In life, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In business, getting a referral or testimonial, is the highest form of flattery, and is the currency on which you build your reputation. The better your reputation, the easier it is for your front-line staff to do their jobs and add to your growth.
A reflection on our 30 year anniversary and building an industry.
By Andrew Begnoche Director of Operations at Holdcom
February 7th, 2017 CDM Studios, New York, NY
“Let’s stop there for a second,” interjects the engineer as he pushes the talk back mic in the main studio at New York City’s CDM Studios, waiting for feedback from the writers and producer. As long time creative collaborators and business owners, Harvey Edelman and Neil Fishman banter back and forth about the performances during the recording of a ground-breaking audio book musical project they’re pioneering.
As I watch Neil and Harvey work through their creative process on an adaption of their musical version of Rumpelstiltskin, a story about a man who spins straw into gold, I can’t help reflect on our journey and how we’ve been trying to spin our own straw into gold at Holdcom. In order to best tell that story we need to go back to the beginning.
As a company that’s been in the telecommunications industry for 25 years, we’ve seen our fair share of new technologies come and go, but VoIP is one that’s going to be around for many years. It’s the foundation on which our future telephone networks are being built and if you haven’t already switched over to a VoIP system, you will be sometime in the future.
If you Google “optimizing Voip phone system” you’ll get bombarded with articles about configuring routers and switches and how to avoid traffic overload and lost data packets. That’s not the optimization we’re talking about. Our emphasis is on the customer experience and making the system efficient and productive for you and your customers. No doubt your VoIP system has more capabilities than you’re used to and possibly more than you’ll know what to do with, but take the time, and learn how to take advantage of its features.
Breaking down the Perfect Profile Photo
Getting face to face sure has changed in the age of social networking. Whether you entered social networks with a purpose or you sort of found yourself there serendipitously, it’s pretty clear by now your profile picture is being judged. Whether we like it or not, our profile picture quality reflects the quality of our work. Take control of those first impressions and make sure your photo is projecting the right image about you and your brand. Having a perfect profile photo can put your viewers at ease and increase engagement.
Before we break down how to take a quality photo, the most important aspect of your profile picture is to understand its intent. Consider the network you’re sharing it on and how you wish to be perceived there. It may seem obvious that your LinkedIn photo should be more professional than a Facebook photo, but what if you use Facebook for business? How authentic do you really want to be? If you’re in a creative field, you may have more latitude when it comes to being original with your photo, but in the end it reflects who you are.
A profile picture should feature “YOU”. Avoid group shots or awkwardly cropped photos which have extraneous arms or objects spilling out of frame. Keep it professional. You may have rocked that outfit on Thanksgiving, but the red solo cup is not helping. And don’t even THINK about taking a selfie.
From a technical stand point the most important things to consider are lighting, background and pose.
- Lighting – If you’re not using a professional photographer, natural light should work best to provide enough light while making the image look warm and inviting. The trick here is just the right amount of light. Avoid strong light that will cast harsh shadows. Find a location and shooting angle for the softest light and softest shadows.
- Background – Just because the loading dock has the right light, doesn’t mean anyone wants to see the dumpster in the background. Try to get ample space between you and the background. Something with texture might work well, but remember you should be the focal point.
- Pose – Avoid the sorority “skinny arm” and be sure to angle your body about 45 degrees away from the camera, while keeping your head facing the camera. Try a few different poses and angles to find the one that is the most flattering.
The customer experience begins with the first interaction of your brand or organization. If your customers are engaging with your company in a physical space, like a store, restaurant or waiting area their experience will be positively or negatively impacted by the quality of the environment. Is the presentation of your setting favorable? Is it clean and inviting? Does it have visual interest that’s engaging like digital signage or decor reflective of your image? Are you using sound to elevate the customer experience?
By evaluating your venue from all aspects and making positive adjustments, you will improve the customer experience. An often overlooked element of customer experience is background music and the role it plays in how well a customer finds their interaction to be. Choosing appropriate overhead music can have an effect on customer behavior. Volume, tempo and genre are key factors which have an effect on behavior as found in a study done regarding “Effects of background music on Concentration of workers”. Be sure to choose a business music service which has the music content to suit your target audience. When done correctly the right overhead music can boost your business.
As video marketing continues to take top priority on marketers agendas, companies and brands are scrambling to find the resources and funds for this highly engaging and sought after digital content.
An easy way to get started using video content as part of your marketing strategy is to turn to existing content which can easily be repurposed as video. Breathe new life into your PowerPoint Presentations and convert them to videos. Add professional audio and voilà you’ve got yourself a quality piece of video content suited for top-of-the-funnel customer experience.
Audio eGreeting cards are another low cost entry into video marketing. These timely videos are an effective way to let customers know how much you care. Combine licensed images and music with a carefully crafted message, add your logo and an appropriate call to action and you’re ready to go. Check out the podcast below to learn more about using eGreeting cards to engage your customers.
Digital Marketing continued to be on everyone’s todo list in 2013. Check out these 6 popular posts from our blog which cover all your digital marketing from your phone system, to your website, and beyond. They’ll inspire you to complete every item on your marketing agenda.