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Socialh

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SocialH Design blog is a place for Designers and Developers. We provide high quality articles and web resources in web design, social media, SEO, wordpress and blogging.

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backup data cloud

The rise of cloud technology has also meant a rise in business productivity, as many enterprises now fail to remember what life was like before the cloud. There’s a particular way that the act of storing data on cloud servers affects profits, maintenance operations, and even morale.

Businesses can breathe better knowing that there is the option of switching to alternate servers in case of lags, that they can obtain ample storage space without shelling out for hardware, and that their data can be accessed and managed from a safe place.

But (forgive us for saying so), nothing in this life is perfect and without flaw. Moreover, there’s something harmful about conditioning ourselves to think that any technology is absolutely bulletproof, just because we benefit from it widely and consistently.

In the case of the cloud, there are still a lot of “what-ifs” to watch out for—and you definitely should prepare for these anomalies, to ensure that your business isn’t crippled by any of them.

backup data cloud

Foremost Reasons to Back Up Cloud Data

First off, it’s easy to think of our data being immortal, in some way, because we’re used to the convenience of it always being on-hand. Around the 2010s, mobile data and WiFi everywhere became the norm. You’re assured of emails, photos, and documents readily available on your phone, tablet, laptop, or other device, and all in synchronized sources.

It seems that only the truly unfortunate know the limits of cloud technology because they experienced massive losses to their data due to things like server failure, bugs or hiccups with syncing, or malicious attacks to the system by hackers or phishers. Losses also happen in cases such as account inactivity on a particular web platform, or in a switch of services and databases between cloud providers. This in case it’s because, sadly, you cannot expect the same degree of service all the time.

And when any of those things happen on a major operational scale, it could spell doomsday for your company. The process of retrieving lost data is long, costly, and unpredictable. You wouldn’t want for these problems to come upon you when you should be focusing on your profits.

Backing Up: Best Practices

Given that, what should you do to maximize your usage of the cloud and ensure the security and accessibility of all your important business data? Here are some short tips on what we regard as “best practices.”

  • Gather from your Google services. Google is the most prominent cloud technology there is, and you probably already use the services of Gmail, Google Calendar, and others in your personal and professional lives. We strongly suggest measures such as using backup applications to make local copies of emails, or downloading and exporting your calendars in your hardware devices for backup.
  • Replicate your Google Drive’s contents to your PC. On a related note, technologies such as InSync assist in downloading each of the documents uploaded to your Google account into your Mac or Windows PC. They’re services that you’ll have to pay for, but the value of easily obtaining so many files from your Google Drive into multiple devices is definitely worth the cost.
  • Grab backups of your contacts. A system like iOS is exemplary in its ability to sync contacts across devices. Consider also using the available exporting options from MS Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail.
  • Compile and encrypt your passwords. It’s now possible to export your passwords and have them safely encrypted in services like LastPass. LastPass also has a corresponding application to decode any of these passwords in case something happens to the platform as well.
  • Back up all your photos. Photo files are also important business collaterals, so you should also back up your photos with mechanisms like Facebook Photos and Flickr’s photo stream.

That said, enjoy life on the cloud—because it’s still one of the best ways to connect you to everything else.

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marketing

The thought of how to best market your construction business in a way that consumers will recognize and remember your brand is always on any entrepreneur’s mind. When your business has representatives present at a convention, trade show, or at a community event, how can it engage with the audience that is found there in a manner that forms a lasting impression and connection?

marketing

Promotional products are a common go-to. They are an easy and often relatively inexpensive way to get your company’s name, website address, and/or logo in front of a large amount of people. They serve as a brand recognition tool AND can be a call to action for people who see your brand name and domain name to visit your website and see what it is you have to offer. However, not all promotional products are created equal. When choosing a promotional product to speak for your brand, focus on having it be attention-catching, useful to the consumer in some way, and creative.

Apparel

Think about the last sporting event you attended. Remember how crazy people went when the t-shirt cannon made its appearance? T-shirts are a product that never goes out of style, everyone uses, and that you can really never have enough of. If they are being given out for free, people are not going to pass you by without accepting the offer. Cotton t-shirts are cheap, available in practically any color you could imagine, and provide a simple, effective way for you to get your brand out there into the world.

Ball Caps

Like t-shirts, baseball caps are practical and are an item collected by many. Handing out ball caps branded with your company logo can help ensure that on the next sunny day at the beach (or the dreaded bad hair day!), people are reaching for the useful product that happens to advertise your business. Plus, when someone wears a ball cap with your brand on it, anyone who sees them wearing it is an additional person to make a connection with your brand.

Water Bottles and Plastic Cups

Whether the product ends up holding pens on a desk or being used to drink from, branded water bottles and plastic cups given away to your audience serve their purpose in promoting brand recognition. They are something that everybody uses and will not be discarded as soon as they are received. Also, with ways available now to really make these standard items stand out among others (like options of color-changing or sparkly plastic), you have the ability to make them more fun and eye-catching.

Tech Accessories

Both at home and in the office, people today are seemingly always connected to technology. Putting your brand on a tech accessory like a USB drive guarantees that the next time its owner needs to share a file, they are making another connection with your brand. It also doesn’t hurt that USB drives are commonly passed between individuals, giving your brand an extra set of eyes to be seen and recognized by.

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Some businesses need loads of cash to get off the ground, while others only need a little bit to keep things going. However, every business needs at least a little cash flow, no matter how much that is!

Whether you need to purchase materials so you can start a creative business, you need a loan so you can apply for a spot at a popular tradeshow, or you need thousands of dollars to hire new employees and expand into a professional space, it’s important to know how to get the money you need to grow your business.

Here are four ways to do just that.

Ask Friends and Family for Help

Your friends and family want to see you succeed. That makes them great lenders, especially since it’s easier than ever to send and receive money.

Use a money transfer service, like Remitly, to allow your family back home to send you cash for your business or ask a friend if he would be willing to loan you the money you need to take the next big step. It is a great strategy because your friends and family want to see you succeed, so many of them may be willing to give you the money needed to do it!

Get a Loan from the Bank

Back in the day, if you needed the cash to start or expand your business, it meant turning to the bank. It remains a good strategy today.

Asking the bank for a loan can be a great way to get the money you need, but it takes a lot of preparation. It includes comparing loans between institutions, knowing if you will qualify, and creating a business plan that makes the lender feel confident that you will repay the loan.

Turn to Crowdfunding Websites

Technology has made it easier than it has ever been before to turn to real people for help instead of always turning to an official institution, like a bank. From getting a ride to help moving, apps connect real people to real people, and they can connect you to people who want to fund your business too.

Some of the best crowdfunding websites include:

  • Kickstarter
  • Indiegogo
  • GoFundMe
  • Crowdfunder

Some require certain funding levels to be reached while others provide investors with a stake in the company. Make sure you find the site that’s right for your business before you create a profile.

Take on a Partner

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to taking on a partner. However, if you find someone with the funds who has an interest in your business, it can be the quickest, easiest, and least complicated way to get the money you need.

There comes a point in the life of every business when extra funds are needed. Whether it comes before your doors open or later on down the road when you want to expand, it pays to know a few different ways you can get the money you need for your business.

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User experience is essential for the success of your website or application because the purpose of any website or application is to be used in one way or another to provide or solve the need of the user, if the user does not feel positive about the experience in making use of your website or application then the chances are that he or she will not return to make use of your website or application. Specifically for attracting and retaining the user,  this website design company which has the necessary workforce and minds needed to create the perfect user experience always goes the extra mile and uses all its skills in doing so. Creation of an excellent user experience depends on a lot of factors and as such the task can be demanding. Finding the right piece of information to assist you in creating a perfect user experience can be demanding too due to the abundance of resources to choose from on the internet. To help you narrow the focus on the resources, we have selected twelve essential UX design resources that will provide you with the information you need.

Smashing magazine; Founded in 2006 by Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz as part of smashing media. Smashing magazine contains well insightful articles on user experience from excellent and experienced writers share their ideas, trends and their practices for success. Smashing magazine also provides excellent newsletters and a deep library to share information with you.

Usability geek; Founded in 2011 by Justin Misfud. It started with a narrow focus on usability but evolved to focus on  broader topics like user experience becoming one of the top platforms  for providing posts on topics regarding  user experience like interfaces and optimisation.

UX magazine; is a free community platform looking into all topics related user experience design. UX magazine provides contents from professionals and leaders in user experience leaders with the aim to providing the most useful, a close to complete guideline  and practical content on user experience to its readers.

Mockplus blog; is an excellent outlet for designers to learn the craft of designing. The release articles about user experience design a frequent rate. The also provide very insightful interviews of the leading UX designers  on user experience design.

Awwwards; is a platform with the aim of recognising and promoting innovative web design. It contains meaningful articles on user experience and user interface. Awwwards  is also a platform where designers and developers meet for healthy competition based on which work is more innovative with the aim of critiquing and finding inspiration for more works.

Mobile usability; is a book  with details  on creating a positive  user experience. Due to the times we live in, in which having a mobile responsive website is a must,  this book comes in handy as it focuses on usability and creating an efficient  mobile strategy. This book provides a complete outlook on this mobile world.

A List Apart; is a blog that provides content on a scope of topics that are helpful to those interested in learning user experience design and web design as a whole in general. Greater focus is put on releasing content that contain information about best web practices.

UX Booth; is an online platform for the user experience community, where experiences of UX designers are shared and articles with content about  trending topics and best practices involving user experience are disseminated and discussed about.

Observing The User Experience; This is a extremely useful book about UX for designers and developers and researchers. Observing the user experience encompasses practical information, experiences that form a guideline on how UX designers understands the needs of the users and also contains research techniques to assist the UX designer in designing  better products for the user.

UX For Beginners; It is a practical book for UX designers written by Joel Marsh. It contains basic introductory  comprehension to user experience and practical skills for UX designers that can be easily applied to real life projects. It is an essential resource for user experience designers because of its direction on user experience which makes it easy to learn and the necessary tools  needed for success in user experience.

52 weeks of User Experience; This is a free  course on user experience on the process involved in designing the final products and everything involved about the about the product for the satisfaction  of the user. It entails what user experience is and the importance of it, the rules of user experience, practical skills and  understanding the needs of the users.

Optimising user experience is vital for the success of your product, there is no way around it. Due to the increase in interaction between humans and devices, the influence of user experience on the success or failure of your product is going to grow. There are many resources out there but the above blogs, books and courses are chosen specifically to  assist you in mastering user experience

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work

Getting in the zone is the perfect way to work.

When you’re in the flow, and nothing seems to distract you or get in your way, you are more productive than at any other time during the workday.

But there’s one major problem.

It’s often hard to get in the zone while you are at work. Achieving this state of awareness and perfect harmony should seem effortless, but getting there is usually hard to do or nearly impossible at times.

Are you trying to figure out how to get in the zone as quickly as possible?

We’ve got some tips that will help you eliminate distractions and achieve total mental focus relatively quickly.

work

Please use this guide to help you get into the zone when you need it the most.

Putting Your Mental Focus in the Right Direction

Our mind is like a processor. In order for your processor to be the most effective that it can be, it’s best to focus on the activity that is demanding your attention.

The only way to get into the flow is to shift your focus by paying attention to the activity or thing that requires your utmost attention and flow.

So, it’s important to take time to actively direct your focus.

Because if you don’t do this, you risk wasting lots of time and energy on the wrong activities at the wrong time.

Controlling your mental focus is an absolute must.

By doing this, you’ll be able to concentrate and pay attention to the things that require your focus the most. And you’ll be able to avoid activities that will suck away your time and make you less productive.

So do yourself a favor. Before you begin working, focus your full attention on the task at hand and block everything else out of your mind.

Learning How to Get into the Flow State

Now that you know that focusing your mind is the most important thing to get in the flow state, we’ll give you some tips that will make it easy to enter into the state on a regular basis.

If you’re working on a project that requires your highest attention, this skill is going to come in very handy.

Before we get into step-by-step instructions, you should also track the amount of time you spend in the flow state to measure your productivity.

There are perfect tools out there to track your progress while you are in the zone, we would like to mention some apps designed specifically for developers that, without a doubt, guarantee productivity, for instance, refer to this webpage.

  1. Pick your most important task.

To gain the most from your focus by getting into the flow, it’s best to direct the entirety of your concentration and attention on the one task that you need to get done the most.

Many people think multitasking is the best way to get things done, you can also check here how to total your working hours.

But a number of different studies have proved that only about 3% of the population can actually multitask successfully. The rest of us need to focus on one task at a time.

  1. Create a distraction free environment.

To maintain your focus, you need to work in a distraction free environment.

So turn off the TV and radio. Shut down access to the Internet for as long as possible. Put a glass of water on your table. Turn off your smartphone, tablet, and other devices.

  1. Work on your task with intensity and focus.

Dive into your task wholeheartedly.

Focus so deeply on this task that you enter into a trance.

This trance is called the flow state. And if you achieve this level of concentration, you’ll get so much done in a very short period of time.

Conclusion

Getting in the flow might seem difficult at first. But just like any other skill, you can certainly master it with practice.

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business

Organizing an event involves a lot of steps that require immense knowledge or experience.

Chances are, you are here because you don’t have either when it comes to the event businesses – and that’s okay! A business conference is an important gathering for your company that involves informational and entertaining aspects. Most companies have hundreds to thousands of employees, so planning a successful business conference can easily seem difficult.

business

Before you start planning, read these helpful tips on how to organize your first business conference:

Validate a Need

What is the point in your business conference? Make sure you’re not planning a conference just for fun, or because every other business is doing it. There should be an actual need to be met at this conference, and the purpose of the conference should be to solve this need.

Putting on a conference is far more expensive than many people initially realize. With that said, if your company doesn’t have a dire need to be meeting inside a large event space, then maybe it’s not the time for a conference.

Know The Type of Event You’re Planning

There are 4 types of events when it comes to planning a business conference. Your event is either going to be a networking event, trade show event, educational event, or an academic event.

Determining what type of event that you are hosting requires figuring out the primary purpose of bringing together a huge group of people – and making sure your audience knows it, too. Make it clear what your conference is about, or else people will not attend.

Sweat the Details – Or your Attendees Will

It’s hard to think of all the little details that attendees will notice is missing when you’re planning larger aspects of the conference (the speaker, food, decorations, etc.). But this is all the more reason why paying attention to detail is critical.

You want attendees to leave your conference talking about how well-put-together your event was. Take time to walk-through all the aspects of your event from the perspective of an attendee once the event is set-up, well-before before guests arrive.

Consider Professional Help

It’s okay to admit you need help from a professional! All event professionals take pride in what they do because they live and breathe events. If you feel overwhelmed, work with a third party who has extensive experience with running conferences. They usually can help with things like the logistics of parking, Wi-Fi, room layout, the flow of the event, convenience for your guests, registration and more.

Some of these event items can also be handled using event apps for engaging events. These apps can help streamline registration, directions to the venue, maps for parking and more right within one app. Some event apps can even help you facilitate networking among your attendees and keep your audience fully engaged with push notifications, discussion boards and more.

Structure a Leadership Team

You cannot do this alone! That is the first step to ensuring nothing will go wrong with your conference. Hire a team of 3 to 5 individuals you trust to work hard and stay organized. Hire these individuals from the start and assign each of them a task.

This needs to be done months before the event, to ensure everyone has enough time to complete their task successfully. Even consider hiring volunteers for during the event to keep an eye on the conference and be there if guests have questions.

Be Prepared for Dead Space On-Stage

There is always that awkward silence in between speakers or the transitioning from one part of the conference to the next. A good rule of thumb is that a speaker should always be on the stage introducing the new speakers and announcing the event transitions (meal time, bathroom break, etc.).

Although there are many aspects to planning a business conference and a lot to cover, being prepared will help make your planning and execution run smoother and stress-free.

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interview

You cannot predict the rhythm and themes of all the interviews because the companies and positions are different. However, in a nutshell, there are around five basic questions that you’ll hear from every HR. With a little preparation and inner confidence in your skills, you can land any selection process and get your dream job in no time. In this post, we’ll talk about top 5 job interview questions, read more here, and give small pieces of advice as to what you should answer.

interview

Question #1: Tell me about yourself?

This is a typical icebreaker for every interview. The purpose of this question is to make you relax a little and to establish a meaningful communication. Still, you should understand that in this answer, the recruiter wants to know more about you in the context of the job position. Naturally, it is also crucial for the interviewer to see whether your personality fits the existing team. However, the first and foremost thing that the recruiter wants to know about you is whether you’ll be able to perform all the job-related functions that this position requires.

In response to this question, you can mention your hobbies and preferences, but try to focus on the professional side. Describe your prior experience or any other thing that would say something about you as a potential employee.

Question #2: Why are you interested in this position?

By asking this, the interviewer wants to hear about your motivation. You might be passionate about the industry and the company, or you can be in a desperate need of money. It is up to you what response to give because some recruiters value honesty above all other things. Sometimes, a straightforward answer like “I don’t really care, I need money” may work, but to be on the safe side, we wouldn’t recommend that.

Remember that the recruiter asks that to determine whether you were preparing for this conversation, and whether you know anything about their business. Your answer helps the interviewer understand how serious you are about this job.

Question #3: What are your biggest strengths?

This question looks like a brilliant opportunity to shine, but there are a few pitfalls to avoid. The candidate has to be careful while responding because the description of personal strengths helps the hiring managers learn many things. Namely, it is possible to see whether you are a team player or a responsible individual worker. It is also easy to make judgments about your personality; if you boast too much, you may seem arrogant.

Thus, to avoid falling into this trap, do a little research about this position so that you would know what qualities you need to present first. Also, try to back up your statements with reasonable examples. Say something like  “My colleagues used to say that I am a very good negotiator. I think that they were right in a way as I have helped my company to get a big discount from the major supplier”.

Question #4: What are your greatest weaknesses?

Here, it is essential to keep the balance. Naturally, you shouldn’t say that you’re flawless, but you shouldn’t be too honest either. The best strategy for this answer is to describe your true weakness, though, chose to talk about something that is not related to the responsibilities on this position. Your ultimate goal is to show the potential employer that you are self-aware and willing to improve your character. A healthy dose of humor could also help.

Question #5: What salary do you expect to have?

This is a tricky question, and if you answer in a wrong way, you may get knocked out of the competition. Every company has a certain budget and a pre-planned amount of money they are willing to spend on the salaries for their workers. If you ask too much, they won’t be able to afford you. However, you shouldn’t ask too little either because they’ll be happy to give you a much lower offer than you’re worth.

As you can see, the job interview is not that scary, especially if you come prepared.

 

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When you choose to form a limited company in the UK, via a companies house or a company formation agent, there are a number of requirements that you will need to meet. These requirements include choosing at least one company director and issues shares to shareholders. While these can seem like confusing tasks, they are quite simple and can be done relatively quickly once you have determined the legal structure that your business will hold.

If you are setting up any type of limited company, you will be required to appoint at least one company director. You can have as many directors as you want, but you must have at least one. Company directors are responsible for managing the company on a daily basis. Basically, anyone can be a company director as long as they are at least 16 years of age. They cannot have been disqualified as director by a court order and are not permitted to be in an undischarged bankrupt. Other than those requirements, you can name anyone you want as company director.

You should note that your director does not necessarily have to be a resident of the UK. Once you have chosen and appointed your director or directors, you are required to submit certain information about your company director to Companies House. You need to provide for each director, the name and address. If your director is a corporate body, which is common in many public limited companies, you will be required to submit the first and last name of the authorized person acting as director, as well as the registration number and location of registration. There is other information that is required if your appointed director is not a UK resident.

Shareholders are those who own companies, also referred to as members of the company. The stake that a shareholder owns in a company will depend on the number of shares of units of ownership that he or she holds. Nearly anyone can be a shareholder in the UK, and this includes individuals, partnerships, corporate bodies, trusts and governments.

The first shareholders in a new company are the subscribers to the memorandum and the articles of association of that company. Theses shareholders or subscribers agree to purchase a specified number of shares that are allocated to them. Basically, there are three different ways that one can become a shareholder in a limited company. He or she can become a subscriber to the memorandum of association that is filed when the new company is formed. Shares can be gifted to other members by existing shareholders or shareholders can subscribe to new issues of shares that are offered by the company.

Companies House requires certain information to be submitted regarding shareholders. First and last name as well as the full postal address should be submitted when shares are purchased by new members. This is generally done during the registration phase for new companies that are being formed. Should you decide to form a limited company as opposed to a sole trader company, you will need to familiarize yourself with the requirements for company directors and shareholders.

 

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When it comes to building a business as a freelancer, the age-old conundrum is in full effect. On the one hand, you need clients to build a portfolio, but on the other hand, you need a portfolio to get clients. So how do you build a portfolio in order to get clients? The good news is that unlike other types of work, you don’t actually need someone to give you a job in order to gain experience – but that is certainly preferable. If you are trying to start a career as a freelance graphic designer, here are 4 great ways to build a portfolio.

  1. Build a website

Not only will your website be a great place to showcase your work, but your website, should be the most impressive piece of work you’ve ever designed. Even you hire a web designer to build your website, you will most likely work closely with them to design something that is uniquely you. Think of it like an interior designer. An interior designer doesn’t paint the walls, install the countertops or lay the carpet or tile, but when the workers have completed their work, the room is a showcase of the designer, not the workers that put it all together. Your website is the same way. Your website should be the crown jewel in your portfolio, so design it with care.

  1. Use what you have

Somehow you actually learned how to use graphic design tools, which means you probably created something in the process. Whether this is simply projects that you have done for your own enjoyment or to enhance your skills or even projects you did for a grade in school, every single thing you have ever created is fair game for a portfolio. Remember that every project you produce is sharpening your skills, so projects you did a year or two ago may seem elementary or juvenile to you now. That doesn’t mean they will seem that way to some of your first clients. Don’t be afraid to use anything and everything you have ever created as part of a starter portfolio to gain your first clients.

  1. Use Fiverr or other online resources

Fiverr in particular is a great way to get clients without an expansive portfolio and still not work for free. The concept of Fiverr is that you offer some kind of initial service that you only charge $5 for. The theory being that if you create a sample of your work for a client and they like it, they will hire you for bigger – and higher paying -jobs. Fiverr and other similar sites are a great way to get paid before you have an extensive portfolio, which you can also use to build one.

  1. Search out those in need of design services in your community

While no one wants to work for free, you won’t be able to charge premium prices for your services without a great deal of experience under your belt. Whether it’s designing a social media post for a local business, a logo for a relative’s independent business or a flyer for a church social – every bit of business you can drum up will help you build both your portfolio and your business. Best of all, if you do a great job, they may recommend you to others. On that note, however, while it may be tempting to work for free just to build up your portfolio, that is a bad idea. Working for free will almost certainly bring you as much business as you can handle, but eventually you will want to be paid for your work. It is far easier to slowly introduce increases in your rates than it is to get clients to pay for services you have offered for free in the past.

  1. Start pursuing bigger fish early

There is a lot to be said for the idea of “swinging above your weight class.” The reality is, if you want to be a successful freelancer, you’re going to have to hustle. Ultimately, however, what will sell you the best is not actually going to be your portfolio, but your passion. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t walk in with some killer samples of some excellent work, but a meager portfolio with some excellent recommendations and a clear passion for your work will often sell you far better than an extensive portfolio will. This means that you don’t have to wait until you have a number of known or recognized clients under your belt to start pursuing more prestigious clients. This also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare yourself for a mountain of no’s before you get a yes. No matter what industry you are in, you should prepare yourself for rejection. Graphic design is no exception.

The number one thing to remember about being a freelancer is that no matter how impressive your portfolio is, you’re still going to have to hustle. Which is again true of any industry you are in. You will definitely have to hustle to get material to build your portfolio in the first place, but even once you have an established portfolio, you will still have to hustle to get it in front of the right people. While there may come a time when clients are banging down your door, that day will be a long time coming for most and may never come for some. If this is what you are passionate about, however, just keep hustling and success will surely follow!

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For several years now, voice search has been a particularly hot topic, and for a good reason too. According to data from Hitwise, more searches, an increase of about 60% compared to previous years, are being performed on mobile devices. Such an increase is something that should change how SEO agencies think. But there’s more. With voice searches increasing, 2018 looks promising and should be the big year for voice search.

Consider it this way: For Apple device users, Siri is your indispensable companion and is now part of the laptop and desktop operating systems and iPads and iPhones. As of June 2015, way before it was even added on to different devices, Siri was already handling well over 1 Billion requests every week. As of May 2016, a ¼ of all searches made on Windows 10’s taskbar were all voice searches.

With this information in mind, it is worth noting that in 2015, 1,700,000 voice-first devices were bought and shipped to new users. By 2016, this number had risen to 6,500,000, and in 2017, about 24,500,000 devices had been shipped. And all this is before Apple’s Home Pod, which is Apple’s incursion into the virtual assistant/speaker world and is something that has been scooped up by Apple’s faithful followers.

What is the value of voice search to businesses? According to information provided by the President and Founder of Milestone Inc., Benu Aggarwal, during a presentation at the 2017 SMX, about 82% all mobile users use their devices to search for local businesses. Half of them visit a store within one day of searching, and about 18% of this number make a purchase.

As more of these searches are being performed using Cortana, Alexa, OK Google, and Siri, it is becoming more important to rank top on most of these searches, especially for those searches related to your business.

What does that mean? It means that your domain shouldn’t only be optimized using the proper keywords, but the content therein should be optimized for both typing and the more conversational voice search according to Matt Woodward.

So how does one optimize for search?

Answer All The Right Questions

Here’s a breakdown of voice search according to a report presented by Internet Trends: 30% of searches made by users are for general information, 22% for local information, 21% for entertainment and fun, and the remaining 47% use voice as personal assistants.

So, what questions should you be answering? If you run a local business, it is vital that you rank at the top of local searches made by people looking for services or products your company provides. It is almost certain that most of these searches are for the same things, be they services or products, most users are looking for.

If your main aim is to get users to find you by providing them with the information they need, it is vital that you answer the general niche-related questions and queries most people ask. Ensure that your voice search answers are precise and to the point as this will prove that you are an expert in the area.

Keep It Simple

If you want to rank on voice search, it is vital that you optimize your website for commonly asked questions in a simple, yet straightforward manner. Consider it this way – when a user queries a simple cookery question like “How long does it take to boil an egg until it’s done?”, the best reply to this question for a voice search answer should be something simple like “allrecipes.com, suggests that you bring an egg to a boil, and let it stand in hot water for about 14 to 17 minutes.”

Substitute the question and answer, including your website name. This not only helps with branding but also with what it can do for your conversions and the bottom line in moments.

As a person running a local business, you should do your best to ensure that you are the answer a user finds when searching for something like “best coffee house (or burger joint, or what it is you provide) in (whatever location you are in).” As such, it is vital that you use the right keywords, and that you keep your website and content on your homepage simple.

Do It Better

Why do allrecipes.com recipes come up first on most voice searches? Because the answers they give are simpler and way better than those provided by their competitor’s, well, at least for now. The Incredible Egg or Good Housekeeping may have great answers tomorrow, and may soon outrank them, but that’s if they are working on optimizing their websites.

The key to ranking better than your competition in voice search is working on improving your answers as you move forward.

Dig Deep For Click Through

Apart from branding, how do you get your users to click on your links and visit your business or site? The only way to do this is to go deeper. With that being said, where users land is important. For restaurants, you need to have an excellent menu page with contact information and photos of your top cuisine prominently featuring on your homepage. This way, when users visit your website on their phones and other mobile devices, the read and see things that will motivate them to visit your joint.

For recipes, consider including instructions below the answer you give that exactly explain why you do not really boil eggs, and the 3 to 8-minute timer your grandma gave you will not produce great results.

To get clicks, you will have to dig deeper by providing a more comprehensive answer. When you do this, the clicks you get from your “spot on” content will eventually lead to conversions.

Understand The Aim of Voice Search

The main aim of voice search is mostly building expertise and brand recognition. Conversions are often a result of these things. Nevertheless, voice search doesn’t always guarantee organic traffic. Once users have a good enough answer, especially to general questions, they probably won’t read beyond that – and they do not have to.

The important thing is that you have provided them with the information they wanted, and the rule reciprocity dictates that the more often you do this, the more likely users will buy from you. The goal is to building expertise and brand recognition and to increase conversions. However, this does not guarantee an increase in organic traffic.

However, the more you satisfy users with your voice search answers, the happier search engines like Google will be with it, and the more likely you’ll continue to rank – a win-win situation for everyone.

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essay

How long can you go without food or water? How do you feel when you go for long without food or water? Is it a good feeling? Your body needs food and water to survive. Additionally, you get energy from food and water. Their scarcity can be indeed dreadful since it can cause dehydration and affect your health as well. Eventually, it will become a life-threatening menace. Correspondingly, an essay requires an outline just as much as the body needs food and water. Writing an essay without an outline can bring about many mistakes hence it will, in the end, get to affect your overall performance in college. For instance, you may easily write an article which does not correspond to the given topic, or you can provide information which is irrelevant or does not relate to the topic.

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Essay writing, being a necessary task in college, poses a challenge to many students. Some students do not know how to go about some essays because they do not understand what is expected of them. Additionally, some seek assistance from custom essay writing companies hence they forward their papers without knowing what made it difficult for them to write their essays in the first place. However, some learn how to write their essays through reading pre-written articles offered to them by these essay writing companies. Additionally, they practice essay writing continuously which enables them to perfect the art and hence write perfect essays. Essay writing necessitates that you are proficiently equipped with the adept essay writing skills. This will progressively help you grow and develop as a writer. Before writing your paper, you need to draft an outline. The essence of an outline in essay writing is it helps simplify the writing process. Moreover, it enables your paper to have a smooth and systematic flow. However, you first need to know what an outline is. An outline is a rough draft of what your article ought to be like. To write an outline for your article, consider the following essay writing tips from Essay Zoo:

  • Divide your essay into three parts. An essay has three parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. It also has a thesis statement which is usually found in the introductory paragraph. This will helps you know what to include in the introduction as well as the body.
  • Develop a topic. The essence of developing a topic in essay writing is that it helps to simplify the brainstorming process. You can pick a broad topic and choose to work with it. Having an outline will help you narrow it down to a specific argument hence it will make your research much easier. For instance, you can choose a topic on technology such as ‘The influence of modern technology on the society.’ Once you have a topic, the outline will be simpler for you to write.
  • Determine the goal of your writing. Determining the purpose of your article helps you understand and know what type of paper to write. Essay writing seeks to serve different objectives. You can write an essay which enlightens or informs your audience of something new, persuades them or call them to action.
  • Conduct ample research. Research is fundamental when you are writing an essay. It helps you to gather as much information as possible as well as gain more knowledge. However, you need to conduct research based on your topic. This will help you focus on what is required of your article. For instance, based on the above topic, you can research the advantages and disadvantages of modern technology in the society. Write subtopics to help make your research more comfortable and enjoyable.
  • Use a mind map. A mind map is essential in essay writing as it helps you to organize the information you have gathered from your research. With the help of a mind map, you can also avoid the temptation of including irrelevant information in your paper. A mind map also helps narrow down your research to a simple and easy to understand format.
  • Write a strong introduction. The introduction is fundamental in essay writing. It is the paragraph which introduces the audience to your paper. When writing your essay, you need to ensure that your audience will like it and develop an interest in it. To achieve this, incorporate a hook for your introduction. It will help capture the attention of your audience and make them interested in reading your article more.
  • Develop a thesis statement. The vitality of a thesis statement in essay writing is that it holds or supports the argument in the topic. A thesis statement also helps you develop strong body paragraphs for your paper.
  • Provide essay body information. The body is significant in essay writing in various ways. First and foremost, it is the main content of your essay. This is where you state the reasons why you support your thesis statement. Secondly, it is in the body where your audience gets to easily comprehend more about the topic since you present your claims and assertions as well as provide evidence to support them. When writing the body of your essay, put the following tips into consideration:
  • Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence. This will help your audience to easily note and understand that you are talking about different things. Additionally, it will help them get the reasons for your various assertions.
  • Use transition words and sentences. Transition sentences help you to convey the information in your paper clearly and concisely. Their essence is that they help connect your sentences and paragraphs. Moreover, they help your reader(s) note or see the relationship between your thoughts and ideas.
  • Make a conclusion. The conclusion of an essay is important as it shows your audience that your article has come to an end. However, when concluding your article, it is essential you finish it with a statement which either enlightens or informs them of something new, calls them to action or persuades them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, writing an essay is not that hard. It only necessitates that you are well equipped with the effective essay writing skills. However, before writing your article, you first have to understand the topic. This will help you know what is required of your paper. Secondly, you need to draft an outline for your article. An outline will act as a guiding tool in writing your paper. The tips stated above come in handy in guiding you on how to write an essay outline.

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Everybody knows that a hard drive can fail, but most people think that it will never happen to them. But what if it does? What if one day you won’t be able to access the files on your computer? What will you do then? You will probably say that you’re going to call in an expert that can retrieve the lost files from your malfunctioning computer. But, are you really willing to pay the absurd fee this expert will charge you with, for a task that can be done fast and easy? Don’t worry, as you don’t need to turn into an IT specialist to get back the files that are kept as prisoners by a failed hard drive. You just need to have the right software to do it.

A hard drive recovery is not an impossible nor expensive task if you have the right tools. In this case, the ideal tool to recover lost files is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. EaseUS is a free data recovery software that can be easily downloaded and used for retrieving lost files. Even if you never used this kind of software before, you will find it easy to use EaseUS. Download the wizard for free from EaseUS’s website and start using it almost immediately. You will have to go through an installation process, but don’t worry, as the wizard will guide your every step. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about dear memories or a project from work you had to finish. This free data recovery software is capable of recovering files in various formats, from photos to videos, whole movies, documents, ebooks, and so on. Practically every file that was stored on a hard disk can be easily recovered in case of hard drive failure.

Taking into consideration that data recovery software free , there’s no reason not to download it and have it ready just in case. You never know when the hard drive of your computer will fail, as the causes that lead to this are very diverse. Also, it is worth knowing that you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files not just from computer or laptops, but also from smartphones, tablets, cameras, flash drives, and other devices and storage units. Anything that can store files on it can be successfully used with EaseUS. So, don’t allow chance and luck to be your only plans when it comes to hard drive failures. Be more efficient and opt for a plan that actually works and won’t cost you a dime. After all, what do you have to lose if you decide to try this software out? The truth is that you can end up losing a lot if you don’t use it, in particular, a lot of files that have been stored on a hard drive that could simply fail one day.

See for yourself that hard drive recovery is really something that anyone can do, with the support provided by EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

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Are you looking for a fun way to engage with your audience and build brand awareness? One easy way to do this is to create a quiz. This is something you can do quickly and easily by using a software such as Typeform, which helps you create great-looking questionnaires that your audience will be happy to engage with.

This type of content is underutilized by marketers in general. Nonetheless, there are numerous benefits to using them as a social media marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at what some of these benefits might be.

They Increase Engagement

Quizzes are a great way to get your audience to interact with your brand. Studies have shown that over 80 percent of people take the time to complete quizzes that they see in their feed. This is an astounding level of engagement. It’s because questionnaires like this are short and fun, and people like to talk about themselves. When people engage with your brand in this way, it makes them feel like they’re part of a community. This in turn makes them more likely to buy your product or service in the future.

You Learn More About Your Audience

Along with being a fun activity for your audience, creating quizzes can also provide you with helpful information. By asking the right questions, your potential customers may reveal things about themselves that you can use in the future. Examples of this might include what they think of when they hear your brand’s name, what they like to do in their spare time, and what they think of your competition. All of this information can be used to tweak your marketing strategy in the future.

Quizzes Get a Lot of Shares

Questionnaires and surveys are shared more frequently than any other kind of content. In fact, according to BuzzSumo, an average quiz gets shared 1900 times. People like to share the results of their quiz because it makes them seem smart and also makes them look good in front of their friends. Of course, the more people share your content, the better it is for your business. It means more people will be exposed to your brand. Also, social media platforms give greater priority to content that’s shared than any other form of engagement.

They Can Generate Leads

Perhaps the best reason to build questionnaires is because they can be used to generate leads. This can be done by offering extra incentives at the end of the quiz in exchange for an email address. This might include a free ebook, or some other form of free content. This is a great way to turn a complete stranger into a potential customer. With this in mind, there’s little reason not to be using quizzes as part of your marketing strategy.

Now that you’ve seen what online quizzes can do for your brand, it’s time to make one yourself!

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Triggered emails are emails that are sent to your users based on certain interactions they have with your business and/or product or service; this can include a variety of different user actions. The trick is to identify these actions and determine the most relevant messaging that feels natural yet interesting to the receiver.

Fundamentally, a triggered email is inherently relevant, by their very nature.

Are they effective?

The Data & Marketing Association, a community of marketers worldwide, found that 50% of marketers expect their companies’ to boost spending on email strategy next year. This is no surprise, as they also found that 77% of ROI comes from well-segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns.

At this point, you must be wondering what the best triggered emails would be! Let’s find out together, shall we? 

Top Triggered Emails

#1- When a visitor fills out a form or a Popup

This will typically be an on-boarding style email. Often, when a user is filling out a form or a popup, it’s because they’ve signed up, or they’re interested in a product of yours.

#2- When a visitor views a specific webpage

There’s a good opportunity to provide some follow-up content. This maybe additional information you have on a subject, or links to similar blogs of yours, or an e-book, etc. For example, you can set up a trigger in which the user visits one of your blog pages, and the user will receive an email accordingly.

#3- When a user is highly engaged

In this situation, you can consider this user to be a prime prospect to sell your product. You will want to send prompt to take whatever next step in the journey, or upsell an additional feature or product. Lead scoring is a great way to keep track of a user’s activity with your product.

#4- When user is not engaged enough

Keep it light here, send a gentle reminder-style email that doesn’t bother the user. You might be on thin ice with your customer! In this case, setting up a trigger will depend on what you consider to be “lacking” engagement. For example, we’ve set up a trigger for when user does not click on a link we wanted them to.

#5- When a visitor took one action in a journey, but not the next

Here is another opportunity for a reminder-style email to push them to the next step. Lay it on thick with an enticing CTA required here. In this situation, it is commonly acceptable to set up multiple triggers in order to remind the user of your product/service.

#6- When user reached a certain milestone (a goal achieved)

Congratulations! Make the user feel good about using your product. Fundamentally, the goal here is to make the user feel good about interacting with your brand, and achieving their goals while using your product/service.

#7- Triggered on a specific date

A simple shoutout, perhaps a happy birthday or a holiday email. This will build a stronger and closer relationship with your customer.

#8- When user did not click on a specific link

Send him an email to remind him that he didn’t click on the link inside the email he opened. You need to be careful with such instances. You shouldn’t scare your lead away by exposing your ability to monitor his behavior. You should keep a low profile and communicate with him as if you don’t know all his moves.

#9-  When a user’s status is updated

Send an email to notify him that he did an action and suggest him to do a next step.

Getting your ROI on your email marketing strategy is all about convincing the user to act on something — the very definition of engagement!

In essence, triggered emails tailor the customer experience, as the emails are sent based on what the user is doing right now. It doesn’t get any more small scale and personalized than that, doesn’t it?

Author: Georges Fallah, Marketing Manager at VBOUT

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laptop

There is something quite special about starting your own business. That idea that you have that you turn into something from nothing is definitely a thing to be proud of. An at home business can give you that flexibility and allow you to strike the balance between working and home life perfectly. However, if your business takes off, you may find that it quickly outgrows your home set up. So what next? I wanted to discuss with you some of the steps to take if you are seriously consider expanding your business.

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Think about how you want to do it

One of the key steps to take at first would be to decide how you want to expand your business. Do you want to look at potentially growing what you have? Do you want to consider other revenue streams and the best ways to do it? Expansion could be done by looking at your current product range or the services you offer and simply adding to it. Whether you stick within a similar niche or try something new. You could consider moving your business from home into a shop or a location where you can store stock and work from. Knowing what you want to do is key to then taking the next actionable steps to make it happen.

How will you fund the expansion?

The next thing you might want to take time to consider would be how you plan on funding your expansion. No matter what option you take or which avenue you decide upon, there will be an element of investment required. One thing to consider would be an investment through business loans. This could help you get exactly what you need straight away enabling you to take on the expansion and do what is required. However, you could also look at reinvesting some of the profits you have already meade, keeping your business away from borrowing or any other form of investment. Make sure you pick the right option for you and your business.

Do you have the right support in place?

One key thing to consider would be if you have the right support in place to take on any expansion plans. You might just be one person, so considering outsourcing areas of your business could help you refocus the time you do have and put all efforts into the next steps of your business. It might also help to have the support of friends and family, as it can be quite daunting moving a business forward.

Have you covered off the basics?

Finally, have you covered off all of the basics within your business? You need to be on form with things like your website, your social media presence and creating a good customer experience. Having the basics already in place means any form of expansion will be easier to handle, as the rest of the areas of your business is working for you.

I hope that these tips help you take the next steps to expand your business.

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The internet has left an indelible mark on the industry, and office space is a prime example. Nowadays, there’s no need to rent a corporate building because you can be successful with a laptop and an internet connection. Of course, you still need to be productive and efficient or else the startup won’t go any further than the initial idea. A dedicated workspace is essential as it develops a routine and helps you keep focus. The thing is: where are you going to set up an HQ if you don’t have an office? You can start by considering these four weird and wonderful options.

The Living Room

Being a boss means you have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. Still, staying in bed in your PJs isn’t going to increase output. What you need is a room that is casual but which also has a sense of formality. Enter the living room, the comfiest place in the house. Sure, there are TV screens, radios, and endless distractions but they are avoidable. Just don’t turn them on. Thanks to the coffee table, you can set out your stall and work from a cosy location. Lounges tend to be light and warm too, which are two bonuses.

The Garage

You can always go outside should it be too hard to focus while at home. Yep, even in the wintertime. All you need to do is kit out the metal building to make it feel like a genuine workspace. For one thing, remove the car and park it elsewhere for the time being. Then, add a heater to stop the draft from chilling your body to the core. Also, think about adding a lick of paint and furniture. Before long, the garage will transform into a business haven. Think of Churchill’s war room without the impending threat of doom.

A Coffee Shop

Working on-site is lonely and not atmospheric for lots of entrepreneurs. Anyone who has worked in a fast-paced environment will need the hustle and bustle of people milling around. Because you can’t get that at home, you need to venture out into the world and find a coffee shop. As clichéd as a latte next to a laptop has become, it’s an effective way to work. The background noise is a faint reminder of the office, while the coffee-on-tap keeps the adrenaline pumping. There’s also free internet access in the majority of establishments.

A Library

Yep, the stuffy old places filled with dusty book jackets are not obsolete just yet. Sometimes, freelancers and entrepreneurs need to get out of the house to feel productive but don’t want any distractions. In that case, a library is an ultimate option to keep in mind. The whole place is deathly quiet because, well, thems the rules and there are librarians to manage unruly guests. As old-fashioned as they seem, libraries have computers with Wifi for public consumption. It’s amazing what you can get done while sat in the comfy chairs in the kid’s section.

Are you looking for a place to call business HQ? What are your thoughts on the examples above?