Indian hockey team wins second Test of Europe Tour against France, claims series

first_imgAfter clinching the opener 2-0 India men’s hockey team outclassed France 4-1 in the second match of the Europe Tour at the Wattignies Sports Centre here on Wednesday.Gurjinder Singh scored twice, Amir and Rupinder Pal Singh found the target once each for India, while Baumgarten pulled one back for the hosts.While it was the French who looked determined and displayed their best stick work throughout the first quarter, the Indian men were in no mood to give away the possession to the opponents and took away the ball from them displaying great speed and short passing skills.Also read: India women’s hockey team looks to rework on their strategyBy virtue of their even rotation across the field, India were awarded a penalty corner but it was efficiently saved by the French goalkeeper. France constantly looked for opportunities to pierce the Indian defence, but the visitors went on the attack and Gurjinder Singh’s drag flick from a penalty corner in the 14th minute helped make the tally 1-0 as the first quarter came to an end.France came back strongly in the second quarter with Baumgarten scoring a field goal in the 21st minute. Thereafter they were awarded a penalty corner but the shot was nicely saved by Kothajit Singh.The Indians were quick to respond with attacks from both flanks, and reaped rich rewards as Amir hit a rebound from a penalty corner into the net.India led 2-1 at halftime.Recap: India beat France 2-0 in first hockey Test of Europe TouradvertisementAfter the breather, India stepped on the gas once again keeping France under relentless pressure while at the other end Indian goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh stood as a wall for the defence whenever France tried to penetrate the goal-box.The Indian men ensured good possession of the ball and after earning a couple of penalty corners, luck favoured the tourists, with Gurjinder successfully converting another penalty corner in the 44th minute. India now led 3-1.Rupinder then hammered in an insurance goal in the 52nd minute.After winning the series 2-0, India now travel to Spain and play their next match on August 10 at Sant Cugat del Valles.last_img read more

Former Australia skipper Mark Taylor pushes for four-day format to revolutionise Test cricket

first_imgFormer Australian Test captain Mark Taylor has reiterated his calls for a four-day Test cricket in order to revive the dwindling interest in the iconic longer-format of the game.Taylor, who is also a Cricket Australia board member, said that it was not easy to keep the younger generation interested in the game for over five days as they generally want more instant gratification, News.com.au reported.According to the 51-year-old former opener, a four-day Test cricket would drive more people into stadiums.Also read: New Zealand, Australia look for day-night Test supremacy  Taylor also believes that the broadcasters wouldn’t mind if the five-day cricket is reduced to four days, with the game finishing over the weekend.In a seismic change to the traditional format, Australia and New Zealand are set to create history by playing the game’s first-ever day and night Test with pink ball in Adelaide Oval from Friday.last_img read more

8 Ways to Be Proactive Versus Reactive in Your Career

first_img 9 Signs You Nailed the Interview Are you constantly head down, plugging away on your next project as deadlines hover? Are your clients and colleagues continually wringing their hands for updates as leadership presses for bigger, better and faster solutions?If you said, ‘yes,’ you are not alone. With today’s hyper-competitive, continually disrupted market, there is an expectation to thrive amid chaos. Management and consumer expectations, it seems are zooming higher and higher, creating a feeling of never doing enough.However, allowing this press of expectations to create a head-down mentality can overwhelm your personal career goals and advancement if you allow it, impacting your future prospects. While bringing your best self to your current job is important, it is equally crucial to proactively nurture and maintain a healthy career that you can look forward to, despite the winds of change.Following are eight things you can start doing now to ensure you are prepared for any and all eventualities.1. Identify your next-step career goal. Do you want to make a lateral move? If you love what you do and want to ensure continued opportunities in a similar role, then that’s great. Or, perhaps you would like to perform a similar role but in a different industry. Or, maybe you want to break through to the next level supervisor or management role, tapping into recent experiences and achievements directing people or teams. Perhaps even, you are seeking out a wholly different career – a big change, if you will. Make note of this and define what that role looks like. Bottom line, being clear on your destination for the next chapter of your career is critical for getting there.2. Define what you love. Do you love solving complex problems, authoring reports, planning logistics, working with customers face to face, multi-tasking, going deep and wide into long projects, working solitarily or collaborating in teams? The list goes on, but keep thinking and then prioritizing the details of initiatives and skills you continually want to leverage in your next role. List your top 10, and then narrow that further into your top five favorite areas of skills focus.3. Define what you dislike. No job is perfect, and there always will be aspects that are boring or tedious. However, by identifying those aspects that you find least favorable, you can better attract the right-fit role and steer away from those positions that are least fitting for your personality.For example, even if you perform well in a customer facing role, this doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy it. If continual customer engagement depletes and exhausts you, you may be more suited to a behind-the-scenes role.4. Enroll in training and development. If the target role you have identified requires skills, abilities and/or experiences that you have not acquired, then seek to fill the gap. If company sponsored training is available, tap into it. If not, invest in yourself, devoting both the time and money necessary to get up to speed so that you can move into the next role more smoothly, with the proper credentials.5. Record your contributions. If you’ve been so busy ensuring your job is done right and clients are cared for, that’s terrific and indicates you are achieving results. Have you written those achievements down somewhere? If not, find a notebook or open an online document and begin writing them out. Don’t worry about perfectly articulating your stories – freeform at first. Once you’ve warmed up your thought engine, begin organizing your stories into a situation, action, result format to ensure you pull the threads of each story all the way through the situational fabric, creating a clear picture. For example: Also on Glassdoor: 25 Amazing Companies Hiring in All 50 States Situation: One-off sales mentality created a region that was last-place performer among 8 colleague regions.Action: Introduced under-educated ‘old-school’ sales team to a technology-based culture focused on peer-driven accountability and implemented a series of sustainable programs.Result. Drove region from #8 to #1 in country within 12 months.6. Research companies. Delve down into their culture, their hiring process and what their employees are saying. Create a target list of companies that appeal to you and begin the conversation with employees and decision makers within those organizations.7. Build your resume. You’ve already identified your target role, begun compiling your achievements stories and pinpointed companies that appeal to you; it’s time now to pull together a more formal story that you can share with company representatives when discussing how your experience complements their needs.8. Audit and bolster your social networking presence: Ensure your public profiles, from Facebook to Instagram to LinkedIn, etc., not only are complete but also present your professional essence in a positive light. Assess your profiles for potentially negative vibes then delete negative, and add positive, content to improve your persona, where needed. Intentionally add value to your audience with professional content and organically market your skills versus focusing solely on personal travel, parties and activities, for example.Change rarely is as sudden as we like to believe, so don’t ignore the red flags, rumors or gut feeling that change may be afoot at your company or job. Continue working hard to prove your value in your current role while also taking time to prepare for the eventualities that can occur in an ever-changing workplace climate.last_img read more

Raiola: Ibrahimovic would be AC Milan player if Galliani still there…

first_imgSuper agent Mino Raiola says released Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be happy to return to AC Milan.Raiola suggested the Rossoneri’s new directors were incapable of negotiating a deal for a player of Ibra’s stature.“Ibra’s fine, he’s received so many offers, from the US and beyond,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.“Italy? He’s certainly not going to Napoli. Milan haven’t asked me about him. “With Galliani, he’d already be here…”last_img

Day 1 at the mHealth Summit: Ideas, Challenges, Opportunities

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 9, 2010June 20, 2017By: Raji Mohanam, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The three-day mHealth Summit began today in Washington DC, with over 2,000 experts from both public and private sectors coming together to discuss how innovative mobile technologies are being used to improve health and health systems around the world.To give you some context as to why those of us working in maternal health (or any global public health field for that matter) should care about mHealth, here are some stunning facts:There are 5 billion cell phone subscribers on the planet70% of these subscriptions are in the developing worldToday, almost 90 percent of the world’s population has access to a wireless telephone signalAbout three quarters of mobile phone users have texting capability and features such as GPS that can pinpoint their locationBy 2015, about 60 percent of mobile phones are expected to be web-enabledThe conference opened with remarks from David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance. He pointed out that the only way forward for real growth and scale-up in mHealth is if a culture of collaboration was fostered across sectors. Only through a multisectoral approach and through public-private partnerships can we expect the next phase of growth to be achieved by the thousands of mHealth pilot projects currently being conducted around the world. No one entity, organization, government, or sector can succeed alone. He also made a number of key announcements about the mHealth Alliance:GSM Association has become a mHealth Alliance partnerHUB (Health UnBound) is now launched – www.healthunbound.org – to facilitate global knowledge-sharing in mHealth.HP has made a $1 million commitment to the mHealth Alliance. The donation will support HUB and their Maternal mHealth Initiative (MMI).Keynote speaker Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, highlighted a number of innovations happening in mHealth:A technology used during the Gulf oil spill in the form of a wearable mobile phone device with a chemical sensor system can be used to assess exposure to and track harmful hydrocarbons in the air.A lens-free microscope called LUCAS attached to a mobile phone can be used for surveillance and diagnosis of infectious diseases in resource-limited settings.A real-time adherence monitoring device using mobile phones is used for HIV antiretroviral therapy in Uganda. Every time a pill box is opened, it sends a signal through a mobile phone that the pill box was opened and taken.He also announced that this summer, NIH will launch an institute on mobile technology research to enhance health. There will be 25 applicants selected for this five day workshop.The last Keynote Speaker, Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlighted the launch earlier this year of Text4Baby in the U.S. This is a free SMS information service for pregnant women and new mothers that delivers data about things like immunizations, pregnancy diet/nutrition, and appointment reminders. Text4Baby has become largest mobile health program in US, with an enrollment of over 100,000 women.After a day of listening to these and other fascinating speakers, I realized that there were three words that seemed to keep coming up: “ideas”, “challenges”, and “opportunities”. They are all plentiful in the quickly evolving mHealth ecosystem, which means that we need to understand them well if mobile phones are to achieve their full potential to improve lives. Ideas (great ones) for mHealth abound. Many of these ideas are already being implemented in pilot programs around the world. Take a look at these examples: Voxiva, Mobisante, ZMQ, and Frontline SMS: Medic just to name a few. Challenges abound too. Despite what many mHealth enthusiasts believe, mobile technology is not a panacea. There are still many unanswered questions, including: which ideas will really work in the long-run and which are cost-effective? Where is the data and evidence to support scaling these projects up? What happens when batteries die out or connectivity fails in the middle of a data gathering project? All these questions and more need further investigation. The good news is that everyone here is alluding to myriad opportunities to collaborate to find out these answers, together. These opportunities are what I look forward to hearing more about this week.You can follow the mHealth conference online and watch a webcast of the conference proceedings on the mHealth Summit’s website. Follow on Twitter using the hashtag #mHS10.Share this:last_img read more

Take a Quick Survey about Our Interactive Maps

first_imgPosted on February 22, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)At the MHTF, we’re always working to improve the experience of users on our site to ensure that you are able to find what you want, when you want it. To that end, we’ve created a survey about our Interactive Maps to help us learn how you’re using them and how we can continue to improve them. If you’ve used the maps before, please take a few minutes to complete a short survey to help us be sure we’re meeting your needs. If you’ve haven’t used them before, check them out and tell us what you think.Click here to take the surveyShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

The Lancet and Women Deliver: Closing the Gap for Reproductive and Maternal Health–A Call for Papers

first_imgPosted on December 3, 2012November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Our colleagues at Women Deliver and The Lancet have recently issued a call for papers for an upcoming special issue of The Lancet that will coincide with the Women Deliver conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in May 2013.From the call:The Lancet is planning a special issue to coincide with the Women Deliver conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on May 28–30, 2013. We invite high quality submissions that address the themes of the conference and are from research groups working on reproductive, maternal, and newborn health globally. Manuscripts should be submitted via our online submission system by Dec 14, 2012. The bulk of manuscripts should follow the usual Lancet format for original research articles, but we will also consider case studies and other less research oriented submissions, as seen in the blue and green sections of the journal. Please state in the cover letter that the submission is in response to this call for papers.Read the full call for papers.More about the upcoming Women Deliver conference:The three core themes of the 2013 conference are: investment in women, meeting women’s need for contraception, and the new architecture for the development goals and the effect on reproductive health. More broadly, the conference will focus on the links between improving maternal health and other development goals, including education, environment, gender equity, human rights, reduction in child mortality, and the eradication of HIV/AIDS.Learn more about the Women Deliver conference.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

8 tips for working with clients from long distances

first_imgThis quarter, I have decided to focus on e-coaching which means that I will be working with several clients from long distances. The professor in me loves it! In fact, as soon as I finish this blog post, I have to prepare for an e-coaching session with a client who lives in Massachusetts. Last week, I had sessions with clients in Texas, Tennessee, Illinois, California, and New York.Having long distance clients is a great way to increase your client roster. However, if you are not accustomed to long-distance relationships—because indeed business relationships are relationships—there are a few things that you should consider in order to be successful.Be clear about time zonesPlease don’t laugh, but you can really create havoc when setting up appointments, scheduling, and even confirming sessions if you are in one time zone and your client is in a different one. Just imagine sitting in front of your computer waiting to begin a virtual meeting and your West Coast clients are no shows. To be on the safe side, always ask. Depending on the scheduling system that you use, it will convert the time change for you on your master calendar.Include phone consultationsOnce a client has expressed serious interest, you may want to consider picking up that phone. There is a strong possibility that there are other people who live in that same area who do exactly what you do, so try adding phone consultations so that potential long distance-clients can get to ‘know’ you.Think of this as a professional ice breaker because it is critically important that your client trusts you.Offer testimonials or referralsIt is not uncommon for long distance clients to ask for the input of others who have used your services. For each category of service that you offer, have 3 to 5 testimonials and referrals readily available. This reassures your client that others have used your services and they’ve had positive experiences.Post your services on national job boardsJob boards are fertile grounds for getting long distance clients, but they can also be landfills if you are not careful. Make sure the board is reputable and make sure that you have a vetting process for determining which clients will be a good fit for you. If you are contracted to do a job, do you have a legally-binding contract? What payment methods will you accept? What is your refund policy?Focus on great customer serviceThe downside about distance is that you don’t have the luxury of actually seeing someone face to face. The human bond is a strong one and even computer screens obscure that. So, go out of your way to make sure that your long distance clients—most of whom you will never meet you face-to-face—feel as if they are receiving the same quality and caliber of service that they would if they were actually closer to you.Ask for referralsOne of the reasons why I have picked up so many clients in the Atlanta area in particular is because my clients there have referred me to several of their colleagues. And it all started with me saying, “If you know of anyone else who may be in need of our services, feel free to share my contact information.”The reason why this is so important is because people may assume that you are at capacity or that you are not taking new customers, so this is a reassuring way to let them know that you value and respect them enough to offer your services to people within their networks.Be clear about how you will deliver your servicesWith technology, there are so many ways to stay connected with people, but some people prefer certain mediums over others. Again, I don’t assume. Depending on the service, I will often ask if my long distance clients would prefer emailing, teleconferencing, or videoconferencing. I then customize that particular service so that it’s aligned with their preference.Be clear about your payment methodsAnd, unlike brick and mortar businesses, taking cash and personal checks are not practical. Apps like Square, PayPal, and CashApp are great for working with long distance customers.last_img read more

The grieving freelancer: a lesson from a typo and my dog’s death

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Last week, one month before his 13th birthday, my business partner crossed over to the rainbow bridge.My office will never be the same.True, it’s going to smell better. Farley was, as my daughter says, a big tooter. Client calls will no longer be interrupted by his screeching howl, which he started as a puppy when he heard sirens (and we encouraged, because Oh, So Cute!–until five years later when you have a newborn who needs sleep).This room feels so lonely.I worked last week from any space I could find that was NOT my home office. Libraries, coffee shops, under the duvet in our guest room. My grief was all-consuming. I cried, so, so very much. I used to brag to my friends in college that 1) I didn’t like pizza (wait, what?), and 2) I don’t cry. Always with the caveat: If I did cry, it would never, ever be in public.Cue hysterical laughter from all the baristas I encountered last week.As I write this, there’s a voice in my brain that’s screaming “Don’t Admit This—It’s Bad for Business!”But my grief impacted my work. Things I said would get done didn’t. Things I’d hoped to get done were put on hold. I didn’t just not focus on my clients’ needs. I put my needs first. I wrote—but nothing that would pay the bills.In other words, according to my bully-brain, I failed.Every day, I wake up wanting to be perfect. Wanting to be The Most Perfect Business Person Slash Writer Slash Mom Slash Wife (and on and on).But dammit, even at very my best, I fail. A lot. And when I do, that voice in my head, that one that won’t SHUT THE HELL UP rails me to BE MORE and DO MORE and STOP FREAKING FAILING, YOU MISERABLE, IMPOSTER IDIOT.And on those days, when that voice was oh-so-loud, my dog Farley loved me anyway. He never cared if I failed. When I failed big time, he was my stinky furry tissue, absorbing my tears. He loved me when I blew a big meeting. He loved me when I lost a client or failed to secure a big bid. He loved me when I missed a deadline. He loved me when I gasp sent copy for review that contained TYPOS.Typos! A writer! A professional writer who claims THIS to be her expertise!He loved me anyway.And now he’s gone. So, who’s gonna love me now?Well, it seems my goofball, other-dog-hating, food-stealing, imperfect partner-in-crime of 12 years had one final thing to say about it:On his urn, his printed name—one giant typo.FARLLEY SHERMANEngraved.Permanent.My first instinct, upon seeing it, was who-the-ef spells “Farley” with two Ls? But my second instinct, behind the tears, was to think about the imperfectness with which my best boy embraced life. And I giggled.A typo.Something I fear more than any sane human should.And here I was, on the receiving end of a typo, still living. Laughing, in fact.I could have it fixed.Or I suppose, like Farley, I can accept it for what it is.A mistake. A simple one. One any human could make. One any human can and should be forgiven for.Even when the human making such a mistake, is me.Farley bud, your unconditional love was such a gift. And this final reminder that ain’t nobody perfect is pushing me ever-so-slightly toward giving myself a gift, too.You aren’t here to do it for me, anymore. So for today, I will choose to love me. Just like you. I choose to love me.Anyway.Carie Sherman chose freelancing for two reasons: more time at home with her daughter and a passion for stretchy pants. As a copywriter, Carie helps businesses find their voice and reach their readers.last_img read more

Grocery Outlets: The Secret to Saving Green on Groceries

first_imgWhen it comes to discount grocery stores, you’re probably already familiar with Trader Joe’s and ALDI, among others, but you may not know about a type of food discounter called a grocery retail remarketer, a grocery outlet, or “salvage” grocery.On the US west coast, the best-known remarketer is probably the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market chain but elsewhere, there are over a hundred similar companies, like Sharp Shopper in Pennsylvania, B&E Salvage Company in Kentucky, and Mike’s Discount Foods in Minnesota.Forget clipping coupons to score a deal at your regular grocery store. These outlets sell groceries at extreme discounts all the time compared to more recognized grocery stores because they operate on an entirely different business model and they come with a catch: they won’t always have your favorite name-brand goods in stock all the time.To understand how these outlets operate, let’s first look at how the grocery industry normally works.How grocery items make their way to discounters.Most grocery store chains move their food purchases from suppliers to their own distribution centers and then to their retail stores. Throughout this process, there are many different points where companies make purchasing and inventory control decisions in order to ensure they are minimizing their inventory and shipping costs, stocking only the most popular brands, and selling through their inventory ahead of “best use by” dates.Given all the guesswork involved in the process, it’s no surprise that these major grocery stores occasionally realize they bought more units of a certain product than they probably should have—whether it was too many boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes or Nutella.Other times, items become overstock because they go out-of-season, they get damaged at the warehouse, or the supplier re-designs the packaging and re-brands the goods.However it happens, these extras become a wasted cost for the retailer and this cost must be offset by higher prices on the products we shoppers actually buy.This is a problem for the grocery store and the consumer, right?Right, and this is where grocery remarketers come in. These outlets offer to buy the excess or sometimes lightly damaged inventory from the big grocery stores and suppliers at rock-bottom prices.The sellers love the deal because the remarketers enable them to get rid of excess inventory, thereby reducing their losses. The remarketers love the deal because they can then sell the cheaply bought excess inventory to shoppers like us for extremely low prices and still make a profit!That’s a win-win-win.Doesn’t “unused inventory” mean expired or cast-off?“Cast-off” is the wrong idea. The products just weren’t selling, so the remarketer moved them elsewhere to find a customer. These products are typically the very same name-brand goods you would buy anywhere else and they’re just as safe as they would be elsewhere. As proof, many outlets offer a money-backed quality and satisfaction guarantee.As part of that guarantee, the outlets also take great care to explain that their goods are not expired. Before you visit an outlet for the first time, I’d recommend visiting its website to learn more about product packaging and “best use” dates.Basically, a “sell by” date should be followed for safety reasons, but labels like “best if used by” and “use by” dates on packaging are not related to product safety and are just a manufacturer’s recommendation for peak flavor quality.Outlets may still sell goods after these ‘best use” dates as long as they judge the goods to still be safe.Buyer beware, of course, but I shop at grocery outlets all the time and I’ve never been disappointed by the quality I’ve found. (Don’t forget the outlet guarantee, either.)What other things you should know about grocery outlets? Many of them still accept manufacturer’s coupons, which will save you even more money at the checkout. Also, heads-up: many outlets try to keep their costs low by avoiding credit card fees and thus, many outlets don’t accept credit cards.As the saying goes, cash is king, and now you know how you can save a lot of it just by shifting your shopping to grocery outlets.Sydney Jarod is a freelance journalist in northern California. His local Grocery Market Bargain Outlet has cured him of his Whole Foods habit.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigationlast_img read more

4 Steps to Start Living Within Your Means

first_imgSo you have debt. As you probably know, you’re suffering in good company. According to the Federal Reserve, total household debt is at a staggering $13.86 trillion — and has been steadily climbing. While you might be one of millions… Full Story,We’ve all heard the expression “less is more,” and the concept of minimalism embraces that fully. While it is not a new concept, the minimalism trend has gained popularity in recent years,  especially amongst Millennials in the United States. From… Full Story,Saving more money is one of those big goals that a lot of people have, but get stuck. I know this because we use to be right there too. The year would fly by and we were nowhere near our goal…. Full Story,Have you ever heard of “discretionary income” but felt unsure about exactly what it means? You’re not alone. Many people are aware of what they spend, but not the financial lingo behind it. Discretionary income refers to the remaining funds… Full Story,Mastering the personal finance basics feels pretty good. Getting a firm grasp on your expenses and budgeting like a pro is a reason to celebrate—you’re building the foundation for a solid financial future! This, of course, goes hand in hand… Full Story,While the traditional definition of financial freedom is that you have enough in investments, savings, and passive income that you don’t have to ever work for money again, it can also mean that you reach a point where you don’t… Full Story,Do you ever feel on edge because you’re not sure if you have enough in your bank account to cover your bills and put food on the table? If so, you’re far from alone. A recent study by the United… Full Story,Starting your journey toward financial fitness can be overwhelming. If you take a gander at the Center for Financial Services and Innovation (CFSI)’s eight key indicators of financial health, which include spending less than your income, having sufficient living expenses… Full Story,This Independence Day, as with each 4th of July, I’m reminded of the great leap of faith my parents took more than 37 years ago when they bought one-way tickets to the United States. Their move from their embattled Iran… Full Story,Earlier this month I had a major #fangirl moment. It was a full #fangirl evening, in fact, when I teamed up with New York Times bestselling author and Girlboss founder Sophia Amoroso to share in a very special money event…. Full Storylast_img read more

3 Ways to Lower Heating Costs This Winter

first_imgHow much do you pay for heating? Depending on where you live, it’s a good chunk of money during the wintertime. Even though we live in the South (in lovely Raleigh!), we’re not immune to getting some cold weather.   With winter coming… Full Story,Tips to help turn those homebuying dreams into reality. From outstanding credit card debt to massive student loans, financial difficulties are barring more and more millennials from becoming homeowners. While the vision of buying a first home may seem hopelessly… Full Story,When most people imagine buying a house, they think about how many bedrooms they need or what kind of porch they want. When they think about homebuying costs, they decide how much to put down and what their maximum home… Full Story,One of my favorite shows is Sex and the City. Those women lived glamorous lives I could only dream about. And, Carrie, a writer, was living my dream life as a famous writer in Manhattan. One of the storylines that… Full Story,Last year, my husband and I were packing up our Denver apartment to prepare for our move back to his home state of Indiana. We’d put an offer in on a house and had only given ourselves a couple of… Full Story,A few years ago Dave Munson and his family decided to move from their 5,600-square-feet, 8-bedroom house in the city of San Antonio, Texas, to a smaller, unique living situation: tents. Well, fancy, upscale tents that total 2,000 square feet… Full Story,It’s a well-known fact that your personal environment affects your mental health. If you live in a beautifully decorated home with plenty of plants and green space nearby, your risk for anxiety and depression is lower. If you spend your… Full Story,My husband and I were so excited to buy our house. We’d been renting since college and were eager to have our own place. Finally, no one could tell us how many dogs we could have or how many posters… Full Story,Last summer, I was forced to relocate out of my cozy, bungalow-style apartment in West L.A. Living in one of the most unaffordable rental markets in the U.S., I was resigned to the fact that, to enjoy my ideal setup… Full Story,When you buy a home, you’re making an investment in yourself and your future. You’re building  financial stability, equity, and experience. You have a place to call your own and you can customize the space just how you want. As… Full Storylast_img read more

Spring Cleaning: How to Turn Junk into Cash

first_imgHave a question for Farnoosh? You can submit your questions via Twitter @Farnoosh, Facebook or email at farnoosh@farnoosh.tv (please note “Mint Blog” in the subject line).Farnoosh Torabi is America’s leading personal finance authority hooked on helping Americans live their richest, happiest lives. From her early days reporting for Money Magazine to now hosting a primetime series on CNBC and writing monthly for O, The Oprah Magazine, she’s become our favorite go-to money expert and friend. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigation A few years ago I bought a pair of designer pumps…just because. It was an impulse purchase I made while very pregnant. Since shoes were the only articles of clothing that still fit in my original size, I decided they were worth the splurge. I wanted to make myself feel better. (We all make mistakes.)While, they cost me more than $500 and I only wore them once, the good news is that I was able to sell them for more than $200 a year later. No more having those shoes sit in my closet collecting dust, staring at me and judging…as if to say, “What were you thinking, Farnoosh?”With spring upon us, now is a smart time to take inventory of all the “shtuff” we have lying around the house that isn’t bringing us any joy or usefulness. What can you live without? What’s truly run its course?My rule of thumb: If you discover something, say, an article of clothing, a tool, a gadget, that you FORGOT you even owned because it’s been at least two years since you used it, it’s most likely worth tossing.But before you fill up those recycling bags, know that some of your trash is another person’s treasure, for which they are willing to pay good money.Here’s a round up of a few websites and apps that can help you turn your clutter into cash.No use for your smartphone? Try GazelleJust upgraded your iPhone to the newest model? You may be able to sell your old one online using Gazelle.com, a trade-in site for consumer electronics. There you can sell Apple and Android devices for quick cash. Find out how much your device is worth by answering a few questions on the site. If you decide to sell it, you can ship it to Gazelle for free (as long as the item’s worth $1 or more). You can choose to cash in via check, Amazon.com gift cards or Paypal.Gazelle also has ecoATM kiosks, automated machines in malls, large retailers and grocery stores, where you can instantly earn cash for your unwanted tablets and smartphones.According to the company, the sooner you sell, the better, as your phone’s depreciation is largely based on its age. The site says sellers can earn the most for the newest generation, highest GB, unlocked iPhones and Samsung devices.Below is a list of values for mostly Apple devices. Samsung phones follow a similar path of depreciation, but slightly more aggressive since Android devices don’t hold their values as much as Apple devices, according to the company.Kiosk (Gazelle ecoATM) – Good ConditioniPhone 6s: $165iPhone 6: $120iPhone 5s: $45iPhone 5: $40Online (Gazelle.com) – Good ConditioniPhone 6s: $245iPhone 6: $170iPhone 5s: $80iPhone 5: $50Old camera collecting dust? Hit up NextWorthFor various other devices and electronics lying around your house, including smartphones, tablets, video games, action cameras, wearables, and portable audio devices like mp3 players, try selling through NextWorth.com. Like, Gazelle, you can get an instant quote for your gadget after answering a series of questions.  Nextworth also provides free shipping, tracking, insurance, and personalized updates for every item that is sent.Once your electronic arrives, the site begins processing the device. Once approved, sellers receive an email verification and are paid within a week through PayPal or via check.No need for that fancy dress or designer handbag hiding in your closet? Sell at Tradesy and TheRealRealIs your closet overflowing with high end clothes you haven’t worn in years? A number of upscale fashion resale websites let us cash in on our old duds.At Tradesy.com, the fashion resale site says sellers can earn, on average, a little more than 50% of the original retail price of an item, depending on the category and brand. In some cases, designer bags resale for the same or more than retail price. Most clothing resells for about 30% of its retail price.Over at TheRealReal.com, popular items to sell include designer handbags, shoes, clothing and accessories. All handbags can be priced up to 90% of the original retail cost, though the item’s condition and newness (i.e. how recent it is) play a big part in the resale value. The most popular handbag designers on the site include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, and Prada. Items that are either in pristine or very good condition will always have a higher resale value.Fine jewelry is also a big category on TheRealReal. The average earnings for selling fancy bobbles is over $2,100.For every day clothes, visit ThredUp and PoshmarkthredUP is a popular site to sell everyday clothing, shoes and handbgs. How it works: thredUp sends you “Clean Out” bag with a prepaid shipping label. Fill it up with items that are still in great condition and bought new in the last five years. Leave it on your doorstop for USPS pick up.From there, thredUP processes the bag, takes photos, determines pricing and takes care of the merchandising. Kathleen Weng, VP of Merchandising, says thredUP accepts about 50% of what’s sent it.Make money once your items(s) gets sold, earning up to 80% of the selling price. The top 5 mainstream brands on thredUP include Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, H&M.For new and gently worn non-luxury items, you can also try selling on Poshmark. There, clothing sells for an average of $30 and up, accessories for an average of $55 and up, and shoes for an average of $35 and up. Brands such as Ugg, Nike, The North Face and Michael Kors are some of the most popular on Poshmark.Got old CDs, DVDs, games and books? Head to Decluttr.comYour old school collection of CDs and DVDs may be sentimental, but do you even have a way of listening or watching them with a Discman or DVD player?To cash in, consider Decluttr, which is completely free, including the shipping. Just enter your items into the site, or scan them using Decluttr’s free app and receive an instant quote.The site says you can usually get your money the day after the company receives the items. You can choose to get paid via PayPal, check or direct deposit. You can even donate to a charity using your sales.last_img read more

How To Teach Your Children To Be Entrepreneurs

first_imgWhen I was in the 7th grade, my bestie at the time and I wanted to save up for a shopping spree. We put our middle-school brains together, and devised ways we could earn enough to buy whatever we pleased at the mall. Our goal? To save $500 each.We posted flyers around the neighborhood advertising our lawn watering and pet-sitting services, held yard sales, and peddled candy in between classes. While we fell short of our goal, we had a lot of fun and learned what it took to make a buck.Whether your child ends up being a creative freelancer or CEO of a startup, he or so doesn’t have to wait until college to learn how to start a business. Here are some pointers on teaching your kids entrepreneurial skills.Start With One Business Idea Whether it’s selling lemonade from a corner stand, art at a crafts fair, or home baked goodies at a school-sponsored sale, it’s always helpful to start with a single idea. If your kids are having trouble picking one business endeavor to start with, ask them what they enjoy doing or might be naturally good at.Next, brainstorm ways they can turn these talents into profitable ventures. Check out platforms such as Etsy, Society6, and Shopify to see what kinds of goods are trending. What is it that people want to buy? How much will they sell their product for, and to whom will they sell?For instance, when Brynne Conroy’s youngest child wanted to fill up her piggy bank as the family prepared to visit Disney World, Conroy hadn’t started issuing an allowance yet. She used it as an opportunity to talk about the different ways one can make money. They decided they wanted to sell a product, and that the product would be art.“Lots of crayons and watercolors later, we realized we needing something to mount this art,” says Conroy, who is the creator of Femme Frugality and author of The Feminist Financial Handbook.They went to the Dollar Store to pick up a bunch of picture frames, which her child agreed to repay her for from their initial profits. When they got home, they identified a target audience. That audience turned out to grandma, because she loved her granddaughter’s art and would be more than willing to pay for it. “Minimal sales pitches required!” laughs Conroy.Create a Shark Tank ChallengeA few years ago, I taught a “how-to” workshop on entrepreneurship to high schoolers. After I ran through the basics of how to start a business, we played a Shark Tank-esque game. The kids paired up and came up with a business concept that included their type of business, the basic costs of materials and operating expenses, and their target audience. Next, they presented their ideas in front of the group, and the kids had a chance to pick a few “winners.”What the kids came up with was impressive. From starting a cupcake shop to an electronics resale platform to a print-on-demand service, they were able to devise a basic business plan in a short amount of time.You and your child’s peers can provide useful feedback to help them shape their ideas. Let them know what you like about their business concept, and how they can be improved. Point to real-life businesses as reference.Incorporate Money Lessons While you can teach your kid money management basics by way of an app, game, or by enrolling them in a non-profit financial literacy program such as Junior Achievement, when teaching your kids to be little entrepreneurs, weave in some basic financial lessons to your young ones.Besides basic math, such as addition and subtraction, you can help them get their head around business terms such as return on investment, inventory, goods, services, and the difference between revenue and profit.If you like, you can teach them basics about financing. Use kid-friendly language to demonstrate how a loan works, and what their responsibilities are if they take out a form of financing. Going back to Conroy and her child’s art-selling enterprise, let’s say Conroy had issued a loan to her child to purchase frames. Besides having to “pay back” that money, either by doing extra chores around the house, they would’ve owe additional money, or “interest.” And interest is the cost of borrowing money.Encourage Creativity Money lessons and business jargon 101 aside, an important part of being an entrepreneur is creativity. And that isn’t limited to creating paintings or writing songs. From finding out-of-the-box ideas to pitch a product to would-be customers, marketing tactics, and fusing two unlike things together to come up with something unique, kids can learn to apply their creative ideas to both conceptualizing ideas and problem-solving.For example, a clever marketing tactic could be a referral program of sorts. Or maybe they want to combine their love of baked goods with sea creatures, and create sea-themed cookies and cupcakes.Success Is Secondary While it’s nice for your kids to make some money, it might be more important that they have a positive experience with their efforts and establish confidence, points out Conroy. The last thing you want to do is turn your children off from future entrepreneurial pursuits.“While I’m proud my kid followed me through the steps necessary to generate profit, I’m even more satisfied that they felt good about their efforts at the end,” says Conroy. “Hopefully the next time they have a great, profit-generating idea, they’ll be able to draw upon this well of confidence as they initiate their efforts.”Teaching your children how to be little entrepreneurs can help them learn lasting money management lessons, and give them the confidence to build something from the the ground up. By helping them learn the basic in-and-outs of enterprise when they’re young, they’ll be that much more equipped to tackle the challenges of entrepreneurship in their later years.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related529 Plan: 6 Ways Parents Can Save More Money for Their Kid’s CollegeAugust 27, 2019In “Family Finances”Goal Setting: How to Become A Better SaverSeptember 4, 2019In “Financial Goals”Essential Money Skills Your Kid Needs to KnowOctober 16, 2019In “Family Finances” Post navigationlast_img read more

Urban Transformations: In Tanzania’s Capital, Safer Children Mean Better Neighborhoods

first_imgPoswayo and her team carried out a peer-reviewed study of SARSAI with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2015 and 2016. Compared to a control group, the schools with SARSAI experienced 26 percent fewer traffic injuries, while vehicle speeds in school zones dropped as much as 60 percent. It is the first peer-reviewed method of its kind proven to reduce road traffic injuries and death in the region.The impact of SARSAI goes beyond the numbers, helping children understand that their safety, mobility and freedom in the city matters. Children also internalize the importance of a safe environment and are encouraged to support road safety going forward.“As a parent, now I am very happy,” said Didace Kamugisha, a PTA secretary at the Mikumi Primary School. “This has not only helped the students, but also residents who use the road.”Didace Kamugisha, a parent and PTA secretary at Mikumi Primary School. Photo by Kyle Laferriere Amend, a global road safety nonprofit, is working to save children’s lives by changing the roads they traverse. The School Areas Road Safety Assessments and Improvements (SARSAI) program targets schools with the highest rates of student injuries and creates corridors of improved safety between children’s homes and their schools.“Road safety does so much more to a city than just keep people safe,” said Ayikai Poswayo, SARSAI program director at Amend. “It determines how a city operates, how the people within a city feel.” SARSAI is a finalist for the WRI Ross Prize for Cities. Learn more here.Corridors of SafetyCommunities and local authorities are active participants throughout SARSAI’s process. They help Amend gather data on traffic and pedestrian counts, speed surveys and measurements by explaining their specific challenges and dangerous hotspots. Once identified, Amend implements measures with local road authorities. They install speed bumps, footpaths, traffic calming measures and other infrastructure on nearby roads. Sometimes they even create new entrances to schools to help kids avoid especially dangerous areas. Then they work with the students to teach them safer pedestrian behavior.Footpaths create a safer environment for children and all pedestrians. Photo by Kyle Laferriere EDITOR’S NOTE: SARSAI won the WRI Ross Prize for Cities on April 10, 2019. Learn more here.Chaos often reigns on the streets of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital. Minivans, cars and motorcycles careen along half-finished roads without markings, sidewalks or traffic lights. Pedestrians walk single-file within reach of speeding vehicles. Groups of children in matching school uniforms hold hands as they linger at the road’s edge. They scan for breaks in traffic and dart across before the bell rings for the start of class. Every day, this journey puts their lives at risk.Some of Dar es Salaam’s highest-risk schools see more than 12 students injured or killed in road crashes every year. The city’s skyrocketing population, increasing car ownership and haphazard development have combined to create perilous commutes for school children. While road safety is a global problem—more than 1.35 million people die in crashes every year and the total is only getting higher—children in sub-Saharan Africa are more than twice as likely to die in a road crash than kids in other parts of the world. In cities’ poor neighborhoods, the odds are even worse.Children in sub-Saharan African are twice as likely to die in a road crash than kids in other parts of the world. Designated crossings like the one above help make students’ walks to school safer. Photo by Kyle Laferriere These simple solutions—which cost only about $25,000 per school—are already reshaping Dar es Salaam. SARSAI has helped more than 38,000 students there to date, as well as many more family members, who worry less about their children’s walks to school, and neighbors, who benefit from safer pedestrian infrastructure.One motorcycle taxi driver said street alterations have changed the way he drives. “Before, we used to fear that we would hit them [students],” Yasini Tahwa told WRI. “Now when we reach the zebra crossing, we wait for them to cross first before we pass.”Big Impact with Limited ResourcesData is at the heart of what makes SARSAI effective. To achieve maximum impact with limited resources, Amend’s engineers and statisticians first survey a city for the most high-risk school areas. Then they build out from there, selecting physical interventions that best fit the area.Mikumi Primary School, one of several in Dar es Salaam that worked with the SARSAI program to improve student safety. Photo by Kyle Laferriere Sowing the Seeds of Change“The fact that the interventions we implement are very simple and affordable means that they can be replicated basically anywhere in the world,” Poswayo said.Amend started SARSAI in 2012 with a one-year grant of $100,000 to work with two schools in Dar es Salaam. It’s now expanded to 26 other high-risk school areas in the city, covering 60 percent of the highest-risk schools, as well as eight more cities in eight countries.In Lusaka, Zambia, Amend is partnering with the mayor’s office. In Accra, Ghana, the organization is working to create a pedestrian action plan. Elsewhere in Tanzania, Amend is helping the World Bank incorporate SARSAI’s principles into the design of new roads in eight cities. Amend has even partnered with UNICEF to share its methodology with the city of Kingston, Jamaica.Children play in the schoolyard of Mikumi Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo by Kyle Laferriere Improving the city for some of its most vulnerable residents fundamentally changes the fabric of a city. It weaves together a community that includes parents, families, teachers, youth and local leaders, reimagining how public space is used in daily life. Starting with a focus on school children—such a visceral and immediate concern for so many—allows for a broader conversation about building cities that are better for everyone.“What SARSAI does is to look at our cities from the angle of the child pedestrian,” said Poswayo, SARSAI’s program director. “If we can design our cities from that angle, we would be designing it for the safety and security of all.”Our blog series, Urban Transformations, spotlights finalists for the inaugural WRI Ross Prize for Cities, a global competition for transformative projects and initiatives that have ignited citywide change. The winner, selected from nearly 200 submissions from around the world, will be announced April 10, 2019 in New York City. For more information, visit wrirossprize.org.last_img read more

5 Easy Tips to Create Video Screencasts Like a Pro

first_img 5. Record in a quiet, non-echoey location — like a carpeted conference room. Does your office have wall-to-wall tile? Record in your car. (It’s true, HubSpotters have done this before!) Just make sure your car is parked …  😉 is the screencast, or a video recording of action or movement on your screen. This type of video can be a great tool to provide visual instructions on how to complete a particular task on your website or perhaps even to demo your product. While the recording captures your screen, you can also record a voiceover to narrate what’s happening to your viewers. Topics: Check out a video that is easy for any marketer to create 1. Write the script. Originally published Jul 7, 2011 4:01:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Video Marketing Why? Most likely, you’ll move items in your browser or add/subtract tabs that you have to edit out later — or worse — you’ll have to re-record completely! Focus on the task at hand and don’t move around the items within the frame. Consistency is the key to professional-looking quality. You wouldn’t want to distract your video viewers with a magically-appearing Facebook tab in your video. Have you created a screencast before? What other tips would you suggest? to explain HubSpot’s Here Are Five Tips for Creating Expert Screencasts on Your Own: Photo Credit: These are both reasonably-priced tools (99 bucks) that let you record your screen, record audio, and edit individual video clips. It also produces videos in a file type perfect for uploading to YouTube!center_img . Don’t be fooled! Just because your face doesn’t appear on camera, doesn’t mean you won’t stumble over your words and need to re-record. Save yourself the trouble, and arm yourself with a detailed script. 4. Always keep your face the same distance from the microphone. 2. Use a tool like Camtasia or ScreenFlow. email marketing software Best practice is to position your mouth a hand’s width away from the mic. It’s very easy for your voice recording to go from loud to soft if you’re not keeping the mic (and your face) in the same position. Also, try not to swap rooms while you’re recording a project; background noise can vary, and your voice could echo differently. All of these things will save you a lot of editing time later. recent screencast I created record your video . A screencast is both easy to create and can serve as a great complement to a sea of text on a web page. diebmx 3. Don’t multi-task while recording your screen. The time it will take to write out speaking points will be well worth it when it takes you only half the amount of time to One type of Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How Social Media Capitalism Will Affect Your Future Marketing Strategy

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 15, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Marketing Strategy We are all living the marketing high life. Today, great inbound marketers can transform their business thanks to “free” traffic and leads from social media and search engines. Sure, this traffic isn’t exactly free — marketers have to invest in time and tools to take advantage of these inbound channels. But inbound leads are still 61 percent less expensive than outbound leads. Can This Last Forever? This week, interesting monetization news broke about Pinterest , the hot new social network focused on images. Pinterest is using a service called Skimlinks for its monetization. Skimlinks takes the URLs that people pin on Pinterest and attaches affiliate marketing referral codes to them, which allows Pinterest to get paid when a person discovers a product on the service and then visits a website to purchase that product. (Note: Understand that only ecommerce websites that have an affiliate marketing program pay Pinterest for conversions. If you don’t have an affiliate marketing program, then traffic from Pinterest to your site is free.)However, if you do have an affiliate marketing program, then you have to invest the time in building a community and sharing content on Pinterest, and still pay your affiliate marketing commission. But if you have a well optimized affiliate marketing campaign and you understand your target cost-per-conversion, then this can be a sustainable model for selling products. While potentially a good model, it is also extremely disruptive to the idea that social media traffic is free. Social Media Capitalism Social media is still very much in its infancy. In the early days of Facebook and Twitter, there were no monetization methods in place. Pinterest marks a shift in the social media industry, not for its innovative platform, but instead for its ability to monetize the service from the very beginning, rather than waiting years to figure out how to actually make money from it. We’ve seen LinkedIn succeed in monetizing by disrupting the recruiting market. Now, Facebook and Twitter both have strong and growing advertising platforms. However, what Pinterest is doing isn’t advertising. Instead, Pinterest is making money off organic interactions on its site, and some marketers can only opt out of paying for it if they cancel their entire affiliate marketing program.As Facebook prepares for its initial public offering and LinkedIn continues to battle the pressure of Wall Street, the only real certainty is that social media capitalism is here to stay. It’s all about leverage. The handful of successful social platforms that attract a critical mass of users that business want to reach have the leverage to make more aggressive monetization changes. The fact is, with the higher costs involved with offline marketing, social networks can make significant changes without pushing businesses away from the platform. Only the Platforms You Own Will Always Be Free So social media is starting to get more expensive. Yes, it is still far less expensive than many other forms of marketing, but what is a marketer to do? Take control. The only online platforms that you can ensure will remain free in your marketing mix are the ones you own and control yourself. Facebook could decide tomorrow that it wants you to pay a monthly fee to have a business page. While unlikely, it is completely possible.As marketer, you own your website and your blog. Failing to invest in both of these key inbound marketing assets could have a negative impact on your future cost-per-lead. This means that those Inc. 500 companies that indicated they were blogging less in a recent survey are heading in the wrong direction.You dictate all the terms of your blog and website — not only the content but also the design and call-to-action placement. Your website and blog are also the only inbound marketing tools through which you have complete control over accessing valuable marketing analytics information. Think about the limited insight you have now into the analytics of your social media channels. When it comes to third-party channels, you have no control over the data that you have access to. It’s all up to those third-party channels to decide what to give you. Making Money Costs Money Yes, marketing has defined cost structures in every tactic, both outbound and inbound. But great marketers understand that it’s important to invest in marketing to drive revenue growth. The important aspect of social media and marketing costs to understand is that social media costs are volatile. Social media moves quickly, and companies are forced to innovate rapidly. With this innovation comes new opportunities for monetization, which directly impacts marketers. Owning and leveraging your website and blog as the central hub of your inbound marketing activities will help to minimize volatility and manage your inbound marketing costs. Three Key Marketing Actions to Reduce Marketing Costs 1. Optimize Website Calls-to-Action for Your Entire Buying Cycle – Marketers underuse calls-to-action. The web is crowded, and visitors to your website or blog need clear direction for what you want them to do. But just having calls-to-action on your website isn’t enough. Instead, your calls-to-actions must map through your entire buying cycle. For example, if your blog generates a lot of traffic from first-time visitors, then asking them to join you for a product demo probably isn’t the best pick-up line. That type middle-of-the-funnel call-to-action would likely work much better on your product pages, where more qualified site traffic is likely to hang out. Conduct an audit of your calls-to-action to determine how to better map them to your sales cycle. 2. Create Blog Content Prospects Love – Stop talking about your products. No one cares about your products … yet. Instead, you need to create blog content that solves key problems your prospects and leads face . Once this content brings them into your blog via social media and search, you then have the opportunity to begin to share more product-focused information. Think like a trade publication, and create articles that you or a member of your company would proudly read and share with others. 3. Make Analytics Actionable – Looking at visits isn’t enough. You need to work on making your analytics actionable. This means you need to look at key inbound marketing metrics like conversion rates by traffic source as well as compare these rates to benchmarks for your industry. This benchmark data will allow you to decide which channels or types of content to invest more in to improve lead and customer yields for your business. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can use HubSpot’s marketing analytics tools to analyze which channels are driving traffic, leads, and customers, and compare metrics with competitors in your industry. How do you feel about the growing impact of social media capitalism? Image Credit: Images_of_Money last_img read more

How to Calculate the Value of Your Social Media Followers [CALCULATOR]

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you’re using social media for marketing and you’re not measuring your dollars-and-cents ROI , you’re doing it wrong. As my favorite rap quote says, “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” Marketers wouldn’t dream of spending budget on banner or PPC ads without a measured and positive return on their investment; but for some reason, many of us still play dumb when it comes to the hard data about the performance of our social media marketing investments. And even if you’re not spending budget on Facebook or Twitter, remember: Time is money, and you’re probably spending a significant amount of time.All too often, social media marketing advice comes from greasy, snake oil hucksters selling platitudes like “engage in the conversation,” or worse, “be awesome.” While advice like this is hard to disagree with, it’s not useful or concrete. Instead, we marketers should be measuring our social media marketing campaigns to determine what is making our businesses money — and what isn’t. In other words, ignore the unicorns-and-rainbows superstitions. How to Calculate the Value of Your Facebook & Twitter Followers A while ago, in a HubSpot marketing team meeting, we were discussing how much we should be willing to invest to gain a new social media follower or Like, and I found myself at the whiteboard plotting out a formula. Over the course of the next few weeks — with the help of several of my geeky colleagues — I put together a formula to calculate a metric I call VOAL ( Value Of A Like ). Once you know your VOAL, you can plan your social media efforts with confidence they’ll generate a positive ROI.Below is the formula and how it breaks down … L (Total Likes) The total number of audience members connected to your social media account. On Facebook, these are Likes of your page, and on Twitter, these are followers. UpM (Unlikes-per-Month) The average number of fans who “unlike” your social network  account each month. On Facebook, this is an “unlike,” and on Twitter, this is an “unfollow.” LpD (Links-per-Day) The average number of times you’re posting links, and potentially converting links driven from your social media account. On Facebook, this is the number of posts you’re making, per day, that lead to a page on your website. On Twitter, this is the number of times, per day, you’re tweeting these kinds of links. C (Average Clicks) The average number of clicks on the links to your site you’re posting on your social media accounts. CR (Conversion Rate) The average conversion rate of your website, from visit to sale or visit to lead. This can be an overall average, but for increased accuracy, use the conversion rate measured from traffic coming from the social network you’re calculating. ACV (Average Conversion Value) The average value of each “conversion.” In this context, a “conversion” is the action you’ve used to measure CR for. It could be average sale price or average lead value. For increased accuracy, use the average conversion value of traffic coming from the specific social network. The ValueOfALike.com Calculator In my efforts to make sure all social media marketers can apply this formula, I built a free, easy-to-use little calculator at ValueOfALike.com . Answer six simple questions about your business’ use of Facebook or Twitter and it will tell you exactly — in concrete dollars and cents — what each Like or follower is worth to your company. To calculate your value of a Facebook Like, you can easily answer these questions using your Facebook Insights and your closed-loop marketing analytics (in the calculator, click the question mark next to each question for an explanation about how to acquire each data point). For Twitter, you can use tools like Twitter’s advertising analytics platform, closed-loop marketing analytics, as well as educated estimates to determine your Twitter numbers. Furthermore, each question input in the calculator is shown on a slider, so you can easily adjust the values up or down to see how changing various metrics will impact your bottom line.You can answer the questions for either your Twitter or Facebook marketing efforts, and you can enter information based on lead generation or actual sales data. The calculator is flexible, and it’s designed to help you put the VOAL formula to work for your brand in the way that makes the most sense for you. Originally published Nov 26, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016center_img Business Calculators VOAL Formula in Action: 3 Real-Life Examples To demonstrate what the VOAL calculation would look like using realistic numbers, let’s start with an example from Facebook. HubSpot partner Kuno Creative ‘s Facebook Page has 3,103 total Likes, 30 unlikes per month, posts 1.3 posts per day, with each post getting an average of 190 clicks. Their visit-to-lead conversion rate for Facebook traffic is around 2%, and they report an average conversion value of $350 per lead. Because of their very high clickthrough rate of 6.12% and their huge $350 lead value, they have a VOAL of $1,729 .On the other hand, if we look at some numbers from a different company — Lynton Web , another HubSpot partner — we see a different picture. They have a smaller Facebook presence with 174 total Likes, about 1 unlike per month, post 1.5 posts per day, get a single click on each link on average, and they told me their visit-to-lead conversion rate is around .8%. If we assume they have a $100 value per lead generated, they have a VOAL of $0.013 .To demonstrate how we can apply the same VOAL math to Twitter, let’s use HubSpot’s Twitter metrics as an example. Here, I’ll be estimating the numbers. We have 258,522 followers and about 2,000 unfollows per month (as reported by Twitter’s advertising analytics platform). We post around once per hour — so 24 posts per day — and each tweet generates around 120 clicks. We have a visit-to-lead conversion rate of 55%, and let’s assume a value per lead of $40. This gives us a VOAL for Twitter of $0.32. Applying VOAL to Your Social Media Marketing Efforts  Once you understand the true, monetary value of each of your business’ social media connections, you can start to understand exactly how much time and money is worth spending to grow your social media reach ,   and you’ll know which metrics you need to improve to get the most out of your efforts.Play around with the calculator’s sliders for each question to understand how each variable impacts your overall VOAL. How much does your VOAL change if you were to increase your posting frequency? What about boosting overall Likes? Remember, when it comes to social media marketing, “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” Check out the free calculator at ValueOfALike.com . What’s your business’ VOAL? What can you do to increase this value? last_img read more

16 Examples of Totally Ridiculous 4th of July Stock Photography

first_imgGuy in back: “Umm … guys? Is there room for me and my pitcher of ice water?”3) The perfectly patriotic pose.4) Diverse American teenager flag fail.All American. Not all smart.5) Chihuahuas: the epitome of American patriotism. 6) This one’s called “Family laughing at 4th of July barbecue.” It should’ve been called “Family terrorizing crying baby.”7) “American Dream”I wonder how long she’s been standing like that.8) Watermelon Snafu”Hey mom? I think you accidentally gave us slices from the watermelon that was soaked in vodka.”9) Doesn’t this American flag look great with my outfit?10) Why don’t we ask our panel of “Yanky doodle doggie” judges ….11) And among an entire genre of patriotically provocative stock photos, this one’s called “American Grrrl!””Don’t tell my parents I pose nude for awful, patriotic stock photography porn, or else I’ll poke you with this patriotic toothpick.”12) Not to be upstaged by her male counterpart, “American Boy Butt” …American Boy Butt’s photo description: “A fit young muscular man wearing shiny blue briefs with an American flag in them.” So accurate. Wouldn’t it be great if that was someone’s actual search term? Quite the long-tail keyword.13) This guy should take some advice from the girl in #9 about the right way to accessorize with a flag.14) How many stars and stripes are there on the American flag, you ask? Let me count! One …. two …. three …. 15) Don’t stare at her for too long, or Uncle Vito back there will totally mess you up.16) Description for this one: “Patriotic clown with beer and flag. Don’t forget to doodle your Yankee … or Yankee your doodle.” Is that some kind of innuendo?The only thing worse than a clown is a patriotic clown.We hope this gave you a chuckle today. Which stock photo did you find most ridiculous? Have a happy 4th of July! The 4th of the July. Independence Day. The day we Americans fire up the grill, crack open a few cold ones, watch fireworks displays, and laugh at ridiculous 4th of July-themed stock photos.No? Well, there’s always room for a new tradition. We wanted to give you something light and fun today, since it’s a day for celebration. And since our first foray into the exposure of awful stock photography was so well received, this seemed like a slam dunk. So without further ado, here are some of our favorite examples of truly absurd 4th of July-themed stock photography. Just please don’t misconstrue this as us being unpatriotic ;-)16 Examples of Ridiculous 4th of July Stock Photography1) You know what I like to eat with my apple pie a la mode? Confetti.2) Let’s see how much food and people we can cram into this teeny tiny table!Woman sitting at right: “Those hot dogs totally aren’t going to fit on this teeny tiny table.” Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jul 4, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img Holiday Marketing Topics:last_img read more

9 Royalty-Free Music Sites to Help You Make the Perfect Video Soundtrack

first_img Topics: In video marketing, choosing the right soundtrack can be the difference between a video that grips your audience from start to finish and one that they can barely get halfway through.Play a fitting soundtrack or jingle in your video, and you can grab your audience’s attention and evoke the specific emotions and feelings you want them to associate with your brand. Neglect the musical aspect of your video, and people will think less of your brand.Access videos, templates, and tips, to help you launch an effective video marketing strategy.  In a 1994 study that tested music’s effect on brand attitudes, half the participants watched an apple juice commercial with music while the other half watched it without music.23% of participants who saw the apple juice commercial with music reported that one of the beverage’s benefits was “drinking a natural drink”. But out of the participants who watched the commercial without music, only 4% reported the same belief about the apple juice brand.Music can make your videos much more captivating, impactful, and, in turn, convincing. Whether you’re creating fun social media videos, persuasive product videos, or even serious training videos, music can separate your video from the rest of the pack.In the video marketing world, though, you usually don’t have a team of musicians you can tap into whenever you need a hit soundtrack for your next video. You have to rely on music websites that provide stock songs. But a lot of these websites charge a royalty fee for each track they offer, which most small video marketing teams don’t have the budget for.Fortunately, we found the nine best royalty-free music sites that provide high-quality music and can help you make the perfect soundtrack for your next video.9 Royalty-free Background Music Websites for Videos1. PremiumBeatOwned by Shutterstock, PremiumBeat offers one of the most diverse and sizable collections of royality-free music on the internet. With the help of their own music industry experts, they’ve curated over 10,000 tracks that you can segment by genre, mood, artists, instruments, beats per minute, and duration. Their music experts also curate an Editor’s Pick playlist that has 857 of PremiumBeat’s best tracks to help you make the best possible soundtrack for your videos.2. Epidemic SoundBy collaborating with some of the most talented musicians in the industry, Epidemic Sound’s tracks are featured on YouTube and Facebook videos that rack up over 20 billion views each month. Epidemic Sound has curated over 725 albums of royalty-free music, spanning from genres like “Corporate” to “First Snow”, allowing you to create diverse and high-quality soundtracks.3. ArtlistArtlist partners with some of the best indie artists to create original tracks, helping companies like National Geographic, Microsoft, and Toyota make video soundtracks. They offer thousands of tracks that you can filter by mood, theme, genre, instrument, tempo, and duration. Artlist also curates themed collections of their partner artists’ tracks and spotlights their albums, too.4. Music VineMusic Vine collaborates with over 160 independent musicians to produce more than 2,500 tracks that you can segment by style, mood, energy, vocals, and duration. They also curate collections for particular themes in filmmaking and video production. You can filter them by vibe, theme, genre, and environment. Additionally, Music Vine dedicates a section of their website to their artists, letting people follow them and explore their music.5. SoundstripeSoundstripe partners with over 80 artists to produce songs that you can filter by mood, genre, pace, instruments, key, vocals, duration, and beats per minute. They’ve also curated over 50 playlists that span from genres like action & sport to weddings.On Soundstripe, you can also create an account, follow artists, playlists, like songs, and create your own playlists. If you need sound effects for your video, Soundstripe offers 29 categories of sound effects, ranging from construction to sci-fi.6. FilmstroFilmstro not only offers royalty-free music that spans over 65 different categories, like mood, film & video genre, music genre, and instrumental palette, but they also let you customize each track by its momentum, depth, and power. This gives you infinite creative possibilities to choose from when you create your video’s soundtrack.7. Pond5Pond5 offers one of the largest royalty-free music libraries in the world. With over 500,000 tracks in 36 different genres spanning from Hawaiian to action, you can make music tracks for almost any video project.8. ccMixterccMixter has one of the most thorough processes for creating free music out of any royalty-free music website. They collaborate with musicians who upload original samples of their instrumentals, singers who upload original acapella recordings, and producers and DJs who mix the music together to create free tracks for your videos. With over 120 original tracks for film & video, commercial projects, and video games, ccMixter can help you make a truly creative video soundtrack.9. BensoundWith over 300 tracks in the genres of acoustic, folk, cinematic, corporate, pop, electronica, urban, groove, jazz, rock, world, and more, Bensound provides plenty of musical options for your video’s soundtrack. Video Marketing Originally published Nov 26, 2018 7:00:00 AM, updated December 30 2018 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more