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Brace Your Online Presence In 6 Easy Steps

Brace Your Online Presence In 6 Easy Steps
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In today’s age of near internet-ubiquity, developing your brand’s online presence is key if you don’t want to be left in the dust of current marketing trends. Here are six tips to help you make sure your business creates and maintains a strong online presence.

Use Social Media To “Meet” Consumer Needs

Too often, companies will simply treat their Facebook or other social media page as just another place to post advertisements or press releases. This doesn’t realize the potential for communication with your customer base.

Allow your customers to actually communicate with your company’s social media accounts, and reach out to them when possible. You might be surprised at how much you could gain in terms of customer relations from a little back-and-forth online. Need concrete evidence? Check out this article on how JetBlue overcame the fallout of its “Valentine’s day crisis” by utilizing social media.

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Know How To “Go Mobile”

Now smartphones seem to be popping up everywhere you look; a lot of people are browsing the internet on smaller screens. If your company website only has a desktop version, it won’t look as sleek on the screen of a smartphone.

See what you can do to develop a mobile version of your website, and customers should notice your commitment to streamlining. You can still keep your regular site’s overall theme or format—just optimize and cut it down for a smaller device.

Pay For Ads A Click At A Time

Don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your marketing or advertising budget? Your company should invest in pay per click ads: customizable online ads for your business you only pay for when someone clicks on them.

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Pay per click ads are ideal for smaller operations who don’t have the budget for advertising agencies or SEO companies to provide them with quality marketing on the internet. Check out Google’s AdWords to get a feel for the concept.

Be “Real” Online

While it’s important to stay professional online, keep things a little more personable than the boardroom. Imagine turning off a prospective customer simply because they couldn’t relate to the voice of your online content like blogs, mission statements, or any other content that wouldn’t count strictly as marketing or advertising.

Adding a personal touch to your online content lets the consumer know an actual, real person is behind the message. Try to make your web content as “real” as humanly possible.

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Know Who You’re Selling To

No-brainer, right? You can’t sell your product if you don’t know who you’re selling to. In reality though, we know it isn’t so simple. But not every company has the disposable funds to get the latest focus group findings or case study results from Proctor & Gamble.

Smaller companies need good literature on their targeted demographic, too. This is where cheaper or free literature can become a real boon. Two examples: check out this Mashable article called “14 Tips to Nail Down Demographics,” as well as this free eBook, “Getting Women to Buy,” which aims to clue would-be advertisers and marketers in to selling to women as a demographic.

Keep Track Of Your Net Presence

Don’t fall prey to this online faux pas: posting great marketing content, then falling out of step with market trends by failing to update content over time in an ever-changing world of online advertising.

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Maybe you’ve heard of a concept called “file and forget.” Whatever you do, don’t let your website become an example of “post and neglect.” If you take care of your company’s internet presence, it will take care of you in the form of happier customers and a better relationship with your target demographic.

Featured photo credit: photopin.com via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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