Posts tagged tips
Does the thought of networking make you cringe? Read this.

No matter who you are or what you do, you’ll probably have to do a bit of networking at some point. This is super true if you’re at a point in your life when you’re looking for opportunities — a new job, a new client, or a new professional connection. Unfortunately, networking can be intimidating & can often make you feel a little bit awkward (or a lot). 

Be yourself.

You’ve probably seen or heard this phrase before, usually written in a swirly font over a stock photo of a landscape or a small animal interacting with a flower. There’s a good reason for it — it’s true. Authenticity is key when meeting anyone. Forcing yourself to act completely different for the sake of impressing another person is going to make you & your audience uncomfortable & less receptive to your dynamite pitch/qualifications/message. People respond to authenticity.

Pitch, please.

Before the next time you go anywhere, figure out what you want out of a potential encounter & take a few minutes to write it down. This is your “elevator pitch,” or the 15-30 second summary of who you are, your goals & how you plan to achieve them — the time it takes to go up an elevator. You don’t have to recite it to every single person you meet, but it’s good to have in the back of your brain in case someone throws a question at you when you least expect it.

Ask questions, take names.

When you embark on a networking adventure, you’re bound to meet many new people. The best way to connect with them is to ask questions. Ask them about their work & really take the time to listen & find out what’s important to them. Make sure to remember at least one important detail about them & make a note, either on paper or in their contact info on your phone or email address book. Keeping track of all of these names, jobs & details is only going to only get more difficult if you don’t stay organized, so make sure to find a system that works for you & stick with it.

Networking can happen anywhere, at any time.

Networking is just a fancy way of saying “meet people & start a relationship.”  You never know who you’ll run into out in the wild — it could be a grocery store, a luncheon, a restaurant. In fact, the majority of our clients we met out in the wild. Don’t obsess over finding those connections, but keep that thought in your head when you’re deciding what to where & how to conduct yourself in certain places. And when that spur-of-the-moment conversation pops up, don’t be afraid to talk about your goals or ask for a follow-up meeting. 

There is no “right” way to do it.

This. This is the most important aspect of networking, no matter how awkward you are. Be your most genuine self & take a real interest in the people you meet. There’s no right way to network because people communicate in different ways. Even an uncomfortable silence can be an opportunity to ask a question and show your willingness to adapt to any situation. Work on honing your own communications skills, & when opportunities arise, take them — even if you’re a little awkward. Think of networking as a blind date. The more anxious you are about it, the more uncomfortable and miserable you'll be. If you focus on the present & treat people like humans, you'd be surprised at how many opportunities will come your way. 

Images from Pixabay.com

Our top tips for increased productivity

If you're anything like us, you've got a lot on your plate this time of year. With warmer weather making us dream of summer vacation & our New Year's Resolutions slowly fading away, it's time for a pick-me-up in our productivity. We've put together a list of some of our top tips to get stuff done!

Block it out

It’s way too common for our phones to be the biggest hindrance to our productivity. Our favorite app to keep us focused is Forest. Set a length of time you need to stay off your phone & plant your digital tree. If you leave the app, your adorable tree dies. Stay in the app until your time is over & watch your pretend forest flourish! If you focus long enough, a real tree will be planted thanks to you!

The Two-Minute Rule

If you have tasks that take less than two minutes to complete, do them right now. Respond to an email or make that quick phone call that you keep reminding yourself you have to do. Get the little things that clutter your conscience out of the way before moving on to the bigger tasks, & feel the stress wither away!

Prepare the night before

Spend just 15 minutes each night writing in your agenda, setting out your outfit or wrapping up those last-minute emails before you wind down. This can help ease your mind before you go to bed & start your day on a much better note come morning.

Be Urgent

If you can do it now, why don’t you? Even if you know you have plenty of time to get a task done, go ahead get it crossed off your list as long as you’re not already too burned out. Have a sense of urgency now & you’ll find yourself with much more free time later.

Designate time

You’ll be surprised how much you can get done if you plan ahead your productive time in advance. Even if it’s just half an hour, treat it like an appointment; put it in your planner, don’t be late & make the most out of that allotted time.

“Schedule” is the new “To-Do List”

Speaking of scheduling, we all have that one pesky item at the bottom of our to-do list that just won’t go away. Instead of pushing it to infinite tomorrows, set a time when you will actually do it. Write it down and/or set a phone reminder for those tasks we love to put off. Get it out of the way & get that weight off your shoulders.

Take the right kind of break!

If you have a lot of work to get done, try powering through for 90 minutes before taking a break—but make the break meaningful. Walk around, get a snack or even take a step outside if you can instead of refreshing your Twitter feed for half an hour. With all that you've been getting done, don't forget to give your brain the break it deserves!

My very FIRST webinar! Take your social media to the #NEXTLEVEL

 

First of all, I TUNED in with a buddy, I find buddies are good for running ideas by each other during a webinar...& also making fun of cheesy infographics in the PowerPoint ;)

Did you know that 87% of small businesses use Social Media Marketing (SMM)? It's 2015, so if your brand isn't actively engaged on social media, you're behind the curve. Before you consider tuning into this webinar (courtesy of Constant Contact, my fav email marketing site), think about goals for your business. Being a PR firm, my business is unique and strategies on different platforms need to be tweaked, since I'm not directly selling a product (CLOTHES!) to customers.

Facebook (Your Main Squeeze)

It's important to remember that Facebook is LOW volume/HIGH value. Are you confused yet?! Don't be. It just means that you don't need to post several times a day & content needs to be incredibly valuable to your followers. It's also important to note that they now prevent others from promoting content if it falls along these lines:

  • Posts solely push to buy or install an app
  • Sweepstakes without any context
  • Re-using content from ads

FACEBOOK DO'S:

  • Use brief & casual language
  • Always include visual content (photo/video/meme)
  • Encourage conversations (it is called SOCIAL media!)
  • Drive traffic to your blog or website
  • Check out your Facebook Insights page every few months to see if you should tweak your game plan
  • Likes are GOOD, Comments are BETTER, Shares are BEST 
  • Use the 80/20 rule: 80% casual content and 20% about business
  • Post 3x per week min/10x per week max

TWITTER (Your Chatty Coworker)

I must admit, these Twitter tips surprised me! To use it to its full advantage, I really need to come up with a daily Tweet Plan. After all, it is the MOST time-consuming network to manage.

TWITTER DO'S:

  • Create 1:1 relationships (If you like someone, tag, follow & mention them!)
  • Drive readers to links
  • Things that tend to work: inspo, news, humor & shout-outs
  • Use the 80/20 rule: 80% curated content/20% stuff you create
  • ALWAYS weigh in on an article, etc. if you share it (#expertstatus) instead of just RTing (always tag the original source)
  • Post 5x per week min./NO LIMIT (this platforms for you, talkaholics)
  • ALWAYS use a hashtag (choose your own or weigh in on another topic)
  • Use memes/videos/photos
  • Check your Twitter Insights every few months & tweak your game plan 
  • CHEAT: Use HootSuite (I'm #OBSESSED)

They also got into something called #TweetChats, but recommended I try one out first before running one! We'll see...

LINKEDIN (Your College Valedictorian) 

Guys, it's all about business here. It would be ridiculous to post vacation photos, pictures of things you ate or a rant about your new ex on LinkedIn. Your boss or future boss is looking (cue Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me"). Honestly, since we're a boutique firm the LinkedIn tips didn't really translate. I did snag a few tricks that I'm planning on using very soon! Weekly, maybe? Like Facebook, LinkedIn is LOW volume/HIGH value.

LINKEDIN DO'S:

  • Keep an up-to-date resume
  • Follow companies you admire in your industry
  • ALWAYS be professional, formal & tactical
  • Reach #expertstatus: share blogs/stats/memes/videos/industry studies that are relevant
  • Check out who's on their "Top Influencers" & what they're doing

PINTEREST (Your Artsy Galpal)

This platform is CLEARLY all about those pics, 'bout those pics, 'bout those...where was I? Pinterest is something I haven't entirely figured out, so I was particularly "PINTERESTED" in what they had to say (haha webinar buddy inside joke, I stole that from you). It's MEDIUM volume/HIGH value. Don't go giving yourself carpal tunnel with too much Pinning, you'll miss the point.

PINTEREST DO'S:

  • Use it to create mood boards or campaign/event inspo (my FAV use)
  • Use it to amplify your branding
  • Share visual content always 
  • Categorize your boards with GOOD keywords
  • Create curated content (tips & tricks)
  • Pin visual content from your site
  • Analyze Pinterest Insights every few months & tweak your game plan
  • Enable "rich pins" (more on this later...I'm new to this one)
  • Enable the "Pin It" function on your site
  • Invite a "Guest Pinner" that makes sense for your brand

INSTAGRAM (Your Selfie-Obsessed Bestie)

Ah, Instagram...you boggle my MIND! I have a problem with over-elaborating & not taking "cool" enough pictures. I've been working on this the last few months & am so glad they touched on this in the webinar. This is the LEADING platform today! It's LOW volume/HIGH value.

INSTAGRAM DO'S:

  • Post photos & video clips
  • Show your personality to build the company brand 
  • Share behind-the-scenes pics (ex: events, concerts, fashion shows)
  • Share company behind-the-scenes pics (ex: employees, corporate environment, fun stuff you do daily!)
  • Become the go-to source for something
  • Register for Iconogram & check out your analytics (PS it's FREE)
  • Post 5x per week max
  • Try weekly themes to make your life easier (ex: #MCM, #WCW, #TBT)
  • Golden number? 11 hashtags
  • HINT: Look on Iconogram for the TOP trending #hashtags

OKAY, SO NOW YOU'RE A SOCIAL MEDIA BADA$$. NOW WHAT?

Social media is constantly changing. Don't let is overwhelm you (or make you feel old), just give it a try! It's there to help you reach a new audience that was virtually unreachable before the social media BOOM. I'm looking forward to upping our social media GAME. Overall, I felt the webinar was a great crash course. I'd love to learn more about SnapChat and Periscope for business NEXT! Who's with me?

xo

Amber