Changing perspectives to improve outputs

How you perceive something affects how you approach something. If you’re able to change the way you think about something, you just might be able to get more value out of it.

Here are some examples to help illustrate the point.

Attending more events (growing your network)

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For many founders and sales people, the more events you attend, the more likely you’ll meet potential clients (it’s a question of big numbers). But what often happens is that the metric people look at is the number of events attended — for example, attend 10 events in Q2 of 2018. It makes sense, but is it the best way to look at it?

More events = more connections = more clients; there’s no denying that. However, as the only metric is attending more events (in this case 10), you’re likely only looking to hit that goal. There’s no qualifying what those events are and the likely audience of those events (are they even potential clients?). If you’re attending 10 random events, the chances of finding more clients aren’t necessarily better than attending 1 very targeted event.

(There’s also the chance that you go to events and not interact/mingle — maybe you’re feeling lazy or the crowd isn’t right. Either way, it’s wasted time where you’re not helping your cause, even if it helps you hit that 10 events goal)

A (potentially) better metric would be to give out 300 name cards in Q2. Instead of just attending events, this forces you to actually talk to people (and finding out if there’s a way to work together). This metric takes away the purpose of attending events, and gives a more concrete outcome.

However, you still need to be careful as there are tendencies to just trade name cards and not build genuine connections (we’ve all seen people who do this — it’s impressive to an extent but not sure there’s real value being created). An even better metric would be to hand out 100 name cards in Q2, but ONLY when someone asks you for it. This would force you to engage in real conversation, and if there’s a fit/budding friendship, only then is there an interaction of name card exchanges.

From going to events, to handing out name cards in specific situations. You’re still playing the numbers game, but instead of playing with massive numbers with a small chance of conversion, you’re looking at playing with decent numbers with a high chance of conversion. It’s a bonus that you save money in name cards needed as well as time spent following up with people!

Vanity Social Media Numbers

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Massive follower numbers, huge impression numbers and incredible year-on-year growth. We’ve all seen these social media numbers, but apart from impressing people who don’t know any better, what is the point of these? Are these helping your actual goals? Unless it’s awareness that you’re going for, do these even matter?

For a seasoned digital marketer (I’ve found traditional marketers don’t understand this as much as digital natives), this is the challenge you’re most likely tackling on a daily basis. Do you go for the big numbers or care more about the actual sales numbers? If you’re looking to get a promotion at the year and you have to impress a boss who doesn’t know any better, go for the big numbers (billions always sounds good, no matter what the metric is). On the other hand, smarter managers will see right through it.

While follower numbers are always good to have, they won’t necessarily help you sell more product. Once you reach a certain threshold (where people become comfortable that you’re a real brand, i.e. not just friends and family; and not going to run away with your money), the social media metrics you should strive for need to change.

Instead of looking at numbers, you should be looking at (among many other things/goals) conversion (if you want sales), tags (if you want to test passion) or shares (if you want to test out various content).

Sales/Clickthroughs — this is the most obvious and simple one. If you’re not already looking at this, I hope it’s because you’ve only just launched.

Tags —This is when people tag you. I like this a lot more than comments or likes. If you’re able to see an increase in frequency of tags every week/month, it’s because what you’re doing is resonating and people care enough to want to tag you (it’s extra work for them!).

Shares — Again, instead of looking at comments/likes, it takes a MUCH bigger effort to share something. People will only share if content emotionally resonates with them (they’re risking posting bad content on their page otherwise). Much better metric than likes which is a little meaningless (and bots anyone?).

Laughably Easy Goals

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Sometimes goals are scary (and there’s a time and place for them), but sometimes these goals can leave you in a state of paralysis — if you doubt whether you can actually get to the end result, there’s a chance you won’t even want to try.

Instead setting, not just easier, but laughably easy goals can make all the difference. For example, instead of saying that ‘you must do 100 pushups every day’, it’s simply smarter to say ‘you must do 1 pushup every day’.

100 pushups is a lot, but 1 pushup is easy (you just have to lay flat and get back up once). What you’ll find however is that since you’re already there, you’re likely going to do a little more (maybe not 100 pushups, but somewhere between 1 and 100).The goal is so easy that there’s no excuse EVER to not even attempt it. On the other hand, I can already think of 10 reasons why I don’t want to do 100 pushups today.

This can be applied to many other things in business (assuming you’re a 1 person company and busy with many things):

Digital Marketing — write 1 blog post each week (only 1 paragraph needed)

Social Media (Influencers)— send 1 DM to a potential influencer every week (you’re probably browsing anyway)

CRM — speak to 1 customer each week (can just be an email to follow up)

Continual Learning — reach 1 chapter every night before bed (most chapters in business books take less than 10 minutes to read)

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 325,962+ people.

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