How “The Floor is Lava” and other adventures in the office have improved business relationships  during the pandemic.

By: Heather A. Marchand

Are you working harder than ever? I don’t know about you, but I am. 

I’ve got 4 new co-workers at my home office. They are loud, they are demanding, they interrupt my meetings, they run around my desk yelling at me that “the floor is lava!”, they are all under the age of 7. And you know what? My colleagues and industry friends love it. 

It makes me human. And we can all relate to being human. Am I right?

The demands of work and family life are HARD. Let’s all be real with each other for a moment. Here are the expectations of our current circumstances: 

  1. Work 50 hours a week. Check.
  2. Disinfect the house. Check.
  3. Homeschool. Check. 
  4. Go on a nature walk. Check. 
  5. Cook for your family. Check. 
  6. Maintain Sanity. Check. 
  7. Don’t consume too much alcohol. Check. 
  8. Don’t mess up your relationship. Check. 
  9. Look half decent for zoom meetings. Check. 
  10. Sanitize groceries. Check. 

Ok. So I lied about #2, #4, and absolutely, hands down, I lied about #7. Oh, and #10 is not happening. 

I was in a zoom meeting last week. 4 attendees. It went something like this:

Attendee #1: Sounds like a dog howling in the background. Turns out it was his 3 year old. He smiled, excused himself and returned with his son on his lap. 

Attendee #3: Dog went bonkers as the mailman delivered the mail. 

Attendee #4 (me): Dog barked, 2 of the 4 kids were yelling outside my office window. 3rd kid was banging on the door to come inside. Husband didn’t realize I was on a conference call and exclaimed he was losing his mind. 

I’m not making this up. 

This is our world right now. And you know what? We all smiled. We laughed. We appreciated the realness of this experience. This is our life, and it is a beautiful, wonderful mess. 

You can choose to focus on the negative. Or you can embrace your circumstances and make the best of it. 

I choose to embrace it. I have had the BEST conversations with members over the last several weeks. We are taking time to reach out. To connect. To share stories and experiences. It’s not rocket science. It’s just life. And we have found a way to connect to one another, let our guard down and just be freakin human. 

Be proud of your accomplishments. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Don’t pretend you have everything together. You don’t… and chances are, you’ll make the person on the other end of the line feel better if you admit it. 

There is a time for professionalism and the realness of this lockdown & social distancing doesn’t omit the professional aspect of business… but it will bring you closer to your audience. 

You’re doing a fantastic job. I see your posts. I see your hard work. I see you marching on and doing the best you can. You’re going to come out of this stronger than you were before this all happened. You’re redefining your work experience for your employees. Some of you are finding ways to re-open while now allowing employees to work from home more. You’ve discovered that productivity has improved. You’re expanding your online meetings, saving money by limiting travel, moving monies to online initiatives. Contractors are figuring out how to get bids done via FaceTime and technology. You’re working smarter with your local home inspector. Home inspectors are learning to inspect from a distance using photos, videos and live video conference calls. This is a big deal, guys! Look at what you are accomplishing! 

We promised you a few marketing graphics this week that you can add to your arsenal. You’re welcome to customize, add your own logo, copy it – own it. It’s yours. Register here to access the graphics. They are free and yours to use however you would like, even if it’s just to inspire you to create new content for your social channels.

In my next issue, I plan to start sharing some marketing tools and resources for you to utilize. I’ll be talking about the tools I have come to love and cannot wait to share them with you! 

If you’re a marketing pro, or have something to share with our members, feel free to write to me at Heather@NADRA.org. We would love to share your story and tips with our audience. 

Wishing you plenty of sunshine,

Heather

NADRA Rocks!

Heather A. Marchand
Director of National Programs & Marketing
Direct: 215.317.2018
www.NADRA.org 

PS: If you'd like to connect with me, you can find me on Instagram at @SunshineandSaltwaterMom. I look forward to following you back! 

LinkedIn Group Discussions for the Building Industry Pro:

 

                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn Discussion Fundamentals for the Building Industry Professional:

                                   …How to properly post a discussion in a LinkedIn Group.

By: Heather A. Marchand, NADRA National Program Coordinator

 

So you have a LinkedIn company profile? Nice work! But now you want to let everyone know about everything you’re doing … all    the    time.

Here is why this isn’t helping you:

LinkedIn groups have management settings that do one of two things:

  1. The group moderator accepts all new discussions without approval, or
  2. The group moderator controls which new discussions are accepted, or posted in the “promotion” section.

If you post to a group that automatically accepts new discussions, your discussion is approved right away and an email is distributed automatically to all group members.

You’re trying to reach building industry pros, correct? So, you are posting the very same discussion on 3-10 different groups within your industry that many times have the same group members or at a minimum 50-75% of the same members. Most group moderators choose option 1; so new discussions are distributed automatically. Do you know what this means? … It means that our inbox is filled with 3-10 emails of the same notice about your same discussion promoting your product, service, sales pitch. Now that we’ve been spammed with your message, we don’t even want to read what you posted… and so we don’t.

Posting the same discussion in all of your LinkedIn Groups is not the right approach.

So how should you use LinkedIn Groups for marketing?

Well, a discussion is just that, a discussion! 

            Dis-cus-sion

            Noun

  • The action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.
  • A conversation or debate about a certain topic.

Start by sharing something we want to read and reply to. We use LinkedIn for professional networking & development; so say something we care about or want to learn about.

Here are a few easy tips to follow to get the most out of your

LinkedIn experience:

  1. Connect with the companies you purchase from or sell to. Make alliances.
  2. Join a group(s) that is relevant to your industry.
    • LinkedIn will offer you suggestions for groups based on your connections. You can also perform a search. Once you find a group you want to be part of, you will be prompted to fill out an application to join the group. Some group settings allow you to automatically join, and some require approval.
    • Example: Here is the link to NADRA’s Group: Join Now. Once you request to join it will go through an approval process and you will receive a notification once you have been accepted.
  3. Engage in the right discussions!
    • If you have a blog, share your stories on LinkedIn. But don’t post it to the same 5 groups on the very same day. Switch up the stories and give it some time.
    • Ask questions & stir up conversation! (Try not to be controversial)
  4. If you are running a contest on another social channel, share your link and tell your LinkedIn connections what you are giving away.
  5. Show your value. Take time to reply to other discussions and offer your insight – but do it without a commercial! Don’t try to sell yourself or your product… just be helpful and it will sell itself.
  6. If you are launching a new service or product, and you just want to scream it to the virtual world… by all means, go for it! But this time, try to offer a reward or incentive to your connections for sharing your news! It’s easy and makes it fun for your followers.
  7. Lastly, reach out to the groups you want to share news with. Chances are, they WANT to share your stories, news, events and contests… most companies are begging for stories to post, especially via social media! Do it in a professional manor. Send them a private message and ask how you can work more closely together. You wouldn’t hound the company in person, would you? … So don’t do it online.

Follow a few of these guidelines & nobody will be saying, “Not this guy again!”