Category Archives: Career

Lawyers: think marketing isn’t necessary? Think again

As a lawyer, your services are always in demand. You may be a divorce lawyer helping couples come to amicable conclusions or a labour law professional dealing with the CCMA or labour disputes on a daily basis – whatever your speciality, legal services are usually in high demand.

However, many lawyers overlook the power of and the need for marketing in their industry. If you do not market yourself or if your firm is not marketing itself, you may be losing out on high-paying clients. Taking marketing courses will help you to understand just how useful marketing can be.

Why do I need marketing?

You may have studied for years to become a lawyer and can understand complex topics, but marketing is most likely a new and confusing concept to you. There are some pertinent facts as to why you need to market your services, including the following.

Competition is intensifying

Arguably the most important reason why lawyers need to market their practices or firms is the fact that competition in the legal world is fierce. And unless you can come up with a catch-phrase as memorable as Saul Goodman’s, you will need to be creative to beat the competition.

The increase in law students also means that there is more competition in the job market, so you will need to learn how to market yourself to potential employers and clients.

Beating bad press

It is well known that lawyers and legal professionals often receive bad press from the media. Marketing and PR strategies can help you to beat this press or to allay the repercussions. Not having your own publicist is no excuse to ignore your public image, this is what potential clients see before considering you as their legal aid. Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to market your firm or yourself, but remember to create a professional Facebook profile and avoid using your personal profile for anything business related. If you show yourself to be a professional at all times, bad press will not be an issue for clients and can easily be avoided.

Technology is evolving

Articles and speaking engagements are a great way to become noticed in the legal world, but your clients are most likely more active on social media platforms. You should be more active on these platforms. Using techniques such as podcasting allows you to introduce yourself and the work you have done and are able to do.

It is not advisable to continue using outdated marketing techniques while the current ones are changing on a near weekly basis. Lawyers can make use of content marketing, video marketing and even post entertaining social media pieces to get their name out there to clients and potential employers.

What can I do to market myself?

Aside from hiring a marketing firm or taking marketing courses, there are simple tactics you can use in your marketing strategy.

  • Understand how clients find you: People will only use lawyers they know they can trust, which is why word of mouth is such a powerful tool. However, in today’s modern world, many people do their own further research rather than relying solely on the words of others, which is why it is important to have an online presence.

 

Maintain the relationship with current clients to strengthen the word of mouth referrals, but set up a LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ profile for those who want to be entirely certain that you are trustworthy.

  • Use content to build awareness about your services and/or firm: Other than word of mouth and social media reviews, having professionally written, relevant content on your website or profiles can work wonders toward garnering new clients.

 

If you are unable to write content in layman’s terms or in a manner that is appealing to your audience, you need to hire or reach out to a professional content or copywriter. These marketing experts will craft copy that is on point and that will tell clients that you are the best choice for their needs.

  • Build your social media presence: As mentioned previously, social media is an ever-growing platform that people use on a daily basis. For any company looking to build their customer base, having a social media profile is a highly effective way to do so.

 

If your posts focus on customer service and on articles written by employees or by yourself, you will not be breaking the confidentiality clause between lawyer and client.

Final thoughts

Any law firm or private practice needs to include a marketing or PR strategy in their budget. Using traditional methods of marketing is successful to a point, but if you want to grow your client base and flourish in today’s world of technology and modernity, you will have to implement a marketing strategy that includes digital tactics.

Why marketing management might be the career of your dreams

In the world of marketing, limits does not exist. With the amount of knowledge and opportunity available through a career in marketing management, every skill that you learn is bound to be utilised in everything that you do. So, if you’ve got a way with words, create beautiful images or really connect with people, this could be your dream career. Here are a few reasons why studying marketing is such a brilliant choice:  

Welcome to a very dynamic environment

From traditional marketing to today’s new-age digital marketing approach, the industry is constantly evolving. And along with the ever-changing technology advancement, and the amount of ideas you get to be exposed to on a daily basis, the advertising and marketing industry is mind-blowing.

In the old days, marketing either meant long, boring advertisements, horrible telesales calls or sales people actually pitching up at your front door. But with the internet adding so much value to marketing, social media and mobile have really given us new, unexpected digital marketing opportunities. It’s honestly never been easier to find a digital speciality to thrive in. And more importantly, it’s the way of the future.

The creative exposure is endless

From writing to design and film, the rewards you get from marketing are endless. On top of being creative, your growing knowledge in media and technology advertising will bring new challenges, some of which include messaging and communication. You will need to be prepared for the unknown, and to continually work at new ways to approach a problem and solve it with an ‘outside the box’ solution.

You can expect traditional marketing courses to teach you anything from the basic marketing principles, to marketing communication, sales, market research and more, otherwise the digital world offers a whole lot more. Both will teach you how to incorporate creative elements that few jobs nowadays actually instill.

You will get to meet and connect with loads of fun people

Marketing in 2017 is about effective communication and creating relationships with people beyond the sales pitch. It’s all about communicating with people and convincing them to invest in your product or service. For this, you really need to understand people’s behaviours and what makes them tick.

Each role is specific, for example, an account manager needs to be able to get along with, and engage with clients, a market researcher needs to be in touch with market trends and the needs of their audiences, and a public relations professional needs to be able to deliver news and information.

With customer journey’s playing such an important role in your marketing strategy, in order to effective in what you do, you need to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they think and feel. This kind of thinking also encourages teamwork and development, and teaches you how to develop and nurture creative ideas. If you love collaborating with others, this is perfect for you.
The opportunity for progression is great

Marketing companies can be divided into the agency side and the client facing side. In the client side, you will be working with the marketing department of a business or public sector, where the agency side means that you will actually be doing the advertising and marketing for those businesses and organisations. You deliver the work that was discussed with client service, and then they communicate that to the external client. Each side is completely different and requires a bunch of different skills.

When you start in client service, you can expect to be doing assistant work and helping out with client tasks, at entry level. When you move up, you can expect to manage your own clients, and your responsibilities will become a lot more stressful. On the agency side, the different opportunities available are linked to your skillsets. These positions can range from content and development, to project management, public relations and market research. For individuals who possess strong people and negotiation skills, the ideal role for you would be media buying, account managing or directing.

It’s vital to business and all industries need it

Say what you want, but marketing is essential to all industries and organisations. Whether it’s education, fashion, retail, NGOs or agricultural, every business needs some form of marketing to succeed. By applying for any one of the various marketing courses, you can help drive the success of any business.

Overall opportunity

When you think about marketing, it goes far beyond strategy. Be it traditional marketing or digital, this industry allows you to be passionate about various different roles, some of which include copywriting, graphic design, analytics, account management, web development and more.

The most important thing is to just have people skills. From there, the diversity is endless, and you learn skills that will be needed to most professional environments. If you love creating ideas (and putting them to the test), designing something, or getting technical, the creative world has much to offer. And depending on your current skills, the ability to move within, is certainly a motivator.

Tips on landing a mining job

Despite a slowdown in some sectors of the mining industry, there are still plenty of high paid jobs on offer. You don’t necessarily have to be an engineer to work in the mining industry, there are opportunities for tradesmen such as electricians, mechanics, miners, machine operators, boilermakers and the list goes on.

If you want to pursue a career in mining, you can never go wrong by choosing subjects like math, science and technology as majors. The mining industry is an exciting career to follow. If you’re a person who loves a challenge then mining is for you. It also takes creativity, perseverance and hard work if you want to succeed in this industry.

Mining is a diverse career and wherever your interest lie, there’s probably a place for you. This is one of the jobs that is always in demand. Mining is also one of the highest paying jobs. Bear in mind that mining jobs aren’t just found anywhere but in the mining areas of specific countries only. So it might cost you to move if there’s no mining taking place in your region.

Are you searching for a mining job? Well, here are five things you need to know about how the industry works first.

Jobs are found in the mining area of the country

As mentioned earlier, you’ll only find mining jobs in specific areas of the country, depending on where mining takes place. If you’re looking for a mining job you might have to move closer to work. If you can’t move closer due to personal reasons, then you might want to opt for something else. Also be sure you’re prepared to adapt to the new environment. Should you be working underground, your work conditions may include heat, noise and darkness. You also have to be prepared to go on the site. With the location and possibility to move in mind, make sure you’re ready for all of this.

They work according to shifts

People in the mining industry are always working. They work shifts according to a schedule set up by management. You need to be prepared to work night shifts as well. You might be required to do a 12-hour shift. There are mines requiring some of its miners to stay in the mining camp for a few months before going home. You should also be in good health and have a lot of stamina to keep you throughout shifts. Also, drink plenty of water because it’s hard to function when you’re dehydrated.

Most jobs require you to be qualified

When it comes to mining, learning on the job might be something of the past. These days you need to be qualified in order to get a decent job in the mining industry. As technology progresses, management requires job seekers to have a certain set of skills and they should be computer literate. As a result, most mining companies will hire graduates who obtained a mining qualification. For example, they should be able to know and understand what mining equipment finance is or how to finance the mining or construction equipment. Many institutions offering a mining qualification are usually located near a mine, giving students the opportunity to explore and spend some time on the site. You might also get the chance to have professional training.

It’s not only for men

We live in the 21st century and the days where specific jobs were only for men are gone. Mining is a historically male-dominated industry but things have changed. Today more women are encouraged to pursue a career in mining. Mine manager Wilhemina Manaso says: “Mining is an industry that has always been male-dominated, regardless of geographical location. There have been positive steps which have helped to integrate women into the industry, but females continue to be under-represented and mining is still largely a man’s domain.”

The industry can be dangerous

Many people are aware that the mining profession can become dangerous. Any accidents from cave-ins, floods or gas explosions may occur when you’re in the mine. Make sure you know how to react to all of these accidents and are still willing or prepared to work in the industry. Many health risks may also affect you if you’re not prepared. It’s important to remember that miners face constant exposure to roof falls, moving machinery, fires, etc. There are different types of mines, however, many of the dangers remain the same across multiple environments.

Working in the mining industry is quite a challenging choice and requires stamina to be successful. As a recent graduate, completing the right trade or professional qualification is critical. Set your mind on a type of mining you would like to do and look for a job in that specific field. Once you’re in it, you’ll love it.

How to be an effective salesperson

 

There are people who can sell ice to an Eskimo. When they approach you they are cool, calm and collected. And their words are smoother than butter. These people can convince you to buy just about anything. While giving a sales pitch may come easily to some, for others it takes a lot of practise and effort and courage. If being a salesperson doesn’t come naturally to you then below is a list of how to become a better salesperson.

Visual presentation

Make sure you provide a product demonstration of how the product works. A customer will be more influenced to buy something which they can actually see a demonstration of. A visual demonstration will help your customers get excited about the product. If the customers can see, feel and (depending on the product) smell your product then their interest will be ignited and they’ll be more influenced to buy the product.

Competitive spirit

Great salespeople want to win. They have a competitive spirit and want to outdo their previous accomplishments and be the top in their team. A healthy competitive spirit can be good because it pushes you and helps you remain focused on the prize. You have to be disciplined and be in it to win it.

Listen

You need to enhance your listening skills in order to be an effective salesperson. Bestselling author of 7 Habits of HIghly effective people Stephen Covey was quoted as saying, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand they listen with the intent to reply”. In order to be a great communicator, you need to be able to listen to what the other party has to say. You can’t sell something to someone if you don’t know what their needs are. And giving a monologue to a customer isn’t likely to persuade them to buy your product. For example, if you’re selling cell phones you need to listen out for what the customer needs in order to provide them with a cellphone which will have the features they need.

Know your limits

Be a person who’s tactful. Customers don’t like to have a product pushed down their throats. Don’t be forceful when you make your sales pitch otherwise you might lose a potential customer. A salesperson needs to have high emotional intelligence in order to discern when to pull back and when to persist, when selling to a customer.

Knowledge

You need to learn as much as you can about the product or service you’re trying to sell.  Don’t just wing it. A customer will be able to pick up how well you know a product.You need to be knowledgeable about every aspect of the product and how it works. If a salesperson is interested in the product, the customer will be more likely to buy into their sales pitch because they’ll come across as genuine.

Alter your sales pitch

Those with a talent for selling alter what they are going to say for different customers. They don’t just stick to an over-rehearsed script. In order to have a positive sales pitch, you need to be able to read people and quickly discern how best to market the product to them. People are different and have unique needs and you can’t give a one-size-fits-all sales pitch to every customer you come into contact with. You need to adapt your pitch to fit your customer’s needs.

Persistence

A great salesperson needs to be persistent because they’ll be pressured to meet sales targets. And unfortunately not everyone will be on board to buy your product. There will be people who’ll reject the product and you can’t take it personally. You have to persist and look for the next person who’ll buy into your product.

Confidence

You need to have confidence in yourself and in what you’re selling if you want to close the deal. If you’re confident you’ll be able to approach a customer without worrying about any negative feedback from them. You also need to believe in the product you’re trying to sell because if you don’t, you won’t instil confidence in others.

 

Walk in their shoes

You need to understand your customer and be able to put yourself in their shoes. Walking in your customer’s shoes will help you understand their needs and wants more effectively. Your sales will increase if your pitch caters to the needs of your customers.

 

Educate yourself

There is no end to learning. And taking a marketing course  or sales and marketing course online can help further your sales skills and will give you an understanding of customers behaviour and why they would buy your product.

To be a great salesperson you have to be highly motivated and prepared to learn more about the product and what it takes to be a great salesperson. Going the extra mile will make you a top salesperson and will separate you from the rest.

 

 

How to be an effective communicator

 

Communication is an important skill to learn, whether you’re in public relations or finance. It’s vital to know how to get your point across without upsetting or offending someone else in the process. Being an effective communicator will take you far in life. You’ll need it to ace that interview and land your dream job or influence your employees.

Here are key ways to improve your communication skills in the workplace.

Listening skills

Lisa Kirk, an American actress, was quoted as saying, “A gossip is one who talks to you about others, a bore is one who talks to you about himself, and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.” Listening is crucial to communication in the workplace. No one likes to speak to someone who dominates a conversation and thinks their opinions are the only ones that count. We’ve all had experiences with one-uppers, the people who always try to top your story. If your dog can do ten tricks, theirs can do 20. Listen to what others have to say and you’ll likely be able to see things from their perspective.The easiest way to be a great conversationalist is to enhance your listening skills and give your colleague your undivided attention.

Listening is a skill needed, whether you’re starting out as an intern or you’re the CEO of a major corporation.

Constructive criticism

Nobody likes to be criticised, but if it’s constructive it can help you. Criticism can go a long way into making you more productive, enhancing your skills and building your character. Be open to what others have to say and you’ll advance in the workplace. It’s important that when you make mistakes, you learn from them.

Presentation skills

At some point in time, we’ll all have to give a speech in public. It could be at a wedding or at work. And it’s a skill we should try to enhance. Some people are compelling speakers and others need tools to help them become better. Practice makes perfect. When you have to do a presentation at work, make sure you practice your speech in front of others at home first. If you fill your whole speech with um’s and ah’s and you fumble through your notes, it’ll come across as if you’re unprepared and lack confidence. And you may just find yourself wishing the ground would open up and swallow you because your presentation isn’t going as planned.

Respect

You may get into a disagreement with a colleague at some point but, even if you feel the other person is wrong, it’s important to remain respectful to create harmony in the workspace. For example, if you’re a leader and you’re rude and disrespectful to your employees, you’re not likely to influence or motivate them. Yelling and screaming at your employees will only humiliate them and make them less productive. Make sure that your tone is calm and you never raise your voice.

Remove distractions

When someone is talking to you, don’t fiddle with your phone or look around the room. The person you’re talking to could interpret your behaviour as rude. Your body language communicates a lot and may be sending a message you don’t want to convey. For example, if you talk with your head down or cross your arm or legs, you may be sending a message that you don’t want to be there.

Open mindedness

In order to be a great communicator, you have to be open to what others have to say. If you’re not open to listening to what the other person has to say, it defeats the point of the whole conversation.

Appreciation

As a leader of a group, you need to show gratitude to your employees. Showing your appreciation to your employees will motivate them to work harder and give you their absolute best.

Wording

When sending out an email at work, be careful of how you construct it. Use exclamation marks only when necessary and be careful with humour because it can easily get lost in translation. Always respond to emails in a timely manner.

Different styles

We are all unique and that’s why you should learn different styles of communication to cater for everyone’s needs, especially if you’re a leader. There are visual communicators, auditory communicators, kinesthetic communicators and auditory digital communicators. A good leader has to know how to communicate to each person in order to be an effective communicator.

Communication can be tricky because we all come from diverse backgrounds and there can easily be breakdowns in communication. It’s important to develop communication skills as they help build a successful company. Excellent communication skills will help you whether you studied a sales and marketing course or want to make a speech at your sister’s wedding.