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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Headed in the right direction… but making mistakes.
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.
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
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.
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
I GOT CAUGHT!
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
I wasn’t following up fast enough.
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.
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.
full disclosure, they are launching quite a few new programs in 2020. I
believe this to be a necessary push in the right direction.
I wasn’t following-up enough.
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.
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.
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.
What I learned about following up.
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
In fact, if you never hear it anywhere else — Barracuda is the Devil!
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.
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
I was too quick to jump on a lead, too scared to lose one.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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
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?). .
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
Yes, those clients. And, as it turns out, they always tend to be my favorite.
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.
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.
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.
Finally, my prices are too low.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”[…]
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
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
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
target their audiences, based on weather patterns, and has made it
possible for those brands to integrate this data into industry-leading data
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.”
press releasefurther 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.
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 theFederal
Trade Commission (FTC) and New York Attorney General that both Google
and subsidiary, YouTube, would pay a record $170M fine for allegedly violating
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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
An introduction to innovation.
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
With 55 days still left to their campaign, Woojer has already surpassed its initial goal of $20K by more than 904%!
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
· 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
#5 | Understand missed opportunities in the hiring cycle.
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
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.
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.
a professional resume writer, I often hear the words “I own my own
business, why would I need a resume?” or “I’m pretty secure where I’m at
and not planning on leaving any time soon.” Chills shoot up and down my
spine. These are exactly the reasons that they need a resume, and they don’t even realize it. I mean:
could someone willfully not have all the tools at their disposal? Do
they realize they aren’t taking advantage of their full potential?
Aren’t they looking to expand their own business? Are they not ready to
capitalize on their own success?
you’re looking for a career change, or not… whether the markets are
stable… and whether you’re secure in your most current position… or not…
Every CEO needs to have an updated resume — at all times!
face it, it takes time to craft a quality resume. Most people don’t
include the most important content (In fact, 80 to 90% of today’s top
candidates are overlooked due to the lack of it). We forget about our
achievements. We often face writer’s block. We leave off key qualitative
and quantitative data. And, we forget to include some of our most
impressive contributions within a team environment.
we leave money on the table. We don’t secure those game-changing
opportunities. And, we keep sinking marketing dollars into campaigns
that just eat away at our capital. Again, we’re not living up to our
full potential, and that really needs to stop — like right away!
In the words of the Great Fire Marshall Bill, “Let me show you something…”
is a major difference in what a client is and what constitutes as a
customer in the business world. Clients come to us for help, whether
they’re trying to launch a new product, need a customized solution or
are looking for the best price on a service that we offer.
want to know who we are. Some of them will blindly enter a business
arrangement, based on what they think we can provide. Others are more
apprehensive in where and how they spend each outgoing dollar in their
immediate budget. And, what about those clients that aren’t necessarily
the decision-makers? You know, the ones that are reporting back to a
third-party executive or shareholder resource?
of our most difficult clients will ask for a resume. Some of our
biggest spenders will ask for a resume. And, some of our most long-term
and loyal clientele will begin a relationship just because of what was
that resume, itself.
one reason LinkedIn is gold and one way we become more approachable. In
an instance, we are more humanlike. Yet, our journey tells the story of
all we have accomplished and all that we can do.
businesses — small and large — will benefit, at some point, by
partnering with another business or non-profit organization. A smart
business owner isn’t going to just partner with someone that they don’t
know. A smart business owner doesn’t want to affiliate themselves with
someone, who can cause damage to their business.
want to know who we are dealing with, where they have been and what
contributions they have made in the past. Scalability aside, we want to
know is this a person of value, and can they actually bring something to
one wants to waste their time, and very often potential partners will
ask for the resume of all key persons involved in a project. They want
to optimize their workforce just as bad as they want to optimize their
teams. And, to create a winning team, this often means shedding the
because you have made a name for yourself, don’t assume the next person
has heard of you. When a project is ready to move forward, you need to
be ready, yourself. If not, someone else will be. In a dog eat dog
world, competitors are lined up and ready to quickly take your place.
Summary 101 — Include a resume for all key executives active within the
project and/or company. Business plans require it.
capitalists have nothing to gain by just giving away their fortunes.
They want to know that they will see a return, how soon they should see
it and feel secure in knowing that their investment will, indeed, come
back to them — with profits attached.
you’re not seeking an investor, cool. But will your company try to
secure a business-related loan in the near future? What if emergencies
should arise, or an opportunity with no budget allotment?
Business is all about risk. But, don’t risk throwing away opportunities by not being prepared.
And, what about those opportunities?
Honestly, with opportunity comes growth. There are opportunities surrounding us every day. It’s just up to us to seize them.
it’s an opportunity to work alongside a Big 4 or to enter a
cross-promotional campaign with the largest production house in the
country, we need to influence somebody. We need to impress somebody. And, we definitely need to appeal to the opportunity that’s placed before us in our individual journeys.
now, we’re just discussing the bigger picture. But, what about those
significant milestones that set us apart from the business we’ve become
synonymous with? What are we going to include in our “tell-all?” What
will our followers most remember us for?
often, executives engage in projects outside of their main career. They
sit on boards and on committees. Some teach as an adjunct professor,
others speak regularly amongst industry panels. The humanitarian will
work alongside a non-profit, while a mogul will expand their
empire — often by teaming up with other moguls in the business.
might not be ready for this now, but what happens when you are? What if
the perfect opportunity presents itself? Are you willing to sacrifice
your dream, only because you needed a few days to create a half-assed
resume from scratch? What if your workload becomes demanding?
Opportunity doesn’t wait. It only knocks and hopes that someone answers.
let your marketing dollars go to waste. Frivolous spending will only
lead to a deficit. Unnecessary expenses take away from the profits that
could otherwise be generated. You are your company’s most key asset. People are our greatest investment. And, you hold the greatest value, while sitting on top of the corporate hierarchy.
one remembers the guy in the blue shirt, sitting in the back of the
mail room. Shoot, they won’t even remember the color shirt he wore a
week from now. But, they will remember you.
You’re interesting. You have a story to tell. You hold all the keys to the kingdom.
want to know about your past. We want to know about your
accomplishments. And, we want to know how we can duplicate your journey.
are so many writers and producers with all the right channels but no
story to tell. They offer free press in exchange for twenty minutes of
one-on-one time. They have dedicated audiences, full of
consumers — ready to buy, traffic — ready to convert, and
markets — continually expanding. They offer ongoing promotion, a portion
of their web presence and backlinks that will easily serve in the
optimization of your company’s site.
What good is marketing, anyways, if you’re not reaching out to the people and connecting with them intimately? Drivethem to become loyalists. Convince them to trust. And, cultivate your relationships.
The media is our friend. So, get your resume ready and be ready to hit “send.”
Jessica N. Abrahamwrites about Business, Career Development and Technology. She is a professional resume writer with Resume.Academy
and former owner of Shorty Produkshins, where she spent more than 15
years, dedicated to a life of Social Branding, Public Relations and