6 Questions Leaders Should Ask Themselves Before Bed

Successful leaders make sure that they never stop learning and that they look for ways to grow as a person every single day. There are good days in business and there are rainy days as well, and at times we feel tired of fighting and it seems like we are stuck in one place. This is why it’s important to acknowledge even our smallest achievements daily.

If we wire our brains to notice the positive events in everything we do, then we can go back to our desk the next day with renewed energy and motivation. Here are the 6 questions you should ask yourself every night before going to sleep.

How many seeds have you planted?

Leaders who live by a vision know that success doesn’t happen overnight and that the actions we take today pay off months or years later. Acknowledge every step you have taken towards your future goals and make sure that you are consistent with your routine!

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

According to the research conducted by Phillippa Lally, habits take at least 66 days to form as opposed to the common belief that people internalize a new behavior pattern in 21 days. If learning a new language seems impossible for you with your busy schedule then just take 10 minutes each day to practice with an app and your efforts will accumulate over time. It is more efficient to spend a fraction of an hour day by day with learning a new skill or preparing for our long-term business goals than trying to change the world before sunset.

How many dots have you put down today?

Small, consistent steps are important but we also need to pay attention to closing the loop. When we juggle between a myriad of projects and commitments we often start working on 5 different ideas and then finish none of them. Even if it’s just writing a thank you email you have been pushing aside or taking up something you left off months ago, these efforts will ensure that you don’t disperse your energy and you are aware of your limits. Once you complete something, celebrate and appreciate these achievements at the end of the day.

What makes you grateful?

Expressing gratitude is one of the most common daily habits of successful entrepreneurs. It helps them be more present and find happiness every single day instead of always chasing the next thing and waiting for an event in the distant future. You can write these positive moments in a journal or visualize them while meditating. Make a (mental) list of everything from a delicious lunch you had with a coworker to a compliment you received from on a stranger on the way home. Sometimes, the smallest things can be the most important ones as well.

How did you give back to the world today?

Asking yourself this question daily can draw your attention to the opportunities where you can help people around you. You don’t have to donate or volunteer every single day, maybe all it takes is just opening the door for someone or having a chat with your team member who seems troubled. Giving back will help you find a connection with people and it does make the world a better place.

What was my greatest lesson today?

Making mistakes is a necessary part of your personal development but only if you learn from them. Remember all the situations you wanted to act differently and make sure you only make a mistake once. Listen to people who give you advice, it’s less painful to learn from other people’s failure if you have the chance to learn from them.

How can I make the best out of tomorrow?

Planning every hour of your upcoming day in and outside of the office and keeping your top 3 goals for the day in mind can increase your productivity significantly. If you write down your focus for the next day it will be easier to let go of your worries and have a good night’s sleep. While your body rests, your subconscious mind will prepare you for your upcoming challenges so by the time you wake up in the morning, you will be determined and ready for a new start!

How to Handle Tough Conflicts With Confidence

One of the key ingredients of your leadership quotient is the ability to solve conflicts efficiently and to make sure that you are on the same page with the people you work with. Challenging each other’s views is beneficial for both parties as it provides an opportunity to learn but only if it doesn’t bring negative emotions into the discussion.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind for the next time you have an argument with someone.

Constructive criticism

Blaming and pointing the finger at someone never leads to a positive outcome and it can seriously harm your reputation in a professional environment. Aim to ask challenging questions instead of emphasizing the person’s mistakes on the opposite side of the table. Take time to listen and understand their opinion before you try to convince them! Instead of saying The product was delivered with a huge delay because of your negligent behavior you might ask We didn’t meet our deadlines. What do you think could have been done better?

Notice the difference between the two sentences: after the first statement your coworker might get defensive immediately and focus on finding an excuse or fire back at you with something you got wrong. To the contrary, asking an open-ended question gives room for developing better processes. Your colleague might even apologize and come up with ways that could improve the cooperation between the two of you.

However, when you face criticism you need to keep in mind that it is not a judgement about who you are, but something you have done and consequently it is just an issue that needs fixing. Don’t let it define you! Everyone makes mistakes and the easier you face your failures the more you grow as a person and a leader.

Emotional Intelligence is key

We are all emotional human beings and our feelings often stand in the way when we try to solve a conflict appropriately. The higher the level of stress in our environment and the more we feel pressed with time the harder it is to remain sane in these situations. Especially when we stand in the line of fire surrounded by people with critical point of views, which create a situation that requires a quick response. It is challenging to remain calm in these instances and focus on the solution rather than a counter argument.

Take a deep breath and try not to take things personally! Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and understand why they make the points they make and what frustrates them. Instead of focusing only on winning, think about how you could come to a conclusion which is best for the company and suitable for everyone. You can allow yourself to be vulnerable once in a while: It takes bravery, but it often leads to resolving the tension between team members so that you can discuss everything in an assertive way.

When there is a lot at stake

There will be times when you negotiate with people in a win or lose situation and an understanding attitude won’t be good enough to reach your goals. Gather all information possible prior to the meeting –you can never be over-prepared! Ask help from a colleague if needed and practice the situation just like you would do a mock trial before heading to the courtroom.

Try not to use the word but in your arguments! Substitute it with yes, however or simply the word and so that your opposition won’t feel the need to fire back at you and prove the validity of his words. Ask surprising questions if you need to win some extra time and notice when people try to divert the conversation and stay away from a certain subject because that’s the very thing they are trying to hide.

No matter if you are facing a competitor or someone from your team, always remind yourself of the possible motives one could have and learn to read between the lines. Be assertive and don’t jump into arguments when you’re in a negative mood! Staying mindful about your emotions is a sure way towards gaining respect as a leader.

How to Find a Business Partner With The Right Mindset

Finding the right business partner is almost as challenging as finding the one to marry. The person needs to have experience in your field, but more importantly the right attitude that makes it easy to work with them. You need to be on the same page in order to make long-term decisions together and you have to be able to trust their loyalty when the road gets tough.

Go through this checklist and make sure you share your business with someone who can lead your company to success!

To Grow or not to Grow

Perhaps, the most important value that people you work with can live by is to have a growth mindset.  People who have a fixed mindset focus on basic qualities like being inherently intelligent or being talented. They see the world in black and white and they don’t like to be challenged. It is likely that a person who thinks based on these principles would set barriers for your business because he’s ruled by his fear or because she tries to compare herself to you due to low self-esteem, which can sabotage your efforts to get to the next level.

In turn, the person with a growth mindset believes that he can learn anything and she sees a learning opportunity in every failure. They understand that, just like every business, yours will go through ups and downs as well and they motivate you to try harder and commit to your joint success. They admit their shortcomings without feeling ashamed of it but focus on the positive side of everything and educate themselves in order to grow together with your business.

The other side of the coin

One of the most important lessons we learn in life as we climb the ladder of success is that we cannot succeed alone. If you look back, you most likely see that when great opportunities showed up for you, when grand shifts happened in your career there was always someone who connected you to the right person or told you a simple advice that changed your perspective.

„Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you, empower them, your business will thrive” –Richard Branson

It is important to be clear about your own strengths and weaknesses and partner with the person who can complement your innate abilities. If you are great in seeing the big picture and setting a vision for your business then look for someone who can execute and build processes with ease. If you are someone who reacts quickly and makes prompt decisions, then partner with someone who takes the time to analyze the situation and notice risks before they become a bigger problem. You ought to swallow your pride and appreciate people who are smarter than you in order to keep growing.

The trust game

There are a lot of things that you can live with while building your business –doubting the reliability of your partner is not one of them. You need to know the person so well as you know your best friend including all his motives and fears. Don’t be afraid to get personal: people you do business with should never answer a question saying it is none of your business because, quite literally, it actually is.

The business world is changing and we are not cold businesswomen and men anymore with straight grey jackets who try to hide their personality and their emotions. The first thing you should do is to have a drink with your future partner or spend a Sunday brunch with them and get to know each other as deeply as you can. If they get defensive or they try hard to prove their self-worth to you that’s a warning sign and you should probably look for the next option. However, if they are open about their weaknesses and they transmit a positive vibe to you then you can sign the papers without losing any sleep over it.

If you’re in doubt, trust your gut feeling. It will guide you the right way.

Why Attitude Matters More Than Skill When Hiring

Train for skills, hire for attitude. CEOs and business owners learn this the hard way, but what they all agree to is that the best qualities your employees could possess are curiosity to learn and high adaptability to change around and within them. If your employees are driven they will drive your business to success as well. Want more proof? Read on!

Your employees are human beings

The experiences we have in life shape our mindset and shape our character as well no matter if they occur inside or outside the walls of the office. Look for people who are eager to learn in every single area of their life, who are versatile and who seek for ways how to implement the things they learn during their working hours into their personal life and the other way round.

Work-life harmony is the new work-life balance and when we look at the experiences of an individual during the interview we should see the person as a whole and not just based on the points listed in their CV. Travel experience could worth more at times than a conference attended, just like the books someone reads in his free time really says a lot about him. Get to know your candidates well and don’t be afraid to ask them personal questions.

„Knowing is the enemy of learning” –Tom Chi

There are some people who don’t settle until they hear they are right and listening doesn’t exist in their dictionary. They are the ones you should avoid at all costs and certainly not hire them under any circumstances! Teach your current employees to always look for more than one possible solution and to question everything, even you! Hire people who bring a new shade to the palette of your community and let the ideas flow through collaboration.

What we can learn from the start-up world

If you ask any venture capitalist about where they prefer to put their money, most of them will tell you that they would rather invest in the most promising team than the best idea. The team that has the right attitude and the ability to learn and grow with the idea they hatch will bring back the money as opposed to a brilliant business idea which fades away without proper execution.

Growth is a priority even for companies outside the startup scene and the only way to keep those charts on a rising scale is to hire the people who make it happen. After all, the best entrepreneurs are the ones who jump from the cliff and learn how to build a parachute on the way down. Your team should have the same attitude if you want to outperform others with your business.

Change is inevitable

What we learn today will be outdated, if not useless 3 years from now. That’s why university degrees don’t really prepare students for the jobs they take up in the future. No matter how many degrees and certificates a candidate holds, if they are not ready to develop themselves every single day professionally and personally you are better off with someone with a shorter CV and a better attitude. Focus on finding out their motives and what drives them to learn and you will get a clear picture of whether you can work with them in the long run or not.

Paradigm shift in psychology

While a few decades ago psychological tests divided people into categories and analyzed distinct fixed characters, contemporary studies show that people do change over time if they experience a shift in mindset. We are a collection of thoughts and thinking patterns which we learn from our early age and the more receptive we are to new ideas the faster we learn and grow which is the highway to success, as we know.

The 10.000-hour rule

Malcolm Gladwell talks about the journey to success in his book called Outliers, and he proves that there is not really a thing called talent. Anything can be learnt and anyone can reach mastery and become the best in a particular activity after the magical number of 10.000 hours. Anyone could become a professional actor with this amount of practice, but not everybody has the affinity for spending that much time playing a character and memorizing scripts all day.

Not all your candidates will have 10.000 hours behind their back in their field. But the lesson this theory teaches us is that anything can be learnt, it just takes practice, so you are better off with someone who wants to learn and grow with your business.

5 Things To Keep in Mind Before You Switch To A High-Performance Diet

As modern diets catch up with executive lifestyle and the best-performing people of the world, they tend to focus more on brain performance while providing enough fuel for a few hours in the gym every week. High-fat and low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet have become extremely popular and made it to the new year’s resolution list of many but most people find it hard to be consistent with it. Here are a few tips to help you adapt your eating habits to a performance diet.

Plan a warm-up period

If you make radical changes in your diet, it is not just a small habit you have to get accustomed to. Your body takes time to get used to turning fat into muscle and brain power as opposed to considering carbs as its primary energy source. It might take a few weeks until you completely get used to it and during this time you will probably experience fatigue and feeling sluggish during the day. Allow yourself to adjust to your new lifestyle without giving up half-way and don’t start during the most demanding period of the year.

Adjust it to your gym schedule

Don’t just follow someone else’s diet word by word and expect the same results. It’s better to understand the main principles of it and then customize it here and there to your own lifestyle. Depending on how many times a week you workout and the intensity of your exercises you need to take a different amount of calories each day.

Your focus might also vary based on your primary goal, for example, to lose weight, to build stamina, or just to make your brain function at its best. These benefits are mostly interrelated but the details might differ to a certain extent. Do some research and pay more attention to the ratio of components on your plate than the actual quantity. The golden rule is to take everything in moderation without starving yourself.

A little cheat is better than giving up

If the new diet is fundamentally different from your current eating habits, it might seem overwhelming in the beginning and it can really challenge your willpower.  You can define a cheat day during the week when you can eat anything you want so you don’t feel like to give up your favorite snacks forever. After a few weeks you might notice that you don’t even crave for them anymore, so you can eliminate the cheat day and keep up the good work!

You can also modify diets according to what feels right for you, after all, you don’t need to eat like an athlete to look fitter and do well at work. Just make sure you set your rules at the beginning and don’t give up on them later even if you’re tempted to.

No need to say goodbye to everything

Sometimes, our eating and drinking habits are also rituals in our lives which give us joy and the opportunity to share it with others. Instead of giving up drinking all together you can drink red wine or tequila with soda, which are probably the most low-carb drinks you find in bars. You might alter your morning caramel-cream frappuccino to a Bulletproof coffee which practically substitutes breakfast as well and gives you enough energy to do your maximum until lunch time. Change snacks for healthy ones like almond or cashew: They contain some carbs, but still give you a better option than sugary quick-fixes for hunger.

Be wise on-the-go

The most difficult part of eating healthy is probably when you have to spend time at airports or grab something quick during a cab drive. It’s better to plan your meals ahead so that when you have 2 seconds to decide between meal options you won’t fall for your instinct. Keep healthy snacks with you for instances when your choices are limited (like when you’re on a flight) and don’t try to save time on your lunch-break! Keeping your nutrition as a priority will allow you to be the best version of yourself and to have energy left even after a tough week.

Try This Simple Time-Blocking Technique & Enhance Your Productivity

The tools most people use in order to keep themselves productive day by day are a calendar that schedules appointments and events and a (never-ending) to-do list that reminds them to do all the necessary things they have to finish in the rest of their time available.

The problem with this system is that it makes other people’s needs a priority while lets our most important deliverables unstructured. The set points of our time we manage during the week are the ones that we spend with others on meetings and discussions. We know exactly when to show up, how much time we would spend with these people and what points we would discuss with them.

Opposed to that, when we work independently we just sit down for hours with a list trying to force ourselves to get more done and feeling frustrated at the end of the day because our to-dos didn’t get any shorter. We have no idea how much time we spent on a particular task or when we got distracted and why. We might try to multitask (which undermines your focus) or leave projects in half and finish none of them by the end of the day.

What if we could block time for „meetings” with ourselves just like we do with others? Why should we not organize our agenda as well as a tight conference day and gain a better clarity about what takes up the most time in our days?

You can also optimize your calendar by following this simple 5 step formula.

Step 1: Break down each item on your to-do list

The first mistake we often make is that we stuff our to-do lists with task-groups instead of single tasks. Just like you cannot eat a cluster of grape at once but only pick the berries one by one, you can only do a single task at a time.

Let’s say your to-do list says Write a business article for X magazine. It sounds so overwhelming in the first place that you rather invent ways to procrastinate than getting it done immediately. However, if your list says:

Write a business article for X magazine:

  • Define the focus of the article and divide it into 5 sections
  • Research about the topic and make notes
  • Write the raw article
  • Proof-read and edit
  • Send it/Publish it

This sounds much more doable, right? It takes a different brain activity to read, proofread or write something so this way you won’t get confused and you can get things done faster without any tension. It gives you a better clarity about how much work does it actually take up and you can focus on a single activity at once.

Step 2: Predict a timeframe for each item on the list

Even if you don’t have a routine of this particular deliverable, it will now be easier to assign a timeframe for each of these points. Write it down one by one, no matter if it is 60 minutes or 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add breaks

A very important thing we often forget is that we cannot focus and be productive for hours in a row. Ideally we need to take a short break every hour and stop working, even if it’s just 10 minutes while we stretch and take a few deep breaths.

When you are in a task block, focus only on your work: no checking mails and messages, no Youtube videos, no walks to the canteen. Then during your break block, you can do anything you’d like! Make sure you include a longer time-off every few hours.

Step 4: Add them to your calendar

This might look a bit too complex at first if you use a desktop calendar. In order not to spend too much time on this, you can add bigger time blocks into your e-calendar and detail it out on paper or combine the two in any other way that makes you feel comfortable.

You can still move things around easily if a client meeting comes up during the day, because you will know exactly how much time you need to finish your priorities. Yet, this way you will feel as devoted to your daily tasks as to your appointments with others.

Step 5: Measure and optimize

You might find after Day One of following this method that your time-blocks were not exactly sufficient to finish what you planned or you had to take some items off the list. That’s completely okay as long as you pay attention to what made you run out of time.

Maybe you have to break your tasks down even more to the very basics. Maybe you have to structure your breaks differently in order to keep yourself focused. Perhaps, you just need more time to finish certain tasks and you are faster with other ones or you have to change the order of your time-blocks in order to add variety into your day. All of these will give you precise information about your personal time management and will help you perform better in the future.

I hope this simple technique will help you become more efficient and more motivated in your work so that you can finish each day feeling accomplished and ready for the next one!

How Your Biology Influences Your Productivity

Procrastination is something that all of us struggle with. We are often being hard on ourselves for not having the willpower to get to the end of our agenda, even though it often just takes a little more focus on our biology and aligning your daily responsibilities to it. The next time you find that you have been pushing an important task aside for days or feel like you are always running out of time, just stop for a moment and reflect on the following points!

It’s not hard to realize that procrastination has nothing to do with the amount of time we have in a day, if we do the math we know that we could easily find a gap in our timetable for that particular task if we wanted to.  It has more to do with our avoidance and the underlying anxiety that causes it. Managing our stress level can be the first thing we can do to enhance our productivity, especially in today’s high-pressure environment.

Our brains generate different kinds of brain waves throughout the day and the frequency of these waves define what type of activity we are capable of doing in that given period of time. The two most common frequencies dominating in our waking hours are Alpha waves at 8Hz-12Hz and Beta waves at 12Hz-40Hz.

When we are in the alpha state we feel relaxed and often get into the state of flow. Our creativity thrives and it becomes easier to come up with ideas or visualize concepts. When Beta waves are in majority we feel more active and energized and ready to take on logically challenging tasks. However, Beta waves also have different levels and if you get closer to the higher end of the scale you are more likely to feel stress and anxiety and it becomes hard to sit still and focus your energies on your work.

If you want to reach peak performance you need to pay attention to your natural cycles first that change throughout the day. Some of us wake quickly in the morning and are able to be very productive in the first few hours of the day, but lack energy in the evening. Others cannot handle an early alarm clock and reach their peak by afternoon and evening. The amount of coffee and other caffeinated blends influence our brain waves as well and help us raise our frequency, but too much of them can make us feel nervous and lose our focus.

If you are working on something creative you need to have a still mind you can use techniques that make you more calm and less alert. Close your eyes and listen to your breath for a couple of minutes. Try to breathe deeply and fill your lungs from the bottom up to the top and then exhale from bottom to top again. While doing this exercise, your shoulders should stay in place and your belly button should move outwards and inwards with every long breath. You will immediately feel more relaxed even after just a few deep breaths with this simple technique. You can also play a slow paced ambient music or white noise which can surround you with the right vibe in order to slow you down a little.

When you feel that you lack energy you can increase your caffeine intake with coffee or a strong tea. About 75-150mg coffee should get you into your zone, but keep it in mind that we are all different and the right amount highly varies between each one of us. If you take caffeine every day your body might get used to it and become slightly resistant to it. It is good to take a break every now and then for a week, even if it feels hard to operate without coffee in the first 2-3 days so that your body can return to its natural state and balance out your hormone levels. Turning on more light in the room or changing your playlist to a more stimulating one can also enhance your energy level, as well as doing a few warm-up exercises.

See it as an experiment! Monitor your performance and your energy level every day for a week and note done what type of tasks you could perform best in each state and how much stimulants you took in different hours of the day. Schedule different tasks accordingly and see if it improves the way you feel about your work and your daily productivity!

Are You managing Customer Support or Customer Happiness?

Have you ever wondered why most companies don’t take customer service as a priority? When, in fact, managing these interactions can be the single most important factor in retaining customers and building up a loyal fan base. Managers often get lost in the process and the system aspect of this department and they make sure that each complaint received an automatic reply. Yet, they might fail to focus on the quality of these responses.

Let’s say you decide to go to a café and enjoy a nice, warm cup of coffee. There is a café on almost every corner of your area and they offer the very same fresh brew what you get on the opposite side of the street. How do you make up your mind and decide where to go?

If you think of your favorite café right now it might not be the one closest to you and it might not even be the cheapest or the one with the most appealing interior design. Perhaps, it is that small joint that’s always full but you are ready to fight for the last available table in the corner just to have a quick espresso there. Why? Because of the experience. The way they greet you the moment you step through the door, the way they look after your special requirements. You feel that they actually care about you.

We pick our favorite products and services based on our experience and we are willing to pay much more for the company that offers the very same thing like many others if they make us feel special. Customer support can influence this experience in two ways: improving your team’s interaction with your customers and enabling the flow of feedback to other teams.

Your customer has a name

There is one word we like to hear the most in the entire world, backed by science, and it’s our own name. It’s worth taking your customers’ names along with their email addresses at the stage of list building and then implementing them into your automated responses as well as in the subject lines of your emails. Even better if they have the chance to talk to your team over the phone and hear their name a couple of times from a friendly representative.

I.Am.Not.A.Robot.

When your customer opens his inbox he might see a message starting with „Your request is being processed” or one that says „Thanks for your patience, John! We are working hard on resolving your issue as soon as we can! Have a beautiful day!” Which one sound more appealing to you?

Make sure that every touchpoint with your customers looks like a human interaction and not a struggle with a heartless computer. It’s that simple.

Don’t forget about your internal customers

If you expect your Customer Service team to smile and spread positivity all day long you have to keep them happy first. People strive on appreciation, so make sure you highlight good practices and achievements regarding not only the quantity but also the quality of their responses. Let them experience the product as much as possible and share their feedback before talking to a single customer about it. You can even gamify the way they work and reward them with bonuses or lavish team building trips when they reach to the next level or set a new high score. Either way, they have to love their job in order to put a smile on your customers’ faces.

Optimize, optimize, optimize

Your staff and/or customer service representatives receive an immense amount of feedback every day and they can discover the repeating patterns in these queries that are worth more than any conversation with a focus group, hypothetical analysis or testing process. Make sure your team gets to know about these inputs as early as possible so that when you say “We are fixing the problem” you really are “fixing” the problem.

Go the extra mile for your customers and impress them with doing always more than they would ever expect from you. Make them feel special at all times and treat them as your best friend because if they feel appreciated your business is set up for success.

5 Audiences You Can Target With Your Facebook ads

Facebook is still the most popular social media platform for advertising for a handful of reasons. One of them is the fact that it lets you target very specific groups of people and so you can make sure that your cost per lead remains really low and the ones who click through are more likely to be converted into customers on your website. Let’s see a couple of targeting options and see how specific we get!

Small business owners

If you target this group you can specify whether you want to reach people working in home offices or in a small office. For example, if you advertise available office spaces you can reach out to small business owners working at home within a 10mile radius from the location of your building. You can also target ones who live with their families or with roommates and probably have to move to an office as their business expands and makes working from home difficult for them and the ones living with them.

If you, on the other hand, want to advertise e-books or seminars about management tips you can also add freelancers, private teachers and other self-employed professionals into your niche or the ones who expressed interest in becoming one. Narrow them down by income if you wish, and set desktop as the device they use so that you catch them while working.

Social parents

Facebook knows everything about your family situation and it becomes easy targeting moms and dads with newborn babies, toddlers, preschoolers all the way up to teenagers and grown-up children. It becomes more interesting when you reach out to fit moms who are interested in weight loss, trendy moms who shop online or single moms are keen on dating sites.

You can even find stay-at-home dads or work-from-home fathers with specific interests, political views and religion. The ones who rent an apartment and share it with other families (multi-family households) might be interesting in moving and new teen drivers are possibly looking for car deals nearby their location. You have to know your audience so well like you know your best friends in order to know what their motives are and whom to target with your product.

Dealing with distance

If your website lists cheap flights or products for frequent travelers you might address expats or families of expats, college students living away from home or even the ones who are in a distance relationship. You can also include adventure travelers and digital nomads or exclude them if your product is not meant for the ones who travel for excitement.

French and Spanish speakers living in the US, perhaps, want to get enrolled in an English course or find a bilingual kindergarten for their children.

 

People who have already visited your website

Facebook lets you set up custom audiences so you can easily retarget people who have already expressed interest in your offers. If you are selling an e-book or any downloadable content you can include people in your ad set who have already read your related blog post (i.e. visited the link that leads to this page) and exclude people who have already downloaded your content (you can measure this with the link to your thank you page after downloading your content). This lets you target an extremely narrow group of people so you usually don’t have to make additional settings to your campaign.

Gift hunters

If your product or service can be given as a gift you can target people whose friend is getting married soon, the ones who have a close friend with an upcoming birthday or couples who count the days until their anniversary. You don’t need to keep all your gifting guide ads to the festive season!

It is a great opportunity for heartfelt headlines as well which congratulate people or remind them of the fact that they have less than a month to find something for the person they love the most. The more personal you get the bigger your chances to engage with your target audience!

People with a passion

You can easily find pet owners by showcasing your ad to the users who expressed interest in pet food and Facebook pages about cats & dogs. You can even find users who love farming, fishing and forestry, professional runners or belly dancers.

It is better to look for these categories under job titles, employment or industries rather than interests because most people express an interest towards activities they don’t actually practice. Although, if you target people who are interested in a specific gear, equipment or tool related to their passion you will most probably speak to your potential customers.