Military command performance is not based on discipline.
It is often believed, in the general conception, that military performance comes from the fact that everyone executes orders, without question, with speed and fear of hierarchy. This is not true.
I believe that discipline is a fluidizer that, in the moment, allows a quick reaction. Orders have a source and are broken down by a hierarchy.
This operation is adapted to critical situations.
Having responsibility for several people in my activity as a reserve officer, I wish to combat the preconceived idea that, in a military organisation, orders are blindly applied by the troops.
Army reservists are young individuals, born in the information society, with a strong personality, free thinking and ambition. Getting them to implement a plan, in which their lives may be at stake, requires more commitment than discipline. It takes a mixture of legitimacy of leadership, group cohesion, but also a collective understanding of the plan, so that orders are applied with conviction and speed.
This is a great leadership lesson learned in the Army. Even with the most robust hierarchical structure, troop buy-in, a collective understanding of the spirit of the mission, and delegation from one leader to several subordinates are essential to success. The success of a leader depends far less on authority than is commonly believed.
For those who want to delve deeper into the subject, I recommend EXTREME OWNERSHIP , by Leif Babin and Jocko Willink
The consumer (content) society
I have noticed that my entourage and myself have a recurring reflection on how to consume web content, especially via social networks.
Our production processes, within our usual (capitalist) framework, tend to standardise and process everything. It is the same with the content published on social networks.
When I see the content that people accept to consume on social networks, I have the feeling that this is an industrial consumption pattern as it has been decried in the agri-food sector over the last 5-10 years. Many pages produce content in large quantities, from pre-purchased formats / templates, programmed and published in an automated way.
We can then see today on Instagram or Facebook, pages that publish poor quality photo or video content, in large quantities, with a fairly good return in terms of commitment, despite the little creativity and means used to produce them.
Personally, I have the ambition to take a responsible approach to my consumption of content. In the same way that the body (and the planet) is negatively affected by industrial food production; I think it is bad for the mind to consume this "junk content”. Less content, less time spent on the newswire and more interest and attention for quality content producers who put their hearts into what they publish.
With this series "#FIELDREPORT"I am embarking on a format of spontaneous articles, where I will regularly share my perspective on the phenomena and experiences I encounter in my professional life.
The comments presented here are my personal opinion only and do not bind any of my clients. I wish to be more assertive than analytical, with the desire to debate with those who will be interested in the issues I raise.
For those interested in my work and services, I invite you to consult my website.
The pervasive economy of visibility
In this festive season, I am fully aware of a common phenomenon, which becomes almost unbearable as Christmas approaches: requests for partnerships without a budget.
Some of my clients are receiving half a dozen emails every day in early December, all asking for the same thing: to receive products/content for free in exchange for a "...".good visibility".
I'm XXX, from [Insert name of box, magazine or influencer]. We're launching a forward calendar [or other opera] on Instagram for Christmas.
We thought that you could give us 500 products for free and in exchange we will make you appear on our Instagram account (whose followers we bought) .
Are you interested?"
These emails are mixed in with the crowd of those sent by individuals who position themselves as "Influencers" and also offer to receive products free of charge in exchange for presenting them to their 382 followers...
Every time one of my clients receives one of these solicitations, I think with sorrow of the brands and entrepreneurs who will fall into the trap.
These organizations and individuals requesting free products can never guarantee any ROI on the operation they offer. Their subscriber base is unfortunately (sometimes) dubious, and I strongly believe that if their model worked, they would not just ask for free merchandise, they would get paid to promote it.
Finally, it's a basic principle: if it was effective and worked as well as these players promise, then they wouldn't approach you by e-mail!
I want to communicate, but I don't want to create content.
I work with nearly a dozen players on a daily basis (sportsmen, brands, personalities), in their digital communication. All the strategies and efforts deployed are based on one thing: the content..
Like many digital professionals, I consider that at the heart of every successful communication strategy, there is content ORIGINAL, aesthetic, entertaining and even (you can dream) useful.
PROBLEM : the content is expensive! Producing a video or creating a visual requires a budget and there is a great temptation to take a shortcut: republish other people's content (curated content), buy followers, then buy the likes that go with it...
To all those who pray for "buzz"On networks, I always have the same answer: on networks, the success stories all have as their starting point a content entertaining and/or emotionally engaging. This content is often worked on and created on a budget.
Digital or not, communication requires means and it is a question of not being misled by the immaterial nature of digital communication. In the age of video first...tinkering with its content and communicating without a budget has never been so impertinent.
The training of young communicators
I have been working in communications for 5 years and teaching for about 2 years. Teaching is an important part of my activity at the moment and I regularly work with young students of future communicators (especially BTS Communication).
My way of teaching was initially very classical and I was keen to structure a theoretical subject, which the students could mark, revise and restitute during the exams.
I have now decided to abandon this operation. The first reason is, I have never taken a single communication course and if I am a "teacher" today, it is only because of field experiences. The training organizations that employ me have bet on a professional rather than academic profile, and I am beginning to seriously believe that a theoretical approach to communication is hardly relevant in the digital age.
Training organisations specialising in communication are now looking to recruit digital professionals, which is certainly a good thing. However, trainers on these subjects cannot operate with the classical way of working: a fixed and validated theoretical content, which students can copy and restitute during exams.
Digital communication is linked to an ever-changing terrain. What works for one advertiser and one audience, has no guarantee of working for another. I am therefore convinced that preparing young communicators means instilling in them a taste for the digital world. trial and errorThe aim is to make them aware of digital culture and the tools that professionals use. A large part of my job as a teacher in higher education, I believe, is to take students away from their school work methods, to prepare them for the chaotic reality on the ground.
Indeed, only a few years into their professional integration, these young people are in need of definitions, theory and noted exercises. I rather believe that it is better to talk about projects, concrete cases, creations, tools and digital culture, so that these future professionals do not arrive at a job interview with a written document".junior"on their foreheads."
Are you looking to improve your communication? Accelerate a project? Contact me.
Being a freelancer is a professional activity, but also a way of life, even an art of living.
Here is a set of accessories and equipment not essential but very pleasant to have when you are freelance:
Pinq Ponq - the backpack for digital nomads
The brand of bags and accessories pinqponq is based in Cologne. This young German company produces ultra-designed, comfortable, functional and durable backpacks.
The brand's bags are mainly made from recycled materials such as polyester.
Their design is original and adapted to the needs of nomads of today. A must-have backpack to take with you to work anywhere.
Price: 80 à 170 €
Remarkable, the Paper Killer
This is not a tablet like the others. Remarkable has been designed to replace your good old notebook.
The manufacturers have especially worked on the feel, to give you the impression that you are writing on real paper.
This tablet is made for writing, drawing, but also reading. It will be your best ally to allow you to express your ideas without limits, everywhere, and to take your notes and sketches with you.
If you prefer paper but are tired of loose leaves lying around and getting lost, Remarkable is for you.
Price: : in pre-order at $479
Edie & Watson, the blue goggles.
As a good freelancer, you probably spend most of your day in front of a screen. The blue light from the screen is known to disrupt your biological clock.
It is generally advisable to avoid screens in the evening to avoid insomnia.
So if you're a night worker, the goggles Edie & Watson are meant for you. Not only do they make you look smarter, they also filter blue light from the screens and protect your eyes from the harmful effects of screen exposure.
We'll never be able to tell you again that " you're gonna ruin your eyes from being in front of screens all the time. ". A small victory.
Price: from 45 € : from 45 €
Smile and Pay, the TPE for everyone
This French company makes VSE accessible to all.
Smile & Pay is based on a mobile application, associated with an Eftpos terminal. The offer stands out for its ease of use. You choose between 2 types of Eftpos terminals, with no commitment (the Eftpos terminal is yours, unlike traditional offers), then you couple it to your smartphone: you are ready to accept card payments from your customers.
Price: from 59 euros.
Wemind wants to create a better world for freelancers. Starting as a micro-entrepreneur can be a bit scary in terms of social security as well as protection and representation on the labour market.
Freeelancing does not mean loneliness and Wemind is there to prove it, with the first works council for freelancers. Wemind also offers legal representation, a housing guarantee and full health cover.
Price: : see the site
Update: this service is in high demand. There is a 2 to 3 month waiting period after registration to access it.
N26 , the new generation mobile bank
N26 is a new generation mobile bank, with a strong focus on mobile and simplified user experience.
You can open a current or professional account on the internet in 8 minutes.
Once your account is opened, it works just like a regular bank account. The only difference is that you are in total control of your card, of your limits, with a direct visibility on the transactions in progress.
Alan, simple health insurance
Alan is a Paris-based start-up that has raised 12 million euros in 2016. The objective? To offer a simple complementary insurance, 100% digital, for companies and self-employed people. Individuals would therefore only have access to it via their employers if they are not freelancers.
Alan stands out from other health supplements by its simplicity. Registration is done in "5 minutes", as is the cancellation. This young complementary health insurance company is betting on flexibility and lack of commitment to seduce all those who have experienced the rigidity of traditional mutuals and their countless exchanges by registered mail.
Price: from 40 € per month
Of course, to manage your accounting, but also to follow up and manage your projects, Freebe is there to accompany and assist you.
The beta's will open soon and there is still time to register on the waiting list!
Price: to be announced soon
is the app dedicated to the communication team. On Slack, you create a work and communication space that brings together all the members of a team or a project. You can organize exchanges in channels or conversations - individual or group - and exchange files.
This tool is particularly useful for a freelancer working within a team (freelance or the team of a client company). It is possible to join several teams from several different organizations and thus follow all of your clients' projects on a single tool.
Supports: mobile, tablet, computer,
Evernote web browser
Evernote is a great tool for taking notes, making to-do lists, organizing searches and scheduling reminders.
This tool allows you to organize notes with text, images and drawings into cloud-hosted folders and then view and edit them on any media. It is then possible to share or export them.
Supports: mobile, tablet, computer
Dropbox allows you to host on a cloud all your files (all types of formats). Your files are then searchable, editable and downloadable with all devices connected to the internet with web access.
Dropbox allows you to collaborate seamlessly with a team or a client. Files can be modified and updated instantly for all users with access rights to the folder
IFFFT (for "If This Then That") allows you to compose recipes linking one application or web service to another. IFTTT integrates many different applications. The recipes all work the same way: IFTTT monitors a service, an application, and triggers an action according to what the recipe commands.
For example, you can have your Instagram publications automatically duplicated on a Twitter account (very useful for community managers).
A freelancer often has to follow up on different projects for different clients. This app allows you to automate a large number of daily actions and thus leave time for more new missions.
Supports mobile, tablet, web browser
A freelancer is generally more multi-tasking than average. However, it is sometimes necessary to be able to concentrate and avoid distractions.
That's exactly what the application does. Mechanical Tomato thanks to the "pomodoro" technique. The tool is simple to use, minimalist, but effective to work as productively as possible.
Support mobile and tablet
It is generally said that one satisfied customer is worth two. More concretely, a client who is satisfied with the work provided is in a position to propose new assignments and to recommend his service provider to other professionals. Here are 4 tips to manage your customer relationship.
1 - Be present
As a service provider, relationships are paramount. The current digital trend encourages remote collaboration. Not being present becomes a frequent pitfall.
It is not necessarily a physical presence. There are dozens of ways today to make a client feel as though you are walking beside him, holding his hand, and accompanying him.
Very concretely, being present can be: sending a text message to say that we have had a new idea, calling (except for calls planned in advance) and leaving a voice message to report on the progress of the mission, putting your client in Cc / Cci of the exchanges of emails with other employees, etc...
Your presence can be better felt by the customer if you systematically define with him the date of your next contact (appointment, phone call or other).
2 - Be transparent
This point is closely related to the previous one. In an economy that relies more and more on the intangible, it is very important to reassure the customer, by showing him all the concrete elements possible.
Here again, the tools are already available: Dropbox, Google Driveand other nails allow your client to track your progress. Whenever he wonders if he has spent his precious resources to hire you, he can be reassured by watching his project progress live.
Transparency helps to avoid misunderstandings. Be clear from the outset about what you know, what you can do, and what is not possible in the mission. There is nothing more disastrous for a freelance reputation than a disgruntled client who feels like he has been ripped off!
Being transparent with your client starts with a step that is often taken too lightly: the detailed estimate of the service. Clearly defining each step of the mission allows the client to better understand how you will meet his needs.
Once the mission has started, giving the customer access to a cloud where he can regularly check your progress will ensure the transparency of your service. If giving access to a cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox or other) seems a little too much, fixing in the quote regular renderings can be a more reasonable alternative.
3 - Be attentive
The previous points were very basic. Now we get into the more subtle elements that make the difference.
As in love, small attentions preserve the flame. A beautiful presentation of the deliverables, an attentive listening of the client's needs, but also of his worries and concerns (even if they are not always within the scope of the mission).
Do not hesitate to go further, and propose elements that are not in the quote, but do not require much effort for you. Maybe it's that hour lost adding an icing on the cake that will maybe make you get the next mission of your dreams!
These attentions can be very varied and added at each stage of the performance:
The list can go on and on. It is more of a posture, implied, than a list of best practices.
4 - Open your network
As a Freelancer, we often hope that our client will recommend us to his peers, friends and colleagues, and thus bring us new clients.
Young freelancers generally have the false belief that they do not yet have a network and that they must expand it permanently.
In reality, networking is also an activity based on reciprocity. One of the ways to please a client, and make a difference, is to dare to connect your client with other talented freelancers, or former clients who might have common interests. This is a key strategy to be a reference for your client, and thus build loyalty.
All these ideas are grouped together in one: just "CARE". Freelancers are turning more and more to virtual performances, performed remotely.
It's about taking the mission on his own and showing the client that, for the duration of the mission (and more), HIS problem is YOUR problem, HIS need is YOUR need. The client must feel that you are ready to go all the way to get the deliverable, the information, the product that you plan to have, and that you will not stick to the minimum agreed in the quote.
Beyond a good relationship with your client, it ensures you a good freelance posture; commitment is generally a guarantee of quality work.
It's been four years now since I added Community Manager to my various hats. Today, I see the profession disappearing almost as fast as it appeared.
Social networking is a tool, not a job.
When I started as a community manager in 2012, I quickly understood that my employers had felt the digital trend and the advantages of digital communication. However, the tool was still new and being young seemed to be the only qualification needed for the job.
Today, our parents, and even our grandparents are on Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram and Snapchat, for the more adventurous. As the community manager's activity develops, we are becoming aware of two problems:
A hammer can be used for a variety of purposes, but you can't build a lasting career on its use. Social networks are tools and a tool is not a job.
Social networks are used to manage one's brand image, improve customer service, advertise and even conduct competitive intelligence. These are very different jobs and employing one person to perform all these functions simultaneously is probably not a viable strategy.
My whole generation is qualified for this job.
Any young person with a smartphone and a business school education could legitimately claim the position of community manager.
Community management has gradually become a simple task, delegated to a trainee or student, when it is simply a matter of animating social network accounts.
Technological developments will make Community Managers disappear
The main thing that can be said against my point of view is the importance of the Human. In community management, this is mainly expressed through interaction with the community, to respond to comments, questions, and possible attacks.
However, more and more companies are making use of chatbots, and these are getting better every day. Conversationality will not remain for long the added value of the human community manager.
The automation and scheduling of publishing on social networks is increasing, thanks to a multitude of tools (IFTTT, Buffer, Hootsuit etc...), and yet, publishing represents a large part of the Community Manager's job.
Community management is a skill:
I gradually noticed that community management was no longer a cap, but rather a string to my bow. My clients have increased their demands. They say they're looking for a "Community Manager"But ask for someone who can create or refresh their website, redesign their logo, write blog posts, respond to messages, create visuals, and even shoot videos. I've seen some Community Managers try to adapt and provide all these services at the same time.
It is clear that they will never be able to compete with communication experts, marketers, designers and web developers at the same time. All of them have a real added value, and are able to manage multiple social network accounts.
I can only encourage those who say to themselves... Community Manager to expand their areas of expertise if they haven't already done so. In 2013 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne said that 47% of jobs in the United States had a high probability of being automated in the coming years.
The dynamics of digital transformation are accelerating, and the job of Community Manager is a strong symbol of this, a job that is both new and already threatened by technological developments.