Communication is Vital!

Orange 1970’s vintage phone. Seen at 42nd St Station in PDX. 4/17/2015

Ever have a person or business representative say that they’ll call you right back then they don’t? Yeah, it’s happened to me, too. Truth is, this is one of the big complaints people have regarding communication.

If you’re in business, the best way to keep customers is to get back to them when you say you will. All too often, I hear stories about people who have legitimate questions or complaints be told by a company representative that they’ll be called back within a certain amount of time, then never get the call back at all.

In a way, this is also an integrity issue. But aside from that, communicating with the customer keeps them in the loop and let’s them know where they stand. I know that, for myself, I prefer a call back when I’m told to expect one, even if it’s to say they have no answer yet, to no callback at all. I’m sure most people feel the same way.

Now, this is a two-way street, and also applies to person to person communication, not just business communication. If you tell a friend you’ll call them within a certain time, do it. And, if you are the customer, and you say you’ll call or come by to pick up the package, etc, by a certain time, you’re just as obligated to do so as the business was to call you back if that’s what it said it would do.

So, just don’t promise to communicate or call, then forget. It leaves the other party hanging, and also damages your credibility with them.

Photos of my Motorola Moto-e 2nd generation 2015 phone. 4/30/2016

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What It Means To Be Truly Unique In Business

All businesses, but especially small businesses, must strive to be unique. It’s what keeps you competitive in an industry with little breathing room. It’s what gets you remember and establishes a bond with your customer base that goes beyond offering a good deal. It’s also what makes you a good company to work for, attracting and retaining the most talented of teams. So, what makes a business unique?

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The USP is a must

Let’s start with what we know to be a fundamental truth of business. You have to have something unique to offer within the services itself. Whether it’s some niche that sets you apart from your competitors or it’s an innovative new take on how you deliver the same services or products, a unique selling proposition is essential. More than essential, it is the meat of the brand. But you’re going to need more than meat if you want a real impact. You’re going to need heart.

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Finding your heart

The heart of the brand is all about expressing that unique selling proposition in a way that not only resonates with consumers but also the members of your own team. People need to be on-side if they’re going to be the team that represents the business. For instance, put more thought into your office interior design, creating an environment that not only fits the workflow but captures the appeal of the brand and reinforces it within the team. If consummate professionalism is part of the business, then the office needs to look like a sleek, smart, professional workplace. If creativity is favoured above all else, then it can’t look too dry, too serious or too limiting. Make sure that what is unique about the business is reflected through it at all levels.

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Motives other than profit

Nowadays, people care about more than what a business says and even what it delivers. They care about what it stands for. There’s a reason that many businesses are going green and it’s not just because they have a sense of their morality and values. It’s because they know that putting those true values on display through the way the business operates helps them stand out and build a connection to consumers based more than on their trade. It creates a shared identity that fosters loyalty and connection.

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Growing a culture

The most unique businesses aren’t those that are built by some visionary. It’s not just your unique take on business, your unique sense of style, and your unique values that can inform the profile of the company. It’s the culture of all the people around you. It’s your ability to source expertise and opinions from within the team. It’s also the very people that make up the team itself. A workplace culture makes you stand out not just amongst businesses but amongst employers. There aren’t a lot of workplaces that do that in most industries.

If you think being unique is all about the brand or all about the product you offer, you are in for a shock. That strain of ‘something different’ needs to be a part of the company DNA, going from the basics of the office setup right up to how you come up with your strategies.

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I’m Back!

Me and Mom at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

Hi everyone! Just to let you know, I’m back! There still may be contributed posts, and I do want to thank all those who’ve contributed so far. I’ve learned a lot from your posts.

Anyway, I’ve been quite busy since I had to move recently, (Well, actually, last November.) And it does take time to settle in. Also, I’ve learned a few things about the move and also have ventured into Chromebook land. As a matter of fact, I’m using my new chromebook to write this post. I’ll be back to writing and submitting posts and hope you’ll read them.

As always,

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Investing in the Future of Your Website

Your website is much like any other investment you could make. You have to put money into it in order to get something out of it. Whether it’s the cost of web hosting, the cost of hiring a designer or even how much you’ll need to pay for advertising, money will always be involved. However, that also means that you’re expecting some kind of return on your investment.

 

If you want to create a profitable website, then you have to invest money in order for it to become popular enough to generate revenue. To do this, you need to invest in the correct people and services in order to get your business started.

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Advertising

 

Whether it’s paying Twitter to handle your social media advertisements or going for a pay per click agency, there’s several different types of online advertisement that will help you give your website a lot of exposure. For starters, let’s talk about pay-per-click. Essentially, you give a website such as Google a budget and for placing your website at the top of their search results. Each time someone clicks your websites through those links, Google charges you for that click. It’s a traditional form of online advertisement, but it’s still widely used due to its cost-effectiveness and low upkeep. The other method is targeted advertising and is generally more expensive, but you’re more likely to get returning visitors because your website is only advertised to people who have an interest in your content.

 

Writers

 

Unless you’re a talented writer with a lot to say, you’re most likely going to have to hire a freelancer writer or two in order to fill your website with content. You can do this by contacting writers directly, but the alternate option is to contact an outsourcing service that has a lot of in-house writers. You simply give them your ideas, your criteria, and then you’re delivered an article to your exact specifications without any fuss. You can then post these on your website to fill it with original and informative content that will bring more attention to your website.

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Designers

 

In all honesty, the content of a website matters way more than the actual design, making design a much lower priority. However, that doesn’t mean you can get away with making your website look terrible or defaulting to a stock template. You need to hire designers if you want to get an original website that looks great, is responsive and ticks all of the boxes of a great website. This can get expensive so it’s recommended you have this to last when investing in a new website.

 

Time
Lastly, the biggest investment of all is probably your time. Whether it’s time juggling emails with freelancers or time spent managing your website and adding your own content, you’re going to be spending a considerable chunk of each day growing your website in order to make it profitable in the future. If you had all the time in the world you could probably create a fantastic website from scratch. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way and you’ll have to make do with hiring freelancers and spending your own precious time.

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Direct Mail: Successful Campaign Ideas

All too often, organizations focus on marketing their brands online. Sure, most people have an Internet connection and browse the Web on a regular basis. Still, that doesn’t mean that offline marketing is dead and buried! In fact, the truth is far from it! Direct mail campaigns are one of the oldest and most efficient ways to reach a target audience.

 

You have the power to capture your customer’s attention and sell them your products and services. But, that can only happen if your campaigns are successful! So, how can you ensure that you aren’t wasting time and money with the wrong direct mail marketing strategies? Here are some ideas to help you improve your return on investment and grow your business:

 

Instill a sense of urgency

 

When people receive mail that they assume is “junk mail” they will just throw it away in the trash or recycle it. But, what if you could make them open your envelope and do it sooner rather than later? One industry trick is to write something like “urgent” or “private and confidential” on the envelope.

Source: Pixabay

 

People will usually open such envelopes with a higher priority than the other mail they’ve received that day. It’s also a good tactic for campaigns where you’re only running a promotion for a limited amount of time.

Make sure your data is clean

 

Don’t you just hate it when someone writes to you, but they’ve misspelled your name? It doesn’t matter whether you have an in-house mailing list or you’ve bought one from another company. It’s vital that your data is clean before you use it as part of your mailing campaign!

 

Consider hiring a team of “data cleansers” to qualify and update any names and address that look wrong or incomplete.

 

Make your envelopes enticing

 

Don’t be like everyone use. Stop sending out plain white or brown envelopes to your potential customers! We are in 2017; we can print things out in color, you know! An attractive multi-color graphic envelope will make your mailing stand out from the crowd.

 

It pays to use the right direct mailing service to make that happen. Don’t assume that all mailing houses will offer that service. Be sure to see a sample of the envelope before you start a mass mailing!

 

Personalize your campaigns

 

You might think that successful mailing campaigns are ones where you can reuse the same content and just change the person’s name of the letter. But, you would be wrong! Personalize your campaigns to better fit the needs of your intended target audience.

 

For example, let’s say you run an auto dealership. Your campaign letter could include details of the car your customer last bought from you, and how you can offer them a loyalty discount on a new one!

 

Timing is everything
Last, but not least, time your campaigns so that they remain memorable in the minds of your audience. One example might be to send the mailings out before a public holiday. You could use the opportunity to offer a “holiday discount” if they take up your offer by a particular date.

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Guide Your Employees Toward Success

Your employees are the motor of your company. Without them, your business would go nowhere fast. So, if you want the business to succeed, it makes sense to help them succeed. It’s something every intelligent business owner should aim to do. Unlock their potential and spur them on to the best possible work for the business. The tips below will assist you when trying to do exactly that.

 

Offer Leadership That Shows Faith in Their Abilities

 

Having faith in your employees is something that is always going to be important. But having faith in them and demonstrably should you have faith in them are two very different things. You should try to offer the kind of office leadership that lets them know that they’re believed in. When that happens, they will become more confident and feel freer to take risks and do more to help the company succeed. You should encourage them to take their own way and do things the way they see fit rather than just handing down orders and telling them what to do.

 

Make the Workplace as Safe as Possible for Them

 

Your employees are never going to be completely successful if you don’t take their safety in the workplace seriously. This is something that you can’t afford to ignore, so don’t. Instead, you should take swift action to ensure that the workplace is safe and that no one is put at risk while carrying out work for your company. You can improve daily processes and upgrade the safety equipment employees use. You can even get specific lanyards that are easy to remove if they get caught in machinery; Lanyards USA has them. Take as many steps as you can to protect people’s safety at work.

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Give Them the Chance to Train and Expand Their Skills

 

Training is great for everyone. It’s positive for your employees because they get their chance to improve themselves and advance in their careers. And it’s good for businesses because they can then make the most of having a more highly skilled workforce. So, everyone’s a winner. That’s why you should give all of your employees the chance to train in new areas and learn new skills as a part of their job. It will help them to discover their full potential and help the company to succeed at the same time.

 

Encourage the Sharing of Personal Goals and Ambitions
Everyone has their own personal goals and ambitions that they want to reach. You should talk to each of your employees about this and encourage them to share their goals with you. That way, you will be able to do more to help them reach them. You will also learn a lot more about your employees and what motivates them to work hard. It’s a good thing for everyone, and it can even help to make the workplace a more positive kind of environment. Of course, it’s up to your employees whether they want to share this information or not, but it’s worth asking about.

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Improve Your Career Prospects By Becoming an Industry Influencer

Whether you are working for a great company or have a fantastic idea for a startup, your chances of success will improve by a huge amount if you can become a respected figure in your industry.

 

Industry influencers get attention. They have an enormous audience to speak to and are seen as credible, trustworthy, and worthwhile. And if you want to improve your career prospects, becoming one is one of the best things you can do in your spare time.

It can be a tough slog to get noticed for the right reasons, however, so I thought I would explore some of the tactics you should be using. Let’s take a look at some of the ways becoming an industry influencer can help your career – and how to get started making more of an impact.

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Via – pexels.com

 

Learn how to communicate

 

If you want to influence people, you have to know how to talk – and listen – to them. Not everyone is a natural communicator, of course, but is a skill you can learn. Take classes to improve your public speaking. Find out how to write in a way that engages people. And most of all, learn how to listen to people’s concerns and create compelling arguments that can help them with their issues.

 

Create and curate awesome content

 

If you want to be seen as one of the best in your field, you have to prove it. And one of the best ways of doing this is to provide people with exceptional blog posts, interesting ideas, and original thoughts. Now, you don’t have to come up with all this stuff yourself – it’s a good idea to curate content as well as create it.

 

Work on online self-promotion

 

Whether you are working for an employer or running a business, your online persona is essential if you want to be seen as an authority or an influencer. For example, for the real estate industry, you’ll find the likes of Nicolas Livsit on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and every major social channel; always updating their profiles and bringing new ideas to the table. Self-promotion is all part of the influencing game, and it’s something that you will have to embrace if you really want to get your name out there.

 

Connect with other influencers

 

Connecting with other industry influencers is part of the game, too. You tend to need an invite to start eating at the top table, so reach out to people in your industry that already have a name for themselves. For example, one of the most influential writers in the tech industry is Martin LaMonica of The Conversation. For online marketing, you might look towards the likes of John Rampton or Ann Handley. Engage with their ideas, comment on their posts, and link to their suggestions within our content. With a little luck and relationship development, there is nothing to stop you from getting quoted by other industry influencers as much as you quote them.

 

Good luck – and feel free to leave some tips of your own, or let everyone know how you are getting on!

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