Friday, July 31, 2015

Joint Ventures Aren’t Just for Coaches

 

marketing_more_words
As an entrepreneur and small business owner, no doubt you have attended many marketing Webinars, read a lot of marketing books and listened to podcasts etc all so you can learn more about how to market your business.

During your quest, you have probably heard a lot of hype about joint ventures to market your business.

Marketing gurus will tell you they are a powerful way to grow a coaching business.
But what if you’re not a coach? Heck, what if you keep hearing that term but have no idea WHAT it actually means? I was that way for a long time too – I just figured it was reserved for those that had hundreds of thousands in their list and not for a typical start-up or growing business.

However, I have good news for you — what I came to realize is that joint ventures work for regular small businesses too!

So what exactly IS a joint venture? Basically it’s when you partner up with someone else and help each other out by marketing the other person to your list and visa versa.

Typically, you would want to find someone who has a list size that is similar to yours (or a colleague that doesn’t mind helping you out if you’re just getting started) and also someone that shares a similar target market as you.

This way, it’s an even “I help you and you help me and we both benefit” scenario. If you each share a similar target market but are not in competing fields, then each list will be happy to hear about the other person’s offering.

So without further ado, here’s some inspiration to help you tap into the power of JVs for your business:

1. EXPAND your customer base fast.
When a joint venture partner promotes your product, it instantly exposes you to an entirely new audience.

Imagine being a divorce mediator and having your colleague who is a therapist recommend you in their newsletter. While your business email list may only have 1,000 subscribers, the therapist may have 2,500 subscribers on her list.

When she personally endorses your divorce mediation services, people trust her recommendation. So it QUICKLY multiples the amount of leads you are exposed to.
It also BUILDS instant trust and rapport when someone they know is introducing your services to them.

2. Build your E-MAIL LIST fast by offering freebies to a joint ventures list.
This could be a free report, article, checklist, audio, or webinar. When your joint venture partner announces your freebie to their list, you benefit from having people opt in to receive the freebie.
For example a chiropractor could offer a “10 Ways Low Carb Diets Help You Lose Weight Fast” report from a nutritionist joint venture partner.

3. Get raving REVIEWS to use in your marketing.
When a joint venture partner writes a review or testimonial for your product or service, you can use that on your website, blog, brochure, or social media.
There’s nothing like a great testimonial from another respected business person to build trust with potential buyers.

4. DOUBLE YOUR SALES with half the effort.
When you agree to cross promote products with a joint venture product you both benefit from a boost in sales.

People want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold. Often a third party endorsement from a Joint Venture partner promoting your product will bear more weight than a self-promotional effort.

5. Enjoy great benefits with FREE MARKETING. C’MON.
Who doesn’t love marketing that doesn’t cost you a dime?

As an addition to, or alternative from the typical Facebook ads, pay per clicks, and other advertising, when you are working with a small marketing budget, JV partnerships are a smart way to grow your business at zero cost.

Plus, they often convert better too because you are marketing to a warm list versus cold call marketing.

6. Add More VALUE to your List Members.
Think about how grateful you are when your friend tells you about a great movie or a fantastic new restaurant they have tried. Your email list feels the same way. They love hearing about products you have tried that you find really helpful.

Recommending great products from joint venture partners is something your list members will look forward to.

7. Bring NEW IDEAS and creativity to the table.
Sometimes having someone else market your product can add a new “flavour” to your pitch – one that will spur new interest and sales.

Plus your JV partner may have ideas for fun promotions that you haven’t even thought of.
So don’t think that joint ventures are just for authors, speakers, and coaches. Joint ventures are a highly effective way that everyday businesses can promote their business.

It’s free, easy to implement, and a fast way to boost sales.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Starting Your Marketing Plan

 

marketing
A marketing plan sets out what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it. It helps you focus on the activities that will move you closer to your marketing goals and minimize the ones that keep you busy with small feel-good wins that do little to move your business ahead.

Your marketing plan should be generated from your overall business objectives. These overarching goals set a framework that will directly or indirectly influence your priorities.

For example, if boosting your position in the marketplace against key competitors is a priority, it could call for a PR campaign in addition to product and customer service improvements. Setting a high target for repeat customers may impact the sales team’s process, but their work can be supported by energizing customers and cultivating brand ambassadors from among your biggest fans.

To set your objectives, you need to have a firm understanding of your market and how your business fits. For example:
  • What current trends are having an impact on your business?
  • Who are your main competitors?
  • How would you describe your target audience?
  • What opportunities and threats currently exist in the marketplace?

The Right Marketing Mix
Commonly referred to as the “4 Ps,” your marketing strategy will generally depend on one or more of the following four variables:
  • The actual product (or service),
  • The price (or value) it has,
  • Where you place (or distribute) what you offer, and
  • How you promote it.

An effective marketing plan needs the right mix of product, price, place, and promotion to get the results you want.

market-1

There are actually three different ways to consider your product or service:
  • Your core product is something you can’t touch: it’s the benefit your customer is buying—not the product itself, but the problem it solves.
  • Your formal product is what people actually use. It includes physical elements like design and texture, or perceived features like quality and styling.
  • Any value added features offered “over and above” the base product, like customer service or delivery, to differentiate your business from the competition.

These lenses apply to both physical products and services, although if you offer a service, you’re selling something that’s more intangible as well as unique to every customer. Instead of physical attributes like color or texture, your product is tied to each customer’s experience and any tangible results.

What Every Marketing Plan Should Include
Building on your understanding of where and how you fit into the marketplace, your marketing plan will need to:
  1. Identify the purpose of your marketing campaign.What problem do you need to solve, and what does success look like?
  2. Set objectives for your efforts.What are the key measurable results that will define your success?
  3. Define a process, and identify the tactics, that will help you achieve your goals.What do you need to do to succeed? How will you move your customers to take action?

Identifying Your Marketing Plan’s Purpose
Marketing efforts typically distill down to one of two primary aims:
  • To build and maintain demand for your product or service, and/or
  • To shorten your sales cycle.

As you begin to craft your marketing plan, focus on what success looks like. What problem does your marketing plan need to solve? In order to “keep your eye on the prize,” you need to have a clear picture of your target.

Setting Objectives for Your Efforts
Good objectives are SMART—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting objectives that meet those criteria, especially if you’re a new business with no benchmarks to compare to, isn’t easy.

However, these objectives are important. They’ll help guide your decisions as you create your marketing plan, and they can also serve as a “reality check” as you bring your plan to life: each decision can move you toward your goal or become an unnecessary distraction, and understanding the measurable objectives you need to reach can help you make a firmer choice about how to spend energy and resources.

Defining the Process
The actual “how to” of doing the work seems to evolve daily. Marketing is going through what some have described as the biggest shift since the invention of the printing press, and it’s impacting the way businesses scale and thrive.

The challenge is determining which tactics will be most effective when it comes to reaching your goals.

The details of your marketing strategy will be further influenced by your industry, your product or service, and—critically—the most effective way to reach your current and potential customers at the moment.

Mapping your buyer’s journey will help identify who you need to reach, what you need them to do at each stage of your relationship, and what you need to do—through your marketing plan—to move them to take action.

The Buyer’s Journey: Put Your Marketing Efforts in Context
Whether you call it a marketing funnel, buyer’s journey, customer lifecycle, or something else entirely, this model does one thing: it identifies the broad phases a customer goes through before, during, and after their purchase.

Once, this was a fairly straightforward process. The AIDA marketing funnel—Attention, Interest, Desire, Action—is the traditional progression for buyer behavior: customers started at the top and were guided through the other stages, often by a salesperson.


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Monday, July 27, 2015

How to Fix Common Mobile Content and Usability Issues

 

Photo Credit: Luca Mascaro via flickr
 

Mobile recently became the dominant device for search queries, finally toppling desktop usage. We knew this day would come; the prevalence of these electronics only continues to grow. So it’s time to up your mobile content game.

A recent Pew Research Study revealed that not only has the number of smartphone owners nearly doubled since 2011, up to 64% from 35%, but 46% of smartphone owners say this gadget is something “they couldn’t live without”.

Jerry Dischler, Google’s vice president of product management, commented on this movement, saying, “Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. And at these times, consumers are increasingly picking up their smartphones for answers. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan.”

The facts are plain and simple, mobile is taking over and Google has already been taking steps to accommodate this. To help ensure that your business is also focused on mobile content and usability, here are solutions for some of today’s most common mobile content and ranking issues.

Viewport Configuration, or Responsive Design
For those that are unaware, viewport controls the way web pages are displayed on mobile devices. Without a configured viewport, pages will appear on mobile devices as the typical desktop screen width, only scaled to fit the screen. This leads to an extremely poor user experience since the visitor will need to scroll side to side to view the content on the site. Not to mention that Google will likely penalize you. By establishing a viewport, a site owner has complete control over the page width and scaling across various devices.

For this to be resolved a site must be equipped with a “meta viewport tag”. This tag informs various browsers of how to alter the page dimension and scaling to accommodate the device viewing the site. By utilizing Google’s Responsive Web Design Basics countless issues to support layout changes such as setting the viewport, size content to viewport, CSS media queries for responsiveness, and more can be resolved.

Fixed-Width Viewport
Thanks to Google’s Mobile Usability reports, you are able to monitor any of your site’s pages that are set to a fixed width for viewport. Fixed width creates the same negative user experience described above, and if this issue is occurring, you are likely being penalized and should fix the problem as soon as possible.

To alleviate this concern, a responsive design for all web pages is highly recommended. The viewport must be set to sync up with the device’s width and scale accordingly. To do this correctly, you will want to reference the experts. Check out how to Set the Viewport in Google’s Web Fundamentals.

Content Has Not Been Sized to the Viewport
This again brings us back to the issue of horizontal scrolling. This is predominantly caused by two issues. The first is when absolute values in CSS declaration are implemented. The second is caused by images that are set to specific browser widths. Either way, this will ultimately cause a “content not sized to viewport” error.

In order for this problem to be remedied, all site pages must utilize the relative width and position values for CSS elements. Additionally, an image must have the ability to scale under Google’s instruction and guidance. Check out Size Content to the Viewport on Google’s site for more information.

Font Size
On the other side of the horizontal scrolling issue is the “pinch to zoom” problem. This becomes problematic when the font size for the page is too small and illegible. Luckily, this is an easy fix. Simply set your font sizes to scale properly within the viewport as well. You can learn more about this in Google’s Use Legible Font Size guide.

Flash
As it currently stands, the majority of mobile browsers do not accommodate Flash-based content. Sites that employ any content that relies on Flash, whether it be for animations, videos, or navigation, are essentially damaging the site’s potential since users on mobile can’t view the content.

In the unfortunate event that you receive a Flash error message, Google provides the necessary information to resolve the issue. It’s likely caused by CSS vs. JavaScript animation conflict, animation timing, or custom easing. A review of Google’s Look and Feel guide will help reveal the source and solution to whatever Flash issue is ailing your site.

Small screens have taken over. It is absolutely essential for your site and its content to be effective on mobile devices across the board. Google has laid out all of the necessary information and tools to set you up for success. Make mobile your priority and your users will respond in kind.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Tips for Establishing a Professional Twitter Account

 

Twitter

Twitter currently boasts 302 million active monthly users. This means just one thing; the potential for networking and brand awareness growth is massive. Many businesses have already built a substantial social following through this channel alone. Twitter is without a doubt one of the most powerful vehicles for driving brand awareness today.

Despite this fact, many businesses that reside on the digital portal are still attempting to get by with incomplete, unprofessional, and subpar accounts. If your business’s Twitter page does not appear professional, few will take your brand seriously and only a certain level of success can be attained.
To help take your brand’s Twitter presence to the next level, here are 4 powerful tips for building a professional presence online:

1. Complete Your Profile and Optimize Your Bio
First things first. For a page to be truly professional it must be complete. If any areas are left blank, filled with lackluster text, or appear to be anything less than polished and honest, visitors can only take you so seriously.

The elements that are critical for a proper profile are simple but highly effective. A professional photo is a must. If your profile picture is snapshot of your team in a dimly lit bar or something similar, it’s harming your brand.

Images are essential in today’s online world and your profile picture must portray professionalism through and through. It’s fine to use your logo; just make sure it’s properly sized for Twitter’s specs as well. Also, be sure to list your company’s name so that you can be easily found by those who are searching for you.

For the bio, you will want to include as much pertinent information as possible, but be careful as there are only a finite number of characters to work with. Utilize keywords that are representative of your niche so that users who search to find individuals in your industry can easily land on your page. Be sure to also include your location and a link to your website or other social accounts to get the maximum amount of cross-traffic.

2. Connect with Authorities in Your Niche
An important aspect of growing your audience and establishing your brand as an authority is to connect with influencers within your field. But don’t just follow these folks, engage with them. Read their tweets and share your thoughts, contribute to active conversations, and retweet relevant posts with your audience.

The most important thing to remember here, however, is to always be adding value to the conversation. Don’t comment on posts just for the sake of commenting. If you continually add value to the running dialogue, you will eventually get noticed and your poignancy will eventually pay off.
If you are unsure of how to find the right people to connect with, use Twitter Analytics to see what personalities in your target market your followers are connected to. You could also use platforms such as Klout or Kred to obtain this or similar information.

3. Share Valuable Content Often
One of the single most important things you can be doing to help build brand awareness is to share top-notch quality content on a regular basis. Set up a content calendar to keep up-to-date with posts and various types of content to be distributed. By sharing content that is useful to your audience as often as possible, more eyes will be drawn to your account through your followers, retweets, and comments.

Keep in mind though that the content that is shared must be of value. If posts are generated simply for the sake of posting, you will quickly become a nuisance to your audience and be deemed a less than credible source. If you have trouble generating content that would be considered first-class, there are a plethora of easy to use content creation tools available online.

4. Analyze and Improve
Analyzation of distributed materials is highly important. After all, how will you know if a post reached its maximum potential without evaluating the results? There are plenty of tools available to assist in the process for after a post has been shared (like Twitter Analytics), but is there a way to determine if a post will be successful before posting it? Not necessarily, but there are tools that will give you a great indication of such information.

By using platforms such as BuzzSumo you can establish what types of posts in your niche that have already been successful in the social arena. Simply enter the keywords you are looking for and, voilĂ , you are provided a list of the top-performing content in terms of social shares. Better yet, you can filter by social network to ensure that post was successful on the portal you are looking to post to.
Twitter is an extremely powerful tool for content discovery, communication, and networking; if it’s used properly that is. By setting up your profile in a more professional manner and connecting with the proper influencers in your market, your audience is sure to grow and you will be poised to become a respected authority in the field yourself. Implement the aforementioned advice and get a leg up on the competition.


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Thursday, July 23, 2015

11 Disney-Themed Ways to Create Blogs People Want to Read

 

Photo Credit: Adikos via flickr (CC BY 2.0)
 
If you could make your blog as popular as a Disney (or Pixar) movie, wouldn’t you want to? Even if you are one of the rare few who doesn’t like animated kids movies, you have to admit…that company knows what they are doing.

While I cannot promise you that using the following Disney tips will get you Disney-level success, I will say that if you use Disney lessons to fuel your blog, it will end up being a whole lot more popular.

11 Ways ‘Disney-Fing’ Your Blog Can Help

Disney can teach you a lot about creating a great blog. Here are 11 different lessons to get you started. And, yes—they are in chronological order.

1. Be Snow White (Make Yourself the Best).
When Snow White’s evil stepmother found out Snow was the fairest of them all, she didn’t try to fix herself, she tried to get rid of her rival. Spoiler alert: it did not work so well for her.
If you are falling behind your competition in the blogging arena, don’t try to point out what is wrong with the others. Instead, make yourself better.

All you can do is improve yourself. So while you should keep an eye on others in your industry, ultimately, work on making yours the best it can be.

2. Don’t Play Pinocchio (Be Trustworthy).
Whenever Pinocchio lied, people knew. Plus, he looked rather silly with that really long nose.
When you are factually inaccurate, make claims you cannot stand by, or don’t back up your writing with proof, you look just as silly. You aren’t going to fool your audience just by saying the things you want them to believe. So don’t try.

Be a trustworthy source of content. If you become a thought leader that people rely on to get the information they need, they are going to start going to you (and telling others to go to you) for that information.

3. 1 Cinderella Beats 2 Evil Stepsisters (Quality Beats Quantity).
Cinderella was outnumbered in the race for Prince Charming’s heart. She had two evil stepsisters fighting for her man yet somehow she still beat them all out. How? By being the person the most worth loving.

When it comes to your blog, you want to have a lot of content. However, if that content isn’t quality content, then nobody is going to love it. Make your blog the Cinderella of blogs: quality trumps quantity every single time.

4. Create Alice in Wonderlands (Make Them Want More).
Why did Alice follow that rabbit? Why did she eat and drink things just because they had signs on them? Why did she have tea with the Mad Hatter? Because everything about that world made her “curiouser and curiouser.”

If you want readers to keep trekking through your wonderland, then you have to make them curious about what you have to say.
  • Write intriguing headlines and subheadings.
  • Choose interesting topics.
  • Talk about things that can actually add value to their life.

If you intrigue them, they will read what you write.

5. Peter Pan It (Have a Hook).
No good Disney movie is complete without an exciting villain. For Peter Pan, that bad guy was Captain Hook. Imagine the movie (because we are talking about Disney – not books) without him. There would be a lot less in the way of plot and excitement.

In your posts, you also need to have a hook. Instead of a one-handed pirate captain, though, all you have to do is create some unique angle that makes people think about your topic in a way that they never have before.

The Daily Post discusses the various ways to create a unique angle for a story. Figure out who you are and how that relates to your story.

For example, if you are writing about ways to enhance your blog, you can compare it to Disney movies although I think that has been done before.

6. Stay Away from Sleeping Beauties (Don’t Put Them to Sleep).
One prick of a needle, and Sleeping Beauty, plus the whole kingdom, fell asleep until some other guy came along and woke them all back up with a kiss and won Sleeping Beauty’s heart.

Boring writing and topics are just basically giant magical needles. As soon as people read it, they are going to be put to sleep. Not only that, but it could be your competitor that eventually wakes them back up with their interesting take on the same subject and wins readers’ hearts.

Don’t let that happen to you. If you want a successful blog, make sure the things you are writing about are interesting.

7. Learn from the Jungle Book (Be Yourself).
Sometimes, being in someone else’s world is a lot of fun. Ask Mogli. He wanted to stay in the jungle for the rest of his life and pretend he wasn’t human. However, he eventually found a human girl and realized being a human had its perks.

You may find that other topics are more fascinating than your intended topic. And if every once in a while you want to go hang out in the jungle and make a purely entertainment based post, then good for you! However, do not forget who you are.

A good blog does not abandon its nature. It finds ways to get its point out in an appealing way. Your blog can still be on point to its purpose – a financial company’s blog doesn’t have to report on the latest celebrity gossip – and still be interesting.

Entrepreneur gives a list of 21 ways a trade blog can still keep the trade while being interesting, including talking in the first person. But here is a good starting point: all you have to do is think about your audience.
  • What do they need to know?
  • How would they like to learn it?

Now, give it to them.

8. Follow Aladdin’s Genie (Give Them What They Want).
Why did Jafar want Genie so badly? Because genies grant wishes, of course.

If you want people to want you, then you have to become the place that gives them what they want.
This does not mean pander to them. Don’t just write something to write it. However, do answer needs.

Let’s say you are writing an IT blog. Now, let’s say nobody cares anything about historical IT. Everybody, though, wants to learn about what is going to happen in the world of IT 10 years down the road.

What would make a better post – the history of IT or 10 emerging IT trends?

9. Be the Lion King (Don’t Avoid Your Duties).
Simba thought he had killed his dad, aka the king, and so he had to live out the rest of his life in exile. However, eventually he realized he was letting down everybody by not doing his job.

Maybe you had a bad blogging experience. It just was not working for you. So you decided the best choice was just to give up. However, if you do this, you could be hurting yourself and your whole company.

Content is an extremely important part of your marketing efforts. If you ignore it, it won’t go away. It’s just going to be done by your rivals (or a whole bunch of Scars as the case may be.)

When you struggle with your blogging, you have to revaluate, adjust, and keep going. Step up to the plate and become the Blogging King you are destined to be.

10. Embrace Your Toy Story (Get Help).
Woody had always ruled the roost on his own. So when Buzz came in, Woody was jealous. He did everything he could to get rid of the interloper and go back to the way things were. However, over the course of the movie, he realized two things.

  1. Buzz was a great person to have on his side.
  2. Woody needed Buzz to help him make everything alright.

In the world of blogging, you should not be acting on your own. Everybody needs help. And there are many ways to get it, depending on your needs.
  • To avoid errors: You need someone to edit what you write.
  • To come up with topics: You need people to help churn out great ideas.
  • To gain exposure: you can use guest bloggers with bigger followings than you currently have.
  • When you just don’t have time: you can hire someone to do the blog for you.

11. Look Inside Out (Use Emotions).
I’ll avoid saying too much about this one since it is so new and you may not have seen it yet (but go see it). Let’s just say that emotions are important.

In your blog, this is still true. In order to create a successful blog, you need to make your readers feel something. Different emotions are needed under different circumstances. Use a wide variety.
Sometimes you can make them laugh. Sometimes they might cry. At other times, you might want to rile them up so much they have to act (or just to get all the Inside Out emotions on the list, you might also want to scare or disgust them into action).

At the end of the post, you should have made them feel enough about what you said that they want to learn more.

Moves Like Disney (Be a Storyteller)
Walt Disney knew how to get attention with his storytelling ability. He didn’t even have to create stories. Sometimes he just showcased someone else’s work like Hamlet (The Lion King) or any of the Brothers Grimm tales (aka, he was a good content curator).

When creating your blog, use Disney as your example. Figure out ways to tell your story in a style that is going to please and capture your audience.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How to Perfect Your App’s Listing in Google Play

Image courtesy of (KROMKRATHOG)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 

Google’s Play Store is the largest app store in the world with more than 1.4 million apps to its credit. With this mind-boggling number of apps present on Google Play, ‘discovery of apps’ is a major issue. The solution lies in the form of creating a perfect listing for your app.

Let us go through some of the common steps, which will help you perfect your app’s listing in Google Play.

Create a Flawless Title
Make sure the title of your app is unique. Avoid using common terms; instead use words that reinforce what your app is all about. Avoid using longer titles as they are likely to get truncated depending on the mobile devices they are viewed on.

You can use keywords in the title of your app. Owing to the fact that the titles on Google Play are limited to only 30 characters, the keywords that you can use are restricted to one or at the most two. The gist is to keep the title precise to create an impact on the users. Also, do check the terms in the title for misspellings.

Edit the Description
The description of your app should focus on what ‘users look forward to’ in an app. This includes the main features and functionalities of the app. When you write an app’s description, make sure that the most important content is placed above the fold and not below. You can take a cue from some of the best app descriptions.

You also need to follow the best SEO practices as well as follow Google Play Content Policies to improve app listing.

For instance, just like the title, you can also use keywords in your app’s description. Google allows you to use a maximum of 4,000 characters in the description, which means you can easily insert a number of keywords in the text. But you need to ensure that they do not look out of place or ‘spammy’. The best practice is to include the target keyword about five times in the entire description.

Use Apt Graphics and Images
Your app’s icon, images, screenshots and other graphic elements make it unique and draw attention of potential users. Let’s go through the ways you can use these elements to your advantage.
  • Create a great promo video — Adding a promo video to your app’s profile is a piece of cake. Keep the videos short, interesting and highlight only the most essential features of your app in them.
  • Take excellent screenshots – Just like the videos, screenshots also highlight the best features of your app. Choose the ones that are visually appealing, have a high resolution and include text in them to explain the functionalities of the app to the users.
  • Create a compelling icon – Use your app’s icon to create a great first impression on the users. Choose appropriate colors that are in sync with your brand or company and use them in the icon. Similarly, if your app has a mascot, you can make the mascot to be a part of the icon and attract the users.
Follow Google’s guidelines to enhance graphic assets, screenshots and video for your app to get the best results.

Localize Your App’s Store Listing
One of the advantages of having your app listed on the Google Play store is that you get automated machine translations of the store listings. Just go to the app’s Store Listing page> Add Translations and select the language of your choice. This will help you translate the app instantly, which is a part of localization. Although this is a convenient step, the results are much better when you use a human translator and the best tools for the same.

Create a Great User Experience
Apps on Google Play are ranked on the basis of numerous factors. These include but are not limited to – ratings, reviews, number of downloads etc. To make sure that you get the best ratings, reviews and increase downloads, you need to create a great user experience for your app. Here are some of the steps that you can take in this direction:
  • Keep working on improving your app through regular maintenance.
  • Add new updates to the app and fix the bugs.
  • Encourage loyal users of the app to provide their feedback through ratings, comments or reviews.
  • Respond to and address the issues or complaints from your users.

Choose the Most Appropriate Category
Every app store sorts apps into various categories. Google Play too has different categories for sorting apps, which include – Games, Communication, Travel, Weather, Finance etc. In order to make sure that potential users will find a way to your app, select the most appropriate category for it.

Respond to App Reviews
Customer feedback, suggestions or complaints are essential for a developer. It is through these reviews, they can come to know whether their app is appreciated or needs to be improved or changed. By incorporating the changes in the app, they improve its quality and this is what increases the chance of the app to get high ratings from the users.

Also, Google Play store has a unique feature. It allows users to respond to the customers’ reviews on the store itself. This interaction allows them to connect with their customers and offer them better customer care service. Naturally, this works in favor of your app and helps generate positive reviews in the future.

Work on the ‘What’s New’ Description

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 1.11.07 AM

When you update your app by adding some new feature or functionality, make it a point to mention all that you updated in the ‘what’s new’ section of the description. Most of the time, new users are attracted by the new additions/changes made to the app and this leads them to download and install the app on their device. These are some of the best practices that will help you perfect your app’s listing on Google Play.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Why You’re Seeing Fewer Workers’ Comp Cases

 

  • Since 2003, legislators in 33 states have passed workers’ comp laws that reduce benefits or make it more difficult for those with certain injuries and diseases to qualify for them.
  • In 37 states, workers can’t pick their own doctor or are restricted to a list provided by their employers.
  • For those patients who are able to access workers’ comp benefits, the amounts have been reduced by as much as 65%.

A report by ProPublica and National Public Radio has found that access to workers’ compensation benefits has been significantly restricted in a large majority of the United States. For those patients who are able to access workers’ comp benefits, the amounts have been reduced by as much as 65%.

As a result, you will likely see fewer workers’ compensation patients in your practice. According to ProPublica, the researchers analyzed insurance industry data, studied state laws, and obtained confidential medical and court records to “provide an unprecedented look at the unwinding of workers’ comp laws across the country.”
Among the findings:
  • Since 2003, legislators in 33 states have passed workers’ comp laws that reduce benefits or make it more difficult for those with certain injuries and diseases to qualify for them. Florida has cut benefits to its most severely disabled workers by 65% since 1994.
  • Where a worker gets hurt matters. Because each state has developed its own system, an amputated arm can literally be worth two or three times as much on one side of a state line than the other. The maximum compensation for the loss of an eye is $27,280 in Alabama, but $261,525 in Pennsylvania.
  • Many states have not only shrunk the payments to injured workers, they’ve also cut them off after an arbitrary time limit — even if workers haven’t recovered. After John Coffell hurt his back at an Oklahoma tire plant last year, his wages dropped so dramatically that he and his family were evicted from their home.
  • Employers and insurers increasingly control medical decisions, such as whether an injured worker needs surgery. In 37 states, workers can’t pick their own doctor or are restricted to a list provided by their employers.
  • In California, insurers can now reopen old cases and deny medical care based on the opinions of doctors who never see the patient and don’t even have to be licensed in the state. Joel Ramirez, who was paralyzed in a warehouse accident, had his home health aide taken away, leaving him to sit in his own feces for up to eight hours.

Presented with ProPublica and NPR’s findings, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., one of the leading worker advocates in Congress, said the changes undermine the basic protections for injured workers.
The rollback “would be bad if it were happening in one state,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa, who ProPublica called “one of the leading worker advocates in Congress.”

“But the fact that a number of states have moved in this direction is disturbing and it should be unacceptable to people in both political parties,” he added. They call them reforms. That’s a real insult to workers,” said Senator Casey.

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