The Good and the Evil of Time Tracking

time finch

A recent article featured in Harper’s Magazine is making some waves for its take on time tracking and workplace monitoring. The article in question, entitled “The Spy Who Fired Me,” makes the case that time tracking and workplace monitoring software “has taken on a life of its own.”

The author, Esther Kaplan, makes some valid arguments about the dangers of work monitoring software.

One example cited is of a woman who works for high-fashion retailer, Century 21, in New York City. “She’d been selling watches from seven in the morning to three-thirty in the afternoon to accommodate evening classes, but when that availability was punched in to Kronos, the system no longer recognized her as full-time. Now she was getting no more than twenty-five hours a week, and her shifts were erratic.”

Throughout the article, time tracking and workplace monitoring is portrayed as a very one-sided tool companies use to eliminate costs at the expense of their employees, using the data to keep employees from being classified as full-time or receiving benefits.

Unfortunately, however, the article only tells part of the story.

Without a doubt, abuses of time tracking software do occur and good people do pay the price. When properly and ethically used however, time tracking software can actually be very beneficial to employer and employee alike. How so? What are some of the ways that time tracking can benefit both parties?

The More You Know

A major shift occurred in the 20th Century in terms of the workforce, with the rise of the “knowledge worker.” In the modern workplace, the most valuable commodity is not a person’s labor, but the knowledge they possess.

As industries have become more specialized, it has resulted in virtually every worker being a knowledge worker.  According to Evan Rosen of BusinessWeek:

“In reality, everybody today qualifies as a knowledge worker. Every worker has knowledge and information that the organization can tap to find out: Why is a particular product underperforming in one market? What action can we take to fix the problem quickly? If we take these actions, can we handle an increased production schedule? What’s the impact on cash flow if we make these changes?”

For the average business, however, it can be a real challenge to understand how such a worker contributes to the company’s bottom line. For example, if a computer programmer works on multiple software projects within a company and some of the code he writes for Project A is also used in Project B, how much did Project B really cost? What is the value of the resulting software?

Proper time and project tracking software can help companies understand and account for the contributions of their employees, despite the more challenging metrics by which those contributions must now be measured.

Projects of Future’s Past

Another important benefit of time and project tracking is having a clear understanding of the true cost of a given project.

According to McKinsey & Company, large IT projects run an average of 45 percent over budget and as much as 7 percent over time. Even worse, the affected projects deliver only 56 percent of their projected value.

This is where proper time and project tracking can make a big difference. By properly tracking past projects, a company can more accurately predict the cost of future projects. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of the company going over budget or losing money on a project.

This is especially true as companies learn to interpret data, recognize trends and act accordingly. For example, if a company specializes in a particular kind of project and completes a dozen similar projects in a row, they should be able to use the data and milestones from those projects to see how the next project is going. If they are 10 percent through the project but five percent past the budget milestone of the previous dozen projects, they can make adjustments before it’s too late.

We Can Build It, We Have the Technology

An often-overlooked benefit of proper time and project tracking is better resource allocation. For example, a company may have a customer that seemingly hogs resources, ties up the best personnel and generally makes a pest of themselves. There may be those in the company who advocate letting go of such a customer in favor of less problematic ones.

Time and project accounting, however, may show that while the customer takes up 20 percent of the company’s resources, it generates 40 percent of the company revenue. That information may help everyone have a new found appreciation of that customer and may even help alter how the company approaches them. Perhaps, rather than pulling people away from that customer, it would be beneficial to devote even more resources and increase the ROI.

Another aspect of resource allocation is proper logistics support. When a company can have reliable data on which customers, projects and departments are generating the most revenue, it can help identify where individuals and departments are being crippled by outdated equipment, procedures and the like.

Not Just Another Assembly Line Automaton

Another significant benefit of automated time tracking is the time and effort it can save a company’s payroll and billing operations. Rather than manually processing timesheets, the right software can automate the process. This can be a significant savings as the payroll personnel don’t have to waste valuable time running down mistakes or reminding employees to submit their timesheets.

For the employee, an automated system can mean more time spent actually working rather than dealing with a tedious, frustrating and time-consuming timesheet system just to get paid.

Everything is Cool When You’re Part of a Team…

As the above shows, time and project tracking can be a valuable tool a company can use to streamline operations, improve estimates and properly allocate resources. When that happens, a company can generate more profit, enjoy increased stability, offer better pay and benefits; all without doing so at the expense of the employees.

The key is to recognize time and project tracking for what it is: a powerful tool. It’s not inherently evil, nor is it inherently good. Like all powerful tools, it will either help or hurt people depending on how it’s used and the motivations of the business owners, executives and managers who use it. While, obviously, a proponent of time tracking, I have always emphasized the need for management to use time tracking tools in a responsible and ethical way.

For example, in an article I wrote for Small Business Trends titled, “3 Benefits of Tracking Your Time Accurately,” I emphasized the need for management to lead by example, tracking their own time as their employees are required to do. In that article, I wrote:

“The most obvious reason for an owner or executive to keep track of their time is the boost in motivation it provides to the rest of the company. This is especially important with a topic that’s often met with as much resistance as time tracking.

If the owner or executive of a company sets the lead in tracking his or her own time, it can be a powerful motivator toward helping employees to do the same and overcome the negative stigma time tracking can sometimes have.

As with anything, the success of accurate time tracking on a company-wide basis depends largely on the example that you, the owner or executive, sets. By establishing time tracking as something equally important for management and employees alike, you can help your company be more profitable, help your employees to become personally invested in the company and help yourself to be even more productive.”

When properly used, time tracking does not demoralize employees and squeeze every last minute out of them. Proper use of time and project tracking software helps companies streamline their operations, not by exploiting their employees, but by improving project estimation, management, billing and resource allocation.

If more companies used time and project management software the way it should be used, responsibly and ethically and for the benefit of company and employee alike, Ms. Kaplan’s article would no doubt have had a far different tenor.

Handmade Soap Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "The Good and the Evil of Time Tracking" was first published on Small Business Trends



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How the Baltimore Riots are Impacting Small Businesses

businesses affected by baltimore riots 2

Baltimore businesses are dealing with riots, looting and violence — as well as a citywide curfew imposed on April 28 — following civil unrest stemming from the suspicious death of a 25-year-old black man while in police custody.

Because of the curfew, enforced within Baltimore City between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., restaurants and other places need to close earlier than usual. In addition, some business owners have chosen to temporarily close down — either as a precautionary measure or in response to vandalism — until the curfew’s end, slated for this coming Monday.

“There’s a huge police and National Guard presence,” Steve Diamond, president of Synergy HomeCare, a franchise that provides in-home care for the elderly, told Small Business Trends.

He noted that some restaurants and other small businesses within the city are hurting from the curfew. Exponentially increasing the damage is the timing: now is when Baltimore blooms from its annual tourist infusion.

“This is the time of year when folks arrive and walk around the harbor,” he said. “Now, who knows what will happen. They’re keeping the National Guard here.”

Synergy HomeCare is based in Towson, Maryland, and serves residents in Baltimore City and County. While it is located outside the city, it employs caregivers who reside in the city. Still the company has felt minimal impact from the curfew and Diamond says his ability to provide services was not curtailed.

Because of the nature of Synergy HomeCare’s services, it is not beholden to the curfew. However, two of its caregivers who live in the city were unable to work Wednesday night.

Employee Clinton Brockenbrough loads boxes being evacuated in response to the Baltimore crisis.

Two Men and a Truck employee Clinton Brockenbrough loads boxes being evacuated in response to the Baltimore crisis.

“They were reluctant to leave their houses so we reassigned two cases,” Diamond said, adding that this wasn’t a problem as the company always has backup personnel in the event a caregiver can’t work on a given night.

“We did become more proactive,” he added. Company personnel called employees early to see who was available to work in the event that additional staff members were needed.

Two Men and a Truck, a moving-service company that also offers storage solution options, temporarily relocated its headquarters following the eruption of protests this week.

“There was violence one mile away from us,” said Lori Geros, operations manager for the company, which moved from the Baltimore area to Columbia, Maryland, to share space in a partner company’s facility.

“Some items were put in storage and all valuables were locked up in case there was any looting,” Geros said. “We moved all the trucks and other vehicles to the other location as well.”

The protests interrupted the company’s operations for about a day or two, Geros said. While the company lost some business due to cancellations, most customers rescheduled. The curfew didn’t pose a problem for the company, as moving is typically done during the daytime.

Overall, “the impact wasn’t that bad,” she said. “Customers understood. We recovered quickly.”

Geros watches the news steadily, however, and also regularly checks social media sites Facebook and Twitter for updates. “Until the curfew is lifted, there is a threat,” she said.

Of some concern is speculation that the looting and violence could begin again based on whatever information is released tomorrow regarding the results of the investigation into the April 19 death of Freddie Gray. Gray, a 25-year-old black man, suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody.

“Things have calmed down, but we’re being very cautious,” she said.

Two Men and a Truck is already planning to help clean up Baltimore once the protesting ends.

“We do a lot of charity work throughout the year,” Geros said, adding that the company is nicely situated to provide any assistance the city may require. “We have the trucks and we have the people.”

Robb Tacelosky, who operates Our Town America, a company that works with sponsors, many of which are small businesses, to welcome people who relocate to the Baltimore area, said the protests and related violence were “upsetting” because they “put Baltimore in a bad light.”

Some of his sponsors operate inside the city of Baltimore. He is speaking to many of them as the situation there develops.

Overall, none of his sponsors experienced looting or violence, he said. Some were even benefiting, though at a cost to other businesses, he noted.

The owner of a liquor store told him that sales have increased significantly since the curfew was imposed. “The bars have to close early,” Tacelosky said, adding that some people apparently are purchasing liquor to consume in the safety of their homes since they can’t visit a bar.

Another sponsor of Our Town America is the Ultimate Play Zone, a family entertainment destination that describes itself as “11,000 square feet of pure, clean fun.” It features inflatable play stations.

Ultimate Play Zone is allowing children under age 6 free admittance on Monday.

“Families are their core business,” he said.

He believes other sponsors will make similar gestures as well as provide help with any rebuilding and cleanup efforts required.

“I work with a lot of small businesses,” he said. “In general, small businesses consider themselves part of the community.”

Images: Two Men and a Truck

This article, "How the Baltimore Riots are Impacting Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



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How the Baltimore Riots are Impacting Small Businesses

businesses affected by baltimore riots 2

Baltimore businesses are dealing with riots, looting and violence — as well as a citywide curfew imposed on April 28 — following civil unrest stemming from the suspicious death of a 25-year-old black man while in police custody.

Because of the curfew, enforced within Baltimore City between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., restaurants and other places need to close earlier than usual. In addition, some business owners have chosen to temporarily close down — either as a precautionary measure or in response to vandalism — until the curfew’s end, slated for this coming Monday.

“There’s a huge police and National Guard presence,” Steve Diamond, president of Synergy HomeCare, a franchise that provides in-home care for the elderly, told Small Business Trends.

He noted that some restaurants and other small businesses within the city are hurting from the curfew. Exponentially increasing the damage is the timing: now is when Baltimore blooms from its annual tourist infusion.

“This is the time of year when folks arrive and walk around the harbor,” he said. “Now, who knows what will happen. They’re keeping the National Guard here.”

Synergy HomeCare is based in Towson, Maryland, and serves residents in Baltimore City and County. While it is located outside the city, it employs caregivers who reside in the city. Still the company has felt minimal impact from the curfew and Diamond says his ability to provide services was not curtailed.

Because of the nature of Synergy HomeCare’s services, it is not beholden to the curfew. However, two of its caregivers who live in the city were unable to work Wednesday night.

Employee Clinton Brockenbrough loads boxes being evacuated in response to the Baltimore crisis.

Two Men and a Truck employee Clinton Brockenbrough loads boxes being evacuated in response to the Baltimore crisis.

“They were reluctant to leave their houses so we reassigned two cases,” Diamond said, adding that this wasn’t a problem as the company always has backup personnel in the event a caregiver can’t work on a given night.

“We did become more proactive,” he added. Company personnel called employees early to see who was available to work in the event that additional staff members were needed.

Two Men and a Truck, a moving-service company that also offers storage solution options, temporarily relocated its headquarters following the eruption of protests this week.

“There was violence one mile away from us,” said Lori Geros, operations manager for the company, which moved from the Baltimore area to Columbia, Maryland, to share space in a partner company’s facility.

“Some items were put in storage and all valuables were locked up in case there was any looting,” Geros said. “We moved all the trucks and other vehicles to the other location as well.”

The protests interrupted the company’s operations for about a day or two, Geros said. While the company lost some business due to cancellations, most customers rescheduled. The curfew didn’t pose a problem for the company, as moving is typically done during the daytime.

Overall, “the impact wasn’t that bad,” she said. “Customers understood. We recovered quickly.”

Geros watches the news steadily, however, and also regularly checks social media sites Facebook and Twitter for updates. “Until the curfew is lifted, there is a threat,” she said.

Of some concern is speculation that the looting and violence could begin again based on whatever information is released tomorrow regarding the results of the investigation into the April 19 death of Freddie Gray. Gray, a 25-year-old black man, suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody.

“Things have calmed down, but we’re being very cautious,” she said.

Two Men and a Truck is already planning to help clean up Baltimore once the protesting ends.

“We do a lot of charity work throughout the year,” Geros said, adding that the company is nicely situated to provide any assistance the city may require. “We have the trucks and we have the people.”

Robb Tacelosky, who operates Our Town America, a company that works with sponsors, many of which are small businesses, to welcome people who relocate to the Baltimore area, said the protests and related violence were “upsetting” because they “put Baltimore in a bad light.”

Some of his sponsors operate inside the city of Baltimore. He is speaking to many of them as the situation there develops.

Overall, none of his sponsors experienced looting or violence, he said. Some were even benefiting, though at a cost to other businesses, he noted.

The owner of a liquor store told him that sales have increased significantly since the curfew was imposed. “The bars have to close early,” Tacelosky said, adding that some people apparently are purchasing liquor to consume in the safety of their homes since they can’t visit a bar.

Another sponsor of Our Town America is the Ultimate Play Zone, a family entertainment destination that describes itself as “11,000 square feet of pure, clean fun.” It features inflatable play stations.

Ultimate Play Zone is allowing children under age 6 free admittance on Monday.

“Families are their core business,” he said.

He believes other sponsors will make similar gestures as well as provide help with any rebuilding and cleanup efforts required.

“I work with a lot of small businesses,” he said. “In general, small businesses consider themselves part of the community.”

Images: Two Men and a Truck

This article, "How the Baltimore Riots are Impacting Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Learn To Set Up Your Craft Fair Booth Quickly

I’ve learned a lot about selling at craft shows in the 10+ years since I first started. When I began selling handmade products at craft fairs, it took me hours to set up my booth. I’ve learned a thing or two since then, though. Experience is an amazing teacher, and hopefully my experiences will provide you with a trick or two and make your craft fair set up fly by!


 How to Set up booth Learn To Set Up Your Craft Fair Booth Quickly


Streamline Your Storage and Display Solutions

The first few years I did craft shows, I primarily sold handmade, upcycled clothing, which made setup a breeze: I would leave the clothing on hangers when transporting everything to and from the show, pop open a garment rack in my booth, and throw the clothes on the rack. Bing, bang, done!

When I started selling jewelry, however, it was another story entirely. At first, I’d leave each necklace or set of earrings in its individually wrapped plastic bag for transporting to and from the show. This meant I had to take each piece out during set up and put it back in when I was ready to break down my booth. I soon realized that this method was not practical for me. My friend Rachelle had been using stacking jewelry trays to get her products to and from shows and for displaying them, and I decided to test it out. Setting up my jewelry in stackable trays became a tremendous time saver.


craft show booth display Miss Malaprop Learn To Set Up Your Craft Fair Booth Quickly

My perfected jewelry display with stackable trays!


Practice Makes Perfect

Something to keep in mind: speed comes with experience. If you’re just starting out, or if you’re trying out a new booth setup, be sure to do a test run of your setup at home before the show. Play around with different possibilities. Your set up could end up looking wildly different, depending on the type of booth you’re given–i.e. will you end up in a corner booth, or will you get one between two other vendors? You’ll want to be prepared for as many scenarios as possible.

Put it on Wheels

During my early craft fair days, I didn’t have a  dolly or cart to transport my gear to and from my car. Needless to say, the many trips back and forth took just as long as my actual setup did. By the time I started selling on a weekly basis, I got smart. My boyfriend, who works in film, had a top-of-the-line Magliner dolly that I could fit everything I needed for a show on. Considering I’d often have to park a couple of blocks away from the venue, being able to get everything to and from my car in one trip made my life SO much easier. A good cart or dolly is now one of my craft show must-haves.


Magliner cart for craft shows Learn To Set Up Your Craft Fair Booth Quickly


Honor the Scout Motto

Always be prepared for anything! I have a kit that comes with me to any show that includes more tools and supplies than I need, but when I do need them, I’m oh-so grateful. Your craft show toolkit should include handy gear for display and setup, as well as basic first aid supplies like Band-aids and aspirin. I always keep a few Sharpie markers and some cardstock on hand as well – you never know when you might need to make a last minute sign for your booth!


Have more questions about craft shows? Let me know in the comments below, or reach out via Facebook or Twitter – my contact information right below!

Share and Enjoy

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What Does It Mean to Be a Showrunner?

what-is-a-showrunner

So … what exactly is a “showrunner” anyway? And what does it take to be a successful one?

The Showrunner hosts Jerod Morris and Jon Nastor define the term and explain what separates successful Showrunners from all the rest.

In this episode of The Showrunner, hosts Jerod Morris and Jon Nastor discuss:

  • What essential lesson about building an audience can we learn from the very first scene of House of Cards?
  • Why aspiring Showrunners should think of themselves as producers, in the classic media sense of the term
  • How being a Showrunner is essentially ownership of an audience experience — whether it’s a TV show, a podcast, or even a live event
  • What is a Showrunner’s responsibility? (And why would someone want it?)
  • The importance of long-term thinking to showrunning success
  • How Jon made the transition from do-it-all podcaster to true Showrunner
  • The importance of community when growing a show (especially for new Showrunners)
  • What does it take to be a successful Showrunner?
  • How the profitability of a podcast is about much more than money
  • How to overcome “The Dip” (in more ways than one … )
  • Listener question: Did our listener shoot himself in the foot by not having a keyword in his show title?
Click Here to Listen to
The Showrunner on iTunes
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About the author

Rainmaker.FM


Rainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post What Does It Mean to Be a Showrunner? appeared first on Copyblogger.



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Fashion Revolution Calls for More Ethical, Sustainable Manufacturing

fashion revolution

There’s a revolution happening within the fashion industry. And big brands and high-profile designers aren’t the ones leading the way. Instead it’s a series of startups and independent designers with quality, sustainably, and ethical manufacturing on their minds.

Fashion Revolution Day, which started last year, is a special day set aside for these goals. Designers Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro started the initiative, which encourages consumers to ask their favorite clothing brands one simple question: “Who made my clothes?”

It shouldn’t be a complicated question. But some of the big players in the fashion industry don’t always utilize the most ethical and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Maxine Bédat, co-founder of New York City-based ethical eCommerce brand Zady, told Entrepreneur:

“It’s re-educating our generation because we grew up with fast fashion and we’re all exhausted by it.”

Fast fashion, which is the cornerstone of many major fashion brands, relies on quick, cheap manufacturing methods. That makes it possible to offer trendy, runway-inspired styles at extremely low prices. But it doesn’t come without some drawbacks.

In fact, the movement was originally launched to honor the anniversary of a factory collapse in Bangladesh, where 1,133 people were killed and about 2,500 more were injured. The factory created fabrics that were used by some large retailers including JC Penney, Zara and Children’s Place.

But because so many of those large brands use such extensive supply chains to source their materials, they don’t always even know where all of their materials come from. The Fashion Revolution wants to change that and create more transparency in the industry.

For some fashion brands, this type of movement could force some changes. But that would require a lot of consumers to get involved and demand more ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices.

For brands like Zady, which source materials and items from independent makers and other ethical sources, the movement could call some attention to them from consumers who are concerned about where their fashion comes from.

Image: The Fashion Revolution>

This article, "Fashion Revolution Calls for More Ethical, Sustainable Manufacturing" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Fashion Revolution Calls for More Ethical, Sustainable Manufacturing

fashion revolution

There’s a revolution happening within the fashion industry. And big brands and high-profile designers aren’t the ones leading the way. Instead it’s a series of startups and independent designers with quality, sustainably, and ethical manufacturing on their minds.

Fashion Revolution Day, which started last year, is a special day set aside for these goals. Designers Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro started the initiative, which encourages consumers to ask their favorite clothing brands one simple question: “Who made my clothes?”

It shouldn’t be a complicated question. But some of the big players in the fashion industry don’t always utilize the most ethical and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Maxine Bédat, co-founder of New York City-based ethical eCommerce brand Zady, told Entrepreneur:

“It’s re-educating our generation because we grew up with fast fashion and we’re all exhausted by it.”

Fast fashion, which is the cornerstone of many major fashion brands, relies on quick, cheap manufacturing methods. That makes it possible to offer trendy, runway-inspired styles at extremely low prices. But it doesn’t come without some drawbacks.

In fact, the movement was originally launched to honor the anniversary of a factory collapse in Bangladesh, where 1,133 people were killed and about 2,500 more were injured. The factory created fabrics that were used by some large retailers including JC Penney, Zara and Children’s Place.

But because so many of those large brands use such extensive supply chains to source their materials, they don’t always even know where all of their materials come from. The Fashion Revolution wants to change that and create more transparency in the industry.

For some fashion brands, this type of movement could force some changes. But that would require a lot of consumers to get involved and demand more ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices.

For brands like Zady, which source materials and items from independent makers and other ethical sources, the movement could call some attention to them from consumers who are concerned about where their fashion comes from.

Image: The Fashion Revolution>

This article, "Fashion Revolution Calls for More Ethical, Sustainable Manufacturing" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Passion Projects, Clarity, and the Evolution of No Sidebar

no-sidebar-evolution

As an online entrepreneur, No Sidebar host Brian Gardner is learning just how crucial being agile is to running a successful business.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being involved in a personal project — especially when you’re passionate about it — but continually keeping your audience in mind is always a good thing.

Over the last couple months of running No Sidebar, Brian has identified three types of people he wants to specifically cater to …

In this 24-minute episode of No Sidebar, host Brian Gardner and Robert Bruce discuss:

  • Who has control over whether or not something is great
  • Focusing on the fundamentals of your craft
  • Bono, being 16, and taking over the world
  • Why passion projects are tough in the context of business
  • George Costanza doing “The Opposite”
  • The early stages of No Sidebar and how it got started
  • Brian’s focus on writers, designers, and podcasters
  • The Dip by Seth Godin
Click Here to Listen to
No Sidebar on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the author

Rainmaker.FM


Rainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post Passion Projects, Clarity, and the Evolution of No Sidebar appeared first on Copyblogger.



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Deadly Conversion Busters: Building a Targeted Audience

targeted-audience

Lots of people talk about “traffic,” but how can you attract more of the right people?

How can you grow an audience of people you can help the most — people who will see success from using your products and services, and who will be long-term, loyal customers?

In this episode of The Mainframe, hosts Chris Garrett and Tony Clark reveal:

  • Why you need to constantly look for ways to attract new people into your community
  • How to clone your best prospects
  • What to do to meet your prospects where they are and bring them home
  • Perfecting your messaging and funnels through testing
Click Here to Listen to
The Mainframe on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the author

Rainmaker.FM


Rainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post Deadly Conversion Busters: Building a Targeted Audience appeared first on Copyblogger.



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5 Ways to Write a Seductive Sentence

seductive-sentences

Here’s the thing: Your sentences don’t have to say much. They just have to say the right things.

When you are trying to get people to respond to your articles, subscribe to your email newsletter, buy your products, or donate to your cause … you need to write seductive sentences.

And you need to do it naturally. Here’s how to do that.

In this episode of Rough Draft with Demian Farnworth, you’ll discover:

  • The one thing every good sentence needs
  • How to use active verbs and concrete nouns to create tiny worlds inside your sentences
  • A list of questions to help you find emotions for your sentences
  • Why novelists and screenwriters won’t help you with this tactic
  • How to make writing seductive sentences an instinct (you will be disappointed)
Click Here to Listen to
Rough Draft on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the author

Rainmaker.FM


Rainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post 5 Ways to Write a Seductive Sentence appeared first on Copyblogger.



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Social Media Recruiting and Hiring with the LinkedIn Job Feature

social media recruiting linkedin job feature

Many small business owners I know, myself included, don’t think of social media as a source of hiring.  That’s the realm of big business with big budgets.  The reality, however, is that we’re missing out on some large opportunities.

The New 800-Pound Gorilla

Every savvy business owner uses LinkedIn to promote themselves and their company.  It’s a great way to find new customers/clients, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and to engage in conversations with influencers in your industry.

A PowerFormula.net 2012 study showed that fewer than 25 percent of LinkedIn members used the jobs feature.  It’s time to think of LinkedIn in terms other than marketing and sales.

LinkedIn does a great job of taking your job posting and finding possible candidates, assigning them a rating as to how good of a fit the candidate is. LinkedIn purchased a company called Bright.com in 2014 to power these searches, and the results are impressive.  The price is very reasonable and is based upon the city in which you are advertising.

Here in Oklahoma City, it’s $195 for 30 days, compared to Monster.com’s $395. Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to reach out through their InMail to ask candidates to apply. The jobs feature isn’t restricted in any way by your network. In other words, it looks across all potential candidates, not just those in your network.

LinkedIn recently purchased Lynda.com, a leading provider of online learning. LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, has touted the synergy between the two companies. His vision is to create a detailed profile on every company, individual, and job on LinkedIn and provide a platform for them to interact and connect. They’re well on their way.

Lynda will allow an employer to specify more clearly his or her job requirements and include specific certifications provided by LinkedIn. Additionally, potential employees will see what requirements they’re lacking for a specific position, and decide if they want to pursue further education and certification.

Let ‘A’ Players Find More ‘A’ Players

The most under-utilized aspect of social media, including LinkedIn in hiring for small business is the way you can leverage your existing team members.

Just like good customers, good employees are the best source of referrals.

Assuming that you’re aligning your team around a common mission with a distinct culture, nobody knows better who’s a great fit for your company than your existing team members. Have your team actively promote the positions via LinkedIn or other social media by sharing the position Scorecard with potential candidates in their network. Hopefully it will come with some “recruiting” by the satisfied team member.

Again, if they’re the right fit, they understand how critical it is to recruit the right person for the position, and should be excited at being part of building a team.

Recruiting is an Always Thing

Social media is a great way for you, the company, and your team members to stay in front of potential candidates even when you aren’t actively hiring. Most small businesses, unless they’re brand new or in a rapidly growing segment, have pretty consistent (and infrequent) hiring needs. That means that normally most businesses aren’t hiring all the time.

There are obvious exceptions, but recruiting isn’t seen as an “always” thing. It’s not a big deal until it’s a big deal. An employee leaves, and you’re scrambling to find a replacement. This often leads to hasty hires and incompatible team members.

By including key potential candidates in your social media posts, either by you or through your team, you build your brand with them. When you do have a need, these candidates should have a much better understanding of your company, its culture, and its vision.

If you do your job right, you’ve developed a dialogue of sorts with these candidates, and greatly increased your opportunity to hire them when a position does open. Depending on the geography and the candidate, it might make sense to take the relationship offline, and take them to lunch to further develop the connection.

LinkedIn Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Social Media Recruiting and Hiring with the LinkedIn Job Feature" was first published on Small Business Trends



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