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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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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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