What Professionals Working Remotely Need to Know About Marketing

Self-employed workers and freelancers have long enjoyed the affordability and convenience of remote work. To begin with, they reclaim the hours that they would otherwise daily spend commuting to and from a corporate office. As a result, they have more time to spend with their family and friends and enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Now, professionals who work for companies or corporations increasingly also can work from home and enjoy a healthier work-life balance.

Meanwhile, clients and employers increasingly embrace remote workers as a way to cut costs. For example, companies that utilize remote workers require less office space and, therefore, can reduce their rent, insurance and energy expenses. Additionally, clients and employers can access talent from practically anywhere in the world. Furthermore, home-based workers offer high levels of productivity and efficiency.

As a professional, your opportunity for working from home has no limits. Thanks to technology, you can collaborate and communicate with people and work with teams regardless of their location. You must, however, have a productive office environment to work in as well along with a well-defined and promoted personal brand. Here, you will learn about the important considerations you must make and activities you should engage in to build a successful career as a home-based professional.

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1) Build A Landing Page

Like any business, you can use the internet to promote yourself so that the companies and clients that need your services can find you. By creating and publishing a simple, easy-to-navigate landing page, you can showcase your experience and talents. In many ways, your landing page should function as a business card and as a place where clients can schedule and pay online for your services.

Important elements of your landing page include the title, primary tagline and description. You should also carefully choose your keywords and tags. Of course, the main content of your page should concisely introduce you and explain why businesses should choose to use your services.

2) Pick Your Apps and Online Services

Place a high priority on choosing the applications and services that best support your business. As you search the internet, you will find myriad options that seem attractive, but you should resist the temptation to try to use too many applications and tools because they can become a distraction. Use customer reviews and free trial periods to narrow your selection and only choose the ones that contribute to your productivity and efficiency.

Tools and services for task management, web page creation and SEO, project management and accounting are categories of apps and services that almost every home-based professional will need. Additionally, you might need to look for tools and services that support the creation of documentation as well as those that facilitate copyrights and trademarks.

3) Be Serious About Your Social Media Game.

Social networks continue to attract millions of users, making it the perfect place to promote your professional services. Furthermore, you can use social media to connect with other professionals, influencers and vendors who can contribute to your business. Still, social media can become a liability if you fail to properly manage it. For example, if you never engage users, you might damage your reputation just as severely as you would if you communicated with the wrong vocabulary or attitude.

Although you might feel tempted to open accounts on every popular social network, you should focus your efforts on only one or two of them so you can minimize the drain on your time and avoid management complications. Also, place social media tools on your landing page so that your website visitors can easily follow you as well as “like” and share your content. Additionally, you should always respond to comments and questions left for you on social media and consider using social media to post articles and display your work.

4) Create A Productive Home Office

As has been noted, your home office should rank near the top of your priorities. For the most part, alternative arrangements such as working on your bed or at the kitchen table will not allow you to achieve high levels of productivity. Instead, choose a little-used section of your home and remodel it as your office. Make sure that it has boundaries so family members can avoid encroaching on your space and vice versa.

Your office should have ample lighting and easy access to power outlets. It should also host essential equipment such as a printer, networking and video conferencing gear, a telephone and office supplies. You should also equip your office with an adequate amount of storage space and work surfaces. After all, clutter can lead to wasted time and confusion and destroy your creativity and enthusiasm. Also, you should make sure to do home maintenance tasks, just like you do with the rest of your home.

5) Give Without Asking Anything in Return

Offering value to people with no strings attached can effectively promote your business and build the authority of your brand. To demonstrate your communications skills, you should use social media to converse with users. Similarly, you should share content posted by other users to emphasize your commitment to the community. Furthermore, you can emphasize your expertise by publishing tutorials and holding question-and-answer events.

In many cases giving back to the online community can extend beyond simply sharing information and solving problems. For example, giving away useful freebies that include your contact information can promote your brand and demonstrate your generosity. Organizing contests with meaningful prizes give people an incentive to return to your profile and stay actively engaged. As you give, however, always ask for feedback regarding your ideas, designs and strategies. Such free guidance can become invaluable as you fine-tune your brand and messaging.

BONUS TIP: Use Influencer Outreach

After tending to the basics of building a home office, creating a presence on the web and social media, and interacting with your audience, start connecting with influencers. This group of people might include politicians, professors, celebrities and business icons as well as other popular people. Such people can influence the decisions people make, including choosing to use your professional services.

When you make contact with an influencer, try to make a deal where they give you exposure to their large audience in exchange for reaching yours. For instance, you can offer influencers guest-blogging opportunities on your website and ask them to endorse you as a professional. Every time you get an influential person to recommend you or associate with you, their audience takes note and will naturally turn to you when they need your talent and skills.

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Working at home as a professional helps you benefit from the modern trends in employment. Increasingly, people are working from home and therefore enjoying an improved balance between their work and personal life. By choosing the right apps and services, creating a productive work environment and building a landing page and social media presence, you lay a solid foundation that will help you provide high quality work to a steady stream of clients.

 

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Guest Author, Jeff Brown, is a freelance writer from Oregon with a knack for lifehacking and DIY projects. Based out of his home office where his two dogs keep him company while he types, Jeff loves writing about home improvement topics, teaching others all the tips and tricks he has learned since he moved out of an apartment and into a house. When he’s not writing, he loves organizing barbecue parties in his garden.

5 Ideas For Running Effective Team Meetings

Sadly, a lot of leaders today hold meetings that are essentially dull, make time pass by ever so slowly, and leave people exhausted and frustrated. If you want to run effective team meetings, you need to make it an interesting event that is filled with energy, so that it drives all the team members to collaborate in order to come up with decisions and solve issues. It makes all the difference how you plan and run the meeting. In this article, we are going to discuss 5 ideas on how you can run effective team meetings.

Have a Positive Attitude for the Meeting

A positive attitude is an essential aspect of every team meeting. Your task is to get people involved and actually work with them in order to come up with results, solve issues, make decisions, inform, inspire, and motivate them. This means that you simply have to occasionally get everyone together in a room and hold a meeting that is going to keep the spirits high. It’s a fact that you can’t simply manage people from the office via email. So make sure that you hold meetings that inspire everyone to take part in them actively.

Have a Purpose for the Meeting

The meeting needs to have a particular purpose. Having a meeting just because you always have one isn’t really a purpose. When you set up a meeting, you actually have an opportunity to do a variety of things. It’s the time when you get to find out how everything related to your business is panning out. It’s a chance to learn how each and every team member is handling their own end, and try to help them out with issues. It’s the perfect time to emphasize your mission statement and remind everyone what their goals are. Team goals should be the focus of every meeting.

Come up With an Agenda for the Meeting

Every purpose must have its own agenda. It’s basically a list of things that need to be covered during the meeting. By looking at it, you will know how much time you can devote to each item. The fact is that time is important when it comes to meetings. Every meeting should start on time and last for a given time. If not every item of the agenda is covered, they should be moved to the next meeting. If it’s urgent, a separate meeting needs to be held. There also needs to be a regularity when it comes to meetings. Decide how many times a week a meeting should be held, and make sure everyone arrives on time.

Encourage Team Members to Participate

You want each member of your team to participate in the discussion and take part in making decisions, if the purpose of the meeting is relevant to them. You can go around the table and get everyone’s ideas. Use glass white boards to put everything down and brainstorm. Furthermore, you don’t always have to be in the focus. Let another team member lead the discussion if they have something valuable to contribute. People will feel inspired about meetings if they are encouraged to take part in them and see that results are achieved. They will feel like their contribution is valued.

Keep Focus on your Strategic Goals

Continuity is an important aspect of business meetings. Every meeting should stay focused on your general strategic goals. After all, they are what connects all of your business efforts. Generally, the best way to do this is to start every meeting with a point in the agenda that consists of quickly going through all of these goals. That way, your team will discuss all the issues while still having the big picture in mind.

Be Positive

It is essential that you hold a meeting that encourages all the team members to participate. There has to be a purpose and an agenda, and you need to keep your focus on your strategic goals. And, of course, a positive attitude is important.

5 Ways to Raise Employee Morale

As a business owner, employee satisfaction should be one of your top priorities. You should never neglect any of your employees’ needs and requirements. If you fail to provide your workforce with the basic working conditions, you are in a threat of losing them. Read through these tips carefully and see how you can be the good boss, that is favored by their employees and that drives their company forward.

#1 Communicate Openly

The channels of communication between the employees and the management must become and remain open at all times. You should foster healthy and transparent communication in the workplace, because your employees also have valuable information to share, as well as ideas and opinions. If you communicate openly with your employees, they will see you in a positive light, which will in turn improve their productivity levels.

#2 Set Clear Goals

You need to set clear goals for your employees. Experimenting will only get you so far, but if you change the goals too often, and noticeably experiment on the employee without them knowing why can reflect hideously on their performance. Understand that your employees’ skill get better with time, and leaving them to work toward a single goal without interruption will help them get better and achieve success more often.

#3 Maintain a Healthy Workplace

This is probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to raising employee morale. Nobody likes to work in an unhealthy environment, especially if the business in question is lucrative. When working in Australia, I remember our boss buying the best air conditioning Sydney has to offer. He even made a point out of it. This, along with other things he did for us led the whole company to become loyal and take greater responsibility.

#4 Recognize the Potential of Your Workers

If you fail to discern the employees that are really valuable to your company, from those that are here just to have a steady job, you might end up with an incompetent workforce. Sure, anyone can repeat simple tasks, but you need someone innovative, who can think for themselves – a problem solver. If you do not recognize the true potential of some of your workers, they will rush to your competitors in no time.

#5 Avoid High Employee Turnover

You must hire the right candidates. Devote as much time and energy as possible on recruiting the best talent you can find. If you employees constantly come and go, it is a sign that something is wrong. There are many things that can go wrong, for sure, but it is no coincidence if it happens all the time. Make sure you know what your employees think when it comes to working for you, how they feel, and whether they are satisfied. If you fail to do this, you will experience a complete disaster.

Take Care of Your Employees

They are your allies in this tough, oversaturated, furious world of doing contemporary business. If you treat them well, they will return the favor, and when that happens, you got yourself a business that will shake  up the market.

Guest Author, Tony, is a writer and the senior editor at MediaGurus with several years of experience in writing content for the web. Tony does research and writes articles across various industries, such as business, technology, marketing, lifestyle, etc.

How to Rock Your Business Presentation

Business meetings are often long, and the majority of people dread having them because important decisions need to be made, or they have to speak publicly and give a presentation to potential business partners or clients. There are, however, some simple tricks that you can undertake to make sure your presentation goes smoothly. If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to boss your presentation.

Dress in the correct attire.

Smart is always best, but depending on what kind of business you’re in, it might be better to wear what your client would typically wear. If you’re a clothing brand, for example, it would be a good idea to showcase your clothes wherever possible.

For some fantastic ideas on what to wear to your presentation, check out these tips on how to dress for the occasiondress1

Image from Pixabay

Wear lanyards.

Lanyards not only promote your business but show professionalism at the same time. Another thing you could do it give your lanyards to your audience as a gift for coming to your presentation. It’s unlikely they will be discarded of, and the constant reminder of your company will be with them. Visit dynamic gift for info on how you can personalize them for your business.

Practice.

A great way of nailing a presentation is to practice either in front of the mirror, or a family member. That way, you’ll get a good idea on how you look while talking and can make some improvements. This could range from how clearly you’re talking to your posture. Both important things to concentrate on. Coming across as confident will help you win over your audience.

dress2 Image from Pixabay

Props.

Making your presentation visually stimulating will prevent your potential clients from becoming disinterested. You may have chosen to do a slideshow for visual effect. Or, if it’s a particular product you’re selling, bring it along to the presentation for people to look at and touch. It’s much more effective to do this than just having it on a piece of paper.

Bring food.

Even if the meeting is set to have food there already, bring something that will ‘sweeten them up,’ so to speak. A delicious treat like some cream cakes will definitely put you in their favor and again, add likeability to your presentation. Even if your clients don’t eat them, the fact that you made an effort and thought about them beforehand will help no end.

dress3 Image from Pixabay

Wherever possible, add comedy.

As mentioned earlier, people often dread meetings because they’re boring and serious. Wherever you can, add some comedy. This may be a short story about something funny that happened while you were designing what it is you’re trying to sell. It will lighten the mood of the presentation, and you will gain likeability with your clients.

Smile!

Giving a presentation can be nerve racking for the most confident of us, but remember to put on a smile while you’re talking. If you don’t seem interested in what you’re presenting, or even happy to be there, this will put clients off.

Should You Respond to That Text or Not?

About how many text messages do you think you receive on a daily basis? If you’re like many people, it can be anywhere from a handful to dozens. Of course separating those messages between personal and business comes into play too.

Knowing who is on the other line texting you can prove challenging at times for many individuals. So, why is it important you know who might be reaching out to you.

Importance on Both Professional and Personal Levels

When it comes to how many texts you get on a regular basis, you may not think it is all that important. In reality, it can have an impact on your ability to manage your time.

In your quest to find out who’s texting you, remember the following:

  1. Worthwhile

Some texts you get are definitely worthwhile. For instance, what if you’re in the middle of a job hunt at the moment?  In today’s digital age, more employers are reaching out to potential candidates via texts.

The “old” days of letters and even phone calls still exist, but they are dwindling. Once an employer has your phone number, he or she may very well send you a text about an interview. If you don’t answer, will you lose out on hopes of getting that job? With a reverse text number search, get better clued in on who is trying to reach you.

Do your best to know who is texting you, especially when your job hunt could depend on it.

  1. Not Worth Your Time

Anyone who owns a cell phone can tell you that they’ve received their share of “junk” texts over time.

If you are someone who is always trying to be cognizant of time management, those junk texts waste your time. Even if it is only a few minutes a day, you can likely do better things with that time.

To cut down on unwanted texts, doing a reverse text search allows you to single out numbers you do not want to hear from.

  1. Possible scams

As part of unwanted texts, what if scammers got ahold of your number and want to text you?

Although everything has to fall into place for scammers to pull one over on you, the potential does exist. As such, it is important for you to protect yourself as much as possible. Otherwise, you could become a scam victim.

If you get continuous text messages from a number you do not recognize, don’t respond. Even more important, never give out personal information. This includes where you live, work, and bank account details. This is even more important for senior citizens, oftentimes the victims of such fraud.

For millions who depend on cell phones, unwanted texting can prove frustrating. When you wonder about responding to that next you receive, think about the pros and cons of doing so.

So, how do you go about deciding which text messages deserve your attention?

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business and technology issues on the web.

Improve Customer Satisfaction With Better Communication

Every brand wants to make sure they are keeping their customers as happy as possible. Happy customers are more likely to purchase again in the future, and will spread good reviews to friends and family (which are very likely to turn into highly qualified leads). Better communication can go far in helping improve the relationship between a company and its target audience. Here are a few reasons you should be using SMS mass text messaging to connect with your audience.

Get Real Opinions

Mobile polls and surveys are a great way to get a few quick opinions from your customers. Simply ask your customers what they love or don’t love about your brand. The more you know, the better you can serve them in the future. People are far more likely to complete a short mobile survey than a paper form or click-through to an email survey. Keep in mind that multiple choice (over open-ended) questions are the most likely to get a response and rewards are likely to entice more of your customers to actually complete your survey.

Improve Your Speed

Establishing automatic texts can help you respond to the activity of your customers quickly. People do not want to wait on a brand to respond, but taking too long also runs the risk of losing that customer’s attention. A customer can get a speedy text response when asking a question or a notification when they sign up for a rewards program with your brand. By providing timely interactions, you will help keep your customers better informed and less hassled with the process.

Use Reminders

You want customers to stay on top of their purchases and they won’t want to forget either. SMS marketing can be incredibly helpful for keeping everyone on track and in-the-know. Use quick, scheduled reminders to help customers remember their payment dates. Collections can be one of the most stressful parts of a business, so use your text messages to keep your numbers in the black with on time payments. If you are working with smaller purchases then you can use your SMS alerts to help customers remember their carts and not let a potential purchase go abandoned.

Respect Their Time

Show your customers just how important they are by keeping your messages brief, to-the-point and as non-invasive as possible. Text messages are naturally short, so a text can be less time-consuming than an email. They are often faster and less invasive than a phone call (most of your customers will not be interested in talking to a person unless they are the ones calling you). Cold calling typically annoys people more than it actually sells.

Reduce Effort and Cost

All companies are looking to get the best return on their investment (ROI) and effort (ROE). Reduce the amount of money and time you are spending in your marketing by using mass text services. Text messages are effective, yet they are quicker to write (less content) and require no design. Text messages are not expensive and are likely to be read. The more you can reduce the effort and cost of connecting with your audience, the better you are able to personalize their experience. Plus, you can always pass your savings down to your customer with a lower price point or better rewards to increase satisfaction.

Texting will help you connect with your customer in a way that emails or mail won’t. The large majority of texts are opened, while many emails and mailers are ignored. So, use text messaging to ensure you aren’t fighting for the customer’s attention and you are keeping them in the loop.

For more information on how integrating an SMS software can improve customer satisfaction with better communication, click here!

Author Biography: Ken Rhie is the CEO of Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases. Mr. Rhie holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has over 30 years of experience in the software, internet, and mobile communications industries.

5 Tips for Improving Workplace Communication

Poor communication in the workplace often results in sub-par performance between departments and low morale among employees. This is a rather common problem for startups and small businesses where employees have little to no idea what exactly is happening in neighboring departments. When information is not flowing across different departments, efficiency is bound to suffer. That said, here are five tips you can use to create an open environment based on clear, two-way communication between you and your employees.

1.      Transparent Workplace

One of the biggest mistakes managements teams tend to make is failing to share information within the organization. This not only demonstrates a general lack of confidence but can also result in growing distrust between workers. Preventing this from happening is as simple as practicing open and transparent communication. This should start with the company leaders, as they are the ones who need to share information with their teams, whether it’s customer feedback, fundraising, financial data, new hires or meeting notes. Don’t worry about burdening your team and have in mind that these people are capable and smart enough to be hired in the first place and could use that information to make the organization better.

2.      Assign Clear Roles and Responsibilities

A poorly coordinated team and mishaps with work delegation can negatively impact any project or task. Every employee should have a clear deadline, role, and responsibility for which they are held accountable. The best way to keep your employees focused on the task at hand is to establish quarterly objectives and results. Make sure you frame them within larger goals and try to keep them public throughout your company in order to make your employees realize that their efforts have a direct impact on the company’s objectives.

3.      Ask the Right Questions

Company employees are actually the ones who have the largest insight regarding how the company works and accessing the information they have can easily be accomplished by asking just the right type of questions. They can prove to be a valuable feedback tool used to recognize achievements and identify any challenges you and your employees might face. Try to incorporate one on one meetings and make sure to demonstrate genuine concern and interest regarding your employees. Maintaining a direct line of communication allows employers to gain a detailed insight into the way their employees operate and to resolve any issues that might arise quickly and effortlessly.

4.      Use Exit Interviews

No matter how large your company is, interviewing departing employees regarding their experiences, as well as reasons for leaving is an excellent tactic to gain valuable insight into your company’s inner workings. What makes this technique so useful is the fact that departing employees are rather open during these interviews and often provide excellent feedback. Additionally, this information can later be analyzed and presented to management on an annual level in order to retain the most valuable employees and increase morale.

5.      Collaboration Between Departments

Most workplace failures are a direct result of poor collaboration, lack of overall communication and an overwhelming “us against them” mentality which results in interdepartmental friction. If your employees don’t have a clear line of communication between departments, you should invest in an intranet connection to support communication between different departments and team-building exercises in order to strengthen the relationship between your teams. Every company should endorse a culture of clear communication and open feedback among the employees, especially when there’s an evident lack of common interests and work goals. Encourage collaboration by insisting on an open layout in the office and hosting group launches and team retreats.

Effective Communication is Key

Clear communication and honest employee feedback are important for growing a business, as they build alignment around common goals, increase loyalty among team members and results in an improved productivity. Without transparent communication, you risk creating strife between different departments and risk running your company to the ground due to poor work conditions and general distrust between workers. Although it might prove itself to be a rather difficult task to accomplish, a good communication inside the company is vital for keeping your employees happy and your company successful.

Guest author Oscar is a writer from Sydney and one of the editors at Bizzmarkblog. He enjoys conducting research in the vast fields of business and marketing and writing about the useful insights he gathers on a daily basis. Follow Oscar on Twitter.to stay updated with his latest posts.