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Conveying the Basics of Content Marketing Simply to Your Employees

The first thing that employees just getting familiar with sales and marketing should grasp is the difference between traditional (outbound) marketing and the newer forms of inbound marketing. Traditional marketing took place over mediums like television and radio; this kind of marketing usually involved buying a time slot. Once the advertisement went out in that time slot, your job as a marketer was essentially complete.

 

Content Marketing is the Engine for Inbound Marketing

 

Newer forms of marketing are called inbound marketing. This kind of marketing relies on content marketing to get your message across on search engines, social media, your blog, and email newsletters. Inbound marketing is also cost efficient for two reasons – you’re letting the customers come to you by creating engaging content and, secondly, you leave the content up for everyone to see. This is in stark contrast to outbound marketing.

 

The basic idea behind content marketing is that you’re going to be creating content that, in turn, stirs up attention and generates leads for your company. Expanding the number of leads that are drawn to your company, and who might hopefully make a purchase some day, greatly expands your customer base. Content marketing is also geared around the idea that, by generating content that hits customers at the right stage of the buyer’s journey, you can also increase your company’s online sales and brand awareness among general consumers.

 

A lot of people are also attracted to content marketing because it’s an incredibly diverse field. You can create videos, blog posts, whitepapers, e-books, advertisements, and social media posts and deliver that content across a variety of mediums to garner more customers. The only real limitation is your imagination. That said, content marketing is inherently measurable in real time against your marketing team’s key performance indicators: another advantage over outbound marketing.

 

Content Marketing is Measurable in Real Time

 

The beauty of content marketing is that it allows you to A/B test all kinds of ideas (e.g., different websites or different mediums for content delivery) to see which ones are actually increasing your leads and conversions. The key thing to remember if you’re trying to explain content marketing to your staff is that the goals that you set need to be measurable and specific.

 

What do those two words mean? A goal that’s measurable would look like this: This piece of marketing should increase my web traffic by 10% in the first six months and social media subscribers by 25% in the next year. The more specific that you can be with your goals, the easier those goals are to measure. And the easier that a goal is to measure, the easier time you’ll have improving on what’s working well and changing what isn’t working to improve your visitors, subscribers, and leads.

 

In the same way that portfolio management software centralizes your management processes and makes them easier to understand, customer relationship management software can also be an invaluable tool for managers. CRM software allows you to track how well all of your marketing is going and tailor specific messages to customers.

 

Your goals should be centered around the idea that content marketing can improve your sales and generate more leads. More than that, content marketing can help foster brand awareness and solidify more customer loyalty among customers who have already decided to purchase from your company over the competition. Remember: Make your goals measurable, and the more specific, the better.

 

Promote Your Content Everywhere

 

Creating the content is only half of the marketing battle. You’re really after more views. To get there, make sure that your website is search engine optimized and that you’re building and disseminating the kind of content on social media that garners attention and gets passed around. The goal is having content that gets commented on and boosts your brand awareness.

 

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IT Hiring and Financial Trends That Are Going Out Of Style

Although it underpins your business, IT can be one of the most unforgiving work environments for your workers to be in because there is so much uncertainty regarding the future of any one given skill set.

 

At the same time, because the bulk of IT workers are committed to constantly updating their skill sets, most companies are able to field fairly formidable staffs from a technical standpoint. The key for most managers that are considering hiring more IT workers is to understand the basket of skills that you will need to pick up to have the strongest hand after your new hire starts reporting to work.

 

With regard to divining which skills will be necessary, here are some IT hiring trends that are going out of style:

 

Local Implementation Specialists:

Over the past 5 years, the cloud environment on top of the conversion from desktop PCs to Flat Panel computing devices has created a world where the only specialists that you need are working on enhancing servers and application services as they appear online in the cloud. There is no longer a need for desktop specialists to work one on one with computer users locally in order to install things correctly.

 

At the same time, a lot of people that apply for work with your IT department will tout that type of skill or background because it was how IT was run in the past. One suggestion if you like their other skills and you are interviewing them is to ask them to tell you how their now non-applicable skills can be applied to the environment that you currently have. You might find that they have some pretty creative answers that can give you a better picture of how they will turn out as an employee.

 

Network Monitors:

Most networks that are onsite in a business these days are focused on providing Internet access to the end user no matter where they are in the building. If your organization is used to working with people that have monitored using TAP networking or other types of LAN-specific metrics, you will likely find that the skills sets of the specialists that worked at large companies will no longer be of use to you in some respects. On the other hand, if they have Bluetooth and Cloud monitoring experience, they can definitely help trim your networks in terms of the geographic layout and ensure that every corner of your business receives the best performance consistently.

 

There is an interesting mix of hardware and software skill set that goes into a good network monitoring person. In addition to Bluetooth and Cloud monitoring, if you look at RFID and actual protocol experience with mobile technologies, you will be helping yourself prosper for the next couple of years.

 

Tech Support Specialists:

Unless you are working with an application that is very private in terms of its functionality, there is no longer a real need to hire technical support specialists that cover your applications. The job type might make them responsible for some very important people in your organization, but most firms have either centralized their support teams somewhere globally or taken them offsite to a trusted vendor.

 

Companies like Intel are famous for perfecting a process and then outsourcing it so their own workers can actually be adding value. Since technical support processes were fairly perfect in many respects a decade ago at most firms, it is pretty hard for many upper managers to justify keeping technical support specialists onsite.

 

IT Hiring is subject to change every quarter from a technical standpoint just like ACLS online renewal certificates change frequently- and that is the challenge that attracts many people that want to get involved. If you stay on top of the positions and skills that are likely on their way out, you can more effectively filter your next list of candidates.

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How to Succeed in Healthcare Investing

Over the last couple years, the fate of healthcare stocks have been in question. With ample political turmoil surrounding the topic to give investors cold feet and the healthcare sector stock index turning up negative in 2016, reasons to avoid healthcare investing have not been in short supply. And the list goes on. Many investors have been steering clear of healthcare, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the only winning move in this economic climate.

 

Investing in healthcare can be a profitable exercise, if the investor knows what to do. Just as a physician assesses the state of a patient in order to determine the most appropriate treatment plan, an investor must know how to assess the state of a market in order to choose wisely in healthcare investment. In light of this analogy, let’s take a look at some considerations to make when approaching healthcare investing.

 

Check the vital signs

The first thing any doctor does when a patient comes through their door is check check their breathing, blood pressure, pulse and temperature. This exercise is a prerequisite to proceeding toward any kind of diagnosis. This will alert medical professionals of any previously undetected issues that may be more pressing than what was originally suspected. Once this simple but critical step is successfully cleared, the physician will proceed.

 

Similarly, when an investor is considering a healthcare stock to invest in, there are certain “vital signs” they should explore as prerequisites to see if the stock is a viable options, or if there are greater risks involved than anticipated. One investor, Brian Hennessey of Alpine Woods Capital Investors in Purchase, New York, reported that among the vitals he looks for are a solid balance sheets, reliable earnings drivers and healthy cash-flow. Good management and rights to intellectual property in the case of biotech and pharmaceutical companies are also big pluses, Hennessey says.

 

Pay attention to medical records

Doctors review medical records prior to even seeing the patient. They do this to gain an overall understanding of the patient’s medical history and current state. Doctors are able to compare the reports of medical issues with past problems. In some cases, they are able to identify correlations between the two and they can accordingly. A patient’s medical information is like to factor into the processes of diagnosis and treatment.

 

Similarly, investors should consider the “medical histories” of the companies they are considering for investment. Are they a big company with an extensive history of success or a start-up with not much history to go off of? This greatly influences the level of risk involved in investment. Even looking at records of the interaction between the company and their clients can be an indicator of the investment value of the company. Have they had longstanding contracts with clients or were contracts terminated quickly? Again, this can help to inform investment decisions before even getting into the minutia of crunching the numbers.

Select the treat with the most upside

Medical professionals have to make some difficult decisions. In some cases they have to make decisions that reconcile risk with upside. In other words, they may have to choose between a treatment option that is high risk/high reward and low risk/low reward. In the case of doctors, this sensitive decision will vary based on the circumstance. Ultimately, they are looking for the treatment that will secure the best quality of life for the patient.

 

While circumstances in investing will also vary, looking for investment options with an attractive upside is also a good rule of thumb. This decision may be the result of weighing several different factors including company track record and market position. Ultimately, the point is to look for companies that will be able to pay dividends in the foreseeable future. This will fall somewhere within the spectrum of high and low risk/reward scenarios. But as long as investors are on the lookout for promising upside, they should be on the right track.

 

There is no online training or book that can ensure success in resuscitating a stock portfolio through healthcare investing (although there is ACLS online training in the medical field). Still, there are some guidelines that can steer investors in the right general direction. And with the right information and a little luck, investors may find great success in the healthcare sector.

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How to Boost Your Financial Confidence

Finances can help individuals and businesses, but they can also cause a lot of stress, worry, and lead to many arguments. For both individuals and companies, it is important to keep up your financial confidence. It may sound silly to hear the word “confidence” and “finances” in the same sentence, but when we are comfortable talking about money and finances our lives can be smoother. Some tips on how to help boost your financial confidence and keep this confidence sustained throughout the lifetime of your business include beginning to plan now rather than later, continuously making goals, becoming comfortable with talking about money, considering insurance a worthy insurance, and being prepared for the future.

 

The Sooner The Better

Whether setting a New Year’s resolution or planning and completing a budgeting goal, establishing ways to improve your financial confidence can benefit both you and your business. One of the best ways to elevate your financial confidence is to actually have money. The sooner you start working on a budgeting goal, the sooner you can see more money in the bank and gain a boost in your financial confidence. Establishing a budget can help you you manage your funds better and stay within your means. Additionally, another example of a budgeting goal is to set aside money each month for a rainy day. Having an emergency fund is a great way to ensure that you or your business is ready for anything. It doesn’t have to be a large emergency fund or even a large financial goal, but having one established and sticking to it sooner rather than later allows your financial confidence to build stronger.

 

Continuously Set Goals

When setting goals, the most important element of setting these goals is to actually commit to completing them. Setting goals is one thing but accomplishing them is an entirely different feat. It is important that when making these goals, you are realistic in both the task itself as well as the timeline you create for it. For example, most debt is something that cannot be payed off in a week; you must understand that it is a long-term goal that will take time and commitment to accomplish. Many (some would argue all) financial goals are achieved in months, sometimes even years.

A quick fix is seldom likely for these goals and therefore not realistic. Additionally, when establishing a specific time period for each goal, it can help you focus more on accomplishing your goal knowing that there is a deadline. For example, 21 days is a great and effective amount of time to allow a good habit replace a bad one. By effectively setting financial goals and their accompanying timelines, you can manage your business’s money better and improve your financial confidence.Many individuals push long-term financial goals to the back of their mind because it often comes off as more overwhelming than short-term financial goals. Becoming more familiar with financial advice and financial options can help individuals gain financial confidence.

 

Become Familiar With The Word “Money”

For reasons that will never fully be explained, money has become a taboo topic. People are often intimidated when someone brings up the topic of money or anything that has to do with finances. Many individuals hesitate to share details of salaries, what they spend on day-to-day items or how much they paid for their house or car. Additionally, people may also get uncomfortable when it comes to discussing debts and other budget issues. This is not an uncommon feeling. These communication struggles can be difficult for spouses, business partners, roommates and even close friends to discuss. However, money represents freedom and there is no better way to get there than educating yourself and those persons in business with you. By constantly talking about money with others and being aware of your financial situation, you can boost your confidence knowing there will be no surprises because you are always in the loop.

 

Insurance Should Become Your Best Friend

Another way to boost your financial confidence is to always have insurance. Even if you have your ACLS certification you will want to have insurance. Insurance has the ability to cover you, your family, your business, and your assets in just about every situation. Income insurance partially covers your salary if you’re injured or suffer an illness that keeps you from working. Life insurance is also beneficial for unexpected circumstances, especially if you have children or other dependents. With insurances you can sleep easy at night, confident that you and your loved ones will be okay if an emergency arises.

 

Prepare For What Is Yet To Come

The future can never truly be predicted. Change is something that is inevitable and sometimes can be unavoidable. The best way to be ready and confident when financial changes do come is to be prepared for any situation that may present itself. As we have mentioned above, insurance and a savings account are a great cushion for unexpected situations. Additionally, an individual’s career path is a possible example of something susceptible to change your financial status. For some, achieving financial confidence is achieved by gaining an education and enrolling in medical assistant programs or other online courses to be prepared for a career jump. Having additional training provides them with this confidence because they are prepared for a new job if change is necessary.

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Expenses Businesses Forget to Budget For

An estimated eight out of ten small businesses fail within the first few years. One of the primary reasons for this relates to financial challenges and poor cash flow. While there are many steps that you can take to line up funding you need to get your new business off the ground, the reality is that your quest for startup funding is only as beneficial as your budgeting efforts allow for. More than that, once your business has become successful, budgeting continues to be important to its overall profitability. However, business finances can be complex, and more than 50 percent of small business owners outsource this task to a controller. If you are preparing to launch your business or you are already an experienced business owner, you can more easily create an effective budget when you include all expenses that will affect your business in your budget. There are some expenses, however, that many business owners fail to allocate funds for. By learning more about these expenses, you can more easily update your budget successfully.

 

Insurance

There are various types of insurance that businesses need. If you have a larger business with several employees, you may be required to provide them with health insurance. With this as a requirement, you may budget appropriately for it. However, you may also need insurance for your commercial vehicles, rental or property insurance for your place of business and more. You should budget appropriately for the premiums for these policies as well as for the deductibles. You never know when you will need to file a claim, but you should always be financially able to do so.

 

Marketing and Advertising

Marketing and advertising are the lifeblood of many businesses because they drive sales. As important as they are, some businesses regularly fail to allocate a healthy sum of money to this expense. As a result, marketing can be irregular and not as effective as it could be. As you update your budget, consider all ongoing marketing expenses, such as hosting fees for your website. In addition, create a complete marketing plan for the next year, and allocate funds necessary to execute this plan in a timely manner.

 

Professional Lunches and Social Events

In many business environments, socializing and networking is necessary. It can cost money to attend hosted lunches for industry organizations, to take clients to lunch and more. A savvy business owner will properly allocate a healthy amount of money to this expense category. This will prevent you from running in the red when you take advantage of a great networking opportunity.

 

Property Cleaning

The cleanliness of your facility can impact the health and well-being of your employees as well as the image you project to clients and customers. You need to budget for cleaning supplies and services on a regular basis. In addition, periodic commercial carpet cleaning may also be necessary to keep your venue looking and smelling great.

 

Property Repairs and Maintenance

Property repairs and maintenance may not be a regular expense that recurs each month. In fact, several months may elapse between when your company is burdened by these expenses. However, such expenses can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars when they arise, and they must be properly incorporated into your budget. Make a list of all major repair projects you have in mind, such as kitchen cabinet refacing for the break room. In addition, allocate some funds to cover periodic equipment breakdowns. When you take these steps, you can ensure that you have funds available to keep your property maintained in great condition.

 

Taking steps to improve your budgeting efforts can go a long way toward improving your cash flow and preventing you from running in the red. You may feel that many expenses are unexpected and cannot be planned for. However, you know that appliances will break down, that carpets need cleaning and that networking opportunities cost money, for example. By allocating some of your funds to each of these areas, you can create a more realistic budget that covers all of your expenses. These should be included in your initial business plan before you launch a startup, and they should continue to be included in your regular budget.

 

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Planning Ahead: 4 Things Sellers Should Invest In This Spring

There might be snow on the ground and a wind chill outside right now, but winter will be over before you know it. With the change in weather spring, one of the busiest times of year when it comes to real estate. If you are planning on selling your home, there are some things you should invest in to help ensure that your home is in ideal condition and able to attract buyers for the right price.

1. An Inspection

This is something of a catch-all. A home inspector will survey your home and see what issues there might be with the house that you haven’t noticed. This could include faulty wiring, pests and leaky faucets. Remember: as inspectors, they won’t be able to fix all these problems themselves, but they will be able to find them in hopefully enough time for you to remedy them before you sell.

Expected Cost: Between $315 and $400.

2. Professional Cleaning Service

You might think you keep your house clean, but trust us—there’s a difference between the cleanliness standard needed for living in a house and selling that house. Even if you always scrub the shower, sweep the living room on a consistent basis, and never leave a single dirty dish or saucepan out, living in a house tends to make it look, well… used. It’s not negligence; it’s just the way things work.

That’s why it’s often a good idea to contact a professional maid service to clean up your house, particularly when your home is up on the market. Note that your house should most certainly not be in a state of disarray before the cleaners come. Instead, you should clean up as best as you can and let them handle the finishing touches so that your house can go from looking great to looking perfect. Also, schedule the appointment as close to when you list the home as possible. Otherwise, you risk the house getting dirty again and you’ll need to schedule another appointment.

Expected Cost: Between $25 and $35 per hour.

3. Yard Care

Curb appeal is something that cannot be taken for granted when selling a home. You could have the most pristine, gorgeous manor on the inside, but if the yard is decayed and decrepit, buyers won’t even make it to the front door. That’s why you should invest in proper lawn maintenance. You’ll need to find people who can mow a lawn, trim hedges, pull weeds and more once the sun starts coming out.

Yard pest control is also an important thing to keep in mind. Moles leave unsightly holes, and hornets and other stinging insects can make entire sections of your yard impassable. Beyond that, while It might just seem like an outdoor problem at first, if mice, mosquitoes, termites and more aren’t taken care of, they can migrate inside, spelling disaster for the value of your home. Find professional, trusted exterminators who can take care of any potential pest problems, and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.

Expected Cost: Between $35 and $50 per visit

4. New Paint Job

Paint is meant to provide color and liveliness to a house, which will make it more enticing for potential buyers; however, it can backfire. For instance, paint that has faded or chipped away is not very enticing. Whether it’s on the outside of your home, inside, or both, get the paint touched up if it needs it. Meanwhile, while you may enjoy having a home painted a bold color that stands out, potential buyers might consider it an eyesore and walk away. To attract more buyers, get your walls repainted in a more neutral, widely appealing color.

Expected Cost: Between $1,700 and $3,600.

We hope you follow this advice as you prepare to sell your house. Though selling your home might seem arduous and stressful, it can be made much easier by tackling these issues as soon as possible. Not only will your new home buyers appreciate the effort you took to make their new residence as livable as possible; there’s a good chance that you will be able to sell it for a higher price.

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How Staying Out of Debt Will Change Your Life

From the moment that you turn 18 years old, credit cards, loans and other borrowed funds are dangled in front of you. You may not have a job yet, but creating debt is encouraged by creditors as you learn to navigate these adult waters. However, living a debt-free life has many more opportunities for the individual. Consider how staying out of debt will change your life when you curb those spending habits.


Career Freedom

With a lot of debt comes large bills. You’ll be encouraged to find a job that pays the debt off, but the career itself may not be appealing. Living debt free means that you can pick a career that you’re excited about. As long as there’s a livable wage, you can choose a profession based on interest instead of the salary level. Feel fulfilled by the career, but don’t remain there if those feelings change. You have the freedom to try several different jobs across the years because debt isn’t keeping you harnessed to a particular pay scale.


Lack of Stress


Staying out of debt changes
your life because financial stress isn’t part of your world. There are many other issues in the world to worry about, but your financial health won’t be one of them. Part of living a debt- and stress-free life is maintaining an emergency fund. Issues can infiltrate your day, such as a car accident. Being prepared with a generous emergency fund allows you to pay for items as you recuperate from these emergencies. People who don’t take these situations into consideration will ultimately go into debt because they’ll rely on credit when emergencies arise. Ideally, keep 6 months of income in a savings account for those unusual occurrences.


Lifestyle Goals Attained


Because you aren’t fixated on paying off debt, you can set goals for that next vacation or major investment. Use
virtual bookkeeping services in order to keep track of your everyday spending and saving habits. When you want a certain balance in your accounts by year’s end, the service calculates the proper monthly savings amount for you. Saving up for a 6-month long cruise is a challenge, but it’s possible when you set a goal and remain in your budget. There’s no need to overspend on other items, such as cable television, when you have an unforgettable vacation to look forward to in little time.


Perpetually High Credit Score


Your credit score relies on the responsible use of borrowed funds. Because you don’t carry any debt, the score will often rise as a result. You still need to use credit in order to keep that score high and active, however. Buy an item that requires some use of credit, and pay it off at month’s end. The credit reporting agencies will note this behavior and increase your score. If you ever need to purchase an expensive item, such as a car or property, the score and history will be perfect for low-interest borrowing. Some debt, such as a mortgage, is actually good for your credit rating.


Cash is Real


Your life can change with a debt-free outlook because the concept of cash is real. You aren’t relying on credit with its virtual balance on a computer screen. According to Time Magazine, the cash moving in and out of your wallet and checking account is a true representation of
your net worth. If you don’t have the physical funds, the purchase won’t occur. For people living on credit, the concept of cash is far from tangible. Living in a reality-based financial world will keep you debt free as you save up for that fantastic vacation or coveted, home-entertainment system.

 

If you find yourself in debt at some point, be aware of the balances. Create a game plan to pay them off in a reasonable amount of time. Everyone makes mistakes at some point, but you can achieve a debt-free lifestyle with some attention to detail and spending willpower.

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