How to Create a Professional Development Plan

How to Create a Professional Development Plan

Create A Great Professional Development Plan

Professional development plans steer your career to help you reach your goals, whether in Grapevine or elsewhere. Being specific and action-oriented makes your program more effective. Use these tips to develop your plan.

Define Your Goals

Evaluate your current career situation, and decide where you want to go—detail professional goals for future positions, career changes, skills, recognition, and certifications. Assign deadlines for those goals, so you can create a detailed timeline for achieving them. You can also use these goals to formulate detailed action plans to reach them.

Research the Process

With your goals in mind, research how to achieve them. For example, if you want to change career fields, determine if you need a new degree or certification for the new job. Then, find out how to earn credentials or certificates in your current area, such as how to become a CPA if you’re an accountant. This information helps you plan your path.

Document Your Progress

Recording your progress lets you determine if you’re sticking to the timeline. It can also be motivating to see how you’re improving—document classes, conferences, books, training sessions, and what you learned from them.

Spruce Up Your Resume

If your resume is outdated, freshen it to include the new skills and experience you’ve gained. Working on the resume now gives you time to create an exceptional resume instead of throwing something together quickly when you find a dream vacancy. Free online resume templates make it easier to create a professional-looking resume. Just plug in your data, photos, and images, and tweak the colors and fonts as desired to customize the resume.

Take Professional Development Courses

Professional development courses help you expand your experience and knowledge within your field. For example, say you have some medical coding experience through your hospital position. An online course in coding gives you a better understanding of assigning codes correctly, identifying various procedures, and completing claims accurately. You can apply for several medical coding online courses that often have assessments at the end that allow you to verify your knowledge and show your new skills. These courses can help improve your job performance, so your boss notices your work. They can also qualify you for new job opportunities.

Join Professional Organizations

Industry-specific organizations give you access to resources and learning opportunities that can advance your career. Not only do you learn more about your field, but you also have access to networking events, training, conferences, and other events. In addition, many professional associations also post job vacancies, which can help you find your ideal position.

Find a Mentor

Identify an expert in the Grapevine area who’s achieving things similar to your goals and ask them to be your mentor. For example, if you’re interested in opening a winery, reach out to winery owners along Grapevine’s Urban Wine Trail to see if any are willing to mentor you. Mentors give you access to expertise with less trial and error. Of course, you still must work for your achievements, but your mentor can help you avoid mistakes.

Plan Your Career Advancement

Creating your professional development plan incorporates many aspects, from taking courses and joining professional organizations to writing your resume and documenting your progress. 

Connecting to Your Local Community: Effective Strategies for New Businesses

Connecting to Your Local Community: Effective Strategies for New Businesses

Author – Seth Murphy

Communities are an essential element of every business’s growth. They can be instrumental in helping young businesses scale and provide the tools and resources to help support new companies. But a big part of reaping community benefits is connecting with the local groups around you holistically. Want to learn how you can do so? Keep reading as CAS Designs Networks breaks it down below.

Use Your Power for the Positive

As a small business owner, you have more power and resources than a regular person. You likely have small business and entrepreneurship chapters and meetings you attend, which means you have contacts that may be locally influential. You also have resources and tools that have the potential to impact lives. The best way to use this influence and power is to draw attention to issues within your local community that can be improved. For example, underfunded schools, problems in unemployment, or advocating for policy change are all causes you can stand up for. 

Benefits of Engaging with Your Community

Every business exists within its smaller and larger cultural context. However, the smaller context, or local community, impacts your business daily. If you have the support of your community behind you, the community is more likely to recommend your products or services to others, which can significantly impact your growth. In addition, the support of your community can help you build a network through cross-collaboration and partnerships, helping you establish yourself in the area as a trusted local business.

Offer Free Services or Discounts

Everyone loves a freebie! A great way to get the word out about your business is to offer community members free services or discounts. For example, you could provide freebies to schools, libraries, or nonprofit organizations, which will help strengthen your public image. You could also offer discounts for first-time purchases or promotional sales, which is excellent for building brand exposure.

Prioritize the Basics Off the Bat

Although it can be exciting to put yourself out there and connect with community members, try to get your business basics sorted well in advance. That includes being familiar with your credit report. Also, a well-crafted social media and web presence is critical for every business, so start by setting up your social channels and website. In addition, consider functional aspects like your business name and structure. Setting up sound accounting practices off the bat will also be essential to keep things neat and organized as your business grows. Investing in the best accounting software will make it easy to collect and store receipts for your deductions while remaining compliant. It will also help you run your business more efficiently, as you’ll benefit from app insights on cash flow.

Sponsor Local Events and Charities

Every town and city has sports teams, theater productions, parades, meets, and more that rely on donations for their operations. If you help sponsor some of these events within your community, you are actively showing up to support your surrounding community. Charitable efforts will go towards a worthy cause and get your name out to the local community. You could choose to support a cause you believe in or one that aligns with the interests of your company, employees, or production. 

Connecting with your local community can help you fast-track your growth. But to win the support of your community, you need to be doing your part to help your community achieve its goals and thrive. You can make a practical connection and first impression by giving back every step of the way.

6 Best Video Marketing Types You Should Know

6 Best Video Marketing Types You Should Know

by Andre Oentoro

Video marketing is an effective strategy in a marketing campaign as nowadays people like to absorb interesting and educative information in a video. That’s why marketers use this opportunity to introduce and promote their products on multiple platforms where videos have become popular.

In addition, research from Cisco has shown that video content will increase in popularity in the coming years occupying about 82% of internet traffic in 2022. There’s no denying that using this marketing tactic will help brands achieve their goals, specifically building an audience and generating sales.

The Benefits of Video Marketing in a Business

Capturing the audience’s attention is a part of how beneficial video marketing is for brands. In addition, with people getting accustomed to consuming video content, it becomes easier for businesses to introduce themselves in the online world.

Here are a few other examples of how video marketing can bring fortune to your business.

  1. Drive website traffic

Using video marketing can help increase traffic because it is easy for visitors to watch it on different devices. Video can lead them to your website, which you want to increase your page’s traffic. This tactic will also help you improve your SEO. 

With video marketing, more people are likely to share interesting content with their friends and family members. If they find a link attached to a specific video, Google considers this to indicate that the content is high-quality and just as if someone from another website has shared it. Thus, Google will display your site higher in search rankings because of this behavior from people sharing videos online, just as if the other websites have included a link backlink attached to a specific post or article written by you.

  1. Build trust

Trust is an essential aspect of doing business. When you apply video marketing in your business, the chances are that people will have the opportunity to get to know you better through your content and how it is delivered. Brand visibility becomes easier since you can show more about yourself and tell a story behind what makes you unique and better than the rest of the competitors.

  1. Save on costs

Video marketing enables businesses to save on their budget as they don’t need to spend much on creating new ads or commercials for each platform. People only need to watch one published video online, such as on YouTube, instead of scrolling down different posts or banner ads during their web browsing activities. Also, video marketing is known as an effective tool for businesses to use time efficiently without spending more money on marketing budgets.

5 Most Popular Types of Video Marketing Every Business Should Know

  1. Explainer Videos

An explainer video is a short, high-quality video that advertises or educates customers on your product or service. It’s often the first step for someone looking to buy your product or service because they want to know more about it before entering negotiations. The key takeaways are simple yet straightforward descriptions of how it works, why it’s valuable, and how much it costs.

  1. Product Demo Videos

Product videos or demo videos are perfect for explaining the benefits of your product. A demo video promotes your products and showcases their use in real-life situations while speaking directly to your customers.

  1. Behind-the-scenes Videos

This type of video content allows you to share some insights into what goes on behind the company’s curtain. Candid scenarios, such as a scene while making a product, running through new features, or talking about how employees are doing inside the company, can attract people to watch the video.

Behind-the-scene videos are viral because they help people feel more connected with brands and make them feel like they’re part of something big. In addition, video can be beneficial if you need to build trust among potential clients. 

  1. Testimonial Videos

Customer reviews are critical for every business as they hold the power of influencing a buying decision. Testimonial videos will help you boost your credibility and customer engagement by reviewing your product or service.

  1. Tutorial Videos

How-to or tutorial videos are crucial, especially if you have a specific process in place that shows the exact steps to create your product or deliver your service. Video is excellent for showing off the process of how things work either physically, logistically, or virtually. You can also show some behind-the-scenes footage regarding products in action while explaining their benefits in detail with a tutorial based on it.

  1. Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) Videos

FAQ has been influential for businesses in helping customers find what they are looking for on your website. Therefore, it’s essential to include an FAQ section on your sit. Rather than urging customers to read a whole page about FAQs, you can provide a video about it instead. Videos help customers find answers to questions about the product or service offered quickly.


Businesses have used video marketing to help them achieve goals. Unlike any other content marketing campaign, you can quickly grab the audience’s attention through promotional videos. However, not every video can be a good marketing tool for your campaigns.

Make sure to use the type of video marketing that brands have implemented for years. This article should help you find the right content for you to recreate. Remember to make a compelling story to make your video successful. Good luck!

Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). 

Twitter: @breadnbeyond

Top 5 Signs That It’s Time to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

Top 5 Signs That It’s Time to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

Running a digital marketing agency allows you to hire employees and increase your output. One sign that it is time to start an agency is if clients are asking for more work than you can deliver. It also may be that you have a steady stream incoming clients. Hiring subcontractors can help, but eventually you reach the point where you won’t have enough time to directly manage all of them. Another sign you should start an agency is if you want to spend less time on deliverables and more time on the running the business. If you’re ready to start an agency, you can read the Agency Growth Toolkit to learn how it is done.

Key Takeaways:

  • Obtaining new leads when it comes to sub contractors for your business is always a good sign, but sometimes it can get overwhelming. An account manager can help lift the added burden tremendously.
  • Hiring a digital marketing agency can allow you to focus on core practices within your business that you’re passionate about as opposed to marketing tasks.
  • Hiring an account manager will allow you to initiate your business with a strategic plan. You can gain access to several resources such as proposal templates.

“But, with an agency, you can hire other people to work alongside you—doubling, tripling, and quadrupling your output.”

Read more:

Top 5 Signs That It’s Time to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

Internal Site Search is Killing Your Conversion Rate (Here’s How to Fix It)

Adding internal site search to your website helps users find what they’re looking for. Data shows that on-site searchers are more likely to convert than regular users. Internal site search can be used to target “spearfishers.” These are visitors who come to the site and immediately search for a specific product. It also improves user experience by allowing filtering of results, creating dedicated landing pages, and offering recommendations. There are a number of platforms available for implementing internal search, such as Doofinder, SearchNode and SearchSpring.

Key Takeaways:

  • Those who utilize in-site search tools are 1.8% more likely to result in a landed sale according to eConsultancy.
  • Implicating an autocomplete tool into your search feature will help you keep visitors on a more focused path.
  • When finding ways to improve your in-site search tool, be sure to also enhance your mobile version for smartphone users.

“If you don’t have a site search–or if you aren’t making the most of it–you could be missing out on revenue.”

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