A Few Thoughts For Entrepreneurs Wrestling With Depression – Chris Myers

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This has been a hard week for those of us who care deeply about depression and the people who wrestle with it.

Both entrepreneur/designer Kate Spade and chef/TV personality Anthony Bourdain took their own lives this week, leaving many to wonder why people who seemed to have it all would go to such lengths.

If I’ve learned anything during my entrepreneurial journey, it’s that people who have ambition, vision, and big dreams tend to suffer from what author Nassir Ghaemi calls “A first-rate madness.” The genius is often offset by battles with personal demons.

That there is a link between creativity and mental illness is known to some extent, details regarding that link are mostly unknown.

Entrepreneurs are, if nothing else, creators. They thrive on the unknown and live to create something out of nothing. With that drive, however, comes an increased risk of depression and mental illness.

While I don’t claim to know precisely what happened in these particular cases, I do know that the stresses of living a high-profile, creative, or entrepreneurial can take their toll on people, both physically and emotionally.

I want to be very clear about one thing. I don’t have all the answers. Like everyone else, I’m just trying to find my way in a complicated and challenging world.

I have, however, learned a few things along my personal entrepreneurial and creative journey that have helped me navigate challenging situations, particularly in regards to stress, anxiety, and depression.

Let’s be honest about the difference between mental illness and circumstance

Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned is that there is a stark difference between mental illness and the shared human response to challenging circumstances with which we are forced to deal.

For so long there was a stigma associated with mental illness, and people were afraid to entertain the idea that they might be suffering from its effects. Fortunately, this stigma is starting to give way to a more honest and understanding view of the matter. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, you have to ask yourself “Have I suffered from panic, anxiety, or depression my whole life, or is this something new?”

If you find that your feelings and sufferings are part of a larger pattern, please don’t be afraid to talk to a medical professional.

In many cases, anxiety and other symptoms are biological. No matter what you try to do, or how you try to cope, you won’t be able to run away from the underlying biological problem. There are, fortunately, solutions and treatments out there that can help.

If what you’re experiencing is relatively new for you, there’s a reasonable chance that it is mostly circumstantial. This is where I can offer some insight, having dealt with this type of emotional stress firsthand.

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Keep things in perspective

A few years ago, Business Insider published a great article about the depression epidemic in the startup community. According to the article, only 7% of the general population report suffering from depression, but a whopping 30% of founders report dealing with its effects.

That statistic is staggering but entirely believable.

Entrepreneurship is an intensely personal journey, and it’s incredibly difficult to separate your identity from the business that you’re trying to create. Soon, business setbacks (of which there are many) seem like personal setbacks, and depression can quickly take root.

The key is always to strive to keep things in perspective. Life, like business, is a journey full of ups and downs.

When talking to entrepreneurs and other creatives going through tough times, I often encourage them to think back to high school. For most of us, there were moments in our high school lives that seemed to be monumentally crucial that in retrospect seem childish.

At the time, of course, the pain and anxiety that you experienced were real and raw. However, the more distance you gain from the situation, the less painful it becomes.

While the problems that you’re facing right here and right now may seem insurmountable, it’s important to realize these too will pass and fade in time.

Entrepreneurs have to accept the fact that the odds are stacked against their success. Most new business ventures fail, and even those that are eventually successful take a long time to get off the ground.

Setbacks will outnumber successes, and there’s a good chance that most days will be stressful. That’s the game we chose to play and the ability to embrace these realities is what makes us entrepreneurs.

Still, when challenges pile up, it’s easy to feel like the world is ending and that we’re failures. I recently had lunch with a good friend who was in the process of shuttering his third startup in seven years.

During our conversation, I reminded him that in his brief career to date, he’s accomplished more than the vast majority of people do in decades.

His pedigree and experience put him in the top one percent of people in his age group, and, as a result, his opportunities are vast. Sure, the latest venture didn’t work out, but he can and will live to fight another day.

Wherever you’re at this point in your life, there is an excellent chance that your current endeavor will not be your last. In fact, many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world hit their stride on the second or third attempt.

Consider the case of Mark Cuban. Before he struck it big by selling his business to Yahoo, Cuban had a string of failures.  After failing as a cook, carpenter, and even a waiter he remarked, “I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once. I tried to sell powdered milk. I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all.”

The lesson here is that there are second (and third and fourth) acts in life, and it’s important to remember that whenever you encounter failure.

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Don’t be afraid to get help

I’m fortunate in the sense that I have a fantastic support network I can call on when I need help. My family and friends are always there when I need them, whether it’s to listen to my struggles or to lend a hand.

Not everyone is as lucky. Entrepreneurs need to be able to reach out and get help when they need it. This can be difficult in a world where everyone feels the need to be “crushing it” all the time. Asking for help can be seen as a sign of weakness, which leads to people merely keeping their difficulties to themselves.

We in the entrepreneurial and creative communities need to change this mentality. People should feel free to get help without the fear of judgment, and it’s going to take a few strong influencers to initiate the change.

I know a few people in the industry who care about this deeply, including Structure Capital (a team of high-profile venture investors based out of San Francisco), but more are needed. There are good people out there who want to help. It’s just a matter of having the courage to reach out.

There will be bumps, setbacks, and even catastrophic failures on any worthwhile journey, but remember that you’re not alone. Keep your challenges in perspective and live to fight another day.

If everyone who read the articles and like it, that would be favorable to have your donations – Thank you.

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Working From Home: Tips And Tricks On Running A Home Business Enterprise — Marketing Secrets

TIP! Concentrate on making your customers happy. It takes less effort to get sales from pleased, repeat customers than to convince the new ones to buy for a first time. There are many great parts of having your own online business, but there are disadvantages, especially when you are unaware of what you are doing. […]

via Working From Home: Tips And Tricks On Running A Home Business Enterprise — Marketing Secrets

Take The Red Pill To Choose Paytrix The Amazing Affiliate Marketing Machine

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Paytrix is a brand new training that gives you everything you need to finally make real money online. Paytrix is NOT about exploiting some loophole. It’s a PROVEN system for making money and scaling up to a quit-your-job level of online income extremely quickly
Today, you have the opportunity for us to show you EXACTLY how you can do this . I’ll teach you the exact system I use to make $700+ per day, and between us we’ll also show you how to take that to the next level using the method that Paul and Richard taught me.
This is something I am positive you have NEVER seen before, and will probably never have the opportunity to see again. Paytrix is a brand new system that gives you everything you need to add an extra $0.75 to every $1.00 you make online. Paytrix is NOT about exploiting some loophole.
It’s a PROVEN system for making 75% more from the current affiliate promotions you are running. This means for every $1 most affiliates earn you can now increase your earnings on the same promos to $1.75, simply by following this proven process.

This easy to follow video course shows you how I went from earning $18 a day to over $700 a day.This is great for any newbie who wants to start generating affiliate commissions. I haven’t left anything out all you need to know is inside.

 

The Paytrix method, it’s mind blowing to see how much potential in earnings could be getting left on the table by the majority of people who run affiliate promotions online.The Paytrix system is so simple yet so effective, we can see exactly how 90% of affiliate marketers are leaving so much easy cash on the table. It’s time to rethink how we run our affiliate promotion

 

  • This is a COMPLETE system that gives you everything you need to make extra money online
  •  Discover how to make money quickly and scale up to a ‘quit your job’ level of online income
  •  No product creation required with the Paytrix method
  •  Works for promoting any kind of offer you want (software or information)
  •  FREE traffic methods included so you can get going on a shoestring budget
  •  Scalable to 6 figures and beyond

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You’ll discover a brand new, never-before-revealed method for making a daily online income and then scaling things up to 6 figures and beyond. We’re positive you have never seen anything like Paytrix before. This training will completely change what you thought you knew about making money online and give you a simple, step-by-step plan that actually makes you money.

Paytrix is a complete system for making money online, and inside we reveal how to get traffic flowing right away. We even show you how to make money fast with the Paytrix method using 100% FREE traffic.Inside Paytrix you get a Quick Start Guide and access to our Step-By-Step video training.

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How To Create Killer Webinars With FB Live

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You see, top marketers have known for a long time that webinars are the fastest, most powerful way to get endless traffic and loyal buyers… you know, stuff that results in profits.

But this is new… this is the easiest way to find prospects and generate sales in 2018. My “new method” is a major break from the old school way of creating webinars in a vacuum, inside some private, overpriced webinar system.

For people who have been spending hundreds of dollars a month to produce webinars, this is like a dream come true… No more spending way too much money for over the top, crazy expensive webinar platforms and software that never live up to their hype.

With this new method, you no longer need to rely on the old school methods of creating webinars with clunky and expensive “webinar systems.” Instead, you can use an absolutely free platform… FB Live… to create and run your webinars.

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Inside of Webinar Profits

 

  • The Best and Easiest Way To Generate Recurring Traffic in 2018
  • How to put your finger on the pulse of a Passive, Steady Flow of Traffic and Sales
  • Forget About Paid Advertising to get Traffic… this is a Free Method
  • Why this is the perfect Traffic & Sales Solution for Any Niche
  • Totally Newbie Friendly – No video or webinar experience required (and it works even if you Never Get In Front Of A Camera)
  • How to pitch your offers so webinar attendees can hardly resist hitting the Buy Now button.
  • How to use webinars to build your own expertise, leadership and authority.
  • How to build tons of profit into your business, even doing No Pitch webinars!
  • My Entire Method… Step by Step… In Clear, Explicit Detail

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eCommerce Institute – Changing Business Landcape To Scale Your Growing Industry

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This is one helluva eCommerce course. It goes above and beyond other eCommerce products by actually teaching people how to earn 6 to 7 figures. Although it’s 75 minutes long, your customers can consume this course in bite-size chunks as it’s broken down into 30 quick videos.

But what I like is that you don’t have to download any videos if you don’t want to.That’s because your done-for-you Members Area already has the videos uploaded and embedded for you. Of course, you’ll also get access to the video files if you want to edit and rebrand the videos.

Section 1: The eCommerce Formula
Video a – The formula explained
Video b – Picking your niche
Video c – Researching your niche
Video d – How to find suppliers
Video e – Creating a brand
Video f – Traffic part 1
Video g – Traffic part 2 (this is where I show you how a 16-year-old kid made $18,000 in one day)
Section 2: Where to find 100 Million products you can dropship
Video a – What is dropshipping?
Video b – Where to find over 100,000,000 products you can dropship
Video c – Benefits of this dropshipping source
Video d – Tips on how to sell products from this source – Part 1
Video e – Tips on how to sell products from this source – Part 2
Video f – How to automate the dropshipping process
Section 3 – Examples of hot selling products and how to find your own winning products
Video a – How to find products that have the potential to generate 6 and 7 figures
Video b – Products that have brought in between $100k and over $1mil in ecommerce stores
Video c – A hot selling lightweight product
Video d – A hot selling controversial item
Video e – Who would’ve thought this would be a hot seller online?
Video f – A hot selling product in almost any niche
Video g – Catchy products that are hot sellers
Video h – Other examples of hot selling products
Section 4 – More tips
Video a – How to scale your business to 7 figures
Video b – Make 7 figures from one product (How to sell high ticket products)
Video c – General Store vs Niche store
Video d – How To Increase Customer Value
Section 5 – How to make money without any eCommerce Store or Amazon (this is not affiliate marketing)
Video a – Intro
Video b – The method explained
Video c – Product research
Video d – Product suppliers
Video e – The funnel
Video f – Traffic
For example, aside from a done-for-you salespage, you’ll also get a done-for-you Members Area with videos already uploaded and embedded for you so you don’t have to upload them to your server.

It teaches:

—–Where to find over 100 million products at rock-bottom prices
—–How to sell high-ticket products and where to find them
—–How to automate your business
—–A secret formula you can use to build your business
—–Which is better, general online stores or niche online stores
—–How a 16-year-old kid made $18k in one day while spending the day in school
—–How to scale your business to 7 figures

These are the main components of your funnel:

—–Done-for-you lead generation page (this gives away a video that will get your leads interested in the main product)
—–Done-for-you Thank You page for your lead magnet (this page will entice your leads to go buy your main product)
—–Done-for-you salespage (show this to your leads immediately after opting in or in your follow-ups)
—–Done-for-you Members Area for main product (All 31 training videos already embedded for you)

INSTANT-ACCESS

 

Automated Workflows & Best Practices For Customer Success Teams

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Health scoring.

Create a flexible scoring system that takes a wide variety of customer health factors into account. Set up custom behavioral events using our powerful Event Tracking. Log ins, engagement with your app, and using specific features can all be used to create a dynamic health score. Set points to expire so you always have an up-to-date view of your customer base.

Never miss a beat.

The ActiveCampaign CRM is a streamlined, visual tool for moving customers through the stages of your onboarding and success processes. Easily customize the CRM for your company’s success & retention strategy and stay organized as you transform customers into outspoken advocates.

Leverage automation.

Run the most efficient processes possible. Rely on automation to handle routine tasks like managing your CRM or updating contacts, so you can stay focused on conversations with customers. Have tasks automatically created and assigned in response to key events so your team never drops the ball.

Track & measure customer progress.

ActiveCampaign allows you to see what your customers are doing on your website and in your app. You’ll know whether they are engaging with your product and messages. You’ll be able to see specific actions they have or have not taken and even what help docs they’ve been reading.

Automatically identify potential churn.

Monitor for warning signs that a customer is about to churn and proactively react. Automatically notify their customer success manager for one-to-one outreach or begin an automated re-engagement sequence. Use automated workflows to mitigate risk at key stages.

Work seamlessly with sales and marketing.

When sales, marketing, and success processes are driven by the same platform, all three will benefit from data gained by each team. What marketing & sales learn about a customer can inform and drive the success process so that you hit the ground running with each new customer.

Connect across channels.

Reach your customers with emails, texts, and site messages. Personalize these messages with content and calls to action appropriate for where they are in the onboarding process and customer lifecycle.

The tools customer success managers need to succeed.

Site & Event Tracking

See exactly what your customers are doing on your website and in your app.

Flexible Pipeline

Customize for your processes and adapt it as needed.

Pipeline Automation

Have your customers move through the stages of your processes automatically.

Deep Data Integrations

Bring data in from other apps to inform your customer success processes.

Chrome Extension

Manage your contacts, tasks, and automations from anywhere online — no need to even log in.

Team Collaboration

Tag a teammate to bring them into a conversation. Discuss customer activity inline.

Automated Tasks

Create tasks in response to key events and assign them to a team member.

Automated Workflows

Use triggers, actions, and logic to create sophisticated automated processes.

Consolidated Records

Track everything about a customer on their Contact Record and see their activity.

10 Ways to Create a Positive, Personal “Service” Brand

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When your business product is invisible, it can be difficult to become the go-to expert in your field. We’re talking about business coaches, career counsellors, wellness practitioners, personal trainers, key note speakers, consultants and anyone working in the services industry. This makes creating and maintaining a positive personal brand essential.

So, what is a personal brand, why is it so important and how do you do it? We spoke to Lauren Clemett, an award-winning personal branding specialist, for her expert tips.

What is a Personal Brand?

A personal brand is the process of creating a specific image of yourself in the mind of your ideal client, so they can get to know, like and trust you before they buy from you. Having a clearly defined personal brand makes it easy to explain what you do and why they should choose you. In the same way big brands create instant recognition, your personal brand makes you stand out from a crowd of competitors.

Why is a Personal Brand So Important?

We are living in an increasingly confusing and overcrowded world, where standing out is vital, especially if you sell services such as business coaching, real estate, personal training, finance or wellness services because selling services is like selling thin air. You need to create confidence that you can deliver on your promises to become the go-to trusted expert.

In the 1970’s it was estimated that the brain saw around 500 branded messages a day, today that’s closer to 5,000. The brain is easily overwhelmed by all the brands it sees, which is why having a unique, stand-out brand that engages instantly is so important.

1. Know Yourself First

Before you start any marketing, figure out what you want to be well known, well paid and wanted for. This could be in any space that you have expertise, an interest, education or life experience. When you know yourself and the service you want to offer well, you’re equipped to promote yourself and create a strong and positive personal brand.

2. Get 100% Focused on Your Brand Strategy

If you are an entrepreneur you will have a creative and adventurous brain, which is awesome, but it can also get side-tracked or distracted by “bright-shiny-objectitis.” If you have focus, you will invest your time and money in the right places. I call it finding your true north and you can go through the exercise of considering four aspects:

West – What problem do you solve (not just helping people get fit or balance the books)? What transformation takes place for your clients?

East – Execution. How will you provide a resolution in a unique way?

South – The value of what you deliver. What do your clients really get, beyond what they pay you for?

North – True North. This is your passion, purpose, mission. Why do you do what you do? What is in your DNA that makes you so driven to help others?

3. Consider Your Brand Personality

Your personal brand flows into your business brand, so if you have a clear idea of the brand personality, you can ensure all elements of your business are infused with consistent messaging. If you consider your brand as if it were a person, you can get consistent on how it would behave, speak, react and communicate. The most memorable brands have been totally consistent with their brand personality for years – boring maybe, but everyone knows Nike, Coke and Virgin!

4. Expert-Ease

This is where you should be careful not to sell yourself or your skills short. You should remember that not everyone knows how to do what you do! When you create your personal brand, be aware that your ‘service’ is something you do with ease, but that others find difficult, that’s why it’s called expert-ease!

5. You’re Not Right for Everyone

Just as every person is unique, so too is your service offering. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, as this is where you will come undone. Instead, accept that you can’t help “every Mary in the diary!” You will have more impact and influence with the right tribe following you.

6. Finding Your Tribe

Know exactly who you want to attract to your business – not only clients but also affiliates, suppliers, partners, and staff. Your brand is a culture and you need the right people around you. Start by identifying your core message, mission and brand purpose. This way you can ensure there is a natural alignment with those you choose to spend time with. Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Branding is all about creating a culture and considering how you want people to feel when they interact with your brand. What’s the number one emotion you want to generate?

7. Create a Target Avatar

Create an actual target avatar, with a name, photo, life-stage and lifestyle as well as their preferred method of communication. When you create this avatar, you will know the right message, the right channel and the right time to contact your potential client. You will also engage and connect on a relevant and relatable level.

Start by considering the demographics: their age, income, do they have children, married, living in a city? All of this will affect their daily lives and give you a better idea of when it’s the right time to propose your solution to them.
Next consider psychographics: how do they feel about the situation they are in? Are there generational values or beliefs that might create barriers or stop them from considering your help?
Lastly, look at their personal communication style and preferred method of communication. There are four types – Owls, Eagles, Peacocks and Doves. Much like the DISC profiling, you can first work out your own dominant style, then learn the others to ensure you are targeting the people that will naturally like working with you.

8. Choose Your Words Carefully

Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. Be clear on what you want to be called so you’re introduced correctly to potential clients.

Use the right words in your elevator pitch and on your collateral and online marketing and think like a P.R.O – Problem, Resolution, Outcome. Most service providers are good at talking about the problem they solve, and the resolution clients get, but few consider the outcome.

The brain thinks in pictures so use engaging language and images that clearly show clients what life could be like if they use your service. A simple action step is to ask your existing clients “What was it that I did for you?” and consider using their words to describe what you do.

9. Create a Cascade of Influence

You can create influence by approaching the key opinion leaders in your industry, or affiliates who have similar clients. Word of mouth marketing is free: third party endorsements make it easy for others to refer to you. Once you know exactly who your ideal client is, you can look at who they already go to for advice. By going to the community or industry leaders and asking for their help, you let them know you are there and make them aware of what you are trying to achieve with your brand. Never try to sell to an opinion leader but consider it an opportunity to work together.

10. Share Your Brand Story

Your brand story is all about recognition, reputation and respect. To be recognised is all about what others say about you, so include the challenges and struggles as well as the good parts. Reputation is memorable, so make your story easy to repeat and share. Respect is about being authentic; we live in the age of authenticity. Remember, anyone can Google you to find out more, so be the expert, but also be a human (and honest).

Australian Online Courses

An ideal way to boost your personal brand and add to your LinkedIn profile is through professional development. If you want to take your business or career to the next level, study with Australian Online Courses to increase your chance of success. Simply visit us online or contact one of our friendly Learning Consultants today on 1300 762 221

7 Simple and Effective Critical Thinking Strategies That Work

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A benefit of critical thinking strategies is a quickly developing independent thinking. Busy teachers and administrators want to make their jobs more effective in a shorter time span. We want our students to think critically and create great solutions. We want to avoid pitfalls along the way if we can. We want to hit all the green lights and enjoy smooth driving.

Critical thinking strategies will get learners to that higher-order thinking destination. Children can be more than passive web-surfers absorbing content. They can engineer their works and apply their learning to real-life situations. It takes a skilled teacher to take them on that journey.

Here are a few critical thinking strategies for taking the first few steps.

6 Fast and Effective Critical Thinking Strategies

Critical thinking is thinking on purpose. It’s clear, rational, logical, and independent thinking. It means thinking in a self-regulated and self-corrective manner. How can we make this happen quickly with our students?

1. Use the right tools

Using technology with students is always a great and engaging idea. That said, it can also be a learning curve. We sometimes assume our digital kids know everything about every app or tool. Not so, unfortunately.

You’ll need to factor in the time to learn how to use a tool or app if needed. Some tools require more skill and experience than others. The added time spent learning to use them could be better spent on a different task. The trick here is to pinpoint in advance which tools you want students to use.

You can spend a lesson or two on how to use the tech tools properly early in the year. That way they can get working on their own quickly. You can also poll the class or have an open discussion. Which tools are they already most familiar with? Which ones are they most excited about learning with? Choose the right tool and have a plan instead. This can minimize setbacks on the road to success.

2. Give them slack

When students approach learning proactively, they have a real stake in the outcome. We encourage proactivity by building skills through scaffolding. As students acquire skills, they become confident and move toward independence. We want to avoid fostering “learned helplessness.” Vary tasks and allow them to make some choices. Be realistic for yourself as a teacher, though, in what you are willing to allow.

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Be a guide down their own chosen path to a specific goal. Flipping your class is a great avenue for fostering ownership of learning. Once you get your lecture online, it’s up to them to access the content. They have to solve such issues as, “When can I access the video? How am I going to do it?”

As you flip your class, you can guide students to go beyond the provided lecture. Encourage them to look up other viewpoints, even opposing ones. Help them understand all positions and their validity.

3. Involve them in reverse engineering

We often call this working backward from the end. Sometimes you can get the job done faster by starting at the end and working back to the start. “How did they do that?” is a great way to start a conversation rolling on a particular problem.

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In a subject such as music, this could be in the form of transcribing a jazz solo or pop melody. You really put thinking skills like active listening, evaluating, and revising into practice.

4. Teach students how to prioritize

Prioritizing tasks is an essential element of productivity. The path to success is often hampered by prioritizing the wrong task. Teach students how to take the time to plan. Even if it takes a long time, it will save them tons of work in the long run.

Sometimes a task takes a very short time. Often deciding which task to do and what tool to use may take longer. This is perfectly normal, and it’s okay. As we’ve said in the past, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

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Set personal goals. By starting with the end in mind, students can identify what tasks need to be accomplished. They can determine what skills are needed to be proficient in order to get to a goal.

5. Switch their perspective

Get students to take on the role of an opposing viewpoint, even one against their own. Stepping into another’s shoes lets them think critically about a situation. This opens new ways of thinking and generates solutions previously unconsidered.

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Encourage them to think differently. Read books like Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States or Freakonomics as a starting point.

6. Let students collaborate

Project-based learning is another awesome way to foster critical thinking skills. When students are deep into discussion or debate, creative tension is happening. This is a state in which disagreement or opposition gives rise to fresh ideas and viewpoints.

paper-man-collaboration

Allow it to some extent before going in to moderate. As always, don’t readily give up the answers. Use leading questions to help guide them. Project-based learning incorporates so many critical thinking skills at once, which makes it a top tool in any teacher’s book.

7. Take breaks

In using critical thinking strategies, this is very important. Our brain is an organ which does everything, so we must care for it. Play, sit in silence, take a walk, or have some water. Eat brain-healthy foods and read challenging literature.

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There are even apps you can download that develop brain health with fun and challenging puzzles. Our favorites are LuminosityFitBrains, and Peak.

A Nod to the Trailblazers

We can learn critical thinking strategies from the greatest companies in the world. Look at how Apple, IBM, Honda, or Volkswagen functioned at their most productive periods. These teams were product-driven but knew what worked for them to get the job done. They spared no expense at acquiring and using the appropriate tools. We can strategize to foster critical thinking with the resources available. We can work to enable students to accomplish anything these corporate giants have done, and more.

We can strategize to foster critical thinking with the resources available. We can work to enable students to accomplish anything these corporate giants have done, and more.

Critical thinking strategies don’t have to be hard or structured. Kids will develop these skills in the fun and rewarding situations that require them. Set up your learning environment with these rules in mind and students will be thinking critically in no time.

by | May 6, 2018

 

What is Growth Hacking and Why is it So Popular for Twitter and Instagram

 

 

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If you are a latecomer to using social media marketing for your business, then you might feel a bit overwhelmed at the task ahead of you. You may have checked out the Instagram and Twitter accounts of your competition, seen their large following and wanted to give up before you started. Or maybe you’ve been using channels like Instagram and Twitter for a while now, but aren’t seeing much growth from your efforts.

All of you are the reason I wrote this article.

Because you really need to know about growth hacking.

What is growth hacking and why do I care?

Wikipedia always seems to say it better than I can. Wikipedia defines growth hacking as a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business. This process involves marketers, engineers, and product managers. Their job is to focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. Through a variety of non-traditional tactics such as rapid follow-to-follow-back campaigns, new and small businesses can quickly gain traction and find new customers. When it comes to growth hacking, the costs are low and the results are fast.

eady to master Twitter? How about Facebook? Google+? We’ve got that too! Take a look at more great resources to increase your social media presence.

Growth Hacking and Instagram

Airbnb, Hotmail, Dropbox, Youtube and Paypal are all brands you know. They also all happen to be growth hacking success stories. These companies used smart growth hacking tactics to emerge out of seemingly nowhere. On Instagram, growth hacking can have similar opportunities. An Instagram account with only a small following can quickly become an Instagram hit by playing your cards right. Let’s look at how.

 

How To Grow Your Instagram Account

DIY

  • Take the time to edit your photos – With modern camera phones, it seems like anyone can be a photographer. But editing can go a long way to help your photos stand out. Download a photo editor and get serious about your photos. Make sure you keep your style consistent, including the filters you use. If you are looking for an easy photo editor try VSCO, Afterlight, or Aviary photo editors.
  • Only upload your best photos – Don’t post every picture you take. Go for quality over quantity. Go back through any old photos and remove the ones that are not part of your defined brand.
  • Pick your niche – Don’t try and be popular on Instagram for everything. Whether you are representing yourself or your business, choose what it is you want to influence and stick to it. As a brand, you might be trying to drive certain products. Or, you might be focused on hiring, company culture, and career growth. Decide early what it is you are trying to accomplish.
  • Hashtag hacking – This point is so smart it almost feels like cheating. List up to 30 hashtags as a separate comment. Then, delete them after 24 hours and add a second set of 30 hashtags. This allows you to stay at the top of 60 different hashtags and also keeps others from stealing your best hashtag secrets. After another 24 hours, delete your second set of hashtags to increase engagement from followers you already have. If you’re wondering how to know which hashtags to use, read all about the art of the hashtag here.
  • Engage with other accounts – A big part of growth hacking is making friends. Like and comment on other photos. Your comments and likes will always appear to people that already follow you. Even when it’s not your own content, being active on social media keeps you fresh in others minds.

Bots & Tools

You aren’t left to tackle Instagram growth hacking all on your own. Different social media marketing services are out there to help you succeed. Experiment with growth hacking bots for Instagram. Most of these bots help you to mass follow and like photos, so that you can spend less time checking out other accounts but still boost your own in the process.

  • Instavast ($10/month) – Helps you to also mass unfollow people, which isn’t normally offered. You will also be able to schedule your posts in advance. And even at such a cheap price, you’ll be able to track which of your hashtags are working best so you can keep improving your strategy.
  • Archie.co ($19-$29/month) – A generally good and easy-to-use deal. The main appeal of this service is how easy it is to use for even the least experienced Instagrammer.
  • InstaMacro ($59.99/month) – More of the same, but faster and better. They’ll find you the best followers and take over all your tedious tasks.
  • Boostly.io ($150/month) – If the price already is making you fidget in your seat, let me calm you quickly be assuring you you’ll get what you pay for. Boostly is a social media marketing service, and they promise to take as much work out of your hands as possible.

Of course, no matter what bot or tool you were to use you are going to have to put in some level of effort. These are tools, not finite solutions, and it will take a bit of time to get the results you want.

Growth Hacking on Twitter

Growth hacking isn’t just for Instagram, you can also use it for Twitter. Again, even a seemingly quiet Twitter account can suddenly gain a large following thanks to growth hacking techniques.

Why Grow Your Twitter Account?

Twitter is a powerful tool for business when used correctly.  Twitter takes pride in real-time news feeds, allowing conversations to naturally take place around important topics. It’s kind of like a live chat session the whole world can be in on. This allows brands to get involved in relevant conversations. It also allows them to post frequently (note: frequently doesn’t mean the same thing over and over again) about the same topic, bringing it to the forefront of the conversation wherever it naturally can take place.  If you were to post multiple times a day about the same general topic to Facebook, that wouldn’t go over so well. Twitter is an entirely different world and one that few businesses have learned how to take advantage of!

While Twitter can help you generate more leads and drive clicks to solidify your brand awareness and increase brand visibility, you can’t build these connections if you have no followers in the first place.

 

How to Grow Your Twitter Account

A growth hacking twitter strategy is going to come down to getting more followers (and good followers) and increasing engagement with them.

For more followers and more engagement:

  • Tweet consistently – A good following and active engagement will require that you post often. You’ll need to pay attention to what is going on in your industry and stay involved in the conversation. Sporadic tweets every week or two aren’t going to cut it.
  • Share quality content – This can be your own well-orchestrated tweets, as well as retweets from industry influencers. Content also doesn’t have to be actually tweets themselves, but materials such as blogs, with the option to tweet certain quotes.
  • Pay attention to timing – Take the time to see how you are doing with tools like Twitter Analytics. This will help you to see which timing is getting you the most engagement, so you’ll know when to continue to post in the future.
  • Post images with your tweets – By now we all know that people are more likely to respond to an image than words. Bufferapp blog says that using an image with a tweet doubles its likelihood of engagement. So find good, relevant images and use them!
  • Use Twitter for customer service – As a business, when you respond to customer needs via Twitter a lot of great things happen. If you respond timely, the customer is usually pleased. They are also more likely to continue to engage and use you for customer service in the future. Seeing your past customer service responses also creates an incentive for other customers to start following you. Wins all around.

Tools

There’s pretty much a social media service out there for everything nowadays. We’ve already gone over what tools can help with Instagram, now let’s look at Twitter.

  • Jooicer (0-$99/month) – This is a tool that helps with following and unfollowing accounts, as well as setting up tweet scheduling. The variation in prices relates to how many accounts you will follow and unfollow per month.
  • TweetFavy ($9-$29/month) – This tool is less about followers than it is about impressions. Which, of course, can lead to new followers. The most basic package aims at 140-420 new followers a month. Which for $9, isn’t bad.
  • Tweepi ($10.75-$24.99/month) – Tweepi stands out as a Twitter tool because it helps you sleep with one eye open. Meaning, it helps monitor your competition and analyze their success so you can make it your own. And like the previous tools, it will help you gain new followers.

The What, The Why, The How

So now you know what growth hacking is and why it’s important for your business. And with a better idea of how to use growth hacking for your Instagram and Twitter, it’s time you stop reading this article and start growing your followings.

 About The Author

Caz Bevan

Caz is the Director of Marketing for Boostability and has deep experience blending business goals and marketing tactics into comprehensive company strategies. Her creative innovation and expertise has helped shape customer experiences and drive continual engagement for a variety of companies and products including Sony Music Entertainment and SpeedTV. Connect with Caz: @CazBevan | Linkedin

ect with Caz: @CazBevan | Linkedin

How to Ask Clients for Feedback

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Growing a successful small business depends on repeat clients, and clients only come back when they are extremely happy with the products or services you’re providing. It should go without saying that your initial focus should be on providing an exemplary product or service. Once you have that solid foundation, it’s time to focus on the second part of generating repeat business — tailoring your offerings to exactly what your clients need and want.

Each one of your existing clients possess a wealth of information that can not only help you solve more of their problems and increase sales, but also give you ideas about what else you can be doing to attract new business. The only way to get this information is to ask your clients direct questions and listen to their answers.

What Questions to Ask Your Clients

There are many types of questions you can ask a client to get his or her feedback on your products, services, customer service, and overall business, but some of the basic questions should include:

  • Why did you choose us as your service provider?
  • What service did we perform for you?
  • How would you rate the service you received? (Provide a rating scale)
  • In what areas did we meet or exceed your expectations?
  • In which areas can we improve?
  • Would you recommend us to others?

Whenever you ask for client feedback, you should make sure you are asking the right questions to produce valuable feedback without asking too many questions and risk not receiving a response at all.

 You may also want to consider offering an incentive for completing the survey — such as a coupon or other discount — especially if you find the response rate leaves something to be desired.

How to Ask the Questions

Aside from hiring an external survey company to poll your clients on your behalf or conducting a formal focus group, which is not financially practical for many small business owners, there are a few ways you can ask your clients for feedback.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Start a Conversation:

Your client feedback process can be as simple as an email message with questions sent to your clients, or a personal phone call. This method is quick and easy, but there are some downfalls. When you take the informal approach to client feedback, you run the risk that the message will be put aside and eventually lost in the shuffle. Plus, if you’re asking in a conversational manner, you are most likely using open-ended questions which can prevent any kind of consistency across all of your client surveys. Lastly, you must manually do something with the data collected in order to have it in any kind of useable form.

2. Create an Online Survey:

If you have a set of standard questions you’d like to pose to many of your clients, you can take the informal format one step further and create a standardized survey. You can create a protected form in a word processing application, a PDF form, or a form that can be submitted through your website (or even a third-party site). This format will obviously take more time to create, but it allows you to have one standard survey you send to all clients.

3. Use a Hard Copy Questionnaire:

Depending on the type of business you have, a hard copy questionnaire that is mailed to your clients may be the best way to go.

Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope to make it easier for clients to return the survey. And make sure you have a system in place for entering the data into Excel or some other software so you can collect, review and run reports on the data.

The key to any client feedback process is not just collecting the data, but gaining insight from it that you can actually use in your business. This customer satisfaction survey example is a great tool that will get you started.