Why it is important to keep your knowledge up to date
There is one sure fire way to lose credibility with prospects and clients and that is when you fail to keep your knowledge up to date with industry trends and give outdated advice. And if you are posting outdated advice on social media, there is the knock-on effect of so many others seeing what we have written and their loss of interest in listening to anything we have to say in the future.
If you are an employee you need to keep your knowledge up to date along with relevant skills and will be regularly assessed (or at least should be) by your employer. Training is provided when any gaps in knowledge are identified and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure you continually keep learning and improve your knowledge.
But as a self-employed business person, it is up to you to ensure you keep your knowledge up to date on a continual basis. You need to put a plan in place for your own continuous professional development (CPD) and be aware of the ever-changing industry trends that are bound to happen.
‘Experts’ who give outdated advice
Just recently I have seen a few occasions where ‘experts’ in their field have given outdated advice which has instantly affected their credibility in my opinion, and undoubtedly by others who spotted their mistakes.
The first case was someone who was advising another on a social media forum to use Blab as part of their marketing campaign. What this expert had failed to realise was that Blab no longer exists. This would have caused frustration for the person being advised whilst searching for something no longer available and then a complete lack of trust and respect in the advisor.
Secondly, I saw someone ask an expert for their advice on the use of Snapchat for business. The expert responded that Snapchat was purely for social use but something similar may come to the market for businesses in the future. What the expert failed to realise was that Snapchat is growing daily for business use and their knowledge is very much out of date. Again, a loss of credibility and respect with the person asking the question and anyone else who saw the post and knew the information given was wrong.
Finally, I saw someone advise another to create a number of web pages all with the same content. This is in direct contradiction of Google’s best practice which penalises sites with duplicate content.
Invest the time to keep up to date with industry trends
The most successful business people are those who invest the time to keep up to date with industry trends. Ways to keep your knowledge up to date include:
- Networking with others in your industry
- Reading current books and articles
- Subscribing to online forums and being proactive in asking questions
- Investing in relevant training or signing up to a new course
- Following experts in your field on social media
Try and get creative and think of new ways to keep your knowledge up to date and to continue to build credibility with your prospects and clients. If you have any creative ways of keeping your knowledge updated, share them in the comments below.
Why it’s important to share feelings
Sometimes when we are feeling stressed, worried or overwhelmed it can help to write your feelings down. But it can also help if you share feelings with someone else. As the adage says, a problem shared is a problem halved.
It can also give you a boost to share your successes and steps forward no matter how large or small with someone else. Sometimes you may just want to vent your feelings with someone in complete confidence and privacy without being judged.
Did you ever use to do this as a child with a penpal? Or do you still have a penpal now?
I chat via email with a lady that I met and connected with through an online group. I have never met her in person or spoken to her via phone or Skype. I have no idea what her voice sounds like but somehow we seemed to click online. We now share our stories which have moved from just being about business to personal lives also. She is my safe person to turn to and talk to about just about anything.
Being able to share feelings is invaluable
Having this support is invaluable to me. There are times that I don’t want to speak to anyone face to face but I just want someone to know how I am feeling. There are times when I find the going tough and just want to share my anguish with someone who isn’t going to immediately come over for a cuppa and a chat or pick up the phone and call me. All I want is to get my feelings down on paper (or keypad) so that I can release them from my head.
Once your feelings are written down, it can feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Just the act of writing down how you are feeling can help you clarify your thoughts and it can be surprising how solutions suddenly appear to you that you hadn’t thought of before whilst going through this process.
When you are writing down these feelings and thoughts to share with someone else, it can also help you put things in perspective. You can start to see the situation more objectively, and as mentioned previously, start to see solutions that were hidden from view before.
Finding someone to share feelings with
If you don’t have anyone that you feel you can do this with already, how about finding that one person that you feel an affinity with? Who do you chat to in groups? Do you have a past colleague or associate that you could reconnect with? Do you know someone who has a business similar to yours that would be happy to share stories with you and listen to yours?
You need to feel comfortable with whoever you choose to share feelings with. You need to trust that they will retain confidentiality on whatever you tell them. It can sometimes be easier to use someone outside of your inner circle of friends or family as they won’t have a personal interest or judgement on how you should live your life.
If you are stuck and don’t know how to turn to, take a look at The Small Business Kit member’s club. Enhanced members all get unlimited email access to me and many of them have signed up purely to be able to use me as a sounding board without judgement. Sometimes they want a response with advice and sometimes they say they just want to get things off their chest.
Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is not to try and go through your journey alone. Make sure you have someone to turn to in times of need. And you can always post in my private Facebook group and share your feelings if you wish