Promoted to Manager? Great! – What Now?

Congratulations on being promoted to your new management role! Did you have a party? Have you settled into your new desk yet? Did you decide what to do with your pay rise?And are you wondering ‘what now?’I remember well my first promotion to manager. Maybe my experience is something like yours? Here’s how it wentA typical story of the newly promoted managerI was recruited into a job as a ‘technician’ (in the glamorous world of Tax Audit, as you asked). I was good at this so quickly got promoted to senior technician and then manager. We had a party on the Friday afternoon – goodbye senior technician role – and then I was into my management job on the Monday morning. Date of next management course? Six months hence. Likelihood of being coached by my senior manager? – zilch. Result? Six very tricky and stressful months where I managed to make just about every mistake in the management book (and write a few new ones as well)Not fun and not funny – for me, and certainly not for the poor people I was attempting to ‘manage’.Eventually I did get some training. It wasn’t great and I still made a lot of mistakes. But then I got lucky. I got a new manager who was not only skilled at managing, but a great coach. And I became a much better manager. And not a day too soon some would say (including me)Is this sounding familiar? I guess it might (on the basis I’ve rarely met a manager, team leader or supervisor who hasn’t had a similar experience!)What do new managers need?Here’s what I needed when I became a manager and what I see many managers, team leaders and supervisors needing;• Some simple tools I could have accessed from day one would have been hugely helpful. Practical, step-by-step processes that I could have used as ‘road maps’ or guidelines. Some ‘how to’ information. Anything that would have helped me approach my new management role with some level of competence and confidence• Some advice on how to deal with those tricky management situations – the underperforming employee, the high performing (but unhappy) employee. Some help in working out how to motivate my employees to high performance, preferably by someone who’s been there and done it themselves.It’s no fun making it up as you go along or trying to learn by ‘trial and error’ (often with the focus on error). And if you’re anything like most of the managers, team leaders and supervisors I know you just don’t have the time to get out there and do the reading and research on what makes for effective management and then learn how to apply that knowledgeGetting the help and support you needThe biggest mistake I made as a new manager was failing to look for help and support. Instead I tried to tough it out and muddle along. I wouldn’t recommend it. So here are some ideas on how you could get the help and support you need to build your management confidence and competence1. Go to your learning and development, training, HR department or whoever it is who looks after developing people. Don’t wait until they come to you. My tip here is be very specific about what you’re looking for. My experience in life generally is that, the more specific you are about what you want, the more likely you are to get it. If you need, for example, a simple step process for defining and agreeing performance objectives, or a sample agenda for performance review or appraisal meeting, or a planned approach for having a conversation with your staff around improving their performance then go to your L&D, HR, training department and ask them for specifically for that. I think sometimes we make the mistake of waiting for opportunities to come to us in this area of learning. That’s what those people are there to do – to help you develop your management competence and confidence. What sometimes you need to do though is get out there, get to those people and ask for what you want.2. Look for coaching, mentoring or just some good old plain advice. Take a look around and try to identify managers who are managing in a way that you think is effective. It could be your own manager. It could be the manager in the next department. It could be a manager who maybe isn’t in your organisation but who you know is an effective manager. Or ask other people. Ask your colleagues. Who do they consider to be a really effective manager? What you’re trying to do here is to find a model – someone you can learn from. Then the question is, would they help you? Most effective managers are open to helping other managers develop. And again be really clear on what you’re looking for because most people find it easier to say yes to a request if that request is very specific. For example you might ask “I would like some help in thinking through how to explain to my employees that I need them to work in a different way”, or, “I’d appreciate some help with working out how to have a conversation with one of my employees about an area of performance they need to improve.” Get really clear on what you want and then go and ask for it.3. Do some research. If you need tools and techniques, there are many resources out there you can use. You could visit you local bookshop or library or, of course, access some of the thousands of blogs, articles, or videos you can find online. OK so it takes some time, but so does trying to learn by your mistakes!SummaryIt’s easy (as I know to my cost!) to wait patiently for management development opportunities to arise, to wait eagerly for the next training course date to be announced. The issue is we often need help right here, right now. I want to encourage you to take responsibility for your own development as a manager, to get clear on what you want and need and then try to find ways of meeting those wants and needs, so that you can quickly, efficiently, and effectively build your management competence and confidence

What Is ‘Connection Marketing’?

Expand With Connection MarketingWhat you can do now to thrive in the new economy…If this has caught your attention it’s because we’re discussing Connection Marketing.What is Connection Marketing?In this article, I’ll go into an overview of what Connection Marketing is, and what you can do NOW to thrive in these new economic times.Connection Marketing: What is it?Marketing:My definition of ‘marketing’ is the communication between a business and a consumer. A ‘consumer’ is a potential customer; also know as a prospect. Any type of communication between the business and the consumer – whether it be through a video, through an ad, through a brochure – is what I consider ‘marketing’.Connection:’Connection’ means that the exchanges that take place, between business and consumer, do so in a friendly and humane manner. The interaction is from one person to another; NOT from a corporation trying to jam something down your throat.A quick back storyThe industrial economy brought us the television. The T.V. allowed us to market our products and services to the masses. In order to reach the general population, companies needed to create average products and services.This is in the traditional marketing sense. It’s the traditional way of doing things.Back then, we used to buy things that we NEEDED. As long as a company created a product that filled a NEED, they’d be able to advertise it – traditionally – and make money. But what happened is they started making bland and regular products so they could sell as many as possible to the masses.The internet has changed everything. It has made it possible to reach the most unique groups of people. The mass market has been dissolved – we no longer buy what we NEED, we buy what we WANT. And that means that businesses can now thrive by creating unique products, to unique segments of the population. This is where connection marketing comes in.Since people buy what they WANT (they already have everything they NEED), we should ask ourselves what that is. We don’t need to create something super bland and uniform, and we don’t have to worry about selling a bazillion units to average people. All of a sudden you can make niche products; very unique products, to niche crowds.Quick Recap:For the past 100 years here’s how I’ve seen the promotion of a product or service – the ‘marketing’. For the past 100 years, it’s been:Annoying: You ever watch a T.V. show, and every commercial timeout you see runs the same ad? Whether it be for Pizza Pops or Cadillac cars, they are very annoying and repetitive.Repetitive: They hope it burns into your brain, so that when you see it, you feel compelled to purchase it.Interruptive: When you’re looking for information you visit a blog. Within the first second you’re bombarded by pop-ups, asking for your e-mail address so they can send you something great. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for that, but give me a chance to read the headline!Exaggerative: The best example I can use for this is when you go to a fast food restaurant. How good does that burger look when it’s up on the billboard, or on posters? Of course when you get it, it looks NOTHING like advertised…Here’s how I see the next 100 years of promotion for a product or service – or the next 100 years of ‘marketing’:Relevant: Because we’re selling unique products to unique people, all of a sudden we don’t have to advertise our stuff absolutely everywhere. Only those people who have shown an interest or may have looked at something like this in the past, will see our ads or marketing, therefore making it relevant to them.Subtle: Imagine if you’re someone who loves books, but everywhere you look you see ads for sneakers… That not very subtle, and you’d notice that right away since it’s not very appealing to you.Anticipated: This is especially true when it comes to e-mail correspondence. Most companies now collect e-mails (which is understandable). The problem is that you get the same 6 e-mails a day, containing promotion notices, sales, and early-bird specials whether you want them or not. Because these messages are not anticipated, it is the MAJOR factor that makes a person decide to ‘opt-out’. In the future, these anticipated messages (also being relevant) will see much better open rates. Also, a person only gets the information they agree to receive.Honest: This may sound trivial, but a very important example is pricing an item at 49.99$. “Who are you kidding?” “Call it like it is!” You’ll never see two people at a party with the following exchange: “Nice shoes… how much did you pay?” “I paid 49.99$” Your marketing message should be from one person to another.The good news is that it’s all looking up from here! Taking a look at the past 100 years and the next 100 years, you can see that it’s looking good.The world is a different place… People want to connect.That means:NO MORE bureaucracyNO MORE ridiculous policiesNO MORE exploitation from greedy corporationsDecisions based on ROI are the ways of old – No more greedy fat-cats, wearing suits, drinking scotch and smoking big cigars making decisions based on how much money they can squeeze from people.Connection Marketing encourages better values; such as honesty and integrity.We don’t have to engineer bland products to serve average people, nor should we cater to a general public anymore.We can be TRANSPARENT. We can be OURSELVES.I truly believe that we can be successful when we follow this etiquette.Transitioning to Connection MarketingYou’re probably wondering: “How can I make the transition to connection marketing?… Will it work?”Well, most aspects of connection marketing are very similar to those of traditional marketing…You still have things like an online store or website, you still use landing pages to collect e-mails, you still offer products and services, and of course, you’re still making a profit!You’re still in business; you still provide value for people and for that you get paid handsomely.It’s the METHOD by which you carry yourself that’s different.It’s the look, the feel, the layout of the online store… It’s the look, the feel, the offer of the landing page… It’s what you do with those e-mails… It’s the product or the service that you’re offering that’s different.The 3 Pillars to Connection MarketingCABBIT – An aspect of your offering is remarkable and worth talking about.If you were driving down a country road and saw a cow in the field, you probably wouldn’t look twice. But imagine it was a PURPLE cow! (referencing Seth Godin’s incredible book titled Purple Cow)You’d most likely stop, take pictures, upload them to social media, and call your friends and family to explain what you saw. That’s because a purple cow is remarkable and worth talking about. Whether your product already has a Cabbit, or whether it needs one, it’s something you want to lead-off with. What truly separates you from your competition?CONNECTION – Opening the channel of communication with your prospects – creating a two-way dialogue.This pertains to the e-mail sequences mostly. Rather than bombarding people with unrelated, unanticipated messages, you’re creating an open dialogue with consumers. Imagine that you want to upgrade, update, or create a new product. Now imagine being able to ask your fans what they like/dislike about the current version. No more guesswork! Plus, a person might be more inclined to purchase your new product knowing they had a say in its creation. Powerful, and not to be taken advantage of… It’s free research!CONTRIBUTION – With our newfound success, we’re able to support worthwhile causes.I believe we all have a need to contribute – amongst others. We all want to help others. We want to do great things together. What if you build contribution into your ticket price? What if you took a portion of profits from every sale and donated it to a certain charity. Some people would like to do business with you merely because they’d be helping others. You’re not JUST doing it as a clever ploy to sell more stuff, but you WANT to do it because you’re helping others – and it’s good KARMA.I realize just may still have a few questions…How do I know this really works?Let me ask you this:Are you tired of the way you’re being marketed to by other companies?Are you tired of receiving irrelevant and unanticipated e-mails from companies?Are you tired of being misled by fine-print and exaggerated claims?These are traditional methods of marketing.If you’re fed up, chances are that lots of others are too.How do I know if this is a good investment?The fact of the matter is that traditional marketing methods are working less and less – companies find themselves spending more advertising money than ever, to have the same effect they may have had in the past.On a daily basis, we’re bombarded by 3000-7000 ads. We’ve grown so accustomed to them, we tune them out. Large corporations then resort to ‘ramping it up’. “We’ll just be louder than ever!” (Just look at how we now get ads in our inbox).I believe it’s possible to reach MORE, while spending LESS. The key is Connection Marketing.What I’m suggesting is that we stop marketing to EVERYONE though repetitive, average marketing and we instead start CONNECTING to unique markets – offering truly remarkable options.I’m sure there are many companies headed in this direction…Let’s start utilizing this approach as a means of promoting ‘the human connection agenda’.

What’s the Cost of Digital Marketing: Marketing Agency Vs Freelancer

At some point, most businesses engage external digital marketing expertise to provide inbound marketing, SEO, PPC, and social media services. In Dubai, that expertise comes in the form of either an agency or freelance talent. In a tough B2C and B2B environment, budgets are tight, and largess limited, so how can prospective clients come to grips with the cost of digital marketing in Dubai? Why Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency In Dubai Is Cheaper Than You Think! Up until now, establishing what the reasonable costs are for hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai have been murky and anything but transparent. Relying on gut instinct won’t get you very far and public data on rates and fee for services remains elusive.If you are considering tapping into external digital marketing expertise, gaining a clear line of sight on the average costs being asked for monthly retainers and hourly rates for digital marketing in Dubai can be challenging and time consuming to compile. Digital Marketing Pricing Survey Insights A recent survey by Credo, a company that matches prospective clients with marketing agencies or consultants released the results of its latest survey of digital marketing pricing. The survey was distributed to 184 respondents across 19 countries and produced some interesting insights on the present trends for the cost of digital marketing. Freelance consultants consistently price based on hourly or monthly base rates and project fees. Worldwide digital consultant rates continue to be based on years of experience. Consultants with 1-3 years of experience, charge around $88, while those with 10+ years of experience charge an average of $189.Agency pricing appears all over the map. Agencies with 2 to 5 employees and 6 to 10 employees actually charged more on average than agencies with 11 to 20 employees according to the survey SEO agencies appear unsure about pricing their services with pricing being all over the shop. The survey showed an hourly range of $145 to about $181 Agencies and consultants with a strong strategy focus charge higher rates compared to those with a broader portfolio of services Monthly retainers, project fees, and hourly rates are all higher for strategy related servicesImplications For ClientsWith so much variation in rate schedules and competition from freelance consultants, the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be cheaper than you may expect.Assess precisely what digital marketing services you are after, overlay that with a monthly service fee from a pool of prospective agencies, and use that as the starting point in your negotiations. Most agencies are very clear about their cost base and what utilization rates they are targeting and so consequently, understand just how far they can comfortably negotiate. Agency Versus Freelancer As you would expect, there are some key differences in pricing between freelancers and agencies:Freelancers are mostly servicing clients through a blend of hourly rates and project based fees.Agency preference for monthly-retainer contracts is not surprising, after all, they usually have more overhead to coverThe average digital marketing industry monthly retainer contract starts at $1,000 and ranges up to $5,000.The larger the agency, generally, the more services they offer under one umbrella. If you are looking for a blend of digital marketing services, hiring an agency will reduce the amount of coordination you need to do as a client. The larger the agency, the more customized solutions it usually provides, and hence, the higher the average price point per customer required to cover that specialized expertise and talent. The Best Clients Often, small and medium-sized businesses feel they are at a disadvantage in negotiating with an agency due to their lack of scale compared to larger clients. However, frequently, small, and medium-sized businesses are the best clients from an agency perspective.The reality is, digital advertising as an industry in Dubai, is still a comparatively immature market, and the majority of agencies lack the corporate expertise and infrastructure to service enterprise scaled customers.Hence small to medium businesses provide an agency with reliable bread and butter revenue streams without the complexity and high servicing costs that come with large multinational clients. So, if you are a small or medium-sized business, don’t be embarrassed to negotiate with an agency. They need clients like you, another reason why the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be lower than you may expect! High Demand Agency Services Despite the profusion of digital marketing services, SEO and PPC services remain most agencies primary sources of revenue. The top five services sought by clients are: SEO PPC management Social media Content marketing Analytics and UXAnalytics and user experience design (UX) are surging in popularity as their importance to attracting prospects and retaining customers becomes clear. This recognition is reflected in their growing footprint within the portfolio of digital marketing services clients are seeking from their agencies.While this is good news for the industry as a whole, as it indicates a more disciplined and structured approach to digital advertising in the Middle East. It also points to a continued lack of recognition by business owners and marketers of the need to put in place adequate analytic capability in-house.Similarly, ensuring an engaging user experience from the launch of a digital marketing initiative would go a long way towards supporting the consumer acceptance of online marketing particularly as regional Internet users have become more experienced and have higher expectations of the online UX.Identify growth opportunities for your business today! Our free 30-minute marketing assessment can help save you money and drive your business forward. Subscribe Now For A Free 30-Minute Marketing Assessment!Conclusion If you are in the process of hiring a marketing agency, the news is good. The cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be lower than you anticipate and there are different pricing structures and models available.Many agencies use a combination of pricing models such as monthly retainer for standard services, milestone pricing for projects they do frequently, or hourly pricing for new or more complex work. Discuss which pricing model works best for you with your prospective agency and you may be in for a delightful surprise!

Short, Intermediate, And Longer – Term Impacts On Home Sales, When Rates Rise!

For many reasons, some, economic, while others, related to the pandemic – related, so – called, fatigue, etc, home prices, in most areas, have gone up, at, or, near, record amounts! Because of the prolonged period of artificially – created, low – interest rates, mortgage rates, have been at historic lows! Since, for most home buyers, using financing is essential to affording a purchase, when a low rate, causes cheap money, and, thus, the ability to afford more home – for – the – buck, prices usually rise! It permits qualified buyers to qualify for more money/ loan, because the ratio of monthly mortgage, to overall income, is artificially – reduced! How long will this trend continue, will it become the new – normal, will previous trends/ cycles return, and how will pricing be affected, in the immediate, intermediate, and longer – run, are, all factors, to consider! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, some possibilities, to consider, and understand.

1. Short – term: Since, the Federal Reserve Bank, announced, they planned to raise rates, three times in 2022 (of course, this was before the potential implications, and ramifications, from the Omicron variant), many feel pressure, to act quickly, to take advantage of today’s low rates, before they go up! Three increases will probably translate to, at least, a 0.75% higher rate, which will translate, for most mortgages, to hundreds of extra dollars, per month. Some things to consider, and pay attention to, is, this rate of increased home prices, will, probably, not continue, especially, at such a large degree! How longer one, expects to keep a specific house, is, one issue, to consider, thoroughly, and wisely, before proceeding!

2. Intermediate – term: Although, many believe, to – know, the precise timing of any projected rate – hike, is uncertain! The Fed has changed, and/ or, altered its strategies and approaches, in the past, What the intermediate – term, may bring, including potential inflationary pressures, how long the economic conditions, and unknown factors, related to the pandemic, etc, will determine, largely, what this phase, may bring! In addition, the attitude, and perceptions of buyers, and their confidence, etc, largely impact this real estate market!

3. Longer – term: In the longer – run, will things, restore, to what we have seen, so often, in the past, which is, alternating cycles, between, Sellers, Buyers, and Neutral Markets? The possibilities, include: a continued large escalation; a more – gradual, but persistent – one; some leveling; and/ or, will we see, at least, in certain areas, some sort of falling prices, for a period.

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