Business Growth Leveraging Your Personal Brand

Marketing is like sex. Everyone thinks they’re good at it.

– Steve Tobak

We are in a golden age of solopreneurs: independent, innovative experts who are turning the traditional working model on its head. No longer content with working under layers of organizational management, workers around the globe are increasingly making the decision to take full control of their careers. To carve their own niche and capitalize on their skills. To join the solo revolution.

And you are one of them. A revolutionary!

Creating your own brand has never been easier. With the explosion of social media, solopreneurs have immediate access to billions of people around the world. You can speak directly to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Likewise, the number of services and products consumers have instant access to is infinite. Neither business nor buyer is bound by location anymore.

It is an incredibly liberating age. But it’s also one that some entrepreneurs and businesses find overwhelming.

We’re Living in a Digital-First World

In his book Ctrl Alt Delete, Mitch Joel discusses the term “digital first”. He reveals the five key movements that organizations must embrace to future-proof themselves – or go out of business. One of these shifts is the fact that now, the first place your brand and business are validated is online. Essentially, the internet and social media have the power to make or break your chances of success.

Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of how to cultivate a successful business by leveraging digital media. Born in the Soviet Union in 1975, Vaynerchuk immigrated to the United States in 1978. From humble beginnings, his father went on to own a liquor store in New Jersey. In the early days of the digital-first world, Vaynerchuk could see the burning potential of his father’s business. After graduating from college, Vaynerchuk transformed the liquor shop into a retail wine store, which he named the Wine Library. In 2006, he started a daily video blog, Wine Library TV. This hugely popular webcast turned him into an internet celebrity. It attracted 90,000 viewers a day and led to a flurry of TV and speaking engagements. In just six years, Vaynerchuk grew the family business from $1 million a year to a whopping $50 million a year.

Not too bad for a small family business, right?

So, as you can see, traditional marketing has been blown out of the water. We’re no longer restricted to cold calling and setting up meeting after meeting to generate leads and sales. Digital marketing has opened an array of cost-effective avenues for self-promotion and lead generation. Sales are now about leveraging your social networks, engaging with people online and educating.

This is, essentially, the social sales model: (see link below)

Today, the businesses and entrepreneurs that make the most impact on their audiences are role models. They’re trusted advisers who create tribes – powerful online communities that help their brands grow. They educate and provide solutions. They’ve jumped on board the social sales train and embrace the connection economy whole-heartedly. Because if you don’t, you get left behind.

But we can’t rest on our laurels. We must build on this massive sales reform and look to the future. We must become industry ambassadors. We must become thought leaders who engage meaningfully with our followers, share generously of our expertise and regard our audiences not just as leads or dollar signs, but as lifetime partnerships.

Why Stand Out from the Crowd

Solopreneurs are the way of the future. They account for 61% of Australian businesses[1]. And with the advent of freelance sites such as Upwork, 99designs, Freelancer and Airtasker, an increasing number of Australians are freelancing. According to freelance marketplace Elance-oDesk, 30% of the Australian workforce – or 3.7 million people – undertake some sort of freelance work[2].

Digital marketing presents an enormous opportunity for solopreneurs. According to Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, the average person spends two hours a day on the internet. Furthermore, IBM’s Global CEO Study found that CEOs believe social media utilization for customer engagement will increase by 256% over five years. This means social media will become the second-most popular way to engage customers after face-to-face communication.

Social media has created a level playing field. It’s cheap and readily available. You don’t need large amounts of money to build a business. You don’t even need an existing client base – you can start one from scratch online. The internet has given everyone the potential to create a successful solo business.

But there’s a downside to this equal opportunity. Despite the accessibility of social media, one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs continue to face is finding leads and retaining clients.

The digital marketplace means you’re competing against everyone else with a business like yours. You can’t simply create a LinkedIn or Facebook account and expect clients to come to you. How will they know you’re there? What makes you stand out? When everyone else is pushing their own unique selling point, what will make people choose you?

In a world where customers have immediate access to information on every kind of business around the world, it’s hard to cut through the noise. To gain that competitive edge, you must create a connection.

Being a solopreneur is not enough. You must bond with your audience by offering more than your products and services alone. You need to educate, lead and gain trust. You need to make a real difference to the lives of your clients.

Position, Position, Position

Positioning is fundamental to creating trust and having influence. It’s more than just creating an image. It’s about owning your space in your industry. It’s about flexing your expertise, starting conversations, changing the game, creating engaging content and enlightening others. It’s about being the go-to expert for peers and clients needing guidance.

And it’s what leads to sales.

When you have a rock-solid positioning, your return on investment is second to none. Digital media and technology company Burst Media’s 2014 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report found that on average, marketers who implemented an Influencer marketing program in 2014 received $6.85 in earned media value for every $1 of paid media.[3] The primary tools used in Influencer marketing were:

Blog posts
Social syndication and branded content distribution
Influencers and influential content

Blogs. Content. Social media. These are indispensable, cost-effective tools if you want to elevate your positioning from business owner to leading industry expert. And they are what will build your audience’s trust in you.

A Perfect Sales Training Coach

Even though there isn’t any formal education required to be a bigwig in sales, it is true that most of the people are involved in selling products and services. One can find several people performing sales tasks and each and every one of them are trying to complete with one another. In order to stand a class apart from others, it is important to acquire some excellent selling skills, determination and the perfect mindset. It is very important to move along with the change, as the environment keep on changing. So, it is essential to think out of the box, as it helps to stay ahead of the business rivals. So, it is essential to stay equipped with some of the effective sales tips by availing the services of a sales coach. Only those who are well trained to perform such tasks must perform the task of sales. This task should be performed by the experts in sales training. When you are in search of an expert, you must know that there are several speakers across the globe who claims to be the sales coach. However, make sure that you choose a perfect person offering useful sales tips programs to enjoy the maximum output. You must consider certain aspects while selecting the perfect sales training coach to save your money and time.

About Choosing the Right Sales Training Coach
It is important to consider the right kind of issues prevailing in your business to get the perfect solution immediately. There might be many areas in your business that require improvement. Generally, your sales managers would need you to enhance the performance of their team. So, it needs you to redefine the current sales process and the way through which it is executed. So, make sure that you hire the services of a best sales training coach who can improve the sales strategies as well as the selling skills of your workforce.

Top qualities of a sales training coach
The sales training coach whom you are choosing must have the following qualities to prove that he is a sales pro.
1 Highly experienced: The sales training coach whom you approach must be the one who has immense years of experience to handle the sales process. Observe the training coach’s path of career and check his achievements in the career timeline. Choose the person who has a lot of professional experience is the proof that this sales coach is reliable and credible.
2 Interaction with sales team: The expert sales training coach must know the secret of winning the trust of your sales team. He should have handled several sales teams in his career and must be able to interact with them in a positive fashion. This quality of a coach can help your sales build the trust on the tips for selling he teaches them.
3 Should provide intelligent coaching: The sales coach must hold intellectual sales training sessions that have activities which can kindle the sales skills of your work team. The training sessions or coaching classes that the coach conducts should be related to the specific industry of your business to improve the sales wing of your business. The sales coaching should be aimed at helping your work team members become experts in their related field.

The sales training program that the coach offers should have several components that are essential for the growth of the organization. So, it is important for you to avail the services of a sales coach like. We to give your sales team the much needed push.

Tips for Professionals in the Construction Industry

Preparing a resume that is organized, succinct, and eye-catching is one of the best ways for construction professionals to launch a fruitful job search. Eye-catching resumes typically feature highly desired skill sets, relevant certifications, and impressive projects that were completed ahead of schedule and within budget. Below are ten simple resume writing tips that everyone in the construction industry should follow.

1) Tailor your resume to the type of position you are seeking. Employers are often searching for candidates with a specific set of skills. Review commonly required skills for the type of position that you are seeking and be sure to include references to your skills in those areas. Examples of specific skills that are frequently sought in the construction industry include:

Expertise in construction law
Incorporation of sustainable design strategies
Equal Employment Opportunity Employment expertise

2) Include the number of people you managed. It is particularly important to mention work experience that involved supervision of multiple teams of people or a large number of workers. Hiring managers recognize that there is usually a big difference between a candidate who has managed a team of 15 laborers and a candidate who has overseen 150 laborers.

3) Highlight relevant certifications. Industry certifications set professionally trained candidates apart from the pack and often instill confidence in recruiters and hiring managers. Examples of key certifications to consider including are as follows:

Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
Construction Safety Certification
OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)
Any CPR or First Aid related certifications

4) Highlight three or four of your most notable projects. Be sure to reference the budgets associated with each project to provide hiring executives with an idea of the magnitude of the ventures that you have overseen. You can also showcase your flexibility and breadth of experience by including a diverse collection of projects within the public, commercial, and residential construction arenas.

5) Showcase successful projects that were completed ahead of time or under budget. Continued construction labor shortages are leading to an increase in project delays and overspending. Completing projects ahead of time or under budget is more impressive now than ever, so construction professionals should not be shy about highlighting their ability to exceed client expectations.

6) Reference familiarity with special tools or software. Remaining competitive in the construction industry requires a commitment to learning the latest cutting-edge

Building Information Modeling (BIM) software
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software
Familiarity with 3D visualization and architectural animation

7) Prepare an impressive portfolio of references. Include people who can provide feedback regarding your skills and aptitudes. Additionally, if a specific skill is required for a position you are actively pursuing, be sure to include references who can discuss your achievements in that area. For instance, if a position requires a candidate with a history of supervising 100+ workers, make sure that the references you include can speak about your ability to oversee multiple teams of workers.

8) Include your LinkedIn URL. A growing number of hiring managers and recruiters are looking at LinkedIn profiles to confirm candidates’ legitimacy and industry connections. Make sure that your profile is up to date and that there are not any consistencies between information on your LinkedIn profile and your resume.

9) Reference any awards or special recognition you have received. Awards that are relevant to the company or position for which you are applying are especially helpful. Examples of relevant awards include the following:

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC) awards for excellence in construction
Construction Industry Safety Excellence (CISE) awards for safety improvements
Any local or state awards received for outstanding achievements in the construction industry

10) Seek the input of an expert staffing professional. Enlisting the assistance of a staffing agency is one of the best ways to ensure that your resume is professional and complete. A dedicated agency representative can also provide assistance with career coaching and other job-related activities. Ideally, the agency you choose should have decades of experience providing guidance to professionals within the construction industry.

The role of a well-organized resume should not be understated. By following the tips above, construction professionals can enhance their chances of grabbing the attention of hiring managers.

Maintaining Healthy Relationship With Office Colleagues

As an employee, you will be spending maximum hours of a day at the workplace. In a professional world, as contacts expand, it is equally important to build a good relationships with co-workers. Since company environment will always be a mix of people from various backgrounds, getting along with all of them can seem a herculean task. Employers today want individuals who are good at building relationships, communicating efficiently and gel well with the team. Here are ways using which you can build healthy relationships with colleagues and develop better association with them.

Learn more about your colleagues

Get to know more about your colleagues by asking them about their dreams and values. You can have open conversations with them during coffee breaks and learn about their background, knowledge or skills they own. Observe what type of conversations they prefer and encourage sharing of new ideas in the group. Invite them for a team lunch or an outing to build the right camaraderie and foster relationships.

Have mutual respect

When you are working in a team, allow every member to share his/her thoughts on a particular topic. It shows that their opinions are given the same value as much as of others. This facilitates creativity among the members and helps to build strong relations right from the root as a courtesy is expected to be followed.

Communicate effectively

Be professionally honest and positive when you talk to others. Even if you are pressing a point during discussion, be ready to listen to what others want to say as they might bring out a different perspective on the topic. Never have a ‘know it all’ attitude or be arrogant in front of co-workers. Also, if you have initiated a discussion, encourage others to participate in it.

Be a helper

It might happen that a colleague is staying beyond the work hours or showing up early to complete a project. You can try to help him/her in ways that are possible without jeopardizing your own assigned task. If you are a giver, then there will be greater chances of receiving help when faced with a problem. This is one of the most appreciated qualities in an employee and goes a long way in building successful relations.

Avoid being part of a group

One should try to mingle with all employees at the workplace rather than sticking to only people who fall in your age group. Do not be consistently with people who are in your vicinity or have similar interests. Try to branch out to various employees and get on a comfort level with them. In this way, you can learn more from experiences and avoid being biased. As a result, you will not feel alienated in unexpected situations.

Become trustworthy

When you start working in an organization, you are expected to deliver projects on time and even meet critical deadlines. At such times, how you manage responsibilities and handle targets would be important. You can try collaborating with other colleagues who have expertise on that subject for help. However, if due to certain circumstances you are unable to meet the target, or will be missing the completion date, communicate the same to the concerned person along with a valid reason.

Show appreciation

If you have received help from other to accomplish a task, do not forget to thank that person and give him/her due credits. Praising your colleague and speaking positive things about him/her can go a long way in building healthy relationship with fellow workers.

Connecting with your co-workers and building healthy relationships with them bring out the best in you and also give job satisfaction. Maintain a polite and cheerful attitude at the workplace. If you are on friendly terms with your colleagues in the office, then it acts as a support system, which can help in boosting your performance.

Quick Payback With Cheap EDDM Marketing

Every business needs a marketing plan to be successful. An effective way to get a fast return on promotional marketing campaigns is Every Door Direct Mail, (EDDM), a U.S. postal service for local business that can benefit from targeted zip codes to every house or house and businesses right down to the individual carrier route. Compared to traditional direct mail has very low distribution costs. The cost is $0.183 for each piece. This is cost-effective marketing solution that generates fast sales to new and old customers. Another benefit to EDDM is that it is delivered the day after it arrives at the post office. Direct mail can take weeks to be delivered and you may not know when it is delivered.

There are 6 standard sizes for EDDM: 4.5 X 12, 6 X 12, 6.5 X 12 6.5 X 9, 8 X 6.5 and 8.5 X 7. All sizes cost the same to mail. In addition to cheap mailing fees, there is no need to buy expensive mailing lists and address imprinting. Just select the zip codes in your target areas right down to the individual carrier route. To make this even easier, let your printing service handle the paperwork and delivery to post offices of your choice.

With this EDDM marketing, you can mail directly to local residential customers in the address area of the card. The maximum quantity allowed in this retail program is 5,000 to 25,000 a day at any one post office. Mailers must be bundled in 50 or 100 so they can be quickly distributed to the right carrier.

Put in your target zip codes and choose using breakdowns showing residential, business, total, age 25-44, size, income and cost. This free easy-to-use demographic guide map lets you select the best neighborhoods to give you a fast return on your investment.

You can deliver to other post offices as long as you send a minimum of 5,000 to each. This is so the post offices are not overloaded with EDDM mail. Another advantage is that many printing services offer full service mailing. They do the paperwork, bundling and delivery to your post offices of your choice. Having your printing service do the mailing for you allows you to not pay sales tax as you are not taking possession of this printing.

This quick return marketing plan is best with local businesses such as take out and restaurants, realtors, dry cleaners, retail stores, auto dealerships, contractors and home services, medical professionals, health and beauty services – to name just a few business that can benefit from this promotion.

One very important tip is that this is not a one-time test to see if you can recover your cost in your first mailing. If you offer a valuable discount sale you should get your investment back in a short time. The best way to get high returns is by making your EDDM campaign a monthly mailing to keep you brand in front of people’s eyes so they remember your business.

Using this EDDM program is a great way to get a fast return on your promotional marketing campaigns. It can save you in mailing costs as well as saturate any area you want to concentrate sales. Whether you use full service EDDM printing or do it yourself, this is a successful way to target your audience without spending a lot of money.