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10 Steps to Extraordinary Business Success

10 Steps to Extraordinary Business Success

A lot of things you do to bring your business success occur during the early stages, such as when thinking of a new idea that will stand out among the competition. Nonetheless, successful companies have marketing strategies that deliver long-term results, and being committed to them is crucial for future success. Today’s digital world also presents many new opportunities for growth, including the following.

1. Viral Marketing

The connected world makes it easier than ever to share new ideas with the masses, and a viral marketing strategy capitalizes on online media, like social media and bookmarking websites, to spread content quickly. Viral marketing is all about finding a way to encourage your existing customers to share great online content with their friends, family, colleagues, and the rest of the world at large.

2. Unconventional PR

The digital world is a crowded and noisy one, and standing out among the competition sometimes requires a more unconventional approach. Publishing content that’s controversial is sure to inspire conversation while carrying out some daring stunts will help generate a buzz around your brand. It might not impress everyone, but some unconventional PR will certainly get people talking about you.

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3. Social Media Presence

With 1.65 billion active monthly users, Facebook is hardly just a passing fad, and social media has become one of the most common reasons for people to get online every day, whether they’re using a mobile device or a desktop computer. As such, building up a presence on social media through a mix of community building and paid promotion will greatly increase your brand’s visibility.

4. Traditional Marketing

While there’s no doubting the effectiveness of internet marketing in today’s digital age, traditional marketing shouldn’t be neglected either. After all, many people still spend hours every week in front of the TV, while others would never sacrifice the printed newspaper or magazine to read the news online instead. Offline ads still have an impact, even if they’re not as important as they once were.

5. Outstanding Content

Content is a core area of any digital marketing strategy and, although it has been around in one form or another since the dawn of modern advertising, the digital medium greatly increases its potential. Content that is helpful, relevant, or even just thoroughly entertaining forms the bulk of any solid digital marketing strategy as well as the basis for any kind of viral marketing.

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6. Sustainable Emailing

No, email is not going out of fashion to make way for social media, despite what some people might have you believe. Almost everyone in the western world has an email address, with most people checking their emails multiple times per day. Email is where your customers are, so it stands to reason that an email marketing campaign can bring excellent rewards, provided you’re writing to the right people.

7. Authority Blogging

There are over 150 million blogs in the world, but only a small percentage of them have a truly engaged audience. However, the trusty blog presents a simple platform for building up authority for both your brand and you as an individual. Authority blogs, which are clearly written by people who know their industries, become widely respected and known for what they are, greatly elevating the brand in the process.

8. Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is often seen as the domain of spammers and junk digital products, but it depends entirely on how you approach it. Getting others to sell products while letting them keep a percentage of the revenue has been around since the birth of modern commerce, and it presents the potential to free up your time to focus on core areas of your business.

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9. Trade Fairs

Again, not all modern marketing has to take place online, and there’s still no online substitute for the traditional trade show. Just consider, for example, the enormous popularity of the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and how startups or small businesses use it to raise awareness to new and upcoming products. Trade fairs present an excellent opportunity to announce new products and partnerships and build up excitement.

10. Community Building

The evolution of the digital world and social media has made community building a key priority for any modern marketing campaign. By investing in meaningful connections between your brand and its followers, you’ll be able to create a whole army of passionate brand ambassadors who will spread the word about your brand and its products and services.

Final Words

None of the above will ever happen overnight, but once you’ve got a strategy in place that takes into account all of the key areas of modern marketing, success should come in time. Once you have built up just a small audience of engaged followers, results should start to improve exponentially as you start tapping into the potential of viral marketing, community building, and social media.

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Featured photo credit: Tumblr via 66.media.tumblr.com

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Published on March 25, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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