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10 Things You Should Never Do When Starting A New Job

first_img 2.4★ 3.0★ Congratulations! You’ve finally secured a new job, and now you want to start off on the right foot, making a positive impression on your new boss and colleagues. You want to be careful not to make any career-ending mistakes. So, what should you NEVER do when starting a new job? Here are 10 things to avoid:1. Don’t show up late.You learned this in first grade, when the teacher began keeping track of tardies: Being on time matters. Especially in a new job. In fact, showing up late on the first day (or even in the first few weeks) is guaranteed to make a negative impression. To ensure you’ll be on time, test drive the route to your new job before you start so you’ll know how long it takes to get there. Factor in extra time if there’s traffic, construction, or other reasons to expect a delay.2. Don’t dress unprofessionally.Before starting your job, talk with the hiring manager or human resources professional to make sure you understand what constitutes acceptable attire for your new workplace. There’s nothing more embarrassing than showing up in a getup that doesn’t fly with your supervisors — and making an unprofessional first impression.3. Don’t blow off orientation.Many companies require new employees to go through an orientation or training process before starting a new position. While it may be tempting to skip these sessions or treat them lightly, don’t do it. Even if your training managers won’t be your direct supervisors, they are watching you. Avoid any behavior that could prompt a training manager to report your behavior back to your boss and team members.Starting a New Job? Here’s How to Evaluate Company Culture4. Don’t expect hand-holding.No matter where you’re working, there are certain processes, tools, and forms that make up the standard operating procedures of your company.  You may have been introduced to these through a very organized, systematic orientation, or you may feel like you’re expected to absorb them by osmosis. If you were formally informed, “consider yourself fortunate,” writes Heather Huhman, Glassdoor career and workplace expert. “If not, don’t feel shortchanged or frustrated. Instead, take initiative and master the basics on your own.”5. Don’t ask co-workers to do your work.It’s understandable that you may need help or guidance during your first few weeks at a new job, and asking co-workers for assistance or just to answer questions can be perfectly acceptable. But there’s no quicker way to make enemies than to ask or expect your new co-workers to do your job for you. Remember, you were hired because managers believed in your ability to get the job done. Ask for help if you need it, but believe in yourself and prove that you can do the work yourself.6. Don’t take too many personal calls.The time you spend at work is for, well, work. Your employer isn’t paying you to chat with your girlfriend or even your kids’ babysitter. If friends or family members are prone to call you during working hours, remind them before you start your new job that you will now be working during certain hours and request that they avoid calling you during those hours. Make a personal policy of limiting personal phone calls and texts to your lunch break, except for during emergencies.7. Don’t ask for more money.Most likely, you and your employer agreed to a certain salary during the hiring process. So don’t change your mind before you even show up at work. If you agreed to the salary offered, be satisfied with that. Don’t expect more money (and don’t ask for more) until you’ve worked long enough to prove your value to the employer.5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My New Job8. Don’t try to change things.Of course you want to make a good impression as soon as you arrive at a new job, and show your new employer they made the right choice in hiring you. However, be cautious of suggesting new policies or strategies during your first few weeks, as it may not be the best way to demonstrate you are a team player. Plus, it could prompt some of your new co-workers to think twice about you as the right person for the job. At first, take time to really understand and learn your job, then over time, you can make suggestions and changes as situations arise, and as your input and expertise is called upon.9. Don’t be dishonest.In a new job, there will always be a learning curve, and effective supervisors understand that. Inevitably, you’ll be asked to do something or expected to know something that you don’t yet know or know how to do. Rather than saying you can complete the task on your own, be honest. “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know,’” Huhman writes. “Honesty is a huge differentiator. Simply look people in the eye and say unabashedly and with confidence, “I don’t know. Let me find out and get back to you. Then do it.”10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.You may be so eager to start your new job that you don’t want to stop and ask questions. But by skipping even the most basic questions, you are setting yourself up for failure. Rather than making a mistake that could cost the company time and money, ask questions about everything you need to know, from what your job responsibilities are to who can help you with Internet or phone problems, to how you get paid and much more.By following these tips from Glassdoor, you’ll be on your way to keeping your job and impressing your boss and co-workers. 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Maintenance Mechanic – Pizza Dough Manufacturing Lamonica’s Pizza Dough Company Vernon, CA 23 hours ago 23h 4.5★ Nursing: Medical Surgical MedPro Healthcare Staffing Los Angeles, CA Sous Chef – The Henry Fox Restaurant Concepts Los Angeles, CA 23 hours ago 23h 4.1★ Nurse Practitioner – Part-Time Matrix Medical Network Los Angeles, CA 3.5★ 3.6★ Regional Human Resources Manager-Employee Relations PetVet Care Centers Los Angeles, CA 2.5★ 23 hours ago 23hcenter_img Find Jobs Near You 23 hours ago 23h Security Professional Reception – Excellent Opportunity Allied Universal Los Angeles, CA RN, Registered Nurse Kindred Healthcare Los Angeles, CA Available Jobs in Los Angeles 3.8★ CDL-A Truck Driver Heartland Express Los Angeles, CA Speech-Language Pathologist – Los Angeles, California Light Street Special Education Solutions Los Angeles, CA 2.6★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 3.0★ 23 hours ago 23h See more jobs in Los Angeles, CA Installer WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems Los Angeles, CAlast_img read more

9 Great Jobs for Political Science Majors

first_img 23 hours ago 23h Administartive Assistant Sentry Mechanical Pittsburgh, PA 3.5★ 23 hours ago 23h 5.0★ 5. Program Coordinator Average Base Pay: $47,125Number of Open Jobs: 78,414Description: Non-profits, charities or foundations that rely on government funding need politically-savvy program coordinators to oversee divisions and help advance their goals. As a program coordinator, you would work with staff — and within budgets — to ensure the success and implementation of specific programs.See Open Jobs Pest Control Technician United Pest Solutions Seattle, WA 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 4. Political Science ProfessorAverage Base Pay: $52,581Number of Open Jobs: 518Description: You know what this job is about because you just snagged your degree! A political science professor teaches various aspects of political science to college students.See Open Jobs Interior Designer – St. Louis & Dallas Oculus Saint Louis, MO 23 hours ago 23h 7. Research Analyst Average Base Pay: $62,153Number of Open Jobs: 27,895Description: As a research analyst, you would examine data and generate conclusions — and, by working in the public sector, you could apply your knowledge of government and politics to help various businesses advance their goals through your research and analysis.See Open Jobs LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center Chicago, IL 4.7★ 23 hours ago 23h Director, Advanced Technology Policy General Motors United States Registered Nurse (RN) – Charge Nurse – $7,000 Sign On Bonus EmpRes Healthcare Management Gardnerville, NV N/A 4.5★ 6. Public Relations Specialist Average Base Pay: $58,360Number of Open Jobs: 3,257Description: Public relations specialists are responsible for getting media attention for their clients by writing press releases, holding press conferences, hosting events and more. With a political science major, you might work for a government agency, legislator or lobby group in this capacity.See Open Jobs 23 hours ago 23h 2.5★ You’ve just earned your political science degree — congratulations! And if you’re wondering what your next step should be, we’re here with several perfect — and occasionally surprising — options for your first job. Here are nine jobs you might want to get with your new degree.1. Government Affairs Director Average Base Pay: $105,996Number of Open Jobs: 896Description: As a government affairs director, you would help companies understand and adapt to regulations and government initiatives, as well as lobby government about new or proposed laws. Your understanding of government’s inner-workings would be key here.See Open Jobs 23 hours ago 23h 3.4★ 23 hours ago 23h Hot New Jobs For You 2.8★ Service Advisor Prime Motor Group Saco, ME 23 hours ago 23h Deli Associate F&M Deli & Restaurant Mount Laurel, NJ Registered Nurse Supervisor RN Waterbury Gardens Nursing and Rehab Waterbury, CT 3. Policy AnalystAverage Base Pay: $67,691Number of Open Jobs: 14,458Description: A policy analyst researches policy initiatives, then presents arguments for and against those initiatives based on that research and critical thinking. And their arguments about policy initiatives could help others advance or thwart those initiatives.See Open Jobs 2. Legislative Assistant Average Base Pay: $48,037Number of Open Jobs: 547Description: Legislative assistants work with elected officials (think: senators, assembly members and representatives at all levels of government) to help those legislators perform their jobs to the best of their ability. You might communicate with constituents, research issues, survey residents or officials and prepare briefings, along with myriad other duties.See Open Jobs 9. Social Media Manager Average Base Pay: $55,199Number of Open Jobs: 13,370Description: Social media managers make sure their clients put their best foot forward on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With your political savvy, you could help government officials disseminate important information, such as proposed legislation and new regulations, and interact with constituents on social media platforms.See Open Jobs 3.1★ N/A 8. AttorneyAverage Base Pay: $117,188Number of Open Jobs: 10,861Description: To be an attorney, you would need to go to law school — but with that degree, you could work with legislators and government officials to write bills and legislation. You might also litigate on their behalf, helping to defend their political initiatives.See Open Jobs RN, Registered Nurse – OP Chemotherapy CHRISTUS Health Houston, TX View More Jobslast_img read more

Man Utd boss Mourinho meets Shaw for fresh crunch talks

first_imgManchester United boss Jose Mourinho has held fresh talks with Luke Shaw over his Old Trafford future.The Sun says many expect Shaw to leave Manchester United after struggling to earn Mourinho’s trust last season.But Mourinho is now ready to give him an Old Trafford lifeline.It is claimed that the Portuguese sat down with the 21-year-old and told him he has the ability to be the club’s left-back for the next decade.The sudden u-turn could be because of the lack of players available in his position.last_img read more

Juventus GM Marotta admits Chelsea target Alex Sandro could leave

first_imgJuventus GM Beppe Marotta concedes Alex Sandro could leave.The fullback is being linked with a move to Chelsea.“A substantial offer has arrived,” said Marotta.“We have no intention of selling anyone, but if a player decides to leave, as has happened in previous years, then at the end of the day he has to go, because we don’t keep anyone against their will.“But at the moment there are no such situations and I hope nobody will leave.”last_img

​Former Man Utd midfielder Ji-Sung Park humbled by Old Trafford admiration

first_imgJi-Sung Park has expressed his appreciation at still being adored by the Manchester United faithful.Park played for Manchester United between 2005 and 2012, and the ex-South Korean international managed to earn cult hero status at Old Trafford for his committed displays for the Red Devils.The 36-year-old recently returned to Old Trafford during Michael Carrick’s testimonial and he was given a rapturous welcome by the United faithful.He said: “I really appreciate that they still sing my song. I’m really happy to hear that song. I am still an ambassador for the club and really enjoy seeing the fans across the world.”I know we have had a little bit of a struggle for a period of time after Sir Alex but we are getting back to our level and I’m really looking forward to the future.”We won the European trophy and the League Cup last season and hopefully we’ll keep on doing well. Now the expectation is high to bring back the league title for next season so I say just keep supporting Manchester United and enjoy our moments to be back to our normal level.”last_img read more

​Leeds purchase back Elland Road

first_imgLeeds United has confirmed the acquisition of its Elland Road home by Greenfield Investment Pte Ltd, an Aser Group company and parent company of Leeds United Football Club Limited, reports www.fcbusiness.co.ukThe Old Peacock Ground has been Leeds’ home since 1919 and the announcement will see the stadium return to the club for the first time since it was sold in 2004, during a period of financial difficulty.Speaking on the acquisition, club Chairman Andrea Radrizzani, said: “Today is an important day in our history and a proud day for me and my team.”When I met with both management and supporters during my first few months at the club, the purchase of Elland Road was very high on their list of priorities and I’m delighted to be able to announce that we have completed that process today.”Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake also commented on the purchase of Elland Road, stating: “It is fantastic news that the club have confirmed the buy-back of Elland Road Stadium.”This is an extremely positive step in the right direction for everyone associated with Leeds United and especially the club’s tremendous and loyal fans. “As we prepare for the new season to begin in August, I very much welcome the intent being shown by Andrea to move the club forward with real purpose and ambition.”last_img read more

The Future of Online Fundraising

first_imgI received an email from a college student asking if he could interview me about ePhilanthropy and the future of online fundraising.The questions gave me an opportunity to think creatively about the application of some web 2.0 concepts, such as tagging and feeds, and how they can improve our practices.His questions and my answers follow.> * How did Internet change the way nonprofits fundraise?Maybe a better question would be, “HAS the Internet changed the way nonprofits fundraise?” Because for a lot of organizations; it still hasn’t.There are certainly plenty of new tools, but most nonprofits (outside of universities and hospitals) are traditionally very slow to adopt new technologies. This is for a few reasons, including: budget, being “people focused,” lack of staff/resources, and budget (did I mention budget?).Still, for those organizations that are on the ball, technically speaking, it has broadened their tools for appeals. The most obvious direct items are “Donate Now” buttons and email. The less direct way is using the ‘net for promotion, communications, and visibility.Email can be used for a direct appeal, or for newsletters with indirect asks. But, again, limited budget and staff to implement these has kept most smaller and medium sized organizations from fully realizing the potential benefit of these tools.I mention budget a lot. Email is cheap to use, and scales cheaply, but can be costly to implement effectively (opt-in systems to avoid spamming, software or ASP’s beyond the basic MS Outlook, and the staff to actually manage lists and write the messages).> * Is traditional fundraising still part of the fundraising mix?Most definitely so. For the reasons listed above (slow implementation, budget, etc.), but also because of human nature.While online tools are fabulous for meeting new donors, and younger donors, there is nothing that can ever compare to the personal touch of the in-person ask.Even snail mail has a place, as it’s far easier to make an emotional connection with a photo you can hold in your hand than with an email that may or may not properly display images based on the user’s software settings and operating system.In the area of Foundation grants, the worlds are merging somewhat as more and more Foundations accept online applications. It is traditional fundraising in terms of the skills required for completing the applications, but they are adapted to the online world.For that matter, you could say that all online fundraising is just an adaptation of traditional methods. It’s the medium that has changed – or expanded – not the message or the appeal.> * The future of online fundraising?More effective integration of cause and effect using tags and feeds. For example, it’s entirely feasible for a news website to automatically match stories (IE: flood in India) to donation opportunities (IE: International Red Cross).They do this now, manually, with major disasters. But with proper use of tagging, RSS, etc., it’s entirely possible that even “minor” local stories (IE: car crash kills drunk driver) can automatically linked to local causes (IE: local United Way or MADD or AA chapter).What I’m saying is really, technology gives us the opportunities to be more pro-active and less passive in our efforts. Rather than waiting for a potential supporter to come to our web site or sign up for our email newsletter, we will be able to find them based on what they’re reading and hook directly into their online experience.> * Why are many nonprofit are still waiting with their online fundraising?Money, or the perception of no money. While many of these tools are low or even no cost (use of blogspot.com as a communications platform), they are loath to give even the impression that they are wasting resources.Example: An organization I know of that was given very nice, high quality office chairs from a defunct dot-com. They were not allowed to use them because it gave the impression that they were extravagant. Many nonprofits live in this poverty mind-set.Any assets must go to the clients. Anything that doesn’t directly benefit them is seen as a waste. What they don’t see is that a small investment in online tools will create a return that can be used for mission and services.> * What will make a website a good ePhilanthropy site?See “the future” question above. It’s the integration of information and ask. Don’t make the potential donor search for the means to give.Have the opportunity linked directly into the inspiration. This is the answer.Source: http://nonprofitconsultant.blogspot.com/2006/12/future-of-online-fundraising.htmllast_img read more

Fistula on PBS Religion & Ethics

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 16, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Hamlin Fistula Hospital, which we’ve written about on the blog before, was featured recently on PBS’ Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. The piece includes an interview with EngenderHealth’s Dr. Yetnayet Asfaw who discusses some of the challenges addressing fistula and women’s health in general:Eight-four percent [of Ethiopians] live in the rural population, so the majority are rural women, and for rural women the issues are many. Women don’t have access to education. There are also several cultural issues, such as harmful traditional practices. Female genital mutilation is one, early marriage is another.The full video and transcript are available here.Share this:last_img read more

Weekend Reading

first_imgPosted on October 21, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week on the MHTF blog:Josh Nesbit wrote about a sense of urgency for the maternal health communityAnn Blanc believes we need to move beyond technical issues in maternal healthMeg Wirth discussed the “maternal health movement“Emily Puckart summarized the Maternal Health Dialogue SeriesTim Thomas provided an overview of the Buzz Meeting and explained what’s to comeSome reading for the weekend:Climate change as a threat to healthMonitoring and evaluation of mhealth projectsThe Guardian on the the latest malaria vaccine trialsImproving maternal health in Pakistan through equity and ICTShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Freelancer Jill Carroll tells her story in CSM

first_imgIn the Christian Science Monitor, and syndicated in papers throughout the country, journalist Jill Carroll writes about being held hostage in Iraq earlier this year. Carroll was freelancing for the Monitor in Baghdad, and in the first installment of a multi-part story, she tells of her kidnapping. Peter Grier, in alternating sections, writes about her family and colleagues’ concurrent experiences.Following Carroll’s abduction, in an attempt to increase its influence in bringing her home, the Monitor made her a full-time staffer. Freelancers Union applauded the paper’s decision to extend any protections it was able to offer, including health insurance.Related: A June 2006 piece from U.S. News & World Report on freelance journalists in Iraq argues that news organizations’ reluctance to support non-embedded journalists–especially freelancers–is hurting coverage.last_img read more

It’s not just New York: freelancing in Wisconsin

first_img“Tax day was Sept. 15 for some of us,” writes Bill Berry in The Capital Times, out of Madison, Wisconsin. As freelancers know, another deadline for quarterly estimated taxes just passed. Berry’s article is a timely reminder that that many of the issues that matter to independent workers cut across geographic and industry lines. His laundry list of tax gripes includes the self-employment tax, social security, and Medicare, which freelancers pay in a higher proportion than other workers. It’s no surprise to us–though it might be to those unfamiliar with freelancing–that Berry names independent workers’ number one challenge as lack of affordable insurance. Freelancers Union would like to help change that. We have plans to bring insurance to other states, and we’re advocating for fairer taxes. If you’re not a member yet–especially if you live outside New York–please join us. We need as many voices as we can get.last_img read more

Make a Call to End Unpaid Wages!

first_imgNext week you have an opportunity to help end unpaid wages in New York. On April 28th and 29th we’re going to reach out to other members who haven’t signed up to end unpaid wages and ask them to get involved. Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before; we provide a quick training, scripts, phone lists, and a phone so you can dial with ease. We also promise some snacks and refreshments as well. Sign up here. If you’re in the 77% of our members who have been denied payment for work they’ve finished, come out next week and help end this injustice once and for all. Join us next week!last_img read more

Shift your vision: Adapting to the freelancer’s life

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.When I was contemplating leaving my full-time job to become a freelancer, I thought all I really needed to make it work was time. And, of course, I expected to have plenty of time once the nine-to-five was no longer a priority. My plans were to have my newly rebranded website up in a couple of weeks and to have new clients knocking on my virtual door in another two weeks. I thought I’d be able to keep producing a ton of good work constantly and successfully, without any hindrances, because now I had all this time on my hands.Needless to say, that didn’t happen.As I struggled to make real progress in those early days of building my business up from the ground, I realized something vital—time is not the only necessary ingredient in the recipe for success. I was missing one of the most important tools I needed to go forward in my new venture: a mindset appropriate for the life of a freelancer.Losing the Employee MindsetAs we go through life, certain ideas take hold of our minds and create a set of attitudes that help us interpret or respond to life in a certain way. After years of working as an employee, I’d collected my own set of attitudes that, whether I want to or not, created a mindset fit for an employee. When I decided to head out on my own to build the freelancing company of my dreams, I unwittingly took this mindset with me and tried to use my preconceptions to help me with the task at hand. Of course, it didn’t work. I was like a handyman trying to use a plastic toy hammer to drive a nail into a wall—not totally impossible, just not very effective.It started to dawn on me that there were certain ideas that needed to be thrown out and other ideas that needed to be adapted in order to make my freelancing efforts truly successful and enjoyable. Of course, not everything I’ve learned before is now inapplicable. In fact, most ideas are still as valuable as before. However, there are certain differences between working as an employee in a company and freelancing that need to be addressed, understood, and accepted.These ideas are different for every person, as every person processes information and experiences differently. For me, it comes down to these three concepts:IndividualityIndividuality is the fuel of soloprenuership. This is the one idea that still keeps blowing my mind: Personal preferences not only matter in a small business, but are one of its main sources of energy. This idea strikingly contradicts the mindset of an employee. In a company of any size, the boss’s preference is what ultimately matters and the ability of an employee to achieve their management’s vision is what’s most prized. However, in a small creative business, the owner’s vision is what drives it forward. No one else truly cares about this business as much as the business owner, nor are they able to see the end goals as well. A soloprenuership is most often a one-man show; therefore, it’s inherently connected to that entrepreneur’s personality, goals, work ethic, and even morals. I found I needed to consciously adapt this new thought for myself, as I kept feeling I needed someone’s permission or approval to go forward with my ideas.Funny, right? It was, and sometimes still is, counterintuitive to trust my gut in certain choices I need to make about the overall direction of my business, strategies, and creativity. However, the more I work on establishing my company, the more I understand that my individuality plays a key role in its health. And it’s a wonderfully freeing thought.TimeYour time can be more your own. While both a responsibility and a perk, having the ability to set your own schedule is another fundamental aspect of being a freelancer. In contrast, an employee’s week is mainly governed by five eight-hour sets of work time. These work times are strictly kept and cannot be altered, except for emergencies, appointments, or other special circumstances. The employee has to work with the schedule instead of the schedule working with the employee.I have the duty and the privilege of telling myself when I should work. Being suddenly free of the “nine-to-five” can lead to working really hard all the time to try and prove that you’re still a deserving individual. It can also lead to barely ever working. In the months since I’ve started freelancing, I’ve done both. And I’ve found that both scenarios are very counterproductive to the growth of a business.PlanningI’m now trying to change this by creating a schedule that works with my strengths and weaknesses. I try to consider my personality, my most productive times, and my other commitments. I try not to get overwhelmed when things don’t go as quickly as I originally planned and learn from these planning mistakes. I adjust my plans to find a system that I can maintain and that can become a source of sustainable productivity as weeks, months, and years of freelancing go by. The thought that I can now create a schedule that I work best in is another new and baffling concept for me.The wait is overThinking back to the time when I was working full-time, I remember having the feeling, on most mornings, that I just needed to go to work to fulfill my duty, and then, when I’d get home or during the weekend, I could really start living my life to the fullest. Not only did this mindset leave me discouraged, it also caused me to sometimes feel dissatisfied as I brought it with me on my freelancing journey. Thoughts like, “Once I bring my monthly income to this level, I’ll be able to relax a little and live,” or, “Once I’m established as a freelancing designer with a consistent flow of projects, I’ll begin to really enjoy this,” would frequently cross my mind.However, I began to understand that every part of the freelancing journey is still the best place for me. Even when I’m struggling to find work and have to sacrifice certain luxuries, I realize that I’m happy. Even when things don’t go as planned or as smoothly as I envisioned them, I realize that I’d rather be doing this than anything else. What I want most is to have a working lifestyle that offers creative freedom and flexibility. Having that, I have everything.The truth is, the wait is over. I can stop waiting and start living the dream.When I grasp this thought, everything becomes so much easier. It’s no longer weird to work in the middle of the night if it’s needed. Nor is it that big of a struggle to go an extra mile for a specific project. Realizing that I’m where I belong helps me navigate the uncertain waters of soloprenuership enjoyably and adventurously.The right mindset for the jobAny successful outcome must start with the mindset right for the job and these three priorities are what help me refocus my aim every time I feel disoriented in the direction I’m taking, when I’m not sure whether I’m doing the right thing for my business, or when my efforts seem futile. If you haven’t yet thought about what might be hindering your progress, in whatever sphere you’re in, check the concepts that make up your mindset and decide if they are still the best companions in your ventures.Happy thinking,KarinaI’m a graphic designer, illustrator and the founder of Useful Arts. I started Useful Arts to be able to utilize all that I have learned while working for a variety of industries, such as education, make-up, and even finance, to uniquely solve visual puzzles using illustrative design.last_img read more

How to conduct a thorough needs analysis

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.Have you ever spent weeks or even months designing a program, only to find out that the client really wanted something else entirely? This is what happens when we fail to conduct a thorough analysis of the project.No matter how small, urgent, or seemingly simple your project is, analysis helps to:Prevent mistakes, rework, and unhappy clientsSave time and stressGet the results you wantEstablish your credibility as a valued advisorThe freelancer’s roleMost of the time, you will be the “face” of the project to the client, managing communication, scheduling meetings, and sharing your work with the client for input and approval.Throughout this process, you have many opportunities to strengthen your relationship with the client and identify new opportunities beyond the scope of the current project. As most clients expect you to take a leadership role and guide them through the process, analysis is your opportunity to shine.While many people consider analysis a linear process, a skilled consultant never stops uncovering client needs and identifying opportunities to add value. These additional opportunities may be recommendations for more advanced courses, reinforcement activities, periodic content updates, knowledge repositories or other solutions. Here’s how:Identify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)Develop questionsOrient SMEsCollect dataValidate findingsIdentify subject matter expertsYour Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will make or break your project. It is critical that you are talking to the right people and that they understand what you need from them. Before you begin your analysis, talk with your client about SME selection. It may be tempting to rely on a small number of people to make the data collection process easier, but this approach may cause you to miss key information that isn’t available from those few people. You also run the risk of becoming too dependent on a single resource, putting your ability to get the right information at risk.A best practice is to identify key domains or topics that will be needed for your project and work with your client to match the right group of SMEs for each domain. Be sure to discuss possible differences in location, division, experience level, client base, and other factors that may color the information provided by each SME.It is important to establish a realistic time commitment for SMEs. Typically, the same people who participate in the analysis phase will review your work for accuracy and completeness later in the process. Try to select people who:Have the knowledge you needHave the time to work with youRealize that working with you is a priorityIt is an added benefit if your SMEs have supported similar initiatives before. However, we often don’t get to pick our SMEs. It is up to us to work with them, not the other way around.Develop questionsWork with your client to develop the questions before your first session with a SME. If you have this list available for the kickoff meeting, you may want to share it at that time, so your SMEs will have time to suggest modifications to the list and be prepared for their role in the process.There are many ways to collect date for your analysis. Consider these options in addition to, or instead of, SME interviews:Focus groupsJob observationsPerformance reviews, customer surveys, and other performance-related documentationSurveysEmail (With a follow-up interview as needed)Orient subject matter expertsOnce you have identified the SMEs and identified the key questions, it is time to orient the SMEs. I like to conduct a kickoff call specifically for the SMEs. Keep in mind that you may need to conduct several calls to accommodate work schedules across multiple time zones. The kickoff call should be brief and to the point. It is your first chance to show the SMEs that, you know what you are doing, you value their time, and that you are flexible and will respect their preferences.This is also the time to establish expectations, share the timeline, and address any concerns or questions. Be sure to ask each SME how he/she prefers to collaborate. Some SMEs prefer to answer your questions in writing, while others will want to share existing documents or walk you through key concepts. You should also find out when each SME is available and identify any blocks of time when someone might not be able to contribute, due to competing projects, vacations, or other planned absences.Analyze the dataSince you will be working with inputs from multiple SMEs, you will need an easy method to organize the information you collect. I like to use a spreadsheet, but you may have another tool that works for you. The important thing to remember is that you want to be able to scan across a summary of the information you collect, so that you can spot discrepancies and trends across all SME inputs, without having to read each line of your interview notes.Present and validate findingsAs you conduct your analysis, you should begin to develop a clear picture of your learning audience:Who needs the solution?What do they need to know/do? (Future state)What do they know now? (Current state)What is the best way to close the gap between the current and future states?What other needs did you uncover that are outside the scope of this project? How do you recommend addressing them?Remember that you are telling the client a story. Try to summarize your findings as succinctly as possible, using action verbs. Do not overwhelm your client with raw data. They are expecting you to collate the data and find meaning in it. It is your job to make it simple for the client to commit to your plan.Never email your findings to the client. Always review your analysis in a meeting with the client and any key stakeholders, including the SMEs. You want to be sure that your findings and recommendations pass the “reality test” and gain buy-in from all the key stakeholders on the project. It is too easy for the client to ignore or dismiss your findings via email, and you may never know if you’ve achieved your purpose.Seek new opportunitiesBe aware that your findings may reveal new opportunities for additional revenue. By bringing these up as part of your Analysis, you are demonstrating your ability to go beyond expectations and give your clients the comprehensive solution that they deserve.last_img read more

9 Fabulously Frugal Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more

Everything You Need to Know About Opening a Savings Account

first_imgA savings account is a secure place to store your money that earns a small percentage of interest annually while your funds grow towards your long-term financial goals. Everyone’s savings needs are different. Whether you’re saving for a plane ticket or house down payment, or need easy access versus wanting to stow cash away untouched, it’s important that you do a little research to find a savings account that’s right for you.Benefits of a Savings AccountIf you’re going to start diligently portioning part of your income to savings every month, you should consider  finding a savings account that maximizes your assets. Fortunately, savings accounts offer a myriad of benefits to help keep your money safe and steadily growing.SafetyStockpiling cash subjects your money to theft and damage. Savings accounts, on the other hand, offer safety and stability. They’re a great low-risk option because they’re federally insured, meaning if the bank fails, you’re covered up to $250,000. GrowthAll savings accounts offer interest payments on your balance. This is because your money doesn’t just stay stagnant — banks lend it out and make money on the interest. While most national and local banks offer relatively small interest rates averaging at just 0.06% annually (with most large banks at just 0.01%), you can look into alternative options to traditional savings accounts like money market accounts and certificates of deposit that offer a slightly larger return on investment.Ease of UseIf you get a checking and savings account with the same bank, it’s usually easy to transfer money between the two accounts. Most large banks offer mobile banking, and you can even consider setting up auto-transfers so you can save without even having to think about it.Alternatives to Traditional Savings AccountsNow that you understand the importance of having a savings account, it’s time to decide which type of account is right for your needs. Most people opt for traditional savings accounts at their national or local bank, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just one option. Diversify your savings by keeping an eye out for which accounts have the best interest rate and lowest fees. Consider talking with a financial advisor to ensure you’re choosing the account that’s right for you. Certificate of DepositCertificates of deposit, or CDs, are a type of savings account that comes with a fixed withdrawal date. You can set this to be anywhere from three months to five years, so choose wisely. If you need to withdraw early, you’ll pay a penalty fee. The benefit? High interest rates — up to three percent annually. This is a great option if you know you won’t need your funds for a while.Money Market AccountMoney market accounts offer a better interest rate than a traditional savings account, averaging 0.08 to 0.11 percent. They are ideal for those who want checking features like a debit card — just be mindful of the limit of six monthly transactions that is standard for most savings accounts. For anything more than that, a regular checking account might be a better fit.Online Savings AccountsOnline savings accounts are similar to traditional ones — without all the overhead costs. Because of this, they usually pay higher interest rates and don’t charge maintenance fees. They’re usually mobile-friendly and allow electronic transfers from your checking account.Practical Uses for Your Savings AccountOnce you’ve opened your account, you may realize you have a lot of questions around what to save for and how much to put away. The answers to these questions will vary for everyone depending on their needs and lifestyle, but here are a few of the most common uses to consider:Living Expense CushionAt the very least, it’s best to save enough to have a cushion for basic living expenses such as rent and bills in case you suddenly lose your job or need to take extended time off for any reason. The cushion can be anywhere from three to six months of living expenses depending on what you’re comfortable with and how much you’re able to save. After this safety net is established, you can focus on saving for other needs.Major Purchases Another common use for savings accounts is to prepare for major life purchases like a down payment for a car or home. You can also use your account to save for more luxurious “wants” rather than “needs,” like a vacation or a new laptop. Remember that you’re entirely in control of when and what you spend your savings on.Emergency SavingsWe all know life can be unpredictable — that’s why it’s always smart to have a backup plan. Having an emergency fund can be a relief in cases of a car accident or medical emergency. Deciding how much to keep in an emergency fund depends a lot on lifestyle factors like having kids, pets, or student loans. Account for things like these when deciding how much to put into your emergency fund.Savings Account Fees and RestrictionsNow that you’ve decided where and what to save, familiarize yourself with your bank’s policies. Playing by the rules will ensure that banks aren’t charging you fees that are easily avoidable.Limited TransactionsFederal laws restrict you to six “convenience” transactions per month in your savings account. This includes things like transfers to your checking account, automatic bill payments, and checks. Don’t worry about not having access to your money — there are no limitations on ATM or in-person withdrawals.  Minimum Balance RequirementsMost large banks only require $25 to open a savings account, and most online accounts don’t require any minimum balance at all. However, if you want to avoid fees, the minimum balance requirement for most large banks is $300. Money market accounts will often require a much higher minimum balance.Monthly Maintenance FeesIf you want to avoid annoying monthly maintenance fees, it’s important to keep the required minimum balance. Some banks waive fees for students under 18 or if you have a certain number of automatic transfers each month. When it comes to saving money, you have options. Choosing the right account will set you up to maximize your income and achieve your financial goals. With a little bit of budgeting and planning, you’ll be able to enjoy things like better vacations, a new car, and ultimately, more financial security. Post navigation Sources: The Balance | Value Penguin | Value Penguin | SmartAssetShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Save Money in Just 6 Simple StepsOctober 31, 2018In “Saving”What You Need to Know About SavingsApril 23, 2019In “Saving”Balancing Saving for Retirement and Your Kids College? This is What You Need To KnowMay 30, 2019In “Family Finances” last_img read more

Doctors Reveal the Most Bizarre Things Patients Have Swallowed

first_imgAn amazing array of objects have found their way down a human gullet. Here are some of the strangest—and most dangerous—cases.Category 1: Weird things kids have swallowedWhen it comes to swallowing things they shouldn’t, kids are common offenders. “Babies and early toddlers explore the world in many ways, including putting things in their mouths,” says Karthik Balakrishnan, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology at the Mayo Clinic. “They don’t know what should go in and what shouldn’t so things can accidentally be swallowed.” While buttons and coins are common, his practice has also seen children swallow Barbie shoes, safety pins, latex balloons, and part of a hearing aid mold. Cases in which children swallow multiple magnets are especially difficult because magnets that end up in different spots of the intestines can attract to each other through the tissue, making removal difficult. One eight-year-old swallowed about 30 pieces of a Magnetix set that caused eight intestinal tears, according to Mental Floss. The list of objects kids have swallowed is so varied, Boston Children’s Hospital has erected a display of odd things that have been removed from children dating back to 1918, according to STAT News, which includes a sardine tin key, chicken claw, and a 1940 reelection pin for Franklin D. Roosevelt.Category 2: Button batteriesOne particular object is so dangerous, it deserves a category of its own. “For kids, we worry most about button batteries,” says Kevin Rodgers, MD, president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. “The newer ones are lithium with a relatively high voltage. When they get stuck in the esophagus they can cause significant burns and even perforate the esophagus.” Such was the case with a 3-year-old whose parents called Poison Control when he swallowed a button battery, resulting in an emergency procedure, hospital stay, and the need to eat through a nasogastric tube for two weeks. If a child is suspected of swallowing a button battery, go to the emergency room immediately, as it needs to be removed within two hours.Category 3: Distracted adultsWell-meaning grown-ups can also end up with something unexpected in their esophagus or stomach. “Adults often put things in their mouths while working—safety pins while sewing, bolts—and if they get jolted they might accidentally inhale,” says Dr. Rodgers. While pins and screws are common, other accidentally swallowed objects physicians encounter include the pop tops on soda cans (they can fall into the can and be swallowed with the soda), dental appliances like bridges or partials, and toothpicks.Category 4: Psychiatric problemsFor some adults with certain psychiatric issues or dementia, swallowing odd objects can be a repeat occurrence. “They just seem to have a need to swallow things,” says Troy Madsen, MD, associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine. “For them, swallowing things feels good.” Dr. Madsen remembers a colleague’s case in which a patient with a psychiatric issue said he’d swallowed a pencil. The doctor wanted to confirm the patient had indeed swallowed a pencil but wasn’t sure if it would show up on an X-ray. So as a test, he taped a pencil to the patient’s back, reasoning that if the taped pencil showed up but a swallowed pencil did not, the patient did not in fact swallow a pencil. But the patient promptly removed the taped pencil and swallowed that as well, and the X-ray showed two pencils needing to be removed. In addition, Dr. Rodgers has seen patients swallowing multiple odd items: “On an X-ray we saw a whole array of metal objects in the GI tract, including forks and spoons.” A 2010 study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology reported that at Rhode Island Hospital, 305 cases of “medical intervention to remove foreign bodies that were intentionally swallowed” largely involved patients who had been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and cost more than an estimated $2 million.Category 5: Dumb drunk decisionsDrinking is another activity that can send the wrong objects down the hatch. One 18-year-old student at Bournemouth University in England who didn’t want a night of partying to end swallowed his room key to prevent friends from taking him back to his dorm, according to Mental Floss; he was told by doctors the key would ultimately “reappear” without surgery. And Ram Chuttani, MD, a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told NBC News he once removed a ping pong ball chugged by an intoxicated college student playing beer pong.Category 6: Prison “breaks”Other groups of people often treated for swallowing foreign bodies are those involved in drug trafficking and prison inmates, whom many physicians see repeatedly ingest various items—pens, batteries—as a way of getting a break from jail in order to be brought to the hospital. Dr. Madsen remembers a case in which a prisoner swallowed bed springs so many times surgeons finally determined it was greater risk to perform yet another surgical removal than to simply leave them in.Category 7: Just plain strangeSome cases just defy categorization. Dr. Madsen has seen adults ingest pieces of sandals and light fixtures. A small surge of instances of teenaged boys misunderstanding internet directions for homemade blowgun darts led to multiple cases of needle-shaped objects being inhaled into the boys’ airways, as reported in 2013 in Pediatrics. Rodgers also recalls an instance of swallowed Mardi Gras beads and adds, “I remember a case several years ago when someone swallowed a feather boa.”Sourcelast_img read more

The Inbound Marketing Book Charity Challenge

first_imgRoom To Read 53) Chris Winfield Inbound Marketing Book [tweet @om] 13) Robert Scoble [tweet @scobleizer] Why are we doing this? Please help spread the word and get us tweets — particularly tweets from VIPs.  Oh, and if you have a cause or a company that needs to get more visibility, please encourage others to tweet it too — particularly some of the people on our VIP list below.  In return, we’re going to donate up to $12,000 to Room To read. Here’s how we will calculate the donation: Donation Amount = 43) David Allen 26) Sarah Evans 22) Loic Le Meur 48) John Battelle Dedicating a library to a brilliant inbound marketer:  [tweet @algore] this evening with some advice on how we could have done better.  I read the article a few minutes ago (I’m at O’Hare airport), and decided to try a “Take 2” on the Inbound Marketing Book Charity Challenge. I’ll post a link the original once I have Internet access again — for now, I have to go catch a flight.  (which skyrocketed to the #1 marketing book this weekend), we’re kicking off an inbound marketing campaign to promote the inbound marketing book (yes, it’s very meta).  We want to simultaneously help Room To Read, which we think is a great cause.  (done) Deadline:  Midnight Sunday, February 28th.  37) Jack Dorsey 38) Scott Stratten is a fantastic organization whose mission is to help increase literacy in the world by distributing books to millions of children in developing countries.  To celebrate the recent success of the 52) Mitch Kapor 51) Joel Spolsky 36) Michael Arrington -@dharmesh [tweet @pogue] (thanks for all that you do @roomtoread!) (thanks @timoreilly) buy the inbound marketing book [tweet @aplusk] [tweet @davewiner] Thanks so much for your support. – Thanks for your support.  6) Guy Kawasaki (thanks @marismith!) 47) Kevin Rose [tweet @jasonfried] (thanks John @ducttape!) Any and all feedback is appreciated. and [tweet @loic] [tweet @guykawasaki] [tweet @avinashkaushik] 50) Danny Sullivan [tweet @jack] 16) Tim O’Reilly [tweet @prsarahevans] 17) Evan Williams [tweet @ev] 18) Jason Calacanis [tweet @sacca] (# of Tweets To This Article) x (# of VIPs below that tweet) x ($0.05) [tweet @chrispirillo] Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You [tweet @mkapor] Here’s what we’d like your help with:  We’d like to raise $12,000 to sponsor the creation of three libraries in developing countries.  Room To Read is shooting for a goal of 11,000 libraries by the end of 2010.  (thanks @chriswinfield!) 9) Jason Fried .  It’ll help you “get found” with Google, social media and blogs.  If you use any of the links on this page, all profits from the book sales will be added to the donation amount.   Instructions for VIPs, just tweet something like this: [tweet @joelspolsky] posted an excellent article [tweet @steverubel] 40) Fred Wilson [tweet @marketingprofs] Doing your part:  46) Chris Anderson “Your tweets help a great cause with the Inbound Marketing Book Challenge.  $0.90 per tweet!  Plz RT.” [tweet @johnbattelle] [tweet @problogger] 30) Ann Handley [tweet @mashable] 2) Dharmesh Shah [tweet @tedchris] [tweet @arrington] [tweet @jason] [tweet @kevinrose] don’t need to donate any money (though if you want to, it’s a great cause).  What we’re asking you to do is tweet this article (thanks @danschawbel) 34) Ashton Kutcher [tweet @shoemoney] 28) Mari Smith 29) Matt Cutts Topics: 15) Darren Rowse [tweet @gtdguy] 32) Steve Rubel [tweet @unmarketing] [tweet @garyvee] Originally published Feb 19, 2010 9:04:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 [tweet @fredwilson] 39) Dave Winer 41) Al Gore If we hit our goal of $12,000, Room To Read will dedicate one of the three libraries to whoever we designate.  What we’ll do is get the community’s feedback on who you think is doing an exceptional job using inbound marketing to make the world a better place.  We’ll then submit that person’s name for the library dedication. 14) Pete Cashmore [tweet @biz] 19) Chris Pirillo 12) Gary Vaynerchuk 31) Beth Kanter 49) Neil Patel 45) David Pogue [tweet @thisissethsblog]   It started as an idea to help promote the book and help a great cause at the same time.  The original idea was different than what we have now, but Beth Kanter (non-profiteer extraordinire) (thanks @kanter!) [tweet @mattcutts] 27) Om Malik 23) John Jantsch 35) Jeremy Schoemaker 5) Seth Godin 54) Avinash Kaushik (thanks, and great job spreadin the word!) 24) Dan Schawbel [tweet @jowyang] 21) Jeremiah Owyang Each tweet is currently worth: $0.90! 25) Laura Fitton 20) MC Hammer [tweet @mchammer] [tweet @dannysullivan] Example:  So far, 11 VIPs have already tweeted, so each tweet is worth $0.55 (11 x $0.05).  We have 300 tweets, so the donation amount is $165.  If you convince a new VIP to tweet, it raises the per-tweet amount.  If your tweet encourages others to tweet, it increases the donation amount.  Just help spread the word. 3) RoomToRead @dharmesh VIP List (Each One Increases Donation per Tweet) 42) Biz Stone (thanks @neilpatel!) Inbound Marketing 44) Chris Saccalast_img read more

Why You Should Link to Your Competitors – A Lesson from Yahoo

first_img Download our Founders at Work You will get known as the one best expert and thought leader in your industry. versageek Link Building Free Search Engine Optimization Kit . What can marketers learn from this? Become THE go-to resource in your industry by linking to others’ resources, including, yes, your competitors’. This could be in the form of: You prove yourself to be unbiased – after all, you’re linking to your competitors when you think it’s in the best interest of your users. Your users will trust you and appreciate you for it. Sharing interesting blog articles written by your competitors Yahoo, at its core, was a great directory of reputable links. When it came to users searching for information, though, Yahoo’s results weren’t complete. You couldn’t find the “needle in the haystack,” as Yahoo early employee Tim Brady describes in It’s a pretty remarkable thing to do. Why did they do it? For the user. It not only signaled to the user that they were the focus, what mattered, but also taught the user that Yahoo was THE site to go for a complete set of results – first the results from Yahoo’s reputable directory, and then all the rest from links to (yes, Yahoo’s competitor’s) additional results. Yahoo Learn more about how you can optimize your site to rank higher in search engines so you get found by more qualified prospects. Now go out and start connecting with and sharing the best industry content with your network! Flickr photo by Writing responses to a competitor’s blog article (and not simply arguing with their point of view) You give your competitors a reason to promote you – by linking to them or publishing a guest blog post by them. You build a brand around helping solve your users’ problems. The benefits? . Did Yahoo just leave it at that? No. At the end of a search results page, they included links to Internet company (and competitor) Excite – more specifically, a pre-queried page on Excite so that the user had just one click to view more results in case the original Yahoo search did not have the result they were looking for. Have you had success with this approach? Please share your experiences in the comments! Allowing your competitors to write guest posts for your blog did at its start. You give your users a reason to promote you. Topics: In business school, you’re not taught to link to your competitors (or so I’m told). Why would you? After all, you want your website visitors to stay on your website, not go right into the hands of your competitors. And yet, that’s exactly what search engine optimization kit Summarize the most important news and best articles in your industry, including those written by your competitors Originally published Nov 8, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 With your comprehensive resources, people will start coming to you as the one-stop resource for anything to do with your industry. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you focus on delivering the best resources, best content, and being more balanced in your content, you give your users a reason to recommend you and become a team of the best marketers for your company.last_img read more

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Heat Up Your Content Marketing Strategy

first_img Topics: Content Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Is your idea of content marketing to:Publish newsletters periodically but not consistently?Write about an eclectic mix of topics that may or may not be relevant to your audience?Reach out to your audience only when you have something to promote or when sales are slow?Churn out copy that varies in quality, voice, and tone?If so, it might be time to heat up your content marketing program. If your content marketing is not heating up your business, there are ways you can raise the temperature and generate real results. The key is to follow these four best practices:1. Create a Content Marketing Strategy With Your Audience in MindThe best marketing and business decisions are guided by a strategy and plan, and your content marketing is no exception. Your content helps you engage with your target audiences, get found online, build credibility and thought leadership, and convert readers to customers. So why would you leave that to chance? Understanding your audience and developing a content marketing plan will help you to stay focused and use your resources most effectively.Get Started Today: Create a detailed persona of every target content consumer you want to reach. Be sure that persona includes demographics and anything you know about their needs, likes, and content consuming habits.2. Decide How You Will Make Content AvailableIf you took the time to really understand your audience and plan your content, this next step should be very easy. As you plan your content and who you are writing for, think about the best way to deliver that information. Is the content best delivered as a whitepaper available on your website after completing a short form that you announce in your newsletter? Is your content best delivered as a short, compelling blog post that you tweet about? Or should you create an educational video that you post to YouTube?Get Started Today: Choose an existing piece of content to see how you can adapt or refine it for your new distribution method OR work the new distribution method into your next new content piece. (e.g. Turn a blog entry into three status updates on your company Facebook Page.)3. Document Standards and Write From the Audience’s PerspectiveConsistently creating high-quality, audience-focused content is the biggest challenge most organizations face in their content marketing program. You will be one step ahead of many people if you have assigned an overall owner and then delegated topics (and a schedule) to various content creators. But you still need documented standards and a final review to make sure all the pieces that come from your organization are consistent and present an image that is in line with your overall brand goals.Get Started Today: Review all content you are producing for appropriate calls-to-action so you make it as easy as possible for your audience to take a desired action.4. Measure, Track, and TweakIf you have taken the time to set specific goals for your content marketing program and invested in executing the activities to meet those goals, then it’s important to track your progress along the way. The beauty of most content marketing vehicles is that they offer clear tracking metrics. You may want to measure the number of blog comments, Facebook “Likes,” or whitepaper downloads you receive, for example, and that is easy to do. If you are considering a content marketing format or distribution method that is not easily measured, think about another option that you can track.Get Started Today: Review how many qualified leads your content has generated in the past month or quarter. See which content generated those leads, and plan to create more of it. You can also see how your current program is faring with our Content Marketing Grader, which will tell you if your program is hot or cold and offer tips on what to do next.In what other ways can you add fuel to your content marketing fire?This is a guest post written by Susan LaPlante-Dube, principal at Precision Marketing Group LLC and sponsor of this year’s HubSpot User Group Summit.Photo Credit: p.Gordon Originally published Sep 13, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more