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How to Find People to Push You Forward

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Throughout your career, you’re going to find times you might not feel motivated to get done what you need to do. These times might last for a day or for months at a time. You might feel overwhelmed and be tempted to give up, especially if you’re running your own business or pursuing a difficult goal. It’s important to continue striving forward, no matter what. However, it might seem like too much for you to handle alone at times. This issue is why it’s incredibly important to surround yourself with people who will support and push you forward. Having positive and encouraging people in your life can help you achieve your goals and provides you with a support system for times you feel unmotivated. Finding these kinds of people makes it possible for you to accomplish dreams you never could on your own.

Decide what you want

Before you can properly find the people you need to push you forward, you must decide exactly what this goal looks like to you. Are they someone who is inquisitive and calls you out on lack of productivity when you won’t? Is it someone who stands by you no matter what? Is it a competitor? Figure out what you’re exactly looking for and how someone can fill this role.

Evaluate your current people

Once you know what you want this support to look like, evaluate the people you currently surround yourself with. Are any of them providing what you’re looking for? Do any of them bring unnecessary negativity? I’m not advising you drop all your friends and family, but if some of them are actively working against your goals and dreams, it’s time to reevaluate those toxic relationships.

Tap into your network

If you’ve decided you want to find someone new to fill a role in your support system, tap into your network. Is there someone you admire or who seems really talented that you’ve never seriously connected with before? Reach out to him or her and start a discussion. Talk to one another and begin cultivating a relationship.

Strengthen your relationships

It’s likely you already have a support system in place, you just need to finetune it. Begin strengthening the relationships you really value; spend more time with these people, communicate more openly. Talk to the ones you’re close to about what you need help with and, if they’re your true support system, they’ll be more than willing to help how they can.

Give what you get

Finally, it’s important to remember that those around you need support too and you cannot simply take their positivity without giving your support and attention back. When they need someone to support them, be there. Show you care. Creating a strong network around you means it’s a two-way street, so be there for them when you’re needed.

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5 Tips for Beating Procrastination

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Everyone finds times when they just don’t feel like getting work done. It could be work for your job, for school, or something around the house. You might not feel like sending a specific email, completing a project, or running an errand. However, you’ll need to do these tasks eventually. Putting them off only makes it more difficult to get them done and hampers your progress. You’ll find it hard to reach your goals if you aren’t taking little steps to reach them and keeping the rest of your life in check. Procrastinating simply allows little to-dos to pile up and stresses you out. Even if something’s unpleasant or you know it’ll take time, do it as soon as possible and you’ll feel great once it’s done.

Learn why

There could be an underlying reason as to why you keep procrastinating. If you find yourself regularly putting off tasks, take time to learn why you’re acting this way. There could be an underlying reason for your procrastination, such as you’re unhappy at your job, you’re sick, or some other issue. If you can identify the root cause of your procrastination, it could be easier to beat it.

Make a plan

Decide what task you want to tackle first. Take time to write down your overarching goal and the steps needed to achieve it. Many tasks seem much more manageable if broken down into smaller steps and you’ll be a lot more organized. Give yourself to-do list, but avoiding making it too much to accomplish in one day; you’ll feel discouraged about what you didn’t get done.

Set rewards

In order to motivate yourself, set small rewards for each task you complete. You’ll want to work toward your reward and feel motivated every time you finish something. Make the reward something you need to put in some work for and be disciplined about only getting it if you’ve accomplished what you originally set out to do.

Change your environment

Part of the reason you might be procrastinating is because your environment is stale and doesn’t promote productivity. Give your desk or office a makeover; get rid of clutter and make it a place you want to be. Or, go somewhere that you feel you’ll be able to accomplish more, like a coffee shop or somewhere with other people. Create an environment that promotes productivity and you’ll find work a little easier.

Focus on the goal

Whatever your end goal is, whether it’s becoming skilled at a new hobby, starting your own business, publishing a podcast, or something else, focus on this goal. You’ll feel more motivated when you know what you’re striving for and that it’s worth it. Never lose sight of the big picture and remind yourself every day of what you’re working toward, even if it’s far off.

7 Ways to Increase Your Email List

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No matter what your business is or what industry you work in, you want people to subscribe to your email list or newsletter. The more eyes on this information that you’re sending out, the better your chances of gaining more business. There are clear connections between the amount of people receiving and reading your company’s emails and the amount of sales you’ll accomplish. However, many people are wary of signing up for email lists and cluttering their inboxes, especially if it’s a company they don’t know much about. Here are some tips to increase your email lists and boost your company’s profits.

Create a great design

The first step you’ll need to take is to create a well-designed website and brand. If there isn’t someone on your team who’s great at site design, go ahead and outsource this aspect to a freelancer or company. You want your website to look the best it can because it’s what potential email subscribers first see when learning about your company.

Make it visible on your site(s)

If you really want to see an increase in your email list, you’ll need to make it visible on your site. Include a call to action button and offer the chance to sign up for your newsletter on every page. Simply adding a bar to enter an email address to the footer of the page is useful. You should also consider having a slideup window for when someone first visits your site. Include catchy language that’ll make someone want to give you their email address.

Utilize social media

Regularly post links to sign-up for your email list on your company’s social media accounts. Include links to sign-up and posts about the benefits of getting the newsletters. Post quality content and add short blurbs encouraging people to sign up for your email list. Social media is a great way to market your company, take advantage of this fact and market your email listas well.

Offer quality & incentives

Make sure your email itself is well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. No one wants to stay subscribed to an email list that sends spammy and unattractive emails. When prompting people to sign up for the email list, offer examples of incentives, such as a small discount sent in the first email, exclusive offers, or other perks.

Be visible

Make sure your company is visible. Regularly post original content and news onto your websites and social media accounts. Try to get mentions from other brands on their websites and social media accounts. The more people hear about your company, the more likely they are to sign up for your email list because they view you as a recognized brand.

Make it personal

When trying to connect with consumers, add a personal touch. Share personal stories or include fun information about the company in your emails. People like to know there are humans behind a company; make this fact clear and draw people in.

Pay attention to what works

As you begin implementing these techniques, track what works and what doesn’t. Many mail services offer features to track how people were directed to signing up for your email list, whether through your website or some other link. Understanding what methods work allows you to make necessary changes and keep moving your business forward.

6 Tips for Online Sales

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For any company, especially if it’s just starting out, increasing sales is a main goal. Thanks to the age of digital technology, most businesses now make sales online. More and more consumers are shopping online, thanks to the prices and convenience. Any company would like a way to increase their sales, but sometimes it can seem challenging to find ways to make this goal a reality, especially if you’ve tried many tactics before. Here are a few tips to use to boost your online sales and increase business.

Think about target audience

You could use the best methods when trying to increase online sales, but if you aren’t connecting with your target audience, your efforts will not produce much. Take time to identify your target audience and then research what marketing methods work with them. Figure out what designs, language, and products work best with your target audience and implement this knowledge.

Redesign your store

Chances are, if you’ve been using an online store for a while, that some aspects of it are a bit outdated. Any website can benefit from a fresh look, so take time to tweak the appearance of your online store or website. Unless you’re rebranding, you probably shouldn’t completely overhaul it with a completely new color scheme or logo, but small changes can go a long way. Make sure the site isn’t cluttered, product images are high quality, and descriptions are clear. Make your site as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Increase social media presence

If you’re not currently using social media sites for your company, it’s time to start. Regularly posting on these sites helps direct traffic to your online store and spread the word about your products. Advertise sales or new products and interact with your followers.

Check out other companies

If you’re trying to make your site and social media accounts more appealing, take a look at what other successful companies, especially those in your industry, do. While you should never directly copy the methods of another business, see what types of colors, language, and tricks they do to generate sales.

Use persuasive techniques

If you want people to purchase from your company, you need to use language that persuades them to get your product or service. Feature call to action buttons and advertise your products. Include the benefits; show the customer why they need what your company is offering. Highlight any sales or other incentives they’d get for purchasing an item. If you’re offering a discount, make that clear.

Listen to feedback

Consumer feedback is a vital resource for increasing your sales. While you cannot please everyone and make any change a customer suggests, if you see major trends in suggestions or there seems to be a recurring issue, try to fix it. Customer satisfaction is the best way to guarantee return customers and increased sales.

The Importance of Email Etiquette

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No matter what industry you work in, you’re going to be sending countless emails every day, especially if a large part of your job revolves around following leads and making sales. Email has become a main way for people to communicate with one another; whether you’re sending out emails to secure potential sales, talking to your clients, or emailing coworkers or your manager, you’re going to be spending time emailing. It’s used in personal, professional, and academic communication, so you should understand the etiquette that goes along with it. Here are some reasons why email etiquette is so important and how it impacts your career.

First impressions

In most instances, the first time you connect with someone these days in a professional capacity is through email. You might meet someone at a networking event or in person at the office, but you’re often going to need to first reach out to clients, potential employers, and others through email. If you haven’t had a chance to meet someone in person, your email is going to be their first impression of you. Using sloppy grammar or being slow to respond can make them think you’re not interested in working together or organized. Be on top of your email game so you can make the best first impression possible when communicating with leads, business partners, or others within and outside of your company.

Communication

Email (or electronic text-based messages in general) have become the norm for communication. Many people, particularly in younger generations, prefer communicating through written options instead of speaking on the phone or face-to-face. Email is efficient and also allows you to think over what you’re writing and make sure it is concise and easy to understand. Since email gives you this ability, make sure you take advantage of it by crafting clear emails that get your point across. Email has made communication more efficient, but there are also issues that have arisen that aren’t present in verbal or in-person meetings.

Protection

A great benefit of communicating through email is that you have everything in writing. After a phone call with a client or a meeting with someone in your company, send a follow-up email outlining what the two of you discussed. This way, you can avoid getting into he said/she said arguments. What was discussed will be clear and known to both parties if an email clearly states these points. While it’s not nearly the same as a contract, being able to reference written communication to show that a topic was discussed or agreed upon can help prevent any future misunderstandings.

Company image

Finally, no matter what position you hold at your place of business, your email etiquette reflects the company as a whole. If you’re slow to respond to emails or don’t read over them before sending them, you will likely look unprofessional. If you’re trying to make a sale, you want to upload a great company image and make your potential customer feel comfortable with the business. Teach other people at your organization, particularly your sales team, the importance of this skill; consider holding periodic email etiquette presentations so people understand the importance of a quality email and how to create one. You’d be surprised by how many people have no clue how to write an email!

6 Tips for Having Top-Notch Email Etiquette

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In my recent blog post, The Importance of Email Etiquette, I covered just why you should be concerned with how you write your emails when it comes to business, particularly in sales. You’re making a first impression on someone, representing your company, and often trying to convince them to purchase some kind of product or service from you. In order to accomplish your goal, you need to send fantastic emails that are clear, concise, and standout. Here are some great email etiquette tips you can use in professional or personal emails.

Use proper grammar

A huge issue when sending formal business emails is that many people do not take the time to read over their email and make sure they’re using proper spelling and grammar. Avoid using slang or making simple spelling errors; simply reading over an email once is often enough to catch these small mistakes. While sending a quick email to your coworker may not be a huge issue if you forget to include, sending out sloppy emails to potential clients can certainly prevent them from patronizing your business.

Make it easy to understand

No matter who you’re emailing, they’ll want to receive an email that’s easy to understand. Avoid using too much technical language and make explanations as simple as possible. Listing your questions or comments using bullet points can often make a lengthy email easier to understand. Sending a clear and concise email makes it more likely that you’ll receive a positive response.

Add a personal touch

When sending out sales emails, this step can be particularly helpful. Adding some warmth or a more personal questions, such as how someone’s day has been going or how their recent vacation was, is a great way to open emails. You want to avoid being too personal, but a unique touch that lets your recipient know they’re receiving an email from a real person can help aid in communication.

Think before sending

Sometimes, you’ll get terse emails and you’ll be tempted to respond right away. Other times, you’ll want to send a lengthy or unnecessary email. If you’re going to send an email based on emotion or that doesn’t have a clear purpose, take a few minutes to step back, complete another task, and then decide if your email really needs to be sent or if you should word it differently.

Create a clear subject line

Your email recipient is going to want to know what the email is about, especially if it’s one they aren’t expecting. Make the subject line a clear indication of what the body of the email is going to be about. If you’re sending a sales email, try to create a unique and intriguing subject line that actually makes someone want to open and read the email.

Look over attachments

If you’re sending an email with attachments, make sure they’re the correct files before sending the email. The last thing you want is to send a private document to a coworker or client who isn’t meant to see it. Give your files clear names so you avoid accidentally attaching something you don’t want your recipient to see.

What to Do After Your Information is Hacked

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The past few years, it’s become increasingly common to hear that companies were hacked and accidentally leaked confidential information about their clients or customers. Most often, this issue occurred at retailers who had certain credit card information stored. Monitoring whether or not you were compromised was simply watching for suspicious activity on your card or getting a new one. However, with the Equifax data breach this fall, more people than ever are concerned about the safety of their personal information. Having your social security number and other important identity information leaked is incredibly serious and might not be detected for a few years, until someone decides to use this information. When you find out there’s a chance your information has been leaked, here are some tips on how to protect yourself.

Monitor your current accounts

The first step you should take once finding out your accounts or information could be compromised is to carefully monitor any accounts you currently possess. Always look over your credit card and bank statements and make sure you recognize all of the charges. If you notice something strange, immediately contact your bank or credit card company. The more vigilant you are, the sooner you can catch any issues and take care of them.

Set up credit monitoring

While you can opt to use a paid service to monitor your credit, there are also plenty of free services out there you can use, such as Credit Karma. You can download an app on your phone that periodically updates to show any recent accounts opened in your name and for how much money. Choose a credit card monitoring service you feel comfortable using and regularly check to make sure no unknown accounts have been opened. Also, if you receive any emails or phone calls about new accounts, follow up and see if someone opened something in your name.

Change your passwords

You should periodically update all of your passwords, no matter what account it’s for or what personal information it contains. Make your passwords complex; consider using a random password generator so they can’t be guessed. Regularly updating passwords help prevent people from hacking directly into your accounts or using information that was breached to get into them.

Remain vigilant

It’s likely you’ll be incredibly vigilant the first few months after you learn about a data breach, but once other aspects of life get in the way, it can be difficult to keep up this habit. Even if you see no strange activity, continue checking your credit monitoring service once a week. Sometimes, personal information that’s stolen isn’t used until years after the initial breach.

Consider a credit freeze

Another option you have is implementing a credit freeze. A credit freeze prevents any new accounts being opened in your name because companies will be unable to verify the information given. However, a credit freeze costs you, usually around $10 per account. While this method prevents your information from being used, it can be inconvenient if you need to open new accounts; unfreezing credit costs additional money and can take time to do.