Archives for November 2012

Build Innovation Into Your Team with New Technologies

English: Mission: STS-41-B Film Type: 70mm Tit...

English: Mission: STS-41-B Film Type: 70mm Title: Views of the extravehicular activity during STS 41-B Astronaut Bruce McCandless II, mission specialist, participates in a extra-vehicular activity (EVA), a few meters away from the cabin of the shuttle Challenger. He is using a nitrogen-propelled hand-controlled manned maneuvering unit (MMU). He is performing this EVA without being tethered to the shuttle. The picture shows a cloud view of the earth in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m always on the lookout for new technology. Not in terms of expensive big-time technology, but everyday little solutions that make my life, and job, easier. Somewhere along the line, though, I realized that I couldn’t test out every piece of technology myself. I enjoy finding new technologies and sharing them with my team, but it just wasn’t sustainable.

That’s when I realized that I could lead my team in finding the best and most useful technologies on the market.

Perhaps you feel the same way. Finding a great piece of technology can really improve your efficiency, but going through the work to find that technology can take forever. For example, I use the easel.ly online infographic tool a lot. It allows me to create clean images or infographics in about half an hour. But do you know how many technologies I had to test drive to find the one that I liked the most? Quite a few.

Once you learn to lead your team in finding these technologies, though, you no longer need to test drive multiple technologies. You can simply ask people on your team what works best. Or (even better) they’ll pass along the technology to you before you even get a chance to ask.

Here’s how to do it.

Share New Technology with Your Team
Make it a point to share a new piece of technology once a week. When you do this, explain how to use the technology and what makes it so important. For example, imagine you found a simple program that allows you to take notes on your computer, but that also syncs those notes to your phone. Teach your team how to use it and explain how you’ve found it useful.

Invite Your Team to Share Technology with You
Let your team know that you’re always searching for the most effective technology on the market. Encourage them to bring new technology to you. You could even set up a submission system and share the technology you like the best in your once-a-week meeting.

Create a Public Forum for Team Members to Share Technology
I suggest creating a chat room that all your employees can use during the day (using any IM services already on the market). Encourage employees to share technologies with each other. Not only will you get to hear about new technologies, but those technologies will also pass a “peer review.” Any technology submitted into the chat room will likely be tested by various employees, giving you a well-rounded view of its effectiveness.

Why is This Important?
Innovation displays itself in many forms, including the way you operate within your business and the technologies you use to do that. When you encourage employees to continually search for the best, and to adapt accordingly, that attitude bleeds over into other areas of their work. If you do this long enough it will become part of your brand. You’ll become known as a leading organization in your field.

Second, you never know what you’re missing. There are too many technologies out there for you to know them all yourself. There could be a much more efficient way of accomplishing your task, and you just don’t know it. Enlisting your employees to seek out better technology increases your chances you’ll actually find it.

This approach gives you the chance of discovering something very useful without investing much time it in. Why not try it today? You might be surprised at what you find.

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It’s Not A Book, It’s A Brochure!

If you been following some of the posts here, you would have noticed that I have been promoting my new book, “101 Branding Tips.” (Shameless plug) What you may not know is that I, under no circumstances actually believe that I will become the next business best seller. My motivation for the book was to expand my audience. It was to bring to the attention of a wider market, my opinion. In doing this, I could potentially increase business.

Every book has all of my contact information. Each book, whether it is the hard cover or Kindle version, places this information into the hands of individuals who for some reason or another is seeking tips of branding. That said, writing and distributing a book is a novel way to promote your personal and corporate brand. It absolutely expands your expert profile. Having a book in your profile is impressive on many levels. People treat you different. I can’t say why this is so, but there is definitely buzz to it. Locally, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been approached for an autographed copy. I’ve been approached by an international business organization to distribute it free to their thousand members and a local company who bought thirty to hand out to their customers. Like everything else, that puts my name and contact info into the hands of another 1,300 businesses. Let’s face it my book is more like a 114 page brochure. Readers will really get where my head is at as far as branding goes, and it further increases my credibility.

Hits on my website are up, comments to my weekly tips are increasing, and a general awareness of me is also improving. I’ve been approached for interviews both on and off line. I’ve developed a presentation on the theme of the book, and so far it’s been keenly accepted. This past week as part of Kindle’s techniques to promote Kindle books, I gave away 871 Kindle versions. That’s 871 business aware individuals that never heard of me prior to their free download. This can only lead to better things.

Maybe it’s time you considered a book as part of your marketing efforts. It will do wonders for your attitude and influence. It has a major positive vibe attached to it. There’s no brochure like it.

Download The Kindle Version Of My New Book FREE!

This week only I’m giving away the Kindle version of my new book, “101 Branding Tips – Practical tips for your brand that you can use today.” This offer has no strings attached. What I would love is that you return to the Kindle bookstore and leave a review.

My goal is to give away a thousand ebooks by this Friday the 16th of November. As of yesterday I handed out over 350 Kindle versions. Get it HERE.

Positive Strategies for using Social Media to Leverage Your Business

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is the number of “likes” you see on a company’s Facebook page sincere or purchased? According to a report by Garner Research, up to 15 percent of all social media reviews in 2014 will be fake. With a few dollars, you can purchase as many as 500 Facebook likes and just as many Twitter followers.

However, the social media accounts that are on board with this practice may not be ones you want associated with your brand. With the integration of social media in website marketing, businesses can easily lose focus on what matters. The number of likes or followers you get doesn’t necessarily translate to increased traffic, leads or sales.

Social Media Strategy

Social media and its various networks make it simple for businesses to get caught up in trying to be popular. What companies need to remember, however, is that website marketing needs as much planning and research as traditional marketing. This planning and research includes defining and knowing the target market; effectively solving a problem for this audience; understanding the lifestyle and purchasing habits of the target audience; and understanding about the competition. Without a concise marketing plan, social media strategies may be heavy on promises but often lack clarity in regards to the problem your company is solving for others.

When developing a website marketing plan that includes social media, you can make more effective connections with the following practices:

Communication. Genuine, quality followers want to know about your brand and how it can help them. By using the right social media channel, you can communicate with your target in the manner they prefer – with short bursts of information or in a responsive, public dialogue.

Lead nurturing. Posting pictures of cute cats or clever observations won’t convince your target customers – those who are most likely to spend money – to trust your brand. To increase conversion rates, make sure the content you post is valuable to your target, addresses solutions to their needs and nurtures them through the buying process.

Lead generation. Social media is a tool you can use to meet new prospects. By having meaningful conversations with prospective customers, you can generate new leads. For example, a wedding photographer may join a social media group for brides and post helpful tips.

Build a community. A social networking community should be like an email list that receives your company newsletter – the followers are interested in your brand and want to learn more. When those who “like” or “follow” your brand are genuinely interested, your communications and promotions will be more effective.

Leverage keywords. Search engine results often lead to a company’s social media page. By using appropriate keywords and creating content that produces inbound links, quality leads will come your way.

Monitor conversations. When you create a professional social media account but ignore the chatter on it, you can miss out on valuable feedback. By monitoring and being responsive to communications posted on your page, you can enhance your customer engagement and support services.

Follow other conversations. Your target customers have a set pattern in regards to how they use social media to learn and communicate. By studying the actions of these consumers on social media networks, you can learn more about their behaviors so your content stays relevant.

Fight the temptation to be a social marketing “cool kid.” By devising a website marketing plan that’s goal-oriented and has a clear tactical path, your efforts will bring you quality leads and the highest return on your marketing investment.

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