Leadership – How Can Leadership Programs Be Measured?

 

Leadership – How Can Leadership Programs Be Measured?

Perk up your discussion with these facts of leadership.

This short article on leadership aims at offering you with all the essential matter you will need to understand more about leadership. Read it well.

The nature and intent of that effect identifies the influence, instructions and outcome of leadership. Organizations depend on leadership for instructions, momentum and a plan for sustainable success. How can leadership be determined?

Usually, leadership is specified by attributes and results. Formal leadership development nearly always focuses specifically on qualities, relying on hope that results will take place.

Never hesitate to admit that you don't know. There is no one who knows everything. So if you have no idea much about leadership, all that needs to be done is to read up on it!

For instance, an individual in a leadership function is considered "successful." We want to replicate the leader's success, so we try to reproduce the qualities, skills, values, competencies, actions and habits of the leader. We try and edify to emulate these qualities in others, but we hardly ever get the same results. Business America is full of "competency-based" leadership development programs, what one might call the "injection-mold" technique. Competency-based leadership development has a result on organizational culture, no doubt, but not always the wanted result. Leaders who somehow "determine up" to the wanted proficiencies do not always produce wanted outcomes.

Ultimately, producing outcomes is the reason we study leadership, the factor we seek to establish leaders, the very factor we need leaders. So it stands to reason that leadership likewise has been determined based on the results produced, despite how those results were achieved. We require look no further than Richard Nixon or Kenneth Lay to recognize the downside of such one-dimensional steps.

Getting info on specific topics can be rather annoying for some. This is the factor this short article was composed with as much matter referring to leadership as possible. This is the method we intend to assist others in finding out about leadership.

The leader's function is to establish the conditions (the culture, the environment) under which others can take right action to achieve preferred results. "Desired results" are well specified by the vision, objective, values and objectives of the team or organization. Leadership is finest determined by the how well fans perform the vision, objective and goals while "living out" the desired values. This leads us to a brand-new property: that leadership must be measured by the results produced and how they are produced, as so often stated. There is a critical 3rd component, that is, by whom are the outcomes produced. This should rightfully be associated to individual action without any contributing impact from the habits of others if it is the leader that produces the desired results.

There is an apparent link between interaction and leadership– the fundamental reason for communication and for leadership is to prompt some kind of behavioral reaction or action. Fan habits, not leader habits, defines leadership. This might lead one to argue, mistakenly, that there is little difference between leadership and browbeating.

Utilizing the intuition I had on leadership, I thought that writing this article would undoubtedly be worth the difficulty. The majority of the pertinent details on leadership has been included here.

Ultimately, the brand of leadership we seek in contemporary life is best defined, developed and measured based on whether intended results are accomplished, how they are achieved, the value of these results to others, and whether fans take discretionary action to attain the leader's vision, objective and objectives. Leadership development need to be tied to planned results of those who are lead more than proficiency sets of those who lead.

All this matter was written with passion, which caused the speedy completion of this composing on leadership. Let this passion burn for a long time.

Ultimately, producing results is the reason we study leadership, the reason we seek to develop leaders, the very factor we require leaders. It stands to reason that leadership likewise has been measured based on the results produced, regardless of how those results were accomplished. There is an obvious link between communication and leadership– the standard factor for interaction and for leadership is to trigger some type of behavioral response or action. Eventually, the brand of leadership we seek in modern life is best defined, established and determined based on whether planned outcomes are attained, how they are achieved, the value of these outcomes to others, and whether fans take discretionary action to achieve the leader's vision, mission and objectives. Leadership development should be tied to planned outcomes of those who are lead more than proficiency sets of those who lead.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

How to Post on my Facebook Profile and my Facebook Groups

Sponsored by Markethive –  THE social network for entrepreneurs

What are the rules of etiquette on Facebook and how should I observe them on my Facebook profile and in my Facebook groups? No matter what we do in life, or where we go, there are standards that apply, right? In the workplace, at school, in church, even at a baseball game.

No matter where we are, there are expectations of how we should behave in order to not just get along, but to harmonize with others. The same is true online, but the rules of the game are a little different. Somehow the rules online have changed, and people say things online that they would never dream of saying in front of people they know.

There is widespread political bashing from the left and the right online now, of which you are probably very well aware, but it by no means is it limited to politics. In perhaps a vain attempt to bring a little civility to the online world, and especially to Facebook where the rules of the “Old Wild, Wild West” seem to reign supreme, I would like to talk about Facebook etiquette from the online marketers point of view.

I know, to use a crude analogy, I may be merely spitting into the wind here, but it seems to me someone has to point this out, and I guess I might as well be the one to do it. What does political bashing inside a Facebook group of pro-Trump, or pro-Hillary supporters actually accomplish? This is a real enigma for me.

Who are they going to influence in a group where everyone shares the same political view? If they wanted to try and change someone’ viewpoint, maybe they should all go together and post all over one of the pro-Hillary sites until the owner of the site would just give up in frustration, (or vice versa).

I really don’t want to go here, but it also seems like there is an awful lot of Muslim bashing on Facebook. Where did this come from? I fully understand the frustration with the wars in the Middle East, but especially at the time of the 4th of July when we celebrate the Constitution, isn’t freedom of religion one of the fundamental principles of the pilgrims, to the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary patriots? Jeesh, give the complaints against Muslims, especially Muslim-Americans a rest already.

OK, now here is the practical side to this post for those who want to promote on Facebook. You may ask “How should I post on my Facebook profile and my Facebook groups”? 

One thing that should be said upfront, you should probably develop a thick skin if you don’t have one already, since there is someone, somewhere who will want to beat up on you, (verbally), for one reason or another. If you can’t take the heat, I suggest you get out of the fire and leave Facebook.

There is no rush whatsoever to join any group on Facebook. I have heard that there 8 million groups on Facebook, so there are plenty of groups to join, and they will be waiting for you, so do a little research before you click that join button.

There are a very large number of groups that are nothing but classified ads sites. If you post to these groups, your p ost is just one of thousands of other ads that no one is really paying attention to, so do not waste your time with these groups.

On these groups, there is no interaction, almost no comments, and no intelligent life as far as I can tell. Why would you want to waste a post on this kind of site?

A good sign of a healthy group is the number of new members, as well as your first reaction in viewing the most recent posts. Are there just ads, or are they promoting a discussion of any kind? Is there any discussion at all? If so, then maybe this group is worthwhile. If not, no problem, just move on to another one of the 8 million groups on Facebook. No harm, no foul.

Also do not waste your time posting out the same message to all of your groups. Change it up a little. Obviously there some of the people you want to add as friends and want to connect with that are members of many of the same groups you are. You look like a spammer if you post the same information everywhere.

The one exception to this rule would be a Holiday greeting. I used this method in a non-promotional way to wish my friends and people in my groups Happy Memorial Day, and I did it again, for The 4th of July. I received hundreds of likes,
and comments and they were still coming in several weeks after the Holiday.

This is when I realized that promotional methods on Facebook have a potential to reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of people.

So my advice is as follows:

1) Be polite, don’t push your own agenda all the time.

2) Inspire people with your message and they will follow you and want to be your friend.

3) Join groups with growing membership, and make sure you check the rules of
group and act accordingly.

4) Interact as much as possible on groups, especially with the moderators, influencers, or people active on the group.

5) Reply to messages in a timely manner. (same day if possible)

6) Have something inspiring to say with short test messages and images. Ideally do not promote directly through your text message, but you can link to another page with useful information and links to your offers. This indirect method of promotion will be more effective in the long run than just splashing your ad everywhere like most people do.

7) Have fun and keep your sense of humor. Don’t forget that Facebook started as a fun place for people to connect. In growing so big, Facebook has lost quite a bit of that “fun” spirit, but use your creativity to keep trying new things, and experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. By following these guidelines your experience on Facebook will be more enjoyable, AND more profitable.

Sponsored by Markethive – – THE social network for entrepreneurs

John Lombaerde – Goldfinch Digital Publishing

.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 2

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 2

Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, you are always the footnote. You are forced to stick out or not be seen at all. It makes your relationship with your customer based on attention-grabbing rather than value. If you are at the trade show you can have the best booth with the best giveaway prize, but you are not the keynote speaker. When you are advertising at the Super Bowl you can be the best commercial but the best commercial is merely a footnote to the main event. At best, with outbound marketing you might strive to be the best footnote. Unfortunately, to stick out in traditional advertising you usually have to sacrifice your message for a gimmick and hope that some of the people who see the gimmick look closely enough for the footnote.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, you are the story. You are the keynote speaker. Inbound marketing is all about creating great content to share with your audience. It’s about telling stories and speaking to your audience where they want to be spoken to, how they want to be spoken to. It’s about delighting them, educating them and engaging them in an open and transparent way. But inbound marketing is much more than simply being the keynote speaker at the trade show; it’s about being the article featured on the cover of the magazine. It’s about being the most valuable player at the Super Bowl. And when done correctly, inbound marketing can open up these amazing distribution channels that make it so you don’t have to wait for the next trade show, the next magazine or next year’s Super Bowl to show off your brand. You can do it on-demand with laser-like precision penetrating a group of your peers and the influencers in your industry.

Linear vs. Holistic

Best inbound marketing linear vs holistic

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the strategy is very linear. You only have so many marketing mediums to choose from like radio, TV, direct mail, tradeshow, billboard, sponsorships, etc. With this linear strategy, you assess which mediums most accurately address your target market and you start checking the boxes. You begin to attribute higher percentages of your budget to the more effective mediums and leave out the least effective mediums. You create a unified message across all mediums, and your job is done for the period. Come back again next period, sift through the data, reassess the percentages and do it again. Digital marketers can make the mistake of approaching the web with this outbound marketing approach. Social media, check! SEO, check! Email marketing- check!

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, the strategy is holistic. Inbound marketing is a much more complex approach than outbound marketing. It takes simultaneous usage of all the digital channels, continuous strengthening of the website, development of effective content and implementation of measurement tools all in concert with one another to achieve these unparalleled results. Many digital marketers don’t understand the complexities, they stick with the approach that they are comfortable with, the outbound or linear approach applied to the digital world. This approach gets you the traditional results. The difference between digital marketing and inbound marketing are the complexities and the holistic approach.

Inbound marketing is like a holistic lifestyle — in order to carry out an inbound marketing campaign, a website needs to have a strong foundation. It needs to be in good enough shape to carry out strong messaging, a content marketing strategy and be a hub for distribution. It needs to have a blog, it needs to be responsive, it needs to have a call-to-action strategy, it needs to have micro and macro conversions and it needs to have an easy-to-use CMS. Once the website is in shape, the content can be created and the distribution can begin.

Content creation needs to be engaging and meet the objectives of your keyword strategy. The distribution needs to tap into all avenues: RSS-fed email for blog subscribers, social media channels, lead nurture campaigns, etc. But it is not the linear check-box approach of outbound. Inbound requires daily attention with constant analytical review. Like a holistic healthy lifestyle, it requires discipline and fortitude. Sometimes you need more content, sometimes you need more distribution, sometimes more landing pages, sometimes more blog posts, sometimes better conversion rate optimization, sometimes a stronger call-to-action strategy, but it always takes adjustment and strategy.

When a holistic inbound marketing strategy is hitting on all cylinders, your website is rock solid, your distribution is amplified and your distribution channels are feeding the website a steady diet of visitors, where prospects are being converted with the utmost optimization.

Obfuscate vs. Educate

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the message is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of shit. It has to be. With very little room to work with, whether it be in a newspaper ad or a few seconds on the radio, the goal of outbound marketing has always been to stand out. And in order to do this, to be a clutter buster, the relationship with the client is compromised. Think about it: how else can we get someone to see your mortgage product in a quarter-page ad at the bottom of an article about Obamacare? If you’re lucky enough to know where the ad will appear, you can try to force the message to fit the audience, but this rarely succeeds, and more often than not, you’re trying to message males and females ages zero to one hundred with the same message. It’s all one big hoax. Misdirection. It’s pulling that shiny quarter from behind your ear.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, the message is specific and useful. Rather than forced upon you, the message is instead offered up on a nice shiny silver platter — ready for you to consume whenever convenient. This message contains quality content that educates and engages. It’s meant to answer a consumer’s question, to fill in the blank. I remember not long ago when marketing professionals would advise their clients to create deep discounts and BIG sales and then advertise them to the masses. The thought process was that more consumers would then thereby seek out the product and the increase in customers made up for the lost product value. The idea that I got paid to offer up that piece of bullshit advice is astonishing. The reality today is that instead of advising our clients to slash prices or advertise on all mediums, we instead encourage them to offer something of even greater value — thought leadership (and if we have to offer discounts, we offer them to our loyal brand ambassadors… a reward for subscribing).

Renting vs. Owning

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, you are always renting your distribution. As most advertisers know, you’re only as good as your last campaign or your last media buy. If it works and sales get a bump, it’s on to the next campaign. If it fails, then jobs and budget are on the line. With an outbound campaign like direct mail, the leads come in for a couple weeks when the mail’s hitting households. Once those leads are processed and the mail is distributed, you need to start again, new message, new distribution.

All marketers know there is only one good tradeshow a year, the rest are all washes. The Super Bowl only comes once a year, the World Cup eventually comes to an end, and the newspaper gets recycled tomorrow. Nothing in outbound marketing is iterative, and there are always costs associated with lead generation. This often makes for a negative ROI, finicky CEOs and an overall high-pressure job.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, you own your distribution and it depreciates much more like an asset. You build up your subscription-based email list, you earn a top ranking on product-related keywords, you build a following on social media and voilà: you are creating assets. There is a cost of acquisition (creating the content), but it is iterative and it keeps working for you long after you stop the acquisition/creation phase.

For the first time in a marketer’s career, we are creating value that will last beyond our tenure. Create a 20,000-person email list, acquire 50,000 social media fans, rank in the top 10 for 400 plus keywords with a total search volume of 1 million monthly searches and you’ve created a Super Bowl opportunity every month of the year. There are companies (Hubspot) literally lobbying our federal government to allow them to book inbound marketing as an asset instead of an expense. It makes a lot of sense. If you have 10,000 blog posts generating 1,500 leads per month through online searches and you stop posting for a year, that lead volume will likely only diminish slightly. Over the years, you might see some fall-off, but it is a lot more like depreciation of traditional assets. Needless to say, this is the type of marketing that makes CEOs happy and makes heroes out of the marketing department.

Immeasurable vs. Quantifiable

inbound marketing vs outbound marketing - immeasureable vs quantifiable

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the success of the marketing is hard to measure. We can ask our prospects how they heard of us, but in general, the results are unreliable. This makes for a margin for error that is inherent within this archaic and linear model of marketing. Sure, it’s great to hear that the company call center received a few dozen calls as a result of a targeted marketing effort. It’s also great when someone fills out the “How Did You Hear About Us?” form, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. The margin of error occurs when you assume you know the whole story and assumptions lead to underperforming campaigns. The measurement of outbound marketing lacks complexity and a lack of complexity leads to a lack of results.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, everything is digital, and everything is quantifiable. There’s no need to assume anything. Complex algorithms track not only if your marketing strategy is effective, but also if it is converting potential customers into full-blown clients. An inbound marketing strategy is highly measurable. It allows for analysis of everything from the ROI of various distribution methods to whether the size and shape of a CTA button is more likely to attract a customer or not.

What I love most about inbound marketing is that it allows for closed-loop reporting. It lets me track someone’s IP address from the second it hits our website; it tells me how that IP address got there and how much time it’s spending on the site. It gives me an in-depth glimpse into the thought process of a consumer — showing me which blog posts they have read, which pages they viewed, whether they entered the site organically or through another avenue like social media, and lead generation metrics. Again, inbound marketing is highly measurable.

Inbound marketing succeeds because it allows you to talk to people who have given you permission, and to tell your story in a holistic, educational way on your own distribution platform, with quantifiable metrics. We know this to be true because we’ve experienced the shift, from our founding days in branding in 2001, through the rise of the digital marketing age and into this new era of inbound marketing. Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing? It works. We’ve made it work for us and our clients. Talk to us to see how we can make it work for you.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 1

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 1

Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?

As CEO of a digital marketing agency and inbound marketing convert, I’m always talking about the differences between inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, or, more to the point, “Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?” In case you can’t tell from the header graphic, I’m more partial to the complexities of inbound marketing than the simplicity of outbound marketing. But seriously, I’m pretty sure people keep asking this question because the same answer seems to be given no matter whose blog you read. It’s as if someone (Hubspot and Pardot) wrote a canned answer and it’s being regurgitated without real life experiences and insights into the actual evolution of inbound marketing.

The canned answer usually goes something like this:

Why try to buy customers with traditional “outbound marketing” when consumers aren’t even paying attention?

  • 45% of direct mail never gets opened, 200 million people are on the national Do Not Call Registry
  • 85% of people fast forward through commercials
  • 84% of 25­–35 year-olds are likely to click off a website with excessive advertising
  • You have a better chance of surviving an airplane accident than having someone convert on a banner ad
    Etc., etc., etc. …

Forget about trying to reach a prospect under 40 with outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is different. Inbound marketing works by earning someone’s attention, rather than buying it.

It’s a good enough answer with compelling supporting statistics, but there’s more to inbound marketing than this. In this post I’m going to give you my insights. I’m not just going to harp on how outbound is reaching increasingly diminished audiences and how inbound is more engaging and more accessible — although both statements are very true.

I’m going to speak from experiences that are real. And in the spirit of full disclosure: Vital is a Hubspot Partner Agency, so I could simply repurpose Hubspot’s experiences and playbook like most partner agencies. But we also consider ourselves a Moz shop, with a Moz Pro account, and we develop using the WordPress CMS with the Yoast SEO plug-in (not the Hubspot COS), which means we have some independent experiences and additional tools that frame our perspective.

No experience is more relevant to that perspective than our own inbound transformation. Over the past three years, we went from referring to ourselves as a creative agency (web design, SEO and branding) to wholeheartedly embracing the moniker “inbound marketing agency.” But we weren’t sold inbound — we experienced it. We are our own best inbound marketing case study. In an industry many say is difficult to scale, Vital has experienced 300% growth in revenue and 300% growth in employees, all of which is solely attributed to our inbound and content marketing strategies.

First, let’s define inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, keeping in mind two aspects of marketing strategies: distribution and message.

Inbound marketing — if Hubspot didn’t coin “inbound marketing,” they have certainly spent a lot of time and money branding it as their own. Here’s how they define it:

“Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.” 

This is a decent definition, if somewhat oversimplified.

The term “inbound” is relatively new. It took Vital a while to embrace the term “inbound” to describe what we were doing with our clients. In the beginning, we referred to it as “SEO” and “content marketing,” and although we weren’t a Hubspot partner agency, we were reading their content. We knew a term was needed for the paradigm shift we were seeing in online marketing, because SEO had fundamentally changed and digital marketing was becoming increasingly more disparate from traditional marketing. Digital distribution made analysis highly measurable and results-oriented, showing that inbound marketing was exponentially more successful than outbound marketing when done correctly.

It’s not just that traditional distribution was so different from digital distribution; the message was changing, too. And the more we were learning about the message, the better the results we were getting. The terms “digital marketing” or “traditional marketing” only spoke to the distribution aspect of the message, and “inbound marketing” included the new message itself. This new message was educational, it involved thought leadership, and was transparent and engaging. So, in the absence of anything better, we drank a little of the Hubspot Kool-Aid and gave in — today we call it inbound marketing, too. But there’s more to inbound marketing than the statistics on the dwindling audience of outbound and the engaged and accessible audience of inbound.

Outbound marketing is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of s***

Outbound marketing, or traditional marketing, is the marketing we grew up with: radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, billboards, event sponsorships, etc. The traditional outbound strategy can even be found in such digital distribution forms as email blasts, banner ads, PPC, and SPAM. But the defining qualities of outbound marketing is a message. Outbound marketing’s message, as eloquently stated by Jeff Rosenblum of Questus, “is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of s***” (check out his keynote speech “Can marketing save the world?” at Hubspot’s Inbound ’13).

Outbound is a world of jargon where the loudest and most obnoxious are rewarded. Back in the day, clever was rewarded, but due to the escalating costs and increased competition to reach dwindling audiences, marketers have had to dumb things down to the lowest common denominator to maximize their conversions. So we are left with advertisements that use fluorescent pink, bold print, BIG discounts, exploited women and puppy dogs. How dumb do they think we are? No wonder a paradigm shift in advertising had to take place.

Now that we have defined inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, here are some of the comparisons we like to use at Vital:

Interruption-based vs. Permission-based

best inbound marketing Interruption vs permission based

Outbound Marketing: Outbound marketing is interruption-based marketing. Its premise is to find a medium with a large following and periodically interrupt that following with disassociated ads. The hope is that with some careful planning and a study of the demographics, a small percentage of the audience will listen to the interruption in the storyline and convert in to a customer. If you can find a large enough following or an above average association, the small percentage of conversions will be worth the investment. Those opportunities are increasingly more like a needle in a haystack.

You find some at these locations: TV, Radio, Direct Mail, Newspaper, Billboards.

Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is permission-based marketing. There are two premises here:

  • First, communicate via mediums in which the audience has given you permission to communicate.
  • Second, answer the questions people are asking and proliferate those answers around the web in anticipation of the question.

Both of these premises are permission-based.

In the first method, the audience is smaller in numbers than mass media, but because the audience is inherently more friendly and has already raised their hand to get your messages, the audience converts at a 750% higher rate than interruption-based marketing.

These are some examples: subscription based email marketing, social media, blog subscribers, webinar attendees, etc.

In the second method, the numbers are virtually limitless, since your audience online is infinite. Thanks to targeting keywords, you can answer the questions prospects might be asking about your products and your industry. Since this audience is looking for the answers that you are proliferating throughout the web, the conversion rates are unparalleled.

More examples: SEO, keyword targeting, landing page strategy, content/blog strategy, etc.

An example of permission-based marketing that will put inbound into context is the Yellow Pages. Before websites, subscription-based email and blog subscriptions, the Yellow Pages was one of the few places you could advertise where prospects were actually looking for you and you weren’t interrupting them. Yellow Pages was so successful that companies would name themselves AAA or ABC to be at the top of the listings. In 2001, Vital had a $10,000 a month Yellow Pages marketing budget, buying enhanced listings (bold) and an ad in every book from Boston, MA to Portland, ME.  Why? Because it worked, and there was an undoubted ROI.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Making Your Blog Stand Out and Look Professional

blogging

blogging

Making Your Blog Stand Out and Look Professional

If you are attempting to create a successful blog for personal or business reasons, you should know that looks do count. Many bloggers make the mistake of thinking that looks are not as important as content, since readers are essentially reading your blog for the words, not the way it looks.

This is true to some degree. The fact is however that people will not take your words seriously if your blog looks less than attractive. To have a successful blog you have to have it all. You must have interesting content as well as a great look. If you want to update the look of your blog, consider the following areas of importance.

Easy To Scan

The way your blog reads on a page is an extremely important part of your blog’s look. You should always remember to keep your blog posts short and to the point.

If you are treating your blog as a personal diary, your posts may be a little longer than normal. But, if you are trying to get more traffic to your blog, then you really want to focus your attention on short posts that offer the main point easily.

Most blog readers will only scan your posts, not read them word for word. So keep this in mind when you are writing. The shorter the post, the more likely they will be read.  If your blog is easy to scan because the posts are short and the breaks are clear, you will have a great looking blog.

Professional Edge

When designing or redesigning your blog, try to make it as professional looking as possible. Even if the blog is not for a business, the more professional it looks, the more seriously people will take it. Not everyone knows a lot about programming, so you may need to research it a bit. If you have the extra funds, you might even want to get a professional to program it for you. No matter what you have to do, just keep a level of professionalism in your mind throughout the designing process.

Friendly Colors

Most people don’t think twice about what colors they choose for their blog. The facts are that some colors come across better on the web than others. Blue and black are easy to see, so they are always great choices to use.

Sea-green, beige, or purple are also great soothing colors to use for a blog. You should stay away from using colors like pink, yellow, or any neon varieties. They are extremely hard on the eyes when reading them online and can deter people from reading your blog. Keep these color tips in mind when you design your blog to get the best results.

Appropriate Graphics

It has been noted that the use of pictures on your blog is a great way to boost traffic. Blogs that offer pictures that correlate with their content are fantastic.

Readers love to connect with the content further through pictures. With most blogging software offering ways to easily add pictures, it should not be a problem for most publishers to add them right into the blog. If you do have trouble, consider checking the “help” area in your blogging software for more information.

The information there should provide you with step by step instructions to help you get on your way.

Successful Layout

Most people who design blogs and websites will tell you that the layout does matter as well. The way a blog looks to the reader in important in terms of layout.

The layout should be clear and defined. If the reader is confused by the layout, they will likely not stick around to explore. They will most likely go right on to the next blog available. If you are letting a professional design your blog, you will likely not need to worry much about the layout. However, if you are doing it yourself, take a look at other successful sites to get ideas about what works and what doesn’t.

Lastly, simply test different layouts on your friends and family to see which ones they find the most suitable for your blog.

 

Ida Mae Boyd
Developer

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

What it means to be a Work At Home Parent

work at home parentsWhat it means to be a Work At Home Parent

 In This Issue…

•   What it means to be a Work At Home Parent

•   Blogging: A Free Internet Marketing Method for the Work At Home Business People

•   Why the Markethive Blogging System is such a positive marketing “must have” software suite

How can we define a Work At Home Parent? Almost everyone is a parent, and everyone works, maybe from home…! A Work At Home Parent is a businessman or businesswoman takes care of children while working from home.

A businessman or businesswoman who conducts business at home may do so for a lot of reasons, despite reasons it gives one the flexibility to plan their time between business and family. The reasons could be numerous, but which parent would forego the opportunity of working their own hours all the while spending time with their children and family at the same time fulfilling social obligations. This class of entrepreneurs, the Work At Home Parents, also saves a lot in terms of time and money.

The main objective of a Work At Home Parent would be to integrate their business time with parenting responsibilities without a loss in income or opportunity.

This article deals with integrating entrepreneurship with parenting to the best possible effect and history of Work At Home Parenting.

The integration of entrepreneurship with parenting can be achieved by bringing together the use of time and space, accommodating parentage in business and flexibility.

Usage of time and Space:  Taking children on business errands, scheduling activities when the children are resting and getting the children used to the concept of an office that accepts their presence.

Accommodating Parentage in business: Once your business acquaintances come to know that parentage is a priority with you, they would certainly accommodate with you in taking time for caring for children. As the children grow, taking their help to perform small tasks would certainly help in a Work At home Parent’s business. It would also help in children growing responsible.

Flexibility: Working your own hours will help a work at home Parent perform and work well since they can work at times suitable and in shorter spurts than in a continuous process.

History of Work At Home Parenting: The practice of integrating entrepreneurship with parenting has been in practice for a long time since the times of merchants and artisans. These classes of entrepreneurs worked closer to their homes, with children loitering in the background. Only the historical circumstances like Industrial Revolution distanced the children away from their parent’s workplaces.

However, the recent trends of dual working parents (due to economic compulsions) brought about a void in parentage, which in turn gave rise to the concept of work/life balance making Work at Home Parentage a viable and sensible proposition.

Blogging: A Free Internet Marketing Method for the Work At Home business people

It's been years since blogging has been practiced. But it's just recently that it has been considered as one of the addicting fads. Many teenagers have resorted to blogging as an outlet for their emotions, a little online nook where they can blurt out whatever just bugs them or whatever makes them feel elated. Savvy marketers have discovered that blogging is one of the best Internet marketing methods that won't cost you a cent.

What exactly is blogging? Blog is the widely used term that refers to web log. Basically, a blog is an online journal. A blog could be set up to no cost at all, and can be used for just for the fun of it or for business reasons.

Blogging for your Internet business is one surefire way to boost the visibility of your products and services. Here are a few ways to boost your internet advertising with the help of a blog:

1. Make your clients or customers abreast on your website's alterations. Your new products and affiliate websites could also be announced through your blog.

2. Keep track of your business objectives and plans through open writing. Your blog content can be easily stored through archives. What could be better than searchable information that could be easily accessed by anyone browsing the web, right?

3. Air your opinions, advice or reviews on specific services or products that are related to your business. Publishing is a very easy process with blogging.

4. Include links that will fetch back links and subsequently improve your ranking on search engines. This could be better executed through putting well-written articles in your website. Affiliate links could also be included in your blog to earn more extra income.

5. Collect response through the ability of blogs to fetch comments from your blog readers. You can learn and improve your products and services through with the feedback from your readers.

6. Connect easily with other bloggers. When other bloggers notice that you have something good in your blog, they will put you in their favorite lists that will automatically link you to their blogs.

So, how do you set up a blog? Here are some of the options you can make use of to take advantage of this fun way to advertise your Internet business.

Why the Markethive Blogging System is such a positive marketing “must have” software suite!

MarketHive is an inbound marketing system for businesses. Inbound marketing is a communication process with respect to marketing and advertising, generally facilitated by an open, two-way dialogue, much of which is expedited by social media.

MarketHive is more than a social media model.

Most of us use Facebook and other social media in the usual way usual way, catching up on family, world news and holiday remembrances are just some of the thousands of ways Facebook and other social media programs are used.

But MarketHive is more than that. Not only can you make and assemble your blog you can post content out to many sites from the one place because all the social icons are there in various in Markethive and more are being added as we speak.

Now while you assemble and post these ideas and content to these established Social Media accounts achieves a certain amount of recognition, it is not the whole story.

Because recently some tools have now been added to Markethive that can place your posts on your own domain. The WordPress plugin and the RSS Blogging Tools, Blog Sharing and RSS Cocktail all help to get your content into the domain Search engines.

So now you have 2 sources of “fuel” for your business where the search engines can double your efforts: – Social Media awareness of your business and Search Engine placement of your domain information based on keywords and content.

So the integration between the already established social media systems, the Markethive domain itself and a series of search engines Yahoo, Bing and Google, give you, if your using Markethive, a unique value to your content, posts and videos.

Markethive can boast in the number of tools available that are way above the current offerings out there. Our marketing tools include:-

A state-of-art blogging system

Lead Capture Pages integrated with our own autoresponder design

Email Broadcaster is in addition to our autoresponder system

Group Blogging mixed with private blogs, so no limit in our Blogging System management

RSS Feeds for Personal Blogs and Group Blogs

A WordPress RSS Plugin for bringing your posts already in Markethive into your own domains

Social Media integration

Powerful in-built SEO for all the content posting

In essence MarketHive is a complete system that could even allow you to relate your aspiring business needs to a high end marketing department within the walls of your own business.

After all; link generation, article writing, blog posting and customer contact through your Blog network can work in any business.

Put all that together with Videos to YouTube posting, Forum participation all these assets are in Markethive makes it a truly a one-stop online internet marketing control panel. 

Article by:

Brian Walters – Board of Directors and Alpha Founder.

Market Promotion Site

Brian Walters Market Hive

Contact me at skype: tuneup_bj

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Designing Your Own Lead Capture Pages

lead capture pages

lead capture pages

Designing Your Own Lead Capture Pages

Designing and building your own lead capture page(s) is not as difficult as you may think. There are many advantages to learning this simple skill. In fact, most people are unaware that they can learn how to create lead capture pages in less than eight hours of proper training, or sometimes less.

To start learning how to build a lead capture page, you need to have the flowing.

An HTML editor to build your lead captures page with. This is a program very similar to a word processor. Believe it or not, if you can use Microsoft Word, you can use an HTML editor.

HTML editors are slightly more complicated than word programs. However, with proper training you can master using one fairly easily. There is a good chance that you already have one that came with your basic operation system.

Web hosting is the next step. This is simply a place to up-load your lead capture page to on the Internet. Be aware that not all web-hosting services are equal. Make sure you know what you are getting before you buy. If the service does not offer a quality auto-responder (which we will discuss in a moment) avoid it. Cheap web hosting is not worth your time.

Lastly, you just need a little training so you can learn how to use the following items. This is the part that is hard, but certainly not impossible to find.

Unfortunately, there are many people selling lead capture pages that don’t want you to know how simple it is to design them. In a moment, I will offer a solution to that problem.

There are many companies where you can buy lead capture pages from on the Internet. There are a multitude of disadvantages involved with having a lead capture page built for you.

What are the disadvantages?

The page you buy is drastically overpriced. Most companies offering lead capture pages are charging between $50 – $200 for only one page.

Why would you want to spend such an absorbent amount on a lead capture page that you could learn how to design yourself in only an hour or two?

You cannot alter the lead capture page’s text or “Ad Copy”. So, you have no way to test what results would come from alterations to the page. Often, changing only a few words on your page will increase your information request rates radically.

You cannot create more than one page. So you can only find out what limited results you will have from the lead capture page you buy. It’s always to your advantage to have different pages to test against each other. Then you can see which designs and text work best to attract customers to your business. After all, who knows your business better than you do? So, who is best qualified to design your pages? The answer is you.

What are the advantages to designing your own lead capture pages?

You will save a lot. Let’s say that you only design 10 pages in your life. If you were to buy them at roughly $100 each, that’s $1,000. A steep price to pay.

When you become proficient at building your own lead capture pages, you can literally have one completed and up-loaded to your server in 30 minutes.

When you host you site, you can build as many pages as you want. Then you can test them to see which pages pull the most leads and even rotate site visitors to then. It’s like going to an arcade and beating the high score on a video game. The main difference is, you always win.

You can tie your “Information request box” to an auto-responder. An auto-responder is a sequential e-mail system that delivers messages to your prospects. This will allows you to follow up with your prospects indefinitely and radically increase your closing ratio. Most people don’t purchase at first glance, but many do when you keep their attention through time using an auto-responder.

You can personalize you lead capture pages with you own audio greetings. This often increases you response rates by 20 – 50%. When people actually hear your voice, it often makes them feel more comfortable giving you their contact information.

You can build a list! This is the most important thing anyone marketing on the Internet can have. Your list is your fortune. The people on your list are always potential customers for any offer you have.

 

Ida Mae Boyd
Developer

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Become a Guest Post Champion Promoter

For the most part, guest posting is sort of like begging, right?  You have a blog that you are trying to promote, and you are hoping to increase traffic to it, By guest posting on a blog that has more traffic than your blog, you are hoping to trickle away some of the traffic on the larger blog to your smaller blog.  

That pretty much sums it up, right?  The larger more popular blog doesn't mind so much, as long as you provide useful content to the blog owners readers. It is one less blog post the owner has to write after all.

In conclusion then, guest posters are like either beggars or leeches, and blog owners who allow guest posting are a little lazy. This is sort of a cynical way of looking at guest posting, I know, but it is to illustrate a point. 

Suppose you could promise that you would not only write a blog post, but you would post the link out to tens of thousands of your social media connections, and millions of members of Facebook, and LinkedIn groups to which you belong.  Would that make your guest post seem more attractive to the blog owner?  You better believe it would!

You move from the position as a guest post beggar to a guest post promoter, and even a champion.

Listen to these comments from a blog owner on whose blog I recently promoted a guest post at:

10 Ways to get more views on your LinkedIn Pulse Blog Posts

"Hi John, thats awesome! I see that your post is most viewed post of the site and is trending. Also, I see that it is performing well on Twitter and LinkedIn. Thank you so much for sharing. Great Synergy"! Max Angel – Cofounder at ThatsJournal.

I suggested that he might want to join Markethive, or that he might be interested in some of the automation tools I use.

Max responded.  "You are very welcome, John. Thanks a lot for the marketing inputs. I will check it out. Thanks again for the post contribution. Please feel free to let me know if you or your friends want to share anything related to marketing. We will be happy to help. Thanks!"  I would say that is a pleased blog owner, right?

If we work together, we can help each other find these kinds of guest blog post opportunities, and spread the message about Markethive.  Feel free to contact Max about guest posting on his blog.

John Lombaerde 

PS – did I mention that this promotion also brought in at least 5 or more new Markethive subscribers?

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Markethive: Multi-Million Dollar Social Marketing Platform- In Pre-Launch

Multi-Million Dollar Inbound Social Marketing Platform In Pre-Launch

Markethive has created a Multi-Million Dollar inbound social marketing platform that will rival the existing social media platforms in many ways.

Many times change comes along and we don't recognize it until its too late. Internet Marketing has changed with the advent of Millennials all searching for information specific as to what they want, no longer does SEO [Search Engine Optimization] play a major role in getting noticed on the internet. Millennials want to find information, not have it jammed down their throat.

They are seekers not persuaders!

The new trend of getting noticed on the internet is through referral basis. No longer do you have to pack your articles or website full of key words and hope the search engines notice them and give them top ranking, today you just have to make sure your message gets out to the public in a social way where people notice it, and then come to you for more information. Social Infusion Marketing is the new way to market your goods and services with people seeing what you are offering, and when the time comes that the person needs your offer they will take action.

Markethive has perfected Social Infusion Marketing with a unique social platform that allows anyone who is interested in marketing their products or company to be able to do it without paying huge sums of money to get noticed. No longer does anyone have to put up with the confusing language of the SEO guru's who charge outrageous sums of money with little results, you can do it yourself!

The Markethive platform is Free to join and use, and is funded partially by an advertising platform that enables the entrepreneur to get a huge reach with low cost. Markethive is built for the Global entrepreneur, and gives them a level playing field in a world that is cluttered with everyone trying to get into each others pocket financially.

So if you have read this far, Markethive is rolling out a Pre-Launch offer, before it goes to Crowdfunding, to anyone who want to join up and learn how to use this platform to grow their business. The Social part is being built by adding as many people as possible and assisting them in growing their business through Social Infusion Marketing.

To join just click here and you will be directed to a sign up page where you can enter the platform and poke around. Here is the secret, when the platform goes to CrowdFunding the people responsible will share in the rewards, so don't waste time this launch will be HUGE!

Thanks for reading,
Dr. Raymond Jewell

PS: Dr. Raymond Jewell is a leading Economist specializing in the Small and Home Based Business Marketplace. He is a Alpha Founder with Markethive and manages several blogs on the hive. Dr. Jewell is a professional Network Marketer and represents several companies successfully. He can be reached through Markethive.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

So What Is A Social Media Network?

social media

social media

So What Is A Social Media Network?

Basically, a social media network is made up of individuals or organizations that are connected through various social contacts ranging from casual acquaintances to family members. Social networks are established to encourage connections and communication to occur on a wide variety of levels.

A basis for the theory of social networking was a study performed by Stanley Milgram in 1967 that established that any two random United States citizens are connected to one another by a series of six intermediaries, on the average. This idea was made more popular by the play and subsequent movie, “Six Degrees of Separation”, as well as the television show “Six Degrees”. Current Internet experiments continue to explore this concept, such as the Ohio State Electronic Small World Project and Columbia's Small World Project.

These experiments currently confirm that five to seven degrees of separation are sufficient to connect two people through the Internet. This also serves to confirm the potential effectiveness of Internet social networks to build new connections between people.

The first Internet social network began in 1995 and has 12.9 million visitors today. This makes it difficult to comprehend the rule of 150, also known as the Dunbar number that states that the size of a genuine social network is limited to about 150 members. Over 200 Internet social networking sites exist and the number of members that belong to most them steadily increases.

In an Internet social networking site, a group of founders sends messages to invite members to join the site. Those members then invite additional members and the links continue to grow. Some social networking sites offer viewable profiles for members, address books and online social connections on a social or business level. Many Internet social networks are open to the public.

Internet social networks are a convenient way to link with new people, both personally and professionally. Consider that the senior director of Nielson/NetRatings, Jon Gibs, states that Internet “…social networking is not a fad that will disappear. If anything, it will become more ingrained in mainstream sites.”

The following are 20 of the most Popular Social Media Sites Right Now published by Antony Maina

Facebook

This is the biggest social media network on the Internet, both in terms of total number of users and name recognition. Founded on February 4, 2004, Facebook has within 12 years managed to accumulate more than 1.59 billion monthly active users and this automatically makes it one of the best mediums for connecting people from all over the world with your business. It is estimated that more than 1 million small and medium-sized businesses use the platform to advertise their business.

Twitter

You might be thinking that limiting your posts to 140 characters is no way to advertise your business, but you will be shocked to know that this social media platform has more than 320 million active monthly users who make use of the 140 character limit to pass on information. Businesses can use Twitter to interact with prospective clients, answer questions, release latest news and at the same time use the targeted ads with specific audiences. Twitter was founded on March 21, 2006, and has its headquarters in San Francisco, California.

LinkedIn

Founded on December 14, 2002, and launched 0n May 5, 2003, LinkedIn is hands-down the most popular social media site for professional networking. The website is available in 24 languages and has over 400 million registered users. LinkedIn is great for people looking to connect with people in similar industries, networking with local professionals and displaying business related information and statistics.

Google+

While it’s no Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, Google+ has its place among the popular social media sites. Its SEO value alone makes it a must-use tool for any small business. Launched on December 15, 2011, Google+ has joined the big leagues registering 418 active million users as of December 2015.

YouTube

YouTube — the largest and most popular video-based social media website — was founded on February 14, 2005, by three former PayPal employees. It was later bought by Google in November 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube has over 1 billion website visitors per month and is the second most popular search engine behind Google.

Pinterest

Launched in March 2010, Pinterest is a relatively newcomer in the social media arena. This platform consists of digital bulletin boards where businesses can pin their content.  Pinterest announced September 2015 that it had acquired 100 million users. Small businesses whose target audience is mostly made up of women should definitely invest in Pinterest as more than half of its visitors are women.

Instagram

Like Pinterest, Instagram is a visual social media platform. The site, launched on October 6, 2010, has more than 400 million active users and is owned by Facebook. Many of its users use it to post information about travel, fashion, food, art and similar subjects. The platform is also distinguished by its unique filters together with video and photo editing features. Almost 95 percent of Instagram users also use Facebook.

Tumblr

Tumblr is one of the most difficult to use social networking platforms, but it’s also one of the most interesting sites. The platform allows several different post formats, including quote posts, chat posts, video and photo posts as well as audio posts, so you are never limited in the type of content that you can share. Like Twitter, reblogging, which is more like retweeting, is quick and easy. The social networking website was founded by David Karp in February 2007 and currently hosts more than 200 million blogs.

Flickr

Flickr, pronounced “Flicker,” is an online image and video hosting platform that was created by the then Vancouver-based Ludicorp on February 10, 2004, and later acquired by Yahoo in 2005. The platform is popular with users who share and embed photographs.  As of October last year, Flickr had more than 112 million users and had its footprint in more than 63 countries. An average of a million photos are shared daily on Flickr.

Reddit

This is a social news and entertainment networking website where registered users can submit content such as direct links and text posts. Users are also able to organize and determine their position on the site’s pages by voting submissions up or down. Submissions with the most positive votes appear in the top category or main page. Reddit was founded by University of Virginia roommates Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman on June 23, 2005. A decade later, the site boasts more than 36 million registered accounts and 231 million monthly visitors.

Snapchat

Snapchat is an image messaging application software product that was created by Reggie Brown, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy when they were students at Stanford University. The app was officially released in September 2011, and within a short span of time they have grown immensely registering an average of 100 million daily active users as of May 2015. More than 18 percent of all social media users use Snapchat.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones, PCs and tablets. The app relies on the Internet to send images, texts, documents, audio and video messages to other users that have the app installed on their devices. Launched in January 2010, WhatsApp Inc. was acquired by Facebook on February 19, 2004, for about $19.3 billion. Today, more than 1 billion people use the service to communicate with their friends, loved ones and even customers.

Quora

Capitalizing upon human curiosity is an ingenious idea that would lead to the creation and launch of Quora in June, 2009. The website, co-founded by two former Facebook employees, Charlie Cheever and Adam D’Angelo now claims that it received more than 80 million monthly unique visitors, with half of them coming from the U.S. So far, the question-and-answer website has managed to raise $141 in venture capital funds and while it doesn’t look ready to go public yet, it’s definitely a company to watch.

Vine

With over 40 million users, Vine is a rapidly growing video sharing social media app that allows users to share 6-second video clips with their followers. While this looks like a really short time for a video, businesses of all sizes are having tremendous success using the service. Vine was founded in June 2012 and later acquired by Twitter in October 2012, just before its official launch.

Periscope

Periscope is a live video streaming mobile app that was developed by Joe Bernstein and Kayvon Beykpour. The two started the company in February 2014 and later sold it to Twitter for $100 million in March 2015. Four months after its March 2015 relaunch, Periscope said that it had surpassed 10 million accounts and in December the same year, Apple announced Periscope as the app of the year.

BizSugar

BizSugar is a social networking platform and niche resource for small business owners, entrepreneurs and managers. The site was created in 2007 by DBH Communications, Inc., a provider of award-winning business publications, and later acquired by Small Business Trends LLC, in 2009. The platform allows users to share videos, articles, blog posts, podcast among other content. It also allows users to view and vote on submissions by other members.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends content for its users. More than 25 million people use StumbleUpon for entertainment and information. In addition, more than 80,000 publishers, brands, and other marketers have used StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery platform to promote their businesses. StumbleUpon was owned by eBay from May 2007 to April 2009, when Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith and several investors bought it back. It is now an independent, investor-backed startup once again.

Delicious

This is a social bookmarking web service for discovering, storing and sharing web bookmarks. The site was founded by Peter Gadjokov and Joshua Schachter in 2003 and acquired in 2005 by Yahoo. By the end of 2008, Delicious claimed that it had bookmarked 180 million URLs and acquired more than 5.3 million users. The service was later sold to AVOS Systems in April 2011 who later sold it to Science Inc. In January this year, Delicious Media said that it had acquired the service.

Digg

Founded more than a decade ago (November 2004), Digg is a news aggregator with a curated front page that selects stories specifically for the Internet audience, The topics vary widely from trending political issues to science to viral Internet issues and anything in between. Digg supports sharing of content to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In 2015, the company claimed that it had about 11 million active monthly users.

Viber

Viber is a Voice over IP (VoIP) and instant messaging app for mobile devices that was developed and released by Viber Media on December 2, 2010. The app also allows for the exchange of audio, video and images between users. As of April 2014, Viber had accrued close to 600 million registered users and 230 monthly active users.

 

Ida Mae Boyd
Developer

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

The Social Media Expert