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Category Archives for Business

Rash Employment Decisions Which Could Leave A Nasty Mark

No one likes a rash. Left unchecked, these pesky skin irritations can soon turn nasty. Either through itching or severity, a rash can leave a nasty mark and even a lifelong scar.

Admittedly, it’s unlikely your business is going to get red and itchy anytime soon. But, rashes come into play here, too, especially when it comes to big decisions. Making rash choices with a business you’ve worked hard to build is the worst thing you can do. In fact, far from slight irritation, rashness in business could see your dreams crumbling.

 

Rash Employment Decisions Which Could Leave A Nasty MarkPicture Credit

 

As such, it’s crucial you take your time over every decision. And, never is that more important than when it comes to employment. Given employees are largely responsible for success, you could say taking time here is most important of all.


Yet, a shocking amount of employers rush this. After all, employment is a sideline rather than a real focus. Yet, rash decisions here could leave the nastiest mark imaginable. So, we’re going to look at two times when speed definitely shouldn’t be the name of this game.

Hasty hire

Hiring in haste is always a mistake. We get it; this is a pain in your backside, and it’s taking you away from your work. Hence, you don’t bother with background checks or questions. Instead, you ensure candidates meet the minimum requirements before offering them the job. The trouble is, this is both damaging and, ultimately, more time-consuming. After all, how can you expect to retain your employees if you don’t even take time to discover their long-term goals? If you hire staff who intend to leave, you’ll need to start again, and thus spend even more time on this. Even if staff stick around, there’s no guarantee they’ll be right for you. As can be seen from sites like www.inc.com, there are certain questions you should always take time to ask during interviews. These are essential for determining how a candidate acts. They alone can tell you whether they’re a good fit. Rather than making a mark on your company, measures like these make sure staff fit seamlessly.

 

 

Fast fire

Fast firing is also a risk. You have a legal obligation to staff, and that works when it comes to firing, too. Even in the case of gross misconduct, the correct procedures should be put in place. Rather than rashly telling a staff member they’re fired, you need to suspend and investigate. You should also hold disciplinary meetings. If you’re unsure of the legality, you could work with companies like http://gbirnlaw.com/services/offer-letters-and-employment-agreements who can help you get this right. Either way, you can’t fire someone without taking time over it.

Failure to follow the necessary avenues could leave you open to reputation-damaging lawsuits. As well as giving the impression you’re a bad employer; this could see the staff member reinstated. The last thing you want is a team member who has a grudge against you. And, all you need to do stop is it take your time!


 

 

Helping Your Employees Feel Protected On The Road

You care deeply about your employees. While you may be the driving force and the vision behind your enterprise, you’re always sure to give your employees their due. Quite simply, you don’t know where your business would be without them. Your ideas, passion and sheer strength of will may have caused your business to rise up from out of nowhere to become the successful enterprise that it is today but it’s their inventiveness, creativity, hard work, passion, people skills and wholehearted willingness to invest themselves in your brand have been what’s helped it to go from strength to strength. As such, you want the best for them. You don’t want to be the kind of boss who’s an appalling micromanager, taking their responsibilities out of their hands and leaving their skills to atrophy. Likewise, you don’t want to be the kind of boss who sends their employees into potentially worrying situations unprepared.

A good entrepreneur understands the value of nurturing and supporting their employees. But while this is easy on the premises, it’s a little harder when sending employees out on the road. Even confident drivers can get skittish when it comes to using their vehicles for professional purposes. Fear not, here are some ways in which you can ensure that they feel safe and protected and thus are able to give you their all on the road.

Helping Your Employees Feel Protected On The Road

Give them the very best training

Training is the single most way of driving professional standards and maintaining the quality you associate with your brand. But if you treat training as a “one and done” exercise, don’t be surprised if your employees’ skills start to erode over time or they lapse into bad habits.

The right ongoing training can ensure that your employees know exactly how to conduct themselves on the road and what to do in the event of an incident or an issue with their vehicle.

 

Show them that you have their back when incidents arise

Many roadbound employees worry that their employer will through them under the proverbial bus if they are involved in a collision, even if they are not at fault. You can demonstrate your commitment to them in instances like this by ensuring that they have proper legal representation to help them pursue justice. See more from Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis. This will empower them and give them confidence without compromising their driving standards.

 

Let tech be their shield

Technology can be enormously helpful in empowering employees on the road. Telematics and GPS solutions can allow them to calculate safe routes and manage their time effectively while dash cams can help them to demonstrate that they are using the skills with which you imbue them and help them to defend themselves when involved in an incident.

 

Give them a direct line to you

If you have the trust and respect of your employees, it may simply be empowering and helpful for them to have a direct line to you personally should they need your help, advice or counsel. Needless to say, if you offer them this, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you can be reached on that number at all times.

 

Self-Care and the Life of a Mumpreneur

Hello Mamas, how are ya? Are you running around, making sure the kiddos are sorted, the laundry is done, the dinner cooked? Oh, and don’t forget about sorting your partner’s lunch and dry cleaning, all while building your business and having life generally under control? Yikes, I am tired just writing that.

What about YOU? Have you asked yourself how YOU are doing lately? You are important. This is where self-care comes in. You know, making sure your glass is full. If you aren’t feeling like YOUR best self, how can you perform your best in your business?

 

self care

You’re not alone!

You are not alone if you are scratching your head thinking, ‘What self-care? When am I supposed to fit THAT in?!’ Well, let me tell you how.

Sometimes self-care can get muddled up with long, lush baths, facials, massages, etc. Sometimes it can be a super sweaty session at the gym or a long run. That is SO not my definition of self-care, but it could be yours and that is the beauty of self-care.

Some people’s self-care is just having quiet time while their little ones are still asleep, reading or meditating. Or perhaps your self-care is sitting in a cafe with a good coffee or eating a good, nourishing meal. The point is, self-care is whatever gets YOU back in that alignment and fills your cup up.

 

So how do I do this self-care thing?

So how do you figure out what the heck fills your cup up? Well, it is pretty simple-what lights you up? What makes you feel good, like really good? The best version of yourself? No rules, everything goes here. Some examples are:

  • Having a bubble bath with essential oils and Epsom salts
  • Get a back massage
  • Go to a sweaty OR relaxing yoga class
  • Dance around your kitchen-Impromptu dance party with your kids
  • Make a super lush meal and eat it with reverence

Now, how the heck do I fit it in? If it works for you, invite a friend to do it with you. Perhaps you want to start a new morning routine and waking up early works-do that! Schedule it. As a Mumpreneur, we tend to be ALL about the schedule. So do that-schedule your self-care in. That gets it done, right? Finally, skip lunch. I know, I know, sounds counterproductive. However, if you work or freelance in an office, see if they offer fitness classes during your lunch break. You get up, you get to move. If they don’t or you don’t work in that environment, go for a walk. Getting out in nature can really help fill your cup up if that’s your bag.

 

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Conclusion

The point of this article is that YOU matter. You can’t be your best self if you are tired, cranky, annoyed, anxious. You can’t be the best mumpreneur, mum, partner, friend if you are all of those things. How can you expect to grow your business in that situation?

Let me know how you have decided to take care of yourself with your self-care!

 

Guest post was written by Sarah

I am a Mama and a Mrs, a yogi and an essential oils junkie, as well as a Holistic Wellness Coach. I have been leading Mamas on their unique wellness journeys for the past 5 years, starting with yoga, moving on to essential oils, and now incorporating it all in Holistic Wellness Coaching. My motto is to have fun and to laugh our way through the education-if you aren’t having fun, then we aren’t doing it right!

Find me at Sarah Byrne Yoga

Benefits of Blogging for Your Business

As much as we might wish, no magic spell can bloom our businesses overnight. Startups demand motivation, dedication, and lots of time to trek to progress. There’s one element that can boost growth though and it’s called blogging. It can help drive more audience to your business site and boost your conversion rates. At the same time, it can craft a personality for your venture and increase your engagement with potential clients.

53% of the digital marketers commend the role that blogging plays in growing a business. Hard to swallow? Check out Hubspot that offers sales, marketing, CRM, and customer services software. It runs an incredible blog that provides informative posts and gets 4.5 million average views every month.

Let’s walk you through some significant benefits of business blogging:

  1. Shapes your business’s personality

In the present times, nobody wants to do business with lifeless scarecrows. Customers want to learn more about the people at the helm of things. The CEO of Modify Watches, Aaron Schwartz explains, “We work hard to make sure people think of our business as comprised of a group of real individuals, and not some soulless enterprise.”

To this end, the company uses blogging to express its personality. As you write blog posts for your business, you develop a slow but significant voice for your startup. Plus, blogs mirror your business values. Have a look at Gap Inc.’s blog. Their blog reflects the brand’s personality by showing its vision and values.

  1. Takes your SEO game up a notch

The content that you write for your blogs gives you an ample opportunity to insert a keyword into it. Keywords are the phrases or queries that people type into the search bar. These are the fundamental pillars of search engine optimization (SEO), as they bait clients for you.

With the use of a keyword, there are increased chances that the search engine will rank your business blog high. Consequently, more people can find your initiative. Research reveals that brands with blogs tend to 434% higher indexed pages. Therefore, blogging is a cost-effective approach to driving organic traffic to your business. Plus, keyword-enriched blogs enhance your search engine visibility.

  1. Provides content for your social media networks

You can share your blog posts on your social media channels too. These posts can multiply your exposure as well, as people love sharing informative blog content. 94% of the folks share blog posts on numerous social media platforms. Hence, blogging helps you with your initiative’s social media marketing.

  1. Helps you educate your potential customers

Customers just don’t make a beeline to a business unless they have worked with it before and are fully satisfied. Instead, before shopping for something or availing a service, customers conduct thorough research. Reports confirm that 81% of the people research online before purchasing something.

You can use this pre-shopping behavior to your use. Update your blog with long posts that solve customers’ problems. For instance, if you sell accessories online, you can always write blogs about hot accessory trends or how-to styling guides.

  1. Increases engagement with customers

Blogging gives you a chance to engage with potential and existing customers. You can leave questions at the end of the post and interact with people as they leave comments under your post. These also serve as an excellent means to get feedback from your customers.

What’s more is that you can provide a call to action (CTA) button at the end of each post. A CTA delivers clients a simple and direct path to connect with you to get your product or service. Therefore, blogging assists in generating more leads.

Key takeaway

Summing up, blogging is a useful tool to boost your business. Regular blogging drives more audience to your website, works wonders for your SEO, increases your leads and conversion rate, and allows you to interact with your clients. It gives your initiative a voice and establishes you as an authority in your niche too.

How to Set Your Blog Up for Success

Blog success, or as we like to call it, the Garden of E-Blog-den, Blog-adise, Shangri-blog-la or even Blog-topia. But those titles wouldn’t exactly be the best for SEO now would they?

There are so many blog posts across the wide, wide web that explain how to start and build a blog all the way to success-ville. I’m sure you’ve heard a million times: don’t compare yourself to anyone, find a niche, engage with the audience and be consistent. All of those are very true but we know this by now. Let’s step outside of the box together and unveil some magic tricks of the trade.

We’ve broken it down to seven ways to snag a one-way ticket to fulfilling the American success dream in the US of B. (United States of Blog-merica).

 

1. Just another Manic Business

Make a schedule from the very beginning. Or at least try.

Why? Because otherwise, you and your blog will deteriorate like Britney Spears’ career in the 2000s. We just implemented a schedule a few weeks ago with Google Calendar and it’s been a godsend. Before that, we did whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. It worked for a while and before we knew it weeks had gone by and our blog was as dry as the Mojave.

Then, opportunities started flooding in with no Noah’s Ark in sight. We were missing deadlines, blogging all over the place and playing catch up.

Keeping a schedule will make it easier to organize tasks efficiently, set goals, and track progress. To top it off, there’s still time for all your Netflix binge-watching needs because you’ll be working smart in addition to working hard.

I would recommend Google Calendar because you can access from anywhere. Whether you’re at your in-laws for dinner or sitting in a space station. All I need to do is log in to my Gmail account and I’m good to go.

2. Why be a patchwork quilt when you could be melting pot?

There’s nothing wrong with looking at other blogs for inspiration but don’t try to be them. If all your time is spent trying to make your blog look like everygenericblog.com’s, any personality or authentic voice will get lost. I’ve seen so many blogs where I recognize the exact theme and stock photos. It gets boring!

Instead, take bits and pieces, tweak them, and turn them into your own. For example, we loved the idea of a heinously large landscape header like the Nomadic Boys but it just wasn’t working on our blog. It made our blog look like a big ol’ slab of cold lasagna. Instead, we discovered sticky headers and that’s been the best thing since pre-sliced cake because it gave us a happy medium.

Take the time to surf around different blogs, do some trial and error with ideas and find what fits your personality. make your blog stand out! What’s going to make more headlines: a naked streaker running across the field or another shirtless Joe-schmo wearing a cowboy hat in the crowd?

3.  Drake’s right – you’ve gotta start from the bottom

Your first posts and ideas are probably going to suck. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Just look at these heinous logos we designed on Canva before realizing we needed a pro like Miranda to create one for us. Why? Because even though we saw ourselves improving we got tired of waiting for our strengths to grow to where we wanted them to be.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing what your strengths and weaknesses are and using them to your advantage. The main thing to keep in mind is that even if your first blog post is the worst thing since smooth peanut butter, it’s something you did to the best of your ability. That’s fine because everything you do after is only going to improve.

So embrace what you’ve accomplished, put it out there, be open to feedback, and grow from the advice and criticism you get. If you don’t share your masterpiece with the world, how can it improve?

 

4.  Mirror, mirror on the web

The blog is a reflection of you and you alone. think of it like a first job interview.

Would you hire someone who walked into an interview wearing a chimp suit, munching on tree bark, wearing a banana peel necklace, and grooming their dry patches? Or would you hire someone who came in looking fresh with their hair brushed, clothes pressed, and black coffee with one milk and no sugar in tow? (People who drink coffee with one milk and no sugar mean business.)

Probably the second one.

In an interview, first impressions matter and the same goes for your blog. Display any aspirations, skills, and talents right off the bat.

  • Good at scheduling? Be known as the reigning king of consistency in the blog jungle.
  • Genius at drawing? Design all your icons yourself.
  • Got a knack for organizing? Have an epic, easy-to-navigate blog layout.

We spent hours doing colour contrast tests for our logo to make sure the blog readability was the best it could be. The original colour was yellow, which looked great on the logo but if used for writing no one was going to be able to read anything!

Paying attention to those details matter because it makes all the difference in showing your dedication, work ethic, and eye for detail.

5.  Join the Proud Family

Be proud of what you’re sharing with the troops and don’t just settle for good enough.

If you’re not your biggest fan, who’s going to be? The more effort put into the blog, the happier you’ll be with it and the more you’ll want to promote it and put it out there. People will recognize the pride and hard work. Here’s another imaginary scenario.

Tweet 1:

“Hey everyone. I started a blog about mops. It’s kind of boring but the mop industry is lacking information. Check it out if you want.”

Tweet 2:

If there’s one thing people know about me, it’s that I’m a mop queen. Nothing gets me going like a fresh Pinesol soaked mop: they clean, make my floors shiny, and keep those diseases at bay. I started this blog to share all my mopping tips and tricks over on lordofmops.com. Mop on over and check it out!

Which one are you more likely to click on? The second one of course.

People will only care if you care. So care.

    6. Give people an experience

    People don’t want spammy BuzzFeed posts like “Five Things I Wish I Knew About Squeegees” or “How to Build a Raft with Cotton”. People also don’t want just another basic lifestyle blog about OOTDs, beach-grams, and DIY didgeridoos.

    Think of your blog as a counsellor. Are you more likely to go to a blog with the same information as every other blog in the world? Or are you more likely to go to a blog with new information conveyed with a unique voice?

    Even if it’s something people already know about, like hammers, make it seem like it’s the most valuable and novel information. When people are on the Internet, they’re either looking for answers or entertainment. So why not combine both.

    Here’s another thing. Make people feel like they’re being heard!

    When we picked a blog layout, we had no idea that you couldn’t click on the picture to read the post. We never noticed that but other people did and complained about it so we’re going to change it!

    Listen to people’s feedback and use it to improve. It shows you care what the audience thinks and they feel heard. At the end of the day, give people an experience that they can’t stay away from. That’s what will keep them coming back over and over again.

    7.  Prioritize your stacks

    Try everything for free before deciding to toss stacks at things.

    As a beginner, it doesn’t matter whether you have Canva, Tailwind, an email provider, a hosting site, a site designer, and a logo all rolled up into one gourmet sandwich. Blogging is all about building online relationships. Having all this will give a boost but if the writing isn’t engaging and you don’t form connections, all that money for the gourmet sandwich has gone to waste!

    Prioritize what you spend your money on. As a lifestyle blogger, Pinterest might be perfect. As a news blogger, having a good email service provider might be more important. Or if you’re a burger enthusiast, a top-notch mallet magazine subscription could be vital to your success.

    We decided to spend money on getting a logo designed because we wanted something to reflect our personality and our blog’s brand. The last thing we wanted was a pixelated, planet-shaped hot-dog logo designed on Canva.

    So $ave Dat Money and spend it carefully.

     

    Blogging isn’t going to be easy. There are going to be a ton of setbacks and bumps in the road. Like breaking your website or not getting that one affiliate.

    It’s going to be more of a bumpy bus ride than a smooth Tesla autopilot journey. But there are things you can do to march your way up the ladder of success:

    • Make a schedule
    • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you will improve
    • Put your best face forward
    • Be proud! You’ve worked hard to get where you are
    • Spend your money where it matters.
    • Be open to feedback! Listen to what people are saying and use it to improve.

    What’s one piece of advice you’d add to this list? Or would you rather just have a pile of dogs around you while you work? Comment below or email at alieneatingblog@gmail.com

    8 ways to manage the tasks you don’t enjoy in your business

    Being in business can be very hard, especially on days when you have a list of tasks you need to do but no motivation or willpower to do them. Unfortunately, it’s these tasks that will keep your business moving along the track to success. Today I’ll share my tips to get you completing those niggling tasks that you really don’t want to be doing!

     

    1. Outsource Tasks!

    If you really don’t want to do the task then take a look at what options are available. Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant or freelancer is a great option. They can complete tasks you do not wish to do yourself or don’t have time for.

    Virtual Assistants vary in price and quality so do some research first, you never know you could find a good one that will do more of the tasks you hate.

    2. To Do Lists!

    We all know that to do lists are really helpful, but they can also be a real pain and never get touched as other things pop up during the day.  One thing a business mentor taught me was to make a list of 10 things you must complete by the end of the day (non-negotiable things).

    If they do not get done that day, add them onto the list for tomorrow’s 10 things, but never carry them over onto a new week. This way each week you have covered the tasks you needed to do that week and you feel like you have accomplished something.

    3. Make a done list!

    This is like a to-do list but in reverse. Once you complete a task write it down! This way it is making you feel more productive and you are able to feel proud at the end of the day even if it was just one thing it was one thing that you did.

    4. Get Motivated!

    If you are not in the right frame of mind you may struggle to get motivated. We all have that one thing that motivates us to be creative and get down to those tasks. Read a motivational book, listen to a Ted Talk, put on some tunes, get that energy high and you will find yourself in a better place ready to tackle that list.

    5. Look at why you don’t want to do it!

    There comes a time when there is something on your list that you really do not want to do, like making a phone call, doing a live training, doing a podcast, completing your tax return whatever it is you need to look at why you do not want to do it. Are you scared? worried? Find the reason and address it.

    Once you have got over your fear you will feel so much better when you have achieved it.

    6. Get rid of distraction!

    If you find you’re trying to get tasks done, but not getting anywhere, then it could be time to remove distractions, switch the TV off, turn off the phone, step away from social media. These will just suck you in and stop you from getting anywhere. You know it’s true!

    7. Plan your work!

    Being organised in the first place will set you up for success and help you achieve your goals. I sit and plan everything on a Sunday ready for when Monday comes around, I know what I need to achieve in the week and I make room in my plan for when something pops up unplanned so I don’t feel overwhelmed.

    This helps my productivity no end.

    8. Reward yourself!

    If you get through your jobs then give yourself a little reward. Celebrate your success!! If you have a list of 20 things to do by 6pm and complete it on time, then reward yourself. Have a glass of wine, do a face mask, take a bath, order a takeaway, watch a movie! Whatever it is you enjoy make sure you do more if it to reward yourself!

     

    To wrap up…

    I use to be someone who feared the to-do list, but once you implement a few simple strategies, you will find it more enjoyable and easier to get through.

    Do you have any tips that have helped you? Drop them in the comments below or contact us!

     

    8 ways to manage tasks

    How to deal with overthinking in 5 easy steps

    As I hovered over the publish button, my overthinking mind got into gear.  

    “What would people think of me?”

    “Who the hell am I to post something on YouTube?”

    “What if my school friends see it and laugh at my expense?”

    If only I’d have acted in courage immediately and hit submit straight off, my overthinking brain wouldn’t have been fed.

    But that’s how I roll.  It only takes 5 seconds of hesitation and I start to doubt my initial enthusiasm and my overthinking mind goes into overdrive.  Hello self-sabotage.  

    However, I did hit publish and the world didn’t stop turning. I didn’t hear any distant giggles of ridicule either.  Instead, I felt empowered. But I had wasted precious energy on overthinking the what if’s again. It’s not my best healthy habit.

    And it’s not just for my online business, it’s life in general.  Have you ever overthought and overanalysed a simple text message?

    The text after a first date.  Sent with love and then when an immediate reply doesn’t transpire, we analyse our “Hi”…should’ve put “Hey” He’s only put x1 kiss at the end of his text and last time it was x4.  This is the beginning of the end of our blossoming relationship. And on and on our minds’ go…

    The amount of times my overthinking brain has conjured up the most intricate stories and STOP!

    STOP overthinking and overanalysing.  It’s done, it’s dusted, move on.

    How then can we deal with the overthinking habit?

     

    the female business centre

    1. Chunk it down

    Confucius says “The man who moves mountains begins with carrying small stones.”

    So strive for regular baby steps as opposed to huge daily goals and you’ll find your overthinking muscle gets weaker.

    2. Get cool with failing forward

    Often we stop ourselves because of the risk of failure. Yet making mistakes are our greatest lessons, so if we prevent this experience we prolong our path to success.

    3. Bust out overthinking

    When you start to play out all the negative scenarios of what could happen, acknowledge this, be kind to yourself, pack away your crystal ball and switch your thoughts to action and just make it happen. 

    4. Congratulate yourself for inspired action

    Hi-5 yourself for actually DOING something. Making a decision. Moving yourself forward towards your goal.  As soon as you feel yourself going over and over your decision, switch off and look at the positive.

    Now, without overthinking this, what is the one thing in your business that you want to achieve one year from now?  We’d love to hear your work goals! Let us know in the comments below or contact us here.  

    And remember small steps towards your goal, quit overthinking, make a decision and just go for it! You’ve got this. 

    Guest post was written by Dawn Barnes.

    I’m getting my shine back after having children, helping other mothers on my way. I’m on a big mission to help and inspire ambitious women to feel fabulous again and get more out of their life.

    Find me at dawn-barnes.com

     

    overthinking

     

    overthinking

    5 Best WordPress Plugins to Use for Your Business Website

    WordPress is an efficient platform for managing content for your business. It powers around 14.7% of the world’s top 100 websites with 17 new posts published every second. It has a market share of about 60%. On top of it, WordPress is the fastest growing content management system (CMS).

    If you’re a WordPress user, you’re probably beaming with pride right now for deciding to use this tool for your e-business. There’s more to this tool though. You can easily empower your platform with the help of plugins that drive up its efficiency.

    In this regard, here are some of the best WordPress plugins that you can use to ante up your business’s game:

    1. JetPack

    This is an exclusive plugin for WordPress users. Running a business without the numbers is like building a house on a weak foundation. You need to know the statistics which give a picture of the customers visiting your site. JetPack does the math for you. It keeps track of your visitors, daily users, traffic, tools, and the like.

    The plugin allows you to customize your website as per your taste. It also provides security features for your site. It is an excellent tool for image optimization, traffic growth, website appearance, performance, and security. JetPack creates sitemaps too so that your website can be indexed easily by search engines.

    1. Yoast SEO

    Your business will never make it to the right audience without the help of search engine optimization (SEO). It’s the key to bringing your website into other people’s attention. Companies spent $65 billion on SEO in 2016. So, it isn’t something to be taken lightly. To this end, Yoast SEO is an all-important tool to add to your business arsenal.

    The plugin aligns all the SEO-related actions under the post that you write. With this plugin installed, you can add keywords, fix your URL for better browser visibility, craft a catchy meta description, and so on. It is also useful in helping you determine your content’s readability, which further strengthens your search engine ranking.

    1. WPForms

    A Google report highlights that business websites that provide sufficient contact information are considered trustworthy. The takeaway is that you need to provide your visitors and users with a substantial amount of contact information.

    A good means to this end is the WPForms plugin. It is beginner-friendly content form tool for your website. The tool allows you to create contact forms, order forms, email subscription forms, payment forms, and other online forms with only a few clicks.

    1. Sucuri

    It’s common knowledge that cybercrime is on the rise. The damages that it costs are estimated to reach a pointer of $6 trillion by the year 2021. Save yourself from the trouble of security infringement with the help of Sucuri.

    This WordPress plugin is dedicated to shielding your website from hackers and blackmailers. It gives you complete control of your site. The plugin allows you to augment your existing security measures too. With Sucuri, your site will be protected against brute force attacks, DDoS, malware threats, and XXS attacks. You can also take post-hack security action with this tool.

    1. BackupBuddy

    BackupBuddy is your partner in times of distress. It is a crucial crisis prevention weapon, which protects you in the case of data loss. The fact of the matter is that data loss, server malfunction, hardware failure, data breach, and hackers are not mythical matters. These are very real, which is where this tool comes into the picture.

    BackupBuddy is easy to use. It backs up your business site on numerous remote locations like cloud storage, your computer, FTP server, and the like. You can preserve significant customer data with the help of this plugin. Furthermore, you can schedule backups, so you don’t have to worry about running the backup operations by memory.

    Key takeaway

    There are tons of WordPress plugins that you can use to harness the full potential of this CMS for your business. In this context, these listed tools help you with some of the most basic functions that form the backbone of an online business.

     

    Wordpress plugins

    How to create buyer personas to boost your content’s effectiveness

    Ever wished you could pinpoint exactly who your ideal customers were? That you could understand what they really want, how to help them solve their most pressing problems, and market your business to appeal to them? Well, that’s exactly what buyer personas can help you do! Follow She Hustles Inc’s guide to improve your marketing today!

    What are buyer personas?

    A buyer persona is basically a fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on real data and educated speculation. Personas generally include information about who your target customer types are, where they tend to be located, what they’re looking for, challenges they face, solutions they seek, other brands they like, and more. Knowing your target customers is a vital first step in marketing your brand and getting sales. And that’s where buyer personas come in.

    In fact, a whopping 71% of companies with documented buyer personas beat their revenue and lead goals.

    Not bad, right?

    The process of gathering the information needed to make a buyer persona is an excellent way to get familiar with your customer base. As a result, you’ll be able to create content that your customers actually want to see, reach them on the social media sites they spend the most time on, and even improve your products/services to meet their needs.

    How do I create buyer personas for my business?

    Don’t let the marketing jargon put you off. Creating buyer personas is actually a pretty simple process. You’re basically just looking at your existing customers/ideal customers and making a list of important common traits they share. Who are they? What do they do for a living? What do they need? -List their common challenges and needs. What do they want? -List out the goals they tend to have and how your product/service can help them.

    Maybe your online nutrition planning service can help them get healthy despite a busy schedule?

    Or your social media management business could help them expand their audience without forcing them to learn the ins and outs of new platforms.
    Remember, every customer segment values different things when buying, so make sure you’re not marketing your product’s low cost to a customer who cares more about quality or prestige (or vice versa).

    Write out the common objections you hear when they’re deciding whether or not to purchase your product/service. Doing this will help you create content and marketing that overcomes those objections.

    What do they look for in a brand? List similar brands your customer base tends to trust and buy from.

    This information will eventually help you highlight what your brand can offer.
    When gathering answers to these questions, the specific path you take will depend on whether you have existing customers or not.

    Gathering persona information from your existing customers:

    To better understand your target customer, dig into Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights. These two tools can help you uncover:

    Age, education, gender, relationship status
    Location/language
    Devices used online
    Purchasing information
    Your target audience’s favourite pages
    Interests

    Don’t worry about segmenting this information into similar types yet. For now, just focus on gathering as much relevant data as possible.

    Try a survey; get persona information directly from your customers by creating a short survey with a service like Qualaroo or a free alternative like SurveyMonkey. You can email opted-in customers a link to your survey or simply host it on your site via a pop-up. Offer giveaways for participation and keep the questions brief to ensure more people follow through.

    Don’t have a ton of customers to gather insights from yet?

    No worries! You can still get the persona information you need, even if your business is brand new.

    Two ideas you can try right now:

    Do competitor research
    Competitor research tools like Alexa or Quantcast can help you get an in-depth view of the types of customers you should be targeting. Just type in the URL of your main competitor’s site to see visitor information like browsing location, sites visited before that site, visitor gender, education level, keywords used, and more.

    Follow your completion on social media
    Finding out what kind of audience your competitors have on social media is a great way to determine who your ideal customers are and what they’re looking for. Look at their followers’ pages for background on age, location, and profession.

    Pay attention to the kinds of posts they respond to most from your competitors, as well as their comments and questions. You’ll find plenty of psychographic information here to fill out your personas with.

    Creating your personas:

    Now that you’ve done the research, it’s time to start fleshing out your personas.
    Give your personas names and make educated guesses based on the data you’ve gathered. If the majority of your target customers have kids and high pressure jobs, you can guess that one of your persona types is pressed for time.

    If they follow certain fashion influencers on social media, you can guess that on-trend brands and products will appeal to them. Obviously, you don’t want to get carried away and make stuff up. But it’s very important that you use the data to make informed assumptions about who your customer is.

    Remember those social media comments you looked at earlier? Well, take a couple of the most common ones and add them to your persona template under the “quote” section. This will remind you of what your target customers are saying online.

    Keep in mind that as you interact with your customers/audience, you’ll learn more about them. Maybe some of the assumptions you made will turn out to be false. That’s absolutely fine. Buyer personas are meant to change over time to reflect your understanding of your customer base.

    And finally, keep your finished personas in mind as you create content and marketing for your business.

    You’ll be surprised by how much more focused and effective your content is when you’re trying to reach certain types of people rather than just a nameless “audience” out there.

    The wrap-up:

    Now, more than ever, customers want to feel that the brands they buy from “get them”. Generic content and broad marketing simply won’t do the trick any longer. Luckily, buyer personas are an easy-to-create but powerful tool to help you identify and truly understand your primary customers. Try creating a few of your own to start seeing the benefits to your business now.

    Have you created personas for your business yet? If not, what’s holding you back? Share your experiences in the comments below!

    Author Bio:
    Hulua Seyoum
    I’m a digital marketer and business writer. Entrepreneurship is my jam.
    HubSpot Inbound and Content Marketing certified and borderline obsessed with helping businesses grow.
    Also obsessed with: travelling and finding the ever-elusive perfect cup of coffee.
    Follow me on Instagram @inboundmarketinglounge for more marketing tips to boost your business.

    Are you a mumpreneur? Mums are tooled up to run amazing businesses!

    Are you a mumpreneur. Mumpreneurs are on the rise and there’s a good reason why. Let’s face it as mothers we have a tough job. I don’t care what anyway says it’s tough, once you’ve made it through the first 3 months of being a zombie, the real fun begins!

    Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a mum. It’s literally the best thing that’s ever happened to me and once I became a mum I felt I’d found my purpose in this world. But good god I’ve been tired for 11 years!! But my career is important to me and I want to show my children what hard work looks like. This is why I’ve become a Mumpreneur!

    Valuable skills

    We learn skills that are essential for business as a mum. If you’ve ever negotiated with a toddler then you will fully appreciate that your negotiation skills need to be on point. You will develop more patience than you realised was possible. You have seen your child struggling to learn something and adapted your technique to teach them another way.

    We do our best to assert leadership skills…. eye rolls and a sigh!

    You now understand responsibility and assertiveness, the need to adapt and learn to raise your child to be the best version of themselves.

    And it’s my belief that this is why many mums make excellent businesswomen. There are so many valuable skills that translate into running your own business.

     

    Discrimination

    I know first-hand mums are often discriminated against in the workplace. Often we’re seen as a lesser species not as a capable as the menfolk or people that aren’t parents. Actually, it’s my belief we’re just as capable, if not more. If you’ve ever negotiated a difficult meeting on 2 hours sleep and not just two hours sleep but pacing up and down with an angry baby that’s refusing to sleep and you’ve still made a success out of that meeting, in my eyes you rule!!

    If you’ve had time off to raise your babies, it’s seen as a negative on your CV. How? How is this? It’s our main purpose in life to bring in the next generation, was that person viewing your CV not raised by someone? Maternity leave can set your career back years. It doesn’t seem right to me.

     

    mumpreneur

    Doing what’s right for you and your family

    You have to consider what’s right for you and your family. For me personally, I needed a few different things. I like freedom over my schedule as I like to make all the various assemblies, concerts and events at school. I like to drop them off and collect them from school. This also reduces the childcare needs of course.

    For me personally, I like to work from home ideally, but one step further, I like the ability to work remotely. I like to be able to pack up my laptop and work from anywhere with WiFi. More often than not this is just my sister’s house or my nans. But to me, dropping the kids off, then going sitting with my grandparents for the day until the kids need collecting is great. I get to do my work but keep them company at the same time.

    Obviously, for others, remote work means travelling the world, which is simply amazing, but with my two bambinos, travelling long-term isn’t an option really.

    You need to consider what business would work for you. If you have clients that require your services in person, you will have a degree of control over your schedule, but it may be dictated by the busy times in your industry and your client’s needs. For example, Personal Trainers tend to be busier in evenings and weekends. This isn’t ideal for me around the kids.

     

    How to get your mumpreneur business completely online

    As a mumpreneur, you may prefer to work with people. It might be for sociable reasons. But having run businesses that serviced clients in person, I knew when I started She Hustles Inc I needed a business that was entirely online.

    You may think your skills mean you need to offer services in person, but more often than not you can turn this around. In the example of personal trainers, you could offer online services. If this isn’t an option could you offer courses in your area of expertise? For example, if you can sew, often a course that teaches people these skills, how to make a particular design for example.

     

    There are so many options for mums to start their own business and grow it to support their family. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done! Work out your options and don’t look back. If you need ongoing tips check out our social media channels – Facebook and Instagram.

    If you want more focused support for growing your business you could consider our membership which gives you monthly support to grow your business.

    You can also drop a comment below if you need help or want to tell us about your experiences!

     

     

    Get more done! 5 simple tips to improve your work productivity!

    Guest post by Masooma Memon

    Despite starting the day in good spirits, we often end up plummeting down a hole of lessening productivity as the day progresses. A survey reveals that around 75% of the employers report that two plus hours of efficient work are lost daily. Procrastination tends to work hard to tip the balance in its favour, making it difficult to complete work.

    The signboard that reads productivity tends to lead to two roads. One includes dedicating more hours to your work schedule and the second entails efficient working. Since all that work and no play make Jack a dull boy, it’s safer to stick to the second option. We believe at She Hustles Inc that you have to attain a balance between work and personal life. Therefore, making the most of your precious work hours with a boost in productiveness is a good option.

    Here is an in-depth look at some simple yet useful tips and tricks to enhance your productivity:

     

    productivity

    1. Set realistic goals

    Crafting goals is an essential step to ante up your productivity game. The chief aspect concerning making and pursuing goals, however, pertains to setting realistic goals. Drafting unrealistic goals puts excess pressure on you. In a frenzy to achieve more, you tend to achieve less in the light of exceptionally high expectations from yourself. Moreover, unrealistic goals negatively impact your mental health. Therefore, start with spelling out achievable aims.

    2. Give yourself deadlines

    There is no denying that stress is a culprit that you don’t want in your progress picture. But setting up self-imposed deadlines and chasing them can help you focus more. In the other way around case, we tend to become lazy by assuming that there’s lots of time at our disposal. This wastes a lot of time. You will be pleased to see how productive you can be by competing with the ticking arms of the clock.

    3. Track your time for increased productivity

    Keep track of your time as a means to accomplishing deadlines and goals. Most of us think that we have an accurate idea of the time being spent on a particular task. However, research indicates that only 17% of people can keep a precise estimate of time. Therefore, you can try to keep a better eye on the clock, set alarms for yourself if you work solo or seek assistance from tools such as Rescue Time.

    4. Take regular breaks

    Productivity does not equate to consistent, round the clock work. It translates into more work done in a short period. Constant work tends to drain your energy, which sips your productivity levels. Regular breaks are antidotes that refresh your energy levels as well as prevent your productiveness from derailing. A study backs this too. It confirms that the key to maintaining performance throughout long tasks is to punctuate them with short breaks. It highlights that the flip side declines performance and focus.

    5. Plan each day beforehand

    Planning each day the night before is a game changer. Take out 15 minutes before heading to bed and jot down your work plans for the next day. It is critical to write down your plans and ideas. Such a tip can also be taken from Richard Branson’s book. The founder of the Virgin Group says, “Write down every single idea you have. No idea is too small, and no idea is too big.” He further adds, “Make a list of small, manageable tasks to complete every day. Cut your day up into chunks, and you’ll get lots more done.”

    Wrap up thoughts

    Summing up, these tips can help you stay on a productive track and accomplish more. Making goals, pre-planning your day, tracking your time, and setting deadlines can assist you to reach your optimal potential. Include regular breaks into this equation, and you’ll have complete tasks under your belt in no time.

    Let us know in the comments if you have any great tips for productivity! You can contact us here!

     

    You can view Masooma’s portfolio here.

    How to collaborate with other businesses, even if you’ve never tried it before

    Arranging to collaborate with other businesses is a really good idea because you have your products exposed to each other audiences, this means you expand your reach. Often it can be more than that, with you sharing and supporting their normal posts and vice versa, it can really increase your brand reputation.

    So how do you go about collaborating as a small business? You may feel unconfident about approaching other businesses or just unsure where to start.

     

    1. LOCATE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER TO COLLABORATE WITH

    Find another business that your customers would shop with, but that sells different items to you. Their items should be complementary to yours. For example, if you sell handmade baby clothes, collaborating with a handmade teether business is perfect. If you are a mummy blogger, collaborating with anything child related could work from clothes through to food through to household products and items.

    It is certainly easier if you have a product you can swap with them. Bloggers and service providers will need to show what they can bring to the table. Bloggers will need to show that they have a good sized captive audience that makes it worth the other business giving you free stuff.

    Once you’ve located a business you’d like to collaborate with, message them and say you would like to work with them. You could suggest doing a product swap so you have their product in your pictures and vice versa.

     

    2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE

    If you are not having much luck with option one, then you may need to invest a little. So you could look at items you already own or you could buy new items. Then when you post tag them in and refer to them. Hint – go with the type of item you want to receive for free! Let’s say you go on a lot of holidays as a family, and you’re a mum blogger. You want to be posting amazing pictures from your hotel, tagging them in and raving about them in the post. Or you could tag a fashion label you always wear or always put your children in. You could tag your favourite place on a day out, your favourite cafe or restaurant. Once your feed is big enough, you should find by tagging the right people you get freebies also!!

    If you don’t have existing material then buy it. If you wanted to collaborate with a teether company, then buy a teether or two from them and regularly use them in your pictures. Tag them and give a little review in your post in a natural way.

    “Little Sandra is loving the sunshine today and thank God for these teethers from @teethercompany keeping us sane whilst she’s teething. I’m passionate about shopping handmade and natural products and I love these! Anyone else’s little ones teething?”

    You’ll notice there’s more to my caption that meets the eye! It’s telling a story, giving a review, working a collab and encouraging engagement! Boom! Read more about captions here!

    Post like this a few times and the teething company will be happy to work with you. Try to select a company that’s roughly the same as you in terms of stats for the most success. Shooting for a bigger business would seem better, but they’re less likely to collaborate so it can be a waste of time.

    The bigger you get, the better your collabs can be. Check out our new marketing membership for consistent growth for your business.

     

    Here’s little Sebastion and Tizzy brand repping!

    collaborate

     

     

     

    3. FIND OTHER BUSINESSES ACTIVELY LOOKING TO COLLABORATE

    Search out brands and businesses looking for collaborations. There are a few easy ways to do this. You can search on Facebook just using terms like “collaborators needed”. Or try searching for “brand rep required”.

    Brand repping is a good way to go on Instagram also. You can put yourself forward a rep in return for free or discounted goods. You need to make sure your feed is good and you post pictures already that they would easily slot into, so start thinking about this now if you don’t already so you have an established feed.

    On Instagram, you can search collaborators, brand reps, or have a good look at hashtags used in your niche. There tends to be certain hashtags dependant on your niche that indicates people are up for a collab. You can also use sites like Collabfinder to locate businesses. But my best advice is to get lost in Insta or the book of Face and have a good look round your niche at who’s offering what.

     

    The benefits of collaborations are huge, you will find you always have support from the other business and the benefit of their audience and marketing efforts!

    Simple steps to help you GDPR-proof your email list

    You’ve probably heard it tons of times – the money’s in your email list. And it’s totally true. From getting loyal followers and increasing sales to up-selling and keeping current customers happy, building a strong email list can help your business grow and thrive like nothing else. But strict new EU regulations (called GDPR) are seriously changing up the rules of the email marketing game.

    If any of your subscribers are EU citizens (no matter where your business is actually located), you’ll need to ensure your email marketing is GDPR-compliant before May 25, 2018, or risk stiff fines. Yikes, right?

    But don’t panic! Even if you’ve never heard of GDPR before, this post will help you get up to speed and protect your business in a couple of simple steps.

     

    GDPR

    What is GDPR and how does it affect me?

    GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. It’s basically a new set of EU rules that govern how businesses can gather and use personal data such as subscribers’ email addresses.

    But what about if your business isn’t located in the EU?

    Unfortunately, GDPR rules still apply to you, even if you only have a few EU-based subscribers or customers. If you’re scrambling to get your email signup forms GDPR–ready, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, more than half (52%) of all businesses are unsure about the potential impact of GDPR and 57% of retailers are not GDPR-ready.

    But just what is so challenging about this new regulation?

    It all comes down to a major shift in the concept of “consent”. The new standards for what constitutes consent are much stricter than what was acceptable pre-GDPR. Under GDPR, a simple email opt-in doesn’t cut it anymore.
    Instead, you now have to be able to prove that you’ve received “clear and affirmative” consent before you can collect someone’s email address and send them messages. This rules out previously acceptable forms of opting in, like pre-ticked consent boxes and failure to definitively opt out of receiving marketing communications.

    What constitutes consent under GDPR?

    In the past, consent only required you to receive confirmation from people that they were willing to get marketing communications from your business.
    With GDPR though, both the way in which consent was asked for and the way in which it was given matter. (For a more in-depth view, check out this GDPR review)

    Here are some important changes you need to know about:

    Consent must be clear and affirmative, as well as “freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous”:

    It can’t be bundled together with other terms and conditions. In keeping with the requirement that it be specific and freely given, consent must be independent and granular. If you’re like most businesses, you currently offer value-packed content like guides, checklists or eBooks to people in exchange for an opt-in to receive newsletters or other email marketing. From a marketing standpoint, this is an awesome way to draw in potential subscribers and provide them with more content, based on the offer they downloaded.

    Unfortunately, under GDPR, this is no longer considered freely given consent.
    In other words, subscribers must consent to receive your newsletter because they actually want it, not because it’s a pre-requisite to getting the checklist or eBook they really do want.

    Let’s check out two examples of the right and wrong way to receive independent consent:

    Correct:

    GDPR

    Note that on this sign-up form, an individual isn’t forced to download additional marketing communications if they don’t want to. They can simply download the checklist without opting into anything else if they wish. This helps to fulfil the requirement for freely given consent.

     

    Incorrect:

     

    GDPR

    In the example above, the subscriber has to sign up to receive a newsletter they may NOT want in order to get the checklist they DO want. This makes the consent given invalid under GDPR.

    Always provide granular options for people, allowing them to download or sign up for only what they want.

    The (very) rare exception is in cases where it’s necessary to receive email consent in order for you to render a certain service. It’s best to always clarify that this is the case before proceeding.

     

    Consent should not be passive:

     

    Passive consent, such as an individual failing to uncheck an already checked box, is not considered valid under GDPR. While this may be good marketing, (passive consent options tend to garner higher opt-in rates on forms) it can place your company in non-compliant territory.

    This also applies to any form of passive consent, including inactivity, silence, or failure to actively opt out.

    Let’s look at examples of active (correct) and passive (incorrect) consent below:

    Correct:

     

    GDPR

    In the example above, the individual has to check the sign-up box themselves, meaning that they actively consent to receive the communications offered.

    Incorrect:

    GDPR

    Here, you can see that the sign-up form has a pre-checked box. This puts the onus on the individual to stop and uncheck the box if they don’t agree.
    Under GDPR this is considered passive opting in and is not an acceptable form of consent. For this reason, steer clear of pre-ticked forms, opt-ins through silence or inactivity, and any other form of consent by default.

    While double opt-ins were once the gold standard of consent, they’re not enough under GDPR:

    Don’t get me wrong, double opt-ins are still an excellent way to ensure every contact in your database has willingly opted in. But with the advent of GDPR, you’ll have to do more. Compliance requires that people explicitly agree to your terms and conditions and your privacy policy, not just that they consent to receive your emails. To facilitate this, all of your terms and conditions and your privacy policy should be clear, easy to understand, and easy to access.

    But GDPR goes one step further:

    You’ll also need to be able to prove that you’ve told people how you’ll use their personal data and that they’ve agreed to your terms. This proof will need to be stored and presented in case any question of non-compliance comes up. Using a CRM that automatically saves a copy of all opt-in forms for you can make this step a little easier.

     

    Past consent is not exempt:

    This news is the source of most businesses’ GDPR-related headaches.
    GDPR comes into effect on May 25, 2018 but that doesn’t mean that you can continue to market to contacts previously gathered before that date in a non-compliant way. Its regulations apply to both existing and new data, so past data gathered in a non-compliant manner can still land you in hot water.

     

    Legitimate interest may not be enough:

    Many businesses agree with the need to receive explicit consent but feel that, in some cases, proof of legitimate interest may be enough.
    For example: If your e-commerce business’s subscribers gave their original consent in a non-compliant manner but then proceeded to open and engage with your messages, wouldn’t that serve as proof they are legitimately interested?
    And wouldn’t your business then be justified in continuing to market to them?
    The short answer is “not really”. Unfortunately, GDPR doesn’t allow using legitimate interest when marketing to individuals, so I would err on the side of caution. While this could represent a major cut to your existing contacts list, it’s well-worth it to avoid falling foul of the regulation.

     

    Send out re-permission emails

    Of all marketing operations, the new rules hit email marketing particularly hard. In the face of GDPR, you might be tempted to just delete your contacts and data altogether.

    All isn’t lost, however. While these new requirements are certainly challenging, you can turn GDPR into an opportunity.

    Savvy marketers are already going through their databases and working to salvage contacts through re-permissioning.

    Re-permissioning is the process of getting a definite opt-in from your database. By sending out re-permission emails that seek clear affirmative consent from your existing contacts, you can move forward with a clean and engaged list.

    Benefits of re-permission:

    Will you lose some contacts after sending re-permission emails?
    Almost definitely. There’s no sugarcoating that fact. Industry statistics show that re-permission opt-ins range anywhere from only 10% to 50%. But while you’ll likely end up with a lower number of contacts, getting opt-ins from contacts who do want to continue hearing from you will allow to market more confidently in the wake of GDPR. And sending re-permission emails offers your business benefits beyond GDPR compliance, including:

    Better deliverability:
    Contacts who are willing to opt in again are more likely to open and engage with your emails. This will give your deliverability and sender score reputation a major boost. Don’t worry about losing a couple of names on your list.

    Higher conversion rates:
    Your smaller list may actually be way more powerful, as every contact on it actually wants to hear from you and is actively interested in your business’s offerings.

    You probably have a much better chance at turning a subscriber who has taken the trouble to opt-in again into a customer than you do with someone who may originally have passively opted in.

    You’ll also spend less time and valuable resources marketing to people who just aren’t that into your content.

    A clearer analytics picture:
    Your current list may be larger but it probably includes a number of subscribers who aren’t genuinely interested in receiving your messages.
    As a result, their lack of engagement with your emails can artificially drag down your analytics, giving you a false impression of your content’s effectiveness. While you may be doing great at converting those who are interested in your emails, you’ll still end up with a cloudy idea of your strategy’s effects.

    Cleaning up your list with re-permission emails helps you gain analytics clarity.

    An enhanced reputation:
    Asking current contacts whether or not they want to keep receiving your emails is a fantastic way to gain trust. If you stress the fact that you want to provide real value, not just clutter up recipient’s inboxes, your brand’s reputation will definitely benefit.

    she hustles inc

    Tips to keep in mind when sending re-permission emails

    Start sending now:
    Keep in mind that there’s going to be rush of re-permission emails from other brands in the lead up to May 2018. Many businesses are probably waiting until the last minute, still unsure of how to deal with GDPR. This gives you a head start. Staying ahead of the pack means you can get your emails sent before recipients get tired of the flood of eleventh hour re-permission messages in their inboxes.

    Only contact those who have given consent:
    But be sure no to send re-permission emails to those who’ve already opted out before. Current regulations require you to ensure you’re only contacting those who’ve given you consent. The alternative could mean major fines, as organizations like Honda and Flybe have learned to their cost.

    Don’t use a blanket approach:
    While a general template will work well for most subscribers, single out your best customers for special treatment. In select cases, try a highly personalized email. Go for relevant, targeted messaging that reminds contacts why they like hearing from you. Use first names, thank them for being subscribers, and be genuine.
    Acknowledging valued customers is the best way to ensure they stay on board after GDPR.

    Be clear and direct:
    While GDPR is an important issue to businesses, your audience is likely less interested. Sending a clear, to-the-point email will go a long way towards ensuring your message actually gets read. A long-winded email that sounds like marketing, on the other hand, is a surefire way to get opt-outs.
    Instead, focus on grabbing attention with punchy subject lines and keeping it with purposeful keywords in the brief body copy.

    Remember, silence equals an opt-out:
    If a recipient doesn’t open your email, (or opens it and doesn’t definitively opt-in) take them off your list. GDPR is very clear that anything less than clear and affirmative consent is not valid, so resist the temptation to reach out again.
    Clarify which organizations will be relying on the consent received:
    Make sure that your business and any third party organizations gaining this consent are clearly named. So for instance, if your organization “Bella Trading” and a partner company called “The Beauty Group” will be relying on the consent, both must be named.

    Provide a clear opt-out:
    Your message should state clearly that people have the right to opt out or withdraw their consent at any time. Include clear information about how to withdraw consent. Focus on making it as easy to opt out as it is to opt in.
    Bonus: Your subscribers will appreciate it and will be less likely to opt-out if they feel like they have a choice.

    Keep records:
    I can’t stress this enough. Going forward, it will be super-vital that you protect your business by maintaining records of consent received.
    Your records should also demonstrate how consent was asked for and given. If you haven’t already done so, start re-vamping processes now to prioritize the maintenance of thorough records. Everything from automatic screenshots to copies can help.

    The wrap-up:

    There’s no doubt that email marketing can help you take your business to the next level. Customers absolutely love hearing from their favourite brands via email, as it’s a more personalized experience.

    But with GDPR right around the corner, you’ll have to make changes now to make sure that your email list is 100%GDPR-proof. Businesses everywhere are rushing to deal with this change but instead of worrying, keep your focus on getting ahead and being prepared.

    Making a few important adjustments can help you protect and grow your email list, so you can actually turn GDPR into a business opportunity.
    With that said, however, these regulations and the repercussions of non-compliance aren’t to be taken lightly.

    If you have any questions about compliance, I’d highly recommend consulting a legal professional. Clarity about your business’s specific situation will allow you to craft long-term strategies that make the best of these new email marketing rules.

    Have any questions or comments about making sure your email marketing is GDPR compliant? Share with us below!

     

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    As you may have seen we’ve been running the #maymarketingchallenge, which has been getting some great results for businesses and blogs. Every day is a different challenge so you can still take part – see this page on the website.

    In fact, I’ve had so much good feedback from it, I’ve decided to launch a more in-depth monthly service where I lay down a marketing strategy for your business or blog, and all you have to do is follow the plan.

    Maybe your blog is amazing with content that is simply a must read, or your handmade products are crafted to perfection. Maybe your services have been practised and honed so clients refuse to ever leave you!!

    BUT… marketing… in particular social media marketing…what do you post? And when? What hashtags should you use? What kind of image? How do you keep on brand? How do you even brand?

     

    CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

     

    No matter how amazing your blog, product or services are, if you aren’t putting it in front of your perfect audience your business won’t reach its true potential!

    The monthly subscription will do two things, first, it’ll teach strategies that actually work that I have refined and practised over and over. Secondly, it’ll give you a full plan and tools to manage that month which gives you back valuable time to do more of what you love and takes the stress out of marketing for you!

    It launches 1st June 2018 and will cost £20 per month, and you have a chance to get 6 months for free!!

    I promise I’ve not had too much wine! I’m giving away £120 of marketing, that will take care of your marketing for 6 months!!

    All you need to do to enter is come up with a name for the monthly subscription service! The best name I receive wins 6 months free marketing!

    CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

     

    These 8 simple tips will supercharge your SEO strategy with little extra effort

    So SEO…. or search engine optimisation…argh groan yack and yucky, but it’s really really not! I mean it can be, but there are just a few simple rules you can follow that will make a difference to your website or blog. Don’t get bogged down by the complex, you don’t have time for that right now, you have 100 things to do on your business and spending 273 hours reading about SEO techniques is not going to help with your productivity levels. We want to write, publish and move on. Bish bosh bash.
    SEO is important. This is traffic for no promo work really. The search engines will sift your content and push your target audience in your direction. To not take advantage of SEO in every piece of content is a crime against marketing! You are writing the post anyway, why not optimise it for organic traffic?!

    Types of content on your website or blog

    There are generally two types of content on your website/blog. There is the static content, for example, your home page, about page, services page and contact page. This content rarely changes and remains on your website for reference. Then you have your blog. Even if you have a website that just sells services or products and your not a blogger, I recommend blogging, even if its two posts a month. The reason for this is because Google picks up on the fresh content and will push your page further up its ranks (page 1 spot baby!!)
     
    SEO

    SEO rules

    Now my simple rules are going to apply to all your content. Yes, there could be a few different consideration if you go in-depth, but the purpose of these specific rules are to streamline your SEO technique and at least ensure the basics are there in all your content with very little effort!

    1. Chose a keyword.

    If someone was going to search your article on Google what is the one keyword they could enter? For this article mine would be “SEO”. Don’t overthink it, just go with the main theme of the content. An about page should be your name or the business name for example.

    2. Use the keyword in the body.

    You are going to use this keyword 5-7 times within the main body your post or page ideally. Now if this affects the quality then don’t do it, reduce this number, but I’ve never had an issue where I have just picked one keyword. Always make sure it’s in the first paragraph.

    3. Use the keyword in the title and at least one subheading.

    As it says in my subheading – get your keyword in the title and in at least one subheading. Not much more to say about that!

    4. Add an image with an alt description

    You can specify an alt description on your images, use your keyword in this alt description to get SEO points. If you don’t know where to do this email me at hannah@shehustlesinc.com or contact me here, and I’ll do my best to show you where to do this.

    5. Meta description and SEO title

    The SEO title is the title you see when you search and you see the list of the results. The main title you see is the SEO title. I tend to keep this the same as my post title because I’ve already SEO’d that so keep it simple!
    I then edit the “slug” so the keyword is first in the slug.
    Next is the meta description. This is the info you see under the SEO title when you search. I try to write a reason for people to click the link here, although often the first paragraph works. Get your keyword in here.

    6. Improve SEO with links

    Get one internal link (so to somewhere on your own site) and one external link (to outside your website). Search engines just like this. A bit like how I like tea with one sugar. They just do. You can have more links than this but this is the minimum to consider.

    7. Write more than 350 words

    I think it’s actually hard to write a decent post under this! But this also applies to your about page. Try to get more than 350 words. I tend to aim for 500 plus on blog posts.

    8. Use tags

    It’s easy on WordPress to just add tags in at the side. Check with your provider on how you can do this. Add your keyword and any variations or topics to do with your keyword in the tags. Scroll to the bottom of this article to see my tags. These are like hashtags for your blog post and are searchable also.
    SEO

    And that’s it!

    Okay, so you have 8 points. But think of it this way. You’re sat there to write your next blog post. You are brimming with ideas. Start with the body of your post, sometimes I write the intro last because it’s easier to explain what you’re going into after you’ve written it! But just have that keyword in mind and use it throughout and in sub-headings. Write your intro with the keyword. Get yourself a catchy headline with the keyword in it. Add a few pictures and put the alt description in there and then using the keyword. Lastly finish the meta description, SEO title and slug and chuck a few tags on. It’s not extra work, it’s just optimising the work you are doing.

    If you are looking for more tips and professional help with your search engine strategy check out The Search Marketing Shop. They have offered me help and advice that’s been really useful!

    If you have found this useful please do drop me a comment, follow on social media for more tips or contact me here!

    Automate your Pinterest strategy for long term blog and website traffic results

    Good morning campers!! Today we’re giving you back some time by automating Pinterest. It’s a beautiful day here in the UK (again – it might just be summer!!!!) and I’m in a very good mood because of this glorious weather!! So I’m going to share my favourite tools for automating Pinterest!
    Pinterest is amazing, with just a few hours work I am now hitting over 15K unique views! Pins have a long life unlike normal social media as they just keep going round and round the Pinterest world!
     
    Before I do I wanted to let you know there are affiliate links in today’s post. I used both companies to automate my Pinterest before I became an affiliate. I’m sure you know me well enough to know that;
     
    1. I try to find resources that are free where ever possible so for me to pay for something it must be good!
    2. I wouldn’t recommend crap to you! It’s my reputation on the line!!
     
    I don’t profit if you sign up for the free trial, and I’m really saying just give the free trial a go, so be reassured I’m not just recommending that to earn! It’s only if you continue with services that I would earn anything. Definitely, give the free trials a go, it’s worth it just for the boost in your growth.
     
    she hustles inc pinterest

    Follow my Pinterest here!

    Tool number 1 for Pinterest growth

    I recommend giving Pinpinterest a look – 
     
    Pinpinterest follows people on Pinterest relevant to you, it can search your website/blog for pinable posts and auto pin them for you. It pins other relevant posts to your boards to boost them. It’s fully controllable and you can pick and choose the full details of what you want it to do. They will grow your Pinterest above 200 followers more than likely with just the free trial! And it’s targeted followers.
     
    Once your Pinterest reaches higher numbers of followers you will find it much easier to get on the group boards as you have something to offer the group board by increasing the Pins exposure.
    instagram stories

    Tool number 2 for Pinterest growth

    The next tool I recommend is Tailwind. There are many different schedulers such as Buffer and Hootsuite, but I particularly like Tailwind. I have found I get the best results from it. It’s very intuitive and I find the statistics really helpful to work out what pins are working. It pins to separate boards and spreads out the pins, so I spend a few hours creating pins on Canva, then upload them to Tailwind, get the captions on and links. Remember to get the keywords in your captions and ensure you get them on your group boards. By getting them across different boards you will find you can do about a months worth of scheduling in a few hours!

    Again Tailwind offers a free trial (which again I do not profit from) so even if you just use the free trial to make your life easier for a few days and to give your Pinterest a boost, it’s better than nothing!

     

    Automate your Pinterest strategy as much as possible!

    Using both of these will make life much easier and give your Pinterest a much-needed boost. Pinterest is an amazing long-term solution to traffic as those pins are long-lived and just keep getting repinned! Remember to make attractive pins, consider using a free service such as Canva.

    If you have found this guide useful please drop us a comment below or sign up to get even more tools here!

     

    Follow my Pinterest here! You can also request my group boards here!

     

    These are 5 simple strategies to up your Twitter game

    Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… the list goes on! It can become very overwhelming having to manage so many social media platforms when running a business/blog. The trick is to understand each platform and use them correctly. Here are 5 Tips that will definitely help generate traffic and kind of set the tone of how Twitter is played.

    she hustles inc twitter

    1. Twitter Branding & Promotion

    Don’t forget to constantly look for ways to improve overall. That can be in the way marketing has been managed or lack of networking. Or even restructuring and coming back extra strong when it’s ready. The market is so saturated on any social media platform, including Twitter. Having a unique brand and logo that has a consistent theme will grab viewers attention and begin to create a loyal audience.

     

    2. The Tweets

    The distinction between Twitter and other social media platforms is the limit set to what can be posted. Tweets with characters under 100 are the easiest to get noticed and generate organic engagement. Make sure the tweet gets to the point and does not beat around the bush. Include videos, pictures, gifs, memes, links to create a Tweet that grabs someone’s attention.

    For example a potential tweet we would use for our blog would be,

    | Check out fellow blogger @shehustlesinc #SheHustlesInc |
    | May Challenge is HERE! #SheHustlesInc |

     

    she hustles inc twitter

    3. RT’s & Mentions

    Part of engaging in the Twitter consistently is participating in the platform by Retweeting others tweets, mentioning them in responses or ideas or promoting their blog/business/product. The more engagement put out, the more engagement reciprocated.

     

    4. Twitter Hashtags

    I’ve discussed the importance of engaging with the audience before and Twitter is no different. Not only is Twitter designed to generate real-time conversations, but it also allows everyone the opportunity to brand and market their business. Hashtags are the best thing to use in a Tweet. Make sure the hashtags used are consistent with the theme of your business/blog/product. Try to make the hashtag unique, yet easy to find.

    For example a potential tweet we would use for our blog would be,

    | Are you ready to join the May Challenge? #SheHustlesInc #IncreaseTraffic #Blogger |

    The Tweet not only requires the reader to answer a question, but it also has the potential to drive that reader to the website and join the May Challenge, or at least subscribe. Along with having a good hashtag, make sure to research Trending hashtags and topics in order to stay up to date with the audience.

     

    5. Engagement & Consistency

    Tying everything together will be engagement & Consistency. No matter how much work is put in or rule and tips followed, if there is not enough engagement consistently with the audience, the audience will slowly be lost. Engage with readers and put in the effort to be genuine and take constructive criticism well because, without the audience, there is no traffic, there are no views. Being consistent will show determination and the passion that exists for the business/blog/product to make it successful.

    If you found this useful drop us a comment below or contact us here!

    Big brands use Instagram stories; the reason is for true engagement and growth

    Instagram stories, love them or hate them they will help your social media account grow and encourage engagement. If like me you don’t particularly like being in front of the camera you may have been shying away from doing them. Never fear She Hustles Inc is here to help you use Instagram Stories to your full advantage!

    What are Instagram Stories?

    You can post a “story” to your profile, this can be videos or pictures, and people can see it for 24 hours, or you can have it featured permanently on your feed.

    It’s very much like Snapchat, but on Instagram. The videos don’t appear on your feed (unless featured), and you can also share it to your Facebook stories directly from Instagram.

     

    instagram stories

    Why take advantage of Instagram Stories

    Instagram stories should help with engagement and growth when used correctly. Apparently using Instagram stories can help you beat the new algorithm. It is thought that the interaction with your story let Instagram know you are achieving engagement, and even if it doesn’t get your post into your followers feeds, at least your story will be at the top of their page!

    I really like stories for adding more personality to your brand. You could show behind the scenes content. Often our feeds are polished to perfection, but on your Instagram stories you can show the authenticity of your brand and take your followers on a journey.

    It’s a really nice way to collaborate with other brands as well. According to Social Media Examiner, taking over someone’s stories for the day is a great way to use stories. Or you could do a collaboration with someone. Keep in mind you want to be offering value to your followers and enticing potential followers.

    Why not tag people in the story to engage with followers?

     

    instagram stories

    How to get the most bang for buck with your Insta story

    Okay so how do we make a story that’s not going to fall flat on its face? If you have nothing interesting to post, my advice is to think engagement. Go with a poll, ask a question, give a call to action. By inviting your followers to do something, you’re going to get that engagement you want on your social media accounts, but you’re going to give them something interesting to think about. Just posting a picture of your pizza is not exactly going to create a buzz is it.

    Again with stories we can tag people and locations, so take full advantage of this. It doesn’t cost anything and could mean new people engaging with you over a familiar location for example or following you because of it.

    You can use hashtags in the post, obviously not all thirty! But one or two hashtags won’t hurt!

    Have a play with the different video features and text overlays to snaz up your post.

    Remember Coco Chanel always said – take off the last accessory you put on!

    I’d love to hear how Stories have helped your brand or if you found this useful! Drop me a comment below! Or get in touch!

     

    This is how to master the perfect Instagram post

    You’ve prepped your Instagram account to perfection, you are ready to embrace your Instagram followers, you are ready to watch those notifications explode, you’re ready to engage. The traffic to your website is going to make it crash. You hit that “share” button, and you sit back and wait. 24 hours later, 3 likes, no new follows and no traffic to your site. You wonder what’s gone wrong? Where are the hoards you were so ready to engage with?

    The cold reality is you may not have been #instaworthy, or you’ve not used the right hashtags or even hashtags at all.

    This guide will help you to produce quality content to attract the right people to your business or blog on Instagram.

    instagram content

    (Picture credit – Pixistock.com – visit for beautiful free images each month)

    Cohesive Instagram feed

    It’s really important your overall Instagram is cohesive. It must link to your brand and business. Think about it, if you are a hairdresser, and you want to attract people to your business you should be posting pictures of beautiful hair. It doesn’t have to be hair you’ve done, you can post inspiration, you can share other’s content, but you want to show what quality of hairstyles you believe in. If you posted about your pet dog, why on earth would anyone follow you to find out more or seek out information on hair? It amazes me how many people treat their business account as a personal one and post irrelevant images to their brand!

    The feed should be colour coordinated, even if that is using all bright colours or just shades of blue for example.

    When you post always ensure you are “on brand”.

    Here are some examples of great cohesive Instagram feeds.

    The image you post on Instagram matters

    It’s not just about pulling the feed together overall. The individual picture matters. It needs to say open me, it needs to appeal to your audience. Scroll through your feed or through search results and you will see what I mean. What posts are you drawn to? Notice how some posts you stop and look at and want to read more, others you scroll on past. Search for images within your niche and see what appeals to you. Don’t directly copy these, but work it in a similar way.

    Images need to be clear. No one will click on a poor quality image. I really recommend free stock websites such as Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels. Pixistock has beautiful images and you get several free ones each month. You could also use Canva to create beautiful images that are #instaworthy.

     

    multiple income streams

    Captions that leave your audience wanting more

    You have a beautifully curated feed, you’re ready to post a stunning eye-catching image, now it’s time to draw your audience in with your caption. Captions that are more “real” tend to get more engagement. People can identify with it, or you’re answering a question they have or clarifying something. You are offering VALUE! These can be short or long, mix it up. Don’t think your words have to directly correspond to your picture, for example, a nice picture of scenery posted with a caption that contains a motivational quote and details about why you are posting it can work very well.

    I scroll through search results to engage with my followers (read more about engaging with your prospective followers here) and I like to comment on posts. Sometimes I literally can’t comment. The caption is so boring and offers so little I can’t think of anything to reply that won’t sound like one of the spambot replies!

    Ask a question, try to get your followers involved. Just make sure they feel a pull to comment because engagement is Instagram currency.

     

    Tags

    Tags are a highly unused method to supercharge your posts. Tag a location every time. Whether it’s where you are, or your country or where the picture is taken, just always put a location in. Obviously, if you are a local business it should be the area you are based in to really boost local traffic. If you are an online business it’s still worth using the location tag as you can come up in searches so why miss the opportunity!

    You should also try to tag people. You could tag accounts that might feature you, you could tag products you are using, you could tag people you are with or people who might be interested in your post. This pulls you into their feed, it’s a networking or promotional opportunity, and they may reciprocate.

     

    Sharing

    Some people don’t like to share the Instagram post with their other social media channels as they feel like people should have different content on each of the channels. To an extent I agree with this, however, depending on your time constraints it’s difficult. I don’t necessarily have time to post on all my social media channels for The Female Entrepreneur Hub several times a day! So I do share on Facebook and Twitter. However, I tend to top up the other accounts with their own content in addition.

     

    instagram algorithm

    Instagram Hashtags

    You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. This is across your caption and your comments (made by you). If you try to post more it won’t publish the comment. If you notice your image has gone on but the not the comment it’s likely this is why. You can put your comments in your post or in the comments. A lot of people use full stops to push them further down the comment so they are not as much of an eyesore. Another way to get around this is to post the picture then comment on it with your hashtags. It will pull you into the results just the same.

    My advice is to use all thirty, particularly whilst you’re trying to maximise growth. You don’t want to go too high level with your hashtags. Instagram hashtags such as #motivation will mean your post falls in with literally millions of other posts and this isn’t going to help you. Much better to use more specific hashtags. So for The Female Entrepreneur Hub, I use hashtags such as #femaleentrepreneur or #workfromhome. It just narrows down your audience to people you really want to target. You want to aim to get in the top 9 pictures for that hashtag search.

    I like to use hashtag generator such as Leetags (available on Android and iPhone)

    Comments

    Now you have posted your content you should start to see some likes and comments coming in. Hopefully, in time you will start to see some engaged comments. At first, you may just get spambot comments. You should still reply to these! I thank them for their comment. Use 4 words or more. Why? Because Instagram sees this as engagement and pushes your post further up the ranking for that hashtag.

    instagram followers

    By following these tips it should give you premium quality content for your Instagram feed and help attract the right followers for your business or niche. Get in touch or comment below if you have any questions or enjoyed this post!!

     

     


     

     

    These basics will make your Instagram account more successful overnight

    Why is my Instagram account setup important?

    Instagram is a shop window for your store. No matter what you sell or do! It’s where prospective customers/visitors see at a glance what you’re about and whether they want to look at what you offer any further.

    It has to look interesting and appealing at a glance.

    Your branding has to be upfront and apparent.

    On top of that, did you know that you can set certain things up so you can be found in searches? It’s Instagram SEO! No no no – don’t run away! I know SEO stuff sucks and boggles the brain at the best of times, but I’m going to give you the bare basic facts. You can set these up once and really that’s you done! I promise to keep it no frills and easy.

    This is what I want you to do to get your Instagram marketing ready

    Get Instagram setup correctly

    If you don’t already have an Instagram account, it’s not too late! If you want to try an Instagram account for your business, give it a go. I personally find Instagram the easiest platform to market on, It’s way simpler than Facebook, and I find I can get engagement much easier. Set yourself up an account and then turn it into a business account in settings by linking it to your Facebook page.

    instagram buisness setup

    This is going to give you lots more stats and options. If you advertise products in your posts you can tag them. (To do this you add products to your Facebook page shop and they automatically pull through to Instagram.) You’re going to get important stats like when you get the most engagement with your posts.

     

    What name to use on Instagram

    So now you have your business account. There are no silly rules like on Facebook about changing your name. I want you to consider two things; your name (e.g. The Female Entrepreneur Hub) and your username (e.g. @the_female_entrepreneur_hub) on the profile.

    If you can get something in here that is searchable for your business this will help you be found. So, for example, my name is easy to do this with, I want to appeal to Female Entrepreneurs… “The Female Entrepreneur Hub” covers this pretty well!

    What if your business is called “wags and tails” because you look after dogs?! It’s not very searchable, so consider something like “Wags and Tails Dog Walkers” and “@wags_and_tails_dog_walkers. When people search “dog walkers” this should get you on the list.

    Like Google, you start lower down and work your way up using engagement and growth strategies, but at least you’re on the list!

    instagram followers

    Instagram bio

    Okay onto the bio. You can now use hashtags in the bio which will also pull you into search results. The bio needs to be what you offer the person. You might think it’s about you. It’s not! Sorry! The bio needs to tell the person why you are good for them, what you can offer them, why should they follow you? Try to answer this in your bio. Finish with one or two hashtags that are predominantly your niche.

    Ensure you’ve added a link to your website. You can change this link as often as you need. You may want to direct them to specific pages or posts at specific times and with certain promotions. Test the link to make sure it works.

     

     

    How your Instagram feed should look

    Looking at the images now on your account. Look at your Instagram feed first. Does it reflect your brand? Is it cohesive? My “The Female Entrepreneur Hub” Instagram has a mix of different pictures, but it follows a pattern. You will only get certain types of pictures. I’m never in them (I hate having my picture taken!). If people are expecting pictures of travel, if you start posting pictures of your dog, it’s not why they followed you and chances are a few will unfollow. Are the colours cohesive and tied into your brand? You can see in the grid below how colours and images can be different but still on brand. Go back over your account and delete any posts that ruin the flow of your feed.

     

    You Instagram profile picture

    Now, look at your profile picture. Your options are your logo or an image that personifies your brand. This absolutely must be cohesive with your brand.

     

    Brand Leader

    By following these five tips you will ensure the basics are taken care of with your Instagram account. You will attract followers as they have a clear view of who you are and what your brand offers. You will gain more Instagram followers and this is essential for establishing yourself as a brand leader.

     

    If you have any questions get in touch with us!

     


     

    the female entrepreneur hub free guide

     

     

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