Investment Guides for Experts of All Levels

Come by June 10th and find out How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1. This is a small business series.

Join Connecting Atlanta on LinkedIn and Facebook.

As small to medium size business owners many times we are only thinking about investing in our businesses, our family and our fun, however, we truly need to diversify our income. When we are ready to slow down the pace during our best years we need to create ways to bring in various streams of income. Some of the ways we can do this is through real estate (rental properties), investments, affiliates, and other businesses you may invest in where you are the silent partner and others are responsible for making the business grow.

Here is a great guide for experts of all levels by Clark Howard.

Jacqueline H. Waller
Jacqueline

Jacqueline Waller, the ATL Connector is the Founder/President of Connecting Atlanta. Ms. Waller, a sales and marketing professional with nearly 20 years of experience, has assisted numerous businesses in meeting goals and objectives for their revenue, market share and profits. She also believes in the power of your ‘network is your net worth’, being a social butterfly, she has connected with hundreds of people whom she has brought into Connecting Atlanta where they have launched their businesses, moved from struggling into sustainability and provided opportunities for others to connect to build! Her background extends from collections, finance, underwriting, and information technology.

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The Small Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 2

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Me, Jason Bourne (and you)Solution Provider

Email marketing is the Jason Bourne of online marketing: somebody’s always trying to kill it. It can’t be done.

Well, Jason Bourne and I have something in common.  I’m a killer too, just with email marketing strategy as a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert.

No, it doesn’t mean I have guns and knives and physical combat experience!  That’s not what an email marketing strategist is all about. It’s about using the right tools and techniques to craft and deliver your email marketing campaigns.

When I was first introduced to Constant Contact I was simply overwhelmed and struggled trying to use the tool. It was difficult.  I didn’t know where to start and so I didn’t use it, even though I was paying for it.

So, what about you? Have you ever had a tool that could be very useful in growing your business but it was too complicated to use? Well Constant Contact is not that complicated, especially when you have an expert like Lisa Ann Landry to hold your hand. Lisa Laundry

Despite various innovative ways of marketing including social media, mobile apps, digital marketing and so much more, email marketing still remains the number one way for businesses, organizations, & marketers to keep in touch with their consumers, members and clients.

Yet, we know that not everyone is a marketer and that not everyone has experience with email marketing. Would you like to learn How to Create Stand-Out Subject Lines and Creative Content in the Small Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 2

– Create engaging subject lines

– Research subject lines with an online tool to increase engagement

– Create calls to action to drive action

– Designing the body of your message

– Using video, pictures, and buttons

– Sharing on your social site

We will go through a series of discussions, activities and demonstration. Lisa Ann will show you exactly how easy it is to use your new account to help you produce engaging and effective emails, in less time but that produce actual results for your organization.

On July 22, 2017 Connecting in Atlanta and Paradigm Shifts Training and Development are hosting the Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 2. It is a few hours of immersion for you to focus on your business. Would you like to join me?

If so, please click the register button and I’ll send you all the information! Part 2

Can’t wait!

Lisa Ann Landry
Social Media Strategist
Lisa Ann Landry headshot1

The Small Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1

Join Connecting Atlanta on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Man funeral - cartoon

Email marketing is dead, right?

If that’s true why are there over 2.586 billion email users worldwide, including both business and consumer users?

You’re probably like me and check your emails several times a day on your smartphone. We’re not the only ones. At least weekly 72% of U.S. online adults send or receive personal emails via smartphone.

No e-mail marketing is not dead. Are you convinced yet? Maybe this is more persuasive. Marketers consistently rank email as the single-most-effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. Likely that’s because email is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.

E-mail Marketing’s ROI  Pig with money - cartoon

Maybe you’re thinking you can’t afford an email marketing service. The ROI of email marketing is that for every dollar spent in 2014 was $24.93 and today its $41. Additionally, the ROI is almost double that of search advertising and better than any other direct marketing channel.

Why don’t you come learn how to put e-mail marketing to use? You’re invited to join Lisa Ann Landry so that you can Learn How to be Unstoppable with Email Marketing. I’ll be demonstrating using the Constant Contact email service provider but the strategies you learn can be applied to any of your e-mail campaigns.

A Live Demonstration 

In the presentation you see a live, guided demonstration on the tools and features inside Constant Contact. In this time-efficient, highly practical 2-hour session, you will learn the basics so you can get going with your own marketing campaigns.

It’s a relaxed, friendly educational session – bring your questions!

Wondering if this is right for you?

Question mark - cartoon

This 2- hour seminar is suitable for anyone new to Email Marketing, new to Constant Contact, or who just wants a hand learning how to use our products.

On June 10, 2017, I am delivering training hosted by Paradigm Shifts Training and Development and Connecting Atlanta. It’s The Small Business Series: How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1 a two-hour program for you to focus on your business and how email marketing fits in. It’s a few hours of immersion for you to focus on your business. Bring your laptop! Here’s a Constant Contact link to get signed up with your account.

Due to the deep nature of the work, there are only 20 spaces available. (They’ll fill up fast.)

Would you like to join me?

If so, please click the register button and I’ll send you all the information!

Can’t wait!

P.S. If you know a friend who has been confiding in you that they are ready to get clarity about email marketing tools such as Constant Contact – then you have my full permission to forward this email to them. I’ll take great care of them!

Lisa Ann Landry
Social Media Strategist

Lisa Ann Landry headshot1

The Founder of LinkedIn Says Too Many of Us Are Using the Site All Wrong

Come by June 10th and find out How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1. This is a small business series.

Join Connecting Atlanta on LinkedIn and Facebook.

While it could seem natural to decline a Facebook friend request from a stranger, the dynamic on LinkedIn is much different.

If you use LinkedIn, you’ve undoubtedly received invitations to connect with people you’ve never met or may never meet in your life.

The more you stay on the site and the more you gain prominence in your field, the more requests from strangers you’ll get.

And while it could seem natural to decline a Facebook friend request from a stranger because you don’t want to give them access to your personal information and photos, the dynamic on LinkedIn is much different.

You may think that because it’s a social network for professionals, you should accept all invitations and see which of them stick.

It’s the approach that Keith Ferrazzi, the author of Never Eat Alone and a management consultant to Fortune 100 companies, took for years. Not long ago, Ferrazzi wrote in the 2014 updated edition of his best-selling career guide that he had the privilege of meeting LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Hoffman, and discussing the site with him.

“‘You’re doing it all wrong, Keith!’ That is, in essence, what Reid Hoffman told me when I told him how I was using LinkedIn,” Ferrazzi writes.

Here’s the gist of what Hoffman told him, as written in Never Eat Alone (emphasis ours):

“LinkedIn is a closed network, and for a very simple reason: For the network to have value as an introduction tool, the connections need to have meaning. It’s up to you to vet each and every request so that if someone comes to you and says, ‘Would you introduce me?’ you’re in a position to evaluate whether the connection would be of mutual benefit.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

RICHARD FELONI
Richard Feloni is a strategy reporter at Business Insider. Richard joined BI in Oct. 2013 and covered the ad industry up through the Super Bowl. He previously reported in Brooklyn and wrote for alt-weeklys and newspapers in Boston, his home… Read more.

Entrepreneurs, Beware This Terrible Way of Networking on Social Media

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There’s a trend emerging on social media. Someone you don’t know but who may be connected to some of your friends or your network sends you a friend request. Shortly after, they send you a private message or email telling you what they want from you.

Every single day, I get these type of friend requests and messages. Someone’s first interaction with me is to ask me to write about them or their company, or they want to pick my brain about how to book paid speaking and consulting gigs internationally. No “hello,” no small talk. They just get right to what they want and how it somehow benefits me.

This is a terrible way to network and will never make a connection with fellow entrepreneurs. Social media works a lot like real life. You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger, say “hello” and then try to kiss them. There are three things you should understand in regards to networking.

1. Lead with value.

Human nature is to focus on what we want and what will help us. Networking done right leads with value for the person you’re approaching.

I’m not going to give you the old-school advice to tell people you will work for free just to get their radar. It can be as simple as sharing a book suggestion or a helpful article that complements what that person has shared on social media. It’s not about a grand gesture, it’s about finding some way to approach that person with value.

Also, understand that trying to get them on the phone right away is too much. They don’t know you, a phone call right off the bat is not a great ask. Your asks should not exceed the realities of your relationship.

To read the rest of the article, click Entreprenuer.com.

Check out Connecting Atlanta for all of our up to date business workshops.

Written by:

KIMANZI CONSTABLE

3 Ridiculously Easy Hacks to Get People to Sign Up to Your Email List

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Have you ever changed the oil in your car?

It’s a pretty basic skill that surprisingly few people actually know how to do. If you do, you’ll most likely have used a funnel before.

The main idea behind a funnel is to cast a wide net that you can pour the viscous liquid into it without spilling it all over the engine block. The oil flows through the wide top end of the funnel and is neatly deposited into the narrow bottom end, filling your engine up so that the car runs smoothly.

In the internet marketing world, we also have funnels. Their purpose is to cast a wide net and find people across the web who might be interested in our material, then get those people to neatly file themselves into our email database so that we can provide them with valuable content, market to them and eventually make some money.

Getting people to opt-in.

Once a member of your audience has interacted with your content, it’s time to get them on your email list. This might seem challenging at first, but think about your own inbox. How many newsletters are you subscribed to?

The average person subscribes to anywhere between 20 and 30 free newsletters from a variety of businesses. Anything from a department store doing a semi-annual sale, to the Nissan dealership giving away insane deals on the 2018 Altima, to content-based emails about things that interest you.

At one point you weren’t receiving emails from that business…and now you are. How the hell does that happen?

In most cases, it people sign up to an email newsletter to get something for free. This is called an “opt-in,” and it’s your bread and butter if you want to build an online business — especially one that’s based on information products.

For the rest of the article, click here.

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Daniel DiPiazza is the founder of Rich20Something, where he teaches young people how to start businesses that they care about and live happier lives.

6 Ways That Small Businesses Can Use Snapchat to Increase Sales

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Most small business owners know about the power of social media – and it’s rare to find an entrepreneur who doesn’t have a Twitter account, and Instagram presence, or a Facebook page. However, there is one huge social media platform that’s often entirely overlooked by small businesses and their marketing teams – Snapchat.

Snapchat is a red-hot social marketing platform – there’s no denying it – and companies are beginning to capitalize on the audience provided by this fun photo-messaging app. More than 100 million users use Snapchat daily watching a staggering 10 billion videos on a typical day.

Clearly, marketing on Snapchat should be one of your priorities when it comes to promoting your business through social media platforms. But how should you use Snapchat to promote your business? We’re glad you asked! In this article, we’ll take a look at six simple ways that small businesses can use Snapchat to boost their brand awareness – and increase sales.

1. Use Snapchat for Flash Sales and Special Promotions

One of the best reasons to use Snapchat is how immediate it is. Snaps go away after you view them when you send them directly to another user – and even if you use the “My Story” functionality of the app, your story will disappear within 24 hours.

This means that people who use Snapchat a lot, check it every single day. Think about it – if they fail to check their snaps and Snapchat Stories at least once a day, they’ll totally miss out on whatever their friends – and followed brands – posted!

Because of this, Snapchat is a fantastic way to promote flash sales and special promotions that are time-sensitive. Your followers will be checking your story just about every day – so you can get a massive, immediate reach even for a sale that only lasts a day or less.

2. Promote Your Events with GeoFilters

Geofilters are an excellent way to promote events. Are you having a huge sale? Partner with a graphic designer to create a unique Geofilter that your loyal customers can use while shopping – by doing so, you provide your customers with the tools they need, to spread the word about your business.

If you do use Geofilters, make sure your customers know about them! They’re a fantastic word-of-mouth promotional tool, and if you provide them with a high-quality, memorable design, customers will be happy to use them.

So next time you have a sale, volunteer at a charitable event or are running a weekly special, consider buying a Geofilter for the occasion.

3. Give People an Inside Look at Your Business

People like feeling authentic connections with companies – and this is especially true with small businesses. That’s the primary benefit of a small business. You’re not a corporate conglomerate if you’re a small business owner – you’re a real, actual and authentic person.

Snapchat offers you an excellent way to express authenticity. You can show your true personality to customers, and give them an inside look at your business.

For example, if you run a small microbrewery, you could dedicate a Saturday to providing your followers with an inside look at your brewing facilities and your process. If you run a bike repair shop, you can show followers what the process is like to replace a bent wheel. If you run a bakery, you can show the process you use to bake cakes – the opportunities are endless.

Providing this kind of authentic, value-added content is an exceptional way to connect with your customers, drive brand loyalty, and increase sales.

For the rest of this great article please click here.

Be sure to attend our next workshop at the South Fulton Branch Library, 4055 Flat Shoals Road, Union City on How To Turn Your Contacts Into Contracts with Jacqueline H. Waller.

 

Changing Careers? Know Your Options

retirement

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What to do with your retirement funds when you change jobs or go into business full-time

There are many new challenges to face if you happen to be changing jobs or retiring – not the least of which is the decision of what to do with the retirement funds that have accumulated in your 401(k) and other retirement plans over the years of service with your employers. These decisions may have a significant impact on your future financial security in retirement.

Option 1) Your employer hands you a check for the amount in your retirement plan.
This may look like a bonanza, but selecting this option could be a mistake. First, your employer is required to withhold 20% from your lump sum distribution, so you will only receive 80%. Second, if you are younger than 59 1/2, you may be subject to a 10% additional federal income tax penalty for early withdrawal. Third, you are liable for paying income taxes on the full amount—if you fail to rollover the full amount of your funds, including the 20% that was withheld, into an IRA within 60 days.

Option 2) Leave the money with your old employer.
If you have more than $5000 in your former employer’s retirement plan, you can usually leave the money where it is. (Check with your employer.) The advantage of doing this is that it relieves you of making a decision for the time being while maintaining the tax deferral of your assets. The downside is that you are limited to the investment choices offered by your ex-employer—or even fewer choices, since some companies have additional restrictions for non-active employees. Additional disadvantages are that you cannot make new contributions to your account.

Option 3) Move your retirement money to your new employer.
This option only works if you are moving to another job. Even then, your new employer may not accept rollovers from a previous plan or may impose a waiting period. Also, the investment options offered by your new employer may not be as extensive as you want. The benefit is that you maintain your assets’ tax deferral and benefit from the convenience of having your assets in one place.

Option 4) Put the money into a traditional IRA Rollover.
By having your former employer’s retirement plan pay the IRA custodian directly, you avoid the 20% withholding or any penalties. There are numerous benefits to your own IRA Rollover: A potentially wider choice of investment opportunities—you can select the stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other investments that are right for you.

The ability to withdraw without penalty for some purposes. Withdrawals can be made without penalty by taking a series of substantially equal periodic payments for at least five years or until after you reach age 59 1/2. Withdrawals are subject to normal income tax treatment and may be subject to an additional 10% federal income tax penalty.  Thus, if you are planning to retire before you reach age 59 1/2, this method can enable you to dip into your IRA Rollover without penalty. Please note, there may be other eligible retirement plans which can accept funds.

Please be advised that this document is not intended as legal or tax advice. Accordingly, any tax information provided in this document is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The tax information was written to support the promotion or the marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed and you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. AXA Advisors, LLC and AXA Network, LLC do not provide tax advice or legal advice. This article is provided by Antan Wilson. Antan Wilson offers securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC), 780 JOHNSON FERRY ROAD SUITE 600 ATLANTA, GA 30342 and offers investment advisory products and services through AXA Advisors, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the SEC, and offers annuity and insurance products through an insurance brokerage affiliate, AXA Network, LLC and its subsidiaries. This individual is licensed to transact insurance business in the following states: GA, DC, NJ, LA, NC; and is registered to offer securities in the following states: GA, NJ.

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Source: https://www.ameriprise.com/research-market-insights/financial-articles/retirement/what-to-do-with-your-401k-plan-when-you-change-jobs/

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Antan R. Wilson
780 Johnson Ferry Road
Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30342
Tel: (404) 760-2418

28 Types of Content Upgrades You Can Easily Create

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1. A cheat sheet
Depending on what your blog post is about, a cheat sheet can be a simple content upgrade. For example, if I write a blog post explaining the different tags in HTML, I can create a one-pager of all the available HTML tags and how they’re used.

2. Checklist
A long, 4,000-word blog post can likely be converted into an easier-to-digest checklist. It can be an itemized step-by-step for a how-to blog post, a list of materials for a do-it-yourself project, or a list of best practices.

For example, if you’re sharing a process you have for promoting a blog post, you can create a checklist of everything the reader should do to promote the blog post.

Tools to easily create checklists: ForgettSweetProcess, and Checkli

3. List of resources
Do you mention a bunch tools or resources in your blog post? Create a master list linking to each of them for readers so they don’t have to search for each tool on their own. Then make that list available as a PDF download.

4. Transcripts for your podcast or video show
If you host interviews, have a podcast, or have a video show, transcribe your recording and make it into a downloadable PDF file. It takes less than 10 minutes of work for you to hire a transcriber and host the file.

Transcription services: Rev and Fiverr.

5. Video or audio recording
If you’ve previously hosted and recorded an interview, a webinar, or any informational video that’s relevant to the blog post, you can make the recording available as a bonus. You can create a how-to video of a blog post or record yourself reading your blog post out loud. It might sound like a strange idea, but some readers digest information differently.

Tool for audio editing: Audacity Tool for video editing: Camtasia

6. Quick start guide
You might be teaching something complicated. Simplify it. People want to get started quickly without worrying about the difficulties later on (those difficulties often prevent them from taking the first steps). Take the first three steps and simplify them to help the reader get over the initial barrier.

7. Full guide
Instead of a simple quick start guide, create a comprehensive guide that walks the reader step-by-step through the entire process. While it may be lengthier, it’ll target readers who are looking for in-depth guidance.

8. Report / whitepaper
Have you hosted a survey or done extensive research into a topic? Make it into a report that’ll educate readers about their industry or interest. Reports and whitepapers will also help you become recognized as an expert in your area of interest.

9. Printable
This could be a relevant diagram, motivational quote, or images the reader can print out and pin up on their wall. It’s a great reminder for readers to stay organized or focused.

10. Assignments or worksheets
If you’re teaching something, go beyond explaining the concept. Create homework assignments that your readers can download and immediately apply the knowledge.

For the rest of the article and to learn more visit Sumome.com

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28 Ideas for Content Upgrades To Grow Your Email List. How to make them, where to use them, providing the upgrade, and more

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You’ve written blog posts and you’ve gotten some traffic, and even though you have beautiful visitor numbers, your email list is another story.

You know that building an email list is important and you’ve started doing that, but your conversion rate is stagnant at around 1% … 2% on a great day.

What if you can get 10% of your website visitors to subscribe via email? How about 20%?

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. In fact it has already been done by other bloggers. It’s a proven method that’s possible for you to do too.

All it takes is creating tactical content upgrades to give visitors irresistible value. We’re going to give you the tools and knowledge to do just that.

In this guide, we’re going to cover:

  1. What are content upgrades
  2. Why you should create them (people have seen conversion rates improve by over 300%)
  3. 28 different types of content upgrades
  4. The simple 5-step framework to get started with content upgrades
  5. 4 questions to help you come up with irresistible content upgrades
  6. How to easily host your content upgrade in under 5 minutes
  7. 9 tips to make your content upgrades into list building machines

What Are Content Upgrades
A content upgrade is bonus piece of information that elaborates on or complements a piece of content the reader is already interested in. The bonus is both highly valuable and in context with the page’s content so we gate the bonus by asking for an email address, a Facebook share, a tweet, or an email to a friend.

In other words, a content upgrade is a valuable offer created to get a visitor’s email address or get them to promote you.

For example, if you were reading about how to fix a broken toilet, reading might not be enough. You might be interested in watching a bonus video that shows you how to fix your toilet because you can follow along with the video.

Boom. It’s a perfect content upgrade because the video showing you how to fix a toilet is both valuable and specific to the article you’re reading.

Why Content Upgrades
Successful content upgrades have helped people grow their email list exponentially.

If you’re unsure whether content upgrades will work for you, look below at the results from Backlinko by Brian Dean, an internationally-recognized entrepreneur and SEO expert.

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Yep. That’s a 785% improvement. Not too shabby.

But Brian isn’t the only one who has seen lucrative results from implementing content upgrades.

Devesh Khanal increased one blog post’s conversion rate for Growth Everywhere by 492% by implementing a content upgrade. Imagine doing that for ten blog posts.

Conversion rates are high for content upgrades because they provide an immediate reward instead of presenting a generic “subscribe for free updates” call-to-action. The reader is primed to give you their email for something useful and relevant to what they’re already invested in reading about in that exact moment in time.

It can be difficult to set up content upgrades. Keyword is can. However, using tools like Welcome MatList Builder, or Scroll Box, you can be set up in less than five minutes.

When it comes down to it, the time it takes to create a content upgrade should be thought of as an investment. As you saw above, the effects of implementing even one content upgrade can be exponential.

In fact, depending on what type of content upgrade you want to create, the whole process of ideation, creation, and implementation can take less than 30 minutes.

Before I tell you how to quickly create a content upgrade, here are 28 different types of content upgrades you can create.

Blog Received by Sumo.com for this and other great articles visit them here.

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