Three Reasons You Resist Coaching

first_imgThere aren’t many things that will improve your results as quickly and as certainly as will coaching. I’ve noticed three common, recurring reasons people resist coaching.You are unwilling to face changeSome people fear being coached because they know it is going to bring up areas in their lives where they need to make changes. Whether that coaching is personal or professional, the goal of coaching is improved performance, and that means you have to be willing to change your beliefs and change your actions in some area of your life.If you don’t believe that change is necessary, you won’t believe you need coaching. You would be wrong. The very best performers in every human endeavor work with coaches. Their core belief is that, if they change something, they can perform at an even higher level.You are afraid it means you aren’t capableCoaching doesn’t mean that you aren’t a good, capable person. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have the ability or the resources to achieve your performance goals. Coaching isn’t an indictment of you personally (although there are some executives who are recommended coaching because their people skills are lacking).Coaching is an indication that you are capable. It’s evidence that someone (maybe you) believes that with some insight and ideas from a professional coach, you can perform better. No one invests in coaching when they believe that they are hopeless. And no company invests in coaching for their people who they believe those people aren’t capable of turning in their best performance.You are afraid of being held accountableThis one is a biggie. It’s the deep-seated issue that prevents a lot of people from embracing coaching.Some people don’t want to be held accountable for changing. They want to avoid being asked about their performance. They don’t like anyone shining a light on the difference between what they say and what they do. More than anything, they don’t want to have to answer to someone; they’d rather hide from their problems, their challenges.But the best performers embrace accountability. They fearlessly look at the gaps in their performance so they can close those gaps. They look at a coach as an accountability partner. They expect their coach to ask them the tough questions, and they anticipate their coach asking them tough questions to help them expand what they believe is possible, what they are capable of.Coaching isn’t something negative. It’s positive.last_img read more

GPS and Losing Your Sense of Direction

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Most of us can no longer find our way to the places that we go to without using a GPS. We’ve become totally reliant on our smartphones to help guide us from where we are to where are going. GPS is an enormous improvement over a map, and it is a far better experience to hear the directions being spoken aloud.But, this comes with a cost. In leveraging the technology, we have become dependent on it. It’s so easy, and so good, that we rely on it, sometimes completely. In doing so, we have lost our sense of direction and the ability to find our way without using global positioning satellites.Now, a lot of people are working on trying to apply artificial intelligence to sales. Some of the solutions I have seen lately are attempting to provide guidance, a few of them literally providing the salesperson with the words to use in a live sales conversation, and others using a sort of Cyrano de Bergerac-like technique to allow the sales manager to provide the talk tracks to the rep through their headset in real time.While there is nothing wrong with teaching salespeople how to have good and effective sales conversations, doing so can’t come at the expense of them learning to understand how to have these conversations without relying on technology to do so—or worse, relying on someone to feed them their lines in real time. You only need two things to be a trusted advisor: trust and advice. Without the advice, without actually knowing things, it’s impossible to be a peer or a consultative salesperson.It isn’t enough to help salespeople by providing them the words and the talk tracks that help them have better sales conversations. That outcome is too transactional. The development of a sales professional requires that one also teach them how to understand their client’s business, to understand how to create value for those clients, and to develop the business acumen and situational knowledge that allows them to serve their clients—as well as create and win opportunities.last_img read more

The Marketer’s Ultimate Glossary of Salesforce Terms

first_img Originally published Jan 16, 2013 12:30:00 PM, updated June 27 2019 Marketing Resources Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: If your organization uses Salesforce or another CRM system , you probably know that it’s a powerful piece of software that is capable of transforming every aspect of how your sales team works. An effective CRM system can help your reps identify, manage, and close more deals more quickly. But with great power often comes great responsi … err, complexity.For many of us marketers, our CRM system is like a black box. We know it’s chock full of data that could be useful to us, and we have a sense that we don’t know enough about it, but we still don’t know how to get our bearings. Perhaps you feel like you’re neck deep in CRM terminology every time you have a conversation with your sales manager. Maybe you just don’t feel all that confident navigating through your CRM system, or maybe you know that as a marketer, you could get a lot more out of knowing it better.While different CRM systems use slightly different terminology, to ease you into a better understanding of CRMs, let’s take a look at some common CRM, and specifically, Salesforce terminology that marketers should know. A Account A standard object in Salesforce that represents a company or organization (but not necessarily a customer). An account may have contacts (individuals or employees who work there), opportunities (potential sales deals), and other objects associated with it. The contact record stores details about the company like the company name, address, etc. Activities Records stored on an object that are typically used to represent actions taken on a lead, contact, or account — things like phone calls, emails from a rep, or future tasks that a rep intends to complete. Many marketing software platforms can automatically insert activities into the activity history to give a rep context about key actions marketing is taking with respect to a lead (e.g. email sends, if those emails were opened or clicked, form submissions made by the lead, etc.). Activity History A list stored on a record in Salesforce that shows the history of activities that have been carried out on that object. For example, the activity history section on a contact record may contain a list of actions the sales rep has taken in working that lead — emails sent, calls made, etc. API An API (application programming interface) is a system used by a piece of software to talk to other pieces of software. Salesforce offers an API that allows it to be connected to outside systems like a marketing platform or email tool. Some third parties ( like HubSpot ) have standard “connectors” that makes it possible to connect them to Salesforce’s API easily and without any technical knowledge. Apex A programming language used by developers to build applications that interact with Salesforce. These applications are often hosted on the Force.com platform (see below); there are hundreds of generally available applications in the Salesforce AppExchange. AppExchange Salesforce’s app marketplace, which contains hundreds of integrations with third-party services that allow users to extend the functionality of their Salesforce instance. HubSpot’s Salesforce integration, for example, is listed in the Salesforce AppExchange. B Bi-Directional Sync A feature of a third-party tool (like HubSpot) that allows it to both read information from, and write information to, Salesforce. (Example: Because HubSpot’s Salesforce integration features bi-directional sync, it can both add new leads to Salesforce, and pull leads from Salesforce based on a user’s preference.) C Campaign An object in Salesforce used to track a marketing effort. The campaign object houses several standard pieces of data — a campaign name, start and end dates, expected revenue, budgeted and actual costs, and more. While Salesforce campaigns have many uses, most marketers use them for reporting purposes. Campaigns are often used in conjunction with closed-loop reporting from a marketing software platform like HubSpot. Chatter A set of collaboration tools that are woven throughout Salesforce, allowing individuals to work together and share information on deals they are working. Users can join different groups, comment on different objects and data, and share details through chatter. Closed-Loop Reporting A reporting methodology in which data about which leads/contacts/accounts ultimately convert into sales is passed back to a marketing platform . In the marketing platform, the marketer can then attribute that customer to the various marketing efforts they touched, and better understand the ROI each of those efforts generated. Closed Won Opportunity A standard stage in Salesforce that refers to the status of an opportunity. An opportunity is typically set to “closed won” status when a deal is closed and the associated account is now a customer. Systems like HubSpot listen for this “closed won” status in Salesforce to enable closed-loop reporting . Connector A piece of software that connects another system (like a marketing software platform, or an email tool) to Salesforce. Contact A standard object in Salesforce that represents an individual person. The contact record contains details like a name, address, email, and phone number. A contact can be attached to an account and opportunity record. Contact Role A standard field included on the contact record that can be used to define the role an individual plays in an account or opportunity (e.g. decision maker, influencer, etc.). Custom Field A specialized piece of data stored in Salesforce that is unique to the user’s business. (e.g. A dog food manufacturer might create a custom field for “favorite dog breed” in its system to track the favorite breed of each of its contacts.) Custom Object A specialized type of record in Salesforce created to meet the needs of an individual business. An example of this might be an “employee” object that contains several details about an employee that is used by an HR department. Custom Report A view of data in Salesforce that has been personalized by the user to include exactly the information they want to see. A custom report might use filters to determine which records it includes (e.g. this report should include only lead records in Massachusetts who are CEOs) and will contain a set of individually chosen fields, usually as columns (e.g. the name, email address, and lead score of those Massachusetts CEO leads). D Dashboard A dashboard in Salesforce is a graphical representation of what you might find in a report. Dashboards might include charts, gauges, or other graphics that represent the metrics that underly them. They make it easy for a team to track progress toward a goal or metric. F Field A field in Salesforce is a piece of data stored on an object. An example of a field might be the “First Name” or “Email Address” field found on the lead and contact records. Fields are also often referred to as “properties.” Force.com A cloud platform service that allows developers to build and host applications on Salesforce’s servers. Force.com is widely used to host applications that work in conjunction with Salesforce, like many of the apps available in the Salesforce AppExchange. Forecast Generally speaking, a forecast is an estimate of revenue that will be brought in during a given time period. In the context of Salesforce, a forecast is a type of report that shows a tally of data from opportunities expected to close in a specified time period. Your sales managers may use Salesforce forecasts to monitor their pipeline throughout the month. Formula Field A formula field in Salesforce is similar to a cell in Excel that contains a formula. The field relies on an equation to populate the data it shows. That equation may take other fields or information into consideration. An example of a formula field might be a field that shows the number of days since sales last followed up with a specific lead. L Lead A standard object in Salesforce that represents an individual identity at an early stage in the sales process. A lead record isn’t natively connected to other data in Salesforce, but is “converted” when it represents a valid opportunity (a process which creates a contact in its place, and associates it with account and opportunity records). Lead Scoring A process typically carried out in a marketing platform that assigns a numeric value to a lead to represent how qualified he/she is. Every organization typically devises its own scoring criteria based on factors that determine the likelihood that a lead is well qualified. Lookup A field that references the data in another field, possibly on another object. A lookup field can be identified by the clickable magnifying glass icon that appears alongside it. An example of a standard lookup field is the “Account” field that appears on a contact — this field is set to reference the “Account Name” field on the associated account object. M Marketing Cloud A suite of social analytics tools offered as an add-on to Salesforce that helps large enterprise organizations monitor and leverage social media. O Object In the context of Salesforce, an “object” is a type of record that Salesforce uses to store your data. There are several standard objects that every Salesforce instance comes with out of the box — an account, a lead, an opportunity, a contact, and many more. It is also possible to set up custom objects to reflect custom pieces of data or custom parts of your process. Opportunity A standard object in Salesforce that represents a potential sales deal. An opportunity record typically contains details about the potential deal, like expected deal size (a dollar amount that cascades up to Salesforce forecasts), expected close date, probability, and opportunity stage. Opportunity Stage A standard field found on the opportunity object that is used to track the status of an opportunity. The opportunity stage may be set to one of several values such as “Prospecting”, “Negotiation/Review,” or “Closed Won,” which represents that the opportunity is associated with a customer or won business. Q Queue A queue in Salesforce is akin to a “holding pen” for objects that aren’t yet assigned to an individual. An example might be a “Recycled Leads Queue” where your sales reps send unqualified leads to if they determine the lead isn’t ready for sales contact. R Report A report is what it sounds like — a view in Salesforce of a specific subset of records and fields of data. Salesforce comes with several standard report types out of the box (e.g. the Campaign ROI Analysis Report, or the Lead History Report). It is also possible to create custom reports in Salesforce. S Standard Object A type of record where data is stored that Salesforce uses out of the box. Examples of a standard object might be a lead object, a contact object, an account object, or an opportunity object. Also see the definition for “object.” T Task Tasks in Salesforce represent an action that has been taken or will be taken with respect to a record in Salesforce. An example of a task might be a phone call to a lead, or a marketing email that was sent to and opened by a contact. Tasks are listed on individual records, and are used by sales reps to manage their day-to-day actions for each lead. Managers can track tasks to measure the activity of a rep via reports. Trigger A piece of Apex code that is used to kick off actions in Salesforce when a change to a record, or creation of a new record, happens in Salesforce. An example use of a trigger might be to change the “company type” field on an account record to “enterprise” if an account is set to have more than 500 employees in its company size field. V View Think of a view as a predefined set of filter criteria that can be applied to a list of data from a drop-down menu. Many lists of data come with a preset list of helpful views; for example, you might choose to filter a list of contacts to see only “My Contacts,” which would surface a list of only contacts that you are set as the owner of. You can also create custom views in Salesforce. W Web to Lead A tool in Salesforce that allows you to create simple forms that you can place on outside websites. When a user fills out the form, a lead is created in Salesforce. Note that most Salesforce Web to Lead forms will only accept up to 500 submissions per day. Workflow Rule A tool in Salesforce that allows you to automate certain actions like sending notification emails, updating fields in your database, adding tasks to a record in Salesforce, and more. An example use of workflow rules might be setting up a rule that sends an email to a specific sales manager when a deal comes in that needs their approval, based on the company size (or any other characteristic) of the associated opportunity. Don’t Be Overwhelmed! While there are many terms you’ve probably heard used in reference to your particular CRM system, it’s important to not be overwhelmed. By biting off small bits and learning more and more from this  CRM and Salesforce glossary , you’ll get a better understanding of the system your sales team uses every day, and how you can better leverage its capabilities to improve your marketing and your processes.Image Credit: JD Hancocklast_img read more

The Anatomy of an Optimized Blog Subscriber Email

first_img Originally published Jan 6, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 When was the last time you paid any attention to your blog subscriber emails? “My blog subscriber emails? I’m pretty sure those just … get sent, right?”Probably. For many marketers, subscriber emails were likely something you configured when you first launched your blog — never to be thought about again.If this sounds familiar and you’re treating your blog subscriber email like just another automated email you set and forgot, you could be missing out on a wealth of opportunity. Not to blame you, though. Most automated blog subscriber emails from software are nothing to write home about. In fact, HubSpot’s own software only recently, with the launch of our new Blog tool on HubSpot’s new COS, started giving customers the ability to truly customize their blog subscriber emails.But if you do have the ability to customize these emails, they’re definitely an important asset to leverage. After all, depending on how often you blog and how many email subscribers you have, these emails go out to quite a few of your contacts on a regular basis. Are you making the most of all their potential?Using the HubSpot software’s own blog email capabilities as our prototype, let’s dissect the anatomy of an optimized subscriber email so you can identify areas for improvement in your own emails.The Anatomy of an Optimized Blog Subscriber Email1) Recognizable Sender NameMake sure your sender name makes it clear to recipients who the email is from. This is likely the first thing your subscribers notice about your email notifications, so if it’s not immediately evident to them that your email is from a known sender, your emails might end up straight in the trash.In HubSpot’s case, because multiple sections make up our blog, we use “HubSpot Blog” followed by the name of the particular section the contact is subscribed to as our sender name. This makes it easy for recipients to identify that the email is coming from, say, the marketing section of HubSpot’s blog.2) Clear, Catchy Subject LineBecause your email’s subject line is the most critical factor in whether your recipients decide to even open your email in the first place, make sure you give it ample thought.Considering your subscriber emails are most likely automated and triggered every time you publish a new post, a great approach here is to simply use the title of the blog post as your subject line — if your software enables you to do so like HubSpot’s does. Knowing this, make sure you take the subscriber email into consideration when you’re crafting your blog post titles.And be sure to avoid lengthy titles — 50 characters or fewer will ensure the subject line doesn’t get cut off in most email clients, particularly for mobile users. Also, make sure the title is catchy and interesting while also clearly indicating what the content is about. Misleading titles may get you the initial click, but over time, they will lead to the loss of subscribers’ trust — and ultimately, an increase in unsubscribes.3) Enticing Preview Text If your software enables you to customize the preview text of your email, this is another great opportunity to increase opens of your subscriber emails.The preview text is the copy that appears immediately following the subject line of your email. Use this real estate to further clarify what your recipients are getting and get them excited about what’s inside. Remind them that this is a notification email about your awesome new blog post and entice them to open it with some creative copy. But again, keep it brief! 4) Responsive Template Your email recipients are reading their emails on various devices, operating systems, and email clients — desktops, smartphones, tablets, iOS, Android, Gmail, Outlook — you name it! This means that in order to send effective blog subscriber emails, they should be optimized for each and every one of these different platforms. That’s where responsive email templates come in handy.A responsive template will automatically adjust to suit your email recipients’ individual situations — whether they’re using Gmail on a desktop, an Android smartphone, an iPad, or any other combination of software.So, if you have access to responsive email templates, use them! (Note: HubSpot’s Email tool has a variety of responsive templates to choose from and customize). If not, make sure you at least keep mobile email optimization best practices in mind when you’re designing your blog subscriber emails.5) Logo/Branding Now, on to the body of the email itself. Remember, getting your subscribers to open the email is only half the battle. The true goal is to get them to click through to the post itself. First things first: Incorporate some branding, such as your company’s logo, near the top of your email. This reassures subscribers that your email is coming from a trusted sender and adds some consistency to your blog notification emails.For instance, in HubSpot’s own blog subscriber emails, we use the same banner (with the addition of the HubSpot sprocket logo) that appears at the top of the section of the HubSpot blog the email is associated with.6) Personalization Greet your subscribers by name! If your blog software is connected to your contacts database, chances are you may know at least the names of many of your blog subscribers. Use it to your advantage and make your subscriber emails a little bit more personal using dynamic tags. Just be sure to set a default value for this dynamic tag for those people whose names are not in your contacts database.7) Introduction/Greeting You can also introduce your latest post and let your brand’s personality shine through with a quick, friendly greeting. Just keep in mind that, because your blog notification emails are automated, this greeting can easily get stale to recipients over time. If you’re going to incorporate a greeting, try to remember to switch it up every once in a while. 8) Clickable Blog TitleProminently display the title of the blog post you’re emailing about, and make sure it’s hyperlinked to the post itself. (If you’re using HubSpot’s new Blog tool, the title of your post is automatically pulled in to your email and hyperlinked for you.) This is exactly what your subscribers are looking for — and the main point of your email — so you want to make sure it’s easy to find to encourage clickthroughs.And as we mentioned earlier, when you’re brainstorming the title of your blog post, keep in mind how critical it is for generating clickthroughs from not only your emails, but also promotion in other channels like social media. For help with blog title generation, check out this simple formula for writing kick-ass titles. 9) Post Preview Some subscribers may need a little more convincing that your new post is worth the read before they decide to click through on your email. This is where the post preview comes in handy.Depending on the capabilities of your software, this is a good place to either provide a quick summary/description of your post or include the first few sentences of the post itself to draw readers in and entice them to click for more. Feel free to experiment with both to determine which generates more clickthroughs.If you’re using HubSpot’s new blog subscriber emails, you can choose to either show the post in full or just the content appearing before the “Read More Separator” (which you can set) in the post itself. Since the goal of your email is likely to drive subscribers back to your blog so they can explore not only this particular post but also your other content, I strongly recommend the latter. 10) Compelling Image and Alt TextUse the power of visual content to make your subscriber emails even more clickable by including a compelling, relevant image in your post preview. Not only will this help draw in the eye, but it will also make your emails more sharable, increasing the likelihood recipients will forward it to others and expand the reach of your blog content. And don’t forget to add relevant alt text for those recipients who either choose not to enable images in their email clients or whose email clients don’t support it. If you’re using HubSpot’s new blog notification emails, keep in mind that the image in your email will automatically get pulled in from your blog post if it’s included before the Read More Separator in the post itself. As such, you’ll need to add your alt text to the image in the post (not the email) and choose compelling images for your posts as you’re writing them. The good news is this is not only a best practice for email, but also for the social shareability of your blog content in general.11) “Read More” Call-to-ActionWe know every effective marketing email has a clear call-to-action (CTA), so how does this translate to your blog subscriber emails? Well, if you’re main goal is to drive subscribers back to your website where they can read the article you’re emailing about (and hopefully other articles), make sure that next step is crystal clear!After your post preview, include a call-to-action for recipients to read the full article on your blog. Experiment with the copy of this text link to see what generates more clickthroughs, and if your software allows, try a more prominent button CTA instead.(Tip for HubSpot COS Users: You can use HTML to display your “Read More” CTA copy more prominently, using styling like bolded text or headers.)12) Secondary CTAsThis begs the question — should you include any secondary CTAs in your blog subscriber emails? What about a CTA promoting an offer relevant to the content of the post? You know, for lead generation? To be honest, this depends on your particular goals and the type of secondary CTA you plan to use.If the goal of your blog subscriber emails is to drive traffic to your blog, then it’d probably be wise to forego any competing CTAs that might interfere. If your goal is to use these emails as another source of lead generation, feel free to experiment with secondary lead gen CTAs.For HubSpot’s own blog subscriber emails, our main goal is to drive subscribers back to our blog, so we chose to exclude lead gen CTAs. However, we do include a CTA for subscribers to download our free Newsstand app, enabling them to read our blog content optimized for their iPad — a complementary, but not competing offer.You’ll also notice that our “update your email preferences or subscribe to other sections” anchor text link is a CTA in and of itself. We have this there as a way to make sure subscribers know their options, save them from unsubscribing, and promote the other sections on our blog.  13) Social Media Follow Buttons Not every post you email is going to tickle your subscribers’ fancy. Maybe your blog is about unicorn care, and one of your subscribers is already an expert unicorn dietician. While your introductory post about unicorn diet may not be something she feels is worth the read, that doesn’t mean she has to go away empty-handed.For instance, is she following your company on Twitter yet? How about Facebook? A form of secondary CTAs, social media follow buttons are a great way to engage and nurture blog subscribers in other channels, and increase your overall social reach. Configure these buttons for the social networks in which your company actively maintains a presence.14) Footer Last but not least, customize your email’s footer. The most critical component of your footer is CAN-SPAM compliancy, so be sure to include your company’s physical mailing address and a clear unsubscribe link.You can also use your footer as an opportunity to save a few unsubscribes by reminding subscribers that they can always modify their current email preferences if they’re receiving too much email.HubSpot’s new blog subscriber emails enable you to offer subscription via an instant, daily, weekly, or monthly frequency, so if instant emails are overwhelming your subscribers, you’ll want them to know they have other frequency options before choosing to unsubscribe altogether.How else can you customize — and optimize — your blog subscriber emails? Share your tips in the comments!  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Email Lists and Segmentation Topics:last_img read more

The Biggest SEO Blunders of All Time

first_img Originally published Jun 19, 2014 6:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 SEO inception: Google punishes itself for using black hat tactics?There’s only one company out there that can bring Google, the almighty ruler of internet search, to its knees. And that company, of course, is Google.Back in 2012, the Google Chrome homepage received a two-month penalty after it was discovered the site was benefiting from paid links.Two years prior, the company got itself in hot water — with itself — for cloaking content on its AdWords help pages.For more instances of Google punishing Google for SEO infractions, check out this great post from Search Engine Land.And there you have it, some of the biggest SEO missteps in recent history. Remember: If you want to stay in the clear with your site, just avoid making these common SEO mistakes. Got any SEO horror stories you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments below! Topics: BMW feels the Google kiss of death for using doorway pages, receives a “0” PageRankThe year was 2006, and German car company BMW’s German website (BMW.de) was mopping it up in the search rankings with important keywords like “used car.”As it turns out, the company had been using doorway pages to artificially inflate their inbound links and rank higher for competitive keywords. A doorway page, also known as a bridge or portal page, is a webpage that’s created solely for the purpose of redirecting visitors to a parent page. In BMW’s case, this page was BMW.de.Even back in 2006, Google wasn’t messing around. BMW.de was promptly blacklisted, receiving a PageRank of 0 as a consequence of the infraction.Toys R Us pays $5.1 million for Toys.com domain name, forgets to set up 301 redirectsToys R Us really, really wanted to dominate the word “toys’ in search, so much so that they paid top dollar for the eponymous domain name, toys.com, back in 2010.While the plan was to score some serious SEO cred for having such a searched-for term — toys — right in their domain name, the crew handling the project made a big, big mistake: when they launched the new site, they failed to redirect their old URLs. As a result, Google re-indexed the site, so instead of seeing their search ranking for “toys” climb, the Toys R’ Us team watched it take a nose dive.In this case, there was no ill SEO-intent on the part of the company. They didn’t use any black hat tactics — they just messed up. Big time.Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you? When making big changes to your site, keep track of everything in a workbook.Overstock.com trades discounts for links, loses $1.05 billion in revenue after Google takes noticeRap Genius was by no means the first company to construct a scheme for generating rank-boosting links. Back in 2011, it was discovered that online retailer Overstock.com was encouraging colleges and universities to embed links on their websites in exchange for faculty and student discounts on Overstock.com merchandise.As far as terrible, sleazy, no-good, rotten link-building schemes go, this one was actually pretty clever. The “.edu” designation that most academic websites carry gives those sites some extra authoritativeness in the eyes of Google. So if you can get a bunch of these sites to link to your site using the keywords you want to target, you’ll be more likely to rank for those keywords.The problem, of course, is that trading discounts for links doesn’t help make information on the web any more organized. In fact, it muddles it all up (why would all these academic institutions link to product pages for bunk beds and lawn furniture?).Google, of course, penalized Overstock.com big time. These penalties were part of the reason why Overstock.com’s revenue dropped by $1.05 billion in 2011.J. C. Penney sees ranking for “living room furniture” drop from #1 to #68 in a matter of hours after Google penaltyAnother retail company, another link-building scheme. In this case, it’s theorized that J. C. Penney, or the SEO firm that worked for them, bought the company into a paid link network.As a result of participating in the network, the retailer received such an astronomical amount of inbound links — which targeted very specific keyword phrases — that the J. C. Penney site was ranking first for, well, almost everything. This came across as suspicious to some, including journalist David Segal.For the full scoop, you’ll definitely want to check out his New York Times piece on the subject, “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search.” For the abridged version, I think one of the most fascinating aspects of this case was how fast Google was able to take action and drop J. C. Penney’s search rankings. Within hours, they were ranking in the high 60s and 70s for search terms that they used to rank first for (including “living room furniture” and “Samsonite carry on luggage”).So for those of you who’ve ever thought about dabbling in paid link-building networks, take heed. Google knows what’s up, and will bring the pain if it needs to.Rap Genius loses 80% of its traffic after Google uncovers link-building scheme We all know that getting backlinks (a.k.a. inbound links) from trusted websites is a great way to give your website’s search rankings a boost. However, as the lyrics website Rap Genius would discover, the method you use to generate those backlinks is of considerable importance. If your website is attracting links because you regularly create stellar content and people in your industry love you and they always share and link to your stuff, then guess what? You’re golden! Google will give you a pat on the back.However, if you’re attracting links by regularly sending out spammy emails that instruct people to link to specific pages of yours, Google’s going to bring the heat.Rap Genius went so far as to develop a network of bloggers who received publicity for their posts in exchange for including links to specific song lyrics on the Rap Genius site. This “affiliate program,” as Rap Genius called it, didn’t fly with Google, especially since the lyrics the blogs linked to rarely aligned with the actual content of the posts.As a result of this scheme, Google delivered a punishing blow to Rap Genius’s search rankings, and — for a short while — the company lost 80% of its daily organic traffic.Fortunately for Rap Genius, Google is willing to forgive. After publicly admitting that their SEO tactics were whack, and deconstructing their link-building network, Rap Genius was allowed back on Google’s search results pages.center_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 Marketers … we’re always looking for ways to make our metrics skyrocket up and to the right. We love our tips, tricks, hacks, “insider” secrets, and yes, we even love our performance-enhancing drugs (sips coffee).Where were we?Right … it seems we’re all so obsessed with improving and optimizing and driving results, that we’re sometimes tempted to break the rules. In the world of SEO, we call that using black hat tactics. And of course, we all think these black hat tactics are unfair or unethical and we never, ever use them.But here’s the thing: If black hat SEO can give your numbers a big boost and get you the results you need, why not go for it? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?Spoiler alert: The worst that could happen is Google lands a direct hit on your search rankings with a flying roundhouse kick, your PageRank drops to 0, and you eventually get featured in a blog post (like this one) that’s filled with examples of companies that broke the rules and paid the price.Remember, as that influential marketing guy wrote in that famous book of his, “The Dark Side of the Force is the pathway to many abilities some consider to be … unnatural.”Actually, that’s from Star Wars. But the message is still relevant: You might hit your numbers using black hat tactics but, inevitably, Google’s going to notice that you’re doing something “unnatural.” And Google ain’t afraid to lay down the law.(Pssst. Want to make sure your website is squeaky clean? Check out our new guide, 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid During Your Next Website Redesign.)The SEO Hall of Shame SEO Mistakeslast_img read more

A Vivid Vision for HubSpot’s Content

first_imgThe program began as it always did — with a spritely, “Welcome to INBOUND Radio on SiriusXM channel 125.” Host Mike Volpe went on to introduce the day’s guests. First up was a prominent Stanford medical researcher, who’d made a breakthrough in Parkinson’s treatment thanks to the millions of iPhone and Apple Watch users who volunteered to have their health monitored through their mobile devices. “Giving away your health data is about as inbound as it gets,” observed Volpe when he wrapped up the interview from HubSpot’s brand new Cambridge recording studio.Although this scenario hasn’t yet occurred, don’t call it fiction. It’s more like pre-reality, or, in the words of executive-turned-executive-coach Cameron Herold, a “vivid vision.”Herold, the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, has become one of the world’s most sought-after speakers and advisors. Simply put, he helps top CEOs perform even better. One of Herold’s most popular techniques is what he calls a vivid vision. Think of it as a drug-free executive Peyote trip, in which the leader of an organization travels ahead three years and returns clutching a hyper-detailed narrative of the company’s future state. A well-crafted vivid vision is a little trippy in that it describes the sights, sounds, mood, energy, and dialogues surrounding events that have not yet occurred.After listening to Herold explain this concept on The Growth Show podcast, I decided to give it a try on behalf of the HubSpot content team. I booked some alone time in the company nap room, conjured up Doc Brown and hopped aboard my mind’s Delorean. Destination: 2018.Constructing a Vivid VisionThe exercise was, admittedly, awkward — perhaps even corny — at first. Self-awareness got the better of me, and I struggled to visualize reality beyond the end of the year, much less the mid-point of the next U.S. President’s term. I also defaulted to math — mentally calculating traffic and conversions by compounding today’s growth rates. I thought of the same people, in the same seats, doing the same jobs. Just better. In other words, I was doing it all wrong.Then I remembered the source of the vivid vision process: Olympic athletes. Herold explained that high-achieving athletes painstakingly visualize the outcome of their events in advance of competing. Suddenly, the exercise felt less new agey. I put the flux capacitor back to work.Questions raced at me. Would we have a blog? If so, what would it look like? Who would be reading it? What about ebooks? Did people still read them? And the podcast that triggered this post … what kind of guests would we host?Once I shut off (or at least suppressed) my self-monitor, the exercise became enjoyable. Indulgent even. I imagined teaching a Columbia J-school class on business blogs. I heard several students rebuke me for hobbling “real” journalism. I pre-lived a conversation with the managing editor of our blog, who insisted writers should get bonuses based on scoops, not leads. She mentioned a specific blogger who would get angry when she’d be scooped by a commercial blog. The editor wanted to permeate this competitive spirit throughout the team. I overheard HubSpot bloggers complain about the very same issues that have long irritated traditional journalists; I saw press badges for massive industry events hung in bloggers’ workspaces; I feared my analytics person might get poached by BuzzFeed, which was now seen as The New York Times for the post-Millennial generation. I found this observation so horrifying that it nearly shook me out of my vision.My content strategists had evolved into research analysts. They were routinely invited to deliver on-air commentary about sales and marketing trends for various cable networks. They snickered when Fox Business called, knowing how the network rankled me. HubSpot’s podcaster and I tried to figure out if we could get (still) Apple CEO Tim Cook to mention The Growth Show during the company’s next press event.It took me a while, but eventually I got the idea: A vivid vision isn’t just dragging a formula forward in Excel. It’s rethinking the application.Now it’s your turn. Check out Cameron Herald’s interview with Mike Volpe on The Growth Show. And then go back to envision your own company’s future. You’ll be excited to see what’s waiting there. Leadership 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 Originally published Mar 19, 2015 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

5 Blogs With Comments You’ll Actually Want to Read

first_imgCopyblogger rocked the blogging world when they stopped facilitating comments on their blog and instead encouraged people to take the comments to social or to their own blogs. Thing is, this “we know what’s good for you” approach failed to take into account what their readers want – which is, to comment when they want, where they want.Lucky for us, there are still a multitude of great marketing blogs that welcome our comments. If you’re looking for a blog where the comments are as good as the articles, you’ve come to the right place.1) Grow – Mark SchaeferMany marketers (including me) love him for his forward thinking, his approachability, his no-nonsense advice, and his entertaining podcast with cohost and voiceover genius Tom Webster. Have you heard about the concept of “Content Shock”? You know that because of Mark’s post Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy published in the beginning of 2014.That one blog post has 392 comments on it. Not painful, “great post” comments either. Mark’s ideas ignite debate, foster creativity and provide a fantastic exchange of ideas that are as valuable as the posts themselves. And even on an article with nearly four hundred comments, he replies to nearly every one of them. Having written for his blog before, I also know he asks contributing writers to respond as well.Check it out if: you want to be on the leading edge of marketing trends and get the inside scoop on how industry experts are reacting to and implementing them.2) Web Search SocialRalph and Carol Lynn Rivera have created something of a cult following for their podcast. The show notes are the place to continue the conversation you’ve been having with them in your head as you listen.One of the draws for the comments section is that Melanie Kissell nearly always writes a poem for each episode. Clever and fun, these really add to the program.Not ones to shy away from controversy, Ralph and Carol Lynn have taken on some common marketing practices and even specific tools on their show. This episode with the founder of Snip.ly lead to some interesting back and forth, including one comment which likens anyone wishing to protect their intellectual property to a whiny two-year old. The intelligent responses from hosts and guests and continuing dialogue never fail to get the creative juices flowing.Check it out if: you enjoy marketing smarts with a hefty dose of witty banter.3) Neil PatelNeil loves data. He’s a tester, an analyst, and he shares generously, including printscreens from his Google analytics and tons of numbers to back up his findings. He often presents his “how-tos” in a step-by-step format, which is especially helpful on his typically very long posts.What is great about some of the commenters here (and you do have to wade through quite a few “you are the best!” comments) is that they ask really personal questions that some of us might not feel comfortable asking. “How did you create that opt-in?” “How do you find time to write so much?” And Neil answers all questions graciously. Seriously, this guy is on top of it and is a real gentleman. You’ll also notice that commenters add in their own A/B results, link to other related articles, etc. So, you’re really getting double the content!Check it out: if you want to get the inside scoop on Neil’s considerable marketing success and a well-rounded look at what’s working for many companies.4) Seriously Social Iag.me with Ian Anderson GrayIan’s blog is the go-to blog for real tech and marketing geeks – and I mean that lovingly! He enjoys writing about tools and programs for marketers in a way that I quite appreciate. He’ll share his findings, pros, cons, setup instructions, etc. Seriously useful.The comments section often attracts the founders or representatives of the companies creating the tools he reviews, meaning commenters can get their own questions answered from Ian AND from the companies themselves. In Ian’s more technical posts, you will notice he addresses each commenter, helping to debug where necessary, even years after the post goes live.Ian said about his “7 Reasons NOT to use Hootsuite” article “It’s turned into a mini community (which I always strive to make my articles into). It’s been a place for people to ask questions, ask advice, share frustrations and give feedback.” Indeed it has – with nearly 500 comments and counting.Check it out if: you enjoy an objective look at tools and programs and want to engage with company representatives.5) Adrienne SmithAdrienne claims her business is about “Showing Bloggers How to Grow a Blog One Relationship at a Time.” She delivers.As with all good comment sections, Adrienne’s loyal readers add in great tools and success stories that add to the already useful content Adrienne supplies. But what really stands out is the way the commenters all seem to know and support each other, with Adrienne facilitating. This is not done in a way that makes new readers feel they are late to the party (I just started commenting today), rather it leaves one feeling as if they’ve stumbled upon a very safe place to ask questions and express concerns.Check it out if: you are looking for a supportive community as you grow your business.Blog commenting is a great way to get to know people, to get your questions answered, and to express your opinions. Which blogs do you follow for the comments? 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 Sep 16, 2015 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Blogginglast_img read more

A Simple Guide to SEO for Local Businesses [Infographic]

first_imgWhen you find yourself in an unfamiliar area and you’re looking for a restaurant, coffee shop, sports store, or some other local business … how do you go about finding it?Most of us pull out our smartphone, open up a search engine, and search for a specific type of local business. That’s called a local search, and it’s for customers in a particular area who use online search engines to find a business in that area.According to Google’s own research, “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer or tablet did the same.”With local businesses competing for the top spots in those searches, knowing how to optimize your website accordingly is key. To help you learn more about local SEO, SurePayroll created the infographic below. Check it out to learn the anatomy of a local Google search results page, how to optimize your website for local searches, and how to separate your search result from everyone else’s.75Save Originally published Nov 2, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Local SEOcenter_img 75SaveWhat local SEO tips can you add to the list? Share with us in the comments. 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 Stressed Are You Right Now? [Flowchart]

first_imgIn small doses, stress can actually be an important part of our lives. It can motivate us and make us more productive. And, once it’s over, we might come out of that stressful situation all the better for it.Too much stress, though, can be detrimental to your health, happiness, productivity, and relationships.So what’s that healthy balance between being too stressed, and being not stressed enough? Is your current stress level manageable and healthy?To help you figure out where you are on the stress scale (and what you can do about it), the folks over at Pound Place created the flowchart below. Start with the question at the top, and then follow the arrows to work your way to the bottom, where you’ll find out whether your stress is at a manageable level. 94Save94SaveSo … how stressed are you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.  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 Apr 8, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated April 20 2017 Work Life Balance Topics:last_img read more

The ABCs of Compelling Visual Ads [Infographic]

first_imgThis year, 73% of content creators plan to prioritize creating more engaging content, while 55% plan to prioritize creating visual content, according to a report from Content Marketing Institute. This means more infographics, more social media images, more video content, and more visually appealing advertisements. What constitutes as visually appealing advertisement?In short: A lot of things. It needs to be simple, on-brand, targeted, actionable, understandable … the list goes on. To help you and your team better understand the underlying mechanisms that go into the creation of a compelling visual ad, check out the infographic below from Bannersnack. They’ve provided everything you need to know about visual ad creation in one infographic — and they’ve alphabetized it. 81Save81Save 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 Visual Content Originally published May 6, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

How to Make Remote Work Actually Work

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 May 23, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Remote Working One of my favorite things about working remotely — which I do a few times a month — is the freedom to get comfortable. When I work from home, I’m usually find myself in one of three positions: sitting up at the table, laying down with my laptop, or buried in a pillow avalanche on my couch. (Sound familiar to anyone?)While most offices have a few full-time remote workers — and probably a few that operate like I do — the idea of more remote employees may be one companies need to get used to.Why is remote work becoming such a big deal? Well, from where I’m sitting (currently “sitting up at the table”), it’s simple: Because good candidates are asking for it, and technology’s making it an easier thing to demand — no matter what the position entails. For employees, this is great news. They can live where they want, spend less time and money commuting, and wear their bathrobe to meetings. But what do companies get out of it? According to research by online freelance marketplace Upwork, sourcing and onboarding in-office employees takes an average of 43 days, compared with three days for remote employees. Not to mention, being open to remote team members widens the talent pool. So to help you sort through the operations and expectations that employers need to consider to make remote work effective, let’s walk through some practices that make it easier for me to communicate and collaborate with my remote teammates.How to Make Remote Work WorkOn Setup & TechnologyI have very little in the way of tech savvy, but I do know that a good operational and technical foundation helps remote workforces stay productive. This is where two key teams come into play: Finance & Accounting and IT.It starts with a commitment — if you’re interested in making it — to investing in your remote team as actual employees that will grow with the company. Not contractors. Not freelancers. That investment means working with Finance & Accounting to understand the administrative costs of paying employees in different states or countries. Are there visa costs you’ll need to consider? Will employees need to travel to the office on a regular basis — and if so, is the company financing it? Do they have the technology they need at home to communicate with you effectively? Again, are you financing it if they don’t? These questions extend to IT and the infrastructure they’ll need to set up, too. They’ll want to build in security measures for employee devices, and will need to equip your office with the technology your in-office team needs to communicate with remote team members. This includes chat software, remote meeting software, telepresence devices, and potentially some high-tech conference rooms to make coordinating all of that seamless. One of my teammates who works remotely half the week and works with our global offices quite a bit actually takes pains to dial into meetings on video, specifically. She found it difficult at first but says it made her far more productive being visually present in meetings, and is grateful to have the infrastructure to support that.If you start with all of this built into your budget from the get-go, two things happen: 1) you’re not hit with surprise costs, and you can do a much better job with hiring planning; 2) you end up with streamlined operations for onboarding remote employees so their experience starting with your company is as good as it would be for anyone else.On CommunicationThe best IT setup in the world doesn’t help unless we’re all using it toward the right ends. At the risk of being trite, the most successful relationships between in-office employees and their remote team members comes down to good communication from both parties. And figuring out what good communication means is kind of a beast. So bear with me while I try to break it down to its most pertinent parts for our purposes here.Combat “face time” with over-communication.One of the challenges remote work presents is the lack of “face time.” Think about all those random one-off conversations you have in the hallway, or at the water cooler, that wouldn’t be possible if you weren’t in-office. To combat this, you really need to nail the whole “regular and effective communication” thing. Sam Mallikarjunan, who works from his home down south most of the time, found that a lot of the “random collisions” he used to have in the hallway don’t happen anymore. (Obviously.) When I asked him how he makes up for it, he said “I just over-communicate. I have to proactively find opportunities to work with other people. I make a point of reaching out to people more often to tell them what I’m working on if I think it might be useful to them, and I actively talk to other people about their projects, too. There’s a lot less ‘the ball is in their court’ mentality when I’m remote.”That proactive approach to communication is something that remote team members may start to pick up on just because they’re experiencing the need for it first-hand, so it’s equally important to have in-office employees reciprocate. Make it a practice in your company to systematize communication — to me, that means in-person decisions and conversations are always formally recapped over email, in your group chat client (provided it’s not in a room with only casual participation and monitoring), or for the big stuff, in a team meeting.Use your words.I have this theory that if street signs were properly punctuated we’d all be better writers. My favorite example is the “STOP CHILDREN” sign.STOP THEM FROM WHAT?!When communicating without the benefit of body language or tone, clarity with written and verbal communication is more important than ever. In an ideal world, everyone’s already really good at finding the right words to say what they mean. But that’s not reality, so we’re left with a few options here:1) Try to be better at it. If you’re writing an email, take a beat to reread what you’ve written. See if you’ve really communicated what you’re trying to say clearly and succinctly. Consider whether you’ve included enough context for everyone to understand what’s going on. If you’re having a phone or video conversation, take a moment before responding or posing a question. And if what you said makes no sense, own it and say, “Sorry I don’t know what I’m trying to say, let me start over.”2) Know that reading comprehension matters. If you’re on the receiving end of a communication that makes you go: Image Credit: Giphy… ask clarifying questions before responding with an equally confusing answer. I try to either copy and paste the exact copy from the email, quote it, and then ask my clarification question — or if it’s a verbal conversation, repeat back what they said before asking my clarifying questions. It’s important to avoid layering confusion on top of confusion.3) Avoid reading into tone. People’s tones suck sometimes. Especially over email. If a typically bubbly person didn’t include a barrage of emojis or explanation points, they’re probably just running late, or feeling stressed … or something else that has nothing to do with you.Put some alert metrics in place.We’ve used the term “pothole” metrics before — the numbers you report on regularly that, if they get out of whack, signify a deeper problem with a part of the business. I like to use that principle here as a way to be sure we’re all catching everything that’s going on if communication ever fails. I also like to expand that principle out to encompass the good stuff as well as the bad stuff.These could be numbers that indicate someone’s doing well or struggling — for example, setting up traffic waterfalls if a team member’s work is directly tied to hitting a traffic metric. But they can include non-numerical things, too — like hitting project milestones for people that work in roles that are more about discrete deliverables that have changing definitions of success.Frankly, this is a good exercise to go through for every team member — yourself included — whether in-office or remote. Really, it just means everyone knows what “good” looks like, and you’re all able to break down “good” into its component parts so you know if you’re making reasonable progress.On ManagementIf managers are interested in hiring remote team members, they’ll have some specific responsibilities to keep things chugging along nicely. Most of this is just about setting the right precedent for how to think about remote work for your team — I’ve broken it down into the stuff you need to do proactively, and what you need to squash.Do this:Over-communicate the work being done by remote team members, and the value of that work. Yes, they should do this on their own. We talked about that earlier. You have to be the champion of your own career, and self-promotion is part of life … and all that jazz. But sometimes people forget. Or they do say it, but it’d sure help if someone else reiterated it. This becomes particularly important when someone’s work output isn’t very visible. For example, if your job is to write one article a day, it’s pretty easy for people to see that you’re doing your job. You either wrote the article or you didn’t, and everyone can see it. If your role is to build operational efficiencies into backend systems that four people in the company touch … it’s really easy for that work to disappear.Squash this:To that end, don’t let resentment or pettiness build toward remote employees — particularly those that are part-time remote. This starts to manifest itself in little comments like: “Oh is this one of the days so-and-so is in? I can’t even remember.” Letting that kind of stuff slide is what makes it seem like in-office employees inherently provide more value than those that are in less often. Worse, it perpetuates the notion that face time is more valuable than work output, which I think we’re all on board with as being total bunk.Do this:Encourage other people on your team that are in-office and have roles that allow them to work remotely … to work remotely sometimes. That pettiness I was just talking about? It’s a lot less likely to happen if working from home once in a while doesn’t feel like a special privilege levied on a few special snowflakes.Squash this:This is where things can get tricky, too. Remote work only works when it works. Notice how I said you should only encourage remote work when people have roles that allow them to work remotely? We all know not every role makes that possible. But beyond that, not every person is always a good fit for remote work at every point in their career, either. I’ll volunteer myself as an example of someone who, when starting a new role, would struggle to not be around people while I get my footing.Or if someone is having performance issues, it may not be the right time to green light remote work. That’s another reason giving feedback early, often, and candidly is important. And that rationale extends to remote employees that start having performance issues while they’re already engaged in a remote work agreement with you.Finally, always remember to do this:We talked earlier about treating remote employees not like contractors or freelancers, but like actual full-time employees. That means they have career ambitions, and are probably interested in growth and promotion opportunities. Be sure to keep them in mind for new projects, promotions, and additional responsibility. If good people fall out of sight and out of mind, you might lose ’em.After you’ve got the infrastructure set up, to me, most of this really comes down to good hiring. Get the right person, for the right role. If you’ve got capable people you can trust in a role, you should be able to trust that not only are they doing good work, but that they’ll let you know if and when they need something different from you.The right person can make even roles that you don’t think will work in a remote scenario, work. (Unless that role is chef. Then you definitely need to be at work.)How do you make remote work work? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Topics:last_img read more

Raising womens workforce can raise GDP by Rs 46 lakh crore in

first_imgIncreasing the women’s participation in the country’s workforce could add Rs 46 lakh crore ($700 billion) to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2025, according to a study.Bridging the gender gap will boost the economic activity in the country, resulting in incremental GDP growth of 1.4% per year, said a study by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).”About 70 percent of the increase would come from raising India’s female labour-force participation rate from 31 percent at present to 41 percent in 2025. This would bring 68 million more women into the economy over this period,” said the report.Currently, the contribution of women to India’s GDP stands at 17%, which is much lower than the global average of 31%.”The Indian economy will obviously gain if we bridge the gender gap in the workplace, but this gap cannot be plugged if we don’t consider gender equality in society and change our social attitudes and unconscious bias towards women,” Moneycontrol.com quoted Rajat Gupta, Director, McKinsey & Company India, as saying.According to report titled ‘The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in India’, the time spent by Indian women on unpaid work is nearly 10 times higher than the time spent by men on such work.”If this unpaid work could be valued and compensated, it would contribute USD 0.3 trillion (Rs 20 lakh crore) to India’s economic output,” the report noted.Besides, India’s GDP will see a contribution of $2.9 trillion from women in 2025, if they “play an identical role in labour markets as men” the report added.last_img read more

Want to Cheat the System Call Yourself a Tech Company

first_img 3 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now August 22, 2016 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.center_img A variety of factors contributed to Theranos’s prolonged public deception, though they’re often summed up by “tech hype.” The company’s founder, Elizabeth Holmes, was a Stanford dropout who dreamed of “making a difference in the world.” Her company was valued at nearly $10 billion. She was hailed as the “next Steve Jobs.”Blogger and media entrepreneur Anil Dash explains that Theranos successfully drummed up buzz about its faulty products “because the company, its founder and its investors all shielded themselves under the cultural cover of being a glamorous member of the ‘tech industry’ rather than a prosaic medical supplier.”Related: The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Tech JobsIt’s absurd to refer to companies that specialize in vastly disparate goods and services all under the umbrella of “tech,” Dash argues in a Medium post titled, “There is no ‘technology industry.’” If Theranos had been treated as a blood-testing company rather than a tech company, his argument follows, it would have been under far more scrutiny from day one.It’s not simply an imprecise description, Dash notes. He emphasizes that this overarching label obscures the reality that there is no such thing as the tech industry, in terms of a common set of regulations for the companies that supposedly exist within it.“Mature industries develop their own regulatory frameworks, their own systems for self-regulation, and their own standards for monitoring transgressions within the industry,” Dash writes. “Today, tech as an industry is almost completely lacking in all of these areas.”In other words, a “tech company” in pursuit of “disruption” is not exempt from the law. See: Uber and its disregard for background checks based on its self-designation as a technology company rather than a taxi service.Obviously Dash is not the first to make the argument that the tech industry is a misnomer for a nonexistent collective. In a May 2012 Slate piece, “It’s Official: There’s No Such Thing as a Tech Company,” journalist Matt Yglesias wrote of Apple and Amazon, “they’re in different lines of business, so there’s no ex ante reason to expect them to [be] valued in a similar way.”In March 2013, reporter David Yanofsky wrote in Quartz, “To stay competitive in today’s marketplaces, every company, by the current standard, could be called a tech company, which of course, is another way of saying that none of them should be.”Related: 10 Tech Companies to Watch – Entrepreneur’s Brilliant 100Yet in the third quarter of 2016, the phrase “tech industry” persists, as companies continue to incorporate technology, in the broadest most literal sense of the word, into their business operations and consumer products. Now that technology is omnipresent, it’s time to start conceiving of tech companies based on their sub-industries — transportation, information, food and beverage — and impose restrictions on them based on the specific services they provide.Every company occupies the “business” space, but society does not treat all of these companies as though they exist on the same plane. The same should be true of “tech.” Embrace the reality that your company is more than a “tech company” and establish what differentiates you from all of the tech startup bandwagoners out there. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Sneak peek at newest Ambergris Caye boutique resort

first_imgSneak peek at newest Ambergris Caye boutique resort Share Tuesday, June 5, 2018 Tags: Alaia, Belize, Marriott Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by AMBERGRIS CAYE — Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels is offering a first look at the new Alaia boutique resort coming to Belize in 2020, as hotel development on the country’s cayes continues at a rapid pace.Beach Side ViewSet on the southern part of Ambergris Caye, in the historic town of San Pedro, Alaia will join the 135 independent hotels in the brand’s collection when it opens in two years.RooftopAlaia broke ground at the end of 2017 with a launch plan of five phases. Amenities will include a beach club exclusive to guests and residents, a rooftop suspended pool and lounge with ocean views, full service spa, fitness centre, kids’ club, dive shop and live art gallery.Villa“Belize’s tourism is booming, with 2017 being a record year and vastly surpassing the 400,000 annual visitor threshold,” says Manuel Heredia, Belize’s Minister of Tourism.  “With the industry playing an integral role on the country’s economy, Alaia has the government’s full support as it will take our country to new heights by boosting the employment growth, generating awareness around the destination, and allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Belize’s vibrant culture.”PoolAlaia isn’t Marriott’s only property on the island. The 203-key Belize Marriott Ambergris Caye Resort and Residences will offer an upscale experience on Belize’s largest island, known for its world-class scuba diving, fishing, water sports and white sandy beaches.Beach Front ViewBelize’s first luxury resort from a global brand, Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club, Curio – A Collection By Hilton, opened its doors in December 2017.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaMeanwhile Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is already at work on Four Seasons Resort and Residences Caye Chapel, Belize. The luxury retreat on Belize’s island of Caye Chapel will include 100 guest rooms and suites.last_img read more

CIE Tours celebrates Tartan Week with up to 15 off Scottish tours

first_img MORRISTOW — In celebration of Tartan Week, CIE Tours International has announced new offers on top Scottish tours.Taking place from April 3-10, with National Tartan Day scheduled for April 6, Tartan Week encourages millions of North Americans to reconnect with their Scottish roots. And as a leader in premier guided vacations to Britain and Ireland, CIE Tours is joining in on the week-long festivities with substantial discounts on up to seven of its Scotland-based itineraries.There are two ways to save on Scotland this April with CIE:‘Scottish Clans & Castles’ Tour of the Week: Clients save 15%, or $1,000-$1,683, when booking between April 3-9April Promotion: Clients enjoy 10% off select summer departures for the following Scottish tours when booked by April 22: ‘Scottish Dream’ (8 days, from $2,552 per person); ‘Taste of Scotland & Ireland’ (10 days, from $3,225 per person); ‘Best of Britain’ (10 days, from $3,654 per person); and ‘Highlights of Britain’ (15 days, from $5,396 per person)More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsBefore booking, CIE has three fun facts for Scotland-bound travellers:There are more than 150 languages, in addition to English, spoken in Scotland.13% of the country’s population identifies as ginger, the highest proportion in the world.More than 800 islands comprise Scotland, of which only 100 are inhabited.“Scotland has much to offer travellers, whether they choose to immerse themselves in the stunning landscape, delve into the rich culture of the country, explore the deep royal connections or sample the finest Scotch whiskey,” said the company.For more information go to cietours.com. Tags: CIE Tours, Promotions, Scotland Travelweek Group CIE Tours celebrates Tartan Week with up to 15% off Scottish tours Tuesday, April 2, 2019 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Silver Spring Neighborhood Center has named Devin

first_imgSilver Spring Neighborhood Center has named Devin Hudson, who has led the agency’s development efforts for the past five years, as its next executive director.Devin HudsonHudson has been development director for the center, located in the Westlawn neighborhood on Milwaukee’s northwest side, since 2014.She succeeds Tom Ellis, a former M&I Bank president who came out of retirement in 2016 to lead the agency.Marvin Bynum, president of SSNC’s board of directors, said Hudson was chosen from a search process that included interviews with both internal and external candidates. “We love her even-keeled judgement,” Bynum said. “She has a clear-eyed vision for how things should work at the agency and how to deal with the stressful and challenging situations we encounter as an organization and as a community.”Bynum said Hudson’s work in development has put her on the “front lines” of each of the center’s services, which include child care, afterschool programs, meal programs, adult education and employment programs.“She understands the dollars that come in and where they go,” Bynum said. “She understands the goals and aims of our programs. She understands what they need and who they serve and how they’re serving people.”Under Hudson’s leadership, the organization brought in 146 first-time donors, netting contributions of more than $160,000, from 2016 to 2018. In 2016, she helped secure a gift from the Milwaukee Bucks and Johnson Controls, which included the new Silver Spring Neighborhood Center/Browning School multi-sport complex and financial investments in youth programming.Hudson coordinated the agency’s submissions for the 2017 MANDIs, during which SSNC received the BMO Harris Bank Cornerstone Award and the Wells Fargo People’s Choice Award. She also helped secure $150,000 in 2018 for SSNC’s new Opportunity Youth program.The organization has undergone multiple leadership transitions in recent years. Anthony McHenry served as executive director from 2013 until he left to lead the Milwaukee Academy of Science in 2016.Ellis, who previously spent 23 years of his career at M&I Bank, succeeded him. In finding his replacement, the board was intent on looking inside the organization for potential candidates, Bynum said.“We’ve got really great people who are passionate, who deeply care about the work, are smart and are generous with their time,” he said. “This is a tough job, but we’ve had a really good staff supporting the mission. We thought we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least have them at the table.”Today’s difficult nonprofit funding landscape, with fewer dollars being stretched across more organizations, presents a challenge for the organization moving forward, Bynum said.“We have to be cognizant of that challenge and be smart about being creative and innovative with our programs and leverage partnerships with those who can sometimes do it better than we can,” he said. “We’ve tried to position ourselves as a hub, versus a program provider in some cases.”Meanwhile, the neighborhood itself is undergoing shifts. Westlawn Gardens is in the middle of a redevelopment project that will add units to the public housing community. That could mean the center will have new neighbors who aren’t as familiar with its programs.“The challenge is to be more relevant to our neighbors make sure they know about what we’re doing and then execute and deliver on those programs,” Bynum said. Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribelast_img read more