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  • 5 Things You Should Do to Stay Happy, Passionate and Productive While You Work

    Don’t fear Mondays — embrace them and improve them with these simple tips.

    Even with our diverse entrepreneurial responsibilities and our somewhat exciting livelihoods, it could be easy for my brother Matthew and I to get caught up in bland working routines. But, we’re able to guard against this pitfall of entrepreneurship with some useful techniques we’ve learned over the years.

    Here are our five tips to start every day motivated, productive and passionate.

    1. Set goals to get yourself pumped.

    It’s hard to kick butt when you don’t know what you want to do. At the beginning of the day, make a short list of goals to fulfill by the evening. They should be achievable and highly productive relative to your long-term goals. Everyone loves the feeling of crossing something off their list, and a physical recording of your objectives that you can check off will keep you motivated and on track throughout the day.

    2. Kick off your morning with something you enjoy.

    Matthew and I make it a point to always start (and end) our days on a positive note. What gets you going even on sleepy or extra busy days? Is it a jog during sunrise? A hot cup of coffee or tea? Listening to your favorite business podcast over breakfast? No matter what it is, make sure you carve out enough time in your morning routine to fit it into your day.

    3. Stay on a roll.

    Don’t let yourself get lazy. The “snooze” button on your alarm may be tempting, but lying around in bed — whether you’re asleep or browsing social media for ten minutes — will sap your motivation and prevent you from getting that energetic head start on your day. Don’t let the internet suck you in, no matter how many times you tell yourself it’s the last news story you’ll read or the last YouTube video you’ll watch. Stay on a roll and keep crossing things off that list of goals you created earlier.

    4. Check in with someone.

    Teaming up with someone not only helps hold you accountable, but it makes the work day eons more exciting and rewarding. Join forces with someone from your entrepreneurial community, a friend or a family member to update on your progress and bounce your energy off. My brother and I interact several times a day, so even though we live far apart, we’re never in business alone.

    The right person will help you push through when times get tough and celebrate your wins by your side. Make sure you do the same for them, too.

    5. Stay organized.

    Though your workspace should probably stay relatively clean and tidy, that’s not the only thing you need to keep organized to achieve what I call the “passion warrior” mindset. Lay out an agenda (in a paper planner or an organization app) so you aren’t scrambling to remember important dates and deadlines right before they sneak up on you.

    Keep your business plans and documented progress in a neat and easily accessible spot. Work on one or two tasks at a time instead of taking on everything at once. An organized mindset is a productive and passionate one.

     

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • Employees Hate Those Goals the Company Sets. Here’s How to Change Their Minds.

    Goals that are vague, non-collaborative and unattainable may actually deserve employees’ wrath.

    When most of us think about employees disliking their work goals, the image that often comes to mind is someone who’s lazy and unmotivated. However, laziness and lack of motivation aren’t always the problem.

    In fact, even a company’s top employees occasionally find themselves dreading the goals or goal systems their managers put in place. When this disconnect grows too large, it becomes a fullscale epidemic made up of negative employee experiences and burnout.

    To make matters worse, as a Kronos and Future Workplace January survey found, 46 percent of HR leaders polled said that employee burnout is responsible for up to half of their annual workforce turnover.

    So, the takeaway here is that if employers don’t take a critical look at employee goals, they face losing motivated and quality team members. Plus, companies will miss out on a major benefit — improved performance — if they don’t help employees set impactful goals.

    The truth is that goals set right can be extremely useful: A 2015 March study published by Elsevier on ScienceDirect, for instance, found that goal-setting improved work performance by 12 to 15 percent, compared to situations involving no defined goals.

    The trick is finding the right way to establish goals. And here, unfortunately, a lot of employers fall short, leaving their workforce disengaged and unmotivated. Here’s a look at three possible reasons employees may hate their goals and what employers can do to help:

    1. They’re vague.

    Leaders have the ability to look at each employee goal and understand the big picture. However, not being fully involved in company-wide processes, many employees have no connection with their goals.

    The major issue with vague goals is they’re difficult to turn into actionable steps. When employees feel stuck on one goal for too long, with no direction, they quickly become frustrated and disinterested. For example, if employees see an objective directing them to “grow their sales,” they don’t truly know what that means or how to accomplish the goal.

    Tip: Sit down with employees and create both long- and short-term goals. This way, employees have a better idea of what’s needed to achieve each.

    Most importantly, be sure employees are making strong connections by attaching each short-term goal to a long-term one. This will help them stay motivated throughout the course of the year as they strive to reach those larger milestones.

    Google offers a good role model: The search giant uses objectives and key results (OKRs) to set ambitious goals for its teams and help them track their progress. Objectives might seem a bit beyond possible as a means to motivate employees. So, the company defines “success” as achieving 70 percent of those objectives.

    What’s more, it links key results to each objective. Measurable milestones are expressed, and desired outcomes are often measurable. This system has pushed Google’s teams to reach for peak performance and focus on thinking bigger.

    2. They’re not solutions-focused.

    Most of today’s employees are looking to better themselves and their company, while also making a difference. So, when employee goals aren’t tied to definitive solutions, employees become disconnected from and disinterested in the end results.

    Tip: Employees need more meaning attached to goals than simply a required number of sales calls or dollars earned each quarter. Frame goals around how to solve specific problems; bring team members in on department-planning meetings.

    Then, as employees begin tackling their goals, host weekly brainstorming sessions. This will give each team member an opportunity to openly discuss his or her goals and any trouble that’s arisen in reaching them.

    3. They don’t go beyond the individual.

    Just as employees want to solve problems, they want to see and advance the company’s bigger picture. In order to do that, employees need to understand the “why” behind their daily tasks and goals. When employees become aware of how their actions impact the company, co-workers and clients, they become far more motivated and enthusiastic about hitting their goals.

    Tip: Involve employees in company-wide goal planning. Show them larger-scale business objectives and how the company cascades them into division, team and individual goals. Get staffers involved in planning for the company’s future by asking for their feedback.

    Then, hold end-of-quarter events (big or small) to celebrate those employees and everything their goals are accomplishing. At this event, highlight positive client feedback, company growth or even how employee goals have bettered the workplace for all. This will get them excited and passionate about moving forward.

    4. They aren’t collaborative.

    When employee goals are left to each individual, the road to success can be long, exhausting and lonely. Even top employees can become overwhelmed when goals seem unattainable, and those employees feel alone. Each person should feel that he or she is working toward solutions and company-wide missions as part of a supportive team.

    Tip: Team up employees on certain goals to promote both collaboration and motivation. Give each group a time each week to meet and discuss goal details, expectations and future planning. This will give everyone the opportunity to improve teamwork while unifying the company through goal partnerships.

    One of the best companies that effectively gets everyone on the same page is Netflix. That entertainment organization focuses on the idea of “context, not control.”

    Management can help set the context for its workforce, empowering employees to make their own decisions and set impactful goals. But first those employees have to understand how their performance links to the organization’s bigger goals, the priority of the objectives and what success looks like in that context.

    Team meetings reinforce context and help employees better understand the company’s and their managers’ expectations. Employees can also inspire one another to define success and achieve it together.

     

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@www.p2pdevelopers.com
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  • 5 Powerful Ways to Become Your Best Self

    The biggest obstacles facing every entrepreneur are within.

    You know you are capable of great things. You know that under the right circumstances you could go far. You believe in yourself and what you can accomplish. You may have a picture of yourself in your mind’s eye: a vision of making your dreams a reality, of achieving the success you know could be yours.

    Now all you need to do is become that version of yourself. You need to become your best you. How do you begin transforming into the person you believe you should be?

    It’s time to stretch yourself; to grow and allow yourself to develop. Think of this as a journey of self-discovery. Here are five powerful tips to get you on the road to becoming the person you were meant to be.

    1. Try new things.

    You can’t let yourself become complacent. Fear of change is your enemy. Kick things up a notch by regularly trying something new and unexpected. Is there something you have always wanted to try, but never made time for? It could be something adventurous, like scuba diving or skydiving.

    Or maybe you’ve always wanted to tap into your artistic side and learn to paint with watercolors or take a photography class. Whatever it is, it’s important that you make time to explore a new activity, skill or craft.

    Surprise yourself by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Doing so will give your ingenuity and innovative side a boost. Plus, you will have discovered something new about yourself — perhaps a hidden talent or an ability to learn something you didn’t think you were capable of.

    Along with trying new things, remember to give yourself time to have fun, relax and unplug from daily stress. Downtime gives your brain a chance to recharge and stay open to new experiences. Filling up all your time with work, tasks and obligations is a ticket to mental and physical fatigue. Push yourself away from your desk and remember to embrace life!

    2. Pursue your dreams.

    What is your ultimate dream; the thing you want more than anything? What is your true calling in life? These are some of the important questions to ask yourself in order to unlock who you are meant to be. Pursuing your dreams will give you determination to see your goals through, and will spark your creativity and inspiration. Plus, you will be doing something that makes you happy and holds your interest.

    For many, the hardest part is identifying the goals you want to pursue. You may need to explore different opportunities to see what sticks and what doesn’t. You may want to focus on a problem that you want to solve or an issue you’re enthusiastic about. Remember, your goals and ambitions can change and morph over time — and that’s okay!

    The only rule you should heed is that your dreams must come from within yourself — they shouldn’t be a reflection of what others want for you or what you think you should be doing. If you’re pursuing something solely for the sake of a good income, or to live up to someone else’s expectations, you will fall short.

    3. Sustain your motivation.

    We all have days when we wake up just not feeling it. Those days when our brains won’t get going — we’d rather do anything besides working. But despite being low on energy or inspiration, you have to find a way to keep moving forward. Remember, progress is incremental. You have to find ways to keep that fire in your belly; to keep nurturing that deep desire to achieve.

    Keep your motivation alight by taking time every day to reignite that internal flame. Read blogs and books or listen to TED talks or podcasts on topics that enthrall you. Write down your goals and post them where you will see them every day, so you are constantly reminded of your purpose.

    Keep a notebook and jot down ideas when something inspires you. When you are feeling blasé or need a boost, take some time to revisit your old ideas. They may inspire you once more and help you regain your momentum.

    4. Hone good habits.

    People are naturally creatures of habit. These can be good habits that we have worked hard to instill, or bad habits that suck away our determination and leave us short of our goals. Building solid, reliable habits will keep you taking baby steps in the right direction and sustain you through lackluster periods. Good habits are important to creating your best self because they keep you moving forward when you’d rather be slacking off.

    Developing a habit takes time and repetition, and should be done slowly. Trying to change too many things at once will feel overwhelming and daunting. The goal is to make incremental changes to your lifestyle that eventually become a way of life. Remember that even small habits can have a powerful cumulative effect.

    For instance, if you have a goal of writing a book, develop a habit of sitting down and writing every day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Similarly, if you want to get into better shape, start exercising for 20 minutes a day and work your way up.

    5. Focus on self-care.

    If you want to operate at peak performance, you must incorporate self-care into your daily routine. Are you eating nutritious meals and getting plenty of sleep? It’s going to be hard to feel your best if you are run ragged and are stuffing your belly with junk food. Are you making time to exercise and stretch?

    When we work up a sweat, it releases the endorphins that build up with stress. In many ways, your body is like a machine. It needs to be tuned and tended to, or something is going to give. If you don’t care for your body, you may start to feel burned out and you may be more apt to get sick or feel overwhelmed.

    Don’t forget that your mental well-being also needs to be nurtured. Take time to meditate and focus on the things you are grateful for. Taking time to replenish your mind and spirit is paramount to sustaining mental health and giving you a sense of well-being. And that is key to becoming and maintaining your best self, now and over the long haul.

     

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
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    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
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  • The Mistake Every Entrepreneur Makes When Creating Their Product or Service

    Innovation starts with a problem, not a solution.

    Entrepreneurs love to gush about how they identified a problem, created a solution and then disrupted a market.

    In my experience, innovation doesn’t necessarily work like that. Often, creating the solution uncovers the problem. In industries with a long, that’s-the-way-it’s-been-done attitude, this realization can make the difference between innovation flops and multimillion dollar successes.

    People usually recognize a problem retroactively, when an invention makes legacy technology seem insufficient. Horses were fine until Henry Ford made the Model T. Few people realized that CDs and the Walkman were clumsy solutions until iPods. Taxis were good enough until Uber.

    The more that people take something for granted, they less they can verbalize its problems. No one told the guys at YETI, “Hey, could you engineer a $350, bear-proof cooler that keeps ice solid for seven days?” Until YETI made their cooler, no one realized how bad other coolers were.

    Asking people to describe their problems with a product or market rarely works. Instead, you must build narratives of what people currently do. By analyzing those narratives, you can discover patterns of behavior, preference and mindset that signal unmet needs, which are the kernels of great problems.

    Let’s walk through the process.

    1. Observe your customers in a natural setting.

    It’s tempting to believe we can discover everything about customers from our computer screen. Data, we’re told, reveals all. Unfortunately, charts and graphs can’t pick up the information you absorb visually. When you watch people use your product — or a competitor’s product — in their normal environment, you notice meaningful patterns. At Trager Grills, we call this “in-habitat observation.”

    Observations reveal the workarounds people develop to make a deficient product perform better. Last year, when my colleagues visited our customers’ homes to watch them grill, they noticed that many Traeger users had built makeshift extenders to their hopper, the container that holds wood pellets (fuel for their grill). They built those to avoid running out of pellets during eight- to ten-hour smoke sessions. Had we only observed people using our grills at Traeger headquarters, we never would have identified that problem.

    Rather than creating an artificial environment for observations, do it in your customer’s natural habitat. Go to people’s homes, offices and neighborhoods, or wherever they use your product.

    2. Humanize your surveys.

    Thanks to the world’s data obsession, we tend to use survey questions that produce quantifiable answers. The results are clean but misleading. We don’t ask these sorts of questions in real life.

    For instance, how often do you ask your closest friends to rate something on a one to 10 scale? How often do you ask anyone to answer on a scale from “Most Likely” to “Least Likely,” “Very Good” to “Very Poor” or “Most Important” to “Least Important?” Those are unnatural ways to think about the world.

    Instead, ask open-ended questions. One of my favorites is, “When people ask you about your [insert product], what do you brag about?” That’s a powerful question, because the aspects that attract appreciation and disappointment tend to be related. If you love the way your car drives, anything that diminishes the driving experience will be that much more noticeable to you.

    3. Ask people to prioritize.

    It’s hard to rate a single feature or idea independent of alternatives. But, if you ask people to rank a list of features — and do this with multiple consumer segments — you see what customers value.

    Let’s use your smartphone to illustrate how this works. It’s hard to assign a value to screen size independent of other factors. But, how would you rank screen size, camera quality, voice control, speaker quality and data storage in order of importance? The question forces you to consider what you use most often, how it affects your experience with the smartphone and what needs improvement.

    Ranking features bears a strong resemblance to how we differentiate between products. For example, when buying a mountain bike (common here in Utah), you might test and compare three to five bikes. The thicker tires on the Santa Cruz bike are nice. The dropper seat post on this Trek would be useful. The Specialized is more expensive, but comes with lighter components.

    What matters most to me? Alternatives sharpen our ability to distinguish priorities. The more we understand our customers’ priorities, the better we can craft solutions.

    So, conduct in-habitat observations, ask open-ended questions and get some quantifiable data by asking survey respondents to rank options. Your future customers still don’t have a problem, and they won’t until you build their feedback into a new product that provides a solution to all the deficiencies they experience now.

    Some companies mistake refinement for innovation. Others look for a grand problem and never find it. But, if you lead customers to the solution, then they’ll realize they have a problem.

     

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@www.p2pdevelopers.com
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  • This Doctor Who Lived to 105 Believed That for a Long Life, You Shouldn’t Retire

    Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara believed that work was key for longevity.

    To live a long life, work forever. At least, that’s what one of Japan’s leading doctors believed — and he was his own proof.

    Before his death on July 18, 105-year-old Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara was a practicing physician, a chairman of St. Luke’s International University and the honorary president of St. Luke’s International Hospital. Up until a few months before his death, Hinohara was active in the medical community — treating patients, taking new appointments and working up to 18 hours a day.

    Often credited as a major contributor to the foundations of Japanese medicine and in positioning Japan as a world leader in life expectancy, Hinohara held a number of beliefs for healthy living and longevity. And one of his main ones was: “Don’t retire. And if you must, retire much later than age 65,” he told the Japan Times.

    Maybe we should listen to the wise words of Hinohara, who believed that because the average life expectancy of Japanese people reached 84 years as of 2015, then the retirement age should be pushed back too, because work is what helps keep people going. At least that was the case for Hinohara, whose career, in a way, kept him living.

    Janit Kawaguchi, a Japan Times journalist who considered Hinohara a mentor, said, “He believed that life is all about contribution, so he had this incredible drive to help people, to wake up early in the morning and do something wonderful for other people. This is what was driving him and what kept him living.”

    On top of working for as long as possible, Hinohara also preached other guidelines for a long life, including having fun, always taking the stairs, asking your doctor questions and unsurprisingly, not being overweight.

     

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@www.p2pdevelopers.com
    Skype Username: p2pdevelopers
    Google hangouts: p2pdevelopers@gmail.com

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  • The Future of Productivity: Teamwork and Collaboration

    Industry experts explain how teamwork and collaboration are changing.

    I recently wrote about the ways AI and machine learning will impact productivity. For this article, I’m focusing on teamwork and collaboration. I reached out to founders, productivity experts and futurists who work in this space every day to ask what their predictions are for the next five and 10 years. Their answers were enlightening.

    The future isn’t just coming for personal productivity; experts also believe that advances in technology will strongly affect teams and organizations. From productivity platforms that seamlessly integrate the tools we depend on, to new ways to collaborate in an ever-more diverse and distributed workforce, here’s how the future will affect team productivity.

    Embrace the power of teams.

    When I asked Dom Price, the head of R&D at Atlassian, he said, “The future of productivity is all about unleashing the potential of your teams.” According to him, “90 percent of organizations claim to be tackling issues so complex they need teams to solve them.” This doesn’t bode well for organizations in which collaboration has not become a priority.

    Price further stated that, “Diversity, distribution, timezones, cultural differences and hierarchical reporting lines all make teamwork hard. We all need to unlearn some old ways of working, and embrace diversity, inclusion and better collaboration to drive team productivity in this new era of work.” I think that as teams become more distributed in the modern workforce, wether its because of politics or the war for talent, collaboration is the number one factor that companies need to implement.

    It started with email.

    Bret Taylor, former CTO of Facebook, inventor of the “Like” button and co-founder of productivity suite Quip, sees a solution to this challenge in the way communication has changed to become less formal in recent years. He believes that “connected, mobile and social — work is about communication. It’s about people sharing work, ideas and opinions.”

    Like many of the experts I spoke to, Taylor sees the future in the form of modern productivity suites that are no longer just “designed to augment email.” “Combining content and communication into a single, seamless experience — word processing, spreadsheets, chat, checklists, live editing and much more. Everything will happen in one place, vastly reducing the need for teams to send long email threads with clunky attachments, or waste time in endless meetings.”

    Visual communication moves up.

    Others see the solution to this challenge in the form of even more casual communication techniques. Wendy Hamilton, CEO of TechSmith, sees the future in video and screencasting.

    “As younger workers progress higher in their careers, they are setting the standard for communication in a workplace and they are leading with a preference for visual communication.”

    She believes that “from corporate training to marketing, video will become ingrained in the fabric of how companies operate, both internally and externally.”

    “Businesses both small and large are using this technique to demonstrate processes, improve communication efficiency and effectiveness, increase productivity and eliminate unnecessary meetings,” she adds.

    Informal communication is on the rise.

    Project management and productivity writer for Gartner and Capterra, Rachel Burger, agrees. “Many workers are already used to collaboration tools like Slack and its alternatives. To them, particularly millennial workers, formal project management software, like Microsoft Project or VersionOne, seem cumbersome and clunky. The millennial workforce simply doesn’t want to work with these tools.”

    Like Hamilton and Taylor, she sees informal communication replacing traditional project management tools in the workplace. However, she cautions that “collaboration software can never fully replace project management.” Citing a Gartner report, she states, “Adopting these systems will require strong change management skills from the lead project manager. In the world of productivity, the transition may lead to an initial disorganization until common collaboration tools can create more effective tracking and filtering systems per project.”

    Teams are embracing technologies.

    I tend to agree. While I don’t believe that visual communication will ever replace all other forms of communication, I do see a strong trend towards visual work as a faster way to productivity. It also allows remote teams to feel more like a part of the organization. Think about how VR could revolutionize the way we work — putting distributed teams in the same virtual room for meetings.

    For now though, the future of team collaboration will definitely be mobile, facilitated almost entirely by the smartphone in the near future. In 10 years’ time though, I see a future that will include augmented processes and machine learning. Information being sent to you from your environment, whether it’s from Alexa in the corner of your living room or a notification sent to your phone via geo-tracking giving information about a person you’re meeting as you arrive. There is no doubt that collaboration will continue to evolve as new technologies become available. Just look how the iPhone changed communication.

     

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
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    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
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    United States of America

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  • 7 Ways To Grow Your Personal Brand in Less Than a Week

    How to get your name out there, starting today.

    If you want to promote your name and your company online, you have to begin by building your personal brand. You have to begin thinking of yourself and your name as a brand. If you start there, everything else is easy.

    How do I know? I’ve spent years building my own brand, and I’m going to show you how to do it.

    1. Do a little preliminary research.

    Before you can build a positive personal profile online for yourself, you need to know what is already out there about you. Did you write a mean op-ed in college that has now made it into Google’s cache? Do you have some unsavory photos floating out there in the world wide web?

    Set up Google alerts using your name. Try to clean up any negative press or posts. You may even want to consider changing your name slightly — such as by using your middle initial or dropping our your nickname to build your new profile. Get your name as clean and professional as possible before you begin building your brand online.

    2. Get a website.

    If you’re going to make a name for your brand online, you need a site where your audience can visit so they can learn more about you. So, get a personal website with an “About me” page. There are lots of tools that you can use and websites you can visit to help you build your own website. Some of them are free. Some are paid, but remember,  you get what you pay for.

    If you want your website to be dynamic and professional-looking, make sure that you allot enough time, effort (and even money) into it. Use high-resolution photos of yourself and keep your copy short and engaging.

    3. Think about your audience.

    Who are you trying to reach? This is called your target audience.

    If I’ve learned anything in my years of marketing, it’s that you need to define your audience early on. Are you trying to direct people to your personal website so they can learn something from you? What do you have to offer them?

    By answering these questions, you’ll be able to get a better picture of your audience, and this will give you direction on how you communicate with them on your website and on social media.

    4. Make friends with influential people online.

    Influencers are some of your best assets as you build your personal brand. Over the years, I’ve made friends with people online who have big audiences in my industry. By building these relationships, my influencers are more willing to share or retweet my social posts to their audiences.

    If you get free exposure to an audience that you are already trying to target, it’s a win-win for both parties. Try out this technique to see if it works for you. If you have the right influencers in your circle, you’ll get more traffic to your website and more engagement in your social posts.

    5. The more people you meet, the better.

    When you are building a personal brand, the people you know can help promote you. You can’t limit these relationships to online. Perhaps you will reach out to some influencers online, and that is perfectly acceptable. I do that all the time, and it is rewarding to see these friendships form. But, you also need to do everything you can to meet influencers in other ways. Go to local events related to your industry. Network at happy hours.

    Tell everyone what you do everywhere you go, from the waiter at your favorite restaurant to the people you sit beside at church. Expand your circles — and your personal brand — simply by being present with others.

    6. Be you and only you.

    I’m offering you this advice because I learned the hard way. When you are building a personal brand, you do want to put your best face forward. But you also don’t want to create an online presence that isn’t true to who you really are. Social users are savvy about honesty — and they can tell when marketers are not being vulnerable and genuine.

    So make sure you are putting forth an honest profile of who you are. When you do this, you’ll effortlessly build trust.

    7. Capture information.

    Once you have started building a relationship with your online audience, it will be time to collect some of their information. This will be useful in building an email list, for example, so you can communicate more directly with your target audience.

    You can test this using creative ways. For example, once you have proven yourself as an established, trusted voice who offers valuable content, you can ask your audience to sign up for your monthly newsletter. You can also create videos to share your brand story. Incentivize this by offering a free giveaway or running a contest to generate excitement around free prizes. Make it fun for your target audience to participate.

    It can feel overwhelming as you get start building your personal brand. But, it takes less than a week to try out these tips. It’s easy to try one new strategy, and it won’t be long before you have a great target audience listening to you and looking to you for advice. That’s what a personal brand is all about.

     

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • Amazon Delivery Drones May Scan Your Home and Suggest Repairs

    A new patent describes how Amazon’s drones will scan your home while delivering packages to see if anything needs fixing.

    Amazon is never one to miss an opportunity for new revenue streams, so while the company continues to develop automated drones for Prime Air order deliveries, it’s also thinking about what else they could do during the flight to your home. A new patent granted to Amazon this week reveals one potentially profitable extra function: assessing your house and seeing if any repairs are needed.

    The patent, entitled “Trigger agents in video streams for drones,” was spotted by Business Insider. It describes the drone being able to scan and capture data about a destination. That data is then received by a remote computer system and analysed to identify its characteristics.

    Why would Amazon want to do that? Because it opens the door to a new type of recommendation system, which in turn means the potential for a new revenue stream. For example, the data the drone captures could highlight a roof repair is needed, or your trees are overgrown or dying and suggest an appropriate fix/service. Maybe your garden looks like it needs some love, so Amazon will start recommending garden tools and accessories.

    Anyone concerned about privacy will be glad to hear Amazon views this as an opt-in service. So you can choose to have your home scanned by the drone, and if you do, expect a review to arrive via email, text message or through an Amazon account notification along with some purchase options.

    Whether this feature ends up being a core part of the drone delivery process is a secondary concern for consumers as well as Amazon. Right now, the focus is on actually getting the drones approved so they are allowed to fly and deliver packages. Only once that’s up and running should we expect additional services to start being offered.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • McDonald’s Puts Mobile Ordering to the Test

    McDonald’s on Wednesday March 15 began testing new mobile ordering and payment functionality at 29 of its restaurants in Monterey and Salinas, California.

    It will expand the pilot to another 51 restaurants in Spokane, Washington, on March 20.

    The company will run multiple pilots to gather customer feedback, work out any issues that arise, and streamline integration with its IT systems before rolling out its updated mobile app to nearly all 14,000 restaurants in the United States — as well as 6,000 others in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and China — by the end of the year.

    Improving the Customer Experience

    Providing mobile ordering is part of a global growth plan McDonald’s unveiled on March 1, which hinges on improving the customer experience. The updated app will track a customer’s location, allowing customers to place orders anywhere and ensure their food is fresh when they get it.

    “You want to make sure that orders are correct and delivered on time — that stuff that’s supposed to be hot is hot, and stuff that’s supposed to be cold is cold,” Beagle Research Principal Denis Pombriant told CRM Buyer.

    The mobile-ordering functionality likely will contribute positively to the customer experience, remarked Holger Mueller, a principal analyst at Constellation Research, because “when you order fast food, you want to order fast, pay fast and eat fast.”

    The Trend Toward Mobility

    Demand for mobile ordering in the restaurant industry is “experiencing explosive growth,” noted Cindy Zhou, a principal analyst at Constellation Research. For example, Panera Bread, an early adopter of mobile app ordering, has projected its digital sales to hit US$1 billion this year.

    Constellation has found that about 30 percent of U.S. adults aged 65 or older have a smartphone, and “they are moving towards mobile device ordering for the convenience and selection,” Zhou told CRM Buyer.

    Take Starbucks’ mobile ordering app, for instance. It “worked so well that they had a problem filling orders,” Mueller told CRM Buyer. There were long queues at the pickup counter.

    When Being First Isn’t Best

    Other restaurant chains, notably Domino’s and Starbucks, took an early lead in providing mobile ordering capabilities to their customers.

    McDonald’s may have wanted the early adopters to grapple with the new technology first. CEO Steve Easterbrook reportedly has said that it’s better to be right than to be first to market.

    “Starbucks saw a decline in customer satisfaction and their stock dipped about 4 percent last quarter because of issues around long lines and in-store congestion resulting from mobile ordering,” Zhou noted.

    “McDonald’s is what we call a ‘fast follower’ at Constellation,” she remarked. “Not being the first to market gives them an opportunity to gauge consumer demand for the service and ensures they avoid some of the mistakes others have made.”

    Being first to market can provide a competitive advantage, though, depending on the strategy hammered out by management.

    Execution is key. The Panera Bread 2.0 app, which offers rapid pickup and fast lanes, “has led to excellent customer reviews, with over 6,000 4.5-star user ratings on the iTunes App Store,” Zhou pointed out.

    “Service is important, but so is engagement,” Pombriant observed. “If you can find a way to engage better with your customers, they’ll overlook small failings.”

    Improving the Customer Experience

    Providing mobile ordering is part of a global growth plan McDonald’s unveiled on March 1, which hinges on improving the customer experience. The updated app will track a customer’s location, allowing customers to place orders anywhere and ensure their food is fresh when they get it.

    “You want to make sure that orders are correct and delivered on time — that stuff that’s supposed to be hot is hot, and stuff that’s supposed to be cold is cold,” Beagle Research Principal Denis Pombriant told CRM Buyer.

    The mobile-ordering functionality likely will contribute positively to the customer experience, remarked Holger Mueller, a principal analyst at Constellation Research, because “when you order fast food, you want to order fast, pay fast and eat fast.”

    The Trend Toward Mobility

    Demand for mobile ordering in the restaurant industry is “experiencing explosive growth,” noted Cindy Zhou, a principal analyst at Constellation Research. For example, Panera Bread, an early adopter of mobile app ordering, has projected its digital sales to hit US$1 billion this year.

    Constellation has found that about 30 percent of U.S. adults aged 65 or older have a smartphone, and “they are moving towards mobile device ordering for the convenience and selection,” Zhou told CRM Buyer.

    Take Starbucks’ mobile ordering app, for instance. It “worked so well that they had a problem filling orders,” Mueller told CRM Buyer. There were long queues at the pickup counter.

    When Being First Isn’t Best

    Other restaurant chains, notably Domino’s and Starbucks, took an early lead in providing mobile ordering capabilities to their customers.

    McDonald’s may have wanted the early adopters to grapple with the new technology first. CEO Steve Easterbrook reportedly has said that it’s better to be right than to be first to market.

    “Starbucks saw a decline in customer satisfaction and their stock dipped about 4 percent last quarter because of issues around long lines and in-store congestion resulting from mobile ordering,” Zhou noted.

    “McDonald’s is what we call a ‘fast follower’ at Constellation,” she remarked. “Not being the first to market gives them an opportunity to gauge consumer demand for the service and ensures they avoid some of the mistakes others have made.”

    Being first to market can provide a competitive advantage, though, depending on the strategy hammered out by management.

    Execution is key. The Panera Bread 2.0 app, which offers rapid pickup and fast lanes, “has led to excellent customer reviews, with over 6,000 4.5-star user ratings on the iTunes App Store,” Zhou pointed out.

    “Service is important, but so is engagement,” Pombriant observed. “If you can find a way to engage better with your customers, they’ll overlook small failings.”

    Source: technewsworld.com

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  • Earning money in the mobile app era:how apps can help you to save more

    Tech in the digital age is ubiquitous. Everywhere you look, you will find someone holding a smartphone, watching a movie on their tablets, or listening to music via their mobile devices.

    The mobile industry is huge and it can entice people to spend a lot more money than they usually would have. However, that does not have to be the case. In fact, people can now earn money on their spare time with simple tasks, and save money when buying anything.

    Earning money on your free time

    Most people seem to think that every service that promises to make its users money from home is a scam. While it is true that there are many apps that are entirely fake and attempt to simply trick people with fake promises, there are many legitimate ones too.

    In fact, there are countless lists of mobile apps that help you earn money online. These apps all share common features, such as allowing their users to complete as many or as few tasks as they want and earn equivalent cash in the process.

    While such apps rarely pay enough for a full-time income, their purpose is not to completely replace your actual job. Instead, they can be used whenever you have some free time and would like to earn some extra cash.

    For instance, plenty of people have a long commute every day to work. Many will spend that time listening to music, reading the newspaper, or catching up with the latest updates in social media.

    Instead of doing that, they could potentially take some time to work through mobile apps like Swagbucks which will allow them to make some extra money, perhaps enough to pay for the commute or an extra cup of coffee.

    Apps that earn you money are entirely flexible

    The best thing about these apps is that they never force their users to complete more tasks than they would like. In fact, users can simply close the app whenever they get bored and continue later in the day or even later in the week.

    The way most of these services work is that they allow users to accumulate points whenever certain tasks are completed. Completing tasks gives users points which can then be exchanged for actual money.

    That kind of flexibility is hard to come by and is one of the most appealing aspects of doing some extra work from a smartphone or tablet. As long as you are content with spending a limited amount of your time for limited rewards then such apps are the right choice for you.

    The mobile industry can also help you save money

    Earning money via mobile apps is an absolutely fine way to spend a couple of hours every day but it is not for everyone. Some people have a satisfying day job with a high salary and they do not wish to continue working when they get home or during their long commutes.

    Instead, they may wish to scout the web for deals, discounts, and interesting products that they can add to their collection. This is precisely the reason why so many apps concerned with online shopping keep popping up in each app store.

    Wish and Shpock are just two of the many examples of apps dedicated to saving people money, albeit through different avenues. The first allows people to connect with overseas shops which can ship items are highly reduced costs whereas the second one lets users sell their items to anyone in their vicinity, a modern version of the classified ads.

    Apps and the sharing economy

    The sharing economy has come under a lot of fire recently. For example, Airbnb is believed to worsen the renting problems that many major cities face because it allows people to rent their rooms in the short-term only, leading to increase shortages in housing.

    However, the sharing economy is a concept which has been readily embraced by everyday users. Today, many people would prefer to bring up Uber on their phones and order a ride than calling a taxi company and booking a ride from them.

    The sharing economy concept seems to have found a solid home in the mobile industry as more and more apps embrace it in ways that disrupt the market. In China alone, the shared economy industry is estimated at $502 billion, a number that doubled in a single year.

    Soon, major cities in the West will also catch up and ride the sharing wave even further. In the next few years, it will not be uncommon to use apps in order to rent a bike, visit a shop and pay with a mobile coupon, and request a ride via an app on the way back.

    Such concepts seem strange for the uninitiated but users across the world seem ready to adopt them whenever they actually hit the market. With apps available to earn, save, and share money, it is not difficult to believe that the mobile industry will play a vital role in the economy for years to come.

    Source: www.thenextweb.com

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