Public relations

Businessmen in a boardroom

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Personal Brand Online

Posted by | Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Public relations | No Comments

As a professional business person we all know how to be successful at our companies. Whether it’s arriving to work on time, or managing employee expectations properly, these are all workplace cultural norms at which we thrive. However, business itself is changing in light of new technological advances in today’s era of digital marketing. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms like Instagram are revolutionizing the way we present ourselves, and communicate with others.

You probably already manage your personal brand at in-person meetings, and in the way you conduct yourself in the workplace. Though, nowadays having an online presence is essential to your success. Social media, and blogging play a large role in your online exposure, and in this article we’ll give you 5 easy tips to cultivate your personal brand online.

Start a blog

Starting a blog isn’t as difficult as it seems. A blog is a great way to get your message out to the world, and share your expertise and experiences on various topics. WordPress and Tumblr are easy ways to create blogs based on pre-designed templates. Tagging is very important in blogging, as it helps users to find your content. Therefore, don’t forget to add a large number of appropriate tags to each of your blog posts. Tumblr uses tags extensively, and you won’t want to forget them. Let’s say you’re writing a piece on personal branding, and you want to post your article to your Tumblr blog. You’d probably want to include tags such as marketing, PR, branding, personal branding, digital marketing, and online content. This will help users searching for these terms on Tumblr to find your article. If you’re wondering if blogging is for you, reading our article on the reasons you should be blogging might help you make a decision.

Use Twitter every day

Many active Twitter users agree: it does take some time to fall in love with Twitter. However, it is well worth the investment. Sign up for an account, and design your page to mimic your blog (if you already have one). Then, start searching for thought leaders in industries that you’re passionate about. Follow these thought leaders, and consider adding them to specific lists based on their industry. In time, you’ll develop relationships with other Twitter users, and you’ll be able to share relevant content using various related hashtags. Don’t forget to tweet regularly, though, as after you’ve built up a follower count, you’ll want to push your content their way. The more followers you amass, the more your brand recognition.

Connect with others

Cultivating your personal brand for digital marketing is also about connecting others. Networking events pale in comparison to the types of networking goals that can be achieved through digital marketing. Networking can also be easily conducted online via Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media sites. Guest blogging is one way to invite thought leaders to sound off on your blog, or you can even request to write guest blogs for other sites. You might also want to consider getting connected with digital events like webinars. Many marketing professionals offer webinars on topics ranging from social media to SEO. This is a great way to stay up to date on digital marketing trends, and continuously improve your online personal brand image. Even better, after you develop your online brand, you can even offer your own webinars in your own areas of expertise.

Develop a content calendar

Developing a content calendar can help you to stay organized, and on track. The more often people see your content, the more recognition you gain. Consistency is key! You don’t have to invest on expensive software simply use Google Docs, or even a paper calendar to plan your blog posts in advance. You can also pencil in guest blogging opportunities, as well as events you’ll be attending. Jamie Griffiths has written a post on Convince & Convert about content calendar ans shared a free template as well. Remember, events are a great reason to share tweets, or Instagram photos! However, don’t forget to check your content calendar a few times each week to ensure that you’re up to date. If you do miss a scheduled post you can push all your content forward a bit, but it is best to stay on track to manage your follower’s expectations.

Promote your content

Now that you’re blogging, and promoting your posts via Twitter, and other social media sites, you’ll want to ensure that you coordinate the logistics of your posts to manage follower expectations. If you usually post every day, or week, your followers will come to expect that. Once you have a large, and dedicated fan base, steering off your usual course could incite frustration amongst your audience. To manage your posting schedule, try a service like Sprout Social or Buffer. These services will allow you to create your posting schedule in advance. All the professional bloggers use tools of this nature, and plan their content calendars months in advance.

Another creative way to promote your content is through your email signature. All digital marketing professionals know this trick. Simply edit your email signature in your email client’s settings to include your various social media profiles. If you’re running a special campaign, or want to drive traffic to a specific post, you can even include a one liner like “Check out my most recent blog post on Online Marketing & Networking Tips to Help You Grow Your Business!”

Email Signature Template

Pic: Inspired Designs

3 executives in a board room

Essential Tips To Ace Any Job Interview

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“Getting paid to sleep… that’s my dream job.”

Ok, so you may not get paid to sleep, but follow the fabulous guidelines in this post and you could certainly get the awesome job you’ve been seeking.

No matter if you are seeking digital marketing jobs, freelance work with small companies, or a position with a large corporation, honing those interview skills is essential.

Make a Great Impression

First impressions only come once, and they can leave lasting impressions.

How can you make an impression that leaves a positive feel?
Here are some things to do…

• Be Punctual

Arriving fifteen minutes before your interview is a good rule. You don’t want to arrive too early as this can make staff uncomfortable, but you certainly do not want to be late.
Your interviewer is giving you a chance with his or her valuable time. Respect that.

• Dress Your Best

This one depends on the company or organization you are interviewing with and may take some research, which we will talk more about shortly. You don’t want to overdo it, but you don’t want to go too casual either even if the company is casual.
There is truth to the whole “Dress for the job you want” mentality unless of course you want to be superman. No capes please.

• Watch Your Mannerisms

The firm handshake along with genuine eye contact can go a long way in presenting yourself effectively upon meeting your interviewer. Be poised, not aggressive. It is natural for many to be a bit nervous, but by practicing meeting with people, along with some preparation, you can walk and move with self-assurance.

You are now on time, looking professional, and walking with confidence. The next step is to…

Know Your Stuff

This is where interview skills often have to be developed. Preparing and researching takes effort but will pay off in the long run.

• Do Your Research

Again, it does not matter what type of job you are seeking here, whether a digital marketing job or more traditional corporate job. You need to know something about the work that is being done and the people doing it.

We are not talking about extreme stalker mode here, but you do need to know quite a bit. You don’t want to be caught off guard, and the interviewer will likely appreciate your thoroughness.

What is the company’s mission statement? What is their purpose and goals? Who are their competitors? What are some great tings your interviewer has accomplished, written, etc.?
Get online and find out!

• Pretend and visualize

Visualization may sound a little woo-woo for the more business minded among us. But, research shows the brain doesn’t know the difference between an event visualized in the mind, strongly with feeling, and one actually happening.
Pretend that you are in the interview. Here the sounds and smell the coffee, flowers, etc. Engage your senses and make it as real as possible.
Imagine yourself confidant and acing it! You may just watch your visualization turn into reality!

• Tough Questions

This one takes work as well. You may have some questions coming that are hard to answer. Practice with some possibilities like:
Why should I hire you?
Tell me about yourself that isn’t there in your resume?
When prepping your answers, just keep in mind that it’s about what you can contribute to the company and gear responses accordingly.

Follow Up

Following up in a reasonable amount of time shows your desire for the job.

This is one often left out, but could cost you your dream job if ignored. The interview may have gone great, but you are unlikely the only applicant. Following up in a reasonable amount of time shows your desire for the job.
Just don’t be obnoxious about it.
Another chosen applicant may have dropped out for some reason possibly allowing you to receive the position if you follow up. It can also be a learning opportunity if you didn’t get the job. You can ask how you could improve for next time.

Sending a thank you note is also always a nice touch. Genuinely thank the interviewer for his or her time and insights.

A Little Prep and a Lot of Style

Bottom line is being professional and courteous. Put yourself in the place of the interviewer. What would you want to see if you were interviewing applicants?

Dress for the part, while being honest, and genuine. Follow up graciously and bask in receiving the job of your dreams, no cape needed! 🙂

Artistic Macbook shot

Six Online Marketing & Networking Tips to Help You Grow Your Business

Posted by | Digital Marketing, Public relations | 2 Comments

If you’re looking to grow your business in an efficient and cost-effective manner, you should definitely consider leveraging the power of online networking in order to build your client book.  We’ve got some online marketing tips that can help you make the most of your customer service and outreach efforts, and help you turn your website from a business card into a powerful tool for generating revenue:

Build and Optimize Social Profiles

The first of our online marketing tips is also one of the simplest. Businesses need to take care of getting profiles created and optimized on the platforms their customers spend time on. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are the three big ones for most businesses, but depending on what you sell Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube could end up being equally as important to your strategy.

Cross platform connections

Make sure you establish links between various media platforms. If someone lands on your Facebook account make sure it’s easy for them find your Website, Twitter and other accounts from that page and vice versa. Bear in mind, do not overdo this, as you want the prospective consumers to land on your page and stay there a while, and not bounce around between media platforms.

Utilize the Power of Referrals

As for the third of our online marketing tips, did you know that over 80% of people admit that they buy products and services based on the recommendation of a friend or family member?  If you are looking to grow your business, harness this powerful principle and put it to work for you.  Make it easy for satisfied customers to spread the word about your business to the people in their social circles, and watch your revenue climb as a result. Make it easy for people to leave you referrals. Businesses usually drop the ball here. They build a great product and a happy customer base, but make it next to impossible to leave referrals. Do not make the same mistake.

Identify Potential New Employees

The internet has made it easier than ever for employers and prospective employees to find one another.  You can easily grow your business by using professional networks like LinkedIn to identify and locate people in your expanded social circle that may have the talents or skills your business needs in order to successfully address the challenges you face.

Establish connections with industry leaders

Do not look at other companies in your space as competition. If you offer a good product or service the other companies would like to enlist your help. Make it a point to connect with them through social media platforms and communicate with them on a regular basis. Remember –

“If you are out of sight, you are out of mind!”

Utilize Visual Content

The final of our online marketing tips revolves around using visual content to successfully promote yourself in the online arena.  Consider using graphic or video content to spruce up your social media profiles, your CV, or your website.  Check out one of the videos on our homepage that we’ve used to introduce ourselves. Doing so will not only help you get noticed, but will also help you grow your business by increasing the conversion and engagement rates of your sites and profiles. There is so much noise on these platforms, it helps to do things a little different to stand out.

We hope that you found our online marketing tips helpful, and that you will be able to use them to successfully grow your business.  Stay tuned to the blog for other articles on increasing revenue and improving productivity in the future.

PR (Public Relations) Dice on Newspaper

Tips for Writing Great Press Releases & Growing Your Business

Posted by | Content Marketing, Public relations | No Comments

So you are launching a new product or service, how do you write a Press release that gets you the publicity that’s need, but doesn’t sound like an advertising pitch. How do you ensure your release gets picked up?
Press releases are still considered to be a creditable source and greatly impact your brand value. SEO benefits aside, press releases greatly improve your visibility. The more your content is picked up by the press the more you come across as an industry expert.

Websites like Prnewswire attract hundreds of releases every day. What is it that will help you get your press releases noticed and picked up? If you’re a businessman interested in growing your business, you will surely be interested in finding out. We’ve gone ahead provided you with a few best practices when it comes to press release writing. What is it that makes an ordinary press release a great one. Find out down below!

Keep it short and to the point.

Press copy can always include bits and pieces, such as testimonials, About Us, and the Contact Us sections, that can be directly copied and pasted into your next press release. So, do it right the first time. Create copy that is succinct, short, clean, and not so wordy that the viewing journalist will simply glaze over as they view the document. Contact information is one of the highlights of your press release though. Never leave that bit out in the rush for writing a short press release. The press release should be short, but still have enough words to show that “less is more” to your reader.

Think about your readers and put them first.

Most professional journalist say that most press release write-ups are like a sales pitch. They’ll be full of adjectives, adverbs, and hype in unnecessary quotas. This is a big no-no, and it’s safe to say that you, as a business owner new to writing press releases without professional help, should consciously steer clear of this trap. Most editors at leading PR companies will not have the time of day to edit out such overtly flowery language from the story and convert it into a serious, point-specific piece. What will they do instead? Discard it, of course. There it goes – into the trash folder! Patrick Ary of WAAY TV in one interview said that they get roughly a 100 to 200 press releases by email every single day. Only 5% of these actually make it onto their shortlist, while the remaining 95% gets honorably deleted.

Adjust the Tone of the Press Release to Suit What They Write About. Read What They’ve Written.

When you’re submitting your business press release and want to announce the launch of a new product, for example, through a specific news outlet, website, or print media, make sure that your press release adheres in content and tone with what is already being featured on a website. Some press release websites will accept all industrial business news, as long as the pitch is relevant and well-formatted. On the other hand, some PR newswire websites specifically demand that you take a close look at the kinds of news they accept and only submit similar content. It is pointless wasting your time crafting a well-written press release about your new barbecue restaurant for a PR distribution outlet that only features pet and animal care industry news.

Maximize the Use of Your PR Headline and Subject Field

The goal here is to get a catchy title in the subject line, but at the same time, you don’t want to oversell your topic. The content of the subject line must be essential, no extra fluff or misleading claims included. The only way to prevent the receiving freelancer or editor from deleting a press release instantly is to create a title that relays the news information effectively and appeals to them sufficiently that they will read the rest of the PR. Effective titles are the key to growing your business with a mean press release publication.

Finally be sure to be ready for a follow up if one if your articles gets picked up. Most companies drop the ball here as they aren’t expecting anyone to get in touch with them once the release is gone out. Arm yourself with the right answers and your press release can go a long way.

If you have any quick and simple tips to writing press releases, share them with us. We’d love to read them!

Photo credit: C25 VIỆT NAM