How to Find the Perfect Picture

October 19, 2017

Whether your blog is about financial planning, being a mom of three, marketing tips, or a lifestyle guru, you need pictures! There are many things that make a blog interesting, but including at least a little imagery is crucial across the board. The hard part is choosing an appropriate image.

First of all, finding pictures in general should be the easy part. There are so many great stock photo websites out there. If you are having trouble finding images, here are a couple sites you can check out: Pixabay, Shutterstock, Pexels or Getty Images. There are so many more, but that should get you started!

The next thing to keep in mind is that while of course you want your images to be relevant, it doesn’t have to be a direct translation. For example, if you are writing about workplace relationships your image does not need to be of an office! Find a metaphor or message that you are trying to get across, and then be creative.

The most important thing when choosing your images, tags or any other creative aspect of your blog, is keep it relevant but personal. A blog is supposed to be informational, but personal. Talk to your readers and clients in a way that is conversational but professional, and your imagery should reflect that. It doesn’t always need to be a stark photo. Pick something warm and welcoming that draws readers in to see more!

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Overcoming Fear

October 5, 2017

Whether it’s starting your own business, implementing a big change, putting yourself out there for that promotion..these are things that require you go out on a limb and potentially set yourself up for failure. Unfortunately, when you do something potentially life changing like this, fear always comes creeping in to say “but what you fail?”. So, what if you fail? You get told no? You have to try again? These things are not the end of the world! What if you don’t fail? What if you get the promotion, or your new business thrives? These are the questions that as business men and women we need to be asking ourselves. To do that, though, we must first figure out how to conquer the fear.

Everyone knows that the fear of upsetting your life or livelihood is paralyzing, literally. You can get stuck in the position you are currently in, indefinitely! The challenge is figuring out how to unstick yourself. The what-ifs will always be circling, so the key is to determine the positive what-ifs. What if I succeed?

The other thing to consider is what might happen if you don’t take these risks. As humans, we are always worried about the outcome of the risk. What is the outcome if you don’t take the risk. Sometimes that answer is scarier than if you were to take the risk, so put yourself out there.

Putting trust in yourself and your abilities is not something that comes easily to some, and fear will try and knock you down even further. If this is the case, ignore it. You know what you are capable of and what you need to do. The time is always now when it comes to the game of life, so make yours a life you are proud of and one where you are in control!


4 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Day

September 21, 2017

Maybe productivity is your strong suit..maybe it isn’t. Either way, these are a couple helpful tips that can help you make the most out of your day, whether that be to maximize productivity or to become a better organized person. Developing habits is the easiest way to become more productive, but we all know that actually developing any habit is much easier said than done. According to Phillippa Lally it takes 66 days for something to actually become a habit. This means you need to get started today!!

  1. Set schedules. While these tips are in no particular order, this may be the most important of all the tips listed here today. Figure out what works best for you in the mornings, and then stick with it. Every day. For me that means everyday I get up, I give my cat some snuggles, I put coffee on and I make two eggs and two pieces of toast. After that I get started with my more productive rituals, like responding to email. Every day. Here is a list of the daily habits of the most successful people.
  2. Utilize your tools. You guys, there are so many options out there to stay organized. If you’re a person who likes working on your computer, Microsoft OneNote is so helpful. If you like to see things laid out in front of you develop a trusty note taking or list making method. Keep your desk clear with only helpful items out. Even your smart phones carry so many tools to keep you on track. there are timers and stopwatches, a notepad and even a reminders function that is so useful.
  3. Use a planner. I can’t stress this enough. Sometimes people don’t realize how useful they really can be. A planner is something that you can make your own. Figure out what type of information or things you need to be keeping track of, and go from there. My planner has my day blocked off by half hour increments so I always know what I’m supposed to be doing, where I’m supposed to be and when. At the bottom of each day is a to-do list. Maybe that isn’t what you need for you day to day scheduling. That’s okay! Think about your needs and go from there.
  4. Don’t get caught up with the little things. This means not every little thing has to be perfect. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to make everything perfect, so you simply don’t have the time to try and be that level of a perfectionist. By all means, do everything you can to the absolute best of your ability, but know when to stop. This also means you can’t stress about the tiniest of details. Life happens so you have to roll with the punches. Your business will thrive, and so will you.

Let us know about your best productivity tips! We love new ideas and learning what works well for other professionals.


How to market your content to potential clients

May 25, 2017

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Taking the time to produce marketing content can be difficult. It’s not always easy to consistently come up with topics and ideas and over time you can start to feel like you’ve come to a dead-end. If you’ve been doing it for a while however, you know as well as I do that dead-ends are just an illusion. We always manage to come up with new ways to push forward; and so with all that work, of course we’d like to think that our readers are absorbing everything we have to offer, right?

That’d be nice, but I’m afraid not. I challenge you to ask a friend, that you know follows your publishings, how many times on average they actually read every word of your content. There’s a good chance you won’t like what they have to say; but try not to get discouraged. Time is valuable to people and sometimes it’s easier to just skim through the paragraphs rather than reading everything on the page.

In marketing, we are always trying to formulate new ideas and strategies to keep our techniques up-to-date; so much so that we can easily lose touch of the basics. One fundamental key principal of content marketing is BENEFITS over FEATURES.

Let me explain… Benefits are just as they sound. They are the value that the potential customer would receive from your services should they decide to become a client. For example, one way you could pitch a benefit is to say something like, “10% Increase in profitability guaranteed!” This is a benefit, and with all things that benefit us, we tend to give them more of our attention. In order to keep your content’s target audience interested and engaged, you need to make sure the benefits your services offer are standing out as much as possible.

Features are kind of like your credentials, so-to-speak. One example of a feature would be something along the lines of, “With over 25 years experience” or “Recipient of Best Firm Award”. These are features, and although they earn you credibility with whom you’re trying to market yourself to, they don’t necessarily capture the attention of the reader. Now, this is not to say features are bad. In fact, including them is very important; but you don’t want to make your pitch focused so much on your features that your benefits don’t get the chance to stand out.

As a rule of thumb, I like to recommend a ratio of 80/20 in favor of benefits. This way, you have a good percentage of features in your content so that your target audience can see what you’ve accomplished for others like them, but they also stay engaged in what you’re trying to sell them. Benefits are the key to getting people to pay attention to you. If you miss the opportunity to capture their attention, you miss the opportunity to serve them as your client; and nobody likes missed opportunities.


5 Tips to Getting the Best Results out of Your Day!

May 11, 2017

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Every day is a new and exciting opportunity to get things done, so why not make the most of it and do exactly that? Well, for some of us that’s easier said than done; but not to get discouraged… Below are 5 tips that you can utilize every day to ensure you reach your maximum daily potential and go to sleep feeling satisfied with what you’ve accomplished.

Tip #1: (BREAKFAST)

Everyone needs a good kick start to get their productive juices flowing in the morning; so make sure that when you’re waking up you’re getting the nutrients you need to fuel you for the rest of the day. It can be something simple, like yogurt and granola nuts, or a banana smoothie. Just make sure you don’t skip out on this one simple step because it truly makes all the difference in the world.

Tip #2: (EXERCISE)

Most of us don’t have the time to fit in a visit to the gym before work every morning; but then again, who said you have to go to the gym? Morning exercise can be as simple as getting out of bed and taking a few extra minutes to stretch out and do some aerobics before hopping in the shower. Come up with a simple 5-10 minute routine that you can hold yourself to and try to make as much a habit of it as brushing your teeth. You’ll thank yourself later when that early evening crunch time roles around and you notice you’re not as tired as you used to be.

Tip #3: (ORGANIZE)

Your bedroom, your kitchen, your car, and your office are all things that you should capitalize on when it comes to organizing. Take a few extra minutes before you go to bed each night to put things in their rightful place or to pick out an outfit that you intend to wear the next day. You don’t want to be scavenging through your closet in the morning when you should be eating the breakfast we talked about in tip #1. Try to keep things as neat and easy to find as possible. Not only will it make things easier on you, but it will also help your mind to relax and focus on your daily tasks.

Tip #4: (SMILE)

Cheesy, right? (No pun intended)… But seriously, studies show that people who smile more tend to have higher energy levels than people who have stern expressions on their faces throughout the day and are also more likely to have positive interactions with others. Don’t feel dumb or shame yourself for smiling, you’re doing yourself a favor! Plus people will notice it and you’re more than likely to notice a positive change in your daily interactions. So what’s there to loose? Give it a try!

Tip #5: (NAP)

Nap time is not something that is only confined to pre-schoolers. In fact, adults need nap time just as much if not more than kids do. If your schedule permits it, try to find 20 minutes a day to fit in a power nap. Studies show that the average adult increases their productivity by 5% when they take a 20 minute nap sometime during the course of their typical work day. This is crucial, and if you can manage it, do it! Even if it means using up some of your lunch break.


Work isn’t work when you’re doing what you love…

April 14, 2017

5am comes around… Then 6… then 7, and finally your alarm goes off giving you just enough time to get yourself together and run out the door on your way to work. When you get there, all the reports you were working on the day before are still sitting on your desk staring at you and as you stare back at them, you begin to hear them give you your daily morning roast session with their snobby new-yorker accents; “Hey fellas, look who decided to show up today! Get a load of this guy, thinking he’s all special in his new shirt.” “Yeah, new shirt, new me, aye buddy? Who’s the new me? Pee-Wee Hermit?” You drop your bag and right as you open your mouth to give those papers what for you’re interrupted by the guy next to you. “You gonna get that? Or you just gonna stand there and stare at your desk all day?” “Great”, you say to yourself with a sigh, and pick up the phone just to get scolded for not having the reports done by now. “Those better be on my desk by noon. I don’t care what you have to do. Just get them done!” You hang up, pull out your chair, and sit down at your desk to the sound of the guy in his desk next to yours having his daily phone conversation so loud that you know every little detail about his entire life. You would gladly amputate your own ears and give it to him not to, but hey, what’s better than getting to know a guy through his conversations with somebody else while you’re trying to work, right? Just another day in the life…

However, lets take a step back and for just a moment, imagine that our job enabled us to wake up every morning and do something that we couldn’t wait to do. What if you dreamed about the love you have for your job and instead of waking up to an alarm, your excitement woke you up instead? Or if rather than getting picked on by a stack of papers every morning, you walked into the office and people cheered for your arrival? In other words… What if you loved what you do?

Getting to the point where you love what you do isn’t always easy, but I believe that if you apply these few simple principals, you can very well get on the right track to enjoying your day job…

 

Be patient and don’t do anything that you’ll regret:

Quitting your job and diving right into something you love sounds great when the thought first crosses your mind. But it’s important that you think long-term and remain practical with what you want to accomplish. That’s not to say it’s not possible, but just like every other good thing in life, it takes time and strategic coordinated efforts on your part to pull it off. There’s a lot of us out there who would love to tell our boss off and walk out of the office holding two middle fingers above our heads; but if you’re going to get to that “dream job” you want so badly, you have to do whatever it takes to stay sane and keep crawling closer to that goal. Even if that means having an occasional argument with a piece of paper so that you can get your frustrations out. We won’t judge you…

 

Set goals and hold yourself accountable to them:

If you don’t know where you’re going, there’s a much better chance of you staying where you are than if you did. Believe me, I get it; you’re sick of putting up with the same crap every day and you’re ready for something better; but if that’s ever going to happen, you’re going to have to be the one to make it happen. People you work with don’t care if you like or don’t like your job. You could work the same job and put up with the same BS for the rest of your life for all they mind; but that’s only because they don’t know your drive. Your ambition dictates your success. If you want to be able to one day wake up in the morning and make a living off of doing something you love, then you’re going to have to set your goals and hold yourself accountable for getting them accomplished. A change of lifestyle isn’t a sprint, its a marathon; but that marathon only begins when you do.

 

Think outside the box:

Yes, I know; everybody and their mother has told you this at least a dozen times throughout the course of your life; but it really is an important factor to consider if you want to be successful at doing what you love. For some people, they have the option to do what they love and be broke, or hate what they do and have money. If you want your options to be a little more welcoming then that, you’re going to have to get creative! Start thinking about how your passion can benefit other peoples’ lives other than your own and how you can get people to take interest in what you love doing. For example, if you could spend your days doing nothing other than playing golf and being absolutely content with that, then think about how you can get people to take interest in your golf playing passion. Give coaching lessons, start your own golfing youtube channel, host your own podcast of the conversations you have with influential people on the golf course, etc, etc… There’s always going to be ways to get paid to do what you love, but more times than not it’s going to be up to your creativity to figure out how to make that happen. Develop your plan, think about it logically, and don’t be afraid to fail. After all, some would argue that failure at doing what you love is better than success at doing something you hate.

 


Find a Purpose

March 30, 2017

It’s so easy to get discouraged or feel like you’re lacking motivation. When you’re young and early in your career a lot of the time you aren’t doing exactly what you would like, and later on it can feel as though you’re stuck in a rut or tired of where you are. There are many reasons why, and sometimes it is very justified, but if you find purpose in what you’re doing you will find lost motivation.

When trying to find a purpose in the middle of what seem like a pointless task there are a couple things that you should consider. First of all, think about who else might be benefiting from the work you are doing. It is helpful to look at the overarching picture rather than what is right in front of you. Also consider how the things you are doing now can affect you, or others, in the future.

That being said, it’s not always easy. More often than not it will seem like you are working for someone else and not helping yourself as much along the way. You really have to dig deep to figure out exactly what is important to you and why you’re doing the things you are.

What do you do to find motivation?