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Amplifying Your Brand Through Integrated Marketing & PR


In today's competitive landscape, businesses must capture their audience's attention quickly while communicating purposefully. Adopting an integrated marketing and public relations (PR) approach is a powerful way to achieve this. By unifying these two essential business functions, brands will enhance their efforts to reach the right people and achieve results faster than if the two functions work in silos.

In this article, we'll explore the benefits and risks of integrating PR and marketing, discuss key strategies for a unified approach, examine ways to measure success, look at ways to adapt to an ever-changing consumer landscape, delve into cost-effective tactics and emerging trends that businesses can leverage, and provide actionable tips for implementing successful integrated marketing and PR strategies.

How Failing to Integrate PR and Marketing Can Damage Your Business

When businesses fail to prioritize an integrated PR and marketing approach, the consequences can adversely impact their success. The primary issue is typically a need for more integration between PR and marketing efforts. These challenges often become evident when organizations experience stagnating growth, send mixed messages, decline customer trust, and misalign within their market. Marketing might communicate one message, while PR conveys another, sometimes creating conflicting or confusing narratives. The disjointed approach can result in a lack of brand understanding, diminish trust, and open up opportunities for negative publicity.

Furthermore, the absence of a cohesive messaging and outreach strategy often leads to poor internal communication, which sets a bad example of teamwork within the organization. When marketing and PR do not collaborate, they fail to share goals and key performance indicators (KPIs), resulting in missed opportunities and undermining overall effectiveness. The impact extends beyond brand messaging and audience perception and affects sales and customer loyalty.

Neglecting to integrate PR and marketing may also contribute to crisis communication missteps, which can exacerbate negative publicity and, again, erode customer and stakeholder community trust. As businesses need help navigating communication challenges and building a positive brand image, they may observe declining customer engagement and a weakened brand reputation.

Ignoring the importance of integrating communication efforts, specifically through PR and marketing, brands and organizations risk losing reach, damaging customer relationships, and stalling growth opportunities. Integrating outreach efforts is crucial for maintaining brand credibility and trustworthiness. By aligning these efforts, businesses can present a unified message, foster more vital internal collaboration, and enhance their overall reputation and success.

Key Strategies for a Unified Marketing and PR Approach

Businesses can significantly benefit from adopting a more unified marketing and PR approach. Securing leadership support and resource allocation is essential for a unified strategy. This involves presenting a collaborative plan highlighting the need for integrated PR and marketing efforts and requesting dedicated resources and budget. When PR and marketing teams approach leadership together, they demonstrate a cohesive strategy crucial for gaining support.

Effective communication between PR and marketing teams is vital. Regular collaborative planning sessions, whether monthly check-ins or quick email updates, ensure that both teams stay aligned. These meetings foster transparency, facilitate the sharing of insights, and help align strategies and goals. Establishing shared goals and creating a unified content calendar is crucial for consistent messaging. PR and marketing teams should develop an editorial calendar that outlines key messages, campaigns, and content for the year. Building a cohesive and proactive approach can be as easy as sharing the calendar with other departments to use in their communications, such as social media, digital, HR, sales, customer service, and executive leadership.

While PR and marketing messages can differ in tone and style, the core message and call to action should be aligned. Working together prevents mixed messages and builds a consistent brand image that resonates with the audience. A unified approach ensures that all communications support the same overarching goals. Encouraging a culture of collaboration between PR and marketing teams can prevent the silo mentality. This involves educating team members about each other's roles and the importance of their collaboration. A shared understanding fosters mutual respect and enhances the effectiveness of joint efforts.

Rather than being reactive, PR and marketing teams should aim to work together proactively. This approach can prevent crises and ensure all communications are strategic and aligned with business goals. By working together, PR can enhance marketing efforts, and marketing can provide valuable metrics to demonstrate the impact of PR activities. By implementing these strategies, businesses can ensure a more integrated approach to PR and marketing, leading to better communication, stronger brand trust, and enhanced overall success.

Measuring the Success of an Integrated Approach

Measuring the success of an integrated PR and marketing approach can be challenging, especially for PR, which often needs more quantitative metrics that marketing relies on, such as website traffic and conversion rates. PR's impact is more nuanced and long term, involving elements like share of voice and social media engagement, which take time to develop. To effectively measure success, it's crucial to set measurable goals aligning with overall business objectives and hold PR and marketing accountable.

One effective strategy is leveraging marketing metrics to showcase PR's contributions. For example, creating a dynamic newsroom on the company website can attract more visitors, who might explore other parts of the site, such as product pages or customer testimonials curated by PR. This synergy can enhance the overall customer experience and drive measurable outcomes.

Clear, measurable goals aligned with business objectives help demonstrate the value of integrated efforts. Although PR's impact might take longer to manifest, consistent efforts in securing media mentions and building brand loyalty contribute to long-term success. Immediate results are rare, but by setting realistic expectations and aligning PR goals with marketing metrics, businesses can better understand and demonstrate the value of their integrated approach.

Adapting PR and Marketing Strategies in an Ever-Changing Consumer Landscape

Adapting PR and marketing strategies to changing consumer preferences and behaviors is crucial for business success. It starts with active listening. Marketing teams often focus on product-specific feedback, such as through focus groups, to improve products and build awareness. Integrating PR into these sessions can enrich the understanding of consumer trust and emotional connections. This combined effort ensures that strategies are informed by a holistic view of consumer needs, ultimately fostering stronger relationships and more effective communication. Social listening plays a significant role in this process. Monitoring trends and conversations within the community allows PR and marketing to gather valuable insights. Regular reports summarizing community behaviors and preferences can guide strategy adjustments. For example, a brand like Warhead Candy excels in listening to its online communities. It identifies what resonates with its audience—primarily nostalgic parents who enjoyed the candy in their youth and want to share that experience with their children.

Maintaining an ongoing dialogue with consumers is essential. Regularly engaging with them and seeking their feedback ensures that strategies remain relevant and responsive to their evolving needs. This continuous interaction informs marketing and PR efforts and strengthens the overall brand by demonstrating a commitment to understanding and meeting consumer expectations.

Cost-Effective PR and Marketing Tactics for Businesses

Adopting cost-effective PR and marketing tactics is essential for businesses aiming to maximize their impact without overspending. Leveraging social media for organic engagement is a prime example. While it requires time investment, utilizing tools—especially those enhanced by AI—can help efficiently identify key trends from comments and conversations. Businesses can use these tools to gather valuable insights instead of manually sifting through social media feedback with minimal costs. Another effective strategy involves utilizing existing content. Blogs, videos, and infographics can also be repurposed to maintain a consistent and engaging presence without significant additional investment. Partnerships with media and influencers can also be highly beneficial. Establishing in-kind partnerships allows for mutual promotion without the high costs often associated with paid mentions. For example, instead of spending a substantial amount on a single newsletter mention, businesses could employ a team of social media interns to engage directly with their audience and gather more precise data on their preferences and behaviors.

Community events and sponsorships offer additional cost-effective opportunities. Sponsorships, whether for regional or local events, can provide immediate visibility and align your brand with causes that matter to your audience. However, these sponsorships must be active and engaged rather than merely placing a logo on materials. Being involved and present at these events helps build deeper connections with your audience and fosters genuine engagement.

Furthermore, the content and stories generated from these events can be invaluable. These sponsorships offer rich material for further marketing efforts, from editorial content to compelling imagery. Sending teams to interact directly with consumers at these events can yield powerful insights and create authentic connections, which data and analytics alone cannot achieve. The key is to blend digital listening tools with active community engagement to create a holistic and cost-effective PR and marketing strategy.

Emerging Trends in PR and Marketing

Staying ahead of emerging trends in PR and marketing is imperative for businesses seeking to maintain a competitive edge. One prominent trend is the increasing integration of AI to support PR and marketing tasks. Rather than fearing AI, businesses should embrace its potential to enhance efficiency, data analysis, and overall performance. Organizations can optimize their budgets by leveraging AI ethically and intelligently and demonstrate savvy decision-making in the digital age.

Another noteworthy trend is the rise of micro-influencers in social media marketing. While prominent figures have long dominated influencer marketing, the focus is shifting towards smaller-scale influencers who offer niche audiences, targeted expertise, and genuine conversations with consumers built with authenticity. Businesses can forge more genuine connections and drive meaningful engagement without exorbitant costs by identifying and partnering with micro-influencers relevant to their audience.

Furthermore, there is a growing recognition of the importance of PR's role within organizations. PR professionals are increasingly invited to the table alongside marketing, public affairs, and sales teams. This trend underscores the value of collaboration and cross-functional integration, ensuring that PR insights and strategies are considered from the outset rather than as an afterthought. Likewise, marketing teams must actively involve PR in decision-making processes to maximize outcomes and align messaging effectively.

Businesses should remain attentive to these emerging trends and adapt their PR and marketing strategies accordingly. Embracing AI, leveraging micro-influencers, and prioritizing cross-functional collaboration are critical steps toward achieving sustained success in today's dynamic business environment.

Actionable Tips for Integrated PR and Marketing Strategies

Effective integrated PR and marketing strategies require actionable steps that teams can implement today. First, prioritize collaboration by bringing PR and marketing teams together to develop shared goals and vision. Start small, if necessary, but foster a culture of collaboration and communication that amplifies outcomes internally.

Second, invest in project management tools to facilitate seamless team communication and coordination. Using platforms like ClickUp, Basecamp, or Asana or creating dedicated MARCOM folders with centralized resources enhances efficiency and ensures everyone is on the same page from the beginning of a project.

Last, leadership and management support are crucial for overcoming any roadblocks to collaboration. If you're in a leadership position, actively engage with counterparts in PR and marketing to demonstrate the importance of collaboration. Address any organizational barriers and champion a culture that values teamwork and integration.

By taking these actionable steps, teams can create more effective integrated PR and marketing strategies that drive impactful outcomes and align with organizational goals.

In today's competitive landscape, effectively capturing your audience's attention and communicating key messages is paramount. Integrating marketing and public relations is a powerful strategy to enhance these efforts and achieve remarkable results. This approach not only improves efficiency but also amplifies the impact of each discipline. Businesses can significantly boost their brand presence and effectiveness by adopting unified strategies, measuring success, adapting to consumer changes, leveraging cost-effective tactics, and staying ahead of emerging trends. Implementing these integrated PR and marketing strategies will ensure cohesive messaging, stronger collaboration, and sustained success in the dynamic business environment.

Listen to the Marketing Table Talk podcast with Lisa Perry and Lindsay Scheidell here to learn more about the importance of integrated marketing and PR.

For more brand marketing insights, follow Lindsay Scheidell and Lisa Perry. For a step-by-step guide on developing a brand strategy, check out How to Develop a Brand Strategy by Lisa Perry.

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 1 day 13 hours ago

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How To Answer "Why Are You Interested In This Job?"


A common interview question employers ask during job interviews is, "Why are you interested in this position?" They want to know why you want to work at their company and the specific motivation behind why you applied for the job (not that you need a paycheck).

Knowing how to answer interview questions well is always important, especially with this question.

To persuade the employer that you have a true connection to the company and a passion for the job you applied for, your answer to this interview question should start with, "I'm interested in this job, at this company, because…" and then list at least three reasons why you want to work there.

Here is how you should structure your answer to the interview question, "Why are you interested in this job?"

What Is The Best Way To Answer "Why Are You Interested In This Position?"

In order to effectively answer "Why are you interested in this position?" during a job interview, you need to list three reasons why you want the job for a well-rounded response. Those three reasons are professional fit, cultural fit, and personal fit.

Reason #1 – Professional Fit

Your first reason should always show fit in terms of professional skills.

Example: "I'm interested in this job because I can see that, in this role, my skills could help solve this problem within your company. I also see an opportunity for me to learn and grow these skills, so we both would benefit personally, professionally, and financially. If I can come in here and solve problems and accomplish your goals, I know I can develop my career the way that I want to."

This part of your answer lets them know that you are excited about what you will be able to accomplish for them, while still emphasizing what they are getting out of the bargain. You need to sell yourself as a business-of-one who can provide a service better than the competition.

Reason #2 – Cultural Fit

Your second reason when answering, "Why are you interested in this job?" also shows fit, but in a different way.

Example: "Also, I like the culture of this organization. From what I've heard and what I've been reading about the company, it seems like a great fit for my personality and my values. I really connect with your mission statement, and feel passionate about the work that you do."

This is a general answer, so if you can be more specific by actually naming a couple of things you've heard or read about the company's workplace culture that you like, it will help your cause. This is one area where your pre-interview research is critical.

Here are a few things you may want to look for when you research the company:

  1. Is this a top company in the field/industry?
  2. Is this company known for cutting-edge products or other innovations?
  3. Does this company have a great reputation for customer service?
  4. Is this company known for being a great place to work?
  5. Does this company value and/or provide resources for employee development?

Mention those things that truly speak to you and your values so your sincerity shows.

Reason #3 – Personal Fit

Wrap up your answer to the "Why are you interested in this job?" interview question with something that personalizes it a bit more.

Examples:

  1. "And this job is in a great location for me. I've always wanted to move here."
  2. "And this job is only five minutes from my house, so eliminating the commute is a big plus."
  3. "And I've always used your products, and I just love them. I am really excited about being a part of that."

Say something that gives you another reason of your own for wanting this job. This interview answer is a fantastic place to let your enthusiasm for the job show. It's very appealing to employers, and it gives them one more reason to hire you.

How Do I Say I Am Interested In This Position?

To summarize, if you want to effectively answer the question, "Why are you interested in this position?" you should touch on your professional, cultural, and personal fit.

Here's a good example of an answer that has all three of these components:

"I'm interested in this job because I can see that my skills could help solve this problem within your company. Also, I like the culture of this organization. From what I've heard and what I've been reading about the company, it seems like a great fit for my personality and my values. Plus, I've always used your products, and I just love them. I am really excited about being a part of that."

You'll have a very clear and thorough answer to the question, "Why are you interested in this job?" if you follow the formula above. Set yourself apart from the competition today!

Are you struggling to answer other common interview questions? We can help.

Download our FREE list of the 18 most common interview questions to learn what hiring managers are going to ask YOU in your next job interview.

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 1 day 18 hours ago

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From SDR To Sales Manager: My 7-Step Sales Methodology For Success


In the fast-paced world of SaaS sales, my journey began as a sales development representative (SDR), where I quickly learned that success required more than just enthusiasm; it demanded a clear and effective playbook for engaging potential prospects. Later, I transitioned to managing a team of 12 SDRs and reported directly to the chief revenue officer (CRO). This role brought new challenges and responsibilities, unknowingly pushing me to develop a structured approach. It wasn’t until a content class at Work It DAILY posed a thought-provoking question that I fully recognized the methodology I had been shaping:

What big problem do you solve in your line of work? What is the step-by-step methodology, framework, or checklist you use to solve it effectively and consistently? The goal is to be able to explain it to a fifth grader, offering a 30,000-foot view.

The Problem I Solve 

In simpler terms, I help companies find new customers who might benefit from their products or services. This not only fulfills the customers' needs but also supports the company in making money and staying in business, which in turn provides and sustains jobs.

How I Solve It: My 7-Step Sales Methodology 

1. Learn About the Problem: I learn all about the problems that our products and services can fix. This helps me understand how we can help people.

2. Identify Who Needs Help: I find out which companies and which people need our help, learning about their daily challenges and how our products can make their lives easier.

3. Build and Train a Team: I manage, hire, and teach a team of people who will help find these potential customers. We reach out to them to explain how we can help and set up a meeting so they can learn more about what we offer.

4. Reach Out and Communicate: My team and I send messages, make calls, and use other ways to reach out to the people who might need our products. We explain how our products can solve their problems.

5. Use Feedback to Improve: After talking to potential customers, we listen to their feedback to understand what they liked and what they didn’t. This helps us make our approach and our products even better.

6. Follow Up and Measure Success: After reaching out, we follow up with the customers to see if they are interested. We also keep track of how well we are doing in finding new customers and helping the company grow.

7. Collaborate with Executives and Align with Business Goals: I work closely with executive leadership to ensure our efforts align with the company’s strategic goals. I regularly update executives on progress, challenges, and opportunities. I also collaborate with other departments to ensure a unified approach to reaching potential customers and meeting their needs.

Reflecting on my journey from an SDR to a sales manager, I realize that the methodologies I've developed are not just about finding new customers; they are about creating value and building relationships that foster long-term success.

In the dynamic world of SaaS, understanding the problem, identifying who needs help, building a capable team, communicating effectively, leveraging feedback, measuring success, and aligning with business goals are crucial. By simplifying these steps and making them easily understandable, I hope to provide a framework that can help others achieve similar success. This approach has not only helped companies grow but also enabled me to manage a high-performing team.

As I look forward to my next role, I carry with me these valuable lessons and a proven framework that I am eager to apply and expand even further.

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 1 day 19 hours ago

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20 Tips For Marketing Unsexy Brands


Imagine being in a design class, dreaming of creating eye-popping ads for trendy sneakers or groundbreaking tech gadgets, only to have your professor dive deep into the world of window curtains. Sounds uninspiring, right? But as I listened to him passionately detail the merits of a cornice over a valance, I realized that even the most mundane products have stories waiting to be told.

This professor, tasked with developing a window dressing simulator for a major department store, had become an expert on drapery—proving that any brand, no matter how "unsexy," can become fascinating with the right marketing magic. That moment sparked my love for marketing unsexy brands, igniting a passion for transforming the seemingly dull into the must-have. It ain’t easy, but after 15 years I’ve found a few sure-fire ways to get unsexy brands into the right hands.

Understand Your Audience

Know who your customers are, their pain points, and what motivates them. Tailor your messaging to address their specific needs and concerns.

Highlight Benefits, Not Features

Focus on how your product improves the customer’s life or solves a problem, rather than just listing its features.

Tell a Story

Create a compelling narrative around your brand. Storytelling can make even the most mundane products interesting and relatable.

Use Humor

Injecting humor into your marketing can make your brand more relatable and memorable. It helps in humanizing the brand and making it more approachable.

Leverage User-Generated Content

Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences with your product. Testimonials and reviews can add credibility and authenticity.

Create Educational Content

Provide valuable information that educates your audience about the product’s uses and benefits. Blogs, how-to videos, and infographics can be very effective.

Focus on Visual Appeal

Invest in high-quality visuals. Good design can make a boring product look attractive and professional.

Use Case Studies

Show real-world applications of your product. Case studies can demonstrate effectiveness and build trust.

Employ Influencer Marketing

Collaborate with influencers who can authentically endorse your product. Their credibility can help reach new audiences.

Offer Free Samples or Trials

Allow potential customers to try before they buy. Experiencing the product firsthand can significantly influence purchasing decisions.

Emphasize Quality and Reliability

Highlight the durability, efficiency, and reliability of your product. This can be a significant selling point for unsexy brands.

Utilize Customer Testimonials

Real customer stories and testimonials can provide powerful social proof and help build trust.

Focus on SEO

Optimize your content for search engines to ensure your product is easily discoverable by people looking for solutions.

Run Targeted Ads

Use precise targeting options on social media and search engines to reach your ideal customers.

Create a Strong Brand Identity

Develop a consistent and professional brand image. A strong brand identity can make your product stand out.

Leverage Email Marketing

Use email marketing to nurture leads and keep your audience informed about new updates, promotions, and product information.

Engage with Your Community

Be active on social media and engage with your followers. Respond to comments and messages to build a loyal community.

Offer Exceptional Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service can turn customers into brand advocates who spread the word about your product.

Partner with Complementary Brands

Collaborate with other brands that complement your product to reach new audiences and create co-branded marketing efforts.

Track and Analyze Data

Continuously monitor and analyze your marketing efforts. Use data to understand what works and what doesn’t, and refine your strategies accordingly.

Implementing these tips can help you effectively market unsexy brands, transforming them into desirable and trusted products in the eyes of your audience. It's a simple concept but not an easy task—it requires creativity, persistence, and a deep understanding of your product's unique value.

If you're ready to take on the challenge and elevate your brand from mundane to must-have, I'd love to connect and share insights. Reach out to me on LinkedIn, and let's turn the unsexy into unforgettable together.

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 2 days 13 hours ago

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Moving Up: How To Transition Into A Leadership Role


Whether you're managing a team or leading a country, making a transition into a leadership role can be a bit of a challenge. If you want to start off on the right foot, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Here are 11 tips for successfully transitioning into a leadership role.

1. Be Prepared For A Little Awkwardness At First

Leadership transitions are always a little awkward. People get used to things being a certain way, and when things change, it can be challenging for some people initially. Not everyone will know how to respond to the change, and some people will flat-out be against you.

2. Understand That You Will Make Mistakes

You're human. You're going to make mistakes. As long as you own up to them and don't make the same mistakes over and over again, you'll be fine. Don't blame others, don't point fingers, and don't make excuses. Own up to the mistake, learn from it, and move on.

3. Realize That People Won't Always Agree With You

Your decisions won't always be popular, but as long as you've done your due diligence, analyzed the situation, and believe what you're doing is the best thing for the team, company, and so on, that's all you can do.

4. Be Approachable

In order to be an effective leader, you have to be accessible. People need to feel comfortable talking with you and providing feedback.

Make a genuine effort to get to know people, understand their goals and interests, and be friendly. And don't be afraid to own your weaknesses. Nobody is perfect. Being transparent can help you gain trust and respect from your team. You don't have to be feared in order to be influential.

5. Don't Boss Your Team Around—Support Them

Good leaders coach others and find ways to support them so they can do their jobs better. Leaders encourage growth, ideas, and feedback. They listen to their team and support them where they need help. They don't stifle their growth by putting them down. Instead of saying, "That's wrong, fix it," try saying something like, "I think we can do better. How can I help?"

6. Don't Be A Know-It-All

Just because you're in a higher-level position than everyone else now doesn't mean you should act like a know-it-all. In fact, please don't, because you know what? You don't know it all. You likely have some great knowledge, but you don't know everything. And acting like you do is going to foster resentment for you among your team.

7. Learn As Much As You Can (As Quickly As You Can)

In order to support your team, you need to have the knowledge, resources, and tools to do so. That's why it's critical to ask questions, get to know each person's function and capability, and teach yourself how to do things on your own.

Your company might not offer leadership training or have the resources to educate you in certain areas. There's a certain amount of stuff you're expected to learn on your own. Be proactive.

8. Respect Others & They Will Respect You

Even if you don't agree with an idea, opinion, or action, it's critical to be respectful. If you respect others, they will respect you. And when you're making a transition into a leadership role, earning that respect from your team is critical.

9. Inspire, Don't Discourage

Great leaders inspire others to be better and do better. Talk to your team, learn about them, understand what gets them fired up, and find ways to inspire them.

10. Treat People How You'd Like To Be Treated

You weren't always in this position. Think back to when you worked under someone else's leadership. What would you have done differently? Why? What did you love about their leadership style, and what did you hate?

Treat your team like you would want to be treated. When some people get into a position of power, they let it go to their head and they forget what it's like being on the other side of the table. Don't let that happen to you.

11. Believe In Yourself (Or No One Else Will)

Yes, making a transition into a leadership role for the first time can be nerve-wracking. You're going to feel a little insecure and unconfident in your ability to lead. However, it's important to remember that you were chosen for this role for a reason. It's going to take work, but you have what it takes to be a strong leader. Plus, if you don't believe in your ability to do a good job, why should your team?

Think about your skills and experience, and figure out how you can use them to your advantage. Remember your champions—the people who believe in you. You can do this!

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 2 days 17 hours ago

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4 Ways To Keep Your Job Search Going During The Summer


Every season is job search season if you want it bad enough. However, there are some who view summer as a time of rest and ease up on their job searches. That's the last thing you should do!

Sure, you should take time to relax and go on vacation—just don't abandon your job search goals completely. Here are four ways to keep your job search on track, while still enjoying your summer.

Update Your Resume & LinkedIn Profile

A new season is a time for renewal, so it's important to make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are current and up to date with projects, contributions, and achievements. Summer is a great time for reflecting on the work you have done over recent months and leveraging those accomplishments to have a results-driven resume and LinkedIn profile.

While your resume takes precedence, you should still give your LinkedIn profile a good look because it's public and is viewable by a greater geographic population. Do not underestimate the power of LinkedIn in your job search.

Attend Networking Events

Summer is a great time to be more social. Attend professional events, go to business happy hours, and ramp up your networking opportunities. Connect with old colleagues over lunch outdoors in casual attire, and seek out the potential for informational interviews at companies. Since things are more casual and laid back in the summertime, ramp up the opportunities and seize them.

If you can't attend any in-person networking events, there are still ample opportunities to network online!

Refocus Your Strategy By Volunteering

The beautiful summer weather is great motivation for engaging in new volunteer and community service opportunities. Consider the potential for making new connections and adding volunteer projects to your resume and LinkedIn profile that you are already updating during the summertime.

Remember, summer days are longer. Use your time wisely, and to your benefit!

Re-Evaluate And Reach Out

Spend the summer re-evaluating your current role. What skills are you developing in your current role? What skills do you want to build upon? Consider reaching out to recruiters or your professional network, people who can help bring your next role to fruition. LinkedIn is a great resource for connecting with recruiters and seeing if new projects or opportunities are available to expand your skills.

Don't let the summer weather be a distraction or setback for you. Focus on reclaiming your brand, take a break or a vacation, and regroup on where you would like to go next in your career. Remember one important thing: the year is already halfway over, so it's important to seize the moment and the opportunity.

Need more help with your job search?

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 3 days 18 hours ago

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How To Answer The "What Makes You Unique?" Interview Question


The job interview question, "What makes you unique?" can stop you in your tracks. You know you have the qualifications and the skills to do the job, but how are you supposed to know how you're different from anyone else?

The answer is: you don't have to know. And you don't have to be Superman to deliver a job-winning answer to this question.

Here are three surefire ways to answer the "What makes you unique?" interview question that will impress your interviewer.

How NOT To Answer This Challenging Question

Before you can come up with a great answer to this interview question, first you need to know how not to answer. The hiring manager absolutely does not want to know that you play in a band on the weekends, you can solve a Rubik's Cube in 30 seconds, or that you have a pet rat.

When interviewers ask, "What makes you unique?" the real question is, "Why should I hire you? Why should I choose you over the other people I'm interviewing?" That's what you should answer.

A personal answer may be interesting, but it won't help to convince them to hire you. All of your job interview answers should focus on telling them what they need to know in order to say, "You're hired!"

Think about what makes you valuable to have in this role and why it's valuable. Those are the qualities you want to draw attention to, and now is the time to brag about them. Ultimately, employers want to know how you will save or make the company money. Prove your value, prove you have a track record of saving or making companies money by being successful in past positions, and they'll absolutely want to hire you.

Here are a couple of great ways to answer the uniqueness question based on things employers really care about—your background, your experiences, and your personality or soft skills (that pertain to the job).

Explaining Your Career Background

Here's a sample answer of what you might say when responding to this question:

"My background is a little different from others in the field, which gives me a unique perspective that has allowed me to see solutions that are creative and resourceful. For example, I came up with X solution [say what it was] to solve Y problem, and it worked out beautifully." [Use evidence in the form of numbers, dollars, or percentages that really highlight the success of your solution.]

Sharing Your Previous Experiences

Here's an example of what you might say when responding to this question:

"I believe that my education in X [name your degree or classes here] combined with my work experience in Y give me an especially great advantage when approaching [a typical or critical problem this job addresses]. I draw on both to solve everyday issues and special challenges. For example, in [name a situation], I took [name the action you took] and got [name the results you got—again, in the form of numbers, dollars, or percentages if you can]."

Selling Your Skills Sets/Personality

If the job description or things the interviewer has said so far let you know that soft skills like communication or organization are important for the job, you can say something like:

"I believe I have exceptional organizational skills. In my last job, I created a new system for task assignments that streamlined our productivity and improved it by 20%."

This little bit at the end—"by 20%"—transforms what would be a good answer ("I streamlined our productivity") into a standout answer. It grabs attention and tells them exactly how much you matter. Remember: In the job search, it's all about quantifying your work experience on your resume and in your job interviews.

Overall Strategy In Your Career

If you have any experience or skills that would make you valuable in the role, now is the time to mention it. Worry less about "uniqueness" and focus on value. Add impressiveness to your answer and make them remember you by incorporating proof of how what you have is valuable, and describe it in terms of numbers, dollars, or percentages.

Next time you have a big job interview, try using these tips to answer what makes you unique. That second phone call could be coming faster than you think!

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 4 days 16 hours ago

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3 Mistakes Job Seekers Are Making On LinkedIn In 2024


There are three mistakes that people are making on LinkedIn right now that are costing them job opportunities, and I bet you haven't heard them before.

LinkedIn changed its algorithm once it reached one billion users. The algorithm used to search profiles and give recruiters the top 50 people that matched their keyword search based on skill sets. But people weren't filling out their profiles, and some profiles were outdated, so it no longer was giving recruiters what they needed. LinkedIn also realized that it wanted to be a social media platform. They saw what was happening with TikTok, and they realized that they had to start to incentivize people to participate on the platform on a regular basis. The new LinkedIn algorithm rewards the people who are most active on the platform.

That's the thing you need to understand. It's not enough to set up your profile and forget it. You actually need to be active on the platform in order to show up in more recruiters' search results.

If you're somebody who used to be found by recruiters all the time and now you're not, it has to do with your LinkedIn strategy. Here are the three mistakes you're making...

1. Not Updating Your LinkedIn Profile Every Two Weeks

The first mistake is not updating your profile every two weeks, especially the headline. I teach all my clients to make a calendar reminder to update their LinkedIn profile once or twice a month. All you have to do is change a couple of keywords in your headline.

Now, it's important that your headline has all the keywords that you want to be found for by recruiters. So, you have to select the keywords carefully, and then swap them out every two weeks. Why? Because when you make a headline change, the algorithm rescans your entire profile and you'll start to show up in more search results. Don't do this every day because LinkedIn will realize what you're doing, but every two weeks will work really well for you.

2. Not Posting Daily

The second LinkedIn mistake is not posting on a daily basis. Your feed is that social media aspect of the platform, and LinkedIn wants to see that you're posting articles or videos or even your own thoughts as it relates to your area of expertise. They want you to serve your network by providing them with information and value.

So, you should be curating and creating content on LinkedIn every day. Pull together some really insightful stuff and share it in your feed. That way, the people who follow you will learn from you. Also, if you're posting every day, it will show recruiters what you care about. You want to be really intentional about what you put in this feed in order to be found by those recruiters.

3. Not Sharing Original, Quality Content

The final mistake job seekers are making on LinkedIn is not focusing on posting quality-driven content. It's not enough just to repost somebody's content. It's not enough just to comment on somebody else's stuff. That's not quality engagement in LinkedIn's eyes. The platform wants to see you putting original content out there, too.

For every piece of content you post, whether it's a video, an article, or a graphic, you have to share your point of view, and you also want to use the right keywords to optimize your posts. Again, the algorithm is reading everything in your feed and figuring out what you talk about the most, what your area of expertise is. Quality content is now the key to showing up in recruiters' search results.

If you're not updating the headline in your profile every two weeks, posting every day, or posting quality content on LinkedIn, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to have recruiters find you. This is what I teach my clients every single day, and it's unbelievable. They go from not being seen at all to having recruiters contacting them. And with these tips, this can happen to you too.

Good luck, and go get 'em!

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 5 days 13 hours ago

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Future Of Work: How Will AI Impact Workplaces?

In this session of Executive Table Talk, hosted by J.T. O'Donnell, founder and CEO of Work It DAILY, a panel of experts discuss the implications of AI on the future of work.

Here are a few key points from the video:

  • The importance of trust and value articulation when integrating AI in leadership and operations.
  • AI's transformative impact on marketing, particularly in data analytics, consumer insights, and hyper-personalization.
  • The necessity for effective re-skilling and upskilling programs to navigate the transition to AI-driven workplaces.
  • Ethical considerations, such as data privacy and the risk of bias, and the potential impact on employment.
  • AI will profoundly influence all sectors, necessitating a balance between automation and human expertise to maximize benefits and mitigate risks.

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 1 week 1 day ago

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3 Ways To Be Memorable During An Interview


When you go into a job interview, your goal is to make a good impression, right? Kind of. The goal is to make a memorable impression—you want them to automatically think of you when someone asks, “Who should we hire?"

How can you make such a powerful impression? Here are the best ways to be memorable during an interview.

Show Genuine Enthusiasm During The Interview

We've hired several people since I started at Work It DAILY.

Since we're a small company, I've been lucky enough to be a part of the hiring process. One thing that we always remember in a job candidate is enthusiasm.

We, like many other companies, want our employees to be excited about the work, the team, and the culture. If we sense a lack of enthusiasm—or worse, no enthusiasm at all—that candidate won't move on to the next step.

Don't Be Afraid To Show The Interviewer Your Personality

No one wants to work with a robot. Don't act like one in your interview!

You have a great personality. Show it off! Be yourself. People remember personality. Your personal brand represents who you are and what you're all about—professionally and personally.

When you strip your brand of any flavor, how do you think anyone is going to remember you?

Send A Thank-You Note After The Interview

This is a biggie. If you don't send a thank-you note after an interview, you're pretty much out of the running.

Why? Well, first off, it's only respectful to thank the people who interviewed you for taking the time to talk with you. But also, if you really want the job, you'll do everything you can to get an edge over your competition. If you skip the thank-you note and your competition sends one, it could mean the difference between you getting the job offer or them when it's time to decide (and, believe me, you're not getting points for skipping this step).

Sending a thank-you note also gives you one last chance to connect with your interviewer and potential teammates. It's worth it, and it's the last thing that you can do to be memorable instead of just another job applicant.

The goal of every interview is for you to stand out from other candidates. The more top-of-mind you are to your interviewer, the better your chances are of moving on in the hiring process. So, follow the tips above to be memorable in your next job interview and clearly stand out from the competition.

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 1 week 1 day ago

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11 Ways To Enjoy Summer When You’re Working A Full-Time Job


There you are: sitting on the beach, covered in sunscreen, reading your favorite book, drinking your favorite drink under the cool shade of an umbrella. Life doesn't get any better than this. Suddenly, a door slams, a phone rings, a printer turns on. You jolt back into consciousness. You're at work, sitting in your cubicle, without even a hint of sunshine streaming in from outside.

When you're working a full-time job, finding time to enjoy the warm, bright summer weather can be a challenge. This is especially true for young professionals, as many of them are used to having summers off (or, at the very least, having a flexible summer schedule). But there's no need to feel trapped behind your cubicle walls. Go out and enjoy summer!

Here are a few tips for making the most of your summer while working full time.

1. Grab Some Foldable Chairs

Keep a couple of foldable camping chairs at the office so you and a co-worker can catch some rays during lunch—whether it's in the park or the parking lot.

2. Keep A Beach Bag In Your Car​

Keep a bag full of summer supplies for your favorite summer activities. Having a bag (or, in my case, a backseat) full of towels, sunscreen, and swimwear keeps you prepared for anything. Friends hitting up the pool after work? You're covered. Once the clock strikes five, you can head to your destination of choice immediately.

3. Plan An Office Outing

Plan an office field trip to the beach, the park, or the pool. Just do something fun so your brain can recharge and refresh!

4. Organize Group Walks

Get a bunch of co-workers together and go on regular walks around town during lunch. (Or you could suggest a quick jaunt over to the ice cream shop.) This is a great way to get some fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.

5. Eat Lunch At The Park

When you find yourself eating out, hit up places with a deck, porch, or patio of some sort. Obviously, eating out every day isn't really a feasible option for most of us, so look into alternative ideas as well. Pack a lunch and hit the park for your own little picnic.

6. Organize Office Sports

Whether it's setting up an official office sports team or just hanging out with your colleagues a few times a week, playing sports is a great way to get out and enjoy the weather. Have a field nearby? Try setting up some slow-pitch softball games. Or see if you can get a basketball hoop for the office so you and a few co-workers can shoot some hoops at lunch.

7. Join A Professional Group

During the summer, professional networking groups often have fun events like harbor cruises, pub crawls, and outdoor mixers. Find a professional group in your area and make networking fun this summer.

8. Have An Office BBQ

Get your grill on! Talk to your boss about setting up an office BBQ. Ask everyone to contribute their favorite dish, side, or drink. Fire up the grill and relax! Hey, it's summer after all.

9. Wake Up Early

Yes, yes, I know...waking up early is an incredibly painful and unbearable experience for some of us, but waking up even an hour earlier has its benefits—especially in the summer. Go for a morning run, putter around in the garden, or watch the sunrise with a loved one. Talk about starting the day off right!

10. Strategically Use Your Time Off

Strategically use your vacation days around holidays. This way, you can make a potentially long weekend longer without having to use too much of your precious vacation time. Half days are also pretty awesome. It's amazing how much you can do with four extra hours! If you want an early weekend but don't want to burn up your vacation days too quickly, try taking a half day on a Friday instead of using a full day off.

11. Bike To Work

If you're one of the lucky few who live within walking or biking distance of work, take advantage of it! Not only will you get plenty of fresh air, but you'll also save money on gas, which is always a plus!

There are plenty of easy ways to enjoy summer when you work a full-time job. So this summer, try out a few of these ideas and make the most of the sunshine and warm weather—while they're still around!

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 1 week 2 days ago

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How To Increase Your Chances Of Landing A Job Offer


As an experienced job seeker, you have to demonstrate how what you do contributes to the top/bottom line of the company—either directly or indirectly. If you want to land a job offer, there are specific things you should be doing in the interview process that will impress the hiring manager and make you stand out from the competition.

To increase your chances of landing the interview and then a job offer, make sure you can demonstrate how you've...

Made Or Saved Money

If you work in sales, tell them how you've increased revenue. Give them examples of deals you've closed or new customers you've acquired. If you've done something to increase margins, optimize resource utilization, or save costs, tell them about those accomplishments, too.

Important Note: With this point, and all the following points, make sure you quantify any work experience that demonstrates how you're the most qualified for the job, and proves your value as a potential employee. Do this on your resume and in the job interview by providing examples with numbers to back them up.

Streamlined/Improved Processes

Have you improved the forecasting process? Automated the process of signing up new clients? Made a boss or co-worker's job easier by streamlining one of their responsibilities?

If you've made your prior organizations more efficient and effective, make sure you have these examples ready before an interview.

Influenced Other People

Do people want to work with you/for you? If you're easy to work with, can work effectively with other departments, and people want to work for you, this will increase your chances of getting the job.

Make sure to use the "Experience + Learn = Grow" framework to give examples of how you've influenced others or managed successful teams when asked about this subject or when answering other behavioral interview questions.

Contributed To Culture

If you've come up with some new initiatives, created a mentoring program, and so on, prepare some examples.

Companies hire for three things: personality, aptitude, and experience. How you fit into the company culture is a huge factor in their decision whether to offer you the job or not. By explaining how you've contributed to the company culture at other organizations, an employer will have an easier time understanding the type of employee you are and how you might positively impact the culture at their company.

Mitigated Risk

Especially in more senior roles and other leadership roles, if you've had the foresight to prevent something bad from happening to the company, employers will be impressed with such ability.

Mitigating risk, in the eyes of the hiring manager, translates into saving time and money—two things every employer wants to see in their employees. It also shows the employer that you're someone who pays attention to details and can plan ahead. Who wouldn't want to hire someone like that?

To find job search success, make sure you quantify your work experience and have examples ready that demonstrate the skills above. Do this and your chances of getting a job offer will skyrocket!

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 1 week 3 days ago

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5 Fun Work Activities To Bring The Office Together This Summer


When you work in an office, you're used to seeing your co-workers every day. But when was the last time you bonded with them? What team-building activities have there been to strengthen your connection and improve the workplace culture?

If your office hasn't made team-building activities a priority in the workplace, don't worry. With more sunshine and nicer weather, summer is a great time to bond with your co-workers.

Here are five fun summer work activities that will bring your office together.

1. Ice Cream Party

Everyone loves ice cream! While it may not be the most unique suggestion for a fun workplace activity, an ice cream party doesn't require a lot of planning (or funds) and it's always guaranteed to be a hit.

On a hot day, bring the office together with some sweet treats. Sit outside and soak up the rays while cooling off with a cone. To make sure no one feels left out, take note of any allergies or sensitivities your colleagues may have and offer enough safe options. Also, be mindful and take steps to prevent cross-contamination.

The great thing about this fun workplace activity is that it can easily be something you do regularly. Make it a monthly tradition to celebrate your co-workers and all of their hard work!

2. Office Bake-Off

One of the best things about summer is the fresh food! Have fun and bond with your co-workers with an office bake-off (or cook-off) using whatever is in season. Whether it's from a local farm stand or a personal garden, this activity will not only make you feel connected to your colleagues but to your whole community.

Want to make it more interesting? Make it a competition! Encourage everyone to bake or cook something, and then have people vote for their favorite dish or dessert. The winner could get a gift card, an extra vacation day, or just plain old bragging rights. You can even set some rules for everyone to follow—depending on how competitive your co-workers are.

Lots of fresh summer food and a fun competition to bring the office together? Sign us up!

3. BBQ And Lawn Activities

Keeping with the food trend, a classic BBQ is the perfect activity to get to know your co-workers better. You could either do this at work or at someone's house and have everyone bring a dish and their favorite lawn games.

If you decide a weekend day is the best time for a summer work party or BBQ, you can also invite family members to join in on the fun. While this type of activity requires more planning and resources than most other summer activities, it's also probably the best way to bond with your co-workers outside of the office.

Think you might want to host a work party this summer? Don't hesitate to send out your invites! Your co-workers won't want to miss out.

4. Photo Contest

Most people take a vacation during the summer months. So, why not use that as an opportunity to start a photo contest?

Whether it's pictures of animals, family, nature, beautiful cities and landscapes, or adventures, have your co-workers submit a photo or two from their vacations this summer for a chance to win the office photo contest. Winners could receive a monetary prize or (with their permission) have their photo posted somewhere in the office or on the company website.

A fun activity like this lets employees show off their creative side, and it might even compel them to travel more and use up those vacation days they've been hoarding all year.

5. Start A Company-Wide Team Sport

No other activity can help you bond with your co-workers quicker than playing a team sport together. If your company doesn't already have a few sports teams you could join, start one yourself!

Common team sports like softball/baseball, soccer, basketball, and even dodgeball are all great options. Not only will playing a team sport with your co-workers strengthen camaraderie, but physical activity will help everyone stay in shape, which might in turn help job performance and employee health. Depending on how big your company is, you could form different teams for each department and play against each other or battle it out against other teams in your community.

Sound like fun? Grab your sneakers and gym bag and get your team together today! You won't regret it.

Summer is the perfect time to bond with your co-workers over seasonal activities and fun competitions. If your office could use some fun team-building activities to boost morale, try one of the five summer activities above. Your teams will be stronger because of it!

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 1 week 4 days ago

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How To Cure Job Search Anxiety & Depression


As a 20-year career coaching veteran, I work with job seekers every day who come to me when they're at their lowest, stuck in a state of depression or anxiety, or vacillating between both.

With depression, there's a sense of sadness and helplessness. It means you don't see any options. You feel very limited in how you can move forward. It's like being stuck in a set of golden handcuffs. You're trapped.

With anxiety, you're feeling overwhelmed by what you have to do. You feel like there are so many things you need to get done, and it physically stresses you out.

Or maybe you vacillate between the two. I've had clients come to me and say, "One day I feel sad and depressed like there are no options for me, J.T. The next day, I wake up and feel like there's so much I have to do as a job seeker. I've got anxiety." They go back and forth between feeling depressed and feeling anxious in their job search.

So, which are you feeling? Is it sadness and depression? Is it anxiety? Or is it both?

Now, this is how you can overcome those feelings...

Knowledge & Structure

When you feel sadness and depression in your job search from a lack of choice, the solution is knowledge. Knowledge is power. When we give you knowledge, we give you new ideas, we give you a fresh perspective, and it opens up doors where you can actually see a path forward.

If you have anxiety in your job search, that's you being overwhelmed by too many things to choose from and too many things to do. The solution here is to give you a single path, a step-by-step checklist so that you feel like you're accomplishing something every day and you don't feel like there's so much that you need to do. You know that you're moving forward in a structured manner.

So, in order to cure depression and anxiety in your job search, you are going to have to get some help. That's why I have built a whole bunch of free resources for you to start with. I know it's about baby steps. You are stressed out and overwhelmed and so, for me, it's always been about microlearning. These free resources are designed to help you feel less stressed so you can focus on the right job search strategy, which will help you get better results.

I personally suggest the "Break Through Your Job Search Burnout" workbook. But if you're ready to move forward and have a career coach help you through every step of this process, you also can come see what it's like to work with me and my team at Work It DAILY.

Sign up for Work It DAILY today and let's get rid of that sadness, depression, and anxiety. Good luck, and go get 'em!

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 1 week 5 days ago

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4 Ways To Upskill At Work To Get That Promotion


Promotions are not guaranteed. In the past, employees used to progress along specific career paths, often within just one organization. However, with the impact of globalization and technology and flatter organizational structures, this has changed.

Today, we have to create and manage our own careers. Often the promotion isn't an upward path, either, and we may need to take a lateral move first to be able to position ourselves for an upward move later.

To get that promotion, it is important to boost your personal brand and get yourself noticed. Making yourself heard, developing mentoring relationships, practicing effective self-promotion, being a problem-solver, acting professionally at all times, being a team player, and developing your network are all effective strategies.

However, there are also ways you can upskill while in your current job.

1. Expand Your Knowledge And Skills

In order to get that promotion, you must expand your knowledge and skills in areas that are important to your organization. If you want to get ahead, it is important not only to keep up with current industry news but also to pay attention to trends outside of your area of specialization.

Staying informed is not difficult—simply subscribe to some of the leading sources online and devote even just 30 minutes each week to reading. Book this time in your calendar like you would any other appointment, otherwise it is not likely to happen if you're busy at work.

If you've read something you think will be of particular interest to your team, send them a link. Sharing what you learn will show that you're a team player.

2. Ask For More Responsibilities

To increase your value within an organization, you can ask for more responsibilities or even volunteer to help other departments.

When you ask for more work, it shows your interest and desire to help your department and organization succeed. It also puts a spotlight on how much value you bring to your company.

3. Create Your Own Opportunities

If you've been working at your company for a while, chances are you know one or two areas that have been neglected. If you do have key skills to help in that area, write a proposal for a new project, or even a new position for you. Even if the proposal doesn't get accepted on this occasion, you have shown your initiative and creativity. This can only help you next time you request a promotion.

In general—and this is the main benefit of nurturing your network—the more people who know you, know your abilities and value you bring, and know of your ambitions, the more likely it is that your name will be discussed when some opportunities arise.

4. Seek Professional Development

Continuing to develop your skills can help you expand your current role or put you on the fast track for that promotion. Research courses relevant to your role—or the role you want—and if you can demonstrate to your boss how it could be beneficial for you and the company, they might even cover the cost.

Professional development doesn't need to be restricted to your office hours. There are so many online or weekend courses available, and if there is something that you feel will help you with career progression, invest in it yourself. Then, make sure your manager is aware that you've taken the initiative to upskill.

Apart from upskilling at work, a really simple way to stand out is by documenting your success in your current role. Keep a record of everything you do that enhances the company's bottom line, puts the company or your department in a good light, receives good feedback, or is innovative. Finally, be genuine and likable. Always be yourself while boosting your personal brand to secure the next step in your professional journey.

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 2 weeks 1 day ago

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Boost E-Commerce Sales: 3 AI Strategies For Small Businesses


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the e-commerce landscape, providing tools and solutions that enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and drive sales. For small businesses, leveraging AI can be a game-changer, offering competitive advantages that were once only accessible to larger enterprises.

In this article, we will explore three effective ways AI can skyrocket your e-commerce sales: personalized product recommendations, smart chatbots for 24/7 customer support, and enhanced product descriptions.

Strategy #1: Personalized Product Recommendations

Personalized product recommendations are one of the game-changing ways AI is used in e-commerce. By looking at customer behavior and preferences, AI can suggest super-relevant products to each shopper, making it much more likely they'll buy something. This kind of personalization not only makes shopping more enjoyable but also boosts conversion rates and builds customer loyalty.

AI-powered recommendation engines look at data points like browsing behavior, purchase history, and demographics. They use this info to guess and suggest products a customer might like. For instance, if someone often checks out running shoes, the AI might suggest related items like running socks, a water bottle, or a matching top.

Think about a small business selling athletic wear. When a customer grabs a pair of running shoes, the AI system can suggest matching items based on their browsing history and past buys. These personalized tips not only make the shopping experience better but also bump up the average order value.

Tools for Product Recommendations

  • Nosto offers AI-powered personalization solutions that create dynamic on-site experiences. It excels in providing personalized product recommendations, triggered emails, and pop-ups.
  • Bloomreach provides comprehensive AI solutions for personalization and marketing automation, including product information management (PIM) and content management system (CMS) functionalities.
  • FreshRelevance focuses on AI-powered product discovery and personalized recommendations, offering features like A/B testing and real-time analytics.
Strategy #2: Smart Chatbots for 24/7 Customer Support

​AI-powered smart chatbots can really change the game for small business customer support. They can handle basic questions, solve common problems, and even guide customers through the buying process, offering instant help around the clock.

AI chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) to understand and reply to customer queries. They can answer FAQs, help find products, process orders, and even manage returns and refunds. By offering instant support, these chatbots boost customer satisfaction and let human agents focus on more complex issues.

Think about an online jewelry store using a chatbot to up its customer support game. The bot can answer typical questions about sizing, materials, and return policies. Plus, it can set up appointments with a live salesperson for more specific inquiries. This not only enhances the customer experience but also makes sure no sales opportunities are missed due to a lack of immediate support.

Tools for Chatbot Creation

  • ManyChat is a user-friendly platform for creating AI-powered chatbots, especially for Facebook Messenger. With a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built templates, it's super easy for small businesses to set up chatbots that can answer FAQs, collect customer info, and help with the checkout process.
  • LivePerson offers a comprehensive suite for conversational AI and customer engagement. Businesses can use their platform to build and deploy chatbots across various channels like websites, social media, and messaging apps. LivePerson's AI handles basic questions and can seamlessly connect customers with live agents for more complex issues.
  • Drift focuses on conversational marketing and lead generation with chatbots. Their bots can answer questions, qualify leads, and even schedule appointments or demos. Drift integrates with various CRM and marketing tools, helping businesses capture valuable customer data and automate follow-ups.
Strategy #3: Enhanced Product Descriptions with AI

Creating compelling and SEO-optimized product descriptions can be time-consuming for small businesses. AI can streamline this process by generating high-quality product descriptions that not only engage customers but also improve search engine visibility.

For instance, a business like Maria's Magic Mixes, which sells spice blends, can use AI-driven natural language processing (NLP) to generate detailed descriptions for each product. The AI can highlight unique flavors, origins, and culinary uses, making the descriptions more appealing to customers and boosting their search engine rankings.

Tools for Products Using AI

  • Jasper.ai is a popular tool that uses AI to help with content creation, especially for marketing teams. It can write marketing copy, social media posts, blog posts, and even create SEO-optimized content. Jasper.ai is great for small businesses wanting to boost their marketing with high quality, AI-generated content.
  • Writesonic is an AI-powered content generator that helps businesses create engaging product descriptions, blog posts, emails, and other marketing materials. It uses AI to understand what you need and generates human-like text that connects with your audience, making it essential for maintaining a consistent and engaging online presence.
  • Copysmith is designed to help e-commerce teams create compelling content more efficiently. It’s perfect for agencies and content marketing teams, excelling in producing large volumes of content like product descriptions and digital ads. This tool is invaluable for businesses looking to scale up their content creation without losing quality.

AI can really shake up the e-commerce game for small businesses. By using AI for personalized recommendations, smart chatbots, and better product descriptions, companies can boost customer experience, run more efficiently, and increase sales. Embracing these AI tools can help small businesses stay competitive in the digital age, leading to growth and success.

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 2 weeks 2 days ago

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5 Things You Shouldn't Say In An Interview


Interviewing can actually be pretty fun, especially when you're on the other side of the table! However, we know how stressful it can be when you're the one in the hot seat as an eager job candidate.

Emotions are high, nerves are in play, and there's so much information you need to remember. It can be tough!

And because we know how difficult it can be to be in that position, we want to share some major red flags we've encountered when interviewing candidates.

We know there's a lot to remember, but there are some things you should NEVER say during a job interview. If you've got an interview coming up, make sure you review these phrases before you hop on the phone or walk into the office.

"I Don't See Myself Working Here For More Than 2 Years."

Even if the job you're applying for isn't something you can really see yourself doing for the long term, don't volunteer that information to your interviewer. You might have big career aspirations, but it's important to focus on the job you're interviewing for now, even if it's just an entry-level job you don't plan on working for very long.

By telling your interviewer that you're essentially uncommitted to the job, you can sabotage your chances of landing the position. Think about it from the employer's perspective: Why would a company want to invest in, hire, and train someone who is already planning on leaving before they even get the job offer? Second, you might not realize how much growth potential this role has and whether or not it might transform into something that excites you. Every dream job starts somewhere. So, why kill the opportunity before you give it a chance?

"I Don't Have Any Questions."

Typically, at the end of interviews, we ask our job candidates if they have any questions for us. We EXPECT questions. The candidate should be looking to learn as much as they can about the role, company, and team. It's just as much for their benefit as it is for the employer.

Also, don't just wait until the end of the interview to ask questions. An interview should be a two-way conversation. So, ask questions throughout the interview to emphasize your interest, curiosity, and listening skills.

"So, What Does Your Company Actually Do Anyway?"

While it's very important to ask questions during a job interview, it's just as important to ask the RIGHT questions—questions that show you've done your homework but want to dig deeper. Asking questions you could (and frankly should) have the answers to beforehand (like what the company does, when it started, why it started, etc.) isn't going to make you look very good.

A huge part of interview prep is taking time to research the company you're applying to. You should be able to find basic information about the company by doing a simple Google search and checking out their website and social media profiles.

"What Else Can You Tell Me About The Salary And Benefits?"

Learning about what you'll be paid and what benefits you'll receive as an employee is something you'll want to understand down the line, but please don't bring this up during your first interview.

This information will be revealed and/or mapped out for you as you get closer to a job offer. If you ask questions like this one too soon, you risk looking like you're only in it for the money and kickbacks. Employers know these things are obviously important to job candidates, but if you start focusing on them too early in the process, it can be a huge turnoff.

Again, think about it from the employer's point of view: If you're taking this job solely for the money and/or benefits, who's to say you won't up and leave when a better offer comes along? What's keeping you at the company other than the extras?

Instead, focus on why you want this particular job at this specific company. The other stuff will come up later.

"What Kind Of Skills Are You Looking To Leverage In This Position?"

This is a similar question to, "So, what does your company actually do anyway?" If you feel like you need to ask what kinds of skill sets are required for this role, you didn't read the job description carefully enough. That information should be all over the job posting and you should be prepared to show examples of how your experience will be valuable.

However, if the job description is a little vague, ask more targeted questions about the role. For example, "What would a typical day look like for this employee?" or "What kinds of projects would I be working on specifically and how would they add value to the company?"

Questions like these will allow you to get more clues about the role and give you a deeper understanding of what you're expected to accomplish as an employee.

A job interview can be scary, but if you go in prepared, it's actually pretty exciting. Make sure to prioritize interview prep before your next job interview, and you'll likely avoid saying any of these five things to the hiring manager.

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 2 weeks 2 days ago

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How To Apply For A Job You're Not 100% Qualified For


One of the biggest job search struggles is figuring out which jobs you should apply for. You have to look at the job description, the skill requirements, and the overall qualifications for the job, and then determine whether it's a viable employment opportunity for you or not.

It's more difficult to discern which jobs you're qualified for (the ones you really have a shot at) than you think. How do you know if you're actually qualified for a job? Should you apply for jobs you're not 100% qualified for?

The short answer: Yes, you absolutely should.

Here's how to apply for a job when you're lacking some of the qualifications.

1. Use The 90% Rule

The first step to applying for a job you're not sure you are qualified for is determining whether you're qualified enough. This is where the 90% rule comes into play.

After studying the job description, the list of qualifications, and the skill requirements, you should have a good idea of what the employment opportunity entails. Now, after looking at your resume, do you think you're qualified? If you have 90% of the skill requirements, you are qualified for that job and should apply for it.

When you apply for a job, it's always important to include all relevant skill sets, experience, and keywords on your resume, so it gets past the applicant tracking system (ATS). This is especially true when you only have 90% of the qualifications since leaving out just one skill could prevent your resume from ever getting into the hands of the hiring manager.

Customize your resume for every job you apply for to avoid this mistake. This way, it'll make it easy for employers to see that you do have most of the qualifications and skill requirements for the position. Remember: 90% is the magic number. Any less, and you'd be wasting your time if you apply.

2. Close The Experience Gap

In order to close your experience gap, you need to offer the employer something else they won't find in most job candidates—and that's excitement for the job opportunity.

What you lack in experience you can make up for with enthusiasm and a common connection. Convey to the potential employer your enthusiasm and excitement for the company's products, services, or mission. Explain what you respect and admire about the company. Even if you don't have some of the experience and qualifications the employer is looking for, you have the internal motivation and desire to work for their company.

In addition, this connection shows that you would be a great cultural fit within the company. Whatever skills you don't have, they can probably teach you. But employers know you can't teach cultural fit. This is where you would stand out among other candidates for the position.

A great way to establish that connection with an employer is to write a disruptive cover letter. Tell your story, convey your excitement, and land that interview!

3. Network Your Way Into The Company

Here at Work It DAILY, we believe your network is your net worth. And the statistics agree. Over 80% of jobs are gotten via referral. So, receiving a job offer usually comes down to who you know.

If you're not 100% qualified for a job, your networking skills will play a big role in your ability to get an interview. Use your network to get introduced to someone who works at the company. Begin by reaching out to current employees of the company or friends who might happen to work there, and ask what it would take to stand out and get hired. Note: You're not asking for the job. You're just asking for more information.

This strategy is extremely effective at opening doors with potential employers and getting your resume into the right hands. When you have most of the qualifications and a great connection story explaining why you're passionate about a company, networking is the perfect final step.

Next time you're debating whether to apply for a job or not, remember the 90% rule. Employers know there's no such thing as the perfect job candidate. But with these steps, you can be a great one.

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Unleashing The Revolutionary Potential Of Super Tiny Language Models (STLMs) For Business Efficiency


The rise of large language models (LLMs) has revolutionized natural language processing (NLP) capabilities. However, their immense size and computational demands often limit their accessibility and sustainability. This landmark paper introduces a cutting-edge paradigm in language model design through Super Tiny Language Models (STLMs), offering a compelling solution by achieving competitive performance with significantly reduced parameter counts, effectively mitigating larger alternatives' computational and energy-intensive challenges. Here’s an in-depth exploration:

Introduction 

The advent of large language models (LLMs) like GPT-3 has markedly advanced natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, driving significant improvements in machine translation, customer service automation, content generation, and more. However, these advancements come with high computational and energy demands, making them less accessible and sustainable for widespread use, especially for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and organizations operating in regions with limited resources.

STLMs aim to sustain comparable performance levels while slashing parameter counts by up to 95%. This results in models that can deliver robust outcomes without the prohibitive costs and energy consumption associated with larger models.

Key Techniques

STLMs leverage several innovative techniques to achieve their remarkable efficiency. Weight tying, for instance, shares parameters across different parts of the model, reducing complexity while maintaining performance. Byte-level tokenization further minimizes vocabulary size, leading to leaner and faster models. Additionally, efficient training strategies like self-play and alternative objectives enable effective learning with fewer resources.

Benefits

The reduced parameter counts of STLMs translate into numerous advantages. Lower computational and energy requirements make them environmentally friendly and cost-effective, opening up NLP capabilities to a wider audience. This increased accessibility allows researchers and industry practitioners to explore NLP applications with less overhead. Furthermore, the reduced complexity of STLMs facilitates faster experimentation and development cycles, accelerating innovation and deployment.

Challenges

Despite their significant potential, STLMs face certain challenges. Ensuring that smaller models can compete with larger ones in terms of accuracy remains a crucial hurdle. High-quality training data is also essential for STLMs to perform well despite their reduced size, necessitating careful data selection and knowledge distillation techniques.

Case Studies

Real-world examples like TinyLlama, Phi-3-mini, and MobiLlama demonstrate that STLMs can achieve competitive performance with significantly fewer parameters. These successful applications showcase the viability of STLMs in various real-world NLP tasks, including:

  • Machine translation: STLMs can translate text between languages with high accuracy and efficiency, making communication and information sharing more accessible.
  • Text summarization: STLMs can condense large amounts of text into concise summaries, saving time and improving information comprehension.
  • Question answering: STLMs can answer questions based on factual knowledge, providing users with quick and accurate information.
  • Chatbots: STLMs can power chatbots to engage in natural and informative conversations with users, improving customer service and information delivery.
Technical Implementation

The success of STLMs hinges on several key technical aspects:

  • High-quality training data: Data selection and knowledge distillation techniques play crucial roles in ensuring model efficacy, even with smaller parameter sizes.
  • State-of-the-art transformer architecture: STLMs incorporate advanced transformer techniques to maximize performance while minimizing resource usage.
  • Rigorous evaluation methods: Standard NLP benchmarks are used to ensure that STLMs meet stringent quality and efficacy standards.
Conclusion

The paper underscores STLMs' enormous potential to create sustainable and efficient high-performance language models and expand their application across various domains. STLMs offer a promising path toward democratizing NLP by making high-performance language models more accessible, efficient, and sustainable. As research and development in this area continue to evolve, STLMs have the potential to transform the landscape of NLP, enabling a broader range of applications and fostering innovation across diverse domains.

Importance for Businesses

This research is beneficial and essential for businesses aiming to curtail operational costs and enhance efficiency through AI implementation. STLMs present a unique opportunity to achieve these goals, circumventing the considerable costs linked to larger models. Here’s the significance of STLM adoption for businesses:

Benefits for Businesses

Cost Efficiency:

  • Reduced Overhead: Diminished computational requirements translate to lower server, infrastructure, and energy expenses.
  • Scalability: Enables affordable scaling of AI capabilities without huge budget increments.

Accessibility:

  • AI Adoption for SMEs: Facilitates the integration of advanced AI by small and medium-sized enterprises, overcoming previous cost barriers.
  • Remote and Underfunded Areas: Businesses in resource-limited or decentralized regions can leverage STLMs for enhanced operations.

Competitive Edge:

  • Innovation: Harnessing advanced AI technologies without substantial investments allows businesses to stay at the technological forefront.
  • Agility: Swift experimentation cycles enable rapid testing and implementation of AI-driven strategies, facilitating quick adaptation to market dynamics.

Sustainability:

  • Environmentally Friendly: Lower energy consumption supports sustainability goals and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
  • Resource Efficiency: Efficient computational resource utilization promotes more sustainable business models.

Enhanced Customer Experiences:

  • Personalization: Efficient customer data management by STLMs leads to personalized experiences, boosting customer satisfaction and retention.
  • 24/7 Support: Cost-effective AI solutions enable consistent customer service operations, improving reliability and customer trust.

Operational Efficiency:

  • Automated Processes: Streamlining and automating routine tasks minimizes errors and liberates human resources for strategic roles.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Access to sophisticated, cost-effective data analytics empowers informed decision-making.
Business Use Cases

Customer Service Automation:

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: Utilizing STLMs to power chatbots can provide responsive and accurate customer support around the clock, reducing the burden on human support teams and improving customer satisfaction.
  • Email Response Automation: Automating email responses using STLMs can handle common customer inquiries efficiently, ensuring timely communication.

Content Creation:

  • Marketing and Copywriting: Businesses can leverage STLMs to generate high-quality marketing copy, social media posts, and content for websites, saving time and costs associated with content creation.
  • Product Descriptions and Recommendations: E-commerce platforms can use STLMs to generate compelling product descriptions and personalized recommendations, enhancing user experience and driving sales.

Data Analysis and Insights:

  • Sentiment Analysis: STLMs can be employed to analyze customer feedback and reviews, providing valuable insights into customer sentiment and areas for improvement.
  • Market Research: Businesses can use STLMs to process and analyze large volumes of market data, helping to identify trends and make informed strategic decisions.

Decision Support Systems:

  • Predictive Analytics: Integrating STLMs into decision support systems can enhance predictive analytics capabilities, aiding in demand forecasting, inventory management, and financial planning.
  • Risk Management: Businesses can use STLMs to analyze risk factors and develop mitigation strategies, enhancing overall risk management frameworks.

Human Resources:

  • Talent Acquisition: STLMs can streamline recruitment by automating initial candidate screening, parsing resumes, and suggesting the best candidates based on job requirements.
  • Employee Engagement: Analyzing employee feedback and sentiment using STLMs can help HR departments develop strategies to improve workplace engagement and productivity.

Healthcare:

  • Clinical Documentation: STLMs can assist healthcare providers by automating the creation of clinical documentation, reducing administrative burden and allowing more time for patient care.
  • Telehealth Services: Enhancing telehealth services with STLM-powered assistants can improve patient interactions, provide timely health advice, and facilitate follow-up communications.

By adopting STLMs, businesses can unlock new efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness levels, positioning themselves as leaders in their respective markets. These models promise to democratize access to advanced AI, paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive technological landscape.

Attribution:

❖ Leon Guertler, Dylan Hillier, Palaash Agrawal, Chen Ruirui, Bobby Cheng, Cheston Tan

❖ Centre for Frontier AI Research (CFAR), Institute of High-Performance Computing (IHPC), ASTAR*

❖ Published in ArXiv, 2024

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3 Most Common Reasons You Got Fired


If you've ever been fired or laid off, you know it can be a traumatic experience, especially if you haven't been given a specific reason. Nobody really ever gets fired without a cause; there's always reason for letting an employee go.

There are multiple reasons why people are let go (reorganization, underperformance, being drunk at work, harassing co-workers, complaining about your boss on social media, breach of company's policies, etc.), but there are three that are most common in my experience and two of them are almost completely avoidable.

Underperformance

If you've been constantly making bad decisions or not reaching your performance objectives, then this is one of the reasons you might have been fired. Review your performance over the past year. If you've been consistently hitting your targets or even outperforming your colleagues, then performance might not be the actual issue here.

However, if you realize your performance has been unsatisfactory, try to analyze whether there was anything you could have done to improve it. Once you understand what those things are, hopefully, you won't repeat the same mistake in your next job.

Wrong Attitude

Company culture is very important to most organizations, and if you do not fit into that culture, then you might find it difficult to work there. For example, if every day you came into work with a negative attitude, then your boss and/or co-workers probably noticed, and this might have played a part in their decision to let you go.

Also, if you were missing too many days of work or arrived late to work all the time, that probably played a role as well. Was the company just a bad fit for you (in which case, now you have a chance to find something more suitable!), or are there any other issues you need to address to ensure this doesn't happen again?

It is important that you find a job with a company that has a culture and values you can relate to. Do this by conducting a strategic job search and creating an interview bucket list. This will ensure you only apply for jobs at companies that are a good cultural fit, for both you and the employer.

Budget Cuts / Company Restructuring

This unfortunately happens, but it is nevertheless painful if you lose your job because of restructuring or budget cuts. Even if you think you are an indispensable employee, you might still want to assess your attitude and performance. I remember a company used "restructure" as the reason of getting rid of a sales manager who wasn't the right fit.

Remember, just because you were fired or laid off doesn't mean it was your fault or that you won't find another great job in the future. It is always worth it to assess your performance and conduct because every career obstacle is a learning experience.

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