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7 Steps to Start Your First Content-Marketing Campaign

You've heard about all the amazing benefits of content marketing. You want to jump in. But . . . how? Here's how.

Content Marketing

 

Jayson DeMers

Founder and CEO, AudienceBloom

By now, you've heard about all the amazing benefits of content marketing. You know that with the right strategy, you can earn more traffic, build a better reputation and see compound growth in both areas over time without greatly increasing your budget.

In fact, content marketing is truly one of the most cost-efficient marketing strategies around, but its rewards are proportional to the quality of your strategy and execution. That's why more experienced writers and marketing agencies charge more, and why long-running strategies perform better.

So, what if you have no experience with content marketing at all? It would seem that someone totally unfamiliar with this strategy stands no chance of success at all. But, at the same time, everyone has to start somewhere, right?

The truth is, you can enter the content-marketing game with no experience. You might not live up to your full potential right off the bat, but if you follow the approach described below, you'll be publishing with the best of them in no time. Here's how:

1. Get a briefer.

Your first job is to get a briefer on what content marketing involves. Yes, as you're reading this, you probably have a grasp of the basic concept, but you need to dig deeper into the details. Familiarize yourself with the beginning, middle and end of a piece of content's life, how you're going to measure your results and your ROI and the process you'll use to build your empire.

Also, get a high-level perspective on the strategy before you start mastering those details -- you'll be glad you did. If you need help getting started, I presented a webinar about a year ago on this subjectt, which will teach you the basics of content marketing and how those basics relate to search engines.

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Top Sales Training Best Practices Successful Managers Follow

Sales training is one of the most important investments most companies make, because it allows them to close the gap between current performance and potential performance. Nevertheless, around 80 percent of respondents to a recent study by the Rain Group Center rated their own training as being between average and poor.

Here, we take a look at some of the best sales training practices the most successful managers follow.

Use of Simulation or Role-Playing

Many organizations still utilize classroom-based, instructor-led training, which can be incredibly effective. However,Sales Training it is important to balance it with practical learning as well.

Without applying learned information quickly, most expenditure on corporate training is wasted, because unfortunately people forget new information extremely quickly. Precisely how much knowledge is lost - and how quickly - is difficult to say, as studies vary significantly, but most agree that the majority of information is lost within a week.

"Role-playing [also] provides a safe environment to encounter [new] scenarios for the first time, which builds confidence in team members that can help them in their day-to-day roles," explains John Buelow, executive vice president of the Shapiro Negotiations Institute.

Sales Coaching and Reinforcement

Successful sales training requires newly acquired sales skills to be reinforced regularly, or else staff revert to old habits, and coaching is one of the best solutions. For this reason, coaching is often one of the most important things for a sales manager to learn and is a key component of most sales management training programs.

Yet, many sales managers continue to neglect their coaching responsibilities. Indeed, the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Best Practices Study revealed that just 32 percent of sales managers are currently spending sufficient time on coaching. In companies performing to a world-class standard, however, this figure rises to 88 percent.

A structured coaching program will allow leaders to work closely with staff to highlight issues, set targets and ensure new skills are put into practice. Meanwhile, reinforcement literature should also be made available. According to Aberdeen Group, 20 percent more reps achieve quota when post-training reinforcement is implemented.

Technology and Mobile-Friendliness

Finally, the most successful managers know that technology can be utilized to significantly improve both the quality of training and its results. In truth, technology can be deployed in an almost limitless number of ways, ranging from the use of virtual instructors in classroom settings, to bite-size video content.

One growing technology trend in corporate training has been the gamification of the learning process and eLearning Industry report that gamification features, such as the ability to progress to different levels, choose a difficulty setting, etc. can lead to a nine percent increase in retention rates. Meanwhile, adult learners who participated in gamified e-learning experiences scored 14 percent higher in skills-based knowledge assessments.

Furthermore, technology can be used to make learning a mobile experience. By ensuring that learning materials are available to access and use on mobile devices, sales skills can be improved even while outside the workplace, learning can become part of staff members' daily routines, and information can be reinforced on the go.

Conclusion

When it comes to delivering high-quality sales training, or sales management training, it is not just the quality of the information that matters, but the quality of delivery and follow-up. In particular, it is important to give staff the opportunity to put new information into practice quickly, to reinforce and personalize learning through coaching, and to make use of technology to improve all aspects of your training program.

Author Bio:

Monika Götzmann is the EMEA Marketing Director of Miller Heiman Group, a global sales training and customer experience company. It specializes in providing exceptional sales coaching and helps organisations develop business strategies to achieve sales success. Monika enjoys sharing her insight and thoughts to provide better sales and service training.

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The future of transportation is already here

Apr 13, 2017 / Alex Moura

Let’s shake ourselves out of our four-wheeled stupor, look at the vehicles and devices being developed, and reimagine how we’ll move around our cities, says TED technology curator Alex Moura.

Humanity has come a long way from traveling by horse, but when we consider the future of transportation in cities, too many of us are still stuck in the 18th century. We still envision our streets full of four-wheel chariots (minus the horses), and our future as relying on cars or car-like vehicles, because that’s all we know. Why this myopia? For most automakers and transportation companies, adhering to the status quo is more profitable than experimenting; their business models, even for forward thinkers like Tesla, depend on their keeping drivers tethered with maintenance and service. And builders and urban planners have learned to limit their thinking because existing regulations and clunky political processes have made it nearly impossible to innovate without years of negotiations. As a result, we’re laying the foundations for a transportation future that carries forward the problems of the past.

But there can be another way forward, a new vision of transportation that upsets the four-wheel chariot model. And signs of it are already rolling across the landscape. By looking at some of the most advanced vehicles and devices out there — not just concept cars and prototypes but vehicles that are already in use or being road-tested in the real world — we can start to see a more interesting, less car-based future. Based on this new crop of transportation-related devices, I’m making the following four predictions:

Car

Courtesy of i-Road.

1. Cars will become much, much smaller.

While SUV and truck sales have been on the rise worldwide, that trend has been boosted by low gasoline prices, which can’t last given the finite supplies of fossil fuels. As we move forward, personal urban transportation will be dominated by individual vehicles. In 2015, Toyota launched a trial run of its three-wheeled i-Road electric vehicles — which resemble an enclosed motorcycle and fit only a driver and perhaps a small passenger — through a network of sharing stations in Tokyo. (We road-tested them at TED, too.) The project is now expanding throughout Japan, a nation with more electric car-charging stations than gas stations. In a bid to become the first country to embrace smart transportation systems, government officials have gone as far as trying to create international car-charging standards.

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Dave Ramsey's 5 Budgeting Tips for Small-Business Owners

America's foremost personal finance guru weighs in on small-business budgeting.

20170727152359 dave ramsey hurdlr

 

JULY 31, 2017
 
Entrepreneur has an affiliate partnership with Hurdlr so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
You may have heard of Dave Ramsey before—perhaps from one of the 500+ radio stations his program The Dave Ramsey Show is syndicated on, or one of his five New York Times bestselling books. Or maybe from his appearances on Oprah or 60 Minutes.
Regardless, Ramsey’s name is synonymous with personal finance. His show garners 12 million listens a week and millions more have seen him speak in person on the topic.
What he’s not as well known for is speaking directly to the needs of small-business owners and the growing freelance economy. However, his insights on financial success can be just as easily applied to the needs of business owners.
We were able to chat one-on-one with Ramsey to get his wisdom on how small-business owners can boost their profit and peace of mind with simple budgeting strategies.
Hurdlr: You hate debt. Is there any scenario in which you would say it's OK for an entrepreneur to take out a loan to start or expand their business? Or do you recommend always going 100 percent cash?
Ramsey: A lot of supposedly sophisticated and educated people spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to say that debt is good when used properly. Baloney! According to Census Bureau data, 60 percent of all small businesses opened in a given year need less than $5,000 to start. Don’t begin your dream saddled with huge debt.
As for expansion, remember to be the tortoise, not the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. We have expanded our business several times, and each time we systematically save toward a purchase goal and put that very specific amount as a line item in our monthly accounting—almost as if it were an expense.
Note: If you can’t save the money you won’t be able to make the payments anyway. I agree with former A.G. Edwards analyst, Peter Andrew who said, “What kills companies is debt; without debt, companies have the wherewithal to survive.” Debt is a destabilizing force that exponentially increases risk and the probability of fatal failure. 
 
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Keep Your Team on Track by using an Organized Workflow for your Content Marketing

By: Gloria Kopp

If you're often finding that projects are being delivered late, rushed to be completed or just not up to the standard you're expecting, you and your team could benefit greatly from the creation of a clear, organized workflow. Your workflow defines the patterns and processes by which you bring a project from conception to completion, andWorkflow helps ensure that you don't experience these setbacks that exist when there's no organization behind the production process. Follow these steps to start putting together a workflow that is tailored to your team and the projects you're working on, and watch the levels of quality and speed in your work soar.
 
Get on the same page with an Editorial Calendar
It's vital that you lay out all of the work that needs to be completed currently and those projects that are upcoming. An editorial calendar helps you see the overall big picture at a glance, and also allows you to drill down to more details about each individual project. Having this schedule available for each project ensures that the entire team is on the same page, no matter what someone's role is towards the completion of the project, they are able to follow the progress of the team as a whole. It gives each member a certain level of responsibility and accountability, pushing them to stay within the timelines set out. Share your calendar on Trello with your entire team, that way you know for certain that everyone is in the loop with what's coming up.
 
Batch Processing Methods make things more efficient
Speed things up by using batch processing to complete similar tasks, rather than doing each task on its own. You'll get more done in less time, helping to keep your projects on track for completion as scheduled. When you're working on optimizing your SEO, check out Yoast for information and courses on all levels of SEO. Improve your skills in SEO, and you'll find many other tasks much easier to complete. When you're looking to utilize your social media outlets, but don't have the time to dedicate to this task, Buffer is your resource for managing this. Schedule posts ahead of time and track the performance of your content easily.
 
Create A Workflow Checklist to ensure nothing is missed
Checklists are important, because you can set out exactly what needs to be done, and delegate each task to a team member. When you do this, there's no confusion about who is responsible for what, and what tasks are left to be done. Copywriting and proofreading are tedious and time consuming tasks that can be delegated to the professional teams at Assignment Help Canberra and Resumention, for fast, meticulous and quality work.
 
Work backwards, starting with your deadline
When creating your workflow schedule, first determine when your project will need to be completed, then work backwards to set the milestones along the way. It's much easier to set up your timeline this way, as opposed to working forwards towards your completion date. And, deadlines for each task need to be clearly defined with a specific date or time. Vague deadlines, like 'next week', can almost guarantee that the task won't be completed until midnight on the last day of the week. If you've got deadlines for sending out mass email blasts, Mail Chimp is a simple way to set up those emails ahead of time, so that you can be sure those deadlines aren't missed.
 
Prioritize projects
Each member of the team may have different ideas as to what project is more urgent or higher priority than another. It's up to you to prioritize each project and make the team aware of this hierarchy. The most important projects need to have the focus of everyone involved. If there is an overwhelming amount of work to be done, you may want to look at outsourcing some of the content creation to a professional at Oxessays. It's a great way to stay within your timeline for your most important projects and ensure you're getting high quality content.
 
Morning scrums help set the agenda for that day
Before the workday gets underway, a quick scrum can help you highlight the day's goals, get everyone on the same page and remind the team of the tasks that are next to be completed. It can also give you a chance to go over what's already been done and get updates on task deadlines that are approaching, to keep those team members accountable and on track. When video content is on deck for the day, Piksel can help you get this task completed, leaving you with a captivating final product.
 
Bullet Journal your workflow
A simple and flexible way to track and plan everything you've got to get done is by using a bullet journal. This organizational system can be totally customized to whatever suits you and your projects best. Keep ideas you find organized in here too, so you can easily refer back to them. Inbound will find and send you the best marketing articles for you to draw inspiration and ideas from.
 
Stay on track with your workflow plan
It can sometimes be easy to let your focus shift onto something different, but when you've got a set schedule and hard deadlines, it's important to stay on task with the project at hand. If not, you may quickly find yourself in the midst of several projects, but not getting much accomplished at all. It's much more productive to stay focused on one single project at a time, devoting your time and energy to that, then moving on to the next only when that first one is totally complete. Boomessays can help you complete the editing task at hand, so you can start moving onto what's next on your plate. Also remember to stick to the chain you've set out for you and your team. Jumping past steps can lead to confusion, missed tasks and complete lack of organization.
 
Getting and keeping everyone within a team on the same page throughout the completion of a project is vital to the quality and ultimate completion of that project. Organizing your workflow helps you ensure that you can get this done.
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