Cross-Cultural collaboration in Sweden with Leanne Stewart and Ideations

MAKES YOU THINK

Who do you follow on social media and what have you stumbled across lately that makes you STOP AND THINK?

Is there a person that always triggers introspection and reflection?

I’ve got a few people in my own world who do this for me but I’m looking for who makes you think.

Send me an email at Leanne@ideations.se and me know.

I’d like to expand my intellect by tapping into who expands yours.

Women business owner encouragement and advising with Ideations in Sweden

YOU’RE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

I look at the women I work with, the clients who hire me, and the friends and family in my life who just kick ass.

Only, sometimes – a lot of the time – they don’t see how far they’ve come or how close they are to realizing their dreams.

And, maybe that’s the way it is; the feeling that it’s just too hard, it’s taking too long, it isn’t turning out as first conceived.

So, if there seems so little reward to show for all of the effort, it’s easy for me to empathize with these precious and beautiful souls when they knock themselves down with self-recriminations and negative self-talk, because, baby, have I been there.

I think it’s only normal, though, this inability to chart our own progress. We’re so in the thick of this thing called “life” that it’s hard to look at how far we’ve come.

There’s a lot about this that we could unpack, but for today, and for this weekend, when many of us look to a higher place to find our solace, let’s offer the same to those women we know who may not share our faith but do share our humanity.

Encourage someone today and let them know you see their progress and you’re so stinking proud of how hard they’re trying to become the version of themselves they see in their dreams.

Speak life into their lives.

Believe for them, with them, through them and know your doing so, your act of faith in serving another is exactly why you’re here and is a part of your journey as well.

Happy collaboration with Ideations and Leanne Stewart in Sweden

DID YOU KNOW?

In addition to being super strategic and business-growth focused, I am also pretty funny?

I mention this because it’s one of the most surprising and DELIGHTFUL parts of the work I do with my brilliant clients and business providers.

For all the time we spend on getting things “just right”, we also find ourselves breaking into hilarious laughter over some of the funniest things that have nothing to do with the actual business of work.

But, without that, without the humor and the joy of letting our “funny” out, I doubt our results would be as strong. Humor binds us together as strongly as our shared struggles.

I don’t ever want to get to the place where I have to choose otherwise.

start up Sweden work collaboration with Venture Cup and Ideations

FEEDBACK FLOW

Today I participated in a feedback breakfast aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into solid businesses.

It. Was. A. BLAST!

And it reminded me of that saying about how knowing you’re in FLOW is when all you’re doing is so natural to how you’re wired that you could do it for ever without even breaking a sweat.

My friends, I was flowing today as I sat next to some brilliant people who were just as motivated to help others as I am.

We all hunkered down and read through pitch decks and use cases and business proposals from some of the top creative and innovative minds in Sweden and gave our suggestions for how they could reach their goals.

This, I could do forever.

What about you?

What gets you FLOWING?

Business woman in Sweden working weekends at Ideations

SATURDAY MORNINGS

I work on Saturdays.

Contrary to the sacredness of weekends in Sweden, it’s something I offer because I have clients who need it.

They’ve worked all week on their business and they’ve set aside the weekend to grow and learn and develop.

It’s also a time when everything is still and quiet. I am un-rushed, un-hurried, and un-stressed.

Having such peace allows me to offer such flexibility to the wonderful women I work with.

What about you? How do Saturdays look for you? Are you working or not?

Collaborating with women business owners in Sweden

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength. It’s a quality often cited as important when building a business.

It’s also an indicator that if you possess it, your chances of survival increase exponentially (business-wise and personally).

But, what we rarely talk about in this “Boss Babe” world is how very, very crucial it is to have help.

For me, some of the hardest times I’ve gone through as a business owner were when I believed the lie that because I was strong that meant I could, and should, power through all of the challenges, fears, frustrations, and failures alone.

For those of you who come from the same background/mindset that to be strong means to do it all, let me lead you down a different path.

  • Find help.
  • Find partners.

Find ways to work with other people to help them achieve their business goals and watch them help you achieve yours.

If you only knew … the women I’ve found – and who have found me … they’re gifts that continue to strengthen me every single day.

Have you found your group yet? Do you have people in your life that you know have helped to make you stronger?

Customer Delight with social media interaction from Ideations

Customer Delight: How A Swedish Design Company Got it Right

If your business is implementing digital marketing strategies, chances are, you’ve already tapped into the power of social media to create connections with your customers.

Some companies are naturals when it comes to online engagement, but as an American living in Sweden, one thing I have noticed is that very few Nordic businesses understand customer reciprocity let alone engage easily with their customers online.

Not so for jewelry and design company, Syster P.

Case in point? Me.

HOW IT STARTED

I was scrolling through Instagram one day and found myself staring at this:

NOTE: Because I advocate businesses leaving authentic comments on their social media platforms when interacting with their customers, I decided to go with my first response to this image, too.

 

My Response: “Whoa!”

 

Now, I realize that not every business would know exactly how to respond to a comment like this, and truthfully, if I were to audit your Instagram stream to see where you could increase user engagement, I would actually recommend just letting this comment rest along with other user comments expressing similar sentiments.

However, I was so affected by the image, that I found myself morphing into my 13-year-old self (the one who used to kiss her Nick Lowe poster every night before bed, during my Duran Duran phase — #DontAsk), and following up with this comment.

 

My Follow Up Comment: “Any chance you’d sell one of these posters?” 😉 #VikingLove

 

 

THE MAGIC BEGINS

While wondering where I’d put a poster if they even had one, I saw this response from SysterP come in.

 

Syster P’s Response: “Send us your address info@systerp.se and we will at least send you the post card.” 😉

 

HOW I FELT

Pure, toe-curling, smile-producing get up and do the happy dance, delight coursed through me.

WHY IT WORKED

“Despite all the banner ads, mobile-optimized emails and programmatic advertising, talking to customers over social media and via comments is one of the best tactics to get fans excited …” Clint Demeritt

In the case of my interaction with Syster P, “excited” was exactly how I was feeling. I quickly sent an email and then told myself it was time to get over my crush and get back to work.

A few days later, I found a notification from the post office that I had a package to pick up. As I walked the two blocks from the post office to my apartment, I wondered what could be inside.

Seeing the return address indicating it was from SysterP, I wondered why they had used a box to send a postcard as they had promised.

Opening it, I couldn’t believe what I saw.

Inside the box was a framed picture of the Viking who had been the cause of my post-adolescent crush as well as a catalog and a hand-written note!

I absolutely could not wrap my brain around what I was seeing nor could I equate it with any Swedish customer experience I had ever had.

ENTER RECIPROCITY

What SysterP had done was to tap into what is known as “reciprocity”.

Kissmetrics describes in detail about reciprocity and other aspects of customer delight here …

but the bottom line when it comes to utilizing reciprocity is what Gregory Ciotti, mentions, “… small surprises that feel like they were ‘just for you’ can spawn some incredibly strong goodwill from the receiver.”

In the case of SysterP, the goodwill they triggered caused me to create a series of social media shares that created increased brand awareness and a lasting sense of brand loyalty that I don’t see leaving anytime soon.

In fact, when I’m in a store and I see a Syster P display, I take a moment to share this story with the person behind the counter.

People are amazed this was my experience with a Swedish business and they, too, start to realize there are new ways to create connections with customers that they can easily duplicate.

The Take Away

 

When customers leave comments on your social media platforms it’s a signal they’re open to hearing from you.

Think of it as opening up a two-way communication channel.

This is a prime opportunity to create connections that can have significant payoffs for your business.

 

By implementing social reciprocity strategies you can create relatively simple and cost-effective ways to increase customer loyalty and create customer relationships online.