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How much do you like advertisements? Probably not a lot. But guess what? Your customers feel the same way. They are tired of ads hitting them from every side of their face.

But does this mean you should stop engaging your customers? No. There is a way to connect to them regardless of how little engagement they wish to have.

A shift in perspective

If you want them to pay attention to your message, or even better, create brand loyalty, the secret is in abandoning your focus on moving products. That is right. Forget about it. Instead, put all your energies into moving people through shared values.

Invest in beliefs instead of in products or in the company. Ultimately, people become brand loyal not because of the business but because of what the business stands for. Foster emotional attachment through shared values. Lead them to your company through a common belief that matters to both of you. This way, the connection is more personal and it will be easier and more natural for them to develop a close relationship with your brand.

Be on the same team

You do not need to bombard them with ads and engage them all the time. What matters is that you let them know you are on the same team. Find out what matters to them and incorporate these values into your business. It makes them feel you have a higher purpose and is not just around for the money. Communicate your beliefs clearly and if it mirrors what your customer’s value, they will stick with you in the long run.

However, it is not enough to simply plant your flag. You should also plant it somewhere where it creates a divide. Let it separate you from your competitors. This way, your customers develop a feeling of belongingness and will favor your group over the outsiders.

This does not mean you need to make enemies though. You just have to position your brand against something. It does not even have to be another brand – it could simply be an idea that your customers also dislike. Make a stance, sell solutions, but do not let anything get personal.

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Any business or career can benefit immensely from networking. Hard work, dedication, education, and skill definitely go further when combined with the right connections.

You do not have to be the most extroverted person to be good at it, too. There are simple ways to be good at networking, make it work for you, and also help others at the same time. Follow the 5 tips below and started on the right track.

  1. Remember: quality over quantity.

You can meet 100 people every day and still nothing can change for your business. Networking is not about handing business cards to every single person that you see. Focus on the right people. Pick the ones who can make a difference in your career, the ones who can boost your online business. One quality contact is better than 25 weak leads.

  1. Provide value.

Networking works best if you create a win-win situation. Do not approach people only to take something from them. Provide value first! Offer them something that will also benefit them. If you only take and take, they will feel cheated and used. This is no way to build a relationship. Invest in people and always aim to create long-term bonds that provide mutual benefit.

  1. Give support first.

People expect you to ask for help – this is their initial reaction in networking situations. Surprise them by turning the table around. Be the first to offer support! They will appreciate it greatly, remember you fondly, and be more than willing to return the favor.

  1. Create bridges for others.

You don’t always have to be in the beginning or end of the networking relationship. Sometimes, it works just as well to be in the middle – become a bridge and connect people with one another. Introduce two who can provide value to each other. It is just as effective for you. Plus, you create a good relationship with two people at the same time!

  1. Sustain relationships.

Once you made the effort of creating a relationship with someone, make sure you nurture that connection and do not simply let it die. Touch base every now and then. Send an e-mail and ask how they are doing. Maybe you can even ask them out for coffee. Always put effort into your relationships. It is not difficult to reconnect and reach out to your contacts.

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It is easy to assume that your learning stops once you get out of school. Some days you even wake up feeling that you know enough to get you through life and your business. But if you are the boss, the truth is, learning never stops!

As you run your business, you discover that the need for learning is even bigger. Every day, there is always something new to add to your knowledge, a new skill to pick up, or a new process to implement that will enhance the way you operate and manage your business.

And this allows for so much growth. The learning does not have to be always specific. There are many ways to do it but the results are always the same: you become a better person equipped to take you business to the next level. Below are some tips to get you started.

  1. Learn from others.

Talk to smart people. Pick experts in your field and study what they do it and how they do it. Ask a lot of questions. Do not be ashamed to admit your ignorance. Seeking answers is the best way to quell it.

  1. Add to your skills.

You do not need to know everything to run your own business but it sure helps a lot if you know a lot of things. If you are into affiliate marketing, it never hurts to learn more about marketing, how the internet works, the psychology of customers, how to build better relationships with people, and so on. You can even learn the technical side of it and understand how to code, build websites, or write successful campaigns. The point is, the more you know, the more your mind and perspective widens and opens up.

  1. Attend conferences and seminars.

This is always a good opportunity to sharpen your skills. You schedule the seminar, your mind is set, and you learn new things and grow your network. Attend seminars that are right up your alley but also try conferences that fall outside of your comfort zone. It never hurts to widen your horizon and receive something completely fresh and new.

  1. Read.

Do not say you do not have the time. There is always time. In fact, the most successful business people make a point of reading regularly. It is all a matter of getting into the habit. You can read on your way to work or before dinner or while waiting for your next meeting. Audio books are a great option if you are driving, running, or doing other chores. Ask your friends and colleagues for book recommendations. Get new ideas. Be inspired.

  1. Never say “I can’t.”

You can learn anything. The biggest roadblock to self-improvement is your mind. Always have a can-do attitude. Be eager to learn everything and anything. It does not matter if you have not done anything similar before, if it takes a long time, or if it will be difficult. All you have to do is try and work hard. Be consistent, and always give your best effort. Nothing can stop you.

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Good communication skills can carry your business to the top. It strengthens your relationships with your customers and peers, raises your market value, and fosters respect, camaraderie, and productivity in the workplace.

It does not take much to build your business communication skills but it is important that you practice day in and day out. The more you pay attention to it, the more you improve and attract more success to your business. Below are some effective tips to get you started.

  1. Listen!

Before you speak, listen! Whether it is a customer, an employee, or a vendor, it is essential that you tune in on what they are saying first. Do not just be quiet as they speak. Understand and hear them. Do not start an internal dialogue. Really pay attention. This way, you arrive at solutions and understanding faster.

  1. Avoid monologues.

Effective communication happens between two people in a discussion. If you find yourself speaking for a really long time, stop. Lectures, monologues, and ramblings are better replaced by simple explanations and short discussions. Be concise and accurate. Allow others to give input and provide feedback, too. It is always a give and take.

  1. Be mindful of communication channels.

It is so easy to get bombarded with messages these days both useful and redundant. So many channels are available to communicate! But before you hit the send button, always consider if this method is the best way to deliver your message. Should you send an e-mail or will a phone call be more apropriate? Is a meeting really necessary to discuss something or can it be disseminated in a memo?

  1. Know your audience.

How your message is accepted is greatly affected by the preferences of your audience. There is a better chance of smooth interactions if you know who you are speaking to. For example, your business partner may have a strong dislike for Monday mornings. Maybe it is best to move your meeting to an afternoon slot when he or she is in a better state of mind. Also, if your business is concerned with young adults, they will receive your communication better if it is short, open, and not preachy. Have a basic understanding of who you are talking to and you can work together more effectively.

  1. Don’t forget non-verbal cues!

Most messages are received nonverbally. Mind your body language. Even if you are saying positive things, if your body language is negative, you will not get far.

  1. Encourage feedback.

No one person has a monopoly of good ideas. The next best thing to happen to your business can come from an employee in as much as it can come from an executive. Give everyone equal opportunity to be heard. Ask for feedback and treat every single one with respect.

  1. Be honest.

Do not lie. Do not avoid difficult conversations. Face challenges. Let other people know if there is a problem. Always ask questions and listen to answers. Let everyone you work with know and feel that they can trust your word and opinion. This cannot be stressed enough if you want your business to become more productive and pleasant for everyone.

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Marketing, Uncategorized

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