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Learning From Kevin Hart’s Social Media Mistakes

He lost his gig at the Academy Awards over some old tweets.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This month, the Academy Awards will take place without a host. Kevin Hart was forced to resign the job after old offensive tweets resurfaced. This is a high-profile example of something that can affect anybody. Online posts often live forever, and there is no telling when a person will be held accountable. As social media becomes ever more integral to our lives, it is important to think carefully about the way we handle ourselves online.

Social media can be an invaluable communication tool, but many people use public platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, SnapChat and Twitter as vehicles for expressing anger and vitriol. People hiding behind their computers and phone screens commonly share angry opinions that they would never say in person. Those hateful comments then become a part of the person’s online record and, as Hart’s example proves, that record can be shockingly permanent.

Related: 7 Ways to Recover After a Reputation Crisis

“Your reputation lives online, and how you engage in social media communities can sabotage your career,” says Jessica Nunez, CEO of TruePoint Communications. “If an organization’s leader or employee goes on social media spewing hate, it can negatively impact the company for employing these folks, especially when they are leaders.”

At Acceleration Partners, our team takes social media activity into account when we hire, and more and more businesses are doing the same. It’s an important barometer of a person’s judgment. Here are some ways you can put your own best self forward online.

1. Don’t engage in the argument.

The instantaneousness of social media can work against people in tense situations. It is easy to see how a platform like Facebook can attract angry comments — people who see something they disagree with can fire off a harsh response in just a few keystrokes. It’s so easy that people quickly fall into the trap of engaging in toxic social media arguments that everyone can see.

I am a strong proponent of building emotional capacity, and part of that involves putting aside battles that are not worth fighting. Arguing on social media is often pointless. You are unlikely to change the other person’s mind, and you can put your own future at risk with a thoughtless post or comment.

Charles R. Swindoll said, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” This is especially true for social media. If you see something that makes you angry, but is not personal to you in any way, try not to engage.

Related: Want to Do a ‘Marie Kondo’ on Your Messy Social Media Accounts? Here’s How.

2. Wait awhile before you hit send.

Whether it’s an email, a text message or a social media post, responding in an emotional state can be risky and counterproductive. When you get an upsetting note, it’s tempting to lash out immediately, but it’s better to take the time to formulate an argument that you will later be able to stand behind.

Unless you are in an urgent situation, a great strategy is to craft a response and then sit on it for 24 hours without sending it. I have a folder of emails that I never sent. I wrote them to blow off steam, and I later revisited the issues when I was calmer and ready to respond appropriately. This approach provides the emotional catharsis of getting everything off your chest, but it gives you the chance to temper your reaction once you are feeling more level-headed. It’s a great strategy for protecting yourself from saying something that you might regret.

3. Use the Sunday paper test.

There is so much content on social media that it’s tempting to think of everything as abstract and temporary. Who could possibly care about a single careless post? Unfortunately, online outputs stick around forever — and you never know what the long-term implications might be. On professional networks like LinkedIn, missteps can even impact your company’s reputation and success.

Related: 3 Ways Companies Are Analyzing Social Media To Make Hiring Decisions

Before you write your next social media entry, use this thought exercise: Imagine your post was on the cover of the Sunday morning newspaper, there in black and white for all your colleagues and neighbors to see. Would you be proud of what you said? Would you stand by it? Or would you be worried about who is seeing those comments? Using that lens to judge posts will hold your online presence to a higher standard.

For all the ways social media makes our lives better, it can also be misused and destructive. It is important to remember that your social media activity will last forever. Since you don’t know who will see your comments, either now or in the future, live online as if anybody could be watching.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Robert Glazer

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5 Partnership Lessons From Bill Belichick and Tom Brady

Neither would be wearing so many Super Bowl rings without the other.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots are the most successful, iconic coach-quarterback duo in the history of the NFL. I’m a football fan, and anyone who follows the NFL even on a casual basis is likely familiar with the steady praise — or, for non-Patriots fans, hopefully at least grudging admiration — for Brady and Belichick and the debate about how much credit each of them deserves for their team’s phenomenal run of success.

Too many sports commentators try to turn this debate into a seriously scientific point of contention, attempting to divvy out the credit between coach and QB in terms of percentages. One person says it’s 80 percent Brady, and the person sitting in the next seat says it’s 80 percent Belichick. My opinion is that there would be no Super Bowls without the complex interplay of both of them. 

Related: Don’t Go It Alone. How to Use Partnerships as a Growth Strategy

As I think back on my past experiences as an entrepreneur and working with small businesses and business partnerships over the years, there are several key lessons about leadership, management and life success that we can learn from the partnership of Brady and Belichick. Here’s a few tips on how to build a Brady-Belichick-style partnership at your business.

1. Complement each other’s skills. 

Belichick is widely respected as the brightest football mind of his generation. He’s obsessive about football, he’s disciplined, and he’s always trying to out-think the other coach with his game plans and his personnel strategies. Brady is known for his obsessive preparation and his single-minded competitive focus on offense, but he’s also been more of the “face” of the organization. Belichick is notoriously tight-lipped with the media, so Brady has become more of the charismatic public-facing spokesperson for the team. They complement each other and manage different facets of what needs to happen for the team to succeed.

In the same way, you need to have a partner with very different skill sets and interests from your own. That’s the best way to cover your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. Too often, people try to form business partnerships or work with a company cofounder where both partners are highly technical or good at the numbers side of the business, but they have a blind spot for customer relationship development. Or maybe you have a business partnership where you’re both really creative, but your business lacks discipline. This presents a problem. Pay attention to the skill sets and interest areas of your prospective partners or your executive team. If one person is great with people, the other should be great at product development. Your business needs a good balance between the skills and passions of the founders and partners if it’s going to thrive for the long run.

2. Trust each other.

Belichick has on numerous occasions managed the game clock in a way to get the ball back for one last possession at the end of the game, to give Brady that final drive, feeling like if anyone can deliver, it’s Brady. He’s also known for repeatedly being tough and unsentimental when making personnel moves, even if the team has to part ways with popular players — but he’s always kept Brady on the team and prioritized Brady, even as Brady has passed age 40. The two of them have a strong sense of trust and teamwork.

In the same way, any business partnership needs to be built on trust. It’s almost like a marriage, in terms of the level of closeness. You’re going to be working with this person every day and taking a financial risk together. You need to make sure that your business partners are honest, transparent, upfront and authentic with you. You’re building something great together, so you need to make sure you’re on the same page. 

Related: The 3 Traits You Need to Inspire Trust in Your Company

3. Mutual respect, no need to be friends.

You sometimes will hear about friction between the two, but Brady always refers to Belichick as “Coach.” NFL team locker rooms are often hotbeds of drama and backstabbing, with lots of clashes of big egos and juicy gossip getting leaked to the media. The Patriots, with few exceptions, have run a tight ship, and that strong level of trust between Brady and Belichick is likely responsible.

Business partners don’t always have to be best friends, In fact, sometimes the stresses of building a business can strain a friendship. But no matter what happens, you always need to respect each other’s abilities and believe in each other’s good faith.

4. You need to be aligned with each other.

Too many people learn this the hard way, but it’s true. All business partners need to be fairly aligned. For example, if one partner gets 80 percent of the revenue for closing a deal, the other partner might not feel as enthusiastic to put in the extra effort next time. When partners start feeling disrespected or underpaid, they will start to look for the exits — often threatening the viability of the entire business.

5. Share duties; share the workload.

Belichick and Brady are known to be the most dedicated to their respective jobs. They’re the first ones in the film room or weight room in the morning and the last ones to leave the team facility at night. Make sure your business partner is carrying the same share of the workload. Some startups and small businesses are in an untenable situation where the company is the full-time job for one partner, while the other partner is still working at a day job and not able or willing to put in the full amount of effort on the new business. This often leads to resentment from the full-timer, and exhaustion from the part-timer — and it’s bad for the business. A true partnership is just that: working side by side.

Related: 3 Types of Mentors All Entrepreneurs Need to Be Successful

Whether or not you’re a Patriots fan or even a football fan, it’s remarkable to see the run of success that this coach and quarterback partnership has created over their nine Super Bowls together. Most entrepreneurs are not competing in such a high-profile field or against such cutthroat competition as an NFL team, but the leadership and management lessons are often the same. Build trust and respect with your partners. Complement each other’s skills. Look for ways to keep fostering better teamwork and staying in alignment with compensation and credit for the success. Over time, you too can develop a business that is built for sustainable success.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Gregg Schwartz

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Build Your Blog’s Traffic with Help From an Experienced Pro

You can learn how to drive traffic to your blog by enrolling in Darren Murph’s course, on sale now.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Everyone and their grandma has a blog nowadays but is it still an effective way to reach an audience?

First, a brief history lesson: Writer Justin Hall created what is now considered to be the very first blog way back in 1994. Justin’s Links from the Underground, as he called it, was a platform where he could “[share] my life in explicit detail online” — sort of like a digital diary.

Once the publishing sites Blogger and LiveJournal launched five years later, blogging as a hobby was made more accessible to the public. Brands began to hop on the blogging bandwagon around the same time, which is when content marketing as we know it was essentially born.

Blogging has become a top priority for many businesses in the years since, with more than half of modern marketing professionals citing blogging as their top inbound marketing tactic. And that’s for good reason: Research has shown that companies with active blogs produce 67 percent more leads; receive 97 percent more links to their website; generate twice as much email traffic, and score five times more conversions than their blog-less peers.

So to answer your question, yes: Unlike most things from the ’90s, blogging is still en vogue, at least in the worlds of marketing and brand-building, and will likely remain as such for the foreseeable future. That’s why the Entrepreneur Store is currently offering a deal on “How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic,” a ten-lecture online class that’ll teach you how to find steady work and thrive in the field.

The course is led by instructor Darren Murph, the former editor-at-large of Engadget and the world’s most prolific professional blogger (per the Guinness World Records). Across more than two hours of content, he teaches enrollees how to improve their writing skills and pinpoint details within their copy that others often miss. By the end of his workshop, participants will have an awesome portfolio of work with which they can build a solid freelance career.

For a limited time, Entrepreneur readers can snag lifetime access to “How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic with Darren Murph” for just $19.99 — a 31 discount on the original retail price of $29.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Entrepreneur Store

Posted on

Why Your Next Startup Should Focus on Healthcare

Breakdowns exist in the healthcare system, specifically in the efficiency and accuracy of patient care. But that provides enterprising entrepreneurs with opportunities to fill those gaps through tech.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The healthcare job market is experiencing a boom.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare employment numbers jumped by 42,000 in January, with the industry having added a whopping 368,000 jobs over the previous year. A strong economic foundation has helped this boost, but so has availability of game-changing technology. New innovations opened up new opportunities, which in turn created more jobs.

However, as the healthcare industry continues to grow, so will its expenses, which could become unsustainable if left unaddressed. This might be worrisome to healthcare workers (especially newer ones). But for entrepreneurs looking for a healthcare entry point via technological innovation, now may be the perfect time to take a chance.

Related: How Technology can be Leveraged to Offer Personal Healthcare Management Services

Let tech cure what ails healthcare.

Breakdowns exist in the healthcare system, specifically in the efficiency and accuracy of patient care. Blockchain and similarly inclined tech solutions can fill those gaps, if any enterprising entrepreneur is willing to jump in.

Opportunities — small and large — exist for technology to improve the healthcare system. These are three pressing needs that leaders can address by integrating tech into their business models:

1. An improved information repository.

For a long time, healthcare providers were siloed and rarely shared data with others, leaving no room for the growth of an information ecosystem. For instance, different software standards make it harder for hospitals and emergency medical services to share data. However, if medical personnel could access patient records in real time, they could provide timely treatment and avoid harmful or fatal mistakes.

Because data has been siloed for so long, no provider has built a broad repository meant to analyze the correlation of data from a variety of medical sources. A repository powered by AI and blockchain could identify anomalies that could lead to the treatment, cure and prevention of a bevy of diseases.

Blockchain, for example, can be the conduit that helps healthcare bring those visions to reality. Right now, analytics decipher big data in order to understand micro-data points, which can yield inaccuracies. But because blockchain deals with data assets, that micro-data comes into focus and more accurate outcomes are reached. Blockchain allows healthcare data to be shared in a more secure and transparent way and maintains data integrity to protect it from manipulation.

Companies such as Healx are beginning to harness the power of AI for just this purpose. Healx uses machine learning to improve drug discovery and help find cures for rare diseases, research for which is often overlooked and underfunded. This type of repository is also perfect for blockchain, ensuring that data can be disseminated all over the globe safely and easily.

Related: 5 Ways Artificial Intelligence May Effect Health Care in the Near Future and What That Means for You

2. Better patient engagement.

Patient treatment shouldn’t begin and end inside the doctor’s office — it should start well before that. Technology presents an opportunity for healthcare leaders to develop solutions that improve the entire patient life cycle. The right patient care solution has the potential to boost patient experience, revenue life cycle, and profitability.

Some providers are already experimenting with AI to streamline the patient experience. Pharmacies are using smart calendar software that knows when patients need to make another visit or refill prescriptions. Some can even call patients to book appointments. AI-driven solutions will only become more necessary as healthcare systems such as the NHS face an increase in patients and a drop in qualified employees to handle them.

Entrepreneurs should prioritize AI projects that can help patients find the right doctors, hospitals, insurance solutions, and even the right medicine. If a startup can fill this gap, it’s a win-win for healthcare providers and their patients.

3. An automated collection of data.

According to a study by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, 86 percent of healthcare mistakes are administrative. People often lose health insurance or pay higher prices simply because of inaccurate data collection.

Robotic process automation could prevent many of these errors, offering a more accurate solution for collecting, processing and sharing data. Insurance startups such as Lemonade already use automated data collection to pay out claims almost instantly, with significantly fewer errors than traditional people-driven methods.

Here, again, blockchain offers a chance to create a better way of doing things for entrepreneurs looking to fill these gaps. Blockchain medical records and clinical trial data can provide new levels of security and ensure the integrity of data being collected.

Related: 3 Major Industries in Which Blockchain Technology Is Changing Life As We Know It

The healthcare system is bogged down by data silos and draconian data policies that help neither patients nor doctors. As costs rise and patient demand increases, healthcare companies will be desperate to find innovative and cost-efficient solutions that allow effective and efficient patient care. This environment is exactly where tech startups trying to find new ways to use blockchain and automation to drive the next big thing can flourish.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Karthik Pichai

Posted on

Learn How to Practice Mindfulness at Work for Less Than $40

Make the ancient, stress-relieving discipline more accessible by signing up for MindFi.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Maybe it’s our collective response to the near-constant distractions of technology and social media; maybe its just another facet of the ongoing woo-woo wellness trend fueled by the likes of Goop and crystal-toting influencers. Whatever the reason, the ancient Buddhist discipline of mindfulness — that is, the practice of living fully in the “now” — has become a full-on cultural phenomenon as of late.

And employers are taking notice.

Within the modern workplace, companies’ increasingly popular efforts to encourage mindfulness have been shown to boost employees’ focus, empathy, and efficiency while reducing their stress levels. A variety of approaches can be taken on the corporate level in order to achieve these results: Some organizations only go as far as giving their employees time for a quick walk outside or implementing productivity tools that cut down on multitasking. Within hipper workspaces (i.e., Google, Nike, and Apple), you’ll find designated wellness rooms in which employees can quietly meditate and reflect.

Whether your boss has already implemented such strategies, or you’re a self-starter who just wants to feel a little less anxious about their gig — and who among us doesn’t? — subscribing to a mindfulness app is an easy way to make the discipline more accessible. One such option is MindFi, which gives its subscribers access to curated mindfulness exercises that can be practiced anywhere.

On sale for a limited time in the Entrepreneur Store, MindFi was designed by top meditation teachers and neuroscientists as a way to reduce distractions and improve relationships in even the busiest of lives. It does so by suggesting four different mindfulness modes based on your local time of day, including 10-minute closed-eye meditation sessions that promote decompression; silent haptic breathing exercises designed for short breaks; quick meditation sessions that’ll boost your mood after boring meetings; and a Pomodoro timer for increased productivity. Whichever exercise(s) you prefer, you’ll be able to track your progress right on the MindFi app using its research-backed tools.

For just the next few days, Entrepreneur readers can sign up for a lifetime subscription to MindFi Mindfulness for only $39 — an 89 percent discount on the original retail price of $365.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Entrepreneur Store

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Breaking Through on the PGA Tour After 187 Tries

PGA Tour player Ken Duke shares how he overcame severe scoliosis to become a professional golfer.

1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ken Duke, a professional golfer on the PGA Tour, discusses overcoming surgeries on his curved spine in order to carve out a career on the golf course. Ken and host David Meltzer talk about the individuality of golf and how the sports allows athletes to let their uniqueness shine through.

The pair cover topics such as hard work and consistency, as well as using your platform as an athlete to give back, like Ken does with his annual charity golf tournament. Ken also gives an in-depth look at his approach to the game of golf, particularly the importance of slowing yourself down.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: David Meltzer

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9 Business Ideas Under $1,000 You Can Run From Anywhere

11 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Looking to start a business and refuse to be tied down to an office? Turns out you can start a company from the comfort of your own home — or better yet, from an exotic far-flung beach — for under $1,000.

How is that possible, you might ask? Technology. Maria Dykstra, co-founder of TreDigital, a digital growth agency based in Washington D.C., has built her company around technology and allows her employees to work remotely.

“A lot of how we work is online,” she says. “We use Google Docs, a lot. File sharing, video sharing, conferencing, emailing.”

Being comfortable with technology is incredibly important for making a digital business successful, as well as letting customers know that you are traveling.

And despite what most people think, travel can be relatively inexpensive. According to Nomad List, a website that ranks cities for digital nomad friendliness and cost, you can travel and live in some of the best cities for digital nomads at relatively low cost. For example, Bangkok will set you back $1,479 a month; Prague, $1,969; Budapest, $1,579.

Technology exists to make remote working convenient, so if you want the digital-nomad lifestyle and don’t have a lot of startup cash, here are nine low-cost business ideas you can start from anywhere.

Related: How I Built a Startup While Traveling to 20 Countries


Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Grace Reader

Posted on

Market Up as Government Shutdown Averted, but FAANG Stocks Still Down

The government shutdown drama is over and the legal drama over who has the power of the public purse — Congress or the President — has just begun.

3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

President Trump signed a bill to avoid another government shutdown and simultaneously declared a national emergency on the southern border to get funding for the wall. Democrat leaders promised to sue.

Good news for the market. The government deal and encouraging signs on the U.S./China trade talks sent stock prices sharply higher today. Large cap multinational companies surged, pushing the Dow index up 1.74 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes were up 1.09 and 0.61 percent respectively.

The Entrepreneur Index™ closed the day up 0.33 percent.

The technology sector lagged the broader market. All four FAANG stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™, (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — now Alphabet), were down today. (-0.91 percent) fell the furthest.

NVIDIA Corp. had the biggest gain in the sector, rising 1.82 percent. The high-end chip-maker recently lowered guidance sharply but said in an analyst call yesterday that it expected sales to rebound in the second half of this year. The stock was up more than three percent in the morning but trended down through the day. It is up 18 percent this year but down 36 percent in the last twelve months.

Gains were strong across the rest of the market with just thirteen of sixty stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ posting losses. Foodmakers Tyson Foods, (2.34 percent), and J.M. Smucker Company, (1.81 percent), were both up sharply. As were drug-makers Alexion Pharmaceuticals, (2.77 percent), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, (2.17 percent).

The two investment managers on the index both rose with the market. BlackRock gained 2.02 percent, while Franklin Resources was up 2.46 percent. Other financial stocks were also strong. Credit card issuer Capital One Financial was up 2.46 percent, and investment bank Jefferies Financial Group rose 3.29 percent — the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.

Fedex Corp. had one of the bigger losses on the index. It fell sharply after competitor XPO Logistics missed earnings estimates badly today and blamed a drop in business with its biggest customer. That would be Amazon, which is rapidly building fleets of airplanes and vans to deliver its own packages. Fedex shares were down 2.51 percent and have fallen 27 percent in the last twelve months.

Under Armour Inc. was also punished by proxy when competitor Puma gave cautious guidance for 2019. The German shoemaker easily beat estimates but expected this year’s sales to grow at just half the pace of 2018. Under Armour shares were down 3.07 percent, the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.

Other declines on the index included TripAdvisor Inc. (-1.64 percent), Akamai Technologies, (-0.97 percent), and Facebook, (-0.88 percent).

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Andrew Osterland

Posted on

How to Start a Small Business Online

Seven tried and true steps for attracting visitors to your small business’ site — and getting them to buy.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you’re starting a small business online. I’ve seen thousands of people start and grow successful businesses by doing the following:

  1. Find a need and fill it.
  2. Write copy that sells.
  3. Design and build an easy-to-use website.
  4. Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.
  5. Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
  6. Follow up with your customers and subscribers with email.
  7. Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.

Anyone, from newbie to seasoned online entrepreneur, can benefit from this process in learning how to start a business online.

Related: 10 Online Invoicing Services for Small-Business Owners

Step 1: Find a need and fill it.

Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second.

To boost your chances of success, start with a market. The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results. The internet makes this kind of market research easy:

  • Visit online forums to see what questions people ask and what problems they’re trying to solve.
  • Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but for which not many sites are competing.
  • Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they’re doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you’ve learned and create a product for a market that already exists — and do it better than the competition.

Related: 8 Great Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers

Step 2: Write copy that sells.

There’s a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase:

  1. Arouse interest with a compelling headline.
  2. Describe the problem your product solves.
  3. Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.
  4. Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
  5. Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
  6. Make an offer.
  7. Make a strong guarantee.
  8. Create urgency.
  9. Ask for the sale.

Throughout your copy, you need to focus on how your product or service is uniquely able solve people’s problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer and ask “What’s in it for me?”

Related Book: Write Your Business Plan by The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.

Step 3: Design and build your website.

Once you’ve got your market and product, and you’ve nailed down your selling process, now you’re ready for your small-business web design. Remember to keep it simple. You have fewer than five seconds to grab someone’s attention — otherwise they’re gone, never to be seen again. Some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
  • Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
  • Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
  • Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
  • Make it easy to buy — no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
  • Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.

Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

Step 4: Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site.

Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically. First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.

Related Book: Ultimate Guide to Pay-Per-Click Advertising by Richard Stokes

Step 5: Establish an expert reputation for yourself.

People use the internet to find information. Provide that information for free to other sites, and you’ll see more traffic and better search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link to your site with each tidbit of information.

  • Give away free, expert content. Create articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites.
  • Include “send to a friend” links on valuable content on your website.
  • Become an active expert in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out.

Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without Coding

You’ll reach new readers. But even better, every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines love links from relevant sites and will reward you in the rankings.

Related Book: No B.S. Trust-Based Marketing by Dan S. Kennedy and Matt Zagula

Step 6: Use the power of email marketing to turn visitors into buyers.

When you build an opt-in list, you’re creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business. Your customers and subscribers have given you permission to send them email. That means:

  • You’re giving them something they’ve asked for.
  • You’re developing lifetime relationships with them.
  • The response is 100 percent measurable.
  • Email marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it’s highly targeted.

Anyone who visits your site and opts in to your list is a very hot lead. And there’s no better tool than email for following up with those leads.

Related Offer: Get a 60-day free trial to email marketing platform Constant Contact.

Step 7: Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.

One of the most important internet marketing strategies is to develop every customer’s lifetime value. At least 36 percent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them. Closing that first sale is by far the most difficult part — not to mention the most expensive. So use back-end selling and upselling to get them to buy again:

  • Offer products that complement their original purchase.
  • Send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit.
  • Offer related products on your “Thank You” page after they purchase.

Reward your customers for their loyalty and they’ll become even more loyal.

Related Book: No B.S. Guide to Maximum Referrals and Customer Retention by Dan S. Kennedy and Shaun Buck

The internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven’t changed at all. If you’re just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you’ve been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there’s a step you’re neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can’t go wrong with the basics.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Allen Moon

Posted on

This Week in Weed: High End Hemp!

Barney’s is Bud and Bougie, California claps back, and an industry Giant “stubs its pinky toe”

2 min read

Welcome to Green Entrepreneur’s video recap of the cannabis news you might have missed this week, hosted by our cannabis correspondent, Conrad Martin.

Barney’s dips its toe into the ‘Lux’ cannabis market

Luxury retailer, Barney’s has plans to open up a high-end cannabis shop inside of its Beverly Hills location. Aptly named – The High End, the installation, will offer highly-curated and priced cannabis paraphernalia and is scheduled to open in March

Related: How This Brand Is Making Cannabis Feel Like a Luxury

California’s Gov declares war against illegal farms

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he’ll be dispatching the National Guard to target and eliminate illegal marijuana grows in the state. Newsom cited the dangers of illegal grows including cartels, destruction of forest land, and increased fire hazards.

Related: California Has a Serious Compliance Problem

A cannabis retail giant sees hard times

Med Men has been asked to relinquish its New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association membership amongst allegations against the CEO. This would be the latest mishap as the firm is facing lawsuits and potential closure of their West Hollywood Flagship. 

Related: How MedMen Is Making Marijuana Mainstream

Be sure to keep up with all things cannabiz by checking out

If you missed the last episode, check it out here: New York City Cracks Down!

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Conrad Martin