I love interviews, I did series of them throughout my writing career for several projects, both mine and for clients. There’s one series that left a mark in my heart and with that I made difference.The series is called PYB Academy Featured Member and was designed to serve the purposes of the PYB Academy community spirit: help people get to know each other, provide them a platform where they can present themselves, show what they do and last but not least add their perspectives to the matters that interest and intrigue the PYB Community.
Talk with people
General Lesson: Foster dialogues and be consistent
Google + takeaway: True involvement and real care for other people’s matters and opinion on Google + takes time and devotion and pays off.
One of keys to the success of the PYB Academy Featured Member series was setting the stage for a dialogue. PYB Academy members had a place where they knew one day they will be invited at and will have the opportunity to say what they think and share their personal path to Google Plus.
Understand people. Projects are processes.
Lesson 2: Understand that you are serving other people’s needs and aspirations
Google + takeaway: Any long-term project on Google + at a certain point will involve you being flexible and listen. Listen to the comments under your posts, mind your tone and voice and always respect the other person. Always ask people whether they would like to do something.
PYB Academy Featured Member series launched with a post where everyone from the Level 3 Community was invited to participate if they want. The initial response was about 30 people expressing their eagerness to participate. Throughout the process many of them were busy, had other work to do, and although they wanted to take part in the interviews, they simply couldn’t find time. This is where being polite and understanding stepped in. There’s always another option and pressing people to do something just because they’ve said they want to is not the best one. Explore all options and trust the people around you. Prepare in advance! (very important)
Be consistent with whatever you are doing
Lesson 3: Be persistent with the community
Google+ Takeaway: When you begin something on Google Plus you need to be consistent and go after your goal. Only thus you will win trust and you will be respected as someone who stands behind their word, no matter what.
The above I learned from Martin Shervington. It was at a very early stage of the project that the Friday (this was the publish day of the series) was coming and our featured member was still not ready…
I asked Martin, can we just publish on Saturday and he said: NO. When you start something, you set the stage for expectations, community members have been promised something, so we need to deliver it. Actually this was the time when my Plan B was – I will make an interview with myself if nobody shows up. At that time also, I started preparing 2 interviews for a week.
Do the work
Lesson 4: Juggling is a must-have skill
Google + takeaway: Google + is an environment abounding with collaborative tools and collaborative people. You need to learn to use that.
On Google + there could be no excuses for not doing the work. Just because there are so many options for you to accomplish what you’ve set out to. A simple example:
One Friday I had to be away from my computer, yet, the interview was due. I pinged the participant, let them ping a PYB member when they are done, and then the PYB member just pasted the interview in the post I had prepared. And all this happened in another timezone, somewhere across the world, with no effort and a lot of collaborative spirit. Just do the work.
Dare to do what you want to do, respectfully
Lesson 5: Be respectful, bold and sincere
Google + takeaway: Google + is about being yourself, and, yes, this sentence will remain without and emotion and true understanding behind it, unless one experiences it.
On the week before the last interview the question for me and Martin Shervington was: either we continue the PYB Featured Academy Member series, passing it to somebody else, or we end it. All the figures and the response from the series were saying: go ahead, keep oing the interviews, but my “me” knew that these should come to an end. And I felt like asking myself these same questions I had been asking other people for the past 4 months. So I did. And all went well. People understood, they even cheered me up and the plusses and mentioned “read success” with this final post too.
Figures don’t matter per se, but in a way they are the heartbeat of what’s happening. What we had, on the PYB website, as 26 weeks of increased traffic and comparatively decreasing bounce rate for the PYB Featured Member Posts. We also got the mentions, the comments below the posts and a good number of shares and appreciation outside the Google + Network.
(to be included soon)
- Screenshot of the PYB Google Analytics traffic
- Screenshot of shared interviews
- Screenshot and aggregate number of plusses, shares and comments.
You grow only if you help other people
Your Google + profile is your identity hub and the place where you will build your most cherished relationships.
You choose what to do with it. The so-called personal brand building is actually about hard work, devotion and building and reinforcing long-lasting relationships with the people that most matter to you and with like-minded professionals from all over the Globe.
Friendliness and understanding of your community is not something you learn from the Google + platform, it is something you iteratively practice on the Google + platform. You don’t practice this because you want to build your personal brand, you build your personal brand because you practice it.