Forget Finance. Supply-Chain Management Is the Pandemic Era’s Must-Have MBA Degree

The just-in-time inventory systems embraced by many businesses led to empty shelves and costly bottlenecks. That’s put a rare spotlight on supply-chain programs, which are attracting more students.

Stores with no toilet paper. Colossal cargo ships run aground in the Suez Canal. Factory shutdowns in Vietnam. Ports closed in China. It almost seems that not a day goes by without reports of another supply-chain snafu wrought by the pandemic, which dismantled just-in-time inventory systems that couldn’t cope with massive, simultaneous disruptions of supply and demand.

Companies have struggled to adapt, with some taking unusual steps. Walmart Inc. and Home Depot Inc. are chartering their own private cargo vessels so they don’t get caught short as the holiday season approaches, and logistics experts say disruptions from congested ports won’t end anytime soon. The tumult has forced companies to lavish more attention on their supply-chain professionals, who typically toil in obscurity until disaster strikes.

It’s also prompted business schools to refresh their supply-chain curricula to make sure the next generation of logistics managers are prepared for future crises. “For years, we had sort of taken logistics for granted,” says Skrikant Datar, the dean of Harvard Business School. “The pandemic caused us to rethink it.”

The problem, says Hitendra Chaturvedi, a supply-chain management professor at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, was that supply-chain education and theories had grown as rigid as some of the practices out in the real world. “After years of teaching without any tremors,” he says, “our courses had become less flexible.”

In response to those tremors, business schools are now emphasizing things such as risk mitigation, data analytics, and production reshoring—while also carving out room to explore more intangible topics like ethics, communication, and sustainability.

Penn State’s Smeal College of Business is adding a master’s course in supply-chain risk management next year, with lessons taken straight from the pandemic experiences of corporate partners including Hershey Co. and Dell Technologies Inc. The course will count toward a new certificate program in risk management that’s also in the works.

The W.P. Carey School of Business also plans to offer a certificate in supply-chain resilience. “It’s not like we don’t cover risk already, but this would give them a deeper dive,” says Kevin Linderman, chair of Smeal’s Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems, which has grown more popular with students thanks to high-profile incidents such as the grounding of the Ever Given cargo ship in the Suez Canal in March, which snarled global commerce for nearly a week.

This academic year more than 400 juniors in Smeal’s undergrad program have declared their intent to major in supply-chain management, up from about 270 the previous year. Incoming business students who once defaulted to finance or marketing now want to explore supply-chain management, says Alok Baveja, a professor at Rutgers Business School, whose faculty includes former executives of nearby pharmaceutical giants such as Johnson & Johnson.

When they graduate, they’ll have plenty of options: A record 50 companies plan to attend a supply-chain career fair at Georgia Tech in September—about double the number that typically come to recruit students of the program—including newcomers Honda, Honeywell, and Procter & Gamble.

Students who pursue supply-chain degrees this fall are certain to get an earful about the limitations of just-in-time inventory systems, which grew in popularity during the 1990s as companies aimed to mimic the success of auto makers like Toyota Motor Corp., the gold standard of lean manufacturing. For some companies, though, getting lean “became a religion,” says Penn State’s Linderman, and their orthodoxy became their undoing when the pandemic hit and there was no surplus stock to be found.

Covid-19 exposed the weaknesses of legacy inventory systems, which typically emphasize cost reduction above all else, says Hyun-Soo Ahn, a professor at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The pendulum is now shifting the other way: At Walmart, whose bottom-line focus is legendary, U.S. inventory rose 20% last quarter as it doesn’t want product shortages come Christmastime. Still, shuttered factories, port congestion, and trucker shortages have brought more chaos to already overtaxed supply chains, raising prices on groceries and jeopardizing the delivery of millions of presents for the holidays.

Classroom discussions at Penn State and other supply-chain specialists will now delve into the downsides of sourcing too much from China or any single country, while they also explore the role that new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence can play in manufacturing and inventory decisions. Old research, meanwhile, is getting reinterpreted through the pandemic’s lens, says Gopalakrishnan Mohan, chair of ASU’s supply-chain department.

What’s also needed, though, is a realization in corporate C-suites that logistics isn’t just an expense—it can actually create value when done well, according to MIT’s Jarrod Goentzel. He’s the principal research scientist at the school’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, which works with corporations such as Amazon.com Inc. and Intel Corp. and also a lecturer in the center’s one-year master’s program in supply-chain management.

It helps that high-profile chief executive officers like Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Mary Barra of General Motors Co. spent time running complex supply chains before they got the top jobs, but logistics educators say greater boardroom acknowledgement of the make-or-break role such skills play is long overdue.

“Any company that says they fully understand their supply chain is lying,” says Goentzel, who believes that supply-chain practitioners should be certified just like accountants. “It’s time for the profession to wake up. The 20th century was about finance. The 21st century should be about supply chains.”

By: Matthew Boyle

Source: Business School: MBA Students Forgo Finance for Supply-Chain Management Degree – Bloomberg

.

Related Contents:

The Role of Marketing Channels in Supply Chain Management

Doing good across organizational boundaries: Sustainable supply chain practices and firms’ financial risk

What is Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Optimizing an inventory model with fuzzy demand, backordering, and discount using a hybrid imperialist competitive algorithm

Supply Chain Strategies: Demand Driven and Customer Focused

COVID-19: Alberta to donate PPE, ventilators to other provinces

Knowledge diffusion through supply chain networks

Blockchain Governance—A New Way of Organizing Collaborations

Green-supply-chain-management

Supply Chain Issues: What’s Keeping Supply Chain Managers Awake at Night

Skills and Competencies That Supply Chain Professionals Will Need

Assessing the potential of additive manufacturing for the provision of spare parts

Epidemic tests China’s supply chain dominance

Two perspectives on supply chain resilience

Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance

Lessons in Demand Management | Supply Chain Resource Cooperative

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

How to Start a Freelance Business When You’re Broke

Are you a broke mom, frantically searching for legitimate ways to earn money online? Learn how to start a freelance writing business (and grow it) without any money to spare.

If you’re struggling financially today, I want you to know that I understand! I know how it feels to be so broke you can’t just “give up your daily latte” to save money to make a purchase you want.

And I know it can get better. You are not stuck in broke mode forever. You can pull yourself out. I’ve done it and so can you.

Freelance writing changed my life! Four years after starting, we became completely debt free and I officially replaced my teacher salary – without having to spend anything on daycare, or putting in 8 hours a day.

Being broke isn’t fun! When I left the classroom a few years ago, our income took a massive cut.

Well below the poverty line, we struggled to make ends meet. We slashed our expenses and watched ever penny. It was hard!

We knew something had to change, but I didn’t want to go back to teaching because day care for our large family would eat up my entire pay check. Literally.

Since working outside the home wasn’t a viable option, so I started looking into ways to earn money from home, praying that the Lord would help me avoid scams and find something legit.

And not long after, He answered!

Freelance Writing

I stumbled upon a post written by Gina Horkey, and learned that people were getting paid to write content for the web.

I’d been blogging for fun over on my Maggie’s Milk blog, so the wheels in my brain started turning. Could I really earn money writing online?

I started reading all the free material on freelancing that I could. After scouring the job boards, I sent my first pitch within a couple of days.

I got the gig!

It didn’t pay well (only $20), but that money made me realize that I could do this. I could help our household financially, without having to give up on homeschooling or put the kids in daycare.

That first gig back in 2015 was my first baby step into the world of freelance writing. And the money has been coming in ever since. And not just in $20 increments…

If you’re ready to work hard to improve your family’s situation, keep reading.

I dish out all the steps I took to launch my freelance business, without spending any of our household budget.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

1. Decide to Act

Until you decide that it’s time to actually start your freelance business, no amount of reading, learning, or thinking will count.

You can take course after course and never actually earn any money if you don’t implement anything. You have to do something!

Make a proclamation that you are going to do this. Commit to spend time each day growing your business.

Because if you don’t decide to act, you’ll probably still be broke a few months down the road.

Action truly is key to getting this done. Stop planning. Don’t wait until you “know everything.” Actually do something.

2. Start Small

Do you know what I had for my business when I launched?

A cheap laptop computer, really slow satellite internet, and a freebie blog over on Blogger.

I didn’t have a dedicated freelance website, or money to start one.

Freelance writing courses were on my “someday” list, but I couldn’t afford to purchase any at the time. There was literally no money for that.

And it could have been the excuse I used to never get started. But I decided not to. I just started with what I had.

There is nothing wrong with starting small. 

You don’t need a lot to make it as a freelance writer. Too often, I hear excuses like these:

  • “I don’t have a website.”
  • “No one knows who I am.”
  • “I don’t know where to go to look for gigs.”

You know what? I didn’t either! My online presence (other than my freebie blog) was extremely limited. I didn’t even have a personal Facebook profile or other social media presence prior to launching!

And while perhaps my progress has been slower compared to others who started with more, I didn’t take time to stop and make comparisons.

I started small, with what I had, leveraging my skills.

So once you’ve decided to start a business, take stock of what you have. That’s all you need to get started.

No internet? Go someplace with Wi-Fi.

No computer? Our library has several, and I live in the middle of nowhere, so I’m pretty sure yours will too.

Stop making excuses and find a way to make it happen. It will be hard. But, it will get easier if you keep taking these steps.

3. Start Pitching & Build Your Portfolio

Remember how I said my first paid gig was for $20. That was for a 1200 word post.

Today, I charge at least $120 for the same length. Big difference.

But, when I was first starting I didn’t have the luxury of being picky. I needed money and samples.

So if you’re broke and just starting out, take what you can. Remember you won’t be at that rate forever!

Start getting your name out there, and pitch away!

No matter what you are being paid, always do your best work! Seriously, I don’t care if you’re getting less than a penny a word. If you agreed to write a post for a rate, do it to the very best of your ability.

Wondering where to pitch? Check out these ideas:

Craigslist – the “Gigs” section. Check the big cities (New York, LA, etc.)

ProBlogger Job Board (free, and where I found my first gig!)

You can also create an account on a site like Hubstaff Talent and look for clients who may be a good fit.

Also, here’s a more in-depth post on how to find freelance writing gigs.

Worried about being scammed?

There are scams out there, hiding as legitimate freelance writing gigs. Most are very obvious. Others are more carefully constructed.

The good news? There are almost always red flags. I wrote a post warning you what to look for:

Read this: Red Flags for Freelance Writing Gigs

How to Write a Freelance Writing Pitch

The goal of a freelance writing pitch is to briefly explain why you’re the best person to create the content the company is looking for. You need to show that you’re knowledgeable about the content area, and able to write well.

Here is a sample pitch template you can use. You’ll notice it’s short. Hiring managers get tons of responses. Be kind to them by succinctly sharing the info they need and don’t bog them down with details.

Hi [insert the name of the editor – AN ACTUAL NAME (you may need to research],

Your ad/posting on [site where you learned about it] caught my eye. I’m a freelance writer who knows a lot about [topic/niche.]  I’m also [share two quick reasons you’d be a great fit, using the language/word choice from the ad].

To help you make your hiring decision, here’s a bit more information about myself:

  • [two bullet points sharing quick connections between your education/background/experience and the role]
  • [one connection to the company – i.e. a shared value or mission]
  • [Link to your portfolio]

Please let me know if you need any additional information. I’m looking forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

How to Build Your Freelance Writing Portfolio

When you’re just start your freelance writing business, you probably don’t have a lot of samples created that you can use to build a portfolio. That means sample writing must be high on your prioritized to-do list.

Here are three quick ideas for how to get published samples:

  • Write a guest post for a blogger in the niche you’re hoping to write for
  • Start a free blog (better than nothing and you can move later)
  • Write on Medium (or a similar platform)

Once you have live samples, you need to collect the links in a sharable format. If you don’t have a website of your own yet, you can:

  • Make a shareable Google Doc
  • Create a Pinterest board and save all of your posts to it (this means you’ll need to create a pinnable image for each post, but you can do that for free on Canva or something similar)
  • Build a portfolio on a platform like Contently

Right now, don’t worry about making your portfolio “perfect.” You want it sharable and you want each link to lead to a great piece of writing. That’s it.

You can (and should) update it later.

4. Reinvest in Your Business

Look, I know how tempting it is to go spend that money you just earned. You’re broke, and really could use the money on X,Y, or Z.

But you can’t.

At least, not right now.

First, you have to invest in your business. Otherwise you’ll be stuck writing $20 posts forever. And no one wants to be there.

So save all of your money (at first!)

When you’ve saved enough, take an entry-level course to learn even more. My first freelancing investment was 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success (aff. link).

The course helped me learn:

  • How to improve my pitch
  • Ways to leverage my past experience and education as a freelancer
  • Confidence in my ability
  • And loads more

I’ve never regretted investing in this course, and have easily made back WAY more than I spent.

But until you’re there, don’t give up on improving yourself.

Keep reading all the free material you can. Subscribe to helpful blogs and read about areas you’re struggling with.

Remember to implement what you’re learning too! Keep saving, and then you’ll be able to take a course.

The course I took gave me the confidence I needed to pitch more. I landed a higher paying job on Craigslist in the education niche, which was perfect with my teaching background.

I took that money, and bought my domain and hosting. This website was born in September of 2015, just a few months after starting my business.

It really does take some money to grow your business, but you don’t have to have that money all at once. So keep working on your savings and you will get there!

5. Slowly Scale Back on What You Save

Once I had more knowledge and a functioning website (it doesn’t have to be perfect!), it was time to start taking some of my business income and applying it to the household budget.

Being able to actually do something with this money was motivating.

When you’re saving everything to get your site up, or purchase a course, it’s really hard. The tangible benefit isn’t there to the same extent.

My first step back was to save 50% of my income for my business and pour 50% of it into the household budget.

After investing in a few more essentials, I reduced that percentage to 25%. But, I ended up spending the money I saved for taxes (oops!) so I’m back up to 35%.

Note: You really do need a budget for your business!

6. Watch for Amazing Deals

I’ve learned the hard way that you really do have to invest in your business to keep growing. So now I’m always watching for amazing deals that align with my freelance writing goals.

I’ve subscribed to several “waiting lists” to be notified of any flash sales for courses I particularly want to take.

Pay attention to the amazing bundle deals that become available, and sign up to be notified. Then tuck some funds away so when they appear you can make the purchase guilt-free.

Watch for Black Friday sales. Often companies will have Anniversary sales as well.

If you find something you want, have patience and try to get it at the lowest price possible.

7. Make Time to Grow Your Freelance Writing Business

Wondering how you’ll make time to grow a freelance writing business from home? You’ll have to make it a priority.

And you need to do it as a team. Your family won’t understand why you’re suddenly spending more time on the computer unless you tell them. So get your family onboard!

8. Continue Pitching to Avoid Freelance Famine

Once you’ve landed a client or two, it can be easy to forget to pitch. After all, you’ve got more client work to keep you busy.

But, eventually that gig might dry up. Then you’ll be left without that income.

So make pitching a permanent part of your game plan, at least for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, you’ll be right back to where you started with no money.

Pitch even if you are busy. Not every pitch will land a client, but it will help you gain confidence. And some of them will give you work!

Freelance famine is a roller coaster cycle you don’t want to get started with!

There are so many ways to find time, even if it means getting a bit creative.

You can do a lot with a part-time freelance business, so don’t let a lack of 40 hours a week stop you8. Continue Pitching to Avoid Freelance Famine

Once you’ve landed a client or two, it can be easy to forget to pitch. After all, you’ve got more client work to keep you busy.

But, eventually that gig might dry up. Then you’ll be left without that income.

So make pitching a permanent part of your game plan, at least for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, you’ll be right back to where you started with no money.

Pitch even if you are busy. Not every pitch will land a client, but it will help you gain confidence. And some of them will give you work!

Freelance famine is a roller coaster cycle you don’t want to get started with!

9. Make Connections

Do you know where most of my leads come from now?

From other freelancers.

That’s part of the reason I love the mastermind group I was a part of for a couple of years. I’ve also gotten leads from different Facebook groups.

Take time to make connections and build genuine relationships. Give more than you take, and be willing to help others. You won’t regret it. Or at least, I haven’t!

Other freelancers are not your enemy! Learn all you can from them and help them out too. Be genuine and patient!

Here’s a post giving you ideas on how to network with others, even as a busy mom without much time.

10. Be Willing to Try Something New

I never planned on being a virtual assistant when I launched my freelance writing business.

But, the door opened and I walked through it. Now I have a couple of VA clients, and I personally love the variety!

I also didn’t plan on this website turning into a monetized blog. But, that just made sense as a logical step on my online business journey.

So as you’re working, don’t get so focused on what you’re doing that you completely miss a good opportunity. Say yes to new things when you can, because you never know where they’ll lead.

Don’t be afraid to pivot if it makes sense.

On the other hand, don’t get so focused on chasing the next “new thing” that you forget about what is currently working. There’s a balance. You’ll have to figure out what that looks like for you.

11. Don’t Give Up

Bootstrapping your freelance business is challenging. But, it’s also rewarding, and can help you move past broke.

Don’t give up when things get tough. You can do this!

Take time to think about your why. Why did you start a business in the first place? When you think about your why, it’s motivating.

Here’s more inspiration when you’re feeling like you’re ready to quit:

What to Do When You’re Ready to Quit Your Online Business

How to Start a Freelance Writing Business: Recap

Starting a freelance writing business doesn’t require a lot of capital. In fact, if you already have a computer and internet access, you can get started today.

Remember to save your money, and invest it back into yourself. Watch for deals so you can still save money while investing! 😀

Be willing to work for less at first, because you won’t be at that rate forever.

Find a community and get involved.

And when you’re ready to take an awesome course on freelance writing, I highly recommend Gina’s 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success!

By: Lisa Turner

Lisa Tanner loves helping busy moms find time to grow their own business. As a homeschooling mom to nine, she knows a thing or two about balancing diapers and deadlines.

Source: How to Start a Freelance Business When You’re Broke – Lisa Tanner Writing

.

Related Contents:

The Unrealized Benefits of Supply Chain Serialization

Through the use of sophisticated enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, companies can view the aggregate shipping locations of each distributor, wholesaler, and in some cases large resellers. Most of the time, though, the tracking of products ends there.

By serializing products at the primary package, case and pallet levels, companies can capitalize on enormous opportunities to boost supply and demand management, reduce product loss, prevent counterfeiting, and enhance brand protection. 

Enabling the tracking of items down to the unit level, serialization results in simplified returns processing and recall management, more accurate demand management, and the opportunity for more advanced loyalty programs.

Serialization allows each partner in the supply chain to track product at every step, from point of manufacture to the moment it’s in the consumer’s hands. In addition, when the product is returned, the serial number can be used on all shipping documents to provide information on status and the reason for the return. The information can be of great value in determining whether the product has any quality problems.

With certain recalls, such as children’s products and food and beverage items, the consumer is highly motivated to enter specific serialized information on a website about the purchased product.

Imagine the benefits this would have provided during the romaine lettuce recalls that surfaced last year. Consumers could have determined whether the item was at risk simply by entering a serial number into a website. Stores could have understood which products were safe to keep on shelves, and which needed to be pulled. Manufacturers would have better understood where the contaminated products were shipped, and communicated directly with those specific locations.

With serialization, as each product is returned by consumers and members of the supply chain, easily read serial numbers on each level of packaging are communicated to the brand owner as the products are passed back up the supply chain. Today, products that aren’t serialized bog down the return process, lacking proper and timely information for consumers, supply-chain employees and company executives.

Serialization allows demand management to be optimized. As each product is shipped through the supply chain, the brand owner has access to a timely and accurate tracking history. Shortages can be detected, and replacements shipped, more quickly.

Imagine how useful this would be in the retail industry. Using the power of serialization, one can ensure that the right products are being ordered and available for customers, rather than having a moment of bare shelves and lost sales.

Likewise, disappointing sales in wholesale channels and retail outlets can be detected and handled very quickly. This increase in brand owners’ knowledge can provide for much faster availability of key information regarding the performance of products or their retail outlets, and serve as a guide for making distribution decisions much faster and accurately.

From a brand integrity and anti-counterfeiting perspective, by tracking to the unit level, consumers can validate that the product they are purchasing is authentic. This is a major opportunity for the luxury goods industry.

Aside from the clear supply-chain benefits, opportunities for improvements in marketing are enormous. Marketing teams will be better equipped with timely information regarding sales of their products, allowing them to adjust marketing tactics as needed.

If supply of a specific product is high and sales are low, the company can run a special to promote the product. Demand-side information will be obtained faster and more completely than ever before, allowing for subtle changes to the way products are marketed. For example, communications from purchasers can provide invaluable feedback about product characteristics, which can be used in future advertising campaigns. Any changes in product design or advertising can be detected and altered much faster if a serialized track and trace system is implemented.

On the consumer side, entering validation of product purchase on the company’s website provides the opportunity for a targeted loyalty/rewards program that more closely aligns with that consumer’s needs. In the process, the consumer gets more relevant information and rewards, and the company gets the opportunity to create brand loyalty and increase targeted sales opportunities.

Supply chains have become much more efficient, and products are shipped through these channels much faster than before. Yet even with this increased efficiency, there are still many unrealized benefits of serialization in the supply chain. As more advanced labeling and serialization systems become available at lower price points, companies have the opportunity to embrace the next step in supply-chain management to create a game-changing differentiator through serialization.

Steve Wood is president and CEO of Covectra, Inc.

By: Steve Wood, SCB Contributor

.

.

Case Studies

Read More

Brexit Trucking

U.K. Businesses Plead for Time to Avoid Brexit Cliff Edge

December 15, 2020 Bloomberg As trade talks have come down to the wire, companies have to try to adapt for life beyond Dec. 31 without knowing the fundamental rules of engagement.
Read More

Fulfillment

Podcast | What It Takes to Make Direct-to-Consumer Fulfillment Work

December 11, 2020 Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Retailers selling over the internet can’t hope to compete without a reliable and effective direct-to-consumer (DTC) model for fulfillment. But setting one up is anything but easy.
Read More

Shopping Mall

Can a Dual-Use Strategy Save the Struggling Shopping Mall?

December 7, 2020 Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Lou Conforti sees no reason why a shopping mall can’t contain both traditional brick-and-mortar stores and last-mile fulfillment operations for online purchases.
Read More

Is Amazon Facing ‘Shipaggeddon’ This Holiday Season?

Watch: Is Amazon Facing ‘Shipaggeddon’ This Holiday Season?

December 3, 2020 Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Will Amazon’s supply chain break down during peak season?
Read More

Multi-Shipper Management Tools Help Retail Fulfillment Solution Providers Meet Their Clients' Complex Parcel Shipping Needs

Multi-Shipper Management Tools Help Retail Fulfillment Solution Providers Meet Their Clients’ Complex Parcel Shipping Needs

December 3, 2020 Pierbridge In the face of rising B2C costs, volumes and capacity constraints, shippers have to re-engineer their fulfillment processes to accommodate last-mile parcel delivery.
Read More

A Retailer's Guide to Turning Shipping into a Competitive Advantage

A Retailer’s Guide to Turning Shipping Into a Competitive Advantage

December 3, 2020 Pierbridge Here’s how a multi-carrier parcel shipping management solution can help keep costs in line.
Read More

How We’ll Scale Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Watch: How We’ll Scale Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine

December 1, 2020 Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

A look at the challenges and prospects for distributing millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming months.
Read More

Coping With Black Friday 2020 — and Manufacturers’ ‘Crazy Thursday’

November 25, 2020 Max Versace, SCB Contributor

While Black Friday holiday shopping has always been a stressful time for consumers and manufacturers alike, the 2020 season will have additional challenges brought on by the spread of COVID-19.
Read More

Automation & Robotics - TGW_SCB_AFS_728x90.gif (copy)
Clarkston Consulting

This short video was created with the intent of explaining serialization to anyone – your coworkers, your boss, your next-door neighbor, your spouse – after watching this video, anyone should have a basic understanding of what serialization is, why it was created, and which challenges it’s intended to solve. For more information, visit Clarkstonconsulting.com/serialization

Productivity Tips to Help You Work Smarter in the New Year

Here are some highlights from Amy Landino‘s appearance on Agorapulse’s weekly Facebook Live show. You can also view the entire show if you like (and which we recommend!).

Onward to the productivity tips!

1. Broaden Your Creativity

“See what you can make fly, so that you can observe the results of it and then any success that you have, duplicate that or figure out what that looks like.”

Establish a steady (not frantic) pace

“When you have a content goal, and let’s say it’s to have a weekly show on YouTube, which is industry standard. If you started weekly, you’re doing really well. As a matter of fact, YouTube would tell you to start with once a week. Don’t do more than that!”

Try new things

“I like to compare it to carpool karaoke on the set. On these night shows that we start to see on YouTube that work, it’s because you test them on the show. That’s their testing ground, and then what ends up flying ends up being their huge success online.

“That could also be true for the actual show itself, like what they become known for …

“Maybe you become known for a segment, but you have to build that segment out.”

2. Write Out Everything  

“The procedure for that for me is we have to write everything.

Embrace documentation

“Obviously, everything has to be documented, from all the talking points that we need and any other basis we have to cover it or sponsor it or stuff like that.

Establish deadlines

“And then we’re reverse-engineering what the deadlines are. When is the video to go out? When does it need to go to certain approvals? What days are those approvals? When do you film? When do you edit?

“Everything is just a reverse-engineering of a deadline.”

3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

Reverse engineer deadlines to avoid feeling overwhelmed

“And so I do like to look at what are all the deadlines for a month and then reverse engineer the filming. If I can do at least two videos in one day to make the most of hair and makeup, it pays off for me because I don’t have to go crazy and get ready to film so many times in a month.

“That takes a lot of careful planning and making sure that you’re covering your bases and making the time.

free trial of agorapulse social media management tool

Use your time wisely

“Scheduling is a very big passion in my life. I believe we can all make better use of the time that we have.

“And so if you want the content to be good, I do think it needs to be timely.

“It’s amazing how even a video that’s very well-planned, sometimes just when it’s made too far in advance, even on my channel, it just doesn’t fly the same way as it would if it was like this idea that we came up with and got out like traditional YouTube culture.

Give yourself enough time

“But you do need to give yourself enough time to create it.

“So maybe not looking too far in advance but looking at a monthly level or from a monthly viewpoint of what are we trying to get done and when are we going to do it, especially if you’re hiring people to get this kind of stuff done for you.

“You’re definitely going to want to schedule that as well. So it’s pretty obvious that you would then have to schedule whatever you have to do as it pertains to that content.

“But going on a week to week basis with those videos would be really difficult if you’re thinking, we’re going to do this again, I gotta do this, again, I gotta do this.

“Again, if you can kind of knock out for marketing and content creation, just a certain period of time in that month, and then all the other logistics to follow, just have to get done in time for the deadline, you’re in pretty good shape.

“So I do a lot of batching whenever possible.”

Bonus Materials: Free SMART Goals Guide

4. Take Notes and Outline

“The places I spend my time are Evernote for a lot of outlining and note-taking.

Amy Landino productivity tips for social media managers

“But Instagram and Twitter and YouTube are like my main situations because absolutely everything that I’m doing has to do with the feedback that I’ve been getting from my community.

“There’s no reason to write a book unless people want it. There’s no reason to create a video unless there’s some way to convey a message or a tool or a tactic that people wanted.

Practice the art of listening

“And so I have to be listening to all the time. Otherwise, I’m just creatively dead because I specifically make my videos for a specific person and for a specific community, so I need to go to them a lot, especially when a video goes out.

“You watch and see, like, what spawned from this conversation like, Where do we go from here? What follow up questions are to be had? Because that’s probably a great follow-up to this video.”

5. Embrace Talking About the Same Thing a Lot

“I think one of the hardest things for people when they’re creating content is getting out of their head about talking about the same thing all the time.

“I actually love getting that comment from like the random troll every once in a while, like, Oh, my gosh, you talk about the same thing all the time.

“My answer to that is: Yeah because I’m an expert.”

Cultivate your expertise

“So if you are feeling that you’re talking about the same thing a lot, you’re an expert.

“And people usually need to hear what you’re saying a lot for you to make a change if that’s the type of content that you create.

“No matter how many times I feel like I’ve said something, there’s always another way to put it. Because I still get the same types of questions all the time.

“The reality is everybody thinks that their problems are different from everybody. We all think our problems are special and different. But when you really break it down, we’re all talking about the same issues.”

source

6. Give Yourself at Least 15 Minutes Every Morning

“At least allocate 15 minutes to start your day on your terms. You’re going to be better off for the rest of the world because they’re going to be pulling at you for the rest of the day.

“So I’m unbelievably passionate about having my ‘me time’ in the morning. I’m an introvert; I just need that moment because I know that I have to be on the rest of the day. It’s just a part of the gig. And so I take that for myself.

You just have to find what works for you and that was probably the final passion behind this book was everything online is really outlining what you should be doing in the morning. I don’t like the word ‘should.’ I shut down when people save them.

“And so to me, it’s what works for you, and just covering the bases.

“Get that little bit of time it might just take for you to feel like you’re up for that day, and make the work around what your season of life is at that moment.”

By: Veronica Jarski

In Conclusion

Social Pulse Weekly brings you incredible marketing experts and today’s latest social media news and developments. Tune in every Friday at 2PM ET to keep your finger on the pulse of social media.

* * *

Want more helpful, actionable content like this? Subscribe to the Agorapulse newsletter, and get the most recent blog posts and news about the social media channels you use most.

.

.

Brian Tracy

The most successful and wealthiest people all practice the habits I am about to share with you on a daily basis. Adding these daily success habits to your own routine will contribute greatly to your achievement. http://bit.ly/2wHVsEs If you want to set yourself up for success, you must create an effective to-do list. Use my ABCDE Method Checklist to plan your days and weeks more efficiently than ever before. Click the link above to download my ultimate prioritization tool for free. “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” @BrianTracy (Click to Tweet: http://ctt.ec/9bdah) ___________________ Learn more: Subscribe to my channel for free offers, tips and more! YouTube: http://ow.ly/ScHSb Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrianTracyPage Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrianTracy Google+: +BrianTracyOfficialPage Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BrianTracy Instagram: @TheBrianTracy Blog: http://bit.ly/1rc4hlg

5 Product Marketing Strategies to Get Customers to Take Action

1

When it comes to , has a significant impact on individual purchasing decisions, but ultimately it is the products that create an overall impression. Brand marketing is an important component in raising your brand’s prestige and overall favorable perception, but customers want to be part of the picture and feel that is as much about them as it is about the brand. Smart product marketing engages consumers and focuses on products or services that will be useful to them. Your brand will only be as strong as the customers who feel a strong connection to what you are offering. These five strategies will help you revamp your product marketing strategy.

1. Research new products with existing data

A product launch can be as exciting as the announcement of a personal milestone, but the sad fact is that most will fall short of their expected goals. You can save yourself and your company from disappointment by leveraging the data you already have about your customers and visitors to refine the products and features you are offering. Existing data will tell you your leads’ buying and browsing habits, what they click on and which emails they open. This data should give you significant clues on creating products and features that will get a response and create a successful product launch.

Related: 4 Strategies That Drive Brand Loyalty

2. Increase demand with existing customers

It is important not to underestimate the value of repeat . Not only are people more likely to take action and purchase a product if someone they know is using it, but drumming up repeat business is easier on your marketing budget. According to the Harvard Business Review, marketers spend between five and 25 times less to secure purchases from repeat customers than from new customers. Providing excellent customer service is one of the keys to keeping customers long-term. Another strategy is to offer them special promotions and deals to reward their loyalty.

3. Spy on your existing competitors

Although it is crucial to focus mainly on your customers, to keep an edge and stay on your customers’ radars, it is imperative to know what your competitor is doing and how they are performing. This is not difficult to do and can be as intuitive as paying attention to their performance on , how many likes they are getting and what strategies they are using. Using to track what happens after a click can help give you more information on how to update your own strategies. Ensure the sample size you are evaluating is large enough to give you a full picture of what actions to take in closing the gap between you and your competitors.

 

Related: 3 Reasons You Should Spy on Your Competition

4. Improve your existing listings

Your listings don’t just convey information about the product. A good listing lets your customer know why he or she needs the product. Revise product listings to emphasize convenience, time savings, reliability and . In addition, incorporating valuable keywords in the listings can make sure your they are seen by those who are most likely to make purchases — the people who are searching and ready to buy. Keywords can also drive traffic from those who are just browsing the web looking for more information about a product, and an attractive and catchy listing can transform an inquiry into a purchase.

5. Dare to take huge risks

It is worthwhile to achieve a balance between obeying the data and knowing when to take risks. If you are knowledgeable about the risks, you can go out on a limb now and again, especially if your intuitive move is in line with the kind of thing your customers respond to. Past failures, such as lackluster product launches, can be a strong indication of where you can go with future efforts. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking any risks,” says none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Related: 5 Brand Marketing Tips Every Brand Can Learn From the NBA

If your product listings aren’t getting the response expected, there are many ways you can fine-tune your approach. involves the big picture, but getting specific and offering customers things they clearly value can move the needle more quickly. Updating data on a constant basis is essential, but using data you already have provides a valuable roadmap to developing and improving your products and features. Leveraging success with your existing customers is an effective way to get repeat business, especially if you encourage them to refer your product to others.

Gathering information about competitors on social media and by using AdWords can give you pointers on how to update your offerings and enrich your marketing strategies. Even the phrasing of your listings can be dry and uninspiring or can create an immediate desire to acquire your product or service. In addition, using keywords has the ability to automatically attract potential customers to your listing. Finally, don’t be afraid to follow your intuition and take educated risks when you feel you have a clear picture of what your customers want.

By: Alon Ghelber Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

bevtraders-2