Your business card is your link to the outside world. Make it memorable. But what does that mean? The information you include on your card will tell people how to reach you and what you do. It will also leave an impression. Here are some tips you can use when creating that impression. Start off on the right foot!
Happy designing! There are lots of things to consider here when designing your business card. Above all, make it memorable and legible. Do you have any tips for a business card? Please share in the comments below.
Do you use GMail? Are you sometimes frustrated that you can’t schedule your emails? How about getting a reminder when an email goes unanswered and you don’t have a good way to recall the original message.
There is a solution! Boomerang for GMail! Have you heard about it? Well it is just fabulous! I started with a trial to check it out. And I won’t look back- promise!
Boomerang for GMail allows you to:
The answer is yes! However, currently there is only an app for Android and iOS is in the works. BUT, you can access online. Just bookmark and you can:
Coworking is a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is also the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with people who value working in the same place alongside each other. Is that you? Continue reading... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coworking
This is a relatively new concept. But it works! It was definitely new to me and I'm sure it is to you too. So let me share a great experience with you where I learned about this.
When I decided to take my courses in Social Media Management, it was all on-line. We have a great Facebook Community and I made a friend who lives quite close to me. She proposed we meet for coffee and it turned out we had more than just Social Media in common! Neither one of us had taken the certification test so we decided to study together once a week. It was awesome to have a connection and share this time. We are both solopreneurs, so having that human to human (H2H) connection was great for both of us.
Since that time, we have maintained our connection and I have joined a group of awesome women who are all in Social Media. This has brought about the coworking aspect. While we meet once a month to discuss our profession, some of us also meet when time permits at a Library to cowork. Each one of us brings a special talent and different market to the table so we are able to provide feedback or help solve an issue.
We also connect via email and phone calls. The main thing with coworking, and what makes it work, is that we are able to take our ego out of it. This means we have consciously removed any perception of competitiveness. So what other things are needed to make coworking a success with others?
There is probably a space near you! But if not, check out http://workatjelly.com and start your own coworking community.
Give it a go. I think you'll find that you are more productive and you'll enjoy the camaraderie that comes with it. If you've tried it, share your thoughts in the comments. Have questions? Check out the links provided.
For those of you who don't know this about me, I am addicted to Google! You can run an entire business using Google tools and apps. Most of them are free and may have a paid upgrade to increase functionality and give you more options. But the one we are going to talk about today is Google Forms.
What is Google Forms? Forms allows you to create surveys in any way you want. This means answers can have short answers, long answers, check one, check all that apply, etc. You can combine any combination of answers to your surveys and once completed, you can send it by email, post it on your blog, or Social Media channels. Google Forms lets you customize your form with your logo, pictures and colors.
So here are some creative ideas to use forms:
1. New client: Create a Form asking your top 5 questions to find out what your client is looking for. They can fill it out while they wait i.e. How often do you get your hair cut? How often do you get your hair colored? What is your favorite way to be pampered in the salon?
2. A client in your chair: Create a Form of 3-4 questions to find out about their experience. i.e. Do you like the color we used on your hair today? Please rate your experience today. Is there any service you are looking for that we don't provide?
3. Salon Managers: Use Google Forms to get feedback from your stylists. i.e. What new information did you gain from the lunch and learn? What services do you think the salon should consider adding? How can we help you succeed?
4. Make-up artist: Create a form to find out what your client is looking for and what colors they like or have used. i.e. Please describe your everyday style. What are your favorite colors? What style is your wedding going to be?
Google Forms can also be used to create a poll, collect email addresses for your newsletter, or manage an event that you're planning. Responses to your surveys are neatly and automatically collected in Forms, with real time response info and charts. Or, take your data further by viewing it all in Sheets.
Google Forms are free to use and are located in your Google Drive. Check it out. There is so much you can do with Google! Share your uses for Google Forms with us.
Leaving a lasting impression is one of the hardest things to accomplish when we are competing for the attention of every single person we touch. So how do we do it? How do we accomplish this in a world where each person is bombarded with information and is multi-tasking just to keep their heads above water?
The answer is simple. So simple and obvious in fact, it is staring at us right in the face. So how come we don’t see it? Did we miss something? What do you mean it’s right in front of my face?
Customer Service! That’s it. That’s all it is. But what is the definition of customer service? And how do you stand out?
I’ll share a personal story that is a true definition of customer service. I traveled to San Antonio a couple of weeks ago. I needed to get some reading done and I was hungry so I took my iPad to one of my favorite restaurants. The setup of the place is, you order at a counter and then you give the hostess your receipt and she/he will find a table for you. This is a seafood restaurant that’s been in business for as long as I can remember and the food is amazing!
Most of the times I had been there, the service was very good. They have always been friendly, accommodating and very attentive to the guests needs. While it is a very casual place to dine, they have always provided a GOOD experience.
But on this particular day, I walked up to the counter to place my order. The young woman behind the counter greeted me by looking at ME. Not just saying the words without glancing up from her register. She smiled, and took the TIME to ask how my day was. But more than the words she was speaking, she showed genuine interest. She had a kindness about her, as though making a connection with each one of her guests was important to her. After we spoke a minute, I placed my order. She asked the usual questions about sides and drinks. I pulled out my wallet to pay. I decided to pay cash (which I so rarely do), I pulled out my bills and handed them to her. She took them and then asked, do you have the change? This way I don’t have to give you more coins as part of your change. I looked into my wallet, and realized I probably did, but it would take me precious seconds of time, her time, waiting for me to count out the coins. So I just looked up at her and said, “it’s ok, don’t worry about it..” Her response, “Please, take your time. You are MY customer and I won’t rush you.”
Wait...What??? Did I hear that correctly? I was a little taken aback. I wasn’t really even sure how to respond. She was so genuine in her words, I had no choice but to count out the change and hand it to her. But what’s more important than that, is how she left me FEELING after what was just a mundane, everyday task; ordering lunch.
Let’s examine my response for a minute. Why was I taken aback and unable to respond? Because we have created a world where the level of expectations have fallen so low, that we almost EXPECT our communications and encounters with people to be short, to the point, get through the pleasantries as quickly as possible so we can get to whatever business we have to attend to.
This sweet, caring, genuine woman, at a favorite restaurant of mine, made me really forget what I was there to do. Read. She made me FEEL special and that I needn’t be rushed. She made me feel as though we had connected on some level and that my day and how I was MATTERED to her.
Did it? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I’m sorry I didn’t commend her actions to her manager and express what a lovely young woman he had working for him. I’m sorry I didn't get her name. I also know that in a routine, everyday situation, she stood out of the crowd. She made a LASTING impression, and two weeks later, I’m still enjoying that EXPERIENCE. A routine lunch where I wanted to get some reading done.
So what is Customer Service to you? Are you leaving that lasting impression and making your people, your encounters and your co-workers feel important and cared for? Something to think about. Don’t be GOOD, be EXCEPTIONAL.
H2H~ Human to Human. Some things to consider today, when we are creating our marketing strategies are the basic questions. Who is our audience? Who do we want as our customers? How are we going to convert our ads to customers? What is our goal with our marketing?
What are some of the other things we need to consider? And how does H2H fit into the puzzle? In a time where we are bombarded with information through so many avenues, television, email, Social Media (SM), and even the radio (yes, some people still listen to those), we have to find ways to capture our audiences attention. This is where H2H comes in. We focus so much on graphics, wording, tag lines, profiles on SM, emails that are catchy, posts on SM that are bright, colorful and wording that "speaks" to our audience that we have put aside some very basic and important things.
One of them is HONESTY. Are we being truthful and honest with our audience? Are we communicating truthful messages and ones that we really believe in as humans and as a company?
Another is RESPECT. In our communications are we being respectful of others' feelings and emotions? Are we creating messages that are broad and don't exclude any particular group?
How about HUMILITY. Are we being humble in our communications? We all want to think we have the greatest product or invention, but at what cost? Are we showcasing our true selves and our company without putting others' in the same industry down?
And finally GRACE. Are we showing goodwill, kindness and compassion in our communications. For such a small word, it has huge meaning. And equally huge impact.
We must remember that we are marketing to other humans, It's so easy to forget this and get all tied up in the appearance of our posts, the message we are trying to write and the HOW we are going to reach....other HUMANS. Sincerity in your writing shines through to your reader. So don't forget, we are trying to reach each other in our messages, not just a another computer.
For the next 4 weeks, the Social Media Success Summit will be going on. What an amazing opportunity to hear from some of the great SM people how to get things done right! I'm very excited to be participating and learning from the Pros. More importantly, this will help me better serve YOU. I can't wait to share what I learn to help in your success with Social Media.
There is so much talk about inforgraphics these days. I personally love them and have been reading lots of articles on creating them. They are fun, interactive, colorful and you can share a lot of useful information in a way that any reader can digest.
But one thing really caught my attention. Why hasn't anyone created an infographic to explain their company or organization? Why are we making these incredible, colorful and creative displays of information and NOT using them to promote, explain and grow our own businesses?
Well, I decided that I was going to go out on a limb and create one for MY business. Here it is. It is bright, colorful and gives you just enough information.
I challenge all of you to go out and create one for YOUR business.
I'll continue where I left off the other day. Have you set up a profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other Social Media site?
One of the keys to this is consistency. Whatever channels you choose to use, make sure they ALL have the same information and picture. Have you hired that professional photographer yet? Ask around and get some recommendations.
So now you're ready to fill in some of the details on your profile. One of the most important things to remember is to never embellish your experience. As you start making connections people will begin to view your profile and read about your experience. If you embellish or include one-time interpreting or translating jobs, especially when we're talking about very specialized vocabulary; you don't ever want to be in a situation that forces you to admit that you really don't now it that well. However, at the same time, this is also your opportunity to shine and show off what you do know. No one can brag better about you than YOU. Do it tastefully and with decorum and you'll see how much it will serve you. People want to know about you and your abilities. Be sure to show your sense of humor, your intelligence and your humility. Also, don't give so much detail that your readers will bore with your profile. Give nuggets of good information, but you want your reader to want more. That is what will get you the phone call for the interview or to hire you for a job.
Often times I think we forget to show our human side. We are too busy competing for that next job or position. So find that balance. It will be one of the keys to your success, and it will separate you from the rest.
I will continue with the next step soon. Happy creating....
It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and after much consideration, I want to focus the next few blogs on YOU. As you might now, I spent 13 years as a translator and interpreter. Circumstances launched me into another direction and I it was there that I learned how much I love Social Media and how much personal enjoyment I receive from teaching something I love. Now, the issue was how do I combine my 13 years of experience in another field that was completely different to what I want to do now.
I came up with the idea that helping YOU leave your footprint as a professional in the Social Media world was a great place to start. This blog is dedicated to all of you who are struggling to be recognized as professionals and those of you who are still new to the profession.
Everyone uses Social Media. How many of you have a Facebook page? How about a LinkedIn page? Instagram? Twitter? and the list could go on. Right now, there is approximately 60 Social Media sites that you can subscribe to. Not only is that way too many, but how could we possibly keep up with all that. We can't. It's that simple. So before we dive into any of them let's take some basic things into consideration so we know which sites to use and how to use them properly.
The first thing to think about is separation between your personal/private life and your professional life. What does that mean in the Social Media world? It means that you have separate pages or you use separate Social Media sites for each aspect of your life. I think now is a good time to also reiterate that anything you post online, and I do mean anything, there is a thing called cache, which means that even though you might delete it at some point, it is still there, somewhere and may show up on a search. So please think about what you post before you hit that send button. We will talk about privacy settings in a future blog.
Now, what are you trying to accomplish with Social Media and your individual pages? Well, historically Interpreters and Translators have struggled with being recognized as professionals. Meaning that you are not really taken that seriously and that affects the rates you are able to charge, I know this from professional experience. We all know what it takes. Not only do you have to maintain your language skills up to par, but you have to learn all the terminology for whatever branch you are working in. Legal, medical, chemical engineering, computer science, etc, etc, etc. Each one has it's own terminology that we must learn in order to do the job effectively and concisely,
So one of the first steps with Social Media is to determine HOW you are going to present that professional, knowledgeable front.
Let's talk a little about LinkedIn:
Most of you probably already have a LinkedIn page. But if you don't, not to worry, it's never too late to get started. How you set up your page is going to determine how you come across and how you are perceived. So a professional picture is the best place to start. It is the single most important thing on your profile page. I cannot stress that enough! Here is a link with all the nitty gritty details of a good profile picture. Please read it carefully :
I will continue this blog with the next steps for you to follow. I will leave you with this one quote from Tony Rosado: