Digital Marketing Tools For Your Small Business

As a small business, your employees may be juggling a lot of “hats” at once. Your salesperson may also be in charge of marketing, customer service, along with some administrative tasks! It can be easy to forget marketing when you’re concerned with immediate results for your bottom line.

But marketing is integral to the overall success of your business. It builds customer loyalty, which leads to higher retention rates and referrals. This is different from sales, because you’ve already convinced them to “buy in” to your product – now you want to “buy in” to your company’s brand.

The digital marketing process can be streamlined by the use of online tools that don’t have to break the bank. Some of them on this list are even FREE! Here are some digital marketing tools for your small business:

  1. Social Media Management Platforms

When you’re a brand dedicated to creating a consistent social media presence, you know posting around the same time every day is helpful. But if you do this in real-time, it’s going to interrupt your focus on other tasks. This is where social media management tools come in.

Hootsuite is a great starter for entrepreneurs. The free plan allows you to control 3 different social media profiles from universal dashboard. You can schedule posts ahead of time to run across the different platforms. This allows you  a lot of flexibility – you could schedule all your posts for a week in one day! Another option is Buffer – while the free plan is limited, the cheapest plan has a lot of features.

  1. Online Photo Editors

Photoshop is expensive. And the truth is, if you are only wanting to make simple edits and graphics, you probably don’t need it! There are lots of free alternatives out there that you can use within your browser.

A good option for beginners is Canva. It has canvasses that are sized for optimal viewing on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, etc. so that you don’t have to worry about making something that won’t fit. The program also has free templates, fonts, and graphic elements. There are some free stock photos, and a large library of photos that are only $1.

  1. Analytic Tools

If you have website, you SHOULD be using Google Analytics. It will help you get a better insight into to which pages are performing well, your ROI from promotions, read time, bounce, rate, etc. Did you know you can create a custom dashboard within Google Analytics? This allows you to focus on which pieces of data are the most relevant to you.

  1. Blog Managers

Content marketing is a great way to create value for a potential consumer. One of the most common forms of content marketing is blogging. No matter what industry you’re in – if you are an expert in it, you can offer insight to readers.

But if you don’t know a lot about design or Web development, it might seem like an overwhelming task. One of the staples in the blog hosting industry is WordPress. It offers free templates so you can stop worrying about design and focus on design. It also has paid self-hosting options and more advanced templates. If you are an avid Google user and prefer to streamline your systems as much as possible – you might consider Blogger.

You can’t market well without spending both time and money. But there’s a difference between throwing lots of money at “fancy and flashy” marketing trends, and investing in smart marketing tools that will propel your business forward. If you’re a new business, don’t be afraid to try out a variety of options and find what works best for you!

10 Ways Business Owners Can Make the Most of Seasonal Marketing

As a business owner, marketing is a must if you want to successfully differentiate yourself from competitors, to engage with existing customers, and to turn would-be shoppers into paying patrons. And one of the most effective ways to get your message out is to take advantage of seasonal marketing opportunities. If you can think up some logical tie-in between your products or services and a season or notable occasion, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. What follows is a look at 10 ways business owners can make the most of seasonal marketing — hint: everything comes back to social media and the power of this platform to build brands.

 

  1. Mother’s Day: How can seasonal marketing help you on Mother’s Day? How about a social media game in which you post a picture of a jar filled with rose petals? Ask your followers to guess how many petals are contained in the jar. Reward the winner either with a price or with a discount for your products or services.

 

  1. Power of Association: Don’t underestimate the power of association. Take Independence Day and its connection with the colors red, white, and blue, for instance. Figure out how to connect your products or services to the day with some clever ad copy, incorporate the color scheme — red, white, and blue — into your promotion, and share pictures with your followers across various social media accounts.

 

  1. Christmas Sale: This one might seem obvious, but it’s definitely worth pursuing. Many people already see the holiday season as a time to spend, so why not offer some special promotions to take advantage of this trend? You can use social media — Twitter hashtag? — to drum up interest in any sales connected with the holiday season.

 

  1. Google Ad Extensions: Google Ad extensions tied into a holiday or season are sure to pick up traction. If you sell books or sporting gear, for instance, insert ad extensions connected to the holiday you choose to leverage as a marketing opportunity. You can use an advertising tag line such as “Blowout Black Friday Sales” on your Google ads in order to bolster the odds of people clicking on the links.

 

  1. Hold a Live Event: What is your target demographic and what sort of live events are they most likely to find interesting? Are Easter, Halloween, or even the start of the summer season suitable given your offering and any logical tie-ins? If so, schedule a fun event and reach out to your social media followers to encourage them to come out. Give them incentives to come as well such as door prizes or discounts.

 

  1. Seasonal Images: Have you noticed how Google often changes up its logo in honor of certain statutory holidays or other important occasions? Well, you can do the same. Determine which holidays present a logical synergy with your offerings and get creative. You can inform your social media followers of the changes or even hold a contest where you invite them to submit their ideas for holiday-specific versions of your logo.

 

  1. Website: Consider adding a web page on your site to specifically highlight the products or services you offer that connect with the holiday in question.

 

  1. Thought Leader: Joining social media groups and contributing effectively — commenting and responding to questions — can help you to establish yourself as a thought leader. After you establish yourself as someone who is knowledgeable in your industry, you’ll be able to skillfully include marketing material in even generic content. If you’re a regular contributor, it won’t come off as cheesy if you do a bit of name-dropping on occasion.

 

  1. Customer Hashtag: Encourage your customers to send in their tips. For instance, you could set up a hashtag on Twitter and tell your customers to submit their best seasonal tips, say, for Christmas gifts under $25. You can even run a contest where you select some of the best recommendations and send the recipients prizes.

 

  1. Create Seasonal Brand: If you want to take advantage of seasonal marketing opportunities, you should consider creating a special brand image that is specific to the season you’re targeting. It will be instantly noticeable by your customers since it will be different from your traditional brand image.

You can definitely make the most of seasonal marketing with some hard work and a good strategy. Consider the recommendations above and see how they can help you grow your business.

 

The Importance of SEO for App Discoverability

In this day and age, being noticed on the internet is more important than ever.  However, as people start using their smartphones more often, the ability to be noticed on a mobile device has taken precedence over desktops and laptops.  Therefore, search engine optimization – or SEO – for apps has become vital.  As you will see, changing your strategy to become noticed by people on-the-go can be done with some simple tweaks.

What Is SEO?

Before we can begin to discuss how to use SEO for apps, we need to define what it means.  As moz.com discusses, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”  By using certain techniques, you will be able to raise your website on the the results lists when people search for certain terms.

It consists of several parts – three of which will be discussed here.  Quality pertains to your specific product or service.  You don’t want people going to Apple computers when you are an apple farmer.  Right?  Being more specific gives more quality content.

Quantity is just what it sounds like.  When you have built up and audience of the people you want to focus on, creating more traffic to your site and app will definitely help.

Lastly, there is your organic audience.  While ads can create a significant portion of the search engine results pages – or SERPS – organic defines traffic that you don’t have to pay for. 

SEO Isn’t Just For Websites Anymore

However, it is no longer good enough to create results for just any old website.  You have to remember that people use the internet on their phones.  As a result, tweaking your SEO for apps is more important than ever.  After all, if people can’t find your app, it won’t be noticed, and all the work spent developing will be for naught.

With over 1 million apps available, how will yours get noticed?  Thanks to search engines like Google, there are new ways to discover an app organically with posted suggestions for relevant search queries.  As a result, organic searches will now yield better results comparable to website search results allowing more users to download those apps. 

Diversify your SEO Strategy

So, how is this done?  Let’s discuss the basics.  As Search Engine Watch discusses, “Most big engine mobile apps source results from their web index – hence, applying mobile SEO best practices is essential to visibility in both web and apps.”  Therefore, it is important to remember some things.  “Using a single URL strategy is best.  But a subdomain or subdirectory can help provided you adhere to these tips.”

  • Crawler access allows all crawlers access to desktops and mobile websites to understand page structure and consolidate signals
  • Being mindful of page load speed helps because mobile users often have slower connections
  • User experience is important. You want to make sure that people can find everything and interact with your app.
  • Remember to optimize page elements and content to keywords
  • Use code that doesn’t need Flash or Javascript. Otherwise, you could create unnecessary obstacles 

Enhance Your App

One great tool that you can use is a software development kit – or SDK.  It is a development tool that create apps for a certain platform.  Doing so allows your app to support certain services.  Several companies offer SDKs to allow for such support.

One such software, known as Enhance, allows app owners to implement any SDK on their apps.  It’s simple to use, as well.  Best of all, it’s free.

All you have to do is select the service you want to implement, and upload your compiled app file.  Then Enhance patches, and injects, the services into your app.  Now, all you have to do is download, and publish, your Enhanced app.  It’s that simple.

Features include toggle SDKs, DIY ads, crash reporting, advertising tools, and income reporting.  You can even install third-party services that your development tools don’t support.  With just a few steps, your app is better than ever.

Conclusion

 Search engine optimization has been an important website tool for several years.  However, the same level importance is now placed on those who create apps.  But, the information presented should help explain what people need to do to rise up on the SERPS.  Plus, tools like Enhance make apps easier to use.  This information should allow you to create an app that will be noticed in no time.

 

 

Leveraging Technology: Long Distance Gifts Ideas

Celebrating birthdays and holidays for long-distance friends and relatives poses challenges regarding gift giving. While sending a check or gift card seems like the logical solution, they tend to hold an impersonal sentiment.

Still, wrapping a present or shipping a special gift often leaves the giver worrying about the safety of the item…and the exact arrival. Even with expedited shipping, sometimes accidents happen and parcels end up in across the ocean.

But sending gifts to loved ones living far in celebration of a holiday or a special occasion includes other options than just a check and gift card. Worrying about shipping also shouldn’t be halting more personalized presents.

When showering out-of-town loved ones with gifts in honor of a momentous occasion or for the holidays, embrace technology with these ideas for personalized treasures from companies that take on the shipping worries for you:

  1. Customized Photo Albums

Many companies (including Apple) allow users to upload photos and create a handmade personalized photo album. Each page of the album can be customized; choose your own captions, cover page and other personalized details. The result is a gift that showcases some of the best memories between you and your loved ones. Out of town grandparents will especially treasure albums featuring their grandkids…be sure to feature those special events that they might have missed.

  1. Home Movies on DVD

Take highlights of your favorite home movies and put them together on one greatest hits compilation. Some companies also specialize in helping you convert old 8-millimeter films onto DVD, which means you can preserve those old home movies from decades past. Send DVDs of cherished movies to relatives for a memory-filled gift.

  1. Gifts of the Month

Not sure what to send? Sign a loved one up for monthly presents! Almost every food and beverage item offers an ‘of the month’ club. Choose wine, choose, teas, coffees, candies and more. Each month, your friend or relative will receive a different offering. The mystery is so much fun! The best part? You don’t have to worry about shipping anything…the companies do it all!

  1. Floral Flair

Almost everyone loves receiving flowers. This is an easy and beautiful gift that shows you care. Choose fun blooms like Gerbera daisies for happy occasions like birthdays and graduations. Roses offer luxury and love. And flowers are the traditional gift for Mother’s Day; in fact, the National Retail Federation estimated that in 2016 Americans were projected to spend “$2.4 billion on flowers.”

 

  1. Online Shopping

Is it even necessary to go to a bricks and mortar store anymore? Not really! According to the site Big Commerce, “51% of Americans prefer to shop online.” Online shopping is the ideal way to pick out the perfect gift and have it shipped on time.  Shopping online allows you to find anything and everything…and almost every popular boutique and Big Box retailer has online options.

Stop sending checks and gift cards and opt for a more personal gift instead to honor long-distance loved ones. Thanks to technology, there are so many gift options available. And, sometimes, you can snag free shipping on purchases via online deals! Check out personalized DVD and photo albums that can be created online and peruse the limitless virtual mall that is the internet. You will find that perfect present, because, it is out there! So get shopping!

Four Ways that Technology is Changing Beauty

It’s no secret that technology has revolutionised the ways we communicate and accomplish our day-to-day responsibilities. We are able to hold the proof in our hands with a Smartphone or tap a tablet’s screen to witness the new influx of tech. However, many of us fail to notice the role technology plays in the world of beauty and cosmetic products. Yes, the world of lipstick and curling irons is being changed by an influx of modern technology in some pretty amazing ways.

Four Powerful Ways Tech is Changing Beauty

The following list is a compilation of four ways that tech is making over the beauty world:

App-tastic! It is estimated that 87 percent of us will be logged on and shopping online by the year 2020. In response, many cosmetic and beauty companies are embracing computer and social media technology as a viable way to bring the makeup counter to us. These technologies are changing the way brands are reaching out to their customers, offering us another dimension to exploring looks or products.

These apps and sites are allowing us to virtually try make-up before we buy, while introducing new beauty products to digital consumers. Many of these apps allow a user to watch tutorials on how to apply product with professional makeup artists and offer us tools that combines skin and facial technology with an uploaded photo so we can “try out” various shades of lipstick and false eyelashes with a swipe of a finger.

Color changing cosmetics. Do you remember the mood rings we used to buy at the local pharmacy counter? They were typically oval in shape with a dark color changing stone. Supposedly, they were able to indicate our moods by changing color. They were entertaining and always a fun conversation topic, but seldom did they work. Fast forward a few decades, and with a nod to our favorite childhood jewelry, we have make-up that changes color when applied.

These color changing cosmetics are a fun way to embrace tech into our daily routines and see a green lipstick turn a beautiful hue of red. These modern pigments rely a lot on our body chemistry, mainly our pH balances and body temperature. When the makeup comes into contact with moisture, it changes the solubility and pH which causes the color to change. The key to this reaction is the moisture, so as long as the chemicals stay dry and are mixed into oil or wax based products like lip balms they won’t turn colors until applied. This enables the products to remain clear or be dyed fun colors, like green, to make the experience more enjoyable.

Lashing out. For years, women have dreamed and fawned over lush, thick eyelashes. We would buy lash curlers, falsies, and even rush to buy the newest plumping mascara on the market to make our doe eyed dreams a reality. In fact, an average woman will spend about $3,770 on mascara in their lifetime! We love our lashes, but many of us struggle with short or thin lashes.

That is where the technology comes to the rescue. Today we have special mascaras and prescription medicines that can help us rejuvenate, grow longer, darker, and thicker lashes. This advancement is actually a byproduct of a glaucoma medication that was found to cause unexpected eyelash growth. Now, if we are willing to pay a little more or get a script from the doctor, we can avoid embarrassing or sticky situations with false lashes.

Hair today, gone tomorrow: smoothing over hair removal. Dealing with unwanted hair has been plaguing women and men for decades. At first, a few little whiskers here and there aren’t much of a problem, but after plucking, waxing, and shaving for a little bit you might become upset and self-conscious. For years, women have tried every conceivable option to keep unwanted hair at bay.

For those of us who struggle with unsightly upper lip shag or granny whiskers, there have been some new techniques to reduce our hair problem. Thankfully, technology has led to the development of laser hair removal. With this treatment method, the pain is minimal. However, it takes several treatments to work and can be costly.

This finds many of us still embracing old-fashioned methods which can leave us feeling razor burned. These techniques range anywhere from shaving, using chemical depilation, plucking, waxing, electrolysis, and more. Unfortunately, many of these options are painful or leave us with red, irritated, burning skin. However, technology hasn’t forgotten our plight and we now have skin conditioners and treatments at our disposal. These products reduce inflammation, bumps, and even ingrown hairs so we can feel comfortable in our own skin.

In what ways have you seen technology change beauty?

Instagram Stories & What This Means To Marketers

The meteoric rise of Snapchat changed the social media landscape. The network’s crowning achievement was the well-received Stories function, which turned users into publishers and put a powerful new business tool in the hands of marketers.

Instagram apparently took notice.

On August 2nd, 2016, the photo-centric social channel introduced its own response to Snapchat’s revolutionary Stories feature.

At a glance, it’s little more than a thinly veiled copy.

Like Snapchat Stories, Instagram’s new tool allows users to create chronological narratives using photos, videos, hyperlapse and Boomerang snippets. Like Snapchat, it enables users to watch and respond to other users’ stories. Also like Snapchat, it lets creators use text and drawing tools to add depth and flair to their productions. Called Instagram Stories, the network didn’t even come up with a new name.

But for marketers, Instagram’s newest tool is far more than just a duplicate of Snapchat’s defining feature.

5 Steps to Creating an Instagram Story

Visit Instagram.com, click “Sign Up,” download the mobile app and follow these steps:

  1. Start by clicking the plus sign (+) in the top left.
  2. Tap the round button to take a photo or hold the button for up to 10 seconds for video. Swipe down if you want to upload your own photo or video.
  3. Select an emoji or choose between three different pens to draw on your image. Want a color filter? Swipe right.
  4. Click the checkmark icon to share your story to your profile and your friends’ feeds.
  5. Identify who viewed your story by viewing your photo or video and swiping up.

Instagram Stories: A New Tool for Marketers

Even though Snapchat rose from relative obscurity to more than 100 million users with unbelievable speed, Instagram is still by far the dominant network for millennials. Nearly one-third of American teens still consider Instagram to be their most important social channel. 500 million people log in every month, 300 million every day. Although Instagram Stories is clearly an almost identical copy of Snapchat Stories, it brings the concept to a much larger captive audience.

For marketers, Instagram Stories provides the opportunity to express Snapchat-level creativity without ever leaving the network that young people still love best.

Not only can they use Instagram Stories to reach a younger audience, but marketers and advertisers can use the tool to stir up more engagement with the prized youth demographic. Since Instagram doesn’t allow likes or shares on its Stories, the only option for users to engage is through direct private messages. This gives marketers access to raw, unfiltered feedback directly from the audience they’re targeting.

Marketers can also spur engagement by:

  • Following other users and engaging their stories with private messages.
  • Continually adding content to extend existing stories.
  • Have fun with content by using the text, emoji and finger paint tools.
  • Isolating a specific part of your story and feature it by sharing to your main feed.
  • Posting content from your camera roll shot in the last 24 hours.

Since privacy settings strictly regulate who can and cannot see stories, brands can get a window into their audience by following and viewing their stories. Then, they can direct message them with feedback of their own.

They can use creative tools like the neon pen to spice up otherwise drab content. By allowing marketers to see exactly who has watched their stories, how many people have watched and which sections they’ve watched, Stories can be used as a powerful new metrics analysis tool.

Finally, Instagram stories appear at the top of your feed. When a brand gains a new follower, that brand has a unique opportunity to place itself directly in that follower’s line of sight.

Disappearing Content = More Engagement

Of all the differentiators that set Snapchat apart from the pack when it first arrived, the network’s most unique identifying trait is the concept it pioneered — disappearing content. Yet another Snapchat first that Instagram took for its own is content that self destructs in 24 hours. This feature has always created a sense of urgency among Snapchat users and nudged them into gobbling up content more enthusiastically.

Marketers who migrate to Instagram Stories can now harness this psychology, but the benefits of disappearing content don’t end there. Marketers can give a test run to experimental content on Instagram stories. If it works, they can move it to their regular Instagram account for more permanent viewing.

With the release of Stories, Instagram essentially copied Snapchat’s most innovative, most characteristic and most definitive feature. For marketers, however, Instagram Stories represents an opportunity to apply Snapchat’s interactive and creative feel to Instagram’s massive global audience, established platform and familiar format. Much more than just a carbon copy, Instagram Stories gives marketers a brand new tool for making dull content exciting, testing new campaigns and analyzing the success of new ideas.

Chatbots and their impact on social media

Social media is the quintessential place for brands to interact with their customers. Though if you think it’s a public relations goldmine now, wait until you read about chatbots.

The natural conversation bots are changing the consumer to brand social media interaction for the better. 

Social media’s potential for e commerce is on the rise, and chatbots are the driving force behind the change.

Chatbots 101

Chatbots is the term given to different kinds of Natural Language User Interfaces (NLIs). These “bots” help people accomplish tasks ranging from entertainment to purchasing products. The kicker being, it’s all accomplished using natural conversational text.

The bots function under two main systems. The first is the simple phrase dependent response bot. “If ___, then respond____,” is the basic idea. The other system relies on more sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI).

We’re seeing both of these “bot types” implemented into many different platforms. That “sales rep” chat windows that offers to help on your favorite website; that’s a chatbot. Ever heard of Watson? Another chatbot.

Though today our focus is on chatbot implementation for social media messaging platforms. From Facebook to Kik, chatbots are changing the way people interact with brands on social media.

Users can send brands a message and receive information from product recommendations to store hours; all without talking to another person. This instant access to information in conversational form is revolutionizing social media.

 

Social Media, Brand Interaction, and E-commerce

Social media exists to connect with people and brands that you’ve deemed worth “following.” It’s also a platform for personal expression.

However, we’re seeing social media move away from its exibihistionist roots and towards messaging platforms. In fact, social messaging apps recently exceeded social media apps in monthly active users.

Chatbots are part of the driving force behind this move, and will continue to capitalize on people’s desire for more information. They’re turning social media into a marketplace to sell your brand.

Superior Customer Support

In today’s always connected world people are demanding instant access to information. Our attention spans are decreasing while our desire for gratification increases.

Chatbots are helping to bridge this gap between impatience and fulfillment. They’re turning social media into a platform where brands can conduct on demand customer support.

It’s no surprise that chatbots are taking social media in this direction. More than 33 percent of consumers prefer using social media for support rather than the telephone.

We expect brands to continue adopting chatbots for their social media customer support. As bots develop they’re only gaining more context awareness, which makes them even better at solving problems.

Brand Interaction

Chatbots are still in relative infancy, but we’re already seeing brands recognize their power for social media interaction.

For example, Kayak’s Facebook messenger bot can provide travel details and book flights or hotel rooms. Someone absently browsing Facebook could see a cool destination and message Kayak’s chatbot, all in just minutes.

The same goes for other types of brand interaction. See your favorite brand advertised somewhere around town? Get out your phone and Facebook message their chatbot.

The potential for personal brand interaction is only growing as chatbots become more and more prevalent across social media. More interaction means more potential for sales.

Chatbots are bringing social media ever closer to the ultimate consumer to brand experience. Instead of just liking a brand page, you can carry on natural conversation with a brand “representative.”

Improved customer support and brand interaction is shifting social media towards a brand centric ecommerce marketplace.

 

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month: Protect Your Health 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.

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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.

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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. Research has proved that a combined formula called adderall is way very helpful in keeping your eyes sharp and active. The usage of this specific formula must be under the observation of a certified doctor. One thing is proved that online adderall is safe and you can take it freely but being in the limits is the first thing.

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.

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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.

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