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Top 3 Lies About Success that May Hold you Back

Top 3 Lies About Success that May Hold you Back

We all want to achieve success in life. Whether you are an affiliate, an entrepreneur, a freelancer, an employee or just a regular person, success is or should be our topmost priority. However, as you get older, you notice that you could have become much more successful if you hadn’t listened to certain individuals, including you, who have LIED to you.  

Yes, these lies that no one dares to talk about, are the main reason most of us become unsuccessful in life. If you want to be a winner, you need to become aware of what other people are saying to you and of what you are saying to you. You need to pinpoint those lies and remove them out of your life once and for all.

Without further ado, here are the three biggest lies you hear on a daily basis that can prevent you from attaining success.

 1. I Have Tried Everything, Still I can’t Succeed

No, you haven’t. This lie is so common that we don’t even realize we are lying ourselves, or that someone else is lying to us. You might think that you are just born with who you are, with flaws and all, and that no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to get over your limitations. Let me contradict you here.

As a flawed guy, just like you all, I was always predisposed to gaining weight. Everyone else seems to be happy with that, except me. Everyone told me not to worry, that it is in my genes. However, deep inside, I knew that I could somehow lose all those extra pounds. Of course, I tried every diet possible, but nothing worked. However, once I started changing my mentality and I began believing in my power to change, my body literally began to shape as my mind would say.  

From my own experience, and from thousands other experiences, you can change your body without any secrets or tricks. Much of it is about psychology and about correct thinking. Even though the medical issues come as a barrier, once you remove them, you will be able to change your body and be that person you’ve always wanted to be.

 This doesn’t apply just to losing weight, but also to getting that promotion you’ve been struggling to get for years, that new luxury car, that position, that girl, that man, and the list goes on. Remember, the world wants you plain, mediocre, just like most of them. Rise above the ordinary and start controlling the outcomes in your life.

2. I can’t Open up to People as I’m an Introvert

Being an introvert has nothing to do with being bold. This is one of the LIES that I’ve been seeing more of lately. People claim that they just can’t walk up and talk to a stranger, give a speech in public or dive deeper into a discussion. The problem is that this mentality of “introversion” prevents people from attaining success, both in their personal and professional lives. 

We live in a day and age where interactions are the cornerstone of any type of success. For instance, if you want to have success in your career, you need to be able to interact with people in real life, not just online. You need to be able to showcase your skills and establish long-term partners. The same goes true for entrepreneurs who want to land a good joint-venture, or for singles looking for a partner. 

Even if you were born as an introvert, keep in mind that studies prove that introverts PREFER quiet environments. That doesn’t mean that introverts can only thrive in quiet environments. If you struggle with this lie that introverts are not capable of interacting with other people, check out this amazing Ted Talk on the Power of Introverts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4.

3. I Don’t Earn Enough Money in Order to Start Saving at the Moment

You’ve probably had this too. Regardless of your social status, saving money is a top priority for most of us. Whether we’re saving for a bigger, better house, or just for that cheap laptop we can’t afford to buy at the moment, saving is quite a difficult task, especially when you deal with this common lie of not having enough money.

The truth is that EVERYONE can save money if they try. There will always be people who earn less than you and are still able to save money. It all boils down to prioritization. What do I buy? How much do I spend on my hobbies? What are my priorities in life?

As a business owner, saving money is even more important.

Without this skill, you will never be able to manage your business like a pro. Moreover, if you struggle financially in your personal life, chances are that will also struggle in your professional life. 

Of course, getting started might be difficult. No one expects you to save after just a few months of running your business or landing your first job. However, in time, your savings should go up, just like your revenues. Start with something, even if it’s just $10 a month. Put that money aside and add to it every month. After one year, you will notice that your savings account has grown quite big.  

Personally, I try to save around 25 percent of my revenues every month. As my revenue goes up, I will try to increase the amount I save. For instance, let’s say that you make $4,000 a month, and you are saving $1,000 at the moment. If your revenue increases to $5,000, try to save more than $1,250, which represents the same 25 percent. Even if you end up saving $1,500, you still have $500 more money left than what you were earning before the increase.

Starting an online business or growing in your career is definitely not easy

However, if you want to enjoy long-term success, it is imperative to remove these three lies from your life as of today. You can always reach your goals if you believe in yourself and in your power to save money, change your body, build long term connections and ultimately thrive in everything you do.

 

Top 7 Methods I use to Feel Less Stressed as an Entrepreneur

Top 7 Methods I use to Feel Less Stressed as an Entrepreneur

 

As an entrepreneur, the title above should resonate with your deepest needs. People generally know that an entrepreneur is stressed and quite busy, but the reality is that the amount of stress we have to deal with on a daily basis can exceed the wildest expectations. If you’re anything like me, you are well aware of how hard and complex the life of an entrepreneur can get.

Once we get caught in the thrill of pursuing that big dream of growing our businesses, it becomes quite easy to dismiss even the simplest needs of life. We totally forget about our hobbies and about our current life, focusing solely on the future. Worry, anxiety and stress settle in, sinking their sharp fangs into our daily routine. Late nights, disastrous meals or no meals at all, junk food, no exercise and early mornings. There is no wonder that we always feel stressed about everything.

The good news is that you can put an end to this never-ending cycle as of now. The following 7 methods to de-stress yourself have been tested and re-tested, not just by myself, but by thousands of entrepreneurs from all around the world. Try to implement them in your regular routine and you will notice how your life will improve dramatically, and with it your success in business.

1. Get into a Workout Routine

Whatever your business is all about or whatever your physical location, a good workout routine can dramatically boost your mental and physical wellness. Nothing beats a good exercise training at 7 am in the morning or at 9 pm in the evening, in case you had a late morning after working all night at a project. Instead of burning your “mental calories”, try to burn your body calories.

Whatever you prefer, whether taking a hike, going for a walk, jogging, lifting weights at the gym or doing power training, a quick workout can do wonders for you. In case you are always on the run, you can find a good gym at pretty much any 3-star and above hotel.

2. Make Sleep a Top Priority

As a busy business owner, just like many of you, sleep is not a priority for me. I just want to remind you of that episode of burnout when you were incapable of doing anything for a full week. Maybe it were just a few days or a couple of hours, but most of us dealt with one. Without rest, we break down and we can’t function properly. Numerous research have proven that people who are well rested take better decisions.

If you want to take good decisions as a manager or entrepreneur, start getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night during weekdays and 8 during weekend. If you can’t get to this number, at least start by sleeping one more hour each night. You will definitely notice the difference after a few weeks.

3. Treat your Body Like a Holy Temple

When life gets hectic, which happens much more often for entrepreneurs than for regular people, we normally choose to take decisions based solely on the convenience factor. In your case, this might mean skipped meals, fast food choices over regular meals, drinking less water and more coffee, getting less sleep, and the list goes on.

Instead of becoming enslaved by those negative decisions, start to take control of your life and choose healthier food habits. Include fruits, veggies and those important proteins and carbs into your daily food choices. If you don’t have time to eat out, you can always order food at the office. Just make sure it’s nothing related to pizza or burgers.

4. Enjoy your Hobby

Something else you can do in order to be less stressed during the day is to practice your hobby at least once a week. Whether it’s taking a Jacuzzi bath, having a massage, driving your car with 90 mph or just reading, try to free 30 minutes of your day and do what you love. You will not just feel better, but you will also gain more motivation to complete all those stringent tasks. Trust me when I say that this minimum time investment spent doing what you love will pay off more than you’ve expected.

5. Simplify your Life

The mess-riddled areas such as studio, office, email or even garage need a proper clean-up if you want to de-stress and boost your productivity. Clean your desk, make room in the garage, put your secretary to read your inbox for you, etc. You will feel much better when everything is in its place.

6. Schedule Everything

I personally love to keep track of everything, from my revenues and expenses to the hours I sleep and tasks I need to perform next month. I use multiple calendars, both on my laptop and smartphone. Treat all of the tasks in your life, even mundane tasks such as shopping or going to gym, with the same level of importance as you would treat an important meeting. Schedule your day and you will end up saving at least 30 minutes in wasted time.

7. Think Big but Act Small

And finally, the jewel of the crown, the best thing you can do to feel de-stressed and to take all that burden off your shoulders is to think big, but act small. You should have big ambitions, bigger than most of your competitors or partners. They might even get to scare you at some point. However, to accomplish your ambitions, you need to act small, taking tiny, daily steps.

Your small daily tasks, such as eating breakfast, drinking more water, going to gym, sleeping more, enjoying your hobby, scheduling everything or even cleaning up your inbox, are the cornerstone of your ambitions. To reach your ambitions, start by doing these small things first. Tackle the tasks that are under your control and you will be able to achieve what is not under your control. Shape your future by influencing your present and your life will suddenly be less stressed.

How A Privacy Policy Should Be Written

How A Privacy Policy Should Be Written

A privacy policy is an important part of any website. If you are not sure if you need a privacy policy, there is a simple question to answer if you should have one. ‘Does your website collect any personal data from the users?’ This does include email. If you answered yes, then you need a privacy policy.

In most countries, you legally need a privacy policy if you collect any kind of data from a user. Once you know you need one, how do you write one?

How To Write A Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy needs to be understood by everyone who visits your website. English is the best option, but if your website is in another language, you should have the privacy policy in that language. When you are writing the policy, you should aim for a 9th-grade reading level. This is a reading level that most people have and allows them to understand what is being said.

You should explain the information that you are gathering and why you are collecting the data. Emails and cookies are very common information to track, so there are a lot of great examples out there. If you are gathering information for any sketchy reasons, you should stop these practices instead of trying to explain it to your visitors.

The important information that you should include is if you are sharing information with anyone. This is a huge part because you need to inform the users where their information is going. In most areas, you do not need to list the exact company, but you do have state clearly that the information gathered is being shared or sold.

You should also have information about the laws and initiatives that you are complying with. Having this information is legally required in some areas, and you can face fines if this information is missing.

Depending on the information that you are collecting and what it is being used for, you should include information about how the users can opt out. Most email collections will have this information at the bottom of every e-mail, and somewhere on the host website.

If you are using Google or Apple products, you will need to include information about their services and about their privacy policy. In most areas, you can just post a link to Google’s or Apple’s privacy policy in your policy to be covered.

These are the common elements that a privacy policy should have:

Who is the site/app owner?
What data is being collected? How is that data being collected?
For which purposes is the data collected? Analytics? Email Marketing?
What third parties will have access to the information? Will any third party collect data through widgets (e.g. social buttons) and integrations (e.g. Facebook connect)?
What rights do users have? Can they request to see the data you have on them, can they request to rectify, erase or block their data (under European regulations most of this is mandatory)?
Description of process for notifying users and visitors of material changes to the privacy policy
Effective date of the privacy policy

Do you have a privacy policy for your site?

Writing a privacy policy does not need to be hard, and you do not even need to write your own. There are tools like terms feed and iubenda that will make a privacy policy for you in minutes, and you can add it to your website.

generate your privacy policy

The Issue of Raising Rates

New Business – The Issue of Raising Rates

New business starters face a lot of obstacles on their way and often ask themselves: “Should I raise my rate?” Raising the rates can be a double-edged sword, both for the existing and new businesses. There are pro’s and con’s of raising the rates, but the biggest fear of all businessmen is losing current customers.

On the other hand, undervaluing the product or service, especially for new business starters, can be as fatal as raising the threshold too high. Here are the reasons why raising the rate is a good option for new business starters and consultants. On the other hand, some possible risks and solutions are provided as well.

The disastrous effects of undervaluing.

We will first analyze the fatal effects of lowering the rates in order to understand the importance of charging the proper price for your product or time. In consumer behavior science, there is a term known as anchorage price.

Simply put, once the customer buys a product at a certain price, he becomes “anchored” to it. More importantly, the client anchors the product value to the price he paid for it. Now, imagine undervaluing your product in order to attract customers.

We will assume you decided to undervalue your new digital product only for a short period of time. Your goal is to gain income as soon as possible and to spread the good news on your product. This is a legit aim. However, it should not be prolonged as your business will suffer some serious losses over a long period of time. Additionally, as previously explained, the new customers will become anchored to the low prices and, even worse, they will associate your product to lower class digital products, which is something you certainly don’t want.

This can have some serious consequences on the acceptance of the new prices of your product after raising the rates. Associating your product with higher class digital products in the start could be a more effective strategy.

A similar case known in the history is the breakthrough of black pearls on the market. In the beginning, this today very fashionable and exclusive product could not find the interested buyers. No one wanted black pearls! After placing them in the same league with the desired white pearls, the demand for the black ones abruptly increased. The new jewelry quickly became anchored to the precious and rare diamonds.

Should you raise your rates?

The answer to this question depends on the worth of your product / service. If you are sure that the service you are offering or the product you make is worthy, quality and deserves to be paid for, raising the amount you charge is a logical and beneficial decision. This might sound like a cliche, but when forming your price, ask yourself whether the amount you plan to charge is worth the time you invest in the production process or not. Answering this simple question will help you answer the more important question raised in this paragraph.

When is the best time to raise the rates?

You can raise the rates either in the beginning, anchoring your service or product quality to a high class and earning the true value for the worth of your product, or after the initial product launch and test phase is over. This depends on numerous factors, such as existence and strength of the competition, strengths of your product, opportunities in the market and consumers’ responsiveness to what you offer.

How much is not too much?

We talked about undervaluing the product / service and the consequences of such actions. However, raising the rates too much will certainly be counterproductive. Researching the market prior to raising the rates is the key step in forming the best rate.

Competition analysis is important as their prices are among the top price shaping factors for your product or service as well. Speaking of which, try to think about the strengths of your product. Competitive difference characteristic for what you offer can dictate raising the rates regardless of the competition.

When talking about services, consultants should know that including a total price and hours needed to complete the service is always a good option. In this way, both the user and the consultant will have a precise insight into the value and hours spent for consulting.

How to increase the rates?

Incremental increase of rates is proven to be the most effective way of raising them. This is especially relevant for new businesses who had already made the mistake of a serious undervaluing of a service or product in the very beginning. Abrupt rates increase will usually lead to rejection of the product or service by the potential clients.

Losing customers is something you certainly do not want. Set a rational period of time over which the rates increase is acceptable for the development of the business. Another important tip when talking about the best way of increasing the rates is being fair to your customers. Keeping them informed is rule No. 1.

Think about new customers.

After raising the rates, a certain number of your current customers will inevitably leave. It is easier to keep the old than find the new client. This is why many businessmen answer the “Should I raise my rates” question with “Not yet, I will lose my customers.” However, raising the rates and looking for new customers is better than sticking with the old ones and undervaluing your service.

Additionally, you can choose to test both the clients and the market. Keep the old rates and the old customers over a certain period of time and, in the same time, test the new customers with new rates. In this way, you will see what are the limits of your product and how responsive the customers are. Additionally, you will know whether the new rates are too high or not.

Constant rates revision rule.

After the kick off rates are set and the product is launched, the new business starter will know whether the rates were set too low or too high. Trial and error is allowed. Learning from mistakes is the most important lesson for new businesses. After testing your business success with raised rates, consider increasing them for true. However, once you find the perfect rates, don’t make the mistake of sticking to them for too long. Increasing the rates according to your product and service development is a logical path to follow. Each time you notice that your workload increased, consider raising the rates. This is almost always a sign that your product or service could bring you more profit.

In conclusion, the worst thing new business starters and consultants can do is undervaluing their work. Being paid less for a quality product or service will not pay off in the long run. Additionally, no one wants to be known as the cheapest one in the market, as the reputation built in the beginning will probably follow your business in the future. Therefore, the answer to the “Should I raise my rates?” question should be “Yes, in a smart way.”

5 Ways to Test Your Business Idea

5 Ways to Test Your Business Idea

The largest section of Fortune 500 companies started of as mere ideas. Business ideas are hard to came across and your idea may be the next successful multi-national corporation. The simple business idea should be proven before execution as hardly all entrepreneurs succeed in the market.

An idea may appeal to you but will it eventually satisfy the market? Let’s explore this detailed checklist to confirm if you should execute your idea, change it or even forget it. This are the five steps of how to test your idea.

1. Is there any similar product or service?

Some times back in college, I remember my friend had an awesome idea. She wanted to transport the college students to an event. An hour had hardly passed before she was greatly discouraged due to the number of transport companies specializing in events.

In most cases ideas are usually thought out by another creative person or company. Try to Google a simple keyword that explains your idea. Search your idea on YouTube. Which forms of the idea is it implemented? How different is your idea from the rest?

If your idea is exactly similar as an already functioning product or service, please don’t continue implementing the idea but try your best to change it. These types of ideas may later spring up legal issues which may probably occur after successful launch of your product or service.

For a unique idea note down how the idea will help the market. Does it offer better service or a more quality product? If the answer is yes, it’s time to move to the next step.

2.What is the public’s view towards your idea?

A few years back Roslin Institute cloned a sheep, the unforgettable Dolly. This action raised hopes that humans may be successfully cloned. The public kept complaining on this grave matter. Scientists saw it as progress, the public declared it unethical and several protests created enough attention to stop any attempts.

All entrepreneurs believe in themselves and they assume all their ideas are great and awesome. Truth be told, some ideas repel the consumers rather than appeal to them. Seek the most trustworthy group of friends or even family members to give you their response on the idea. Ask for honest answers and avoid flattery or exaggerated responses.

If everyone refuses and rejects your idea, the idea demands transformation. Transformation may require only slight change of the idea. Effectiveness of these is well expressed by a certain South African designer who only dyed his collection black and sold every piece of garment he had, after his royal customers rejected the same white clothes.

Ideas that have received a substantial level of acceptance should be allowed to be verified in the following section.

3.Is the prototype working?

Now it’s the perfect time to build a Minimum Viable Product(MVP). This is a prototype that will be used to test the functionality of your product. Eric Ries describes an MVP as that product that allows maximum learning about the customer at very minimum effort. The MVP will thus be the real test of your idea using real objects.

For technical ideas such as creating mobile apps you may build a Facebook page and a short video describing how the app works to save time if the project requires long period of time to complete.Non tech ideas require a real sample. The sample should be working and be given freely to consumers.

Prototypes should be non profit and be aimed to collect the customers feedback. If a large number of customers pose negative feedback it’s advisable to start over and build the product according to the customers expectations. Good feedback illustrates that the customers are satisfied and the idea is awesome.

4.Is there a demand?

Great ideas solve issues in the society. Several problems result to demand of certain products and services. Several amenities are a must have and result to a great market.

With the now advanced technology verifying the level of demand is easy. To test if your idea has the desired demand first create a coming soon page. This is a landing web page that expresses the business idea as an already established idea. These page should enable you to verify how many people actually view the web page. The number of views is directly proportional to the demand thus high web page view high demand.

Creating a Google AdWords campaign on the keyword that well represent your product. Ads ensure reaching the consumer at their time of need and the higher the number of ads clicked the higher the demand. Utilizing Facebook ads may also help register the desired outcome.

Ideas in high demand should be implemented as chances of success is high. Low demand dictates time for converting the idea to solve the customers’ most troublesome issues.

5.How many clients can you get?

After comfortable product production obtaining royal consumers should be implemented. Getting your first clients is challenging but it can be achieved by the following ways.

-Offer a free starter service.

At first clients may end up not spending on the idea. Giving them a free and great experiences triggers their urge to spend to continue enjoying the services.

-Reach out to competitors

Teaming up with competitors will end up ensuring you obtain their surplus market. Serving this ready market increases the chances of getting the first clients.

-Get involved with your network

In most businesses the first clients were immediate family members or friends. These group of people may offer the first clients.

Getting clients ensures that the business idea is actually working. Obtaining royal customers implies that the business idea should be maintained while lack of clients after tough attempts to dictate the exhibits that the business idea should be discarded.

Your idea should pass all the steps to ensure it will serve the market well. These steps are however independent of each other and arguably obtaining a client is the best validation method.

Ideas are greatly increasing and passing today’s test doesn’t confirm relevance of the idea to the future market. Ideas should thus be gauged after a certain period of time as technology advances and constant revolution of a product will ensure it retains its place in the market. For ideas that failed the validation list starting over is cheaper than changing it.

 

How to get repeat business for your website

How to Get Repeat Business for Your Website

For anyone who has their own business with a successful client base, there are always two questions that they are seeking to answer. They are, how do I get my existing customers to return to my website, and how do I get them to repeatedly spend money in my store? These questions do have answers, and all they need is attention in different areas in order to see a growth in your business and repeated return interactions from your customers on your website. Below we have outlined a number of different methods that you can employ in order to get your valued customers to return to buy your products time and again. Whilst you can incorporate all of these ideas at once, it is probably a better idea to try them one by one over a longer time period so that you can measure the success that each one has on your sales revenue. That way you will know what areas to focus your efforts on.

Create and use your dedicated email list.

Email lists are worth their weight in gold, and a customer who gives you theirs becomes something known as a captive audience. An email list is something that needs to be incorporated straight away if it isn’t something that you already do. If you don’t already have one – it’s really easy, at the checkout section of your website, include a section where the customer has to sign up in order with an email in order to complete a purchase. A good way to encourage them to sign-up is to offer some kind of incentive, like a discount or a freebie. If you already have an email list, then your captive audience is just waiting for opportunities to purchase again, given a good reason. Send them an exclusive previous customer only discount voucher that has a time limit on it, or offer them a free product if they purchase another related item. Or better yet, if you have a really valued section of your list with customers who always purchase from your store, offer them a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review of it on your website. Not only will this increase new sales to your store due to good reviews on products, but it will also make that customer feel appreciated. With appreciation comes loyalty, and they are far more likely to buy more regularly from your store, and tell their friends about you.

Let them know about finance options.

Many customers might want to purchase again, but don’t have the money readily available in order to do it. A good idea is to create a good quality finance option that you can apply, and have a special one reserved only for special’ customers. You can use the email list to let them know what you are offering, and they will be able to see if there are options that suit their budget. If the repayment terms (such as 6 months interest free) are easily affordable, it’s much more likely they will purchase an item straight away if you have good finance terms that they would otherwise have to wait to buy, and might end up forgetting about. If you can, incorporate a system that can marry up what customers have bought on credit with their repayment dates. Once the term has expired, you can contact them again with new, even better finance agreements, to keep them coming back over and over again.

Target customers on your site with one time only deals

If a repeat customer signs into your site and then abandons their shopping cart without completing the purchase, then you can follow up with a special one time only limited deal’ email that can knock an amount off the product(s) in question. Another option is to target them with a system that remembers what they last had in their basket when they log in another time. A remember this, it’s now on offer for you’ pop up that will catch their attention. This way not only will they possibly buy what they have come on to look for at that moment, but they might very well end up spending extra cash too. Both of these methods are highly effective at encouraging customers to return to your website, and spend more whilst there.

Unexpected rewards

Another very powerful tool and a good way to clear old stock lines is to send customers an email link that will make that product totally free. Whilst it won’t make you any profit, what it will do is make that customer feel an affinity towards your store, and also put your store at the forefront of their mind, making them more likely to want to shop with you again soon. If it is a cheap item, it won’t cost your business much, (especially if you only target a smaller number of customers), but will very likely yield you much higher returns in the long run.

Personalized emails

If you are sending an email to a customer, ensure that you tailor it to the individual. Granted you probably won’t know much about them, but you will know what they bought. If it was a pair of running shoes for example, ask if they have had an opportunity to hit the streets in them, or if it’s a computer, how they are enjoying getting their work done, or relaxing at night with it. Somewhere within that personalised email, add a return to store call, like a related discount, or free delivery offer. Also be sure to include their name and add in the name of the person running the company, along with a digital signature. A way to tie this all together is to take those email addresses and load them into the email of the company director or manager, so when it goes off to your customer it is a direct email, rather than a bog standard one. This will help it stand out from the deluge that they probably get on a daily basis, as well as giving it a massive personal touch. This might not seem like a lot, but very small personal touches like this can make all the difference to the customer in a world that often sees them as statistics. If you go that extra mile, they are much more likely to keep coming back to your store.

Loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are highly effective at getting customers to return to your website. For every purchase that they make you can have points added to their card that will convert into monetary amounts that they can use to discount products when they reach the checkout. In addition, you can combine this with emails, where you offer limited double point periods, where the customer can gain additional loyalty points by purchasing during specifically set times, increasing the sense of urgency’ to purchase from your store.

Send out physical brochures

In a world that is increasingly moving online, the art of receiving post is a dying one. Therefore, a nice glossy brochure along with a personalized letter and a physical nice textured discount voucher is a powerful gesture. It is very likely that someone receiving these items will return to your store to make a purchase.

Produce consistent newsletters

Sending out a newsletter on a consistent basis (say once a month) is a great way to stay in contact with your customers and let them know what is happening with your company and what new products you are currently offering. They will also feel like they know your company better than others so will feel more of an affinity for it, translating into increased visits and higher repeat purchases.

Have blog posts

In addition to a newsletter, have a regular blogger who write posts on your website that customers have to login to read (also link this to emails so they know when a new blog post is available). Make the articles interesting and informative also related to the products that you sell in store. For example, if you are a bookseller, then have an article written about the best new books that have launched that month, or why a particular genre is popular at the moment. Find ways to tie it into the products you sell, such as linking to the books that were discussed in the post, along with a visible slight reduction. E.g. Get the new Stephen King book (such and such), for only $8.99 to instead of $12.99 for this month only!’ As the customer will already be on your site and reading the relevant post, they are far more likely to commit to the purchase.

Have good customer service

The importance of this cannot be understated. Having a good customer service team is vital to repeat purchases. If a customer has an issue with one of the products that they purchased from you and is received by a warm, friendly person at the end of the telephone who is willing to do everything in their power to rectify whatever issue it is that the customer has, then they are almost certain to buy from your website again. In addition, this adds to the previously mentioned feeling of a personal human touch, which is too often missing from your websites.

Have a social media presence

It is almost a given that any good your website must have accompanying social media presence. Customers like the personalized feeling of this type of communication, as many (such as twitter and Facebook) allow them to contact the company directly and air their views as well as get personalized responses. In addition, you can attract a massive brand following if you post regularly with interesting content. As people often work visually, social media platforms such as Instagram is a brilliant way to present your products in a really attractive way. If someone who has purchased from your website and connected to your social media platform sees a post that they like the look of, they are much more likely to return to your website than if you just email them. In addition, you can offer social media only specific discounts that those on the platforms can use on your website, increasing return traffic that way.

Use personalized marketing on your site

Get hold of software for your site that can use personalized marketing tactics on your site to specifically target your customers each time they logon. It can analyze what they have purchased before and select products from your lines that are likely to be of interest to them, whilst offering a slight discount. For example, if they have purchased a pair of jeans, then it might offer them discounts off a winter jacket or a shirt, which the customer might then decide is a good addition to their previous purchase. This isn’t just blind science either, a survey discovered that 75% of consumers felt more compelled to purchase when they received a personalized message on an your website. In addition, you can attract a massive brand following if you post regularly with interesting content. As people often work visually, social media platforms such as Instagram is a brilliant way to present your products in a really attractive way.To make it extra personalized, have the software use their name, so that the offers really appeal to them. Something like: “Welcome back Ryan, remember those jeans you purchased in October? We’ve got some special deals just for you on coats and shirts that we think would look great with them.” The power of messages like these cannot be understated.

These above are just a handful of examples on the many ways that you can reach out to your valued customers and entice them back to your website in order to make repeat purchases, and eventually become loyal to your company. As mentioned above, we suggest implementing them bit by bit so that you can track how successful they are, and highlight other areas that might need some attention so that you can continue to grow your business. Beyond this it is worth experimenting with other ideas as you might stumble on something that really works. Keep trying new ideas and your business will definitely boom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Email Marketing Tips

Top Ten Email Marketing Tips

Email marketing is a basic need if you want to boost sales or just simply flood an enormous amount of traffic to your website. However most people do not even have the slightest clue on how to be a successful email marketer that they tend to forget that it is a letter—just delivered electronically. This means that just like how Romeo wooed Juliet, you have to be an Internet Cassanova, luring leads, clients or potential customers to your casa—that is your site.

Here are some email marketing tips to make sure that you will be able to bait those prospects:

1.No list, no dough.

You have to build a list of addresses first. To who will you send your well-written promo email if no one is there to read it? It’s like entering a raffle draw. The more entries you send the more chances of winning. Be sure to create a huge database of email addresses to send your marketing emails. Some ideas on how to build that list would be:

A). Creating popups on your site for whatever purpose you deem worthy of catching the visitor’s attention that they will be forced to input their email address;

B) Putting links on different pages for an upgrade of a promo or offer;

C) A subscription section on the site which is strategically placed for easy viewing.

2) Subscription should be so easy they can do it in their sleep.

Of course they can’t do that, since they might be typing in the wrong email address. But make sure that options to subscribe to your newsletter would be gentle nudges here and there from your social media accounts, and even in the most visible areas of your site like at the bottom of the homepage. If you have a separate subscription page that the user has to navigate to, don’t expect that you can rake in that email address.

3) Anticipation is everything.

Ever wondered why film previews and movie trailers leave us going ga-ga over what’s going to happen really soon? That’s because we’re wired to expect what we don’t know but are given a chance to know. Expectations are hard-wired to us as human beings. Give your client something to anticipate, and he or she will surely give in. For instance, right below the subscribe button, put some sort of an ad that says, “Get ready to become financially free in 2 days!” – that is if you host a financial education website.

4) You want a thank you’? Say welcome’ first.

Before your subscribers can even appreciate what you’re doing for them, you have to let them know that they are welcome. Send a welcome email. Make them feel that they are part of something great, an exclusive family that of course makes you more money than them, but they do not know that. Subscribers are more likely to stay loyal if at the onset they are sent an initial email right away thanking them for their patronage. A catchy headline will also get you a wow’.

5) Wear the right clothes.

You cannot expect your date to be proud to be with you if you don’t look great. The same goes with your newsletter. Make sure that aesthetically, it matches that of your brand. Your campaigns should complement the feel of your brand. It should be unique and not just an obvious template you got somewhere. Popular brands know that image is everything. Build it. Your newsletter’s theme should be memorable.

6) Feed your subscriber’s ego.

The famous Steve Jobs said that Apple dictated what people wanted, and that customers do not know what they want. But face it, you are not Steve Jobs. So stop trying to reinvent the wheel and go with what works. Find out what your subscribers want to read. Study the demographics of your list and make segments and list groups so that you will be able to target a group of people for a specific purpose. If your business has XBOX games on sale, you don’t want to be sending the promo codes for that to an email audience of ages 70 years old and above.

7) The world is small, make it smaller.

Lazy people think of ways to make hard tasks easier, and that’s a principle you would want to apply if you want to make your brand viral. The content and links of your email newsletters should be shareable. Let your subscribers do the work for you. If the content is great, the only distance between getting stuck in their inbox and your success is a share button.

8) Phone versus computer.

If you still haven’t realized, more people may have access to a smart phone probably the entire day than on their laptops or computers. Some may even have a smart phone but do not have a computer. So if your campaign is not mobile-ready, you might have lost the marketing war even before the battle began. Free email marketing services like MailChimp display email content very well on a mobile device. If you cannot afford a paid email distribution service just yet, you may want to consider going for MailChimp.

9) Spam is food, not friends.

Anyone who uses email knows very well that things that get into your Spam folder are basically trash just waiting to be dumped. So in order to avoid tarnishing the name of your brand by falling into the Spam category, it pays to be knowledgeable on the CAN-SPAM act to keep your integrity. Also, even if it is basically against your heart’s desire, be professional enough to include an unsubscribe link in every email that you send. But remind them as well how they were included in your mailing list.

10) If you don’t have anything to say, shut up.

The internet is already filled with useless content that takes up too much space in the cloud. Do your subscriber a favor by sending useful, relevant content. Your emails should always have a purpose, and good business always fosters from ensuring that what you do will be beneficial not only for you, but for your client as well. Email marketing tricks will get advance you to a level at some point, but sincerity will give you success.

Increase Traffic on a Budget

How to Increase Traffic on a Budget

Having a strong online presence is important for any business in today’s marketplace. Having a good website online will cost you some money, but in most cases, this is not enough. A marketing team can help, but if you do not have the money for marketing, you may think that you are better off without a website. However, you do not have to have a huge marketing budget or even a marketing budget to promote your business. Also, If you want to test your idea and experiment with real life results, Here are some ways that you can increase traffic to your website with a small or no budget. 

1. Focus on Your SEO

A vital part of any successful online business is SEO. A good SEO strategy will bring higher amounts of traffic and builds brand awareness. SEO does take a lot of work, and there are new algorithms being released every few weeks to months. Google Analytics and AdWords will keep you up-to-date with the changes to the algorithms and help you find the SEO keywords that you should be focusing on.

However, in the last few updates to the search engine algorithms, keywords have become less of the focus. Keyword spamming was a huge problem, but Google is cracking down on websites that only focus on the keywords.

2. High-Quality Content

Since Google’s algorithms are getting smarter, building content is becoming more important than ever. The more content that your website has the more data that Google has to match with a search result. Good content will keep your visitors on your website, and visit different webpages. The Hummingbird algorithm focuses on what the visitors are doing and what they are clicking on. The more users who visit your website and the longer they stay, the higher that you will be ranked.

What is High-Quality Content? This really depends on the field that you are in. Generally, it is content that people are looking for. This can include FAQ’s and blog posts that answer questions people have. You should also make sure that your content is shareable on Social Media.

3. Have a Contest

If you want to build your social following in a very short time, and you have a marketing budget, you could host a contest. People really like contests, and winning free stuff. However, you need to be creative. Everyone has seen the like, share, and comment to win, and most people will just participate because it is easy to enter. There are many ways to run a contest and giveaway so have fun. Before hosting a contest, you should make sure that you know your areas guidelines about giveaways and contests to make sure you are not breaking any laws.

4. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is when you have your blog post published on another website. The post can be about anything related to your business, or industry. Guest blog posts are a simple, but fun way of driving organic traffic to your website, and build the amount of links to your website.

5. Use Social Media

Social media is the best way to market your business when you have a small marketing budget. Like your website, creating high quality and shareable content is more important than posting a lot per day. Pictures are a great option to share a message within seconds, and you are more likely to get shares, and likes with an image post.

While having a huge marketing budget is nice, you do not need any budget at all to increase your website traffic. Increasing your website traffic only takes smart marketing tactics.

Must-Have WordPress Plugins to Help You Optimize Your Website or Blog

There are a few tens of thousands of plugins available for WordPress which makes figuring out the essential ones a difficult task to say the least. The good news is you only need a handful of plugins to optimize your site. The essential areas that are worth focusing on include email marketing, content, security, and optimization. There is a few WordPress plugin must haves for each category and a few good reasons why each plugin might be good for your website.

Email marketing plugins

Email Marketing Plugin

Email marketing is a cheap and effective modern advertising solution for your online business. There are a few plugins to make your marketing efforts more effective, quicker and easier in the long-term.

LeadIn

This email marketing plugin is made specifically to track leads to your website. It details visitor’s actions and is a great resource for a website owner who wants to understand his audience better. It a detailed program that even lets you know how many subscribers each opt-in form brought in.

Rapidology

Rapidology is a perfect resource for the business owner who wants maximum control over his email marketing campaign. The plugin allows for multiple opt-in forms in a variety of formats. These include widgets, inlines, slide-ins, pop-ups and more. Its split-testable feature means that you get to choose which opt-in form to integrate with your preferred email delivery service. The best part is it’s free.

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Content Plugins

Even the best run email marketing campaign is useless if you don’t have good content that offers real value to the visitor. There is a few WordPress plugin must haves to help you manage your content better.

Disqus Comment System

This plugin replaces the default plugin comment section with the Disqus version. The advantage here is Diqus looks better than the default option and is also much easier to use on both ends.

Page Builder

This plugin from SiteOrigin is extremely efficient and useful for crafting page layouts and posts. The winning feature is its drag-and-drop content builder shaving off precious minutes or hours when updating your content. It is definitely one of the best content plugins that you can get for free.

TablePress

WordPress default installation doesn’t come with the classic HTML tables. TablePress solves this problem. It is free, functional and easy to use and is at least worth considering for your site.

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Security Plugins

Most business owners don’t need to be told about cyber security and the risks that hackers pose to a site or blog. The reality is investing in security is not a priority especially for small business owners working on tight budgets. Fortunately, there is a few security WordPress plugin must haves to help on this front.

WordFence Security

WordFence security is a game changer because it allows virtually anyone to enjoy enterprise-level security without the matching cost. It is a free plugin to protect your website from hackers. It includes real-time updates and alerts for potential threats and is definitely worth having.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox

This plugin does exactly what it sounds like; it backs up your WordPress to your Dropbox account automatically. This guarantees that you can always recover your website even in a worst case scenario. It backs up daily.

Sucuri Security

This is an auditing and malware scanner that helps to get that extra level of security you need for your website. It automatically searches for malware and other potential security threats. It also has a variety of settings to give you ultimate control over your website security.

Optimization Plugins

Optimization Plugins

Lastly, there is no getting around SEO if you want your website or blog to rank high in search engine results. As with the other plugins suggested here, you don’t need necessarily need a huge budget to optimize your site. There are a few plugins worth considering for this purpose.

Simple 301 Redirects

This plugin offers a simple solution to the common problem of visitors getting redirected to a missing URL. The plugin helps to easily redirect users to an existing page and solving the problem of 404 pages as you work on the missing URL.

Yoast SEO

Yet another optimization WordPress plugin must haves is the Yoast SEO. It ranks top 3 in the most widely used WordPress plugins of all time and for good reason. It offers some of the best functionality you could ever wish for in an optimization plugin and is very easy to set up. It is highly recommended for anyone who wants to optimize his site quickly, easily and cheaply.

Broken Link Checker

It is an open secret that Google penalizes for broken links. Never lose out on high rankings because of faulty links courtesy of Broken Link Checker. The plugin checks your comments, pages, and posts for broken links so you are always on top of your site’s functionality and performance.

 

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Bonus: Social Media Plugins

It is impossible to ignore the importance of social media in reference to websites and blogs. There are a few useful plugins to help leverage the power of social media.

Social Metrics Tracker

This plugin helps to keep track of all your social media posts regardless of the platform and gives feedback on your performance for each site. The dashboard displays the numbers of likes, shares, and other important metrics so you are always aware of which posts or sites are working well and which ones need to be improved.

Revive Old Post

The aptly named website does exactly what it promises. It ensures that none of your posts go stale and is a great way to stay interactive on social media. The plugin randomly picks old posts from the archives and shares them on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. All you need to do is set how often you want it to post and let it do its job.

 

EXTRA BONUS: The one you really need

Iubenda Privacy Policy and Cookie Solution

Most countries have privacy laws that require you to include a privacy policy – a statement of your data collection as a disclosing service to your visitors or users – as a website ownerIn most of Europe there are laws that require digital publishers to disclose the use of cookies to their users. iubenda 

generate your privacy policy

These are just some of the notable WordPress plugin must haves that make the biggest impact on your website or blog’s performance and optimization. The best part is these plugins don’t require any coding knowledge or experience. Most importantly, they are cost effective and allow you to compete favorably with bigger businesses with much larger budgets.

Want more resources? Check out our Tools & Resources

How to Make Personality Testing Work For You

How to Make Personality Testing Work For You

If you’re reading this article then you’ve probably been thinking (as many people do) about how to improve yourself on a personal level. Whether that is increasing your confidence, developing leadership mentality skills, being more focused in your life or even just understanding your root motivations and how you see the world, personality testing can give you the insight you want to start making changes.

There are many tests available, both free and sponsored, that can provide you with subjective insight into your character, one of the most tried and tested of these is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). While being similar to Carl Jung’s Type Testing in that it measures introspection and extroversion, MBTI differs by basing its outcomes not on judgments but by more “open ended” responses based on perception.

Of course, with any information, it is only of value if we know how to use it. In this article, we will look at how to interpret data you get from personality tests, and more importantly, how to make positive changes in your day to day life based on what you’ve learned.

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Who Should Take these Tests?

Taking theses test can either be a personal choice or one that an employer, who may be looking to change company dynamics, may make. While it is unlikely that any information you gain will blow your mind, they will make you realize that your key strengths and weaknesses are not yours alone and that most of us do fit broadly into fairly distinct personality types.

By understanding this, we can then seek to make positive changes by utilizing our strengths and making support/scaffolding structures to back up our weaker areas. Understanding yourself better is the first step in becoming a better you.

If you wanted to start a company, wouldn’t you look at the assets involved, the limitations in providing your service? Sure you would, and taking a personality test is really no different. When you want to make something new, first look at the materials you are working with, then plan for success.

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What the Results Mean

It’s important to remember that any statements made on a personality test (even the MBTI), are not blanket statements. If a result states “introverted”, this doesn’t mean that that’s all you are, or even that it is necessarily a bad thing. It just means that within certain circumstances, the person taking the test demonstrates a tendency towards introversion.

Does this mean that you are doomed to a life of introversion? No. What it does mean, however, is that you now know that in some situations, you will likely not be the most outgoing person in the room. So how can we use this to our advantage? By being aware, we have the advantage that we can set up support structures in advance to help make situations that we may ordinarily feel are disadvantageous, into situations where we can excel!

What are Support Structures?

Support structures are simply preparations that you have made in order to help yourself achieve a better result.

Let’s look at a very common example:

Situation: You are at a meeting where there are two opposing ideas.

The problem: In pressure situations, you tend to be a little quiet and shy of pushing your ideas.

The solution: Here’s how you might set up some scaffolding or support structures.

  1. Make sure that you can describe your concept in very simple, short sentences.
  2. Make a list of possible negatives that your idea (or point of view) might face. Figure out a plain language rebuttal to these negatives.
  3. Be prepared to use “interjection language”. For example, if you feel that you are being sidelined, draw the attention back to yourself by beginning your next sentence with a slightly louder “So …” or “And…” The added volume and o course the fact that these words are conjunctive (thereby continuing) should make people refocus on you.
  4. Prepare a summation and practice it. If you can make a concise summary that reiterates your idea, deals with negatives and shows at least two good reasons why yours is the better idea, then be ready to use it. The more you practice saying it at home, the more freely it will flow from you and stay on point.

This is not just applicable to you work life. Many people face this challenge in the home or at school, too.

 

How Do I Use This Information Today?

The first step is to consider how the personality test actually made you feel. There are no right or wrong results; it’s all about your subjective feelings about those results. If there are parts that you felt were negative, then this is the time to look at how you can turn these into positives.

For example, if a result states that you tend to act too impulsively, then there are several things you can do to remedy this. Begin by making a list of situations you might be in where you are likely to make impulsive or instinctive decisions. Consider what option you will have in those situations and then take your time to think about what decision will provide the best long-term outcome for you. By doing this, you are no longer acting in an “impulsive manner”. Your decisions will be based on rational forethought and consideration, which is more often than not, a better outcome.

How Can I Ensure Positive Changes Going Forward?

Changing our habits is not an overnight move. Psychologists argue that habit forming behavior takes around three to four weeks of consistency before your neural paths begin rewriting. If you only try to improve yourself a couple of days a week, you’re doomed to fail. Self-improvement is not a one-off; it’s a lifelong, and rewarding, undertaking, that if done right can make you one of those rare few: a contented person.

Set yourself challenges on a daily basis. By tasking yourself, you not only get the personal pleasure of achievement, you set yourself up to be the kind of person that hits goals. Try not to make the goals unrealistic, figure out how you will measure each success with some clear parameters and failure factors. And remember, if you don’t succeed the first time, keep going, evaluate and try again.

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What Personality Type are You? Take the test here 

If you want to learn more about Myer Briggs Personalities Types, go through these list of books below and start learning who you are, and who can be. Offer these books to your employees and or friends and encourage each others to take control and create change

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