Why Vacations are Important

June 23, 2016

Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work life, and the idea of taking a week or two off for vacation can be more stressful than relaxing. However, studies have shown that it’s important to take some time off!

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Physical Health: The New York Times have reported that taking a vacation can seriously improve your health. Work can be stressful, and stress can put a major toll on your heart.

Productivity: If your heart health isn’t convincing enough, studies have shown us that productivity level rise when people return to work after a vacation. By taking the time off employees will put a larger emphasizes on the work they need to catch up on, as well as staying on top of the incoming work load.

Mental Health: Have you ever felt like you needed a mental health day? Well, imagine what a mental health week could do for you! Giving your mind a rest from the stress and craziness of work can help you relax and feel more in control when you return.

Employees: If you really don’t want to take a vacation for yourself, you should do it for your employees. According to Entrepreneur, companies where the boss doesn’t vacation makes employees feel as though they can’t either. Show your employees that there is life outside of work, and it’s just as important!

The most important tip about taking a vacation from work might be to unplug. Get away from the emails and calls and spend some quality time with yourself and your family. Technology will always be there when you return, but even a few hours away from your phone can improve your mood, stress levels, and give you a whole new perspective on your surroundings.

Happy vacationing!!


5 Tips for Buckling Down and Getting to Work

April 15, 2016

It happens sometimes. You know you have work to do, but you can’t seem to buckle down and focus. You go from your email to your current project to Facebook back to email. You’re not being productive but what can you do? Here are 5 tips to help you buckle down and get to work.

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  1. Get comfy, but not too comfy. If you’re focused on how uncomfortable you are, you’ll never get anything done. Make sure your chair is at the right height and you’re sitting in a good position. Make sure you’re not too comfy though! You don’t want to fall asleep at your desk.
  2. Listen to music. Listening to music can drown out other distractions and help you focus on your current task. Pick music that won’t distract you, like music without words. Make sure it’s not too loud and not too quiet. Moderate noise levels are just right for creative thinking.
  3. Food and drink. Having a glass of water handy can keep you from having to get up all the time to quench your thirst. Keep a snack or two at the ready to fuel your productivity. Opt for some gum for a low calorie option. The action of chewing will keep you awake and alert.
  4. Use an app. There are plenty of apps out there to improve productivity. There are even ones designed to keep you focused! One app will break up your task into 25 minute sessions and reward you when you’re done. Check out this app and others here.
  5. Take a break. Sometimes you’ve done all you can do and your brain just needs a break. Take a walk around the office or go get some coffee. Relaxing can help you focus more once you come back.

It happens to the best of us. Sometimes we all need some help buckling down and getting to work. If you follow these tips, you should be back on track in no time.

What do you do to buckle down and get to work?


5 Tips for Keeping Employees Happy

February 4, 2016

You want your customers to be happy. You make them a priority (and well you should). But don’t forget about who interacts with those customers: employees. Happy employees are 10% more productive than unhappy employees. So how do you make employees happy? We’ve collected 5 tips for keeping employees happy.

Happy Employees

  1. Keep your employees in the loop. Keeping secrets from your employees is not the best practice. People like to understand the work they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Try to give your employees the big picture, instead of doling out meaningless tasks. Your employees will appreciate your trust in them.
  2. Work-life balance. Happy employees do something other than work. Let your employees have a life outside of their job. Stress the importance of a work-life balance to your employees so they don’t start to resent the job they have.
  3. Flexible work options. This may not be something every company can do, but try to offer flexible work options. Let someone come in from 10-7 instead of the usual 8-5. Allow working from home on some occasions and be lenient about scheduling. As long as employees are doing their work, flexible options make them happier.
  4. Recognize success. If you are the kind of boss that only comes around when there’s a problem, there’s a problem. Make sure you reward employees for their hard work, even if it’s just stopping by their office to say “good job” or sending an email to the company identifying the success. Employees want to feel like they matter and their work will not go unrecognized.
  5. Respect. This may seem obvious, but respect your employees. Treat them how you would want to be treated. It may be hard to see things from their point of view, but try to understand where they’re coming from. Allowing employees to be autonomous usually makes them more satisfied in their job. They will then respect the job and respect you in return.

Take these tips and see if your employees become more productive. I have a feeling they will.

What tips do you have for making employees happy?


How to work with people you hate.

December 11, 2015

It’s tough. Working right next to the person who always gets under your skin. You can’t stand being so close to them and everything they do ticks you off. But what do you do? How do you get through the day? Here are some tips for what to do (and what not to do) to work with people you hate:

Working with people you hate

Do:

  • Set boundaries. Make it clear that certain hours are off limits. You don’t need to be constantly available. Let them know you’re working and can’t talk.
  • Headphones. If they won’t listen to boundaries, try some physical ones. Put in headphones to discourage conversation. Close your door if you have one. This should make it clear you’re trying to work and can’t be bothered.
  • Listen & Repeat. If you really butt heads with someone at work, try to listen to them. Instead of getting immediately annoyed whenever they open their mouth, think about what they’re saying. Maybe you’re misunderstanding their tone or confused about the me
    aning of the conversation. You can always repeat what they say back so they hear what they said. It might knock some sense into them.

Don’t:

Talk behind their backs at work. It’s so tempting to stand at the water cooler and vent about your coworker, but try to resist. You never know who’s listening and complaining could look bad on you. You also want to try to stay positive. Try not to bring the energy down with complaining. Think positive and feel positive.

  • Lose your cool. Stay calm. Yelling at your coworker may seem a good idea at the time, but could come back to haunt you. Try to deal with the problem in a more constructive manner.  Your other coworkers will thank you for it.
  • Let it consume you. Don’t dwell on your hatred for this person. You don’t have to get along with everyone but try to not let it ruin your day. Ignore the person as much as you can and distract yourself with work.

It can be hard working with people you hate, but it’s something you just have to deal with. Try some of these tips to make your day a little better!

 

What do you do to deal with coworkers you hate?


7 Great Tips for Managing Stress

November 12, 2015

We all get stressed out. We lead busy lives and sometimes we need to take a break or slow down to be the most productive person we can be. Stress can be positive or negative, but too much can have negative effects on your body. It can also cause your work or personal life to suffer. So we put together a list of 7 tips to manage stress.Managing Stress

  1. Make a list. Write down where you think your stress is coming from and decide if the pros outweigh the cons. You can also make a list of tasks to help you organize your thoughts and stay calm.
  2. Exercise. According to the American Psychological Association, exercising can help alleviate stress on the mind and body. If you’re like me and think exercising is pretty stressful on it’s own, don’t fret, a 20-minute walk counts.
  3. Think positive. This may seem like a silly way to reduce stress, but having a good attitude helps you deal with problems in a positive way. Remember you can’t control everything, but you can control how you think and react.
  4. Take a break. Watch an episode of your favorite show or read a chapter that book you’ve been meaning to finish. Take a power nap. Sometimes you need to step away from the situation for a while to get some perspective.
  5. Triage. Decide what you absolutely need to get done today, and do the rest tomorrow. Organize your tasks by most important and time sensitive to least. Most of the time you can spread out your responsibilities in a reasonable manner.
  6. Sleep. This may seem like an obvious one, but sleep is extremely important for your body. Sleep is how you recover from the day. It may seem like you can’t sleep to be productive, but it’s actually the opposite.
  7. Ask for help. Talk to your boss to see if you can take on a little less work or get another coworker to help out. Odds are they will respect your awareness of the situation and lend a hand. It can also be beneficial to talk to friends or family about your stressors. They can help put things in prospective.

If you’re ever stressed (and we hope you’re not) try out some of these tips and you’ll feel better in no time!

How do you manage your stress?

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5 online certificate courses to improve your marketing skills

October 1, 2015

No matter who you are or how long you’ve been in the marketing game, you can always collect new skills. Luckily for us, the internet is chock full of certifications (and some are free!) So take a Saturday afternoon and check out some of these certificates to improve your marketing skills:

Hubspot Academy.  This is a gold mine of information. There are 5 certifications on Hubspot Academy, including the Inbound Certification, Hubspot Certification, Partner Certification, Hubspot Design Certification, and Contextual Marketing Certification. While some of these are only open to Hubspot customers, 2 are free and open to everyone!

Google Analytics Academy. There are 5 courses available on Google Analytics Academy. Each one is free and includes videos and short quizzes to assess your knowledge. Many companiesGoogle Marketing Certifications use Google Analytics to assess their website and social media success, so knowing how to use Google Analytics inside and out can be extremely beneficial.

Google Adwords. To be certified as a Google Adwords certified professional, you need to pass the fundamental adwords exam, plus 2 of the following: Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, or Shopping Advertising. You may want to sign your company up as a Google Partner to reap the full benefits.

AMA Professional Certified Marketer.  This “is a career-long commitment that demonstrates to current and potential employers, peers and clients that you have mastered core marketing knowledge and principles. It also shows your dedication to staying current in the marketing field and upholding the highest professional standards.” This certification costs $75 to apply, plus the exam fee ($450 for AMA members, $650 for non-AMA members).

Hootsuite University. On Hootsuite, you can learn the fundamentals of social media marketing online for free! There is also Hootsuite University and a Social Media Certification available for ($21 a month and $199 respectively).

While these certification and education programs are great, they are only a few of the thousands of resources available to aspiring marketers.

What courses have you benefitted from?


Make your Homepage a Home Run

September 17, 2015

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Creating a website is an intricate task. There are many elements to attend to and some might get lost in the shuffle. An important aspect to stay focused on is your homepage. This is where your clients will see how you choose to represent yourself and it may be their first impression of your business. Make it count. Here are some tips to make your homepage more successful.

  • Simple Headline. The first thing clients will read when they get to your homepage is the headline. Make it strait to the point so they know they’re in the right place and you can offer them what they need.
  • Don’t Get Lost. Make sure the homepage is easy to navigate and clearly allows customers to go to other parts of your site. If they can’t figure out how to get the information they need, they’ll move on to another website.
  • A Picture’s Worth 1000 Words. Make sure your homepage has a picture that supports your business. Real images of you and your company are ideal. Try to avoid boring stock photos. Videos are a great way to introduce yourself to a potential client, so try creating a short video to post on your page.
  • Offer Something More. Have a link to your newest blog post or a free download of your ebook. This gives people incentive to stay on your site and learn more about your expertise. Providing content gives you credibility and proves to client you know your stuff.
  • Brag a Little. Your homepage is where you want to show off! Make a good impression by listing awards and recognitions your business has received. Impress your future clients immediately by putting these on your homepage.

Your website is important, but your homepage is your first impression. Make it a good one by employing these tips. You never know what a good homepage will get you.

 

How did you make your homepage successful?


5 tips about email subject lines you NEED to know!

September 3, 2015

email subject lines

We get 500 emails a day, but it feels more like 5,000. So why should we open your email? Well, first, you should have some relevant content. Make sure you’re not sending too many emails with nothing to offer. Once you have some content, here is how you should subject your emails:

  • Leave ’em wanting more. Creating some mystery in your email subject can improve open rate. Don’t reveal too much in the subject, but make sure to give them a hint! Be too vague and you’ll be ignored.
  • Short and sweet. If your subject line is too long, people won’t bother to read them. Make your subject line relatively short, but impactful. Choose action words or interesting phrases to catch attentions.
  • Interrupt. Using numbers (like “4” instead of “four”) interrupt readers normal skimming and slightly catch their attentions. Try using other symbols or punctuation to get your point across.
  • Make it URGENT. Displaying a sense of urgency or curiosity invites people to open emails. Try starting with a question or time limit. This increases open rate because no one don’t want to miss out.
  • Emotional appeal. Try to make your subject line emotional in some way. Connect the reader to your email by personalization or localization. People are more likely to open specific emails rather than general ones.

Email marketing can be tough. When less than half of your email base ever even opens your emails, you may feel like giving up. Don’t! Just change up your email subject lines to encourage open rates!

How do you create email subject lines?


5 Ways to Standout from the Crowd

August 20, 2015

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Why blend in when you can stand out? To set yourself apart from your competitors, it’s important to advertise your differences and benefits. Your customers won’t know how innovative and successful your business is if you don’t tell them. So don’t be afraid to show it off! Here are 5 ways to standout from the crowd.

  1. Become a thought leader. Your industry could use one more thought leader, so make sure it’s you! Publish your content on a blog and create a newsletter to get your name out there. Meaningful and relevant content go a long way.
  2. Raise the bar. Do some research and one-up your competition. Make your business the standard in your industry and leave the competition playing catch up. Position yourself as cutting edge.
  3. Go above and beyond. Going the extra mile for a client can make all the difference. Show them you care about them as an individual. They’ll take notice and recommend you to their connections.
  4.  Focus on the experience. From the first time the client looks at your website or social media sites, to the follow up survey they take after you have done your job, it’s important to make sure the customer is having a good experience. Every time the client comes in contact with your business it affects their overall perception of you. Make sure it’s a good one.
  5. Make them look. Be creative with your marketing. Think outside the box when it comes to email newsletters and traditional mailers. Think about what will get their attention and put your business in their head first.

Don’t get lost in the crowd of businesses, standout! Your clients will thank you, your employees will thank you, and your industry will thank you.

 

How do you standout from the crowd?


How to master the art of conversation

August 6, 2015

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You do this everyday, all the time. You’re always talking to people; when you order your coffee and when you see the mailman. You talk when you call your sister and you thank your babysitter. But most of all you talk when you’re at work. I know what you’re thinking: practice makes perfect so I’m all set. That’s not always the case. Plus there’s always room for improvement! Here are some ways to master the art of conversation.

  • Start small. Don’t rush into a conversation with serious, heavy topics. Stick with the weather or another non-threatening topic. But don’t make it too obvious, small talk can be annoying.
  • The customer is always right. When you’re talking to someone, try not to correct them. Even if you mean it in the best way, they’ll think you’re rude. It’s best to let it go.
  • Ask questions. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, so ask questions! People love to talk about themselves, so let them! They’ll walk away feeling like they had a great conversation with you.
  • Pay attention. Actually listen to what the other person is saying. This may sound obvious, but if you get caught not listening you look bad. Put your phone away and really concentrate.
  • Make a connection. Relate to the other person by sharing an experience or feeling. This makes the conversation meaningful and you more likable. Find some common ground to bring you together.
  • What you’re not saying. Be aware of your body language. Looking away or at your watch makes people feel like you’re not really listening. Use your hands when you talk to show enthusiasm instead of crossing your arms. You look more friendly this way.
  • Know when it’s over. Listen for cues (or use them yourself!) to know when the conversation is coming to an end. Phrases like “I should let you go” or “It was great to see you” signal it’s time to get out of there. Say your goodbyes and get on your way.

With all the technology we’re used to, it can be hard to remember how to have a good conversation. Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to mastering the art of conversation!

 

What are your tips for mastering the art of conversation?