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How To Be A Successful Leader From Home

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out.

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out. Now it’s rather suddenly become a fact of life for entire workplaces and teams, and many of us are still working to adapt. If you’re finding it difficult to manage some elements of working with your team or even staying on top of your own workflow and habits in this new normal, here’s some great advice compiled from my clients who are experienced in successfully working and leading from home

For Your Team:

Overcommunicate, especially when things are uncertain. Provide additional detail and context to make up for the information people can no longer pick up organically in casual conversations. Be as clear and consistent as possible to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Raise the flag if something looks off. It’s important to speak up, because it’s harder to spot things that have gone awry when everyone is working separately. If you have a concern, check in to see if what others think . And if you’re spinning your wheels on a project, let your colleagues know. Identify problems early so you can start working toward solutions.

Create inner circles of collaboration. If you do your best work in collaboration with a work partner or small group, block a few hours to share a virtual room. Use technology to see each other, view each other’s screens and set up a virtual whiteboard to share ideas and work through problems.

Check in with others. Find the structure that works best for maintaining open channels with each member of your team, making sure you check in regularly. It’s more important than ever that you ask lots of questions and listen to the answers.

Recognize effort as well as accomplishments. There are fewer opportunities for recognition when everyone is working separately, so make an extra effort. In addition to celebrating wins, recognize those who are contributing extra effort and longer hours, those who are working through stressful situations, and those who have taken a risk or tried something new—even if it didn’t work out.

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For Yourself:

Start and end the work day at a specific time. Those who are new to working from home often experience burnout because they feel they never leave work. Set a schedule for the beginning and end of every work day. Of course there will be some nights you work late, but make them the exception, not the rule.

Work with your peak hours and low-energy moments. We all have times when we’re more focused and productive and times when our energy is lower and we’re more prone to distraction. An advantage of working from home is that it’s easier to balance your time, energy and productivity around your individual rhythm.

Remove as many distractions as possible. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to realize you’ve just spent an hour on social media or down an internet rabbit hole. Take social media off your work computer. Leave your phone in another room and get rid of any distractions that you know will get in the way of your productivity.

Create breaks during the day. No one can sit at a desk for 12 hours straight and do their best work. Even 15 to 30 minutes a couple of times a day can make a big difference in your focus and clarity. Treat it like a meeting and make yourself unavailable.

Exercise or do something vigorous at least four days a week. Aside from the physical benefits, exercise increases mental sharpness and makes you better at handling stress. It’s harder to fit exercise in, especially if you’re used to the routine of going to a gym, but your productivity and mental attitude—not to mention your health—depend on it.

Pay attention to your mindset. Working from home makes it extra important that you stay on top of your thoughts and mental attitude. It can be harder to find ways to clear your head, and there are fewer interactions with others to keep you grounded. Find things that nourish you—take your laptop out on the porch, play some music, read an author whose work inspires you.

Fight loneliness and isolation. Working from home, you miss out on camaraderie, companionship and interacting with others. But you don’t have to feel you’re on an island. Set up a virtual lunch date or happy hour, or create chat channels for topics of interest. Spend a bit of time every day connecting with co-workers about nonwork topics- think of it as the online version of stopping by their desk to chat.

Lead from within: Successfully working from home is a skill; it takes time and commitment and dedication to develop that skill. But with a great leader at the helm, people and teams can find their way and be as successful as ever.


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How to Create Videos When You Are First Starting Out

5 Tips for Creating Videos When You Are Starting Out by @XLConsultingGro

August 18, 2020 by Elaine Slatter Leave a Comment


create video content
create videos

by Elaine Slatter | Featured Contributor

During these crazy times, when face to face connections at events are not possible, have you thought about different ways to create video content?  You don’t need to hire a videographer.  All you need is a cellphone and the right equipment and setup and you can get started. At the beginning you may not be comfortable having to create video content through ‘lives’ whether Facebook live, Instagram or Linkedin live, but let’s explore the different ways to create video content.  Our 5 tips for creating videos when you are starting out will set you on the right path and give you confidence to launch your first video.

1) How to Create Video Content Recordings (not live video)

The advantage of making video content recordings is you can edit out the sections you don’t like, and chop the video up into smaller bite sizes (sound bites, if you like) that you can then re-purpose on different social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and your own blog.  So let’s get started

  • Record a video with your cell phone.  All you need to create video content with your cell phone is a tripod with a cell phone mount, a halo light, a remote button and editing software. A setup like the one in the picture can be purchased from Amazon for under $60.00  One free editing app for cell phones is InShOT. There is both a free and paid version of this software, available for both Android and i-phone.   The editing software allows you to trim your video, add text and insert your social media icons.
  • Use Zoom to record and create video content. One advantage of Zoom is you can use a virtual background to your video and in the new version you don’t need a green screen to use a virtual background.  All you have to do is upload a photo of your choice to your computer or select from your cell phone if you are using the mobile version of zoom.
  • Use your computer camera to record videos and then edit after the recording.  If you don’t want to edit your video yourself, using software such as Camtasia (for MAC and PC), or hop on over to Fiverr, type in “video editor” and you will find lots of video editors.  Look for a level 2 seller with a 5* rating when selecting a video editor in Fiverr.

When you’ve mastered creating video content through recordings you are now ready to do “live’ events

2)  Facebook Live

  • Did you know you can go ‘live’ privately?  Yes, you can!   Facebook Live has “Live Rehearsal” or  “Test Broadcast” feature which let’s you practice.  You click ‘live’ under schedule and then click ‘publish as a test broadcast’.  Only the page admins will see your test video.  This is only available on ‘pages’ and not in groups.
  • Once you feel brave enough, you can switch to Facebook live videos on your personal page, your business page or in your group.  If you are going live from your business page, here is where you find the ‘live’ button.

3)  LinkedIn Live

  • Since the pandemic has hit, I’ve notice quite a few business people are taking the plunge and streaming live on LinkedIn.  As of mid-2020 there isn’t a button on LinkedIn that you can just press to do a Linkedin Live, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this added as a feature in the future.  To go live on LinkedIn you need to use a third party streaming platform.  One of the ones that I like is Streamyard . If you don’t mind the watermark and you are not doing lots of ‘ives’, the free version could be just fine for you.
  • With software such as Streamyard it asks you what you want to connect ‘live’ to and there is a button for LinkedIn.

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4)  Zoom Live

  • You can create a live event on Zoom and invite people to the event through Meetup or through your own email marketing.  With the latest Zoom software upgrade you need a password code and there is a “waiting room” so that you only let it people who you know.  This is to prevent Zoom bombing where hackers jumped into zoom rooms and created havoc to an unsuspecting audience.
  • To set up your scheduled Zoom Live, go into Zoom and “Schedule a Meeting” for the time and date before you go over to Meetup to set it up or prior to sending out an announcement to your email list.
  • Before you go live on zoom, make sure you press the record button to record your live session

5)  Live in Instagram Stories/Posts

  • Perfect for shooting with your cellphone.  You can add special effects on to your video and then post to Instagram.  Great for short snippets, ie 15 seconds or less.   Great for product shots, quick personal videos related to your brand.
  • If your video is longer, then you can post to IGTV
  • Make sure you add those #hashtags to help get exposure to video and gain more following.

How to Share your Videos

You can edit any of your videos to add your branding and to add thumbnails that you design on Canva to show at the beginning or end of your videos.  When you are happy with your videos, then here are the different ways to share them.   Don’t forget to use “tags” to find the searching of your videos easy for those who are looking for your content.

  1. On your YouTube Channel
  2. On a ‘video’ tab on your website
  3. In a blog post on your website
  4. In a facebook group or on your business page
  5. On your LinkedIn profile or Linkedin business page
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Elaine Slatter

Elaine Slatter is a Small Business Expert, founder of XL Consulting Group and author of the popular book, “Fabulous Fempreneurship”, a complete business guide for women. XL Consulting Group helps entrepreneurs with market planning, strategy, branding, web design and social media. She has over 30 years of executive business and marketing experience and is ready to help you rocket your business to success. Elaine is passionate about mentoring women to become successful women entrepreneurs. To find out more, visit XL Consulting Group or join the Fabulous Fempreneurship mastermind.xlconsultinggroup.com/

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