5 Ways to Generate Leads for Small Businesses

As small business owners know, there are many challenges to be faced when starting your own company. One of those obstacles is generating leads. Finding the unique way to attract people to your business requires strategy, patience, and creativity.

Here are 5 ways to engage potential customers and get them on the path of eventually buying your product or service.

1. Strong Branding

Customers love authentic companies who are strong with their message and consistent with their content. Millennials are typically more likely to support a brand if they feel they are reliable. (Check out our blog on millennials here!) So, don’t try and be everything to everyone.

Keep your brand strong by having a clear definition of who you are and maintain this definition throughout your content, visuals, and products.

2. Newsletter

If you don’t have a newsletter, you are missing out on ample opportunities to engage with potential customers. Make sure you put a newsletter sign up in every possible place that makes sense on your website.

Email campaigns are a great way to fight your way through the internet noise and be seen. Create your newsletters to include industry news, product announcements, and insights from your company. For more tips, check out our post on email marketing here.

3. Blogs

Nowadays, most reliable companies have a blog. It allows your company complete control of what is said on your niche topic and it also allows opportunities to have the undivided attention of your reader.

Create posts with statistics and credible information to authenticate your brand and allow your readers to learn. Give it real value and don’t make it all about you. Of course, there will be room to promote your product or service. But foremost, relay engaging information and join conversations that are prevalent in your field.

4. Networking at Events

Don’t forget about the real world in this predominately digital market. By going to events, you will meet people, expand your network and gain referrals.

Bring business cards and put yourself out there. Even if the event doesn’t directly pertain to your business, go anyway as it can bring about valuable contacts and leads.

5. Offers

You want to get potential customers to visit your website and an offer is a great way to do that. But keep in mind, that the offer must have enough value to a visitor to merit providing their personal information in exchange for access to it. An example of this would be creating an ebook on something prevalent and informative to your niche, or a special coupon code that offers a discount if the customers provide their email address.

Then you can use this information to send out your newsletter or latest blog post via email, which will keep your customers coming back for more.

 

Once you put all these elements together, you will establish brand awareness, connect with the potential customer and find what strategy works best for your company.

For more information on lead generation or how to market your small business, contact us here at Media PartnersWorldwide via phone (562) 439-3900 or email connectwithmpw@mediapartnersww.com

 

 

Interview Tips to Help You Land the Job

Finding a job is a journey, full of obstacles and mental taxations. Between researching opportunities, fine tuning your resume and writing the perfect cover letter, job searching can fell like a full-time job in itself.

But eventually, all your hard work will pay off, your resume will get noticed and a face-to-face interview will be scheduled.

In order to shine during the interview, careful preparation beforehand is essential. Here are some tips to help you nail the interview and land the job!

 

Do Your Research

You should thoroughly research the company you are interviewing with, as you want to make sure you understand the business and anticipate the kinds of questions the interviewer may ask. Do a Google search of the company or review the company’s website, including their “About Us” or “Product” pages. If the company has a blog or press articles, be sure to read a few posts. Check their LinkedIn and social media post as well.

You should walk into the interview confident that you have a collective amount of knowledge on the company and your future position.

Ask the Right Questions

The questions you ask are just as important as the answers you give to the interviewer. Here are some examples of questions to ask that will make you come across as intelligent and prepared:

  • What qualities are you looking for in an ideal candidate?
  • Can you describe the team I’d be working with?
  • What would my typical work day be like?’
  • How does this job fit into the overall mission of the company?
  • How would you define success in this position?
  • What would like to see accomplished in the first (month, 6 months, year)?

These question will highlight your enthusiasm, curiosity and leadership skills while showing your potential employer that you are qualified for the position.

Presentation

You want to dress appropriately and professionally for the job interview. It usually won’t hurt to dress more formally for your interview than you would on the job. Show up neat, groomed and on time!

Download directions in advance and leave time for delays like traffic. It is best to show up early, about 5 to 10 minutes before you interview starts. Not only will this show your potential employer that you can arrive on time, but it will also give you time to take a deep breath and relax before the interview starts. You don’t want to appear flustered or out of breath for your first impression.

Give Your Self a Pep Talk

Remember to build yourself up before heading into the interview. Know your self-worth by believing that you are walking into the company to bring value to it with your skill set.

Recite affirmations to yourself on the drive to the interview like “This company could really use someone like me. They would be very lucky to have me.” As much as you want to impress the interviewer, remember that you need to be impressed too. You are not just another people looking for a job…you are you! And there is no one else like you.

Marketing and Sales Tips for Startups

Starting a business can be overwhelming, to say the least. Because small business owners have to be whatever their small business needs, it can be difficult to master all the nuances that go into sales or marketing. And if you are not a salesperson, to begin with, you face an even bigger challenge.

However, innovative marketing ideas that will set you apart from competitors is essential.

Here are some marketing tips and tricks to help you with your startup or small business:

1.Create Credibility 

Networking and sharing your expertise with others can help you prove your abilities to your community. After establishing your niche, channel your energy into assembling a culture around your business. You can do this by offering an insider’s perspective to those on the outside.

Entrepreneur.com gives a few suggestions on how to achieve this: ” A blog can offer laymen the chance to understand your trade with a new perspective. A webinar or a podcast can help viewers (or listeners) feel like experts in your field. Speaking at an incubator, expo or niche event can put you in the role of the teacher and allow you to share your groundbreaking ideas with an immediate audience.”

These methods will establish a level of credibility in your field, which is more apt to generate interested customers.

 

 

2. Get “Out There” 

Allow with establishing your niche and increasing your credibility, you need to “be everywhere.” You want to be that brand that people notice when they’re walking down the streets.Even if they don’t know what your startup does, they’ll recognize your name.

This means going above and beyond blogging and being active on social media. Although these platforms and services are important, you can do more.

According to Forbes.com, “Some examples would be commissioning a mural on building and covering the streets with chalk, paint or displays. You could also make up bumper stickers and t-shirts and give them to employees or as freebies at events. They may not be the most unusual, but a creative shirt not only lets people have the chance to be different, it will make others want to jump on board – think Zaarly shirts floating around the Bay Area.”

This may seem a little “out there” but if you following the same method as everyone else, you could get lost in the crowd. Don’t be invisible.

Also, help the people discover your content by improving your ranking on Google. Use hyper-targeted keywords to power your social media-based audience. There are many platforms that can help you do this, like Socedo, a social media automation tool, where you can, for example, find Twitter users who post content using your niche keywords and engage with them over time.

It will take a little bit of fight to get noticed but it will be worth the hard work in the end.

3. Listen To Your Customer   

Customers may at times defy logic, but they are usually right. If you want to know what your potential audience wants, you need to pay attention to what they are saying. Review data, interview customer service reps, build a rapport through email, create a survey and, above all, be open and ready to listen.

 

4. People and Places 

It never hurts to pair with an unexpected partner or place to promote your product. A great example of this is, “the time M&M’s were offered a starring role in E.T. The offer was turned down, so the film went with Reese’s Pieces instead. While that hiccup didn’t remove M&M’s from grocery store shelves, it did help make Reese’s Pieces an extremely popular candy.”

A risk is involved with every avenue of business. So don’t be afraid to branch out into the unexpected. You could be rewarded in the end.

5. Engage, Don’t Sell 

As a startup business owner and an entrepreneur, your first inclination will be to push a sale to everyone you meet. However, start with engagement first and sales will follow later.

With social media, it’s easy to engage your target demographic without looking like you’re just trying to advertise. Build brand trust by showing your support, whether of your community or your online following. This goes along with previous steps mentioned in this article. Sales will come after customers are listened to, credibility is established and your presence on various social platforms is recognized. In short, engagement.

Pandora Marketing Tips

As the online and mobile market grows, so do avenues for advertising. Pandora, a music streaming service, offers a number of features to keep listeners happy and connected to their service.

However, as advertisers and marketers, you can use these features to effectively target your audience.

Pandora Features

Pandora plays music for users based on his or her preferences in musical artists. For example, if the user likes Led Zeppelin, they create a “Led Zeppelin” playlist and then Pandora will conclude that the listener wants to listen to classic rock. It will then take this information and play similar artists from that genre. The idea is that the listener will get a variety of music at their fingertips based on their favorite genres and artists.

The playlist is further enhanced by a feature that allows the user to provide positive or negative feedback about each song that the service selects. The system’s algorithm will take that feedback into account when selecting future songs.

These features allow Pandora to fine tune each user’s playlist in an attempt to become the “perfect” radio station.

With 81 million active listeners and almost 5 million subscribers, Pandora is an excellent option in delivering ads to a very specific, highly targeted market.

 

Types of Ads

Pandora is not limited to audio ads as you can run banner and video ads as well. The software can actually determine when the user is interacting with the screen. “This isn’t a difficult feat of engineering in and of itself, but the fact that the company leaders thought it important to determine when users are looking at the screen is a testament to Pandora’s efforts to monetize every aspect of its service.”

Audio

Audio ads expose listeners to your brand. If the user is listening to Pandora’s free service, then he or she can not skip these ads, giving you the opportunity to expose your brand to millions of listeners. And because ads are not allowed to run more than four minutes per hour, listeners will find them less invasive than regular radio.

Banners

Banner ads can help you engage your target market. Since listener are required to input their age, gender and zip code upon signing up for the service, marketers can have access to this information, making it easier to engage the types of listeners that will be interested in their brand. With banners, you have the advantage of creative interesting promotions, offer coupons and other relevant incentives to get potential customers to interact with your website or call center.

Video

There is still an opportunity for video ads as people look at their phones from time to time when Pandora is playing. However, it is advised to keep these ads brief, around 15 seconds. If you choose this options, make these ads entertaining and fresh to keep listeners engaged.

 

Other Facts

Ignite Visibility suggests creating a landing page so that you can track your traffic and click-throughs from the ads. “That way, you’ll know how many people are responding to your Pandora ads and how many of them are becoming paying customers. Use standard Google Analytics URL tagging on that page make sure you associate it with a Pandora campaign.”

Also, ” you need to make sure that you have a solution that tracks and attributes installs to the right partner. Tracking and attribution are complicated, but a deep understanding of how to get it right is crucial for your success,” according to Pandora for Brands.

Advertising on Pandora is affordable for both large and small companies. It costs less than buying a spot with a local radio station. There are approximately seven display ads per hour and two and a half audio ads per hour.

As you can seem between millions of subscribers and its targeting and ad capabilities, Pandora is a great option for your brand.

 

For more information, or how to get your brand set up with Pandora marketing, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us here at Media Partners Worldwide! Send us an email or give us a call! (562) 439-3900

We would love to help your business grow.

 

5 Tips for Improving Your Email Marketing Campaign

Email is one of the most powerful marketing platforms. While serving a number of purposes, its greatest function is the ability to funnel your audience into one place.

According to Entrepreneur.com, “email is so powerful that the Direct Marketing Association says that you can get a return on investment (ROI) of $38 for every $1 you invest in email marketing.”

However, some email marketers end up narrowing their focus, limiting themselves to one goal: click-throughs. While getting the most traffic you can to your site is extremely important, you need to move a step further to keep your audience loyal to your or your brand.

Here are some tips to spruce up your email marketing campaign and keep your audience coming back for more.

1. Keeping Your Audience Informed 

Your first task is to make sure your email strategy is keeping your audience informed with important updates and reminders. This helps your brand stay fresh in the mind of your subscribers, and demonstrates value to them. Just make sure your announcements have real value and are relevant to your audience.

Don’t just send an email out for the heck of it. Stay focused and narrow your scope to contain what your audience will be interested in receiving.

2. Segment Your Email List 

Instead of lumping all your subscribers into one category and one email, try the segmenting approach. This means categorizing your subscribers based on relevant information, such as age, gender, activity to your site, purchase behavior or interests. People like personalization and feeling important as a customer.

According to a study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, “segmenting emails can boost email conversion rates by up to 208 percent.”

3. Timing 

As the saying goes, timing is everything. This goes for email marketing as well. Research shows that there are better times and days to send emails depending on your goals. According to coschedule.com data, the best time to send an email is between 10 and 11 a.m on Mondays during the week and on Sundays for weekends. Additionally, the best day to send emails to high open rates and clickthrough rates is on Tuesday.

Don’t forget about timezones too. Identify where the majority of your target audience is located and adjust your times and days accordingly.

4. Email Automation is Key 

If any of these steps seem overwhelming, remember that most email platforms have email automation. This makes it possible to send emails to different people at different times based on their time zones.

Familiarize yourself with this feature, as it will make your life easier and your audience reach more accessible.

Some email services are now introducing artificial intelligence for email marketing that will do all of this for you. Services such as Sendpulse, Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, and Ontraport, all offer this feature.

5. Social Media Integration 

Though this may seem simple, but a great way to encourage brand loyalty and keep a connection with your audience is integrating your social media into your email strategy.

According to Small Business Trends, “this mode of cross-pollination encourage some of your already-loyal social media followers to subscribe to your email list and encourages some of your interested email subscribers to get more involved on the social media front.” This way you will be encouraging more user participation, thus establishing stronger brand loyalty.

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.