I am tired of hearing people my age talk about how confusing all the new technology is. Hey I know, there is a lot going on, but Iím convinced that many of us are more intimidated by the idea of technology than by the thing itself. So here are three tips to help you get the jump on all of the new data, devices, and demands they make on your brain and your time.
There is nothing that makes you sound old like talking about your age. And what does it get you? If you spend your time complaining about how bad your memory is getting or how much you miss typewriters and fax machines, is it going to make your clients trust you more? No. Is it going to make it easier to forward messages, learn keywords for SEO, or manage the content on your website? No, no and no. It will just make you feel and seem older.
Look at it this way, youíre not old, youíre seasoned! Youíre wise! Youíre the go-to person because you have lived through a few economic cycles and know more than kids just out of college. So capitalize on your wisdom and experience. Iíve noticed that as soon as I pull out a tablet, or smartphone, someone in the room starts talking about being old. Stop it right now! Let your competitor sound like the old, outdated one. You should sound excited about whatever is coming next. Show fearless enthusiasm for new technologies and you will build trust with your target market.
Tip #2: Throw away the instruction manual.
Did you know that your iPhone has a digital recorder on it? Do you know how to quickly scroll to a preset message when you canít take a call, so that your caller sees that you are in a meeting and will call back later? Do you know how to hook your tablet up to a projector? If you are only using the features on your smartphone and tablet that are immediately apparent, you are missing a lot of functionality, and fun. And how do you tap into that? Read the directions? Sure, thatís what you mean to do, but when are you ever really going to do that?
Stop feeling guilty about it and throw the manual in a drawer. Now, take out your device and start to tinker with it. If you get stuck, go on YouTube and find a video that shows you how to do what you want to do. There is a video online for everything you want to know. Once you have learned a new skill, take a moment now and then to show younger, hipper people how to use their smartphones or tablets. Itís like a drink from the Fountain of Youth!
Many professionals miss the fact that knowledge is power, even when it isnít directly connected to your products and services. The more you know, the stronger your presence is, and the more others will trust you. Remember: as long as you can learn new tricks, youíll never be an old dog.
Tip #3: Embrace Social Media
Social media marketing is here to stay. You donít want to be the last one with a horse and buggy when everyone else is sailing down the road in a new car, so donít be the last person to get up to speed on social media marketing. Old techniques like sending out direct mail pieces, making cold calls and booking conference rooms for seminars still have a place in marketing, but only if supplemented by a sophisticated social marketing program.
You should be in LinkedIn discussion groups, answering questions on your specialties. (Weíve put together a video on how to do just that here.) Your Facebook Business Page should be fun and informative and a source of regular referrals. Finally, your Twitter feed should link to timely, engaging content on a regular basis.† You can hire firms like ours (FMG Suite) to take care of it for you, or you can do it yourself, but either way, youíve got to take a few minutes a day, pull your boots on and Cowboy Up. The digital revolution is here, and if you sit around complaining like an old codger, youíll end up on the porch as it passes you by. So stop talking about your age, toss out the instruction manual and start tinkering, and get on those social sites today. Youíll reap the benefits in increased client confidence, more business, and the fun of showing up those Gen-X types!
Craig Faulkner is CEO of FMG Suite, a company dedicated to creating digital marketing tools for today's financial professional. For more ways to make the most of your marketing efforts, check out his free online video course,The Art of Digital Marketing. You can also follow him@fmgsuite on Twitter.