How to Set a Budget in Mint.com

first_img Post navigation There’s nothing like a new shiny toy to boost your enthusiasm for a New Year’s resolution.Wanna run a 5k? Buy a gadget that tracks every trot around the park.Wanna eat healthier? Join a diet club.Wanna save money? Sign up for Mint!Wanna win a $500 gift card from Mint? Set a new budget for the new year!Mint.com is helping you get back on track with our “30 Days to a Buffer Bank Account” sweepstakes.Every Minter who sets a new budget in January is automatically entered to win one of eight $500 Visa gift cards.Are you ready to get your budget on track for 2014?Here’s a quick and easy tutorial with lots of screenshots to walk you through every step.In a few minutes, you’ll be checking off your New Year’s resolution to organize your finances!Sign UpThe first step is easy peasy. Head on over to Mint.com and click “Sign up.”Enter your email, your zip code, and set a password. Next, a screen will pop up to help you sync your financial information with Mint’s free tools.Add Your AccountsEnter the name of your bank, the name of your credit card, or even the URL of your financial institution.If you’re not sure of the exact name, Mint will help you by suggesting the most common options.If you enter a credit card or bank name, for example, Mint will ask for your account number and password.By sharing your financial information, Mint is able to access your account and pull your transactions into its tools to give you a big picture look at your finances.The more accounts you add, the more complete your picture will be.Adding accounts will also enable you to use Mint’s free budgeting and planning tools. I’ll show you how to use those tools in just a minute.At any time, you can log in at Mint.com and enter additional financial accounts by clicking on “Accounts” at the upper right corner of the screen.If you’re concerned about security, make sure to check out Mint’s page on how it keeps your information safe.Once you log in, you can access this page from the bottom of the welcome screen.Download the AppIf you’re like me, you’re constantly on your mobile. Who has time to pull out the laptop anymore?For quick updates on the go, download Mint’s apps. From the homepage, click on How it Works.Then click on Mobile apps, in the lower left corner. Mint has apps for Windows 8, Windows 8 Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, and Android Tablet.Most functionality is available on the apps and it’s great to be able to keep an eye on transactions on your mobile or tablet.Set a BudgetNow for the fun part. With one or more financial accounts synced with Mint, it’s time to use Mint’s free budgeting tools. What a great way to procrastinate at work!After you’ve logged into Mint and added at least one account, click on Budgets.Then click on Create a Budget.Type in a category of spending, like Entertainment, decide the timeframe for this category, and set the amount of money that will be earmarked for this type of spending.I allotted $100 per month for my Entertainment budget.Add additional categories, like Income, Groceries, Rent, and Gas. Mint automatically knows which charges on your credit card fall into which category.The more categories you have, the more closely you can track how you are spending your money.Once you know where your money is going, you will be able to plug the holes, if need be.How to Adjust CategoriesTo adjust a category that you’ve already added, mouse over the category and it will be highlighted. Look for the words “Edit Details” in a small green font.You can change the timing and the amount for that category.How to Add Cash TransactionsTo add a cash transaction or to look at details transaction records, scroll over the category, then click on the small magnifying glass to the right of the category.That gives you a detailed look at every transactions within that category. Click on “Add a Transaction” to add cash expenditures.Viola! You’ve got a fancy pants budget that is totally free, giving you an enlightening overview of your financial transactions.If you’re hungry for more, explore Mint’s tools to track Goals, discover your spending Trends, look at your Investments, and find new Ways to Save.Happy budgeting!Julia Scott founded BargainBabe.com, a place to save money with freebies, coupons, and inspiration!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

9 Habits to Lose Extra Pounds Without Even Noticing

first_imgAccording to the World Health Organization, the number of people suffering from obesity has grown 3 times in the past 40 years. Almost every fourth person on our planet older than 16 years old carries extra weight. It is no wonder that more and more people are starting to pay attention to their diet. Of course, not everyone must have a strict diet, sometimes it’s enough to only use some tricks that will keep you from overeating.We want to share interesting ways to stay in shape without having to follow a specific diet.Tighten your beltBefore eating lunch or dinner, put a ribbon around your waist. When you feel that it’s becoming too tight, it means it’s time for you to stop eating. This very simple but effective trick will help you avoid overeating.Drink from long glassesWe get a significant part of the calories we need not from food but from drinks. For example, one glass of juice contains up to 120 calories and 20 g of sugar. This amount can be decreased if you use the right glasses. The thing is, on average, we pour 20%-30 % less liquid into long thin glasses than into short ones.Eat with a timerIt’s simple: when you rush during eating, you overeat because the brain just doesn’t have enough time to receive the signal that you are already full. So, when you are going to eat, set a timer for 20 minutes and try to eat slowly.Take hot bathsHot water doesn’t just help you relax but it also makes you lose weight, according to scientists from Loughborough University. During the studies they conducted, they found out that one hour spent in a hot bath burns around 130 calories — this is just as much as you lose after walking for 30 minutes! Besides, the average sugar level is 10% less after taking a bath! Great news!Put a bowl of fruit on the tableWhen you see healthy foods very often, you program yourself to eat healthy food. Besides, this works not just for real fruit and vegetables but even for photographs. So, don’t unsubscribe from healthy diet groups on social media!Sit at the end of the tableThis trick is very important for dinner parties where there’s a large table and many people. When you sit at a table surrounded by extremely tasty foods, it’s almost impossible not to eat them. And if you sit at the end of the table, there is a chance not to eat something, because it’s much harder to reach certain foods.Invent some small everyday thingsMany of us have been in a situation when we needed to blow out candles on a birthday cake or open a bottle of champagne to celebrate. The food accompanied by such traditions seems to be a little tastier. This is the conclusion that was made by researchers from the University of Minnesota. That’s why you should have a habit of doing something nice before eating. Then, even boiled broccoli without salt will seem like the best food ever.Cut food into small piecesThis move may trick your brain and make an impression that there is more food on the plate than there really is. So, you will feel full much faster and you won’t overeat. Small plates work the same way. You can also use chopsticks instead of knives and forks.Use your imaginationAn imaginary lunch helps us eat less in actual life, according to scientists from the Carnegie Mellon University. During the study they conducted, it turned out that the people who imagined eating M&M’s ended up eating less than other the participants of the experiment. So, maybe there is nothing bad about daydreaming about tasty meatballs and soft chocolate chip cookies. This is how your consciousness helps you lose weight.Of course, all the tricks we shared in this article won’t give you stunning results without an overall good diet and regular exercise. Sourcelast_img read more

6 Early Signs of Pregnancy That Will Surprise You

first_imgWhen you’re trying to conceive, the waiting period between when you ovulate and when your period is due can seem endless. And, while you can take a pregnancy test at some point, there’s a set period of time where it’s just too early to know.Still, it’s completely understandable that you’d want to know if you’re pregnant ASAP. Luckily, there are a few signs that could clue you in. Every woman is different, making it tough to say for sure what your early pregnancy signs may be, but there are some things that tip you off that you may have a bun in the oven.Pregnancy Symptom #1: You’re peeing more than usualDuring the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases and her kidneys have to make excess fluid that ends up in your bladder, the Mayo Clinic says. As a result, you have to pee more than usual. Increasing levels of the hormone progesterone during this time might also make you feel like you have to go to the bathroom more often, says Jonathan Schaffir, MD, an ob/gyn at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.Pregnancy Symptom #2: Your breasts are tenderThis is also due to progesterone, Dr. Schaffir says. The hormone sparks the growth of mammary glands in the breast. The pain or tenderness you may feel is from those glands swelling up.Pregnancy Symptom #3: You’re wiped outMost women feel tired at some point in their pregnancy, but the reason behind it isn’t totally understood. It could be due to the fact that growing a little human is tough on your body, or the increase in blood volume, or the fact that it’s tough to get a good night’s sleep when you wake up during the night to pee, says Christine Greves, MD, an ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. “Sometimes, an overwhelming feeling of fatigue is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy,” she adds. (If it turns out you’re not expecting, mention extreme fatigue to your doctor—feeling tired all the time is a symptom of other health issues.)Pregnancy Symptom #4: You’re nauseousWhen you’re pregnant, your body produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which continues to rise during the early stages of your pregnancy, Dr. Greves says. This hormone usually makes women feel nauseous—but not for long. “Since the level of this hormone tops out at about eight to 10 weeks of gestation, this is when most women have the worst nausea before it starts to improve,” Dr. Schaffir saysPregnancy Symptom #5: You’re not pooping as much as usualThe hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscles in your body, including the ones in your gut that move food along in your intestinal tract, Dr. Schaffir explains. “Since the time it takes for food to get from your mouth to your rectum is increased, more water is absorbed and stool becomes harder to pass,” he says.Pregnancy Symptom #6: You suddenly have food aversionsFood aversions are a weird side effect of pregnancy that make you nauseous or dislike foods that you’d normally eat otherwise—especially if they’re flavorful. There’s no scientific reason why this happens to a lot of women during pregnancy, but it could be that it helps women avoid foods that could be dangerous for the pregnancy. “Since blander foods are less likely to have chemicals that could affect pregnancy, a sensitivity to strong tastes and odors could prevent exposure to such chemicals,” Dr. Schaffir says. Still, every woman’s aversions are different, so it’s really hard to say what’s behind this.Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have any of these symptoms—it doesn’t mean you’re not pregnant. “By far the most common first sign is being late for a period,” Dr. Schaffir says. So, try to wait things out and take a test when you miss a period—it’s really the most reliable sign there is.Sourcelast_img read more

Dude, Cold Calling Is For Losers (Video)

first_img Originally published Sep 22, 2008 11:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 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 Inbound Sales (Marketing) What do you think?  The stars of the video are Mark Roberge (inbound) and Dan Tyre (outbound) both from HubSpot.  If you like it (or if you don’t!), send the YouTube Link to a few friends, leave comments and ratings at YouTube.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3yCB7AvvAkEmail this link to a friend. last_img read more

A Simple Breakdown of All Your Facebook Advertising Options

first_imgIn the new Facebook ads platform, you’re also able to create a Sponsored Story for any of your ads. I’ll explain what that means in this next section, but know that you can do this for any post of a page, app, or offer that’s on Facebook. 2) Sponsored StoryA Sponsored Story is a post generated because someone interacted with whatever you’re promoting. So if I promoted HubSpot’s business page, a Sponsored Story would be generated if someone Liked our business page. This story will appear to the user’s friends’ newsfeeds, and it will look like this: You are not able to change the copy of the ad generated, so when posting something on your wall, keep in mind that only the first sentence will appear in the ad. Remember to make the copy of the post as engaging as possible to get people to click on your ad.This ad can lead either to an external link, or another part of your Facebook page. This is dependent on what kind of offer you post on your Facebook page. If you post a photo, and sponsor that photo, clicking on the ad will only lead the user to your photo album on your Facebook page. To send a user off of Facebook onto your own landing page, you can post a link to an external page on your Facebook page. The image that’s generated in this case will link to your landing page. We do this to drive traffic to our ebook offers, for example, which can be a great lead generation tool.4) Sponsored AppIf your business has an application on Facebook, you can also sponsor an app. Simply select the app in step one: Facebook Advertising To send a user to a Facebook page:To promote your Facebook page, you’ll create an ad in a different way. In the first step where you choose your destination, you’ll select your Facebook business page. After you select your page, the new Facebook ad platform will give you three options. To promote your page to get more Likes, thus increasing your reach, you’ll want to click on the first option: Get More Page Likes. Originally published Nov 19, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Once in the Power Editor, you start by creating an ad. Again, Facebook will generate ad copy for you, so you’ll need to change that to reflect something more appropriate.When promoting your Facebook page, you’re able to select the ‘Landing View,’ which is where the user will end when they click on your ad. To get the most Likes, sending them to your timeline would be best, where they can see the summary of your company and easily Like your page. But if you want to promote another part of your page, you can send them to another app, just be careful — make sure you’re clear in your ad copy as to where they’re going after the click to avoid post-click desertion. If people expect one thing in the ad, and land on a page unrelated to what they saw in the ad, they’re much less likely to remain on the page and engage with your content.  You can then create your ad headline, text, and image. Try to use “attention grabbing” copy and an image to increase engagement with your ad. CTRs on ads can be very low, but can be improved with more entertaining and attractive creative material.Facebook will try to pull material from the URL you have typed in and generate an ad. Make sure the headline and copy is correct, as it will pull the first sentence it finds, which may not be what you’re looking to promote. For example, when I use the URL www.hubspot.com/3/ which promotes our latest software release, the headline of the ad comes up as “Marketing Software That’s,” because the headline can only be 25 characters. I will go back into this ad and change the headline to one that actually make sense! You’re given three option again: Get New Users, Increase App Engagement, and See Advanced Options. The final step in creating an ad on Facebook is the bidding and pricing. Name your campaign — the name is just for you, so make sure you name it something unique that you’ll remember — and input your budget on a daily or lifetime spend basis.OptimizationFacebook can auto-optimize your campaign budget for clicks or impressions. This means Facebook will set your cost-per-click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM) to best spend your budget while getting the most clicks or impressions. You can also choose to manually set the CPC or CPM. I personally like to use a CPC bidding for my campaigns, as I’m usually creating ads that send people to a landing page for one of our offers. This way I only pay when someone actually engages in my ad.  If you select option two, ‘Increase App Engagement,’ your ad will be shown to current users of the app to try and increase the current users’ engagement with the app.Selecting option three, ‘See Advanced Options,’ gives you more choices on bidding and cost-per-click optimization, which we’ll discuss later on in this post.Sponsored Story Within an AppYou can also choose to have stories promoted about people sharing and using your app. Just like with Sponsored Stories of wall posts, these often show a higher CTR and lower volume, as they have the element of social proof and interactions with friends lending a helping hand. These also show up in the news feeds of friends who are using the app. What I think is one of the most valuable parts of Facebook advertising is the ability to target based on interests. You can select as many interests as you wish and target people that have stated this as an interest, or have liked the page. This allows you to find the people that you want to reach and are qualified for your business.Facebook will also let you know the size of the audience. You’ll want to make sure you’re targeting the right audience, but if the volume is very low, you may want to think of broadening your targeting in order to reach your lead generation goal. Luckily, Facebook has over one billion users, so most audiences will be very substantial! Sponsored ResultsFacebook recently came out with a new form of advertising on Facebook, Sponsored Results. Marketers can now sponsor results in the search bar on Facebook. By sponsoring a result, when people search for certain profiles that you’ve bid on, your page, app, or event will appear in search results. 5) Event SponsorshipThe last form of traditional advertising you can do on Facebook is a Sponsored Event. Here you can increase the attendance of your event by showing the ad to people who are likely to sign up for your event. Facebook seems to be launching a new form of advertising — or some new feature within the advertising — every day. From the launch of Sponsored Stories to the mobile promotion of app downloads, Facebook is working hard at post-IPO monetization.And while they know that marketers’ interest in digital advertising is a great place to start with this whole monetization thing, they also know that they can’t rest on their laurels. These days, marketers expect options, personalization, and ROI. As a reuslt, they’ve responded with tons of new types of advertising, and targeting and optimization features within those different types.Great! Right? Well, yes, except now it’s hard to keep all the new ad types and features straight. Heck, it’s hard to even remember what advertising options exist, and how they all differ from one another.So we’re going to break down all of the advertising options Facebook has to offer, and explain when they should be used. This should help you keep all the Facebook ad options straight!Facebook’s 5 Forms of On-Page Advertising1) Facebook AdThese ads appear on the right of a user’s Facebook profile and newsfeed. They appear as ads from the specific company, and have no social interaction component. This is a simple ad form that can send the user to an external page, or your Facebook business page. To start your advertising campaign, go to https://www.facebook.com/advertising.To send a user to an external page:Once in the Facebook ad platform, create a new ad by selecting the first option on the destination drop down menu. Here you can type in the URL you would like to send people to. If you select the first option, ‘Get New Users,’ your ad will be shown to people that are not already using your app in order to get more people to use the app. Facebook will generate an ad for you, which you can go in and edit to reflect the benefit of using the app. You can then select what you want to send people to when they click on your Sponsored Result. Here, I have chosen to send people to our business page. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack To create a sponsored result, you’ll need to use Power Editor, which can be downloaded through the facebook.com/ads platform.  Topics: Choose to advertise something you already have on Facebook. These types of posts can be very beneficial as they show up to people who aren’t necessarily engaged yet with your brand, but have “social proof” because their friends have liked the page. We at HubSpot have seen higher clickthrough rates for these types of advertisements on Facebook, as well.3) Promoted PostsPromoting a post that’s already on your page can help you get more visibility for a specific offer, event, image, or announcement — it sends the person back to the offer on your Facebook page, and helps increase engagement on these posts. To promote a post, select the second option, ‘Promoted Page Posts,’ after you’ve already selected to promote your business page: Once you’ve hit the radio button, you can select which recent post you’d like to promote. The past 20 or so posts will be generated, so if you decide you want to promote something older you can go back and find the post.  Targeting & Optimizing Ads on FacebookAll the ads above have the same form of audience targeting and bidding that will help you streamline your expenditure. Here are the options you have:TargetingYou can target by location, from country to city, as well as age and gender. If your business has a local audience, it would make sense to only have your ads appear to the people that may actually become customers in your specific area.  Further, you can target the type of connections you want your ads to reach. You can target:Anyone – This will show your ads to all people who are within the targeting you already chose.People connected to your brand – This will help increase engagement with the people who already Like your brand.People not connected to your brand – This will increase the reach of your brand.Advanced Targeting – This allows you to target people who are connected to specific brands that you want to reach. This could help you if you know of a brand that is followed by people similar to your target audience.Friends of Connections – You can target people whose friends are fans of your page. This can help grow the brand awareness of your brand to people who may be similar minded as the people who are already your fans. To make this a Sponsored Result, you need to choose Sponsored Result in the ‘Story Type’ tab. The ‘Destination tab’ is where the user will be sent within your business page (here I have Default, which goes to the Timeline), and the body is the copy that people will see in the Sponsored Result next to your logo. Make sure this is as interesting as possible to get people to click on your result and go to your page. RetargetingWith Facebook Exchange, advertisers can now use Facebook ads for retargeting people who view their website. These ads appear in the right side of a Facebook profile instead of in the news feed as Sponsored Stories. These ads cannot be created in the Facebook ads platform or the Power Editor; advertisers work with a third party DSP or retargeting agency. Facebook has partnerships with many of these, making it easy for advertisers to use this form of marketing. Advertisers place a pixel on their website, dropping a cookie on each viewer who visits their website. These people are then “retargeted” with ads on their Facebook profiles from the company. Retargeting is a interesting way to reach people who may already be interested in your brand. These people have already gone to your website, but may not have taken the next step in the buying cycle. A retargeted ad can help them move down the funnel, and eventually become a customer!Facebook advertising can be a great way to generate fans, leads, and customers. Now go test these options out and see what works best for you. Good luck!Did you know about all of these Facebook advertising options? Are you going to try any of them out for the first time? Have any given you surprising results?Image credit: Guudmorning!last_img read more

The Ghostwriter’s Go-To Guide for Running Great Interviews

first_img Interviews Originally published Oct 2, 2014 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 We all know that business blogging is one of the core tenets of inbound marketing. It helps drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads, establish authority, and ultimately drive long-term, bottom-line results. With all of those benefits, you’d think executives would be lining up at your cube, laptop in hand, ready to blog.Unfortunately, that’s rarely what happens in real life. Even when they’re bought in to the benefits of blogging, getting executives and other experts in your company to write posts is almost always a struggle. Between busy schedules, not-so-stellar writing skills, and sometimes a fear of commitment, thought leadership blogs posts can easily fall to the bottom of their to-do lists.So if you volunteer to write the post on their behalf, the chances of it getting done — and done well — increase exponentially. That said, interviewing someone in order to ghostwrite an article on their behalf can be trickier than you think. To help you navigate the first few pieces you ghostwrite, here are a few tips to keep in mind.Qualify top marketing candidates faster with this collection of 100 interview questions.1) Always be prepared.The interview itself is not the time to brainstorm with your executive about what she wants to cover in the post. Before you set up the interview, you should provide some topic suggestions that you think will work well and then chat with her to finalize the topic. Remember, this brainstorming process should have both of your inputs. Your exec will have an opinion about what she wants to talk about, but you are the marketing expert and should also have an opinion about what you think will resonate with your readers. The best topics address both of your opinions.To that end, once you’ve identified the topic, make sure you do preliminary research. While you may not be the content expert (and should not expected to be), you don’t want to look like a dummy when you sit down to start your interview. If you don’t already understand the topic at a basic level, do the necessary research. Brush up on terms and beginner concepts so that when your exec throws out that funny little acronym, you don’t have to ask what it is.2) Record everything.This is journalism 101. It doesn’t really matter how fast you can write or type, recording your interview ensures that you won’t miss or forget a single detail of the conversation. Recording interviews affords you the ability to make eye contact and have a real conversation with your exec as you talk through the topic rather than scribbling away on a piece of paper with your head down trying to write down every last word he says. It should also keep you from having to bug your exec after the fact to remind you what that example was he shared when you spoke. However, keep in mind that transcribing an interview usually takes about twice as long as it does to conduct it. So, it’s helpful to simultaneously take some handwritten notes of key quotes or write the time-stamps from important parts of the conversation so you can easily find them after the fact.3) Schedule enough time.Determining how much time you will need to get enough information from your executive to fill a blog post can sometimes be tricky. For posts between 800 and 1000 words, somewhere around an hour should suffice to get the information that you need to draft a well-informed piece. But, because every executive is different, that time may need to be increased or decreased to get the results you’d like.So before you send a calendar invite for your next interview, take a few key things into consideration:1) How much do you already know about the subject, and how much do you need to learn from your exec? The more you know, the more you can fill in the blanks without hearing them directly out of your execs mouth — which means you need less time for the interview.2) How easily does your exec open up? If you know that it’s going to take the first 15 minutes of your conversation to explain to your exec why this interview and blog post are important, make sure you add that into your schedule. You don’t want to run out of time to ask the important interview questions or make your executive late to their next meeting.3) What does your exec’s patience level and calendar look like? Sometimes you have to make due with what you’re given. While an hour may be ideal, sometimes scheduling only allows for less. If that’s the case, make sure you prioritize the questions that are most important for your exec to answer directly and drop questions that you can research in other ways (or ask other people at the company about).4) Get the conversation going and keep it on track.In an ideal situation, you will sit down with your exec and have a fluid conversation about the topic at hand without any pushing or prodding. But, often, you’re not going to work with best-case scenario.The reality is that sometimes it can be hard as an interviewer to get your interviewee to open up. On the flip side, sometimes they want to jump on a soapbox and run off on tangents that have nothing to do with the post that you are writing. Both situations can be a struggle to manage, so it’s best to be prepared with a plan for both.Schedule the interview for a place and time that you know your interviewee will be comfortable. If sitting in a stark conference room isn’t your exec’s style, set up time in a quiet corner of the cafeteria instead. Make sure he understands the purpose of the interview and why it’s a valuable use of his time rather than a waste.To get things started, it helps to write up a handful of questions in advance. You should have an idea of the key points that you want to hit in the post, and the questions that will ensure you don’t leave the interview without the answers you need. Your questions should also be constructed in a way that doesn’t allow for one word, yes or no answers. Asking ‘how’ and ‘why’ will help your executive open up and provide the detail that you’re looking for.If things go the other way and your interviewee gets on a tangent that is too far-gone from the topic at hand, reel him in quickly. Remind him that you want to be cognizant of his time and circle back to the questions that will be valuable for the post your writing. But, if the tangent is a good one, let him know that you’d love to set up another time to talk it as the topic of your next piece — always be on the lookout for great blog fodder!5) Think like a reader.As your exec is talking through the subject matter, think like your customers and readers of your blog. Don’t hesitate to ask the questions that you know they will have. Your exec lives this topic day in and day out but, not everyone else does. Providing the context to these questions in the body of the post will help eliminate these types of basic questions in the comments section, leaving room for much more valuable conversations.6) Listen for sound bites.Style and tone are essential to an interesting blog that will keep readers reading and coming back for more. But, when you’re writing for someone else, it can be difficult to keep their tone and personality running through the entire post. One of the best ways to do this is to keep an ear open for punchy sound bites that will liven up the post. Find tweetable sentences (also a valuable inbound tactic) that you can include in the piece to give it the character that it needs.Note: If your exec doesn’t have a particularly exciting character, feel free to take creative license with these sound bites. Just don’t stray too far from her personality — you want to keep things authentic.7) Give them a preview.You will be publishing this under someone else’s name so, as a general rule of thumb, you should always share it and get the approval of the exec that you wrote it for before hitting publish. This allows you to make sure that you haven’t taken anything out of context or misrepresented your interviewee or the topic in any way. It’s also a great way to get a second set of eyes on the post to check for and straggling readability, grammar, and style errors before it’s live for public consumption.8) Explain why and share its success.While it’s nice to believe that everyone in the world understands blogging it’s simply not true. Make sure your exec understands two key things: 1) why writing this blog post is important in the first place and 2) what success looks like so that when you reach it, you can easily convince her to do it again next time.Explain to her why you’re doing this and what the opportunities are for traffic, lead generation, social influence, etc. after it publishes. You should outline what your current metrics for blog posts are and how you expect this one to measure up. The last thing you want is for your exec to feel like any part of this process was a waste of time. If they understand how it will directly support the business and the bottom line, they will be more invested in helping you make it happen time and time again.What other tips do you have for making the ghostwriting process a breeze? 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

8 Reasons Super Specialized Companies Should Embrace Inbound

first_img 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 Originally published Apr 26, 2016 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Switching to Inbound Marketing “People don’t shop for our products online.”I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told this by sales and marketing leaders at B2B companies that make obscure, highly complex technology and products. They tend to resist inbound marketing and lead generation because they don’t make “click to buy” products. Most have expensive custom products with long sales cycles and apply to a very narrow customer base. They figure few people are searching online for their products, so they don’t try too hard to attract them. I call them “superniche” companies.My superniche education began when working for a company that made a product called a femtosecond laser for manufacturing very small parts. A femtosecond laser pulses light every quadrillionth of a second, more or less–so fast that it can make very tiny parts with extreme precision–think holes the width of a human hair.It’s a very sciency product in a highly specialized industry. They cost around around a million dollars and it takes a couple of years to sell one. Superniche.“People don’t shop for this online”I was told at the start. Wrong. Well, not quite wrong. Sure, they don’t buy a million dollar laser online but, as we know, everyone researches online before contacting a supplier–even for exotic lasers as soon learned. If a company has a viable product that solves a problem, people are looking for it. There might not be that many searchers, but that can be a very good thing.Here are 8 reasons we’ve found that inbound marketing works great for highly specialized B2B companies.1) There is less competition for search termsOne of the keys to successful inbound marketing is optimizing content around the search terms your ideal customers use to look for help with the problem you solve. You want to find keywords with high volume and low competition; meaning there are a good number of people using these terms to search for solutions, and it won’t be terribly difficult to rank high in the search engine results.Well guess what? As a superniche company, you are not likely to face much competition at all for the search terms you want to rank for. Believe me, it wasn’t difficult to rank high for “femtosecond lasers for manufacturing.” This means you can rank on page one, in most cases almost immediately, by optimizing web pages and publishing content around the search terms in your business. 2) You get immediate gratificationWhile there aren’t a lot of people searching for obscure keywords, those that are searching for, say, femtosecond lasers for manufacturing, are likely to be seriously interested. They aren’t searching for an obscure technology just to amuse themselves.This means that in addition to ranking higher, faster, the company can get qualified leads faster, too. When we started a blog on femtosecond laser technology, and started offering educational whitepapers, our web traffic tripled and our contact database grew 6x in just three months through whitepaper downloads.3) Big valueWhile the search volume and target audience may be small, customer acquisition in these industries tends to be very valuable. The products are expensive, and tend to involve long term commitments and relationships. A new customer represents a lot of revenue, both immediate and future.4) Education works wondersOne of the principles of inbound marketing is that you should educate and inform, not sell. This tactic works very well in industries that involve sophisticated technology and services. Novices and veteran workers are motivated to stay up-to-date on new developments in their fields.We created a blog for a company that excels at creating hermetic seals for implantable medical devices. You guessed it, superniche. Not only did their web traffic double in a few months after starting the blog, we got loads of comments thanking us for providing a new forum on the topic.5) Your competitors aren’t doing itThe mentality that “people don’t shop for this online” is still pervasive in many fields that are highly specialized. You can tell by a survey of the competition. I’ve worked for a number of medical device contract manufacturers.Many websites in this field haven’t been updated in decades. They are not publishing new content, have few calls to action for lead generation or nurturing, and simply aren’t investing in inbound marketing because they don’t think it applies to them. This means if a niche company runs an inbound lead generation and nurturing program, they’ll get leads that their competitors won’t.6) It rewards qualityOne of the most common questions we get from companies is“How can you write about our technology if you’re not from this industry?”.Their concern is a good one, because the more specialized the industry is, the more important it is to create content that is credible and valuable. You have to do your homework in order to understand what the issues are in the business, and how to bring new information and insights to bear on these issues through web pages, blogs, whitepapers, case studies and other materials.People in these industries can detect “marketingspeak” very quickly, and will call it out. At the same time, quality content will be read and shared. A professor asked to use a whitepaper we wrote on packaging and sterilization for medical devices in his graduate course on medical device manufacturing, giving our client a huge source of traffic and leads.7) You have more content than you thinkWe’ve found that companies with very sophisticated products and services have a lot of content on hand that they are not using. Some employees may have published papers at trade conferences, or they’ve given workshops or presentations to customers or internal groups. Training documents for new employees often contain a great deal of educational information about the industry they are joining.One company we work with that makes very specialized manufacturing equipment has RFPs and sales quotations that have rich descriptions of the features and benefits of their products, complete with illustrations–great starting material.8) R-E-S-P-E-C-TInbound marketing is all about respecting your customers, engaging them as they search for solutions to their problems, and offering them helpful information instead of interruptive sales pitches. We’ve found that this respectful way of marketing works exceptionally well in superniche businesses, as these industries tend to distrust traditional marketing tactics.Companies making sophisticated products are typically staffed with sophisticated employees. You’re not going to trick them into considering or buying something they don’t want or need. Creating materials for people that are respectful of their knowledge and their needs will be rewarded.They’re looking for you nowI think a challenge for superniche companies is that they tend to think that no one will ever find them in the vast reaches of the internet, so they give up. They don’t realize how good search engines have become at helping people find just what they are looking for, and that they are not competing with thousands of other companies for consumers’ eyeballs.As I pointed out, if a company has a good product, one that solves a real problem, people are looking for it online. It can be even better if not that many people are looking for it, because that translates to less competition for search terms and fewer frivolous searchers, which gets companies found by the right people, faster. Get in the gameIf your company has been sitting on the sidelines of the Internet, assuming that your potential customers aren’t searching for and researching your solutions, it’s time to get in the game. The good news is that the tools you can use to optimize your website for search, publish helpful content to your target audience, make it easy for them to ask for more information and stay in touch, have gotten easier and easier to implement and use. Inbound marketing platforms make it nearly a point and click experience to get started, with automation tools that turn your website into a 24 hour sales person, fielding inquiries, qualifying leads, distributing information and updating your human sales team.Here’s an ebook we put together to help you get started:  How to Build an Inbound Marketing Campaign for Your Superniche Company.last_img read more

5 Surprising Qualities the Best Leaders Possess

first_img Originally published Oct 4, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Leadership Topics: What core qualities most accurately indicate you’ll be a successful leader?They aren’t necessarily what you’d expect.When you consider iconic leaders like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, you probably think of charisma, unwavering confidence, and an insatiable desire to bring about transformative change.Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh Shah.But it turns out these oft-cited qualities are more exceptions than rules when it comes to defining great leaders. The best leaders actually possess a unique set of qualities that may seem counterintuitive at first.Subscribe to HubSpot’s Agency newsletter today.We’ve compiled a list of five unexpected character traits and behaviors associated with successful leaders. Check them out below to see if you’re on track to become an effective leader.5 Surprising Qualities of Successful Leaders1) The best leaders doubt themselves.Although it might seem counterintuitive, embracing self-doubt and learning to accept your insecurities can have a profoundly positive effect on your ability to lead. Self-doubt prevents us from taking too many big risks, helps us examine our own actions more critically, and enables us to make more realistic decisions.But welcoming self-doubt into your life doesn’t mean letting your inner critic tear you down at every turn. Tara Mohr, the author of Playing Big, says the key to using self-doubt to your advantage is learning to separate your negative inner critic from the voice of realistic thinking that keeps you grounded and pushes for self-improvement.”The inner critic will tend to be very repetitive and like a broken record, saying the same thing over again,” Mohr said to Harvard Business Review. “It might be: There’s no way this is going to work. There’s no way this is going to work.”In contrast, the voice of realistic thinking forces us to productively examine tough questions and get real with ourselves. “The voice of realistic thinking will not be repetitive,” Mohr said. “It’s forward moving. So it might sound like: I’m getting some clues that I am really not managing this team that well.”Self-doubt keeps our egos in check and prevents us from getting too comfortable in positions of power. Leaders who are open to tough questions about their own abilities are more deft at adapting to change and constantly improving themselves.2) The best leaders don’t try to be completely independent.The conventional portrait of a leader would have you believe they’re an entirely self-sufficient, aggressively independent breed — fearless pioneers with the answers to questions you haven’t even asked yet.In reality, great leaders know they can’t do everything on their own, and they don’t try to. They forge meaningful connections with their team, seek conflicting opinions, and cultivate an environment conducive to everyone’s success — not just their own.A collaborative — rather than independent — model of leadership isn’t just good for your team’s morale, it’s good for business. Check out this infographic from The Collaborative Lead Training Co. below to see how a collaborative leadership style stacks up against a traditional, independent model:3) The best leaders know when to let go (and how to do it).Leadership is too often thought of in terms of power and control, when in practice, great leaders know when to step back and let go of power and control. Managing employees means offering direction, guidance, and support — not touting authority and supervising every detail.Mark Boncheck, the CEO of Shift Thinking, thinks leaders can learn a lot about letting go from traditional military strategy. “Over centuries, the military has developed an approach to managing ‘the fog of war,'” Boncheck wrote in Harvard Business Review. “Generals need to ensure alignment to the strategy, while soldiers need autonomy to respond to changing conditions.”To manage this tension between control and autonomy, Boncheck devised a two-part system intended to keep everyone on the same page without compromising their ability to respond to change.The first part is commander’s intent, which is the core purpose and goal of an operation. In business, the commander’s intent often takes the form of a mission statement or high-level  organizational goals.The second part is the doctrine, which Boncheck says many leaders fail to account for. The doctrine is made up of the “principles [that] guide actions in support of objectives.” In a business sense, the doctrine empowers employees to make independent decisions by telling them how to approach the company’s goals, i.e., what behaviors are appropriate in pursuit of a goal.When leaders communicate a doctrine to their employees, they don’t have to constantly oversee employee activity. They can step back confidently knowing that their employees are well-equipped to handle any given situation with a guiding set of principles.  4) The best leaders are predictable.Leaders are expected to be transformative, innovative geniuses who are constantly breaking new ground … right? Wrong. A study from Google found that the opposite might be true.When Google’s human resources team dug into what qualities made leaders successful at their company, they found something surprising: The quality that best indicated whether or not a leader would be successful wasn’t their extroversion, their propensity to stir up change, or even their IQ — it was their predictability.”If your manager is all over the place, you’re never going to know what you can do, and you’re going to experience it as very restrictive,” Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, said to Inc. “[I]f a leader is consistent, people on their teams experience tremendous freedom.”When leaders are predictable, the people they manage have the room to progress independently and make autonomous decisions without having to worry about feedback from left field. Employees who operate beneath predictable leaders don’t have to brace themselves for abrupt changes or pivots in expectations. Instead, they are given “the mental space to do great work,” as Bock put it.5) The best leaders are open to outside influence.We often judge leaders by how solid they stand by their opinions and principles, and how unmoving they remain in the face of challenges that threaten these beliefs. But the best leaders understand that being influenced by outside forces isn’t a weakness, it’s a key strength.Organizational psychologist Roger Schwarz found the most effective leaders were those who were genuinely open to being influenced, and were transparent about how exactly they could be influenced.”[W]e get much better results if we hear from and are influenced by those who are in different positions and have different perspectives, rather than relying only on the thoughts of those in power,” Schwarz wrote in a recent Harvard Business Review article.Schwarz explains that the most highly-developed leaders are fully transparent about what kind of information or arguments influence them. “At this level, you are a full partner in helping others influence you,” Shwarz wrote. “You tell others what kinds of information will lead you to change your mind.”In this mindset, the best leaders approach challenges to their opinions and beliefs from the position of facilitator, rather than opponent. They help others understand why exactly they disagree, and how their opinion can be changed.What unexpected qualities do you think great leaders possess? Tell us in the comments. 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

How to Plan & Execute Effective ‘Welcome’ Emails

first_img 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 Email Marketing How successful are your ‘welcome’ emails? On average, ‘welcome’ emails receive an unusually high open rate of 50% — making them 86% more effective than newsletters. These emails are responsible for setting the tone and creating expectations with your newest subscribers and customers. This is where you educate your prospective customers about the products or services you sell, as well as how frequently you’ll be sending email.However, just like in person, it takes conscious work to create a great first impression. If you stop for a second and think about your email marketing campaign, it’s possible that a significant amount of your success relies on your subscribers liking what they see in those initial emails.To help you better understand what goes into an effective ‘welcome’ email sequence, we’ll walk you through the motions below — and include some helpful examples along the way.Let’s get started …How to Plan & Execute Effective ‘Welcome’ EmailsThe top-of-funnel strategy for virtually every company with a digital presence includes an exchange of value: The subscriber provides their email address in exchange for something of value. And your ‘welcome’ emails should be designed with this idea in mind. To ensure that you’re producing valuable ‘welcome’ emails, be sure to do the following:Devise a strategy.’Welcome’ emails are vital to any email marketing program. Welcome emails also have extremely high inbox placement rates, an advantage that should be utilized by every single company.If you currently have no ‘welcome’ emails in place, never fear: A new welcome strategy is not rocket science. For starters, have a look at what the companies around you are doing and mold their successful practices to suit your needs.At MailCharts, we recommend looking at ‘welcome’ emails from competitors or brands who target a similar audience to yours. Once you have solid benchmarks from your initial sequence and understand the metrics (e.g., opens, clicks, conversions), you can build upon those results and optimize your strategy to further suit your exact needs.Deliver on the promise.Remember: The very first email sent must include the promised ebook, trial period, discount, or otherwise.Eve Mattresses shows us a great example of this exchange, where they have provided new subscribers with a very tempting “100-day sleepover.”Determine a timeline and frequency.According to one email marketing company, retailers who sent more than one ‘welcome’ email experienced a 13% increase in revenue. Pretty impressive, right? Further, MailCharts email data shows that many online retailers still send ‘welcome’ emails two weeks after sign-up, with some brands sending ‘welcome’ mailers up to two months after the initial sign-up date.Here’s a rough timeline we put together to help you see how email frequency begins to slow down over the two month welcome period:Email 1: Immediately after receiving a subscriber’s email addressEmail 2: 3 days after receiving email addressEmail 3: 8 days after receiving email addressEmail 4: 15 days after receiving email addressEmail 5: 30 days after receiving email addressEmail 6: 45 days after receiving email addressEmail 7: 60 days after receiving email addressPro Tip: If your ‘welcome’ series is promotional, add segmentation criteria to cease sending emails if a subscriber becomes a customer within the 60-day welcome window.Choose your words wisely. We’ll dive into some more specific email inspiration in the section below, however, when it comes to planning the content for your emails, you’ll want to keep these two things in mind:PersonalizationWelcoming subscribers and creating a personalized subject line is crucial. The read rates of welcome emails are highly predictive of how engaged subscribers will be with subsequent messaging and how much they’ll spend.In exchange for just a few lines of code to personalize your email, your subscribers are more likely to open, interact, and engage in a lasting relationship with your company. Take the additional time needed to personalize your emails. And, if you can go beyond simply adding their name, that’s even better.ExpectationsAside from personalized emails, we recommend setting clear expectations at the beginning. If you plan on email subscribers weekly, let them know. The same applies for daily, monthly, or any other interval.Also, make sure it’s really easy to unsubscribe from your emails. The last thing you want is someone marking you as spam because they couldn’t opt-out of your communications. Need Inspiration? Let’s take a look at some examples of companies — both B2B and B2C — that are nailing their ‘welcome’ emails. (And check out this post for even more ‘welcome’ email inspiration.)B2B Example: WistiaAfter an initial activation email, Wistia sends out a simple, bright, and effective ‘welcome’ email.From the beginning, Wistia’s ‘welcome’ email strategy is focused on bringing the subscriber value, rather than simply promoting their product. They ask the question, “Have you checked out the learning center?”This is a resource where customers are able to easily access tips and tricks regarding a variety of different video education topics. The Learning Center is provided to highlight the strengths of the Wistia service and also show how it can help the subscriber personally. (Great job educating, Wistia.)If you’re in the software business, here are some ideas for your ‘welcome’ series:Talk about the benefits of using your product.Provide free resources and tips on how to get the most out of your product.Establish credibility, focusing on ease of use, reliability, and convenience.Click here to view the full Wistia ‘welcome’ journey map.B2C Example: CoachIf you are an online retailer, your ‘welcome’ emails will be slightly different. For starters, subscribers are not searching for information regarding a specific topic, rather they are interested in certain products and receiving up-to-date information about new releases and discounted offers.Coach is a great example of how to make a good first impression and doesn’t forget to welcome new subscribers with an upbeat subject line, “Welcome to Coach Emails!”As we discussed earlier, it is important to set email expectations so the subscriber fully understands what content will be included in future emails, which is something that Coach has managed well. If you’re in the ecommerce industry, here are a few tips to get you started:Create a product narrative around your products: talk about why they’re great, high-quality, useful, affordable, etc.Feature your best-selling products to pique consumers’ interest.If applicable, appeal to things that consumers value — include mentions of fair trade, locally grown, and use of organic materials.Include a discount or welcome incentive.Get Started NowIf you don’t have a ‘welcome’ campaign, don’t wait another minute. You can get started by subscribing to your competitors’ email lists to keep a close eye on their strategy, take note of what they’re doing and what you like (and don’t like). From there, you can borrow the good things and improve on the not-so-good ones.Remember: In the beginning, you don’t need to be perfect. What’s most important is that you are welcoming subscribers and building a strong and lasting relationship.What’s the best ‘welcome’ email you’ve ever received? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Originally published Sep 30, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019last_img read more

The Comprehensive List of Employee Benefits

first_img Topics: Originally published Jan 17, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated January 17 2019 Human Resources Providing employee benefits will help you attract top talent — a Glassdoor survey found around 60% of people report benefits and perks being among their top considerations before accepting a job.Additionally, employee benefits can enable you to communicate your company’s values. For instance, Reebok’s benefits include an on-site gym as well as an employee CrossFit discount, demonstrating the company’s focus on health and wellness for all its employees.Offering good employee benefits is also critical for long-term employee retention. People don’t just want their salary to increase over time — they also want to know they’ll have paid parental leave when the time comes, or tuition reimbursement if they decide to go back to school.To ensure you’re offering employee benefits that will delight your employees and motivate them to grow with your company long-term, take a look at our comprehensive list of employee benefits.Download a Free Guide and Template to Help You Create a Company Culture Code. Employee BenefitsEmployee benefits entail any non-salary compensation included in an employee’s contract, including health insurance, a retirement plan, or paid vacation time. Typically, benefits are included to create a more competitive package for an employee. Benefits will attract and retain top talent, and can help communicate your company’s top priorities and values.1. Health Insurance According to a Glassdoor survey, employees report health insurance to be the most important benefit they receive from their employer. To make your employees happy, it’s critical you offer a good health insurance package. Plus, offering health insurance to your employees can save you money on taxes. It’s important to note, if you work for a larger company with more than 50 employees, you are required to provide health insurance.To figure out what type of health insurance coverage you should offer, you’ll want to benchmark your health coverage against competitors in the industry. Additionally, speak with a broker to ensure you’re remaining compliant with regulations.2. Dental InsuranceDental insurance is another common benefit, although not required by law. There are three different dental insurance plans you might offer — a fully-funded employer plan, a partially-funded employer plan, or a fully-funded employee plan (in which the employee pays the entire cost, but the employer covers administrative costs and payroll deductions).3. Life InsuranceAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 59 percent of civilian companies and 55 percent of private firms offered life insurance in 2018. While not as common as health insurance, it’s still a good benefit you should consider providing. You might offer the employee’s salary, in full, as part of your life insurance policy, or offer to pay part of the full cost and ask the employee to pay the rest if the employee wants to participate.4. Retirement PlansThe most traditional employer-offered retirement account is a 401(k). A national survey of small businesses found 94 percent of small business owners say offering a 401(k) drives their employee recruitment and retention. If you think you’re too small to participate, think again — anyone can offer a 401(k) benefit to employees, even if you have a company of five.Additionally, you don’t have to match your employees’ 401(k) payments if you don’t believe your company has the financial means to do so (although your match is tax-deductible). There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to the type of 401(k) you set up. Alternatively, you can offer an annual profit share based on business performance, or offer a match for employees that vests over time.5. Paid Time-Off for Vacation and Sick DaysThese days, many employees seek out flexibility and good work-life balance when considering where they want to work. It’s important to offer your employees some form of paid time-off (PTO), which employees can use at their discretion. While some employees might use their PTO to take a trip with family or friends, other employees might simply use it to attend doctor’s appointments or take care of a sick child. Without offering PTO, you risk your employees more quickly reaching burnout in their roles — a well-rested and happy employee is a more productive one, so this is a worthwhile investment.Typically, employees receive ten paid vacation days after one year at the company — their PTO increases the longer they work at the company, with an average 15 days PTO after five years at a company. However, the amount of PTO days is up to you. You might wrap your paid vacation and sick days into one, or you can separate these in your benefits’ package.6. Flexible Schedules Flexible schedules have become more common nowadays, and for good reason — flexible schedules can allow your employees to work whenever they’re most productive, and take breaks when they aren’t. Additionally, flexible schedules enable employees to find a good work-life balance, have time to prioritize family, or even simply avoid the morning commute.You’ll have to decide if flexible schedules is conducive to your office environment, but it’s worth looking into and is becoming a major perk of many companies, including Raytheon and HubSpot.Take a look at Flexible Schedules: The Good, Bad, & the Surprising, to decide if it’s a good option for your business.7. Tuition Reimbursement Offering tuition reimbursement isn’t just a benefit for your employees — it’s also an advantage for your business. Enabling employees to pursue learning opportunities and become proficient in new skills can help your company grow faster. Additionally, providing growth opportunities for your employees will likely translate to better retention rates.Plus, your employee’s reimbursement program costs are tax-deductible. With smarter employees as a result, it’s a win-win.8. Paid Parental LeaveAfter having worked one year and 1,250 hours, all U.S. employees are legally entitled to receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — however, there is no law that requires companies to provide paid maternity leave.Despite this, you should consider offering paid parental leave at your company (if you’re able to do so) to allow employees time to rest and focus on their families before returning to work. Paid parental leave demonstrates your company’s emphasis on the importance family, and work-life balance.For instance, IKEA offers its 14,000 salaried and hourly workers up to four months of paid parental leave — the policy extends to mothers and fathers who are birth, adoptive, or foster parents. IKEA said their decision reflects its “Swedish roots and [its] vision to create a better everyday life for all people.”Ultimately, paid parental leave could be a compelling factor for employees to stay with your company for the long-term, without worrying about pursuing opportunities that will allow them to become more family-focused.9. On-site Gym or Fitness Discounts Promoting wellness at work has been proven to result in better productivity and less employee turnover. Additionally, putting some of your company’s finances towards your employees’ health and wellness can actually decrease long-term healthcare costs.For instance, a U.S. Motorola case study found for every $1 Motorola invested in their Wellness benefits, including disease management, flu immunizations, and stress management, they saved $3.93.To learn more about how you can promote wellness at your office, and why it’s important, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Wellness at Work. Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

BCCI partners with All India Radio for commentary in international and domestic games

first_imgThe BCCI on Tuesday announced a two-year radio rights arrangement with All India Radio (AIR) for live commentary of the national cricket team’s international games at home as well as the domestic tournaments.This initiative will offer millions of listeners across India the opportunity to follow cricket via live radio commentary.The audio commentary will commence from the first game of India’s upcoming T20 International series against South Africa in Dharamsala on September 15.Team India will play South Africa in a bilateral series which includes 3 T20I matches, the first of which is in Dharamsala on September 15 followed by Mohali (September 18) and Bengaluru (September 22).That will be followed by Tests in Visakhapatnam (Oct. 2-6), Pune (Oct. 10-14) and Ranchi (Oct 19-23) as the Proteas open their campaign in the ICC World Test Championship.In addition to international matches, AIR will also provide coverage for the men’s and women’s domestic tournaments and matches. The two-year tenure starts from September 10, 2019, and runs till August 31, 2021.This arrangement includes coverage of Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, Deodhar Trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and women’s Challenger series.Also Read | Difference of opinion cannot be seen as conflict: Shastri on alleged Kohli-Rohit riftAlso See:last_img read more

Five Thoughts on Mike Gundy’s New Contract

first_imgYearAmount On Tuesday, Oklahoma State fans got good news. Mike Gundy (finally) signed a new contract that ties him to OSU for the next five years (and likely beyond). Gundy inked a deal for at least $22.25 million over the next five years with an automatic annual renewal that makes it read like a lifetime contract for Gundy (we’ll get to that in a minute) and a built-in $125,000 annual raise.This is terrific, obviously, but it also begs a lot of questions. Here are my five thoughts on Gundy’s new deal and what it means for the future of Oklahoma State.1. It’s a great deal for Gundy (maybe)Gundy already has more money than he can ever spend on hair product or tractors. He desires security and power. That’s the triumvirate of success in our economy, and Gundy has largely only had a third of it (the dollars) throughout his career. Now he has the security part locked up, and as the landscape shifts in Stillwater, he will likely acquire more power as well (see final point).AdChoices广告That’s the good news for him.The reason this might not be a great deal for Gundy is that he’s locked into relatively small salary bumps over the course of the contract. Like I just noted, I don’t really think he cares about that, but by the time this thing is over, Gundy could be the 55th or 63rd highest paid coach in the country instead of in the top 20 like he is right now. Heck, he’s starting out as the third (or maybe fourth) highest paid in the Big 12. What’s that going to look like in five years as more and more money is poured into the CFB world?Consider the following: Six years ago Nick Saban’s salary was $4.8 million. Bob Stoops’ was $4.1 million. In 2016 those two made $6.9 million and $5.6 million respectively. The point is that salaries change a lot in six years. Those are ~40 percent bumps in six years for those two guys. Gundy’s contract will only pay him 15 percent more in its sixth year of existence.The other part of that equation is that this is not a contract you tear up. This is a lifetime contract (literally), and I don’t think Gundy will ever sign another one as long as he’s at Oklahoma State.2. It’s (probably) a great deal for OSUOklahoma State’s leverage here is that it can argue that Gundy would not have the type of success in Fayetteville or Knoxville as he has in Stillwater. So it has a top 10 (?) 15 (?) coach locked in at top 20 money with minimal increases into the indefinite future. That’s excellent. What’s not so excellent is that this brings to mind Travis Ford and his 900-lb. albatross of a deal.Here is the exact language on okstate.com:The new deal is for five years and provides for annual automatic rollovers. [okstate]So it just … renews every January 1? I presume there are qualifiers (see below), but it sure reads up front like Gundy can be in Stillwater as long as he wants. Which leads us to …3. Contract language will fascinateThe full contract will be released at the beginning of next week, and it’s going to be incredibly interesting. What are Oklahoma State’s outs? What language is in there that will allow the university to free itself from Gundy if he slaps together back-to-back 2-10 seasons? Will he have qualifying plateaus he has to reach to get the contract renewed? Will the contract say “if Mike Gundy does not reach a bowl game his contract will not be renewed”?I realize Mike Gundy and Travis Ford are about as similar as coaches as me and Rickie Fowler are as golfers, but the secret subplot in the midst of this good news is that you do not want to be tied to any coach on that coach’s terms for as long as he wants. Any coach. Not Nick Saban. Not Urban Meyer. Not the ghost of Knute Rockne. I’m confident the language will play in OSU’s favor — Person Who Knows Things insinuated as much to me — but I’m going to be parsing that document like it’s the Rosetta Stone.Mark Cooper of the Tulsa World reported that OSU has basically said the decision will be on the university to renew the five-year deal every year until … well … it doesn’t feel like doing so anymore.What that means: Gundy’s contract will roll over — have an additional year added to it — every year unless the university provides notice that it won’t happen. [Tulsa World]In this sense, it’s better than the Ford deal because you’re never locked in for more than five years, and you apparently don’t have to renew. But did Gundy really give OSU unilateral authority to not renew him because they don’t feel like it? Again, the language in the actual contract will be fascinating.As John Hoover of The Franchise pointed out to me on Wednesday, this actually happened this week at Arizona State with Todd Graham. He was to receive one-year extensions so that he always had a five-year deal just like Gundy, but it was not re-upped in 2017 so now he has a four year deal.ASU Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson said a contract extension for Graham is not mandatory although his contract reads: “If grounds do not exist for termination for cause, ASU will ask the board to extend coach’s contract for one additional year following completion of the 2016 football season.” Anderson said, “That’s not an automatic provision in the contract. It wasn’t rolled over because it didn’t need to be rolled over.” [Arizona Republic]The other part of this is that gets a little awkward when you don’t renew like with ASU and Graham. We know you have four years left on your deal, but the writing is on the wall. Good luck! Also, I hope Gundy’s says: “If he cuts his hair or wins fewer than eight games in any season, we reserve the right to not renew.”4. #MathLet’s say Gundy stays for 10 more years (from an outsider looking in, this seems optimistic). This would be his total haul in that decade. 2017$4,200,000 2024$5,075,000 That’s pretty good for both sides. And all Gundy has to do to earn it is to get his contract renewed in each of the first five years. All of a sudden that five-year is a 10-year deal and you’ve been paid 1/20th of a billion dollars. The other part of his contract that will be intriguing is the buyout which was previously set at $3 million.5. What it means for the futureI went on with Mark Rodgers and Dusty Dvoracek on the Sports Animal on Wednesday, and they posited something I hadn’t thought that much about yet: That this could be a signal of the end of Mike Holder’s tenure in Stillwater. It could be the final tick mark on his to-do list before he retires to a life of tending to Karsten Creek and doing whatever people like Mike Holder do when they retire.I think that’s plausible, and I think it probably means that we’re closer to the Weiberg Era than maybe we thought. It also shifts a bit of the power from Holder and others to Gundy and his staff (which also got raises in the new deal). Not that Weiberg won’t be in charge as AD, but it’s easier for Holder (who came in with Gundy and is much older) to assert his will than for the new, younger guy entering when Gundy is already into his second decade as the most important figure in Stillwater.Lastly, and I touched on this earlier, I think this is the beginning of the end for Gundy as well. I set the over/under for Carson last week at 6.5 more years that Gundy coaches. He’ll be 50 in August, and he’s not a lifer. I think he takes his shot at a couple more Big 12 titles, maybe makes a run at one more national championship (possibly this year) and rides for the brand a horse off into the sunset. This is a contract that has “that’s the last one, I’m richer than the owners of Bass Pro and Cabela’s combined!” written all over it, and I think it will be. 2023$4,950,000 2019$4,450,000 2026$5,325,000 2018$4,325,000 2021$4,700,000 2022$4,825,000 2025$5,200,000 Total$47,625,000 2020$4,575,000 While 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.last_img read more

UPDATE: MT Seychelles Patriot Refloated

first_imgzoom After over a week aground in the middle of the Amazon River, MT Seychelles Patriot was successfully re-floated on Friday morning, 17th of October.The re-floating exercise began on the arrival of appropriate powered tug boats and was completed three hours later when the vessel was maneuvered off the mud banks on which it had been grounded,  the vessel’s owner Seychelles Petroleum said in a release.“As per the norms in a situation such as this, the vessel is now on the way to Port Santarem anchorage for inspections by the Classification Society, and is then expected to continue to its planned destination, Manaus City, Brazil.No spillages of product or any injury to crew members have been recorded,” the company said on Friday.Several attempts had been made earlier to free the product tanker, but none of them was successful.The ship was en route for Manaus City to unload a cargo from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and had two Brazilian pilots on-board, as required by the Brazilian Maritime Authority when it ran aground on October 8th.Seychelles Petroleum Company Ltd engages in fuel storage and transshipment activities. SEYPEC has a fleet of six tankers, comprising of five Handy and Handymax tankers trading internationally – The Seychelles Pride, Seychelles Pioneer, Seychelles Progress, Seychelles Prelude and Seychelles Patriot. In addition, a smaller product and LPG tanker, Seychelles Paradise, trades regionally and is used for domestic supply. World Maritime News Staff, Image: Seychelles Petroleumlast_img read more

NASSCO Delivers Final Eco Tanker to SEAVista

first_imgzoom California-based shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO has delivered the 50,000 dwt Liberty, the third and final ECO Class tanker ordered by SEA-Vista LLC.The LNG-conversion-ready product carrier, which has a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity, is part of an eight-ship Eco class tanker program being built for SEA-Vista, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings Inc. and Avista Capital Partners.The construction deal was signed between the parties in 2013 when NASSCO entered into an agreement with SEA-Vista to design and build three 610-foot-long tankers.Construction for the first of the three ships began in November 2014. The first two ships, the Independence and the Constitution, have been delivered and are servicing the Jones Act trade.Liberty is the seventh vessel in the eight-ship Eco class tanker program for two separate customers, SEA-Vista and American Petroleum Tankers.Palmetto State, the eighth ship of the program, is scheduled to be christened and launched on March 25, 2017, at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.last_img read more

Premier Names Office Staff

first_imgPremier Stephen McNeil today, Oct. 29, announced appointments to four key positions in his office. Geoff Townsend becomes principal secretary. Mr. Townsend, a native Nova Scotian, has worked as a journalist and spent the last six years as director of communications and legislative affairs for Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz. Kristan Hines, who was the director of outreach in the Liberal Caucus Office since 2009, becomes the director of strategic operations. Kyley Harris becomes director of communications. Mr. Harris held the same post in the Liberal Caucus Office since 2011. Laurel Munroe, former journalist and aide to Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner, becomes the press secretary. “I’m pleased and very fortunate to be working with this team of men and women — each of them brings experience and a skillset that will not only serve this office well, but will also serve the people of Nova Scotia,” said Premier McNeil. “The task ahead of us is a large one, but this group is up to the challenge.” -30-last_img read more

2 CRPF personnel 5 others killed in terrorist attack in JK

first_imgSrinagar: Terrorists Wednesday carried out an attack on a busy road in Anantnag district of South Kashmir killing at least two CRPF personnel and injuring five others including an inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police, officials said here. They said at least two terrorists attacked a patrol party of the CRPF on the busy KP Road in Anantnag with automatic rifles followed by hurling of grenades. Two CRPF personnel died and five others injured, they said, adding the firing is still going on. One terrorist and an unidentified person were also killed in the gunfight. Station House Officer of Anantnag Police Station, Arshad Ahmed, was injured in the attack and has been shifted to Srinagar for treatment, they said.last_img read more

Mikmaq Warrior Society members say they were beaten roughedup after arrests

first_img(Mugshots of Mi’kmaq Warrior Society members arrested during Oct. 17 raid.)By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsTwo members of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society say they were roughed up and beaten by RCMP officers and jail guards after they were arrested following a heavily-armed raid on a Mi’kmaq led anti-fracking camp in New Brunswick earlier this month.Jason Augustine, Warrior Society district chief, said he was kicked in the head by an RCMP officer after he was cuffed and arrested during the Oct. 17 raid.Augustine said he was later diagnosed with a concussion at the hospital in Moncton, NB.“I was kicked in the head three times when I was taken down,” said Augustine. “I wasn’t resisting arrest, I had my hands behind my back, and this one RCMP started bashing my head in.”Augustine said he was nodding-off while he was held in one of the cells with other warriors at the Codiac RCMP detachment in Moncton. He claimed his head was hit against the wall as he was being taken to the ambulance.“One of the guys called the guards up and said I needed an ambulance,” said Augustine. “The RCMP picked me up, they roughed me up and hit my head against the wall when they were taking me to the hospital.”David Mazerolle, another Warrior Society member, claimed in a YouTube video that Aaron Francis was beaten while handcuffed as he was being taken to a cell at the South East Regional Correction Centre in Shediac, NB.“After we got split up and put into solitary confinement, my buddy Aaron as he was getting transferred, got beat up while he was in handcuffs,” said Mazerolle, in the video.Augustine and Mazerolle, who were released from custody last Friday, both said they were denied use of the telephone.Augustine said all six of the warriors kept in custody following the raid were put into solitary confinement.An official at the correction centre referred queries on the allegations to New Brunswick’s Public Safety department. The department did not return telephoned and emailed requests for comment.RCMP spokesperson Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said she would look into the issue before providing a response.A total of 40 people were arrested the day of the raid which spiralled into chaos after members of the Elsipogtog First Nation clashed with police.The RCMP raid, which included tactical unit members wearing camouflage and wielding assault weapons, freed several vehicles owned by a Houston-based company doing shale gas exploration work in the region. The anti-fracking camp was blocking SWN Resources Canada’s trucks from leaving a compound in Rexton, NB.Augustine and Mazerolle face several charges including forcible confinement, mischief, assaulting a peace officer and escaping lawful custody.Augustine also denied RCMP allegations that the warriors forcibly confined security guards employed by Industrial Securities Ltd in the compound holding SWN’s vehicles.Augustine said the security guards were escorted by the RCMP at the beginning and end of their shifts.“They were not held unlawfully,” he said. “They stayed there until their shift changes.”Augustine also denied RCMP allegations that the warriors uttered death threats or brandished weapons at the security guards.“There were no death threats, we had nobody in confinement and we had no weapons,” he said.The RCMP held a press conference following the raid where they displayed three rifles and ammunition seized during the raid. The RCMP said officers also found crude explosive devices.Augustine claimed the guns and explosives were planted after the raid.“I do believe they were planted, they knew we wanted peace,” said Augustine. “They had a one track mind to hurt the warrior society.”Augustine said the warriors were prepared to negotiate the release of SWN’s vehicles.“They kept telling me, ‘we just want the trucks out’ and I said I was going to our War Chief to tell him to get the trucks out,” said Augustine.Augustine said he was shot four times by RCMP officers using bean-bag rounds.He said two RCMP officers presented the warriors with tobacco bundles the night before the raid.Augustine said his main defence against the charges will be to demand a hearing before an international court.“Under our treaty laws we have to go to international court,” said Augustine. “We can’t be under the Crown because we are not under the Indian Act, we are treaty people.”Since spring 2013, RCMP in New Brunswick arrested 82 people in connection with anti-fracking related protests.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

First Nations economic crisis ignored AFN National Chief says following leaders debate

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA — The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations said federal leaders ignored a perfect opportunity to explain their vision and plans for including First Nations in the economy Thursday night in Calgary.Instead, Perry Bellegarde said Liberal leader Pierre Trudeau, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Prime Minister Stephen Harper largely “ignored” issues crucial to First Nation peoples and Canadians.“Canada’s economic future demands that we work on First Nations land issues, resource issues, Treaties, First Nations rights and strong First Nations peoples and communities,” said Bellegarde in a statement released after the debate. “First Nations communities were ignored apart from Mr. Trudeau’s effort to raise First Nations economic issues.”Sharp-elbowed exchanges and three leaders talking over one another marked the early going in a crucial election debate on the economy.Stephen Harper, looking to extend his Conservative government rule into a second decade, maintained that a stay-the-course, tax-cutting agenda is the road to prosperity.“I’ve never said things were great” in the Canadian economy,“ Harper allowed.“I’ve said we’re living in a very challenging enviroinment,” the three-term prime minister said before asking viewers directly, “where would you rather live?”NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took turns jumping on Harper’s responses, and frequently each other’s, as the second of five leaders’ debates before the Oct. 19 vote took on a more combative tone.“Mr. Harper sees the environment and the economy as polar opposites,” said Mulcair, standing in the middle between Harper to his left and Trudeau to his right.“Everybody in Canada knows you have to work on both at the same time.”“Which is why we’ve done both,” snapped Harper.“Mr. Mulcair, you actually are the only leader in Canadian history to have gone to another country, you and your colleagues, to the United States to argue against Canadian jobs and against Canadian development projects.”Trudeau, the lone leader in the debate who is proposing to run deficits over the next three years, challenged Harper by likening Canadians to homeowners taking on a home mortgage or a home renovation loan.With rock-bottom interest rates and slack in the economy,  “If this isn’t the time to invest, what would be?” asked Trudeau.“This is the time to invest in the future of our country. Canadians know this. The only two people who don’t know this are the two gentlemen on this stage.”Harper responded that the Conservatives are doing exactly that, without raising taxes and while balancing the books.A couple of hundred chanting supporters penned outside the BMO Centre in Stampede Park bellowed their support and derision as the leaders arrived for the second of five scheduled debates before the Oct. 19 vote.Chants of “four more years” competed with “Harper’s gotta go” and “just not ready” and “Trudeau! Trudeau!” from the crowd framed by a kaleidoscope of blue, red and orange signs that lined a fence separating partisans from arriving leaders.It wasn’t the windiest part of the pre-debate show.Both the Conservatives and New Democrats launched pre-emptive strikes against the Liberals in the hours before the leaders faced off over economic issues, considered the crucial, vote-moving issue of the election.Their target, Trudeau, attempted to send his own message, staging a solo, sunrise canoe ride in Calgary, evoking memories of his father, Pierre, that Liberals quickly turned into a saccharine online ad.The relentless air wars over more than six weeks of campaigning have left the three major parties in a statistical dead heat in the aggregate of public opinion surveys, dramatically upping the ante on each face-to-face debate among the leaders.Trudeau has said he would run deficits until 2019 to pay for an ambitious infrastructure program to stimulate growth, while Harper and Mulcair are promising to balance the country’s books immediately.Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was not invited to take part in the debate sponsored by the Globe and Mail. Rather, May took part in Victoria, B.C. participated by taking to Twitter and tweeting out responses to the party leaders and questions.The Assembly of First Nations, perhaps more involved in this election that in past campaigns, released document Sept. 2, titled Closing the Gap: 2015 Federal Election Priorities for First Nations and Canada.It outlines the AFN’s five top challenges to the federal leaders including, strengthening First Nations, families and communities, sharing and equitable funding, upholding rights, respecting the environment, revitalization Indigenous languages and truth and reconciliation. None of these issues were addressed Thursday night by the leaders.Bellegarde also released a document at the beginning of the election outlining 51 ridings in Canada where First Nation votes could have an impact.— with files from the Canadian Presslast_img read more

Oil and gas workers still mainly old white males despite diversity gains

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – A new study shows that Canada’s energy sector workforce became larger and more diverse from 2006 to 2016 but remains predominantly the domain of older, white males.PetroLMI says the number of people directly employed in oil and gas grew by about 25,000 to almost 190,000 over a tumultuous decade that included booming growth due to record high oil prices and thousands of layoffs when prices crashed.It says in a report that 17 percent of the sector’s workers were 55 or older in 2016, up from 10 percent in 2006, while the number of workers under 25 fell from 15 percent to seven percent. The report says one thing that hasn’t changed much is the number of women in oil and gas, still at about 22 percent, with most of those people working at office jobs in finance and administration.PetroLMI says the proportion of Indigenous people in the industry grew slowly over the 10-year period from 5.6 percent to 6.3 percent – that’s higher than the 3.9 percent in the overall Canadian workforce.The number of energy workers with a university degree increased from 19 to 26 percent.“During the most recent downturn, many younger, less experienced workers were let go,” said Carol Howes, vice-president of PetroLMI.“Going forward the industry will need to refocus on improving the overall work environment and culture to continue to attract and retain the best talent.”last_img read more