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Insurance Policies for Independent Contractors

By | Culture, Digital, Marketing | No Comments

First of all, getting sick, hurt, or being sued is something that no one wants to happen. However, in business and life, this stuff does happen. That’s why insurance is a necessity. Paying your medical bills out of pocket is always a painful job. For employees, this is almost always solved by using company insurance. As an independent contractor, you are the company. This is where finding a solid policy comes into the picture. A good policy can save your business and your health. There are three policies for the self-employed and independent contractors that are cost-effective and budget friendly: 1. Health Insurance Exchange Plans: This plan was designed to meet with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Under this act, individuals, families, small business owners and freelancers can purchase a customized and affordable health package. The most important part of this plan is the provision of subsidy in cases where the independent contractors’ total taxable income is between 122% to 400% of the federal poverty level. This subsidy will reduce your premium amount up to 10% of your gross income. And, you are free to cancel or amend this plan at any time without any additional costs or penalty. 2. National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU): This association employs more than 100,000 agents in the USA. These agents guide you to select the best plan according to your needs and budget. NAHU provides services to everyone from Fortune-500 companies to small business owners and the self-employed. With NAHU, you can enjoy different benefits and savings, personal development & training, user-friendly apps and even wellness programs. 3. eHealth Insurance: eHealth insurance is one of the best health insurance solutions available for independent contractors. On the eHealth Insurance web portal, you can compare prices and benefits of the many different health plans available. There are…

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Top 3 Tasks to Outsource for Your Small Business

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Top 3 Tasks to Outsource for Your Small Business Retaliate1st grew through hard work both internally and externally. We spent most of our first year using freelancers and a team we had to outsource to. We wanted to share some of the critical elements we chose to outsource. Bookkeeping and Invoicing Nothing can eat up the time of a small business owner quite like keeping the books, crunching the numbers, and invoicing. Chances are you started your business because you had a talent or passion for your product or service. Unless that passion was accounting, hand the books to someone else. As you grow, keeping the books will only become more complicated and time consuming. Instead of letting record keeping eat up a huge percentage of the time you could be putting into pulling the big levers on your business, outsource the task to a CPA. If you need help with the day-to-day numbers, tracking, and invoicing, you can easily find and train an employee or intern to do this for you. Graphic Design and Your Website If there’s one area where small business and solo entrepreneurs make a huge mistake it’s in doing their own graphic design and website building. Learning a “little about SEO and websites” will give your business a site that looks terrible, is extremely time consuming to build, generates no sales, and projects a very unprofessional image. Free site creators give you a website that looks like it was made for free. Doing your own HTML or CSS usually looks like an amateur did the site… at best. Remember that designers and developers go to college for 4+ years to learn coding. This is not something you can become an expert in by reading a For Dummies book over the weekend. Doing your own graphic…

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How to Get Your Site Featured in Google’s Snippet

By | Digital, Marketing, SEM, SEO | No Comments

How Do You Get Your Site Featured in Google’s Snippet? Getting to the top of Google’s search pages is no longer enough to dominate your completion. While good SEO keeps your site on the first page, and well-written ads keep you atop the PPC results, there is a newcomer in the search world: Snippets Snippets Google wants to help searchers. It’s what launched them to become the dominant search engine that they are today. Anyone who remembers the frustrating search results on Yahoo, Lycos, or Dogpile will attest that Google simply delivers better search results. With mobile and “question” searches rising, Google has changed the game again. In almost any search you’re now bound to find a snippet of info, often enumerated, in a small box between the final PPC ad and the first organic listing. Below is the snippet that appears for the search “How to Get More Leads:” Snippets Are Quick Answers Google puts up snippets with the best info available. This allows users to get the answers they’re looking for without clicking the link. However, since the snippets tend to display only part of the info, the links inside of the snippet box tend to be clicked a lot. Google can source simple, direct answers from their own knowledge base. But, most business or product related queries are sourced from third party sites, i.e., your web site. Imagine the potential traffic that would result in an SEO strategy that lands you in the top 3 of the PPC ads, with a featured snippet, and then the top organic search result. How to Get a Featured Snippet The problem is that getting your site featured isn’t easy. But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And, with snippet results being so new, we’re not even exactly sure how Google pulls…

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Do You Really Want More Clients and Customers?

By | Culture, Digital, Marketing, Website | No Comments

Do You Really Want More Clients and Customers? If you’re running a small business, or are a solo entrepreneur, you probably spend much of your time thinking about how great life would be if you could only get a few more clients, get a few more customers, or land that one big account. But, before you go big time, you should take a moment to make sure you’re ready to scale your small business up. From Barley in Business to Busty to Death It happens all the time. A small business is doing ok, but the cash flow isn’t exactly overwhelming. When you run an online or service based business, especially if you’re running the show alone or with a small group, this can be a frustrating time. Then, all the work, all the banging your head against the wall, and all of the planning takes a turn. You hit the tipping point. Whatever you want to call it, your business goes from scraping by to breaking through. Now, it doesn’t have to be breaking through to super-stardom. Even if your business grows 20% suddenly, that can translate to a lot of extra income. And a lot of extra work. Are You Ready to Grow Your Business? Take a minute to assess your current work load, productivity, and efficiency. If you have a few customers or clients and you’re behind on orders or fulfilling service agreements, you’re probably not ready to grow. Getting more contracts might help your bank account, but it will not magically cure your productivity issues. However, if you are consistently knocking your work load out of the park, you might be ready. If you work with a team, make sure everyone is on board. Having a key employee bail during a growth surge can leave you…

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3 Ways to Use Pinterest to Increase Leads and Sales

By | Content, Digital, Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

Studies show that Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites in the world. Almost 3,500 pins are posted every minute. And, not only does Pinterest have a huge, active audience, it also has consumers with a buyer’s mindset: They’re 10% more likely to buy than users that come from other social media sites Pinterest drives more than 300% revenue per click than Twitter, and nearly 30% more than Facebook So, why aren’t more of use utilizing Pinterest as a lead and sale generation source? Usually it is a misunderstanding of the power of Pinterest. How To Use Pinterest For Lead Generation Profit from User Generated Content Some clothing retailers are putting user generated content to great use by utilizing contests. Before and after’s, or “favorite products” for the holidays. Users take pics, turn them into pins, and share them on their boards along with their email address. One company saw a 23% increase in re-pins, and that led to an increase of 44% in revenue per click Pins as Social Proof Your business can never build too much credibility online. Reviews, testimonials, and awards go a long way to helping your business’ reputation. But, what’s even more powerful is user generated content. Many companies are using pins of their customers using or wearing their favorite products. What a beautiful way to use “live action” testimonials of people just like you…   The company then re-pins, using a “shop now” call to action. This has led to click increases of 25% or more. Encourage your customers to pin pics or videos of themselves using your products or enjoying your services. This is powerful social proof, and allows your product to be displayed in the real world, by real people. Reward Referrals Create custom welcome messages for traffic that…

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How To Use Instagram For Lead Generation

By | Creative, Digital, Marketing, Mobile, Social Media | No Comments

Instagram is still considered by many in the pay-per-click marketing word, to be the new kid on the block. With newness comes a bit of fear, so many small and medium businesses have been hesitant to stray from using only Google and Facebook PPC. But, it can be a huge lead booster if utilized properly. Here’s why? Using Instagram To Create Leads For Your Business Visual Marketing is a Dominant Force Content marketing rules, and will continue to be the most useful form of marketing for years to come. As the internet becomes more available in non-PC forms, phones, tablets, watches, etc., the need to turn to non-text content will be essential. You can do this with visual content, and Instagram is the perfect place to put your best visuals to work. Simply, visual attractiveness in an ad or in any piece of content that has the goal of increasing conversions, leads to more opt-ins, engagement, leads, and sales. It will also get you more shares, and that increases each campaign’s reach exponentially at no cost to you. Using high-quality, bright pictures, you draw the attention of your followers, and can help lead them on the path to purchase. Instagram Videos Now with videos in the Instagram feed, you can really skyrocket your leads and sales through the social media site. Video content on Instagram gets more views, shares, and likes. It stops scrollers in their path. Once you become known for putting out good video, you’ll be well on your wall to dominating your market online. Young, Money-Spending Graphics In Television, for years the most coveted demographic was 18 – 54 year old males. Now, it’s men and women 18 – 34 (with 18 – 54 being not far behind). Instagram is custom made, literally, for those in that demographic….

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The 6 Best Extensions for Your Site’s SEO and Adwords

By | Creative, Digital, Marketing, SEM, SEO, Website | No Comments

SEO is the perfect tactic to optimize to drive free traffic to your website. While organic traffic is fantastic and can be created through optimizing web pages, this organic traffic can be amplified by using SEO extensions. Here Retaliate1st list our favorite SEO extensions to boost your organic traffic. The 6 Best Extensions for Your Site’s SEO and Adwords Google Tag Assistant IF you are running your company’s SEO without help from a professional firm, or if you just want to check up on your SEO investment, Tag Assistant can help you verity that Adwords and Analytics are up and running properly. The best part about this extension is that with one click it lays out everything you need to see without digging around in the minuteau of Adwords (and it’s oft-lugubrious interface) or analytics. Builtwith Builtwith works with Google Chrome, and Is an excellent way to see what your competitors are up to by letting you know what they’re using to build their site. You can see PageRank for Firefox This is a great tool for evaluating other sites when it comes to building links, guest posting, forming joint ventures, etc. The best part is, you don’t have to dig at all – the site’s Page Rank is displayed right in the toolbar at the top of your browser. Further SEO Extensions Majestic SEO Backlink Analyizer If linking building is part of your SEO strategy, you need to make sure those links are not coming from bad neighborhoods. Further, you want the best quality links possible to your site. You can check out anchor text, site reputation, as well as Page Rank and a few other key indicators. Boomerang This isn’t so much for SEO as it is a productivity tool. Boomerang for Gmail allows you to schedule emails…

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Buying Facebook Ads Directly

By | Creative, Digital, Marketing, SEM, Social Media, Website | No Comments

Facebook is the great advertising platform of our time. Were once television ads and billboard ads were the go to platforms for advertisers, they have now lost ground to Facebook ads. Retaliate1st discuss the reasons why you should focus on this platform for your advertising. Customers Can Buy from You Without Leaving Facebook This is huge for both your business, where can sell directly to a warm audience that you’ve built a strong relationship with, and for Facebook, which can help businesses sell more products, buy more ads, and have the whole thing take place on Facebook’s platform, without having users click away from the social media giant. It works by giving your customers the option to buy products in Facebook messenger. If they’ve already filled in their Name, address, phone number, etc. for their profile, all they have to do is click “pay.” If not, they can do so at point of purchase. Payments will go through PayPal or Stripe. At this point, these are the only two usable payment platforms, and you can only sell in the U.S. However, both of these rules will likely change as the program grows. If you’ve ever fretted about the transition your customers make between Facebook and your landing or sales pages, now you don’t have to worry. If you crafted a great ad or promoted post, your customer can now buy with one click. How to Sell In Messenger This will take some finesse. Facebook is allowing click from ads in the newsfeed to be sent directly to messenger now. This is a slow roll-out, but it will take off soon enough. Obviously, some customers will be put off by having their messenger blow up with ads, but it seems Facebook will allow consumers the ability to choose who they receive…

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Boosting Leads Through Twitter Ads

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Facebook and Instagram get the most attention when it comes to social media pay per click advertising. But, don’t neglect Twitter; it can be a great source of new leads and sales. If, you do it the right way… What’s a Twitter Follower Worth The first thing to figure out is what is a follower worth to you? “Follower” campaigns are the most popular, and cheapest ads to run on Twitter. But, don’t blow your budget attracting followers until you run the numbers and figure out what a follower is worth. This can be tricky, as the metrics are not as helpful as they are on Facebook or Google. So, you’ll need to figure out the best method to track sales and legitimate leads that came directly from your followers. This will look a lot like figuring out the lifetime value of a client, because that’s exactly what you’re doing.  Try to plan for the long term when running follower campaigns, and not focusing so much on cost per click and trading clicks for dollars. In this case, the dollars will come later. If you can figure how many, you’ll know how much to invest. Advantages to Twitter follower campaigns? Like Facebook, Twitter allows you to be very specific in your targeting – age, location, sex, interests, etc. Disadvantages – if you don’t do the math first, you can end up overspending for followers that don’t buy from you. Traditional Twitter Ads You can also use Twitter ads to drive traffic and conversions. The interface for ads is much like Facebook, so if you’ve used Facebook ads, you’ll have an advantage here. IF not, the program is not difficult to master. It’s a matter of targeting a very specific audience according to the parameters that bring you leads. Usually this…

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3 Steps To Designing a Landing Page That Converts

By | Content, Digital, SEM, SEO, Uncategorized, Website | No Comments

Running adwords, Facebook ads, or even pouring time and effort into SEO campaigns only to drive traffic to a landing page that doesn’t convert is maddening. It’s also a waste of resources. Even if you craft a fantastic ad, your landing page must walk the visitor from curious clicker to lead. This is an art and a science, and its why designers and marketers charge so much to develop high-converting landing pages. If you have the budget for it, get a pro to build your landing page. If you don’t, learn how to do it yourself until you can raise the capital to hire someone. Follow these – tips and you’ll build a landing page that converts visitors into leads, and leads into sales. Even if you do have the budget to go pro, you can use these tips to evaluate what the marketer has designed for you. 3 Steps To Designing a Landing Page That Converts Every Page Must Have a Clear, Powerful Headline Many businesses make one of two mistakes when developing landing pages: Their headline is weak and does nothing to inspire visitors to take the step of buying/signing up/calling. Their headline is well-written, but is confusing or doesn’t mesh with the test of the ad and landing page Writing great headlines has been the subject of countless books and sales courses, so it’s beyond the scope of this article to explain it fully, but if you lead with benefits, ask a question or create interest, you’ll be head-and-shoulders above your competition. If you manage to create a great headline, don’t waste it by matching it to a landing page with text that doesn’t quite fit the main message. Also, keep your headline in form with your ad text. The headlines of your ad and landing page can be…

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