Category: Tools to Use

Great social media and other communication tools you want to try.


Money and your Financial Purpose

Guest Post by Ben Offit, Offit Advisors

I have often seen some of the best financial planning clients – the ones who save and invest regularly, protect their assets, care about their futures and families, and are meticulous about being on track with their finances, and struggle to transition into retirement.

They have done a tremendous job and deserve credit for putting themselves in the fortunate financial position they are in. They have saved and lived within their means for so long, so starting to spend and use their money that they have accumulated feels so foreign to them. They aren’t necessarily depriving themselves, but they aren’t necessarily enjoying their position to the fullest either.

But the reality is that none of us will live forever, and everyone’s day will eventually come, and no one gets a reward for being the richest person in the graveyard. There are also many people who may have an underlying feeling or inkling as to what their purpose in life is or how they may want to use their money, but they don’t fully pursue it. There are many people who are successful with their money, but they also need to be more successful in not missing their opportunity to live their lives and enjoy a life of significance, right now!

Ultimately, everyone can and should utilize their money as a tool to help them enjoy life and realize their life’s purpose.

It’s their money, they have busted their butt to earn, save, and grow it, and as long as they are not jeopardizing their own financial security, they deserve to enjoy their money and utilize it towards fulfilling their life’s purpose today.

If one reaches the point of financial security and can afford to utilize their money, while not disrupting their financial independence, they should strive to take advantage of their position and look for daily opportunities to enjoy life, pursue their dreams, and live their purpose.  For example:

  1. If you want that extra tall coffee at Starbucks, go get it!
  2. If you have always dreamed of going to Fiji, go now!
  3. If you have always wanted to help your Son or Daughter launch a business idea that they have had but couldn’t afford to pursue it, help them now!
  4. If you have always wanted to help end poverty or end cancer, do something about it today!

Enjoy your journey along the way to the top of the financial mountaintop, but also don’t forget to enjoy the view once you get there.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra IS or Kestra AS. The material is for informational purposes only. It represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. It is not guaranteed by Kestra IS or Kestra AS for accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. It should also not be construed as advice meeting the particular investment needs of any investor. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

About the Author

Ben is a Certified Financial Planner and Principal at Offit Advisors, a full-service financial planning practice whose professionals serve individuals, families, and closely held businesses, through a client-centric approach. The firms possess significant experience, expertise, and resources within a broad range of matters including financial planning, tax planning, investments, and insurance.

Marketing with YouTube

You Tube is so much more than a place to post your videos. It has grown to be a powerful place to market your brand and your expertise. Marketing with YouTube is important for B2B as well as B2C brands.

Some fun facts:

  • YouTube is larger than Facebook in terms of active users
  • YouTube has the second largest volume of daily searches next to Google
  • More than half all marketers (55%) use YouTube as part of their marketing strategy

As with every social channel, YouTube is not the right place for every brand. Not everyone has the budget or know-how to create effective video, and not every brand message translates well to video.

I recently asked my network if YouTube works for them as a marketing tool, and comments like this were common: “I post video content to YouTube and have picked up comments and subscribers from outside of my network.”

So, YouTube is a place with lots of active viewers where you have a good chance of expanding your reach. Like any marketing channel, it’s not as easy as just posting video.

The Downside of YouTube

500 hours of new content is uploaded on YouTube every hour. You’ve got a lot of competition. Your video has to be worthy of attention.

Start by understanding the types of videos that are most popular. When I surveyed my network about their YouTube use, it was clear that most people are looking for video that is a worthwhile investment of the time to watch.

What Gets Watched

Research shows these are the most popular types of YouTube videos:

  • Tutorials/How-To/Educational/Explainer
  • Ask Me Anything (AMA)
  • Product Reviews
  • Whiteboard Videos
  • Listicle/X Best…
  • Challenge/Contest Videos
  • Unboxing an item/exploring product contents
  • Product demo
  • Behind the scenes
  • Program/event teasers
  • Meet the team
  • Q&A
  • Video blogs (Vlogs)
  • Video Podcasts

Of course, what works best is interesting, unique and compelling content.

Marketing with YouTube

Successful marketing with YouTube requires that you consider the channel as a worthy destination. It’s more than your video library.

Take time to set up your YouTube channels as a worthy destination. Be sure to complete your channel profile with keywords and messaging that helps the right people find you there. As with all your marketing, make this channel consistent with the look and feel of your brand online.

As you post videos, complete the information for each that will help people discover your content. Knowing your keywords is as important on YouTube as it is for your website.

Take time to add a video thumbnail that will attract viewers to your content. Leverage YouTube’s built in tools to connect viewers of a video to more of your content.

Be sure to cross promote your video content. Embed your best videos at your website. Promote your channel as well as your content across all of your marketing channels.

 

Play Is a Great Way to Engage Remote Teams. I’m Serious!

Guest post by Alexandra Suchman, Cofounder and CEO of Barometer XP

We’ve reached the point where it’s almost a cliche to talk about how hard it is to make meaningful connections with colleagues through Zoom boxes and Slack channels.

“Ugh, I’m so sick of Zoom” has become the new “I can’t believe this weather” as the small talk statement to foster some quick agreement at the start of a conversation.

Yes, connecting virtually, be it over phone, video, or written message, is way less satisfying than in person.

Yes, we are all sick of spending so much time staring at screens, and have found ways to keep meetings focused and short.

And yes, these remote ways of communicating force a more formal structure that doesn’t leave space (physical or metaphorical) for spontaneous, serendipitous interpersonal conversation.

But there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of simple, fun, and very effective ways to encourage great connection and engagement among remote teams. And you already know many of them.

Games!

Games are essentially a problem solving opportunity: the pursuit of a specific goal within a limited time, space, and set of rules. Every time we play a game, we bring our own unique skills, ideas, experience, communication style, approach to problem solving, etc. to the room, and it gives us a chance to examine how we (and others) show up in a situation.

Playing games with your work team not only will give you a chance to relax and have fun together, you’ll also gain valuable insights into how each other feels, thinks, and acts in different situations. Plus you’ll create some great memories, which are essential in building strong team identity.

Here are a few of my favorite games to play with remote teams that are not only fun, they help teams find creative ways to communicate with each other and practice thinking on their feet!

Codenames: This is a communication game with an espionage theme, where the goal is for a team to call all its agents back from the field using covert codenames. Teams compete to provide the most efficient and effective one-word clues without tipping off their opponents or accidentally alerting a hidden assassin!

Fishbowl: Another fun communication-based game, Fishbowl is a faster-paced game that combines Taboo, Password, and Charades as one person tries to help their team guess a secret word. Two teams compete to see who can guess more words before time runs out!

Need help picking the right game for your team? No problem, just email me at alex@barometerxp.com and I’ll give you some suggestions.

About the Author

Alex is CEO and Co-founder of Barometer XP, a company that uses games and play to catalyze insights and conversations about how team members can better communicate and work toward shared goals. Alex facilitates sessions that help teams learn about themselves and make meaningful, sustainable culture change.

Prior to Barometer XP, Alex founded AIS Collaborations, a consulting firm that helped small businesses with simple systems, stronger organizing techniques, and better planning. She has an MPP from The George Washington University, a BA in psychology from Colby College, and is certified as both a Project Management Professional (PMP) and DISC coach.