business

How to Make Time for Professional Development

Making time for professional development can be a challenge, especially when we already balance work, volunteering, family time, and other activities. Learn to leverage what extra time you do have for professional development. It may just be the difference between where you are now and where your 5-year plan says you’ll be. 

Establish your goals

To make the most of professional development opportunities, it’s important to understand WHY you want to grow. Determine if you’re motivated by a career change, increased wages, or to boost your confidence. Clarifying your priorities will help provide a clear vision for your next steps.

Schedule time

Though professional development doesn’t necessarily need to be part of your daily routine, it does need to be on your calendar. You never know when you’ll be ready to look for a new job or start your own business. Put a few hours on your calendar every month, or look for networking events in advance so that you ensure you prioritize your future for when the right opportunity comes.

But nevertheless, establish a designated date, time, and place to make certain you follow through. 

Read regularly before bed

Despite reducing stress, improving cognitive performance, and increasing creativity, reading is an excellent opportunity for professional development. Books are an excellent medium to learn timeless professional principles and reading before bed will allow you to implement the most important takeaways before you enter your next workday.

Write regularly in the morning

A popular, but accurate, rule for this decade has been to create before you consume. Because we are bombarded with thousands of messages and notifications daily, creating before the noise enters allows you to generate new ideas and implement them.

Establishing this discipline first thing in the morning will allow you to enter a creative state before you consume any other information. It reinforces the information you glean throughout the week and can become a quick habit to capitalize on a new strength before the weight of your day is on you. 

Make podcasts apart of your routine

Even when life is busy, podcasts are a great way to access industry experts during your commute, time spent getting ready, or even during your exercise routine. Take some time every few weeks to research and subscribe to your favorite podcasts.

That way, as new episodes are released, you receive a notification directly instead of searching for episodes every time. The GaryVee Audio Experience, Marketing School, Tropical MBA, and Sales Gravy are some great ones to help you start.

Find a way to grow in your role at work

Sick of your job, but need a way to pay the bills? Take some ownership and see if it’s possible to grow in your role with different skill sets. Whether it’s creating processes for marketing efforts or event planning, there are ways to further your career while in your current position. Be vigilant for ways to expand and gain more responsibility.

Take an online course

Though we’d all love to go back to graduate school, realistically, student tuition continues to rise, and the value of a college education is sharply declining. Before you embark on an MBA program, look for established skills you can develop and find an online course or certificate program. Google, Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera are excellent resources to consider. 

Find a community

Instead of attending networking event after event, choose an organization or recurring event to invest time in. Change your presuppositions about networking, and see it as a long term vehicle to foster mutually beneficial relationships instead of taking shortcuts to have a longer contact list.

Cast your net deep instead of wide by developing valuable connections you can trust. The Chamber of Commerce in your city, a BNI group, or a community like America’s Future Foundation is a great starting point. 

Ultimately, take time to refine your goals, choose one opportunity to further your professional education, and find a mentor or community to hold you accountable. Do these three things over time, and you’ll have a bright future ahead.

Why Your Lead Generation Isn’t Working

The success of most businesses hinges on lead generation.

If you don’t have people inquiring about your product or service, you won’t be in business – or for long, anyway. Even if you have a blog, work in retail, or volunteer with a nonprofit, understanding the process of acquiring leads is pertinent to gaining any kind of traction for your organization.

Essentially, lead generation is a process that finds the clients and customers you need to need to attract.

This is significant since your ultimate goal should be for prospects who are unfamiliar with your organization to become leads that eventually purchase from you, sign up for your offer, or volunteer with you. Lead generation is an ongoing process that provides your business with a steady pipeline you can scale and grow.

It’s important to develop a plan to ensure you have a sound process to not only generate quality leads but to keep them. Here’s why your lead generation process may not be working.

You aren’t qualifying your leads

Even though it may seem beneficial to have a large volume of leads coming in, those leads only to create more work if they don’t fall into the category of your ideal client. For instance, if you sell pacifiers and are targeting young moms, having 100 leads from mostly 50 + year old men won’t help you generate revenue.  Your lead generation process should be tailored toward your ideal client, and therefore should ask specific questions and offer the information that will convert your lead to a customer.

You don’t have an inbound marketing strategy

In an oversaturated market place with many competitors, it is no longer enough to simply sell to your audience. Furthermore, the most successful companies have found ways to serve their clients. Research the inbound methodology to learn more about ways to educate your audience and offer them value. Most people are skeptical of providing their information in fear of being spammed, so you’ll want to create content worth your ideal client’s time.

You don’t have automation sequences in place

When you create offers or lead magnets, most times your prospects want the information they inquired for immediately. Creating automation where sequences are enabled to send them to lead magnets and other relevant content will keep them engaged. Your audience also may not be ready to purchase from you immediately, so create a drip campaign to warm your audience. This will enable you to set up sequences to follow up with your audience and warm them to your product or service.

You don’t have a landing page

If you don’t have a landing page created, it may be challenging for you to generate leads. Having a page for this purpose will more clearly outline the purpose you’ve established for your leads. Different than just any normal page on your website, a landing page will better educate prospects on your offer clearly articulating the benefits for them, in addition to streamlining your marketing efforts for ads and retargeting.

You’re not running ads

SEM and social ads are great ways to better reach your audience. Using Facebook Pixel to target your existing traffic and creating ads is the best way to continue to engage leads. The rule of 7 explains it takes 7 times for your prospects to see your offer before they take action. 

Your offer isn’t good enough

Sometimes your end of the bargain and whatever lead magnet you provide to gain customer information simply isn’t as valuable to prospects as it may be to you. Focus on creating offers and lead magnets that your current client base already wants. Ensure that you are adding value, and allow that to shine through as you aspire to get more leads.

Make Money as a Freelancer with No Experience

In a culture where multi-level marketing companies are ripping off individuals by promising a “be your own boss” mentality, it’s clear the desire for work-life balance has never been greater.

But opportunities do exist where you don’t have to purchase another “starter kit” to make additional income.

Whether you’re looking to supplement your income or develop your own business, here are some strategies to start gaining additional freelance opportunities, even with no prior experience.

Focus on what you know

Freelancing may seem overwhelming, but everyone has something to offer. Think about some of the skills you may have developed over the years. Are you good at generating attention and traffic on social media by getting people to like or comment on your content? Consider social media content development and management.

Do you enjoy blogging? Look into copywriting. Are you good at organizing projects into scaleable action steps? Try project management. Do you simply find yourself telling your friends about different products or clothing you really enjoy? You can make money with affiliate marketing.

Thanks to the internet, there are opportunities to make an income doing just about anything. Find a niche, and start considering ways you can monetize your hobbies or talents.

Start a blog

Considering that search engine ranking currently only requires blogs to be about 300 words, creating content has never been simpler. Begin building a blog based on your niche to essentially create your own portfolio. Don’t have a niche just yet?

Choose a few topics that you’d like to learn more about, and use your blog as an opportunity to explore them. Though you don’t want to stay broad forever, choosing a variety of different topics will help you rank in the short term, enable you to discover topics you’re passionate about, and allow you to continue developing a portfolio in the process.

Look into certification programs

Certification programs have exploded over the last several years as more companies take on the inbound marketing methodology. And in many ways, they provide more accurate and hands-on tactics that you’ll never find in a Bachelor’s program. Find a certification program around your area of expertise, and develop your skill set to be more desirable to your prospective clients.

Create samples even if you have no experience

Though not having experience seems to discourage many people from exploring different projects, start generating your own experience. For instance, maybe you’d like to get a marketing position that’s centered around using Salesforce Pardot, but you’ve never touched it.

Instead of being discouraged, start watching their tutorials, learning the platform, and try filming a tutorial using it. Or if you’re an aspiring graphic designer, try creating mockups for companies you’d like to work for. Even if the opportunity doesn’t work out, you’ll have a portfolio to pull from, and proven initiative.

Work for free

Though this concept may sound counterintuitive, if you’re looking to change career paths or continue freelancing long term, think of your experience of working for free almost as an internship. With many internships, you train for free as a part of a program, and then can be offered a full-time salary at the end of the line.

Working for free with this mindset can give you practical experience in less time than going back to school ever would. Additionally, it will allow you to explore opportunities and learn what you do and don’t enjoy, without any obligation to continue your work.

In many ways, this is more desirable than working at a lower rate, as that rate may force you to work more for less, and continue to fulfill your obligation you may not be sure of. But if you produce results working for free, you can then either use this for referrals or renegotiate for a new rate.

Take advantage of websites like Upwork

Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr allow you to bid for positions and gain clients.

Once you’ve started honing your skills, look for jobs and bidding on opportunities to put them to work. Such websites will connect you to various companies and solopreneurs all looking to hire talent.

Start networking

LinkedIn is the one platform where it can become socially acceptable to elegantly slip into the DM’s of business owners. Update your profile, and start connecting with your future clients. Share a bit of what you do on messenger, post content on your profile consistent with your freelancing goals, and continue to follow up with leads.

Also, consider looking for jobs in your niche and applying. You never know when your freelance work could land you a higher paying position than your current one, or if a company would consider hiring you as a 1099 employee instead of hiring for the position depending on their needs.

Just start

All in all, it can seem overwhelming to jump into any new opportunity – especially without the background behind it. But online opportunities are seemingly endless, and with unlimited resources at your disposal, take the jump to start freelancing and see where it leads.

What’s CRM and How to Use it for a Small Business

CRM, or customer relationship management software, has transformed the way brands interact with their clients online.

Typically, one way to measure business growth is by the clients you acquire. And with more businesses growing their online presence, there doesn’t seem to be a “ceiling” when it comes to online clients.

But your growth is only significant if you care for your clients well.

Even though it may seem easy to manage your clients with a spreadsheet, as your pool of clients expands as your business grows, you’re going to need to keep better track of them.

CRM can help.

Even if you’ve only got a handful of clients at the moment, inputting them in CRM will help you better serve them. From drafting email templates to save you time, creating an automation to stay in touch, in addition to remembering the last time you connected with a client down to their daughter’s name, age, and last ballet recital, CRM can help you create personal conversations and add value to every lead that comes through your door.

So, where do you start? Here’s how to take advantage of CRM right now.

Use a free platform like Hubspot, Zoho, or Bitrix24

MailChimp is also considered CRM, but these platforms will help you create contacts and implement capabilities that will help you as you continue to grow. Though MailChimp is an excellent email marketing, platforms like above will help with segmenting and other advanced features.

Do some research, and consider the platform that will serve you best in the long haul. That way, you won’t have to learn one and then completely change gears as if your business strategy shifts.

Upload all of your contacts to your platform of choice

If you’ve got a large email list, this may take time, but optimize your spreadsheet according to the platform you plan to use. As you upload your contacts, write as many specific notes as you may have about a given client, if applicable, down to the last day or time of year you were in touch, to any personal details you may have acquired. This will make your marketing memorable and personal.

Create templates

Hubspot will allow you to create up to five free templates, so either start from scratch or modify their templates. Whether it’s a customer service email or a follow-up sequence in regard to the sales cycle, templates will bring simplicity to email marketing. Make your life less hectic by creating some templates you can quickly modify instead of hitting copy and paste 100 times, (or putting the text in your email signature and then sending it out as your actual signature by mistake).

Create Chatflows

Chatbots are everywhere, and due to the desire in customer gratification, it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere. If you sell a product or service and want to deliver a satisfying experience for your customers to get in touch with you quickly, look into creating a bot with your CRM. Even leaving a reply as simple as “we’ll be in touch shortly,” will allow your customers to be heard.

Explore landing pages and lead captures

Landing pages and lead captures convert followers to your email list, so consider developing them and advertising your free offer on Facebook or Google Ads to create more contacts. They can be instrumental in growing your business and bring you targeted clients likely to buy.

Instagram

  • An honest review of camel milk: the series. 🐫 SWIPE 😂
  • I went with a bare face to TWO meetings this morning?! I’ve always struggled with my skin and finding a good dermatologist, skincare from @the_lassi_indpls, and @michianamicroblading have been instrumental in taking care of acne and scarring from my teenage years + thin and frail brows. Plus moisturizing. And drinking water. And washing my hands before I touch my face. And wearing sunscreen. #AsSheIs
  • One of the biggest reasons why Americans don’t travel abroad – other than not having a passport – is the cost of airfare. Rising taxes, hidden fees, and baggage add-ons don’t help, but if you can manage to travel only with a carryon and during the offseason, then it IS possible to travel frugally. ⠀
⠀
My roundtrip from Cincinnati to Iceland? $300⠀
Chicago to Paris? Close to $350⠀
One way from JFK to London? $290 ⠀
⠀
I don’t usually travel outside of the U.S. during Q4 (because it’s expensive) but I’ve got Colombia, Peru, Iceland again, and wherever we decide to go on our honeymoon on my list for 2020. I’ve written a list of the biggest ways I save money on plane tickets #ontheblog. ⠀
⠀
Where do you want to go in 2020?
  • *me, looking to find something witty to say about the time change; really it’s all a racket by the federal government*🇨🇭photo taken during my trip to Switzerland this past spring with an overpriced latte
  • Damn what a month. 4+ AIER titles on Amazon, wedding planning in full swing, clients served, and my article reprinted by @entrepreneur!? Like what!? 😳 
You CAN turn your passion into your dream career. It’s not easy but the adventure is worth it. ❤️ Read the full article at the #linkinbio
  • Five years ago & a lifetime to go. #PerfectlyPierce ❤️
  • Wishing I had more photos of me with camels so I could post one every hump day (Wednesday.) This fella loves Kit Kat bars, giving kisses (he had some nasty breath tho 🤢), AND he sports a nose ring.
  • As a 10-year-old “Mengele Twin,” Eva Kor suffered some of the worst of the Holocaust. At 50, she launched the biggest manhunt in history. In her 80s, she circled the globe to promote the lesson her journey taught: healing through forgiveness.
When I first heard her message about forgiveness in 2014, it challenged me to reflect on my life and live with more intention.
My recent travels to Israel not only emphasized her message but how important freedom is for ALL people – regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, identity, etc.
"Eva: A-7063," tells the full, astonishing story of Eva, tracking her from Auschwitz to Israel to the United States - even into the U.S. Capitol for her jaw-dropping arrest - and ultimately to her courageous return to the Nazi death camp. It reveals her hidden pain, unbridled rage and unextinguished love for humanity that transformed her into an international spokeswoman followed by millions.
I'm excited to partner with the Indianapolis chapter of @affnetwork, @aierdotorg, and the Indianapolis chapter of @bastiatsociety to bring Eva's story to the Indy community with a free community screening this Sunday at the Indiana Historical Society.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the screening will begin at 6 p.m. A Q&A session will follow with the director of the film, Ted Green. A reception with appetizers and drinks will take place afterward in the Indiana Historical Society lobby.
Tickets for the reception are $10 and proceeds will benefit @candlesmuseum in Terre Haute, Indiana.
I hope you'll join us for what I know will be an impactful event. (Register for tickets at the #linkinbio.)
  • Looking for the point behind all of those "OBJECTIVE" blurbs at the top of résumés...
I've written and edited A LOT of résumés, cover letters, CVs, and LinkedIn profiles. What annoys me the most at the start of any editing process is the giant "OBJECTIVE" that's slapped on right after contact information. 
Your objective is to get the job, not to awkwardly put your five-year plan above what already speaks for itself – your experience. Plus, you'd be better off talking about your career objective/goals in person with the interviewer so they can ask you follow up questions. (Sometimes, it's okay to purposefully be a little vague!) As we quickly approach the new year, check out my website for more résumé tips if your goal is to land your dream job in 2020.
(I have room in my October schedule to review 5 résumés fo' free; shoot me a message if you want to take me up on it.)
  • *Trying to think of something inspiring to say about the fact that there's three months left of this decade...* Finish the degree, ask for the raise, write the business plan, start the blog...just START. 
If there's anything I've learned in the last decade, it's that there is no such thing as the "perfect time" and that opportunities will arise when you least expect them. 
So just say "yes," and you'll figure it out afterward. (Read more about my unconventional career on my website. #linkinbio)
  • Guess what day it is...👀🐫
  • Ready to go back to camel rides, endless falafel, and adventuring in one of the most beautiful places in the world now pls 🌍

Follow Chloe

Copyright © 2019 Chloe Anagnos · Theme by 17th Avenue