Guest Blog: How to Make Your Mindset Your Most Valuable Asset in Two Weeks

This month we are featuring a guest blogger! I met with a new friend, Tom Jenkins a few months ago and we started talking about the value and importance of having a positive mindset and outlook on life, this directly helps us overcome obstacles in our lives and is beneficial to us in the workforce if we simply have a good outlook on life and the day-to-day challenges that we face. I really like what he has to say and wanted to share it with you, too!

We’ve all heard the phrase million-dollar idea. Truth be told, most ideas are worth far less than a million dollars. In fact, most ideas are not worth very much at all. Ideas are great, but what separates the most successful business people or entrepreneurs from the rest of the pack is execution.

Jeff Bezos is the man behind Amazon. Amazon is crushing the retail world because they offer an extraordinarily wide variety of products, low prices, and fast shipping. Products people want, at low prices with quick shipping is not a novel idea. Almost anyone can tell you if you can launch a website that checks these three boxes you are going to be a big success.

Why Mindset Is so Important

Jeff Bezos built one of the most successful businesses of all time because he believed he had what it took to be successful. He knew if he chased his dream relentlessly he would be a success.

If this sounds like just another overly simplified success story, go to Relentless.com and see where that takes you.

Our mindset truly is our most important tool. This may sound like just another line from a self-help book out of the bargain bin at your local bookstore.

However, your mindset is your most important tool because it controls your actions. Your emotions become your thoughts, and your thoughts are directly responsible for the actions you take on a daily basis.

Changing your mindset doesn’t require changing your entire life. It’s a simple matter of consistently taking small steps to change your thought processes.

The concept of changing your behavior by changing your thoughts and feelings is a psychological principle known as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy may seem like a complex psychological principle only used by practitioners with advanced degrees. However, cognitive behavioral therapy in its simplest form can be used by everyday folks to change their thoughts and actions.

The first step in the process is to identify your negative or harmful thoughts. Once you discover what thoughts are holding you back, you can begin to take simple steps to overcome or reverse those thought processes and move yourself to a more positive frame of mind.

Changing your mindset to do away with harmful thoughts does not necessarily require laying on a couch and sharing your deepest, darkest inner thoughts with a therapist. There are several simple exercises you can do on your own to develop positive ways of thinking and begin achieving more positive accomplishments every single day.

Three Ways to Improve Your Mindset in Five Minutes a Day

Setting aside five minutes a day every day for two weeks can put you on the path to developing a truly life-changing mindset. Can you spare five minutes a day for a more positive mindset?

Journaling Daily

Taking a few minutes every day to put the thoughts in your mind on paper may not seem like something that could ultimately change your life. But, journaling helps you to process your thoughts and emotions. It allows you to bring clarity to a cluttered mind.

Many of us may be inclined to think we have all the clarity we need or that our mind does not have clutter. As an entrepreneur or corporate athlete, you no doubt have a lot on your mind. Between work, personal goals, and family obligations our lives are much more complicated and demanding then we may first imagine.

If you think journaling isn’t for you, consider trying it for just a few minutes a day for two weeks. If journaling is not beneficial you have lost nothing but a few minutes of your week, and you will most likely learn at least one valuable thing about yourself.

Affirmations

An affirmation is anything we repeat to ourselves out loud, in our minds, or through the written word. It has been proven we become what we think about most of the time.

The Reticular Activating System takes things that we repeat to ourselves and makes them part of our identity. It does not matter if these statements are positive or negative.

if we continually tell ourselves we have what it takes to be a top performer in our company our brain will naturally build being a top performer into our subconscious identity. Our subconscious brain accounts for 90% of our total brain activity. This is why repeating affirmations until they become part of our subconscious is an incredibly effective tool for changing our mindset.

Check out this great article for tips on creating positive and effective affirmations.

Meditation

Meditation helps to change the neurological pathways in our brain that deal with anxiety. As a result, regular meditation helps to reduce our feelings of anxiety.

Studies have found those who meditate regularly can essentially rewire the brain to make them feel more focused, positive and content. Regularly meditating has also been shown to boost the immune system.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or an entrepreneur. Regardless of what path you’re on, our careers seem to be more and more demanding. Increasing your ability to remain positive, stay focused, and be content could be an absolute game-changer when it comes to what you are able to accomplish at work.

Meditation doesn’t require a yoga studio or fancy equipment. You can develop an extraordinarily helpful meditation practice by simply trying out a few techniques in a quiet room. Here is a wonderful guide on finding the right meditation technique.

Woman-Owned CommCore Marketing Celebrates Five Years in Business

[St. Louis, MO, August 15, 2019] CommCore Marketing, a certified Woman-Owned Business, announced its 5th anniversary as a marketing services business.

CommCore Marketing was founded by Laura DeVries in 2014 after spending 20 years in marketing for many businesses. Laura received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Webster University and her Master of Business Administration from Fontbonne University. She then moved onto working for several businesses in the area including a Fortune 500 company. After moving on to start her own marketing firm in 2014, Laura hired on three team members to expand her services to include project and brand management, online and social media marketing, content marketing, offline marketing, graphic design, and website maintenance.

Since founding CommCore Marketing, Laura and her team have assisted over 150 businesses in the greater St. Charles and St. Louis areas to improve their marketing, sales, and brand awareness. CommCore Marketing has also grown a strong reputation in the St. Charles community through Laura who is a 2018 Graduate of Vision St. Charles County Leadership, Board of Director for both the Cottleville/Weldon Springs Chamber of Commerce and Vision St. Charles, a member of the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member of the Protégé mentorship program.

While Laura excels at increasing sales and brand awareness, and creating successful marketing campaigns and websites, her skilled all-women team enable CommCore Marketing to provide much more to their clients. Anya Overmann, a St. Louis native and freelance writer, is the Content and Social Media Manager. Madison Bowlds, who comes from Evansville, Indiana, is the Marketing Coordinator and provides help with ad campaigns and Krista Von Holten originally from Paola, Kansas serves as the Projects & Graphic Design Coordinator.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that a business idea that was considered twelve years before CommCore Marketing’s inception would grow to be what it is today. We have a great team in place that provides consistent, professional marketing support to a host of industries and clients. We are so thankful for the numerous referrals and support from our community, clients, and friends and for the advice over the past five years. We are looking forward to great things in the future and the next five years in business.”

CommCore Marketing provides a full range of marketing services. To see a complete list of services provided and to learn more about working with CommCore visit https://commcoremarketing.com/marketing-services/.

6 Tips for Achieving Social Media Success as a B2B Company

A lot of B2B (Business-to-Business) businesses struggle with social media. And B2Bs have really been lagging behind B2Cs (Business-to-Consumer) when it comes to adopting social media for effective marketing use. But guess what B2Bs? You have consumers too!

If your B2B business hasn’t identified your consumers, and the people who make decisions to narrow your target, it’s time to kick it into gear. Once you’ve determined who you’re trying to reach, your social media strategy can be executed.

Let’s go through six tips for achieving social media success for your B2B business.

1. Create Content Worth Reading and Distribute it Wisely

First of all, any business– B2B or not –should be creating content to be relevant. It’s crucial to market your industry expertise and distinguish your brand’s value.

According to the 2016 Demand Gen Report, 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. So if you’re not focusing on the creation of your content around thought leadership, you’re missing a massive hole that nearly every B2B buyer is asking you to fill.

If anything, you should be focusing your efforts on educating other businesses about why they need your product or service and how to use the product or service. Educating B2B buyers about problems they didn’t know they had can go a long way because these are problems, of course, that your product or service will fix.

Social media is a great way to get that content out there to other businesses. It’s important to note, though, that not all content is created equal, and you have to be careful about what content you decide to post where.

For example, some blog posts are better designed for the LinkedIn community, but rich media– meaning photos, videos, and other interactive media –are more fitting for Facebook or Instagram. Always keep in consideration that each social network has a different culture and preferred content formats, so posting the same content across platforms is not a good strategy.

Instead, adapt your messaging to align with the social channel in order to optimize engagement.

2. Build Your Brand Awareness by Being Where Businesses Connect

While you’re taking a moment to consider how to adapt your content for social, also consider who you’re adapting it for. Businesses began using social in the first place to build brand awareness, but optimal brand awareness comes from considering who you to know your business.

B2Bs have buyer persona and want to get qualified leads to conversions, like B2Cs. And just like B2Cs, B2Bs need to consider where their buyers like to spend time online.

LinkedIn is the best and most obvious solution for B2Bs looking to build awareness and promote content. It’s truly a professional’s social network. Sharing articles and commenting on one another’s work is a great way to start conversations with members of other companies and get them interested in your brand.

You might be thinking that LinkedIn is the only social platform that works for B2Bs, but it’s not true! It may be the best for lead generation, but if your buyers have presence on other networks, you will want to consider adding those to your social strategy.

Twitter, for example, is a good place to strike up conversation for lead generation. And given that a presence on Google+ can do wonders for your SEO, it’s great for any kind of content.

Salesforce also gets creative on Facebook, not focusing solely on selling their product but on making posts that their audience can relate to:

So while having a presence on LinkedIn is a necessity for B2Bs, also step out into the other networks where you have buyers and find ways to creatively connect with your audience.

3. Get Social and Build Relationships

Speaking of connecting with your audience, a major part of your social strategy should be being social. We’re all about content marketing here, but nothing can replace the relationships you build through social media.

According to HubSpot, 14% of all lead generation for B2Bs is driven by social media, and the numbers are probably higher for those who place a high focus on LinkedIn.

Social media has given B2Bs a glorious opportunity to build trust and grow relationships with potential buyers. Speaking with leads, answering their questions, and demonstrating real value will build real connections with people and companies that will transform acquisitions on social media into conversions.

It’s important to note that this relationship-building takes time and no amount of strategizing on social can push it forward any faster. You have to put the time and effort into actually be social on social media before you can reap the benefits of the business relationships you’ve built.

4. Advertise on Social Media

Social advertising provides an exceptional opportunity to stay in front of a qualified and relevant audience on their favorite networks.

According to a 2016 Regalix study, over two-thirds of B2B marketers worldwide devote dollars to social media advertising.

As a B2B, you definitely want to be getting your name out there via social ads. Even if you’re still skeptical of the ROI on social media for B2Bs, you’re losing traction that you don’t advertise on social while you’re competitors are getting the leg up.

5. Supplement your Social Following with a Healthy Dose of Email

As you build your following on social, it’s a good idea to support engagement and activity with some good ole’ fashioned email. Some marketers believe that email is dying out, but this isn’t so.

In actuality, 79% of B2B marketers credit email as the most effective distribution channel for demand lead generation efforts. (Content Marketing Institute, 2018).

So B2B marketers should really be supplementing their social strategy with email. This can be accomplished a few different ways:

  • Incentivizing your email recipients to join your social channels by offering promotions only available on social
  • Sending monthly newsletters of your best blog content
  • Directing them to your social channels by promoting contests or giveaways

Your email recipients need to know what’s in it for them for following you on social, so make sure you make that information clear in your email marketing.

6. Retarget on Social

Your followers may fit your buyer persona to a tee, but just may not be ready to buy yet. Retargeting your followers on social media can help convert them into paying customers— or at the very least get you at the top of mind.

By placing a retargeting code on your blog and landing pages directed from your social media, you can keep out in front of everyone who’s interested in your content.

It also can be helpful to retarget in the form of social ads. Maybe a potential buyer of yours got close to the sale but didn’t complete it. You can put specific ads out in front of this buyer to keep that purchase in his mind. Facebook is especially good at this.

Conclusion

Social media marketing is not just for B2Cs– it’s time to leave that mindset behind. Social can and does work for B2Bs if done correctly and creatively. Be sure to wisely choose the social networks you use (always prioritize LinkedIn), focus on building trust and relationships through engagement, and turn out worthwhile content. Social ads and retargeting efforts are always a good idea, and supplementing your social with email marketing is an assured way to grow your following.

Need help with managing your social media? Contact CommCore Marketing to get started!

Do I Have to Use Social Media for Marketing?


If you’re asking this question, chances are you might think social media is just a passing trend or a buzzword used to please young people. You might think the benefits of social media are debatable and not worth your time or resources.

Allow us to explain why social media is really a must.

In 2018, a whopping 97% of marketers were participating in social media. (Lyfe Marketing, 2018). 3.2 billion people use social media worldwide (Awario, 2018) – that’s almost half of the world’s population!

This is without a doubt a significant statistic, and to dismiss it as a passing trend is far too hasty – and quite honestly foolish.

Here are several reasons why you should absolutely be involved in social media:

Pull Marketing

Social media is all about pull marketing. Pull marketing is designed to attract customers by offering relevant and valuable content to the target audience in optimal positioning.

This, as opposed to push marketing which pushes the marketing out in front of anyone, is a far more strategic, considerate, and meaningful way to market. In other words, pull marketing is more impactful because the customer finds and chooses you based on the value you provide.

Social media allows users to choose what they see. This offers a huge opportunity to marketers, and this is why it’s become so integral to business – with the right positioning your marketing efforts via social media will work wonders.

Improved SEO

Search engines are the most iconic of pull marketing tools. Chances are you’re already aware that you want to have a good ranking on search engines in order to get more web traffic.

It’s also true that if you have more presence on social media, your search engine rankings will be improved. Google knows that strong brands use social media and will reflect this in its rankings. It validates your brand as legitimate and trustworthy.

If you’re putting effort into ranking well on search engines, it’s really hurting you if you don’t have an active presence on social media.

Increased Conversion Rates

Social media has proven to give business higher conversion rates. Businesses on social media are almost humanized because of the way they are able to interact with people. It’s truly a place

where brands can act like people and it feels more like person-to-person contact than person-to-business.

In fact, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing (HubSpot, 2017).

Having a higher number of social media followers tends to prove your social worth— people see your brand as more credible and trustworthy and therefore are more motivated to do business with you.

Cost-effectiveness

Social media marketing is far less expensive than any traditional marketing costs. Advertising on television, radio, or in print can cost a huge portion of your budget. But organic social media use is free.

84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic (HubSpot, 2014). That’s just a little over one hour per business day to start seeing increased results.

Paid promotion on social media is relatively inexpensive too, and easy to use.

Incredible Customer Service Tool

Because social media is all about connection, every interaction you have on social media is a chance to showcase your customer service publicly. It’s incredibly easy for people to offer you feedback, and each time you have the chance to respond is an opportunity to show you care about your customers.

Social media adds such a personal touch to a business that people actually enjoy interacting with businesses in this way.

Your Competition is on Social Media

With 97% of marketers on social media in 2018, if you aren’t on social media now, your competition definitely is. And you are seriously missing out. Your competitors will have a real leg up on you if you’re absent from social media. However, if they aren’t on social media, this is a huge opportunity for you to seize.

Conclusion

Don’t delay, get yourself on social media! The longer you wait, the more leads you will miss.

For assistance in growing your social media presence, contact CommCore Marketing.

Need A Little Help? Hire A Freelancer!

There’s no doubt the work landscape has changed with the rise of the internet. Unprecedented connectivity has allowed us to break free of the 9 to 5 work schedule and commuting to an office space. It has also yielded a growing workforce of “alternative workers.”

Alternative work is characterized as unsteady or temporary— such as work as an independent contractor or through a temporary help agency (Quartz, 2016). Businesses everywhere are hiring more freelancers as opposed to full-time workers. Why?

 

Saves You Money

 When you’re only in need of help for specific projects, why hire somebody to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? A full-time employee with salary and benefits can be expensive. Whether a freelancer charges you by the hour or a flat monthly retainer fee, a freelancer is far less of a cost than a full-timer.

You can actually save 20-30% a year by hiring freelancers. Yes, even with the higher hourly and flat rates of freelancers they are less expensive to hire!

 

More Flexibility

 Freelancers don’t need to adhere to a 9 to 5 work schedule, so they have more flexible work hours. That means you have someone to take care of work beyond your business hours such as engaging on social media, responding to emails and messages, and making website changes and tweaks.

 

Expertise

When you hire a freelancer, you’re hiring someone who specializes in a field or fields and has spent time honing their craft. You don’t need to invest your time and resources into training this worker like you would with a new full-time employee— or teaching yourself the skills you need to do it yourself.

Here are some great jobs to outsource to freelancers:

  • Writing, blogging, website content creation, marketing content creation, or editorial management
  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Social media management
  • Marketing strategy
  • Virtual assistance
  • Coding/web development
  • PR/influencer outreach
  • Photography
  • Video production

 

Fresh Ideas & Quality Work

Sometimes it’s helpful to just get a pair of third-party expert eyes on your projects who are willing to bring their fresh perspective to the table. Freelancers who have been working independently for awhile tend to have a variety of experience and can therefore offer something unique to your business.

Plus, because freelancers make a living off of repeat work, you can be assured that a good freelancer will communicate well, have good customer service, and strive to give you their best work. Freelancers have to continuously prove their worth in order to maintain their job because they’re not permanently on your payroll. Don’t you want an employee that’s held more accountable to the quality of the work they promise to deliver?

 

Less Risk

Because freelancers are not technically employees, they don’t have the same rights and legal obligations that salaried employees do. If you find that a particular freelancer just isn’t a good fit, they are easy to replace. There are no shortage of freelancers out there and you can shop around to find one that you can form a strong working relationship with.

 

Conclusion

 If you need some extra help with some projects in your business, you should strongly consider hiring a freelancer. It’s a low-risk, low-commitment option to get a job done by a specialist with experience.

If you’re in need of a freelancer referral, get in contact with Laura for a solid recommendation.