• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Do You Embrace Change?

    It was astonishing to learn that a previously successful speaker could not easily transition to the newer way of doing business. Ironically, the newer way includes being social online, and we all know that is no longer new. You can guess he is rapidly moving backward and doesn’t know what to do.

    “Recognizing a problem allows us to set goals and revamp activities.”

    In each phase of career or business, and on occasion, we need to reflect on our starting point and how we got to where we are today. Then we should consider the current trend of the day. The question to ask ourselves include, “how can our work may be upgraded to reflect what is in vogue?” Even better is to mull over the early stages of the latest announcement to consider improved opportunity.

    Long ago, I learned in science class about ‘survival of the fittest.’ The teacher was speaking of the decline of the dinosaurs. They weren’t able to adapt to environmental change. In our world, the survival of the fittest applies to all endeavors. Without embracing change in our business environment, none of us will survive.

    As I continued to speak with Jim, he stopped to stumble over words as he admitted no thought was given to his client perspective. The question of why no one responded to his intense mailing was answered. Questions then revealed he never took the time to become acquainted with social media, the notion of branding, or anything more modern to stay in front of his intended clientele. My questions awakened realization as to why business appeared to be impossible.

    Read the business news and glance at online postings to gain the thought of the day. Even if you are just starting out in your career, you want to become comfortable with the idea that embracing change enables transitioning into new directions. It’s the only way you will advance your career and stay on target with your audience.

    Answer these questions:

    • Have you pushed aside new ideas; is it time to revisit them?
    • Do you scoff at or keep up with trends?
    • What do you see ahead that could make a big difference in your work, and is it time to pursue?

    Promise yourself to never concern yourself with friends laughing at your silly ideas. Your goal should always be to move forward and stay ahead of the curve. Remaining in a comfort zone with others will only produce regret later on. Instead, remain focused on your vision, and be willing to work alone until the rest of the crowd looks to you for help. By educating yourself on the new, you are positioned to either create new services to sell or advance your career. In either case, you will be seen as a thought leader as you develop admiration of your personal brand.

    Sales Tips:

    1. Embrace change and lead the way.
    2. Learn from leaders in the field.
    3. Take additional classes to enhance your learning.
    4. Create new services that complement what is in place.
    5. Learn to communicate in the newer styles to remain credible and in demand.
    6. Be willing to learn from all generations to implement the best.
    7. Adapt everything you learn to your style.
    8. Prioritize new strategies regarding effectiveness and time to devote.
    9. As you embrace the new, be certain all systems work harmoniously.
    10. Celebrate Success!
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    Posted in Career Development, entrepreneurship

    How Branded Vehicles Can Boost Business

    Any business, no matter how big or small depends on its marketing ability and advertising. You can have the greatest product, but it’s worthless if people do not know how to find your business. The necessity of brand recognition and expansion plays a major role in successful advertising.

    The most successful marketing plans and strategies involve two methods: The creation or re-invention of a brand, or the further development of a pre-existing brand.

    The Necessity of Branding in Business

    As a business owner, it’s important to understand the specific importance of branding and its place within your company’s marketing effort. Your professional brand should serve as a recognizable expression of your organization, product or service, which pulls consumer attention to your business.

    A well-established brand supports the sales and marketing activities you choose to implement, reinforcing the presence of your business, its products and its services with as much simplicity and ease as possible. In short:

    • Branding = Strategic Marketing

     

    • Marketing = Tactical Business

    Connecting Business Brands With Mobile Advertising

    Understanding the importance of branding within your businesses marketing strategy underlines the increasing use of mobile advertising in metropolitan areas. Mobile billboards are not new — any casual movie fan remembers the scene in Al Pacino’s “Scarface” when Tony Montana looks up into the night sky and sees “The World Is Yours” scroll across the side of a blimp.

    As time marches on, technology continues to advance and the sale of commercial vans grows, the aesthetic of exterior ads have surpassed blimp advertisements and billboards and now includes branded personal vehicles.

    The Best Tactics and Strategies

    Vehicle signage comes in many different forms, including magnetic signage and vinyl wrapping.

    A vinyl wrap can cover a specific portion of your vehicle or the entire thing. Either way, a single wrap can generate anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000 views per day, per vehicle, depending on where it’s driven. This means in terms of reach, value, ROI and other benefits previously reported, vehicle wraps can be a cost-efficient and long-lasting part of an integrated marketing strategy.

    Meanwhile, the magnetic marketing sign may serve certain businesses better. More economically affordable, the magnetic sign serves small business branding tactics well. These signs can be added, removed or maneuvered from one position to another in seconds while being just as visibly attractive and impressionable as their vinyl counterparts.

    The Value of Mobile Advertising and Vehicle Branding

    The mobile billboard goes on the side of a truck or trailer, or it can be an attachment for a motorcycle or bicycle. Branded vehicles are an extension of this advertising form — your business’ brand, logo or company slogan is added to a company car or vehicle for visual advertising purposes. While a mobile billboard can attract attention, a branded vehicle serves as a steadier device for brand recognition. In fact, the technique of vehicle wrapping makes it possible to turn any car or transport vehicle into a mobile branding device.

    A branded vehicle announces the presence of your business as well as its services or products wherever the driver goes, extending the marketing of your company into the activity of daily life. Also, the locations where your branded vehicle frequents can create immediate awareness of your business, connecting it to your community and the populous.

    The addition of a company brand onto a vehicle increases its return on investment — ROI — value toward your business. The average driver spends 30 days of every year behind the wheel, meaning that inside a heavy commutable area a branded vehicle will be seen by at least 3,000 people per hour. On the highway, 91% of drivers notice the advertising plastered on the side of commercial trucks, while 35% take the time to study the ad closely.

    With the advent of self-driving technology, the advantage of car brand decals and mobile advertising will only increase. Cars will essentially become mobile devices like smartphones and business tablets.

    Whether you are thinking of adding your business brand onto a standard car, commercial van or truck, this is a form of advertising that’s worth investing in.

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    Posted in Corporate Branding

    Basic Tech Skills Every Employee Should Know

    You don’t need to be a computer scientist in order to be tech literate. There are certain skills every employee regardless of their positions should know in order to use technology efficiently. Below you can find four of them. For some, these skills may seem natural but for others if they are lacking these skills or are not good at them, they may lose productivity and as a result, can fall behind their coworkers. Therefore, don’t afraid of technology or computers and do your best to improve yourself.

    • How to Use Search Engines in an Advanced Way: Everyone knows how to use a search engine but here I am not talking about only typing words to Google. What I mean is using search engines in a more advanced way such as adding quotation marks or Boolean operators like AND, OR, NOT. As a result, you can save a lot of time and eliminate the unwanted results from the beginning. Also, while scanning through the returned search results, you need to know how to distinguish a good reliable resource from a bad one.
    • How to Back up Your Data: You never know when your computer will crash or be stolen or any other disastrous event will happen. Therefore, it is always recommended to back up your important files, photos or documents. In this way, you can prevent data loss. It is best to use cloud systems for backing up data such as Dropbox or Box or you can try old fashioned alternatives like using a hard drive. There are also tools available that are built in computers. These are Windows Backup or Apple’s Time Machine. You can set them up in order to back your data up with an external hard drive.
    • How to Set-up an Anti-Virus Software Program: You need to protect your computer from external attacks so you can protect your data. The world is getting more and more digital each day and it is getting harder for us to protect our privacy. For this reason, everybody must install an anti-virus program to their computers for protecting themselves. Especially, when doing online shopping, we should be very careful and definitely check whether the website is trustworthy such as if it has a private SSL connection or a security stamp.
    • Access Your Office Network from Anywhere: This is probably your IT department’s job. Most offices have a virtual network which their employees can connect wherever they are and whenever they want. In this way, you can use your time more effectively and even work from home some days.
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    Posted in People, Skill Development, Success Strategies, Workplace Success

    5 Steps to Manage Conflict Better

    Most people say they hate conflict, yet avoiding it causes more problems. In today’s culturally diverse, multigenerational workforce it’s bound to happen. Conflicts can be frequent, often petty, and very costly between people speaking different languages, from different generations, and having different religious beliefs and cultural norms.  Tempers flare and regrettable things are said.

    You don’t have to like conflict but you can learn to manage/harness it and not try to escape from it.

    The only place there is no visible conflict is in a dictatorship and that’s not a good alternative.

    How to resolve:

    1.Understand that big conflicts are made up of little conflicts. Its like a circuit board. Looking at the whole is complicated, but piece by piece it’s easy to connect it all.
    2.Then remove emotions from the situation. Emotions are to conflict like air is to a fire — it causes it to grow out of control. Don’t let drama or emotional responses inflame the situation. Instead…
    3.Chose to be generous. Whomever or whatever started the conflict, give the benefit of the doubt that best intentions were involved. Instead of judging or blaming, give liberal feedback as to where someone or something could have taken a different course of action.
    3.Share context to parties involved. People are more reasonable in their reaction if they are given a more complete picture or fuller context, describing the conditions what led to the situation and why the activity (or lack of activity) caused conflict. For example, your team misses one month of their revenue target, the boss goes crazy about it at a team meeting which cases conflict where people feel compelled to defend their activity. The context might be that every other division missed their revenue target also and now people have to be leg to.  Context is a great leveler, and it always matters
    4.Go to the facts; honestly prevails. Own up to mistakes. Sit in graceful silence, don’t express every thought that crosses your mind. calmly talk about the extent of the damage and choose a solutions that matches the severity of the situation.
    5.Then be willing to wipe the slate clean (at least once) if the situation is resolved.
    Get used to the fact you work in a passionate environment. And be willing to say, “I understand,” which keeps you from saying, “I agree” or “I disagree” before you’re sure where you stand.
    Move on.
    ___
    Debra Benton is the co-author along with Kylie Wright-Ford of the new book, “The Leadership Mind Switch” (McGraw-Hill, 2018)
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    Posted in Personal Branding

    Discover How to Best Connect with Online Influencers for Your Brand

    High level influencer connections can help your personal brand connect with the right prospects, which can increase your visibility and sales online.

    How can you connect with leaders in your industry? By seeking the right relationships with individuals and business leaders who are active and interested in what you have to offer. Daily interactions can make your brand stand out with sought-after trusted sources in your niche.

    Customers today make buying decisions based on recommendations from others, especially influencers. Because of this brands should make every effort to find influencers in blogs and on social media. There are a few ways you can attract the right people to your business.

    Connecting with Leading Influencers

    A trusted brand image comes through the right associations and customer feedback. Increase your sales with these tips:

    • Identify the right influencers – Begin with your social media connections and segment your lists according to the area of expertise for each leader in your industry that you come across. Make a note of how many followers they have, who they are connected with, how active and engaged they are with their community, and whether they are relevant to your target market. Start the process of reaching out to these influencers by sharing their content, offers, ect. You could also write a blog post that mentions their name with a review or quote from their website or an eBook. Promoting what they do will help your brand get noticed, too.
    • Conduct an expert interview – With the use of podcasts and videos you can approach influencers and ask them to share their insights and product or service information. Most people love to share their advice, especially if this means promoting their name as well.
    • Use analytics – In each online marketing campaign use tools to find out who is recommending your brand. If their follower numbers are high, but engagement levels low then find other people in your industry to connect with. The better the connections the more chances your brand will be attracting qualified customers.

    Connecting with the right influencers online is an investment of time and relationship building, which opens up opportunities for your personal brand to become recognized online. Personal connections are increasingly valuable to audiences, and can help your business stand out from the rest of the competition.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    No One Makes Time…

    How many times have you heard …

    Sorry, I just can’t find the time.

    Or, something like that.

    Guess What?

    No one finds time. No one makes time.

    You prioritize time.

    Show me your calendar and I’ll tell you what you prioritize

    This is an old adage that I believe becomes more and more true every year. It’s so easy to get distracted today that those who prioritize their schedules stand out. They stand out in ways that may not always be obvious. Sometimes they stand out by standing back. Meaning, not jumping into every conversation, project, or “opportunity” in order to focus on what they deem to be a priority.

    “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
    ~ Michael Altshuler

    To stand out in your career you learn one thing very quickly. You learn to prioritize your time.

    Now, I’m not saying or even implying you get to do what you want all the time. Although, there should be a bit of that thrown in to keep yourself honest and moving forward.

    What I am suggesting is that those that keep a view of their schedule have a much better view of their career. And, the people that pay attention to you will, by default, be looking at your schedule and how you prioritize your time.

    Choose Wisely!

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    Posted in Career Development, Personal Branding

    What Does It Really Take to Get a Job?

    Itzhak Perlman was interviewed by Charlie Rose, who asked Perlman what he looks for when selecting those few special Juilliard School students he wishes to work with. Years before, he himself was a student at Juilliard. “Is it skills or talent?” Rose asked. Perlman’s answer was that talent is not easily defined and that certainly most of Juilliard’s students are very talented to begin with. But Perlman is looking for that spark in their eyes and a special facial expression. So it seems that the differentiator when it comes to selecting students is something beyond skills and talent.

    That point is also evident and relevant in terms of a job interview. Of course interviewers’ questions can be technical ones requiring skill-based answers or they may be behavioral based and looking for attitude, demeanor, and the like. But interpretation of answers is also heavily psychologically based—meaning, based on what the interviewer sees: Does the candidate have that spark in the eyes when talking about great professional accomplishments? Is there congruity between the spoken words and the body language?

    A job interview is a stressful test. I don’t think anyone would deny that. The candidate going through this stressful event has to not only focus on the spoken words but also make sure to literally act out the role as interviewee. And there’s more to being an actor than just having acting skills. One has to have the talent and the ability to control and demonstrate genuine enthusiasm. Like an actor’s role, the interviewee’s role can be learned too with the proper guidance. I practice this every day.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    7 Leadership Challenges You Can Effectively Overcome

    Successful businesses often have leaders who excel at developing skills, guiding employees and being a consistent voice of reason. Leadership entails ample responsibility, with a variety of common challenges associated with the leadership role. Fortunately, leaders can respond to many of these challenges with proper foresight and handling of the situation.

     

    1. Providing Timely Feedback

    A common role for leaders is to provide feedback, both complimentary and constructively critical. Since people vary in their response to criticism, providing feedback can often be a tricky task. What’s important, regardless of individual response, is the timeliness of specific feedback.

    In fear of appearing controlling, some leaders opt to hold off feedback until a designated period, like an annual review. However, certain types of feedback are time-sensitive, such as if an employee is misleading customers. The failure to provide prompt feedback can be a detriment to an employee’s performance improvements.

     

    1. Setting Clear and Realistic Goals

    A team typically looks to their leader for a project’s goals. The leader should establish expectations regarding work and results. Many goals involve numbers, so leaders should incorporate those if relevant.

    Leaders should establish both individual and team goals. Leaders can consult with each team member to clarify the expectations of their work and the subsequent results of that work. When addressing the team as a whole, clarify the roles of each individual team member and how that task meshes with the team’s collective goals. Cohesively intertwining team and individual goals will provide a clear vision.

     

    1. Rushing the Recruitment Process

    For time-sensitive tasks, in particular, leaders may have the temptation to quickly recruit team members, for the sheer purpose of ensuring full availability. However, rushed recruiting can lead to very poor results. Additional training and lack of communication will sap away any extra time saved from the quick recruitment process, anyway.

    Additionally, leaders will not have a firm enough grasp of individual work personalities and skills in a rushed recruitment, making task delegation more difficult. The recruitment process should be patient and contemplative, not rushed or forced.

     

    1. Establishing a High-Effort Culture 

    Leaders who spend their day chatting on the phone about non-work tasks or putting forth a halfhearted effort can expect the same from their team members. Leaders should be the role model for their team. If asking team members to stay late for a task, leaders should stay right there with them, or risk the impression of not doing their part. Leaders should always follow their own rules. A leader who thinks they are “above the law” or overly self-important can result in a team putting in minimal effort, compared to working with a leader they respect and trust.

     

    1. Delegating Tasks

    Task delegation is an immensely important task for leaders. Assigning team members to tasks that don’t fit their role can provide poor results and inner frustration. Failure to delegate, or mindlessly doing so, is exemplary of a leader who does not trust their team. If a leader is unsure about a team member’s skills or experience, they should ask them and use that response when weighing which tasks to assign.

    Although some leaders may be tempted to shift team members outside of their comfort zones, sticking someone with a task they’re not capable of effectively doing can sap motivation and come across mean-spirited in some scenarios. As a result, quality leaders delegate tasks with precision and foresight, acknowledging preferences and skill sets.

     

    1. Valuing Customer Selection

    Leadership expert Marshall Goldsmith, named the “World’s No. 1 Leadership Thinker” by Harvard Business Review and the author of three New York Times bestsellers, emphasizes the importance of customer selection. While working with Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally, Goldsmith noticed excellent results and spoke with Mulally, who explained the importance throughout his career of customer selection.

    Ideally, if you select the right customers, you will not experience failure. Although it’s impossible to always select optimal customers, regularly doing so will ensure a smoother process for your team as a whole, while emphasizing a leadership ability to favor the quality of customers over the quantity of them.

     

    1. Building Trust

    When a team has trust in their leader, they can save an extraordinary amount of time. Without a reason to question delegation efforts or set goals, team members can spend more time and focus on the work at hand. Building trust comes from an aim for transparency. A lack of transparency is abundant in many workplaces, though leaders can avoid that by being very communicative with their team regarding their roles and expectations. A team leader who keeps their team in the dark, knowledge-wise, is not one who will build trust — or get great results.

    Leaders who encounter these seven leadership challenges face a true test in how they can overcome them. In many of these cases, greater transparency and communication can pay off significantly.

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    Posted in management

    20 Questions to Help Yourself Figure out Your Passion

    Figuring out what you are passionate about and what you want to do for the rest of your life as a career can be quite difficult because there are countless options. Did you ever step back from everything for a few minutes and think about where your career is going and what you can do to change it? If not, then give yourself half an hour and answer the below questions honestly, to figure out what your real passion is and doing what makes you happy for the rest of your life.

    • What are you good at doing and why?
    • What do people around you think that you are good at doing?
    • What are your greatest accomplishments so far?
    • What do you like to do and what do you not like to do?
    • What are you curious about and want to learn more?
    • If you had the opportunity to do one of your friend’s job for a day, who would it be and why?
    • If there were no limits, what would you choose to do for the rest of your life? (Assume that you have enough money and time to start over and do anything you want.)
    • What would you do if you knew you would definitely be successful?
    • Is there a moment that you tell to yourself that “I wish I would get paid for doing X for the rest of my life because I don’t feel that it is actually work”?
    • What kind of work would you do for free?
    • Who is your idol in life? Is there anyone that you can point and say “I want to be like him/her”?
    • When you were growing up, what would you want to be and why?
    • If you had the chance to go back to school tomorrow, what would you want to study?
    • If you had a single day in a week in which you can work on anything you want, what would you do?
    • When was the last time you were so excited something about work that you could not even sleep?
    • What do you like about your current job and what do you not like about it?
    • What are your goals about yourself in life?
    • How hard are you willing to work to achieve your goals?
    • What are you willing to give up in order to achieve your goals?
    • What do you want people to tell about you when you retire?
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    Posted in Career Development, People, Personal Branding, Success Strategies

    11 Traits to Seek in an Agency When Rebranding

    What’s one important thing to watch out for — or seek out — in an agency when you are looking to rebrand?

    The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

    1. Find Out If They Understand Your Product or Service Category

    It’s important to work with agencies that have a track record in your industry or in reaching your desired customer base. That experience will suggest that they know how to better communicate your brand story or message to the right audience. Each product or industry category comes with its own nuances that only somebody with experience in the industry will know to look out for. – Andy KaruzaFenSens

    2. Check for Diversity in Their team 

    Most digital creative agencies seem to suffer from the same disease: Homogeny. It’s impossible to expect extremely original ideas in an echo chamber. If I want an idea that I wouldn’t come up with, I won’t ask those who look and think like me. I want a mixed team of different age groups who understand the thinking of various demographics. They’ll definitely come up with original ideas. – Cody McLainSupportNinja

    3. Study Their Recent Blog Posts 

    Does the agency practice what they preach? Is their own content branded and consistent? Does it match their homepage and social platforms, or are they just veneers? Are they still pushing the strategies they wrote about years ago, or are they constantly uncovering new data and thought leadership? – Sam SaxtonParagon Stairs

    4. Check the Strength of Their Own Branding Message 

    If you look at their website or their social media and you don’t immediately pick up on their brand and the message they’re trying to put out into the world, then you shouldn’t hire them — simple as that. Make sure their branding is unique, something interesting that draws you in. If they can’t do it for themselves, they can’t do it for you. – Kevin ConnerBroadbandSearch

    5. Research Their Body of Work 

    Good or bad, you want to know what the agency’s body of work looks like. Having a firm understanding of their successes and failures (and what caused each) will illustrate if they would potentially be a good fit in aiding you in rebranding. It would also be beneficial to know if they have worked with any brands like yours and if so, what their success rate was. – Abhilash PatelAbhilash.co

    6. Pay Attention to What Questions They Ask 

    When you meet with an agency, listen for how much research they did into your customer and your marketplace. Do they ask questions or start talking ideas? Listen for in-depth questions to make sure they are looking to data-driven decisions instead of creative-driven ones. After all, no one rebrands just for fun; it is done to better connect with and support the unique needs of your customers. – Dan GoldenBFO (Be Found Online)

    7. Make Sure There’s a Solid Time Frame 

    You should always ask the companies you’re looking into what their average time frame is to complete a rebrand, and how often they stick to the timeline they give their clients. I’ve seen time and time again that clients are waiting months and months for their rebrand to go live because of delays from the design team. Find a company that has a solid reputation for completing projects on time. – Leila LewisBe Inspired PR

    8. Seek Someone Who Will Challenge You 

    The ideal agency-client relationship will be built on a foundation of love, friendship and respect, but the most fruitful collaborations will always involve some conflict and tension. If the agency agrees with everything you say, how can they help you push the brand to that higher plane of greatness? – John ScheerHerman-Scheer

    9. Require a Positive Attitude 

    It seems simple enough, but working with a negative team can drain you and draw out the rebranding process. You’ll probably get worse results, too. Look for a team that’s enthusiastic about helping you make your rebrand a runaway success. – Erik BullenMageMail

     10. Watch to See If They Listen 

    I’ve had agencies come to me brimming with ideas and concepts, but without the slightest idea of who our customers are. Their ideas were all theory and had no relation to the people we wanted to connect with. The best agencies listen, research and build empathy before setting a course. They may challenge you, but from a position of knowledge and understanding, not empty theory. – Vik PatelFuture Hosting

    11. Do They Understand Your Vision?

    Find an agency that understands your vision. Agencies may try to tell you what direction you need to be moving in; however, no one knows your brand better than you. When trying to come up with creative and unique ideas, it is very easy for agencies to lose focus of what your overall mission is. Work closely with your agency to ensure their creativity is constantly pointed in the right direction. – Duran InciOptimum7

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    Posted in Personal Branding
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