Welcome To Relax Consulting's Blog

Transparent thoughts and ideas from Administrative Consultant (aka: Virtual Assistant, Crystal Casavant of Relax Consulting.

Relax Consulting - Let Us Help, So YOU Can RELAX!

Phone: 920.645.7529

Email: Crystal@RelaxConsulting.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Five Star Rating & Fabulous Review for Relax Consulting!

We just received a five star rating and fabulous review from one of our newest clients. Here's the scoop:

5 Stars from the team at Wick's World of Wood http://wicksworldofwood.com/

Crystal's Professionalism is Second to None!

Our company had Relax Consulting work on some advertising designs for a new campaign. The level of professionalism was second to none. We received the designs on time and they were just what we were looking for. We look forward to working with Crystal in the future.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Rewards Should NOT Be Complicated

As am employer, marketing professional, or parent, keep in mind that rewards should not be overly complicated. If you make them too complicated, they will not inspire or motivate which was likely your intent from the beginning.

Not sure you agree?

Do you choose a grocery store where you are required to use a card to get a discount and then do you use a gas station where you have to use your grocery card to get reduced price gas? Maybe you do and maybe you don't...but in reality, it's complicated for most people. I need to find my coupons, remember what day is double coupon day, find my grocery list, make sure I have my card...then I need to make sure I have enough points on my card to warrant driving out of my way to the gas station that accepts the card and I need to make sure that I'm making that drive on a day that I need gas and prior to the points expiring. If I choose not to use the points for gas, then I can redeem them for a particular item on a particular day or something to that extent.

Really? I'll be honest with you...I usually drive across town to the discount store that doesn't take coupons, doesn't have a store card, offers no gimmicks or incentives, and simply provides me with quality service, products, and price. We are all very busy and simple goes quite far.

Keep rewards simple and more people will be interested in them. Make them too complicated and you'll defeat the purpose.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Two Paws Up for Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg

Two Paws Up for Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg

I purchased Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg. This particular read was recommended by a successful business associate, and I really liked the catchy title. I am generally a dog person, but I have owned cats. If your cat is barking, it likely has a hairball and you can imagine what happens next. I can’t say I’ve ever been waiting for my cat to bark but I love marketing ideas and I was told how business savvy the Eisenberg brothers were. I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the book. Now I know this book will be on my bookshelf twenty years from now. This is a great read and I’d give it two paws up (in keeping with the cat and dog theme).

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark helps readers prepare for the today’s tech savvy consumers who want to be engaged and are not looking to be sold on products and services. The Eisenberg brothers explain the power of Persuasion Architecture ™ and the importance of setting goals, measuring results, and changing course as needed to reach your target audience. Today’s customers don’t make purchases or decisions the way they did twenty years ago. If we are using the same marketing strategies we were in the past, our businesses will fail.

The Small Business Association announced in 2011 there were 27+ Million Small Businesses in the United States, between 60% and 80% of all new jobs in the United States are attributed to Small Business, and from the point of startup, only 44% will survive four years. As business owners, if we aren’t following some sort of business model, we will be searching for another line of work. When our businesses fail, it also affects our self-esteem and our personal relationships. We cannot afford to get so involved in the day to day operations of our business that we neglect our marketing plan.

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark explains the four dimensions of sales complexity and goes into great detail about the human operating system. Marketing isn’t just about developing a product and selling it. Today’s customer is in control and successful businesses understand they need to provide value in addition to their core product and service. To provide someone with value, you must understand what motivates them and you need to position yourself in such a way that you are partnering with them to achieve a common goal. Today’s customers will buy, but they do not want to be sold. If customer satisfaction is truly a thing of the past and customer loyalty is the key, we should all want dogs instead of trying to convert our cats into ‘man’s best friend’. If we want our dogs to be loyal, we need to treat them right, spend time with them, and understand what brings them the most joy. As a customer, wouldn’t we all love that kind of attention and appreciation? As a business owner, don’t we look at that kind of loyalty of priceless?

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark is the business book you’ll want on your book shelf years from now. The cover will become tattered because you will reference it time and time again. Two paws up for a priceless marketing guide. Some might say if you have a marketing model or you are starting a new business you need this book. I would go so far as to say boldly: If you have a product or service to sell, you cannot afford to wait another day to get your copy of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark. Regardless of your niche or level of experience, there is something to learn from the Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg.

For more information or to interact with Bryan and Jeff, check out there website: http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer 2012 Relax Consulting Newsletter - Released Today!

The Summer 2012 Relax Consulting Newsletter is now available on our website. If you prefer a printed version, please let us know and we can mail you a hard copy.

Here is a link right to the newsletter: http://www.relaxconsulting.com/Relax_Newsletter_6-20-2012.pdf

This month, we are featuring Olivia Brey of Oh Photography and her submission as part of our Fabulous Friday project on Facebook. Congratulations Olivia and thank you for 'liking' us!

Playing With New Facebook Features

Who doesn't like to try something new every now and again? Admit it, it's more fun to use the brand new tube of lipstick even though there's a few days left on the old one...and for you men, same thing with the bar of soap in the shower. New usually means exciting...UNLESS...you don't have clear instructions or previous knowledge to help guide you.

Facebook changes quickly. They have to, because in the world of technology, if you aren't changing you are falling behind. Take some time this week to play with some of the new Facebook Features. To get you started, here are some step by step instructions how you can use your Facebook business page to help highlight other businesses in your network, add information about the key players of the business, and limit administrator privileges.

To Work With Administrator Privileges, follow the instructions below:

From the Home Screen, Click "Edit Page" (screen shot below)

Choose Admin Roles from the drop down (screen shot below)

The next screen allows you to add managers, creators, and different levels of administrators and then give them the appropriate title and abilities (screen shot below)
For an explanation of the different roles - see this link: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=394501407235259

Now...to use your page to highlight other business pages, follow the instructions below:

From the Home Screen, Click "Edit Page" (screen shot below)
Click "Update Info" which will bring you to the following screen (on the left hand side):

Choose the option titled "Featured". This will bring you to an editable screen including all of the pages you have liked (see example below).

In the example above, I chose "Fallier Automotive" and 4 others, so now my Featured Likes list, looks like this:

When you go to the Relax Consulting main Facebook page, you'll see these pages being featured. This is a great way to help other businesses get the word out about their Facebook pages.

To Learn how to Feature a Page Owner on the Left Side of Your Business Page, see instructions below:

From the screen you were just on to choose Featured Likes, there is an area directly beneath it that allows you to choose who the Featured Page Owner is. You can only choose one and their information will be highlighted on the left side of the page. This can be changed as often as you wish (ie: you have 2 owners, you may want to alternate weeks or whatever fits with your marketing agenda)

Hope this was helpful & here's the finished product: http://www.facebook.com/successwithrelax

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Increase Your Career Confidence

An article was published on July 4, 2011 by Ray Williams in Wired for Success titled: "Is Loyalty Dead?" summarizing that employer and employee loyalty was a thing of the past. This is a growing trend and a concern. It's more important than ever to increase your own personal career confidence so the loyalty scare doesn't keep you up at night.

In the world of marketing, loyalty is everything and satisfaction is meaningless. In the world of employee and employer relations, loyalty is becoming a thing of the past. Key players in organizations are leaving, or the organization is leaving them (the dreaded F word - fired). In truth, if you are looking for someone to make a mistake, they will. Whether the employer or the employee is the cause, the relationship is broken and both parties are left to pick up the pieces.

The employer will find someone to fill the position, the employee will find another job, and the cycle continues. The emotional void is hardest til fill. The employer has others to worry about, the employees co-workers are likely left wondering what went wrong, or they are concerned that they may be next or that they should also start looking. They may also question the solvency of the organization. For the employee, the relationship with the next employer is automatically strained because of the baggage brought to the table. These statements are both true, regardless of who made the decision to break the relationship.

A business relationship is similar in many ways to a dating relationship. There may be comments about the ex, concerns about future compatibility, and the urge to compare the new to the old and the old to the new. The key to overcoming these obstacles is confidence. Confidence is defined as the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. The confidence factor is important for all parties (previous employer, previous employee, current employer, current employee).

The previous employer needs to feel certain that they made the right decision for the right reasons. They cannot go back and change what happened, so second guessing themselves is a waste of time and energy. Similarly, the previous employee needs to feel certain that the decision was made with the best intention of the organization and they need to feel certain their skills and abilities will land them in a better position. The current employer needs to feel certain that their new employee is a good fit for their organization and they have to recognize that no two businesses are the same. They cannot blame the new employee for things that went wrong with their previous post. If they have any doubts, they should be left behind once the hiring decision has been made. There is the current employee who also needs to be confident. They cannot feel that they are a replacement for the previous person. They are not a stand in or a second runner up. They are simply, the best person for the position - no holes barred. The current employee needs to feel certain that they have the right skills and abilities to achieve the organizations expectations. They cannot question the decisions that were made in the past.

Some synonyms for confident are: brave, bold, sure, trusting, fearless, and positive. These are qualities that are sought after in today's job market. An job seeker is looking for a positive and trusting work environment. Employers are looking to hire brave and fearless leaders. All things equal, regardless of employer or employee loyalty, confidence will win out in the end. Increasing your career confidence will get you through the tough spots that are bound to arise in your career. Stop worrying about loyalty and concentrate on something you can control - your confidence!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Introducing Fabulous Friday at Relax Consulting

We know, We know...the office isn't even really open on Fridays...but...Facebook usage statistics show that in 20 minutes on Facebook, the following occurs:
* 1 Million links are shared
* 2.7 Million photos are uploaded
* 2.7 Million messages are sent
* 1.8 Million status updates
* 10.2 Million comments are made

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest country on our planet. Friday is a great day to share with our community of Facebook friends, and an opportunity to share means an opportunity to encourage and inspire. That's why Relax Consulting came up with a plan for Fabulous Friday at Relax Consulting.

Here's the 'scoop':

What: an opportunity to share and inspire

When: every Friday on the Relax Consulting FB page

Why: because we are a community that cares about one another

Who: anyone can participate (but we'd appreciate if you'd like our page)  http://www.facebook.com/successwithrelax

Details: sometime during the week, share a photo, story, joke, picture, or poem with us and we will choose one to share with everyone on Friday.

To "share" - all you need to do is place your submission on our wall. Keep in mind this is a family friendly page and we ask that all submissions be tasteful.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Draino for Writer's Blockages

It's Crystal and you may not always like what I write, how I write, etc...in fact I know there are people that don't like anything I write...but that doesn't stop me from writing. People tell me that they have writer's block; they were once amazing creative or technical writers and now they can't figure out what to write at all. Here are some tips that work for me - they may or may not work for others, but like anything in life...take what you want and leave the rest behind. So, here are my thoughts, for what they are worth:

Read a book or blog by your favorite author - you may be thinking "what does reading have to do with writing?" but in reality, you probably write a lot like your favorite author (in the same way that you probably have similar interests with your closest friends). Reading what he/she has written may be just the spark you need to start your writing fire and unclog that writer's block.

Don't make writing a have to...so journal! - something exciting had to have happened to you today. If you aren't ready for blogging, then write it down in a journal. Don't worry about punctuation or spelling, just spill it out like you would talk to your bestie. Many people tell me that reading my blogs make them feel like they're talking to me - I don't put a lot of thought into it, which lets my readers know that I'm authentic and my writing is conversational. If I put too much pressure on, my writing doesn't flow.

Write a letter to a friend - share your day, a funny experience, etc... you don't need to write a novel at this point, you're just trying to get the blockage out of the drain. Write a little or a lot, but just write...and once the blockage is gone, the writing will come naturally again!

That's it - three little steps you can take. Once the block is gone, start blogging and be sure to let us know where we can find your blog - we'd love to read what you're writing!

Keep in touch and keep sharing ideas and experiences!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Interesting Concept for you Writers out There

Pin Your Articles to Increase Your Exposure? 

Check this out (fun article I found) and share your thoughts on it...do you like Pinterest? Has it worked for you? ~Crystal

Educate, Motivate, and Inspire with Your Articles on Pinterest
Commonly described as one of the most addicting social networking platforms, Pinterest is a web-based “pinboard” that’s a convenient way to pin anything you find interesting or motivating to share with the world.
You can use Pinterest to your advantage by pinning your articles to increase your exposure. Pinning your EzineArticles.com published articles helps you build a bridge of trust:
From Pinterest (point of entry) to EzineArticles.com (bridge of trust) to your blog or website (safe-landing).
As a Pinterest user, you can upload and link to anything you want to share with others, repin everything that sparks you interest, comment on or like other users’s pins, and easily organize your pins onto Boards.
The pins or images link to the original source, which in turn increases the source’s exposure. Should another user become interested in a pin, they will click-through to the source’s website for more information. If they like what they see, they will repin it.

Not on Pinterest? If you know someone who is already on Pinterest, ask them to send you an invitation. Otherwise, you can request a Pinterest invite (for more information about joining Pinterest click here).
If you already have a Pinterest account, here’s how you can pin your articles:
First of all, you need an image that’s highly relevant to your article, as well as original and sharable. To do this, you can:
  • Create the image yourself. This is the easiest method, although it might not be the most polished. There are several apps you can download to give even the most amateur photo that little something extra to attract Pinterest users and increase your chances of getting your pins repinned.
  • Invest in (or make friends with) a graphic designer. If you don’t have a friend with whom you could barter services, scope out freelancing websites to request an original, polished image.
  • Purchase stock images. If you are looking for polished work for your pins, but don’t want to put in the effort to develop and cultivate the images yourself, try websites, like iStock Photo or Shutterstock, which provide pay as you go images and/or subscriptions to purchase images.
Once you have an original image that corresponds with your article, follow these steps from yourPinterest account:
  1. Select “Add +” and then select “Upload a Pin”
  2. Select “Browse” and then open an image from your computer
  3. Select a relevant Board to categorize your pin*
  4. “Describe your pin” by providing a hook and the title of the article in 500 characters or less
  5. Select “Pin It” and then select “Edit”
  6. In the “Link” field, paste the URL to your published article, select “Save Pin,” and you’re done!
*Tip: Don’t use Board names relevant only to you, e.g. “My Articles.” Use keywords relevant to your niche to increase your pins ability to be searched. For example, let’s say dog grooming is your niche. Relevant keywords to create Boards may include “Dog Breeds,” “DIY Dog Grooming,” etc.
Pinterest users pin and repin items to be inspired, to be motivated, to connect with others, and to discover new things. Bear this in mind and use the above strategy to increase your exposure and credibility today.
Browse and follow EzineArticles pins on Pinterest by clicking here!