How to be smart

Social media management toolAn intelligent approach to social media can help you build brand awareness, connect your business with new customers, and harness the word-of-mouth marketing potential of your loyal customers for a big boost in traffic and sales. eClincher knows what you need for a smart social media strategy, and we designed our features with those needs in mind.

1. Save time with post scheduler.Your business keeps you busy, so time really is money. The last thing you need to do is find time to frantically update your posts and tweets. Using eClincher’s Post Manager lets you schedule your posts and share messages across your entire social network. Use it to transform a half-hearted daily task into a purposeful once-a-week or once-a-month marketing session. You’ll save time and improve your online visibility with regular, strategically timed tweets and posts.

2. Get the big picture with analytics.In the wilderness of online marketing, it’s easy to lose sight of the forest because of the trees. If you focus your attention on Facebook, your Twitter feed languishes. You can get caught up in the minutia of analyzing your website statistics from moment to moment and miss important trends. eClincher’s customizable dashboard lets you pull all your important data together in one place for a complete picture of your online marketing strategy.

3. Focus on what works by tracking campaigns.You may not be a social media marketing guru, but you can become one. eClincher give you the tools you need to find out what is catching people’s attention and what is falling flat, so you can optimize your marketing efforts. You can create two different ads and use Google Analytics to compare the responses to see which one brings in more business. You can post a message at different times or on different channels and measure the quantity and quality of engagement for each. eClincher analyzes, measures, and tracks all your online efforts. It shows you what’s working and what’s not, so you can become the marketing guru your business needs.

How Your Emotions Hijack Your Decision-Making Skills

Psychologists have always known your decisions change—often wildly—according to your mood. Positive? You’ll make one choice. Negative? You’ll make another. For a long time, though, that’s all we knew.

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Until recently, the best advice was to make decisions in a neutral mood. That way, your choices aren’t colored by blind optimism or pessimism. You can make decisions with pure logic and rationality.

But, in the late 90s, two researchers from Columbia and NYU tested a new hypothesis. They wanted to know if different states of emotion could lead to different decisions in certain scenarios.

So, they did what any good researcher would do and rounded up a bunch of broke college students to experiment on.

They gave their subjects stories to read to subconsciously prime them into one of three moods: neutral, sad, or anxious.

Then they made them gamble.

The subjects were given $10 and asked to make one of two different wagers with the same expected return:

  1. One with 60% odds of winning $5.
  2. One with 30% odds of winning $10.

Which would they choose? The results were clear as day. While all the participants skewed towards the less risky gamble—the one that paid just $5—the anxious gamblers were more likely to choose it over the riskier option. And, to be noted, the sad ones were more likely to choose the risky gamble.

The experiment was repeated with the object of the gamble being a new job. One job had a higher salary, but was less stable. The other was more stable but had a lower salary.

What does that mean for you?

It means you should be aware of the mood you’re in when you’re making decisions and be prepared to adjust accordingly to make the best one for you and your team.

Tool Oriented

Trading is long past the days of hand-drawing charts, and it is well into the days of software-based trading, which means having the right tools is about software. But not any software will do. A SMART trader needs a smart software. VantagePoint, for example, uses artificial intelligence to sift through massive quantities of financial data, uncover the hidden patterns and relationships in that data, and use that information to predict market trend changes in advance.

Become a smart trader. Sign up for your free demo of VantagePoint.

The best tools make you a better trader. Sign up today to receive a free demonstration of VantagePoint and see how our predictive technology uses artificial intelligence to forecast market movement with up to 86% accuracy.

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Be Specific

Also, significant and simple. Make sure your goals aren’t frivolous (or they detract from the more important ones) and that the goals you set are clear. When creating a business proposal or performing any other multi-step sales action, it’s important to ask yourself Paul Meyer’s five 5s, as mentioned in his bestseller Attitude is Everything:

  1. Who is in charge of this goal? Who is involved? Proposal project manager + team with clearly defined tasks
  2. What do we want to accomplish? To create a business proposal that fully answers client questions and needs, so you need to ask the client about those needs.
  3. Where is this goal going to be accomplished? (What database or SaaS are we going to use to complete it?) Obvi, Quote Roller.
  4. Why should we do this? (What benefits are we offering the client?) Why should the client hire us? How does our proposal promise to meet his or her needs?
  5. Which are our perimeters? What must be finished when? What are our requirements? (For instance, at what point or number do we walk aways?

Be Measurable

It’s a common theme that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. If your goal is to make this next business proposal the most successful yet, besides if it’s a Yes or a No, you’ve no way to quantify that success. A better way is to create smaller, measurable goals within this ultimate one that let’s you see if your team is progressing toward the goal. Ask yourself:

  1. How much? (Time, money or a combination of the two that goes into listing your services for your potential client.)
  2. How many?
  3. How will we know if the goal is completed?

Then, think about what smaller steps can be made to make your next business successful. Maybe it’s to simply create a list of questions to ask the client and learn her or his needs. Maybe it’s to cut the Meet Your Team section down from three pages to a paragraph and photo of each team member who will actually be apart of the project team. Even setting a set schedule for meetings to go over progress makes for a measurable goal.

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Be Attainable

Whether too high or too low, absurd goals only serve to demotivate. Keep your goal reasonable by asking  you and your team:

  1. Can this goal be attained?
  2. How will it be attached?

This SMART piece of advice actually refers back a lot to “S”, as your goal will only be attainable if you focus of the specifics of the goal. According to Meyer, “You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. The theory states that an attainable goal may cause goal-setters to identify previously overlooked opportunities to bring themselves closer to the achievement of their goals.”

(Note: This “A” is often also “Agreed Upon,” following the no-man-is-an-island idea that you need to factor what your team can and, sometimes, wants to do.)

Be Realistic

This doesn’t just mean don’t set absurd goals for you and your team. This also means manage your clients’ expectations. Don’t over-promise. Just as you need to outline your goals for your team, you need to outline your goals for your client. This timeline and budget can even be outlined within your business proposal, but be sure to include the disclaimer that it is an outline and if anything occurs to slow down the process, the client will be notified along the way.

As for your team, realistic means developing a plan with goals that can be realistically met.

Along with Realistic, this is often also referring to Relevant.

  • Does your team even want this project? Is it well-suited for your business?
  • Will this project move you toward or away from your long-term goals?
  • Is it a good use of your time and resources?
  • Is this a proposal that will even be signed? (Or are we just wasting our time?)

Really, if you have to ask yourselves any of these twice, your answer should be No. Now, you’re free to work on other projects.

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