Archive for January, 2014

17 jan

5 Key Areas that Should Be Better in Your Sales Company

RobertCordraySales is a tough business to be involved in. The whole purpose of your business is, more or less, to directly compete with those around you and come out on top. This can leave very little room for mistakes or complacency, but it also encourages those in sales to keep improving and changing things for the better in their business. However, there are still a lot of sales companies who could use a little bit of extra help, especially when it comes to pushing their business techniques to fit the 21st century. Here are a few key areas that should probably be better in your sales company.

Customer Service

The whole landscape of customer service is completely changing, and it is due in large part to the rise of social media. The beauty of social media is that it has given people, what they feel is, a more direct channel to the companies and services that they use. As a result, when they have a question, a comment, a complaint, or even some praise, customers are now, more than ever, turning to social outlets to voice them. This gives the consumer the feeling that, rather than talking to some nobody on the end of a helpline, they are actually talking to someone who really matters, even if in reality they are probably talking to the same person. Regardless, social media is of great benefit to sales, and the smartest companies will use it.

Online Marketing
And while we are on the topic of the world wide web, let’s talk about online marketing. While many sales companies are still sticking to tried and tested techniques of door-to-door sales, cold calling and other similar methods, it is foolish to ignore the powerful resource that the internet provides. Whether you hire a digital marketing expert, or simply ramp up your social media efforts, it will make a huge difference to your results, and give you a much cheaper alternative to traditional methods.

Management

In any company, good employees and proper management are absolutely crucial. But in a sales company, they are arguably the most important feature. In order for sales to be successful, you need good, competent, employees who will be the face of the company each time they interact with customers. Thus, you need strong and equally competent managers who can see where there is a need or space for improvement, and act quickly.

Customer Relationship Management
And extension of that is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This is an important aspect of any sales business, and a good CRM system could make or break a new startup. Luckily, technology is also helping us out in this area. Salesforce CRM allows businesses to track important figures, speed up the sales process, and most importantly allows you to see what your customers want and need.

Online Sales
You may have noticed a trend in this advice, but in case you haven’t figured it out yet, here it is: The internet is an essential part of any modern sales company. If you expect to be able to keep up or surpass your competition, you need to have an efficient website that facilitates online sales. It is no longer a bonus feature, but required by customers who hope to use your services.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on January 17th, 2014 in General, Technology | No comments

13 jan

The Digital Revolution: The Future of Advertising

RobertCordrayAs the world steadily moves away from traditional mediums and embraces the Internet, the question for many businesses is how this might affect their advertising plans. Put simply, digital ad spending is quickly outpacing older forms of advertising and this is having direct results on how consumers see both businesses and their products. With that in mind, what is the best way to take advantage of this digital revolution? To help answer that question, here are just a few of the ways that the future of advertising has changed and the best steps a business can take to utilize it.

Subscription Services

With the Internet serving as the most effective information medium since the invention of the printing press, many businesses have found that advertising can be as simple as exchanging knowledge for subscriptions. By offering incentives like insider knowledge or expert guides on how to become a successful entrepreneur, businesses have been able to gather email mailing lists of potential clients that they can use at a later date to advertise interesting deals on products or services. The success of such subscription-based services is nowhere more evident than in the streaming services of companies like Netflix. With the email addresses that they’ve gathered from these subscriptions, they’re able to directly contact their customers and create a communication with them that otherwise wouldn’t be possible with older forms of advertising.

Social Media Marketing

While it’s true that sites like Facebook may be slipping from the public’s consciousness, they still show no signs of simply disappearing anytime soon. As always, a new site is quick to pick up where the previous one left off, ensuring that companies will always have a way to stay in direct contact with their consumers over the Internet. As a result, social media marketing has quickly shifted in importance to becoming one of the most dominant ways that businesses advertise on the Internet. People are social creatures and enjoy sharing their favorite products with one another, so it should come as no surprise that this is the perfect kind of advertising for companies that are on a tighter budget. The more successful an ad campaign is on various social media apps, the more it perpetuates itself without any further direct investment from the company.

Content Marketing

Of course, subscriptions and social media marketing aren’t worth much if a company doesn’t have anything to say. To that end, content marketing is beginning to take a much larger piece of the digital advertising pie, as companies need to constantly retain the attention of their devoted customers. In particular, image-based content is quickly becoming one of the favorite modes of digital advertising, as it allows people to easily retain information without doing too much reading. The more interesting something is to scan and digest, the more likely it will be shared among friends and colleagues, which should be the ultimate goal of any Internet-based advertising model.

Streaming Services

While Netflix was previously touched upon, it’s worth going into deeper detail in regards to streaming services and how they can best be utilized by advertising companies. As odd as it may be, people are generally moving away from their televisions in favor of the entertainment offerings that can be accessed on the Internet. The beauty of these streaming services is that they can be watched from virtually anywhere, which also holds true for the advertisements that air between these programs. A short ad between videos is far more likely to be seen by potential customers than a block of commercials that are easily skipped on the television with a DVR machine.

As we move into 2014, it’s clear that the traditional forms of advertising are no longer as effective as they once were. William Drayton once said, “Change starts when someone sees the next step.” The digital revolution is upon us and it’s up to you to decide how you’ll take advantage of it.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on January 13th, 2014 in Technology | No comments

13 jan

Tips for Dealing with Depression

RobertCordrayDepression affects us all from time to time. Sometimes we get moody for a day, or experience a difficult life event, such as a divorce or a death in the family, and that depression can last for weeks or months. The tricky thing about depression is recognizing when the feeling is temporary and can be overcome through therapy or exercise and when the depression is an actual medical condition that needs psychiatric treatment. Often, jumping immediately to a medication is not the best option if your doctor can’t say with certainty that the depression is caused by a medical condition, but the sad feelings and lack of energy do need to be addressed. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to deal with depression, and the results you see—or perhaps don’t see—could indicate whether you need to seek further assistance from a psychiatrist or not.

1. Turn to Others for Support

When we get depressed, we often like to wrap ourselves up in a cocoon and shut ourselves off from the rest of the world. The problem with this is it allows those negative feelings to escalate, and we have no positive interactions to combat those negative emotions. Depression can also leave us feeling isolated, as though no one cares for us. It can also leave us feeling guilty for neglecting relationships. Taking that first step of picking up the phone or going to a social activity is hard, but you should find that doing it the second time is easier.

Start by asking your closest family members or friends for support, and share what you are going through. If you have no one available, try joining a support group instead. It may be helpful to ask someone else to check in on you, so you don’t have to take the first step of communication every time. Creating a scheduled social activity that you feel obligated to go to, such as a paid class or a weekly walk with someone can help provide motivation as well.

2. Approach Feelings Logically

It’s a common misconception to think that it helps to start being optimistic about things in order to combat negative thoughts, but the problem is these “happy thoughts” most likely aren’t real or replacing the negative thoughts. Rather, try to recognize your negative thoughts when you have them and make them more balanced by looking at them logically. Doing this often requires you to separate the thought from what you are feeling. Try writing down negative thoughts when you have them along with the triggering event. Later, return to the thoughts and analyze whether the response was overblown or if you were jumping to the worst conclusion possible.

Avoid striving for perfection. If you find yourself being self-critical a lot, ask yourself if you would say those things about a close friend. If the answer is “no,” think about what you would actually say to another person and start using those statements instead.

3. Be Healthy

It’s important to take care of yourself when dealing with depression. Work to develop good sleep habits, and be sure to head outside and get some sunlight for at least 15 minutes everyday. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, can help you to find balance if the depression is caused from external stressors. Exercise has been found to be particularly crucial in combating depression because it releases endorphins and triggers new cell growth in the brain. Focus on exercises that you can do continuously and frequently throughout the day, such as going on a walk. Finally, be sure to eat healthy and avoid skipping meals. Depending on your particular situation, adding vitamins that are deficient in your diet may be beneficial as well.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to depression, and many people with clinical depression cannot overcome it with exercise or social activities alone. Thus, it’s important to consult a doctor who can help you find the right solution for you.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on January 13th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, Health | 1 comment Read related posts in

08 jan

How Freelancers Can Make Careers of Their Work

JennaSmithAs a freelancer, I’m always thinking about other options: what’s next, how I can gain more work, how can I can be more competitive. If you’ve ever relied on freelance work as your primary means of wages, you know what I’m talking about.

Although not ideal for some, freelancing does give you freedom to work when you want, however long you want, wherever you’d like to work. However, the best freelancers rarely stay in this line of work; sooner or later, you’re going to want to find career work that’s stable and reliable.

Here are some great ways to start:

1. Additional Schooling

While there aren’t many schools that offer courses in “freelancing,” many universities offer programs that directly help freelancers looking into turning their “side gigs” into a fully-fledged career. I have a friend who also does freelance work in Pennsylvania; his day job is in marketing, but a few years ago he decided he wanted to make his graphic design freelance work his full-time job without having to completely move states to a more high-volume area. Eventually, my friend was able to find a Pennsylvania graduate school and get the additional schooling he needed to transition from freelance to entrepreneur. This is my proof that it’s possible.

2. Finding the Right University

Again, most “universities” don’t have programs that are overtly designed for freelancers. In some cases, taking the “schooling” route isn’t even the right option. For others, online universities and certification programs are best. I had another friend in San Francisco, who now manages several other freelance writers, begin his journey to owning his small-time freelance writing business through an online certification in business.

Online certifications can help in making you more competitive, but another excellent part of them is that they teach you about how to manage your own business and develop your brand. Most freelancers won’t learn these crucial steps until they take the time to get a degree or certification.

3. Finding Time to Do It All

Heck, most of us barely have time for sleep – how can we throw in going back to school in addition to our love life, our personal passions, and work? Well, it’s not easy. Sometimes, you have to give up something good to get something great.

What I mean is, you might have to cut some things out of your schedule for a time. For those of you who have the liberty to work less than 40 hours a week, you might need to cut back work hours to make time in the mornings and at night to fit in those extra hours. It’s possible, and many other freelancers before you have done it.

So how do you make the jump? Well, it’s not easy. But if you want to stop working in uncomfortable chairs at coffee shops and always worrying about whether or not you’ll find enough work, you should look into getting more training and experience. It’s not easy, but if it was, every freelancer would own their own company.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on January 8th, 2014 in Career, Finances, New Directions, Personal Stories | No comments

03 jan

Finding a Career to Suit Your Healthy, All-Natural Lifestyle

JennaSmithIf you enjoy a healthy, laid-back kind of lifestyle, you may find it difficult to balance a stressful career with your relaxed inner self. Thankfully, you don’t have to compromise. With a little training, and a lot of ambition, you can find the perfect career to suit your way of living.

Keep reading to discover career options that won’t disrupt your calm, healthy lifestyle.

1. Life Coaching

Are you eager to share all the benefits of healthy living? If so, life coaching may be the perfect fit for you. Basically, a life coach works with clients to help them make specific, positive changes in their lives. For example, you may assess a client’s situation and needs, then help them set and achieve goals on their path to a better life. What’s more, life coaching can span the spectrum when it comes to specialization. From health and wellness coaching to helping clients manage their careers or finances, there are many different options for potential life coaches.

2. Massage Therapy

If you like the idea of promoting health and relaxation, you may find your niche in the field of massage therapy. Due to an increased demand for these types of services, massage therapy is becoming one of the fastest growing industries in the United States today; and because of high demand, massage therapists have a significant amount of options when it comes to location, pay and more. Plus, since massage therapy can focus on overall health and relaxation as well as specific conditions and areas of the body, the opportunities to grow and advance are virtually limitless.

3. Fitness Instruction

Do you enjoy working out and discovering new, fun ways to stay in shape? Are you always inviting loved ones along for workouts and encouraging others to achieve their fitness goals? If so, you could find your ideal career in fitness instructing. With a career as an instructor, you could focus on one type of exercise, like yoga, pilates or aerobics, or branch out into overall fitness. With all the available options in the fitness world, the choice is yours to explore the field and find the career that best suits your personality, professional goals and lifestyle needs.

4. Acupuncture

Like the other career paths mentioned here, acupuncture is a great way to help clients relax, unwind and heal. An area of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world, as it can be used to treat conditions ranging from infertility and sexual dysfunction to migraine and fibromyalgia.

Acupuncturists have quite a bit of freedom when it comes to technique and specialization, and can also choose to work on their own or with other practitioners or therapists.

5. Nutrition

If you enjoy a balanced healthy diet, as well as staying abreast of current nutritional information, a career as a dietitian could compliment your lifestyle perfectly. There are plenty of benefits to be had by becoming a registered nutritionist or dietitian, a few of which include constant industry growth, above-average salary and a variety of opportunities when it comes to specialization. Plus, you’ll get to spread your love and knowledge of nutrition, helping others to get healthy and improve quality of life.

And there you have it: five careers that will suit your health, all-natural lifestyle. Get started today and work toward your goal of having the successful, fulfilling career of your dreams.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on January 3rd, 2014 in Career, Diet and Fitness, Health, New Directions | No comments