10 Obstacles That Keep You From Changing Careers — and How to Overcome Them

first_img 23 hours ago 23h Raise your hand if you are thinking of changing careers! Or maybe you are in the midst of it, but something is holding you back. Whatever the case, you are not alone. Many people who want to change careers get stuck along the way. Let’s look at some of the most common obstacles career changers face, whether before or during their career transition, and how you can overcome each one of them.1. Focusing on What You Lack This has to be mentioned right at the top — almost everyone I talk to who is thinking of changing careers but feels stuck is focusing on all the things they do not know how to do, or on all the resources they don’t have. This is completely backward — no one hires you based on what you do not know or have. The only things that matter are what you do know, what you have already accomplished and what you are interested in learning. Focus on what you can already contribute to any profession and you’ll find yourself much more empowered in your career journey.Imposter Syndrome: You are Not a Fraud2. Not Knowing What You Want Do you feel confident you can get whatever you want… except you don’t know what that is? If this sounds familiar when it comes to your career transition, dig deep: is it really true that you don’t know what you want? In my experience most people know what they want, but might not know what it looks like in a job. For example, you might know you would be happy working from home and writing, but you are not sure what kind of job would pay you to do just that. If this is you, stop saying you don’t know what you want and instead address the real question, which is that you are not sure what career could give you what you want. Or it might be that you know what you want, but are so afraid you wouldn’t succeed that you don’t let yourself admit that’s what you want. In that case your issue is fear, not lack of clarity.If you really don’t know what you want, take this moment in time as an opportunity to try anything that feels interesting. Have fun exploring, and you’ll discover in the process what feels best. (Hint: you will not find the answer in your head — you need to get out and in action!)3. Lack of InformationIn my work helping people change careers I often hear about different jobs… and sometimes encounter professions I didn’t even know existed! The truth is that you were probably exposed to only a few possible career options while growing up, and don’t know much about a wide variety of professions. Add the fact that technological innovation is creating many more opportunities that didn’t even exist just a few years ago, and chances are there are at least a few options that could be a good match for you, but you’ve never heard of. Most career changers don’t have enough information to make an informed decision — this is why you need to research and test possible professions and business ideas to gain real knowledge of what they are really like before committing to a new career.4. Money WorriesWe all know the drill: you should have at least 6 months of savings, no debt, a full-time job or at least a steady part-time income… in other words, you should be in a strong financial position before embarking on a career change. If you are, and you still feel stressed over money, keep reading for more tips on how to overcome fear. Focus on doing the work, and as long as you keep your financial acumen you’ll be fine.If you are one of the 65 percent of Americans without significant savings, or one of the 48 percent of Americans who carry credit card debt or belong to the estimated 33 percent of college graduates who are underemployed, this is for you: I get it. I know it’s scary, and I know changing careers for you comes with added obstacles. Here’s the deal, though — you can’t afford more of the same exactly because it’s not working financially. Feeling worried or anxious about your finances will not help you — in fact, it will probably make it harder for you to make good decisions. Only your actions matter: learn to negotiate, say No to extra work that is underpaid or, if you are unemployed, volunteer and take on any type of work you are interested in rather than staying at home (it will also help you with your resume). Meet people, network, apply to jobs, start a side business. If you are already working like crazy and still struggling, commit to just a few hours each week to dedicate to your career transition. Do not let the lack of money stop you — instead, use it as powerful fire to light up your search for a new career. You can’t afford not to.5. Unhealed TraumaI personally think this is the big elephant in the room — the one thing we don’t talk about when discussing career-related issues. And we should. Our past, if not properly dealt with, can have an immense impact on how we relate to others. So how does unhealed trauma affect your career change? When you embark on any transition, including a career change, you are very likely to face rejection and failure — and these can be tough for everyone, but if you carry a lot of weight from the past, a negative experience can feel much worse once unhealed trauma is triggered. This is why it is so important to deal with your past. Treat your career change as part of a wider process of healing and start working with a therapist or healing professional of your choice right away. Your deep healing will help you better weather the ups and downs of your career change, and will expand your life beyond what you think is possible. Your desire to change careers could be part of a deeper calling to finally let go of what has been holding you back — so you can finally soar.6. Lack of Role ModelsSome of us are lucky enough to have knowledgeable and supportive family members, or maybe we had a cool teacher in the past or a boss who believed in us. Sometimes, though, that doesn’t happen, or the people who cheer us have no knowledge of the field we want to enter. If that’s the case, you need to go out and expand your network. This can mean finding someone who “officially” becomes your mentor (check out SCORE) or meeting people who are further ahead in your chosen career and learning from them through your interactions, deep conversations and rapport. I also recommend joining a group that is all about empowering its members. For example, there are many groups that support women in technology: by joining one, attending events and networking, you can find a lot of helpful information and resources to help you enter a new field. And through those interactions, you might also end up meeting a wonderful mentor or role model in a more traditional sense of the word.5 Ways to Grow Your Network From Scratch In a New Industry7. Analysis ParalysisThis has got to be my favorite one, as I used to be a chronic sufferer from the condition! Some of us tend to get stuck trying to figure out every single step from now until we retire in our head. And of course, as each step comes with imaginary catastrophes, a lack of real information and often fear, we never feel we can make a decision, let alone know enough to take action. Argh!  Here’s the good news: this approach doesn’t work. Once you realize that it’s impossible to plan your entire career change in your head, you will finally give yourself permission to take one step at a time. What is the next thing you know you need to do in order to move forward? Focus on that. And trust that as you take that one step, you will be able to see the next, and then the next and so forth until you can reach your destination.8. You Think the Past Is a Preview of What’s to ComeJust because every boss you had so far was unsupportive, it doesn’t mean that your next boss will be; just because you have always made little money, it doesn’t mean you will always be underpaid. We don’t know what the future has in store for us, but the good news is you can always work towards a different outcome. Bad bosses? I bet you can now spot the early signs! Underpaid? Use that as motivation to say ‘No’ to positions that pay too little and to move into a career or industry that pays what you need, learn to negotiate, update your skills, etc. Acknowledge what happened in the past, learn from it and then focus on what you want moving forward. Give the future a chance!9. Trying to fit in“I should be more open, I should go to more networking events, I am too much of an introvert, people like me don’t usually…” Stop right there! I am all for self-improvement, but there is a difference between wanting to grow as a person and imagining everyone else is better than you. Chances are, you already have all if not most of what you need to succeed: embrace who you are. Love yourself, focus on what you enjoy doing and are naturally good at, have fun learning new skills and getting out of your comfort zone, but do not think you need to be like someone else in order to be fulfilled in your career. You will be able to live a fulfilled life, including in your career, when you accept yourself as you are. From that place, you will become more open to new opportunities, flexible on the things you can be flexible about and someone people will want to be around. Trust me: Once you stop trying to fit in, you will find a career that is a good fit for you.What to Do if You Don’t Fit in at Work10. Don’t Make It All About YourselfLast, but not least, it’s not just about you. In fact, the more you make it about you, the more insecure and stressed you will feel. Who do you want to serve? What lights you up? What difference do you want to make? These questions don’t have to have world-changing answers to motivate you: You can choose a career to provide your family with a stable environment, or you can commit to creating a business that offers employees great health insurance from day one because you believe in providing such benefits. There is no “small” purpose: Focus on the why, and you will find you have in you more courage and resilience than you ever thought possible.Aurora Meneghello is a Los Angeles-based career coach and the founder of Repurpose Your Purpose. She works with groups and individuals who want to change careers. 23 hours ago 23h Administartive Assistant Sentry Mechanical Pittsburgh, PA RN, Registered Nurse – OP Chemotherapy CHRISTUS Health Houston, TX 2.3★ Service Advisor Prime Motor Group Saco, ME 4.5★ Director, Advanced Technology Policy General Motors United States 3.5★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center Chicago, IL Registered Nurse Supervisor RN Waterbury Gardens Nursing and Rehab Waterbury, CT ICU Registered Nurse Del Sol Medical Center El Paso, TX 4.7★ N/A 3.1★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Deli Associate F&M Deli & Restaurant Mount Laurel, NJ 2.5★ 23 hours ago 23h 3.4★ Hot New Jobs For You 23 hours ago 23h N/A 2.8★ Interior Designer – St. Louis & Dallas Oculus Saint Louis, MO Registered Nurse (RN) – Charge Nurse – $7,000 Sign On Bonus EmpRes Healthcare Management Gardnerville, NV 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h View More Jobslast_img read more

Tottenham great Clive Allen: Harry Kane can reach my 49-goals mark

first_imgTottenham great Clive Allen is convinced Harry Kane can break his goalscoring record.Allen scored 33 goals in the league and a staggering 49 in all competition during the 1986-87 season, and feels Kane could match or better that tally if he remains at the club.”It was a phenomenal season and one I’ll never forget,” said Allen.”Whether or not anyone beats it… I’ll be honest, I hope they don’t! But if anyone can, it will be Harry, for sure. He’s in the best place to score goals – anything is possible!”last_img

Building Your Nonprofit Email List

first_imgWhen you’re collecting email addresses, you need to focus on both donors and non-donors. Don’t neglect one group in favor of the other. It’s critical to get the email addresses of your donors so that you can keep them informed of news and information that relates to their membership status with your organization. Also make an effort to collect the email addresses of donors that joined in past years, which you can do at membership renewal time. Non-donors are a large group of individuals that have an interest in your programs or activities, but for various reasons haven’t had the time or financial freedom to become contributing members. We like to call these future donors! Non-donors should be asked to “stay in touch” by providing their email addresses. Always remember the golden rule:Get permission to use an email address.Anywhere you solicit an email address, include a brief explanation of what you will do with it, such as “We’ll use your email address to send you occasional email updates. We won’t share your email address with anyone, and you can ‘unsubscribe’ at any time.” Purchased lists simply do not work and should not be used. You will be regarded as spam and be almost universally deleted before anybody sees your messages, all the while building a bad reputation. A smaller list of people who are known to be interested in your organization and cause is much more effective than a huge list of unknown and uninterested recipients.So you may be wondering, well how do I go about building a large email database? Don’t worry – there are plenty of opportunities to ask for email addresses:On your site. Get email addresses from your site visitors by making it really easy to get on your e-news list. Place the subscription form prominently on the home page and other high-trafficked pages – and give visitors a good reason to leave their name by telling them they’ll get something they want in your e-newsletter such as tips, important information or reminders of scheduled events. In the ideal setup, the user inputs their email address on your home page, clicks submit, and is then taken to another page where they can optionally provide additional information, such as first name/last name, zip code, and interests so you can personalize and target messages.With printed materials: All of your print materials should ask for email addresses and provide easy ways to sign up for the e-newsletter. You can invite people to send a blank email to an email address that you set up through your email messaging system; just by sending the email they will be subscribed. You can tell them to go to your home page and sign up there. Or you can tell them to mail or fax back the ad or form with their email address scribbled on it and you will enter it into the database.At events: If you’re running a kiosk or a booth at an event, ask people face-to-face for their email address, and explain why you’re doing it. Or you can set up a laptop and let people enter their email addresses and other information. You can announce a raffle or a contest, asking people to write their email addresses on the raffle stub to enter. If you’re at a business event, you can ask people to leave their business cards.On the phone: At the end of a call, when a donor has either pledged or declined, the caller can ask: “Please give me your email addresses so we can stay in contact. Email saves us money, and let’s us contact you when there’s breaking news.” It’s an opportunity for the person on the phone to be in the loop, not an intrusion.In person: This won’t grow your list fast, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. In a busy day, you might meet a dozen new people. Ask them for their cards or email addresses, and then make sure their email addresses are entered onto the e-newsletter list. When you or others representing your organization give a speech or make a presentation, invite listeners at the end to give you their cards if they’d like to get your e-news.Mailings: Mailings are good opportunities to ask for email addresses, because there’s often a response mechanism built into the mailing. Make sure there’s a line for email addresses – and possibly a premium or some other incentive. Double postcards are also good for collecting email, since people can tear off the reply postcard and mail it back to RSVP or sign up for something.Premiums, contests and raffles: Any kind of donor contact that has a reward is a good opportunity to ask for email addresses. In the case of a membership premium, the donor is already excited about receiving a gift in exchange for a donation, so obtaining their email is usually easy. Contests and raffles are other good times, since the expectation of winning requires someone to do something, and giving their email address is easy and free.last_img read more

Five-Minute Facelift for Your Website

first_imgThis is product placement, but it’s a well-intentioned plug: If you’re not already signed up for Network for Good’s weekly fundraising and marketing tips, I encourage you to do so here. Here’s a sample of the types of tips we feature from editor Rebecca Ruby: Why isn’t your website performing better? Where are all those online donors? Is this creating the urge to completely revamp your site? You may not have to start from scratch! Here is a way to give your website a five-minute facelift: Make your Donate button easier to find. Grab a friend or relative, sit them down in front of your website home page, and count how many seconds it takes them to find and click on your Donate button. If it takes them more than two seconds, you need to place your button in a far more prominent position. Make it central to the page. Make sure it is above the fold. Make it big. Make it colorful. Make it impossible to miss. Here’s an example of an easy-to-find Donate button. Frame the Donate button in a more compelling way. Now think about why someone should click on your Donate button. Your financial needs are not enough. Create an appeal around the button that is focused on donors, their interests, and what they get in return for their donation. What tangible change will result if they give? How is that tangible change relevant to them personally? Will it feel good to make the donation? Is clicking on the button fun, touching or compelling? Here’s an outstanding example of framing. Add a sense of immediacy. You want to inspire someone to give right now, but that can be hard to do if it’s not December or if there’s not an urgent crisis to address. Create a sense of urgency for donating by creating a campaign with a goal and deadline, matching grant, or appeal for specific items or programs that are highly tangible. Here’s an example of bringing a sense of urgency to an appeal by making it clear what the donation does (it buys a bed net) and tying it to a popular show. Recognize that getting clicks requires cultivation. While you want someone to donate right away, it’s important to remember that it takes time to cultivate donors. Be sure your website includes a way to capture the email addresses of visitors so that you can build a relationship with them and turn them into donors in the future. Think beyond a newsletter sign-up. Here’s a nice example of an innovative approach to capturing emails. Tweak your DonateNow page. (This is step is particularly easy if you have Network for Good’s service. Yes, NFG is my employer, so I’m biased!) Take a hard look at your donation form/page. If you are asking too many questions, potential donors may abandon the form. This page may also need some increased messaging and reinforcement of why and how donations are important. Remember: This page has the last copy a donor is going to read prior to actually giving you money–you don’t want to lose them in the home-stretch!last_img read more

The Most Exciting Nine Months of My Life

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 27, 2011June 20, 2017By: Ifeyinwa Egwaoje Madu, 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 Ifeyinwa Egwaoje Madu, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. This is her final post about her experience as a Young Champion, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.Its 10:45 p.m. and I am sitting in the Atlanta International Airport with only one more hour until my Delta flight takes off to Lagos, Nigeria. How time flies! I am still grappling with the fact that this is officially the end of the Young Champions Program. I thought this day would never come — the entire nine months went by so fast that it is almost impossible for me to believe that today is May 31, 2011. I am excited and afraid at the same time — excited because I can finally see my children after nine full months and uncertain about what the future holds for me and my project. While I waited for the Delta personnel to announce the time to board, I drifted off in thought about how it all began and the past nine months, the most interesting months of my life.As a batch B corps member in the National Youth Corps serving in Abuja, the end of the service year was drawing near, and so, like every other corps member, I started looking for vacancies in different organizations on the Internet. My intention was to check out organizations that I already knew were working in the reproductive health and gender field to see if they had vacancies I could apply for. I searched some organizations and then went to the Ashoka website and discovered this competition for the next generation of maternal health leaders. As soon as I saw the competition, I wanted to be a part of the program. I applied, went through a rigorous interview process, and eventually became one of the prestigious Young Champions selected to undergo a nine month mentorship in a different country. I was paired with Kathryn Hall-Trujillo in New Orleans at the Birthing Project USA.From when I submitted my application until the end of the program, the Young Champions Program has helped me to push myself a little bit further and challenged me to think and see things differently. It helped me see that there are many alternatives to solving a social problem and we do not always have to do it the conventional way. I was continually forced to think outside the box and search for a simpler, better, and more cost-effective means for solving this social problem. The program taught me that being innovative means removing the box and seeing endless possibilities. The nine months for me was a school, another type of school, one that teaches limitless possibilities. A school that tells you that everyone is a changemaker, a school that taught me the power in building partnerships and forming relationships, and a school that told me powerful stories. I have always been confident in myself and my abilities, but not as confident about my idea. The Young Champions Program has built my confidence in my ideas. It helped me connect with people who agreed with my “crazy” idea! It gave me confidence that this idea is not so crazy after all and I can realize this idea. I now know that I am the only one who can stand in my way because anything is possible — I just need to stop looking at the obstacles.For the nine-month period, I lived in New Orleans — an entirely differently place from Nigeria, where I had lived all my life. My stay in New Orleans was an opportunity for me to understand how the history and environment of a location and the health system all affect women. I now understand how other factors are linked with individual decision-making abilities towards their lives and health. This transcends to how women see and treat themselves and how they expect to be treated by other people. This taught me to look at all the factors that make people who they are. Some women never reveal their true selves, they carry an invisible mask, in order to meet societal expectations. I know better now because looking at the other issues are just as important when tackling maternal health problems.In New Orleans I was paired with the best mentor. I wish I had spent even more time with Kathryn Hall-Trujillo. The fact that she is an Ashoka Fellow is not a coincidence — she is indeed a changemaker. I learned from Ms. Kathryn how to get to the heart of the matter, which means getting to the hearts of women. She taught me how to work as an executive director taking care of all the paperwork and at the same time working with community women — opening your heart and hands and helping them see that they matter, are valued, and deserve respect.The Young Champions Program had me conduct research for the first time on the maternal health situation in Nigeria — since I began I have not rested. I want to do as much as I possibly can to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, which is the second highest in the world next to India. I have this desire to ensure that the maternal mortality rate is reduced because talking about maternal mortality means talking about dead women, women who were mothers, wives, sisters. And most of these women died of preventable causes. My desire is that all women will live and realize their full potentials.The Delta flight 54 from Atlanta to Lagos has started boarding. The announcement jolts me out of my thoughts. I am getting on that aircraft and going back to Nigeria armed with so much knowledge. I’m still uncertain about my future, but I know that I have a burning desire to bring an end to maternal mortality. I am going back home to help women see that they can become solvers of their own problems. I am going back home to help deal with the maternal health situation. I am happy because I am going back home as a maternal health champion.Share this:last_img read more

Welcome to the Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference 2015!

first_imgPosted on October 18, 2015October 13, 2016By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City is here! The conference kicks off with a welcome from the conference’s co-chairs, Koki Agarwal, Director of USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP); MHTF Director Ana Langer and Joy Riggs-Perla, Director of Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program. Leaders from around the world will join them in offering reflections on efforts to improve maternal and newborn health around the world. This will include insights from Mexico, the conference’s host country, where remarkable progress has been achieved across both maternal and newborn health.After tonight’s launch, the conference program will begin early tomorrow, with a full calendar of plenary sessions, panels, posters, demonstrations, auxiliary sessions and launches of new findings around the themes of integration, equity and quality of maternal and newborn health, following six tracks:Innovating to Accelerate Impact at ScaleThe focus of sessions in this track will be on new responses to persistent challenges, from technologies that hold promise for addressing gaps in coverage of basic services, to innovative approaches to service delivery, implementation experiences for delivering promising, high-impact interventions at scale, and innovative strategies to address systems bottlenecks.Measuring for Evaluation and AccountabilityWhat new approaches hold promise for filling gaps in maternal and newborn health data? How can measurement methods be tailored to address sensitive and stigmatized conditions? Sessions in this track will address these issues, as well as improvements in quality and coverage of vital registration systems, clinical records, community-based data collection and other critical issues for designing, gathering and using high quality evidence.Bridging Equity DividesInequities in service coverage and health outcomes persist as fundamental challenges. Sessions in this track will address issues of equity across programs, research, and advocacy, and present evidence on questions ranging from the role of new financing mechanisms in bridging gaps to ensure that quality care is available to all, community engagement in holding governments and others accountable for securing equitable access to high impact interventions.Generating New Evidence to Fill Critical Knowledge GapsSessions in this track will highlight findings related to integrated delivery and quality of maternal and newborn health services.  This will include presentations of new findings and reviews of emerging evidence drawn from a range of program experiences, evaluations, advocacy and in-depth research that captures both successes and failures in the ongoing effort to understand and address persistent and new challenges.Strengthening Demand for Health CareWhat shapes women, families and communities decisions to seek basic health services? What role do barriers such as stigma, discrimination and other forms of disrespect and abuse in health centers play in limiting demand for services? Sessions under this track will explore the evidence on prevalence of such barriers, as well as emerging lessons from interventions that focus on communities, health providers, and others to support women in claiming the care they need.Increasing Health Systems’ Capacity to Respond to Population NeedsAdvancing maternal and newborn health outcomes depends on national health systems’ capacity to support effective delivery of high quality, high impact interventions. Sessions in this track will address a variety of issues, including policies and practices for training, motivating and supporting health care workforces, evidence on progress toward securing equitable access to lifesaving commodities at national scale – and across both urban and rural settings. They will also address evidence on quality improvement, innovations in financing and other strategies for building systems that work for all.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

New Blog Series on Noncommunicable Diseases and Maternal Health: Call for Submissions

first_imgPosted on January 18, 2018January 23, 2018By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public 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)Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) account for almost 65% of women’s deaths around the world, and the majority of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Women with diabetes, anemia, cancer, obesity, hypertensive pregnancy disorders and several other NCDs are at a higher risk of developing childbirth-related complications, and so are their babies. Children born to mothers with NCDs are more likely to experience adverse health outcomes later in life. Furthermore, perinatal mental health issues can continue after delivery and in extreme cases lead to self-harm, one of the leading causes of women’s deaths globally.As the world continues to undergo the “obstetric transition” from mostly direct causes of maternal mortality to more indirect causes, addressing the effects of NCDs on maternal health is becoming increasingly urgent. Interventions designed to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, particularly in low-resource settings, have traditionally focused heavily on obstetric complications and intrapartum care, while less attention has been given to the complex “indirect causes” of maternal deaths and their underlying risk factors. A more holistic approach to improving maternal health is needed, which includes addressing the global burden of NCDs contributing to maternal mortality and morbidity.The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) is curating a new blog series focused on NCDs and maternal health. If you are working in this area and are interested in submitting a draft for consideration, please read our guest post guidelines.—Read key papers and other resources related to NCDs and maternal health.Explore the MHTF-PLOS collection of open access papers about NCDs and maternal health.Browse published posts in the MHTF’s “Noncommunicable Diseases and Maternal Health” blog series.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Friday fun: Freelancer—or superhero?

first_imgSome enterprising freelance filmmaker has posted on YouTube a series of short films about a part-time superhero: “The Freelancer.” Scene from episode 2 pictured above. (Be sure to watch until the thrilling conclusion, in episode 4). Tell us about the other freelancing-themed videos you’ve seen!last_img

4 Great Pieces of Budgeting Advice from Top Money Experts

first_imgEarning money is great, but spending it properly is even more important.If you pull in the big bucks and just spend it all recklessly, you’re risking walking down a very dangerous path.Budgeting your money, no matter how much or how little you have, is one of the most important skills you can learn.Below are a few sage tips from various financial experts to help you get started.By listening to their words and applying their wisdom properly, you can survive and thrive on even the most meager of salaries.Suze Orman: A 10% Cut in Family SpendingFinancial guru Suze Orman suggests cutting your family spending (or just plain fun spending, for those without a family) by 10% every month.It’s just enough of a cut that you’ll start to see savings pile up quickly, thereby making it easier to pay back debts and cover actual, important expenses.However, it’s not enough of a cut that you’ll feel like you’re depriving your loved ones of anything.Let’s face it — if you’re used to spending $100 on movies and gaming every month, trimming that amount down to $90 a month isn’t going to cause mass wailing and angst.Everybody will still have fun, including your wallet.Dave Ramsey: Overbudget for Groceries The ever-animated Dave Ramsey knows why you budget and save, save and budget, and yet still end up broke every month —you forgot the food.According to Ramsey, when people put together their monthly budget, a lot of them don’t consider their grocery bill at all.And if they do, they severely underbudget, so even though they may think they’re putting $100 aside every month, $80 of that is actually going to num-nums they forgot to calculate.So next time you go grocery shopping, hold onto your receipts, and add them all up at the end of the month (this includes times you ate out, because even though Burger King can barely be considered food, it still technically is.)Whatever that amount if, add $50 to the total, just in case.There’s your real grocery budget, and if you go under, great. That’s always preferable to going over.Ric Edelman: Look to the Past for InspirationRic Edelman wants you to go back in time when forming your budget. Not too far back, obviously — your bills in 1995 aren’t going to be anywhere bear what they are today, after all.But looking back a year? That’s totally doable.Find your bill history from the previous calendar year and add ’em up.If you can find any receipts from extracurricular activities, like the movies or dining out, add them to the final tally.This should give you a real good idea of what this year’s expenses will be as well, and you can budget accordingly.Obviously, if anything huge has changed in the past year (new house with a higher mortgage, new car, septuplets), then adjust for that.But if your life has stayed largely the same since a couple Christmases ago, then this is a fine way to prep for the present.Gail Vaz-Oxlade: “Magic” Spending JarsTough-talking Gail Vaz-Oxlade understands that many people can’t help themselves form spending too much on expendables, and she thinks it’s because they don’t physically see the money.It’s all too easy to just swipe the card, be done with it, enjoy the fun, and get smacked in the face with big bills and overdraft charges later on.Her solution? “Magic Jars.”After you budget for your fixed expenses and important variables (such as debt repayment, gas, and food), take money set aside for entertainment, clothing, dining out, travel, and other similar ventures, and stick it in a jar.Spend only the jar money when partaking in these fun fests (no cards allowed,) and you’ll no longer find yourself surprised by sudden brokeness because you just had to get ten toppings on your extra-large pizza.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

41 Percent of Americans Pinch Pennies When Dining Out With Friends: Technology to Blame?

first_img alt=”” width=”1440″ height=”10960″ />SourcesBusiness Insider | Food Network | Bank Innovation | Forbes | CNBC | Washington PostShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Budget Peacefully With a RoommateFebruary 28, 2019In “Housing Finances”How to Get Your Money Back on Track After Summer SplurgesAugust 7, 2018In “Budgeting”[Survey] Who Do You Ask for Financial Advice?April 5, 2019In “Financial Planning” Millennials Most Likely to Ask for Separate ChecksWhile asking for separate checks used to be considered a faux paus when dining out, it is now becoming the new normal. Take it from the generation that eats out most: 43 percent of millennials surveyed said they would ask for separate checks when dining out with friends, and it’s not because they are frugal with their budgets. In fact, a Food Network study revealed that millennials are more likely to spend money on dining out than on their life savings. According to the New York Times, new technology is likely to blame. Most servers now use programs that can compute and divide up checks in seconds. And when a restaurant can’t split the check, young diners will turn to cash apps to square up — 65 percent of young people use cash apps regularly to exchange money with friends. If your group does plan to ask for separate checks, tell the restaurant when you book the reservation and remind the waiter at the beginning of the meal. If there are more than six diners, it’s best not to ask for itemized checks.Most People Don’t Want an Even SplitWhile a common rule of thumb is that, unless discussed ahead of time, diners should expect to split a tab equally, research suggests most diners don’t actually do this in practice. In fact, two-thirds of those surveyed do not split the bill evenly when dining out with friends. This is good news for people on a tight budget. After all, saving money is a whole lot easier when you’re in control of your own receipt destiny. But it’s bad news for traditionalists who crave communal, less transactional group dining experiences. If you do plan to split your bill down the middle you should avoid racking up a significantly higher bill than your fellow diners, so ask before ordering appetizers or dessert and order drinks in rounds. Young Men Still Feel Pressure to Foot the Bill  Some old habits die hard. Even in an era where gender norms are being challenged and women are seeing influxes in their paychecks, young men still feel pressure to pick up the tab. In fact, 47 percent of Gen Z men indicated they take turns picking up bills with friends, compared to just 15 percent of Gen Z women. It’s worth noting that the average woman still only earns 80.7 cents for every dollar a man earns. Men’s bigger salaries may translate into more generosity when dining out: In addition to being more likely to foot a bill, men statistically leave bigger tips than women. In heterosexual relationships, men also still face more pressure to pay on the first date. Even though etiquette dining guidelines state that the invitee should front the bill, 78 percent of people surveyed believe men should always pay on the first date, regardless of who invited who. In all, multiple factors play a role in how we dine out and square up with friends. And while new technology turns settling up into a simple transaction, it’s also making us less generous when dining out with friends. Even as attitudes around dining out change, there are still some steadfast guidelines you should follow when you’re paying the bill. One small misstep when the check arrives can have you appear rude, tacky or even unempathetic to your fellow diners. Learn how to navigate paying the bill in these five common dining scenarios using the infographic below.Methodology:This study consisted of one survey question conducted using Google Surveys. The sample consisted of no less than 1,000 completed responses per question. Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. This survey ran during March 2019. Technology has transformed the way we dine out in groups. Gone are the days when friends take turns treating each other to nights on the town. Now that apps make money accessible everywhere, tabs are paid down to the cent and cost discrepancies are settled by payment requests sent straight to your phone. This begs the big bill question: Is this technology making our friendships more transactional, or more fair? We ran a survey on how Americans split the bill when dining out with friends. Check out our infographic or read on for our survey results: Nearly half of millennials want separate checksTwo-thirds of those surveyed don’t split the bill evenly Gen Z men still 30 percent more likely than women to pick up a tab   Post navigationlast_img read more

This is the surprising secret to a happy marriage

first_imgWe all have an idea of what the perfect relationship looks like and we’ll bet that at the top of that list you think that it comprises of zero arguments. A blissed out life, lived in perfect harmony. Well, you’d be wrong. Because new research from One4all has discovered that 76% of British adults believe that to have a healthy, happy marriage couples should in fact argue and argue often.To be precise, the majority of people surveyed believed that an average of 3.9 arguments per month is the ideal amount to contribute to a “happy ever after”.‘Traditionally, arguing may have been considered unhealthy but actually many Britons now recognise the important role of expressing your feelings – both positive and negative – in relationships,’ explains Aoife Davey, group-marketing manager at One4all Gift cards.‘Just make sure that tempers are kept in check, you are respectful and that you are doing the more positive essential components regularly, too.’While arguing might be the surprising secret to a successful marriage, it will be less surprising that going on dates and having sex are also key to achieving happiness within marriage.Respondents revealed that couples should have sex 8.35 times a month, go on 3.8 dates, and compliment each other around 14.98 times.However, across the country adults had varying views over how often these things should take place. Adults from Belfast had more fiery expectations of marriage, believing that couples should have sex 10.26 and argue 5.48 times per month, compared to the more romantic expectations of Sheffield residents who propose sex 9.62 times and 5.08 dates per month.Contrastingly, Manchester adults valued deeper connections; they recommend that in order to have a healthy relationship couples should talk meaningfully about themselves 17.81 times a month and pay compliments to each other 16.17 times.So in short? Don’t be afraid to argue, talk more and pay plenty of compliments. Phew.Sourcelast_img read more

Slow Progress at Bonn Climate Talks at Odds with the Climate Crisis

first_imgThe latest climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, which were held June 17th to 27th, played out against an impressive backdrop of climate action. Youth around the world have been striking for climate action every Friday for months. Their outrage is spurred by a growing body of evidence showing the current and future impacts of climate change, most recently with an assessment revealing how the degradation of ecosystems is rocking economies and societies. Meanwhile, last month nearly 500 investors with $34 trillion in assets called on the G20 to take bolder steps to reduce emissions.We wish that the outcome of the Bonn negotiating session aligned more closely with this growing sense of urgency. Instead, what happened in Bonn was at odds with the enormity of the climate crisis. Negotiators left with only mixed progress in maintaining the spirit and strengthening the implementation of the Paris Agreement.Here’s an overview of highs and lows:Raising AmbitionAs mentioned in our blog post ahead of the negotiating session, the UN Secretary General called on world leaders to come to the UN Climate Action Summit in September this year with a determination to strengthen their national climate commitments (called “nationally determined contributions,” or NDCs). This is an important milestone to generate political momentum for countries to put forward ambitious NDCs by 2020. The topic of NDC enhancement was a key one at the Bonn negotiation.Some of the most encouraging news on that front was that about 30 developing countries made video statements affirming they will take steps to enhance their NDCs in 2020. This was the first time many of them had made a clear-cut statement about their plans for next year.Still, enthusiasm was somewhat tempered when, during the Bonn sessions, the European Council failed to set a goal to reach climate neutrality by 2050 or clearly decide whether it’s prepared to enhance its NDC.Much as at the UN Climate Summit in Katowice, Poland last December (COP24), the most contentious issue in Bonn was the IPCC report on limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C. The scientific report, which came out in October last year, faced a barrage of attacks from a handful of countries. The controversy ultimately blocked further discussion on the report and how it should inform the UN climate negotiations. These attacks were deliberate attempts to undermine global efforts to ratchet up climate actions. Although the vast majority of countries declared that science is “not negotiable” and vulnerable countries strongly defended the scientific report, negotiators left Bonn without an agreement to hold further discussions on the report.While the Bonn climate talks did not end fruitfully on the IPCC report, vulnerable countries’ leadership and commitment to upholding science, which was amplified by civil society observers, likely influenced the outcome from the G20 Heads of State meetings, which concluded on June 29th. The “G19 +1” Heads of State communique did not backslide on climate, as some had feared might happen. Instead, the G20 leaders’ statement maintained the status quo from the outcome of the G20 in Buenos Aires last year, reiterating ongoing support for implementing the Paris Agreement. More significantly, together with France, China made a joint statement with the UN Secretary-General that they will enhance their NDCs and submit 2050 long-term climate strategies by 2020. This renewed leadership is much needed.The Rules and Processes Underpinning the Ambition of the Paris AgreementOver the two-week negotiating session in Bonn, negotiators discussed the tools and rules still needed to put the Paris Agreement into motion, such as the use of market mechanisms, the length of the implementing period for countries’ NDCs, and ways to track progress towards climate actions and financial commitments. Negotiators discussed rules for:Cooperative Mechanisms: Progress on the rules on cooperative mechanisms, through the use of carbon markets and non-market mechanisms, remained challenging, as more countries are engaging in this negotiation track and more options are emerging in the negotiations. The package is both technically complex and politically sensitive. Done right, the rules can accelerate and scale up action more efficiently at reduced cost. Done wrong, it can undermine ambition by jeopardizing environmental integrity, with more than one country claiming credit for the same emissions reductions. The pressure is mounting for COP25 in Chile later this year to get us out of the impasse, though that needs to happen without sacrificing the quality of the rules.Common Timeframes: Countries continued negotiations without reaching agreement on the question of common time periods for NDCs. Currently, NDCs differ in when they’ll achieve their goals, with some setting deadlines of 2025 and others 2030. The timeframe for implementation of future NDCs is important for maintaining the Paris Agreement’s cycle of ambition, through which countries are expected to strengthen their NDCs every five years.Transparency: At COP24 last year, negotiators adopted a strong transparency framework to guide the reporting and review of countries’ efforts to tackle climate change. In Bonn, negotiators were busy working on the technical methodology to carry out the agreed guidelines. They made progress in exploring ways to design common reporting tables, the outlines for country reports, and a training program for technical experts who will review countries’ reports. Further work over the next two years is needed to finalize this work.In addition, 28 countries (including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Nigeria and Australia) had their climate efforts assessed by their peers as part of the verification process under the current UNFCCC regime. Countries like Nigeria and Finland confirmed efforts to enhance their climate actions, and Finland discussed its recent pledge to become carbon neutral by 2035.Parties used the negotiating session to consider how to transition to a low-carbon economy effectively, sustainably and equitably. This included discussions on how to account for human rights, how to ensure any adverse effects of climate actions are minimized to secure a just transition, and how to mainstream gender and leverage the role of Indigenous Peoples.Negotiators also discussed the possibility for the UNFCCC Secretariat to produce a synthesis report of countries’ submitted NDCs next year, ahead of COP26 at the end of 2020. Such a report could assess progress on closing the gap between countries’ commitments and the emissions cuts required to limit global warming, as well as what headway has been made towards the other Paris Agreement goals on resilience and aligning financial flows.Climate Finance and Capacity-buildingThe formal negotiating agenda on finance was, for the first time in many years, fairly light. Countries began work on developing standardized tables to track the support provided, mobilized, needed and received by countries, which need to be finalized by COP 26 in November 2020. Negotiators also discussed potential reforms to the Adaptation Fund’s Board, as well as the share of proceeds the Fund will receive from the new market mechanisms being developed under the Paris Agreement.But the light formal agenda does not mean that climate finance has lessened in importance. There is just a year to go until developed countries need to deliver on their commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020. Countries used the annual workshop on long-term finance to discuss progress towards this goal, including issues around the provision and effectiveness of climate finance.The replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was also high on negotiators’ minds. In the coming months, it will be important for developed countries to follow the lead of Germany and Norway by at least doubling the level of their original pledges made in 2014. At the July GCF Board meeting and August replenishment consultations, countries need to work together to pave the way for a successful and adequate replenishment of Fund by its October pledging conference.Negotiators spent significant time discussing capacity-building, as countries appreciate how important it is to effectively build, mobilize and sustain capacity at the scale and pace necessary to transition to a low-carbon economy by 2050. Countries made progress reviewing the overall capacity building framework and, more particularly, the terms of reference for the review of the two bodies established under the Paris Agreement, the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB) and the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE), identifying the critical functions, tools and opportunities these forums will focus on over the next few years.Loss and DamageLoss and damage, which involves situations in which countries are no longer able to adapt to climate change impacts, remains a controversial issue. Parties made progress in defining the terms of reference for the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, to explore how it will continue to advance knowledge gathering, pursue coordination with relevant bodies within and outside the UNFCCC, and mobilize the support necessary for developing countries to tackle loss and damage. The latter issue remains the most sensitive one.The issue of loss and damage, together with the rules on the use of market mechanisms, will be among the most important issues for COP25 later this year.The Road to COP25 and BeyondFrom the point of view of the negotiations, we leave Bonn with some challenging issues to resolve. Before COP25 in December, countries will need to leverage a number of events to secure progress, such as the Regional Climate Weeks for the Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions, the heads of delegation meetings to be hosted by the Chilean COP presidency, and the pre-COP meeting that will be hosted by Costa Rica in October.More broadly, it is more urgent than ever for countries to consider the best available science and deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement in the actions they take at home and on the global stage. This year should be a springboard year to generate political momentum for countries to submit ambitious NDCs by 2020. Countries must heed the clarion call from UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa on the focus for 2019: “Ambition, ambition, ambition.”last_img read more

What Is the Most Important Social Media Metric? [Marketing Cast]

first_img Social media allows you to grow your reach and get more people into the top of the funnel. The more people you engage with—the more people who like you, follow you on Twitter and read your blog—the more people will be interested in what your business is about. “When you are doing something valuable, people will follow you,” says David. , we examine this topic of social media measurement. and that is how our marketing team operates efficiently. closed-loop marketing Grow the Top of the Funnel Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Keep Measuring the Bottom of the Funnel What is the most important social media metric? This question comes up time and again in our webinars, in the comments of our blog posts and during conferences. There is one critical metric you should track when engaging in social media marketing: sales. Do you agree with sales being the most important metric in social media marketing? Weekly Marketing Cast Once you expand your reach through social media, don’t drop measurement. Evaluate where your qualified leads are coming from and see whether they turn into customers. HubSpot is really passionate about this type of Originally published May 16, 2011 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Are you growing your business? “The things you are doing in social media will lead up to that,” says David Meerman Scott, HubSpot’s Marketer in Residence. In today’s episode of the Social Media Analytics Topics:last_img read more

My pictures on magazine covers might inspire kids to take up sports: Hima Das

first_imgShe has made it to the top as fast as her gold-winning sprint in Finland earlier this year!Hima Das has been creating ripples ever since she became the first Indian athlete to win gold at the IAAF U20 World Championships. It has been a graph that has only gone up with her face popping up on boards all over the country.Magazine covers, brand endorsements and all the big market madness has just fallen into the sprinting feet of Hima Das.She is well aware of the brand she carries with herself now but it was not something she thought of until her phone began buzzing as she created history in Tampere.”I didn’t think of it [that many people will know me] before but after the [U20 World Championships] medal, when people started calling and messaging then I understood,” Hima Das told indiatoday.in during an interaction at National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala.Her reception at the airport in Assam after she returned from the Asian Games was nothing short of magnificent. A track was laid out for her in celebration of her brilliant performances in Jakarta.Hima has made a journey from running bare feet to having branded shoes with her name on it. She is a rare athlete to feature on the cover of magazine but more than a source of just making her name, she feels these covers might inspire more kids to take up sports and athletics.Also read – Hima Das: Tracing star sprinter’s journey from Assam’s rice fields to global stardomadvertisement”Yes, it feels good. It’s like people can get inspired by looking at that as well and more kids will want to enter sports. You know because then parents are like ‘see this player, he/she played and made a name. You can also do that’. So this is good for inspiration,” Hima said. Hima Das won three medals at the Asian Games 2018. (@HimaDas8 Photo)Hima made her debut appearance at the Asian Games earlier this year and even under the kind of expectations she was carrying for such young shoulders, she emerged triumphant with three medals — gold in women’s 4×400 relay, silver in 400m and silver in mixed 4×400 relay.Things didn’t come easy for her. Even after winning the gold in U20 World Championships, she went through intense training to turn up in the best shape possible in Jakarta.”I prepared a lot for that [Asian Games]. After Finland, we directly went to Czech Republic and there was some really hard and good training there. It is because of it that I did well.”READ – Hima Das assured of government support till 2020 Olympics in TokyoHima said a few changes have come in her training regime but she leaves these things to her coach.”You have to work hard. There has been a bit of change in training, a bit of split training. But in the end, the coach decides whatever needs to be done.”It’s upto the coach, he hasn’t started training yet. So whatever he decides, I’ll do it,” Hima told.Hima’s focus is unwaivered. Even as she has been gathering medal after medal, all she wants to do is get better. She wants to beat herself everytime.”I just want to better my time. I don’t go for medals but to break my own time,” Hima concluded.With all the training facilities of NIS Patiala in her access, Hima has her eyes set on better timing and more glory.With her blazing feet and focussed personality, she harbours the hopes and expectations of a nation of billions with utmost calmness and grace. Perhaps, that is an inspiration worth taking.Also watch –last_img read more

Liverpool’s Joe Gomez may need surgery on broken leg: Jurgen Klopp

first_imgLiverpool centre back Joe Gomez may need surgery on his broken leg and the club are not sure when he will return, manager Juergen Klopp has said.The 21-year-old, who began the season as Klopp’s first choice to partner Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence, fractured his left leg against Burnley on December 5 and was initially expected to be out for six weeks.Liverpool, who face West Ham United in the Premier League on Monday, will also be without centre back Dejan Lovren, who has a hamstring injury.Asked at his weekly news conference if Gomez would need surgery, Klopp said: “It is possible, probably.”It is not exactly going how we want – that’s how it is. He needs more time. We cannot say more.”In the absence of Lovren and Gomez, Joel Matip will partner Van Dijk against West Ham, with midfielder James Milner expected to slot in at right back.Milner served a one-match suspension against Leicester City in midweek, with captain Jordan Henderson playing at right back in the 1-1 draw at Anfield.With regular right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold out injured, Klopp was questioned about his decision to allow Nathaniel Clyne to join Bournemouth on loan at the start of the January transfer window but the German said he had no regrets.”You make the decision in the moment you have to and then people judge it later,” he said. “Hendo’ did well there. We all know how good Clyney is, but would he have had more offensive influence in the game?advertisement”I don’t know. Defensively, I did not see a mistake from Hendo.”Liverpool have a five-point lead over second-placed Manchester City ahead of the trip to 12th-placed West Ham.Also Read | My fault that players weren’t able to express themselves: Japan coach after Asian Cup lossAlso Read | FC Goa end Mumbai City FC’s unbeaten streak in Indian Super LeagueAlso Read | Chelsea will not tweak style despite poor run, says Maurizio SarriÀlso See:last_img read more

The Pocket Guide to Grammar: Important Tips & Rules Everyone Should Follow [Infographic]

first_img Originally published Jan 15, 2016 12:00:00 PM, updated July 17 2018 Topics: 276Save Grammar Failscenter_img Do you compliment your friend on his new haircut, or complement him? Did that movie have an affect on you, or an effect? Did you walk fewer steps or less steps than you did yesterday?The English language is full of confusing spelling and grammar rules. It doesn’t matter if you’re still a student or writing professionally for your job: From time to time, we all need a little reminder for how to spell a difficult word or whether it’s okay to start a sentence with “and.”Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post TemplatesThat’s why the folks over at urbanest created the cheat sheet below. It covers a variety of useful grammar and spelling rules in the English language, including punctuation tips, commonly misspelled words, and even the grammar rules that can and should (gasp!) be broken. This is one you’ll want to bookmark for future reference.(And if you want to study up on grammar even more, read this blog post to learn 25 of the most common grammatical errors we all need to stop making.)276Save 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 to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process

first_img Content Planning Originally published Apr 28, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 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 When I first started editing articles for HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, I didn’t quite realize how much time each one would take.Depending on length, topic, author, and other variables, it can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an entire afternoon to edit a single blog post.This post isn’t about cutting corners; it’s about editing efficiently. That sometimes means giving more thoughtful feedback up front so your job is easier when the final draft does come in. Other times, it means keeping a few key websites handy so you can refer to them quickly — whether you’re checking the author’s math or adding a Pinterest Pin It button to an image.What are some ways to edit more efficiently while maintaining integrity? Whether you’re editing your own piece of writing or someone else’s, here are 12 ways to save time when you sit down and whip out that proverbial red pen.12 Ways to Save Time While Editing a Piece of Writing1) Find a quiet space to do your editing.Don’t try to get your editing done in a meeting, or when you’re around chatty coworkers. Research shows that multitasking like that can make us far less effective at our work and increase mistakes and stress. And when you’re editing, you’re trying to catch those mistakes — so you want to be extra diligent.Instead, find a place where you can plug in and concentrate fully on the piece in front of you. When you get there, turn off those pesky email and social media notifications, and put your phone on airplane mode (or, better yet, leave it in your bag). The phone part is particularly important: In a 2015 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, people who received notification of a call — even if they didn’t pick it up — were 3X more likely to make mistakes. If you’re working through a piece of writing that’ll require more than a few hours of careful editing, consider blocking out chunks of concentrated time separated by breaks. Otherwise, you may lose focus and begin missing things. In fact, a study by the Draugiem Group found that the employees with the highest productivity spent 52 minutes working, followed by 17 minutes of rest.2) Be sure the topic aligns with your content strategy.You might be tempted to dig into the meat of the piece and begin meticulously editing it straight away. But, as an editor, it’s important that you put the content into context before you dive into the details. First, take a quick skim of the working title, the layout, and the main ideas covered in the piece. Think to yourself:Does this topic align with our content strategy?Will our readers and buyer personas care about it?If you’re concerned the piece isn’t about a topic your readers will be interested in, think about how to tweak the angle.You’ll also want to reflect on how the piece fits in with what you’ve written in the past — especially if the piece is a blog post. Search engines like Google might see the second post as duplicate content and penalize you in search. Even if Google doesn’t consider it duplicate content, competing for keyword ranking against another post from your own blog will hurt your SEO strategy. The questions to ask yourself here are:Have we covered this topic comprehensively in the past?Will it add anything new and interesting?If both answers are yes, you might consider updating and republishing the original draft. 3) Read for content & ideas first, grammar second.Never start diving into detailed edits before you read the whole piece through. It’s important to reflect on it holistically so you can pinpoint places where the content and ideas can be made stronger. This may seem like we’re adding time here, but trust me, this’ll save you a lot of time and pain in the long run. If you’ve ever started editing a piece line-by-line only to realize it needs to be completely restructured, you know what I mean.The key takeaway here is to recognize when the piece needs more work from the author. “Sometimes, an author sends a piece in before it’s ready to be edited,” says Corey Wainwright, HubSpot’s Director of Content. “Learning to recognize those instances can save you a ton of time, because otherwise you start just rewriting the piece, which isn’t helpful to either of you.”Ginny Soskey, manager of HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, agrees. “Your job, as an editor, is to preserve the voice of your writer while making sure they are meeting your Quality Bar,” she explained in her post on editing confessions.If you notice the piece doesn’t flow well, or the introduction needs to be tightened up, or there aren’t enough points in the article for it to meet your standards for quality, then it’s better to send that feedback to the author via email than to try and fix it yourself.If the piece needs an overwhelming amount of editing help, then the author’s writing may not be a fit for your publication — and you’ll save a lot of time by telling the contributor outright.4) Check for places where the author can fill in the blanks.Aside from providing larger, more broad feedback, you should also read through the piece to identify smaller improvements that you might want (or need) the author’s help on. Here are some questions to ask yourself:Are there any structural inconsistencies in the piece? For example, if they included an image in every section of the piece except for one or two, you might ask them to find an image for those sections for consistency.Are there any points that need more, better, or any evidence? Statistics and data can elevate the quality of your content and make it more interesting for readers.Are any sources missing citations? (This is a big one.)As you read, take notes on these points in an email draft to the author. Once you’re done, make sure you clean up the notes so they’re comprehensible. 5) Bookmark helpful websites for quick referencing.If the content, ideas, and structure of the piece are all ready to go, you can get down to the nitty-gritty of editing the piece. This is where I like to keep a few websites bookmarked for reference. Here are the ones I prefer.Your company’s style guide: For when you want to double-check how something is spelled or referred to.Percent change calculator: For checking math.Your favorite keyword tools: For identifying top keywords for the content so you can use them in the title, headers, and relevant anchor text.Pinterest Pin It widget builder: For creating Pin It buttons for graphics or infographics.Embed code generator: For creating embed codes for any original graphics or infographics. (Learn how to use it here.)Click-to-tweet: For adding click-to-tweet links to tweetable quotes in a blog post. (Learn how here.)For more ideas, read this blog post for the ultimate list of websites every blogger should bookmark.6) Keep useful code snippets close at hand.Along with bookmarking helpful websites, it’s also a good idea to have all those useful snippets of HTML or other code that you tend to use easily accessible. For example, you might notice that we add borders around many of our images on the blog. To add these borders, I need to add a specific snippet of code into the source code of the blog posts I write and edit.To make this process easy, I save code snippets in my Evernote. When it comes time to add them to the source code of my blog post, I simply pull up the note and plug in the snippets as need. (Download our free guide to HTML here to learn some simple and useful HTML coding hacks.)7) Read the piece out loud.Reading out loud isn’t just good for memory retention; it’s also a great way to find errors in a piece of writing. You’re more likely to you find clumsy sentences and other things spell check won’t necessarily catch if you hear those errors out loud.Best-selling author David Sedaris uses this verbal approach to fine-tune his writing. According to Fast Company, Sedaris tests his works-in-progress by reading it aloud to live audiences because it helps him notice imperfections in the text. As he reads, he’ll circle everything from confusing or misleading phrasing to closely repeated words or words that sound alike in the same paragraph”I used to hate it when a book came out or a story was published and I would be like ‘damn, how did I not catch that?’” Sedaris said. “But you pretty much always catch it when you’re reading out loud.”Reading out loud will help you catch these errors in the first go-round, which will save you time later.8) Use “Find and Replace” to quickly fix common errors.Here’s a useful tip from my colleague Ginny from that great blog post on editing I mentioned earlier. Think about it: What are the mistakes you tend to make when writing or editing? What things do you tend to miss? For example, you might notice that one of you typically get hung up on the difference between there/their or you’re/your. Knowing that, you can make sure to do a “Find and Replace” before publishing a piece to correct these little slipups. It’s a far quicker way to polish a piece than looking for these instances manually.To do a “Find and Replace,” hit Control + F on a PC (or Command + F on a Mac), type in your problem word or phrase and click “Find,” and let your browser take you to the word or phrase. Then, look through each instance of that word or phrase and swap it out with the right thing when needed.9) “Find and Replace” HTML snippets to quickly clean up a post’s formatting. You can use the same principle when you’re cleaning up the formatting of a piece of writing for a blog post or other piece of online content. Skip the time-consuming manual work and find specific pieces of code using “Find and Replace.”For example, if you’re finding rogue tags or other troublesome code in the source code, you can use “Find and Replace” to replace them with something else or strip them out completely.Simply hit Control + F on a PC (or Command + F on a Mac), type or paste in the code, and click “Find.” Under “Replace,” either fill in the code you want to replace it with, or leave it blank to strip out the code completely. When you hit “All,” it’ll be gone.10) Copy and paste the piece of writing into Microsoft Word to find spelling and grammatical errors.It doesn’t matter how meticulously you eyeballed a piece of writing: More often than not, you will find additional errors using spell check that you would otherwise miss. If your writing software has spell check, use it. We also recommend pasting the content into Microsoft Word (length-permitting) for a final check. Just remember to give the document a few extra seconds to process your piece once you’ve pasted it in there, as Word takes a little longer to “read” your piece and uncover any mistakes. Then, you can go through it and assess any red or green squiggly lines you see.11) Know when the content is good enough.I know as well as any other editor that letting go of perfectionism is hard. But it turns out that perfectionism, while helpful in certain contexts, can become a major roadblock for productivity.There will always be something you can do to improve a piece of writing — and it can drive you crazy if you let it. You might think of “done” as spending every possible minute improving, polishing, and refining a piece until it’s whittled to perfection.But what are you sacrificing by making more, minor improvements? And are those sacrifices realistic? Are they worth your time? At some point, you need to ask yourself: When is “good enough” good enough? Of course, knowing what the threshold for “good enough” is easier said than done. Here’s a helpful formula to give you some direction:The piece successfully solves the problem, addresses the need, or conveys the message intended.It is clearly and distinctly on brand.The quality of work is consistent with or above the level of previous work.It has been thoroughly yet objectively scrutinized by other qualified individuals.The final decision of preference had been left in the hands of the creator.Make sure that you complete the most important editing and proofreading tasks. Then, once you’ve refined a piece enough to move on … just move on.12) Keep this pre-publish checklist handy.Before you hit “publish,” it’s time to do a final once-over to make sure you’ve checked all the boxes. While this seems like another extra step, remember that this is an investment of time that’ll save you from having to return to the piece later to make edits and adjustments.But there are a lot of little things to remember before you publish a piece of writing — which is why my colleague Pam Vaughan created this online editing and proofreading checklist. Use it to ensure all the important boxes are checked before you hit publish so that when a piece of writing is shipped, it’s shipped for good.How do you save time when editing while still giving the piece its due diligence? Share your tips with us in the comments below. Topics:last_img read more

The Public Apology Letter: 6 Brands That Nailed It

first_imgRemorse. While the email opens with some apology text, that accounts for a minute portion of the email. The majority of the copy is asking me to do something on behalf of the company that wronged me. Think about it — if you immediately ask someone to do you a favor after you apologize for a mistake, how genuinely remorseful will you sound? Not very. Originally published Mar 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Next steps. When you’ve made a mistake, people want to be sure of two things:That you’re truly sorry for your wrongdoing.That it’s not going to happen again. There are some people who just refuse to sincerely apologize. My favorite example of this phenomenon is taken from a U.S. television franchise called “The Real Housewives,” in which the cast members have become notorious for doling out feigned apologies. Instead of simply apologizing for hurting someone’s feelings, for example, it’s more common for them to say something like, “I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt.”That, my friends, is not how you say, “Sorry.”I get it — it’s difficult to admit when you’re wrong. There’s been so much conflicting data around the word “sorry.” While it’s something that most parents of young children believe should be taught, there have also been claims that apologizing makes a person look weak. In fact, some companies’ stock prices have fallen following an apology, depending on how it was delivered. There are even browser add-ons to prevent the use of apologetic language in emails. Download our essential guide to branding here for even more tips on branding your company. But to little old me, a sincere apology goes a long way. When I sense genuine remorse, it means a lot to me — perhaps because it’s so rare, at least in my experience. Combined with my nerdy affection for all things marketing, that sentiment applies to brand apologies, too. It’s not so much that I think, “Wow, that means a lot to me,” but more like, “Wow, that company really nailed saying, ‘Sorry.'”So, who’s done it best? We rounded up some of our favorite brand apologies to inspire you next time you make a mistake — and need to admit your wrongdoing.But First, Here’s What Not to DoWhen I was in business school and searching for an internship, a friend in a creative industry told me to try out a website that was created, supposedly, for people with my skills and background. But when I used the platform to create a profile and upload my credentials, I was turned away with no explanation. A few days later, I received the following email:Let’s outline what this apology is lacking:Specificity. The message notes that I was turned away — but it doesn’t explain why. When you’ve made a mistake, acknowledge it in full, explaining exactly where you went wrong and why. Don’t forget to share this post! Of course, this series of events presents a much larger issue that isn’t limited to Airbnb and does raise the question, “How much can a corporation really do?” And while that is far from an easy question to answer, Airbnb seems to be continuing to do its part, and acknowledging its role within this landscape.So, Next Time You Mess Up……you know what to do.Granted, admitting when you’re wrong is still anything but a simple task. And figuring out how you’re going to make it right isn’t a process that can take place overnight. But one thing you can do immediately is to admit your mistake. Ask for feedback. Be transparent. And remember — “I’m sorry” can go a long way.How does your brand address mistakes? Let us know in the comments. We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015center_img Not long after this unconventional apology was issued, Swift starred in an Apple commercial, which led some to speculate that the entire incident was an orchestrated publicity campaign. That said, it does illustrate some positive points of how big-name brands can apologize. With two tweets, Apple sent the message, “We hear your grievances, we get it, and here’s what we’re going to do about it.”2) ZocDocIt seems like you can use the internet to procure anything these days. From buying specialty products to scheduling meetings, so much can be accomplished and taken care of online.ZocDoc is one such provider of these services, and provides a platform that connects users with doctors for almost every speciaity in their respective areas. There’s just one problem — sometimes, the doctors don’t accurately update their schedules within ZocDoc, causing users to make appointments for times that aren’t actually available, leading to their subsequent cancellation.But ZocDoc isn’t one to say, “Not our fault, not our problem.” Instead, it’s constantly striving to gain and use customer feedback to enhance the user experience, like it does with this email:Here’s the thing — ZocDoc wasn’t really the one responsible for the cancellation. The doctor’s office was, but despite that, it still negatively impacts the user experience, which ZocDoc acknowledged and offered to make right, by not only asking what went wrong, but offering a gift in exchange for the feedback.3) NetflixWhen Netflix was looking to transition from DVD delivery to a streaming service (yes, we almost forgot about that, too), it had a few missteps along the way.At first, the company built a system in which its streaming and DVD delivery services would become different entities with separate billing agreements. Before, members had the option of subscribing to both for $10 per month. But the split meant a 60% price increase for current members who wanted both — the new system’s fees were $8 each month solely for the DVD service, plus another $8 per month for streaming. What’s worse, the company didn’t really provide a clear explanation.But CEO Reed Hastings wanted to shed light on the situation, and did so in an open letter on the company’s blog. He explained why the changes came to be, and noted that Netflix was “done” with pricing changes. But there was a problem — the company wasn’t doing anything to reverse the issue affecting most customers, which was the separation of subscriptions. People enjoyed having the option of signing up for multiple services with one bill. But Hastings didn’t fix that. Instead, he noted that the DVD service would not only remain separate, but would be renamed Qwikster.Source: NetflixQwikster was short-lived, to say the least. Three weeks later, Hastings issued yet another apology. This time, he kept it short and sweet, and essentially sent the message, “Okay, you’re right. Having two billing systems was a bad idea, and we’re doing away with that.” Netflix did suffer some initial damage, with a loss of 800,000 members and a falling stock price. However, the brand has since recovered and currently enjoys healthy financials.4) Naked WinesI’ve discovered a pattern to my email-unsubscribing behavior. It typically happens when I’m generally stressed out or overwhelmed, and might snap if I get just one more notification on my phone. The easy answer, of course, would be to turn off my notifications. Instead, I angrily unsubscribe from the well-meaning brand’s newsletters, for which I happily signed up, but didn’t really engage with.In my case, at least, it’s not the brand’s fault. So if that company sent me a witty, thoughtful email in response to my cancelled subscription, asking what went wrong and what could be done to fix it, I might happily oblige — after I calmed down, of course. And that’s exactly what Naked Wines did with the apologetic email below:Source: EconsultancyThe company openly leads with “sorry,” and acknowledges that the canceled subscription was likely due to something it did. So it asked, “What was it? Let us know, so we can fix it.”5) Toronto Maple LeafsIf there’s one thing that truly dedicated sports fan would be happy to never hear again, it’s the phrase, “It’s just a game.” And no one, it seems, understood that more than Lawrence M. Tanenbaum — chairman of Maple Leaf Sports — after a devastating loss by the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012.Source: National Hockey LeagueAs a somewhat diehard sports fan myself — go Red Sox — I can understand the desire for accountability from a team’s front office management after a bad season. And with this long, apologetic letter, that’s exactly what Tanenbaum accomplished, with the recognition of not only his team’s poor performance, but also, a public commitment on behalf of ownership to improve things.6) AirbnbIn December 2015, home-sharing platform Airbnb began to come under fire for racial profiling and discrimination taking place on its site. That month, Harvard researchers released a working paper, which indicated that travelers with “distinctively African-American names are 16% less likely to be accepted relative to identical guests with distinctively White names.” That data was only compounded by reports on social media from travelers who experienced that discrimination first-hand, as well as a lawsuit over such actions.In monitoring the social media dialogue, it seems like the issue isn’t quite completely resolved. However, Airbnb isn’t trying to dodge it, and is actually quite proactively addressing this (big) problem. It began with this email from CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky:Chesky addresses the fault of Airbnb early in the message, acknowledging that the brand was far too slow to respond to the issue of discrimination, and apologized for it. Since then, the company has taken several actions to prevent and put an end to it on the platform, which it outlined in a 32-page report authored by Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. The report documented an audit conducted to evaluate where Airbnb was falling short on preventing discrimination, and the resulting measures that would be put in place. Since the report was released, the brand has very publicly campaigned on a platform of inclusion, capped with an ad that aired during the 2017 Super Bowl. Topics: Marketing Case Studies The above email does neither of those things, as per the “remorse point.” It’s also lacking any accountable language to address what it’s going to do to prevent this issue from taking place again, using non-committal language like “I hope.” And if you’re not sure what to do to make it right — ask.We chose the examples below due to their inclusion of all of these factors and, in some cases, even more.6 Brands That Brilliantly Apologized1) AppleBack in 2015, U.S. pop artist Taylor Swift announced a very public boycott of Apple Music. That was due to the service offering a one-month free trial of its streaming feature — but not paying artists for any of their music that was played during the free period.To right the situation, Apple enlisted the help of its SVP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, who went about a slightly unusual way of admitting to the brand’s wrongdoing — via Twitter. #AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015last_img read more

Everything I’ve Learned About Podcasting as HubSpot’s Podcast Marketer

first_img Originally published Mar 20, 2019 9:44:54 AM, updated May 21 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Have you ever noticed how quickly things can change? A new product or service revolutionizes an industry overnight, and it becomes hard to imagine life before it. Who remembers T9 now that talk-to-text is so mainstream? Is anyone still holding onto the number for a reliable taxi service? Or, do we rely on our Uber and Lyft apps instead?In the world of audio, there’s been a massive (albeit slower shift) in the way people consume this content. The catalyst? A rise in podcast content paired with advancements in technology.Here at HubSpot, we’ve been watching the world of podcasting grow and change. We’ve even been testing the proverbial podcast waters ourselves. If you’re considering creating your own podcast or advertising through one, this post is for you.But before we get into the nitty-gritty of podcasting, let’s take a brief history lesson.Learn everything you need to know to get a podcast up and running.A Brief History of PodcastsThe word “podcast” is a combination of “iPod” and “Broadcast.” Adam Curry and Dave Winer coined the term when they created a program called iPodder in 2004. iPodder automatically downloaded internet radio broadcasts and uploaded them to an iPod — thus creating the first ever podcast.Apple picked up on this trend in 2005 by adding “Podcast Support” to iTunes. They solidified podcasting as a core part of their service by creating the early Top 100 charts, and, in 2012, releasing a dedicated podcast app.By pre-installing dedicated podcast apps on all phones and showcasing podcast content on iTunes, Apple successfully secured its position as the biggest podcast marketplace.Even today, we see how Apple’s early investment in the podcasting space has given the company a de facto top spot in the market. Apple makes up two-thirds of podcast listeners while iPhones only make up about 12% of all smartphones. (For reference, Spotify has the second-largest listenership — and they make up 7% of listeners.)From Broadcast to Podcast: Podcast vs. RadioFrom our POV here at HubSpot, it’s clear we’re slowly moving away from audio you tune into and towards on-demand audio.This shift from broadcast to podcast is driven by two primary factors: content and technology.There are currently over 660,000 active podcasts. From popular news shows and chat shows to fictional storytelling and true crime, almost everything is a podcast. Additionally, there’s plenty of successful podcast content that would never work for broadcast radio, such as the free-wheeling, interview-based news show Pod Save America — which is consistently over an hour.In terms of technology, smartphones have given everyone on-demand access to podcast content, newer, cheaper headphones are everywhere, and smart speakers are making their way into homes across the world.The way we listen has fundamentally changed to an always-on, on-demand streaming experience. People are moving to podcasts in the same way we’re moving towards on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO.This massive shift in consumer behavior is driving a lot more listeners to podcasts, and with more listeners comes more marketing and more advertisers.Subscribe to The Growth ShowTrouble in Podcast-LandPodcasting today is facing a dilemma that mirrors the US economy: there’s a widening gap between the top 1% of podcasts and the other 99%. This divide is exacerbated by a central issue with podcast content — discoverability.Despite its mass growth, podcasts are mainly discovered in two ways: word-of-mouth and iTunes charts. Moreover, podcasts at the top of the charts tend to get recommended more often, further solidifying their leading position. The only way to break through is to have an incredibly innovative show or a massive marketing budget — and most successful shows have both.In response, both independent and funded podcast networks like Radiotopia, Gimlet, and Wondery have formed. Those that are funded by venture capitalist money, though, are able to simultaneously launch multiple high-production shows and promote their shows with huge marketing budgets.This shift became crystal clear through my experience with HubSpot’s own flagship podcast, The Growth Show. When the show launched in 2016, it got a few thousand downloads and ranked in the top 25 business podcasts. Three years later, we’re getting more downloads per episode (almost half from our back catalog — episodes that are 60+ days old). Yet, we’re still struggling to break into the top 200 business podcasts.Big platforms are investing more in podcast content, and VCs are throwing cash at podcast networks … this behavior begs the question, “Why?” I think, instead, we should be asking, “Who?”Everything You Need to Know About the Podcast ListenerAccording to Edison Research, the average podcast listener is a well-educated, high-earning millennial. Podcasting is also one of the few channels with a listenership that accurately reflects the general population. The number of men and women who listen to podcasts is nearly equal, and, in terms of ethnicity, the makeup of podcast listeners roughly mirrors the actual demographics of the United States.Overall, it’s easiest to say that everyone listens to podcasts.Habits of the Podcast ListenerMost research on podcast listenership divides listeners into a few categories: 1) listeners who’ve heard of podcasting, 2) listeners who listen monthly, and 3) listeners who listen weekly.At the most frequent, weekly podcast listeners consume 5+ hours of content across about seven shows. Anecdotally, that typically breaks down into two dedicated shows, two occasional shows, and two brief shows.Whether it be over-sharers on Instagram or keyboard cowboys on Facebook, every medium has a group of obsessed folks who want to consume everything. In podcasting, these people are called speed listeners. They represent a small segment that’s set on consuming as much audio content as possible. To do this, they adjust the podcast playback speed to 1.5x, 2x, or even 3x.This consistent, loyal group of intensive podcast users is a good indicator that the medium has built up a devoted following — and isn’t going away anytime soon.Podcast Engagement is Off the ChartsWhether you’re a monthly listener or daily speed listener, one thing is clear: audio content is engaging. When comparing podcast content to other channels like blogs, social media, and video, we see some distinct differences.1. Podcasts are long form.The best podcasts are at least 30 minutes long. Take a look at the top shows, and you’ll find their average episode length is over 45 minutes long. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is consistently a Top 100 podcast, and his episodes are often over four hours long. Joe Rogan’s Joe Rogan Experience podcast is released weekly and most episodes average two to three hours. Although there are some benefits to a short podcast, the majority of podcast listeners enjoy their long-form content.2. Consumption is almost 100%.As a long-time marketer who’s created videos, hosted webinars, and run workshops, I’ve found that audience content consumption is rarely over 80%. A recent report by Sumo found that the average blog visitor only about a quarter of an article and only 20% of readers finish the articles at all. On the other hand, webinars attendees often arrive late, exit early, and sometimes leave in the middle.Furthermore, according to research by Wistia on optimal video length, videos that exceed two minutes experience a clear drop-off in consumption traffic. Wistia also found that videos under two minutes have a 70% engagement rate; at six minutes, engagement drops to 50%, and at 12 minutes, engagement falls to below half.Podcasts are different. To compare: On our own HubSpot shows, most people are listening to over 85% of the show.3. Podcast advertisements are memorable.Let’s face it — most advertisements are hardly noticeable. We walk by or fast-forward without a second glance. On the other hand, podcasts generally rely on host-read ads. These ads are novel, authentic, and interesting. According to a report comparing podcast ads to digital ads by Nielsen, podcast ads generate 4.4x better brand recall than display ads. That includes scroll static and pop-up ads on other digital media platforms. The study also found that 61% of consumers who heard the podcast ads were likely to purchase the featured product.With such high engagement, podcasts have become a surprisingly effective ad channel. Now, here’s what we’ve learned about advertising.Everything We’ve Learned About Podcast AdvertisingWe’ve tested advertising for HubSpot Academy on our three podcasts and have sponsored a few podcasts in the past — and we’ve learned a lot.Traditionally, podcasts have three places for ads: Pre-roll (before the show starts), mid-roll (in the middle of the show), and post-roll (at the end of the show).Pre- and post-roll ad spots are generally cheaper than mid-roll and tend to take less time. Most ads have some sort of call-to-action that prompts listeners to go to a specific URL or use a specific discount code in order to get a discount.One of the most frustrating aspects of podcast advertising is how difficult it is to track. As a digital marketer, you can see how many people download or listen to your show and how many people follow the URL or enter the discount code … and that’s it.Good news: The cost per impression (CPM) for podcast ads is still relatively cheap. If you are considering sponsoring a podcast, here’s the standard formula.Podcast Sponsorship = (# of Downloads Per Episode / 1000) x CPM Note: The CPM (Cost per Thousand) generally ranges from $20-$50.So far, we’re confident that podcast ads are effective and that the CPM is affordable. So, potential podcast advertisers should keep a few things in mind:Audience Analysis: What type of listener does the show attract and are they a good fit for your product?Sponsorship Schedules: What’s your timeline? Most major podcasts with sizable download numbers are booked months in advance.Frequency > Reach: From our own experiments with promoting our podcast on other podcasts, we found that we got a larger lift in total download numbers when we had ads appearing more frequently in on a single podcast versus a single ad on larger podcasts.Is getting in front of podcast listeners your goal? If your answer is a resounding “Yes!”, here’s your next question: Do you want to rent or own this audience? To put it into podcasting terms: Do you sponsor a podcast, or do you create your own?Rent Your Audience or Make Your Own PodcastDespite what you may have heard, podcasting is not easy. Simply tossing a live mic between two people chatting rarely makes for a good show. As more and more podcasts are created, quality (and the demand for quality) has skyrocketed.If you’re dreaming of being the next How I Built This, you need to be prepared to put some serious time and effort behind your production.That being said, there are some distinct advantages to owning a smaller, devoted audience than renting ad space on a much larger podcast. Here are the advantages when you create a podcast:You get control of the ad space. You can promote your company and products or services during the ad space. Better yet, you can make an extra buck promoting someone else’s.You gain additional impressions. Not only is your audience engaging with your content and potentially hearing ads for your business, but every time they see the podcast creator, it’s also an additional impression.You can create a network. If you’re large enough and have the resources to create multiple podcasts, the promotion of one show can drive listeners to another show by the same producer by saying there are “more by this provider.”center_img Final ThoughtsSponsoring or starting a podcast is something every brand should consider. Podcast popularity and listenership will only continue to rise and, with it, the opportunity to connect with people in a new and novel way.Audio content is one of the best opportunities out there for brands. My best advice? Don’t let this one pass you by.last_img read more

How to Host a Twitter Chat That Connects with Your Audience

first_img Topics: What is a Twitter Chat? In a Twitter chat, a host will either ask Twitter audiences a question about a hot topic, or encourage audiences to tweet questions. Once the host receives replies, they tweet in response to them to encourage further discussion. These chats usually run for a short period of time and have a set hashtag associated with them. For B2B companies, hosting TweetChats are an amazing way to get a better understanding of your fans, customers, and leads while also allowing you to grow your Twitter reach. But hosting a TweetChat also requires some thorough planning in order to be successful.Below are eight steps you can take to plan a TweetChat for your business and ensure it’s a success.How to Host a Twitter Chat1. Monitor other chats and fill a void.Before you even think about starting your own TweetChat, it’s important to take note of how other groups are conducting their chats. How do they interact with their followers? What are they discussing, and what types of questions are they asking? Monitoring other TweetChats will also allow you to refine your choice of topic for your own chat.Try to identify a topic in your industry that is getting talked about a lot but hasn’t been represented yet in a formalized TweetChat. This is a great way to choose an appealing topic that generates interest from your target audience.Once you’ve done this, attend a few Twitter chats that interest you and learn from what worked and what didn’t.2. Determine your topic and make it the theme of your chat(s).You may either decide that you want to run a one-time Twitter chat or that you’d like to host one every week. Either way, it’s important to have a common theme to guide your chat.For example, FedEx’s TweetChats are always about some issue related to small business trends and issues.  They stay core to their focus throughout the chat and don’t segue to other issues that don’t relate to their core theme. Make sure that when you pick your topic, you stick with it throughout the chat. This keeps things focused and organized.3. Choose your hashtag.Now that you have your TweetChat topic/theme figured out, the next step is to pick a hashtag so people can follow your chat. You may want to use your corporate name in the chat, but it’s more important to make sure that the hashtag reflects what the chat is about.People want to get a sense of what they’ll be participating in — be straightforward with them. And if you’re hosting a weekly chat based on a particular theme, consider making the hashtag more general so it can be used for future chats. For example,4. Pick a date and time.It’s important for you to choose the timing for your TweetChat based on what’s accessible to both you and your followers. Try to find a time that doesn’t conflict with another chat that may overlap with your specific topic.For example, if you noticed that there is a #SocialMediaChat, you probably wouldn’t want to schedule your #FacebookChat to occur at the same time.5. Create engaging questions for discussion.Now that you have your topic, date, and time nailed down, think about the needs of your prospects and customers and what questions related to the topic they might want answers for. It’s important to create questions and discussion points ahead of time that you can use to help facilitate conversation during your chat.For example, think about asking your followers which tactics they use, what’s the one biggest problem they face, or what they think will be a solution to an industry problem.  It’s important to make sure your questions can allow for some great engagement and interaction between your TweetChat attendees.6. Bring in guest tweeters to help you host your chat.If you want to make your TweetChat a “must-participate,” a great way to entice your followers is by asking an industry expert to join the chat from their personal account.These guest tweeters can be from outside your company or they can be your business’ executives. Promoting that an industry expert will also be participating in your chat is a great way to add credibility to your chat and topic you’ll be discussing. It’s also a great way to encourage others to participate in your chat.7. Promote your Twitter chat ahead of time.After you have your chat organized and ready to go, it’s time to promote it!Write a blog post about it, promote it to followers in other social networks, and tweet about the chat, its hashtag, and when it’s happening. Make sure people know that you’re organizing a TweetChat. If you want to attract key people in your industry to participate, go the extra mile and invite them personally, explaining how you think their insight on the topic would make for a truly valuable and engaging TweetChat.8. Start your Twitter chat.When the time comes, prepare to launch your Twitter chat. Confirm each host’s availability and be sure they have solid questions and topics to discuss.Once you get started, it can’t hurt to have someone other than your host monitoring the discussion. This way, if you get a lot of tweet responses, you’ll be able to easily answer them with your team. It’s also helpful to have someone on board with community management knowledge incase the chat gets dull or is plagued by bad language, complaints about your company, or other unfortunate tweets. 9. When the chat ends, continue to monitor the hashtag.After you finish your chat, participants may still use your hashtag to engage in conversation, especially if you chose one that is more general. Make sure you’re still monitoring this discussion. It can help you identify followers who may be more qualified leads, and the discussion that sparks may even give you an idea for your next TweetChat!10. Use highlights from your chat to promote future Twitter events. In step seven, we suggested that you should write a blog post to promote a chat. But, if you’ve already had one chat that gave solid insights and plan to have another, you could also write a blog post with the best quotes and tweets from the previous chat. Then note when and where readers can go to see future Twitter chats hosted by you or your brand.This might be a great way to reach audiences that aren’t following you yet, and might make people feel like they missed out. If they do feel that way, they might want to attend the next chat. TweetChats can be a powerful tool for creating engagement and growing the reach of your Twitter account. These steps will help you on your way to becoming a TweetChat superstar. Originally published Sep 9, 2019 4:04:00 PM, updated September 09 2019center_img A Twitter chat, or TweetChat, is a virtual meeting or gathering of people on Twitter to discuss a common topic.Companies like Cisco and FedEx have hosted their own TweetChats to engage with their audiences on a more personal level, and it’s a great inbound marketing tactic for your social media strategy.Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit. Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more