Tag Archives: Business

Workplace personalities… which are you?

Take a look at the different personality types below; identify your colleagues and direct reports, and use their personality strengths to drive results in your organization.

Commanding Drivers focus on tasks, goals and the bottom line. They take charge and make decisions quickly even if they do not have all the details. Often, they can be blunt, rude, condescending and/or sarcastic – without realizing it. They need the freedom to explore alternative options. They do not prefer to work beside other team members, and will do better on their own or leading the team. They speak loudly and confidently, so you must do the same to keep Commanding Drivers on task. Have them work on individual projects, whenever possible, and give them accolades on how they took the lead to resolve a challenging situation.

Enthusiastic Adventurers keep their eye on the goal: the very high goal. They have strong egos and are not hesitant about using it to their advantage. They are fast-paced and get restless easily – they need a lot of variety. They also enjoy challenges – either challenges to achieve goals or to accomplish the “impossible”. Debates and confrontation are an everyday part of life. Often, they use their hands for emphasis while talking or making a point. Assign Enthusiastic Adventurers to start new projects, particular those that need kick-offs full of excitement. Reward them with public recognition for their work, and praise them in front of others.

High Energizers can quickly become frustrated with others who do not match their pace. Optimists, they have a very outgoing, creative personality, thriving in the company of others, especially in a fun environment. However, their inattention to details can cause them to let things slip through the cracks, especially when under pressure. Their need for change has a direct effect on their leaving partially completed projects for others to finish. Give High Energizers the chance to lead a group meeting, particularly one for brainstorming or motivating. Allow them to share their creative thoughts but rein them in if their conversations go off on a tangent. Reward them with lavish public praise on how they inspired others.

Summary: These three personality types tend to work fast – whether walking, talking or making decisions. They need to be in control of situations. They generally are “big picture” visionaries and do not work well with details. They have strong personalities with little or no patience; they can quickly become irritated and verbally annoying. They prefer being to the point and focused on the end result. Because of this, it is not unusual for others to perceive them as unfriendly and arrogant. They may not receive negative feedback very well. They often take a forceful approach, either hostile-like or extremely persuasive. Situations become all about “them” and how weak or soft they appear to others. Black-and-white thinking prevails; they always have a need to “win.” Use these personality types to your advantage by assigning them to work on projects that need a strong dynamic leader. Motivate them in the workplace by giving them bottom-line outcomes and let them fly!

Supporting Cheerleaders need to be accepted by the group. They avoid conflict and can’t understand why everyone can’t get along. They are loyal – to their family and friends and also to their group, to their leader and to the company. They may have difficulty staying focused on both the big picture and the small details. They will handle “feelings” before they do business. They are the team members that smooth over the ruffled feathers of others. When you first approach them, engage in small talk before focusing on the business reason for the visit or phone call.

Dependable Stabilizers enjoy a steady slower pace, and are very team-focused. They need their routines, and the status quo gives them comfort. They are low risk-takers, and will see what everyone will do first. They are flexible, and get along well with others. They tend to shy away from conflict and disagreements. Once you give the Dependable Stabilizers tasks to do, you can rest assured it will be thoroughly completed by the due date. They may not respond to a question or request immediately – they will think it through and carefully compose their response. Allow them this time.

Analyzing Perfectionists are introverted, work at a slower pace and prefer to work alone. Cautious by nature, they will check, double-check and recheck their figures and conclusions. They tend to analyze and logically walk through mounds of details, information and progressions. If there are any flaws in a program, the Analyzing Perfectionists will uncover them and provide appropriate resolutions. When they express emotions, they more easily express frustration, discontent or disparagement than happiness, excitement or praise.

Summary: These three personality types are more flexible, slower-paced and need step-by-step processes. They seek stability and routine, and usually are not prepared to make a decision on the spot. Their preference is to process information in their own minds, at their own pace. They avoid interpersonal conflict and may become withdrawn and stubborn as their discomfort escalates. They don’t see the need for the conversation and would prefer everyone “Just come to work and do their job – then there would be no conflict.” Use these personality types to your advantage by assigning them to work on routine or inefficient detail processes or procedures. Motivate them in the workplace by praising their consistency, accuracy and teamwork.

Appreciating the differences of your team members, and the value of their distinctions, makes for a more comfortable work environment. Let each of them know how you value their strengths, and work with them to use those strengths. This will have a positive impact on your bottom line results.

About the author:
Shari Frisinger, corporate trainer, consultant and speaker, helps companies with management, communication and teamwork challenges. She is the author of the forthcoming book “Communication Replugged,” which is based on nearly 10 years of research on how effective communication can lead to exceptional leadership and teamwork. As president of CornerStone Strategies LLC, she’s worked with companies of all sizes, including Pfizer, General Mills and Johnson & Johnson. To learn more, visit www.cornerstonestrategiesllc.comor call 281-992-4136.

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Do you believe in the Personal Brand?

The Personal Brand, or individual brand is the brand a person builds around themselves, normally to enhance their career opportunities. Often associated with how people portray and market themselves via media. The jury’s out on whether this should be called a form of brand because whilst it may be a way to add value, it often lacks a business model to commercialize the strategy.

15 reasons to feel great about being a publicist

15 reasons to feel great about being a publicist

PR is a unique career.

PR executives have made it into the list of the 10 most stressful jobs in America for the past three years. It’s a profession that can break people.

Still, if you are motivated, can check your ego at the door, possess strong attention to detail, and can multitask better than a plate spinner, it can be infinitely rewarding.
Public-Relations-at-PR-3.0-age
Here’s why it’s cool to be a publicist:

1. We preserve people’s stories in a lasting way. People may lose material objects, but articles live online, in scrapbooks, and on Mom’s Facebook page. We make that happen.

2. We are the rainmakers. We move the economy, getting people to spend by creating excitement about our clients and getting the public to buy stuff. That creates jobs and bolsters commerce.

3. We’re the ever-patient go-betweens. We are the intermediaries who manage the personalities of press and client. We deal with the churlish reporter and the narcissistic celebrity, and neither ever knows the other’s difficult nature; that’s our gratifying little secret.

4. What other job lets you know what’s going to happen in advance, and usually before the press even knows? If you’re an exceedingly curious person, PR is for you. Publicists usually have the scoop on breaking news.

5. The job title has cachet. Clients love to say, “Meet my publicist.” There’s intrinsic value in the sentence.

6. How about those benefits? You might handle the PR for a large law firm, but it comes in handy to know the trade when volunteering your PR expertise for a local homeless shelter, your kids’ school, or your church. You look and feel like a superstar.

7. We have superpowers, but like Superman, we use them responsibly. “Don’t make me wield my social media knife, neighborhood dry cleaner. I’m a publicist.”

8. We can’t turn their brains off, and that’s a good thing. Publicists look at the world in a creative way. We’re identifying trends that have a link to our clients, looking at new communication channels to disseminate information, and identifying different ways to present information that will excite the public. A topsy-turvy Willie Wonka way of perceiving life keeps publicists young.

9. We are good conversationalists. Working in PR, you always have the best “insider” stories of how things sometimes did not quite transpire the way that you’d expected—though often better, and sometimes worse. You’ll be a hit at your cousin’s wedding table recounting your best moments.

10. The side effects. They may include attending gala press openings, meeting childhood heroes, business trips to swank destinations, and a lot of freebie promotional items.

11. We’ll never forget the first time our article or photo ended up in The New York Times.Publicists must be strong writers, and sometimes you hit the jackpot and a media outlet posts your press release verbatim.

12. There is no better feeling than introducing something wonderful to the world. Your clients become your “babies.” You nurture them, introduce them to the public, and watch them grow. Publicists are like parents in that way.

13. We can multitask and problem-solve like nobody’s business. You can figure out what to do in a pinch and always know whom to call (and sometimes you’re on more than one phone at a time). You’re skilled at talking, typing, and texting simultaneously.

14. We aren’t afraid to take risks. Big ideas often mean more press. You have to have an element of fearlessness and a lot of inspiration to “make it work.”

15. No day is ever the same. Repetition is boring. At a PR firm, every day is full of surprises.

By Noreen Heron and Kate Hughes
Noreen Heron is president at Noreen Heron & Associates, Inc., where Kate Hughes works as a senior account executive. Based in Chicago, the full-service agency primarily handles hospitality, entertainment, and restaurant clients. Follow it on Twitter @heronpr. A version of this story first appeared on the agency’s blog.

Quiz: What Type of Wine Drinker are You?

Ever wonder how you stand up to other wine drinkers? In this day and age it’s difficult to know everything about wine (because it’s such an enormous topic), so people choose to focus around the parts they love the most. You could be the best at buying value grocery store wine or be very skilled at understanding what wines cellar the longest. Take the simple 6 question quiz below to find out where you stand!

Kind-of-wine-drinker
Blog post from: http://winefolly.com/update/types-of-wine-drinkers/

Types of Wine Drinkers

  1. Wine is a Grocery

    Wine is part of your life in the same way as toilet paper, coffee or bread. You love it, but mostly for its effects. Some say you’re lazy, but you could care less.

     What to watch out for:

    Yellow stickers. Just because a wine looks like it’s discounted doesn’t mean you’re getting a great tasting wine. A wine like this may have actually declined in flavor (e.g. a 5 yr old Prosecco) or was initially marked up in order to fool you. Yep — This kind of thing happens all the time.

  2. Wine Geek

    You are a wine min-maxer: minimum expense, maximum experience. You seek out hot value regions and learn new things in order to have a great time.

     What to watch out for:

    Bad information. There is a lot of faulty information online and off that can mislead your choices.

  3. Wine Snob

    You spare no expense with your wine habit and your obsession makes you look like a snob. To be fair, you’ve worked very hard to get where you are.

     What to watch out for:

    Ratings and reviews that appeal to your high-brow tastes, not all that glitters is gold… some is just hype.

  4. Wine is Art

    You love how wine bottles look and the colors of wine… maybe even more than the actual wine.

     What to watch out for:

    Beautiful labels and bottles catch your eye; make sure it’s something you want to drink before buying it.

It’s Good to Be the Boss

When it comes to life satisfaction, it’s good to be the boss a new Pew study finds.

Another reason it’s great to be the boss: You’re probably much happier than people who aren’t.

A recent Pew Research Center survey compares the happiness levels of managers versus non-managerial employees and finds bosses are more satisfied with their lives. And it’s not just the cushier paycheck: Bosses also reported greater satisfaction with their work environment and in their personal lives.

For example, 83 percent of bosses reported being “very satisfied” with their family life, compared to 74 percent of non-managers. The contrast is even more stark at the workplace: 69 percent of bosses reported high satisfaction levels with their current job, compared with only 49 percent of non-managers. (Unsurprisingly, bosses were also happier with their financial situation, with 40 percent being very satisfied compared to 28 percent of non-managers.)

best-boss-mug

Some other interesting stats: Bosses are more likely to be Republican than employees (53 percent to 37 percent). However, on other traits such as religious attribution and important factors about jobs (fulfilling work and job security for example), bosses and workers are quite similar.

The findings suggest that working your way to the top—or starting your own business, so you’re automatically “the boss”—can offer many payoffs personally and professionally. While the survey wasn’t conducted on entrepreneurs, business owners enjoy many of the same perks as corporate managers: better pay than their employees, more control over their work environment and time and greater flexibility. Other surveys have shown that business owners report higher levels of happiness than the general American workforce.

Another important takeaway from the Pew survey: It suggests that non-managerial employees aren’t nearly as happy with their jobs and personal lives and may inspire bosses to work harder to improve the workplace environment for everyone.  If more than half of your employees are disgruntled or disengaged, you probably want to make some changes.

By: Kelly Spors – Editor

5 Marketing Trends for wineries to Pursue in 2014

1. Social Influencer Marketing
Within any social network, certain figures stand out as more influential than others. They have lots of followers, high engagement rates, and their fans pay attention to what they say. Identifying and connecting with these types of users has become more important than ever. But the growing landscape of social networks and online interactions can make it challenging as well. The need to find and connect with influencers spurred the development of all sorts of websites aimed at helping users solve this problem.
Wine marketing
Sites like Klout and Kred emerged to provide aggregate rankings about user’s influence levels, while others like Quora crowdsource opinions and answers for any topic imaginable. Tools like Buzzstream help us curate and group contact information for PR purposes. Application-specific sites like Circlecount and Tweetreach help us understand the social fabric for particular networks.

At the end of the day, your goal should be to come up with an outreach plan to grow your brand’s social network. To learn more about how to approach this, I recommend checking out this great MOZ article:http://moz.com/blog/identifying-online-community

2. Social Advertising

The world of social advertising really grew up this past year, and has become a valued asset by brands and consumers. Facebook and Twitter rolled out some very effective new platforms for advertising, which have proven to be highly effective. By offering extremely targeted placement – for example, you can publish a sponsored Facebook post and display it to only women, aged 40-45, who are also fans of Wine Spectator and Janice Robinson – brands have the ability to laser in on their exact market. Recent IPOs suggest further improvements will come, as brands large and small adopt these digital platforms into their arsenal. Instagram recently announced a new advertising program, as did Pinterest. Even Snapchat has been getting a lot of press lately for its ability to leverage a connection between brands and consumers.

3. Local Search Marketing

It’s estimated that at least 50% of search queries have some local intent, meaning people routinely use their mobile phone or desktop to find a nearby business. Google continues to modify their search results, and serves up highly targeted local results for these types of queries. Any business that’s trying to bring customers through its doors should focus on how to improve their local search marketing. The first step is to claim a Google+ Places page, which is ground zero for ranking. Google uses these pages to rank businesses, and if you don’t have a Places page that’s completely tuned up with your business details, you probably won’t appear in search results.

Of course, that’s just the start. It’s important to build business listings on major sites like Citysearch, yp.com, and others. Services like Localeze and Yext can help aggregate your business data to major websites for a cost. It’s also important to consider building a presence on relevant regional sites. GetListed has a great resource of the top local citation sources by city, which I highly recommend checking out. For a thorough understanding of how to rank in local search results I would check out this article, which is filled with resources.

Another interesting aspect of local search marketing comes from new technologies that help you geo-target nearby consumers. These tools allow brands to connect with people by offering them a special promotion or message when they’re nearby. For example, when I’m using Waze to get directions somewhere, I might get a message offering me a 2-for-1 special from a Starbucks that I’m passing.

4. Content Marketing Strategy

This past year brought a deluge of bloggers declaring “content is king” – a phrase we’ve heard many times. Yet, the value of content has never been higher. As individuals and brands look for recognition, content is the backbone that helps them rise above. By creating useful and usable content, brands can extend their reach to new heights. On the other hand, the deluge of “thin” content can result in wasted efforts and disappointment. Your brand can no longer remain a static entity online; the content you create and share with others must flow steadily back and forth.

This section really deserves an entire book to fully explore in detail, but I would recommend starting out with Neil Patel’s giant resource – The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing. Or here: Content marketing strategy for wineries from Mike Meisner.

5. Personalization and Segmentation

Big data has been a buzzword for a few years, and it’s been hard for smaller companies to put it into action. In effect, big data is just that – big and hard to wrangle. With some deliberate focus, and help from various tools out there, it doesn’t need to be. The first priority for any brand should be to identify goals. Are you trying to build your subscriber list, get users into your checkout funnel, or understand the best time of day to launch an email marketing plan?

Start by identifying your main priorities, and then you can focus on how to measure that data. Use tools like Google Analytics to understand user behavior on your website. They recently introduced some amazing demographic reports that allow you to measure the age, gender, and interests of your website visitors. Once you understand that males between the ages of 35-45 come to your website on Tuesday morning and have 3x the conversion rate of other shoppers, you can use that information to your advantage. For example, you might then create a targeted Facebook ad campaign that runs on Monday/Tuesday and displays only to users who fit that profile. Email marketing is another area where you can make huge improvements by segmenting your audience to better understand their behavior. Email remains the number one way to connect with your audience, and by tailoring your messaging to specific groups, you’ll extract the most value from your list.

Remarketing is another great way to take advantage of personalization and segmentation. Have you ever been shopping for a pair of shoes online, and then seen those same kicks in a banner ad on the side of an entirely different website? That’s remarketing. It’s actually quite easy to set up a campaign like this using a service like Perfect Audience or Adroll. You can define visitor segments down to the product level, and create matching ads to show those people once they leave your site. It’s simple, smart, and very affordable.

My advice is to pick one or two areas that you’re interested in, and that you feel could really make a difference. Stick with it, and put in some earnest time trying them out. The worst thing you can do is launch a campaign half-cocked, and then decide it was ineffective and a waste of money.

Post By:   Michael Meisner

Master of your own Destiny

Freelancers and consultants are known as “independent contractors” in legal terms. An independent contractor (IC) is a person who contracts to perform services for others without having the legal status of an employee. Most people who qualify as independent contractors have their own trade, business, or profession — that is, they are in business for themselves.

Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month

Good examples of ICs are professionals or tradespeople with their own practices, such as doctors, graphic artists, accountants, plumbers, and carpenters. Independent contracting is also common in highly specialized or technical fields, such as computer programming, engineering, and accounting. You can find ICs in almost every field, from construction to marketing to nursing. Any person who is in business for himself or herself qualifies as an IC.

Advantages of Working as an Independent Contractor

Independent contractors reap many rewards that regular wage earners may never experience.

You are your own boss.

When you’re an IC, you’re your own boss, with all of the risks and rewards that entails. You can choose how, when, and where to work, for as much or little time as you want.

ICs are masters of their economic fate. The amount of money they make is directly related to the quantity and quality of their work. This is not necessarily the case for employees. ICs don’t have to ask their bosses for a raise — if they want to earn more, they just have to go out and find more work or raise the amount they charge. And, because most ICs are not dependent upon a single company for their livelihood, the hiring or firing decisions of any one company don’t impact ICs like they do employees.

You may earn more than employees.

You can often earn more as an IC than as an employee in someone else’s business. For example, an employee in a public relations firm decided to become an IC when she learned that the firm billed her time out to clients at $125 per hour while paying her only $17 per hour. She charges $75 per hour as an IC and makes a far better living than she ever did as an employee.

According to The Wall Street Journal, ICs are usually paid 20% to 40% more per hour than employees performing the same work. Hiring firms can afford to pay ICs more because they don’t have to pay Social Security taxes or unemployment compensation taxes, provide workers’ compensation coverage, or provide employee benefits like health insurance and sick leave.

Of course, how much you’re paid is a matter for negotiation between you and your clients. ICs whose skills are in great demand may receive far more than employees doing similar work.

You may pay lower income taxes.

Being an IC also provides you with many tax benefits that are not available to employees. For example, no federal or state taxes are withheld from your paychecks, as they must be for employees. Instead, ICs have to pay estimated taxes directly to the IRS four times a year. This means you can hold on to your hard-earned money longer before you have to turn it over to the IRS. Moreover, it’s up to you to decide how much estimated tax to pay (but there are penalties if you underpay). This flexibility gives you more control over the money you earn.

You can also take advantage of many business-related tax deductions that are not available to employees. When you’re an IC, you can deduct from your taxable income any necessary expenses related to your business, as long as they are reasonable in amount and ordinarily incurred by businesses of your type. This may include, for example, office expenses (including costs associated with a home office), travel expenses, entertainment and meal expenses, cable TV and magazine expenses, equipment and insurance costs, and much more.

ICs can also establish tax-advantaged retirement plans such as SEP-IRAs and Keogh Plans. This enables you to shelter a substantial amount of your income until you retire.

Because of these tax benefits, ICs often pay less tax than employees who earn similar incomes.

Disadvantages of Working as an Independent Contractor

Despite the advantages, being an IC is not always a bed of roses. Here are some of the major drawbacks.

No job security.

When you’re an employee, you must be paid as long as you have your job, even if your employer’s business is slow. This is not the case when you’re an IC. If you don’t have business, you don’t make any money. As one IC says, “If I fail, I don’t eat. I don’t have the comfort of punching a time clock and knowing the check will be there on payday.”

No employer-provided benefits.

Many employers provide their employees with health insurance, paid vacations, and paid sick leave. More generous employers may also provide retirement benefits, bonuses, and even employee profit sharing.

When you’re an IC, you get no such benefits. You must pay for your own health insurance, often at higher rates than employers have to pay. Time lost due to vacations and illness comes directly out of your bottom line. And you must fund your own retirement. If you don’t earn enough money as an IC to purchase these items yourself, you will have to do without.

No unemployment insurance benefits.

ICs also don’t have the safety net provided by unemployment insurance. Hiring firms do not pay unemployment compensation taxes for ICs, and ICs can’t collect unemployment when their work for a client ends.

No employer-provided workers’ compensation.

Hiring firms do not provide workers’ compensation coverage for ICs. If a work-related injury is an IC’s fault, he or she has no recourse against the hiring firm.

Few or no labor law protections.

A wide array of federal and state laws protect employees from unfair exploitation and discrimination by employers. Very few of these laws apply to ICs.

Risk of not being paid.

Some ICs have great difficulty getting their clients to pay on time or at all. When you’re an IC, you bear the risk of loss from deadbeat clients.

Liability for business debts.

Finally, most ICs are personally liable for the debts of their businesses. An IC whose business fails could lose most of what he or she owns.

http://www.nolo.com › Self-Employed Consultants & Contractors‎

by Stephen Fishman