All posts by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

Digital Branding

The Morning Routine Of Successful Professionals

Do you catch the worm or chill away in the mornings?

Due to the nature of most jobs and the obvious challenges that come with them (regardless if working from home or from the office), it seems everyone has a steady morning routine they follow.

But, not all of them are honing down on their routines to make them successful.

That’s why we are sharing how some very successful professionals are setting up their mornings for success.

You will see how these professionals get into the “zone”. These are habits that they incorporate and they work for them. You just might find that they will work for you too. Read through them. Tweak them and twists them. Make your own, unique routines. Create methods that get your creative juices flowing and then do them every day.

Every weekday morning I take a time out while I’m getting ready to drink my coffee. For just 10-15 minutes I enjoy that delicious cup of caffeine and catch up on the news with some morning newsletters, like the “New York Times Morning Briefing” and “Need to Know”. It’s a little me time before the rush of the workday!

 

My morning routine is often a juggle between getting my 3 girls ready for school and tackling a few client tasks before we head out to the bus stop. That just means my mornings are a tad crazy. I will usually schedule social media content or paste a blog post in some of the Facebook blogger support groups I’m in. I do NOT check email first thing in the morning; I save that for after school drop-off.

I start my day by trying to sleep for as long as possible to keep my 18th-month-old son sleeping. I then get up and change his diaper and get him cleaned up and clothed for the day. We then go downstairs and proceed to feed him the food my wife has prepared. We then play a little bit. After that, I try to respond to emails from parents from the studio and do studio business. We start teaching at around 3:30 pm most evenings. We finish lessons at 8:45 pm. That is a typical day for me.

As an entrepreneur and mom of 5, mornings are the best (and often busiest) part of my day!  A really good morning for me is when I can get up before the kids get up to have some quiet time with God, read and organize my priorities for the day. Because after the kids get up, it can be a whirlwind!  But even with the bustle of the morning, I try to connect with each child and send them off with a good breakfast and a hug. And, for the days when things don’t go as planned or when time and tempers are short? Then it’s important to me that everyone hears “I love you” before they walk out the door. There’s something about that moment when they leave for the day that matters more than any other in the morning.

If there’s one good thing I’ve picked up ever since I joined my husband in his military lifestyle, that is definitely being as much of an early bird as one can be. I wake up at 5:00 sharp and start my day with some stretching. Having a toddler, and carrying him in my arms all the time requires I also exercize and keep my back strong. After that, my day – followed with a cup of coffee and light breakfast – can start. My kids get up and we start to tackle every day as is.

  • Lindsay Burton  of Youngbway.com explains that sometimes a slow start is best:

I’m awful at getting out of bed after the first alarm so I usually lay in bed checking my emails and scrolling through Young Broadway’s and Kids on Tour’s social media feeds. We’re mainly a news website so I try to check first thing if news broke while I was sleeping. Then once I’m a little bit more awake I get dressed, do my hair and makeup, eat breakfast, then immediately start my work day with gathering articles, photos, and videos to post.

A morning with two toddlers is the sweetest way to wake up, fortunately, they are morning people. We have smiles, cuddles, and a rush to who can make it to the bathroom first to brush their teeth. Unfortunately, actually eating breakfast is often a challenge. After breakfast, momma works while the kiddos play together. Sometimes there are fights, sometimes there is whining, but there is literally no morning that I wish it was any other way. My mornings rock…bedtime, that’s a whole other ball game.

  • Sania Siddiqui of allthingsgud.com proves that some people go against the trends:

My day starts will a shrill alarm just when the sun is about to peep out. Involuntarily, I pick my phone. Yes, I am guilty of checking the notifications first thing in the morning while my eyes are still trying to adjust the focus of ‘light and life’! I know this is not healthy and fair but so are many other things in life. Five minutes later, I become this multitasker, superwoman with magical powers to finish off umpteen chores within an unrealistic time window of 35 minutes before I send my daughter off to school. A brisk walk of five km and I come back famished. Time for a hearty breakfast and to get ready for work!

Get outside! Morning sunlight will give your daytime energy a boost (and help you fall asleep at night). Not only does it balance your circadian rhythms (a body’s natural cycle impacted by many things from hormones to proteins to the rise and fall of the sun) but exposure to sunlight prevents melatonin release, which is what tells us to “go to sleep!”. So whether you check emails, enjoy coffee, work in the garden, take a run, read a book or sit in meditation be sure to do it outdoors. Get outside daily, as soon as the sun is up, and you’ll experience more energy and clarity throughout your life.

A key element of my morning routine is to have my phone programmed to avoid interruptions –no emails, no texts, basically, airplane mode — for the first hour I am awake. This little bit of uninterrupted “space” allows me to think through my day or get ideas without being bogged down by work before I’m even out of bed.  I also enjoy using that time to connect with my family without immediately jumping into texts, emails and being disconnected from real life.

I’m at my most productive in the morning so I tend to hop out of bed early, get dressed and do hours work before breakfast. That way I already feel like I’ve broken the back of my work and can relax with a rush-free breakfast of soaked oats and a cup of tea. I like to browse through social media at this point and connect with my friends before taking a spiced tea up to my office and start tackling my emails. The rest of the morning passes in a blur of blog posts, content writing, and photo editing and it’s often 2 pm before I start thinking about lunch – and only then because my cats remind me that they want to feed too!

As soon as I get up, I start the mighty ritual of making coffee. I usually drink bulletproof coffee in the morning, then sit down to meditate for 10-15 mins. This helps me to settle my thoughts and wrap my head around the day. Then, I start journaling. My journal is not for being productive or anything like that – it’s a great therapy and helps me to unwind. Sometimes it makes me aware of an underlying issue that has bothered me and kept me back from being productive.

“I’m an early morning dude. Not by any virtue or discipline. That’s just my nature. So I like to stack my meetings as early as possible starting around 6 am. However, my best mornings are the ones I carve out the first 45 minutes or hour to write on the next thing that’s due. No social. No email. No distractions. Just writing. Starting my work day like that sets a powerful tone and I get a lot more done.”

We normally kick off the day with an espresso, we are big fans and I am not sure how we could live without it! We then go on to see all the submissions that are sent to us throughout the world and play them live, and look out for the gems! We then plan out our day engage our writing teams to get the reviews up on the site and push out as much content from unsigned artists as we can. We then touch base with our clients and start planning campaigns for that day! If you want to know more about us please check us out www.anrfactory.com

My day starts with some morning affection from my two cats with some coffee, on days I have the boys we make breakfast together and get ready for school, upon returning I generally re-heat my coffee and sit in my black chair beginning the day making Dance Attack happen with our events answering and sending out needed emails! generally hit the gym around 11 and return to continue on my day of building Dance Attack, until its time to get the boys from school!
I am most productive in the early AM. Around 4:30AM when everything is quiet I can get more work done in 30 minutes than I can for the rest of the day.

 

I start the everyday with a clean mouth and fresh face before doing anything else. After brushing my teeth with a natural whitening toothpaste, I gently wash my face. I have very sensitive skin, so I blot my face dry with bath tissue, instead of a towel. Afterwards, I apply a small amount of blackseed oil to my face. I concentrate on areas that tend to get dehydrated during the day like, under eyes, t-zone and lips. I allow sometime for it to soak in before applying my makeup. This keeps me naturally glowing throughout my whole day.

My morning routine is so important to me! I just feel a little bit off all day if it doesn’t happen. I love waking up early, drinking coffee with my husband, spending time in prayer, getting myself ready for work, and eating a healthy breakfast before getting my kids up and ready. My quiet mornings are often the most treasured hours of my day!

Never expect the routine to go perfectly. It’s not about perfection, it’s about showing up.

“With a toddler and a 3rd grader, getting them out the door so my older one can make the bus in time is often challenging. To save time in the morning, I’ll ask my oldest daughter to pick out her outfit the night before. With my youngest daughter who’s filled with toddler on-the-go energy, I sometimes have her even sleep in her next day’s clothes if I know we have to be somewhere extra early. We’ll eat a simple breakfast, and then the girls do ‘The Routine’: wash their faces, brush their teeth, and go to the bathroom if they haven’t already done so. Then it’s out the door to the bus stop. Mission accomplished!”

 

“5 AM Large Fresh brewed espresso lightly sweetened splash of heavy cream, mobile device, and ready to peer into what the world is up to today”

Mornings should be for snuggles, big breakfasts, and hot coffee. Instead, they end up with me running around like a lunatic, screaming at everyone to get dressed in a timely manner, jamming whatever I can find for breakfast down my family’s throats and hot coffee (hmm – yeah right, try ice cold coffee!) I am trying extra hard to prepare at night for the next morning. That really is key. It seems so simple but what joy it brings.

My mornings usually start at 5 AM very first thing is to get the day started and enjoy a large fresh brewed iced espresso lightly sweetened with a splash of heavy cream. Then while enjoying my drink grab my mobile device, and I am ready to peer into what the world is up to while I slept.  With the internet and social media so much happens and can be quickly ascertained.  I usually spend about an hour to an hour and a half reading through the internet, emails and social media to get my daily schedule lined up being in a  global network, as well I am mindful of time frames in different parts of the world to be sure I reach a global audience. From there I am ready to take Oliver, my Jack Russel for a nice morning walk usually about a mile or 2, this time is helpful to organize with a clear mind. Once done walking with my dog then I am ready to dig in and get into what kind of action sports news is to be delivered, whether it being news, video, featured or highlights.

“As a mom to a school-aged child and two under two, I find that teaching my oldest son responsibility is key for a smooth morning.  The night before we discuss what we are doing the next day.  I set his alarm, we pick out clothes to wear for the next day.  Then in the morning he wakes up to his alarm, gets dressed and brushes his teeth on his own.  I get myself and the babies ready for the day and we all meet in the dining room for breakfast.  I am very proud of my oldest son that he is able to do this and it helps my morning run very smooth knowing he is able to handle this part of getting ready on his own.”

“I get up about an hour before everyone else does.  That way I can have my coffee, catch up on the news or any school delays and get breakfast prepped for my husband and my oldest.  After they head out to school and work, I then work in my planner and plan out the goals/plans for the day.  I should say at least plan what I’d LIKE to get done that day.  By then my youngest is up and I get her breakfast together and get her ready to go to school.  I find if I sleep in those extra 30/60 minutes and get up when they do, my day is out of whack.”

“Although I am not a morning person, the most crucial part of my morning routine is to take a moment and give my kids a big loving squeeze before I send them off to school. Nothing makes kids happier and healthier than getting a boost of affection from their parents to start their day.”

“My alarm clock goes off at 5:30 and I snooze about 3 times to make sure I don’t fall back to sleep while saying my prayers. My children’s nanny rings the doorbell by 6 and if there’s a power cut she bangs on the door real hard. It’s time to get up. My husband gets the door for the nanny while I jump in the shower. Soon I hear the children screaming blue murder because they don’t like brushing their teeth. She’s good with them so I can concentrate on applying my “war paint”. Someone doesn’t want to eat. Someone didn’t finish their homework the night before. We’re late because I had to change my blouse again. Shoo, shoo, everyone out the door. Kisses to hubby who’s stretching out in front of his computer since he owns his business. I pull out of the gates and park right in the middle of the street because that’s where the traffic starts. It’s slow going from there till I drop off the boys and run right back into traffic on my way to work. Just a typical morning in Lagos.”

I always start my day with a written plan. There’s something “magical” about the pen meeting the paper. It creates a mental contract on which my mind focuses intently on fulfilling.

 

Every morning I get up and prepare my son’s breakfast! Since becoming a mom I am the queen of trying to multitasking so I also use this time to check my emails and from my phone, in case there is anything of importance that may need my immediate attention.  My blogging routine has definitely changed and 50% of my work is now done from my phone.

I always wake up at 7am and for the first 15 minutes, I’m meditating and setting my goals for the day, expressing my gratitude and observing my thoughts. Then I’m playing music on YouTube and singing loud under the shower. That keeps me stay positive throughout the day and it keeps me motivated. It’s unbelievable how much my life has changed since I started with this routine!

 

  • Cristina, a mommy blogger from Momsie’s Blog who enjoys sharing her Filipino culture and her transition to life in Canada, shares:

I started my blog as a just-for-fun blog, I would write about my personal life experiences or opinion about different things. Until I started to receive feedback and messages from my blog readers then I realized having a blog is a huge commitment, you need to dedicate your time and energy to keep your blog.  Since then, things that concern my blog has been part of my morning routine.  I start my mornings checking my emails on my phone.  Then while eating breakfast I would have my laptop with me to start responding to emails or if I am working on a certain blog post, I will try finishing it.  Morning is my most productive time, it’s when blogging ideas come to me, that’s why I see to it that I have my notepad within reach so I can jot down the ideas that come to my head.

 

“I wake up at 7:00 am, hit the gym and take an ice cold shower. I repeat this 7 days per week and it has transformed my life in ways that words cannot explain.”

“I typically wake up between 4 am and 5 am during the week and between 5 am and 6 am on weekends. I’ll pray, hit the gym on certain days, and get ready for the day. Then, I’ll tackle the most important things that generate my income first like writing and marketing. This is what works for me and I continue to perfect it.”

“The first thoughts of your day will have an influence on your energy, feeling and attitude during the day, so start your day with positive thoughts. Think about your dream, your loved ones, your next trips or simply whatever that make you happy”

  • Arantxa Mateo, a trained biologist, nutrition specialist and weight management coach from 32mondays.com shares her morning story:

“I wake up at six am. Early, right? Yeah, I think so too. Especially after coming home really late from ballet practice! But since my daughter has to be at school at 7, I have to. However, that doesn’t mean I get out of bed willingly! When my alarm rings, I usually groan, roll over, and go back to sleep. After five minutes of snoozing, I lift my head up and open one eye to look at my dog Luna, who is looking at me. Luna is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. Her wagging tail inspires me, and I roll out of bed to her licking my feet and jumping on me. As I walk groggily to the kitchen, she pants and trots by my side, waiting for breakfast, and her piece of bread… her price for being the only one waking up with me.”

As a mom of three, blogger and podcast, chaos is inevitable. However, I spend my first 15-20 minutes in the morning and follow Vishen Lakhiani’s 6 Phase approach and have found that it helps the day run much smoother.

“My mornings have been crazy-busy for years as a Morning Radio Show DJ in Los Angeles. Then the kids. Now the school drop-off! But I learned a lot having to be “camera-ready” by 5:00am. I took these tips with me that can change your whole day. Set out clothes the night before..not just for the kids but for ME! I use an under eye cream & lip/cheek tint next to my toothbrush! Pat, swipe, brush in under 3 minutes. Keep a bottle of sunblock & moisturizer in the car door like my lavender spray from Original Good Goods and drench face, neck & back-of-hands. In the glovebox, I always store a set of hoop earrings, hairbands & cute hairpins just in case me or my daughter need a little something. Now you’re ready to confidently go host your own “Morning Show” whether it’s in a tv studio or in the valet line.”

  • Tania Luviano, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Latina.Mom and host of Latina MOM TV on YouTube shares:

“I get up usually between 5 and 6 in the morning, drink warm water with lemon, get dressed and workout at home. For me, there’s nothing better than to start the day with a good workout or run or both some days. Working out in the morning keeps me active all day, healthy and fit.”

“Morning for me isn’t complete until I’m fully dressed, and have my coffee made. I’ve noticed if I get dressed before I allow myself a cup of coffee, I tackle more during the day.”

“My alarm is set to Affirmations. I pour myself a hot lemon water, kiss and hug my son and then back to bed to meditate for about 10-20 min. I move on to my green tea while I hang out with my son for about 15min watching cartoons. Then I pack his lunch, get both of us ready drop him off at daycare and I go to the gym. I work out for about 30 – 45min. I read my intentions for the day, put a beautiful ocean view on youtube and then get to work. I check my Amazon store, then my Groupon store, to ensure all orders and customers have been taken care of and Advertising budget is on track. I do everything on my calendar next. Once that’s cleared, I check email, write a post, and then post it to social media.”

“I like to start my mornings with 5 minutes of “Gratitude”. As soon as I wake up I force myself to start to think about everything in my life that I am grateful for. Then meditation, I first do 3-5 minutes of alternate nostril breathing which then sets me up nicely for 10-15 minutes of meditation. This helps me start my days with more clarity and focus, after my morning meditation I’m ready to go through all my emails for the day, but first, I have my yogurt & muesli and get my kids off to school.”

“My morning routine is fairly simple, considering I have two little ones. They both wake up at 7AM, hop into our bed for fifteen to twenty minutes before they decide that they need breakfast. We then make breakfast together, my eldest (3-years) loves to help make her own breakfast, and I encourage her where possible, as I think it is important to promote independence from an early age. We then wash up and get dressed ready to get on with our day.”

  • Steven Watts, the founder of Newt Labs shares:
“I try to take care of myself by going for a run first thing or hitting the gym after breakfast although I often have days where I’ll just grab a coffee and head up to my home office. The first thing I do when I get to my desk is to write down my daily tasks to help me reach towards my 12-week goals. My daily tasks could be along the lines of go to the gym, engage online and play games after work, which helps me reach my quarterly goals such as getting fit, gaining clients and spending more active time with loved ones. I think it’s important to actively work on all areas of your life in order to not burn out and spend your entire life working.”
“I usually wake up very early in the morning because my youngest son with Autism Spectrum Disorder does so. After saying a little prayer, thanking God for another beautiful day, I assist my son to his bathroom and hygiene routines. After I settle him down, I do mine. Then I cook breakfast and prepare the things needed by the entire family for the day. After my eldest and hubby leave the house for school and work respectively, I prepare my youngest to school. After dropping him there, I do unfinished chores and get busy with my writing or business duties while waiting for the laundry to finish or the food to cook until it’s time again to fetch my youngest son in school. Isn’t it obvious that I am good at multitasking? LOL!
“My morning routine is based on being as organised as possible, and doing as little as possible before setting out on the school run. This means getting organised the night before. I have uniform ready, school bag ready, my clothes ready and my bag all ready to go. This means that mornings can be dedicated to sorting breakfast and getting ready to go. My son is picky at breakfast time, so I have a range of cereals and options like toast that are quick to do, and then I work to the clock. We do not live that far from the school, so 8.20 is cut off time for getting washed and dressed, and 8.40 is the time we need to leave. This usually proves to be more than enough time. For me, I wash with Creme La Mer foaming wash, and always tone as I heard something about washing stripping the moisture from the skin. I only wear the slightest touch of makeup – basically a baked foundation from Laura Geller and a touch of eyeliner. Unless I am heading straight out, the hair goes into a simple bun or ponytail. Basically, five minutes and I am ready to go.”
“The first thing I do is get food into my kids before they turn into wild animals. I drink a big glass of warm water with lemon and then we head outside. There’s something special about that morning air. Once we’ve gotten grubby and ‘earthed’ we head in for showers and the kids watch a bit of TV while I get myself and the lunches ready. Perfect!”
“I snooze. I purposely set my alarm early so I can snooze. There’s something about that half awake half asleep phase. I come up with creative solutions to challenges, I have new ideas, if I’m really struggling I’ll say a prayer and ask God and the universe for help.
I check my phone to look at email to see if there’s anything that needs immediate attention. I also check the teaching schedule for any changes I didn’t see the night before. I look at Facebook for any marketing posts that have come up.
I make coffee, take a few minutes to enjoy the peace of morning and I’m off! Shower, make up, hair, clothes, work bag, lunch and out the door to return 12 sometimes 14 hours later. Yes, running your own business requires more time than most imagine!”

 

“My morning usually begins with around 6 am. I take my dog for about a 30-minute walk. If I am lucky when I get home everyone is still asleep and I can take a quick shower. However, more often than not, my toddler twins are waking up and ready to eat. We make breakfast, while they eat I ask them about their dreams. They usually make for an entertaining story. After the boys eat, I eat breakfast while through my emails and checking the news. After a quick shower it is usually a race to get everyone dressed, snacks packed and out the door on time.”

 

“My morning routine always includes coffee, checking the news, visiting my calendar and prioritizing my tasks for the day. Usually in that order. I like to start my day off with a good vision of what I need to get accomplished and how much time I’ll likely have to make it happen.”

 

“My morning actually starts the night before when I set up my coffee pot to brew at 6:30 am. I generally shower at night, otherwise–even with school-aged kids–it will be noon before I get a chance to clean up. My alarm goes off at 6:30, and by 7 I’ll manage to roll out of bed and into some yoga pants. The first thing I do is divide the coffee into two 32oz travel mugs–one for me and one for the hubs. It’s not that I drink coffee on the go, I just figured out it’s the only way my coffee can stay hot all morning. I’ll start the wake-up process for my youngest kid next, pack lunches for everyone, poke the kid again, fix a toaster waffler, poke the kid again. My oldest is a teenager, so thankfully, he’s self-sufficient. After I get everyone out the door I finally turn the focus onto myself and start writing.”

“My morning routine is usually busy. I wake up as early as 4am on most days. Thanks to my husband who ensure I get up sometimes. I usually spend time making breakfast, getting my girls ready for school, respond to clients enquiries and getting some work done – I discovered I am most effective in the early hours of the day. ”

  •  Emma Reed says:

“My morning usually starts with my 6-month-old baby, William, waking up and smiling up at me (he is such a morning person, I am not!) Then my crazy 4-year-old lad, Jake, runs in and jumps all over us in bed. He has pre-school a few times a week so the battle is then on to get him dressed, fed and organised ready for his day ahead. The baby is pretty good and thankfully lets me get on with all the little jobs I need to do. I have found a good routine of putting the kettle on, popping bread in the toaster and whilst that is doing its job I can feed the dog, feed the cat, tidy the kitchen a little and then go back to our brekkie. Once we are all fed I dress Jake in the clothes I try to lay out the night before if I have the time, dress the baby and then leave myself until last. Once Jake is dropped off, William has a nap and it is time for me to start checking emails, writing blog posts, posting on social media and so on. I usually get an hour and a half in before he wakes for a feed. It is a juggle but I love it and blogging gives me the opportunity to work from home and to retain a little piece of me. (https://emmareed.net)

“I’m a natural early riser and need some quiet time to myself first thing, so get up around 6 and do some work (usually creative stuff like my diet and fitness blog writing) with a cup of tea before getting my 5 and 9 year old daughters up and ready for school, though not until I’ve fed our two cats who won’t leave me alone until I do! Sometimes I wake as early as 5, in which case I’ll do a HIIT workout instead of leaving it for later in the day. I can barely think straight after the kids go to bed in the evening, but first thing I’m alert and at my best, and it’s my magic hour all to myself. ”

 

Digital Branding

4 Ways to Make Client Hospitality Easier

Client hospitality, sometimes known as corporate hospitality, is all too often seen by some of its critics as needlessly expensive and an indulgence.

In reality, however, this is far from the case.

Client hospitality is an effective means of fostering relationships with clients, new and old alike, and gives you the opportunity to show important clients how much they are valued by your company.

There is no reason that providing your clients with a little hospitality should cost a fortune either, in fact, some of the most effective corporate hospitality programs are relatively cheap to run. There is an ever-growing number of smaller businesses which are embracing the opportunities presented by corporate hospitality; a reflection of the growing awareness of the practice as well as the multitude of businesses and organizations who can be hired to put together a hospitality package for your clients.

The main reason that many businesses cite for not engaging in the practice is that they either feel it would be prohibitively expensive or because they don’t feel that they have the necessary planning and organizational skills to pull it off properly. Both of these assumptions are nearly always wrong.

In fact, with a little bit of planning and forethought, it is perfectly possible to offer clients a respectable level of hospitality without putting a huge dent in your annual budget and with no prior experience in organizing these kinds of events.

In this article, we will be looking at four things that you can do to make offering client hospitality a stress-free experience for all.

Keep it Informal

This is particularly good advice if you have had only limited, if any, contact with the clients up until this point.

By sticking to less formal activities and settings, you will make the clients feel much more at ease and consequently, both they and you will find it much easier to communicate. Creating the right atmosphere is essential to a successful client hospitality plan.

In some cases, a more formal approach might be better suited but for the majority, you want to keep things as relaxed as possible.

Sticking to more informal settings makes it much easier to bond and to build a personal, as well as business, relationship with the clients. When deciding on corporate hospitality and entertainment for your clients, consider how formal it needs to be.

Plan Beforehand

In order to ensure that your hospitality plans go off without a hitch, you should make sure that you take the time beforehand to properly plan out your itinerary. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re going to be doing, then you will be flying blind.

Similarly, if the client thinks that you are stumbling and bumbling through events without a clear direction they might assume that this is a reflection of your professional attitude.

Ease into Things

Many people find the whole experience of being responsible for client hospitality significantly easier when they take things slowly. By easing into things you will give you and the clients time and space to grow accustomed to one another.

First impressions are important, so it is important that the first activities you plan revolve around making introductions and settling your guests into their new surroundings.

Relax!

This is the most important thing to remember, if you aren’t relaxed then, of course, your guests won’t be either! Take a deep breath and try and trust your own judgment. As long as you have planned things efficiently you should find the whole experience a piece of cake.

Client hospitality is an excellent way of forming and fostering relationships with other businesses and individuals. Wherever possible you should try and offer client hospitality, it is one of the smartest investments a business can make.

Legal Branding

Professionals Discuss How Is Airbnb Affecting The Real Estate Industry

According to Inc., the vacation rental market will be worth roughly $170 billion in the next two years. As for Airbnb, Fortune projects that the community marketplace will go up in 2020 to $3.5 billion. Still, Airbnb has made tremendous growth this year; Fortune further indicates that Airbnb spent $300 million on expansion efforts. While this could be seen as a positive sign for a booming real estate economy, some say Airbnb could reel in suspicious individuals and activity.

Nonetheless, this could be a key investment opportunity for individuals looking into breaking into the industry—as well as for landlords looking to up their game. With Airbnb’s expansion, landlords may have to turn to the third-party housing rental company to bring in more cash flow.

With Airbnb expanding across the real estate market, it is looking like the monopoly could push out their smaller competition or force them to consider including the third-party community company in their efforts.

Will regulations stop them from expanding? According to Inc., it is not looking like it. The company continues to grow despite regulations—such as, as Inc. reports, rental companies needing to register with San Francisco (should they want to provide rental services to customers).    

Not sure if Airbnb’s efforts are great for the real estate industry? Can’t make a decision? Are you considering on cashing in on Airbnb’s expansion efforts? In this article, you’ll learn 6 different opinions from real estate professionals (spoiler: be prepared to be surprised by how diverse they are). From reading this, we hope you gain a better perspective on how Airbnb’s future expansion will affect the real estate industry, and whether this is seen as a welcoming sign or a future pain in the neck.

Read on to learn what real estate professionals are saying about Airbnb’s expansion impact.

www.appfolio.com

“AirBnB is definitely growing in the industry as tenants try to make additional money on the side. That said, large MFRs are cracking down on this as they find it disrupts the resident’s experience at the property and leads to higher turnover of units. Virtually across the board this type of sub-leasing violates the signed lease. I anticipate Airbnb continuing to struggle to gain traction in the MFR space.” – Nat Kunes, VP of Product

www.authoritypm.com

“We own and operate a property management company in Redding, CA that offers long-term rentals but stays out of short-term rentals such as Airbnb. We have seen a huge spike with regards to people looking to have a single family home rented out under Airbnb and managed by a third party such as a property manager. In our community, we don’t have any third party companies that handle management of Airbnbs, leaving property owners to handle them on their own. Vacation rentals require much more energy to manage than a traditional rental. In recent times, we have experienced several property owners converting AirBnB rentals to traditional rentals. Many have expressed frustration due to the much smaller cash flow on a traditional rental vs. Airbnb. We believe the Real Estate market has had additional players picking up investment properties as vacation rentals that may not have jumped in the game otherwise.” – Aaron Robertson, Authority Property Management

www.rpmservice.ca

“Recently, the Ontario marketplace has seen a lot of changes around the laws and these sort of disruptive technologies like Airbnb. People are taking residential suites and making them something they are not setup for and this causes a lot of problems for neighbours, property managers and the facilities, while offering no protection for these parties. Some of the municipalities are setting up rules and regulations, however, enforcement will be a very difficult course— how long till the next UBER comes along.” – Jason McGuire, Owner at Real Property Management Service

www.barrettpm.com

“I think this question must be answered with a specific community/county in mind due to the dramatic differences Airbnb could have on certain areas. Some factors that play into whether Airbnbs affect a community can include: Is tourism big in the community? Are there vacation destinations in the community? Does the community have recurring annual events that attract a large crowd? And does the city/county government allow for Airbnbs? The more “yes” answers to these factors, the more Airbnb will affect the real estate industry in that community.” – Amelia Barrett,President at Barrett Property Management, Inc.

www.sparkrental.com

“In larger cities and destinations with heavy tourist traffic, some homes can earn significantly higher returns on Airbnb than through long-term leasing. That’s good news for landlords (and some entrepreneurial tenants), but it can mean even stiffer competition for limited long-term rental housing.

One problem is that the areas with perfect conditions for Airbnb leasing are also usually those with already-tight rental markets. These tend to be the most desirable urban neighborhoods, with the most competition for housing supply. Airbnb rentals pull more inventory from that supply, constricting supply even more.

With that said, the market will fix this problem over time. For example, some not-as-well-managed hotels will likely go under due to the loss of business to Airbnb, and that space will likely be converted into additional residential housing supply. Or consider the retail apocalypse – this is more valuable real estate that can be rezoned to its highest and best use (in many cases, residential). It may also push lumbering city bureaucracies to approve more new housing permits to increase supply.” – G. Brian Davis, Director of Education

www.skypropertiesinc.com

“As a management company, we are both for it and against it.. For it, because our clients make money doing it. Against it, because it may bring unknown people who could cause a noise disturbance, have criminal intent, or even be a criminal, into an unsuspecting apartment community.” – Kari Negri, Chief Executive Officer at SKY Properties, Inc

Digital Branding

How to Come Up with a Great Company Name

This is a guest post from James of BizzMark Blog who blogs about the latest trends in business management, economy, small business strategies, finances and employment.
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If one was to analyze the names of the world’s oldest and/or most successful companies, they would probably not find out too much. Some companies still hold the names of their founders (Ford, Mitsubishi), others feature generic-sounding names (General Electric) while others ‘made a name for themselves’ with some truly attention-catching and inventive names (Google).

It may therefore seem that there are no rules to naming one’s company and that you never know what will work. However, there are some smart practices that will maximize your chances of giving your new company a great name and they will be the subject of this article.

Be Creative but Smart

At first glance, most people think that a superbly inventive name is the way to go and that it should always be something that stands out. After all, you want your company name to catch people’s attention and cause them to research your company more. And while this approach definitely has its merits, it should be pointed out that creativity has its limits and that it can become counterproductive if you don’t mind those limits.

For instance, there are certain industries in which a name that is too inventive can be a detriment. If you are starting an accounting agency, for example, people expect a name that is solid and trustworthy and they might feel that a jokey name denotes a less-than-responsible approach to serious work.

Using puns and similar concepts to name a business is also inventive but mostly counterproductive. Puns are generally difficult to gauge correctly (dancing between funny and lame) and this is the overly complex kind of nuancing that you will want to avoid when naming your business. There is also a chance that you might offend someone with risky puns and alienate that customer segment.

In short, there is nothing wrong with being creative when thinking up your company name, just don’t overdo it.

Look to the Future

To someone who is starting a business, the concept of future is relatively limited. They understand how difficult it is to get a company on its feet and ensure its survival for more than a few months. While most business owners believe their company will eventually succeed and continue to exist for years to come, they tend to concentrate on the very near future.

The reason we are mentioning this is that this can result in some very short-sighted names. For example, a business owner might decide to name their company after themselves, especially in certain industries. And while this does provide a certain sense  of security and even intimacy to the company’s initial customers, down the line it can present a problem. What if you, for example, decide to sell your company? With your name attached to it, the list of potential buyers will almost certainly be shorter.

Another future development business owners forget about when naming their company is the fact that their company might expand into other areas in years. For instance, a software company might start with a product for email marketing and it’s name might clearly denote this. Then, after a few years, that same company might decide to make a more comprehensive piece of digital marketing software. In such a situation, the initial name might be somewhat limiting.

When naming your company, you always have to consider the various paths it might go down in the future. Try to think of a name that will not constrict you or become misleading after a few years.

Consider Your Online Presence

Regardless of the industry, most companies are online these days and business founders have to consider their online presence too when naming their company. Domain names, especially shorter ones, are becoming less and less available, meaning that a company with a nice, to-the-point name might find it difficult to secure a domain name for their website.

You should also consider the fact that overly long brand names look unwieldy in the address bar, with an URL that looks like a gigantic jumble of letters more than anything else.

The good news is that there are always workarounds for your domain name if you are really set on a certain name for your business. For example, you can go for a descriptive domain name which tells people what your business is about.

Another way to get a great domain name is to use a top level domain other than .com. There used to be a time when customers were distrusting of websites that ended in other TLDs, but this is no longer the case.

Be Careful about Legal Stuff

Of course, when coming up with a name for your company, you should always consider the legal implications and the possible issues that might arise from a poor choice of a name.

For one, you will have to register the business name of your new company and you might find out that a company with a similar name exists in your industry and/or your part of the world.

You should also consider trademark registration, depending on where your company will be based and whether you will be concentrating on your area or if you will go national or even global. It is essential to research this well so as you do not get into trademark issues down the line because of a company with a similar trademarked name. This may even entail going to court where they will determine how likely it is for customers to distinguish your brand from an existing one.

If you are not sure about the legal implications of the naming process for your future business, make sure to talk to someone who will help you with this. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Closing Word

There are a number of ways to approach coming up with a name for your company. This name will be the cornerstone of your brand and you need to make sure it describes your business well without causing any problems that we discussed.

Digital Branding

Four Top Tips for Making Sure Your E-commerce Store Stands Out

With online shopping booming, there have never been so many online stores available. Whether you’re looking to buy a new outfit, health and beauty products, Christmas gifts, electronics, novelty items, or even things for your pet, you can guarantee that you’ll find a range of options to choose from online.

For anybody who is considering going into business with an e-commerce store, the growing popularity of online shopping can only be a good thing.

However, the biggest drawback is that standing out from your competition has become more difficult than ever before.

So, we’ve put together some top tips to help you ensure that your e-commerce store is grabbing attention for all the right reasons.

Tip #1. Quirky Labels

When you order something online, you’re usually more interested in your product arriving rather than whatever the store has sent you in terms of flyers and other advertisements.

But, as an e-commerce owner, there are several things that you might want to consider doing for your customers to change this.

For example, printing quirky and unusual labels for your parcels using Dymo Shipping Labels from Label City can be a good way to make them sit back and notice. Or, why not send them a small free gift as a token of your thanks?

Tip #2. Offer Something Different

With most e-commerce stores operating in much the same ways as each other, one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd in online business is to offer something different to your target audience.

For example, ASOS have recently achieved this fantastically, offering the never before seen option to buy now and pay later through Klarma, without the need for customers to borrow money. Previously, any ‘buy now and pay later’ options would require the customer to open a store card or borrow credit.

Think about things that are missing from the market and what you can offer your customers that nobody else does.

Tip #3. Go the Extra Mile

When you’re buying items in-store, customer service is easy – all you need to do is visit the customer service desk or information point and ask the assistants for help.

However, when shopping online, getting good customer service isn’t always so simple. As an e-commerce store owner, it’s down to you to understand the importance of good customer service and go the extra mile for your customers.

Whether it’s offering a live chat service twenty-four hours a day, having a member of staff manning social media at all times to send replies, or offering a generous return policy, putting your customers first is a sure-fire way to ensure that your company stands out.

Tip #4. Offer Great Deals

Lastly, bear in mind that many people who shop online do so because it’s cheaper and there’s more chance of them bagging a fantastic deal.

So, wherever possible, make sure that you are offering exclusive deals to your customers that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

If you enjoyed these tips, we’d love it if you shared them with your friends and followers. 

Digital Branding

6 Digital Branding Cliches That Are Way Overdone

The road to branding excellence is littered with cliches, and while there is a time and a place for these overused staples of digital communication, they should be used sparingly and with careful forethought.

As they say, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but when it comes to digital branding, it can definitely go too far.

It doesn’t matter if your company sells bespoke products, sources goods from a third party, grows them, blows them up, or consults on technology; when it comes to your branding, following the herd is NOT a good idea.

Here are six of the most overused and overdone cliches of digital marketing, and how to navigate the temptation to use them in your own branding.

1. The World’s First

Okay, if you really are the first, then you might just be able to get away with this one…

Unfortunately, this phrase is so overused that, even when true, it just comes across as being insincere. And if you decide to use it, you’d better make sure to have done your research.

The internet loves to point out a marketing fail, and if it turns out that your world’s first is actually a second or third, you’ll either appear silly or dishonest.

This problem is easily avoided through thorough and creative research – there will almost certainly be something more informative and relevant that you can use in place of this tired cliche.

After all, getting somewhere first is not a guarantee of quality, or anything else for that matter…

2. Generic ‘Hipster’ Logos

Your logo should evoke your brand, and be both distinctive, and recognizable.

A smart font with a colorful accent might look quite professional at a glance, but if it is too generic, it will be forgettable, and easily confused with other brands. There are a ton of ‘samey’, vaguely ‘hipster’ logos flooding the market right now: from tech companies to coffeeshops, everyone seems to be doing it! The same aesthetic is being used to sell tea, shorts, software, beard oil, and a plethora of products. But in the end, it’s all just one big sea of aesthetic blandness.

You can, and should, do better.

3. Bespoke Next-Level Solutions

All of these things. See how vague that description is? Yet this phrase, with varying synonyms, can be found throughout the digital marketing world.

Yes, you may offer a service that is tailored to the customer, and solves their problem using brand new technology. There is nothing wrong with advertising that.

The problem arises when you give no further details. If someone tried to sell you “next-level” cheese, you’d want to know what made it so special. It’s the same thing here: the lack of descriptive words makes the statement sound empty and hollow.

Solutions can hide many sins, so be more specific.

Don’t assume that your audience will simply take your claims at face value. Instead, give them some genuine, relevant information that will help them decide whether your service is for them.

4. Shame-Based Copy

Have you ever been to a site that boldly proclaimed you were not a real athlete/book-lover/human being unless you bought their product? Or that tried to niggle at your insecurities before offering the solace of their premium service?

Just don’t do that.

You don’t need to make your audience feel awful about themselves to convince them to buy your product. The same applies to those annoying CTAs, like those mailing list pop-ups that make you click “No, I’d rather be a failure” in order to get back to what you were reading.

You should be able to sell your product or service on its merits, convincing your audience that whatever their life is like, you will make it even better.

While there’s nothing wrong with a little humor at the expense of your audience, shaming and diminishing your customers with is just not cool.

5. Awful Brand Videos

There are plenty of examples of video marketing gone wrong, and you don’t want your brand to be added to the long list of painful brand videos.

You know the ones; the director of the company delivers a jargon-heavy marketing spiel, while moving through a featureless office space.

It’s hard to come across at your best in video content if you’re not used to being filmed. But that doesn’t mean you should just accept the results and release bad content.

Your audience want to get to know the personality behind the brand, not simply be told things they can read on your website.

In less time than you think, you can create excellent video content that really grabs your audience’s attention. Put some personality into your brand marketing and give your customers a glimpse behind the scenes of your business. Don’t settle for a stiff showreel.

6. Keep Calm

Sure, it was good while it lasted, but we’ve seen quite enough of the “Keep Calm And Please Share My Content” offerings.

Of course, if it turns out that your audience still loves that sort of thing, then maybe you can make it work – perhaps your brand lends itself particularly well to the cliche, if you sell carry-on luggage, for example – but there’s almost certainly a better option.

Jumping on similar phrase bandwagons can make your brand seem imitative and unoriginal.

Establish your target audience. Then do some in depth research and find out what makes them tick:

  • If you’re selling cars then maybe your audience want to keep going fast, whilst being safe
  • If you’re selling winter clothing then maybe your audience want to keep warm, without sacrificing fashion
  • If you are selling art supplies then maybe your audience want to keep being creative alongside their busy day jobs.

Whatever it is they want, make sure that’s what you give them – not tired phraseology.

Did any of those sound familiar? If so, don’t freak out — it doesn’t mean you need to go back and rehash all your content. The reason cliches come to being is that for awhile, they worked.

Remember, you don’t need to do what works for others, you need to do what works for you. So cut the crap and don’t be slack; get into the mindset of your audience so you can represent your brand in a way that both you and they will love.


Victoria Greene is a branding expert and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce, how writers can hone their craft, and how companies can improve their digital reach. She is passionate about using her experience to help brands improve their marketing.

Create an effective Instagram profile
Digital Branding

Is a Business Loan the Best Financing Option for Your Start-Up Company?

When asked what the biggest hurdle is when starting your own company, most people are going to respond, ‘the finances’. It’s no secret that starting your own business requires a lot of cash up front. You need cash to pay for equipment, inventory, overhead costs for space (renting or leasing business space), employee’s wages, and so much more. There are fixed and variable expenses involved, and these need to be covered. In the end one of the most common reasons new businesses end up failing is because they struggle to cover start-up costs.

Unless you happen to have a trust fund, or have been saving your entire life, chances are you’re going to have to look into financing options. One route that many start-ups end up going for is a business loan. Now with that said there are a few different types of business loans available to you, more specifically secured and unsecured business loans. Are either of these right for you, if so which one? It’s important to look at them closer.

What is a Secured Business Loan?

A secured business loan is a very common type of loan. With this loan you will be borrowing money and you will put up collateral in return. Should you default on paying back the loan, the bank or lender can then take legal action against you so that they can take the collateral you have put up.

This type of loan allows you to borrow the maximum amount of money since the bank doesn’t see it as risky. They know they have the collateral to fall back on. Because the loan is less of a risk, you’ll be rewarded with a lower interest rate.

What is an Unsecured Business Loan?

An unsecured business loan is money that is borrowed from a bank or other lender without any sort of collateral being put up. In this type of agreement the lender is taking all the risk. Should you default on your payments, there is nothing that they can take ownership of. For this reason you may be approved to borrow less money, and the interest rate tends to be higher.

For a new business just starting out, an unsecured loan is often the only solution available. If they had access to collateral, they would probably use that to finance the business. Sometimes the lender may ask for a “director’s guarantee” in these unsecured business loans. What this means is that if you default on paying back the loan, they can then take legal action against the company’s director. Clearly this is something you will want to establish before signing anything.

Don’t Just Focus on the Banks

If you are going to go ahead with a business loan, it’s important you keep in mind that banks aren’t the only ones able to help you out. There are other routes such as trustworthy loan companies like Aspire Business Loans that specialise in both secured and unsecured business loans. You can apply for a loan anywhere between £1,000 and £300,000 and they will search a number of lenders to ensure you get the best deal possible. Often you’ll get a decision that same day.

These companies are brokers, meaning that they will have experience dealing with lenders and therefore the likelihood of the lenders trying to take advantage of you is much smaller.

The Right Solution Exists

The good news is that even if you don’t have the start-up cash required for your new business, there are plenty of solutions out there that can provide you with access to the cash you need. It’s a matter of finding the one that best matches your needs. Remember, starting a business is a long term commitment – finding the funding may be difficult, but it might not be one of the hardest things about starting a business. Once the costs are covered, your business will only be a success if you’re willing to put in the effort to make it one.

Busy bloggers
Digital Branding

Hacks And Tips To Keeping Your Focus

 

 

Many people have the dream of being an online entrepreneur. Way too often the demands of work, family, and social responsibilities seem to overwhelm us, convincing us to give up that dream before we really learn to manage it.

For thousands of people, that dream is their reality. They have learned to balance their lives and to carve out the necessary hours to invest in themselves and their businesses. They have learned to focus on creating the life they want. This gives them the super-ability to get more done in less time.

Take these tips from very busy bloggers who are succeeding and thriving with their entrepreneurship. Choose the ones that will work in your life and adjust them as needed to make them fit. It will take work and commitment. The payoff is freedom to live the life you want to live and give your family the best of you.

Planning, Prioritizing, Writing it down

These pros share with us the need to use a calendar, diary, and list to keep things moving in the right direction.

Karen Houghton, atlantatechvillage.com shares with us, the following:

Running the 4th largest tech hub in the United States means there is always work to be done. Atlanta Tech Village is open 24/7, houses over 300 startups, and we host over 400 events a year. It can be easy to live each day from a reactive place. Instead, I live by my calendar and intentionally plan time and space each day to create a rhythm of work that allows me to be my most productive. Times I will take meetings, when and how many events I attend, office time to answer emails, and even time for reading and writing are planned for and time blocked accordingly. I even schedule buffer time in case there are fires to put out, which there always are. By scheduling my time and using tools like Calendly, I am able to protect my time and make sure I have space to prioritize important things and make sure I get done what needs to get done.

James Kelly, from thelifeofluxury.com, uses a to-do list to prioritize his day.

Each day, we are bombarded with an avalanche of work.  It can be quite stressful. It’s important to start your day with a to-do list. Prioritize them by importance and fully understand what is required.  Knocking off a few “low hanging fruit” provides a sense of accomplishment. The key for me is to avoid distractions, such as limiting cell phone use. I also like to block out a meeting time, so I can focus on the project. Be sure to recognize what you finish and not dwell on tasks that roll to the next day.

Using a diary allows Laura Martin, www.missljbeauty.com to always be prepared.

My tips for productivity are quite simple. I love to have a diary. I set aside time to blog and time for ideas. Carrying a notebook while, on the go is a great way to write down ideas and thoughts. The best advice I received is to be yourself and find your love.  Yes, that Sounds strange in regards to productivity but if you need a break have one. Your brain works better when you are not stressed. If you don’t love what you do. You will not find time to do it. Remember passion is key to success.

Stewart Smith, mkremodeling.com, finds mental preparation keeps him focused.

I’m a stay-at-home dad, so my time window for working is as long as my daughter is napping. Once that window closes, it’s gone until the next day, so I have to hit the ground running. To counter the time limitations, I try to not open my laptop until I have something already written in my head. Usually, it’s a sentence or two, or maybe it’s a cluster of keywords, but as long as I’m not staring at a blank screen, I will find the spark to get going. That, and coffee. Always coffee.

Divide and conquer – taking small bites

Breaking the day into manageable time frames helps Maureen Anders, www.arworkshop.com

I schedule myself in 30-minute time increments throughout the day.  In those 30-minute increments, I list out several “to dos” to be sure that I stay on track.

 

Amber Shawver, www.FourtoAdore.com, finds it easier to break projects into phases.

After I take photos for the blog, I use apps for photo editing, watermarking, and archiving pictures, which I upload directly to the WordPress app as a draft.  Then, I designate time to write pieces corresponding with my photos.

Kerry Bergeman, www.shopfrulu.com & www.new2two.com, grabs minutes daily.

For me, it’s about being organized and surrounding myself by a supportive network. I set aside time every day. I try for the same time, but that never works with two sets of twins running around. I do try to write for at least ten minutes a day and spend ten minutes networking. That is at a minimum. Additionally, I like to engage with people who will support and help me grow. No nay-sayers in this life!

Pam Kocke, pyjammy.com combines, mental preparation with list building.

Challenge yourself to post on a regular schedule. And make sure your readers know about it, so you’ll be accountable. Serial posts work well – document the growth of your garden (or children) or do a countdown to a special event.

Write posts when you’re inspired, and then schedule them for the future. That way, if you can’t think of anything to write about, you’ll always have something on hand to post.

Keep a list of post ideas in an app that you can access from anywhere. (I use Simplenote.) Whenever I am feeling uninspired, I just read through that list and pick something.

Josh Anderson from https DIYactive recommended to trick our minds when it comes to daunting tasks:

“Many people put off bigger projects because they are daunting. One way to overcome this is with your own version of the 10-minute-rule. Find a quiet place, set the timer on your phone for ten minutes and then get to work. Mentally you think that you will only have to work on the project for 10 quick, painless minutes, but the beauty is that you actually start your project and once you dive in you’ll realize it isn’t as daunting as you thought. Ten minutes every day, which usually goes longer once you get in the zone, will help you beat procrastination, distractions and get your projects completed!”

Focus and Focus-Breaks

Focus is a must for the blogger. You have to do the best you can with the limited times you have. But sometimes you have to use tools to break your focus so you can dedicate time to every project.

Deane Alban, founder of BeBrainFit.com believes in the Pomodoro technique:

My favorite way to get into a state of deep concentration is with productivity hack known as the “Pomodoro Technique.” First, proactively remove all distractions that are under your control. Turn off your phone, close your door, and tell those around you not to disturb you – unless your hair is on fire! Be very clear on what you want to accomplish and challenge yourself to get as much done as possible. Then set a timer for 25 minutes and give it your all. If your mind starts to wander, simply bring it back to the task at hand. When the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break. Repeat as needed. Each 30-minute set not only puts you in a state of deep concentration, it actually trains your brain to learn how to block out distractions and focus for extended periods of time.

Ally Gonzales, RunningSoleGirl.com refuses to give less than 100%

A big part of staying productive for me is focusing on one task at a time. In my experience, when people try to multi-task they end up becoming distracted and their work suffers. In any business, especially blogging; you’re always being pulled in multiple directions to try and get everything done. It’s a constantly evolving world, and by focusing on the task at hand you know you’re putting out your best work.

 

Breaking focus to be more effective is important to Mary Ann Zimmerman, www.mindability.com  

Use An Alarm! Personally, a phone alarm helps me regain control of those minor issues that crop up, keeps me from being distracted, and helps me stay ahead of the daily deadlines. Beyond using alarms for getting up in the morning, a basic phone alarm also helps me depart a meeting that runs longer than planned, which automatically increases my productivity and positively impacts the day’s schedule.

 

Doing it all, and doing it healthy

Yoga helps Kim France, girlofacertainage.com stay sharp and relaxed.

I am currently writing a memoir, which I work on during the week, so I do my blog posts on the weekends. I wake up around 6:30, have coffee, walk the dogs, go to an 8:30 yoga class, come home and get right to work. If I’m really cranking, I can get most of the week’s posts done by the end of Saturday.

 

Mila Chervenkova, www.milaonsupplements.com, knows health is the foundation to success.

Keeping my head above water and multitasking could be a difficult thing to complete when my main goal is productivity. Here are a few things I do at the beginning and the end of each day: 1) Plan your day, always have something to do, 2) Always write down your thoughts, 3) I have a daily calendar on my desk, and I fill it with all of the things I want or need to accomplish that day or the other one, 4) Take breaks. Go for a walk. Do some yoga, or my favorite kill the weights in the gym. 5) Take your dietary supplements such as fish oil, vitamin d and some nootropics known as “smart drugs.”

Darrell Grable, neurohacker.com insists on balance:

You must be mentally and physically organized. You do not have to do the same thing every day at the same time, but you must know what you have to do, and when it has to be done. Use your smartphone, calendar, computer, or a pen and paper. But whatever you use, unplug before you do the task.

Fazal Mayar, richerornot.com, however, puts his health and life-work balance first:

You will rarely have entire days to contribute to your work. So, use your minutes wisely and let the hours take care of themselves. Being healthy means having energy, eating well, getting in exercise, and maybe even taking supplements to improve your abilities. You cannot take care of everyone else unless you first take care of yourself.

Todd Middlebrooks, President discusses how technology significantly helped his team be more productive:

We live in an age where technology can significantly improve our daily lives if we know how to use it. At CSII, we’ve helped many physical offices go either partially or entirely virtual.  Seeing employees and managers improve their productivity and efficiency and increasing their overall level of happiness is why we get up in the morning.

Jose Rosario, Owner of SELAH BODYWORKS, states on his productivity:

At times we can confuse being busy with being productive.  As an owner of a small business, it happens all the time.  I always have to implement compensatory strategies to make sure I stay productive. Alerts on my phone, google doc alerts or even the good old yellow sticky reminders. All three come in handy to keep me on track!

Jake Fisher, the owner of Bridges Strategies, talks about cutting distraction with some apps:

Writing valuable content often requires long-term focus to “get into the zone.” A distraction-free writing app is crucial for staying focused. We use the HubSpot Composition Tool but there are plenty of options including stand-alone apps like WriteMonkey and FocusWriter.

Scott Harris, President, and Founder of Mustang Marketing says:

I’ve found that when you consistently deliver engaging and relevant content, your readership will grow organically. While factoring SEO into the equation is important in order for readers to find your writing and services, readers will become loyal subscribers when you provide quality material that is educational, drives the conversation and promotes engagement. Treat content as king and respect your audience by avoiding writing shallow and gimmicky posts or blogs that offer little benefit to you and them.

Jessica Maria from Intelisys shares:

 

As someone whose job description includes social media and media communications, it’s hard to tune out. I love the mac app SelfControl when I have to get into, and stay in, the zone. Making time on my calendar and setting time limits on distracting tasks (email, social media, phone calls, etc.) also helps minimize the distraction, when I don’t want to go fully into the dark. 

 

Bryan Hardy believes in activating your body, freshen up a little to get into the Zone:
Take a minimum of 5 minutes every hour to stand up, walk, stretch, bounce, and breathe deep into your diaphragm. I like to do some jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push-ups, and hangs off a bar or tree branch when there’s one available. The purpose is to completely let go of work, activate your body, and let your mind wander/relax before refocusing on the task at hand.

 

Conclusion

These professionals have found their own paths to success. There are many avenues to explore. Some will work for you and some will not. You may rely on project management tools, your will, ability to cut distractions, or whatever works for you. You may even come up with some of your own to share. There are a few things we can all agree on.

Find or create the formula that works for you and work it. If you do, you will make it.

Appeal to your mobile customers
Digital Branding

How to Get Your Business Mobile App Right First Time

When it comes to engaging with your customers, creating a mobile app is one of the top methods used by many brands today. With an increasing number of web users now preferring to log on via their smartphones and tablets, adding a mobile application to the customer experience makes sense in today’s fast-paced business world, where keeping up is paramount.

So, you’ve decided that a mobile app is just what your customers need to improve their experience with your brand. But, what can you do to ensure that your app isn’t a flop? We’ve listed our top suggestions.

Tip #1. Hire the Right Professionals:

Chances are, you won’t be creating your business’ mobile app all by yourself. If you’re going to be hiring a mobile app developer to help you with putting your app together, then it’s important to invest some time in conducting thorough research beforehand. Getting recommendations from contacts that you trust, reading online reviews, and searching through portfolios of developers’ past work will certainly pay off in the end. Go for a company that has extensive experience when it comes to creating business and marketing apps, such as this mobile app development London company; https://www.lexel.co.uk/mobile-app-development-london.html.

Tip #2. Testing is Key:

Testing should be an integral part of the app development process, since the last thing that you want is to roll out an app to your customers only to find that its riddled with bugs and other issues that could have been fixed had you tested it beforehand. One good way to do this is to get unbiased reviews of your app before releasing it, by allowing a select few customers to download a beta version. Once they have done this, they can send you information about what’s working well and what needs improvement. You can reward their efforts with discounted products, vouchers, or a free gift.

Tip #3. Understand Your Users:

Before you even start planning your app development, you’ll need to know exactly what it is that your users will want from it. Bear in mind that your users’ motivations to use the app will always matter much more than your own, so it’s vital to get their opinions on your ideas before going ahead. Conducting intensive market research to determine what your target audience require and want from the apps that they use will get you on the right track to developing an app that goes down incredibly well and produces excellent results.

Tip #4. Keep Ease of Use in Mind:

Although millions of people today use smartphones, bear in mind that not everybody is extremely technologically savvy. Along with that, your average app user today will place a lot of value on convenience. Because of this, your top priority when designing an app should be the ease of use; ensure that it has a user-friendly interface, simple navigation system, and a seamless design flow. Make sure that it’s easy for any potential user to find exactly what they need when using your app.

Did you enjoy these tips? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Digital Branding

How Do You Choose a Leaflet Printing Service for Your Traditional Marketing Strategies?

With more and more printing services setting up shop on every street corner, it’s becoming much harder for businesses to choose a reliable service to cater to their needs. It’s easy to go and choose a printing service and get what you need. But, the reality is, it’s not that easy. There are many services out there that provide an excellent service. However, there are also many others who’re looking to take your business for granted. With that being said, by taking advantage of the following tips, you’ll be best able to choose a printing service that perfectly suits your marketing strategies.

Ensure They Offer Varied Products

Firstly, look at some of the products on offer. If the business in question only offers postcard and leaflet printing services, then you’ll end up having to find another printing service in the future that can offer more business branded accessories to suit your needs. Try to find a business that can offer your business a varied product catalogue from the get-go so you don’t have to waste time finding a supplier in the future. For example, try to find a printing service that not only offers leaflet and flyer printing services, but a business that can also offer pencil, pen, apparel, and the many other businesses branded accessories that could help your business thrive.

How High-Quality Are the Products?

The next thing you’ll want to consider is the quality of products on offer. Some businesses are much greener than they were 5-10 years ago, so you’ll likely want to settle for a business that uses recycled paper and the like for your cheap leaflet printing requirements. However, you’ll also want to consider how professional you want your flyers to look and feel. Many services, one example can be seen through the leaflet printing at print24, offer you the chance to select different paper weights and types to better suit your requirements. Customers could well be pulled in by the use of cheap paper flyers, but investing in something of much more quality could be the difference in your marketing campaign being a success.

What’re Their Previous Clients Saying?

Next, look at the printing services current and/or past clients to see what they think/thought of the services they received. This is easily done now thanks to Google. Simply type in the company’s name and it’ll come up with a host of links with regards to testimonials and reviews they’ve already received. This will give you a good idea of customer service, quality of products and overall how good the service was. If you’re seeing more problematic reviews than you are positive, it could be a good idea to look elsewhere, otherwise, you could end up with losing out on a good service. Also, check out reviews for all their services (leaflet printing, flyer printing, print flyers, cheap leaflet printing, print leaflets) to ensure you get the best service.

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What’s It Going to Cost You?

While the cheaper printing services are still reliable, the best ones are usually the ones that don’t have pricing structures that seem too good to be true. Always judge a business on their pricing structure to not only ensure it meets with your marketing budgets but also to see if it sounds too good to be true. This will give you a better idea of where they are and, more importantly, how they can realistically offer you the reliable printing services you crave. Again, you’ll want to look at all their services and pricing lists at this point, just to see if they’re realistic in all services they offer.

Delivery Terms

Delivery is also vital when it comes to hiring printing services. The last thing you want is your leaflets to turn up two weeks after Christmas when all your leaflets are merry and Christmas-based designed. Always consider the delivery terms of any printing service, otherwise, your marketing strategies could take a monster hit.

What About a Bulk Order?

If you’re a big business, you’ll likely have a bigger marketing strategy in place. Therefore, you’ll need to invest in accessories and leaflets in bulk. Remember, all printing services are out there to compete for your custom, so always choose a service that can offer your business a bulk discount to better suit your budgets. Of course, you’ll still want to take their pricing structures into account as stated above, but searching for a business that offers good bulk discounts should also be considered, especially when it comes to a fruitful long-term relationship.

There’s plenty to do when it comes to hiring a printing service. You could be one of the lucky ones that gets a reliable business from picking their first printing services. But the reality is simple, if you don’t spend the time in researching a business or by implementing the above tips in your search, you could end up wasting time and money on planning business marketing strategies that you don’t get your accessories for to help promote them.