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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

4 Tips for Creating a Fantastic Morning Routine

It has often been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, some studies suggest that crafting an entire morning routine can help one find success throughout the rest of the day as well. You need to start your day off as well as possible to set yourself up for a great day. Successful business owners have increased their productivity adding these steps to their morning routines.
Choose a difficult task
Many people prefer to start their morning by warming up with relatively simple jobs that don’t require much effort. But there is an inverse relationship between the length of the workday and self-discipline. As the day extends, a person’s ability to focus tends to shrink. One way for someone to tackle daily tasks is to start with one of the most difficult jobs; if an employee completes this task at the start of the morning, most other work responsibilities seem comfortable by comparison. This tactic is a stable version of starting the day strong.
Keep the morning routine consistent
For many nine-to-five workers, the weekends are a time where they can change up their mornings. Simply sleeping in late or changing how they start their mornings altogether are just some ways that make the weekend routine separate from the weekday one. However, if a person is just beginning to alter their morning habits to improve their overall performance and success, it’s best to stick with this new routine during the weekend. This means getting up at the usual time if possible and doing everything short of going to the office.
Create a list
To-do lists for home chores or errands to run are a popular and effective way to manage time. This fact is no less true for leading a successful workday. Creating a list of some top goals for the next day can help anyone achieve success each morning. Many successful entrepreneurs and business owners develop a list of goals each night that they can reference in the morning. This helps them start the morning strong and is a tip that can work for anyone.
Match routines and personalities
A person’s morning routine is significantly impacted by their personality type. If one is social, they can find strength and encouragement in starting their day around other people. Practical people need rigid structure and goals. While everyone has a mixture of many personality elements, it’s essential to find the one that is most prevalent and stick to the routine that best matches your type.

6 Skills You Learn from Entrepreneurship


If you are debating whether or not to become an entrepreneur, it can be overwhelming. However, there are various benefits to pursuing this career path. It can be more challenging than a typical career, but with pushing through you can get many benefits. The struggle is certainly worth the end goal if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs have to plan constantly. There is a lot of demand on their time, and critical issues are always coming up. If they don’t create a schedule and stay consistent with their obligations, then things can quickly get out of hand. As an entrepreneur, you will be forced to learn this skill set or hang up your boots.
One of the critical skills of an entrepreneur is the ability to focus. They have to clearly see their goals in their mind and be capable of cutting out distractions. This task is easier said than done, particularly with the way modern society is so distracted on a daily basis with phones and the speed of everyday life.
You can’t do it alone if you want a successful startup. The best strategy is to get others to work with you and for you. Teamwork is the best way to make your dreams a reality and succeed as an entrepreneur. You need to trust other people to be able to do their part and work toward a goal together.
You might easily give up on things you want to accomplish. As an entrepreneur, you will learn how to keep pushing no matter what. After all, the only thing holding you back is how many times you are willing to get up and try it all over again.
Goal Setting
Successful entrepreneurs always set goals. As you go on your journey to success, you learn how to set goals you can sufficiently measure and that have specific timelines attached to them. It instills discipline in you.
Overcoming Fear
Overcoming fear is a big part of business. Entrepreneurs have to face risk and adversity every day, but be able to push through it. Eventually, you will see fear and overcome it by facing it instead of backing away. When you can face your fear, you will know you’re a real entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur can give you a lot of advantages in life. The six above are some of the main benefits you can enjoy. However, it is not going to be easy. If you want massive success, then you have to focus on your opportunities and utilize the skills you have. Then, you can enjoy more profits and peace of mind only after you’ve put in the work.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

6 Tips for Online Sales

For any company, especially if it’s just starting out, increasing sales is the main goal. Thanks to the age of digital technology, most businesses now make sales online. More and more consumers are shopping online, thanks to the prices and convenience. Any company would like a way to increase their sales, but sometimes it can seem challenging to find ways to make this goal a reality, especially if you’ve tried many tactics before. Here are a few tips to use to boost your online sales and increase business.
Think about target audience
You could use the best methods when trying to increase online sales, but if you aren’t connecting with your target audience, your efforts will not produce much. Take time to identify your target audience and then research what marketing methods work with them. Figure out what designs, language, and products work best with your target audience and implement this knowledge.
Redesign your store
Chances are, if you’ve been using an online store for a while, that some aspects of it are a bit outdated. Any website can benefit from a fresh look, so take time to tweak the appearance of your online store or website. Unless you’re rebranding, you probably shouldn’t completely overhaul it with a completely new color scheme or logo, but small changes can go a long way. Make sure the site isn’t cluttered, product images are high quality, and descriptions are clear. Make your site as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Increase social media presence
If you’re not currently using social media sites for your company, it’s time to start. Regularly posting on these sites helps direct traffic to your online store and spread the word about your products. Advertise sales or new products and interact with your followers.
Check out other companies
If you’re trying to make your site and social media accounts more appealing, take a look at what other successful companies, especially those in your industry, do. While you should never directly copy the methods of another business, see what types of colors, language, and tricks they do to generate sales.
Use persuasive techniques
If you want people to purchase from your company, you need to use language that persuades them to get your product or service. Feature call to action buttons and advertise your products. Include the benefits; show the customer why they need what your company is offering. Highlight any sales or other incentives they’d get for purchasing an item. If you’re offering a discount, make that clear.
Listen to feedback
Consumer feedback is a vital resource for increasing your sales. While you cannot please everyone and make any change a customer suggests, if you see major trends in suggestions or there seems to be a recurring issue, try to fix it. Customer satisfaction is the best way to guarantee return customers and increased sales.

5 Reason You Should Get a Smart Speaker

Over the last few years, more and more people have begun investing in smart technology. Now, you can find many items designed to make your daily life simpler and aid in doing more mundane tasks. Every smartphone has a personal assistant on it, whether it’s Siri or the Android version. You can easily speak to your phone and send messages or get important (and sometimes not important) information. Recently, smart speakers have become increasingly popular on the market. There are various benefits to getting one of these devices and using it in your home; here are just a few of the perks a smart speaker provides, though some features depend on the specific brand of device you choose to purchase.
Easy media access
The most common use of these smart speakers is usually to listen to media. Having a speaker makes it easy to play, pause, or change music and have it audible throughout your home. While using more traditional speakers is fine, smart speakers allow you to manage music or other media with simply your voice so you don’t have to stop whatever task you’re currently occupied with. You can play music, podcasts, or the news while you’re getting ready in the morning, cooking, or doing something else around your home.
Invigorate your morning routine
A smart speaker can serve as your alarm, music player, weather and news update, and task reminder in the morning. While you’re getting ready, you can have the speaker remind you of what you need to get done that day, read out your calendar, send important messages, or simply let you know what traffic is like on your way to work. You can save yourself precious time that you’d spend looking this information up on your own.
Communicate in your home
Most smart speakers allow you to connect to other speakers in your home and often include the capability to use the speakers to communicate. If you’re in your garage or basement and you need to tell someone else in the house something important or need help with a task, you can simply call for them through the device instead of pausing your work and looking for them. This feature can save you minutes and help avoid having to stop in the middle of an important project.
Sync other devices
Besides other smart speakers, you can often sync these devices to other smart technology in your home. Many speakers can be synced to lights, security systems, thermostat, or other smart appliances. You can make your smart speaker the hub for managing your homes features instead of worrying about every individual device.
Aid in other tasks
Your morning routine is not the only way a smart speaker can help you out; if you’re cooking and need to read a recipe, but don’t have the time to pick up your phone, you can simply ask the speaker to read you the directions. You can send emails or other important messages using your voice or locate important information while you’re occupied doing something else. If you’re working on some other project but don’t have your hands free, the smart speaker can read out instructions. You can also listen to podcasts or audiobooks while doing something else.

7 Ways to Avoid Common Mistakes When Starting a Podcast

Starting a podcast is an exciting project, but there are a number of mistakes that new podcasters often make. Unfortunately, these mistakes could seriously harm the future success of your podcast. However, there are simple ways to avoid these mistakes when starting a podcast that will help you save money, start quickly, and retain listeners.
Plan the work
Nobody should start a podcast simply by talking into a smartphone and hitting publish. Planning out the general length of each episode, what segments you might have, and having your research done will help you stay on topic and on time. Having a rundown sheet while you record helps significantly.
Pay attention to quality
Nobody is expecting NPR sound quality right out of the gate, but do pay attention to barking dogs, trash trucks, or static on your Skype line while recording. These are quick ways to lose listeners. Take time to edit out these noises and make sure your listeners aren’t distracted from what you’re trying to say.
Perfect is the enemy of good
A good rule of thumb is that editing an episode should take twice the time it took to record. If it’s a 30-minute episode, spending more than an hour or 90 minutes editing is going to be counterproductive. Taking out every single pop or hiss, or adding too many sound enhancements makes the task too big for you to sustain. No one expects your podcast to be immediately perfect, so stop aiming for immediate perfection.
Schedule your time
The best podcasts come out on some sort of standard schedule, which makes it easier for your listeners to stay up-to-date. Weekly episodes are most common, although biweekly and monthly are certainly fine so long as you communicate that. Make sure you reserve the proper time in your life to keep to whatever schedule you’ve set out for yourself. Plan for vacations and off weeks by banking episodes to keep to the schedule.
Bank some episodes
Before you publish your podcast you should record at least three full episodes. This serves two purposes. First, you can work out any kinks with your rundown and you can also be a week or two ahead in case an emergency happens and you can’t record for some reason. Unless it’s a time-sensitive episode, always try to have a few in the bank or at least a few ready for editing.
Be flexible
Don’t feel like your first idea will be your best idea. Be flexible enough to change segments, styles, or even co-hosts if something isn’t working. Allow your podcast to evolve over time and listen to the feedback from your listeners.
Have fun
Podcasting, even at a professional level, should be fun. If it stops being fun or starts to feel like a job, review the project again to make sure it’s still something you want to do. If you feel stuck in your podcast, find ways to mix it up or change direction to something you’re more passionate about.