Urgent See, Important Do.

Urgent See, Important Do.

Focusing on the Urgent can keep you from reaching your fullest potential.

Once you have determined your goals for success, you must stay focused on the actions necessary to achieve it. However, the competing forces of The Urgent and The Important are vying for your time and energy.

The Urgent pulls you, as a leader, into the operation: to book one more load; to make the collection call; or, to find the next customer. The Urgent is tactical and task oriented.

The Important allows you to plan the resource deployment for proper execution: to evaluate the new technology options; to hire, train and set proper behavioral expectations; to strategize about the best alternatives to overcome the obstacles before you. The important is strategic and big picture oriented.

The Urgent is the aggregation of the activities that brought you to your current state. There is comfort in performing the tasks that are easily recognizable and can be checked off the list in the name of ‘accomplishment’. The Urgent requires skills and thinking that we already have. The Urgent doesn’t ask more of us, only our time and energy.

The Important requires steps into an unfamiliar area. It has high rewards, but it has uncertainty – that is, by its very nature, uncomfortable. The Important requires a different set of skills that stretch what we know into new areas. The Important asks more of us than we currently are aware that we possess.

The Urgent brings us the same or incrementally better results.

The Important accelerates us and allows for maximization of results.

Focusing your attention, time and energy on The Important over The Urgent allows you and your organization to be positioned for stronger growth and become more adaptive to the obstacles that invariably will be placed in your pathway to success.

Social Media Tips for Logistics Professionals

Social Media Tips for Logistics Professionals

How to succeed without wasting valuable time

Social media is a wonderful way to stay top-of-mind with your customers and prospects. But, many logistics professionals are hesitant to use social media. They lack of time to learn and maintain social accounts while running a business deters many from using it. Some people opt to use automated tools to post canned social media content for them. This saves time, but the posts are typically bland and uninspiring. If you want to use social media in a more personalized way, but not waste valuable time, here are some basic tips on how to succeed.

1. Set a Goal:

What do you want to accomplish by using social media? Clearly define your goals and how you plan to measure them. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, website traffic, grow your email list, etc? Clear goals will help you determine the type of content you should publish and on what platform.  Use our Social Media Goal worksheet to help you in this process.

 

2. Know Your Audience:

Who are you trying to reach and which social media platform is the best to reach them? This will help you determine where you should spend time (see the platform overview at the end of this article). Once you get started, check the analytics of your page to see if you are attracting the right audience. On Facebook, you can even look at when your users are online to best determine what times of the day you should post.

 

3. Keep it Short:

Lengthy content should be on your website, not in a social media post. Keep your posts short and to the point.

 

4. Make it Interesting:

An image or graphic will highlight your content better and increase the chance that your audience will read, like or share your post.

 

5. Mix it Up:

Try to balance educational industry topics with inspirational posts. Informational content brings value to your followers and will increase your credibility. But people love to share inspirational images and quotes, and these tend to get more likes and shares.

 

6. Trust the Source:

One of the easier ways to stay active on social media is to find and share content already published. Just make sure it is a known and trusted source, not just your neighbor Bob’s opinion blog.

 

7. Be Social:

Remember to interact with others, not just push your content to others. Share articles, follow people and companies, and then like their posts so you can participate in the social aspect. This is the online version of networking, so incorporate some give and take. I pick up new page views and followers each time I spend 5 minutes liking other people’s posts.

 

8. Learn From It:

Monitor how your posts are doing so you can better serve your audience. Are certain topics or posts better liked and shared? Give them more of what they like!

 

9. Measure It:

What goals did you establish in the beginning? Make sure to measure how you are hitting your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). You may need to adjust your approach if the results aren’t measuring up.

 

Social media can be a great tool to reach a wider audience and to reinforce your value with customers. If this still sounds like too much, you can always choose a marketing partner to handle your social media presence for you.

Happy tweeting and posting!

DOWNLOAD your social media planning worksheet

 

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM OVERVIEW:

Where should you spend your time online? Here is our brief overview on the three most popular sites for logistics professionals.

LinkedIn is known as the professional social media platform. This is a great place to reach your target audience. You can sponsor your content and select industries, titles, cities, etc., that you want to target. Three out of five professionals using LinkedIn say they gain new clients from it.

TIP: Many people will feel more comfortable connecting on LinkedIn rather than on Facebook.

Facebook is a great place to market to the general consumer. You would be surprised by how many people are on Facebook and how often they check it. According to Pew Research Center, 79% of internet users use Facebook. And three quarters of those Facebook users visit the platform EVERY day. Facebook is also a good opportunity for your personal friends and contacts to get familiar with what you do.

TIP: Trying to ‘friend’ a prospect or customer on their personal profile can been seen as invasive and too personal. Like their business page and ask for likes on your business page.

Twitter is a great place to interact with other businesses and to find informative articles that may interest your audience. Connecting with prospects isn’t the primary goal on this platform. Many logistics professionals are sharing industry insights and starting discussions with fellow industry professionals on Twitter.

TIP: Utilizing a trending hashtag in your tweet allows you to gather more views on this platform. Try using #logistics, #freight, or #3PL in your posts.


 

Erika DeBlasi is the TranStrategy Partners’ Marketing Coach and has worked as a marketing executive in freight brokerage and financial services industries. She drives the marketing, branding, advertising and communication activities for a variety of companies in addition to providing a broad spectrum of marketing and communication training.
>> Schedule Your Complimentary Marketing Review with her

The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer

Grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference. – Reinhold Niebuhr

Two movies express the tenuous balance of these ideals: The Fisher King (dir. Terry Gilliam) and Good Will Hunting (dir. Gus Van Sant). The former is a narrative in accepting responsibility for one’s own actions and the latter is a narrative about when to accept and forgive. (note that both are rated R for explicit language, drug use and violent scenes)

Obstacles to success are omnipresent in our lives. How we deal with them is the measure of our leadership. We can place blame, accept blame and/or try to understand the narratives that led to the obstacle’s existence in the first place.

Regulatory changes, natural disasters and other such external forces are among the first group. These factors cannot be changed, but you can both prepare for them and work to mitigate their negative effects.
Competition, inefficiency and stagnation are factors that can be addressed and changed. By developing a proper culture and strategy within your organization, you can improve processes and accelerate growth to achieve the success that you envision.

As with the Serenity Prayer, your role as a leader is encapsulated by the wisdom to direct energy, focus and inspiration towards areas that can be properly and usefully affected. Do not expend energy railing against unstoppable forces and immovable objects. Focus your mental energies on the areas that can effectively change your situation for the better.

4 Key Takeaways From my Time at the WIT Accelerate! Conference

4 Key Takeaways From my Time at the WIT Accelerate! Conference

In contrast to the general societal shift towards diversity and inclusion, there seem to be more instances (or at least media identified instances) of continued segregation and compartmentalization. However, during the last three days in Kansas City, Inclusion and Opportunity reigned supreme. From the poignant Keynote addresses of Valerie Alexander to the quiet, yet passionate, wisdom of Ellen Voie, the focus on growth, empowerment and personal accountability spark excitement and proved welcoming to all.

1 Strength
The solidarity and expertise of the attendees, ranging from drivers to marketers, associates to executives, was tangible and pervasive. The often male-dominated industries encompassing transportation have such powerful resources in these amazing people who choose to draw upon the energies and networks of knowledge, expertise and leadership.

2 Wisdom
Experience and leadership affords a larger and longer view of the past, present and future. The continued growth of the conference exponentially increases the collective mindshare of the association to face the inherent challenges of gender bias and to present new engagement strategies that reduce friction and build coalitions for growth.

3 Compassion
The collective honesty and accountability for personal and professional CHOICE are keystones to self-discovery. It is inspiring to witness the ability to challenge oneself (and others) openly to find the truth and the pathway to change. The association and conference helps to reduce the obstacles that limit communication. It opens the door to becoming the sponsors and champions of each other.

4 Opportunity
Each attendee has made the conscious and intentional decision to improve themselves (and, by extension, their organizations) by tapping into the power of the association and the conference. The connections lead to new ideas, the ideas lead to new solutions, the solutions lead to greater success and growth through opportunity and open pathways.

Thank you to WIT for giving me the chance to experience the inspirational effect when a group of people, individually and together, make the CHOICE to be STRONG, to be WISE, to be COMPASSIONATE and to capture the value of OPPORTUNITY.

Women In Trucking and TranStrategy Partners Announce New Training Program

In a world of uncertainty and divisiveness, building a solid professional foundation becomes more important than ever.

RIDGEFIELD, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TranStrategy Partners, Inc. (TSP), in partnership with Women In Trucking Association (WIT), announces the launch of the Professional Development Certification (PDC) program. The PDC has been developed over the last year as a tool to advance the development of WIT association members. Thirty courses following Industry Knowledge, Leadership, and Career Development tracks, provide foundational learning, best practices and useful strategies to help members navigate their career pathways and strengthen their personal brand.

“A certification program is not only a way for members to gain knowledge about diversity issues in the trucking industry, it is also a way for them to help their company attract and retain more women in all roles,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO, WIT.

Wade Witherspoon, Director of Education at TSP and chief architect of the certification program expressed his excitement about the launch, “With integral input from Ellen Voie, WIT Board members and from the entire WIT association membership, we have built a powerful tool to strengthen the development of members and to help elevate their opportunities in the future.” The program is designed to deliver both industry specific education as well as personal and professional development, which falls directly in line with the foundational values of WIT.

“The new WIT Professional Development Certification was created to help our members cultivate both their personal and professional skills. I know this program will be extremely beneficial to those who take advantage of it,” said Mary Aufdemberg, director, used truck acquisitions and operations, Daimler Trucks North America, and Chairwoman of WIT.

TSP and WIT will launch the new Professional Development Certification at the Accelerate! Conference & Expo next week – November 6-8 at the Sheraton Crowne Center in Kansas City.

TranStrategy Partners, Inc. coaches entrepreneurs to transform their organization into a vigorous and more valuable business. Our expert consultants collaborate and guide you and your organization through a holistic coaching approach that delivers accelerated growth, higher profits and re-energized staff. Guaranteed! Visit www.GoTranStrategy.com to learn more.

Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Daimler Trucks North America, BMO Transportation Finance, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Ryder System, Inc., U.S. Xpress, and Walmart. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit http://www.womenintrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.

Contacts:

TranStrategy Partners
Andrew Gulovsen, 618-302-7790
andrew@transtrategypartners.com

3… 2… 1… Context

3… 2… 1… Context

How to Build Loyal Customers with Impactful Communications

Impactful communication with customers and prospects requires the fulfillment of connection. Whether for a current customer – ‘how is this going to improve our situation?’ – or a prospect – ‘how is this solution better to make me change my provider?’ there has to be a clear understanding of their current situation. Without this understanding, communications (emails, marketing, etc.) are quickly discarded as irrelevant.
The creation of the target customer profile helps you to build communication around relevant themes that are tied to specific business needs that your company can solve. Too often, brokers will try to promote their suite of solutions to the entirety of the market in hopes of landing business – the spaghetti against the wall technique. Unfortunately, the efficiency of this method is low and expends too much time and energy for a worthwhile ROI.

By knowing the core needs and decision frameworks of a targeted customer profile, you can be very focused in your approach to communication of solutions. This will require research about target. Begin by understanding:
1) The language of their industry – acronyms and jargon
2) The differences in their processes and methods
3) Their equipment, lane and pricing needs
4) How they define success – and the role of transportation in that success
5) Their business mission/vision

Much of this information can be found on company websites and industry association materials.
All transportation is currently moving on another provider or providers. Your job is to cause the decision maker to enact a change in their current process. While you may be lucky and reach them just as another provider is failing, more often you encounter someone who is comfortable with the status quo. The cost to change (both economically and emotionally) has a certain value to them and your solution must equal or exceed that value.

To change, the decision maker must feel that your solution is:
1) Significantly simpler than their current option (saves them time); and/or
2) Significantly cheaper than their current options (saves them money); and/or
3) Significantly different than their current option (paradigm shift)

With a clear knowledge of what the customer wants/needs, you can tailor your communications to best address these areas and begin to develop credibility and rapport with the customers. When you can fit your solutions within their context of reality or begin to shift their reality to form a new context, they begin to see your company as a potential partner.