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Apple Pay Cash is Here, Is Your Small Business Ready?


Apple Pay Cash is Here -- Is Your Small Business Ready?

The arrival of iOS 11.2 Beta brings with it Apple Pay Cash. This will allow users to send and receive cash payments from the iPhone Messages app using iMessage. You will be able to send cash to another person as long as they also have the latest iOS Beta.

Apple Pay Cash is catching up with the likes of Venmo, Zelle and others with simplified peer-to-peer payment solutions. Although it is a bit late in the game, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t require a dedicated or special app for the transactions. It works through the Messages app, which comes with the iOS platform.

Why Apple Pay Cash?

According to Comscore, there were around 85.5 million iPhone users by the end of 2016 in the US. This number undoubtedly has increased since the introduction of the new iPhone 8 and X models. As a small business, freelancer or anyone else looking to make or receive payments, the availability of Apple Pay Cash will provide more options and increased access to customers.

Where Can You Use Apple Pay Cash?

Once you receive money with Apple Pay in Messages, you can use the money with Apple Pay Cash on the web, within apps, and in physical stores.

Apple said in its support page, “There’s no app to download, and you can use the cards you already have in Wallet. Send money for books to your son in college. Split a bill. Pay a babysitter. Send and receive from across the table — or across the country. Instantly.”

Setting Up Apple Pay Cash

If you have a supported device and OS, you have to sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID. Tap Settings and go to Wallet & Apple Pay. You then tap the Apple Pay Cash card and follow the onscreen instructions to use the funds someone has sent you, or send a payment of your own.


You can start using Apple Pay Cash with iOS public beta from the Apple Beta Software Program now. If you don’t want to try the beta, the full version of iOS 11.2 will be released for all iPhone users later this year, along with watchOS 4.2 for Apple Watch.

You also have to be at least 18 years old and live in the United States, have two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, and an eligible credit or debit card in Wallet. Apple doesn’t charge a fee for using Apple Pay Cash with a debit card, but if you use your credit card to send money, the standard three percent fee will apply.

Image: Apple

This article, “Apple Pay Cash is Here, Is Your Small Business Ready?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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3 Lessons for Modern and Tenacious Leaders


The lines begin to blur

In 2015, when Ukrainian writer Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature, she was a genre buster. While other writers have captured political turmoil in gripping works of fiction, her work is devoted to real people’s stories. Her art isn’t literature, per se. It’s journalism.

Last year, another genre buster won the Nobel Prize for Literature: Bob Dylan. His win was a big surprise around the world. Not because his lyrics aren’t poetic, or even poetry for that matter, but because Nobel laureates are thought to be the ultimate leaders in their field, each one a divining rod for cultural transformation. So literature lovers everywhere were left wondering where these two nontraditional, non-literary choices might be leading us.

The answer? To uncharted territory. And whenever I find myself somewhere new without a map, I ask myself …

What’s the lesson?

That leadership can no longer embody the status quo.

Whether or not song lyrics and journalism qualify as literature isn’t the point. The point is that leadership is about embracing change. Constantly.

Whether you’re an artist, a scientist, a politician or a corporate executive, being a leader in today’s 24/7 culture requires flexibility, tenacity and a willingness to explore the unknown. This means that what got you where you are today won’t get you where you want to go.

Speaking of where you are today, chances are you’re a leader due to one of two scenarios:

  1. You were a superstar individual contributor, so, to engage you, you were promoted to manager. But you haven’t had much formal leadership training.
  2. You set out to be a leader and you’ve been managing people for years. The leadership development courses you’ve taken have been instrumental in your success.

But regardless of which leader you are – and even if you’re a senior executive – you have one thing in common: Your employees rely on you for coaching.

And as management trends move from command-and-control to servant leadership, from “telling” to coaching, tackling tough situations with aplomb is now more dynamic than static.

Here are three ways you can keep pace with change as you coach your team.

1. Feedback: The good, the bad and the ugly

A former boss of mine used to say that feedback was a gift – as long as she was the one giving it.

Kidding aside, effective feedback is essential to coaching like a pro, but it can be the trickiest aspect of the game.

Communicating negative messages toward a positive outcome takes practice and preparation. Remember to be timely with your feedback, but resist the temptation to lash out in the moment or to criticize in front of others. When you do coach on weak areas, heading out of the office for a change of scene can defuse some of the personal emotion.

Unsure about whether to involve HR in a sticky performance conversation? Ask. A good HR business partner will know from experience when they need to step in, and they can roleplay with you as part of your prep work.

On the flip side, be just as mindful of how you deliver positive strokes. If you decide to praise one employee verbally in front of others, make sure it isn’t creating another performance problem for you by alienating a different team member. If you’re praising an employee in writing, make sure you have all your facts straight.

Positive or negative, don’t put it off. Strike while the iron’s hot.

2. Growth: What goes around comes around

According to Gallup, the global employee engagement statistic is hovering at a shockingly low 13 percent. Providing career growth options to your team can hugely impact how much skin they have in the game. But it’s also hard work. So, why aren’t you spending more time, money and energy providing growth opportunities for your team?

These are the most common excuses:

  • I really want to, but my team is too busy with their day-to-day work.
  • Our training budget was sucked up by operational costs.
  • Oh, and did I mention how busy I am?

Lack of time is the worst excuse imaginable when your employees are looking to grow. Not defending your training budget to the leaders above you is a close second. Consider that there will be much less time to spend on employee development when people start leaving for other opportunities. Take their development seriously now or regret it later.

Finding growth opportunities for your people doesn’t have to be costly, and the outcomes can be of tremendous value to your business. But remember, your employees are unique. Developing their skills can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.

Word to the wise: as their coach, keep your needs out of it. Their growth should not be about making you look good (more on that later). Take the time to learn about their strengths, weaknesses, dreams, desires and passions.

The simple truth about coaching is that it doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be consistent. If you’re not already, incorporate career growth discussions into your regular one-on-one meetings with your direct reports. Once you know what makes them tick, you can sync up their aspirations with projects that will give them a chance to shine.

Side benefit? Even though you did it for them, it’s good for you. Your reputation as a leader will soar, as will your team’s.

Side effect? You may realize that your manager needs to give your career aspirations some love and attention. A new Gallup poll shows that only 35 percent of managers are engaged. Ask for what you need. You deserve it.

3. Motivate your stars – and your understudies

Keeping your lead players passionate used to entail putting them in the “upper L” of your nine-box grid at year’s end for the 6 percent raise versus the 4 percent everyone else is getting. (I’m bored just thinking about it.) With many HR departments trending away from traditional performance evaluations, it’s time to start looking for creative ways to reward key talent.

What about a high-potential program, you ask? Not all are created equally. Proceed with caution.

Shoehorning your stars into a program that rests upon a narrow or vague definition of potential is nearly played out. Just as HIPO programs are walking hand in hand into the sunset with annual evaluations, the Harvard Business Review is marching in like the cavalry with a cover story titled “Let Your Workers Rebel.” The premise: encourage your best people to break the rules and watch their potential transform. Francesca Gino, Harvard professor and author of the story, asks us to look deeply at our inner rebel. These innovative approaches are the future of star talent retention.

And finally, what about your low performers? Is it really all their fault? If you haven’t already exhausted their development possibilities, consider applying steps one and two as an experiment before you throw in the towel.

Above all, don’t ignore the problem. Great coaches don’t allow issues to fester. And they always take accountability.

While we’re on the topic, I’ll leave you with this insight on coaching from Yogi Berra: “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”



Here’s How Your Law Firm Can Master Social Media Listening


Social media listening for law firms (also known as social listening) is a strategy that involves monitoring the social media landscape to see what people are saying about your firm, your competitors and your niche in general.

Given the usefulness of social listening, you’d think that more law firms with an active social media presence would integrate it into their digital marketing campaigns. But as it turns out, it’s a technique that’s often overlooked by many organizations, both inside and outside the legal services industry.

Why social listening is important

Shaping your law firm’s business strategy without engaging in social media listening is tantamount to setting yourself up to fail. Insights are why social listening is important. If you’re not listening to what people are saying about you and your industry, how can you give them what they want?

Monitoring social mentions will help track what your target audience likes and doesn’t like, providing valuable insights to help your firm grow. Simply put, social listening is about monitoring what people are saying about you, your competitors and your industry. The information you find can then be leveraged into your content strategy.

How to start

Although many marketers will tell you that you need tools to ensure the effectiveness of your listening strategy, the real trick behind social listening is understanding what you should be listening to.

For starters, you should identify exact keywords and topics to monitor. These include:

  • Your law firm’s name and name used in social media
  • Names of your services
  • Competitor names
  • Industry terms relevant to your firm
  • Slogan/catchphrase
  • Names of key people in your firm
  • Branded hashtags
  • Generic hashtags relevant to your niche

Once you have a good idea of what keywords you should be tracking on social media, you can then proceed with these social media listening steps.

Step 1 – Examine where people are talking about you.

Aside from monitoring what your target audience is saying about you and your industry, it’s important to know where the chatter is. In this social media listening step, you want to cast as wide a net as possible, going beyond LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to check places like FindLaw, Avvo, or Justia. You may be surprised to discover the conversations happening in these places that you previously had no idea about.

Understanding where people are talking about your firm and industry lets you create the appropriate strategy to join the conversation.

For example, with the information you discovered through social listening, you can leverage aggregator sites like FindLaw, Avvo, and Justia to improve your visibility and reach. This might be a more cost-effective strategy compared to fighting their rankings on Google.

Step 2 – Get a pulse on your competition.

While you should never copy a competitor’s strategy, you can gain valuable insights from their social media activities by looking into what your shared audience thinks. In other words, this social media listening step is about looking at the mistakes competing firms are making so you can avoid them in your social media marketing campaign.

Of course, you should also look at what they’re doing right and draw inspiration from there. But more often than not, it’s much easier to track their missteps and incorporate the lessons learned into your firm’s body of knowledge.

Step 3 – Get the entire firm involved.

This social media listening step is vital, because your listening activities will yield information that won’t just help your firm’s marketing team but will also help improve your legal team’s relationship with clients, both new and existing, and even your ability to recruit new talent.

Be sure to share your social listening insights with the rest of your firm’s relevant teams. Be sure to get their inputs, too. You never know what nugget of information will improve your firm’s services, reputation and brand.

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Putting it all together

The value of social listening as a research tool is just one of many reasons why law firms should recognize the importance of social media. Aside from aiding marketing, social listening activities can be used to develop faster and better recruitment processes, and even improve your relationship with other firms. If you’re not sure where to start, you can work with a digital marketing agency that specializes in developing custom marketing solutions for law firms and attorneys.

Be sure to act on the information you find. Social listening is only useful if you’re using the insights you gleaned to make your firm better.


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