Hey there, night owl!
The one who stays up past midnight on any given day to get work done so they can sleep in a bit the next day. The one who gets his/her second wind around 10:00pm and will actually have a coffee to keep going. The one who just has so much work to do that you have no choice. The one who hates mornings so they stay up late instead.
This blog post is for you.
Here are our top 5 tips for staying productive when you’re staying up:
- Do the big tasks first: It’s pretty self-explanatory. You use your brain power at its greatest peak before it starts fogging up and dwindling down.
- Make your workspace as distraction-free as possible: No cell phones, no social media, no washroom breaks (just kidding). The more focused you are the better.
- Brighten your workspace: Dim lighting may cause you to become drowsy which will lessen your focus and drive to continue your tasks. If you are already feeling sleepy? Darkness won’t help.
- Get your blood flowing: Jumping Jacks, a few push-ups, maybe a brisk jog around your house? It should up your energy level and give you an added boost.
- COFFEE- or a caffeinated beverage: They say not to just chug the drink though. Taking small amounts in periodically throughout your late-night work mission will keep you afloat.
These tips should help but the most important thing that you have to understand is when to know when to stop. Don’t push yourself into a canyon of “I am going to have to redo this work, because I am exhausted and when I read it tomorrow? It is going to be CRAP”. It’s a slippery slope into that hole… so just know your limits.
When it comes to your social media strategy? Pre-planning your posts is half the battle.
Having something ready to fire out on dates that you know to expect will help ease any last minute stress and help ensure that you are creating branded and shareable posts! We’ve created a list of dates that are guaranteed to pass this year (we couldn’t include EVERY holiday but you can find a list of Canadian holidays here: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/canada/) We also included a post idea for each date.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
We hope that everyone had an amazing 2014 and are ripe and ready to take on 2015!
It’s important to have good quality print pieces and we believe that it is important to have them all as branded and cohesive as possible. That being said, we have an Illustrator file with a variety of vector social media icons that we would be more than happy to send you FOR FREE. You can alter their colour or size (without pixelation).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request your .ai file today.
Networking is about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships. It takes two main approaches: virtual or face-to-face. It’s important to utilize both strategies to expand your professional network. Networking has risen in popularity alongside transparency and human interaction in the workforce because people are understanding the importance of relationships and are gravitating toward people they know or have met to assist them with their needs.
Marketing, advertising, social media… these are all great but a lot of business owners (If you are B2B) are too busy to stop and reflect on your efforts and too many customers (if you are B2C) are numb to traditional communications avenues due to an over abundance of “buy this”.
This seminar is set up to help you make your networking exchanges count and get you the results that you need to help push your business further.
We will cover the following areas:
- Your business card
- Your elevator pitch
- How to find the right event for you/your industry
- Your personal brand/image
- Conversation starters
- The importance of body language
- Online Networking
- Follow up
We will then demonstrate/practice with the group (so bring cards)
The cost to attend is $35 and that includes:
- The 3 hour seminar
- A take away package that contains the information that was covered for future reference
- Some exercises to help build your networking confidence
- Light Refreshments
THERE ARE ONLY 30 SPACES AVAILABLE so book early to reserve your spot.
You know what they say; it’s not what you know. It’s who you know.
YOUR SEMINAR INSTRUCTOR
CRYSTAL LENGUA: Founder and CEO of BROCCOLI Consulting
Crystal is a double graduate of both George Brown College and Humber. She is certified in Marketing Management, Corporate Communications (PR), Social Media Management and Event Management (with honours). With over ten years of branding, marketing, communications and sales experience she has developed and strengthened company recognition using a variety of channels. Through prioritization, infectious optimism, contingency planning and creative ‘transform the box’ thinking- She is known for her leadership, reliability and turn-around capabilities.
In the last year, she has been featured in ‘Mississauga Life’ Magazine as a forerunning Mompreneur. Crystal was also a main stage speaker alongside Toronto Argo’s Jonathan Hood. She is currently mid-way through her first non-fictional small business handbook which will be published in spring 2015.
We are asked from time to time…
Why BROCCOLI? Why is your company name BROCCOLI Consulting?
Is it because we all LOVE to eat it? Because we like the colour green? Are we vegetarians?
None of those explanations are 100% untrue (We do have a vegetarian in house) – but none of them are what led founder Crystal Lengua to the name.
Check out her explanation video below!
Making the decision to become an entrepreneur wasn’t easy. There is a lot of risk involved, you lose the comfort net of corporate and I wasn’t sure how I was going to balance it all properly. Two kids, a house and a husband PLUS a company sounded like a lot of work but the flexibility I was going to have ultimately made me take the leap.
Entrepreneurship is EXACTLY what I thought it would be in some ways and NOTHING like I thought it would be in others. It really is an adventure and I thought I would share the top 10 things that I have learned in my (almost) first year of entrepreneurship.
- You need to keep a schedule
If you think that you can manage your own social media, blogging, marketing, sales, business development, life and anything thing else that comes along WITHOUT a schedule? You are in for a treat. It won’t be easy. I am luckily very much a “schedule” person but I had no idea that I would eventually have to schedule in housework to ensure it gets done on a weekly basis.
- You need to follow your gut
You know what the right move is deep down. If you are sitting across from a potential client and you don’t feel good about it/them? Walk away. You don’t have to take that job. Another one will come. It’s better to walk away (professionally) than to regret not doing it later.
- Don’t sell yourself short
You will hear on more than one occasion when you are just starting out “I have a job for you, it isn’t paid BUT it is GREAT exposure!”
Trust me. Work hard enough and the exposure will come organically. You don’t need to work for free- exposure doesn’t pay the bills. If you feel the need to discount for a charity or friend? That’s fine! That’s up to you but value your time and your work.
- Be productive- Not busy
It is easy to get caught up in “being your own boss”. Lunch meetings, day freedom, getting lost on the web. Yeah, you FEEL busy but what have you produced? Set goals for yourself and achieve them. Make sure that you can measure your productivity so that you can feed your success.
- Keep your finances in order
If you can’t afford an accountant off the hop? Invest in a program to help you with your accounting! Losing track of your finances is frustrating and when it comes down to tax time you don’t want to be in the red. Stay diligent and take your company seriously regardless of its size or income when you are just starting off.
- Keep learning
Stay on top of your industry trends and news. It will help make your sales meetings flow naturally with great conversation, it will help inspire your next moves and help you grow as an entrepreneur. It isn’t easy but when I first started I always had a business oriented book I would pick up a couple times a week. When I got busier I didn’t even notice that I had stopped until I got into a mental entrepreneur rut (it happens) and picked a new book up. I instantly noticed a difference in not only my creative self but my confidence grew as a business professional.
- Shut work off for your important relationships
Work isn’t the most important thing. It feels that way sometimes- but it isn’t. Life is too short and kids grow too fast. You really need to make sure you are nurturing your relationships as well as your business because it is too easy to get caught up in the chase and too easy to miss out on memories.
- Take ‘YOU’ time
Whatever it is you like to do- do it. Shut off work mode and just be in you mode. Yoga, running, walking, climbing, eating, mani-pedis- WHATEVER IT IS. You owe it to yourself to reward yourself for a job well done. OH and having a husband, house and kids is no excuse. Sorry.
- Don’t take criticism to heart
Of course you need to take some constructive criticisms to your head. If you feel that it warrants attention then by all means you need to always be seeking to improve. But not everyone has your best interest at heart. Some people will envy you, some people will be negative by nature and some people won’t really know what they are talking about so their opinion won’t really matter. Learn to decipher constructive from callous.
10. Failure is only a detour sign pointing you back to the drawing board
Not every idea will work or work right away. I have tried seminars that no one replied to. Videos that no one watched. I have blog posts that no one read and twitter chats that I AM STILL working the kinks out of. But guess what? I tried and I have put some ideas onto the backburner JUST IN CASE the future holds a re-try. You can’t let a little bit of failure stand in your way. There are good weeks and bad weeks, good and bad days and hours… You won’t always succeed and that is ok. Stay focused.
What have you learned since opening your business?
CEO of BROCCOLI Consulting
Fall is here!
That means another season to plan your next moves (if you haven’t already) when it comes down to your advertising and PR opportunities. It means another handful of set dates that you can try and coordinate with your business and target audience.
What do I mean?
Well. We know from now until January 1st, the following holidays- and some- are guaranteed:
- Thanksgiving (US & Canadian)
- Remembrance Day
- Christmas/The Holiday Season
- The New Year (full of fresh starts for all)
I am not saying that you should leech onto all of the holidays for the sole purpose of promoting your goods/services… we all know that pushy-selling is ‘out’ anyway… I am saying that you need to be conscious of them and IF POSSIBLE use them to your advantage.
For example: Remembrance Day. Not exactly a day that you want to use as a sales tool (unless you sell poppy’s or are a registered charity) but it is a day that you should recognize. A simple shout-out on social media, a digital poster with your sincere regards that just happens to have your logo in the corner, could make for a nice viral sharing piece.
For PR. Think about what the next couple months are going to bring- what the fall/winter seasons/holidays are guaranteed to have in store. Then see if you can work a press release around it.
What is your company’s forte? How can you utilize content marketing?
For example: You sell tires. Winter is coming and people should have proper tires. Write a press release and send it off to your local stations, papers and news outlets. Tell them why they need tires, tips and tricks to staying safe on the road and how you can help. You won’t always be picked up- it may take up to five attempts before anyone recognizes you BUT start now, what does it hurt?
Brainstorm with your team in advance so that you can create a posting schedule and organize your blasts. Get that whiteboard out and go to town!
For all you twitter fans out there- we are now hosting twitter chats every Tuesday night at 9pm EST!
We are discussing entrepreneur and business related topics… sharing insights, inspiration and working on personal and professional development. We hope to create a motivational and helpful online community.
Follow our chat account by clicking HERE!
The chats are live and generally run for the hour- we look forward to chatting with you!
A successful print advertisement will grab and hold someone’s attention long enough for them to understand what your ad is about. You want to create instant appeal so that your audience will want to read on. Design is important- but an ad is much more than graphics. There are strategies, tips and tricks that can help boost your ads effectiveness.
Aside from ensuring your ad contains important elements like your logo, call-to-action, and contact information- your ad should also:
- Be easy to read. Don’t use too many fonts or extra small text. Don’t fill up your page with too much information! Drive people to your website or social media platforms to learn more.
- Know what you want your ad to say. What are your objectives? Why are you running the ad?
- Use negative space wisely and ensure that the most important information is highlighted with a larger text, different font or different colour. Make sure your core message stands out.
- Be correct. Ensure your ad is free of spelling errors, grammar mistakes and that your contact information is correct.
- Have a unique selling position- why should someone purchase your product or use your service over your competitor?
- If you are offering a promotion make sure you set an expiry date. Create a sense of urgency!
- Stay on brand. Be recognizable.
Have you heard of the “Advertising Rule of Seven”? According to marketing expert Dr. Jeffrey Lant– “To penetrate the buyer’s consciousness and make significant penetration in a given market, you have to contact the prospect a minimum of seven times within an 18-month period.”
Above all- be sure that you understand your target market. Make sure that your ad is speaking their language, that the esthetics speaks to them and that the avenue you choose to deliver your ad in makes sense. Put your ad where they will see it- doing your research before placing your ad is important.
Whatever you do, don’t forget a call-to-action because you want to be able to measure your ad efforts. ROI! ROI! Always do your best to measure your efforts ESPECIALLY as a start up. You need to make sure your investments make sense. Use your insights and analytics to track visitors during your campaign.
Have fun and we will say it again…. stay on brand!