Archive for the ‘Career Advice’ Category

Capitalizing on the Big Benefits of a Growing Gig Economy

Friday, July 9th, 2021
video marketingWho could have predicted the rapid expansion of remote work and the “gig economy”? While the gig economy had already been making the news due to the emergence of companies like Uber and Lyft prior to the pandemic, the pandemic had had a significant impact on how companies are using and will continue to use remote workers in the future.

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Staying on Top of Trends in Digital Marketing

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

One of the things I really love about the work I do is the ability to stay continually connected with clients and experts in a number of areas, especially traditional and digital marketing. Technology and competitive forces have caused change to be constant and rapid. Over the past year, especially, the pandemic has prompted a wide range of changes across all industries and areas of professional practice.

So how can you keep up on the changes that impact your work to make sure you’re remaining relevant as an expert in your field and valuable to those you serve?

Tactics I Use to Stay On Top of Trends

In addition to the typical ways of keeping up – e.g., reading trade and professional publications, blogs, attending trade show/webinars, etc., I have been fortunate to be able to call upon some unique experiences to help me stay up-to-date and informed. These include:

  • Teaching marketing courses at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as an adjunct lecturer. I learn from the research I need to do for my lectures as well as from the students themselves who share their experiences and knowledge during class and through their assignments.
  • Making presentations for trade and professional groups—both virtual and live. As with teaching, the research I need to do keeps me up-to-date on emerging trends/best practices, etc.
  • My clients. Working with a variety of clients (as opposed to working full-time for a single organization) offers an opportunity to learn from them—about their industry, their company, their processes, and the tools they use. Some of my clients are individuals, but I also work with large organizations and often serve as part of an agency team. These experiences introduce me to new techniques/strategies as well as new tools and apps. In addition, some of the projects I do are focused on digital marketing (like writing a white paper for a digital marketing firm to help establish them as thought leaders) which gives me an opportunity to do research and learn about new and emerging trends in the industry.
  • Writing by-lined articles for a variety of trade publications and blogs. In many cases, my work here requires me to find and interview expert sources related to what I’m writing about. This has been a really great way to stay up-to-date on trends. For instance, I was recently working on a piece about emerging marketing technologies. I posted a query to HARO and Profnet and got an overwhelming amount of input. While I often can’t use all of the input I receive, I still benefit from seeing not only the unique perspectives of various respondents, but also from being able to spot common threads or themes among the responses.

Attending conferences and trade shows, reading and listening to blogs, webinars, etc., are all great ways to stay up-to-date. But, I enjoy the ability to learn organically through the work I do every day and the real-world experiences and insights I gain from the professionals I’m fortunate to interact with.

How about you? How do you stay up-to-date on trends in your areas of expertise?

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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Tips for Hiring Freelancers and Contractors

Friday, May 28th, 2021

While Uber and Lyft have popularized the concept of the gig economy, the truth is that gig, freelance, or contract workers have been around for a long time. In fact, I’ve been a contract worker or freelancer since 1981, when I first started writing business articles for a wide range of trade and business publications. I’ve worked remotely with publishers and editors for years — most of them I’ve never physically met. My interest in the gig economy, which traditionally had been referred to as telecommuting, led me to research and write a book on the topic some years ago. Last year I updated that book as the concept of remote work, or telecommuting, really took off during the pandemic. Suddenly employers realize that yes, they can effectively manage remote workers. It’s a trend that is likely to continue long past the pandemic.

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Graduates: Some Important Tips for Building Your Personal Brand

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

A hot topic in recent months, perhaps due to the pandemic and sudden interest in pursuing new job and career opportunities, seems to be “building a personal brand.” We work with a wide range of entrepreneurs, independent consultants and others who are adept at building what they refer to as their “thought leadership.” In truth, though, what they’re really doing, is building their personal brands. We help them do that and we also speak and write regularly about the topic.

Building your personal brand doesn’t start after you’ve already established yourself in your career, or at least it shouldn’t. As we like to say “your reputation precedes you.” And, for good or ill, it precedes you whether you’ve been paying attention or not. (more…)

Marketers: Here’s How You Can Get That Seat at The Table

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

I’ve worked in marketing for a number of years, and I know that it can be a thankless role at times. After all, the marketing department is a cost center, not a revenue center. It’s a function that is often highly scrutinized in terms of how dollars are being spent and what results are being achieved from those expenditures. Marketing staff is sometimes viewed as “squishy creative types” who don’t really understand business issues but like to throw money at bright, shiny things and the latest social media craze. (more…)

Managing Remote Staff: The Two Most Important Things You Need to Know

Monday, December 28th, 2020

I’ve been interested in telecommuting – or what is more commonly these days referred to as remote work – for many years now. My interest prompted me to research and write a book on telecommuting in 1991. Having worked as a freelance business journalist for a long time, while also employed full-time as director of corporate communications in the education, energy, and healthcare industries, I had worked remotely with a variety of editors for many years. Why couldn’t I also work remotely as a corporate communications director for companies in other locations? (more…)

How To Demonstrate Your Productivity When Working Remotely

Monday, November 2nd, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about remote work lately. Not only because of the coronavirus, and not only because I’ve been working from home since 2008, but because my new book “Managing Remote Staff: Capitalize on Work-from-Home Productivity” was released by Self-Counsel Press, a publisher I’ve written a number of books for.

I received a lot of input for the book from both those who manage remote staff and those who work remotely. Some have been doing this for a number of years; others only since the pandemic emerged and changed the work landscape forever. Companies have historically been hesitant to allow employees to work from locations other than their official workplaces. This is true for a variety of reasons, many revolving around trust, concerns about communication, and the ubiquitous concern managers have of being able to successfully manage employees when they are “out of sight, out of mind.”

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Setting Boundaries When Working From Home

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Working from home is top-of-mind for many people these days. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in innumerable businesses sending innumerable employees home to work to keep them safe and isolated from others. Working from home has long been top-of-mind for us–we’ve been a virtual business since 2008. So from a workday standpoint, the virus hasn’t created that much disruption for us. It has created some new opportunities, though.

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Good News: Working Less Leads to Greater Productivity!

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

Women considering yes, no, maybe optionsby Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

 

The results of a recent experiment by Microsoft Japan lend additional weight to previous real-world data showing significant gains in productivity by—wait for it—working less!.

The company found that shifting to a four-day workweek resulted in productivity gains of 40 percent. While this correlation might sound counterintuitive at first glance, it’s easy to understand the direction of the impact when taking a closer look at productivity; although the size of the impact is still impressive. For context, the biggest jump in national year-over-year productivity in the United States going back to 1949 was about 10 percent with other cyclical peaks usually ranging somewhere between three and 5 percent. There have been some dips of negative productivity growth, but those are relatively rare. (more…)

Be Thankful You Only Have a Couple of Clocks to Set Back…  

Monday, November 11th, 2019

by Justin Grensing, Esq., MBA

 

Even with an ever-increasing number of our “clocks” smart enough to change themselves on daylight saving time, most of us have to take a few minutes to remember how to change the time on our ovens, microwaves and cars. Or maybe we just let them be an hour off until the clocks switch back in a few months. Either way, it’s a minor annoyance. For most of us… (more…)