January is Glaucoma Awareness Month: Protect Your Eyes At Work!

Many years ago, it was the use of fluorescent lighting that was often the culprit causing headaches and eyestrain in the the workplace. Today, it’s the use of our omnipresent technological devices, everything from sitting behind a computer to the use of tablets on the road and smartphones out in the field. You don’t have to be sitting behind a desk all day to be chained to a screen for the better part of your work week to experience eye-related difficulties.

1

While the seemingly constant use of modern technology doesn’t seem to cause any permanent damage to our eyes or vision, there are still some conditions that many of us suffer from like dry eyes from a lack of blinking, simple eyestrain and more complex headaches that can occur from excessive screen time.

Use The 20-20-20 Rule

If you’re going to spend more than an hour in front of a screen, remember the 20-20-20 rule when using these devices. Every twenty minutes, look at something at least twenty feet in the distance for at least twenty seconds. This allows our eyes a quick break from the bright, electronic screen and lets them refocus at a distant image that will help to reduce eyestrain.

Forgetting To Blink

Another practice that contributes to eyestrain and dry eyes is the fact that sometimes we forget to blink, or more accurately, we often tend to blink less often when using these electronic devices. Perhaps the simplest way to relieve dry eyes and help with eyestrain related to not shutting our lids enough, is to use eye drops or artificial tears. If you’re using the 20-20-20 rule, add blinking and a gentle massage to this routine.

2

Massage Techniques

As any eyecare professional will tell you, you shouldn’t rub your eyes directly, especially when they’re already irritated since this practice can cause more harm than good and possibly damage or injure them. Instead, try some simple massage techniques around your temples, underneath, above and around your eyes. Watch this short video by Dr. Brandon Gilbert on how to perform these short massage moves yourself.

Exercise & Activity

For those who are desk bound, it’s always a good idea to get up and move around periodically throughout the day to get your blood circulation going, which is also good for your eyes. There are also some simple exercises you can perform with your eyes themselves that not only help to relieve strain, they’re also said to assist with the onset of conditions like near and far-sightedness.

Exercises4eyes.com gives weary screen users a step-by-step slideshow that shows people a handful of simple eye exercises that will aid with tired vision. They also offer a couple of quick squints and rubs to help with aching eyes at the end of the show.

Safety First

Depending upon where you work and the profession you’re involved in, we all know to wear protective eyewear whenever and wherever appropriate. For those working primarily outdoors, it’s very important to wear sunglasses during the day regardless of the season. Along with ensuring these glasses block out up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, for some people, the choice of these types of lenses can be especially helpful.

There is a very specific and unique difference between regular tinted shades and polarized lenses. For those who work around water, snow, metal or glass, the glare reflecting off these surfaces can cause additional eye strain and possible damage. Polarized lenses are specifically designed to reduce this type of reflective glare and can better protect your eyes.

To further protect your valuable and priceless vision, do the best to relieve the daily wear-and-tear we can often put on our eyes. Make decisions wisely and keep your peepers at their very best of health to ensure they’ll last a lifetime.

Adding a Master’s Degree To Your Curriculum Can Significantly Impact Your Career

Climbing up that invisible ladder at work can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the best ways to boost your career and therefore your earning power is to add a Master’s degree in the mix. “Oh, no, more school,” you may be thinking, but believe us, this time it’s well worth it. To get you in school mode, give our helpful article a thorough read about how adding a Master’s degree to your curriculum can significantly impact your career. And when your career is better, your quality of life is better, which makes one happier you.

1

Skills to the Max

What’s one of the best ways to nab a bigger and better job? Have more marketable skills, of course. Getting your graduate degree will widen your breadth of skills, so you can get more advanced in either your current field or switch to another one altogether. This can bolster a lagging career or jumpstart a whole new one.

If you’re in marketing, just imagine what a Master’s in marketing can do for you versus a Bachelor’s? You can learn all types of fancy terms and theories that you never would’ve figured out through Google. Impress your boss and co-workers with your newfound skills and knowledge. They’ll be blown away.

Better Career Advancement

Honestly, what’s the number one reason why people go back to school? If you answered education, then you may not be being entirely honest with yourself. The right answer is career advancement. You can move up the rungs of that corporate ladder quicker than you ever thought possible.

Better is, well, always better, especially when it comes to your career and expanding your horizons. That Bachelor’s you have in journalism may be just fine and dandy for a late-night reporter shift in an inconspicuous market, but what about if you get that fancy graduate degree? That’s right—you can probably land a prime position in a city that people have actually heard of. Won’t your mom be so proud to see you on TV in a real market?

More Employment Opportunities

Who wants to be stuck in the same position year after year? Not you, our enterprising friend. You want to do something grander and loftier, which is what that shiny Master’s will do for you. Maybe you’ve always had an interest in calculus, but you’ve been stuck doing statistics. Going back to school can get you into the mathematics position of your dreams.

A back-to-schooler can expect to embrace a world of new opportunities that may not have been plausible or even recognizable prior. Going into a new industry can open a Pandora’s box of various careers to think about. Find the perfect seat at the career buffet table. We won’t tell anybody that you ate too much.

More Money, More Money, More Money

Right now, you might be working for a paycheck, but with a Master’s degree, you’ll have a career and that can mean some really big bucks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with a Bachelor’s degree have a typical median weekly income of $1,137, while those with a Master’s degree can expect $1,341. Sharpen up those math skills and figure out how much more money that is per year.

They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you a new house, a new car, a swanky vacation and some organic food. Plus, if you’re the flashy type, you might want to give everybody a glimpse of your prosperous new life with some big-time jewelry.

Besides, if you’re less worried about bills and have all these nice things described above, you’ll be happier. In turn, a happier you makes a happier worker. Your being happy is actually good for your career and the economy, as a whole. Keep spreading that happiness.

Greater Connections

One of the great things of adding a degree into your curriculum is all of the intelligent and interesting people you can meet while attending classes. The person sitting next to you could know of a great opportunity that would suit you so well. Voila, you now have a viable business connection.

Even if you take the non-traditional route and have online classes, you can still meet important contacts according to a WiseBread contributor. He suggests that you take the time to get to know people, whether in person or virtually, because it can definitely serve you in the long run. And we can’t help but to agree with that.

Greater Credentials

When you tell people you have a Master’s degree, they probably automatically think, “Oh, this person is smart.” But more importantly, they’re probably thinking that this lends credence to the fact that you have some top-notch credentials.

Credentials can mean all the world between you even getting your foot in the door for an interview. If an employer doesn’t think you have the qualifications, they’re not going to waste their time by calling you in for an interview. What’s the point?

With credentials that a Master’s can bring you, so many more doors will be swung open for you. You’ll be in such high demand that you’ll actually be turning down the jobs instead of vice versa. Now, that’s how you impact your career in the best possible way.

What Are You Waiting For?

Alright, we’ve given you the top reasons why you should go back to school and grab that Master’s degree that’s so completely in your reach. Our compelling list should leave no doubt in your mind that an advanced degree is the best way to impact your career.

All you have to do now is find out what you want to go to school for, apply, get accepted, crush your classes and graduate. It may seem like a lot at the beginning, but believe us, it’s well worth it for not only your career, but for your future happiness. Now, what are you waiting for? We’ll still be here once you graduate with honors.

The 3 Types of Entrepreneurs You See on Shark Tank

We can actively deny it, but the truth is that we like reality shows. We really do. Especially, when these shows are entertaining and educational at the same time. A telling example of such a show is ‘Shark Tank’, which is so popular among experienced businessmen, young entrepreneurs, and even housewives. The entertaining part of the show is obvious and out of doubt. Let’s face it: not any show can manage to win Emmy Award twice. As for the educational part, questions might arise. However, if this show has taught us anything, it is that not all entrepreneurs are equal. Mark Cuban stated that there are three categories of entrepreneurs we can see on ‘Shark Tank’. Wonder what categories are there?

Type one: honest entrepreneurs

While in a perfect parallel reality all entrepreneurs deserve to be called honest, here and now  only a small part of entrepreneurs belong to this category. So, what makes a regular entrepreneur an honest one? First and foremost, it is an implicit belief in a project or idea this entrepreneur is working on. As we can observe while watching ‘Shark Tank’, honest entrepreneurs tend to sound passionate when they talk about their start-up, and they seem to be very frank and emotional. Any fan of ‘Shark Tank’ would agree that entrepreneurs of this category are not only persuasive but also successful due to their enthusiasm and motivation, which they are not afraid to demonstrate.

Type two: arrogant entrepreneurs

Although the name of the category is self-explanatory, still this type of entrepreneurs deserves being discussed and explained in details. There are three words that can describe arrogant entrepreneurs: they are self-confident, tricky, and snobbish. For some reason, arrogant entrepreneurs consider themselves the smartest and coolest people of the show. Of the entire history of all existing shows, to be more specific. While sometimes they haughtiness might be justified, in the majority of cases it is not. However, arrogant entrepreneurs tend to be the best and most interesting pitchers. Obviously, they are familiar with the best practices of negotiation, and this knowledge helps them stand out among the competitors. We do not know for sure if the participants of ‘Shark Tank’ are prepared to pitch and negotiate professionally as Andrew Medal believes, but is is safe to say that some pitches can make great case studies.

Type three: scam artists

Watching such entrepreneurs taking part in ‘Shark Tank’ can be annoying but interesting at the same time. So-called scam artists make their way to the show with one single purpose to get money. Just like the previous category of the entrepreneurs, scam artists tend to act snobbish. However, contrary to the arrogant entrepreneurs, scam artists never have a valuable and original idea to offer. Rather often projects of scam artists are designed specifically for participation in ‘Shark Tank’, and it is hardly possible not to notice how material and mercenary those people are.

Needless to say that all entrepreneurs are unique and not everyone in business is going to comply with this classification. However, as long as ‘Shark Tank’ remains the most popular show of its kind, no one knows the world of entrepreneurship better than people working on this show. With this in mind, there are grounds to assume that today’s world of business contains at least three types of entrepreneurs, and now you can consider yourself an expert in this question.

4 Ways To Increase Revenue From Social Media

1

Once businesses move beyond the blind quest to accumulate as many followers as humanly possible, they find that engagement, interaction and ingenuity on social media can lead to higher sales and more repeat business. Instead of chasing vanity numbers, it’s important for brands to shift the focus towards actual conversions and sales.

In this article, we’ll discuss four elements of a revenue-boosting social strategy:

  1. Include an Online Store

Traditionally, social media acted as the middleman between research and purchase. Potential buyers would browse social media, encounter a promising product or service and then click a link that would whisk them away to an outside landing page, where they could then complete the conversion.

Publications like Entrepreneur, however, suggest cutting out the middleman altogether by embedding shopping carts directly into social pages. Facebook, for example, supports ecommerce apps that enable users to open stores, which allows customers make purchases without ever leaving Facebook.

The fewer touchpoints customers encounter on their buying journeys, the fewer chances they have to exit the process altogether. Businesses can boost revenue by consolidating their purchase order template, shopping cart and checkout function all in their social media platform of choice.

2

  1. Rethink Customer Service

It’s no secret that customers turn to social media to vent, to complain, to report problems, to seek help and — occasionally — to shower businesses with praise. Research shows that 42 percent of customers who turn to social media to express a concern expect a response within 60 minutes.

Solving problems through social media provides multiple benefits. Research shows that customers spend between 20 percent and 40 percent more with companies who quickly address their concerns on social media.

Equally important is the public setting in which social customer service takes place. When a business addresses and resolves a customer’s issue on Facebook, Twitter or any other platform, everyone in that customer’s network sees that the business in question is diligent and responsive.

  1. Focus on Engagement, Not Raw Numbers

Marketers historically have focused on the number of fans and followers their social accounts attracted. It is becoming more and more evident, however, that quantity of followers has far less impact on revenue than the level of engagement per follower.

By asking questions, responding to inquiries and focusing on interaction, businesses can boost the number of shares, reblogs, retweets, likes and comments per post — all of which are more important than sheer volume of followers. Research shows that engaged customers spend nearly twice as much money as non-engageds social customers.

  1. Develop Social-Specific Landing Pages

Visitors who enter your website through social media are generally coming from the top of the sales funnel. Unlike say, PPC visitors who are nearing the end of their purchasing journey at the bottom of the funnel, social visitors are probably just discovering your brand, service or product.

It is likely those social visitors haven’t conducted more than preliminary research, and that they are unfamiliar with who you are and what you do. It is critical to create separate landing pages specifically for visitors from social media and on mobile devices. These landing pages should be more introductory and explanatory than bottom-funnel pages.

Social visitors require their own landing pages if they are ever going to convert. But an alternative solution is to avoid website landing pages altogether by embedding shopping carts and checkout capabilities directly into social pages. Businesses should remember that social media is the most direct, most personal and most cost-effective customer service platform that exists — and remember, social engagement is more powerful than big lists of followers.

The Right Idea For Your Social Media Efforts

The Right Idea For Your Social Media Efforts

 

If you are struggling to get the engagement and attention you desire, chances are you are missing something important.
That something might me the right data.
Data you can act on in order to optimize your social media efforts.

You want to get insights about your collections?
We have your back?

You are active on other social media platforms and want to see who of your engagers there is active on G+ as well?
We got you covered!

Go to http://www.circlecount.com/pro/ and explore all the features that get you back on the right track!

Do you like Coffee?

A cup of CircleCount coffee?

Chances are you drink coffe every now and then. For the cost of one you get a whole month of CircleCount PRO. Including all of the features supporting you on your way to success we have to offer.
On top of all the features you get when you subscribe, you’ll also support us tremendously!
We really need every dollar/euro/yen we can get, which is why we lowered the price to make it affordable for everyone.

Just go to http://www.circlecount.com/pro/ and try it our yourself for a whole 14 days – no credit card required!

Thank you for your support!

One Step to Success with CircleCount PRO

You or your business is on Google+?
You want to get to know your interactors better?
You believe in data to be the key to business success?

Then go to http://www.circlecount.com/pro/ and check out our free trial for CircleCount PRO.
You’ll get deeper analyses about your interactions, insights into your collections, insights into your pictures and much more!

Also make sure to sign up for our newsletter at http://www.circlecount.com/

Stay tuned, there’s a lot to come!

Using Google+ to Increase Organic Search Results

Google Plus is a relatively new social media platform that is designed to help you engage with communities and online users around the world. As such, it is clearly a great way to help improve organic search results for your website or blog. By keeping up to date with new trends and technology, using new platforms like Google+ can really help boost your SEO marketing efforts. There are several ways to engage the Google+ community that can attribute to increasing your overall organic traffic and rank among search engines. We will be covering some of the most important factors that you can use with Google+ to help you drive more traffic to your site, explain how and why it works.

Indexed Content
One major advantage that helps webmasters is the fact that Google will automatically index their posts, meaning that certain search terms entered by users will be able to find your content much easier, as it is organized and catalogued appropriately by Google. Submitting posts through Google+ may provide you more results for organic traffic, as opposed through other social media outlets.

Google Plus Local
If you own a business or provide a service, creating a local page and profile through this platform is another great way to attract searches from users within your region. Not only will this help you drive more organic traffic, it may help you increase your conversion rates or potential sales. Google+ will give preference to those with a profile, refining the results based on their geographic location. Which takes us to the next feature of Google Plus.

Personalized Content
Anyone who uses Google+ will start to receive personalized content that is based on numerous factors. From geographic preferences to search history, advanced algorithms look at the best matches for Google+ users. Those who implement this social media platform into their marketing efforts are also given preference and a higher likelihood of pages and posts that are ranked better. Personalized content for users are not the sole factor that can help you achieve results but they can attribute to the overall effectiveness in using Google.

 Content marketing

Lets be honest google weighs itself more heavily than other social networks. When targeting SEO rankings and organic traffic with content marketing make sure you share your content and promote it on Google +. Often you won’t get as many social signals as say twitter or Facebook, but the signals from Google + have been shown to carry a tad more weight and get more real shares that translate into backlinks. Infographics with unique information do really well on Google + and tend to rank naturally and quicker when focusing on Googles platform as opposed to it’s competitors. Be active in communities and don’t spam, and when you do have a piece of content ready Google’s communities are much more supportive than their alternatives.

Hangouts
There are plenty of circles and hangouts that can help you market your website to other like-minded individuals and potential clients. It is also important to note that Google+ has one of the most active and largest groups of internet marketing and SEO professionals. Staying current with new trends regarding the nuances of Google+ is important to help you get the results you desire, not to mention the communities offer special types of trainings that can translate down to you employees. There is plenty of help that can be found in the many hangouts and circles associated with Google.

Profile and Rank
Creating a Google+ profile and producing quality content can help out in so many different ways. Having a personalized touch with pictures, catchy headlines in your content and becoming an authority in your area of expertise will help improve your chances of getting ranked higher and having your content recommended in search engines. Furthermore, content that is posted using your personalized Google+ profile, provides an attractive snippet or preview of the content, making it more likely for users to click on your links.

Google+ is an evolving social media platform that continues to offer more features that are relevant to SEO. There is not just one element that can be found in Google+ that plays the biggest role in increasing organic traffic and searches to your website. It is important to utilize all of its features and remain active on your profile and in the community. Like most things in search engine optimization, it takes time and dedication to promote your site, but can prove to be a very worthwhile endeavor for those who do choose to use this in their marketing strategies.

The Difference Between Predictive Analytics and Business Intelligence

The Difference Between Predictive Analytics and Business Intelligence

Although there is definitely a great deal of value in successfully predicting future actions within your industry, the nature of prediction is uncertain at best. You may have a gut feeling about what will happen, but in many cases, external conditions and unexpected events will override predictive measures and cost your business a great deal of money and time for no reason.

There is a better way to use information than to put it into a predictive analysis algorithm and expecting a result that you can base executive decisions on. Here is a better format for organizing data that a busy executive can use in a streamlined way.

– First of all, create a data dashboard with more detailed information than what you think that you will need.

In order to fully create a picture of the present and the future, you need a full picture of the past. Many predictive models bind themselves because the model itself limits the input that can be acknowledged by the program.

If you want to create real business intelligence that gives you more of an opportunity for a correct decision than a predictive model, then you must begin with a program that allows for substantive input. “Garbage in, garbage out,” as the saying goes.

– Secondly, invest in a trusted line of human analysts to sort through the output of your business intelligence programs.

Before the raw information from a particular campaign is ever presented to an executive to make any kind of decision, there should be a trusted group of analysts whose job it is to sort through the output and determine the most relevant data to present for future analysis.

In order to turn a predictive analysis into a true business intelligence campaign, there must be input from people who understand the things that computers do not. For instance, only a human can respond in real time to unexpected events until that information is input into a program. Humans are able to interpret data trends that do not fit a certain mold – this kind of data will only confuse a computer program, or worse, make it think that a particular situation is something else entirely.

– Third, any executive that is expected to make a decision from information must be presented information that is relevant to a certain topic.

Although it is up to the analysts to sort through the raw data, it is up to the executive to dictate what the actual goal of the analysis is. There should be a meeting of the minds before any data is processed so that the computers can be programmed to look for the right kind of information trends and the analysts will be fully informed about what the goals of the process are. Otherwise, information can be interpreted in a number of ways. This is of no help to anyone in the company.

Although very few executives have the time to ask the “why” questions when information is presented to them, analysts should have this information handy for themselves. Before presenting anything to an executive, analysts will have a much better chance of providing true business intelligence by collaborating on the data that they will present to the decision making class of the company. This process will also help to quantify any of the ideas that are presented to executives rather than simply relying on the algorithm of the program.

– Fourth, the external situation must be considered.

The problem with predictive analysis is that it cannot analyze the situation surrounding any of the results of a certain condition. If trend lines are the same at two points in time but the market surrounding those conditions are different, a different outcome will likely occur. There may also be new competition in the market that was not there any more. All of these factors must be considered. They are factors that may not be able to integrate themselves into a program at all; this is another reason that the human analysis of the computer results are so important.

If there is a new and relevant competitor in the marketplace, then you must incorporate their impact on the marketplace into any new results that are compiled. Be sure that this is a part of the data table that your analysts put together for the executives and decision makers.

Customer Recovery: Recapturing the Heart (and the Business) of a Lost Customer

Even if your business is securing new customers constantly, losing customers at the same time will not help the company to grow.  Rather than assuming nothing can be done to regain the trust of that lost customer, it pays to get in gear and do what is necessary to rebuild the relationship.  Here are some tips that will help with the process.

Identifying the Reasons That the Customer Left

As the supplier or vendor, you are in the position to understand what happened on your end.  Unfortunately, too many people stop at that point and never consider the perspective of the lost client.  While using a zendesk integration to gather information from different databases is a good start, your job is to look beyond what you know to be fact and take a good look at what the customer perceives as the reason for the end of the relationship.

This is going to require more than an internal investigation.  As important as it is to check your own procedures and the actions of your employees, you must be able to see those events from the point of view of the customer.  Never dismiss them out of hand.  That is true even if what the customer perceives occurred was actually something else.  If you have any hope of winning back that customer, you must get a good idea of what he or she thinks.

Own the Situation

No matter what actions took place on each side of the events, you take ownership of the breakdown in the relationship.  That means you assume responsibility for what happened.  It doesn’t matter if the issue got rolling due to the failure of one of your suppliers to provide goods or services on time, or it the matter is because the client did not quite grasp how a certain service works.

Avoid backhanded apologies that leave room for some of the blame to be placed on the customer.  The worst thing you can do is tell a former client that you are sorry he or she didn’t understand how to place an order for rush delivery.  Instead, you take the responsibility and state that you should have made it clearer on what was needed to produce the desired result.

What Are You Going to Do About It?

Lost customers may appreciate a sincere apology, but the only way to really capture their interest is to offer a workable resolution.  This will likely mean tweaking some of your internal processes before you begin the effort to rebuild the lost relationship.  Even if you think the current setup is perfect, the fact that you lost a customer for any reason indicates there is room for improvement.

A twofold approach is likely to generate some interest.  First, explain to the lost customer what you’ve done to help prevent the same set of circumstances occur a second time.  Make sure each step is presented in a positive light, and call attention to how this will make things easier for the client.  Depending on how well those changes resonate with the customer, you could be on your way to getting that second chance.

For the second step, offer some type of incentive.  While money may not be the first priority of the client, you can bet it figures into the mix somehow.  After explaining how things will be different going forward, offer some type of discount for any orders or usage of services that will remain in place for a limited time.  For example, if you run a teleconferencing company, that discount could apply to all conference calls placed over the next thirty days.  Be clear about the amount and how the discount will be applied to the invoices, and be prepared to back up that verbal offer in writing.

Tracking Progress

Just as there is a sales funnel for cultivating and signing up new customers, there is also a customer service funnel designed to aid in customer service and support.  In order to manage that funnel effectively, your team must be able to retrieve relevant information with ease.  Since that data will not necessarily reside in a single database, it helps to structure the network so data can be downloaded and sorted in a common source.

One way to easily collect relevant data into one easy to use database is with the aid of an overlay that can grab the data and organize it for quick access.  The right integration program helps to provide the connection between different contact databases, manages the scheduling of follow-up calls, and even triggers the generation of email and hard copies sent by post.  The integrative software can pull from sales databases, the accounting database, and even grab information about the status of shipments.

Using this tool effectively will mean there is a constantly updating record of what actions have occurred with the client, what actions are pending, and even some ideas of what should be planned once those pending items are completed.  The right software makes it easy to generate reports arranging in any manner the user needs, or create charts that help to show the progress (or lack thereof) with winning back the lost customer.  The ability to collate the data and actually look at it up close will often yield new and more creative ways of what to do next.

The choice is yours.  Do you want to write off the customer as a lost cost, or do you want the relationship back?  Show the client you can provide them with excellent service and support, and the odds of healing the broken relationship are very high.

Last updated by at .