Tag Archives: Business

7 Strategies for Dealing with Toxic People

Toxic PeopleA guest post by Leo Babauta

Are there people who constantly criticize you, tell you that you can’t do things, make you feel bad about yourself, even yell at you?

These are toxic people.

Dealing with them is never easy, but it’s such a difficult problem that it’s worth looking at some strategies you might consider.

I was reminded of this problem by a reader recently, who asked, “What if toxic people are my family? How do I shut them out? What if I can’t find the courage to rise above them?”

I have to confess, there aren’t any easy answers. I’ve used a number of strategies in my life, and I’ll share what I’ve tried:

  1. Practice self-compassion when you’re feeling bad. This is always my first step these days, as I’ve learned how useful this method is. Think about it: if you’re feeling bad because of someone else’s behavior, you might show your anger or irritation in your actions and words, and that only makes that person more likely to be toxic. Your bad feelings are not only horrible for you, but for the situation. So try this when you notice you’re feeling bad from someone else’s actions/words: turn inward and notice your feelings, instead of avoiding them. What do they feel like in your body? After a minute, try creating a feeling of love towards yourself. Wish yourself happiness, and an end to your suffering. Wish yourself a life of joy and peacefulness. This won’t magically cure the pain, but it’s a good place to start.
  2. Talk to other people. I’ve found that when I’m hurting, I often don’t want to admit it to other people, but then when I talk to someone about it, I inevitably feel better. So take the plunge and talk to someone. Share your feelings, ask for them to listen, maybe even give advice. The advice doesn’t matter so much as the connection and listening.
  3. Practice empathy and compassion. Try practicing the same compassion method towards the person who frustrates you. In your heart, wish them happiness. See that they’re also going through difficulties, like you are, and that’s why they act that way. Wish for an end to their suffering. Wish them a life of joy and ease.
  4. Talk to the toxic person. Once you start to feel more compassionate towards the other person, talk to them. Yes, they might not act in a compassionate and peaceful way towards you, but you can be the better person. You can see that they’re suffering in some way, and are acting inappropriately because of that suffering. Try connecting with them, sharing that you’re having a hard time, asking for their support. This might not always turn out well, but if you do it in a spirit of connection, they might be open to this discussion.
  5. Model the behavior you want to see. Often I get mad at other people for getting mad at me, and then I’m doing the same thing they are, behaving badly because they behaved badly. Even if I feel it’s their fault, my behavior escalates the situation. So I try to show how to deal with frustration, try to be compassionate with them, try to show a positive way of dealing with things. And often that can have a great effect, even if it’s not immediate.
  6. Find more positive friends. If all of this isn’t working, it helps to find other people who are more aligned with the way you want to live. People who are creative, entrepreneurial, self-sufficient, excited about things, positive, healthy, happy. Find them in your local running club, yoga or crossfit class, Toastmasters, volunteer organizations. Find them online in various positive communities. Take the plunge and reach out, develop relationships. Buy someone tea or coffee and start a friendship. One by one, nurture the relationships that have a positive influence in your life, and be a positive influence in theirs. I’ve done this in my life, and it’s made a huge difference.
  7. Cut them out. It’s a harsh thing, but when family members aren’t supportive of me, if they’re constantly critical and angry … and none of the above works … I will just stop seeing them as much. I’ll do my own thing. See other friends. That’s harder to do, of course, when they live with you, but even then you can go out for a run, take a hike and see nature, meditate, create. Don’t let the thinking about toxic people be the thing you focus on all day — put your mind in more peaceful, creative, positive places.

Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

 

Leo Babauta is the author of The Power of Less creator and blogger at Zen Habits, a Top 25 blog (according to TIME magazine) with  over 200,000 subscribers. It’s one of the top productivity and simplicity blogs on the Internet.

The Hypocrisy of the “Consultative Sell”

By Christopher Banks / Marketing and Media Manager and Consultant – Retired

Many years ago media sales organizations directly tied the success of an advertising campaign to the usage of the “consultative sell”, promoting it as the sine qua non of sales strategies. With it that a “consultative sell” requires in depth research and collaboration with the potential prospect, leading to a greater potential for success, I totally agree. However, the reality of today’s management demands (expedited project turnaround and immediate performance acquisition), has evidenced their proclamation as being nothing short of hypocritical. Is this a uniform practice among all media sales organizations? I believe not, however, those that still subscribe to the common sense platform of your success being tied to the success of the client, are the exception, not the rule.

Account Executives and Media Consultants (as some companies entitle them) are not at fault. I truly believe that most AE’s understand their livelihood is based on the client’s success and on the longevity of the client/AE relationship. Instead, some insiders observe that it is the industry’s new upper management – some with little interest or grounding in sound and sustainable sales and service practices — who bear the lion’s share of the responsibility. These are the self-styled, modern-day media gladiators who subscribe to an ethic that places a far higher premium on attracting new, and too often transient, business than on the cultivation of existing relationships and attention to their ongoing and future needs.

Can the prospective client’s need for in depth consultation effectively dovetail with upper management’s demand for quick turnaround and budget acquisition achievement? Can the AE successfully manage a dual endeavor process that is prone to contradictory decisions? Can a prospective client trust that an AE under pressure to “make budget” will truly have his or her best interests in mind when making campaign recommendations? Can the AE afford to spend the time truly needed to develop a successful campaign, while under the gun to close…right now? Regrettably….I feel the answer to all of these questions is no.

Are anyone’s interests ultimately served by retreating from the basic principles of the “consultative sell” as an organizing tool, a management style, a commitment to the client, a business ethos? Does anyone hope to restore the clients’ satisfaction in a job well done and that of our industry’s professionals in having done a job well? If your answer to the first question is that no interest is served, and you do have an interest in securing a satisfied, productive client base and in reclaiming the pride of working as professionals in our industry, you might consider the following common sense points helpful:

  1. Recognize that prospective clients are investing their trust…and funds…in you, the Account Executive. You must become another member of that prospect’s “staff”, vested in the prosperity of your client’s business.
  2. Demonstrate that your work ethic is incredible. This will do much to develop the prospect’s respect for your ability and commitment to the firm’s success.
  3. Be committed to investing the time needed to be productive and effective–on and off the clock. The completion of a consultative collaboration may require that you start work early, end work late and/or devote weekends to the process. You also will need to spend time actually working at the prospect’s business to gain a full understanding of its dynamics.
  4. Be aware that you will not be able to help every prospect. Do not be afraid to inform them of such. They will respect you for doing so. For most Account Executives ….this is a difficult conversation. If you keep in mind, however, that the prospect deserves your honesty, combined with this process being a true investment on your part…you will understand the logic.
  5. Seek employment with an organization that subscribes to your belief in the consultative sell. A number of media organizations have prospered significantly because of their reputations for “putting the client first”. You’ll recognize them by the continuity and stability within their Account Executive ranks.
  6. Guard your integrity as if it’s your “family jewel”….because it is! If you conduct yourself with integrity, you will earn the respect of your colleagues, your clients, your competitors, and, if necessary, your prospective new employer. Most important, you will preserve your self-respect. At the end of the day, it will be your most treasured attribute.

Understand that those in upper management will probably not change their ways. After all, they too have someone making the same demands of them. However, if you subscribe to the six practices noted above…you soon will be saying…..”I don’t have to go to work…..I get to go to work”.

Christopher Banks

 

Christopher Banks
Marketing and Media Manager and Consultant – Retired

 

Social Media Time Savers for Small Business Owners

A guest post by Nina Radetich / Social Media Strategist, Trainer, Speaker

One of the biggest reasons small businesses hire an assistant or agency to help them with social media is time.  It’s not because they can’t do it themselves, it’s just because their time is better spent on other tasks.  But not all small businesses have the money to do that.  If you’re a one-woman or one-man show in your business, this post is for you.  Here’s my 5-step plan for streamlining social media in your work week,  so you take advantage of the opportunities it has to offer, but don’t let it completely monopolize your time.Nevada Media Consultants

  1. 1. Plan Your Content Calendar. Start on Friday and plan for the following week.  And don’t make this complicated – just use the calendar on your computer or smart phone.  Take a look at what’s going on in your business for the following week, and start making a plan for social media posts.  Are you announcing a new product?  Have you created a new program?  Is there a special national day this week (Memorial Day, Valentine’s Day, etc)?  Do you have a high-level meeting scheduled with someone who will allow you to take their picture?  Or maybe you’ve got some fun family news to share (don’t forget to keep it human!).
  2. Write Your Content.  Leave the content calendar over the weekend and revisit it on Monday morning.  At this point, you’ll have a better sense of what’s going on in your work week.  I know Monday is an administrative day for many of my small business friends.  So take some time today to write up your posts for the week.  If you are on Twitter, curate some interesting content using tools like the Zite app or ContentGems.com.
  3. Nevada Media ConsultantsSchedule Your Content. While it’s crucial that there’s a real-time element to social media, that doesn’t mean you can’t schedule most of your posts in advance.  Once you’ve gotten your posts written on Monday, take a few minutes to schedule them for the rest of the week.  Hootsuite and Buffer are great tools for this.  And Facebook allows you to schedule right from your timeline.  So after you’ve planned your calendar for the week, get as much content scheduled as possible, making notes to remind yourself of real-time content yet to be shared.
  4. Monitor & Respond.  Just like we all have to book time to exercise in order to actually make it happen, you’ll need to book some time in your day to monitor your sites and respond to the people who are engaging with you.  And by booking time, I don’t mean popping in every time you see a notification on your phone.  While it’s true that people do expect a quick response on social, this is just simply not possible all the time for a small business owner.  And to truly make sure you don’t get sucked into the vortex of the Facebook news feed (’cause we’ve all been there), you should schedule time at regular intervals to check your sites.  10 minute intervals three times a day will allow you to answer any questions people might have, like any comments, and re-tweet or favorite any mentions on Twitter.
  5. Network. This is a crucial step missed by most on social media.  Remember, it’s not all about you!  At least a couple times a week, make time to be social.  This is the fun part!  Are you involved in any Facebook groups?  Contribute if you can, see what others are sharing in the group and comment on what they’ve shared.  Look through your Twitter feed to find re-tweetable content for your audience.  If you’ve spent some time on your Facebook business page liking other pages, you’ll have a news feed that’s separate from your personal news feed.  Is there content worth sharing or commenting on in that feed?  Support and chat with others in social media, and it’ll do wonders for the growth of your own community!

What do you do to streamline your social media activities every week?  How do you make sure you stay active on social without letting it take up all your time?
Leave a comment, let us know.

Nina Radetich - Guest post Nevada Media Consultants

 

 

Nina Radetich
Social Media Strategist, Trainer, Speaker

Nina Radetich / New Media Strategies
Contact Nina here.

The Color of Advertising – What to use and why.

Color Bar

Color is one of the most important factors to consider when creating  your advertising or media message.

How you use color in your advertising, the colors you choose, and whether they are dark, bright or soft can make a huge difference.

Color can help you

1. Create an image you want for your store or business.

2. Sell to the people you want as customers.

3. Create interest in people in buying or sampling your product or service.

Below are some ways advertisers and marketers use color to create better and more impactful media messages. While these examples don’t describe all the ways  color may be used, they do so you the advantages of using color wisely.

Colors to use and why

RED is one of the most vibrant of colors and he most emotionally charged. Used in fast-paced commercials, red communicates vitality and youth for a product or brand. Use red for single items or sparingly throughout. Red can say that you are energetic and up to date.

BLUE is considered a friendly color. It reflects a conservative, traditional and friendly image.

WHITE is one of the colors most associated with quality in television commercials. It symbolizes style and value to most viewers. When used in slow-paced commercials, white can convey excellence and elegance.

BLACK denotes sophistication and works well when showcasing high-end products or services. Black can also be used as a background color to enhance other colors. Use black sparingly as a contrast to light or bright colors.

BROWN is considered by many  to be a masculine color. It is associated with the earth, warmth and comfort. In particular brown is appealing to men and is used very often in selling men’s products or services.

GREEN is a color that can stand for health and freshness. It is a comforting and soothing color particularly when use in a low-key and conservative commercial. Green can be very effective element to motivate viewers when a call to action is used.

BRIGHT OR SOFT COLORS are used as a decision based on your overall goal and theme. To communicated a conservative image, choose softer tones and a softer focus. To be more progressive pick brighter colors with a sharper focus.

EXPERIMENT with color to find the perfect mix for your business advertising. While the above guidelines are a good starting point it is okay to try different looks and styles. Depending on the length and message you are trying to convey you might try different colors in various scenes.

Choosing the right colors to market and brand your business is important. How you convey that image and brand is critical. If you need help with either one, Nevada Media Consultants can be your hands on  partner and advocate.

Kelly Herren

Kelly Herren

 

Kelly Herren
Media Consultant
Contact here.

 

 

“Worst” of mouth Advertising

Advertising, Marketing, Business, Word-of-Mouth

That’s right, “worst” of mouth advertising not word-of-mouth advertising. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a 1,000 times; word-of-mouth advertising is the best advertising.

But really, word-of-mouth advertising is the worst kind of advertising. Why? Do you really know what your customers are saying about you or your business? I doubt it very much.

If your current or potential customers are talking about you at all, it’s likely they are saying things about you or your business that might or might not be true. If it is true and it’s a good thing they are saying, well and good. However, you must remember that their experience with your business is really only from their perspective. Sometimes that perspective is right but many times it is wrong.

Do you want your business success to rely on the potentially flawed perception of one of your current or former customers? I don’t think so.

No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, your existing or former customers are only going to give others their biased opinions on what they perceive your business to be, not necessarily what it is.

Each person that comes through your door, enters your website or calls you on the phone will walk away with a different experience. When they talk to others about that experience you may find that what they tell others is somewhat accurate or completely wrong. You have very little  control over what is said when  your customers are telling others about their experience with your business.

However, with genuine advertising and marketing you control the entire message. You control the content, theme, tone and feeling that your customers will experience about your business. You control exactly what is said and how you say it. You cannot do this with word-of-mouth advertising, even the so-called paid word-of-mouth advertising.

No matter what media you choose to advertise your business you are in total control. Regardless of your choice you can position your business exactly as you wish it to be positioned in the mind of the current or future customer. You, the business owner and especially with the help of a trusted marketing advisor, can always get it right. You know your business better than anyone. Your customer or potential customer many times can’t articulate what your business is about and many times gets it completely wrong. You can’t reliably build your business that way.

Advertising and marketing with the right message is always the right path to take because you control it. If your customer controls the message it can lead to many unforeseen problems. We all have heard the stories.

Stay in control. Tell your customers what they need to hear and what you want them to hear. It’s just that simple. If you are relying on word-of-mouth advertising to build your business good luck, it rarely if ever works. A well thought out advertising and marketing plan always will.


Kelly Herren
M
edia Consultant
Contact here.