How To Stay Healthy At The Office

How often do you get up and walk around during a typical day of work? Do you have to stand up a lot, or do you mostly sit at a desk for 8+ hours staring at a computer? Is the only exercise you get during a work day your trip to the bathroom or break room?

For many of us — myself included — getting exercise and moving around at work is sometimes a tough thing to do.

Studies have shown that sitting down too much during the day can lead to shorter life expectancy. Scary, huh? So, check out these simple things that can help you stay healthy even when you’re glued to your comfy, swiveling office chair all day.

Stretch It Out

Just because you’re sitting in a chair all day doesn’t mean you have to let your body get stiff and uncomfortable. By doing a few quick stretches at your desk, you’ll prevent many of the typical pains of sitting down for long periods of time, such as back pain, carpal tunnel and neck pain.

For your back, you can lift your arm over the top of your head and reach toward the opposite side, while keeping your back upright. This helps to loosen those tight back muscles.

Your neck can be stretched by taking your hand and grabbing the opposite side of your head, then gently pull your head toward your shoulder.

And finally, you can stretch out your arms and shoulders by taking one hand and grabbing the opposite hand, then stretch both arms up toward the sky.

Snack Right

Oh, office breakroom, you are ever so inviting to my desires. With your machines full of sodas and candies, you tempt my sweet tooth.

No! Fight the urges to partake in a sweet or fatty treat while at work. As appealing as those snacks look, they’re also detrimental to your health.

A combination of inactivity and unhealthy snacking can result in a deadly formula for weight gain and health problems.

Instead, pack a snack to take with you to work every day. Make a healthy smoothie, bring a refillable cup for water, or pack some pretzels and hummus. These are much healthier options, and will keep you from gaining any unwanted weight.

Stay Mentally Healthy

Being healthy isn’t just about your physical health; having good mental health is also important.

When you’re sitting a desk, staring at a bright computer screen all day, your mind can sort of turn to mush. I’m sure a lot of us feel drained when we leave work each day, wanting nothing more to get home and relax in front of the TV.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take breaks at work from your computer screen and save your sanity with these easy tips:

  • Go on a walk around your building during your lunch break. This will keep you moving, and let you enjoy the beautiful, outside world.

  • If you have the time, use half of your hour long lunch break to go to a nearby gym for a quick workout. A 15 minute jog is all you need to do to stay active.

  • Do a crossword  or Sudoku puzzle during your break, or when you have free time. This will keep your brain engaged and challenge it to do something outside of your normal work agenda.

  • Watch a funny video on YouTube, or read a magazine during your work breaks. It’ll lighten your mood, and re-energize you to make it through the rest of the day.

It’s not difficult to live a healthy life while at work, but it will take some initiative on your part. But the results will allow you to have a much happier and healthier work life!

Tips For Optimizing Your YouTube Page

Since 2005, YouTube has been allowing people to create content, share user made videos, and build a community around amateur and professional filmmakers alike.

And if your company isn’t already using this wonderful tool to make videos of your own, let me take a moment to give you some stats that might help sway your opinion

  • YouTube currently has more than 1 billion (that’s billion with a B) registered users.

  • 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute to the site.

  • Every day, there are billions of views on user created videos, along with hundreds of millions of hours of video watched.

Those are astounding numbers for a company that’s only been around for 10 years. So if you’re thinking about utilizing YouTube for your company, check out these tips that should make the process much easier and more stress free.

Appearance

Appearance is almost everything in the business world, and the same is true for social pages. With YouTube, there are quite a few options to customize your pages appearance. The most important one, is your YouTube channel’s art. This is the first thing visitors to your channel will see, and so having a custom banner for your channel is key to a good first impression. Remember, your channel art needs to be 2560 x 1440 pixels, and at least 2 Megabytes for it to look perfect!

Info

It’s also important to make sure you fill out your channel description section with important info, like how your company got started, your goals, and of course, your business hours and contact info.

And while you’re at it, make sure to include descriptions for every video that you upload. Not only does this give viewers a glimpse of what your video is about, you can also optimize your videos SEO. Since YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet, this is vastly important to get consumers to actually FIND your videos. What good is a video if nobody watches it?

Lastly, you can add a link to your website in the video descriptions, creating a great call to action for your videos.

Entertain, Don’t Advertise

Here’s one of the key ideas to remember about YouTube: People don’t go there to watch a commercial, they go to there to be entertained. So, when you’re thinking about what kind of video content to create, remember to make it entertaining. Something that people will enjoy, and not get bored of watching.

But that’s not to say advertising can’t be done through YouTube videos. You can still promote your product while being entertaining. Think of it this way: No matter what, if somebody watches your video or visits your channel, they’re being exposed to your product. It’s like free advertising!

Share

The beautiful thing about the Internet is that you aren’t confined to one little corner of it. Sharing content across multiple social platforms is how information is spread these days, especially videos.

If you already have a Facebook or Twitter account set up, then you can use those accounts to share your videos easily and effectively. Not only does YouTube include share buttons for multiple social sites underneath your videos, but you can also grab the videos URL to share in a post, and you can even embed your videos into other sites you manage.

Don’t be afraid of YouTube! It’s a great tool for marketing your business, and by following these steps you’ll be making great, shareable content in no time!

The Best Time Of The Day To Post On Social Media

Finding the sweet spot for posting on social media is a tricky task. It seems like you can never find that right time where your post is going to reach the most people, because honestly, you never know when people are going to check their smartphones for social updates.

I’m speaking strictly from my own experiences here, but I’ve found a few optimal times during the day that seem to reach the most people. But even these times aren’t guaranteed to work. It all depends on your target audience, and what social platform you’re posting on. Check out these tips for finding the best times to reach your audience!

Facebook – Optimal Posting Times: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

When Facebook first started in 2004, it attracted a lot of younger people. Overtime, the platform has shifted from the young audience, to an older audience. In fact, 56 millions users (or about 31 percent of total Facebook users) are in the 35-54 age range. Which means that many of these users have day jobs or businesses that they run. So, you have to catch these users when they’re taking a break from work, or when business slows down. Between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. is a perfect range for posting on Facebook.

Twitter – Optimal Posting Times: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Twitter is a little bit different, but has about the same posting range as Facebook. The thing with Twitter is that it’s more geared toward quick info, and multiple postings. With Facebook, you can post during the optimal time and users will still see it later in the day when scrolling through their News Feed. But with Twitter, you don’t really have that option. If you missed something when it was first posted, you’ll have to go back through hours of posts to find what you want. So, post around the same times as Facebook, but stagger your posts so you’re not posting at the same time your Facebook post goes live. And it’s not a problem to tweet the same post at different times during the day.

Instagram – Optimal Posting Times: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

With Instagram, you have an altogether different beast to tackle. This popular photo sharing app is typically used by the younger crowd, 18-29 year olds, who can spend longer amounts of time going through their feeds. But, unlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram users typically check out their feeds after work, closer to the time when they would be winding down in the evening and getting in bed. So, posting later in the evening will reach the most people, since they’ll be spending a lot of free time scrolling through posts.

Pinterest – Optimal Posting Times: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Pinterest is kinda different than the other social platforms as well. Since it’s mostly used to share recipes, DIY projects, and household tips, most people are going to get on Pinterest in their free time. That means that some people might not even get on their Pinterest account until after work, or on the weekends. So, plan your posts accordingly and try to get the info to them during the early afternoon or late evening, when most people will be up and moving around, or looking for something to make for dinner, if your business works in the food business.

LinkedIn – Optimal Posting Times: 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. – Late

Since LinkedIn is mainly used for networking between businessmen and women, and people looking for potential employers, most people are going to look at their LinkedIn at the start of their workday. Posting during the early morning or late evening works great for this social platform.

Social media can be finicky, but learning how to use it will do wonders for your company. The best strategy is to experiment with your posts, and see what times work best for your company, and your customers.

How To Get Your Blog Post Shared 3,567 Times (Approximately)

If you have a blog for your business, one of the most important aspects of managing it is trying to reach the most people with what you have to say.

With millions of articles shared through social media and email each day, it might seem difficult to get your blog noticed. But here are some tips that can help you get the most shares out of your posts and increase your reach exponentially!

Titles Are Key

When creating a blog post, you want it to convey the main message behind the post, but you also want it to grab the attention of people who are casually skimming through your site. There are two main elements of a compelling title.

  1. Include a number in your headline. Numbers grab people’s’ attentions, and no site does that better than Buzzfeed. Just check out any article on their website, and you’re guaranteed to see hundreds of posts with numbers in the title, such as “14 Ways To Increase Your Likes on Instagram” or “26 Pictures of Cats Wearing Tiny Hats.” Numbers, especially odd numbers, draw in customers, and make them want to read more of what your have to say.

  2. Power words are great attention grabbers. Words such as “Hot,” “Fresh,” or “Amazing” are great words to use in headlines, because customers will want to read to find out why something is “hot” or “amazing.”

Add Share Buttons

Before the invention of Facebook or Twitter share buttons, articles were shared by grabbing the URL of the current page of the website, pasting that URL in an email, and then sending it to a friend or colleague. These days, social share buttons make it easier than ever for customers to share an article they like with others. Be sure to get these buttons set up on your site, and place them at the top of the article for maximum exposure.

Meta Information

Your posts meta information is highly important to getting info out on search engines. For example, using the correct meta information and tags on a post will help your post to show up much more frequently on search engines like Google. It essentially tells search engines to show your post whenever someone searches keywords related to your blog post. If meta information is somewhat foreign to you, don’t fret! There are thousands of websites out there that can help to explain how this info works for your benefit.

Share, Share, Share!

With so much info out there on the Internet, sometimes your post can get lost if you share it during a busy time of the day. So make sure to share your post more than once during the week that it’s published. You can use the acronym ICYMI (which stands for In Case You Missed It) in front of posts to let others know it’s a previous post, and not a new one. Just don’t share too often; you don’t want to overload people.

There are so many different ways to share your posts in order to get the most views, so it’s best to experiment with different strategies to see which one works best for your business!

Rebranding Your Business Re-Energizes It

Have you ever thought about rebranding your business? Admittedly, it’s a scary thought. You’re essentially thinking about changing parts of your business that made it who it is today.

So why should you rebrand, and what’s the best way to approach it? Check out these tips!

Your Audience Is Constantly Changing

The audience you were targeting 20 years ago is most likely not the same audience you’re trying to target today. People change, and so do the trends that they’re interested in following. In order to stay relevant in an ever changing world, your company needs to stay up to date with the world outside its four walls.

Millennials are the up and coming generation of consumers today, and if you’re active on social media, you know that their tastes are very different than people’s tastes in the generations before them. Millennials want quick information, huge discounts and great deals. So, branding yourself through social media is the best way to connect with them. You don’t want to be perceived as “old-fashioned,” so following trends is a must.

New Products Help

A key reason for rebranding could also be that your company is launching a brand new product, and you want to show consumers that this product will be a complete game changer for your company.

When Amazon became much more than just an online bookstore, they chose to rebrand in order to reflect this new status quo of the company. That’s why, in the early 2000’s, their logo changed to their name with a curved arrow leading from A to Z, to reflect that the company now carries every product customers could want, from A to Z. Amazon.com is now known around the world for its vast selection of products and services, and has expanded its offerings to TV streaming, and even tablets and smartphones.

Giving Your Brand A Story

Every business has a story, whether it’s a crazy, amazing one or just a basic story with a lot of heart, figure out what yours is and capitalize on it.

Subway’s “Jared” campaign is a good example of a successful rebranding story. In 1998, when Subway started telling the story of Jared — an overweight man who ate a mostly Subway sandwich diet and lost a significant amount of weight — they had an annual revenue of $3 billion. Since then, Subway’s revenue has gone up to $11 billion, due mostly to Jared’s inspiring story. It caused a national movement of people wanting to eat healthier foods in smaller portions, and the effects of that campaign are still felt today.

Rebranding is a great way to re-energize your company, and make it appear more relevant to newer audiences! So don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith, and rebrand your company for a more successful future.

What’s Trending For April

 

Face The Facts: Your Profile Pic Says A Lot About You

When’s the last time you updated your Facebook profile picture? Twitter? What about LinkedIn? You may think that keeping your profile pic current isn’t necessary, but the harsh reality is most customers are judging you by your picture long before they ever talk to you in person. If you don’t have your profile picture locked down, your customers will notice, and they’re going to judge you. HARD.

So if you’re like me, and haven’t updated your profile pic in quite some time, these tips should help you get the perfect profile picture, and help you grab the interests of potential customers.

Dress To Impress

What sounds more inviting to you: 1) a nice, solid colored button up shirt, complemented by a matching tie; a clean cut hair style with a clean-shaven or trimmed up beard; and modern looking, black framed glasses OR 2) a white wife beater, browned from years of pit stains, with a barbecue smudge the size of Florida’s panhandle; long, untrimmed hair pulled back tight into a ponytail to hide the split-ends; a scraggly, rough beard with yesterday’s meatloaf in it; and a trucker hat that says “Merica” in bright red, white and blue colors?

I sincerely hope you picked the first option.

This is an extreme example, of course, but the point here is that you want to present yourself in your profile picture as someone who looks like they belong in the business world. Pick matching colors and nonabrasive patterns to show off your style, and if you don’t consider yourself a style expert, ask a fashionista friend to help you out.

Show Off Those Pearly Whites

Research has proven that smiling while showing off your teeth is twice as effective as smiling with your mouth closed. People love to see beautiful smiles, and customers will be more likely to trust someone who’s smiling with their pearly whites in full display in their profile pictures. But if you’ve got Austin Powers teeth, the closed-mouth grin works well, too. Really, it’s all about showing your confidence!

Hire A Pro

There’s a lot that can go into taking a good photograph. Lighting, background, aperture and shutter settings, ISO, and your camera equipment must all be considered when trying to get the perfect shot.

So rather than taking an iPhone pic with the help of your selfie stick, consider hiring a professional photographer to take a few headshots of you. A high quality picture says a lot about your company, and will impress customers. Think about it: would you really want to do business with a person whose profile picture has less pixels than an 8-bit video game?

Leave Out the Debauchery

This one is pretty much a no-brainer. No smoking, no drinking, no stealing zoo animals on a wild night out with your conservationist buddies…you get the idea. Putting any of this stuff in your profile pictures, or even posting it on your Facebook Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, is a big red flag to potential customers. Showing you’re an upstanding citizen, and professional business man or woman, in your profile picture is what is ultimately going to make or break your business. Because these days, no one’s personal life is secret–especially if you’re an active social media user.

If you’re still wondering what’s inappropriate for a profile picture, check out these profile picture no-no’s below!

  1. Mirror Selfies: Selfies are completely unprofessional when it comes to profile pictures. Even if you have perfected the duck face, your customers couldn’t care less.

  2. Over Filtered Instagram Nightmares: Filters are nice if you’re trying to make your pictures really artsy and over the top, but they don’t make for very professional pictures.

  3. Bathroom Selfies: Gross. I’m not sure why people think these are okay, but no one wants to see where you use the bathroom.

  4. The “I Hate Everything” Face: This goes back to the smiling tip. Super serious faces are not very inviting, so make sure you’re at least faking a smile in your picture.

  5. The “I Took This Picture While Running From A Tornado” Blurry Pic: Blurry, low quality pictures are awful. If you’ve got shaky hands, then set up a camera on a tripod with a timer to take your headshot.

  6. Head-To-Toe Full Body Shots: Your upper body is what’s important for a good profile pic, so take pictures from your shoulders up.

  7. Butt Selfies: Taking a picture of your butt while turning your face toward the camera really doesn’t work for anyone, so why would you make it your profile picture. Your butt isn’t selling homemade artisan soaps–you are.

  8. Default Social Media Pictures (a.k.a. The Silhouettes): This is just plain lazy, and really makes you look like you don’t care about your social media presence. If you don’t have any good headshots of yourself at the time, at least find a picture that is reasonable.

  9. The “My Kitty Is My Best Friend” Pic: Look, I get it. Your cat is your BFF. But unless he/she is the mascot for your business, or has stock invested in your business through Kitty Wall Street, leave the cat out of the picture. Or any pet for that matter.

Tips For Successful Email Marketing

Every business knows that email marketing is one of the most important tools for getting consumers the info they need. Email marketing is like sending out a door-to-door salesperson to promote your product.

But just like a door-to-door sales pitch, email marketing can become annoying to consumers. They can be overwhelmed with too many emails, and wonder if you’re still in business if you send out too few.

Check out these tips on how to make your next email marketing campaign grab their attention.

Mobile Is The Way To Go

These days, there are more people who check their emails on smartphones and tablets than on a traditional desktop browser. So you have to make sure your emails are optimized for viewing on small screened devices. That means, don’t clutter the screen with non-essential info. Just the most important tidbits that you want customers to see first.

Subject Lines Matter

You want the people who receive your emails to be able to quickly glance at the subject line and know exactly what they’re opening. That means 1) don’t be ambiguous, and 2) get to the point. Another effective strategy is to use the same subject line for different email types. For example, using “10 Things To Know” every time you send out an email with info about your company lets customers know what the email is about. This makes them more inclined to open it, because they know exactly what they’re going to see in the email.

Get Social

Adding links to your social media accounts in the footer or header of every email you send out is a great way to get users connected to you online. You can include buttons that link to various social media accounts, and you can even include a social sharing call to action button, so they can share the email contents to their followers!

Don’t Be A Spammer

There’s nothing people hate more than seeing hundreds of spam emails cluttering up their inboxes. So avoid being a spammer at all cost. In other words, limit the number of emails you send out to a maximum of one per day. Bi-weekly emails at the beginning and end of the week are effective strategies as well. And you can even choose to send a weekly recap at the end of every work week, if you feel that your customers will appreciate it more.

Design To Please

The way your email looks is sometimes more important than the actual info in the body of the email. A good design is guaranteed to catch the eye of a current or potential customer, so try to design your email to be visually appealing. If you don’t have your own graphic design department to create your own flashy header image, there are many helpful websites out there that can help!

Networking for the Socially Awkward

Networking can be very intimidating for many business owners. Some people are naturally outgoing, personable, and do great with small talk. Others (myself included) dread the idea of having to talk to a person that they have no common experiences with, and have no idea how to make conversation with them.

Luckily, in this new era of tech advancements and varied forms of communication, there are some great ways for those who are socially awkward to network just as well as those who are socially confident.

Social Media Master

A lot of times, people who are socially awkward feel much more comfortable communicating with someone via the Internet rather than in person. Whether it be through email, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, or LinkedIn, chatting and making connections with someone through social media is a much more comfortable setting.

You can gather your thoughts on what you want to say, rather than being put on the spot; send helpful pictures, files, and videos that you may want to share; and meet far more people than you could ever meet in real life.

You can even join an online group that shares the same interests as you. Facebook makes joining group very easy and efficient, and any topic that you’re interested in creating a business around is available in an online group. You’ll find ideas in these groups that you might never think of on your own.

In-Person Meetings

But that’s not to say in-person meetings aren’t important. Eventually, you’re still going to have to meet a client or go to a networking party. So what do you do in those situations, where your comfort level is at an all time low?

First, you need to remember that networking is vital to growing your business. You never know when the person you met once at a networking party is going to contact you offering the deal of a lifetime.

So, when you’re faced with a situation where you have to network in person, and you feel uncomfortable about it, try to remember these two things: Be yourself, and relax.

Just Be Yourself

Both of these things are kind of easier said than done, but they’re key to making good connections. I’ll be honest with you; I HATE small talk. Networking, and meeting new people in general, is 90% small talk, 10% deeper connections. So it’s not my favorite thing in the world. A lot of the pressure and awkwardness that I feel comes from the fact that most of the time I’m trying to show the other person I’m a professional, dedicated person. That’s all well and good, but the problem is, when I do that, I end up coming off as stiff and serious. And that’s not me.

It’s sometimes hard, but if you’re a jokey person like me, then try to throw in a few light jokes into a conversation. Sometimes it’ll be well received, sometimes it won’t. But that’s a good risk to take when you’re trying to lighten up a conversation and make deeper connections.

Relax, man…

It’s also important to relax. Why? Because no one likes a stickler. In all seriousness, though, when you’re less worried about whether you’re making a good impression on the other person, you’ll have a much better time. So what if you can’t make a good connection with everyone you meet? You only need one good connection to make the whole thing worthwhile.

Chances are, there are a lot of people out there who feel exactly the same as you do about social events. But there’s always a way to make those fears turn into strengths, and network in a way that makes you feel the most comfortable.

What’s Up With Meerkat and Periscope? Tips For Two New Apps

Social media is a constantly evolving form of technology. From the early days of Xanga and Myspace, to the global Internet takeover by powerhouse companies such as Facebook and Twitter, social media has a huge impact on the way people have lived their everyday lives for the past two decades.

When a new social media platform, or application, pops up on the radar, it’s important for businesses to research how they can utilize this new tech to become more connected with their customers.

So what are the newest apps that are making waves in the social world? Introducing: Meerkat and Periscope.

What Are They?

Meerkat and Periscope are both apps that allow users to live stream video of whatever they’re doing, whenever they’re doing it, through the ever popular 140-character quick info app Twitter. When you start streaming your live video, your followers will get a notification telling them you are streaming live video. They can open up Twitter and watch your live stream. They can also leave comments while the video is playing. Periscope even has the option to watch video in the app itself, without having to log in to Twitter.

Meerkat was the first one of these two apps to premiere to the world, first showing up at the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) tech, music, and art festival in Austin, Texas, and quickly sent media and tech journalists into a frenzy. Although Twitter now limits the usage of Meerkat on its site, and is quickly being surpassed by Periscope in terms of active users, it was touted as the “next big thing” in social media and interactivity.

Periscope launched its own app shortly after, and has given Meerkat some very stiff competition, due to the fact that it is owned and endorsed by Twitter.

Effectively Using These Apps

So, what’s the point of these two apps, and how can your business use them to optimize connectivity with customers?

The No. 1 reason why these apps are great for business is they can give you the unprecedented opportunity to connect with people in a way that’s more honest and open than ever  before.

Live streaming is different than posting a short video on other apps, like Instagram and Vine, because there’s no editing involved with them. What you stream is what people get, no matter if you make a mistake or shoot the wrong angle of something you’re trying to capture.

Although this can be intimidating to some people, it can be worth the risk because people will appreciate the honesty and realness of your interaction with them. That’s why more people are using Twitter and Facebook to voice their opinions to companies: because they know they can interact with businesses directly.

These apps can also be used for promotions. For example, you can send out a Tweet to all your followers that if they tune in to your live stream at a certain time, they’ll be treated with a promotional discount code, or exclusive offer. It’s a win-win situation for both parties. Not only will your customers appreciate the discount, and might possibly refer your company to others, but your company can bring in more potential customers through your promotion.

And make no mistake about it, customers remember the kind things you do for them, and will stick with your company if they know you care about them.

So don’t be afraid of the new tech that’s coming out each and every day in today’s world. There’s always something new and better, and there are always ways to use it to create a more connected and honest relationship with customers!