The video conferencing company, Zoom, added 2.22 million users so far in 2020, which is more than the total amount added in all of 2019, according to CNBC. Raise your hand if you are a part of the 2.22 million! Whether it is Zoom or another platform, many businesses have transitioned to utilizing video conferencing over the last month, as employees started to work remotely. Some of you may be trained professionals in the virtual meeting world, while others are newbies to it. Either way, we hope you can take away a point or two from these tips below, so you can master your next video conferencing meeting.
Be on Time
Make sure to get your virtual meeting set up ahead of time, and give it a test run. This way you aren’t in a panic installing the application or adjusting your settings when the meeting started 2 minutes ago.
Wear Work-Appropriate Clothing
Make smart choices when meeting virtually. While no one can tell if you’re wearing sweatpants while seated, dress and groom appropriately for client or group meetings.
Have the Right Light
Don’t scare your meeting companions with ghoulish lighting from below or behind the camera. Try adjusting your overhead and natural lighting to provide optimal viewing. Lighting from the sides of the camera will make faces look best.
Maintain Your “Office” Setting
You never thought your coworker would be seeing the inside of your home office (aka the kitchen). Many employees transitioned to working remotely unexpectedly and didn’t have access to a dedicated office at home. Don’t worry, your coworkers will be understanding. Check to make sure your wall art and decor are work appropriate, and tuck away the growing collection of used coffee mugs. Consider refraining from joining a meeting poolside (or at least, know your audience).
Frame the Camera Correctly
No one wants to look up their co-workers’ nostrils. Make sure you frame the camera so it feels natural to you and allows easy conversation. Sit at eye level to the lens, trying to show from the midsection and up.
Choose a Quiet Location
It is easy to forget there is a microphone amplifying your voice and background noises. For instance, if one cup of coffee before your Monday morning meeting wasn’t enough, make sure to brew it before finding a quiet spot to conference your co-workers. If you can’t find a noise-free zone, there is usually a mute-mic option available, so you can cancel out the background noise and unmute when it’s your turn to talk.
As tempting as it is, try not to send an email or look at your phone while attending a video call. Be attentive and engaged; a delay or long stretch of silence can seem as though you’ve lost connection and may sidetrack the meeting. Remember, these virtual meetings are enabling you to be professional, support your career, and stay in contact with clients and stakeholders. It is still important to put your best foot forward to continue to grow your brand and be productive.
Consult Red Technologies
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Every aspect of our lives has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses are now finding themselves in a tricky position: trying to stay relevant while remaining sensitive to the crisis. Here are a few ways your brand can become stronger while staying mindful of the pandemic.
1. Put the customer first (By staying connected)
When navigating a time as unpredictable as now, businesses should put extra effort toward maintaining and strengthening their relationships with customers. To do so, brands need to go where their customers are, which is now almost 100% online! Because most people are spending extra time at home, customers will be more accessible through various online platforms, including email and social media. Utilize the internet to enhance your communication and provide quick customer support. Effectively listening and connecting with customers will allow your brand to give an uplifting experience many might need right now.
2. Keep people informed (Without causing alarm)
Businesses of all sizes need to communicate their response to the crisis, especially when it pertains to how COVID-19 directly impacts their operation. This information includes any proactive safety measures taken, policy updates, or differing business hours. Although it may feel like everyone already sees an overwhelming amount of these messages in the media, communicating this information can still add value to customers who may be concerned about any action your company is currently taking. Remember to pay extra attention to your tone, making sure any information you share regarding COVID-19 comes from a credible source.
3. Reorganize marketing strategy (without changing your message)
Adjusting scheduled campaigns and planned content is another necessary step when responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Start by deciding which campaigns need auditing and pause anything that may include elements that aren’t appropriate during this time. It’s crucial to evaluate the imagery and language usage in the messages your brand is sending to its customers. For example, images of people shaking hands or standing in a crowd may no longer be considered appropriate. We also recommend revising figurative language, such as “working hand-in-hand” or “a killer deal,” to avoid scrutiny. If you have a current or upcoming campaign that includes these types of messages, it may be best to swap them out with something more sensitive for the time being.
4. Highlight how your brand can help (and add value!)
Brands exist to provide value to their customers, and in this time customers may be looking to yours for help or support. If applicable, share with your customers how your product may have potential value during this time, or how you are using your company to have a positive impact on others in your community. And, if you aren’t selling products that are currently considered helpful, you can still provide support to your customers and increase morale with positive messaging. Try offering tips to staying entertained at home, or share positive stories on social media!
5. Prioritize authenticity (Be human!)
Right now, simply showing your human side can be more valuable than smart marketing. Revealing authenticity in your posts and exhibiting that your brand cares about its consumers and their community will have a longer-lasting impact than something clever, but out of context. Lead with empathy, and let your brand’s core values guide your actions!
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We recently mentioned how you can support your favorite local businesses during quarantine by leaving reviews on Google and Facebook. (link part one) There is no harm in sending them a little more love though so here are some other ways you can support.
Buy Gift Cards
Many businesses are offering gift cards online. Get in touch with the local businesses you frequent and see how you can purchase a gift card from them. This helps funnel revenue their way and you get to look forward to shopping with them once things return to normal. You can also make your friend’s day by surprising them with a gift card!
Okay, you may have to hop off the couch for this one, but what is better than takeout on the couch while binge-watching your favorite show?! The majority of restaurants are closed to the public, but some are offering takeout. Check to see if a restaurant is offering its menu to go and skip the leftovers. Help the restaurants survive this uncertain time so you can dine with them in the future!
Reschedule Instead of Cancel
While we may not know what tomorrow or next week looks like, the current situation is still temporary. Help friends and businesses stay positive by rescheduling appointments instead of canceling. By rescheduling, you are letting the business know that they still have customers who are ready for routine once this situation ends.
Find a Local Business for Your Needs
No matter how many items you stockpiled for quarantine, there is always something you missed or have run out of. So, if you need to replenish items such as kid’s games, educational resources, cleaning supplies, books, markers, etc., see if you can order these items from a local store online. If a business doesn’t have an e-commerce store, try reaching out to see if you can pick it up. Most businesses will be happy to organize a curbside pick up in exchange for revenue!
The effects of COVID-19 have hit everyone. However, small businesses are bearing a unique burden. Little gestures can add up to big differences, you can help your local favorites stay afloat, even if it is a $5 gift card. It helps them and allows you to enjoy the business that you cannot currently visit.
Talk about a plot twist in 2020 huh?! Parents learned to homeschool in a day, restaurants are resorting to curbside pick-up, and teenagers are forced to interact with their siblings. But it isn’t all gloom, people are getting outside, families are eating dinner together, crazy rushed lives are slowing down, and communities are coming together to help those in need. The past couple of weeks have impacted everyone’s daily lives. Let’s hope we all come out a little stronger (and sane) when this outbreak comes to an end.
From going to the movies to grabbing a bite downtown, many of our regular activities are now on pause. As we know, this has had a drastic impact on small businesses everywhere. So, how can you support your local businesses from your couch?
Provide a boost to your favorite businesses by leaving them a stellar review on Google, and or Facebook- that thing you always meant to do but never got around to it (hey thanks coronavirus)!
While you’re at it, follow local businesses online and show them some love– likes, comments, and shares on social media posts help businesses out with Facebook algorithms. Invite those you know to learn about the business so they can visit when the outbreak comes to an end. And don’t forget, order online!