7 Master Classes for Entrepreneurs That Are Worth Your Time

A master class is a course taught by someone who’s a true expert in the subject matter. Master class instructors are not only experts — they’re renowned for their success in their field. Some master classes are even taught by celebrities. Cultural monuments such as Martin Scorsese, Wayne Gretzky, Neil Gaiman, Malcolm Gladwell, and Danny Elfman are just a few famous faces who share their experience with interested learners using the master class model.

Not every master class is helmed by a household name, but the concept is rooted in the idea that an education from the masters should be accessible to anyone, not only those who can afford formal higher education.

Where Did Master Classes Come From?

Master classes of all kinds were popularized when the online platform MasterClass was launched in 2012, but the model is actually rooted in music education; traditionally, exceptionally talented music students would be given special instruction by a master musician. Today, you can take a master class from various sources — not just MasterClass — on nearly any topic imaginable.

What Kinds of Master Classes Can You Take?

No matter what subject or skill you’re interested in mastering, you’ll probably find a master class covering it. Some common master class categories include:

Fine arts  

Some of the most popular master classes are the ones that help learners develop an artistic skill, either for personal enjoyment or career advancement. You can find courses covering writing, filmmaking, cooking, music, photography, and more, all taught by virtuosos.

Health and wellness 

There’s also a wealth of master classes that delve into personal wellness. Your health is foundational to your success in nearly every professional pursuit, so it can be tremendously beneficial to tap into advice from leading experts on the topic of health and wellness.  

Business and entrepreneurship 

Yet another master class category in high demand is entrepreneurship. There’s a mountain of opportunities for aspiring business owners and startup founders to access wisdom from the best minds in the business world. 

7 Master Classes for Entrepreneurs

A quick Google search will lead you down a rabbit hole of master classes that cover one aspect of business or another. To save you some time, we’ve curated a list of seven of our favorite examples to help you further your journey as an entrepreneur.

1. Turn Your Idea Into A Company 

Taught by MBA holder and CFO Chris Benjamin and hosted by Udemy, this master class is an all-inclusive guide to turning your business idea into a reality.

2.  Business Leadership

Startup founders typically juggle many different hats during the venture’s infancy. If you’re a founding partner, chances are, you’ll be called on to serve in a leadership position at one point or another. In this master class, former Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz shares what he knows about not only being an entrepreneur but also being a leader on your team.

3.  Self-Made Entrepreneurship

The two most common reasons new startups fail are lack of capital and lack of market need. In Sarah Blakely’s (founder of Spanx and formerly the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire) master class, you’ll learn how to navigate these initial hurdles.

4.  The Ultimate Guide For Young Startups

Another class offered by Udemy, The Ultimate Guide to Young Startups, is a comprehensive blueprint for creating a startup and nurturing it to success. The course is taught by Leon Chaudhari, a seasoned entrepreneur, and instructor.

5.  How to Turn any Idea into a Business

In this master class, entrepreneurial prodigy Paula Mills teaches aspiring entrepreneurs how to “think disruptively, so that they can turn problems into business opportunities that create social impact.”

6.  Start Your Online Business

Online businesses are more viable than ever. This master class taught by best-selling instructors Robin and Jesper will walk you through the process of launching your own small business online.

7.  Impact Entrepreneurship

This class from The Spaceship, a platform dedicated to educating entrepreneurs, is designed to “lead you through the art of building an impactful startup and launching a business that scales.” A variety of experienced instructors address each stage of the startup lifecycle.

How Much Do Master Classes Cost?

Flexible pricing is one of the advantages that makes master classes more accessible than traditional higher education courses. Most master class platforms either use a subscription model or charge per class. 

For example, Masterclass offers unlimited access to all their courses for $15 per month. You can also pay $20 or $23 per month for a plus or premium subscription that includes the options to view courses offline and stream on multiple devices simultaneously. 

On the other hand, if you’re using Udemy, you can pay per course (prices are set by instructors and generally range from $10 – $200) or subscribe to different collections of courses starting at $30 per month. Other sites, like The Spaceship Academy, offer a choice between a monthly subscription and lifetime access to all courses for a single (much steeper) payment.

Conclusion

This is just a sample of the many different master classes for entrepreneurs you can find online. If you like the ones you see here, you should consider branching into more focused courses depending on which industry you’re interested in.

A master class isn’t a magic cheat code that will automatically launch your career into orbit, but you probably already know that. What a master class can do for you is give you a valuable opportunity to soak up knowledge from someone who’s proven they understand the secrets to success. What you do with that knowledge is up to you.

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7 PRODUCTIVITY TIPS FOR FREELANCING AT HOME

The freedom that comes with being your own boss has a ton of perks. For many people, freelancing is a way to pursue their passion or take charge of their career. 

But, working from home as a freelancer has its share of pitfalls, too. It can be hard to stay motivated and productive without the structure of the traditional work model. If you’re struggling to stay focused and efficient as a freelancer who works from home, here are some tips and tricks that can help you boost your productivity.

1. Designate a Workspace

Establish a consistent workspace in your home. Choose a comfortable location away from excessive noise or distractions and confine work to that location (likewise, get up and go somewhere else when you’re taking a break). 

Most people choose to set up a home office and work at a desk, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Your dedicated workspace could be as lavish as a fully-fitted home office or as simple as a stool at your kitchen counter. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s somewhere where you can work comfortably and productively every day.

Having this designated workspace acts as a mental boundary between work and home when both exist in the same building. Working in a different area of your home from where you spend most of your leisure time helps keep you focused while working and free from work stress while you relax.

2. Cultivate Your Space

One of the advantages of working from home is that you have the freedom to create whatever kind of work environment will be most conducive to your productivity. It’s essential to create a comfortable setting where you don’t mind spending time every day. Whether you prefer a traditional setup or something unique, you can arrange or decorate your space however you see fit. Include decorations, scents, or sounds that will positively impact your mental wellbeing throughout the day. This can help prevent burnout.

It’s essential to balance your decor with a sense of organization. While customizing your workspace lets you tailor your environment to your working style, too much customizing can quickly turn into clutter. Cultivating a space where you can work at your best means keeping it tidy.

3. Be Disciplined About Your Schedule

One of the best parts about working for yourself is that you get to set your schedule. However, it’s essential to find a middle ground between flexibility and routine. A sure way to kill your productivity while working from home is to let bad habits creep into your daily schedule. 

If you work at different times each day or let yourself get sidetracked often, it will be much harder to find your momentum. To avoid this, stick to the same routine each day. Get up at the same time, start work at the same time, and take your lunch break at the same time — the more consistent you keep your workdays, the easier it will be for your mind and body to enter “productive mode” and stay there until the end of the day.

Some people consider it helpful to emulate a regular, non-remote workday by following the same routine each morning. Even though your “commute” may be a short walk from the kitchen to the spare room, this morning ritual is a great way to separate work and home and put yourself in a productive headspace.

There’s nothing wrong with exercising a little flexibility in your schedule when you need to, but don’t let it completely replace a healthy routine.

4. Identify Your Flow Time

The workday is not a consistent sprint. We all (or most of us) have bursts of productivity throughout the day. By keeping track of when those bursts of productivity happen, you can take full advantage of them.

Identifying your “flow time” (your period of greatest productivity) is critical for someone who works from home. In particular, we tend to have one specific time of day when we work most productively. It could be first thing in the morning, the hour right before lunch, the final sprint in the evening — it doesn’t matter.

Take note of the time of day when you feel most energized and get the most work done. Block out this time (ideally 1-2 hours) for focused, uninterrupted work, and schedule your most important tasks for this chunk of the day. Save lower-pressure tasks like catching up on emails for the slowest parts of the day.

5. Take Frequent Short Breaks

It’s easy to think you’ll be more productive if you stay laser-focused all day, but this will harm your productivity. Working for long periods with no breaks removes your ability to focus on the task at hand. A lunch break alone won’t cut it—frequent, short breaks have proven most effective. If you can, going for a short walk or getting some other form of light exercise is the best way to spend your break time. 

Try taking a 10-minute break each hour. Even though it might feel counterproductive, stepping away from your desk for a few minutes every hour will make it much easier to stay focused for the rest of the hour. Or, you can follow a more structured technique for managing break times, like the Pomodoro technique.

6. Listen to Music

There’s been a lot of research on the effects of music on the brain. While these effects are still not fully understood, we know that music aids memory, increases motivation, and lowers stress levels. Annoyed coworkers might prevent you from listening to music at the office, but when you’re a freelancer working from home, you can work to whatever soundtrack you want. 

Most people find lyrics distracting and prefer to listen to instrumental music while trying to focus. This isn’t the case for everyone, so try out both if you’re unsure. Whichever you choose, it’s a good idea to match the type of music playing to the task at hand. 

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your workload? Maybe try some classical piano to ease your stress. Are you struggling to make it through the post-lunch slump? Try something more upbeat, like pop or hip-hop. There are ways to use different genres of music to influence your mindset while you work.

7. Set a Quitting Time

When you work from home, it’s easy to stretch yourself too thin. Whether you’re trying to make up for distractions earlier in the day or just getting a head start on tomorrow, a “one more task before I log off” mindset will quickly cause work to bleed into the evening. This is a recipe for burnout. 

It’s better to pace yourself by deciding on a “quitting time” and sticking to it every day. Even though your workspace is just a room or two away, that doesn’t mean you should pop back in to wrap up one more task after dinner. You may have to prioritize your tasks and leave something for tomorrow morning instead, but you’ll be far more productive in the long run.

It’s also easy to lose track of time. There are all kinds of cues that it’s time to pack up and go home at the end of a traditional workday, but when you’re working by yourself in the comfort of a home office, it’s easy to become engaged in a task and let it carry into the late evening. Try setting a timer or asking a family member to remind you to finish up at a specific time.

Conclusion

Every freelancer has tricks they use to keep themselves motivated and productive. These seven are tried and true techniques that work for most people, but you should consider them a starting point. Try them out and determine which ones work best for you. Maybe you’ll find some don’t work for you at all — that’s okay. It might take some trial and error, but you’ll discover the strategies that keep you focused and spur you to success.

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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BRAND BEHAVIOR ON TWITTER

Social media is one of the best marketing tools at your disposal as an entrepreneur or small business owner. Some of the brand strategy experts on the Twitter Next team recently published a report called #RealTalk that explores public opinion about brand behavior on Twitter. The study is based on researchers’ analysis of over 5,000 unprompted tweets about brands from consumers and a follow-up survey carried out in eight countries. The findings from the study offer some fascinating insights regarding the way consumers feel about “Brand Twitter.”

The report has quite a bit of information to offer, and all of it’s worth reading, but the three most important takeaways involve the following:

  • The tone a brand uses
  • The topics with which a brand chooses to engage (or not engage)
  • The communities a brand addresses

Tone

A common complaint among “Brand Twitter” surfers is that every brand sounds the same. The researchers behind #RealTalk looked deeper and discovered some merit to this criticism. After reading a tweet with all identifiers such as brand names or logos removed, only a third of the people surveyed could correctly pick the brand that wrote the tweet when presented with a list of options.

Brands are often so focused on using the right keywords, hitting the proper character count, or achieving some other SEO-focused goal that they end up sounding exactly like every other brand. When this happens, consumers notice. Most people want to engage with brands with a personality and a sense of identity, not with a faceless corporate marketing machine. If you’re a small business owner, you can easily differentiate yourself from corporations by leaning into a more genuine, approachable personality.

#RealTalk also examines the way consumers feel about brands using humor on Twitter. Four out of five people surveyed said they feel that brands should evolve their tone with the times, including knowing when it’s the right moment for humor and when it’s not. Many of the most popular “Brand Twitter” brands are known for their playful personas, but cracking a joke isn’t always the right tactic.

Topic

One of the most hotly contested issues seems to be whether or not brands should get involved with political topics or current events. It’s a question marketers struggle with frequently. Many people feel strongly that brands should stay out of serious issues like politics altogether, but that isn’t necessarily a universal sentiment. In fact, 60% of people surveyed by Twitter Next disagreed, stating they wanted to hear from brands in society’s pivotal moments. 

Ultimately, brands can (and sometimes even should) contribute to the discussion around serious or complex topics, as long as it’s done appropriately and meaningfully. On the other hand, when brands use social media to capitalize on issues people are passionate about, they lose credibility with consumers. 

Community

To understand which topics your brand should speak up about and when you need to understand the communities you’re addressing 80% of respondents to the #RealTalk survey agree that brands’ voices on Twitter should reflect the full diversity of their audiences. An enormously varied range of people use Twitter, but if you try to speak to all of them at once, none of them will hear you. Instead of lumping customers together in broad categories that can be addressed en masse, brands should look for opportunities to address more nuanced communities directly. 

If you’re a small business owner, you’re perfectly positioned to highlight diversity within your customer base. There are just as many different stories in your local or regional market as there are on a national or global scale. One of the advantages of doing business with a more locally concentrated audience is that it allows you to develop personal connections with your customers and acknowledge them as unique individuals, not as faceless members of a broad market segment. 

Key Takeaways

As you write tweets for your business, remaining aware of tone, topic, and community can help you grow your audience and distinguish your brand from competitors.

Remember that your brand should come across as a personality, not an advertisement when you think of tone. Craft your brand’s voice intentionally and use it to differentiate your brand from all the others searching for the perfect SEO formula.

When you think of topic, consider whether it’s appropriate for your brand to join the conversation. Relevant and meaningful engagement with current events is received well by many consumers. But above all, don’t try to profit off of weighty topics.

When you think of community, remember that your target audience is much more diverse than whichever marketing demographic they’ve been placed within. Striving to reflect on the unique stories that comprise your audience is the best way to get through to them.

Keep in mind that the social media world is rapidly evolving. Case in point: Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of Twitter. It’s hard to say for sure what the future holds, so it’s important to continuously reassess and adapt your social media marketing strategy. Reports like #RealTalk are great resources to help you stay ahead of the curve.

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3 Data Based Morning Habits for Successful Entrepreneurs

Why do you think you should care about your morning routine if you’re a small business owner, independent contractor, or direct marketer? Simple. Because your morning routine plays a crucial role in setting you up for a successful day. Studies show that those who have a morning routine experience lower levels of stress and have better health; not only this, but did you know that middle-class, wealthy, and low-income Americans don’t have the same morning routines? Who would have thought that something as mundane as how you begin each day could result in the potential for more money in your pocket?

There are three simple daily practices that you should consider implementing to experience a healthier, happier life and maybe even boost you into the wealthy class. 

Morning Habits For A Successful Day

1. Wake up at the same time every day. 

Data shows that rising at the same time each day has numerous benefits, such as:

  • Better sleep
  • Reduced caffeine dependency
  • Improved alertness
  • Sharper focus
  • Increased memory

In addition, waking at a consistent time reinforces your circadian rhythm, a 24-hour internal clock that helps your body regulate your sleep and wake time, hormones, body temperature, and eating habits. We can’t forget to mention that one of the best things about this science-backed morning habit is that you do not have to commit to waking up at ridiculously early hours to reap the rewards. You can choose a time that feels realistic for you! 

If you struggle to create healthy habits around consistent sleep and rising times, consider checking out the Hatch Restore. This product has gained significant traction in the wellness space as it is proven to help users create consistent routines and feel less stressed and more energized. 

2. Make your bed 

There are two types of people in this world – those that take the extra couple of minutes to tidy their bed each morning and those who walk out the door and could care less. Beyond just looking nice, does a made bed impact you, your mindset, and your mental health? Studies show that it does more good than you could imagine. The substantial benefits recorded include:

  • A feeling of accomplishment
  • A sense of calm
  • Better sleep
  • Enhanced organization
  • Improved focus
  • Relaxation
  • Stress reduction

With all that being said, why not carve out five minutes each morning to make your bed?! 

3. Get Outside and Ground 

If you haven’t yet experienced the practice of grounding, it’s time to start. Grounding, also called “earthing,” is a therapeutic technique involving activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the Earth. This can be as simple as walking outside each morning in your bare feet for 10 minutes or sitting in a chair with your feet on the ground as you drink your morning coffee.

The healing benefits of grounding first thing in the morning include:

  • Decreased chronic fatigue and pain 
  • Improved mood
  • Decreased anxiety and depression 
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced blood pressure

If going outside first thing in the morning isn’t an option for you, check out these alternatives that connect you to conductive systems that transfer the Earth’s electrons from the ground into the body

Tips For Maintaining Your Morning Routine 

  1. As you can see, the science-backed habits we have encouraged you to implement are not outlandish – they are basic, doable, and attainable for anyone! Keep it simple. Rather than overwhelming yourself, keep your routine short, and to the point. 
  2. Use a Habit Tracker. A habit tracker is precisely what the name suggests: it’s a way to help you track how well you’re sticking with daily, weekly, or monthly habits. Consider using a habit tracker if you struggle with creating consistent morning habits and constantly fall off the bandwagon. 

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Canva For Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs

If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur who is ready to expand into the world of content marketing, Canva might be just what you need to help you get started. Whether you’re planning a content strategy for the first time or looking for ways to update your current strategy, these tips and tricks can help you get the most out of Canva.

How To Use Canva

Marketing content can come in all different shapes and sizes. Here are a few examples of lesser-known ways you can use Canva to diversify your content strategy:

QR codes 

QR codes are a great way to provide viewers with a fast and easy way to access any content you want to promote. Approximately half of every age demographic in the U.S. except 65+ scanned a marketing QR code during a three-month survey period in 2021. All you have to do to create a QR code in Canva is enter the URL you want to link, and Canva will generate the code for you, which you can then add to any of your designs.

YouTube Channel Art 

Adding custom art to your YouTube channel can help it reflect your brand more uniquely. Canva makes it simple to add custom art to your YouTube channel with hundreds of templates to choose from.

Video Editing

There’s a mountain of competition for video content marketing—86% of businesses use video marketing to promote their brand, and two-thirds of those say they plan to maintain or increase their video usage in the next year. Your videos need to be top-notch to stand out and gain traction. Canva’s free video editing tools can help you craft professional-quality videos for any device, right in your browser.

Advanced Tools   

You can use Canva to design eye-catching marketing content even if you’re not a design wizard—in addition to the basic functions, some more advanced tools can help you create content that stands out with ease. For example:

Canva Live     

Canva live is an excellent tool for giving digital presentations. The live sessions are designed to make it easy to deliver presentations seamlessly, even in a remote environment. They also encourage audience participation by allowing participants to send reactions, comments, and questions in real-time.

Tidy-Up Feature

Canva’s tidy-up tool can automatically space and align the elements in your design in relation to one another. You can choose the fonts, graphics, colors, or anything else you want to add, then leave it to the tidy-up feature to arrange everything. This is helpful if you aren’t sure of the best arrangement, or it can just be a way to save time.

Curved Text

Blocks of text get boring fast and usually don’t hold viewers’ attention for very long. You can get creative with how you present information to your audience by using Canva’s curved text feature to turn text into appealing graphics.  

Locking Elements

It’s all too easy to edit one part of your design only to discover that you’ve accidentally affected another part of the design as well. If you’re having a hard time keeping all your elements in place, don’t fret! You can use Canva’s locking tool to hold an element where you want it simply by selecting it and clicking on the lock icon in the Canva toolbar. If you change your mind, it’s just as simple to unlock the element again.

Pro Tips

Here are some additional tips to help you design the best possible content with Canva:

Typefaces And Fonts

The fonts you choose have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your marketing content. One common technique is to use contrasting fonts to create a typographic hierarchy that guides the viewer’s attention toward the most critical information first. Canva has a vast selection of fonts to choose from, and you can even upload your own custom fonts.

Color Scheme

Just like your font, your color scheme is also one of the most critical factors affecting engagement with your content. The palette you choose should be inviting, cohesive, and reflect your brand image. It’s good practice to limit your color scheme to four colors. You can use Canva to help you determine which color combinations work best.

Resizing your design for different platforms

Canva also makes it easy to optimize your content for all kinds of devices by either entering custom dimensions or choosing from a list of sizing templates. You’ll find templates that match many of the most popular formats, such as Facebook posts, online ads, or webpage banners.

A Graphic Design Solution for Small Business Owners

Canva is an excellent deal for solopreneurs and entrepreneurs who want to access the tools and develop the skills to create high-quality marketing content without a degree in graphic design. It can offer all the features you need to create unique content without the hassle of learning complex graphic design software.

Natalia Kalinska is a content marketing specialist passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve content marketing success. Don’t forget to follow Natalia on Instagram and keep an eye on her YouTube videos if you want to stay up-to-date on the latest changes and new features in Canva!

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SHIFTS IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE

It’s safe to say that owning a small business in 2022 looks MUCH different than it did even five years ago! With accelerated growth in social media, it can be challenging to keep up with emerging platforms, trends, and updates. Two major players deserve your attention if you’re a freelancer, independent contractor, or network marketer.

Let’s dive in by starting with an app that has drastically shifted the social media landscape. 

TikTok

It is no secret that the development of TikTok, a short-form video sharing and streaming platform that hit the app store in 2016, is a force to reckon with.

Did you know:

How to Grow on TikTok in 2022

TikTok is not much different from other social media apps where consistency is key. With that being said, there are a couple of things that can boost your success chances on this platform.

  1. Post 6-8 times a day—The more frequently you post, the greater the chance your content will reach more people. We know this can feel daunting, but keep in mind, TikToks are short videos and don’t take long to make. Along with this, the editing process is seamless and can be done inside of the app. 
  2. Follow the trends— Keeping up with what is popular on the app will allow your content to stay relevant and boost your chance of reaching new eyes because trending content gets pushed more. You can create this type of content by using trending audio, video, dances, and more. For example, Set Active, a female-owned activewear company, uses trending audio to showcase its most recent launches and sales. A brand that has done a great job utilizing trending dances to promote its product is a boutique called Madison and Mallory.

Follow LaterBlog  and TikTok newsroom to stay up to date on everything in the TikTok community, including breaking news and the latest trends taking over TikTok.

Recent Updates You Should Know About in 2022

Creating high-quality TikToks just got easier! A new feature was unveiled by Canva, a content creation and planning platform that enables new TikTok templates and publishing features to their CanvaPro subscribers. This means that you can edit and upload your beautifully designed Tiktoks straight from Canva.

Instagram

As of 2022, Instagram had over 1 billion users worldwide! While this app started as a photo-sharing app, things have drastically shifted in recent years. In 2021 Instagram announced that it is shifting to a video and entertainment-based platform to compete with leading apps like Tiktok and Youtube. With this being said, Instagram has grown a lot and isn’t stopping anytime soon. 

So, how do you stand out and grow your following authentically on this oversaturated app?

How to Grow on Instagram in 2022

  1. Get on Instagram Explore Page — a page that showcases posts and videos solely based on an individual’s interests. 
  2. Post consistently—According to Hootsuite, you should be posting anywhere from 3-7 times per week for optimal growth. 
  3. Optimize hashtags—Use 10-20 hashtags.
  4. Learn about the best times to post.
  5. Collaborate with others in your niche. Take advantage of the new Collab Feature that allows you to invite someone to share the same Reel or post to your feed.
  6. Use shopping reels to direct your audience to your online store.

Recent Updates You Should Know About in 2022

As of January 2022, Instagram launched Instagram Subscriptions. This new feature allows content creators to share exclusive content with subscribers and make recurring monthly income on Instagram. Instagram subscriptions will enable you to do exclusive lives and stories. 

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HOW TO PREVENT BURNOUT AS A SMALL BIZ OWNER

There is no doubt that entrepreneurship is one of the most difficult paths you can choose. Let’s face it, when you’re being pulled in many directions and on the clock 24/7, burnout can feel inevitable. Along with this, we live in a world where “grind” and “hustle” are prestigious terms. While grind and hustle are needed to get your business off the ground, it’s not sustainable 24/7. Today’s blog post will discuss how you can prevent burnout and still make progress in your business. 

How To Identify Burnout

Before we dive into preventing burnout, it’s essential to know how to spot it in your life.

According to the Mayo Clinic, burnout is “a type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” Although it does not hit all at once as a cold or flu would, it has different phases. Reputable psychologists, Gail North and Herbert Freudenberger outlined the 12-phases of burnout:

      1. Excessive drive and ambition
      2. Pushing yourself to work harder
      3. Neglecting your own needs
      4. Displacement of conflict 
      5. No time for non-work related needs
      6. Denial
      7. Withdrawal 
      8. Behavior changes
      9. Depersonalization
      10. Anxiety
      11. Depression
      12. Mental or physical collapse

Telltale Signs Of Burnout

      • Loss of enjoyment
      • Lack of sleep 
      • Changes in appetite 
      • Low energy levels 
      • Decreased motivation

Ways To Prevent Burnout 

Now that you know how to spot it, how do you prevent it?

  1. Use the Pomodoro Method. Science has proven that the human mind cannot effectively focus on one thing for long periods. The Pomodoro Method is a well-researched method that is supported by evolutionary biology. This method suggests that for every 25 minutes of work, you rest for 5 minutes. Check out these free apps to implement this method into your workday. 
  2. Take a step back. As a small business owner, it can be terrifying to take a day off or even a vacation. You must realize this “no days off” mentality is toxic and a one-way track to burnout. Don’t be afraid to honor your energy levels and take an afternoon off. Your mind, body, and business will thank you! 
  3. Prioritize your tasks. As an entrepreneur, you want to tackle as much as possible in one sitting. To work smart, consider using this method:
      • Brain dump everything you need to get done in one place.  
      • Go through the list and put a star by the most time-sensitive tasks.
      • Prioritize your tasks for the day based on importance and urgency. 

Things To Do If You’re Experiencing Burnout Now

In an ideal world, you would be taking steps to prevent burnout. In cases where you’re already in too deep, and burnout is knocking at your door, try some of these:

    • Set boundaries with yourself 
    • Prioritize self-care
    • Take a break
    • Talk to a trusted friend or therapist about your struggles
    • Take care of your mental health. Check out our blog post on caring for your mental health here

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HOW TO INCORPORATE INFLUENCERS INTO YOUR MARKETING

If you’re a small business owner, it’s not uncommon to look for ways to expand your social media marketing on a limited budget. Using influencers as a marketing tactic can be incredibly useful when trying to get your company known by a wider audience. 

Incorporating influencers into your marketing strategy may seem out of reach, but it’s attainable at any business level. However, it’s not an approach you can jump into right away.

Knowing exactly how and when to incorporate influencers into your marketing is the key to ensuring that your strategy and efforts pay off. We’ve mapped out a few ways that you can successfully implement influencer marketing into your business strategy for the best possible results. 

Start By Identifying Your Influencer Campaign Goal

You can’t start looking for influencers to help your campaign if you do not know what you are trying to achieve. Plan out what you hope to accomplish in marketing goals and physical results before you start searching for influencers to help get the word out about your brand. Mapping out a campaign plan could include: 

  • The reach you expect to make with your influencers
  • The ideal amount of conversions you’d like to make per influencer
  • How many followers you’d like your influencers to have
  • How much you are willing to pay them, either a flat rate or commission-based-pay.
  • What kind of aesthetic you’d like them to have, and how closely that matches your brand. 

Once you know what you want to achieve, it becomes easier to hone in on getting physical results from your marketing. 

When Should I Start Finding Influencers? 

You can’t start looking for marketing influencers before you have built a presence on social media. Even if your presence is small, it is still imperative that your brand is active on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Influencers at any level are more likely to work with you if you have built a presence and at least a small following. Building your presence will help you gain the maximum potential for breaking into the influencer market. Even with a small following, it’s easier to grab the attention of micro-influencers or even family members with large social media followings.

And always remember, social media marketing can be completely organic and does not always have to cost money–as long as you strike at the right time. 

Search Through Hashtags That Are Relevant To Your Business

Making the most of hashtags is a great way to find the influencers you are looking for. Since you will be searching for influencers in a specific niche, there is no better way to find the right ones than digging through hashtags that are relevant to what your company is all about. 

If you find influencers in specific hashtags, you already know that they have similar goals in mind and will be more likely to promote your products. To discover professional influencers in your niche, begin by searching relevant hashtags. 

For example, if you’re in the wine industry and seeking influencers to promote your new label, search for hashtags like #wine #wineinfluencer #winelover or #winetasting. Including locations based on where you are (like #Californiawinecountry, for example) can also be highly effective in finding local influencers for you to collaborate with. 

Target Micro-Influencers

If you immediately target influencers with huge followings, you will most likely struggle to find a good match within your budget. Micro-influencers with less than 10,000 followers are the right place to start when expanding your social media marketing.

Even though these influencers don’t have a vast platform, their community of followers is almost always highly engaged and centered around a focused interest. Plus, these kinds of influencers are typically hungrier for work and more likely to bend to your budget and needs.

If their interest is in line with the products that your company offers, when they get the word out to their audience, you still have a good chance of making conversions. 

Many micro-influencers will do this for free or for a small fee within your budget–which is much less expensive than other forms of advertising would be. A huge incentive for smaller influencers to partner with you is the opportunity to receive your products for free so that this arrangement can be a win-win. 

Create Content In Collaboration With Your Influencers

Once you have connected with the right influencers, you should work with them to create and develop the content they will promote for your business. This could mean that you create all of the content and they promote it for you, or they can create the content to fit the style of what they like to promote. 

After all, it is your brand, and you want it presented in the way you envision it. Try to create content that you both agree upon and are happy with to benefit both sides of the agreement. 

Go For Bloggers

When you are looking for influencers, consider targeting bloggers first and foremost. Bloggers can provide their audience with a social media mention for your business and a backlink to your business.

Many bloggers have large social media followings, and working with bloggers means that you can build your search engine clout that allows new audiences to discover you through social media and search engines. 

Have A Diverse Team Of Influencers

When you are looking to expand your team of influencers, don’t only focus on influencers from one specific social media platform. Look to different influencers across different platforms to get the word out about your business. Not confining yourself to a particular forum will expand your marketing reach and connect with a much wider audience. 

Getting multiple perspectives from different influencers will also help you adjust your marketing strategies where needed. Finally, having a diverse team of influencers helps to ensure that there won’t be too much overlap between followers of the influencers because they are all on different platforms.   

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‘TIS THE SEASON…TO GIFT YOURSELF!

As we approach the Holiday season, now is a great time to give yourself a new program, gadget, or tool that will take your small business to the next level in 2022. What better way to flex in the new year than with a business and life that runs a bit smoother!? This blog post will dive into the top gifts to give yourself as a small business owner.

6 Gifts to Consider Gifting Yourself + Business in 2022

1. Intuit Quickbooks Small Business

Quickbooks Small Business is an online accounting tool that allows you to organize your finances and save time as a business owner. Quickbooks allows you to track time, manage your money, and send invoices. Not to mention, when tax season rolls around, everything will be organized and in one place. When you join, you can download the app straight to your phone, so you can check the status of invoices, pay employees, and input expenses in no time at all!  Quickbooks Small Business starts as low as $12.50 a month

2. The newest release of the phone, computer, or tablet you own

As we move deeper and deeper into the digital age, chances are you’re spending the majority of your time on one, if not all, social platforms sharing about your business and maintaining your website. Whether a phone, computer, or tablet, an updated system allows you to run your business with a high-quality camera, the newest features, and the fastest speed. 

Note: As a member of the NFICA, you’ll have access to BenefitHub, a marketplace offering discounts and rewards on everyday purchases, including electronics!

3. Hire a professional to design your website

While there are many generic website templates that you can tweak to fit your brand’s needs, a custom website can take your business to a whole new level. Let’s face it unless you’re a web developer and designer, the struggle to create a professionally designed website is real! Hiring a pro to design something one of a kind can take the customer experience to new heights and improve conversion rates. Not to mention, hiring a professional can boost your SEO resulting in more eyes on your business in 2022! 

4. Join a Masterclass

Investing in a couple of hour-long masterclasses led by a leading guru in your niche is a great way to expand your knowledge, uplevel your expertise, and propel your services or products in 2022. Not only this but participating in a masterclass is a great way to connect with like-minded people and form meaningful connections with those in your niche community. 

5. Buy a membership at your local infrared sauna studio

As a small business owner, freelancer, or direct seller, the stress of the year could be weighing on your shoulders; what better way to cure it than to sweat it off! The current hype around infrared saunas is real! What’s there not to be hype about, though? Some reports suggest they help with sleep, relaxation, detoxification, relief from chronic fatigue, and more! What better gift to give yourself than the gift of health, wellness, and peace? 

By the way, if you want to learn even more, check out this Masterclass article.

6. Join NFICA for $5 a year

With the National Federation of Independent Contractors Association, you can have that peace of mind to keep saying, “I can do this!” We offer life insurance at rates not available to the general public, discounts on business tools through BenefitHub and WorkingLive, competitive rates on Telemedicine, and health products that include critical illness, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance! See what we have to offer.

Happy Holidays! We hope you found this helpful and urge you to uplevel your life and business this holiday season, whether with something mentioned above or something you feel suits your needs best. Investing in yourself is so powerful. 

 

 

AMAZON: An Advertising Platform for the Holiday Season

There is an incredible number of advertising channels to choose from, especially in the digital space. Amazon Advertising offers several advantages that make it one of the most attractive online advertising options during the busy holiday season. 

For a small business looking to gain traction, too much choice can be a bad thing. Creating a clear, focused, and effective advertising strategy is complex enough for large companies with ample resources. For small businesses, building brand recognition from scratch can feel like an exceptionally lofty and complicated goal. 

Amazon Advertising can offer small business owners a solution to their advertising woes with a model that gets results and puts every dollar spent to good use. 

What Is Amazon Advertising?

Amazon Advertising is Amazon’s sponsored advertisement service. Much like how Google populates the first few search results with relevant paid advertisements, Amazon also shows its shoppers advertisements for products similar to those they are searching for. 

To generate as many sales as possible, Amazon Advertising prioritizes advertisements for more popular products with high sales numbers. This could make it difficult for a little-known business to get its advertising campaign off the ground with Amazon. Still, once an advertisement picks up momentum, it will start to see exponential returns.

Benefits of Amazon Advertising For Small Business Owners

Amazon is one of the largest online shopping platforms in the world. In 2020, they did nearly 386 billion dollars of business. As of 2021, they have over 300 million active users. These figures should clearly indicate that Amazon is the gateway to a vast market of regular shoppers. By selling products on Amazon or using Amazon Advertising, a small business or entrepreneur could leverage Amazon’s existing audience to get their products in front of more people without the long, arduous process of developing a loyal customer base independently.

Another benefit of Amazon Advertising for small business owners is the pricing model. Amazon Advertising functions as a pay-per-click service—businesses that use the service to advertise only pay each time a customer clicks on their ad (whether they buy the product or not). Pay-per-click advertising is usually a smart strategy for small businesses because they can be confident they are not wasting their potentially limited resources on advertisements no one sees.

A business might also choose Amazon Advertising for the guarantee of a positive advertising environment. Amazon is a well-known and reputable shopping platform, so brands that advertise with them are unlikely to suffer any loss of reputation that could result from advertising with a less trusted platform. 

More importantly, a person shopping on Amazon is already thinking of making a purchase, or they probably wouldn’t be looking at the website. Since Amazon chooses which advertisements to display based on their relevance to the products the customer is searching for, business owners can be sure that anyone seeing their ad is already in the market for what they are selling. A business that advertises with Amazon can get their product before the customer at the crucial moment of decision.

Amazon Advertising also features an API that advertisers can use to track the results of their advertisements and adjust their approach accordingly. The ability to make data-driven advertising decisions is a significant benefit, especially for small businesses still trying to work out their advertising strategy. Insights gained through Amazon Advertising’s performance data API can help a business streamline its advertising strategy and potentially save them from sinking money into ineffective advertisements.

Types of Amazon Ads

Amazon allows advertisers to choose between a few different advertising formats. This can provide some flexibility based on each advertiser’s needs. Below are some of the most common types of Amazon ads.

Sponsored products

Sponsored product ads appear as individual product listings displayed in the list of shopping results when shoppers enter a search. Usually, any Amazon search’s first three to five results are sponsored ads, indicated by a small “sponsored” label directly above the listing.

Sponsored brands

Sponsored brand ads are very similar to sponsored product ads, except they promote a brand as a whole instead of a single product. They are usually featured as a row at the very top of the search results page and can display up to three products and a brand logo and headline. Customers can be routed to a custom branded landing page if they click on the brand logo or to the corresponding product page if they click on one of the products.

Product displays

Product display ads are not keyword targeted like sponsored product and brand ads. Instead, they are interest-targeted, meaning they are shown to customers who have demonstrated a pattern of interest in the category to which that product belongs. This type of advertisement is a little different because it leverages a customer’s past buying habits rather than their current search terms. Product displays can appear in many places across Amazon’s website, not just in the list of search results.

Tips For Optimizing Amazon Ads

Amazon advertising can get the product in front of the customer, but it’s still up to the ad to sell them on it. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of the ads that go up on Amazon:

Be creative with your ad copy.

One of the most significant advantages of advertising with Amazon is that it provides access to an established audience of shoppers. However, the size and reach of the platform also mean there is a lot of competition for shoppers’ attention. Advertisers can give their ad campaigns a better chance of sticking out from the crowd by injecting a little bit of wit or humor into their ad copy.

Get to the point.

Catching shoppers’ attention is essential, but convincing them to buy is the ultimate goal. Since advertisers have a limited amount of space to utilize, it’s a good idea to make your Amazon ad copy specific and informative so that shoppers get the details they need to decide with minimal effort.

Use multiple ad formats.

If you stick with just one type of Amazon advertisement, you’ll never know if another type could be working better. Sometimes, the best approach is to invest in all three main ad formats for the broadest coverage possible.

How Much Does Amazon Advertising Cost?

Amazon Advertising functions as a pay-per-click model, which means advertisers pay each time a customer clicks on one of their ads. The advertiser sets the cost per click, but the more competitive the bid, the more likely the ad is seen. This can save advertisers from paying for an ad that isn’t getting any attention.

The cost per click is the same whether the click results in a sale or not, so it’s up to the product itself to make the click price worthwhile.

An Advertising Platform for the Holiday Season

Small business owners hoping to take advantage of the upcoming holiday season to boost sales should consider investing in additional advertising channels. Whether a business is looking for a long-term advertising platform or a short-term home for a holiday ad campaign, they could likely find a solution that fits their needs with Amazon Advertising.

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