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Traits of a Great Leader

That’s a rather abstract overview of leadership though and one that doesn’t really give us all that much concrete information to work with.

So let’s take a look at some of the more concrete traits that we can break down this concept into…

What is a good leader?

Good leaders believe in what they’re doing. Perhaps one of the single most important things for a good leader is
that they believe in what they are doing. That is to say that good leaders should have a real passion for what they’re doing and really believe in it. This is important because it will help them to make the best decisions for the long term of the business and also because it will help them to inspire others.

Good leaders see the big picture 
A good leader needs to be able to step back and see the bigger picture. They need to understand where the team is headed and what challenges will face them along the way. This is important because it will allow all the individual members of that team to focus on their smaller aspect.

Good leaders have broad knowledge

A good leader should be something of a jack of all trades. The reason for this, is that it will give them the understanding to see how all the pieces fit together and it will mean they are able to deal with issues as they arise across departments; even when that means taking more of a top-level approach rather than understanding the nitty gritty.You’ll also find that having some basic experience in each aspect of your business can help you to get more respect from the professionals in each aspect of your organization.

Good leaders understand people

A good leader should be able to work with anyone. This means they need to be able to empathize with those people and to understand what makes them tick so that they can inspire them to take action. It also means that a good leader needs to know how to.

Good leaders are great communicators

This also means you need to be able to communicate as a leader. Not only is it your job to communicate the plan in a way that your team can fully understand but it is also your job to communicate to your superiors and to your clientele.

Good leaders think ahead

A good leader shouldn’t just be dealing with the day-to-day challenges of the business, but should be thinking one step ahead. You need to be constantly questioning what the next challenge will be and how to face it and you need to be thinking about how to grow, improve and scale your organization.

Good leaders have contingency plans

Good leaders also need to have multiple contingencies and backup plans. Think of your worst case scenarios and be prepared for them.

Good leaders lead by example

It is important that you lead by example in all cases. This means that you need to take a ‘do as I do’ approach, rather than making one rule for one person and another for yourself. It also means more generally setting the tone.

Teams look to their leaders as barometers – to identify how serious any given situation is and to know how they should react. If you panic, then your team will panic. If you stay calm, then your team will too.

Good leaders are courageous

A good leader needs to be courageous. If this is sounding like your Saturday morning TV show again, then bear in mind that we’re not talking about the kind of courage that gives you the strength to stand up to the Decepticons in Transformers. Rather, we’re talking about the courage to take risks and to break the mold. This is very important.

Good leaders take responsibility

Once you have made that decision, it is critical that you stand by it and face the music. That means that you need to accept responsibility when things go wrong. This can seem unfair at times but once again, it is actually a feature that is important for the welfare of the team. By accepting responsibility, you remove culpability from your team and
give them the freedom to work without fear of repercussions.

What does Marketing Communications Mean?

Marketing communications is the art of understanding various forms of marketing and advertising mediums and using it to communicate a message to potential clients or customers. Also called MarCon or Integrated Marketing Communications (ICM), marketing communications is the ability to gather and assess information to gain insight into the wants and needs of a specific target market.

Then, using that gathered information, constructing and communicating messages that would affect the target audience most effectively would be the next step. Essentially, marketing communications strategies are a most powerful form of persuasion. Using various media forms including press releases and other media advertising, Internet marketing and Google ads among other forms of marketing and advertising, to send a message to consumers is a complex but powerful way to promote a product, business or service, not to mention bolster the reputation of the same if used in the right way.

Using the good qualities of an organisation or changing the bad and then portraying that organisation in a favourable light can help sway the public opinion about an organisation. Using marketing communications is the best way of completing this task. Using the demographics of a target audience and constructing the marketing and advertising to reflect what the public wants to see can instantly make or break an organisation.

The ability to determine what the consumer or the public wants form a product or service is a powerful one. Not only can those who work in the field of marketing communication study the preferences and behaviour of the consumers and understand what they want, but the specialists know why they want to see and hear specific traits of a product.

Combining these statistics with the usual demographics gathered, the marketing communications worker could easily determine what the public needs to hear or see for a product to sell.

After determining this information, the marketing communications specialist creates a specific message for the target audience to hear that will portray the product in the exact way the public needs to see it, therefore swaying the public opinion of the product and persuading them to purchase the product or service.

History denotes that Sigmund Freud initially determined how to go about the task of swaying the public opinion. The original marketing techniques targeted homemakers who were more apt to watch television during the day.

The specialists of that era, using cues form Freud, constructed subliminal” messages into television advertisements that essentially told the women what they wanted to purchase; they just had to have the product.” For example, Ford automobiles and cigarettes were heavily targeted at women on the 1950 s in this manner, using Freud s techniques.

Marketing communications has come a long way since the 1950 s. More recently, the marketing communications specialists can simply watch what a person does on the internet or how he responds to certain questions and use that information to determine how best to target them and with what kind of message to send.

Ten Tips for a Successful Presentation

Some consider giving a presentation a fate worse than death. But, before you get ready to head to the highest tower and take a flying leap, here are some tips to make your next presentation a great one.

Have you ever watched someone give a presentation and thought that they made it look easy? Believe it or not, they were probably shaking in their shorts a few minutes before the curtain went up. Accept the fact that you will be nervous and move on to the more important things, such as turning an idea into a stellar presentation.

Now all this is not meant to heap a load of pressure on your head. Giving presentations is a big deal but the outcome everyone wants is success. Depending on what success means to you, let that drive how you envision the outcome of the talk.

There is an art to presenting any type of information. Begin with a few tips and move on from there. The hope is that the following information will get you moving in a positive direction from your first presentation forward.

Ten Ways to Get Your Presentation off to a Great Start

1. Take it slow – People have a tendency to speed up their speech when they get nervous or are afraid that they will forget something. Slowing your speech also slows your heart rate and gives the audience a chance to hear you.

2. Tell a story – It used to be that introducing yourself was the first thing you said in a presentation. Today, people want to be entertained. They search for relevancy from the beginning, so give it to them.

3. Choose a topic and stick with it – There is nothing worse than losing your audience on some tangent. Stick to a clear and concise topic throughout the presentation.

4. Include the audience – Don’t talk “at” them; talk “to” them. Make the audience feel like they are a part of the presentation. It prevents boredom and snoozing.

5. Use relevant visuals – Visual aids are fun but can be distracting when they have nothing whatsoever to do with your topic. Stay focused.

6. Get set up ahead of time – Don’t wait until zero hour to make sure that your laptop sound is working with the speakers in the room. Murphy’s Law says that it probably won’t since you didn’t check it beforehand.

7. Make eye contact – It helps to quell the nerves, as well as make the audience seem smaller and more friendly.

8. Use as few slides as possible – If you are using slides, tailor the background to the lighting in the room (for example, a dark background and white lettering in low light). Keep the wording to a minimum.

9. Become transparent – Audiences like presenters who are real. Using big words only makes you seem arrogant. Stay on their level and they will keep listening.

10. Show enthusiasm – When you are excited about the topic, your audience will be as well.

Maybe you already implement these ten tips and maybe you don’t. Try to add at least one new piece of advice with each subsequent presentation you do.

Mindset and Wealth: How to Grow Your Wealth

Can you really ‘think yourself rich’? I’m here to tell you that it is not only possible, but that it is also actually the best chance you have of making a lot of money. Many of us dream of living in a large luxurious house in a sunny country, we imagine wearing smart suits that exude power and confidence and we wish that we didn’t have to make so many hard choices because our funds can’t support the lifestyles we want to lead.

If that sounds familiar, then you need to make a change. And as with ALL things, that change starts with you and your mindset. If you want to be wealthy, then what are you doing about it? And is there any chance that you may, in fact, be going about it the wrong way?

Wealth and Your Career

Ask the average person in the street what they would hypothetically need to do in order to become richer and 99% of them will tell you the same thing: get a better job. Okay, fair enough. They are not wrong per say. Indeed, getting a better job won’t hurt their income and that in turn will likely mean they get richer at least a little.

But in fact, this is not the whole story. And what’s more, is that this isn’t even the main part of the story. Wealth and salary are not inextricably linked. They are related sure, but only to a small degree. If you wanted to see an equation telling you how to get wealthy, then it would really look like this:

Wealth = Income – Outgoings
So, let’s say that your income is determined solely by the amount of money you are making at work. Even in that scenario, you still have another, equally as important factor. That is your outgoings. If you earning a cool million dollars a month but you also waste a million dollars a month of lavish holidays and on nights out and clothes, then you are ultimately not going to be very well off. Rather, you’re likely to lose money over time.

But if you are earning a more normal $2500 a month but you only spend $500, then suddenly you are saving $2000 per month. In 12 months, you’ll have $24,000 saved away. That’s a decent down payment on a house! So, you now have two options. Two ways to get richer. One is that you seek to get a better job and increase your income and the other is that you save more money and spend less.

How to Spend Less

When I was at university, my summer job was working at a yacht club. Specifically, I was a waiter in one of the restaurants there that was actually paid for and owned by the clientele of the club. The club was located in Sandbanks, England – an area that is also sometimes referred to as ‘millionaire’s row’ because it has among the most expensive real estate in the world along the seafront.

So, these are people who own yachts and who belong to a club that is situated in one of the wealthiest parts of the world. Suffice to say that they were not struggling for cash. And of course, what many people would point out to me is that this should likely result in pretty big tips!

Except that’s not what happened. In fact, I received some of the worst tips I have in any job. I had a lady call me over to secretively give me 20p (around 30cents) for my hard work. She literally told me to buy myself something nice. And this is bearing in mind that it is standard practice in England to tip 10%. The meals usually cost close to $150.
I told my Mum this and her response was: how do you think they got rich, dear?

Makes sense
Look, I’m not here to tell you you should become stingy with tips. But what I am telling you is that the wealthiest people recognize that every little bit adds up and makes a very big difference in the long run. Your aim now is not to fritter. That $3 coffee you have every morning on the way to work is actually $15 over the course of a week. $60 over a course of a month and $720 over the course of the year.

That is a tiny amount and that’s before we have even considered all those other things you likely pay for that you don’t really need. Maybe your Spotify account, Netflix, 100+ TV Channels, gas for the car for all those trips you don’t really need to make. It adds up. Worse are all those larger purchases we make on an impulse.

These are things like clothes that we think will make us look smart, games consoles, PCs, overly advanced phones. How much did your phone cost you? If you’re on a contract, then chances are you’ll be paying $700 or more for it. Now ask yourself how much more that phone really does than something for $300. Do you really need the fastest processor around? Considering that even an old phone can play everything in the app store?

Do you really need a 30 megapixel camera? Or a 4K screen? Can you even see the difference between 4K and 1080p?The real problem here is marketing, the internet and other people. We have unfortunately been conditioned to associate these items with success and to find them highly desirable. We want to get the latest phone, car, computer etc. because it looks so sexy in those adverts. But the reality is that these things don’t really bring us happiness.

Likewise, we are told that we need to buy a large house, go on lavish holidays. Is this really for us? Or is it so that we can look successful to others? I’m not telling you to cut back on all the things that make you happy here. There is no point in having wealth if you aren’t going to enjoy it and have a better quality of life for you and your family.

All I’m telling you is to make sure you are certain of what it is that does make you happy. And that often means deciding what you don’t need and what you should be prioritizing. Have you always dreamed of a beautiful big house? Then why not stop going on those big holidays for a while? Why not stop buying widescreen TVs? And how about considering getting that big beautiful house in a less expensive area?

Heck, if you move to Spain, then there are places where you can live in a five bedroom home with swimming pool and roof pool and it will only cost you $200,000. You could almost buy that in cash and think about how much money you would start making then once there was no mortgage!

Conversely, if all you want is to travel the world, then you can change your accommodation to something less glamorous. How about moving to quiet neighborhood and living in a spare bedroom for a while?  Your outgoings will be low, so you can enjoy going on more holidays and still save up that wealth. Know what you want to achieve with that money. Know what wealth means to you and then you can focus on being more efficient with your money.

Financial Modelling

This will also help you to set up a budget and/or a plan. If you know how much you have coming in and how much you’d like to be making per month, saving per month and spending on things that make you feel wealthy per month, then you can create a budget that will help you to reach that point within a specific timeframe. This then is where you can look at those small things you can cut out to save money.

If you have a spreadsheet that contains all your income and all your outgoings per month, then you can look at what kind of impact cutting coffee from your routine would actually make. You’ll be left with a total profit at the end of each month and you can decide how much of that you want to put into savings and how much you intend to spend on other things.

You can even set up standing orders in your accounts so that money saved automatically gets transferred to a savings account. With such a spreadsheet, you can then multiply the savings you are making by any given number of months and see projections of what your finances are likely to be at certain points in the future. Need more money for an upcoming expense?

Then look at something else you can do to cut your expenditure. This is called ‘financial modelling’ and it’s a powerful tool for building your wealth rather than just letting it ‘happen’ without your direction or input.

A Couple More Ways to Save Money

And what if you have run out of things you can cut in order to save money? What if you are living on as little as possible? A few other options include changing your providers for bills, selling off old items, or even moving money between accounts in order to receive bonuses. A friend of mine does this religiously and will even take out credit cards with 0%APR, just so that he can put all of that money into an ISA and then make profit on it.

If he gets a cash incentive to signing up for anything then he will sign up! And he never buys a new piece of tech or even clothing without taking one of the older items to sell and thereby offset the cost. Something else to note is that if you have a dream of a wealthy future, then you might need to ‘be okay’ with living a little more simply for a while in order to get there.

You need to put the work in now, to reap the rewards in the future. And this is hard because it often once again means forgetting the conventional signals of wealth and success. Once again, you have to do this for you and not be worried about what others might think. So for example, if you want to someday have a beautiful home, one of the very best things you can do is to live with your parents if they will let you.

Sure, it’s not glamorous and it’s not fun, but if they charge a small amount of rent you’ll be able to save so much per month that it will help you to get on the property ladder MUCH faster. You could then buy a smaller home in a less attractive area but flip the property to make a big profit. You need to put in the graft and have an eye on the future.

Likewise, you might need to learn to stop trying to demonstrate your wealth and stability to friends. Have you ever met up with a friend and eaten in a restaurant that you can’t really afford because you want to see them and because it is embarrassing to suggest eating somewhere cheaper? As you can imagine, this isn’t exactly conducive to getting wealthy quickly! Again, you need to be willing to tell them that you can’t afford it and to go elsewhere.

How about you suggest they meet you at your house?

Setting Up Revenue Streams

Next come the revenue streams. We’ve seen how you can actually become richer without changing your job, simply by spending less. The other strategy is to become wealthier by having more than one income stream. Once again, your salary isn’t determining your wealth! So, what might this mean? One simple option is to take on another job, such as a weekend job.

If you are happy to work on a Saturday, then you will have potentially $150 extra to spend each week! That’s $600 per month or $7,200 per year! Save that and in a couple of years, you can be living in a nice house – or you can use it right now to feel that bit wealthier and wear those fancy clothes. This is a big sacrifice though granted. So, what would be better for most people would be to earn money online for instance.

Tim Ferriss describes creating a ‘muse’ in his book The Four Hour Workweek, which is a small online business that generates a passive income. This can be as simple as finding an affiliate product (a product that you sell for commission) and making a simple website recommending it, then sending people there with ads. This is very low maintenance but can potentially make a fair amount of money.

You could try matched betting alternatively (a form of betting that ensures you can’t lose – it uses only the free bonus amounts that you get given for signing up) or you could look for a simple online job. How about selling photography online? Working as a writer or a web designer? Or, like a friend of mine, try commentating on sports for websites?

You can also make money from arts and crafts of course and sell some things you make on the side, or you can buy and sell items in bulk on eBay! Then there are the other options that work offline: these include such things as renting out rooms to students, such as mowing the neighbor’s lawn, cutting hair, teaching an instrument etc.
All these options will help you to make an income that will be additional to your current income.

Not only does this of course give you a better total, but it will also help to make you more ‘resilient’ so that if anything ever happens with your main job, you’ll of course still have some money coming in. Another tip? The more you make, the more you’ll make. Try to look for investment opportunities, whether that means buying a second house and letting it out to someone else, or whether it means moving to an area that you know is up and coming.

A strange thing to think of here is board games. If you’ve ever played Monopoly, or any other game where you have to amass a kind of resource, then you might have found that it pays to invest wisely early on. To get the card that will pay out just a little bit every round, or that will prevent you from losing a little bit every round.

These seem like small changes in the short term but over the course of the game, they ultimately put you in a position of great power and help you to win decisively! It’s the same in real life. Make a few right choices that will build up over time. Know what you want. Be patient. And avoid the temptation to splurge on the short-term gratification. That is how you get into a wealthy mindset.

How to Find the Best Keywords for Your PPC Campaign

What makes a great PPC campaign? What makes the difference between a waste of cash that you never get back and a campaign that you can use to continuously keep growing and scaling your organization?

While there are a lot of factors, you could certainly make the argument that one of the most important of these is the keywords. Your keywords are of course the search terms that you’re going to target. With both Google AdWords and Bing Ads, you’re going to be advertising in such a way that your ads end up showing on search engine results pages for specific searches.

You can then choose precisely which searches bring up your adverts and this is going to impact on how sees the ads and what difference this makes for your success.

So the question is: how do you go about picking the right keywords? What is the difference between a good keyword and a bad one?

Let’s take a closer look…

The Basics

The basic idea behind your keyword choice is that you’re going to try and ensure that the phrase you pick is one that the right people are going to be looking for. Who are the right people? Of course they’re the ones who are most likely to buy your product.

This is also how Facebook Ads work it lets you choose the type of person you want to target by looking at the details they fill out such as their age, sex, location and even hobbies and interests. The difference with a search term is that it is also time sensitive. In other words, a search term will have a bigger impact on your eventual profits because you are showing ads to someone at the precise time that someone is actually looking for your site.

For example, if you’re trying to sell hats, then your search term would be ‘buy hats online’. That means you’re not only targeting people who want hats but you’re also targeting people who want hats now.

So when picking keywords, think about who and when.

Negative Keywords

One way you can make this a little more precise and specific is to try and avoid certain search terms from showing your ads. This is what is known as a ‘negative keyword’ and a good example of this might be the word ‘free’. You don’t want people to click on your ad if they’re searching for free things, because they won’t be likely to want to buy anything off you – and that means they’re costing you money without earning you anything back.

Keyword Research

More important still is to do your research.

That means looking to find out just how often certain keywords actually get searched for, rather than assuming. For instance, some phrases that might at first sound popular can actually end up being surprisingly unpopular. This meaning of course that no one ever searches for them and thus they won’t bring any visitors.

Likewise, you also need to research the amount of competition for each keyword and aim for the terms that aren’t saturated.

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