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  Things change fast these days, really fast. And the initial use and misuse of social media have rapidly undergone changes as well.  The original purpose of social media was an online “place” to be social. It quickly evolved into a numbers game for many to build an audience that they could “sell” to, whether it was product, philosophy or just opinion. Methods of following included use of autofollow and autopublish programs, emassing tons of followers who may or may not have been interested in anything you had to say or sell. Twitter has slowed practices like those considerably with overfollowing suspensions or cancellations of your account, though it still continues at a lesser rate. But the concept of the numbers game in social media is quickly turning into a dinosaur as social media evolves into what it was originally intended for...

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Start by asking yourself this question. What makes the best book; the book you can’t put down until you’re finished and are left wanting more, the book that makes you remember that author’s name so you can see if they have other books you might want to read? Consider the following two sentences: They were sad and disappointed by the loss of the family fortune. The future had suddenly become an unknown and frightening place. My brother and I huddled under a blanket at the foot of the stairs and listened to our mother crying in the kitchen. Tony held tightly to his teddy bear and I wondered if we would ever get another toy or blanket or Christmas dinner ever again, now that we were losing everything. My tummy hurt and Tony was shaking as he clutched his little bear close.   Show...

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Scammers Have the Real Secret to Getting People to "Click"   We intelligent business-owner-types can smell a scam a mile away. And yet, how many times did you STILL go ahead and click that button? The one that said, “Did you see this nasty picture of you on twitter?” or “How Rachel Ray lost 30 pounds in a month” or “Look who just unfriended you on FB”. How can seemy scammers get people to open mail, when we experts can’t? How Do They Do It? Aside from a lack of morals and taste (which accounts for some of it) in their strategies, they employ techniques that appeal to one of our basest behaviors – curiosity. Evidently, our curiosity overrides our common sense and knowledge, because we often go ahead and open that ad or email because it just might….have valuable information in it.   How Can WE Do...

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Ways To Get Your Emails Opened The art of direct mail marketing (snail mail) is decades old. There are tried and true practices if you want to see success. Response rates can vary wildly depending on many variables. That being the case, you would invest your time and money on a direct mail campaign without consulting with or hiring someone who knew how to make sure you made money from it.  What Time To Send It If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it….you know the rest. The same applies to emails. If they arrive in inboxes and do not get opened, you just wasted time and money. The best time to get higher open rates varies between industries but in general it follows the behavioral patterns of normal humans, people just like you. So when lots...

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How to Project an Image of Success All the Time   Some people seem blessed with all the self-assurance and knowledge of how to present a successful image in any situation. Most of us, however,  have to study and cultivate it. Here are a few tips on how to project a successful image thereby improving your success in business, relationships, job interviews, whatever your heart desires.   Appearances are Not Deceiving Your clothing should be appropriate for the occasion. If you don’t have a clue, hire a style expert and don’t forget grooming. Trim, clean nails and hair are crucial to impress. Write and Speak Correctly Use proper grammar when you speak, don’t bellow but don’t whisper either. Improve your vocabulary but speak like a human, not a dictionary. When writing, check your spelling and grammar before you send the communication and avoid jargon. If it is...

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You Have to Work to Make Your Marriage a Success And a Partnership is No Different    Whether an informal pairing of two people or a coming together of two small companies to make a greater one, a partnership requires some basic attention to detail to ensure success. Partners Share the Pitfalls and the Power Entrepreneurs generally want to run the show since they are the primary person who is “on the line”. When there are two of you, as in a partnership, you have to be prepared to share the control, since you are also now sharing the responsibility.    Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses Honestly assess your own strengths and weaknesses of what you bring to the company and make sure your would-be partner is the yin to your yang, balancing those traits. Be honest with yourself to ensure company success. Be sure your potential partner...

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The Sales Call is an Art Form Follow These Guidelines to Ensure Success Whether you are making a cold sales call, or calling a current customer to update them on your progress, you want to present a professional appearance and leave them feeling good about their choice in hiring you. Below are 7 guidelines to help you keep the call productive and successful.   Don’t Say “I” When You Mean “We”. You’re potential client doesn’t want to think that you are the lone person in a dark little hole of an office typing out code on your old Macintosh Plus, so don’t make it sound that way. Use “we” and “the team” and “my SEO group” when you are referring to jobs that your staff will be handling.   Don’t Let the Call Turn Into a Long Chat. You need to be a little personal and get to...

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Web Design Has Changed - 6 Ways to Let Go of the Past Websites have come a long way over the last few years and keeping up with the times is critical to the success of your business.  At the most basic of levels, you want to avoid these more common web design errors. 1. The Page is Too Busy A Cluttered Page, a texty page, a busy page….means bounce! Potential clients will bounce right out of there and never come back! Cute and Creative were a big deal when websites first hit the scene but now Form and Function rule the day. Space is a good thing. Clear instructions to other information from the homepage are preferred. If you sell rocks and sticks from your website, a good idea would be two virtual “buttons” on the homepage – one for rocks and one...

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Experience Design is Key to Success in Your Business   Regardless of the buzz created around your product, the bottom line is sales and this cannot be forgotten, cautions Brian Kalma, Chief Experience Officer with the start-up company GemVara. In this video, he discusses his previous experiences with Zappos and Gilt Groupe  and tells us that it boils down to creating memorable, emotion-based experiences for your clients. A few key elements to realize when considering  the customer experience are: What’s going on behind the scenes at your company is visible in your client interactions. The “health” and “style” of those interactions are important. There are necessary evils in business and how you deal with them (and how they manifest themselves to your customer) is important. This can fall under the way you charge your customers, the way you deal with an error or dissatisfied client,...

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5 Tips to Keep the Office Drama Low-Key Office Politics are inevitable and the larger the company, the more opportunity for differences in opinion that lead to conflict. If you own the company, it is in your best interest to maintain peace in the workplace. Here are 5 useful tips to help you stay one step ahead and prevent discord at the office. Nip it When employees try to form unproductive alliances, it typically builds over time. Pay attention to arguments in staff meetings and offhand comments in the break room. Draw attention to it early so you can put a stop to it before it gets out of hand. If you have a direct conflict with a partner, don't let the issue linger and become more serious. Talk things out--professionally--and stick to the facts. Avoid emotions or personal agendas. For debates over issues...

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