We all know how much COVID has impacted the economy and many businesses. That’s why networking is so important right now! However, networking the old, pre-COVID, word-of-mouth way is not quite an option again yet, so we’ve comprised a list of networking tactics that you can do as you get your business back on its feet:
We know that these tactics will probably push your comfort zones to the max. At first, it is very uncomfortable to talk to people that you don’t know or that you thought you weren’t connected to anymore. There are no promises that they’ll be up for connecting. However, the chances that they are and that you both can benefit each other’s careers and businesses is worth all the risk and discomfort.
The nice thing about all these tactics is that they can all be done virtually, over the phone, or online. You don’t have to network in-person to strengthen your business. Despite all that COVID has done to our world, you can still communicate with others and your business can still make an impact in our communities and the economy.
Every business owner knows that there are many things that are on their to-do list for their business, especially when it comes to their internet presence. They have to have an updated website, keep up with web maintenance, post to social media accounts, manage their online reputation, etc. It’s a lot. We know.
However, there’s one more thing that we think deserves to be on your to-do list: editing! It doesn’t seem like much, but it makes a big difference.
It is unprofessional to have an unedited website and business materials. We understand that grammar and editing is not everyone’s cup of tea. It doesn’t have to be in order to have edited writing for your business because you can easily hire someone within your budget to do it for you. If you want your company to be seen as a true contender in the competition for your potential customers’ business, you will need to have all your materials edited. Any errors in your writing make your company look inexperienced.
A poorly edited website is not only distracting but also not accessible for people who use text readers. If any words are misspelled or the grammar is faulty, the text reader that helps people navigate your website can’t do its job properly, and people will leave your site. It is also not accessible for people who are translating your website into a language they are more comfortable reading. Their translator can not fix sentences before translating. It will translate all the issues directly, making it unintelligible in the other language.
Another reason why having an edited website is key to your company’s success is for search results reasons. Google is less likely to properly index your website’s keyword phrases for search results if your keywords are misspelled. While Google offers autocorrect options to searchers, Google’s algorithms are set to index the well-written properly spelled pages than those that have spelling errors. As you can guess, the less correct keywords are in your website, the lower your company will appear on the search results list when people search for topics related to your company. This can be quite detrimental for your business. The less people find your company in search results, the less people buy your products or services.
We often hear that someone doesn’t want to have a well edited website because they think it sounds friendlier and more personable if it’s unedited. However, there’s a difference between using colloquial language (informal, conversational language) and having unedited writing. There are ways of having perfectly edited writing that is still friendly and down-to-earth.
If you aren’t confident in your editing abilities, don’t have the time to edit, or want a second opinion on the edits you have already made, we are happy to help you! We can proofread, edit, and revise your website and any written materials that your company has. We can also implement any of the edits and revisions to your website that we’ve recommended so that you can use your time on the more important things on your to-do list. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve been keeping up with each installment of this series, you would know that so far I have covered topics about working from home, including employee dress codes, when employees work during the day, and whether or not the work-from-home trend should continue for the foreseeable future. In this installment, I will be discussing whether or not employees working from home who choose to move away from the city that their company is in should receive a pay cut.
There are rumors flying around about how certain companies are considering cutting the pay of their remote employees who choose to move out of the major cities where the companies are located. The excuse they’re using for this is that they think if an employee chooses to move away from the expensive city in which they used to work to a more affordable city, that employee no longer needs the higher wage they were getting before.
For example, say you’re working and living in pricey San Francisco for a hot shot company that pays you the big bucks. However, you decide that you don’t want to live in the city anymore now that working from home makes your house feel as small as a closet. You find a house further out of the city, maybe even in a different state. You don’t have to go into the office anymore though, so you think that it’s a great idea. The company that you work for disagrees. They think that now that you’re living somewhere presumably cheaper, you don’t want or need those extra dollars that you needed when you lived in the city. They think that you deserve pay comparable to what people make in the cheaper place you live now, even though your job’s responsibilities remain absolutely unchanged. How would this make you feel? Would you say, “You know what, Boss? I think you’re right! My bank account was looking too full anyways!” It’s a resounding “no” from me.
It’s understandable that companies would try to pull a fast one like this. They are all about making money. Some people I’ve talked to actually say that they understand why companies would want to do this and that it almost makes sense. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I understand why they would too. I also understand how easy it would be to fall for it and think it’s fair. That doesn’t mean it is though. It’s 100% not fair.
Pay has never been fully determined by the area in which you are being paid. Pay is determined by how difficult the job is, what kind of market of which it’s a part, how much education or experience you need to complete it, etc.
If a highly educated/experienced person wants to move to somewhere that’s a little easier on their bank account, they should not be punished by receiving a pay cut. As long as they are completing all their tasks, why should it matter where they are doing so?
This is all not even mentioning the fact that companies are only assuming people are moving to areas that are cheaper when in all reality they might not be moving because of price. There are many great reasons to move. Employees may be moving to find better school districts or to be closer to their families. People may even be moving to care for their elderly parents considering they are more at risk or being severely impacted by the pandemic. Employers should not assume that people are moving out of cities for cost purposes only and choose to cut their pay because of this.
All in all, it is not fair or right for companies to consider cutting their employees’ pay if they choose to move. Their choice to move is a part of their personal life, not their work life, and as long as it does not affect their quality or work, it should not matter where they live. If they deserved the level of pay in one city, they should deserve that level of pay in any city.
Curious about this topic? Check out this related poll: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6729076126129516544/
In my previous article, you read my stance on the dress codes for remote employees debate. It’s trash. That’s my stance. It shouldn’t even be a debate. How’s your boss going to know you threw on a hoodie and slippers immediately after you left the Zoom call? Now that that’s decided, I’ll be discussing why I believe remote employees should be able to work whenever they need to during the day.
As I write this, it is currently 2:37 AM where I am in Indiana. I’m a bit of an insomniac. Always have been. Always will be. Coffee is my best friend. This brings me to my first point: Some people are not like everybody else and don’t get the most work done possible between the hours of 9AM and 5PM. Most mornings, I don’t even want to read any number that comes before 10 on my phone’s clock. I’m a creative person in a creative industry, and in order for me to be creative, I need to be allowed to work during my best hours which fall somewhere between 8PM and 4AM. That’s how I’ll get my best work done. I can’t imagine I’m the only one.
The lovely thing about remote work is that it is relatively more inclusive. It allows people who couldn’t work in a typical office work environment to be hired and excel. However, the concept of forcing remote employees to work during certain hours negates some of this inclusivity. For example, the single parent that was the best, most qualified employee might not be able to get the job done during the same hours as a mediocre employee because they have to take care of their children during the hours they are being asked to work. This does not mean they won’t get the work done on time. They just won’t get it done at the same time as others. Letting them work whenever they want to work will not only give them an opportunity, but also give the company the great quality of product it desires from the person who can deliver the best work.
Haven’t we all heard by now just how bad the typical work day is for people anyways? There’s a reason why so many of us are constantly bringing up the whole “they take naps during the day in Spain” thing. There’s a reason why so many of us are addicted to coffee because we’ve always needed that 3PM pick-me-up. It’s because our bodies don’t all work on the same clocks. Now that remote work has become so accessible for people, we shouldn’t have to force our bodies into the same work schedules that we used to.
This all doesn’t mean that we won’t work as much. There are still plenty of hours in the day that don’t fall between 9AM and 5PM. Believe me, it is still possible to get a full day’s worth of work during other times of the day. This also doesn’t mean that everyone will miss the video conference calls. There’s a reminders app on your smart phones for a reason.
I recently read that businesses are considering enforcing a dress code upon their remote employees while they are working from home.1 When I saw this, I was utterly flabbergasted.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think employees should wear sweatpants or pajamas on video conference calls. However, they should be allowed to wear whatever they darn well please the rest of the time.
I’ve heard all the hullabaloo about how “science and statistics say that people are more productive when they’re dressed for the job.” And yes, I do want you to read that in a Steve Urkel-esque voice while pushing your imaginary glasses up your nose. While I don’t necessarily disagree with this, I don’t outright agree either.
You might be wondering what makes me an authority on the subject. I have been working remotely since before it was cool. I know I sound like a hipster, so get over it. In my six years at CeSI, at least four of them have been remote work. I worked all the way in Indiana, which is three hours ahead of Seattle which is where CeSI is located. Yet, I was never once late for a phone or video call. Not to mention the fact that I was working full-time hours while getting my bachelor’s full-time. I am well versed in multi-tasking, working in 15-minute intervals, and functioning on four hours of sleep. Don’t tell my boss or my professors, but there were many times when I would work in class. Who needs taking notes when you’re an auditory learner anyways. Am I right?
Anyhow, I know what it’s like to have to live life and work remotely at the same time. I’m still doing it to this day! This is why you can’t tell me that all people are more productive when “they’re dressed for success.” Do you think I worked full-time and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s of English which requires you to read over 2,000 pages a week all while dressed in slacks and a blazer? You’d be lucky if you even saw me in jeans.
I know I’m definitely not the only one who has other things going on in life outside of work, especially in 2020. If that means possibly sacrificing a measly five hypothetical minutes of productivity just so that employees can wear sweatpants and not lose their sanity, I say “bring on the Champion.”
Watch me take it one step further in my next article “Op-Ed: Work From Home Freedoms Vol. II.”
Mezzacca, Marc. “The Work Wardrobe: Analysis of Changes Since COVID-19.” Coupon Follow. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
Smith, Allen, J.D. (2020-09-29). “Dress-Code Policies Reconsidered in the Pandemic.” SHRM. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
In the past, we’ve had many companies come to us asking for help with marketing their brand to get money asap. Some of them come to us already believing that they know where to market to make the most money the fastest way possible. Other business owners come to us having no clue where to start and feeling stressed because their businesses are costing them more than they are making them money, and they’re hoping that doing more marketing will “do the trick.”
Of course, the worst case scenario that business owners are afraid of is that whatever they need to do to help their business be more profitable will end up costing them ridiculous amounts of money upfront. Well, it may be a surprise to business owners but we at CeSI think that that’s not the best scenario either.
We want our clients to be able to make the most amount of money without spending the most. That’s why we will guide you through the process of choosing which platforms to market on first in order to maximize your budget.
To give you a taste of what the process that we recommend is, we’ll walk you through what we typically recommend for step one. Marketing through Google platforms is normally the first step we help companies take. Google is not what most business owners first think of when they decide they’re ready to spend more on marketing. They typically think that platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will give them the most return on investment. However, Google is very effective in bringing customers to your site without breaking the bank. After a business’ Google accounts start to bring in the leads and dollar bills, then we recommend putting more time and money into other platforms.
If you’re interested in learning more about which platforms to market on to maximize your budget, contact CeSI at email@example.com.
Even though the economy is suffering during this tough time due to the pandemic, we are fortunate enough to have received some very unique and fun projects from our clients. Therefore, we are excited to share a few of our newest, coolest projects!
Ever got lost in the rabbit hole of taking fun quizzes online like the ones that tell you which cartoon princess you are or which superhero you are? Well, we have too! That’s why we were inspired to create an online quiz for our client Lake Burien Physical Therapy that helps their patients learn what kind of workout they should incorporate into their daily lives. Their patients can find the quiz at https://www.lakeburienpt.com/find-your-dream-workout/. When they follow the prompts that ask four questions about their preferences and abilities, they are led to a few different types of activities that they may have never thought to try before! We loved creating the quiz and loved hearing how much Lake Burien Physical Therapy’s patients enjoyed it.
Another project that we recently completed for Lake Burien Physical Therapy was an online game that helps patients learn to identify all the staff in their masks. Their patients can find the game at https://www.lakeburienpt.com/identify-our-staff/. The game involves studying the photos of staff in their masks in order to try to match the person to the correct name. If the patient gets it right, a photo of the staff without their mask will replace the photo of them with their mask on. This game is not only fun for their patients, but it also helps them recognize teach staff’s face so that when they visit the clinic, they feel like they already know everyone!
The project we just completed for Joyful Motion Pilates was also exciting. We created a website for the business. It is the business’s first website ever! We had a lot of fun in the process of getting to know the owner/trainer and a few of us even took one of the Pilates classes. Through participation in the class we learned a lot about Pilates, the business’s history, and the business owner’s passion for this type of exercise. After this experience, it was easy for us to capture the vision! We got to work on the new website after catching the passion for Pilates and experiencing the health advantages of having focused on proper posture and technique and having burned a good many calories. Check out the new website at https://www.joyfulmotionpilates.com/!
We feel fortunate and grateful to be able to help our clients strengthen their businesses during the Coronavirus Recession. Oftentimes, the tactics that work best for business and marketing are the unconventional ideas especially during tough times.
If you have an idea for a unique project for your website, contact CeSI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As most businesses are experiencing low numbers right now, they’re struggling to figure out what to do to strengthen their company during this difficult time. If you’re looking for something to boost your business, consider creating or revamping a Twitter account.
Even though Twitter is not a new social platform and has been around since 2006, it is still one of the best platforms for businesses to connect with people on a personal level. It’s one of the best ways to have conversations with prospective clients and answer their questions. It has fast-paced, honest, and oftentimes comedic interactions that, if done right, lead to a reputation that attracts all types of people to your business.
Twitter is possibly the best platform to expand your client base. The people who use Twitter are extremely diverse, especially compared to users of different social media platforms. They’re all different ages, genders, etcetera and are from all around the world.
Another benefit to Twitter is the camaraderie between other businesses. If you’ve been looking for other businesses to refer your clients to for work that your business doesn’t do, you can use Twitter to communicate with other businesses easily and make connections to help each other out. This connection in the business community is especially important as we all strive to increase industry flow during this difficult time.
As long as a business’ tweets are witty and meaningful, a wide range of people will start interacting with them. They will bring in business and refer your company to their friends. Twitter is the place to find new business, interact in the business world, and establish your business as a contributor to its community.
If you’re ready to boost your business through Twitter but you’re not sure you have the time to set an account up and run it, email or call us at CeSI and we’ll do all the work for you! We can simply create a business account for you and get you started or we can do as much as posting tweets for your business as frequently as you would like. Also, if you would just like to learn more about best practices for Twitter, we can teach you!
If you would like to learn more about using Twitter for your business, read their Twitter Business basics guide.
As most people probably know, the government is suggesting that businesses have their employees work from home if possible because of current health events. This is a daunting prospect for many people who have never tried working from home or have tried and failed.
If you’re being told to work from home, you don’t have to be afraid that it won’t go well. There are a few ways of making it successful to the point where you’ll never want to go back to the office again!
Make an at-home work space for yourself. It can be as simple as setting up your dining room table for you to work at or as complex as creating a home office. This designated space will keep you focused and in the right mindset for work.
Give yourself enough time. Don’t let yourself get distracted by chores and other household issues just because you’re at home. You’ll be more productive if you block out enough time in your schedule to get work done.
Get the right equipment. If you don’t already have the right laptop or computer for work, you should get one. When you have the right equipment, working becomes easier. Even if the equipment might be pricey, it’s worth the costs because you’ll be able to get your work done and show your employer that you are capable of and committed to working from home.
Stay in touch with your boss/manager/employer. Oftentimes, when you hear of people who are told they aren’t allowed to work from home, it is because they did not stay in contact with their superior. When you stay in contact with your superior about the status of your work, you prove yourself responsible and productive. It is likely that over time your superior will tell you that they really valued your updates and that you have proved yourself responsible enough to work independently without having to check in any longer.
Rely on your coworkers. If you need help from your coworkers, don’t be afraid to ask! It is likely that whatever job you do, you aren’t a one man band. Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you have to now treat your job like you’re all alone. If you get help from your coworkers and help them in return, everything will keep running smoothly and get done.
Stay up to date with news and clients. Being out of the office doesn’t give you an excuse to be disconnected. Not only does staying up to date simply keep you informed, but you can apply the knowledge you gain to your work.
While working from home requires some adjustments, it doesn’t have to be painful. If you would like more advice on working from home, we have many employees with experience who could share their guidance. Contact us at email@example.com.
When it comes to making your mark in the social media world, consider making your business “Instagrammable.”
Because Instagram is all about the looks, being Instagrammable means looking iconic, photogenic, likable, and share-worthy. Having spaces inside or outside of your business that inspire people to pull out their phones to take a picture is a great way to give your business a presence in social media and attract more customers.
To make the Instagramable spaces in your business, consider what makes your company unique and capture that in the form of a backdrop or art piece somewhere visible to your clients and customers.
An example of a business that has an Instagrammable exterior is the colorful and beachy Des Moines Doghouse.
Seattle Chocolate Company has created Instagrammable spaces both outdoors and indoors. From the street, people can see a vibrant, large-scale wall mural. Inside, the factory as a whole is picture-perfect and has multiple walls that make great backdrops for pictures. See our office administrator, Holli, featured below. With the entire wall covered in truffles, who wouldn’t want to get a picture and share it with their friends?
Another business that has created Instagrammable spaces using its products is diecutstickers.com. In the photo below, Owner Daniel Diederichs and General Manager Jerry Perschke are standing in front of one of two walls that are covered by small stickers the company has created for its clients. These sticker walls not only help make them Instagrammable, but also help them support their clients’ brands. In addition to these two walls, there are walls that are covered with large-scale, landscape stickers.
These walls don’t just make for great backdrops for photos! They also show clients how large and impressive diecutstickers.com’s stickers can be. In addition, there are walls in staff offices and the conference room that have inspirational graphics that make thinking of a caption for an Insta pic really easy. Displaying the range of their work (from small to large-scale) in this way prompts clients to snap selfies during a tour of the state-of-the-art facility.
For businesses looking for clever ways to get more interaction in social media, we recommend finding or creating a space in your business where people will want to take pictures. Whether it is a statue, a fun wall, or a unique product, having something aesthetic in your business will lead people to stop, look, snap a picture, and post. This is a natural way to create brand advocates and people who will market your business for you.
If you would like to brainstorm specific ways to make your business more Instagrammable, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.