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Craft the Go/No-Go for Your Career

By: Danielle Hilmo, BWBR 

Cathy Hutchinson of Idibri was full of enthusiasm and ideas to help professional services marketers make good decisions that will shape their careers. The presentation was centered around five key points.

 

Career Go/No-Go Protocols

  1. PEOPLE – Will you be surrounded with people that are a joy to work with, or are terrible/incompetent?
  2. POSITION – Does the work fit your competencies?
  3. PRIORITY – Does the position align with your time and resources (everything in your life, not just work)?
  4. PROFIT – Is it profitable enough for you?
  5. PURPOSE – Is it aligned with your personal mission?

Cathy went through each point, with several tactics to help someone determine if a career move would fit all of the protocols. This can be applied to all kinds of changes, not just accepting a job from a new employer – strategizing for a change or increase in responsibilities at your current job, transitioning to be self-employed, getting a raise or more non-monetary benefits, excelling at the most important career and life goals instead of performing OK at a lot of things, etc.

She brought these points home with stories from personal experience and was chock-full of book recommendations to learn more about each topic. All of her basic points are covered in her article on her blog: loveyourdayjob.net. The suggested resources are there, too. But the best part of the seminar was conversation not in the article, so let’s get to the highlights!

Diagnosing a people problem: Did you ever feel like you were playing a game with teams at work where you don’t know the rules? Do you struggle to figure out your co-workers’ motivations? Try using a matrix with three columns to guess what’s really behind their behavior. You know these people. It probably is easy to fill in these columns if you really think about it.

PERSON DESIRES/GOALS FEARS/FRUSTRATIONS
     
     

 

What if you don’t know what your dream is? Cathy suggests you think about that next step that will make you 10% happier. This approach can be much easier to wrap your mind around and plan for than making a radical life change.

 

Look outside your firm/industry to find a mentor. Look for people you admire and are ahead of you in their career. Be persistent, ask those you admire out to coffee. Consider asking your employer to pay for an executive coach.

 

Do you feel undervalued at work? People may not understand all the things you actually do. Educate them by reporting the things you and your team have accomplished on a regular basis, along with what you learned from it and key takeaways for the future. You could also create a spreadsheet or matrix of the activities, what worked, what didn’t work, and also show tasks/initiatives that are in the pipeline.

 

Become more proactive than reactive. Reserve a block of time every day to focus on non-deadline creative projects. Cathy avoids checking email until 9 a.m. so she can devote the first hour of her day to this. Also find a kind of task that takes up a lot of time. Think about how you can implement a system that will make this task more efficient. Then implement it. Come up with a new task to tackle and repeat the process. Little changes can make a big difference!

 

 

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Digital Marketing to Grow Your Business

By: Eryn Sorensen, ICS Consulting, Inc.

Digital marketing includes two components: website and inbound marketing. Both play a significant part in allowing your firm to track, target and engage your key audiences. We have learned that traditional advertising efforts alone are not enough in our ever-increasing digital marketplace. Traditional advertising efforts coupled with digital marketing can provide significant and positive results for your firm.

Matt Ashley, Vice President of Client Operations at Triton Commerce, provided an in-depth program to SMPS attendees on December 7th, 2016. Matt has represented some of the top consumer electronic brands throughout the United States and has assisted hundreds of companies in digital marketing. Initially, Matt posed two questions: 1) How many of you have a website? And 2) How many of you have an Inbound Marketing Strategy for your business? He then stated that having one without the other is almost the same as having neither. That is the pertinence of digital marketing at its core.

The #1 overall goal that business owners stated to have a website is to increase sales. Every firm wants to see an increase in sales, but how does a website meet that achievement effectively on a consistent basis? A website should have the following criteria:

  1. Professional Impression: Does your website provide credibility and strengthen brand awareness?
  2. Qualify Leads: Are your leads always the best leads?
  3. Schedule: Are potential new customers able to schedule an appointment? Share an event calendar?
  4. Quote: Does your website allow prospects to request a quote?
  5. Call: Does your website offer an easy click-to-call option?

In this fast paced world, firms have very little time to make an impression on a consumer. Within the first 30 seconds a consumer visits your website, the site should describe the following items:

  •          What your business provides for your customers
  •          What makes your business stand out from its competitors
  •          Why they should choose your firm to do business with

Coupled with an effective website is mobile responsiveness – how well does your site perform on mobile devices. People are trending away from computers and more toward mobile devices including tablets. In addition, testimonials and reviews have become one of the most trusted sources for consumers, primarily millennials, to choose which business to support.

The other half of digital marketing is inbound marketing – which generates leads, drives conversion and increases sales by placing your company’s product or service in front of the audience who is searching for it. Inbound marketing drives new potential customers into your website, where your content is controlled. Four successful tactics of inbound marketing include:

  • SEO: Search engine optimization, making your website more appealing for various search engine platforms
  • Social Media: Various social media platforms can push your content to new potential customers
  • Blogs: Ability to easily share content and ideas about your company’s product or service
  • Pay Per Click: These campaigns allow your company to set a budget, obtain quick results and see a ROI

Each of these components, your website and inbound marketing, are unique but applicable in growing your digital presence for your company. Matt provided practical and applicable tactics to begin implementing in any firm. Digital marketing is successful when both halves are equally strategized, executed, tracked and evaluated. 

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