Category: Personal Branding

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Simple Ways to Make the Workplace More Enjoyable

If you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life. While many of us don’t have the luxury of doing exactly what we always wanted to do for a living, there are still things we can do to make the workplace more fun and engaging.

Recent studies show that only ten percent of us enjoy the thought of going to work each day; that means for every 100 people you pass on their morning commute, only 10 of them feel optimistic and fulfilled about what they are offering society.

Whether you are a boss or merely a cog in the wheel, there are some things you can do to spice up your workplace climate and make your 9 to 5 more fun for everyone. Follow these tips for workplace fun and frivolity:

1. Give decorative license

Allow employees to spruce up their work quarters with personal items—photos, decorations, plants, and even paint–to make it seem warmer and more inviting. At certain times of the year, you could also have a decorating contest to see who can get the most creative with their space. Play it up, have fun, and create a work environment that feels more like home.

2. Serve up some snacks!

Who doesn’t work better on a full stomach? Serving up some healthy snacks and providing iced coffee in the break room is a great way to develop a sense of community while boosting productivity. Who knows? That extra caffeine might even get you through till lunchtime!

3. Throw a party

You spend enough time with your co-workers; why not celebrate some of life’s special moments with them as well? Birthdays, wedding and baby showers, and holiday office parties are just some of the ways you can add some fun and celebration to your otherwise routine days. Want to surprise everyone? Bring in some barbecue for lunch on a Friday for an excellent way to kick off the weekend. You don’t have to have an excuse to gather and enjoy each other; get fun and creative with how you spend those leisurely moments, and they may be the beginning of some solid friendships.

4. Improve office mechanics

Having to work in an environment that is too cold, too hot, or with poor lighting and poorly designed office equipment can make work duties drag on forever. Doing what you can to make the workplace more comfortable and efficient will increase productivity and improve morale; happy, comfortable workers are productive workers! Adjust the thermostat, improve lighting, and ensure that office furniture is ergonomically correct, and you’ll reduce the physical and mental strain that leads to burnout.

5. Design and promote incentives

Do you have to fulfill a quota in your line of work? Do you have a goal or a mission statement you need to realize? What better way to create more drive and initiative than by putting some incentive in place for meeting those goals. All can work toward a common purpose like making more money or maybe reducing your office waste as close to zero as possible. You could also choose to reward individuals for their achievements; recognizing others for their hard work will inspire all to do better.

The sky’s the limit

A little innovation and creativity are all that stand in your way of creating a fun and inviting atmosphere for all employees to partake in; work doesn’t have to be drudgery, nor should it be. Following some of these suggestions for improving working conditions will create happier, healthier employees, one initiative at a time.

Local BrandingPersonal Branding

Making Lean Business Part of Your Brand

While you may have heard people use the word lean when referring to business models, its meaning may not be clear. As the name implies, lean methodology aims to eliminate unnecessary business elements, while retaining the essentials necessary for business growth and customer satisfaction.

What Is a Lean Business Model?

A lean business model is one that focuses on implementing processes and making continuous improvements to achieve optimum business efficiency. Lean business models accomplish this by removing or changing ineffective practices and unprofitable products while assessing and improving team productivity.

Through correct implementation, most businesses, particularly start-ups, can benefit immensely from adopting thriftiness and optimization. Recognizing the value of buying used office printers versus new, and other situations where cutting costs makes sense is something a company should be proud of.

How Organizations Can Implement Lean Business Models

Arguably, the biggest challenge most businesses face when implementing lean business models is ensuring that new models and processes do not negatively affect customers. While removing or changing certain products or teams may appear profitable, the move could impact a sizable chunk of the customer base either immediately or in the future.

Therefore, during lean implementation, businesses should analyze their start-to-finish processes of building products and services and delivering them to customers. This analysis should highlight areas of the process businesses can cut or streamline without negatively affecting the delivery stage. If such areas are present, then they should be the focus of the team responsible for lean implementation.

Benefits of Lean Business Models

I.Ease of Implementation

Even without going entirely lean, businesses can introduce elements of lean models via small continuous improvements throughout the organization. This enlightens all members of the organization to perceive lean as an essential attribute.

For instance, Gazprom Energy uses the acronym TIM WOODS to target eight kinds of waste, i.e., transport, inventory, motion, waiting, over-processing, over-production, defects, and skills. This acronym enables Gazprom Energy to remain mindful of various wastes that fall into these categories, along with potential ways to eliminate them throughout the workplace.

II.Engaged Employees

Through lean business models, employees can appreciate the value they offer to the broader team, hence fostering increased participation and engaging the attention. For instance, by adopting lean manufacturing, Nike reduced its waste, increased customer value, and eliminated bad labor practices by as much as 15% in its overseas manufacturing plant.

III.Continuous Growth

Businesses that follow lean methodology function almost holistically, since they focus on the essentials. This implies that a lean methodology helps a business shine a well-rounded spotlight. Employees responsible for the quality of output and business effectiveness think proactively to identify and eliminate elements that do not add any value to the work.

IV.Improved Leadership Skills

From shift supervisors to mid-level managers and even top-level directors, lean methodology encourages a more proactive managerial approach. Things like 1 on 1 time with employees to address concerns in addition to fun and free for all activities like icebreakers can help leadership and the employees develop a stronger bond. 

Following a lean business model, managers at all levels will identify how to make their part of the business more effective to achieve greater efficiency, profitability, and quality throughout the organization.

Conclusion

Lean entails promoting simple, yet highly effective practices at each stage of the start-to-finish process and all levels of the business. By properly implementing a lean business model, you can reduce wastes on time and other resources, while improving KPIs(Key Performance Indicators) and your business’s responsiveness to opportunities.

Local BrandingPersonal Branding

Breaking the Myth of the Modern Concept of Working Mothers

Working mum, the modern phenomena that started in earnest in the 1970s – wrong!  For the vast majority of human existence, working mothers have been the norm.  Especially as up until recent times, the work that women do in the home was not segregated from the concept of ‘work’.  For most of human history, work was about survival and women’s contribution to that survival was of equal significance to that of men, and they nearly always did it with children in tow.

In fact, a recent study of contemporary hunter gatherer tribes indicates that men and women have equal influence on the important decisions impacting the group.  As these tribes emulate what life would have been like for us all in the Palaeolithic to early Neolithic eras, then the findings challenge the idea that the notion of sexual equality is modern – rather it has been the norm for most of human evolutionary history.  In fact, early human existence was probably more egalitarian than we have managed to achieve today.  It would appear that the inequality between the sexes that still persists emerged when we moved from hunter gathering to farming – when people started to accumulate possessions – including specifically owned tribal land, this was the dawn of inequality.

For most of recorded history, agriculture was the chief human occupation, and heavy physical labor was not confined to men. Women in today’s agrarian societies that have changed little since ancient times, still perform physically demanding jobs such as grinding grain by hand, drawing and carrying water and gathered wood (often over considerable distances), as well as churning milk to make butter. Toiling in the fields with primitive equipment is back breaking work, undertaken by both men and women, the women often with babies strapped to their backs.

As more and more people left their nomadic life and became settled, we know from evolving archaeological information and the study of historical writings that across the globe, women/ mothers in these emerging cultures played a variety of roles: artist, agriculturalist, nurse, healer, midwife, judge, priestess, weaver, queen, leader, merchant, laborer, warrior, holy woman, and more.

In the earliest civilizations (e.g. Sumeria and Egypt), whilst women were not as equal as their hunter gatherer forebears, there were no legal restrictions on their economic activity, they could own property, run businesses, become priestesses, scribes, physicians and act as judges and witnesses in courts. However, as these and other cultures grew in wealth and power and as it became increasingly necessary to defend what they had, as they could no longer move on when challenged by a stronger tribe, a strong warrior/ patriarchal society formed, which gradually eroded the rights of women.  By the time of the Greeks and Romans in Western history, women were second class citizens and the chattels of the men in their lives.  However, women from the lower orders still needed to work hard both inside and outside the home.

In the Middle Ages in Europe, women spun wool, cooked and cleaned, washed clothes, baked bread, milked cows, fed animals, brewed beer and collected firewood.  At that time many women were spinners, brewers, jewelers, parchment makers and glovers.  In rural communities, women worked alongside their men in the fields and in towns they helped their husbands in their businesses.  Often if a man died, his widow would carry on his trade and aristocratic women managed their husband’s estates during their absences.

It was the Industrial Revolution that changed work forever.  The home had been the center of work, production and family life; industrialization meant that work moved from home to factory.  The role of women did not change overnight however, records suggest that women’s employment in the 1850s, 60s and 70s was higher than any recorded again until after World War II.  Evidence suggests that 30 to 40 per cent of women from working class families, made a significant financial contribution to household income at that time.  This was before State and Trade Union rules were brought in to regulating female labor, ultimately supporting the ideal of the male ‘breadwinner’, a concept that persisted well into the 20th century.

It was social and economic developments that precipitated the change in women’s work.  The growth of education increased the demand for more teachers and the need for more office workers and salespeople (particularly in retail) was growing, providing more opportunities for women, especially as they could be hired on lower salaries than men.  However, for married women many of these roles were unavailable, as numerous employers maintained a legal marriage bar (a ban on working after marriage), especially in ‘white collar’ work.  Even after national emergencies such as the World Wars, when women took on manufacturing jobs to replace men on military service, women were ultimately forced back to housekeeping or traditionally female roles.  

Significant change did not happen again until the 1970s when a surge in married women entering the workforce occurred and is still ongoing. Today, the equality landscape is so different from what our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers experienced; however, we clearly have a long way to go before we get back to the equality experienced by our Palaeolithic to Neolithic ancestors.

Legal BrandingLocal BrandingPersonal Branding

Why It’s Better to Work for a Startup

Startups have become all the rage in the tech world. Still, across almost every business sector, you can find new, up and coming startup companies shaking up their industries. Startup culture is trendy, but if you peel back the outer layers, you’ll find that startups are fundamentally changing the way people work. While more established and traditional workplaces come with their own rewards, startups offer plenty of perks for job seekers willing to make the change. Here are some ways working for a startup can change your work life for the better.

1. Upward Mobility

While there is always some opportunity for advancement in more traditional settings, the startup’s nature is that they are continually growing. Getting in on the ground floor of a successful startup means that you’ll have far more opportunities to improve your bottom line. Beyond the basic idea that being involved from the earliest days of the company means you’re more likely to get a promotion, you’re also more likely to be in a position to expand your portfolio of skills. Employees at a younger company often wear many hats. Adding a versatile range of skills to your resume is always a good idea.

2. Office Culture

Startups are widely known for having a more open and engaging office culture than their more well-established counterparts. In some offices, that could mean more flexibility in working hours. Research shows that employees who have more flexibility with their work time are happier and more productive. At a startup, it’s much more likely that you will be able to set the work schedule that works for you.

Beyond the schedule flexibility, working for a startup most likely means you won’t find yourself drudging away in a sea of cubicles. For one, you’re more likely to get a sit-stand desk, allowing you to maintain a better and healthier posture. Getting up and getting moving is crucial at work. An open office space with a sit-stand desk and expanded recreation space are tremendously beneficial for health and productivity.

3. Wages and Benefits

Startup culture is, generally speaking, driven by data. While that can sometimes sound like corporate fluff, what it means for employees is that you’re more likely to have better wages and dental. There are two reasons for this. The first is that startups are often competing in aggressive job markets for candidates with in-demand skills. Sweetening the deal with better wages and benefits only makes sense in that scenario. 

The other reason is somewhat more complicated. Startups know that younger and more tech-savvy workers are more likely to have the skills they need. The employees in that demographic care less about the stability of a long career and more about happiness and comfort. Today’s workers are more likely to eschew the incentives of the old corporate world in favor of a wages and benefits package that maximizes paid time off, quality healthcare, and other fringe benefits like gym memberships. Startups know what these workers want and are more likely to give it to them.

4. Social Benefit

In the same way that the workers of the new economy are looking for comfort at work, they’re also looking for workplaces and occupations that allow them to affect social good. Whether you’re looking to help people in need or do your part to stop climate change, startups are more likely to solve these problems than traditional companies. Beyond the core work mission, startups are also typically heavily involved in charitable giving, especially in the fields they’re working in and the cities where they’re located.

5. Location

While the corporate office parks of yesteryear are more likely to be located in hard to reach and expensive suburbs, startups are much more likely to be in locations that are more desirable to the next generation of employees. Startups know that today’s workers want to live in work in places with vibrant social life, quick access to amenities, and proximity to public transit. Startups have the flexibility to choose and, if necessary, change locations to meet the needs of their mission and workforce far more efficiently than traditional companies.

Working for a startup comes with many great benefits that you won’t find in the traditional corporate world. If any of these perks are what you’re looking for in your next workplace, it may be time to consider going to work at a startup. You never know if the startup of today will be the business giant of tomorrow.

Legal BrandingLocal BrandingPersonal Branding

Crowdfunding PR Tips for Kickstarter & Indiegogo

One thing that you need to do before all else when trying to gain media coverage is to create a media list. It is one of the most important public relations jobs and it is always guaranteed that when done right, it is an effective way to establish media relations with target specific journalists and influencers. 

This guide will go in detail about: 

  1. What is a media list? 
  2. Making the perfect media list 
  3. How to use media lists to get press 
  4. How to start a conversation with media outlets 
  5. Examples of media lists

What is a media list?

The whole point of a media list is to have a detailed document of media outlets including journalists, bloggers, writers, editors and influencers that are perfectly matched to your niche and topics that you are writing about. It normally includes the name of the individuals and their contact information. 

The opinion of a media list is very hit or miss because it can be construed as a waste of time and a way to spam every media outlet to get responses from anyone. There are two halves of developing contacts, which include building an effective media list and being able to start conversations and build relationships with media contacts.

Making the Perfect Media List

Step 1: Find your audience

It is important to figure out every aspect of your audience; what they read, what they listen to, what they watch, the type of things they follow on social media, etc. With this information, you will get a better understanding of the type of media outlets to target.  From there, you can ensure coverage by sending your press release email to the appropriate audience

This research information of your media list is very important because from there you are creating a list that is more thorough and you can think about: 

  • Your customers – the people that are going to buy your product or service 
  • The stakeholders in your company – The people that require evidence that your PR is working 
  • Industry experts – the people in your sector that you want to notice your company 
  • Regulators – the people that have a direct influence on your sector and are beneficial to impress. 

From there and to keep everything concise and put together, create a spreadsheet of all ideas and titles that relate to your industry. Once you have compiled everything, you can search keywords of your ideas on search engines for the relevant newspapers, magazines, etc. that cover the same or similar topics that you have put in your spreadsheet. 

Step 2: Creating the list

A good media list needs to be clear, concise, and organized. Here are some things that you should add to your list: 

1) Name of the publication/blog/website 

You should identify the exact name of media outlets and add it to your media list because there is a possibility that reporters will move around and change their jobs, so you want to focus on the publication and readership rather than just the contact. 

2) Publication website address

This could be a handy shortcut on your media list so that you can easily refer to the media outlet’s online presence whenever you need to. 

3) Reporter/Blogger/Journalist/Broadcaster full name

Do not send press releases or stories to email addresses that seem generalized, it would honestly be a waste of time because so many emails go through these email addresses, they aren’t going to think twice about skipping over them. 

You need to see if you can find the email addresses of the specific bloggers and people that you want to write about your product/service and keep it precise and personal. 

4) Job title 

You should also keep note of the position that the contact holds in the company that they work for because it might become relevant for your media pitch. This is helpful when you have breaking news about your industry and when you contact them because it is relevant and it helps both of you. 

5) Email

This is one of the most important things because you are going to need an email address of your contacts when you decide to distribute your press release.

6) Phone number 

You might also want their phone number so that you can call them to talk about a story or follow-up on a pitch that you had previously sent to see if it is relevant.

7) Social media details 

If they are on social media, you should add them so you can also start building a personal relationship with them. It is common that journalists are found on Twitter, so find their handle and start talking to them.

8) Frequency

Make a note of how regularly the publication you want to send your pitch to goes out. This can have an impact on the stories that you send because they could only post monthly, weekly, etc. You need to know when to send your pitch out and whether it is relevant at the time.

9) Story ideas

This is a perfect moment to align the stories you intend to send out with the right people. If you have a collection of different angles and stories that you want to send out, you can add them to this column so that you can link them to the appropriate reporters and broadcasters. When you do this properly, you won’t end up sending your press releases to the wrong people. 

10) Notes

Keep track of important information that could be useful in the future. When it comes to the media outlets, you can add the stories that they have written recently, specific area they do features on, notes about conversations on social media you have had with them. 

Step 3: Research relevant journalists

The next step is to click on the articles that are on the first few pages of your search because those will be the most relevant to your topic.  When you are going through the articles, make sure to double check if there is an actual person that you can contact because sometimes, blogs do not give out author’s names for articles written. 

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find the author’s name right away, just keep doing some research on the platform and you might be able to find another contributor that you can contact. It is important that you not only try to get coverage by top-tier publication but try and establish credibility with smaller media outlets to build up your portfolio.

Step 4: Make your list of target journalists

While you are reading each article from your search results, you should go through some questions before you add them to your media list.  You should try and keep your PR lists more simplified because the thing to remember is that it is more effective to have a handful of relevant journalists that you have a good relationship with than a long list of journalists that are a part of your field, but you rarely speak to. 

The questions that you should ask yourself before adding them to your list are: 

  1. Are they a generalist or specialist in the field? 
  2. What is their editorial style? 
  3. Are they easily contacted or mind being contacted by different mediums? 
  4. What kinds of publications do they or have they written for?

From there, you can tailor your messages in a way that you know will catch their attention. They are constantly bombarded by messages and information that may not concern them, so keep your messages as relevant to the topic at hand as possible. You can also think of media relations as a number of games, the more you pitch to, the higher chances of landing something. Just make sure you understand the relevance.

Quality over Quantity.

If they answer all these questions, add them to your media list and go from there.

Step 5: Keep your list updated

Creating a media list can take time and effort because it is important to keep the list current and updated. New media opportunities can present themselves whenever possible and journalists can move around, so you need to stay alert and update any information that can possibly change. It will make sure that you still have the relevant media outlets and also makes sure that your hard work is wasted. 

Step 6: Watch your market and competitors

It is more than likely that whatever industry you are in, some media outlet somewhere has written something about it. That means that they definitely have the experience to write about your company and your industry. However, when you pitch to those media outlets, make sure that you stand out from your competitors because if they have talked about a similar product/service, they most likely would not have to talk and write about the same thing again. 

How to use media list to get press?

Enterprise Resource Planning collected of scrabble game elements

You may have a large list of relevant names and contact details, but you still need to make sure that when you pitch, you still keep it personal. You need to remember that just because you are using your efforts to connect with them and chat with them, it does not mean that they know you. 

You need to connect on a personal level and have communicated prior before sending them a press release or story pitch. Make sure that they are aware of you and your business, already interested in your story and relatively excited about posting and sharing your story with their readers. 

It order to build a relationship with any type of media outlet, it is simple enough to start a conversation. It is important to start a conversation with the relevant people that already exist on your media list weeks before your actual launch date of your product or service.  Continue having the conversation until you have built a solid relationship so that when you need media coverage, you can approach them with a preexisting relationship and not as a complete stranger and there is no need to send a cold email pitch. It can take so time to build a good relationship, but once it is done, the payoff is definitely better than last-minute attempts. 

How do you start a conversation?

Sometimes it might hard to figure out how to start a professional conversation. So, in order to get some pointers, closely read the articles that are a part of your research. It may seem a bit harsh, but try and find mistakes, weak points or anything missing from an article or blog posts that could be used to start a conversation. 

Some things to look for:

  • Grammar errors 
  • Outdated facts 
  • Information that can be added 
  • Possible articles that need follow up stories 

It is also important to understand that when it comes to influencers, you should try many different types. Don’t limit yourself to journalists or bloggers. You can even try to get coverage from investors, social media influencers, and even founders of other companies. To find the appropriate ones, you need to define the goal of your product or service and then define your target audience. Once you figure out all those things, you are all set. 

Creating a media list is easy; it is the follow-through that can be complicated. You need to make a solid first impression so that you can get continuous coverage. The more effort you put into creating a media list and sparking a solid conversation will have a great payoff. 

Conclusion

Media lists are a way to keep everything organized and up-to-date so that you know what you are sending, who you are sending it to, and when. It is a way of documenting the key media contact that might be interested in stories about your business or area of expertise. Do not limit yourself to the traditional media outlets, keep an open mind and don’t give up too quickly if you don’t catch the big fish. Keep at it and it will all be worth it in the long-run. 

Legal BrandingPersonal Branding

How to Build a Brand Your Mom Will Be Proud Of

Small business owners create their brands in a variety of ways. Pride is a thread that connects most of those efforts, however. Most people don’t want to feel ashamed of their businesses. They want them to get attention for all the right reasons. Here are some practical, effective ways to create a brand that you’ll love to mention when someone asks, “So, what do you do?”

Offer High-Quality Products

Providing high-quality products to your customers might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many brands prefer to merely get their products into customers’ hands. Representatives from those enterprises only think about the initial purchase — not repeat buyers. They don’t care if the items fall apart or stop working outside the time frame for returns. 

In a 2019 survey, 85% of respondents agreed that quality was a deal-breaker or deciding factor in their purchases. Make the quality of your products so evident that people can immediately see, feel or perceive it in other ways. 

Speak to quality in your product descriptions, too. You might say, “Our team of engineers worked for five years to design a tent that’s durable, simple to pitch and pack and reliable in any weather. If you’re dissatisfied for any reason, we want to make things right.”

Treat Your Employees Well

Workers collectively make up the backbone of the most successful brands. When workers love their employers, they’re more likely to be eager brand ambassadors. However, if employees get mistreated — or perceive they do — the ramifications could affect your whole operation. Most consumers don’t like the idea of supporting companies that don’t value their employees.

Consider if a customer walks into a store and notices that most workers are grumpy or bored. The matter could worsen if the workforce becomes so disgruntled that outspoken members take their complaints to social media or the press. Some employees may even strike. 

You can prevent unhappy employees from ruining your company’s reputation, however. Get to the heart of what’s wrong by showing a willingness to listen and take them seriously. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, but show you’re committed to implementing improvements. Think about having a formal process for gathering feedback. Consider letting people provide input anonymously if preferred. 

Investigate Custom Packaging Options

A well-crafted brand immediately stands out from the competition. Customized packaging can help you achieve that goal. An eye-catching box makes people get excited whenever they see it. You can design boxes with bright colors, creative fonts, quotes or even graphics. All of those things help to strengthen your identity. 

You can also put thoughtful details into the box, such as a strip a recipient can pull to open the package, letting them avoid struggling with scissors. The lid of the box might have tabs that slot into the bottom section, helping people easily open and close the packaging. 

Another nice thing about custom packaging is that people are more likely to reuse it. An appealing, branded box that a person got after ordering from an e-commerce site could get repurposed as a container for anything ranging from office supplies to snack-size packs of trail mix. 

Provide Consistency

Whether you operate a neighborhood deli, a furniture store or a web design company, customers want to feel they’ll get the same outstanding brand experience no matter how many times they visit. Begin by thinking about what aspects shape how people see your company. Perhaps your top-notch customer service or inviting in-store atmosphere. Maybe people appreciate your witty brand voice or your well-designed, mobile-friendly website. 

Think about the things in your power that maintain those factors. You might need to invest in more staff training. An in-house style guide can also remove uncertainty about matters like color schemes, word choices and punctuation preferences. 

Regardless of  which individual approaches you take, ensure that everything looks similar across all platforms and ways people access your business. Consumers notice that attention to detail. It helps them know what to expect when dealing with you. 

Respond to Customer Issues

The customer experience occasionally becomes tarnished, even at companies well-known for their amazing brands. It’s your responsibility to be available when people want to reach out after things go wrong.

Maybe someone feels upset due to an inefficient cashier. Perhaps they opened the box from an online order and discovered the product inside was something other than what they purchased. 

Ignoring these problems will not make them go away and is likely to make them worse. Show customers that their concerns matter to you and that you want to fix the issues. Waiting too long to answer them gives the impression that customers are not your priority, and you don’t care about earning or keeping their loyalty. 

Choose Causes to Support

Aligning your business with causes that matter to you and your workers could positively impact profits and how many new customers you gain. A 2018 survey found that charitable giving affects 73% of Americans’ purchase decisions. The same study revealed that 65% of those polled believe companies have a responsibility to give back. 

Strive for authenticity when picking what matters most to you. Try to select causes that relate to your business. If the company sells water filtration products, you might support a charity that brings clean water to disadvantaged areas. 

Talk to your employees about how they could get involved with causes, too. Some might participate in a fundraiser or a community clean-up day, for example. They’ll like knowing that their contributions span beyond your business. 

Admit to Your Mistakes

No one’s perfect, and that reality will inevitably manifest in your business. Maybe you’ll make a blunder that causes some customers to leave. Perhaps you’ll cling too tightly to a plan despite overwhelming evidence of its failure.

Owning up to your mistakes isn’t fun, but it’s a crucial part of being an effective and admired leader. Learn from your errors, too. Dig into what caused them, and figure out proactive prevention measures.

Decide how to communicate with outside external parties. Should you publish a press release, or might it work better to post a YouTube video? The right format varies depending on the severity of the issue and what you want — or need — to convey.

Building Blocks for Your Brand

These actions are not the only ones that make up a fabulous brand that people praise. However, they’ll get you off to a good start in earning positive recognition and customer satisfaction.

Lexie is a branding enthusiast and web designer. She loves checking out local flea markets and taking her Goldendoodle on hikes. Follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner and check out her design blog, Design Roast.

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

How Ad Agencies Adapted to the COVID-19 World

Over the years, advertising agencies have generally figured out what works best for their industry, and have done a good job in structuring their business procedure around that concept. With the current COVID-19 pandemic that is impacting businesses and consumers worldwide, ad agencies are being forced to adapt in order to keep up with the changing workplace environment. Where before the outbreak agencies could rely on a large team coming together and accomplishing tasks – such as writing and filming a new television commercial – many ad agencies now are being forced to adapt to a workforce that is unable to congregate in a single location for such a job.

Remote operation is something that works to a different extent depending on the industry that a company is in. In some cases, an employee can easily transfer their work from an office environment to the home office. Other jobs, such as a good number of ad agency positions, could struggle with having to stop working in groups that share office space and collaborative meetings. 

Without the typical team atmosphere created by people working together sharing the same space, ad agencies have come to rely on cloud integration services to keep operating during the pandemic. Cloud integration software makes it easier for teams to work together virtually, even when they are physically apart. Document sharing, video conferencing, and other collaboration tools are just a few of the ways in which teams that are working apart are able to still work together in order to accomplish their goals.

As an example of how some ad agencies have adapted to the unique challenges that they are presented with by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, agencies have been forced to get creative in how they go about creating the various new commercials and advertisements that their clients need them to produce. Since they are currently unable to use their usual methods of putting together a team of people that can shoot the footage necessary for a typical television commercial, agencies are instead having to fall back on previously recorded footage they have in the archives from previous recording sessions that took place before the outbreak. This previous footage must be reworked and reedited in order to put together a coherent message that is both accurate and relevant to the current time.

However, while there have clearly been many varied and significant changes in the workings of the professional world as a result of COVID-19, there are also more subtle changes that have taken place as a direct result of the impact that the pandemic has had on people’s individual lives. With so many people staying at home instead of going to work, the amount of digital content being consumed by individuals on a given day has dramatically increased. 

Should this trend continue in the future, this may spark a shift in the goals and plans of an advertising agency’s typical client. Where they might have once wanted a television commercial, they may now want to have a series of short clips that could be used for internet ads or videos that can be promoted through online platforms in order to reach their customers where they are spending their time. At the end of the day, ad agencies are being forced to adapt to a changing business climate, facing new challenges and reaching for new goals as a result.

Personal Branding

5 Branding Tips for Architectural Firms

Branding is how you portray your business. Every organization should keep branding in mind, including architectural firms. Your brand should let people know the tone of your company, and it will help establish a clear identity. However, you may not know how to brand your architectural firm properly. Here are five branding tips for architectural firms.

1. Show Your Work

The best way to explain your brand is to show people what you do. Do you focus on one particular niche, or do you tackle all sorts of projects? Showcase plenty of cool pictures of both finished projects and projects under construction. You may even consider getting a professional photographer to make your work look as striking as possible. Put the pictures on your website, on social media, and on your different promotional communications. This will also show people exactly what your firm can do for clients.

2. Highlight the Talent

An architectural firm is all about the architects doing the work. You need to inform people about the architects. Let people know if they earned their architectural degree from a prestigious university. You should also talk about their experience and even aspects of their personal lives. People like to know something about the people who will be doing the work. Plus, these are the people who are the face of the company. Make sure all bios follow the tone of your brand.

3. Visit Appropriate Trade Shows

Trade shows are places for people to come together to talk business. It’s a place to make connections, and it’s a way to spread your brand. Use exceptional visuals with your logo, company colors, and examples of your work. You also want to wear merchandise with your logo on it as well. When you talk to someone who might need your services, give them our business card. You may even ask for their card.

4. Write a Blog

The different architects in the firm should take turns writing blogs on different topics related to architecture. The blogs should cover new topics or attack common topics with a new perspective. The articles should also be easy to skim. You can do this by using headers, bullet points, and short paragraphs. Be consistent and put the blog out once a week. These blogs will help establish your firm as experts in architecture. People who read your blogs will remember the firm when they need your services, especially if the blogs were well-written and informative.

5. Consider Your Audience

While branding your customer, you need to consider your audience. First, think about who your customer is. What demographics are you targeting? What would appeal to your customer? What will get their attention? What will make them want to buy? Base your branding strategy with these things in mind, and you will set yourself up for success.

Your company has a personality. You need to breathe life into this personality. Make sure it shows in every aspect of your marketing from your logo, your signage in your store, and your digital presence. When you establish your brand, people will know you and know what to expect from you.

Legal BrandingPersonal Branding

Estimate Templates for Smaller Businesses

Flowers are invariably in high demand. Survey says that flower stores are expanding exponentially in the country. Not only flower shops but with it the number of designing houses are also thriving. People are more interested in beautifying spaces. So, industries with aesthetic sensibilities are on a high rise. Every little thing that is associated with your business represents your firm. To maintain its reputation the company however small it may be, needs to look professional. So, the firm should oversee all the business aspects in a methodical manner. When you send an estimate to a prospective client that too represents you. The design of the estimate and the logo will count to a conscious consumer. No matter how creative and inspirational, you approach to life is, when it comes to business it is always required to keep a level head and composed output. So, let us discuss now how one can improve the estimated requirements of a smaller business. 

What is estimate template?

Estimates are formal documents that are required to be approved by both parties when they are in business jointly. Suppose, you want to buy sunflowers in bulk from a dealer and you agreed on a price. You need supplies in multiple locations for several outlets of yours and you want them to be delivered at a specific time. You may have a very good bond with this vendor and you trust him fully. But you need to have a document written in black and white. So, the bargain remains clear between both parties. This designing of estimate might turn out to be a hectic job. So, instead, you can visit aynax.com free online estimate template.  Here you can browse through a different type of archetype of estimate templates. 

Why is it helpful?

A business template takes time to formulate. With each changing deal of trade, the templates need to alter. So, to create all these different templates can be quite a hassle. Instead, you can browse through the online prototypes and get the job done. There is a customization option that will allow you to design the estimate template in your own unique way. The process is easy and straightforward. This form of templates will definitely make your business look sharper and give it a skilled touch. 

Why does the presentation matter?

This is an age of show and tell. People put a lot of energy and effort to make their products and services look aesthetically presentable and beautiful. If you run a business that deals with flowers and design, it is more so important for you to be careful about every single detail. Customers that come to you are most definitely interested in design values. So, your presentation should matter. The documents that you provide should matter to you as it is a part of your design. 

Why is an estimate important for the client?

An estimated statement is a legal paper that holds real value. It is valuable to you as well as to the client. Maybe a team of event management buys flowers for an event. They will need all the legal papers to be submitted to the individual who employed them to do the task. If they can’t produce records, it is going to cause them troubles. If you can’t provide them with official documents nobody is going to do any sort of business with you. And if the estimate you furnish is amateurish then also people are going to avoid your shop; regardless of the quality of your delivery of product or services. 

In the end, it can be said that instead of investing in expensive software to construct your own estimate, you can take the full benefit of the free services provided online.

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

How to Know the Ideal Word Count for Ranking High in a Search Result?

Content is at the center of SEO and is all powerful in driving the campaign towards success. Content connects the brand with the audience and must be of good quality. It generates interest among the targeted audience by being relevant and useful while helping the audiences gain some value from it. Another vital factor to consider when creating content is its length. What should be the ideal length of content or copy that helps to rank in the first place? Is there any optimum word count to achieve the goal? These are questions that every SEO consultant faces when advising clients about the need to enhance the pages with better content. Often, the content length acquires more importance over other considerations like the detail it needs to contain and the audience for whom it is meant.

The notion that longer content ranks better prevails in the SEO circles because there is a feeling that more words demonstrate authoritativeness to search engines and dramatically improves ranking. However, there is yet no firm data available to support the point, and it is more of a myth. But then why is there a general feeling that longer copy can push up the ranking of pages?

Misinterpreted studies

Numerous studies have been conducted to understand the relation between the copy length or word count and ranking. One such study by Baclinko in April 2020 showed that 1447 word was the average copy length for the results that appear on the first page of Google search result. Most people conclude that it is the ideal content length, whereas the result shows the correlation between content length and ranking. The study establishes the correlation only and not the cause.

What is the best copy length (word count) for SEO?

Many factors influence the ideal length of copy or word count, and all these cannot get linked to ranking. The length of the copy must please humans and not search bots. It must be long as needed to help the user achieve their goals on the page – whether providing an in-depth explanation of a topic or subject, quickly identifying an answer to a question, or simply demonstrating the product specifications. The need for users and how to satisfy it should be the top priority when creating content instead of focusing on the word count.

Is there any ideal word count?

You would still like to know what would be the best word count to excel with SEO. There is no fixed answer to this because it depends on what you want to achieve with the content for satisfying the needs of the target audience. The goal should be to fulfill the searcher’s query because search engines rank pages according to the content’s ability to resonate with the audience by meeting their expectations.  Never does Google consider the content length for ranking but instead emphasize its ability to satisfy the user query. The quality of content and how well it answers the user query is critical for search engines in determining the ranking. Never is the content length of any consideration to determine the content quality. Moreover, there is no reason to draw a comparison with the top-ranking pages and consider it to the ideal for earning the top rank.

The issue of correlation and causation

When trying to understand word count, most people cannot differentiate between correlation and causation that drives them in the wrong direction. When you look at the top 5 results on the SERP for any specific search term, you might surmise that replicating the copy length of that content could help you to earn similar ranks. But this is not the case because besides word count that Google considers many other factors for ranking pages. Word count might only be an indirect factor for ranking. The chances are that longer content is more link-worthy because it is more shareable, as revealed in a Hub Spot study in 2015. Longer pages might contain more comprehensive answers that pushed up the ranking. The correlation is more important than causation. Trying to conclude that content length alone influences ranking is a mistake.

What should be the copy length?

It will be wrong to believe that longer content performs well always and, therefore, the best.  The focus must be on creating content that is factually correct, comprehensive, and written, as mentioned in Google’s starter guides. Do not make the mistake of equating comprehensive with long content. Aim for including everything in the content to make it complete without restricting its length, but avoiding making it too long can dilute it or make users lose their patience. Provide exhaustive information that the user wants to know, and the type of query determines how long the answer should be. Searches for historical or scientific knowledge would lead to longer content than searches for the best sports shoes near me. 

Factors that influence the content length

Do not have any preconceived notion about content length and try to understand the ideal word count for content. Consider what will help to rank well, focus on the purpose of the page, user intent, and conversion, which will automatically calibrate the content length or word count.

The purpose of a page – How well a page ranks depends on how well you know the purpose for which you are creating the page. Do you want to create an informational page or want the page to act like a signpost that leads visitors to another page? Is it a transactional page? The purpose will determine how much copy would suffice. 

User intent – Knowing what the user wants is the best way to figure out what content length would be appropriate. Once you know what the user wants from the landing page, you can make it comprehensive enough to meet those needs instead of making it long just for its sake. 

Conversion – Since the content should help users complete an action or facilitate the conversion, the content length must suit the user’s needs.  

A longer copy is welcome in many cases, but not the only reason the page ranks well. Aiming to meet user needs is the best way to arrive at the correct word count.