I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I love how easy it is to do this and that, and be constantly connected to everything at my fingertips. I love that technology gives me the ability to do my work from anywhere. I love that within a few minutes, I can reach out to hundreds or thousands of people all at the same time across multiple channels. I, however, hate what technology is doing to business communication.
Fifteen years ago, if you wanted to “talk business,” you had a few options: write them, call them, email them, or talk to them in person. Most business communication was clear: if the need was immediate, you’d track someone down or give them a call; less immediate, then you’d write an email or letter.
Now, you have dozens of ways to communicate with clients, coworkers, or the community-at-large, and inside all of this noise, communication has become…less. Less formal. Less documented. Less structured. Less professional. Less personal. At any time, you can Tweet, Snap, Scope, Slack chat, text, or Facetime someone. At any time, you can switch from one established method to the other, communicating with your audience from platform to platform.
Businesses are having a harder time communicating effectively with employees, customers, and divisions. With each new and growing business, communication becomes more and more inefficient.
I have a confession to make: I do not set limits with clients on how to communicate with me, even though I feel like I need to. As a coach/consultant, I like to think that I’m accessible to anyone throughout my workday. I think that needs to change — for myself and my business — and for yours. Limits on how to communicate help to weed out issues and designate importance. Limits on how to communicate makes it easier to follow-up or remember where information you receive comes from. There have been many times where a client will text me a link or a phone number instead of emailing it. I have received numerous Facebook and Twitter direct messages containing an answer to a question that originated in email. And I am completely to blame for not teaching my clients how to communicate with me.
How do we break through the noise of constant communication?
Does your company need help with organization, productivity, or streamlining communications? Contact me here!
Originally posted on www.startupwithnicole.com on August 25th, 2015.
Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.
Several years ago, I started my first day as a new temp job as a receptionist for a Japanese automotive company in Metro Detroit. The learning curve was huge — my work experience at that point was limited to child care and fast food. This was my first “big girl” job, and I wanted to be great — even though I knew it was “temporary.” I had to learn who worked in what department and what paperwork and phone calls went where.
But one thing was noticeably missing: a Marketing Department.
I brought this to my superior’s attention, wondering out loud if the marketing was handled from the corporate office in Japan, when he said something that stuck with me: “There is no marketing department. Marketing is everyone’s job.”
Marketing is everyone’s job.
After nearly a year working there, that is what stuck with me. It stuck with me when I left that job to take a job in a marketing department for an architecture firm. It stuck with me when I changed my college major to marketing. It stuck with me when I decided to start my own company and focused my business on marketing. It sticks with me today as I coach start-up businesses or help businesses in crisis — marketing isn’t just the job of a single department — it is everyone’s job.
There has been a lot of coverage across the internet about the importance of having the right business values and mission statements. One thing that seems to astound me is the lack of marketing goals company-wide in these statements. When a company builds this idea into the basis of their company, everyone owns it. When it’s shown more than it is said, the company is successful.
In today’s world, where buyers have made 60% of their decision prior to talking to a sales representative, businesses need to be more aware of how their company is perceived. If a potential client finds out about your company from a file clerk, you want their experience to be positive enough that they consider your company. When they Google you and come across the VP’s LinkedIn page, you want them to feel the company. Your Twitter postings should fit the values, mission, and marketing plan. This idea is less about marketing to your customers, and more about building brand recognition through every employee.
How do we move forward?
Marketing departments are still necessary for developing and implementing the marketing plans for the success of the company. Web, print, social media, trade shows, networking — all of these are still vital for a company to succeed, but the voice of the company, the culture, the persona recognition — these should be owned by everyone.
How do you incorporate marketing in your company?
Would you consider taking a holistic approach to marketing?
This article was originally posted on LinkedIn on August 12th, 2014.
Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicoleroyer
Accountability. No one wants to hold themselves accountable, but everyone else should be. And you are the only one who can pave your way to success…or failure.
So why aren’t you holding yourself accountable for your own success?
There are 4 fears that cause a lack of accountability:
Fear of failure –Are you so afraid of failure that you cannot hold yourself responsible or liable for your own actions? Do you lack trust or faith in yourself? Fear of failure is a deep imbedded, nagging thought that can stop us before we even start a task.
Fear of success –Some of us are afraid of what would happen if we are successful. Will we be able to keep up with family obligations? How about a social life? Will you be more scrutinized if you find success? Fear of success is just as debilitating as fear of failure.
Fear of being thought of as a fraud –Impostor Syndrome impedes success. The fear of being seen as not qualified enough by others, or not feeling like you know enough yourself can cause stagnancy. Even when you have an MBA and 12 years experience, you can feel like you aren’t enough of an ‘expert.’
Fear of not being taken seriously –Ideas and products die before they are even launched due to the fear that others won’t understand or see value. People are afraid to talk about their business plans or ideas, thinking that they’ll be laughed at or ridiculed.
And all of these fears can be cured by one important resource: your business coach.
A business coach listens. A business coach leads. A business coach gets you from the current level, to the next, by teaching you to hold yourself accountable.
Clearing the 4 fears: failure, success, Impostor Syndrome, or not being taken seriously, all happen with the right coach. There will be a future post about finding a business coach and what other added benefits they add, but for now understand that before you start that next business, launch your next product, or decide to jump ship from a corporate life to an entrepreneurial one, check in with your coach.
Success is waiting — and it’s not terrifying. It’s attainable. Build your support network, and include a coach!
This article was originally posted on www.startupwithnicole.com on August 4th, 2015.
How many steps does it take from pen to paper to publication?
One? A few? Too many?
I have a confession.
I edit my content…to death. I pre-write, then I write, then I edit, then I edit again, and again, then I pass it off to someone else, then I edit again and then, maybe, it’s done. This whole process happens in normally a day, two tops. Or, at least I used to. Then I got smart.
I heard some great advice in a podcast (The Solopreneur Hour #117) that if you want to be a better public speaker, you should study comedians. While I use this methodology for speaking, it also transfers well to writing. One lesson has really stuck lately — your first draft sucks. Tweak it over time. Then, when you’ve dispersed it enough, throw it out and develop new content. It’s helped me to stop my edit-to-death step that comes after creation — instead, I’m letting it develop and editing it a little at a time as it goes.
While I’m not altogether giving up on editing, I’m taking it more as a long process instead of a hack job. I pre-write a few bullet points. Then, I write, whether it be an article, a blog post, content for a marketing piece, or a presentation, and then I let it sit. I’ll browse through it and tweak obvious errors. I’ll pass it along for feedback, then respond to the feedback. I’ll let it sit a bit longer. I’ll look for ways to enhance the piece, and if I can’t, I stop trying. I’ll throw it out to the public and let them comment. And then, if I feel that the message is good, I leave it alone. I write my blog posts a couple weeks ahead so that I have time enough to fix what needs to be fixed, but I no longer fixate on fixing everything…to death.
I realized that writing is not a sprint to the finish, it’s a marathon.
You have to pace yourself. You have to prepare for the long haul. If you’re spitting out perfect content in the first go, well, you’re amazing. But realistically, your first piece needs work. Sometimes a lot of it. Most of the time, though, it doesn’t need to be red-penned to death. Most of the time, it just needs time.
Do you pick your pieces down to the bare bones, or do you fluff it up?
I try to land somewhere in the middle. Content matters, but how it is delivered is obviously important. No one is going to be interested in a story or presentation that is just bullet point information with no depth; but on the same token, readers and listeners don’t want to be walked through every single thought, emotion, or action that you, the writer or presenter, has. Get to the point in a meaningful way.
How do you determine when your piece is finished?