No matter what profession you’ve chosen to go into, investing in real estate (both online and offline) is one of the best ways to safeguard your future financial security. You may be thinking, but I don’t know anything about investing. The good news is you don’t have to be a hotshot Wall Street professional to get started. Just like pretty much any type of investing or necessary further education requirements, you can learn all of the basics online.
The great thing about investing in real estate is that even making small investments can later provide big returns. While offline real estate and properties will likely cost thousands of dollars to start investing in, online properties (in the form of domain names) can cost as little as $10 to get started. In either case, there is plenty of time, work, and research required for each. Yes, people are making good money, but it would also be a huge mistake to think it’s easy.
To help with the thought process behind investing in offline and online properties, let’s take a look at some of the different investment options out there, and why it continues to be one of the best ROI business models out there.
It’s Reliable, and Property is Always in Demand
Since the dawn of the Great American Dream, real estate has been considered one of smartest long-term investments available. It’s also one of the biggest reasons young couples have long been advised to purchase a small starter home at the beginning of their marriage with the promise that after a few years they could sell at a profit and pad those retirement accounts. So while you may have never felt compelled to have that front yard and white picket fence, you might want to reconsider. Also be sure to consider your home locations, as you never know when the unexpected might happen!
Economic tides will continue to ebb and flow, but property values tend to almost always increase over time, regardless of the market. Why? Because people will always need shelter, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Shelter wrapped up in an investment is pretty much a win-win. Additionally, while new companies and brands come and go, housing will always remain a necessity, even if there are slight dips in the market.
Taking all of these perspectives and focusing them towards online real estate and domain names, you have even more limitations and value in what you may own. Think of .com, .net, and .org domains as the premium houses of the world. When you get a generic one-word domain, think of it as the most expensive and valuable house in the state! Some domain names will go on to sell for millions of dollars, but it’s extremely rare and unlikely.
You Don’t Need Trade Floor Skills
It’s true that understanding stock market investments can take years of knowledge and practice, but real estate isn’t nearly as complex. Yes, it will require some research, and you’ll have to do a considerable amount of evaluation, but there’s not nearly as much guesswork and volatility with property compared to investing in the latest and greatest trends, like cryptocurrency. Really, it all boils down to figuring out what the real estate market looks like in your area as well as what’s available and it’s quality. Start by visiting open houses and auctions. Connect with others who’ve made property investments and read as much as you can on the topic.
When buying or selling a home, you can go through a realtor. The same holds true for buying and selling domain names online — except it’s often done through a domain broker. Just like realtors, a domain broker is going to do most of the work for you, as they likely have many connections and potential buyers or sellers in place. At the same time, you will also have to pay a percentage (usually 10-30%) for their efforts and success rates.
Go Big, or Go Small — All Options are Available
If you’re interested in buying a home, considering buying a rental property instead. And don’t worry, if do decide to invest in a rental it doesn’t mean you have to actually manage the property yourself. You may decide to hire a property management company to oversee the daily operations. A manager can screen tenants, collect rent payments and show the property to interested parties. Or you may decide to manage the property yourself and function as a landlord. However, if the latter is the case and you don’t have any property management experience, you may want to seek out some advice and tips for new landlords.
This same concept is happening daily in the world of domain names as well. With domain brokers like GreatDomains, NameJet, Pool, and others, sometimes domain names can sell for five, six, or even seven figures. In most cases, these domains will be purchased outright and paid in advance. However, there are times when it makes sense to sell domains at a faster rate and offer a payment plan, which allows for more buyers to take action.
The Internet is Your Ally
Another reason there’s no better time to invest in real estate is the sole factor of technology. Whether it’s the topic of buying, selling or managing real estate the sheer amount of resources you have at your disposal is mind-blowing. With just the click of a button, you can research and make an appointment with experts, realtors, property management companies, and home inspectors (a must before making any purchases). There are also hundreds if not thousands of threads on what you should know before investing, not to mention the added benefit of social media. Gone are the days of taking out a newspaper ad. So if you’re looking to strategically buy and sell to see returns, platforms such as Facebook, and even Craigslist, can provide additional marketing support to get your real estate listings seen.
When it comes to buying and selling domain names, the internet is your bread and butter — in fact, it’s kind of your only option! The good news is that there is a whole world of resources out there, domain expiration services, auction marketplaces to buy and sell domains, and much more. Take advantage of everything the internet has to offer in reference to learning more about buying and selling domain names or site properties, then get ready to make your first move!
It Can Be Tax Deductible
While tax codes allow for a range of deductions, including everything from the interest on your mortgage and money spent on renovation to a range of upkeep and maintenance costs, they do vary by state. You’ll want to investigate, or even consult with an accountant in your area, but in general, most rental property expenses can be written off as business expenses.
If you currently have an online business and are investing in domain names, this would definitely fall under the realm of a write-off (investment/cost) for the business. Of course, if you were to sell the domain name for big money, that would also funnel back into the business and eventually be taxed the same as any other incoming revenue.
Investing in the Offline and Online World of Property and Real Estate
No matter what type of property you are looking to invest in, always be sure to put in the time and effort to completely understand what you are getting into. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Finding that killer domain name on a GoDaddy or NameCheap search and getting it for $10!… Yea, that’s probably a perfect example of ‘too good to be true‘.
At the same time, you may feel hesitant about shelling out the dollars, but if you do your research and select carefully, the financial benefits can be great. The more comfortable you get with the idea of planning out your investments and taking action, the more likely you are to find success in the long run.
However, like most great investments it’ll take dedication and work on your end so don’t hesitate to seek support and get your questions answered!
9 Ways to Lead a Healthier and More Successful Entrepreneur Lifestyle
You know what I’m tired of hearing? We are always told being an entrepreneur is the toughest to start but the easiest to thrive in.
Guess what? It’s not like that at all. I have gone through hundreds of contents about the lives of successful entrepreneurs and here is what I found:
Becoming successful is easy. All you need is discipline and a strict daily routine.
My advice: Don’t study what made them successful. Study what they do on a daily basis.
Below are a number of tricks and strategies I collected and adapted in my own life from several prosperous people in the world.
Come to think of it. Nobody wants to be customers or clients to organizations that are entangled in bribery, fraud, false promises and bad delivery. As an entrepreneur, you must ensure that the products, services, and culture you demonstrate to others are as authentic as possible.
Alexi Panos, philanthropist, television presenter, producer, author, actress, and model believes when we expose our true selves to others, they can relate to us more effectively. By sharing your own story, you attract stakeholders towards yourself.
Do What You Love
Let’s ask ourselves this question: why do we want to be successful? Steve Jobs thought it’s for personal fulfillment. Basically, he believed in finding work that drives our passion provides us with excitement and fulfillment.
Before you become an entrepreneur, decide if it’ll give you what you truly want in life. Mark Cuban, whose net worth is US$3.8 billion, says that people must know what they love and what they’re good at to be successful.
Set the Right Goals
I tell you, be very discrete about this. Not all goals are what we want or what we can achieve. You have to be clear about your goals at all times. Create a Vision Board of all the things you would want to accomplish, and place it somewhere noticeable.
Don’t expect immediate satisfaction. Everything takes time to come to be successful. Relax and know that what you visualized will become a reality.
Henry Ford said, “when you don’t believe in yourself, you are believing in excuses”.
It is common for people to lose hope and become frustrated when things don’t go their way. Don’t do that. Believe in your ambitions. Trust life that it will make it happen.
This is a great way to promote your brand image. When you help others, others will help you. Also, this will ensure you build meaningful, long-lasting relationships.
Co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman notes that you can improve yourself by associating with people who you want to become. Even the people you partner with and employ for your organizations should reflect the best standards.
Promote other organizations and collaborate with them instead of competing, and you will create a harmonious exchange of giving and take.
When you create products or services that help people, they want to be your customers for life. Moreover, when you deliver more than their expectations, they pledge loyalty to you.
Learn from Criticisms
One of the most important lessons is taken from customer feedbacks. You have to tweak your delivery according to your customer’s needs. Unsatisfied customers are the end of an organization.
Don’t be offended by criticisms. Use it as an opportunity to improve yourself. Co-founder of Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington recalls that a critic once wrote to her that ‘The Huffington Post was an unsurvivable failure’.
Failures are not the bricks that we carry on our shoulders, but the steps that we stand on to climb upwards. Sophia Amoruso, a self-made millionaire says that those who rejected her once approved of her later on. So failures are never the end.
Time and Stress Management
What you choose to do within 24 hours is crucial. Be proactive. Don’t ever wait for tomorrow. What needs to be done needs to be done now.
Be creative when it comes to fear and stress management. Practice yoga and meditation. Find natural remedies for anxiety such as herbal tea, relaxing wine, and relaxing herbs.
I say this everywhere and I will say it here too. Switch to an organic diet. Your life will change drastically.
Be flexible. Adapt to situations as they come. Don’t be a slave to your past beliefs. If you have an opportunity, analyze it. If it’s favorable, take it.
Take Care of Your Health
You cannot multi-task or run an entire company when you are not doing well in the health department. You need a strong body to perform at your best all day, every day.
Wake up early in the morning. Go for a jog or work out. Exercising your muscles and bones lets your body stay active all day long.
It also reduces the chances of abruptly falling ill. Because if you fall sick, who’s going to run your company?
You don’t have to do everything all on your own. Outsource what you can, delegate tasks to your managers and focus on your own tasks.
Don’t follow the crowd. Do your own research and analyze opportunities wisely. Just because others are making money out of it does not mean you will. Ensure what is safe for you.
Never spend unnecessarily. It’s best to construct a personal budget and record everything daily.
Keep Yourself Motivated
This is the key factor in pursuing goals. If you lose the interest to chase, you will also lose the game.
How can you keep yourself motivated? Subscribe to newsletters and blogs that mentor about motivation and success. Hang out with people who are motivating and energetic.
Don’t just subscribe, but also read and practice the habits that will keep you driven to go on and reach your destination.
Habit is the key. Follow through all of the above tricks and hacks to make the most of your climb to career success.
Be authentic about what you say and do. Know what you want and follow through. Make sure to help others and demonstrate a safe, humanitarian company culture to all your stakeholders.
It is okay to take help from others when you need it. It is okay to be stressed and anxious. Just know what relaxes you and makes you feel better, so that at times when you are not feeling well, you can do something about it.
Keep yourself healthy, fit, motivated and educated. Do this every day because success starts from within first.
17 Growth Hacks to Help Your Startup Scale Faster
Startups are everywhere on the internet today. It doesn’t matter if your expertise, service, or focus is on technology, business, social media, content creation or even applications — this space is extremely saturated! Everyone has ideas, but only those who know how to implement them and turn their efforts into actions will see real results. Just like it’s easy for anyone to start a website or blog, it’s not so easy to get real traffic and make money.
The same is true for starting any type of business online. It’s all fun and games in the beginning, as you are likely starting from zero… but how long can this immediate growth last?
Rapid startup growth is a common goal for many business owners, but it’s one that is tricky to achieve. You need the right marketing tactics, customer support and operational infrastructure — and you need the resources to sustain it all until the sales start rolling in. This is where the opportunity of running an internet-based business really comes into play.
So, what’s the secret to scaling up with speed? Members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their best growth hacks for businesses looking to expand quickly. By following any of the growth hacks for businesses below, you should start to see improvement across the board in a matter of a few short weeks.
1. Create Your Brand
Start creating your brand as quickly as possible. Your brand is an important asset for a startup. People need to know what you do and why you do it in order to use your product or service. The faster people know your brand, the faster you will be able to scale up your business.
2. Learn How to Delegate
The fastest way to scale is to optimize your time. Start with the things that are taking up the majority of your time and find someone to manage them. Hire, outsource or create daily efficiencies, and scaling will feel easier than it should.
3. Focus on Your Processes
Experiencing rapid growth can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how prepared you are. We experienced and are experiencing this growth currently, and it helped expose areas of improvement in our processes. If your processes are broken and you grow fast, it will only emphasize those weaknesses. If you focus on shoring up processes first, you’ll be prepared for fast growth.
4. Draw Attention to Your Brand and Product
Ride on your competition’s research through SEO and advertising. Use Quora as a platform to answer questions related to your product. You will get immediate traffic. Use video marketing on LinkedIn to draw attention and increase followers.
5. Keep Reminding Your Audience About Your Brand
You have to get out there and get your name out. The more people you know who keep seeing what you do, the more they will think of you when they need what you do or know someone who you can help. This is a big reason why people buy from top brands — their marketing is all over the place reminding you.
6. Grow Your Team
The rate-limiting factor of growth of any organization is leadership. Entrepreneurs need to scale themselves as well as their teams. When the team is more effective and growing, the business will automatically grow to greater and greater scale. Nothing matters more than human capital.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Accept Help
If you insist on rapid growth, you’re going to need help. And once you get that help, you are going to need to trust their abilities. Too many entrepreneurs think they can do it all and they end up exhausting themselves/failing. Let those around you help you.
8. Put the Customer First, No Matter What
The bigger your business, the greater the need for a solid customer support infrastructure. Prioritize customer communication early on. Each interaction is an opportunity to showcase your brand’s voice and values. Cultivating loyalty and customer satisfaction is a result of having the right solutions and experts to guide your customer service strategy.
9. Know Your Sales Funnel
Sustainable, fast growth requires every part of the acquisition funnel to be in top shape. This will look different for every business, but it’s always important to pinpoint exactly what isn’t working, whether that’s acquiring leads, converting them or upselling them.
10. Learn How to Get the Right Traffic
You’re great at what you do, your service is wonderful and your prices are well worth the value you provide. The only thing is, nobody knows you and they can’t find you. If you know how to generate foot traffic or web traffic at a good cost, you’ll be able to scale up quickly. Find the right help, or roll up your sleeves and figure out how to do this for your industry.
11. Build a Strong HR Team
Most entrepreneurs do not pay enough attention to HR. To scale up quickly, you need to rely on people. You can’t do everything yourself and let your department heads rely on you in order to move forward. HR comes into play and lets you hire people that you can rely on.
12. Aggressively Network
My advice to startups looking for quick growth is to get the word out about their business or service by any means necessary. Spending a lot of money on marketing and promotion may not be possible in the early stages, but one of the cheapest and most effective methods of doing so is to connect with other professionals. Foster healthy relationships with professional peers.
13. Focus on SEO
SEO is still one of the most effective growth strategies, but it’s hard for founders to execute because it requires content development and the ability to build systems and processes effectively. Double down on content and guest blogging to get backlinks. Stick to it for a couple months targeting niche keywords and you’ll see exponential growth. Most give up too early, but it requires time.
14. Make Time for Strategic Planning
Every year, I make a vision board of what I want in my life. Then, I break it down to the top three goals that I feel I must accomplish for growth. Furthermore, I break it down into weekly actions and daily activities. Once a week, I outline my priorities for that week. I analyze what last week’s activities were, and if I find that I was off track or started another project, I cut it.
15. Get to Market Quickly With Your MVP
It’s critical you get to market as fast as possible to test your assumptions. The concept of the minimum viable product (MVP) is the fastest way to support rapid scaling. It allows you to quickly test your assumptions, iterate your product and accelerate the never-ending work of building a product that remains a must-have to your target consumers.
16. Create Value
Nothing ethical and good is done without creating real and meaningful value for another business. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you a bottle of Uncle Tom’s magical formula. Focus on value and how to make that something that can be shared and promoted.
17. Proceed With Caution
Scale up based on demand, not just because you want to. If you scale up too quickly, you run the risk of overextending your resources and potentially losing your company. Concentrate on the quality of your product and look long term. If what you provide is really worthy of massive growth right away, the market will dictate that naturally and you won’t have to force it.
How to Start Your Startup in the Right Direction
Having read through each of the actionable and expert tips above, you likely already have some good ideas for launching or improving your startup. With all of this in mind, it’s important to take advatage of the many benefits the internet has to offer — especially in terms of connections and online tools.
Take some time to run through our list of recommended business tools and resources, and if you are currently having a hard time with raising the necessary funds for your business, this is also a great resource. No matter what direction or method you take, just be sure to take action daily and always progressing in the right direction.
Logo Design Tips for Digital Marketers, Businesses, and Brands
Pepsi made headlines in 2008 when it decided to spend over $1 million redesigning its logo. This was a fresh reminder to businesses all over the world just how important a good logo really is.
Strangely, many online businesses don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Many digital marketers don’t have any logo at all. Others hacked something together that doesn’t communicate the core essence of their brand.
Your logo plays a very important role in your brand positioning. It is also one of the most visible parts of your website and other web properties. UX experiments show that 36% of website visitors will click the company logo to visit the homepage, because is the most prominent part of the site.
Why is a logo important for your online business?
Here are some things that you need to understand about logos and digital marketing.
Every online business needs a logo
Yes, every single business needs a logo. Too many online businesses think they are the exception.
Bloggers and affiliate marketers are particularly likely to think that they don’t need a logo. Since they aren’t actively selling their own products and services, they believe that they can get by without it. This is a big mistake.
When you have any type of online business model, your reputation is going to make or break your success. You may not be selling your own products as an affiliate marketer, but you still need to earn the trust of your website visitors before you can convert them by promoting another brand’s. Having a professional logo helps establish trust by showing that you are a serious entrepreneur that intends to stick around for the long term.
When hiring an outside logo design agency, it’s important to make sure you know what type of logo and design work you want to have done. Not only should you have a concept and idea in mind, you should also be aware of the services out there, and the associated costs with each. DesignBro.com recommends the following, and actually provides all of these services and design requirements within each logo job they take on:
- Up to 10 suggested designs from professional logo designers. Only see the best designs – forget about clutter.
- A closed competition: Designers cannot see the other designs. This stimulates more unique & creative content while avoiding simple variations and blatant copies.
- Own your design with full legal copyright.
- Receive files in relevant formats; suitable for online & print purposes (.ai, pdf, jpg, and png)
No matter if your business or brand is completely online or offline, you should have your logo and design files available in all formats and sizes. You never know when you might want to print out business brochures, business cards, or place your new logo design on your site or within social media.
A strong logo helps create a more seamless marketing funnel
Have you ever clicked an online ad on Facebook, Google or another site, only to be disappointed with the landing page that you saw? The problem is often that the advertiser didn’t provide a consistent funnel. The initial ad needs to set the expectations for visitors before they see your landing page. If you are getting users to subscribe to an email list, your ad and landing page need to make sure that your subscribers know what to expect when they start receiving emails from you.
A perfect example of this can be seen in the ad placements above. While the logos aren’t actually shown on Google, they will be displayed on the landing pages after the ads are clicked. Having a well-known and recognized brand identity only further improves the chances of higher conversions and gaining the trust of your audience. You can see more examples of how this can be done across multiple platforms and social media, in this article.
Keeping your message is consistent is essential. However, explicit, written statements aren’t the only part of the message that you need to pay attention to. Other visual cues can subconsciously convey messages that you may not even be aware of. It is important to make sure that these visual elements are as consistent as possible between every stage of your funnel. Using your logo in your ads, landing pages and email newsletters helps establish that consistency.
A good logo will convey the emotions that you want your brand to resonate
Every brand is unique. Every brand wants to build a different type of emotional connection with its customers. Creating a logo that matches the emotions you want your customers to feel is important part of the process.
Don’t settle on a logo just because it looks nice or would work well for another brand. It must match the connection you want your customers to have with your company.
Developing the perfect logo for your digital brand
As a digital marketer, you can’t afford to use a poor logo for your website, social media profiles or marketing creatives. Offline businesses can often make up for having a poor logo with their charismatic personality, community involvement and recommendations from trusted colleagues. That is a luxury that online marketers simply do not have.
Unfortunately, many potential customers are not going to give you a second chance if you don’t make a good first impression. Many website visitors will click the back button and never return.
This means that you need to use a great logo from the very beginning. Here are some things to keep in mind.
1 – Know who your customers actually are
Digital marketers don’t have the same face-to-face connection with their customers that local businesses do. This means that they don’t know as much about them. They may even make erroneous assumptions about their demographics.
Don’t make uninformed assumptions about your target demographic. Do your research and make sure your logo conforms to their standards.
2 – Don’t use low quality logo design services
I can’t stress this enough – you do not want to hire a low-quality expert to come up with a logo for you. They will usually hack something together that doesn’t look very professional. They may even plagiarize another brand’s logo, which is going to be even worse.
If you don’t have a large budget, you may want to look into using a free browser-based logo creator, which in many cases are free to play around and will give you a good idea on how you might want to map out your professional logo design. You will need to be a little more involved in the design process, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run.
3 – Consider using a focus group to look at your final logo design
You may fall in love with your new logo. That doesn’t mean that your customers are going to like it though.
It is a good idea to have people that match your target demographic take a look at it. You may even want to organize a focus group for them to give their input.
4 – Don’t make your logo too fancy
A lot of marketers try making the fanciest logo they possibly can. They cram as many contours and colors into it as they can. Their goal is to impress their customers, which is usually counterproductive.
Instead, you should try to make your logo as simple as possible. Your goal is to make sure customers remember it easily and understand your core message. Having a slick logo with few design elements is usually the best way to do this.
Your online business begins with your logo
Take a look at each of the logo designs above. What do they have in common?
Besides being well-known and recognized by almost everyone… they also don’t have any words or names on their logos. This is something every brand in the world wishes they could accomplish!
While your brand on business might never reach this level, your logo is the centerpiece of your brand. It quickly communicates the central message behind your entire company. Dedicate the time and resources to develop a logo that aligns with your branding goals. It will be one of the best investments that you ever make.
When looking to create a logo design or identity for your brand, be sure to consider all of the points we mentioned in this article.
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