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Social Learning (the application of Social Media philosophy and technology) to the blend of formal and informal learning options is creating a positive disruption to the impact of performance in the workplace. My experiences with Twitter, NING, LinkedIn, You-Tube and Wikipedia have provided evidence to me. What has provided evidence (or doubt to you?)

Social Media is impacting the way we learn = Truth
The proper or improper use of Social Media = Consequences

Comments are invited (especially those that differ from mine!)

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I just had an email exchange with Jay Lambert about his recent positive experience and he liked the analogy I used so I am posting it here.

Using Twitter is like putting a bird feeder in the yard. The birds will show up (and so will the squirrels.)
Remember when all we had was instructor lead training and then maybe some self-paced training?

And then along came e-learning and m-learning. This brought new companies and concepts into our industry and many of us chose to expand our "brand" to reflect our leadership in the use of technology to enhance the impact of learning investments in the workplace. We became e-learning companies or maybe blended learning was the term we chose.

And now another choice that is very similar - What to do about Social Learning?

1. Do you know enough about Social Learning to make an effective decision for how to use it to invigorate your revenue generation?
2. If yes, let's talk about alliances to help accelerate your revenue.
3. If no, please consider calling me for some help or attending one of my Growing Your Revenues Workshops

Unlike e-learning where we iniitially forced the solution on the learner - today the learner is forcing social learning on the provider.

The web and therefore tools such as search engines, wikis, twitter, social networks and tools yet to be created are providing the learner with many ways to learn when they want, where they want and what they want. How will your company meet your learners at a point they are heading to? (Remember Wayne Gretzky?)
The "light came on for me" when I really understood that Social Media means that "the content comes from the outside to the inside and from the bottom to the top." This is 180 degrees opposed in both directions to the way we "learned" to market, teach, sell and communicate in the 20th century.

We've all "heard" and many of of us have stated that we were given "two ears and one mouth" for a reason. Social media success (and revenue) will be a result of mastering our ability to listen. This Social Community has enabled me to listen to you and learn from you. You've been sending me great ideas and comments which I then enter into a forum or blog - that's a good start. I am learning more about alliances and social media and about ways to help your grow your revenues. The next step is for you to enter the information yourself. Any content intended to help small training, consulting and technology companies grow their revenues is welcome.
Frequently I rant about the similarities between marketing and training. Both "disciplines" or functions impart information to others with the intent of changing the future behaviors of others. Both functions want to change or reinforce another individual's performance. Karl Hellman (Resultrek) co-authored a book entitled "The Customer Learning Curve" that proves this point. It describes how marketeers need to understand how their prospects "learn" to become customers. Similarly there should be a book entitled the "The Learner Buying Curve." Trainers need to understand how their prospects "buy into" the learning process. Here's a 20th century vs. 21st century marketing model that may help us understand the learner that we are interested in helping "buy into" the way we want to train them.

In the 20th century marketeers intending to enable a customer to become loyal used the following model ("Customer Bonding" by Jan Smith and Richard Cross)

Awareness - who needs to be aware that we our product/service can help them? (who needs the training we offer)
Identity - how can we help them identify with our solution? (where do they already go on their own to learn?)
Relationship - how can we leverage their existing relationships to maintain their awareness of us? (how can we encourage them to keep learning there while and think about us at the same time?)
Community - how can we create a community that keeps our customers connected to each other because of us? (how can we help our clients/learners learn from each other?)
Advocacy - how can we enable our customers to encourage people they know to become customers as well? (how do we enable people who have learned from us encourage others to learn from us?

In the 21st Century, thanks to the web, Social Media and experts like Chris Carfi at Cerrado we now have the following model for how prospects become customers. The definitions and parenthetical comments are mine

Search - Prospects are smart (and get too many emails) so they search for what they want when they want it
Shop - They make a choice (spending money may not be part of this choice)
Support - Then they want more information and help with their specific needs (they still may not be ready to spend)
Connect - They want to understand the experiences of others who made a similar choice
Converse - They want to have dialog with others who made a similar choice (this is when they may spend!)

Is the connection to training evident to you? Can you see how to apply it to help you evolve your business by including social media into your strategy? If you are still reading - you have proven my point!

Paul
(404) 252-8330
Would you be able to grow the revenue of your business without effectively using email and the web to sell, to communicate and to educate?

...and at what point in time would you be unable to grow the revenue of your business without the effective use of social media to sell, to communicate, and to educate?
Paul Terlemezian said:
Would you be able to grow the revenue of your business without effectively using email and the web to sell, to communicate and to educate?

...and at what point in time would you be unable to grow the revenue of your business without the effective use of social media to sell, to communicate, and to educate?

Responses to this question since posted here 6 days ago and in the other locations indicated below. I won't post stats here anymore. I will post updates to this and other questions only in http://ifivealliances.ning.com

Quantity and Quality:

Sale Training: 6 (.5%); 5 Unique (.4%); 6 had value; 3 people new to me (60%)
In ASTD National: 2 (0%): 2 unique (0%); 2 had value; 2 new (100%)
In ASTD Atlanta 2 (.9%): 2 unique (.9%); 2 had value; 2 new (100%)

in iFive LinkedIn Group (0 members at start) 129 joined including 12 people I did not know (200 invited): 13 Comments (10.1%); 13 had value; 0 new

Via NING Email 4 (16%): 3 unique (12%); 4 had value; 0 people new to me
Via NING Social Learning Forum: 0 responses
Via Twitter: 0 Responses; 28 new followers (average week for me is 9 new followers)
Anyone that's been patient enough to endure my ranting has heard me pose the following sequence of questions?

Do you use a GPS? (Most people admit to knowing about a GPS and many use them - especially when out of town or going someplace for the first time or a long distance)
What did you use before the GPS was invented? (Most people say MapQuest or some other form of online maps)
And what did you use before MapQuest? (Many people say they had a book of maps or Triptix from AAA)
And if you did not have a map or book of maps? (Most people (fewer men than women) say they asked someone for directions.)

OK. so what does this have to do with the training industry?

ILT = Asking someone for directions
Self-paced learning = Book of Maps
eLearning = MapQuest
Performance Support = GPS
Social Learning = GPS used to interact with other GPS users that answer your inquiries or provide you information via your GPS as you are in transit.

And what does this have to do with the future of training as an industry?

How much time/money do you spend "today" asking someone for directions? (address and zipcode please?)
How much time/money do you spend buying atlases or books of maps (aren't they readily available for free?
How much time/money do you spend with Mapquest?
How much did you spend on your GPS?

Which of these methods are you most likely to invest in at some time in the future and under what conditions and expectations?

Would you rent a GPS from a car rental company? Car rental companies provide "free" maps and ILT if you ask!

P.S. There is a separate blog maintained about this because it is so vital to our future. Please comment there if you feel you can add to our understanding of the future of our industry.
I just told this story during the Learntrend conference on the Future of Learning as a Business - Pete Weaver SVP at DDI made a great point. The GPS is a great tool to help improve my performance but somehow I needed to learn how to drive a car in the first place. It is not likely (yet) that a GPS will teach me how to do that - thank you Pete!

Paul Terlemezian said:
Anyone that's been patient enough to endure my ranting has heard me pose the following sequence of questions?

Do you use a GPS? (Most people admit to knowing about a GPS and many use them - especially when out of town or going someplace for the first time or a long distance)
What did you use before the GPS was invented? (Most people say MapQuest or some other form of online maps)
And what did you use before MapQuest? (Many people say they had a book of maps or Triptix from AAA)
And if you did not have a map or book of maps? (Most people (fewer men than women) say they asked someone for directions.)

OK. so what does this have to do with the training industry?

ILT = Asking someone for directions
Self-paced learning = Book of Maps
eLearning = MapQuest
Performance Support = GPS
Social Learning = GPS used to interact with other GPS users that answer your inquiries or provide you information via your GPS as you are in transit.

And what does this have to do with the future of training as an industry?

How much time/money do you spend "today" asking someone for directions? (address and zipcode please?)
How much time/money do you spend buying atlases or books of maps (aren't they readily available for free?
How much time/money do you spend with Mapquest?
How much did you spend on your GPS?

Which of these methods are you most likely to invest in at some time in the future and under what conditions and expectations?

Would you rent a GPS from a car rental company? Car rental companies provide "free" maps and ILT if you ask!

P.S. There is a separate blog maintained about this because it is so vital to our future. Please comment there if you feel you can add to our understanding of the future of our industry.

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