The growth of Internet Ghosts, Pseudonyms and Aliases

Posted by Chris on November 4th, 2011

You may be thinking that you are talking to that famous pop star that you adore or reading his or her pearls of wisdom but the likelihood is that you are talking to or hearing from a trusted stand-in.

As the use and importance of social media communication grows so will the number of people and businesses that have to make a decision as to whether they spend the time personally communicating or whether they outsource this responsibility to someone that they can trust. ( That’s twice I have said the ” trust ” word in so many sentences ! ).

As this blog post says

people have been using pseudonyms for hundreds of years. Personally I have no problem with people ghosting, aliasing or using pseudonyms and it is naive to think that this does not happen.

People and businesses are rapidly arriving at this decision point for many reasons:

– Social media membership and participation is now regarded as a necessary way of communicating for individuals and businesses wishing to promote themselves and interact with their customers, potential customers ( prospects ) and supporters.

– It is becoming more and more important for individuals and businesses to continuously generate content ( new pages, articles and posts ) for their websites, blogs and social media pages.   Not only is this a task that is time consuming it also requires writing and Search Engine Optimisation ( S,E.O. ) skills. The content has to be relevant to be effective.

– Many individuals and businesses do NOT have the skills or the time to communicate effectively using websites, blogs and social media.

When you make the decision to outsource ( i.e. to employ a ghost writer or alias ) it is very hard to find the right person to represent you or your business.

It is also very hard to be the person that is doing the ghosting or aliasing.

It is especially difficult because to do the job effectively you have to be trusted completely or it will not work.

You have to understand enough about that person or business to represent them effectively and to act and respond, pretty well, as they would.

Website pages are typically written by the internal or external website specialists and usually they are approved by the person or business representatives before posting.

Blog posts may also be treated the same way although excessive approval process’s may affect the spontaneity of these blog posts. Also blog posts may get comments which need to be responded to in a reasonable timeframe and in an appropriate manner.

Social Media posts are potentially much more interactive than website updates or blog posts. I say potentially because a lot of social media posts are not commented on or require a response.  However when you do get a comment or response then they MUST be responded to in a timely and appropriate manner.

With responses to blog comments and social media comments and questions the way that you respond is crucial. These are LEADS for the person or business that is being represented. They may be opportunities to build the follower base or they may be comments about the person or business or they could be actual expressions of interest in the person or businesses products or services.

Every comment needs to be nurtured as far as it can be. By this I mean that opportunities can only be taken so far or there is a danger that you turn a potential supporter or customer into a person that is unhappy with the person or company being represented.

The importance and value of the people who alias or ghost for other people or companies should now be clearer.

It is also a hugely difficult task because many people and business owners do not understand what they have to do and what information they need to provide to allow the ghost or alias to be successful. For example people and businesses ideally need to share business strategy and objectives and also keep their representatives up to date with events, case studies, supplier initiatives and things that interest them.

Very clever wealth manager needed to handle £56 Million

Posted by Chris on February 17th, 2010

When you get £56 Million from the lottery you need the services of a very clever wealth manager

With the recent news that 2 sets of people got around £56 Million each from the lottery and my visit yesterday to the City of London meeting wealth managers my thoughts turned to who you would choose as your wealth managers and where you would put your money ?

A quick Google of ” where would you put £56 million if you won the lottery ” revealed this from :

More than 240 winners of at least $1 million responded to surveys (42% of all such winners) by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) in 2003.
89% put money in the bank.
75% shared money with family or friends.
62% bought a new car.
58% paid off debts.
56% took a vacation.
47% donated to charity.
37% paid off mortgage.
34% bought a house.
28% paid for education for self/family.
15% changed their overall lifestyle.
6% bought a boat.

What was the experience like for the winners?
95% sought professional financial advice.
77% reported they had been contacted by the news media. 93% of those contacted said they received fair and courteous treatment.
47% of winners said they were solicited for donations. Among those solicited, 71% said it was “not a problem”.
42% of winners either retired, gave up their job, changed jobs, went to school or opened their own business.

I also quite liked these responses to the Linkedin question ” Why are 75% of all multi-million dollar lottery winners broke within 5 years? ”

It was good to see that 95% of the people who won the Ontario Lottery sought the advice of professional financial advisors. No doubt one of the first things that the lottery does is to offer financial advice ( although having never won the lottery I don’t know exactly what they do ).

A Google for ” do lottery winners get financial advice? ” revealed this:

which said, amongst other things

Find people you can trust.

“The most important financial decision to make initially is who’s going to be accountant, financial adviser and lawyer,” says Hartigan. “And I don’t think they should be the same person.” If you don’t have all of these people in your Rolodex currently — and how many of us do? — “talk to other people who use these kinds of services. Referral is the best way,” Hartigan suggests. If none of your friends or family can recommend a particular professional, Hartigan recommends going to a major accounting firm, a major brokerage and a large law firm. “Ask what they’ll do for you.” Garrison agrees with Hartigan’s advice and adds, “References are mandatory.”

The hardest part of this is the first sentence:

Find people you can trust.

because this will be your greatest challenge.

As I have said I think that the lottery would probably put forward a list of ( hopefully ) proven and trustworthy accountants, lawyers and financial advisers.

But can you imagine this situation ??

One day you don’t really know any lawyers, accountants or financial advisers – or if you do then they deal with relatively minor financial and legal issues – and the next day you have to choose ” trusted ” people that can handle £56 Million !!

Actually ordinary accountants, lawyers and financial advisers are probably not the right people – even if they are from big firms. What you actually need is a Wealth Manager. Now, again, I imagine that with it’s experience of handing out £millions to lottery winners the lottery would have evolved to the position where it had a recommended list of Wealth Managers who really knew how to manage £56 Million rather than accountants, lawyers and financial advisers.

I’ll be developing this theme further over the next few weeks.

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