Category Archives: Strategy

5 Tips to Better Project Management

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Project Management is a vital skill as important as sales, customer service and accounting.

What I’ve found, is that most people understand the basic principles of Project Management but fail in situations where the rules need to be slightly amended or when decisions need to be made that fall outside of an existing framework.

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How Lottery Companies are Embracing Web and Mobile Technology

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I was driving to work today and I noticed the $50 million Lotto Max sign. If you’re not familiar with this lottery, it’s one of the biggest jackpots in British Columbia. When the Lotto Max hits $50 million for two consecutive weeks, new $1 million jackpots called Max Millions are added to the draw.

I’m not much of a gambler but I occasionally buy lottery tickets especially when the Lotto Max hits $50 million. There is this small part of me that clings to the fantasy of winning a big jackpot and using it to finance the items on my bucket list. (If you don’t have a bucket list, check out bucketlist.org for an awesome tool for creating your bucket list.

This got me thinking about how technology is increasing the accessibility of lotteries.  I remember the days when the only places you could buy lottery tickets was at the grocery store or at a gas station.

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How to Develop Your Personal Brand – Part 1

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When I bring up the concept of “Personal Branding” to non-marketing people, they look at me like a deer in the headlights.

So what’s a personal brand? I’d describe a Personal Brand as the culmination of everything professional about you including your style, resume, reputation, social media presence and of course your work. Developing a strong personal brand is key to maintaining your competitiveness in the marketplace as well as giving the professional community an idea of who you are.

The first step in creating a personal brand is defining how you want the outside world to see you. Think of qualities that you exude as well as characteristics that would set you apart from others. For example, one of my key characteristics is that I wear a suit every day. A lot of people wear suits every day so what I do to differentiate myself is to have fun with it. As I’m passionate about style and men’s fashion, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to craft the perfect professional outfit that represents both my personality as well as projects confidence. When I walk into a room, I try to create an impression in not only my outfit but also in the way I carry myself. Some people will argue that it’s the person, not the suit that makes the man but I disagree. I think that while your work should speak for itself, the way you dress and carry yourself in professional situations makes a significant impact on your professional success.

The second step to creating a Personal Brand is to think about what comes up when people type your name into a google. Do pictures of your latest weekend bender come up first or is it your Linkedin profile? Social Media is a great way to start conversations, express your ideas online and create a living record of your life experiences. That being said, it can also be a powerful tool in building your personal brand. These days, most employers will conduct a google search of prospective employees. Even potential clients may do a search on you to get a snapshot of your background before deciding to move forward with that big contract. Using social media to create a strong personal brand is a great way to show off your work as well as give people an idea of who you are online.

Here are a few ways you can use social media to build your personal brand:

– Write a blog!
– Make sure your Linkedin Profile is up to date.
– Use Twitter to interact with your industry online
– Use Pinterest to tag articles and pictures
– Use Linkedin and Facebook to share great articles, videos, books and ideas
– Use Amazon.com to review great books you’ve read
– Record a Podcast!
– Comment on blogs
– Start an online portfolio and link your social media profiles to the site
– Post a photo gallery to flickr.

There are tons of other ways to increase your personal brand online. The idea here is to make sure that you tag everything and use SEO to make sure your name comes up within the first few searches in Google.

Remember that while you want to create a positive professional image, you also want to be authentic. At the end of the day, it’s not about how many times your name pops up on google, it’s about the quality of how you are being represented and what it says about you.

You should like the Pinstriped Suit on Facebook!

Should I Get an MBA ?

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about whether or not I should consider getting an MBA. In conversations with business people, academics and friends, I’ve gotten pretty mixed responses about what the perceived value of an MBA is. There are tons of articles out there siting both the benefits and disadvantages of an MBA.

A mentor of mine who has an MBA in addition to a number of other credentials states he thinks the market is saturated with MBAs and so I’d be better off getting a more technical credential such as an accounting designation. His reasoning is that these days, specific skill sets and applied education are more marketable to employers.

Part of the reason why I want to get an MBA is because I would like to get some more formal education. I learn a lot from reading, keeping up to date with the latest industry trends and having great conversations, but it isn’t quite the same as completing a MBA. I remember when I was finishing my undergraduate degree in business administration and I took fantastic class on business strategy. Working with my professor and with my peers, I challenged myself in ways that I just don’t get to do anymore. There was something invigorating about trying to solve business problems with a group of people who are all highly invested in the outcome.

Josh Kaufman wrote a great book called “The Personal MBA“, which delves into this subject at length. The primary idea in his book is that an MBA can be useful; however, it depends on what you want to do with it. He argues that if you want to be an entrepreneur, then classroom learning might not the right fit. As an entrepreneur, I’ve always learned best by trial and error. Another factor he raises is cost. The reality is that MBAs can be extremely expensive these days and depending on the type of job or project you work on after graduation, it could be years before you recoup the benefit from lost time and money.

At this point, I’m still on the fence on whether or not an MBA is the right choice for me. I do want to work towards building a venture but i’m not sure if an MBA will get me there.

You should follow Matt on Twitter!

10 Marketing Jobs That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

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In today’s ever changing marketing landscape, technology is king. As such, the types of jobs that marketers fill has exploded into a wide variety of niches and specialties. I remember when I was studying marketing in University and all my peers had the narrow focus of having a career in advertising. Not just because advertising was prestigious and cool but because there wasn’t as much choice as there is now. The evolution of the marketing job has created so many interesting types of positions at brands both big and small. Whether you want to work on the front end of the business in customer engagement or at the end in analytics, the world is at the feet of the marketer of today.

Here are 10 Marketing Jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago:

1) SEO and Search Marketing Specialist

2) Digital Strategist

3) Chief Marketing Technologist

4) Community Manager

5) Analytics Manager

6) Engagement Specialist

7) Social Media Coordinator

8) Conversion Manager

9) Webinar Marketing Manager

10) PPC Marketing Specialist

I’m curious to see what the next 10 years brings for the marketing industry as well as how jobs in the field will evolve.

You should follow Matt on Twitter!