January 16, 2020
Here’s a resolution we should all keep throughout the year 2020: provide backing to everything we say to our clients. Think about how many empty things you say on a daily basis, like saying that your day is going well. While this is harmless in daily conversations, it can leave a bad taste in the mouths of your clients if they don’t feel your promises are fulfilled.
We’ve found a few ways to make sure you’re using specific language in a way that demonstrates the value of your business:
- Rely on your history. If you have the numbers to back up a claim, this is the best opportunity to use it. Saying that you’re able to save your clients 40% or more speaks much more than simply saying you can save people money.
- Showcase your accomplishments If you’ve been recognized for your work, your clients want to know about that. It increases your accountability and helps you build trust even before meeting new partners or clients.
- Share past work. Obviously, this piece comes with guidelines. You can’t violate any confidentiality you’ve agreed upon with your clients, but you can share general overviews of people you’ve worked with in the past. It can allow prospective clients to resonate with your work.
By utilizing these tactics, you’re able to really put your money where your mouth is. Not only will you be able to attract new opportunities that are in line with your mission as a business, but you can end each day knowing that the relationships you’re building are genuine.
March 7, 2019
Simon Sinek started the revolution: how can you do anything if you don’t understand the why behind it? With an open mind and some spare time, it’s easy to think about why you do things. Why did you choose this particular career path? Why do you target the clients that you do?
While this might be obvious to you, your clients might miss your oh-so-obvious message if it’s not shared properly. When it comes to sharing your why, the cohesiveness behind your message is just as important as the message itself.
Take some time to evaluate your branding presence. Does your LinkedIn bio explain why you love what you do? Does your website capture the energy of your office? By making sure every representative of your work is accurate, your clients are that much more likely to trust you with their most difficult needs.
You can even take this further than evaluating introspectively. Why are your clients passionate about their work? By understanding their actions, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in their brand and make an even bigger impact.
It’s a long conversation to be had in order to understand the underlying motivations behind everyday actions, but in doing so, you’ll be much better positioned to truly make a difference with your work.
February 7, 2019
Let’s take a moment to define what marketing truly is. Is it using social media and other online digital tools to share brand updates? Not exactly, though digital communication is a key aspect to successful marketing. Do you instead think of traditional marketing, like newspaper ads or television commercials? This still is important, but it still doesn’t capture the entire essence of what marketing is.
All things considered, marketing is just the fancy word used to describe the process of finding new and interested people to share your product or service with. Luckily, we’re all working in the digital age, and reaching these new people has never been easier. However, when people are interacting with an estimated 5,000 ads per day, it’s more important now than ever to make sure that your efforts aren’t going to waste.
So how do you do that? First, you have to define your target audience. While the initial thought may be to target a larger group to attract more potential clients, you may be surprise to find that niche groups have a higher success rate. Understanding exactly what attracts your audience will enable you to craft marketing strategies that will catch their attention.
Second, you have to understand your company. What makes you different from your competitors? How exactly can you make a difference in the lives of your consumers? Where do you still have room to grow? Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can take your brand to a completely new level – and can increase the confidence of your consumers as well.
Finally, you have to visualize the future. Anyone can get good results in the now, but it takes a special team to take the current output and strategize for future success. Go back to the strengths and weaknesses of your company. Think about the industry you’re specializing in – what opportunities can you capitalize on? Taking your current positioning and translating that into where you’d like to be in the future allows you to make strategic marketing decisions that puts you on the path to success.
December 14, 2017
Have you ever been in an awkward situation where you’re at an office party or a networking event and you’re standing next to someone while there’s complete silence because neither of you have any idea on what to talk about? Additionally, you’re worried about how you may be portrayed to this person in your first impression or you’re worried the awkwardness will increase if you ask questions. Meanwhile, your head is thinking “How does he know the host? In what department does he work? Do we work in the same building?”
The good news is that research suggests that people who ask questions are more likeable than people who ask fewer to no questions. In fact, there was an experiment conducted at Harvard where volunteers were assigned to either ask a lot of questions or only ask a few. Once their conversation was completed, each participant rated how likeable the other person was. Through findings, researchers concluded that people who ask fewer questions weren’t as liked as the people who asked plenty more.
Of course, how and what we ask is just as important as the quantity. The Harvard research also suggests that specific follow up questions are the most effective. A good way to approach a follow up question is to:
- Ask a question
- Listen and understand the answer
- Ask a question regarding the answer
Not only does this make you more likeable, but it also shows that you are listening, which is an important trait to have no matter what you are doing. So the next time you are standing next to a person and you don’t know what to talk about, think: questions!
November 2, 2017
Whether you are just starting out in the professional world or have been practicing and preaching for years, interviews can be intimidating. There’s a lot at stake and of course you want to put your best foot forward. Read through these quick tips to see what you can do to better prepare for your upcoming interview!
- Research. Research, research, research. Let me say it one more time…research. This will go miles! Not only does it better prepare you to answer potential questions about the company, but you can learn things to use to your advantage. Try and learn something about your interviewer to make a connection. Learn things about the company, and not just the hard facts. The company culture is just as important. Learn these things and then relate them back to you and how you would be a great fit. Forbes has some great advice on this topic.
- Be on time. This probably sounds obvious but seriously, make sure you know where you’re going and how to get there. It’s better to be early than late and there’s nothing wrong with taking a little time to calm your nerves in the parking lot!
- Think about your body language. This means sit up straight, talk clearly, eye contact, active listening, etc. Overall this means be engaged and professional. Check out our previous post about how to be a better listener.
- Follow up. This is so important. Follow up, and do it soon after your interview. Pull in a piece of information that you talked about that will job your interviewers memory to your conversation. If you want to personalize it even further, handwrite your note! Read up on the importance of handwritten notes and what it can do for you.
This list could go on and on, but it’s most important to remember to be professional, attentive and show how you could excel at this position. Practice your questions and go in confident and prepared. If you think you have valuable interview advice, let us know in the comments below!
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!
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!!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
May 11, 2017
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.
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?
March 16, 2017
Leading an organized life is important, but maybe not something people think about regularly. A lot of time goals are centered around moving forward or upward, with a lot less focus on the now. This can be a mistake because if you focus on yourself or business today rather than in three months from now, you will inherently get to where you want to be without the pressure and strain. This applies both mentally, as well as your physical environment.
To give a little perspective, here are a few benefits of leading an organized life:
- Increased productivity
- Maintaining a better balance (i.e. work, personal, social, family, etc.)
- Better ability to achieve personal goals
- It is more economical
- Provides the tools to get your job done right
While these benefits are pretty straight forward and desirable, the process of getting there is a little more difficult. In order to achieve these ideals there are a couple things that you should avoid doing:
- Don’t procrastinate
- Don’t try to do everything alone
- Don’t take on too much in a short period of time
- Don’t be a perfectionist
- Don’t trust your memory – – write things down!
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list and in order to succeed you have to find what works for you. Start here, see how you do and then adjust to your personal needs and goals. Empty out all that unneeded clutter this spring and get organized!