HOW I GOT OVER MY FEARS

I had the fear of flying, the fear would begin when I boarded a flight and if there was turbulence I would be in an internal mess .

I have seen panic attacks after I saw a close relative pass away suddenly with a massive heart attack. After the incident, I would land up in ERs at night with breathlessness , I was told that I am experiencing a panic attack . Nothing helped , no advice helped .

Today I love to fly places, turbulence is ok (unless it’s real bad ( : ) . I can walk into a cemetery , talk about death and be ok , panic just vanished never to come back.

How did this change occur?

1. Face the fear : I was running away , I wanted to run away . One day , I stopped, looked at fear in the eyes . Felt the fear in my body . I did not run . I got on the other side of fear and it vanished.

2. What is the worst that can happen ? I asked this question and the answer was “I will die”. And then it struck me “I am going to die anyway one day , everyone is going to die one day , why die NOW ! I will die when I have to , let me live NOW!”

3. In this moment : Being here now , dropping the future helped . I have learnt that in this moment, this moment as I write these words , there is no problem. When I get away from this moment, in the past or the future, stories begin .

4. Accept this deeply : In this moment, now there is no problem and “this moment is inevitable” , it has already occurred. No choice , can’t do a thing . Accept deeply without resistance.

5 . This too shall pass : I am not God , I am not perfect, I do get shaken up by events in life , I do falter , but I get up , I know “This too shall pass” , it does . One day we all will be dead and gone , my parents who are no more would have lived through so many fears , what is the significance now , nothing , it’s all dust .

When you deeply understand this that we are here momentarily on a journey as visitors on this planet , you will understand that this too shall eventually pass , everything will . Yet while on the journey, let us make the best of our time to live , love and leave a legacy behind.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

HOW BSR COACH GOT 1 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS IN ONE YEAR

Nithya Shanti a close friend had organised a session with BSR Coach a highly successful YouTuber . As a marketeer I am always keen to learn and took up this opportunity.

BSR started making YouTube videos because he was not confident and came from a vernacular medium school. This was his way of getting over that fear of speaking . He started with a goal of making 365 videos on YouTube.

Prior to 2018 BSR had made over 120 videos with fewer than 3000 subscribers on YouTube . He felt demotivated and gave up . He stopped making YouTube videos.

It so happened that he was called for Josh Talks ( equivalent of Ted Talk in India ) to share his experience on succeeding with speaking English. This video garnered over 5 million views. He was surprised. He analysed and understood what he was doing wrong .

He found that lot of people were interested in this content around succeeding with learning English . That was his first lesson . Below are few of the lessons shared by BSR that could be used to any YouTuber to grow a million subscribers.

1. Make content that is being watched , not content you think they like : It is easy to find the content that is being watched by audiences. Do a simple YouTube search . You need to focus on what is already working and watched.

Broaden your audience first before going narrow. If you want to target those with Heart disease take up all chronic health conditions that are being watched along with the narrow focus .

2. Watch time is important: Earlier he would make short videos and that was a big mistake . He realised that algorithms of YouTube looked for watch time and those videos were thrown up to audiences. From 3-4 minute videos he shifted to videos that were above 9 minutes.

3. Consistency : for past one year he has been consistently sharing his videos every Tuesday and Friday at 4 pm . He realised that the YouTube algorithm looks for consistency of sharing, also the audiences get used to the frequency and they expect the video.

4. Time : He found two time slots work for his audience 1. 6 am ( people have some time in the morning) 2. 4 pm ( evening break from work) .

5. Thumbnail: He understood that thumbnail plays the most crucial role . It is not the quality of video but the quality of Thumbnail that is essential. He found colours like Yellow and Red got attention . He recommends text occupy over 80 % of the space of the Thumbnail.

6. Title: This is next in importance , he studies titles that are working on the subject he would take up and puts up those titles and at times he would even copy titles . ‘How to’ , ‘Tips ‘ , ‘Secret of’ , are great title words used in title searches.

7.Language : He found that Hindi language has a far bigger audience and reaches masses rather than English which has a much smaller reach in India . He is clear he wants to reach masses so he uses Hindi more than English.

8. Give freely : He does not mind sharing freely, he is not bothered about anyone copying his content.

9. Negative Comments : He does not bother about negative comments and let’s them be . At first he would get demotivated now he is got used to it .

10. CTA : He has learnt that audiences need to be reminded to subscribe and he does that at the beginning and at the end . “Tell your audiences what they need to do maybe it is to join a program , have clear CTA .” he says .

11. YouTube live : He does long format YouTube live workshops with thousands attending. This also gives him longer watch time.

VIEWS and WATCH TIME are two most important parameters according to him to drive subscribers. One doesn’t need the best equipment and invest a lot of money to be a successful YouTuber he says .

He says all videos will not go viral and there is no way of knowing which will but a few that do go viral will add maximum subscribers. So consistency is important .

Organic way is the best way to increase views and subscribers he says . I have seen his sessions and I must confess that BSR is highly passionate about what he does and this is reflected in his session.

Thank You BSR Coach for sharing freely your success as a YouTuber and Nithya for organising this . May you inspire many more .

If BSR can achieve 1 million subscribers in one year through his dedicated focus and hard work, so can anyone if you pick up the best practices. Begin now and be consistent, no excuses.

P. S – Please do subscribe to the the BSR Coach YouTube channel

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

IN THE WORLD OF MEMES AND VIRAL VIDEOS – PR CHANGED

It is a cliche to say PR has changed, we all know that . Internet and smart phones with low data costs changed not only how we consume news and views but what we consume.

Today we use our smart phones for entertainment , education , information, shopping , booking cabs , flights , hotels , food delivery , making payments.. and the list is long . It’s one device that our world revolves around.

And then the pandemic hit us. almost overnight we had to sit at home , locked down . It was this device that saved us , kept us sane , we stayed connected with friends, family , and news around the world .

As the intermediary print media disappeared in the lockdown , the change which was gradual got accelerated. Advertising money moved from print to social media.

The big shifts I have experienced working with clients and also co founding a digital startup that will continue in the future are as follows

1. The Intermediary is less relevant : Earlier organisations would chase media (journalists) , today every organisations can broadcast directly to its audiences. Social media has democratised content production. Anyone can be a broadcaster.

2. Journalists move to organisations: Journalists have a knack for news and storytelling , as jobs become scarce in traditional print media journalists moved to organisations in communications and content writing to tell stories on the digital media.

3. Content becomes Visual : 80% of the traffic online is video content as consumers shift to being entertained on social platforms. Visual storytelling will become greatly in demand in times ahead.

4. Influencers are the new intermediaries : Brands are chasing influencers on social media as they have a fan following which can be leveraged and the association also endorses the brand.

5. 24×7 On the Edge the story of a crisis : As there are advantages of being able to broadcast online there is also the other side , a negative side, in a polarised world news will spread rapidly and can damage the brand overnight . In this scenario reputation management takes a different meaning .

6. Storytelling takes centre stage : Consumers and stakeholders consume content and Brands will become storytellers. Every organisation has stories, stories of the founder , organisation , culture, people , clients and community. The future of PR is storytelling in the digital world.

7. Brands and good : Consumers , clients and employees are increasingly looking at brands to support good in communities . Brands and good will connect with stories of good told in the digital world.

8. Leadership needs to be visible: Leaders need to be visible , vocal and demonstrate character by taking a stand for what is right for their people , clients , community and our planet. Leaders that leverage the social media create a positive brand voice. The social media is also going to be a listening platform for leaders .

9. Leverage social media to build Tribes : Organisations and Brands can build Tribes on social media and engage them . PR is no longer just talking but a two way communication, it is building a community around the brand.

In the very early days of social media I had built an alumni and employees community at a leading Indian IT company on social media . We kept the community engaged with the organisation and it turned out to be the best brand ambassador and PR for the organisation.

I have started seeing many PR agencies aiming to reinvent themselves by training their staff in digital communication but this change is more deeper .

It is a shift that needs understanding of consumer behaviour in the digital world combined with good storytelling.

The digital world offers a level playing field , disruptions can happen overnight. The future is going to be exciting and an adventure for digital PR .

As a communicator I am looking forward to the changes, are you?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

http://www.CrowTales.in

STORIES MEAN BUSINESS

Our story begins at Starbucks where two storytellers met over a cup of coffee.

and the journey of storytelling began .

We saw gloom in our world, and we started telling stories of good , of real Heroes, their life , their struggle, their impact , their message, because we believe stories of good need to be told . http://www.YouTube.Com/heroesofindia

As storytellers, we tell stories because every story inspires us .

We see stories in organisations, brands , causes , people.

Organisations need to tell their stories,
because stories are remembered,
stories are shared ,
stories are passed on ,
stories touch the heart,
and inspire people to take action .

Tell your stories because,
organisation cultures are built around stories ,
your employees have stories of you ,
your customers have stories of you,
your partners have stories of you,
your community has stories of you.

A brand is built with stories.

Stories mean business.

In the digital world we are the stories we tell.

Are you telling your brand story ?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

http://www.YouTube.Com/CrowTales

STORYTELLING AT STARBUCKS

I have been a Starbucks fan , hardly does a day go by that I have not visited a Starbucks caffe to have my favourite cup of coffee.

I do not visit Starbucks to just for the coffee but I go there because there is something special about the space. I love the vibrant energy of Starbucks and my ‘me time’.

Starbucks is my space between home and office . I go there to read , work , learn , meet friends and reflect . The baristas know me , they know the drink I like to have , feels like I belong.

Starbucks Hiranandani, Powai

When I travel I search for a Starbucks near me because in an unknown place it gives me the feeling of being home , in the familiar surroundings, the same energy, the same experience of ‘me time’.

Last week my favourite barista asked me to do a coffee tasting session and then she shared with me the story of coffee. After years of being a coffee and Starbucks addict I did not know the history of coffee.

It seems the story dates back to a village in Ethiopia where a shepherd one day saw his goats happy and dancing with joy , he was curious, they were eating leaves from a tree . He took some of the leaves back home boiled it in water and had the drink, he felt energetic. And that is how the story of coffee began .

Later the story goes Sufi monks would use it to stay alert while meditating so they did not fall asleep. And the coffee culture spread across the world.

That day my connection to coffee and Starbucks deepened , there are many personal stories I have around Starbucks , now I had a story around coffee!

Stories can get you hooked , now when I drink coffee at Starbucks there is another dimension the story of happy goats . It does bring cheer.

Brands can use storytelling to build strong bonds with their customers and I had witnessed just that with this story of coffee that was told by a Starbucks barista .

Are you telling stories around your brand?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#storytelker #passionproject

EMPLOYER BRANDING WITH STORYTELLING MY LESSONS AT MASTEK

Organisation cultures are built around stories. When tribes gather they tell stories and some stories are passed down over generations.

At Mastek an IT company I headed Corporate Communications there were many such stories. How the founders who studied together at IIM and went on to build an iconic global Indian IT company was a story . All the founders were first generation entrepreneurs made this story even more interesting.

One of the founders Ashank Desai came from a humble background, his early childhood was in a village and he lost his father at the age of three. His struggles to reach IIT is a story and then build one of India’s leading IT company is a story.

As a communicator all this was a treasure mine for me to build the brand around stories and there were many. I never lost an opportunity to tell a story.

I saw Mastek as a tribe and we even made a anthem for the tribe that has been passed down the generations, even now every Mastekeer gets goosebumps when they hear the anthem because it captures the spirit of the organisation.

Every client and project is a story of two partners coming together to dance , there are so many hidden stories. I loved digging these stories because these stories spoke about values , one of the client statements I remember even now “I know there will be problems , but I know that I can trust Mastek to deliver.” And I captured these stories in films.

I was also heading CSR and one of my KRAs was to engage employees with the communities . Again I did this through storytelling, every nonprofit we partnered with had stories , stories of beneficiaries , stories of founders and every story was inspiring.

I initiated the Spirit of Mastek award and called the social sector leaders Dr Prakash Amte , Dr Abhay Bang , Girish Kulkarni , Dr Ashish Satav , Adhik Kadam and many more to share their stories with employees . Their stories were inspiring, each one of them got a standing ovation . We moved our voluntary payroll giving from 35% to 90% . In a survey with employees Mastek was seen as being highly socially conscious organisation.

Recently during the pandemic I organised an online fundraiser for migrants who were impacted and made a theme song “Naya Savera” (a new beginning which has over thirty five thousand views on YouTube) and we raised over rupees seventy five lakhs for the cause.

When I had to build the Employer Brand in the campus , I got the campus students to deeply engaged in the story of Mastek and social good . The idea that has grown over the years ‘Project Deep Blue’ gets students to solve real problems for nonprofits with IT solutions and they are mentored by the employees. This has built a lasting employer brand in the campus .

I told the stories through film ,many of them are on YouTube. I started a alumni network on Facebook almost a decade back again to share stories with the most powerful brand ambassadors, ex-employees. In one of the films I did with employees I had a sound bite “Once a Mastekeer , always a Mastekeer” and it has stayed as a powerful employer brand line.

An organisation is nothing but a tribe coming together with a vision to solve a problem. And tribes grow stronger with stories and when their stories spread they attract those that connect with the stories.

Employees , Customers, Vendors , Community , Investors connect with strong stories, because whatever maybe the business you are in you finally deal with humans and humans connect with stories.

The digital world offers a great opportunity for organisations to build their brand with storytelling. There needs to be a strong understanding of storytelling and the digital world . From what I see there is a lot more to be done.

And that is why I built a storytelling company because I am a storyteller and I love telling stories and I understand the digital world .

Digital Storytelling Company I founded

The future of employer branding as I see it is authentic storytelling, I see it as the future of brands because we have all become content / story consumers and we consume and share stories in the digital world that touch our hearts .

I see brands and good come together to tell stories of good , stories of hope , stories of empathy. It is these stories that the world needs.

Welcome to the world of stories. Are you telling your brand stories?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

http://www.CrowTales.in

WHY NONPROFITS NEED TO BECOME STORYTELLERS

A few years back while taking a morning walk in Pune city I saw a stray dog that had been hit by a car , he was in bad shape .

I could not walk away . I believe that within every human being there is good and there is a deep natural instinct to care and help those that are weaker than us or in pain.

This instinct is buried under our experiences of the material world and going beyond self does not look like a natural behaviour , it is not like the world of transactions we are used to , there is nothing to get in return.

I got my car , picked up that street dog and I drove around a few hours on a Sunday morning to find a animal shelter that would treat injured animals . I did not have to do that , I could have walked away, but I could not.

What I saw moved me to act , I saw pain , I saw innocence of life and I saw the helplessness. I was pulled in and now emotionally invested . I could not walk away.

And this is what every good story does , it pulls you in and gets you emotionally invested.

This is what movies do they take you into the fictional world of the characters , you laugh with them , you cry with them , you feel the struggle of the hero you are with him in the fight with the evil and you are emotionally invested in his victory over evil.

For nonprofits the way to the purse is through the heart and the way to the heart is through a well told story.

The digital world adds a dimension of reach and helps nonprofits spread the stories of good far and wide , stories get your volunteers and donors to get emotionally invested , feel the pain of the beneficiaries , join their struggles and rejoice in their success .

It is this very reason I started Heroes of India project , as a storyteller I wanted to tell stories of good because I know the power of a story to touch a lives , create change in our world and build movements. ( http://www.YouTube.Com/heroesofindia)

Every movement in human history started with a story and every change had a story to begin with . While we all are seeing the negative side of social media to cause distrust and spread fake news this very platform can be used to spread hope and good in our world.

The world needs stories of good and nonprofits need to become storytellers .

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

OVER ONE MILLION SUBSCRIBERS IN ONE AND HALF YEARS ON YOUTUBE – AND SHE DID NOT CHASE SUBSCRIBERS!

Subscribers vs Views what must one chase on YouTube? Let us understand this from the case study of Rachana Ranade who crossed one million subscribers I just one and half years without chasing subscribers. So what did she do right ?

I subscribe to over fifty YouTube channels, but the real estate on my phone is just 5.8’ in, so what should YouTube show on my smart phone home screen when I log in ?

This is the challenge for any platform algorithm. The logic says show what the audience watches so they keep coming back .

That would be the objective of any platform- to ‘GROW AND KEEP THE AUDIENCE HOOKED’.

In this post let me take the case study of CA Rachana Ranade an financial YouTube influencer who has been a huge hit , in a short period of just one and half years she garnered over one million subscribers. She is the top female financial YouTuber in the world.

She got there by not chasing subscribers.

So what did she do to get there ?

To begin with she is an expert on her subject , she is a CA and she had been teaching for over 9 years when she began her YT channel . Also her style of teaching simplified the complex world of finance so it would appeal to the masses.

What else do we learn from Rachana

1. She has defined her audience well – her audience is anyone in India who wants to invest in stock markets , her audience is masses .

2. She understood what her audience wants – she simplified investing in stock markets . She identifies the topics that her audience is interested in watching , she adds value to her audience . Her team does extensive research before she selects the topics on which to make videos.

3. Quality videos- each of her videos is well researched , simple yet highly informative and well shot . Most people who watch her videos watch the full length of the video so she gets good watch time which is essential for algorithms .

4. Click Baity Thumbnails and titles – each one of her thumbnails is well researched and gets her audience hooked to watch further . She would have good CTR .

5. Consistent – she has been consistent with her content over the year . Always innovating .

6. Authentic- she is completely passionate about what she does ‘financial education of the masses on stock investing’ , and she has her own style of simplifying the complex world of finance.

7. No Sales – she does not sell anything, she does not give tips , she does not ever show biases , she is completely in the giving mode . She genuinely wants to educate as she says “I am a CA and I am a teacher and I am proud about that” . Yes her audience buys her course but that is not her aim of the video blog . She is building the most important asset ‘Trust’ with her audience.

She understood that The objective of any platform is – “to get more audiences spend more time on the platform.” Full Stop.

She did not chase subscribers. But she chased making good quality content , that is valuable to her target audience , she is chased watch time and she is constantly optimising her Thumbnails and Titles as she knows that the real estate on YouTube is cluttered and her videos need to stand out .

She knows her success on YouTube is as good as her videos , views , likes and comments she knows that YouTube does not automatically show her videos to every subscriber and she knows her subscribers have a choice to watch hundreds and thousands of other videos.

As she says “It is 99% hard work and 1% luck.” and she has completely 100% dedicated time to her YouTube channel.

CTR and watch time are two important metrics to measure for YouTube content creators.

She knows she has a small window of opportunity to show up on the home page of her audience and to get audience to click her videos out of the dozens they see and that the videos on home page are a tip of the tip of an iceberg.

Is there any another way ?

Yes create your own platform and get your audience to subscribe. It could be to your blog or email which will keep them on the latest videos released.

There is another option . Get your audience to click the notification button.

What we learn from Rachna is don’t chase subscribers, chase quality content that is watched in a field where you are an expert and passionate about and keep at it day in and day out . Also don’t forget click baity thumbnails and titles as you need to stand out from the crowd .

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK !

“Good morning sir , wish you a good day.” Wished a street sweeper while on morning walk in a new city.

I was taken aback , I don’t even know him and I was here just for a day. Yet his wish made my morning and day . I wished him back.

There are many street sweepers that I would come across during my morning walk , I don’t remember any.

I will not forget him ever , he did stand out and made a difference to an unknown morning walker.

He does not get paid extra to do this , it is not part of his KRA , yet he does make happy day for me who is not even his client.

What a beautiful world view. I am sure he loves what he does , not just sweeping the streets clean but making happy days for all he meets.

It does not matter the job you do, if you love what you do and you go beyond , you stand out , you are an artist at work!

#passionproject

Sanjay Mudnaney

BE YOU , BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN

Be you,everyone else is taken. This one step can be liberating.

We are obsessed with what others think of us. We want to be liked, famous and approved. We seek attention because that makes us feel important.

We can easily be put down with unkind words and picked up if appreciated.

In organisations there is a game , it is called “What will the boss think” and yes it’s important because the boss decides the future growth within the organisation or so we think.

We seek approval of our peers because it makes us feel important and we want to belong.

Social media feeds on the inherent human desire to be liked so we post and then look back to check likes and comments.

This wanting to be liked , approved , appreciated, creates a unseen pressure and ties down our freedom , freedom to be who we are .

Freedom comes from being authentic, confident in our own skin , not wanting to be like anyone , not being a copy.

And then we have the rebels, who also are trying to project an identity of being different, rebels . Yet there is the pressure of hold an identity that is not authentic.

What if you could just drop your wanting to be like someone else , anyone else or seeking approval.

There is a famous Hindi film song in India ‘Kuch to log kahenge , logon ka kam hai kehena‘ ( people will always say something, that is their job). And you can never please everyone.

What if you can ignore what others think , and you truly can , just try it now , drop the baggage of wanting approval , and see how it feels.

Do your stuff , rock your boat , be different, be you because you are made different.

Each one of us is unique, and there is no one else like us anywhere in the world. We have our own unique gifts .

What applies to individuals applies to organisations . There is a unique story of each organisation. ‘Why’ it exists. Find that why and live that why.

Carrying an image that is not you is stressful, being authentic is liberating. And when you are genuinely authentic it reflects and you stand out. Not because you want to be liked but because you are who you are , different.

I found being authentic truly liberating experience, I blog because I want to , I express what I want to , I cycle, I sing , I create because that is who I am , I love to create , build on new ideas , grow business, mentor individuals and business to play to potential . This makes me happy.

What will others think stops people from taking the first step , from living their dreams . And it is not worth it , no point with dying with your dream in your heart.

Be YOU because everyone else is taken.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject