it director

5 Core Leadership Skills a Great IT Director Needs

Oct 9, 2018

Being an effective IT director takes more than just knowledge about technology.

Soft skills like leadership and communication take a big role for an IT manager. If they don’t have these skills, they won’t be able to lead a productive team.

But which of these soft skills are the most important?

Take a look at the five core leadership skills every IT manager needs.

1. Adaptability and Continuous Learning

Technology is always changing and advancing. Everything you know about technology might be useful right now, but it will be outdated in a number of years.

Successful IT directors are in a continuous state of learning. You have to keep up with the new developments in the tech field.

On top of that, you have to have the ability to manage both technology and people. You have to understand how the technology you’re using works and lead a team of people to create solutions for that tech.

If you aren’t willing to grow with the technology, you aren’t ready to be an IT director.

2. Team Management Skills

This is a traditional management skill, but it can be challenging for the IT field. IT managers must be able to keep their team motivated and on track in a process that is always evolving.

Keeping the team moving forward with team building exercises give them the trust they need to produce quality project results. Your team members should be able to rely on each other and get a sense of mentoring from you.

The right leader can make the difference between a mediocre team and a productive one.

3. Strong Communication

If a manager doesn’t have strong communication, they won’t have a united team. But one of the biggest parts of effective communication is listening.

An IT manager can’t just sit in their office and send emails or give pep talks. They must listen to their team members, tackle potential problems before they get out of hand, and delegate accordingly.

The best way to do this is by socializing with your team. Open door policies in the office make team members feel welcome and appreciated. It’ll also encourage interaction and feedback from your team.

4. Decision-Making Capacity

An IT manager might not be in charge of the entire company, but they have to be able to make thought-out decisions for their team. This requires a certain level of scrutiny.

For example, before you can buy the necessary tech equipment, you have to study data and weight the risk. You have to do the same with team actions.

And when it comes to technology, time is always against you.

The actions of the IT department can affect the rest of the business. Restarting a single system can make a negative impact on sales or reputation. You must be able to evaluate these types of decisions and pick the best course of action.

5. Goal Targeting

Meeting goals can be challenging for any manager, but it gets even more difficult for IT directors. Remember, technology is constantly changing, and IT managers have to account for that.

This field used to thrive on five years plans. But five years takes too long now.

You have to reach your goals quickly. Many IT goals, such as hardware refreshes, must be accomplished in under three years. IT directors have to drive a motivated team to reach goals faster than other industries.

The Five Core Leadership Goals of an IT Director

Being adaptable, having good team management skills, creating strong communication, making difficult decisions, and being able to meet goals are some of the most important qualities of an IT director. An IT manager that doesn’t have these skillsets won’t be able to lead an effective IT team.

Hope to work in the IT industry manager someday? This guide will teach you how to become an IT entrepreneur without knowing anything.

conference speaker

What to Look for in a Conference Speaker for Your Next Conference

Oct 8, 2018

 

Are you looking for the best speakers for your next big conference?

If this is your first event, you should carefully choose the people that’ll represent your message and vision. The quality of the speakers can make or break your event. If you have a good selection, you’ll attract more attendees to fill up the seats.

Start by researching your audience’s needs. Go to potential speakers’ websites, social media channels, and videos to see how they deliver. Then, you can narrow down your choices.

Though quality speakers can be more expensive than less-known names, consider them a worthwhile investment.

Check out the tips below to understand what it takes to be a conference speaker and how to hire the best ones in the field.

Are They Experts in Their Field?

This one is a given, but your speakers have to know what they’re talking about beyond their script.

They should be experts in their field, with useful and valuable advice and knowledge the audience can apply in real life.

Do your research before you hire a speaker to see if they’re an authority in their profession.

Are They and Their Content Authentic?

In this digital era where everything is available for free, it’s important to have authentic speakers.

You need to deliver extra value to your audience and give them something they can’t find online or in books. This is where your speakers have to do the work and provide original content.

Nobody would pay an expensive ticket to listen to a speech already available on YouTube. Your speakers should adjust and adapt the content to your audience and without repeating themselves too much.

Do They Truly Want to Help the Audience?

Many conference organizers go out of their way to book internationally famous speakers because they think it’ll sell more tickets.

This is not always true. The speakers you hire should be willing to spread the word about the conference and actually be happy to be there. If the performance is just another job for them, you’ll be facing an unhappy audience and bad reputation.

The people attending are there to find a solution to a problem. If the speaker isn’t willing to engage with the audience and help them out, they’re not a good fit.

Are They Flexible and Reliable?

Organizing a conference takes a lot of work and your speakers are the highlight of this work. They should understand the effort it takes to host them and not be too demanding.

Some speakers are humble and don’t ask for too much but others can be complete divas. If they want special treatment or luxury accommodations, steer clear of them. They’ll end up costing you more than they’re worth. You should also make sure they don’t cancel days or hours before the conference.

Now You Know What to Look for in a Conference Speaker

Hiring a conference speaker for your next event can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

These tips will help you figure out what qualities your speakers should have in order to get on the stage and interact with the attendants.

They have to be knowledgeable about their topic, prepare a concise, yet impactful speech and wow the audience.

For more tips on how to organize a conference with the best speakers in the world, visit my blog. Or if you have any questions or would like to hire me to speak at your event, contact me today!

startup hire

How Entrepreneurs and Startups Hire Their First Employee

Oct 2, 2018

With a massive 90% of startups folding, even getting to the point where you think you need to take someone new on board is a milestone. But recruiting someone to join your venture can be risky, so here’s our guide to your very first startup hire.

We’ll look at the legal, practical and personal issues involved to help guide you to the right decision that will take your company to the next level.

Preparing for your Startup Hire

The Legal Side

Before you start looking for the right person, make sure that you understand all the legal implications and responsibilities of taking someone on. You’ll need to make sure that you don’t fall foul of any labor laws, or equal opportunities legislation.

You will also need to let the IRS know that you have taken on a new hire, and ensure that you complete the necessary paperwork. There are taxes that you, as the employer, need to pay and information that you need to give the IRS on a regular basis.

The Role

Knowing exactly what you want your hire to do, will help you know what to look for. Working in startups tends to mean a broader job description than most roles, you want someone who will be able to pitch in and help in multiple areas.

Once you’ve determined what you want from hiring your first employee, you can work on what needs to be included in the contract of employment.

Finding the Right Person

You have three options for startup hiring. You can advertise your vacancy yourself, you can use an agency, or you can use word of mouth. Which you choose, will depend on the time:money ratio that you have available.

We’ve talked before about recruitment strategies, but one thing to keep in mind is that trusting on instinct, or other people’s opinions, isn’t the best way to screen potential staff.

Make sure that you take up references, carry out aptitude testing, and look into drugs testing, background checks and more if they will be appropriate for your business. Hire in haste, repent at leisure.

Onboarding

When you’ve found the right person, you need to think about how you’re going to make them a useful part of the team. Onboarding is a vital step in hiring a new employee. What do they need to know in order to be useful as soon as possible? Try and avoid having them start with nothing to do, no computer, phone or desk.

Don’t Delay

Don’t be one of those bosses who wish they’d hired people months before they actually did. The average time it takes to hire someone is now almost three weeks and if this is your first hire then there’s a good chance it will take longer.

If you’re thinking about hiring at some point in the near future, then it’s worth starting the process now. Your first startup hire is one of the best ways to expand your business, giving you more capacity to get your work done.

For more news on entrepreneurship, business, marketing and more then check out the other articles on our blog today!

what is an entrepreneur

What is an Entrepreneur? A Complete Guide

Jun 15, 2018

People use the word ‘entrepreneur’ all the time. But what is an entrepreneur?

It’s often used without even thinking about what we mean.

Most people can agree that it has something to do with business and being innovative. But after that, it’s probably quite difficult to find any consensus.

If you want to find out more about what entrepreneurship is, check out our complete guide.

What is an Entrepreneur?

The word ‘entrepreneur’ is originally French.

It was first used by the economist, Jean-Baptiste Say in 1803. He chose to define entrepreneurial as someone who “shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield”.

But nowadays it’s often associated with the tech-savvy people in Silicon Valley. It retains its market disrupting origins though.

However, entrepreneurs are not exclusively from the tech industry. The modern-day entrepreneur wants to change the world and solve problems.

Most of the time this is through business, such as the invention of a new product that transforms our lives.

But what are the characteristics of someone who is entrepreneurial today?

What Does it Mean to Be an Entrepreneur?

Let’s take a look at some of the most important characteristics that contribute to making someone an entrepreneur.

1. Be Passionate About What They Do

Most entrepreneurs have a deep passion for what they do.

They believe in the power of business to transform the world. Rather than simply as a way to make money.

They wake up in the morning with fresh ideas and a drive to achieve their goals for the day.

2. Determination to Achieve

Many people assume that entrepreneurs are just lucky because everything always goes well for them. But many successful entrepreneurs underwent many challenges and problems along the way.

Obstacles are simply part of life. The important thing is how you react to events. You need to pull yourself up again and keep going. Entrepreneurs are determined when faced with anything.

3. Resourceful and Inventive

Most entrepreneurs start out with limited resources. It’s important to make the most of what you already have.

This means taking advantage of your network and connections. Make use of the skills and knowledge you already have while gaining new skills.

4. Open to New Ideas

Entrepreneurs often have amazing ideas. But it’s the ability to be open to another people’s ideas that really makes someone stand out. You have to be able to identify when someone has a better idea than you do.

Entrepreneurs can’t afford to get hung up on a particular idea. Instead, they recognize that there is a market of ideas out there, it’s important to select the best one.

5. Fast Learner

There are no two ways about it, entrepreneurs are smart people. They can learn things really fast.

Entrepreneurs learn as much as they can from the people around them. Their minds work like sponges, soaking all the information and wisdom up from the people around them.

Become an Entrepreneur

Now you know the answer to what is an entrepreneur?

It’s time to decide whether you think you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur? Do you identify with the above characteristics of entrepreneurship?

To find out more about entrepreneurship, check out our other blog posts on this topic and much more.

international speaker

How to Become a High-Paid International Speaker

Jun 8, 2018

Public speaking is the most common fear in the United States. However, If you’re the type who’s capable of speaking your mind without becoming overly stressed or embarrassed, then public speaking can be a great opportunity.

This is especially true if you have a great story to tell and a great way to tell it. Of course, there’s more to being an international speaker than that, and we’ll go into more detail below.

Find the Message

Before you can become a motivational speaker, you’ll have to look through the story you want to tell and find what it’s about. Sure, on some level you know what the story is about, but look deeper.

What messages are hidden there? What lessons can be learned from the story? Ideally, you’ll need to be able to boil this all down to one sentence and don’t just use an old adage. Come up with something original.

Finally, that lesson has to come with dedication. If you don’t firmly believe in what you’re saying, nobody else will, either.

Stay Positive

It doesn’t matter where you come from, whether you are an abuse survivor, a former drug addict, an ex-con, or a disabled veteran, you all have one thing in common–nobody wants to listen to you complain for an hour.

Sure, you’ve been through some horribly traumatic things, and your story is bound to be inspirational, but it’s all about the delivery. It’s perfectly fine to be somewhat dramatic, and you should definitely emphasize the importance of the issue you faced, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

Learn to laugh at things. Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it’s definitely the best therapy. Think back to a bad day, some of the worst days of your life even. You probably used humor to get through it or use humor now to keep from dwelling on it, or to help cope with it.

Start for Free

If you want to get into this business, you’ll have to offer your first speeches for free. This may seem counter-productive, but it’s necessary when you’re starting out.

Nobody is going to spend money on an unknown. It’s just a bad investment. They’ll gladly try out a speaker if it costs them nothing, and that’s how you get your foot in the door.

Once you’ve done a few free speeches, you can get reviews and testimonials from some of your clients, and that’s how you get a reputation for being a good speaker. That, ultimately, is what will make people willing to pay for you.

The Road to Becoming an International Speaker

Becoming an international speaker isn’t as complicated as it may seem. You essentially just need a good speech and message, and a good way to market them. You’ll need to start from the bottom, working as a volunteer, but soon people will begin to recognize you and vouch for you, and that’s where the paid gigs will start coming in.

If you want to learn more about how public speakers work or how to become a better one, please visit our site. If you want to hire an international speaker, and an awesome one at that, please consider Rafferty Pendery. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

rafferty pendery

So, Who Is Rafferty Pendery?

Jun 1, 2018

Rafferty Pendery is an impressive example of someone who has spread his message over the world and succeeded in business while doing it.

He is known for working in the website design, marketing, business development, and public speaking industries. He has a wide variety of business interests that we’ll discuss in this article.

Who is Rafferty Pendery?

We’ll go over some of Rafferty’s strong points, successes, and value in the business market. He is a successful entrepreneur that has a lot to offer in the way of vision, management, and business development.

How He Started

Rafferty did not start out in a wealthy family. His family instilled the values of dedication and effort that have carried with him throughout his life.

He started his career with the idea of creating a skateboarding clothing company. At the age of 11, he coordinated a designer and printer, selling 100 shirts at 25 dollars a piece.

His first business venture was a success, and he later went on to school and enter the business world. His interest in a clothing company carried into his adult life, and he soon realized that he needed to create a website to push his business.

He created the company Studio98 while he was learning to create his own website. This company now works in the web design and business development realm.

He focused on building an organization rather than working for himself. Realizing that the most intelligent thing to do in business is to work collaboratively, he utilized the fact that there are talented individuals out there willing and ready to produce great work.

Many entrepreneurs have the idea that their work is simply their own. Turning over responsibilities to others is integral to business growth. There comes a point when an individual can only do so much, and their responsibilities begin to bottleneck.

Achievements

Rafferty has earned a position at the top of his own organization with staff, designers, and developers working under him.

He has the honor of speaking with business owners around the world. His ideas of vision and business management have inspired numerous business owners to change their thinking of how to operate a business.

His branding work has benefited numerous big-name companies. Time Warner, Humana, Red Bull, and NASA are just a few of those names.

What He Does For Business Owners

The primary benefit that Rafferty Pendery gives business owners is insight into his vision. He promotes the idea that there is an art to envisioning, beginning, and diversifying a business. Heuristics on division of labor, brand management, and progress are just a few of the things that his lectures offer.

For example, most people don’t recognize that growth requires a business owner to adjust their previous ideas. Things like training, branding, and organization require consistent refinement as a business develops new needs and protocol.

As something like training becomes more streamlined, business owners find themselves with more free time to move forward in their personal lives.

It’s an exhilarating, confusing feeling to be comfortable with the fact that your business has been built in a way that allows it to function on its own, under the thumb of your employees.

This allows the owner to direct attention to new, further reaches of their business’ potential.

Find Out What Rafferty Has to Offer

This article scratches the surface, but there is a lot more that Rafferty Pendery has to offer. There is a lot to learn by exploring the web and doing a little more research on his business coaching and international speaking.

If you’re interested in Rafferty’s work or would like to get in touch with him, check out his site and reach out.

tech entrepreneur

How to Become a Tech Entrepreneur, Even If You Don’t Know Anything

May 25, 2018

With nearly $50 billion in investment capital being devoted to startups every year, there’s money out there for every kind of wild idea. If you love the tech industry, you might be interested in becoming a tech entrepreneur. Fortunately for investors without a computer science degree, don’t even have to know how to code to get involved.

If you’re excited to get involved with the tech world, follow these 4 tips to get started with your new project.

1. Find Your Niche

Finding your niche is essential to knowing what kind of project you want to put your time into. While you might be told about a million dollar idea, if you aren’t passionate about it, every day will be a slog.

You’re better off sinking your time into something that might be less lucrative but will feel more rewarding.

If you care about health and wellness, work on something related to that industry. While you could make more money on a tech-savvy solution to cryptocurrency trading, if that’s not exciting to you, it’sn not worth your time.

2. Think About Your Investment Potential

Whether you’re talking about time or money, you need to be realistic about what kinds of resources you can commit to this new project. Being a tech entrepreneur isn’t all glamorously rewarding. Much of it will entail serious focus, long nights planning and rewriting proposals, with the endless drafting of emails and presentations.

If you end up neglecting your family or other work commitments, it’s not worth the investment. If you end up having to refinance your home to keep the company afloat, you should seek out other ways to get in the tech world.

3. Look For Mentors

No one should navigate the tech world alone. You don’t need to waste time trying to reinvent the wheel or repeat someone else’s mistakes. A mentor can help to guide you through the minefield of being an entrepreneur and help you get a leg up.

Mentors should be people who you respect and look up to. They should be people who can give you harsh criticism that you respect and will take honestly. They should also be able to speak honestly without being hurtful or obstructing your desire to create.

4. Seek Out Talent

Once you’re sure of the kind of project you’re looking to get involved in, you need to figure out how to find talent. Finding talented people is essential to building a great product.

You don’t need to know what good code looks like but you need to know what it’s like to speak with a good coder.

A Savvy Tech Entrepreneur Needs Balance

Even the best tech entrepreneur knows when to invest their time and when to pull back. You need to give the people you work with time to make mistakes and also the room to experiment. Every great project goes through a process of trial and error.

If you’re working on building your new entrepreneurial marketing plan, check out our guide to make sure yours is a hit.

recruitment strategies

Top 5 Successful Recruitment Strategies to Expand Your Business

May 22, 2018

When it comes time to expand your business, it can be very exciting. However, it can also be easy to get wrong. It’s important that you’re only bringing the very best people into your company. They need to be able to fit into your overall vision and long-term plan.

While there are many ways to recruit new candidates for your company, not all of them are effective. It takes some persistence and a willingness to try new strategies to ensure you’re getting the best person for the job every time.

Below we’ll look at the top 5 recruitment strategies that every entrepreneur needs to know about to expand their business.

1. Recruiting Agencies

Recruiting agencies can be a great option for filling new positions and come with a lot of benefits over other options. Agencies can take a lot of weight off of your shoulders and are a great choice if you don’t have the time or resources to look for new talent on your own.

Agencies also have access to a big pool of potential job seekers. Whether you’re looking for a great accountant or a social media specialist, chances a recruiting agency will be able to help you find what you’re looking for.

Another advantage is that agencies can also help fill positions very quickly, and will often have people immediately available for an interview.

2. Online Job Boards

As long as you make sure to choose the most effective online job boards and websites, they can be a great way to find job seekers and fill just about any type of position.

Using job boards can be both simple and cost-effective. The best job boards are easy to navigate and get plenty of traffic. There is also usually a very easy and simple application process that will allow you to screen the best people with as little effort as possible on your part.

While there are both free and paid job boards, sometimes it can be worth it to pay a small fee to post on the best boards and find the most relevant candidates.

3. Hiring Events

Attending or creating a job event can take a bit more effort than simply posting to an online job board. However, they’re often well worth it for entrepreneurs and tech startups who really want to find the best people.

Going to hiring events can be one of the best recruiting techniques because you’ll be able to meet with potential candidates face-to-face. You’ll immediately get an idea of their background, their experience, and their overall personality and be able to discuss what your company can offer them.

When attending hiring events, you’ll also usually get access to some pretty high-quality candidates, many that will have been screened beforehand.

4. Campus Recruitment

Hiring college graduates straight off of a college campus can also be a good recruiting strategy. Many companies prioritize this strategy, and for good reason.

Campus recruiting can be a great option because you’ll have access to a nice selection of candidates who are highly educated. They’ll also usually be more than eager for a new opportunity.

Recruiting from college graduates can also save your company time and energy. You’ll be going straight to campus and will have access to many potential employes all in one location.

5. Employee Referrals

An employee referral program can also be one of the best creative recruiting strategies and is a good option for finding new candidates. You’ll be relying on the word of your current employees to find the best ones, so they’ll often be very high-quality and these candidates often work out very well.

Because you’ll be trusting your the opinion and recommendations of your employees, it can also help to create a greater sense of loyalty to your company. Referral recruiting can also be cost-effective and is an easy way to get new people for your team without much legwork on your part.

Making the Most of These Recruitment Strategies

By taking the time to consider a few alternative recruitment strategies and techniques, you’ll have a good chance of creating a great team of people who can help you achieve your overall entrepreneurial vision.

However, it’s still important to vet your candidates well, no matter where you find them, to ensure you always make the right hiring decision.

Have questions or comments? Ready to get in touch? Contact me today to learn more about what I can do for you and your business.

International Speakers

5 Reasons Why International Speakers Inspire and Motivate Your Team

May 18, 2018

A recent study released by Gallup found that 51% of Americans are disengaged and unhappy at work.

That figure represents a massive problem for companies. After all, disengagement in the workplace is perhaps the number one detriment to productivity. It also means that your employees are likely doing nothing to try and improve processes which allows for your company to scale.

Bottom line, disengagement and distaste in a workforce mean people just going through the motions. And your workforce just going through the motions means your company is falling behind.

How then, can employers reinvigorate their staff?

One of the key methods people are turning to is hiring a motivational international speaker. International speakers are world renowned for giving speeches that inspire and get listeners back on track to being their best.

Below are 5 reasons why your company should consider investing in one.

1) Boost Fun and Energy

If your team seems like they’re stuck in a rut, a motivational international speaker may be able to help them out of it. Motivational speakers can help your employees have more faith in their abilities. They can help them visualize the amount of success they can have if they invest themselves every day in the workplace.

A motivational speaker will instill confidence in your workforce in a way that brings fun back into the office.

2) Alter Perceptions

When employees hear the same mission statement from their managers day in and day out, they often become numb to the message. A motivational speaker can flip those messages on their head and make consuming them feel exciting again.

When coming at them from a different angle, messages that felt monotonous will feel like opportunities.

3) Bring in New Ideas

A company is only as good as the ideas flowing through it. Motivational speakers can offer a perspective from other places they’ve worked within similar business niches.

They can ask questions of employees, challenge workflows, and help your team do critical, breakthrough inducing thinking.

4) Solidify Your Company’s Vision

When you or a manager is directing a group on a daily basis, it can be hard for employees to buy into “the vision” after a while. This goes back to that numbing mentioned earlier.

When a vivacious, eloquent new person comes in and repeats your messages, this leads to validity. Not only are people going to be engaged and listen to the motivational speaker you bring in but when s/he validates the direction your group is headed in, employees will buy into your company vision like never before.

5) Show You Care

Many workplaces suffer from not investing enough in their employees. This approach is sometimes due to having poor long-term vision. It can also be a byproduct of trying to cut costs.

Whatever the reason, not showing your employees that you’re invested in them will cost your business in the long run.

Getting a motivational guest speaker at an event for your business will show employees that your company has a culture that cares. It shows that you not only want them to succeed at what they’re doing today but are invested in their future dreams and professional development.

That investment will go a long way for your business.

Wrapping up the Benefits of Hiring a Motivational International Speaker

Hiring a renowned international speaker that specializes in motivating employees can bring a lot of benefits to your organization. Chiefly, it can reinvigorate your staff and help them buy back into your company’s vision.

That buy-in means a higher likelihood of getting the most out of your workforce on a daily basis.

For more information on how to get the most out of your employees and tools to solve other business problems, read more on the Rafferty Pendery blog.

branding tools

Top 3 Branding Tools Every Entrepreneur Needs to Use

May 15, 2018

Having a great brand is essential to the survival of your company. A brand gives your company an identity that will carry your reputation as a business.

Creating a brand can be difficult, especially if you’re not the creative type. But fear not because there are some amazing services you can utilize that will make the process much easier for you.

With the right tools, you can turn your brand into an industry icon.

In this blog, I’ll discuss the best branding tools you can leverage to give your company the ultimate brand.

Best Branding Tools

Having a strong brand means that your company will be easily recognizable and have a reputation attached to the brand.

Here are the top three best branding tools that every entrepreneur should be using to have the best brand identity for their company.

1. Canva

This service is fantastic for people who want to seem like they know how to create some incredible graphic designs, but actually, have no prior experience in graphics.

Canva basically does everything for you. If you want to create a twitter header that shows off your company’s brand, Canva can do it.

This service provides a ton of templates, so you just need to put in the information and Canva will do all the graphic design work.

Once you’ve found a template that best represents your brand, you can use this for all your social media platforms and on your website.

Best of all, it’s completely free, so you don’t have to worry about spending any extra cash on developing your brand when using this service.

2. Brandmark

The most recognizable part of your brand is going to be your logo. You need a logo that stands out and is unique, so when people see it; they know they are seeing your company.

Brandmark will help you design a logo, and will also create a website that’s built around the design of your logo, so it all looks uniform and organized.

It works by using a few keywords (provided by you) and will design logos based on those keywords. It will keep producing different logos until you find the perfect one for your company.

3. Business Blog

Having a great logo and attractive website is a fantastic way to have a visually appealing brand.

But creating a strong brand isn’t just about having a recognizable logo or style. You need to have a reputation attached to the style for it to mean anything to customers.

One way to do this is to create a business blog on your website. This helps to provide expert information on services and products related to your business.

This will not only give your website more credibility but will also attract new customers to your page. Plus, you can establish yourself as an authoritative source of information.

For More Information

If you are starting a new business and in the process of developing your brand, it’s important to utilize different branding tools.

If you want to create the best brand for your business, contact me today for more information on how to brand your business. You can consult me about social media, online PR, and marketing, organization, and expansion strategies.

Public Speaking Quirks

9 Public Speaking Quirks You Should Avoid at Speaking Engagements

May 11, 2018

Bad public speaking habits can absolutely derail even the most professional speaker. Make sure you’re in the clear by knowing what to avoid.

Here are nine of the biggest public speaking quirks you’ll want to steer clear of during your next presentation.

1. Reading Directly From Your Slides

You were probably able to get away with this during your school days, but you’re a professional now. There’s no reason why you should read directly from your slides.

Not only does it waste your audience’s time, but it makes you come across as if you didn’t bother to prepare.

2. Failing to Properly Message Your Speech

Even if you’ve never delivered a public speech in your life, you probably understand the importance of targeting a speech to one’s audience.

Every speech has an audience, no matter how casual or formal. Establishing your audience helps you establish your tone during the writing process.

3. Over Gesticulating

Pay close attention if you’re someone who tends to speak with their hands. Overly gesticulating is problematic, as it distracts the audience from your speech.

Hand signals in and of themselves aren’t bad, but make sure you don’t let your hands do all the talking.

4. Fidgeting

It’s common to feel nervous before giving a speech, even if you’re only addressing a small number of people.

Nervous quirks like hand-wringing, foot tapping, and pen clicking lessen the impact of your message.

Instead of your great ideas, all the audience will be able to focus on is how nervous you seem.

5. Talking Down to Your Audience

Nobody likes a know-it-all. Ineffective public speaking occurs because a speaker doesn’t understand how to properly address his or her audience.

It’s important that you come across as professional by including data-driven facts but don’t appear pompous. Smile, make eye contact and keep a friendly demeanor.

6. Appearing Too Casual

Certain entrepreneurs, such as Steve Jobs, could get away with wearing something simple like a black turtleneck sweater and jeans.

You’re not quite at that level yet.

It’s important to dress the part of a professional, so skip the casual wear in favor of a nice suit jacket or blazer.

7. Turning Your Back to Your Audience

Turning your back on your audience is just as unforgivable as reading from your slides. Even if you can recite your presentation word for word, turning your back makes you harder to hear.

If this is one of the bad public speaking habits you’re guilty of, keep a copy of your presentation near you at the front of the stage or table.

8. Fluctuating Your Volume and Pacing

A monotone speaker is a surefire way to put your audience to sleep. But don’t get so caught up in your own nervous quirks that you inadvertently raise and lower the volume of your voice every other word.

Try and keep a natural, consistent pace. Think of your speech not as a monologue, but as a conversation.

9. Creating a Lackluster Ending

As you begin to wrap up your speech, make sure you close on a big point. A lackluster ending can be awkward, as the audience may not realize you’ve finished.

Avoid These Public Speaking Quirks to Improve Your Next Speech

What do you think? Did you notice any public speaking quirks on our list that you’re guilty of?

If so, it’s not the end of the world. Keep at it and you’re sure to be a better public speaker in no time.

Looking for more tips on public speaking? I’ve given speeches around the globe and would be happy to talk with you. Get in touch with me today and I’ll return your message as soon as I can.

entrepreneurial marketing

How to Dominate Your Entrepreneurial Marketing Plan

May 8, 2018

It’s never been easier to launch a business.

The amount of resources available to entrepreneurs is unparalleled. The ability to reach your audience is literally at your finger tips, thanks to the democratizing effects of social media.

It’s also never been easier to be lost in a crowd. Despite the quality of your work, the professionalism of your services, that same social network that offers you opportunity can easily overwhelm your voice, casting you into the depths.

What’s needed then, to stay afloat, is the right approach: a plan of action that parts the waves.

What you need is an entrepreneurial marketing plan.

Keep reading to learn the core concepts your business needs to follow to succeed.

Be Flexible

There was a time where you could schedule out a full-year plan. Quarterly assessments would allow for adjustments, but you were essentially on a long-term plan.

Our world moves faster than that.

Any strategies you implement need to be assessed regularly and adjusted as necessary. You can’t afford to commit to a long-term plan that isn’t working. The market is too competitive.

How do you know if an approach works? Try it. Results can be monitored in real-time, offering the data you need to evaluate your approach.

Not everything you try will work, and that’s okay. Failing is how we learn what succeeds. The difference is being able to adjust.

It’s All About the Customer Experience

The best product in the world can fail if an inferior product offers a better experience.

Humankind is funny. We’ll often choose what’s easy at the sacrifice of what’s better. Fast food is often less nutritious than a home cooked meal, but a billion burgers sold is its own argument.

That’s not to say that you should produce anything other than your best. Instead, it’s to remind you that it’s the experience of the customer that will determine what succeeds and what doesn’t.

Know Your Strengths

There are a several platforms to have a presence on, but that doesn’t mean you should be on all of them.

Choose the platforms that a) you’re comfortable with, and b) make sense for your brand.

It’s better to dominate your entrepreneurial marketing on just a few platforms, than to be a less cohesive presence on multiple platforms.

Customers can pick up on insincerity. If you come across as trying too hard, you’ll turn off both existing and potential customers.

That being said, if there’s an area you know where your market is, but you lack the necessary know-how or skills, hire someone to do it for you.

Don’t waste your time on what you’re not good at. Your time is too valuable. Assess whether it’s worth the effort, and, if it is, get someone with the right strengths to execute it for you.

A Last Word On Entrepreneurial Marketing

There are a million fine details when it comes to marketing your business. Thousands and thousands of words have been spilled recommending specific approaches and angles to take.

However, simply adopting the above concepts and practicing them regularly will allow you to dominate your entrepreneurial marketing strategy, allowing your business to succeed.

For more information regarding entrepreneurship, check out the rest of the blog.