How to Succeed in the Last Quarter

Your last quarter’s success is possible!

Did you, like me, suddenly look up and realize there are only three months left in the year, and wonder about your last quarter’s success? Time seems to be accelerating, and the Pandemic hasn’t helped us keep track of time. If that sounds like you, here are some ideas for you, as you navigate through the fall and into the winter and holidays. If time management is an issue for you, here’s an article that could help: Best Social Media Time Management Apps and Tools. Hint: Dashlane and NokoTime apps save loads of time.

Be realistic

By that, I mean you might write down some lofty goals, but there may be things that get in your way. And it’s important to give yourself a little slack. Could you write down your most ambitious goals, but back off them just a little? For instance, instead of building an entire team between now and New Year’s Day, how about hiring the main executives instead?

Create obtainable goals to reach a successful last quarter

You might be able to stretch a little on those goals, right? By the way, I’ve written about stretch goals before. You might like How to Make Stretch Goals That Will Make You Stretch. For instance, reframing goals can help you reach your goals. And making goals both fun and productive is also a good idea. Well, at least it’s an idea that has helped me.

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How to Succeed in the Last Quarter | Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

 

How to become productive again?

If your productivity has fallen off this year, it’s time to examine why. Was it because of laziness? Was there an illness in the family? Were there other tasks you had to do before work? Will these same reasons block your productivity during the last quarter? If your productivity is down and you don’t know why, maybe consider hiring a coach for a session or two to help you figure out why.

Holidays can be good times for networking

Holidays can sometimes look like obstacles to someone who’s ambitious and loves to work. But holidays are also great times to get out and meet people! So don’t believe that your productivity will necessarily fall because of the holidays coming up. Your last quarter’s success might depend upon that holiday party! Here’s a good article about reaching out during the holidays: Holidays Are the Perfect Time to Reach out to Your Network.

Don’t give up!

Just because it’s the end of the year, don’t give up! There’s still a lot you can do, and the holidays could even help you reach your own personal successes. Forbes has a good article that could motivate you: 11 Smart Ways for Leader to Assess Accomplishments Each Quarter. I like this: “Our team works backward by setting quarterly goals and then assessing all monthly and weekly goals to be whatever will help us hit the quarterly metrics.” which is part of their fourth smart way.

 

Small Business Ideas for Social Media Newbies

Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with some social media newbies–a small nonprofit in the local community. They were using social media, but not very much. They have a website, but not much experience on social media. Maybe you’re in the same boat? Here are a few ideas you might use.

Check your followers

Do you know who your followers are on Facebook? On Twitter? Anywhere on social media? This nonprofit was surprised that many of their followers lived in a different area than their services cover. More of the locals were covering the cost for people that were farther away. It’s pretty easy to get demographic info about your followers. Here is a description, from the horse’s mouth (Facebook): How do I see demographic data about the people who like my Facebook page? You might also give people a reason (or two) to follow your page. For instance, maybe people want to learn about your free events.

Use good images in posts

It’s ok to occasionally use a poster or graphic with lots of text on it, but how about something that draws people in instead? An image with people in it will draw others in, especially if it’s someone they personally know! One silver lining about the pandemic–it’s often easier to get photos of people, since they’re sometimes masked. Otherwise, you probably want to ask permission to use photos of people. If you don’t know what makes a good image, this might help: 10 Best Practices for Eye-Catching Social Media Images. One tip I like is to vary your social media images. People don’t want to see exactly the same images all the time. So experiment with images and see which ones get the most reach.

Small Business Ideas for Social Media Newbies | Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Ask what people want to see

It’s easy to ask what people want, especially if you’re connected to your followers in real life. You can ask people when you see them, or ask on your social media platforms. You will probably be surprised at what people want! I’ve written about How to Find Audience Pain Points and Why You’d Want to before. You don’t have to simply post about yourself, either! People may want information about other topics and solutions to their problems or issues. One of the easiest ways to figure out your audience pain points is to use a search engine like Google.

Get more people to follow you

This is something that doesn’t occur to a lot of people. Ask them to follow you. They often will. Also–pro tip–if someone has “liked” one of your Facebook posts and isn’t a follower, you can invite them to follow you. You can also ask super fans of your page to invite their friends. If you’re a nonprofit, you may have lots of employees connected to your page, and this is another good, simple way to get more followers.

 

Best Ways to Reinvent Yourself

If you’re considering reinventing yourself, the good news is that things change. People move, friends act differently, and even climate change changes us. Your circumstances have probably changed, and you may be thinking about a new career. Or you may want to try on a new hobby.

Quarterly reviews

One of the best ways I’ve discovered to look at yourself is to do a quarterly review. What worked and what didn’t? What would you like to do going forward? Is there something that fell off your calendar or your radar? And make no mistake, doing a self-review will make you a better writer and blogger. I’ve written about improving your blogging here: How to become a better blogger: quick and easy ways.

Self-awareness is the key to reinvent yourself

If you’re not already journaling, or keeping track of your reactions to the world, a journal is a very good way to gain self awareness. Some of my best Aha! moments have been discovered through journaling. And a journal doesn’t need to be about your personal life. You may also want to journal about your career or work life. In Wikhow’s article, How to Start a Journal, Nicolette Tura describes how to get started: “Write about what you felt today. Pour your joys, your frustrations, and your goals into the journal. Use the act of writing as a way to explore your feelings.”

Unplanned changes

Recently, there have been a lot of unplanned power outages where I live. So of course everyone has had to adjust to these outages. Unplanned changes change our views of ourselves, too. Do we continue to live the same way? Or do we suddenly have to plan for possibly having no power? In my case, I opted for a back-up power supply. You may want to use time management to get that to-do list under control. Perhaps this will help: Best Social Media Time Management Apps and Tools.

How long does it take to reinvent yourself?

That depends upon how thorough a job you want to do. If you’re simply reinventing the way you look, maybe redoing your wardrobe and hair, that could be done much more quickly than, say, changing your career and getting a new credential. In his 15 Steps I Took to Successfully Reinvent Myself After Losing Everything, John Rampton describes attaching yourself to the right people, learning, and finding a mentor. He also mentions that “Reinvention is a process that could take years.”

How to reinvent yourself professionally

Of course, reinventing yourself professionally is much different than reinventing yourself physically. You’ve all seen those images on the interwebs of people who want to actually look like a Barbie doll. A professional reinvention is much easier, and the pain is, well, different. You’ll want to explore your interests, create a bucket list, and recognize all the resistance you’ll receive–from yourself as well as others. Then again, changing yourself could be a lot of fun if you’re interested in the journey! Have you ever gone through a professional change? How did you start?

 

 

 

Find Your Target Audience: Best Ways

Get fresh eyes on your target audience

If you’re a small business owner, you might be too close to your own business to find your audience alone. I recommend getting some help with this. Ask someone outside your business who will be honest for advice. Ask your friends and friends of friends for their recommendations (for someone to help). If that fails, you could also go to Fiverr and read the reviews. When I needed help with formatting, a thankless job, I went to Fiverr. You could do the same to find someone to help you find your target audience.

Review your target market

When you started your business, you probably had a general idea of who your target audience was. Or at least you knew who you wanted that audience to be.

But how many years ago was that?

Your audience has probably changed! Even if it was only 2-3 years ago, the person in the middle of your target is probably not the same person right now. If you’re still using the old target, maybe your audience needs to be refreshed. And even if it’s the same audience, it’s good to be reminded of who that audience is. I’ve written about target markets before. You might like How to Speak Your Client’s Language.

Questions/ideas to help define your target audience

I can talk about this from my own viewpoint. When I started my business, my audience was older and mostly women who weren’t very tech-savvy. My audience became younger and more tech savvy after a few years. Now many in my target market are Asian, and I really love that! It’s very interesting to recalibrate your audience and see what your results are. Here are some actionable ideas to help. Another interesting idea, noted in Hubspot’s article How to Find Your Target Audience, is to have a different account for each target audience.

What does your target audience looks like? Beyond the typical age and gender demographic, what else do you know specifically about your audience? It’s good to know these things even if you are different, or maybe especially if you’re different from them.

What is your target market’s political stance? Democrat? Republican? Apolitical? This is good to know, even if you don’t plan to talk about politics.

Draw the specific person you’re targeting

I recommend drawing the specific person you’re targeting–literally. As in get a big sheet of paper and draw the person you’re targeting. Later, when you’re coming up with content, this is the person you’re targeting. You always have to ask why you’re sharing what you’re sharing. Will that person you drew be interested?

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/jplenio-7645255/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4257280">jplenio</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4257280">Pixabay</a>

Find Your Target Audience: Best Ways | Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Will what you have to say be helpful to your target audience?

If your target audience is a democratic man in his 40s, draw that person. What is he wearing? How does he wear his hair? What race is he? Is he American? European? Asian? Does he look like you, or not?

After you have the physical attributes down, what about the invisible ones? These might be the most important of all. This could have to do with pain points. Does he have a good grasp of technology? How does he spend his free time? How does your product or service fit into his life?

What health issues does your target audience have?

Do they have kidney stones? Muscle cramps? Diabetes? Or are their health issues more general–like needing more exercise? You could ask a few people and see what they say. Or try a google search!

What does he/she worry about? What keeps them up at night?

These pain points are important to address.

You can talk about your own issues, but what if they don’t overlap with your audience? Should you still talk about yourself?

Of course, talking about your own interests could bring in a completely different audience, too! You never know what could happen.

Decide what not to say to your target audience

It’s probably good to think about what you shouldn’t say on social media. Personally, I try to avoid politics, anything too sexual, and violent news. What’s on your personal list? And what would be on your target audience’s list?

How will you build trust with your audience?

Having empathy for your target audience is very important. If you can be a resource for people, it’s a real gift. It builds trust.

Seth Godin says psychographics is the most important piece of the target audience puzzle (not his exact words). Knowing what they believe, what they dream of, what their fears are, and what their desires are. That is everything.

 

Jealousy in the Workplace: How to Deal with it

We’ve all had to deal with workplace jealousy. Someone else sees what you’re doing and wants to steal your idea, have your success, or simply get to where you are without working at it. Or maybe you’re the jealous one–striving to be like someone else or fuming at someone else’s success? Whichever way it is for you, here are some ideas that may give you a fresh perspective.

Flaws, failures and finger-pointing

When a jealous person sees your success, he or she may point at your flaws and try to highlight them to others, thus undermining your success. He may also try to focus on your failures. This kind of finger pointing never helps to sort out the jealousy of the person who is jealous. While it’s difficult to remain positive when you hear the jealous person belittling you, it’s important to take the high road and not return insults. Eventually, other coworkers may come around to your point of view. I’ve talked about how some social media posts elicit jealousy before in Maslow’s Unbelievably Strange Hierarchy of Social Media Needs.

Workplace jealousy creates a toxic environment

Although you might want to hide your head in the sand when you recognize jealousy, doing so won’t make the problem disappear. In fact, when you pull your head out of the sand, the problem probably will have gotten worse. It’s best to deal with jealousy head on. Indeed has a good article on how to handle workplace jealousy: 8 Tips to Help You Handle Workplace Jealousy. I like this one: “Remain positive at all times, even around jealous coworkers.” Not so easy to do, though, is it?

Belittling others, name calling, and talking behind others’ backs

If someone else is jealous of you, it’s much more difficult to deal with than if you’re the jealous one. But you can start by asking the jealous person what’s going on. Maybe there’s something they need to get off their chest. In her Psychology Today article How to Handle a Jealous Coworker, Kaja Perina says Sometimes, a coworker’s negative behavior toward you may have nothing to do with you or with your work performance. And knowing that can make all the difference.

Moving past jealousy

The best way to move past jealousy, in my opinion, is not to compare yourself to others. There will always be others more or less successful than you. Another way to get through it is to journal. Ask yourself these questions: What is making you jealous? Is the person you’re jealous of honestly doing better than you, or is it imagined? What exactly is it that is bothering you? If you can figure out the answers to these questions, you’ll be closer to getting through the jealousy. And be honest. Maybe you need more skills so you can be like that other person in their career. Maybe there’s a class or two you could take to uplevel your skills.

Have you ever had to deal with jealousy in the workplace? How did you do it?

A Discussion on Seniors and Their Use of Technology

Recently while researching the topic of seniors and the use of technology for #digiblogchat, a chat that @LazBlazter and I host on Twitter, a number of interesting topics came up. Here are some of the spinoffs from that chat.

Featured Guest Warren Naida

The questions for our recent #digiblogchat are already published, by the way. Our featured guest for the chat was @WarrenLNaida. Since the chat ended, Warren has also published a blog post, which you can find here: We Need to Have a Different Conversation about Seniors and Technology. Warren:”Who is a “senior” and who is not? Our access to technology is dependent on other demographics than age. Usually it’s about money and education. The country and city in which we live. Our schools. Our jobs. Access to the internet.” And if you don’t already know Warren Naida, then you should know that he’s already a successful author, teacher, and SEO expert. By his own admission, he’s not yet eligible for senior discounts in his home country, Germany. But his kid would say he’s ancient!

Jim Katzaman’s Take on the Chat

We are all interested in hearing who gets what from our chats. @JimKatzaman outlined several items, each of which could be a chat all by itself. Jim’s article is here: Seniors Find Tech More to Their Liking in Today’s World. For instance, we talked about cybersecurity, which is an issue for people of all ages, not just seniors (whatever that word means any more). And during the pandemic many people experienced loneliness and isolation. So turning to the use of technology was and still is a great way to meet like-minded people. Virtual Meetups (through Zooms or Facetimes) are just one way people can connect with others, but this requires some ease with technology. During the beginning of the pandemic, we all saw people struggle with new technology on zooms.

Exploring and doing the research for the chat

Before most #digiblogchat chats, I do some research, and this was no exception. A number of people weighed in, as usual (you can see more specific ideas from Jim’s or Warren’s links, above). What I found most interesting was getting to know more about Ashton Applewhite. Applewhite has written a manifesto on ageism called This Chair Rocks. She’s also been been featured on TED Talks. Applewhite makes a number of statements on her website which might surprise you. For instance “People are happiest at the beginnings and the ends of their lives.” AndOnly 2.5% of Americans over 65 live in nursing homes.” And while reading about Applewhite, I found an entire mountain of information about aging, such as the website Old School, and their section of Books and Blogs.

Ageism works both ways

Although we might think of ageism as something that only affects older folks, younger people suffer from discrimination, too. Think back to a time when someone told you you were too young for an activity. That might’ve been simply going to an amusement park, but it could also apply to driving a car or operating machinery.

 

Just a Few Words about the Absolutely Dreaded Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. If you’ve ever felt like a fraud before, you’re certainly not alone. Many of us feel like fraudsters, despite multiple degrees, years of job experience, and badges saying we’re number one! Not literally, but you get my drift. If this is you, you might like this post. By the way, we talked about Imposter Syndrome this week on #Digiblogchat–a collaborative chat on Twitter. We talked with Teodora Pirciu, and you can find her on Medium. Wikipedia has a few more words to say about this syndrome.

Just a Few Words about the Absolutely Dreaded Imposter Syndrome| Image by Sumanley xulx from Pixabay

What measures can correct it?

Reassurances from friends, coworkers, and peers can help. Meeting with others who also suffer from it can help, according to Wikipedia. Group therapy is another way to manage the syndrome. And for some homework where one is asked to reframe negative thoughts in a positive light. Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? How did you manage it (if you did)? Let me know–I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How Has Social Listening Changed over Time?

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase social listening and wondered what it meant. Or you’ve already been listening and want to know what has changed lately. Either way, stay tuned as I discuss this topic.

First of all, what is social listening?

Sprout Social has a terrific article not only defining social listening, but listing tools and telling why social listening is important and why you should pay attention to your audience online (before speaking). So here’s their quote “Social listening refers to analyzing the conversations and trends happening not just around your brand, but around your industry as a whole, and using those insights to make better marketing decisions.” Like your parents said, listen before you speak. This helps you understand the context of any conversations happening online. Monitoring conversations and sentiment can help you decide what strategy your brand should take.

Examples of social listening

Social listening means tracking your brand or topic on social media and then making adjustments or changes in direction based on what you hear. So for instance, you might have a Google alert for your business name. You might see or hear someone say something negative about your business and then you can change course to correct that negative comment. Or you could address the person making a negative comment directly, as some businesses do on Google or Yelp reviews. You might like Hubspot’s article on social listening: What is Social Listening and Why is it Important? For one thing, as explained in Hubspot’s article “customers like it when brands respond.” Recently, when I gave a negative review to a restaurant, the restaurant manager invited me back to see whether they could change my mind. Would I be more apt to return to a restaurant that responded to a review? You betcha!

Tools for social listening

Of course Google, Yelp, and all sorts of social media platforms would be good tools for social listening. Having a Google alert for your business, including misspellings of your name, would also help. You could make yourself a reminder to check for negative or positive reviews. One good trick is to set up a column in your social media monitoring tool for mentions of your name. People don’t always complain directly to your business. So checking into NextDoor or local pages on Facebook can be good monitoring tools, too. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, be sure to claim your Google and Yelp accounts so you can respond. Here’s an article that could help: Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/kaboompics-1013994/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=791686">Karolina Grabowska</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=791686">Pixabay</a>

How Has Social Listening Changed over Time? | Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

What’s changed?

In the before time, people might have talked to each other more directly. But with more social media channels, people can write, text, send videos, tweet, and post about your business. So you need to be even more vigilant about checking. Asking friends and neighbors about where people are talking could be a good strategy. Being able to respond is important. By social listening, you will be more able to identify your customer’s pain points. And if you want to learn more about pain points, you might like How to Find Your Audience’s Pain Points and Why You’d Want to.

What Does a Community Manager Do?

A community manager needs to wear a few different hats. Some of these hats include writing posts, creating headlines, and being engaged with a community. There are some other traits that a good community manager might have as well, such as being super-duper friendly (depending on the brand, of course), and creating video or graphics.

Is a community manager a good job?

It depends. At least half of what makes it a good job is who you work for. The other half is the audience. Are the brand’s followers engaged and happy? Or are they mostly online to complain? If you’re mostly answering complaints, that’s a bit different, and not nearly as fun as being a brand ambassador. By the way, you might like this post: Made up Holidays Social Media Managers Will Absolutely Love.

What are the qualification of a community manager?

Although there are degrees in social media management and community management, to me the best thing is on-the-job-training. If you’re able to work either for yourself or as a volunteer or intern, then you can pick up a lot of ideas from others. I think a good idea is to get a little real-world experience first and pick up training along the way. That could be formal training, but not always. I’ve always preferred to get training in person, but that’s not always possible, especially in the age of Covid. Corinne McGill says in this Hubspot article Community Managers What They Do and How to Be a Great One writes “Beyond a working understanding of the business, managers need to build productive, professional relationships both internally and externally in order to be a more authentic and reliable brand ambassador.”

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/stocksnap-894430/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2557396">StockSnap</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2557396">Pixabay</a>

What Does a Community Manager Do?| Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Why do you need a community manager?

You need someone to spread the word and help your business to get found online. Maybe you’re too busy with the day-to-day running of your business. Maybe you don’t want to learn another aspect of marketing. Or maybe marketing isn’t something that interests you. In that case, you could definitely use a little help. Even us social media types need help sometimes! And at those times, I call on friends with the same or similar skills to fill in. After all, we all need a little vacation from time to time. Also, if you’re working on your business, sometimes you can become too focused on the day to day issues and the little things.

What are some community management skills?

Reading, writing, and research are some great skills to have. You might not notice all the research happening behind the scenes, but that takes up a great deal of our time. You can’t just post something without at least scanning it. Also, of course, reaching out to followers and to other brands as well. Sometimes other accounts won’t engage with you, but it’s still a good idea to try. After awhile, you’ll see who is willing to engage and who isn’t. Some of the bigger accounts engage all the time, and people love it! For instance, Wendy’s is a great account to follow on Twitter. So fun! If you’re interesting in being more engaged online, you might like: You Don’t Need Fairy Dust to Improve Your Social Media Engagement.

Did I forget something?

What’s your impression of community managers? Let me know your thoughts!

 

Is it that Bad to Be Relegated to the Friend Zone?

Is it that Bad to Be Relegated to the Friend Zone?

Is it that Bad to Be Relegated to the Friend Zone?

You’ve all seen those short videos about being relegated to the friend zone. You know–those really sad videos where the person’s face drops like someone just died? But being relegated to the friend zone on social media isn’t really such a bad thing. Actually, being in the zone is an honor and a privilege most of the time. I say most of the time because sometimes your new “friend” is actually a stalker, and not in a good way. However, some would disagree with me. For instance, in this article in Men’s Health, they want to get out of there as fast as possible. But this isn’t that friend zone.

Here are some special privileges that could ensue if you’re in the zone…

In the Friend Zone, you can send and receive DMs or private messages

Even though everyone says NO DMs!!! on their Twitter bios, if you’re in the friend zone, you can definitely send and receive DMs. In fact, many conversations and business deals happen in the DMs. But you have to get to know someone before jumping into their in box.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/broesis-5213623/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2366955">Maike und Björn Bröskamp</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2366955">Pixabay</a>

One Place Where Being Relegated to the Friend Zone is ok| Image by Maike und Björn Bröskamp from Pixabay

Is the Friend Zone permanent?

Yes, unless you do something to really screw up and you’re no longer friends!

Why would you want to accept the Friend Zone?

Many reasons, really. You can meet up in real life. You can get coffee or have a meal together. Maybe if you’re in the same part of the world you can visit. Or you could make plans to meet as a group, as I’ve done several times in real life. But again, you need to know that person a little before you meet up in real life. Being on a chat, like #digiblogchat helps a lot. There are many people on the chat that I’d love to meet in real life. Like Larry Mount, for instance, who’s been the co-pilot for #digiblogchat for years!

You can meet online several times a week

If you’re in the Friend Zone, your friend is just a laptop or phone screen away. They can live in your pocket like a pocket pal. Or you can chat with them during a Twitter chat, or in a private Facebook group. Maybe you’ll travel together across the interwebs, from Facebook to Twitter to TikTok to Instagram. All kinds of things can happen. By the way, if you’d like to join a Twitter chat, here’s how: Five Best Reasons Joining Twitter Chats is a Very Good Idea.

You can attend conferences or zoom calls together

Some of the people I’ve met online I’ve then attended conferences with, and it’s terrific. Of course during the pandemic that didn’t happen–but Zoom calls did happen. Quite often. Maybe sometimes too often. In that case, you could get on a Zoom call and complain about the Friend Zone.

 

 

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