Book launch party for ‘Digital Leadership – Q&A transcribed

This is a transcribed version of the questions and answers MC Annik Rau did with me Sofie Sandell at my book launch. If the language sounds a bit funny it’s because it’s transcribed 🙂 Just ignore and read on.

After the introduction and networking game in which Annik Rau asked everyone to share a quirky fact about themselves to at least three people they never met before here is the interview.

Annik: Thinking about that what is a quirky fact about you?

Sofie: Well, one thing is that have a blog about Caesar salads.  Some people have had Caesar salad with me and I am judging them and I am giving them a point between one and ten.

Annik: I did not even know that… So when you wrote the book on digital leadership what inspires you to write it?

Sofie: I have been thinking about writing a book for many years and to be honest I have been procrastinating for maybe 20 years… but then last year I produced a lot of content when I was giving training and was lecturing and I just had to get it out to more people – I could not have everything inside my head – it gets very heavy after a while.  When you are creating lecture after lecture and you design training after training, you feel like – okay I have to get it out to more people.

Through Pony Express, the public speaking club, I got to know a friend called Emily and she wrote a book and then I went to her book launch in the end of November and I was very inspired from the event. The week after, I bought an audio recorder and I recorded my first ten chapters and got them transcribed by my PA in the Philippines.

In the beginning of December, I started to write the book. I was focusing to get the book done and then suddenly I had 60 pages. There are many things that inspired to write and share, but going to Emily’s book launch made me start writing my book.

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Annik: We all do social media and we are good or not so good at it.  What are few things people and businesses do wrong when it comes to the social media marketing?

Sofie: I think it is a very big difference if you are a small business or big business.  Small businesses they sometimes over-promise that they are going to be active in social media. They promise it upfront and they tell the world -’we are going to have a blog’, ‘we are going to do this and that and we are going to engage with everybody’ but then other things come in between so they do not manage to fulfill their promise.

If you are a small business, do not over-promise what you are going to do in the beginning, because if you are not keeping to it you might just ruin your reputation.

Bigger businesses they often have a very short strategy – like a week or month ahead – and they never get social media integrated into the rest of the business. You have to get social media into at least three of four corners in your business to get it work for you.

There is a lot of things you can do with help of social media and many companies use social media in ways that are not connected with anything in the business, they are not aware about their brand and what the brand stands for… and it makes you look unfocused.

I think getting more structured thinking, getting involved in the right forums where your audience is, get to know who they are, get to understand who actually will connect with you and then put a lot of effort into the right message will help a lot. It is better to have a few messages online that are good and the audience will really sort of ah! Instead of multi-messaging all over the place with bad content.

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Annik: I can relate to this. I’ve read the book and it is very different because it seems like it is really broken down, it is structured, and it has a lot of tips and tricks.

What makes it different to other digital leadership books?  I am sure you probably have read some other ones and most importantly why should everyone here tonight take one home?

Sofie: Well, I have read a lot of books. I have been a book addict for many years and I have read a lot of books about social media, leadership and creativity, but there is no book that is mixing it all together.

I think when you do anything such as social media, e-commerce, and working with your websites you have to really put on your creative thinking hat, otherwise you are just going to do something on an average level, and I think the extra 20% that you put in, which are your creative abilities and your creative thinking when you are working together with others, that is what is going to make a huge difference for your brand online and that is what is going to pull your customer to you and they are going to go back to your website again and again.

It is the first book that is combining the importance of social media, leadership, and creativity in one place and it is not very technical either.

I read a lot of technical stuff online and if you want to know the technical things, you can just find it on YouTube or Google.

Annik: Nice.  It is very engaging. And last question.  What is your favourite social media platform?

Sofie: It is hard.  Do I have to pick one?  I think Facebook because that is where I have the most friends – I like to see what they are doing. But I like all the other social media platforms as well.

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Annik: Okay, Facebook.  Beautiful.

Keep thinking and I am going to ask you a few questions later but what is it for you on social media like what sense are for you?

I am honoured to just to sit here and hold this book in my hand and that concludes the question and answer.  What Sofie will do, she will say some thank you.  So, I am going to disappear for a minute.

Sofie: There has been a lot of people who have been helping me with the book and everything I have been doing.

I would like to do it very quickly and easily and ask them to come up on stage and I am going to give them a gift and then we are going to give them a big round of applause.  So, I would like to first of all have my mum and dad, Vince, Annik, Sarah, Alex, Anna, Emma, Kit and Reza. (They all got a red rose each)

These people have been helping me a little bit extra. Some people who could not join tonight have also been tremendously helpful, I will send them a rose online.

Sofie: Everybody who is here tonight…, it means a lot to me.  I am very grateful, and it is very emotional to write a book. What’s in the book comes straight from my beliefs what I think about the world and what I think is important. So if you read it, you are going to get to know me better. Thank you, guys.

Annik: Shall we all get up again and do some more networking..?  Sofie came up with one question and in a minute you will find a partner preferably one you have never met before and then just really briefly discuss what will be one extra step, just one, you would take home tonight and really re-work or improve your social media.  I am going to give you three minutes to discuss this.

The end! Thank you everyone who attended!

Big hugs, Sofie