Want Your Content to Convert?Start by Keeping it Simple

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Writing content never gets any easier. 

Planning topics, figuring out what to write, crafting a catchy subject line, coming up with a call-to-action, and of course, writing content that actually converts. Getting it right takes time, practice, and inspiration. 

It’s all about planning

Plan email content in advance and include it in your content calendar. That way, it’s less likely to slip off your radar. This also makes it easier to link email campaigns with other marketing strategies, such as press releases or product launches, and will give you “double bang for your buck”. 

Another tip is to ensure that your call-to-action (CTA) is clear and relevant. Don’t be tempted to go for clickbait – if you promise something, make sure you deliver on it in as few clicks as possible. 

Finally, on that note, focus on making the customer journey is seamless.  

Use your own voice

Your customers are there partially because they want to be with a small business. They want to know your journey, how you’re getting through this. This is a letter to them.

While your content can (and should) be human, your subject line can be punchier. You can use this space to include other elements of the email – such as a promotion – to entice readers to open it. Once you have their attention, speak to them personally. Even if it’s just a small introduction, this is your chance to use your own voice and level with your members as a fellow business owner. 

Keep it simple, fun, and consistent. 

The ‘simple’ rule is that it’s a weekly newsletter to everyone in community, in a simple format that’s open to everybody. It’s fun and personable; a letter from you about what’s going on in the world and in the community. As for consistency, it’s sent the same day without fail. 

Another fun element is in the name. Rather than calling your newsletter a newsletter, give it a name. It’s obvious that it’s a newsletter, so this is your chance to inject a little personality. 

Leverage your events

Events might be a big part of their community, so your marketing strategy might focus almost entirely on your events program. It keeps the content fresh. There is always new content, new events, reminders, updates, and recaps, which gives you plenty of new content. It also gives you a great opportunity to change the imagery in your newsletter.  By leveraging events you get lots of new marketing imagery such as headshots of speakers and photos of people in your space. 

It gives people a reason to share your newsletter. A lot of people who want to go to an event don’t want to go alone, so they share it with other people and either invite them, or send it along for their interest, which attracts new subscribers. Finally, it shows off the vibrancy of your space. Events bring people together and show that you have a vibrant community, that you’re “a convener.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the All Work Space website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Top Tips to Putting Your Phone Down

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Putting your phone away is a chance to change your life for the better. After trying these simple tips, you will see that you get a lot of free time, improve the learning process, and have a better mood.

Customize the Notifications

The first step to solve the problem of phone addiction is to customize the notifications. Thus, the surveys show that people cannot ignore notifications that result in the excessive use of smartphones.

You need to limit the notifications, especially when you are at college or busy. This way, you won’t have an additional reason to turn on your smartphone and look through the messages. After some time, you will feel less stressed because nothing will disturb you from important things.

Delete All Unnecessary Apps

The next important thing is to delete all unnecessary apps. For example, if you need to study a lot, social media apps will be the main reason to be distracted. Thus, try to delete them for some time, and you will see how much free time you get.

Also, look through all the apps installed on your smartphone. Maybe, you will find a lot of unnecessary apps you will never use. Delete them, as they can send notifications that are too disturbing.

Create a Plan to Use a Smartphone

One more good idea is to create a plan for your smartphone usage. If you feel that you are too addicted to smartphones, you need to write down how many apps you use during the day and for what purpose. It will help understand why smartphone addiction is a great problem.

With the new plan, you will start to control the usage of smartphones. Also, you will have a detailed schedule for the day. Undoubtedly, it will make your college life easier and well-organized.

Take a Holiday

Specialists recommend taking holidays without any gadgets. It is a nice way to detox your mind from social media and tons of information. For example, you can go on a trip or camping for the weekend. Spending time close to nature has a lot of benefits, such as a good mood. Furthermore, such a holiday will also be useful for both mental and physical health.

If you think your relatives and friends will worry about your long absence online, notify them about your short holiday.

Do Not Use Smartphone Before Going to Bed

The next working suggestion is not to use smartphones before going to bed. Thus, the specialists have already found out that the blue light of the display negatively affects the quality of sleep.

Furthermore, people often do not control how much time they spend with smartphones in bed. It starts with several minutes and ends with almost half of the night scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. So, if you want to sleep well and feel good in the morning, get rid of your phone for 3-4 hours before bed.

Use Apps to Limit Phone Usage

We talked about the negative effects of unnecessary apps at the beginning of the article. But there are also useful apps that help limit phone usage during the day. If you want to stay healthy and have a lot of free time, try this effective way to get rid of smartphone addiction.

Such apps as Rescue Time or AppDetox will become your best friends during the day. The main advantage of these programs is in controlling the time period you spend on a phone.

Try to Use a Feature Phone for Some Time

In case of serious phone addiction, it is recommended to use a feature phone for some time. The main benefit of this phone is the absence of social media apps. Thus, you will use it only for its direct purpose—to call someone if necessary.

After several weeks of this experiment, you can get back to your smartphone. If you see that you can control the time spent on social media, you will overcome your addiction.

Replace the Bad Habit

Experts recommend trying to replace the bad habit with the good one. In case of phone addiction, you can search for a new hobby to overcome this problem. Try to read books before going to sleep instead of surfing the Internet. This way, you will spend time with pleasure and get new knowledge.

Change Thinking

Finally, you need to change your thinking to overcome the addiction. Try to analyze your life to find out the main reason for excessive use of the smartphone. Maybe, the main cause for it is feelings of loneliness, depression, or some life problems. After you realize it, you will solve this issue faster.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Daily Infographic website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

10 Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

1. Prepare
Absorb information about writing, but don’t overwhelm yourself. I’ve been known to read a writing handbook or editing manual cover to cover, but I recommend reading one chapter or section at a time and absorbing information from online resources in similarly small doses as well. Our website is a good starting point, as it features thousands of posts about specific grammar, syntax, and style topics as well as vocabulary-building posts and more comprehensive posts about writing, editing, and language.

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2. Practice
Work on your writing every day. Commit to a daily writing exercise, even if you have only five minutes to spare. If you write for a living, or writing constitutes a significant proportion of your daily tasks at work, still set aside time to practice other forms of composition. Style or subject matter can vary day to day, or you can decide to, for example, respond in writing to something you experienced with any of your five senses (including anything you watched or read by way of a form of media). Alternatively, find a list of writing prompts online, and use the next one on the list each day, or choose one randomly. (Encourage family members or friends—or even coworkers—to join you in producing their own responses.) 

3. Engage with Others
Participating in a group learning activity is a great motivator. When you have paid for a class and/or scheduled time for attend classes or workshop sessions, you’re more likely to persevere, and completing assignments and projects will help you establish and/or maintain your writing discipline. If you’re intimidated by a group setting, consider finding a writing partner with whom you can exchange drafts and/or discuss concepts and practice skills, then graduate, on your own or with your partner, to a course or workshop. Alternatively, seek out online courses or groups.

4. Read
Read for education, enjoyment, and enlightenment. For the most part, with recreational reading, just sit back and enjoy yourself. But consider devoting occasional sessions to analytical reading, in which you highlight particularly effective words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs and think about why they stand out, and apply the techniques to your own writing. 

5. Organize
Use organizational techniques such as outlines and diagrams. Brainstorm keywords and essential ideas or plot points. If other forms of creative expression stimulate you, use them: Listen to (or play) music to inspire a certain mood, collect photographs or illustrations of people, places, and things that suggest elements you want to incorporate into an essay or a short story, or draw sketches of characters or settings to help you visualize them.

6. Research and Fact-Check
Whether you’re writing nonfiction or fiction, take care to write authoritatively. If you’re writing a short story or a novel, read about the historical background of the setting to make sure that you are not introducing counterfactual or anachronistic elements. When crafting a newspaper, magazine, or website article, or a blog post, educate yourself on your topic, and double-check quantitative information: proper names; affiliations and relationships; and dates, distances, dollar amounts, and so on.

7. Be Flexible
Write with an open mind. Be flexible about changing the focus of an article or essay or the protagonist or plot of a short story or a novel. Question your assumptions, and accept that your initial goal or message may not be the most effective or useful one, or the one that you are prepared to express just now.

8. Draft
Expect to be dissatisfied by your first draft, and don’t assume that your second draft is your last. Whether you’re writing a blog post or a book manuscript, the initial iteration may only slightly resemble the final draft—which, if you also submit it for editing, will differ from the edited version. Some writers have managed to produce an admirable piece of writing on the first try, but you will very likely spend as much time revising your first draft (and subsequent efforts) as you did producing it, if not more time. Embrace the opportunity to improve your baseline output by reorganizing, inserting, and omitting text; reshaping phrases and sentences; and replacing bland verbs and tired clichés and vague descriptions.

9. Hire an Editor
You’re free to post to your own blog or self-publish your novel without any further mediation, but you will be more successful as a writer if you accept that objective assistance enhances virtually everyone’s prose. Hiring an editor is a significant investment of time and money—editorial attention to a long novel, for example, can cost a couple thousand dollars and take several weeks—but if you find a good editor, the investment will be worth it. (And note that with any other service, you often get what you pay for, so when choosing an editor, focus on quality of results you will obtain rather than quantity of expense you will incur.)

If you can’t afford such an expense, at least ask a friend or acquaintance to go over your writing for you, and perhaps offer to edit something of theirs in exchange or to provide a service of similar monetary value (dog walking or pet sitting, clerical or organizational assistance, repair or construction, and so on) in return. Just understand that assistance from someone on the basis of acquaintance is less likely to be either objective or of professional caliber. Choose an editor who knows what they are doing and will not hesitate to provide revisions and critiques at the risk of damaging your ego.

10. Practice Humility
Perhaps you were praised at home and/or at school for your writing, or you have won one or more writing awards, or you have had articles or stories (or even books) published. Any or all of those achievements constitutes a good start. But you are still developing as a writer, and you always will be. Continue to practice these habits and welcome other opportunities to grow functionally and creatively as a writer.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Daily Writing Tips website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Creating a Calmer, More Productive Workspace

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Many of us spend a good chunk of each day sitting at our desks. The way your workspace is designed can have a huge impact on productivity, either helping you stay focused and motivated or providing distractions and interruptions. Applying the principles of feng shui to your office is one way to foster a calm, productive work environment and create positive energy that carries over into the rest of your life, too.

By addressing the energy, or chi, in your office, the ancient Chinese art encourages “better focus, more success, and improved overall workflow,” says Leslie Close, a Los Angeles-based interior designer and feng shui expert. Feng shui provides guidelines for a room’s layout, decor, color scheme, and other elements that can help promote a positive vibe. “The energy in your office, whether at home or at work, affects how you feel in the space,” Close says, “and how you feel affects your productivity and the quality of your work.” Use these tips to apply feng shui to your office for a happier, more balanced work life.

1. Clear away office clutter

A tidy, clutter-free workspace will help you focus on the task at hand rather than the mess around you. Clear out any unnecessary items from your workspace, such as old paperwork, excess office supplies, and other miscellaneous objects. This applies to unseen messes, too. “Don’t forget to clear the clutter in your drawers and on your computer,” Close says. “Just because it’s not on your desktop doesn’t mean it’s not important to shaping the energy of the room.”

2. Opt for a feng shui office layout

The key to a feng shui office layout is placing your desk in the command position. When sitting at your desk, you should be able to see the door without being directly in line with it. “You want to be able to see what is coming your way,” Close explains. The ideal desk placement is in the center of the room, which allows energy to flow all around you, but if that’s not feasible, at least ensure your back is not facing the door.

3. Incorporate nature into your office

“Nature reminds us to step back, breathe, and flow—to stay focused, without being stressed and intense,” Close says. Introduce the calming effects of nature into your office with plants or images of natural scenes. In particular, Close suggests decorating with mountain artwork. “Hang a picture of the mountains behind you because the mountain energy brings support and helps keep you grounded,” she says. A window with a view can also help keep you inspired throughout the day.

4. Avoid fire elements

Feng shui uses the elements of earth, metal, water, wood, and fire to achieve balance in a home. Each element brings a certain type of energy to a room and can be represented by various materials, colors, or objects. For an office, Close recommends steering clear of fire, as it “can burn the energy away and bring tension.” Avoid lighting candles in your workspace or decorating with red colors, which can introduce “turmoil and chaos” to your work life, she says.

5. Bring in water and metal elements

Water and metal, on the other hand, are much better suited for a feng shui office. Often considered a symbol of abundance, water can bring calm and flow to your workspace, while metal promotes sharpness and precision. Close recommends outfitting your desktop with a miniature fountain, a small metal sculpture, or other decorative objects that symbolize these elements. You can also evoke water and metal by decorating your office with shades of blue, gray, and white.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Yahoo Life website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

How to Become a Better Writer

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Will a Purpose-Driven Culture Help Companies Retain Employees? 

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Increasingly, employees across the globe are prioritizing ‘purpose’ and ‘ownership’ in their working lives. As well as making a living, workers are looking for autonomy and they want to know that their work is having a positive impact on the world.

Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are well placed to help workers find purpose and ownership in what they do. This is because SMBs are more versatile and flexible than large established corporations with entrenched practices and procedures. Agile businesses are able to pivot at speed. But when it comes to instilling a sense of purpose and ownership, systemic changes are often needed. 

But first, let’s get to grips with the terminology. 

What is ‘purpose’?

Purpose is a person’s enduring intention to fulfill a long-term aim that a) means something to them on a personal level, and b) has a positive impact on the world. 

Aims that contribute to an individual’s sense of purpose tend to be the ones that also impact other people’s lives, such as developing a cure for a disease, employing people in a business or teaching someone else a new skill. 

Our sense of purpose – what drives us – evolves over time. It’s important to bear in mind that purpose is a journey, not a destination. It’s what propels us and gives our personal and professional lives meaning.

Are we becoming more purpose-driven?

The pandemic has prompted many of us to reassess our values and think about whether we’re living up to them in what we do both inside and outside of the workplace. 

There’s an appetite for making choices that align with our values, and people are evaluating whether their employer’s values align with their own. 

Closer attention is being paid to which organizations treat their workers fairly and use sustainable practices to minimize environmental damage, and which don’t. 

On the whole, people’s career choices are being driven by a desire to make a positive change in the world. In the future of work, it’s safe to assume that there will be a rise in people who want to find meaning in their work by opting for purpose-led companies.

What is ‘ownership’?

Ownership is about being accountable for something and taking the initiative. In a work context, it’s about seeing a task or responsibility through to completion. 

Ownership doesn’t mean working in isolation, however. It relies on collaboration and delegation – and seeking help from others when necessary.  

We’re living in an age where the notion of ownership is changing. 

We used to associate the word ownership with the purchase of an asset such as a home or car. Now that ownership in this sense is becoming out of reach for a growing number of people, its meaning is becoming more abstract.  

Perhaps in the future of work, having responsibility and ‘ownership’ will become even more important in helping people feel like they have more control over their lives. 

Helping workers identify the importance and purpose of their work

The first step to enabling your workers to identify the importance of their work is to define your organization’s purpose. Your SMB’s purpose is the only thing you have direct control over. Attempting to summarize it in a sentence is a good place to start. 

People are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to differentiating businesses who talk about purpose from those who actually practice what they preach. 

Is your organization living up to its values? 

Spend some time with your team to reflect on what your company’s values are and open up a dialogue on what impact it has on the world. On balance, is it net positive or negative?

McKinsey & Company survey found that employees are five times more likely to be excited to work at a company that spends time reflecting on the impact it makes in the world. 

It also found that workers who are given opportunities to reflect on their own sense of purpose and how it aligns with the company they work for are almost three times more likely to feel like their purpose is fulfilled at work. 

Conversely, people who aren’t given opportunities to reflect on their purpose had just a 7 percent chance of fulfilling it at work.

Do the managers within your SMB talk about purpose? Do they lead with empathy? Is there a culture of sharing and psychological safety?

According to Dr. Timothy Clark, author of The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation, employees must move through the following four stages of psychological safety before they feel comfortable to make valuable contributions:

Stage 1 – Inclusion Safety: Inclusion safety satisfies the basic human need to connect and belong. In this stage, you feel safe to be yourself and are accepted for who you are, including your unique attributes and defining characteristics.

Stage 2 – Learner Safety: Learner safety satisfies the need to learn and grow. In this stage, you feel safe to exchange in the learning process, by asking questions, giving and receiving feedback, experimenting, and making mistakes.

Stage 3 – Contributor Safety: Contributor safety satisfies the need to make a difference. You feel safe to use your skills and abilities to make a meaningful contribution.

Stage 4 – Challenger Safety: Challenger safety satisfies the need to make things better. You feel safe to speak up and challenge the status quo when you think there’s an opportunity to change or improve.

McKinsey & Company’s survey also explored the impact of psychological safety, and found the respondents who experienced little psychological safety in the workplace had a 0.5% chance of fulfilling their purpose at work. 

Of course, it’s also important to provide opportunities for workers to be able to fulfill their purpose at work. 

SMBs should begin by seeking out ways for employees to find meaning in their daily working lives; they should weave purpose into the fabric of their brand values and operations too. 

There are lots of ways to do this. Take John Lewis, for example:

John Lewis calls its employees “partners” because the company is actually the largest employee-owned business in the UK. This is a great example of how purpose can be fulfilled through ownership – in this case, by literally owning a portion of the business. 

The thinktank Ownership at Work published a report that found employee ownership, whether achieved through direct shareholdings or an employee-owned trust, is popular across all locations and industries. 

Some companies help their employees find purpose outside of work by offering opportunities to volunteer for a non-profit for a specified number of days per month, or by offering sabbaticals. 

Portions of this article originally appeared on the All Work website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.