Jim Canterucci

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About Jim Canteerucci


Contact Info:

Transition Management Advisors
Jim Canterucci - Founder/CEO
Author of Personal Brilliance

Who are you, and who do you work for? Share a bit of your background.

I am an executive advisor, professional speaker, and author. My company is Transition Management Advisors. We focus on the leadership of large organizational change. I also wrote the book Personal Brilliance which looks at developing innovation at the individual level which is really the other side of the coin from change leadership.

How did you get to where you are and with the company your with?

We've been in business since 1995. A lot of work, creating practical solutions for our clients, and figuring out how to sell wisdom, a not very tangible item, are the keys to making it work.

What is your favorite part about what you do?

Solving complex problems without a doubt, then creating systems to go forward. Also, teaching people methods that allow them to be brilliant in their world and reap the rewards that go with that also get me fired up.

Where or from whom do you pull inspiration?

I am always looking for inspiration so I find it, whether from a business mentor, playing with my nieces and nephews, or from the community I interact with online every day.

Who is someone in your profession that you've always looked up to or followed their progress? Why?

My mentor is Nido Qubein. http://www.nidoqubein.com He wrote the foreword for Personal Brilliance. He professionally exercises all the disciplines I do, so we are very much alike in that way, so I can relate, but he performs at such a high level of success.

What is new and exciting that your working on (can talk about) and want to plug?

Well, we address the very top of the organization with our unique Leadership Circle process, specialists with our Change Leadership Circle process, and front-line staff with Personal Brilliance Circle. But what about the large number of people in the middle who seldom get access to quality professional development?

In the first quarter we will be launching Emerging Leadership Circle. It's a membership web site filled with practical video development and collaboration. Keep an eye out at both our main web sites for announcements. http://www.corpchange.com and http://www.MyPersonalBrilliance.com.

There is a NEW fad tool coming out every day, but reality is it's just building conversations with your customers. It's not a big new secret, remember 5 years ago email was scary. How do you see these tools transforming and helping you and your industry in the future?

We're just knocking down barriers, allowing appropriate conversations to take place. As the tools mature and adoption increases better communication with the right people will increase. For example, with email, you don't really know who it is on the other side, you don't know what they are sending to others. You can't easily pick the valuable nugget out of the pool of jerks. We always preach against spam and spammers but never really solved the problem of how do the good guys get through. We're seeing this shift because with greater transparency you can better choose who to deal with and not throw the valuable content out with the spammers.

How can social media boost your marketing and pr?

If you said in two minutes I was to speak to 2,000 people, I would love it. (I realize that's not normal.) But, really, I'm not that gregarious in a networking group situation like at at tradeshow party. Social media allows people to get to know you over time, without the sales pressure. They can see the depth of your content and your brilliance. This is so much better for developing relationships and finding the best connections, matching problems and solutions.

What mistakes should people avoid in social media?

Trying to do too much, too fast. It's not a race or a competition for the most friends or followers. It's about who you follow and who follows you in equal parts. I posted this tweet (expanded beyond 40 characters here) just yesterday and it sums up my feeling about those who brag about their social media conquests:

"When approaching a milestone number of followers, I send a direct (private) message to my wife. She's the ONLY one who cares & I think she's faking it."

Give value. That's what it's all about. Write well, share ideas, support others, learn, be brilliant. It will all work out. Opportunities come from those things. You only need one person at a time to buy your stuff.

What are some issues to consider when someone embarks on a social media marketing initiative?

What's the best case scenario, what's the worst case scenario, and what is the most likely scenario? Plan for each. This is something that my friend Nido Qubein, mentioned earlier, says all the time. Will it go viral? Maybe. Will what you're doing stain your reputation forever? How do you avoid that? What, somewhere in the middle, will likely happen?

Think through the initiative. Let these questions and answers guide you. Also, get input from others with more experience. There is always someone with more experience. And see how your ideas might fly in the communities you're touching.

Define 'Social Media' in 500 words or less.

Interactions with human beings using technology in a way that enriches the connections between the people choosing to participate.

We know each other from twitter, so obviously you use social media, but does your company also use social media?

As a professional services provider me and my company are intertwined. That's why, beyond being human you won't hear about some of the more personal aspects of my life online. That's a choice I make because the two are blended for me.

How are you/they using it to connect to your customers and leverage social networks to expand your brand's recognition and build a positive reputation?

As an example, when you see via the social networks that I have a podcast (http://www.PBpodcasts.com) it tells you something. When you see my guest is the former president of Starbucks, Howard Behar, it tells you something else. When you see another guest is Chris Brogan, more is added to your knowledge of me and my work. If you are an entrepreneur and see my interviews with angel investors and serial entrepreneurs, another layer is added. In other words, you get to know me. If you see value in what I do you'll take the steps to peel back another layer. Perhaps, we'll get together individually and maybe do business together.

Now, think about my introduction of Emerging Leadership Circle in early 2009. Because of the branding created by your exposure to my work previously, it's more likely you will pay attention amidst all the noise to that new value proposition if it applies to you or your company. It will be just as good whether or not people pay attention to it. The previous social media connections simply allow more people to pay attention to it. The result is much different if you see Emerging Leadership Circle out of the blue and don't know or trust my value proposition.

We only hear about how the emerging companies are using social media marketing. Can you give me some examples of your work with the clients. Also, what is that you have been able to achieve for them that you could NOT have achieved without social media marketing?

This arena is so very new. In my work on large change initiatives within companies, solid change communication is so critical to success. We're working to bring the social media tools and concepts to this arena in order to take advantage of all of the great benefits, but within the fire wall.

How open were your clients (or boss) to this new approach? If they resisted, how did you overcome the resistance?

There are a number of natural hurdles to be overcome beyond these tools being new. The resistance is real. The key is making it practical. For a discussion on teaching and learning this type of new technology see a recent blog post - http://blog.mypersonalbrilliance.com/index.cfm?commentID=535

Do you track your name and your companies name? What are some of your favorite reputation management tools and why? If you do not track social media, why? (this includes search twitter-formerly Summize, radian6, etc.)

We do the basic vanity searches on twitter, pay attention to @Replies, and use Google Notifications to identify anyone who is talking about our work. It's just a way to better serve the people who are connecting with your material. I may see someone talking about Personal Brilliance online and they don't realize they can also chat with me. Whoo, the author… It's just a better connection and a nice way to add value.

How much time do you think people should spend on social media?

It's really "in between" work. What I mean by that is, for an individual, it should be done around the other work you're doing. You don't stop what you're doing and say, between 1:00 and 2:00 I'm going to do social networking. Rather, you might be writing up a description of a public seminar. It then strikes you, why not tweet about it. A real example of a client who added five registrations by doing this. So, adding the in between 45 seconds paid off. To me it's like reading the newspaper but woven in throughout my life.

How can I write viral content around boring products? For example, if I was a sink company, how would I drive massive traffic and build authority around it?

I interviewed Jennifer Laycock on this subject. She's got a better description of the viral equation than I can provide. See the interview - http://www.pbpodcasts.com/Podcasts/2008/JenniferLaycock.aspx

How has social media impacted you and your company?

I'm just smarter as a result of the information shared by my connections. I use it all the time. My clients benefit from this additional information I wouldn't find any other way. More tangibly, I've been hired to keynote large conferences exclusively from tools like Twitter because the client knew me, before I knew them. They determined there was a fit for their audience, I didn't have to convince them.

What is your favorite networking event that you would recommend to others (either in your field, the field of marketing, or learning sessions for social media. Including sxsw, Podcamp, social media breakfast, MIMA, AdFed, AMA, Blog World, PRSA etc.)

I'm experimenting here myself. I really enjoyed Podcamp Ohio and will participate in more conferences because I find I really like the social media folks.

What game plan would you recommend to someone just starting with social media?

Even though it looks free form there are rules. They're just not written down anywhere (or at least in one place). Cobble the rules together as they apply to you. Explore.

The key to the whole thing is good, true content. If you are valuable offline, you can be valuable online.

Don't be afraid to ask the cool kids dumb questions. We're all making it up as we go along.

How can people contact you or your company? (don't answer this if you don't want it included in the article)

The best way to contact us is via our web sites which have complete contact information or via Twitter.




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