3 Ways To Let Your Team Members Know How To Succeed

Ask any business leaders if they believe it’s their job to make sure their team members are equipped with the necessary tools to perform their jobs, they would answer yes, of course.

So why is it that emplyees who get all the new office equipment still often feel they don’t get the support they need, while others work in much less attractive settings but are able to perform with success and enthusiasm?

Well the truth is, the tools that really help someone accomplish their work and feel motivated are the intangibles that are much harder to foster.   Thankfully, like everything else, the harder something is, the more benefit that comes.

From my experience managing teams, these are the most important 3 ways to let your team members know how to succeed.

  1. Communication.

    How are you communicating with the individual members of your team?  Do you speak to them all the same way? Have you ever considered what their personal communication needs are? Some of your team members need to be spoken to in a short and direct form, whereas others need to be suggested things in a more conversational way.

    The challenging part is finding out what ways each person operates and a very useful resource is Dan Millers website 48days.com where you can access personality assessments for your whole team. He offer tools that help you figure out exactly who you are dealing with and what their personality strengths are. This is also essential in order to put them in the positions in which they shine.  It’s about getting the right people in the right seats and communicating with them so they know how to shine.

  2. Key Result Areas.

    Do your team members know exactly what they need to do in order to win every day? If your answer is no, then you have a problem. As a business leader, one of the most important things to do is make sure your team members feel confident they know how to be successful.

    Think about it, who is more motivated, someone who is running toward a goal they can see, or someone who is running with no idea why? Every person you lead should know exactly what their KRA’s are so they can be motivated, and very importantly, accountable.  For a great explanation of KRA’s check out Dave Ramsey’s book titled Entreleadership.

  3. Regular Engagement.

    So let’s say your have your staff take personality assessments and you’ve read them over.  You’ve also sat with each one of them and detailed their Key Result Areas and each person you lead knows exactly how to win each and every day.  What do you do now? Well, now you take all this information and engage them regularly.

    I think daily engagement is probably the right amount for most roles, but of course there are cases where it might not be practical or it may even be detrimental.  The point is, it needs to be regular, and of high quality. I start every day off with a meeting with my team in which we go over what we accomplished the previous day, and we set the priorities for that day.  This keeps things moving and keeps people actively engaged in their KRA’s.

These are just a few tools/practices that help me keep my team productive and I can assure you there is much more to write on these topics.   Along with the resources I’ve mentioned above, I suggest reading books by Jim Collins.  These are mandatory readings for my team members.



5 Reasons You Should Start Tweeting

My name is Jono Landon and I’m an internet business developer in Toronto Canada and recently I felt the need to write about my top 5 reasons you should start tweeting.

Even as someone who knows a lot about social networks, until recently the real value of twitter was somewhat hidden from me.  I say “real value” because though I’ve understood twitter from a text book point of view, it wasn’t until I started to depend on it that I really got it.  And to be honest, I think there is still much for me to learn.

So what caused this new dependancy? well I happen to be launching a new niche social network here in my home town, Toronto.  Our target early adopters are mommy bloggers and once I started connecting with this unique and exciting breed online, it didn’t take long to see how twitter is the glue that holds this group together.  And well, you gota be where your market is.

The way I can best sum up Twitter, is that it’s like texting with your friends but doing it publicly.  Being that it’s public, it’s a great way to bring other interested parties into the conversation.  So when someone is searching twitter for something they need and they find your conversation about it, they find you.  If you are someone who can help them solve their problem then you’ve got a opportunity in your hands.  That opportunity could be a business lead, restaurant recommendation, up to date traffic info… you name it, people are tweeting it.

Tweeting takes some time to figure out, but there are only a few things you need to get used to.  Like reading words with symbols before them (#, @) and learning how to express lots of meaning within 140 characters. Here are my top 5 reasons you should start tweeting.

  1. It will improve your communication skills. Twitter forces you to communicate a message that is engaging within a 140 maximum character limit.  This is an exercise in being concise and clear.  I can’t think of a more valuable lesson for writers, especially copy writers.
  2. It’s a great way to meet people you relate to.  People find each other based around topics that matter to them.  Where else are there millions of people in one place looking to connect about topics at all hours of the day.  It has simply never existed before.  For example, while connecting with mommy bloggers on twitter I met @elizabethtraub, had a very enjoyable hour long phone conversation during which I learned about her talented musician daughter Emily Otteson.  I happen to also work in the music industry so this was a lot of fun.
  3. It requires virtually no investment.  Not only are there millions of people looking to connect but they are doing it in a incredibly simple, convenient, fast, and free way.
  4. It’s a lot of fun.  It’s like a puzzle, trying to get your message across in 140 characters.  When you’re forced to be concise, you start to learn which words are essential and which words encapsulate many others.  It’s a game.
  5. It will ensure you are not out to lunch with progress. Though it takes a little more labor to get into the grove then facebook does, this things isn’t going any where so you might as well at least give try and see what all the fuss is about.

I’m sure I’m going to write more about Twitter down the road as I continue to use it and see more value.  In the mean time, I hope this helps shed some light on this strange but incredibly powerful form of connecting with others.  Happy tweeting!

10 Ways To Generate More Blog Traffic

Welcome to my newest blog post, 10 Ways to Generate More Blog Traffic.  Like all my posts, they come from my research and experiences working as an online business developer in Toronto Ontario Canada.

In this blog post, I discuss how to generate more traffic to your blog. These are the same basic techniques I use to increase my traffic. You can dramatically increase your blog traffic by following these ten strategies.

Every single writer wants to be read, thats the whole point. They want to influence, entertain and grow their readership. Well it’s not simple, so don’t try to find a silver bullet and get ready to buckle down with these 10 strategies to drive more traffic to your blog. They work.

Now, before doing anything else, make sure you install some kind of analytics tool, like Google Analytics to your site so you can track what is actually happening. If you don’t have it, stop what you’re doing and go get it because if you can’t measure your blog traffic, you can’t grow your blog traffic.

  1. Write great content that people will shareIf you are not writing stuff people want to read, smarter marketing will not fix the problem. Content is king, there is no substitute for that. Great marketing actually makes a bad product die faster so make sure you aren’t spending valuable time marketing something that actually sucks. Begin by creating a killer headline that makes people want to read what you have to say. If you don’t know much about writing headlines then become a student of writing great headlines because if you can’t catch people with a headline they aren’t even going to get to your great article. Start by reading Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich by David Garfinkel.
  2. Adhere to a consistent schedule. You can’t expect to increase your traffic if you don’t blog regularly. You can’t get all excited, write a bunch of posts and then leave it for 3 months and expect to see your traffic take off. Frequency leads to visibility and that leads to traffic which then leads to business growth. Some people do it once a day and some people do it once a week… we are still talking about blogging right?. My suggestion is to start with that you can commit to doing regularly. For me, being in charge of a new tech startup and having a band that I’m promoting and having a million other ideas that I want to start, and having a wife who does deserve some attention, I just can’t do more than once a week. That said, three times a week is even better. Five times a week is best—but NOT if the quality of your content suffers.
  3. Don’t be lazy, get your own domain name. If you don’t have your own domain that you own you simply don’t look like a serious blogger. Also, it’s much easier for someone to pass along your blog to others when they can say JonoLandon.com instead of ljasdfljasdflkjsfdl.jonolandon.com/094308734250-89723460897. Also, if you don’t own your name online then buy it, even if someone owns it, just buy it for as much as you can afford. It’s your name and down the road I think that the value of that is going to grow exponentially for everyone, not just bloggers.  Not that I think they are the best by any means but I buy all my domains and do my hosting at GoDaddy just ’cause I started there a long time ago and I’m too lazy to go find a better solution.
  4. Place your blog address everywhere. It should appear virtually everywhere your name appears. You need to treat each and every impression as precious, so if there are 5 people that see your twitter profile in one day that is 5 opportunities to get their eyes on your site, and when they share your content with their friends it gets your blog in front of their faces too. Get it? What about business cards, presentation slides, facebook timeline image, printed on your shirt, tattooed on your nose… wherever you can think of put it. Of course, be tasteful.
  5. Make it easy to subscribe to your blog. You don’t want to depend on your readers to remember to come back to your blog. Instead, you want them to subscribe, so they get every new post you write. They should be able to do so by either RSS or email. (Use both.) Position these two buttons prominently so that those who want to subscribe don’t have to hunt for them. With out a subscribe button you are basically expecting people to sit with your blog open patiently waiting for you post something new. Not a good retention strategy by the way. Make sure you have an RSS feed icon with your social icons at the top right corner of your page because that is the easiest place to find it. If you are using WordPress, which you should be, there are great plugins that are super easy. Think about how cool it would be to have your blog posts automatically show up in people’s email inboxes. Well it couldn’t be much easier to do. I use a free plugin called Subscribe / Connect / Follow Widget which took me all of 2 minutes to install.
  6. Optimize your posts for SEO. In case you are very new to this SEO means Search Engine Optimization. Which means that when people go to Google and do a search for keywords that are connected to your posts topic. This doesn’t happen unless you optimize your post for SEO. Again, no other blogging platform holds a candle to WordPress which offers plugins that makes it super easy to have the added functionality to make sure your blog has every thing it needs to be found. I use two plugins for this called: All-in-One SEO Pack and the other is Scribe SEO.  The latter is paid for but worth the money.
  7. Utilize social media. Use social media to network, build relationships, and announce new blog posts. Let’s say you have a retail store, and you are standing outside the shop and wondering where all the people are. Well, did you put your store in a busy place? did you put up ads on billboards? Well for a website the one of the most important places to make sure your seen is on the social networks you like to use. Pay attention to that last part, the ones “you like to use”. People think that it matters which networks you use but I don’t think it does because they are all great and all that matters is that you love using it so you keep using it and keep getting the visibility from using it. One caveat, do NOT spam people. You have to be social not spammy. For instance, on Twitter you can and should post your articles but don’t just repeatedly annoy people with them. Rather spend more time just developing rapport with other users. Re-Tweet other articles, reply to tweets you like, share them with other people etc. It’s all about reciprocal actions.  If you’re in the Toronto area and are looking for someone to teach you about this check out Sarah Zeldman @ theemarketingmaven.com.
  8. Be part of the conversation. Make it easy for your readers to comment on your posts because people want to participate and when they do it’s great for you. I recommend the facebook comments (It’s what I use and guess what, that’s right, there’s a WordPress plugin for that). Don’t make them have to register. This only adds friction. Engage in the conversation yourself, reading your comments and replying as appropriate. The facebook comments is great because when someone comments it gets posted on the facebook feeds of their friends with a link back to your post. We call that social optimization.
  9. Comment on other blogs. As you read other people’s blog posts, leave comments. I’m not taking about spamming people with invitations to read your blog. Instead, engage in the conversations that interest you and build credibility. Make sure that you register with their commenting system if possible, so there is always a link back to your blog.
  10. Be a guest blogger. I have to admit, I don’t do this yet myself. That is primarily due to being to busy to write for myself more than once a week. There are many very successful bloggers who get their traffic almost exclusively by guest blogging on sites that get lots of traffic .

Beyond that you want to make sure you are using a good , SEO-optimized blog theme. There are hundreds on the market. I use Twenty Eleven and like it a lot.

Also, please remember that there really is no silver bullet and this takes time so be patient. Think of this like the turtle and hare, who always wins?

If you have a question or comment please email me.