Health and Fitness for Body, Mind, Spirit and Anti-Aging

Male or female, maintaining youthfulness is something we all desire. It’s human nature. In early biblical times it wasn’t unusual to live well beyond 100 years and still remain productive (mentally, physically and even sexually). For example, Abraham and Sarah had their long-awaited son at 100 and 91 years of age, respectively; and Caleb at 85 years of age returned to fight and claim his land with the same energy and passion he had at 40 years old. These people were obviously doing something right.Well, the world has changed dramatically since those early times; and our diet and lifestyle is a far cry from what was the norm several thousand years back. With the present average life expectancy at 77 years, the question so many of us, continue to ask is: exactly how (in this modern world) do we retain our youthful radiance and maintain productivity to a good old age?Studies have shown that the best prevention against aging is through promoting health and fitness of body, mind and spirit. So here are a few tips for anti-aging and habits that are sure to promote the health and fitness of your body, mind and spirit.Healthy eating: it’s very important to eat well for your health

Limit intake of foods that are hard to digest and avoid processed foods
Keep yourself re-hydrated as your body depends on your water intake to function well
Eat more fish, fruits and vegetables which are rich in the vitamins and minerals essential for boosting the immune system, sustaining good vision, preventing disease and eliminating toxins
Minimise intake of salt and sugars which tend to cause and aggravate blood pressure, chronic disease and metabolic disorders
Outdoor/physical exercise: physical activity is essential for overall well-being

Get some sunshine in your life – medical experts agree that the sun stimulates the brain to release a very important feel good hormone for your body, known as Serotonin
Outdoor activity also keeps you connected with the world around you and is great for engaging your body and mind
Get a breadth of fresh air – why not take regular countryside breaks, particularly if you live and work in a polluted, congested, high pressure city
Get involved in endurance sports such as walking, climbing, cycling, as this will keep your body and mind strong
To ease muscle tension as well as minimise falls and sports injuries, do regular stretches and other floor exercises
Relaxation: there is nothing that ages young and healthy individuals faster than stress

Take some time out of your busy schedule, just for yourself, to do something creative and enriching
Developing faith and a prayer life are important for keeping your mind at peace even amidst the challenges of life
Popular eastern practices such as meditation (yoga) and tai chi are also great tools to help develop awareness and balance of body, mind and spirit.
Social life: we are social beings, created for and performing best in the company of others

Get out there and meet new people, share your experiences and learn from others
Make time for loved ones, be encouraging and make a positive contribution in someone else’s life
Get inspired and challenged by others as you get yourself involved in groups, clubs and societies that are of interest to you
Mental activity: a strong and capable mind is an asset worth protecting and developing

Having a positive attitude towards life (reflected both in your words and thoughts) is a key requirement for a healthy spirit and a strong mind
Take the time to dream, plan, prepare and set goals for your life, no matter your age. It gives hope and encouragement for tomorrow
Instead of resisting change, embrace new opportunities and challenges; read widely and learn new skills- life is a journey, not perfect but rewarding
Life is as big and liberating or as small and stifling as you make it out to be. Having a positive mindset and developing healthy habits for your body mind and spirit are essential for anti-aging, sustaining good health and retaining youthful radiance, whatever your age.

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Learn Digital Photography – Top Seven Tips For Beginners

When I discovered digital photography after years as a film photographer I wanted to get the best possible camera and other equipment. But, equipment was really the last thing that should have been on my list besides a camera of reasonable quality. What I really needed was to learn the fundamentals of photography. Good photographers take good pictures not cameras.The first thing that any budding photographer needs to learn are the fundamentals of photography starting with the basics. Get these under your belt quickly and you have already won half the battle. So, what needs to happen to get you going as a beginner with your first digital camera? Let’s take a look at my top seven.1. EquipmentIt’s not all about equipment. Don’t go rushing out to buy expensive equipment without knowing what you need. A keen sales person will sell you as far as your wallet or credit card will take you. Wait until you know what you need and what you like and match these desires with the right equipment.2. Decide on the type of shots you’d like to shootA good idea is to browse the internet photo galleries, look in magazines or visit your local library to get an idea of what type of photo you really like. Try it out with your camera and see if you are able to, or, want to persevere until you can. Once you’ve made a list plan to go out and shoot on a regular basis. It’s practise that makes perfect. Stick to it until you master your genre. Only then start looking for the equipment to match your area of interest.3. Decide on a structured learning planFind out what you’d like to learn and what you need to learn in order to shoot the type of photos that interest you. For example, macro and nature photography is a more specialised art form and there are a number of techniques and skills to learn, as well as equipment you’ll need to buy. Research it on the internet, read books and if possible take a course on macro or close up photography. 4. Take photos oftenIf you are not regularly shooting images you are not going to grow in your skills and abilities. Set yourself assignments based on what you are studying. Of course, in a structured course you will be given assignments. A photo a day keeps the creativity flowing and helps you to keep motivated. I did an assignment once taking a 100 photos of the same subject from a host of different angles. It gave my photography an unexpected boost.5. Learn your camera’s settingsGetting to know your camera is paramount if you want to learn to take great photos and the best way to do this is by reading your manual. Like I should be telling you this. I am the last one who reads a manual. But, if you do it in a structured way you’ll be amazed at how quickly you get to know your camera. The way I did it was to go through the manual highlighting everything I already knew about it. Then I went back through the manual reading up on each section I didn’t know, practising as I went along. Once I got to know it I was amazed at how much more I could do with my camera. The key is to experiment.6. Keep your camera with youTake every opportunity to get a great shot. Whenever you see something that would make a great photo, shoot it. I have often wished that I had taken my camera with me and got an amazing shot. If you don’t have it with you, you won’t get the shot7. Buy a tripodBesides my camera, my tripod is the most important piece of kit in my equipment bag. There are shots you can only get if your camera is steady. The sharpness of your shots will improve dramatically. If the pros use them then why not the amateurs? As you begin your photography journey, work at learning in a structured way so that the fundamentals of photography become second nature. Photography should be fun but your learning process needs to be serious. Happy shooting!

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A Home Insurance Policy Can Be Found From the Comfort of Your Home

Gone are the days when the only option to take out home insurance was found on the high street. Today you can search for a UK home insurance policy right from the comfort of your own home. Not only this but you have access to a wide range of top insurance providers right here in the UK with which to compare for the best deal and price. By going with a specialist broker you will have access to the key facts so that you are able to compare them which would tell you what would and would not be protected on your home insurance.When considering a UK home insurance policy thought has to be given to the types of home insurance. If you are buying a home the mortgage lender will ask that you take out buildings insurance. This is to cover the outer shell of the home in case the worst should happen and you had to rebuild the property from scratch. It would also protect any items in the home that were none removal such as a fitted kitchen and bathroom fitments. Any outer buildings would also be protected and such items as garden and patio furniture. You would have to find out how much your home would be worth before taking the insurance so you know how much to insure. When coming to this figure you would also need to include how much it would cost to remove the rubble if your home was totally destroyed.Another type of home insurance policy that is not compulsory but which makes a lot of sense to take out is contents insurance. This type protects the contents of the home which would generally include any items that you would take with you if you should move. You would need to take insurance to replace everything in your home if it was totally destroyed, for example as the result of a fire. Therefore it is a good idea to go around the home and jot down the cost of all items. Do not forget items such as the wardrobe, drawers, and cupboards and in the loft. Even the smallest of items soon as up when all counted in together. While you want to insure for enough, you do not want to over insure, as this will mean you are paying for insurance that you do not need.There are many ways you can make savings on a UK home insurance policy. Installing fire alarms and burglar alarms can go a long way to keeping the costs of your insurance premiums down to the minimum. Erecting fencing and shrubbery around the home can also help to keep the cost down. However do not necessarily go for the cheapest insurance cover. It is important to check that the policy you are considering does include the insurance you need. For instance if you live in an area that is at a high risk then ensure that flood damage is included in your home insurance for both buildings and contents. While it might boost up your premiums, without it if you should make a claim it could cost you thousands of pounds.

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How You Can Benefit From an Automotive Guest Post

Do you fancy blogging about cars? If yes, it is pretty obvious that you would love to let other car enthusiasts about your blog. You cannot just imagine how fulfilling it would be to let others read about all the information you share on your blog.What should you do to promote your blog? Well there are a lot of options. The only problem is that any blog promotion almost always involves a payment. If you are on a tight budget and is quite wary about the effectiveness of an online marketing promotion, you have the option to do it on your own, for free.How?Learn about the automotive guest post. If a site is known to have thousands of site visits from car enthusiasts like you, participating in such a community will surely give you an instant exposure. You can expect for automotive backlinks once you will place an automotive guest post on the site.You can write everything about cars, designs, features, accessories or anything that interests you and the car lovers. Or if your business involves cars, you can use your posts to invite people into checking your products and services.What is best with having automotive backlinks through this method is that the service is free. As long as you contribute original and impeccably written content for the site, you are assured of a better exposure on the site and the whole community. You can consider it as free advertising which means a lot of savings intended for marketing efforts. Those automotive backlinks will make great improvements for your site stats and help you rank better on search engines.Other than promoting your business, the primary importance of joining in this kind of service is that you are able to contribute to the growing number of car enthusiasts all over. You get to share your knowledge about cars. You have the chance to help those who are looking for particular information.On the other hand, you also get to gain a lot from this service. First, you will have you marketing needs taken care of. Second, you are able to project a potential increase in sales for your products and services. Third, you have a ready avenue to share your articles. And lastly, you also get to learn from other people who also share information about cars. It is a mutually beneficial avenue that will keep the community of car enthusiasts alive.All you need to do is fill up your blog and prep it well so that once your guests start to pour in, you will have plenty to offer them. You can start to display an automotive guest post on the site so that other members and site visitors will notice you. Make sure to have a well- written article for your first post so that you will create a positive impact and will make the readers ask for more from you. The more informative your posts are the better as more people will want to read everything that you contribute.

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Impacts of Globalization on Accounting Education

Globalization is becoming inevitable within the business world, however many do not realize how globalization not only affects those already involved, but those studying to be apart of it. For over 75 years, the United States of America has been using GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) as their standards or rules they have to follow, therefore their students are being taught accounting using GAAP (Scanlan). On the other hand many other countries use IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), so then their students are being taught accounting using IFRS. Therefore globalization has a huge impact on the education of accounting students (Nolan).Surprisingly, many people still do not support globalization even though it creates many job opportunities for international and U.S. students. These people are afraid that jobs will be offered to more international students thus making our unemployment rate to go up. With the U.S. using GAAP and most other countries using IFRS this makes it difficult for international students to get jobs here over U.S. students. On the other hand, it will be just as difficult for U.S. students to get jobs in varying countries. This is an issue that should not be ignored. No matter which way you look at it, globalization is affecting the accounting world, especially the accounting education world.Accounting education is changing everyday, from required courses to updated textbooks. An important issue to take note of is the fact that U.S. students are being taught GAAP, while students from other countries are being taught IFRS. Over 100 countries are using IFRS, with globalization becoming more likely, this imposes and unfair difficulty on students (Scanlon). It is significantly more difficult for U.S. students to get jobs in other countries and vice versa, due to the differing standards. The two standards being used has been an issue for quite some time now. In 2002 Robert K. Herdman, Chief Accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, gave an interview in which he talked about the two standards and heard from issuers and others about the requirements to access the U.S. markets; which they stated that having two makes it difficult for users to understand (Herdman). It becomes even more difficult when the results of their operations showed different results under GAAP and IFRS, yet both standards are technically correct. This makes it difficult on deciding which standard should be used globally.The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that the United States will attempt to abandon the use of GAAP and move towards using IFRS. This will solve the issue of having two ‘correct’ standards yielding different results. However, there are still many difficulties that will come with the shift from GAAP to IFRS. To start with, current accounting students will be majorly impacted by this change. Since they have been taught GAAP since they started their accounting education they will have to become familiar with an entirely new set of rules and regulations. New textbooks are going to have to be made and new courses are going to be required. This could lead to an extended amount of time in school, which ultimately leads to spending more money on the courses and new textbooks. However, not only will accounting students be affected drastically by this switch from GAAP to IFRS but the switch will also drastically affect professors and accountants (Scanlon).Professors will need to be updated and educated on the rules and regulations of IFRS. Also, since more classes will have to be added, this could mean professors will have more classes to teach. They, themselves, will also be required to take courses on IFRS so they know it well enough to be able to teach it to students. This could be a huge inconvenience since they already went through school and earned their degree and now they have to go back. Current accountants may also need to enroll in courses about IFRS so they can implement the changes needed to continue to successful (Scanlon).Globalization helped the United States realize the change that is much needed. Although the changes are both negative and positive, once the United States adopts IFRS problems of differing results due to different standards will be eliminated (Nolan). Also, students will not have to worry about not being able to get job in other countries. Even though it is an inconvenience for current students, professors and accountants it will make things easier in the long run and they will gain more knowledge (Scanlon).References:Herdman, Robert K. “Speech by SEC Staff: Moving Toward the Globalization of Accounting Standards.” SEC Speech: Moving Toward the Globalization of Accounting Standards (R. Herdman). N.p., 29 Apr. 2002. Web. 07 Apr. 2015.Nolan, Jessica. “Globalization’s Impact on Accounting Education.” EzineArticles. N.p., 18 Nov. 2010. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.Scanlan, Bill. “Globalization’s Impact on Accounting Education.”, 09 Nov. 2011. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

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Google Local Business Listings – Techniques to Show Up 1st

Everyone is talking about the power of Google Local Business Listings and what it can do for your business regardless of what type of business you own or operate. With Google getting over 70% of all searches on a monthly basis can anyone actually afford not to pay attention to Google Local Business Listings to increase business without breaking the bank.Search Engine Marketing Techniques
You need to what you are doing when adding your business on Google.
You must understand the basic SEO techniques in order to maximize results
You must use the proper keywords and or categories for your business during the sign up process other wise you are never going to show up.
You Must add Pictures To Your Listing
If you have a Video about your business that is always a plus.
Set up your Hours of Operation so that customers know when you are open for business
Customer Reviews, This is the biggest factor when customers see your listing and it does have a weight on results from what we are noticing in searches.
If you have a website add a link from your website back to the Google Local Listing so customers can see both.

Google Guidelines to pay attention to:
Do Not Try and spam with multiple Google Listings with the same phone number ( It Does Not Work )
No matter how many Businesses You own only 1 Address per business ( Do not Use The Same Address for all of your businesses.
Have a Unique Phone Number For Each Listing and Unique Business Address to be successful

There are many other factors and techniques to making your Google Local Map Listing jump to the top of the search results and it comes down to making changes from time to time to see what works best. Google is getting smart with how they rank a listing and we will never know exactly what is the best way to achieve First Page Google Listings other than trying out different tactics that will not get you spammed from Google.We have tried many ways to achieve 1st Page Rankings on Google Local Searches and with most of them working and sometimes they did not work we went back to making small changes to see what factors have the highest weight with Google to make sure the next time when setting up a new Google Local Business Listing for a new client we want to make sure they show up on the first page of Google quickly and stay there for a long time to come.Trying to stay on the first page of Google is like trying to keep your body in shape, you must work out on a regular basis to achieve the goal and the body you have always wanted. SEO is constantly changing and Google changes with it as well, One day Google may rank your website in the top 5 and next week you could be number 11-15. The only way to avoid this is to always update your website with new information in order to show Google you are still alive and kicking.

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How To Optimize Google My Business Listing To (Generate Sales)

20% of your local optimization efforts will give you 80% of your results.Wondering how?With Google My Business.Google My Business (GMB): A free listing of your business’ operating information, reviews, posts, images and much more.Google My BusinessMost of the people you’d come across; consider GMB as just another place to display information about the business.But that’s not true!If you haven’t used Google My Business to its core, you are leaving money on the table.If used correctly, Google My Business is such a powerful tool that can bring you more and more business!How?Here it is…1) Ensure The Information Is Complete And Consistent
Don’t let your audience guess or assume about you. Make sure your listing details communicate enough facts. Try to provide as much information as GMB asks for.If you’ve just entered NAP (Name, Address, Phone) on your listing and waiting for wonders to happen, then let me tell you, this is a complete waste of your time.Also,Ensure the information you’ve entered on the listing is EXACTLY THE SAME as on your website.Inconsistencies in the information will negatively impact your search ranking.Google-my-business22) Verify Your Listing (If You Haven’t Done It Yet)
This is the key to unlock all the GMB features.To verify your listing, you’ll be required to submit a code that is sent to your business address.If you’re expecting some business through GMB, it is highly important to verify your business. With so many fake business registrations every day, a user would not prefer to make a purchase from an unverified listing.After verification, you’ll need to keep an eye on the inbox associated with your Google My Business Listing, for any emails from Google. Google may unverify any listing if it determines that the account is inactive for a significant duration of time.3) Google My Business Descriptions ARE BACK!
Google My Business had descriptions back in 2015-2016. They were suddenly gone and since then businesses had no descriptions; which left the users assuming your products and services.Well, the good news is…Business Descriptions are back!With Google My Business descriptions, you have the chance to describe your business to your audience and explain what makes you different from your competitors.Google My Business Descriptions come with a character limit of 750. So, you can get your message conveyed to the people and simultaneously optimize the listing by using relevant keywords.Optimize Google My Business4) Get More And More Reviews (And Respond To Them)
As described by Neil Patel in one of his articles,Good reviews = sales. More good reviews = more sales.90% of people read reviews before purchasing because everybody likes the second opinion.Ask your customers to review your business. But just gathering reviews won’t help. You need to acknowledge them.All of them!The positive ones, the negatives, the neutrals.5) Update Your Business Hours And Payment Options
Make sure your business operating hours are accurate. Update your working hours for any special events. Make sure that you don’t lose any customer because of incorrectly listed business hours.Also, update your listing for any changes in the payment options.Also read: 7 Reasons Why Businesses Need To Invest In SEO 20186) Choose Best Google My Business Category For Your Business
Be specific while picking a category for your business. Consider your targeted keywords.Be careful though. Don’t stuff your listing with keywords.Remember to be specific. Don’t put “Cosmetology” if you run a “Nail Salon.”7) Pictures, Pictures, And More Pictures
Pictures speak volume!According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps.Adding photos of your business is a great way to let your customers get a “behind-the-scenes” look at what your company is all about… AND it can go a long way in promoting your business.People don’t want to see stock images but the real face of your business – who you are, what you do and where you’re located.The most important image in your GMB listing that gets the most exposure and has the most impact, is your ‘Profile Picture’.However, the cover image is also of paramount importance, as it shows up front and center on your listing. You can also add other pictures based on the business you operate in; this might include pictures of interior and exterior of the business, goods and/or services your business, your staff or employees or any other picture that can summarize or describe your business.8) Google My Business Videos
You can also add videos. Videos must be:30 seconds or shorter
100 MB or smaller
720p resolution or higher
Unlike images, videos are not a ‘must have’. However, adding one will make you stand out among other businesses.Creating a video will not take you any extra equipment or any video editing software. Just pick up your smartphone; take, save and share the video. This video must be taken at your location. Any commercials or advertising videos will be removed.9) Add Posts To Share Business Updates
Google launched its ‘POST’ feature on all businesses in 2017. With this feature, you can post updates and offers to your listing. You can advertise the latest offers, share updates about new products/services or any special event for free.Google Posts allows you to add text, photos, gifs, and even call-to-action buttons like ‘Buy’, ‘Sign Up’, ‘Learn More’, ‘Get Offer, ‘Reserve’, etc.You can create posts only after you’ve verified your Google My Business Account.However, Google My Business Posts disappear after seven days unless you set a shorter time frame. So, be time specific while crafting the post.Conclusion:
Google My Business presents your business information to potential prospects. It gives you an opportunity to interact with your customers.Not optimizing your Google My Business listing is like not opening door to a customer knocking at your door.It’s an opportunity!Local SEO takes time but can give you a big payoff. On the top of everything, it’s FREE!If you need any help with your Local SEO or wish to optimize your Google My Business Listing, you can contact us.

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Google Local Business Center – 5 Reasons You Must Put the Power of Google Behind Your Local Business

The Google Local Business Center is a tool that enables business owners to more effectively connect with customers searching on Google for information about local business. It puts business owners in control of their business listings and helps them to provide information about their businesses that is authoritative, helpful, and, timely.The Local Business Center (LBC) is even useful for businesses that do not have Websites as Google’s LBC makes it possible for them to use the local business listing as their presence on the Web.Signing up for an account with the LBC – and adding or claiming your local business listing – should be a top priority for your business for five key reasons:1- Your Customers and Competitors’ Customers Search Google to find Local BusinessesThe Google Local Business search engine – which you can find at either or (maps is, by far, the more popular of the two) – gets an average of more than 50 million unique visitors every month.That’s a lot of people searching every month for, among other things, local businesses to buy from.And although it’s advisable to sign up for local business accounts at Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines, a Google Local Business account should be your immediate priority because Google is the runaway leader in local business search market share, with more than double the local business search market share of,, and combined.Please note that all links, images and videos can be found on the author’s Website – the address for which appears in the Resource Box of this article.Of course, in spite of Google’s best efforts to promote the LBC – and the utilization of – there are many millions of people who still use the Website, even when searching for local business information. And, as you’ll learn in the next section, that gives local businesses an opportunity to capture some space at the top of Google’s “traditional” Web search results.2- A Google Local Business Listing Can Take You to the Top of GoogleGoogle’s launch of universal search in May 2007 meant that content from Google Images, Google Local/Maps, Google Video, and so forth could be integrated into its “traditional” Web search results pages.This means that Google can – and often does – serve up local business listings as part of the Web search results even if location is not specified (it appears that Google’s search algorithm is able to detect “local intent”).It’s increasingly common to find Google local business listings on the first page of search results – often at the top – as the “Google Local Business Seven-Pack” (a reference, obviously, to the fact that Google displays the top seven local business search results in a cluster of seven).Alternatively, Google may display a search query box at the top of the search results page that asks searchers: Looking for local results for keyword?Either way, a Google Local Business listing can put a business on the fast-track to a coveted position at the top of Google’s search results that may have been impossible to capture otherwise.3 – People Who Search Google for Local Businesses Take ActionA Google-sponsored, study that looked at the importance of search in influencing offline buying behaviour found that 25% of searchers purchased an item directly related to their search queries, and that, of those buyers, 37% completed their purchases online while an even greater 63% completed their purchases offline following their search activity.The study results underscore the fact that a Google Local Business listing is not only effective at driving traffic but, more importantly, it is effective at driving traffic that converts.4 – The Advent of Google Local Search for MobileAs they continue to become more sophisticated and the browsing experience continues to improve, access to the Internet via mobile phones will continue to rise. In fact, Gartner predicts that access to the Internet via mobile devices will overtake PCs by 2013.Google has clearly understood for a long time the synergy between local search and the mobile Web, as some key developments suggest:· Google’s July 2005 acquisition of Android Inc, a manufacturer of software for mobile phones (which started triggered speculation that Google was looking to dive into the mobile phone market; the acquisition also eventually led to the development of the Android mobile operating system)· Google’s September 2009 launch of an improved Local Search for Mobile allows users to, among other things, “star” search results on their PCs and have them automatically appear on their mobile phones; it also allows users to search by browsing local business categories without typing (the video on the author’s Website offers a brief introduction to the functionality of Google Local Search for Mobile)· Google’s November 2009 $750 million acquisition of mobile advertising company AdMob (on the heels of a five-fold increase in mobile search traffic over the previous two years)· Google’s December 2009 distribution of Favourite Places decals to more 100,000 of the most sought-out and searched US businesses on and (see the video on the author’s Website for details on Favourite Places)· Google’s January 2010 entry into the mobile phone market that finally ended years of speculation about Google’s plans for the mobile phone marketNaturally, Google will continue to innovate in both the local search space and in the mobile web search space. The key takeaway is that the businesses that get on board early will be the ones to reap the greatest rewards. And it all takes to get on board is to visit the Google LBC and claim or add your local business listing.5 – The Google LBC is Easy to Use and It’s FreeIf you’ve already got a Google account, you can simply sign in to the Google LBC and get started right away. If you don’t have a Google account, all you have to do is sign up for one (you can sign up on the LBC sign-in page).The video on the author’s Website offers a brief walk through of the easy process for signing into the Google LBC and claiming (or adding) your local business listing.As Google continues to promote local search, usage of local search by consumers will only increase. And considering that consumers who employ local search are buyers, don’t you think that you should sign up for Google’s LBC and get your local listing working for your business today?

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Things to Ask When Interviewing a Project Manager – Overview

So you’re about to start a major project. And you’ve decided that you can’t get this done without a project manager. Maybe there’s too much risk with the project or maybe the project involves too many items to provide control. For whatever reasons, you’ve decided that you need to use a project manager — a PM — to manage the project. There’s just one minor problem.You don’t have one.So you need to go out and hire one. Cool. There’s only one problem. You’ve heard the term. You’ve got a rough idea of what one does. But interviewing? How are you going to come up with a list of questions to ask?Not to worry, in this article, I’m going to guide you in the things to ask when interviewing a project manager. I’m not going to give you the exact questions. I’ll leave that for later articles. However, I’ll guide you along to some of the questions you should ask.The questions you need to ask fall into six categories.1. What do you really want?You didn’t realize that you would have to answer the first set of questions, did you? The sad truth is that most hiring managers don’t really understand what they’re looking for when they hire a PM. I’ve seen ads for Project Directors which asked for current hands-on programming skills. When was the last time you saw any VP level or C level executive with current skills in their discipline. That’s not what they do.You need to start by asking yourself what level of person you are trying to hire. Are you looking for a lead hand — meaning a working supervisor? Or are you looking for a senior manager who will co-ordinate the work of multiple managers and their teams? Or a senior executive who will co-ordinate and advise other senior executives?Once you’ve answered that question, then and only then can you begin to answer the tools and skills questions. What skills are really needed? What skills can be developed on the job? What skills are someone else’s problem? What project management tools will the new person need? As you go through the list always ask yourself two questions. First, “Do I really need this?” Is there an alternative or can the project manager learn it after arrival? Remember the more senior the project manager the faster they will be able to learn. Second, always ask, “Would I expect someone of this level to have these skills if I wasn’t hiring a project manager?” Hiring a VP of Finance or any senior manager based on their ability to do the bookkeeper’s job isn’t very smart.2. What are you offering?Once you’ve decided on what you really need you should have an idea of what a person of that level will want. In salary, working conditions and other conditions. What would you do if you were hiring a regular manager at that level?Pay is only part of the equation. But it’s one part that’s frequently done wrong. Don’t forget that the calculation of pay rate for an hourly employee is different from the calculation of fair pay for a contractor or consultant.3. QualificationsOnce you’ve determined the type of person you need to hire you can decide what qualifications really matter. After all, if you’re hiring a lead hand asking for a PMP is somewhat overkill. Don’t forget that qualifications like the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation often have experience requirements. Asking for a PMP with less than five years of experience will eliminate 100% of the honest people in the world. And asking for a certification in a programming language from a VP level manager is just plain silly.4. ToolsThere are three sets of tools that a project manager may need to bring. Focusing on the wrong tools is as bad as focusing on the wrong qualifications.The first are the tools that a PM uses to be a project manager. Things like work breakdown structures, risk management, and communications management. If you have an area of concern for the project, (e.g. it’s very risky or it involves delicate relations with stakeholders), you are going to have to ask a direct question about that area. Any qualified project manager will have experience in that area so it may not show in the resume. And the extent of their experience definitely will not show.The second are the tools that a project manager uses to perform their tasks efficiently. Tools like MS Project or MS Word. Again, these are standard tools so they may not show on the resume.Finally, are those tools which are unique to the project in question. For example, if you are installing Quickbooks you may be tempted to ask for experience in Quickbooks. Be careful with these tools. Depending on the level of project manager that question may reject the candidate with the best skills for the job. Generally, knowledge about these tools is needed in the people working for the PM. That’s why the title is project manager.5. Processes, standards and fitting inDo you have your own project management process or do you expect the project manager to bring and apply theirs? Many project management consultants are used to quickly assessing your methodology and then supplementing it where their own process is stronger. Others simply adopt yours. Either can be acceptable but you need to ensure that your candidate is capable of fitting into your organization.6. SkillsThe most important questions relate to the soft skills that a project manager brings to the table. And unfortunately, they don’t reliably show up on a resume. Your initial decision regarding the level of project manager you need will determine the level of soft skills you need. Asking a lead hand or first level supervisor to have CEO level presentation skills is not likely to result in a successful search. Equally asking a C-level project manager to have the detailed oriented nature of a programmer will also not lead to a successful search.

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Crafting a Successful B2B Marketing Strategy

For many B2B marketers, the traditional marketing funnel that motivates prospects to self-identify and then move to a sales funnel, is ingrained in our minds. However, in the Age of the Customer, Forrester Research’s phrase for a customer-driven marketing landscape, the funnel has evolved to reflect a new customer expectation requiring sales and marketing to work in tandem.With this in mind, B2B marketers must evaluate how their current B2B marketing strategy is aligned with the psychology of their buyer journey. In other words, B2B marketers must know how to craft a marketing strategy based on the predominance of the customer.So, we have outlined a series of steps to follow when crafting a customer-centric B2B marketing strategy. Ask yourself and your team, “have we checked the following boxes when crafting our B2B marketing strategy?”IDENTIFY TARGET PERSONAS IN YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGYGoing through the exercise to develop personas based on market and customer research is fundamental to understanding not only who is your audience but how to engage them in the buyer journey. Incorporating marketing personas makes websites two to five times more effective and easier to use by targeted users. However, only 44% of B2B marketers use buyer personas. So, ensure your B2B marketing strategy includes persona-based experiences that moves buyers forward in their journey with your brand.MAP A PERSONA-BASED CUSTOMER JOURNEY TO DRIVE YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGYBuilding out your influencer and decision personas to understand your target audience is only part of the process of laying a customer-centric foundation for your strategy. Next is to map the touch points of your buyer journey through all buyer stages. In order to close the loop from awareness to revenue it’s critical to know the touch points along the journey that are motivators and detractors in order to influence all parts of the customer experience. When developing your B2B marketing strategy answer the following, “How do I craft a strategy with the framework that aligns with your customer’s journey to gain clarity and define priority?”DEFINE AND MEASURE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY GOALS & METRICSPerhaps a no-brainer for a data-driven B2B marketer is clearly-defined metrics for success. With a heightened emphasis on personalization and customer experience (CX), B2B marketing goals and metrics must be established to measure the success of the marketing efforts supporting a customer’s progression through the buyer journey. Your B2B marketing strategy must outline how it will create direct contribution to revenue with a return and fuel high growth.A recent case study example from one of our technology platform and services clients is Viewpointe, a leading private cloud managed services provider. Viewpointe was challenged with continuing to engage customers over the course of a 6+ month sales cycle. After clearly defining their B2B marketing goals, they aligned their content marketing plan with their persona-based customer journey. As a result, Viewpointe stayed engaged with their customers throughout the buyer journey and closed more deals. One way Viewpointe measured customer engagement lift was a 52% increase in persona aligned website content and 164% increase in blog content engagement from organic search referrals.YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY INCORPORATES ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS WITH SALESReferring back to our earlier customer funnel illustration, the traditional hand-off from marketing to sales, with no feedback loop when a lead is “flipped over the fence to sales”, causing misalignment between B2B marketing and sales teams. In fact, 25% of B2B marketers have no idea what is their customer conversion rate. In the Age of the Customer, your marketing strategy should outline how to rip out the proverbial fence and instead encourage inter-team collaboration. Ensuring this marketing and sales alignment is crucial to creating a consistent customer experience along a buyer’s journey. Being intentional about sharing insights between teams is one way to encourage broad acceptance of a successful B2B marketing strategy execution.YOUR NEXT STEPWith only 45% of B2B marketers confident that they have decent, if not high, levels of customer centricity, the time to is now to author your new B2B marketing strategy that elevates you above your competition.

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