How to deal with a terrible boss

If you have a bullying boss, there are several things that you can do to protect yourself from their terrible managerial style:

  1. Be Sure To Document: It’s important that you document all meetings, phone calls and emails that way if your boss asks you to do one thing and then tries to tell you to do something completely different, you have written proof to support yourself.
  2. Don’t Fight Fire With Fire: If your bullying boss tries to bait you, remain calm, and don’t react. Don’t act in a demeaning way just because your boss is being terrible to you. They are trying to get you to do something that they can then use to get you fired, so as much as you may want to punch your boss in the fact, take a deep breath and find another way to take your frustration out. As mentioned above, if your boss does something that ‘s demeaning or ask you to do something illegal, make sure to document it so that you can use it as evidence for later on.
  3. Be Alert: Watch to see if your manager is targeting just you or others. If they are targeting others, try to determine if there’s a commonality in the people that the manager is picking to harass. If you’re being bullied due to race, gender, religion, age, disability  then the manager is breaking the law and you have reason to get them booted from the company.

    If there’s no commonality among the group being picked on, then at least see if you can rally your coworkers to get them to file a complaint against the boss. You don’t have to worry about retaliation against having these discussions as the National Labor Relations Act  protects most non-government employees.

    On the other hand, if you’re the only one that’s being bullied, then you need to try and figure out what the reason is. Is it something personal? Are you doing a sub-par job? Do you work closer to the manager than others? Determining the reason that you’re the only one that the boss is being difficult to will allow you to figure out what recourse you have.

  4. Quit: If you can’t do anything about your bullying manager, then you should leave, but before you do, try and stick it out until you find another job. While it may seem like a fantastic idea when you’re in the moment to just leave, you may find it difficult to find a job, especially since your direct boss most likely own’t be giving you any type of glowing review.

    In addition, don’t burn any bridges by not taking the proper steps of giving warning to your company. Even if your direct boss is horrible, you never know who you’ll run into from the company in the future nor do you know if you’ll ever need something from your former company.

    With the proper preparation, it’s possible to deal with a bullying boss and even come out on top of a difficult situation.


LinkedIn Necessary For Consultants

LinkedIn is a powerful social platform for networking as well as a valuable sales lead-generating tool, if used properly. While not having a LinkedIn profile won’t disqualify you from landing that next consulting position, it does put you at a distinct disadvantage in the job application process as you’re missing out on getting your name out there. By joining LinkedIn and taking the time out to set-up and optimize your LinkedIn profile, you give yourself a fantastic venue where you can be found by technical recruiters, and land your dream gig.

Making a Strong LinkedIn Profile

You want to complete your profile as much as possible as this is the first step in ensuring that you can get found on LinkedIn. The more complete your LinkedIn profile is, the higher you will apear in search results as LinkedIn searches are unique and relevant specifically to the person searching. The searches are tailored to the user by Connections in Common, Connections by Degree (1st, 2nd then 3rd Degree Connections) and finally Groups in common. This is in addition to profile completeness which is what will allow you to trump over other people. Most people only fill out their profile partially – if you take the time to fill yours to 100%, you’ll rise above the rest.

The next thing you should do after completing your profile is take the time to write an eye catching, well crafted headline, assuming of course, that you are on the network to leverage it for professional gain.

Aside from your photo, your headline will be the first thing a recruiter notices and therefore it should be used to let recruiters know your expertise; at the same time, a good headline will promote your core marketing message, and exude your personality.

Part of coming up with an appealing headline is to consider choice keywords. You want to use keywords that people interested in your skills will search for, however make sure to find a balance; don’t pile so many keywords into your headline that it ruins readability or flow.

In the end though, try to get a bit creative as this can be a great away of separating your personal brand from the rest and catching the attention of recruiters and connections.

Aside from having a catchy headline, it’s important to have a photo as there are plenty of case studies that show users with a photo get more clicks than those without one. Make sure that you use a professional looking photo of yourself. As much as you might want to put a picture of you from last years Halloween party, LinkedIn isn’t the place. Sorry!

In addition to having a strong profile, to get recruiters to consider hiring you, you’ll want to look at getting recommendations.  Recommendations are a quick way for recruiters to see how great you are at the click of a mouse button, as opposed to going though the process of trying to get in touch with your references.

Get recommendations from your colleagues, past employers, managers – everyone. Make sure that the best of the best are visible, and that they aren’t generic.

LinkedIn profiles are a great way to find business as a consultant as they allow recruiters and hiring managers to understand you, your background, and your goals more completely. By making sure to take the time out to fully complete your profile (which includes a professional photo and well thoughtout headline), you’ll find yourself getting more calls to interview for potential jobs.

For additional tips, check out Iconic Mind, an IT consulting firm, located in Maryland. Founded in 2002, Iconic Mind is dedicated to offering professional consulting services to clients in Washington D.C., the Baltimore Corridor and the rest of the state of Maryland. Offering internet, network, software and troubleshooting services, Iconic Mind is able to help increase any business’ productivity. For more information, follow Iconic Mind on Twitter, LinkedIn or through their blog.

If you look around the web for articles and blog posts on how to increase your own blog’s overall reach, you’ll most likely see posts that call for using social media buttons to make your content easily sharable or how to do keyword research and optimize your articles to be found on search. These are all great tactics for getting more traffic to your site, however there are other methods that are simple to use that can help with promoting your blog, including using the audience that you already have.

The people visiting and reading your blog will each have their own network of followers, so make sure that the content you write is something that your followers will find to be entertaining and/or useful so that they are more likely to share it with their network of friends. Another benefit to developing a strong content marketing strategy that includes articles that are of high quality is that you will be able to transform yourself into a thought leader helping to further your ability to generate additional buzz for your blog.

Other steps that you can take to engage your readers so they become evangelists and help spread the word on the Internet about your blog:

  1. Create a strong headline. A headline is what will first grab a readers attention; creating a captivating headline will get people to click through to read your article. In addition, having an eye-catching headline will most likely increase the chances that your readers will share your post within their social networks and in turn will entice their followers to click through.
  2. Leverage social media. Do make sure that your posts have social sharing buttons to the large social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) as well as bookmarking sites (Reddit, Stumbleupon, etc.). This makes it much more likely that your content will be shared.
  3. Invite your friends and family to read your blog. While some find this to be a daunting task, your friends and family tend to be your best advocates, are usually a more friendly group and can help with generating buzz for your blog.
  4. Networking. Go out and meet people. By making friends with people in your industry, you can meet influential people who can help with getting your content seen by the masses and helping with creating excitement for your blog.

In the end, by taking the time to create high quality content and ensuring that your target audience finds it useful, the ability to leveraging your readers into promoting your blog will be easy. So go out there and start writing!


Building an Online Community for your Business

Building a better online community is something every business should consider. Doing so will allow you to withstand any algorithmic change Google brings to its search engine and still allow you to get plenty of traffic. In addition, it’ll allow you to add value to your business and let you stand out against your competition.

But to build a better community, you need to focus on building a better company. This isn’t a quick fix – it’s not about building a couple of links, throwing up some content, or sending a few messages on social media. If you want a genuine following, you need a solid offline marketing strategy that includes strong content, engaging with your followers and doing what it takes to build your business to develop a following.

Before you even take off though, you need to set goals. Don’t even focus on what pieces of the puzzle you need to work on until you know exactly what you’re hoping to achieve by building an online community. Are you looking to increase traffic to your website or sales of product by ‘x’ percent within the next three months? Are you looking to improve your relationship with the customers you already have?

Once you figure out what you’re looking to achieve, it’s now time to elect people for specific tasks and develop a specific strategy to address your goals. 

For finding the right people for your team, you should understand the roles
 needed as there’ll be plenty of work to be done, meaning that there’ll be plenty of roles that will need to be filled and with the right people. Here’s a few roles that you may want to think about filling:

  • Project manager: You want to have someone who will keep the rest of your team on schedule and on task
  • Social media and reputation manager: You want to find someone who can monitor your brand’s reputation and keep track of mentions as well as handle your social media accounts, which includes posting updates, engaging with clients, etc. I would recommend Marty Weintraub’s book on how to manage a community if you’re planning on doing it yourself. If you’re looking to hire an outside vendor to help with social media and reputation management services, I would recommend Smart SEO Designs, an agency I’ve used previously to help with our own social media and reputation management needs.
  • Content writers: You want someone who can write interesting articles to post on your blog that people will want to share across the various social media networks
  • Search Engine Optimization: You need to find people who like research and analysis to stay on top of the latest trends so that the content that you’re writers are posting are optimized as well as having your website optimized.
  • Designer: Visual content is a great way to spread information in an easily digestible manner – that’s why Pinterest and infographics are so hot, so make sure you have someone who can design graphics at a moments notice.

As you can see, there are many positions to be filled one (and there are many other positions that weren’t even listed), making this a lot of work for just one person to do. If you don’t have a budget to get people who can excel at each of these positions, figure out who in your team can help fill these positions and then hire outside help to fill in the gaps.

Once you’ve developed your team, it’s time to come up with a strategy. Developing a strategy will help you with hitting the goals that you set for your business. Taking the time to develop a proper strategy will let you break those high level goals down into actionable pieces.

You should understand that there is no formula. The strategy that’s right for one business could be very wrong for another business. Get creative and find what works for your business. Don’t be afraid to try out different things to see what’s best for your business. It’s ok to make some mistakes – this is what will let you figure out what works to grow your community.

Building an online community can help you stop chasing Google’s frequent algorithm changes. You’ll also get more then just brand name recognition, you’ll get genuine engagement.

We’d love to hear what strategies have you used to build and grow your online community?

Using LinkedIn Business Growth
Over one billion searches are done on LinkedIn per year. The network is a great place for anyone who is looking to boost their visibility and grow their professional contact list. Just take a look at the following stats that show just how great LinkedIn can be for growing your business:
  • LinkedIn users have money: Over half the users on LinkedIn earn more than $60K per year and over a third earn more than $100K
  • LinkedIn users are educated: Nearly half have a college degree and over a quarter have a graduate degree.
  • LinkedIn users love the site: Nearly a quarter of the users are on the site a minimum of 30 times per month.
LinkedIn is definitely something that you should incorporate into your marketing strategy to help grow your business. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Complete Your Profile
Completing your profile is the first step in ensuring that you use LinkedIn to its fullest. Completing your profile will allow you to appear in LinkedIn search results and the more complete it is, the more you can set yourself apart from others as well as appear higher in the search results.LinkedIn searches are unique and relevant specifically to the person searching. It tailors its search by  Connections in Common, Connections by Degree (1st, 2nd then 3rd Degree Connections) and finally Groups in common. This is in addition to profile completeness which is what will allow you to trump over other people. Most people only fill out their profile partially – if you take the time to fill yours to 100%, you’ll rise above the rest.

Optimize Your Profile

Now that you’ve completed your profile, the next step is to optimize it by using specific keywords to your business. As mentioned above, LinkedIn uses its own algorithm when displaying results which is done by relevance. LinkedIn will show 1st degree connections and of those connections, it’ll show those with a completed profile first. Then it’ll move to 2nd degree connections, 3rd degree connections, groups and then everyone else.

The keywords that you plan to use in your profile should range from broad to very targeted. Since you want to have as many people find you as possible, you should use as many keywords as you can that relate to your business without overusing them. You can put these keywords in multiple places and depending on where you put them, they’ll have a different effect. Keywords in your name, headline, company name, job title, and skills rank highest.

Write A Killer Headline

It’s great to come up first on someone’s search result, but what good does it do if they aren’t clicking through to your profile? Your headline is one of the first things someone will see about you. To get someone to check your profile out, you need to entice them with a catchy headline – “marketing manager” just won’t cut it.  There are thousands of of “marketing managers” out there. You need to come up with a headline that differentiates you. Think about what makes you special and what you want to be known for?

By using more specific terms, and a variety of them, not only will you show up for more searches (since you’ll be using more keywords) but you’ll also be able to create a headline that will want people to click on you. Make your headline as catchy as possible. Lure prospective people in with your headline and wow them with your completed profile which should show off your expertise.

Include An Image

A picture shows that you are a real person and not some sort of spam bot. It’ll allow you to show up in searches more often (remember, completed profile) as well as giving you a trust factor. People make first impressions via photos, so it’d be a good idea to keep away from group shots, party shots, etc. While you don’t have to have a professional photo, it might be something worth considering.

Update Regularly

Now that you have a fantastic profile, it’s time to show it off by creating regular updates so that you can engage with the LinkedIn community. This will also allow you to show up on news feeds regularly. Update your status with information that’s relevant to your business – blog posts, company updates, press releases, etc. Just make sure to update regularly.

One last thing – stand out from the crowd by sending personal introductions with a real message instead of using the stock ones created by LinkedIn. Also make sure to send a ‘thank you’ message after someone has accepted your friend request. For additional tips on growing your business, check out Iconic Mind, an IT consulting group with a focus on growth both from a technology and business perspective. You can follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn.