September has, so far, been mostly spent on the road! Green Umbrella has been up and down the country speaking at various events and sharing our knowledge, hoping to help business owners learn more about how to make social work for their businesses.
We always arrive at these events prepared with a slide deck ready to go, a topic in mind, and a bit of a theme to focus on. However, after I've stood up and delivered what I've painstakingly rehearsed, hoping not to leave out any of the good bits – I ask for questions. Or more specifically – I say ask me anything. You've got me there, what do you want to know?
I love being put on the spot in this way! Really interesting questions always come up. We really get an opportunity to get under the skin of what our target audience is thinking when we give them the opportunity to challenge us. It's fantastic.
I have so many ideas bubbling away for valuable guides I can write, blogs and webinar topics. I feel like I have a breath of fresh air when it comes to getting creative with my content.
But what I'm describing isn't anything new – it's called crowdsourcing!
So, how can you crowdsource new ideas for your business?
What opportunities do you have to get in a room full of your peers or prospects (be it in person or virtually)?
It feels like the fewer people in the room the better quality results I get – so find industry events you can attend that allow you the opportunity to access a room of like-minded individuals. Whether you take the opportunity to present – or you're an attendee with the opportunity to engage in round table discussions, there are always opportunities. And, it doesn't matter how shy you are – there's always a way for you to gain some new ideas in these situations, even if it is just by listening and noting the prevalent points.
I spoke to a fellow attendee at one of the meetings I attended this week – we discussed the fact that while it was easy for me to deliver a 45-minute speaking slot that had high value, the service offering of their own business didn't lend itself to that scenario without being a sales pitch. My response… you saw the agenda. Make sure you have questions to ask at the end of the presentations. At the round tables, someone has to be the spokesperson – it's a job no one wants to do – so you do it.
How do I get the answers I want?
But how do I get the answers to the questions I want – or even ask the right question in the first place? OK – maybe I don't have the best answer to that. It depends on the room! However, sometimes, it might be something where you simply say you're having a lot of conversations on <insert topic here> and the consensus seems to be <insert one possible, top-level answer here> but what do people here think? Generally, because no one likes the silence, someone will pick up on the answer you suggested and add to it, another picks up from there and before you know it – you've got some ideas to work with!
So… if you see me out and about stood in front of a room, once I've got to the end of my presentation. Put me on the spot – ask me anything and let's see where the conversation goes! All I ask is that we keep it social!!!