Why Employees Quit Their Jobs

first_imgThe expense of losing an employee is more than the cost of bringing one on board, yet companies continually let good workers slip through their hands. The reasons employees leave vary, but one thing is for sure, employers don’t hold all the cards, even in a tough job market.“Companies can’t look at employees as expendable commodities,” says Pat Sweeney, human resource manager at Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care. “There may be a high unemployment rate but it’s not all skilled people. If you’re just looking at your bottom line, you want to make sure your employees feel valued.”Turnover can be expensive. According to Salary.com it costs a company anywhere from 120% to 150% of the person’s salaryif they leave in one to three months. Not only do companies invest money and time orienting the new worker, there are also training, benefits and recruitment costs. Because of that, it behooves a company to create an environment where employees want to stay.From employing bad managers to not providing career growth, here’s a look at four actions that are sure to push employees out the door.Bad managementA lot of companies pride themselves on promoting within, but sometimes that strategy can backfire if the person they are giving a management role to isn’t up to the task. According to career experts one of the main reasons employees leave a company is because of poor management or a bad boss.“Leadership skills are not intuitive and well taught,” says Carl Robinson, Ph.D., a business psychologist and executive coach. “Really talented people will not put up with jerk bosses, they don’t need to. There’s a shortage of talented smart people.” Unfortunately Robinson says very few companies provide adequate management training so supervisors know how to interact and communicate with employees.Lack of career growthNobody accepts a position with the intent of doing the same job for their entire career.  People want to grow professionally and if they can’t, chances are they will eventually leave.  If your company needs to attract and retain highly skilled workers, then you better make sure you are providing developmental opportunities.“Companies owe it to their employees to invest in their development,” says Susan Heathfield, the guide to human resources for About.com. “It doesn’t always take an outside seminar or sending them away. There is much you can do internally.” Heathfield points to job shadowing of a higher up, mentoring programs and internal training as three examples that won’t break the bank. “Companies are not doing a good job of career development,” she says.Letting employees fend for themselvesIn every organization there are those go getters who make it known to anyone that will listen that they want to climb up the ladder and the introverted ones who do a good job but don’t possess the self-promoting skills. Often those in the latter camp will get passed up for promotions even if they are deserving of it, which will breed resentment and eventually result in their departure.“Often companies may be guilty of saying ‘you own your career, go find the opportunity,’ but for people that are not outgoing they don’t understand the concept of finding a mentor or finding career growth,” says Abby Euler, general manager at Salary.com.  Companies need to understand the different types of personalities and make sure there is clear communications as to how to find a mentor and move up in the organization, she says.Not valuing and respecting workersLet’s face it money and benefits do matter, but workers also want to feel valued, respected and that they are making a contribution. If a company can’t meet those basic needs, it will likely deal with lots of turn over.  Feeling valued not only means recognition for a job well done but being kept in the loop about workplace issues. If all of the major decisions are made behind closed doors and the workers are the last to know it will create uncertainty which could result in departures, says Sweeney.Employees also want to work for companies that actually care about their work/life balance. “Companies have to be sensitive to what employees need outside the office,” says Sweeney. They need to ask themselves are they listening to what their employees have to say, is there open communications and is their flexibility in schedules, she says.Are you an employer? Sign up for a free employer account on Glassdoor.last_img read more

3 Reasons Why Longer Resumes Work

first_imgWith all the hubbub about short and sweet writing in this attention-deficit disordered culture, shorter isn’t always better when it comes to resumes.Here are 3 reasons why longer resumes work:1. Context matters. While lean and mean rules when it comes to copywriting, muscle still matters. After all, “lean” and “muscle” goes hand-in-hand, and a more muscular story may distinguish you from the next candidate. If you want to prove to your next hiring manager that you know your stuff, then visualize a story with rippling muscles that grip the reader.Below is a before and after example that elaborates on why context matters.Before: Completed 30,000-seat stadium painting, repairs and cleanup.After: Withstanding triple-digit temperatures and complicated scheduling, and often operating alone, performed labor-intensive maintenance to support peak operating conditions of sports facilities, including: 30,000-seat stadium painting, repairs and cleanup.By providing the context of challenges withstood (triple-digit temps and complex scheduling, while working alone), this candidate proves she can handle the heat and work independently to achieve timely goals.2. Culture matters: A meatier resume affords opportunity to weave in your unique personality traits that set you apart and also help to court a right-fit employer. While a resume that blends narrative with concrete results may seem counterintuitive to just-the-facts resume speak, it works, because it connects emotion (and culture of the candidate) to his performance.An example narrative lead-in: Ablaze with focused energy, Joseph Carter fuels his sales management brand by: Funneling sales into the pipeline, breeding partnerships, driving sales efficiencies and innovating joint strategies across large, diverse geographic territories.3. Robust Stories Matter: Often, in an effort to be short and sweet, job seekers omit critical chapters of their professional story. While it’s true, the intention of a resume is to land the interview, don’t shortchange your story by assuming you’ve captured their attention with only a few words.Sometimes, the value of providing a bit more detail—a multi-chapter approach—is building a stronger case that keeps your resume in the ‘call’ pile versus tossed in the trash.For example:Chapter 1: Spawned a sales team epiphany as to the value of ‘winning (bigger) in collaboration with diverse others.’ As result of multilayered, driving initiatives, revenue grew aggressively to >$950K in programs 1st year, before fanning out to multiple other markets.Chapter 2: Within 12 months, the B2B partnership accomplished its sales plan, focused on gross profit, and within 24 months, became largest companywide, with >3.2M in sales.last_img read more

How to Spot a Bad Boss During Your Interview

first_imgNo matter what, you are likely bound to encounter a fair share of bad bosses throughout your career. They can be detrimental and cause you to flee. In Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager report, one out of two professionals said they had quit a job to “get away” from their boss at some point in their career.The last thing you want to do is accept an offer at a toxic working environment. Fortunately, there are ways to spot a bad boss a mile away.Look at these five aspects to determine whether or not you’re being interviewed by a bad boss:1. Word Choice and TonePay close attention to how your interviewers select their words. For example, if they dive into a negative statement but start to backtrack to diffuse the sentiment, they’re trying to hide the fact that they have a negative mindset.The way they speak and the tone they use creates an energy. Use your intuition and sense how being in their presence makes you feel. If you experience uneasiness and a level of discomfort, identify what factors may be causing that.A good boss takes an interest in who you are as a person. If you feel like they’re just looking at you as a worker, they won’t treat you any better if you accept a job offer from them. Notice if they don’t engage in informal pleasantries or fail to make an effort to connect with you on a personal level.2. How They Characterize OthersAnecdotes and stories tend to find their way into interviews. For example, if they’re explaining a work situation or describing a project and speak dismissively about employees, they probably don’t respect them.Don’t waste time. Instead, dig right into their perspective and test how they perceive themselves in the operation. Ask about the company’s biggest problems and what those causes are. If they play the blame game, they are a poor leader who can’t take responsibility.3. Level of EnthusiasmDo you sense enthusiasm and passion from them? Or are they indifferent and disinterested? Granted, every person has a bad day now and then, but good bosses make an effort to leave out their stresses and maintain a level of professionalism.Measure this by paying attention to your feelings. You should feel a sense of excitement when you consider working for them. But if you feel like the boss hates his or her job and doesn’t care, leave immediately. Chances are, the office is full of disengaged employees who are plagued by low morale.Ask about turnover if you suspect the company’s recruiting process acts like a revolving door. Pay attention to how the manager interacts with others or how others act when they are around. Bad signs include a hurried, quiet office, uneasiness, and lack of eye contact. If you see a poor employer-employee relationship, find the exit.4. Friendly DemeanorThis may be surprising, but if the interviewer is incredibly friendly, you may find yourself in a trap. When things feel too good to be true, they usually are.If you leave recalling how nice and pleasant they are, and that’s the main thing you remember, it could be a bad sign. They’re possibly overcompensating, putting on a good act to lure you in. Trust your gut on this. You will be able to see right through them.Look for authenticity. Avoid buying the lemon, and continue searching.5. Body LanguageWhat does bad body language even look like? The way an interviewer moves, sits, stands, and speaks says a lot about them as a person and as a boss.If they lean back and don’t make much eye contact, they’re disengaged and failing to show you respect. They probably don’t pay their employees much attention or recognize them for their successes.If they shift a lot and check their watch, they’re insecure. A boss without confidence may feel threatened by you and hold you back from growing.Also, look for intimidation tactics. For example, if they’re pointing at you, looking down at you, and leaning forward a lot, they may be trying to scare you or test your resilience.A bad boss uses fear to rule, disrespects their employees, and holds talent back. Be aware of these body language signs.Don’t sell yourself short and settle for a bad opportunity that will leave you overwhelmed with stress. You have to know your true value and establish what you want and deserve in your career.Have you ever been interviewed by a bad boss? Share in the comments!last_img read more

What Is Compensation and How Is It Determined?

first_img How to Negotiate a Better Compensation Package Learn More! The first step to any negotiation is knowing your worth, and one way you can do that is to use Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth Calculator. This easy-to-use tool will give you a custom salary estimate based on your title, company, location, and experience. Because salary is such a big component of any compensation package, we suggest you start here. If this tool reveals your salary offer is too low, you’ll know you need to negotiate a higher rate.Then, turn to the other parts of your compensation offer—is there anything there that you feel could or should be more generous? These are all points you can negotiate after an offer.For example, bonuses and stock pay might be something you want to negotiate. While you don’t have to, you might be willing to accept a lower base pay if your employer would be willing to give you a higher bonus or stock option structure—something to consider!Once you have the points you’d like to negotiate, practice your pitch at least once before the actual negotiation. How? Find someone to listen to your proposal for a salary increase, so you can feel the cadence of your speaking points out loud in a conversational setting. Much of a successful negotiation boils down to feeling comfortable and practiced. Now that you understand all that goes into a compensation package—and how to negotiate one—here is more information that can help you snag the best possible job offer.Know Your Worth: Get a free, personalized salary estimate based on today’s job market9 Things to Never Say in a Salary NegotiationSalary Negotiation Scripts For Any JobThe Secret to Negotiating $5,000 – $15,000 More in Pay9 Important Things to Discuss With HR Before Accepting a New Job What is a Compensation Package?center_img When considering a new position, or re-evaluating your current contract, it’s in your best interest to negotiate for a higher salary. However, when considering your compensation—everything the company is giving you in exchange for the work you provide—there are so many other factors that play into your bottom line that go beyond just salary, experts say.Here are some of those additional factors: Profit sharing or stock options. Some organizations might offer profit sharing, bonuses, or stock options. These are different ways that you, as an employee, can profit from the success of the organization, and earn an additional salary. If your organization is doing well, and you are offered shares, you could see a huge return on investment in the long run. Bonuses. Companies often find their best hires from internal referrals, so it’s in their best interest to incentivize employees to tap their networks for top talent—and that can mean hefty paychecks for employees who are successful in doing so. Or, a company might offer a bonus for loyalty, having met a sales goal, or as a holiday perk, and these add up over time.Company matching. Many organizations will offer 401k matching. These company perks are not only a great way to incentivize savings and retirement, but also earn free money! The average 401k match across organizations is 50 cents on the dollar of up to 6 percent of your salary. Taking advantage of these plans is like accepting a 3 to 6 percent yearly raise.Lifestyle perks. Discounts and reimbursements on things like cell phone plans and gym memberships are other hidden factors that impact your bottom line. If you work for a company that you frequent as a consumer, corporate discounts could be another factor in your decision. If your company gives you $50 a month toward a phone, that is $600 a year! How Companies Calculate Compensation Companies often create compensation packages that reflect their company’s values and those of the employment marketplace. This consistency helps to eliminate confusion and can minimize emotional reactions to pay decisions. Companies often consider: Market factors: They look at company size, growth stage, location, industry and employer competition, and decide how these factors influence their attractiveness as an employer. Employee value proposition: Many companies consider their compensation package as a powerful way to bring their employee value proposition to life—i.e. as a way to drive a differentiated employee experience, and create a certain kind of work- company culture.Growth opportunities: Some companies may be able to justify paying at the lower end of a pay range simply because of brand name recognition and long-term value to an individual’s career path. Smaller companies may offer rapid career growth opportunities. More generally, salary is determined by factors like title, skill set, level, location and more. Companies often approach individual compensation plans based on the candidate, too. last_img read more

DONE DEAL: Roma winger Salah seals Liverpool switch

first_imgLiverpool has completed the signing of Mohamad Salah from Roma on a five-year deal.According to Sky Sports, the transfer fee for the Egyptian will rise to £34.3m.The Merseyside club had their initial bid of £28m rejected, but they remained persistent in their pursuit of the 24-year old.Salah made an impression last season in Serie A, having scored 15 goals and provided 13 assists.The tricky winger has Premier League experience after spending an underwhelming two-and-a-half years with Chelsea.Mohamed at Melwood. #AnnouncedSalahpic.twitter.com/LGR96omjrf— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 22, 2017pic.twitter.com/07r2UAKRdX— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 22, 2017last_img

Arsenal ace Oxlade-Chamberlain wants Wenger talks before committing to new deal

first_imgArsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wants talks with manager Arsene Wenger before considering any new contract.The London Evening Standard says Oxlade-Chamberlain will seek assurances over his first-team role at Arsenal before deciding whether to stay at the club.The Gunners have opened talks with the 23-year-old over a new contract with just a year left on his existing agreement amid interest from Liverpool and Manchester City.Arsenal expect Oxlade-Chamberlain to sign a new deal worth in the region of £100,000-a-week but negotiations have slowed with the midfielder determined to ensure he is a key part of Wenger’s plans.Oxlade-Chamberlain has made no secret of his desire to play in a central role and enjoyed a brief spell there last season before Wenger switched to a 3-4-2-1 system.last_img

What to Get Cousin Cal? A Good Card!

first_imgWhy buy a toxic Bob the Builder this holiday when you give the gift that not only does no harm – it does good.The Good Card is a gift card for charity – where the recipient gets to donate to their charity of choice. That includes ANY charity with registration in the US – up to 1.7 million. Customers, clients, employees, friends and family all have their favorite charities and now you can give them the perfect gift – a donation to their favorite charity via Network for Good’s secure giving system. That includes the charity fighting a disease that’s touched their family, their alma mater — or even your organization!And yes, I work for Network for Good, so this is product placement.How it Works§ At www.networkforgood.org/goodcard, you can buy a card to be mailed or choose an electronic gift card to be sent§ Your recipient receives the cards via mail or email (or you can send it to yourself if you want to give it in person!)§ The Good Card recipient comes to Network for Good’s website, chooses a charity and then enters the amount to donate using the code on their Good Card/email § Network for Good sends the charities the donation § Cost per card is $5. 100% of the card value goes direct to charity.last_img read more

War and Peace: The Story of Maternal Mortality Estimation

first_imgPosted on January 14, 2011August 17, 2016Click 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)Earlier this week, we hosted Professor Wendy J. Graham from the University of Aberdeen who spoke about maternal mortality estimation here at our New York office. If you couldn’t make it and/or were unable to watch the webcast, the video is now available online. Click either of the links below to watch the video. High resolution / medium resolution / low resolution Choose resolution based on the speed/quality of your internet connection. High resolution for a high speed/quality and low resolution for low speed/quality.Share this:center_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img

An Old Man, a Young Boy, Cricket and…Maternal Health

first_imgPosted on February 28, 2011June 20, 2017By: Hellen Kotlolo, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick 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)This blog post was contributed by Hellen Kotlolo, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.In South Africa and for myself January symbolizes the beginning of a new season, the New Year, the beginning of school…but mostly it symbolizes the beginning of new things. Former South African President Nelson Mandela now aged 92 years has been sick and hospitalized. I was saddened by the news and praying daily. The fear I have is that many South Africans face the reality of one day losing a legend who has transformed our country, our world and our people. I realized my own selfishness yet also my attachment to this man whom I have never personally met. I am only 27 years old and the life I know is the life of inspiration, freedom, democracy and diversity, ‘the rainbow nation’. I just realized that many outcomes of my life are based on his sufferings and as I was talking to Faatimaa Ahmedi and Ifeyinwa Madu about many other issues I realized the spirit of his life when Faatimaa said to me, “Some people like Nelson Mandela recognized their mission in this world and accomplished it perfectly! Now it is our turn to identify what our role is and what we are supposed to achieve.”I have been in India for 5 months and the project here is at the intervention and implementation phase. On the 18th of January we travelled to Jodhpur for a training of trainers and for field visits. The first two days consisted of training sessions on Birth Preparedness and Complications Readiness and then there were four days of field work in ten villages. We used the picture books on government entitlements, danger signs during pregnancy, birth and postpartum teaching as well as safe delivery including the birth preparedness calendar. We also took time to visit a Primary Health Centre and a Community Health Centre in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, and the conditions were not the best with an iron bed and a bucket below for blood which I think is one of the core reasons of home deliveries. Some of the major challenges we faced were:Social and gender inequalities; women were refusing to talk if men were presentHigh illiteracy in almost all the villages and for the registration the women had to do thumbprints as many could not sign their namesThe role of women was considered to be that of being housewives and bearing children, and all the women complained about having little time for the training as many were either pregnant with an infant of less than 12 months breastfeeding or with two or three young children around herWomen were very shy about the female reproductive system or pages in the picture displaying a woman giving birth or bleeding, and it was followed by giggles or women turning away or bending their heads downPoverty displayed a major role in lack of access though the results also differed from village to villageChildren were malnourished and at risk of kwashiorkor and many were not attending school regularlyThe presence of men in the meetings was not welcomed, yet I felt there was both an interest and a need to learn. Allowing the men to sit amongst the women to learn about women’s issues may be a very necessary intervention in this area. There is also a great need to explore such issues as understanding of the body’s anatomy and physiology and issues around family planning, but I realize we cannot achieve all these changes in one day.In the evening of our return to the training centre where we were staying there was an eager boy who took us to the sand dunes for sunset. We watched cricket matches together with other colleagues, between South Africa and India. South Africa eventually won the five day series. Many people had either never seen a black person or had little knowledge about Africa except for its poverty. My new friend indicated they were taught in school about the poverty in Africa. It was initially hard to relate on a social level but as soon as I mentioned cricket it was easier to grasp attention. Even when giving health education and engaging with the women in the field somehow cricket allowed an entry to the hearts of women and their relatives on discussing maternal health issues. One evening I gave the boy one of my books and sat with him to try and teach him how to read English better. One my favorite stories is that told by Yeabsira Mehari in her previous blog, “A Starfish Saved.” In all the days in rural Rajasthan I was often disheartened to see the children not going to school while their parents could not read and write. It is a vicious cycle of events but this boy showed something different: a passion to thrive. And it was not I who made a difference in his life, it was he who wanted to learn more. I realised hope exists amongst all of us.In the end I realized my mission has many unaccomplished aspects. Thinking back over the things that occurred: one man has inspired us to be better and achieve missions impossible, and with patience they can be achieved. Sometimes the oddest things can link people and assist communication, in this case the sport of cricket connected me with people. A young boy’s efforts to read and learn the skill showed me that even desolate environments cannot remove inspiration and hope. May these lessons bring me closer to achieving maternal health outcomes.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Making Connections: Ensuring Access to Reproductive and Maternal Health Supplies

first_imgPosted on March 24, 2015October 27, 2016By: Shafia Rashid, Senior Program Officer, Global Advocacy, Family Care InternationalClick 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)This post is part of the blog series “Increasing access to maternal and reproductive health supplies: Leveraging lessons learned in preventing maternal mortality,” hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Family Care International and the USAID-Accelovate program at Jhpiego which discusses the importance and methods of reaching women with lifesaving reproductive and maternal health supplies in the context of the proposed new global target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 births by 2030. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar.The past ten years have witnessed impressive gains in the availability and use of reproductive health supplies like condoms and oral contraceptives that allow men and women to safely and effectively prevent or space pregnancies. As a result of concerted efforts by many partners, contraceptive prevalence rates have risen over 60% in countries around the world.These dramatic successes in improving access to reproductive health supplies can shed important lessons and guidance for those working to ensure that life-saving maternal health medicines — including, oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulfate — are available to all women, when they need them and wherever they give birth. These medicines — which can save lives by preventing or treating the leading causes of maternal death — remain out of reach for many women, particularly for poor, rural, indigenous and other vulnerable women. Many countries lack clear, supportive policies and adequate budgets to make essential maternal health medicines widely available, or have weak supply chains and logistical systems. Inadequate regulatory capacity, poor quality of medicines and lack of information and guidance on correct use are other barriers to access.In order to summarize lessons learned and provide concrete tools to improve access to maternal health supplies, the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition tasked Family Care International to create seven policy briefs that show policy makers and program managers real-world examples of successful interventions. Importantly, there is a brief dedicated to each of the three most critical maternal health supplies: oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulfate. Other briefs cover the cross-cutting issues of policy and financing, supply and demand generation.Lessons learned from successful efforts to improve access to family planning commodities can help to effectively address the challenges related to maternal health medicines. Family planning advocates have, for example, tracked government expenditures on reproductive health supplies: in Indonesia, budget analysis and concerted advocacy led the mayors of five districts to increase their family planning budgets by as much as 80%. Similarly, many countries — including Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay — have established contraceptive security committees that bring together multiple supply chain stakeholders to support coordination, address long-term product availability issues and reduce duplication and inefficiencies. These committees have advocated for increased financial support for contraceptives, improved inventory management, developed standard operating procedures, published reports and provided technical assistance. These efforts to increase budgets and ensure commodity security for contraceptives can be effectively adapted and expanded to improve financing and security for maternal health supplies as well.A wide range of tools and resources can support countries in strengthening their forecasting, procurement and other supply chain functions. Tools originally developed with a sole focus on reproductive health supplies now include or can be adapted to apply to maternal health supplies as well and can be used by country managers working to improve the supply of maternal health medicines.Finally, many countries are moving toward integrating their supply chains to include family planning commodities and other essential medicines, including medicines for maternal health. In Ethiopia, for instance, the government (with the support of in-country partners) integrated their supply chain to include all health commodities and to connect all levels of the supply chain with accurate and timely data for decision-making. In Nicaragua, where the supply chain was separated vertically by health issue and type of commodity until 2005, the health ministry has integrated the essential medicines system with the contraceptives’ supply chain and has now fully automated the system and expanded it to include all essential medicines.There are many parallels and potential synergies between reproductive and maternal health supply chains and processes. The reproductive and maternal health communities must take the following actions to address the interrelated barriers that prevent access to and use of life-saving commodities:Advocate for development and implementation of supportive policies at the national and sub-national levels,Advocate for dedicated budget lines to enable monitoring and evaluation of policy implementationImprove government systems and procedures for procuring high-quality medicines and maintaining their quality throughout the supply chainInvest in a streamlined, coordinated supply chain across sectors and levels, reducing inefficiency and duplicative effortsStrengthen the knowledge and skills of health providers so that they are aware of evidence-based policies and guidelines and can effectively administer these essential medicinesMore information can be found in Essential Medicines for Maternal Health: Ensuring Equitable Access for All, a set of briefs that highlight challenges and strategies for increasing the availability of these maternal health medicines and identify linkages with reproductive health supplies. You can download the Essential Medicines for Maternal Health policy briefs in English, French and Spanish.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Uninsured workers, worst case scenario

first_imgIt’s a familiar story: the end of a job often means the end of insurance coverage. Today, the New York Times paints a bleak picture in its article on workers without insurance. The article focuses on a North Carolina real estate agent, recovering from cancer, who could find coverage only for $27,000 a year. (She’s going without insurance.) The realtor, Vicki Readling, asks an insightful question: “Why can’t Realtors in North Carolina, or a few counties, have coverage under one umbrella? You would think that some insurance company would want our business.â€? That’s just what the farmers of Wisconsin realized, and what’s already happening with freelancers in a variety of industries here in New York.last_img

The Art Directors Club and 360i Invite the Industry on a 3-Hour Job Hunt

first_imgOn Wednesday, May 22, the world’s most legendary creative directors will attend Portfolio Night 11 (PN11). This is the ideal opportunity for promising creatives to meet with industry luminaries that will provide them with valuable, constructive feedback on their portfolios.To promote the event, the organization behind PN11, the Art Directors Club, enlisted 360i to create a campaign that would excite future advertising rock stars through revealing which agencies and creative directors plan to participate in PN11.Our objective was to have fun and inspire the curiosity of creatives around the world. To achieve this goal, we came up with the idea of the 3-Hour Job Hunt, a global search for 3-hour creative directors.Led by the mysterious recruiting firm “Ignacionale,” the 3-Hour Job Hunt suggests that creative directors, like 360i’s Chief Creative Officer, Adam Kerj, are seeking temporary replacements for the three hours they plan to attend PN11. And who would be more suited for these jobs than aspiring creatives with insatiable appetites to take on such prominent roles?Want to know more? Check out the site for yourself at www.3HourJobHunt.com.last_img read more

MintFamily with Beth Kobliner: Should High School Students Have Part-Time Jobs?

first_imgDid you know Giving USA reported that in 2018, Americans donated over $410 billion dollars?! It’s around this time of year especiailly that giving back becomes top of mind for many. Whether it’s for a particular occasion or we’re looking… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,Open enrollment season is here!   We’re expecting to receive a big packet from human resources with all the options and benefits that our employers’ offer. While I won’t say that this is an exciting thing, we are eager to go over… Full Story,What are some of the biggest lessons you received about money growing up? For me, a few things stand out. We didn’t get too many formal lectures about money, but from time to time, I’d get a lesson sprinkled in here… Full Story,As the year winds down, you may find your spending picks up. With holidays approaching, families may be preparing for trips to see their loved ones or they’re buying gifts. However, if you haven’t been saving beforehand, it can mean… Full Story,While Raleigh is not exactly super close to the beach (we used to have a tiny apartment right across the street from the Chesapeake Bay when we were first married), it’s pretty easy to hop in our car and have… Full Story,How much money are you planning on spending this year during the holidays? For the average American family, it’s a good chunk of change. During the 2017 holiday season, Bank of America found that of those surveyed, they spent on… Full Story,It’s amazing how things change when you have kids. Before kids, weekend getaways and trips were fairly easy. When we needed to take a break, I remember we could look at the calendar and twenty minutes later, have a few… Full Story,How much does your family spend on food? If you’re like most, food is one of your top three expenses (the other two being housing and transportation). While it’s an essential expense for sure, but when digging around those receipts,… Full Story,If you’re a parent, helping your kids avoid or minimize college debt is a goal you’d like to help them tackle. Right now the average price for a public four-year college is $25,290 in-state ($40,940 out of state) while a… Full Storylast_img read more

How Much to Spend on Christmas Gifts for Kids?

first_imgMost parents wonder how much is too much to spend on Christmas gifts for their children.Family holiday gatherings that include aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents can easily result in massive piles of gifts, even for children who are too young to really understand the concept of Christmas gift giving.This year, two of the hottest gifts include two new game consoles: the PlayStation 4 ($400) and the Xbox One ($500).Of course, many families will buy one of these game consoles for “the kids” rather than for each child, but that’s still a big chunk of money for a lot of families.The Rebound Since the 2008 RecessionAfter the global recession that started in 2008, the combination of high unemployment and a devastated housing market caused people to spend a lot less at Christmas.Gallup surveys said that Americans spent 29% less on 2008 Christmas gifts than in 2007.While spending in the US has not yet topped 2007 spending levels, it has gone up from its low of $681.83 in 2009.In 2012, the average family spent around $750 on holiday gifts, and spending is expected to be up again in 2013, as unemployment has eased and the housing and automobile markets have started recovering.Holiday Spending in 2012In 2012, gift cards were at the top of a lot of wish lists.People like getting them because of their flexibility, and people like giving them because it’s a lot easier to buy a gift card than to fight other shoppers for popular items and Black Friday specials.In 2012, people spent just over $400 on gifts for family, around $75 on gifts for friends, and closer to $25 on gifts for co-workers.Close to 60% of consumers bought gifts for themselves in 2012, and the figure is expected to remain the same in 2013.The most requested items for Christmas last year were gift cards, clothing, media (books, CDs, DVDs, video games), electronics, jewelry, home décor, and sporting goods.Discover Card Polls Holiday SpendingReleased at the end of October, Discover Card’s holiday spending survey found that the average family will be spending 20% more this Christmas than last, with the average family spending  just over $1000.This includes gifts and other things, like holiday food, clothing, and dining out.Marketing professional Dave Brennan of the University of St. Thomas says regional holiday budgets may be up by less than 20% over 2012, because in some regions, the rebound from the recession came early, causing some regions to experience a bigger bump in holiday spending in 2012.Brennan told CBS Minnesota, “We have lower unemployment, we have good paying jobs, and things are coming back a lot faster here than they have in other places.”What the National Retail Federation SaysThe National Retail Federation’s numbers are a bit less optimistic than those collected by the Discover Card survey.The NRF survey says the average shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, décor, greeting cards, and other holiday items. This is 2% less than in 2012.This year, the NRF asked shoppers if the government shutdown and general Washington gridlock would affect their holiday spending, and 29% of respondents said that it was “somewhat or very likely to affect” holiday spending.Fifty-one percent of consumers said the general state of the economy would affect holiday spending, with 79% expecting to spend less overall.Overall holiday spending this year is expected to make $602.1 billion for retailers.The Prowl’s Survey of Shopping MomsShopping experience website The Prowl conducted a survey of 511 mothers on 2013 holiday spending and made some interesting discoveries about how much moms are spending, and how they’re spending it.Their survey found that mothers expect to spend $224 on average for gifts for each child, and almost exactly the same amount ($221) on gifts for their husband or partner.Compared to last year, moms planned to spend roughly the same, with 55% saying they would spend “the same” as last year, 23% saying they would spend more, and 22% saying they would spend less than in 2012.As for how they plan to shop, 49% of mothers surveyed said they would make purchases on mobile devices this year, either on a phone, tablet, or both.Clearly, braving the Black Friday crowds is not for everyone.If you’re conflicted about how much you spend during the holidays, you’re not alone. Keeping holiday spending reasonable may require steps like:• Not buying “presents” for yourself• Making a spending plan before shopping• Giving group gifts• Drawing names for gifts at large family gatherings• Using cash rather than debit or credit cards for holiday shoppingNo parent should spend more than they can afford at Christmas, whatever holiday advertisements and peers say.Kids can be remarkably practical when it comes to holidays, and most understand that they can’t get everything they want. In fact, seeing altruistic behavior often influences even young kids.Children in the early elementary grades can understand the basics of how budgets work, so there’s no reason your children have to grow up with a blind expectation of getting everything they want at Christmas time.Teach this lesson early, and you can expect less holiday guilt and less of a January spending hangover in the years to come.Mary Hiers is a personal finance writer who helps people earn more and spend less.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

Reminder: Mint Bill Payment Feature No Longer Supported

first_imgTLDR: Mint bill pay feature will no longer be available as of June 30thAt Mint, our goal is to make money management effortless. From budgeting, to tracking your transactions to regular credit score updates, we aim to help you stay on top of your finances. We are continuously innovating and improving the Mint experience to make that as easy and effortless as possible.We want to inform you that as of June 30, the bill payment feature within Mint will be discontinued. While this means you’ll no longer be able to pay your bills through Mint, you will still be able to track your bills, set reminders and mark bills as paid. You will also still be able to budget, track expenses, monitor savings, view investments and check your credit score.For those of you who actively use the Mint bill payment feature, we are here to help you navigate to find an alternative payment solution, such as using the bill pay feature available through most bank and credit card companies.We are focused on continuing to innovate in Mint for the best possible experience in tracking your financial life in one place and provide you the best insights to save and grow your money. Some of the latest improvements currently live on Android (iOS updates coming soon) include:Calendar: We heard your feedback and are releasing a new and improved bills calendar so you never miss a bill!Credit card usage: Visually track your credit usage for all your credit cards and avoid hurting your credit score by overspendingIn addition, Mint will soon undergo a refreshed design that will include powerful new insights and money saving offers to help you reach your financial goals.In the meantime, check out our Turbo app for a free credit check, insight into your debt-to-income ratio, and verified income.Thank you for keeping Mint at the center of your financial life!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedMint Introduces Bill Pay, Helping Millions to Never Miss a BillDecember 13, 2016In “Updates”How to Use a Student Credit Card SuccessfullySeptember 30, 2019In “Student Finances”Using Rebuilding Credit Cards to Rebuild Your Credit ScoreApril 20, 2018In “Credit Info” Post navigationlast_img read more

How to Recognize a Man Who Can Make Your Life a Nightmare by His Online Profile

first_imgThe 2013 study showed that almost 1/3 of modern couples met online on social media platforms, in chats, on forums, and on specialized websites. Internet communication has become an everyday thing and we’re no longer afraid that we’re chatting with a maniac. However, not all dates and relationships end well, and we might regret the time we wasted with the wrong people.We offer you to take a look at the profiles of people who are very unlikely to make a good partner. Some of them want to use you and disappear and others will not leave you alone even when you want them to.1. One-night-stand seekerPhoto: Several photos of his naked body: on the beach, in the pool, or just at home. Most of the pictures don’t show his face.Info: Age and job (often, the job is not real). They usually write that they are going to spend just 3 days in your city, they are looking for people to “have a good time with.”Behavior: He’ll say that he fell in love with you and that you are different from other girls. But all this serves only one purpose. He might be direct about his intentions, he might invite you to a restaurant, and then, to a hotel or to your place. He often says weird things like “Do you like adventures?” or “How far are you ready to go?”What to do: Ignore his messages. If you are okay with “having fun” with a stranger, remember about your safety. For example, tell a friend when and where you are going.2. Fan of animals and childrenPhoto: With pets, mostly with dogs. Photos with younger brothers/sisters, nephews, friends’ children.Info: To make sure you understand how much he loves animals and pets, he will repeat this in the profile description.Behavior: The internet is full of articles saying that pet owners are family-oriented. That’s why some guys use dogs to give the impression of being very kind and caring. They hope that you will be blinded by what they have to offer and won’t notice their flaws.What to do: Try to talk about animals and children as little as you can, and find out what other things he has in his life. The character traits that a guy hides can be an unpleasant surprise for you in the future.3. Jock or “enlightened”Photo: Gym, muscles, running, and football. Or a selfie in a vegetarian café or photographs which remind the Woodstock festival and the ’60s.Info: He might mention that he is looking for a girl without bad habits, that he wakes up really early, and gets his energy from the Sun.Behavior: He’ll tell you about his athletic achievements and spiritual practices — yoga, meditation, and lucid dreaming.What to do: There is nothing wrong with a healthy lifestyle, but going overboard isn’t a good thing. Such people may expect you to fully accept their lifestyle and to follow it too. They might want to make you get up at 5 AM with them and run every morning. But is there something real in these people, or is their lifestyle just a mask to hide the void?4. FreakPhoto: Carnival costumes, weird poses, weird places, group pictures with weird friends.Info: Absurd, strange jokes which you might not understand.Behavior: They often start the conversation in a strange way, they might ask you a weird question to demonstrate their creativity.What to do: Most likely, you have enough things to worry about in your life, do you really need one more? Before you see this man’s real face, you will have to tear through a lot of wrapping paper.5. Nightclub regularPhoto: Of course, from nightclubs.Info: “YOLO”, alcohol, parties.Behavior: Such people will often compliment you and ask you where you “chill” and they will also tell you stories about their super interesting lives.What to do: If you are looking for a serious relationship, you don’t need this guy. Usually, only emotionally immature people behave this way. They can’t make adult decisions and they rarely think about tomorrow.6. Car fanPhoto: “Me in the car,” “Me near the car,” “This is my car.”Info: What info do you need? He has a car!Behavior: “Hey, babe, you wanna go for a ride?” and stuff like that.What to do: Of course, it’s good if a person has enough money to buy a car. But if he has nothing else to be proud of, do you really need such a man?7. Perfect manPhoto: Professional photos in front of beautiful places and different cities.Info: There is not enough space for the information about him: he travels, he’s athletic, he takes photographs, he helps the needy, and he sews clothes.Behavior: All your interests will accidentally match. You’ll say that you love cooking — he’ll say that he experiments and cooks something new every weekend. You love drawing — he’ll say that he does, too: his works even took prizes at many competitions!What to do: There is no such thing as a perfect person. This type just wants to seem ideal which might signal that this man has serious psychological issues. Most likely, he will be very manipulative and narcissistic. So, don’t believe this pseudo-ideal thing.8. Bored at the officePhoto and info: Ordinary. He might mention that he is not married.Behavior: He is online only during office hours and never after 6 PM. He tries to get some intimate details from you and asks you to send him some weird photos which you should take right now.What to do: Don’t be afraid to be direct and ask him what he’s looking for or just stop the conversation altogether. Most likely, this is a regular office worker who is bored at work. He probably has a wife and kids and all of your photos might be seen by the entire giggling office.9. CrookPhoto and info: Either there are no photos at all, or they are obviously from the internet.Behavior: It looks like he sends you template messages. He might call you a different name because he’s sent the same message to someone else before. He sends you a link and comes up with a reason for you to click it. Or he texts that he doesn’t have any photos and offers you to contact him through Skype.What to do: Don’t follow the link unless you want to lose all the money you have in your bank account. Don’t accept a video call if you don’t want to see him naked.10. Pickup guruPhoto: The best pictures he has.Info: A good job, a list of advantages.Behavior: Instead of a regular “Hello” you will hear “Babe, are you parents gardeners? No? Then, how come they have such a beautiful flower?” Millions of gurus teach these ugly pickup lines that make no sense.What to do: Make up a good joke before you say goodbye to him.11. Misunderstood geniusPhoto and info: A list of advantages, maybe he mentions that he has trust issues and that his heart was once broken.Behavior: He will do all he can to try to look good and nice. If you don’t respond to his messages right away or refuse to see him in a cafe, he will start complaining that all women are the same and you are blowing him off without even giving him a chance.What to do: Think about your problems, not about someone else’s. Such behavior is normal for narcissists. They pretend to be victims, and they think that everyone owes them something. If you don’t want to waste your time, stop the conversation immediately. You can recommend that he see a psychologist but he is unlikely to listen to you.12. The ManipulatorPhoto and info: Nothing outstanding.Behavior: The profile might not seem suspicious and the man will seem to be sincere and interested. But when you are busy, he will give you a shower of messages or he will insult you for not responding. He also might turn out to be a manipulator: he will listen to you attentively, but actually, he will try to find out more information about you and look for your weak spots. And after that, he will disappear. This is a deliberate move: now you will be worried and bombard him with messages and he will take his time to “melt” and reward you for the effort. He might deny his own actions and twist your words.What to do: If you noticed that the dialogue becomes a monologue or that he is cold and then suddenly warm, just tell him that you don’t want to continue the communication. If he starts insulting or threatening you, just block him.Who to date then?Even though online dating is extremely popular nowadays, it’s very hard to learn a lot of information about a person only by their social media page. And the first impression is often wrong.Psychologist Meredith Golden advises you to pay more attention to the men who suggest a meeting at a time that’s convenient for you, those who support the conversation topics you like, learn things about you, and don’t talk only about themselves.A normal person starts a conversation with a “Hello” instead of an inappropriate joke or a pickup move. Continue the relationship with the people who don’t hide information about the place they work, their age, their marital status, and their goals.Sourcelast_img read more

China’s Clean Air Challenge: $3 Billion Air Pollution from Transport in Chengdu

first_imgHow Chengdu Can Reduce Emissions in Transport SectorWRI China is providing recommendations to Chengdu’s government under WRI’s Sustainable and Livable Cities Initiative, on methods to reduce transport-related emissions. The recommendations focus on a package of transport demand management (TDM) measures and technological innovations that can be implemented in three phases, starting with strictest, regulatory measures and moving toward market-based solutions.Phase 1: New regulations and clean mobility choicesControl vehicle ownership: Limit the purchase of new vehicles to less than 100,000 per year.Strict parking management: Raise parking fees and fines in the central district. Introduce smart parking management with varying fees, according to the district and time of day.Restrict traffic: Limit vehicle use under an “odd-even” system where license plate numbers are used to determine which vehicles can be used on which days.Encourage new mobility: Promote electric and hybrid vehicles and introduce strict emissions standards and green technologies, especially for trucks. Encourage a sharing economy for driving, cycling and freight transport.Phase 2: Enhanced market-based measuresChengdu should supplement regulatory measures with more market-based approaches to dissuade people from driving. The city could follow the examples of Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong by raising parking fees in the central district and introducing a high vehicle-ownership fee. Revenue from these fees could be used to improve the public transport system, increasing ridership up to 60 percent.Phase 3: New technologiesBy 2030, more than 20 million people will live in Chengdu and the number of daily trips could easily surpass 50 million. Chengdu needs to plan now to enable its public transport system and road network to adapt. The city should adopt advanced information technologies and transportation demand management measures such as low emission zones, congestion charging, shared mobility and autonomous vehicles. Chengdu as a Model for Stronger Urban FutureBy 2050, there will be 2.5 billion more people in the world’s urban areas, with 90 percent of this growth concentrated in Asia and Africa. With more Chengdu-sized megacities popping up around the globe, it will be increasingly important to follow WRI China’s recommendations and protect urban air quality from transport-related emissions. Minimizing economic loss from emissions and ensuring healthier environments and residents will create a stronger urban future. Economic loss from transport-related air pollution in Chengdu, China, was $3 billion in 2013, and that number is on the rise. Private cars and trucks are the biggest emitters, contributing $2.2 billion in losses, 73 percent of the total. With increasing motorization between 2005 and 2013, economic costs from emissions more than doubled.A significant portion of this economic loss stems from the health impacts of air pollution. There is a strong link between air pollution, particularly ultra-fine particle pollution (PM2.5), and cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. More than one billion Chinese citizens are considered exposed to PM2.5 and therefore at risk for premature death and chronic illness, which result in a lower quality of life, the loss of a productive labor force and high medical expenses. In 2013, air pollution caused 1.2-1.6 million premature deaths in China. Furthermore, air pollution’s environmental impacts, such as smog and damaged ecosystem services, make the city less attractive to corporate investment.Chengdu, the fourth largest city in China, has over 15 million residents and 4 million vehicles, with 27 percent of PM2.5 emissions coming from transport, increasing risks to public health, the environment and the economy.last_img read more

DUSU poll results out today: A look at what Delhi University students were promised

first_imgVotes cast yesterday in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls are being counted, and the results will be out today.There are candidates from the right-wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Congress’s student wing — the National Students Union of India (NSUI) — and the Aam Aadmi Party’s student wing: the Chatr-Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS). According to a Press Trust of India report, the CYSS has an alliance with the All India Students Association (AISA), a left-wing group.At the time when this story was published, the NSUI was leading the race for the president’s post. The ABVP was in front in the contests for three other seats.As you wait for the results, here’s a look at what each of the students’ organisations have promised.THALIS AT RS 10, CCTV CAMERAS AND MOREThe ABVP, which is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s student wing, promised “to spend 50 per cent of the union’s budget on women and social justice-related activities, along with a special attention on promoting sports and installing sanitary pad vending machines in college campuses”, the PTI report said.What about the Congress’s student wing? The NSUI has “promised the ‘Institute of Eminence’ tag for Delhi University and thalis at Rs 10 in canteens”. The CYSS, on its part, pledged to install CCTV cameras, establish police booths on campus, end the “culture of hooliganism”, and oppose the “commercialisation of education”, the report said.Today’s results are especially interesting since they come months before a general election. As a recent IndiaToday.in report points out, “the party which won the Delhi University Students’ Union election has been victorious in the Lok Sabha election next year on the last five occasions.” You can read that story here.INDIA TODAY SURVEY | The nation’s best collegeslast_img read more

The Time-Crunched Marketer’s Guide to Creating Lead-Gen Offers

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 MarketingSherpa reports that 60% of marketers have fewer than 10 landing pages on their website. But the more landing pages you have, the more opportunities you have to generate leads. So what gives?Well, before you generate leads, before you create a landing page, before you even craft your call-to-action, you need something to offer your leads. You know, something worth redeeming in exchange for their contact information. The problem is, creating content takes time, which might be why so few marketers are utilizing landing pages to their fullest extent.So what’s a time-crunched marketer to do? The time for excuses is over, because there are ways to create valuable marketing offer content quickly; it just takes a little out-of-the box thinking. Use these shortcuts to create new offer content, quickly build a new landing page (following these landing page best practices, of course), and start generating more qualified leads for your business!Blog BundleIf you’re a dedicated inbound marketer, you’re probably blogging on a regular basis and have built up a great arsenal of short-form content. And while each new blog post you publish continues to work for you in search engines, eventually they get buried with all the new content you publish. A blog bundle — a compilation of your best blog posts around a given topic — is a great way to resurface your best blog content and simultaneously create a new lead-gen offer.Select a theme around which to structure the blog bundle, preferably around a topic that aligns with leads that convert at a high rate. HubSpot, for example, might not (depending on our analytics, of course) want to choose “inbound marketing” as a topic for a blog bundle; not only is it far too broad to be helpful, but perhaps leads that download content about inbound marketing as a general concept don’t close at a very high rate. But let’s say leads that find HubSpot via search terms related to SEO and download content about SEO convert at an extremely high rate — that’d be an excellent topic to select for a blog bundle offer!If you use tags on your blog to categorize content, simply search the tags to pull up all of your content related to the topic you select. Alternatively, you can perform a site search by typing site:www.insertblogURL.com “insert search term” into Google to resurface the content. Choose only your best blog content, and try to select a mix of blog posts that cover all angles of your subject.Data CompilationIt sounds sacrilegious, but there are inbound marketers out there that would rather kick a puppy than create a piece of content. That puts them in quite a pickle when tasked with creating offer content. But research and data — especially when it’s original — is a content goldmine that makes for a fantastic offer with very little writing required.Do you perform your own research about your industry that you could share with leads? Do your partners or affiliates? Alternatively, do you stay up-to-date on third-party research that would interest your audience, like analyst reports? Combine all of this interesting research and data into a lead gen offer (just make sure you have the permission to first). For an example of offer content centered around data, check out our 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts, and Graphs, or our annual State of Inbound Marketing in 2012 Report.Presentation SlidesSo you just gave an awesome presentation to your boss, colleagues, clients, or even at a speaking gig. Don’t let those slides go to waste. Turn your .ppt into an offer for those who couldn’t attend the live presentation, or who would benefit from consuming the content in your presentation. All you have to do is edit your slides slightly to be applicable to a wider audience!For example, your presentation may have proprietary internal data, or perhaps you customized it with your client’s logo — audit your presentation for these details so the content appeals to a general audience. Then go through each slide and ask yourself whether the content of the slide is self explanatory. If you made heavy use of the “Notes” section or explained many concepts verbally, edit the slides to include that extra information that those who didn’t hear your presentation live would need to get value from the slides.Rework Existing Offers for PersonasInstead of starting from scratch, why not make the offer content you already have more targeted by better aligning it with your buyer personas? This will not only help you generate new leads, but also drive more reconversions in your lead nurturing — in fact, Aberdeen Group found a 10% improvement in conversion rates for more personalized lead nurturing emails.Identify the best offer content you have, ideally one in each stage of the sales cycle — awareness, evaluation, and purchase. You’ll be able to identify which offer content is best by visiting your marketing analytics, and selecting those with the best conversion rates. Content from the awareness stage should have a high visitor-to-lead conversion rate; content from the evaluation stage should have a high rate of reconversion; and content from the purchase stage should have a high lead-to-customer conversion rate.Once you’ve identified the best offers, you can simply update the language and layout to cater to each persona’s interests and needs. For example, you might change an offer targeted at a C-suite executive to be shorter, use a more professional tone, and provide less tactical and more strategic advice. On the other hand, the same offer targeted at a mid-level manager might go into more detail, use less industry jargon, and focus on the nitty gritty tactics of your solution.You can learn more about how to adjust the content of your existing offers in our blog post that breaks down how to tailor lead nurturing content to different buyer personas.Update Out-of-Date OffersJust as you can update existing content to be better targeted, your old offers should be updated and relaunched, positioned as a more current piece of content. Even your most evergreen content will likely need to be polished up as data and statistics become out of date and new advancements are made in your industry that would be useful to add to the content.At HubSpot, for example, we make a regular practice of updating ebooks. Take our ebook, 15 Business Blogging Mistakes & Easy Fixes. There weren’t originally 15 mistakes in that ebook; there were only 13. But over time, it became clear the content could be more comprehensive, so we added in two more problems and solutions. Then, we gave the graphics a much needed facelift (optional), and relaunched the offer by writing new blog posts about blogging (how meta) and using the ebook in our lead nurturing emails.Record an InterviewValuable content comes in forms other than the written word, so here’s another idea for those inbound marketers who don’t fancy writing. Record an interview, either on video or, if you’re camera shy, just audio. HubSpot did this on, ironically, the subject of whether content should live behind a form in HubSpot Debate: Should You Put Your Content Behind Forms? In the video, CMO Mike Volpe and Marketer-in-Residence David Meerman Scott discuss whether it’s better for content to be form-free; the discussion lasted about a half an hour, but yours certainly doesn’t have to. Simply take 10 or 15 minutes to tackle an interesting topic with a co-worker or industry expert, record the discussion, and create a landing page that summarizes the points that will be covered in the recording!FAQ-Driven EbookCan’t find a chunk of time long enough to devote to ebook writing? Or is the prospect of doing a deep dive into one topic too overwhelming? Take the FAQ approach to your next piece of long-form content. The FAQ approach is a common one I take when writing blog posts — after speaking with co-workers in departments like Sales, Support, and Consulting, I aggregate questions that leads and customers commonly ask and note them for future blog topics.You can do this for an ebook, too! Ask employees who are on the front lines with leads and customers every day to jot down common questions they receive and send them your way so you can progressively write your ebook; alternatively, ask them to write down their answers to the questions, leveraging the power of the team to create your next piece of offer content. Soon, you’ll have “[Your Company]’s Answers to [Your Industry]’s Burning Questions.” Okay, maybe I’ll leave the title brainstorming to you.Turn How-To Content Into ChecklistsMany marketers get hung up on length when creating offer content, but length is never an indicator of quality or usefulness. In fact, it’s important to create content in different formats, since not everyone consumes content in the same way. So take your how-to, action-oriented content, and turn it into a downloadable checklist.Let’s take HubSpot’s blog post, “9 Questions you MUST Ask Before Hiring a Freelance Blogger,” for example. The post goes into lots of detail about why it’s important to ask each question and how each interviewee’s answer should be structured. But once a reader understands these concepts, they really just need a reminder of what those 9 questions are. After all, they’re not going to remember all 9 questions every time they go into an interview. Repurposing this content in a checklist format with a call-to-action that says, “Download Your Business Blogger Interview Guide” is a perfect way to repurpose this how-to content in a way that’s quick for you, and helpful, bookmarkable content for your reader.Create TemplatesJust as checklists help your leads perform recurring tasks with more ease, there may be templates you can create for your leads in Excel, Word, Photoshop, etc. that would help them do something easier or better. For example, a tax accountant might prepare a spreadsheet with formulas that helps calculate common deductions. Or maybe an event coordinator could create templates of room layouts for the city’s most popular event spaces. HubSpot’s CMO Mike Volpe created a template for marketers to complete their leads waterfall graph, which can be found in our blog post that explains it in more detail. Ask yourself what problems your leads and customers encounter, and whether there are templates you can quickly create and offer for download to make that job easier.Ask the ExpertsYou may not have all the answers, but perhaps you have trusted colleagues, industry contacts, or even followers and fans on your social media accounts who do. Select a controversial topic or difficult problem many in your industry face, and ask your network for their take on the issue. Then bundle their responses and advice into one piece of content — it can be visual like our 54 Pearls of Marketing Wisdom, or if you’re not comfortable with graphic design, written and nicely formatted like a whitepaper or ebook.Turn a Live Presentation Into a Webinar OfferNext time you host a live presentation or webinar, be sure to record it so you can leverage the offer well after the live audience disperses. This is some seriously low-hanging fruit content that should be turned into a lead generating offer. We record all of our public presentations so they can be used as offers at a later date. Remember, not everyone can attend these sessions live, but it doesn’t mean they’re not interested in the content.And if your webinar didn’t go as well live as it did during rehearsal, no worries. You can always set aside an hour to re-record the presentation that you turn into the offer — you know, without the live audience and technical difficulties.Create Co-Branded ContentIf you’re short on time, why not divide up the responsibility of creating offer content with someone in your industry who is looking to get exposure to your audience? For example, our ebook, How to Generate Leads Using LinkedIn was co-written by HubSpot’s Anum Hussain and Jamie Turner, founder of 60-Second Marketer. This approach works well for other content formats, too, particularly webinars. Partner up to host a webinar with someone in your industry whose audience you’d like exposure to. You can use the recording to generate leads on your own site, and include a call-to-action at the end of the webinar to encourage action from the new audience to whom you’re speaking.There’s Always OutsourcingIf you can’t find the time or inclination to create offer content, you can always outsource content creation. You can build all the calls-to-action and landing pages in the world, but without valuable content to make redemption worthwhile, your lead generation will quickly dry up. Leverage these shortcuts for creating lead generation content, or if time is really your most precious resource, get in touch with a qualified freelance writer to keep your content creation going.What tricks and shortcuts do you use to create valuable offer content in a time crunch?Image credit: Andres Rueda Lead Generation Originally published Mar 21, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics:last_img read more

How to Save Up to 50% on Your PPC With Quality Score

first_img PPC Originally published Aug 19, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 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: In PPC, there are lots of metrics to track, so it can quickly get confusing and then overwhelming. Marketers often ask me, “What’s the one metric I should optimize for? I just want to know the top one or two levers I can pull to make a difference!”In my experience, looking at thousands of Google AdWords accounts and billions in combined spend, there are two metrics that correlate most strongly with success:Account Activity: You get out what you put in. This isn’t too shocking; advertisers who do more work on their accounts get better results.Quality Score: Higher Quality Scores generally lead to lower costs, so optimizing for Quality Score is essentially the same as optimizing for ROI.Why You Should Spend Time Optimizing for Quality Score Since Quality Score is really a measure of relevance, it’s a powerful predictor of your success. And it makes total sense — Google’s main goal is to keep users happy so they keep using Google, and keep clicking results. More relevant ads, campaigns, and landing pages get more clicks; that raises your Quality Scores and — since Quality Score determines both your ad ranking and what you pay per click — everybody wins.So once you’ve committed to spending more time in your account, what should you spend your time on? I recommend that you focus on optimizing your Quality Scores, which is the metric most likely to lead to higher rankings, more clicks and leads, and lower costs for those actions.How much lower? Let’s take a look.New Data Shows AdWords Quality Score Can Save You Up to 50% on PPCIn 2009, Craig Danuloff crunched some numbers to show that a Quality Score of 10 could save you 30% on cost per click, or CPC. (Sadly, I can’t link to the post because the Click Equations blog now redirects to Acquisio.) But that was over four years ago, and I was curious to see if the data had changed.To investigate, I did a manual analysis of several hundred new clients that WordStream signed up in the first two months of 2013. What I found is that average impression-weighted Quality Scores have fallen in the past four years. In 2009, a Quality Score of 7 (out of 10) was average. But today’s impression-weighted average Quality Score is just slightly over 5. The distribution looks like this: Therefore, accounts (or campaigns or ad groups) with average volume-weighted keyword Quality Scores better than 5 can be considered better than average, and are thereby benefiting relative to most advertisers. Accounts with average Quality Scores lower than 5 are below average, and those scores are detrimental to your account. I used this data to re-run the calculations and see how much a Quality Score higher than 5 saves you on CPC compared to the average advertiser. Here’s what I found: As you can see from the chart, the savings have increased. Some highlights: A Quality Score of 6 is 200% more valuable than it was four years ago! A Quality Score of 6 was previously below average, and increased your CPC by 16.7%. Now, a Quality Score of 6 decreases your CPC by 16.7%. A Quality Score of 9 is twice as valuable as it was in 2009, saving you 44.4% compared to 22.2%. A Quality Score of 10 now saves you a full 50% on CPC. That means if all your keywords had Quality Scores of 10, you’d only be paying half as much as the average advertiser. Pretty crazy, right? And if you’re thinking, “So what? I don’t care about cost per click, all I really care about is cost per acquisition” — fear not. Quality Score lowers your CPA, too. I did a similar analysis based on CPA and found that high Quality Scores also correlate with lower CPAs:With a Quality Score of 10, you’ll pay 80% less per conversion than an advertiser with an average Quality Score of 5. These savings are mostly driven by lower costs per click. This is why optimizing for Quality Score is such a good use of your time.Benchmarking AdWords Quality Score: What Should You Shoot For? As I mentioned above, average Quality Scores these days hover around a 5. So anything higher than 5 is going to benefit you, relative to the average AdWords advertiser. That means you should shoot for a bare minimum impression-weighted average Quality Score of 6. However, it’s important to note that higher scores save you more. If you want the full 50% savings, you need the gold standard Quality Score of 10.The fastest way to find out your impression-weighted average Quality Score in AdWords is to grade your account using the free AdWords Performance Grader. This tool will do an instant audit of your PPC account across 8 different key performance metrics, including impression-weighted Quality Score. Your report will calculate and display your average Quality Score and plot a distribution of the number of impressions happening at each visible Quality Score for the last 90 days, and compare that to a “Recommended Curve” for your business. Here’s an example of what the Quality Score section of the report looks like:If you don’t like what you see (the example account above is well below average), it’s time to start working on improving your scores. Here are three tactics to try: Use ad extensions. AdWords ad extensions, such as sitelinks, make your ads bigger with more places to click, so they increase CTR at no extra cost.Write better ad text. Test different messaging to find the ad text that speaks to your audience. And use your one allotted exclamation point! Bid on brand terms. Branded keywords tend to have really high clickthrough and conversion rates, so they bring up the average for your whole account. This is a guest post written by Larry Kim. Larry is the founder and CTO of WordStream, provider of the 20 Minute PPC Work Week and the AdWords Grader. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.Image credit: Philip Taylor PTlast_img read more