5 essential lessons from a successful entrepreneur

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.I have a deep respect for anyone who takes the leap to go out on their own to start their own business. For most entrepreneurs, that means living life without a safety net. You’re putting yourself, your product, and your service out into the market and acting largely out of faith in yourself: faith that you will be able to make a living and faith that you will be able to support yourself, your family, and your employees.For me, the experience has been both thrilling and terrifying. Thrilling because it has allowed me to have an enormous amount of freedom–both with my time and with my finances. Terrifying because my success depends on me. I have no one to blame but me. I alone am accountable to my clients, my employees, my family, and to myself.There are a few things that I’ve learned over the years of being self-employed that I think are worth sharing. Things that I wish someone had told me in the beginning.Lessons that I’ve had to learn the hard way.There will be highs–and there will be lowsSome days, I’ve felt on top of the world. Unstoppable. Like a gladiator in the battle of a lifetime. On the other hand, some days (and weeks) I find myself hardly able to get out of bed. I’ve learned that the bounce between highs and lows is a necessary evil. It’s my belief that anyone who tells you that everything is always amazing really isn’t paying enough attention to their business.Shit happens, and it happens to us all. You have to experience the lows in order to assess what’s causing that low, which allows you to correct your course. The aim is to not have that particular low again; lows are opportunities for learning.I confess that I’ve not found one magic bullet that gets me through the valleys faster and on the peaks longer, but I do have a few tools in my toolbox that I have found helpful over the years:Get out of your head. Get out of self and into service. Do something nice for someone else that has nothing to do with your business. Write things down so that you can see in black and white if you’re being dramatic (most entrepreneurs have a flair for the dramatic) or if those thoughts swimming in your head are real.Take time off. As the leader, your attitude is contagious. If you’re in a bad mood, it’s better to stay home than to allow your energy to infect your team. Take a personal day and reset. Take a day to just drive and sing to the radio. Shake up your routine. Exercise more than usual. Don’t beat yourself up for taking time for yourself. You work hard; you have to take time to recharge your batteries and get your mind right. Trying to push through it, I have found, only results in you being more worn down, more frustrated, and bitchier with the people around you. Take some time and come back a rock star.Stop isolating yourself. Your employees and your significant other are not the best people to blow off steam with (at least for me). Your employees will get scared when you’re just blowing off steam and expressing frustration, because, let’s face it, sometimes you just want to shut the whole thing down. That kind of talk will freak them out, and most likely, the truth is that you don’t really mean it. Your spouse is going to want to fix it (especially men) and sometimes you don’t need a fix… you just need a sounding board. Find someone that you can blow off steam to who is outside the influence of your business decisions. That can be a coach, friend, therapist, a bartender… the point is to start talking. When you hear yourself talking about what’s going on in your head, you’ll likely be able to detect the bullshit and correct your course.There will be distractionsHave a goal and a plan that is yours and make sure that they excite you. There are going to be so many distractions disguised as opportunities. Don’t fall for them! Stay on track and don’t be tempted by distractions that aren’t authentic to the outcomes you are looking for in your life.Everything will take at least twice as long as you thought it wouldI’ve been practicing time-blocking for years. I love it! I think it’s a great practice. But for the life of me, I can’t accurately project how long it will take to complete a task. I think I’m finished, and then realize I have 10 more steps to go.I’ve found it helpful in my business to think about the stages of a project when I go into it. For example, there’s planning, building, polishing, preparing for distribution, marketing, and then sales. Since I’m a creative type, my focus is on the building. Therefore, I budget enough time for the building, forgetting that all the other steps need attention too.Go into any project with eyes open to all the parts of the project, not just the parts that you particularly enjoy.Find the fun in what you doIf you’re anything like me, you’ll grow bored with the day-to-day. For example, I like to continue to build out new courses and opportunities to engage with my students/clients. That’s my personal way to find the fun in what I do, so I create as many opportunities to be with my users face-to-face as much as possible. I also like to travel; that’s a fun activity that I’m able to have because of what I do.Those two things help me get through the day-to-day and move forward. The fun doesn’t always just appear… you have to actively look for it.You can’t do it aloneAs an entrepreneur, you likely have an independent streak. I’m guessing that you’re the kind of person that says things like, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” I say that a lot even still after all these years!I’ve realized that this mindset holds me back. Talented people are drawn to opportunities that allow them to develop their skills and have an impact. If you’re hogging the ball, you’ll end up with an empty court.When I think about the big things that I wish someone had shared with me when I started, these would be a few of them. I hope you find them helpful!Chad Peevy is an entrepreneur who helps businesses realize their potential. Chad is the Founder and Creator of The Agent School: an online learning platform to help build the business of real estate agents and fellow entrepreneurs.last_img read more

How to use every spare 15 minutes to grow your business

first_imgWhat do you do to keep you business momentum going and growing, even when you’re super busy?Diana Kelly Levey is a freelance writer and editor. Check out her website and follow her on Twitter. Boost your brand Watch a YouTube video, TED Talk, or listen to a podcast of someone who’s an expert in your industry or someone has valuable entrepreneurial information. Take a 15- to 20-minute break after turning in an assignment. Schedule social media posts for the next day, two, or week. Read the message threads on one of your Facebook Group pages to see what’s trending, discussions people are having, and if there’s a solution you can offer to a user who posted a question. Research Look up the editors you worked with a few months ago or last year and reach out to say hello, see how the year is going so far, and ask if there are any content needs you can address. I just did this and landed a few assignments. Find new writers to follow on Twitter or join a writers’ Facebook group. Read an article that’s in your “to read later” folder. This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Have you sent a ton of pitches to editors recently and been twiddling your thumbs waiting for them to respond? While it feels nerve-wracking, even a 15-minute time slot in your calendar can boost your freelance business, so use it!Time is a commodity that’s precious to all of us, but freelancers in particular feel the “time is money” concerns daily. But, what I’ve come to learn is that setting aside time to market yourself and build relationships — particularly with editors and brands — and sharing on social media is essential.I challenge you to try any of these tips at least once a day for a week. It’ll help sustain your freelance business when you’ve turned in all of your assignments, and don’t have additional work on the horizon. Here’s how:Time management Find new connections on LinkedIn and connect with them. While you’re there, take another few minutes to endorse friends, colleagues, editors, and associates for skills. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.center_img Take care of some of the business side of freelancing, like following up on pitches, invoices, articles sent to an editor, and paying bills. (Some freelancers find it helpful to block out a set time for these things weekly, or use an accounting program that tracks invoices like Quickbooks.) Share an article from another site, writer, or news outlet that you admire on social media and tag them. Share your latest published articles with the sources you interviewed. Check email less frequently. Housekeeping Update your website, or a portfolio on a content marketing writing site, like Contently, ClearVoice, or Skyword. Scan published print articles into PDFs for future sharing with sources and upload them to your site. ”Pin” some of your recent articles on Pinterest. Networking Update your expenses and tax write off documents if you keep track of them throughout the year. (I do in an Excel doc and find this helps!) See which hashtags are trending on Twitter and Instagram and see if you have an article or post that could include that tag.last_img read more

If time is money, let’s value both

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.One of the key concepts in my field (luxury hospitality) is that affluent people are often time poor. It shows in the demand for good travel advisors, who can help them pack more into a single trip, to the growth of the “bleisure” industry.So if luxury equals time, isn’t time our most precious resource? Time poverty affects us all, in every trade, economic condition and also life stage. It has consequences from stress and anxiety, to depression, and loss of productivity. And that’s not to mention the strains on our personal life and relationships.Here are some things you can to do to manage your time-money ratio smartly:Give yourself a breakMost freelancers can relate to the time-money-happiness circle. While freelancing is perceived as a liberating choice, many of us work more hours than regular 9 to 5-ers. Why? Because we live by “If you don’t work, you don’t earn.”This attitude, especially if adopted from the get-go, can lead to burnout. While working late or on weekends is unavoidable from time to time, don’t be so flexible with clients that you forget to make time for yourself.Don’t be a yes personOn my personal freelance journey, I have learned to say no to clients and situations that don’t work for me. I try to keep my fees consistently in the medium-high range with the goal of working less, but earning the same and working on projects, and with clients, that genuinely interest me.Define your goalsOne of my resolutions (though I don’t like that word) this year is to concentrate on what really makes me happy — both professionally and personally — and finding time for it. That means keeping some flexibility in my work schedule and spending more time experiencing awe.It won’t be easy, as we’re all very much conditioned by our acquired behavior, and the “future time slack” syndrome — the belief that we will always have more time than we do now.But there’s no certainty that we will, so let’s learn to manage it better.Laura Cattaneo is an Italian translator and editor who specializes in the marketing, creative, and legal fields. Connect with her on Linkedin and Twitter, or visit her website.last_img read more

Last-Minute Money Tips to Help You Survive the Holidays

first_imgThe holidays are time for family. Here are some ideas from our friends at Quotacy on how to make the most of this holiday season with your loved ones.The holiday season is a very hectic time, and if you’re not careful, it can easily sneak up on you. If you’re like me, you’ve entered November without much money set aside for gifts or celebrations and you’re starting to sweat about your budget.Scrambling for cash during the holidays can feel like treading water, but there are lots of opportunities to save money and cut costs if you know where to look.Make a budget and stick to itSetting limits on how much you’re willing to spend for each person on your list will help keep you focused on getting the most out of your holiday budget.Speaking from experience, my family typically sets limits on how much you’re allowed to spend on one another – $50 max for your immediate family, $20 max for any extended family.In practice, those limits tend to become more like guidelines, but they can help you set a baseline budget to plan for during the holiday months.Start shopping ASAPThe longer you’re on the hunt for deals, the more likely you are to stumble across them. If you can get started before December actually begins, you can scoop up a few amazing deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.Keeping your eyes peeled early on in the holiday season can give you more time to consider exactly what you want to get for each person. Being alert and keeping an eye on those items will help you pounce on flash deals as they come up.Automate your savingsIf you’ve got a savings account that offers automatic deposits, cranking up the rate at which money goes in can help you grow a holiday budget without even thinking about it.When I need to save money in the short term, I tend to pump up my weekly contributions to my savings account. This helps me lock my money away until I’m sure I want to spend it.Cancel a few subscriptionsEven though cold, snowy days are perfect for curling up on the couch and bingeing a show on Netflix or Hulu, taking a month-long break from a few of your subscription services can help give you a bit more breathing room for gifts and events.Pick one service you absolutely can’t live without to keep you entertained, and use the subscription fees for the rest of them to spruce up your holiday party with a few extra treats. Then, when you come back to them in January, you’ll have a whole new set of shows to power through.Cut down on trips outThis is an evergreen savings suggestion, but during the holidays, opting to stay in could help you save more than just the price of dinner.If you’re in an area that gets snow, the increased traffic will make each trip out burn through more fuel. Additionally, bad weather increases your odds of being involved in an accident, so staying in can often mean staying safe.Check your pocketsIf you’re like me, you’ve probably forgotten about some of the things in your wallet. However, taking the time to dig past your go-to cards can reveal some hidden treasures.First off: Gift cards. Got 5 bucks left at Starbucks? Surprise a family member with a bag of nice coffee. $3 left over at Target? That’s a couple of candy bars to fill a stocking.If you’ve got rewards points or cash back built up on your cards, the holidays can be a good time to spend them. Performing a self-audit on your wallet can help you discover money that you didn’t know you had.Combine your ordersDo you ever notice how stores start promoting big purchase sales around the holidays? “Spend over $300 and get 15% off!” This helps them incentivize shoppers to spend more. You can take advantage of this by teaming up with a friend to get both of your holiday shopping done at once.In addition to saving more on a bulk order, you’ll be able to take full advantage of BOGO deals without having to find somewhere to put the second item.Who knows, you might catch them eyeing something they want, and be able to take another trip back and cross them off your list.Look everywhere for coupons and dealsEveryone knows about online coupons these days, but there are many more ways to save if you know where to look.Digging through your junk mail can be a good way to scoop up deals from local stores. Local businesses will also offer discounts via local newspapers and magazines as well, so popping by a magazine rack can help you track down deals in your area.Many crafters, artists, and other small creators who own Etsy stores or eBay accounts are also looking to make a bit of last-minute money to spend on their families.Established creators often put their excess stock on sale in the weeks before the end of the year, and many artists take extra commissions to help them pay for their own celebrations.Buy (or make) a few cheap “quickie” giftsGoing out and tracking down trinkets for everyone in your office can be time consuming, and it’ll drain your holiday savings, too.Instead, taking one trip and buying several of the same inexpensive gift at once can help you be sure you aren’t empty handed when a surprise gift-giver catches you off-guard.For example, you can wrap up cocoa packets, candy canes, and mini marshmallows, then give them out as instant cocoa sets. For bonus points, head to a thrift store and buy a few mugs to include as well.Turn your holiday parties into pot lucksAnother perennial favorite – pot lucks! If you’re hosting a dinner party, asking your guests to help out with dishes can add variety to the meal, as well as saving you money.Have your guests bring hot food in crock pots, or let them show up early with food that’s ready to cook. Appetizers and finger food work great for this, and a menu made out of those options often ends up being more fun than a sit-down dinner.Change up your gift-giving traditionsInstead of spreading yourself thin to get your entire family or office gifts, organizing a secret Santa pool can help you focus on finding something meaningful for one person in particular.If organizing a secret Santa exchange is too complicated, a white elephant party is a fun way to recycle old gifts you’ve never gotten around to using. Who knows, your secondhand waffle iron might be exactly what someone wants! Eric Lindholm moved from sales to communications at Quotacy. His writing is informed by his experience guiding hundreds of people through their own life insurance buying journey. Eric lives in Minneapolis, where his coworkers are trying to convince him to start his own podcast, do stand-up, or take his humor into the spotlight. Connect with him on LinkedIn.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Save Money on Holiday Travel (Hint: Book it Soon!)September 18, 2017In “Travel Tips”20 Common Things to Include in a BudgetOctober 16, 2013In “Financial Planning”7 Tips to Enjoy Debt Free Holidays This YearSeptember 25, 2019In “Family Finances” Post navigationlast_img read more

9 Exercises You’d Better Avoid if You Dream of Having a Feminine Body

first_imgThe trend of having a slim and fit body led to the creation of dozens of myths about diets and workout. Nowadays, personal trainers use their knowledge of physiology and the human anatomy to distinguish the best types of workouts for men and for women. The exercises that help men look terrific can actually have a completely opposite effect on women so it’s important to know which exercises are good for your body type.We put together a “blacklist” of exercises that women should avoid if they want to get a beautiful body.1. Exercises that enlarge the side absSide abs are connected to the lower ribs and go down to the pubic bone. They create the shape of our body. When working this group of muscles, you make them grow which means that you can forget about having a thinner waist.Here are 3 exercises that are not recommended for women:Bends with dumbbellsLena Boone, a bodybuilder and an NPC Sunshine Classic winner, says that one of the most frequent mistakes women make is when they do different bends in the hopes of getting a thinner waist. She calls it “abs abuse.” When bending from side to side with dumbbells, you make your side abs grow. Try to avoid this exercise when working out.Replace it with the “vacuum” exercise.Suck in your stomach as much as you can. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then relax. In the beginning, it will be quite hard to do this exercise but when you learn to do it correctly and start doing it regularly, you will notice the results shortly.Side extensionsAn extension is an exercise where you bend your body on a special sloped bench. When doing this exercise, you cause your side abs to grow and your waistline will only get bigger.Replace it with the plank.The best alternative to get a flat tummy is the plank. This is a very simple exercise that you can easily do at the gym and at home. Stretch your body above the floor standing on your elbows and toes and hold it for a minute.Squats with heavy weightsA popular channel of fitness for women, Workout, claims that when you do squats with heavy weights, you tone not only your glutes but also your abs and spine muscles which inevitably leads to the growth of your muscle mass around your waist.Replace it with straight crunches.To keep your body toned, do straight crunches. When lying on the floor, raise your upper body up slowly. Repeat a few times until you feel your muscles “burn.”2. Exercises that enlarge the neck and shouldersThe trapezius muscle is a flat wide muscle which is located in the back of your neck and the upper part of your back. When working this group of muscles, you risk losing your thin neck and gaining a wide back. Anna Borisova, a master of sports of international class in body fitness and a vice-champion of the world in fitness-bikini competitions, advocated femininity and beauty on her YouTube channel, Fit4Woman. She recommends avoiding exercises that can enlarge the delicate female shoulders and hide the neck.Here are 3 exercises that it’s recommended you exclude from your workout complex:Shrugs with dumbbells or a barbellA shrug is an exercise where you raise your shoulders with weights. This exercise is called isolated because an athlete can enlarge the trapezius muscle without involving other muscles. It sounds nice, but be careful since wide shoulders look good on men, not on women.Replace it with wide push-ups.It’s worth focusing on exercises that can accentuate your femininity. Wide push-ups, for example, are excellent for your pectoral muscles.Tugging barbells or dumbbells to the chinThese types of exercises enlarge your trapezius muscle.Replace it with arm lifts with dumbbells.It is better to do arm lifts with dumbbells to tone your arm muscles. Choose weights that are comfortable for you, press your arms to your body, and lift them slowly to your shoulders.Lifting dumbbells and barbells in front of youWhen doing this exercise, follow this simple principle: don’t raise the weights higher than the level of your shoulders. The wrong positioning of your arms will inevitably involve the trapezius muscle.Replace it with arms bends.A common problem area for many women is the inner part of the arms called the tricep. Place your arms behind your head, put the palm of one arm to the elbow of the other and bend it slowly.3. Exercises that make your legs biggerThe body curves similar to those of Kim Kardashian changed the standards of female beauty. Rounded glutes became trendy. This led to the rising popularity of many different types of squats and exercises with weights in the hopes that our muscles would grow bigger.However, you should remember that there are no isolated exercises for glutes. When working out the lower part of your body, your legs are also involved, especially your quads.Quads consist of 4 muscles. This is a very strong group of muscles which is inclined toward rapid growth in size.If you want to have slim legs, you should exclude the following exercises:Squats with heavy weightsWe mentioned above that squats with heavy weights can ruin your waist. But it’s not only about your waist — it’s also about your legs. First, intensive exercises can make your hips look less feminine and bulky. Second, heavy weights can ruin not only your figure, but can also do harm to your knees and lower back, as well.Replace them with squats without weights.Do squats without weights or with small weights. Make sure that your feet are placed in the right position. Your knees should not go beyond your toes to involve your glutes in the workout.Unbending legs on the exercise machineThere are dozens of ways how to do this exercise. However, it won’t help you slim your hips. The muscles of your legs will just get bigger.Replace it with lunges.Lunges are a great exercise for your lower body. Follow this technique: take a short, but deep step forward.Pulling legs together on the exercise machineAnother common problem area for women is the inner thigh area. To get rid of fat on the inner thighs, women often pull their legs together on the exercise machine. Jamie Eason Middleton believes that this unnatural position of the body involves not only targeted muscles but also the joints that support them. It may not bring the expected results and can also be harmful.Replace it with side lunges.Side lunges are a great alternative as they’ll help you tone your adductor muscles.Sourcelast_img read more

Internet Marketing Is Dead

first_imgNo more specialists.I started doing internet marketing eight years ago in June 1999, when I joined a consumer retail dot-com company. Back then, there were only some rudimentary tools for doing marketing online. You had to have some level of technical understanding to be good at online marketing, and to effectively measure and track everything you were doing, you needed to tie together a bunch of different tools, reports and spreadsheets to get decent metrics. At that time, most people were not familiar with the terminology and techniques for online marketing. If you had a year or two of experience, you were a valuable commodity. The “traditional” marketing professionals looked at online marketing with some combination of disdain, curiosity and fear, seeing it as some sort of magic practiced by 24 year olds with spiked hair and mock turtlenecks. Internet marketing was special because you needed a specialist to do it.So, why do I say Internet marketing is dead? Because the time of the specialist is over. There is no such thing anymore as “Internet marketing.” It’s just marketing. Just like we discuss print ads, we should discuss banner ads, just like we create direct mail, we should create pay per click search ads. But the use of specialists who only do online marketing needs to end. Everyone who does marketing should be empowered with simple and easy-to-use tools to let them use the Internet for marketing.Why are there still millions of Internet marketing specialists and SEO and SEM firms? Because people still think Internet marketing is black magic and something only specialists can do. Because there is no simple system to create, manage and measure everything you need to do to effectively market on the internet. The average person cannot easily leverage online marketing. Not yet.Marketers need a set of tools that are made for the way they work, not the way techie and Internet-savvy people work. The ability to have a website that helps you do search engine optimization (SEO) automatically, manages your search engine marketing, makes building landing pages a snap and automatically optimizes conversion programs on your website. A system that gives you as much data as possible about your website visitors, and presents that data to you in a format that means something to you and helps you actually act on it to get results. This is especially true for the millions and millions of small businesses who don’t have the luxury of a huge marketing staff and an IT department.This brings me to why I am here, with my first post on this blog. I believe in the online marketing tools that HubSpot is building, and cannot wait to work with the team to bring the next generation of software tools to marketers everywhere, and put an end the difference between marketing and Internet marketing.What do you think? In this day and age, is Internet marketing really that different from marketing in general? Isn’t it time that there were simple tools to allow everyone to do online marketing? How long with the “specialists” survive? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 2, 2007 2:35:00 AM, updated October 01 2019last_img read more

9 Must-Haves for the Perfect Landing Page

first_imgThe following article is an excerpt from our newest ebook, 25 Website ‘Must Haves’ for Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales. You can download the complete, free ebook here.Landing pages are one of the most important elements of lead generation, yet most companies don’t use them enough — or at all. It’s common to give more attention to a website’s homepage instead. After all, it is the first room in your virtual storefront when visitors “walk” through the door.Surprisingly, studies show that the average conversion rate for a website is between 1% and 3%, which means it’s only converting a teeny tiny portion of site traffic. With such a poor outcome, why do businesses still rely on the homepage to do the heavy lifting?A landing page (also referred to as a lead-capture page) is a crucial must-have for any website because it provides a targeted platform for converting higher percentages of visitors into leads. In fact, landing pages have a 5-15% conversion rate on average. Yet they are often overshadowed by a homepage or other product pages.This is because, for years, marketers have focused on driving people to a company website without a clear idea of how visitors got there and where to take them next. Today, we now use email marketing, social media, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and other online channels that empower marketers to send traffic to specific locations (landing pages) containing the right messages for each audience.The job of a landing page is to tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do and why they should do it. Homepages, while still an important element of a website, are typically less focused on a particular task because they are serving the masses. Homepages are great for direct traffic, but when you can control how visitors arrive on your site, a landing page is the best place to send them. When done right, landing pages can have a very positive impact on your lead generation.While landing pages perform better than main site pages at a 5-15% conversion rate, they can do much better if using the best practices explained below. In fact, many of HubSpot’s customers who have implemented these tips are experiencing a 30-45% conversion rate! That’s insanely above the average!To put this into perspective, if you drove 10,000 visitors to your homepage, you’d receive an estimated 300 leads. If you instead sent them to a targeted landing page with an average 30% conversion rate, you could generate 3,000 leads. Which one would you rather have?Wondering what it takes to get a stellar landing page conversion rate? Check out the tips below for creating the perfect landing page.1. Never Use Your Homepage as a Landing PageAs mentioned above, homepages typically have too much messaging, making visitors feel lost. We’d also recommend not using a main site product page either. Even if your homepage and sub-pages are awesome, a dedicated landing page (using these tips) will perform better at converting visitors into leads because they are focused on one task.2. Landing Pages Must Contain the Following ElementsA headline and (optional) sub-headlineA brief description of the what is being offeredAt least one supporting image or short video(Optional) supporting proof elements such as testimonials, customer logos, or security badgesMost importantly, a form on the landing page itself to capture information. If for some reason you can’t include a form on the landing page, use a large call-to-action (CTA) button to direct visitors to the next step. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Oct 11, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img Landing Page Design 3. Remove or Limit Extra NavigationA landing page is used for one purpose and one purpose alone – to encourage a visitor to take one specific action. When visitors land on a page, we want to keep them there until they perform that action. Leaving the navigation might induce them to continue wandering. Remove main site navigation from the page so they don’t move off your landing page.4. Keep the Objective Simple and ClearDon’t try to stuff too much information on your landing pages. Make it clear what the page is about and what you want the visitor to do. Limit the amount of copy, images, media, and links to only what’s necessary, and organize your content in a proper structure so objects are in logical order. It’s especially important that the call-to-action (CTA) is as crystal clear as possible for the visitor.Example of a landing page that could improve the CTA:5. Match the Content to a Visitor’s Previous SourceWhether a visitor comes from a PPC ad, email, or call-to-action from another source, ensure the messaging matches throughout the entire conversion path. If your PPC ad says “Download our Marketing Ebook,” your landing page should say the exact same thing — or similar. If there is a disconnect in your messaging, visitors will feel as if they are in the wrong place and will likely hit the ‘Back’ button.6. Reduce FrictionFriction is caused by objects (or missing objects) on a page that inhibit a visitor from taking action. This can include providing too much information (adding complexity), animation that is distracting, lack of customer proof or security, etc. Make your visitors feel confident in their choice to provide their information. To reduce friction, keep the page simple (don’t require visitors to read too much), include proof elements such as customer testimonials, number of downloads/sales (to indicate acceptance from others), security badges (if you’re dealing with sensitive data such as credit card information), and as mentioned above, make sure messaging matches throughout their conversion path.7. Focus on VALUEDon’t create a landing page to download a fact sheet (never put these behind a form). Do create a landing page for a valuable whitepaper. Don’t use a landing page for “Contact Us,” but do use one for a valuable guide, free trial, demonstration, or evaluation. Offering something of value will enable you to generate more leads so you can nurture them over time until they are ‘ready to buy.’Example of a great landing page providing value:8. Only Ask for What You NeedWhen it comes to web forms, there is no magic answer for the number of form fields that should be required. But here is one simple rule of thumb: only ask for what you or your sales team really needs. If you don’t need their hair color, don’t ask for it. Try to stay away from sensitive or confidential information, too. And never, ever use the word “Submit” on the form button. Always use language for what they are getting in return. For example, use “Download Now,” “Get your Free Evaluation,” or “Join our Mailing List.”9. Create a Lot of Landing PagesFor every new campaign or offer, create a new landing page. The more landing pages you have, the more opportunities for converting more traffic into leads.BONUS: Make Your Landing Pages ShareableThis is optional, but it’s another great way to drive more visitors to your landing pages. Include social media sharing links or a social sharing widget on your landing pages so visitors can easily share that content with their own personal networks, and in turn, drive more opportunities for converting leads.Evaluate your landing pages, and use these best practices as a checklist for setting up the perfect page. Effective landing pages are what will turn your website into a lead generating machine. And don’t forget to test your landing pages to see which ones work best for you!What other landing page best practices would you recommend?last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy Watch leaked on official site and here is everything we now know about it

first_imgIt has been over a year since Samsung launched Gear S3. And while the world had been waiting for Gear S4, the company launched two of its fitness-focussed smartwatches– Gear Sports and Gear Fit 2 Pro last year. And now, almost a year later, the world is riding high on anticipation yet again hoping that the company would finally introduce the successor to its flagship device Gear S3 this year.Reports so far suggest that the Korean electronics giant will not be naming the successor to its Gear S3 as Gear S4. The name being touted for its upcoming smartwatch is “Galaxy Watch”. The moniker was spotted on the FCC filing earlier this week and Samsung Galaxy Watch logo has also been registered in South Korea.What seems to be a confirmation of the existing rumours regarding the naming of Samsung’s upcoming smartwatch is an accidental leak on the company’s US website which showed the 42mm Galaxy Watch in Rose Gold colour variant listed along side Gear S2.While the model number SM-R810NZDAXAR, didn’t match with the FCC filings,but the “R810” part does match with the previous reports on the product’s name, CNET reported. Sadly, the leak divulges no other details about the wearable other than the fact that it will sport Bluetooth connectivity.As rumours keep about the wearable keeping coming in, here’s what we know about Galaxy Watch so far:- Based on the image leaked on Samsung’s US website, Galaxy Watch is likely to sport circular display with a metal body frame and two physical buttons on the right side. While the leaked image touts a Bluetooth variant, word is that the company will also release an LTE variant of the watch.advertisement- Earlier this week, FCC filing revealed that Galaxy Watch will be available in two size variants– While the smaller 1.19-inch screen size variant will sport a 43.4mm chassis, the larger 1.3-inch variant will sport a 48mm chassis. Both the variants will support Bluetooth 4.2 LE and LTE.- As far as the operating system is concerned, word on the street is that just like Gear S2, Galaxy Watch will run on the company’s native Tizen OS. However, some reports also suggest that the company might be looking to include Google’s Wear OS in its upcoming smartwatch.- Little is known about the feature that will make way to Galaxy Watch at this time. While Gear S3 already offers GPS and heart rate tracking, so chances are that the company could introduce a blood pressure monitor on Galaxy Watch. Besides this, Galaxy Watch is likely to include a bigger 470mAh battery along with Samsung Pay. Another rumour doing rounds is that Samsung’s upcoming watch could include support for Bixby, which could possibly replace S-Voice, however, instead of getting a dedicated button it can be summoned by holding down the main button.- As far as the launch date is concerned, earlier reports suggested that the company could introduce Galaxy Watch at IFA 2018. However, latest reports suggest that the company could launch its smartwatch on August 9 along side Galaxy Note 9.ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Watch will come in two sizes, may launch on August 9Other than this, serial tipster Roland Quandt in a tweet earlier this week revealed that Samsung is likely to introduce an accessory called “Wireless Charger Duo” which will not only be able to wirelessly charge two phones simultaneously but also charge a phone along with a Galaxy Watch.last_img read more

Before & After: How to Fix These 7 Horrible Headlines

first_img Originally published Nov 15, 2013 8:00:00 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 Blog Headlines Crafting headlines is the hardest part of the entire writing process. You’ve got to be descriptive, yet concise. Attention-grabbing, yet factual. Seach-engine friendly, yet catchy. Oh, and alliteration works well. And you’ve probably overused the word “awesome” or “amazing” — so find something better than that. To top it all off, it should also fit in under 140 characters so it’s easy to tweet. Yup, that’s hard. It’s so hard that my teammates and I on HubSpot’s blogging team never publish a post without brainstorming a headline with each other first. And even then, we might not get it right. So when I see a horrible, terrible, no-good headline published, I feel for the author or editor who labored over publishing it … but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from their mistakes to make our own headlines better.To make this a learning experience — not a finger-pointing-fest — I compiled seven pretty bad headlines into the post below. We’ll dissect them and figure out why they’re ill-advised, and then make mental notes to avoid them in our own writing.  1) “15 Fears Everyone Has and No One Talks About”That was the headline I clicked on when I landed on the BuzzFeed homepage. I’m a huge scaredy-cat, so I was excited to see what other common fears people secretly shared based on the headline. I landed in the post and immediately started scrolling — I want to have my fears validated! This is what I see:And then they kept getting weirder and weirder. The fear of being left handed. The fear of beards. The fear of chins. What the heck? I thought these were supposed to be “fears that everyone has” — that’s what the headline promised me would be here.Annoyed, I scroll up and confront the headline on the article page: “12 Things You Won’t Believe People Are Afraid Of.” That’s completely different than what I was promised.In your own titles, don’t pull the headline bait-and-switch — even if it’s unintentional. I like to ask myself one question before publishing: “Is that really what the article is about?” If yes, I hit publish. If not, I go back to the headline drawing board. 2) “Ryan Seacrest to Go Viral All Over Kids With New Nickelodeon Show”When I first saw this title, I laughed out loud — and that’s not because Ryan Seacrest will be hosting a new game show where kids will be competing to win prizes by watching viral videos. Nor is it the fact that the phrase “go viral” is in the headline.Take a look at what follows “go viral” … what the heck is “going viral all over kids”? I thought it must be a weird pun that would be addressed in the article, but it wasn’t. It’s just this random phrase tacked on to the end of “go viral” that no one says … ever. And now that it’s been added on to the end of “go viral”, the whole title sounds grotesque and inappropriate. When you’re writing titles, be 100% sure what you’re saying actually means what you’re saying. Certain words and phrases mean certain things in certain contexts. If you really need a gut check, IM or email a coworker with the title and zero context and ask them what their thoughts are. Better safe than sorry.3) “MagicMomentsProm.com Advises Teens to Look to Celebrities for the Perfect Prom Dress Styles and Where to Turn for a More Affordable Choice”One of the best grammar lessons I learned was about parallel structure. Basically, if you’re going to have two phrases in a sentence, they should follow the same structure. It’s mostly about having the same verb tense, but you can get fancier by aligning other elements of the phrase. When you break the parallel structure rule, compound sentences end up sounding awkward … like really awkward. Take the above title from a press release, for example. Read it one time and tell me what the article is going to be about. Teens should take celebrity advice for prom dress styles? Teens should find someone to help them find a cheap prom dress? It’s super confusing because the article is supposed to address both.Here’s how I’d rewrite the title to get that dual message across: “MagicMomentsProm.com Advises Teens To Look To Celebrities For The Perfect (and Affordable) Prom Dress Styles.” Much clearer, right?You’ve heard this lesson for your entire life, and you’ll hear it again in this blog post: Grammar is important. It’s not the be-all-end-all of content creation, but it should be used to help clarify your message, not muddle it.4) “Under Investigation”I’m going to let you try this one on your own. The header above was the headline I saw, and here’s the context in which I saw it in the sidebar of The Huffington Post: What the heck is that post about? Who is under investigation? And what for? Glenn Greenwald? Maybe it’s just me being ignorant of what’s happening in the world, but I don’t even recognize who the man in the picture is.Here’s what the title is once I click through: UK Pursuing Criminal Investigation Into Guardian Leaks. OH. Now that makes sense!Lesson for us: Never sacrifice the meaning of your headline for being concise. I had no clue what that post was about and I definitely wouldn’t have clicked through unless I was writing this blog post about confusing titles. Don’t assume that your readers will just get it — I’d bet that 9/10 times, they’re going to keep scrolling. 5) “Facebook Like Button, Viewed 22B Times a Day on 7.5M Websites, Gets a Redesign”This title from TechCrunch isn’t one of the worst I’ve ever seen — it’s pretty straightforward and clickable. But it does have one pretty giant weak spot.Check out that descriptive phrase right smack dab in the middle of the headline: “Viewed 22B Times a Day on 7.5M Websites.” Yep, those numbers are impressive … but they’re describing Facebook, the biggest social network of our age. We don’t really need a qualifier to understand how gargantuan Facebook is — so cut it from your headline. If you’re adding data, adjectives, or any clarifier to your titles that don’t really need to be there, cut it out. Since you have limited space in your title for it to appear in search and social networks, use it wisely. 6) “California Pinots to Beat Blockbusters: John Mariani”Is this a spam post randomly compiling words together like the “What would I say app?” that’s been taking the internet by storm? And who the heck is John Mariani? This article is on Bloomberg — shouldn’t it be good? I was just really confused when I saw this.The main problem with this headline is that it comes across as quite randomly put together, and name drops someone who isn’t recognizable to someone who’s a big wine fan (cough me cough). Instead, Bloomberg should remove Mariani’s name from the title, and try to position the California Pinots as the underdog so that “beating blockbusters” makes sense — and makes you want to click. It also confuses a reader by having two recognizable names — “pinots” and “blockbusters” — close to one another but with no discernible relation. Are Pinots and Blockbusters in a fight? Why is wine fighting with an old video rental chain? The problem is compounded because “beat” can be used as both a noun and a verb. Are the pinots beating up the video store? Or are “Beat Blockbusters” a thing I should know about that lie on a spectrum which runs the gamut from “California Pinots” to “Beat Blockbusters”?If i was going to redo this title, I’d probably nix the word “blockbusters” entirely, as it takes the mind to another place that the article doesn’t intend you to go. (And it’s not the right place.)7) “Stop Wasting Away Your Workday With These Productivity Tools and Techniques”And of course, we couldn’t end this post without adding one of our own titles into the mix. Like I said before, it happens to all of us. So here’s a title of a recent post that flopped.It’s confusing … right? It seems like we were telling you to NOT use these productivity tools and techniques because they make you waste time, but in fact, we really wanted you to use them to save time. The reason it’s confusing is the word choice, “with.” Once we realized our mistake, we switched up the phrasing to say, “Productivity Tools and Techniques to Stop Wasting Away Your Workday.” Clearer, right?The lesson: Really think about your word placement — something as simple as switching the phrases in a headline can add clarity, or mystery, to your headline. If you’re straightforward yet compelling, you’re going to be set for any headline you write. Think about what you’ve said in the post (yup, I’m recommending writing your title after you write your post) — and think about how you’d get your buyer persona to read the article in five seconds or less.What terrible headlines have you seen, and how would you fix them? Share them with us in the comments.  Topics:last_img read more

4 Strategies to Help Maintain Lead Quality in Your Database

first_img Originally published Nov 25, 2015 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Lead Generation Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When you first implemented inbound marketing for your business, you knew that you were building a system that utilized high quality content to help generate high quality leads from your website. Flashes of the film Field of Dreams probably kept running through your head as you optimized your website for conversions and started pumping out blogs and offers at a regular basis.If you build it, they will come.And boy did they! Inbound marketing has proven time and time again to be an extremely successful philosophy that can help generate leads for businesses through online sources. Sadly, though, few people will tell you that not all of those leads are quality.Alongside your actual business prospects who will fill out forms on your website are vendors looking to sell you something, competitors looking to read your content and foreign marketers just looking to read what you have to offer, among others. None of these people will ever become customers yet they will take up as much, if not more space in your database doing absolutely nothing for you, and that might be more of a problem than you think.The Cost of Bad LeadsDepending on what type of marketing database, sales CRM or email marketing tools you’re using, you could be paying a premium to house and market to these contacts. Database limits and cost-per-send rates aren’t to be taken lightly, as they can lead to a business throwing away thousands of dollars a year.Outside of cost, a database filled with suspect leads can also skew marketing metrics and negatively affect sales follow up to actual qualified leads. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 4 different tricks I continue to use in my campaigns to help maintain a clean database filled with only qualified leads.1) Have Your Forms be the First Line of DefenseThe first and probably best way to ensure a clean database is to establish rules and triggers connected to your forms to help you either keep low quality leads out altogether or sort them after the fact. Email form field rules and additional form fields asking for qualifying information are some great options.Email Form FieldsOften times in B2B campaigns, you can tell if a lead is legitimate or not based on what kind of email address they provide. Competitors may use their personal email addresses to mask their true identity while vendors and others might use blacklisted addresses linked heavily with spam. If you face this regularly, block them from submitting your forms by comparing their email domains against a list of free, spammy email providers alongside your own list of providers. Not only will this help collect relevant email addresses from qualified leads for your sales team but it will also keep out the unqualified people who may be unwilling or unable to provide their real email addresses.Additional Form FieldsNot all forms can be set up to automatically determine if a lead is qualified and has the right intentions on the same page and that’s ok. People are smart and will often times do whatever it takes to submit a form on your website for one reason or another.When it comes to dealing with these people, don’t fight them too hard with multiple safeguards like CAPTCHA fields (not always a bad idea though) and other filtering mechanisms, but instead looks to collect seemingly generic information that only you know to be a qualifier or disqualifier for your business.Items such as geographic information, company size and industry can help you quickly understand if the person submitting the form is qualified as a potential sales prospect quickly based on where and who your company is looking to work with.2) Corral the Ones That Slip ThroughAs I alluded to above, people are smart and are sooner or later going to successfully submit a form on your website to read your content and that’s ok. You haven’t lost just because someone was able to provide a real email and select the right form field.In fact, they have played straight into your hands! Now that you’ve collected their information and have stored it (temporarily) in your database, it will be easy to quickly review if they are or are not meant to take up your precious storage space both using automated and manual techniques.List CreationWhen it comes to keeping a clean database, establishing smart lists to uncover and track unqualified leads in your database is key. Based on who your business is targeting and where you are looking to do business, there are a number of simple rules you can establish to quickly pull in a list of potentially unqualified leads currently in your database.If you are an American business looking to only work within the states, establishing a list that tracks any and all leads with known IP addresses outside the US can quickly show you foreign contacts who you will never do business with.If you collected qualifying information in your forms, you can create lists to track any answers that disqualify a lead as well. Once you’ve established a list or lists that track all of these disqualifying factors, you can easily clean your database with a simple click (after reviewing the list thoroughly, of course).Manual TrimmingWhile smart lists will help you quickly wrangle and delete any contacts with measurable values, there are others still that may require more of a manual process when it comes to keeping a clean database. Form submissions with names (Test Test) and phone numbers (123456789) are solid indicators that a lead in unqualified and not work the space to house their obviously fake information.While you may be able to set up rules to catch some of this, there are too many different ways that people can submit false information to effectively automate the review process so instead, rely on your experience and eye for these submissions as they come into your database. Set yourself up to receive email notifications once a form is submitted and spend time daily or weekly reviewing them to see if any are clearly fake. From there, you can manually delete them from your database without much effort.3) Monitor EngagementWhile it can be very easy to tell the difference between a potential business opportunity and a vendor or competitor, it can be much more difficult to tell whether or not a seemingly qualified lead is actively engaged with your content in a positive manner. Whether through engagement with your emails or through specific, negative actions on your website, there are signs that can be monitored to tell if leads are truly qualified.Email Marketing ReviewWhile marketers always crave engagement with their emails, not all actions are always a good thing. Contacts looking to unsubscribe from your lists still must open and click through the original email, so keeping an eye on what links are being clicked on a regular basis is always a good idea. Identify those that are unsubscribing from your communications, placing your emails in their junk folders, or are having your emails bounce on a regular basis. This information can be used to establish a list of people no longer engaging with your content.After reviewing this list (potentially with your sales team), delete those who you believe are no longer qualified to be in your database before then establishing a plan of attack to legally target those who your sales team still believes to be opportunities.Negative Website ActivitiesWhile normally connected with an unqualified or fake submission, there are some cases where a seemingly qualified lead can perform specific actions on your website that may raise some red flags. Multiple conversions on any and all offers on your website, while not always a bad thing, can often point to a contact trying to collect anything and everything you’ve written for less than noble purposes.Tracking people who convert on multiple forms via a smart list or keeping an eye on any large amounts of conversions at one time via notification emails should allow you to see when someone is going on a “download spree” and give you the opportunity to remove them from your system once they’ve stopped.4) Stay Connected with Your Sales Team’s FunnelEven truly qualified leads will need to leave your marketing database at one point or another. Either they go through the entire sales process and become a customer (and are added to the CRM), speak with your sales team but decide to go elsewhere (and are then sent to the CRM for future contact) or they “go dark.”For those who do go dark, it can be tough to know where to put them within your marketing database and sales CRM. On one hand, your sales team can’t be wasting their time trying to continually contact people who won’t respond, but on the other hand you can’t necessarily market to these people in the same way you would a new prospect.When faced with this dilemma, work with your sales team to create a custom nurturing campaign that can take these “recycled” leads who have gone dark and slowly send them customized content to bring them back into the sales cycle. If successful, you can bring back old prospects who may have just needed more time. If unsuccessful, you have a list of people who have shown to be disengaged and not worth keeping as a contact.Now of course, this strategy can differ depending on your sales team’s philosophy on when to give up on leads, but it still allows you to at least start the conversation around how long is too long for a disengaged lead to stay in a full database.The Bottom LineWhether you’re a mature inbound campaign or just implementing your first blog post and offer, a clean and consistently scrubbed database is paramount to the overall success of a campaign when it comes to providing ROI. The benefits of keeping that database clean go far beyond keeping your superior sane– they can help your campaign save money on software and storage while improving overall lead to customer conversion rates.While not the easiest (or sexiest) job within digital marketing, if you use any or all of the four steps listed above, your “cleaning time” can be significantly shortened and made smarter. That’s a movement that you, your sales team and your company can get behind.last_img read more

International friendlies: Argentina crush Mexico, Luis Abram helps Peru stun Brazil

first_imgInternational friendlies: Argentina crush Mexico, Luis Abram helps Peru stun BrazilMexico suffered their first defeat after 11 straight wins since January while Peru ended Brazil’s 17-match unbeaten run that began after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.advertisement Reuters New DelhiSeptember 11, 2019UPDATED: September 11, 2019 12:49 IST AP PhotoHIGHLIGHTSLautaro Martinez scored in the 17th, 22nd and 39th minutes for ArgentinaThe result was Mexico’s heaviest defeat since they lost 7-0 to Chile in 2016Meanwhile, Peru handed five-times world champion Brazil their first defeat in over a yearLautaro Martinez netted a hat-trick in just 40 minutes as Argentina blitzed Mexico 4-0 win in a friendly in San Antonio on Tuesday.The Internazionale striker took advantage of shocking defending to fire three angled shots past Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 17th, 22nd and 39th minutes.Leandro Paredes scored from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute.Argentina dropped the pace in the second period but still faced little resistance from an untidy Mexico side who did not manage a shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.Eight players were shown yellow cards in a match that rarely lived up to its ‘friendly’ billing, but the game will be remembered largely for the brilliant finishing that brought the 22-year-old Martinez his first international hat-trick.”I’m delighted and emotional,” he said. “One has to make a lot of sacrifices to get here and it’s not every day that you score three goals wearing this shirt.”The result was Mexico’s heaviest defeat since they lost 7-0 to Chile in 2016. It was also the first loss for coach Gerardo Martino, who had guided them to 11 straight wins since taking over in January.BRAZIL SUFFER 1ST DEFEAT IN OVER A YEARA late goal from Luis Abram gave Peru a 1-0 win over Brazil in Los Angeles on Tuesday and handed the five-times world champions their first defeat in over a year.Abram nipped in ahead of goalkeeper Ederson to nod home a free kick with six minutes remaining to end Brazil’s 17-match unbeaten run that began after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.advertisementBrazil, who beat Peru in the final of the Copa America just two months ago, started without Neymar, Dani Alves and Thiago Silva, all of whom were rested, and they looked like they missed their stalwarts.Although Richarlison was busy up front, forcing Pedro Gallese to tip one fierce shot round the post, Brazil never looked in full control of the game.Even the second half introduction of Neymar and attackers Vinicius Junior, Lucas Paqueta and Bruno Henrique, could not lift Brazil, who lost to Peru for just the fifth time in 46 games.”We had chances and they punished us from a dead ball situation,” said full back Fagner. “It’s a learning process and we’ll grow from this, defeats happen and we need to take what we can from it.”For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Mexico vs ArgentinaFollow Peru vs Brazil Nextlast_img read more

APTN opens the books on Peters reserve finds questionable payments INACs role

first_imgKenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsPeters First Nation’s three-member band council were allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars over a two-year period to operate a band with 12 homes on 131 hectares and little infrastructure.The money was much more than what band council claimed to Indigenous Affairs from 2013 to 2015 according to the First Nations Transparency Act.But the money just didn’t go to council.It was also allocated to members who are known to vote for council every two years. A close look at the finances over those years indicate that over 90 per cent of all expenditures to band members went to those who voted for council.This happened while the British Columbia reserve was in a bitter membership battle that continues to this day on a nation that receives around $300,000 in annual funding from Indigenous Affairs.But it doesn’t end there.Documents show questionable payments not only to the children of council but one of their mothers received tens of thousands in social assistance and allegedly didn’t qualify, while one councillor had over 10 jobs, an APTN National News investigation has uncovered.A recent audit uncovered that the band kept little paper trail of supporting documents for social assistance, and council members were signing cheques over to themselves, all of which the auditor said opened the band to the potential for “inappropriate payments” during the fiscal year of 2014/2015.Indigenous Affairs (INAC) approved the audit without question.More so, Indigenous Affairs funded the National Child Benefit program that year without any supporting documents, asking the band to submit details of how the money would be spent later.That was just one of the many programs led by Victoria Peters, a longtime councillor who is also – to name a few – the band manager, bookkeeper, income assistance administrator, community health representative, on the membership committee, accounts payable/receivable and social worker.Chief Norma Webb has refused to comment directly on any part of APTN’s investigation supported by confidential ledgers, audits, band council resolutions, internal emails, INAC documents and interviews with band members spanning more than three months.APTN has also been following two court cases involving Peters band council where band members are suing the council for breaching its fiduciary duty by allegedly misusing band money, not keeping records and appointing themselves to all the jobs.Peters First Nation along the Fraser River about 130 km east of Vancouver. Submitted.The band council, at the same time, is trying to enforce an injunction to have “confidential” documents returned to the office, alleging former employee Frances Genaille and her son, Andrew stole them and, in part, are using the documents against council to seek INAC to investigate the band council.“Andrew has disclosed confidential information regarding the Peters social assistance program that could only have been obtained from Peters’ files,” wrote the band council recently in its petition for an injunction. “INAC has requested an immediate review of Peters social assistance program as a result.”Andrew Genaille wrote to INAC March 20 alleging former councillor Leanne Peters’ mother, Donna Peters, had been receiving social assistance since 2011 and didn’t qualify.“Donna Peters owns her own home,” he wrote. “Donna Peters husband, Clifford Peters, already receives disability. Clifford Peters also receives a paycheque from Peters First Nations. Donna Peters is Leanne Peters mother, and sister in law to both Victoria Peters and Norma Webb.”Victoria Peters used that email to amend Peters’ petition for an injunction two weeks ago, that was first filed last November.APTN can confirm between 2012 and 2015 Donna Peters received all the social assistance funding – about $12,000 annually – based on the band council’s ledgers for those years. APTN can also confirm Clifford Peters received about $9,000 a year from the band during that time partially for odd jobs, like snow removal.When APTN called the home of Donna and Clifford Peters, Donna answered and quickly hung up when asked about the payments.Peters also refused to comment on the allegations. Webb first said she couldn’t comment because the documents were stolen, then suggested they may be fabricated and demanded to know APTN’s source of information.APTN informed Webb the ledgers showing the allocations were, at the very least, with their accountant who prepared them, as APTN has emails the accountant sent council during those years. The emails had digital copies of the ledgers as attachments.INAC was also told by another member of the band in March that she was aware that other people were being denied social assistance.“Due to all of the court proceeding in progress at the Band Level, this was used to deny access to the social program delivery at the request of Peters Band Members,” wrote Samantha Peters to INAC. “I would like it noted on record that Victoria is getting paid to deliver a program that nobody seems to have access to.”APTN is unaware of where Indigenous Affairs is with its investigation into the social assistance program but INAC has appointed a financial investigator in Ottawa to assist the Vancouver regional office.Samantha Peters has been a thorn in the side of council since 2012 when she first began fighting for 66 people to become members of the band. The majority had status through Peters but were not members and not has been approved for membership, including children of current band members.But it’s been a fight that started much earlier and has been happening since Peters got control over its membership through Section 10 of the Indian Act about 30 years ago.Council is accused of limiting membership since 1987, thus staying in power all these years as Peters band is basically one big family – everyone is related, yet don’t get along.It’s divided the nation, just not evenly as the one side has had the votes to stay in power leaving Samantha Peters’ side of the family, about 18 members, on the outside, as previously reported by APTN.In depth: Promise to dying mother sees daughter take on ‘rigged’ band council to bring her family homeRelated: Elder died wanting to be member of reserve she was born onA review of the ledgers between 2012 and 2015, show the lion’s share of funding those years went to members who are known to vote for council.In fact, in the 2014/15 fiscal year 93.1 per cent of funding, just under $500,000, went to council, their families and those who voted for them.The fiscal year before that it was 91.2 per cent of about $400,000 in funding.On top of the funding from INAC, Peters band also receives money for health and payments for hydro and forestry. APTN has learned the band council was able to draw from other revenue and trust accounts to make up for deficits, like in 2013-14 when it pulled about $285,000 from the accounts according to a band council resolution and an email from their accountant.Graph is based on the 2014/15 ledger belonging to Peters First Nation.Some members who voted for council are said, according to court documents, to allegedly received “questionable payments”.Andrew Genaille, a filmmaker and writer, and his sister Lisa Genaille, who is taking steps to start medical school, are suing the band for “misusing their powers” by allegedly appointing themselves to paid positions, refusing band members “equitable access” to resources and receiving inappropriate payments.Both were once close to the council and describe growing up in the band office as their mother, Frances Genaille, worked there for three decades as the assistant band administrator until late last year when she was fired. She is suing the band for wrongful dismissal.The siblings were so close to council that when it received 66 membership applications in 2013 council hired the siblings to review the applicants.Lisa and Andrew say when they got access to all the band’s files and they learned how the band was allegedly being operated.“The band’s archives and record keeping were done very poorly and were very disorganized,” Andrew alleges in court, saying he was given “unlimited access” to files.He tried to hold council accountable but it didn’t last long.“Once I began questioning Victoria Peters about questionable payments being made,” Andrew details in an affidavit, “she would not provide answers to any of my questions and I was no longer allowed access to the archives.”Those questionable payments allegedly include money going to Victoria Peters, as a review of the ledgers show she was allocated much more than what she claimed to INAC in the band’s annual audits.Victoria Peters claimed about $90,000 in salary and $8,000 in expenses but a review of the ledger that year shows she was allocated closer to $170,000, while Webb claimed $35,000 and was allocated $63,000. Leanne Peters claimed $12,000 and was allocated $17,000.Graph is based on the 2014/15 ledger belonging to Peters First Nation.In the 2013/14 fiscal year, Victoria Peters claimed $88,000 while the ledgers shows she allocated $142,000. Webb claimed $24,000 and was allocated $53,000. Leanne claimed $6,000 and was allocated $9,000.Various programs Victoria Peters was in charge of saw her collect large sums but when asked about them Victoria Peters refused to respond.Graph is based on the 2013/14 ledger belonging to Peters First Nation.One of the questions was about allocations made to one of her children, a minor – one was for hundreds of dollars for “rent” and $6,000 under the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program and another $15,000 was allocated to Victoria from a total budget of $31,000.APTN has been told there is nothing to suggest the child qualified for the funding and Victoria Peters refused to comment when asked.Victoria Peters also controlled a large budget co-funded by the First Nations Health Authority and INAC.In 2014/15, the band council received about $140,000 in funding under the FNHA and $70,000 was allocated to Victoria Peters, while the majority of the rest was allocated to people who vote for council and just under $8,000 went to families known to vote against council.Victoria Peters would not respond to questions about her qualifications to hold the position or why she was claiming so much money from the programs.That same year the Peters band had its books audited by a firm in Chilliwack, B.C. who found a list of issues with Victoria Peters’ bookkeeping.“Supporting documents for social assistance and payroll transactions are weak,” wrote the firm MNP after an audit of the bands books. “Cheque requisition forms should be used to show evidence of council approval for social assistance and payroll expenditures.”MNP also found that social assistance reporting to INAC was not consistent with “actual expenditures incurred.”Program reimbursement forms and invoices didn’t have signed authorization of chief and council and complete budget information was not prepared for all band operations.“Expense approval process and supporting documentation is weak which could result in inappropriate payments,” wrote MNP. “In addition, insufficient processes and controls results in increased audit work.”MNP also had a problem with people receiving payments from the band that had cheque-signing authority, which was Victoria Peters and Chief Norma Webb.“Recipients of payments who have cheque signing authority should not sign cheques made out to themselves,” the auditor wrote. “Cheques should be signed by authorized individuals who are not also the payee on the cheque.”Meanwhile, the two elders on Peters say are not surprised by APTN’s investigation.“We’ve known this for 30 years,” said Robert Peters Jr., whose son is currently before the Federal Court of Canada asking the court to appoint him as a member as council rejected him.“It’s just awful how they treat people.”Robert Wilmer Peters. APTN photo: Luke Smith.His brother, Ed Peters, 74, is the eldest and his children are not members either as their applications were part of the 66 that were denied. They are members of the Seabird Island First Nation just across the Fraser River.“We just want it to be fair for everyone,” said Ed Peters, adding he believes council is fueled by “greed.”He also said jobs Victoria Peters holds, and all others held by Webb and former councillor Leanne Peters, were never posted to for everyone to apply.“My daughter is the financial advisor for Seabird. She could run the finances at Peters but she never got the chance,” he said.Samantha Peters also had to look for work at a different nearby First Nation where she works in the forestry sector of the band. Peters has logging rights to land and Samantha said she’s never been approached to help the band.“On more than one occasion I have openly extended an invitation to chief and council to help with negotiations, agreements, forestry, resources,” she said. “I never heard back from them.”She said there are a number of qualified people from Peters with various expertise but are not included.“They use their own personal discretion too often and it’s unprofessional and it costs the band money,” said Samantha. “This is what they learned and it’s dangerous.”kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

Mano insists no room to divide the country again

“The discussions (on the new Constitution) are taking place in a democratic manner,” he said. However he says it is clear the country cannot be divided again and this will not happen even through the new Constitution which is currently being discussed. Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan says there is no room for anyone to divide the country once again.Ganesan told reporters today that some members of the joint opposition are claiming there is an attempt to divide the country. The Minister also said that some members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party who are in the Government are giving fuel to the comments being made by the opposition.Ganesan says Sri Lanka Freedom Party members must tell the public they are working closely with the United National Party to address National issues, instead of making comments detrimental to that process. (Colombo Gazette)

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store

iTunes Movies U.S. charts for week ending July 21, 2019:iTunes Movies US Charts:1. Shazam!2. Long Shot3. Apollo 11 (2019)4. A Vigilante5. UglyDolls6. Alita: Battle Angel7. After8. Breakthrough9. Little (2019)10. Aquaman (2018)iTunes Movies US Charts – Independent:1. After2. Plus One3. Hotel Mumbai4. Rust Creek5. I Got the Hook-Up 26. Sword of Trust7. The Quake8. Lady Bird9. Iron Sky: The Coming Race10. Bottom of the 9th__(copyright) 2019 Apple Inc.By The Associated Press, The Associated Press

Antivaxxer paid compensation by Cardiff University after being kicked off healthcare course

A summary of the case was published on Monday by the OIA, as part of a series of “public interest” rulings. A Cardiff University spokesperson said that they cannot comment on individual cases, but added that they “fully co-operate with all OIA investigations and comply with any recommendations”.“We recognise the importance of the OIA’s role as ombudsman in the higher education sector and proactively advise our students that they are able to take a case to the OIA at the conclusion of any internal procedures.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. An anti-vaxxer was paid compensation by Cardiff University after being kicked off their course for their beliefs.The student, who was studying a healthcare course, was awarded £9,342 by the university after complaining to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), the highest body that reviews complaints in higher education, about their treatment.They were told to leave the course a couple of months after starting, when concerns were raised about them carrying out practical work which triggered a “fitness to practise” process.“The committee concluded that allowing the student to continue on the course would put their health and the health of patients at risk,” the OIA said.“The student was withdrawn from the course but permitted to transfer to a non-professional programme.” The student had filled in an occupational health questionnaire prior to starting the course, where they had stated that they had not had any vaccinations  and would not consent to being vaccinated in the future.Since Cardiff University administrators did not read through the questionnaire until after the student had been accepted on to the course, the OIA ruled that the student’s complaint was “partly justified”.The OIA ordered Cardiff University to pay the student £9,342 rather than the £5,000 it had originally offered to pay out.   read more

Can HighCapacity SodiumIon Compete With Rechargeable Lithium Batteries

first_imgStay on target Lithium-ion batteries are the bane of electronics’ existence: expensive, resource-hogging, and energy intensive, they aren’t very sustainable in the long run.But sodium may be.At least, scientists at the University of Birmingham hope so.Researchers are swapping one element for another, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.Sodium is inexpensive and can be found in seawater, making it “virtually limitless.” On the other hand, it is a larger ion than lithium, and may not fit well into our cherished pocket-sized devices.It can’t, for example, squeeze between the carbon layers of a lithium-ion battery’s graphite anode.So, the team needed to find new materials to help sodium-ion compete with lithium for capacity, charging speed, energy, and power density.In 2016, senior Birmingham fellow Andrew Morris predicted how phosphorus would behave as an electrode. (Spoiler alert: it forms helices at intermediate stages of charging.)Now, in collaboration with Lauren Marbella and Clare Grey from the University of Cambridge, Morris was able to verify and improve on those predictions.Based on their research, sodium provides a volume of charge carriers seven times that of graphite for the same weight—good news for the future of high-capacity sodium-ion anodes.“This is a huge win for computational materials science,” Morris said in a statement. “It’s amazing how powerful combined theory-experimental approaches are.”You’re telling me.A soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal, sodium is an alkali metal; it is the sixth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and exists in numerous minerals like feldspars, sodalite, and rock salt (NaCl).But can it compare to sulfur—the proposed secret to next-generation battery technology?By adding sulfur to lithium, manufacturers can create a power unit that’s cheaper, lighter, more environmentally friendly, and able to hold three to five times the charge of lithium-ion alone.Samsung is already working on “graphene ball” technology for higher capacity and faster charging. Meanwhile, researchers may have found a way to prevent lithium-ion battery fires. Keep up to date on all things battery-related here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Samsung Breakthrough Will Lead to 100-Watt Fast Charging PhonesNissan’s Recycled EV Batteries Power ‘Off-Grid’ Adventures last_img read more

Reactive Foundation Launched under the Linux Foundation

first_imgOn September 10, the Linux Foundation announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation, a community of leaders established to accelerate technologies for building the next generation of networked applications. The foundation is made up of Alibaba, Facebook, Lightbend, Netifi and Pivotal as initial members, and includes the successful open source Reactive Streams and RSocket specifications, along with programming language implementations.Reactive programming uses a message-driven approach to achieve the resiliency, scalability and responsiveness that is required for today’s networked cloud-native applications, independent of their underlying infrastructure. The Reactive Foundation establishes a formal open governance model and neutral ecosystem for supporting open source reactive programming projects.”With the rise of cloud-native computing and modern application development practices, reactive programming addresses challenges with message streams and will be critical to adoption,” said Michael Dolan, VP of strategic programs at the Linux Foundation. “With the Reactive Foundation, the industry now has a neutral home for supporting the open source projects enabling reactive programming.”Arsalan Farooq, CEO of Netifi, believes the Reactive Foundation will help achieve ambitious goals for RSocket. “We hope to see the modern network protocol RSocket replace HTTP as the lingua franca of microservices and distributed systems.”Reactive systems have become increasingly common since Lightbend published The Reactive Manifesto in 2014 and created the first JVM version of the open source Reactive Streams in 2015. Reactive Streams is an initiative to provide a standard for asynchronous stream processing with non-blocking back pressure. Reactive streams is a set of four interfaces (publisher, subscriber, subscription, and processor), a specification for their interactions, and a technology compatibility kit (TCK) to aid and verify implementations. Crucially, it provides the assurance that connecting publishers, processors, and subscribers—no matter who implemented them—will provide the flow control needed.RSocket is an open source protocol that builds upon reactive streams to provide application flow control over the network to prevent outages and increase resiliency of applications. It is designed to support reactive programming and today’s modern microservices-based and cloud-native applications as a high-performance replacement of traditional HTTP.RSocket allows the use of a single connection, through which messages are passed as streams of data. It enables long-lived streams across different transport connections, which is particularly useful for mobile to server communication where network connections drop, switch, and reconnect frequently.During a joint presentation at QCon London 2019, Robert Roeser, CIO and co-founder at Netifi, Ondrej Lehecka, software engineer at Facebook, and Andy Shi, developer advocate at Alibaba, showed how RSocket can be used to solve real-world architectural challenges.Roeser described how, when he was working at Netflix, they needed a protocol to make it easier to build distributed systems, and for applications to communicate in a consistent way across a network. The result was Rsocket, which provides the communication model, a network protocol, and flow control.Regarding the Reactive Foundation and the inclusion of RSocket, Shi said, “RSocket is designed to shine in the era of microservice and IoT devices. We believe the projects built on top of RSocket protocol and reactive streams in general will disrupt the landscape of microservices architecture. The Reactive Foundation is the hub of these exciting projects.”For additional information, InfoQ has several years of news, presentations and articles about Reactive Streams and RSocket.last_img read more

FaceUp Associations Now

first_imgAfter reviewing a number of portfolios, Lower chose Rohde based on his “use of type and the monochromatic aspect of it,” she says. While the magazine generally opts for color-intense covers, says Lower, every once in a while it breaks away from this; for example, with its November 2008 issue featuring an embossed Braille cover.For the August cover, “We gave Mike [Rohde] two directions he could take the design: the first was to do something about visual thinking, and the second was to do a meta cover on what it would be like to create an Associations Now cover in sketchnote form,” says Lower. The two decided upon a visual thinking collage comprised of the tools and notes in sketchnote style.The first step was for Rohde to sketch a rough pencil design, which he did in a Moleskine squared notebook. He then scanned it in and sent it to Lower for review. The next step was  creating the cover in actual size on a sheet of heavy paper, laying out elements like the logo, headlines and table of contents. Producing the cover’s creamy background color in Photoshop was particularly tricky, Rohde says, as “it’s easy to lean too much toward yellow or red.”As part of the magazine’s recent standardization, Lower considered keeping the mechanical (non-sketchnote) logo. However, afraid it would impact the design look, she ultimately opted for Rohde’s sketch. “I think it’s bold enough that everyone gets it,” she adds. DESIGNER’S COMMENTS “This cover, for all its complexity, is in reality far too simple. Defiantly archaic, there is little here that speaks to the present: black and white and without nary a nod to anything digital, this sketch feels like a blueprint for some far more fascinating image. It is busy to a point of distraction and while visual allusion as concept is good, this lacks old school charm: it simply looks dated. Typographically, the hand lettering overwhelms the concept leaving it without irony or intrigue.”Randy Dunbar  | Creative Director | RandyDunbar.com“In the broadest sense, I think it’s a good idea and executed well. However, it’s trying to cover too much ground, and the lack of focus undermines what could have been a striking cover. I’ve had to wade through too many platitudes about erasers, Post-it notes, and redundant calls to action (I get it: it’s fun, and erasers are good). To focus on this ‘fun,’ they could have made a cool drawing as the focus of the cover; instead, I see pens and a pretty generic guy running. The biggest crime is the absence of color. Imagine a really fantastic doodle, of, say, butterflies or lightning bolts or even light bulbs—anything to convey the idea of imagination and inspiration—and imagine it in color. Even if they really wanted to be sticklers about the sketching, the colors could simply be highlighter colors (pink, yellow).”Jason Treat | Art Director | The Atlantic MAGSTATSIssue: August 2009Frequency: Monthly Launched: October 2005Circ: 22,500Publishing Company: American Society of Association Executives & The Center for Association LeadershipEditor-in-Chief: Lisa JunkerArt Director: Beth LowerDoodles and napkin Sketches are fun but do they work for a magazine cover design?When Associations Now turned to illustrator Mike Rohde to create its August issue cover, they relinquished some creative control. “For a typical issue, we would hire an illustrator to create a cover concept that we brainstormed, or work directly with them,” says art director Beth Lower. But for this, Lower decided to bring on one of the illustrators referenced in Mark Athitakis’ cover story, “Do You Need Me to Draw You a Picture?” last_img read more

Schools Serving Military Families Strive to Make Children Feel Welcome

first_imgAs schools across the country prepare to track the academic progress of military kids under education legislation passed in December, a number of districts already have programs in place to support the children of service members.Silver Strand Elementary School in the Coronado Unified School District, outside of San Diego, has a full-time military family life counselor and eight part-time specialists who work closely with small groups of students on reading, writing and math, reported EdSource. The tutors are funded by federal grants; the counselor is paid for by the Navy.“We want students to feel, first and foremost, welcome and secure,” said Principal Bill Cass.Five other schools in Southern California are part of the Welcoming Practices consortium, a DOD initiative of the University of Southern California aimed at helping schools develop support systems for military children. The schools have adopted practices such as prominently displaying military family photographs and establishing a welcome center to ease the registration process for newly arrived military kids.At Chula Vista’s Veterans Elementary School, a mobile app developed by the consortium helps military families connect to programs and after-school activities run by their school district, the community and DOD, according to the story.Starting in the 2017-18 school year, students from military families will be assigned an identification number that will allow schools to monitor test scores, graduation rates and other results.About 60,000 military dependents live in California, but in many cases school districts don’t always know which students are from military families or how to address the challenges facing them. The problem is especially prevalent in “outlier districts where there isn’t a concentration of military-connected children,” said Kate Wren Gavlak, chair of the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Haritha Haram held at Vanasthali park

first_imgVanasthalipuram: MLA Devireddy Sudheer Reddy and corporator Koppula Vittal Reddy took part in Haritha Haram programme held at Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park on Wednesday. They called upon everyone to raise plants on the premises of their houses.”By planting saplings and raising them, we will be providing pollution-free environment to the next generations,” they urged.last_img