As someone who has worked in just about every industry, there is one thing that I have found to be true across the board no matter what industry you are in…we all hate our jobs at one point or another. Are we all nodding in agreement? I thought so!
Why do we hate our jobs? Great question, but very hard to generally answer as the reasons can vary greatly from one workplace to another. However, I have found that in traditional office settings more flexibility equals happier employees. Meaning, we hate our jobs less if there is more flexibility.
So, what do I mean by flexibility?
- Allowing employees to set their own hours – within reason
- The ability to work remote – if possible
- Taking unpaid time off – if employees are out of PTO, allowing them to take unpaid days off
- Dress code – being flexible with what employees are allowed to wear
- Do not micro manage – checking in is good, however, no one likes to be micromanaged, it makes employees feel undervalued and not trusted
Hey, Employers…Small Changes Make a Big Difference
As employees, we have little control most of the time over office protocol and that is why I am speaking to you employers! Your employees will hate their jobs less if you give them a little flexibility! Don’t you ultimately want happier employees who actually like coming to work? Of course, you do! So, lighten up a bit…For example, if you work in a very conservative environment, give your employees one day a work to dress however they like. This is a small change, but can actually help your employees look forward to coming to work for that casual workday!
Other Small Changes That Increase Employee Happiness
- Take a meeting on the go – get your employees out of the office and mix up the traditional meeting setting
- Show them that you appreciate them – buy them lunch or plan a happy hour on the company’s dollar
- If possible let them work remote – I know that this is not an option for every work environment, but if it is possible, give your employees this option or have them earn it through setting goals for them to achieve
- Give them the option to take an unpaid day off – sometimes employees really need that mental health day, but they are out of PTO – give them the option
Take home message, I know that some employees will be problem children. Meaning, they will do something stupid to ruin it for everyone. However, don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch. Go case by case and give your employees freedom and flexibility they can handle.
When it comes to being a freelance contractor there are tons of benefits which include a flexible schedule, working remote, and much more. However, freelancers tend to become a little too comfortable. What I mean here is, more times than not when I meet with a new freelancer they show up to our meeting looking like they just rolled out of bed. I get that our meeting is not a formal interview by any means, but whether we like it or not our physical appearance is usually the first thing people make an impression on. Honestly, if you look a bit disheveled or a little too casual that is how your work will come across. Not good…
Here are some tips for dressing for success as a freelancer:
- Know your environment – Where are you meeting? This will help you determine what is appropriate to wear.
- Know your audience – Who are you meeting with? If you are meeting with a large client you may want to dress more business casual than if you were to meet with a small local cafe owner.
- Avoid sweats – Anytime you are meeting with a client no matter how big or small, sweats should never be worn.
- Layers – This is one of the greatest tricks ever as a freelancer. When you are casually working at a coffee shop, dress casual, something like jeans and a t-shirt. But be prepared for that afternoon meeting by bringing with a clean ironed button-down shirt, a sweater, and some accessories. After your meeting, you can then get back into casual mode.
- Plan head to toe – That’s right, your footwear matters. Shoes can either dress an outfit down or dress it up.
- Personal hygiene – This seems like a simple one, but you should always smell nice for a meeting as well as look put together with clean styled hair. This includes facial hair as well, groom and trim that beard before your meeting!
- Dress for an interview – When it doubt, dress like you are going for an interview. When you are meeting a client for the first time it is very much like an interview, show your client you care and are professional.
Quality Content – The Future of SEO
While Google continues to change its algorithm, one thing you can rely on moving into 2016 is quality content is king when it comes to being seen online. It has been proven that Google is now recognizing high quality content that is readable and user friendly, so you may find yourself asking, “So what’s the big deal?” Well, the big deal my friends is that creating killer content is more important and of higher value than ever! Because content is so important, your website should be being updated on a weekly basis, at minimum, with fresh, deep, and rich content.
In working with business owners in a number of different industries I have seen the hesitance in owners to pay someone else to write content for them as they feel it’s their business who can honestly talk about it better than them? No one, we agree! However, talking about your business is one thing, writing web friendly SEO optimized content is a completely different ball game. As content becomes increasingly more important when it comes to Google searches I cannot stress to businesses enough to hire a pro to help you construct and implement a content marketing strategy.
The future of SEO is heavily weighted in creating interesting, engaging, and rich content on your website. The trick being with this content is that it still focuses around a keyword/s and is SEO optimized, there is much more that goes into creating meaningful searchable content than just jotting down some thoughts and posting them to your site.
Quality Content It’s Your Choice
When it comes down to creating quality content and increasing online visibility save yourself some time and energy and higher the pros. The great thing about working with us, SMIO Digital Marketing, is we are willing to be as hands on or hands off as needed. What does that mean? This means we can act solely as a supplemental resource to optimize the content you have constructed or we can step in and create a well thought out content marketing strategy and implement it across numerous digital channels.
Have questions? Contact us today: email@example.com
Hiring a Social Media Manager
If you have ever considered hiring an agency or individual to manage your social media, you should first be clear on what it is these professionals do. A good social media manager is an individual that will take over the entire management of your social media accounts creatively discerning how to increase the success rate of your social media platforms. This strategy will be different for everyone. For example, I worked for a boudoir photography studio as there social media manager and I created an online presence which was geared towards women expressing their sensuality. In contrast, I have managed an outdoor recreation company specializing in zip lining and their strategy for gaining an online following was obviously much different. A social media manager should take all the work out of managing your social media platforms for you and you should be able to watch the success of your social media platforms increase as a result.
Quit Wasting Time!
If you are a small business owner, an entrepreneur or just someone who could use help successfully managing your social media, quit wasting time and hire someone to help you. Hiring a social media manager has far more benefits and there are ways in which you can keep the costs relatively low. However, a cautionary note do your homework first! Do not hire the first company or independent contractor you find, this is a mistake. Shop around and check out what is available for social media management services.
Before hiring a social media manager, be sure to ask yourself:
- What is my budget?
- How much time weekly do I want to put into social media?
- How can my business or personal life improve from hiring a social media manager?
- What do I want to accomplish with social media?
Hire a Social Media Manager!
Once you have a clear idea of the answers to these questions, start shopping around! Then after doing your homework, hire someone to do the “dirty work” of social media. Meaning, have a professional successfully manage all of your social media platforms so you don’t have to! Stop wasting time and energy on managing social media and get someone to do it right for you.
Taking The Dirty Work Out of Social Media With a Social Media Manager
Have you ever stopped to think how much actually goes into managing and up keeping a social media page? Well, it is a lot of work, and many of us simply do not realize how much energy it really takes to successfully manage a social media page, even just one page. Too many times have I seen individuals, small businesses, and/or large organizations lazily manage their social media pages and then condemn social media for not working for them. Well….lets pause here for a moment and ask the question, why do you think it is that social media is not working for you? The answer to this question is that you are not putting in the time, effort and strategy it takes to successfully mange a social media page. That is why, organization like SMIO Digital Marketing exists. We are skilled professionals that specialize is managing your social media for you. There are a number of benefits of hiring a social media manager and one of the greatest benefits is that these extremely skilled and creative individuals can help develop your online presence and grow your online community. This is not an easy task, it is definitely the “dirty” work of social media, as it involves being constantly aware of who your audience is, what you are posting, and what your goal is in what you are posting. Whether you realize it or not social media is not simply just mindless posting, there is a vast amount of strategy that goes into the creation, maintenance, and building of successful social media platforms.
Buying a Fan Base
Now, I am well aware fans can easily and inexpensively be bought, but in the long run what are you gaining? Not much really, all you have really gained is the appearance of having a successful page, but with no real engagement or audience reach. I think that buying a fan base is a great way to get your platform started, but with out continually putting in time and effort into your social media sites, it will not matter how many fans you buy. I strongly encourage any small business and/or large business to hire a trained professional to manage their social media sites, as this is a relatively inexpensive and will save you time and energy in the long run. I also guarantee you will see the benefits from hiring a social media professional not only from saving yourself time and energy, but also you will begin to see your social media sites excel.
Social Media Mistakes
So, as a social media professional, one of the biggest mistakes I see small businesses making on their social media sites, is overselling. This is very common social media mistake, as businesses want to push their products, depict how great their prices are, and overall promote what they offer as an organization. However, this is a big “no, no”, you want to come across as a human, not a sales robot! In coming across as a pushy sales person on social media sites you will loose fans and overall interest. Individuals join social networking sites, in general, to build and maintain relationships, connect with other like minded individuals, and in general be social. The last thing your followers want is to feel like you are trying to force feed them a sales pitch. So, it is all about balance. As a business you should have two personailities when it comes to managing your social media sites. Every business/organization should have a personal side and a business side when managing their social networking sites. In order to avoid coming across too “salesy” be sure that you are posting like an individual would. Meaning aim to create posts consisting of:
- Relevant information (articles, other sites, blogs, etc.)
- Sharing information (connect with others through sharing relevant posts.
- Images (these speak louder than words)
- Open ended posts to get users involved.
Bottom line, every thing you post should not directly be about selling your business.
However, as I stated you should have a business side in managing your sites. In having this side, you will keep in mind that even your personalized posts should directly relate to what you are trying to sell/promote. For example, if I own an outdoor recreation business I want all of my content I posts to be related to outdoor recreation. It simply would not make sense, and possibly confuse followers if I began to post content about beauty tips and tricks…So, keep it relevant and keep it personal!
One of the biggest Do’s in the social media world is to provide your consumers with images! Because the social media realm moves so quickly if you as an organization or individual do not provide your consumers with a quick attention getting visual you are sure to get lost in fast paced nature of social media networking. Visuals, therefore, have become extremely important, and I say this because we are the right now generation! We want things now! What I mean by this, is imagine if you are clicking on a webpage and it does not load immediately…what do you do? You find something else! Something quicker, something that will give you immediate results. I think of us, metaphorically, as the generation with SAD (Shortened Attention Disorder). This is my own personal term to describe our generation’s current need for immediate results and the fast paced nature of taking in information. Our attention spans are now shorter and we are more impatient as a result. This is not to say that we can not focus on tasks for long periods of time, we simply choose to get the most information out of the shortest time period possible.
I think a good example of how our attention span has changed is if you think back to dial up internet…can you imagine going back to it? Sitting and waiting for your internet to connect and then if the phone rang you were kicked off…I don’t think so!
This is why it is all the more important for all social media users to realize that this is the way things are now, we want immediate results. Meaning if you do not grab your audience’s attention within 5 seconds or so, you have lost them. I highly recommend carefully thinking about your posts and filling them with attention grabbing images. Now these posts can have text as well, but as human beings we are drawn to aesthetically pleasing visuals, meaning you should attach an image with the text! Also, keep your text short. It is great on a blog if you want to type a document that is 300-500words, but on a social media network like Facebook, that is a big “No No”. Keep it short and sweet! If you decide to write a very long post, chances most viewers will not read it and simply scroll past it as it just takes to much time to read. Be concise, straight forward and to the point. And remember, pictures speak louder than words!
In working in the field that I do, it has occurred to me that numerous people, including myself are making the same social media mistakes over and over without even realizing it. So, today I have decide to compile a basic list of do’s and dont’s of social media usage. Here we go!
Do-Get on Social Media! If you are not already on social media sites, get on them, this is the way we are communicating! Start networking on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, pick your poison!
Don’t-Get on these sites without a goal in mind. Ask yourself, before getting on a social media site, what do I want this site to do for me?
What do I want to get out of this site? What to do I hope to gain from this site? Etc.
Do-Research! Figure out what social networking sites cater to needs. Meaning, after you establish your goals research the background of each site. You should be asking your site why does this site exist? Who does this site cater to? What will I gain from being on this site?
Don’t-Overjoin. What I mean here, is do not overwhelm yourself. Start by joining one or two networks and get a great foundation started and be active on these sites. Get your name out there! There is no point in joining 5-6 sites if you are not going to actively participant in them. In this case, keep with the mentality less is more.
Do-Be consistent! While this point is some what repeating my last don’t, I want to stress how important consistency is. There is no point in creating an account if you are never going to post or connect with other individuals. Take home message, be consistent, create a schedule and stick to it. Meaning, I like to stick with a Facebook schedule of posting once daily, Twitter posting three times daily (because this is a microblogging site and the newsfeed moves so fast), Blogging once daily, and posting on Pinterest 3 times a week (MWF).
Don’t-Overpost, if you are annoyingly posting it is likely other individuals will “unlike”/”unfollow” you. Moderation is the key! Stick to being consistent and develop your own social media schedule!