Bring a taste of the fresh, Colorado spring air inside with our new April desktop wallpaper download!
DOWNLOAD THE APRIL WALLPAPER BELOW:
Bring a taste of the fresh, Colorado spring air inside with our new April desktop wallpaper download!
DOWNLOAD THE APRIL WALLPAPER BELOW:
From work to personal errands to routines you need to complete on a daily basis, it can be difficult to stay on top of life. Take a breath and relax. Technology is your best friend when it comes to checking off tasks and staying in communication. Check out these six apps to make productivity a habit.
What is IFTTT? It’s a coding task structure meaning “If This, Then That.” It’s the perfect solution to automating those repetitive tasks that drain your soul. IFTTT has pre-built “applets,” which are tasks like backing up photos on your phone to your cloud storage, turning your phone’s wifi on when you reach the office, automatically adding new contacts to a spreadsheet or having smart lights turn themselves on once you’re home from work. Can’t find the task you want? You can build your own applets from more than 360 services partners like Fitbit, Slack, Skype, appliances and more.
Favorites of ours:
Slack is an incredible tool for communication in a world constantly filled with clutter. Channels are used to organize conversations by projects, topics, teams or anything else you dream up. Direct messages are between two people or a small group for more focused conversations. You can also call your Slack team members with voice or video in any Channel of Direct Message without the use of another app.
Threads keep channels from getting messy by responding directly to a message, keeping the conversation moving without distracting others. Drop in your documents, images, PDFs, spreadsheets and cloud share links into any conversation to share with anyone. Did we mention Slack is 100 percent searchable? Forget needlessly scrolling to find that answer to a question you had last week.
Integrate tools you already use like Google Drive, Wunderlist, emails, social media and analytics. The number of tools you can add to Slack is too many to count. Expect your productivity to shoot through the ceiling.
How many lists and notes do you keep in different places to get tasks done? Wunderlist keeps every project, grocery list or plan in one place. It is constantly updated so you can use it anywhere on your phone, tablet and computer.
You can share and assign tasks with due dates to your team (or family) and keep them neatly organized in folders. Set up reminders, comment on tasks and even add files. Wunderlist has several app integrations, meaning communication will stay effective. Keep yourself on track with what needs to get done, whether it’s personal or professional.
How many times have you run into the problem of leaving an important file on your computer and needing it in the next five minutes? Cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Box will make sure you have everything you need, anywhere. Like any other space, it’s important to stay organized and consistent so you can find what you need quickly.
These services are also excellent collaboration tools for PDFs, documents and spreadsheets. No more email threads of sending an updated file back and forth. Plus, with tools like Slack, you can direct your feedback without filling up inboxes.
Keeping track of all your social media can feel overwhelming at times. Whether it’s personal or business, Buffer is a great tool for scheduling posts from the web or your phone for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. On-the-go analytics are a plus for not having to download a different app for each platform you use.
Distractions kill productivity. When work needs to get done, turn to Freedom. This application blocks the internet, apps and websites for however long you want across all of your devices. You can schedule out your Freedom time in advance or on the fly, depending on what fits you best.
In the days of constant communication, it can be difficult to stay on task. Use these six apps to make productivity a habit.
Unless your profession involves working undercover as a foreign spy, there is a good chance that at some point during the 30+ years of your career, you may need to speak to the public. You’re not alone in dreading the thought of giving a presentation to a room full of strangers. We want to help you overcome that fear and master the art of public speaking. Here are a few tips to help:
If you try to remember every single word of your speech, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Even if you accomplish the near-impossible task of word-for-word memorization, the audience will likely take notice.
You will come across far less robotic and more conversational if you memorize talking points instead. List out bullet points of everything you want to cover and the order in which you want to cover them, but make up your own transitions and phrasing on the spot so it sounds natural.
No one wants to feel like they are back in a university lecture hall. We would much rather be sent back to story time in our elementary school’s library. Capture your audience’s attention with a compelling and personal story that illustrates your point.
For example, Connie, our Chief Imagination Officer, is also president of the Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. When giving a speech at Habitat gatherings, she shares a personal story of a young girl whose family was just welcomed into their Habitat home. The girl took Connie by the hand and showed off her closet space that would be used as a “bedroom for her dollies” because she wanted them to have a new home too. This precious and moving story exemplifies what Habitat is all about even better than facts and figures.
Of course, not every situation is appropriate for incorporating humor, so please use your best judgment on this one. However, if there is any room for a little light-hearted joviality, then go for it! When people laugh with you, they feel connected to you, thus making your speech seem more relatable. Scatter little humorous bits throughout the speech to hold your audience’s attention from beginning to end.
Now we know you are a nice-looking guy or gal, but just in case your audience gets tired of beholding your beauty throughout the speech, we recommend creating an accompanying visual presentation.
Not only do photographs, charts, graphs and other visual representations help the audience understand your points, but they can also serve as a cheat sheet so you know what comes next. Need some help jazzing up your presentation? Try out these resources from Hubspot:
Anyone ever told you to just look at the back wall when giving a presentation because “no one will notice?” Guess what – this is a lie and everyone will notice. Looking above your audience’s heads the entire time breaks the bond you worked so hard to establish with that last joke. Instead, make eye contact with various people on each side of the room throughout your speech.
If locking eyes with strangers makes you nervous, try strategically placing friends or colleagues throughout the room so you can pretend you are just having a casual conversation with someone you trust. Still freaked out by the idea of eye contact in general? Just look at people’s foreheads; they won’t be able to tell!
The days of imagining the audience in their underwear are long gone. Public speaking nowadays needs to employ a strategic blend of presentation tactics and audience relation techniques. Best of luck with your next speaking engagement, and remember – stay confident and practice, practice, practice!
Bring the luck o’ the Irish to your computer screen this month! Download our free desktop wallpaper to add a touch of green to your work space.
DOWNLOAD THE MARCH WALLPAPER BELOW:
The photo was of Ozzy, a grizzly bear and local resident at ZooMontana in Billings, Montana. Although not your typical sports analyst, Ozzy has become somewhat famous for his predictions on the outcome of a particularly famous football game, held each year in February. Ozzy is presented with two peanut butter-banana cakes (yum!), each adorning one of the opponent logos piped in Nutella. Ozzy makes his choice by which cake he bites into first.
Many customers make their spending decisions just like Ozzy makes his decision on which cake to eat. Sure, you have those customers who spend days or weeks in research, reading all they can find, asking others for insight, taking their time before they make that final purchase decision and questioning themselves, “Is this the right decision?”
More times than not, though, you have customers who find themselves in the position of need, so they react – and react quickly. Their senses are heightened by the need (much like Ozzy when staring at those two peanut butter-banana cakes). They make their decision on recognizing what they need and how fast they can find a company that can fulfill that need.
Both types of buyers can be successful, but for how long? The first may never be happy because of all the research they’ve done. They just never find the business that provides all the details and specifications they now know are out there. The other purchaser might regret their quick decision or always be looking for the next “bite,” finding it better than the first.
As a company providing the buying options, you want to reach both types of buyers. You must be easy to find when someone does a quick search, so you’re automatically on the table. You must also have information on your website that positions you as an expert in your field. It is important to add valuable insight to the customer doing more in-depth research – proving you understand, and have, all the right ingredients. After the customer makes their choice to go with you, they can sit back and enjoy what is about to be served.
P.S. Just in case you’re interested, Ozzy chose the cake decorated with the picture of a particular colonial.
If you’re not moving forward, you’re only going backward. While this statement is certainly true for traffic jams and relationships, we’d like to discuss it in the context of careers. To keep those juices flowing and success happening, you have to keep up on the mental maintenance. We’d like to help you boost your business mojo by sharing these six marketing books to get you inspired:
Let’s be real – marketing is a whole lot of convincing people to do what you want. Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent quite a bit of time researching how to do this and then shared his wisdom with the rest of us. This book covers the six universal principles of persuasion so that you know how to make your target audiences say “yes”:
Looking for some motivation to beat the mid-winter blues? “Be Obsessed or Be Average” will have you inspired to get off your tush and save the world in no time! Cardone tells readers that – contrary to what the “normal” folks of society might say – it’s okay to be a little obsessive because that’s where success comes from. He has a wealth of experience in business, radio, TV and being excited about life, so we’ll take any advice we can get from him.
You’ve probably heard that a customer complaint is actually a blessing in disguise since most unhappy customers keep their mouths shut and just blacklist you. Baer delves into this exact principle in “Hug Your Haters.” He discusses the different kinds of complainers – yes, they do come in categories – as well as how to deal with them productively and shrewdly from a marketing perspective.
The core of just about every marketing tactic is choosing the right words and phrasing to communicate your message. “Everybody Writes” is any marketer’s go-to guide for creating more powerful, relatable and effective content that leaves a lasting impression on target audiences.
You know that we’re all about creating interpersonal connections and relationship marketing. Turns out – we’re on the right track. Kerpen discusses the importance of having people skills and why these skills carry so much weight when networking, staying memorable to the right connections and waving goodbye to the wrong connections.
Remember that guy who said you need to put in 10,000 hours before becoming an expert in any field? Yep, that’s Malcolm Gladwell. If you haven’t already soaked in his pearls of wisdom, now is your chance. “The Tipping Point” tackles the idea that the smallest action can make the huge splash you need. Regardless of the kind of marketing you’re in, this one is a classic.
Happy reading, now go get inspired!
Mantooth has had the pleasure of working with All Terrain Landscaping since 2015, and we felt it was high time for you to get to know the three brothers who started it all. Meet Justin, Josh and Jason Yeater – the masterminds behind one of northern Colorado’s best landscaping companies.
First off, if you think you’re seeing double when looking at Justin and Jason, you’re not too far off. Justin and Jason are twins, who, along with their brother Josh, led very different career paths before embarking on the landscaping adventure. Jason was every student’s favorite history teacher at Northridge High School in Greeley; Justin worked hard to get his bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and Economics; and Josh was a college football star at University of Northern Colorado.
The idea to start a landscaping business began in an unconventional way. Whereas most landscaping companies plant their roots by offering lawn mowing and maintenance services, All Terrain went a different route and installed ponds and sprinklers…by hand. They even motivated each other to not spill wheelbarrow-fulls of dirt through a clever game in which the spiller would be responsible for purchasing beer that week. Now that’s some pretty remarkable teamwork and perseverance if you ask us. Another fun fact – their first landscaping vehicle was an ’84 hatchback Mustang (which has since been retired).
Their humble beginnings quickly evolved into the reliable and professional landscaping business we know today. They execute landscape projects big and small with the utmost quality, including landscape design, hardscapes, sprinkler installation and repair, general lawn and landscape maintenance, pond installation, holiday lighting, commercial snow removal. Plus, they have more landscape and irrigation industry certifications than you can shake a shovel at.
If you’re looking for a talented landscaping company in northern Colorado who gets the job done right the first time, Justin, Jason and Josh are your guys. Keep them in mind when spring rounds the corner and you want to refresh your landscaping!
Branding is what differentiates a company, products or services from others through values and characteristics of what that brand is and is not. The great brands you know were built over time through strategy and consistency in their messaging and products.
Being consistent in how you market your brand, products or services is the key piece to staying in the forefront of the consumer’s mind and maintains brand recognition. Here’s how to keep your marketing consistent over time:
It can be easy to assume that your brand message has to be the same each and every time. Here, consistency does not equal boring. The language and voice you choose to use will represent the underlying value being proposed to your target audience. It is how your brand motivates them, inspires them, persuades them and eventually makes them want your product or service.
Is your brand high quality? Is it educational? Is it custom made? Is it affordable?
Your brand message needs to match how you want your brand and product be to seen. Telling compelling stories about your brand, products and/or services is how to maintain a high-quality brand message. Stories are memorable; they will be shared with others and create a reason for your target audience to become a customer. Focus on your brand’s strengths and what makes your brand unique. Capture these moments and use them to reinforce your brand message in your marketing.
How your message reaches your target audience can change the length of your message but not what it is representing. There are dozens of choices from print to digital to point-of-purchase. Determine where and how you will best reach your target audience. Is it on Facebook? Through email? Direct mail or print ads? Of course, a combination of any of these channels can be successful depending on your target audience and your brand message consistency
The frequency of your marketing is critical to maintaining your brand message. Choose your channels of contact, execute your marketing campaigns and measure the results. This will help increase the effectiveness of your marketing. How your brand and products/services are presented in the delivery must be consistent.
A brand style guide is a great way to keep the visual design elements of your company and messaging consistent. Here are some key items of information to include in your brand guidelines:
This is how your target audience will recognize your message from one medium to another. Changing up a single piece of your campaign can create inconsistency, unprofessionalism and disconnect for your target audience. Your display ad should reflect your Facebook ad, your print ad, your email and your point-of-purchase.
Consistency eliminates confusion.
Customer confusion leads to purchase decisions that are imperfect. Sales, customer satisfaction and communication can all be reduced by inconsistency. Eliminate confusion by instilling confidence in your target audience with consistency.
Consistency builds success.
When your brand and marketing message are consistent, your target audience remains engaged. They are able to recognize and recall your brand, eventually becoming ambassadors for your brand.
Consistency manages perceptions.
Developing your brand message and consistently telling the story what of makes your brand what it is, will shape how your target audience distinguishes your brand. Consistency promotes stability, purpose and professionalism.
Consistency maintains your brand.
The impression you want your brand to make relies on consistency. Do you want to be taken serious? Do you want to be known for investing in the local community? Do you follow through?
Let’s recap. Your brand is more than just a logo and colors; your brand is what people think about you and your company. Your brand message is how your target audience perceives your brand, produce or service. Your message delivery needs to appear cohesive and frequent over each medium and channel. Consistency builds success.
Welcome to the ever-changing world of social media. Algorithms are tweaked, companies are acquired and new advertising tools are constantly being released. Follow these social media best practices to stay ahead of the game, keep your relationship with your followers and strengthen your social media in 2017.
A new year means new goals. Review your social media from 2016 and establish the objectives you want to achieve. Whether it’s brand awareness, community engagement or customer support, track 2016’s metrics to compare to 2017. Here are a few possible goals:
Instead of gauging how many likes your brand has as success, focus on the outcomes you want to achieve through your social media.
The questions you need to be answering are:
As more precise data sets and machine learning continue to develop, targeting your audience will become more cost-effective through digital advertising. Investing time and money into understanding the connection between what you’re doing on social and your audience will provide more information about why and how customers are buying your products and services.
Quick information consumption has become the name of the game in social media. Intense, multiple paragraph posts won’t cut it. Thanks to research from Buffer and SumAll, you can see in the infographic below that lower character counts that convey the message concisely perform better.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have all made huge pushes into video content. This should be the number one medium you add to your efforts in the next year. Time and resources can be tight, but the organic reach of video content cannot be ignored. Users are looking to video first and photos second, and they perform better organically. Plan your video ahead of time. Find your title and then begin outlining the storyboard and shots you want before assembling the team and capturing footage.
But what about live video? Live video has become a huge component of Facebook and recently introduced to Twitter and Instagram. Its usage will increase as Facebook has reported users watch live videos more often and for longer periods of time than non-live videos. Your followers are seeking a genuine approach to communication, but remember they are looking for timely, quality information.
Each brand has a niche audience that develops over time. What you did in 2016 may not necessarily perform as well in 2017. Constantly testing new ideas is critical in staying relevant to your audience.
Measuring the success of these tests will show whether or not these new ideas are resonating on an individual level. It’s ok to fail. Remember they’re only tests and helping you connect with your audience in the correct way.
Gone are the days where you share a Facebook post and everyone who has liked your pages sees it in their newsfeed. If you don’t have an advertising budget for social media, your efforts are not reaching their full potential. Organic reach is based upon the rate at which users engage with a post. The higher the engagement, the more likely it is to show up at the top of your fan’s feed.
Although your post may be relevant and provide quality content to your fans, a low engagement can kill a post’s reach. Having a budget to push out what you want your audience to see from you can become critical. Facebook’s advertising tools let you target exactly who you want to see your content, whether it’s a sale or blog post.
Posting to social media each and every day without purpose and strategy creates clutter. High-quality content that provides value to your customers should be your focus. It’s easy to find yourself out of ideas, but that’s what brainstorming is for. Remember that it’s social media. Use those around to create content that is directly targeting your audience.
These best practices can help your business experience great social media success.