When our first priority is helping others amazing things can happen. As you focus on serving others, your organization and your customers good will come your way.
One of my favorite life quotes comes from the great Zig Ziglar who said, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
Since landing my first job at 13 years old delivering newspapers (remember those) for the Detroit Free Press to filling Vice President and President roles at different organizations I have been learning priceless career lessons. From education, resume writing, interviewing, management and everything in between I’ve been a part of it all.
So, how can I help you grow your career? Here’s where to start.
Start with your mindset
If you are always trying to figure out the next move to climb up the corporate ladder or positioning yourself for the next promotion chances are you will miss out on establishing a strong foundation. Approach everything you do with the mindset of serving, adding value and putting others first.
Always be networking
Networking doesn’t always mean cocktails at a mid-week meet up (although that’s not a bad idea). Connecting with co-workers in your department and outside of your department is critical to your success. Don’t underestimate the power of inviting someone to lunch or out for a cup of coffee.
Coaching – receive AND give it
No one ever arrives. It doesn’t matter how much education we have accumulated or how many awards we have won we can all benefit from having a coach or mentor in our life. Nothing beats having someone you can connect with for feedback and counsel. But if you can’t meet with someone in person there blogs, podcasts, books and an Internet full of “virtual coaches and mentors”.
Truthful and transparent communication
Careers live and die on communication. Where truthful and transparent communication are a priority relationships thrive and your career is strengthened. It doesn’t matter if you are an extrovert or introvert you can be a great communicator.
In every area of life we are pitching something. We may put a different label on the “pitch” depending on the setting but a pitch is a pitch. Whether you are “encouraging” your two year old to finish her mashed up banana or “directing” your teenager to clean up his room.
It may be a “conversation” with your boss, a peer or a direct report. When you need to do get things done you are pitching your ideas because you feel they are the best way to accomplish a task or achieve a specific result.
1. Be specific
2. Mind the details
3. Share what you have learned throughout your career
Check out the full article that I have provided a link to down below.
In any given pitch scenario, there are things you can do to aid in your quest for the elusive partnership, as well as things you can do that will get in the way of success.
This post comes compliments of my friends at Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing – enjoy!
Mobile email marketing is growing in tandem with overall use of smart phones and tablets for accessing the web and as a result you need to develop a mobile email strategy that integrates completely with your entire online sales and content funnel.
According to statistics compiled by email management company Reachmail, more than 40% of all emails are opened via mobile device and among some demographics (such as those in their 20’s and 30’s) the number goes even higher. The obvious takeaway from this is that you need to use mobile email marketing and make sure you handle it in a way that succeeds with maximum conversions and sales boosts.
Luckily, there’s this extremely informative infographic from Reachmail to guide you through the fundamental mistakes many mobile email campaigns make and how to avoid them. Let’s summarize their 7 key points:
1. Don’t Procrastinate on Total Mobile Integration
You might have optimized your website for mobile viewing but left your emails readable only on desktop devices or vice versa. This is a big mistake. An effective mobile email campaign is only as good as its weakest link and getting the most of it requires that every segment of your email marketing channel be optimized for mobile device use.
Understand that 7 out of 10 mobile users in the U.S use their phones for sending and opening emails and 4 out of 5 viewers will quickly stop browsing a website that isn’t smart phone friendly. Thus, you need to make sure that not only your email messages are mobile optimized but also all of the content they lead to. You get only one chance to impress, because 97% of readers will bother reopening from their desktop an email that they first tried to access via their smart phone.
2. Don’t Forget to Scale your Emails Correctly
Remember that the average screen width of most mobile devices ranges between 250 to 480 pixels and that 7 out of 10 Americans also happen to use corrective lenses for reading. This means that they won’t like your content if it’s designed for 900 to 1000+ pixel screen sizes!
Make sure that your email and content layout as well as text are optimized for easy reading on screens between at least 360 and 480 pixels. Failing to do so could make yours one of those emails that some 70% of readers immediately delete when they can’t read its content.
3. Don’t Plan your Email Send-outs
A mass mailing that you send out to your mobile users at 2 am on a weekend night won’t get seen any time soon after and later it will be completely buried under a bunch of other spam and personal messages. This means dropping conversions and clicks.
Avoid this problem by carefully planning your mailing campaigns so that they get sent out at the ideal mobile mail browsing times. These are between 10 am and 1 pm and then between 4 and 6 pm. Having your message seen within one hour of when you sent it will make it much more likely to get read.
4. Don’t forget about Demographic Segmentation
Many successful email marketers consider this to be one of the most crucial components to successful mobile email marketing. What we’re talking about is list segmentation by audience type and demographic.
Get to know your different types of viewers and adjust your email content according to each group’s habits.
5. Don’t Optimize for Just one Platform
46% of mobile users access their email from their iPhone, but that also means that 54% more do the same from Android devices, tablets and Windows phones! Keeping your conversion rates high absolutely depends on making your mailings readable on all of these different device types.
When you’re setting up your mobile email and content material, make sure that you test it on several different platform types and stick to best practices such as:
- Keeping your content short and simple
- Double checking everything for readability
- Sticking to text and simple layout as much as possible
- Staying away from clutter such as Flash, Java and memory heavy interactivity
6. Don’t Keep your Call-to-action Hidden
Your email messages and content based call-to-action is the single most important part of your entire email marketing campaign and making viewers play hide n’ seek to find it will only lead to dropping sales and decreasing conversions. Bear in mind that 61% of readers will navigate away from a mobile site that doesn’t get to the point quickly.
Instead, proudly display your call-to-action and display it after a minimal amount of scrolling or reader clicking.
7. Don’t Make Purchasing into a Maze
Just as is the case with your call-to-action, your purchasing process needs to be as obvious and easy to navigate as possible, and especially when it comes to mobile user screens.
Burying your buying mechanism in too much content, too many clicks and too much navigation will only lose you conversions and sales.
Instead, design a purchasing interface that’s extremely easy to use on a smart phone and link your email content directly to your product buying pages.
Doing this and all of the above is crucial not only to creating a successful mobile email campaign but also to creating an excellent customer experience overall.
Several years ago I started following Chris Brogan. At the beginning of each new year he encourages his readers/listeners to choose three words to focus on over the course of the next year. For some reason this was the year Chris’ encouragement sunk in and as 2013 ended and the sun rose on January 1, 2014 I contemplated three words I would focus on over the next 365 days.
The three words I chose were: intentional, bold and generous.
During the first few weeks of the new year I thought about the areas of my life these three words could be applied – spiritually, emotionally, physically. I thought about how to apply them to my relationship with family, the team I lead at work and my health. I went a little deeper and thought about the “why” behind each of these words and the areas of my life I would apply them too.
So, I had come up with the three words but it wasn’t until after listening to a Chris Locurto podcast that the scales tipped and I put things into motion. On this particular podcast Chris was interviewing Rory Vaden and talked about Rory’s book Take The Stairs. I immediately downloaded the book and consumed it within a few days. This was the fuel I needed to push forward.
My health was first up because it impacts every other area of my life. Because I’m a reader and information addict I started identifying resources and tools that would help me achieve my health goals. I’m also competitive so I joined a couple of challenges to gamify my efforts including a citywide challenge – LoseToWinSTL.
My current Top 5 list of health and fitness blogs and podcasts :
- Jimmy Moore – blog and podcast
- Robb Wolf – blog and podcast
- Ameer Rosic – blog and podcast
- Dave Asprey – blog and podcast
- Abel James – blog and podcast
Then I tracked down some tech tools and equipment to help me along the way:
- FitBit is a bracelet that tracks my daily activity, including sleeping if I want. It syncs with my iPhone and I can also connect with others in the St. Louis area who are using FitBit so it adds a bit of competition to the equation.
- MyFitnessPal is one of the best apps to track what you are eating along with your exercise (it syncs with FitBit) and your progress.
After 70 days I have lost more than 30 pounds, brought my cholesterol to normal (at least according to traditional medicine) standards and lowered my blood pressure to a normal, healthy state. My energy and mental focus has increased significantly. And although there have been challenges thrown in front of me – sickness, injury, stress – I haven’t let those things keep me back – I’m still climbing the stairs.
The journey continues.
Seth Godin says, “Great marketers don’t make stuff. They make meaning.”
It doesn’t matter if we are selling a product or service, promoting a service or brand…if we aren’t telling a meaningful story about who we are and what we do we shouldn’t plan on having a long relationship with our customers or constituents.
There’s a good piece on The Content Strategist that does a great job unpacking this entire idea. Here’s a snip from the article:
You’ve probably heard the big commandment of content marketing: Don’t talk about the brand. If you do, the theory goes, you’ll drive consumers away. After all, they want to read about the things they love, not about you.
But what about the people who are interested in your brand? What about the investors and potential investors? What about the employees and vendors with a stake in your success? Or, for that matter, what about the super-users who just can’t get enough? Shouldn’t you talk about the brand to them?
The answer, undoubtedly, is yes.
Do you think there’s a balance to how much you talk about your brand? Is there a line that you need to be aware of?
A long time ago I realized I didn’t have all of the answers. Its not that I didn’t try to have them all or at least give the impression that I had them all.
This realization led me to looking to others who knew more than me. I found role models and mentors through books, in the organizations I was a part of and in my own family.
Early on I wanted to be just like those I looked up too. And I do mean “just like them” – I practiced talking like them, wearing the same clothes, listening to the same music, doing my hair like them, watching the same movies and multiple other things. My aspirations became what I saw them succeed at.
None of this was wrong, by seeing how other people “do it” we learn how to “do it”.
Where I missed out though was in developing my own voice. Because I wanted, so much, to be like those I looked up too I spent a lot of time and energy on imitating and becoming a copy. I should have spent that time and energy on discovering my unique gifts, talents and voice.
If we are to grow and mature we must have role models and mentors. Its essential for us to have those in our life that help us push forward, stretch and go beyond what we thought we could. A good role model and mentor helps you discover your uniqueness and equips you to speak with your voice.
Have you discovered your own unique voice? How did you do it?
People are attracted to others who are authentic – who are the real deal. That same attraction also carries over to brands and organizations that are authentic. When an organization is authentic to their mission others will be attracted to it.
Why do you do what you do? Are you trying to be all things to all people or are you focused on delivering a specific product or service and experience to a specific group? There is an energy that is generated, when we stay true to our mission, that attracts others. When people see us and our organization passionately focused on a specific mission they want to be a part of it.
Staying true to mission drives every part of our organization from product development to hiring people to establishing processes. If you have ever been to a Whole Foods Market you know that everything they do and everyone who works there is committed to their mission. The culture of Whole Foods is soaked with their mission.
If an organization isn’t authentic and true to their mission and purpose their employees, customers and supporters will see it. When this happens trust begins to erode and eventually that shows up through lack of sales and financial engagement leading to the mission and purpose not being fulfilled.
What examples of brand and organizational authenticity have you seen?