I have written previously about how much I enjoy using the app Marco Polo, and how it has changed the way I communicate with friends and employees. Well, it has also become a tool that I regularly use for many other business purposes.
It started for me when I first explored the app and realized how delicious it was to seamlessly keep up conversations with friends and family. It’s a slower, more spread-out conversation; in a way it’s like a visual text exchange. But it’s tons more accessible than having to type out my thoughts. Just pick up the phone and record my two cents.
Often, having sufficient time to thoughtfully consider one’s response to someone can encourage quantum growth. I encourage my team and my clients to step away from projects as needed, so they can come back after a while with “fresh eyes” to tackle any obstacles they are facing. Sometimes the same is true for responding to communication.
Here are five ways Marco Polo smooths business operations:
Goodbye Boring Meetings
Sometimes it’s necessary to gather everyone together. That requires logistics and coordination, and everyone has to interrupt their workflow in order to attend. Information may be shared, and decisions may be made, but it’s no secret that in-person and online meetings can be a frustrating inconvenience.
For a host of reasons, it’s preferable to use Marco Polo groups in lieu of meetings whenever possible, not only relieving staff of that time burden but also allowing for more thoughtful dialog.
Are there announcements to make to a specific group? Why not record and send a message to them via Marco Polo instead? This will allow each group member to comment and ask questions in their own time.
If a decision needs to be made or brainstorming is required on some issue, getting everyone’s feedback via a Polo bypasses the sometimes awkward and stifling group discussion. Each member can be heard fully and individually.
Or perhaps I send a written email or memo to staff, documenting something important. I can follow that up with a Polo in which I further explain and/or add my own words of encouragement, enthusiasm, or other personal take on the issue. It’s a way to provide emphasis and meaning beyond the written communication.
Safely Do Business While Driving
We all know texting while driving is bad news, and speech-to-text is nothing if not endlessly frustrating, but I find I can easily and safely record Polos while behind the wheel. It’s a quick and simple way to capture those brilliant flashes of intuition before they vanish. And creating Polos to communicate with staff and associates is just so much more convenient than trying to reach someone by phone. Not to mention how much easier it is to convey context since the recipient can see body language and facial expression, and hear voice tones.
Many of us have assistants to help with writing, marketing, or other tools we use to share information about our business with the world. Using Marco Polo to convey my thoughts to these people – especially utilizing driving time productively – makes me more efficient.
Stay in Touch with Colleagues and Mastermind Groups
It’s tough keeping up with all the opportunities available for business growth, so many of us entrepreneurs often belong to mastermind groups, or cultivate friendly relationships with other business people, or even benefit from coaches or mentors. Instead of waiting to get together at a specified time, we can use Polos to share ideas, questions, or referrals.
Finally, a Better Way to Interview
Marco Polo is a way to have conversations that allow plenty of time for each party to think about questions and to answer without the pressure of the moment. When hiring, I appreciate that the app allows me to:
- Interview at my own pace: asking questions and having discussions in a series of video exchanges with a candidate eliminates the constraints of a time-bound in-person interview.
- Set up a group on the app, so that the conversation is shared with key decision makers, who can participate with their own thoughts.
- Get to know candidates over time, through their words, expressions, and body language conveyed in a relaxed setting. This is especially good for people who don’t articulate well under pressure.
Someone who previously worked with me wanted to explore returning to the company, so I suggested we use Marco Polo as an easy way to discuss options. That process convinced me how valuable the app can be in the search for just the right person. In response to one question I asked, I was sent a full hour-long video! Such a thing is not possible in a traditional interviewing process, but it was a fabulous way for this candidate to show interest and commitment.
Maintain Friendly and Personal Relationships
However you use Marco Polo, the app lets you stay close and caring with peers, employees, and friends. A person talking to you in a video is so much more accessible than in most written communication. It feels like a major breakthrough to be able to stay in touch in this personal way, even though life’s busyness (not to mention the occasional pandemic) can make it problematic to get together in person.
Marco Polo offers a free version (with many features) and also a paid subscription (currently $5 per month) with many more features. I highly recommend you download it now. You’re going to love it!
If you happen to be a user, I’d love to hear comments about how useful it is for your business.
It has certainly become indispensable in mine!
Links to Mobile App
Here are the links to get Marco Polo for your smartphone.