Nov 12, 2014
Welcome to the SuccessLab Podcast
episode #24! This week I’m joined in the lab by Hugh Stephens,
founder of Dialogue Consulting in Australia and the new Instagram
scheduler app, Schedugram. He is one accomplished guy. He has served
on the advisory board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media,
and also spoken extensively on the role of social media in the
health care industry.
- Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
- I’ve been involved in all kinds of businesses small and large
since I was still in school. About five years ago I started
Dialogue Consulting, which is not a digital agency, but more of a
consulting company specializing in social and digital. We do a lot
of risk management for larger brands and their use in social media.
A few years down the track, I identified a need to be able to
schedule a post to Instagram.
- How do you know when to hire an employee vs. a
- I’ve made terrible hiring decisions before. But really the
question it comes down to for me is how much of a disaster would it
be if this person suddenly disappeared? If they play a role in your
business that is core to how you operate, then I’m of the
perspective then you’re better to bring them on as an
- Have you created systems before hiring or delegating
work to a freelancer?
- My attitude has always been you shouldn’t outsource something
you haven’t done once before.
- I know for me, and this seems true for number of
entrepreneurs, it can be hard to let go of certain projects and
delegate. How have you been able to do that?
- It took me a very long time to be able to let go and realize
other people do things differently and they don’t always have to do
things my way as long as the outcome is the same. You can to
communicate clearly what the outcome should be though and that
there’s time constraints around that.
- With your company Dialogue Consulting, I thought you
had a really interesting approach. You focus on increasing their
internal capability and capacity, so they can use social media
effectively. How do you go about increasing the capacity?
- One of the things about social media is that you can teach
anyone to manage social media, so one of the areas we work on with
our clients is identifying the people within the business who have
knowledge or interest in social media and teaching them the
technical implementation side of it.
- Are there common mistakes you see most businesses
- One is trying to do too many things. It’s better to do a few
things well than many things poorly. Another is really
understanding your audience and what value they (the business) can
provide to the business. You have to provide value.
- How do you know when it’s time to make a safe exit from
a social media platform?
- It’s ok to ask the audience. Ask where they want to hear from
you, what do they want to hear through this particular channel.
Sometimes you have to go back to the market research phase.
- With Schedugram, I know you’ve had some bumps along the
way. You are always very quick to alert customers and offer a
solution or incentive. As entrepreneurs we’re going to face
obstacles and the road is not always smooth, do you have any tips
for dealing with set backs or the unexpected challenges that
- I’m of the opinion that it’s always best way to manage PR is to
be as transparent as you are. People understand that mistakes
happen, and what you need is to be building up that bank of trust
so when something does go wrong, explain what went wrong. This is
the problem, this is how we dealt with it, and this is how we’re
going to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and here’s what we were
going to do to correct it.
- Do you have a tip, tool or even a book you can share?
Something you’re loving right now?
- I am a big fan of Business Model Generation.
- How can people connect with you?
- Twitter: @hughstephens
- Email: hughstephens at hughstephens dot com
This week’s Biz
Hack: This one actually came from a fellow SuccessLabr,
Jenny Poon. She came across a
productivity hack on Fast
Company that suggests allotting a theme to each
day to help maintain focus when distractions occur. Jack Dorsey,
CEO and co-founder of Square, noted doing this while he was
simultaneously guiding Square and Twitter, to quickly refocus the
day’s tasks when a distraction would interrupt the flow. So for
instance, his week might look like this:
Monday - Focus on management and
running the company
Tuesday - was dedicated to
Wednesday - Marketing,
communications and growth
Thursday - Developers and
Friday - Company culture and
Saturday - Day off for
Sunday - Reflect, feedback,
strategy, get ready for the rest of the week
Action Items: Try
dedicating themes to each day of the week. If you’re not sure where
to start or which themes to set, try listing out all of your
regular work activities so you can identify common themes. Then
separate these tasks by theme. If you try it, let me know if it
works for you in the comments section.
Quote of the week:
“No matter how low the pendulum swings, there’s a high just on the
other side. Be thankful for the failures, because those speak to
you in a language you’ll never hear. You learn through failure.” ~
Next week I talk with Matthew Manos.
He is the other of “How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free,”
and was named one of “Seven Millennials Changing the World” by The
Huffington Post. He’s done a lot and he’s only 26!
And if you’re compelled to do so,
please rate The SuccessLab Podcast in iTunes…but only if
you like it. Until next week, be prosperous!