Friday, June 15, 2018

6 Ways to Get More Done as a Business Leader

Being a successful business leader is tough! There’s always something, or multiple things for that matter, to get done. Lots of other people are relying on you to run the business and handle a lot of issues every single day; it can all seem overwhelming and feel like there’s too much to get done to fit into each day. If you’re experiencing stress from not knowing how to handle running a business, take a look at these tips for how to get it all done.
Reduce your distractions
When you’re in the middle of your work, a buzzing phone can completely remove you from the task at hand. Turn your notifications off and put your phone on silent in order to stay focused. Let everyone know that when you are working on something that is of importance, and you shouldn’t be bothered unless there is an emergency. This helps you work much more efficiently and save time for you to work on other things or go home and take a break!
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
If you don’t maintain your physical, mental, and emotional health, you are going to have a much harder time focusing on your business. Being overtired, experiencing physical pain from not moving around enough, and breakdowns are all byproducts of letting your health go by the wayside. Commit to yourself like you commit to your business.
Set aside time for yourself
Setting aside time for yourself is crucial. If you are all-business and communication 24/7, you are on the fast track to burnout. Setting aside time for yourself gives you the opportunity to refresh your mind and focus on things besides business that are good for you. This break makes it easier for you to focus on the office and get things done more productively.
Organize your schedule
Get a planner and use it! Scheduling eliminates a ton of unnecessary stress. The more on top of your schedule you are, the less stress you’ll have trying to remember every meeting and obligation you have. Business leaders are incredibly busy, so it’s important to be as organized as possible.
Set aside email-only time
These days it is effortless for us to drown ourselves in our emails. Set aside time to organize your inbox and answer emails based on priority. To maximize your time, let the emails that can wait do just that, wait.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
One of the best ways to get more done as a business leader is by getting out into the playing field and meeting people. You may end up making valuable relationships and connections that have the potential to help you take your business to the next level.

Why You Need to Prioritize Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has exploded in recent years, and it’s not fading away any time soon. Marketing trends come and go, but recent consumer preferences related to advertising all point to the fact that people don’t like being advertised to. Instead, consumers want to discover products and services in a more natural way, through recommendations made by the people they know and the people they follow online. The definition of a social media influencer is someone who has a substantial online following on one or more social media platforms. Finding an ideal influencer to work with and utilizing their audience to get a message across is the present and the future of many high-performing marketing campaigns; here’s why that is.
Traditional digital ads do not translate as well to a younger generation
Millennials and generation Z are more interested in what other people have to say than what brands have to say. Product endorsements made by influencers typically come across as more genuine than traditional ads. This occurrence is partially because younger generations dislike unrealistic depictions of life that are displayed in ads and prefer more personal content, like posts by their favorite influencers. Around 87% of millennials don’t mind product placements made by influencers they follow, and 53% don’t mind watching ads to support their favorite creators.
Influencer marketing is more targeted
The days of overly-general TV and radio ads are nearly gone. Ad conversion optimization has come a long way since the introduction of retargeting. Using this technology, your ads will be shown to people who are likely to be interested in your product or service rather than being shown to a random group of people. Influencer marketing is another effective way of ensuring your ad is reaching a specific audience. With micro-influencers, you can get even more specific. In fact, engagement levels on micro-influencer accounts are generally better than on the accounts of hugely popular influencers. Also, they are less-expensive to work with.
New developments in influencer marketing by Amazon are emerging
Amazon, the most valuable retailer in the U.S., is pioneering a new influencer marketing program that will allow online influencers to monetize their audiences with Amazon affiliate links in a new way. Influencers will be able to “open a shop” using Amazon products and send their followers to a curated collection of products recommended by the influencer. The simple fact that Amazon is continuing to carve out new strategies in the influencer marketing arena is solid evidence that influencer marketing should be a priority for your business.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

5 Reasons to Participate in a Webinar

Webinars are a new way to get information and learn about something that interests you. In fact, there’s a webinar to cover almost any topic from self-help and personal motivation to tips and guidance for new entrepreneurs. There are even some webinars that can qualify as college credit. If you’ve considered signing up for a webinar, but have been hesitant, let these few benefits help change your mind.
They’re convenient
You can participate in a webinar from the comfort of your home or in your office because they’re broadcast online. In fact, many employers have started using webinars to conduct meetings with their employees. Since most webinars are archived on the hosting site, they can be viewed anytime, so it’s not necessary to rearrange your schedule to see one. They can also be viewed on mobile devices, making them even more convenient.
Getting college credit
Primarily, webinars have been most useful in obtaining continuing education credits, especially in the field of agriculture. As the technology and the advantages catch on, more mainstream educational opportunities may present themselves. One webinar can equate to a credit towards a continuing education course, making it easier than ever to get additional training to boost your career.
Sharing time-sensitive information
Webinar sessions are more socially and culturally relevant than traditional seminars because they can be planned and premiered within a very short time frame. This means they can discuss current events and material that is socially or politically relevant. Where a regular seminar takes months to plan and can’t be amended to incorporate the latest news, a webinar can be offered within days or weeks.
Learning from doers
When you sign up for a webinar, you’re attending a lecture conducted by someone who has real-world experience in the topic being presented. For instance, many established authors host webinars that discuss publishing a first novel. Successful real estate investors host webinars on breaking into the market. Whatever the topic, you’ll likely find that the speaker or host has had practical experience.
Lower attendance costs
Finally, most webinars are completely free of charge. Those that do charge an attendance fee keep the fees low to encourage attendance. This makes a webinar a much more desirable option than a regular seminar, which would require travel, possible lodging, and a higher fee at the door.
Considering these advantages, attending a webinar can be one of the best ways to learn about a topic that interests you. They can open you up to a new career path or better way of living, all from the comfort of your home.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Why Work-Life Balance is a Myth, But That’s Not a Bad Thing

Anyone who is juggling a career and a personal life may have heard about the concept of work-life balance, which is a cultural mantra that is currently getting a lot of media attention. The idea is encapsulated in the language: To balance work and all aspects of life, like a see-saw. The idea has an intrinsic appeal. After all, who could be against balance, right? The problem is that life does not fit into neat boxes and pressuring yourself to find this balance can be even more stressful than just moving with life’s fluctuations.
Following a blueprint leads to burnout
One of the problems that come up when attempting to implement the idea of work-life balance is that following this prescription leads to exhaustion. It is great to go after the perfect lifestyle described by experts, but it can be challenging if you’re too much of a perfectionist. Keeping up with friends and family, practicing mindfulness, and making time for civic duties are great goals. Then there are hobbies, health care, and entertainment. All these elements are necessary for the well-lived life. However, following a blueprint may lead to missing out on opportunities or burning out from fatigue.
Another reason that work-life balance is tricky is that life cannot be compartmentalized. It is one thing to have goals, schedules, and an agenda. But there are going to be events that require being open to improvisation. Whether it is a sick friend, a crushing work deadline, or a need to take time off for a mental health holiday, the best-laid schedule benefits from flexibility. Sometimes it is okay to change or modify the carefully laid plans that the experts would have us set down. The idea of balance is excellent. However, there will be times when the scales tilt in one direction. Having a vision of work-life balance is a good thing because it acknowledges the many parts of our lives, but the best plan can be one that is open to adaptation.
Consider a variation of the work-life balance paradigm, which is integration. Integration allows an individual to have all the parts of a well-ordered and well-lived life, without strict guidelines or quotas. It can mean working on the weekends to attend an exciting opportunity in the middle of the week or taking time off and then working full-on later, all without the guilt. Work-life balance is a myth, but that is not a bad thing. It is a starting point for creating the life that is just right for you.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

4 Ways to Know if a Promotion is Right for You

Hopefully, there comes a time in your career when you’re being considered for a promotion. Sometimes, you know exactly the promotion you want, and you set your sights on it. Other times, you’re offered the chance to interview for a promotion or even told you can move into the position if you want. With any promotion, it’s important to consider whether or not it’s right for you and how you can handle the new position. Here are some considerations to take into account when thinking about a promotion.
You’re comfortable in your current position
For anyone, there comes a time when your current position is comfortable. It’s no longer challenging you, and you’re doing the same thing, week after week. Once you feel this way, it’s a sign it’s time to push yourself more. While you can certainly do that in your same position by taking on more informal responsibility, starting a side project, or improving your performance in some other area, an even better way to achieve a fresh outlook and new skills and experience is through a promotion.
You want more responsibility
Once you become comfortable in your position, it’s totally normal to decide you want more responsibility. You might even feel this way before you’re completely comfortable; maybe you know from the beginning that you want to make a bigger impact on the company than your current position allows. If you’re itching for more responsibility, go ahead and apply for that promotion. Even if the job seems like a lot of responsibility and is daunting in some ways, you’ll benefit from the experience, especially if you’re willing to put the time in and work hard.
It aligns with your long-term goals
If you haven’t considered what your long-term goals are for your career, it’s time to think about it. Where do you want to be in five years? In ten years? If the promotion you’re considering can help you reach that endpoint, take it. Even if it doesn’t seem immediately like it’s connected to your long-term goals, consider a way it could be helpful. Even having the initiative to excel in a higher role can help push you toward what you’re ultimately working for.
You want to stay with the company
Though many younger people do not stay with the same company for the majority of their careers, some want to be a certain place for a few years or spend their entire career in that business. Even a few years at one place can be extremely beneficial. If you’re working somewhere and you see yourself staying for an extended period of time, consider taking the promotion so you can move up in the company and establish yourself. You’ll see a different aspect of the business and interact with people you may not have otherwise. Companies like loyal employees and stepping into a higher position with more responsibility shows you’re devoted to improving the business.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Advice for Negotiating in Business

When it comes to business negotiations, knowing how to approach them can pose a problem. If you’re not experienced with these types of encounters, you can end up stressing yourself out about it and may dread the encounter altogether. Take a few tips to make the negotiation go more smoothly, and you’ll boost your chances for a successful outcome.
Prepare for the meeting
This means learning everything you can about the other individuals involved in the negotiation. You can start by educating yourself about their business. Look at the company website, read customer reviews, search for news relating to the company, and review the business’s financial history.
Next, research the individual who will be representing that business. You can start with their public profiles on all of the big social media sites, paying particular attention to their LinkedIn page. Search for them on Google, too. Anything you learn may be an advantage in the negotiations and it shows that you’re knowledgeable about who you’re dealing with in this negotiation.
Keep your cool
Negotiations, like any debate, can get heated and frustrating, but try to keep in mind that this is a professional setting. Also, consider that how you interact in this meeting may affect future business dealings. For that reason alone, it’s wise to remain polite and calm, especially when faced with a breakdown in the talks. A level head, capable of rational thought, will serve you much better than losing your temper.
Get a clear understanding of the terms
The best way to improve your chances for a successful negotiation is to go in with a clear picture of the deal’s terms. What is the other side willing to sacrifice? What are they not willing to compromise? Also, analyze each side to determine who has the upper hand and which one of you is depending more on the deal. All of these facts help you develop a strategy for success.
Be firm in what you’re willing to accept
Finally, go into the meeting prepared to walk away without an agreement. Sometimes, the negotiation won’t be in your favor, and you’ll be faced with a tough decision. It may be better to walk away without the deal than to accept terms that you don’t like. Additionally, a firm stance can show an adversary you’re tough and won’t be intimidated.
Negotiations are difficult to handle in most situations. They require the strategic planning of chess and the skill for bluffing of poker. Even then, things may not go your way. By keeping your cool and knowing ahead of time what you’re prepared to lose, you’ll be better equipped for a successful meeting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

How Marketing Has Evolved Through the Ages

From the beginning of business, marketing has been an invaluable part of a company’s success. As long as people have been selling goods, marketing has been there. You might not think marketing has evolved much over the years, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, marketing developed through various stages and eventually came to the modern industry we know today. The first five eras of marketing are the traditionally identified ones, but recently two more have been proposed for modern times.
Simple Trade Era
Arguably the longest marketing era, the simple trade era revolved around goods in limited supply and harvesting what you need on your own, or trading something you have to get an item someone else harvested, which meant there was very little marketing. During this time, exploring the world became prevalent in order to find new resources and trade them.
Production Era
Once the Industrial Revolution began, marketing and business began to rapidly change. Products became more readily available and technology drastically advanced. There wasn’t much competition amongst businesses, so marketing was not very sophisticated at this point.
Sales Era
As competition amongst businesses increased, the sales era began. Companies now must work to sell their products to consumers. People searched for the best deals on similar items and they were able to purchase items that were not necessities. Businesses realized that they must cater to consumers more, which lead to rapidly developing marketing techniques.
Marketing Department Era
After World War II, businesses realized that consumers were not responding well to the former methods of convincing them to purchase certain goods. Customers began to have more power and influence on companies as they gained more disposable income to spend on goods. Though marketing had always been present in some form, it was at this era that businesses recognized its importance and began creating entire departments dedicated to marketing products.
Marketing Company Era
As more and more people realized the absolute necessity of marketing, entire companies emerged, focused solely on the consumer and catering to their needs. Everyone began focusing on the customer and how to appeal to them; every person in the company participated in marketing in some way. This era was initially identified as the last marketing era, but with the rise of the internet and technology, that has changed.
Relationship Marketing Era
As marketing developed even further, companies began focusing on developing quality relationships with the consumer. Customer service became a focus, as well as learning what marketing and advertising methods best appeal to consumers. Businesses now wanted to build up customer loyalty and prove they were better than their competition.
Social/Mobile Marketing Era
Now, we focus even more on social interactions and using mobile connections. Marketers understand the importance of connecting with consumers in real-time and responding as quickly as possible to customer interactions. Even more so, the customer is the focus and businesses know it’s important to develop trust and a strong relationship with the consumer. There is constant communication between business and consumers, relevant information being consistently shared, and marketing evolves further every day.