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Archive for knowledge

On being a technical luddite

Are you a fan of tech?

2016-03-18 08.51.18I’m the first to admit that I’m really not a fan of tech. In fact, I would go so far as to say I’m a technical luddite. Take this website – I sought help to move my site to WordPress about a year and a half ago now, and it’s been a great move. I’m able to write blog posts as and when I want to and in theory I can make changes to the site and add or delete plugins to my heart’s content.

But what if I break it?

Ah, there’s the rub. Writing a blog post, well, that’s one thing. When it comes to messing around with plugins and the like, however, I’ll let you know right now that I’m a little terrified that if I make a change like that, it will send the website into meltdown and I’ll never get it back the way I want it.

Technical luddite alert!

Case in point – I popped into the back end of my site the other week and was notified that I had to update several plugins to the latest version. Boom, up came an error message that may as well have been in Chinese for all I understood it.

I headed over to Google to seek a solution, only to find a bunch of clearly technically minded people explaining how to add lines of code into directories and wherever, but only to do it in this particular place and definitely not to do it in that other place, otherwise you would be doomed to remain in website hell until the end of time.

You might now understand the expression on my face in this picture – anxiety reigned!

Luckily I have reached a stage in my business where I’m more than happy to offload this particular problem onto someone else. It makes sense that you spend the majority of time in your business doing what makes you money, not what makes you tear your hair out and send you running for the hills. I was able to turn to the very lovely and helpful Tracy Swindale at supersecretary.co.uk (WordPress and tech expert extraordinaire), and she helped me out and got everything back up and running again. Phew.

Technical stuff is not in my zone of genius, but turning your spoken words into lovely written ones by means of intelligent transcription is!

My point is, you really don’t have to be good at absolutely everything to do with your business, that’s why other businesses also exist. You can outsource your website, your tech support, your admin, your bookkeeping, not to mention your transcription, editing and proofreading! 🙂

I’m not remotely ashamed of the fact I’m a technical luddite, and I really don’t mind that I have to outsource that part of my business. If I choose to look into further techie things in my business (and goodness only knows what these might be), then I will probably outsource them too, but I take comfort in the knowledge that there is someone out there who can help take away the techie headache.

What things do you outsource or would you like to outsource? I’d love to know, so either comment below or come and say hi on my Facebook page.

 

 

The know, like and trust factor

trustThe trust factor

When I started my business at the end of 2010, the first client I got was somebody I already knew. I think that’s probably the case for most small (micro!) businesses – until you get a bit of momentum behind you, people aren’t going to know who you are and they might prefer to use somebody more established and more experienced. Essentially they want somebody they know, like and trust, to coin a well-known phrase.

So how do you get that ‘know, like and trust’ factor?

Know, like and trust – doing business with people you like

Have you ever done business with someone you didn’t get on with? It can leave you with a bit of an icky feeling, can’t it? Even if the service you’re getting is completely fine and the job is getting done, if you don’t gel with that person, the whole process can be uncomfortable.

The thing about my business is that most of it’s done online. In the early days I had to get out to networking meetings (my worst nightmare come true at the time!) to meet other business people, and I imagined that everybody else would be corporate types in business suits and they would all know what they were talking about.

This wasn’t the case at all, of course, and I met some lovely people who couldn’t have been further from the image I had in my head. Meeting people in person is helpful for someone like me who is often taken in by the image that’s often portrayed by businesses on Facebook and the like. The reality is that of course everybody is paddling furiously, regardless of how serene they appear on the surface.

Being ‘authentic’ in your marketing

I’ve talked about this in another very recent blog post, and trying out being ‘the real me’ has certainly given me more engagement on my Facebook page, for example. I don’t think people always want to see some perfect person, it’s a bit off putting when you sometimes feel like you’re flailing about with little or no direction.

Being prepared to admit you’re human and you have to deal with all sorts of stuff in your daily life makes it easier for others to relate to you.

You don’t want to come across as a complete doofus, of course, you’re still an expert in what you do, and it’s important to get that across!

I might not be the best person in the world at always being visible in the groups I’m in on Facebook, and I haven’t always been completely consistent at being regular with my blog posts, but I’m ‘me’ whenever I choose to be visible.

I am also consistent with the service that I give to my clients, and I think that’s why a lot of my business recently has been word of mouth referrals.

If you do what you say you’re going to do, and you’re reliable, you give great value, you’re polite and responsive and always friendly, even if you don’t feel like it, then people will come back for more. I really do think it’s that simple!

What do you think? Please leave me a comment or pop over to my Facebook page and drop me a message, I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Do you have the curse of knowledge?!?

KNOWLEDGE 2

Did you see my post a couple of weeks ago about finally getting round to starting an online course?

I had a brilliant response both to my newsletter and the blog post itself, with lots of positive encouragement and good vibes, and you’ll be glad to hear that I’ve stuck to my word and am getting on with creating content, slowly, but surely.

It’s been a big learning curve and it’s continuing to be so, but that’s to be expected with something that’s completely new to me. I also have to keep reminding myself about one important thing that we all possess – the curse of knowledge!

We all have the curse of knowledge…

I’ve been starting to put together content for my course and am testing it on a handful of people and so far I’m getting some very useful feedback which is very helpful. I do have to keep reminding myself that I know what I’m talking about, mind you, as I am often plagued by that inner voice of doubt.

Do you ever get this feeling? You’ve been doing whatever you specialise in for so long that you think, oh well, anybody could turn their hand to this, so why on earth would anyone want to hire me/buy my product/listen to what I have to say (delete as applicable!)?!?

What, you too? I thought I was the only one!

Wikipedia defines the phrase thus:

“The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that leads better-informed parties to find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed parties”.

In layman’s terms this pretty much means that if you’re good at something – whether that be a product, a service or a talent you have like singing or playing a sport, for example – you sometimes forget that other people are not similarly blessed and you assume they know what you know. In business this means that they might actually need your help with whatever it is you’re good at!

Isn’t it so easy to forget about what you’re good at? I always used to assume in a sort of subconscious way that surely everybody could touch type, but of course not everybody can. I also assumed that everybody knew what transcription was, but I’m still sometimes met with a blank stare.

My course

As far as my developing course is concerned, it’s easy to assume that everybody finds it simple and straightforward to put a sentence together, when sometimes it can feel like the hardest thing in the world. Some people feel more comfortable articulating themselves verbally, I feel more comfortable getting the words down on paper.

So, what’s your curse of knowledge? What are you good at and how can you help other people by using your unique talents?

I’d love to know, so please comment below, and I’ll continue to keep you posted on how the course is getting on!