Archive for the 'Business Development' Category
“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” — Robert Heinlein, American Novelist
This quote reminds us to be ruthless with what we do with our time. Email is a prime example of that. It can suck up your whole day and you find yourself at the end of the day without having done anything else on your to-do list. Or we fall into the bad habit of saying yes to stuff because we always have. Challenge yourself this week to set some clear goals on what you want to achieve and make those your first priority.
My latest article in Make It Business magazine is all about how to hire great sales reps – read it here.
Projection (putting forth your voice) is one of my latest interests. Looking at the way people project in meetings, in leadership situations, in relationships, in networking events, at work and in their personal life. John Maxwell asks a great question in this 1 minute video: Do I pitch a positive projection to others? Or a negative one?
I’ve been catching myself at times unconsciously projecting negatively and this video is a good reminder to be aware of how you are projecting, especially when stressed or tired.
Following our discussion earlier this week about the cost of owning your brand, I thought it best to look at best practices to build that brand personally. In order to understand what is important to your business its imparative for you to understand who and what you are as an entrepreneur. Pulled from the Globe and Mail’s article, ”Ten ways to build up your peronal brand“, the key points to retain are the following:
1. We are faced with an influence economy. Social capital is the new goodwill. Tools for measuring social capital are rapidly evolving, based on metrics such as quantity and quality of friends and followers and the ability to influence actions among them. Tweets and retweets, shares and likes, being circled and adding +1s are the currency of the new influence economy.
2. Pay attention to influence metrics, but don’t obsess. While there are tools, like Klout and Hootsuite that are trying to quantify your brand in terms of engagement, influence, expertise and trust. These scoring schemes are getting smarter. That being said, do not to ignore nor obsess about them. Build your personal brand on quality content and personal engagement and you will be well-served in the long run.
3. Filter quality content to express your unique brand. By investing the time to find and share what you consider the best information in your area of expertise, you provide a valuable service to your social network and cast your brand in a positive light.
4. Be a giver and a helper. Social media is predominantly based on the collective sense of helping others. Adding value to online discussions and helping people to discover new ways of understanding evokes a reciprocity in them. Blatant self-promotion or selling is easily filtered out. If education is the new marketing, then helping could be seen as the new selling.
5. Your personality is your greatest asset, feel free to share it. Personality is the distinguishing factor in many human interactions. But be careful: you still need to filter and decide what is appropriate to share and what isn’t. Sharing personality is different that sharing private information. Understand the difference.
6. You can outsource lots of things, but not your voice. Your brand is the product of your interactions, contributions and engagements within your social networks. That is not to say that you can’t enhance your personal brand with external advice, strategy and services. But don’t think you can hire someone to create your voice for you – any more than you can hire someone to go to the gym and workout for you.
7. Be knowable, likable and trustworthy. Conduct yourself with civility and generosity toward others and, generally speaking, try to be a liker not a hater. Be credible, reliable and personable, while keeping your selfish instincts in check.
8. Invest in thought leadership. Sharing your proprietary intellectual capital is one of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise and leadership. But, how do you build a business on something you’ve given away for free? If sharing your knowledge grows the market for your services and your leadership within that market, then there’s more to gain than lose.
9. Personal brands compete with corporate brands. Social media has empowered individuals to build a direct audience through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email direct marketing, etc. And there’s increasing evidence coming from online influence measurement to suggest that personal brands actually exert more pull than established corporate brands in the social media space.
10. Like it or not, you are a personal brand. Whether you work for yourself or someone else, whether you’re in sales or marketing or you’re a business professional, if you are engaged in an occupation in which you rely on your reputation you probably should be thinking seriously about your personal brand. Everyone else is.
There is no argument that in today’s economy it is important to differentiate and value a company’s brand. But have you considered how much your brand is worth to your company? The Globe and Mail’s Bryan Borzykowski tells the story of an Ontario based company looking to protect its corporate image at a very high price.
Sean Brophy, the owner of Spaces Self Storage Centres Inc., in Kingston, Ont., has plans to take his company across Canada. This goal has cost him at least $25,000 to protect his brand name and is more complicated, expensive and challenging than he’d ever considered. Now Sean finds himself in a bind, trying to determine if there are alternatives to trademarking the brand that could save his business thousands of dollars.
Some experts in trademarking weigh in - their advice and the full article can be found here.
These past few years we’ve seen our fair share of companies that have let down stakeholders due to poor practice and loose ethical standards. Today’s featured article comes from Fast Company: The Future of Ethics In Branding.
We could all stand to learn a thing or two on how to be the very best at what we do both professionally and personally.
Read the full article by Martin Lindstrom here.
In an constantly changing, fast-growing business world the hardest skill for entrepreneurs to master is the art of delegation. As an entrepreneur growing your small business it can be difficult to “let go” and trust others to be responsible for your organization.
I can tell you, without delegating, you will be unsuccessful. This does not mean you should delegate all your responsibilities to others, as there are always tasks that you do not HAVE to do. If you have hired a staff you must believe they are capable of helping you, so let them. Task them with a responsibility, set expectations and the deadlines that you need to see results and then let them roll with it. Do not micro-manage them (checking in every 30 minutes IS micro-managing), they likely will not perform as well on the task if you do. Trust me, you can do this.
Read more on micro-managing vs. delegating via The New York Times, “Finding a Balance Between Delegating and Micromanaging“.
Just read one of my favorite articles in Bloomberg Business week: America’s Most Promising Startups
Love some the ideas, some of them not so much. But I always find this slide show good for a big dose of motivation!
We fill our days with words yet do we spend much time really thinking about how we might say what we want to, more effectively, by choosing different words? Watch this.
Thanks to Rob Werner, my friend over at PocketPollster who sent me this eye-opening presentation on Social Media.
See it for yourself here. I was surprised by some of this information!