work with others.
In some way, shape, or form to some extent you work with others. Some people have a high tolerance and patience when working with people while others are more of the recluse, introverted types that just cannot deal with working with people. No judgement which end of the scale you fall, hopefully you found a job that suits your preferences! In order to truly be efficient at what you do whatever level of interaction you have to do, you at least have to be good at working with others or you frankly won’t get very far. As a content creator you have to be VERY good at working with others. Sorry to burst your bubble if you thought otherwise. Collaboration is essential though and those lessons learned from all those group projects your teachers made you do actually are useful for this field! In this lesson we’re going to cover ways to have a group mentality to be able to push your reach and branch into other niches and interests outside of your primary market group to scale up your audience!
Path to Success: Think More Selflessly
Being a part of a group has its ups and downs but if you think of the overall purpose and perks of group thinking, there can be big rewards in doing so. Collectively when you think and act in a group you are able to spark ideas and jump to a creative space much faster. Others give their input and it can spark an idea you might not have otherwise thought of. If groups can work efficiently together, their overall effectiveness can be great. Sometimes it is easy to think we can do things better on our own and perhaps we can. In the field of content creation in general however, at some stage you need the help of a group to be able to push your ideas to a wider audience. You need that group mentality skill to engage with others as well.
If you can adopt a selfless way of thinking to take away your own ego and see the positive aspects of group thinking, you will be able to share your ideas and engage with others in ways that work for you still without it being all about you. As you work through the steps for each week, it is helpful to have a pen and paper or a Microsoft Word doc ready to take notes and write down your thoughts. This will serve as a helpful resource to you as you dive deeper into each goal week. Are you ready to harness the power of the group?
Step One: Start with Brainstorming
“It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.”
― Edward de Bono
Brainstorming is one of the easiest tasks to begin generating ideas. With a goal in mind to engage with other people and think with a group mentality, you have to have a subject to be able to talk about and what direction you want that conversation to go. Think of ways you can start a conversation with one person. Now how would you modify the context of the conversation in order to approach a group? Or would it be the same?
Some topics are great for talking about in a group and others are more suitable for more intimate one-on-one conversations. We have all been in a situation where someone at a party tries to openly engage everyone in the entire room in a conversation that just isn’t appropriate or engaging everyone’s attention. In content terms, that’s like trying to engage with all 360 million people who are active on Facebook. That is just not feasible! You can’t hold a conversation with that many people.
What is possible however, is to engage with 10 people. To start a group conversation with ten solid people and from that solid group of people your engagement is genuine, connected, and you share an interest in a specific niche. You can develop a story line and brainstorm ideas together, influence each other to all improve your content in new ways, there’s a dialogue beginning. From those initial ten people you are able to grow steadily until you have branches reaching 100 people and continue the story line. Then those solid one hundred grow to one thousand. See where we’re going here? If you try to jump straight to that magic number you’re trying to reach, the context of the conversation just isn’t appropriate because there’s no backstory.
It is important to brainstorm dialogue ideas appropriate for the group you’re aiming to reach. Perhaps you stick with one main synopsis to your dialogue but approach it different ways based on the size of group. Look at our example below. The main goal is the same, however the conversation is approached in a way that isn’t think about what YOU want out of it. It’s directed at helping someone else. The context changes when there are more people involved but it’s the same goal. Brainstorm a list of topic ideas that you can apply this example dialogue to. When you have done so, let’s take a look at step two!
Here’s an example to reference a brainstorming strategy to begin a successful group dialogue.
Main Synopsis: My goal is to inspire thousands of people to want to travel simply through my photos.
Group Dialogue Size 1-10 People: “Hey, my name is Hannah and I noticed you are also a landscape photographer and travel a lot just like me. What inspired you to pursue landscape photography more than other styles of photography?
Group Dialogue Size 10-30 People: “Hey my is Hannah and I am part of a photography group that focuses on landscape photography and travel. I noticed you are also a landscape photographer. Are there strategies you have used to improve your skills that you would be interested in sharing with our group?”
Group Dialogue Size 50+ People: “Hey my name is Hannah and I am part of an organization that focuses on sharing techniques and tips to improve your photography skills to inspire others to want to travel. I noticed you are beginning your career as a photographer. Would you be interested in learning more about what our group can do for you?
Step Two: Be Approachable
“There is a world of difference between being friendly to someone because they’re useful to you and being someone’s friend.”
― John Ortberg
A great intention to set with your content and the way that you grow your reach is to make yourself approachable. As people engage with your content they want to have that feeling of being able to reach out to you to submit feedback or ask questions about it. If you yourself are guarded and unapproachable, that is going to come through in your content. It will be much harder to begin having that sort of group dialogue we talked about in the last step if you never get a chance to interact in a group. Set yourself up for success by giving your content a friendly, approachable vibe.
As people reach out to you about your content, you can use the feedback they point out to start conversations with others. This will take a conscious effort to go outside of your comfort zone and perhaps push yourself to be a but uncomfortable. After all, being approachable means you are willing to put yourself out there and be a bit vulnerable. Remember though, in doing so you can inspire others to be bold and do the same so that is pretty awesome!
There are many ways you can begin becoming more approachable and we will talk more about ways in the following steps. Keep in mind the most important strategy you can implore to be more approachable, and that is to be open minded. To be willing to be a bit uncomfortable and accepting to whatever result may come of you being more approachable. To understand that everyone is going through their own tough stuff too and if you are willing to share your story that could inspire and help others to do the same.
So at first it may seem foreign or unnatural to be as approachable as you will need to be to truly become an influencer. Over time however, along with using the other strategies we will touch on, you being willing to be open minded will open a lot of doors for you. You will naturally just become approachable and gain the trust and support of others because of your ability to be approachable. Now, let’s talk more on other strategies you can use too!
Step Three: Offer Free Advice
“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”
― Jim Rohn
If there is one thing we know about most anyone, is that we all like things that are free. Getting something for free is like receiving a gift from a friend you haven’t seen for a while. It’s unexpected and surprisingly pleasant! What is even better about receiving something for free is that there is not expectation to give anything back in return but it prompts you to want to do something for free for someone else. You know get something, and give something back. Generosity goes a long way and really can make someone’s day! Sharing content and engaging with other people will take a whole lot of giving something away on your part. There is always a cost of some kind associated with content creation but in the context of what we are talking about, it’s a beneficial cost.
The stronger and more well-versed you get with content creation the more others around you will start to catch on to what you are doing and wonder how you’re doing it. You may spark someone’s curiosity to learn where you have traveled to or what skills you have gained from your travels. gradually you will become a guru of your niche, a seemingly all-knowing resource in your field. This is a very good thing! What you can expect to start happening is people will begin asking questions or ask for suggestions and recommendations of you. You will be bartering a lot of your time and advice in exchange for the potential of them becoming a supporting and buying whatever you are selling.
Give as much free advice as you can! Yes, it does require your time to fulfill these requests or answer people’s questions but becoming a resource to people is a sign that your content is reaching people! Offering free advice is like giving a gift. Don’t expect people to give anything back to you, but keep that hope in the back of your mind that they will. The more openly giving you are the more apt people are to want to give something back to you. Sharing content has its rewards and it won’t always e the case of giving more than you get. We are going to talk about ways you should expect something back next!
Step Four: Place Worth in Your Resources
“Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance and it allows us to appreciate their value.”
― Rafael E. Pino
Content creation can sometimes be a time consuming process, at least when done with care and professionalism. You want to be able to inspire as many people as you can so inevitably you won’t always be paid for your time; but you should. Your time should not be treated as an expendable resource. After all time is everything. Perhaps you aren’t being paid for your content now, but you should be and if harvesting the Travel Circle to its fullest you have the potential to earn a lot from simply sharing your content as you are already doing! If you always treat your time as a free resource to give to others, it will continue being free. Generally, nothing in life is truly free. There is a difference with giving something truly out of the generosity of helping someone and giving too freely that you don’t get a return for your efforts. Make sure you know the difference.
Begin thinking of how you can leverage your time for ‘free’ with the intention of getting something back fairly. Right now perhaps you are doing the opposite, freely giving your content and spending your time posting to outside social media platforms and not getting anything back except likes and comments. You already know that by publishing your content FIRST to the Travel Circle, and THEN to outside social media platforms at minimum you are earning Alt-Travel points which can be used to book travel at even lower discounted rates than we already have. Plus, all of your content will have your affiliate partner link which gives you a return of hard-earned commissions! What you used to give away for free, you now can change your mindset to always expect to get something back. You are sharing your ideas the same ways just with a bigger return for your efforts! We are going to finish this week’s lesson by talking about ways to engage with others when they ask questions about your newfound success as a partner in the Travel Circle.
Step Five: Explaining Something New
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
― Albert Einstein
Sharing your content from the Travel Circle to outside social media platforms, in itself is a new concept. It may take some time for you to get the hang of putting that extra added touch to your content like a title, a description, and most importantly your affiliate partner code. The flow will become easier and easier the more times you repeat it. You should see your Alt-Travel points boosting like crazy and an excellent return from link click throughs! Conversations will be beginning more steadily the more that people begin seeing your content. How will you engage with your audience to explain your successes and new process of doing things? Remember back to the context of conversation when you were first beginning. Think of an approach that worked for you and ways that you can repeat that process to begin a conversation with someone asking about what you are doing. It can be intimidating, if you let it but it shouldn’t be!
Start with the most simple explanation: The Travel Circle is a new age social media platform to earn points that can be used to book travel and earn commissions just by re-purposing and sharing content. That short explanation in itself is enough to begin a conversation and strike someone’s curiosity. Obviously you want to personalize the way you deliver your explanation but it doesn’t have to be an overly complicated stressful process. Sharing your content is the first step to creating something better for yourself than what you are getting. The next step is to connect and engage with others to inspire them to want to aim for something better for themselves too. Identify one commonality you have with someone and a conversation will begin naturally. Speak from the heart and talk about why it is important to you to be a part of the Travel Circle. Ideas are easy to share when there is purpose and intention behind them! Let that be your guide to connect with others.
Optional: Do Week Seven Content Creation
When you have completed each step for this week’s lesson, you should be prepared to share your content more confidently and be able to engage with others easily! If you feel you have completed each step thoroughly and are ready to move on, take a glimpse at the goal for week seven!