A New Season Brings New Customers
October 19, 2016
Welcome fall! In Arizona, that means an overcrowding of our freeways from snowbirds and winter visitors but more importantly a whole new pool of people to do business with.
From retail to hair dressers, it's the busy season. For those who can afford to leave the snow for 6 months, it's not a matter of price for them, but why they need what you have to offer. Sell them on you and they're yours forever.
Here are some ideas to market yourself this fall to a whole new audience or just to spruce up your game.
1. Tailor your social media content- define your target audience. Theme it with fall themes and colors. It shows that you manage your content constantly and don't leave the same thing up.
2. Support organizations: don't wait until the holidays to show you donate to charities. Showing support creates a personal touch, especially if it's in the local community.
3. Newsletter- if you've never created a newsletter, now is the time to start! Personally welcome the new or returning residents to Arizona. Share local spots only the natives know about.
4. Go to the hotspots- post on community boards. A lot of snowbirds will buy condos and they all have a community center. Grocery stores have community boards too.
5. Send a personal touch: Thanksgiving and other holidays are a great reason to start a campaign to mail by zip code with a personal letter, card, postcard, or whatever you want!
May this holiday season bring you happiness, wealth, and innovative business ideas!
Marketing Made Easy on Social Media
October 12, 2016
If you're a business owner, you have some form of social media. If you're had your business for over 10 years, you've probably had a tough time with social media and finding trending topics to speak to the digital generation. You might be wondering which avenue is going to benefit you the most: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? Don't grade them, just get them all. There are many apps you can get to manage all of your social media platforms eliminating tedious time to post separately. Check out the top 5 managing apps for all of your social media http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-social-media-management-tools-to-save-time/
It's not enough to post information, statistics, facts, etc. What type of content are you bringing to have viewers stop in their tracks and check you out? First you must determine your target audience; but you probably already know that. Think about how you want to be remembered. The easiest way I can explain is when people think of you (as an individual) what do they think of in association? A superhero, an animal, a color? That's what content is. It's leaving your mark and your presence without really doing anything just because you always wear a certain color or you have tons of trinkets of your favorite animal.
Keep your content relative to trending topics, though. For instance: hello, it's October, it's fall. What do you associate fall with? PSL and Halloween. What's trending? Pumpkin Spice everything, horror movies, and the thousands of Harley Quinn costumes going to be seen at the end of this month. Hashtag everything. Millennials are spending 20 minutes per hour on social media and when I have nothing better to do, I search hashtags of the things I like.
Millennials have a need to share things they like: good, bad, and ugly. They need to be the first to share whatever content and get validation that they fit in. Social media sharing is the digital world's word of mouth and puts your reach from the hundreds to the thousands.
Stay on top of trends, or be lucky enough to create a new one. Photos and videos are the key. The goal is to get people to do your marketing for you. Sharing, commenting, viewing whatever you have to offer extends your digital thumbprint tenfold. Post often but no more than 3x a day. Stay relevant and consistent.
How to Get More Clients
September 28, 2016
It's hard enough to find a steady clientele no matter what profession you're in. If you're young, it's even tougher. But young people are hungry and understand that without clients, they don't eat. Here's how to get more clients so you can keep the lights on.
Getting new clients takes lots of time, energy, and effort. It does not happen over night and if you are already established, good for you! But have you ever just sat back and thought you had enough clients and you didn't need to do any more work? Doubtful.
The list could go on and on with hundreds of ways to gain more clients but here is what I find most helpful.
1. Word of mouth is the best advertisement you can have out there and it's free! Ask your clients to spread the word; utilize social media as a platform to share your page or a review about the service you did.
2. Ask for referrals. Create a referral program to give someone an incentive.
3. Facebook and Instagram Ads. It's cheap and you can reach tens of thousands of people in your area. The best part is you can get as specific as you want to whom you're trying to reach.
4. Network. Make yourself visible. Go to all the happy hours you can. If you're not a people person, fake it, at least for a couple hours. Make sure not to talk about yourself. It's about them; ask them the questions. Oh, and remember their name. Get a business card and follow up because 99% of the people who are at events aren't going to do that so you'll already stand out. Do what others won't.
5. Speaking engagements. Speaking in front of a group or class shows leadership. It shows that you're the expert in the topic and if you can take pictures or a live stream, it shows others that you're an expert as well.
You can also buy leads, read as many business and sales books as you can find, co-work, start a blog, sponsor events and charity functions, etc. The list goes on and on. Good luck to you in the busy time of year. We're lucky enough in Arizona to have snowbirds to make it an even busier time! People want to do business with you, not your company, so show them why they should do business with you.
How to Perfect Your 60 Second Commercial
September 21, 2016
How do you stand out in a crowd when your profession matches 20,000 other people's professions? What makes you different? Whenever you're at a networking group, how many people talk about their business opposed to THEM? Here are some steps to take when separating you from those who do what you do and implementing them in to your networking elevator speech.
1. Your purpose - What's your story? What's your WHY? - Sharing your purpose shows people you're human and not a robot. You have a mission that others will resonate with. Facts tell but stories sell!
2. Your Principles - What do you stand for in your business? - Sharing your principles with prospects shows you are ethical, you have morals and core values which is what ever successful business creates before they even open their doors. Stand by them; if you don't, no one else will.
3. Ideal referrals - Who is your ideal client? - This shows experience. You have a niche in this category and there's always a demographic no matter how specific you are.
4. Your Frustrations - What makes you angry about your industry? (what do others do wrong?) - Not necessarily trash talking about other associates in the business but tell common misconceptions about your business. This shows you don't make false promises and others will respect you for not wanting a quick sale and compromise your ethics.
Making a commercial tailored to you instead of what you do will help the most important part of doing business. Relationships. Building relationships keeps retention up, builds rapport and trust, and keeps word of mouth at its highest peak.
How to Dress Your Age
September 14, 2016
If you're a young professional new to the working world, it's hard to determine what you might deem professional vs. what others might view as distasteful. Over-casual can seem inexperienced. If you're a young professional woman, there's a lot working against you. Maybe you don't need to appear older, rather, mature. I think the best thing you could do for your appearance is to exude confidence, smile, and make eye contact. Here are some other steps you can take to look more established.
1. Go to colors - white blouses, black pants, and a touch of red. Tailored.
2. Lip color - one of my very good friends in Mary Kay swears that a woman needs a bold lip to make any kind of statement, or a more dramatic eye or defined lashes such as lash extensions.
3. Wear glasses - or fake glasses!
4. To be taller is to look older - get a great pair of heels and preserve the heel. The whole point is to be polished from head to toe.
5. Be calm and quiet. Immaturity is wanting to go in a room and immediately have people know you're there and to demand attention. Listen to people, talk in a lower voice, and avoid using words such as "like" and "um."
Other than that, if you're good at what you do, you're good! Focus on doing what's right for your clients. Do you think people care about what you look like when you're doing right by them? Or do you think it's the people who are watching you succeed who have the problem?
Finding Passion in your Career
September 7, 2016
Love what you do and do what you love.
Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life.
There are countless mantras to validate you're on the right path and to help cope in the working world. The real question is, do you like Monday's or do you despise them? If the answer is toward the latter, you are not on the right path.
So how do you do what you love for a living? Is it even possible? How do you turn your passion to a career? I guess you would first need to figure out what you love to do, which isn't hard. More specifically, though, what are you good at? I love to sing and dance but I am most certainly not good at it but I am good at planning events and I enjoy planning events so that might be a little more up my alley.
See, it's not just about turning your hobby in to a way to make money. Frankly, you're probably not going to make much money anyway selling your crafty things...unless you do it on Youtube and become an internet sensation. It's more about using your strengths to your advantage. When you're good at something, it's a little easier and less stressful and that's when work becomes fun! "When you do what you love, people rally around you. Enthusiasm is contagious and you attract other people who are passionate too" (entrepreneur.com.)
This takes time, it takes trial and error. You might think you'd be good at something and it turns out to be a little more complicated. There are people who can help speed up this process. I went to a lunch and learn with a woman who helps people figure out their strengths and it's been one of the best presentations I've ever heard to this day.
"You should do what you want to do and do what your best at" (Stan Lee, creator of Marvell.)
Fear is the only thing that can hold you back. Sure, you went to college, got a degree, spent tens and thousands of dollars on doing something you don't love. It happens. I actually went to school to do hair and never went that route. If you change your mind, you can change your life.
Does Age Matter?
August 31, 2016
Is age really a factor in a young professional’s success? Why is it we don’t see many millennials actively networking in groups, especially in morning groups? You might think it’s because they’re lazy but they’re creating the change in how business is done. They are working hard but maybe not in the old-fashioned way of face-to-face interaction.
In a digital age where we crave instant response, millennials have the creativity and talent to be successful in this new era. They’ve figured it out now whereas the higher-ups are still scratching their heads.
Take the Rio Olympics for instance: nearly every medal was awarded to a millennial. Look at the most successful companies right now: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google, Amazon, etc. Those companies were all started by someone 30 or younger.
I believe it’s assumed that young professionals are going to make mistakes and that’s why people choose not to do business with them. Facts tell, stories sell; a saying that would prove experience matters in business. Meaning, you need to be in business for a while and see all sorts of circumstances and outcomes possible to be able to effectively do your job. Maybe have a family and a little gray hair. Experience definitely matters, no question, but “knowledge is one thing and competency is another” (Harvard Business Review).
If you’re an entrepreneur at an age before family and huge amounts of bills, you’re risky. You’re likely to take those chances and put it all out there. Energy and ambition play a huge role. Someone ambitious won’t quit after hearing no a few times which will ensure their success as they continue to give 100% every day. “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.” -George Bernard Shaw
Proper Work-Life Balance
August 24, 2016
In your early twenties, life is fun. You can live on Top Ramen and no sleep. No family to worry about and no money to make things complicated. Once you’re out of school, in the real world, your priorities shift. All of a sudden there are bills to pay and your taste becomes a little more expensive. Dating becomes a little more serious and before you know it, you have two mouths to feed. As you get older, your work load becomes heavier and a little more serious. Stress becomes apparent as you stay in the office later to finish a pile of work that seems like it will never go down. A 40-hour work week seems like a part time job with large corporations cutting tens and thousands of staff members now requiring remaining employees to take on three times the work load.
With the hustle and bustle of this thing called life, how do you create a proper work-life balance? Probably the biggest rule: you can say no. You don’t have to open your computer every single night and weekend. You don’t have to choose to come in on your day off. Or take frequent breaks. Re-adjust your posture, do a breathing exercise, or check a Facebook status. Having a work-life balance means not being overwhelmed at work. Learn to meditate; it’s easier than you think. My favorite way to meditate is sitting upright, in a chair, breathing in as long as I can, holding my breath for as long as I can, and breathing out until there’s nothing left. Try it! It’s amazing and will ease any stress until it’s needed again. Yoga is another great stress reliever. There’s many poses you can do while at work, at a desk, etc. It’s another great way to stay grounded and keep you in the present. Stress takes your mind to a different level and we can all use helpful hints to keep our feet planted on the ground and our mind at ease. You can only control so much!
How to Prepare for the Future on a Millennial's Budget:
August 17, 2016
Times are tough. National debt is climbing, tuition is going up, unemployment is drastically rising in millennials. There's always something that's going to happen to prevent you from saving. Bite the bullet. Start small. Contribute to a savings account and start a retirement fund. I talk to too many 50-something's who didn't start until later in their careers to think about retirement.
Yes, I know tomorrow isn't guaranteed, but what if you live a long, wonderful life? What will you do when you're at that age and all of a sudden you’re scrambling and realizing you may have to work 10 years longer than you expected to?
1. Start saving - however small. $25/month, $100/month. Do it right after you get your paycheck so you don't even notice it.
2. Start a Roth IRA. 401k’s, traditional IRA's and other investment products will be taxed upon distribution. Roth IRA's are pre-taxed so you will have more with your money. That's why there's a cap on how much you can contribute per year.
3. Have an Emergency Account - Has your car ever broken down out of nowhere? Pet ever been sick? There will always be some sort of unknown expense awaiting you at any time. Cars and pets can't talk so you never know what's wrong with them until you pay a fee up front.
4. Don't skimp on coverages. I'm in insurance so I see the bare minimums clients are choosing to do just to have a little more in their pocket per month. In Arizona, your wages will get garnished for 10 years if you're ever at fault for a total loss.
How Healthy are Millennials?
August 10, 2016
I’ve always thought the millennial generation were a fit niche. My newsfeed is flooded with instafamous fit chicks in sports bras and spandex, obstacle course racers and the fittest athletes, and the newest fitness trend crossfitters. I quickly found by branching out of my social media four corners that the millennial generation is in a dire health crisis. It’s amazing how false social media can portray the world and how media is truly corrupting what they really want us to see.
Car accidents, homicide, and suicide are the three leading causes of death in younger people ages 15-29 (Huffington Post). Why? This is the ugly truth of millennials. This is the category I don’t want to fit in. Extreme alcohol intake, illicit drug use and substance abuse are seen more in this crowd. One-fifth of this generation classifies themselves as binge drinkers and cause 41% of fatal accidents between ages 21-24 to be the result of drunk driving or driving under some sort of substance (Huffington Post). Let that sink in a little.
Mental health has become a serious issue in younger people. From 2007 until present, high school and college students are reporting more and more symptoms of mental illness. So what’s causing this? A few possibilities: 1. Economic depression equals personal depression- A study has found that levels of mental illness increase when the economy goes south (ABC News). 2. School- today, children spend more hours in (elementary) school than ever before. In Arizona specifically, our education system is a joke with 42% of students not passing the state Merit exam. Focus will now lie on the [underpaid] teachers to tweak their curriculum to now only focus on information that will be on the state exam. This means children are not being praised or rewarded for their participation, just demeaned and given negative reinforcement (psychologytoday.com). 3. My opinion- It’s no shock that our healthcare system is a complete joke. It’s a never ending cycle revolving around money. Parents think their child is acting different or having a hard time concentrating, takes them to the doctor, gets prescribed a psychiatric drug. In and out in 15 minutes and hundreds of dollars billed from the insurance companies. Then, every 2 weeks is a check-up, and so on. I could spend another 2,000 words on the effects of psychiatric drugs on the brain and how they completely do the opposite of what they’re supposed to. What we aren’t taking the time to do is care more about our health internally. What you put in your mouth has a direct correlation with how you feel (happiness, sadness, etc). If we were all a little more cognizant of what we were eating and what we are cooking for our kids, we would see a tremendous decrease in these mental health cases. Diet is to be addressed whenever seeking to cure mental illnesses (the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research).
We live in a society of instant gratification. We want our problems fixed now and that’s what a psychiatrist feeds off of. It’s hard to take the time to really work on yourself and find what works for you and what doesn’t, but statistics are only going to keep climbing and more people will die from the above causes unless we start to fight against the healthcare system and see it for what it really is: a money making conglomeration.
How Millennials are Shaping the Economy
August 3, 2016
The largest generation in history is about to enter in to prime spending years. Our habits can really control the economy. This will change the way businesses choose to sell their products and that’s why companies are shifting their selling strategy to market to millennials.
That’s a lot of pressure. This shift will shape the future for generations to come. Typically, the most expensive asset someone will buy is their home. Well, millennials aren’t so interested in home buying and seem to be just satisfied with a smaller space such as a condo. And this isn’t just limited to home buying. Goldman Sachs just released a study of how millennials feel about car ownership and other luxury items. “Millennials have been reluctant to buy items such as cars, music and luxury goods. Instead, they’re turning to a new set of services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership, giving rise to what's being called a ‘sharing economy’” (Goldmansachs.com). The study went on to state 30% of millennials don’t intend to buy a luxury need ever.
So what does this mean for future home and vehicle sales? Will we see once high-end developments torn down for multi-family habitations communities? Are Uber and Lyft here to stay while car buying becomes obsolete? Could this be because millennials don’t trust the volatile market because a record number of them were burned by the economic crash? Four out of ten millennials say they worry about their financial future at least once a week (cnbc.com). It seems like millennials are being smarter about their money and not living beyond their means.
5 Tips on How to be Taken More Seriously
July 27, 2016
1. Quit talking - And by talking, I mean gossiping around the water cooler. Now, this is not just a millennial thing; I know plenty of 50 year old women who behave like they're still in high school, but they're taken seriously because of their tenure. It's easy to get sucked in to someone telling you a hidden secret about another associate but that's a surefire way to get your credibility taken away in the office. It's better to keep the chatter to a minimum and only about business.
2. Cut the slang - We grew up on AOL Instant Messenger and were texting early on so we naturally have text talk. It's easy to carry over "u" or "ur" in a professional email so proofread, edit, and edit some more until your grammar and punctuation are spot on...Oh and my biggest pet peeve: know the difference between your and you're!!
3. Dress - I've said this before: Dress for the part you want, not for the part you have. Cleavage is a no-no. Dress like a boss, a real boss.
4. Speak up - I am naturally a closed-off person and can be a little timid but I put myself out there. I've been rewarded more times than shut down and it's just a risk that should be taken.
5. Know your strengths and use them - There are studies being done about us. We're truly a different breed so we should play on that. We can help our bosses (if they're older) with Excel or computer issues and it will make us look that much better!
Millennials: Over Educated and Under Paid
July 20, 2016
I was watching the news earlier this week and I saw a story broadcasted about millennials and how we're the most underpaid generation. Gen X made, on average, over $10,600 more per year at my age (AZcentral.com). I have been told I'm whining about my situation when others before me have been treated the same way. Well, now I have proof! We are the most educated and every company is conforming to meet our needs because we lead in buying power, but why can’t they pay us a decent salary?
I've been researching this. I thought, maybe it’s the recession? That has to be it! Upon hours and hours of research this is what I have come up with. Research has shown that a millennial with the same degree, same job, in the same location is making less today than someone in the 1980's, inflation adjusted (Forbes.com).
So why are we letting this go on? The recession and unemployment definitely have a part in this. There's also a lot of competition. The job market is saturated with millennial graduates so it's more likely someone who accepts the lower wage is going to get the job. We're also content. We're not leaving for other opportunities. We're not asking for more money. Forbes had released an article earlier this year stating 43% are content in their jobs and not looking to leave and only 22% of millennials had asked for a raise. With student loan debt higher and salaries lower, why even go to school?!
I'm going to throw a little heat at the boomers. After all, they do it to me almost daily. Thanks to added spending on Social Security and Medicare, my generation is paying for it. Complex.com writes "the recent spike in federal debt means millennials won’t be able to collect on Social Security and Medicare as they age." So if you don't have a financial advisor in place or some sort of plan, you better make sure your parents have a great life insurance package.
How to use trends to your advantage
July 13, 2016
If you haven’t heard of Pokemon Go yet, you probably live under a rock. This particular app has taken the world by storm in just 6 days. The app is used more than Tinder, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram (Huffington Post.) It generates about $1.6 million in revenue PER DAY just from the Apple store (Forbes.com.)
So what does this mean for your business? “As a local business, you can help users flock to your store by utilizing in-app purchasing Lure Modules, a unique feature of Pokémon GO. Once purchased, Pokémon will flock to the PokéStops for a 30-minute period. Trainers will see flower petals on the map to indicate more Pokémon are being lured to the area. You can exploit this foot traffic by offering promotions and discounts for patrons or customers who visit your business to collect Pokémon” (1seo.com.)
This is a virtual realty game bringing people outdoors, on long walks, exploring areas they might not have visited otherwise. This is a great concept to get more foot traffic to your brick and mortar. Some businesses were lucky enough to have Pokemon or Pokestops right in front or near their businesses already. Most are near landmarks, State parks and mountains, Church’s, etc. It’s a great way for businesses to interact with their audience (see picture.)
Whether or not this fad will soon burn out, take advantage of it while it lasts. We’re seeing stories of hackers, robbers, and accidents occurring because of this game, but it can be a great business model.
And always: Please do not play Pokemon Go and drive!
Why Everything You’ve Heard About Millennials
I decided to start this blog because I was tired of my only shortcoming being my age. I don't have a college degree but I have drive and ambition. I come from a banking and financial planning background and have since moved to the insurance field. I worked my way up from the bottom of a huge corporate bank and became a manager within 3 years, something I hadn't heard of anyone doing before, especially without that degree.
I have taken the success I created in my previous field and applied it to my current profession using self-taught skills. With this blog, I hope to pass along some of the knowledge and skills I've learned to other young professionals of the millennial generation.