Seriously Improve Your Networking Skills with 5 steps

No matter what profession you’re in, networking is the fuel that accelerates success. Not only is it useful for learning directly from individuals you meet, but the benefits of association and growing your own authority are just as powerful.

Related: How to Start a Conversation With Strangers at a Networking Event

For some of us, the word networking can leave a bad taste in our mouths. Many of us aren’t sure where to start, what to say when we connect with someone or how to maintain that relationship. Although I truly believe there’s an art and science to networking and building authentic relationships, I’m going to distill what I’ve learned over the past few years. So, here is my no-BS guide to networking.

Stage 1: Mindset

Before you think about networking, remove the word “working” from your system. We hear people talking about putting on their “networking game,” and I can’t help but wonder how many showers they’ll need to take afterward to rid themselves of the inauthenticity. It’s likely that the people you’re trying to reach get approached by dozens, if not hundreds, of people just like you; and it’s not difficult for them to weed out the people who are “putting on a face.”

The best networking comes from genuine relationships, not a business card exchange. No matter whom you’re trying to build a relationship with, treating that person as a friend rather than a business contact will take you much further with the relationship. So, think about how you would approach a potential friend. Find something you have in common with, keep it light, make jokes, and above all, show that you care.

Stage 2: The destination

Doing something for the sake of doing it is rarely a good idea, nor is it a good use of your time. It’s the old analogy of having a fully gassed car without a final destination to head toward.

As many of you may already know, I’m a big believer in goal setting and focusing on pouring energy into accomplishing the stated goal. What is your dream job? How do you envision your future? What do you need to be doing to be the most fulfilled, happy and driven version of you? Write down what your goal is for five years from now. Then write down what goal you need to hit one year from now in order to get you closer to your five-year goal. Finally, write down what goal you need to hit 90 days from now in order to get you closer to your one-year goal.

For example: Let’s say your goal is to make $1 million in five years. You would need a vehicle, whether that is your own business, investments or something financially viable to get you to your destination. In this case, your goal one year from now might be to have your business launched and to hit $5,000 per month in sales.

So, what would you need to do in the next 90 days in order to hit $5,000 per month in your new business, one year from now? It might be finding the right partner with a complementary skill sets, or acquiring your first paying customer in the next 90 days.

5-year goal: Make $1 million
1-year goal: Hit $5,000/month ($60,000 per year) in sales with new business
90-day goal: Get your first paying customer

Now, it’s time to write down your goals. Yes, physically write them!

Stage 3: The map

Now that you have your final destination for five years from now, including focused, short-term goals to get you there, design your map. Keith Ferrazzi has a powerful strategy called the Networking Action Plan (NAP), which he explains in Never Eat Alone, to connect your networking strategy with your goals.

Step 1 is to write down your goals and final destination (which you completed in Stage 2). Step 2 is to look at the three goals you have written down. Then, next to each of your goals, write down three people who will either kickstart or accelerate your goal. These could be people you are already connected with, who are second-degree connections from you, or people you have no connections to.

Examples of who your top 3 could be include mentors or advisors, clients who will advocate for you, investors who believe in your vision, team members who may be co-founders or key hires, a boss or manager who could propel you to a raise or strategic position within your organization or superconnectors that will connect you with any of the above, to build your network.

If you’re looking to start a company, the three people could be a potential partner, an investor and a potential client. For a best-selling book, the three could be your agent, promotional partners or editor.

It’s important to invest some time doing thorough research to be confident that the three people are essential in helping you accomplish your goals faster.

Stage 4: Building a human connection

Hw do you foster a real connection when you speak with someone — whether it’s on Skype or on the phone or in-person? Personally, I think it boils down to these factors:

  • Ask insightful questions (to get the other person thinking). You can know a lot about a person by the quality of the questions he or she asks. Tony Robbins often shares that the quality of your questions correlates to the quality of your life.
  • Ask better questions, receive better answers. Peter Thiel challenges us to ask ourselves: “How do we accomplish our 10-year goals in six months?” By asking better questions when you’re speaking with someone, you not only put yourself in a category of someone that thinks differently, but you force the other person to think in a new way that helps him or her grow.
  • Pay attention (as if your life depended on it). This may come naturally for some people, or be extremely difficult for others. In our smartphone era, paying attention is a demanded “skill” many of us lack. How many times have you spoken with someone who is constantly fidgeting, looking around or interrupting your every sentence? By simplying maintaining eye contact, listening attentively and responding with relevant questions, you’re separating yourself from the rest of the pack and are well on your way to fostering a genuine relationship.

Listen. Ask good questions. Repeat.

Stage 5: Superconnecting

The fastest way to grow your own network is to introduce two people who can benefit from each another. As simple as this strategy sounds, it’s one you hardly see most people do. When’s the last time someone deliberately went out of his or her way to introduce you to someone after listening to your struggles? If you’re the rare breed that has experienced this, you’ve met a superconnector. 

With over three billion people online today, it’s increasingly difficult to separate the fog from the light, and the role of superconnectors will become increasingly important to make that distinction. Here are few of the most powerful ways to become a superconnector yourself.

  • Don’t keep score. This is by far the key difference between superconnectors and everyone else. Superconnectors have an abundance mentality, and they’re always willing to give, connect and share.
  • Make friends, not “contacts.” In other words, value quality over quantity. Put away your business cards, and form genuine friendships with people you meet. I force myself to never talk about business in the first encounter with someone, unless I have to. It’s 10 times more valuable to develop connections with five quality people at an event than 50 “contacts” whose names you won’t remember.
  • Connect other superconnectors. Do you know two connectors who could benefit from meeting? Have they already met? Introducing two superconnectors will be the easiest connection you make because: They are naturally friendly and most likely will have friends in common. And you’ll not only help others further their goals, but will come to mind for them, for future potential connections that will benefit you.
  • Interview people. This may be one of the fastest ways to grow your network, if done strategically. You could do this in the context of a research paper, book or, my personal favorite, a podcast. I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with the likes of Eric RiesAdam Braun, Jason Fried, Gary Vaynerchuk and others who would have been difficult to connect with had I not started #SKIM Live.
  • Follow-up. This is the missing step we all forget to do. But following up to see how the introduction went, or randomly following up a few months later with no agenda will not only help you maintain your connections, but foster the relationship to a different level. In a world of take take take, being able to show that you care about someone as a friend will put you in a whole different category with any of your connections.

Can you think of someone you need to follow up with right now?

Become a Content Marketing Productivity Master: 21 Tips from the #CMWorld Community

  • 1. Become a Content Marketing PRODUCTIVITY MASTER: 21 TIPS FROM THE #CMWORLD COMMUNITY
  • 2. We can’t stop time. But we can learn to use it more effectively. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Tired of never getting through your to–do list? If so… you’re in the same boat as practically every content marketer we talk to. Fundamentally, the secret to feeling more productive is to have a plan for what you need to accomplish and stick to it. It’s easier said than done, for sure; but by implementing efficiency techniques, streamlining certain processes, and taking advantage of a few time-tested tricks, content marketers can increase their output while reducing the frustration, stress, and misdirected efforts that can often take them off track. Take a look at 21 of the most helpful tips the #CMWorld community had to offer during our recent Twitter chat on productivity. 2

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  • 3. 33 It’s counterproductive to waste time on content that isn’t going to help your business achieve its goals. To maximize productivity, start with a strategic analysis of how relevant and valuable the effort is likely to be for both your brand and your audience. Mike Myers says he uses a simple flow chart to determine where content marketing will be helpful (and where it won’t) because, like with dessert, it can be hard to know when to say no.  I start by asking: “How relevant is the project to my market — i.e., clients and prospects?” —Roger C. Parker  Make strategic decisions. Know when something requested won’t add enough value. Prioritize, and suggest alternatives when possible. —Danalynne Wheeler LEAD WITH YOUR STRENGTHS — AND YOUR STRATEGY1
  • 4. 4 FOLLOW YOUR STRATEGY WITH A PROACTIVE PLAN2 Every strategic idea needs a plan to bring it to life. With advanced preparation, you can take some of the guesswork out of the content creation process, making it easier to stay focused and productive.  Successful content marketers choose topics in advance. They identify themes they can create content on in the upcoming months. Planning is key. —Roger C. Parker  Plan what to say & how. Create a title optimized to catch readers & search engines. —Joanie Eppinga
  • 5. 55 Content creation is as much an art as a science. Though you should definitely have a plan, it’s also helpful to be flexible and leave room in your process to take advantage of inspiration when it strikes.  Make notes all the time. They’re the seeds of content to come. You can’t harvest tomorrow unless you plant today. —George Stenitzer  Balance sticking with strategy (and saying no to what doesn’t fit) with the potential to explore new possibilities. Always keep the “learning mindset.” —Anne Janzer LEAVE ROOM FOR THE SPARK OF CREATIVITY3

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  • 6. 6 FOCUS ON AUDIENCE NEEDS4 Content is created to spur an audience to action, so your productivity ultimately depends on how well your efforts are is suited to meeting that goal. Keep this in mind and you will never waste valuable time on efforts that miss the mark.  First, you have to understand your market and their needs. This provides focus. —Roger C. Parker  It’s all about knowing your audience. Knowing whom to talk to directs your decisions about what you do and don’t need to say. —Adam P. Newton  Outsider, a New York agency, suggests that content creators ask questions like, “Does this provide value to my audience?” “Would they share it?” Viewing your content from the audience’s perspective will help you figure out which projects may not work — even if they seemed like a good idea to you at first.
  • 7. 77 It’s hard to be productive if our minds are being pulled in a million different directions. Even small side projects can wind up derailing productivity in a major way, so it’s helpful to determine right from the outset what’s worth your immediate attention, what can be put on the back burner for a while, and what can be indefinitely postponed.  Roger C. Parker recommends starting out by asking, “How urgently do my customers or prospects need the information?” Then ask, “Is the project practical for me at the present time?” After that, if a client asks me to do a different task, I ask: “Which of our current tasks do you want me to put aside?”  Ronda Bowen says that looking at past performance of content helps, too. If you know a certain topic tanks in terms of page views, there’s no reason to continue to create content on that topic. SET PRIORITIES, AND DON’T GET SIDETRACKED5
  • 8. 8 BUDGET YOUR TIME… AND USE IT EFFECTIVELY6 Effective time management means devoting adequate attention to your content without allowing your efforts to take over your entire working life.  Successful content marketers run marathons, not races. Time management is essential. Manage your time as carefully as you would manage your money. —Roger C. Parker  Set aside blocks of time to draft your content without being interrupted by meetings or chats. —Sarah A. Parker  While planning is important, Mael Roth advises that sometimes you need to set yourself on “get it done” mode: “At some point it’s ‘learn by doing.’”333
  • 9. 99 Just as deadlines can create a sense of urgency for specific content projects, keeping a calendar of those projects can help you mentally plan and prioritize your day-to-day efforts — and hold yourself accountable for their completion.  Scheduling is key for productivity. —Cara Shannon  Lisa Masiello recommends being methodical and keeping a calendar, as she feels it’s easy to become distracted without a schedule.  Social media analytics vendor Union Metrics suggests drawing up a quarterly content calendar and working backwards from the deadlines you set in order to ensure time for drafts/your approval process. KEEP A CONTENT CALENDAR7
  • 10. 10 KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO8 No one likes to have to turn down a content request from a client or supervisor, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil in order to make good progress on current priorities, continually deliver on your content’s promises, and maintain your sanity.  Strategy is key. If a project doesn’t align, it’s not worth your time. —Angela Hursh  I cringe when clients try to pump out as much content as possible and skimp on quality. A content effort should be more than a checklist item. —Brandon Seymour  Many times marketing should say no to change. Don’t let your boredom of a tagline/ topic divert the oil tanker. —Nick Kellet  If there isn’t a compelling story [in a particular content idea], I find the exit. —Kip Meacham
  • 11. 1111 One of the easiest ways to become more productive is to get rid of repetitive or unnecessarily time-consuming tasks that are bogging down your efforts and replace them with more efficient techniques. Even if it takes some extra time to implement and adjust to the change, streamlining your processes often pays dividends in terms of productivity over the long-term.  I implemented a written request form for content projects. [This] creates accountability & saves me from 20 [rounds of] revisions. —Danielle Poupore  I use Mindjet’s MindManager to organize ideas, keep track of projects, and easily track influencers and ideas. And every content marketer needs a graphics program to create images for blog posts and social media. —Roger C. Parker  We use a lot of distraction-free writing tools to encourage the process, as well as an editorial calendar to plan it all out. —ClearVoice  Erika Heald asserts that collaboration tools like RedboothHQ, Kapost, Evernote, and Google Drive are key to her daily productivity. CREATE EFFICIENCIES WITH NEW TOOLS AND STREAMLINED PRODUCTION PROCESSES 9
  • 12. 12 FREE YOUR MIND10 Productivity isn’t always about going “heads down” into a project. Instead, experiment to discover what ideas and processes work best for you.  Stay curious and open to new innovations and marketing concepts. Set aside time to ‘study’ those who are doing it right. —Crowd Content  A large part of marketing productivity comes from understanding the machine of the internet and the psychology of people —Nick Kellet  We write down all of our ideas before dismissing any. —Kitterman Marketing
  • 13. 1313 Good writing is just as much “nurture” as it is “nature.” Set good habits right from the start of your content creation efforts and you’re practically guaranteed to become more productive as you progress.  Cultivate the habit of short, frequent working sessions rather than long, tiring sessions. —Roger C. Parker  Our best productivity tips are early mornings, strong coffee, and a separate window for social media, to avoid distraction. —Outsider (a NYC agency)  Try working at times when there will be fewer distractions. For example, @SparkerWorks has considered getting started earlier in the day: “Nobody bothers you in the early morning!” —Sarah A. Parker CULTIVATE EFFICIENT WORKING AND WRITING HABITS11CMS (444
  • 14. 14 HOLD YOURSELF TO DEADLINES12 Deadlines help you set clear parameters for your content efforts, and can create a sense of urgency that keeps you focused and on-task during the content creation process.  Deadlines definitely help with productivity! Sometimes it’s hard to get started if there is no goal in sight. —Wyzowl  Consider creating mini-deadlines for the various tasks required for each project. This can help you create a sense of urgency and pace your progress. —Roger C. Parker
  • 15. 1515 Content creation takes dedication. If you want to earn the loyalty of your audience, you must hold yourself accountable for delivering on what you promise — even when the process gets challenging or you run into a stumbling block.  To be a productive writer, make yourself write. Good ideas often come after you’ve gotten started. —Anne Janzer  Every successful content marketer I know reads and writes daily. —Patrick Hayslett PRACTICE SELF-DISCIPLINE13
  • 16. 16 AVOID BEATING YOURSELF UP OR GETTING FRUSTRATED14 It’s not easy for writers to create something that’s “just right,” so it’s natural to stumble with phrasing or get stuck on an idea once in a while. When the words just aren’t flowing, don’t be afraid to take your time and clear your mind — and know that you can always make changes down the line.  Give yourself permission for that bad first draft. Don’t edit as you write — it will only slow you down. —Ronda Bowen  If something’s really not working, give yourself permission to step away. Come back to it tomorrow. Work on something else. —Sarah A. Parker
  • 17. 1717 A trick some writers use to structure a content effort is to write the ending first, then craft the rest of the story so that it leads to the intended conclusion. Starting each project with your desired results in mind can reduce the need for time consuming revisions and rewrites throughout the process.  Develop your positioning first so that the content will communicate the desired marketing messages. —Samuel J. Scott  I’ve begun asking project requesters to tell me how they plan to use content. No sense making something to sit in a drawer. —Danielle Poupore START WITH YOUR DESIRED RESULTS AND PURPOSE AND WORK BACKWARDS15
  • 18. 18 MAKE CONTENT CREATION PART OF YOUR ROUTINE16 Just like good habits make good writers, regular routines can help those writers mentally prepare for creating quality content—and for staying the course, even when other priorities start to compete for their time and attention.  Show up. Turning up at your computer consistently is the best way to be successful. —Ronda Bowen  Brainstorm, outline, write, write, write, proof, have someone else proof, edit, & promote! If you get stuck, take a break, and then go back. —Aya Fawzy  I look for easy parts of the post to write — such as lists or easy topics — to build momentum. —Roger C. Parker555
  • 19. 1919 If you find yourself working on a complex topic with a lot of ground to cover, or are struggling to find the right flow for your discussion, try creating a simple outline first. Organizing your thoughts in this way can help you see which points are essential and which ones can be left out, as well as how to structure the conversation in the most logical way.  Map the journey. Know where you’re starting, ending and [where] you’ll stop at along the way. —Jeremy Bednarski  First, I take notes by hand & organize a rough structure. Last thing is proofreading. Then proofreading again. —Danielle Poupore  Start your writing with an outline. Then write everything down as quickly as you can. Lastly, edit, edit, edit. —Heidi Cohen  After outlining what you are going to write and why, just get words on paper/screen. Don’t edit, just do a “brain dump.” —Traci Browne NOT SURE WHAT TO WRITE? TRY CREATING AN OUTLINE17
  • 20. 20 USE THEMES TO BUILD A SERIES OF RELATED CONTENT18 Another way to handle complex topics is to break them up into small, manageable bites. Start by coming up with a list of relevant themes, and then create a series of related content pieces that you can that you can distribute on a regular basis.  Series are about brevity. Series turn complex ideas into snacks. Series also multiply the SEO value of one big idea. —Nick Kellet  A series can be a great way to get started. It gives you a theme and a goal to build off of. Feels less daunting every week. —Kitterman Marketing  A blog series can help with productivity in that (hopefully) you can map it all out ahead of time. —Jeremy Bednarski  In terms of productivity, having an established series is really helpful to me. It’s great for when I’m stumped on topics. —Christina Grieves666
  • 21. 2121 Content doesn’t always have to be original to be powerful. At times, it’s more productive to use the content you’ve painstakingly created and focus your time on ways to repackage it in a new way, or for a new platform.  @crestodina writes, “You need to view content as atoms you can recycle & rearrange in different ways.” —Roger C. Parker  It’s just so easy to do. So many resources and potential for data and info overload. Curate, collate, focus. —Jacob Henenberg  Break up mega-topics into edible chunks. Use customer questions to guide series topics. —George Stenitzer REPURPOSE THE WHEEL, DON’T REINVENT IT19
  • 22. 22 KNOW WHAT TO SPIN OFF OR RECYCLE, RATHER THAN REJECT20 If an idea starts to lead you in a different direction, don’t switch gears right away. Instead, tuck it away it somewhere safe, and then come back to it after you’ve finished the content effort you are currently working on. If the new concept still seems valid when you revisit it, you now have a ready-made topic on hand for your next content effort.  I’m a narrow-minded content creator. If anything remotely veers from my main idea, it goes in queue to become its own piece. —Patrick Hayslett
  • 23. 2323 When all else fails… you are probably working too hard. Sometimes it’s best to just step away and take some time to clear your mind before returning to your content creation. You may even come up with a new idea or two when you give yourself a break, rather than trying to force creativity when you just aren’t “feeling it.”  When I’m finished, I put the post aside overnight. I need to proof it from a fresh perspective. —Roger C. Parker  Even a 5-minute break can help. Ever do find-a-word puzzles? Great for improving visual acuity. —Joanie Eppinga  Step away & do something physical that you’ll see immediate results from: Clean a coffee cup, wipe down a counter, stretch. —Sarah A. Parker TAKE BREAKS TO AVOID MENTAL FATIGUE21
  • 24. 24 THANKS FOR READING! Want more ways to increase your productivity without losing sight of your priorities? Download our collection of useful templates and checklists to make the content marketing process easier. And don’t forget to join our #CMWorld Twitter chats every Tuesday at 12 Eastern to learn from our fabulous content marketing community and share your own tips for success. Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every September, and Content Marketing World Sydney, every March. CMI also produces the quarterly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI is a 2012, 2013, and 2014 Inc. 500 company. Learn how to create a documented content marketing strategy, a key component for improving overall content marketing effectiveness.

Online Meeting Survey and Infographic

WebEx published an interesting infographic this month, illustrating the “irony of meetings“. When done correctly, meetings can be effective for collaboration, sharing, and brainstorming. But when meetings get out of control, they waste time and cause frustration.

WebEx created the infographic based on a survey of 800 workers. Here are some of the most interesting findings:

We Say We Don’t Like Meetings, But Spend a lot of Time in Meetings

9 out of 10 workers prefer to interact in any other way than meetings. Yet we spend more time in meetings than any other form of interaction. We spend more time interacting in meetings than email, telephone, social media, and IM.

ironyWhat People Don’t Like About Meetings

Common reasons people don’t like meetings include: Nothing getting accomplished, lack of a clear agenda, and the needed people not attending the meeting.

What People Like About Meetings

Despite these annoyances, people do find meetings helpful for some things. For example, people feel that meetings are good for: getting or sharing important information, brainstorming and problem solving, and building relationships.

What Happens When Meetings Get out of Control

Perhaps the biggest problem with meetings is that it stops us from producing. In fact, because of meeting overload people often stay at the office late to finish work, or end up having to take time to work from home, so they can minimize distractions. It’s no wonder that people have such a strong disdain for meetings.

How to Get the Most out of your Online Meetings

Meetings themselves aren’t bad, it’s meetings done poorly that tend to irk us. Here are some tips for mastering your meetings:

  1. Have a Clear Agenda – Don’ even announce the meeting until you have a clear idea of what you want to cover, who you want to attend, and each persons contributions. Make sure that people know what their role in the meeting is too.
  2. Use an Online Meeting Service – Don’t make people commute to your meeting, or go out of their way to attend. An online meeting minimizes the time that people spend away from work, keeps distractions to a minimum, and allows you to record the meeting for those who couldn’t attend. Read our reviews of online meeting services.

Summary

There’s no reason meetings have to be a waste of time and productivity. When done correctly, using the right online meeting software, meetings can help you achieve more, connect with others, and come up with better ideas.

5 Phrases That Will Kill Your Kickstarter Campaign (And 12 That Won’t)

If you ask the creators of successful Kickstarter projects how they got funded, they’ll probably tell you it was thanks to a strong community of supporters, press coverage, social media shares, or some other factor that they put a lot of time and effort into. But according to new research, the real secret to crowdfunding success may lie in the wording of a campaign pitch.

Georgia Tech assistant professor Eric Gilbert and doctoral candidate Tanushree Mitra studied the language used in every Kickstarter campaign launched since June 2012. After sifting through more than 45,000 projects, the team found that certain phrases used on the campaign page could predict whether it was going to fail or succeed.

“Our research revealed that the phrases used in successful Kickstarter campaigns exhibited general persuasion principles,” said Gilbert, who runs Georgia Tech’s computer social lab. “Campaigns that follow the concept of reciprocity — that is, offer a gift in return for a pledge — and the perceptions of social participation and authority generated the greatest amount of funding, [but] the language used to express the reward made the difference.” [10 Unlikely and Surprising Kickstarter Successes]

no speak1
Gilbert and Mitra were intrigued by the huge variance between Pebble, the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date with more than $10 million in pledges, and Ninja Baseball, a well-publicized PC game that earned just one-third of its $10,000 goal.

“The discrepancy in funding success prompted us to consider why some projects meet funding goals and others do not,” Mitra said. “The driving factors in crowdfunding success ranged from social participation to encouragement to gifts, all of which are distinguished by the language used in the project descriptions.”

Based on the 100 most popular phrases used in the project descriptions they studied, Gilbert and Mitra listed the following five phrases as the top indicators of crowdfunding failure:

“Not been able”
“Even a dollar”
“Later I”
“A blank”
“Hope to get”

top speak
On the other hand, some of the top phrases found in successful campaigns were:

“Also receive two”
“Pledged will”
“Good karma and”
“Option is”
“Given the chance”
“Has pledged”
“To build this”
“Accessible to the”
“We can afford”
“Project will be”
“Mention your”
“Your continued”
The researchers noted that successful projects, which made up slightly more than 50 percent of the campaigns they analyzed, used the above phrases to express concepts such as reciprocity, scarcity, social proof and identity (belonging to a community) and authority.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

6 Ways to Keep Staff Meetings Productive

For a well-oiled business, it’s imperative to meet and check in regularly with the team that runs it. Here’s how to make sure things really get done.

We asked members of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) to share their creative and unique ways for keeping staff meetings fresh and productive. Here’s what they had to say.

meeting 11. Follow the Agenda

“We avoid slow meetings by not just having an agenda, but also by staying on track. A clear vision of what will be discussed and what needs to be achieved is essential. We make the meeting fun as well as informative. By picking a focus for each meeting and coming up with a creative way to get the staff interested, we assure the meeting is not a waste of time.”

Sue Meitner, EO Philadelphia
President and CEO, Centennial Lending Group, LLC

2. Start and End on Time

“Every employee should be able to count on the fact that they’ll get out of the meeting at exactly the time they were told beforehand. We also try to limit staff meetings to an hour. To ensure this happens, we’ve a ‘sidetrack alert’. As soon as someone starts going off on a tangent, an agenda keeper interrupts with ‘sidetrack alert!’ to get the meeting back on track.”

Vladimir Gendelman, EO Detroit
CEO, Company Folders, Inc

3. Focus on “Why”

“Each team member reports a recent win and quickly gives a ‘what-so what-now what’ report, which helps us avoid regurgitating status reports, and get straight to the significant events. We end meetings with a 15-minute wild card slot focused on brainstorming, problem solving, and business development activities. This works because it gives ownership for a successful meeting to everyone, it respects everyone’s time, and it’s designed to hit the high notes–the why instead of the what.”

Deb Gabor, EO Austin
President, Sol Marketing

4. Lead by Example

“As a former U.S. Navy SEAL, I model my business after how a real SEAL platoon functions and holds core values (including trust, candor, personal responsibility and assertiveness). The most important thing is for me as the leader is to come prepared and lead by example. I also make sure my team owns a part of the meeting, which really holds their attention. Setting up this environment, provides the mechanics for accountability and successful meetings.”

Brandon Webb, EO New York
CEO, Force12 Media

meeting2

5. Create an Experience

“We gather weekly for what we call ‘Treat Tuesday.’ One team member is selected as Studio Sheriff, and it’s the person’s job to provide snacks and food for the meeting, as well as to share an inspirational quote and video. Ultimately, this person controls the experience. Also, peer nominations are solicited for the Team Member of the Week–one who went above and beyond the call of duty in the previous week. The winner receives a gift card for lunch, the movies, and iTunes.”

Hussain Manjee, EO Dallas
President and Chief Success Officer, DHD Films

6. Reach Personal Levels

“I not only touch on needs for the business, but also on personal needs for my employees. One of the most recent meetings was about personal goals for this year. I had everyone pair up and find ways in which they can reach their goals. I have an ‘open door policy’ too, so those wishing to bring non-employees to meetings may also do so. I’ve found myself lecturing employees’ children and pets who were also in attendance; showing my staff I care keeps them motivated and productive.”

Theresa Fette, EO Las Vegas
CEO, Provident Trust Group

To learn more about EO members’ entrepreneurial experiences and insights, visitOverdrive, EO’s global business blog.

HOW TO DRESS FOR YOUR JOB INTERVIEW [TOP 12 GUIDELINES]

Knowing what to wear on a job interview is half the battle of the interview itself. The old adage could never be so true, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

When you’re going on a job interview, your appearance is extremely important. Whether or not you look professional or sloppy could play a huge role on if you get hired.

Check out the company culture:

When first deciding what to wear on a job interview, you should first take into consideration the culture of the company you are interviewing with, and dress accordingly. Are you interviewing with a company where the employees wear suits everyday or do they wear t-shirts and jeans?

Nothing too fancy, nothing to casual:

how-to-dress-interviewA suit is not always the best choice for what to wear on a job interview. If you show up wearing a suit and tie and all the employees are wearing shorts and flip-flops, you will look out of place, feel uncomfortable and give off the wrong energy. The same is true of the opposite. If you show up wearing shorts and flip-flops to a company that wears professional attire, you will be just confirming that you don’t fit into the company.

Match the interviewer:

If you want to get the job, your choice of what to wear on a job interview should match or be slightly dressier than the normal work attire of the company. For example, if the normal work attire of the company is business casual, it’s ok to wear a suit to impress. If the normal work attire is casual, it’s ok to wear a business casual outfit to impress as well. Appropriateness is the most important factor on what to wear on a job interview.

After you decide whether a professional, business casual, or casual outfit the most appropriate for your interview, here are some guidelines you will want to stay with in when deciding what to wear on a job interview. The key is to wear clothing that you feel comfortable and look great in, while at the same time matching the corresponding dress code of the company. That way you’ll give off great energy and your true personality shine through.

Here are the guidelines:

  1. Make sure your clothes that are neatly ironed and press. Nothing gives away the lack of attention to detail than wrinkled clothing.
  2. Make sure your clothing fits properly. If your pants or sleeves are too long or something is too loose or too tight you’ll look and probably feel awkward.
  3. Don’t wear flashy jewelry. You’ll want the interviewer to pay attention to you, not your bling.
  4. Dress according to the season. Don’t wear a stuffy turtleneck sweater in the middle of the summer.
  5. Don’t wear perfume or aftershave. You never know if your interviewer is allergic and this isn’t a good way to find out.
  6. Make sure you have a nice, clean haircut that makes you look well groomed.
  7. For men, make sure you shave and keep facial hair to a minimum.
  8. For women, don’t wear anything that is too revealing. It’s best to keep your body parts inside your clothing and not be too exposed.
  9. Avoid articles of clothing with loud, busy prints. It’s best to wear solid colors that flatter your skin tone.
  10. For women, make sure you wear appropriate lingerie and/or pantyhose underneath your clothing. This will give you smooth lines and assure you don’t have visible panty lines on your backside.
  11. For women, don’t overdo your makeup. Wear natural colors and avoid heavy eyeshadow, eyeliner and bright colored lipstick.
  12. For pants outfits, make sure you wear a belt that matches the color of your shoes.

Bottom line:

So, congratulations on getting the interview! Now you know exactly what to wear to the interview interview so you can get the job.

http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/how-dress-your-job-interview/