4 Tips to Avoid Getting Sidetracked

4 Tips to Avoid Getting Sidetracked

Losing focus is a part of the daily business grind. We distract ourselves. Others interrupt us. But there are ways we can get back into the zone.

This past week I’ve been developing building two WordPress sites, developing a logo refresh presentation and pulling together a done-for-you, pre-made content service set (more news on this in the coming months!)

This is how I get sidetracked – I “google” something, get interested and suddenly I’m down a rabbit hole of brainstorming and idea generating.

Does this happen to you? Do you find yourself suddenly obsessed with inventory counts when really you should be reviewing last month’s sales? Or worried about the cleanliness of baseboards when sales calls are begging to be made.

When we become sidetracked the only one we hurt, is, yep, that face in the mirror. So how do we avoid losing focus? Try one of these (hey, I AM blogging right now so they do work).

Give the interruption a future appointment

Sometimes we need a little permission so I am going to give it to both of us right now.

It is okay for us to say “Thanks for your call/visit. I am not able speak with you right now but can we talk/meet at 3pm instead?”

BOOM! We just postponed a distraction.

Plan for distractions and interruptions

If you work in an interruption-rich culture or much of your actual job is putting out “fires”, avoiding interruptions will provide difficult. So plan them into your schedule by blocking time, usually in the morning or at shift changes for interruptions. During this time, float through the office or work on lighter tasks like checking emails, blogs, etc.

Conversely, create do-not-disturb, office hours

Get strict about your time and make it known to friends, family and work colleagues when you cannot be disturbed. Use an actual “do not disturb” sign on your door, physically close your door, hunch down, hide and get to work. Sometimes in the zany, often loud, ad agency, I escaped to another location when writing an important brief. Feel guilty? You can place a sign-up sheet for people that stop by and share when you’ll re-surface for air.

Have a post-it note brainstorm

When tasks seem huge or overly abundant, I take a blank wall, a pad of post-its and pen in hand. I start jotting down actions – one to every post-it. What will be the next action, and the next, and the next. Seeing it all before me keeps me focused. And when an action gets accomplished, that post-it gets pulled down. Making my progress tangible.

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Best Content for Client Retention

Best Content for Client Retention

Given that loyal customers spend 5 – 9 times more than first‐time buyers, neglecting this group is risky.

Clients that have bought from you can also provide valuable insights to help you shape your offering. So, maintaining a relationship could also help you adapt your approach to win more business in the future.

Quick Tip Email Series with Demo Videos

Continuing to educate customers via an email series is a great investment of your time and energy. Set them up by product or product line. Encourage clients to share their feedback, ideas and tips and send those out in future emails. This is also a wonderful way to earn testimonials and product reviews back. Plus, you have a built-in audience who’ll want to hear about upgrades, new products added to your line, etc. I encourage a short video 1-2 minutes for demo’ing some of the features or tips you want to highlight or those that take in visuals more than words. Plus in offers “Face” to the company and improves relations. People buy from people.

Comprehensive User Guides

If you haven’t already develop an online resource center for clients to access materials like in-depth how-to and tip guide for your individual products or service. Combine this effort with the tip above (one full guide of tips broken out into the email series) to help conserve your time and increase your effort.

Customer Thank You with Links

Assume that every client or customer walks out of your store or office with your very important information pieces that never get read beyond this first time. Prepare to send within 3-7 days of their visit a special thank you that includes personal touches, recap of details in the fine print, and links to useful places on your website – maybe that client resource center, FAQs, online customer service, etc. Include an invite to sign up for your educational email series, your client-exclusive webinars, etc.

Email “In Crowd” Newsletter

Be sure your mailing list is segmented with clients and non-customers. This will allow you to send specific email offers and invites to current customers — free upgrade, special discount or conference invitation (many times when you exhibit you’re able to provide free expo-session passes to several people). Always include a promotion of your referral reward program (people tend to forget until the moment they have a person in mind).

Exclusive Client Classes

One of my favorite ways to enhance customer service and provide extra value. A webinar series helps educate plus you can allow customers to take part in Q & A. Three fun ideas: a course around a certain product line; invite an industry guest speaker that few get a chance to hear from; have other clients share their advice/insights on your product or topic.

Case Studies

While a strong case study helps you, it can also help a customer. By providing links back to client’s current site and/or social media it’s a win for them as well for additional linking and attention. Get the clients’ permission of the study; at the same time, request a tesimonial to go along with the case study.

Online Live Support

Great customer service is a rarity these days so it is also now a wonderful way to stand out. According to White House Office of Consumer Affairs, satisfied customers share their experience with 4-6 people, while a dissatisfied customers tell 9-15 people about their negative experience. Implement a live chat support tool onto your site which is more cost effective compared to phone or email support services. Add Twitter responding to your customer service strategy and process for answering questions. Set a policy to respond to all client emails within a few hours. At least this way they know their email was seen and you are working on the issue.

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Instagram and your Marketing Goals: 5 Best Practices

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1. Ensure Images are High Quality.

It’s all about the visuals on Instagram so having high-quality images of a compelling nature are a must. Poor or blurry pics will reduce your chances of being engaged with. Realize your making a first impression on this platform – they are judging a book by its cover, so make your covers exceptional. One way is to limit your word or quote backgrounds to just two varied colors. Keep photo usage to a similar lighting and/or filter treatment.

2. Posting Goal – 2x a Day

As you develop an Instagram content strategy, realize the ideal number of posting is twice a day, every day. Yes, that’s a lot of content. You can be re-posting but then schedule these out 30 posts apart so they don’t both appear in your feed too close together.

3. Remember to Film Video Vertically

Almost three-fourths of all social media time is spent on a mobile device. Which means you want content that looks good taller versus wider. So the next time you are at an event and planning to film something for your Instagram stories, keep your phone filming vertical. According to Mobile Overview Report, vertical videos have nine times higher completion rates by viewers.

4. Make a Serial Story

Ideal for associations and other non-profits, create a series of posts through Instagram Stories to tell one impact story. Stretch over the course of a day or week to keep people engaged and returning. Ideal time is during your cause’s awareness month/week/day when searches are high for the content.

5. #Work those #Hashtags

Unlike Twitter where hashtags are added mid-sentence, Instagram’s preference is all hashtags at bottom of your post. You can utilize industry-related, location-related, goal-related tags to help organize and categorize your posts. While you can include up to 30 hashtags, 4-8 relevant hashtags is preferred (I know many of the celebrity/popular posts seem to use 30 but it’s not really that advantageous for business). Using the right hashtags versus just popular hastags places your content in front of the right people and that’s really the goal.

Bonus: Realize that when someone shares your Instagram content to Facebook, the hashtags go along too.

  Hashtag Finding Resource  

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