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Start Branding Yourself Today

Shining Star

Before you ever even think about building an online brand with your own name, you should put some work into looking the the branding you’ve already done.  I remember a commercial that said you only get one chance to make a first impression.  That’s true in life, and its true online.  People make judgments about you almost instantly, and they’ll do the same thing about your website when they arrive at it.  Think about what you are projecting in every area of your life.  How do you interact with people?  How is that working for you?  There’s a good chance that you might need to tweak things a bit if you really want to “wow” people.  That’s OK though.  Most of us drift through life, and even business, at the status quo level.  If you are willing to step things up and be better than your competition, you’ll find that you can shine and stand out from the crowd.

The personal brand you project affects others’ decisions as to your intelligence, character and ability, and determines whether or not they want to do business with you. The way you dress (and act) has a remarkable impact on the people you meet professionally and socially. This greatly affects how they treat you.

Humans think with their eyes. A UCLA study proves that 85% of all decisions are made with our eyes. That’s right: the visual you have has the most impact.

If your personal brand is not professional and congruent, attractive and attracting you will be passed over – guaranteed. To be competitive, to have a greater influence on others, to attract more business and be more successful it’s essential that you develop a well-thought-out personal brand.

Before you sell anything — your product, company or service — you sell yourself first. Shift the balance of power in your favor. When you brand yourself correctly, you are seen as more desirable and in demand. Now take large, successful companies for instance. They understand the power of “branding” a product. They spend a lot of time, money and energy to create a “brand” that is eye catching and appealing enough to sell their product through to market. They want to make sure that the buyer has a strong connection with that brand.

Now think of yourself as a company with one employee — you. How much time, money and energy have you spent in developing a “personal brand” that is unique enough to sell through to your market? An individual who has a well-defined personal brand has more status and a tremendous advantage over the competition in the market place. With a great personal brand, you are already half sold and thus far above the competition.

Customer Service Skills Success

customer service skills success

How much of a priority are customer service skills to you?  If you are the customer, they’re probably pretty important.  But how about if you are the one running the show?  Do you take care of your customers in the same manner that you would like to be treated?  What about your employees?  How do you treat the people who will effectively be wearing the face of your company?  If you think that these things don’t matter, it’s time to open your eyes.  In a competitive business world, the company who can end the day with the happiest customers has a very strong advantage over its competitors.customer service skills success

Please your employees the way you wish them to please your customers. As the boss, you have fewer chances coming face to face with your customers than the people you employ. As such, you”ll have to mostly rely on their performance when it comes to customer service. If you want them to treat your customers well, make sure you give them similar treatment at work. Like breeds like, and if they don’t get any motivation from you, they won’t have any motivation to provide excellent customer service to your clients either.  Don’t make the mistake of bullying employees.  You won’t like the long term results it brings and you will mostly end up with an employee turnover problem that you don’t want to deal with.

Personalize your approach with employees and customers. One thing customers have in common is the pleasure they receive when firms or establishments they patronize make it clear to them that they know who they all are. You have to prove to your customers that you appreciate them. You can do this by addressing them by name in your calls and newsletters. Take note of their birthdays and send them personalized greetings from your company. Make them feel important and they”ll prove that you”re important to them, too.  By the way, that works with employee relations too!

Give it your best plus more. Train your employees to go the extra mile for the customers. Your competition may just as efficient as your team is in resolving customer support issues, but can they be as courteous or as cheerful as your team is? Being respectful and smiling at all times may seem little things to improve your company’s customer service but it’s often these little things that make a huge difference to your customers.

Be fair. No request should be too small to be considered, and no customer should be too insignificant to take care of. Sure, there are certain privileges that VIP clients are entitled to and other customers are quick to understand, but there are also certain privileges that everyone have the right to enjoy like common courtesy and dedication. Never let your customers think that you”re guilty of favoritism!

Listen. Train your employees to have the patience to listen. This may be hard when the caller is stubborn and unreasonable. Even if you end up unable to resolve the issue – which isn’t surprising if there shouldn’t be any issue at all in the first place – your customers would still put the phone down in a happy mood because they knew you cared enough to listen to them without complaint. Sometimes, people pretend to seek for solutions when all along, they simply desired to have someone listen to them.

Make good use of your FAQ section. If you don’t have an FAQ page on your website (you do have one, right?), create one immediately. Having a FAQ page is an effective way of offering customer service. Common problems may be discussed here to negate the need for calls regarding the same issues. FAQ sections prevent your customers – and employees – from wasting their time.

Never left things unresolved. Every complaint must be successfully addressed. Train your employees to perform follow-up calls to ensure that all complaints had been resolved. For complicated issues, make sure that you give clients progress reports to let them know that you”re still working on their case. Do your best to give them a specific time period for which they can expect the issue to be fully resolved.

Billboard Advertising Prices Make It Worth Considering

City Light billboard, 1968

I was sitting in traffic not too long ago when I started thinking about billboard advertising prices and how many people look at billboards every day.  If you commute to work, think for a minute about those big old billboards you drive or ride past every day.  Can you remember them?  Do any specific advertising messages, or brands stick in your mind because of them.  I spend a lot of time thinking about unusual, entertaining, and/or creative ways that billboard use could be put to use while I’m sitting there staring at those images.

Billboard Advertising Isn’t That Expensive

If you ask me, billboard advertising might be the best bet in outdoor advertising and isn’t that costly.  When you consider the amount of exposure the product gets the money is worth it. In the past few years several factors have triggered renewed interest in billboard advertising, with cost effectiveness being one of the prime reasons. One of the reasons being if an ad is placed in the local newspaper or a television channel the advertisement gets noticed for only thirty seconds and when the same advertisement is placed on a billboard, it gets noticed throughout the day, for months. Thousands of people view billboard everyday on their way to jobs or home, it doesn’t get lost in the pages like an advertisement placed in a newspaper or magazine. There is a frequent and continuous delivery of your message. No other advertising method can grab the attention of people like billboard advertising. It creates brand awareness and strong name recognition.

One of the reasons behind the cost being low is technology. In the early years, billboards were hand-painted, so the labor cost was necessarily high. Now, advertisers design and print their advertisements on a huge poster board or vinyl board by using a computer-aided printer, which is very cost effective. Creativity can be achieved to the highest extent, with increased ease and less money. The brighter, more colorful, and creative the advertisement is, the more attention it will grab.

A lot of advertisers today simply assume that the best way to advertise is online.  While there are certainly a lot of folks searching for things in search engines, it can be quite costly paying for per click advertising.  Why not take advantage of the fact that people driving to and from work follow the same predictable route every day?