A duck and a dream

I had the pleasure of watching arguably the world’s best magician David Copperfield live in Melbourne recently. The magic itself was awesome...

17 reasons you should always carry a book with you

1. As someone who used to spend a lot of time waiting for real estate clients to show up – I know that clients / appointments / people in general are often late...

Reality Television your way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television.

Where is the love?!

One of my businesses, Elephant Property, works in the notoriously under appreciated category of residential property management. The old adage in property management...

The power of the word

I’m quite distraught. I was eating my personal trainer approved afternoon snack of 12 almonds (my suggestion of 12 Tim Tams: not approved)...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Story Do You Tell?

Some of my favourite songs are those that are able to convey a storyline worthy of a full feature length movie in only a few minutes.

There’s the eternal Kenny Rogers (yes, I like Kenny and won’t hear anything negative about that) with Ruby don’t take your love to town.

More recently, and while it’s not as powerful as Ruby, I still love the simple and beautiful story in Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus:

And the shocking (well I found it shocking the first time I listened to it) All I wanna do is make love to you by Heart:

This got me thinking, if a musical artist can convey that much of a story line in such a compressed time, so too can a business in their marketing materials. For my money, the “about us” page on your website is the best place to start.

One of my favourite corporate about us pages is that of the recently aquired Zappos Check it out to see how they’ve incorporated testimonials, video, social networking, blogs and more.

Even on twitter where you’ve got only a few tiny characters for your bio, http://twitter.com/caseystevens got my attention with hers (although I don’t know if I agree with the ugg boots):

• Bio Yes to: Marketing, Dancing, Dogs, Pina Coladas. No to: Brussel sprouts, violence, wearing ugg boots outside

Check out this fabulous article to see a few more wacky but story filled examples:

Here’s a simple checklist for your website’s about us page:

• Does it adequately convey the personality of you / your organisation?
• What else can you do to link it to your social media output (twitter, facebook, linked in etc)
• Does it help people get to your blog (er… do you have a blog?)
• Could it link or show testimonials?
• Can it help me find your team bios?
• Is it current and up to date?
• Does it link to the other pages on your website?
• Have you missed anything “bragworthy” – awards, qualifications etc?
• Is it visually appealing?
• Is there anything on there that would make me want to tell someone else to check out that page?

Now, I’m leaving now ‘cos you just heard the slamming of the door (if this doesn’t make sense then I humbly request you start listening to more Kenny Rogers!) I’m off to work on updating my about us pages… how ‘bout you?

Also If you know of any great “about us” pages, please put them in the comments here, I’m always up for seeing fabulous examples.

To sign up to Kirsty's newsletter head to: www.kirstydunphey.com

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Would you write a reference for your boss?

This week while making an application for a new employee under a scholarship program for our new real estate agency Elephant Property (www.elephantproperty.com.au) I had the strange experience of asking two former employees who had worked with our team under that program to write me a reference!

I’m in the position of still closely following the careers of both these former staff members and I was flattered and brought to tears by what they both wrote which was fabulous (thanks Emma & Clinton) but it got me thinking, how would you feel if your last boss asked you to write them a reference?

Would it be glowing? Would it be honest? Would you even bother?

In reading “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” by John Wood (amazing book!) one story about his former boss – Steve Ballmer (now CEO of Microsoft – stuck with me.

John mentioned off hand to Steve (arguably one of the most powerful business leaders in the world) one morning that he was planning on running the Boston marathon later that year.

The day of the marathon came and immediately afterwards John caught a flight directly to an important Microsoft announcement by Steve. After the hubbub of the announcement had died down Steve, surrounded by his entourage, walked past John and as he was passing called out “3 hours 4 minutes in the marathon – sensational” (or something to that effect). When John queried how he knew this he said that he makes it a point to know everything about his team.

To me, that’s an awesome leader and if you read Leaving Microsoft to Change the World you’ll see that John Wood writes Steve Ballmer a great reference in what he says about him in those pages.

So, would you write that reference for your current boss or are you perhaps the type of boss that would have that type of reference written about you?

To sign up to Kirsty's newsletter head to: www.kirstydunphey.com

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What can you learn over coffee or in a weekend?

I’ve just had a super weekend. Yes there was a pole dancing party (which I bought at a recent charity auction) and yes there were cocktails, but what’s more there were two amazingly inspirational business women for me to network with.

These two women were Lara Solomon, founder of www.mymocks.com and author of Brand New Day and Kate Tribe, founder of www.triberesearch.com.au.

Now I’m a huge believer that one of the best ways to increase your own knowledge is by simply having a chat with someone fabulous. Neither of these women work in my industry, but both always have amazing insights and I can always learn something that I can R&D (rip off and duplicate – thank you Mr. Terry Watson www.terrywatson.com) into my business.

So instead of just hogging their brilliance I thought I’d share some of it with you this week and encourage you to head out and do some R&Ding of your own.

A little of what I got from Kate:
• Tribe Research has an ex staff members club where they’re invited to staff events, get an update newsletter and even get a trophy when they leave! What a fabulous way to ensure that staff members (many of Kate’s obviously leave on great terms) stay advocates of the firm and would encourage others to work at the firm in the future.
• Tribe also send business birthday cards by finding out when a company was created searching through ASIC. As Kate and I discussed at length – anything strategy like this isn’t a short term measure, you might only find out how appreciated it is after the 3rd or 5th year (or even later), but how much will it make you stand out!

A little of what I got from Lara:
• Lara had just arrived back from a mansion in Beverly Hills (yes 90210) where she was promoting Mocks at a pre-Emmys event and getting amazing snaps of celebs like Jennifer Love Hewitt and Randy Jackson (American Idol) with her products. What a sensational way to create buzz and get celeb endorsements!
• Lara’s business is also breaking into the US at the moment and so we had some fab chats about drop shipping, manufacturing, PR firms and distributors. For more on this, check out her smart company offerings.

So, when was the last time you spent a weekend, a lunch or a coffee with someone you found inspirational?

Sign up to Kirsty's newsletter here: www.kirstydunphey.com

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, November 2, 2009

Does Your Organisation Boo?

The air was electric as I looked over a sea of bobbing blue caps hotdog in hand. It was my first Chicago Cubs baseball game at historic Wrigley Field and I was loving every minute of it. With every crack of bat to ball my breath paused, my neck arched and I took another bite of my fabulous Chicago dog.

That day, like so many others, was not the a day for Cubs victory – but one moment definitely stood out. The opposing team hit a huge fly ball right…. out…. into centre field… home run.

All of a sudden the crowd started to boo and howl wildly. My husband asked me why the Cubs fans were showing such poor sportsman ship. Being a nerd (with access to Wikipedia on my iPhone), I knew exactly what the boos were about.

It was soon readily apparent to all Australian tourists at the game that the booing wasn’t about the home run. The boos were about the fan who caught the home run ball keeping the home run ball from the opposing team! Culturally speaking, Chicago Cubs fans throw back the opposing team’s homers and nearly every one of the 35,000 people at the game let their feelings be well known on the subject!

Now whether you agree with throwing back the homer or not (my husband adamantly states that regardless of the boo-ing, he’d be keeping that homer!) you’ve got to admit, this is a very clear indication of the culture of Wrigley Field.

Is the culture within your organisation as readily apparent to new comers? Now I’m not suggesting that you should be getting boo-ed by 35 accountants in your firm when you don’t refill the paper in the photocopier. But I am wondering how comfortable the team around you feel about pointing out when someone isn’t living up to your office culture? Does the new guy know that in your firm you reward other’s successes, you actively engage with the people around you, you say good morning with a smile each day, you don’t take shortcuts, you get your filing and other little tasks done, you treat even the most junior of staff members with respect…. And who amongst his peers will figuratively boo at him if he doesn’t?

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email at www.kirstydunphey.com.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

    • Popular
    • Categories
    • Archives