When Is the Best Time of Year to Hire Fresh Talent?

Talent Acquisition, Hiring Cycles, Best time to HIre, Best time to Get a Job, Workforce Optimization, Recruitment,

Posted on 2020-02-17

PUBLISHED ON CHA CHA IN THE CITY’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP BLOG

As an entrepreneur, you may feel comfortable doing what everyone else does. Or, as an entrepreneur, you might feel more comfortable doing exactly the opposite than what they are doing. You may also see this as an opportunity and take advantage of the holiday wind-down. Or, you might go with the flow and bid for top talent.

Let’s take a closer look at the traditional hiring cycle, and figure out how your company would benefit in particular […] Read more.

Continue Reading

What LinkedIn’s Profinder Taught Me About Sales and Customer Service

Resume Writing, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Profinder, How to Use Profinder, Sales, Customer Service, Entrepreneurship

ALSO PUBLISHED ON MEDIUM.

For over 15 years, I had been pretty successful in my career in marketing, public relations, and social branding. In fact, most of my business came through referral or through those that found me through my work. I had made a name for myself, became well-connected and so on.

A new career, a new way of doing things.

In 2016, I started a new business. I was literally starting from scratch. I was reaching out through my networks and doing okay finding new clients. I used paid resources, such as Thumbtack, social advertising, and search engine marketing. I was being clicked to death. But, it was alright because I started to make bank.

And, then, things changed.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Thumbtack was no longer using a credits-based method. Dollar amounts were being applied to bids. Then, they started allowing three times as many people to submit bids than ever before. Making matters worse, fees more than doubled! I tried to use Bark (the UK version of Thumbtack) but found no luck in this area.

Losing traction in search engines and having my advertising budgets absorbed by just a few clicks, I was unable to find value in systems like AdWords or Facebook Advertising anymore. It was costing more, converting less . And, it was becoming yet another saturated industry with a lot of competition.

Headed in the right direction… but making mistakes.

I was taking the right risks. I wasn’t afraid to solicit strangers. I knew where I could reach my clientele directly. I just didn’t know how to reach them.

So, I started a separate LinkedIn profile.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Initially, it started off great. I made new clients, Forged new partnerships… and, even got a ton of referrals. But, I also found a lot of rejection and a lot of people that didn’t care enough to respond. For every 1000 connection requests I sent, 50 would reply and only 45 would actually speak.

Once we connected, I almost always sold a package. But, sometimes money was an issue. Sometimes, they needed time to gather the necessary documentation. For those that didn’t purchase in the next 72 hours — or at least by the next payday — only about 50% actually returned. Some of those that didn’t did end up sending some friends my way.

My copy was too long. People didn’t want bombarded with a sales pitch. They wanted to know what I had to offer and what I could do for them. They weren’t scrolling to find a price. I has also been too interested in making the sale that I didn’t take time to cultivate the relationship.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

I GOT CAUGHT!

Eventually, LinkedIn became hip to the fact that I was not only accessing a gazillion profiles from one IP and one computer (mostly my clients — I swear!), but they realized that I actually owned three of my own.

This happened at the same exact time the “indefinite” government shutdown took place. At the time, most of my clients were military, federal and government clientele. WIth so much uncertainty in the air, they were also no longer spending.

I learned a lot about myself as a professional and how I had been doing business. I also learned a lot about sales and where I had been slacking. You see, it was always my job to drive awareness, build a culture, gather a crowd and/or start a conversation. Sales were never my strong point, although I had been successful in sales, indirectly.

mage by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Enter LinkedIn Profinder.

So, I consider myself a LinkedIn power user, although I used to look at Premium as an unnecessary expense. I took advantage of everything else the platform had to offer. I have 20K connections, an “All-Star” profile and I show up in 500 or more searches a week.

I’m not afraid to reach out to strangers. So, I have always used it as a way to get to “hard to reach” professionals — even as far back as the days they used to allow you to promote networking events.

So, why hadn’t I ever heard of LinkedIn ProFinder? Supposedly, it’s been around since 2015. I mean, I was a “social media guru.” I should have known, right?!

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Well, last September, LinkedIn reached out, directly, to invite me into the program. After a bit of due diligence, I found out they were basically ramping up promotions and reaching out to professionals, who had built a great reputation on the platform. Many of them were so stressed, they would abandon ship due to frustration. Some were technically savvy, others just weren’t. I hate to say that I had to “hold their hand” every step of the way, but for some — it was my honor to be at their side during this time of need.

Some of my clients just weren’t ready to spend a lot of money, or they were trying to get information so that they could save up. They were scared to be scammed by a stranger or they just weren’t sure if this was something they wanted to do.

My most satisfied clients often told me how they loved the fact that I was personable and that they could tell I genuinely cared about their success. They loved how I didn’t just sell to them, but I wanted to have a conversation and was willing to have a 30-minute or so conversation with them — even if they weren’t buying.

Image by guaxipo from Pixabay

I wasn’t following up fast enough.

Initially, I had a few responses but they didn’t close and then clients stopped responding. I wasn’t following-up fast enough. I was scared that I would annoy them.I got frustrated. I started “diplomatically” reaching back out to prompt my leads and became pleasantly surprised along the way. Needless to say, I quickly learned from my mistakes and my sales began to increase, rapidly.

I now had an unlimited supply of new customers and a wide-open territory that I could set up shop. I didn’t have to worry about crazy fees, outside of a monthly subscription — and I didn’t have to worry about being clicked to death. I only had five others, who were competing against me for each job. And, I was closing on about 98% of those that I responded to almost immediately.

In full disclosure, they are launching quite a few new programs in 2020. I believe this to be a necessary push in the right direction.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I wasn’t following-up enough.

The human experience is everything. The customer experience is king. Not only should I have been following up more often, but I should have been following up more than once.

While my process is very basic and self-explanatory, you really need to put in the time, collaborate and focus on the details to make it work — especially if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Many of my customers recently lost their job, had been laid off, was seeking investors for various projects — or they were trying to transition into a new field, altogether.

Image by slightly_different from Pixabay

What I learned about following up.

To be successful in sales, you need to keep a solid pipeline. The problem was my 3-to-5 business day turnaround policy. With response documents, final project turnarounds and upsells, I had to be very careful. At the same time, I didn’t want to be marked as spam when everything was going great.

In fact, if you never hear it anywhere else — Barracuda is the Devil!

I saw an immediate dip in sales. I wasn’t following up fast enough. I needed to be prepared, not only with additional materials but also to schedule a quick phone call right away. In sales, you learn that you take the earliest meeting you can get (I just learned this one actually — Thanks, PeopleKeys!). In my situation, if I wasn’t following up right away or setting up a call — I would lose my prospects to somebody else.

While I had a few no-shows, about 98% of my calls continued to close — even if they already had talked to the other four people. They liked that I took the time to explain my process, provide my disclaimers, encourage them at their time of need. Some of my biggest critics became my greatest supporters.

Image by Katie White from Pixabay

I was too quick to jump on a lead, too scared to lose one.

After a while, I was what I would consider “in-demand.” Whether I was or wasn’t — that really doesn’t make a difference. I was getting sales. I was getting a lot of them!

I started to take on too many projects. But, I swear — I didn’t do it on purpose. Afterall, I wasn’t actually taking on new projects, I was just taking on some of the wrong projects and extremely old orders were finally being sent for revision. Clients from my Thumbtack days were finally responding — all at once — and some as much as a year later! I, then, began experiencing delays due to email-related issues.

Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

On the front end, I quickly learned that it was imperative to at least take five minutes going through each and every project before fully accepting it. I needed to let my client know if I needed more time for research, needed more materials to work from, or whatever, so that I could avoid future bottlenecks, as sales continued to filter through.

Customers were getting mad, and I was issuing a lot of refunds for work that I already did. I would be putting in way too many hours, that could otherwise be spent with my family, for what would only equate to earning a few bucks per hour.

…and, of course, this would happen…

Image by PixLoger from Pixabay

I would run into clients that would demand projects way ahead of schedule, those who would refuse to purchase an expedited service. For many of my clients, I would provide additional services “free of charge” just to show my appreciation, and it always seemed like it was these clients that would try to milk me for more.

I was constantly rushed, constantly facing clients who were overthinking the process and calling me every few minutes freaking out. Some clients even had the nerve to call my phone at 2 AM on a weekend — like “how dare you finally get three hours of sleep or spend time with your family, when my project is due next Friday!”

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Ground rules were important. They had to be set.

If it hadn’t been for ground rules, I don’t know where I’d be today.

In my former career, my clients retained me around the clock. I also had a 24/7 consultation line, where I consulted on marketing, business, and entertainment industry at all hours of the night. A “nine-to-five” concept was outright foreign to me. But, I needed to be realistic. I needed to set boundaries.

While I maintained the same work ethic (and then some), I needed to know it was okay to sleep, it was okay to spend time with my family and it was okay to keep my house clean. I needed to know that I didn’t have to feel obligated outside of agreed-upon terms, especially for someone that won’t really understand the lengths you go to make each project a success.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I created a strict turnaround policy and let my customers know if I had been operating outside of this turnaround, before accepting payment for their services. I only made myself available between certain business hours but made alternative arrangements only if it was necessary. All of my documents would reiterate the process, reiterate the turnaround. I even made my issues with Barracuda well-known (did I mention that Barracuda is the devil?). .

Because of this, I was able to create alternative plans, should anything go wrong. I was able to buffer using weekends and late-night crunch sessions. I was able to charge more for expedited services. And, I was able to cut back on about 80% of my grievances.

Non-traditional work hours can be rewarding.

Let me tell you something (just in case you don’t know). Non-traditional hours are amazing. Yes, you will have to keep daily business hours in order to meet the needs of your clientele. Boundaries are also very important.

Currently, I work around the clock, but I am only available between 10 AM and 5 PM, eastern standard. Nonetheless, I do have my exceptions.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I have clients in different time zones, and being available to my night-shift clients provides a great advantage over my competition. Instead of two-or-three leads trickling in an hour, I find ten or more over the course of 15 minutes! This isn’t even counting the weekends!

Non-traditional hours means less distraction, less to pull you away from your work. There’s no one rushing you to hurry up with a project that is due three days from now. And, you can peacefully research for any industry you’re not yet quite familiar.

I can send out bids that I know won’t be answered for a few days while completing projects that are due in the next. Demand is high and customers are just a little bit more easy going. They really make you want to give your best.

There is a downfall to great customer service, though.

I needed to prepare for it. We all need to prepare for it. And, it’s really heartbreaking.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Sometimes, no matter what you do… no matter how good your service is… no matter how good the product is… Shoot, no matter the results… you’re still going to face adversity.

Sometimes providing great customer service means that your client thinks they are the only one. They don’t realize your queue is jammed packed and that you may be working on 10+ projects at once. They can be overly demanding, extremely rude and make you want to give up.

Don’t let this get you down.

The toughest client can be your biggest sell — and bring a ton of others your way!

Oh, my God! You have had them. I have had them. They’re always going to be there. They’re not your “funnest “clients, and you’re always almost certain to have a mini-stroke, dealing with their unwarranted callousness. And if I’m being honest, you’re going to find a lot more of these on LinkedIn than pretty much anywhere else.

These are the clients who question everything, change everything, take too much time to respond but then demand a response like yesterday. These are the clueless clients that come to you because they desperately need your help… the ones in real trouble before they met you, but somehow found all the answers overnight. They tell you what you need to do even though you are the professional. They will undo hours of your work, only for it to be put right back together again. They make you pull teeth to collaborate and put up roadblocks every step of the way.

Image by mcmurryjulie from Pixabay

Yes, those clients. And, as it turns out, they always tend to be my favorite.

Do you know what I have found out about them? Even though they didn’t listen the first time, they just want to learn what you are doing and why it’s being done that way. They aren’t making the connection visually, because they are a more logical thinker. They literally dissect your work through a series of aggressive questions and answer.

For the most part, they really aren’t being critical of you. They’re just trying to understand.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

In many cases, fear drives them, especially if they have been finding it harder and harder to sustain a sense of normalcy — or, if they fear they might have to. In DISC theory, they are the “Dominant” and “Analytical” types. Once they see a finished project and put it to good use, they quickly learn that were in good hands.

They really appreciate your hard work, and it shows. They take the time to check-in and update you on their progress. They refer you to their friends. They make their children use your services.

…some even become your friends.

Many of these clients are on Profinder because they desperately want something — and they want something now! They just need someone who’s available, someone who can deal with their sense of aggression. And, they will pay top dollar to do so.

Image by Pettycon from Pixabay

Finally, my prices are too low.

I have had clients deal with me only because they were referred. They have blatantly told me that my prices were too low, and it initially made them second guess the quality. I have had clients ask if they could tip me, because they had an awesome experience and that I was charging way under my value.

What they didn’t understand was that I could do that, because I eliminated the middleman. I once worked for my competition, making a third of what I charge now. Yet, they would charge my clients triple.

Some projects are lucrative. Others seemed like they would be at the time of onboarding. But, more often than not, my projects take way longer than they fiscally should.

On LinkedIn Profinder, you’re competing with up to five others. You can’t see, who’s bidding against you, so I simply played it safe. As I started to master the program, I learned that I need to raise my prices.

More money = Fewer projects and much happier clients

After all, isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is really about?


ABOUT THE WRITER.

Jessica N. Abraham is a writer, designer and former publicist with 15+ years of experience in Marketing, Social Branding, and Public Relations. She writes about Business, Technology, and Career Development for various platforms and publications. She is the owner of Resume.Academy and former owner of Shorty Produkshins.

Be sure to check her out: http://www.jessicanabraham.com

Continue Reading

New on DISC Insights

DISC, DISC Theory, Dr William Marsten, Harvard Review, Personality Types, Personality Traits, Assessments, Dominance, Steadiness, Influence, Compliance, Behavioral Attitude Indexing, 4D Assessments, Behavioral Styles, Workforce Optimizaiton, Predictive Hiring, Relationships, Interpersonal Communication, Communication, Productivity, Predictive Hiring, Hiring Cycles, Hiring Managers, Career Development, Personal Development, Career Coaching, Recruitment, Team Dynamic, Leadership, Globalization, Remote Teams, Branding, Brand YOU, Persona, Archetype, StudentKeys, PeopleKeys, Behavioral Analysis, Performance Improvements,
Lighter Side of DISC_ Office Halloween Party

Lighter Side of DISC: Office Halloween Party

Our group of eight characters, which you’re well familiar with from the Lighter Side of DISC videos, decided to throw a Halloween party. As you know, they already work together every day but wanted a reason to get together in a fun and entertaining way. Coincidentally, Dudley, Denise, Ida, Ian, Sally, Sam, Christine, and Charles are each one of the four DISC Personality Types. (In case you haven’t noticed, the first letter of their names matches their DISC style!) The party was nothing short of a success… so let’s see how each personality played into it.

Read More

Social media activity, based on personality type

Social media activity, based on personality type

You’ve heard it time and time again (and, you’re going to continue hearing it) … “We’re all different. But, we’re all predictably different.” As true as this statement is to our walking life, why would it be any different when it comes to social media? We’re on social media, because everyone else is. But, not all of us are on there to communicate. While Grandma is busy giving “love” to all of her grandchildren, others are networking. Some are trying out new recipes, and others are busy looking at stats. So, who’s doing what and why from a personality point-of-view? Let’s take a closer look.

Read More

How newborns change your DISC personality

How newborns change your DISC personality

Fall has finally arrived – and so have those babies we’ve had our watchful eyes on all year! There may not have been a baby boom, but it sure did feel like there was. Didn’t it? Your sister had a baby. Your neighbor had a baby. Your co-worker had a baby… even you and your wife had a baby!

And diapers aren’t the only things about to change. Our personalities change through life experiences, and like our newborn family members, we tend to look at the world totally different. Things we thought were once important just seem to be trivial anymore.

Read More

Continue Reading

New on DISC Insights

DISC, DISC Theory, Dr William Marsten, Harvard Review, Personality Types, Personality Traits, Assessments, Dominance, Steadiness, Influence, Compliance, Behavioral Attitude Indexing, 4D Assessments, Behavioral Styles, Workforce Optimizaiton, Predictive Hiring, Relationships, Interpersonal Communication, Communication, Productivity, Predictive Hiring, Hiring Cycles, Hiring Managers, Career Development, Personal Development, Career Coaching, Recruitment, Team Dynamic, Leadership, Globalization, Remote Teams, Branding, Brand YOU, Persona, Archetype, StudentKeys, PeopleKeys, Behavioral Analysis, Performance Improvements,

DISC personality and teaching style

Posted on 2019-08-07

Believe it or not, your personality not only dictates your behavior, but also the way you teach, the classroom environment you create, and even the results and motivation of your students. The more you understand who you are and the more you learn about behaviors in general, you will become a more “behaviorally intelligent” educator by applying DISC theory in your classroom environment and beyond. Have you ever had a student you just couldn’t seem connect with, no matter what you’ve tried? It may actually be a clash with your personality types, and you simply need to adjust your approach.

Based on how the student reacts to your approach, you could find your own personality beginning to change and adjust to meet theirs with understanding. Easily discover which type of teaching style best relates to your personality type, and how can you apply it to the classroom by first taking your DISC Assessment. Then, read on to learn which of the four DISC personality types or combination of styles resonates with the style of teacher or educator you might be:[…] Read more

Resilience and DISC Personality Style

Posted on 2019-07-29

The American Psychological Association labels psychological resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.”[…] Read more

Building resilient teams with DISC

Posted on 2019-07-29

Is your team better at dealing with stressful situations as they are taking place? Or, they are better at “getting over it” once they’ve had time to “cool down?” Psychological resilience is one of the key strengths we should all learn during our lifetime. Let’s take a closer look at how stress affects a team’s resilience and ability to overcome obstacles.

A candidate’s resilience strengths should be taken into consideration during any hiring process, especially when positioning new hires into immediate areas of concern and/or high-stressor environments. Team resilience development can also be applied when optimizing the existing workforce, replicating top performers and developing new leaders from within.[…] Read more

Continue Reading

AccuWeatherIQ — The Randall Pearson of brands and advertisers

Accuweather, AccuWeatherIQ, Advertising, Business, Business Tools, Data Privacy, Economy, FTC, Global Economy, Investments, Marketing, Markets, news, Randall Pearson, ROIs, Solutions, Sterling K. Brown, Tech News, technology, This is Us, Trade, Trading, Trends, Weather Predictions

Previously Published to tEQ.life

The average American had never heard of a weather trader or how the weather could play a major factor in the Global Economy – and then, we did. In fact, almost eight-million viewers quickly learned what it meant to be a weather trader, as we became more familiar with one Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown), on NBC’s hit television series, This Is Us.  

We caught a glimpse at just how important weather economics were to both trade and the stock market, as Randall pounded away at the keys, making his predictions, and even burning himself out in the process. Investors may have found new ways to capitalize on this practice, as business owners became hip as to how the weather could be used to forecast products would sell, according to last minutes changes in the weather or climate, and its impact on the economy, overall.

If you were paying close enough attention, those charts and graphs were painful to look at – and, maybe even to understand. But, Randall did so quite diligently, meeting his deadline, and the rest became history from there on out.

New scalability with little-to-no effort at all.

Thankfully for you, AccuWeather, one of the world’s most recognized and trusted resources in weather and climate, is making it easier to predict the impact of the weather on business, as they launch a new solution for brands and advertisers, everywhere. With the launch of AccuWeatherIQ, AccuWeather allows the average business owner to target their audiences, based on weather patterns, and has made it possible for those brands to integrate this data into industry-leading data platforms.

According Scott Sameroff, AccuWeather’s Senior Director of Data Products and Partnerships, “AccuWeatherIQ answers a critical need identified by our many advertising clients, which is to efficiently and effectively extend weather-based campaigns from AccuWeather properties across their entire media strategy and spend using the same weather data assets — with assurances that the toughest standards of data privacy, consumer choice and protection are applied to such assets.”

A recent press release further explains that “AccuWeatherIQ will help advertisers connect with U.S. users experiencing a variety of weather conditions today, tomorrow, or ‘next weekend’ [in order to] provide effective messaging based on lifestyle activities and health management preferences influenced by the weather.”

Every day, over 1.5 billion people worldwide rely on AccuWeather to help them plan their lives, protect their businesses, and get more from their day. Since 1962, radio stations, television networks, newspapers, and now mobile widgets on our lock and home screens, have relied on AccuWeather for their ability to accurately predict the weather for days, weeks, and even months ahead of time. So, it’s safe to say that they “know weather.”

Through the use of AccuWeather’s many innovative, patented and award-winning features, including MinuteCast® Minute by Minute™ forecasts, AccuWeather produces and distributes weather-related news, content, and video for more than 180,000 third-party websites and mobile apps, around the world. But, this time it’s different.

AccuWeatherIQ will help advertisers connect with U.S. users experiencing a variety of weather conditions today, tomorrow, or “next weekend” to provide effective messaging based on lifestyle activities and health management preferences influenced by the weather.

Through the use of AccuWeather’s many innovative, patented and award-winning features, including MinuteCast® Minute by Minute™ forecasts, AccuWeather produces and distributes weather-related news, content, and video for more than 180,000 third-party websites and mobile apps, around the world. But, this time it’s different.

By utilizing AccuWeather’s unique proprietary weather forecasts weather data and proprietary forecasting tools, such as its exclusive AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature and Lifestyle Indices, brands will be able to create more personalized and contextual digital marketing campaigns that reach customers at relevant moments in time – with little-to-no effort at all. In fact, weather data segments are currently available and able to be imported directly within Salesforce and LiveRamp Data Stores, in addition to AccuWeather’s owned and operated media properties.

Advertisers will be able to schedule their campaigns, based on the weather, and better budget their spending on days that would provide either little or greater significance to their bottom line. Not only would they cut back on unnecessary spending, but they would have more to invest at times that would prove more profitable to their ROIs. While annual budgets may already be budgeted, based on the month, season or even year, they will now be more flexible and able to allocated based on day, week or even hour!

Data Privacy & Consumer Protections.

In light of yesterday’s decision by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York Attorney General that both Google and subsidiary, YouTube, would pay a record $170M fine for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), you may be wondering just how this new platform will ensure your privacy, as you make the decision to carry an umbrella to work or make your children wear a rain jacket to school.  

Teaming up with a select group of trusted data partners in data privacy and protections, AccuWeather states its commitment to consumer privacy and protecting the rights of consumers by through increased transparency within the marketplace:

“By working with world-class partners, such as Salesforce, LiveRamp, and Beemray, we are committed to maintaining industry-leading data privacy and consumer protection practices, while supporting business innovation and growth,” vows Eric Danetz, AccuWeather’s Global Chief Revenue Officer. The AccuWeather app allows users to control when AccuWeather or its third-party partners may access user data, including device location data, and for what purposes such data may be used, with clear prompts and navigation screens and specific notice and consent language. 

Keeping this in mind, Danetz goes on to say, “We have been dedicated to building products and advertising solutions that embrace the best practices of data privacy regulations to enable our U.S advertising partners to reach AccuWeather users at the right time and the right place, with the right context, while putting our users in charge of their data.”

Advertisers may not yet be able to change the weather, but at least now they can change their efforts at the drop of the barometer. And, while they may not have a life as perfect as Randall Pearson, they can still rake in the big ones by learning how to invest in the weather economy!  


DISCLAIMER: Neither NBC, This is Us, nor Sterling K. Brown have any affiliation with the AccuWeather brand or its product lines.

Continue Reading

Wearables, disrupting an industry and helping you to “feel sound like never before”

Wearables, Technology, Tech News, Technology News, News, Music, Gaming, VR, AR, XR, Music, Music Tools, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Experience, User Experience, Sensory, Digital Gadgetry, Audiophile, Business, Investments, Sensory, Gamification, Woojer, MusicProduction, CCS Insight, Markets and Market, Market and Markets, Kickstarter, Startup

Previously Published on tEQ.life

In a world where we thrive off of live experiences, it’s a wonder that most of us are still living in stereo. Sure, we attend live events. We might even know the soft spot at the movie theatre. But, on a daily basis, we are literally just getting by on “right, left, center” technologies, and so far — no one has done anything about it!

In a world where we thrive off of live experiences, it’s a wonder that most of us are still living in stereo. Sure, we attend live events. We might even know the soft spot at the movie theatre. But, on a daily basis, we are literally just getting by on “right, left, center” technologies, and so far — no one has done anything about it!

Today, we watch movies in surround sound. We play games using our headsets. We live the virtual experience, but our audio keeps us grounded. The good news is… that’s all about to change — and, it’s thanks to Kickstarter, wearable technologies and a team of lifelong audiophiles.

Meet Woojer.

Woojer, Born to Feel. Courtesy of Woojer on YouTube, 2019.

Woojer, a company based in Tel Aviv, has been dedicated to bringing biotechnologies to the world of consumer audio design. Their mission is to introduce consumers to immersive experiences and allow them to feel the sound just as they would in real-time. They do this by tapping into the acoustics and frequencies that we feel, but naturally, we cannot hear.

Founded in 2008, Woojer has been working diligently to study, design and perfect those technologies in which are soon to become acknowledged as a standard for the “new norm.”

With three separate Kickstarter campaigns, starting in 2013, the company has been introducing their product in phases, aimed at perfecting their line, their designs and in creating a more 360 experience. Introducing and reintroducing each product, based on the feedback of research and development and the patents they received, they are now ready to launch their new high-fidelity products into global markets, worldwide.

An introduction to innovation.

In the Streets. Courtesy of Woojer on YouTube, 2019.

Since the beginning of the year, Woojer began teasing their products at festivals and conferences all over the world, including E3 and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2019. Disruptive to an entire industry, thousands have lined up to experience the power of stimulating gameplay, haptic transducers and polyphonic experiences first-hand. They now await mass production, which should wrap up by the end of November and deliver to more than 900 early adopters by the end of December.

With 55 days still left to their campaign, Woojer has already surpassed its initial goal of $20K by more than 904%!

Reproducing dynamic sound systems on a more personal level, the new Woojer products allow consumers to feel the “oomph of bass and the pulse of energy” with frictionless motion and dynamics falling outside of the standard 20Hz to 20kHz range. Soon, they will be able to experience frequencies as low as a 1Hz tone with adjustable sensations and volume control.

Strap Edge Vs. Vest Edge Technologies.

Strap vs. Vest Edge Technologies. Courtesy of Woojer on YouTube, 2019.

Strap Edge and Vest Edge technologies include patented OSCI transducers, haptic feedback and sensors that guarantee full immersion, precise harmonic reproduction and durability for everyday use. Consumers will be able to feel the sound through waves of pressure and the caustic movement of air. With the patented oscillating frame, movements are accurately reproduced, as frequencies are played at up to 500Hz, including the subsonic frequencies, undetectable by the human ear.

Both devices are ultra-silent, have low-latency and can get up to eight hours of battery power per charge. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and analog headphone amplification, The Vest Edge targets sensory points in key areas of the human body that allows the wearer to “feel sound like never before.” The Vest Edge was created for use with virtual reality, gaming and music production. In fact, Woojer’s Kickstarter pagegoes on to state:

“The Vest Edge gives you 360 degrees of immersion, delivering accurate and detailed sensations that’ll raise your pulse. It’s got out-of-the-box stereo haptics and is the perfect companion for at-home gaming and VR. If you’re a music pro- this’ll pump the low-frequencies through your body as it engages you in a unique and mesmerizing audio experience.”

The Strap Edge, on the other hand, was created to be worn on the hip, chest or across one’s body, providing a polyphonic, stereo experience. It was created for everyday gamers and music enthusiasts, on-the-go. Basically, no matter which device you choose, you will be able to feel the music as if it was flowing through your veins, giving every performance an additional boost of reality.

Both devices can be paired with the Woojer Haptic Metronome App, helping you to live life to a new beat. When synched, the metronome works with the rhythm and tempo of the music, providing additional training and sophistication to the audio pro or music producer.

The rapid growth of wearable technologies.

Lee Shupp — “The Future of Wearables.” Courtesy of TEDx on YouTube, 2015.

In 2014, CCS Insight predicted that within five years, the Wearables Industry would only be worth $25B by 2019. Instead, it hit $21.7B in 2016 and according to MarketsandMarkets™, the Wearables Market is set to grow at a rapid CAGR of 15.5% and expected to reach $51.6B by 2022 — more than double what we had expected to see in previous years. Whether you’re a music producer, avid gamer or simply an investor, Woojer is definitely worth checking out.

Continue Reading

Augmented Reality | Bringing interactive reading & learning tools to young explorers in real-time

Augmented Reality | Bringing interactive reading & learning tools to young explorers in real-time Early-Learning Development. Interactive Lesson Plans. Augmented Reality. Teaching young explorers to read, handle social situations and embrace the world around them. Wonderscope | Within #technology #news #Wonderscope #Clio #Reading #Children #kids #earlylearningdevelopment #education #app #ios #experience #AR #XR #VR #SpaceX #EdTech

Previously Published to tEQ.life

If you grew up watching Nick Jr., you already know how much of an impact interactive television shows, such as Blue’s Clues, can have on a young mind. Our children feel as if the characters on the show are actually their friends, and they quickly embrace the second-person experience, as a means for early-learning education. They become like sponges — easily engaged and encouraged by conversation. Intrigued by curiosity, they thirst for exploration. And while they quickly absorb the material and storylines presented before them, there is a huge divide between reality and storytelling that continues to leave a void out in the open.

Augmented reality is changing all of that, allowing our children to thrive at levels we have never seen before.Our children learn in different ways, and yet reading is a major part of who we become as students, educators, and professionals in our fields. We learn visually, we learn through auditorial experiences and we learn through pure immersion, completely saturated in the overall experience.

One company making a difference.

Within, a Los Angeles-based tech company, has been taking advantage of this ideal, creating exciting new platforms and highly interactive experiences in augmented, mixed and virtual reality since about 2014. Last year, they introduced a wide spectrum of learning tools that would bring interactive reading experiences into the forefront of early childhood development.

Yesterday, they announced an “Intergalactic, AR Reading Adventure Sends Kids into Space.

As it releases its fourth augmented reality storybook, Clio’s Cosmic Quest, Within continues to embrace augmented reality when telling “extraordinary stories” to an audience of young readers. In fact, the launch of the early-learning reading app, Wonderscope, has been nothing short of a welcoming experience, as these young readers are met with a lovable character, who stops at nothing to engage their young minds while leaving a lasting impression sure to last a lifetime.

Meet Clio.

Meet Clio — a tiny particle of purple stardust — as she literally enters into our world and immediately greets your child with meaningful dialogue and an overall sense of inclusion. She includes them into the narrative and invites them to join her on a mission through our solar system. They are, then, presented with a combination of “read-out-loud” experiences, that include interactive diagrams, maps and fun facts to help them through their journey.

Students can choose to interact one-on-one or they can bring their classmates along for the journey. As a team, they join Clio in challenging reading bullies, meeting the Sun and bringing an entire nebula back together — just in the nick of time!

Real-time lessons on life.

“We’ve written lines for kids that teach them how to handle bullies, stick up for what they believe in, and be there for those that need help,” states Within’s Director of Development, Jonny Ahdout, about this rewarding new game.

The story about Clio becomes just one more addition to Wonderscope’s growing library of augmented titles, including A Brief History of Stunts by Astounding People, Little Red the Inventor and Wonder’s Land Ringmaster Wanted — with even more stories and adventures to be released in upcoming months.

According to a recent press release, “Wonderscope’s voice recognition system is built to understand and nurture confidence in new readers at a wide range of levels, and with different dialects and accents. The app provides visual and aural feedback by highlighting words, and having characters make eye contact and react expressively back to the user.

Clio’s Cosmic Quest ends with a fully interactive bonus scene where users explore and learn more about space, planets and solar systems, developing a playful appreciation for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).”

Wonderscope is geared towards kids, aged 6 and older and currently holds a solid 4-star rating from Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy to families, through the promotion of safe technologies and media for children.

The app is currently free and available on all AR-enabled iOS devices, although stories themselves can run as high as $4.99 a piece.

Continue Reading

IoT Connectivity Markets set to reach $8.9B by 2024

Solution (Real time streaming analytics, security, data management, remote monitoring, network bandwidth management), Platform (device management, application management, network) Application (Building and Home Automation, Smart energy, Smart Manufacturing, Connected Logistics, Smart Retail. Connected Health, Smart Mobility and Transportation ), Google Inc. (US), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (US), Amazon Web Services (US), Bosch Software Innovation GMBH (Germany), General Electronics (US), Intel Corporation (US), SAP SE (Germany), Cisco Systems Inc. (US), Microsoft Corporation (US), Oracle Corporation (US), International Business Machine (IBM) Corporation (US), and PTC Inc. (US) among others, onnectivity Technology (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Smart, NFC, ZigBee, Z-Wave, GNSS, LTE Cat-M1, NB-IoT, LoRa, Sigfox), Type (WLAN, WPAN, LPWAN), and Geography, AT&T (US), Cisco (US), Verizon (US), Vodafone (UK), Ericsson (Sweden), Sierra Wireless (Canada), Orange (France), Telefónica (Spain), Huawei (China), Telit (Italy), Hologram (US), Particle (US), Aeris (US), Sigfox (France), EMnify (Germany), and Moeco (US)

Previously Published to tEQ.life

According to recent market research by MarketsandMarkets, IoT Connectivity Markets are set to reach more than $8.9B by the year 2024. Currently valued at an estimated $3.8B in 2019, the company has forecasted an 18.7% compound rate of annual growth (CAGR) with major factors set to increase the demand for connected devices over time.

North American markets will take the reins, accounting for a majority of growth through 2024.

North America is said to account for the largest market size during the forecasted period of growth. This comes, as the United States continues to be the leader in innovation and digital transformation, placing a high priority on large-scale implementation and enterprise services. Artificial Intelligence (AT) and cloud computing are additional factors, attributing such growth, as they are intimately powered by “The Internet of Things.”

The demand for wireless sensor networks, necessary in creating smart infrastructure, has so-far been a major player in the demand for low-power, wide-area (LPWA) networks in IoT applications. People like to control things in their home. Even more so, they like controlling things at home, while not at home, and find convenience in doing so through the fast-action swipe of their smart phones. The rise in IoT adoption and the advancements, taking place across telecommunications industry, will single-handedly drive sales, as more people learn to trust their personal hand-held device for nearly every aspect of their waking lives.

The World slowly catches up, as new technologies are adopted, connectivity is improved and networks are secured.

As we see more stable and reliable high-speed networks appearing in rural areas across the globe and an overall increase in heightened information security, there will be a dramatic shift in IoT adoption, as it emerges alongside the integration of standalone and non-standalone components, therein. In fact, the Wireless Connectivity markets are expected to reach $95.7B by 2023, alone.

The World is quickly adopting 5G, and major cities have already been implementing plans for faster internet speeds through product integration. Enabling these products with a host of IoT capabilities, we can expect IoT-based services to rise as an immediate factor in the concurrent growth of service-related markets, around the globe.

Additional factors that are said to contribute to the growth of IoT Markets, include:

  • Platform & Service Components
  • The Size of Each Organization
  • Trends in Smart Retail Production
  • Trends in Transportation
  • Connected Health & Devices
  • Smart Manufacturing Processes
  • Smart Energy & Utility Practices
  • Business & Home Automation
  • Additional Factors, Based on Region

All industry verticals are undergoing a huge transformation in a bid to provide affordable, accessible, and quality services to their customers.

Addressing the continued shift in IoT Markets and in meeting the demands of the everyday working-class, we see something similar happening to our modern technologies that we have seen happen throughout the history of electronics. Once upon a time, a 4GB desktop computer went for more than $2K at full market value, and now we see 1TB laptops going for less than $300 during regular sales and/or promotions.

The increasing number of connected devices sold, in addition to the growth of smartphone ownership has significantly, contributed to the demand for IoT-based technologies, as used by early adopters and tech enthusiasts alike. Large multinational corporations have learned ways they can capitalize off of such technologies, whether through location-based incentives or by providing customers with in-store messaging, trading off valuable data in exchange for a rewards or in-store promotion.

More information about the growing IoT Market and 2024 predictions can be found here.

Continue Reading

5 Tips for Transitioning Managers in the World of IT

Medium, Information Technologies, Project Management Professionals

Previously Published to Medium.

Let’s face it, technology has rapidly changed the way we do business — and markets, themselves, are shifting in a major way. We’re seeing steady progression across an entire industry and are taking on higher-paying opportunities in sectors that we never thought we would be. Managers are entering into new markets, as the realm of technology continues to evolve before our very eyes.

We demand innovation and watch it transform on a daily basis. Technologies broaden, but the markets haven’t been nearly as kind. Most agencies are understaffed and roles unfulfilled.

We’re seeing those with no formal education compete against MIT graduates. Project managers are stepping up, some of whom have never spent a single day behind the scenes. We’re seeing interns become directors and start-ups popping up all over the country. More people are working remotely, and central offices are no longer commonplace.

The workforce has become global, and we have begun to control our teams at a distance. We have more power than we ever did, and the possibilities are now endless.

With more opportunities in our hands, all it takes is a little bit of ambition and a simple roadmap to get you where you need to be. Let us help position you on your journey with these five tips for transitioning into IT project management — and ultimately, the transition to success!

#1 | Define your scope, build teams accordingly.

Before defining your scope, you will want to pay attention to your client’s business-related needs and objectives. This will include budget and resource availability, critical timelines and expectations. Your scope will give you a solid foundation to build upon and help you better identify the teams you will need to hire to get the job done both effectively and within a timely manner.

Identify your ideal team members, including areas of specialization, level of skill and how they will interact with one another.

Ask yourself:

ü Do you need them on-site, or can they work remotely?

ü How many people can you hire, and will you need to train them?

ü Will you need to hire an outsourcing agency, or are you going to recruit each member directly?

#2 | Schedule teams based on need, availability and areas of expertise.

Once your scope has been mapped out and your teams have been built, you will begin scheduling each member, as according to need, availability and area of expertise. You should pay special attention to the previous achievements and contributions made to other projects that they have worked on in the past.

Find common ground. Where previous contributions were with companies much larger or smaller than your own, translate scalability and decide whether those team members are capable of handling the tasks that you throw at them. Are they able to streamline daily tasks with speed, agility and a certain level of specialization?

Before positioning each team member, ask yourself how they will measure up against:

· Technical, leadership and/or managerial capabilities.

· Productivity, performance and/or efficiency, both as a team or on an individual basis.

· Dependability, resourcefulness and the customer experience.

#3 | How will your teams interact? Pay attention to interdisciplinary communication.

As you may already know, teams work differently, based on the admixture of personalities types, therein. This is where predictive hiring, behavioral analysis, networking and cultivated relationships can come in very handy for a project manager, regardless of industry.

If you have too many influencers on your team, who will plan and analyze? If there are too many leaders, who will handle administration and ensure compliances? Pairing teams, based on personality type, will allow each team to thrive, while encouraging personal growth and individual commitment.

Friction often leads projects to fail, underperform or fall short of expectation. This often happens when the team dynamic is overlooked and communication falters. On the contrary, teams matched based on personality, prove more productive, as they tend to exceed expectation for quality, turnaround and the overall customer experience.

#4 | Optimize your workforce, define the strengths and weaknesses of new and existing team members.

Similar to pairing based on personality types, we also find that one path to success may actually come from optimizing the workforce, directly. In optimizing the workforce, we look for certain factors or KPIs that will allow us to measure individual contributions and/or takeaways, such as:

· Behaviors in certain environments.

· Reactions to stress or actions under pressure.

· Individual strengths.

· Weaknesses amongst the team, itself.

These points will be indicators that someone is or isn’t a good fit for a particular project. While we can always develop strengths in an individual, sometimes time is a vital factor. Adding new teams would offset those members, who would not otherwise live up to certain expectations — or the skill level, necessary, to carry out individual tasks or timelines, as associated with each project.

Pairing teams, based on personality type, will continue a major hand in the success of each project or client portfolio. However, strengths can be drawn from those individual aspects and used as additional indicators of key personality types we need to recruit in optimizing the workforce, directly.

#5 | Understand missed opportunities in the hiring cycle.

We face many roadblocks, as project managers, when it comes to hiring qualified talents for key projects within our portfolio. These roadblocks almost seem counterproductive from the start of each project and in the development of our teams, over time. We rush hiring processes to meet deadlines and in catering to dependencies across entire lifecycles, therein.

Due to the lack of efficient manpower, budget shortages and the fulfillment of outside obligations, the hiring process is often one of the first processes to be shortchanged at the onset of each project. And because we ultimately must juggle each project on an individual basis, we can’t spend a whole lot of time in the recruiting, training, interviewing and onboarding of incoming talents. We end up relying too much on our immediate networks, career sites and job boards to provide us with the talent we need to get the job done.

To make matters worse, most of these resources will then rely on ATS engines to provide us with a pool of qualified talents, who we must then interview, develop and onboard accordingly. ATS engines, however, will only provide us with those candidates who meet certain criteria and have found a way through key algorithms. Up to 75% of today’s top talents will actually never be seen.

Continue Reading