August Edition of Designated Digest

August Edition of Designated Digest

Hello everyone and welcome to the August edition of our monthly newsletter.

Did anybody else blink and miss July?! Perhaps it was all that hot weather. In the news, this week scientists warned that Britain could swelter under its first 40C day within 10 years as massive heatwaves become more frequent due to global warming and rising carbon emissions. In this month’s newsletter, we look at the effect virtual business support has on sustainability. With United Nations believing that 14 of its 17 sustainable development goals can be solved or advanced through virtual work, it’s definitely something we must continue to talk about as well as act upon.

Some of our clients are able to continue to work remotely or take on a hybrid solution and others will be returning to their place of work, so we look at preventing burnout as you return to work.

As always if this newsletter sparks some new ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team who would be happy to discuss them with you. Best wishes and enjoy the rest of the great British summer!

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Build your brand using Content Marketing

Build your brand using Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a word banded around a lot in business but do you know what it means and how it can be important for your business?  

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. This content will drive profitable customer action, whether it be booking an appointment or making a sale.  

Content marketing is at, it’s core, educational and not promotional. It is designed to be valuable, to start or build upon a relationship, increasing trust and visibility of the brand.  

But why is content marketing important for your business? There are a number of different reasons, but a solid content marketing strategy helps many aspects of your digital marketing.  

Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy, you’ll need to understand what is valuable to your target market and create posts which can be shared and saved by your followers.  

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), search engines like Google reward businesses that publish good quality, consistent and valuable content.  

Are you interested in generating PR content for your business or brand? Successful PR strategies address issues your audience cares about, not the business themselves.  

Pay per click (PPC) is when you pay for ads and for each click on them but relies on good quality content to hook the user into your website.   

Are you planning on increasing your email subscriber list? Content is key to creating these emails and driving traffic and leads for your inbound marketing.  

Content marketing requires work, persistence from all parties involved and patience for the results to come in but it can have many benefits to your business.  

  1. Your content marketing strategy can make sure you’re found by the right people and potential customers. Answering people’s key questions by creating blog posts, ebooks or videos for example can be a good place to start.  
  1. Your content is only as valuable as its ability to attract new people to your business, and compel them to engage going forward.  
  1. Content marketing can help acquire new customers. You’ll be able to be a trusted source for them and they’ll want to hear from you and purchase your products and services.  
  1. You’ll be able to create more loyal customers, which potentially increase sales through cross-selling or upselling.  

So if you’re looking for someone to start to help you on your content marketing journey, we’d love to work with you. 

For more information about working with a virtual marketing team on michelle@designatedgroup.com

 

Virtual business support and what it means for sustainability

Virtual business support and what it means for sustainability

Virtual Business Support Sustainability

Virtual Business Support and What it Means for Sustainability. 

The term work-life balance took a complete turn during the height of the pandemic. While many missed the mid-morning coffee machine banter, others thrived by spending more time with their families, had time to focus on their mental and physical well-being and some even uprooted their lives completely, re-locating to areas they would actually like to live with no lengthy commutes to consider. Saving a small fortune in the process.

For the employee, remote working or even a hybrid model is an easy sell. Fortunately, most employers have been willing to look at the future of work for their business.

The benefits of remote working for employers include:

  • On-premise cost savings
  • Productivity of workers
  • Mental health and wellness of employees
  • Expansion of talent pools
  • Communication improvement

But that’s not all. One of the most beneficial and impactful arguments for remote or hybrid working models, sits with sustainability.

The UN believes 14 of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be solved or advanced through virtual work. Living and working sustainably is more than just good business.

In the world today we are facing several threatening global issues, a health pandemic, economic crisis, climate change, mental health emergency and not to mention the entanglement of race and inequality. Though remote working won’t eradicate these issues entirely, virtual jobs have the power to change the lives of employees, businesses, and communities across the globe by impacting:

  • The Economy: When employees are spread across countries rather than packed into cities and hotspots, wealth can spread and help to uplift poorer communities.
  • The Environment: Working remotely means shorter commutes, lighter carbon footprints, reduced air pollution, carbon emissions but it also has a knock-on effect on things like food production, energy usage, elimination of physical office waste like stationary with cloud technology. Fast fashion which is a topic currently discussed a lot will be impacted, employees won’t have the need to purchase as many clothes.
  • Diversity: Equal remote work earns equal opportunity.  It turns out that when managers are focused on the what of results, suddenly the whowhen, and where doesn’t matter as much. Consequently, traditional discriminatory factors like race, age, gender, and family status are reduced or eliminated in virtual workplaces.

Here at Designated, we saw the benefits of remote working long before COVID-19 made it almost mandatory for businesses to adapt to using virtual and cloud technologies.

Managing Director Jane Braithwaite has been able to build Designated with an unlimited pool of talent, sourcing industry experts across PA, Accountancy, Marketing, HR & Recruitment both locally and globally to the benefit of all Designated’s clients. There is no traditional 9-5, no distractions, lengthy meetings and no burnout or stress from commuting. The work is done quickly and efficiently using the best virtual business support teams available.

Remote business support allows business leaders to focus their time on what matters. With flexible support options available you can choose to hire a virtual PA, virtual marketing team or a virtual accountant when, and how you need it.

For more information about virtual business support contact Michelle Elliot on michelle.elliott@designatedgroup.com

 

 

 

Are you using awareness days in your social media content calendar?

Are you using awareness days in your social media content calendar?

social media content calendar

What are awareness days and how can I use these in my marketing?
Awareness days are planned days where a cause is being highlighted on social media. There are so many, they range from business-related ones to more fun and light-hearted ones!

You can plan a marketing strategy using these, choosing the ones which are the most relevant to you personally and for your business. These days are known a fair way in advance, so you can plan content and your messages ahead of time.

How do you use them?
Awareness and national days are incredibly popular on social media, generally used as hashtags and more often than not, trending on Twitter. This provides a golden opportunity to join the conversation, increase your engagement and reach new audiences.

You’ll need to select the right awareness days to include as part of your marketing strategy, it needs to be relevant and match your brand tone or objectives. When thinking about awareness days, you can use this framework to select the most appropriate day for you.

1. Do the causes align with your business?
2. Does the cause match or enhance your business values?
3. Are the causes aligned to your Corporate social responsibility goals?
4. Is it something you’re passionate about?
5. Is the cause driven by staff interest or staff engagement?

It’s important to be able to give your business’s unique view or context to the awareness days. Your content will then be more valuable and raise awareness on this topic.
You’ll need to do your research though, finding the relevant hashtags, and this will allow people to see your content and get involved, extending your reach. Your activity needs to be a win-win for you and the awareness day or cause. You’ll be supporting them, increasing awareness and creating conversation and engagement.

The content you create for the awareness day can be a good content hook, driving traffic to your website from your social channels. It’s timely and often being talked about already, so planning your content ahead of time and publishing on the right day is key!

Make sure to also include your involvement in appropriate emails and any newsletters too, so your email subscribers aren’t missing out on this valuable content. You might be able to remind them of your social accounts and encourage them to become new followers too.

Do you want a hand getting your marketing strategy sorted? Do you know the awareness days you’d like to use for your business?

At Designated we only hire industry experts. Each has over 10 years of experience working across various industries and with household brand names.

Contact Designated’s Marketing Director Michelle to see how our team can help you – michelle@designatedgroup.com 

 

 

 

How to prevent burnout as you return to work

How to prevent burnout as you return to work

Designated Group Burnout

 
Burnout is defined as physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. As it turns out, there are ways to identify the early warning signs of burnout. And, there are many simple practices you can put in place immediately to prevent burnout from becoming an occupational hazard .
 

13 Early Signs of Burnout 

  1. High levels of stress or anxiety. Feeling frequently on edge, with adrenaline constantly coursing through your body.

     

  2. Lack of engagement. You don’t feel motivated at work. You have difficulty focusing or exhibit a short attention span.

     

  3. Increased cynicism. Feelings of resentment or disconnection. You may notice yourself being more negative and cynical. Feeling cranky and defensive or snapping at people easily. Youdon’tmake time to talk on the phone or connect with the people who matter most to you. If you’re feeling a lot of resentment towards others, chances are it’s because you’re not getting your needs met and you’re on the path to burnout.

     

  4. Distracted eating. You eat your meals in front of a computer, television or while on the go (in the car, standing up, etc.)

     

  5. Not getting enough sleep. The suggested minimum amount of sleep is seven to eight hours each night, if you’re getting less than this, you risk some level of burnout.

     

  6. Low energy and exhaustion. You’re tired. Not just sleepy tired, but emotionally fatigued. You may feel exhausted by the end of the day, with no energy left to exercise or even engage with others, you just want to crash and watch television or zone out in some other way.

     

  7. Never enough time. You feel as though you’re always in a hurry and never have enough time for all the things you’re trying to accomplish each day.

     

  8. Excessive worrying, high level of self-criticism. Your mind cycles through the same worry-filled thoughts again and again and you can’t seem to stop. The critical voice in your head is very loud, telling you constantly to do more, work harder, and no matter what you accomplish, you’re still not doing enough. There is no self-compassionate voice to balance out the critical voice, or if there is, it is very weak and you can barely hear it.

     

  9. Physical illness. Initially, the physical symptoms can be subtle. You may experience headaches, a persistent cold, have a stomach bug or an upset stomach frequently, or a weak immune system in general. If early signs are ignored, your body may hit a wall and receive a more serious diagnosis.

     

  10. Numb feelings. Increase in addictive behaviour. Initially, this can show up as an excessive dependence on caffeine and/or sugar to stay alert and boost energy when feeling low. As things progress, increased dependence on drugs, alcohol, eating comfort foods or watching more television than usual can be signs you are burning out and using these coping mechanisms to avoid acknowledging how you really feel.

     

  11. Inefficacy. Experiencing diminished personal accomplishment, a perceived decline of incompetence or productivity, and expending energy at work without seeing any results.

     

  12. No Breaks.

– Vacation. You can’t remember the last time you took a single day off just to relax and do nothing. Or perhaps you haven’t had a vacation in over six or even twelve months. 

– Recharge throughout the day. You may have a tendency to push through your work without taking a break. It’s one thing to be in the zone, but if you notice you’re not getting up to get a glass of water, stretch your legs, go on a walk or call a friend at least once every 90-120 minutes, you could be putting unnecessary stress on your body. 

– Weekly Rituals. You haven’t made time for a rejuvenating activity in the last week (massage or any pampering treatment, a bath, cooking or reading a book simply for pleasure, going on a hike, etc.). 

  1. Not enough exercise. You aren’t making as much time to exercise or move your body as you would like. 

What are some practical, simple & cost-free things to do? 

First, go through the list above and circle your top three symptoms. 

Next, ask yourself “Hmmm, what do I need?” for each of these areas. For example, if you’re eating at your desk five days a week, what you need could be to connect with friends or colleagues over lunch more often, or to exercise during your lunch break. If you haven’t taken a vacation in over a year, what you need could be to schedule a vacation. 

Once you determine what you need, come up with an action step for each of these three areas. An action step has a “What” and a “By When.” For example, Action Step: I will plan a vacation and book the tickets by next Thursday at 4pm. 

Setting concrete goals is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll make a change. 

Avoiding burnout starts by putting some of these preventative measures in place. 

If you want even more accountability, you can recruit an anti-burnout partner. Tell this person what your action steps are and ask him or her to hold you accountable by checking in to make sure you’ve followed through. 

Getting support and setting clear action steps will help you implement these simple practices with greater ease. 

Hire a Designated Virtual Personal Assistant and delegate some tasks to ease the burden.  Our virtual personal assistant team will work with you towards the same goal and help to ease the pressure. 

 

July Edition of Designated Digest

July Edition of Designated Digest

Hello everyone and welcome to the July edition of our monthly newsletter.

We would like to start off with some positive news we heard this week, London’s busiest shopping area, Oxford Circus is set to undergo a makeover, transforming some of its cluttered spaces to leafy-green pedestrian-only areas.

Similar plans are set to take place in Birmingham, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris. Ideal for taking a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city and allowing your mind to wander. On that note, we look this month at mental health in the workplace. Mental health affects around one in four people in the UK in any given year, so we feel it is a topic that needs to be discussed regularly.

As we return to a more normal working pattern, schedules are busier than ever whilst we play catch up, so we dive into the top 10 reasons to consider hiring a Virtual PA in 2021.

As always, stay safe and we look forward to talking with you soon.

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