Which ones you would consider purchasing a service from? We showed these images to 10 different people. Here are the businesses that got the most votes from each search term:
CüR Laser and Skin
LA Dental Clinic
Pink Lime Salon and Spa
Does that ranking match your choices? Do you see what’s common between the 3 top choices? Their customers love them and it shows in their reviews.
Your clients might be fans of yours, but does it show in your online presence? If not, then you should consider reputation management software to manage your online reviews. At ElementIQ, we use and recommend BirdEye.
Why Reviews Are Important
As per this Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by Bright Local in 2018, here are 3 charts that explain the growing importance of online reviews among various age demographics:
Chart #1: Do You Read Reviews For Businesses?
Key finding: 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses.
Chart #2: What Is Your Typical Next Step After You Read A Positive Review?
Key finding: 50% of consumers visit local businesses’ websites after reading positive reviews (including 69% of 55+).
Chart #3: How Many Online Reviews Do You Read Before You Can Trust A Business?
Key finding: Consumers read an average of 10 reviews (up from 7 in 2017).
Online reviews are important to your customers – they are looking to interact with businesses that have a strong review profile.
Online reviews are important to customers of all age groups – albeit not equally.
The trend of consumers researching a business by reading reviews is on the rise – more people are reading a higher number of reviews before deciding if they want to further research a local business.
Why You Should Use BirdEye For Reputation Management
There are a few different review management tools out there, but BirdEye is our preferred choice because it’s credible, effective, and simple to use!
Credibility – It’s one of few such tools that is fully integrated with Google. It also has one of the widest selection of websites that you can manage reviews on, including Facebook, Yelp, ZocDoc, Homestars and many more. We have seen Google and Yelp remove a number of reviews for various businesses when they are unable to trust the authenticity of a review – this is less likely to happen when reviews are generated using BirdEye.
Simplicity – BirdEye makes it really easy to ask for a review, analyze trends using available data insight charts, and, respond to reviews on different places from one central platform.
Effectiveness – Each of the 3 businesses highlighted at the beginning of this blog post have built a stronger review profile than their immediate competitors. Need we say more?
Features We Love The Most
While being simple, there are a few awesome things you can do – like responding to reviews from within BirdEye and measuring the effectiveness of your review management initiatives from an insightful dashboard. Let’s elaborate.
Responding to reviews – We already mentioned that BirdEye is fully integrated with Google. This means BirdEye users are able to respond to Google review from within BirdEye. When you click on ‘Reply’ for other platforms like Yelp and Facebook, you will be directed to your listings where you can post a reply.
Microsite – BirdEye automatically creates a microsite for all registered businesses. The microsite contains basic business information, live reviews from multiple platforms and a form users can use to book appointments. This also has positive SEO effects, as we have seen the microsite make top 10 search results for business name search phrases.
Get Your Business To Become Your Customers Preferred Choice
Imagine that you are trying to pick a place to get a laser skin treatment, or dental implants or a haircut or a pizza. Would you go on Google and search for ‘best ___ near me’? Who would you trust with your health, time and money?
Your customers screen their choices when they search for service providers like yourself – make sure you appear in top search results and ensure that your businesses review profile is compelling buyers to choose you! Contact us and we’ll help you set up your online persona in a way that lets your reviews shine and attract new business!
As humans, we have a limited number of hours each day to get our work done. No way around that. While we have no power over time, we do have control over how efficient we are. At ElementIQ, we work with a variety of clients in different industries, so making sure we put our best foot forward every hour is something we have to get right every time.
I sat down with our in-house Web Developer Kevin Hashimoto to discuss how he likes to tackle the challenge of maximizing your effort in a given time-frame. Take a look below.
Stivian: Hey Kevin, thanks for joining me today. You’ve had a pretty extensive post-secondary background so far, mind sharing what you’ve studied?
Kevin: I went to film school, business school and then I went into programming. I’m currently dabbling in design, so it’s been quite the range of experience.
Stivian: What do you like about development? Is it scratching that creative itch or getting to think strategically?
Kevin: A bit of both, actually. With development, it’s not so visual, but I love creating things from scratch. I’m a very do-it-yourself kind of person. If I need something and it doesn’t exist, I’ll just make it.
Stivian: Have you always had an interest in work efficiency?
Kevin: I think so. I’ve always wanted to work as efficiently as possible. It bothers me when things aren’t going as smoothly as they can be.
Stivian: Have you seen things at ElementIQ that could be more efficient?
Kevin: With ElementIQ, it’s more that everything’s always in the process of change. We’re continuously improving processes as we find them. There’s a lot to improve on, and there’s a lot that we do well.
Stivian: What’s something you’ve seen implemented at ElementIQ that’s made a big difference in how we work?
Kevin: Me joining is one. *laughs*
I think how we structure our project management with Teamwork. Since we don’t have a dedicated project manager, getting organized with that tool has been keeping projects in order. If we misuse it, our communication gets disorganized and projects get chaotic.
On the design side, Invision has been really good. There’s a lot of tools inside of it that help with development workflows.
Stivian: How do you get ready for the day? Does your routine start in the morning or at night before work?
Kevin: I’m a night person, to be honest. I just work so much better at night. Somewhere from 10 PM to 2 AM is my sweet spot. My morning routine is pretty relaxed. I wake up and hang out for a bit until I get in the mood. I’ll eat some granola bars, drink a protein shake, check out Instagram and get to work. I’m not a morning person but I’ll get up and do what I need to do to prepare.
Stivian: There you go. I know you freelance on the side, do you find working at an agency 9 to 5 and working on the side to be difficult?
Kevin: Oh yeah, totally. Even if I were to be just freelancing full-time, it’d be really difficult because it’s so volatile and unpredictable. Juggling a full-time job at an agency and then freelancing right after that is pretty tough but I’ve got goals I want to get to, so they keep me going.
Stivian: Nice, what are some of these goals?
Kevin: I’m launching my own branding agency, and my other goal is working fully remote, preferably on a beach somewhere.
Stivian: That’s the dream. What’s the Pomodoro technique? I’ve heard you mention it before.
Kevin: It’s a technique where you work for 25 minutes at a time and take a 5-minute break, and so on. The urgency of the timer keeps you focused because you know you don’t have a lot of time. I find I’m more focused throughout the day with the 5-minute break in there. It’s a good power-hour.
Stivian: I guess you could call it a power-25. How do you like to spend your 5-minute breaks?
Kevin: I like to get up, get a glass of water and walk around a little bit. I don’t want to be in front of my computer waiting for the 5 minutes to expire, as I need to refresh my brain for the next session.
Stivian: Have you been using this technique for a while?
Kevin: A little while, yeah. I’ve been experimenting with different times blocks, just because development has a different workflow. I tend to work for longer than 25 minutes at a time.
Stivian: What are some of the challenges with being a web developer compared to previous jobs you’ve had?
Kevin: Thinking ahead is a big one. You need to structure how you develop things ahead of time. You need to make things scalable and maintainable so you’re always considering the future when building.
Stivian: That makes sense. What does the ideal workflow set-up look like to you?
Kevin: In terms of development, I like to have the design finalized before I touch development, just in case things change because I have to go back and re-do my work. Getting everything finalized before actually building anything is ideal, and it’s what we’re in the process of standardizing here. On the design side, you want the scope of the project before you get to work. Having clear steps detailed before getting to work makes for smooth projects.
Stivian: At ElementIQ, we work two days of the week from home. How do you find remote work? Do you find yourself more productive or focused with the extra time to rest?
Kevin: Honestly, it’s a mix. Some days I feel more productive, some less. Some, I’m more focused, others not so much. I find the flexibility to work at my own pace and catch up after 5 PM a bonus. It’s also a little more relaxing working from home. Some days I go to a café, grab a warm drink and some pastries and work from there.
Stivian: That sounds pleasant. What do you think are your best habits that have resulted in professional success?
Kevin: Being straight to the point, and not too humble about things. When you sugarcoat some things, your points might not get across at times. I used to be pretty humble and sugarcoat everything, just because I wanted everyone to like me. The way this comes back to efficiency is if you want things to change, you can’t sugarcoat them.
Stivian: I agree. I think it’s important to acknowledge the difference between dishonest harmony and being truthful for the sake of productivity. Were you a disorganized person before? Did you have to work hard to develop good habits?
Kevin: I think I was pretty disorganized. In terms of school, I never liked it so I was disorganized from the beginning, but my accumulation of experience and experimenting with different methods has brought me to where I am today.
Stivian: Do you have any advice for people who might be disorganized and are trying to build good habits?
Kevin: Every person is different. I’d suggest exploring different methods of working and finding that zone that you’re comfortable in.
ElementIQ has a fairly unorthodox approach to where we work. We currently spend two days of the week remotely, and the other 3 are spent at CMPNY, a coworking space in Coquitlam.
Wondering what a coworking space is?
Coworking spaces are shared workspaces with desks in the open, private offices, and meeting rooms making up the majority of the floor. The flexibility, price point, and amenities offered are stealing entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses from traditional workspaces.
We had the chance to sit down for an interview with boss lady Alicja Mazur, Director of Communications and Community at CMPNY to discuss how these innovative hubs are creating opportunities and fostering communities for teams of all sizes.
Stivian: Hey Alicja, thanks for doing this. Tell us a little bit about your professional background.
Alicja: I started out in retail, as we all do, where I perfected my salesmanship skills. Then I became an Executive Assistant for a software development company, whereupon I started working for the Port Moody Arts Centre as a Communications Manager. Then I landed this gig, where I was a Space Manager for about two years.
Stivian: Word on the street is you recently got a promotion?
Alicja: Yup, I’m now the Director of Communications and Community.
Stivian: What’s that gonna entail?
Alicja: It’s an experiment! I’m hoping to grow the community in Burnaby and Coquitlam. I’m going to come up with a strategic plan for us in regards to communicating the benefits of coworking.
Stivian: That’s exciting. Big role. Tell me a little bit about CMPNY, what you guys do, and what your values are.
Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?
Alicja: CMPNY is a coworking space that primarily focuses on shared office space, shared desks, shared meeting rooms, etcetera. Our clients are small business owners, entrepreneurs, contractors, freelancers and the like. They can share among the resources of CMPNY and the community to grow their business and look more professional to their clients, and be in that continual phase of growing and acquiring knowledge.
Stivian: Makes sense. Is there anything behind the name? You guys were Spacekraft before, right?
Alicja: We were Spacekraft before. That was a stylistic choice because we wanted to represent innovation. That being said, we felt that we’ve grown quite a bit from our original choice, so we rebranded as CMPNY. The reason it’s CMPNY with no vowels is because it’s such a striking visual. If people recognize the brand, that’s the first step to success.
Stivian: It’s a strong name, I like the look. What sort of impact have you seen CMPNY have in the local community?
Alicja: The impact we’re having in the Tri-Cities right now is that we’re getting people used to the idea of coworking spaces. What we’ve noticed is that most people in the suburbs either commute all the way downtown or work from home. There’s very few local jobs that allow people to commute in 5, 10 minutes, and the people that work from their homes are comfortable doing so. Something that CMPNY’s doing right now is making sure that talent comes here because that brings the zest of business relationships, and that grows the businesses inside the coworking space.
Stivian: Nice. Why do you think businesses are coming here? What’s drawing them in over traditional working spaces?
Alicja: Well, there’s scientific-based research that says that working remotely isn’t healthy for people. People who work remotely are more likely to experience depression, they’re more likely to be divorced, and people who commute long hours downtown typically experience decreased life satisfaction overall. So for those able to work remotely, over the internet, and not having to be at a workplace, all of a sudden you have this opportunity to be at a workplace. You might not want to work at your house, per se, because there’s so many distractions there.
Stivian: That makes sense. I think the whole loneliness thing, being alone Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, that’s got to have an effect on those working from home. I guess some people can pull it off but…
Alicja: Well that’s why you see an increase of people working out of coffee shops. They want to be around people because we’re inherently social creatures.
Stivian: So you get a lot of freelancers and solopreneurs, do you guys do anything to build a community for them?
Alicja: Yes! So, one of the main missions of the Space Managers, and one of CMPNY’s main missions is to make sure we host events that people want to go to and make connections. Not necessarily rigid business connections, but more-so friendly, neighbourly, communal connections. I come from a Political Science and Communications background, so the value that people get out of micro-communities and micro-villages is stupendously strong and influential. That’s where you form friendships. That’s why the eradication of neighbourhoods causes so much panic.
Stivian: Are people enthusiastic about the events? Do you see them come out pretty often?
Alicja: Yep, we have really great turnouts and we usually have a bunch of different people that come out to them. We have a mix of social events, and their primary reason for existing is for people to get to know one another. We have education programming where we bring in an expert on a certain topic so you can learn more and bring a new tool to your arsenal. Next week we’re doing a lip-sync battle. It’s just one of those things where if you can lip-sync in front of a bunch of strangers (who might be friends now), you now have the confidence to do that pitch in front of an investor that can take your business to the next level.
Stivian: If you could organize one event – your DREAM event, what would it be?
Alicja: If I had unlimited funds, I would take all the CMPNY folk on a 7-day retreat cruise where we would talk about professional development, and bring in a business coach, a life coach, a psychologist and a business planner, and have each person go through that, and go through it together as a community. That would be a cathartic experience.
Stivian: That’s better than what I had. For some reason, my brain jumped to bringing in like 12 llamas to the office. So the Digital Nomad movement has become very popular within coworking spaces, do you get a lot of these people coming through?
Alicja: Absolutely. Again, it’s one of those things where you want to connect. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Digital Nomads usually specialize in specific areas, and while they might be able to Google a resource or call a colleague in Alberta, it’s way easier to just talk to somebody face to face. That face to face interaction is key to improving and learning better. If somebody shows you how to do something, as opposed to reading a blog about it, that’s much more likely to stick.
Stivian: Has the industry changed a lot since you started at CMPNY?
Alicja: The industry has changed quite a bit. A little history of coworking – the connotation of coworking started with the dotcom movement in Germany. A bunch of hackers rented a basement and were like “…This is pretty sick. It costs us all virtually nothing and it’s fun working together.”. It then migrated to Silicon Valley, where it was more of the bean-bag chairs recreational area and developing personal relationships. You can see that at Google’s headquarters where they have a bunch of benches, a cafeteria, ping pong, and things like that. And then it came here because there was a need for it. With the whole Digital Nomad movement and the fact that office spaces were becoming increasingly more expensive, why not work out of coworking spaces?
Stivian: That’s a big impact. Last question. What role do coworking spaces play today and how do you see them evolving in the future?
Alicja: Coworking spaces right now fill a niche for community building and a lack of affordable building space. I see coworking spaces expanding like franchises, similar to Starbucks and McDonalds. People want to work close to home, as they’re increasingly starting to value work-life balance. For parents who have careers that are demanding, it’s important to spend as much of your time with your kids as possible. You want that balance.
I think coworking spaces are going to be a-dime-a-dozen, and what that’s going to mean is they’re going to really differentiate themselves. For example, there’s L’Atelier downtown that’s primarily catered to creatives. For us, 10 to 15 years down the road, I can see us having a coworking space primarily for Digital Marketing people, a coworking space specifically for engineers, a coworking space for X, Y and Z. It’s just going to silo.
Stivian: That’s really cool. Any last words you want to add?
I’m just over a month into my internship at ElementIQ, and I’ve gone through some pretty big changes as a person in that time.
First off, this has been my first “real adult 9 to 5 job”, so that’s come with its own set of realizations. After having spent the last two years in film school, and the years before that working construction, landscaping, retail, and every other entry-level, no experience needed job out there, for the first time I feel like I’m on a promising career path. That’s pretty exciting (to me, at least).
While I was expecting professional growth, I’ve also run into some changes that go deeper than my skillset.
#1 – I Had To Become Organized Or Fall Behind Fast.
Admittedly, I’m not the most organized person. Never have been. I’m more of a ‘leave it until the last minute and get everything done in an anxiety-fueled manic sprint’ kind of person.
My college years involved more 4 AM nights than is even remotely healthy for an individual. While this method worked and got me through the program with half-decent grades, it wasn’t something I wanted to continue, mainly for the sake of my own health. (Do you know how dangerous lack of sleep is? I didn’t until I looked into it. Now I’m terrified of not getting enough sleep. Start here.)
If there’s one way working at an agency differs compared to working for a brand, it’s the amount of work you’ll be doing for a variety of clients. While I learned to juggle a variety of projects at BCIT (and our course load was no joke), it’s a whole lot different when the work you’re putting out is affecting someone’s bottom line.
Disorganization just doesn’t cut it in an agency environment. To stay on top of your workload, you need tools. One of the biggest eye-openers was when I got introduced to the various project management and task tracking platforms we use. I was nervous seeing what it would take. I’ve never been this organized, and I knew I had to adapt quickly or fall behind and jeopardize myself.
So I did. I killed the old, disorganized me, and boy, it feels good.
I’ve been doing my best to be disciplined and log all my time, stay ahead of late tasks, and get help when I need it. This has also directly affected my personal life, as I’m becoming a more organized person. I used to be known in my friend circle as the guy who’s always late for everything, but now I come to work 20 minutes early most days and I love it.
#2 – Imposter Syndrome Is Real (But I Might Not Actually Be One).
“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.”
Our current team is six people, plus two remote specialists. Each person brings such a different skill set, that in unity, we’re able to cover a lot of bases. Given my film school background and very minor education in digital marketing, I knew there were some things I could bring to the table, but I still wasn’t sure how I was going to fit in the puzzle and be a valuable team member.
What if I’m not good enough to do the job?
I was pretty nervous to see how things would play out, but those feelings were laid to rest when I sat down with Vikram on my first day and was shown my roadmap.
The first 8 weeks consist of a different mentor teaching you a new area of digital marketing each week. After each 101, you’re quickly assigned to work on a client project, utilizing what you just learned. Jumping into work that is meaningful (and affects a clients’ bottom line) has been incredibly fun. This approach is a fantastic way to figure out what you like and what you’re good at early on.
The second half of the internship is more intensive, as you decide on your primary and secondary responsibilities and take on a pet project of your own. While I haven’t gotten there yet, I’m excited to lead a creative project and really hone in on the type of marketer I want to become.
I honestly think ElementIQ has a really unique internship program. You’re doing meaningful work (I still haven’t gotten anyone coffee), and are spending a lot of time learning. It’s essentially school with real clients. I’m excited to watch myself grow and see how I can contribute down the road.
#3 – My Opinion And Creative Direction Is Encouraged.
I love strategy.
I love sitting down, auditing a brand, and coming up with creative ways to tell their story.
I’ve had the chance to sit down for a few strategy meetings with colleagues so far, and each time has been remarkably mentally satisfying.
Best of all, when I have an idea about how something could be improved, not only do I feel like my opinion is welcome, but if it’s a legitimate solution to a problem, it gets implemented.
I’m a big believer that discussing tricky subjects is better than dishonest harmony (though I also give better advice than I follow). It’s fantastic when egos can be put aside and critique is encouraged for the sake of better work.
I feel I can really grow as a marketer at ElementIQ, due to the fact that I’m actually trusted to experiment, try things the way I think they could work, and own the results. There’s always help if I ask for it, but I have the freedom to take ownership of tasks as I see fit.
Is there a better, more efficient way to approach something we do often? I can go ahead and create a manual for that. Is there an outdated page that could use a touch-up? I’m free to tackle that myself.
There are many ways to step up to the plate and take projects to the next level. At its core, it seems that many of ElementIQ’s foundations are built on pillars of self-initiative.
As I mentioned earlier, I come from a blue-collar background where you’re usually waiting for someone to tell you what to do all day. Giving employees the freedom to approach situations as they see fit is a fantastic policy that has only boosted my confidence in my own skills, both in and out of work.
If you’re looking for a mentally stimulating career that isn’t going anywhere, consider digital marketing. With all the noise that’s generated every day, the ability to create content that people care about is becoming increasingly valuable. Learning how to do that is my obsession, and I’m forever thankful ElementIQ is taking a chance by giving me a shot.