Top 5 Fastest Growing Business Careers You Should Consider Today

social-media-managementThe fastest growing careers in the country are in the business and technology industries. If you want to return to school and you’re not sure which degree you should earn, it’s important to review which industries have a growing demand. The Bureau of Labor focuses on projecting the demand for specific careers and the best way to ensure that you can find a position once you earn your degree is to find out where projections for demand are high. Here are 5 business careers with growing projections that you may want to consider based on what interests you.

 #1: Social Media Managers

Over the past few years, social media has exploded. Users have found that sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus are not only useful for personal profiles, but can also be profitable and useful for businesses. People with a background and understanding of social media marketing are in high demand by many different companies, so it’s a smart idea to get educated about social media now.

#2: Personal Finance

With Social Security on the verge of collapse, more and more people are recognizing the importance of building their retirement savings. Becoming a personal financial adviser may be the perfect career for you if you’re interested in finance and you’re ready to earn a bachelor’s degree in anything from business and finance to accounting and economics.

#3: Accounting

While accounting software does make balancing ledgers and cash flow statements easier, there is still a growing need for personal and corporate accountants. If you’re good with numbers, you’re detail-oriented, and you like the office environment, you can benefit from the growing demand for accounting services.

#4: SEO Marketing Director

Corporations all around the world are using social media profiles and the Internet to market to a widespread audience. If you’ve always dreamed of being a marketing director, focus on learning the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization and Internet marketing and you’ll have the skills that corporations are looking for as the possibilities for online marketing continue to multiply.

#5: Information Systems

Computers aren’t going anywhere. There will always be an increasing need for information systems managers. If you’re a technical individual and you’ve dreamed of earning a sizable income in the technology field, earn your Bachelors in MIS online and gain a high-demand skill set that both mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies are looking for.

Focus on demand before you focus on what career you are pursuing. Once you determine which careers are projected to be high in demand in the long run, you can then start pursuing a degree so that you can find your dream job in today’s service-oriented economy.

How To Market Your Business So People Will Remember You

imagesMarketing a business can be challenging, especially if you are working in an industry that is highly saturated or in-demand. Marketing your business and brand so people will remember you can be done by committing yourself to understand your customers and how to relate to them. The more involved you get with the marketing of your company, the easier it becomes to generate sales, revenue and loyal followers for years to come.

Create an Original Logo

Create an original logo that sets your business apart from other companies that are similar to your own. Using a modern, visually-appealing logo helps others remembers your company and what it has to offer. Design a logo that is relevant to the type of products or services you provide. The more relevant your logo is to the type of business you represent, the easier it will be for other individuals to remember and reference it in the future.

Speak at Conferences and Events

You can also market the business you represent to potential customers, clients and even business associates by speaking at conferences and events that are hosted in the industry you represent. When you are active with presenting the products and services you represent or if you are an expert on relevant topics to running businesses, speaking and giving speeches assists with becoming more memorable to those around you. When you speak at conferences and events, you are also getting free advertising and increasing the amount of exposure your business is capable of getting.

Use Promotional Products

Using promotional products is a great way to effectively market to any audience with the use of everything from promotional bags and coffee mugs to customized pens, stickers and magnets. If you want to implement promotional products within your own marketing plans, working together with a reliable promotional products company is highly recommended. Using promotional products can be done at conferences, events and even when you want to promote your business on the street.

Implement Social Media With Your Online Presence

Running a successful business today requires the implementation of a website and oftentimes, social media. Using social media effectively by updating your online followers and customers each day is a way to improve your overall reputation while gaining more exposure. When you become an active user of social media representing your business, other individuals will begin to remember you and the products or services you have to offer. Social media is highly effective when creating a business that is memorable, especially when you want to gain a wider audience with less limitations.

Network More Efficiently Using Social Media

imagesHow much time are you spending on social networking? Are you using social media to help you network? What networks make the most sense for you personally and professionally?

If you have ‘friends’ on Facebook and Twitter, it helps to know how networking can bolster those relationships. For some, these friendships can flourish in an exclusively online setting. Others feel there is no substitute for in-person friends, and social networks merely exist to enhance those relationships.

We’ve written recently at Damsels in Success on how to build good relationships with customers; why can’t these same tips apply to your online networking? In the end, it all comes down to human interaction, on a real and trusted basis.

The Global Web Index recently compiled these trends about the pervasiveness of social media in our personal and professional lives:

  • Active engagement is rising across all social platforms (Twitter is the fastest growing).
  • Participation in local social platforms (community boards and forums, etc.) are declining around the world.
  • Mobile use is driving big spikes in real-time active usage of social platforms everywhere.
  • Older Internet users are helping to grow social platforms.

The survey also found that:

  • The number of people accessing the Web with a smart phone jumped by 60 percent to 818.4 million since 2011.
  • 55-64 year olds are the fastest growing age bracket for Twitter, with a nearly 80 percent growth rate since 2012. Users in the 45-54 age group grew larger on Facebook (46 percent) and Google + (56 percent), respectively.

Connecting online is sometimes the first step toward longer, more fulfilling relationships offline. Sometimes, it’s just casual work-day talk. In any case, there are ways to know if your efforts in social media are helping with your own personal networking. One way to check is how busy your mobile device is day after day. If it seems you have to turn off your Samsung Galaxy 3 just to get some work done, then you know that your networking and social interactions are at peak levels.

Social Networking Options

Social Media Today discussed how to use social media for networking in a daily setting. Let’s look at some of the key findings:

Google+ — Google+ is an open network, meaning people can follow someone on Google+ without the peer pressure of having to follow that person back (like you would on Facebook). Google+ posts can also be more easily shared with others who are not in either person’s network.

Facebook — Facebook is much better at keeping friends and family up to date on personal comings and goings. It can be useful for networking to a certain degree, he says, but Facebook is better at facilitating friendships for family members, former school buddies and others. Linked-In and Twitter are the go-to points of contact for professional networking.

Twitter — If you’re passionate about social media, blogging, technology and more (like the author), Twitter is your place. There, you can tweet about your blog posts, share hashtags with others in similar topic areas, and gain a quick picture fix of what’s happening across the sphere of your networks.

LinkedIn — The granddaddy of business networking, LinkedIn has incorporated many new features that give it a distinctly ’Facebook’ feel. It provides a business feel with career details and highlights, but with a lighter, friendlier feel. Using LinkedIn to promote your career still comes naturally to many older business people who aren’t as apt to use Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Networking in the flesh

Once you’ve established some online relationships, whether via Linkedin Groups, Facebook engagement or Twitter chats, you can drill down more to find out if a personal meeting makes sense from a physical and logistical point of view.

Some social networks host networking events and users can tag along. On Meetup.com, a site hosting networking events in users’ local areas, you can use your Facebook account to check out various local events and gatherings. Depending where you want to take your networking, you can attend as few or as many events as time allows.

Of course, if you’re shy, then there are other obstacles you’ll need to overcome for efficient networking. CIO.com offers great tips for chronically shy people to be better networkers. (Stop apologizing!) If you’re more gregarious, and like talking to strangers, take advantage of it and invite your online networking contacts out for drinks, dinner or coffee. Once out with your contacts, you’ll find that conversations based on mutual interests can be a great confidence booster. Sharing knowledge is a two-way street — don’t forget that the online contact you are meeting is as eager to hear your thoughts as you are to hear his or hers.

It’s a misleading notion that networking events have to be awkward, stilted gatherings of people with similar business interests. This is patently untrue. As long as you smile, ask questions, listen, engage, and mark your conversation with a business card, then your networking should be as natural as any other human interactions you develop.

As you make new friends in person, build your professional and personal status with online contacts. Being at the top of the feed of one’s social network can help in getting onto that personal invitation lists for local gatherings. And as you integrate both online and offline into a satisfying whole, you’ll find that you’ve been efficiently networking all along!

 

Social Media In’s and Out’s: What You Should Be Utilizing For Your Business

social mediaGrowing a business in today’s world is best done with the use of Internet marketing, advertising and social media. If you have a business or a brand that you want to grow and promote, doing so is possible by implementing the use of social media tools and resources that are widely available and most often, free of charge. Understanding how to properly use social media is a way to take any brand or company to the next level without the traditional steep investments of advertising and marketing campaigns.

Multiple Networks

When you have a website or a business you want to promote online with the use of social media, be sure to create multiple user names and virtual pages on different social networking sites to maximize the amount of exposure you are able to receive. Registering your brand on social networking sites including Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter and even LinkedIn can greatly increase the chances of you receiving visitors to your website while gaining interest from potential customers and loyal clients over time.

Choosing the Right Hosting Option

It is important to choose the right hosting option for your website when you are promoting a business or any type of brand. A web host can mean the difference between a fast and slow-loading site and it is important to have the ability to program and design your website however you desire. Reading reviews on web hosts before you select one is ideal to ensure you are choosing a service that is reliable, affordable and will be host your website without any issues. You can visit a web hosting services provider like Midphase to find out more about reseller web hosting.

Communication Capabilities

Another aspect of social media that should be utilized when promoting a brand or an online website is the communication capabilities that are available. Communicating directly and openly with customers and visitors of your website is a way for you to keep your brand and business relevant while also staying aware of your consumers’ needs and desires. You can communicate directly to consumers with the use of instant comments and direct messages with all of the most popular social networking communities available today. The more you update and respond to your virtual followers, the more likely they are to refer your website or to use it themselves when they are making a purchase or are interested in the types of services you have to offer and provide.

Sharing Opportunities

Social media opens the doors to many sharing opportunities to help with promoting a product, service or an entire brand or individual. Using social media is a way to instantly gain additional virtual followers by having your current online fans “share”, “like” and help with re-posting links of your website and the content you publish. The more frequently you post and keep your visitors engaged, the more likely you are to receive the exposure you need to help with generating sales and potential income from the visitors who choose to click your links and to visit your website within the various social network accounts you have set up.

 

21 Rules for social media marketing

With the new year coming up quickly, many of us are beginning to set our list of goals for 2013. For businesses, social media strategies should be on your list. It’s an easy and cheap way to gain a following if you do it right. This infographic gives some great rules and tips for how to use social media to your advantage and how to create a winning strategy.

 

Using Social Media Communication to Boost Employee Morale

Social mediaEmployees who are motivated and have a high morale are more efficient, miss less sick days, and save the company thousands of dollars. High morale breeds productivity and creativity, two crucial components of a successful business.

Keeping employees morale high is one of the best things any company can do for itself. It creates a sense of loyalty that is unmatched in any other way. So now the million dollar question. How does your organization boost and sustain morale?

You might be surprised to find what the answer actually is, but first let me tell you what it’s not. Trying to boost morale by doing things like giving more time off, having more meetings or team building exercises, giving out unexpected gifts like gift certificates or sporting event tickets, or even handing out raises is not the answer to improve morale.

Sure, some people will be into that kind of stuff, but the majority of people want something a little bit different. The majority of people want to communicate better with the organization and with each other. Communication improves morale much more than any other technique.

 Communication

In a survey done a few years ago by a prominent business magazine, the best remedy for low morale in the opinion of a number of executives was regular communication. According to Max Mesmer, the chairman of Accountemps, “Regular communication with employees is always integral to the organization success, but it becomes especially critical during times of uncertainty.”

He goes on to say that when people are concerned about job security in the company’s well-being, updates from the top are essential. And when employees are informed, stress and anxiety levels go down while morale goes up! So communication should be number one on the list of things to do better in order to boost morale. And not just any communication, honest and personal communication.

 Use Social Media

Let’s face it, whether you like it or not, most employees use social media to communicate. Whether or not your organization prohibits the use of social media during work hours is beside the point. Using social media to reach out and connect with employees is a valuable tool that your company should use, frequently.

Most employees will already be connected to some social media like Facebook or Twitter. But sadly most businesses don’t use these social media communication devices to connect with employees. The employer should set up an internal Facebook or Twitter feed for employees and since everyone is already plugged in, embracing this should not be a leap for anyone.

By appointing someone to be the social media liaison you can make the first step in the right direction. Then make sure the person is doing their best to keep everyone on the same page and as current as possible with the company happenings. Managers and executives report the social media person, and in exchange, it gets distributed it via Facebook or Twitter. Quite simple really.

One of the beautiful things of social media is it’s a 2 way communication street. Take Facebook for example. An employer could keep everyone in the Grapevine by continuously updating the company Facebook page. Employees could “like” and “comment” on posts providing valuable feedback.

Using social media as a communication device needs to become a culture within an organization for it to work. What I mean is, people need to be comfortable participating in the social experience found on these platforms to generate an open dialog.

This is done by first encouraging participation and second having a little fun. Not every Facebook update about the company needs to be serious. Some updates can be fun which encourages participation.

Other updates might be about employee recognition. Maybe somebody did a great job at something and they can get some recognition on the Facebook page. This should encourage lots of communication.

 Honest and Personal Communication

For the past year we’ve been going through a very tumultuous presidential election in the United States. During that time the candidates have released attack ads against each other. Both candidates also reached out to their base and undecided voters. Much of this was done through email communication, but there was of course lots of social media work done. The sheer amount of dialog on these forums in response to a post by a candidate was staggering.

Receiving a personal email from Tagg Romney or Michelle Obama, depending on your political leanings, can make you feel special. The emails or telephone calls usually contain someone knowing your first name and past contribution history.

This personalized message makes people feel special and enhances feelings of wanting to contribute. I mean, it’s not every day that Joe Biden emails you for an extra couple of bucks and when he does you might want to help. We all know this is a mass email, but psychologically it feels very personal.

An organization is somewhat similar to this whole process. Managers or presidents and CEOs can all appeal to their employees through social media and email communication. With a little effort these communications can feel quite personalized. With even more effort direct messages can actually be completely personalized, depending on company size.

The more personal the communication the more effective it becomes. When employees feel like they’re having a conversation with management, and that there can be an open dialogue, morale boosts! Even if the message isn’t positive news, employees want to know the company strategy and be given the opportunity to be informed quickly. Not wait for a weekly meeting to get the news. This is a total morale booster.

 People Make Businesses Succeed

Sometimes the difference between success and failure is a very fine line. You can’t run a company without people, and people make companies succeed. If employees are disconnected from the company morale drops way down. But on the flip-side, when communication is done well inside a company… morale soars.

So why don’t you think about using social media within the organization to improve communication? Open up a dialogue between the top execs and the most valuable piece of any company, the people who make it happen everyday. The employees.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience. He is an advocate of employee team building.

Book Review: Breakthrough Branding

Today we are featuring a book that we know will be a huge resource to anyone looking for help with branding. This is one of those things that can be extremely daunting and often it’s hard to know where to start. Catherine Kaputa addresses this issue in her book Breakthrough Branding and gives mini case histories of dozens of brands to demonstrate what makes a brand thrive.

The book provides tools and steps that will help you mimic tactics of brands such as Red Bull, Groupon and Trader Joe’s. It shows how successful companies begin with three things: an entrepreneur, a winning idea and a smart brand strategy.

With the help of this book you can learn how to narrow the focus of your product or service, standout from other brands, create a company personality and place yourself as superior to your competition. All of this can be done with the right banding strategy.

Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND, also read the book and said, “Whether you’re dying to launch your own company, or are more of a reluctant entrepreneur, you face the imperative to build your brand. Catherine Kaputa has made this challenge her personal and professional study, and in this book she shares secrets worth many times the cost of admission.”

Breakthrough Branding truly has something for everyone and teaches you tactics that are up to date with the latest social media strategies. Take it from us, this is a book that is worth reading.

So, if you find yourself wanting to rebrand your company or if you are just starting out, check out Catherine’s book.

Tips for Successful Business Women Using Social Media to Reach Their Target Audience

In the new age of social media, is there a real business advantage, or is it simply meant for posting photos of your decadent dessert or having the highest score on Words with Friends? A recent survey indicates that there are over 144 million Americans that regularly use at least one social networking site. Interestingly enough, most of these social media outlets are dominated by women.

Retailers and women’s sites are booming with the recent popularity of their social networking pages and the draw to Pinterest is skyrocketing. Some retailers have even seen a 6000% traffic increase! In fact Pinterest drives more women to some websites than Facebook and Twitter combined. This is fascinating news if you are a business owner, salesperson, or marketing professional who needs to get attention to your company.

“Pinterest is the newest and fastest growing social media website today, and how to use Pinterest for business should be on your mind,” says social media and marketing specialist Bill Crosby. Reaching 10 million unique visitors each month, savvy and successful business women are taking advantage of this priceless marketing opportunity. He also indicates that 80% percent of its users are women, so it presents itself as a powerful marketing tool to help women in business attract literally millions of female customers that may have interest in the product or service. These marketing professionals and social media gurus are seeing their sales boom, their email marketing list grow, and their businesses thrive with the new opportunity social media networking sites present.

So just what are these wildly successful women doing that gets them noticed on the social media network? Read on to find out.

Savvy Social Media Secrets of Successful Business Women

Provide High Quality and Useful Information

Interest in your business will grow with each post you make with information your audience actually wants and needs. Your content should be unique and targeted for your audience. Providing useful information in an area in which you excel is the best way to become an influential user that people turn to.

Use Social Media as a Main Marketing Tool

You can find valuable information about what your customers and target audience like and want, and how they feel about promotions, contests and other strategies you use. You can get feedback on products and services and build an email marketing list from followers so you can contact them directly with offers.

Spotlight Your Goods

Give followers the chance get a more in depth look at your product or service. Physical retailers know that as customers interact with products they get attached to them and are more likely to buy them, make social media serve the same purpose. Show the manufacturing process, educate them about the history of your company, spotlight an employee, or show them the materials used to make your goods.

Directly Ask Your Customers What They Want

What better way is there to know what your customers want then asking them? Don’t be afraid to get product ideas and suggestions directly from your followers. You can even have them participate in the decision making process and making them feel they are being heard.

Many successful business women are utilizing the social media network to grow their businesses and are having extraordinary results. No matter what strategy you use, or what social network site you choose, be just be sure that you do take advantage of this remarkable marketing opportunity.

Spreading the Word: Marketing for Small Business

Small businesses and other start-ups share a lot in common: most are full of hopes and expectations.  Most small business owners have a product that they really believe in. Most are staffed largely by magnanimous family members. And most…are short on cash. Does this sound familiar? So you’ve started a business, and now you’re looking at how you can start to market and grow your business past where you’ve been able to take it on your own. You’ve likely wondered how you can maximize every last cent in the company coffers to do the most good, but with so many costs, including rent, employee compensation, possible insurance premiums, and other overhead, it may seem like spending what little cash you have on marketing. But spreading the word is crucial to your company’s growth and marketing for small business doesn’t have to cost big bucks.

Diffusing your message through the marketplace isn’t as expensive as it used to be, largely as a result of the advent of internet-based marketing. Content generators can craft messages that they post online, usually at no cost. These messages can then be viewed, re-viewed, re-tweeted, or “liked,” all at little or no cost to you. Building momentum in this way is important, because even if you have the best product or service around, no one can buy it if they don’t know about it.

But using social media to build your business isn’t just a function of how many bits of content you generate. It’s also about targeting your message to hit the right audience. Sometimes this means posting content in places you know it’s likely to be viewed, but sometimes it also means that you step aside and let someone else do the talking for you. And by the way, it’s best if that person has a sizeable audience. That’s where a little bit of research comes in handy.

You likely already know your industry quite well, but do you know the names of the trendsetters in your industry? Who are the thought leaders? If you don’t, you should find out. A good way to do this is jumping onto your Twitter account. Look for the conversations that are relevant to your industry, and then look for the people whose names seem to come up again and again. If you’re looking for extra confirmation, use a free service like Klout to find out who has the biggest audience. At that point, you can make a concerted effort to win that person over to your product! Send your target a free sample of your product, and make sure that you do your very best to ensure that he or she has a good experience. Winning over a trendsetter can move mountains for your business because you can leverage the work that he or she has already done to win an audience, and turn it to your favor. Isn’t that worth the cost of sending out a free sample?

Another way to use the internet to market your company is simply through your mobile website or to build a mobile app.  More and more people will visit your website from a mobile device and if the experience works well for the user then you can build your business from that. But when should you build a mobile app vs. using your website? So should you build a mobile app? Apps have a few benefits–things like push notification, occupying real estate on your phone screen, and integration with your phone in ways that websites can’t (like your camera).  But if your app doesn’t offer entertainment or some sort of tool you may want to re-think an app and go with a better mobile experience and spend the money marketing your site.

While using the more traditional strategies of placing ads in newspapers and purchasing space on billboards still has its place, you might consider the merits of social media and other online tools. With so little to lose (in terms of advertising costs) and so much to gain, it’s definitely worth your time to investigate.