Humiliated & isolated – why Isco’s Madrid career is in tatters

first_imgReal Madrid, despite being decimated by injuries and struggling for goals across the board since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, are showing no signs of reintroducing Isco to the starting XI under Santiago Solari – but why?The situation is a complex one, especially given the lack of communication coming out of the Spain international’s camp, but Goal will attempt to explain.Firstly, Solari is not a big fan of the four-time Champions League winner’s style of play. The Argentine coach prefers a 4-3-3 system without a recognised number 10 – the very position that the playmaker plays his finest football. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! In addition, Isco has not been in his best form since Solari’s appointment (one only has to watch his performances to note that as fact), but is seemingly showing no interest in training sessions to rectify that situation.Indeed, it is thought that Isco had counted on being given more game time to return to his best, but Solari has no intention of giving additional minutes to someone who seems not to be pushing personal limits to return to 100 per cent match fitness.Instead, Solari prefers players with a good engine and willing to run themselves into the ground for the team. One must only look at Lucas Vazquez, Fede Valverde, Vinicius Jr. and even Brahim Diaz being picked ahead of him to recognise that.Isco, Real MadridSo what chance does Isco have of regaining his spot in the starting XI? Well, he has been named on the bench several times, so there is nothing to suggest that he has been frozen out. It is more likely that his coach won’t place his trust in him until he returns to match fitness.That’s all well and good, you might say, but how does he feel about Dani Ceballos, four years his junior, being introduced off the bench against Betis, with 15 minutes to go and Madrid needing a goal?In general, the people in Isco’s camp are staying quiet, but one look at the player’s face during matches paints a picture of an unhappy and angry young man.One friend of the 26-year-old did speak out via Instagram, however, stating: “Solari has the same idea of football as I do of engineering” before calling the Real boss a “murderer of football”.Aitor Costa Instagram story, IscoAnother large matter of note is the complete lack of public support from Isco’s team-mates – not a single member of the squad has defended him during his time in the wilderness. That could be a suggestion that the players are in agreement with the coach that Isco’s style simply doesn’t suit the club’s football.And let’s not forget being booed by his own fans in Madrid’s clash with CSKA Moscow. Couple that with a lack of support from the club and it’s easy to imagine that a departure from the Santiago Bernabeu could be on the cards as soon as is feasible.So is Isco’s Real Madrid career over? In short: yes. Certainly as long as Solari remains in charge and Isco is not at 100% fitness. Even if Madrid do appoint a new boss in the summer, however, the damage may already be irreversible.What happens next? A January move is unlikely. Even with Castilla players being preferred ahead of Isco, the club are still in tatters with regards to injuries, and a player with such a high profile means negotiations will not be fast.Although he has been linked with Manchester City in the past, Goal understands that a move to the Etihad will not be forthcoming as he does not fit into Pep Guardiola’s plans. Instead, reports suggesting Juventus as a potential destination are probably closer to reality.For now, Isco’s seat on the bench is likely to stay warm until the summer at the earliest.last_img read more

5 Essential Baby Items You Can Make Yourself

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

How to Prioritize Debt and Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

first_imgOur guest blogger, Kathryn Bradt, is one-half of the duo behind the Dames in Debt blog. The Dames are sisters working off their combined $250,000 worth of student loans and consumer debt while keeping it real about the struggles of being twenty-somethings in expensive cities with limited funds. Credit cards…love them or hate them, these little pieces of plastic (now featuring the “new” technology that is a slow-as-molasses electronic chip) are a frequent part of our daily lives. With the exception of food truck purchases, I can’t remember the last real transaction I made in cash, and with the advent of credit card rewards programs, I can’t remember the last time I used my debit card instead of my credit card.That is, until December 26, 2015, when I officially kicked off my “You desperately need to stop paying $150 in interest each month” credit card repayment plan.How I Got into DebtI didn’t get into credit card debt because of a lot of frivolous spending. Sure, there were a couple major clothes purchases that were probably unnecessary (or wholly unnecessary), but most of my debt was accrued paying for living expenses.Over three years of law school and a summer of studying for the bar exam, I put nearly all of my living expenses onto that sad Visa whenever my student loan refund ran out – about 9 months’ worth of living expenses.How much debt does 9 months of living expenses, a couple clothing splurges, a lot of stress-induced fast-food, and a 14.9% APR interest rate total? $14,055.92. Ouch.After passing the bar in October 2015, I found a full-time lawyer job as an Assistant Public Defender (my dream job!), and I knew it was time to end my relationship with credit card debt.Setting Up a Plan with MintBeing a longtime Mint user, I knew I could use  the Goals feature to help me pay off this debt. In the past, I’d set many savings goals and had great success with them, so I figured a debt repayment goal would be just as helpful.Since my account was linked, Mint easily tallied the debt total, interest rate, and the minimum payment – and actually showed me that if I continued to make only minimum payments, I would end up spending 18.5 years in debt and $23,000 in interest. Super depressing.After accepting my new job, I tweaked my Mint budget to account for my new income, updated my savings goals (emergency fund, anyone?), and established my new fiscally-responsible “fun” and eating out funds. After doing this, I saw that I had enough left over to make monthly payments that were 4x bigger than the minimum payment!With my payment calculated and my goal set, I automated my monthly payments, and BOOM! I’m going to be credit card debt free by July 2017.Making ProgressWith Mint, I’ve been able to create a plan that’s doable. I was able to see what it would take to pay off my debt in 12 months versus 24 months, and I think it’s important to see those differences and what you would be giving up to get there, or spend in interest, as the case may be.I picked a payment that I know I can make each month, but also gives me room to maybe add some extra money here and there. And the best part? Each time I make one of those extra payments, Mint automatically updates my goal completion date for me.Life’s looking up now that I have my credit card debt under control. As a public interest attorney (read: not the kind of lawyer that makes six figures), I have made peace with my student loans hanging around a bit longer, but that credit card debt? It needed to go.Now, I’m on a 15-month journey to high-interest-debt-freedom, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got big plans for that money once I’m done paying off the credit card…retirement savings!Quick TipsIf you’ve got a lot of credit card debt, there are definitely some things I recommend doing to fast-track your debt repayment. Here are some tips to get you started:Track all of your transactions with Mint and make sure they are categorized correctly. The trend charts will really show you where you can (and must!) spend less money in order to pay down your debt.Add a monthly budget to cover your interest payment each month, that way you can account for how much of your monthly payment is really going to paying down your debt.Stop using credit cards to float cash! Seriously. Learn to live within your means. If you just can’t make it work, then it’s time to pick up another job. I kept my part-time jobs for the first few months of having my new, full-time job to help transition my finances.Make your monthly payments (or automate!) the day after your paycheck deposits, that way you don’t have the opportunity to spend that money on something other than debt.When making more room in your budget to contribute to your debt, start with your take-out food budget and monthly memberships (gym, cable, phone, massages, etc.). These are the easiest to lower or eliminate without feeling like you can’t have any fun.It never hurts to call your credit card company and ask about lowering your interest rate. My company lowered mine 0.9% to an even 14.0% APR – all because I called and asked them about it! Every little bit helps when paying down high-interest debt. Post navigationcenter_img Kathryn Bradt is an Assistant Public Defender in Richmond, VA. When not in the courtroom, she writes about personal finance, life, and her addiction to procedural cop dramas as the East Coast Dame. Representing both coasts of the United States of Indebtedness, the Dames blog about millennial budgeting, saving money without feeling deprived, and how to live first-class on coach funds.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedWhat You Need To Know About Student Credit CardsAugust 14, 2018In “Credit Info”Guest Post: How to Actually Deal With DebtFebruary 5, 2018In “Financial Literacy”3 Not-So-Secret Ways to Raise Your Credit Score (And 1 Bonus Tip to Help Keep It High)September 5, 2018In “Credit Info” last_img read more

What’s Food Loss and Waste Got to Do with Sustainable Development? A Lot, Actually.

first_imgMore than 150 world leaders will meet in New York this weekend to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of global targets intended to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and curb climate change. The SDGs will help set the global development agenda for the next 15 years, focusing attention on the opportunities that will allow for more a sustainable future.One such priority included is reducing global food waste. Specifically, SDG Target 12.3 will call for the world to cut per capita food waste in half by 2030. If met, this ambitious target will not only boost food security, but also improve livelihoods, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save land and water. In short, curbing food waste is both a goal in itself and a means of achieving other SDGs.The Cost of Food Waste and LossGlobally, food worth $750 billion is lost or wasted each year throughout the entire supply chain. Reducing food loss and waste could help to recover these economic losses and reduce financial burdens on the world’s most vulnerable people. In Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the world’s poorest and most food-insecure regions, the World Bank estimates that just a 1 percent reduction in post-harvest losses could lead to economic gains of $40 million each year. And out of that $40 million, most of the benefits would go directly to the smallholder farmers growing the food. From an environmental perspective, food loss and waste are an extremely inefficient use of resources. According to a study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food loss and waste accounts for about 3.3 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. To put that in perspective, if food loss and waste were its own country it would be the world’s third-largest emitter, only exceeded by China and the United States. Large amounts of water and fertilizer also go into the production of this food that never reaches human mouths. This is a big environmental cost to pay for food from which humans derive little to no use.And from a food security perspective, reducing food loss and waste is a major opportunity to close the calorie gap between where the world is now and where it needs to be to sustainably feed the planet. The world currently faces a roughly 70 percent gap between the crop calories produced today and those that will be needed to feed a projected population of more than 9.5 billion people in 2050. Recovering some of this lost and wasted food can help close that gap while strengthening livelihoods and improving food security— without requiring any additional environmental costs.How to Cut Food Loss and WasteThe good news is that food loss and waste—a chronically overlooked issue—is starting to get the attention it deserves, both from the public and private sectors. Just last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an ambitious goal in line with the SDGs to reduce food waste in the United States by 50 percent by 2030. In just five years, the UK cut food waste by 21 percent, and Denmark achieved an impressive 25 percent reduction over the same time span. On the business side, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), which represents more than 400 companies across 70 countries, recently adopted a resolution to reduce food waste among member facilities by half by 2025.Here at WRI, we are working to reduce food loss and waste through the Food Loss & Waste (FLW) Protocol, along with our partners at the CGF, FAO, FUSIONS, UNEP, WBCSD, and WRAP. Working off the principle that “what gets measured gets managed,” the FLW Protocol is a multi-stakeholder effort to develop a global accounting and reporting standard for quantifying food loss and waste. The Protocol’s forthcoming FLW Standard will allow companies and countries to quantify their own food loss and waste in a credible and consistent manner, identifying where and how much food is being lost and wasted. Companies and countries can then use that information to identify appropriate strategies for making reductions. This will lead to economic benefits, increased food security and reduced environmental impacts.The FLW Standard will be available early next year, just in time to help companies and countries set baselines and start measuring progress against the SDG Target 12.3. This standard, along with loss and waste-reduction efforts from farm to fork, can help shift the world toward a less wasteful, more sustainable food future.last_img read more

Land Matters: How Securing Community Land Rights Can Slow Climate Change and Accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals

first_imgIndigenous peoples and other rural communities’ stewardship of Earth’s natural resources supports as many as 2.5 billion people with food, water, fuelwood and other essential materials. Diolo Celine harvests leaves from Gnetum spp. (okok) in the village of Minwoho, Lekié, Center Region, Cameroon. Photo by Ollivier Girard/CIFOR,The procedures to secure formal land rights are often complex, difficult and costly, and can stretch over decades. Photo by Juan Carlos Huayllapuma/CIFOR,Securing collective land rights offers a low-cost, high-reward investment for developing country governments and their partners to meet national development objectives and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Photo by Alex Berger/Flickrlast_img read more

Website Grader Lessons: Bag Inspiration

first_img Bag Inspiration would benefit by consolidating their different online properties. Currently their blog and website live at different URLs. This means that their main site, isn’t getting the search engine optimization benefits of all the content they are creating on their blog.  2. Things Bag Inspiration Could Do Differently Michelle and Stephanie also have a newsletter registration form right on their homepage. It’s a great idea to collect the names and email addresses of people who are interested in hearing from you but might not be ready to buy right now. By collecting email addresses and building out a house email list, you have a great tool to nurture people until they are ready to buy.   which highlights how you can live a more green life, write Things Bag Inspiration is Doing Right 1. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Bag Inspiration is the brain child of two moms, Michelle and Stephanie, in Wisconsin who are passionate about protecting the environment and who have a love for bags made of recycled materials. On their site, they sell bags made from everything including candy wrappers, old Indian saris, juice boxes and mosquito netting. Website Grader contest  (enter for your chance to win.) We thought we would highlight one of the companies that have joined in, showing what they are doing really well on their site, and what they could be doing better. blog From their Twitter feed, I learned that Bag Inspiration also has a fabulous weekly online newspaper call 1. Design product reviews I would recommend consolidating their blog,, with their website I would also recommend making their favorites and product recommendations part of their blog. It has the double benefit of adding more relevant content to their site and including that content in the blogs RSS feed.  We have had a lot of great folks participate in the on going The Green Inspiration Daily Originally published May 20, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 2. Michelle and Stephanie have done a great job of creating content in creative ways. They have a , which pulls together interesting content from around the web. Based on a quick search, I don’t believe that this is linked to from anywhere on their site! With each new issue, I would recommend writing up a blog post highlighting one or two of the articles. This will not only add more content to their blog, but will also help drive more people to the newspaper.    on different green cleaning products and also each have a favorites section where they talk about their favorite bags. The content is relevant to their readers and covers a variety of interesting topics.   I think Bag Inspiration is doing great things for the environment and is very deserving of the 95.5 that Website Grader gives them. last_img read more

Top SEO Tips Straight From the Industry Experts [INFOGRAPHIC]

first_img Originally published Nov 6, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack SEO Tips From the Experts”SEO is not about optimizing for search, it’s about optimizing for humans.” – Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot CTO (Tweet This Quote!)What This Means for Marketers: Think about what your target audience is searching for when laying out your keyword strategy. You might find quick and meaningful success with long-tail keyword phrases — keywords that are more than two words in length — particularly if they’re problem-oriented. For instance, someone looking for HubSpot’s inbound marketing software might be searching for a solution to a problem like “how to get more qualified leads.” That’s a very specific keyword phrase that addresses a human’s problem, not something generic like “leads” that might have a huge search volume, but not actually address the problems people are facing in your industry.”It’s not enough to rank on the first page. Marketers need to earn their clicks.” – Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz CEO (Tweet This Quote!)What This Means for Marketers: If you rank on the first page, it won’t mean much if it wasn’t earned. Not only because it doesn’t translate into leads and customers, but also because it doesn’t do anything to help you retain that top position … or your site visitor’s attention. It’s incumbent on you to create truly helpful content that keeps people coming back for more, staying on your site longer, and sharing and subscribing to your content. This is how Google knows that you’re a valuable resource — the people that find your content perform actions that indicate they’re really happy to have found you in the SERPs. That’s the kind of sentiment you can only earn through consistent efforts to publish valuable content.”Modern link building focuses on high-quality, original content that provides value.” – Stephanie Chang, Distilled SEO Consultant (Tweet This Quote!)What This Means for Marketers: Inbound links are the currency of the internet. And no one wants to buy a piece of junk. If you want your search rankings to improve, your content has to improve first. Plain and simple. There are no shortcuts to acquiring high-quality inbound links.”Think about the value you want to provide, and which keywords match that value.” – Greg Shuey, VP of Client Sales (Tweet This Quote!)What This Means for Marketers: Your keyword strategy should align with your business goals. Use closed-loop reporting to ensure the keywords you’re driving traffic from are actually driving qualified traffic. Not every site visitor will become a lead and/or customer, and that’s alright, because you want your content to reach tons of people so you can help expand your brand’s reach. But a portion of that traffic should also be bringing in traffic that converts on lead generating calls-to-action on your site. If you’re not seeing that happen, it might be worth your while to refine your keyword strategy, and select keywords that more closely align with your target audience’s needs.While we’ve come a long way with search engine optimization, the field is constantly advancing. Search engines have been implementing changes to their search algorithms at rapid paces in order to deliver the most valuable matches for users’ search queries. The more search engines base their decisions off consumer wants, the more we should all be aligning our businesses with this mantra, too. What can you do to optimize your online presence so it better benefits the searcher? Keeping that question top of mind in all of your marketing — particularly your SEO — will help you be an organic search expert just like the folks featured above!What other expert thoughts do you have that will help us all be better at SEO?center_img SEO Once upon a time (the past hundred years or so), in a land not far from here (all of our respective doorsteps), lived the concept of “yellow books.”These books were not like other books you may stumble upon. They were fat and heavy, dirtied your fingers, and configured your eyes into a permanent squint-mode with their tiny type. These yellow books were dangerous creatures, indeed.How else could consumers find what the businesses they were looking for, though? Well fortunately, the consumer search landscape has drastically transformed since then. Instead of flipping pages, we type. Instead of squinting our eyes for the right match, search engines do the matching work for us. In this new world of search — new in the grand scheme of things, at least — it’s critical for businesses to understand how to properly optimize their online presence for search.To help you master SEO, we rallied some of the top experts in the industry to help clearly explain how to tackle every aspect of SEO. These experts come from various SEO companies, and all have a vested interest in the art of organic search optimization. Check out their expert tips in this infographic (which you can feel free to embed on your own website using the embed code below), and then navigate below for a quick explanation of what these tips mean for your search marketing strategy. You can also download the complete 61-page guide, Learning SEO from the Experts, to learn more from them.last_img read more

Pinterest Finally Rolls Out Business Accounts: How to Set Yours Up Today

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack They’re heeeeere.No, its not a Poltergeist sequel. It’s Pinterest business accounts! We knew this day was going to come. In fact, we wrote about it in this article about why social networks like Pinterest will never be marketing-free. It was just a matter of time.Today on its blog, Pinterest announced that it’s not only letting companies set up business accounts (as opposed to personal accounts), but it’s also releasing a business-specific terms of service, totally separate from the TOS for regular ol’ people like you and me.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for BusinessPinterest cited the contribution of quality content from the business community as a reason for launching these business-specific accounts:”Thousands of businesses have become a part of our community, giving great ideas, content, and inspiration to people on Pinterest. Whether it’s Anthropologie sharing awesome clothes, Whole Foods sharing tasty recipes, the Smithsonian sharing fascinating collections, or Amazon making products easy to pin, many of us have been inspired on Pinterest by businesses.”So … do you already have a Pinterest account you want to convert into a business account? Convinced today’s the day to set up your Pinterest business account for the first time? Want to know what the new terms of service specifically for businesses say? Well have we got the blog post for you! Read on to learn all that and more, you pinning maniacs, you :-)How to Convert Your Personal Pinterest Account Into a Business Account (Or Set Up a Pinterest Business Account From Scratch)Before I get into the steps to setting up Pinterest business accounts, it’s important to note that accounts won’t look any different than personal pages, aesthetically. So doing this isn’t signing yourself up for hours of extra work — you can convert your account in seconds. If you’re setting up your account for the first time, you’ll obviously need to put time into setting up boards and pinning images, but the actual account setup will only take you a very short amount of time.So … if business accounts don’t look any different from personal accounts, why even bother?A couple of reasons …First, this announcement has also been coupled with a host of resources that Pinterest has created specifically to help businesses succeed on its network. If you want to continue receiving that kind of educational content from them, you’re going to have to identify yourself as a business.Second, this dedication to businesses — releasing business accounts, creating educational tools and resources — is a signal that Pinterest is going to continue making improvements to the way its platform works for businesses. That means a host of new feature releases coming down the road. Won’t you want to be able to have access to things like, ohhhh I don’t know, a ‘Buy Now’ button, should they choose to release it? Or targeted ads? Or business analytics? I sure would. But I wouldn’t get ’em from my personal account, that’s for sure!Finally, I’ll reiterate that establishing your personal account can be accomplished in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee. So go get your coffee machine going, come back and set up your business account, and you’ll be done before the machine’s finished brewing.Alright, now let’s get going with the conversion and setup!How to Convert Your Personal Pinterest Account Into a Business AccountIt’s so easy, you guys. Here’s all you need to do:Step 1: Go to, and click the red ‘Convert your existing account’ button.Step 2: Next, select your ‘Business Type,’ and update your ‘Contact Name,’ and ‘Email Address,’ if necessary.Pinterest also guides you through the ‘Business Type’ choice that’s most appropriate for you by providing parenthetical examples next to each type. Also note that the ‘Contact Name’ can be anyone — it’s not publicly shown. For your email address, you should use a company email address if you aren’t already so it’s not tied to any one employees’ personal email address.Step 3: Still on the same page, fill out the next section, ‘Profile Info.’None of this needs to change unless you didn’t fill it out when you first set up your account, or you want to make edits. All of this is publicly displayed on your Pinterest profile right now, and it will not appear any differently on your new business account.Step 4: Scroll down to the ‘Agreement’ section, and read the agreement. Then, agree to it. (Or don’t, I suppose, but I can’t help you from there.)Once you’ve accepted Pinterest’s terms by checking the check box, the ‘Convert Account’ button will turn red, and you can press it to change your heretofore personal Pinterest account into a business account!Voila! That’s it — You’re done. Told you it was easy.How to Set Up Your First Pinterest Account as a Business AccountNow, what do you do if you don’t already have a Pinterest account? How do you set up your first Pinterest account as a business account? Good news; it’s just as easy as converting an existing account. Basically, you follow the exact same steps we just went over — except instead of clicking the big red ‘Convert your existing account’ button in Step 1, you click the smaller red text below it, ‘New to Pinterest? Join as a business.’ As a reminder, this is found at you click this, the only difference is that the fields on the next screen — e.g. your profile image and ‘About’ section — will be blank, because your profile’s brand new.Once you’re done, there are plenty of resources available to help you fill out and optimize your account. Pinterest itself will walk you through things like verifying your website and how to add buttons to your website — you can also download our ebook about How to Use Pinterest for Business to get access to best practices and ideas to make your venture into Pinterest successful.What the New Pinterest Business Terms of Service SayAlong with the new business accounts came business-specific terms of service. And I’ve gotta say, this entire business account rollout has proven that Pinterest, as an organization, totally gets the importance of educational content. Not only did they release a bevy of business resources to help marketers use their platform successfully (more on that next), but they also released a “translated” version of their business terms of service devoid of legal jargon. You can read them in full here, but here are the highlights:You can only open an account on behalf of a company that you’re, well, allowed to open an account on behalf of.The content you post on Pinterest can be used by other Pinterest users. That means they can not only re-pin it, but they can also modify it, reproduce it, display it, distribute it, whatever, on Pinterest. If they start doing something weird with it outside of Pinterest that they’re not supposed to do, Pinterest ain’t havin’ anything to do with it.Pinterest expects that any content you post from third-party content creators and owners doesn’t violate any laws or infringe the third party’s rights.The biggest TOS change, other than the fact that there are now two separate ones, is that the TOS for “people” is about half as long as it used to be. Which makes sense, because now Pinterest doesn’t need to cram in legal terms that really only applied to businesses.New Pinterest Resources and Tools for BusinessesAlong with these rollouts, Pinterest has published some educational content — worth checking out — that will help businesses better use Pinterest. Here’s what they’ve released that you can use to improve your Pinterest performance.Pinterest Case StudiesMy favorite new resource is its case studies, which feature businesses that are doing great work on Pinterest. You can find these when you visit and scroll down below the fold. As you can see, Pinterest features case studies from five different organizations:When you click into the case study, it features the things they do best in the left navigation. Jetsetter, for example, talks about how to:Engage an AudienceEncourage Site ExplorationUse Group BoardsI encourage you to check out all the case studies to learn as much as you can about using Pinterest as a business, and then do a deeper dive into the case study that has similar business goals — which they are nice enough to spell out for you at the top of each case study. Originally published Nov 14, 2012 3:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Pinterest Best PracticesPinterest created another section on called What Works, and it outlines … what works for businesses on Pinterest! It covers four sections:Telling your brand’s storyBuilding a community on PinterestHow to send traffic to your siteHow to analyze your Pinterest presence to improveI highly recommend checking out the community-building section, as the Pinterest community is tight-knit and strong. If you can garner a following, you’ll be glad you have them on your side. And, of course, the section on how to send traffic to your website is very useful — there, you’ll learn how to do some technical things, like adding a ‘Pin It’ button to your site so your content is easier to share.Buttons and WidgetsSpeaking of “technical things,” the last major piece of documentation Pinterest released for businesses is its improved documentation on how to use sharing and follow buttons and widgets. You can find this under the Buttons and Widgets section on, and it will teach you how to add ‘Pin It’ and ‘Pinterest follow’ buttons to your website, as well as profile or board widgets.As far as we can tell, the profile and board widgets are new features. The profile widget lets you embed code on your site that shows your 30 most recent pins, while the board widget lets you embed code on your site that shows 30 of your favorite board’s latest pins.Whether you’re a new or seasoned pinner, I encourage you to spend some time looking at the educational resources and documentation on the new Pinterest business site. And of course, I encourage you to get that personal Pinterest account converted into a business account today!Does Pinterest’s dedication to supporting business’ presence on its social network make you want to dedicate more resources to pinning? Is this the tipping point for your business to try Pinterest for business for the first time?center_img Topics: Pinterest Marketinglast_img read more

17 Marketing Terms You Were Too Embarrassed to Google (But Should Definitely Know)

first_img Topics: As inbound marketers, it’s our job to keep up with the latest trends in our industry, news on our competitors, and the latest marketing jargon.But sometimes, every once in a while, a term or concept will eek by you. You might kind of know what it means, but not entirely.And you’ll know exactly what that term is when a colleague says something to you and your first reaction is … “Huh?”Perhaps you’re more eloquent than me, but I’ve had plenty of “Huh?” moments at my time here at HubSpot. And if I’ve been hesitant to Google a few things here and there, I bet there are some fellow marketers out there that also have been.So … I put together a list of some — okay, 17 to be precise — terms and concepts that you can brush up on (or maybe learn about for the first time) and your Google search history will be none the wiser.1) Long-Tail KeywordsLong-tail keywords are cool. Essentially, they’re search queries that contain three or more keywords. So, for example, a regular keyword for HubSpot would be “HubSpot.” But a long-tail keyword could be something like “inbound marketing software.”What makes long-tail keywords great is Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, focuses on user intent, which is the concept behind long-tail keywords, making them an important part of your marketing strategy. They’re also what can turn your PPC efforts into successful campaigns. See? Like I said — cool.2) Above the FoldThis concept is all about where content is placed on your webpage. Rule of thumb: Visitors should not have to scroll down the page or search to discover what you want them to do once they’ve landed on your page. That’s because what you want them to do should be … above the fold.This concept comes in handy when you audit your site pages (especially landing pages) to make sure they’re performing up to your standards.3) Meta DescriptionHere’s a basic summary of what a meta description is: A text summary of what can be found on your webpage (see what I did there?). There are several ways to optimize your meta descriptions for SEO purposes, since these descriptions show up in search results along with the links to the pages.4) Alt TextAlt text, or “alternative attribution,” is like a caption on any image on any of your web pages. This text should explain to the viewer exactly what they’re looking at without needing to actually see the image.Marketers use alt text so their images are optimized for any kind of viewer, like someone with images disabled in their browser, and so search engines like Google can “read” the image and return it in results for relevant queries.5) AlgorithmsAlgorithms are like recipes: They’re formulas that include a bunch of different variables that search engines use when they crawl your website to determine how your page should rank in search results.The variables that make up algorithms are guarded by search engines like your grandma guards the secret ingredients to her tomato sauce recipe. However, marketers still need to be aware of the important algorithm changes so they can continue to optimize their content, like their blog, for these algorithms to drive traffic to their site.6) PersonalizationThe same way some shopping sites recommend related items you might like based on things you’ve recently purchased, personalization in marketing is about showing visitors relevant content that’s tailored to the experience they’ve already had with your website.It’s the concept of not showing the same message to a brand-new visitor to your site that you would to a customer who’s been to your site multiple times. That doesn’t make much sense, does it? But if you want more reasons to personalize your marketing, we’ve got 22 for you right here.7) Content CurationYou have to create content that’s relevant to your buyer persona in order to make your inbound marketing successful. But content curation — finding other relevant content that’s already been created and sharing it in a meaningful way to your audience — should also be part of your marketing strategy.Curating content can be an art form, and if you’re good at it, it can turn you into a thought leader in your industry. Just make sure you’re adhering to the content copyright laws so you’re not stealing other people’s content.8) 301 RedirectsIf you need to know what a 301 redirect is, you might be thinking about a website redesign. When you permanently redirect one URL to another, you need to implement a 301 redirect so that it doesn’t mess up that SEO strategy you’ve worked so hard on. A 301 redirect can pass 90-99% of ranking power from the old URL to the new one, and in most instances, it’s the best method for implementing redirects on a website.9) SaaS“SaaS” means “software as a service.” So, if you’re using any software that’s hosted by another company and they store your information in the cloud, you’re using a SaaS product.HubSpot is considered a SaaS product — and, actually, I bet a lot of applications you use every day are SaaS products. Think Salesforce, IM clients, project management apps … you get the idea.10) ChurnHint: This one has nothing to do with butter. Churn is a key metric SaaS companies use to determine the percentage rate at which their customers are going to cancel their recurring subscription to their service. Put plainly: You don’t want your customers to churn.For data-driven marketers (that’s you), knowing the rate at which your customers churn is key so you can strategize on how to keep churn at your company low. Keeping customers happy isn’t always easy, but here’s some metrics and tactics you can use to help reduce churn at your company.11) KPIKey performance indicators (or KPIs) are metrics that you look at to track the progress towards your marketing goals. Some examples of marketing KPIs are CAC (cost of customer acquisition) or the ratio between the lifetime customer value to the cost it takes to acquire a customer (LTV:CAC).I get it: That was a lot of acronyms. Here’s a great post on those critical marketing KPIs and what to do when they’re underperforming.12) RSSRSS feeds make keeping up with the latest industry trends easy as pie. RSS stands for “rich site summary,” though others note it can also stand for “really simple syndication.” Most websites and blogs have RSS feeds that you can subscribe to and have the latest published updates to those sites delivered right to you in an RSS reader of your choice.Allowing customers and prospects to subscribe to content via an RSS feed is something marketers should consider when building a site or a blog. Want to subscribe to your favorite blogs now? Here are some RSS readers we recommend using to keep all your RSS feeds in one place.13) UXUX is short for “user experience,” and when someone refers to UX, they’re talking about the experience your customer will have when they interact with your service or product.As a marketer, you should know that only 55% of companies are currently conducting any online user experience testing. But making sure your product has the best user experience possible can potentially make a difference for a prospect evaluating your product.It’s a term product managers think about every day, but it’s an important concept for marketers to understand.14) APIAn “application programming interface,” or API, is kind of a like a phone for applications to have conversations. An API literally “calls” one application and gets information to bring to you to use in your software.HubSpot has APIs that developers use to get information from our software into theirs. And while all this sounds techy, it’s important for marketers to understand what APIs can do to factor them in to their marketing strategies. Luckily, we have a marketer’s guide to APIs just for you.15, 16, and 17) CRM, HTML, CSSBonus! I saved these terms for the end as a goody bag since we recently blogged some FAQ posts about CRM, HTML, and CSS. These posts are just as good as any candy you’ll find in a real goody bag (maybe better?).Are there other marketing terms and concepts you’ve been embarrassed to Google? If so, let us know in the comments. (It’s a judgment-free zone, we promise!) SEO Originally published Oct 14, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Language Matters: How to Communicate More Effectively With Your Team

first_img Originally published Sep 25, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Collaboration/Teamwork This post originally appeared on The Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to The Agency Post.For project managers, directors, and anyone else in a similar role, the words you use when speaking with your employees really matter. It’s not just what you communicate, but how you communicate it.The psychological impact of language is something that many professionals tend to forget, especially when up against a deadline or working with a difficult client.Using the right words and proper tone can help you improve the effectiveness of constructive criticism and even create a stronger bond among your team members or with your client(s). And it can result in a happier, more cohesive team, which leads to better work, happier clients, and a healthier working environment.It’s what you say …There are plenty of ways to say the same thing, but each way may come across completely differently — depending on the words you use, your tone of voice, and your audience. This is especially important for project managers and others in leadership positions. After all, a director is only as effective as his or her team. Therefore, a solid understanding of the psychology of language can be an invaluable skill to pick up.For instance, let’s say you have a mock-up of a new infographic due at the end of the week for a fairly demanding client. There are plenty of ways that a project manager could request a status update from either the creative team or the account executive.1) “Where is that mock-up? I need to see your progress immediately.”2) “How’s the mock-up coming? Any questions on the assignment? Will you be ready to review at the end of the work day today?”3) “When will you be ready to get me that mock-up? The account team and I need to review it before it goes to the client on Friday.”Another example: A junior copywriter submits a draft that quite simply missed the mark. There are a few ways to address this1) “What was your line of thinking that lead to this concept?” (Note: Even if the initial draft missed the mark, the ideas behind it may still be solid, so don’t automatically dismiss things, especially from a junior team member).2) “Did you even read the creative brief? This doesn’t even align with brand standards. Go back to the drawing board, and show me something good next time.”3) “Hmmm, the client won’t like this.” (Proceed to take the draft and mark it up with disparaging comments).Media buyers, social media managers, account executives, and other staffers aren’t immune either. While no one is perfect, it is how you approach mistakes or missteps that really count — and that starts with the initial conversation about what went wrong and how to fix it…. And how you say it.Of course, the tone you use when you deliver your message matters as well — almost as much as the words you use. Even if you’re frustrated, being able to modulate your voice and speak slowly and deliberately can go a long ways when trying to keep things calm. People pick up on frustration.On the other hand, sometimes being a bit witty, flippant, or even sarcastic may lighten the mood, if that’s how your team generally communicates. This is a case of knowing your team and your employees, but sometimes a well-placed joke can ease the tension and make everyone relax.Use “I” language and positive words.This one can actually extend into all areas of your life, even outside of work. Speaking in “I” statements — placing the focus or blame on yourself (e.g., “What can I do to help you accomplish your tasks on time?” versus “You’re always late on deadlines.”) is less confrontrational and won’t put people on the defensive as easily.Using affirmative words or phrases like “good start” or “I see where you were going here, but have you considered X” will help encourage the right sort of progress, as opposed to being negative and only pointing out what’s wrong with someone’s work.Good language skills lead to great results — and a happy crew.Despite the fact that the esteemed philosopher and author Niccolo Machiavelli stated that it is preferable for leaders to be feared than loved, that isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to developing creative concepts or strategies. After all, you never want your team to be frightened to question leadership or broach new ideas. That’s how agencies stagnate.Using the psychology of language properly is one of the first steps towards creating a harmonious team that feels confident in their work and enjoys it. It leads to much better creative executions and results for your agency and clients.Remember: Words do have power. Use them wisely.Want more content like this? Subscribe to The Agency Post. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

A Brief History of New Year’s Resolutions: Where They Began & Why They Fail

first_imgBut this psychology paves the way to figuring out why 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail. And it seems to indicate two core reasons:The goals are too big.The stakes aren’t high enough.Why Resolutions Fail: 2 Common Pitfalls1) The Goals Are Too BigNot too long ago, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered the “fresh start effect” — the fact that something saliently new, like a year, age, home, or job comes with an inevitable opportunity to start over again. Unfortunately, as Julie Beck wrote for the Atlantic, “A fresh start is only fresh while you’re anticipating it. Once the New Year begins, it’s no longer special.”As we anticipate these landmarks, they seem like big, remarkable occasions, so we pair them with equally sizable goals. But given that many of the most common resolutions are fairly general — get fit, find love, save money — it can be hard to determine where to start. And when you’re faced with a broad task and an unclear plan for tackling it, you’re — in most cases — setting yourself up for failure. Take the aforementioned example of Cargill’s client — it seems that none of those purchases came with a tangible plan for how each of them would be used to achieve the overarching goal of losing weight. Instead, the client spent a large sum of money on products that were intended to achieve several new behaviors at once.Instead of imitating that behavior, we recommend setting micro goals — and not limiting them to January 1. Ask yourself: “What’s one small change I can make that will help me lose weight?” Adding more veggies to every meal, doing ten sit-ups when you get out of bed, or skipping dessert 1-2 days per week are a few.These minor modifications should be easy to do among the other tasks that come with a new year, like catching up at work after time off for the holidays.Where to Start:Luckily, there are plenty of resources out there to help you start with these small goals. The Google Calendar app (free on iOS and Android) has a “Goals” feature, which you can customize according to what you want to accomplish, and how frequently you can do it — you can start with something as small as once a month, or as often as six times each week. Plus, Google uses what’s already on your calendar to figure out the timeslots you have available for your goals.Here’s how I used it to schedule weekly time for volunteer work:2) The Stakes Aren’t High EnoughSomething happens when you resolve to break a bad habit, Dr. Nicole Lipkin explains on — you “fight against your natural, human urge to gain over lose.” That’s especially true when your undesired behavior has become deeply ingrained in your day-to-day operation. “Smoking, laziness, boredom, compulsive eating, overspending,” Dr. Lipkin writes, “are all default behaviors based on habitual brain wiring to give you what will make you feel good.”Take smoking, for example. By now, we all know the health risks it poses. But until we’re faced with the immediate repercussions of the bad habit — like in an extreme case, losing one’s trachea — it’s extremely difficult to fight against the urge to gain the pleasure you might receive from indulging in it.But there’s an answer to that conundrum, and it lies in our naturally human aversion to loss — the psychology that explains why it hurts us when we lose money, for example, much more than winning money brings us pleasure. So what if, every time you resolved to quit and failed, you immediately lost money? The immediate risk increases the stakes, playing into our loss aversion psychology.Where to Start:Websites like stickK exist for a reason. It can be used to place financial wagers on your goals with a Commitment Contract — “a binding agreement you sign with yourself to ensure that you follow through with your intentions.” While you aren’t immediately charged, you are required to provide billing information as soon as you make a commitment. That way, if you don’t stick to it, you’re immediately charged the amount that you’ve wagered.I don’t know about you, but I don’t really feel like coughing up $25 every time I back out of a volunteering project — and I’m sure that I’m not alone. Maybe that’s why folks with financial stakes are up to 3x as likely to successfully achieve their goals. As the numbers show, the reward of accomplishing what you’ve set out to do isn’t always enough motivation. Supplementing it with an immediate loss if you don’t stick to your resolutions mitigates the chances of bailing on your resolutions.Ready to Make a Plan?Maybe you’re part of the 38% of people who never make New Year’s resolutions. But with these resources, you might feel a renewed sense of motivation.And maybe that’s because they’ll help you move past the “fresh start effect” that we mentioned, and see that goals can be planned for any time of year. With the right, manageable steps, as well as a healthy balance of risk and reward, the new year doesn’t have to be such a big deal — and it doesn’t have to pose insurmountable obstacles to achieving worthy resolutions.How do you maintain your goals and resolutions? Let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Jan 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img Ah, late December — I remember it well. It was a time for reflection, sugar, and salt. For many, it was also a time to look ahead to the looming new year, and think about where we could improve. We resolved to do things like lose weight, find love, and save money.But once the new year has come and gone, sadly, only 8% of us successfully accomplished what we set out to do.It wasn’t always like that. There’s actually a very long, compelling history behind how we started making resolutions in the first place, and it looked a lot different at first. And as these resolutions evolved, our motivation to maintain them also shifted, eventually resulting in the aforementioned dismal success rate. Download your free marketing goal-setting template here. So, how did we get here? And why is it just so darn tricky to stick to our resolutions? Let’s step back in time and explore just how this tradition works.A Brief History of New Year’s ResolutionsWhere They BeganAccording to the History Channel, New Year’s resolutions date back roughly 4,000 years, to when the Babylonians — a population living in what was then Mesopotamia — commemorated the new year in March, when the season’s crops were planted. The celebration consisted of a 12-day festival called Akitu, when either a new king was crowned, or loyalty to the existing monarchy was renewed.But it was also a time for the Babylonians to make certain promises — things like settling debts and returning anything that wasn’t theirs to its proper owner. Maintaining these resolutions, they believed, came with karmic retribution, in that kept promises would be rewarded with good fortune in the following year.The Romans are said to be the first to create the concept of January 1 and designate it the first day of the year, beginning around 46 B.C. The name of the month is rooted in Janus, a god of particular importance to the Romans, due to his two-faced nature. It was believed that Janus could use his two faces to both look back on the outgoing year, and forward to the next one. Similar to the Babylonians, Romans made vows of good deeds to Janus before the new year arrived.Where They Are NowEach December, the Marist Institute for Public Opinion measures the most popular resolutions for the coming year. Starting with the top resolutions for 2017, we worked backwards to see how these resolutions have evolved — or not — over the past five years.We’ve certainly seen a shift in resolutions since the Babylonian and ancient Roman era — going from good-doing to mostly self-improvement. However, 2017 is seeing a bit of a shift back in that direction, with more looking to “be a better person” this year.It should be interesting to observe if that new trend influences the typical marketing response to New Year’s resolutions, and what — if any — shift we’ll see from campaigns aligning with “classic” resolutions to ones that attempt a deeper sense of self-improvement.But there’s some intricate psychology between our resolutions and the way brands respond to them. In her book The Psychology of Overeating: Food and the Culture of Consumerism, psychologist Kima Cargill explores how, when it comes to goals like diet and exercise, there’s a human tendency to consume a larger number of things that we believe are a means to an end. Rather than trying to “locate purpose in [our] life,” Dr. Cargill writes, “shopping, spending, and eating are all part of the frenzy of consumption that has overtaken our culture.”Cargill elaborates on one particular client as an example, citing that person’s thousand-dollar spending on a personal trainer, top-of-the-line juicer, high-end fitness attire, and specially branded health food in response to her resolution to lose weight. That client, by the way, ultimately fell into a pattern of abandoning her resolutions and starting them over again. Sound familiar? I know it does to me.That behavior reflects what Cargill believes is an “underlying belief that consumption solves rather than creates problems,” and brands respond in kind. We see an uptick in campaigns from fitness and weight loss brands every January, leading to an uptick in new gym memberships — 67% of which go unused. And with so many people resolving to lose weight year after year, some brands have become extremely skilled at convincing us to use them to meet our goals. Check out this 2015 ad from Virgin Active, which combined two common resolutions — exercising more and finding love.last_img read more

Marketers: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! The next evolution of marketing is upon us.The sharp uptake in consumer use of messaging apps, the shift in content consumption from text to video and audio, and the finally consumer-ready advancements in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and voice recognition all signal that marketers and consumers alike are in radically new times. Everytime consumer behavior evolves, marketers have new opportunities that were never before available.I was talking to a colleague the other day about these changes, and she noted how endlessly marketing channels shift. “There aren’t many other fields where the game reinvents itself so often,” she said.”That’s because we fuck everything up,” I told her.Let me explain.Scorched Earth Marketing AKA “Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”There is a desperation at play in most marketing organizations. A low grade panic to solve for short-term needs  —  the lead goal that month, for example, or a choice media placement. Attention is as fleeting as Snapchat videos, and for many companies, grabbing a moment of it can feel like gasping for oxygen. I get it. I have been there myself, so I’m not passing judgement.The enemy of remarkable marketing is impatience.There is so much competition for attention these days that the moment a blue ocean channel or new marketing strategy opens up, marketers flock to make the most of it. At the root of the problem is the channel-based mentality that causes us to obsess over hacks and mechanics more than a great message and engaging experience.Early adoption is a good thing. It can be the breath of fresh air marketers and consumers alike are looking for. And typically the early days leveraging a new channel or format in your marketing strategy are as pure and innovative as they should be.But then something happens. We cross the line into a sort of scorched earth marketing mentality where we forget the reason consumers were drawn to that channel to begin with — and we beat the living daylights out of it.  We start to solve for our own goals, instead of our customers’.New channels emerge in part because we marketers ruin old ones.Our earnest exploration of emerging channels all too often turns into rabid gaming of the system if we aren’t careful. And consumers, exhausted by our antics, are forced to move on to find new communication and content channels free of spam and brands. It happened with email. It’s happening with content. And if we think messaging and video are any different, we’re kidding ourselves.How We’re Messing Up ContentRemember when content first emerged as the antidote to disruptive advertising and direct marketing? It was eye-opening.Before content, if you were a marketer you were primarily using email and advertising to gain prospective customers. Those were the channels and, oh, did marketers use them. They so overplayed them that consumers began to adopt technology to filter them out. They blocked ads. They set up inbox filters. They reduced the noise and took control of their own purchase process. Much of that process began not with the company but on Google, where a buyer would do all the independent research they needed before making a decision.So instead of pummeling buyers with ads or email, smart marketers started to create useful content designed help the consumer rather than sell them. If good and relevant, this content would find its way to the top of the search results page and, without costing the company anything in ad spend, deliver a compounding stream of incoming traffic.The world of ebooks and webinars took shape in earnest. Let’s offer something of true value that consumers would otherwise pay for in exchange for nothing but their contact details and permission to reach out.It sounds silly today because of how commonplace ebooks and lead forms have become, but it was genuine and mutually beneficial at the start. It was a new way of interacting with online consumers when quality, trustworthy information was scarce.But then we (marketers) scorched the earth.The volume of content went up, the quality often went down. Content farms popped up. And brands started to fund the spread of bad content through paid channels. As content offers increased, they became less valuable, and then they crossed the line into utter noise.Good content still exists, but you have to sift through an awful lot of cheap content to get to it. So where did we go wrong?We over-solved for the long tail.The long-tail of search was what initially made content so exciting. You may not have had enough authority to win a top spot in the search results for highly competitive keywords, but there were any number of keyword variations you could shoot for.It was field-leveling. I get it. I pitched it. But the problem with solving for keyword variations is there are thousands of them out there, which means you have to make thousands of attempts to capture that traffic. All of that has lead to high volumes of mediocre content.We’re guilty of this too. In the past, we created hundreds of individual blog posts mapped to long-tail keyword variations that got repetitive. We didn’t realize how much it would all add up and clutter the internet.  Since then, we’ve implemented a strategy to update old posts with higher quality and updated information instead of launching into a new post and to redirect repetitive or irrelevant content.On our Sales Blog, we’re focusing on topics over keywords, mapping each new post to a larger topic or pillar page. This creates a more organized site architecture that’s easier for Google to crawl and index and signals our authority on a subject, rather than a bunch of long-tail keyword variations.While marketers were busy filling the web with content, Google also got smarter about how it handled search queries. Updates to the algorithm enabled Google to start serving up content that better matched searchers’ intent — not just their keywords. With this in mind, exact keyword optimized content only addresses a sliver of the question and isn’t going to help you get found in the same way it once would have back in 2012.SEO has changed. It doesn’t reward content for the sake of keywords anymore. SEO in today’s world comes down to architecture and quality content more than it does keywords. And this is a very good thing for readers. It means that instead of writing mountains of content, our new goals should be about creating more value out of less content.How We Risk Messing Up MessagingFacebook Messenger will be the next great marketing channel, and it is arguably the best way to engage with the Facebook community as a marketer. My first reaction when I started to see messaging rise as a communication channel was, “Thank god you can’t buy Messenger accounts like you can buy email lists.”This is an important point: You can’t buy and sell lists of Messenger addresses. You can’t be spammy or impatient in the same way that is possible via email.That said, marketers are inventive. We can still mess up messaging.We have to resist the urge to treat messaging like email. This is not a mass communication channel. It’s not a high-volume communication channel. Messaging should be reserved for short, on-demand, personalized exchanges. They should be triggered, whenever possible by the customer, not the company.Email is company driven. Messaging is customer driven.Even with behavior-triggered marketing automation, email is still pretty much a guessing game of what the recipient will find interesting. Messaging apps and the bots that live within them allow the recipient to pull the content they want from your repository. It can be completely custom. You can and should have endlessly differing content subscriptions with endlessly differing cadences based uniquely on the person at the other end. That is the promise of messaging: A frictionless exchange that gives the user exactly what they’re seeking and nothing more.As marketers we need to respect Facebook’s ecosystem and the experience of the conversational UI that is a messaging interface. Let’s have bots help us deliver rich, personal, and helpful experiences. Let’s use Facebook Instant Articles to load web experiences within Facebook instantly. Let’s give our prospects and customer exactly what they need and nothing more.Ok, so lets say we all agree with that in concept, here’s where our resolve will be tested. Messaging conversion rates are incredibly high right now. Like … gold rush high. In early experiments we’ve run at HubSpot, we’ve seen 4X the conversion rate on Facebook messenger versus email.HubSpot’s Messenger bot allows prospects to book a meeting with a sales rep. There’s a reason those conversions are so high right now. It’s because marketers haven’t yet eroded the trust of consumers on messaging. For the sake of everyone, let’s keep it that way.If appeals for a better customer experience aren’t enough, consider this. At this time there is one company that largely controls messaging. Facebook has the keys to the castle on more than 1.2 billion users. Its primary incentive is aligned with the happiness of those users. So if Messenger gets abused, Facebook could turn around and remove this option for marketers. And they’d be right to do so.Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report outlines the potential of messaging for businesses.How We Risk Messing Up VideoRemember when infographics first became popular? There were infographics on everything.  Infographics on account based marketing. Infographics on geo-political conflicts. Infographics on world octopus day and shades of poop. Some were interactive and meticulously researched. Others were little more than powerpoint slides and poorly sourced. The internet was absolutely littered with them.Source: Google Image SearchInfographics became so prevalent over the past 10 years it prompted Megan McCardle, former senior editor of The Atlantic, to call the whole practice a plague, writing:The reservoir of this disease of erroneous infographics is internet marketers who don’t care whether the information in their graphics is right … just so long as you link it.We can be better than this. And we have a chance to be. Today, we are on the verge of the same reckless abandon happening with video.Video, once a resource-intensive format has become vastly simpler to create. Marketers can stream video at the touch of a button, and pre-produced videos can now benefit from everything from free b-roll sources to voice over marketplaces. This democratization of video production has come just in time for a mobile- and social-led surge in video consumption. The combination of the two creates the perfect conditions for marketers to run amok.I can’t believe I have to say this, but, let’s make video responsibly.A responsible video strategy starts with being specific about why you’re making a video in the first place.  How does this video fit into your marketing strategy?Is it designed for top-of-the-funnel awareness? Build it to be native to Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram (Pick one — don’t one-size-fits-all it). Solve for time spent watching. Don’t try to drive conversions — drive interactions.Is it designed to inform buyers on their way to a decision? Incorporate it into your sales process. Wistia, Viewedit, and Loom all offer quick video recording solutions to create custom explainer videos for your buyers. Use it as a way to save your prospects time with the basics before hopping on a call. Record a recap video after a demo. Solve for personalization over anything else. These videos should feel like a direct portal into the customer’s sales rep or account manager.Don’t know? Don’t make a video.Want it to solve for all of the above? Really don’t make a video.HubSpot’s Marlon De Assis-Fernandez puts his cartoonist skills to work in a prospect video.Just because a format has gotten easier doesn’t mean we should run it into the ground. Videos should be an integral part of our strategy rather than an add-on or afterthought. In the past, we’ve made videos just because someone said, “We need a video!” It felt flashy and impressive to have a video for a campaign launch. But because we didn’t consider if video was really the right format for a particular story or how someone would actually discover the video, we saw disappointing results and ultimately, decided it was a waste of time.The problem isn’t that video isn’t effective or valuable. We just didn’t ask the right questions before pressing the record button.Let’s Save Ourselves From OurselvesEvery time people flee from overcrowded channels into new untouched ones, companies crop up to build on them. But evolving with customers is less about predicting the next big marketing channel and more about seeing through it to the customers on the other side. It’s time we stop obsessing over channels, and start focusing on the people within them. Because if history has demonstrated anything, it’s that what’s new now may be scorched earth tomorrow. So yes, dive in. Explore every new channel that comes our way. But more importantly, look at the bigger picture of what the adoption of a channel says about how people want to interact with each other and brands.Let’s make our mark on marketing by doing it the right way. Originally published Jul 18, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated August 02 2017 Topics: Inbound Marketinglast_img read more

The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

first_imgA digital story is told through a variety of media, such as video, animation, interactive stories, and even games. This option is by far the most effective for emotionally resonant stories as well as active, visual stories … which is why it’s also the most expensive. But don’t fret: video quality doesn’t matter as much as conveying a strong message.6. Write!Now it’s time to put pen to paper and start crafting your story.With your core message, audience objective, and call-to-action already established, this step is simply about adding detail and creative flair to your story. Read more about our storytelling formula to help you with this step.7. Share your storyDon’t forget to share and promote your story! Like with any piece of content, creating it is only half the battle — sharing it is the other.Depending on your chosen medium, you should definitely share your story on social media and email. In addition, written stories can be promoted on your blog, Medium, or through guest posting on other publications. Digital stories can be shared on YouTube and Vimeo. While spoken stories are best conveyed in person, consider recording a live performance to share later.The more places you share your story, the more engagement you can expect from your audience.Storytelling ResourcesStorytelling is a trial-and-error process, and no one tells a story perfectly on the first try. That’s why we’ve collected these resources to help you fine-tune your storytelling skills and learn more about the different ways a story can be told.For a written story Topics: The Storytelling Process Originally published Sep 18, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated April 18 2019 … impart knowledge or educate, tell a story that features a trial-and-error experience, so that readers can learn about a problem and how a solution was discovered and applied. Discuss other alternative solutions, too.4. Establish your call-to-actionYour objective and call-to-action are similar, but your call-to-action will establish the action you’d like your audience to take after reading.What exactly do you want your readers to do after reading? Do you want them to donate money, subscribe to a newsletter, take a course, or buy a product? Outline this alongside your objective to make sure they line up.For example, if your objective is to foster community or collaboration, your call-to-action might be to “Tap the share button below.”5. Choose your story mediumStories can take many shapes and forms. Some stories are read, some are watched, and others are listened to. Your chosen story medium depends on your type of story as well as resources, like time and money.Here are the different ways you can tell your story.A written story is told through articles, blog posts, or books. These are mostly text and may include some images. Written stories are by far the most affordable, attainable method of storytelling as it just requires a free word processor like Google Docs … or a pen and paper. … foster community or collaboration, tell a story that moves readers to discuss and share your story with others. Use a situation or experience that others can relate to and say, “Me, too!” Keep situations and characters neutral to attract the widest variety of readers. Why Do We Tell Stories? Storytelling is the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised in order to better explain the core message. An audio story is spoken aloud but recorded — that’s what sets it apart from the spoken story. Audio stories are usually in podcast form, and with today’s technology, creating an audio story is more affordable than ever. (For a great story-driven podcast, check out The Growth Show!) While this definition is pretty specific, stories actually resemble a variety of things. This graphic from ReferralCandy helps outline what stories are and are not.Storytelling is an art form as old as time and has a place in every culture and society. Why? Because stories are a universal language that everyone — regardless of dialect, hometown, or heritage — can understand. Stories stimulate imagination and passion and create a sense of community among listeners and tellers alike.Telling a story is like painting a picture with words. While everyone can tell a story, certain people fine-tune their storytelling skills and become a storyteller on behalf of their organization, brand, or business. You might’ve heard of these folks — we typically refer to them as marketers, content writers, or PR professionals.Every member of an organization can tell a story. But before we get into the how, let’s talk about why we tell stories — as a society, culture, and economy.Why Do We Tell Stories?There are a variety of reasons to tell stories — to sell, entertain, educate or brag. We’ll talk about that below. Right now, I want to discuss why we choose storytelling over, say, a data-driven powerpoint or bulleted list. Why are stories our go-to way of sharing, explaining, and selling information?Here’s why.Stories Solidify Abstract Concepts and Simplify Complex MessagesWe’ve all experienced confusion when trying to understand a new idea. Stories provide a way around that. Think about times when stories have helped you better understand a concept … perhaps a teacher used a real-life example to explain a math problem, a preacher illustrated a situation during a sermon, or a speaker used a case study to convey complex data.Stories help solidify abstract concepts and simplify complex messages. Taking a lofty, non-tangible concept and relating it using concrete ideas is one of the biggest strengths of storytelling in business.Take Apple, for example. Computers and smartphones are a pretty complicated topic to describe to your typical consumer. Using real-life stories, they’ve been able to describe exactly how their products benefit users … instead of relying on technical jargon that very few customers would understand.Stories Bring People TogetherLike I said above, stories are a universal language of sorts. We all understand the story of the hero, of the underdog, or of heartbreak. We all process emotions and can share feelings of elation, hope, despair, and anger. Sharing in a story gives even the most diverse people a sense of commonality and community.In a world divided by a multitude of things, stories bring people together and create a sense of community. Despite our language, religion, political preferences, or ethnicity, stories connect us through the way we feel and respond to them … Stories make us human.TOMS is a great example of this. By sharing stories of both customers and the people they serve through customer purchases, TOMS has effectively created a movement that has not only increased sales but also built a community.Stories Inspire and MotivateStories make us human, and the same goes for brands. When brands get transparent and authentic, it brings them down-to-earth and helps consumers connect with them and the people behind them.Tapping into people’s emotions and baring both the good and bad is how stories inspire and motivate … and eventually, drive action. Stories also foster brand loyalty. Creating a narrative around your brand or product not only humanizes it but also inherently markets your business.Few brands use inspiration as a selling tactic, but ModCloth does it well. By sharing the real story of their founder, ModCloth not only makes the brand relatable and worth purchasing, but it also inspires other founders and business owners.Source: ModClothWhat Makes a Good Story?Words like “good” and “bad” are relative to user opinion. But there are a few non-negotiable components that make for a great storytelling experience, for both the reader and teller.Good stories are …… entertaining. Good stories keep the reader engaged and interested in what’s coming next.… educational. Good stories spark curiosity and add to the reader’s knowledge bank.… universal. Good stories are relatable to all readers and tap into emotions and experiences that most people undergo.… organized. Good stories follow a succinct organization that helps convey the core message and helps readers absorb it.… memorable. Whether through inspiration, scandal, or humor, good stories stick in the reader’s mind.According to HubSpot Academy’s free Power of Storytelling course, there are three components that make up a good story — regardless of the story you’re trying to tell.Characters. Every story features at least one character, and this character will be the key to relating your audience back to the story. This component is the bridge between you, the storyteller, and the audience. If your audience can put themselves in your character’s shoes, they’ll be more likely to follow through with your call-to-action.Conflict. The conflict is the lesson of how the character overcomes a challenge. Conflict in your story elicits emotions and connects the audience through relatable experiences. When telling stories, the power lies in what you’re conveying and teaching. If there’s no conflict in your story, it’s likely not a story.Resolution. Every good story has a closing, but it doesn’t always have to be a good one. Your story’s resolution should wrap up the story, provide context around the characters and conflict(s), and leave your audience with a call-to-action.Now that you know what your story should contain, let’s talk about how to craft your story.The Storytelling ProcessWe’ve confirmed storytelling is an art. Like art, storytelling requires creativity, vision, and skill. It also requires practice. Enter: The storytelling process.Painters, sculptors, sketch artists, and potters all follow their own creative process when producing their art. It helps them know where to start, how to develop their vision, and how to perfect their practice over time. The same goes for storytelling … especially for businesses writing stories.Why is this process important? Because, as an organization or brand, you likely have a ton of facts, figures, and messages to get across in one succinct story. How do you know where to begin? Well, start with the first step. You’ll know where to go (and how to get there) after that.1. Know your audienceWho wants to hear your story? Who will benefit and respond the strongest? In order to create a compelling story, you need to understand your readers and who will respond and take action.Before you put a pen to paper (or cursor to word processor), do some research on your target market and define your buyer persona(s). This process will get you acquainted with who might be reading, viewing, or listening to your story. It will also provide crucial direction for the next few steps as you build out the foundation of your story.2. Define your core messageWhether your story is one page or twenty, ten minutes or sixty, it should have a core message. Like the foundation of a home, it must be established before moving forward.Is your story selling a product or raising funds? Explaining a service or advocating for an issue? What is the point of your story? To help define this, try to summarize your story in six to ten words. If you can’t do that, you don’t have a core message.3. Decide what kind of story you’re tellingNot all stories are created equal. To determine what kind of story you’re telling, figure out how you want your audience to feel or react as they read.This will help you determine how you’re going to weave your story and what objective you’re pursuing. If your objective is to …… incite action, your story should describe a how a successful action was completed in the past and explain how readers might be able to implement the same kind of change. Avoid excessive, exaggerated detail or changes in subject so your audience can focus on the action or change that your story encourages. What is Storytelling?center_img What is storytelling? … tell people about yourself, tell a story that features genuine, humanizing struggles, failures, and wins. Today’s consumer appreciates and connects to brands that market with authenticity and storytelling is no exception. A spoken story is told in person, like  a presentation, pitch, or panel. TED talks are considered spoken stories. Because of their “live”, unedited nature, spoken stories typically require more practice and skill to convey messages and elicit emotions in others. An art.Not a process, method, or technique. Storytelling is described as an art … the “art” of storytelling.And — like art — it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. Storytelling isn’t something you can grasp in one sitting, after one course. It’s a trial-and-error process of mastery.Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is, and rightfully so because storytelling has become a crucial component of the most successful marketing campaigns. It sets apart vibrant brands from simple businesses and loyal consumers from one-time, stop-in shoppers.It’s also the heart of inbound marketing.Storytelling is an incredibly valuable tool for you to add to your proverbial marketing tool belt. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide, to help you discover and master storytelling and weave gorgeous, compelling tales for your audience.Pick up your pen, and let’s dive in.Download Our Free Guide on Visual Storytelling Storytelling OEDb’s writing resourcesHubSpot’s list of writing toolsFor a spoken storyThe TEDx Speaker GuideFor an audio storyHubSpot’s guide on How to Start a PodcastFor the digital storyVimeo’s Video SchoolAnimotoOver To YouStorytelling is an art. It’s also a process worth mastering for both your business and your customers. Stories bring people together and inspire action and response. Also, today’s consumer doesn’t decide to buy based on what you’re selling, but rather why you’re selling it. Storytelling helps you communicate that “why” in a creative, engaging way. Plus, isn’t storytelling more fun? … convey values, tell a story that taps into familiar emotions, characters, and situations so that readers can understand how the story applies to their own life. This is especially important when discussing values  that some people might not agree with or understand. Storytelling Resources What Makes a Good Story?last_img read more

How to Become a Social Media Consultant, According to 5 Successful Ones

first_imgNowadays, social media is a critical component of any business’s marketing strategy.There are over 3.2 billion people on social media globally. With such a large potential audience, it’s becoming essential for every company to use social media to reach new prospects, boost brand awareness, and market their products or services.But oftentimes, marketing on social media platforms is easier said than done — and when you’re working at a small company with limited resources, it can be tricky (or even impossible) to hire and train a fully-staffed social media team.If a company doesn’t have the resources to staff a social media team in-house, they aren’t out of luck — as an alternative, they can hire a social media consultant to help them increase their social media presence and grow traffic to their social accounts.If you’re a social media consultant, you’re required to act as the voice, eyes, and ears of a client across various social platforms to properly engage with and grow an audience. While an undoubtedly rewarding role, it can be tricky — which is why we’ve gathered insights from five successful social media consultants.If you’re interested in becoming a social media consultant but aren’t sure how to get started, or you’re hiring a social media consultant for your team but aren’t sure what to look for, keep reading.Download Now: Free Consultant’s Success KitHow to Become a Successful Social Media Consultant1. Build a portfolio of case studies, and produce and publish content that proves your worth.Keith Kakadia, Founder and CEO, told me — “My advice to anyone who is trying to build a portfolio of clients as a social media marketing consultant would be to do a few things, starting with building out your portfolio of case studies. Many clients want to see the work you have done in the past for others successfully.””The second piece of advice I could give,” Kakadia adds, “is to produce and publish content that shows your expertise in the field of social media marketing. Having a blog or even writing on a channel like Medium can help you stand out from the crowd of social media consultants.”If you’re interested in creating your own blog, take a look at How to Create a Successful Blog Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide.2. Network, network, network.Akvile DeFazio, President of AKvertise, Inc., advises aspiring social media consultants to network: “The moment you decide you want to take the leap to become a social media consultant and eventually shift towards doing it full-time, I encourage you to begin networking and sharing your skillset and services with others, on and offline, even if you aren’t working for yourself just quite yet.””Relationships and building up your clientele can take time, so begin feeding your funnel as soon as you can. As someone who has always enjoyed networking, I didn’t realize just how valuable my network was until I announced that I was leaving my former employer to go out on my own. I imagined that as soon as I did, I would lose some ties as I wouldn’t be seeing industry peers and business owners in person as much, but to my surprise, many of them shared in my excitement and sent leads and clients my way.”To begin networking, DeFazio suggests checking out places like, joining Twitter chats regarding topics relevant to social media, and guest blogging to expand your reach and visibility. She also recommends researching podcasts that might be interested in having you as a guest, attending industry events such as pop-up networking events or conferences, and checking out your local chamber of commerce.3. Create an engaging Instagram account.Simone, a social media consultant and Founder of Savvy Simone, told me — “If you are hoping to become a successful Social Media Consultant, the first thing to do is create an Instagram and post frequently. Don’t worry too much about a logo or a polished website, that can come later.””Focus on growing a loyal following by providing value (social media tips and tricks) and sprinkling in some of your own personal life,” Simone added. “If you don’t have any formal experience, you can still attract potential leads by sharing your knowledge with the world. Be passionate about your new venture and make sure to spend time developing your own personal brand and online presence. Also, ask other social media consultants how they got started. Most are more than willing to chat with you!”If you’re unsure how to grow an Instagram following, check out Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide.4. Timing is critical.Amy Bishop, owner of Cultivative, LLC. and a Digital Marketing Consultant, told me it’s critical you remain practical when deciding when, and how, you’re going to create your own business — “Timing is typically one of the most difficult factors in deciding when to go out on your own. Only you will know when the time is right, but I suggest saving up about three to six months worth of living expenses, just in case things don’t go as planned.””Even if you don’t need the money,” she says, “it will save you some stress and likely prevent you from taking on clients that are a poor fit, or pricing yourself too low out of desperation to sign clients. Oftentimes (assuming it doesn’t break any contracts with your current employer), consultants will pick up a few clients before quitting their current job, to ensure they have a little bit of revenue flow — but I recognize sometimes that’s not an option.”Additionally, Bishop mentions it’s vital you set up an LLC for your new business (it’s relatively inexpensive to set it up online), and keep track of expenses and income for tax purposes later on.5. A tiered approach is a good one. Crystal King, HubSpot Academy Social Media Professor, told me — “Make sure you understand upfront how big the job you are taking on will be. Survey your clients thoroughly. Sometimes they may not really know what they want or need. Be ready to deliver a proposal that accurately defines what you think is best for their business, the scope of the work, and what additional fees there may be for work that goes beyond the original parameters of the project.”A tiered approach is often a good one — what the client would get for a very high cost, a medium rate, and a low one.”Additionally, Crystal mentioned, “Be clear about hours and the activities that such a fee would encompass. And keep in mind that there is only one of you –be ready to say no if the job is too big, or ask if bringing in freelancers to help you is something that can be accommodated by their budget.”5. Prioritize lead generation.Amy Bishop told me — “Lead generation is critical and, for many folks, the most stress-inducing part of starting your own business. There’s a huge demand for social media consultants — you just have to know how to find them. Start by reaching out to your network to let them know you’re offering consulting services. Ask them if they know of anyone that could use your services. Even if they don’t, they’ll likely keep you in mind for future reference.””Additionally, join local networking groups and associations. Try to identify folks with skills that don’t overlap with yours that you could partner with — for instance, folks that do web development, email marketing, or SEO, but not social media management. If you find yourself struggling to sign on clients, consider reaching out to agencies and asking for overflow work. You can keep your skills sharp and have some income coming in while you continue to work on new business.”Ultimately, Amy insists if you’re passionate and dedicated to social media consulting, it’s worth the risk: “If you have experience managing social campaigns and you’re considering making the leap to owning your own business, I can’t begin to recommend it enough. For the right person, the benefits are limitless.”6. Overdeliver in the beginning.Keith Kakadia says — “My last piece of advice would be to overdeliver in the beginning as you start to build your brand.””You need an army of evangelists for you and there is no better way of accomplishing that besides overdelivering for all your clients and making them feel as if they are your only client.”While you’re ultimately in-control of what packages you offer and at what price, consider going the extra mile early on — once clients’ begin seeing an increase in traffic and engagement from your services, they’ll be more willing to recommend you to another colleague or business, which is critical for your long-term success. Additionally, try including customer testimonials or reviews on your website to demonstrate your legitimacy. Marketing Jobs Typical social media consulting/freelance rates 2019 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Aug 20, 2019 10:00:00 AM, updated November 12 2019 A consultant with 0-3 years experience and a limited portfolio will likely want to start charging between $15-$50 per hour, depending on the project scope and type of client. After three years, you can charge between $50 and $100 per hour. Once you’re an advanced consultant with an impressive portfolio, you can charge upwards of $120+ per hour. Social media consultants can charge anywhere from $15-$250+ an hour, so it’s important you keep in mind your prior work experience, the scope of the project, and the type of client when deciding your rate.last_img read more

Quarter-milers camp in Trivandrum from November 15

first_imgIndia’s quarter-miler group, which trained in Europe under chief coach Galina Bukharina last season, will be training in Trivandrum’s LNCPE athletics ground from November 15 onwards, confirmed Athletics Federation of India’s (AFI) high-performance director Volker Herrmann.Mail Today earlier reported in September that AFI is planning to shift the quarter-milers training camp from Patiala to Trivandrum as the cold weather in Punjab during the winters will not be apt for the runners to train in.The group of 17 men’s and women’s 400m runners includes injured athletes Hima Das, Saritaben Gayakwad, and Rajiv Arokia, who will train under coach Galina Bukharina and Raj Mohan at the facility till mid-March.While AFI has remained tight-lipped on mysterious injuries to Hima and Saritaben, Rajiv is currently undergoing treatment on his injured toe in Pune and is expected to join the camp by November 1 in Patiala.”The national camp in Trivandrum will start from November 15 onwards. The list includes 17 athletes including Hima, Sarita and Rajiv,” Herrmann told Mail Today from Patiala. “The group will start training under coach Galina and Raj Mohan in Patiala next week and then the camp will move to Trivandrum from thereon till March next year.”The AFI official has also said the group will then take part in few of the Indian Grand Prix and Federation Cup next year before heading to Europe to compete in events of higher IAAF rating unlike last season.It was at these low-grade events in Czech Republic and Poland, Hima Das went on a gold medal spree in competitions dominated by Indian runners.advertisement”The group will run in the local competitions scheduled in March-April and then will go to Europe to take part in different competitions which will be more competitive than last year. The camp will continue in Europe till the Olympics,” he said.However, the plan might get an early jolt as the paper has learnt from another AFI official that the track in LNCPE is not ready for training yet and is not certain if the lot will be training in Kerala as per the schedule.last_img read more

Alleged Poco F2 cases briefly listed on retail website, hint at pop-up camera design

first_imgWhen will the Poco F2 launch in India? This is one of the most anticipated questions in the Indian smartphone industry right now. But why? This is because the Poco F1 gained wide popularity in the country and is still selling like hotcakes. Consumers are waiting for the Poco F2. Past rumours suggested that Xiaomi will launch the Poco F2 in the second half of 2019. Sadly, the company still hasn’t revealed any details about the India launch of Poco F2. For now, there are no words on the launch timeline of the Poco F2 but a new leak hints at the phone’s existence.First reported by Mashable India, Liquid Crystal and Rugged Armor cases of the alleged Poco F2 were seen listed on a Spigen website. But the cases were listed only for a brief period. Besides revealing the existence of the phone the cases also confirm the design of the Poco F2. They suggest that the Poco F1 successor will look nothing like the predecessor. In other words, the next Poco phone will not come with a wide-notch design similar to the iPhone X. The alleged cases of the Poco F2 suggest that the smartphone will come with a pop-up camera setup similar to the Redmi K20 Pro and Redmi K20.The cases further suggest that the upcoming Poco F2 will sport the same design as the Redmi K20 series of phones. In other words, the next Poco phone will not include any notch on the front as there will be a pop-up camera setup which will include the selfie camera. This also means that compared to the Poco F1 the next poco phone will offer a bigger screen. It is also likely that similar to the Redmi K20 series of phone the Poco F2 will also opt for AMOLED display instead of LCD. In addition, the leaked phone case of the Poco F2 also revealed that smartphone will include the rear camera setup in the middle of the back cover similar to the Redmi K20 series.In the past, we have come across several leaks that revealed details of the upcoming Poco F2 — if that is what Xiaomi plans to call the smartphone. Past leaks and rumours suggested that Xiaomi may opt for Snapdragon 855 Plus the Poco F2 instead of Snapdragon 855 that powers the Redmi K20 Pro.As noted earlier, Xiaomi is yet to reveal launch details of the Poco F2. Considering the anticipation we can expect Xiaomi to reveal some details of the nex poco phone soon.ALSO READ | Samsung W20 5G listed on TENAA, specs similar to Galaxy Foldlast_img read more

Ranking the Top Return Men in OSU History (Part 2)

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Yesterday we went through Nos. 10-6 on our list for the top return men in Oklahoma State history.Let’s get to our top five.No. 5 Tyreek HillDuring his lone season in Stillwater, Hill averaged 24.7 yards on 30 kickoff returns. That’s the fifth-highest average for a season at OSU. His two kick return touchdowns still leaves him tied for fourth-best for a season at OSU.Another guy you just wanted to see with the ball. He was the featured returner on both kickoffs and punts but his punt return average was a pedestrian 9.5 yards. But he had a pretty big one you might remember. That 92-yard punt return is the second-longest in OSU history and his 99-yard kickoff return at Kansas is alone in the No. 2 spot.AdChoices广告No. 4 R.W. McQuartersMcQuarters was the definition of a Renaissance man. As a freshman, he was the first OSU player in over 30 years to gain offensive yardage, return a kick and make tackles in the same game.The Booker T. Washington product and Super Bowl champ averaged an impressive 23.4 yards on punt returns and 15.3 on kickoff returns. He was an All-Big 12 punt returner in 1997. He gets points for his overall production and being featured in both phases of the return game.No. 3 Barry SandersThe top 3 are not only elite athletes and playmakers, they’re separated by a razor-thin margin. I’m sure I’ll get a couple of comments on the Barry sacrilege but since looking strictly at the return game, production had to be weighed.When Barry Sanders came to Stillwater, he knew he would be playing second fiddle. Another future Hall-of-Fame running back in Thurman Thomas was well on his way to stardom. Pat Jones stuck Barry behind Bobby Riley at both kick and punter returner and he quickly showed his all-world talent.As a sophomore, Sanders led the Big 8 (No. 2 nationally) in punt return average and led the nation in kick return average. He is the only Oklahoma State player to score on multiple kick returns and multiple punt returns in the same season (1987).Sanders recorded three of the school’s five 100-yard kickoff returns. He broke more NCAA records over his three-year college career than most players know exist. There’s little argument against his claim as best football player — if not athlete — to lay his head down in Stillwater.No. 2 Justin GilbertGilbert’s NFL career hasn’t quite panned out as of yet but that doesn’t take away from the special career he had while in Stillwater.Gilbert holds the record for most kickoff returns in a season at OSU (32) and is the career leader in kickoff return touchdowns (6). His 2,681 career kick return yards ranks him second in both Oklahoma State and Big 12 history and his career kick return average of 26.3 is second in school history.Gilbert lands at this spot because of his consistency and overall production. He had three of the top 10 OSU seasons in kick return average. He’s also the only Cowboy other than Barry Sanders to record a 100-yard kickoff return. Sanders had three. Gilbert recorded two.No. 1 Perrish CoxCox had it all. The production. The big-play threat. Great name.All of the top three on the list ended their careers with six return touchdowns which made it that much harder to separate them. But Cox gets the nod for his overall production and being the featured returner on both kickoffs and punts. It took a player like Dez Bryant to usurp Cox in punt returns and that was just for one year (2008).Cox is the all-time leader in OSU and Big 12 history in kickoff return yardage (2,804) and lands at the top of my list. More importantly, any time he caught the ball off another team’s foot, you knew there was a chance you were about to see something special.This doesn’t hurt either.Click for the TD. Stay for an all-time call from Brent Musburger.“And Bullet — exhausted.”last_img read more

A Decadent Dinner with I.W. Harper

first_img The Best Whiskey for Whipping Up a Whiskey Sour What is Bourbon? A Brief History of America’s Whiskey Editors’ Recommendations The best kinds of calls we get at The Manual is when a brand reaches out to work with us because they are fans of the site and want to associate with the lifestyle of our readers. It is equally exciting when that brand is one we respect!We got the call from I.W. Harper several months ago and we are delighted to be working with them on events both in Portland and Charleston. The reason for the pairing is to raise awareness of this exquisite Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that has been unavailable in the U.S. market for 20 years. While the brand was pulled in the 90s (to focus on the Asian market since vodka/gin were the basically the only spirits American’s were drinking), the story of the whiskey stretches back to 1872 when Isaac Wolfe (I.W.) Bernheim opened his own distillery in Kentucky.The brand became an instant hit and was duly recognized with numerous gold medals throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, most famously taking the Gold Medal at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Throughout the years, I.W. Harper continues to grow, becoming the gold standard around the world (their vintage ads are legendary) and is even the bourbon of choice on many luxury ocean liners (the private jets of their day). The brand landed it’s cult status when Ian Fleming mentioned it in one of his James Bond novels, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and was even included in the film of the same name.Now the company is back in it’s homeland and reintroducing itself with much fanfare. We kicked off our collaboration Wednesday night in PDX with good friends at the cities coolest new restaurant, East Portland’s Bit House Saloon. We were welcomed by their celebrated bar manager, Jesse Card. He was an amazing host and did not let us leave without trying five different bourbon cocktails (Hello, Uber!). Between drinks we feasted on buttermilk cheddar biscuits with pepper jam, Armadillo eggs (holy moly) as well as a serious meat board and excellent entrees. As the night went on and the drinks kept coming, laughs rang louder, stories became funnier and pictures got blurrier. We think Mister Bernheim would approve.If you want to follow along with our Harper Happenings, follow #IWHarper and see what we are up too.center_img If You Haven’t Visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, What Are You Waiting For? The Best New-School Kentucky Distilleries The Absolute Best Rye Whiskey Brands for Under $50last_img read more

Quebec honours mosque shooting victims with memorial encouraging dialogue acceptance

first_imgQuebec City will honour the victims of the deadly 2017 mosque shooting with a memorial park to be built near the site where six worshippers were gunned down.Mayor Regis Labeaume made the announcement today on the second anniversary of the mass shooting.Labeaume says the tragic event left families and an entire community in mourning, and the memorial will ensure the victims are not forgotten.The mayor says Quebec City residents know how to live together, and everyone has their place in the city regardless of their background or their beliefs.The centrepiece of the park is a monument created by Quebec artist Luce Pelletier. Called “Vivre Ensemble” (Live Together), it is intended to inspire respect and harmony between diverse communities.Boufeldja Benabdallah, president of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, was present at the unveiling of a scale model with the widows and the children of the victims. The park is slated to be inaugurated in January 2020.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Legault government has long list of promises to fulfil with first budget

first_imgQUEBEC — After five months in power, Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec government will lay out its true priorities today as it tables its first budget.Legault has raised expectations with expensive promises since his party won the Oct. 1 provincial election, and he insists all the commitments will be respected.He has promised to put money back in taxpayers’ wallets, reducing the fiscal burden by $1.7 billion over five years while maintaining services to the public.Finance Minister Eric Girard has a comfortable cushion to work with, having inherited a surplus from the outgoing Liberal government that is pegged at $1.7 billion by the government and $4.6 billion by an independent research institute. Unemployment is low and equalization payments from Ottawa are expected to rise to $13 billion this year.Girard, a former executive with the National Bank, is cautious by nature, and if his December economic update is any indication, the budget will steer clear of attention-grabbing measures.He has a long list of promises to navigate, including increased family allowances, a pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds, an extra hour of school for sport and arts activities, the hiring of more nurses and an annual injection of $200 million into home care for the elderly.The Canadian Presslast_img read more