Bite-sized content is becoming more popular with online audiences on both mobile and computer devices. Creating unique and eye-catching images opens the door for converting leads into sales and growing your social networks with organic methods.
Which platforms work the best for microblogging posts? After conducting the right target market research to learn how to best meet the needs of that audience your brand’s next strategy should be to meet your audience where they are at.
Social media has become a leading powerful brand building tool, and has the potential to build more authority as well as create a high level of influence that increases subscribers and sales.
Give Your Personal Brand a Boost with Microblogging
Here are several places you can share your message in an attractive format:
Twitter – When people think of microblogging they first come this social network. This is a place where chats, video, and engaging conversations take place. Easily build your social footprint, and attract more interested visitors to your website as well.
Instagram – This social network began as an image sharing platform for teens and has quickly grown to a premier place for sharing viral photos and videos as well as stories and live broadcasts. With the right branding you can attract a loyal audience who will be more likely to make a purchase.
Tumblr – If your branding is centered around art and creativity then you will love this micro content website. The focus is based on interest and niche groups which makes it very easy to hone in on the right community. This place is geared toward a younger crowd and those who are both crafty and artistic.
Pinterest – Establish your brand as a go-to resource by sharing articles, infographics, videos, and photos. By creating multiple boards you can attract a niche community in different categories as well as connect with other brands who have a network that can be drawn into your own profile.
Microblogging is a golden opportunity to expand your publishing efforts for your personal brand. With these social media platforms it is possible to grow your community through organic methods in addition to advertising.
This post was inspired by a picture I saw of Sir Richard Branson.
Where he is having some fun as he steps off The Red Carpet.
It got me thinking about how he seems to Embrace the Red Carpet Keepers and what we can learn from that.
What happens when YOU step off the red carpet?
More than likely what you’ll find is that there are an army of capable, competent, and committed people to ensure that The Red Carpet experience stays what it is supposed to be.
Perhaps these can be called the Red Carpet Keepers.
Red Carpet Keepers are everywhere and in every level of society.
I believe everyone can appreciate the Red Carpet Keepers and recognize them for their contributions.
When you step off the red carpet and do so in earnest you’ll quickly find that the people that support the effort are the people that make the red carpet possible.
There are countless people enabling, supporting, and rolling out red carpets everywhere.
You might be thinking… But, I’m not on the red carpet!
Think about for a second. Everyone, in every walk of life, is on some sort of red carpet.
The carpet may not literally be red. But, there is some privilege that goes with the “red carpet” that you’re walking on today.
Realize The Red Carpet you are on
It is incumbent upon every individual to realize the bounty and good fortune they have to be walking on the red carpet they have today. To realize that many others don’t have the red carpet you do. And, whether you are supporting The Red Carpet or on The Red Carpet it is up to us to realize where we are and to give credit where credit is due.
Your Challenge… Should you choose to accept it: Pull someone onto your red carpet.
As mentioned, this post was inspired by a picture I saw of Richard Branson as he was stepping off one of his planes. He is taking a step off the red carpet in this post on Inc. and it just made me smile at his whimsy.
Now, I don’t know Richard Branson and I’ve never been invited to Necker island. But, from what I’ve seen about Sir Richard Branson I believe he knows he is on an amazing red carpet. I also believe he knows he can share his experiences, his wealth, and his whimsy with the world. Which he does on a regular basis and is what inspired me to write this based on the picture in the Inc. post.
How Does This Apply To You?
I’m not looking to make anyone feel bad about what they have or their perception of what they don’t have. I’m looking to use this opportunity to suggest that everyone reading this to embrace what you do have and to envision what you can do with it.
Not everyone can be as magnanimous as Sir Richard Branson.
But, everyone can be themselves.
When you share what you know, give what you can, and realize that you too are on a red carpet… you will Stand Out in Your Career.
Every morning when I get to my computer, I’m amazed at how many companies have targeted me as someone in need of their products or services. I take it in stride, though, because in 99 percent of the cases, I’m of course not interested, and I know that the e-mail has been sent to a vast audience.
Usually, I read at least some of the content because I’m intrigued not by the content but by the company’s marketing tactics. I do get puzzled, though, by the reason that all of these marketing gurus advocate the overwhelming of their audiences. We know that the average person’s span of attention is 20 seconds, yet a read of the entire document would probably take more than 10 minutes. So, my questions are, How many people are turned off by an e-mail’s sheer size? How many read at least a portion of the message? and, How many become convinced that the product or service is exactly what they need and in the end, buy it?
I for one am the type of person who needs information summed up quickly and who must be kept intrigued; otherwise, I delete without remorse, block the sender and move on.
Specifically what caught my eye this morning was an e-mail about “winning, job interview answers.” The Web site link led to listed several potentially difficult interview questions—designed of course to work on the reader’s emotions. It reminded me of a common question that life insurance salespeople like to ask: “What happens to your loved ones once you die?” Further, the site promised to build your likability. And your confidence. Oh, really? That easily? And all this by downloading a bunch of PDF files and buying books that, if done by tonight(!), would be discounted 40%. And to build a reader’s confidence, there’s also a wealth recommendation.
What seemed scary to me was the insinuation that by reading the answers to such questions, “you will get hired.” But I’m in fact a practicing professional career coach specializing in training people for interviews. And after 11 years of such practice and after 700 clients, I can say with confidence that the insinuation about getting hired is an exaggeration.
Interview preparation is a complex task, involving more than just memorization of canned answers. I wonder if anyone believes that reading a book on, say, how to dance makes one ready to jump onto the dance floor and do a demonstration in front of an audience of critical judges. The only way I know of to train people for interviews is by demonstrating for them, practicing with them, providing constructive critiques, and then doing it again and again till perfect. Please share your opinion. The value of these blogs is in others’ comments.
Between jobs and struggling to make it by with regular lifestyle choices? Until a hiring manager calls with good news, you need to make a few cuts, but you want to do more than survive.
You want to thrive! Here are five ways to hack your budget between jobs and save money.
1. Cut the Cord and Keep Tube Time
You may have given up on your New Year’s resolutions by now, but you can cut back on other bills in your life. Start small. Cut the cord altogether, and keep your tube time intact.
Consider casting TV shows from your smartphone to the big screen via Google Chrome, Roku or a similar device if you’re the type that just needs noise in the background and loves old shows. Channels such as HBO and NBC have apps available but offer a monthly fee at much less monthly. YouTube lets you stream some content for free, especially if you love cat videos and keeping up with favorite vloggers.
You’ve heard of Netflix, which is great, but there are more options to pick and choose from — even combine to get the TV experience you want for less. You can still access live TV when you cut the cord, with streaming subscription services such as:
Sling starts at $20 and goes up, depending on the package, and you can customize your package with add-ons for Spanish language channels and sports.
Hulu begins at $40 a month for 55 channels that include varying major networks, such as NBC, FOX and CBS.
PlayStation Vue starter packages offer 45 channels with Access/Access Slim: $40/$30 per month with up to five continuous streams allowed at once.
2. Hack Home and Living Expenses
Ideally, never let your housing budget exceed 30 percent of your take-home pay, and for homeowners, that total also counts homeowner’s insurance and property tax. Typical home repairs vary, but it’s wise to budget that in, too, even for renters, who may be responsible for damage they contribute to or cause.
Most don’t live in ideal circumstances. Half of your monthly take-home pay gets put toward the mortgage or rent, especially when between jobs. Try living by the 50/20/30 rule where you still have flexibility but maintain a healthy budget for home and living expenses:
Fixed costs should only consume 50 percent of income and apply to those fixed costs that remain the same monthly, such as rent and internet.
Savings should comprise 20 percent of your income.
Variable costs should only use up 30 percent of your income and include expenses such as groceries, entertainment and clothing.
Adjust these percentages based on your circumstances, aiming to work toward the rule for a healthier financial balance.
In the meantime, where else can you cut or hack your expenses? Invest in a French press over heading to Starbucks every other day. Cut the gym fees, and use free weights and bike or dance. Rent out a room on Airbnb or look for a roommate. If you have a skill to teach others, put it to use for a reasonable fee.
3. Take Transportation Disparities By the Wheel
Transportation costs take up a surprisingly large chunk of your monthly budget, especially if you’re a car owner. The good news: this presents you with more savings opportunities.
When buying or trading in a car, do your research first. You probably considered the costs of down payment and closing, but there’s more. Do you drive about 15,000 miles a year? The average total cost of car ownership was $8,469 in 2017 for clocking that mileage, and that doesn’t count the monthly car payment.
Every model differs, as does the added costs of ownership. How much does the gas tank hold in city or on one of your famous road trips? Don’t forget the loan payments, regular maintenance and emergency repair costs. You never know when you’ll need to replace the break line.
Shop for cheaper car insurance: one study noted an $850 disparity annually between the lowest rates and the average quote you receive. So, shop around for multiple quotes from agents and car insurance providers, and don’t discount small providers — they have some of the best rates around. Shop discounts on your policy, such as anti-theft built into the car, AAA, low mileage and multiple cars.
These little discount hacks add up, but you can always consider alternative forms of transportation, such as taking the bus or biking to work.
4. Get By On More Than Ramen
There’s nothing wrong with living off Ramen. You can add fish and veggies and bake it like casserole. Ramen is versatile, but you need a more balanced diet to keep your health up. Eat your choice of fruit, veggies, meat and bread even on budget based on the change you find around the house.
Use the power of Pinterest to meal plan, grocery shop and save. For example, Crockpot it if you don’t cook to eat cheap and healthy and gain tips on what to do with leftover turkey slices, how to make various curries and make tons of beans more palatable.
Make versatile and big portions of slow cooker recipes like oven roasted potatoes, bone broth and pulled pork — store the leftovers as freezer meals. You’ll actually know what went into your food because you made it.
Clean up a cast iron pan from the thrift store, and use it for various cooking methods: bake, fry and more. Don’t be afraid to experiment with vegetarian and vegan meals, using protein-rich veggies such as cauliflower in your meals. Buy wraps and make enchiladas one night and a chicken salad wrap for another day.
5. Force Yourself to Save
Horrible at saving? When between jobs, it’s hard to help — using up emergency funds are nearly a weekly or monthly thing, depending on your circumstances.
Save with the power of technology and improve your credit score in the process. Apps like Qapital and Digit make you set rules to save when you spend or put money aside automatically for various goals, even providing you with a spending card separate from your goals. Tip yourself a buck every time you go to Starbucks, and set money aside to back debts.
It’s also worthwhile to check out secured credit cards and credit builder loans, which may ask for a deposit of funds to act as your spending limit on a card or deduct a monthly amount to save for you. Such services typically report to the major credit bureaus to boost your credit score, but don’t go this route unless your budget allows for it.
These simple changes will make you save money between jobs, which doesn’t mean you have to lead a bare bones existence. Your health and happiness matter — it’s just about finding what works for you.
Having a reputable employer brand is a must for an organization’s strategy because it has many non-visible benefits such as able to recruit better candidates, reduce hiring and marketing costs, and improve productivity. Therefore, for organizations, that are still in doubt about investing in employer branding, I’ve put together the below post so keep reading and find out why employer branding is so important.
Help Retain Employees and Recruit New Ones: A strong employer brand will make your employees proud that they are part of it. Especially being part of the right company culture is very important for employees. A majority of employees look at the social media channels of employers before applying for a job to have an idea of the brand image. Also, through these channels, they can have an idea of the expectations of the employer and see if they potentially fit into the company culture.
Reduces Costs: If you have a well-known brand, then, you don’t need to spend as much on the recruiting costs. Potential candidates will find you and apply to your positions naturally. Instead, you can spend this amount on your branding or on product development in order to get ahead of your competitors. In addition your recruiting efforts decrease because you don’t spend so much time to find candidates, candidates find you themselves. Also, according to statistics candidates are willing to accept a lower pay, if they work in a company with positive reviews and a well-known brand.
Your Employees Become Your Ambassadors: Current employees become your brand ambassadors and as a result, hires through referrals increase. The more your employees talk positively about you, the more you get good candidates. Also, when your current employees talk about the business, this helps the brand becomes stronger without spending much on marketing because awareness increases by word of mouth. This creates a domino effect. When the brand awareness increases, your sales increase in parallel.
Improves Employee Engagement: Employees who work in strong brands are generally more enthusiastic and motivated. Having motivated employees is great for an employer because they are more productive and more productivity means more growth for a business. When your business grows, your revenues grow as well and this ensures the financial stability of your company. A financially stable company is always more attractive to potential candidates. Moreover, your employees feel more secure in their jobs.
Santella has written for such publications as GQ, the New York Times Book Review, Slate, and the Atlantic.com. He is the author of about sixty nonfiction books for kids, most on topics in American history. He is also managing editor of Elmhurst College’s Prospect Magazine.
Dan Schawbel: Why is there a university tendency to procrastinate? Is procrastination always a bad thing?
Andrew Santella: It’s natural to procrastinate because it’s natural to sometimes be ambivalent and anxious. When I procrastinate it’s often because I’m faced with a challenge I’m too fearful to act on. Or I have a choice to make, but I’m torn between competing impulses. One of the things I learned working on the book was that some birds engage in a similar kind of procrastination. Encountering a rival and given the choice to fight or to flee, a bird might just stand there and peck at the ground instead. That’s procrastination: We all sometimes peck at the ground instead of taking some decisive action. Obviously, too much of that kind of task-avoidance can be a problem for chronic procrastinators. But procrastination also offers an illusion of control as we navigate our daily course of obligations and less-than-perfect options. Which may explain why some wildly productive people also turn out to be procrastinators.
Schawbel: Has technology made us procrastinate more? If so, what can we do about it?
Santella: If you consider how often procrastination pops up in our historical record and in our literature, it’s hard to blame the habit entirely on Twitter or Snapchat. St. Augustine was a procrastinator, and so was Hamlet. The ancient Greek poet Hesiod and the 18th century essayist Samuel Johnson both wrote about the dangers of the habit. None of them were on Facebook. But our access to information technology has unquestionably made it easier to waste time. If you find yourself using screens and technology to avoid tasks, I would try to resist the temptation to blame your devices. Instead, ask what it is about your obligations that makes you want to put them off.
Schawbel: What did you learn about procrastination from your conversations with psychologists, philosophers and priests?
Santella: I had not fully appreciated how much research and scholarship was being done on procrastination, and in how many different disciplines–economics and psychology, biology and neuroscience, education and philosophy. There is an impressive and growing academic literature on procrastination that is continually offering new insights into why we put things off. For example, some research indicates the habit is related to impulsiveness, and like impulsiveness, may be inheritable. The thing about all this research is that it’s kind of ironic that procrastination would keep so many people so very busy.
Schawbel: How can leaders stay focused and spend less time procrastinating?
Santella: Eliminating distractions is a huge concern now, which is why there are so many apps and life hacks available to address that. But that’s nothing new. The French novelist Victor Hugo is said to have kept his mind on his work by removing his clothes and stashing them away, thus eliminating any temptation to leave the office until his writing was done. I don’t think that’s a very practical solution for the modern workplace, though. What makes most sense for me is to be attentive to my procrastination. I try to ask myself why I’m procrastinating: What is it about the task I’m putting off that is so onerous or scary or dull? My procrastination may be trying to tell me something about the way I’m living.
Schawbel: What are your top three pieces of career advice?
Be patient. Following your own path may take longer than doing what everyone else thinks you should do. But procrastinators know that delay sometimes pays off.
Try to solve problems for the people you work with, instead of creating problems.
Be skeptical of any career advice you get, especially if comes from an author promoting a new book. (Look for my new book, Soon, wherever books are sold!!!!)
How can I find my niche and define what is unique about my personal brand?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Be Genuine But Be Different
People see right through fakers, so make sure your personal brand reflects who you really are. Find what the leading social influencers are doing and find something different to take a different segment of the market. I am in the fitness industry, which is full of individuals with no kids and disposable income. My personal brand is that of a family man who runs two successful companies and raises three kids. – Marc Lobliner, TigerFitness.com and MTS Nutrition
2. Find a Balance Between Passion, Knowledge, Profitability
Everyone is always talking about “niche marketing” like it’s the easiest thing in the world to figure out. Finding a niche is easy, but it’s not so easy to find one that you are interested in, knowledgeable in and also want to create a business around. Before jumping into your next niche focus, be sure it applies to those three factors and that it also shows off your expertise. – Zac Johnson, Blogger
3. Don’t Forget to Be Human
Marketers look around and see competition. Human beings look around and see other human beings. The best personal brands are the ones that make one-to-one connections from which to derive value. Thus, it’s less important to stand out and more beneficial to be human. – Logan Lenz, PartsMarket
4. Answer “What Would Happen If I Stopped Tomorrow?”
To identify what makes your brand unique, ask yourself the question: “If I stopped providing services tomorrow, what would customers miss the most about what I offer?” This is what makes you special and different from other brands. – Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint, Massage Williamsburg
5. Do Something You Would Do for Free
The only way to become an industry leader is to do something the very best. That’s easiest when you’re fully enthralled in and passionate about what you do. You’re passionate about snowboarding? Make snowboards. It may take 20 years for you to become successful, and it may never even happen. It sure won’t feel like you wasted 20 years if you spend it doing something you love. – Ali Mahvan, Sharebert
6. Pull Back the Curtain
Publicly share who you are and what you are passionate about as an individual. Demonstrate value surrounding a potential niche by exchanging stories and knowledge with others who are already in it. Learn from those experiences and test other variables before deciding if that is what you want to focus on. Most importantly, be yourself. Authenticity increases the value of every personal brand. – Kage Spatz, Spacetwin
7. Don’t Force It
The best way to find a niche is to simply do your job and isolate your strengths. Then expand on those. Don’t chase the latest news story and build your niche around it. Instead, find what interests you and what you have a track record of success doing, and become an expert and opinion leader. – Ryan Bradley, Koester & Bradley, LLP
8. Determine Your Value-Add
As an entrepreneur, there is something specific to the value you bring to your company, relationships and areas in which you serve. Identify your unique skills and attributes and expand upon them. Identity the “why” behind your “what” and you will quickly find that which makes your personal brand unique. – Jennifer Mellon, Trustify
9. Create Buyer Personas
It’s better to laser-focus and do an excellent job for a niche group of people than do a mediocre job for everyone. This creates loyal brand ambassadors for your product. A place to start is to create buyer personas for your customers. You don’t have to start from scratch; there are many free online templates that can guide you through the market research. – Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster
10. Know Who You Are and Bet on Yourself
Sometimes, we have to try different things to find our niche and what we’re really good at. Choose something you’re passionate about, already know or are skilled at, and continue to build based on that. Once you’ve found your niche you add your own sauce to it with your personality, which makes it unique. Now your personal brand is easily defined by who you are and what you do. – Daniel Griggs, ATX Web Designs, LLC
11. Talk to Friends, Family and Colleagues
In my experience, the best way to do this is to talk to your friends, colleagues or family members. Ask them what they think you’re good at. How would they describe you? What do they value in you as friends or family? Tell them to be brutally honest with you. I found that my friends and family were really able to give me insight on my personal brand and what I’m able to offer others. – Johnathan Solorzano, Solo Media Group
12. Make It Personal
If a brand is personal it is, by definition, unique: It is an expression of an individual’s interests, values, priorities and style of communication, among other things. If you do not introduce consumers and invite them to experience your world, there is nothing unique for them to witness or enjoy. Let the following rule govern your brand: Stand apart by standing out. – Alexander Westgarth, Westgarth Wines
13. Be True to Who You Are
Dr. Seuss had it right: “No one is youer than you.” Be true to who you are. Authenticity goes a long way in entrepreneurship, as customers and investors see straight through facades. Credibility establishes a strong foundation with others. No need to be a distraction to yourself while trying to be someone you’re not. – Jessica Gibson, Ariel Precision Medicine
14. Run a Competitive Analysis
Take a look at your competitors, compare topics and figure out the intersection between the topics they are talking about and the most popular questions online relating to your industry. Dive deeper into topics people aren’t diving that deeply into, and you’ll be able to find and develop a loyal niche for your personal brand. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
15. Create a Personal Brand Blueprint
Finding your niche can seem daunting but there is an exercise you can do that makes it much easier. Start by creating a three-circle Venn diagram: One lists your strongest skills/expertise, another your strongest passions, and the third lists the market’s strongest needs. Once the lists are done, pick the top choice from each and you now have the theme of your personal brand. – Dan San, Meural
With the growing popularity of social media messaging Facebook has once again become a good source for brands to reach their customers in a whole new way. When Messenger first launched it was more of a personal communication tool. Today it can be used to reach an audience through advertising and now programmed bots.
Many businesses rely on their Facebook as a place to attract new leads, drive traffic to their websites, and to handle customers service. By tapping into its mobile platform you can attract new sales and improve your online relationships.
Is it possible to increase your reach on Facebook with the help of optimized bot technology? With the right focus and strategy you can reach more people for your brand.
A simple selling strategy is not difficult to achieve if your business has the right offer and message.
How to Reach New and Existing Customers with Facebook Messenger
Here are several ways your personal brand should leverage your sales on Facebook:
Discover who your audience is – Bots, which are a part of artificial intelligence technology, are intuitive, and allow you to find out what the needs of your audience are through precise communication tailored to each individual. Facebook’s Discover feature allows customers to see exactly which business they have interacted with, and will even remind them to come back.
Create specific topics – Take advantage of the category search feature, which is organized by topic and refreshed on a regular basis. As your brand focuses on specific topics your business will experience targeted results when someone is conducting a search.
Make the buying experience simple – Messenger bots can you can give your leads and customers a very specific set of parameters that eliminates the need to go to another website to accomplish a task such as making a purchase. They should be able to place an order right from a business on Facebook without ever having to leave their messaging service.
Attract a wider mobile audience – As your business establishes a marketing plan online you should be including this newer technology in order to reach more people. Sales, searches, including voice search, and customer service is done less on a computer and more on a smart device. Now is the time to set up your strategy as people look to smart and easy solutions.
While a Facebook Messenger bots are still a fairly new concept for marketing, your personal brand can greatly benefit from this technology by getting ready now. Over time this will become a popular platform for customers to connect with their favorite brands in a one-stop-shop way.
The reasons why people want to make more money are as varied as the number of people on the planet.
The challenge is… How do you insure you are getting what you are worth?
And, the sub-question is… How do you value your time properly so that you are getting what you’re worth?
This is especially true for freelancers and people that are working and the gig economy.
This post is designed to help you understand how to value your time.
As my friend Maria Duron pointed out in this article How to Raise Your Freelancing Rates you should be looking for ways to steadily increase your rate of pay. As the author noted you typically will start at a lower rate in order to obtain to secure the work. Once you secure the work then it becomes a challenge to insure the people paying for your products or services realize you are worth more AND are willing to pay more. This is no small feat and is quite a balancing act.
What is your time worth?
This is an age-old question that is always asked both of yourself and of the people that are paying you. They may not be stating it quite so explicitly. But, the fact remains that you need to provide value that is greater than what you were being paid.
Only in rare cases is this not true. Think Celebrity Endorsements.
Clearly celebrity endorsements work. However, they are not always easily measured and for that reason alone they are subject to question with regards to efficacy. Regardless, it is up to the person funding the effort to decide if that person / brand is worth the money they spend on them. That’s their judgement call, their decision, and ultimately their money.
But, back in the real world… unless you happen to be a celebrity… we need to determine how to value our time the old fashioned way.
The rule of 10 X
A simple rule of thumb is to use the rule of 10 X. That is, whatever product or services you’re providing, should provide 10 times more than the price of your services. Does this work in all situations? Absolutely not. There are scenarios where luxury goods, celebrity endorsements, and life-style brands can charge significantly more than the cost of the product or service. If your product or service fits in this category… good for you.
For the rest of us with more traditional products and services… How do you decide what to charge?
There are as many ways to determine what to charge as there are days in the week (and perhaps a few more). But, let’s start with a few simple examples:
Check with others
Do a calculation
The Simplest Model in Two Questions
What’s your greatest pain today?
What would it be worth to you if I could solve that?
Let’s expand the points above a bit more:
Check with others – ask your peers, ask others in business or social groups you’re part of, check with industry trends. Some vendors will pay more / some less, depending on a lot of factors: where you are in the world; what level of experience you have; and sometimes based on the time of year (seasonality, criticality, etc.). Ask pointed, yet open ended questions to insure you are getting a breadth and depth of the ranges available.
Ask the vendor / Ask the person that pays – Often times they will have rate cards and guidelines for payments. This is great and a good starting point if they will share them with you. Oftentimes you’ll be surprised at the value companies apply to specific services offerings. So much so that you might tweak your offerings to align your skills with specific pricing / valuation models. But, they key point here is… ASK! Just ask them what they would typically pay for a service like yours.
Caveat: Be ready for a shrug of the shoulders … this is especially true if you have a new or unique service. Then you’ll need to rely upon the other facts and your gut feel (see the 2 simple questions)
Criticality – How important and/or time sensitive is the need? If there is an immediate need to tamp down a PR fiasco or some other burning issue you may want to increase your rate. Realize this might be a short lived valuation and be candid with your expectations and timelines.
Caveat: This should not apply in life-or-death situations, but we’ve all seen scenarios where money was made off the back of tragedy.
Do a calculation – this one is a little more complex, but it will tell you where you really stand at the end of each pay period. This is akin to traditional cost accounting. Where you calculate the actual costs. This is where you roll up all of your actual costs and then put a multiplier on that to align with your needs. You can work this forwards or backwards. I find backwards is a good way to get started.
For example, if you know your costs are $2000 per month you can work backwards to determine how many hours or projects (if you do fixed bid) you’ll need to make your nut. Where your nut is $2000. Then you can add a multiplier to this to come up with the price you want to end up with. Note I said “end up with”… you may need to increase this number to allow for discounting.
These are pretty common and straightforward examples. If you have a preferred method for determining your cost basis.
That’s it. You can apply these techniques to your own business or to your role within a larger company. As you become more adept at understanding the cost model for bringing projects in on time and on budget you will become more valuable and you will stand out in your career. Whether you are applying these on a large scale for huge construction projects or for a local PR campaign the model works the same as you scale it up or down.
Give it a try. Let me know in the comments how these work for you. Also, please share your ideas here so we all can learn.
Based on a recent survey by economists, the job market outlook is projecting steady growth in employment. Recruiting consultant CareerXroads reports that new companies find 28 percent of their hires via referrals. Job boards represent one in five applicants, or 20 percent. And career Web sites, about 10 percent. For job seekers or those who contemplate changes in their careers, such statistical information is pertinent so they can know how to spend their time searching for that new gig.
The most efficient way to search is via a job search aggregator such as Indeed.com or SimplyHired.com. Both of those engines search through all jobs in one go, pulling up results from job boards, newspapers’ job sections, companies’ career pages, recruiter sites, and more. Instead of looking via many job boards, these aggregators are huge time savers, but they often display duplicate results. Despite that, they’re still efficient and very helpful. But don’t ignore individual job boards and particularly the specialized ones in your industry. To find those that pertain to your industry, Google them.
As the cliché says, however, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” You need to work your way via multiple channels. Close to a third of jobs are filled via referrals, and a large number of LinkedIn contacts could prove useful for that. Once you’ve targeted a few companies and found an opening, it is imperative that you reach out to the hiring manager. Getting your résumé in front of that person and possibly having a phone chat could make the difference between getting an offer and sending your résumé to nowhere.
Why are you looking for a job?
But let’s review for a moment the reason for the need to look for a job to start with: because the economy is vastly different from economies we remember from the past. In today’s economic climate, people are expected to change jobs and, occasionally, careers. Job stability is simply no longer guaranteed. So, what to do now? Continuing your education and earning advanced credentials are more important than ever, because in this fast-changing and shifting job market, the only things that stay with you and that you can never lose are your professional experience, newly acquired skills, and credentials.
In summary, the future cannot be expected to remind us of the past but is instead similar to a chameleon by constantly changing and morphing into new norms with new needs. Only those who can adapt and embrace that future will succeed. The rest will lag and be left out.