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4 Steps To Build Your Personal Brand Online

Marketing Strategy typographyIt’s difficult to separate personal and company brands when it comes to online reputation. Previously, this had made life hard for anybody changing profession – they wanted to be known as ‘x with the y skills and ability’ but they were ‘x that works for z‘. If you take time to build an online brand, you can avoid this issue and this blog post gives you some idea about getting started.

Step 1: Complete your social media profiles

This may sound too obvious to be worthy of a start but what is meant is: from the perspective of your personal brand, complete your profile. To get you started, look at someone’s profile who has a very professional looking presence and then base your format on theirs.

This will probably include getting a quality professionally taken photo, with a complete profile and a link to their LinkedIn profile, their blog and their website.

Step 2: Select a suitable name for your presence

If you tweet under a pseudonym, odds are no one will connect it with you, unless you’re really big. Similarly, if you have a very common name and you add some numbers after it – @jsmith2332, for example – it’ll not be linked to you very easily. So pick a suitable name like JohnSmithSays and use this on all social media.

You may also want to purchase the domain with your name, as someone else may do this and it could cost you a lot later to purchase it, or undo the damage they’ve done.

Step 3: Be active

People will be discussing your area of expertise across a massive variety of sources from formal online journals to Twitter chats. You should engage in these on a regular basis in a neutral (don’t make enemies or shoot others down) and informed way. This will help to make connections and establish the credibility behind the profile and photo for those that don’t know you.

Step 4: Create regular quality content

The best way for people to find and develop respect for your online profile is by creating the most useful possible content for those in your industry on the web. This may sound like a tall order but it’s not impossible if you double up with work you’re already doing. Let’s say you’re asked to speak at a conference. So long as you’re not a professional speaker and you won’t hurt your future income, you could take you key ideas and turn it into a blog or article with very little effort. People will find this and come back to you.

Now monitor

Once you’ve started, you need to know how your efforts are going. You can check up this by googling yourself or your industry with your name. If you really are adding value in your online presence, you’ll very quickly find that you start showing up in search engine results and, because this all links back to your stellar profile, people will know it’s you.

Exclusive Sedan has been providing outstanding ground transportation in the L.A area for over 30 years. We have a vast number of repeat corporate clients because we are always looking to build long term relationships that are founded upon delivering consistently outstanding service.

We can provide chauffeured and bespoke travel solutions for all occasions and would be delighted to explain exactly what we can do to make your own unique situation better. Call us today to find out just how.

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How to Create the Definitive Event App

apps, app store, phone, iPhone, Android, businessThere’s an app for pretty much everything these days, but sadly the create event apps app is not yet to be found. In the meantime, for those creating apps to support, enhance and complement events there are many things to consider. This short post lets you know what the most important things are to ensure you have the definitive event app next time around.

Target Audience

An app can’t and shouldn’t be intended for everyone. Take a little bit of time to work out exactly who the intended audience is. It is clearly for your attendees but not all will likely download it. Perhaps find out what type of people downloaded your last event app, define their needs and go from there.

With an idea of the target audience, try and narrow down what sort of people they are. How old, how tech and app savvy are they and do they need to network at the event? These answers will steer you in the right direction to getting the app sorted.

Without overly stereotyping, the younger more tech savvy will appreciate a more detailed app, while the older and less tech aware may well get more from something more straight-forward. This does not mean that you should not aim for an easy to use app that a child can find their way round; because you should.

Focus

The aspect that will bring your app together in a successful format is focus. It will keep the quantity of information under control and the quality high. Focus should also allow you to keep the content that you provide small enough that it works on a small smartphone screen.

While focus is a must, it can be a good idea to give your attendees the start point to find out more about the area that they are in.  For Example, you could give a link to a useful information page with key numbers, respectable hotels and transportation options.

Get your app out there

The last aspect to consider is how you’ll get your app to the people that need it. It is going to need to be highly publicized; include links in emails, within your social media presence and of course on your website.

We hope this short post contributes in some small way to making your event app awesome. As a Los Angeles based ground transportation company, Exclusive Sedan can offer more than just advice for getting your event right – we provide the full spectrum of business and leisure chauffeured transportation and have a long history of working with event organizers and delivering outstanding levels of service, planning advice and support. Operating in the Los Angeles area and with affiliates throughout the world, we’d love to hear from you, so call us today to ensure one aspect of your event planning is not a concern.

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How to Deal With Toxic People

toxic, business, meetings, rude, interruptWe’ve probably all experienced toxic individuals – the moaner, the bully, the temper-kid, the negative Nancy. We’ve most likely also all had to get business done with these sorts of people and that’s not easy. For this reason, this week’s post brings you some ideas for how to deal with toxic people so your stress levels are reduced and you can be efficient and productive.

Expectation management

You’ll quickly realize when someone is a toxic individual. From that point on, expect dealing with them to be challenging and factor it into your expectations of what you are going to achieve with them. This will have the effect of giving you a little ‘emotional distance’; that’s to say, some space that will stop you from finding the experience too testing.

With that being said, you should try to avoid pigeon-holing individuals; we all have bad days. If you have someone who is really provoking you, take some time to think why this might be. Are they trying to cover for weaknesses elsewhere? Is there something generally wrong, or are they just toxic?

Emotionally charged

If people are emotionally charged, it’s best to let them complete their sentence – interrupting will not help matters. If you are calm and try and listen for the message, as opposed to hearing the rage you might be able to find a start point for getting things done. For example, after a rant if you say: ‘so, the problem is x and you want me to do y’. This small act of clarity may be all that’s needed to calm things down to the point where you can start something productive.

If things are out of control-aggressive, you will probably only find you need to make that clear, in a suitable and constructive way. A sensible approach would be saying something like, ‘can you repeat that in a calmer way, I did not fully understand’.

The worst thing to do, from the perspective of getting things done, is to meet rage with rage. This will move discussion from the point where you can achieve something to the point where you can’t. While you might feel better for a second, you’ve reduced yourself to their level. Better to avoid an argument all together and come back later of deal with someone different.

Exclusive Sedan is a Los Angeles based ground transportation company that offers business and leisure travelers the best in ground transportation in our fine city and beyond. We appreciate that business travel is challenging and tiring which is why we operate a dedicated fleet of vehicles and drivers that are optimized to make your life as simple as possible from the moment we meet you to the point at which you’ve got where you need to be. Call us today for the best business ground transportation.

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How To Ensure You Get What You want From A Desk-Side Meeting

meeting, corporate, business, work, collaboration, laptop, technologyThere’s going to be many occasions in your career where you’re going to be conducting a desk side meeting. This is not a full blown formal meeting, but where you just arrange to drop by someone and put your pitch to them at their own desk, this could be internal to your business or external. This short post lets you know enough to ensure that you’re successful in these meetings.

Bring what you need

While a desk-side is less formal than other meetings you still need to come with suitable material. You would not attend a job interview without a few copies of your resume, so this should be no different. Bring business cards, a client list and anything else you need to give as a takeaway.

Work out what to ask, as well as what to say

In any type of less formal meeting you’re aiming as much as possible for a discussion. This means you need to spend some time thinking about what it is you want to know from your potential source of business. Just like anything in life, success at a desk side is going to have a fair amount to do with personal relationships. This means, you should also spend a little time getting to know the person.

Say thank you promptly

Regardless of the outcome, you should say thank you straightaway. This is simple good manners and even if your time comes to nothing, they will remember you as polite. This will pay dividends in the long run and should be done promptly.

Don’t forget the follow up

You should follow up, whatever the outcome; even if it’s just to find out why things did not pan out. This is probably best done by email and should be personalized. Maybe suggest taking things forward more formally or perhaps continuing the discussion in another setting.

Don’t let momentum slip away

Never forget that people are busy. If you feel you’re making progress you should keep it going, all the time attempting to make things as easy as possible. A great way of tracking these sorts of interactions when they get complicated is with a spreadsheet, detailing the initial contact, the follow up and then suitable points in the future where you’ll keep pressing issues.

We wish you all success in you meetings, both formal and informal, and hope that this short post goes some way to helping. As a Los Angeles based ground transportation company, Exclusive Sedan can offer more than just advice – we provide the full spectrum of business and leisure chauffeured transportation and have a long history of working with business people and delivering outstanding levels of service, planning advice and support. Operating in the Los Angeles area and with affiliates throughout the world, we’d love to hear from you, so call us today to ensure one aspect of your business transport is not a concern.

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Major Event Planning Fails

FailFailure is something that goes hand in hand with the event planning industry. If you plan events you’re probably used to things not going exactly as planned. Some things can go wrong, and with a bit of planning before hand and slick management, no great damage occurs. More serious failure, the topic of this post, can have catastrophic consequences for all concerned. We’ll also try and give you some ideas how to avoid it.

Overloaded Wi-Fi 

Wi-Fi is critical because in an event you’re packing people into one place, most likely where they have limited reception, and they can’t stay connected. Getting Wi-Fi right takes a bit of planning from experts in the field; who, with a knowledge of numbers and event layout can easily solve the problem.

The same speakers

If the same speaker is invited back year after year they will drive attendance down, even if they’re awesome. People come to events to learn something they don’t know and to meet with new people. The same speaker as last year is clearly neither.

Confusion

The job of getting people to the right place at the right time does not end with sending them a pdf of the program (this is also a bad idea). People will need active management to know where to go and when. While not being intrusive, this will normally involve having staff to point disorientated people in the right direction, easy access to the program and a frequent reminder of what’s up next.

Lost value

As we said earlier, people go to events to learn new things and meet new and interesting people. The event must facilitate this by gathering resources in one easily accessible area (slides for example). It must  also make it as easy as possible to network, some useful ideas are an early distribution of the attendance list (and update once the event starts, to cater for no shows), readable name badges and space, in both the program and venue, to network.

Not universally accessible

It is statistically probable that your event will have a number of disabled attendees – you may not even realize it. You will realize it however, when somebody can not get in or there is not space for a wheel chair in your conference room. Make sure you cater for people with disabilities.

There will also be people with special dietary needs, even if they did not register them. Ensure your caterer can cope with all likely scenarios. This may not be in large numbers but could ruin the event for someone.

As a Los Angeles based ground transportation company, Exclusive Sedan can offer more than just advice for getting your event right – we provide the full spectrum of business and leisure chauffeured transportation and have a long history of working with event organizers and delivering outstanding levels of service, planning advice and support. Operating in the Los Angeles area and with affiliates throughout the world, we’d love to hear from you, so call us today to ensure one aspect of your event planning is not a concern.

 

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What Meeting Professionals Need To Know About Technology

conference, business, meeting, agendaFor those involved in event and meeting planning, technology has – and will continue to – have a massive impact. Some new technologies have been universally adopted (think smart phones), with those that failed to adopt them early being competitively disadvantaged. On the other hand, some possible innovations quickly became dead ends and any money invested in them would have been lost. This short post gives you the bottom line on tech for meeting professionals.

Implementation is as important as innovation

Just like any new aspect of a business, what leads to success where technology is concerned is successful implementation that makes the business more efficient. If you feel you are using technology for the sake of it, you’re not going to achieve much. On the other hand if you have a clear objective and look for a technical solution for it, you’ll be on the right path.

Intuitive is good

While technology can require training and implementation, the more intuitive something is, the more likely it is to be successful. People will get it themselves.

Reversion is not a bad thing

Although technology offers many advantages, you need to have a start point for something not functioning. This should be simple and deliverable.

Audience orientated

You need to leave your own biases at home when considering new tech – the only people that matter are your audience. Ask yourself if they are likely to get along with a new innovation, or will it just cause friction. Some people really feel the need to have paper in their hand, you won’t and shouldn’t try to change this.

Do you really need it?

Technology can feel like a race, with everyone trying to outdo each with ever better and newer things. You need to always check that none of this is intruding on the main idea or thing. Tech should, for example, never detract from or replace a speaker; it should add to the experience.

We really hope that your events are as best supported and planned as it’s possible to be. If you need any assistance with transportation, we may be able to offer further assistance. As the quality car service in the Los Angeles area, Exclusive Sedan should be your first thought for event transportation. We are a limousine company that strives to offer nothing but the best quality of service for our many valued clients and have a long history of working with event organizers to put on the best and most ambitious events.

Call us today on to make it a happen.

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Be A Better Manager

Business person good better best achievementMany people simply do what their managers say because they are the boss; they don’t feel particularly led and may not feel they own a future stake in their outputs. Similarly, many managers will be perplexed when they encounter resistance and cannot get their employees do follow their lead.

The answer in both cases is to be a better manager.

Start close to home

Before you can become a better manager, you’re going to need to take a really close look at yourself. Try and write down words that characterize how you manage. This short exercise should, if you’re honest, reveal a lot about the kind of manager you are. More usefully, it may also start to show you areas that will require effort. Work on your weaknesses and develop your strengths.

Everyone is unique

Good managers are often those who take a personnel interest in their employees. People will not trust a boss who shows no interest in them personally or even worse shows an indifference towards them. Equally, a manager who doesn’t know their employees will have a hard time getting the best out of them. The first way you could become a better manager is by taking a little time each day to get to know your employees better. What makes them tick? why are they working here?, etc.

Mutual Success

Great managers build great teams. You should focus your efforts on building the sort of team that will deliver success; this leads directly on from the point above about knowing your employees. The individuals in your team need to be coached, inspired and motivated on journey to mutual success. It is just the manager that helps them get there.

The second aspect of building a great team is to ensure that the team functions effectively together. The start point for this must be trust and a vision, which enabled by delegation and mutual goals, should allow a team to find its natural balance. At this point the task of the manager becomes keeping a hand on the tiller, while fully empowered team-members cooperate to get the tasks done.

Exclusive Sedan is a Los Angeles based ground transportation company that offers business and leisure travellers the best in ground transportation in our fine city and beyond. We appreciate that management is challenging and tiring which is why we operate a dedicated fleet of vehicles and drivers that are optimized to make your life as simple as possible from the moment we meet you to the point at which you’ve got where you need to be. Call us today for the best business ground transportation.

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What You Need to Know About Your Attendees

Convention GroupOne of the greatest challenges in staging an event is ensuring that you satisfy the needs of your attendees. If follows, that to know what they want, you need to know a lot about the types of people that are likely to attend. While every event will attract a different type of attendee, there are some common needs they all share; this post lets you know what you really need to know.

Network, despite themselves

When asked, one of the most comprehensive and oft repeated reasons for attending an event is the chance to make useful contacts. This is true no matter what personality they have. What it means for the event planner is that you need to facilitate networking despite some attendees. How? Be creative and ensure that you have a jovial atmosphere, plenty of places for people to network and activities that bring people together.

People love freedom

Despite the most amazing speaker, given the choice a lot of attendees would rather be chatting, catching up and networking rather than sitting and listening. Don’t fight this. Make sure people know what’s going on in the auditorium and try and nudge them in that way but don’t let the success or failure of your event depend on you getting someone to do something they might not want to do.

Parking pains

You just know that a lot of attendees will not read any of the information you send them and turn up, try and park, and then blame the event when this doesn’t work smoothly. You can mitigate this by good planning, some people out front to control things and encouraging people to use central transportation.

Exclusive Sedan is a company that has immense respect for event organizers; we know you perform multiple tasks with dedication and commitment and carry a heavy burden. We hope that this short summary has proved useful and can offer some more concrete assistance with your transportation plan – the next time you need quality ground transportation in the L.A. area you consider a company that understands that long term success is built on working with partners in the travel industry to build fruitful and enduring relationships. Call our team today to see what we can offer.

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3 Reasons Your Leadership Development May Be Failing

Depositphotos_6414313_originalDeveloping great leaders is a priority for many organizations. Whether it’s some light hearted team building style leadership development or a serious program, there’s plenty of reasons that these programs may not be as effective as they could be. This brief post gives you the 3 most common reasons that leadership development falls short.

Potential never becomes performance

Unfortunately when the words ‘leadership development’ is mentioned, many will think of seminars or workshops, some might think of mentoring and coaching but it’s mainly through experience that great leaders are developed.

It is necessary to have some context on leadership but if those with potential are ever going to become great leaders they need to be given the opportunity to learn by doing. They need to have assignments were they will be both tested and allowed to make mistakes. It will be important to mentor them but keep them out of the class room except for the absolutely unavoidable information.

Top down development

Leadership development is all too often something an organization imposes on its people to produce better leaders. Anything ever written about leadership will talk about how personal it is; how it depends on character and willpower. This is why leadership development should be at least as much about giving the individual power to choose how they develop. This sort of approach will ensure ‘buy in’ and will mean that it can be adapted to the individual.

Great managers are assumed to be great leaders

Management and leadership are not, despite wide misconception, the same things. Someone who’s good at one may not be suitable for the other and vice-versa. Management skills are about getting the right details that get things done: organizing, planning, coordination, controlling and measurement of results. Leadership skills are less tangible and more about the getting people to get things done, such as: inspiring, motivating, building teams, imposing will and gripping a situation.

So, it follows that a leadership program needs to actually concentrate on leadership skills. They must asses leaders at these skill and be aware of the difference in managing.

Exclusive Sedan is a ground transportation company that has been getting leaders where they need in Los Angeles for over 30 years. We offer excellent chauffeured transport in the Los Angeles area and are proud of the relationships we’ve built with many private and corporate clients. For your ground transportation needs, not just in LA but worldwide, Exclusive Sedan should be your choice for peace of mind, quality and above all excellent service.

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How To Get More Out Of Conference Breakouts

ConferenceIf you’re in the business of organizing conferences you’ll know all about the value of concurrent sessions. Known as breakouts, these sessions are vitally important in achieving success in conferences but unless really well managed they can be so much hot air. This post gives you some ideas to improve your conference breakouts.

Do it better

A recent survey of conference organizers, published by Dave Lutz over at the Jeff Hurt blog raised some really interesting points about the areas that tend to be lacking at conference breaks outs. The general themes were, that while conferences tend to impart knowledge very well when centrally delivered, there is definite room for improvement in the quality of breakouts. They would benefit from some adult learning orientated practices and should focus on doing less but doing it better.

Many conferences will attempt a ‘something for everyone’ shotgun-approach when it comes to conference breakouts. Trying to do too much could come at the expense of quality and value delivered to attendees. How will you know if this is the case? Simply see how many people turn up for your sessions, if attendance drops below a 50% of you best attended breakout session, it is probably time to drop it.

Knowledge transfer

Most conference organizers know that attendees are really looking for valuable knowledge that they could not get anywhere else, when they attend breakout sessions. This means that these sessions really need to embrace knowledge transfer methods to ensure that attendees are:

  • Engaged
  • Interactive
  • Relevant

Dealing with each in turn, to be engaging you need to ensure that the room layout is conducive to keeping and maintaining people’s attention. You also need to balance engaging media, with personality driven and inspirational panel members. Try to keep panel numbers down or you could run the risk of having a college style dry academic monologue.

As a conference organizer, you can be sure that when you attendees are interacting, they are gaining value and feel engaged. This can be facilitated by short sessions that allow frequent questions and time for debate. Remember that not all interaction happens in the breakout sessions; some occurs in the margins. So build in time for it.

Being relevant is all about finding people with the right experience and the right manner to deliver what it is that attendees want. You can find out what they need by asking them – with social media this could not be easier. ‘Just in time’ should be your watchword when it comes to timeliness. You don’t need to gaze into the distant future in your sessions but you do need to make time for the most pressing issues of the day.

Exclusive Sedan is a company that has an immensely high regard for conference organizers; we know you perform multiple tasks with dedication and commitment. We’re proud of our relationships with you, not just here in L.A. but throughout the world. We hope that this short summary has proved useful and would offer you the suggestion that the next time you need quality ground transportation in the L.A. area you consider a company that understands that long term success is built on working with partners in the travel industry to build fruitful and enduring relationships. Call our team today to see what we can offer.

 

 

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