Online Learning & Maintaining Student Motivation

Lately, it doesn’t seem to matter which grade a student is in. Everyone is taking virtual classes this year. Some of these classes are going with online learning for the first time. This makes it difficult for everyone involved. So, how do you (as a parent, student or teacher) adapt to these changes? Here are some quick tips and suggestions to keep you focused and stay motivated throughout this school year.

Online Learning & Maintaining Student Motivation

Students & Online Learning

How can you, as a student, find that focus that will help you stay motivated? Here are several steps to take to make sure you get your work completed and turned in on time.

1. Set Goals

Most people hear this advice throughout their entire lives. So, let’s apply it to this school year as well. Take a look at all the classes and subjects you are currently taking. Now, what needs to happen for you to be able to get the grade you want for these classes? Start by writing down what your end goal is. Then, separate these broad goals into smaller ones.

Dedicate a specific notebook to your goal making. After all, the key to achieving your goals is writing them all down. Once you have them in writing, you can refer to your goals frequently so you know you are taking every step to completing them. Accomplishing your goals requires constant follow-up. And when you write everything down, you can always go back to see where you are in achieving your goals.

2. Keep to a Routine

Many students have a small opportunity to attend classes at least once a week. Going to these physical classes offers a structure that normally doesn’t exist for online classes. Many students find that having that structure, even for one day, is soothing and helps them better focus. It’s the routine of a daily schedule that keeps them motivated.

Develop a plan to stay on task so you can complete your coursework while still allowing time to enjoy the things you like to do. Schedule set times to log in to your course and to study, create reminders of due dates on your calendar or phone, and build in ample breaks to give your mind some time to take in what you’re learning. Having a plan will increase your likelihood of success and will help you reach your goals.

So, find that routine for the other days when you are doing online learning. Sometimes it’s as easy as duplicating that in-person routine while you are at home. For example, study math, English or science at the same time every day. Even if you don’t have homework or an online meeting, pull out your textbook and notes and keep caught up on the class studies.

3. Take Breaks

Just like breaks between classes when you’re on campus, it’s smart to take small breaks to help yourself stay motivated. These breaks can be something as simple as standing up and stretching. Or, make them a bit more interactive with quick activities like three-minute exercise routines.

No matter what break activities you choose, make them a part of your daily routine. In elementary, we all had recess breaks, and it’s important to give our brains a little bit of a distraction instead of always staring at a computer or textbook. Your mind will thank you for taking these breaks.

4. Reward Yourself

From celebrating the little achievements to making a big deal for passing a class, every student should reward themselves for a job well done. Figure out a rewards system for meeting goals; match the reward to the success. Doing something nice for yourself will help with your online learning motivation. So treat yourself for a job well done.

Parents & Online Learning

things to do while committing to online learning

While it isn’t your education, you are there to help your children accomplish their educational goals. Make sure you take some time to follow these simple steps to ensure that online learning functions well.

1. Stay Healthy

Part of staying healthy focuses on both the parent and the student finding balance with school work. As a parent, you need to work with your student’s online learning to meet both mental and physical needs.

Taking care of [the student’s] mental and physical health can help [their] academic performance. As you build out your schedule, try to work in regular exercise, healthy meals and plenty of rest and relaxation. If you’re not sure where to begin, contact your school’s respective recreation or counseling centers.

2. Create an Inspiring Study Space

Parents, make sure that your student has a dedicated space in which to study. Make this space accessible and free of distractions so that your child has a fighting chance of focusing and staying motivated in their school work.

Something easy to do is to add motivational signs or name plates for the students to see. Also, keep educational tools on hand. Set up a work station that is inviting for your child. Each child may need something different, so make sure you focus on individuality and personalities.

3. Take an Active Roll in Education

Online learning is hard on everyone. Some students can thrive in an online environment, but more often than not, they will need some assistance to stay on track. Listen to your kids for what they need to accomplish their educational goals. And, find ways to actively support those needs.

Once you know what each child needs, help them succeed by taking actions that push them in the right direction. Encourage them and show them that they are not alone in accomplishing their goals. If you let your kids know you have their back, they are guaranteed success in their schooling.

Teachers & Online Learning

teaching students with online learning

As an educator, you understand the importance of keeping students engaged and motivated. Online learning complicates these a bit, so here are a few things you can do to help your students stay on task.

1. Create a Schedule

Help your class stay on task by creating a daily schedule for them. Some students may need a little more guidance than others, and without your in-class help, they may not be able to focus like they need to. With a set daily schedule from their teacher, these students should thrive a little better in an online learning environment.

Schedules will also help you when working with assignments and grading. Ensure you are doing things in a timely manner and making yourself available to help your students when they need it. Writing out daily, weekly and monthly schedules will also help you as the teacher stay motivated so that you can do your job well.

2. Eliminate Distractions

As many of your classes will now communicate via video conferences, make sure your environment does not distract from your lesson plans. While you don’t have to remove everything from your background, make sure things behind you are not taking away from what you are teaching. And add items as needed. Use custom ribbon rolls to help keep the background engaging without distracting.

Maybe you find yourself constantly reminding students to mute their microphones or raise their hands before blurting out answers. Custom signs are the perfect tool to have that as a constant reminder behind you. Pick a color that works with your surroundings and add a message that will help with your teaching style.

3. Stay Connected with Students

One challenge of online learning is that students often feel quite isolated. Consider how you can make direct contact, through emails, instant message and video, to as many learners as possible, helping them see how you are invested in their learning. In addition, encourage ways for learners to see each other as resources through methods like peer feedback and peer review, as well as potentially helping students find peers to study with.

Your students need to know that you are there for them. Make yourself as accessible as you can during days that students may be on campus, and especially on days they are not. Everyone’s educational experience will be better knowing that the teachers will always remain accessible.

Making the Transition to Online

While online learning may be difficult at first, use these ideas to make your transition easier. If you still find that you need help, reach out to other teachers and parents. Your local school district is also a great resource. And keep on learning!

Customer Retention for Small Businesses

Customers; without them, your business is nothing. But don’t let that deter you from working on your customer retention. Whether you’re just starting a business or have been running a company for several years, you should understand that it is your customers who keep you in business.

Getting your service or product into the hands of the right customer can (and will) make all the difference. When running your business, you should always keep in mind that your most vital asset is your customer. And getting to know each customer will help your business grow.

Customer Retention for Small Businesses means always making your customers happy

Why is Customer Retention Important?

Retention: When someone becomes a customer, your company turns its focus to satisfy them so they want to return and also refer your company to their family and friends.

We’re not saying that finding new customers isn’t important. What we are saying is this: how do you plan on keeping those new customers around? So, in this regard, customer retention should be your primary focus.

Customer retention is the unsung hero of the successful business. Its flashier sister, customer acquisition, usually steals the spotlight, but retention is what ultimately builds the foundation of a company that is positioned for growth. After all, it’s much easier to fill a bucket than a sieve.

Keeping your customers happy should be your primary goal. And, by doing this, your customers will keep coming back. Not only do they keep coming back, but they will also start recommending your products and services to their family and friends. If you remember to always take care of your customers, they will be your most powerful resource. So, don’t just focus on getting new customers but also focus on retaining the customers you already have. 

Building Customer Relationships

The key to any good relationship is communication. Keeping open lines between yourself, your employees and your customers is crucial to your success. Without this communication, those customer relationships that keep you in business will fall short of where you need them. And remember that without your customers, you will go nowhere.

You must meet the standards that the customer expects from you. This could mean products or services rendered. Make sure that everything your business does is for the customer. Not only will this help with the retention of current customers, but this can also bring in others that your clientele tells about your wonderful company.

Four Ways to Make Customer Retention Work

Because customers are the key to keeping your business running, you need to understand how to find and keep them around. Here are six proven ways to find and retain your customers.

Know Your Business

Sometimes the simplest thing is the answer. And this starts with knowing what your business is and why it is essential to your customers. Examples of this are clothing stores (people need clothes) or restaurants (people need to eat). While these may seem simple and not close to your business, they can start you on the right path.

No matter the product or service you offer, you started your company knowing that it would fill consumer needs. Don’t forget what these needs are. They will also help define who your clientele is. Once you know these things about your company, you can grow your customer base and focus on customer retention.

Now is also the time to reflect on your pricing and quality. Make sure that what you are offering, whether it is product or services, is of good value for the cost. Don’t overcharge or undersell your business. High-quality products mean a higher price, so make sure you value your business as it should be.

Visibility Is Key

From using social media platforms to creating an inviting storefront, you need to make sure that customers can find you. Social media is a great word-of-mouth system to get the ball rolling. Once you have customers purchasing or requesting your services, you can make bigger plans for getting seen.

custom signs for any business from name tag, inc.

PRO TIP: Use custom business signs around your office or store to display hours of operation. You can also customize these signs to help customers understand and know your policies and procedures. Choose colors that are complementary to your business so that everyone will see them.

Stay Happy

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is essential.

Building your customer relationships is what customer retention is all about. Help them to understand you so that you can understand them. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

But don’t forget about your employees. If the workers in your company are happy, your customers will start to reflect that. And happy people spend more money.

It’s All About the Buzz

custom top ribbons for business cards may help with customer retention

Think custom ribbons for fancy business cards that will attract new customers. Use professional desk wedges on office desks that show the retained customer how much you care. Even the little details like matching name tags for staff will show your customers how put-together and organized your business is. These details will help create a little buzz about your dependability that will grow over time.

At the end of the day, what really matters isn’t how much a customer pays you today, but what their entire lifetime value is.

Never use a one-size-fits-all approach in your marketing plans. Remember that customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. To do this, you need to listen to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. By doing this, you guarantee that they will keep doing business with your company.

Adapting to Change in Business

Change is something every business is always dealing with. It is an inevitable process that every company must go through. This means that adapting to change and flexibility in business is an absolute must. These two things are essential for every business owner to grasp and understand how they work and why they are important.

Adaptability can be defined as creating modifications or changes in oneself to adapt or suit the new environment. For a work environment culture, it connotes being opened to new ideas, innovations, or alterations. Someone with this skill can work independently or in groups, or perform tasks not designed only for a single individual.

Workplace flexibility emphasizes the willingness and ability to adapt to change, particularly regarding how and when work gets done. In a flexible workplace, the needs of both employee and employer are met. Workplace flexibility is often used as a tool for retaining and engaging employees. It can also help an organization reach its goals thanks to improved productivity.

In essence, adaptability is about being willing to modify your behavior and actions to meet your business’s future needs. This includes being flexible in your business dealings with your employees and your customers. Find ways to help your business feel more grounded while understanding the impact of each decision you make will affect your business in the long term.

A business is nothing without its customers.

Making sure that your business knows your customer’s needs is key to your survival. Remember that without your customers, you don’t have a business. So, you need to make sure that everything your business does is to find and retain its customers. That includes making adapting to change where and when necessary.

Every transaction your customer has with you is actually an entire journey, and at every step of this journey there is an opportunity to either delight your customer or have your customer suffer a pain point.

Consumers don’t just buy your product or service. They are only with your business because they trust how you make them feel and how you provide solutions to their problems. Yes, this means that customer needs are typically emotional, not logical. The more you know about each of your customers, the better you will be at communicating with them and meeting their needs. Here are some ways you can do this.

Using Signage

Custom signs from Name Tag, Inc.

Any business will significantly benefit from using signage around their office or store. From simple directional signs to more informative signs containing store hours or company policies, engraved signs and plaques are definitely beneficial to have around. Use these identifiers around your business to make everything easier while you are adapting to change and flexibility.

By hanging these signs around your business, you establish ground rules for both employees and customers. These signs also help with communicating openness with your clientele. All conversations start better when people are comfortable. And using signage provides customers and employees the opportunity to be transparent with each other.

Approachability with Name Tags

For the majority of retailers, name tags are a business necessity. And, because name tags are permission slips inviting conversation, they encourage engagement. This is due to their primary function being to personalize and humanize each person. Especially for a business whose focus is customer service and face-to-face interaction.

Plastic, engraved logo name tags will help when adapting to change

While it may seem like a small thing, a simple way to avoid your customers feeling this way is to provide name tags for your employees. These tags can immediately remove any barriers or concerns a customer may have. They allow customers to ask questions and express these concerns to those who care.

In turn, this establishes trust and keeps people coming back to your store. So, no matter your location or business, name tags are here to help. From security to branding, retail establishments have almost become synonymous with name tag use.

Marketing with Ribbons

Personalized ribbon rolls with corporate logos will help when adapting to change

From window displays to goody bags for new customers, personalized ribbons are sure to make your customers trust you. Brand each ribbon roll with your company logo and wrap it around nearly anything (including display pieces). Badge ribbons are a great asset to your name tags as they help further identify and distinguish your employees in the workplace.

All other custom ribbons are also here to help your business succeed. No matter your choice, make sure your color, imprint and logo are consistent with your established brand. “Most businesses understand that branding and marketing go hand-in-hand. However, there are some things to consider. Even large companies use custom ribbon marketing. Promoting your brand with personalized ribbons is almost a must in the world today. From wrapping a purchase at a large department store to sending out event invitations, every business can, and should, benefit from using ribbon branding.”

Building Customer Relationships

The key to any good relationship is communication. Keeping open lines between yourself, your employees and your customers is crucial to your success. Without this communication, those customer relationships that keep you in business will fall short of where you need them. And remember that without your customers, you will go nowhere.

Connecting and engaging with customers is important on different levels. First, you must meet the standards that the customer expects from you. This could mean products or services rendered. Make sure that everything your business does is for the customer. Not only will this help with the retention of current customers, but this can also bring in others that your clientele tells about your wonderful company.

Second, engage the customers on their level. If they expect one thing and you always go above and beyond those expectations, they are sure to keep coming back. Third, never stop trying. Whether this means up-selling to specific customers or reaching out after every purchase made, make sure your customers know how much you appreciate their business.

Don’t Forget Your Employees

Simply put, the happier your employees are, the harder they will work. And, the more they work, the better the customer service they will provide. So, as a business owner, you must make sure that your employees remain happy. This, in turn, will make it so that your employees take pride in their jobs and continue working for you. When customers see that you can retain happy employees, they will continue their patronage to your business.

Studies have proven that employees often perform better at the jobs when they feel appreciated. Give each employee a personalized ‘thank you’ every now and then, and introduce an employee of the month program, if you don’t have one already. If you can help your employees take pride in their jobs, their work performance will also improve.

When your employees are happy, they become more flexible in their jobs. They typically don’t say, “That’s not my job,” or, “Do I have to?” when you ask them to go above and beyond their duties. So, a happy employee is a busy one; and they are easier to work with. Help them be happy by recognizing their input and influence in your company. Take pride in their jobs, and in turn, they will also find pride in working for you.

Adapting to Change and Being Flexible

A flexible work environment has many benefits. It helps workers achieve greater work-life balance, leading to increased employee satisfaction and improved morale. That in turn means employee turnover is reduced, as is the cost to recruit and train new hires. Loyalty, engagement, and retention is improved, which helps a company’s productivity and its bottom line.

Remember that the key to any relationship is open communication. That means while you are working with your flexibility and adapting to change, you keep your lines with your employees and customers open. This way, they will always know your goals and that they can continue to trust in your business.

The Importance of Name Tags

What is the importance of name tags to any business? We think that’s a great question! As your name tag experts, we are happy to provide all of our customers with an answer that will suit their business.

The importance of name tags expands a lot of ground, but the primary use is for identification. From retail stores to secure data centers, name tags are a part of everyday life. Think about this: no matter the business, security is a high priority. Whether that means that shoppers can easily find someone to answer their questions or giving that data center extra security with Photo ID Badges, your employees can now focus on their job instead of other distractions. By giving your employees name tags to wear, you are providing an opportunity for them to be visible.

four professionals showing the importance of name tags and branding

Name tags are an essential tool for the growth and success of your business. They make customers feel welcome in your office or store because they can immediately know who they are talking to. And, they make your employees more accountable for their actions because their name is visible to everyone. Nearly every business uses them! You can find name tags in many industries, including food service, hospitality, retail, event planning and so much more. Each name tag tells the story of your brand to help customers and employees remember their experience.

Scott Ginsberg (The Name Tag Guy) has developed a philosophy about wearing name tags. “Everyone should wear name tags, all the time, everywhere, forever.”

We could not agree more!

We know that wearing name tags helps build a corporate identity. These professional tools also help customers interact better with their employees. Imagine what would happen if not only your employees wore name tags, but so did your customers! There would never be any question about who people were or what they needed.

Professional tools, such as name tags, are essential in marketing and communication. They provide not only personal identity but corporate branding as well. Employees who wear name tags offer a sense of customer service and responsibility for that business. Name tags are often the hardest working element to a person’s uniform in meetings, conventions or any event.

4 Important Reasons for Wearing Name Tags

Name tags and other personal identification products can add a significant benefit to your company. And while these products might seem like a trivial item to have around the workplace, using these tools has many advantages. They become part of your marketing as well as a means to offer your customers exceptional service. The conversations that come from wearing a name tag lead to better interactions and opportunities for sales. And, they make your employees directly approachable at any time.

IDENTIFICATION

1. Sometimes, especially in larger business locations, it can be challenging to remember everyone’s name. By wearing name tags, newer employees and other team members in the company are more apt to recognize each other.

These identifiers have become an essential part of many companies while allowing each employee to wear any required daily business style and remain unique in their aspect and personality. After all, the primary reason for wearing a name tag is to provide an identifying feature for each person. Which, in turn, ends up proving that all businesses can benefit from name tags.

From churches to state office buildings, having identification also helps when dealing with people. Whether it’s a group of 12 or a crowd of 1,000, when everyone is wearing a name tag, it’s easier to make sure people are where they need to be. It is also easier to remember who each person is.

Whether for employees, volunteers or visitors, the use of an identifier like a name tag provides a professional atmosphere for everyone. It keeps employees accountable for their actions and gives customers the necessary information to complete their business with you. This primary name tag function of identification ends up providing a more positive and productive customer service culture.

BRAND RECOGNITION

2. Add your business logo to your name tags and quickly identify every employee, volunteer and other staff at your location. When employees continually wear their name tags in public, a company’s brand is repeatedly advertised.

Name tags aren’t just for the identification of employees. The importance of name tags and identification is that they help make your branding stronger. So, by adding your logo and company brand to a name tag, you essentially provide yourself with free advertising. Use these professional tools to your brand’s advantage, and remember that the more your brand is seen, the stronger it becomes.

Branding is an essential part of any business, whether it be large or small. To be successful in marketing a company’s brand, a business must have a strong branding strategy. Building a strong brand helps a company or organization with financial security. And what better way to accomplish this than by using name tags?

After all, your brand is who you are. So, make sure to place your brand where ever you can. Name tags are no exception. And, with so many options for logoname tags, you’re sure to find something that fits your branding needs.

COMMUNICATION

3. Name tags are an excellent way for customers to start up conversations with employees and other retail staff. They inform the customer who they are working with from the first moment they meet your employee.

This communication goes both ways. Name tags are a key piece that helps employees reach out to each other and helps customers identify who they are dealing with. And, if a customer needs to report an employee’s behavior, whether exemplary or otherwise, name tags provide an instant identifier for those circumstances. In turn, this dialogue aids managers and other supervisors in handing out praise and dealing with consequential actions.

“A name tag isn’t just a sticker; it’s a statement. It’s about friendliness, identity, culture and human nature,” Scott Ginsberg.

One of the most positive things to come from wearing a name tag is a sense of unity. Belonging to a team provides a sense of togetherness and helps businesses to function to their highest capacity. Name tags help build this bond, and with that bond comes unity and happiness. Now is the time to recognize that having a happy team means having a successful business. When everyone is wearing a name tag, the positive experiences they share with your customers are boundless.

Many studies show that communication is better when people know someone’s name. This is also true in larger companies or where volunteers are prevalent. They may need to interact with others regularly who they have not met before. Wearing a name tag instantly breaks down any social barrier. Now, everyone can remain personable and approachable. Don’t forget that better communication always turns into better performance.

SECURITY

4. When you require employees and staff to wear name tags, you can quickly identify if they belong where you see them.

There are many business locations where visitors may be necessary. Visitor ID badges keep everyone safe. The importance of name tags shows that it is easier to keep track of where people are and where they need to be. Identify everyone, from visitors to the president of your company. With this identification, everyone is sure to know where they belong and who might not belong.

In some cases, wearing a name tag will help identify people who are prepared to provide aid or emergency services in perilous situations. In the opposite situation, name tags also help emergency and security professionals identify people who can give them access to certain areas of the commercial facility that will allow them to adequately respond to the situation.

An abnormality would be easier to spot when employees are accustomed to seeing their fellow employees with name tags. This is particularly true for a company that deals with sensitive information or products. Anyone that may be out of place would be immediately located to help maintain the company’s security. So no matter your business situation or need, name tags are proven to provide security to all business types.

The True Importance of Name Tags:

the true importance of name tags and the learning center

By utilizing name tags in your company’s culture, customers will be able to relate better to your employees. While identification doesn’t seem to be as common as it once was, wearing name tags will always have an essential place in any business environment. Name tags eliminate barriers between your customers and employees, so try adding these to your business today!

Teacher Wellness and Avoiding Burnout

Teachers are the most vital part of any educational system. So, there is no doubt that teachers are of great importance to student success. Without them, students can’t learn, and every system would fall apart. So making sure that teacher wellness is maintained should be central to every school’s operation.

A recent study showed that 77% of teachers said that “poor teacher mental health is having a detrimental impact on pupils’ progress. An overwhelming number of respondents, 94%, said that their energy levels in the classroom drop during periods of poor mental health, and 90% said that their teaching is less creative during these times. Many of the mental health issues were caused by excessive workload and constant work scrutiny.”

“The survey also revealed that a significant number of teachers, 81%, said poor mental health has a negative impact on the quality of their relationships with learners. The same percentage said it affected their behavior management skills, with teachers citing ‘lower levels of tolerance,’ ‘focusing on the negative’ and being ‘quick to anger.’”

Teacher Wellness and Avoiding Burnout

So, we can see that teachers find it hard to communicate and educate students effectively when they feel drained. As with any job, mental wellness is important. Without a little focus on how a teacher is feeling, they can often face burnout or need to miss too many teaching days. Because of this stress, teachers are looking for ways to keep themselves going and continue helping their students.

So, why is teaching stressful?

From behavior problems to mandatory testing procedures, teachers don’t have a lot of time to influence students appropriately, let alone focus on their wellness. As such, teachers often face overlooked mental health issues and end up finding it hard to continue in their chosen career. Research has discovered that over a third of education professionals are expected to leave their job by the end of the year.

There is no question that teachers are crucial for student success. Most teachers and educators know the rewards that come from seeing classroom learning and student achievements. However, teaching is proven to be one of the most stressful and demanding occupations. Unwatched teacher wellness can turn into teacher strikes, shortages and high turnover rates. Research shows that up to 46% of teachers report high stress affects their daily life. This stress contributes to lower teaching performance and poor health.

One of the main reasons for teachers leaving the profession is the workload they are required to carry. Burnout often happens when a teacher doesn’t get a break from the complexity of their job. From exhaustion to feeling inadequate, this burnout is happening far too often. Teacher wellness needs to start becoming a priority for many educational systems. 

So, what can teachers and administrators do to make sure good mental health becomes a priority?

Most companies will agree that a happy and healthy employee is one who can do their job and do it well. So, why not take a day to yourself every once in a while. It’s okay to take a mental wellness day. It will make it so that when you are at work, you are putting your best foot forward. And, that isn’t just for business, teachers need this advice too.

And, if larger corporations put in the effort to make sure their employees are finding balance, why not do this for teachers too? From adding zero gravity chairs to a break room to scheduling alone time during a busy school day, teachers need to be aware of their mental health.

There are many remedies for teacher burnout. From taking a mental health day to seeking out therapy, every teacher should find a way to take the necessary daily breaks. After all, teacher wellness encourages school growth and student success. As this English teacher points out, she has four go-to tips to help her unwind and find a way to power through tough days.

A Few Tips from Captain Awesome

1. Get out when you can.

If your school lets you leave during your planning period, do it. Grade papers at a coffee shop. Take a walk. If those aren’t options, just go to the library to do your planning. Anywhere away from your classroom will work. Because if you’re in your classroom, you know what will happen? The teacher across the hall will come in, sit on your newly-Lysoled tables, and start in with, “I don’t know why I even bother with Joselin …” And by the time she’s done, you won’t know either. But you’ll be in a bad mood third period because you spent all of your planning time listening to her instead of making your copies.

2. Do nice stuff for students.

Four kids in my first period had birthdays last week. One of them is a girl who’s really struggling. Under the auspices of celebrating “class birthdays,” we brought in breakfast, organized gifts, and threw a lunchtime birthday dance party. And that was enough to keep me going for the rest of the week.

3. Localize your own whining.

This one is tricky, but it’s essential for the final tip, which is the most effective one. Pick one person to whom you will complain about work. That is the only person you can go to when you’re feeling stressed about the negative school environment.

4. Be a ray of freakin’ sunshine.

This is my favorite. Refuse to participate in negative talk, especially about kids. When your colleague comes in, flops into a seat, sighs heavily and groans, don’t commiserate. Make your response as over the top as you can.

daily affirmations to promote teacher wellness

EXPERT TIP:

Have daily affirmations that you repeat to yourself as needed, but at least once a day.

These are especially helpful when students are difficult or you’re having a rough day.

We have all seen the studies that give findings that teaching is one of the most stressful occupations. However, these studies also find that helping teachers with classroom organization and individual needs will minimize the effect this stress causes. By supporting this type of communication, teachers find that their input can become invaluable. 

And, by being able to give input and have an effect on what is taught in their school, teacher wellness becomes better. There will be fewer teacher sick days, and students will feel that their teachers can care about their success.

However, it is important to remember that not all teachers experience stress equally or for the same reasons. Nor will they respond the same to solutions proposed by their administrators. So make sure there are multiple game plans to help teacher wellness on individual levels. Whether it’s donuts in the break room for the weekly boost of sugar or a simple sit down one-on-one with a colleague, every teacher should feel that their wellness begins with the administration.

Teacher Wellness Solutions

Finding workshops and other programs for teachers is a great way to help reduce the stress put on teachers. Giving them an outlet to learn how to cope with day to day struggles will help every teacher’s well being. And by providing these opportunities, teachers are able to address their stress before it becomes overwhelming. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help teachers in a one-on-one setting. This therapy educates individuals to observe their mood changes and how they affect daily interactions. By avoiding triggers, teachers can focus on student achievements and development. 

Another solution for supporting teacher wellness is meditation. Give the teachers in your school a method to cope by providing a space for them to de-stress. Use those zero gravity chairs or relaxing music in a safe place so that teachers can unwind for negativity or other triggers they may experience throughout the school day.

Making Teacher Wellness a Priority at the Three Village School District

Rich Glasheen, a math teacher at Ward Melville High School on Long Island, New York, usually spends around 10 to 15 minutes, sitting in the zero-gravity chair, maybe drinking a cup of tea and reading while listening to calming music.

Special education teacher Katherine Jimenez is also partial to the zero-gravity chair, but she relaxes to the ambient sounds and images emanating from the 65-inch flat-screen television bolted to the wall. Alyssa Ward, who works in Ward Melville’s attendance office, likes to spend a little time in the oversized massage chair. Speech pathologist Kathryn Fenigstein found a recent “lunch and learn” session with a nutritionist particularly helpful.

Zero-gravity chairs, soothing music, aroma diffusers, yoga, visiting nutritionists. You might ask what kind of staff room is this?

Actually, it’s not any kind of staff room. This is “WellVille,” a wellness center designed for staff in the Three Village School District. Part of the district’s wellness program, WellVille is a reconfigured classroom inside Ward Melville High School. It’s open to all staff to help them de-stress and then walk back to their classrooms feeling rejuvenated.

“WellVille not only allows us to clear our mind from our daily challenges,” explains Jimenez. “It re-charges us with positive energy that we bring back to our students. I have become a much better teacher as a result, and I see how my students have benefited as well.”

District Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich didn’t hesitate to sign off on the project.

“We acknowledge the important correlation between wellness and job effectiveness and satisfaction,” Pedisich explains. “Providing the opportunity to decompress and participate in wellness activities and workshops is not only healthy but rejuvenating. Ultimately, our students benefit from educators who are happy, supported, and devoted to their profession.”

Finding Balance without Burnout

Most teachers, at some point, will experience burnout and worry about their wellness. But, that doesn’t mean burnout needs to define how teachers cope from day to day. There are many things they can do to make sure that their burnout is short lived. Using the above methods and techniques will help any teacher focus on their wellness goals.

From eating healthier to getting a good breath of fresh air twice a day, teacher wellness is important. After all, students are our future, and teachers are the ones making the most significant impact. So, they need to stay at the top of their game. They need to find that coveted balance between work and social life. And, they need to find internal zen that will help them remain confident in their abilities to teach.

So, take that teacher wellness day, and don’t feel bad about it. You work hard and you deserve the break. And, most importantly, those around you (especially students) will thank you for focusing on you so that you can focus more on them. Be proud of your talents and career and take a step forward by focusing on your wellness today.

Brand Identity and Building Your Business

From Nike to Coke and every company in between, what makes them tick is their brand identity. Marty Neumeier, Director of CEO Branding for Liquid Agency, defines brand identity as “the outward expression of a brand, including its trademark, name, communications and visual appearance.” So, what is your company’s brand identity? Simply put, it’s your reputation!

A brand is essential to anyone who wants to stand out from those around them. Remember that your brand identity is defined by your customer’s overall perception of your business (reputation). Make your branding unique enough that your competition doesn’t stand a chance. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Brand Identity and Building Your Business

Branding is the most important part of your business, whether it be large or small. Building a strong brand helps your company not only be financially stable but memorable. And, by being memorable, your brand will draw in more customers just by word of mouth. Your brand becomes your promise of service or high-quality goods to your customers. It is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

So, now that we established your brand, how do you get the brand identity that you want? And, how do you maintain that identity? Follow these simple rules to get the most out of your branding and keep customers interested in what you are offering.

Consistency is Key

When designing your logo and text, keep it consistent so that your brand stands out from your competition. And, when reusing this logo, the colors should always remain uniform. Choose colors and fonts that represent your company’s goals and make sure to keep them emotionally available to your customers. Don’t choose red (signifying power or confidence) when you need a calming, inviting color (blue) to represent your company. Your logo and standards are what give your brand its uniqueness.

The same goes for any font used in your branding. Some fonts may be too busy for your branding message, while other fonts are too bland for making you stand out. Take Coca-Cola, for example. Their ribbon-like font lets their customer know that their product is intended for fun and whimsy. Maybe your service or product is a bit more serious, so make sure to use a font that accurately represents your brand identity.

Once you establish your brand identity, don’t change it. Let your customers soak in this identity so that they become used to it and learn to embrace it. This identity will keep your business going, so you don’t want to risk inconsistencies. Remain consistent so that your brand will stand the test of time.

Think about this: everyone knows the Nike tagline, “Just Do It.” And their mission statement is just as important, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” With these two objectives always at hand, and their logo ready to go in their pocket, Nike literally rules the world in their business endeavors. And, by using the ideas Nike has used, you can figure out how to accomplish success for your brand.

Branding is more than a well-designed logo or a perfectly placed ad; you need to do more.

Your brand identity is more than your logo. While your logo helps your clientele know who you are, your identity goes so much farther than color or font. A brand identity is a visual, emotional and intellectual representation of your business goals and standards. Coca-Cola knew what they were doing when they started marketing its product. From their highly recognizable red to the swoop of their font, they are a company that understands brand identity. Likewise, your logo and identity should convey everything your business stands for. 

Ultimately, your brand identity should be an accurate representation of what your company is about, and what you hope to achieve with it. Business branding is something that takes time but should be considered a crucial first step in launching your company. After your branding materials are in place, you can look back on these resources for years to come to ensure you’re always staying true to your mission.

Every detail matters, no matter how small it is. The branding process takes time and can be delicate. But, it is crucial to take it in stride. After all, you want a business that will thrive in your chosen market. You need to communicate to consumers what your brand wants and needs and, most importantly, how it can benefit them. Don’t get discouraged because developing your brand identity is taking a long time. It can take years of tweaking and adapting. And remember that not even multi-billion dollar companies get it right every time.

Brand Identity and Building Your Business

Know Your Competition’s Brand Identity

Research competitor brands within your industry. You should never imitate exactly what the big brands are doing in your industry. But, you should be aware of what they do well (or where they fail). The goal is to differentiate from the competition. Convince a customer to purchase from you over them!

We’re always thinking about how to make a brand stand out from what’s out there already. Don’t skip this step in the brand building process. Research your main competitors or benchmark brands. For instance, study how well they have gone about building a brand name. For a brand name to be effective, it needs to be easy for consumers to recognize and remember.

Your company’s identity is what makes you instantly known to consumers. This branding is what will help them to associate your business with your product or service. And when it comes to the time that they need what you offer or sell, they will remember your company because of your brand identity. It will help build your customer loyalty as well as your brand awareness. 

So, make your brand identity your most effective marketing tool. But keep in mind that this branding process will never stop. It continues only as long as you make it keep working for your company. Check in on your branding practices continually to ensure that they are working appropriately. And don’t forget to integrate branding into everything you do for your company. 

Start with the Correct Tools

Laser engraved name tags and name plates

Name tags and name badges provide necessary company branding. This branding is vital for all of your marketing needs. It distinguishes you from your competition and helps others to recognize your quality more readily. By using logos on name tags, you create a focus to help drive your business. But, don’t limit yourself to just your name tags. Don’t forget that signage and other identification products are there to help advertise your brand. From custom lanyards to award plaques and everything in between, get it personalized with your logo! And then start spreading the word.

The key is to remember that your logo represents your brand’s commitment to providing the best service or product to your consumers. Communicating your brand can be as easy as wearing a name tag. And using your logo on every name tag you use for your company will help to convey your brand identity. But it also takes effort to remember putting on that name tag. So, the next time you consider not wearing your name tag to work or any other work related event, reevaluate that decision.

After all, your name tag is basically a walking billboard for your company logo. No matter where your customer is, they should be able to see your branding. Your branding needs to be visible and reflected in everything that your consumers can see and hear. If a customer walks into your store or office, your logo and brand identity should be on display for them to see. Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business. Branding should not only be in your physical environment, but it should also reflect in your business and personal interactions.

Tangible Items

  • Business Cards
  • Advertisements
  • Packaging and Product Needs (custom ribbons are a great resource)
  • All Printed Materials

Digital Platforms

  • Social Media
  • Online Videos and Images
  • Websites
  • Google Ads

Business Associations

  • Greetings and Dealings with Clients
  • Customer Thank Yous
  • Welcome Signs
  • Corporate Gifting

Creating a Brand Image that Sets You Apart

Your brand image reflects your business vision, which, in many ways, embodies your mindset as a business owner. Jay Abraham’s Strategy of Preeminence lays the foundation for mastering your mindset to distinguish your company from the rest. This strategy entails creating a culture of respect for your team, customers and partners. To create a culture of preeminence, make allies everywhere you go so that the message is clear: “I’m here to serve you and meet your needs.”

You’re here to add real value to your customers’ lives. To create this type of relationship dynamic, show empathy to everyone you interact with, and strive to understand what they really need. With this understanding, you’re able to create meaningful relationships based on trust and respect, which weaves you into the fabric of your target market.

From networking to marketing strategies, your brand identity should come first. You should always add a personal touch to everything your business does. Make sure that every consumer feels as if they are your only VIP customer. And don’t forget to say thank you for their business. A little gratitude goes a long way, especially in business dealings.

Why is brand identity so important?

Having a brand identity doesn’t just make your product more memorable; it makes your brand more authoritative in the marketplace. A brand that establishes a face, and maintains that face consistently over time, develops credibility among its competitors and trust among its customers. When you create an identity for your brand, you’re giving it something to stand for. That, in turn, gives your company a purpose.

Your brand represents everything your business does. No matter the situation, your logo is out there for the world to see. So, make sure that your presentation of your values, standards and goals is in line with your branding strategies. Because, if it isn’t, your brand identity may become something you don’t want. After all, this identity is how the world will see your business.

Teaching Tools for Success in the Classroom

Whether it’s using tablets in the classroom or providing visual aids for students to learn, every educator needs reliable teaching tools.

Learning is more effective and stimulating when you are using teaching tools that are already in front of you. It is up to teachers and other school staff to make sure that every student has the tools they need to learn. When students know what tools they have available and how each one works, they are more apt to pay attention, and in the long run, learn what they need to succeed.

Every lesson taught in a classroom will affect each student’s life. Whether it’s the immediate result of homework, or a life lesson learned while studying. And, when equipping teachers with the right teaching tools, these magical learning moments come effortlessly.

Teaching Tools

When you bring real things and authentic daily-life situations into the classroom, listening becomes discovering, interest becomes wonder, and passive learning becomes active exploration. Lessons come to life with touch, motion and sound. Teacher resources, insights from fellow educators and personalized support help you teach every subject, from reading to coding, in ways that kids really get.

teaching tools can include things like technology and creative aids

Filling Your Teacher Toolbox

Veteran teachers typically already have their toolbox set up and rather full. They can be a great resource to new teachers and those that are still developing their teaching tools. And, isn’t that the main idea? To use every resource you can find? So, reach out to your colleagues for a bit of guidance in setting up your toolbox. This way, you are guaranteed to have aids and materials that are proven to work.

Other teaching tools you can add to your toolbox include textbooks, bulletin boards and even art supplies. Get the teaching tools that will stimulate your students. Whether that is a textbook or a box of ribbons, it doesn’t matter. Just know your tools and how to use them. Here’s a great example.

Roll with the flow in your classroom with custom ribbon rolls.

custom ribbon rolls are great for adding into your teaching tools

From creative bookmarks to classroom decorations, ribbon rolls are sure to prove useful. And, don’t forget to customize these ribbons. Add a room motto or a teacher’s name to each roll, then use them as a border for bulletin boards. Or, make unique gifts for each student to use throughout the school year. Custom ribbons are also perfect as thank you gifts for support staff at your school.

Using Old School Teaching Tools

Pen and paper are the simplest of tools you can have as a teacher. From making your students take notes to grading papers, that pen is mightier than any sword. Your pen can create so many worlds and provide a vast amount of knowledge. So, make sure that your students know how to use their pens to benefit their learning.

From writing things on a chalkboard (or whiteboard) to using index cards for studying, these tools are fit for every teacher’s toolbox. No matter the size of the paper or writing medium, use its space. And use it well. Bring your lessons to life with posters. Create a stimulating learning environment with colorful drawings and words that explain why you are using this teaching tool.

Other old school techniques include one-on-one time with each student. During an average day, teachers often don’t have time to speak individually with every student. But, it is crucial to make sure that each pupil knows that they are valued. Students thrive when their teacher knows what they are good at and how they may struggle. And, while you may not have time every day to reach out to every student, make it a point to reach out to a few of them each day.

Classroom Etiquette

Get to know your students before that first day back. If you need to, find their class picture from last year so you can know what they look like. Then, memorize their name and face. Every student is sure to feel shocked and pleased that you know who they are. They are also more likely to behave well when they know you are that observant.

Greet every student, every day. While this may at first seem daunting, your students are sure to see your effort to make them feel welcome. And with this comes the respect for your ability to see them as individuals. Some teachers go as far as creating secret handshakes with every student. While you don’t need to take that much time, make sure every student knows you respect them as a person.

Teaching Tools Should Include Technology

While most of the time technology use in the classroom is looked down on, from a teacher’s perspective, it can be useful. Take a classroom set of tablets, for example. By using these computers, you are encouraging the growth of young minds while they explore educational games or other monitored activities. Not only are the students learning how to use technology, but they are also learning concepts that need to be covered in school.

Often schools have computer time or classes they offer to the students. These classes teach students how to work with a world that is full of technology. So, while cell phones might be an unwanted distraction, having structured time on monitored technology can be helpful.

From learning about 3D printers and their uses to using immersive environments that only computers can supply, technology does have its place in the classroom. And don’t forget about online teaching tools. Use Google to teach students how to perform research for projects and online exploration. The internet is continuously helping teachers, so why not help students as well.

25 Teaching Tools For The Digital Classroom

The use of smart phones, tablets, and other tech items in the classroom do not necessarily have to have a negative impact on student achievement. On the contrary, the increasing accessibility and growth of technology presents teachers with the unique opportunity to take advantage of those once distracting gadgets, and use them to facilitate academic achievement in new and innovative ways. In this capacity, teachers do not need to be constantly fighting for student attention, but can freely accept it, by introducing a new educational environment that will automatically encourage student participation.

Using Identification as Teaching Tools

From name tags to ribbons, custom identification is here to help every teacher create and sustain their toolbox. These items not only help with providing direction in the classroom or school, but they can also help with learning. Students can use name tags for a hands on approach to learning about colors, dimensions and so much more. Ribbons are perfect for creative projects. Use ribbons to create a bright and friendly environment for your classroom.

These are only a couple of items and ideas on how to use them. But, don’t forget that there are so many more options: signs, lanyards, plaques and badge holders. And each item has boundless uses. A teaching aid is a tool used by a teacher so that students can learn inside a classroom. So no matter what that tool is (example: ribbons), every teacher needs to know how to use it in multiple ways.

Upgrade your Classroom with Custom Signs

custom signs are great to add to your teaching tools

From bulletin boards to homework stations, signs are a convenient way to get decorating started. Use them to help students know where to hang their coats and backpacks. Place a sign on a desk for an easy sign-in for volunteers in your classroom. They are also the perfect tool to help create order in the chaos of a supply closet.

Update your classroom’s look with new decorations using signs. Customize them with nearly any message you can think up. Add your favorite quote with a suitable graphic to hang on your wall. Or, create a custom sign to hang on the outside of your room door so others can enjoy it as well.

Teacher Specific Resources

Don’t underestimate the importance of attending professional development classes. They are there to help teachers in their progression toward a practical toolbox. These courses teach where to find teaching tools and how best to use them. Just remember that not all tools will work for every classroom. So, pick the tools that will work best for you and figure out the best uses for your students.

For your students to continue learning, as a teacher, you must also continue learning. When talent is shared or practiced, it becomes stale and useless. Expand your brain so that your students can expand theirs. Personalized learning is an essential part of engaging students. So, use your tools and make sure that your students feel valued in your classroom.

There is no doubt that these teaching tools play a prominent role in each student’s learning process. With more tools in your toolbox, the better your students will learn. So, what are the easiest ways to connect with students? Find the tools that work best for you and best for your students. These tools may work one way for one student and a different way for another. The important thing is to remember that each student needs a personalized education that only you can provide.

Other Online Resources

25 Great Online Education Tools Modern Teachers Love Using

Teacher toolboxes in the modern teaching environment are many and diverse. Most include trusted standbys like Evernote, Google tools, Edmodo, Wikispaces, and others. Of course, everybody has their own favorite sites and tools, but the fact remains teacher toolboxes need terrific education tools. If you’re looking for something different, though, you might be interested in them.

Instructional Tools

A variety of tools can be used in the classroom to support student learning, ranging from traditional to high-tech options. Examples include the whiteboard, index cards, posters, audience response systems (e.g. clicker technology), Google collaboration tools, 3D printing, and wikis. Depending on course learning goals and outcomes, instructors may choose to use one or several of these tools to augment the teaching and learning environment in their classroom.

6 Cool Educational Technology Tools for Teachers

Educational technology tools hold great potential to improve the classroom environment. But simply adding them to your classroom isn’t enough — consider the context, your students’ needs, and your reasons for wanting to use a particular technology.

Teaching Aids and Instructional Materials

Psychologists, designers, educationalists, and many professors around the world work on improving the quality of education because a lot depends on the education of a whole generation. The resources a teacher uses while teaching play a role in how students learn. Motivation, stimulation, retention, interest, actionable learning, etc. can vary based on how the act of teaching occurs.

Social Networking Success for Any Business

It’s so much more than having a Facebook account. It isn’t even about how active your social media accounts are. It’s all about how you connect with your customers. So, what is “it?” It, referring to social media networking, has increasing benefits that all businesses can take advantage of. If you’re not taking advantage of social networking, you’re missing out on a quick, cheap and extremely effective way to connect with nearly half of the world’s population.

Now, more than ever, people are using social media to connect with brands. Are you taking advantage of social networking for your business?

While it isn’t one size fits all, or every network is suitable for every business, you should be asking the fundamental questions: who, what, where, when and why. And, maybe not in that specific order. Sometimes the why should come first. The who is also extremely important. But, most of all, you need to answer where.

social networking is a growing trend for any business

So, where do you start?

Social networking should be a strategic part of your business marketing plan. With that being said, now you need to decide on where you will feature your business. Most businesses stick with Facebook as a foundation to get their brand off the ground. However, it is essential to remember that what works for one does not work for all. Make sure that you do some research on all of the available networks before making your decision.

Facebook may be a good place to start; after all, nearly everyone is on this network; and it is the most recognizable. Check out Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others to see what is right for your company. While you are looking for the best fit, here are some questions you should be asking yourself.

  • How do I want to be active on social?
  • What will I be posting?
  • How often will I be posting?
  • Which network will offer the best visibility for my business?

While you may not immediately know all of these answers, keep them in mind while looking at the different social networking sites. Instagram and Pinterest are image based, so if your company can host a lot of engaging images and product pictures, these may be the right sites for you.

Also, keep in mind the type of business you own. For example, do you own a company that works mainly as B2B? When trying to network with other companies to sell your product or service, LinkedIn might be the best place to connect with your consumers. Twitter is another great B2B site as it deals in real time and offers a great place to chat and connect with customers and other businesses quickly.

Setting Social Networking Goals

Once you make these social connections, you need to use them for making your business better. Set goals to help you achieve these connections. After all, marketing on social media can bring significant success to your company, create brand advocates and even drive leads and sales.

The key ingredient for doing social media marketing well is having a strategy. Without a strategy, you might be posting on social media platforms for the sake of posting. Without understanding what your goals are, who your target audience is, and what they want, it’ll be hard to achieve results on social media. Whether you want to grow your brand through social media or to level up as a social media marketer, developing a social media marketing strategy is essential.

From ads to regular posting, social media is different for every business.

And, it doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, what works for one may, or may not, work for another. However, there are some key elements and directions your social networks can, and should, have. Here is a quick list of things to make sure you are doing on your chosen social networks.

The problem most businesses face with social media isn’t whether or not to participate, but how to take advantage of it. Social media should be used to tell your business story and set yourself apart from all of your competition. Brand storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself, connect with your customers, increase brand loyalty and sell your vision.

Without a social networking strategy, you might be posting on social just for the sake of posting. And, without understanding what your goals are, who is your target audience and what they want, it is hard to achieve positive results.

“Social media provides targeting capability, as well as reach and scale, at a lower cost than almost all other marketing channels,” said Abdul Muhammad, chief digital officer and partner at rbb Communications, said in a previous Business News Daily interview. “People are on social media all day, every day – brands must go where the people are.”

Implementing a Social Networking Strategy

Now that you have decided where you want to be, and why, you need the how. A strategy is where you’re headed; a plan is how you’ll get there. You have decided where to head to; now you need a plan. How should you fill out your social media profiles? What should your tone and voice be like? What posts type (i.e., image, link, video, etc.) should you use? Here are some things to consider.

Brand Awareness

social networking is a growing trend for any business

Your brand should be recognizable. So, think about your profile image. While a logo may be where your thinking immediately takes you, try and make something a bit more catchy. Take, for instance, our unique use of our logo. Not only does it let our customers know what our business brand is, but it also tells more of a story about our products and what we can offer to our customers.

Other elements of a business page include a cover photo or video, shared images, about us sections and other storytelling tools. These are necessary for every business while socially networking. Make sure to fill out each network’s page information sections entirely so that your customers can get the whole picture.

Remember to tell the truth. Don’t fudge or exaggerate any of your business details. If a potential client thinks that you offer a service because of your social profile, then make sure they can get that service. The same thing goes for your product. You will end up with upset customers and declining sales if you are not truthful while setting up your new social profile.

Customer Engagement

As a business, you need to figure out how you want your customers to start engaging on your social network. This will vary depending on which network you choose. So, make sure to learn all of the features your chosen social network offers. This way, you won’t be shocked when your customers start trying to communicate with you.

For example, Facebook has Messenger, which features an easy way to chat with customers and other clients who message you. LinkedIn also has a similar feature. But, when it comes to Snapchat, that changes due to the way they work with stories and other posting methods.

But, most importantly, you need to be responding to your customers. Make sure they know and understand that you are on a social site for them, not for you. Sure, it helps meet sales goals and gets your brand out into the world. But, without proper communication, you won’t retain customers or make any new connections.

Building a Business Community

From Facebook Groups to Twitter chats, tracking your social engagement is a must. There are so many tools to help you navigate using any social media network. Before choosing one, make sure to do your research. They are all similar but remember that each one has different features. While we don’t recommend one above another, we do recommend that you check them out to see what will work best for you and your business.

You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Finding out what works for you may be trial and error at first, but there are so many tools to help you figure it all out. Use hashtags to keep engagement up. Try different styles of images on Instagram to increase your user participation.

But, no matter what, don’t give up. Follow the analytics of each social network you use so that you can retain information on your business community. You need to know who your customers are in order to give them what they want. Make sure they understand that you know them. Set up a way to give your customers the best customer service they will ever have on any social network. Once you do this, you’re guaranteed success in social networking.

But, no matter what you do, remember that social networking is unique to your business. So, get networking on what works for you.

The Art of Corporate Gifting

Corporate gifting is a fun and captivating way to show appreciation for colleagues and clients. Gift giving is also a powerful investment tool for your business. Take a moment and think about how important it is to recognize those who keep your business running.

You are creating a personal connection to people you work with by giving gifts. These individuals will feel more valued and appreciated as they receive a thoughtful gift. And, there is no better way to strengthen a business relationship.

As such, corporate gifting has been on the rise for the past few years. This rise happens as more business owners discover the benefits of thanking their customers, employees and other business partners with a simple gift. No matter the present, how you give to those keeping you in business says a lot about you as a professional.

corporate gifting to employees

What is corporate gifting?

Corporate gift giving is an effective way to sustain your customer and employee retention. Giving these gifts will help you build critical relationships with customers and colleagues. And, most importantly, it will allow you to express your gratitude to the company’s employees. It is a simple concept to show appreciation to your professional network and will increase your business opportunities.

According to numerous surveys, most business gifts are given to major clients. After that comes employees, then prospective clients. Reasons for gift giving range from thanking long-standing customers for their business to recognizing a valued employee for working on a weekend. The basic reason is the same: to affirm relationships and enhance the personal connection between the giver and recipient.

Gifts differ from incentives in that they’re offered with no explicit preconditions for performance. They differ from ad specialties in that they don’t contain any blatant imprints or advertising. They differ from recognition in that they’re not part of prescribed programs.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bottom-line benefit to be derived from corporate gift giving. Just about everyone agrees that when done correctly, gifting is a cost-effective way to build a sense of partnership with valued associates. And, they know that the primary reason for gifting is to acknowledge relationships and improve personal connections.

Why should you participate in corporate gifting?

For some companies, corporate gifting is an essential part of their marketing strategy. It is, by far, one of the most productive ways to grow and sustain your business. And, for many companies, giving is a fundamental detail within their business model.

Most business owners would agree that, when done correctly, corporate gifting provides an opportunity to connect with their clients and strengthen employee ties. And, while there are many reasons for corporate gifting, the underlying goal is to sustain relationships and deepen personal connections between the business owner and their colleagues. Retention, recruiting and business development are three other great reasons to give a gift.

Show how much you value the relationships you have built through your business by handing out corporate gifts. By doing this, your bottom-line becomes a social, rather than a financial benefit. But don’t just give a gift because you think your clients and employees expect it. Give because you want to sustain these relationships.

Because of your corporate gifting, your business transactions increase and so does your customer retention. By giving corporate gifts to your business associates, you continue to develop a positive image in your customer’s mind. So, customers who receive thoughtful corporate gifts from your business tend to buy more products and request services from you.

However, many corporations don’t understand that gifts and incentives contribute to maintaining a business commitment. Corporate gifting helps maintain the relationships you have already worked so hard to establish. It also helps the recipient remember your company because you gave them such an enjoyable and memorable gift.

We are social creatures who express our feelings by giving gifts.

It can be any occasion, be it a birthday, anniversary or to even show love and gratitude, giving gifts is an activity we all do. Let us go back in time to find the origins of gift giving. Giving gifts is one of the oldest human activities; it may have started just after the origin of our species. Even primitive beings gave gifts to one another; often tribe leaders awarded tribe members for any achievement that is gain for the entire tribe.

Earlier gifts used to be a little unusual, but these were the only precious things available at that time. Unusually shaped rocks, a tooth are some examples. These things came naturally from nature and were given without any modification. As we developed tools, holes were drilled into these rocks or a tooth to use them as necklaces or bracelets. Then idols gifted were made from carving wood or stone for as idol worship started among people. Later, people used to offer each other good luck tokens; these token were given as presents. Even today, corporate gifting is part of our everyday culture; it is a means to express our feelings for one another.

So then, to whom should you be sending these gifts?

corporate gifting should include everyone who is important to your business

Your gift recipient list should always include significant clients, business partners, valued suppliers and especially your employees. After all, your employees are your most valuable asset, so you want to show how much you appreciate them. Other notable people to consider sending corporate gifts can include prospective clients or new customers.

Gift these gifts as employee recognition. Some companies give managers a discretionary budget that may be spent on gifts to recognize employees for exceptional behavior. Actions worthy of special recognition include going “above and beyond” to please a customer, putting in long hours to complete a project on time, making a cost-saving or productivity-enhancing suggestion or completing a big sale. Some executives would argue that such actions are expected as part of an employee’s job and should be rewarded at performance-review time. Yet, the evidence suggests that carefully timed and appropriate gifts not only make people feel appreciated for their performance, they also increase the chances people will feel good about going the extra mile in the future.

When giving gifts for a special performance, make sure the gift is appropriate to the employee receiving it, and the presentation is made in a personal and, if possible, public forum. The recipient and his or her colleagues must know why the gift is being presented. Publicity in the company newsletter, or even an announcement in the lunchroom, ensures that people know the types of behaviors the organization wants to promote. Employees typically receive gifts as awards for years of service.

Now, sometimes the hardest question: what do you give as your corporate gift?

Don’t make showing appreciation with corporate gifts for your customers, clients and employees complicated. Company branding is important to remember while you are giving your corporate gifts. And when gift giving, branding is crucial for all corporations. These gifts help to promote a company’s brand and provide continued employee loyalty. And, in the past few years, personalized gifts are replacing other gift types.

No wonder that the customized corporate gift acts as a brand tool and creates brand awareness among the receiver. Gifts given away as a promotional item with the company’s logo and tagline helps create brand recognition. The best way to create awareness is by giving small promotional gifts as it not only attracts more people but helps to retain your brand in the market.

Remember to choose gifts that will assist in cementing business relationships and boost your sales and service requests. The best gift option is something that will be meaningful for your recipients. So, make sure to do your research before selecting what you are giving away. What works for one client may not work for your employees. Frequently, businesses must decide on several gift types to accommodate all of their recipients.

Businesses have a lot of different choices for what to send people as corporate gifts. As a rule of thumb, think about how professional you need the gift to be. And, consider if you would want to receive the gift as well. Remember not to overstep your bounds if you are trying to personalize these gifts. Keep in mind that this is your opportunity to connect with an individual using marketing strategies.

personalized ribbon tied around a chocolate treat for corporate gifting

P.S. Don’t forget to personalize your corporate gifts!

Attach a personalized handwritten note to every gift for an added touch so your colleagues and clients will remember you for years to come. Oh, and hand deliver each one so you can continue to strengthen every business relationship you have.

How To Connect with Your Customers

Every great business person knows that the best way to keep their company around is to connect and engage with their customers. People buy from other people, they request services based on experiences and they look for companies that they can trust.

You learn a lot of information and how to connect with your customer by merely listening to them.

“I think it’s important for brands, especially brands [that] are really consumer-centric, to stay connected. Customers tell you so much from their behavior and how they shop with you.”
Jessica Alba, founder and CEO of The Honest Company

What is Relationship Marketing and How to Use it to Connect With Your Customers - Neil Patel

The first and most popular way to connect with customers is social media.

Using LinkedIn, Twitter and every platform in between, it seems that everyone is on social media. Even businesses have joined in on the social parties. Facebook groups, Snapchat filters and Instagram nametags are all ways to connect online with your customers. Each platform provides methods for both consumers and businesses to interact and grow together. 

Social media outlets are where the masses are, so you, as a business, should be there too. Utilize this tool and take advantage of everything they have to offer. Try sharing fun and silly tidbits about your products. Or send individual messages quickly to your customers. No matter what, use everything provided by your chosen platforms to improve your connection with your customers.

BUT BE CAREFUL. Not all platforms are suitable for every business. It has been said that everyone is on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean your business will thrive by using it. Consider all of the pros and cons of using social media before setting up accounts everywhere. Remember that there isn’t an easy or direct formula to matching your business to the right social platform. That is something that you, as a business owner, will need to figure out.

Social media is a great tool to use when connecting with your customers, but only if you use it properly. Make sure to do your research and that you have time to spend on each chosen platform. Think before you post, and make sure you are listening to your audience. Tools such as social media only work when used properly.

Focus on the customer’s experience with your company.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

Customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. So, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure you are listening to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. They aren’t looking for a bundled experience; they are looking to be given an individualized experience.

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is important. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

It is crucial to make an effort to connect with each customer.

Get to know your customers on a personal level. And, make your service or product as relevant to them as possible. Everyone likes to feel as if they are important enough to remember. So, make them feel that way with as much personalization as you can. Use a customer’s name during their shopping experience. Remember little details and tidbits they have shared during prior visits. This way, you can make an effort to connect each time they come back.

“It’s not enough to know just the demographics of your customers. Age and location data doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. Instead, you need to know your customers on a personal level so that you know what they want, why they buy, and why they don’t buy. Otherwise, you have only a superficial understanding of your customers.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

Show your connection with your customers through appreciation.

We understand that connecting on a personal level with your customers can be difficult, but it is also necessary to stay in business. You need to humanize every experience that your customer has with your business. In other words, be relatable. And be grateful. Showing your customers that you care they are buying from you will keep them coming back. The message is in the details, or something like that.

connect with your customers through handwritten notes

Sending handwritten notes, making a phone call or sending a private email are all great ways to connect with your customer. But, put some thought into your actions before performing them. After a purchase or rendering of service, thank your customer by sending them a thought out, well-worded letter. Don’t rush these notes as they will mean a great deal to every recipient. And, they could mean continued business for you. 

This also works for phone calls and emails. Make sure you think about what you want to say before hitting that send or dial button. Proofread everything you write before you send it. And, most importantly, make sure you personalize it. Don’t get in the habit of sending out so many of these messages or phone calls that they become autonomous. Always remember that you are addressing an individual, and they should be treated as such.

Provide unmatched customer service to keep them coming back.

Let’s try an experiment. Find the customer service number from any of your favorite companies and call them. What happened? Let’s assume you got through to someone, eventually, but you were still treated as a number in a cue. Or worse, you got stuck at a call center with someone reading from a script that didn’t answer your question. How did that make you feel? We know that no one wants that experience. 

Take us for a better example. Here at Coller Industries, when you call or choose our online chat feature, you will always be connected to a live person, and quickly. Every one of our customer service representatives has been trained to treat you as an individual. And, you will feel that way, guaranteed! Your order is processed like it’s the only one, and it’s handled with care and accuracy. We wish you had this kind of experience everywhere else. But, at least you know that with us, you’ll always get what you want and be treated with respect. 

One of the most powerful tools any company has is how they treat their customers during the business process. Providing the best possible customer service experience should be your number one priority. From responding quickly to customer requests to making sure you have a live person on the other end of the phone line, good customer service is how you retain your clientele. 

How will you implement these standards into how you treat your customers?

Here’s some advice, go that extra mile. By making sure that your customer service team responds to your customers personally, you solidify your business connections. Acknowledging questions and concerns from your customers will reestablish the trust you have already built. It will also help strengthen the relationship and connection with your customers and anyone they know. This, in turn, will bring in more clientele and business. So, the bottom line should always be to leave the customer grateful and satisfied.

Don’t underestimate the power of your customers.

Make sure you are asking your customers questions and continually searching for feedback. Finding out after a transaction happens that something went wrong doesn’t help anyone, especially your customer. Connect with them by asking for feedback before, during and after all transactions. But don’t become a burden. There are people who feel that businesses can be too personal and are afraid of what you might do with their information. So, make sure that when you ask questions, you are also being considerate.

Now that you have answers and feedback, make sure you are responding appropriately. If you receive positive reviews, give positive affirmation back. Tell your customers how happy you are that they are happy. Give your customers thanks for being there for your business. If you get a negative review, take it seriously. Respond politely and work with your customers to correct things.

77% of consumers will read an online review before purchasing. Now consider the flip side. In most cases, negative reviews are the fastest way to derail a new purchase. A Zendesk study showed that 90% of positive reviews impact purchases and 86% of negative ones do also. Another study showed that even a single negative review has the power to destroy 70% of purchases.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

No matter the type of review you get, making sure that you respond is vital. Building trust establishes your personal connections with your customers. And, these connections are the only way to stay in business. Customer retention and development rely heavily on these reviews. So, make sure to keep on top of them. And if you can’t, delegate someone who can.

What is your preferred way to connect with customers?

With so many ways to connect with customers, your success depends on the method you choose. Before making any final decisions of where you are more likely to connect with your customer, do your research. Don’t join Facebook just because everyone else has. Determine how your customers want to communicate, and then put those methods into action. Build that trust, and the connections will flow naturally.