Tips for Spring Cleaning the Office

Last week was the first official day of Spring, a sign of new beginnings and blossoming possibilities. It is also a time to rid yourself of clutter throughout your workspace. Just like spring cleaning your home, start this spring season by eliminating disorder, disinfecting and re-organizing the office.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions to make the most out of your spring cleaning.

Work Zones

Start by figuring out what you want and need out of your workspace on a daily basis. Create zones accordingly, such as a storage area for supplies, a library area for research and your computer space. These don’t have to be large zones, but rather spaces to prioritize each of your jobs.

Tip: Keep only what you really need at arm’s length. Rid yourself of visual clutter.

All That Paper Work

Despite efforts to go paperless, a lot of business still deal with piles and piles of paperwork weekly. This can not only clutter your workspace but it can also make your workload look overwhelming. Opt for creating folders or bins that are labeled by project or by a daily task. Color coding can also help if the project is especially lengthy. Knowing what needs your immediate attention and what you need to accomplish every day can help you feel less stressed as well.

Desk Drawers

We all have that drawer that someone become the “junk drawer” over time. Most of the time this drawer is the catcher for things you don’t want to deal with or have cluttering your desk. Invest in an organizer that compartmentalizes all these bits and pieces like pens, paper clips, elastics, and tape. Go back every few months and keep it neat.

Email and Desktop Clutter

Email pile up for everyone and so do desktop icons on your computer. When you are in a rush to make a deadline, you aren’t too concerned about the organization of your files and emails. During spring cleaning, take the time to delete unneeded emails. Create folders in your Outlook by client or task. Clean up your desktop so that every time you turn on your computer, the first thing you see isn’t a sea of icons. This might take a little bit of time, but when you are done, you will be so happy you did.

Disinfect

They say that one of the dirtiest surfaces is your work keyboard. Dirt, fingerprints, and dust can build up over time on your mouse, phone, and monitor. Use disinfectant wipes to clean these areas weekly. According to Forbes.com, “three-quarters of workers say a clean office makes them more productive.”

 

Confident Body Language Tips for Success

We have all heard that confidence is the key to success. Studies have shown that those who appear more confident achieve higher status than their less confident peers. Appear is the key world here. If you feel that you lack confidence in some areas, working on your body language can actually make you appear more confident to others.

According to Barrie Davenport, author of Confidence Hacks: 99 Small Actions to Massively Boost Your Confidence understanding and managing body language boosts your confidence in two ways. “First, by managing your body language and sending appropriate signals in specific situations, you receive positive feedback and feel assured you aren’t sabotaging your own success or the perceptions of others….and more importantly, when you practice powerful, positive body language, you’re sending messages to your brain to reinforce positive, confident feelings.”

In other words, confident body language actually makes you feel more confident.

Here are some tips to for using body language to project confidence and credibility:

Posture

The first rule of appearing confident is your posture. Davenport says, “When standing you should be able to draw an imaginary straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee and the middle of your ankle.” Not only is good posture essential for keeping your bones and joints in proper alignment and avoiding back and neck pain, it also reflects a confident demeanor. Good posture is the key to looking self-assured.

By keeping your posture erect with shoulders back and head held high, you are telling the world that you are sure of yourself. Walking into a board meeting this way will send a message to your peers before you even open your mouth.

Engaged Body Language

Engaged body language involves using open gestures, smiling and nodding, and mirroring the expressions and movements of the other person. Mirroring body language is a way to bond and to build understanding. It truly is a powerful tool. Often times we don’t realize we are doing it. Make a mental note to practice this at your next business encounter and see if you notice any difference in the interactions between you and others.

Smile

Believe it or not, smiles have a powerful effect on us. They stimulate our own sense of well-being and can improve our health, stress levels, and our self-confidence. They relax our bodies and release endorphins that counteract with stress hormones. Smiling can also make you look more attractive and appear trustworthy.

With this in mind, smiling more often will not only benefit your own body but those around you. You want to not only appear strong and assertive but you want people to trust you as well. Practice smiling in the mirror and notice how your smile can make an impact on your presence.

Pitch of Your Voice

According to Forbes.com, “the quality of your voice can be a deciding factor in how you are perceived. Speakers with higher-pitched voices are judged to be less empathic, less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower-pitched voices.”

Notice your own infections and how you are articulating your words when speaking in the workplace and on important phone calls. Since the sound of your voice is critical to how you are perceived by others, do your best to relax your voice to its optimal pitch.

Eye Contact

Strong eye contact is one of the greatest indicators of confidence. Even though some people were taught or raised in a culture where extended eye contact is inappropriate, most businesspeople from the U.S., Europe, and Australia all expect you to maintain eye contact 50-60% of the time. When you keep eye contact with the person you are talking to it indicates that you are focused and paying attention. It means that you are actually listening to what the person is saying and thus will have an appropriate response to follow.

If you feel uncomfortable, practice with someone you know like a friend or family member until you make it a daily habit.

Arms and Legs position

Sometimes when we are in an uncomfortable or in a vulnerable situation, we don’t know what to do with our arms or legs. Cross them or uncrossed them? Stand with our legs far apart or close together?

Carol Kinsey Goman of Forbes says, “When you stand with your feet close together, you can seem hesitant or unsure of what you are saying. But when you widen your stance, relax your knees and center your weight in your lower body, you look more “solid” and confident.”

Similarly with your arms, crossing them can suggest you are closed off, self-protective or defensive. To avoid this, pay attention to your body. Notice how you are feeling when your arms or legs are in a crossed position. What are you saying or what are others around you saying or doing? Focus instead on putting your hands on your lap when sitting or by your side when standing. Cross your legs at the knee, however, avoid crossing your arms at the same time.

The Hand Shake

Davenports says,” A firm, solid handshake is a universal sign of confidence, and everyone, including women, should have one.” It should be strong without crushing the other person’s hand and should also be accompanied with a few seconds of eye contact.

This sign of respect can give you and the person you are exchanging the handshake with, a boost of confidence.

Apparently, a lot of people feel inadequate about their handshaking abilities. In 2014, Bussiness Inquirer published an article saying that 70% of people don’t know how to give a proper handshake. Learning how to master this first impression is key to confident body language for success.

 

We hope you enjoyed these tips! Comment below with some of yours!

How to Stay Healthy With a Busy Schedule

We all know we should get enough sleep, make time to exercise and eat right. But if you’re like most entrepreneurs, chances are, you’re telling yourself that you don’t have the time.

However, staying healthy and feeling your best might be easier than you think. Here are our tips for keeping your health a priority while still sticking to your busy schedule.

Bring Meals to Work

Meal planning and eating right is probably your most difficult challenge. It is easier to grab a pre-packed granola bar than it is to make yourself a nutrient-rich breakfast. However, planning meals ahead of time will save you time, money and inches on your waist.

It’s only a hassle to do this the first week of starting the new routine. After that, it becomes second nature. Spend a few hours on the weekends cooking in bulk and preparing for your work week. Most foods will stay fresh in a Tupperware in the fridge for a few days. Also, don’t forget about the microwave! You can heat up frozen vegetables or meals you saved in the freezer. Just by dedicating an hour or two to bulk cooking and prepping can mean a world of difference.

Short, But Intense Workouts

Exercise is the first thing that we tend to delete from our schedules when our time is stretched too thin. However, if you don’t have a lot of time, you can get the most out of a workout by aiming for short but intense full-body workouts. This will burn more calories than training each body part individually. According to Pedro De Abreu on Virgin.com, “some simple ways to incorporate quick full-body exercises into your routine are installing a pull-up bar in your home, buying a jump rope, and doing burpees.” Research shows that exercise routines like high-intensity interval training are highly effective for burning fat and building muscle. And the best part is, you can do this anywhere.

Regulate Your Sleeping Patterns

Studies have shown that sleeping the recommended amount of seven to nine hours can increase productivity and is essential to your health. And if you can’t commit to maintaining this regular sleep pattern, research has shown that even a 15 to 20-minute nap will make you more alert. Make sleep a priority in your life, even if you have to schedule it in. Your body will thank you for it.

Hydration

Getting plenty of water throughout your day is extremely important. It helps keep you full, energized and extra focused. A healthy amount of H2O can also keep cold and sickness at bay. Eight glasses of water a day is the recommended amount to keep you feeling your best. Try keeping your water bottle on your desk to remind you to keep drinking.

Take Time Off When You Can

Vacations are important your mental and physical health. You may feel that you don’t have the time. However, taking a vacation and getting much-deserved time off will help you be healthier, happier, and more productive. No matter how jam-packed your schedule seems, book some down time. Take time to unwind and maybe even time away from Wi-Fi. Take time to just be.

Set Realistic Goals

Your wellbeing should be on top of your list of priorities. Neglecting your health is expensive and bad for productivity. Lack of sleep impairs your cognitive function and makes it harder for you to concentrate. Sacrificing your health for your job just doesn’t make sense in the long run. Set realistic goals for yourself so that you can actually accomplish them. If you work well with a written schedule, then pencil in when to drink your water, when to exercise and when to block off time to meal prep. It is all a matter of making your health a priority. Once you do this, you will find that despite your busy schedule, you still have time for you!

Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life

Work-life balance seems to be a common struggle for entrepreneurs and business workers, alike. In fact, according to a Harvard Business School survey, “94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week.” And according to Forbes.com,”nearly 20% of today’s workforce is a family caregiver during “off-work” hours.” Stress from an almost never-ending workday is damaging to your health, family, relationships, and overall happiness. And on top of that, it actually decreases your productivity.

Balancing work and your family life means something different to every individual, but there are ways to find the harmony between the two. Here are a few of our tips to help you harmonize both aspects of your life so that everyone is healthy and happy.

Scheduling

Kevin Kurse, Forbes.com contributor, wrote an article entitled, “Work-Life Balance: Tips From 24 Entrepreneurs Boiled Down To 1,” where he interviewed 24 leaders of start-ups and entrepreneurs, asking about their work and life balance. Out of all the tips and tricks, the most mentioned piece of advice was keeping a schedule. If you schedule time for work projects, shouldn’t you do that same for family and other areas of your life?

Kurse also says to schedule but don’t make a to-do list. Instead, put all your to-dos on your calendar. “If you want to have an amazing life, you have to be intentional about it. Your calendar is the plan for your time. And time equals life,” said Kurse.

Think about your top priorities and create block times on your calendar to accommodate them. Dinner with the family, going for a jog, date night with your significant other…treat all of these as you would a doctor appointment. You decide what means balance for you and create the life you want for yourself.

Unplug

Let’s face it. We are all glued to our phones. Whether for business or pleasure, your smartphone is as big of a distraction as it is a helpful tool. However, when it comes to working, it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The workday never seems to end as co-workers and clients can have constant contact with you.

Instead, make quality time true quality time and turn your phone off. This act of self-control can actually make you a stronger person, as well as more present in your own life.  According to Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life,  “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks. Inturn, reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress. If you have scheduled a time to hang out with your family, then be with your family, wholeheartedly.

Slow Down

You are no use to your company or your family if you are burnt out. Not only will you be tired, but your creativity will be greatly stunted, affecting your job performance.

Slow down. Stop striving for perfectionism and start aim for excellence instead.

Healthy Self-care 

Self-care is the kind of activity that yields big positive benefits from just a few simple acts. A bit of self-care each day boosts your physical and mental health, and your work performance, as well.

Make sure you are getting your basic needs:

  • At least seven hours of sleep a night
  • Eat healthy food and avoid junk food and excessive eating or drinking.
  • Exercise.

Among these basics, schedule in time to meditate. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start. “The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which calms everything down, (and) not just in the moment,” says Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, author of the book Chained to the Desk. 

Although self-care isn’t complex, it can be difficult to practice. It may feel selfish at times, but you won’t be able to help those around you if you don’t care for yourself first. Whatever you do to care for yourself will maintain your positive energy and capacity to juggle work and family caregiving.

 

Comment below and let us know how you stay balanced!

 

7 Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Fear of public speaking is on the same list as fear of spiders and even death. We are all at least a little afraid to speak in front of a group of people. Whether it’s in a board meeting with your peers or on a stage in front of strangers, the fear is the same. But resisting public speaking engagements can hold an entrepreneur back since workshops, presentations, and pitches are a great way to network and gain support. With this in mind, here are some ways to improve your public speaking skills to get you out of your shell and into the spotlight.

1. Begin with the End in Mind

Like everything in business, you need to have your plan. Before you start working on your presentation, know your purpose. A great way to figure this out if you are struggling to articulate your main points is to ask yourself some focus questions. Such as:

  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • What impact do you want to have on your audience?
  • Are you looking to inform? Inspire? Persuade?

Knowing your ultimate purpose and the desired outcome will help you stay focused on the preparation process.

2. Simplify Your Message

You are probably where you are today because of the depth of knowledge in your field of expertise. With all the information you have floating around in your brain, it is difficult to know where to start. Your impulse might be to impart as much of your knowledge as you can to your audience. However, don’t do this! You will overwhelm or bore your audience with unneeded details. Plus, you will lose sight of your focus points. Convey a few powerful ideas that your audience will remember. Simplify your message to include only the information you want your listeners to walk away with.

3. Prepare and Practice

Practice makes perfect is a popular saying for a reason. It works!

Don’t just wing your presentation. Have a clear roadmap of what you are going to say and rehearse it. It also helps to practice speaking in front of another person. Whether it be your spouse, partner or co-worker, get comfortable with speaking your points out loud onto listening ears. They might be able to give you feedback on something that you may have missed practicing alone. Preparation will also allow you to avoid the nervousness associated with being not quite ready.

4. Memorize Concepts, Not Content

While you are preparing and practicing, a helpful tip is to memorize your concepts, not your content. If you have a lot of information you wish to convey to your audience, you might feel overwhelmed when it’s time to starting memorizing. Memorization can lead to sounding over-rehearsed and unnatural. Plus if you forget something, you are left in an awkward silence.

Instead, create bullet points of the content, stories, data and key takeaways that you want to get across in each part of your presentation. Then you will be able to speak naturally about them and give a more flexible presentation, which in turn will be engaging for your listeners.

5. Connect with the Audience

Your speaking engagement will be far more effective if it’s tailored to your specific audience. Spend time learning as much as possible about attendees and gear your speech accordingly. Remember you are on the podium for a reason. You are there to inform, not prove that you are smarter than everyone. By trying to impress your audience with your intellect, you create more distance and could come across as arrogant.The more connected the audience feels to you, the more they’ll pay attention to what you have to say.

6. Body Language

90% or more of communication is nonverbal. Your audience will read your facial expressions, the tone of your voice, the way you use your hands, how you stand and move. A warm, easy smile and calm body immediately tell the audience that you’re comfortable and confident. Pent-up energy can be the death of a powerful speech. If it helps, roam the front of the room or the stage to expend some of that energy. And when the speaker is comfortable, the audience is, too. This is also true is you aren’t comfortable! Practice your speech in front of the mirror and critic what your body language is emulating to others.

7. Let Your Passion Show

Passion is infectious and contagious. Your enthusiasm will also keep your audience engaged. People like seeing passion radiate from someone. It is inspiring and entertaining to watch. If you are truly passionate about what you are speaking about, don’t be afraid to show it. Keep your personality throughout your speech and your listeners will feel a connection to your words.

 

 

Women’s History: The Rise of the Female Entrepreneur

Women’s History Month is a big deal for us at Media Partners. As a women-owned business, we want to see the triumph of female entrepreneurs and businesswomen everywhere. In honor of this historical month, we are spending the entirety of March posting blogs, articles, motivational posts and information centered around women in business and entrepreneurs.

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981. Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week of  March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” Later, in 1987, Congress designated March the month to celebrate Women’s History for the entire country, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project.

 

To show how far women in business have come, here is a look provided by National Women’s History Museum’s online exhibit. To see their full slideshow, click here!

This exhibit defines the term “entrepreneur” to refer to a woman who had an idea for a service or product and started a business of her own. American women have owned businesses as far back as colonial settlements.

Women did not historically use the word “entrepreneur” to describe their businesses until the late 1970s; before that, they called them “sidelines” or part-time projects and understood entrepreneurship to describe what men did.

But looking back, it is clear that women’s business ownership deserves a place in the broader history of entrepreneurship; hence the use of the term in this exhibit.

1910-1939

Up through the nineteenth century, women-owned businesses primarily included taverns and alehouses, millinery and retail shops, hotels, and brothels, and were often operated as a way to provide an income for women who found themselves without a breadwinning man. Business, then, was a way for a woman in potentially dire circumstances to provide for herself rather than become a social burden. 

From 1900 through 1929, Progressivism, feminism, consumerism and immigration all gave rise to a climate that was not only conducive to women’s entrepreneurship but also highly accepting of them. Like many women’s ventures at this time, their primary markets were typically other women, but New Women entrepreneurs often tinged their businesses with a sense of purpose beyond simple economics.

1940-1959 

World War II brought many women into the workforce, filling jobs so men could go off and fight. That same patriotic fervor also inspired many women to consider starting businesses of their own. The Boston Globe’s “women’s pages,” for example, featured Polly Webster’s column, “War Time Wife”, packed with tips for weathering the hardships of the war years—including how to generate income from home-based businesses. 

When World War II ended, women were pushed from wartime jobs for returning soldiers, and many went straight into businesses of their own.

 The Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs and state officials—first in New York and then nationwide—ran workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs with advice from trailblazers such as Elizabeth Arden and male business leaders. There were advice books and free pamphlets. Reader’s Digest included women among the winners of its 1946 competition for best business ideas. The press hailed women entrepreneurs for helping to rebuild the economy by increasing the number of women-owned businesses from 600,000 in 1945 to nearly 1 million by 1950. 

By the 1950s—the age of celebrated domesticity—the home became the new site of, and justification for, starting a business. Everywhere women turned, they received messages that home and family were their primary roles. But the baby boom and an assortment of new consumer goods—from cars to clothes to appliances—also meant that even middle-class families needed more cash. Women stepped up, often capitalizing on homemaking skills to build businesses. They defined their home-based businesses as part of being a good mother. 

1960-1979 

By the early 1960s, the changing social and cultural landscape provided new incentives for would-be women business owners. Divorce rates escalated during the 1960s and single mothers struggling to balance childrearing and their new roles as providers saw in business a possible solution. Women, like beauty maven Mary Kay Ash and advertising executive Mary Wells, started companies of their own as a way to assert their independence in the male world of business. 

The Civil Rights and women’s movements of the 1960s and 1970s brought a new sense of purpose and a language of rights and empowerment to women entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, the result was a change in the way women understood themselves and their ventures, seeking not just to start businesses but to be seen as equals in the world of enterprise.

Feminists founded businesses along movement principles, such as publishing ventures that would give voice to women’s words and perspectives, including the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, the Feminist Press, and Ms. Magazine. Women entrepreneurs also began to move beyond traditionally female categories and into previously male bastions of technology, metals, and finance.

1980-1999

By the 1980s, the hard work of the previous decades was paying off: women entrepreneurs like Martha Stewart and Vera Bradley…owned 25 percent of all US firms. What’s more, the public and politicians widely acknowledged that women entrepreneurs were a vital component of the nation’s economy. New initiatives, including how-to seminars and government programs, sought to ensure that women had the resources necessary to start and grow their businesses.

In 1988, urged on by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Congress passed The Women’s Business Ownership Act, which ended discrimination in lending, eliminated state laws that required married women to have a husband’s signature for all loans and gave women-owned businesses a chance to compete for lucrative government contracts.

2000-Present Day 

It’s been a bumpy ride for women entrepreneurs in the early 21st century: on the upside, their numbers continue to grow, and Key Bank, Goldman Sachs, and other institutions have increasingly launched financing initiatives targeted solely at would-be women entrepreneurs.

Technological innovation ramped up fast as the 1990s became the 2000s. That not only enabled women entrepreneurs to break into technology-based businesses in record numbers but also to use technology to start, run, promote and accelerate all types of companies. With faster and cheaper Internet, cloud and mobile technologies, women can manage a business from anywhere, with far less startup capital. 

But small and big, women’s ventures came to comprise 30 percent of all U.S. businesses—many of them today in categories that were once men’s alone. The lesson they teach is the power of possibilities and passion for transforming lives.

The next century promises to be even brighter for women’s entrepreneurship. 

 

 

6 Ways to Boost Morale in the Office

Since employee morale can quickly make or break a company’s success, it is important for business leaders to keep spirits high. After all, low morale can lead to low productivity, poor teamwork and an increase in turnover. An effective leader will keep a close eye on the general morale in the office with simple and creative approaches.

Here are a few of the ways we at Media Partners Worldwide boost morale.

1. Show You Care

At Media Partners, we recognize every single employee’s birthday with a special lunch and themed decor. If someone is getting married or having a baby or celebrating a significant time in their life, we make sure to send gifts in acknowledgment. CEO, Natalie Hale, believes that being involved in employees lives let them feel loved and valued. Not just as employees, but also as family members and human beings.

“When people are loved, they will give more than you can imagine they could for you and your cause,” Hale said. “My employees are the lifeblood of the agency and I want them to know that they matter.”

2. Get Employees Involved 

“Whenever possible, I try to get my employees involved with office decisions. Recently, we were looking for a new buyer and several of the employees were involved in the interview process,” said Hale.

Delegating as a team to make decisions for the office on things like new software or new companies to work with can definitely boost the morale. Involving employees in the conversation, makes each person feel they are a valued member of the company. Everyone has their own individual thoughts and suggestions and it’s important for everyone to feel engaged and that their feedback makes a difference

3. Create a Comfortable Environment

Currently, we are in the process of rearranging the office to make it more comfortable for the staff and more welcoming to visitors. As I mentioned above, this is a collaborative effort. We are bouncing ideas off one another and giving our suggestions to our CEO. Comfort in the office is important because we spend the majority of our week in this building. People are more productive when their environments are healthy and happy.

4. Provide Lunches and Snacks

Food is always a great morale booster. Our CEO provides lunch on a weekly basis which the entire staff greatly appreciates. It is a way of showing us that we matter as well as a special treat to look forward to. Rewards such as these, or snacks, significantly improve the morale, as well as bond the entire office more closely together. In addition, outings like lunch at restaurants or a company happy hour are fun ideas to switch up the day to day routine.

5. Be Flexible About Time Off When Necessary

Your employees shouldn’t have to dread asking for time off. As dedicated as each staff member is to the business, they do have a personal life outside of the office. Necessary requests for family or health purposes require business leaders to be flexible and giving. This improves morale because employees know that if something comes up in their life, they won’t be penalized for it at work. Getting rid of any sense of dread, if possible, will allow your staff to actually be happy coming to work! And that is what every company wants. Happy employees!

6. Find Ways to Give Back to the Community 

Everyone feels great when they give back. During Christmas time, our office sponsored a family with the Long Beach Women’s Shelter. Our entire staff contributed generously and we eventually had bags and boxes full of presents to give to the family in need. Finding ways to contribute to your community will not only develop notoriety within your city, but it will also boost the attitude in the office.

 

 

U.S. Presidents Who Started as Entrepreneurs

President’s Day was created in 1879 and first celebrated the following year. It was originally intended to honor and celebrate the life and achievements of the “Father of the Country,” George Washington. Now, we commemorate all past US presidents, and in particular Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Originally held on Washington’s actual birthday (February 22), it was changed in 1971 to the third Monday of February. It was also the first federal holiday to be created in honor of an American citizen.

Today, most are probably just happy for the day off. However, there is a lot we can learn from these past leaders. There are actually a number of former U.S. Presidents who started as business owners and entrepreneurs.

1. Harry Truman

After serving in World War I, Turman opened a men’s clothing store with friend Eddie Johnson upon returning home to Kansas City. It is said that the saying “clothes make the man” could have been coined by Truman. The store was open from 1919 to 1922 but eventually fell victim to the post-war recession. Truman found himself just barely escaping bankruptcy, however, he managed to eventually pay off all his debts.

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2. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt founded the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in 1927. As a sufferer of polio, he raised funds to turn a spa into a for-profit healing center for victims of polio. Still operating today, the Warm Springs, the Georgia-based institute serves about 4,000 people with all types of disabilities each year.

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3. Abraham Lincoln

The only U.S. president to receive a patent, Lincoln invented a device to lift riverboats over sandbars. In 1833, he opened a general store with partner William, Berry. Even though the business folded within a year and Lincoln’s possessions seized by the sheriff, Lincoln didn’t quit. He went on to own a law practice, becoming a symbol of perseverance, for his resilience even in hard times.

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4. Warren G. Harding

In 1884, when Harding was 19, he and several partners purchased a small, struggling newspaper in Ohio called The Marion Star. The newspaper became quite profitable, thanks to his wife Florence who helped manage the business operations of the newspaper. The newspaper eventually provided Harding with the income needed to fund his campaigns for public office.

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5. Herbert Hoover

Hoover launched his own mine engineering business in 1908. His company employed 175,000 workers and specialized in reorganizing failing companies, as well as sought new mining prospects and finding investors to pay for developing the best mines.

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6. Jimmy Carter

After Carter’s father died in 1953, the family farm was in danger of being lost. Carter ended up leaving the Navy that same year and returned to Plains, GA to run the peanut farm. With hard work and dedication, he eventually expanded the Golden Peanut Company by 1959, into an international business with multiple warehouses and a peanut-shelling plant.

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7. George Bush

In 1951,  Bush started the Bush-Overby Oil Development company with his neighbor John Overby, after graduating Yale. By 1953, Bush-Overby had merged with another independent oil company to form Zapata Petroleum, which would later make him a millionaire. By 1959, Bush moved to Houston to become the president of Zapata Offshore.

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Tips for Marketing to the Millennial Generation

Millennials are a popular topic of conversation. Whether discussing how much you hate or love them, the internet is abuzz with talk of Generation Y. But despite the negativity surrounding this generation, there are currently 80 million Millennials in the U.S. with an annual buying power of over $600 billion.

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Therefore, every marketer should be making this generation a priority.  As a millennial myself, born in 1990, I can attest to understanding our habits, likes, and dislikes. We may be particular and at time unconventional but we are still loyal to brands we love.

According to a Forbes.com and Elite Daily (the voice of Generation Y) collective study, “millennials are highly educated, career-driven, politically progressive and–despite popular belief–do indeed develop strong brand loyalty when presented with quality products and actively engaged by brands.”

With millennials as a driving force in the marketing place, here are a few key tactics geared towards engaging with this super power generation.

1. Authenticity is Essential

According to AdAge, “Millennials are spending an average of 25 hours per week online – and they’re craving content-driven media.” Between searching blogs, websites, YouTube channels and other social media platforms, we are also sharing, liking, tweeting, snapping, forwarding, pinning and commenting our findings, resulting in a huge online community. The content that strongly resounds with millennials is based on what we see value in and trust.

Millennials connect best with people over logos.

For example, blogs. 33% of millennials rely on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to the fewer than 3% who use TV news, magazines, and books. While the older generations rely on traditional media,  millennials look to social media for an authentic look at what’s going on in the world, especially content written by their peers. Despite the fact that blogs are usually run by an individual rather than corporations, millennials trust the blogger’s opinions. We use bloggers as a kind of adviser to help us make a purchasing decision.

Same with social media platforms like YouTube. I know for myself if I am interested in buying any new product or experimenting with a new brand, I first seek out reviews on YouTube. I have access to these reviews anywhere I go on my smartphone and I like the casualness of hearing someone speak candidly about something they do or do not like. Just like you would seek advice from a friend or family member, I can do that with strangers who share my interests on my social networks.

84 percent of Millennials say user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy, and 73 percent say it’s important to read others’ opinions before purchasing.

Advertisers, therefore, need to find a way to incorporate this information into their campaigns. For brands that want to successfully reach Gen Y-ers, they need to speak our language. Meaning, they need to create content that we will proudly share, like, pin, tweet, snap, and forward to others. That way the can build a real, authentic brand-customer relationship.

2. We Want an Experience

We millennials prefer experiences over possessions. We are more interested in brands that can show us how to improve our lives, rather than brands that are pushy with selling to us.  In an age of growing minimalist and the environmentally conscience, this is particularly important. To us, possessions come and go, but experiences can resonate forever. Advertisers need to ask themselves how their brand can contribute to an overall experience for millennials.

This is where inbound marketing strategies come into play. Millennials want e-books, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information. This is your company’s chance to provide content that ranks high in Google and shows us you know what you are talking about. Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts. But they are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.

Home Depot is an example of a company who is currently killing it with this marketing strategy. Here is their YouTube channel.

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As you can see, there are a number of how-to videos and home improvement DIYs. Not only can you buy all that you need at Home Depot, but you can learn how to install, build and be inspired all the while they are marketing themselves. Their brand and videos will continuously pop up in web searches. With over 100,000 subscribers, Home Depot’s YouTube channel is clearly ranking on Google searches with inquiries about home and garden projects.

By utilizing millennials favorite social media platforms, you can create shareable content and keep up your authenticity and trust.

 

3. Stay Relevant

Trends come and go. We all know that. However, staying on top of what is trending can help your brand, significantly, especially with hashtags and ranking in Google.

Another great brand that is reaching out perfectly to Millennials is Netflix. “While Netflix has a lot of different customers spanning different generations, Millennials are vital to this company. One way that Netflix reaches out to this generation is by having great social media campaigns and linking up Netflix accounts with Facebook. Netflix is constantly on the watch when it comes to this generation because they want to make sure they keep reaching out perfectly. Studies show 75% of millennials with connected televisions are using them to watch Netflix.”

Here is an example of on of their past advertisements.

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They took a popular hashtag about their company, used for more comedic purposes and meme creation, to target their younger generation audience. Now they are part of the trending conversation and staying relevant.

4. Collaboration

Along with wanting an experience, millennials are interested in having a say.  In fact, 42 percent said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. They want to be more involved with how products get created. According to aforementioned Forbes.com and Elite Daily (the voice of Generation Y) collective study, “companies that enable them to be part of the product development process will be more successful. Marketers need to focus on building relationships with consumers by fueling their self-expression and helping them establish their own personal brand.”

Here is an example provided by Hub Spot writer Meaghan Moras: “Coca-Cola used online co-creation to gather expressions of its brand promise “Energizing refreshment.” They prompted their audience to unleash their creativity by interpreting Coca-Cola as an energizing refreshment in whatever style or format they wished. Coca-Cola gathered these videos, animations, illustrations, and photographs to use in its marketing campaigns worldwide. This method was mutually beneficially in that Millennials all over the world got to pour a bit of themselves into a product made for them while helping Coca-Cola bring fresh authenticity to the market.”

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5. Communication and Connection

Staying engaged with the millennial generation is very important. This includes commenting on social media posts, posting consistently, and giving us the impression that each customer is important. A great example of how to do this is through giveaways, special discounts, contests, and loyalty programs. A platform we haven’t discussed much yet is Instagram. According to the Huffington Post, “The visual platform has been rapidly growing and now boasts 300 million monthly active users, with 41% being aged 16-24 and at 35% are in their 24-34s.” These numbers show that your brand needs to be engaging with us through this app. The most successful of brands that use Instagram feature photos regularly (have I mentioned how important consistency is?)and dedicate hashtags. They post pictures on their page that their followers have tagged them in. They invite popular Instagrammers to take over their page to keep their brand fresh and new. We millennials are definitely flattered when a brand we love acknowledges us. I know for myself, I have tagged brands in some of my personal Instagram posts and even a “like” back makes me feel special.

Finding ways to boost engagement will do nothing but improve your chances as being noticed by the trendsetting generation.

Wrap Up

Find the authenticity of your brand and run with it.

Stop screaming “buy!” and start yelling” We have an experience for you!”

Stay up to date on trends and use them to your advantage.

Get us involved in your products.

Consistency. Engagement. Connection.