Monday, 8 January 2018

My Reflection

Over the holidays I was reflecting on some of my past achievements, jobs and if I would have done anything differently. I would have changed a few situations on how I treated people, but I realized that I had been one lucky person. I believe working smart and being an honest person opens a lot of doors. 
Over the past 30 years, I worked for people, I have partnered with people and owned my own companies. I realized how important the people around you are. Your business partners, employees, and associates are all critical to your success. You have to believe in them, and your vision must be the same because if it is not, there could be issues. 
Being open, honest and saying what's on your mind is key to having tough business conversations. I remember endless discussions that started out one way, pivoted and we came up with something we never imagined. Listening to everyone around the table took an idea, which is a starting point, into a vision we never thought possible. 
I want to thank all the people that had a significant influence on my life. I have been taking these lessons and sharing them with my clients, and I could not be happier. Nothing gives me more gratification than helping someone grow and succeed. 
I hope everyone has a fantastic 2018. 

Monday, 27 November 2017

Being Yourself Update 

I had people ask me to follow up on my post last week on Being Yourself, so here it is. #BeYourself #StepOutsideYourComfortZone 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Be Yourself

Please check out my video

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy Successful?

Many people ask me why their Digital Marketing Strategy is not achieving their goals. First of all, I ask them about their goals and most have a generic answer like get more followers or grow the business. Those are great goals, but DMS goals need to be more specific. 
Think of it like this. I am going to the gym, and I want to lose 20 Lbs. That is your BHAG goal (Big Harry Audacious Goal). Now how are you going to get there? You need plan consisting of weights, cardio, yoga and a better diet. Now you have to set 4 new goals that help you reach your BHAG goal. 
Here are my 7 tips to help you get started. 
1. Talk to someone who has done it - Sit down with people in your network that have gone through this. Listen and learn from their trial and errors. 
2. Find out where your customers are - There’s no sense posting on outlets that will not benefit your business. You will also waste a lot of time
3. Set goals and set up Strategy to achieve them. 
4. Use Social Management Program - Many companies help organize your posts and track what times are best for your content to be seen. Some are free but most you have to pay to get the features you want. It could be as little as $10 a month. They also supply lots of data that you can gauge what’s working. 
4. Create your Content - This is an essential part of telling your story. Making videos, original photos and writing blogs are critical to establishing you as an expert in your field. You can use articles from others but them your followers why you agree or disagree with it. 
5. Social Media Army - This is your staff. Have meetings asking them to create content and share with their network. Have internal contests about coming up with campaigns or content. Employees are the heartbeat of your company, so value and listen to their ideas. 
6. Be Yourself, Be Authentic - This speaks for itself. When telling your story, it has to be you and your company. Share what’s important personally and professionally. People buy from people, and they want to know who you are. 
7. HAVE FUN - Create fun campaigns and contests. Let your hair down and let the wind run through it. 
All this requires a time and time waits for no one, neither does marketing. If you’re stalled and need help give me a call and we can have a chat. 
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Thursday, 19 October 2017

You Can't Fake Passion

You must live your brand every day and acknowledge that it’s not for everyone. Focus on connecting with people and make those connections count.
Don’t be scared to put yourself out in front of the world and tell people what you stand for. They don’t know you, and you don’t want them to guess. Your business is just a logo until you tell your story. Engage potential clients through Social Media outlets, start blogging, do videos, tweet, and post on facebook. Share your knowledge because it helps build trust and you need trust to build a relationship.
Help others without thinking how it will benefit you, believe me, this goes a long way. You can’t be everything to everyone, you know what you know and never pretend to be something you are not.
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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Can you Walk Away From A Deal?

I’m sure many of you have heard of the “One Red Paper Clip Story. If you haven’t Kyle MacDonald started with a red paper clip and traded his way up to a house. Click on the link to see the trades or check out Kyle’s Blog - It's a great story that should be applied to building your business or brand. It’s about working out a deal that works for both sides. Yes, the goal is to have the transaction benefit you, but it must help the client. This is how you build trust and once that’s established your relationship is off to the races. There were many times I walked away from deals in the past. When building Nathan’s across Canada, we walked away from 2 large deals with NHL teams. Yes, it would’ve enhanced our brand, but the cost would've buried our company financially. Cut another deal with an NHL team and made a little profit but what we received in return was priceless. They got everything penny out of us, and we were thrilled with the marketing package. Both sides walked away happy. You don’t need to close every deal; sometimes you have to walk away.

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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Why is the Customer Always Right?

The customer is always right is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. In consulting, it is career suicide. Your role as a consultant is to provide innovative solutions and perspective. If I agreed with everything that a client said, I would have failed miserably years ago. Never tell your customers what they want to hear, be honest and tell them what they need to hear.
Sharing your opinion, especially as a consultant, is how you improve and increase business. Don't come in guns a blazing and start imposing your views on everyone. You must first listen to the team and see what they think. Employees are the heartbeat of a company and have a front-row seat on what is required. Once you have listened and done your research, you can now put together a Business plan.
I have 2 pieces of advice. The first one is don't pretend to know everything because this will backfire. The second is always be yourself because everyone else is taken.
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Confront Your Problems Head On

When you are troubleshooting a problem with a client, an employee or boss actions speak louder than words. Don't stick your head in the sand and away, confronting them makes you a better person and leader. Communication is essential not discussing problems openly and is the biggest problem. To many people send an email and think the problem is solved. I call this Communication Illusion, and it is only growing as we lose the human to human touch in today digital world.
Listen to what your client, colleague or employee has to say because they will have a different view than yours. Their idea could make yours better. Don't shut people down before you listen to them because not listening creates more problems, and that's what we want to avoid.
A company is only as good as its people. It Starts With People.
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Monday, 4 September 2017

Why Aren't You Getting Noticed?

Brands are finding ways to get noticed. Tesla spends zero dollars on traditional paid media and receives five times more searches than all of the other automotive brands combined.

Small Businesses need to get noticed, and this requires a commitment from all employees. Unfortunately, marketing usually gets lost in the day to day grind, and most don't have time to dedicate to it, Hiring a consultant is a great investment. It's a cost effective way to see if you need a full-time marketing person, or if they do an excellent job you don't change a thing. Focus on what you're good at and bring in an expert to promote your Brand.

Earned media and engagement goes a lot farther than paid advertising. Ask yourself why aren’t you getting noticed but more importantly invest in your Brand.

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Move Fast

Are you frustrated when you call, email or text someone and they do not respond ASAP? How fast do you respond when someone contacts you? People notice how long it takes to get a response, so if you expect one back quick, then you better answer fast. You might not have the information they need, but still, respond letting them know you’re working on it.

This strengthens your relationship with the client. I never have my “out of office response on,” because you can send a quick response. Don't give your client an opportunity to call someone else.

As a Business, the best way to move fast is having people in the right jobs. Have open/honest discussions with employees making sure they like what they’re doing and if they don’t, move them. An unhappy employee can wreak havoc in the company and with clients. A simple change of department could be all it takes. It starts with people and your employees make or break your company.

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Monday, 14 August 2017

Do You Suck at Meetings?

People dread meetings, and the time they spend in them. There are many ways to improve meetings and would love to discuss all of them, but that would be a very long blog. I focused on the individual meeting and ways to handle worst case scenarios, plus a couple of tips to make them efficient. 
1. Are you going to be late? 
This is a bad scenario. Being late for a meeting shows a lack of respect. It doesn't matter if it's a long time client or your initial meeting, never be late. A person's most valuable resource is their time and if you don't respect it, why should they respect you. 
2. Canceling the Meeting 
An absolute last resort and you better have a good reason. If you have to cancel, do not send an email. Pick up the phone apologize and explain why. While on the phone set up another date. Make sure you apologize for the inconvenience and THANK them for rescheduling. 
3. When should I show up for a meeting? 
I show up 15 minutes before every meeting. I sit in my car, or my office and focus on what I want to accomplish. I go over my questions and the responses I might receive. I also review the questions I think they might ask me. During this time I'm 100% focused on the meeting. I arrive 5 minutes before the meeting starts. Arriving too early puts pressure on them to finish what they're doing, respect the time they've allotted to you.
4. How long should the meeting be? 
I always ask how much time they're willing to give and try not to go over 30 minutes. Research says that 20 minutes is the perfect length, any longer you lose their interest. Send the person information ahead of time and ask them to read it. This speeds things up and allows them to do more talking. It also shows that you respect their time. 
Be on time, be prepared and ready to go as soon as the meeting starts. A lack of preparation is easy to sniff out, don't let this be you. 
Thank you for your time and have a great day.
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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Office Creativity: Social Media Style 

It's time to break out your Employee creativity. How much have you spent hiring someone to create a marketing campaign for you? Most big firms have no idea who you are or what makes you tick. They sit in a room, pitch you ideas and hopefully one resonates with you.

It's time to start thinking inside the office. What I mean by that is have your employees contribute to your marketing campaigns. Who knows your company better than them? No one. You hire someone to engage the employees and bring it to life. Your staff is your Social Media Army. Other benefits are improved morale, teamwork and culture because they feel valued. You never know who has the next great idea.

Once YOU understand the ‘why & how’ of digital marketing, social media becomes much simpler to understand. You can do it from the confines of your shop with a consultant that's part of the team.
Thank you for your time and have a great day.
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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Who Is In Control of Your Brand

Everyone believes they are building their Brand the most effective way, but is that true? Ask yourself, what is your Brand? Quick answer, your Brand is what Google says it is. Another way to look at it is your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.
Why is this statement true? In today’s Social world you do not have total control of your Brand. People can post comments, write articles, blog, tweet or post their experiences. Are they accurate or greatly exaggerated, unfortunately, it does not matter because people tend to believe what they read? A great example is the US election, how many stories were fake news, exaggerated, or outright lies that people believed. You work vigorously building your Brand, and it can be damaged in a heartbeat.
The best way to combat the negativity is through honesty and integrity. Reply directly to the people that are making the comments. Take the conversation offline and find out why they are disappointed. You never want a war of words playing out on Social Media. People want their issues listened to and once you have solved them, ask them to post their new experience online.
If you do not have time to update or monitor your social platforms, then you should not be on them. If you are on them, be you, be honest, be authentic and be consistent when building your brand. Sign up for Google Alerts; this sends you emails when the chosen words are used in Google.
Thank you for your time and have a great day.
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Monday, 10 July 2017

Building Your Brand

Building your Brand does not happen overnight. Have patience, be consistent and ready to work your ass off. Growing your Brand is not a 9-5 job, but enjoy the ride because it is a lot of fun. Below are a few things to keep in mind. 
Be Yourself 
Nothing is more important in business than being authentic. You are your Brand, and your Brand is you. Honesty and Integrity should be the cornerstone of your brand. 
Social Media 
Set up accounts on all Social Media platforms. Post relevant articles, updates on your business and any successes you have. Be active and post 2-4 articles a week. Post at different times of the day and week. 
Get a domain name and email set up. Nothing is more unprofessional than handing out a business card with at the end of your email. It is very simple to set up a website. Do not go crazy with too much information because people tend to lose interest after reading a paragraph. Keep the information short and to the point. 
Design a logo using the correct colors and keep it simple. Make sure it is front and center on all marketing.  
Start blogging about topics relevant to your industry; it gives you credibility. Add a tab to your website and all post on your Social Media outlets. Try to blog every 2-4 weeks. 
It is the key to your success. Join business groups, attend seminars, go to conferences or set up meet and greets. Use LinkedIn to reach out to old friends, colleagues, and associates. Use your hobbies as an opportunity to Network. The more people you network with, the greater chance of success you have. 
Continued Education 
It does not mean going back to school; it means attending educational seminars. I love to see how people speak, interact and hopefully learn something new. ALWAYS BE LEARNING.  
Thank you for your time and have a great day.
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