7 Things to Do BEFORE You Start a Shopify Store

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‘Dark Traffic’ is Stealing Your Data (Here’s How to Rescue It)

Everyone says they’re data-driven. But are they, really? Because here’s the thing: You’re only truly data-driven if you’re making decisions based on accurate data. And that’s exactly the problem. Because in most cases I see, a company’s data is inaccurate. It seems OK on the surface. At first, it doesn’t raise any red flags. However, … Continue reading “‘Dark Traffic’ is Stealing Your Data (Here’s How to Rescue It)”

The post ‘Dark Traffic’ is Stealing Your Data (Here’s How to Rescue It) appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

Everyone says they’re data-driven. But are they, really? Because here’s the thing: You’re only truly data-driven if you’re making decisions based on accurate data. And that’s exactly the problem. Because in most cases I see, a company’s data is inaccurate. It seems OK on the surface. At first, it doesn’t raise any red flags. However, … Continue reading “‘Dark Traffic’ is Stealing Your Data (Here’s How to Rescue It)”

The post ‘Dark Traffic’ is Stealing Your Data (Here’s How to Rescue It) appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

No, You're Not Getting a Facebook Dislike Button (Yet)

If you use Facebook, you’re likely no stranger to the widespread clamor for a “dislike” button.

It’s not like Facebook has ignored the cry for such a reaction option. In 2016, the social media channel rolled out five new Reactions buttons: Love, Haha, Wow, Angry, and Sad — the last of two are, well, more specific ways to dislike something.

But none of them was a simple thumbs-down reaction — and when users once again learned that Facebook was rolling out a “downvote” option, there was a fleeting moment of hope for “dislike” reaction enthusiasts.

Let’s make one thing clear right away: You’re not getting a dislike button.

A New Way to Curb Abusive Comments

Instead, Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch last week, the social media channel is testing an option that would allow users to downvote comments on posts that they deem inappropriate. Think of it as a very quick, one-step way to report and flag an inappropriate comment with a single click.

Right now, the feature is available to quite a limited subset: It’s only being tested on public Page content, and only a small portion of users in U.S. can even see the feature.

But when you consider other recent changes Facebook has made to its algorithm — like those to boost public Page posts that receives a high quantity of genuine user engagement — the feature makes sense. Not only does it help to crowdsource the flagging of spammy, inauthentic interaction, but it’s also an extension of Facebook’s request of users to help spot fake news content.

“It looks like Facebook is doing this for the same reason it made an algorithm change: to figure out what content people like,” says Henry Franco, a HubSpot social campaign strategy associate.

Franco also points out Facebook’s recent first-ever earnings report of user decline, with eMarketer estimating that about 2.8 million of those lost users are under 25.

That’s just one source of motivation for Facebook to work toward better engagement, especially among certain age demographics.

The Timing Makes Sense

It’s a move that comes among months of scrutiny from the alleged weaponization of its site to promote content that interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

So not only does that satisfy an “end goal of maximizing time on site and user retention,” says Franco — it also plays an important role in public Page content that might spark controversy.

“Most of the time,” says HubSpot Principal Marketing Manager, Marcus Andrews, a feature like this one is most applicable to ”big public comment threads on current events or polarizing news topics … where some users are just trying to make jokes, antagonize others, or just simply be mean.”

The downvoting option, he explains, provides a seamless way for users to quickly take action to curb engagement of that nature.

“Facebook wants to give users a way to identify that, and have some recourse to show it in these big threads,” Andrews says.

Reminder: It’s Not a “Dislike” Button

As Facebook experiments with this new feature, Franco is quick to remind users that the downvote featue is not a dislike reaction option.

Not only is not a reaction feature, he points out, but it could also help to grand a degree of anonymity to the person flagging a given comment.

“This looks very different than a dislike button,” Franco says. “This change helps Facebook identify content that users don’t want to see, and I’m not sure that the person you’re interacting with will know they’ve been downvoted.”

That possibility, however, is not without flaws. 

“The possible downside here is that this might just reinforce groupthink,” Franco explains. ”If everyone in the group disagrees with an idea, that doesn’t necessarily make the idea wrong, but it may be hidden nonetheless.”

I’ll be keeping an eye on this feature as it continues to be tested. As always, feel free to weigh in with your take or questions on Twitter.

 

The post No, You're Not Getting a Facebook Dislike Button (Yet) appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

If you use Facebook, you’re likely no stranger to the widespread clamor for a “dislike” button.

It’s not like Facebook has ignored the cry for such a reaction option. In 2016, the social media channel rolled out five new Reactions buttons: Love, Haha, Wow, Angry, and Sad — the last of two are, well, more specific ways to dislike something.

But none of them was a simple thumbs-down reaction — and when users once again learned that Facebook was rolling out a “downvote” option, there was a fleeting moment of hope for “dislike” reaction enthusiasts.

Let’s make one thing clear right away: You’re not getting a dislike button.

A New Way to Curb Abusive Comments

Instead, Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch last week, the social media channel is testing an option that would allow users to downvote comments on posts that they deem inappropriate. Think of it as a very quick, one-step way to report and flag an inappropriate comment with a single click.

Right now, the feature is available to quite a limited subset: It’s only being tested on public Page content, and only a small portion of users in U.S. can even see the feature.

But when you consider other recent changes Facebook has made to its algorithm — like those to boost public Page posts that receives a high quantity of genuine user engagement — the feature makes sense. Not only does it help to crowdsource the flagging of spammy, inauthentic interaction, but it’s also an extension of Facebook’s request of users to help spot fake news content.

“It looks like Facebook is doing this for the same reason it made an algorithm change: to figure out what content people like,” says Henry Franco, a HubSpot social campaign strategy associate.

Franco also points out Facebook’s recent first-ever earnings report of user decline, with eMarketer estimating that about 2.8 million of those lost users are under 25.

That’s just one source of motivation for Facebook to work toward better engagement, especially among certain age demographics.

The Timing Makes Sense

It’s a move that comes among months of scrutiny from the alleged weaponization of its site to promote content that interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

So not only does that satisfy an “end goal of maximizing time on site and user retention,” says Franco — it also plays an important role in public Page content that might spark controversy.

“Most of the time,” says HubSpot Principal Marketing Manager, Marcus Andrews, a feature like this one is most applicable to ”big public comment threads on current events or polarizing news topics … where some users are just trying to make jokes, antagonize others, or just simply be mean.”

The downvoting option, he explains, provides a seamless way for users to quickly take action to curb engagement of that nature.

“Facebook wants to give users a way to identify that, and have some recourse to show it in these big threads,” Andrews says.

Reminder: It’s Not a “Dislike” Button

As Facebook experiments with this new feature, Franco is quick to remind users that the downvote featue is not a dislike reaction option.

Not only is not a reaction feature, he points out, but it could also help to grand a degree of anonymity to the person flagging a given comment.

“This looks very different than a dislike button,” Franco says. “This change helps Facebook identify content that users don’t want to see, and I’m not sure that the person you’re interacting with will know they’ve been downvoted.”

That possibility, however, is not without flaws. 

“The possible downside here is that this might just reinforce groupthink,” Franco explains. ”If everyone in the group disagrees with an idea, that doesn’t necessarily make the idea wrong, but it may be hidden nonetheless.”

I’ll be keeping an eye on this feature as it continues to be tested. As always, feel free to weigh in with your take or questions on Twitter.

 

The post No, You're Not Getting a Facebook Dislike Button (Yet) appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

Stop Measuring These Vanity Metrics in Your Marketing Campaign

There is without a doubt no shortage of data for each action you take in your marketing campaigns, nor is there a lack of tools to help you measure them. The problem is, some metrics aren’t as important as they look.

They stick out right in front of you as soon as you log into your analytics tool, puking an “up-and-to-the-right” graph in your face.

Beware of vanity metrics. Instead of getting caught up in the low-hanging fruit, ask yourself: “What does this graph mean? Should I continue doing something, increase the time or money I spend on a certain channel, or even stop doing something altogether?”

Discover a framework for running more impactful, measurable marketing  campaigns.

The obvious metrics won’t tell you this — you’ve got to dig deeper. Here are five vanity metrics you should stop obsessing over and the actionable metrics you should track instead.

1. Facebook Fans

Did you know engagement rates for branded Facebook Pages have declined by more than 20% since last year? The more that companies post content on Facebook, the more newsfeeds need to share their space, and the less users see and consume from any one company.

So, regardless of how many people have clicked “Like” once they’re on your brand’s Page, the vast majority of them never return to the Page itself and never see the content in their newsfeeds.

An Actionable Metric: Engagement Rate

Instead, use Facebook Insights, Facebook’s free analytics tool, to check which posts generate the highest level of engagement — this includes comments and shares of specific posts.

The higher the level of engagement, the higher your EdgeRank score (EdgeRank is kind of like SEO for Facebook newsfeeds).

Think about the content and conversations that have the highest engagement and impressions, and come up with a plan for how you can replicate these higher-performing posts.

2. Twitter Followers

On Twitter, it really shouldn’t be about the number of followers you have. People typically follow random accounts for reasons unrelated to their actual interest in them. Many users, for example, follow you because they want you to follow them in return — and if you don’t, you often lose that follow days later.

Here are a couple of things to consider about your Twitter followers:

  • Who is engaging? Add a “+” to the end of any bit.ly link or check our free tool, WhoTweetedMe.com, to see who retweets your content and identify influential followers.
  • What do your followers talk about? Use Cadmus to check out their most shared links.

An Actionable Metric: Competitor Followers

With FollowerWonk, you can compare your Twitter followers to those of your competitors. If there are people following them who aren’t following you, those are prospects you aren’t connecting with, and possibly even money left on the floor.

See what types of content these competitor followers engage with to see if there are important conversations happening in your industry that you should take part in. You might even reach out to these followers and demonstrate the value of following you, too.

3. Blog Post Page Views

This indicates you’ve established yourself as a thought leader and have created great content — both good first steps in an inbound marketing plan. But page views don’t indicate where these views are coming from, if they answer a reader’s questions, or even how long he or she spent on that page.

Actionable Metrics: Bounce Rate, Social Shares

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit one page on your website and leave without clicking further into the site. In other words: high bounce rate = bad. Keep readers’ attention with a good call-to-action (CTA), as well as links to other content and other parts of your site. A declining bounce rate is a great metric to report because it suggests your blog is growing in its interest to your visitors.

Consider social shares, as well. Why? Search is social. Search engines like Bing and Google now consider tweets and Facebook shares in their algorithms. How many individual page viewers are also sharing your content on their social networks is a more accurate signal of long-term SEO benefits from a popular blog post.

4. Email Open Rate

Your open rate is:

Open Rate

Open rate is a reasonable metric to track to check the effectiveness of your email’s subject line and timing. However, there are technical limitations because many email clients have to load images to count as an open, and many users have images turned off by default. Track this, but don’t obsess.

An Actionable Metric: Click-Through Rate

Focus on one CTA in your email that draws users to your site, and measure your click-throughs on those links. A high click-through rate (CTR) for an email that invites users to download something on your website, for example, tells you the email campaign has high lead-generating power.

5. Number of Subscribers/Product Users

It’s simple enough to track how many people have converted into a trial user, or agreed to receive your newsletter. But are people actually consuming your product and content? Often this product demo or email goes unused or unseen.

Actionable Metrics: Active Users, Path to Conversion

Instead, track how many users return to use your product each day. These are called active users. In Google Analytics, metrics like visitor loyalty and visitor recency are helpful, depending on your product. As for ecommerce, measure repeat customers and retention. Zappos, which sees more than $2 billion in annual revenue, gets 75% of its sales from repeat customers.

In addition, track which content drew in leads that converted to qualified contacts or even customers — as well as what actions those leads took on your website before they converted. You can monitor this information a few ways, such as adding tracking links to your CTAs so you can see where a user came from as they moved through the conversion path. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Of course, don’t just throw all of these vanity metrics out at once. Before you add or erase certain data from your marketing analytics reports, make sure you and your team have defined your goals and the data points you’ll use to measure whether or not you’re achieving them.

How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign

 
How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign

The post Stop Measuring These Vanity Metrics in Your Marketing Campaign appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

There is without a doubt no shortage of data for each action you take in your marketing campaigns, nor is there a lack of tools to help you measure them. The problem is, some metrics aren’t as important as they look.

They stick out right in front of you as soon as you log into your analytics tool, puking an “up-and-to-the-right” graph in your face.

Beware of vanity metrics. Instead of getting caught up in the low-hanging fruit, ask yourself: “What does this graph mean? Should I continue doing something, increase the time or money I spend on a certain channel, or even stop doing something altogether?”

Discover a framework for running more impactful, measurable marketing  campaigns.

The obvious metrics won’t tell you this — you’ve got to dig deeper. Here are five vanity metrics you should stop obsessing over and the actionable metrics you should track instead.

1. Facebook Fans

Did you know engagement rates for branded Facebook Pages have declined by more than 20% since last year? The more that companies post content on Facebook, the more newsfeeds need to share their space, and the less users see and consume from any one company.

So, regardless of how many people have clicked “Like” once they’re on your brand’s Page, the vast majority of them never return to the Page itself and never see the content in their newsfeeds.

An Actionable Metric: Engagement Rate

Instead, use Facebook Insights, Facebook’s free analytics tool, to check which posts generate the highest level of engagement — this includes comments and shares of specific posts.

The higher the level of engagement, the higher your EdgeRank score (EdgeRank is kind of like SEO for Facebook newsfeeds).

Think about the content and conversations that have the highest engagement and impressions, and come up with a plan for how you can replicate these higher-performing posts.

2. Twitter Followers

On Twitter, it really shouldn’t be about the number of followers you have. People typically follow random accounts for reasons unrelated to their actual interest in them. Many users, for example, follow you because they want you to follow them in return — and if you don’t, you often lose that follow days later.

Here are a couple of things to consider about your Twitter followers:

  • Who is engaging? Add a “+” to the end of any bit.ly link or check our free tool, WhoTweetedMe.com, to see who retweets your content and identify influential followers.
  • What do your followers talk about? Use Cadmus to check out their most shared links.

An Actionable Metric: Competitor Followers

With FollowerWonk, you can compare your Twitter followers to those of your competitors. If there are people following them who aren’t following you, those are prospects you aren’t connecting with, and possibly even money left on the floor.

See what types of content these competitor followers engage with to see if there are important conversations happening in your industry that you should take part in. You might even reach out to these followers and demonstrate the value of following you, too.

3. Blog Post Page Views

This indicates you’ve established yourself as a thought leader and have created great content — both good first steps in an inbound marketing plan. But page views don’t indicate where these views are coming from, if they answer a reader’s questions, or even how long he or she spent on that page.

Actionable Metrics: Bounce Rate, Social Shares

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit one page on your website and leave without clicking further into the site. In other words: high bounce rate = bad. Keep readers’ attention with a good call-to-action (CTA), as well as links to other content and other parts of your site. A declining bounce rate is a great metric to report because it suggests your blog is growing in its interest to your visitors.

Consider social shares, as well. Why? Search is social. Search engines like Bing and Google now consider tweets and Facebook shares in their algorithms. How many individual page viewers are also sharing your content on their social networks is a more accurate signal of long-term SEO benefits from a popular blog post.

4. Email Open Rate

Your open rate is:

Open Rate

Open rate is a reasonable metric to track to check the effectiveness of your email’s subject line and timing. However, there are technical limitations because many email clients have to load images to count as an open, and many users have images turned off by default. Track this, but don’t obsess.

An Actionable Metric: Click-Through Rate

Focus on one CTA in your email that draws users to your site, and measure your click-throughs on those links. A high click-through rate (CTR) for an email that invites users to download something on your website, for example, tells you the email campaign has high lead-generating power.

5. Number of Subscribers/Product Users

It’s simple enough to track how many people have converted into a trial user, or agreed to receive your newsletter. But are people actually consuming your product and content? Often this product demo or email goes unused or unseen.

Actionable Metrics: Active Users, Path to Conversion

Instead, track how many users return to use your product each day. These are called active users. In Google Analytics, metrics like visitor loyalty and visitor recency are helpful, depending on your product. As for ecommerce, measure repeat customers and retention. Zappos, which sees more than $2 billion in annual revenue, gets 75% of its sales from repeat customers.

In addition, track which content drew in leads that converted to qualified contacts or even customers — as well as what actions those leads took on your website before they converted. You can monitor this information a few ways, such as adding tracking links to your CTAs so you can see where a user came from as they moved through the conversion path. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Of course, don’t just throw all of these vanity metrics out at once. Before you add or erase certain data from your marketing analytics reports, make sure you and your team have defined your goals and the data points you’ll use to measure whether or not you’re achieving them.

How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign

 
How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign

The post Stop Measuring These Vanity Metrics in Your Marketing Campaign appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

How to Recover from 8 Embarrassing Office Blunders

Whether you forgot a deadline, accidentally CC’d the CEO in a snarky email about the annual holiday party, or got caught insulting your boss on Facebook, embarrassing yourself at the office can feel like the end of the world.

But while your little (or big) mistake might feel like a major setback in terms of career growth, it could also be an opportunity to showcase some hidden strengths — like humility, honesty, and accountability.

It’s all about how you handle yourself after the incident that matters — and what you learn from it, moving forward.

Let’s take a look at eight potential office blunders — and the solutions you need to help you recover.Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh Shah.

At the very least, remember that your embarrassing office blunders will probably make for some hilarious stories … eventually. 

How to Recover from 8 Office Blunders

1. Forgetting About a Meeting

We’ve all been there — you’re sitting at your desk, happily eating a bagel and checking your email, when you realize you’re the only one from your team who is at her desk, happily eating a bagel …

We’ve all been there, right … ?

The best thing to do when you forget or miss a meeting is to acknowledge it and apologize, ideally face-to-face. While it’s tempting to just send a casual “sorry about that!” email, it will seem more sincere if you seek out your manager and show you understand your mistake.

When you apologize, acknowledge your mistake, own up to it, and show you’re committed to changing your behavior. For example, you could say something like, “This doesn’t reflect my usual work behavior. I’m sorry, I messed up. It won’t happen again.”

Avoid making excuses. Your manager doesn’t need to hear that your cat kept you up all night, or you hit traffic on your way to work — just accept responsibility and promise it won’t become habit.

To prevent this from happening in the future, set up calendar notifications to remind yourself of upcoming meetings. When in doubt, double-check your calendar the night before.

2. Accidentally Hitting “Reply All” to an Email

On any given day, dozens and dozens of emails end up in your inbox — from advertisers, friends, coworkers, and your boss. In the interest of productivity (and sanity), you probably find yourself skimming quickly, and maybe even replying hastily.

With so many messages flying in and out of your inbox, it’s easy to accidentally hit “reply-all”. This can seem disastrous, especially when your message definitely should’ve been kept private — like hitting “reply all” to a company invite for the next holiday mixer: “Do they really think this will be fun?”

The best thing to do is hold yourself accountable. While it might seem compelling to hide under your desk or say someone hacked your account, you should avoid making excuses for the slip up — it will just draw more attention to a mistake you want everyone to forget.

Instead, “reply all” to everyone in the email thread, this time with a short and sweet, “Sorry about that, meant for someone else.” If your original response was rude, seek out the affected parties offline and make amends — don’t continue to use the email thread.

To prevent this from happening in the future, double check your “to” field before sending an email whenever you’re in an email thread with more than one person. And remember that Gmail has a nifty “undo send” feature you can turn on. 

Also, do your best to avoid sending anything unprofessional or rude via email to anyone, even your closest work friend — that way, a message ends up going to the wrong person, it’s no big deal.

3. Insulting a Coworker or Boss — While She’s Nearby

When you get closer to colleagues, the lines between professional and personal can blur. And while it might be (sometimes) okay to disclose Bumble-date horror stories on your lunch break, it’s never a good idea to start bad-mouthing a coworker or boss while you’re still in the office.

But none of us are perfect. You said something mean about your boss, and she heard you. Now what?

Unfortunately, the damage is done. But just like there are ways to apologize to a friend after a bad fight, there are ways to make amends with your boss.

First off, don’t try to explain yourself — your boss doesn’t need to hear why you think she was rude in that meeting.

If possible, apologize in person, and fully own up to what you said: “I’m sorry for what you heard. I was letting some frustration out, but I shouldn’t have done that in the office. It was unprofessional. Next time I have a problem, I’ll come straight to you to work it out.”

This way, your boss understands that your words came from some heated emotions, and are not necessarily how you actually feel.

Next time you have a legitimate problem with a coworker or boss, approach them to discuss it directly. And if you really need to let your frustration out by talking to someone else, do it outside the office.

4. Missing an Important Deadline

It happens. Maybe you got swamped with a last-minute project, maybe your basement flooded, or maybe you simply believed you could finish by Tuesday, but now it’s Monday night and you’re panicking because you know you’re going to miss the deadline.

Here’s what you do: first, if at all possible, let any stakeholders know ahead of time that you’re going to miss the deadline. Hearing “Something came up, and I’m probably going to miss my deadline for Monday. Let’s move to a backup plan,” is definitely less frustrating than hearing about it after the deadline has already passed.

When you can’t deliver on time, it always helps to offer your stakeholders some alternative options. Make the case that getting an extension will enable you to produce a more complete product. Or, mention that in exchange for their flexibility, you’re willing to add additional services, free-of-charge.

Whatever it is, people like options.

Most importantly, giving options shows the other person that you’re taking this missed deadline seriously — so seriously that you’re willing to put in more of your own free time and effort to ensure they’re even happier with the result.

Of course, you don’t want this to become habit. In the future, perhaps you could start assigning yourself deadlines a day or two before they’re actually due — allowing yourself some breathing room next time that basement floods.

5. Using Office Technology for Personal Reasons

When you’re sitting at your computer at work, particularly if no one else can see your screen, it can be tempting to cross off personal items from your to-do list … even when those items involve freshening up your resume, mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, or finally finishing Stranger Things season two.

Even if you feel like you’re not really wasting time, using the hours that someone else is paying you to accomplish these tasks is not only disrespectful, but it can also get you fired. You never know who is monitoring your activities.

The best way to avoid getting caught wasting time is to stop wasting time in the first place. Don’t use office technology for anything besides your job. When you’re at work, imagine that your CEO can always see your computer screen. If you’re really anxious about crossing things off your non-work to-do list, take a personal day, or do it on your lunch break.

6. Sharing Too Much on Social Media

These days, we share everything on social media. On Snapchat, we share our most disgusting post-gym-sweaty-walking-home faces, on Instagram, we share our favorite Saturday-night-party pictures, and on Facebook, we share everything from our political views to our favorite dog videos.

Sometimes, we share so much that we forget what should be off-limits. Our Snapchat ‘sweaty-at-the-gym’ pics might turn into ‘I-hate-my-boss’ pics, and those Facebook rants could become complaints about our colleagues.

Try to keep these lives separate. No matter how private you think your settings are, there still might be content accessible to people you know from work. You never know who someone knows, or when something will be screenshotted and shared. When it’s on social media, it’s out of your hands.

So take precautions: don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your coworkers or boss to see. If you’ve already posted something unprofessional, delete it.

Next time you have a funny story about a colleague or you’re frustrated about work, tell your friends over brunch instead — it will be more satisfying to get their in-person feedback anyway.

7. Trying to Prove Yourself at Someone Else’s Expense

I recently took an SEO course. The teacher had been in the industry for 10 years, and he was currently freelance consulting. He had shown us three of his (well thought-out, well researched) slides, when a hand shot up from a girl in the back.

“Do you want to hear my feedback now on ways you can improve your SEO presentation, or do you want it at the end?” she said.

She wasn’t being rude or intentionally inconsiderate — she was just trying to prove herself as an educated person in the group.

Luckily, he understood this. He smiled at her and then addressed the whole class: “Guys, in this course, I’d like you to focus on improving yourself, not proving yourself. You’re here to learn.”

He had a great point: many of us get so caught up in thinking of how to interrupt the meeting with our Legally-Blonde-courtroom moment that we forget that, in many instances, it’s more important to listen.

If you’ve insulted someone by giving feedback at the wrong place or time, apologize and humbly admit you should’ve listened to their opinion before offering yours.

In the future, keep in mind there are appropriate times to give your feedback: if your manager asks for feedback, if you’re brainstorming with your team, or if you’ve been with the company for a few months and have recognized some weaknesses in the system.

But don’t forget the importance of listening to your smart and insightful colleagues. Make sure you fully understand them before offering feedback — you might find out that your advice has been considered already, or that it doesn’t fit, after all. If you’re dying to give feedback but aren’t sure how it’ll be received, run it by a coworker first to see if it’s productive.

8. Doing That Really Bad Thing That No One Else Did

You’re preparing for your first big marketing presentation by taking meticulous notes and rifling through your company’s CRM, when you press something.

You don’t know what you pressed, but now — the database is gone. Gone. You’ve just deleted it.

The worst part is, when you point it out to your manager, he clicks around on your computer and after a moment says to himself, “Huh… I’ve never seen anyone do that before.” (In your mind, you translate this to: Huh… I’ve never seen anyone screw up like this before.)

The best way to recover is to be humble and honest. Point out how you innocently made the mistake, own up to it, and admit that there are still a lot of things you don’t know and need to learn. Don’t blame the system, the WiFi connection, or anyone else.

Hopefully, you’ll eventually be able to laugh about it, like, “Hey, you think you’ve got it bad? I once deleted the whole CRM database before my first marketing presentation. Whoops.”

Although there’s no way to foolproof yourself against these kinds of mistakes, you can prevent most of them by being patient with yourself when learning a new skill or software, asking for help whenever you’re confused … and reading the fine print carefully.

New Call-to-action

 
New Call-to-action

The post How to Recover from 8 Embarrassing Office Blunders appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

Whether you forgot a deadline, accidentally CC’d the CEO in a snarky email about the annual holiday party, or got caught insulting your boss on Facebook, embarrassing yourself at the office can feel like the end of the world.

But while your little (or big) mistake might feel like a major setback in terms of career growth, it could also be an opportunity to showcase some hidden strengths — like humility, honesty, and accountability.

It’s all about how you handle yourself after the incident that matters — and what you learn from it, moving forward.

Let’s take a look at eight potential office blunders — and the solutions you need to help you recover.Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh Shah.

At the very least, remember that your embarrassing office blunders will probably make for some hilarious stories … eventually. 

How to Recover from 8 Office Blunders

1. Forgetting About a Meeting

We’ve all been there — you’re sitting at your desk, happily eating a bagel and checking your email, when you realize you’re the only one from your team who is at her desk, happily eating a bagel …

We’ve all been there, right … ?

The best thing to do when you forget or miss a meeting is to acknowledge it and apologize, ideally face-to-face. While it’s tempting to just send a casual “sorry about that!” email, it will seem more sincere if you seek out your manager and show you understand your mistake.

When you apologize, acknowledge your mistake, own up to it, and show you’re committed to changing your behavior. For example, you could say something like, “This doesn’t reflect my usual work behavior. I’m sorry, I messed up. It won’t happen again.”

Avoid making excuses. Your manager doesn’t need to hear that your cat kept you up all night, or you hit traffic on your way to work — just accept responsibility and promise it won’t become habit.

To prevent this from happening in the future, set up calendar notifications to remind yourself of upcoming meetings. When in doubt, double-check your calendar the night before.

2. Accidentally Hitting “Reply All” to an Email

On any given day, dozens and dozens of emails end up in your inbox — from advertisers, friends, coworkers, and your boss. In the interest of productivity (and sanity), you probably find yourself skimming quickly, and maybe even replying hastily.

With so many messages flying in and out of your inbox, it’s easy to accidentally hit “reply-all”. This can seem disastrous, especially when your message definitely should’ve been kept private — like hitting “reply all” to a company invite for the next holiday mixer: “Do they really think this will be fun?”

The best thing to do is hold yourself accountable. While it might seem compelling to hide under your desk or say someone hacked your account, you should avoid making excuses for the slip up — it will just draw more attention to a mistake you want everyone to forget.

Instead, “reply all” to everyone in the email thread, this time with a short and sweet, “Sorry about that, meant for someone else.” If your original response was rude, seek out the affected parties offline and make amends — don’t continue to use the email thread.

To prevent this from happening in the future, double check your “to” field before sending an email whenever you’re in an email thread with more than one person. And remember that Gmail has a nifty “undo send” feature you can turn on. 

Also, do your best to avoid sending anything unprofessional or rude via email to anyone, even your closest work friend — that way, a message ends up going to the wrong person, it’s no big deal.

3. Insulting a Coworker or Boss — While She’s Nearby

When you get closer to colleagues, the lines between professional and personal can blur. And while it might be (sometimes) okay to disclose Bumble-date horror stories on your lunch break, it’s never a good idea to start bad-mouthing a coworker or boss while you’re still in the office.

But none of us are perfect. You said something mean about your boss, and she heard you. Now what?

Unfortunately, the damage is done. But just like there are ways to apologize to a friend after a bad fight, there are ways to make amends with your boss.

First off, don’t try to explain yourself — your boss doesn’t need to hear why you think she was rude in that meeting.

If possible, apologize in person, and fully own up to what you said: “I’m sorry for what you heard. I was letting some frustration out, but I shouldn’t have done that in the office. It was unprofessional. Next time I have a problem, I’ll come straight to you to work it out.”

This way, your boss understands that your words came from some heated emotions, and are not necessarily how you actually feel.

Next time you have a legitimate problem with a coworker or boss, approach them to discuss it directly. And if you really need to let your frustration out by talking to someone else, do it outside the office.

4. Missing an Important Deadline

It happens. Maybe you got swamped with a last-minute project, maybe your basement flooded, or maybe you simply believed you could finish by Tuesday, but now it’s Monday night and you’re panicking because you know you’re going to miss the deadline.

Here’s what you do: first, if at all possible, let any stakeholders know ahead of time that you’re going to miss the deadline. Hearing “Something came up, and I’m probably going to miss my deadline for Monday. Let’s move to a backup plan,” is definitely less frustrating than hearing about it after the deadline has already passed.

When you can’t deliver on time, it always helps to offer your stakeholders some alternative options. Make the case that getting an extension will enable you to produce a more complete product. Or, mention that in exchange for their flexibility, you’re willing to add additional services, free-of-charge.

Whatever it is, people like options.

Most importantly, giving options shows the other person that you’re taking this missed deadline seriously — so seriously that you’re willing to put in more of your own free time and effort to ensure they’re even happier with the result.

Of course, you don’t want this to become habit. In the future, perhaps you could start assigning yourself deadlines a day or two before they’re actually due — allowing yourself some breathing room next time that basement floods.

5. Using Office Technology for Personal Reasons

When you’re sitting at your computer at work, particularly if no one else can see your screen, it can be tempting to cross off personal items from your to-do list … even when those items involve freshening up your resume, mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, or finally finishing Stranger Things season two.

Even if you feel like you’re not really wasting time, using the hours that someone else is paying you to accomplish these tasks is not only disrespectful, but it can also get you fired. You never know who is monitoring your activities.

The best way to avoid getting caught wasting time is to stop wasting time in the first place. Don’t use office technology for anything besides your job. When you’re at work, imagine that your CEO can always see your computer screen. If you’re really anxious about crossing things off your non-work to-do list, take a personal day, or do it on your lunch break.

6. Sharing Too Much on Social Media

These days, we share everything on social media. On Snapchat, we share our most disgusting post-gym-sweaty-walking-home faces, on Instagram, we share our favorite Saturday-night-party pictures, and on Facebook, we share everything from our political views to our favorite dog videos.

Sometimes, we share so much that we forget what should be off-limits. Our Snapchat ‘sweaty-at-the-gym’ pics might turn into ‘I-hate-my-boss’ pics, and those Facebook rants could become complaints about our colleagues.

Try to keep these lives separate. No matter how private you think your settings are, there still might be content accessible to people you know from work. You never know who someone knows, or when something will be screenshotted and shared. When it’s on social media, it’s out of your hands.

So take precautions: don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your coworkers or boss to see. If you’ve already posted something unprofessional, delete it.

Next time you have a funny story about a colleague or you’re frustrated about work, tell your friends over brunch instead — it will be more satisfying to get their in-person feedback anyway.

7. Trying to Prove Yourself at Someone Else’s Expense

I recently took an SEO course. The teacher had been in the industry for 10 years, and he was currently freelance consulting. He had shown us three of his (well thought-out, well researched) slides, when a hand shot up from a girl in the back.

“Do you want to hear my feedback now on ways you can improve your SEO presentation, or do you want it at the end?” she said.

She wasn’t being rude or intentionally inconsiderate — she was just trying to prove herself as an educated person in the group.

Luckily, he understood this. He smiled at her and then addressed the whole class: “Guys, in this course, I’d like you to focus on improving yourself, not proving yourself. You’re here to learn.”

He had a great point: many of us get so caught up in thinking of how to interrupt the meeting with our Legally-Blonde-courtroom moment that we forget that, in many instances, it’s more important to listen.

If you’ve insulted someone by giving feedback at the wrong place or time, apologize and humbly admit you should’ve listened to their opinion before offering yours.

In the future, keep in mind there are appropriate times to give your feedback: if your manager asks for feedback, if you’re brainstorming with your team, or if you’ve been with the company for a few months and have recognized some weaknesses in the system.

But don’t forget the importance of listening to your smart and insightful colleagues. Make sure you fully understand them before offering feedback — you might find out that your advice has been considered already, or that it doesn’t fit, after all. If you’re dying to give feedback but aren’t sure how it’ll be received, run it by a coworker first to see if it’s productive.

8. Doing That Really Bad Thing That No One Else Did

You’re preparing for your first big marketing presentation by taking meticulous notes and rifling through your company’s CRM, when you press something.

You don’t know what you pressed, but now — the database is gone. Gone. You’ve just deleted it.

The worst part is, when you point it out to your manager, he clicks around on your computer and after a moment says to himself, “Huh… I’ve never seen anyone do that before.” (In your mind, you translate this to: Huh… I’ve never seen anyone screw up like this before.)

The best way to recover is to be humble and honest. Point out how you innocently made the mistake, own up to it, and admit that there are still a lot of things you don’t know and need to learn. Don’t blame the system, the WiFi connection, or anyone else.

Hopefully, you’ll eventually be able to laugh about it, like, “Hey, you think you’ve got it bad? I once deleted the whole CRM database before my first marketing presentation. Whoops.”

Although there’s no way to foolproof yourself against these kinds of mistakes, you can prevent most of them by being patient with yourself when learning a new skill or software, asking for help whenever you’re confused … and reading the fine print carefully.

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The post How to Recover from 8 Embarrassing Office Blunders appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.