Why I Won’t Be Responding

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I’ve been working from home for 5 years and it seems as though it’s becoming increasingly more common to have work e-mails pour in around 7,8, or 9:00 at night. I used to spend my evenings checking those e-mails, and responding as soon as possible. That meant that between responding to e-mails, and monitoring social media sites, I was working 100% of the time, and to be honest I was exhausted. I was sick of not having a boundary between my home life and work life, so recently I decided not to look at or respond to e-mails or work phone calls until the morning.

Now I know what some of you are thinking; It doesn’t take a ton of time to check your e-mail to see if something important happened and needs responding to. And to you I say, “But why? 99.9% of those e-mails are not time sensitive and can wait until the morning for a response.”

In the past, I’ve had clients who don’t respect my personal time and instead of contacting me during normal business hours, they chose to contact me on nights and weekends. Because of this, I made the decision to treat my e-mail and business phone like an office. After 5 and on the weekends, I am unavailable. Sure if I get a phone call and a voicemail I’ll listen to it, but if it’s not important I’m not going to call back until the next day. I truly don’t believe that just because we have the technology to work from wherever that we should be expecting an immediate response from an e-mail sent at 9:00 p.m.

As a person who works from home and already has trouble distinguishing home life from work life, this is the line I’ve drawn. I know not everyone may agree with this, but it’s the decision I made in order to allow myself to completely relax and enjoy my nights and weekends.

So to all those work from home-ers, I say, “After 5:00 go relax, and have a glass of wine. That e-mail or phone call will be there in the morning.”

 

What do you think? Am I living in the past or is this something more people should be doing? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Business New Year’s Resolutions

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New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for personal use. Companies always take the time to look over their marketing strategy and then ask themselves, “Am I doing everything to help my customers?” as well as, “Are my marketing strategies working?”

This year we at On-Word Marketing have 2 resolutions that will be put into play for 2016!

1. Revamp social media networks

  • Use it to better understand clients
  • Add more content from other blogs
  • Ask readers some questions
  • Showcase a little more about our company On-Word Marketing
  • Actually use them. All too often we get wrapped up in doing social media for clients that we forget to work on our own.

**Join us in the discussions!

On-Word Marketing’s Facebook

On-Word Marketing’s Twitter

On-Word Marketing’s Pinterest

2. Experiment with theblognextdoor.com

This year On-Word Marketing is deciding to focus on this blog and how it is helping the readers. We’ve recently heard from a few people that they would like to maybe hear a podcast or two.

We also want to have a few guest writers on here from other industries to get their opinion about using social media and how they have seen success. (If you’re interested in writing a guest piece send us an e-mail at shannon@on-wordmarketing.com )

There will be a few more changes but we hope that you’ll stay tuned to see what they are. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us!

We’d also love to hear what your business resolutions for 2016 are. Leave them in the comment section below or any of our social media sites!

Happy 2016!

Productivity on a Time Crunch

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Everyone has had times where you find yourself trying to cram a ton of working into just a few days. For me, that is occurring right now because I am leaving for vacation, and I now have a million things to do before I leave. Since I have to pack in 2 weeks worth of back logged e-mails and all the work that I will miss, as well as staying current on this work week, I am feeling the crunch!

This means that I need an atmosphere which promotes productivity. Each person has different things that help them work efficiently, but for me I know that there are a few things that always help me when I need to get things done.

  1. Light a candle– I don’t know why, but lighting a candle always puts me in the mood to write. I think it’s the thought of sitting down with my computer, a cup of coffee and a candle that makes me feel like I want to get things done.
  2. Take a break– I always find that if I’m in a creative rut, I can take a break and do something like hop on Pinterest, or scroll through my Twitter feed, and I eventually find something that gets the creative juices flowing. Whether it’s a posting that really resonates with me, or just the break from work, I usually feel more productive after a quick break.
  3. Read related topics- Start reading articles about the topic you’re working on. I always find that if I’m stuck I can read a social media blog and get ideas about tricks that might work. Trying out new techniques always seems exciting so I want to get back to work.
  4. Stretch- If I ever find myself staring at my computer, I know that just getting up and stretching can help. This is quicker than a run and loosens up your body so that you don’t feel as though you have been sitting for as long.

I hope that this list helps you to feel more productive, or maybe gives you an idea of something that might work for you. I’d love to hear what you in order to feel productive. Leave your tips in the comments.

Introducing…. A New Social Media Service!!

On-Word Marketing has been open for almost 5 years, and to celebrate we are introducing a new service! Our new service is aimed at helping small businesses / startups understand and create a social media plan that won’t cost you an arm and a leg! We would like to help you understand your audience, give you tools to understand what your audience wants from you, give you a better understanding of what and when to post, help you achieve your goals through social media, create a 3-month social media plan and more!

There are three options for this new service:

Option 1.2

Option 2

Option 3.2

 

Who would benefit from the service?

  • Small business owner
  • Startups
  • Companies who have someone in house but need a little guidance
  • DIY-er who needs help understanding social media
  • Person who owns an online store on the side and hasn’t seen social media results
    • I can look at their site and figure out what they’re doing right and how they can improve

 

Know someone who can benefit from this service? Contact us today! shannon@on-wordmarketing.com , 651-249-9215 or view our website On-WordMarketing.com!

Getting Rid of Writer’s Block

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It’s almost Friday and for some people that means motivation is at an all time [weekly] low. Unfortunately, work doesn’t always take Friday’s off so you have to find ways to break through writer’s block and get those writing juices flowing! So how do you do that once you realize you’ve been staring at your blank screen or piece of paper for hours? Easy!

 

  1. Get Up & Move– Take a walk, do some jumping jacks, or do a quick workout. Any thing that gets your heart pumping and blood moving will help.
  2. Take A Break– Sometimes the best thing you can do is to walk away from that project. Do anything other than try to write. The only key is to do something mindless so your brain can keep thinking in the background. Make a cake, doodle, read blogs related to that subject.
  3. Just Write– Pen to paper [figuratively or literally] and write. Don’t over think what you’re writing, that’s what editing is for. Now is the time to write whatever comes to your mind and allow the creativity to flow through you.
  4. Give Yourself a Deadline– It might help to know that there is an end in sight! Tell yourself you’re only working until x:xx or only for another hour. I bet you will find that after that set time you will have your creativity back and be a writing machine!

What about you? What do you do to get rid of writers block?

PICTURE Your Ideal ________

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I recently went to a networking group where a speaker spoke on the topic of using the right side of your brain in order to create your ideal client. This lady said that the left side of our brain processes 40 bits of information per second while our right side processes 11,000,000 bits per second. It’s because of this that she says we should go back to the time where we would rip out pictures from magazines, create a collage, and use it to “picture” our ideal client.

I began to wonder what other things we could use this technique for in our work life? People could make a collage and picture their ideal….. (Job, co-worker, boss, etc).

I started this process small and did a few about my work life to determine the things that make my job enjoyable. I tore out pictures of things that I surround myself with, pictures of industries I like to work with, work area inspiration and much more. This made it easy for me to know what to look for when I am looking for who I would truly like to work with because it’s things that caught my attention in magazines.

I then realized, why not do this with clients? Right now I’m working with a group of people in the travel industry, so for them I made a board of travel related pictures that caught my attention. I then worked from there to try to understand how these pictures were being marketed to me and how I could in turn use that to better identify with the customer who would be using my client’s travel services.

[See Also: Maintain Your Voice While Selling Yourself]

This process made it easy to relate to the customer because I was able to get into their shoes and see things through their eyes. Using this board, I can better create posts that are targeted to the person who is following the company.

This process worked for me because I was able to look at the company from a different angle and see gaps in my social media plan that I hadn’t seen before. Since it worked so well for me, I am going to do this with all of my clients (present and future) in order to make sure I am able to better understand the needs of the customer who is on my client’s social networking sites and I invite you to do the same. Maybe using the right side of your brain will help you picture your ideal ___________?

What do you think? Have you ever done something like this? Was it helpful, or did you find another way to better understand your clients?

Using SEO to Improve Your Rankings

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Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a tool that helps search engines such as Google or Bing find your site and bring it to people who are trying to find your site. The steps below should help you start to improve your search engine ranking while allowing you to understand how your customers are attempting to find your business.

  1. Do your research– Use sites such as Google Keywords (http://bit.ly/116mpfn) to research what words people are using to find your product
  2. Seamlessly integrate keywords into your web copy– No one wants to read a post that has the same 5 words repeated over and over again. When you’re writing your copy, make sure it flows while still using your keywords
  3. Include search terms in the title of your post– When Google spiders the web it will read the title first. If you add the terms into the title as well as the body of the post Google will pick up on your website faster and you will see more targeted results.
  4. Link your keywords to other postings on your website– Google puts a substantial amount of importance on linking. If your website uses relevant keywords, Google will notice. (Just don’t go too overboard. Over linking will not only make your human viewers slightly aggravated because they could potentially keep clicking off your post, but Google will penalize you for over linking.)
  5. Use SEO in your social postings– Google shows Twitter updates in its search results. Including keywords in your updates will gain exposure even when users aren’t searching social media sites.

SEO is constantly changing and improving. It’s a tool that is so important for any business owner or copy writer to know. With this foundation, you’ll be able to improve your search engine rankings and bring more traffic to your site.

image courtesy of searchengineland.com