Motivational Mondays: Inspired Storytelling at its Finest

    Your real hero is your customer, so write your story about them. Better yet: Tell their stories. –Cultivate Communications

Telling your company’s compelling startup tale, your CEO’s Horatio-Alger biography, or your best elevator pitch can breathe life into your brand and draw in your customers, but it’s just scratching the surface of the tale. The true narrative should be between you and your customer. How has your product, your service, or your brand touched and changed their lives?

Your real hero is your customer, so write your story about them. Better yet: Tell their stories.

Even the most creative of us struggle to extract a bestseller from seemingly benign interactions. Below are a few ideas to help you concoct a page-turner:

  • Sometimes just getting started can be the biggest battle. Check out 5 Ways to Tell a Great Marketing Story for inspiration.
  • A true legend is fraught with emotion, humanity and depth—not always something you expect in business-to-business communications. Here’s How to Forge a Human Connection.
  • Crafting your story requires a deep understanding of your customers, as your customers are both your characters and your audience. How well do you know your audience? As you develop your strategy, consider these 9 questions to help guide you.
  • To add a little intrigue and creativity to your story, check out JJ Abrams’ (television writer/director of LOST and the forthcoming Star Wars movies) TED Talk on “The Mystery Box.” Add that same engagement to your marketing story by giving customers a reason to look deeper, interact, solve a puzzle, or even play a game.
  • Never underestimate the power of storytelling when it comes to crafting your social media strategy. A shareable, likeable story can lead to more likes and translate into more customers. Read these 4 Steps to Get Noticed on Social.

For ongoing creative inspiration be sure to follow Cultivate on LinkedIn and Pinterest.

related-resources_01

Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Learn how to create a great content marketing strategy that showcases your brand story. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how you can use storytelling as part of an effective marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource

free-download

 

Top-Viewed Business TED Talks of All Time

Here at Cultivate, we believe that marketing creativity is the ability to tap into our mental pool of resources — knowledge, information, insight, stats, examples — and combine them in unique ways. The larger the library of building blocks, the more visionary your ideas will grow to be.

One of the best resources for finding “new building blocks” is the TED Talks archives. Below are 7 thought-provoking videos to get you rolling, followed by a list of the top-viewed business TED Talks of all time. Let’s get started…

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1. Shawn Achor shares the happy secret to better work

Views: 11+ million

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that happiness actually inspires productivity. Productivity = good business.

“If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral, or stressed,” he says. “Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, what we’ve found is that every single business outcome improves.”

 

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2. Elizabeth Gilbert says each of your staff members (or coworkers) is genius

Views: 10+ million

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” genius within. I’m reminded of this quote:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. — Albert Einstein

The key is to be open to their creativity.

 

And to all of you creative marketers out there, Elizabeth says, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then “Olé!” And if not, do your dance anyhow.”

 

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3. Susan Cain teaches us to open our eyes to the power of introverts

Views: 11+ million

The author of best-selling book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” argues that charismatic talkers tend to overshadow thoughtful introverts. This can be problematic, since the loudest person in the room is not always the smartest or most creative.

Cain suggests when searching for creative business solutions, that it is, “Much better for everybody to go off by themselves, generate their own ideas freed from the distortions of group dynamics, and then come together as a team to talk them through in a well-managed environment and take it from there.”

 

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4. Pamela Meyer shares how to spot a liar in the workplace and everyday life

Views: 10+ million

Did you know people are more apt to lie to coworkers than to strangers? Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, argues that our modern society is awash in a type of lie that is neither truth nor fiction, but more akin to “casual dishonesty.” On any given day we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lies can be subtle and counterintuitive. Pamela reveals the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception.

 

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5. Dan Pink explores the puzzle of motivation

Views: 13+ million

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. He suggests traditional forms of reward actually “dull thinking and block creativity.”

 

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6. Simon Sinek shares how leaders can inspire action

Views: 22+ million

Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership, all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” He explores how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change.

 

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7. Ken Robinson says we need to nurture (rather than undermine) creativity

Views: 33+million

In this uber-popular talk, Sir Ken Robinson explains that we need to radically rethink our schools, encouraging and cultivating creativity and acknowledging the presence of multiple types of intelligence. Robins states:

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original — if you’re not prepared to be wrong. And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies like this. We stigmatize mistakes.

We need to build schools AND work environments that nurture (rather than undermine) creativity.

 

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Top Viewed Business TED Talks

 Looking for additional inspiration? Check out the full list of Top Viewed Business TED Talks for additional insights.

The most viewed business TED Talks of all time... *Great resource

Be sure to share your favorite TED Talk with me in the comments below.

P.S. For ongoing creative inspiration be sure to follow Cultivate on LinkedIn and Pinterest. Plus, if you want to keep up to date with new TED Talks, you can find your favorite format here:

 

  • YouTube // Each day they upload the latest TED Talk to their channel on YouTube.
    Watch TED Talks on YouTube
  • iTunes podcast // Subscribe to TED Talks special collections on iTunes.
    View TED on iTunes

  • Netflix // Watch TED Talks on Netflix as curated shows, on-demand and streaming.
    Watch TED shows on Netflix

  • TED Radio Hour // A journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create. Based on riveting TED Talks from the world’s most remarkable minds.
    Listen to TED Radio Hour on NPR

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Business TED Talks that are seriously worth your time...

B2B Social Media Quotes: Celebrating #SMDay With 30 Creative Insights

Happy Social Media Day! The website Mashable launched Social Media Day in 2010 as a way to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication. It’s an annual global event on June 30 that recognizes the digital revolution happening right before our eyes.

In honor of this special day, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite social media quotes to inspire you to dive in and stay creative.

It’s kind of the oldest form of marketing — word of mouth — with the newest form of technology. ~ Pritchard

1. It’s kind of the oldest form of marketing — word of mouth — with the newest form of technology.
Marc S. Pritchard

2. Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.
Seth Godin

3. You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.
David Meerman Scott

4. Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing.
Chris Brogan

5. By not tweeting you’re tweeting. You’re sending a message.
Anonymous

6. Content sharing is a privilege, not a chore.
Robert Wendt

7. Your writing doesn’t have to be boring just because it’s for other businesses. Businesses have people who read stuff.
Valeria Maltoni

8. Social Media is about the people, not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.
Matt Goulart

9. Engage rather than sell … Work as a co-creator, not a marketer.
Tom H. C. Anderson

10. Life doesn’t always allow for scheduled posts; there’s simply no way to foresee everything and anything…and frankly, life just gets weird sometimes.
Cultivate Communications, via 5 Epic Social Media Automation Fails: Bots Just Aren’t People

11. A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.
Scott Cook

12. In the digital space, attention is a currency. We earn it. We spend it.
Brian Solis

13. In the world of B2B, your professional network is everything. Because your business is about business, the potential of who you know and who they know is where powerful connections happen.
Amber Naslund

14. Content is fire, social media is gasoline.
Jay Baer

15. Be helpful — be remembered.
Johnathan Crawford

16. If you’re in business and want to keep it running smoothly, you need to start thinking about your LinkedIn profile (and company profile) like your “dream vehicle”: If you put in the right gas (the right connections), take care of it, and keep up with slight “maintenance” improvements — you’ll be able to go AMAZING places.
Wayne Breitbarth Analogy, via No Leads. No Sales. No Growth: Your LinkedIn Profile Might Be to Blame

17. Sharing compelling content via your blog and social not only establishes you as a teacher in your industry, but it’s also enormously beneficial to your page rank in search results.
Robert Wendt

18. The next evolution of content marketing is not more content; it’s better distribution.
Chris Penn

19. Why are we trying to measure social media like a traditional channel anyway? Social media touches every facet of business and is more an extension of good business ethics.
Erik Qualman

20. The secret to marketing — especially social marketing — is to treat it like a cocktail party. If all you do is talk about yourself, people will soon lose interest, go mingle with someone else, and be GONE. Keep your message focused on the people around you and what THEY want to know, and at the end of the party, everyone will remember you and just how knowledgeable and intriguing you really are. They may even talk about you to other people. (What a gift for you and your “brand.”)
Johnathan Crawford

21. You are competing with every piece of content ever made for every person’s attention. You need to be entertaining. Don’t outsmart. Out entertain.
Dolf van den Brink

22. To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question. My answer, “I always thinketh thou shouldst Tweet!”
Heather Schwartz

23. New marketing is about the relationships, not the medium.
Ben Grossman

24. Never forget that social media is social…the whole point is to build relationships and keep your customers interested and in the loop. When you build audience, you keep your sales pipeline full.
Cultivate Communications, via 4 Specific Steps to Get Noticed on Social Media NOW

25. Social media isn’t cheap. It’s just a different kind of expensive.
Jay Baer

26. The beauty of social media is that it will point out your company’s flaws; the key questions is how quickly you address these flaws.
Erik Qualman

27. You are what you tweet.
Alex Tew

28. Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.
Ian Schafer

29. Social media allows big companies to act small again.
Jay Baer

How can you not take advantage of the greatest marketing shift of our generation?

Social media is a revolution that your business must be part of…

79% of B2B Marketers believe social media is an effective marketing channel. (Source)

We end our collection of social media quotes with a bit of a kick in the pants from Seth Godin:

30. How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shift of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?

Want to kick-start your businesses’ content and social marketing? We’re here to help.

P.S. For ongoing creative inspiration be sure to follow Cultivate on LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Modern Marketing Requires Creativity: It is an Art + Science

'You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.' — Maya Angelou

Modern marketers are artists and scientists. Today’s marketing campaigns need to be measured, analyzed, and calibrated based on real–time data. In other words, they require constant creative adjustments. The best part about creativity?

The more you use, the more you have. — Maya Angelou

Below is a collection of creative examples from a few of our favorite marketing articles:

For ongoing creative inspiration be sure to follow Cultivate on LinkedIn and Pinterest.

related-resources_01

Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Learn how to create a great content marketing strategy that showcases your brand story. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how you can use storytelling as part of an effective marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource

free-download

 

20 Inspiring Business Quotes for the New Year

Check out this collection of inspiring business quotes to celebrate the New Year.

20 Inspiring Business Quotes for the New Year

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

20 Inspiring Business Quotes for the New Year: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” – Zig Ziglar

“All lasting business is built on friendship.” – Alfred A. Montapert

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.” – Lee Iacocca

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France

“It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” – Diana Scharf Hunt

“Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You’ll be an old man before you know it.” – Al Lopez

“I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night.” – Henry Ford

20 Inspiring Business Quotes for the New Year: “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael Leboeuf“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.” – Scott Allen

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael Leboeuf

“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” – Paul J. Meyer

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

May 2015 be a successful year!