3 Ways to Improve Zoom Meetings with Your Clients

If quarantine had a popularity contest, Zoom would have reigned supreme—and to think there was once a time when this company was not a household name! Zoom meetings have allowed companies to remain as “business-as-usual” as possible during the uncertain times of the past year. Most importantly, Zoom has allowed us to maintain a personal connection to our client base, which is pivotal to healthy business collaborations.  Although Zoom has been a lifesaver for businesses and families alike throughout the pandemic, unfortunately, it is still only a substitute for face-to-face communication; there are still many obstacles you must consciously work to overcome in order to achieve successful communication. As a respected business leader, it is our duty to overcome any communication barriers and ensure that our client interactions are of top-notch quality. In this article, we discuss three ways in which you can improve the quality of your Zoom meetings with clients.

1. Familiarize Yourself with Customizable Options

As with any new technology that you integrate into your daily business operations, there is a slight learning curve while familiarizing yourself with Zoom and all of its settings. It is certainly of no help that over the last year, as its popularity skyrocketed, numerous changes have been made to this application. Due to these constantly changing features, it’s even more vital for you to ensure that your team is familiar with the default settings and how to appropriately customize them.  One feature we feel is especially important to client communication is to turn on the “Always Display Names” setting, so that you or your clients are never second guessing names. We’ve also all heard of that urban legend where something embarrassing happens in the background of a coworker’s Zoom meeting, so protect yourself from this unfortunate mishap by customizing your background to something simple (and safe!). Another feature we highly recommend is the “Waiting Room.” Use this feature to gather yourself and prepare rather than immediately being thrown into a client meeting. 

2. Organize Your Zoom Experience

Conducting a high-stakes client meeting via Zoom can feel overwhelming and unnatural, even a year later. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to minimize this stress. Take time to prepare prior to meetings in the following ways:
  • Adjust your settings to automatically record and save meetings
  • Have an agenda handy (and distribute to other meeting participants beforehand)
  • Adjust privacy settings prior to meetings for peace of mind
  • Distribute the meeting link and ID prior to the day of the meeting
  • Select the “Hide Non-Video Participants” setting so that you can direct your focus
By following these suggestions, you will enter your client meetings feeling prepared and confident; and in doing so, you will ensure that you get the most out of your client communications.

3. Encourage Participation

At this point, we all have Zoom-meeting fatigue, which is why it’s more important than ever to engage with clients and encourage them to participate in virtual meetings. A great way to encourage participation is to direct meeting attendees to use the “Reaction” and “Chat” features. Because time is of the essence during virtual meetings, these features allow for interactions between individuals while not disrupting the flow of the original agenda. The chat feature allows additional notes and resources to be shared with ease and referenced at a later date.  Above all, the goal to keep in mind while considering virtual meeting participation is that your job is to encourage rather than intimidate. Speak with energy and convey to your clients that their ideas matter and that you are genuinely interested in collaboration rather than a lecture.  Are you looking for a strategic, full-service marketing firm centrally located in Nashville? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them.

How to Improve Remote Employees’ Morale


Remember those “water cooler” chats that you once had with people in your office? 

You would stand in the common area and catch up on what you did over the weekend or share the scoop on that new restaurant you tried last night. Although those conversations seemed insignificant at the time, the interactions boosted morale and made your team feel connected. These moments, among others, contributed to team morale in ways that may seem difficult to maintain when you aren’t physically together. 

Green Apple has been a virtual team since March of 2020, and we’ve learned a lot along the way about keeping everyone happy, collaborative, and engaged. Based on what we’ve learned along the way, here are a few of our tips for improving your remote employees’ morale.

Create Opportunities for Connection

Keeping your team connected and communicating is crucial when working remotely. Even when you can’t be together, you can create out-of-the-box ways to bring your team members closer together. We encourage you to get creative! 

A few of the ways that we stay connected include:

  • Daily Zoom meetings to discuss work and personal topics
  • Virtual happy hours and lunches
  • Increased use of collaboration tools, such as Basecamp
  • Group text chains to share photos, videos, and stories
  • Sharing recommendations for books, podcasts, shows, and movies
  • Virtual team-building exercises

If your team is located within driving distance, and it’s safe to do so, plan team outings to help everyone have shared experiences. For some inspiration, the Green Apple team’s most recent team outings were taking a boat tour in a Kentucky cave and visiting a Tennessee vineyard. Even as a remote team, we enjoy finding opportunities to make memories together. 

Send “Happys” to Your Team

Everyone loves a surprise. Even a small gesture, such as a handwritten card or a $5 coffee gift card, can brighten someone’s day. Recently, we’ve been loving Thnks, a platform that allows you to send thoughtful gifts of gratitude with just a few clicks. Remember that even a quick message of appreciation to your team can make all the difference.

Encourage Positive Language and Kudos

We say “thank you” often and freely at Green Apple, and it’s one of the things that gives our team a positive glow. Showing gratitude to those around you doesn’t take much effort, and it fills your workday with good vibes and warmth. Some might think, “well, they’re just doing their job,” but it’s still important to thank them for what they’re contributing to your team. When people feel appreciated, they feel a stronger sense of satisfaction and purpose in their work. 

Remind Team Members to Take Time Off

When work and home collide, you may notice your team taking less time off. One of the advantages of remote work is that schedules become more flexible; however, that can turn into a disadvantage if employees begin taking fewer vacation days because they can balance work with personal matters. Encourage your team to take time to completely unplug from work so that they can come back refreshed and prevent burnout. 

Maintain an Open Door Policy

Open communication is an essential piece of the employee-morale puzzle. Encourage your team members to express their challenges and worries, as they may otherwise harbor frustration. If you feel that someone on your team is feeling down or overwhelmed and they aren’t reaching out, it could be a good time to set up check-in meetings with individual employees to give them a safe space. Even when all is well, your employees may benefit from consistent communication to ensure they’re feeling balanced and supported.

There are a multitude of ways that employers can support their remote team members. Most importantly, though, your team wants to feel connected, appreciated, and heard by you. 

Want to Improve Employee Morale?

Green Apple can build an internal marketing program that allows you to support employees while sharing your company’s message to help your team connect with your vision. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

Tone from the Top: Should Leaders Be Marketing to Their Employees?


Yes, you absolutely should be marketing to your employees! You might be thinking the phrase “internal marketing” sounds a bit redundant, but we are here to tell you it is a vital component to the success of your external marketing strategy. Internal marketing is based on the core belief that employees are your most valuable (and influential) customers. Therefore, you must sell your brand to your team, first and foremost.

If employees feel emotionally connected to the services they are selling and the vision of the company, then they are more likely to contribute to the success of external marketing efforts. “Sounds great! Sign me up!” you might be saying. But, wait just a minute. Although it sounds simple enough, integrating an internal marketing campaign takes planning, coordination, and thoughtful execution. We’re here to help.

Consider these tips for why and how you should implement internal marketing efforts within your team:

Corporate Storytelling to Inspire

We’ve seen it before: a company promotes their brand to external customers using inspirational, high-energy commercials, which make customers instantly want to get off the couch and join the fun, and then the company falls flat while marketing to its internal team. A popular scenario involves retelling the origin story of how the great, great grandfather of the company had five dollars to his name and then started a multi-million dollar company—a worn-out, not-so-relatable story that employees quickly wish to tune-out.

Employees aren’t particularly motivated by the financial success of the founder of your company. They want personal meaning from their job, a belief that they are serving a vision that aligns with their goals. So, tell the story of your company to your team, but focus on thematic elements, such as innovation, perseverance, and passion—not monetary gain.

How to Get Started

Just like external marketing, internal marketing requires a plan prior to launching a campaign. It’s important to keep in mind while planning your internal marketing efforts that the goal is to unify and inspire your employees with a shared vision and purpose. The alternative is cross-team miscommunication and employee disengagement, both of which harm external marketing efforts. 

While planning your internal marketing campaign, consider the following as important steps to your success:

  • Employee brand education
  • Encouraging employee collaboration
  • Establishing employee incentivization for contribution
  • Implementing multiple channels of streamline communication

It’s important that your employees understand that they are vital to the success of your company, and as a result, their opinions and willingness to collaborate are greatly valued. Take concrete measures to demonstrate this!

A Culture of Collaboration (and Trust)

So, now you’ve armed your internal team with brand knowledge, engaging corporate storytelling, and you’ve incorporated employee incentive programs that reward their contribution; it’s now time to set them loose into the wild of social media. Trust your employees to live the values of the brand where potential customers will take note and perk their ears. 

Employees make the brand come alive for potential customers. In fact, allowing your employees to create original content via blog and social media posts may inspire more trust from potential customers than traditional PR efforts. 

Internal marketing is a powerful resource for company unification, which inspires team collaboration, as well as trust from potential customers as they watch your employees live the company values. Marketing to your employees is well-worth the time and energy of leadership, as it has long-lasting rewards for your company’s reputation.

Are you looking to make an internal marketing plan for your business? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

What Not to Do During a Zoom Meeting

No matter your industry, you’re likely now familiar with the phrase, “I’ll send you a Zoom invite!” While digital meeting tools like Zoom have been gaining momentum organically during the past decade, the practice of virtual meetings has skyrocketed in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan reported in April of 2020 that daily active users had increased from 10 million to over 200 million in just three months.  As millions around the world began staying home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Zoom has since become popular with organizations, schools, media outlets, churches, and more. Digital meeting tools are being used for everything from a one-on-one hangout to team strategy sessions to large-scale events.  And, the practice doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, as the number of users will no doubt increase in 2021 and beyond!  Though digital meeting tools like Zoom are an excellent way to effectively communicate when you can’t have a physical meeting, there are certain things to consider when using this constructive technology. Our team at Green Apple has made Zoom meetings a regular part of our work days since becoming a virtual team in 2020, so here’s our list of things we recommend not doing when it comes to proper Zoom meeting etiquette.

1. Don’t replace professionalism with comfort.

We get it—when you’re at home, you’re in your comfort zone. However, it’s important to always keep your audience in mind when it comes to a Zoom meeting. A best practice for your appearance and attire is to pretend you’re still meeting in person. Ask yourself questions like, “What would I wear if this was an in-person meeting? Or “How would I sit or communicate if we were in person?” All in all, you’ll never go wrong with dressing for success and setting up your space at a desk or table, just as you would if your meeting was at an office or coffee shop. Tip: Don’t show up to your Zoom meeting in your pajamas or gym clothes, and avoid laying on your bed or relaxing on a sofa.

2. Don’t set the scene for distractions.

Your surroundings say a lot about you, so it’s essential to make sure that they say the right things for your audience. Before you log on to your Zoom meeting, make sure you have chosen a clean backdrop in your space that doesn’t distract viewers from your communication. If you don’t feel like your home or office space has a desirable backdrop, you can always explore Zoom’s Virtual Background feature, which allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom Meeting.  Tip: Pick a solid or less busy wall as your backdrop, and use good judgement if opting for a virtual background.

3. Don’t forget to eat beforehand.

We’ve all seen it—and possibly done it ourselves—but it’s definitely best to avoid eating during your Zoom meeting. Unless the meeting is intentionally designated as a lunch-and-learn or lunch meeting, try to eat before you log in. Tip: If your meeting involves lunch, make sure you keep yourself on mute while chewing or swallowing.

4. Don’t Zoom and drive.

It should go without saying, however, it’s never a good idea to take a Zoom meeting while driving. Not only are there numerous issues that come along with distracted driving, but some employers could even be liable if a worker has an accident while driving distracted on a Zoom meeting. Tip: If you do have to take a Zoom meeting while on the go, make sure you’re the passenger.

5. Don’t put a private message in a Zoom chat.

There will likely be moments when you want or need to share a private comment or thoughts to a specific team member who’s also a part of the Zoom meeting. If that case arises, make sure not to share those comments in the Zoom chat feature where everyone may see them. Tip: When you have a private comment or message to share, it’s a safer bet to use a platform other than Zoom.

6. Don’t forget to mute yourself when not speaking.

We’ve all been a part of a Zoom meeting when you’ve heard things in someone else’s background that can be distracting (or maybe even embarrassing). You’ll never go wrong by keeping yourself on mute until it’s your turn to speak. Tip: Especially if you have children, family members, or pets in the house who may need to come and go in your space, keeping yourself on mute is always a win. Also, refrain from playing music or leaving the TV on in the background to prevent sound distractions.

7. Don’t be late.

Not only should you not be late to your Zoom meeting, but it’s best to log in a few minutes early to ensure you don’t have any connectivity issues that can make you late to the meeting or possibly miss key introductions. Tip: Set an alarm on your phone to help you remember to log in early to your Zoom meeting.

8. Don’t discount the importance of good lighting and camera angles.

This one is probably one of the easiest yet most ignored aspects of Zoom etiquette, but good lighting on your face is vital to you being seen clearly by other participants. If possible, adjust your camera to be at around eye level and take note of the angle of your laptop screen if using the built-in camera. Tip: Take your Zoom meeting in the space of your home or office that has the most natural light, and use overhead lighting when possible. 

9. Don’t have a busy desktop backdrop in case you need to share your screen.

If you are the meeting host or could be asked to share your screen at any point in the meeting, make sure to clean up your desktop and close any browser tabs that you don’t want meeting recipients to see. For security purposes, make sure you don’t have any important documents that contain personal or confidential information open or displayed on your screen. Tip: In addition to cleaning up your computer desktop, consider whether your computer’s wallpaper is professional or appropriate for others to see.

10. Don’t forget to participate.

Above all, don’t be the one Zoom meeting attendee who isn’t participating. Even if your role is just to listen and take notes, it’s important to stay engaged throughout the meeting by chiming in when appropriate and maintaining eye contact as much as possible. Tip: Find moments throughout the meeting to offer comments and ask questions, as your contributions could be beneficial to everyone involved. And, when possible, always try to log into your Zoom meeting with the video feature so that everyone can put a face to the name. Are you looking for a marketing partner that can help you navigate successful meetings and presentations, especially when it comes to virtual meetings? Contact Green Apple Strategy to schedule a consultation.