Category : Business

How To Deliver A Speech And Live To Tell About It

We’ve all heard the startling fact – public speaking tops the list of activities people fear most. Even if you never have to take the stage at something as huge as the Republican or Democratic Convention, the challenge of connecting with an audience and getting an enthusiastic response can trigger trepidation in the best of us. What does it take to deliver a presentation that’s engaging, informative and memorable? Here are some tips on giving…

Keep Customers In Your Orbit

“What’s the big idea?” That’s the holy grail of many a brainstorming session designed to help businesses attract more customers and gain a boost in sales. But sometimes the best promotional ideas are the proven ones carried out with careful execution and timing. Consider these tried-and-true tactics for getting on your customers’ radar screens and driving additional traffic. Hold a contest – Offer to automatically enter your customers into a contest. You could also donate…

Landing Page Design Lessons: How To Pave The Way To More Clicks and Conversions

A landing page is a website page dedicated to one mission only: Getting visitors to complete an action. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, downloading an e-book, purchasing a product or subscribing to a blog, conversion is the goal and the easier you make it the better. So how can you give your readers the simplest route to a mutually rewarding outcome? Try these design tips to create customer-friendly landing pages that sell. Be…

The New SEO Rules: Unite Quality Content And Key Words For Top Results

Once upon a time, a few simple SEO efforts could be enough to land you on page one of Google. Now, with so many aware of the basics of SEO, the question is not whether to use it, but how to use it more effectively to attract your target audience. Here are some rules of engagement on creating web content that’s SEO enriched. Know Your Audience. With advances in analytics, even small businesses with modest…

Put Your Advertising On The Campaign Trail

Just like political candidates crusading to win the hearts and minds of voters, developing an ad campaign that’s persuasive and powerful can be a potent tool for moving your audience to action. While a creative approach can capture the cultural consciousness, it takes more than a bold idea to break through and produce winning results. Talk the Talk of Your Target Audience. If you want to appeal to people who prefer a bed and breakfast…

A Few Good Moves: Social Media Do’s and Don’ts For Business

With the fast-track evolution of social media networks, staying on top of best practices for business can be a daunting task. What flies? What flops? How can you make little changes that spark better results? Practice these eight basic do’s and don’ts and you’ll start striking a more productive balance between being socially active and faithful to your brand. DON’T Try To Be Everywhere. Be realistic about your social media time investment. If you can’t…

Have A Productive Day! You’ll Get More Done With These Take-Charge Tips.

Your plate’s full and the demands on your time show no signs of dwindling. Setting priorities is a good start, but sometimes you need to make additional adjustments in the uphill fight to do what needs to be done. Here are seven tips that can keep you moving productively forward with less stress and more efficiency. Limit Access. Block off parts of your day or week as do not disturb zones where colleagues are told…

A Rallying Cry For The New Year: Ready, Set, GOALS! By Steve Fales

Successful people have goals. There is virtually no exception. What’s more, they write their goals, keep them top of mind, and use them as a compass for life. Here is what some truly high achievers said about goals: “Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” – Bo Jackson, sports legend “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Anthony Robbins, world-class motivational speaker “Unless you…

Make No Mistake – Proofreading Pays.

Foul-ups, slips and blunders may make for entertaining reality TV shows, but they’re daggers in the hearts of companies trying to preserve thin profit margins and professional reputations. Based on a typical net profit of 5 percent, a company would have to generate $200,000 in sales to make up for a $10,000 loss as a result of a proofreading mistake reprint. That goes beyond eating the cost of an error. It’s more like choking to…

In Praise of Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a reminder of how a sincere expression of gratitude can build closer, more positive relationships. For businesses and organizations, that means taking the time to show appreciation to customers, employees and vendors. How can you say thanks in ways that are meaningful and motivating? Here are five ideas for sending the right messages to the right people. Write A Note In the era of social media and text messaging, receiving a handwritten thank…

Putting The Power In Your PowerPoint*

Have you ever heard the expression “Death by PowerPoint”? It’s the sinking feeling you get when stuck in a long, uninspired presentation with too many slides and not enough spark. In the right hands, PowerPoint can be a dynamic tool that enhances a talk and keeps an audience tracking along with slides that effectively reinforce key messages. To add the power you need to make your next PowerPoint more compelling, follow these golden rules that…

Making Meetings Matter

Few words in the business world have as polarizing an effect as meetings. When planned purposefully and run efficiently they can be a catalyst for setting priorities, solving problems and brainstorming ideas that create breakthroughs in the pursuit of important goals. When planned and run poorly, they become a black hole of lost time that undercuts productivity and morale. To make sure your meetings result in actionable insights that signify time well spent, consider putting…

The No-Misfire Hire: Staffing To Fit Your Organizational Culture

Many businesses think that if they simply hire “good people,” those staff members can later be converted to the organization’s philosophy, code of conduct and work ethic. This chancy hit-or-miss approach will often result in frustration for both management and employee. Instead, a company must have its intentional organizational culture – its Companality® – in mind throughout the recruiting process. Those who interview job candidates must vividly describe the firm, giving examples of the attitudes…

Resolutions That Mean Business: Giving Customers More Of What They Want In 2014

With the New Year at hand, many people are busy prioritizing their resolutions – those personal pledges made with the best of intentions. Lose weight, quit smoking, exercise, volunteer, pay off debt, get organized. But what about New Year’s goals for your business? As 2014 launches us all on a fast track of new challenges and opportunities, one business reality is blazingly clear: Companies who wish to have a competitive edge must build on past…

Red Pen Rules: Editing Tips For Making Your Messages Pop

There’s a long-standing tradition among editors that text be reviewed with red pen in hand. While the kind of pen or pencil is a matter of choice, diligent editing remains indispensable in getting a piece of writing to come alive. Whether you’re evaluating marketing copy, a business communication, or something personal that you want to be well received, these proven tips will prepare your messages to connect with clarity and impact. Red Pen Rule #…

Meanwhile Back At The Booth: How To Draw More Traffic At Your Next Trade Show.

It’s a deflating feeling.  Your fee is paid. You’ve made the trip. Invitations were sent to the list of trade show attendees inviting them to stop by your booth. You’re ready for a crowd, but instead of beating a path to your table they linger elsewhere while you drink bad coffee and brood. What went wrong? Trade booth flops are often the result of too little notice paid to the laws of attraction at shows…

Writing Better Letters For Direct Mail Results

It’s a hard truth that most direct mail letters don’t get read. And in many cases, deservedly so. They’re poorly constructed, lack an engaging hook, and bury the benefit or reward deep in the maze of their meandering narrative. The good news is, for those who follow some results-driven steps, a direct mail letter can be an effective tool for connecting with current or prospective customers and generating sales. Grab attention up front. Like the…

Employee Incentive Programs Revisited

“Show me the money” is a familiar battle cry of overworked/underpaid workers. But mounting evidence suggests that the most effective incentive plans stress personal validation over compensation. Studies by top research firms such as Gallup, Towers Perrin, and the Corporate Leadership Council reveal that the connection employees feel with their companies wield the greatest influence on the effort they put into their work. Major performance drivers include: Trust and integrity – How well managers communicate…

Mastering E-Mail

E-mail.  It’s a tremendous tool at the center of most professionals’ lives.  It can also consume our entire day, leaving us feeling drained and defeated come 5:00pm.  If we’re going to be productive, we’ve got to learn to tame this beast.  Here are a few tips that may help. Have A System – Being intentional about how we handle e-mail is a huge first step.  If you’re familiar with phrases like “The Two Minute Rule”…

Four Factors To Weigh When Choosing A Marketing Firm.

Businesses looking for a company to help them achieve their marketing goals must often size up a substantial assortment of suitors. There’s no real shortcut to researching a potential marketing firm’s capabilities, professionalism, body of work, roster of contented clients, and price structure. That’s where hard work and diligent digging are indispensable. Once you’ve narrowed the field to the most promising candidates, however, there are a few key factors you should take into account before…

Good Blogging, Good Business

  A business blog can be a strong channel for customer engagement and brand extension. But with so many jumping on the blog bandwagon, being just another face in the crowd isn’t going to do the job. Blogs are easy to set up, but getting them to work productively is a different story. There are various procedures and techniques that support success in blogging to build your business. Here are a few that can start…

‘Tis The Season … To Set Goals

  It’s that time of year when people start thinking about what they want to accomplish over the next twelve months.  And as all the research shows, actually recording those desires as written goals gives us a much better chance of accomplishing them. The format in which a goal is written is more important than it might seem.  To illustrate, you might enjoy seeing the text of an actual e-mail I received from a young…

Read It And Rip: Why Newspaper Ads Still Deliver

  Though aggressively challenged by new technology, newspapers continue to be viable as a shopping medium for certain products and services aimed at specific demographics. Ever notice how car ads escape your attention until you’re looking for a car? Or mattress ads? Or air conditioner ads? But the moment you’re in the market for one of those items, it becomes the most fascinating topic of the day . . . and the part of the…

Tapping Testimonials: The More Customers Talk, The Better You Sound.

Today’s marketers use numerous strategies and techniques for increasing advertising response rates, but none can replace that tried-and-true power tool of persuasion: customer testimonials. Real people speaking favorably about your product or service can have a potent influence on others who wouldn’t necessarily be receptive to a polished, calculated message crafted by a professional. If you haven’t taken the time lately to collect and incorporate customer testimonials into your marketing messages, consider the value-added benefits…

Effective Criticism Requires Skill, Not Knee-Jerk Reaction

Everyone needs feedback, but giving it effectively can be tricky, especially when the message is negative. Offering criticism properly can be immensely helpful, and providing it poorly can be counterproductive. Here are 12 guidelines to remember the next time you have to tell someone that he or she has done something wrong:

The Craft of Advertising Copywriting: Readers Become Customers When Your Words Are Fresh and Relevant

Consider the complex character of strong copy. One day it drives home its point with forceful simplicity. On another day, it scores with rock-the-boat boldness. Come back later and you might find it in a playful mood, making a good-natured pitch for an act of self-indulgence. Well-crafted copy taps into the hearts and minds of readers and delivers stories and messages that make compelling human connections. When done right, it can inform, provoke, inspire and…

Marketing in a Down Economy: Stop Waiting and Start Winning

“Let’s hold off for now.” In an economy coping with high unemployment, low consumer confidence and a rollercoaster stock market, these words have become the mantra of many anxious marketers. No question about it – caution is the natural self-preservation response in tough economic times. But playing the waiting game is increasingly a strategy that results in forfeiting untapped opportunities. Think about it. As many companies continue to sit on the sidelines with a wait-and-see…

Confidence Is Crucial

When it comes to succeeding in our professional and personal lives, confidence is one of the most important qualities we can have. We’ve all been around people who exude this winning trait. Perhaps it is the surgeon whose reassuring manner puts you at ease, the professor in complete control of his or her subject matter, or the co-worker you can always count on for an insightful answer. Experts tell us that these individuals are bound…

Living In The Margin

The word “margin” has many definitions, including one that can dramatically improve our lives. Margin allows us to function effectively without continually maxing out important personal resources such as time, energy, money, patience, capacity, etc. A person who lives with little or no margin is constantly operating with a tank that’s nearly empty in one or more category. A person with sufficient margin has portions of those resources left over even after being highly productive…

Good Job!

Tips On Increasing Employee Morale “I love my job.” Think of the power of those words. For employees making that statement it is a comforting self-realization that they are in the right workplace. And for the employer listening to that affirmation, it is a proud acknowledgment that he or she has created a culture where associates are happy, fulfilled and motivated to succeed. As managers, if we truly care about the welfare and development of…

Branding 101

Developing a brand identity is one of the most important tasks your organization will ever undertake. A strong brand creates individuality for your firm, making every aspect of communications and marketing more effective. Brand development begins in the boardroom. The process starts by clearly defining what your organization stands for. This is the promise you must constantly fulfill. We expect low prices from Walmart, fun and fantasy from Disney World and help in times of…

Procedures And An Old Car

Processes and procedures can keep an organization running smoothly. They help us stay on track and focused in calm and chaotic times. Is it really that important, however, for a company to stick close to its procedures, or is good enough good enough? That question reminds me of my 1973 AMC Hornet.

The Professional And Personal Rewards Of Mentoring

Mentoring is the learning relationship that occurs between an experienced employee (the mentor) and a less seasoned co-worker (the protégé). While mentoring situations certainly exist outside of organizations, we will focus on the workplace. A mentor’s responsibility is to guide, teach, and encourage. When assuming this critical role, keep the following tips in mind: Communicate your sincere desire to help the protégé develop professionally and personally. Earn trust in order to encourage open dialogue. Support…

Innovation Is Indispensable

Innovation is essential to an organization’s long term success. It leads to improved products or services, increased efficiency and additional profits. Managers must spearhead the development of an innovation initiative that helps all associates realize their importance in assuring the company’s continued development. In other words, a “business as usual” mentality stifles rather than strengthens the workplace.

Your Guide To Successful And Effective Business Presentations

You present to clients, supervisors and colleagues on a daily basis without even realizing it. Since you’re comfortable with what you’re going to say and to whom you’re saying it, you communicate clearly and confidently. In other words, you’re in control, which is the key to successful presentations, regardless of the size of your audience. Being in control of a presentation is easy, if these basic guidelines are followed.