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Elon Musk Has Found a Creative Way to Fundraise for His Newest Company

The serial entrepreneur has given his pet project a head start, thanks to some hats.

Color Psychology: How You Can Boost Sales and Morale With the Right Hues

One of the most common questions we are asked as children is, “What is your favorite color?” Often, by the time we are adults, our favorite color is no longer the same.

This is because our life experiences can alter our perception of specific colors. Color selection should consider much more than just personal preference. Just as words elicit different emotions or sentiments, so do colors.

The study of color psychology

Much scientific research has been devoted to how colors can affect people’s moods. There is an entire field dedicated to the study of color psychology, and the way humans interact with color has been tested now for hundreds of years. Research has shown that 93 percent of customers’ purchasing decisions are based on visuals, and 85 percent of those consumers cite color as the primary visual reason for making a purchase.

Given this wealth of data, it is essential that your business does not make color branding decisions based on preference alone. Whether you are selecting a color for your new logo, designing a specific advertising campaign, or ordering employee shirts and uniforms, consider using the findings of color psychology studies to your benefit. These studies show color can severely impact a business’s success and customers’ purchasing decisions.

Here we will explore how color can boost both sales and employee morale.

How color impacts sales

When a potential customer first visits your website or walks into your store, they are processing the visual cues you are subconsciously presenting to them. This leads to an immediate judgment of your company and products for their first impression.

Color accounts for up to 90 percent of this first impression, according to color psychologists. Additionally, more than half of consumers say they will not return to a store if they do not like its aesthetic. You must pay careful attention to color in branding your business, as it is a vital factor in purchasing decisions on both a conscious and subconscious level. The right color selection could even boost sales.

Studies show that colorful logos, shirts and advertisements are recognized 42 times more than an equivalent black-and-white design. So, if selecting employee shirts, colorful tie-dye shirts are more likely to elicit a positive response than a plain white tee.

Certain colors are also better used for specific goals, as each brings out different feelings. For example, consider how red is frequently used in “for sale” signage or call-to-action buttons in email marketing campaigns. Red is known to stimulate the body and mind and is often a cue for danger.

Businesses capitalize on this psychologically aggressive effect and use red as a signal for customers to take action. When viewing the color red, customers also tend to react more fervently and quickly than usual.

How color improves employee morale

Studies have also shown colors not only impact our decisions but our moods. The color pink, for example, has a calming effect. It is thought to ease tension in muscles, slow endocrine systems and provide an overall feeling of relaxation. Companies such as Pepto-Bismol utilize the mood-changing effect of the color pink.

The effect of colors on our moods can also impact our performance and morale. Employees favor colors such as blue, pink or green that have calming, trusting effects on their psyche. Bright, warm colors such as yellow and orange help increase confidence in the workplace, further boosting morale.

Tread carefully with an overuse of red in the workplace. While it’s an excellent color to increase sales, it is considered an aggressive color for employee uniforms, unless you are in an industry that promotes love and relationships, such as the greeting card business. Studies have found red can decrease performance and even lead to conflicts in the workplace.

Selecting the right colors

In selecting the colors to improve your sales or boost employee morale, you first must answer a series of questions. Consider your target audience and their demographics in age, gender and habits. Think about your ideal customer or employee and their needs. Reflect on how you would like to make your customer or employee feel, considering that color preferences may vary by demographics and industry.

A study of the world’s 100 top-performing companies revealed that the majority of companies use blue in their branding and employee uniforms. In terms of sales, blue shades attract a wide range of shoppers, from impulse buyers to those on a budget.

The color blue suggests trustworthiness and credibility; for employees, this translates to accountability and transparency. These are feelings known to boost morale.

Blue is frequently used for companies in the service industry, particularly the finance field. According to a study in the Journal of Business Research, customers returned to stores with blue color schemes 15 percent more than to those with orange color schemes.

Green is another frequently used color to improve sales and employee morale. This color evokes feelings related to health and wealth and is excellent for companies in the medical, financial, retail or food industries. Green also symbolizes nature and brings to mind grass, trees and shrubbery. This helps boost sales and morale for companies that emphasize sustainability practices.

Even black can positively impact a company’s sales or culture. This refined, more contemporary color is well suited for the fashion or interior design industries. Particularly in locales like New York City, fashionable consumers value black for its slimming effect, and employees value its perception of maturity. A sense of completeness is also associated with the color, which can boost morale.

Colors such as gold, silver and purple are frequently used in exclusive and luxury industries. These colors imply a sense of opulence. Purple connotes royalty and can boost confidence among employees in the workforce. It’s a particularly polarizing color too, though, and gender plays a factor in this. Women often cite purple as one of their favorite colors, while men most often list it as one of their least favorite. Slight gender differences play a role in color psychology, so keep this in mind if your target demographic favors one gender.

Your logo, employee uniforms, signage and more are all part of your brand. Once you’ve determined the needs of your customers and employees based on their demographics, your industry and your company’s intended effect, you can begin to use these findings in color psychology to build your brand.

 

Network Marketing Success – Go From Playing Small To Becoming A Top Earner Fast

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnkednxyBx0&w=640&h=360]

Stop Undermining Your Productivity

Think about your daily to-do list. It likely includes reviewing reports, sending emails, going to meetings and calling clients. Now be honest, how many of those things do you actually do in a workday? 

Difficult choices have to be made every day. “Should I get everything done by working an exorbitant number of hours or work reasonable hours but let things slip through the cracks?”

Many people have trouble finding the right balance. In fact, a May 2017 survey from The Alternative Board found that, on average, business leaders only have 1.5 hours of uninterrupted, highly productive time each day.

While you may be inclined to look for quick-fix tricks and tips to be more productive, there’s a better way to approach the issue. Start paying attention to what’s derailing your productivity and find ways to remove those deterrents. A stronger foundation for your productivity will enable you to create better work-life balance and get more accomplished. 

Here are four productivity traps to avoid.

1. Ignoring hidden strengths

It’s very hard for people to process their weaknesses. Not wanting to show flaws, leaders work hard to improve their imperfections, but this wastes too much time.

Everyone has traits and skills that come naturally to them and those that don’t. While it’s important to know your limitations, you also must recognize that some changes aren’t worth the effort. For example, if you’re someone who sees the big picture, it will take a lot to develop even mediocre skill levels to focus on smaller details.

A better route is to develop your hidden strengths. These are skills that, with a little bit of training, can become full strengths. For instance, even if you’re not good at oral communication, you could still become a talented writer.

By taking comprehensive skills assessments, you learn what your hidden strengths are. Then, you can work to improve those, which is a much more productive use of your time.

2. Trying to multitask 

When you have multiple responsibilities, it can be tempting to try to tackle several tasks at once. But this doesn’t improve productivity; it just divides your focus.

In fact, 2017 research from Aalto University found that when you switch between tasks quickly, it interferes with your brain’s activity. In the end, multitaskers end up making more mistakes and producing lower-quality work.

Give your attention to one task at a time. This will ensure that you’re not missing steps and making mistakes along the way. Plus, when you finish a task, you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment that will motivate you to take on the next job. 

3. Doing the same old thing

Have you ever been driving home only to find yourself in your driveway unsure of how you arrived there? You can’t remember if you stopped at any stoplights. You’re unsure of how many times you changed lanes. Yet, you’re at your destination.

This happens when you take the same route over and over. Your mind goes on autopilot and just cruises through the task. The same thing happens when you have the exact same work routine every day.

The problem is that this leads to unnoticed mistakes. Your memory of how to do a task is so ingrained that if something different comes up, your mind doesn’t adapt. You believe you’re being productive, but in reality, you’re making errors. Correcting those mistakes derails your productivity.

Avoid wasting precious time by shaking up your routine. If you tackle tasks in a different order every day, there’s less of a chance of autopilot taking over. It keeps your mind sharp and aware of what challenge it’s facing. 

4. Having unnecessary notifications on your phone

Technology is wonderful. Devices, like smartphones, give leaders access to endless information they can use to improve their business. But technology can also be a huge productivity killer. 

In fact, a 2016 CareerBuilder report found that 55 percent of employers think cell phones are the biggest distractions at work. However, since leaders need to be connected to their team, they can’t just ditch their smartphones.

A good compromise is to turn off unnecessary notifications during work hours. After all, do you really need to see everyone’s Facebook updates while you’re at the office? Save your social media, app or game time for after work. 

As a leader, your productivity sets the standard for the rest of the team. If you know how to avoid typical pitfalls, you can do your best work and inspire your employees to do theirs.

People Are Consuming Live Video Content More Than Ever. Here's Why

Whether it’s a product spotlight on QVC, a product placement in reality TV shows, or commercials aired during live sporting events, companies have used live video to sell products for years. This time-tested method has moved online in a big way recently, and entrepreneurs and businesses now have more tools than ever to offer a live experience to their audience.

“Going live” not only helps your customers connect with you in real time, but it’s gradually becoming absolutely necessary for many ecommerce brands. To understand more about how important this medium is, consider these statistics:

  • In four years, video traffic will make up 80 percent off all consumer internet traffic. Of that, 13 percent will come from live video.

  • Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent.

  • Live video is more appealing to audiences: 80 percent would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82 percent prefer live video from a brand to social posts. 

Why do people prefer live videos?

  1. Live videos offer authenticity. It gives viewers the sense of being there with you or “behind the scenes.” Today’s consumers are bombarded with half-truths on nearly every marketing channel they interact with, which explains consumers’ increasing distrust of information, brands and government.

    Businesses selling products need to work harder than ever to build trust with would-be customers. Trust is one of the most important factors in succeeding with online sales. With a simple live video, you can build trust with your audience and connect with them in a way that feels more real than a regular post or a well-produced video on your site.

  2. Customers feel involved! Some live video platforms offer comments, reactions or other ways for viewers to interact with the broadcaster instantly. For businesses, it’s a fantastic way to gather instant feedback, and regular live video can be a great addition to your community-building efforts.

  3. Fear of missing out. Some brands are effectively using live video to offer exclusives to their engaged users, but even if you’re not hoping to do that, the psychology here is still powerful. People want to be “in the know” and involved. The fear of missing something is strong enough to push people to drop what they are doing and tune in.

    Watching a video that is no longer live just isn’t the same experience. Viewers know they are not experiencing it at the same time as others, which makes it less of an experience and more of a solo act of consumption – something we all get plenty of.

As you consider implementing live video, assess how your company will use it as part of your marketing strategy, as not every platform is ideal for every goal. Major platforms like Facebook or YouTube tend to provide a very general live video offering, but they fail to drive actual sales within the experience, so a more targeted platform with more customization options may be best for you.

Before you jump in and try live video, it’s important to understand the underlying reasons people are so ravenously consuming live video. Mastering these drivers will allow you to design the right campaign for your brand and execute a winning live video campaign.

People Are Consuming Live Video Content More Than Ever. Here's Why

Whether it’s a product spotlight on QVC, a product placement in reality TV shows, or commercials aired during live sporting events, companies have used live video to sell products for years. This time-tested method has moved online in a big way recently, and entrepreneurs and businesses now have more tools than ever to offer a live experience to their audience.

“Going live” not only helps your customers connect with you in real time, but it’s gradually becoming absolutely necessary for many ecommerce brands. To understand more about how important this medium is, consider these statistics:

  • In four years, video traffic will make up 80 percent off all consumer internet traffic. Of that, 13 percent will come from live video.

  • Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent.

  • Live video is more appealing to audiences: 80 percent would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82 percent prefer live video from a brand to social posts. 

Why do people prefer live videos?

  1. Live videos offer authenticity. It gives viewers the sense of being there with you or “behind the scenes.” Today’s consumers are bombarded with half-truths on nearly every marketing channel they interact with, which explains consumers’ increasing distrust of information, brands and government.

    Businesses selling products need to work harder than ever to build trust with would-be customers. Trust is one of the most important factors in succeeding with online sales. With a simple live video, you can build trust with your audience and connect with them in a way that feels more real than a regular post or a well-produced video on your site.

  2. Customers feel involved! Some live video platforms offer comments, reactions or other ways for viewers to interact with the broadcaster instantly. For businesses, it’s a fantastic way to gather instant feedback, and regular live video can be a great addition to your community-building efforts.

  3. Fear of missing out. Some brands are effectively using live video to offer exclusives to their engaged users, but even if you’re not hoping to do that, the psychology here is still powerful. People want to be “in the know” and involved. The fear of missing something is strong enough to push people to drop what they are doing and tune in.

    Watching a video that is no longer live just isn’t the same experience. Viewers know they are not experiencing it at the same time as others, which makes it less of an experience and more of a solo act of consumption – something we all get plenty of.

As you consider implementing live video, assess how your company will use it as part of your marketing strategy, as not every platform is ideal for every goal. Major platforms like Facebook or YouTube tend to provide a very general live video offering, but they fail to drive actual sales within the experience, so a more targeted platform with more customization options may be best for you.

Before you jump in and try live video, it’s important to understand the underlying reasons people are so ravenously consuming live video. Mastering these drivers will allow you to design the right campaign for your brand and execute a winning live video campaign.

How to Improve Your Confidence and Conquer the World (or at Least Your To-Do List)

“That idea is stupid. Your headline sucks. Your headlines always suck. Everyone else on the planet is better at this than you are. No one will ever want to read this trash. I wonder if Starbucks is hiring.” – That crappy inner voice in our heads In the late spring of 1997, I went to
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Adam Levine Sells Holmby Hills Home for $18 Million Cash

Adam Levine Even-Steven… Holmby Hills Home Sells For $18 Mil 12/14/2017 12:40 AM PST EXCLUSIVE Adam Levine suddenly has $18 mil worth o’ holiday cheer after striking a sweet real estate …

The post Adam Levine Sells Holmby Hills Home for $18 Million Cash appeared first on Newline Marketing.

How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3WbTKBOYto&w=640&h=360]

How You Handle Mistakes Can Actually Help Build Brand Loyalty

Owning up to errors — and promptly fixing them — shows clients and customers what you’re worth.

Make Money from Home Pinterest

Make Money from Home Pinterest http://www.fergalsimshow.com/WAfree source

The post Make Money from Home Pinterest appeared first on Newline Marketing.

Best Business Certifications of 2018

A shrewd business professional looks for ways to move up (or over) to improve their salary, benefits and job opportunities. One way to reach that goal is by getting a business certification. Whether you’re just starting out in a professional track or have been at it for a while, you should find one or more of the certifications described in this article of interest and value.

Top five certifications, by the numbers

The following table lists top business-related certifications and the number of open positions on a single day that call for the certification specifically or experience with the technology. This isn’t a scientific analysis in which every job description is examined, just an overall glance at search numbers.

Job site search results

Certification SimplyHired LinkedIn Jobs Total
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) 555 599 1,154
Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) 314 343 657
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) 367 433

800

Project Management Professional (PMP) 12,742 14,441 27,183
SAP Certified Application Associate – Business Planning and Consolidation 483 1,193 1,676

The following sections provide details of top business certifications according to job site searches as well as other certifications offered by the various organizations.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has been around since 1969, helping business workers develop careers in project management, mainly through professional development and certifications.

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is ideal for up-and-coming PMs. You need to show proof of a high school diploma, associate’s degree or a global equivalent. The single exam has 150 questions, costs $225 for PMI members or $300 for nonmembers and is available through Pearson VUE. By the time you sit for the exam, you need to have gained 1,500 hours of project experience or 23 hours of PM education. The certification is valid for five years, and candidates must retake the exam to maintain the credential.

PMI has other certifications aimed at the business community, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP), Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA), PfMP Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP), Program Management Professional (PgMP) and PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP).

>>>Take a Udemy course in Certified Associate in Project Management for $12.>>>

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

If you’re interested in analyzing business needs and coming up with solutions, take a look at the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). The CBAP is an advanced-level certification aimed at managers and leaders with more than five years of business analysis experience. More precisely, you need at least 7,500 hours of business analysis experience gained over the last decade. Of those, 900 hours must be directly related to four of the six BABOK Guide Version 3 knowledge areas. On top of that, you need a least 35 hours of professional development credits (earned over the last four years), plus references.

The CBAP exam has 120 multiple-choice questions, based on a case study, and is available through Prometric. The exam costs $325 for IIBA members or $450 for nonmembers, and a $125 application fee is required.

>>>Learn Business Analysis Fundamentals from Udemy for $15.>>>

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

APICS is all about supply chain management. As part of its goal to develop qualified operators, supervisors and leaders, APICS offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) as well as a few other certifications. The CSCP covers supply chain concepts and technology, plus strategies needed for end-to-end operations, from supplier to company to consumer.

To earn the CSCP, you need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, at least one other approved certification and at least three years of related business experience. You also need to pass an exam that costs $695 to $915, depending on your APICS membership status.

>>>Take Certified Supply Chain Professional Practice Test at Udemy for $15.>>>

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI is among the most recognized and sought-after certifications for both business and IT. The requirements are stiff. Option one requires a high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent, 7,500 hours of experience leading projects and 35 hours of PM education. Option two is a four-year degree, 4,500 hours leading projects and 35 hours of PM education. [Read related article on our sister site Tom’s IT Pro: Best Project Management Certifications]

You must pass a 200-question exam to earn the PMP, which is available through Pearson VUE. The exam costs $405 for PMI members ($555 for nonmembers). You maintain the PMP certification by earning 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years.  

>>>Attend Udemy PMP Exam Prep Seminar for $15.>>> 

SAP Certified Application Associate – Business Planning and Consolidation

Are you SAP savvy? SAP, a European multinational software program, is German for systems, applications and products. It is used to manage business operations and customer relationships. The SAP Certified Application Associate – Business Planning and Consolidation certification recognizes a consultant’s skills in using the Business Planning and Consolidation software as part of a project. SAP recommends that candidates have three years of experience although training is available if needed. The single exam has 80 questions and costs $500. You can take the exam through Pearson VUE.

>>>Learn SAP BPC Embedded Fundamentals for Planning Applications from Udemy for $13.>>>

What else?

The American Purchasing Society, a membership organization, is behind the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) as well as the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), the Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP), the Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW) and the Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC).

If your career involves the creation, use, retrieval and disposal of business records, check out the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) Certified Records Analyst (CRA) and Certified Records Manager (CRM) certifications.

On the global front, the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) offers the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) certification, and NASBITE’s Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) focuses on global business management and marketing, supply chain management, and trade finance.

How to Ensure Your Company Value Proposition Is Consistent on Every Marketing Channel

Where can your customers reach you?

I’m willing to bet you’re active on multiple platforms in addition to having a website and potentially a storefront location.

Those of you who don’t have multiple marketing channels have a separate issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

But for now, let’s assume at the bare minimum you’ve got a:

  • website
  • blog
  • Facebook profile
  • Twitter account
  • Instagram page
  • LinkedIn account
  • YouTube channel

You may even be active on other networks like Snapchat.

With so many channels for marketing distribution, it’s essential you have consistency across all your platforms.

Creating symmetry on all of these distribution channels will make it easier to brand your company.

Once you’re able to establish a brand name that’s recognizable, it’s easier to acquire customers and increase your conversions.

Any disconnect between platforms can create confusion for the consumer.

You don’t want them to see contradicting information on your channels.

It’s likely consumers will see your company on more than one platform.

In fact, the average Internet user has more than seven social media accounts.

image1 9

You’ll definitely see some overlap between your Facebook fans and Instagram followers.

As part of your marketing and conversion strategy, you’re probably promoting multiple profiles on one channel.

For example, let’s take a look at a recent blog post from Savvy Apps:

image9 8

From their website, their encouraging users to share this blog post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

It’s essential these people see the same message across all platforms.

If you’re having trouble maintaining consistency across all your marketing channels, I can help you out.

Here’s what you need to do to set yourself up for success.

Start with images

Pictures are powerful and resonate more with people than words do.

While someone may not always remember the name of your brand, they’ll know whether they’ve seen your logo somewhere.

According to a recent study, people remember about 10% of information three days after it’s been presented to them orally.

But if an image is added to it, 65% of the info gets remembered.

Images are also more memorable than just plain text:

image4 9

Furthermore, the majority of people are visual learners.

Don’t confuse people by using different logos on various marketing channels.

Keeping everything aligned will help reinforce your brand and make it easier for them to remember you.

I’ll show you how I accomplish this.

Take a look at my Facebook page:

image7 9

Instead of using a logo, I use my face.

That’s because I’m trying to promote and brand myself as part of my overall marketing strategy.

I want people to know who I am and what I look like.

Now let’s review my YouTube channel:

image8 9

Notice the consistency?

Not only do I use a picture of myself again, but I use the exact same image.

This way, there’s no confusion for users.

I’m not the only Neil Patel on the planet. This way, they don’t have to wonder if this is the same Neil.

Plus, you can see in the top right corner of my YouTube channel that I’m also providing a link to my website, Facebook, and Twitter profiles:

image10 7

Speaking of my Twitter account—yes, you guessed it correctly.

I keep it consistent by using the same image.

It should come to you as no surprise that my LinkedIn profile uses the same picture as well.

image2 9

I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.

I practice what I preach.

While using a personal photo may not always be the best way to brand your company, having a logo that’s consistent on every marketing channel is probably your best bet.

Some companies like to change or alter the theme of their logo around the holidays.

For example, you might use an American flag around the fourth of July or add a turkey to the logo around Thanksgiving.

That’s fine, but just make sure you change that image on every single platform rather than just one or two.

Establish a voice for your brand

Consistency goes beyond visuals.

It also has to do with the type of persona your company takes on.

The language you use on a daily basis will vary depending on your current customers and target market.

There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer for this.

For example, if your company sells surfboards in southern California, your marketing channels can probably get away with using slang terms like:

  • rad
  • groovy
  • stoked
  • gnarly

But if your company sells life insurance on a national scale, it’s probably in your best interest to avoid slang altogether.

This goes for all written words on each one of your marketing channels.

The description of your Facebook page should have the same tone as the replies to user comments on your Instagram profile.

Your unique language is a great way to create more engaging content, which is a priority for marketers.

image5 9

This is also essential for your blogging habits.

If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know my tone reflects the way I present information on my other marketing channels.

I write as if I’m speaking.

My content is very informal and conversational but also packed with information.

I present a new video on YouTube in the same way.

Earlier, I mentioned responding to user comments.

Not only should your voice and language be the same when you respond to all the comments, but you should be responding on every platform too.

Don’t just respond to Facebook comments and ignore customers on your blog or Twitter.

Answering comments is a great way to build relationships with your customers.

Discounts and promotional offers

Another aspect of consistency has to do with your offering to your customers.

Let’s use a hypothetical example to illustrate my point.

Pretend your ecommerce company is offering a site-wide sale: 50% off everything, no exceptions.

The sale lasts for one week, and you promote it on Instagram and Facebook.

Backtrack a few weeks prior to the announcement of this sale.

Let’s say a Twitter user tweets at your brand, asking when the next sale is. Your repose shouldn’t be, “We rarely offer discounts.”

I realize this example may be a little extreme, but I’m sure you get what I’m trying to say.

Certain luxury brands may never put items on sale as part of their marketing strategy.

But a brand that offers items for 50% off on one platform shouldn’t be telling consumers on another channel they don’t often have discounts.

It’s contradictory and confusing.

Evaluate your call to action

What kind of action do you want users to take when they are interacting with one of your marketing channels?

Do you want them to sign up for something?

Are you trying to make a sale?

There are lots of ways you can present your CTA, and you can A/B test different options to see which one works the best.

You can’t afford to ignore it as part of your marketing strategy.

image6 9

While your CTA wording or button placement may vary slightly based on the platform, the overall message should be consistent.

Again, there’s not one right answer for this.

It depends on your company’s goal and marketing strategy.

Here are some examples of what your CTA could focus on:

First of all, you need to make sure all of your marketing channels have a CTA.

You’d be surprised how often I see companies forget to do this.

They have a profile set up on multiple platforms, which is great, but some of these pages neglect to encourage any form of an action from the customer.

Once all of these are in place, they should have the same message.

An easy way to accomplish this is by having all your CTA buttons link to the same landing page.

That way, you can see which profiles are having more success and adjust the placement, wording, or color scheme of the underperforming CTAs accordingly.

Contact info

Here’s another one you would think should go without saying, but again, I’ve seen many companies have an inconsistent approach to this.

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. How do you want customers to contact you?
  2. How do customers want to contact you?

There’s a difference.

Your best bet is to provide different options, but they need to be consistent.

image3 9

As you can see from the data, the majority of customers don’t want to get an automated response from a computer or something similar.

In fact, the majority of people prefer talking to someone.

Whether it’s over the phone, in person, via web chat, or email, they want a direct line of communication with a customer service representative.

Here’s an example of something I saw in one case.

I won’t use their name because I don’t want to embarrass them.

They were a regional company that offered both products and services.

On their website, their phone number was plastered across the top of their home screen in big bold font.

All of their CTAs directed the website visitor to “Call Us Today!”

This held true for buying a product, scheduling a service, or just an inquiry.

While I didn’t think dealing with customers over the phone for each problem was the most ideal option, it was clear the company felt it was the easiest method for them.

The business also had an Instagram profile with a decent following for a small and somewhat local company.

But their phone number was nowhere to be found on their Instagram.

That lack of consistency prevented them from generating new leads on that social platform.

Not all their followers will go to the company’s website to find their contact info.

That’s why I recommend giving users as many options as possible to contact you.

But if you’re going to limit those choices to just phone or email inquiries, make sure all your platforms have that information available.

Conclusion

Consistency is key.

It’s one of the best ways to brand yourself and your company.

That way it will be easier for customers to recognize your business and what it represents.

Start with your images and logo.

Make sure it’s the same on all of your marketing channels.

You can use the examples I gave you earlier with my Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles as a reference for how to accomplish this.

Next, you’ll want to maintain the same voice, tone, and language across all of these platforms.

Establishing a unique voice will help you create a better connection with your customers.

Just make sure your language is appropriate for your target market.

If you offer discounts or promotions, those should be the same on every marketing channel.

Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you by offering consistent contact information on all of your profiles.

What do you need to change on your marketing channels in order to stay consistent with your CTA and value proposition across them all?

Small Businesses Add 50,000 Jobs in November

November 2017 ADP Small Business Report Shows that Small Businesses Added 50,000 Jobs

Small businesses are doing their part to contribute to record lows in unemployment and job creation.

November 2017 ADP Small Business Report

According to the latest ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) Employment Report for November, small businesses added 50,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy. That growth is slower than what small businesses contributed in October but is the second month in a row of growth.

In October, small businesses added 79,000 jobs but the month prior, they actually lost 7,000 jobs.

For the overall jobs report from ADP, there were 190,000 jobs added in November among all businesses. In October, that figure also showed faster growth when 235,000 new jobs were created in October.

Franchise businesses added 28,300 new jobs in November. That’s close to the job growth among franchise businesses shown the month prior. In October, franchise businesses added 30,600 jobs.

“The labor market continues to grow at a solid pace,” says Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a company statement. “Notably, manufacturing added the most jobs the industry has seen all year. As the labor market continues to tighten and wages increase, it will become increasingly difficult for employers to attract and retain skilled talent.”

Companies with between 20 and 49 employees contributed the most job growth among small businesses in November. During the month, they created 36,000 new jobs, compared to 14,000 among companies with less than 20 employees.

And the 50,000 jobs created were spurred by service businesses. They created 55,000 jobs in November where goods-producing companies actually lost 5,000 jobs. Losses in goods producing small businesses were seen more among the smallest companies. They lost 3,000 jobs compared to the 2,000 lost by companies with more than 20 employees.

Among franchise businesses, restaurants added the most jobs in November, with 19,800 of the new jobs created. Auto parts stores and dealers added another 4,600 jobs in November.

The same trend is seen in the national employment report from ADP. Service businesses added 155,000 jobs in November, compared to 36,000 goods producing jobs. The number of construction jobs actually dropped  during November. There were 4,000 construction job losses nationally during the month.

November 2017 ADP Small Business Report Shows that Small Businesses Added 50,000 JobsImages: ADP

This article, “Small Businesses Add 50,000 Jobs in November” was first published on Small Business Trends

10 Awesome Insights from Top Business Leaders

10 Entrepreneurs Share Small Business Lessons For The 99%

Inbound marketing is an effective strategy when it comes to growing your small business. It helps you attract customers to your site by providing valuable content. From there, you can guide them through your buyer’s journey, eventually converting them into customers.

At the same time, inbound marketing establishes your business as a leader in your niche. More important, it doesn’t require a huge marketing budget or team.

But I’ve learned no matter how successful you become as a business professional, some things don’t change. Nothing beats getting personal advice from those that have insights into their profession that you may lack.

Ten Entrepreneurs Share Small Business Lessons

Here are tips shared by 10 successful entrepreneurs that will help you grow and keep your business afloat.

1. Protect Your Assets

Your email list is one of your most valuable assets when it comes to marketing. As such, Christa Rouse Bishop, lawyer and senior vice  president of communications for Cooperative Energy of Mississippi, encourages small business owners to be vigilant in protecting their computer systems. “If a computer system were to go down because of a virus … key files could be lost or stolen, which could then lead to legal action from clients, customers, and suppliers.”

2. Have Your Small Business Insured

At first, setting up a business insurance and continuity plan doesn’t seem important when you have a scrappy startup. You’re probably more like the Wolf of Wall Street trying to close deals, but insurance is needed for life’s many hiccups.

As a business owner, one of your primary goals is to build trust with your customers. Investing in small business insurance helps you become more credible in their eyes and will help your significant other sleep at night.

At the same time, it protects your business from the unexpected. Greg Reese, President of AmeriEstate Living Trusts, explains that a continuity plan keeps your business running should anything happen to you.

“Having a simple business continuity plan will allow you to choose and authorize a trustee to continue running your business [in case something happens to you],” he said. With these in place, there won’t be any need for lengthy (and expensive) court litigations. At the same time, it will give your family enough time to decide whether to continue your business or sell it.

3. Optimize Your Website for Mobile

One of the biggest inbound marketing mistakes small business owners make is not ensuring that their website is mobile friendly. In today’s competitive online landscape first impressions can make a website visitor bounce and leave your site.

“If your website doesn’t offer a smooth and pleasant experience on mobile screens, you’re missing opportunities,” Aaron Haynes, founder of Fenix Pro, said. “Running your website through Google’s mobile friendly test tool will help you fix any issues on your site and make it more mobile responsive.”

4. Get Ideas from Social Media Groups

Social media groups and social media platforms aren’t just for connecting and networking. They’re a treasure trove of content ideas you can use for a focus group when you have new ideas you want to validate.

“[Social media] groups are a constant source of new topic ideas,” explains Ken McDonald, Chief Growth Officer of TeamSnap. “By simply joining the conversation in several groups, you’ll see what common questions and topics that are relevant to your business.”

5. Simplify Things

When explaining your business to a potential customer, don’t assume that everyone understands your industry lingo. It’s essential you’re able to explain everything about your business and your products as simply as possible. Also make sure to lead with why your product matters and not what it does!

Ariel Chiu, Principal Planner of Wonderstruck Events, recommends writing your advertising copy so that a 10-year-old child can easily understand. This will force you to keep everything simple and free from jargon. “Ask yourself: ‘Would a fourth through ninth grader understand this content and be able to make a conversion decision upon completion?’ If the answer is no, then you need to simplify it.”

6. Don’t be Boring

The last thing you want is material that’s dry and feels like a standard commercial. Eduardo Perez, the founder of Easy Ukulele Songs, encourages small business owners to have fun and genuinely engage with potential customers. “This will increase the average time [spent], and ultimately, the conversions you’re able to capitalize on.”

7. Engage with Your Audience

Roy Surdej, President of Peaches Boutique, says engagement is critical to converting inbound marketing leads into customers. “You can’t just publish or post content and then just walk away,” he said. “If you do that, you’re missing prime opportunities to engage with your audience and convert them.”

8. Tap Into the Power of Influencers

According to Todd Tinker, founder of The Tinker Law Firm: “Most consumers are wired to trust recommendations from authority figures. This is why creating an influencer marketing campaign for your inbound marketing strategy is so effective.”

Reaching out to micro-influencers (influencers with 5,000 to 100,000 followers) is the best way to go. Additionally, Tinker suggests encouraging your customers to advocate for your brands online via social media is an easy way to activate micro influencers.

9. Reward Yourself

Even small business owners need a morale boost. Stefan Gleason, President of Money Metals Exchange, suggests rewarding yourself every now and then as one way to do this.

“Entrepreneurs seldom do this,” Gleason said. “This is why most fall far short of experiencing success and being able to realize their dream of a prosperous life resulting from their small business.”

10. Take Things One Day at a Time

Growing a business can seem time-consuming and overwhelming. If you’re not careful, you can suffer from burnout which will spell disaster for your business.

“The single most important takeaway is to pace yourself,” Adam Steele, founder of Loganix points out. “Don’t bite off too much. Be patient, be authentic, and just keep moving.” Soon, all your hard work will pay off, and you’ll be able to reap the rewards.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “10 Awesome Insights from Top Business Leaders” was first published on Small Business Trends

Should You Really Contact Your Warm Market List?

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Should You make $300,000 with E commerce or Affiliate Marketing Info Product 🔑🔑

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Did You Give Up?? 😐😐

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